Tag Archive: Andre Ghem


Sao Paulo Challenger Preview – Thursday And Beyond!

Well now.  Another day, another Sao Paolo Challenger preview. Get psyched, peoples! But before I dig into today’s sOOPurb match menu, let’s check out what Mr. Weatherman has to say about the possibility of play today. Er. In a word: yikes! In a picture:

Not looking too good, haha

“Why is the sky crying?” some kid in Sao Paulo may ask. The proper answer, of course, is “Because God is upset that second seed Horacio Zeballos is scheduled out on Court Bumsquat (aka Quadra 3) while there are doubles matches scheduled on Court Central. Wassup wit dat, yo?”

Regardless, it’s hard to lay into today’s preview with appropriate zest and/or zeal now that I know Sao Paulo will apparently never see the sun again. Still, there will be no Challenger events for the two weeks following this tournament and Noumea, so I might as well write about it as if it will happen someday, no? “Make hay while the sun shines,” as they say. Oh, wait. Damn.

Anyway, hereafter follows a needlessly in-depth analysis of the alleged upcoming action:

First matches on:

Uladzimir Igantik vs. Andrea Arnaboldi, Quadra 4: a first meeting between Iggy, the 20-year-old Belarussian and the 23-year-old Italian. I’m quasi-embarrassed to admit that Ulad, that gifted-yet-erratic young man, was one of my 2010 Players To Watch, back in the halcyon days before I full-on invaded the internet. Well, that arrangement didn’t work out for either of us, as Iggy finished the year with a resoundingly mediocre 30/33 record and a ranking that slipped from #193 to #224. Thus, I offer my sincere apologies in advance to all my 2011 PTW’s.

Iggy apologizes too

But shuck that fit – it’s a new year, it’s a new Ulad! Ignatik beat the ailing eighth seed, Paul Capdeville 7-5 3-6 6-0 in the first round, and has a spiffy 4/1 record in 2011, having reached the semifinals of the Brazil F1 to kick off the year. Arnaboldi, meanwhile, has done what, exactly? Beat Santiago Gonzalez in the previous round? Whatever, dude – I’m not impressed (pssst – I’m still trying to rile up the Santi fans into leaving me CAPS LOCKED hate comments). Iggy goes thru.

Fernando Romboli vs. Thomas Fabbiano, Quadra 3: Oh my, this is a good one. Then again, any Romboli match is good, amIright? How can one go against the man with a 20/2 record in his last 22 matches? I sure can’t. Sorry, Tommy – your fabbulosity ends here.

Maximum Fabbulosity

Andre Ghem vs. Rogerio Dutra Da Silva, Quadra 2: Ahaha, the divine tragicomedy of tennis in Sao Paulo this week. Let this match, which teeters on the brink of completion (Rogerio led 6-5* in the 3rd when God started crying about Horacio’s court assignment, halting play), be the symbol of this tourney. I say whoever wins the crucial 7th point post-resumption will win the match.

[3] Joao Souza vs. Giovanni Lapentti, Court Central: Another good one. And this one will be streamed. And/or floating away down an actual deluge-induced stream in Sao Paulo. Either way, Gio leads their head-to-head 3 to 2 and won their two most recent meetings last year, both on clay. I’ve got a feeling about Mr. Lapentti (G version) in this event. I say he gets through the third-seeded Souza here.

Ain’t Nuthin’ But A G Thang

Second matches on:

Andres Molteni vs. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, Quadra 4: Really? I’m supposed to care about this match? Well, OK. Molteni is about as hot as any non-Romboli player on tour can be, finishing the year 13/3 and coming back to beat an enfeebled Christian Lindell (still Swedish!) in the previous round. AMM has not been nearly so am(m)azing, despite his upset of fourth seed Maximo Gonzalez in R1. I like Molteni in this one.  Satisfied now?

[2] Horacio Zeballos vs. [Q] Rafael Camilo, Quadra 3: Ah, the Divine Travesty. The reason why God is bawling HisorHer eyes out. I really don’t know what the tournament director was thinking here – maybe that the Onion will overwhelm the 448th-ranked qualifier so the match doesn’t deserve a big audience? I dunno. Bottom line is: Horacio might overwhelm Camilo in their first meeting, but the 20-year-old Brazilian posted some impressive results at the end of ’10 (including wins over Gastao Elias and two over Romboli!). So don’t take the young man for granted.

And p.s. No, it is no coincidence that an Onion is the one causing the crying.

He’s a real nowhere man.

Guillermo Alcaide vs. [7] Federico Delbonis, Quadra 2: Yes! Quality clash. Don’t ask me why I’m excited about this match. I really can’t explain it. Delbo was also one of my 2010 Players To Watch, so maybe that explains some of it. And despite limping to 4/12 finish last year, I’m confident that a leaner, fitter (he lost 3kg during preseason training) Delbo who’s been tweeting more in the new year will keep his 2011 record a clean and pristine 2/0 slate.

