Tennis Prose



Nishioka is Back!

By Scoop Malinowski

Yoshihito Nishioka suffered a season ending injury at the Miami Open in 2017, wrecking his right knee while scrambling furiously defending a first set lead against Jack Sock. The Japanese lefty was ranked 58 in the world at the time, a career high ranking. He was at the top of his game.

Last year he returned and struggled to regain lost form and lost confidence. Last year at Miami Open he recorded a dazzling two set win against Alex Deminaur but weeks later lost in Sarasota Open qualies to unheralded Martin Cuevas in two sets.

Nishioka persevered though and won a title late in 2018, raising his ranking to 75 in the world.

This year, Nishioka appears to be on the verge of achieving his career best ranking sooner than later. With few points to defend from last year in the coming months, Nishioka is off to a good start this year. Though he lost to Grigor Dimitrov 63 64 last week in the first round in Brisbane, he won two qualifying matches in Sydney – 57 61 63 vs Jason Kubler and 63 75 vs Christian Garin – and a first round win over Ryan Harrison 64 62.

The five-foot-seven inch 23 year old has learned his knee not only has fully recovered but his electrifying form and confidence are also returning.

And this very special, unique tennis wizard, who defeated Tomas Berdych in Indian Wells from a 6-1 5-1 deficit and even extended Rafael Nadal to a first set tiebreaker in their very first meeting in Acapulco, could make a major splash in the biggest ATP and Grand Slam tournaments in 2019.


  • Wayne Bradford · January 10, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    I think Naomi should cash in as much as she can. Time will be bought by all her Japanese fans so it is a smart move. You never know when you will win a major.

    I think Fed has a very favorable draw. I also expect Nadal to pull out. We could be on course for a Fed vs. Novak showdown for the 7th Aussie crown, which would be epic.

    To be fair, Zverev has a very easy draw too. Bedene, Chardy, Simon or Sock, Chung/Raonic/Wawrinka, Coric/Thiem.
    And no guarantee that the Wawrinkas or Corics or Thiems will get that far. If Zverev doesn’t reach the semi this year, it will be another choke.

    On the women’s side, we all expect Serena to beat Simona, right? I think Osaka crashes out on round 3. And the most beautiful matchup is Vekic v. Mladenovic with Wawrinka and Thiem in the players’ box.

    I am picking Sabalenka over Svitolina in the final.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 10, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    That’s a great Fed interview but are we supposed to believe that Mirka is the only woman he has ever kissed? That seems unbelievable given how many female fans he has and probably had back then as well. How would he have only kissed one woman? If that is true, that is more remarkable than 20 Slams. Who among us can make that claim?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Wayne, Okay we get you are the Don Juan type but if Roger’s inclination is to be a one woman man, that’s his choice. He’s pretty happy with life as we all can see and his tennis performance affirms that. This was a really special defining moment of Federer’s career and it showed again how emotional he is about his life in tennis and how much he appreciates it. He is the greatest sportsman and champion figure I have ever seen, above Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Wayme Gretzky. The sport of tennis is very lucky to have Roger Federer.

  • Hartt · January 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I think he is talking about his first kiss with Mirka, not his only kiss with a woman. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Hartt seems to have inside information about Roger, from where she obtained, who knows 🙂

  • Hartt · January 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Absolutely terrible news. Andy Murray held a press conference where he said this AO may be his last tournament. He had hoped to retire at Wimbledon, but he isn’t sure if he can last until then.

    “Andy Murray announced this Australian Open “almost certainly” will be his last tournament, bringing to a painful end a career in which he won three grand slam titles and was honoured with a knighthood.

    Talking in a hushed voice and struggling to hold back the tears, the 31-year-old Scot said: “I’m not feeling good. I’ve been struggling for a long time. Been in a lot of pain for 20 months now. Pretty much done everything I could to make my hip feel better.

    “Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I’m not certain I’ll be able to do that. I’m not certain I can play through the pain for another four or five months.” (The Guardian)

  • catherine · January 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Good decision on Andy’s part. I think he should go now rather than struggle on in pain until W’don.

  • Hartt · January 10, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    It is just so sad to see Andy’s career end this way. For someone who truly loved the sport and who did give it everything he had. I will miss watching him play and I will miss his wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 10, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Hartt, ahh that makes more sense. First kiss with Mirka. My apologies for misinterpreting.

