Tennis Prose



Raonic, Kei Commit To Hawaii Open Dec. 21-23

No. 1 Canadian joins a star-studded roster at the Blaisdell Arena, Dec. 21-23

HONOLULU (November 6, 2018) — The No. 1 Canadian on the ATP World Tour, Milos Raonic, has committed to play in the 2018 Hawaii Open Tennis Tournament, presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, joining the competitive lineup including U.S. Open Semifinalist and ATP World Tour No. 9 Kei Nishikori, former Wimbledon champion and WTA World Tour No. 18 Garbiñe Muguruza and former Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard.

The Hawaii Open is scheduled for Dec. 21-23, 2018, at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. This will be the first time the tournament is held at this venue, which is located in downtown Honolulu.

This will be Raonic’s first time playing a tennis tournament in Hawaii. Since turning pro in 2008, the 27-year-old has won eight titles and reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 on the ATP World Tour. He is looking forward to the tournament as a tune-up for the Australian Open.

“Before Grand Slams, especially Australia, it’s always important that we get lots of high intensity practice matches under our belt, as the break before Aussie Open is always the longest break tennis players take,” said Raonic. “We are all coming back from our off-season. The field at the tournament this year is very strong and I’m looking forward to competing against some great players and enjoying the beautiful island of Hawaii.”

Three rounds of single-elimination matches featuring edge-of-your-seat action will be played over three days in a best two-out-of-three set format. Third sets will be played as a tie break with the first to 10 points declared the winner.

Daily tournament ticket prices begin at $25 and three-day passes begin at $70. Tickets can be purchased at and

The Hawaii Open will include a special charity session Saturday evening at 6 p.m. after tournament match play to benefit Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano disaster relief charities. The session will include match play with Hawaii Open tennis players and special guests, actor Daniel Dae Kim and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Tickets to the special charity session are $20.


  • catherine · November 7, 2018 at 2:24 am

    The ‘off season’ seems to get shorter and shorter as exhos appear all over the place and players rush to grab that appearance money. Milos talks like tourist guide.

    Muguruza and CoCo playing ? Imagine the scenario 🙂

  • catherine · November 7, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Coaching carousel – lots of them ATP/WTA but top of the list: Fisette back with Azarenka and both looking happy.

    Nothing so far from Angelique except a few unanswered questions hanging in the air…..

  • Hartt · November 7, 2018 at 6:54 am has a very extensive article about Fissette and his various coaching gigs. The articles says that Fissette was already lined up with Vika before the split with Kerber, so that could explain the frosty tone of the announcement.

  • Hartt · November 7, 2018 at 7:04 am

    I’m not a fan of players doing exhos in the off season, especially when so many complain about a long, tough season. But at least for Milos it makes some sense. He only played 47 matches in 2018, and his season was over by the end of Oct., so he did not have a grueling season. He will have a decent break before this exho, and he needs match play more than anything.

  • catherine · November 7, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Hartt- thanks for that link. I think Stephanie Myles is right in her supposition that Fisette wanted more money after Angie won W’don. Coaches now and again use this tactic. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. I wouldn’t have tried it with Kerber. And if she suspected, or found out, that a deal was being done done behind her back she’d have been furious. She certainly wasn’t looking happy the last match where they were together.

    Shame things end like that but it’s often the way of the world I’m sorry to say.

    I was joking a bit about Milos – his quote just sounded funny. I suppose he’s on his way to Australia
    and Hawai would be a good stopping off place. Not sure what Garbine’s going to get out of it – except some IGs on the beach 🙂

  • Hartt · November 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

    It’s hard to know how much of that statement actually came from Milos. I guess they know the kind of thing they are supposed to say. But on another topic, Milos does have a rather formal way of speaking, a hint that English is not his first language. He probably spoke Serbo-Croatian with his parents when he was growing up.

  • catherine · November 7, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Actually the Hawai’i tournament seems quite a good idea for players who have to travel in that direction to Australia and want some matches. It’s nice that they’re doing a charity session for the volcano relief as well. And knowing Milos’ range of cultural interests I’m sure he’ll discover lots to explore while he’s there.

    Re Kerber/Fisette – I hope this split doesn’t sour Angie’s memories of her achievement in winning W’don – and that she finds the right coach soon.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Did Kerber give Fissette any kind of bonus after winning Wimbledon? Or nothing? If a player wins a major title under a coach, they should give the coach a bonus or some kind of reward and not be a cheapskate. Scott Lipsky got a lot of free advices from Rick Leach one off season in California and then he won the AO mixed title. They were not officially working together, no contract, no agreement, just a lot of advice. Guess what? Lipsky came back and gave Leach a bonus check even though he didn’t have to. He did the right thing. Hope Kerber did too.

