Category Archives: ITF

Slovenia F2 Futures Wednesday Report

Another Twitter friend, Pale, was so kind to send me a report of his day at Ljubljana Futures. Thank you very much Pale.

As this futures tournament is played at my local club, I went to see some of today’s first round matches. Here are some short notes about what I saw.

Kočevar Dešman def. Habrman 6-3 6-3

Kočevar is probably one of the favourites of this tournament and as a local kid has big support from the stands as well. He has allround game, can finish off with a winner, moves pretty well too. Reminds me of another Slovenian tennis player Zemlja and maybe he will be able to breakthrough and start playing challenger events. Habrman can hit really big but he misses a lot, also his shot selection is really bad, so it was a routine victory for Slovenian.

Kalenichenko def. Razborsek 6-1 6-4

Ukranian kid is for me the biggest surprise of the first round. This guy can really play well. Razborsek was completely chanceless most of the match and was wondering outloud if it is possible for his opponent to miss any of his shots. Razborsek tried everything. From pushing to attacking, but Kalenichenko was always on the ball, hitting deep and frustrating his opponent. There was small chance for Slovenian to comeback after he broke back and hold for 4:4 in second. But Kalenichenko save 15:40 with few big plays and easily broke for match in next game.

Sebastian Ofner def. Janezic 6-0 6-3

Janezic probably bought this wildcard as he isn’t something special even for Slovenian standards. At least he looked good in his latest, brand new tennis apparel 🙂 Ofner won first set easily without losing a single game and didn’t push as hard in second. Austrian has big first serve, but his percentage was very low. He was dictating every point and it was only chance for Janezic to hope for some easy miss, that didn’t happen often.

Eremin def. Jurman 6-4 6-3

I must say I was expecting more from Eremin. I think he still doesn’t play well enough to be competitive on challenger events. He was missing quite a lot of easy shots versus Jurman, who looked a bit out of gas today. It was probably one match too many for him as he is competing only few times per year, because he is working as a coach in local club now. First set was very even, Jurman came back from 1:4, although it was quite an undeserved lead for Italian, but then broke himself with stupidities when serving to stay in the set. Same story in second. Jurman with a quick break, then gifted it away and it was game over, focus was gone and it was an easy job then for Eremin, who didn’t look too happy with his game during the match. He has enough quality in his shots to be one of the contenders for the title, but needs to improve accuracy in next matches.

Ternar def. Steficar 6-1 6-0

Steficar is probably from some rich family as he is getting wildcards often, but he just doesn’t belong here. Ternar was playing quite bad, or probably he wasn’t focused enough, but still lost only one game as his opponent couldn’t stay in rally for few shots.

Patrik Ofner def. Weidinger 6-3 6-0

At the start this looked like it was going to be an even match. Ofner really likes long rallies, he is small guy, with great court coverage and plays almost without mistakes, but his shots are very weak. Still on claycourts he is probably very tough to beat as you have to go for the lines to win a point against him and guys playing on futures events are usually unable to do that. Weidinger was playing very patient at the start, there were some really long rallies and games (for instance Ternar started at the same time and was over with his match before those two finished first set), but after Ofner took the first set it was one way traffic. Weidinger started to go for his shots too much and this is exactly what you shouldn’t do against a player like Ofner. I was surprised when found out Ofner was Top10 junior player, playing finals of Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl tournaments as I would be sure that he can’t win a match outside of clay.

The curious case of Pol Toledo Bagué

The readers of this blog and my followers on Twitter know very well how many times I wrote about bad conditions of some ITF pro tournaments and about the low prize money for players.

Last Friday I noticed some tweets of the spanish player Pol Toledo Bagué

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At first sight you could understand that the spaniard could not play ATP Barcelona quali because of the behaviour of Mr. Pier Luigi Grana, ITF Supervisor of this week ITF Italy F6.

On Saturday Pol explained the situation in a letter published by PlanetaTenisFM and also on Twitter you could see some attention about this

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Here is a little summary of what happened.

On Friday at 5 PM Pol Toledo Baguè started his doubles match in Reus (Spain F9 final).

At 5.30 PM Pol’s coach was informed that his pupil received a WC for ATP Barcelona quali draw.

