Nick Kyrgios and the Youngest Challenger Titlists

Last week at the Sydney Challenger, 17-year-old Nick Kyrgios won the title while only dropping a single set.  The young man has been on quite the run, first winning the Australian Open boy’s singles title, reaching the semifinals at his first challenger, then winning in Sydney.

Claiming a title at this level–even against a relatively weak challenger field like that in Sydney–is an impressive feat for any teenager, let alone a 17-year-0ld playing only his second challenger.  And while much has been made of the increasing age of the top ATP contenders, winning a challenger at 17 has never been a common feat.

In fact, this is only the 27th time it has happened, and Kyrgios is only the 16th man to do it.  The list he joins of previous 16- and 17-year-old winners is littered with some of the game’s contemporary greats.  (On Twitter earlier, I offered slightly different numbers; I mistakenly included Donald Young, who won a challenger on his 18th birthday.)

See below for the full list, or click here for a sortable table.

Date      Tournament         Winner                  Age  
20130225  Sydney CH          Nick Kyrgios           17.8  
20100201  Burnie CH          Bernard Tomic          17.3  
20090223  Melbourne CH       Bernard Tomic          16.4  
20060731  Segovia CH         Juan Martin Del Potro  17.9  
20060403  Aguascalientes CH  Juan Martin Del Potro  17.5  
20051031  Montevideo CH      Juan Martin Del Potro  17.1  
20051031  Aachen CH          Evgeny Korolev         17.7  
20050509  San Remo CH        Novak Djokovic         18.0 [17.98]  
20041101  Aachen CH          Novak Djokovic         17.5  
20040517  Budapest CH        Novak Djokovic         17.0  
20030922  Grenoble CH        Richard Gasquet        17.3  
20030811  Graz CH            Tomas Berdych          17.9  
20030728  Segovia CH         Rafael Nadal           17.2  
20030714  Olbia CH           Nicolas Almagro        17.9  
20030714  Budaors CH         Tomas Berdych          17.8  
20030623  Reggio Emilia CH   Richard Gasquet        17.0  
20030421  Napoli CH          Richard Gasquet        16.9  
20030324  Barletta CH        Rafael Nadal           16.8  
20030310  Sarajevo CH        Richard Gasquet        16.7  
20020701  Montauban CH       Richard Gasquet        16.0  
20020513  Fergana CH         Jimmy Wang             17.3  
20020204  Belgrade CH        Mario Ancic            17.9  
20000515  Samarkand CH       Mikhail Youzhny        17.9  
19981207  Perth CH           Lleyton Hewitt         17.8  
19970908  Espinho CH         Marat Safin            17.6  
19950306  Garmisch CH        Nicolas Kiefer         17.7  
19920803  Ribeirao CH        Gabriel Silberstein    17.8