Ben wins the semifinal against Zhang 6-4 7-6. He then went on to win the final 7-6 6-7 6-0. His forth title of the year. If Ben could win next week in Bendigo it would have to cap off one of the best years for one of our youth players ever, especially considering he has been domestically based for almost the whole year. I think one more future title will also spell the end of futures for him as well. Hopefully he can pick up some points along the Aussie summer and have a real crack at the challenger tour with a ranking probably in the top 200 by then.
So that puts his ranking around 220. What will he go up if he manages to win Bendigo? Surley he must get a AO MD WC.
His projected ranking next Monday is 224. If he were to win in Bendigo he would move to a projected ranking of 205 (just ahead of Marinko). He would then drop back 217 the week after due to points he will not be able to defend. 217 is the highest he can finish this year (I am presuming Bendigo will be his last tournament). You would think a 19 year old with 4 futures titles under his belt and is our current 6th highest ranked player would be enough to ensure an AO wildcard. I would be surprised if Ben didn't get the wildcard and I also think he will get a Brisbane main draw wildcard.
He seemed to be tired by the end. In all honesty I thought he'd have more power on his shots by now, Reid had a bigger FH and although Mitchell's FH is obviously his strength - he really struggled to hit through the court in that third set.
With this result Ben is going to finish the year at approximately 224 in the world. If you compare his 2011 season to his 2010 season you will notice a dramatic change.
Year start ranking - 1,068
Best result - Bendigo Final loss to Groth
Year end ranking - 611
Year start ranking - 611
Best result - 4 futures titles (3 domestic and 1 international)
Year end ranking - 224
To be fair Ben was still playing juniors in 2010 and to discredit his Wimbledon efforts would be unfair but to step up to the mens circuit so quickly is very impressive. If Tennis Australia for some reason didn't give Ben wildcards (they will) Ben is now ranked high enough to make Grand Slam qualifying, ATP qualifying and Challenger main draws so he is in a very good position considering he will virtually receive no help in the form of wildcards after the Aussie summer.
I think Ben's 2011 schedule will go like this - Brisbane (md wc), Sydney (qualies), Aus Open (md wc), Burnie CH (seed), Caloundra CH (seed). The week after Caloundra challenger there is a future in Toowoomba which is not far at all from Caloundra but I doubt Ben will enter. My guess from there would be both he and Duckworth will travel to Europe together to play in clay challengers.