Category: Reunion Island


In order of temporal occurrence, as per the day-old tradition:

Singapore

At the day’s outset, it was Singapouring (sorry, it’s been a long day), but once action began, it proceeded thusly: Dimitry Tursunov beat Ivo Minar like an egg. “Great success!!!” was his two-word, three exclamation point twatted reaction. Fair enough. Well, the Czech Repub’s #6 may have been beaten (hint: Minar), but its #7 went through like a champ, as Dusan Lojda took out Marco Crugnola. And I don’t mean to dinner. But I do mean 6-2 7-5.

Meanwhile, James Ward’s winless 2011 proceeded winlessly with a tough 7-5 0-6 5-7 loss to my favorite Italian (besides Francesca Schiavone, of course), Matteo Viola. A shame the Minar bros couldn’t match up against the Viola bros in doubles here, on account that neither set of siblings is playing doubles here. Regardless, I think the Minars should branch off and form their own pro-sibling circuit, just so they can call it the Minar Tour. (Sorry. Long day disclaimer still in effect.)

The Mailman John Millman sent Sergei Bubka crashing to the mat in a decidedly 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-2ular fashion. Wildcard Karan Rastogi vilified the vilifier, 6-1 3-6 6-4 over Brydan Klein. Fourth seed Alexander Kudryavtsev was understandably upset. I’d be upset too if I’d just lost 1&2 to Flavia Cipolla anywhere outside of Noumea. And the dream run of Peerakiat Siriluethaiwattana was cut short by the exact same score, 1&2&out to Somdev Millionaire. Will I ever get to write about Peerakiat again? If there’s any justice in the world, I will. (Tip: this mean’s that I likely won’t).

Reunion Island

Continues to crack my shit up. If I’m ever constipated, clearly all I have to do is think of Reunion Island. Our friends at Shank Tennis alerted us to the hilarity of some of the qualifying player photos. This one’s my fave:

Could this be the legendary Yann Drieux?

Once again, the greatest tennis player/blogger who ever did live, Mr. Harri Heliovaara, gives us the flavor of the Reunion Island scene. About his doubles match, which he won 6-0 6-1 with Mathieu Rodrigues: “I guess the opponents do not have much to play professional tennis in recent years, when they did not even know the…no-ad system.” HAHAHAHA! As he tends to do, he took some nice pictures of the club, like so:

And so:

Seventh seed Vincent Millot managed to lose to Swissy Alexander Sedecky (the patron saint of my twitter feed, if you must know) 5-7 2-6:

Moon Over Sadecky

But the big winner of the day had to be 36 year-old Mark Sibilla of France, who padded his 1/8 career ITF record (including Futures) by winning his first round match and scamming pocketing a nifty 9 ATP points for his “efforts”. This will send the now-unranked player soaring into Top Thousand, well surpassing his previous career high of 1,184. Once again: well done, Reunion. *slow clap*

I’ll leave you with the wise words of young tennis sage Heliovaara to summarize: “This (event) has now become…unusual when (main draw) players…withdrew and hardly anyone wanted to go to reach a difficult Reunion. Florida played in the Futures this week 128 qualifiers, but the Challenger was not enough players in the first division. I can say than that huhhuh!” I can say than that, too, Harri: HUHHUH!

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In which your humble author purports to review all the relevant action and developments from all five of this week’s challenger events, in order of temporal occurrence:

Singapore: Being so time-zonically advanced, those Singapore bastards actually finished their Monday qualifying rounds on Sunday night, making me look like a slacker. Rude. Anyway, in the FQR, new New Zealander and 8th seed Artem Sitak beat top seeded Slovakian Pavol Cervenak 6-2 2-6 6-4; Denmark’s twitterfave Freddie Nielsen, the second seed, defeated China F1 Futures champ Di Wu 6-3 6-2; while the top two Swissies are swissing it up Down Under tonight, Switzerland’s #5 (and qualifying’s #7) Michael Lammer already upended third seeded Italian Alberto Brizzi 7-6(3) 6-2; and one of Challenger Tennis’s 2011 Player’s to Watch, Tsung-Hua Yang, took out 4th-seeded Mikhail Vasiliev 6-2 6-3.

