In addition to 2011’s inaugural USA and Great Britain Futures events, which have been given a semi-thorough and very provincial accounting here by Christina and me, six other countries – Spain, Brazil, Israel, Germany, Turkey and China – also held Futures tourneys of their own. How quaint! Here’s an entirely-less-thorough review of what happened in those places:
China F1 – The only other 15K tournament on offer (Glasgow was the other) had a surprisingly weak field, considering. Then again, it was in, you know, China. And what player wants their Facebook access blocked, regardless of how many extra points and currency units are on the table? It takes an intrepid Westerner indeed to brave such conditions. Three such intrepid souls – Britain’s Dan Cox and Josh Milton and Croatia’s Ante Pavic, the #2, 4, and 8 seeds – found themselves in the quarterfinals amidst the Red Sea of locals (pleading note: this is somewhat intended as parody and as such is only meant to mildly offend).
And then, not having any Facebook to distract them, they promptly advanced to the semifinals; what else was there for them to do? Alas, Pavic was dispatched there by 5th sea-ded local Di Wu (who was an Australian Open junior QF’ist, where he lost to Ryan Harrison in 3 sets), while Milton and Cox were left to take care of one another in some brutal Britain-on-Britain combat (Milton d Cox 7-5 6-1). And then Wu himself engaged in a bit of Chinese take-out, taking out Cardiff’s Cousin Milty 2-6 7-5 6-3 in the final. Wu who? No, I believe you mean: woo hoo. (This article was brought to you by the proud American tradition of Cutural Ignorance).
Spain F1 – One of the quinfecta of non-USA 10K events, this tournament in the hardly-ever-heard-of hamlet/isla bonita of Mallorca (I mean, I defy you to name even one tennis player from there) featured SEVEN Spaniards in the quarters (France’s former world junior #1 and Andy-Murray-to-five-sets-pusher Jonathan Eysseric was the party crasher). Four matches were played, and then four players were left in the semis. I swear that’s how it happened. No need to fact check. In said semis, fourth seed Pedro Clar-Rosello defeated a retiring Eysseric 6-1 4-0, while 2011 Challenger Tennis Player to Watch Javier Marti beat Marcel Granollers’ fifth-seeded little bro, Gerard, 6-3 6-3. And then the third-seeded Marti beat Clar-Rosello 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 in the final. It was the just-turned 19-year-old’s fourth Futures title in the last eight months.
“Even I never heard of this place Mallorca, no?”
Brazil F3 – The quarters saw Sao Paulo Challenger’s upstart finalist sensation Rafael Camilo suffer his second loss of the season (against nine wins), after the no-doubt-exhausted Brazilian had to hightail it all the way north to Aracaju with his trophy still freshly etched. His demise came at the hands/racquet of the even-hotter-than-nine-and-two Andre Begemann, who had won the Brazil F2 the week before, 7-5 7-6(2). Meanwhile, the still-Swedish Christian Lindell saw off top-seeded Ricardo Hocevar 3-6 6-4 6-3. Semifinals were played (results of which are not pertinent to this article), and the final pitted the third seed Begemann against the even-still-Swedish Lindell. Begemann took the title 6-4 6-2 to keep his perfect season alive (11 wins, 0 losses at press time; he eked out his first rounder in the Brazil F4 as well).
Israel F1 – Unseeded Finn Henri Laaksonen, who I’d heard was now playing for Switzerland but apparently not yet (according to the ITF site), lost to the Russian #1 seed, Valery Rudnev 3-6 1-6.
Germany F1 – Latvia’s #2 player, Andis Juska, the third seed in this event, beat 6th-seeded Austrian Philipp Oswald 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4. One only needs contrast Juska’s previous two matches with those of Ernests Gulbis to see that he will soon become Latvia’s #1 player, if the current rate of return continues. (note: I am not quite dumb enough to believe this.)
Turkey F1 – Ukraine’s Artem Smirnov defeated the charmingly limericking Dusan Lajovic 6-4 6-3 before the third seed won the championship 6-4 6-3 over unseeded Frenchman Alexander Renard.