[1] Ricardo Mello vs. Tsung-Hua Yang: OK, maaaaybe I’ve been exaggerating my enthusiasm about some of these matches. But this, friends: this is, as they say, a good ún. Mello is the top seed. Yang is a 2011 Player to Watch. What more do you need?! The two have never met before. My prediction: whoever wins the coin toss, will choose to serve. Also: Mello comes through, but – even though the 30 year-old Brazilian outranks Yang by 225 rankings spots, and possibly because he outolds the 19 year-old by 11 years – it’s gonna be a tussle. (Disclaimer: you know I’m an idiot, right?)

Beyond that, Juan Pablo Brzezicki awaits the victor of the delayed Ghem-Silva game. Methinks he’ll be awaiting a long time. And then it’s just doubles. Cruel, Zeballos-displacing doubles. “After suitable rest,” says the OOP. Ohohohoho & jajajajaaja – that’s a good one, OOP. I’m sure that, if the forecast is to be believed, the rest will be quite suitable indeed.

Gastao Elias Wins Brazil F1 Sao Paulo

Former #6 junior in the world Gastao Elias of Portugal took the first title of 2011, defeating Brazil’s Andre Ghem 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Bradesco Prime Cup in Sao Paulo.  It was a battle of unseeded players in the championship match, as Elias took out third-seeded Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 and Ghem upset the sixth seed, Tsung-Hua Yang, 6-2 6-4 in the semifinals.  The win nets Gastao $1,950 in prizemoney, but more importantly adds 35 points to the 20-year-old’s ATP Ranking account, nearly doubling it (he had 36 points coming into the tournament), which will send his ranking from #604 to somewhere in the mid-400’s.

Brazil F1 Semifinals Are Set!

If you’re a good headline reader, as I suspect you may be, then you’ll know that the semifinals are now set for the Brazil F1 tournament.  You’ve also rendered the first sentence of my article completely worthless – I hope you’re happy!  You may have also guessed that if the semifinals are set, that means the quarterfinals have been played.  Wow – you’re on a real roll today, aren’t you, champ? 

Yes, the quarterfinals have been played, and – as my twitter sidebar would only be too happy to tell you – Andre Ghem defeated fourth-seeded Caio Zampieri 6-3 6-4, 6th seed Tsung-Hua Yang beat 2 seed Guillermo Alcaide 3-6 6-2 6-1, 3rd-seeded Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik overcame [5] Ricardo Hocevar 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4, and unseeded Gastao Elias upset seventh seed Thomas Fabbiano 3-6 6-1 6-2.

Thus, this here is today’s semifinal line-up:

As you can see, four different nations are represented in our first semi of the season.  Andre is the only remaining home country Ghem after knocking out two of his other compatriots – Charles Costa and Daniel Silva –  in the first and second rounds in addition to Zampieri in the QF’s.  But, hey, it was either them or him, ya know?  Certainly can’t blame the guy.  Unsurprisingly, this will be the first meeting between the 28 year-old Sole Remaining Brazilian and his 19 year-old Taiwanese opponent (and 2011 Challenger Tennis Player To Watch), Tsung-Hua Yang.

And look, I know I’ve been referring to this far too much of late, but it keeps coming up.  Yes, I’m talking about the “Young Guns” spreadsheet from stevegtennis.com.  But it’s interesting that the two players meeting in today’s other semifinal (Ignatik and Elias, in case I’ve lost you) both shared top-tier honors in the 2009 preview.  Rather than making you click on it again and launching all sorts of scary-seeming dialog boxes, I’ll just cut and paste the pertinent info here: 

“Young Guns” 2009
   












 
Tier I     2009                            
Player Nat Year W-L 2008 End Jan 5 Feb 2 Mar 2 Apr 6 May 4 Jun 8 Jul 6 Aug 3 Sep 14 Oct 5 Nov 2 Dec 7 2009 End
Berankis, Ricardas LTU 1990 58-27 455 454 458 462 465 490 466 512 539 455 423 417 324 319
Elias, Gastao POR 1990 16-17 578 575 675 667 648 627 612 583 908 854 824 810 774 769
Eysseric, Jonathan FRA 1990 32-29 361 360 358 373 371 369 414 410 520 373 532 506 490 490
Gojowczyk, Peter GER 1989 40-26 346 344 385 430 435 426 409 384 399 411 565 481 392 386
Ignatik, Vladimir BLR 1990 65-25 433 433 475 474 473 461 521 566 523 370 323 279 192 192
Jones, Greg AUS 1989 47-30 434 434 439 404 404 401 367 348 306 265 279 269 252 247
Klizan, Martin SVK 1989 50-24 606 604 603 740 613 594 483 442 328 253 244 236 234 234
McClune, Michael USA 1989 43-25 450 451 480 483 456 444 504 433 391 337 334 341 329 328

I, of course, can go on and on about the different paths and fates of the above-listed players.  But for now, suffice it to say that Ricardas Berankis is now down at the Brisbane International ATP 250 and is now known as “Richard”, and Gastao and Uladzimir – who apparently was once known as “Vladimir”? – are slugging it out in Sao Paulo.  So much can change in a year, eh?   

