The words “travel” and “travail” are formed from the same root because, back when their etymology was fresh, it was once a horrific pain in the ass to travel anywhere of length (traveling of width wasn’t nearly as difficult). Now it’s just a mild pain in the ass, comparatively. But back before technology had somewhat tamed our poor, defenseless planet, before one could jet or ride somewhere, way back when/then… only soldiers or slaves usually deigned to travel any distance, because you might get killed by Nature or Huns or something equally as terrifying as Nature and Huns (though that is hard to fathom, I know).

All of which leads me to this trivia question for you (answer at bottom of this article):

Q: How many non-Brazilians made it into the 2nd Round of the Brazil F38 Futures event in Sorocaba? Did you get it right? (Note: only the answer “Brazilch” is correct. Answers like “zero” or “none” will not be accepted.) Regardless, the point of this whole pointless exercise is that no travelers made it out the first round in Sorocaba alive. Granted, this stat is less impressive when one learns that only three foreigners made the trip in the first place, but still: now only homegrown homeboys (and homemen) are left; to the Brazilians go the spoils!

So, what’s happening among the about-to-be-spoiled Brazilians, you ask? Fantastic question! Really, no, it is. You should be quite pleased with yourself. That’s what this whole article is for – to answer that fantastic question of yours. Do read on.

Well, to start with, 7th seed Danilo Ferraz is seeing dimishing returns in his tennistical journey of late, posting consecutive SF, SF, QF, and R1 showings in Futures 34, 36, 37 and 38. He lost to Charles Costa (no relation) (to anyone) in the first round. And third-seeded Rodrigo Guidolin was the only other seed to not make the quarterfinals. He lost to a person who had never posted an ITF-recorded win at any level (juniors or pros) before, Luiz-Guilherme Deneka (who promptly lost in the next round, of course). Way to go, Rodrigo! It says in his bio that he enjoys going to the cinema, so at least he’s got more time to do that now.

In the quarters, 6th seed Thales Turini continued his Streak of Recent Relative Hotness, defeating top-seed Daniel Silva 6-2 6-2 and extending his record to 12/3 in his previous 15 matches. He’ll meet Deneka-defeater Ricardo Siggia, the 8th seed, in the semis. But all of that is academic, because I think the winner of this tournament will emerge from the other QF, which is a rematch of last week’s final. That’s right: it’s Leonardo Kirche vs. Fernando Romboli, The Revenge!

Pictured: Andre Miele and Fernando Romboli, who apparently won something once

If you’ll recall (and you probably won’t, because I didn’t write about it), the 21-year-old Romboli had gone into last week’s final with an 0-3 head-to-head record against the 25-year-old Kirche, only to make like Donner and blitz him 6-1 6-0 in the final. I’ll be interested to see whether that result was an anomaly, or if the former #3 world junior – who had wins over people like Roberto Bautista-Agut, Thomas Schoorel, Benoit Paire and Grigor Dimitrov – has finally turned a corner against his older foe.  Can Romboli finish off his 48 win, 19 loss season (so far) with a 2nd consecutive tournament victory and reach the 50-win plateau? Watch this space for more. Or, alternatively, go and enjoy your holiday. I’ll probably be here when you get back.

A: Brazilch