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.
Tag Archive: Brazil F1
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  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|
|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|
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.
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.)
This is the first meeting for all the above-listed competitors, which the exception of:
Fernando Romboli vs.  Ricardo Hocevar: Hocevar won their only previous match 6-1 3-6 7-6(2) in April. Romboli has stated he’s playing better than ever, and their last meeting was a close one, so…
Rodrigo Guidolin vs.  Guillermo Alcaide: Guidolin won their only previous match 6-3 6-4 in the ’09 qualies of the Belo Horizonte Challenger.
Fabiano vs.  Fabbiano: they’ve never met, I just wanted to point out their names.
Will post results as I get them. Assuming I haven’t gone back to bed, that is.
Update: Darn it! I’m always wrong with my elliptical insinuations… 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!
Other results: Andre Ghem upset  Silva 7-5 2-6 6-2 and will face  Zampieri, who beat Almeida 6-4 6-4. Translated article here.
All first round matches have now been played, and it’s so far so good for the seeds in Sao Paulo;  Rogerio Dutra Da Silva,  Guillermo Alcaide,  Ulazdimir Ignatik,  Ciao Zampieri,  Ricardo Hocevar,  Tsung-Hua Yang,  Thomas Fabbiano and  Daniel Silva all won in straight sets (well, except for Alcaide – thanks for ruining my narrative, Guillermo!) to advance to round two of the Brazil F1 Futures Bradesco Prime Cup.
Two talented Brazilian youngsters – 17 year-old former world junior #1 Tiago Fernandes and 16 year-old Thiago Moura Monteiro* – put up decent fights against their more-seasoned opponents, Fernandes losing 1-6 5-7 to the Italian Fabbiano and Monteiro going down 3-6 4-6 to the Belarussian Ignatik.
Tiago Fernandes – Coming Soon To a Court Near You
Among the non-seeds, there were a few noteworthy results, which I shall now note. Friend of the site Fernando Romboli continued his 11-match roll in defeating Danilo Ferraz 6-1 6-4, keeping his potential Player To Watch hopes alive. The 21 year-old from Rio admitted coming into the tournament he was a little tired, having won the season-ending Brazil F37 and F38 tournaments in back-to-back weeks heading into this one. But he had no trouble in dispatching his countryman, who had been coming ever closer to beating Fernando in their previous four matches. Alas, Ferraz couldn’t match Romboli’s newfound form, and is now 0-5 against Fernando in their head-to-head meetings, with four of those losses coming this year. Romboli will go for his 12th straight win against the fifth seeded Hocevar in R2.
Fernando Romboli looks forward toward potential Player To Watchdom
Gastao Elias also posted an encouraging win, taking out the winner of the awesomely-matched Racy-Semenzato FQR, beating the qualifier Bruno Semenzato 6-4 6-1. Elias is someone who once graced the great Steve G.’s “Young Guns” spreadsheet over at the soon-to-be-sadly-defunct stevegtennis.com. A former #6 combined junior in the world who won the Eddie Herr International in 2007, the 21 year-old Portuguese Davis Cup stalwart has been absolutely crippled by injuries the past couple of years. Great to see him on his feet of late and hopefully healthy. He’ll play top-seed Dutra Da Silva (who, according to this article, is brother of eighth seed Daniel) in the next round.
Elias – on his feet again (although he’s off them in this particular photo)
More updates coming soon – watch this space!
*You say “Tiago”, I say “Thiago” – let’s call the whole thing off.