As the number of worldwide pro tournaments dwindles — last week there were just six Futures events, this week four, and next week (gasp) only one* — the number of point-gobbling opportunities likewise dwindles.
Those who are still playing this deep into the season and who go deep into tournaments are thusly rewarded with larger-than-usual ranking gains, as the rest of the tour largely stands put.
A lot of those players find themselves on this week’s W.A.T.C.H. List:
|Mohamed Safwat||EGY||23||200||Egypt F35 W|
|David Souto||VEN||21||215||Venezuela F9 SF|
|Germain Gigounon||BEL||24||238||others lost points|
|Jose Checa-Calvo||ESP||28||240||Spain F42 W|
|Juan Ignacio Londero||ARG||20||278||Venezuela F9 W|
|Yasutaka Uchiyama||JPN||21||282||Thailand F5 SF|
|Adrian Sikora||SVK||25||295||Spain F42 SF|
|Edward Corrie||GBR||25||298||Turkey F48 F|
|Borna Coric||CRO||17||332||Thailand F5 SF|
|Andrew Whittington||AUS||20||372||others lost points|
|Pedja Krstin||SRB||19||379||Egypt F35 F|
|Alexey Vatutin||RUS||21||387||others lost points|
|Ivan Arenas-Gualda||ESP||23||393||Spain F42 SF|
|Luis David Martinez||VEN||24||396||Venezuela F9 F|
|Sam Barry||IRL||21||410||Qatar F3 W|
|Liam Broady||GBR||19||471||Qatar F3 F|
|Ramkumar Ramanathan||IND||19||502||Cambodia F2 W|
|Karunuday Singh||IND||23||509||Thailand F5 F|
|Martin Cuevas||URU||21||523||Brazil F19 SF|
|Pedro Cachin||ARG||18||545||Chile F10 SF|
Tops on this week’s List is Mohamed Safwat. The 23-year-old Egyptian number one took home his tour-leading ninth title of the year at the Egypt F35 Futures, beating fellow Lister Pedja Krstin 6-4 7-6(1) in the final. Safwat is 77/25 in the 102 matches he’s played this season.
He was only 4/9 in the challenger events he played this year, however. It will be interesting to see if he can break through on a level other than Egyptian Futures next year.
Our next winner on the List is Jose Checa-Calvo, as his Spain F42 Futures win bounced him up 16 rankings spots to #240 of this week’s dance card.
The 28-year-old Spaniard (now the Spanish #22), whose surname translates to “bald Czech” in English, has won six titles out of nine finals this year. He’s gone 74/30 in his 104 matches in 2013, but like Safwat has found difficulty at Challengers, going 3/9 at that level this season.
Our next winner on the list — and last to be featured, because I’m officially on vacation — is Juan Ignacio Londero. The 20-year-old Argentine beat three seeds on the way to his second title of the year at the 15K Venezuela F9 Futures event in Caracas.
Londero had a better time of it in Challengers than Safwat and Bald-Czech, going 15/8 at that level in 2013.
As such, he was a strong candidate for this year’s Challenger Tennis Player to Watch honors, but didn’t end up making the cut. Hopefully he is not too devastated by this egregious snub, and will continue with his up-and-comingness into the new season.
*Tennis got dangerously close to having an off-season here.