Challenger Roundup - Week 15 [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Challenger Roundup - Week 15

Balerion
04-16-2007, 08:08 AM
Casablanca, Morocco
$75,000+H - Clay

Semifinals:
(3)Simone Bolelli (ITA) d. (WC)Mounir El Aarej (MAR) 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Frederico Gil (POR) 6-4 6-3

Final:
Marin Cilic (CRO) d. (3)Simone Bolelli (ITA) 4-6 6-3 6-4

Marin Cilic had been having a rather quiet year on tour, but he broke through this week in Casablanca with a number of quality challenger wins including wins over Robin Vik and Lukas Dlouhy. Cilic, a former junior #1, had reached the SF in Sarajevo but otherwise had been having a modest 2007. He won't turn 19 until September so such inconsistency is not surprising. If he keeps up this form he'll be hot on the tail of other 1988 guys like JMDP, Korolev, and Gulbis. Bolelli reaches his second challenger final of the year having achieved the same feat in Bergamo (l. Santoro) and he reaches a career high of #103. He had two quality wins in Miami against Monfils and Tursunov, so he's more than a typical Italian claycourt joker. He should be able to establish himself on the ATP Tour (he's only 21 and nearly in the top 100), but only time will tell if he'll achieve more than his compatriots like Volandri and Starace.

Frederico Gil reaches a career high of #145, although he's had a mediocre year. El Aarej is a journeyman who gets lots of wild cards in Morocco. Don't expect many more SFs from him.

Chiasso, Switzerland
$25,000+H - Clay

Semifinals:
(3)Werner Eschauer (AUT) d. Roko Karanusic (CRO) 7-6(5) 1-6 6-3
(4)Michael Berrer (GER) d. (6)Alexander Waske (GER) 6-3 1-6 7-6(6)

Final:
(3)Werner Eschauer (AUT) d. (4)Michael Berrer (GER) 6-3 6-2

Yawn. Another challenger title for Eschauer - his 3rd of the year in his 4th final of the year. He won Chiasso last year but it was a week earlier in 2007 so he moves up even higher - #85 now. He's really on fire now with 10 match wins in a row. It's great to see such an old vet in career-best form. Hopefully he can grab a QF or two on the ATP Tour later this year.

Michael Berrer and Alexander Waske are both journeymen - Waske has been around longer while Berrer has been at the top of the challenger pile for a year or so now without quite being able to break through any further. Neither have much upside, but with hard working challenger players, you never know what will happen...just ask Werner Eschauer.

Mexico City, Mexico [2]
$25,000+H - Hard

Semifinals:
(3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. (1)(WC)Adrian Garcia (CHI) 6-1 6-1
(2)Bruno Echagaray (MEX) d. (q)Gustavo Marcaccio (ARG) 6-2 6-3

Final:
(3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. (2)Bruno Echagaray (MEX) 6-4 2-6 6-1

Eschauer may be riding a 10 match winning streak, but Tsonga is on 15 now after winning France F5 and then Tallahassee CH recently. He's really playing well and he's obviously tremendously talented. His health will determine how far he goes. He's too good for the challenger tour, but he's only up to #160. He's playing in Cardiff next week, so he'll ply his trade in challengers a bit more before diving into ATP qualies.

Bruno Echagaray likes playing challengers in Mexico City - he reached the SF in the first one back in March. Between these results and two early-season futures wins, he's now at a career high of #162. He was a fairly successful junior and now's established himself as the top Mexican. He has some work to do to become relevant on the ATP Tour though. Adrian Garcia has played pretty well this year, but he's getting old, almost 29. Marcaccio is even older, and he's coming back from injury. It's tough to do, we'll see what he has left.

Valencia, USA
Semifinals:
(3)Alex Bogdanovic (GBR) d. Harel Levy (ISR) 6-3 6-2
(4)Zack Fleishman (USA) d. (2)Kevin Kim (USA) 6-2 6-7(4) 6-4

Final:
(3)Alex Bogdanovic (GBR) d. (4)Zack Fleishman (USA) 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3

No, not that Valencia; this one is in California. It was the March of the Journeymen in the semifinals, with Bogdanovic emerging victorious. The frustrating Brit has always played well in challengers, but he's never been able to win in key situations. He's still just 22, although somehow it seems like he's older.

