Tag Archive: Horacio Zeballos


Challenger Tennis Week 10 Recap

Three Week 10 challenger events came to a close on Sunday, each with its share of interesting/feelgood highlights.

First and foremost, Amer Delic made his first return to the challenger winner’s circle in almost 3 years, netting his 6th Challenger title overall when opponent Karol Beck had to retire in the warm-up before the Sarajevo Challenger final, citing a back injury.  Beck had defeated top-seed Grigor Dimitrov in the first round, fifth seed Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the quarters, and surprise semifinalist Mirza Basic to get the last stage, so it’s a shame that his run had to end so ingloriously.

Still, despite the anticlimactic final, it was a thrilling tournament overall – one that saw two Bosnians (Basic and Delic) reach the semis of their home tourney. And Delic’s thrilling semifinal victory over second seed Nicolas Mahut – saving three match points in a 6-4 1-6 7-6(8) win – provided enough excitement to mitigate the disappointment of a finale unrealized.  Delic’s win will likely land him back in the Top 300, after losing so much time to injury. 

Amer In Red

On a personal level, it’s great to see Amer – one of the game’s nice guys and a terrific ambassador for the sport – playing again at such a high and healthy level.  I know he reached the finals of the Champaign Challenger last year, but I wasn’t able to actually witness it.  So it was great to see (albeit on a stream of questionable quality) him playing great ball this week.

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Results: Sao Paulo and Noumea Challengers

Match reports up later, for now the results:

Sao Paulo

[Q] Rafael Camilo defeated Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 5-7 7-6 7-5 (saved a match point in the TB!)

[1] Ricardo Mello leads [7] Federico Delbonis 6-4 5-7 *5-4 (play suspended: rain!)
 
Noumea
  
Semifinals
 
[3] Gilles Muller defeated Augustin Gensse (FRA) 6-3 6-4
Vincent Millot defeated [2] Jesse Huta Galung, walkover
 
Final
 
Vincent Millot defeated [3] Gilles Muller 7-6 2-6 6-4
 
Update on lack of further updates: Unfortunately, I’m not going to have the time to do a proper write-up up of these matches; I’m packing up to head down to Florida and cover the first four Futures events there.  In the meantime, caioswim has done an amazing job of covering the Sao Paulo tournament all week with his Youtube videos. Here’s a nice little chunk of the Camilo v Menendez match. It’s a good illustration of the weaponry Camilo has at his disposal, as well as the work he still needs to do to improve his consistency and fitness (note: he’s in the far court):
 
 
I have to say, I’m really starting to love this kid and his game.  And his breakout success in this event has not only been the story of the tournament (he’s now won 3 matches having saved match points), but further underlines how insane the tournament organizers were to put his epic match against Horacio Zeballos on an outside court, when the main court was available.  I’m still trying to get over that one.  Even his doubles final (he and Santiago Gonzalez are the top seeds and beat third seeds James Cerretani/Adil Shamasdin 6-4 6-7(6) 10-5 in the semis) won’t be on Court Central.  The tournament director must hate him. (kidding)
 
Anyway, here are the final points of the Camilo-Menendez contest:
 
 
It’s a shame we don’t have someone like caioswim in Noumea, but here are some pretty sweet pictures of Millot’s championship victory over Muller.  It was the 24-year-old Frenchman’s first Challenger Tour title (and his first final since June of 2009).  Second seeds  Freddie Nielsen and Dominik Meffert took the dubs trophy 7-6(4) 5-7 10-5 over top-seeded Flavio Cipolla and Simone Vagnozzi).
 
Regarding Jesse Huta Galung’s withdrawal: apparently playing the semifinals would be too much of a pain in the buttDidn’t want to take any chances with Australian Open qualifying so soon on the horizon.  Speaking of which, we’ll be providing full coverage of the qualifying tournament down under, with a very special guest author/editor on board.  Who could it be? Hint: it’s someone who writes much better then I do.  (Yes, I know: that doesn’t narrow down the field too much, haha.)

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.

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