News from Around Banderas Bay | May 2008
|Futures 8 Pro Tennis Tournament Finals Set for 5:00 PM Saturday at Canto Del Sol|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
Friday at the Canto Del Sol Tennis Club provided fans with outstanding tennis at the Mexico Futures 8 professional tournament, the first time in a number of years that the ITF (International Federation of Tennis) has been in Puerto Vallarta. The semifinals were sandwiched around the doubles final, and the crowd grew as it got later in the evening.
|From left to right Jose Manuel Cueva, Canto Del Sol Tennis Director Martin Parra and Ramon Aguirre present the Doubles championship team the winners trophy. Cueva and Aguirre are avid tennis players and are on Mayor Bravo's staff. The recipients of the torphies were Mason Fuller and Ikaika Jobe from the U.S. |
Kicking off the action that began mid afternoon was a singles semifinal match between top seed and hard hitting Luigi D'Agord of Italy against the 3rd seed Marinko Matosevic of Australia. Matosevic proved to be tough competition for the top seed and the Australian took the first set 6-3, before D'Agord evened the match up at a set apiece with a 6-4 2nd set victory. The final set was one that tennis fans dream about, as each player held serve for the first 10 games and were tied 5-5 with all appearances of a tiebreak to determine who moved on to the finals.
The fiery and emotional play of Matosevic gave him the first service break of the set to lead 6-5 and needed only to hold serve to claim the semifinal victory. After falling behind 0 -30, the Aussie served himself back to deuce and closed out the match in as tight a thriller as a fan can want. The final score had Matosevic winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 over D'Agord whose play was equally as spectacular.
Up next was the doubles final with pitted an unseeded team from the U.S. against the 4th seeded Australian team of Andrew Roberts and Marinko Matosevic, who was given an hour to rest from his marathon semifinal just completed. Mason Fuller of San Diego and Ikaika Jobe of Hawaii, both 25 years old, just barely made it to the finals; needing to go to a third set tiebreak in their last two matches.
The rules in the doubles competition are different at this level of play under ITF guidelines in two aspects. First, if a game went to 40-40 deuce, only the next point was played to determine who won the game. The second rule difference was that if the teams split sets, the 3rd set was a 10 point tiebreaker. That is how the U.S. team got to the finals; needing to take two consecutive pressure packed tiebreaks in the quarters and semis.
When the match began it was obvious that the long match played by Matosevic clearly affected his play and the U.S. team broke serve at 2-1 and held serve to open a 4-1 lead. They broke serve in the final game of the 1st set to win rather handily 6-2. Fuller and Jobe played their ranked opponents with a combination of terrific teamwork and strategy. The 2nd set had the U.S. team running the first five games, dropping one and winning the last to take the set 6-1 to win the doubles championships.
The 2nd singles semifinal match was next and the local growing crowd heavily cheered for the 2nd seed, Mexican Miguel Gallardo-Valles who played the 5th seeded Nima Roshan from the U.S. Roshan and Gallardo clearly had contrasting styles. Roshan had a booming flat serve, even on his second serve and followed any shot possible to the net. Gallardo played more traditional tennis, utilizing the strength of his groundstrokes from the baseline. The players both held serve until Gallardo broke serve at 3-3 in the first set and served out the close set at 6-4. The 2nd set was more of the same and Gallardo broke Roshan at 2-2 and both players held serve until it came down to the Mexican star leading 6-5 and serving for the match.
Roshan, who was not a player that hid his emotions, won the first two points, but Gallardo fought back to make it 30-30, and then won the next point to serve for the match. Roshan forced the game back to deuce twice before he held advantage in the game and finally evened the match at 5-5. Both players held serve and went to a tiebreaker which Roshan won by the closest of margins at 7-5. This gave the players and fans a deciding 3rd set and the momentum gained by Roshan held up as his serve and volley game proved to be the winner in a tight 6-4 final set. The fiery U.S. player won the match 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 when he was a single point from defeat in the 2nd set.
That sets up Saturday's final which will feature the 5th seed Nima Roshan of the United States against the 3rd seeded Australian Marinko Matosevic. The final will be played at the Canto Del Sol, court #2 at 5:00 PM. A large crowd is expected for the singles final; get there early for a good seat. The tournament is free of charge.