Luke Saville’s match point during his first round match with Gravilova and Kokkinakis cheering for him
Vanni won an epic first round 16-14 third set, here how he reacted after 1st match point failed.
As you can see by the pictures below, Alla Kudryavtseva was desperate during her match
Another epic match: Arnaboldi-Herbert 27-25 third set, this is the match point
Alexander Zverev tried to destroy his racquet after the loss against Sijsling
Ons Jabeur was very angry at the end of her match
Berrer def. Zopp 63 76
I missed the start of the match and the early break of Berrer that gave him the first set. Match was very close with both players showing good tennis (Berrer was surely better than vs Michon) and trying to attack the opponent. Zopp was pretty bad at the net, he could not believe how he missed basically every stop volley. Highlight of the match was during second set with Berrer serving 40-0 and Zopp missing a shot by maybe twenty centimeters: linesman called ball out but surprisingly the chair umpire overruled. Berrer could not believe this, and on his own knees was showing to the umpire his errors, he even asked the public about the ball and from the stands everyone replied ball clearly out so he got even more angry.
Zopp showed great fair play, telling Berrer “You can take the point if you want” but Berrer didn’t accept. Later Berrer conceded Zopp another first serve because a man on the stands was moving with Zopp ready to hit a second serve. Good sportsmanship in this match.
He won the game with a big serve on next point and after that he threw the ball up to the roof: umpire probably was feeling guilty and didn’t give him a warning.
Also the tiebreak was very close and was decided by a double fault by Zopp on 6-6
During the match Zopp complained (as other players did in these day) about the ball bounce: “It’s not normal!”.
Basic def. Huta Galung 75 76
Another morning match with low attendance. Huta Galung played quite well recently and took and early lead in the match but he gifted away the break to 0. The level was quite good and I am impressed every time by Basic because he has not special shots or special power but he can do everything on court (serve, attack, defense) and it’s really not easy to face him indoors. Huta was not consistent today and when I was expecting a tiebreak got broken twice and was on the verge of being 57 14* down. He managed to held on *1-3 and Basic, that was in full control, started choking. He had to save 2 break points on 75 *43 and got broken on 75 *54, suddenly hitting shots in the middle of the net. Luckily for him he regrouped and played a solid tiebreak.
During the match Huta Galung hit a nice tweener lob, Basic missed the not difficult smash because of people clapping for the tweener with ball still in the air.
Kravchuk def. Martin 64 64
There is not much to say about this match, you always had the impression that Kravchuk would have won, he is in form and he played a very solid match, with just a little black-out when set and break up. Nice shorts for Martin, he was ready for a swim.
Berankis def. Hurkacz 76 75
I had not great expectations about this match, despite the polish boy being a top 50 junior.
I arrived just in time for the first game. Hurkacz served 223 kmh. Wow, I said, guy at least can serve. Then he kept hitting huge first serves as you can see in the picture below, he even hit a long first serve 255 kmh that I could not record!
I have never seen such a serve performance by a 18 yo, even if it has to be said that second serve is not good as well, 160 kmh average.
Surely Berankis was not prepared for such tough work on return and he looked frustrated for the whole time. The polish boy is not so consistent from the baseline, especially on the backhand but surely can play and he is not just a serve bot. He is an aggressive baseliner, I think he went to the net just twice.
Highlight of the match was on 76 34* when the Hurkacz had to save a break point and this happened: winner dive volley (and then he was hit by Berankis that got a warning for this). Thanks to Chris De Waard for the gif.
Berankis managed to win in the end because as soon as the polish guy realized he was about to win a set his game became weaker and first serve much slower.
I was impressed also by Hurkacz’s sliding skills, I think only Monfils can slide like this indoor, was crazy stuff.
Darcis def. Arnaboldi 75 62
I could watch only a few games of this match, with both players holding easily so I will not add anything bu as I wrote yesterday the Belgian is very motivated here.
Not many players in the club to be honest, when I arrived there were just Martin and his doubles mate Peng watching Champions League match. They played darts later, smiling all the time.
After the football match, other players arrived (Petz, Puetz and Fischer). Puetz today withdrew but his injury at least allowed him to play pool and they a had a lot of fun. Petzschner and Puetz played a sort of mixed doubles match with two local girls (I can’t say who won). Then they started playing darts as well. No polish players at the party but maybe they arrived after I came back to the hotel.
Today I could stay only for the first matches and you can imagine my disappointment for missing Paire-Bozoljac.
