Feb/18

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New York Open: The Intrigue of Korda vs Tiafoe and Harrison vs Young

harrison
By Scoop Malinowski

The New York Open could not have scheduled a more dynamically interesting opening night card double bill which will feature Sebastian Korda vs Frances Tiafoe and Ryan Harrison vs Donald Young tonight.

For a tennis enthusiast these are two fascinating clashes. Tiafoe is or was one of the leaders of the American #NEXTGEN brigade but in the last six months his poor results have diminished expectations. After showing such bright promise earlier in 2017 with heroic losing efforts versus Federer, Del Potro and Isner, Tiafoe has failed to get over the hurdle and is suffering bad losses to the likes of Matt Ebden.

Now to add to Tiafoe’s pressures, he has to face a new American teenager, three years younger than himself – Sebi Korda who has earned a wildcard into his first ATP event as a reward for winning the Australian Open junior boys title three weeks ago.

One year ago, Korda and Tiafoe both played the Sarasota Open Challenger in April. Korda received a wildcard, as he lives literally just a short walking distance from the venue of the event at El Conquistador in Bradenton, FL. Korda played the first round night match against Blaz Rola and though he put up an impressive effort, the then 16 year old was outgunned and beaten in straight sets by the former top 100 player.

Tiafoe ended up winning the Sarasota Open, defeating Tennys Sandgren in the final in two very impressive sets by Tiafoe.

But a lot can change in a matter of ten months in tennis. Now Tiafoe must deal with the pressure of subduing an explosive, confident teenager who certainly has the capability of causing an upset tonight at Nassau Coliseum. Korda has all the weapons, the movement, the serve, and the confidence of winning big matches. He also has his father, Petr Korda, the former ATP world no. 2, in his corner. Petr Korda has a genius tennis mind and it’s not a stretch to wonder if he will be able to figure out the winning formula for his son to knock off Tiafoe, who has only won one match this year against Stefan Kozlov in Dallas.

Ryan Harrison vs Donald Young is also an intriguing clash. Both are young Americans from different generations, Young is 28 and ranked 65, Harrison is 25 and ranked 44. Young of course, like any player with pride, abhors losing to a younger compatriot. The two have had several thrilling clashes, including last year in the Memphis Open semifinal, won of course by Harrison 64 64. They also played against each other last year in the French Open doubles final, again that match was won by Harrison and Michael Venus over Young and Santiago Gonzalez.

Harrison leads the overall head to head 5-2, since their first match in 2010 at Winnetka Challenger won by Young 63 62.

Adding to the intrigue is Harrison’s coach Michael Russell, also played six ATP matches vs Young and won five of them (not including six other Challenger and qualifying matches which were split at 3-3).

So tonight will be a terrific night of tennis at the inaugural opening night of the New York Open ATP tennis event at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, NY and both matches will be televised by Tennis Channel.

153 comments

  • Dan Markowitz · February 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I am interested in the night matches at the inaugural NY Open. I remember right after Russell retired he was in Delray coaching Young. This is a big year for Harry. He has a chance to even surpass Sock who’s secretly I think big Harry’s big rival in the pros. I think Harry was shocked Sock outgunned him and left Harry in the dust. Now he’s got a chance to surpass Sock.

  • Chazz · February 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Harrison dropped doubles to focus on singles. He’s gonna be a tough out for just about anyone. I would not be surprised if he won this tournament. Escobedo-Eubanks in a good clash of 21 year old Americans right now.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I didn’t realize ‘Iron Mike’ was coaching Harry. Dan is correct that he was coaching DY at Delray in 2016.

    I predict Harry in a rout. DY is on the verge of a serious spiral with points to defend here and in IW and Miami and may have a couple productive years left on tour before he’s back at the Challenger level and surpassed by the Next Gen.

  • jg · February 12, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I wonder if DY would go back to challengers at this stage

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I'm sure Young would go back. He's not going to give up and retire. This is definitely a crucial stage in Young's career. We'll see how he responds. Once a player falls to the 70s and 80s, he's out of main draws and has to play qualies and Challengers. If Young doesn't get on a roll right now, he's going to drop to that ranking danger zone. Young did drop down to 190 in 2012 but has been locked into the top 100 since then.

  • jg · February 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I count like 20 people in the stands, the venue looks nice though, looks like they shrunk it for tennis, and the black court looks awesome

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Visually, the New York Open looks perfect. It has a special look with the original color combo of black and gray. The draw is excellent, tonight's doubleheader is just about a dream night of tennis, with two desperate, striving young Americans as the main event and two veterans in a rematch of last year's semi. To be honest, I would rather watch these two matches than Federer schooling another patsy first round. The NY Open has two tremendous matches tonight but it's difficult to convey that to most sports fans.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Nice routine win by Karlovic as usual, beating Donaldson. Want an Alexandra Stevenson update? She's 37 now and ranked 787 in the world. Has played one ITF event this year so far, in England, won one match, lost the second.

