Feb/20

3

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

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 6:33 am

    https://www.ubitennis.net/2020/02/not-working-coach-mouratoglou-admits-change-needed-serena-williams/

    If anyone wants to know I can give my advice free: it’s not working because Serena is 38 and her opponents are no longer frightened of her. She’ll make 2 or 3 rounds and then run into someone who doesn’t care who she is.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Mouratoglou resigned as serena’s “coach”?

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 8:30 am

    No idea what Patrick’s doing. Is he still ‘coaching’ Gauff ? Whatever, his situation with Serena seems a little strange.

    Seems to me Serena is reluctant to face reality – that she loses because her opponent is better, not because she herself is to blame. Which has been her tune for a while now. Difficult to admit.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Not sure Serena ever needed a coach since she won her first major. She knows how to play, she has the weapons and the will. Not sure who in the world could feel like they could possibly tell Serena something she does not know.

  • Harold · February 4, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Her footwork which was never top level, has to improve. She’s getting caught off balance in the middle of the court. Relying on muscling the ball. Gonna be hard to improve her footwork at 38. Needs to lose some of that big butt, and thunder thighs. Lock her up in Canyon Ranch Spa for the month of Feb.

    Jon said he saw her before Oz and she was in great shape.. if that’s the case she had 12 meals on the flight to Oz.

    If that doesn’t work, she better start her screaming in the locker room and try the intimation act there, not after she’s down a break, or a set

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Given the discussions at TP on the state of American men’s tennis, and the role their training has in that, I found this by Joel Drucker (Tennis.com) interesting.

    “They work hard. They fight hard. But to compare the skill sets of American men versus their counterparts is sobering. It would be fascinating to closely study how American men build their playing styles–that is, as youngsters, long before they hit the USTA Player Development radar screen. Is American tennis fueled by group lessons on hard courts, wherein the young man who hits forehands the hardest goes to the head of the line? What role do parents–keen for those short-term results in junior tournaments–play in the construction of these narrow playing styles? Do American instructors teach a wide range of shots and strategies? Either way, even an effort such as Tennys Sandgren’s impressive run to the quarterfinals was more outlier than business as usual.”

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Joel Drucker in turn as Tim Mayotte. Perennial issue. Only a few young U.S. men have the fundamentals down – if they had the fundamentals down like Querrey we’d be talking how Canada and the U.S. have players with strong fundamentals such as Sofia Kenin, Madison Keys, so and so, and (U.S. man #1, U.S. man #2, etc).

    Instead it is “Canada now has many players, veterans and rising young stars, with strong fundamentals, whether men or women on tour.”

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Drucker’s right, Sandgren’s run is an outlier and US men have to break it down and learn from it. They could do worse than watch every single Kenin match with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of water or a thermos of coffee.

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Scoop – that’s an idea, Sumyk could be hired to tell Serena something she doesn’t know 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Serena is in as good a shape as she can be in. You can’t turn a Greyhound bus into a WV Bug or turn back the clock. She can’t use her beast mode absolute insane asylum beserk mode card anymore. She used it for the last time on Carlos Ramos. If she uses that again she may end up in a jail cell. I think it’s over for Serena, she can’t win seven matches in two weeks anymore – unless the US Open rigs it for her.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:22 am

    re: 2020 themes, many good ones. Australian ended up another strong tournament, congratulations to…Nick Kyrgios for setting the tone and out-shining his fellow mates world-wide in doing something enormous for Australia as the country burned and players, early, choked on the world’s worst air quality.

    The question of whether or not their lungs hold up the rest of the year now pales in comparison to whether Muguruza’s jewelry line will experience brisk sales following an epic run from unseeded former champ with former coach collecting new checks, or whether sales are lower than anticipated as consumers decide to take a nod from (the curiously muted) Kenin-mania and go for whatever the WTA tells them to wear.

    It is a question for the ages of course (being sarcastic here).

    Anyways, lots of interesting stuff on the tour. I think some good themes are:

    – WTA – will someone else win their first slam anytime soon?