Dustov def. Authom 76 63
Both players held very easily during first set, with Dustov showing his very powerful forehand and Authom obtaining a lot of free points on serve. After 12 games with just 14 points won on return in the tiebreak Dustov became more aggressive and also thanks to three (!) netcords dominated it (7-0). As often happens, the tiebreak became a boost for the winner while the Belgian lost self-confidence and got broken early in the second set. Authom was about to give up but he saved break points on 6-7 *1-4 and somehow managed to hold until the final 6-7 3-6. Dustov played a solid match but Authom’s level dropped quite quickly after tiebreak.
Zopp def. Petzschner 63 62
I had quite big expectations from this match as I really admire attacking players like Petz. First four games were very promising because the german looked focused and in good form on serve, but as soon as he had to face the first difficulties he stopped fighting and just played the rest of match without focus and will to come back and win. Of course he hit a couple of very nice volleys but he was very inconsistent. It is difficult to judge Zopp because he did not have to do anything special.
Nedovyesov def. Dancevic 76 63
I watched Dancevic on stream vs Falgheri in the first round and I didn’t have a good impression, while from the stands Nedo in the match against Marcora looked highly motivated and in good form, so I expected the kazakh to have good chances to reach Quarterfinals.
After the first games Nedo was clearly the better player on court and managed to break Dancevic to 0 and to go 30-0 up in the following game. Match was in full control but Nedo choked from nowhere, missing some easy shots and a few break points in the following games. He was also broken once, so the first set went to the tie break. The kazakh played a good tiebreak and in a few minutes he was 7-6 3-0* up. Dancevic didn’t do anything to come back and despite Nedo tried again to choke when serving for match, he managed to serve it out to win 7-6 6-3. In my opinion he played better tennis against Marcora, today was still good but not so consistent.
I have to spend a few words about Petz and Frank: both have been legends of the game, both are now 30 and both have a best ranking more than 5 years old. They didn’t show any particular emotion on court, they gave up pretty early in their respective match and in my opinion is very difficult for them now to compete vs young and rising guys that fight for every single point because a single point means money to continue their career. Of course they are still able to win matches and to hit some incredible shots but I had the impression that we will not see them many more times on court as they don’t seem to enjoy the game anymore.
Unfortunately I left the venue after the third match but a friend of mine was so kind to send me some videos about Bozo vs Paire.
Sam Thompson incredible volley
Legendary ITF story
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
Federer aces Cruz Hewitt (0:50)
Tweets of the Weeks 2-3
Bryan Bros robbed
Insane rally Muller-Tomic
Lamine Ouahab (the only guy to have beaten Rafael Nadal in a junior match) wins Casablanca Challenger
Genie is so loved
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)
(women tennis doesn’t exist)
But Matteo didn’t stick to tennis
(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.
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
…And Ana Jumping
Funny stats of the week
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
ITF Antalya Claycourts
Outdoor tournament with 0°C outside.
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
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.
Pics of the week
Serena orders a coffee and wins 10 games in a row from 06 23* down vs Pennetta
Australian heat? Diatchenko could not care less
Weirdest match point ever?
NCAA Doubles Final in Noumea Challenger
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
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.
I still miss Steve a lot, there are no words to describe how much he loved tennis and how good he was at writing about it.
This post is of course dedicated ho him.
Serena and Caroline serve fails at Slams
Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki showed their close friendship all year long…they showed also something else in common this year
NCAA doubles win back to back Challenger titles
Reese/Libietis (Vols seniors) won Knoxville Challenger.
“We know how to win,” Reese said. “We know what each other is good at. Our chemistry is so good on the court, we know where we’re going to be at all times. That’s so vital. We’ve been coached really well.”
“We’ve been playing on our serves extremely well,” Libietis said. “We were executing very well. Same as in college in the NCAAs and All-Americans. We’re holding serve and that gives us confidence for the breaks. We can go for it on the returns because we know we’re going to hold.”
Kopinski/Guignon (Illini seniors) won Champaign Challenger.
“It was a special atmosphere for us,” Tim Kopinski said. “Everyone was just getting behind us every point win or lose. It was a lot of fun for us, lifting us up the whole time.”
