Gabriel Moraru, who is a 26-year old Romanian, is featured this month.
Coming into July, Gabriel Moraru had already reached four Futures singles finals in 2008, winning two of the titles, and was looking to improve on this record. During the month, Gabriel competed in four clay court Futures tournaments on the ITF Men’s Circuit in his home nation of Romania.
The opening tournament of the month for Gabriel was held in Bals where he was seeded 3rd. In the opening round, Gabriel had to come from behind to earn victory against the Ukraine’s Vladislav Bondarenko. Gabriel’s 57 62 64 win was to be the first of three meetings between these two players this month. A qualifier was then brushed aside 61 61 in the second round to set up a quarterfinal match against the 7th seeded Raian Luchici. The first set went to Gabriel 63 before he secured his semi final spot by taking the next set 8-6 on a tiebreak. The tournament 2nd seed, Victor Ionita, provided the opposition in the semi final and it was Gabriel who made it through to the final with a close 75 64 triumph. An interesting final was ensured when Gabriel’s long time doubles partner and the 6th seed, Andrei Mlendea, was also victorious in his semi final match. Finals usually prove to be close, hard fought matches and this was definitely the case here, especially as this was a match between two players who know each other’s game so well having played in fourteen doubles events together since 2003. The title, and with it bragging rights over his doubles partner, went to Gabriel who won in straight sets 75 75.
The doubles event, the only doubles event that Gabriel competed in during the month, also brought a title Gabriel’s way. Partnered by Andrei Mlendea and seeded 3rd, they won an all-Romanian final, their fourth doubles title together, with a straight forward 63 62 victory over the tournament’s 2nd seeded pair.
The next tournament for Gabriel was in Iasi in North Eastern Romania. As the 2nd seed, Gabriel only lost three games as he defeated a qualifier in the first round. A narrow 64 63 victory followed against a Romanian wildcard entrant that set up another match against a player who came into the main draw through the qualifying event. Again, Gabriel was the winner in straight sets. With a place in the final at stake, it came as a surprise when Gabriel easily despatched the challenge from Radu Albot from Moldova 62 60. In the final, the 5th seeded Frenchman, Frederic Jeanclaude prevented Gabriel from making it two successive titles when, having lost the first set 64 to Gabriel, he came from behind to win a very tight final in three sets. After Frederic levelled the match, by winning the second set 75, the final set was decided by a tiebreaker, eventually finishing 8-6 to Frederic.
Gabriel then made the trip to Tirgu Mures, a city in Mures County, Transylvania. Just as he did in the previous week, Gabriel, once again the 2nd seed, defeated a qualifier in the opening match with the loss of three games. This victory set up a second encounter of the month with Vladislav Bondarenko. Any thoughts of revenge for his three set defeat in Bals that Vladislav may have had going into this match soon had to be put on hold as Gabriel raced through the match recording a 64 61 victory. In the quarterfinal, 8th seed Adam Kellner pushed Gabriel close in the opening set which Gabriel won 76(6). The second set did not prove as tight an affair with Gabriel dropping just two games. For the second tournament running, Gabriel made short work in winning through to the final, losing just three games against Petru-Alexandru Luncanu, a fellow Romanian. Gabriel faced the number 1 seed in the final, Italian Andrea Arnaboldi. Despite going a set down in this final, Gabriel went on to win two tiebreakers and claim his second singles title of the month with a 46 76(5) 76(5) triumph.
Finally this month, Gabriel competed in the tournament being held in Oradea, the capital city of Bihor County in Crisana. Seeded 1, Gabriel yet again opened the tournament with a victory over a qualifier losing just three games. A second round win over another qualifier followed despite Gabriel coming close to being eliminated from the tournament before eventually winning 67(3) 76(5) 61. For the third tournament this month, Gabriel found himself on the opposite side of the net to Vladislav Bondarenko. After two successive defeats against Gabriel it looked like Vladislav was finally going to get his revenge as he quickly won the first set 61. Gabriel upped his game in the next two sets, winning them 64 63, to make it three wins out of three against Vladislav and take his place in the semi final. Gabriel made it through to a fourth successive singles final, when, whilst leading 63 41, his opponent Robert Varga from Hungary was forced to retire from the match. The final was against 6th seed Adam Kellner, who was beaten by Gabriel the previous week at the quarterfinal stage. This time, it was Adam’s turn to celebrate as he ran out a 64 62 winner to take the title.
Throughout his career to date, Gabriel has appeared in a remarkable twenty-nine singles finals of which twenty-eight were in Futures competition. Gabriel has won a singles Futures title on eleven occasions. In 2008 alone he has reached eight singles finals and claimed four titles. In doubles, Gabriel has appeared in forty-four finals and won twenty-three titles in all competitions. In Futures only, Gabriel has a record of sixteen doubles titles from twenty-eight finals. For 2008 he has won the title in each of the two doubles finals he has appeared in.
Gabriel’s career high singles ranking is 234 and he can hope to close in on this if he can maintain his current form over the coming months.