07 Nov 2014

Spotlight On... Maxime Authom - October 2014


By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Rowland Charles GoodmanMaxime Authom (BEL)

October 2014

Our featured player is Maxime Authom, although he didn’t see any action on the ITF Pro Circuit this month until the start of the second full week, he then played three consecutive tournaments.

In his first match the 27-year-old Belgian was at the French seaside resort of Cap D’Agde on the Mediterranean Sea and was named the second seed.

Following a straight sets opening victory, Authom found the win difficult to come by in round two and was stretched to three sets by British qualifier Joe Salisbury before claiming the win.

An unexpectedly comfortable 60 61 quarterfinal win over French seventh seed Antoine Hoang saw him progress into the semifinal where another win in straight sets took him into his first singles final since mid-March.

In the final, Authom faced the unseeded Alexandre Sidorenko for the title. The first set finished a close 64 in Authom’s favour and he was soon lifting the trophy when dropping just two games in the second set. The win gave him his first title since the final week of January.

The town of Rodez played host to his second tournament of the month as Authom stayed in France and saw him compete in both singles and, with fellow Belgian Ruben Bemelmans, doubles.

The end of the week would see Authom in action in title matches but getting to them was no straight forward affair.

As fourth seeds, Authom and Bemelmans recorded an opening round straight sets 64 62 win and then benefitted from a walkover in round two. A semifinal encounter with the top seeds went to a deciding set match tiebreak which saw them win [10-8] over their Romanian opponents.

Ireland’s James Cluskey and David O’Hare, seeded three, faced them in the final and it was the Irish pair who took the opening set on a tiebreak 7-5. A 63 scoreline saw Authom and Bemelmans draw level and renew hopes of a title win but in the match tiebreak to decide the final, they lost out narrowly by a [10-8] scoreline.

A singles final appearance saw Authom close the tournament. After starting with two straight sets wins, which included a round two loss of just one game, Authom found himself up against his doubles partner Bemelmans in the quarterfinals.

Bemelmans was also the top seed but it was the fifth seeded Authom who took the opening set on a tiebreak. Bemelmans drew level when claiming the second set 63 but, by the same scoreline, Authom wrapped up victory in the third set.

A close 64 63 defeat of the seventh seed then saw Authom through to his second singles final in a row. As in the previous week, his opponent for the title was unseeded.

The opening set was close and was won 75 by Authom but Adelchi Virgili stunned Authom in set two as he reeled off six games in a row from the start. The momentum was certainly now with the Italian but Authom managed to halt him in his tracks and took six of the nine games played to win a second title of the month with a 75 06 63 triumph.

For his final tournament of the month, Authom ended his stay in France and made his way to Great Britain for an event in Loughborough, England. Like the two French based tournaments, this was also held indoors on hard courts and Authom, playing singles only, was seeded fourth.

Aiming for a third straight singles final appearance, and title, Authom made comfortable progress through the rounds, only really being troubled in set two of his first round win. Come the end of the tournament week he was once again playing for the title. His opponent was the top seeded Lithuanian Laurynas Grigelis, the first seeded player he had faced all week.

Despite his number one seed status, Grigelis was only allowed three games as Authom quickly completed his hat trick of titles with a 62 61 victory.