Two is better than one: magic shots by Dreddy and Dimitrov in the same match
Infamous pics from ITF Pro Tour
Training court in Sousse ITF
Resident vs non resident benefit in Santa Margherita ITF
47 yo gains again ATP ranking
Oren Motevassel (best ranking 161 in 1997), self proclaimed “best player in the world for 40+” won his 1st round at ITF USA F8 (and in the second round he took 4 games from top 300 Michalicka)
Bernard Tomic records fastest ATP loss ever
In Miami 1st round the Aussie lost 06 16 (13 points won in the whole match) to Jarkko Nieminen in 28 minutes
he would have preferred to play mixed doubles
Around the post doubles winner shots
We had two this year
Alessio Di Mauro retires and we will miss him so much
Especially this match vs Meister in San Luis Potosi Challenger: the rally at 1:29:36 is a must watch.
Congratulations to Mahut after loss at French Open press conference
Photo says it all
Ernest Gulbis dropshot perfect game
Funny motivations for Alternates/Withdrawal on ATP/WTA tour
WTA Wuhan: Yuxuan Zhang didnt play quali because
Andria Challenger: maybe Jimmy Wang got flu?
Most incredible miss ever on Challenger Championship (!) Point
Volley missed on 6-4 2-6 9-8, then they lost 9-11
Garza confirms himself as king of retirements
With 8 retirements this year he touched 53 matches lost for retirement in the whole career: amazing record.
Matosevic (on his 13th try) & Lorenzi (on his 14th try) end their Grand Slam drought
Matosevic reaction after first Slam win
James McGee fulfills his Grand Slam dream
Such a great moment for a player that had to pass through the hell of ITF tournaments
Darian King defaulted in Charlottesville Challenger after a funny incident
Wil Spencer comes out from the blue and wins ITF Title
After a more-than two-year sabbatical, Wil Spencer wins Wildcard tournament for Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championship (ITF USA F31) and then wins the real ITF tournament.
Full story here.
Racquet throw award 2014: the winner is Mannarino
and the runner-up is Ryan Harrison
Racquet smash award 2014: the winner is Rhyne Williams
Racquet in two pieces award 2014: the winner is Bozoljac
Worst overrule of the year award 2014
Weirdest point of the year award 2014: the winner is Raonic
Best Smash of the year award 2014: the winner is Federer
Well, so do you like tennis?
Yes I do, a lot.
And what’s your favourite player? Rafa? Nole? Roger?
Ah yes the big guy with huge serve.
Not. That is Ivo Karlovc. I love Ivo Klec.
This is the typical conversation between me and a friend of mines.
I love Ivo because he has really a wonderful attacking tennis, very stylish (especially his flat forehand and one handed backhand) and because he is such a nice guy. Ivo is simply Tennis.
I have to admit that I started following deeply Challenger and ITF tournaments only a few years ago so I missed the best career phase of Ivo, who reached his best ranking in 2006 (#184). He won 13 ITF (10 Finals) and reached final in 2 Challenger.
First time I watched him was in ATP Umag quali 2012. I went on the stands because I was interested in watching Yann Marti. Marti went up *3-0 playing very well but my attention was captured by another match and I left the stands. Wasn’t impressed at all by Ivo. Later, friends of mines told me something like that “You have to watch Klec tomorrow, played amazing tennis”. He had won 64 60.
The following day we were all on the stands and we decided that Ivo would have been our player to cheer for.
He had to play vs Marcel Felder, decent claycourter and surely favorite.
We did our best to support Ivo and he rewareded us with a big show, often fist pumping versus us: that day we started being a sort of a team. He later wrote on his fb page
Won my second round match after a big heat-battle! Both struggling on the court with the high humidity and over 30c. Happy I won 6:4, 3:6, 6:3. Once again thanks to the slovak/czech and german tennis fans/tourists who came down from the beach to support me during my 2.30h match.great atmosphere!!
In fact we were from Canada, Germany, Argentina and Italy and we were not interested in the beach but he could not know.
I still have his towel of the match vs Felder in my wardrobe.
Last round qualifying: Ivo vs Matteo Viola, a well known italian fighter & clay court specialist. My friend from Argentina announced “I won’t allow Viola to win”. In fact another insane battle and another insane win for Ivo that qualified for an ATP event after a long time. I like to think we made him qualify because even when he was really tired under the terrible croatian heat we gave him strength to keep on fighting.
In the Main Draw, Ivo lost to Starace.
In 2013 I went to Siena ITF only to watch again Ivo and to ask him if we could have expected him to play Umag quali again. He recognized me and we had a quick chat before his match vs Torroni. Funny how in Italy I was the only spectator cheering for Ivo versus an italian player. Ivo showed again some sexy shots but was not consistent at all and lost a match he should have won.
