Tennis Prose



Roland Garros Notebook

Bettina Bunge on the Roland Garros crowd treatment of Taylor Fritz in the Rindernech match yesterday: “Taylor Fritz is a very well brought up young man, he didn’t do ANYTHING to deserve this. Trust me, I lost a similar match vs Sue Barker at Wimbledon, and was reduced to tears, in fact I was wailing, before shaking hands. The crowd bullied me, HARRASSMENT is what this is. Zero sportsmanship.”

Longtime University of Florida coach Bryan Shelton will vacate his position with the Gators. Shelton has decided to leave Gainesville to coach his son Ben Shelton on the ATP World Tour.

Aryna Sabalenka has had enough of the rotten tennis media badgering her with war questions. She has declined to do a post-match press conference today: “For my own mental health and well-being, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision… On Wednesday I did not feel safe in the press conference.”

As Reilly Opelka said in the past, pro tennis has a major media problem, “The tennis media is awful, the worst.”

Mats Wilander sees St. Carlos as the savior of tennis after Novak Djokovic: “I don’t think he’s based his game on anyone but he’s been sort of poisoned by watching these guys play. He moves like Djokovic, he’s passionate like Nadal, he has shot-making skills like Federer. But the one thing these guys didn’t do is that they didn’t show the world that they’re having so much fun all the time. And that’s why Carlos Alcaraz, to me, is going to be the main reason why tennis players – especially on the men’s side – are going to start making way more money. He’s going to be like the Tiger Woods effect. Because people want to be a part of tennis because of Carlos Alcaraz.”

“Poisoned” by watching Federer, Nadal and Djokovic play? Curious word choice.

One of these players will be in the final of Roland Garros next Sunday – Taylor Fritz/Francisco Cerundolo, Nico Jarry/Marcos Giron, Zhizhen Zhang/Casper Ruud, Daniel Altmaier/Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev/Frances Tiafoe, Borna Coric/Tomas Etecheverry.

Ons Jabeur hopes the tennis establishment will protect Russian teen phenom Mirra Andreeva: “I’m really impatient to practice with her and to see her level because if she’s in the third round, it’s because she has something. I hope that the world of tennis will protect her because we need girls like her.”

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  • Scoop Malinowski · June 2, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Fokina Davidovich wearing one black and one white sock, never saw that in a Grand Slam before.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 3, 2023 at 7:03 am

    Rybakina withdraws suddenly. Hmmm. Did you see Rafa showed a hospital photo? But the hospital looks fake. Why do tennis pros feel the need to present photographic evidence of their hospital stay after supposed surgery? It’s like they feel the need to present evidence though nobody asked. All they need to do is say they had surgery, photos in a supposed hospital bed are not necessary. Unless it’s a choreography with ulterior motives?

  • Sam · June 3, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    Scoop, I’m not really buying Rafa’s fishy surgery tale either. 🐠 It’s like with the boy who cried wolf—even when he did tell the truth, nobody believed him. 🤥

    Maybe he needs to hire a better choreographer for his next stunt. 🤣

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 3, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Sam, not buying this Rafa injury or surgery, he looked fit vs McDonald just got dominated and looked old. An injury hoax extends his aura for another year, and also his salary from Nike, Babolat, Kia, etc. Million$.

  • catherine · June 4, 2023 at 3:34 am

    Couple of items from yesterday –

    Bianca Andreescu can’t play tennis any more. Could she ever or was 2019 just a collective fantasy ?

    Swiatek wishes people would stop using that stupid word ‘bagel’ when discussing her matches. She thinks it’s silly and disrespectful. She thinks we should have more understanding of what’s going through players’ minds when they are receiving and also handing out this punishment and avoid language which trivialises.

    Of course she’s right. I blame Twitter.

  • catherine · June 4, 2023 at 5:38 am

    Iga’s actual quote (re my comment). You can sense her irritation.

