19-year old Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador is this months featured player. November saw Arevalo contest two tournaments in Mexico before ending the month in his home nation of El Salvador.
Arevalo, who has represented his nation in Davis Cup action, began the month in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. As an unseeded player, Arevalo began the tournament promisingly as he recorded a 63 60 victory over Mexican qualifier Tigre Hank but his participation in the singles event was brought to an end in his second round encounter with Mexican No. 7 seed Victor Romero in three sets, 64 36 61. Arevalo also took part in the doubles event but, along with his partner from Guyana, Christopher Diaz-Figueroa, was eliminated in the opening round by American pair Nicholas Edlefsen and Ty Trombetta in two close sets, 75 76(4).
Staying in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Arevalo moved onto the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta, situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and the fifth largest city in the state. At the tournament here, Arevalo’s month was about to take a turn for the better following his early exit at the previous week’s tournament. Seeded sixth, Arevalo had to come from a set down against Austrian qualifier Riccardo Bellotti, eventually winning 67(5) 63 61 to reach the second round. America’s Ashwin Kumar was then seen off in straight sets as was Mexican third seed Cesar Ramirez. In the semi final, Arevalo faced another American player in Michael Rubin. Arevalo stormed into a one set lead with the loss of just one game before edging a close second set 64. This win took Arevalo into his second ITF Pro Circuit singles final of his career with his first having come earlier in the year during May. The final saw him take on 27-year old Roman Borvanov from Moldova, who was competing in his eighth career singles final (all in Mexico) and who had knocked out the No. 1 seed in his semi final match, as he looked to claim a career first title. This singles final was closely contested by the two players and it was Arevalo who was celebrating at the end having secured his first singles title with a 63 63 victory. In the doubles event, Arevalo once again partnered Diaz-Figueroa and just as in Guadalajara they lost a very close first round match. They could take some consolation from this defeat as their opponents, the No. 2 seeds, went onto claim the doubles title.
Finally for the month, Arevalo returned to his native El Salvador for a tournament in Santa Tecla, which is situated at the southern foot of the San Salvador Volcano. Opening round wins against Frenchman Nicolas Rosenzweig (62 64) and Italian Matthias Wolf (75 75) was followed with back-to-back victories over American opponents. First, Christian Guevara, a qualifier, was defeated 75 63 and in the semi final a 63 75 win ended the progress of the No. 2 seed Stephen Bass and Arevalo found himself through to a second successive singles final. The day before the singles final was due to take place, Arevalo took to the court alongside his brother Rafael for the doubles final. Regular partners in Davis Cup, where they have a 4-1 win-loss record, this was only the sixth tournament on the ITF Pro Circuit that they had played as a partnership and this was their first final appearance. Having yet to drop a set and having defeated the British No. 1 seeds 61 61 in the semi final, they came into the match full of confidence. In the final they took on Guyana’s Julien Uriguen and Arevalo’s recent partner Christopher Diaz-Figueroa. A tough match ended with the Arevalo brothers claiming the title with a 76(5) 64 win. This was Marcelo Arevalo’s first doubles title (from four finals) and his brother Rafael’s fifth (from five finals). Playing such a tough doubles final the day before his singles final, against the No. 1 seed from Greece, Alexandros Jakupovic, was probably not ideal but if he was suffering from fatigue, he certainly didn’t let it show. The first set was decided on a tiebreak, going 7-2 in Arevalo’s favour, before he claimed his second consecutive singles title, and added to his doubles success here in Santa Tecla, winning 64 in the second set.
Apart from winning his career first singles titles and partnering his brother to a career first doubles title, there was further cause for celebration for Arevalo on November 30th as the release of the ATP World Rankings showed he had climbed to a career high ranking of 460 in singles and 627 in doubles. A bright future looks to be on the cards for this 19-year old and if he can continue this form into the New Year he can certainly look to win many more titles.