Or even three years, for that matter.  Which is when these two last met, in a rather exotic locale:  Iggy defeated Elias 6-3 1-6 10-3 in their only previous meeting, at none other than the 2007 Wimbledon Boys Quarterfinals.

Bonded by spreadsheets!  Steeped in lawn-tennissed traditions!  It will be interesting to see what the Futures hold for them today.

Brazil F1 Quarterfinals Preview

While most of the rest of the tennis world trembles in giddy anticipation of the new season, Brazil says, “Pshaw, beyotches – we’re already quarterfinals deep into this seasnatch.” (Warning: may be a paraphrase; my Portuguese is a bit rusty.)

That’s right – here we are on New Year’s Eve Day Eve Day and the Bradesco Prime Cup is already serving up your first QF’s of the new season.  Here is today’s Order of Play:

For me, there are three marquee matches today, and none of them is Andre Ghem vs. Caio Zampieri.  But it’s a BRA vs. BRA situation – and you know how that goes in the ol’ Sao Paulo. Right, bra?  Regardless of my ignorant opinion, the two players have played three previous matches – all of them in 2005, mind you, when Ghem was 23 and Caio was 18.  For what it’s worth, Ghem leads their head-to-head 2 to 1.  Will the fourth seed be able to even up their H2H when they renew their five-years-dusty rivalry?  Probably, I’d say.

You might be surpised to learn that third-seeded, 20 year-old Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik has met fifth seeded, 25 year-old Brazilian Ricardo Hocevar one time before.  But would your surprise diminish once you learned that Iggy trains in Brazil?  It should.  In any case, Ignatik won that previous meeting of theirs 6-3 6-3, in the second round of the Salvador Challenger in August. The once-touted (by me, anyway) Ulad has gone from a sparkling 65/25 2009 season to an abysmal output of 30/33 “last year” (hohoho).  I’ll be interested to see how he goes in the new season.  And today.  Which, in Brazil, is the same thing.

Uladzimir Ignatik, in presumably happier times

As he been reported earlier, I am pretty darned pleased to see Gastao Elias getting good results here in the new year (shhhhh).  Gastao has been training in Brazil with new coach Rodrigo Nascimento, and seems to be reaping early rewards from this arrangement.  The  just-turned-20-year-old Portugeezer upset top-seeded Rogerio Dutra Da Silva yesterday and looks to continue his run today against seventh seeded Italiano Thomas Fabbiano.  Though the two have never met in singles, they did team up together in juniors once, making R16 in Rohampton dubs in ’06.

The final quarterfinal of the day features 6th seeded Challenger Tennis Player To Watch Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan against second seeded Player To Ignore Guillermo Alcaide of Spain. (Just kidding.  About the ignoring, not the match.)  The two have never played with or against one another, in juniors or the pros.  There’s a first time for everything, they say.  Today will be the first time for them.  (Playing tennis against one another in the pros, that is.)

Brazil F1 Quarterfinals Are Set

All R2 matches have been played, and the results are as follows:

Gastao ELIAS (POR) defeated Rogerio DUTRA DA SILVA (BRA) (1) 6-7(3) 6-4 6-3
Thomas FABBIANO (ITA) (7) defeated Fabiano DE PAULA (BRA) 6-1 6-2
Uladzimir IGNATIK (BLR) (3) defeated Diego MATOS (BRA) 6-4 6-2
Ricardo HOCEVAR (BRA) (5) defeated Fernando ROMBOLI (BRA) 6-4 4-6 6-1
Andre GHEM (BRA) defeated Daniel SILVA (BRA) (8) 7-5 2-6 6-2
Caio ZAMPIERI (BRA) (4) defeated Clayton ALMEIDA (BRA) 6-4 6-4
Tsung-Hua YANG (TPE) (6) defeated Jose PEREIRA (BRA) 6-3 7-5
Guillermo ALCAIDE (ESP) (2) defeated Rodrigo GUIDOLIN (BRA) 6-4 6-3

Tough day for the Silvas.  But that’s a huge win for Gastao Elias, possibly returning to the level and promise he once showed as a junior before being beset by injury. 

Ricardo Hocevar ends Fernando Romboli’s 11-match winning streak 7-5 4-6 6-1.  Seems like Fernando might have run out of gas in that third set.  And who could blame him?  Back-to-back-to-back tournaments over 2.5 weeks of winning, seeing his ranking rise 61 spots to #287.  It was a good run, and I’m designating Fernando Romboli an official Player to Watch as of this sentence.  Congrats on your excellent streak, champ!

Andre Ghem upset [8] Silva 7-5 2-6 6-2, but all other seeds made it through.  The quarterfinal matchups are as follows:

Gastao ELIAS (POR) Vs Thomas FABBIANO (ITA) (7)
Uladzimir IGNATIK (BLR) (3) Vs Ricardo HOCEVAR (BRA) (5)
Andre GHEM (BRA) Vs Caio ZAMPIERI (BRA) (4)
Tsung-Hua YANG (TPE) (6) Vs Guillermo ALCAIDE (ESP) (2)

Some solid matches there. I’ll be back to preview them in depth soon.  Shaping up to be a very interesting tournament!

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