– The big french guy ( 2,03m.) made himself famous this year in Marseille ATP 250. Coming from the qualies as #388, and with zero experience at ATP level and little on the Challenger tour ( hadn’t gone further than R2) the Haguenau native made the quarter-finals, beating #92 Matthias Bachinger, and more remarkably #8 Mardy Fish in 3 sets. His run ended in Michael Llodra hands, as he lost to Mika 6/7(5) 5/7.
Tennis world was shocked by Albano, and he was nicknamed as ” french Karlovic ” because of his big serve. But he was not all about the serve, as he showed some good skills at the net and he wasn’t a complete disaster on the baseline. After then, he scheduled his season on ATP qualies and Challengers with little success. But in the need of wins and confidence, he went back to Futures, winning Great Britain F9 ( on grass) and making the SF’s in Great Britain F10 ( also on grass) and Ireland F1 ( on carpet), mixing it with some Challenger action, like making Recanati QF ( defeated Pashanki and Polansky on the making). With some renovated confidence, Olivetti made himself almost unbreakable this week on Segovia, making his first Challenger final ( lost to a much more experienced Evgeny Donskoy 1/6 6/7(11). During the week he made 57 aces, 11.4 per match, and as an unseeded player he defeated Marcan, sixth seed Navarro, first seed Gimeno-Traver and Ghedin to make the final. His most impressive win was over Gimeno-Traver, as he won the match on a third set tie-break [ 6-4 4-6 7-6(6)], saving 5/6 break points. On the final, he lacked experience on the first set, but he made life very difficult for Donskoy in the second, as the russian had to save 6 set points!
Overall, a great week for Albano, who will get a career best ranking on Monday, near #210. The keys for him to become a top-100 player are to keep improving his backhand, and work a lot on his movement, like Cilic, Del Potro or Isner did. If he keeps improving, I think he could become a top-50 player in 2/3 years.