Photo: Firmino PitonGabriela Ce (BRA)
This month’s featured player is Brazil’s Gabriela Ce.
The 20-year old enjoyed a very successful month on the ITF Pro Circuit taking in three tournaments in her home nation.
In her opening tournament of the month in Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, Ce was seeded second in the singles event and, with Nathalia Rossi whom she was partnering for the first time since 2011, was the top seed in doubles.
Ce didn’t drop a set until her semifinal match against the fourth seed Nathaly Kurata. Her run to the semis had seen her record wins of 63 61, 63 62 and, in the quarterfinal against a qualifier, 63 60.
Against Kurata it seemed this impressive run of results would continue when taking the first set 62 but her fellow Brazilian forced a tiebreak in the second set which she won 10-8 to send the match into a decisive third set. Here, Ce resumed her previously shown dominance and conceded just the one game to move into the final, her first since July.
The day before her singles final though, Ce was involved in the doubles final. This final saw top seeds Ce and her partner Rossi up against unseeded Carolina Meligeni Rodrigues Alves and Juliana Rocha Cardoso in an all-Brazilian final.
Ce and Rossi had come through two close matches to reach the final and this title match was to be no different as they claimed the title with a 63 64 win. This was Ce’s first doubles title since March 2012.
The singles final pitted Ce and Alves up against each other once more. As she was in the doubles final, Alves was unseeded but had been on good form having eliminated the number one seed 63 62 at the quarterfinal stage.
This final was to see the full three sets required. Ce drew first blood with a 62 opening set win but Alves levelled the match winning 64 in the second. The deciding set saw both players put up a fight for the title and with a 75 win it was Ce who was named the champion. This was the second time in her career that she had won the singles and doubles titles at the same tournament.
Staying at the same venue for the second tournament of the month, Ce was named the third seed in singles and, once again with Rossi, top seed in doubles.
The opening round brought about an immediate rematch from the final of the previous tournament and, in an almost identical scoreline, Ce once again came out on top against Alves, this time 63 46 75.
Ce followed this up with a stunning 60 60 defeat of Rafaela Francisquiny in round two before going behind in a match for the first time this month when dropping the opening set of her quarterfinal 63.
Sixth seeded Argentine Guadalupe Perez Rojas was unable though to build on that first set win as Ce hit back 61 64 to secure victory.
A place in the final was then earned with an impressive 63 61 win over the tournament’s top seed Laura Pigossi. Ce also made the final with partner Rossi in the doubles event. Held the day before the singles final, the duo were unable to emulate their success of the previous week as Suellen Abel and Eduarda Piai, seeded second, avenged their semifinal loss from their meeting a week earlier to take the title 63 76(3).
Despite this doubles title loss, both players managed to pick themselves up to take to the court the next day, this time as opponents, to do battle for the singles title.
Ce and Rossi, the fourth seed, fought hard and were only separated in the opening set by a tiebreak which Ce took 7-3. The second set was also closely contested and nine games were shared between the two with the set ending 63 in Ce’s favour to give her back-to-back singles titles for the first time.
Ce had a one week break from competitive action following this latest title win before returning to the court to see out the month in Sao Paulo.
For this tournament, Ce was the top seed for the singles event and the second seed in the doubles with first time partner Pei-Chi Lee.
As in her previous tournaments during November, Ce made it through to the final of both events.
The doubles event ended in a three set 61 16 [10-8] defeat to the third seeds but a hat-trick of singles titles was achieved with a very tight 76(5) 75 win.
Her progression to this final saw her winning comfortably in each round, notching up a series of straight sets wins and with one set in each victory coming without loss of a game!
In fact her opening seven sets saw her dropping just seven games with the eighth set being the closest. This ended in a tiebreak win to see her into the final.
The final itself was against the fifth seed from Argentina; Andrea Benitez. The two had already met earlier in the week during the opening round of the doubles event and, as she had done then, it was Ce who left the court a winner.
This singles title took her career count up to five, with four of those titles coming this year.