Giving tennis more than a shot

Copa Claro – So Long, Juampi (And Other Tidbits From The Qualifications)

The second day of qualification action at the Copa Claro started under the rain, which caused the postponing of the beginning of the day to noon instead of 11 AM. The rain also came to visit us for a bit during the afternoon. On a personal front, this caused me to look like a lobster, which, I’m sure, you’ll soon get to see. 😆 Joking aside, it was another very interesting day of tennis, and the qualification matches that were played today, at least those I had the chance to watch (in part), were worth the sunburns.

 

The last match of Juan Pablo Brzezicki

It was the second and last match in the Estadio 3, just after a very interesting youngsters battle (Andrés Molteni vs Marco Trungelliti). It was against a rival we were many hoping he wouldn’t lose to. Sadly, losing he did, so Juan Pablo Brzezicki, in a 6-2 6-3 loss to U.S. player Wayne Odesnik, has played his last professional match.

 

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It was a match full of emotion and I admit that hadn’t I not filmed the last game, I would have cried more than I actually did.

 

Juampi, at his best ranking, has been no 94 in the world back in 2008, but further than the particular way with which he was hitting the ball (which always got me riveted to his matches), it’s quite a character that left the Tour today. After all, El Polaco is a man with a contagious smile, a great sense of humour, who always seems to enjoy himself on a court, and, above all, he is a great, great guy. That’s what I’ll remember of him and why I could barely keep my emotions completely in check during that last game.

 

Thanks for all these years, Juampi, and good luck in your new adventures!

 

Battles of the Class of ’92

It’s not to one, but to two battles among players from the Class of ’92 that we were treated today. The sad part is that both were played at quite the same time and that both were matches that promised a lot… and that fulfilled their promises. As a Twitter friend of mine wrote: it was the time for the people present on location to enjoy these matches because very soon, they won’t be for free as they were today.

 

On Centre Court, Facundo Argüello was facing 2010 French Open Junior champion Agustín Velotti. The powerful craftiness of one versus the grit and speed of the other. This made for a great match and a great match it was. Even down a set, then down a break, then down match points, Velotti never gave up, using his speed to his advantage and trying to catch his opponent off-guard with the variety of his shots. However, the craftiness of Argüello proved too much for Velotti today and the former won in straight sets, 7-5 6-3, to make it to the final round of qualifications, where he’ll face another countryman in as many matches, Andrés Molteni.

 

About 500 steps away, on Estadio 2, Diego Schwartzman was facing Spaniard Javier Marti. The forehand of the former versus the backhand of the latter. As a matter of fact, both in his looks and in his game, Marti reminds me a lot of a younger version of Richard Gasquet, but with a little more power and a little less artistry. The first set was a very tight affair between both players, and it came very close for the Argentine to take it, but twice up a break, he could not consolidate, and when serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Marti took advantage of his opportunity and broke to take it. Afterwards, the Spaniard cruised and won, 6-4 6-1, and will face Rogerio Dutra Silva for a spot in the main draw.

 

To be honest, even though these four players of the Class of ’92 have not yet reached the incredible level of the two most-known players of their age (Bernard Tomic and Ryan Harrison), they showed that they have immense talent and that they really should be a threat in the years to come. This weekend was the first opportunity I had to watch them play live and it was a real treat!

 

Main draw action starts tomorrow

Monday will see the end of the qualifications and the beginning of the main draw action, in both singles and doubles. With a loaded schedule, I’m hard put to say what I will watch and whether I’ll have time to see at least a bit of everything but one thing is for sure, I will definitely watch some doubles and I won’t miss neither Fernando González’s match (vs Albert Montañés) nor the most interesting matchup of the first round, Juan Carlos Ferrero vs Kei Nishikori.

 

There has also been a withdrawal, as Thomaz Bellucci decided not to play the Copa Claro due to an ankle injury. His spot in the main draw will be allotted to a lucky loser.

 

I leave you with some of my pictures from today.

 

[slideshow]

 

Back after the first day of main draw action!

 

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