hey to everyone in the thread. [
] Just got back from the Sheffield F2 Futures event [in England] and want to report Wojciech Starakiewicz, a 19 year old Polish player. Came through three rounds of qualifying to reach R1 where he beat Ken Skupski in three sets. His game seems ok, not technically perfect but pretty effective however it is his personality that drew everyone in. His gamesmanship is actually brilliant to watch although he does annoy his fellow players. Here's the report I wrote about the match:
'And then there was possibly my favourite match of the day; Poland's Wojciech Starakiewicz against Ken Skupski. The Pole had gone through three rounds of qualifying and word quickly got round about his on-court antics, more spectators/players/coaches watched this match than any other. Starakiewicz 's strokes looked technically quite poor ]based on my poor knowledge of stroke production] yet they were effective and he was able to move Skupski around and produce some nice winners. His serve was of a good quality but you nearly fell asleep wating for it as he demanded all 4 balls at the beginning of every one of his service points, strolled up towards to the service line and then to the back of court before he would finally serve. During points he regularily demanded a let when a stray ball came close to the court, notably when Ken was on top. If he won an important/long point/passing shot he would shout 'Thats the shot!', 'Amazing shot'.. and many others that I have forgotten. On top of this there was his on court manerisms which all of the players watching seemed to have a distaste for and Ken, walking back to serve, called him a 'd******d'. During the first set Ken played pretty bad, spraying forehands a foot or so long on a regular basis and it looked like he was going to go down in two easy sets, but he managed to grind his way back into the match and take the second set. The play was fairly equal by the third set and it really was difficult to predict which way it was going to go, although Ken did seem to have the slight upper hand. Ken had two match points during the final tiebreak but Starakiewicz handled the pressure amazingly considering that was to be his first ATP ranking point and [questionably] deservedly won. He also treated everyone to a Federer style collapse on the court after taking his MP... Funny/annoying guy! '
That piece doesn't really do his antics justice..
He's a great character to watch and I found that when it came to day two I was looking forward to his match the most [although I don't know how it ended as I left before it finished..]
Just noticed that a fellow poster on 'britishtennis.net' wrote this about him:
Disappointing for Ken, though I'm pleased for the young Pole, everyone has been charmed by him, he gets a bus from his £20 a night guest house to the centre every day to save on the taxi fare, dont know how many of the British players are on the bus but I reckon not many, that's his first ever point, and so maybe Skupster can forgive him this one.'
If you can get to see this guy I would recommend it as he is definitely a character to say the least..