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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-11-2016 03:59 PM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Quick rundown of last two months missed:

Spain F18 Palma Del Rio (H): Average draw difficulty, notably beat Sam Barry and Fred Gil in tough 3 setter who is still finding form in his comeback. Won the title and was essentially on a 22-2 streak on ITF level.
Cali Challenger (C): Got direct entry, upsetted Alejandro Gonzalez who is his highest scalp although he is overranked by his poor form. Lost to local WC in 2nd round.
Kitzbuhel ATP 250 (C): Received WC, destroyed in singles and doubles, winning only 4 games in both individually. Lost to Jan-Lennard Struff who is a solid, on the cusp top 100 player and played doubles with local and similar aged Miedler. Would've liked Santillan to play qualies and play into form, Miedler unlucky to be shafted from main draw with a QWC with experienced Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
Segovia Challenger (H): Decent tournament for Santillan, scraping by Marco Chiudinelli who I would consider his best scalp. Lost to eventual champion Luca Vanni who I think Santillan was playing evenly against, but Vanni was able to cope better with the windy conditions. Santillan was better player in first set and had mini-break in the TB but ultimately lost in straight sets. Similar story in doubles, made a great run to finals and had lead in the final set TB against Raja/Sharan. But Santillan had several DFs and was unclutch in the end which is pretty uncharacteristic.
Trnava Challenger (C): Tough opener against Joris De Loore who was the slightly better player but by far mentally staggered many times. De Loore served for match in second and third sets, and had match point in second set TB. Breakfest. And in 2nd round just beat Constant Lestienne with a bagel in the process. Obvious and suspicious tank from Constant who was serving underarm and clowning in general. Would now like to see Santillan face Daniel Gimeno-Traver in QF who should really test Akira on this surface.

Overall, great experience other the recent months. Currently ranked at 274 and I can see Akira easily breaking top 250 by end of the year and perhaps scratch the surface of top 200. I think he is within top 200 in the race as well. Backhand still a liability though without enough preparation, 2nd serve still iffy all round. But 1st serve has been key for him, really solid reaching about 220kph, and offensive mindset with his forehand, and rushing to the net lets him win a chunk of points.

Edit: Hubert Hurkacz ended up edging Daniel Gimeno-Traver as a qualifier, fair tournament for him. Tight affair QF against him for Santillan. Akira ended up beating him in two tight sets, created many break chances against his big serve whilst being clutch on his own service games. First Challenger level SF, provisionally should be ~250 in the ATP rankings and ~198 in the ATP race at this point - two big milestones accomplished. Should have a tougher one next round against Jordi Samper-Montana or Kimmer Coppejans.
06-05-2016 06:16 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Was not to be, Santillan losing to F.Tearney in straight sets in the SF of the China F9 Futures in Jinan, after moving comfortably through his draw. Nonetheless, fantastic several weeks in China and is up to a W/L of 34-10. Will take a break now and seems to be confirmed that Akira will be transitioning into ATP challengers and main tour events soon enough!
05-29-2016 01:55 PM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Consecutive ITF titles for Santillan as he wins the China F8 Futures at Luan, against a tougher field as well. On the way to the title, defeated similar-aged opponents D.Lee, K.Lee and F.Peliwo in straight sets. Also defeated M.Geerts again with a very similar 3 set scoreline as in last week, with Santillan down a set in both occasions. Another close match in the final against F.Tearney where he won the match breaking in the 3rd set.

Now 31-9 this year in singles on ITF level this year and will play next week in China F9 Futures at Jinan in which he will be 8th seed with a relatively easy projected draw until QFs. He will have a break following his string of ITF tournaments in China.

Will reach a new career high ranking of ~380 and is currently ~220 in the live rankings this year
05-22-2016 01:12 PM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Akira wins doubles title w/ Bourchier and in singles title at China F7 Futures at Wuhan. Defeated Yunseong Chung, another teenager that went out on a tear in the draw 6-1 6-4. Excellent week here, coincidentally his birthday was today on the 22nd May where he turns 19. What a way to celebrate his birthday! Will go on to play two more futures in China.

Current ATP ranking is around ~530 (career high was ~460) but now moves in the ATP race to ~280! Nice to see him moving up steadily. By the stats, his first serve is surprisingly effective for his height.
04-30-2016 07:41 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Quick highlights clip of Santillan in Kofu F3 last year in March
[youtube]msQZx_vm97s[/youtube]
04-30-2016 07:38 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Thought I would update Akira's progress... Has been in Spain since the beginning of the year under the guidance of Richi Sanchez of the Richi Tennis Academy, amassing a singles W/L record of 21-8 this year on a mixture of outdoors hard and clay ITF Pro Circuit tournaments. Won the Spain F7 against (1) Diez on outdoors hard. Notable wins over top 300 Diez, Ramirez-Hidalgo and De Greef. Currently hovering ~500 in rankings, he can go further up if he wins Spain F11 against (1) Escoffier today in the final.

