News from Around Banderas Bay | November 2009
|Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador Wins IV Copa Pacifico Pro Tennis Tournament|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
November 15, 2009
After competitors from over a dozen countries began play with the qualifying rounds on Sunday that filled the remaining eight spots after the 18 direct entries were given to the top ranked players to enter, the four wild card berths and the two special acceptance entries for those that completed the field at 32, Saturday provided a large crowd for the singles finals. First round play began on Tuesday and the rest of the week provided more superb tennis at the Canto Del Sol Tennis Club.
|On the left, Canto Del Sol Tennis Director Martin Parra, finalist Roman Borvanov and champion Marcelo Arevalo surrounded by the Corona girls.|
Marcelo Arevalo, the 6th seed from El Salvador won his first professional tournament in his young career, defeating an exhausted but superb Roman Borvanov of Maldova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. At 19 years old Arevalo is a tall, strong and extremely fast player that ran down all but two or three of Boranov's best shots, he appears to have a bright future in pro tennis. Ranked #671 in the world prior to the Mexican swing of five tournaments, if his game continues to improve, he could see many more wins in the near future.
Borvanov at 27 and ranked 829th in the world came out to the final Saturday after an extremely long day of work on the courts Friday. In the 2 PM featured singles semifinals, he defeated the red hot top seed Adrien Bossel of Canada in a grueling match that lasted close to three hours 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Bossel had won the first four Mexican Futures and was looking for a sweep of Mexico for the first time in ITF history. Bossel was riding a 23 match winning streak and his run was being picked up by periodicals around the world.
Then, just a couple of hours later he teamed up with Nima Roshan of Australia for the doubles championship as an unseeded team. The 2nd seeded Mexican team of Cesar Ramirez and J. Herrera-Eguiluz won 6-3, 6-4 for the doubles championship. Friday kept Borvanov on the courts in 90 degree temperatures for five hours in fierce competition. The temperatures on the court underneath the tarp are about 10 degrees higher. Borvanov, virtually an unknown to fans has been slowed by injuries this last year and was ranked at around #400 the last three years, with a career high of 343 in 2008.
Arevalo, one of the few tennis pros from El Salvador had a much easier time reaching the finals, defeating American Michael Rubin 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals and dropped only one set in the tournament.
Marcelo was the crowd favorite in the final due to his enthusiasm and intense desire to win, as well as his appreciation for the crowd that was cheering for a Spanish speaking champion. He ran down almost every single shot that was hit and the only points he lost were on his own unforced errors. A number of times during the finals, Borvanov apparently had hit clear winners and Arevalo's speed and quick reactions saw him return shot after shot and quite a few times Borvanov was totally frustrated.
The first set opened with Borvanov breaking Arevalo's serve but he broke back in the fourth game to get back on serve at 2-2. The next game was perhaps the most important early in the match as Marcelo fell behind 0-40 on his serve, but won the next five points to hold serve. The two stayed on serve until the eighth game when Arevalo broke Borvanov to go up 5-3 and then served out the set to take the opener 6-3.
The second set also began with a service break; this time going to Arevalo. He held serve and broke again, then again held is serve to go ahead 4-0 in what appeared to be an easy victory to the spectators. Borvanov however had different ideas, finally holding serve and winning a game, then he broke Arevalo and held serve to close the gap to 4-3. The next game was a thriller, as the two battled relentlessly and went to deuce a number of times. Borvanov had two break points that could have evened the set at 4-4, but Arevalo finally held serve to go ahead 5-3 and then broke serve to win the championship.
Marcelo fell to his back on the far baseline in victory and gratitude looking as though he appeared to win a $5 million dollar professional tournament. This however was his first and if the 19 year old continues to improve, one day we just might see him in some big tournaments.
Congratulations also go out to Roman Borvanov, who was the finalist ion both the singles and doubles and played superb tennis throughout a tournament that he came into unseeded.
The tournament once again was a big success and delighted tennis fans in attendance and is sure to be back for the fifth time next year as the ITF makes their late year Mexico swing. The main sponsors of the event were the Canto Del Sol Tennis Club and Resort, Villas Vallarta Resort, Corona, the City of Puerto Vallarta and the ITF. As always, host Tennis Director Martin Parra and his staff did a superb job behind the scenes.