Re: Challenger Chat

Wow! so Bellis only 36% of Date's age... far out!

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

Re: Challenger Chat

That match will be the second match on Court 17 - the 4th best court at the complex, and essentially the center court of the qualies.  A lot of the players I want to see are playing.  Right now the forecast is showing a 60% chance of late AM showers, and then nothing from about noon onwards.  I will be monitoring the weather to make sure this stays consistent.  I don't want to get stuck waiting for hours for the rain to pass.  if this forecast holds true, then I'll probably plan to arrive there around noonish.

Edit: There will definitely be matches added to my itinerary, but some matches I'm looking at are: Shvedova-Razzano (2nd match on the court).  Court 10 has a lot of players I want to see: Pliskova is up first, probably going to miss that one.  Mandy Minella-Stefanie Voegele is 3rd scheduled match.  Sorana Cirstea is scheduled for the next, and the last match scheduled for that court is Evgeny Donskoy-Thiemo De Bakker.  Of course, some of these matches may end up being switched to a different court, I've seen that happen quite a bit during these qualies.  Also, Donna Vekic is scheduled to play the last match on Court 15, but considering the recent events, I am doubtful Wawrinka will be there.  Still, if I go tomorrow, I plan on staying pretty late.  Oh yeah, and on Court 11, Matthew Ebden-Michael Mmoh are scheduled 2nd match, and Paul-Henri Mathieu plays last.  Ymer also plays on one of the courts tomorrow.  Like I said, a lot of players I want to see. 

I prefer the courts with the baseline seating - Court 17 is like a very mini Ashe (about 1,000 seats), based on memory, I believe Court 11 and 13 also have baseline seats.  After looking at the map of the grounds and google earth, I see Court 10 also has baseline seats.  Here's a map of the grounds:

Last edited by Tommy_Dearest (Aug. 24, 2015 9:05pm)

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Yeah, if you want to see beautiful women with ugly tennis, Minella and Cirstea are your girls.

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Have fun TD!  I'm jealous!

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

Re: Challenger Chat

Arvis wrote:

Yeah, if you want to see beautiful women with ugly tennis, Minella and Cirstea are your girls.

And both Minella and Cirstea won their 1R matches. tongue
Minella even beat 19th-seeded Stefanie Voegele.  Good, I'm a big fan of Mandy's (not for her tennis, though).

Re: Challenger Chat

Moot point, I didn't go the first day.  However, I did go today, the 2nd day.   A first for me

I wrote a whole thing about my day today, but I'm going to sit on it, because I do have a reputation to uphold here.  No emoticon for you! 

Oh, and I took some photos on my ancient camera.  I'll have to see if I can figure out how to get them on my computer so I can share them.  One thing I want to say is, it looks like Milos Raonic is a trend setter, and that is not good for tennis, fashion, or anything else related. I took a few photos of Almagro, not-Gerald Melzer, Stan Wawrinka (not WITH  him), and  I may have snapped Kyrgios, but I'm not sure, that sun makes the screen hard to see.   Also, some random guy with an ice cream cone, sun block blotched on his face, a cap with "Czech Republic" on the front, except this was on backwards ( what's the point of the hat, then?)  and eventually I noticed his shorts down exposing his undies - boxers or briefs, I didn't look long or hard.  I did take a picture or two, but by then he had flipped the cap to its normal position.

Re: Challenger Chat

Not exactly a TON of surprise results so far in Qualifying, but below are some interesting results.

- 21-year-old rising Russian star Margarita Gasparyan is the #1 seed in Women's Qualies this year, although her actual WTA ranking is currently #71.  She's 37-8 this year with a title, so you'd expect her to come through qualies without issue.  Her double-breadstick win in the first round suggests that that eventuality is likely.

- Quite a few American wildcard entries had some success in QR1, including 21-year-old Jessica Pegula, who is currently #257 in the world.  She defeated a player ranked over 50 spots ahead of her to make the second round.  As a teenager, Pegula was once ranked as high as #123.  This year, she has only one match above the ITF level this year, a close 3rd-set tiebreak loss to Petra Martic in which she showed a lot of promise.  She's unlikely to qualify, but she has the ability.

- Speaking of young Americans, Melanie Oudin won a tennis match, amazingly.  Admittedly, her opponent was a 25-year-old Bulgarian outside the Top 200, but still... that's a good win by Melanie's standards.