Pol was on Acceptance List of the Main Draw of Italy F6 of next week, so he should have withdrawn from the tournament

You have to know that players have to withdraw before the “Freezing Deadline

The Freeze Deadline occurs at 14:00hrs GMT on the Thursday preceding the tournament week. At this point, players who have moved into a Main Draw or Qualifying Draw Acceptance List are then committed to play in that tournament

But ITF allows some execptions

How can I withdraw from either the Main Draw or Qualifying Draw?

There are only two ways to withdraw:

1. Prior to the Freeze Deadline, players can withdraw online

2. By faxing or emailing a completed and signed ITF Withdrawal Form to the ITF Office, and if withdrawing after the Freeze Deadline also to the ITF Supervisor on-site, so that it reaches the Supervisor by the Qualifying Sign-in Deadline. Withdrawals cannot be made over the phone.

Please note:

• You may withdraw late, for any reason and without incurring a fine, from up to three tournaments in a calendar year as long as you submit each withdrawal prior to the relevant Qualifying Sign-in Deadline.

So Pol was allowed to withdraw “late” but as Mr. Grana told to the spaniard’s staff he had to send a signed letter to officially inform ITF Office and Supervisor.

Mr. Grana also said that he had to receive that letter within 6 pm. Unfortunately Pol was playing the doubles and could not send any letter. You can understand how much he was disappointed and angry but in my opinion there is a big problem in this story.

Pol wrote in his letter:

La cuestión es que no está escrito en ningún lado que yo tenga que enviarlo a esa hora.

So he was angry because, in his opinion, Mr. Grana should have not put the deadline for receiving the Withdrawal Letter at 6 pm. Translating from Spanish to English he wrote “It’s not written anywhere that I have to send within a certain hour”.

Unfortunately for Pol, ITF rule is very clear and I write it again

• You may withdraw late, for any reason and without incurring a fine, from up to three tournaments in a calendar year as long as you submit each withdrawal prior to the relevant Qualifying Sign-in Deadline.

Guess which was the Qualifying Sign-In Deadline for ITF Italy F6?

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Oh yes, 6 PM.

So in the end I can understand Pol being sad for missing his home tournament but there are a few things that I do not understand:

  • How can a professional player complain without knowing the rules of his job
  • Why ATP Barcelona organizers informed him about the WC so late
  • Why noone of the journalists involved (or the player himself) wrote anything about this after I explained (via twitter) them the true situation

I wonder also which will be ITF reaction to this, having a player attacked (just with words of course) an ITF Representative that just did what he is paid for and supposed to do.

ITF has very big margins for improvement but I think that this is not the right way to ask for a better situation.

On futures you have 10 people watching if you are lucky: Interview with Filip Peliwo

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I watched you several times but for those that could not, describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness.

I would say my biggest strength is my ground strokes, returns, and my speed. I play at a very fast tempo, which puts a lot of pressure on my opponents. I like to stay quite close to the baseline to take the ball very early.

What is your favourite surface?

Hardcourt

Do you have a coach?

Nicolas Copin

Do you have any sponsor?

Lacoste and Tecnifibre

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

Always listen to music before the match to zone out from outside distractions, make sure I’m sharp and ready to start with high adrenaline

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not? Especially in foreign tournaments.

Absolutely, I play with a lot of energy, intensity and adrenaline, so a good crowd can help me a lot. I love playing in front of big crowds!

Whom you don’t like to play (What style of game)?

I like to play everybody

And whom do you like to play (What style of game)?

No preference

What was the best match you’ve ever played?

Not sure, there are a few that come to mind. I would say beating Nieminen at the Masters in Canada was one of them. Started out nervous and didn’t play that well but came back and finished very very well

What is the weirdest thing happened to you on tour?

Tough to say, there aren’t many weird stories, pretty simple routine generally. Got a default to get my first ever futures title because the guy got sick

What is your favourite tennis player and why?

Pete Sampras, his serve was the best ever, always loved watching him compete against Agassi

Who is the toughest opponent you faced?

Nieminen or Delbonis

Your canadian mate Brayden Schnur chose to study and play NCAA : Did you ever think about this possibility?

I don’t ever think about it, I made the right choice going pro.

Which advice would you give to a young player who is starting to play Future tournaments?

Don’t be too intimidated by guys hitting hard, just fight as hard as you can and you will be surprised that a lot of the guys are not as difficult to beat as it may seem at first.

