Tennis Prose



Iron Man Lopez Wins Five Setter at AO

Feliciano Lopez is 39 now but it doesn’t matter at all, he can still play and win five setters in a Grand Slam.

Yesterday he beat Lorenzo Sonego in five sets to advance to the third round of his 75th consecutive Grand Slam main draw, an ATP record that will likely never be broken or even approached.

Lopez has now won 21 five setters in majors. Though he said he was exhausted after conquering Sonego, the brutality on his body from the match did not change his opinion. “I honestly love them, five setters,” professed Lopez at his post match press conference, wearing spectacles, a black Tokyo t-shirt and a Hydrogen hat with a skull logo. “I wouldn’t change five setters in Slams, honestly. I will play best of five in slams, I think it’s something different.”

Lopez said he is not even in top shape right now because of father duties and quarantine affected his training preparation.

Historical achievements in tennis don’t happen often and the landmark achievement Lopez is making now is one to be savored and inspired by.

Wonder who Roger Federer would like to see win AO? Nadal? Djokovic? Thiem? Kyrgios?

MacKenzie McDonald defeated Borna Coric in four sets. The new wave of Americans McDonald and Taylor Fritz have taken over for Isner, Querrey and Johnson. Fritz has a shot to upset Djokovic later today.

Elina Svitolina gave Coco Gauff a lesson 64 63, but I see improvements in Gauff. It will come together for her especially if she hires a more experienced coach. Svitolina looks in top form with the proper intensity to finally win her first major.

Thanasi Kokkinakis is supposed to be rusty because of all the inactivity but he almost upset AO contender Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets. Hopefully the Aussie will stay healthy and join the elite ranks of the ATP which we know his game of capable of.

Defending champ Sofia Kenin looks like a lost shell of herself, she lost 63 62 to Kaia Kanepi.

Rafa continues to show his back is perfect, beating Mike Mmoh in straight sets.

Jess Pegula is quietly rising up the ranks and could be a top American player by summer. She crushed Sam Stosur 60 61.

Andrey Rublev looks like a future no. 1. The hard hitting, ferocious Russian survived a tough challenge from Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 64 64 76. I remember seeing the unknown Monteiro sitting in the crowd by himself at Miami Open watching Alex deMinaur play Yoshihito Nishioka. Looking like an avid student of the game. Now he’s making his presence felt in majors.

Radu Albot had a quiet year in 2020 but now he’s in the third round of AO after Chris O’Connell in three sets.

Lloyd Harris of South Africa beat Popyrin in five sets.

Tommy Paul lost in four sets to Casper Ruud. Ruud has solved his hard court issues and is not just a threat on clay courts anymore. Paul had defeated Ruud at Citi Open a few years ago when both were teenagers.

Americans Shelby Rogers and Jenn Brady continue to win matches and both advanced to the third round with straight set wins.

16 seed Fabio Fognini, with new coach Alberto Mancini, beat countryman Salvatore Caruso 14-12 in the fifth set tiebreaker.

Australia’s hopes of a double champion are still alive as Ash Barty won in straight sets in the women’s draw vs Daria Gavrilova and Alex De Minaur handled Pablo Cuevas in straight sets. Nick Kyrgios is also still alive but will have his hands full with Dominic Thiem later today.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Fognini has now won a record three fifth set match tiebreakers – beat Thompson, Opelka and Caruso. He and Caruso had a verbal spat, Fognini accused Caruso of hitting lucky shots. Also said in Spanish on court, “nearly four hours fighting like a bitch and he won me a point in that way.” Turns out Caruso understands Spanish. Fog vs De Minaur next.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    McEnroe says Tsitsipas needs to show more alpha male emotion on the big points on key points. Looks like McEnroe reads ) We’ve only been saying that here for years. Raonic, Thiem and now Tsitsipas. Like I always say, If Hewitt played with Gasquet’s intensity, he never would have won a major or been no. 1.



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