Re: Challenger Chat

Nice summary, Arvis!
Didn't Estrella Burgos do something like what Nava is doing?

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: Challenger Chat

Yes, that appears to be the case, albeit on a smaller scale.  Gotta be happy for the guy, though. smile

Re: Challenger Chat

Arvis wrote:

With a career grass-court record of 0 wins and 0 losses across every level of professional tennis, what can we expect from Ymer if he plays Wimbledon qualies?

I didn't expect much from him on grass but I was happily surprised, 3-0 on grass after the qualifier!!

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Yes!  I was shocked to see that.  Very impressed.  He is showing he belongs in the Top 100.

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San Benedetto

Albert Ramos won this one as the tournaments 2nd seed.  The 1st seed, DGT, lost 2-2 in the forst round to a qualifier, Salvator Caruso, who then made the semis.  Ramos moves to 11-2 at this level in 2015.  This is his 1st Challenger title of the year and 7th all-time.


Poznan

The top-seed in THIS Challenger did significantly better than San Benedetto's; Pablo Carreno Busta won the tournament as the top-seed, defeating 4th-seed Radu Albot 4-4.  All the Top 4 seeds made the semis here except 2nd-seeded Joao Souza, who lost in the first round to WC Elias Ymer.  Ymer was then overthrown by hot young Czech Adam Pavlaszek, who really should be playing more Tour-level events by now.
Carreno-Busta is now an UNBELIEVABLE 11-0 in Challenger finals!  He has played well over 100 matches at this level and has won a very impressive 70.5% of them.  This is his 2nd Challenger title of 2015.

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Alexander Sarkissian, who I reported on earlier in the year after he won the Gimcheon Challenger in Korea, is currently 1 set away from making the quarterfinals of the Tour-level Bogota tournament.  He already recorded his first-ever Tour-level win in the first round with a 6-3 6-3 win over John Millman.  Not only that, but that was actually his first ever match in a Tour-level main draw!

To make the QFs here after coming through Qualies for the first time ever at this level would be an incredible achievement.

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A 366th-ranked Estonian wildcard named Vladimir Ivanov is into the semis of the Tampere Challenger.  Ivanov's last loss was in the first round of a Russian Futures tournament to a player ranked #993.

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19-year old Evan McNicol of Vancouver gets his first ATP point this week at a Futures tournament in Vancouver (Richmond).  Go Evan!

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: Challenger Chat

And so does 18-year old Harrison Scott of Calgary.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2015/2091/mds.pdf

Last edited by dwightcharles (Jul. 24, 2015 3:30pm)

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: Challenger Chat

Gooooo Caaaaanadaaaaa....

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smile

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: Challenger Chat

Granby

Frenchman Vincent Millot defeated Canada's Philip Bester (sorry Dwight) in the final, 4-4.  The win jumps Millot up to #162, just 15 spots away from his career high rank.  With a sub-.500 record at this level, this is only his second Challenger title.
Bester, on the other hand, was playing in his first-ever Challenger final.  Unfortunately, he was "Worster" than Millot on the day.  Before this tournament, Bester had only managed two wins at this level all year.  He had four wins here.  The 26-year-old Canadian is up #225 in the world.
Neither player was seeded in the tournament.  Millot defeated 7th-seed Metteo Donati.  Bester defeated 2nd-seed Lukas Lacko and 4th-seed Yoshihito Nishioka before falling short in the final.

Scheveningen
6th-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Andrey Kuznetsov for the title here, saving three Match Points in the 2nd-set tiebreaker.  He is now inside the Top 100, reaching a career-high rank of #90.  This is his third career Challenger title and second this year.  He has played 5 Challengers in 2015 and won 2 of them.
Surprisingly, Andrey Kuznetsov is actually a little older than Niko.  He has 5 career titles at this level, however he has none this year.  This is his first final at this level in 2015.  However, Kuznetsov has played a lot more Tour-level tournaments than Challengers this year.  He needs more wins, though, as his ranking is outside the Top 100.  Not good for someone who was once knocking on the door of Top 50.

Recanati
Bosnian #2 Mirza Basic won his maiden Challenger title last week, defeating the tournament's #1 seed, Ricardas Berankis in a 3rd-set tiebreak.  Basic came in unseeded and systematically defeated the 5th-seed (Gojowycszyzk), 2nd-seed (Bemelmans), 3rd-seed (Prsyzieszny), and of course 1st-seed.  All except Gojo required 3 sets to put away, but Basic put them all away with authority until the final when he needed a tiebreak to seal the deal.
Berankis is now 20 spots lower than his career-high ranking, now ranked #87.  While trying to focus more on Tour-level events, Berankis seems to be slipping at this level, this being his first Challenger final of the year in 5 attempts.

