Dan M

aeltc

Wow, quite a shocker with Sock going down in 4 sets to Groth. We know from last year’s Newport that Groth is a heckava grass court player and Sock isn’t good, but this is Wimbledon, especially in the first round where the footing is better, you’d think Sock would have routined Groth. The big Aussie, who weighs 218 pounds, had won a total of two matches in 2015 since leaving Australia and before hitting the grass. Sock just can’t play on grass right now.

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Jun/15

14

Spadea Ready To Come Back

Vince is absolutely killing the forehand these days and he said even though Roddick and Blake dominated the Power Shares senior event this year (Roddick at 32 apparently and Blake at 34 are seniors while Tommy Haas at 37 after as many surgeries as me is playing on the ATP Tour?!) over 40-something’s like Courier, Agassi and Sampras, Vince thinks he could hold his own against Roddick and Blake now. And we all know if Roddick went back on tour, he’d be Top 20 within a year.

So if Vince is in either draw at Newport, I want to see a strong contingent of Tennis-Prosians there. And watch this sick forehand by Vince.

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Jun/15

7

Djoko’s Big Chance

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Novak Djokovic enters the finals of the French Open this morning with history staring him right in the face. I never heard about an athlete’s “legacy” growing up. That term seems to have gained great credence though in modern days. And Djoko’s legacy and spot in the history of the game is essentially coming down to this one afternoon in Paris.

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11265006_10152986861127637_243319903658431412_nIt starts with Wawrinka v Tsonga tomorrow and that should be worth the price of alone, but then Djokovic v Murray hit the clay. Both Wawrinka and Tsonga have not had the best of years, particularly Jo-Willy. Wawa is only 22-8 on the year and after reaching the semis in the Australia Open and winning Rotterdam, the perennial second-fiddle Swiss went on a horrid stretch, including losing to Haase and Mannarino in IW and Miami, respectively. Tsonga isn’t even in the Top 10 anymore, he’s 15 at the moment, but he’s played inspired tennis at RG after entering the event at 6-5 for the year.

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IMG_1655Let’s say you’re # 200 in the world, male or female, and you want to get over the top. You want to be a Top 50 player and maybe have potential to be a Top 10 player. Then Vince Spadea wants to coach you. All you have to do is fly out to Los Angeles and start learning from the master.

Yes, I said, “master.” Who would you rather be coached by, Andre Agassi or Vince Spadea? It’s likely Agassi would be too good or too impatient to help out a young player in need of guidance. They say Ted Williams, when he was a manager, would get upset at his players for not being able to do things he told them to do. The best managers are usually the Walter Alston-Tommy Lasorda types, who were career minor league players.

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Apr/15

20

It’s Called Charisma, Dah-ling!

I loved the Djoko-Nadal match up on Saturday because even though Djoko won and he’s the dominant player in the world, Nadal has that charisma that most of the players on the ATP Tour do not have today. Watching the Djoko-Berdych finals on Sunday, I found myself not as captivated even though the match was a finals11070260_926583784061140_7229436411336171210_n and went three sets. As good as Djoko and Berdych are, they don’t have that X factor, charisma, dah-ling. Their matches are like museum art, beautiful, inspiring, but lacking real animus and gravitas. They’re both such pretty boys, but the camera doesn’t lie. Maybe that’s why there are so many slides off the players and onto their model-thin wife/fiancee looking tortured in the stands or onto Boris Becker, a player who had real presence and still does. It almost feels sometimes like Boris wants to just jump out of the stands and his tired and racked forty-something and grab a racquet to show Djoko and Berdych what real impassioned tennis playing looks like.

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Apr/15

2

I Apologize to Justin Gimelstob

10422074_934634776548692_9028433410728218268_nOnce in a while I have to apologize on Tennis-Prose.com for some of the things I say in previous blogs. Today is one of those days. I apologize for saying Vince Spadea was as good as Michael Chang and I apologize for ridiculing Izzie, John Isner, for choosing Gimel, Justin Gimelstob, as his coach. Even when I saw recently a picture of Gimel, dressed in his Tennis Channel announcing garb, conducting a practice with Izzie, I was obviously wrong in criticizing the New Jersey flash for being a faux coach.

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Mar/15

15

A Big Serve Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

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So here we are in third round matches today and a list of the Top 20 Serve Speed Tournament Leaders shows that only four of these big servers are still alive. Sam Groth hit the biggest serve at 145 mph, but he lost in the first round. Jerzy Janowicz clocked in next at 144, Harry and Sock at 141 and Izzie at 140. But of the Top 20, only Sock, Izzie, Kevin Anderson, and Nick Kyrgios are still smacking their serves.

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Mar/15

13

The Americans Are Looking Good

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How many sunny dry pure blue skies can you take at one tennis tourney? Apparently a lot if you’re out here in Indian Wells as the good days keep on coming. I’m in the press box above the main stadium here on Sam Query is having a rather easy time with one of my favorite players on tour, Sergiy Stakhovsky. He’s up 6-2, 3-1. I just came from watching Donald Young beat Carreno-Busta and DY was showing a lot of emotion out there. His forehand is showing beautiful shape and he did something I haven’t seen done since the days of Johnny mac, taking a backhand at the baseline, chipping it down the line, racing to the net, and knifing a down the line volley for a winner. It was really nice to see.

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Mar/15

12

Fish v. Harrison–Men Start Their Engines

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The weather is hot. I don’t know about this dry/wet heat. I hit this afternoon before coming out here for 30 minutes and I was sweating bullets. They’re expecting 460,000 fans out here for IW this year, up around 30,000 from last year. I’m winded just getting my press credentials, driving all the way around the complex to park in media parking and just walking up to the media center.

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