Fleishman had a nice run in the AO with a win over Agustin Calleri. This is his best result since then. The AO run now seems more like a fluke than a brekathrough. Kim and Levy are both on the tail ends of their careers but are still soldiering on. Kim has had a particularly poor year, so he really needed some kind of a result.

And of course, Donald Young was given a wild card and reached the QFs with a win over Kenneth Carlsen. It seems that he's still as much of a lightning rod as ever, but he is showing signs of improvement in 2007. He still needs lots of work and may never pan out, but the fact is that he's ahead of his peers at the moment.

Saumon
04-16-2007, 08:16 AM
thanks! great report as usual :yeah:

you should send it weekly to Mr Disney so he'd realise there's still a tennis life outside of ATP level tournaments :)

btw it reminds me that Sebastien De Chaunac now writes a diary for the french tennis mag and his second and latest entry he said he was pissed of to read in newspapers (l'Equipe in that case) that top player X losing to player Y who's ranked outside of the top100 was an upset because he finds that even in future the level of play is higher than before.

Kolya
04-16-2007, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the update.

Seneca
04-16-2007, 09:20 AM
It's quite telling when you have to dig up players like Starace to describe a newcomer's upside. I don't know why Italy seems unable to produce elite talent at the moment but they do have a strong presence in the 50-150 ranking range. I hope Bolelli doesn't turn into another Seppi, who had some good wins in 2005 that he then consolidated with a shoddy performance throughout 2006.

Anyway, good week for #3 seeds ;)

jitterbug
04-16-2007, 09:20 AM
Thanks for the report :D


Anyway, good week for #3 seeds ;)

:lol: :yeah:

scoobs
04-16-2007, 09:24 AM
Good roundup, thanks :)

A good week for Bogdanovic - his first outdoor hard challenger tournament and won in very windy conditions in Valencia, and recovering from a break down in the final set after dropping the second set on the breaker. There's been a lot of false dawns for Alex so it's pointless to expect too much but hopefully he can finally start to get the most out of his game.

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 10:21 AM
Thanks. I think you are a bit too harsh sometimes, or a bit off, but that is OK. It's always good to see Challengers get more attention.

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 10:22 AM
thanks! great report as usual :yeah:

you should send it weekly to Mr Disney so he'd realise there's still a tennis life outside of ATP level tournaments :)

btw it reminds me that Sebastien De Chaunac now writes a diary for the french tennis mag and his second and latest entry he said he was pissed of to read in newspapers (l'Equipe in that case) that top player X losing to player Y who's ranked outside of the top100 was an upset because he finds that even in future the level of play is higher than before.

Is this diary accessible on the net? I'd love to read it.

Truc
04-16-2007, 10:30 AM
I don't think so, but here's the scan of the entry Saumon is talking about:
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7928/chaunacjf0.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chaunacjf0.jpg)

ezekiel
04-16-2007, 10:44 AM
you should post this in challenger forum so it sticks longer :)

decrepitude
04-16-2007, 11:33 AM
you should post this in challenger forum so it sticks longer :)

I think the idea of putting it here is to bring enlightenment to main-tour-oriented GM posters. Hey, there is a tennis life outside the main tour :yeah:

Balerion
04-16-2007, 04:37 PM
Thanks. I think you are a bit too harsh sometimes, or a bit off, but that is OK. It's always good to see Challengers get more attention.

Harsh! I'm nicer than 95% of MTF!!!

However, I realize that may not be saying much. Therefore: CooCooCachoo sucks!!! His forehand is miserable and he'll never be more than futures poster! ;)

But seriously though, it's true that I haven't seen many of these players live due to where I live (northeastern US, where the closest professional tournament is about 4-5 hours drive away). I do think I can get a pretty good feel for what kind of players they are with a combination of reading about their game and following their results day-in day-out, but obviously I'm going to miss some things. But it's a message board and I encourage people to call me out on the things I am blatantly wrong about.

Pea
04-16-2007, 07:45 PM
I'm happy to see Bruno steadily improving each year, especially this year. Hopefully a breakout one!

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 08:47 PM
I don't think so, but here's the scan of the entry Saumon is talking about:
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7928/chaunacjf0.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chaunacjf0.jpg)

Great! Thanks :hug:

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 08:47 PM
I think the idea of putting it here is to bring enlightenment to main-tour-oriented GM posters. Hey, there is a tennis life outside the main tour :yeah:

Exactly.