Describe the differences between ITF pro and junior tournaments (organization, atmosphere, courts etc)

The main difference is that higher up in the level of juniors you start to get more people coming to watch, and then you go to futures and have 10 people if you are lucky. You go back to the beginning and need to work your way up to get to the more rewarding tournaments

You have been junior #1 and multiple Slam winner: how much difficult is the transition from junior to pro?

Very difficult, it is hard to break through to the top level of pros, takes a lot of physical work and to get mentally strong. You can’t get away with mistakes against the pros like it is possible to do with juniors.

Your opinion about anti-doping programme: have you have ever been tested in competition or out of competition?

Yes quite a few times, only in competition. It is a necessary process in order to keep our sport clean.

Have you ever been approached (Skype, Facebook etc…) by someone to fix a match?

Never have been, fortunately

What do you think about the ITF and Challenger Prize money increase announced?

I think it is a good step in the right direction. The lower levels of the pro tour are difficult to make enough money to continue playing unless you get into some big atp events, so it will help players very much.

Your opinion about possible changes as no-let and no-adv.

I think those are terrible changes, it would ruin the game in my opinion.

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power.

Definitely would increase prize money for the lower tournaments. As far as rules go nothing comes to mind, I’m pretty happy with the way the game is played.

What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?

Futures mainly, until I can play more challengers.

What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy or do you have a ranking goal?

Stay healthy and get close to or into the top 100

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Very big on music, always enjoy that a lot. I generally just relax in my free time, usually am quite tired after training or matches. Either read a book or watch some movies/tv series

Your favourite movie?

Gladiator

And music?

Any kind of rock/alternative, anywhere from Foo fighters to Beatles to the Killers to Led Zeppelin

Thanks Filip!

How to win an ITF final from 2-6 0-4 down: interview with Mario Vilella Martinez

 

 

 

 

 

Mario Vilella Martinez is one of the few players that have won multiple ITF titles in 2015. He also had an impressive end of 2014 so I am pretty sure that this year we will see him competing on Challenger circuit (currently he is ranked #778).ScreenHunter_28

Describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness

I play with a lot of character and passion on court, it is good but sometimes it can turn against me in a match.This is the part of my game I’m trying to improve.

What is your favourite surface?

It is clay, I grew up playing on clay and it is the surface that best suits my game.

Do you have a coach?

I have two coaches, I practise in a big group of players so they alternate with us to practise and travel.

Do you have any sponsor?

Yes I have a sponsor, the academy of Juan Carlos Ferrero “Equelite” helps me with my training and trips. I also have national contract with Babolat.

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

I used to have some but I wasn’t very consistent with them. Now before matches I talk with my coach to motivate myself and to be less nervous.

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ? Especially in foreign tournaments.

Yes it does, when the public cheers for me it helps me to stay motivated and play better.

Whom you don’t like to play (What style of game)?

I don’t like with players that don’t give me rhythm and play fast.

And whom do you  to play (What style of game)?

I like to play against players that are solid from the baseline.

What was the best match you’ve ever played?

I don’t have a specific match but I choose one match I played last month, the final in the F1 in Tunisia, I was down 6-2 4-0 and I came to win saving match points.

What is your favourite tennis player and why?

Right now I don’t have a favourite player. I always like the way Juan Carlos Ferrero played. Now I have the luck of training at his academy and have a good relationship with him.

Who is the toughest opponent you faced?

In 2013 I had a wild card in the qualies of Valencia Open and play with Pablo Carreño that was having an amazing year. I’ve never felt that small on the court.

You didn’t play from February to October 2014, were you injured?

During these months I had a small injury but that wasn’t the main reason. I had bat attitude and didn’t enjoy my time on court so I decided to take some time to decide about my future.

Which advice would you give to a young player who is starting to play Future tournaments?

Don’t worry about the points or the ranking, the important thing is to have a good attitude and give your best in every match.

Your opinion about anti-doping programme: have you have ever been tested in competition or out of competition?

No, I have never been tested for anti-doping. I thing this is a good system so that everyone has the same physical conditions.

Have you ever been approached (Skype, Facebook etc…) by someone to fix a match?

No, never.

What do you think about the ITF and Challenger Prize money increase announced?

