Tag Archive: Karim Hossam


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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I’m really excited about this edition of the W.A.T.C.H. List. Because of the dearth of Top 250 players having results (or having results come off their rankings), this List of 20ish plumbs the depths like never before.  Therefore, much like the special Spinal Tap amps that go to 11 instead of 10, this one goes to 500 (instead of the usual 300).  Stay tuned for obscure pro-files.

Let’s have a look at who these warriors of the Futures are this week, shall we?

Player NATIONALITY Age New High Why
David Souto VEN 21 224 Venezuela F8 F
Ante Pavic CRO 24 246 Senegal F1 W
Egor Gerasimov BLR 21 251 Egypt F34 F
Toni Androic CRO 21 271 Croatia F17 W
Yasutaka Uchiyama JPN 21 288 Thailand F4 W
Gonzalo Lama CHI 20 294 Chile F9 W
Juan Lizariturry ESP 22 307 Turkey F47 F
Juan Ignacio Londero ARG 20 319 Venezuela F8 SF
Karim Hossam EGY 19 337 Egypt F23 SF
Roberto Ortega-Olmedo ESP 22 345 Spain F41 SF
Borna Coric CRO 17 351 Thailand F4 SF
Andrew Whittington AUS 20 378 Cambodia F1 W
Alexey Vatutin RUS 21 388 Spain F41 W
Federico Coria ARG 21 404 Chile F9 QF
Oliver Golding GBR 20 418 others lost points
Claudio Fortuna ITA 23 419 others lost points
Erik Crepaldi ITA 23 429 Cyprus F3 W
Luis David Martinez VEN 24 438 Venezuela F8 R2
Juan-Carlos Spir COL 23 486 others lost points
Laslo Djere SRB 18 492 Cyprus F3 SF
Anton Zaitsev RUS 26 497 Turkey F47 QF

And what do you know, the first name on this week’s List is none other than my #4 Player To Watch, David SoutoSo, great pick on my part, right? Is the moral of that story. (Also, I just wanted to mention him so I could shamelessly link to his profile.)

Further down the list, we find my first PTW selection, Borna Coricwho appears with a couple Croatian countrymen to form a kind of bottom-of-the-table Davis Cup team. (Overall, the trio of Pavic, Androic and Coric are Croatia’s #6, 7 and 9 players respectively.)

One guy who didn’t make the PTW cut, but was on my original list of 50 candidates, is 20-year-old Chilean Gonzalo Lama. It certainly says a lot about the talented bunch of Chosen Ten that a guy who went 46/20 this year and has risen 461 spots in the rankings this year didn’t quite make it. (Either that, or it says the idiot who’s making these selections really doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.)

"I've Won 70% of My Matches & Cut My Ranking In Half. What More Do You Want Me To Do?!"

“I’ve Won 70% of My Matches in 2013 & Cut My Ranking In Half. What More Do You Want Me To Do?!”

Now, if you’re anything like me (and God help you if you are), then you really wish I’d stop going on and on about this friggin’ PTW list. So I shall not mention it again, I promise!

An interesting name on this week’s List is Karim Hossam. The teenage Egyptian is currently the 8th-ranked player under 20 years of age. At 69/24 for the year, he’s won an almost-astounding 74% of his matches.

Hossam Chop!

Hossam Chop!

The former ITF World Junior #11 was a strong candidate for The List That Now Cannot Be Named; the main thing that kept him from inclusion is that all but 6 of his 93 matches this year come on the Egyptian Futures circuit, where competition isn’t necessarily the strongest level. Although that is probably to no fault of his own; as Reem Abulleil wrote earlier this year about Egyptian #1 Mohamed Safwatthere are many obstacles facing an Egyptian player who seeks to play abroad (or even a dude).

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