  • Chazz · February 12, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Harrison beat Young and thaf had fo be one of the coldest handshakes ever by Young. It was so cold Harrison looked like he was in disbelief.

  • jg · February 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Looks like they exchanged words and the chair ump had to intervene, Harry seems like he gets into it with other players, didn’t he go at it with Kyrigos

  • Dan Markowitz · February 12, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    No it was Kokkinakis he got into it with in the Cindy Qualis a couple of years back. Tiafoe is taking The woodshed to Seb Korda, but the kid looks good. What a pedigree for Korda, his dad was no 2 and mom no 26. He moves well for 6-5. Tiafoe can really rip the ball. I guess when you see Frances play against not a top player you see how good he really is.

    Harry is one of those guys who’s not afraid to get into the grille of his opponent.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 12, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    That’s another correct call-out by the Duke. Young has been the worst of the U.S. top-100 players for about 8 months now.

    In all honesty, decent match. Was an even first set until DY folded on his serve at 3-4. Then DY battled back from a break down in the second before Harrison choked serving for the match at 6-5.

    Key point was at 3-3 in the breaker. DY had an easy volley for a putaway he netted. At 4-4, Harry took the last 3 points. Harry was yeling a lot but nothing unusual. Here’s a link to the handshake…

    https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/963236402673733633

  • Dan Markowitz · February 12, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Man, this kid Korda is impressive. Better looking kid than his stork-like dad. No atmosphere at NY Open. Like playing in a mausoleum; be interesting to see if it draws better when bigger names play, but this is a fun match.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 12, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Word on the street is this Harry/DY dispute goes back to that RG doubles final. Wonder if any reporters are there? Oh that’s right, the New York City open is too good to credential the press.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Scoop that’s a shot at Ruben Bemelmans! That’s Fed’s first-round opponent.

    Bemelmans now has bulletin board material courtesy of Scoop to win his doubles match against the U.S. in the DC!

  • Chazz · February 12, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I agree that Korda looks good and will be a beast when he cuts down on the errors.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 12, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Korda is sick; he looks like another A Zverev maybe better at 17. He has no weaknesses. I’ve never seen a pro debut like Korda’s.

  • Chazz · February 12, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    His serve is nasty. Scary that it will get even better.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Harrison vs Young beef. Looked like Young yelled a come on when he got that break point, which he failed on. Then soon after Harrison yelled a come on and then another. And won that game. Looked like that was the only evident incident that could have triggered the angry words to each other. Harrison has DY's number, it's close but Harrison finds a way to get it done. Very similar to their SF match last year in Memphis which was equally tense. DY is not fan of any of the younger Americans. I never see him practicing with any, ever.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Petr Korda may be the best coach in the world. He took a doubles scrub and turned him into an ATP and Davis Cup legend – Radek Stepanek. Korda knows the game inside out, was just a win or two away from being world no. 1 in 98. Interviewed Petr Korda many times and he's as smart as anyone in the game. The fact he has his 17 yr old kid playing top 100 ATP tennis in his first ATP match is phenomenal.

  • Chazz · February 12, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Can’t hear what is being said here, but pretty tense: http://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/963256903206932481

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Duke, the Harry DY grudge goes back before the FO Dubs final. I senses it in the Memphis SF last year. DY gets extra intense vs younger Americans. I noticed that when DY beat Kozlov in Newport two years ago and again in IW last year. And of course, Harrison will not tolerate any bulljive. Bottom line is DY is not a friend or fan of any younger Americans. I can't recall ever seeing DY train with another American at any ATP event I saw.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Duke, I like Bemelmans and he resurrected his career from the graveyard but he's going down fast to the meastro. Under an hour fast :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Very impressed by Korda again. He looked incredible in the Aus Open final, easy power, good movement, volleys, serve, poise. Johan Kriek said he sees Korda as a top ten player. He was unbelievable in the first set then just could not sustain that impossible level. To put this match in context, Pete Sampras lost his first ATP match in Philly in two tough sets to veteran Sammy Giammalva (read about that match in Facing Sampras), so it's no shame to lose this one. There will be many many more ATP matches for Korda, like in the hundreds.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 1:27 am

    It’s getting uglier. DY Tweeted that Harrison said something racial; Harry will of course deny and then the SJWs will get involved. I expect Harry to get Sandgrened by the media.

