Tennis-University News – 2nd week of January
New season, new luck for TU players
The year 2020 has barely begun when most of our TU players are already scattered all over the world again. India’s number one player Praj Gunneswaran, like almost all the world’s top pros, set off for Australia. In Bendigo he competed in his only preparation tournament for the Australian Open. In the first round of the high quality 125 challenger, the current 122 of the ATP ranking could prevail against the Australian Jason Kubler. In the second round the experienced Japanese Taro Daniel presented himself in strong early form and took the TU legend out of the tournament. After the defeat, Praj then headed south to nearby Melbourne, where he will serve in the qualifying for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. The 30-year-old has good memories of the metropolis in the state of Victoria, where he played his way into the first Grand Slam main draw of his career last year through qualifying.
In Praj’s home country, 15-year-old Taym Al-Azmeh started his new season. At the J3 in Chandigarh he reached the final of the doubles competition alongside Thai Tanapatt Nirundorn. After two hard-fought wins in the match tie-break and a convincing semi-final victory, the duo also narrowly lost in the final match tie-break to the Belgian team Katz/Collignon.
Izabelle Persson from Sweden spent a comparable week. Almost 6,000 kilometers north-westerly, she and her doubles partner Olga Glas entered the J4 in Malmö as third seeded team. The Swedish/Polish duo also fought their way into the final with two tight match tie-breaks, including an 11-9 victory in the semi-finals. There, after two high quality sets, the top seeded German/Belgian pair Janssen/Vandewinkel took the title.
In his first tournament of the new year the Japanese Gen-I Inoue showed himself strengthened by his intensive preseason and possibly also by the extensive Christmas dinner with coach Basti Suwanprateep. Coming into the tournament as top seeded, the 16-year-old recorded two straight set wins at the J4 in Dubai before being stopped in the semi-finals by Greece’s Kountourakis. In the doubles competition Gen-I also got some wins under his belt alongside Frank Jonker, before losing the semi-final’s match tiebreak against Rehman/Stambouli by a narrow margin.
The juniors, who competed at the J5 in Frankfurt, had a much shorter journey than all their TU colleagues. After the long preseason without matches, they gained competition experience again before the tournament on their home courts of the Hessian Tennis Federation in Offenbach starts next week.
Also the freshly crowned ‘buffalo of the year’ Jonas Forejtek started his first full season on the men’s tour these days. Promisingly, he defeated the number one of the 15,000$ ITF tournament in Manacor in the first round after his opponent was forced to retire at 6-3 4-1 for the TU player. After another victory, the Czech lost to the Spaniard Lopez San Martin in the quarter finals. In the doubles competition, the 18-year-old even went one round further. Alongside of his compatriot Michael Vrbrensky, with whom he had already won a Challenger last year, he reached the semi-finals, where the combination was defeated by the later tournament winners. After his superb last year, it will be exciting to see how the talent makes his transition to the ITF Men’s Tour.
other weekly reports
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a Home tournament for Indian TU players The exciting January lies behind the players and coaches of the Tennis-University and the 2020 season is already entering its second month. The ATP Cup, newly introduced this year, meant that our Indian pros did not travel...read more
a TU leaving marks in Australia The last week of January at the TU was dominated by the Australian Open. After the breakthrough of Jonas Forejtek as the double champion of the tournament last year, Karlis Ozolins managed to get deep into the draw in 2020. After...read more