Top Seeds Tested in Day 3 Play at Delta Guam Futures Tennis

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Guam – The United States’ Thomas Shubert looked to have a tough day – first playing the No. 1 seed in singles in the morning and later, with partner Neeraj Elangovan, the No. 1 seeded doubles team in the 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa at the Hilton tennis courts.

Shubert pushed the top-ranked players in what seemed to be their toughest matches thus far in the tournament, going toe-to-toe with No. 1 Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of India, 6-4, 7-5 and later in the day, forcing No. 1 Takuto Niki and Bumpei Sato to three sets in doubles play with Elangovan 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-4.  

[The United States’ Thomas Shubert plays a forehand return to No. 1 Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of India in a second round singles match of the 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa at the Hilton tennis courts. Nedunchezhiyan moved on the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win.]

“The plan today was to be the dark horse … to be like the players who’ve knocked out Grand Slam champions,” Shubert said after his doubles match. “When you’re up against top ranked players, you have to surprise them, but more importantly keep the intensity through the match and hope to catch them off guard. I just wasn’t able to get over the hump. I had a few game points, deuces, and if those points just went my way, there’d be a better story to write about.” 

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[No. 1 Bumpei Sato reaches for a low shot as partner Takuto Niki watches in a quarterfinal doubles match against Thomas Shubert and Neeraj Elangovan in the 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa at the Hilton tennis courts. Sato and Niki prevailed, 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-4.]

Despite winning both of his break point opportunities, Shubert also yielded eight opportunities to his opponent, who managed to convert half of them for the edge in the match. Shubert brought the heat in the match with six aces and just two double faults, compared to Nedunchezhiyan’s four aces and three double faults. Though he was handed the loss, Shubert’s performance this year bested his early round exits from the Guam tournament in 2013.

“Since then, I’ve made small technical changes, but more importantly, I’ve learned to better harness my emotions, raised my maturity level, and created a more disciplined daily routine,” said the 26-year-old Shubert. “In the past year, I’ve been training and traveling with other pros and I’ve been applying what I’ve learned to raise the level of my game. Hopefully, with week-to-week improvements, the results will come. With these coin-toss type of matches, I just hope it’ll go my way next time.  

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[India’s Neeraj Elangovan powers in a forehand return against No. 8 Jun Woong-Sun of Korea Republic in a second round singles match of the 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa at the Hilton tennis courts. Jun advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win]

“It feels like home here – the fans here in Guam have shown their support and love, and I think that really helped me play to the best of my ability here,” added Shubert, who was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Although Nedunchezhiyan advanced in the singles draw, his doubles bid with partner Hung Jui-Chen ended when Japanese tandem Yuuya Kibi and Tomohiro Masabayashi prevailed with the 7-6(5), 6-3 upset victory over the No. 2 pair. In singles, the No. 5 Hung also dropped his match earlier in the day, falling in three sets to Japan’s Ko Suzuki, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4.

In the day’s other singles matches, No. 6 Gengo Kikuchi of Japan cruised past the Philippines’ Kyle-Joshua Dandan 6-2, 6-2 and No. 8 Jun Woong-Sun advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Elangovan.

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[No. 1 Bumpei Sato reaches for a low shot as partner Takuto Niki watches in a quarterfinal doubles match against Thomas Shubert and Neeraj Elangovan in the 2014 Delta Guam Futures presented by Docomo pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa at the Hilton tennis courts. Sato and Niki prevailed, 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-4.]

Singles and doubles matches continue Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Hilton tennis courts. Updated draws and the order of play are posted at the Hilton tennis clubhouse and also online on the Guam National Tennis Federation Facebook page, facebook.com/GuamTennis