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Apr/15

1

The Hidden Gem: Su-Wei Hsieh

hsieh

Su-Wei Hsieh practiced on Monday for over two hours on a practice court at the Miami Open. It was her off day after before a third round doubles match. After the practice with an older male American hitting partner, she walked back to the locker room by herself. Not a single fan recognized or approached her despite the Yonex bag on her shoulder and her fit tennis figure, she made the three minute trek without signing one autograph or taking one fan photo.

Last year Hsieh, now 29, was the number one player in the world in doubles, she won Wimbledon and French Open titles with Peng Shuai. She’s also won two WTA singles titles, both in 2012 in Malaysia (vs. Petra Martic) and Guangzhou (in a three set marathon vs. Laura Robson, 6-4 in the third).

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Mar/15

31

Halepmania Inspiring Simona at Miami Open

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Simona Halep is becoming a sensation. I spoke with a Romanian journalist, the only one here covering her and he shared some interesting facts about the WTA World No. 3 ranked player.

Halep has admitted that the only way she can become number one in the world is when Serena retires. Her primary goal is not to be number one in the world but to win her first major.

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Mar/15

30

Sock Pospisil Shoot Down Fognelli at Miami Open

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Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil manhandled the Australian Open doubles champs Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli, or Fognelli, 62 63.

I arrived at the match at 2-1 for the Italians with Pospisil serving down 0-30. He dug out and held with two brilliant plays – a forehand touch cross court volley that made Sock mouth, “Wooowww.” And a service winner on deciding point that evoked from Sock, “Nice serve Vasek.”

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Mar/15

29

Miami Open Sunday Report

thiems

Down goes Rafa, for the second time in a row to his former pigeon Verdasco. If this is not a sign of a decline in Rafa, I don’t know what is.

There is a minute decline. Rafa dominated Verdasco over ten times in a row and now has lost two in a row to the Madrid lefty. But Rafa was very honest and elaborate in his post match press conference. He admitted he was tight and that he is missing confidence. Also that he’s won so much and doesn’t need to win anymore but he still WANTS to win more.

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Mar/15

28

Miami Open Saturday Report, Gulbis Needs Change

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I arrive at ten before eleven and Gulbis walks by me as I’m perusing the daily schedule, he’s on way to practice court, walking by himself carrying two Wilsons with a chubby guy about ten steps behind him. He takes a prolonged peek at Wawrinka hitting before he turns left. Kids ask for photos and he obliges. When he gets to the court a woman says to him jokingly, “I would like you to smash a racquet and give it to me after.” Gulbis gives his deadpan serious reply: “No smashing racquets today. Once you ask for it I can’t do it.”

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Mar/15

27

Miami Open Friday

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In no order, here’s what I observed today…

Played some tennis this morning at the courts next to Sam Stosur and Lisa Raymond. Then they politely took our court and we moved over next to James Ward and Kyle Edmund. Ward stayed for over an hour after the practice talking face to face with his coach at a picnic table. Real serious hard talk it seemed.

Alexandra Panova was there, though I mistook her for Pennetta. She was with her sister.

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Mar/15

26

Miami Open Thursday, Let’s Get Right Down To It

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I think I saw the future of the WTA – she’s Paula Badosa Gibert of Spain, just seventeen, but big power, intensity and big game. She wiped out Cetkovsa in the first round 6161. And she took on Shuai Zheng today. It was another beatdown. 6175.

This girl is big and strong, bigger than Lindsay and she has that Rafa intensity.

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Mar/15

25

Wacky Wednesday Miami Open

sqveb

Match of the day for me was seeing this new kid on the block, eighteen year old Hyeon Chung of Korea. Chung won the first seven games from Marcel Granollers on court two.

This Korean is a big kid, wears white sunglasses and Le Coq Sportif attire and a Dunlop racquet.

Granollers fought back desperately and won the second set 64, by throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the kid. Grunting, stalling, silence, slices, top spin, offense, defense. The kid hung in there.

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Mar/15

25

Miami Open Tuesday

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A lot of good matches today…

I will try to look in on everything…

Sock vs. Saeda
Young vs. Lu
Querrey vs. Estrella
Struff vs. B Becker
Stakhovskiy vs. Almagro
McHale vs. struggling Cirstea

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Mar/15

24

Why I Just Adore The Miami Open

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My first Miami Open was four years ago in 2012. And this year will be my fourth in a row.

Key Biscayne, the site of the tournament, is a paradise island key, just a causeway and bridge away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, South Beach and Brickell. To bike or drive over the Rickenbacker Causeway the first time is not unlike climbing Mount Everest or seeing the Grand Canyon. The beauty of the scenery is the best of America.

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