I think the price money have to increase cause usually in futures if you don’t win or get finals it is hard to make even on the trip.

Your opinion about possible changes as no let and no adv.

I don’t like the possible changes on no let and no advantage. I think the way it is now is perfect.

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power.

I wouldn’t change many things, just in some tournaments the organization is not good and control more the conditions of the courts and the type of balls.

What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?

I will continue playing futures and if it is going good maybe some challengers.

What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy or do you have a ranking goal?

I don’t have a ranking goal just to play many matches and finish the year in a positive direction.

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Besides tennis I enjoy doing others sports and when I have free time I try to spend time with my friends and family.

Your favourite movie?

Lords of the rings, I always enjoy this movie

And music?

I like almost all types of music. Depends on the moment I listen to ones or others.

Thanks a lot for your time!

16 yo and already ITF Pro Circuit Runner-up: interview with Alexa Graham

Alexa Graham is surely one on the young players to watch on the ITF Pro circuit in 2015.

She made a great debut this year reaching the final at Fort-de-France 10k, beating top 500 (Guarachi) and top 300 (Ramialison) opponents.

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I could never watch you so please describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness

I enjoy playing in a competive atmosphere and learning from the experience of playing players with high talent.

What is your favourite surface?

I train on Har Tru and Hard Courts, but Hard Courts are definitely my favorite.

I read that you are coached by Anna Bielen-Zarska, is this right? From how long time is she following you?

Yes, Anna has been coaching me for about three years now! We work really well together and I love training with her every day.

Did you travel to Martinique with her or with family?

I traveled to Martinique with one of my hitting coaches, Eric Bratt.

Do you have any sponsor?

I’m on Babolat’s national team and they provide me with equipment.

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

Before my matches I warm up all my strokes and sharpen anything that seems to be off.

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ? Especially in foreign tournaments

I always enjoy playing in front of a crowd, no matter where it is.

What was the best match you’ve ever played?

When I was 14 years old playing a 10k in Pennsylvania I won my first wta point. We split sets and then I was down 5-2 and a match point in the third set and came back to win the match.

What is your favourite tennis player and why?

I like Maria Sharapova because she is very competitive on the court. She is always intense and aggressive. She also has the ability to come back from adversity and injury.

You are very young: how can you put together tennis and your education?

I’m an online high school student. It’s a big commitment and takes a lot of coordination and planning.

You played only one ITF junior tournament, why?

I’ve only played one junior ITF tournament because my coach and I thought it was better to invest the resources in playing pro circuit events.

Do you have any relation with other good US junior girls (Bellis, Neel, Kenin, Gordon etc..?)

I’ve made a lot of good friends through tennis including Ingrid Neel, Jessie Aney, and Alexis Nelson. Even though we dont live close to each other, we manage to stay in touch.

Describe the differences between ITF and USTA tournaments (organization, atmosphere, courts etc)

ITF tournaments are run more professionally and you are usually only playing one match a day.

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power

Each match should have a definite start time, there should be line judges on all the lines for every match, and to be given the oppurtunity to talk to your coach between split sets.

What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?

I’m going down to Florida next weekend for a national open. I also plan on playing the two 10ks in Florida in March.

What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy and improve your game or do you have a ranking goal?

This year I want to compete in as many pro events as possible and keep improving my ranking.

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

The weekends that I’m home I always like going to the movies and the mall with my friends.

Your favourite movie?

My favorite movie is The Internship. I laugh everytime I watch it!

And music?

I really like Taylor Swift’s new album.

Thanks for the interview and best of luck for your career!

What happened in ITF Pro Circuit Men in January 2015

Multiple Title Winners

Balleret (USA F5, USA F6)

Elgin (Kazakhstan F1, Kazakhstan F2)

Vilella-Martinez (Tunisia F1, Tunisia F3)

Marterer (Germany F2, Germany F3)

Pereira (Turkey F2, Turkey F4)

Best records

Pereira 16-2

Marterer 14-1

Balleret 14-2 (+ 4 titles in doubles –> 16-0)

Elgin 10-0

Vilella-Martinez 10-1

Antonescu 10-3 (+ 1 title in doubles)

Cox 9-1

Musialek 9-2

Majchrzak 8-2 (+ 1 title in doubles)

