Challenger Roundup: Week 11 [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Challenger Roundup: Week 11

Balerion
03-19-2007, 07:24 PM
Bogota, Colombia
$125,000+H - Clay

Semifinals:
Santiago Giraldo (COL) d. (7)Dick Norman (BEL) 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
(5)Flavio Saretta (BRA) d. Juan-Pablo Guzman (ARG) 6-3 7-6(3)

Final:
Santiago Giraldo (COL) d. (5)Flavio Saretta (BRA) 7-6(4) 6-2

Despite the big names in Sunrise, this tournament was actually the challenger with the biggest prize money this past week. However, the draw didn't feature many players outside the typical South American challenger crowd. Santiago Giraldo took advantage of this, taking the title and 90 points in his home country, catapulting him to #140. He's still only 19, so he's definitely one to watch for the future.

Flavio "Magic Clown" Saretta moves to within a few spots of the top 100 and Juan-Pablo Guzman continues his good run of form to move to #125.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
$50,000+H - Hard

Semifinals:
(SE)Pavel Snobel (CZE) d. Bastian Knittel (GER) w/o
Farrukh Dustov (UZB) d. Stephane Bohli (SUI) 4-6 6-3 7-6(4)

Final:
(SE)Pavel Snovel (CZE) d. Farrukh Dustov (UZB) 6-3 7-6(3)

One week after reaching the SF in Kyoto, Snobel comes back to take the title in Ho Chi Minh City. Despite all this, he has two fewer ranking points than he did at the start of the year and he's still a challenger title away from the top 200. The man he beat in the final, Farrukh Dustov, reaches a career high of #195. Dustov is still 20 and looked quite promising at 18 when he broke into the top 300 in 2004. However, he stalled out and lost a lot of ground in '05 and '06 but he's coming on stronger now. Interestingly, the same thing has happened to the other young Uzbek, Denis Istomin (except Istomin hasn't started playing well again).

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
$25,000+H - Hard (Indoor)

Semifinals:
Jan Mertl (CZE) d. (3)Michael Berrer (GER) 6-4 6-4
(2)Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. Marco Crugnola (ITA) 6-2 6-4

Final:
(2)Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. Jan Mertl (CZE) 4-6 6-4 7-6(2)

I suggest you get on the Gulbis bandwagon before it runs out of space. He picks up his second challenger title in a row, moving up to #85. He won't turn 19 until August. Of the current crop of youngsters moving up - Haase, Zverev, Cilic, et al, Gulbis is among the youngest and highest ranked. Of 1988s, only JMDP is ranked higher (JMDP is a month younger as well). Marco Crugnola isn't that young (he's turning 24 soon), but he's played rather well over the last few months. He and Jan Mertl may turn out to be a new generation of journeymen, but let it be noted that they are playing well lately.

Sunrise, USA
$100,000+H - Hard

Semifinals:
(5)Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-7(4) 4-2 ret.
Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. (6)(WC)Nicolas Massu (CHI) 3-6 7-5 6-1

Final:
(5)Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3 1-6 6-1

Sunrise is a strange tournament, clearly the strongest field out of any challenger out there. It's definitely a better tournament then a few ATPs...Newport comes to mind. In any case, Monfils and Seppi will be pleased with their results since both players have had ugly starts to the season. Monfils was perhaps a bit lucky with Karlovic's retirement, but he took advantage by taking the title. Monfils is still 20, so while there are those disappointed in his career to date, he still has a lot of time. Seppi returns to the top 100.

Deivid23
03-19-2007, 07:44 PM
Thanks, I agree on Gulbis´ view I personally thought he needed one more year to climb fast up the rankings but he´s been steadier for sure. As always thanks for the summaries :yeah:

Merton
03-19-2007, 07:49 PM
Thanks for the report. Gulbis has a career ranking of 85 this week, the 3rd player born in 1988 to break into the top-100 after Del Potro and Korolev.

Agassi Aces
03-19-2007, 07:49 PM
Greg Rusedski returned to action in Sarajevo with a straight sets loss to Kenneth Carlsen. Still good to see Greg back though!

Jimnik
03-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Just a few months after Falla makes a breakthrough, Giraldo is starting to make it too. It's interesting how countries often produce good players in pairs.