    – WTA – will one of these recent slam winners decide they actually like terrorizing their opponents and squashing hope like a gnat every time they play? (Doubtful)

    – WTA – was Andreescu at home watching matches on her smartphone and saying to herself, “BUT IT’S KENIN!!!” Much as she said out loud regarding Pliskova? I already know what some people on the site think…

    – WTA – Will former champs remember they once won slams? And that goes for all of them, Halep, Serena, Kerber, Ostapenko…all of them

    – How many coaching changes are we looking at in February? Like Muster and Thiem, will some high profile players say, “it wasn’t working out” and coaches say, “I thought this was a two year thing, not a two month thing”?

    – ATP – Will some guys that did well in Australia take that into the U.S. hard-court season, fast approaching? Will others decide clay is the way and try to develop some momentum in South America as Nadal did?

    – ATP – Among the next-genners, are they deflated or are guys like Zverev, Tsitsipas, Medvedev as a next gen graduate, believing they have more than a good shot here?

    – ATP – Other Next Genners – are they for real, can they follow up a tournament where more obscure next genners did better than the established ones with the exception of Zverev?

    – ATP – Will Kyrgios win his first masters, now that he has proven he can play for a cause bigger than himself and thrive? (HA!)

    – ATP – What about Fucsovics?

    – ATP – Thiem – will the real Thiem please stand up?

    – ATP – rest of the slams – Are Nadal, Djokovic, Federer already gearing up for the remainder of the slams? Were they just pretending last year when they said that eventually they would stop winning slams? HAHAHAHAH

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Will 2020 go down as “Andreescu’s gift to opponents”?

    Can Raonic pull a Pat Rafter and make a French Open semifinal? (I enjoyed writing that question, a lot!)

    Are these Moutet and Humbert French guys for real, or will they continue to play second and third and fourth fiddle to all the French veterans? Will Lucas Pouille ever show that he has the right stuff, or is he Baghdatis 2020?

    So…many…questions

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Yastremska – can she win without a bathroom break? An important 2020 question…

    Bajin – when’s his new book coming out? Is he going to give more interviews about Osaka and Serena Williams while coaching other players? (My bet: YES).

    Mladenovic: Who else thinks she will have a banner year after being fired up by the split with Bajin, which has proven to be the best thing that ever happened to her?

    Medvedev: Flash in the pan? Ready for Cherkasov-type results? Will the madman re-emerge?

    Rublev: ???? If his game somehow evolves…

    FelixAA: ???? All depends on Felix winning some titles and some matches…

    De Minaur: The missing man at his home tournament. Not a loss as big as Andreescu, but certainly someone that everyone wants to cheer for.

    Clay: Who’s the next ATP and WTA “clay warrior” beyond Thiem and Halep? Anyone? Bueller? (My bet: C. Garin – he should have a good year in his prime)

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

    Can Nakashima break into the top 50 this year? He just beat Ryan Harrison in Dallas 64 63. Young vs Kozlov today.

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Cocomania in 2019 concealed the truth: Kenin was 49-23 v opponents, won 3 tournaments, bt Svito (not hard) and Barty (harder) and is 75% winner on grass.

    So her AO wasn’t actually out of the blue. Only no one took much notice of her. And as Jon said earlier, the younger girls are apparently still not taking much notice of her.

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 10:43 am

    WTA – Simona is in a slump. She won’t win another tournament playing sloppy. Her strategy need revising and unless she gets rid of Cahill, permanently, that won’t happen. Maybe she’s only around for the Olympics.

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 10:46 am

    No WTA player over 30 will win a Slam.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Interesting Catherine says that. Similar to the analysis of the women’s final on Tennis Podcast. David Law, Catherine Whittaker, Matt (can’t remember Matt’s name) – all tripping over themselves to say, “Did we miss Kenin’s rise?” and then they poured over every result from Acapulco on through the Australian Open (“She was even in Shenzen at the WTA finals!” they exclaimed).

    Meanwhile me thinking: Wait, what about the loss to Muchova? WHAT ABOUT…Oh forget it.

