This month we are featuring Alexey Kedryuk, a 29-year old Davis Cup veteran of 15-years for Kazakhstan. During the month, Kedryuk competed in four ITF Pro Circuit tournaments, which saw him travel to Istanbul in Turkey for two tournaments followed by two tournaments in Kazakhstan, the first of which was in Shymkent and finally he finished in his home city of Almaty.
Situated on the Bosphorus Straight, it is the only city in the world to be located in two continents, Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, saw Kedryuk, competing on his favoured hard court surface, come through the qualifying event, where he was the No. 1 seed, to take his place in the main draw. After meeting with little resistance in the qualifying event, Kedryuk opened his account in the main draw as the third seed with a 75 60 victory over Slovakian Matus Horecny. He then defeated Valentin Sanon from the Ivory Coast and fifth seeded Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus in straight sets to set up a semi final with fellow qualifier and No. 8 seed Denys Molchanov. His Ukrainian opponent managed to take the first set 64 but Kedryuk fought back to win through to the final, taking the next two sets 63 61. In the final he took on seventh seeded Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, the 2007 ITF Junior World Champion. Kedryuk proved too tough for Berankis and soon found himself with his first singles title since April 2009 with a 62 64 triumph. Kedryuk also won the doubles title with partner Junn Mitsuhashi from Japan. As second seeds they defeated the No. 1 seeded pairing of Denys Molchanov and Pavel Snobel from the Ukraine and Czech Republic respectively in a close final 26 63 [10-8].
Staying in the city of Istanbul, Kedryuk’s next tournament again saw him playing on hard courts, although he wasn’t to repeat his success of the previous week. This time as a direct acceptance into the main draw and seeded fourth, Kedryuk came through two close opening matches before falling in straight sets at the quarterfinal stage to his semi final opponent from the previous tournament, Denys Molchanov. The No. 8 seed ended Kedryuk’s participation in the singles event winning 76(4) 64 and went on to finish as runner-up in the final. This exit from the singles event was not the end of the tournament for Kedryuk, once again with Junn Mitsuhashi; he was taking part in the doubles event as second seeds. Remarkably, all four of the matches they played en route to claiming back-to-back doubles titles came against the same teams defeated the previous week. This included a first round match which saw them defeat their Turkish first round opponents from last week, Sami Beceren & Baris Erguden, by exactly the same score line, 61 62. A 63 61 victory over the Irish pairing of Barry King & Conor Niland followed in the quarterfinal and another straight sets win over Tuna Altuna (TUR) & Arsen Asanov (UZB) took them into the final. The final, just as it was last week, saw a clash between the tournaments top two seeds. No. 1 seeds Molchanov & Snobel once again found themselves coming up second best as a close 63 76(6) triumph brought back-to-back doubles titles in Istanbul to Kedryuk & Mitsuhashi.
Kedryuk returned to his home nation of Kazakhstan for his next two tournaments of the month, starting with a visit to the capital city of the South Kazakhstan Province, Shymkent, and a switch to clay courts. Here he found himself named the No. 1 seed in both singles and doubles. In the opening two rounds, Kedryuk defeated Arata Onozawa (62 63) and Yuki Matsuo (64 64) both from Japan. Slovakian fifth seed Adrian Sikora was then blown away in a surprisingly one-sided match with the loss of just one game. A far tougher match followed in the semi final where he took on, and eventually defeated, Hyun-Woo Nam from Korea. The No. 8 seed was narrowly beaten 64 75 as Kedryuk took his place in his second singles final of the month. A qualifier from Uzbekistan now stood between Kedryuk and another title in his home nation following his success at Kazakhstan F1 Futures back in March 2009. Despite this final being a contest between the No. 1 seed and a player who had had to earn his place in the main draw via the qualifying event, the match was not a straight forward victory as might have been expected. Uzbekistan’s Sarvar Ikramov put up a real fight throughout the match but it was not to be enough as Kedryuk emerged from the contest victorious in straight sets, 75 63. There was, however, to be no repeat of his doubles successes in Turkey as Kedryuk’s participation in the doubles event was over before it even began. His partner was to be Denys Molchanov, the same player who had played against, and lost to, Kedryuk in the two Turkish doubles finals but before their first round match took place Molchanov unfortunately picked up an ankle injury in the singles event forcing the pair to withdraw from the doubles.
690km to the east of Shymkent is Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty. This former capital of Kazakhstan (it lost this status in 1998) is thought to be the ancestral home of the apple, Almaty derives from the Kazakh word for apple, but is definitely the home town of Kedryuk and this is where Kedryuk’s final tournament of the month was taking place. Back on his favoured hard courts, Kedryuk’s homecoming saw him named the No. 1 seed in singles and No. 2 seed in doubles with fellow Davis Cup teammate Syrym Abdukhalikov. Kedryuk came through the first three rounds in straight sets and his semi final saw him take on the fourth seed from Uzbekistan, Murad Inoyatov, in a tense encounter. The first set went in favour of Kedryuk 7-2 on a tiebreak but Inoyatov fought back to level the match by taking the second set, also 7-2 in a tiebreak. In the deciding set it was Kedryuk who prevailed, winning 63 to move into the final, which would be against second seed, Andrey Kumantsov from Russia. Playing in the final in his hometown, Kedryuk won this battle of the top two seeds, to the delight of his home support, 63 76(4), to claim the title, his fifth singles title on the ITF Pro Circuit from five finals in 2009. The doubles event saw him and his partner defeated in two tiebreak sets by the eventual runners-up in the semi final.
As mentioned, Kedryuk has won all five singles finals in which he has contested in 2009 and the two Turkish doubles titles means he has also now won both his two doubles finals of 2009. Over his career to date on the ITF Pro Circuit, he has claimed ten singles titles from eighteen finals and in doubles he has played in an astonishing forty-one finals winning the title on twenty-eight occasions. Although still someway off his 2006 career high singles ranking of 261, a few more successful months like he has had in September, which saw him triumphant in three singles and two doubles titles, should see him close in on that ranking in no time.