Tennis Prose



Sarasota Open Day 3

Adrian Andreev scored the miracle win of the day vs 29 year old Alternate Moez Echergui of Tunisia 46 76 61.

The Bulgarian 20 year old was a no. 1 junior a couple of years ago and then was sidelined for a year with a bad wrist. Today he snatched a win from the jaw of defeat in stunning fashion in the afternoon second round qualifying match. Outplayed by the unknown journeyman ranked 434, Andreev smashed his Dunlop at the end of the first set and then found himself down a match point at 56 30-40 in the second set.

After a fairly long rally, Andreev hit the baseline with an aggressive forehand to save the match point. Then another good rally, Andreev hit the far sideline with a cross court forehand. Andreev was on the edge of the cliff and he hit two lines on the two most critical points of the duel.

Those two shots changed the match. Andreev rode the momentum wave and won the tiebreaker 7-0 and then the third set 6-1 after a 5-0 lead. It was one of those especially joyful victories and Andreev expressed his satisfaction with a roaring CMON!!!! at the conclusion. All these pros in the ATP top 1000 are extraordinary but Andreev demonstrated today he has another level of special.

Right after the match by his chair, I did a Biofile with Andreev and after he said some nice things about being inspired by Djokovic, so I traded my Facing Novak Djokovic book for his smashed Dunlop which he was going to leave behind his chair.

I mentioned that it was the kind of match win that can change a career and he corrected me saying “any match can.”

Andreev also mentioned that his shots in the first set were landing too short and that more penetration and depth were the adjustment he made to win the match.

Andreev is ranked 416 and will play wildcard Ryan Harrison in the first round. Harrison is 29 now and ranked 561.

Alexis Galarneau was crushing the American wildcard junior Victor Lilov 61 and 20 but then the 18 year old fought his way back into the battle but eventually fell 75 in the second.

Christian Harrison was victorious again today with too much consistency for Mikael Torpegaard 64 63. It was their third meeting in Challengers, Harrison prevailed last year in Cary 75 62 and the former Ohio State Buckeye won the first meeting in Cleveland 2019 60 63.

Japan’s alternate Yosuke Watanabe beat Jason Jung today 62 62 in a first round main draw match. Jung had won their only other previous meeting at 2020 Roland Garros qualies R1 60 62.

I did a Biofile with Aussie veteran Jordan Thompson after he finished practice. He withdrew from the tournament with an injury. Thompson is ranked 86 right now and has been as high was 43 in 2019. He lost in Houston in three sets to Cristian Garin.

The first time I ever saw Thompson play was at 2016 US Open first round on the old Grandstand and he was up two sets on Steve Darcis only to ultimately lose 75 63 67 46 57. Thompson was ranked 91 and 22 years old at the time. Lleyton Hewitt was in his box that afternoon.

A coach seated at the Andreev vs Echergui match said that tennis was originally a sport based on talent as they key component to success, then it changed to physical and being in super fit condition, and now it has evolved with one more key element, the mental approach of how to deal with hitting a bad shot.

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