Tag Archive: Rik de Voest


So.  Hello.  I’m pretty sure it’s not me you’re looking for either.  And I know I’m supposed to be driving to Florida right now, but the Northeast is getting slammed with snow – bamboozled by blizzard, we are! – so I’m (Tom) delayed for one more day. Which means, despite my procuring of the finest guest-hosting talents (and they are doing a spectacular job), you are stuck with me for one more day. I don’t know what to do with myself, other than sully my site with more of my words. Therefore, I proudly present to you my Australian Open men’s qualifying day one wrap-up – cabin fever edition:

I was able to wake up in the middle of the night and watch the livestream of the John Millman v Sebastian Rieschick match as well as the Greg Jones v Olivier Patience contest. Then I fell asleep again (sorry Gooch!) Turns out that Greg and the Mailman were the only Aussies to come good out of the twelve who played yesterday.

That’s right, two wins out of twelve. Maverick Banes, Matt Reid, Chris Guccione, Sean Berman, Sam Groth, James Duckworth, Ben Mitchell, Luke Saville, James Lemke, and Brydan Klein all lost. Ouch. All Ozzed up, and no place to go. In fairness, Mitchell’s effort (some of which I saw) was superb, taking top seeded Blaz Kavcic to 4-6 in the third set. And Saville lost to a red hot Nicola Mahut. 

Benny Mitchell – Will He Escape From Full Screen Mode?

So I’m especially glad to have seen the rare instances of Aussome success in all their glory. And they were glorious indeed. If ever a match could be called “classic John Millman”, this match vs. Rieschick was the one. The Mailman seemed dogged by the conditions early, and easily distracted by “fans” with highly questionable etiquette. His shots were landing short in the court, and his opponent was taking those short balls and teeing off, making more than he missed.

Thus, the amiable Queenslander found himself down a set and a break, with the burly German serving for the match, when he was granted a rain-delay reprieve. After an hour or so break, Milkman came out raring to go, a noticeable spring in his step that was absent pre-precip. Maybe he enjoyed some caffeine during his break. I offer this as evidence for my hypothesis:

Meanwhile, Rieschick was nowhere to be found, and ambled out onto the court a good five minutes or so after John did. When play resumed, Mailman overcame match point, shoddy line calls, and dodgy inter-game spectator migrations to break twice and take the second set 7-5. Rieschick also could no longer find the court – that helped, too.

The third set opened with three straight breaks, Sebastian settled a bit more into his game after an extended walkabout during the previous frame’s conclusion.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Australian Open Men’s Qualifying Preview!

I’m not sure if you know this, so let me tell you: Grand Slam draws are like crack to fans of the Challenger circuit. They’re like the ultimate Challenger event: a tourney featuring players ranked between 100 and 300, and nearly everyone plays. Granted, there are only three rounds instead of five, and it’s kinda like the tourney gets canceled halfway through, but my point stands: pretty much every challenger-level player of interest is here, gunning for a place in a grand slam main draw. What’s not to like?

And after a few glitches and false starts, the Australian Open men’s qualifying draw has finally been unlocked and unleashed upon unsuspecting (or, in my case, very suspecting) cybercitizens. And in my tried and true OCD-tinged maniacal fashion, I am here to break it all down for you. No info-nugget will remain unearthed, no useless factoid shall remain buried, no know-balls will remain unlobbed. (Huh? Well, you get the idea.)

Let’s dig in!

First Quadrant

Top Quarter:

Much as I want to be impressed by Blaz Kavcic’s Chennai Open showing (he beat Jeremy Chardy and destroyed Robert Kendrick before falling 3&3 in the quarters to Berdych), I’m gonna be silly right from the get go and say there are no obvious favorites in this segment. A line-by-line breakdown:

[1] Blaz Kavcic SLO (World Ranking #100) v [W] Benjamin Mitchell AUS (#610): a tough draw for the likeable 18-year-old Queenslander, but not a completely impossible task for the lad who made the final in Bendigo and took Brisbane International quarterfinalist Matt Ebden to two tough TB sets at the Tennis Australia AO Wildcard Playoffs (having a lead in both sets). I’ve seen both play their fair share of matches, and to my mind they’re similar in game, style, speed, grit and even countenance. Blaz just does everything a bit better than Ben does. Odds are extremely good Blaz beats Ben in straights. But I expect Mitchell to give a good account of himself, I really do.

Rik de Voest RSA (#179) v Laurent Recouderc FRA (#204): Recouderc won their only match 6-4 6-4 two years ago on hard courts in Dubai. The big South African, however, has had better recent results, reaching the semis of the Charlottesville Challenger and the quarters in Knoxville at the end of last year. So on recent form as well as ranking, I’ll buck the two-year-old head-to-head data and pick Rik. Kavcic has never played de Voest, but he manhandled Recouderc 2&0 last June on clay, if you want to hedge yer bets.

Greg Jones AUS (#254) v Olivier Patience FRA (#196): The two have never met before, but Greg’s gonna win this one. Based on absolutely no data at all. Just trust me on this one. I’m tired.

Guillermo Alcaide SPA (#216) v [25] Ilija Bozoljac SRB (#152): Bozoljac beat Alcaide pretty comprehensively 6-3 6-2 in a recent meeting at the US Open qualifying tournament. And even though the Spaniard has played more matches recently (and gave Tsung-Hua Hang a pretty good fight in the Brazil F1 QF’s), I’d expect Bozo to make it through to face Greg in the next round. Those two have never met neither.

Who makes it through: De Voest beats Bozoljac (what? He’s won the only two matches they’ve played!)

Second quarter: this is where Simone Bolelli tries not to screw things up, as is his wont. He faces some fairly formidable competition along the way, but they’re all people he should honestly beat. Will he? Probably not. Let’s have a closer look:

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: