07 Jan 2008

Alexander Slabinsky - December 2007


Alexander Slabinsky - December

December 2007


This month we feature the 21-year-old British player Alexander Slabinsky.  During December, Alex competed in three ITF Futures tournaments.

Khartoum in Sudan was the venue for Alex’s first tournament of the month.  Here, on clay, he was seeded 5th and had a short first round match against a wildcard entry as his opponent had to retire in the first set.  Alex was leading 2 games to love at the time.  Next up was a match against fellow Brit David Brewer.  A 62 62 victory saw Alex through to the quarter final where he faced number 2 seed, Matwe Middelkoop, a player currently on a fantastic run of consecutive victories in Futures competition.  Matwe’s impressive run was to continue as Alex was narrowly defeated 75 63.

Alex next moved onto Nigeria for his next two tournaments, both held on hard courts in Lagos.  Now on his favoured court surface Alex was seeded 7th and also entered into the doubles event with Navdeep Singh from India.  In the singles event a straight sets win took him into the 2nd round against Indian Rupesh Roy, who had come through the qualifying event.  Despite losing the opening set, Alex fought back to claim a place in the quarter final, winning 36 63 63.  Another qualifier provided the opposition in the quarterfinal, this time Nigerian Destiny Ford-Da Silva.  With Alex leading 75 40, Destiny had to retire from the match.  4th seed, Reda El Amrani from Morocco stood between Alex and a place in the final.  A close first set went to a tiebreak, which Alex won with relative ease 7-1.  However, a place in a singles final was going to have to wait until the next tournament as Reda came back to win the match 67 63 61.  Alex was to claim the doubles title here though with his partner Navdeep Singh.  Together, unseeded, they came through four tough matches, all of which were decided by a final set match tiebreak.  Also en route to the doubles title they defeated the top three seeded teams.  This was also Alex’s 2nd career Futures doubles title.

Staying in Lagos for his next tournament, Alex was again seeded, this time 6 in singles and 4 in doubles.  There was to be no repeat of the doubles success enjoyed in the previous tournament as, with new partner, Bogdan-Victor Leonte from Romania, defeat came in the quarterfinal.  In singles competition however, Alex fared better, and won a first singles title of his career.  Two straight sets victories in the first two rounds set Alex up with a quarter final showdown against the 4th seed, Reda El Amrani, the same player who defeated Alex at the semi final stage of the previous tournament.  Alex was to gain revenge for that three set defeat by emerging victorious in straight sets, 61 63.  Two tiebreak sets in the semi final against Austrian Richard Ruckelshausen, one going to each player set up a deciding set for a place against Romanian Catalin-Ionut Gard in the final.  This deciding set though was not to be as close as the first two sets and Alex claimed his place in his 3rd singles final of his career to date (all achieved in 2007) with a 67 76 61 victory.  His opponent in this final was also the top seed but a 64 63 win saw Alex win his first career singles title.

The release of the ATP singles rankings on December 31st saw Alex ranked at 408, his highest career ranking.

Nick Fishpool