News from Around Banderas Bay | September 2008
|Juan Elizondo Wins 2nd Annual Puerto Vallarta Open at Canto Del Sol|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
|Champion Juan Elizondo (L) with finalist Victor Romero with their plaques after a well played match.|
Juan Elizondo, the 2nd seed in the 2nd Annual Puerto Vallarta Open utilized a consistent and mostly error free game to defeat the top seed Victor Romero to win this year's title. Last year Elizondo was the finalist, and with the experience his many tournaments played at the Canto Del Sol, he won this year event 7-5, 6-2.
|BanderasNews Sports Writer, Bob Cohen, talks with Juan Elizondo, the winner of the 2nd Annual Puerto Vallarta Tennis Tournament at the Canto Del Sol Resort and Tennis Club. (Promovision/PVNN)|
The $50,000 peso total prize purse drew some of the best tennis players in Mexico, as most professional purses do not exceed $10,000 - $20,000 pesos. The City of Puerto Vallarta was the main sponsor as they were last year.
The tournament had a main draw of 16 players and a qualifying round for those that weren't automatic entries or wild card entries. They competed for the four remaining spots in the main draw. Players that had earned the most points throughout the year were the first to be accepted to the field of 16 and then four more are chosen as wild card. These four generally have credentials enough to offer them the entry or can be top local pros.
Five Puerto Vallarta professionals won at least one match in the tournament and only Luis Carlos Rodriguez won two matches before he was eliminated. The other local pros that won their first round were Polo Torres, Pedro Rodriguez, Danny Niño and Norberto Aguirre.
After the opening rounds, the competition was far better than Puerto Vallarta pro tennis and the top seeds took command of the tournament. Victor Romero, 29, of Mexico City was the top seed and had a strange road to the finals; winning on a walkover (default), then his next opponent retired due to injury and his next match was a battle that he survived over 4th seed Daniel Langre 7-6, 5-7, 6-3.
Elizondo, 25, playing out of Guadalajara had a rather easy time reaching the finals winning his three matches all in straight sets, and lost only six games in the entire three matches. This set up the final between the two top ranked players in the event.
The two Davis Cup players for Mexico began play at 7pm in hot and humid conditions and the start was very traditional. Both players held serve rather easily the first six games and all indications led spectators to believe that serving players would win. Elizondo however, broke Romero at love in the next game to go up 4-3 and serving well. So many professional matches are won with only one broken serve and Elizondo looked to go up 5-3.
Then things completely changed as Romero broke back to level the score at 4-4, Elizondo broke Romero again and Romero returned the favor, evening the set at 5-5. Elizondo then again broke Romero's serve, the 5th consecutive service break after 6 service winners and was looking to hold serve to take the strange first set. Juan did hold serve and took the set 7-5 as they moved to the second set.
The second set saw yet another service break in the first game as Elizondo took a 1-0 lead and then held serve to go up 2-0. The player's groundstrokes, which had been consistent, became erratic on Romero's side. Victor appeared a bit frustrated and forced a number of shots that he attempted to hit as outright winners. He also was having trouble with his first serves, a big weapon to lose. Many hard hit balls hit by Romero landed in the net and Juan played even more consistent tennis, moving Romero from side to side with almost every shot. Elizondo broke Romero's serve one more time in the 5th game to go up 4-1, then held to get within a game of the match and did win on his serve 6-2.
Both players were appreciative of the opportunity to play in the finals and thanked the City of Puerto Vallarta and the Canto Del Sol Tennis Club for hosting the event. Next up for both players is the Davis Cup to be played in Leon, Guanajuato on September 19thand the competitors will be teammates looking to beat Uruguay. Elizondo collected $16,000 pesos and 80 FMT (Mexican Tennis Federation) points as Romero picked up $10,000 pesos and 60 points.