04 Nov 2013

Spotlight - Laurynas Grigelis - October 2013


By Nick Fishpool

Laurynas Grigelis (LTU)

October 2013


Young Lithuanian Laurynas Grigelis is our featured player for the month of October.

The 22-year-old, who has represented his nation in Davis Cup, came into the month with two singles titles on the ITF Pro Circuit to his name for the year from the three finals in which he had featured but by the end of the month he would have more than doubled that tally.

All the on court action over the course of the month for Grigelis took place on indoor hard courts in Great Britain, starting in Loughborough.

Seeded fourth, Grigelis opened with a comfortable 61 62 defeat of British qualifier Isaac Stoute but then found himself in two tough matches.

Germany’s Pirmin Haenle forced a tiebreak in the first set of their second round clash but failed to claim a point and Grigelis ran out an eventual 76(0) 63 winner. In the quarterfinal, Grigelis dropped his first set of the tournament. Joris De Loore, the Belgian fifth seed, took the first 63 before Grigelis levelled the match winning his second tiebreak of the week 7-5. From here, he pushed on and dropped just two games as he secured a semifinal spot.

For a place in the final, Grigelis was up against his doubles partner of the week, Sam Barry of Ireland. Together the pair had been seeded second in the doubles event but lost out in a close semifinal 76(6) 63 to Dutch twins Kevin and Scott Griekspoor.

The semifinal was as far as Barry would progress in the singles event too as Grigelis raced to a 61 61 win over the seventh seed.

In the title match, Grigelis faced the second seed from Great Britain, David Rice. The pair had only ever previously met once before and that was back in 2009 in Wrexham when Grigelis defeated Rice to win his first ITF Pro Circuit singles title.

A three set battle saw Grigelis emerge triumphant over Rice once again as, with a 64 36 63 win, he earned himself a second career singles title in Great Britain.

Tipton was the location for the second of three British tournaments this month for Grigelis and this time he was named the number two seed.

No doubles play this week as the Lithuanian concentrated solely on the singles event.

Following a 60 61 first round win, Grigelis came up against Scott Griekspoor and dropped the opening set on a tiebreak 7-3. Two more close sets followed which saw Grigelis run out a 67(3) 64 63 winner.

Grigelis then saw off a British qualifier in straight sets to set up a semifinal encounter with the other Griekspoor brother, Kevin.

Like his twin brother Scott had managed, Kevin moved into a one set lead over Grigelis but he was unable to avenge his brother’s defeat as Grigelis struck back to reach a second consecutive final of the month with a 36 61 64 victory.

Opposing him for the title was his quarterfinal opponent from Loughborough, Joris De Loore, who was seeded third.

Their previous meeting was the first between the two players and Grigelis required three sets to earn the win, this time, he wrapped up the win in straight sets, 63 63, to claim back-to-back Pro Circuit singles titles for the first time in his career.

Grigelis saw out the month in Edgbaston, where he was once again the number two seed and competing for the singles title only.

Four successive straight sets wins carried Grigelis into his third final in succession and another meeting with De Loore.

This run of wins included an impressive 64 60 quarterfinal defeat of Britain’s Tom Farquharson who, despite having come through the qualifying event had been seeded sixth.

Chances of securing a third straight title win looked to be drifting away from Grigelis in this latest meeting with De Loore, who was seeded third again, when he dropped the second set 61 having taken the opening set 63.

Grigelis, however, staged a remarkable recovery, and stormed through the deciding set reeling off six games in a row from the start to complete his hat-trick of British title wins this month and also make it three wins from three meetings against De Loore.

This month’s three title wins also means that Grigelis has now triumphed in each of his last five singles final appearances and now has a career total of seven titles from nine finals.