Nov/18

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2018 Tennis Media Survey

DAN WEIL

Coolest Player(s): Hard to beat Federer for the guys. Halep for the women, worked so hard for her major.

Smartest: Fed. I don’t know the women well enough.

Funniest: Osaka — Indian Wells acceptance speech. Zverev the younger.

Dullest: I don’t know who’s personality is dullest. I find Isner’s game to be quite dull. Sock too in singles, but his doubles is quite exciting.

Zaniest / Erratic: Monfils & Kyrgios.

Favorite Tournaments: Wimbledon.

Future Star: Tiafoe.

Best Personality: Fed, I love his press conferences and interviews.

Favorite TV Commentator: If I had to name one, Patrick McEnroe. For a rising star, Nick (Lester), the guy who works with Robbie Koenig.

Favorite Tennis Apparel/Shoes: Nike & Adidas.

SCOOP MALINOWSKI

Coolest Player(s): Kyrgios, Djokovic, Fritz, deMinuar, Osaka – how she handled that Serena storm at US Open was extraordinary. In her first major final. Fognini loves to flaunt around the court with that Rios macho strut. Delpo has a special relation with his fans. Rafa too.

Smartest: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Hsieh. Djokovic to me is the smartest.

Funniest: Murray saying he dreamed of playing Denis Kudla the night before he won Wimbledon was hilarious and apparently true. He said this to Rinaldi after he won his first Wimbledon. Kyrgios, Sock have really good sense of humors. Mattek Sands.

Dullest: Gasquet is always nice to watch but he never says or does anything of note, just blends in. Chung has been pretty dull off court so far though he is very very polite and he surprisingly can erupt with a sudden lion roar on court sometimes. I love to watch Nishikori but his interview personality is borderline dull, probably by choice as English is not his first language so he tries to be careful.

Zaniest / Erratic: Kyrgios, Coco Vandeweghe, Cornet, Fognini. I saw Fognini scream in a ballkid’s face after making a volley winner at net in Miami to get second match point vs Chardy. I saw Fognini take his babolat to the bathroom twice in a five set match vs Gabashvili at US Open on outer court three years ago. That’s as wacky as it gets.

Favorite Tournaments: Miami, Newport, AO, Citi Open, Sarasota Open.

Future Star: Tsitsipas, deMinaur, Coco Gauff, Fritz, Felix, Khachanov, Danielle Collins.

Best Personality: Djokovic, Nadal, Delpo, Tiafoe, Osaka, Hsieh, Mladenovic.

Favorite TV Commentator: Jimmy Arias, Rob Koenig, Brad Gilbert, Rennae Stubbs, Evert, Leif Shiras, Gimelstob, Drysdale.

Favorite Tennis Apparel/Shoes: Yonex power cushion 308, adidas, Lacoste, babolat, certain nike shoes.

Favorite Racquet: Still the Volkl Tour 10 V Engine.

RICHARD PAGLIARO

Coolest Players: Guga, Borg, Vilas, Pat Rafter, Dominic Thiem, Federer, Hingis, Sabatini and in terms of being polite and cooperative in interviews Todd Martin, Rafa, Edberg and Torben Ulrich. I would also say David Goffin. Covered London last November and he was super cool both with media and also just signing autographs. The players take a boat to get to Arena and even on rainy days he would get off the boat, stop and sign for every single fan who asked whereas most people hustling to get into the arena every time I saw Goffin he stopped and signed for every person and did selfies too. Big fan of Goffin and how he treats the fans and staff.

Dullest Players: In terms of playing style: Milos and Isner, but both are good interviews. Venus can be an incredible one-on-one interview but lately has been deliberately dull in pressers sometimes offering one-word evasive answers (see Indian Wells or US Open pressers). Camila Giorgi is a very exciting player who tends to dumb it down with generic non-answer answers in pressers.

Zaniest/Erratic: Fabio Fognini, Benoit Paire, Nick Kyrgios, Ernests Gulbis, Camila Giorgi, Jack Sock, Yulia Putintseva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone and crazy co-dependent ongoing saga of Garbine Muguruza and Sam Sumyk.

Funniest Players: Dr. Ivo, Gael Monfils, Francesca Schiavone, Novak Djokovic, Hingis. Kyrgios can be funny in pressers or hostile depending on mood.

Best Personality: Gael Monfils, Delpo, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Bryan brothers, Su-Wei Hsieh, Thiem, the way Nadal treats his fans.

Favorite Tournaments: Queen’s Club, Indian Wells, Newport, Miami (at Key Biscayne), ATP Finals at O2 Arena was very exciting.

Future Stars: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Naomi Osaka, who already is a star. Thiem, Zverev, Khachanov all capable of winning Slams. Sabalenka and Sloane Stephens both capable of being multiple major champs. CoCo Gauff is very young, but very, very talented with major future. Both Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Favorite Tennis Shoes: New Balance.

