Olivetti to Launch Rockets at U.S. Open

by John on August 25, 2013

A. Olivetti

Big-serving Frenchman Albano Olivetti will test his mettle in a Grand Slam for the first time tomorrow when he faces fellow countryman Stephane Robert in the first round of the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows. Olivetti, ranked No. 302, rallied from a set down in each of his three qualifying matches, pounding out 57 aces, to reach his first main draw in a major. The 21-year-old Frenchman, one of the top guns of fast serve, has unofficially clocked missiles of 158 and 160 mph in Challenger events and is known to light up radar guns wherever he plays. That’s if the venue has any. Most of the young up-and-comer’s career has been contested in the minor leagues of men’s tennis — the Challenger and Futures circuits — where electronic measuring devices are mostly lacking. Olivetti has played just four ATP Tour level matches. Thus tomorrow’s encounter with the 33-year-old Robert, also a qualifier, is huge. Robert, the quintessential journeyman, has six career Challenger titles to his credit and has reached one Tour level final. The veteran Frenchman’s biggest win was undoubtedly an upset shocker of sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the first round of the 2011 French Open. Olivetti’s signature triumph was his ouster of Mardy Fish in the second round at Marseille last February. Fish was ranked No. 8 at the time. Barring anything unexpected, tomorrow’s winner gets No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet in the second round. The 6-foot-8 Olivetti has been playing well since returning to the circuit in May after being sidelined for over six months with an elbow injury, posting a 10-5 record and reaching the semifinals at Recanati and the final at Segovia. Olivetti’s game is a high risk one. He goes big on the first serve and backs off very little on the second. The result is lots of aces, but also a high number of double faults. The line umpires had better have their reflexes razor sharp for Monday’s match.

 

 

 

 

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