Monthly Archive: November 2012

Nov 30

ATP Challenger Tour Finals – the story so far

So then there were four. With the group stages now complete, the final four players prepare to stagger back for their final tilt at winning something shiny. We’ve already seen some of the strengths and weaknesses of the event exposed. The withdrawal of the home wild card, Thomaz Bellucci, after one match highlights the problems …

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Nov 26

ATP Challenger Tour Finals – the grand(ish) finale

So after a global slog that includes exotic outposts like Noumea in New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, Ecuador, Granby in Canada (Google Maps becomes your friend) and dozens of other places in between, the ATP Challenger Tour finals bring the season to its end in Sao Paulo. Before considering the 8 competitors, it’s worth looking at the …

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Nov 19

The race to 103 – win or bust

So the scrap for Australia Open places is almost over. There were a host of contenders last week who needed deep Challenger runs to suddenly vault into the magical 103. One of the most experienced players on the edge did just that, Spain’s Albert Montanes has been knocking round the top 100 for longer than …

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Nov 15

Indian Wells and the Prize Money Matter (Part II)

“In this case we have a tournament proposing a distribution that is not in line with the model that players and tournaments themselves have agreed, and which every other tournament on Tour follows. Our rules require any increases to be applied at the same rate for each round, so growth is equal for players. This …

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Nov 13

The race to 103/Aus Open – things Helsinking fast

That timeless Boomtown Rats tune “I don’t like Mondays” was probably echoing round in the heads of Jan Hajek and Ruben Bemelmans in the Tali Tennis Centre in Helsinki. For Hajek, ranked 103, and Ruben Bemelmans at 107, a good run could have locked up places in Melbourne. While the Belgian lost to Matthias Bachinger …

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Nov 12

The race to 103 – life on the edge

There’s celebrations for some, agonising for others and final chances for many in the dash for places in the Australian Open main draw. Exchanging hypothetical hi-fives are Michael Russell and Evgeny Donskoy  – Challenger winners at the opposite ends of the age scale on different continents who both now should be in Melbourne without problems. …

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Nov 09

Indian Wells oddly runs dry

Not many conversations go like this. “Hey, would you like some more money for not doing anything extra?” “Well thank you, but no.” Such is the situation we have been left with after an offer from the never less than philanthropic/loaded owner Larry Ellison offering to add further cash to the Masters Series prize pool …

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Nov 05

The race to 103 – Part Four

With time and tournaments running out, the scramble to get that precious Australian Open place and the big sack of travel sustaining cash for the tournament pro continues. The two most contented people after last week’s tournaments are Michael Llodra and Horacio Zeballos. Llodra got a lucky break when Radek Stepanek pulled out of Paris …

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