- Yet another American wildcard won in the first round, but this one is a more mysterious case than Pegula, who has been around for a bit now: 17-year-old Raveena Kingsley.  Her current rank is probably under #1000 and doesn't show on the WTA website.  However, the website does claim that her career-high ranking is #940, earlier this year.  Her career prize money?  Just under $2000.  Her current WTA points total?  9.  The opponent she beat this week in the first round of qualies?  Former Top 60 player Andrea Hlavackova, who has over $3 million in career prize money and JUST won the last tournament she played (an ITF event in Plzen, Czech).  And Kingsley didn't squeak by her: she won in straights, 3 and 4.  Will be interesting to see if Kingsley can win another.

- A young woman named Claire Liu, who just turned 15 three months ago, defeated Veronica Cepede-Royg, who is #155 in the world.  Liu, however, is ranked #827.  Guess what: she's an American wildcard here in the qualies.  Looks like the USTA gave the right WCs to the right players.
Liu, at the tender age of 14, won a $10k event in Orlando, Florida without dropping a set earlier this year, defeating the #1 seed in the draw in the semis.  She hasn't played a professional tournament since then, but has obviously spent that time prepping for this WC appearance at the USO qualies.  This win is so much bigger than anything else she has done in her short career that one can't help but be excited for the young lady.

- Tommy's chance to see Karolina Pliskova's sister, Kristyna, play in person has come and gone: she's out to Ukrainian Maryna Zanevska, world #141.  Zanevska's most lucrative results this year were Q3R appearances at both the Aussie and French Opens.  Could she do one better here in the United States?

- By now, of course, you know that 16-year-old Cici Bellis defeated the world's prettiest 44-year-old, Kimiko Date-Krumm.  It will be interesting to see if Bellis can qualify for the main draw after shaking New York up with a main-draw WC last year.

- Meanwhile, world #127 Romina Oprandi, of Switzerland, defeated some teenager whose name is "Tornado".  Tornado was an American wildcard, so Oprandi did well to dodge that bullet.

- Victoria Duval won her first round match as well.  Why am I reporting this?  BECAUSE SHE IS AN AMERICAN WILDCARD.  Seriously, those girls are winning like crazy right now.  We'll see if it lasts in the second round.

- On the men's side, Mitchell Krueger (#227) smashed Belgium's Niels Desein (#177).  Why did Krueger win so easily?  BECAUSE HE IS AN AMERICAN WILDCARD.  What do we learn?  As long as your American wildcard is not named after a natural disaster, they'll win.

- Disproving that, American wildcard Stefan Kozlov lost in 3 sets to world #128 Guida Andreozzi of Argentina.

- Think I'm joking about American wildcards?  Reilly Opelka is yet another to make it into Q2R after a straight-sets win over Sweden's Christian Lindell.  Opelka is ranked outside the Top 1000 and his most recent loss is to someone named Justin Shane who is #937 in the world.  Lindell (who is a Top 200 player) should, quite frankly, be ashamed.

- Japan's #4 player, Go Soeda, has been up-and-down all year.  This week, he is decidedly "down", losing 2 and 3 to 17-year-old Andrey Rublev, who is ranked almost 100 spots below him.

- Jurgen Melzer survived the first round of qualies, but his brother did not: Gerald lost in straights to #156 Yuichi Sugita.

- A surprising face to see in qualies this year: Nicolas Almagro!  He defeated Igor Sigsling in straights to move on.  I will be shocked to see Almagro fail to make the main draw, despite his struggles since coming back from injury.

- Remember back in 2009 when some unknown American journeyman named Jesse Witten not only qualified for the USO but won two rounds and took a set off Novak Djokovic?  Well, Witten's 32 now and down to #868 in the world and just lost to John-Patrick Smith in the 1st round of qualies.  This is actually his first attempt at USO qualies since 2011.  A shame the American Wildcard Phenomenon this week didn't seem to help him.

- Back to the ladies, slumping Israeli Shahar Peer continues to fall down the rankings, losing to grass court specialist Tamira Paszek.  Paszek, who's currently ranked #260, has no main draw wins at the WTA level this year.  She's not likely to qualify.

- A couple more American wildcards, Jennifer Elie and Usue Maitane Arconada, also failed to benefit from American Wildcard Phenomenon.  In fact, they both ate bagels in their losses (to Shuai Zhang and Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, respectively).

- Meanwhile, Taylor Townsend has done something that she has not done a lot of lately: win.  She defeated France's Pauline Parmentier, who is ranked 130 spots above her.  If Townsend qualifies, be prepared to endure a lot of nonsensical hyperbole about "the future of American tennis" from the USO commentators.

