Philipp Oswald is our featured player for September on the ITF Pro Circuit. The 25-year old from Austria enjoyed a good run of fortune throughout the month which saw him entered into three tournaments.
The first two of these took place in Italy, starting with an outdoor hard court tournament in Porto Torres. Seeded third in the singles event, Oswald, who was looking to add to his Italian titles won in June and July, opened with a narrow 76(8) 76(3) win. In contrast his second round match saw him record a more comfortable 61 61 victory.
Two fellow seeded players were then seen off in the quarterfinal and semifinal, the first of which required Oswald to come from a set down to earn the win.
Massimo Capone, an unseeded Italian who knocked out the top seed in round one, provided Oswald with his fifth Italian opponent in a row. Like those before him Capone was to taste defeat as Oswald ran out a 63 75 winner to net his third Italian singles title of 2011.
There was also a title win for Oswald in the Porto Torres doubles event with his compatriot Nikolaus Moser. The number two seeds secured the title, in their debut as a pairing on the ITF Pro Circuit, with relative ease. Following a first round Bye, the pair raced through the next two rounds losing a combined total of just five games! This put them into the final against Italian second seeds Erik Crepaldi & Claudio Grassi but they could not halt the Austrian pair who claimed the title with a 64 61win.
Oswald’s next tournament saw him remain in Italy but switch to an indoor tournament on carpet. This tournament, held in Brusaporto, saw Oswald installed as the second seed for the singles event but unseeded in the doubles with new partner Jakob Sude of Germany.
An early exit came in the doubles event following a 76(2) 76(4) second round loss to the number one seeds but his winning streak continued in singles play as he reached another final.
He began with a straight sets win over Alessandro Bega, his opponent from the second round the previous week, before claiming two more Italian scalps to set up a semifinal against the fourth seed from France Albano Olivetti.
Olivetti, who was Oswald’s only non-Italian singles opponent in his opening two tournaments, put up a tough fight before being edged out 76(2) 64 as Oswald moved into the final.
This final saw Oswald involved in another closely fought match. Italian number one seed Luca Vanni took the first set 64 but Oswald struck back to level the match, winning the second set by the same score line. With the next set deciding who would be champion both players maintained the high standard of play witnessed in the opening sets.
In the end there could only be one winner and with a 63 win it was Oswald who, for the second time this month, emerged the champion.
September came to an end for Oswald back on the outdoor hard courts. Having packed away his trophies he headed for Antalya, Turkey hopeful of replicating his Italian successes. No doubles this time for Oswald as he focused solely on the singles event where a run of four consecutive wins without loss of a set carried Oswald into a third singles final this month.
His appearance in this final marked a career first for Oswald as prior to this month he had never reached back-to-back finals and now here he was in a third successive final appearance!
Both players, his opponent was the fourth seed Ervand Gasparyan of Russia, started well and a tie break was needed to decide the opening set. With a 9-7 win it was Oswald who assumed the lead and looked good for yet another title win.
His Russian opponent though had other ideas and with a 64 win he pulled level to force a third and final set. It was in this set that Oswald’s fourteen match unbeaten run in singles play this month came to an end as Gasparyan took the set 63 and with it the title.