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Zachary Svajda wins second straight Challenger title on USTA Pro Circuit

Arthur Kapetanakis | October 16, 2023

American Zachary Svajda qualified for the US Open in August and took a set off world No. 20 Francisco Cerundolo in his third main-draw appearance in New York. While the weather has cooled since then, the 20-year-old's tennis has stayed hot this fall.


Since the US Open, Svajda has won three of the four events he's played—all ATP Challenger Tour tournaments on the USTA Pro Circuit. After a September title in Cary, N.C., he has now claimed back-to-back California crowns in Tiburon and Fairfield. The extended run has lifted him from world No. 234 to a new career high of No. 139 in just over a month.

In Sunday's Fairfield final, with three-time reigning US Open men's doubles champion Rajeev Ram in the stands, Svajda defeated 18-year-old Nishesh Basavareddy, 6-4, 6-1 , for the title. 


"I think I just played really well throughout the match and competed very well," Svajda said, as quoted in Fairfield's Daily Republic. "I just tried to be consistent. I want to keep this rolling. I have a couple of more tournaments at the end of the year and I'd love to pick up a couple of more wins."


The La Jolla, Calif., native also qualified for ATP Tour events in Washington, D.C., and Dallas this season. He is a two-time USTA Boys' 18s national champion, having earned US Open main-draw wild cards for those triumphs in 2019 and 2021. Svajda reached the New York second round in 2021 and pushed Jannik Sinner to five sets.


The Fairfield doubles title match was also an all-American affair, with Evan King and Reese Stalder earning a 7-5, 6-3 win against Denis Kudla and Vasil Kirkov.

Zachary Svajda. Photo by Pete Staples/USTA.

Also at the Challenger level, New York City native Aleksandar Kovacevic won the singles title in Shenzhen, China. A former college star at Illinois, the 25-year-old did not drop a set in his trophy run, which was capped with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory against Portugal's Nuno Borges in the final.

Kovacevic, who reached a career high of world No. 101 this April, made his Grand Slam debut this year at Roland Garros, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the opening round.


In women's USTA Pro Circuit action, Fiona Crawley won the W25 title in Florence, S.C., beating Chloe Beck, 7-5, 6-1 in an all-U.S. final. A college star at North Carolina, the 21-year-old made headlines at the US Open when she qualified for her Grand Slam main-draw debut


Americans Abigail Rencheli and Alana Smith claimed the Florence double title, while Makenna Jones— a former UNC standout—reached the doubles final at the USTA Pro Circuit W60 event in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

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