Tennis Prose



Tomic Has The Eye Of The Tiger Now


By Scoop Malinowski

Watched a bit of the first set of Bernard Tomic vs Viktor Troicki, who are playing first round in Istanbul Turkey on Stadium court before a very sparse crowd.

But the stakes are huge for Tomic, who got a wildcard into the mai draw despite a ranking of 210. Tomic is 25 now and making a spirited push to get back to the top echelon of the ATP, a status his talent surely merits.

But he will have to work and fight to escape from tennis obscurity. Today’s challenge is Troicki, a man he’s played four previous times and split two each.

Tomic looks in superb shape, chiseled, sharp features and perfect short hair cut, with eagle wise eyes, make him look like a figure that belongs on a coin or a museum sculpture. He’s back again using a Head racquet and wearing some sharp new all black Nike attire with black socks and white shoes. Tomic is super fit it would appear and most of all he has the fire in his belly and tiger eye.

Bernie is not here to tank or spark another controversy but to fulfill his potential as a top junior and former top 20 player. After the first game in which he holds, Tomic fist pumps to himself. It’s a silent gesture that speaks volumes: I’m done goofing around and driving fast cars, I mean business now, my career time clock is running out and I’m determined to reach my highest potential as a professional.

There are some tight moments of high quality top 50 tennis and Tomic breaks for 3-1. It’s such a different sight to see Tomic playing with the right attitude and mindset. And it only makes you wonder if he decided to apply himself 100% to the task of winning as many matches as possible much earlier.

Of did all those tough, heartbreaking losses which still came with hefty paychecks, diminish his desire? The tennis tour is a grueling grind and not as glamorous as Roger, Rafa, and Djokovic make it appear to be.

Plenty of second tier guys like Tomic have hit their rock bottoms and were forced to dig deep and battle back. Vince Spadea, Donald Young, Brian Baker, Steve Darcis, Ryan Harrison, Alexandr Dolgpolov, Marcos Baghdatis, Sam Querrey, Mark Philippoussis come to mind. Even Andre Agassi fell of the map and found his way back.

The tennis life is a grind, it’s a machine that will chew you up and spit you out.

It’s an inspiring sight to see that Bernard Tomic is back in the mix and giving it his best effort. He and the tennis world await with curiosity to see if the best efforts of Tomic will be enough to revive his career. Or will he be another case of … an extraordinary but wasted talent.


  • Duke Carnoustie · April 30, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Well Tomic got bageled in the second set and lost 7-5 in the third. Back to the jungle.

    Foe beats Sandgren in a thriller, two TBs to finish it. Epic match in Europe

  • jg · April 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I just watched the Tiafoe Sandgren highlights, what a battle. Sandgren had a couple of match points but Tiafoe is a crafty player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 30, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Tough loss for Sandgren, that’s three losses in a row since Houston. Tiafoe beat Sandgren in the Sarasota final a year ago but Sandgren won their practice match in Orlando in Nov/Dec.Good American rivalry in the making.

  • Hartt · May 1, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Kohlschreiber just beat Karlovic in SS in Munich, breaking Dr. Ivo once in each set. When he is playing well Kohli is such a joy to watch. Not only did he make some excellent shots, he looked elegant doing it. His service motion and his one-handed BH, in particular, are lovely.

  • Hartt · May 1, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Once again, my last post did not show up.

  • Hartt · May 1, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Lol, as soon as I wrote complaining about a no show for my post, it appeared!

  • catherine · May 1, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Hartt – when you post below the latest one, if it has disappeared it will appear again.

    Or you can try CTR + R if you have a PC.

  • catherine · May 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Kasatkina continues her downward slide – loses first round in Prague to Paolini SS.

  • Hartt · May 1, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Kasatkina was injured during the second set.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 1, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    How about this Cechinnato? He wins in Budapest now he knocks off Fognini in Munich. He is up to No. 59 in the world and should be in the top 30 next Big match vs. Fucsovics next.

    Meanwhile Kudla is knocked out in Savannah.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Kohlshreiber is a very underrated player, he knows how to beat Isner and Ivo, winning records against both while certain higher ranked players like Nishikori struggle mightily against Ivo and Isner.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 2, 2018 at 12:28 am

    DY loses another terrible match. He has fallen apart since his fake racism claims on Harrison.

    I think he needs to come clean and apologize since it has to be hard to play with such a guilty conscience.

  • catherine · May 2, 2018 at 2:09 am

    Hartt – didn’t know that. Not a good time to be injured so hope it’s not serious.

