Tennis Prose



Some Horrific Slumps


Robin Haase once lost seventeen tiebreakers in a row in 2013.

Ivo Karlovic lost ten third set deathbreakers in a row two years ago.

Vince Spadea lost 21 matches in a row October 1999-June 2000 before finally beating Greg Rusedski at Wimbledon.

Donald Young had a 17 match losing streak which he ended in 2012 in Winston-Salem by beating Leonardo Mayer 46 63 62.

Kiki Mladenovic had a six-month 15 match losing streak which she snapped last year by beating Domi Cibulkova 64 64.

Sandy Collins and Arantxa Rus share the WTA record for losing 17 matches in a row.

In Michael Chang’s last year on tour in 2003, he posted a 2-10 record, closing out his career with three straight first round heartbreaker losses – in Cincy to Hicham Arazi 64 67 (7) 06; in Long Island to Rik DeVoest 26 36 and then , finally, at US Open to Fernando Gonzalez 36 57 75 46. At age 31, ranked 222, Chang could no longer win matches at the ATP level.


  • catherine · May 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

    This thread is newest so posting here – Halep falls in Madrid to Pliskova. Not sure I saw that coming. Tiriac must be grinding his teeth.

    Beginning of a slump ?

    And more ecstasy in Britain as Edmund sweeps past Goffin 🙂

  • Hartt · May 10, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Shapovalov just played an amazing match to win over Raonic 6-4, 6-4. Milos did not play badly, but Denis was simply in the zone, he could do no wrong. For example, Denis had 28 winners to 17 UFEs, and for Denis’ high risk game, that is excellent.

    He even returned the Milos serve well, and Milos had a first serve % of over 70%.

    Denis has not played this well since last summer. If he can maintain this level against Edmund he has to be the favourite in their match.

    After the match Milos congratulated Denis’ mother, Tessa, on her son’s win. Classy.

  • catherine · May 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Hartt – was just about to post about Denis’ win. The Young Pretender is ascending his throne 🙂

    I would think he’ll deal with Kyle.

    I imagine Denis went in there with a strategy and it all worked out. Seems from the report I read on Pliskova/Halep that Karolina did the same. Clever tennis.

  • Hartt · May 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Yes, the Young Pretender is on his way. He played his absolute best in that match, and when Denis plays like that he is such an exciting player to watch. Today we saw the player who beat Delpo, Rafa and Tsonga last summer.

    I don’t know if he can bring that high level to his match against Kyle, but he did have an upset over the Brit in Queen’s last year, and the fans there loved him.

    I recorded the match, so I can watch it again when I am calmer. I felt badly for Milos, this loss had to hurt big time. But against Edmund I can get behind Shapo 100%. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Jimmy Arias said the win by Denis over Raonic was “shockingly easy…he just went out there and overpowered a guy hitting serves 150.” This is the win Shapovalov was waiting for and looking for. This is a career kickstarter win – if he doesn’t have to face Nadal next round.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Maybe Shapovalov prefers being the underdog, which he was today and which he was vs Delpo, Rafa and Tsonga last summer. He’ll have to fix that flaw and find a way to trick himself to always feel like the underdog, a mental trick which Hewitt and Rafa have mastered.

  • catherine · May 10, 2018 at 11:02 am

    ‘controlled aggression’ is how Karolina described her approach and it certainly blew Simona out of the match – she spent many points forced back miles behind the baseline, out of her comfort zone and tentative. It’s as if she’s so used to bullying opponents with her reputation as the player who’ll run down everything that they go on the court bereft of ideas. Pliskova wasn’t having that.

  • catherine · May 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Off topic slightly – Noticed on the WTA website report of a social event in Prague celebrating Jana Novotna, with her parents attending and Martina giving an emotional tribute – explains why she was in Prague last week attending the WTA tournament at the Sparta Club – home of all great Czech players.

    Czechs can never forget Jana – she’s part of their sporting history in an exceptional way.

