Tennis Prose



Indian Wells Halfway Observations

Tommy Paul scores his career best win by beating Alexander Zverev in three sets 62 46 76. When I first did a Biofile with Tommy at US Open about five or six years ago, we were talking in the player’s lounge and during the interview I saw Paul’s eyes divert to fist pump someone who walked by behind me – it was Zverev. Always remember that mutual respect for each other which showed that both are good, quality guys.

Bob and Mike Bryan are doing a superb job as color commentators on Tennis Channel, sharing an abundance of terrific insights and anecdotes. Just one memorable story was about stealing James Blake’s Dunlop racquet at Davis Cup and ordering the team stringer to re-string the tension from his preferred and never deviated from 70 pounds (regardless of conditions) to 60. The Bryans said Blake never knew about the prank or the difference.

Taylor Fritz joined the Tennis Channel booth to be interviewed by Steve Weissman and his “coach” Paul Annacone who made a strange revelation during the intro, deferring that Michael Russell is the “real coach” of Fritz, as if he’s just a fake coach or caddy for the 19th ranked American star who blitzed through his first match 61 61.

Caroline Wozniacki made her debut as a Tennis Channel analyst and despite heavy overuse of tennis cliches on her first night working with Davenport and Shriver, she’s getting better by the day though she probably couldn’t do any worse than the first night. She told a good story about winning her one and only Grand Slam in Australia, in the earlier rounds she was down 5-1 in the third set vs Jana Fett and had to save two match points before finally winning the second round match. Wozniacki is only 31 and looks fit enough to make a comeback. She recently played an exhibition with Kim Clijsters in Belgium.

19th ranked Carlos Alcaraz hammered 15th ranked Roberto Bautista Agut 62 60 today in the 3R.

Vika Azarenka just broke down in tears down a set and at 2-2 in the second vs Rybakina while serving. It evoked memories of Sampras crying vs Jim Courier at AO which helped to change the momentum and it actually helped Pete comeback from two sets to one down. It’s possible Azarenka used this drama moment of tears to distract and soften up Rybakina.

My two sources at the tournament tell me the crowds are excellent, no masks, great energy and the tournament has been fantastic.


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