Men’s Semifinal:  Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) vs.  Ernesto Escobedo (USA)
Escobedo received a wild card invitation to this tournament and he made good use of his opportunity. He took out the number two seed, John Isner, in the quarterfinals to make it to his first ATP World Tour semifinals. In his match against Isner, Escobedo succumbed momentarily to the pressure of the occasion. After winning the first set and getting an early break in the second, he suddenly realized what he was about to accomplish and his game fell apart. Yet, he showed his resilience by fighting back in the third to win the match in three tiebreak sets.
Thus, it was expected that the nerves would come into play again today, after all this was an opportunity to get to his first ATP World Tour final. He got off to a great start, won the first (7-5) set and that’s when he became overwhelmed by nerves. Although he tried to fight through the tension, he could not and coupled with the fact that he was playing against an experienced clay court player like Bellucci, it was too much for the young American to handle. Yet, despite losing this match, it was a great tournament for Escobedo and he can take some positives from the experience. I am curious to see how his game develops in the future. Bellucci won 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and is into the eighth singles final of his career (all singles titles (4) have come on clay).
American tennis is looking much better with all these young players with potential coming on the scene. Hopefully they will all stay healthy and we can have another era like that of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, et al.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Yahoo Sports