Tag Archive: Reunion Island


Today is the day I should be, you know, wrapping up my accounts of all these tournaments, since Sunday is the last day of week four in the tennis world. But a couple of tournaments are refusing to cooperate. Or, possibly, Mother Nature is refusing to cooperate. Either way, it’s making me grumpy, as Week Five has already begun in some places (thanks a lot, Tasmania), and I haven’t even done the preview yet. It’ll be more like a midview by the time I get to it. Anyway, here’s today’s haps:

Singapore

So the rain held off enough for the semifinals to be played, but not the semis and the finals, as was originally scheduled. In said SF’s, unseeded Dimitry Tursunov, ardent defender of Grigor Dimitrov on the Twitter (Grisha was banned for ch/ump-pushing, don’tcha know?), beat 8 seed Andrej Martin 6-3 6-4, in a match about which I can tell you absolutely nothing else. Ditto for five seed Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic beating second seed Go Soeda of Japan 6-4 7-6(2). It happened. That’s all I know. There’s no livescore record or stats or game history or nuthin’, mang. Even Tursy’s being surprisingly tight-fingered about it all.

With regard to the finals (whenever they are), Rosol and Tursunov have never met – haven’t even glanced one another’s way in the locker room, I’m irresponsibly guessing. Moving on…

Reunion Island

Wow.

I’ve joked about it, I’ve laughed about it, but honestly: what an unmitigated disaster this tournament has been. Note to future tournament directors: if you plan for your tournament to be a disaster, at least make it a mitigated one.

Bad news, kiddos, and I think it’s only right that I let our unofficial player/ambassador Harri Heliovaara break it to you:

“Bye bye! This morning’s news was unheard of. Rain continues to pour, and weather forecasts promising any relief, so the Reunion this year’s challenger is here on CANCELLED! I have never seen such a solution, but on the other hand does not seem to be happening here in any other option, because the island’s sole sisäkentällekin apparently it’s raining inside!” (I have it on good authority that “sisäkentällekin” is Heliovaaran for “indoor facility”)

A note on the tournament’s Facebook page from Thibaud Serre says (translated): “Stopping at the tournament quarter-final stage, there is no winner. The eight quarter-finalists € 875 each pocket and 15 ATP points.”

OK. I have questions, though: why just give quarterfinal points when some who’ve been held hostage on your island were bound for greater bounties? Where is all the money that you’re not paying out for semis and a champion/finalist going? Are you keeping it? Why not just pool the remaining points/funds amongst the remaining player/hostages? Is it because there are too many pools on Reunion Island as it is? And finally, but most of all: why build an indoor tennis facility in the first place if it can’t keep out rain? Or is there a key piece of information I’m missing here?

The combo draw does say “NO FURTHER PLAY WAS POSSIBLE DUE TO HEAVY RAIN/FLOODING” So… I dunno. I guess I’ll feel a right shit if it turns out I’m snarking on them and they’re having a Queensland type of disaster on their hands (God forbid). But my sources indicate this is more of an organizational shoddiness as opposed to a widespread catastrophe. Let’s hope that’s all it is.

One thing I’m not questioning: if I were this woman…

…I’d be constantly looking over my shoulder like a lottery winner from the show LOST, or someone who got off the plane in Final Destination, awaiting the next calamity to strike.

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You know the drill by now: circling globe, timezones, order, blah blah…

Singapore

You know what they say: “When it Singarains, it Singapores.” And if you don’t know they say that, it’s probably ’cause I just made that up. Regardless: it rained, it poured – I hear that somewhere an old man even snored. And play is delayed another day.

Reunion Island

Should I just link to the Harri Heliovaara blog now instead of typing a whole update at this point? I’ve been stealing from it all week, and it certainly would be easier on this end. Well, let’s see what he has to say today, shall we? *opens Helioblog*

“Hohhoijaa, no one played here today…because of rain and thunderstorms continued throughout the day, almost without a break,” is how he starts (I can’t be sure, but I think he sneezed there at the very beginning). My heart was in my throat as I read this part: “…hope that none of them use Google Translate to read the blog and drag the pea nose! :-D”

“Whaaa?!” I thought. “Is he talking about me?” And before you think that’s too delusion-of-grandeural, I know for a fact I’ve sent tens of people Harri’s way from this site this week (actual number: 56 at the time of this typing). My second panicked thought was: “How does he know I do that with the pea nose?!”