  • catherine · November 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Scoop – I imagine bonus clauses etc were written into Fisette’s contract. Can’t see Angie being mean in that way. Possible he wanted more. And had Azarenka as backup.

    I’d be interested to know how much Vika is paying him. And how long this second association lasts. I’ve never been a fan of hers actually, although that’s nothing to do with Kerber.

    Didn’t you have a story about Rios, and how he avoided paying extra to his coach by sacking him just before Marcello reached No 1 ? Not the most secure employment, coaching.

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 8:03 am

    On a different topic, I am enjoying the Next Gen tourney. Along with good young players like Tsitsipas and Tiafoe, it’s been fun watching a player like Hurkacz for the first time.

    I can’t believe that Tennis Channel is not covering this. What’s up with that?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 8, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Catherine, Not sure if there was any bonus with Larry Stefanki, Rios fired him AFTER becoming no. 1. I have heard rumors that Federer and Hewitt replaced Lundgren and Cahill shortly before they became no. 1 to avoid paying $1m bonuses.

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Fortunately, the WTA site has an article on recent coaching changes. How would we ever keep up otherwise?

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Here is an example of how hard it is to predict future ATP stars. When looking for an article I came across a post in June, 2010 of a Tennis-Prose “Media Survey.” One question was who was a future star.

    The answers:
    Dan M.: Tomic
    Dan C. Weil: Ryan Harrison
    Richard Pagliaro: Gulbis, Dimitrov
    Scoop: Harrison, Dimitrov

    I suppose it was difficult to foresee that Fed, Rafa and Novak would dominate men’s tennis for the following years, but it is interesting that none of those players were particularly successful. Perhaps Grigor was the closest, but he did not become an actual star.

  • catherine · November 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Dan wasn’t the only one talking up Tomic – I wasn’t following tennis too much in 2010 but I remember a big fuss over Bernie in Oz – maybe too much. He quickly became a big brat.

    Any fallen ‘stars’ from the WTA 7 years ago ? Can’t remember.

  • catherine · November 8, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Sorry – 8 years ago. And of course I can’t remember if they didn’t become stars 🙂

    BTW – interesting piece about Bjorn Borg’s son in NY Times. Retweeted on B Rothenberg’s twitter.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Catherine, I almost forgot we did that media survey, we should do it again, for next week.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 8, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Borg’s son Leo got the chance to hit with players at Stockholm event recently, what a fantastic experience. Hope he makes it.

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Scoop, yes it would be great to do the media survey again.

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The NY Times article is interesting. Leo’s mother, in particular, hoped that he would not pursue tennis because of the comparison’s to his father. It sounds like both parents took a back seat in terms of his tennis, although his mother attends his matches. They are concerned Bjorn would be too much of a distraction if he were there. Leo said he has never seen one of his father’s matches.

  • Hartt · November 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I first saw predictions about future ATP stars in 2011, when Milos had his breakthrough, finishing the season ranked No. 31 despite losing a few months because of hip surgery. The names I remember were Tomic, Harrison, Dimitrov and Raonic. There may have been 1 more, but I can’t remember.

  • catherine · November 9, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Muddy waters – Fisette and Vika have not confirmed their association although they have been pictured together in Florida and Nick Bolletieri has somehow got his face in the mix.

    Astonishing number of people out there Who Know What Really Happened (but are not telling).

    Personal and professional conflicts – that should cover it. And now File and Forget.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Nick Bollettieri is everywhere.

  • catherine · November 9, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Nick’s secret is the Elixir of Eternal Youth but he’s not sharing.

    Barbara Rittner (DTB) says Angie wants to win Paris next year and have all 4 GSs. Clay is her worst surface and she’ll be 31. Will she be looking for a coach who can guide her there ?

    Many great players have seen their dreams die on the red clay of Roland Garros.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Catherine, Kerber should hire Uncle Toni or Muster 🙂

  • catherine · November 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Uncle Toni’s ring-fenced I believe but Muster’s a good idea. She prefers a German speaking coach.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Catherine if Kerber really wants a Roland Garros title, she will have to make a very unconventional move or two or three to make it possible. Muster or Guga could be priceless additions to her team. Hope she dares to make a big bold move like that.