    Here’s a Harry interview…

    https://twitter.com/sluggahjells/status/963255079749988352

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Here’s Harry saying “Fucking German piece of shit fucking German motherfucker” when he loses the first set to Hanfmann in his win in Brisbane this year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=JqUbpdoWUQQ

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 1:36 am

    DY’s girlfriend alleging that Harry said this to him after DY did a come on… “That’s what all you black peoples do”

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc5_wUSl4CR/

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Harry denies it…

    Ryan Harrison‏Verified account
    @ryanharrison92
    The accusations made by Donald Young tonight following our match are absolutely untrue. I’m extremely disappointed that someone would say this in reaction to a lost tennis match. Any video/audio will 100% clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Geez, Harry is getting quite a reputation. The dude won’t back down. I didn’t see where DY said he said anything racial and Harry vehemently denies saying anything racial, but he better not pick a fight with his next opponent, Dr. Ivo, else he could get pulverized. Harry has a tough draw, even if he somehow beats the good Dr., then he probably has to face Qball.

    How about Dudi Sela, 5-9, 144 lbs, one-handed backhand, and he’s still winning and he comes from a country where it’s so hard to become a pro player. Israel has had few pro players during Sela’s run on the pro tour.

  • catherine · February 13, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Ryan Harrison is an absolute jerk. They need a therapist on the court when he plays, not an umpire.

    It’s a shame Korda Sr could not have remained a Czech and then his son could be the future of Czech men’s tennis. No really promising talents there as far as I know.

  • jg · February 13, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Felix A playing in Rotterdam, Felix Korda May be the near future of tennis, both are all court players with no apparent weaknesses.

  • scoopmalinowski · February 13, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Harrison is feisty but not a bad guy. Sounds like Young misunderstood some words or perhaps his bitterness towards Harry provoked him to tawana brawley some fake charges. On tv it looked like Harrison handled it perfectly and sportingly. Responded to Dys come ons with his own.

  • scoopmalinowski · February 13, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Even if Harry did say that its not racially offensive at all. This is absolute nonsense. Young is trying to racialize a nothing burger. If Young said thats what all you white people do who the hell cares? People are oversensitive bitches today. Not that Harrison said that. Just saying if he did its a nothing burger. Move on.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Scoop,

    Watch the language. If Harry said, “That’s what all black people do…” its incredibly offensive. Much more offensive than the remark Hewitt made about Blake and the black linesman back in the day.

    Let’s hope he didn’t say it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 13, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    For saying a come on? If Young said "that's what all white people do" after Harrison yelled come on that is not offensive at all. If this is true this is absolutely zero nothing compared to Muhammad Ali calling Joe Fraizer a gorilla or Charles Barkley saying "I hate white people" on national TV. Hewitt did nothing or said nothing racial, he felt the black linesperson was calling fake footfaults on him to try to help Blake win the match. Hewitt was defending himself against perceived cheating against him. What Hewitt said was not racially offensive, it was self defense against perceived cheating. And nobody can prove the black linesperson was not cheating Hewitt to help Blake.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    No way you can say with any certainty that's what Harrison was yelling. No way bro! It looked like Harrison was saying "This is a set I regret losing, I should play better from now onward."

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    The world heavyweight champ in boxing Anthony Joshua called the black race superior a few mths ago. Far more offensive and racist comments than these alleged to have been made by Harrison. Why did Joshua get the free pass from the media for saying blacks are superior Dan? http://ringobserver.com/2017/11/21/is-anthony-joshua-a-black-supremacist/

  • jg · February 13, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I wonder what the chair umpire say what happened and what was said, I believe they should call it and report it to the tournament director

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Joshua should definitely be suspended for insulting white people. It’s outrageous. Why are whites under attack so much these days, it makes no sense.

    Young, whose career is going down the tubes as I noted, and his girlfriend are obviously lying. Harrison’s denial is 100 percent clear and he will be exonerated.

    With that said, Harrison is getting a bad reputation. This kind of behavior should cost him his DC spot and Sandgren should be called in.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Duke

    Have you LT been following the match results? Tennys.got beat 1 and 2 by no 195. He’s had one really good tournament. If he does well in Indy Wells or Miami then I definitely agree with you, maybe he should make Davis. Cup team.

    I kind of believe Harry here. What does it mean to say, all black players say come on. Everyone says come on and there are only Young, Tiafoe, Mmoh, Eubanks, Tsonga, Monfils and Brown who are black players on tour. There aren’t many black players so what is Harry doing a study on whether black players say come on more than other races on tour? DY has been known to get easily upset.