    The Murray press conference was agonizing to watch. It’s tough to have a leave at the age of 31. Here is Del Potro on Twitter:

  • Wayne Bradford · January 10, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    It’s a stunner that Tennys Sandgren has crushed Kohlscreiber and will play for his first title in NZ.

    Sandgren is kind of a nice story now as he learned from all the nuttiness he was involved with at last year’s AO. I had my doubts but he has become a much different person, tweeting his support for Muslims raising money for the Jewish synagogue victims. He has learned the error of his ways and that we must all come together so it is nice to see.

  • Chazz · January 10, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Lol, here we go…

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Hartt – Andreescu through to main draw via retirement – i think this was the last round ?

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Barty into Sydney final but it’s raining now before the 2nd semifinal. They’ll never get this finished.

  • Hartt · January 11, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Yes, that was the last round. I watched the match and Smitkova couldn’t do much – a lot of DFs and UFEs. So it made sense when she retired.

    After so much tennis in Auckland it was a big help to Bianca to have an easy match.

    Someone said that Peter Polansky got a LL spot yet again, but I couldn’t find confirmation of that.

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Women’s match starts around 11.30pm so the men’s won’t be played. Whoever wins here will have to play Barty tomorrow/today. Not a good prep for AO.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 11, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Wow, I didn’t know Sandgren had shown such tolerance after his twitter rants last year against homosexuals and his support of Pizzagate. That’s good to hear. Sandgren is an entertaining and exciting player to watch. How about that pink-inflected outfit he’s wearing these days? I’ve never seen a tennis player wear a band around his upper arm the way he does almost like he just shot himself up with a drug before the match.

    But he hits hard and moves like a cat out there. Good story of a guy who’s battled his way through qualis much like Robert Kendrick years back, but with a bigger upside it seems.

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Petra in a hurry – bts Sas 6-1 6-2. And off to sleep.

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Iga Swiatek, 17, qualifies for AO and is one of 4 Polish players in the main draw.

    Quote from Petra re her Sydney final v Barty: ‘I need to find a space to put the balls.’ Obvious maybe but nicely put.

  • Michael in UK · January 11, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Jeepers BBC weather says temperature in Melbourne forecast above 35 degrees on Monday and Tuesday .

    I love the Aussie Open but I think it loses its magic, and presents serious risk to players’ health, if it becomes a test of who can better endure extremes of heat and humidity.

  • catherine · January 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Apparently there will be a heat policy in action although I’m not sure what that will mean in practice.There’s also the roof for those lucky enough to play on the main court (s).

    Oz is getting hotter and hotter. I think they should move the AO to Tasmania before someone actually dies. Move the whole thing lock stock and barrel. Easily affordable 🙂

  • Chazz · January 11, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Looking at the draw, lots of intriguing 1R matchups that I’ll be paying close attention to.

    Bautista Agut-Murray

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Dan Sandgren is a very exciting and blossoming great player, I really like his physical game, covers the court well and has firepower, very smooth technique and a good serve too. He can do some damage and maybe even hit the top 20 range. Also he knows pizzagate is unfortunately real and he’s still a conservative but he was bullied into hiding his views. Playing tennis on the ATP tour is hard enough, he doesn’t need the aggravation of the leftist media hounding him so he became private about it. Focusing on tennis is a smart career move.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Wayne, Sandgren is a fair person. The Muslims doing that for the synagogue victims was a kind gesture and the right thing. just because he made some comments against homosexuality, support of Trump and the massive problem of child trafficking should not what he is known for. He’s free to believe what he wants. We all should be.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 11, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I’m sorry. I can’t let this stand that Pizzagate is a real occurrence. I’m sorry, you may not like Hillary Clinton, but she’s not a child traffic or engaging in sex with children.

    This is how Wikipedia describes Pizzagate. It’s a debunked conspiracy theory.

