Sandgren vs Kozlov in Tallahassee

The main event featured match of day three of the Tallahassee challenger is a showdown between two Americans both eager to revive their dropping rankings. Stefan Kozlov is ranked 337 now, having fallen from 104 two years ago. Sandgren is 111 from top 50 range.

Both players are also friends of mine for years, I have both phone numbers.

Today during Noah Rubin’s straight set win vs Kwiatkowski, Stefan came and sat next to me. I noted that he has beaten Sandgren in the past and Kozlov offered additional info, “Im 4-0 against him.”

Earlier I told Koz about Sarasota and the Tommy Paul coaching triangle, Stefan must have figured I may have inside info. “Do you have any tips (on Tennys)?” He asked.

Respect to the diligent digging – Koz could make a fine intrepid reporter or investigator someday – but I had to decline, “I’m friends with him too.”

“Oh,I didnt know that,” he said.

Then I asked him why would you ask me for tips, you’re 4-0 against him?

The reply came in an instant. “Why not?”

Gotta love that eager determination, to leave no stone unturned in the quest to win a tennis match and rejuvenate a career.

May the best man win.

I wish both could win. Both are superb guys, extremely likeable. May the best man win.



  • Vijay · April 24, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for coming to Tally, Scoop. It was very nice to chat to you. Should have exchanged numbers, but in any case, let me know if you’re in the area again. Would definitely like to hit.


  • catherine · April 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Scoop – can you be friends with people you write about ? As a journalist ? Really friends ?

  • Dan Markowitz · April 25, 2019 at 4:10 am

    Didn’t seem like much of a contest as Sandgren rolled The Koz 3 and 2. Did you drive up to Tallahassee from Bradenton? That’s quite a trip.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Sandgren just did everything a little better, hit harder, served better. Koz broke him first game but could not consolidate. Good match but Sandgren is better right now, more confident, winning more, hitting harder, serving better. Before match Sandgren was doing shadow tennis, full intensity, no coach, sprints on court, then Koz came out next court over and hit some feeds from Baker and did some serves, then they went out to the stadium, Sandgren first then Koz. Interesting match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Friends with both yes for years. Talked with tennys for a few minutes on the court, offered to hit with him but he was content with doing his shadow tennis which I compared to a boxer doing shadowboxing in the dressing room before a big fight. It worked for him. Stefan and I also talked earlier in the day. I like them both a lot and try to help both in small ways, helped connect Stefan with his co coach Jeff Salzenstein, who doesn’t travel much but they talk on the phone and message regularly. Like Stefan left a voice message to Jeff after the match last night about his match summary. It’s all very interesting insights into this sport. Of course i won’t reveal too much here, but I think the friendships allow extra perspectives into the sport and also show the characters of these players which are exemplary. Hated watching the match last night and sincerely had no rooting interest, I wanted both to win and both not to lose. Didn’t cheer or support either. Like and respect them both equally though am probably closer to one a little more.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Great to meet you Vijay, enjoyed talking tennis with you and hearing your views and ideas. Let’s keep in touch, 201-218-0811. See you next year. I will definitely be going back to Tallhassee. Love the event and how it’s presented and the general atmosphere. I enjoy these Challengers as much as the ATP and WTA pro events, a tennis travel company should offer travel vacations to these challengers also along with Grand Slams and ATP WTA events. These Challengers are fantastic experiences.

  • catherine · April 26, 2019 at 1:13 am

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Catherine, it’s outrageous that Gimelstob is being protected by the establishment. Ray Moore and Doug Adler were run out of the sport for far less. It’s simply insanity that Gimelstobs insanity is being accepted, approved, protected by the establishment.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Each day of silence about Gimelstob by the tennis powers that be is extremely disturbing and draining respect for what once was regarded as a most revered and admired industry. Gimelstob should be removed from all positions of power asap. make him earn his way back. Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Evert, Navratilova, Kermode himself, Serena should all stand up and say something.

  • Hartt · April 26, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    This is an excellent account of the Gimelstob situation. I sent an opinion to Jon Wertheim at the SI Mailbag, and apparently he received a LOT of questions and opinions. He did give a long response, basically saying that Gimelstob should step away from tennis, at least for a while, for his own sake as well as the good of the sport.

    But yes, the tennis community as a whole should be speaking up. This is a huge issue, and I am completely amazed that there is even the slightest chance that Gimelstob could return to his official roles in tennis. The Player Council, in particular, needs to show some backbone.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Hartt, he wants and expects to be ATP president, and if he plays his cards right and media manipulation works, he could be the NEXT president after Kermode. Gimelstob is clearly drooling for and coveting that position. This whole powerplay to oust Kermode was to usher in Gimelstob IMO. This is all just unbelievable. And sickening.

  • catherine · April 27, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Scoop – the Names you mention rarely let their voices be heard in this sort of case. They’re behaving like frightened politicians with an important election looming. No one wants to be the first to break ranks.

    My view, from outside tennis politics and outside the US, is that Gimelstob should recognise that his name will be mud for a long time and he should resign himself to a fairly humble role if he wants to stay around tennis. Some hope.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 27, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Catherine, not true, they all were quick to lecture Tennys Sandgren about how to properly behave, denouncing his right to express opinions. Yet they are all silent on Gimelstob’s far more abhorrent, dangerous, barbaric and anti social behavior. It’s mind boggling.

  • catherine · April 27, 2019 at 10:15 am

    The situation is a bit different – this is an incident involving someone presumably seen as a colleague. That maybe is why no one is speaking up. I’m not saying it’s right and I do think Martina for eg would speak up if Gimelstob expressed views on a subject outside tennis. Which he hasn’t done. He’s committed a criminal act and been punished. Sandgren was expressing political views.

    We’re getting towards politics here ourselves so I’ll say no more. I’m up to here with politics in Britain, let alone the US or anywhere else.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 27, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Right Catherine, the bottom line in this is the outrageous privilege Gimelstob is getting. he should have been railroaded out of the sport like Adler and Moore. Adler and Moore did not receive the privilege Gimelstob is getting. And it really looks like Gimelstob is going to be shoe-horned into the ATP president’s job. It’s insane. Dolgopolov and Stakhovksy involved in match fixing charge.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 27, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Thiem is administering a beatdown on Rafa in Barcelona, 4-2 Thiem with BP. Medvedev stunned Kei 75 in the third.

  • catherine · April 27, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Thiem wins SS – first time Rafa’s been beaten at this stage for I don’t know how long. All change in the ATP top echelon ?



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