My trip to Wroclaw started with the flight from Bergamo: Nedovyesov, recent finalist at Bergamo Challenger was on the same flight. I had a quick chat with him but he didn’t look in the mood for an interview, just replying “Ok” so I let him alone after a couple of minutes together.
The Wroclaw main venue (Orbita) is big (spectators are pretty distant from the court) and the attendance was good, some hundreds people. Entrance is free.
I met as planned the best tennis storyteller you could ever meet, Nathii and watched with her a few matches.
Huta Galung def. Bachinger 61 67 63
I arrived at the venue just for the last couple of games, where Huta tried to choke several times but Bachinger was too erratic and very unhappy with his performance, throwing the racquet after almost every rally. I could notice quite a big difference between this surface speed and that in Bergamo. Here serve is not gifting so many easy points as in the last italian challenger so we will see a lot of rallies despite being indoors.
Berrer def. Michon 46 62 63
I watched Michon last week and he was solid from baseline so I expected him to give some trouble to the obvious favourite Berrer. In the first set Michon managed to play very deep and didn’t allow Berrer to attack him: he won the set thanks to a truly bad serve game by the german. Berrer showed that he isn’t here on holiday, he became more aggressive and could take the second set very easily. First two sets were very quick, with just a couple of games that went to deuce.
In the beginning of third set both players lost focus on serve and surprisingly there were 3 breaks in the first 3 games. Despite being a break down, Berrer was still fighting, fist pumping and complaining with the umpire especially for a couple of overrules. From the middle of the set you understood why Michon has the ranking that he has, he started playing very short and he hit some very slow second serves (as you can see in the video below).
Berrer was just waiting for his opponent to choke and took the match with a powerful smash.
Kapas def. Delic 64 62
Good chance for Delic in this match as in this tournament with high prize-money had to face a local wild card, ranked outside top 400. Kapas had the support of the public and of his strong serve throughout the match but he had not to do anything special to take the win. Delic started complaining about the court conditions after a few rallies and played the whole match with a bad attitude, he looked ready to tank already in the middle of first set. As soon as Kapas managed to break him, the match virtually ended: Delic kept hitting serial unforced errors and got broken twice in the second set (once to 0). I really don’t understand how players that have to fight at every round to economically survive at this level can play with such a terrible attitude and lack of fighting spirit. However I give merit to Kapas that played a solid match and didn’t let Delic come back in the match.
I was told that in the other venue of the tournament courts are quicker than here so today I will go to watch a couple of match there and let you know.
Today Michał Przysiężny turned 31 and polish journalists prepared for him a funny cake in the press room.
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.