Tennis Prose



Corentin Moutet wins first ATP match in Quito

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By Scoop Malinowski

Corentin Moutet won his first ATP main tour match today by defeating veteran Adrian Menendez Maceiras 64 67 63 at the Quito Open.

The 18-year-old French wildcard, ranked 150 in the world, dazzled with his unique style of play which features a booming forehand, variety on the backhand, frequent serve and volleys, lethal drop shots and a capacity to unleash amazing shots at any time from anywhere. One shot in particular stood out. Moutet was forced to hit a running backhand, short angle, slice, cross court passing shot winner which somehow eluded Menendez Maceiras and landed in by just inches. It was the kind of shot you see about once or twice all year. And the elegance and aesthetics of the shot were – now don’t shoot me for saying this – but it was beyond Federeresque.

Moutet played his first ATP match as a wildcard at the Australian Open, losing to Andreas Seppi in four sets.

Moutet is a personal favorite who I featured last month at this site, not only because of his unique game but also his social media Instagram account which shows his interests in art, poetry, boxing. Two of his recent posts were simple messages: “Stay Normal” with wide open eyes emoticon and the curious quotation of “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.”

Moutet’s win today in Quito was remarkable when you compare it to other players such as Tennys Sandgren, who had to wait five years until he finally got his first ATP main tour win last summer in Washington DC against Go Soeda.

Moutet was dominant today and served for the match in the second set at 5-4 but tightened up and ended up losing the tiebreaker in which he also lead 5-4 on his serve.

The French lefty, attired in the new Nike pink and black kit with a pink headband, smashes his Wilson after losing the second set but regained his composure to build a 3-0 lead in the third set. Again he faltered though, letting the Spanish veteran off the hook at 30-all in the 3-0 game and then was broken for 3-2. But Moutet would not be denied and won the final three games of the match with his best shotmaking of the day. Menendez Maceiras may have been the bigger, stronger, more experienced player today but Moutet has more shots and more variety in his tool bag to work with.

For sure, we will be seeing a lot more of Corentin Moutet in 2018 and beyond.

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  • catherine · February 6, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Always interesting to hear of a player more or less coming out of nowhere with a unique style.

    I’ll be following Moutet’s progress.

    Now we just want an equivalent in the WTA.

  • Hartt · February 6, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Scoop, I remember when you wrote about Moutet before, but with this post you have really convinced me that he is a player to keep an eye on. Have added him to my secondary youngsters list. It will be interesting to see how he does in his next match.

  • Hartt · February 6, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Looked up young Moutet and he is indeed very interesting. He is small, just 5’9″ and 150 lbs, so let’s hope he can still grow a bit.

    On his ATP page he said that his favourite shots are the drop shot and the volley. I can’t think of another 18-year-old player who would say that.

    He is unusual for a young tennis player for other reasons. He loves music and plays piano and guitar. In an interview with L’Equipe during last year’s RG, Moutet said: “I enjoy reading. I like the arts in general. Drawing. music. I also like psychology.” He had me at “I enjoy reading.” 🙂

    Corentin and Shapo are the same age, Denis turns 19 on April 15, just 4 days before Moutet.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 6, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt, this player Moutet has me convinced he is special talent. He is the closest thing I have seen to Marcelo Rios along with Nishioka but with a little more flair. He's undersized but he can handle the power and generate his own. Next up will likely be Ivo, a tall order but an interesting challenge for each. Definitely recommend you keep an eye on Moutet, he is fun to watch.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 6, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt, check out his Instagram page, he's definitely a unique character. Like how he plays and also serves and volleys quite a bit and he does it effectively, to both the deuce and ad courts. I think he has the game and the mind built for big success. And I think he studied and was inspired by Marcelo Rios and I will find out if that's true this year.

  • catherine · February 6, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Hartt – just saw a Youtube interview with Bianca about coming Fed Cup – oh heavens she’s young 🙂
    You forget.

    But all the best to her, though I’m thinking Romania will win.

  • Hartt · February 6, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Catherine, yes Bianca does not even turn 18 until this June. She is just a few weeks older than Felix, and I tend to think of him as a baby. If it was the interview on “The Slice,” I loved the way Bianca said her Romanian relatives should bring Canadian flags.

    I was very frustrated this morning. I saw the first set of Felix’s Budapest Challenger match, where he played relatively poorly – the rust was really showing. Then in the 2 sets I could not see he won 7-5, 6-1.

    I bought my new “Petra” plant today – it is yellow miniature roses, perfect for grey winter days.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Any idea where USA-Belgium will be played? I am thinking about making the trip. Who can compete with Goffin? Can Querrey knock him out?