Oldest final

Kazakhistan F2

Elgin (33) def. Zhyrmont (25)

USA F6

Balleret (32) def. Heras (26)

Youngest Final

Egypt F3

Djere (19) def. Majchrzak (19)

Final with biggest difference in age

USA F5

Balleret (32) def. Tiafoe (17)

Longest Final

Tunisia F3

Vilella-Martinez def. Jaime Pulgar Garcia 67 64 76 (36 games)

Shortest Final

France F1

Thivant def. Sakharov 61 60 (13 games)

Highest ranked Player to win a Title

France F2

Paire (#135) def. Teixeira

Lowest ranked Player to win a Title

France F1

Thivant (unranked) def. Sakharov

ITF Player of the month

Tomas Fabian, 54 yo, played his first ever ITF match in France F2.

He went on court without bag, with just one racquet. When he had to serve, he put the other ball close to his feet. He didn’t even know about the changeover. He ended 0-24 on serve but he managed to win 2 points on return!

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Honourable mention for ITF player of the month

Sado Laribi, 0-24 games in 2015 but I admire his love for the game and for the competition

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Most incredible 1 set all of the month

Stouff – Coco 61 67 ITF France F2

Stouff had 12 bps. Coco 0. Stouff lost 9 points on serve. Coco 44.

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Winners from 0-6 down

Ponwith (USA) def. Nguyen (USA) 0-6 6-4 6-0 in USA F2

Schneider (USA) def. Bakalov (BUL) 0-6 6-3 6-3 in USA F2

Cayre (FRA) def. Bonadio (ITA) 0-6 6-3 6-0 in Tunisia F1

Leite (BRA) def. Marti (SUI) 0-6 6-4 12-10 in Turkey F2

Tiafoe (USA) def. King (BAR) 0-6 7-6 6-3 in USA F3

Na (KOR) def. Partl (SVK) 0-6 7-5 6-4 in Egypt F2

Rousset (FRA) def. Kapas (POL) 0-6 7-6 6-2 in Tunisia F2

Garza (MEX) def. Krainik (CAN) 0-6 6-2 6-3 in USA F5

Galli (ITA) def. Yoshida (JPN) 0-6 6-2 6-2 in Tunisa F2

Halys (FRA) def. Corrie (GBR) 0-6 6-1 6-4 in Great Britain F2

Toledo Bague (SPA) def. Cachin (ARG) 0-6 6-2 6-2 in Spain F1

Some cool stuff that happened in Tennis Week 2 & 3 / 2015

Sam Thompson incredible volley


Legendary ITF story

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Tomas Fabian, 54 yo, played his first ever ITF match in France F2.

He went on court without bag, with just one racquet. When he had to serve, he put the other ball close to his feet. He didn’t even know about the changeover. He ended 0-24 on serve but he managed to win 2 points on return!


Michael Venus wins at home

First Kiwi to beat an overseas player in home tourney since 2002 (Nielsen def Vinciguerra)


How not to smash


Sloane Stephens likes risk


Funny Umpires expressions


Pablo Cuevas highly motivated

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Federer aces Cruz Hewitt (0:50)


Tweets of the Weeks 2-3

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Bryan Bros robbed


Insane rally Muller-Tomic


Lamine Ouahab (the only guy to have beaten Rafael Nadal in a junior match) wins Casablanca Challenger

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Genie is so loved

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Also the ball wants to touch her


Also Bautista has his own Army!


McHale vomits on court…and wins


Kokkinas post Gulbis match amazing video


Marinko Matosevic is the new Matteo Volante (br 217 doubles, current 260)

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(women tennis doesn’t exist)

But Matteo didn’t stick to tennis

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(all women are whores)


Amazing Aus Open Day 1-3 Recap


One of the most ridicolous passing shot ever. On mp. Against Federer


Paire and Brands play ITF events

Paire won France ITF, Brands lost SF in Germany

Winning ITF France F2 (5 matches won) Paire earned 1440$, losing in 1st round quali Aus Open (1 match lost) he earned 4000$


New balls please


ITF Most incredible 1 set all of all times

Stouff – Coco 61 67

Stouff had 12 bps. Coco 0. Stouff lost 9 points on serve. Coco 44.

