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Old 01-15-2016, 06:17 PM   #237
Brian Swartz
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: May 2006
Looks like breaks for a few days and then thread-spamming shall be the way of things this winter. Such is the nature of the busy season. Strangely, I have Fri/Sat as my days off this week, which is just bizarre. But here's what's happened recently ...

January

Mehul took a couple of weeks off to rest, Mooljee did likewise, while Girish Girsh headed to the Auckland 250 in New Zealand. He was a semifinalist last year, while Mehul won it. As the third seed, he was favored over Federer and Herrera, both of him lost disappointingly early making the path even clearer.

An interesting semifinal matchup was against Mick Elder. The old war-horse is now 31, but has stabilized with his manager sticking with the game and learning a few things it appears; he doesn't overplay his guys as much. Elder is currently ranked a very credible 25th. He pushed it to three sets but Girsh outclassed him to make the final against Gustavo Caratti(ARG). Caratti had won both previous meetings, both on clay which is his specialty, but he's a credible hard-courter as well and gave Girsh more of a fight than he wanted. In reality, the Argentine played more than well enough to take the match in what would have been a fairly seismic upset for the 7-seed, but Girsh managed to split a pair of long tiebreaks before winning the third to take the title, 7-6(8), 6-7(10), 6-3. He saved 9 of 10 break points, and needed to as his serve was constantly under pressure. Overall a good debut for both players, and I expect the 23rd-ranked challenger to move up the rankings this year a la Smitala and Birkeland last season. He's only 23 and still getting better, definitely one of the leaders of the weak Generation Flash.
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