I’m really excited about this edition of the W.A.T.C.H. List. Because of the dearth of Top 250 players having results (or having results come off their rankings), this List of 20ish plumbs the depths like never before. Therefore, much like the special Spinal Tap amps that go to 11 instead of 10, this one goes to 500 (instead of the usual 300). Stay tuned for obscure pro-files.
Let’s have a look at who these warriors of the Futures are this week, shall we?
|David Souto||VEN||21||224||Venezuela F8 F|
|Ante Pavic||CRO||24||246||Senegal F1 W|
|Egor Gerasimov||BLR||21||251||Egypt F34 F|
|Toni Androic||CRO||21||271||Croatia F17 W|
|Yasutaka Uchiyama||JPN||21||288||Thailand F4 W|
|Gonzalo Lama||CHI||20||294||Chile F9 W|
|Juan Lizariturry||ESP||22||307||Turkey F47 F|
|Juan Ignacio Londero||ARG||20||319||Venezuela F8 SF|
|Karim Hossam||EGY||19||337||Egypt F23 SF|
|Roberto Ortega-Olmedo||ESP||22||345||Spain F41 SF|
|Borna Coric||CRO||17||351||Thailand F4 SF|
|Andrew Whittington||AUS||20||378||Cambodia F1 W|
|Alexey Vatutin||RUS||21||388||Spain F41 W|
|Federico Coria||ARG||21||404||Chile F9 QF|
|Oliver Golding||GBR||20||418||others lost points|
|Claudio Fortuna||ITA||23||419||others lost points|
|Erik Crepaldi||ITA||23||429||Cyprus F3 W|
|Luis David Martinez||VEN||24||438||Venezuela F8 R2|
|Juan-Carlos Spir||COL||23||486||others lost points|
|Laslo Djere||SRB||18||492||Cyprus F3 SF|
|Anton Zaitsev||RUS||26||497||Turkey F47 QF|
And what do you know, the first name on this week’s List is none other than my #4 Player To Watch, David Souto. So, great pick on my part, right? Is the moral of that story. (Also, I just wanted to mention him so I could shamelessly link to his profile.)
Further down the list, we find my first PTW selection, Borna Coric, who appears with a couple Croatian countrymen to form a kind of bottom-of-the-table Davis Cup team. (Overall, the trio of Pavic, Androic and Coric are Croatia’s #6, 7 and 9 players respectively.)
One guy who didn’t make the PTW cut, but was on my original list of 50 candidates, is 20-year-old Chilean Gonzalo Lama. It certainly says a lot about the talented bunch of Chosen Ten that a guy who went 46/20 this year and has risen 461 spots in the rankings this year didn’t quite make it. (Either that, or it says the idiot who’s making these selections really doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.)
Now, if you’re anything like me (and God help you if you are), then you really wish I’d stop going on and on about this friggin’ PTW list. So I shall not mention it again, I promise!
An interesting name on this week’s List is Karim Hossam. The teenage Egyptian is currently the 8th-ranked player under 20 years of age. At 69/24 for the year, he’s won an almost-astounding 74% of his matches.
The former ITF World Junior #11 was a strong candidate for The List That Now Cannot Be Named; the main thing that kept him from inclusion is that all but 6 of his 93 matches this year come on the Egyptian Futures circuit, where competition isn’t necessarily the strongest level. Although that is probably to no fault of his own; as Reem Abulleil wrote earlier this year about Egyptian #1 Mohamed Safwat, there are many obstacles facing an Egyptian player who seeks to play abroad (or even a dude).
Aussie Andrew Whittington was also a candidate for… something I can’t mention. The former #6 junior has been on a roll of late, winning two out of the last three Futures tourneys he’s entered (and finalist-ing in the other). He won both the singles (over his dubs partner Gavin van Peperzeel) and doubles titles at the Cambodia F1, which you can read all about courtesy of our friends at Aceland Tennis.
Finally, I need to say a little about the Spain F41 Futures champion of Lanzarote, Alexey Vatutin — mostly so I can include this photo caption:
The Russian righty has had a very decent 57/26 season. His title is the 2nd Futures win of his career, and comes 20 months after his impressive first championship at the Kazakhstan F2 in April of last year, where he beat fellow W.A.T.C.H. Lister Egor Gerasimov in the finals.