Tag Archive: Tsung-Hua Yang


Gastao Elias Wins Brazil F1 Sao Paulo

Former #6 junior in the world Gastao Elias of Portugal took the first title of 2011, defeating Brazil’s Andre Ghem 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Bradesco Prime Cup in Sao Paulo.  It was a battle of unseeded players in the championship match, as Elias took out third-seeded Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 and Ghem upset the sixth seed, Tsung-Hua Yang, 6-2 6-4 in the semifinals.  The win nets Gastao $1,950 in prizemoney, but more importantly adds 35 points to the 20-year-old’s ATP Ranking account, nearly doubling it (he had 36 points coming into the tournament), which will send his ranking from #604 to somewhere in the mid-400’s.

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Brazil F1 Semifinals Are Set!

If you’re a good headline reader, as I suspect you may be, then you’ll know that the semifinals are now set for the Brazil F1 tournament.  You’ve also rendered the first sentence of my article completely worthless – I hope you’re happy!  You may have also guessed that if the semifinals are set, that means the quarterfinals have been played.  Wow – you’re on a real roll today, aren’t you, champ? 

Yes, the quarterfinals have been played, and – as my twitter sidebar would only be too happy to tell you – Andre Ghem defeated fourth-seeded Caio Zampieri 6-3 6-4, 6th seed Tsung-Hua Yang beat 2 seed Guillermo Alcaide 3-6 6-2 6-1, 3rd-seeded Belarussian Uladzimir Ignatik overcame [5] Ricardo Hocevar 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4, and unseeded Gastao Elias upset seventh seed Thomas Fabbiano 3-6 6-1 6-2.

Thus, this here is today’s semifinal line-up:

As you can see, four different nations are represented in our first semi of the season.  Andre is the only remaining home country Ghem after knocking out two of his other compatriots – Charles Costa and Daniel Silva –  in the first and second rounds in addition to Zampieri in the QF’s.  But, hey, it was either them or him, ya know?  Certainly can’t blame the guy.  Unsurprisingly, this will be the first meeting between the 28 year-old Sole Remaining Brazilian and his 19 year-old Taiwanese opponent (and 2011 Challenger Tennis Player To Watch), Tsung-Hua Yang.

And look, I know I’ve been referring to this far too much of late, but it keeps coming up.  Yes, I’m talking about the “Young Guns” spreadsheet from stevegtennis.com.  But it’s interesting that the two players meeting in today’s other semifinal (Ignatik and Elias, in case I’ve lost you) both shared top-tier honors in the 2009 preview.  Rather than making you click on it again and launching all sorts of scary-seeming dialog boxes, I’ll just cut and paste the pertinent info here: 

“Young Guns” 2009
   












 
Tier I     2009                            
Player Nat Year W-L 2008 End Jan 5 Feb 2 Mar 2 Apr 6 May 4 Jun 8 Jul 6 Aug 3 Sep 14 Oct 5 Nov 2 Dec 7 2009 End
Berankis, Ricardas LTU 1990 58-27 455 454 458 462 465 490 466 512 539 455 423 417 324 319
Elias, Gastao POR 1990 16-17 578 575 675 667 648 627 612 583 908 854 824 810 774 769
Eysseric, Jonathan FRA 1990 32-29 361 360 358 373 371 369 414 410 520 373 532 506 490 490
Gojowczyk, Peter GER 1989 40-26 346 344 385 430 435 426 409 384 399 411 565 481 392 386
Ignatik, Vladimir BLR 1990 65-25 433 433 475 474 473 461 521 566 523 370 323 279 192 192
Jones, Greg AUS 1989 47-30 434 434 439 404 404 401 367 348 306 265 279 269 252 247
Klizan, Martin SVK 1989 50-24 606 604 603 740 613 594 483 442 328 253 244 236 234 234
McClune, Michael USA 1989 43-25 450 451 480 483 456 444 504 433 391 337 334 341 329 328

I, of course, can go on and on about the different paths and fates of the above-listed players.  But for now, suffice it to say that Ricardas Berankis is now down at the Brisbane International ATP 250 and is now known as “Richard”, and Gastao and Uladzimir – who apparently was once known as “Vladimir”? – are slugging it out in Sao Paulo.  So much can change in a year, eh?   

