Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ATP Challenger Cordenons: day 2 review

After the unexpected death of the creator of this tournament and chief of the venue, the event struggled to find money and the prize money suffered a downgrade, but in spite of that the Open del Friuli welcomed quite a strong field with 4 top 100 players and Volandri, number 102.
Tuesday witnessed quite a nice number of enjoyable matches and surprises:

Alessandro Giannessi def (4) Adrian Ungur 3-6 7-6 (2) 6-1

The 23 year-old Italian came to this match with the knowledge that despite the huge gap between his ranking and his opponent he could have his chances, as in the previous matches they were tied with one win each. Giannessi started well and could take a break lead early in the set, but the Romanian couldn't react any better: his one handed backhand grew harder and more accurate and there was little the Italian could do whenever Ungur was accelerating from this wing.
In no time Ungur won the break back and started to sail full speed to take the first set, while Giannessi fell in a cloud on negativity, swearing, complaining on calls a smashing balls to the back fence. From 3-2 up, the Italian suddenly found himself 6-3 down and with the desperate need for a reaction in the second set, which eventually came.
Most of the games saw no risks for the one serving, because both guys served really well and up to 3-3 no break points were given. Then in the 7th game Giannessi let his negativity haunt him again and Ungur tried his best to finally break his opponent's serve by chasing after every ball and attacking whenever he had a chance. Giannessi seemed to suffer this situation and was forced to face several break points, but thanks to inspired drop shots he could save them and finally hold. Ungur struggled a bit on his serve too, but in the end there were no breaks and only a tie-break could close the set.
As to follow the path of the last games Giannessi finally got rid of his negative thoughts and attitude and played an awesome tie, whilst Ungur looked tired and there was little he could do from that moment on.
Once he lost the tiebreak he went on serving his first game out in the third, but he immediately called the trainer for some back pain and once back on court he completely gave up the fight, as it was impossible for him to chase Giannessi's sharp angles the match was set for a fast ending in favor of the Italian that moves to the second round.

 (Q) Janez Semrajc def (6) Antonio Veic 4-6 6-4 6-4

Probably the biggest surprise of the day, considering the very unlucky seasons that the Slovene has just left behind and the good results that Veic reached in the past weeks. All in all, Janez came from two tough battles in the qualies, but knew he could have chances against Veic, because he had won their only match before on a future, but that was before the illness that forced Semrajc out.
The match was very intense and it needed almost three hours to finally decide the winner, but it was a great quality one, with the Slovene finding energy everyone thought he might simply not have in the third set, when Veic could get a break lead and he started to be more effective and powerful with his shots. In that moment Semrajc reacted with a good service game and finally by fighting point-to-point to break back by passing with superb backhands all the attempts of the Croat to close at the n
et. The Slovene himself showed great touch at the net and once he finally hold for 5-4 in the decider, he gave everything on return and he finally could snatch this great win to boost his confidence and hopes in this comeback. After the match Semrajc agreed for an interview where you can hear a lot more about his come back and his thoughts on this match, you can find it here.

Potito Starace def (WC) Filippo Baldi 6-2 6-2

There's really very little to be said about this match, because the match itself was never in doubt to end in straight easy sets for the more experienced Starace, who's clearly on a bad moment of his career, but he still has the shots and the consistency to be safe from being upsetted by a youngster, not even as talented as Baldi.
As for Filippo, there's a lot of raw talent for sure, he has a great first serve for his age as he hit a couple of 195+ km/h serves, he has a good shot selection, but he still lacks of a general view of the game and a bigger consistency as he often gives away points he should not. What's more he should find a calmer attitude, because smashing rackets, swearing and self-mockeries channel way too much energy and concentration onto the wrong aspects of the game and in the end he can't play as well as he is capable of.

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