People in the CF either know tennis or they bet on Challengers :lol:

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 08:50 PM
Harsh! I'm nicer than 95% of MTF!!!

:haha: Yeah, but I wasn't commenting on those 95% :p


However, I realize that may not be saying much. Therefore: CooCooCachoo sucks!!! His forehand is miserable and he'll never be more than futures poster! ;)

But seriously though, it's true that I haven't seen many of these players live due to where I live (northeastern US, where the closest professional tournament is about 4-5 hours drive away). I do think I can get a pretty good feel for what kind of players they are with a combination of reading about their game and following their results day-in day-out, but obviously I'm going to miss some things. But it's a message board and I encourage people to call me out on the things I am blatantly wrong about.

Actually, you are wrong again. My forehand and serve are quite good. My smash is horrendous, though. And my backhand these days too :sad: But spot on, I won't be a futures player :p

I think you are doing a very good job, but for instance on Bolelli I'd say that clay is actually a surface that suits him least, so you were making even an understatement. And El Aarej could well reach more such results if he had the finances to travel. He really only plays those events and then it's a whole lot of nothing that we hear from him.

CooCooCachoo
04-16-2007, 08:56 PM
Oh no, Jean-François Bachelot retired! :eek: :sobbing:

I didn't know. Thanks for the article Truc, but that news sucks :sad:

shotgun
04-16-2007, 09:16 PM
Balerion, what do you think of having all of your "challenger roundup" threads merged into one? That way all the year-round info would be combined in one place and easier to find.

Obviously, it's just a suggestion. The thread is yours and if you wish for it to stay like that, no problem at all.

vincayou
04-16-2007, 09:27 PM
Good thread. I like this weekly challenger round up on GM.

Tsonga is doing very well and should hit top100 quickly if he doesn't injure himself again.

Balerion
04-17-2007, 05:21 AM
Balerion, what do you think of having all of your "challenger roundup" threads merged into one? That way all the year-round info would be combined in one place and easier to find.

Obviously, it's just a suggestion. The thread is yours and if you wish for it to stay like that, no problem at all.

It's a message board, I don't own any of the threads!

It comes down to a general preference of having one Megathread or many smaller ones. I don't particularly care - they all have the same titles so they shouldn't be too hard to search for if they remain independent. But it does seem that MTF posters have a predilection for bumping ancient/ongoing threads (Hi there King Oscar and Crazy Dani). I'm sure there's a German Puentes thread sitting on page #672 just begging to be bumped. :lol:

So in any case, I'll leave it to other people to decide.

Balerion
04-17-2007, 05:25 AM
I think you are doing a very good job, but for instance on Bolelli I'd say that clay is actually a surface that suits him least, so you were making even an understatement. And El Aarej could well reach more such results if he had the finances to travel. He really only plays those events and then it's a whole lot of nothing that we hear from him.

Which is why message boards are nice - I'm happy to lay the groundwork for these threads because I am familiar with many of the players, but I do need people like you to come along and tell me that I'm a *******ing idiot once in a while.

Balerion
04-17-2007, 05:27 AM
Actually, you are wrong again. My forehand and serve are quite good. My smash is horrendous, though. And my backhand these days too :sad: But spot on, I won't be a futures player :p

You may have some talent, but your paragraph structure and punctuation technique will never allow you to join MTF's elite. There's a reason why you're a challenger forum mod.

case
04-17-2007, 05:30 AM
thanks for challenger news. i saw roddick/tsonga match and was impressed with tsonga. i like it posted in gm makes it easy for those of us mentally challenged to find it

Action Jackson
04-17-2007, 05:32 AM
Thanks for the work with the challenger round ups, but you got to understand that the man known was Coo is the Futures 11 doubles pre-qualifying expert.

Deivid23
04-17-2007, 05:50 AM
Thanks for the recap, Finally a title for Cilic, I´m pretty sure he will make some big noise soon enough.

CooCooCachoo
04-17-2007, 06:16 AM
You may have some talent, but your paragraph structure and punctuation technique will never allow you to join MTF's elite. There's a reason why you're a challenger forum mod.

are u suggestn dat i talk like dis insted just 2 fit in :cool:

CooCooCachoo
04-17-2007, 06:16 AM
Thanks for the work with the challenger round ups, but you got to understand that the man known was Coo is the Futures 11 doubles pre-qualifying expert.

:ignore:

At least I am not MTF's big Tennis Guru :D