The 32-year-old Pierre-Hugues Herbert clinched his fifth Challenger title at home in Quimper, ousting the young Croat Duje Ajdukovic 6-3, 6-2 in 65 minutes in the final. Thus, the Frenchman completed the circle at this event, winning the title ten years after conquering his first Challenger crown at the same place.
Also, Quimper is Herbert's first singles title since Orleans in October 2016, standing without a trophy for almost seven and a half years! The Frenchman prevailed over Michael Mmoh in the first round and repeated that against Tristan Lamasine in round two.
Pierre-Hugues beat the 2nd seed Arthur Rinderknech 7-6, 6-3 in the quarter-final, booking a place in the last four. Herbert defeated his compatriot with a wild card, Matteo Martineau, entering his first Challenger final in years.
The experienced indoor player earned a notable win over the young gun in the final, playing well on serve and return and emerging at the top in style.
Ajdukovic played well en route to the final but could not follow Herbert's numbers. The home player dropped two points behind the first serve, defending the second nicely and facing no break points. Duje lost 43% of the points in his games, suffering three breaks from six chances offered to his rival and settling with a runner-up prize.
Pierre-Hugues served well right from the start, producing five commanding holds in the opener and maintaining the pressure on Duje. The Frenchman fired an ace down the T line in the encounter's first game, and the Croat locked the result at 1-1 with a forehand crosscourt winner.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert claimed his first Challenger title since October 2018.
The former top-40 player grabbed the third game with a service winner and created two break chances in the next one after drawing the rival's mistake with a solid return.
Ajdukovic stayed focused, denying them and blasting an ace down the T line for a hold and 2-2, avoiding an early setback. Herbert secured the fifth game with a service winner, and Ajdukovic repeated that in the next one for 3-3.
Pierre-Hugues clinched the seventh game at love with an unreturned serve and pushed strong on the return in the next one, earning a break chance after Duje's loose backhand. Ajdukovic denied it but faced the second after sending a loose forehand outside the court.
Herbert forced the rival's error, moving 5-3 in front and serving for the set. The home star secured the ninth game with a service winner, wrapping up the opener 6-3 after 34 minutes. Pierre-Hugues delivered four easy holds in the second set and clinched a double break that sent him over the top.
Ajdukovic netted a volley in the first game, experiencing a break and finding himself a set and a break down. Pierre-Hugues held in game two with a crafty volley winner at the net and forced the rival's mistake in the next one for a break point.
The Frenchman covered the net beautifully for his third break of serve in a row and a massive advantage. Herbert cemented the lead with a service winner in game four and served at 4-1. The home star fired an ace down the T line for 5-1, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match.
Duje closed the seventh game at 15 with a forehand error, and it was Pierre-Hugues enormous moment in the next one. Herbert felt no pressure, firing three service winners and creating three match points. The Frenchman wrapped up the win with another service winner at 40-15, celebrating his first singles title since 2018!