Tag Archive: Andreas Molteni


No, you goons – this is not a special edition for those who’ve contracted certain romance-related diseases. Rather, it’s a special Valentines Day edition of my weekly list detailing Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs (although some would call Valentines Day itself a romance-related disease. I abstain from comment on the grounds that it might incriminate me).

So what makes this Valentines Day edition so special? Nothing really. Only that’s it’s made with love and dedicated to you, dear reader. *gags on sappy sentiment* Also, I’ve added an “age” column. You’re welcome. You know the rules by now, right? Only those ranked #80-350 make my list, unless I’m feeling particularly in an inclusive mood (who knows? On Valentines Day, you may get lucky). For those Titans of the Top 80, you must confer with our friends over at Shank Tennis.

All right! Enough of this tomfoolery. Let’s get to this week’s WATCH List!

Player Age NATION New High Prev High Why?
Grigor Dimitrov 19.75 BULGARIA 84 85 Q’ed, R1 R’dam
Benoit Paire 21.75 FRANCE 120 136 Q’ed, R2 R’dam
Alexander Kudryavtsev 25.25 RUSSIA 141 147 SF Bergamo
Tim Smyczek 23.10 USA 158 168 QF San Jose
Matthias Bachinger 23.90 GERMANY 161 163 R2 Bergamo
Robert Farah 23.25 COLOMBIA 183 184 Q’ed, R1 San Jose
Jurgen Zopp 22.90 ESTONIA 198 211 SF Bergamo
Sebastian Rieschick 24.99 GERMANY 225 228 R2 Quimper
Facundo Bagnis 20.95 ARGENTINA 231 238 Q’ed, R1 Brazil
Andres Molteni 22.92 ARGENTINA 236 246 QF Colombia F2
Alexander Lobkov 20.33 RUSSIA 252 253 Others lost points
Fritz Wolmarans 24.93 S. AFRICA 254 255 Others lost points
Amir Weintraub 24.42 ISRAEL 255 259 R2 Quimper
Phillip Bester 22.35 CANADA 260 268 R2 Caloundra
Clement Reix 27.35 FRANCE 265 270 R2 Quimper
Karan Rastogi 24.35 INDIA 284 328 W Cambodia F2
Javier Marti 19.10 SPAIN 295 308 R2 Spain F5
Kenny de Schepper 23.70 FRANCE 297 370 F Quimper
Ludovic Walter 28.10 FRANCE 304 315 R2 Quimper

Notable things to note:

The average age of this week’s WATCHers is 23 years old and 4 months. The youngest player achieving a career high today is Javier Marti at 19 and 1 month, while the oldest is former Duke University standout (two-time ITA All-American) Ludovic Walter at 28 and 1 month (warning: all age numbers are achieved by rounding off, for the most part, and are thus approximations).

Ludovic Walter quimping it up at the Quimper Challenger in France

Walter is an interesting case, having not even achieved a pro ranking until after his college days were over in 2006 at age 23. I suspect that, with college ball being an increasingly viable route for top talents and the age of the Top 100 skewing ever older, we’ll start to see many more players in the “Ludovic Walter” mold in the future.

Anyway, congrats to all who’ve achieved career highs this week. And to all the rest of you, I hope you achieve various highs of your own on this Valentines Day.

Sao Paolo Challenger – My So-Called Thursday Wrap-Up

All right, my friends. You all are gonna hafta earn your Thursday Sao Paolo Challenger recap today.  How?  Well, I’m about to get insanely autobiographical, and you’ll have to wade through terrifying glimpses into my mania in order to pick out snippets of tennistical insight and actuality. Why? Because I like you!

Anyway, take a look at this:

click to enlarge

What is this? This, my friends, is my so-called life. An actual screenshot of how my computer looked a few hours ago, as I stretched into hour *mumble* of Deadly-Sinworthy tennis watching. In the upper right is the heart of the operation, the tennis stream, usually pirated off of livescorehunter.com, although I pay for tennistv.com as well (don’t ask me why). This is where the tennis viewing takes place, primarily. A lot of the time, the streams I watch aren’t even as glamorous-looking as the one above (Lapentti-misspellings, horrible font and all). They’re usually smaller and blurrier. And still I watch. Very still, ’cause I’m afraid any slight movement will cause me to lose the feed (kidding) (mostly).

In the bottom-right corner is the control panel of the operation, the “live” scoreboard (though it’s often frozen). There’s another one I have open behind the one in the picture above, which I control-tab over to so I can keep (controlled) tabs on the action in Auckland, Brisbane, Chennai and Doha (it’s as easy as A,B, C) (and D).

The left portion of the screen contains the context, the brain, the additional info that adds substance to what I’m seeing. In this case, it’s a Google-translated (per)version of a just-completed article about a just-completed tenis match (that’s Spanish for “tennis match”). This week, these translations are from Portuguese, and are quite necessary since a) I don’t speak Portuguese and 2) no English media outlet gives a rat’s ass about the kind of tournaments I follow (Challengers and Futures, keep up). I’m using the idiomatic “rat’s ass” phrase on purpose, by the way, in case you’re also reading this on Google-translate, as I’m sure its translation into another language will be titter-inducting.

Often, these articles come with the added hindrance/hilarity of mangled translations, so really, who even knows if the info I give you is correct most of the time? For instance, the one open in the above screenshot has the headline “Delbonis expects tough game in front of beans in SP 4As Open” – I shit you not. Will he really play in front of beans tomorrow?  I have no idea.  Another article I’ll read as background for today’s matches is entitled, “Mello is choking, but eliminates talented pupil of Larri Passos.” Now, I don’t know if this is a crazy translation error, or if the press in Sao Paolo is just refreshingly candid and no-holds-barred. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

Anyway, this is what I go through to produce the kind of high-quality, well-informed, and thoughtful (haha) pieces you read here. The things I do for you people. The things I do for (thirty) love. You’re welcome.

