Challenger Roundup: Week 10
$25,000+H - Carpet (Indoor)
Dieter Kindlmann (GER) d. Pavel Snobel (CZE) 6-4 6-2
(WC)Takao Suzuki (JPN) d. Stephane Bohli (SUI) 2-6 6-4 7-6(5)
(WC)Takao Suzuki (JPN) d. Dieter Kindlmann (GER) 2-6 7-5 6-1
A weak-ish challenger, as most East Asian challengers tend to be. This one drew a rather uninspiring crowd as often happens when the lesser European and North American players travel to far-flung places in search of easier points (let's call it the Amadeus Fulford-Jones Phenomenon).
In any case, Takao Suzuki (who's now 30 years of age) takes home the title in his home county. He's not a regular on the tour any more but he likes to pop up at Japanese events now and then and usually does quite well for himself (his ranking of 471 is entirely based on his run to the QF in Tokyo last year). When the rankings update next week you should see him in the ~330 range. Who knows, maybe this will inspire him to hang around a bit longer. That being said, he didn't take the SE spot in Ho Chi Minh City this week, so maybe he's content with his occasional spoiler role.
Kindlmann, Snobel, and Bohli will all be pleased with their results; they are all in the rather awkward ranking range of 230-350 where you really don't stand to gain that much by playing futures, but you're usually faced with qualifying in challengers...or travelling across the globe to challengers in regions where there aren't a lot of good tennis players. Basically, you have a 4-6 month window to establish yourself in the challenger tour, or else you don't pick up many points and futures results fall off and all of a sudden you are #450. Bohli is the youngest of the bunch at 22 and he's flashed potential occasionally, but none of them reasonably project to be more than challenger tour regulars at this time.
$25,000+H - Hard
(5)Marcos Daniel (BRA) d. (7)Nathan Healey (AUS) 7-5 6-4
Juan-Pablo Brzezicki (ARG) d. (6)Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 3-6 6-1 6-2
Juan-Pablo Brzezicki (ARG) d. (5)Marcos Daniel (BRA) 6-4 6-4
Surprisingly non-Mickey Mouse for an Ecuador challenger. Not that it was talent-central, but usually it's nice when an Ecuador challenger's cut is below 500 and this time it was 251.
In any case, Juan-Pablo Brzezicki continued his comeback from injury with his best result yet - he's had a F and SF showing on the South American challenger circuit this year. When the rankings update he'll be back in the top 200 and will have gained ground on countryman Juan-Pablo Guzman in the epic quest to determine who the best Argentine Juan-Pablo is.
Marcos Daniel reached a career high of #80 on June 19, 2006. Less than a year later, he's already fallen over 100 spots. This showing will help him out, but I hope he enjoyed his little top 100 run last year because it's hard to see him getting anywhere near that again.