• Zeballos, Stakhovsky square off in St. Petersburg

    10/31/09 10:35 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Zeballos, Stakhovsky square off in St. Petersburg An extremely surprising final is set to take place on Sunday in St. Petersburg. It will feature Horacio Zeballos against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

    Even though the St. Petersburg Open draw was not exactly stacked to begin with, none of the tournament or fans could have anticipated this. "This" being a first-ever encounter between Horacio Zeballos and Sergiy Stakhovsky in the final.

    If nothing else, however, Sunday's title match should be competitive and of top-notch quality. After all, both Zeballos and Stakhovsky have been in fine form recently.

    Zeballos is virtually unknown simply because his outstanding play almost always goes unnoticed; it comes on the Challenger circuit. So far this year he has five titles and four runner-up finishes at that level. On the ATP Tour, meanwhile, the 54th-ranked Argentine had won just a single career match prior to this week. Zeballos has already quadrupled that total still with one match to go. St. Petersburg's No. 8 seed has dispatched Yuri Schukin, Oleksandr Dolgopolov, Ernests Gulbis, and Igor Kunitsyn all in straight sets.

    Stakhovsky will be the fifth straight unseeded opponent for Zeballos. The 93rd-ranked Ukrainian, however, could provide Zeballos with his toughest test of the week. After slumping through the middle stages of the season, Stakhovsky is heating back up after returning to his favorite surface--indoor hard courts. He reached the Moscow quarterfinals last week and it's been full steam ahead for him in St. Petersburg, where he has ousted Evgeny Korolev, Andrey Kuznetsov, Bjorn Phau, and Marat Safin.

    Zeballos, of course, has never been in--or anywhere near--an ATP final, so his opponent will have an advantage in terms of experience. Stakhovsky won his only title match appearance last year in Zagreb, where he defeated crowd favorite Ivan Ljubicic. The qualifier will also have an edge playing indoors, as Zeballos generally does his best work on clay.

    Still, it just feels like Zeballos' week--and year. He has been winning all kinds of matches in 2009 and he is showing no signs of slowing down. If Zeballos can hit his way into baseline rallies and deal with Stakhovsky's power, look him to survive this one in three sets.

Tell a friend »


four score and seven years ago....

cherylmurray , 10/31/09 11:11 PM

very well said

and, like Cheryl, I am also posting a comment JUST to say "I posted a comment on a match featuring Horacio Zeballos and Sergiy Stakhovsky."

all are welcome on the bandwagon...

RickyDimon , 11/1/09 12:32 AM

Should I get a complex because I don't have a clue who Zeballos and Stakhovsky are and I don't think I've ever seen them play? I don't know HOW I overlooked someone with the name 'Horacio'.

But, I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon anyway.
I wanted to do something spontaneous today... conformity it is! Yay!

*waves from the bandwagon* I posted a comment on a match featuring Horacio Zeballos and Sergiy Stakhovsky!

MiniArbre , 11/1/09 1:01 AM

i had no idea who horacio zeballos was either, MiniArbre. and i agree, great name!
i found some challenger match highlights to on youtube--lefty, with a one handed backhand. could use the feli lopez make-over and...

z-ball is in the basel nole and federer!

spread too thin here. i'm on too many bandwagons already....delpo, cilic, gulbis

zoey234 , 11/1/09 1:28 AM

Mini and zoey - the beauty is that NOBODY knows who they are. I predict that by the time they play tomorrow, this thread will have at least a dozen comments based on that fact alone. I'd like to contribute the following quote from one of the greatest movies of all time.

"Mawwwiage is what bwings us toogever...tooooday...."


cherylmurray , 11/1/09 1:58 AM

Thanks a lot for the info Zoey234 (lol @ the Feli make-over, is that before or after he cut his hair and grew a beard? 'Cause I may just have something to say about that. :D).

I tried clicking on the names of those players in the article to view their profile. No luck knowing what they look like. I don't know why, but whenever I click on the profile of an athlete, and there's no profile gives me the creeps!

For some strange reason I get a flashback of the infamous Hallway scene in the movie 'The Shining'. Weird..
Maybe it's just the whole Halloween thing getting to me. I'm reminded every year how much I hate this sad excuse for a holiday. *shivers*

Anywho, now that I've ridden the bandwagon, I feel like a change of pace.
So I'm going to be contrary and I'm going with the gentleman Stakhovsky. He beat PHAU!, there's no way I'm betting against him (figuratively speaking). Then again, how can you root against someone named 'Horacio'? HOW?!

MiniArbre , 11/1/09 2:00 AM

"Mawwwiage is what bwings us toogever...tooooday...."