Favorite Apparel: Mix of all brands, the vintage Fila polos and sweat jackets, original Nike sleeveless T James Blake wore at US Open.

Favorite Ball: Dunlop, by far the best bounce and most durable ball.

Favorite TV Commentator: John McEnroe, Robbie Koening & Jason Goodall, Brad Gilbert, Chrissie Evert, Lindsay Davenport, Jimmy Arias, Cliff Drysdale, Chris Fowler & McEnroe Bros.

34 comments

  • Hartt · November 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Scoop, this was a lot of fun, and I hope you will do more of these interviews.

    As a fan of Felix Auger-Aliassime I was pleased to see him mentioned twice as a possible future star. I noticed you called him “Felix” rather than by his last name like you did for the other players. Do you feel friendly towards the youngster or is that last name just too long to type? πŸ™‚

  • catherine · November 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Richard Pagliaro seems to be going down memory lane in his ‘coolest’ players of 2018 – and I’m not sure how he defines ‘coolest’.

    Gabriela Sabatini ? She retired in 1996 so her coolness may be hard to resurrect now. My memory of Gabriela is as a quiet, reserved, rather inarticulate girl who would have avoided all contact with the media if that had been possible. Sadly it never was.

    Apparently she now has a home in Switzerland as well as BA. Scoop mentioned earlier this year that she was selling her place in Florida.

    I saw Gabriela interviewed a few years ago in a TV docu about Steffi. She’d hardly changed.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 16, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks Hartt, Glad you liked this. Dan failed to respond, maybe he will soon πŸ™‚ I still have trouble typing out the longest name in tennis and always opt to take the shortcut πŸ™‚ Still have the option to even drop it down to the even easier FAA, which I may start doing after he wins his first major πŸ™‚

  • Chazz · November 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Scoop, you didn’t even try to hide your Djoker love. Only player in “coolest” and “smartest”. Media bias!

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Chazz, Not going to hide anything here, you should know that πŸ™‚ I have the utmost respect for Djokovic’s career. Fed and Rafa tried to destroy his psyche, his confidence, his aspirations, his hopes and dreams, and they almost did. But Djokovic picked himself up after the multitude of beatings Fed and Rafa inflicted on him and now he reigns supreme again. He has the best sense of humor in tennis without a doubt, and I believe he’s the smartest (and greatest) player of all time!

  • Dan Markowitz · November 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Roy Smith beats Kwiatowski 7-6 in the third to get to the Houston Challenger semis. This could be big. You’ve got a 20 year old talented lefty black player from the East–when is the last time you’ve had a big-time Eastern player make it in the pros?–emerging.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Gimelstob. It’s been that long. Rubin has not made it yet, Lipsky only made it in doubles. Roy Smith stood out to me, big strong explosive, you could see the raw materials and wondered if they could be properly taught and formed. Looks like they are. Plus he’s a super nice kid with a good attitude. Very likable.

  • Michael in UK · November 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    London ATP finals.
    Zverev beats Fed and Djoko over 2 days, Djoko in the final, to take the title.
    Can we say this is finally the changing of the guard?
    The Australian Open will be fascinating, and Zverev, Coric, Tsitsipas must be very strong contenders surely?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Zverev now 2-2 vs Djokovic, this could be the dawn of a new era but I think Djokovic will use this loss and fuel for a big start in 19. He is still the heavy favorite to win AO. `What we don’t know is how this big win will fuel Zverev’s psyche and confidence tank. We have seen it happen before when a end of the year ATP or WTA Tour Finals first time champion goes on to win a major soon after (Mauresmo).

  • Sam · November 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    About Zverev, I think it’s important not to read too much into yesterday’s match. I mean, it’s not like Zverev beat Djokovic twice at the WTF–he got blown away by him in their first match.

    I think the main reasons Djokovic lost were:

    1) He wasn’t expecting such a formidable challenge from Zverev, so he was blindsided

    2) His energy levels were on the low side (for whatever reason)

    Basically, overall Djokovic had a bad day, and it happens to everyone. He still had a great tournament, though. He and Zverev were the only two to go 4β€”1. As for Zverev, he’s only ever made it past the 3rd round of a Grand Slam twice: once the 4th round, and once the quarterfinals. So, why should we think it’s the dawning of a “new era”? Best of 5 is a whole different ballgame, one that Zverev has yet to appear comfortable with.

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s impossible for him to break through and score a big win in 2019, but I wouldn’t really bet the ranch on it. πŸ˜‰

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Djokovic has probably $200m in the bank, WTF is just not important to him, as much as it was for Zverev. Plus no. 1 was wrapped up. Zverev without a doubt wanted it more. Djokovic looked flat. All it takes is that fraction of desire and urgency. Zverev wanted it more. No doubt about that.

