Monday, March 04, 2013

Nick Kyrgios wins first Challenger Title

In the battle of the elements the tournament was able to be completed on time in between the various showers and rain delays. Personally I thought Stephane Robert would win the event after coming through the tough section which had Millman and Barton, but fell to the youngster Nick Kyrgios who had a very busy day playing 7 and a bit sets on one day winning the singles and finalist in the doubles.



Nick Kyrgios

Australia has done well in the past in relation to junior success, though in recent times they have not made the breakthrough to the top tier of the seniors. Kyrgios pronounced “Kyr-ios”, yes the g is silent is the number 1 junior in the world. He could be a GS champion or he could end up as Julien Jeanpierre, Daniel Elsner though Elsner was top tier when it came to partying.

As impressive as Kyrgios’s first Challenger title is considering he is still a junior did have some fortune with the weather. Naturally these things can’t be controlled as reported in my last post. Greg Jones playing a very tough 3 setter, even tanking doubles at the end of the day, yet he was on first with less recovery time. This was Kyrgios’s toughest match of the week.

Robert didn’t play for 2 days before his semi final, since there are no indoor facilities at the complex. All he could do was wait around, play on the ipad, joking around with the stringers while his match couldn’t be played on Saturday. Kyrgios started well and Robert was flatter than the Dead Sea. He was just making so many basic mistakes mid court rally balls halfway up the net. Kyrgios was serving well, taking advantage of the fodder that Robert was serving up moving to the net to finish off points when the chances were on offer.

Only time Robert fired up was when Kyrgios served for the match at 30-15, big Nick hit a forehand very close to the line. Couldn’t say for sure whether it was in or out, but Robert was convinced he got ripped off on the call. 30 all is a lot better than 40-15, at the same time Robert was fighting with his own poor form and good play from Kyrgios.

Groth vs. Reid

Luckily, I could stand in between both courts to see these matches and who says men can’t multitask. Interesting thing about this match was coach Ben Mathias works with both of them. Asked him about it beforehand and he gave them both tactics to beat each other. He sat under the tree away from the match and didn’t clap.


Samuel Groth in the Grothawk days

Big Groth had an excellent win against Duckworth in the quarters. Groth hit one of the best double faults during the 2nd set tiebreaker. At *5-4 Groth went for the big kicker wide, he miss hits the serve and it hit the side fence on the full. Normally this is when Groth continues with the running commentary. Next serve hits a big ace down the tee and then wins the match on a backhand pass. Duckworth was really shattered he had his family there watching, still pissed off an hour later.
Reid was just a bit better in the semi as he was able to return enough of Groth’s serve to get him moving on the baseline working him over with his forehand to expose the average backhand.

In the final Groth service game where he was broken at 30 all Groth hits a forehand and the umpire overrules. Groth is far from happy and has an animated conversation with the umpire. Reid served out the match and Groth then goes straight to the tournament car directly to the airport.

Final

Kyrgios was excellent in the final he has beaten Reid a few times previously, so that helped his mental state for the final. Reid lost his first service game and was quite passive which doesn’t work for him.



Matt Reid
Kyrgios took advantage of Reid’s passive start dominating from the baseline. He was so comfortable that he didn’t need to serve that well, as Reid was unable to take advantage of the second serves. It was an excellent week for Reid, but he didn’t think he could win and Kyrgios was very calm and assured in taking the title.

Towards the end of the match John Blom called a let serve, both players were shocked since this stupid rule is in vogue and not very likely to last past the trial. None of the players like this rule, it’s probably as popular as equal prizemoney at Slams on the ATP.

He could have won the doubles final as well, they had match point but Alex “Usain” Bolt missed an easy volley at the net, then Klein and Dane Propoggia who was rocking the almost red flattop were able to take the title. There was no sparring between Klein and Kyrgios this time.

Chris Guccione has Achilles tendonitis so he is only playing doubles at the moment. Barton is trying to steal the Gooch’s thunder for being the most handsome redheaded tennis player, Sure Barton supports the Canterbury Bulldogs which is all and good, but the Gooch has a 1-0 head to head record over Nadal.

Challenger events need to be better supported you know it’s a bad thing when places like Italy and Spain get crowds to their Challengers, yet there are less events every year and without the increase in prizemoney since the 80s. Let’s be honest anyone with a miniscule level of critical thinking can see the temptations for the poorly paid players would think about throwing a match, no this isn’t excusing it. There is a correlation players not earning enough in a tough sport, so the temptation is there.

Kyrgios’s parents drove up from Canberra 3 times during the week and it’s 2.5 hour trip one way. Now Kyrgios will have some time at home and prepare for the next events. Barton, Duckworth, Reid and Propoggia had other players staying at their houses. Which went back to my previous post that hospitality should be mandatory at these events, whether it’s staying with local families as they do for some events or official hotels. Then again this is the ATP who once thought round robin was a good idea, so can’t expect too many sensible solutions from them.

3 comments:

Scott Ferguson said...

top work as always!

Nathii said...

Top reporting, important words about the challengers.

Marc said...

Fantastic write up, too bad the ATP doesn't understand it needs a strong Challenger tour,