Tag Archive: Filip Peliwo


My tenth and final Player to Watch pick for 2014 is bound to confound, surprise and possibly annoy. After all, there are so many worthy candidates, but only one more can be chosen. 

So. Could it be Lucas Pouille, the 19-year-old French lad who gained almost 250 places in the ATP rankings this year and for a brief time was the only teen in the Top 200 alongside 2014 Player to Watch number seven, Nick Kyrgios?

"Come on, you know it should be me!"

“Oui oui oui, it’s me me me!”

Or is it possibly Filip Peliwo, the 19-year-old Canadian former junior #1 who rose over 250 places in this years rankings and is now training in Spain with Galo Blanco?

"It's me, right?"

“It’s me, right?”

Since former US college players who are older than 22 are now allowed under the Colette Lewis amendment of 2013, will it be Tennys Sandgren, the 22-year-old University of Tennessee standout whom we last saw winning the Champaign Challenger and improving his 2013 ranking by almost 50 places?

"Looking for the final PTW pick? Look no further than this guy, right here!"

“Lookin’ for your final PTW pick? Look no further than this guy, right here!”

Howzabout Karen Khachanov, the Russian 17-year-old who shocked the world by making the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 Kremlin Cup, beating Janko Tipsarevic along the way, and raising his ranking a mere 1,458 places this season?

"Da da da!"

Da da da!”

Or Karim Hossam, the 19-year-old Egyptian who climbed over 800 ranking rungs in 2013 and won four Egyptian Futures titles?

"If it's not me, I will clobber you!"

“If it’s not me, I will clobber you!”

The answers: Non. No. Nope. Nyet. And sorry, Karim.

Nay, this year’s final Player to Watch is someone for whom I’ve shamelessly bent my own arbitrary rules, including him even though he’s ranked inside the original “between #150 and #500 in the world” criterion I established for original PTW selection.

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The second player to attain the illustrious honor of Challenger Tennis Player to Watch for 2014 is another teenager, just like our first selection, Borna Coric.  And like Lava*, our second selection is also a former ITF World Junior Number One who bagged a Boys’ Slam title recently.  Any guesses? Gianluigi Quinzi? Nick Kyrgios? Filip Peliwo?

Wrong. Wrong. And also: WRONG! Those were terrible guesses, and you should be ashamed.

Nay, our second Player To Watch for 2014 is… Kimmer Coppejans!

Kimmer Is Served

Kimmer Is Served

The nineteen-year-old Belgian has had a year to remember, beginning his first full season at pro level by making consecutive Futures semifinals in Turkey, then going on a summertime tear, winning four out of five Belgian Futures events in June and July. He immediately capitalized on that momentum by making the quarterfinals of the Meknes Challenger before petering out in Asia to close out his 2013 campaign.

Pro Tip: Catching The Ball Before You Hit It Will Result in the Loss of the Point

Pro Tip: Catching The Ball Before You Hit It Will Result in the Loss of the Point

OK, so make it a nine months to remember, then. But petering or no, Coppejans rose a decent 506 spots in the rankings to ATP #251 since the beginning of the year, posting a more-than-respectable 49/22 record (a winning percentage of 69%) even while losing four out of the final five matches he played this season.

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It’s Monday, and you know what that means: another W.A.T.C.H. List! So let’s see Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs this week*:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High
Edouard Roger-Vasselin FRA 29 64
Pablo Carreno-Busta ESP 22 66
Kenny de Schepper FRA 26 67
Joao Sousa POR 24 77
Jack Sock USA 20 79
Julian Reister GER 27 92
Alejandro Gonzalez COL 24 108
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman ARG 21 112
Oleksandr Nedovyesov UKR 26 116
Dominic Thiem AUT 20 150
Guilherme Clezar BRA 20 177
Renzo Olivo ARG 21 180
Kristijan Mesaros CRO 25 193
Gerald Melzer AUT 23 197
Pierre Hugues-Herbert FRA 22 199
Blaz Rola SLO 22 202
Mirza Basic BIH 22 204
Norbert Gombos SVK 23 214
Marton Fucsovics HUN 21 230
Valery Rudnev RUS 25 263
Shuichi Sekiguchi JPN 22 265
Patricio Heras ARG 24 269
Hiroki Kondo JPN 30 279
Kimmer Coppejans BEL 19 289
Victor Baluda RUS 20 290
Mikhail Biryukov RUS 21 294
Bjorn Fratangelo USA 20 296
Alexander Rumyantsev RUS 21 297

A week ago, there was this idiot banging the doom drums re: the lack of young Americans achieving career high rankings post-US Open.  Well that’s because no one was playing in those weeks, idiot! This week sees two young Americans, Jack Sock and Bjorn Fratangelo, charting career highs — they each made the semis of the Kaohsiung and Campinas Challengers, respectively.  Hopefully this will shut that guy up!

