2015 Glasgow Challenger Day 3 Report: Bemelmans fends off Pavlasek, Naomi Broady advances
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Another cold day in Glasgow meant another day of tennis for me to enjoy. Despite the freezing temperature outside, there was a lot of hot action in the Scotstoun leisure centre today.
Firstly I went to court 4 to see our own Conny Perrin take on the number five seed Ysaline Bonaventure. It was a fairly hot tempered affair, which contrasted nicely to the weather. Bonaventure’s lefty serve and flat groundstrokes were enough to see her take the lead in the opening set, but at 5-3 the Belgian failed to serve it out. Perrin tried to use her variety to wrestle control from her opponent, but soon enough the Swiss found herself a set down. Bonaventure continued that momentum in the second set securing an early break whilst her coach cheered her on next to me. Both players were very much amped up during the match. Both players threw their rackets to the floor in frustration, and had words with the umpire about questionable line calls. Bonaventure however managed to keep her cool enough to serve out the match. 6-3,6-4 being the final result to the Belgian who was a bit too powerful for Perrin.
Speaking after the match Perrin told me that it was a ‘difficult’ match and that Bonaventure adapted well to everything she tried. Conny also told me that the courts are playing very slow, so it was difficult to hit through her opponent.
Next up was the number one seed in the mens singles Alexsandr Nedovyesov vs Peter Torebko of Germany. The Kazakh’s possessed the bigger weapons, but he was also wildly inconsistent. The German had his own struggles on serve, with his percentage being 35 for the whole match. There were plenty of breaks in this one, as both players struggled to really get a grip on serve, the most significant example coming at the end of the first set. Nedovyesov served for the set but couldn’t convert, and then in a reverse of fortunes Torebko had his chance to serve for it at 6-5, but the German also failed to close out the set. Therefore we were treated to a tiebreaker, which was largely dominated by the Kazakh, who’s forehand and ability at the net proved too much for his opponent. Tempers flared during the match with both men getting visually frustrated because they couldn’t hold on to serve and build an advantage. In the end Nedovyesov gained the upper-hand and earned the chance to serve for the match. In what became the familiar theme in this match, the top seed struggled closing it out, but In the end he got the job done to take the match 7-6,6-4.
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It was back to the women’s for my second viewing of young Brit Isabelle Wallace. The 17 year old however fell easily to fellow qualifier Chloe Paquet 6-1,6-1. A big lesson for the young Brit.
I stuck around to see an all British clash as third seed Naomi Broady faced Tara Moore in the women’s singles. The big serving Broady raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening set, and was looking like she was going to run away with the match. Moore had other plans however, and she battled back to get the score to 5-3 before eventually losing the set. The second went pretty much the same, with Broady’s aggressiveness getting the better of her more defensive opponent. The third seed raced into a 5-2 lead and a chance to serve out the match. What proceeded was by far the longest game of the match as match points and break points came and went like the sun in Britain. Broady remained strong enough to seal the match 6-3,6-2, but it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests.
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Speaking post match Broady said: “Tara is a really good player, and we know each other’s game really well. So when it gets down to the last few points and you know you are close, you start over thinking it a little bit. She also had nothing to lose in the end, so she decided to go for her shots a little more and it made it difficult for me”
Broady made the main draw at Wimbledon in 2014, making it to round two before being defeated by Caroline Wozniacki. She spoke of her experience: “It was amazing. Caroline is the same age as me, and I have known her since juniors, and she’s such a great player, so I was happy we had a reasonably competitive match. I managed to play on court 1 too which was incredible, as I had the home fans behind me. Most players think Wimbledon is the best grand slam, but it’s a bit more special for the British players.”
The final men’s singles match on court six was an interesting match between Adam Pavlasek and Ruben Bemelmans. Pavlasek competed in the Hopman cup for the Czech Republic, and Bemelmans competed in the Australian Open, losing to Ivo Karlovic in the first round. The Czech was under pressure in his first service game, but he pulled through and broke his Belgian opponent in the next game. Pavlasek held serve for the rest of the set to secure it 6-3. You got the sense that Bemelmans was working his way into the match more and more as the first set went along, and in the second set he started to turn the match around in his favour. The Belgian took it 6-3 with some impressive shots helping him level the score. Pavlasek however didn’t let losing the lead get to him, because he soon re-established it in the third set; breaking Bemelmans to love at 2-1. The Czech held out to serve for the match, but Bemelmans kept fighting and soon found himself level on the scoreboard. It was only a few games later when the turnaround was complete, as he took the third set 7-5 to complete the closest encounter I have witnessed this week.
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Whilst Pavlasek and Bemelmans were going at it on court 6, an upset was brewing on court eight. Number two seed, Michal Przysiezny was in the top 100 a year ago, but 12 months on, he has found himself losing in the opening round of a challenger event. France’s David Guez came from behind to defeat the Pole 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in what looked like a thrilling encounter.
Other results in the men’s singles included Britain’s Daniel Cox beating Matwe Middelkoop in straight sets, 6-4,6-1. Axel Michon also finds himself in the second round after Yan Marti retired from a set and two breaks down. There were also wins for Julian Reister, Niels Desein and Jonathan Eysseric.
In the women’s, there were victories for top seed Maryna Zanevska and number two seed Kristyna Pliskova.
I’ll be back for my final day in Glasgow, hoping for some more great tennis.