We could have another shakeup coming here. Defending Wimbledon champion Brian Meikeljohn, still ranked third, has done nothing at all - no practices, nothing - since Roland Garros. He's not even entered as we close in on the oldest Slam of them all. If Meikeljohn is MIA, we have to wonder if there's any chance at a repeat of last year's surprise runs from Hughes(finalist) and Stachovsky(semifinalist along with Hart). It does tend to be a fairly unpredictable event though big servers obviously have an advantage.
Sushant Chiba was going to play one of the 500s, but I screwed up and he didn't enter. So it was off to the Antalya 250 this week, where he made the semis as a 2-seed and lost to grass specialist Acke Kjaerstad(SWE, #28). Match wasn't as close as the 6-4, 7-5 final … it would have been nice to not lose all three BPs against, but even so I think tiebreaks would have very likely gone against Chiba the way it was played. Amrik Kasaravalli fared worse, going down in the first round to Poland's Kamil Smok(#50), 7-6(4), 6-3. I often have this problem at this stage of my player's careers for various reasons - low grass proficiency, not a particularly big serve emphasis, not having that big of a skill edge when you first break into the top levels, etc. So it would have been nice to do better but I'm not particularly surprised or anything.
The news was decidedly better elsewhere. First up, Satyagit Guha hilariously went back to the amateurs. He's a whole 1-4 in futures main draw matches, and has lost enough points that he dropped out of the Top 1000. Went and got himself another title, though he needed three sets in the last couple of rounds to do it. Then he joined Nasir Chittoor the next week at an FT1 event in Argentina, because the week of Wimbledon and the week before don't have anything better than an FT2. Week 26 though had a pair of the top tier, both in the same country. It could hardly have gone better except for the draw. Guha upset the 6-seed in the first round, which was stunning given his futures record. He made it to the QF before getting smashed by Chittoor. The pairing took the title in doubles, and Chittoor edged American Gregory Mort 7-6(3), 7-6(7) in the singles final. It was a match of the top two seeds and lived up to the billing, unusual at this level. Would have been nice not to have my guys drawn in the same quarter but other than that it was perfect.
Most importantly, the win moves Nasir Chittoor into the Top 200 and he graduates from futures play. So it's time to talk about the next tier as the tour's focus switches to historic Wimbledon.
Last edited by Brian Swartz : 05-17-2019 at 03:06 AM.