He didn’t play Umag quali 2013 because that week he had a direct entry in Guimaraes Challenger (and, that’s funny, was drawed to play Viola 1 st round). He however showed up in Umag and I met him on Saturday quali just to exchange some words.
This year, as we planned to go to Umag quali again, I asked Ivo if he was going to play and he confirmed
Flying around half the globe to get to one of my favorite tournaments…
We were very pumped. Unfortunately he had one of the worst possible draw, having to face Norbert Gombos.
We started to cheer for Ivo from the warm-up and Gombos looked very surprised and pissed off for this.
Klec started with insane tennis, probably the best I’ve ever watched from him. He really liked the atmosphere and our “Ivo (clap clap clap)” alternated to the “Ivo is my hero” chant. Gombos started going nuts and it was really incredible how a professional player was getting confused just by 5 guys on the stands. He also complained a lot with the chair umpire that was forced to call the security. We were doing nothing wrong to be honest, just cheering after points so also Ivo started complaining with the umpire because he wanted us to be allowed to cheer as much as we could.
A guy from Gombos team went to us asking to stop because we were “destroying a friendship” but really we were just doing what a fair fan likes to do: cheering for his player, within rules. Also Carlos Bernardes came on the stands to follow our behaviour.
Unfortunately Ivo was sick tired because he came to Umag after a long asian trip and after being up 62 *10 he lost quite easily the second set and went down in the third. I think that without our support he would have given up but we continued to cheer for him and Gombos became again nervous when he had to close the match: he got broken on *5-4. Ivo had the full momentum and even if very tired he should have taken Gombos head under water but he made some pretty bad choices attempting some terrible dropshots and he got broke to lose 5-7. Gombos went out of the court insanely angry (even if he win) shouting “Where is that fucking asshole???” referred to a friend of mines, the one that cheered more loudly. We had then a long discussion with Carlos Bernardes about the “Davis Cup” atmosphere that we put on the stands. He told us that was amazing that such big fans were on the stands while on other court there was almost noone and with a very boring atmosphere. Carlos also explained that we should have not clapped or cheered after Gombos unforced errors: well, we were just happy that our hero had won a point, we never said a word about Gombos being nervous, a loser or something like that.
I hope next year we will be together there again, with Ivo playing the sexy tennis he is able to play and with us showing our love for him.
Here below some beautiful photos taken by my friend Niccolò Scelfo, owner of Reykjavik Boulevard , during Klec-Gombos in Umag.
Every Sunday I look at ITF Main Draws to spot some random WildCard or Qualifier with a nice story behind.
Last week I was so glad to see the living legend Julio Peralta playing again in a Main Draw: I rate him as one of the smartest players I have ever watched.
He plays just a couple of tournaments per year but he is still top 200 level player: he won singles and doubles without dropping any set in Main Draws, not even playing a long set.
This week my attention was captured by Wil Spencer.
As I usually do, I checked ITF Pro profile and I realized he hasn’t played any pro match in last 2 years but his previous results were surely decent.
Then I checked the ITF Junior Profile: well this guy had wins against Pospisil, Raonic and close matches vs Cilic.
Third step was to check if the player has been in University and yes he has been NCAA #3 playing for Georgia Bulldogs.
Here below a couple of NCAA matches vs high ranked opponents.
Wil came out from teaching tennis to win the Wildcard tournament for Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championship (ITF USA F31) without dropping any set.
Spencer was very unlucky in the draw, having to face seed #2, german Peter Heller, top 500.
Well, his first pro win has been a legendary one, won from 5-7 *1-2 15-40 and also saved bp on 5-7 6-3 *2-4 to win 5-7 6-3 7-5.
Yesterday he showed again big fighting skills recovering 3 times from break down in set 1 and winning the tiebreak from 4-6 down: 7-6 (6) 6-0 final score.
He just won 6-4 6-2 also the quarter final match vs US young gun Opelka that, according to the amazing live tweeting of Seth Stringer (Sport Editor for the Northwest Florida Daily News) was dealing with an ab injury.
Don’t miss reading Seth Stringer articles linked to have a complete overview of what happened in this week.
Regarding NCAA players on tour, last week we had the Vols legends Libietis/Reese triumph in Knoxville Challenger, really not unexpected by NCAA followers: look at Reese’s magic shot in semifinal
This week we have Fighting Illini men’s tennis seniors Guignon/Kopinski (who recently confirmed to be a top NCAA doubles) in Champaign Challenger Semifinal: best of luck to them.
I arrived at the tournament venue just in time to follow the first match: yesterday I forgot to mention that I really liked the venue even if I have been only in the main one (doubles and quali have been played in another venue).
