Tag Archive: Thomas Fabbiano


Sao Paulo Challenger Preview – Thursday And Beyond!

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.

Sao Paulo Challenger Wednesday Wrap-up

So, an actual full slate of singles play took place at the Sao Paulo Challenger today (well, almost, haha), and – on the off chance that my nauseatingly-detailed tweets weren’t enough for you (or you missed all of my 140-character gems entirely) – I will now provide a nauseatingly-detailed recap of Wednesday’s action out of the goodness of my heart.  And at no extra cost to you, dear reader!

Well, I woke up and was writing my snarky preview about how there’d be no tennis today.  When all of a sudden, on a whim, I decided to launch livestreams and scoreboards and stumbled upon a minor miracle: after days of deluge, there was play in Sao Paulo! Hallelujah and praise Jesus (that’s the guy with the squeegee’s name, I’m pretty sure: Jesus Silva, no doubt).

We joined the action with Federico Delbonis (one word, the ATP spells it wrong – thanks Marcos for the tip!) leading Tiago Lopes 7-5, Guillermo Alcaide over Daniele Giorgini 6-3 2-3, Giovanni Lapentti in a first set tiebreak with Ricardo Hocevar, and Joao Souza warming up with Matteo Trevisan on the postage stamp-sized livestream.  It wasn’t long before the seventh seeded Delbo had closed out his match in dual 7-5 sets, while Alcaide wrapped up his match in three, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3.

A Little Delbo Room – Federico Delbonis, clearly practicing on Petr Korda’s home court

As it should have done after several days delay, the tennis was coming faster and furiouser than Vin Diesel on a Wayne Odesnik hypodermic cocktail.  Before I knew it, Souza had come back from a set down to win the second set 6-3 with a hearty cry of “Vamos!” for good measure.  Trevisan was then sprayed/rubbed and otherwise fondled (and possibly deloused) in the legular region, MTO-style.  And before I knew it (again), Souza had closed out the match (this time with a hearty cry of “Allez!” – such variety!) 4-6 6-3 6-1, much to the delight of the local crowd.  But the real question we need to ask here is: why did things keep happening before I knew them?  A disturbing trend, to be sure.  Anyway, the 3rd-seeded Souza will play Giovanni Lapentti, who beat Ricardo Hocevar 7-6(6) 6-4 in the 2nd round. Lapentti leads their head-to-head 3 to 2.

And then the still-Swedish wildcard Christian Lindell made it into my livestream crosshairs against the always-Argentinian Andres Molteni.  Lindell dictated play early, serving 4 aces, ruling rallies and racing to a 4-1* first set lead.  Molteni was muttery.  Meanwhile, on another court, I notice that Uladzimir Ignatik has bageled eighth seed Paul Capdeville in the third set, getting the upset 7-5 3-6 6-0.  Later I learned that Capdeville had been sick and cramping in that final set.  Oh.

Also meanwhile on another court, Horacio Zeballos was upwarming for his match against Julio Silva.  Why the second seed was scheduled to play a Brazilian on any court other than Court Central left me mystified and bewildered.  I mean, I know they’re backlogged with matches, but only 4 total contests were even scheduled on the main (and streamed) court today, with 5 matches on all the others.  Surely they could’ve made some room for their second seed, no?  No.

Regardless, Molteni started to make a good go of it on Court Central while he was there (and why not?). He charged back in the 2nd set, served to force a tiebreak, and found himself at triple set point 6-3*. Lindell held to 5-6*, but then Molteni netrushed and Lindell melted, making an error of induction on set point numero tres.  Second set to Molteni to the 22 year-old Argie, 76(5).

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Brazil F1 Quarterfinals Preview

While most of the rest of the tennis world trembles in giddy anticipation of the new season, Brazil says, “Pshaw, beyotches – we’re already quarterfinals deep into this seasnatch.” (Warning: may be a paraphrase; my Portuguese is a bit rusty.)

That’s right – here we are on New Year’s Eve Day Eve Day and the Bradesco Prime Cup is already serving up your first QF’s of the new season.  Here is today’s Order of Play:

For me, there are three marquee matches today, and none of them is Andre Ghem vs. Caio Zampieri.  But it’s a BRA vs. BRA situation – and you know how that goes in the ol’ Sao Paulo. Right, bra?  Regardless of my ignorant opinion, the two players have played three previous matches – all of them in 2005, mind you, when Ghem was 23 and Caio was 18.  For what it’s worth, Ghem leads their head-to-head 2 to 1.  Will the fourth seed be able to even up their H2H when they renew their five-years-dusty rivalry?  Probably, I’d say.

You might be surpised to learn that third-seeded, 20 year-old Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik has met fifth seeded, 25 year-old Brazilian Ricardo Hocevar one time before.  But would your surprise diminish once you learned that Iggy trains in Brazil?  It should.  In any case, Ignatik won that previous meeting of theirs 6-3 6-3, in the second round of the Salvador Challenger in August. The once-touted (by me, anyway) Ulad has gone from a sparkling 65/25 2009 season to an abysmal output of 30/33 “last year” (hohoho).  I’ll be interested to see how he goes in the new season.  And today.  Which, in Brazil, is the same thing.

