Apr/17

17

Sarasota Open Day Two

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Stefan Kozlov was ipressive again with a second route win in the Sarasota Open qualies taking down the eighteen year old Axel Geller of Argentina 61 62. Late entry into qualies Kozlov faced a break point in his first service game but managed to save it and then just steamrolled his bigger stronger opponent with pinpoint accuracy and delicate ball control. It was a masterpiece of matador tennis dominating a baseline bull. Kozlov is a wizard with a racquet. He can pump the power when needed but he’s more dangerous when he has the extra time to play with the ball adding his spins and drop shots and mixing up speeds. I was sitting in the front row next to his coach (Denis a Russian ex pro) and a family friend and it’s fascinating how Kozlov can change speeds and spins with his backhand and also forehand. And he can do it off power as well. Kozlov also played a lot of short points too because he was so accurate moving the ball around Geller had no chance and just watched a lot of not exactly laser beam winners sail by to the part of the court he just could not get too. It was a brilliant display by Kozlov who will face Blaz Rola today at ten o’clock in the morning in the final round of qualies.

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After the win Kozlov hit the practice court to do drills with his coach like this one with his waist hooked up to a band and then serving and running with resistance to the first ball. Later Kozlov was taking no pace feeds from across the court and then hitting winners alternating off each wing. While Kozlov worked on the adjacent court was Leonard Mayer and Jurgen Melzer doing battle in practice sets. Those two veterans are both ranked around 125 now  Jurgen is 35 and Leonardo is 29  Of course Leonardo is most famous for his six hour battle in Davis Cup a few years ago. Jurgen was No 8 in the world in 2011. Jurgen won both of their two ATP clashes in 2008 and 2009 in straight sets but yesterday it was Leonardo who appeared to be the stronger player. Leonardo is quite a specimen at six foot three with the long arms and elegant yet powerful one hander. He also has a beautiful service motion. Jurgen lost the last point and then sat with his coach Fred Rosengren at his chair for a good ten minutes after talking. Then we did a little Facing Andy interview and Jurgen said he never beat Andy but did have a two set lead at US Open.

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62 comments

  • scoopmalinowski · April 20, 2017 at 7:37 am

    For some reason this seems like just another Serena choreographed hoax. Just has a suspicious air about it. The elites are very bold and think they can pull off anything any hoax.

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

    It’s years since I’ve been to Waterloo but I used to work nearby once and I do remember a park, though never knew what it was called. Would be nice to think it’s the same one, survived all the redevelopment in that area.

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Scoop –

    If this is a Serena hoax what’s going to happen when the baby’s due ?
    Is she planning to borrow one ?
    There must be an awful lot of people in on this scam :)

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Seen a few articles on who’s going to dominant on WTA side for rest of the year – my view: no one player will dominate, different winners maybe for different tournaments, Kerber will sadly still struggle and Sharapova will waltz off with at least one piece of silverware.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Catherine; Let’s see how this plays out for more clues. I would guess a surrogate might be involved.

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I thought a surrogate actually has the baby :)
    So what would Serena be doing for the next 4 months or so ?

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Catherine; Like I said Lets wait and see what happens next :)

  • Hartt · April 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Have to feel sorry for the Rogers Cup. They are running frequent TV commercials for the WTA component that feature Serena, Genie and Angie. Of course Serena won’t be there, Genie is in her never-ending slump and Angie has not been exactly exciting this season.

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Unfortunately that happens when tournaments have to do publicity a long way ahead in a game which is exceptionally volatile.

    And with Serena gone there are few marquee names. Can only think of one at the moment but I won’t mention her.

  • catherine bell · April 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    In an effort to catch up with Maria (just curiosity) I looked at some of Sharapova v Simona H in 2014 RG final and although it’s a bit hard to compare at a distance it’s clear Simona has lost a vital dose of zip in her game, mental and physical.
    She comes across then as young and fearless, which she was, but that spirit seems to have gone now although she’s hardly a veteran at 25.
    I notice she tends to go back to that match – as if it were the highlight of her career instead of a beginning.
    2017 could be a pivotal year for her.

  • Hartt · April 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Yes, it’s hard to know which WTA players a tournament like Rogers Cup could feature now. The ones who are playing faily well, like Konta and Ka. Pliskova, aren’t exactly household names.

    The Canadian players, those who will play Fed Cup this weekend, are very young. Andreescu is all of 16, Sebov is 18 and Abanda is 20. So they are a long, long way from being marquee players.

    And I sincerely hope the tourney would not promote a certain player who shall remain nameless.

  • Author comment by Scoop Malinowski · April 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Miami Open used Serena in a lot of posters and billboards and signs all around Miami to promote the tournament and I highly doubt her not playing affected ticket sales. Neither did Federer pulling out last year after practicing on site for a week. Fans still got to see heaps of great tennis.

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