Marti def. Licciardi 75 76
Marti was not in his best shape and missed a lot during the whole match while Licciardi tried his best but he was clearly not at the same level of the swiss. Generally this kind of matches ends with a close first set won by the better player and a pretty easy second one: history was repeating until 75 53 then Marti had a terrible black-out and went 75 *56 0-30. A player with killer instinct would have put a lot of pressure on Marti but Licciardi didn’t, hitting some unforced errors and in the tiebreak Marti regrouped. Licciardi is currently coached by Renzo Furlan, former ATP top 20 and now working within Italian Tennis Federation, I appreciated his attitude on court and I know he is working hard to improve his ranking.
Krajicek def. Delic 76 76
My dark horse for the tournament showed again that he wants it, oh yes he really wants it.
Krajcek was really unreturnable as he lost just 9 points on serve, especially when serving from left Delic couldn’t do anything. I expected a worse performance from the croat but he played quite decently.
In the end this has been a sort of servefest (18 – 17 Aces) but Krajicek kept calm and positive while Delic got angry quite often especially for calls on Austin’s serves: I have to say that on a fast surface it is really not easy to be a line judge.
A 76 76 result could look like a sort of lottery but I was pretty sure Krajicek would have won both tiebreaks.
Dustov def. Kavcic 64 36 76
Kavcic had a quite terrible start (first official match after US Open 3rd round walkover) and Dustov took advantage outpowering the slovenian. First set was one way (Dustov could have broken at least one more time) but in the end of the set Kavcic became more solid. Dustov started the second set looking more and more tired (coming from a long week in Bratislava) and got broken for 64 13: after that break everything was pointing to a Kavcic’s win in 3 sets. I even thought that Dustov could have started tanking but in fact even if tired he hanged on his serve (3 aces Set 1 – 2 Aces set 2 – 10 Aces set 3) and he managed to win the tiebreak probably because more used than Kavcic playing big points recently.
Not a bad comeback on tour for the slovenian, he fought a lot but after 2 months of inactivity it is not easy to play a long and close match.
Dustov showed the most powerful baseline shots in these two days but I am not sure he can have a long run also here after Bratislava final.
Artunedo Martinavarr def. Travaglia 64 62
Both players have to be admired because they managed to come back on tour after terrible injuries (especially Stefano’s one). I was looking forward to watch Travaglia because he is at his best ranking and still quite young (22 yo) so I was excited to look his progresses.
The match started with Travaglia serving 0-40 and that was a clear sign about what was waiting for me. The support of the crowd was decent at the beginning but after a few games Steto started having a pretty bad attitude on court so in the end he didn’t deserve a big help.
There is not so much to say about the match because Artunedo was extremely solid while Travaglia was terrible: he got very angry for a bad call (ace Artunedo on *5-4 30-0 1st set) and shouted “It’s my fault, I should have not come here”. Well, this sentence represented exactly his feelings: he played like he didn’t want to be there.
I don’t know if this was just a bad day in the office for him but I was really disappointed by his performance: of course I am not a coach but in my opinion Travaglia has to work on attitude, shot selection, patience and backhand. It’s really a shame watching him in these conditions as he surely has a way better potential and I am sure that with the right help he can reach the top 100.
If you look at stats, Artunedo could seem a serve bot (27/28 1st serve & 9/12 2nd serve) but his serve is not so effective.
I have been really impressed by the spaniard defensive skills, he always obliged Travaglia to hit one more shot and Travaglia often missed it. I think that Dustov could outpower him tomorrow but in case the uzbek will not be 100% fit the spaniard could have his chances because he is really a big fighter.
I hope you enjoyed my reports and live tweeting, I am planning to attend more and more tournaments in the future.
Special thanks to Brescia Challenger organizers: it has been a pleasure for me to be there, I really hope to come back next year for the second edition of the tournament.
Last but not least the blog owner with Seppi, he could not play but was on the stands.
I am looking for contributors for ITF/Challenger reports (we can discuss about the reward), if you are interested just write a comment and I will contact you.
I should be able to offer some reports from the Zawada ITF starting this weekend, thanks in advance to my dear friend Nathii for the help.
I have to admit I was really hungry of live tennis as I was missing an event from Umag 2014 (with the quick exception of Pontedera ITF final).
First time for this event in Brescia and I noticed it because ball kids, line judges and even the public were not prepared for a challenger level tournament.
