Tag Archive: Adrian Menendez

The rambunctious crowd at the Mouilleron-le-Captif* Challenger had a few Frenchmen to cheer for on today’s finals docket: 2nd seed Nicolas Mahut, playing 33-year-old German Michael Berrer in a singles duel between tour vets; and unseeded Fabrice Martin and Hugo Nys, competing in the doubles final against the back-from-injury-and-doing-well Henri Kontinen and his “Spanish matador”** Adrian Menendez-Maceiras.

The crowd was lively from the very start, clapping their rhythmic support of Martin/Nys even in the beginning games of the match. It didn’t work early on, however, as Kontinen/Menendez-Maceiras took the 1st set 6-3.

But the French never flagged. After three service holds to start the second set, Martin waved his arms at his sides, exhorting the crowd to get even louder at 15-all on the Spinnish serve.  The result was a break for *3-1, the happy spectators chanting “HUGO! *clap clap clap* FABRICE! *clap clap clap*”. And that break must’ve been made of very sticky stuff, as the Frenchmen made it stick quite easily and closed out the 2nd frame 6-3.

So it was on to the Stupor Tiebreak to settle things.  Menendez-Maceiras broke out his tactical grunting early on, and the French grunted mockingly in return. They spoke with their rackets too, getting the first mini-break blood and changing ends up *4-2.

Turns out Kontinen had a mini-break Band-Aid, however, and the Finn mini-broke back with a splendid one-handed backhand return up the alley. The French team responded by moonballing, lobbing and ultimately poaching their way to another mini-break, and ends were changed again at 7-5*. They then closed out the match 3-6 6-3 10-8 in front of an elated home cheering section.

Trophies were given, speeches were made. This picture was posed for:

The Winning Couple

The Winning Couple

And it was on to the singles final. Mahut jacked up the already upjacked crowd to a fever pitch, getting an early break and then another to feed a ‘stick to the hefty lefty Berrer, 6-1.

With the fans in the stands doing their best chanting and clapping, both players held serve until 5-4. Then Mahut double-faulted at 30-all, and Berrer siezed the opportunity, taking the net and pressuring the Frenchman into a forced error.  Just like that, Berrer had stolen the 2nd set 6-4.

And he wasn’t gonna give it back. The 8th seed played his role of the spoiler brilliantly, getting two break points early in the third set with deft passing shotting, then converting the break on a super point in which Mahut made a dive volley, only to miss an overhead on the next ball.

The big GER man played smart, aggressive and well-executed tennis, keeping Mahut on the defensive and coming forward at every opportunity.  With the crowd still urging their man gamely, Mahut saved a match point, but Berrer quickly conjured another with an ace.  And then closed the deal, taking the title 1-6 6-4 6-3.

The Winning Moment

As one observer noted, beating the top two seeds, Michael Llodra and Mahut, indoors in France was just about the best you can do at the Challenger level.  What a week for Berrer, who will rise over 30 places and back into the Top 150 when the new rankings are released. The win was Berrer’s tenth challenger title in thirteen finals.

*now that the tourney’s over, I really hope they free the captive.

**per a Kontinen tweet.

Results: Sao Paulo and Noumea Challengers

Match reports up later, for now the results:

Sao Paulo

[Q] Rafael Camilo defeated Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 5-7 7-6 7-5 (saved a match point in the TB!)

[1] Ricardo Mello leads [7] Federico Delbonis 6-4 5-7 *5-4 (play suspended: rain!)
[3] Gilles Muller defeated Augustin Gensse (FRA) 6-3 6-4
Vincent Millot defeated [2] Jesse Huta Galung, walkover
Vincent Millot defeated [3] Gilles Muller 7-6 2-6 6-4
Update on lack of further updates: Unfortunately, I’m not going to have the time to do a proper write-up up of these matches; I’m packing up to head down to Florida and cover the first four Futures events there.  In the meantime, caioswim has done an amazing job of covering the Sao Paulo tournament all week with his Youtube videos. Here’s a nice little chunk of the Camilo v Menendez match. It’s a good illustration of the weaponry Camilo has at his disposal, as well as the work he still needs to do to improve his consistency and fitness (note: he’s in the far court):
I have to say, I’m really starting to love this kid and his game.  And his breakout success in this event has not only been the story of the tournament (he’s now won 3 matches having saved match points), but further underlines how insane the tournament organizers were to put his epic match against Horacio Zeballos on an outside court, when the main court was available.  I’m still trying to get over that one.  Even his doubles final (he and Santiago Gonzalez are the top seeds and beat third seeds James Cerretani/Adil Shamasdin 6-4 6-7(6) 10-5 in the semis) won’t be on Court Central.  The tournament director must hate him. (kidding)
Anyway, here are the final points of the Camilo-Menendez contest:
It’s a shame we don’t have someone like caioswim in Noumea, but here are some pretty sweet pictures of Millot’s championship victory over Muller.  It was the 24-year-old Frenchman’s first Challenger Tour title (and his first final since June of 2009).  Second seeds  Freddie Nielsen and Dominik Meffert took the dubs trophy 7-6(4) 5-7 10-5 over top-seeded Flavio Cipolla and Simone Vagnozzi).
Regarding Jesse Huta Galung’s withdrawal: apparently playing the semifinals would be too much of a pain in the buttDidn’t want to take any chances with Australian Open qualifying so soon on the horizon.  Speaking of which, we’ll be providing full coverage of the qualifying tournament down under, with a very special guest author/editor on board.  Who could it be? Hint: it’s someone who writes much better then I do.  (Yes, I know: that doesn’t narrow down the field too much, haha.)

