Tag Archive: David Goffin


The WATCH List – Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs?

OK. So every Monday, going back a long time, I’ve enjoyed combing through the newly released ATP world rankings to see who’s achieved their new career highs, usually on the backs of a good/great performance the week before.  I’ve occasionally shared this list from week to week with a few of my tennis junkie friends through emails and the like, but now that I have this site I thought it’d be nice to share it with you fine internet folk.

Unfortunately, right when I went to do this, I saw that our friends from Shank Tennis had just published a similarly themed article, complete with my snappy WATCH (Who’s Achieved Their Career High?) acronym in their title.  What to do?  It totally looks like I’m stealing ideas from our Shanky colleagues here, but I swear I’ve been doing this for a while and just wanted to make it public in the new year. *throws self on mercy of the jurgement court*   The best I can do is hope my friends back up my assertions in the comments section, sheepishly link to the Shank Tennis article, and hope they don’t shank me.  Haha, life is so absurd.  (or maybe it’s just me.)

Anyway, without further ado (’cause we’ve had plenty of ado already), here is today’s list.  Wait!  More ado: I arbitrarily start this list at #80 in the world and go up to #350, just because that’s about the range in which most Challenger Tour players are found.  If I’m leaving out a fave of yours, make yer own damn list (heh).  So here, finally, is the WATCH list; this is who’s achieved their career highs this week: 

Player NATIONALITY New High (Previous High)
Adrian Mannarino FRANCE 80 (83)
Ivan Dodig CROATIA 82 (86)
Alexandre Kudryavtsev RUSSIA 149 (156)
Milos Raonic CANADA 153 (155)
Vincent Millot FRANCE 161 (170)
Yuichi Sugita JAPAN 166 (180)
Augustin Gensse FRANCE 190 (199)
Nikola Ciric SERBIA 197 (198)
David Goffin BELGIUM 205 (228)
Gregoire Burquier FRANCE 220 (233)
Sebastian Rieschick GERMANY 232 (238)
Facundo Bagnis ARGENTINA 240 (242)
Amir Weintraub ISRAEL 270 (278)
Clement Reix FRANCE 273 (277)
Thomas Fabbiano ITALY 277 (305)
Rafael Camilo BRAZIL 306 (433)

Great looking week for France, eh?  Five players at new career highs (not even counting Michael Llodra, who also is WATCH-worthy at #22).  Most of this is attributable to the Noumea Challenger, a French-territorial event in which Millot, Burquier, Gensse, and Reix all thrived.  Fabbiano and Camilo appear courtesy of standout showings at the Sao Paulo Challenger.

So that’s this week’s WATCH list done with.  I plan to make it a weekly Monday feature, assuming I don’t get shanked. :-0

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Which, if true, is pretty damn convenient, since I’m not feeling well and don’t feel like typing that many.  Anyway, behold the magnificent disaster that is the [Q] Ricardas Berankis vs. [7] Florian Mayer scoring history:

Notice all those red BP’s? Those are all converted break points – 13 in all!  Honestly, I think the whole match could have gone Ric(h)ard(as)’s way had he just been able to save that pivotal 22nd break point, haha. 

Anyway, so ends Berankis’ 9 match winning streak, which dated back to his Helsinki Challenger win at the end of last year.  What a wild ride vs. FloMax: down an early break, then breaks back in what becomes four consecutive breaks. Then down a set and break, wins 5 of next 6 games to take second set and then is up a break himself in the third before losing.  (I don’t know why I’m describing this all to you, when you can just refer to the damn picture – sheesh.)

Suffice it to say: them be two broken men.  But one of them much moreso. 

So that’s another young gun gone, the last of his ilk in the ‘bane.  And Thomas Schoorel lost brilliantly to some idiot trick shot artist from Switzerland.  Evs.  Which leaves David Goffin as the sole remaining Challenger challenger, challenging the main draw in Doha (having administered a comprehensive beating to Somdev Devvarman). Goffin will now try and lay into the “no time for a wife and kid, gotta focus on my tennis, so see ya!” stylings of third seeded Stan “The Running Man” Wawrinka. 

All of which was more than I ever intended to write.  Good night!

Young Guns Taking Shots At ATP Early

We’re only four days into the 2011 tennis season, and already some of the players who’ve spent most of their young pro careers at the Challenger level are making a bit of noise at this week’s ATP 250 events.  Here are the notable performances so far:

At the Brisbane International, unseeded 18 year-old Ryan Harrison made it through the qualifying tournament, taking out the hobbled third-seed Michael Russell before posting wins over solid Challenger players Matthias Bachinger and Jurgen Zopp to qualify.  Unfortunately for Ryan, he drew top seed Robin Soderling in the main draw, and went down to the fifth ranked player in the world 2-6 4-6 in a fairly respectable effort.

20 year-old Richie Berankis, last seen winning the Helsinki Challenger in a win that propelled him into the Top 100, has done Harrison one better: so far he’s not only qualified (including a tough three-set win against Peter Luczak in which the 5′ 9” Lithuanian served 23 aces against only 2 double faults) but then defeated former Top 25 player (and current #78) Arnaud Clement in straight sets.

 

Ricardas “Richard” Berankis and coach Remigijus “Regis” Balzekas after the Clement match

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Bad news, challenger fans.  I just had a look at the forecast for the two tournament locales, and the news is fairly grim.  See for yourselves:

And…

I’ll try to find out what the contingency plans are for both events. Pretty sure they can move indoors in Sao Paulo, but as you read in Jon’s Noumea Preview, Caledonia is shrouded in more mystery than the island from LOST, and they once cancelled the dubs due to rain.  So… we’ll see about that.

