Archive for December 2016
By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Former ATP pro tennis player who won 15 career singles titles and reached No 4 in the world in 1997. (This interview was done in 2004)
Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 200 pounds.
Born On: September 6th, 1973 in Montreal, Quebec.
Childhood Heroes: “John McEnroe – great attitude, always exciting to watch him. Michael Jordan.”
Nicknames: “The Joker, from Pete Sampras, because I was always smiling all the time at Wimbledon in 1995.”
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 150
DOB: November 6, 1987 In: Belgrade, Serbia
Tennis Inspiration: “Monica Seles. I was watching her on TV when I was four. During the break there was a commercial for a tennis school. I remembered the phone number and kept asking my mom there for maybe a month. Finally, she agreed. I fell in love with the game straight away. And for my fifth birthday my father gave me my first racquet.”
First Tennis Memory: “I remember my first ever lesson. I can’t describe how happy I was. It’s just a simple love for playing the game.”Continue to read full article...
By Scoop Malinowski
Junri Namigata’s perseverance has been rewarded. The Japanese veteran qualified for the Australian Open main draw in doubles (with her partner Chin Wei Chan) by winning the Asia Pacific Wildcard tournament in China 1-6 6-4 10-8 over a pair of young Asian players Ching Wen Hsu and Kei Chen Chang.
The now 34-year-old Namigata’s career has not been your typical journey. She played college tennis in Japan at Waseda University and turned pro in 2005. Success has been sporadic. She reached the third round of US Open qualies in 2006. The five-foot, seven inch tall Namigata actually reached the doubles finals in Bangkok in 2007 with Ayumi Morita but lost the final by walkover.Continue to read full article...
One match. Ellis Ferreira was one match away from the end of his career.
It was summer of 1995 and Ferreira was 25 years old and struggling badly. He started the year off losing first round at four straight tournaments. Then a round of 16 at Memphis and a quarterfinal at Scottsdale. Then a final at Birmingham, Alabama, where he played college tennis.
After that brief success, it was back to losing. Two more first round losses in Atlanta and Hamburg. Then a second round in Rome. First round loss in Bologna. Round of 32 at Roland Garros. Then three straight first round losses at Queens, Wimbledon and Gstaad.Continue to read full article...
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 165
DOB: August 28, 1985 In: Washington DC
First Tennis Memory: “I used to go to the US Open every year to watch with my parents. Started playing through that. My parents played a little. Got more and more into it as I got older and older. I’ve had a lot of fun through tennis.”
Tennis Inspirations: “Sampras and Agassi. Every kid my age looked up to one of them. Both of them had a lot of influence on my game and how I played.”Continue to read full article...
While watching Christian Harrison and Peter Polansky train at IMG Academy during the Eddie Herr tournament a couple of weeks ago, a rather tall black man stood next to me also observing the two pros work on training drills with coach Pat Harrison.
After a few minutes of tennis chat, I discovered it was Wilbert (Wil) Jones, who was in town playing a Super Senior tournament on Longboat Key. Jones was a professional basketball player in the ABA and NBA from 1969-1978. Today at 69 he’s an accomplished senior tennis player, good enough to win rounds in both singles and doubles against the best 65 and over tennis players in the nation.Continue to read full article...
By Scoop Malinowski
Status: 2002 Australian Open champion.
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 165
Early Tennis Memory: “I played a tournament called Donald Duck Cup. It’s very famous in Sweden. It’s like the first big one that you play. I think I was eight or nine. And I played a guy that was four years older than me, and he was a top-seeded guy. So my dad said, If you get a game from this guy, I’ll buy you ice cream. And it was like 6-0 and 4-0 and then I got the first game. So that was good.”Continue to read full article...
By Scoop Malinowski
Ryan Harrison reached his career high ranking of ATP No. 43 back in 2012 at the age of 20 but then lost his way over the last couple of years, mysteriously dropping outside the top 100. After a difficult start in 2016 which featured several disappointing first half of the year losses, Harrison suddenly rejuvenated his career with a surge of fine play in Washington DC. After posting several impressive wins Harrison initiated his best hot streak in years and was able to break back into the top 100. The 24-year-old now will have a direct entry into the Australian Open main draw. Last week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, the soon-to-be married Harrison (late March 2017/Lauren Mchale) analyzed how he was able to turn his season and career around in 2016 and also touched on what he’s working on now to continue his ascent up the ATP World Tour rankings…
Scoop Malinowski: You got your career back on track in 2016, you had an excellent second half of 2016. What was the turning point for you?
Ryan Harrison: Starting the hard court season for me was always going to be something that I was looking forward to, just being an American and playing the US Open Series, I was able to kick it off right away in DC qualifying and make the third round.Continue to read full article...
div id=”u_jsonp_4_u” class=”uiScaledImageContainer _4-ep”>
Though it was a Sunday, Radek Stepanek trained today at IMG Academy.
The 38 year old who turned pro in 1995 walked onthe the court at 11 am. He did an extensive warmup with a lot of agility and flexibility exercises.
One man observing the court commented, “Hey Radek how do you stay in such great shape?” Stepanek responded with a smile, “Young girlfriends.”
Eventually Stepanek started to hit with Christian Harrison. They did normal baseline hitting and then volleys and overheads. Then they took a break and Pat Harrison (father of Christian and Ryan), who was also on the court (and seems to be the main pro coach now at IMG) asked Stepanek what he wanted to do next. The former ATP no. 8 ranked player (in 2006) replied that he wanted to be fed balls and hit inside out forehands at an orange cone target.Continue to read full article...