MANILA, Philippines - Jeson Patrombon’s return to junior competitions ended abruptly as he took a 5-7, 5-7 setback to Russian qualifier Evgeny Karlovskiy in the rain-hit first round of the AEGON Junior International-Roehampton 2011 in London.
Going back to the junior ranks after competing in the ITF men’s Futures legs in Indonesia and India, the 18-year-old Patrombon found himself struggling on grass and yielding the big points to the big-serving Russian.
“I just knew that it will be a struggle for Jeson playing his first match on grass due to rustiness and lack of practice on this kind of surface,” said Patrombon’s coach Manny Tecson, whose ward competed on hardcourt in his seven legs in the Futures.
“Jeson is the type of player that needs a good practice session first before his match to adjust to the surface and get his timing and rhythm going. This was why we came to London two days earlier but bad weather is something you cannot control and unfortunately, these things happen in the circuit,” he added.
Seeded 12th in the Grade 1 netfest, a warm-up to the Junior Championships-Wimbledon, Patrombon grabbed an initial 4-2 lead against Karlovskiy but just could not finish it off, allowing the Russian to snatch the first set.
At 5-5 in the second set, Patrombon (world no. 15 among juniors) had his chance to break the 68th ranked Karlovskiy and win the 11th game, but the netter from Moscow responded with big serves and big plays to move closer to the victory.
Karlovskiy went on attack mode in the 12th, racking up three straight points and getting the better of Patrombon in a long rally to write off the Filipino ace and complete the reversal.
Patrombon will turn his attention on the doubles event, where he and partner Jaden Grinter of New Zealand are set to battle Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium and Filip Peliwo of Canada in the opener.