Tag Archive: Borna Coric

OK, folks. I’ll bring you this week’s W.A.T.C.H. List, but I must warn you: it’s abysmal.

Since the rankings this week are based solely upon five Futures tournaments, there are very few players achieving their career highs via on-court achievements. Thus, over half of this week’s table find themselves backing into their personal bests because adjacent players on the ATP Rankings table are a bunch of point-losers:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High Why
Germain Gigounon BEL 24 237 others lost points
Jose Checa-Calvo ESP 28 239 others lost points
Borna Coric CRO 17 303 Turkey F51 W
Alexey Vatutin RUS 21 385 others lost points
Ivan Arenas-Gualda ESP 23 389 others lost points
Tihomir Grozdanov BUL 26 394 Qatar F5 R2
Ricardo Urzua-Rivera CHI 24 414 Chile F12 SF
Tomas Lipovsek Puches ARG 20 415 Chile F12 QF
Yoshihito Nishioka JPN 18 442 Chile F12 W
Facundo Mena ARG 21 492 Brazil F21 QF
Martin Cuevas URU 21 522 others lost points
Pedro Cachin ARG 18 544 others lost points
Tim Nekic GER 21 574 others lost points
Jean-Marc Werner GER 23 576 others lost points
Mateo Nicolas Martinez ARG 19 579 others lost points
Jaime Pulgar-Garcia ESP 24 581 others lost points
Mike Urbanija SLO 24 590 others lost points
Tristan Lamasine FRA 20 600 Turkey F50 QF
Vadim Alekseenko UKR 30 609 Turkey F51 R2
Caio Silva BRA 22 615 Brazil F21 SF
Alban Meuffels NED 21 616 Turkey F50 SF


Leading the charge of those who actually did things on court is the boundlessly active Borna Coric, who won the year’s final pro event in Turkey. This must’ve come as quite a relief to Borna’s practice partner of last week, Rafael Nadal, as a Coric loss the week after would’ve reflected quite poorly on him, no doubt*.

By now, you know all about the 17-year-old Croatian sensation, and I’m really only mentioning him so I can include this picture:

Hot Lava - The Lion Cub In A Tiger Suit

Hot Lava – The Lion Cub In A Tiger Suit

The US Open Boys champ finishes 2013 with five Futures titles and a decent 39/12 record on the pro tour.

Next up on our hit parade is Ricardo Urzua-Rivera, whose semi-final showing at the Chile F12 Futures finds the former ITF Junior Top Tenner at No. 414 in this week’s rankings.  The injury-plagued 24-year-old finishes a successful 66/25 year in which he played as many matches (91) as he had in the previous 2.5 seasons combined.

As a result, he’s up about 600 ranking rungs, after beginning the year outside the Top 1000.

His and Urz

His and Urz

And, since I’m completely uninspired, that’s gonna wrap up this year’s W.A.T.C.H. Lists. Next week/year will feature actual on-court achievements from this week’s/next year’s two Challenger events in Noumea and Sao Paulo. Or something. How exciting!

So be safe, everyone, and let’s do this again in 2014!

*can’t seem to find the sarcasm font here.

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, people. That’s right: it’s PTW Season.

Today marks the first installment in a ten-day series during which, once a day, I’ll attempt to steer your attention toward a player who bears close watching in the upcoming tennis year, as said player is poised for great things.  Before I tell you about our first selection, let me tell you a bit about the ground rules and how players were selected/rejected for this staggering honor.

I started with a list of 50 players who are all under 22-years-old and ranked between ATP #150-500. As such, very good candidates were eliminated right from the get-go. Jiri Vesely? He sure does bear watching in 2014, but since he’s already ranked #85, he’s already more or less transcended the Challenger ranks.

In Czech Republic, Vesely Watches YOU

In Czech Republic, Vesely Watches YOU

Pierre-Hugues Herbert? A fantastic prospect who I plan on watching very closely this coming season. But at age 22, he’s far too over the hill for a list of young up-and-comers such as this.

