Feb/20

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2020 Off To A Roaring Start

We have another first time Grand Slam major winner, a girl who was losing to Zidansek at Eddie Herr four years ago. Sonic Sofia Kenin outshined the biggest stars in the WTA with her sensational AO win.

Novak Djokovic took another step to all time greatness with his 17th major and one of his hardest-earned, the five set triumph over Dominic Thiem.

Lleyton Hewitt extended his non-retirement with another Grand Slam appearance, another loss with Jordan Thompson to two Korean wildcards.

Benoit Paire is 7-3 this season. All three of his losses have come in final-set tiebreakers. ATP Cup RR: l. to Kevin Anderson 2-6 7-6(1) 7-6(5); Auckland F: l. to Humbert 7-6(2) 3-6 7-6(5); Australian Open R2: l. to Cilic 6-2 6-7(6) 3-6 6-1 7-6(10-3).

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski just won his first ATP Challenger in Newport Beach. The 24 year old is ranked 181.

Tennys Sandgren needed six years to win his first ATP main tour main draw match (Citi Open vs. Go Soeda 76 63 in 2017). Now he’s reached two major quarterfinals and is ranked 56. His career high best ranking was 41 in January 2019.

35 year old Dustin Brown is still out there. He lost in the second round of qualifying to 36 year old Gabriel Garcia Lopez 63 63 in Montpellier. He’s now 2-6 career vs GGL. Brown is currently ranked 230.

Alexsandr Dolgopolov, remember him? He has not played a match since Rome 2018.

The US top ten women’s rankings don’t look like you’d expect: Kenin 7 – career-high; Serena 9; Keys 12; Riske 18; Anisimova 29; Stephens 35; Collins 50; Gauff 51 – career-high; Brady 52; Davis 62.

Top 10 American men as of 2/3: Isner 18; Fritz 36; Opelka 38; Querrey 40; Sandgren 56; Paul 70 – career-high; Johnson 75; Tiafoe 79; Giron 111; Kudla 113 .

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278 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 9, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Nice to see the emotional celebration by Vesely after winning his second title, the first was over five years ago. Doogie must be busy celebrating too.

  • Harold · February 9, 2020 at 9:39 am

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Vesely must be thrilled, and Doogie too. Vesely played a great tournament. Saved match points in two of his matches this week. I’ll look at the highlights!

    In Argentina/Cordiba Schwartzman vs Garin for the title. Both of them have lot on the line.

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Scoop – people don’t always go on and on about their illnesses. They might want to carry on with their lives as best they can and just try to live with their conditions. She’s under no obligation to talk to anyone about it except those close to her and her medical advisors.

    Why on earth would Woz make up something so stupid ? R- arthritis can be controlled with drugs these days, but auto-immune diseases can’t be ‘cured’. So Caroline has probably nothing to say. She played as long as she could, then retired. She and her husband want to have a family probably so no reason to go on playing now.

    Venus Williams doesn’t talk about her condition. Why should Caroline ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 9, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Why make such a big production about announcing it in the first place? Like the old Aussies, say, If a player walks on the court it means they are ready to play. Why did Mardy Fish have to make a big production about announcing his mental illness/depression or whatever it was? Is there an agenda to promote “mental illness/depression” to make more people okay with stepping forward to get treatment and drugs (pharma) which means more profits for the industry? The more people depressed means more profits for big pharma doesn’t it. Okay let’s stop there 🙂 The best cure for depression? Play Wham song Wake Me Up Before You Go Go five times in a row, you will feel much better after 🙂

  • Hartt · February 9, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Wozniacki is working to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis. Her actions speak for themselves.

    “And Wozniacki has big plans to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis after her final match.

    “We’re launching a new health education campaign centered around rheumatoid arthritis,” she says. “I felt that it was important that I use my platform to share my story and show that anything is possible, regardless of RA.” (people.com)

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Hartt – thanks for passing on that info, I couldn’t track it down.

    Scoop – Caroline obviously didn’t feel she could go on playing and giving her best. That’s why she decided to stop playing.