Uladzimir Ignatik, in presumably happier times

As he been reported earlier, I am pretty darned pleased to see Gastao Elias getting good results here in the new year (shhhhh).  Gastao has been training in Brazil with new coach Rodrigo Nascimento, and seems to be reaping early rewards from this arrangement.  The  just-turned-20-year-old Portugeezer upset top-seeded Rogerio Dutra Da Silva yesterday and looks to continue his run today against seventh seeded Italiano Thomas Fabbiano.  Though the two have never met in singles, they did team up together in juniors once, making R16 in Rohampton dubs in ’06.

The final quarterfinal of the day features 6th seeded Challenger Tennis Player To Watch Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan against second seeded Player To Ignore Guillermo Alcaide of Spain. (Just kidding.  About the ignoring, not the match.)  The two have never played with or against one another, in juniors or the pros.  There’s a first time for everything, they say.  Today will be the first time for them.  (Playing tennis against one another in the pros, that is.)

Wednesday Brazil F1 Preview

This is the first meeting for all the above-listed competitors, which the exception of:

Fernando Romboli vs. [5] Ricardo Hocevar: Hocevar won their only previous match 6-1 3-6 7-6(2) in April.  Romboli has stated he’s playing better than ever, and their last meeting was a close one, so…

Rodrigo Guidolin vs. [2] Guillermo Alcaide: Guidolin won their only previous match 6-3 6-4 in the ’09 qualies of the Belo Horizonte Challenger.

Fabiano vs. [7] Fabbiano: they’ve never met, I just wanted to point out their names.

Will post results as I get them.  Assuming I haven’t gone back to bed, that is.

Update: Darn it!  I’m always wrong with my elliptical insinuations…  Ricardo Hocevar ends Fernando Romboli’s 11-match winning streak 7-5 4-6 6-1.  Seems like Fernando might have run out of gas in that third set.  And who could blame him?  Back-to-back-to-back tournaments over 2.5 weeks of winning, seeing his ranking rise 61 spots to #287.  It was a good run, and I’m designating Fernando Romboli an official Player to Watch as of this sentence.  Congrats on your excellent streak, champ!

Other results: Andre Ghem upset [8] Silva 7-5 2-6 6-2 and will face [4] Zampieri, who beat Almeida 6-4 6-4.  Translated article here.

Brazil F1 Futures Update!

All first round matches have now been played, and it’s so far so good for the seeds in Sao Paulo; [1] Rogerio Dutra Da Silva, [2] Guillermo Alcaide, [3] Ulazdimir Ignatik, [4] Ciao Zampieri, [5] Ricardo Hocevar, [6] Tsung-Hua Yang, [7] Thomas Fabbiano and [8] Daniel Silva all won in straight sets (well, except for Alcaide – thanks for ruining my narrative, Guillermo!) to advance to round two of the Brazil F1 Futures Bradesco Prime Cup.

Two talented Brazilian youngsters – 17 year-old former world junior #1 Tiago Fernandes and 16 year-old Thiago Moura Monteiro* – put up decent fights against their more-seasoned opponents, Fernandes losing 1-6 5-7 to the Italian Fabbiano and Monteiro going down 3-6 4-6 to the Belarussian Ignatik.

Tiago Fernandes – Coming Soon To a Court Near You

Among the non-seeds, there were a few noteworthy results, which I shall now note. Friend of the site Fernando Romboli continued his 11-match roll in defeating Danilo Ferraz 6-1 6-4, keeping his potential Player To Watch hopes alive. The 21 year-old from Rio admitted coming into the tournament he was a little tired, having won the season-ending Brazil F37 and F38 tournaments in back-to-back weeks heading into this one. But he had no trouble in dispatching his countryman, who had been coming ever closer to beating Fernando in their previous four matches. Alas, Ferraz couldn’t match Romboli’s newfound form, and is now 0-5 against Fernando in their head-to-head meetings, with four of those losses coming this year.  Romboli will go for his 12th straight win against the fifth seeded Hocevar in R2.

Fernando Romboli looks forward toward potential Player To Watchdom

Gastao Elias also posted an encouraging win, taking out the winner of the awesomely-matched Racy-Semenzato FQR, beating the qualifier Bruno Semenzato 6-4 6-1. Elias is someone who once graced the great Steve G.’s “Young Guns” spreadsheet over at the soon-to-be-sadly-defunct stevegtennis.com. A former #6 combined junior in the world who won the Eddie Herr International in 2007, the 21 year-old Portuguese Davis Cup stalwart has been absolutely crippled by injuries the past couple of years. Great to see him on his feet of late and hopefully healthy. He’ll play top-seed Dutra Da Silva (who, according to this article, is brother of eighth seed Daniel) in the next round.

Elias – on his feet again (although he’s off them in this particular photo)

More updates coming soon – watch this space!

*You say “Tiago”, I say “Thiago” – let’s call the whole thing off.

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