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Poor Svetlana…ouch

From Futures to Grand Slams: interview with Stefano Travaglia

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First of all, tell us about your recent down under experience.

Australian Open is great: you have a lot of indoor and outdoor courts, big restaurants, three locker rooms with 4 physios, almost one hundred transportations at your full availability. Economic support for the flight (1700$ cash as soon as you arrive) and a daily refund of 220$ for at least 2 days.

I played good tennis in Australia, especially here in Melbourne. I lost a close match against a player that the week before was runner-up in 75k +H challenger and top 130 ATP, so it was a good experience.

Which is your favourite tournament?

Us Open, amazing atmosphere with that great centre court.

Do you have any pre-match ritual?

Listening to music, thinking about what I have to do on court, about what I worked on in training, bringing moxie to my mind and to my body.

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ?

It can help on 6-6 third set, as it brings physical strength when I am tired but everything that is off court remains off for me.

Which has been your best match so far?

2014 Rome MS quali when I beat Montanes 76 64.

What is the weirdest thing happened to you on tour?

In an ITF in Germany I had to sleep in the train station because when I arrived there were no taxi or any kind of public transport, the train station was in the middle of the mountains.

Favourite player?

David Ferrer

And a bete noir?

Don’t have any.

In 2014 your prize money income from singles and doubles has been 48.860 $: was this money enough to cover your expenses?

It wasn’t, but incomes were slightly below the expenses (we have a lot of expenses as you can imagine). It was anyway my best year from the economical point of view.

Last year you played Serie A2 (Italian club championship): is it fundamental to play for a club to “survive” on pro tour? How much is this influencing your pro planning and results?

Yes, it is fundamental but if you are smart enough with planning you can play well pro circuit and team championship

What do you think about the announced ITF Prize money increase?

It is really good, free hospitality would make us save a lot of money. Also prize money increase is a good news of course.

ATP obtained a great increase of prize money for Master 1000, in this way I think the difference between top 10 and top 100 will become larger, what do you think?

I think ATP is doing right choices, they are taking care of the bigger tournaments but also of the challengers.

In 2014 you have been one of the very few player to beat Goffin: did you expect him to reach top 20 so quickly?

I didn’t think so, but his results made me believe in myself and gave me self-confidence

Last time I watched you was in Brescia Challenger: you looked very nervous (also because of some bad line calls). I think you have top 100 serve and forehand but you miss something on the backhand and in the shot selection: which are your areas of improvement?

Surely I have to improve the backhand and the rally management, sometimes I am too impulsive and hasty on court

Your best friend on the tennis tour?

We all know each other in the circuit, I don’t have a best friend.

Describe the differences between ITF, ATP, and Challengers.

ATP has excellent organization, excellent transportation, excellent hotels and big structures.

Challengers has decent level for everything above.

ITF has mediocre transportation, for hotels you have to somehow manage by yourself, prize money not sufficient and structures sometimes not appropriate for pro level.

Recently some players started to widely complain about ITF circuit conditions (Buchhass pics from Chile, Sousse training court etc): do you have any experience to share?

In Chile a couple of years ago (in Vila Alemana) players refused to play in the tennis club where the tournament was scheduled and they obtained the right to play in another club.

You had a terrible injury and you reacted with great spirit and willpower: you had to breakthrough a couple of times. Which advice would you give to a young player who is starting to play Future tournaments?

It is not an easy path but with the right motivation and training you can reach your own goals. You have to be determined and believe in yourself, nothing happens by accident.

Your opinion about anti-doping programme: have you have ever been tested in competition or out of competition’

I have been tested at Milan Challenger in 2014

Your opinion about possible changes as no-let and no-adv.

It would be strange, I tested the no-let in 2013 and it would not be easy to adapt to the change.

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power?

  • Prize money increase
  • Better conditions in low level tournaments
  • Appropriate Structure

Your scheduling after Australia

  • Training
  • Egypt ITF 15k
  • Training
  • New Delhi Challenger 100k
  • Kolkata Challenger 50k
  • Training
  • Guangzhou Challenger 50k +H
  • Shenzhen Challenger 75k +H

Where and with who are you training?

In Jesi with Sebastian Vasquez.

What is your goal for 2015?

Top 150 and play all Slams (possibly in Main Draw).

If you haven’t been a tennis player, where would you be right now?

I would be on the beach in Hawaii preparing cocktails during the day and being a dj at night.

You have a great record in tiebreaks (43-25 until 2014 based on ATP stats): did you know that?

I didn’t know, thanks for letting me know.

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Staying with my girlfriend Maria Paola, listening to music, fishing and staying with family.

Thanks Stefano and best of luck for your 2015! See you on tour!

From NCAA to Top 250 Goal in 2015: Interview with Tom Jomby

Tom Jomby played his first pro tournament at 15 yo and a few years later decided to study in the US: he had a very good NCAA impact at University of Kentucky. Last September he re-started his pro career and in a few months became already top 800.

As Carretennis has a special focus on ITF players and on College players he was the perfect guy for an interview.

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I watched you several times on stream and on Youtube but for those that could not, describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness.

I am a really tall player 1.98 m, ( 6 foot 6 inches ) so my serve is my biggest weapon. I like to yell and get crazy on the court: I think it’s because of college tennis where the atmosphere is really rowdy. Sometimes it helps me getting motivated but it also can become my weakness when I get angry. 

What is your favourite surface ?

My favorite surface is hard court. 

Do you have a coach?

I don’t have a coach that follows me on the tour but I am still in contact with Cedric Kauffmann and my home based coach is Sebastien Louis that used to coach Enzo Couacaud before. 

Do you have any sponsor?

I don’t have any sponsor. 

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

My ritual before my match is listening to music with my beats, and gripping my rackets.

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ? Especially in foreign tournaments.

I feel like when I have someone to look at in the stand helps me when I play in a foreign tournament. Not someone who will cheer for me but someone I can share the moment with. Cheering doesn’t really help me but knowing that people are watching help me a lot. 

Whom you don’t like to play (What style of game)?

I don’t like to play tall guys that serve big and go for winners all the time. 

And whom do you like to play (What style of game)?

I like to play short guys that will try to grind and never miss a ball and don’t hurt you. 

What was the best match you’ve ever played?

The best match I’ve ever play was in college in 2012 during the South Eastern Conference regular season and University of Georgia. We were both schools undefeated and the winner was most likely going to win the conference. In a dual match in college it’s the best out of 4 points, (doubles point count for one and then 6 singles) it was 3/3 overall during the dual match and was the only match remaining on court, in front of more than 1000 people. It was at the University of Georgia and was down 4/2 in the third and ended up winning 7/6 . It’s by far the best memory of my life. 

What is the weirdest thing happened to you on tour?

Nothing “crazy” happened to me on the tour but I thought weird that one tournament tried to sell me a WC to get into doubles because I wasn’t sure to get in with my partner. 

What is your favourite tennis player and why?

Favorite tennis player is Gael Monfils. I love his style and the way he plays! His serve and forehand are just amazing! 

Who is the toughest opponent you faced?

The toughest guy I played was Jaroslav Pospisil. I played him in Egypt in november and was up 5/2 in the first playing amazing but as soon as I started playing a little shorter during the rallies and serving less first serves I had no chance to win a point. I lost 11 games in a row and lost 7/5 6/0 

You had a good NCAA career: how did University improve you as person and as tennis player?

I believe my coaches did a great job improving my game but also myself as a person. They are not only your coach but they become apart of your family. They actually care about you which is a different relationship that you have with a coach in general in tennis. The fact that you belong to a team is also something different that makes things work different in NCAA. They made me work on every aspect of the game. My last 2 seasons not only I had a big role as a player, having to be the leader on the court but also off the court. You have to show the new guys coming into the team how it works. How you practice and show them the team values, the team traditions and everything. College made me become not only a better tennis player but a better person, educated with a degree and ready to go achieve my dream with a security to find a job if tennis doesn’t work. I can play free in my mind and that’s what is so great. If tennis work I’m happy and if it doesn’t work I know I will still find something to do with my life and that is a situation I could never have without college. 

Which advice would you give to a young player who is starting to play Future tournaments?

The advice I would tell a young guy is to not focus on the points but focus on the level you are playing. If your level is getting better then the rest should come with it.

Your best friend on the tennis tour?

My best friend is Mick Lescure I play doubles with Him and we are sharing a coach, Sebastien Louis. 