Re: Challenger Chat

Opelka took down another Swede; baby-Ymer earlier this year in the Boys Wimbledon final. So he not my favorite exactly wink . Anyone know how tall he is by the way? Looks to be of Isner-height...

Re: Challenger Chat

Arvis wrote:

- A young woman named Claire Liu, who just turned 15 three months ago, defeated Veronica Cepede-Royg, who is #155 in the world.  Liu, however, is ranked #827.  Guess what: she's an American wildcard here in the qualies.  Looks like the USTA gave the right WCs to the right players.
Liu, at the tender age of 14, won a $10k event in Orlando, Florida without dropping a set earlier this year, defeating the #1 seed in the draw in the semis.  She hasn't played a professional tournament since then, but has obviously spent that time prepping for this WC appearance at the USO qualies.  This win is so much bigger than anything else she has done in her short career that one can't help but be excited for the young lady.

Wow.  Young Ms. Liu just took out World #111 Jana Cepelova.  Unbelievable.  It would be a shame for her not to qualify now, simply for the chance to see what her tennis is like.

In other news...

- Men's #1 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu romps Tobias Kamke for a 3rd-round berth and a shot at the main draw.  If PHM qualifies, he could be a headache of a first round match for somebody.

- Luca Vanni is back to his losing ways with a 3-set loss to Argentinian Maximo Gonzalez.

- In what amounts to a Qualifying Rounds Blockbuster, Elias Ymer defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in a 3rd set tiebreak.  Whoever won this one was probably going to qualify, so look forward to seeing Ymer in the main draw here.

- Donna Vekic is out to Sorana Cirstea.  You gotta think Tommy got there for THAT match, right?

- Cici Bellis beats Romina Oprandi, 7-5 7-5.  Bellis looks like she's ready to be a steady Top 100 player for a good while.

- And wouldn't you know it, Melanie Oudin wins AGAIN!  This time against 24th-seed Yafan Wang!  Could we be seeing a small comeback for Oudin?  Unlikely, seeing as she needed a 3rd set tiebreak against the likes of Wang, but still... improvement is improvement.

- Also, Jessica Pegula won another round as well, keeping the American Wildcard Phenomenon going strong.  What's extra impressive about this, though, is that the woman she defeated was the #1 seed in the Qualifying draw, Margarita Gasparyan.  Considering how well Gasparyan was playing coming in, this is a legitimate win and sets Pegula up for near-guaranteed main-draw qualification.

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Yes, the Arvis curse is broken! Ymer made it through smile

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Awesome summaries, Arvis.  I'm loving these!

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

Re: Challenger Chat

Thanks, Dwight!  Qualies usually have some good stories in them, if you look.

Bummed little Claire Liu couldn't quite make it.

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Afraid not, Arvis, it's more than a two hour trek each way, and unfortunately I didn't leave early enough. 

I did go back to back days, yesterday and the day before, that was a first for me.  It was draining, too. 

I need to correct myself right off the bat - I said that there are only four outer courts with baseline seating, obviously I forgot about the renovations, there's another three courts (at least) with baseline seats.  One day I'm going to talk about how Ashe (or is it Armstrong?) needs a roof, and sure enough, I'll ask "how is the court dry when it is pouring all over New Jersey and New York Shitty?"  Every old person I've ever known has said "it sucks getting old", well, it sucks even more to be old before one turns old. 

On Wednesday:

So, I arrived a little before noon.  There were four matches on at the same time I wanted to watch, maybe more, but I didn't see them all.  I saw Nishioka finish off Bhambri in 3.  I saw a little bit of this recently-turned-18-year-old-American Katerina Stewart, she lost two tight tiebreaker-deciding sets, I only saw the first.  I saw Tamira Paszek beat Shahar Pe'er. I had wanted to see Paszek when she played qualies a couple of years ago, but I arrived just in time to miss it.  I was going to get a picture with her this time, but she was talking to a friend/relative almost right when she got off the court, I wasn't going to interrupt. 

Let's see, I sore a couple of former top ten players in Nico Almagro and Jurgen Melzer.  Only the beginning of the Almagro-Sijsling match, I saw the last few games of Melzer-You're-a-slob Pospisil. 