But, no – it just turns out I had read ahead without any context and also that I have no reading comprehension skills. Harri spends his blog today comparing and contrasting whom he feels are the best young up-and-coming players, based on who he’s played, and it’s a fantastic read (especially since I do a lot of that myself, having played absolutely no one). But he’s worried that the players will use Google Translate and then do their pea-nose dragging. Which is totally something they would do, let’s face it. Anyway, his list is fascinating, and it’s comforting to see a lot of the same people that have made an impression on me have made one on him as well (although his evaluation of Dan Cox is way off base, haha). I won’t give away his findings, but if you’re a fan of up-and-coming players, I highly encourage you to go read the crappy Google Translation of it. And take the pea nose only if you must. Last chance.

Heilbronn

What? There was actually tennis played at the Challenger level today? How did that happen?! (Nevermind that it’s indoors.) OK, I guess I’ll write about tennis now.

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In the only order our spinning planet could bring them to you, here were today’s Challenger happenings:

Singapore

Eighth seed Andrej Martin kicked off the day’s play by kicking top seed Somdev “Millionaire” Devvarman to the curb, 6-3 6-4. The 21 year-old Slovakian has been on the ups for a while now, increasing his win percentage every year since 2008, his first full year as a pro. Last year he went 55/22, and this year he’s off to an even better 7/2 start. Currently ranked a career high #177 and headed for Monday’s WATCH List, he now stands to gain at least 10 spots on the rankings ladder for his efforts with possibilities of going much higher.

In the semis, Martin will play popular Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who avenged his ’09 Australian Open loss to Flavio Cipolla – albeit in a belated kind of way – with a 5-7 6-3 6-2 triumph. Cips came back from 0-2 to take the five-break first set, but then Tursunov took four of the five remaining breaks in the ten-break match. 1st serve winning percentage (67% to 58%) seems to have accounted for the difference in this one, going from a purely statistical perspective (which one must never do). Martin and Tursunov have yet to play one another. One assumes that will soon change.

5th-seeded, 25-year-old Czecher Lukas Rosol beat unseeded 30 year-old Uniter Michael Yani 4-6 6-4 6-2 in one of the other four quarterfinals on the day (’cause that’s how many they play, you know). Yani broke for the first set in the 10th game, but Rosol helped himself to the remaining three breaks this match had to offer. As with the Tursunov match, service effectiveness seems to be a major reason for this win. Rosol will meet 2nd seed Go Soeda, who pasted Tatsuma Ito 6-3 6-0 in the final QF, even while serving at 45% (an 80% winning pct on second serves will help where that is concerned). Soeda won their only previous meeting. Five years ago.

Reunion Island

God, I hope Harri Heliovaara watched the tennis today. *crosses fingers and opens blog*

Nope, he spent the day inside watching figure skating and reading David Baldacci instead. Can’t say I blame him. Today’s Helioblog is still insightful and funny as ever. He thinks the backlogged/waterlogged schedule of play (it rained again) will help him if Stephane Robert (one of his doubles opponents) has to play back-to-back matches. Then again, “Let’s hope, however, that he did not play any matches in a marathon, because it would be nice to get to play at all. Here, it becomes dark already after six, and the field lights not bright enough that they should not play the race matches. Match is tomorrow, a special program jointly “To Be Arranged” when players are available “, ie it can begin at any time really!”

Haha – Harri rules blogschool. What? Tennis? Sure, some of that happened too.

