Bios

May/15

19

The French Open Is Upon Us

By  Todd Robinson www.speedburneronsports.com       2015 French Open Men’s Preview  Favorites, Floaters, and Teens May 19, 2015        There’s plenty of intrigue at this year’s French, despite the relative non-intrigue when world #1 Novak Djokovic takes the court – now 35-2 on the year, coincidentally the same amount of matches as […]

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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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It’s taken nearly 40 years (1977 to 2014), but we finally have a successor to John McEnroe’s genius and artistry on the pro tennis court in Nick Kyrgios. McEnroe and Kyrgios might be 36 years different in age, they might hail from different countries and have wildly different ethnic backgrounds, but Kyrgios in play, substance, […]

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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

29

It Has To Stop: Gulbis Has To Stop The Bleeding

Ernests Gulbis, the Latvian who amazingly beat Roger Federer in the quarters of the French Open last year and reached a career-high of No. 10 last year, has got to stop the bleeding. Yesterday he lost to Juan Monaco in Miami, 6-2, 6-4. Gulbis had 9 double faults, and hit a poor 39 % of […]

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Mar/15

18

Vince Spadea Is An Original

Spent a good bit of time in Beverly Hills with Vince on Monday and it’s always eye-opening and fun to hang with Vince. We had some java at the Urth Cafe on Melrose (Vince did, cappuccino, I had my green tea) and we talked and Vince in the midst of our discussion talked to the […]

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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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gulbsony

Ernests won his first round match today beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-1. About 30 minutes after he finished, still in his match clothes, Gulbis talked to Doug Robson of USA Today and myself about the match, his game, his coaching situation and how to beat the Top 5.

The Match with Traver:

“I was nervous the whole match. My serve saved me many times, especially in the second set, when I was a break up. I was love-40 down and I made 3 aces to come back in that game. The serve did basically 50 % of the job. The serve did 50% and then somehow I managed to break him on the return. He plays slow. His game is not fast enough. I have to adjust to his slow speed.

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