I saw the knock out Bondarenko knock out some Japanese woman.  I also saw some other women I've never heard of, just because I was in the area (yeah, I said I would study the draw, but I clearly never studied in school, do you really think that wouldn't transition into everything else?)  A young Japanese woman named Eri Hozumi beat a girl/woman from Turkey whose name I don't wish to try to spell (hey, if I can't pronounce it, why try and spell it?).  I saw the end of the match where a Greek woman named Maria Sakkari won.  I saw some of Rublev's match.  He was wearing a red shirt with a red sleeve.  I've seen Kyrgios do that, it's hilarious -yet unsettling - that Milos Raonic is a trend setter.   I also saw Dodig for a few points. 
I didn't watch one match from start to finish - not even close!  But the fun of qualifying is the freedom to go from court to court - cannot do that during the regular tournament, not even the smaller courts.  Unless the cameras lie. 

I spent the next couple of hours hovering around the practice courts - I saw Svetlana Kuznetsova was going to practice, with Bacsinszky.  Nothing against Timea, but I was excited about the grand slam champion, multiple grand slam champion. I saw two blonde women on a court, the court they were supposed to be practicing on, and couldn't tell the difference.  Unless I meet a person, face to face (sometimes multiple times), it doesn't matter how much or little I see of them in video, online, photos, etc....  They usually look different in person than in media, except for Tamira.  Plus, I just have horrible vision when it comes to moving objects, or reading things when I'm moving (or in a moving object.)  Otherwise, I get time to focus...... Like an hour?  Yeah, then I'm good.   I wouldn't have been able to tell Ernests Gulbis was practicing if the electronic sign didn't state it, his short haircut threw me off.  I took a few pictures of Stan practicing, I then hung out where I saw a lot of people with tennis bags and credentials walking back and forth, thinking maybe it was there I could nab a photo for the lulz.  No such luck.  And the nametags?  You think I could read those?  Yeah, maybe if I walk up to each and every potential player, tell them to stand still, grab their laminated photo, and read it, maybe then I will have a clue.  Not weird at all.  As a matter of fact, I should do that.  But.... Only if I have someone recording me, then I can call it a "social experiment" or some other BS.  Later on,  I saw a man take a picture with a blonde haired woman, after he snapped it, and she walked on by, I approached him and asked him "who was that?"  His response, "Jana Novotna" (and before I could say anything) '' She won Wimbledon".   
One player I did recognize, and he walked by twice, was Nick Kyrgios.  Pretty hard to miss.  I didn't want a photo with him.   I really don't want any photos with any man, except Stan.  But Nick?  Lol yeah,  I think if I had tried to say anything to him, no matter what it was, such as "How's the serve?"  Every possible question, comment, or small talk would have ended up into something obnoxious about his obnoxious on-court comments.   Everyone is a drama queen, if they're not in drag, these days, and even though that guy never felt "right" to me,  I tend to not like guys in their adolescence by default.  Excuse me, no intention to discriminate, PEOPLE, I tend to not like people in their adolescence by default.  Unless they're European, because I don't know what they're saying.  Same thing with South Americans, or Australians for that matter (I heard a funny, it was about people from Boston, but it can also apply to Australians: The way they speak,  they think Dora the Explorer rhymes).  Okay, so I don't tell other people's jokes very well, so screw me.  Or yourself. 

On Thursday:

I didn't see quite the amount of matches, I had seen a number of my "bucket-listers" the previous day.  I saw more matches from startish to finish. I saw Kateryna Kozlova defeat Katarzyna Piter.  I saw Tamira Paszek beat up on a Chinese woman. I saw some of Norbert Gombos losing to Mathias Bourgue. I saw Eri Hozumi lose to another countrywoman.  I saw Maria Sakkari beat the Belgian An-Sophie Mestach in three sets.  One of the highlights of the day, maybe the highlight, was during Kiki Bertens' match: I was sitting at the highest bench, with my legs up reclining, my back to the wall - I was parallel to the court.  My mind had a momentary drift into who-knows-or-cares-what, when a ball suddenly appeared near me, it had hit the wall, not far from hitting me.  I heard a bunch of giggles.  Fortunately, when I threw the ball to the ball boy, I hit the target, he was right near a wall, I threw it in the honey hole. 
I also took some pictures, one with Tamira Paszek and myself, and another with Maria Sakkari. That would have been the personal highlight, but I look freaking horrible in the pictures, like a prospectful serial killer.  I had brought a shirt to change into so I could enjoy the day without the NYC subway stink, and if I had worn the shirt I changed into when i arrived, when I left home, I would have not worn that shirt.  That wasn't the only problem, but it was one.  Anyway, poor women, probably watched their backs until I had exited the premesis. 

