Shelbayh Secures First Challenger Title In Charleston

Abdullah Shelbayh (photo: LTP Challenger)


Jordanian teenager Abdullah Shelbayh clinched his maiden title on the ATP Challenger Tour by winning the inaugural LTP Challenger held at the LTP (Love to Play) Academy in Mount Pleasant, a large suburban town in Charleston County, South Carolina. The 19-year-old fought past US-American wild card entry Oliver Crawford 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 in Sunday’s singles final.

The unseeded Shelbayh battled his way to the championship match with wins in the bottom half of the draw over Mark Lajal of Estonia, Brandon Holt and Ethan Quinn from the United States, as well as Briton Ryan Peniston.

Shelbayh fired 14 aces in the final of the $80,000 hard-court event, saved all five break points he faced and converted three of his own six break-point opportunities to secure victory in two hours and four minutes.

By lifting the LTP Challenger trophy, Shelbayh pocketed $10,840 in prize money as well as valuable 75 ATP Ranking points. He has become the first ATP Challenger champion from Jordan and the youngest player from an Arab country to win a title.

“Jordan is not a big country, especially when it comes to tennis,” said Shelbayh. “We are trying to develop more and more. It’s something special for me to be able to present Jordan in high-level tournaments. Being able to win such a great event, earning the biggest title of my career so far, that makes me very proud of myself.”

The lefty captured three titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour titles last year but has now established himself at Challenger level.

“I had a great start into the year, having a good run to the final of the Challenger in Bahrain. But now more people know me and the pressure increases. The past few months have been very tough for me, which also affected me on the court. So I am very happy to win this title in such a challenging year.