In the meantime, there’s good ATP 250 qualifying action taking place.  I’ll be watching both the Raonic vs. Roger-Vasselin and Goffin vs. Soeda final qualifying rounds from Chennai, and I’ll have full reports from those matches after their completion.  In the meantime, pray to the tennis gods or the weather gods or the atheist gods… whichever gods you’re on best of terms with.  And maybe there’ll be Challenger Tennis this week.  But right now, the outlook is not so good.

ATP 250 Chennai Qualifying Draw Analysis

This qualifying draw breakdown comes with one qualifier: to help expedite this analysis, I will be assuming that all Indians save for Sanam Singh, Vishnu Vardhan and Karan Rastogi cannot quite compete at this level and will thus not be advancing to QR2. Oh, and let’s pretend the same is true for all German wildcards as well. Please note: I did not say this would be a particularly fair or accurate assumption, but it will certainly make this draw analysis a hell of a lot easier.

And now, with almost half of all potential qualifiers eliminated from consideration by my reckless and sweeping assertion, let’s see which four gents might actually have a chance to advance into the main draw, shall we?  Oh wait, am I missing something here?  Oh yes – the drawIs as follows:

[1]SOEDA, Go JPN vs [WC] PUTTKAMMER, Daniel GER
SINGH, Karunuday IND vs [WC] GREMELMAYR, Andreas GER
GOFFIN, David BEL vs WAGH, Akash IND
PRASHANTH, N Vijay Sundar IND vs [7] MINAR, Ivo CZE

[2] ROGER-VASSELIN, Edouard FRA vs KHAN, Shahbaaz IND
SKUGOR, Franco CRO vs SINGH, Sanam IND
[WC] SELVARAJ, Ajai IND vs KIRILLOV, Evgeny RUS
SETKIC, Aldin BIH vs [5] RAONIC, Milos CAN

[3] NILAND, Conor IRL vs VARDHAN, Vishnu IND
PAVIC, Ante CRO vs QURESHI, Aisam-Ul-Haq PAK
RASTOGI, Karan IND vs RAM, Rajeev USA
RAJA, Purav IND vs [6] KUDRYAVTSEV, Alexandre RUS

[4] KRAVCHUK, Konstantin RUS vs SHARAN, Divij IND
PERANAMALLUR, Vignesh IND vs [WC] ROY, Rupesh IND
FRIEDL, Leos CZE vs MARTIN, David USA
VIRALI-MURUGESAN, Ranjeet IND vs [8] SUGITA, Yuichi JPN

First Quarter: So, based on my simple yet effective formula, it’s looking like top-seed Go Soeda will face the winner between David Goffin and [7] Ivo Minar for a main draw spot here. The case for Minar being that winner: he’s ranked higher (#167). The case for Goffin being that winner: he’s one of Challenger Tennis’ 2011 Players To Watch. Advantage: Goffin. For Go’s part, he hasn’t told it on the mountain (i.e. played) against either Goffin or the non-doctor Ivo. Who advances: much as I’d like to see one of CT’s chosen folk thrive early in the year, I suspect it will be the top-seeded Soeda getting through his section. But I wouldn’t mind being wrong at all, at all.

David Goffin

Second Quarter: I’m gonna call my first reckless upset of the season here, and tout Sanam Singh as the guy who emerges from the top half of this quarter. The UVA vet is no slouch at the professional level, though he’s played most of his ball in college thus far. Plus, Skugor had a less-than-convincing end of 2010 (losing his final five matches) and Roger-Vasselin ain’t exactly a hero on hard courts. So I say Singh pleases the locals and slides past Vasselin into the final qualifying round, where he’ll meet… Milos Raonic, of course. The Canadian with the cannonball serve has had time to rest his shoulder and he’s got very high aspirations for this year. I can’t see Aldin Setkic or Evgeny Kirillov really troubling him. Nor Singh, for that matter. Who advances: Raonic.

The Raonic Man – with Carsten Ball

Third Quarter: Well, even though Vishnu Vardan is someone I can’t offhandedly eliminate before my draw analysis gets underway, I can eliminate him now at the hands of Conor Niland. The top-ranked Irishman finished last year too well to be wholly bothered by the third-ranked Indian. Though he may be partially bothered by him. There’s definitely room for some partial botheration. I like Conor to come through over Ante Pavic or Aisam Qureshi as well.

I think Karan Rastogi might go a bit further toward making an impact on Rajeev Ram‘s game deeper into the third quarter, but I expect Ram to come good, even though he didn’t give the Entouraj much to cheer about last year (if anything). And that leads us to an interesting QR2, because Alexander Kudryavtsev – despite impressing in his run to the semis of the Bratislava Challenger semis late last year – has an 0-2 head-to-head against Raj, with both losses coming on hard courts and one coming last year in Chennai. Things look as favorable as they could for the American to find his way into the FQR against Niland. But that’s as far as I expect him to go, assuming he gets that far. It’s Niland who advances out of this section, I think.

Fourth Quarter: I think the one player with the most to be pleased with in all of the Chennai qualifying draw is 4th seed Konstantin Kravchuk. Besides the other seed in his section, Yuichi Sugita, the highest ranked player is outside the Top 500, and Kravchuk won his only previous meeting with Sugita. So look for the 25 year-old Russian to join Soeda, Raonic and Niland in kickstarting their 2011 campaigns with an ATP main draw appearance.

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