Review of the 2013 Delray Beach International Tennis Championship
The Delray Beach International Tennis Championship is an established part of the ATP World Tour and the 2013 event was the 21st edition. The tournament was played from 25 February to 3 March on a hard court surface with a total prize fund of almost $520,000 attracting 6 of the world’s top 30 ranked players in the singles event. The main attractions were John Isner, Tommy Haas and Sam Querrey who were seeded #1, #2 and #3 respectively.
Yet those expecting to see the favorite’s progress all the way to the final were in for a surprise. Isner and Haas were beaten semi-finalists while Querrey was defeated in the second round. It turned out that the week was to belong to unseeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis who defeated little known Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6, 6-3 in the final. Gulbis beat Querrey and Haas on his march to the final while his opponent accounted for Isner. Although Gublis was unseeded for this event, those in the know may not have been shocked since he also won the 2010 event. However, he was the first qualifier to win an ATP tour event in 14 months.
Gulbis was once ranked just outside the world’s top 20 players and will hope that this victory will propel him back towards such lofty heights. He is known for having plenty of talent but is often accused of lacking the work ethic required to become a world class player on a consistent basis. Nonetheless, he has earned in excess of $2.7 million in prize money during his career and this victory added another $78,000 that the pot. He is a controversial and complex character and one wonders if he will push on or fade from view once more.
The doubles event also culminated with a surprise victory as the unseeded pairing of Jack Sock and James Blake won the event by defeating #1 seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau 6-4, 6-4 in the final. Mirnyi in particular is known for his doubles ability so it was a welcome upset. Sock and Blake receive $25,000 for their efforts and may look to extend their partnership beyond this event given their success.
As always, the crowd at Delray Beach enjoyed themselves at a tournament that is known for providing a rich fan experience. They were in tremendous voice as they were treated to exciting and competitive matches with unexpected outcomes and we look forward to the 2014 event.
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