Tennis Prose



Tennis World Observations

Stefanos Tsitsipas has decided to dismiss Mark Philippoussis as his co-coach heading into Roland Garros. Team Tsip might consider a few different options in the coming days to assist the 2023 Australian Open finalist at this year’s Roland Garros – Boris Becker… Sergi Bruguera, Jim Courier, or Albert Costa.

Did you see the Michael Ymer racquet smash on the umpire chair in Lyon? Ymer lost a point to French teen Arthur Fils but after the point Ymer saw an out mark wide so he thought he played an out ball and then asked the umpire to come down and see the mark or show him the mark that hit the line. The umpire refused and the 24 year old Ymer snapped, and demolished his Wilson on the metal chair. Ymer was angered by the double standard of the umpire who he noted did come down at the request of Richard Gasquet to check a mark on the far side of the court. After being defaulted for his violent racquet tirade, Ymer pleasantly shook hands with Fils and the world no. 53 departed the court for his spot in the French Open main draw. Ymer’s career best ranking of 50 was achieved last month.

Rafael Nadal may not be in sufficient form to compete in singles at Roland Garros but why not doubles and mixed doubles?

Hugo Gaston was robbed in Madrid. The world no. 108th from France took a ball out of his pocket and rolled it across the court in a futile maneuver to bargain “a let” against Borna Coric from the chair umpire on set point. Coric eventually won the second round match 63 63 vs Gaston. After the match Gaston was substantially fined 144,000 euros, which is greater than the total $121,712 he has earned in prize money for 2023. The hefty fine will be reduced to 72,000 euros if Gaston doesn’t commit any similar offenses in the next twelve months. Gaston has been on probation by the ATP for an incident at Australian Open qualies where he tapped his racquet on the umpire chair.

Su-Wei Hsieh qualified for the main draw for Strasbourg but she lost in the first round in three sets to Erin Routliffe. It’s still a mystery why Hsieh did not play a WTA match from November 2021 to May 2023 in Madrid. She has claimed she sat out to rest injuries but if that’s true, why isn’t the 37 year old former no. 1 in doubles using protected ranking for injury to get into main draws? Hsieh announced Chinese player Xinyu Wang will be her new doubles partner. Hsieh and Wang lost to the Chan sisters in Strasbourg QF 4-6 7-5 8-10 after beating Gabueva/Kanepi.

Fabian Marozsan, the shock winner vs Carlos Alcaraz in Rome, has lost in French Open qualies second round to teenager Juncheng Shang 63 63.

On the comeback trail after a couple of years of elbow problems, Lucas Pouille has won two rounds at French Open qualies, beating Machac and Tseng. Check out the Biofile I did with Pouille at Sarasota Open.

Two highly touted American teens Robin Montgomery and Katrina Scott both were bounced out of Roland Garros qualies in the first round.

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  • catherine · May 25, 2023 at 4:02 am

    So farewell then, Garbine Muguruza, IMO the champion that never quite was. She’s engaged to her hunk of a boyfriend and I think will retire this year. Could be wrong but it’s a feeling I get.

    I’ve also seen a nice pic of Kerber pushing a pram. Seems to be a baby in it. Re her comeback, has she been watching current tournaments ? Swiatek, Rybakina ? Lot of work to do Angie.

    Oh and PM’s been observed ‘advising’ C Gauff. Haven’t we been here before ?

  • catherine · May 25, 2023 at 4:27 am

    Martina Navratilova was asked about her predictions for RG.

    Reading between the lines, it’s clear her preference overall, not just Paris, is for Rybakina. She may see a bit of herself in Elena’s style of game. Some forget Elena’s already won W’don.

    “Don’t forget, Rybakina grew up on clay. She knows how to move on it. She’s a smooth mover, she can neutralize the power of the big hitters and just seems so level-headed in every way.

    “This might surprise some people, but I think she’s got the better transition game of the three.(Swiatek, Sabalenka) She’s becoming more comfortable finishing at the net. And she can get better with more experience on the clay; when you’re up against exceptional players all the time, there’s still a learning curve.

    “Overall, her success comes more easily in the faster points. The big thing for her is to be more patient. Use that 80-percent rally ball more often, you know, dial it down and don’t go for too much too soon. Shot selection for her would be biggest area for improvement. If I was her coach, it would be one word: patience.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2023 at 7:01 am

    Mouratoglue has to be careful he doesn’t get an image of being a leech on top players. Yes hes a famous hanger on type but as far as actual coaching top players and inspiring them to any kind of stunning results or performances – that has not happened yet. He’s just done a fine job of putting himself into the tennis scenery.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2023 at 7:02 am

    Catherine, wonder if Martina still angles to coach a top player, after her failed gig with Radwanska.

  • catherine · May 25, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Yes, I suspect Martina might regret a few things about her life in tennis and coaching could be one of them. She never really gave it a serious try (I suspect Radwanska not the easiest coachee in the world) and the state of her health now would probably not allow for the stresses and strains of full time coaching.

    Totally agree re Patrick. Every time I see his name he’s attached to a different player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Martina has to realize to coach a wta player now is to be a slave and obey all the commands. Her ego isn’t going to accept that. BTW a former wta coach told me this is how it is to work with a wta player, you’re a “slave” and the player makes all the “commands.” Mouratoglou is very clever at hitching his wagon to high profile players. He’s very smart to reconnect with Coco. If Coco gets hot and wins Roland Garros, he looks like a genius and gets tons of exposure and media credit. If Coco loses again, it’s no loss for Mouratoglou, because Coco just isn’t ready yet with that flawed forehand.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2023 at 10:10 am

    18 year old Chinese player Juncheng Shang qualified for FO main draw today by beating Renzo Olivo in three sets. Rios coached Shang last summer for a couple of months and he exploded into a different player.



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