By Andreas Vou
Petros Chrysochos is showing that the future of Cypriot tennis is bright after winning his first professional tournament last week, becoming only the third player from the island to have done so.
The 18-year-old traveled to Egypt to compete in the ITF Futures Tournament and came away with the $10,000 (€7,100) prize after defeating Turkey’s Cem Ilkel in straight sets in the final.
Chrysochos pulled off an efficient performance, winning 6-3, 6-3 against a competitive opponent who was ranked No.53 in the junior standings.
The Larnaca native outplayed Ilkel in almost every department, including four aces and dispatching five out of his six break points (83%) compared to the Turk’s two out of eight (25%) which proved to be the telling difference between the two players.
By claiming the Futures trophy, Chrysochos has followed in the footsteps of Photos Kallias and Marcos Baghdatis and is now intent on taking his career to the next level in the coming years.
Much is expected of the promising teenager who, in 2012, was named European junior player of the year – a prize which has previously been claimed by current elites of the game such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
Later that year, he won the Davis Cup against Benin representing Cyprus with the legendary Baghdatis and others in a best of five match-up, while also managing a third-place finish in the Junior Masters.
Chrysochos is earning a reputation for his ability to read the game with acute accuracy while also demonstrating tactical knowledge usually found in an established professional.
His quick sense of judgment gives him the advantage of being able to adjust to mix up his game depending on how a particular match is going. Occasionally, he likes to try the drop shot like Baghdatis has pulled off countless times throughout his career.
His latest win has earned him 18 points in the ATP world rankings which is expected to push him up to around 850th place in the standings, while he is 40th in his age group.
Chrysochos continues to maintain a full school programme along with his busy training schedule at the Herodotou Academy with his excellent coach Charalambos Vassiliou.
As when any promising youngster emerges on the island, high hopes are held of a prosperous career. Chrysochos evidently possesses quality in abundance and it is now up to the powers that be in the relevant government bodies to provide the necessary support for him to go all the way.