Describe the differences between ITF and NCAA tournaments (organization, atmosphere, courts etc)

Well I only played 11 futures and 2 challengers but the differences in term of organisation are huge. 

First of all when you play in college the coach is taking care of booking your trips, hotel, where you are going to eat and when you are going to practice. All you have to do is sit on the plane, sit on the shuttle, warm up, eat , sleep, wake up, play and go back home. 

When you start the tour you have to do everything on your own, not only doing it on your own but pay it on your own which is the biggest difference! You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. 

In terms of atmosphere, the difference is huge too. I played some semi finals of future where there was probably 10 people watching where in college there was at least 300 people cheering for you, of for the other team when you are on the road. Therefore the atmosphere during the match is totally different, and more quiet ! 

Your opinion about anti-doping programme: have you have ever been tested in competition or out of competition?

I haven’t been tested yet in the pro circuit but in college yes. 

Have you ever been approached (Skype, Facebook etc…) by someone to fix a match?

I have never been approached by someone to fix a match.

What do you think about the ITF and Challenger Prize money increase announced?

I am happy and really looking forward to the  Challenger and futures  Prize money increase. 

Your opinion about possible changes as no-let and no-adv.

I don’t think the no-adv and no-let should be put in the pro circuit. 

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power.

#1, I would put Housing in every tournament of the Pro Circuit, starting 10k. You cannot consider yourself a pro if you have to pay for your hotel.

#2 I would give new balls for practice in futures.

#3 I would create a website where you take 5 minutes where you can note your referee because in futures it’s a scandal how bad some refs are! 

What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?

My schedule for 2015 is to play 4 futures in january, then 2 weeks of training and 2 weeks of futures end of february then I will practice for 3/4 weeks and will start playing tournaments again in march. 

What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy or do you have a ranking goal?

My goal for 2015 is to end up top 250 so I can play the qualies of the Australian Open 2016. 

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to be on twitter, play PS4, hangout with my friends, have a good time in general.

Your favourite movie?

My favorite movies are blood diamond, flight, and intouchables. 

And music?

I listen to house music/ electro / deep house / rap / hip hop. 

Thanks for your courtesy and best of luck for your pro career!

Some cool stuff that happened in Week 1 / 2015

 Sam Stosur lost from 5-1 third set up, at least not vs an -Ova


Shot of the week


Former top 100 players coming back on tour

Mischa Zverev played ITF USA F1 (lost in 2nd round)

Ryan Sweeting will make his Challenger Tour comeback in Maui Challenger


Genie Surfing…


…And Ana Jumping

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Wuhuuu 🔝💨🙊 #skyjump

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Funny stats of the week

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More money in the Challenger Circuit Events

The ATP announced significant efforts to enhance the ATP Challenger Tour, including further increases in prize money. The increases will take place at the lowest category of tournaments, with minimum prize money levels increasing from $40,000 + Hospitality (paid hotel accommodation for main draw players) to $50,000 + Hospitality by 2017. In addition, and with immediate effect, the ATP is offering all current minimum prize money tournaments a subsidy to move up to $50,000 + H from 2015.

ITF players still waiting for more money

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ITF Antalya Claycourts

Outdoor tournament with 0°C  outside.

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The most serious linesman in the world


Flavia and Fabio off court


Flavia and Fabio with some doubles hot shots and a funny post match interview


Poor Camila

A few days ago an italian newspaper published an interview with Sergio Giorgi .

Camila at 5 yo wanted to try playing tennis.

Sergio: if you wanna be a pro tennis you need winning mentality and strong body!

No Racquet, just push-ups with the face on clay. For 4-5 months. With his wife that wanted to kill him.


The King of Retirements did it again

First tournament of the year: A. Hiltzik def. Garza 4-1 ret.

54th time!


Pics of the week

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Coffee please

Serena orders a coffee and wins 10 games in a row from 06 23* down vs Pennetta

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Australian heat? Diatchenko could not care less


Spelling war

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Weirdest match point ever?


NCAA Doubles Final in Noumea Challenger

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Good catch, Layhani


How not to smash…


…and how not to serve


Aga’s reaction to “Replay the point”


Cornet aces Murray


Gasquet so lonely

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The best ball boys in the world


Not a back backhand


Calm down Horacio, it’s just the first tournament!


In case you missed the cool stuff 2014, here it is.