Jack Sock - Challenger Tennis's Original Mascot

Jack Sock – Challenger Tennis’s Original Mascot

Meanwhile, the rise of the young Argentinians continues, seemingly unrelentingly. I wonder, though, what kind of ceiling 5′ 7” (1.70 meters) Diego Schwartzman will have.** I’ve been very impressed with his game and the power he can generate with his small frame, but we’ve seen players of similar heights struggle to move up the rankings before (Ricardas Berankis and Olivier Rochus are the first ones who come to mind).  On the other hand, there’s Michael Chang and, more recently, David Ferrer.  So time will tell if the Schwartzman’s height limitation will also limit his height on the rankings ladder.

May The Schwartz Be With You

May The Schwartz Be With You

Either way, you just know that the second David Nalbandian – whose lifelong tennistical goal has been to win the Davis Cup for his country – retires, this contingent of young Argies will probably win it.  Maybe Nalby (who, incidentally, fell 8 spots to #232 in this week’s rankings) will at least get to be coach if/when that happens.

This weekend saw some big results for guys who played collegiately in the US: Oleksandr Nedovyesov, winner of the Sczecin Challenger and former All American/ITA Player of the Year for Oklahoma State, is up 34 spots. While Ohio State’s 2012 NCAA doubles champion and 2013 NCAA singles champ, Blaz Rola, rolled on up 23 spots to #202, courtesy of his semifinal showing at the Kenitra Challenger. As if we needed more evidence, it’s clearly looking more increasingly viable for college players to make a smooth transition to the pros — I really don’t think John Isner will be college athletics’ one-hit wonder***.

Rola Rollin'

Rola Rollin’

Apropos of absolutely nothing, two of my favorite tennis names made it onto this week’s List: Norbert Gombos and Marton Fucsovics. Long may they rise!

Finally, Filip Peliwo, who some morons were saying only has a 14% change of making the Top 200 while he’s still in his teens (aka another 4ish months), won the $15,000 Markham F9 Futures in Canadia, and the 27 ATPts he takes from there will zoom him up to ~250th when his points are added next week (Futures points aren’t usually added until 8 days after its final is played).  He now needs ~51 pts to make the Top 200, so 2 more comparable victories can get him there.

Oh, and in case you didn’t click either of those links above, the “idiot” and “moron” I referred to was me in both instances.  *bows theatrically*

*ranked between #60 and 300, that is

**here’s where a less classy writer would make a “at least there’s plenty of room under the ceiling at that height” joke. But I would never. Not even in the footnotes.

*** why yes, I am trying to make a joke about his serve ending most points.

Which Teen(s) Will Make The Top 200 Before Turning 20?

Today’s post finds me musing about teens in the Top 200.  As you tennis geniuses (genii?) probably already know, the average age of the Top 100 keeps on rising and rising (it currently sits at 27ish). Today, men over 30 are reaping tremendous results on the ATP World Tour, and gone are the days of the Beckers (Boris, not Benji), the Kricksteins, and the Ariases (Arii?) bashing their way into the Top 20 whilst still comfortably in their teens.

As of this writing, there is only one teen in the Top 200 — the 18-year-old Australian wunderkind Nick Kyrgios at #188.  Dominic Thiem almost joined him for a spell, but turned 20 just six days before hitting the T200*.  19-year-old Lucas Pouille of France is poised right on the cusp of Top 200dom at #202.  It seems reasonable to expect the Frenchman will join Kyrgios soon, and probably well before he turns 20 on the 23rd of February, 2014.

Which leads me to wonder: which teen(s) do you think have what it takes to make it and join Nick and (possibly) Lucas before he turns 20?  Will it be:

Peli-WHOA!

Filip It And Reverse It

Filip Peliwo – the Boys’ US Open and Wimbledon champion and junior #1 (on 7-Sept 2012) has been adjusting fairly well to life on the pro circuit, with a 29/19 record, a challenger semifinal (Lexington) and a Futures final to his name this year.  At ATP #283, he has a ways to go to make the Top 200, and just over four months to do it. On the plus side, he only has 7 ATP points coming off between now and then. The gregarious Canadian will turn 20 on the 30th of January, 2014.  Odds of making it: 14%

Kimmer, Kimmer, Chicken Dinner

Kimmer, Kimmer, Chicken Dinner

Kimmer Coppejans – the Belgian 19-year-old was the Junior #1 just a couple of months before Peliwo grabbed the top spot, and beat the Canadian to claim the 2012 Roland Garros Boys title. Kimmer’s also having a better year than Filip, at 41/18 with a Challenger SF (Meknes) and 5 Futures titles on his 2013 CV.  He’s now ranked just 10 rungs below Peliwo at #293, but he has almost 10 days more to get into Top 200ville; his 20th birthday falls on the 7th of February, 2014. And he has precisely 0 (zero) ATP points coming off his ranking before then.  Just last month he said his end-of-year goal was to make the Top 300.  Methinks he needs a new goal. Odds of making it: 27%

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