For their efforts, Yang has drawn Rajeev Ram, which should be a winnable match on hard courts for the 19-year-old, Sitak will play American wildcard Michael Yani, Lammer gets Ivo Klec, and Freddie faces off against Singapore’s second seed (and general gadabout), Go Soeda.

Other interesting first round matches include (but are not limited to): top-seeded Somdev “Millionaire” Devvarman vs. wildcard Peerakiat Siriluethaiwattana (not really, but I want to include him so I can make a tag for his name); another CTPtW, the Mailman John Millman vs. Sergei Bubka (who I hear has friends in high places); British #2 James Ward looks for his first win of the year against toe-tapping server Matteo Viola; purportedly reformed racial vilifier Brydan Klein plays Indian wildcard Karan Rastogi *braces self against possible fallout from that one*; Dmitry Tursunov tries his luck against one of the fabulous flying Minar bros, Brother Ivo (actually, Brother Jan might be retired at this point – let me know if you know); and Peter Polansky vs. Nick Lindahl looks like it could be a fairly tasty selection too. Shout at me if I’ve missed something.

Full combo draw is behind this here link. Tuesday’s OOP is behind this one. You can also follow the Twitter account of one of this tourney’s entertaining attendees, if you so deign.

Reunion Island: Oh, Reunion Island. With your 8 player qualifying draw, your many over-40-year-old entrants, and your numerous players of hard-to-determine origin, you’re more like the Island of Misfit Toys than Reunion Island, if I can be honest here. Although I do admire your sincere attempt to make the Noumea Challenger look like a Fifth Slam – way to take one for the French Territories, Reunion!

Shockingly, Reunion is the only challenger event this week with no protennislive scoring (although Honolulu and Singapore have also yet to work, truth be told. But at least you have the option of choosing them and watching them not work). So who really knows what on earth is going on there? Thank God the world’s most awesome tennis blogger, Harri Heliovaara, is playing there – otherwise we’d have no idea what was going on. But here’s a draw if you want to look at it and keep hitting refresh for updates. One of those times you’ll get lucky!

Heilbronn: Bless you, Heilbronn! Heil, Heilbronn, even! An actual Challenger with a working livescore and a functioning stream! Oh, convex baseline, how I’ve missed you!

As you can see from the snazzy scoreboard (a total 2011 upgrade), Germany’s Dominik Meffert was on the verge of beating fifth seed Marsel Ilhan, and I’m here to report: the Turk did tumble, 7-6(5) 6-4 at the home-country Heilbronnian hands of D-Meff. Wildcarded Peter Gojowczyk beat someone ranked 358 places above him in the rankings, 6-3 2-6 6-3. What? Huh? Oh yeah: it was Austria’s Martin Fischer. Final qualifying results included (and are in fact limited to): Noumea quarterfinalist (why isn’t he in Reunion?) [1] Gregoire Burquier d James McGee 2-6 7-6(6) 6-4 (tough one for the Irish #4 – probably had a match point or two), Sweden’s #4 Michael Ryderstedt d Mikhail Ledovskikh 6-4 3-6 6-3, Glasgow F1 finalist Alexandre Sidorenko upset [3] Dieter “Learns To” Kindlmann 6-2 6-0 (but don’t feel bad for Little Dieter, as he totally luckily lost and is facing Ruben Bemelmans in the main draw), and [5] Yannick Mertens d. Poland’s Robert Godlewski, 6-3 6-4. As well he should.

Some superb matches on Tuesday’s OOP: Igor Sijsling vs. The Bean Pole Jerzy Janowicz, Attila the Balazs vs. Bratislava Challenger champ Martin Klizan (in his first match of 2011), and the quotable Conor Niland vs. Marco Chiudinelli among them. I can only hope the 30 minutes of CARDIOTENNIS is also streamed. This link should feature all the day’s streamable goodness.

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