All in all,  I had an enjoyable time.  I tend to walk fast, so when I was walking against traffic, I was moving in a way as though I was dodging cars, or tackles, ducking and spinning, I may have mixed in a few "dance" moves.  It's always rewarding to hear laughter from a distance when that is what I'm going for.

Edit: I just looked at the FQR results, I see Ymer has completed the calendar qualy slam.

Last edited by Tommy_Dearest (Aug. 28, 2015 5:55pm)

Re: Challenger Chat

Awesome writing, Tommy!  Super enjoyable.
"calendar qualy slam" - love it!

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

Re: Challenger Chat

Great stuff Tommy D!  Have you considered writing for a living?

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Re: Challenger Chat

I think the calender qualifying slam has only happened once before; Frank Dancevic in 2011. Can anyone confirm that?

Re: Challenger Chat

I thought Tim Smyczek did it once?

That was very entertaining, Tommy. tongue

Re: Challenger Chat

You are correct, Markus - Dancevic completed the calendar qualy this time four years ago. 

While on the subway, I was reading your matches-to-watch, Arvis, but on the tiny phone screen it was just too much information to take in.  I let my nose lead me to the matches.  Conveniently, several of the matches I wanted to see were on courts right next to each other - all I had to do to go from one to the other was walk a few feet to the other bench.  I will try to take a look at one of Liu's matches next year, Arvis, should she be in the qualifying draw again. 

I'm considering having another go at the tennis center tomorrow for the Open Practice. I don't know if it will be worth it since it's practices only, no matches. 

Thank you for the compliments, fellas, especially your touching post Milo.

Last edited by Tommy_Dearest (Aug. 29, 2015 2:11pm)

Re: Challenger Chat

Andrey Kuznetsov won back to back challengers in Italy and...

20 year old Pedro Cachin of Argentina will jump 82 spots in the rankings on Monday after winning Seville challenger (to #166) - he beat the top 2 seeds to do it

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

Re: Challenger Chat

Wow, nice!
Sorry I haven't kept up with this, hard to focus on anything else when there is a Slam on.

Re: Challenger Chat

I'm back on the Challenger circuit, which means I'll be watching some matches.  I won my first round in Szczecin by picking exho master Grzegorz Panfil to beat Maxime Teixeira.  Now I need Robin Hood to concede a set to Kamil Majchrzak.  I didn't get to look at streams of his play when he beat Albert Montanes recently,  so I can't say whether I think he genuinely has the ability to do so.  I also have to pick matches for the quarterfinals, even though I might not make it.  Golubev-Almagro and Struff-Panfil are the two matches I have to decide over whether to give the underdog a set, or even the match.

Re: Challenger Chat

So, if anyone remembers me reporting on little Claire Liu in last year's US Open qualies, I decided to check up on her.  While her singles game is maintaining a solid level (she's undefeated in qualies this year at the $50k and below level) it hasn't quite lived up to the promise she showed in the USO qualies last year.  Still, she just turned 16 in May, so her whole life is still in front of her.

However, I wanted to post this update to let everyone know that she won the Wimbledon Junior Doubles this year!  Although her Singles ranking is in the 500s and her Doubles is in the 800s, this might see her focus on doubles a bit more.

Although she won a $10k title when she was 14, she hasn't won another one.  I have to say, I'm kind of invested now.  I'd like to see her have more success.

Re: Challenger Chat

- Hey guys, guess who won Qingdao last week?  It's a name we all know well: Janko Tipsarevic!  He was playing without Protected Ranking, so he actually had to qualify just to get into the draw (which he did fairly easily, beating his out-of-the-top-1000 Q3 opponent 1 and 0).
Tipsy then went on to make the finals without dropping a set and only losing 19 games in 4 matches.  However, in the final, he really choked hard against Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.  After losing the 1st set 6-1, he fought back and scraped out a 2nd set win 7-5 before running away with it in the 3rd.  Good to see Tipsy back!

- In Aptos, Dan Evans came in as the 1st seed and won the tournament.  He beat 3rd seed Bjorn Fratangelo in the semis, but his opponent in the finals is probably someone you've never heard of: a 20-year-old British qualifier named Cameron Norrie.  After utterly destroying his qualifying competition, Norrie beat Indian darling Ramanathan in the first round before rattling 3 close wins in a row against American players to make the final an all-British affair.  Evans beat him 3 and 4, but we might see a bit more of Norrie soon, who jumped 120 ranking spots into the Top 300 with this result.

