Same thing all over again two weeks later, this time the Americans hoping for a better result. They did get a moment to celebrate when young Harry Bayliss knocked out rising German 26-seed Sigmund Kronecker, 7-6(4), 6-7(1), 6-3, the only seed to drop in the first match.
A couple of the lower seeds had their moments in the third round, with Zourab Andronikov and Hugo Jurco turning back the clock with upset wins. Borja came close but missed again this week, coming up short against Fangio in a three-setter that might have been the day's best action. All of the party-crashers left in the next round, leaving once again the top seven in the quarters. Obvious trend is obvious. The eighth was Kire Zopp this time.
Zopp was easily dispatched by Mooljee, and then a surprise as Gillo Fangio, who is not having a good start so far, dropped his worst loss in a while to Khasan Zakirov. It was close, but definitely a significant upset. There were more surprises to come. Despite being pretty well dominated on the whole, Janin stunned Mateo Kaspar for his first defeat of the year, 4-6, 7-5(5), 6-4. This is as lopsided a match in favor of the loser as I think I've ever seen; had some similar before but not worse. The Canadian prodigy seized on his lone break point chance, which came in the final set after a tight tiebreak in the second. He probably should have lost in straights, but that's the way fate is sometimes. Tomas Niklas exited again, this time in three to Browne.
Prakash Mooljee easily extended his success streak over Zakirov to eight straight(13-3 overall). Then another close one, with Luc Janin escaping Johnny Browne and the partisan crowd. The final was one of those that could have gone either way. Janin had more chances, but Mooljee stepped up when it counted and claimed his first big title in over seven months, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3! Very significant crown here for Prakash, as it helps him stave off the rising tide against him for a while longer.
Dudwadkar entered a tier-3 challenger in Bath, and yawned his way to the final as the top seed. Unseeded Miguel Egea, a 'good futures'-level player at 240th coming in, nearly made him pay. Ritwik escaped with a second title in three weeks, 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-5.
Sushant Chiba's latest JG5 excursion saw him qualify but go no further in singles, while reaching the SF in doubles. He's still a bit outside the Top 1000, and his double fault rate is varying wildly still(anywhere from about 17% to 30%). Even straining of skill and serve continues.