It’s Saturday at the Sao Paulo Challenger, and somehow we are mostly on schedule in this rain-plagued tournament. How about that? As such, there will be two semifinals today. As opposed to, say, four.

The first contest is the decidedly non-marquee matchup between 20-year-old Brazilian qualifier Rafael Camilo and heretofore (and possibly still) anonymous 25-year-old Spaniard Adrian Menendez-Maceiras. But just because this is the semi with the lesser known (if known at all) names in it doesn’t mean this is an insignificant match. Quite the contrary, in fact.

As this is a $100,000 event (near the cream of the crop for the Challenger Tour), to say that this first meeting between the two unseeded semifinalists is a big opportunity would be a huge understatement. Nevermind the extra $3,460 the winner of this match can add to the $5,020 he’s already won this week (although they probably mind it very much); a finalist’s points at this event would see Camilo’s ranking jump from #448 to around #306 (his career high was #433 about a month ago), or send Menendez from #283 to around #238 (his career high was #174 in May of 2008).  Suffice it to say: a lot on the line.  Don’t even need Hawkeye to make that call.

If you’ll recall, Camilo was the guy who withstood second seed Horacio Zeballos’ 21 aces and 2 match points in the 2nd round.  I got to see him in yesterday’s 6-4 6-2 quarterfinal drubbing of Thomas Fabbiano, and I was suitably impressed. Camilo’s got game, y’all.  He’s also got a good bit of a gut (and not the Roberto Busto kind) too. So gutty is he, in fact, his shirt was riding up over the top of it at various intervals during his match.

Bust A Gut

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he also possesses a very substantial weight of shot; large-and-in-charge serve, hefty forehand, and a backhand that looks shockingly like Robin Soderling’s (if not in quality than certainly in trajectory). I haven’t had a chance to see Menendez play this week (or ever), so I’ll just run with that ignorance and blissfully predict Camilo will score the upset here. After all, the guy’s already 6-0 on the year and has beaten two players even more highly ranked than Menendez-Maceiras this week. And if he wins this match, maybe they’ll even spell his name right during the post-match interview.

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Sao Paulo Challenger Quarterfinal Results

The final match has just been completed, and here are your Sao Paulo Challenger quarterfinal results:

[1] Ricardo Mello d Juan-Pablo Brzezicki 6-2 6-0

[7] Federico Delbonis d [3] Joao Souza 7-6(5) 5-7 6-4

Adrian Menendez-Maceiras d Uladzimir Ignatik 7-6(5) 7-6(1)

[Q] Rafael Camilo d Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 6-4

Save for Ignatik v Menendez, which was not streamed, I was able to watch all of the above matches and will be back with full recaps (and smashingly illustrative screencaps) later on today.

The Delbo-Souza match was… interesting…

Stay tuned!

Good (time-appropriate greeting) everyone! So, I have a question: are you as sick of reading these damn Sao Paulo previews as I am of writing them? Let’s just say, for the sake of this article, that you aren’t. Is that OK? Will that work for you? From my end, well…my Sao Paulo Bureau Chief is on the lam, he’s in the wind, and – worst of all – he doesn’t even exist. So you’ll have to settle for my last-minute cobbled-together preview instead. Here are today’s Bradesco Prime Cup Sao Paulo Challenger quarterfinal match-ups:

[7] Federico Delbonis vs. [3] Joao Souza – The two have met once previously, with Delbo winning 7-6(8) 6-2 on clay at the Braunschweig Challenger in June of 2009. In other news, I love prepositional phrase strings! And brown is my favourite-coloured schweig. Just in case you planned on rewarding my reluctant, previewing diligence with the gift of schweig.

J-Wow is the higher seed and the higher ranked (#111 to #160) and the 22 year-old Brazilian will also have the home crowd in his favour. Therefore I pick Delbonis to win in two tough sets.

[1] Ricardo Mello vs. Juan-Pablo Brzezicki – Wow. This match is really the immoveable object meets the irresistible force. Allow me to explain: Brzezicki, the 28 year-old Argentine, has a 3-1 head-to-head edge over the top seed (although they haven’t met since 2008, but Juan-Pablo’s won the last three in any case); but the 30 year-old Brazilian has never lost at this event – hell, he just lost his first set yesterday to Tsung-Hua Yang and he’s looked good in the two matches I’ve seen him play here. I think Mello gets off the snide here and advances to the semis in straights.

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