  • Scoop malinowski · May 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Hard to apologize for something so heinous as that. To lie about fake racism is as low as it gets. But its the climate we live in today with fake news media. Lie cheat swindle deceive to get what you want. Young is done.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 2, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I agree Scoop. It’s not surprising he fell apart mentally out there if his mind is so full of hatred. It’s time for him to be a club pro.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 2, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Foe is slated to play Bollleli in the Estoril QFs, a winnable match for sure.

    Kevin Ando v. Tsitsipas could be a heavyweight showdown. Sascha is 3-0 vs. Struff, but they have all been battles. Chung v. Klizan should also be spirited.

    Mmoh and Opelka are the big names left in Savannah but they have a lot of work to do before a possible meeting in the final.

  • Hartt · May 3, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Kohlschreiber just had an easy win over Mischa Zverev in Munich – 6-2, 6-2. Kohli was “on” but Mischa played poorly, so it was not an entertaining match. But one thing that made the match worth watching was seeing Kohli hit his great BH CC passing shot a few times. It has to be one of the most beautiful shots in tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 3, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Kohlschreiber has had an excellent career of sustained excellence. Did you know he went nine years of not missing one major? Since 2005 he’s only missed one grand slam – 2014 Australian. Since 2006 he’s not dropped out of the top 50 and mostly stayed in the top 30 range with 16 being his best ranking. Seven career titles. For a guy who stands just 5-10, he has had a fantastic career. Only been to one major QF though. Still an excellent career which millions would have loved to have achieved.

  • Hartt · May 3, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I did not know that Kohli had gone 9 years without missing a major. I became a fan several years ago when I saw him on TV in the USO. Had never heard of him then, and he played great tennis that day. He does lose some close matches, so I do wonder if he is mentally tough enough but, for the most part, he has fulfilled his talent. There aren’t many players whom I watch for the beauty of their shot-making, but he is one. Would love to see him win this tourney, to get at least 1 more title.

  • catherine · May 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Hartt – I saw part of that match. Kohlschreiber was in another class.

    The crowd looked funny – stands on one side seemed packed but the other side almost empty. Maybe the crowd was on the sunny side.

    In Prague Giorgi is in a semi v Mihaela Buzarnescu, player I know nothing about except she’s Romanian. Looks like Petra could wrap thus up though so get the treats ready 🙂

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Tsitsipas takes down Big Ando. The Greek is a legit contender at RG to get as far as he can before he would face Rafa, it is clear.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 3, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    I became a fab of Kohlschreiber too, after we did a Biofile at US Open about ten years ago. It was an excellent Biofile and he’s a down to earth, regular, approachable likable guy. Definitely overshadowed by the greats but he’s very close to great himself. On TV he looks about 6-2 but he’s only 5-10.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 3, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Another stunning win for Stefanos Stitsipas 🙂 He is definitely a top four or three favorite for Roland Garros, Rafa, Thiem and then Stitsipas, who absolutely can pull a Guga 1997.

  • Hartt · May 3, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Kohlschreiber is only 154 lbs as well as just 5’10”, so he is a small guy. One thing I enjoy is his very expressive face when he plays. He doesn’t make a lot of noise on the court, but his face shows exactly what he is thinking, especially when he is disappointed with a shot. Am glad to hear he is a likable guy, that is the impression he gives.

    I have an ulterior motive for wanting him to win this title. He is one of my treats-eligible players (which means I am especially fond of him), and a win probably means apple strudel, since Kohli lives in Austria.

  • Thomas Tung · May 3, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Kohli has changed his game greatly from when he started on tour — he was a big hitting, flat ball kinda guy when he lost a tough one against Moya at the US Open a number of years back. Nowadays, he makes very good use of heavy topspin off both ends, and his topspin backhand is rock-solid. Good spot-placement serve and good return. Almost always plays well, is rarely beaten mentally on the court. The top guys (Fedalovic) do tend to make mincemeat out of him, but he gives almost everyone else a tough time (always seems to play close matches with Del Potro [for example], no matter what the score might say).

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 9:10 am

    After we did the Biofile, a German journalist told me that Kohlschreiber always used a basic coach and not an expensive one with the elite experience at the top of the ATP. One wonders what kind of player Kohlschreiber could have become if he had a coach like Brad Gilbert or Darren Cahill or Ivan Ljubicic.

  • catherine · May 4, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Lots of ball bashing in Prague between Giorgi and Buzarnescu, who was ranked 541 a year ago, and Mihaela reaches the final in 3. Petra will bash the ball better tomorrow.