    I believe the event should clearly be in the South. People there have a real appetite for tennis with the Fed Cup selling out quickly and generating $3.5 million in revenue fr Asheville, NC according to the USTA. Tickets are going for about $2,000 reportedly. Should be a fun weekend.

  • EquineAnn · February 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Wow! From what you've said I'm thinking that he's a young guy with a lot of potential but is interested in more than just his role. I find this interesting. Please tell me more. He's got good aesthetic taste & can appreciate beautiful use of language. What type of art does he like? Realistic or modern? What type of poetry does he like? Blank/free verse or rhyme? I hope so.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 6, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    My guess would be east coast, probably Florida or south for Davis Cup. Maybe even at the new USTA center in Orlando? What better way to introduce the gigantic mega tennis complex than with a Davis Cup tie?

  • EquineAnn · February 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I've got good aesthetic tastes & am a poetry fan who just happens to be a bit of a rhyme artist myself. I'm very impressed that he's so young, has potential & these tastes too. What type of art & poetry does he like, please?

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 6, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Equine Ann; I have not interviewed Moutet yet. You can see his posts on his Instagram account. From what I saw, there is no categorizing, he just likes what he likes. When we do a Biofile later this year I will ask who his favorite artists are.

  • EquineAnn · February 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you very much for your information. He has eclectic tastes in art & poetry then. Unfortunately I'm not on instagram so I will look forward to reading your interview with him. Please keep me posted.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Interesting that Moutet likes boxing. Wonder what fighters he likes.

    Scoop, I watched the Ancajas-Gonzalez fight the other day. Ancajas was very solid, a southpaw who used his left jab to devastate his opponent. Gonzalez was outfought and outthought throughout as he simply could not land any punches. Though it was one-sided it was very entertaining. Boxing is such a great sport.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Duke; Jerwin looks like he's on the path to greatness. Very smart, accurate, dangerous fighter. Boxing is great when they make the best fight the best but the problem is this manager Al Haymon who wants to control the whole sport but he doesn't have any great fighters so he manufactures these almost great fighters and then protects them and so we don't get to see the best vs the best and it ruins the sport. Deontay Wilder, Adonis Stevenson, Mayweather, Gervonta Davis, Danny Garica were/are all protected. Haymon is afraid to risk those key fighters he controls because he is quite certain they will lose to the best and that will make him irrelevant. Haymon has a lot of money but without star boxers to control and sell, he would be irrelevant. Jerwin is a great fighter and so are Gennady Golovkin, Murat Gassiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Anthony Joshua, Vasyl Lomachenko, Artur Beterbiev. Canelo Alvarez is protected.

  • Hartt · February 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Felix Auger-Aliassime and his partner, Nicola Kuhn, both 17 years old, just won their doubles match in Budapest. They won the first set 7-5 and then their opponents retired. The players in the other team, 19-year-old Valkusz and 23-year-old Safranck, weren’t exactly ancient. In fact, the combined ages of the 4 players, 76, is less than the combined ages of the 2 Bryan Bros. 🙂

  • Michael in UK · February 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Youth versus age: Corentin Moutet plays Ivo Karlovic in the round of 16 in Quito on Thursday.

  • Michael in UK · February 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I just looked it up. That’s an age gap of 20 years!

    I am wondering if there is any other sport where such a big age gap occurs at professional level?

  • Hartt · February 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Roger Federer has taken a WC for the Rotterdam tournament next week. If he reaches the SFs he will be the new No. 1 and the oldest, besting Agassi by about 3 years.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    20 years older, 75 pounds heavier and a foot in height taller. Might be…has to be the biggest discrepancy between two competitors in the history of any one on one sport or any sport period.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Moutet's latest tweet: "Tu pourras bien saigner mon cœur jusqu’au cœur de mon âme pour y planter la lame tu pourras bien Betty ouais tu pourras oui déchirer ma chère sur la peau en lambeaux aller de port en port me boire jusqu’à la lie" Translated from French by Microsoft "You will be able to bleed my heart to the heart of my soul to plant the blade you can do well Betty yes you can tear my dear on the tattered skin go from port to port drink me up to the dregs"

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 8, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Moutet upsets Karlovic 75 67 76 in Quito. To slay a dragon like Ivo in only his second ATP main tour match in Quito where the altitude is over 9000 feet and the balls are flying is a remarkable win.

  • herios · February 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    This was truly remarkable. You convinced me, I will watch this guy very closely.

  • Michael in UK · February 8, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I was watching the match score live via Google.
    Yes I had forgotten about the altitude factor, thanks Scoop.
    This win takes Moutet into the quarter finals!

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 9, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Herios, he is a fine player worthy of being watched closely. Very special talent and this week in Quito is affirming it. Moutet can win the title.



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