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Apr/14

22

Tennis Devotion

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Tennis is a sport that inspires devotion from it’s more passionate practioners and advocates.

Here are some examples of extraordinary devotion to tennis I have encountered…

I met a young woman from Japan named Hirono, who recently graduated from college and as a gift to herself, before starting her fledgling career as an English book editor, she took an eight day trip to the Sony Open in Key Biscayne to see her favorite sport live and up close. She just became a fan of the sport two years ago while watching the Federer-Murray Wimbledon final on TV.

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Apr/14

21

Kyrgios Crowned King of Sarasota Open

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Nick Kyrgios was challenged to summon his best tennis by Filip Krajinovic in the final of the Sarasota Open ATP Challenger and the eighteen year old phenom did just that.

It was an unforgettable duel. Kyrgios, who plays with a Monfils like flashiness, surged to a 3-love lead. But the poised Serbian did not flinch at all. He kept his composure and suddenly it was 3-3.

Kyrgios, dug in as well. At 5-4, Kyrgios had triple set point on his opponent’s serve. But, the tough 22-year-old won five straight points to level it at 5-5.

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Apr/14

18

Sarasota Open Notes & Stuff

ssotaopenI saw Daniel Kosakowski and USTA coach Craig Boynton eating together in the nearby Publix cafe area about a quarter mile from the event venue. The American wildcard defeated James Ward and is now slotted to meet the Young-Kyrgios winner in the bottom half semi.

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Apr/14

18

The Biofile: Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo

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Status: Currently ranked l73. Career high ranking was #50 in 2006. Has won eleven ATP Challenger titles. Ruben and his partner Franko Skugor of Croatia are in the semifinals of the Sarasota Open doubles event.

Early Tennis Memory: “Big moment for me is when I made main draw in US Open. My first time in main draw into Grand Slam.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “For me, beating Ferrer in Roland Garros. I beat him in third round (2006). So this was my best moment.”

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Apr/14

16

Viva Monte Carlo

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It’s that time of year. Clay court season hath commenced. Everybody loves Monte Carlo, it’s even Rafa’s favorite event, he’s won it eight times. That’s a phenomenal achievement.

Were in the round of 32. Rafa looked a bit shaky getting broken in the first game vs. Gabashvili who is at a career high ranking just outside the top 50. Rafa regained control though and cruised to a 64 6l win.

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Apr/14

15

Americans Struggle At Sarasota Open

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Iron Mike Russell lost in straight sets to UCLA’s Daniel Kosakowski.

Rhyne Williams battled back from a 25 third set deficit but lost in a tiebreaker on center court to Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan.

Jack Sock served for the match against Italian lefty Andrea Arnaboldi at 54 in the second but botched the game and ended up having to endure a second set tiebreak. Late in the breaker Sock muttered after the Italian hit a running forehand winner on the sideline, “It’s impossible for him to play better. He couldn’t play any better.” Moments later the set was the Italian’s at 75.

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Apr/14

14

Bobby Bonilla Checks Out Sarasota Open

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Former Major League slugger Bobby Bonilla came to enjoy the tennis at the Sarasota Open today. The six-time All Star sat in the grandstand with his wife and friends watching Tim Smyczek battle Frank Dancevic in the late afternoon and then Nick Kyrgios vs. Jarmere Jenkins in the features night match.

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Apr/14

13

Rising Force Alexander Zverev Stars in Sarasota

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The world’s top junior Alexander Zverev won his second qualifying match today at the Sarasota Open, taking down Aussie Jason Kubler 64 in the third.

Zverev, just sixteen, had two double faults in the last game but he held his nerve and finished the job with an unreturnable forehand.

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Apr/14

12

Sarasota Open Begins

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That young phenom Alexander Zverev, ITF number one junior and Australian Open winner, is on center court with Bjorn Fratengelo, who won French Open juniors three years ago but has struggled to make inroads in the ATP. The kid goes up 2-0 but Bjorn breaks back and then it’s a battle. By the end of the set, every point is a dogfight, there are no freebies or bad mistakes. Both are playing well. Zverev finally takes the set 7-5 when Bjorn nets a backhand. And Zverev wins the second set, barely, 7-5.

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Apr/14

10

Sarasota Open Challenger Starts Saturday

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One of the coolest tennis events is the Sarasota Challenger which will be contested for the eighth time at the Longboat Key Club Tennis Gardens on Longboat Key, Florida from Saturday April l2th to the 20th.

This year’s $l00,000 main draw field once again is strong: Defending champ Alex Kuznetsov is back to defend his title.

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