    Exterior of Comet Ping Pong in Northwest, Washington, D.C.
    Proponents of Pizzagate connected Comet Ping Pong (pictured) to a fictitious child sex ring.[1]
    Pizzagate is a debunked[2][3][4] conspiracy theory that went viral during the 2016 United States presidential election cycle. The conspiracy theory has been extensively discredited and debunked by a wide array of organizations, including the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.[3][4][5]

    In the fall of 2016, the personal email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, was hacked in a spear-phishing attack, and his emails were subsequently made public by WikiLeaks.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 11, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    This Murray situation combined with the injury woes of Nadal and Wawrinka really puts Fed’s durability in a new light. Granted he has skipped the clay circuit but whether it is luck or genetics or hard work, he has avoided the physical problems of his peers. I believe it is the ease of movement with how he plays.

    Apparently Martina said back in 2005 that Murray would have problems with his joints. Such a shame that she was 100 percent right. I would not normally not support it but even if he only play a set I believe he should enter Wimbledon and play one last time there. I know it isn’t the right thing from a sporting standpoint since I believe injured players should not enter if they are not healthy but I believe this is the exception. I do not think Murray would want to do this, however.

    Dan, I think Sandgren is just a rare individual with the character who has seen the error of his ways. I am sure he is still a conservative but not one who believes these crazed theories anymore.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    I agree with you, Wayne, about Sandgren. And what a tournament he had in Auckland. The guy just plays with his heart on his sleeve. I mean beating Norrie in a finals is not a huge win, but you’ve got to hand it to Sandgren.

    I think with Murray it’s just a damn shame the guy has to go out this way. They had a video of him practicing with Djoko at the Aussie O yesterday and Murray still looks good. He even said he feels alright when moving. He just walks with a limp and that forward tilt of his body. I wonder if it was all the track work he did running sprints or how early he put his body into such duress by playing at an academy in his early teens. It’s quite a shock that at 31 he’s done.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 12, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Dan of course evil would want to hide the worst evil humanity could ever execute on humanity. I’m not going to discuss this here but there is just too much evidence and what looks to be cover up going on. Of course evil wants to say it’s debunked but do your own research on the Podesta emails and never trust the media. The media is the controlled weapon of this evil.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 12, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Sandgren is now an incredible player, he looks like a beast out there, big serve, incredible movement and defending, jumping backhands and forehands, that work with Anderson in December has paid off. This guy can be top 10. So impressed by how he’s playing and slaying some almost-giants. Sofia Kenin looks superb too, two Americans win Tour titles in one day, when is the last time that happened?

  • Hartt · January 12, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Wayne, probably several things contributed to Fed’s longevity, but Roger gives a lot of credit to his fitness coach, Pierre Paganini. He started working with Paganini at the end of 2000, when he still hadn’t won an ATP title.

    Paganini quickly saw that Federer had great shortcomings athletically, but his talent masked those shortcomings. Pagnini said “I had a time table of three years to bring him up to the best physical condition.” (Roger Federer, Quest for Perfection)

    He spread training sessions throughout the season, and got Roger to understand why training hard was so necessary. (Fed has acknowledged he was not a big fan of training early on in his career.)

    I think Paganini also had an influence in Roger’s schedule, ensuring that he had sufficient breaks. And the two are still working together, so a very long working relationship, with the stability that provides.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 12, 2019 at 9:07 am


    You should follow Sandgren’s lead and never discuss Pizzagate again. It’s absolute fiction.

    And the media is what keeps a checks and balance in a democratic society. I’ve worked and written for the New York Times, The Westchester Journal News and the Village Voice, never I was told by any managing editor or publisher at these papers, “Dan, you have to write articles with a particular slant or angle because this is how our paper operates.”

    Never and I’ve written about sports, business and politics for these publications. All I wrote was what i observed, interviewed and reported so I don’t know why you have this bugaboo about the media except for the fact that some leaders today would rather have the public follow their vision with no checks and just believe what they say so they can have total power. Thankfully, we don’t live in that kind of society.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 12, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Chris Eubanks, the tall American Arthur Ashe look-alike quailed along with Frantangelo and Kreuger. Eubanks in the second round of qualms defeated the young Canadian, Aliassime-Augur. So at least for now, it doesn’t seem Felix is having the same climb up rankings as Shapovalov.

    I didn’t see if one of’s favorites, Dustin Brown, quailed, but he had gotten to the final round.

