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by Louise Belcourt

After a break-out year in 2014, 19 year old Australian Nick Kyrgios has lit up a rowdy Australian crowd at this year’s Australian Open. Ranked 53 in the world, the young Aussie is into the third round for the first time in his home grand-slam.

Having not played many matches in the last few months and carrying a back injury, there was cloud over his physical ability. But despite concerns, his first round match was a long and decisive win over Argentian Frederico Delbonis 7-6(2) 3-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3.

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Jan/15

21

Tennis Advice From Johan Kriek

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One of the best benefits of Facebook is when Johan Kriek offers some free advice and tips. When he posts on tennis, it’s like reading gold…

I hammer away at my juniors that if they can cut their unforced errors in half from year to year as we develop their strokes and their games, they will begin to win not more matches, but tournaments! Unforced errors are just plain STUPID! You have to have the mechanics in your strokes to be able to play your “middle tennis/rally speed/” in order to compete! Your mindset has to be settled and know what is YOUR rally speed. FYI….a rally shot is that shot, no matter if it is a slice or a topspin that you can make 9 out of 10 times to the area of the court you aim at!

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Jan/15

20

Hewitt Begins Australian Open Conquest

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And so Lleyton Hewitt has begun his nineteenth Australian Open, winning a tough four set match with flashy Chinese player Ze Zhang.

It’s a solid, quality start for Hewitt, who disappointingly lost in five sets last year to Andres Seppi in the first round.

Benjamin Becker is up next for Hewitt and it’s a favorable draw – Hewitt is 2-0 career vs. the German in singles, not including a Davis Cup doubles win.

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Jan/15

16

2015 Australian Open Draw Review

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Let’s look at the draw from the top on down…

Top seed and world No. 1 Djokovic could face Isner in third round.

Thiem faces Agut.

F. Lopez vs. Kudla.

Del Potro vs. Janowicz is a heavyweight clash, maybe the best first round matchup.

Benneteau vs. Ben Becker.

Hewitt vs. Ze Zhang.

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stevejo

By Peter Bean Hawkins

2014 saw a new wave of talent mark their impression on the ATP World Tour. Marin Cilic captured his first grand slam at the US Open. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov made his first grand slam semi-final appearance on the grass courts at Wimbledon while Japenese star Kei Nishikori saw his celebrity climb at meteoric speeds as he broke through to his first grand slam final at the US Open. Needless to say, American tennis fans were left scratching their heads, wondering when the next great replacement to Andy Roddick will arrive and join John Isner in his chase to reach the top 5 in the ATP World Tour rankings.

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Jan/15

11

Disrespecting Mary Pierce Is An Injustice

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Justin Gimelstob, Mary Carillo and Lindsay Davenport were discussing on Tennis Channel Live about the Hall of Fame class this year: Sergi Bruguera, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce.

Mauresmo won two majors but the commentators were also lauding her decision to announce she was gay at age 19 as some kind of honorable achievement of bravery which added to her career legacy. Really? In political correct times I guess that’s the way it goes. We’ll accept it.

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10615639_10204837410920250_3766632787340078753_nI’ve said this before on Tennis-Prose.com, Jeff Salzenstein, the lefty out of Denver and Stanford University, was one of my favorite players when he played on the tour. He was only the second player after Dick Norman to crack the Top 100 after the age of 30 and he played the game with an explosiveness and a smile. He looked like he was having a good time out there and he was capable of some startlingly good tennis. What also attracted me to his game and journey was that I met the guy for the first time at Bikram Yoga headquarters (the old demolished one now on La Cienega Blvd.) taking a class. I know other pro tennis players practice yoga, but Jeff’s the first and only player I ever met taking a class at a studio. This was in 2002 when I was getting trained to become a Bikram Yoga teacher, and I think I startled Jeff when I came up to him before class and said, “You’re Jeff Salzenstein, right?”

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Jan/15

1

Yes, 2015 Is Here And So Is The Hopman Cup

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The Hopman Cup is one of my favorite tournaments of the season. Seriously. I love this event and how it’s presented. This year’s star quality may be the best in Hopman history…

GROUP A

Team USA: Serena Williams & John Isner

Team Canada: Eugenie Bouchard & Vasek Pospisil

Team Czech Republic: Lucie Safarova & Adam Pavlasek

Team Italy: Flavia Pennetta & Fabio Fognini

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Dec/14

27

Who’s The One Player To Watch In 2015?

10455366_647740508650905_7130606787426908427_nLast year, who would’ve thought Stan Wawrinka, the 28-year-old seemingly-perpetual brooding bridesmaid and doormat to RF, a player who’s parents work on an organic farm helping handicapped people (you can’t make this up) and who only three years prior had lost to Donald Young in the second round of the US Open (a match I watched and thought, “Wawa, you’re a serious underachiever, but another underachiever who broke the mold like Soderling wouldn’t even lose to DY at the US Open. Get a grip on yourself!”), would beat Nadal, a player who he’d lost to all 12 times they played (Wawa had never even won a set in their matches), in the Aussie O finals?

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Dec/14

24

Biofile: The Brian Gottfried Interview

This is one of my favorite Biofiles of 2014, after you read it you will understand. Just classic…

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Status: Former ATP #3. Winner of 24 singles titles, 54 doubles titles. 1977 French Open finalist. Winner of three major doubles titles.

DOB: Jan. 27, 1952 In: Baltimore, MD

First Tennis Memory: “Orange Bowl juniors. We kept players at our house from Japan for the tournament. Eddie Herr approached my dad about housing players. I used to go watch them play and that’s how I started.”

Tennis Inspirations: “The Japanese players who started me [smiles]. I guess I really liked the old Australians, Roy Emerson is at the top of the list for me. Fitness was always a big part of his game. He was just such a physical player. And I loved it, that was sort of my M.O. when I was playing. I worked hard. He was at the top. Those guys were special. And eventually I played with them. And even now I do some corporate things with them, after the fact. It’s just a blast. And I picked the right heroes – they’re great guys.”

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