  • Hartt · May 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Scoop, Denis will face Edmund in the next round. Their H2H is 2-2. Denis won in Queen’s last year and then at the USO when Kyle was injured. Kyle won in that infamous Davis Cup tie (when Denis was disqualified), and then at Brisbane this year. Kyle is the higher-ranked player, but I doubt that Denis sees himself as an underdog against him.

    Denis is still developing his game, so I don’t expect him to always play at the insanely high level that he did today. But he is off to a great start in his young career.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Hartt, Edmund and Shapovalov are developing a good rivalry with a lot of big matches on big stages already in their careers. Edmund is one of the most low key under the radar very good players out there. He’s almost like a young Kohlschreiber. Wonder if Edmund will ever step out of the shadows because he’s still one of those very good players that’s in the shadows of the elites. Maybe he’s more comfortable there.

  • catherine · May 10, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Comments from Simona in her p.c today :

    ‘I didn’t change things. I couldn’t change things.’

    ‘Darren came down and he told me what to do but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it.’

    Sometimes players give away much more than they’re aware of.

  • Hartt · May 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Scoop, Edmund comes across as a reserved guy, who may be happy to be under the radar. But he is a big deal for the British media, who refer to him as the British No. 1, and after the wins over Novak and Goffin are even more excited. He is a little more than 4 years older than Denis, but Denis has come along so quickly that it is reasonable to see them as part of the same group.

    It looks like Denis could have several rivalries with younger players, including Sascha, Coric, Tsitsipas and Felix as well as Kyle.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Isner a ‘Master’ at winning these kind of matches. He did not generate one break point yet saved the only two he faced and wins to face Sascha next, who he defeated to win the final match at Crandon Park.

    Cuevas won 67 of 74 points on his own first serve and gets dumped out of the Spanish capital.

    Meanwhile Tomic wins again!!!

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Halep is an example of someone who is so strong and mighty but also at the same time there is a vulnerability there.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Hartt, Edmund could be the next Thomas Johansson the all time most under the radar Grand Slam champ ever.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Cuevas got Isnerized! Tomic has dislodged the infamous fork of Markowitz and will win a title this year.

  • catherine · May 11, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Scoop- Simona has been playing tennis since she was about 5 years old and she’s now No 1 in the world and she’s asking her coach to tell her what to do against someone she’s beaten before, and then she’s saying she couldn’t do it. How many truly top players dare to display their losing mentality so blatantly ?

    Halep’s not strong and mighty – I see her as a player who is kiboshed when an opponent fixes on her weaknesses and hammers at them. Karolina did just that. She suffocated the life out of Simona. Where’s her variety of shot, where’s her flexible thinking on court ? Unless Cahill intervenes, she’ll carry this loss for a while.

    Kvitova crushed Kasatkina 6-0 FS. Petra’s playing as though she’s making up for the time she lost and the second chance she’s been given.

  • catherine · May 11, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Shame that Kvitova’s master class was played in what appeared to be an empty stadium.

  • Hartt · May 11, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I saw the Petra vs Dasha match and agree that Kvitova gave a master class. She was close to what I call “Scary” Petra, when she is simply unplayable.

    When Petra is on like that she is fun to watch, but not a lot of fun for her opponent.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 11, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Catherine, we just can’t expect every player to be like Rafa and Hewitt and Maria, so locked in like an assassin on every point. Maybe Simona just didn’t have it yesterday, or didn’t feel like playing, it happens, the mojo just isn’t always there. These players are all human, we tend to forget that sometimes. Especially non-players tend to forget that. It’s a tough sport to play and play well every time out.

  • catherine · May 11, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Come on Scoop, Simona’s a professional player, she’s No 1 in the world and she’s won Madrid twice. She ‘didn’t feel like playing’ ? Tough. In that case she should return her prizemoney. She had a pretty easy draw too.

    I’m not a player, and I know the game is hard etc etc but forgive me if I find it surprising when someone of Simona’s presumed experience has to ask her coach what to do and then admit she couldn’t do it. Plenty of her colleagues would have kept their mouths shut.

    You’d be hard on a male player who behaved like that. Why give Simona a free pass ? She was out thought and outplayed by Pliskova. If she wants a GS she’s got to get some resilience and stop leaning on Cahill.

