Not only did Ukraine’s Denys Molchanov celebrate his birthday this month but he is also our featured player for this period.
Molchanov came into the month as a 23-year-old with one ITF Pro Circuit singles title to his name, won back in May 2009 in Poland, but would end it by adding a hat-trick of title wins in Turkey.
His month long stay in Turkey did not start off too well for the Ukrainian in singles competition and a first round defeat in Tarsus as the third seed masked the glory that was soon to come his way.
More heartbreak came in the doubles event where, having reached the final as No. 1 seeds, Molchanov and his Russian partner Mikhail Vasiliev were unable to contest the match handing the title to Spaniards Calderon-Rodriguez & Giner by walkover.
It was in his second match, held in Adana, that his fortunes changed considerably. Named the second seed in singles for his last tournament as a 23-year-old Molchanov stormed to the title with his toughest match coming in a tense three-setter in the semifinal.
With a new doubles partner, fellow Ukrainian Ivan Sergeyev, he was once more billed as the top seed but following a first round Bye the pair suffered a crushing quarterfinal defeat in a match which saw them only manage to claim three games.
More success came in Samsun as Molchanov’s Turkish adventure continued in his birthday week. The week began with his 24th birthday on the opening day of the main draw and once the celebrations were out of the way it was time for business.
As the number one seed in both singles and doubles, with a third different partner of the month in Moldova’s Andrei Ciumac, he got off to a cracking start, dropping just one game in his opening singles match.
Straight sets wins continued to come including a 61 61 semifinal win over Mohamed Safwat, the same player who only a week earlier had pushed Molchanov hard in the Adana semifinal, a match Molchanov eventually took 67(6) 75 64. Just goes to show what a difference a week can make!
The week was closed out in Samsun with Molchanov contesting both the singles and doubles finals and emerging from both matches, which were closely fought, with the title each time to end a very happy birthday week!
Molchanov finished the month in Antalya and was again named top seed in both singles and doubles, where he stuck with his title winning partner Ciumac.
A series of singles victories took Molchanov into the semifinal where, for the third tournament in succession, he faced Mohamed Safwat! As in their previous contests it was Molchanov who came out on top to take a place in the final.
Just as in Samsun the previous week, Molchanov rounded off the week by competing in both singles and doubles finals and, just as he did then, he walked off court in both matches as the champion!