Maximiliano Estevez perfectly summed up what it’s like to play in a tennis tournament.
“In tournaments, you almost always lose,” the 26-year-old Argentinian said. “So you have to keep trying and do your best.”
Unfortunately for Estevez, his best wasn’t enough as he dropped straight sets to Kaichi Uchida Sunday at Miller Tennis Center in Williamsville. No. 6 seeded Uchida used a great return of service in defeating No. 8 seeded Estevez, 6-4, 6-1, in the Sargent & Collins, LLP Men’s $10,000 Futures Tournament championship match. The final lasted less than 90 minutes.
“It was a great tournament,” said Uchida, 20, from Japan. “I’m so happy to win this one.”
The event’s organizers proved unable to outguess the weather on Sunday. The final match was originally set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Due to a rainy afternoon forecast, the starting time was pushed up to 10 a.m.
However, a shower arrived right around the scheduled start. The two players waited for an hour, and then got down to work on the outdoor clay courts. About 200 watched the Father’s Day matchup.
Estevez didn’t use weather or the delays as a reason for his performance.
“I don’t have any excuses today,” Estevez said. “He played really well.”
The 10-game first set was back-and-forth. After Uchida won took an early 4-2 lead, Estevez broke serve to tie the set at four games each. But Uchida took the final two games, and that’s when Estevez’s frustrations became clear.
Uchida, who was nearly silent on the court, won the first three games of the second set as well – resulting in a five-game win streak. During those games, Estevez threw his racket against the ground, yelled at himself multiple times and smacked a ball onto the rooftop of the Tennis Center after dropping a deuce set.
Estevez mostly was unhappy with his serves Sunday. He dropped seven of nine of the games he served, including all four in the second and final set.
“I feel weird, it was tough,” Estevez said. “I didn’t know the kid. He’s good and I couldn’t serve today, so it made it more difficult.”
Estevez entered the tournament ranked No. 620 in the world. His highest ranking was No. 242 in 2013. Uchida is No. 614 and peaked at 579 in April.
Uchida will play next in a Futures tournament in Canada. His goal is to reach top 10 in the world.
“My tennis is really good, so I have confidence,” Uchida said. “I want to keep going.”
Estevez defeated Williamsville East graduate Winston Lin, 7-5, 6-0, in the semifinals Saturday. Lin, a Columbia standout and a Miller Tennis Center student at age 7, won three matches in the Futures Tournament.
Uchida upset No. 4 seeded Wil Spencer, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, in the quarterfinals and defeated No. 7 seeded Hans Hach, 7-6 (4), 6-1, en route to the title match.
Uchinda earned $1,440 and 18 ATP points with the victory. Estevez earned $848 and 10 ATP points as the runner-up.
Sekou Bangoura and Nathan Pasha won the doubles tournament after Estevez and Daniel Garza withdrew. Garza, the No. 2 seeded singles player, retired during the singles quarterfinals with a quad injury.