Tag Archive: Josselin Ouanna


Noumea – Updated Thursday QF Results

Once again lovingly cut-and-pasted by my overtaxed typing fingers. You’re welcome!

[2] J Huta Galung (NED) b G Burquier (FRA) 64 75
[3] G Muller (LUX) b F Cipolla (ITA) 63 16 63
V Millot (FRA) b [6] J Ouanna (FRA) 36 76(0) 76(2)
A Gensse (FRA) b P Cervenak (SVK) 76(6) 64

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Challenger Noumea Thursday Preview – Quarter-Finals

[Another annoying note from the editor: below please revel in the insanely popular previewing stylings of Noumea Bureau Chief and New Caledonia Tennis Aficionado Mr. Jonathan Artman. Upon completion of this year’s event, his daily Noumea previews will be collected into a compendium and released as a lovely coffee table book]
 
Thursday sees the quarter-finals take place in New Caledonia, and we begin to progress to the nitty-gritty stages of the Championships.

Augustin Gensse and Pavol Cervenak (the latter you may know from his doubles exploits) will face-off in the low-key quarter-final (hey, they can’t all be big games).

2nd seed Jesse Huta Galung will be the opposition for local boy Gregoire Burquier, who is a surprise name in the draw. Currently ranked at 233, his highest in his career thus far, the 26-year-old was not expected to do much this week in all honesty but has strung up a good few wins already. Galung will represent by far his toughest test yet, however. The young Dutchman ought to end the Frenchman’s glory hopes today, in straight sets. Infact, with Igor Sijsling departing early in somewhat shocking fashion, Jesse is arguably the favourite to win the 2011 Noumea title.

The all-French clash sees Josselin Ouanna pit his skills against Vincent Millot who has really earned his quarter-final spot with wins over Marc Gicquel and a confident Amir Weintraub. Ouanna has not had things easy playing the likes of Rik de Voest, who can be a challenging opponent on his day.  But the Frenchman, not renowned for having a great deal of hair at the best of times [editor’s note: LOL], has performed admirably thus far in 2011. I expect Ouanna to end his compatriot’s impressive run but Millot oughtn’t bow down easily.

Arguably the most interesting clash on Thursday will see Gilles Muller play the Italian and former Champion here in Noumea, Flavio Cipolla. Muller was expected to get at least this far but he has not progressed in the fashion that was likely of him – he dropped a set to both Danai Udomchoke and little known Clement Reix from France. Conversely, Flavio has seen off his opponents in straight sets thus far and destroyed his experienced opponent, David Guez; it must be said, however, that the Frenchman is known for his off-days now and then. Or perhaps, a bit more often than “now and then”.

I am going for an Italian victory as he seems to be blessed in this place. Muller has not convinced this week and he will have to improve markedly to defeat Cipolla. If he plays in the same manner as he has done already, Cipolla will beat him quicker than he can polish off a home-made stone-baked ciabatta.

Stone-Baked Ciabatta

Noumea Wednesday Recap

[another dispatch from Jon Artman, Noumea Bureau Chief]

On a busy Wednesday, giant Gilles Muller saw off Clement Reix as expected; however the match was again extended to 3 sets, which was a big surprise. The Frenchman took the first set 6-4 before the Luxembourger rallied to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Flavio Cipolla continued his reign over Noumea tennis with a 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Frenchman David Guez. I expected Cipolla to be victorious, although not in such comfortable fashion. An excellent show by the Italian.

Josselin Ouanna defeated Rik de Voest as predicted in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The big South African improved his play in the 2nd set but was unable to force a decider.

File Photo of Josselin Ouanna (right) with compatriot and Brisbaniac Adrian Mannarino

Exciting young talent Amir Weintraub saw his brilliant run of 8 wins halted by improving Frenchman Vincent Millot. Despite dropping the first set Millot came back to trump Weintraub with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory.

Jesse Huta Galung of the Netherlands continued his easy passage in to the latter stages of the tournament with a straight sets victory over Ivo Klec 6-4, 6-4.

[Editor’s note: although Jesse did tweet: “Weather extremely cramped, seldom felt so bad after a game. Tomorrow quarterfinals.” Tweetdeck translation]

Challenger Noumea Day 3 Preview

[Editor’s note: For this preview, we once again leave you in the capable typing hands of Mr. Jonathan Artman, our New Caledonian Bureau Chief. Give him a holler on the Twitter @jonnyboy613 or, alternately, holler at him in the comments.]

Flavio Cipolla v David Guez

A favourite with the locals and a former Champion in the New Caledonian island, Flavio Cipolla of Italy will face off against the vastly experienced Frenchman David Guez for a place in the quarterfinals. In the last round Cipolla saw off compatriot Matteo Viola in straight sets whereas Guez dealt similar damage to his South African opponent, Fritz Wolmarans. In some ways Guez’s comfortable victory was a surprise as Wolmarans had hugely impressed at the backend of the 2010 season. Moreover, the Frenchman’s form had deteriorated rapidly as the season progressed, but his victory on Monday may be a sign that he is looking to 2011 for a fresh start and a new chapter in his indifferent tennis career.

