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Aug/14

27

The Biofile: Sam Groth Interview

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Status: ATP # 104.

First Tennis Memory: I grew up in a country town which is on the New South Wales and Victorian border in Australia. I remember I used to ride my bike down to the courts every day. My parents couldn’t get me off the courts. I didn’t have a coach my first year. I was ten years old and just loved it.

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Aug/14

26

US Open Commences

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Hewitt was hitting with Matosevic. Hewitt doesn’t play his first rounder until Wednesday vs. Berdych.

Simona Halep, WTA world number two ranked player, was asked if she’s been recognized much in and around New York City and she said so far just one person noticed her: “A policeman. He told me, You are Simona Halep, no? Yes I am. Only one.”

Angie Kerber edged Ksenia Pervak in the first match on grandstand. The #6 seed cruised through the first set 62 but then found herself in a battle. Pervak, coached by Dusan Vemic since last October, and also a lefty began to outhit Kerber from the baseline. Pervak, who has a win over Wozniacki, took the match all the way to 55 in the third but then Kerber seemed to play it more safe and conservative. Experience the difference. A funny thing I remember from this match was after the first set Pervak took a bathroom break and took her racquet with her along with some kind of energy bar.

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Aug/14

24

Gulbis and Thiem go at it on Grandstand

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Good crowd watching these two titans working hard in practice in early afternoon on Grandstand.

They’re doing baseline tennis, at first they are doing a lot of hard hitting right back at each other and it’s clear Thiem is more on his game, Gulbis is missing more. On many first balls off the feed Gulbis puts the ball in the net. Thiem is like a one handed machine.

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Aug/14

22

Friday at the US Open Qualies

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The volatile but supremely talented Alexander Kudrayvtsev took down Ricardas Berankis 76 06 63 and then, as he exited the court, swiped a kid’s white cap off his head. The kid ran after him shocked, then the big Russian playfully tossed it back to the kid and also gave him his yellow headband. I like this big hitter and who ever has to play him in the first round better be on high alert. By the way, AK may be the only player in tennis history to wear two different color socks, one red, one black.

My man Taro Daniel won again in three sets, watch this guy people, he’s got a very aesthetic game.

Fognini was hitting with Bolelli on grandstand.

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Michelle Larcher De Brito was beaten by Barbora Krejcikova AND her coach Jana Novotna 76 63. Novotna was doing a lot of coaching especially through the first set. Her presence has to be a bit intimidating as she implored her charge on with intense sounds and provocations.

Lleyton Hewitt hit with Federer on Ashe in the morning. I was told by ATP scribe Joshe Meiseles that Djokovic was asked about being “rusty” at his press conference at John McEnroe Academy on Randall’s Island, and the ATP World number one humorously replied, “There’s only one Rusty and that’s Lleyton Hewitt.”

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You’re the No. 1 player in your country, Ireland. You’re 27 years-old. You’ve played pretty much everywhere on the globe, staying in hostels at some tournaments, doing your own wash, just eeking by for years. But now McGee, who is at a career-high No. 195, is knocking at the door of gaining entry into the US Open and racking in $35,000 even if he were to lose in the first round.

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Aug/14

21

Wednesday Observations US Open Qualies

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Daniela Hantuchova has a lot of fans who admire her game and her model-like physique, well, guess what, there’s a new young Dani on the scene and her body is even longer and taller. Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia could give Giselle Bundchen or Heidi Klum a run for their money and cover shoots. Keep your eye out for Elizaveta Kulichkova (in photo). She lost a tough one to veteran Stephanie Foretz, the bestacled French lady.

If you want to see an unfulfilled talent, watch Alexander Kudryavtsev of Russia, tall, rangy, long arms, solid technique but his head is the problem. He can lose his mind at any moment. And if you like to see racquets thrown and smashed, Kudryavtsev is your man. He smashed some racquets while beating Italian Thomas Fabbiano.

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Aug/14

19

US Open Qualies Begin

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When you go to US Open qualies it’s a constant barrage of tennis. You see so much, it’s hard to remember everything. I will try. In no particular order…

Gael Monfils entering incognito with a hood on in middle of sunny afternoon by the front entrance by the Eric Fischl sculpture of Ashe. Looks like La Monf came via bus. He was with a female French player who I can’t name.

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Aug/14

18

Nadal Is Out of US Open

417601_10150630315256026_447771636_nI have this exclusive on this story. I even scooped Scoop. Nadal called me this morning in my New York suburban house and after we exchanged pleasantries about our respective families, our golf games, Hemingway and such, Rafael told me, (and I quote):

“No, I will not, I cannot, play the US Open this year. I’m very very sad. It is too bad because I love the New York people and their street side vendors, the hot dogs, the gyros, the Italian ices. I love the subway and Dangerfield’s Comedy Club, no, I can’t go on, It makes me very very sad.

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Aug/14

17

Sharapova can use gamesmanship but Ana can’t

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Sharapova and Ivanovic battled all night in an unforgettable court war filled with drama, gamesmanship, screaming, sarcastic mockery, a timeout, choking and finally a three set 75 in the third triumph by Ivanovic.

Ana was up a set and 4-0 and also 5-2 in their Cincinnati Open semifinal clash but Sharapova stormed back to win the second and later had two match points in the third.

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