For this month we will be featuring Chilean player Guillermo Hormazabal.
During the course of October, the 26-year old competed in four ITF Pro Circuit tournaments in his home nation, beginning in the capital and heading southwards taking in Rancagua, Talca and finally Concepcion.
Hormazabal has a good record at Chilean ITF Pro Circuit tournaments having, prior to this month, reached 14 singles and 13 doubles finals during his career.
All four tournaments he played during this month were held outdoors on his favoured clay surface. The first of these took place in the nation’s capital of Santiago.
In the singles event he was named as the number three seed and he opened his campaign with a tight straight sets win 76(4) 64. The next two rounds proved more comfortable, dropping just three games in each match.
This run of victories took Hormazabal into a semifinal against 31-year old seventh seed Ivan Miranda. The experienced Peruvian Davis Cup player, he has competed for his nation each year since 1998, ran Hormazabal close in their opening set before being forced to retire during the second set.
With a 64 30 RET semifinal win, Hormazabal was through to the final and an encounter with the fifth seeded Frenchman, Laurent Recouderc. For the third time in five matches Hormazabal won a closely fought opening set, this time 75. Now with a one set advantage, Hormazabal pushed on to dominate in the second set and take the title with a final score of 75 62.
This tournament also marked the debut appearance of Hormazabal and Cristobal Saavedra-Corvalan as a doubles partnership. Together and seeded first they were defeated in the semifinals by the tournament’s eventual runners-up.
The pair would go on from here to dominate the next three tournaments, both as doubles partners and as foes in singles events!
Hormazabal’s second tournament of the month as he travelled south through Chile came in the city of Rancagua. Seeded third in the singles event and first in the doubles with Saavedra-Corvalan, this was to be another successful week.
After seeing off the challenge from a Swiss qualifier in round one he then defeated two fellow Chilean players, losing just four games in each match, in the next two rounds. This series of wins set him up with a semifinal meeting against his new doubles partner, Saavedra-Corvalan!
This match was to be his closest of the week in singles play as he edged out his partner and top seed 64 63.
Another week and another final for Hormazabal. Having eliminated the number one seed in the semifinal he now faced the number two seed, Hans Podlipnik-Castillo, for the title.
Surprisingly, this final was over quickly, with Hormazabal racing to a 62 61 victory. This title win added to his doubles title winning performance the previous day, which also came at the expense of Podlipnik-Castillo.
The search for a third consecutive singles title took him to Talca, the city of his birth. Here he again found himself the number three seed in the singles event and top seed in the doubles.
So far this month Hormazabal was yet to drop a set in singles competition, posting a 10-0 win-loss record and by the end of the week he would have stretched this by a further five matches.
Hormazabal opened the tournament with successive 64 62 wins over Chilean opposition and then defeated the fifth seeded Belgian player Arthur De Greef before taking on a further two Chilean players.
The first of these was Victor Morales, who had come into the main draw via the qualifying event, but saw his run ended by Hormazabal 61 63.
In the title match Hormazabal, for the second tournament running, found himself facing his doubles partner. The day prior to this singles final, however, the two would be lining up on the same side of the net as they looked to claim a second title in three tournaments together.
Their opponents in the doubles final were Belgians Germain Gigounon & Christophe Rochus and with a close 75 63 win it was the Belgians who claimed the title.
Although Hormazabal and Saavedra-Corvalan lost out on the doubles title, one of them was assured of picking up the winner’s cheque in the singles final as they faced each other for the second time this month.
With the added incentive for Saavedra-Corvalan of avenging his semifinal defeat at the hands of his doubles partner this final was expected to be a close contest.
In the end though, it proved the complete opposite, as Hormazabal showed no mercy and made it two wins from two against his partner with a convincing 62 60 victory.
With three tournaments played and one doubles and three singles titles in the bag, Hormazabal finished off the month in Concepcion.
For this final tournament of the month he found himself as the number two seed in the singles event and, with a change of partner in Rodrigo Perez, seeded first for the doubles event.
The Hormazabal-Perez partnership was not a new one as the pair had teamed up twelve times prior to this with a fair degree of success. In 2010 they reached five successive finals, all in Chile, winning the title twice. Oh, guess who his opponent was in three of those finals, that’s right, one Mr. Saavedra-Corvalan!
Leading up to this tournament, the pair had played together five times in 2011 and taken one title, won in Belgium in August, from two finals contested. There was to be no second title though as the top seeds were eliminated in the semifinals.
Some comfort could be taken from the 64 62 loss they suffered as their opponents, Javier Munoz & Juan Carlos Saez, also both from Chile and seeded third, went on to claim the title.
Hormazabal began this fourth quest for a singles title with a 64 60 defeat of Argentina’s Eduardo Piragine, who had come through the qualifying event. In his next match, also against a qualifier, Hormazabal saw his excellent sequence of straight sets wins come to an end.
Having taken the opening set 62, Hormazabal seemed on course to wrap up another comfortable victory. Maybe he also sensed this and eased up or maybe it was his opponent raising his game but whatever the reason Hormazabal found himself going into a third set for the first time this month in singles play as opponent Guillermo Nunez levelled the match.
With the score tied at one set a piece a final set was required. This proved every bit as close as the second set but this time it was Hormazabal who came out on top and in doing so secured a 62 46 75 win.
Normal service was resumed in the quarterfinal and semifinal as he recorded wins of 63 61 and 63 60 to reach the final for the fourth week running.
As if they hadn’t seen enough of each other already this month the final brought about yet another clash between Hormazabal and, now former doubles partner and top seed, Cristobal Saavedra-Corvalan.
Their past two encounters had been heavily one-sided with Hormazabal winning comfortably both times in straight sets but this time Saavedra-Corvalan stunned him in the opening set to win it 63.
Hormazabal fought back in the second set, taking it 62, but his opponent was not going to let another chance of scoring a victory over his fellow Chilean pass him by and with a 64 final set win took the title.
October proved to be a very successful month for Hormazabal with his four consecutive singles finals and a haul of three singles and one doubles title.
Tournaments in his home nation always seem to bring out the best in Hormazabal, his last nine singles finals have all been contested in Chile. It’s a similar situation with his doubles record with nine of his last ten finals all coming in Chile.
Following this month, his career total for final appearances on the ITF Pro Circuit now stands at an impressive 52!
22 singles finals have provided him with 13 titles whilst his 30 doubles final appearances have seen him victorious on 21 occasions!