  • catherine · November 21, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Off topic but still German – IG showing Angelique Kerber meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel for a chat – no doubt discussing Fr. Merkel’s plans for retirement – tennis lessons with Angie ? (Merkel skis actually, never shown any interest in tennis. Not sure Angie’s shown any interest in politics…)

    If Zverev and Kerber play Hopman Cup they could win.
    First since Becker/Huber I think that would be.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 21, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Wonder what the idea was for Kerber to meet Merkel who is not especially popular in Germany right now. She didn’t look like she much liked Merkel in the photo I saw.

  • catherine · November 21, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Politics Scoop ! – Merkel is the Chancellor for now (she’s retiring at the end of her term) so it would make sense for W’don winner Kerber to meet her at an appropriate function. You often can’t tell much from Angie’s expression. She’s well practised in being polite in most situations (except net encounters with Alize Cornet).

    Angela M will be popular when she’s gone – I’d bet on that. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying about keeping hold of nurse for fear of meeting something worse…..

  • catherine · November 21, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Snippet on Ubitennis : Kerber talks about Rainer Schuettler and the reasons she appointed him. She says it doesn’t matter who her coach is – everything begins with her own motivation – true enough I suppose.

    For the suspicious minded: Schuettler is ‘fun’ and someone she ‘can trust’ – is that as opposed to someone she couldn’t trust ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 21, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Catherine, I would read into that as Schuettler is a coach who won’t be a pain the you know what about money. I like that comment about the coach not really mattering compared to her own motivation. It’s true, she knows how to win majors. She figured that out on her own, she didn’t need a coach who won majors.

  • Hartt · November 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    I wrote a eulogy on the Davis Cup for Match Call Migrants. Because this seems to be the current thread I will post it here. Unfortunately the photos won’t reproduce here. They mainly show jubilant teams and players, plus some crazy Canadian fans at a recent tie.

    The Davis Cup RIP

    For those of us who love the Davis Cup, fans and players alike (and we are legion), August 16, 2018 was a black day because it signaled the end of the true Davis Cup. The ITF sold it for 30 pieces of silver or, to be exact, $3 billion over 25 years, to Gerard PiquΓ©’s company, Kosmos, and other investors.

    We love Davis Cup for many reasons – for its history and tradition, for the memories of epic matches, and the many great players who gave it their heart and soul. Players like Tilden, the Four Musketeers, Perry, Laver, Newcombe, Ashe, the Bryan brothers, Edberg, and John McEnroe, who had an amazing 59-10 record.

    Players want to win the prestigious trophy for their country and for their teammates. showing great jubilation in victory and total dejection in defeat.

    What made the Davis Cup unique and special was the home and away feature, so players could show their stuff in front of home fans, and places that did not normally host big tennis tourneys could showcase top pros. Unlike a regular tournament, fans could go a bit crazy – cheering, chanting, playing drums, ringing cowbells, painting their faces, and waving flags. (But politely were quiet during actual play.)

    The home fans, and teams, had an advantage but the visitors, although smaller in numbers, often matched them for noise and excitement. The visiting players could show their toughness in the opponents’ venue. And, in some South American arenas, actual courage.

    Many young players dream of winning the Davis Cup in front of a home crowd. Borna Coric, who played his first Davis Cup match as a 16 year old, is a good example:
    “For all Croatian players the Davis Cup is very important, especially
    when they have to face a strong team like France. Borna always talks about this
    event”,said Riccardo Piatti. (ubitennis.net, Nov. 2018)

    Coric has won some important DC matches already, and his reaction to a SF victory this September shows what Davis Cup means to the youngster.

    But after this weekend it is unlikely that other youngsters will experience that thrill. Eighteen-year-old Felix Auger Aliassime expressed his sorrow:
    “One of my biggest dream as a kid was to one day play a Davis Cup final in front of my home crowd. Sadly I’ll never have the chance to experience Davis cup like I grew up watching it I still hoped tradition and history would win over money, but I guess that’s
    where we are now.”
    (Felix on Twitter, August 16, 2018)

    The other changes, best of 3 sets instead of best of 5, and opposing teams playing 2 singles and one doubles (as opposed to a possible 4 singles) also diminish Davis Cup. We will never again see the epic five-set battles of the past. Who will ever forget the emotion and terrific tennis between David Ferrer and Philipp Kohlschreiber last April? Or the sight of a rejoicing David and a despondent Kohli?

    As for just 2 singles (and a doubles), I think it is a strange notion that the way to improve something is to have less of it.