- Over in Gatineau, Canada, all of the seeded players either withdrew or lost in the first round, save two: 5th-seed Vincent Millot and 3rd seed Saketh Myneni.  Millot beat Myneni in the quarters, and then stopped red-hot Canadian teen Shapovalov in the semis, who is justifying his choice to stop playing juniors tournaments with his result here.
However, Millot looked to be on his way to winning this whole tournament, but was injured in the final, giving unseeded Canadian Peter Polansky a home trophy and just his 2nd ever Challenger title.  With all the seeds losing, Polansky faced almost no real challenge and made the final without dropping a set.

- On Italian clay in Fano, 4th-seeded Jaoa Souza beat 3rd-seeded Nicolas Kicker in the final for the title.  Europeans were reportedly annoyed at the South Americans coming and taking their Challenger titles. 
Italy did have something to celebrate here with Qualifier Salvatore Caruso making the semifinals.  Caruso almost broke the Top 200 last year but has since dropped back down the 300s.

- Steve Darcis won the clay title in Trnava, Slovakia, as the tourney's 5th seed.  His best win was over 3rd-seeded Igor Sijsling in the quarters (who should really be avoiding clay as much as possible, why was he here?).
Elsewhere in the draw, WC Jurgen Melzer lost in the first round to Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz, who then went on to beat Gimeno-Traver in the second before flaming out.  Also, Challenger expert Adam Pavlaszek also lost in the first round.

- And finally, in Portoroz, Slovenia, Florian Mayer UTTERLY DESTROYED everyone to win the title.  He had a bit of a scare in the first round, though, against France's David Guez, but after that he never lost more than 4 games in a set, and that only once.  He defeated upcoming Russian Danill Medvedev in the final 1 and 2.

- On the women's side, there were a handful of $25k tournaments going on opposite the Olympics.  Hechingen, Germany, saw 3rd-seeded Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic win the title, beating the 1st, 2nd, and 5th seeds to do it. 
In Naiman, China, a draw that was 80% Chinese players saw a final between two Chinese; 2nd-seed Xinyun Han beat 3rd-seed Fangzhou Liu in the final.  Top seed Kai-Lin Zhang lost in the first round. 
We also had the top two seeds of a $25k make a final last week, that being in Koksijde, Belgium.  Big serving Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin was the #1 seed and fought hard to make the final.  However, 2nd-seeded Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp was in ferocious form last week, doling out FOUR breadsticks and two bagels on the way to final, which she won over Dodin.  Dodin, to her credit, though, pushed her MUCH harder than all her other opponents, even taking a set off her before succumbing.
And in our last $25k, we have quite a story: 16-year-old Canadian Bianca Vanessa Andreescu won a home tournament in Gatineau as a Wild Card!  After almost losing in the first round to a Qualifier, she found her game, crushed the 4th-seed, survived a scare in the semis, and then finally defeated unseeded finalist Ellie Halbauer in the finals for the title.  Will we see more of this promising teen, or was this a one-off?

Last edited by Arvis (Aug. 15, 2016 10:51am)

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So Taro Daniel and Florian Mayer won the two Challengers last week.  Daniel beat DGT in Cordenons.  But in Meerbusch, Germany, Mayer beat a 21-year-old fellow German named Maximilian Marterer.  I'm sure some of you have probably seen that name floating around.  He beat 2nd-seeded Carballes Baena on his way to the finals.  He's never broken the Top 200, but I think he's on his way there.

On the women's side, there were two $25k events last week, and the rest were $10k.
Leipzig saw ANOTHER 16 year old win a $25k title.  This time a Russian qualifier named Olesya Peruvishina ranked outside the Top 500.  She beat 4th-seeded Arantxa Rus in the semis.  Her opponent in the final was a 20-year-old Austrian named Julia Grabher, ranked 300 spots higher, who beat the tournament's #2 seed in the first round.
Peruvishina has now won 4 of her last 5 tournaments in singles, dating back to November 2015.  During that stretch, she won three $10k tournaments in a row.  Leipzig was just her second-ever attempt at a $25k level tournament, and she won it.  Very impressive.
And in Westende, the champion was another Russian teen, this one a year older, so... what a late bloomer.  Her name is Anna Blinkova.  Unseeded, she beat the 5th, 4th, and 2nd seeds on the way to this $25k title, and only dropped one set while doing it.
Blinkova also won a $10k in January.

Re: Challenger Chat

Thanks for the summary Arvis. Good to see Florian Mayer making his way back after injury problems.

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