Umm, does this movie happen to star Elmer Fudd by any chance Cheryl? *bites bottom lip*

MiniArbre , 11/1/09 2:05 AM

LOL.....sounds like elmer fudd....or?? michael palin doing pontius pilate with a lisp??

you didn't find z-ball's picture? he has one now on an atp player profile, MiniArbre. and when you see it, i imagine you'll wanna give him a shampoo and style!! he has possibilities....i think. wears the hair tucked under a basebal cap with the bun out the back.....uh, like gaston gaudio, it appeared on a youtube interview.

oh , i pick horacio zeballos over stakhovsky. but don't take my lead, cos i haven't been right all week!

zoey234 , 11/1/09 2:23 AM

GASP! Do you not know The Princess Bride?????!!!???/

"I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance have 6 fingers on your right hand..."
"Do you always begin conversations this way?"

cherylmurray , 11/1/09 2:32 AM

the 'official' website for st. petersburg tourney has denis istomin getting a haircut. i could not tell before or was hoping the russian stylists could help horacio. he seems to be winning without a new-do. loved the piece on f-lo believing his new make-over was what his tennis needed!

and me too, MiniArbre about when i look up a player and no picture. there were a lot of those it seemed in the st peterburg draw....i feel creepy, like maybe it's someone too young or...i just shouldn't be there....dogolpolov, jr....comes to mind. no picture...why??

zoey234 , 11/1/09 2:38 AM

... 'inconceivable' that someone wouldn't recognize a PB reference when they saw one :) ... although I'm not so sure I would recognize one Horatio Zeballos who maybe set to win his first ATP final.

smr , 11/1/09 2:44 AM

Ohhhhh yes!! i am so embarrassed. of course i know , The Princess Bride. haven't seen it for years. but my mom has all the monty python ever made! over and over we watch Life of Brian. whenever i hear a lisp, i think, "bwing me woger"

MiniArbre, if you go to 'tournaments' on ATP website and pick St. Petersburg, there is a place to click to get on the official site with all the video highlights and photos.

zoey234 , 11/1/09 2:54 AM

Ahhh, I've got it Zoey234. A Feli make-over eh? You're an extremely optimistic individual. Shampoo and style?! Don't you actually have to have HAIR for that? 7&oId=Z184

I kid, I kid. I rather like these profile pictures. Unlike the updated ones, these don't look like mugshots. There's even greenery in Stakhovsky's pic! And at least Horacio's smiling! Thanks for the heads-up on the site. Dogolpolov? SERIOUSLY? Now why can't someone with a name like that be in the top ten? ^_^

I was just thinking how hysterical it would be if Horacio delivered a corny one-liner after his victory. Something like: "Stak your luggage, you're going hover ski."

hhehe, geddit? STAK your luggage, you're going HOVer SKi? (stak-hov-ski) I misspelled "stack", the end of his name and ignored the rules of grammar for the joke to work.

It would also help with the hilarity of the situation if he pulls sunglasses out of nowhere and puts them on.

Queue music:
"Whoooo, are you? Who? Who? Who? Who? I really wanna know!"
That song is perfect for this match, no? I think it should be its theme song!

mkay, I'll quit while I'm ahead. <----*dork*

Cheryl and Smr, I hang my head in shame! But I will make it a new goal of mine to get familiar with that movie. I blame my parents. What were they thinking?! I feel like the kid in class who's the only one who doesn't know where babies come from.
I just KNEW they were keeping something from me! *miserable face*

Ha! Loving it already from my Google search.
My favorite quote thus far: "You can die too for all I care." (yeah, I know, says a lot.) and "You're trying to kidnap what I've rightfully stolen".

Fantastic stuff. Will rent it for sure. ( Just to clarify, it's a movie released in 1987?)

MiniArbre , 11/1/09 3:28 AM

Yes, MiniArbre, it has been around for many years ... truly a classic and completely quotable ... Cheryl's first reference makes me laugh out loud every time. :)

smr , 11/1/09 3:47 AM

Ricky, I looked up Horatio and he has earned close to $150,000.00 this year ... that's a pretty good year for someone playing Challengers, no?

smr , 11/1/09 3:59 AM

hahahahahaaa.....ty for the laughs it!!

but take another look at that picture in your spare time, mini.....horacio has, it's (blondish mane it is, under cap on youtube) anyway..the hair is either slicked back or wet with a couple loose strands hanging, i don't think it was ear hair? the atp profile picture.

i been online tonight doing my research, Mini... and dogolopolpavlov jr. has long flowing shoulder length locks which are on display on that 'official' sp site under 'photos.' ( i had to look closely as i thought he might be she ) i have no other idea who he is cos his atp profile has nothing, not a weight, height....there is a dogolopavolov sr. pic for him either....teeeeeeeheeeeeheeeee

and time for bed here. but thanks for the laughs MiniArbre and Cheryl!

zoey234 , 11/1/09 4:23 AM

17 comments on a Horacio Zeballos vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky match report?

this is OFFICIALLY the GOLDEN ERA of tennis!