    And if you think listening to a pop song is a cure for depression, real depression, then you clearly haven’t come in contact with it or known anyone who was depressed. People don’t kill themselves because they can’t find the right Wham track.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Have relatives with these conditions, there’s no cure. Affects athletes deeply and profoundly. There’s a reason some exceptional superstars in the tennis world have done zero (in terms of the record books) upon awareness of their diagnosis, and that’s because it’s hard. The drugs used are hard. The symptoms are hard to work with as well from an athlete point of view.

    Everything else I have read in terms of “just deal with it” is incorrect and misguided. Wozniaki is fortunate to have put herself in position for a slam, and there’s no doubt in my mind that she would not be able to handle much more of the sport at this level. Venus Williams we have seen with her disease has not done very well, posting the occasional interesting result but otherwise “predictable decline”. When Pete Bodo wrote about it, I could tell it was from the point of view of someone who didn’t understand it and didn’t take the time to look into it.

    Don’t want to speak too soon but another interesting U.S. women’s player with the disease won’t be able to max her game as much as possible in the near future – I don’t want to put a finer point on that, but you can tell where I am going with this. She has a very limited amount of time to win as big as possible – half a normal career, with more pain than her peers can comprehend unless they have a worse diagnosis such as cancer.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Scoop, disagree completely. Players want to play, and it’s a big deal. These diseases are “treatable” and not cure-able, though remission is possible. If you had it your own tennis game would diminish significantly. You’d be careful with your choices on court, you’d maybe push yourself too far and then injure yourself, and be out for weeks, simply because you can’t recover like your peers.

    Wozniaki has a hall of fame career, and much of this winning took place well before her disease footprint grew. And her disease hurts a lot. Tons of injections all of the time. No surprise she began taking MBA classes within the last year – she knew she was exiting the sport, her disease also requires she leave it, no way she could play her ball.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    USA lucky to beat Sevastova/Ostapenko. The Latvians took “revenge” following their losses, re-grouped. Nice win for Ostapenko, who under Bartoli is playing “no fluke” tennis.

    Is it fair to say Ostapenko may have a decent year? She is feeling the ball well heading into a stretch of hard court and clay season, and seems to have more of an edge than she had – not her champions form but something fairly close. Recovered from the loss to Gauff in Linz to win a title the tournament right after, and has played good ball. She didn’t lose to Bencic by much at the Australian (though Bencic then got flattened/pulverized/whooped whatever you want to call it, wiped out? by Kontaveit).

    Not sure what to say, Fed Cup seems to excel where Davis Cup once dominated, in the head to head encounters. I hope Davis Cup gets back to this kind of arrangement, where teams travel rather than one big Olympic style event played (seemingly) many times over.

  • Harold · February 9, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    In Scoops world, everything’s fake, conspiracy or an agenda..smell the roses! Enjoy life!

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Monfils d. Pospisil. They played great tennis, I caught the highlights. Monfils when he is on is a joy to watch, I believe GEMS life has helped him, he is playing out the end of his career (however long it goes) excited to play and ball for ball. Pospisil is EXCELLENT – I think he played it a little safe from what I could see in the highlights – going for broke wasn’t working, but his SV combinations were very good.

    Pospisil is very under-rated, his technique is strong and he appears to be playing with a lot of confidence. He plays it a little safe for my liking, and sometimes hits on the back foot while a meter plus behind the baseline. Not something I think works well for anyone and especially a power player. Sometimes Pospisil plays as if he’s not the big, powerful player that he is.

    There also may be some of the “Will to Lose” going on here – Monfils is a popular player in front of a home crowd, and Pospisil is there to spoil the party. I don’t think he was good enough today to do it, but it would have been good for him to press it more in the second set and see how long he could keep it going. He should probably watch a lot of players turning back set and match points so that he has that kind of mentality – when things are looking bleak, he should be tough and unsparing – no free points.

    I may be reading into things, seems a little resignation seeped in, as if Pospisil was thinking too much about how well he played in the first set, and wasn’t able to get it going in the second half of the second set, having given up a break. On the technique side he has to move forward, get away from the habit of being off the back foot. Monfils wasn’t doing this so far as I can tell, and I think in a battle of two big guys with big games and nice transition games, you don’t want to surrender that advantage.