Tampere
Young unknown Frenchman Tristan Lamasine also won his maiden Challenger title last week, defeating Brazilian #3 Andre Ghem in the final.  Lamsine has played 21 Challengers in his career (10 this year) and this was his first final.  He won it spectacular fashion, too, defeating Jurgen Melzer and Jarkko Nieminen along the way.  He gained 88 ranking spots to break into the Top 200 for the first time, at age 22.  Perhaps we will see Lamasine play his first Tour-level match soon?
Andre Ghem can be proud, too, although he would have wanted to win this.  He is up to his best ranking, #118.  Now begins the impossibly long stretch to make Top 100.  If he wants to do it, he needs to get better in finals: he is now 1-6 all time in Challenger finals.

Binghampton
Kyle Edmund overtook James Ward as British #3 last week, although not without some speed bumps along the way.  As the tournament's #1 seed, he dropped sets in his first two matches before settling in.  By the time he reached the final, he had crazy momentum and really romped the #2 seed, Bjorn Fratangelo.  Edmund has won both of his career Challenger titles this year and has an impressive 24-7 record at this level for 2015.  He is now only 3 spots away from being a Top 100.
Fratangelo was looking for his 2nd Challenger title as well, but was outclassed.  Before 2015 he had never played a Challenger final, but now has played 3.  At age 22, he has his best years ahead of him.  Edmund, however, is only 20.  What can we expect from these two going forward?

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Liberec
Former World #64 Tobias Kamke defeated Andrej Martin in the final here.  Both men were unseeded, with Martin being the higher ranked player.  Kamke is now #171 and needs a lot more wins like this to get back to the Top 100.  Both players beat two seeds on the way to the finals.  Kamke came into the tournament with two bad 1R losses in his last two Challengers (l. to Taro Daniel and Luca Pouille).  Could Kamke be getting back into form.

Segovia
Slumping Marcel Granollers..... did NOT win this tournament, losing in the semis to Evgeny Donskoy, who went on to defeat Marco Chiudinelli in the final.  Donskoy, like Kamke, is another former Top 70 looking to make his way back.  At age 25, Donskoy could still get back to playing Top 100 tennis, and this win on Spanish hard courts (a rare breed) could help kickstart that effort.  With 9 wins in his last 10 matches, Donskoy is now up to a 22-12 record at this level for 2015.
Chiudinelli came in ranked #428 and had to use Protected Ranking to get into the draw.  Using PR, he managed to avoid any seeds on the way to the finals. Regardless, he gains 115 ranking spots for his effort and is now #313 in the world (well shy of his career best #52 back in 2010).  Chiudinelli is only a few weeks younger than his countryman Federer, so it's unlikely that he'll be able to build on this too much.

Cortina
Paolo Lorenzi may be 5-15 on the Tour level this year, but on the Challenger level he's just won his second title of 2015.  He came in as the first seed and, unlike his fellow #1 seeds in Liberec and Segovia, lived up to his billing. He defeated 4th-seed De la Nava in the semis and 6th-seed Maximo Gonzalez in the final.  He's back in the Top 80 and now owns 14 career Challenger titles.  Lorenzi is 33 and Gonzalez is 32, so both of these men (along with guys like Chiudinelli) are proving the "30-is-the-new-25" slogan of the ATP this year.

Re: Challenger Chat

Speaking of rankings going down, so is my tennis tipping ranking.  I stopped following the challengers after I took a break from tennis tipping (since most of the tournaments that I could enter were challengers).  I stopped playing almost exclusively due to the new ATP site - it killed my routine, I do not adjust well, or is it that I'm not well adjusted?  Bite your tongue, Arvis. 

So tennis hasn't been something I've shown much interest to watch lately.  That will change once the US Open qualifying is close, I plan on making it four straight years of attending. 

If you follow the lower ranked women even half as much as the men, then here's a question for you Arvis:  Which women who will potentially play the qualifying should I try to watch?  I am not talking about killer games big_smile

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Hmmmm. Good question. Yaroslava Shvedova may have to qualify if she doesn't jump a few more ranking spots soon. I would definitely try and see her.

Then you've got Kristyna Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Stan Wawrinka's teenage girlfriend Donna Vekic, Oceane Dodin, Catherine Bellis of course, and the irrepressible Kimiko Date-Krumm.

Re: Challenger Chat

Wow, those are a lot of big name players.  Shvedova has fallen that far? And Date-Krumm is still kicking?  If these women do play the qualies, it looks like I will be watching more women's qualies than men's, which is probably what I should have been doing in the first place. 

I've seen photos of Vekic attending Wawrinka's matches, I wonder if Stan will be at hers? Good opportunity to see the Stanimal in person if so.  If I get a photo of myself and him, I will be sure to post it here (on this site) for the lulz.

