Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Futures: Week 17

Here’s a quick recap of the futures action:

*ITALY F7: 27-year old Dutchman Matwe Middlekoop defeated Argentinean Juan Martin Aranguren in a tough 3-setter to take the title. The winner was coming off an irregular start to the 2011 season, but managed to play his best tennis of the year to fend off Aranguren, who played just his 3rd tournament since early October of last year due to injury. Due to being a 15k tournament, the field was veteran-laden, and therefore with limited “young-gun” action. Young Italians Matteo Civarolo (’92) and Lorenzo Giustino (’91), along with Japanese Shuichi Sekiguchi advanced to R2 but were eliminated. Croatian No.2 seed Kristijan Mesaros (’88) advanced to the semis before losing to Aranguren.

*ARGENTINA F3: ’88-born Argentine Andres Molteni showed why he’s beyond the futures level by taking the title, dropping just 1 set throughout the tournament. He beat Italian Stefano Travaglia (’91) 64 64 in the final. Nicolas Pastor (’91) continued showing his good form by reaching the SFs, before losing to the eventual champion. Agustin Velotti managed to stop fellow ’92-born Facundo Arguello, but couldn’t get past veteran Martin Alund in the next round.

*BRAZIL F11: Spanish-Canadian Steven Diez bounced back from a R1 loss last week to win the title over Czech Romain Vogeli, 61 62 in the final. The ’91-born took out top seed Eladio Ribeiro Neto in the SFs, in the only match that required him 3 sets. Last week’s champ Nicolas Santos reached the SFs, showing he’s going through a sweet stretch. ’93-born Bruno Sant’Anna obtained yet another ATP point, but ’94-born (current and ITF No.12) Thiago Moura Monteiro couldn’t get past Chilean Javier Munoz.

*GREAT BRITAIN F5: In a battle of qualifiers, Italian veteran Enrico Burzi defeated youngster Arthur de Greef (‘92/BEL) 76 75 in the final. The 30-year old had not win at the futures level this year, so him taking the silverware was a true surprise. Most seeds went out early, with only Federico Torresi left in the SFs. British young guns James Marsalek (’92) and Liam Broady (’94/current ITF No.17) advanced, as did Japanese Hiroyasu Ehara (’91). However, it was a rather disappointing week as Kyle Edmund (’95/current ITF No.35), Oliver Golding (’93/current ITF No.4), Jack Carpenter (’92) and Daniel Smethurst (’90) all failed to obtain any points.

*INDIA F5: Vishnu Vardhan’s 14 match winning streak came to an end when he had to retire while leading 65 in the final, against Patrick Rosenholm of Sweden. The surprise champion came from the qualifiers, beat red-hot Korean veteran (and No.3 seed) Young-Jun Kim, benefited from a walkover in the QFs and took advantage of a few seeds losing early en route to his first ever futures title. This tournament featured youngsters Jeson Patrombon (‘93/Philippines/current ITF No.11) and Neeraj Elangovan (’95/India) achieving their first ever ATP points.  

*KAZAKHSTAN F1: Top seed Denis Matsukevitch took his third title of the season over fellow Russian Ervand Gasparyan, with a 61 62 rout. Born in ’86, Matsukevitch has a 24-9 record in 2011 and will jump to a career high ranking when these points are entered next week. Experienced prevailed as the pair of Russians took care of Federico Gaio (‘92/ITA) and Andrei Vasilievski (‘91/BLR) in the semis. ’93-born Ukranian Leonard Stakhovsky advanced to the QFs, while Russian hopefuls Richard Muzaev (’92) and Alexander Rumyantsev (’92 and No.3 seed) only made it to R2.

*SPAIN F13: ’93-born Roberto Carballes-Baena took his second title of the month by beating surprise finalist Jordi Samper-Montana in the final. Carballes-Baena is without any doubt the rising star of Spanish tennis, as he sits at ITF No.9 and already has 3 futures titles in less than a full year as a pro. Already sitting at a career high of 550, he will be in the top 500 come next week. Two other Class of ’93 Spanish stars made some noise too, as Oriol Roca-Batalla (ITF No.65) and Andres Artunedo-Martinavarr (ITF No.16) achieved QF appearances, in a tournament that only had one seed left at that stage.

*TURKEY F15: This tournament, which featured players from virtually half of Europe, was taken by Spanish (yet American college-trained) No.2 seed Arnau Brugues-Davi , who defeated German Stefan Seiffert in straight sets. Top-seeded Aussie Brydan Klein (’89) disappointed one more time with a R2 exit in the hands of Russian Dmitri Sitak. Last week’s champ Jozef Kovalik (‘92/SVK) advanced to the QFs before losing to Brugues-Davi.

*USA F10: ’92-born American Mitchell Frank made it all the way from the qualifiers to the final, before losing to the more experienced Mexican Daniel Garza in 3 sets. On his way to the final, Garza defeated Bjorn Fratangelo (’93/current ITF No.24) in the QFs and unranked South African Kriegler Brink in the SFs. In the other semi-final, Frank defeated Gabriel Moraru, a blast-from-the-past Romanian last seen in the tour in 2009. Moraru (’82), who achieved a career high of 234 in 2005, also advanced through the qualifiers. Among the American youngsters, ’92-born Daniel Kosakowski upset top seed Artem Sitak of New Zealand to reach the QFs. Also, ’93-born Austin Smith obtained his first ATP point by defeating Terence Nugent of Cote D’Ivoire in R2.

*VENEZUELA F1: Back at home after a stint in Spain, top-seeded David Souto showed his superior talent en route to taking the title, defeating Peruvian Mauricio Echazu (’89) in a tough third-set tiebreaker. Argentinean journeyman Gustavo Sterin played the best week of his career, advancing to the semis before losing to Echazu. Colombian Felipe Escobar (’94) will enter the ranking for the first time next week as he defeated countryman Christian Chavez in R1. It was a relatively good week for Colombian tennis as Nicolas Barrientos (’87) made the SFs and ’90-born Steffen Zornoza advanced to R2.  

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