On to great news, Santillan was granted WC into the qualifiers of Madrid Masters 1000, facing his first top 100 opponent (12) Youzhny. Don't think he has played above futures level with the exception of few challenger qualifiers and AO qualifier last year. However, he is scheduled to play in Madrid within 5 or so hours of the start of the final of Spain F11 in Mostoles. Not sure how things will pan out as although the tournaments are close to each other, Akira will need to transition quickly from hardcourt to clay...

Hoping for a win for Akira in the Spain F11 and a respectable showing in the Madrid Qualifiers.

Edit 1: Santillan lost to Escoffier 4-6 7-6(5) 3-6 in 2hrs 40mins, tough loss considering that Akira was the better player during the majority of the match by the stats, but somehow Escoffier always managed to have a lead. An MTO was taken during the middle of the 3rd set where Akira had the momentum, but that swung quickly to Escoffier. Hopefully that was not an MTO for Santillan, now only 2 hours to transition from hardcourt to clay.

Edit 2: Santillan lost to Youzhny 3-6 6-7(7), from the stats Akira didn't play the big points the best that he could. Solid experience for Santillan, hopefully starts transitioning into more challenger qualifiers soon.
08-10-2015 11:54 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Akira has entered several more Thailand futures after Wimbledon Juniors, fairly average results with ranking still floating in the mid 600s. Lost to [1] Ti Chen in the QF in Thailand F6, who he is projected to meet in the Thailand F7 in the second round as well... Also teaming up with Ti Chen in doubles in the F7 and have beat the top seed there in the first round

Edit: Santillan lost 6-4 4-6 5-7, much closer than the match he had with Chen last time. Still in doubles with Chen, optimistic with his chances there.
06-03-2015 08:07 AM
scotthongkong
Re: Akira "Aki" Santillan Cheering Thread

this thread needs to be moved to Japan asap.
06-03-2015 05:56 AM
au_sports_opinion
Re: Akira "Aki" Santillan Cheering Thread

Defection!
05-09-2015 05:22 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

So in the Thailand F3, made the QFs defeating a local Thai in the first round then upsetting 4th seed Mott 7-5 6-3. Had high hopes as the majority of the draw collapsed at this point but Aki lost to another local Thai Burapharitta 4-6 2-6. A tough but a breakthrough 3 to 4 weeks for Aki which has seen him fly from 1000+ to ~650 in the rankings!

Edit: Apparently he succumbed to cramps!
05-02-2015 04:04 PM
Chilenaitor
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Congrats for the week!
05-02-2015 06:25 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Akira defeated in the final 4-6 7-6(7) 1-6 by Dome to snap his run. Just didn't win the bigger points, with BP conversion being 1/4 compared to Dome's 4/6. Good run for Dome who qualified; both will go into next weeks Thailand F3 (Aki should get an SE into main draw again) but not sure if Aki will have enough fuel after a sublime two weeks. Runner-up here will lift him to ~665 in the live rankings
05-01-2015 07:18 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reconditus View Post
Gets a SE into the main draw of Thailand F2 due to last weeks heroics, would've had to qualify again otherwise. Routs 5th-seeded Hiroki Kondo 6-1 6-2 and faces a straightforward match against a local wildcard. Will highly likely then face top seed Yong-Kyu Lim for the 3rd time this past month or so (H2H 1-1). Bottom draw has slightly collapsed with 2nd seed withdrawing and 3rd seed upset in the 1st round.
He beat the Thai WC convincingly 6-2 6-1, upsetted top seeded Lim 7-6(4) 6-3 again to lead their H2H 2-1, and then proceeded to beat 4th seeded ex-countryman O'Connell 6-3 3-6 6-2 in the SFs to make his second ITF Futures level final consecutively with last weeks win at Thailand F1. This is the first set lost in his 11-match winning streak and will face qualifier Andre Dome of the US in the final

There seems to be a huge wave of youngsters doing well at the moment in the 1997 to 1998 generation, hope Aki can get even more motivated from this.
04-28-2015 12:28 PM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Gets a SE into the main draw of Thailand F2 due to last weeks heroics, would've had to qualify again otherwise. Routs 5th-seeded Hiroki Kondo 6-1 6-2 and faces a straightforward match against a local wildcard. Will highly likely then face top seed Yong-Kyu Lim for the 3rd time this past month or so (H2H 1-1). Bottom draw has slightly collapsed with 2nd seed withdrawing and 3rd seed upset in the 1st round.
04-25-2015 06:43 AM
Reconditus
Re: Akira Santillan - Now representing Japan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reconditus View Post
Japan F3 Futures QF: Santillan df. Nakagawa 6-2 0-6 6-2, another up-and-coming Japanese youngster to make his first futures SF.

Will face unseeded Yong-Kyu Lim of South Korea who upset 2nd seed as well as defeating his countryman and another youngster in Seong Chan Hong.
Ended up losing the SF in a one-sided affair... But 1 month later, faced off again in the Thailand F1 SFs after qualifying into the draw and beat Lim convincingly 6-3 6-3! And today just beat 5th seeded Kento Takeuchi in the Finals 6-3 6-2 for his first futures title. Ranking will go up to 750ish I think and will be playing the Thailand F2 next week

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