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OK, I should’ve alerted you to this earlier. Asleep at the switch, I am (which is all too appropriate as I’ve had two hours sleep).

Second round action is well underway at the Sao Paulo Challenger.  Take that, Mr. Weatherman!  Plus there’s a new improved stream.

Results So Far:

[7] Federico Delbonis d Guillermo Alcaide 63 36 76(5) & will face [3] Joao Souza in the QF’s. Delbo won their only previous meeting 76(8) 61 at the Braunschweig Challenger in June of 2009.

Thomas Fabbiano maintains his fabbulosity after all, handing Fernando Romboli his third defeat in his last 23 matches, 36 61 61.

Uladzimir Ignatik d Andrea Arnaboldi 76(5) 67(4) 64. He’ll face winner of Molteni v Menendez-Maceiras in QF’s.

[3] Joao Souza d Giovanni Lapentti 6-1 6-4.

 

Right now, Tsung-Hua Yang and top seed Ricardo Mello are engaged in a quality contest, with the 19 year-old Yang taking the first set 6-3.  Impressive match – more points being won than lost, clean ball-striking, baseline-hugging attack-minded tennis.  Good stuff.  Update: 2-all in the 2nd set, Mello serving at 15-30, gets into an argument with the chair umpire, and Yang doesn’t like it so the two players do a bit of jawing.  The Brazilian fires up and takes the next three points to 3-2*, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Updated Update (now 50% updatier):

(Spoiler alert!)

[1] Ricardo Mello d Tsung-Hua Yang 3-6 6-4 7-6(4)

Juan Pablo Brzezicki d [6] Rogerio Dutra Da Silva 6-4 7-6(2)

Adrian Menendez-Maceiras d Andres Molteni 6-1 6-2

[Q] Rafael Camilo d [2] Horacio Zeballos 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(7)

Will have full match reports up soon.  But I’m watching the Goffinator take on Stan Wawinka at the moment. Don’t hassle the Goff!

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.

Once again, you probably thought I’ve become such a Brisbaniac that I’d forgotten about the Challengers, right? Wrong! Allow me to smack you upside the head with my spectacular Sao Paulo Challenger preview.  Allegedly an outdoor hard court tourney (the weather is abysmal and they may have to move indoors), this $100,000 Challenger hosts a field of tremendous quality and depth, as one would expect from most 100K’s. Let’s take a look at the draw and break it down, OCD-style:

First Quarter: Top seed Ricardo Mello (ATP #76) has drawn a qualifier in the first round, as has 2011 Player to Watch Tsung-Hua Yang, whom Mello is slotted to meet in the 2nd round. Which is all well and good, except for the fact that Brazil F1 champion Gastao Elias lurks in the quallies and might have been granted enough meteorological reprieve to be firing at full strength in the main draw. Elias is a truly dangerous floater, and I feel that his placement in the draw might eventually factor in the outcome of this tournament. With three qualy spots in the top quarter of the draw, they’re likely to find this Portuguese party crasher in their midst. Teen phenom Tiago Fernandes also lurks as a potentially potent qualifier.

Have you never been Mello?

As for the only match whose participants are now known, I find Juan-Pablo Brzezicki vs. Joao Sousa (Portuguese “s” variety) an intriguing first round match. The 28 year-old Brzezicki is having a late career renaissance of sorts, playing well in the two Buenos Aires Challenger events last year, making the semis of one (l. Maximo Gonzalez) and the finals of the other (l. Diego Junqueira). Sousa, meanwhile, is coming off a 57-win season that saw the 21 year-old’s ranking rise from #443 to his current #244 (that’s almost 200 places, for you non-math whizzes). Can he continue his rise against the former Top 100 JPB in their first career meeting? We gonna see.

In a related story, I can’t see the name “Joao” without thinking of Flava Flav:

Is something wrong with me? (Please don’t answer that.)

Second Quarter: Joao Souza (Brazilian “z” variety) vs. Matteo Trevisan is another interesting first rounder. The sixth-seeded Souza (ATP #111) prevailed in their only previous encounter, 6-4 4-3 ret. in last May’s Alessandria Challenger, but Trevisan was a #1 world junior in 2007 who is a really good ball-striker. Now ranked #276, can the oft-injured (he retired from five matches last year) Italian start to make his mark in 2011? Some say he’s too short to make it in the big leagues. I say let’s wait and see what this season holds.

On zee next drawlines we find the popular Ecuadoran Giovanni Lapentti vs. Ricardo Hocevar (popularity undetermined). These two have a history, and that is: Hocevar leads their head-to-head 4-2, but little Gio has won the two most recent meetings, both last year, one on clay and one on hard courts. I’d look for Mr. Lapentti (G variety) to continue his winning ways here.  Daniele Giorgini and Guillermo Alcaide have a history as well, and it’s fairly ancient; Giorgini squeaked out a three-setter in 2005, which means absolutely nothing at in today’s terms. Alcaide had the better 2010, and is better on hard courts, so I’m expecting the Spaniard to come through this one. If he does, he’ll probably meet seventh seed Federico Del Bonis in the 2nd round. The 160th-ranked Argentine 20 year-old meets 650th-ranked wildcard Tiago Lopes in his first round.

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