Bios

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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IMG_1817IMG_1821I’d have to say yes, especially on grass courts. To watch a Brown match, say his quarterfinal win against Sam Querrey here at Newport played over two days and finished yesterday, is to see a pot pourri of tennis not available in any other player’s toolbox. The Jamaican flash hits bullet serves after only seconds between points. He rushes the net like Ursain Bolt with dreds to his waist and then somehow stops on a dime on the grass and feathers a soft half volley drop shot that Qball couldn’t reach with a fishing pole.

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Jul/15

16

Can Sock Make It to the Finish Line?

IMG_1815IMG_1816In the annals of tennis history, two more unlikely players to grace the pro stage and the green grass of Newport are two of the quarterfinalists here this week, Jack Sock and Dustin Brown, who could be on a bee line to face each other in the semis. You could not look at two seismically different players physically and culturally, one is a blond brute, Nebraskan-bred and just about the most happy-go-lucky type of hayseed one has ever seen. The other is a German-born, Jamaican-bred Rastafarian look-a-like with the legs the width of a sign post and just about the funkiest game of tennis this side of Fabrice Santoro.

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IMG_1809IMG_1808After Rajeev Ram, 31, chopped down the Izzie Tree, in a third set tie breaker, he said, “It’s sort of (the conditions) suited to old-school tennis, and I feel like I can play that pretty well with almost anyone around,” said Ram. “It came down to a couple points… I was able to get him today.” Ram is only 31, although he’s greying on the sideburns already, and ranked No. 161, he’s a former title-holder at Newport, so he knows probably his only chance of beating a player of Izzie’s chops is at Newport.

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Jul/15

13

My Own Private Newport

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I sit here in my house in Newport–it’s a small house, bought mainly to rent and because my wife is a Rhode Islander and so I could once a year come and spend the week at my favorite tournament–with the early-morning sky gray over the houses across the street. Already I’ve read about the Yankees win over the Red Sox yesterday, winning the weekend series, with oldies but goodies, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Texeira, still hitting for the first-place Yanks.

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P1011052
Here we go again, tennis genius on display. Two wizards engineering tennis magic on Center Court at Wimbledon.

Two supremely focused and talented marvels conducting a sword fight of with a yellow ball Slazenger, one point of awe inspiring combat after the other over and over.

You will not find a better rivalry in any sport, in the history of sport.

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11008440_10153256631199941_6100565904647706650_nAfter Roger Federer dispatched with Andy Murray in straight sets in today’s Wimbledon semi-finals, John McEnroe said the Swiss moves ahead of Rafael Nadal in his estimation. Federer will contest for a record 8th Wimbledon title on Sunday and he won for the tenth time without a defeat in a Wimbledon semis match. Federer moves into his 28th slam finals. Nadal in comparison has reached 19 slam finals.

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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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Jul/15

7

Vika Must Be Stopped!

10599615_914432971905000_1894919509221900455_nI don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, but me, an avowed women’s tennis disliker, is into this Quarters match between Serena and Vika. You know a rivalry and it’s players have reached star, even superstar status, when the two players are known by their first names or nick names. Basically, the only rivalry in women’s tennis today is between Williams and Azarenka. And this match today, after Williams came back after a questionable lines and umpire decision at the French to beat Vika in three sets, is a real good one.

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