We have been highlighting players from the Challenger Tennis Blog’s year end listing of players to watch. Only players outside of the top 150 are considered for this list.
So how did they do
There were 14 players. In singles 10 have a better record now than they did at the end of last year. In doubles, 10 of them have a better record now. The list that was made up of players outside of the top 150 in the world now has 4 players, whose singes rankings are inside the top 150. The biggest jump in singles rankings so far is Denis Kudla – an American who jumped 215 spots. In doubles, it was Benoit Paire – a 462 place rise (Dan Cox went from being unranked to being 469 so that may be a better rise in the rankings). The biggest drop was Henri Kontinen – 115 spots. It should be noted that Kontinen was injured for most of the year and played very few tournaments. He is now recovering from surgery. It will be interesting to see how he does if he is able to recover from the surgery. He is a big serve and volleyer. If healthy, he is just the kind of player to test the prevailing theory that serve and volley tennis is dead. In doubles, Thomas Schoorel went from #345 to being unranked; John Millman went from 495 to 944; David Giffin went from 634 to being unranked. The highest current ranking in singles from this group is Benoit Paire at #111, the highest in doubles is Tsung-Hua Yang at #201. I will do a year end recap. Watch for the articles on the remaining players from this list.
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Today’s One to Watch from the Challenger Tennis blog is Javier Marti.
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He started 2009 a rickety 9/15 but had twice the success in the second half of his season, going 18/15 to finish at 27/30 for the year. This year, Marti overcame an 0-5 start to his 2010 campaign to win his first pro tournament at the Bulgaria F3 Futures event in May.
But he didn’t stop there; the speedy-wiry Spaniard with the liquid backhand went on to take titles in Romania and Portugal as well, finishing at a 54/28 pace, gaining 350 spots on the ATP ladder and slicing his ranking in (more than) half, from #685 to #335. He’s now the fifth-youngest player in the Top 400, behind Bernard Tomic, yesterday’s profilee Facundo Arguello, Ryan Harrison andFilip Krajinovic.
Though he didn’t have much success at the Challenger level, going 6/9 on the year, he did post wins over Sam Groth and Alex Ward, and I strongly suspect that his results will only continue to improve has he fills out and gets stronger. According to his coach, Oscar Burrieza, there’s a lot he can do to get better mentally as well. I’ll have the opportunity to see him play in a few weeks, as he’s on the entry list for the USA F2 Futures in Tamarac, FL. I’m very much looking forward to my first chance to see him play in person.
OK, I got some vids for ya. This first one, which I trust you skipped right to (per my instructions), is of Collarini and Marti facing off in a U16 battle in Palafrugell Spain. I won’t spoil the outcome for you – you’ll just have to watch and see. What I will say, is that – with its hilariously epic music and descriptive documentation – I hope and expect this holcombBrook masterpiece to one day be looked back upon as a vital document of two talents who have since made it big. Their games may have changed a bit since then, but this vid provides terrific audiovisual insight into the sometimes awkward and hard-to-read lefty game of Collarini, as well as the tremendous racquet head speed of the Marti forehand and his comparatively compact and smooth swing off the backhand side. Great stuff! (Marti is the one in blue the blue top).
CLICK HERE for the whole article
CLICK HERE for his ATP page
Marti finished up last year ranked #335. Since then he has moved all the way up to #188. His doubles ranking went from 296 to 254. His ranking has risen consistently throughout the year. I look forward to seeing how far he can go.