09 Feb 2012

Martin Alund - December 2011


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By  Nick Fishpool

Martin Alund

December 2011

 

The final month of 2011 sees Argentina's Martin Alund feature.

Alund spent the month competing in South America where he took in three ITF Pro Circuit tournaments.  His first event of the month was held in Vina Del Mar, Chile where he was seeded third in the singles event and, with partner Andres Molteni, number one in doubles.

After opening with a straight forward 61 62 win over a qualifier, Alund appeared to be in for a tough second round with fellow Argentine Facundo Mena with the first set having required a tiebreak to split the players. Alund eased through this 7-3 and then went on to win the next six games in a row to secure a 76(3) 60 victory.

Another straight sets win followed to set up a semifinal with Slovakia's Pavol Cervenak, who was the number two seed. This one was a real battle with both players matching each other. Alund edged a tense first set 75 but Cervenak struck back in second set tiebreak to inflict what would be the only set loss of the week on Alund.

Tied at one set all, neither player was about to give up and both pushed hard for the win that would see the winner move into the final. In the end it was Alund who prevailed in a 75 67(4) 75 triumph.

The final would see him face Juan Vazquez-Valenzuela, a qualifier who, in the second round, eliminated the top seed and Alund's doubles partner, Andres Molteni, in straight sets. The day prior to this singles final, Alund and Molteni claimed the doubles title having not dropped a set all week.

Having previously knocked-out the top seed, Vazquez-Valenzuela was now looking to take care of another seed but for Alund, this match also represented a chance to avenge his doubles partner's defeat, a chance he seized.

A quick-fire 61 62 win for Alund emulated his opening round win in this tournament and also presented him with a clean sweep of titles here in Vina Del Mar.

For the final two tournaments of the month for Alund he travelled to Brazil with his first stop coming in Porto Alegre.

Alund was once again seeded in both events. He was the number two in singles and once more the top seed with Molteni in doubles. The opening three rounds saw Alund breeze through, never losing more than two games in any one set with the only exception being a second set tiebreak in the quarterfinal.

His semifinal put him across the net from the number three seeded Brazilian player Ricardo Hocevar. Alund upset local fans with another straight sets win but it was a hard fought 64 76(6) victory which took him into a second singles final of the month.

This run to the singles final was replicated in the doubles event but there was to be no repeated of the previous week as Alund and Molteni lost an all-Argentine final to the second seeds Guillermo Duran & Renzo Olivo 64 62.

The following day Alund and Duran faced each other again, this time minus their doubles partners and with the singles title at stake. Duran, seeded seventh, took the first set 63 and seemed on his way to adding the singles title to his earlier doubles triumph.

Alund though, was not prepared to suffer another loss to Duran this week and promptly levelled the match by taking the second set, also by a 63 score line and then secured victory 64 in the deciding set.

His final tournament took place just two weeks before his 26th birthday and was staged in Guarulhos. This time he only competed in the singles event and he was named as the top seed.

Following the retirement of his first round opponent at the end of a 60 first set in Alund's favour, Alund dropped the opening set of his second round but recovered to eventually ease to a 36 61 62 win. The sixth seed was then seen off in three sets 62 26 61 as he progressed through the draw to the semifinal.

Alund went on to record a hat trick of singles titles as he saw off the challenge of two qualifiers in the semifinal and final without loss of a set. This was the first time in his professional career that he had won three successive titles, not a bad way to end his 2011 season and prepare for his birthday celebrations on December 26th.



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