Photo: Susan MullaneGianluigi Quinzi (ITA)
The featured men’s player for the month of May is 2013 Junior Wimbledon champion Gianluigi Quinzi. The 18-year-old has been playing on the ITF Pro Circuit since 2010 but has committed full-time to the senior game since losing in the quarterfinal of the US Open Junior Tennis Championship last September.
Quinzi’s first Futures event in May was on the clay courts of Galati for Romania F1 where, as the second seed, he was rewarded with a comfortable early draw where back-to-back qualifiers, Alexander Cozbinov and Ilie-Aurelian Giurgiu, were seen off with consummate ease.
The quarterfinals pitted the Italian against British seventh seed Jack Carpenter and after a first set that saw Quinzi once again in imperious form the second set provided his first real test of the tournament being taken to a tiebreaker before completing the victory, 61 76(5).
Only three further games were dropped in a semifinal against Petru-Alexandru Luncanu to set up a final against local player Vasile Antonescu.
Quinzi took the early advantage to break in the third and seventh games of the match to build a 5-2 lead before handing one break back as he tried to serve out the first set. The left-hander was immediately back on the offensive in Antonescu’s next service game, however, to bring up three set points before closing it out at the second attempt.
The tide turned in the second set and as Quinzi surrendered four straight games to his opponent to open proceedings. Despite a small recovery to win the next two games it was not enough to work his way back into the set and another break was handed to Antonescu courtesy of a double fault before the Romanian held his serve to level the final.
The pair traded breaks in the final set as neither player quite managed to enforce their will on the match. Three breaks of serve in the middle of the set worked to Quinzi’s advantage and he was able to hold his nerve to take a first title of 2014, 63 26 63, in 2 hours and 14 minutes.
From Romania it was on to Morocco for his first title defence having picked up his maiden title at the same event 12 months earlier. The memory of that success in mind, Quinzi strode confidently to the title without losing a single set in his five matches.
As the top ranked player at the event he never lost more than four games in a match and beat the sixth, fourth and second seeds for a total of just 11 games from the quarterfinals onwards.
Remaining in Morocco for the final week of the month but moving from Safi to Casablanca the competition ramped up a gear and a tricky encounter in the first round against qualifier Moos Sporken was eventually negotiated 61 26 60.
Having overcome this early test Quinzi moved into the semifinals in more routine fashion to face off against top seed Martin Vaisse. A tight opening set was decided in a tiebreak which gave the Italian the platform to forge ahead into the final, 76(5) 61.
Quinzi made it three straight titles with victory the following day against Gianni Mina as he stretched his win-streak to 15 matches. It also led to a new career high ranking of 302 for the week of 9 June and he will no doubt be trying to build upon the solid start to the year in the weeks and months ahead.