Ignatik def. Molchanov 62 62
The winner was pretty clear after a few minutes: Ignatik fist pumping and mentally focused, while the Ukraine started complaining from the very beginning, especially about foot faults (in the pic below him mimicking his serve).
Ignatik’s backhand didnt work well today but serve and forehand were enough to routine this Molchanov.
Matsukuevich d. A. Beck WO
Andreas Beck gave walkover and strangely was not replaced by any lucky loser: I think that at the end of the season a lot of players have not motivation even to sign for lucky loser spot. Matsukevich started a training session with the players of the match below and with Bubka (pic below).
The 4 guys had a lot of fun on court and looked like close friends.
Hernych def. Kravchuk 64 64
The match started with Hernych serving pretty slow (average 160kmh) and Kravchuk very strong especially with the forehand. 4-2 up the russian lost the plot for no reasons, Hernych became more solid and that was enough to win 4 games in a row. The second set was never in doubt, as Hernych was holding were easily while Kravchuck was struggling and complaining about bad calls, the break on 64 54 was really expected, the russian destroyed his racquet after the loss.
Krajinovic def. Vanni 76 67 64
I was very interested in this match as a serve bot on this fast court was playing a solid baseliner that his own coach (Nargiso, ATP winner and Davis Cup doubles legend) defined as with empty tank.
In the very first service game Vanni already hit a 227 kmh ace, he ended with 32 aces (Filip 20).
The first set could only end with a tiebreak as no break points were faced, Vanni showed why lower ranked players generally lose close matches: he made a terrible choice on *5-6 with open court forehand placed exactly where Filip was waiting for and got passed.
Even the second set went to a tiebreak, with Filip becoming sick of being aced, Nargiso was asking him to keep calm and wait for his chances. Something strange happened with Vanni serving on *5-5: the line judge put the arm horizontaly but didnt shout “OUT!”. Krajinovic noticed the arm and asked the umpire to make an overrule but umpire said no shout no out (ball was really out). Filip was very pissed and lost the following point and so the set.
I could expect a tank by Filip but he didnt give up even when he got broken in the middle of the set. Vanni until that moment had not face a single break point but suddendly lost his first serve (5/6 second serves) and gave back the break. Krajinovic then held and Vanni was again in trouble on serve: a dead netcord gave Filip the break point that he converted. It was *5-4 for him but he thought he had won and went to the net for handshake then realized he needed one more game. He probably lost the focus because of this and went 15-40 but Vanni (again showing lack of killer instinct) missed an open court forehand and after 30 second was GSM for the serbian.
Impressive difference between legs on return.
Berrer def. Sijsling 57 63 64
A motivated player out of form versus seed #1 that could not care less.
There is no much to say about this match as it was quite a poor show with Berrer fist pumping often and trying to attack every ball (but missing a lot) while the dutch hit randomly some amazing shots but looked disinterested for the whole match: he didnt even complain about 2 incredible bad calls in a row (1 meter out serves of the german).
The summary of Sijsling’s effort is his behaviour at changeover after being broken on 3-3 final set.
Krajicek def. Arnaboldi 64 36 63
This was my favourite match of the day as both player were motivated, fit and played some nice attacking tennis.
Krajicek spent some games to understand how to return Arnaboldi’s serve but as soon as it happened he broke and won a deserved first set. In the second set Arnaboldi helped by the crowd started being more and more aggressive breaking Krajicek on 2-1. The match became more and more close but the american in the third set decided that he could not keep on being passive and attacked much more. Despite a good help from the tennis school kids, the local Arnaboldi got broken and lost the match. Krajicek looked very comfortable on this court and I think he has a decent chance of a good run here.
Brown def. Basic 67 62 76
All the public (me included) was waiting for Dreddy’s show.
During the first set Dustin was in full control but he missed a lot of shots on return and was obliged to a tiebreak where Basic was more precise. The Tournament Director was probably thinking about suicide when Brown had to face a bp at the beginning of second set (Baghdatis and Seppi didn’t show up, seed #1 out and seed #2 in danger) but Basic missed a quite easy backhand for 76 *21 and 10 minutes later Brown took the second set 63. Third set was exactly like the first one with Dustin untroubled on serve and with missed chances on return. Watch the entire final tiebreak and enjoy the show.
Baldi def. Mager 57 64 64
I left the stands after a few games because I was sick tired and because the derby between Italian Tennis Federation young wildcards was not an interesting show: sad to say that this looked like an ITF level match, not a challenger one.
Live tweeting will be offered also today and report later here.