Or even three years, for that matter.  Which is when these two last met, in a rather exotic locale:  Iggy defeated Elias 6-3 1-6 10-3 in their only previous meeting, at none other than the 2007 Wimbledon Boys Quarterfinals.

Bonded by spreadsheets!  Steeped in lawn-tennissed traditions!  It will be interesting to see what the Futures hold for them today.

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.)

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.

So, it’s the sixth day of the 12 Days of Challenger Tennis Christmas, and it’s only just now starting to occur to me that deciding to do two “Player To Watch” profiles per day over the holiday season wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve ever had. But I’m determined to follow through with it, even though I’m now stuffed with Christmas cookies and on the brink of passing out. I’ve already hedged my bets by reducing my responsibilities to a more manageable one-a-day profile schedule the past couple of days. But normal service should resume tomorrow, with a pair of profiles to fill up your newly-emptied Christmas stockings.

Now, you know what would really help me get these profiles done? If I were to shut up with my stupid introductory paragraphs and actually start, you know, writing the profile – that’s what!

So. Without further adon’t.  Today’s victim esteemed honoree is…  Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan!

That’s right! This power baseliner with the booming serve is a former #1 world junior who in 2008 made the boys final at the Australian Open (losing to Bernard Tomic), then won the Roland Garros boys singles title (beating Jerzy Janowicz in the final)…

…won the Wimbledon boys doubles title (with Cheng-Peng Hsieh and getting some revenge over Tomic in the final 6-4 2-6 12-10)…

…and then made the semis of the junior US Open tournament, losing to Grigor Dimitrov. Not a bad year, as junior Slam results go, no? In addition to all of that, just before that year’s USO, Yang made a run all the way into the semifinals of the New Delhi Challenger, an amazing feat for a junior. Thus, in the middle of August 2008, Tsung-Hua concurrently carried a ranking of #1 in the juniors and #470 in the pros – a tremendous accomplishment.

Alas, after that initial splash, things haven’t all gone Tsung-Hua Yang’s way – reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of what happened to Dimitrov after his junior slam success and his big Berdych-beating burst into the pros, taking Nadal to 3 sets, etc. before ultimately struggling on the pro tour for a while. In 2009, Yang put up a very respectable 42/22 W/L record, but most of his wins came on the Futures tour and his ranking only edged upward to #342 by the end of the year.

The new year started auspiciously for young man, though, as he made it through qualies at the Chennai ATP 250 before losing to Robin Haase 4-6 3-6 in the main draw. At the end of January, he put together a nice four-win run in Honolulu, straight-setting his way through qualifying and beating players like Filip Krajinovic and Jesse Levine before succumbing in R2 to Lester Cook.

I had the pleasure of watching Yang play the now-mysteriously-Swedish Nick Lindahl in the final qualifying round of the Delray Beach 250 in February. Here are some of the embarrassing notes I wrote down for that match:

“This sucks. Marinko Matosevic just came in on the first change to root for his buddy Lindahl. He’s sitting next to me but I’m rooting for Yang. Yang is super-impressive from the baseline. Getting the best of Lindy in almost all rallies. Nick’s serve keeping him afloat so far. Two df’s and 2 errors from lindy + two spectacular returns from the former #1 junior = Yang breaks to take the first set 6-4.

“Total role reversal in Set 2. Now Yang’s shots are wild while Lindy hitting w more power and control. Nick up a double break 4-1… Lindahl takes the 2nd set 6-2. If the Yang from the 1st set and the lindy from this set both show up in the 3rd, it will be a great match. Santiago Giraldo just sat right next to me on top bleacher faced in other direction to watch fellow Colombian Salamanca behind me.”

And my notes for that match pretty much end there. I see that Lindahl went on to win quite easily from there, but that’s only when I look up the score. Thank goodness I take notes, because I seriously don’t remember any of that. Actually, I do remember Santi sitting next to me, but that’s it.

So what did we learn from my notes? Not a hell of a lot, I’d say. Other than the fact I was there and for some reason rooting for Yang (probably to piss off my friends, who were all Lindahl fans at the time). So, clearly Yang left a big impression on me, yeah? Do you think I’m not doing enough by making him a “Player To Watch” this year and also need to make him a “Player To Remember” as well? Maybe so.

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