Dan M

Jul/15

27

Playing Up

mqdefaultIt’s become a common phenomenon in junior and even pro tennis for the young phenom to “play up,” meaning to move up to a higher age bracket and challenge the older juniors or even the gristled pros in tournaments. That’s what Jaime Corsillo did this past weekend. The Boca Raton 12 year old, the No. 2 12 year old in the country, came to Armonk, NY in Westchester County and and played in a 14’s local New York event. At the same time, in the girl’s division of the 14’s event, Ava Givone, another 12 year old, but located much more locally in Purchase, NY, played up as well. Givone’s father, Rob Givone, is one of the best players ever to rise out of Westchester County, having played for a few years on the pro tour in the late-1990’s, reaching a career-best of no. 347.

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IMG_1821Rajeev Ram, an afterthought in American tennis unless he’s playing on the green lawns of Newport, captured his second Hall of Fame Tournament title downing Dr. Ivo in a third-set tie-breaker, 7 points to 2. Ram’s win was highlighted by chopping down No. 1 seed Izzie in the first round, Manny Mannarino in the quarters and then stunningly, Dr. Ivo in the finals. Anyone who beats Dr. Ivo 7-2 in a breaker should receive a call of congratulations from Barack Obama.

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1000061_10151550530367753_1846783606_nI can’t think of one personally. Sharapova is such a priss, a tool, a ridiculously annoying player. I mean there’s been Nastase in my lifetime, Leconte, Johnny Mac, Evert, Connors, Seles, and now Kyrgios, but have any been half as annoying as Maria?! I don’t think so.

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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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