Steve Darcis - April 2007
The Belgian player Steve Darcis is the featured player for April.
April started for Steve with a trip to the clay courts at Angers, France for the France F6 tournament. First up was a straight sets victory over Frenchman Alexandre Lacroix who came through the qualifying event. Juan-Martin Aranguren from Argentina, who had already defeated the tournaments number one seed in straight sets, was the second round opponent and with Steve leading by one set to love this match ended early in the second set when Juan-Martin had to retire whilst trailing 2-0. Argentina once again provided the opposition for Steve in the quarter final in the shape of Sebastian Decoud. After splitting the first two sets, Steve triumphed in the decider to wrap up a 63 57 63 win. A 63 76(5) semi final victory against wildcard entrant Josselin Ouanna of France enabled Steve to book his place in the final where again he came up against a French wildcard, this time Xavier Pujo. For the first time in this event Steve found himself behind after losing the opening set 36 but he managed to recover from this set back to take the next two sets 64 64 and claim his first singles title since March 2005.
Next Steve moved onto Antalya in Turkey for the Turkey F2 and F3 tournaments where he also took part in the doubles events. Turkey F2 also saw Steve seeded seven in the singles event but unfortunately for Steve he was not to progress beyond the first round. In the opening round he came up against Marcel Zimmermann from Germany who defeated him 63 16 46. Marcel went on to reach the semi final where he was beaten after being forced to retire. Steve found success in the doubles event; teaming up with Dutchman Fred Hemmes they won the title without the loss of a set, even defeating the number one seeds in the semis.
At Turkey F3 Steve claimed his second singles title of 2007. This time unseeded he opened up by defeating players from Belgium in rounds one and two. The number one seed, Jose Checa-Calvo from Spain, stood in the way of a semi final spot but Steve scored a fantastic 60 63 victory to move on. Bulgarian Todor Enev, seeded four, provided stiffer competition for Steve, at least in the opening set. Taking the first set 75 Steve then stormed through the second set dropping just one game and so onto the final having yet to drop a single set. This trend continued against the unseeded Czech player, Dusan Karol, with Steve recording a 63 63 victory to take the title. Once again partnered with Fred Hemmes, they managed to reach the doubles final without dropping any sets. Along the way they saw off competition from the number one and four seeds before facing the second seeds in the final. In the final Steve came up against two familiar faces from the singles event, Jeroen Masson and Dusan Karol, his opponents in the first round and final respectively. However, Steve and Fred were not to claim their second doubles title here in Turkey as they were defeated 36 67(1).
In all, a good month for Steve as from the three tournaments that he entered he claimed two singles titles which ended a two year spell without a singles Futures title (although during this period Steve was mainly playing on the Challenger circuit) and earned him 36 points as well as winning one doubles title.