Archive for August 2016

Aug/16

31

Facing McEnroe: Book Excerpt

BookCoverImage (1)Happy to announce my fifth tennis book “Facing McEnroe” is finished and available-here is a quick excerpt. (Cover photo by June Harrison)
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“John’s game really started to click when he went to college. He didn’t burn himself out as a junior.”

Fritz Buehning: “We grew up together, he was a year older. We grew up playing (USTA) Eastern tennis. I have a picture of us playing doubles when he was 12 and I was 11. He was one year ahead of me so I didn’t face him all that much in juniors. He was always (ranked) 1 or 2 in the East and I was always ranked 1 or 2 in my age group. He ended up going to the semifinals of Wimbledon while still in high school. I graduated high school a year early because I combined junior and senior years so I was a freshman at UCLA the same year he was a freshman at Stanford. We played Stanford three times in dual matches. Those were pretty exciting matches. On the (ATP World) Tour I played him once in singles in Stockholm. I won the first set but I ended up losing in three sets. I’d say we played at least twenty times in doubles and I won once at Queen’s Club. The time I won, I was partnered with John Austin and John was with Peter Fleming.”

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Fabio Fognini gives you more than a tennis match, he gives you drama, theatrics, genius, flair, and a little bit of grudge too. Yesterday I went to see some of Fognini vs Gabashvili and I could not walk away from court ten.
Fabio lost the first two sets and barely nicked the third in a breaker. At 3-3 in the breaker a fan told Fabio as he walked by, “If you win this tiebreaker you will win the match.” Gabashvili heard the indirect insult and made a mental note but he could not finish the job and lost the third set. And the close fourth set.
In the fifth I came back to the court and noticed it was very intense with some grudge between the two combatants. Fognini left the court for the bathroom for the second time – taking his Babolat to the john BOTH times. Never saw a player take his racquet to the bathroom with him.

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Aug/16

30

US Open Day One Thrills

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The first great match of the day of many thrillers was young Australian Jordan Thompson vs. former Nadal slayer Steve Darcis. Thompson is of interest to me because he is a rising force and he helped Lleyton Hewitt win a first round doubles match at Wimbledon this year. On the old grandstand – they are still using it as a match court thank goodness – Thompson was cruising to a straight set win up two sets and 5-3 on Darcis. But then the match changed. Darcis decided he still wanted to win. Darcis saved a match point and held for 4-5 and Thompson failed to serve it out.

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Aug/16

29

US Open Begins

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We have a fantastic schedule today on Day One of the 2016 US Open -

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Aug/16

27

Super Friday at US Open Qualies

 

Aug/16

27

That First US Open Qualification

Tracy Almeda-SingianI witnessed Christian Harrison and Taylor Townsend qualify yesterday with exciting victories to experience the very special joy of earning a spot in the US Open main draw – so I asked a friend and former WTA professional Tracy Singian if she remembers her special memories about the first time she qualified for the US Open main draw

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Aug/16

26

The Wawrinka-Vekic Files

I get to Flushing Meadows around 1:30 pm today and I start walking over to the media office to see why the heck they didn’t give me a press pass for the first week of the Open this year like they have for so many years now in the past, but I’m struck by a […]

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Aug/16

25

Thursday At US Open Qualies

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I really like the new grandstand (above photo).   It’s spacious and modern and it has a shady side. Today it featured some potent practices – first with good buddies Sock and Kyrgios.  The two fun-loving superstars enjoyed a typical light hearted yet also intense practice with Nick grunting heavily during the initial baseline hitting.  Sock was at first unusually subdued but eventually showed his humor when he ripped a first forehand at Nick when he came to net for volleys. Kyrgios smiled at it and later whacked a practice overhead at Sock’s three man entourage which was planted in a corner about five yards from the baseline. The smash hit one of Sock’s crew in the foot. The two went at it all out in the practice set but sat with each other during breaks chatting. Roger Federer started this trend of sitting with his practice partner at majors rather than apart – I believe it was with Hrbaty but I will check my records…

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Aug/16

24

US Open Notes and Scoops

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Raonic was practicing with Georgia Tech star Chris Eubanks on Armstrong in the early afternoon with the tall American holding his own and coach Johnnymac looking on and working hard sweating totally through a cotton shirt. After one Raonic forehand into the net John came over and told his charge to “to go for it.” … I passed by Christian Harrison’ court where he just lost by a bagel in the second to Saville with brother Ryan watching from the bleacher and quite accessible to fans. Harrison battled back to win 7-5 in the third which is a huge win for the much stronger looking younger Harrison brother… I was told Rafa Nadal was hitting with Pouille but struggling with his serve and a cough… I spoke with the agent of Nick Kyrgios who is in Boca Raton training in the heat and doing a lot of beach sprints and fitness work. The word is Nick is in super shape right now…

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Aug/16

24

Opelka is Awesome: US Open Qualies Day Two

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Reilly Opelka continues to take down established ATP veterans, today slaying Roger Vasselin from a set down, on court seventeen in the late afternoon with an array of USTA players and coaches in the audience (Gullikson Ginepri Kozlov Paul Berger etc).

There were antics at the end. Opelka was up the break in the third and before the 4-2 gave ERV tried the old Federer late racquet change. Opelka had a 30-love lead that game but got broken for 4-3. Opelka than called a medical timeout on the changeover for a right calf wrap.

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