Dan M

10615639_10204837410920250_3766632787340078753_nI’ve said this before on Tennis-Prose.com, Jeff Salzenstein, the lefty out of Denver and Stanford University, was one of my favorite players when he played on the tour. He was only the second player after Dick Norman to crack the Top 100 after the age of 30 and he played the game with an explosiveness and a smile. He looked like he was having a good time out there and he was capable of some startlingly good tennis. What also attracted me to his game and journey was that I met the guy for the first time at Bikram Yoga headquarters (the old demolished one now on La Cienega Blvd.) taking a class. I know other pro tennis players practice yoga, but Jeff’s the first and only player I ever met taking a class at a studio. This was in 2002 when I was getting trained to become a Bikram Yoga teacher, and I think I startled Jeff when I came up to him before class and said, “You’re Jeff Salzenstein, right?”

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Dec/14

27

Who’s The One Player To Watch In 2015?

10455366_647740508650905_7130606787426908427_nLast year, who would’ve thought Stan Wawrinka, the 28-year-old seemingly-perpetual brooding bridesmaid and doormat to RF, a player who’s parents work on an organic farm helping handicapped people (you can’t make this up) and who only three years prior had lost to Donald Young in the second round of the US Open (a match I watched and thought, “Wawa, you’re a serious underachiever, but another underachiever who broke the mold like Soderling wouldn’t even lose to DY at the US Open. Get a grip on yourself!”), would beat Nadal, a player who he’d lost to all 12 times they played (Wawa had never even won a set in their matches), in the Aussie O finals?

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Dec/14

15

The Knicks & Izzie, QBall and Sock

safe_image.phpI’m attending the Knicks-Mavericks game tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden on a press pass for this very web site. I do have an advantage when I ask for a press pass in that I’ve attended literally more than 100 Knicks games on press passes and I did write books with Walt Clyde Frazier and John Starks. But I was a bit surprised when the media relations gentleman, Jonathan Supranowitz, granted my request. I told him I was writing a story on the Knicks and men’s American tennis.

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10600497_1469123586693272_7312589897381177432_nI’m not a big fan of Twitter, but some of the posts related to the Izzie hiring Gimel announcement are quite funny. And you know I love poking fun at Mr. Pomposity, Justin G. So without further ado, here are some of the best posts today:

Going to be fun to watch Gimelstob try to teach Isner how to return.

I am sorry but that is a really bad hire by John Isner. Gimelstob? Of all people. Just no. (I have to admit, this one is kind of my personal favorite).

It will be funny if Isner wins Roland Garros next year.

Oh Isner, why are you giving Gimelstob more reasons to be seen?

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Sep/14

30

The “Are You Serious” Matches

10711107_10152720548754487_7720726109567884958_nThis is another of the weeks during the tennis season where you look at some results and say, “Are you serious?” Usually the phrase is “Are you kidding?” but in tennis, because of Johnny Mac, it’s “Are you serious?”

Look at some of these results:

From Japan

The guy with the hardest name in tennis to spell, Przysiezny, beat Tsonga 7-6 in the third

Stan Wawa continues his odd season losing to Ito in straight sets

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Sep/14

23

Ymer Versus McGee in Napa Challenger

photo1_1361891418.33.215.335x225.bg000000.far1Oh, what it would be like to be in the Napa Valley, 100 miles north of San Francisco, this week for the little tennis tournament up there. Such intrigue, such scenery, such wine! Sam Qball Querrey is playing in the event. Marcos Bagdhatis, Marcos Giron, the NCAA champ, Mike Ironman Russell, Ryan Harry Harrison and Denis Kudla. But the first-round match I’m most interested in is between a 27-year-old Irishman who just made waves at the US OPEN AND a 18-year-old Swede (yes, I said Swede, because there hasn’t been a top Swedish player or any kind of Swedish player since Andrea Vinciguerra, no I meant Robin Soderling, I just like writing Andreas Vinciguerra), named Ymer Elias.

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316182_223404011058516_78933282_nOh, what a day at the US Open. I wasn’t even there! I’m sure, Mike, who was probably there right when the first toss took to the air around 12:30 pm for the Djoko-Kei match can tell us all about it, but I repeat, what a day.

In the dust of Nishikori’s and Cilic’s big upset wins (and Navratilova’s accepted proposal to a former Miss Russia Beauty Queen–you go, Martina, at 57. You still got your verve), we have our first men’s slam finals since 2005 where a member of the Big 4 is not a part of it.

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Sep/14

5

What To Make of Women’s Tennis?

401757_102346636555523_127507345_nI caught just a little of both matches today, the women’s semis day at the Open. When I turned into the Peng-Wozniaki match, it was 7-6, 4-3, 30-all with The Woz serving and Peng Shuai went into some deep cramps. The trainer came out, then the umpire and amazingly they let her take a 10-minute time-out in the middle of the game. I didn’t think a player was allowed to have treatment for cramps in the middle of a game. McEnroe said it was “a black eye” for the sport that they let Peng come back out and play. Later in the game, she was overcome by the cramps, but she still wouldn’t quit. They had to default her and she left in a wheelchair.

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Sep/14

2

Who Can Beat Me?

0207-095549
 

 

If you read this blog, you know I don’t like to boast. But how about giving me some loving for my two picks yesterday: Wawa taking down Robredo and Kei chopping down Milos.

Alright, I was wrong picking Tsonga. Note to myself, never pick Tsonga in a big slam match, especially against one of the Big 4, ever again. I could tell Jo Willy was losing that match as soon as I saw him dressed in black and dark green on a hot humid day and he came out playing passively, not the way he played when I saw him blow Monaco off the Grandstand court earlier in the Open. Oh well, live and learn.

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IMG_1523I assume Izzie and Qball are the only two American men still left. I don’t know if Smyczek won or lost, but I’m assuming he lost. When looking at men’s American tennis, in this slam in particular, but pretty much overall, the only player who has/had a realistic chance to make the second week is Izzie. Qball with his limited game and laissez-faire psychological framework has exceeded all expectations by reaching the 3rd Rd. Of course, he faces Djoko today, so Qball is catching the evening flight back to Las Vegas or the Valley.

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