    “I don’t want to really talk about [the 6-0 ‘Iga’s Bakery’ jokes], because I really get why people do that, because it’s fun and tennis is entertainment and everything. But from the players’ point of view, I want to be respectful to my opponents and, you know, you don’t see the stuff that is behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s not easy to play such matches and sometimes it’s not easy also for the opponents.

    “I don’t want to talk about the bakery. Twitter can talk about it but I’m just going to be focused on tennis.” — Iga Swiatek

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 4, 2023 at 6:39 am

    Iga taking shots at the media for insulting bagel victims. 60 scores are painful for the loser, I would know I lost yesterday in a club league match 63 06 16. Played every game close but couldn’t win after winning first set. You have to respect the sportsmanship of Iga for defending her victims from media mockery, she has matured a lot since the controversy of her head fakes to distract opponents passing shots.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 4, 2023 at 6:40 am

    Andreescu confused by mediocre results despite all the hard work, tennis can be cruel sport.

  • catherine · June 5, 2023 at 2:32 am

    Something I noticed and appreciated about Swiatek’s comment was her suggestion that beating an opponent 0 & 0 might not produce the best feelings in the world. Against all expectations.

    That’s why she mentioned ‘the stuff behind the scenes.’

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 5, 2023 at 6:56 am

    Catherine, Iga respects her opponents more than that insulting media question about bagels. She also is very concerned about having a near perfect politically correct image supporting and promoting all of the establishment’s agendas.

  • catherine · June 5, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Well, I also think Iga is a sensitive person who doesn’t enjoy causing distress although she knows that this is an unavoidable part of the game. Her admission: ‘sometimes it’s not easy to play such matches’.

    And in addition many East Europeans have to tread a very thin line as things are today. I’m pretty sure Iga knows which ‘agendas’ to follow.

    BTW The section of the French crowd who booed Dasha yesterday were despicable. Elina knew how she felt and respected her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 5, 2023 at 8:51 am

    Catherine, And Iga knows the establishment is not especially thrilled to have her as the face of the WTA now, they would much prefer it to be Emma, Coco or Osaka. As we know, white Eastern Europeans don’t get any favors from the tennis establishment – just look at how Kenin, Ostapenko and Rybakina winning Grand Slams was virtually ignored by all the big sponsors, while Coco has won nothing yet and she’s a huge sponsor favorite, with many more waiting to latch their wagons to her after she wins her first singles major title. Be sure that Coco is going to break the bank if she wins a singles Grand Slam. So Iga has to be careful and perfect, any screw up and she will be attacked, as we already saw when she did the head/arm fake at net to distract opponent on passing shot.

  • Sam · June 6, 2023 at 1:01 am

    Scoop, do you have a link to Nadal’s fake-looking hospital photo? I’d love to see it. While I could find stories about his “surgery,” I couldn’t seem to find anything about the actual “hospital.”

    Actually, given Nadal’s penchant for drama and choreography, after retiring from tennis, maybe he can appear full-time on General Hospital. 🏥 😏

  • catherine · June 6, 2023 at 5:31 am

    I agree re Gauff – I’ve nothing against her, don’t find her game particularly thrilling but the publicity she’s had from the age of about 12 is insane. When she wins a GS the hysteria will make Raducanu’s in ’21 seem pale and insignificant.

    I do get tired of her precocious pronouncements on the state of the world etc.

    Always thought Iga’s apparent ‘fake’ was a nervous tic – she probably couldn’t tell you why or when she started doing it. But it had to be trained out of her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2023 at 8:18 am

    Catherine, we saw the media favoritism for Coco at her first Wimbledon when she won a few rounds and ESPN and TC replayed her those wins over and over. They showed their hand of being desperate for the next Serena. Just hope she can earn her first GS the honest way and it’s not bought for her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Sam, curiously Nadal didn’t post the photo on his instagram, now I can’t remember where I saw it, maybe twitter he posted it. Now when he plays again the tournaments will want him to make deep runs again, for max revenues… We’ll see if his body is up to the task of tussling with all these young lions, for the last year it failed, 1-9 in his last ten matches.

