I ran into Vince Spadea at an Atlantic Ave eatery just a few blocks down the road from the tournament and he told me Leonard Di Caprio has just joined the Beverly Hills Country Club and wants to take weekly tennis lessons in LA and also New York.
Alejando Falla lost to Rhyne Williams yesterday, retiring in the second set, and then proceeded to take a long walk outside the grounds here at the Tennis Center with his coach. I was transcribing audio at the media tent and he was gone for almost an hour.
Chatted with Mark Woodforde about his matches with Lleyton Hewitt for my Facing Hewitt book. Woody is coaching Marinko Matosevic. He played Hewitt five times early in Lleyton’s career and late in his own, and lost the first four times before finally winning the last meeting on clay in Atlanta. Woody said he thought Lleyton would show some mercy for his older mentor who also hails from Adelaide, but Hewitt gave him nothing. I asked Mark what he thought if Lleyton and Rafa traded body size and strength, who would win, and he replied, “Lleyton, without a doubt.”
Hewitt faced American #3 yesterday Brad Klahn, winner of three career ATP level matches. Hewitt, coming off a bad loss to Mike Russell in Memphis, was extremely fired up to beat Klahn and get back on track. Hewitt roared seven or eight Come ons and many fist pumps as he dominated Klahn in straights. Greg Norman was in the house for the entire match, sitting right in the sun the whole time with no hat. I was in the sun for five minutes and felt like I was burning alive, before moving to the shade. Gren Norman is one tough man.
After the match I gave Greg a copy of Facing Federer, which he contributed some thoughts about Federer for me at the US Open about five years ago. Greg said Thank you and wished me a lot of success with the book.
I watched the Querrey-Lopez match on Monday night and Sam is just too laid back. In the first set Sam came over to the two fans sitting in the Porsche which is placed in a court corner and asked the people, “Did you win tickets to sit there? Is it comfortable?” Sam then stepped away to return serve from Lopez. Conversely, Lopez was very intense for the whole match, talking to himself, firing himself up, talking with his coaching box. He clearly wanted it a lot more than Smooth Sam and of course won it in three sets. The next day a fan I was speaking with said Sam is like a golfer. And it’s so true, Sam’s temperment is more suited for golf than tennis. But Sam is a great player in tennis. He just can’t win “great matches.”
Another fan told me he had the chance to hit with John McEnroe in a pro am in Tampa last November and he actually won a point on Mac’s serve. What happened next? Mac unleashed a swerving curving serve that popped the guy right smack in the chest. LOL. Johnny Mac does not like losing points to ham and eggers in pro ams.