I was there today. Great day with all playing Dutchies winning at centre court. Lol @ Sergeyev for breaking his racket very hard with the frame and handle separated while being up 4-1 in the first set.
I was yesterday at Scheveningen to visit the Challenger tournament. I saw some good matches so I thought it's fun to write some reports about those matches.
I arrived 12.30 at the Mets tennisclub in Scheveningen. A bit late because schedule started at 12.00. Scheveningen is a very attractive place for people going to the beach and the weather was great so it wasn't that easy to travel with public transport.
I was really looking forward for the day because I support all Dutch tennis players and on centre court all matches involved Dutch players so I was very pleased with the OOP.
Middelkoop-Greul 6-3, 6-4
Beforehand I thought Greul was the favourite in this match because I expected he would be too solid for Middelkoop. But if Matwé could play a good level of tennis he would definitely have a chance since Greul hasn't any specific weapons to punish his opponents. From livescores I noticed Greul broke Middelkoop in the very first game and hold serve the game after. Matwé took over momentum and was 3*-2 up when I arrived. Greul was pushing a lot and waited for Middelkoop to take initiative. Matwé played really well he was putting pressure on Greul and hit some good winners. In the second set Middelkoop was the better player again. He broke Simon early and it looked he would win the match quite easily. Greul broke back though unexpectedly. But still he didn't look eager to put a fight and show some energy on court. At the end of the set Matwé was capable to break the German again and he get the victory he deserved. He can be very pleased with the way he played today. He's quite a passionate guy (most times in a good way) and his work ethic is OK. I saw some matches before of Greul but I'm still wondering how he ever reached place #55. He can play very solid and decent tennis without making much UE's but the guy doesn't have any particular weapons and is pushing quite a lot.
Huta Galung-Serra 6-4, 6-4
Both guys have similar rankings at this moment but I really fancied Jesse's chances to win here. Serra doesn't have the same level of play like five years ago and will fall on the rankings slowly I presume. Jesse is having a pretty good season with winning two Challenger titles and have wins over players as Stakhovsky, Tursunov and Kamke. The first set was quite sloppy from both guys especially on own serve. Serra managed to break Jesse's serve early in the set but his own serve was too vulnerable to dominate the set. Jesse broke three times in the first while Serra broke twice. The level of the second set was better especially from Jesse. I like his game very much. He's an elegant player with a beautiful one handed BH and his groundstrokes are pretty powerful. Serra still has a good touch but his best days are far behind him. He can still win some matches against inexperienced players because tactically he's pretty good and he don't make to many UE's, but against players with more power and a good return of serve it would be very difficult for him to win these kind of matches. It looks like a tough job to stay around place 150.
Schoorel-Albot 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
I knew Albot by name and that he's from Moldavia but I didn't know anything about his game. Research told me he won 14 Futures titles with 11 on hardcourt. On that surface he had a way better W-L ratio than on clay so I assumed that's his favourite surface. Schoorel is coming back from a serious shoulder injury which made playing on the tour impossible for five months. His comeback began in April with playing Futures. He played last weeks all the Future events in Holland with two tournament wins. So he came to Scheveningen with a lot of confidence.
From the beginning of the match it was clear these two players had very different playing styles. The tall Dutchman is taking a lot of risk with his shots. Either he hits a winner or an UE. But he's a player with a lot of weapons. He has a huge serve, a big forehand and a beautiful one-handed BH. Albot on the other hand is quite a defensive player. He keeps the ball into play with the hope his opponent will make the UE. He doesn't have any specific weapons just like Greul. After 2-2 in the first set this playing paid off because Thomas was hitting error after error that time. Radu was winning his points without doing anything special. From the beginning of the second set Thomas served a lot better and reduced his UE ratio significantly. He was hitting a lot of winners and showed he is by far the better player when he is on. Third set the pattern was the same as in the second. Albot get frustrated and after being 4-0 down he didn't even try anymore. He surprisingly won 2 games and had even a BP but he didn't had the believe anymore he could turn the match around.
I'm very happy with this win for Thomas. It was his first Challenger match since his comeback and his game is pretty good at the moment. His draw for coming matches is great so I hope he can make a nice run here. I don't like Albots game a lot to be honest. He's still young and is around place #200 but I don't think he has the weapons to come close to the top 100.
Haase-Ouanna 6-4, 6-4
In this last match of the day Haase was the clear favourite to win. He usually plays ATP tournaments while Ouanna is a typical player for Challenger level. The French started pretty good while Haase was a bit sloppy. Ouanna has quite a complete game with a good FH and BH. He was a break up twice in the beginning of the first set but when the match progressed it was clear Haase is simply the better player. Robin mixed up his game pretty good with some nice dropshots and volleys. In the second set Haase was even more dominant and broke Josselins serve early in the set. After a short revival when Ouanna broke back Robin took control and won in the end quite comfortably. Apart from the beginning of the match Robin played solid, he wasn't pushed to play his A game and can be pleased with his level of play. Ouanna did what he could and played pretty well in some parts of the match. In 2009 he reached a place in the top 100 but I don't see him doing that again. Staying around #150 is what his level suits I think.