    Nonetheless:
    Pospisil shows why he is (as of this second) playing some of the best ball – the court suites him, but he’s doing a lot of a lot right. Some doubt there in the Pospisil game, but he did a good job of giving his opponents nothing most of the week. His serve was cooking up wins, and he was aggressive on return games. If a player does nothing more than this they usually can do very well. Refine a few more things and he could have a very, very nice year.

    Nice enough maybe to be better known for his singles than his outstanding doubles work.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Rheumatoid Arthritis is horrible. I see it all around me. Especially malicious if you are a pro athlete. Don’t take my word for it…you won’t anyways 😉

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    GEMS life might be great for Monfils but it doesn’t seem to be doing the same for Svitolina.

  • Harold · February 9, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Doesn’t everyone play great in highlights?

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Pospisil plays off the back foot in highlights, too…they couldn’t air-brush or edit out the flaws in his game without some fancy tricks. So, no, not everyone plays great in the highlights.

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Coaching: Anisimova splits from Carlos Rodriguez.

    Rumour buzz: Osaka has already sold the house she bought in LA. Fans are blaming rapper boyfriend for her dip in form.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Maybe these inexplicable personal slips matter more to players. Example, Puig’s coach Murray jumping ship for the Sloane Stephens train and Puig having to move from Chicago in no time flat, Osaka taking on the new boyfriend, buying a house far from where she trains, and her form going to zero (Anyone remember “happiness over success”? It was right after the drop kick of her hitting partner, who Mladenovic referred to as her coach, who convinced Yastremska to play her game).

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 9, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Harold, the rarest most valuable commodity on earth is the truth.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 9, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Anisimova dumping a legendary coach like Carlos Rodriguez with his impeccable track record does not reflect so well on Amanda. Reading between the lines, you would guess they had poor chemistry or she did not like the hard work levels he was demanding. Doubt we will get any details other than some sugar coating piffle. Not liking what Anisimova is showing lately, not sure if she has the burning desire and life and death obsession that is required to get to the top. She may prefer to get married and have a baby soon than being a tennis machine.

  • catherine · February 10, 2020 at 9:29 am

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/news/tennis-itf-to-monitor-wtas-on-court-coaching-trial-haggerty/ar-BBZPVrv?ocid=spartandhp

    Trust Patrick to be in favour of more coaching. Greater opportunities to get his face in front of the camera.

    And if the trialled coaching had no impact on results why are we bothering with it ?

  • catherine · February 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Naomi is struggling with ‘personal issues’ T-T reveals. This seems fairly obvious to anyone who saw her play in the Fed Cup – in fact she hasn’t looked happy for a while. Let’s hope she can resolve whatever’s bothering her and get back on track for IW, which is her next scheduled tournament.

  • Andrew Miller · February 10, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Yeah, not a good sign. Carlos Rodriguez guided two super-stars to super-stardom. Maybe Rodriguez has too much of his attention on his China academy.

  • Andrew Miller · February 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Osaka’s “happiness over success” strikes again.

  • Andrew Miller · February 10, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Got a dose of Tennis World before the bad grammar scared me. Here’s a gem of some news from them: “Roger Federer sees the ‘mark of a true champion’ in Moet & Chandon champagne”

    They also posted some IG photos of everyone and their latest exploi, I meant girlfriend or whatever…gosh, Tennis World is so bad!!!

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 10, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Has to be tough for osaka, she was just a quiet kid, next thing she is on top of world, all her wildest dreams came true. Shock abrupt shattering change in life. She has nothing left to prove in tennis. The world is at her feet. She probably misses normal quiet less pressure life. Lonely at the top.

  • catherine · February 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Can’t see that attitude going well with Fisette who doubtless wants another W’don win to put up there with Kerber’s and will require some hard work from Naomi.

    Dump the rapper.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 10, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    To fire a legendary coach like Carlos Rodriguez essentially out of the starting gate of their partnership reaks of a very bad decision. Hate to say it but Anisimova could be going batty, losing her dad, signing the gigantic Nike deal, dating Kyrgios is a combination recipe for disaster. Let’s hope someone is able to talk sense to her.

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