27 Jun 2012

Spotlight - Damir Dzumhur - May 2012


Photo: Paul ZimmerDamir Dzumhur (BIH)

May 2012


Bosnia Davis Cup player, Damir Dzumhur, is our featured player for the month of May. Dzumhur spent the entire month in his homeland where he competed in four clay court tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit.

Dzumhur kicked off the month in Doboj and was named as the number one seed for the singles event. His opening round match saw him a comfortable 60 64 winner over a Croatian qualifier but in his second round match he dropped the opening set 63 and looked in danger of making an early exit.

The young Bosnian however managed to overturn this setback to take the next two sets 61 64 to reach the quarterfinals. Seeded opposition now provided his opposition in the form of eighth seed Mislav Hizak from Croatia. Dzumhur wasted little time in seeing off this challenge and raced through to the semifinals with the loss of just three sets.

A three set semifinal win followed over another Croatian seed, Toni Androic who was seeded third, to take Dzumhur into his third ITF Pro Circuit singles final of 2012.

The final, against fourth seeded Frenchman Florian Reynet, proved to be a rather strange encounter. Having taken the first set 60 it appeared that Dzumhur was coasting to victory but Reynet got himself back into the match winning 64 in the second set.

Now it seemed the momentum was with the Frenchman and that he would go on to end Dzumhur’s run of five successive final wins, stretching back to August 2011, and claim the title. However, the pendulum once again swung back in favour of Dzumhur and in a repeat of the opening set he reeled off six games in a row to seal a 60 46 60 win.

Sarajevo, Dzumhur’s place of birth and residence, provided the setting for the next tournament of the Bosnian’s schedule for the month.

Once again he was the top seed in the singles event but, in front of his home crowd, he was unable to continue the success of the previous week and deliver the trophy. However, here he had also entered into the doubles event and was seeded three with Slovenia’s Andraz Bedene.

The pair moved through the draw with relative comfort and made the final where, as the seeded team, were favourites to win and make this a happy homecoming for Dzumhur. Unfortunately though the pair found themselves on the wrong end of a 63 76(4) scoreline as their opponents Tomislav Ternar and Lukas Weinhandl took the title.

On to Brcko next for a big week for the Bosnian, if he made the singles final he would be playing on his 20th birthday!

The doubles event was to bring him no pre-birthday joy though as following a first round win, again with Andraz Bedene, they were forced to withdraw.

Seeded one for the third straight tournament of the month, Dzumhur opened with back-to-back 61 63 wins to storm into the quarterfinals.

Dutchman Wesley Koolhof was his quarterfinal opponent and took the opening set but Dzumhur soon turned this round to take the next two sets to set up a semifinal showdown with fourth seed Nikola Mektic.

The first set of this semifinal clash was pretty evenly matched and went Dzumhur’s way 64 and from there he pushed on, conceding only one game in the second set, to claim another final place.

The day of his 20th birthday arrived but celebrations had to be put aside as he had a final to prepare for. Looking to upset the party was the number three seed Toni Androic, a player beaten by Dzumhur in the semifinal two weeks previous.

That encounter in Doboj went to three sets but this time just the two were needed and with a 76(2) 62 scoreline it was Dzumhur who was celebrating at the end. Happy birthday!

Dzumhur then took a week off and when he returned for his last tournament of the month he found he had climbed the ATP singles rankings to a new career high of 227!

For his final tournament this month he was in Kiseljak and, yes, he was again the number one seed for the singles event but also, with a change of partner to Aldin Setkic, in the doubles event.

The pair received a first round Bye in the doubles event but in the singles first round Dzumhur was given a big scare by Serbian Miki Jankovic and managed to squeeze through 75 67(6) 63.

Jankovic then teamed with Libor Salaba to provide Dzumhur with another tough test in the doubles quarterfinal which went the distance and was settled 10-5 on a match tiebreak in favour of Dzumhur and Setkic.

Back in the singles event and the Bosnian enjoyed a more comfortable time winning two rounds in straight sets to reach the semifinals.

The two semifinals saw Dzumhur up against the fourth seed in both events. In the doubles semifinal his time came to an end with a 63 64 loss but in the singles event a 62 63 win saw him safely through to the final.

His third final in four tournaments this month saw him take on fifth seed Norbert Gombos from Slovakia and a 64 76(3) win gave him a career ninth ITF Pro Circuit singles final from ten finals played.

In 2012 alone he’s 100% success rate in singles finals was extended to five titles from five finals and in all he has now won the last eight singles finals in which he has featured!

This newly turned 20-year-old from Bosnia is certainly one whose career will be well worth keeping an eye on and a few more performances like he’s shown this month and he’ll soon break into the ATP Top 200!