  • catherine · June 6, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Sabalenka easily beat Elina in SS but I was pretty unimpressed by the games she played post-match. Went to the net knowing Elina wasn’t going to shake hands and sent a smirky smile to her box. It’s right there in a photo.

    My opinion of her hit the deck. ‘Mental health’? Lol.

    BTW I hope W’don adheres to the ‘sterile cockpit’ rule. Only questions about the match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2023 at 10:56 am

    Catherine, or was Sabalenka thinking Svitolina would come to her senses and put her stupid politics aside and show the class and sportsmanship of a grand slam champion? But no, Svitolina failed again and she showed why she is not a grand slam champion like Sabalenka. The tennis crowds have had enough of Svitolina’s war politics. Now Svitolina can go to the front lines and right Russia, instead of talking talking talking about it. Everybody is sick of it. Sabalenka gained a lot of respect today.

  • catherine · June 7, 2023 at 6:48 am

    I doubt that but let’s not discuss this anymore. Aryna was used.

    And BTW tennis has never really been played at this level when two large countries were at war. No one knows how to behave. That’s why I want to see a sterile cockpit.

    Saba lives in Florida – she’s free now to change her political affiliation in Belarus (since a few weeks ago) and cease to support their despotic leader.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Catherine, this war is more than just ukr vs rus, there’s at least one other major country involved. Sabalenka’s fan base is growing by the day for how she’s handling the media and her opponents.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2023 at 8:18 am

    So now Tsitsipas is confessing he took sleeping pills to relax before the Carlos match. It certainly looked like they worked and he relaxed his way through the match. Was this code that he took a dive? Did Musetti and Shapo also take these sleeping pills? Why didn’t any of Djokovic’s opponents take sleeping pills to relax before they played Djokovic? The establishment sure did want to make sure Carlos reached the SF?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2023 at 8:38 am

    Last thing I will say on this scam war is just remember, everything now is inverted, bad is good, women are men, etc and “the media has the power to make the innocent look guilty and the guilty look innocent.” “The truth is never told, it has to be learned.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Hsieh and Wang are into the SF by beating Kudermetova and Samsonova.

  • Matt Segel · June 7, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Amen to all those comments Scoop! The handshake thing is just outrageous. I’m surprised Zelinsky hasn’t shown up to a match and demanded to make a speech to the crowd.

    Happy to see Zverev make this run. He has been humbled and I think is ready to have a renaissance. Such a talent. He was supposed to be Alcaraz.

    Weird story on the melatonin and nap for Stefanos. Really disappointing from him. I wonder if he will break through.

    Rune will be okay, bad loss and Ruud might be in his head. There are some weird stories with these two.

    Alcarez v Novak is a monumental match. Lot at stake. Lots of hyperbole.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 8, 2023 at 7:02 am

    Matt, Zverev really wants this, love his intensity, he’s playing with a fury and anger and to make a statement. He feels this title is his and he believes he can beat anyone left in the draw, which he has done already in the past. Zverev is a scare opponent for anybody right now. I found Rune’s effort strange, that wasn’t the real Rune. Carlos plays Djokovic next? Didn’t know that, should be a good one )

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 8, 2023 at 7:44 am

    The big US junior star no. 2 seed Clervie Ngounoue lost in the QF in SS to a Russian unknown Alisa Oktiabreva 75 61. The very hyped Clervie had been poached by Mouratoglou a few years ago after she established herself as an elite junior but then parted ways at some point. Her progress has been slow lately. See the pattern?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 8, 2023 at 8:12 am

    28 yr old Miyu Kato of Japan has won her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles with German Tim Puetz at Roland Garros by defeating Venus/Andreescu. Poetic justice is always beautiful. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 8, 2023 at 9:18 am

    New stars like Kato, Xinyu Wang, Haddad Maia, Tim Puetz, emerging, old stars like Novak still thrilling. Not missing Federer, Nadal or Serena at all. To be honest, I like it better without them hanging around too long.



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