  • Chazz · February 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I always appreciated how fierce Harrison is because he’s able to use that to raise his game at times. Both guys do have reps as being aholes. I actually don’t know who would win in a back alley fight between the two.

  • Thomas Tung · February 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Ryan’s always been a bit “hot under the collar”, so in the heat of a fight against someone he has a good record against, his pride and passion come to the fore. This also means that Harrison might utter words best left in the trash can.

    When I was in high school, I used to play tennis on the public courts in Van Cortlandt Park (in the Bronx). My best friend (and frequent tennis partner) was another teen named Henry. One day, Henry wanted to work on his volleys, so as we were hitting some, this Latino guy passes by on the sidewalk and (while leaning on the fence) started to mock Henry, laughing at his errors, and repeatedly calling him a “crackhead”, saying things like, “Oh, that other guy’s too smart for you, crackhead! You’re too stupid to play this game, right, crackhead!”, and other, more cutting, insults.

    Henry looked like he was about to have a rage-induced stroke (he’s from Guinea, a small country in Africa), but (fortunately) he didn’t go and physically attack the guy — although he was still plenty steamed after the guy left (I had to really calm him down).

    Fact is, people will say stupid stuff at you in (or out) of a tennis court. I feel it’s best to let your racket do the talking, more times than not.

    Ryan is a bit of a hothead, and Young seems to have “artistic tendencies” on the tennis court (given his playstyle), so it’s kind of a bad emotional matchup for the two of them.

    As for my attending the New York Open, it’s out of the question now due to a annoying bout of gout.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Thomas,

    Nice story, but what happens on public courts in the Bronx with a guy yelling at your friend, doesn’t have a lot to do with a pro match between two Americans who probably know each other pretty well and have both been on tour for a while.

    Yes, yes, “heat of the battle” and all that jazz, but if Harry said something like, “All black players say (do) that,” he should be suspended and fined. He’s out of line if he did that just like he was way out of line going after Kokkanaikis because Harry felt his friend, Kyrgios, was out of line with what he said to Wawrinka about Vekic a couple of years ago.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Dan,

    Harrison obviously was not out of line for the Kokk incident since he didn’t receive any punishment.

    I think Donald Young should get a 6-month ATP Tour ban for trying to paint Harrison as racist. Enough is enough. Calling Donald Young black is hardly racist.

    If anything, DY received more wild cards than any U.S. player in history; we could easily say he is proof that affirmative action has ruined the country. He didn’t receive those wild cards because he is a great champion or whatnot, we all know why he got them. He’s the last guy who should be crying about race as much as the USTA did for him.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Duke,

    Young got those wildcards because at 14, 14!, he was up 5-0 in the third set of the clay court 18’s Nationals against Jesses Levine and lost it. At 15 he won the Australian Open junior championships (not 17 like Seb Korda) and at 16 he won Orange Bowl and at 16 he was also the youngest ever player to be ranked no. 1 in the junior 18’s. So if you want to think he got the wild cards because he was black, you’re mostly wrong. Young was the greatest American junior player in history.

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    He also got wild cards when he was an established pro too and was losing every match in sight. The point is he has no right to cry racism since he was given so many chances from the USTA. There just isn’t anything Harrison did wrong and to accuse him of that is insane. Why didn’t the chair umpire report it then? The chair umpire is right there.

    I admit Harrison gets angry and that he shouldn’t say anything to an opponent, particularly if its going to create this kind of storm. I said that Harrison should be dropped from the Davis Cup for this behavior.

  • JG · February 13, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    whats happened to Steve Johnson, just lost to a qualifier in round 1. Has he won a match all year?

  • Duke Carnoustie · February 13, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Johnson is losing ridiculous matches left and right. Kudla beat him and he was even outplayed badly at the Davis Cup in the dead rubber. He needs to be dropped from Davis Cup as well. Enter Sandgren and Sock for Belgium.

    Kohlscreiber wins and looks to avoid falling to 0-13 against Fed in the second round. Wawrinka out so he can’t face FEd in the QFs.

    FAA looks like he may even this match at a set apiece.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 13, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Amazing, SteveJo lost that match today. His opponent is 32 and has an ATP record coming into the match of 3-12. SteveJo won the first set 6-1. He’s really been set back and he’s a player who might’ve reached his high-water match. Amazing how the NY Open with their skimpy field is putting together some nice matches. Tonight is Rubin v Kei and Mac Mac v Escobedo. Be interesting to see who looks better of these three young Americans.

  • Chazz · February 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Wawrinka lost to #259 Dutch player in 3. He is nowhere close to what he was. Wonder if he ever will be.

    Looks like a cakewalk to #1 for Fed.

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