Cipolla thrives on the courts and is clearly comfortable with the tropical weather and conditions. Apart from winning the title here a few years ago, he was also a beaten finalist last year against the German Florian Mayer, who is now well inside the top 50 of the rankings.

The Italian actually turned pro in 2003 at age 20, which is quite late for such a player; some Pros now reach that status as young as 16 or 17. Cipolla has shown signs of his burgeoning potential in the past after taking Stanislas Wawrinka to 5 sets in 2008 at Flushing Meadows.

It is somewhat difficult to decide on what to expect from David Guez due to his inconsistencies in the past so I will have to predict a Cipolla victory, especially with this impressive history at this tournament. This match could very well go the distance.

All that and a bag of Cips

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[Editor’s note: it’s only the second day of the year, and already I’m overtaxed/lazy.  So I outsourced my Noumea preview to friend, contributor, and general tennistico Jonathan Artman aka @jonnyboy613 on the Twitter.  I hope you enjoy his art(man)icle – please leave your praise/blame in the comments.]

 

The first week of the brand spanking new 2011 tennis season begins for the Challenger players in Nouméa, a French owned island which is actually nowhere near France. This beautiful island, part of New Caledonia, is part of the Pacific Ocean territories, and is just a short boat (or cruise ride, if you will), from Australia.

Whilst this mysterious island is still owned by France, the French have gradually released power over the island in favour of New Caledonia itself. Regardless, French is still the official language; in fact, less than 1 % of its inhabitants reported that they don’t know how to speak la Française. Now you may be wondering the significance of the geography of Nouméa; it is quite a fascinating place and like no other; it appears on the map nowhere near its genuine owners and the island even has its own New Caledonia football team, a part of FIFA since 2004. Its population is relatively small, at just under an estimated 250,000. The Nouméa tennis championships are not just clouded in mystery, it possesses some genuinely amusing stories, too. In 2009, the island suffered a deluge of highly unusual rain, which quite literally forced the 2009 doubles tournament to be “Cancelled Due to Rain”.

Rather like Cancun, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular, as is rather evident by the above image. This may lend the destination to a pure holiday resort, where professionals can play a bit of tennis during the week too. Far from it – the tournament has a proud heritage and Gilles Simon, once a Top 10 player in the ATP rankings, is a double champion, having won the tournament twice consecutively back in 2005 and 2006. Florian Mayer, the German, currently ranked 37 in the World, was the champion in New Caledonia last year, and crushed his final opponent Flavio Cipolla of Italy 6-3, 6-0. The Italian himself is not a stranger to success in Nouméa; he will have fond memories of his success 3 years ago in 2008 where he fought off the improving Swiss Stephane Bohli in straight sets to clinch one of the more coveted and unusual Challenger titles.

The lack of live scoring over the years for these mystifying Championships is perhaps not surprising considering its somewhat remote and remarkable location. Thankfully however, thanks to internet communications, we have access to the players who are turning up this year, and the match-ups that they have been placed in, so let’s take a look at the key fixtures of the first round that start on a fairly modest Monday’s play:

Gilles Muller (3) v Danai Udomchoke
 
The big serving lefty who hails from Luxembourg will face off against Danai Udomchoke, one of few notable tennis professionals originating from the nation of Thailand. Muller can be proud of what he has achieved for his country’s sporting reputation; he is by far the most successful male tennis player that is affiliated with Luxembourgish origin. He turned Pro exactly 10 years ago and once upon a time, he was ranked 59 but is now outside the top 100 and sits 134 in the ATP World rankings. In 2008 Gilles enjoyed a spectacular run in the US Open where he advanced to the Quarter Finals, which was a big shock at the time. His serve being his obvious main weapon, he can be a real handful for any player on his day; he is also one of a diminishing number of players that possesses a fancy two-handed backhand.

His opponent Udomchoke will turn 30 in August of this year. He was once ranked at no. 77 in the World and his best performance at a Slam was the 3rd round of the Aussie Open back in 2007. The Thai’s most recent Title was in Busan, South Korea, where he defeated up-and-coming Slovenian Blaz Kavcic in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 just a couple years ago.

Danai endured a rather miserable 2010 and is now ranked in the 400’s so he is sure to be itching to get back on the tennis circuit for 2011 and climb back up the rankings, where no doubt he feels his ability warrants. He did appear in the Bangkok ATP event in his home country, of course, but his Wildcard only took him as far as the first round where he lost to the ever impressive Finn Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets.

It would be foolish to expect too much from Muller’s opponent today on the back of a very disappointing 2010 season. Although Muller remains outside the top 100, he had a relatively successful season last year and he continues to hold his own against some top players; he took big John Isner, the American, to 3 very tight sets before succumbing to a harsh defeat. Muller went 40-23 (W-L) over the past 12 months, a highly respectable record indeed.

The Luxembourger should take this in straight sets barring any surprises. Both men possess plenty of experience but Muller should be able to find his groove early on, and if he brings the confidence from 2010 it should be a relatively straight forward task for the 27-year-old. For Danai Udomchoke, I expect it will be a case of hard work, determination and practise to get his career right back on track.

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