News from Around Banderas Bay
|Top Seed Cesar Ramirez Wins 5th Annual Copa Pacifico at Canto Del Sol|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
December 21, 2010
Sunday at noon, top seed and Mexico's #1 most promising professional tennis player Cesar Ramirez at 20 years old faced 2nd seed veteran Victor Romero, ranked 6th in Mexico. A large crowd of tennis fans gathered for the final of the $100,000 peso singles final. The purse is a very large one for Mexican tournaments and is the year end tournament for the players.
|Cesar Ramirez receiving the winner's trophy and winner's check with all the dignitaries including of course the "Corona Girls."|
Both players had a rather easy path in the original field of 32 to reach the finals. The top seed Ramirez from Veracruz handily defeated the 7th seed in the quarterfinals and the 3rd seed Miguel Gallardo in the semifinals. Romero at 31 from the State of Mexico reached the finals with a hard fought victory over 8th seed Javier Herrera in the quarterfinals and he won in the semifinals while ahead as his opponent was forced to retire due to injury.
|Prior to the finals Cesar Ramirez on the left and Victor Romero stopped for a photo before doing battle.|
|Even the whole Diaz family was out in fashionable dress for the fianls.|
|Finalist and Champions with Ruben Fregoso, owner of Pipi's Restaurant and a supporter of every event at the canto del Sol.|
There were 10 Puerto Vallarta tennis pros that gained entry into the tournament via qualifying or wild card. None got beyond the 2nd round of play. The locals that got to the 2nd round were Pepe Carranza, young favorite Jerry Lopez and popular Sergio Martinez. All three were defeated rather easily as they played the seeded players in the 2nd round, but put on a good showing and we are all proud of them.
The finals were a best of five set match, with the winner the first to claim victory in three sets. The opening set had the younger Ramirez win the first four games before Romero could win a game on his serve and Ramirez finished out the set 6-1. The youngster from Veracruz showed why he is Mexico's top ranked player in that set, with speed, extremely accurate hitting and his ability to move to always be in position for an offensive shot. He hit many spectacular winners, especially when Romero came to net behind his big first serve and was passed by a Ramirez return.
There were two more sets that he needed to win and Romero had to regroup after the first set. Ramirez won the opening game on his serve, then broke Romero and held serve again to go up 3-0 before Romero held serve to slice the lead to 3-1. The two then held serve and Ramirez led 4-2 and then closed out the 2nd set winning 6-2. Again, the top player in the country at 20 years old was dominating his opponent, 11 years his senior. After the 2nd set Romero appeared to have some leg pain but came out for the 3rd set, determined to extend the match.
Both Ramirez and Romero held serve and after four games the set was tied 2-2 as the crowd cheered on the veteran as they wanted to see the match extended. Ramirez however broke his opponent's serve and went up 4-2 and the sense on the courts and in the stands that the 31 year old gave his best but just couldn't keep up with the 20 year old from Veracruz and Ramirez served out the set winning 6-2 giving him the Copa Pacifico championship.
Looking at the score 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 it appeared like Ramirez totally dominated Romero, but it wasn't the case. There were many long rallies and spectacular plays on both sides of the net, but Ramirez proved to be too fast and made only a handful of unforced errors, thus the final score.
I spoke with the veteran Victor Romero after the match and he humbly told me that Ramirez was basically unbeatable today and said that although he was playing with some leg pain, it didn't make a difference.
We all hope that the 20 year old champion from Veracruz can move further on in professional tennis and give Mexico a solid player on the ATP Tour, That is however many matches and tournaments away, but at 20 and watching his play, this writer believes he does have a chance.
The double champions in the tournament were the top seeded team of Diaz Barriga/Miguel Gallardo who were the singles 3rd and 4th seeds. They defeated Eric Casas/Cesar Romero in a tough match 7-6, 6-3. Romero had a very good tournament as he was the finalist in doubles.
Congratulations to the winner Cesar Ramirez and the finalist Victor Romero and Puerto Vallarta thanks you for giving tennis fans an opportunity to see spectacular tennis on our courts at the canto Del Sol, run by Tennis Director Martin Parra.