Colombia potentially has two top 100 players now and, if there's enough interest, the Bogota tournament might make it onto the main ATP tour in a couple of years.

jitterbug
03-19-2007, 10:50 PM
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
$25,000+H - Hard (Indoor)

Semifinals:
Jan Mertl (CZE) d. (3)Michael Berrer (GER) 6-4 6-4
(2)Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. Marco Crugnola (ITA) 6-2 6-4

Final:
(2)Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. Jan Mertl (CZE) 4-6 6-4 7-6(2)

I suggest you get on the Gulbis bandwagon before it runs out of space. He picks up his second challenger title in a row, moving up to #85. He won't turn 19 until August. Of the current crop of youngsters moving up - Haase, Zverev, Cilic, et al, Gulbis is among the youngest and highest ranked. Of 1988s, only JMDP is ranked higher (JMDP is a month younger as well). Marco Crugnola isn't that young (he's turning 24 soon), but he's played rather well over the last few months. He and Jan Mertl may turn out to be a new generation of journeymen, but let it be noted that they are playing well lately.


Korolev was born in 1988, and he's No 68 in the rankings. Gulbis is presently at No 85.

Thanks for the Challenger reports :D

Saumon
03-19-2007, 11:04 PM
Gulbis :rocker2:

Vin Judah
03-20-2007, 12:18 AM
Cant wait to see Gulbis playing against the big names!

Vin Judah
03-20-2007, 12:20 AM
by the way, it was a good week for the latvians, with gulbis taking the title in sarajevo and the country's nr. 2 player andis juska winning the good quality future in france! :) :wavey:

scoobs
03-20-2007, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the roundup as always - always good to keep abreast of who is coming up from below or slipping down from above :)

sunsfuns
03-20-2007, 02:11 AM
Cant wait to see Gulbis playing against the big names!

Should be very soon - he will start playing on ATP level once the tour returns to Europe. Valencia and Casablanca are the first two on his schedule.

As for playing big names - I would like to see that too. So far he has played top 20 players only twice (Ancic in St Petersburg last year and Baghdatis in Sydney).

Balerion
03-20-2007, 02:12 AM
Korolev was born in 1988, and he's No 68 in the rankings. Gulbis is presently at No 85.

Thanks for the Challenger reports :D

You are absolutely correct, I keep forgetting just how young Korolev is. It should be noted, however, that Korolev is about half a year older than Gulbis & JMDP. At some point it doesn't even matter though. All three have a decent chance of finishing the year in the top 50, particularly Korolev and JMDP.

Balerion
03-20-2007, 02:17 AM
by the way, it was a good week for the latvians, with gulbis taking the title in sarajevo and the country's nr. 2 player andis juska winning the good quality future in france! :) :wavey:

Juska could turn out to be a solid counterpart....I see him as having the potential to be a Danai Udomchoke to Gulbis's Paradorn Srichaphan - except Gulbis could do a lot more than Srichaphan ever did.

Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, who was born in 6/1990 won a futures title in Portugal - look out! That's an eye-opening performance from such a young player, he'll be one to watch.


Estonia must feel so left out.

sunsfuns
03-20-2007, 02:31 AM
Juska could turn out to be a solid counterpart....I see him as having the potential to be a Danai Udomchoke to Gulbis's Paradorn Srichaphan - except Gulbis could do a lot more than Srichaphan ever did.

Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, who was born in 6/1990 won a futures title in Portugal - look out! That's an eye-opening performance from such a young player, he'll be one to watch.


Estonia must feel so left out.

They have Kai Kanepi on WTA tour. She was considered very promising once (was #1 junior), but her pro career has been dissapointing (relatively speaking of course, she is ca #60 now).

Action Jackson
03-20-2007, 06:54 AM
Great work as always Balerion in summarising the challengers.

As for big Ernie, he is a bit crazy on court and that works for some people and great to see little Latvia represented in the top 100.

Hendu
03-20-2007, 07:16 AM
Colombia potentially has two top 100 players now and, if there's enough interest, the Bogota tournament might make it onto the main ATP tour in a couple of years.

It would be good to have Bogotá back in the calendar as an IS tournament.

MarieS
03-20-2007, 07:22 AM
Gulbis :rocker2:

the bandwagon is catching on :rocker2: :banana:.

Holly Hope
03-20-2007, 04:34 PM
I should pay more attention to the Challenger tour. Thanks

Saumon
03-20-2007, 04:36 PM
the bandwagon is catching on :rocker2: :banana:.

are you jumping in? ;)