    Originally, the new event was to be called the World Cup of Tennis. Australian journalist Will Swinton summed up the new event well:
    β€œa one-week, Mickey Mouse, soulless, made-for-TV World Cup of Tennis Finals β€” with the winner to be named the Davis Cup champion as an afterthought.” (the bubble.com, March, 2018)

    That went too far and they reverted to the Davis Cup title. But I wish they had kept that name, or given it our title of Kosmos Cup. Let the Kosmos people provide a new trophy and allow the actual Davis Cup to have a dignified retirement in the Tennis Hall of Fame.

    Let’s hear from a player who, like the Aussie greats of the past, is passionate about Davis Cup, Lleyton Hewitt, and who expressed the sadness so many of us feel:
    “Sometimes it’s more than a game. More than money. Most of my biggest highs and toughest loses came in 5 set epic Davis Cup matches in front of screaming
    home or away fans. For the ITF to take that away from the next generation of future stars is a disgrace. #SorryDwightDavis

    Like Hewitt, I think what the ITF has done is a disgrace, and I will never get over the ITF putting money ahead of everything else. The Davis Cup lived for 118 years, will the Kosmos Cup last for 10? I am not sure, but I suppose only time will tell.

    I will end with something more positive, a photo to remind us of the beginning of Davis Cup, English player Arthur Gore, who played in that historic first Davis Cup in 1900.

  • catherine · November 22, 2018 at 2:31 am

    More coaching news – Halep will be coachless for the start of 2019. Will this start a trend ? What will happen to OCC and all those other plans the WTA has ?

    Simona must have had many offers so this seems a considered choice on her part.

  • catherine · November 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Hartt – of course I agree with everything you say but the deal is irreversible now. I’m just hoping no one cares enough about the Fed Cup (not enough $$$$)to get their sticky fingers on it. They’ve tried a one-site event and it didn’t work.

    I still think the name should have been retired, like the Wightman Cup.

  • catherine · November 22, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Going back to Simona for a moment – I wonder if she has been more affected by the split from Cahill than first appeared ? She doesn’t want to replace him, not for the time being.

    There’s Angie saying it doesn’t matter if your coach is good or bad and Simona(and Kyrgios) doing without one altogether – do coaches have a union ?

    At least Angie’s consistent – flashbacking to her snappy advice to Cornet in their post-match tiff: ‘don’t blame your coach’.

  • Hartt · November 22, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Catherine, the ITF (along with the WTA) can always find a way to wreck tennis, so I am not optimistic about Fed Cup.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 22, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Excellent work Hartt. The building resentment over this destruction of a tennis tradition could snowball. It really is akin to altering Grand Slam majors to one week of best of three sets. It’s blasphemy and there will be consequences.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 22, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Halep and Cahill skiiing together in Austria, they are still friends. Don’t be surprised if Halep needs Cahill and he comes back on a part time basis. Could see that happening.

  • catherine · November 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Skiing ? I assume Simona’s back is ok now. Steffi hurt her ankle badly skiing one year. Perilous pastime πŸ™‚

    I’d like to see Simona out on her own for a while next season.

    Does she have friends of her own age ? I mean, who she can vacation with ? Just to get away from tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I wonder if the back was ever really hurt or just a way to end the season early. To ski on a bad back is not a good idea at all. Like I said many times, 90% of injuries are suspect or calculated.

  • catherine · November 23, 2018 at 3:05 am

    I see Simona has set herself up to win Wimbledon next year.

    Not a terribly good idea to announce that now. And without Cahill ? He’ll be spending more time with his family πŸ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 23, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Cahill will be at Wimbledon with ESPN, also at AO and US Open. He could limit his coaching schedule to major and phone and emails outside of majors.

  • Hartt · November 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Catherine, it looks like the ITF is planning on changing the Fed Cup. In an interview on the Tennis Podcast Haggerty said they are looking to increase the number of teams in the World Group (if that is what it is called in Fed Cup), from 8 to 16, have a qualifying round of home and away, and then a one-week finals with 8 or perhaps 12 teams, likely in April. They want to introduce this in 2020.

  • catherine · November 24, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Words fail me Hartt. This is a really stupid idea.

    Good bye to those legendary finals in Prague πŸ™‚
    May we long remember them.

  • catherine · November 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Sorry to see Naomi Osaka signed up with a Japanese beauty brand and is already looking unrecognisable in the promotion ads under several inches of makeup…

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 24, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Did a nice Biofile with Danielle Collins today at Eddie Herr after her practice with coach Pat Harrison. Will post next week.

  • Hartt · November 25, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Croatia won the last true Davis Cup, and they deserved the title, with excellent play by Cilic and Coric, and a fairly competitive doubles match. The French players, who do love Davis Cup, were devastated, but they had the glory last year.

  • catherine · November 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    More on IG – Svitolina posing with Joshua and just for balance with David Haye as well. She certainly seems to enjoy the company of boxers. Next IG with Fury ? Or maybe Wilder πŸ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Svitolina is on the prowl πŸ™‚

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