If you’re a good headline reader, as I suspect you may be, then you’ll know that the semifinals are now set for the Brazil F1 tournament. You’ve also rendered the first sentence of my article completely worthless – I hope you’re happy! You may have also guessed that if the semifinals are set, that means the quarterfinals have been played. Wow – you’re on a real roll today, aren’t you, champ?
Yes, the quarterfinals have been played, and – as my twitter sidebar would only be too happy to tell you – Andre Ghem defeated fourth-seeded Caio Zampieri 6-3 6-4, 6th seed Tsung-Hua Yang beat 2 seed Guillermo Alcaide 3-6 6-2 6-1, 3rd-seeded Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik overcame  Ricardo Hocevar 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4, and unseeded Gastao Elias upset seventh seed Thomas Fabbiano 3-6 6-1 6-2.
Thus, this here is today’s semifinal line-up:
As you can see, four different nations are represented in our first semi of the season. Andre is the only remaining home country Ghem after knocking out two of his other compatriots – Charles Costa and Daniel Silva - in the first and second rounds in addition to Zampieri in the QF’s. But, hey, it was either them or him, ya know? Certainly can’t blame the guy. Unsurprisingly, this will be the first meeting between the 28 year-old Sole Remaining Brazilian and his 19 year-old Taiwanese opponent (and 2011 Challenger Tennis Player To Watch), Tsung-Hua Yang.
And look, I know I’ve been referring to this far too much of late, but it keeps coming up. Yes, I’m talking about the “Young Guns” spreadsheet from stevegtennis.com. But it’s interesting that the two players meeting in today’s other semifinal (Ignatik and Elias, in case I’ve lost you) both shared top-tier honors in the 2009 preview. Rather than making you click on it again and launching all sorts of scary-seeming dialog boxes, I’ll just cut and paste the pertinent info here:
|“Young Guns” 2009|
|Player||Nat||Year||W-L||2008 End||Jan 5||Feb 2||Mar 2||Apr 6||May 4||Jun 8||Jul 6||Aug 3||Sep 14||Oct 5||Nov 2||Dec 7||2009 End|
I, of course, can go on and on about the different paths and fates of the above-listed players. But for now, suffice it to say that Ricardas Berankis is now down at the Brisbane International ATP 250 and is now known as “Richard”, and Gastao and Uladzimir – who apparently was once known as “Vladimir”? – are slugging it out in Sao Paulo. So much can change in a year, eh?
Or even three years, for that matter. Which is when these two last met, in a rather exotic locale: Iggy defeated Elias 6-3 1-6 10-3 in their only previous meeting, at none other than the 2007 Wimbledon Boys Quarterfinals.
Bonded by spreadsheets! Steeped in lawn-tennissed traditions! It will be interesting to see what the Futures hold for them today.