8th seed David Guez apparently decided he didn’t want to be there anymore, sometime between when his match against countryman Mathieu Rodrigues was suspended at 7-5 0-2 and when he came back onto the court the next day to lose 5-7 0-6 0-6. Second seed Michael Przysiezny seemed like he was heading down the same path, losing the first two games of his rain-resumed 6-2 5-all match with Belgium’s Clement Maas, but – unlike Guez – he didn’t say “No mas” (or the Polish equivalent) and recovered for a 6-2 5-7 6-1 win. Przysiezny will play Heliovaara-defeating sixth seed Yuri Schukin in the quarters. Assuming he doesn’t disappear in the middle of the night, that is. (How close is Reunion Island to Easter Island I wonder?)

Top seed Florent Serra had himself a semi-handy 6-0 7-6(6) win over Italy’s Daniele Giorgini. And the aforementioned Stephane Robert, 4th seed, was a 6-4 6-2 winner over Austria’s Martin Slanar. He’ll meet the patron saint of my Twitter homepage, Alexander Sadecky, in the quarters. Sadecky beat qualifier Mark Sibilla 6-3 6-2.

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In the temporal order that best matches up with the Earth’s rotation (thus ensuring you read the most timely information first – don’t say I don’t take anything less than exquisite care of you, dear readers!):

Singapore

Remember how I said Rajeev Ram was a winnable match on hard courts for 2011 Challenger Tennis Player To Watch Tsung-Hua Yang? Well, you shouldn’t. With crap tips like that one, you shouldn’t be committing any of my drivel to your precious memory. Ram won 6-7(7) 6-3 6-0. Two consecutive breaks to start the match, then Ram up a soon-relinquished break in the first, and the 19 year-old took the tiebreak on his third set point. On serve until 3-2 in the second, and then Ram won 9 of the last 10 games, with 75 percent of return points won in the third set (even with Yang serving 50 percent). Not too sure what happened there. But good win for the Raj, who’ll meet 5th seeded Lukas Rosol in the 2nd round, himself a 7-6(6) 7-6(5) winner over Rik de Voest.

Impatient wildcard Michael Yani finally got on the court to administer a 6-1 7-6(4) first round dismantling of nouveau Zealander Artem Sitak. Second seeded Go Soeda saved a set point in the first before defeating the inquisitive Freddie Nielsen 7-6(7) 6-3, while third seed Paolo Lorenzi didn’t even bother saving the set point he faced in the second set, winning the match in three instead, 6-4 3-6 6-3. Different strokes…

Seventh seed Thiago Alves was rudely double-sticked by Tatsuma Ito (I bet they were thunder sticks, too) while Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer forewent the second “m” in his surname to lose a third set 1-6 to Ivo Klec. And not only did he lose the third set, but also the match! Shocking, I know, but totally true.

Reunion Island

Brought to you today by our kind and graciously-blogging host, Harri Heliovaara, who is to Reunion Island what Mr. Rourke was to Fantasy Island (if Mr. Rourke blogged, that is – which he very well may have, on Fantasy Island) (Vincent Millot, of course, is playing the role of Tattoo all week):

“If today’s match should be described in one word, it would be the heat,” writes Harri (yo, Double H, that’s two words, buddy! No worries – I blame Google Translate. As you were saying…), “According to locals, this was the hottest summer day, and the match was, moreover, even the hottest days of the time between one and three.” On such a summer’s day, Helio defeated Canada’s Pierre-Ludovic Duclos, 3-6 6-1 6-1. He’ll face sixth seed Yuri Schukin in the next round, whom he describes thusly (according to the mischievous GT): “Schukin is at its best from the rear, and his basic compliance are secure and smooth.” You know, I’ve heard that about him! (Schukin beat Alexander Peya 7-5 6-0, by the way). Other results on the day:

Daniele Giorgini d Niels Desein 7-5 6-4, Andreas Haider Maurer d Fritz Wolmarans 7-6(4) 7-6(14) (FOURTEEN!), Augustin Gensse continues his WATCH Listworthy play and beat Philipp Oswald 2 & 2, while [5] Edouard Roger-Vasselin put the kibosh on the fabbulousity that is Thomas Fabbiano 6-7(1) 6-3 6-1.

A Very Harri Reunion

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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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