RickyDimon , 11/1/09 6:28 AM

Stakhovsky is quite an interesting player. I remember he gave Murray all sorts of problem this year in Dubai, and he had to retire from that match with a foot injury. Dont know anything about Zeballos, and the final result is Stakhovsky winning in 3 sets, with the 2nd and 3rd sets going into tie-breaks. Not bad for Zeballos! Congrats to Stakhovsky.

luckystar , 11/1/09 5:23 PM

Thank you, luckystar, for an only normal comment, compared with all the crap above.
"...the beauty is that NOBODY knows who they are..." OMG, and this is written by a tennis blogger/journalist?!
The guy (S.S.) already had an ATP title-2008 (defeating in a row Karlovich, Troicki, Tipsarevic, Bolelli and Lubicic at his home), is a regular main-draw player and well known on the tour for 2 last years, etc - and they cannot find his photo? ("No picture available")...Of a top-100 player? The same goes for Zeballos...

Leo , 11/1/09 9:58 PM

Leo - your missing Cheryl's point.

Her point is not about Stakhovsky. Her point is the state of tennis fans. "NOBODY" says far more about tennis fans than it does about Stakhovsky. You are one of the select few who knows anything about Stakhovsky. I'll you credit for that.

RickyDimon , 11/1/09 11:01 PM

Ha ha ha Leo ... how often have you seen Horacio Zeballos play?

smr , 11/1/09 11:41 PM

Luckystar, thanks for contributing more info on Stakhovsky and Horacio. You too Leo, albeit in a grumpy fashion.

Actually, that is exactly the reason why I think it's great that Ricky covered this match, because it gave those of us who DON'T know about these two particular players a chance to GET to know them.

By conversing with each other (and having fun while we were at it) we actually all had an opportunity to walk away knowing more about the players than when we came. It is a shame actually that quite a few players go unnoticed and unmentioned even though they are in the top 100. Of course, it takes them to have an epic run/win before they will even be mentioned and get attention in the media.

I agree that it is lame (and creepy) that they don't have pictures in their profiles. I'm sure that will be taken care of now that they are officially known. And because they are now known, they exist. It's the sad state of the world.

"Thank you, luckystar, for an only normal comment, compared with all the crap above."

I didn't think my joke was THAT bad. Okay, maybe it was dreadful. But if it made just ONE person laugh, I think it did its job. I'm not greedy. *pokes Zoey234*


Ha! I picked Stakhovsky to win. And I was wite.

RickyDimon: 0 / MiniArbre: 1 *gloats*

You are officially demoted to riding shotgun in the bandwagon. Gimme those reins!

Congrats Stakhovsky! ^_^

MiniArbre , 11/1/09 11:50 PM

Thanks, Ricky. I did not miss the point, however. Of course, there are fans and fans, bloggers and bloggers, and I am not going to dig deeper into that. But what about my remark about the photo? Your match report still lacks them - and this is a final report, the finalists deserve to be seen, moreover, in case "nobody knows" them..., instead of blank spots...Should I tell you where the pictures could be easily taken? Nothing personal, but it looks a bit wrong, I think.

Leo , 11/1/09 11:53 PM

sorry to offend, Leo. you are right: "there are fans and fans," and i am on the bottom rung and only started following atp tennis on a 250 or even 500 series level last spring. i won't ever forget stakhovsky or zeballos fact, keeping an eye on zeballos now. up next for him: gasquet 1st round basle.

MiniArbre, i love your humor!! ty, i needed the laugh!

zoey234 , 11/2/09 12:48 AM

Leo, I hate to disappoint you, but I'm familiar with Stakhovsky. When I said "nobody" I was referring to the casual tennis fan - and even some not-so casual fans.

The reason that we don't have any photographs of Stakhovsky is because the photograph service that we purchase them from has not included him. And since we here at tennistalk don't believe in stealing, we have no stock photo. Cheers.

cherylmurray , 11/2/09 1:58 AM

Leo - feel free to e-mail if you have any comments/concerns about administrative issues of Tennistalk, such as player photos.

There is nothing I can personally do about whether or not we have photos for Zeballos, Stakhovsky, or anyone else.

RickyDimon , 11/2/09 2:00 AM

Oh, Cheril and Ricky, my apologies. I had no idea that things are so strict with copyright in the net and you cannot copy a photo from, say, the ATP site, adding a proper reference, of course. Well, I was obviously wrong, and I regret that. Cheers.

Leo , 11/2/09 8:26 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

Unibet Mobile prematch,live betting

Unibet Mobile betting Unibet Mobile betting

Scan QR code to access Unibet mobile.
Bet on Sports wherever you are and whenever you like, with Unibet's quick and simple mobile client you can place bets, check results and see live odds.
 For more info about QR codes & scanners click here.

ATP Calendar


Recommend Tennistalk

Follow us

Follow Tennistalk on Facebook Follow Tennistalk on Twitter

Tell a friend

Your name:

Friend's name:

Friend's email:

Other tennis links