    Maria ? Do you mean Sharapova ? She’s not been much of an assassin lately.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

    No, but Maria always puts up a fierce fight and makes the opponent earn it. Players can space out or blank out. I played a couple of guys in tournaments who got so frustrated by my style that they openly complained, “I feel like I forgot how to play tennis.” It can happen to anyone. Another guy who plays ITF Futures was beating me 3-0 and then I started slowballing him with deep high slow balls and he just fell apart totally and never won another game, and I won 63 60. Last year in a tourney I was ahead 64 3-1 with a point for 4-1 and I double faulted and ended up losing the match 64 67 7-10. Anything is possible in tennis.

  • catherine · May 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I’ll let others comment on ATP Madrid, Nadal’s exit, Shapo v Edmund.

    Pliskova/Kvitova about even and wouldn’t cry if Petra loses, she needs a rest. WTA Rome draw is out – Kerber is playing after all, Vinci’s farewell tournament. More tk….

  • Joe Blow · May 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    You gotta stop putting Hewitt in the same breath as Nadal. “Cmons”, and all that fire and passion stuff, doesn’t make them close to equal.

    Love your heroes, but don’t overestimate their place

  • Hartt · May 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    As you can imagine, I am beyond excited about Shapovalov’s win over Edmund. It was such a close, hard-fought match that there were several moments when I was holding my breath.

    Both guys played well, although Denis wasn’t at the same unreal level that he displayed yesterday. Considering how little experience he’s had on clay, he has learned quickly how to adapt his game to it. Although there are still times when I wish he’d be a little more patient.

    This win puts him at No. 29 in the live rankings, which means he will be seeded for RG. Last year he lost in the first round of RG qualies, and this year he will be seeded!

    I was also very excited by Thiem winning over Rafa, Dominic really was the Dominator in that match, he played at an extremely high level.

  • Hartt · May 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    From my point of view, this was a great day of tennis, with Petra’s win an extra bonus.

  • Hartt · May 11, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Sascha just beat Isner in SS – there wasn’t even a TB! So one SF in Madrid will be Sascha vs Shapo. It brings back memories of their Rogers Cup SF last summer. It seems like it was so long ago, but actually only a few months. Sascha won that in SS. It will be interesting to see how the 2 youngsters fare tomorrow.

  • Thomas Tung · May 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Edmund seemed to be really annoyed by that person calling out “Come on Shapo” as Denis was serving — had some words with the umpire, and gave a perfunctory handshake to Shapovalov after the match. I guess he felt Denis robbed him of a let? Didn’t see that match, so I’m not sure if Kyle actually held up his hand to stop play (planes overfly the US Open every so often, and I don’t see anyone stopping play because of airplane noise, even if it happens as the person’s about to serve, or in the middle of serving).

  • Hartt · May 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Players have to understand that they must continue playing in those situations. Denis did that, and Kyle did not. The ump tried to explain to Kyle that, according to the rules, there was nothing he could do. I remember a similar situation during a Simona match. The ump had to explain that there was nothing she could do. According to the rules the players are expected to continue to play, even if someone in the crowd yells out during a point.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 11, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Joe, Hewitt and Nadal were beasts on every single ball, every single point, no matter the score. Incredible intensity. Nadal is clearly inspired and influenced by Hewitt’s example and he’s mentioned it many times how Hewitt was so special for him as a young boy player. You can see the Hewitt in Nadal.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Shapovalov is for real now, this week has him back on track. Gonna check to see who won Felix vs Deminaur battle in the Challenger in Braga.

  • Hartt · May 12, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Scoop, I watched Felix vs Alex. Felix won the first set and then played poorly in the last two. He had a MTO and his level dropped so dramatically that it looked like he did have a physical issue during those sets. It was sad to see, because in the first set he was definitely the better player. I hope it’s nothing serious.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 12, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Hartt, did Deminaur’s level of play cause Felix to come down after set one? Deminaur is definitely ahead of Felix right now and yesterday’s result confirmed it.



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