He Wrote: "On March 18, I Turned 22 And Became Too Old for PTW Honors."

Hard to Read, But He(rbert) Wrote: “On March 18, I Turned 22 And Became Too Old for PTW Honors.”

Thanasi Kokkinakis? Yeah, I’ll probably spend most of 2014 ruing his exclusion from this list, as he likely world-beats his way to the top.  But he’s currently outside the Top 500 (#624, to be exact). And if he doesn’t Vesel his way into the Top 100 this year, odds are he’ll be my top pick next year.

In order to have a place to even begin, we must have at least a few limitations, folks. And the “Under 22, ranked #150-500” model is the one I traditionally use. So if it ain’t broke…*

Continue reading

Sunday Morning Reading List: Tuesday Afternoon Edition

It’s time for everyone’s favorite long-standing* weekly Challenger Tennis tradition: the Sunday Morning Reading List — the very best challenger-related articles of the week.  As is usually the case, Sunday’s reading list is appearing on a day other than Sunday because, let’s face it, the NFL is on Sundays and I can’t be expected to write while football is being played** I can’t be locked into a temporal limitation when good writing does not cohere to such Sunday-shaped, calendaric*** specifications.

For instance, this amazingly entertaining piece by Catherine Prendergast was just published today. (Confession: oftentimes I’m just waiting for a truly great piece of writing to inspire me to get off my lazy ass, walk to the computer, get back onto my lazy ass, and compile that week’s Reading List. AND THIS IS THAT.)

Titled  “The Last American Challenger”, this deliciously detailed read recounts the author’s week at what is the end of a long and grinding road for a lot of players: the Champaign Challenger.

What we have going on in Champaign, then, is something like Custer’s Last Stand—except in this version there are no Indians so the Americans are left shooting at each other.

I laughed approximately 18 times while reading this article. Prendergast does not pull any punches; from Jack Sock’s “brat”-like behavior, to Tennys Sandgren’s Lynyrd Skynyrd “porn stache”, it’s all here in glorious word pictures and not-quite-as-glorious picture pictures (although you seriously haven’t lived until you’ve seen the pointillist rendering of coach and tourney protagonist Billy Heiser).

"S-A-N-D-G, R-E-N. - NIGHT!"

“S-A-N-D-G, R-E-N. – NIGHT!”

Citing David Foster Wallace’s legendary tennis writing, this article dips into a vein of DFW-esque inspiration, which is the highest (and most deserved) compliment I can give it.

Speaking of Sandgren, this write-up from the UT Daily Beacon provides a nice summation of the Knoxville Challenger, from a University of Tennessee POV.  In the feature, Knoxville champ Tim Smyczek says, “Tennys is playing really well, and I think he is going to have a good Champaign.”  And boy, did Sandgren ever prove him right.

Had enough of Tennys? Of course you haven’t! Which is why you should also read Collette Lewis’s account of the success he and other college players had on the challenger tour last week, as well as the splashes juniors like Gianluigi Quinzi, Borna Coric, Christian Garin, Andrey Rublev and Ernesto Escobedo made at the Challenger and Futures levels.

On the subject of Futures, Irish #4 Daniel Glancy has been blogging about his experiences as he tours the late-season European Futures circuit. In the latest edition, he writes of the fiscal and physical challenges he faced at the Cyprus F1 event.  As ever, the best glimpses you can get into life on tour are from the players themselves.

Danny Glanny! (TM James Cluskey)

Danny Glanny! (TM James Cluskey)

Lastly, if you’re already over this season (though there’s still three Challengers and many Futures events happening this week, I’m obligated to point out parenthetically!) and can’t wait for 2014 and the possibilities presented for your Challfaves, look no further than Foot Soldiers of Tennis’s regularly updated series detailing the race to get into the Australian Open main draw.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back next (day I decide is) Sunday!

*Three weeks and running!

**Um, forget you just read that.

***Yes I made that word up.

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