O’Connell Clinches Shanghai Challenger Title

Christopher O’Connell and Yosuke Watanuki (photo: Shanghai Challenger)

SHANGHAI/STARNBERG, September 12, 2023

Christopher O’Connell from Australia has clinched the title of the 2023 Road To The Rolex Shanghai Masters Shanghai Challenger. The top seed of the $130,000 hard-court event defeated second favourite Yosuke Watanuki 6-3, 7-5 in Sunday’s singles final.

O’Connell battled his way in the championship through the top half of the draw with wins over his compatriot Luke Saville, Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama, Chinese qualifier Yan Bai and Australia’s Li Tu without dropping a set.

The World No. 69 withstood 20 aces in the final and broke Watanuki’s serve two times to seal victory in one hour and 43 minutes.

“I loved playing here. As soon as I arrived here, I felt pretty comfortable. It was a tough trip coming from the US Open, playing a tough match against Medvedev,” O’Connell said. “I continued playing some really good tennis. I love the conditions here, the humidity. I’ve been training prior to the US Open in Florida with conditions similar to this, so that really helped with how I played this week.”

By lifting his fifth career trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour, his first of the season, O’Connell $17,650 in prize money as well as 100 ATP Ranking points.