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Great idea! smile

And according to the WTA site, Shvedova is #108 right now, which I think is just outside of direct entry.  But I'm not sure when the cutoff was for direct entry to the USO, so she may not be playing qualies depending on such variables.

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The people at the Aptos Challenger may have seen the shawt of the year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqHPZf247Ws

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Yeah, I watched that a few times. Crazy impressive.  Nishioka showed shotmaking ability in his win over Matosevic earlier this year, but also many many weaknesses.  He's still young though and could blossom into something special.

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Portoroz

30-year-old Italian journeyman Luca Vanni made waves this year by reaching the final of the very first Tour-level event he ever participated in (Brasil Open ATP 250 in Sao Paulo).  Because of his power game, he became an upset favorite for many fantasy tennis players.  However, Vanni came into this week with a 0-5 record in Challenger events for the year.  That embarrassing record did not stop him from absolutely obliterating his competition in Slovenia.  Vanni defeated the unlikely home-crowd hero, unseeded Wildcard Grega Zemlja, in the final here in straight sets.  Vanni only dropped one set on the way to this obtaining the trophy.  This was only his second career Challenger final, and he won it with authority.
However, since May of this year, Vanni has dropped from #100 in the world to #141, so this win was necessary to get him back to competing on the Tour level.  We'll see how many ranking spots the win nets him.
Zemlja, once a Top 50 player now ranked #290, was playing in his 15th career Challenger final (6 titles).  He should jump MANY ranking spots on the strength of this runner-up showing.

Re: Challenger Chat

Take a look at the Women's qualifying: http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=938641.   I can assume this site is as reliable as the men's. 

Shvedova will have to qualify, so will Mattek-Sands.  But, Vera Zvonareva!  May be one of the last slams to see her.  There's also Cepelova, Pliskova, and plenty of others worth attending.  I will have to start researching the less familiar ladies over the weekend.  Hopefully the schedule goes in my favor and those I most want to see play on the same day, because going back to back days takes its toll.  Or, I'll have to hope the ones I miss make it to the next round.   

If you have any names from the linked list to suggest, do not hesitate. 

The men's qualifying isn't too bad.  Almagro?  I mean, former top ten player. Ivan Dodig, wow didn't realize he's fallen so far.   Ryan Harrison, lol, I might attend one of his matches, but it would only be to heckle.  Also the young Zverev, probably would be one of the few priority matches to attend on the men's side.  Maybe take a look at Donaldson, haven't seen a match since early this year or last year.  Another young one, Elias Ymer.

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Will be interesting to see if Ymer can qualify for US as well, he managed to do it for all the other slams this year smile

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Oh, if you have a chance to see Ymer, that's a no-brainer.

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Vancouver
Guess who wasn't satisfied with 17 Challenger titles?  Dudi "The Dude" Sela just won title #18 on the Challenger Tour last week in Vancouver, defeating John-Patrick Smith in straight sets in the final.  Both men came in unseeded and were the beneficiaries of 5 of the 8 seeds losing in the first round (including one Ernests Gulbis).  Sela is now a stunning 18-5 all-time in Challenger finals.  Basically, if you fight your way to a Challenger final, you just need to hope that your opponent is not this guy.  Unfortunately for JP Smith, who was playing in his 2nd final of the year, that hope did not come true.
Sela is gains 30 ranking spots is now once again officially a member of the Top 100.  His ranking?  #100.

Cordenons
A bit of a letdown in Italy last week, as the final match here ended in a retirement: Adrian Ungur of Romania retired in the 3rd set against the tournament's 3-seed, Serbia's Filip Krajinovic.  Although Ungur defeated both Kenny de Schepper and Roberto Carballes Baena before succumbing to injury, it can't be said that Krajinovic didn't earn this title: he defeated #2-seed Paolo Lorenzi in the semis.
Krajinovic is up to #98 now and is closing in on his career-best rank of #86.

Meerbusch
Compared to the the other Challengers last week, there were not a lot of upset results in Germany.  3 of the Top 4 seeds made the semis, with only the #2-seed Dustin Brown losing early.  Brown's fellow-seed in the bottom half, #4 Carlos Berlocq, took care of business and made the final without much incident, dropping only one set.  However, in the top half of the draw, #1-seed Andreas Haider-Maurer defeated #3 seed Facundo Arguello in the semis, and then romped poor Berlocq in the final.  AHM was pushed in the first round by a qualifier, but seemed to find his groove after that.  The Austrian has been struggling since getting injured in Umag earlier this year, but this title looks to get him back on track at least, if not back in the Top 50; his new ranking is #52.

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Tommy!!

ALERT: Kimiko Date-Krumm and Cici Bellis are playing each other in the first round of USO qualifying.  Yes, that's right: a 44-year-old and a 16-year-old are facing off.  YOU MUST SEE THIS.