    Camilla might have tried the odd dropshot but I don’t know if she’s got one in her locker.

    On to Madrid.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Buzarnescu is one of those older WTA players around 25-27 I think, who first caught my eye at US Open qualies last year. just another one of those players that proves you should never give up. But it’s tough too, Michelle Larcher De Brito has fallen to around 450 in the world at age 25. She’s going the wrong direction.

  • Hartt · May 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Kohlschreiber just played another excellent match, this time winning over RBA in SS. Bautista Agut did not play badly, but Kohli was better throughout, with fine serving, BHs and FHs. He made several beautiful DTL winners. His final point of the match was a drop shot that the commie called “elegant.” That is a good word for Kohli’s style, there is an elegance and a lightness about it.

  • Hartt · May 4, 2018 at 11:09 am

    In other tennis news, Stefanos Tsitsipas won a tough, close match over Carballes Baena, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. So his magical run continues. Apparently the youngster is now at No. 40 in the live rankings. This is huge, because he can put qualies behind him.

  • catherine · May 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Scoop – it was Buzanescu’s 30th birthday today so she’s been around for a while although not very visible. I think she may have had injuries along the way and she doesn’t have a heavy game. So all the best to her for persevering.

    Can’t see Petra being generous in the final though.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

    It’s looking more and more possible with each passing day that Tsitsipas could pull a Guga 1997 at Roland Garros. We know how tough Rafa is but let’s just wait and see.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Very well done by Buzanescu, funny how Romania always produces elite tennis players. The Nastase inspiration?

  • catherine · May 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I think it was probably Nastase – there were a few women around in the 70s, Virginia Ruzici’s era, and following that there were always one or two players. And after the end of communism of course travelling abroad became much easier which probably helped. Tiriac has also played a big part too. Small, poor country with a difficult history, so a lot of pride in their sports idols, Nadia Comenici etc.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 4, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    The goal at RG is to lose to Rafa. You see where you could possibly meet him in the draw and then you try to get to that match.

    Unless we have a stunning Soderling-type effort. But the odds on that are low. After all, Rafa is trying to be the goat as Scoop explains and he needs this title.

  • catherine · May 4, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Draw out for Madrid WTA and looks like Kerber is playing safe (injury) and has not entered. Angie had a miserable time there last year and probably doesn’t want reminding.

    If I were her I’d skip the clay. Go to Mallorca.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I know of many Romanians who live in USA now, both in FL and NJ, who play a lot of tennis and are quite good. Romanians really love their tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Duke, The odds for Rafa to win this Roland Garros might be the lowest odds of any major final. You wonder if there are any people out there who will lay a lot of money or any money on anyone but Rafa to win. Nadal could be the heaviest favorite in tennis history in this next Roland Garros.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Kerber should do more photo shoots during this hiatus. Get em all over with now 🙂

  • catherine · May 4, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I think Angie is doing quite a few promotions with the brands she sponsors – funnily enough they seem mostly about fitness 🙂

    Radwanska is also bypassing Madrid and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is her last year playing full time. She isn’t in a good state physically.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Kerber’s fitness is excellent as she showed in Australia this year. Radwanksa has probably had enough of the tour life, she no longer has the belief she can win majors, she gotta be around 30 now, more to life than the WTA tour. I bet she hangs up her Babolats soon.

  • catherine · May 5, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Angie’s upper body fitness is very good but she does tend to get thigh and hamstring problems especially on clay. Angie’s not a great slider.

    Also she probably strained herself playing a Tiebreak promotion event for Porsche in Stuttgart (Julia won) and all the stress around the Fed Cup didn’t help.

  • Hartt · May 5, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Kohli had a fairly easy win over fellow German, 22-year-old Max Marterer. Once again, he had some terrific winners in this match. Sascha won earlier over Chung in SS, so I will have my dream final in Munich.

  • catherine · May 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Hartt – you probably noticed Petra won in Prague – I posted further up because this was getting long. I think it’s a pity she has to rush off to play in Madrid tomorrow.

  • Hartt · May 5, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Catherine, I had to use your Ctrl + R suggestion to get your post to show up, but at least that trick works.

    I was thrilled to see that Petra won. Unfortunately, I slept in this morning and missed her match. Someone posted that it was her 23rd title. And I am already planning my treat! 🙂

  • catherine · May 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I have to CTL/R all the time because, being an impatient person, I can’t be bothered to wait for an hour or so – and yes, it does work, don’t ask me why.

    Petra lost the first set and then got into gear – but I don’t seriously expect her to go far in Madrid. Not sure if she’s playing Rome.



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