02 Sep 2014

Spotlight On... Gonzalo Escobar - August 2014


Spotlight

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Kenny CastroGonzalo Escobar (ECU)

August 2014

 

Ecuadorian Davis Cup player Gonzalo Escobar is our featured player for the month.

The 25-year-old from Manta featured in four ITF Pro Circuit tournaments during the month and was looking for his first professional titles of his career.

In 2009 and 2013, Escobar was runner-up in the singles finals of the Ecuador F1 tournament, his only final appearances to date in singles play, and he was once again to contest the title match.

As the second seed in Guayaquil, his progress to the final saw him winning in straight sets in each of the first four rounds to claim a place in the final where he would face eighth seed Roberto Quiroz from Ecuador.

Two days prior to the singles final, Escobar tasted victory in the doubles final with American partner Jean-Yves Aubone. The top seeded pair took the title with a 76(6) 62 defeat of Ivan Endara and Caio Silva from Ecuador and Brazil respectively.

Victory over the second seeds presented Escobar with his first professional title and he would soon be adding a first singles title to his name.

The singles final saw the Ecuadorian in fine form and he wasted little time in securing the title, dropping just two games in each set of a straight sets triumph.

Staying in Guayaquil for the following week, Escobar, now knowing how it felt to be a title winner, picked up a second singles title with a 63 75 win over sixth seeded Ivan Endara.

He nearly never made it to the final though. In his opening match he fell behind before rediscovering his form of the previous week to win through. Then in the semifinal, last week’s beaten finalist looked to be on the way to avenging his previous loss to Escobar. Quiroz, this time seeded fifth, took the second set of their encounter 61 to level the match but Escobar took a close deciding set to make the final.

There was to be no second doubles title though. With fellow Ecuadorian Andres Andrade as his partner, the third seeded duo, in as wild cards, fell at the semifinal stage to the eventual runners-up and second seeds.

Moving onto Quito and Escobar must have been wondering how it had taken him over a year to reach a singles final as he moved through the rounds in straight sets to reach his third consecutive final of the month!

The final saw him take on his doubles partner from the opening tournament of the month, Aubone. On the day before this final though Escobar teamed up with Rodrigo Sanchez from Peru to take the doubles title with a crushing 61 60 defeat of Brazilian pair Caio Silva and Thales Turini.

When the singles final got underway it was Aubone who gained the upper hand, taking the opening set 64. A tiebreaker was required in the second set and this was closely decided 7-5 in Escobar’s favour. From here he pushed on to make it a hat trick of singles titles as he wrapped up the win 63 in the third.

A second tournament in Quito to the end the month saw Escobar concentrate solely on his singles play but was denied a fourth straight title when, as the third seed, he was narrowly beaten by Connor Smith in the quarterfinals. The American fifth seed winning 76(3) 64 before going onto claim the title at the end of the week.

Escobar’s efforts over the course of the month not only brought him his first professional titles but also helped move him up in the rankings to new career highs of 388 in singles and 554 in doubles.



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