    This Sofia Kenin is remarkable. I watched her play a couple of matches this week in Hobart, Tasmania and she doesn’t look too big and does;t look too fit, but she hits the crap out of the ball; has an amazing backhand, covers court really well and tactically with slices and great east-to-west play, just decimates opponents. Now granted she’s only 20 and ranked no. 54 before she won Hobart, and her opponents were Cornet and Smidlova, but she’s definitely one to watch.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Dan there is just too much evidence of it and censoring investigative journalists who expose it, like Liz Crokin, Ruth Ashcraft, Fiona Barrett. Trump is making a ton of arrests in Child trafficking rings and child rape porn, hundreds and thousands of arrests all over the country but the media is silent about it and does not report these arrests with huge data drives filled with this evil garbage. Huge market for this crap. I wish it was fiction but it’s not and when you know this evil is happening you have to spread the word and shine the light on this evil dark behavior. Comet pizza in DC was just one small outlet. You have to research adrenochrome, Podesta emails, Podesta artwork, Maddie McCann, Maggie Nixon/Obama, this will get you started. This EVIl absolutely must be exposed and everyone involved CONDEMNED. It is the worst evil in the history of humanity. God is angry, he’s exposing it and proper action must be taken.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 12, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Kenin is a prodigy since age 7. I remember the south Florida photgrapher Art Seitz talking about her forever. She’s finally emerging now as a top pro, gonna be top 50 now. She is small but explosive with excellent form and movement and smart tactics. Fantastic start of year for her and Sandgren and American tennis.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 12, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I’ll let the child trafficking go other than to question if that’s how Donald met Melania? What is he about 30 years older than her?

    Anyway, I’m a big Kenin fan. Interesting to hear that she’s a bit of a geek. Very shy and kind of awkward socially. Apparently, when she was traveling with the junior Fed Cup team that Kathy Rinaldi coached, Kathy was driving and she asked Kenin to navigate and told her to go on Google Maps and Kenin told Rinaldi she didn’t know what Google Maps is.

    I think that’s Kenin’s father who’s always hovering around her. I saw him in Delray when she was playing practice set with Abandi. Think about the sacrifice he’s probably made to get her daughter to this level. Kevin is listed at 5-7, but she might even be that tall.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 12, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    How about Opelka v Izzie first round match. Sock has a rather nice draw, Bolt in first round and probably Simon in second. If he’s on the comeback trail, he’s got to make his move here at AO. Scoop, who do you like in Sandgren v Nishioka matchup?

  • Hartt · January 13, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Guys, I thought we had an agreement about no politics on this site. To be honest, it is unpleasant, when it is not totally boring for those of us who aren’t Americans.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 13, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Wow I mean just wow. That is all I can see reading these comments on this site. Just incredible.

    This comes to mind: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Dan, I don’t like the Nishioka vs Sandgren match because I want both to win. I honestly don’t know who I’d pull for to win if they televise it. I like both players for different reasons. Isner vs Opelka is another fascinating match, as is Nick vs Raonic.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    The truth is stranger than fiction.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 13, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    I can’t help myself sometimes. Hartt, don’t you Canadians follow the American political soap opera? I know I’m all over what’s happening in Qjuebec.

    No, back to tennis. Why does ESPN show the Shapie v Dart match when this Dart is awful. I think Scoop’s 14-year-old junior player could beat her. What is the fascination with Sharpie now? She’s clearly not going to go past a few rounds in slams now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 14, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Dan, maybe the power of nike to show Maria, or ESPN enjoys showing total beatdowns while other matches are going on. Cmon ESPN, think. Maria is still so ruthless after all these years. Still has ice in her veins.

  • Hartt · January 14, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Dan, tbh, I try to avoid a lot of the American political soap opera, so am not familiar with much of the stuff you and Scoop talk about. Am too busy watching tennis!

    I don’t understand the fascination with Maria. It’s not just ESPN, it is the tourneys putting her on the main courts in prime time, and so much discussion about her in the media. She hasn’t been a real factor since her suspension, but she is treated as though she is still a big star. I just checked her ranking – she is at No. 30, not exactly the big time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 14, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Sharapova is one of the most popular figures in womens tennis history, along with King, Evert, Serena, Venus, Kournikova :). Maria’s star power is as bright as ever. People want to see the stars, not the 22 seed on court 14. People gravitate to the star courts. No matter what her ranking is she is still Maria Sharapova and she can still fill courts and garner TV ratings. her fan base is huge and it’s loyal, they all still love to watch and follow her and they still believe in her.

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