  • catherine · November 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Scoop – Angie lives on dreams in tennis and has done since she was a teenager – collecting the 4th jewel in the GS crown would be the ultimate dream for her at the end of her career. But I agree it would take some big moves and absolutely the right coach.

    Barbara Rittner suggested that defending W’don would be a more realistic aim for Angie next year but I suspect it would not mean the same. I don’t think she’ll be in the final.

    Angie has 3 GS titles but has not won a single Premier 5 which is a rather odd statistic. Maybe shows what her priorities have always been.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Catherine, it’s similar to Kafelnikov who won two majors but no Masters Series titles.

  • Thomas Tung · November 9, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    NextGen Milan is featured on Amazon Prime, just like last year — good trend for online streaming (Tennis Channel really bungled it up by not building enough of an online streaming presence in conjunction with, say, YouTube Premium or Amazon Prime).

    Mainstream TV is dying a slow, but steady death.

  • Thomas Tung · November 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Watching Tsitsipas – Rublev right now …

  • Thomas Tung · November 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Stefanos takes it in five, over a very determined Rublev, who kept on producing great shots, right up until the end. I must say, Tsitsipas hits some of the prettiest shots this side of R. Federer (even more lovely than, say, the likes of G. Dimitrov).

    Stefanos is one of those guys who, I feel, would’ve done great with wood rackets — he has this very simple and smooth form, but there’s plenty of subtle control and variety in what he puts on the table.

  • Hartt · November 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I’m glad I can get the Next Gen tourney on my sports channel. It is much more enjoyable on a TV screen, and I can record the matches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Question to Thomas and all: Looking at Tsitsipas at 20, are you as impressed by him as you were by Federer at age 20? Both are at about the same ranking, with one ATP title, their developments and games are quite similar. Which leads to the supposition that Tsitsipas can actually become a Federer level champion or perhaps take it a step or two further? Or of course, suddenly turn into a Dimitrov. What do you see happening?

  • Thomas Tung · November 9, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    I’m not sure if I’d vote in Tsitsipas as a “Federer in making” (because an early Federer had this explosiveness in getting to shots that reminded me [then] of Sampras, and that’s something I don’t see in Stefanos). I do see Stefanos as having a much better career than Dimitrov, because he didn’t self-consciously model his form after Federer (which Grigor clearly did, and still does — Dimitrov plays like a mid/late 2000s Roger, but Federer [and the rest of the field] have clearly moved on).

    Stefanos has his own form and his own playstyle; his forehand and backhand are more simplistic than Roger’s (in a good way; very classic playing style strongly reminiscent of the great pros like Laver/Gonzales/Hoad/Rosewall, in terms of stroke form and production). Tsitsipas disguises his shots well; taking the ball fairly early, and then hitting it late (yet getting very clean strikes on each shot). I really, really like that.

    There are a lot of upsides to Tsitsipas’ game, and he’s continuing to make the improvements necessary to continue climbing towards the top. Well done from the young Greek.

    As for his potential? I can see him winning a few Slams, but he needs to impose his game a bit more on the key points. Anything more than that is too hard to tell. (I still see Zverev as a 1-2 Slam guy, but then rapidly caving in to guys like Tsitsipas, Khachanov, De Minaur, and Shapovalov, as they continue to develop their games; Zverev is close to his peak, but the other 4 guys have not nearly hit theirs, especially Shapovalov — once he plays a bit smarter and is more confident about his ability to work the points, as opposed to going for the big strike all the time).

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 9, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    I can see Tsitsipas winning multiple majors too. A few years ago an insider assessed Khachanov as a “very good player, but no weapons.” Well with a few years of experience and growth, he has weapons now and I can see Tsitsipas becoming more explosive also and it’s just a matter of how explosive. I can also see Tsitsipas becoming an all time great player too, he looks that good to me – game, head, calm, comfort on the big courts, devotion, desire, progression. Tsitsipas reminds me of a morph of Federer, Kuerten. I see him blooming into the best of the next era or in that elite top 3.

  • Hartt · November 10, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Along with his physical skills, I think Stefanos is impressive on the mental side, despite his temper. I hope he doen’t destroy any more headsets, injuring himself in the process! But he seems to get past these outbursts and other disappointments quickly, and get ready to play the next point well.

    He also thinks things through on the court. After matches he often talks about making adjustments because of how the match was going. That’s a skill that not all players possess.

    It’s exciting that there are several young players who are future stars. I include Sascha in that group. He can still improve his game, and he has the ambition and work ethic to do that. And several are treats-eligible – Shapo, Sascha, Karen and Stefanos, so I am especially happy about that. 🙂



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