A couple of tournaments in the off weeks for my players, and neither went very well. Anil Mehul was up first in the Barcelona 500, and he got tripped up decisively by Garreth McCuskey early in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-4. McCuskey is having a bit of a comeback year this season, but he's not a very strong clay player and this is definitely a match Mehul should have won. It was an all-Spanish final here to the delight of the crowds, with 15th-seeded Rui Padilla winning the title to vault himself into the mid-20s.
The next week, Ritwik Dudwadkar played a tier-1 juniors event in Santa Croce. Seeded second, his goal was to reach the final against no. 2 Petr Duris. Instead, he was stunned by Hark Aus(ITA) in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-3. It was a miserable performance; when Aus wasn't committing one of his 13 double faults, Dudwadkar could do nothing. He won just six points on the serves that were in play.
Coming Up ...
Madrid Masters followed by Rome the week after for the senior players, and the Italian Open next week for Dudwadkar.