    No, I don’t think this was inevitable whatsoever. Everything requires tons and tons of grains of salt. There are only a few things that are predictable in tennis:

    – The big three, or at least two of them, keep monopolizing the slams and have done so for the better part of the last fifteen years. Only a few players broke through them, and briefly – Andy Murray with his miracle runs, Wawrinka when he decided to be ten times better and stop being Federer’s doormat once in a while, Cilic somehow, and Del Potro with his “Andreescu-like” run in 2009 (that was an Andreescu kind of run, not a Kenin run I’d argue).

    – That it will be hard for Serena Williams to win more slams because it’s always hard and she’s not who she had been, she’s an older player staring at the end of her career, and she will need to be on a fast surface, serving lights out, and firing up a storm off the return. All of that is hard over two weeks for a player that usually has to play her way into the first week, which is now harder for her.

    – That in all likelihood no one can predict anything on the WTA tour given three and I’d argue FIVE years of crazy outcomes on the WTA tour, including the rise and fall and sort of rise of Ostapenko, Pliskova and her being Pliskova, the supernova of Andreescu (hopefully not a supernova…you don’t want to explode and fade too quickly), Gauff-mania, Kenin (who?) (…). The WTA has been the most competitive tour and showing up the ATP for some time when it comes to slam winners and upsets etc.

    I thought the ATP tour was becoming that but just goes to show, best of three sets isn’t best of five and the men’s slams are for super-grinders, and there are two super-grinders hungry for the record books, and they have no intention whatsoever of leaving any crumbs for anyone.

    Until other ATP players realize how greedy the big TWO are, they aren’t going to win their first slams and should begin consulting Tsonga and Gonzalez and Berdych and Soderling and Gonzalez on how to handle life as a former slam finalist.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Young – Kozlov…Young’s pride on line, Kozlov’s future…sort of. Should be a good match and a fun one, and hopefully someone keeps tabs on it. The shot-making alone will be great – two players that know how to move the ball, use guile and deceit in their shot-making, slow it down, speed it up.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 10:59 am

    World No. 394 – Ryan Harrison needs ALL of Scoop’s books…someone send the guy some books. He can’t be happy as his ranking heads for the 400s. He needs another intervention.

    Something must be wrong. You can’t go from beating Raonic in 2010 to losing R1 challengers in 2020. At least he played a competitive doubles match with his brother Christian Harrison.

    They both must be depressed. Someone send them some Facing [Insert Name Here]

  • Harold · February 4, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Was at the Raonic/ Harrison match. Raonic got hurt..finished the last two sets on one leg. Took time off after..It wasn’t the epic win you make it out to be

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Cilic winning the USO showed the kind of luck a mere mortal needs to win a Slam in the Big 3 era. He played very well in that tourney, taking out Fed on his way to the final. But Marin was very fortunate that Kei took out Novak, so Cilic just faced one of the Big 3, not 2. And then poor Kei was so exhausted in the final that he couldn’t put up much of a fight.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thiem said, I think, it’s important to beat the big guys at slams. But I think he wouldn’t mind facing someone else in the finals!!!

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Andrew, I love all your questions, but of course one I want to respond to concerns Milos. He actually plays pretty well on clay. That serve is a weapon on any surface, and the slower court allows him more time to set up for his groundies, and also to run around his BH. Interestingly, his QF finish at RG is better than his USO results, where he finished in the fourth round a few times.

    But if I were to predict a Canadian player doing well at RG I would go with FAA, who truly enjoys clay.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Regarding Bianca and Sofia, they seem quite friendly, with Bianca tweeting good wishes and congrats to Sofia during, and after, the tourney. I suspect that Bianca appreciates Sofia’s fighting spirit, and does nor underestimate her. Last season Kenin defeated Andreescu early in the year, and then Bianca returned the favour at the Rogers Cup. I think a match between the two now would be a lot of fun. It certainly would not be boring!

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Stathovsky was low on Harrison after he escaped Harrison in 2010, too. I think like anyone, whenever Harrison fixes a part of his game with a coach, the fix comes undone. Just like Nadal who improves his serve – it isn’t a permanent improvement, and even Nadal’s habits lock back into place over time (why he celebrates “improving my serve” – because some months it’s “improved”, and then it comes un-done, and then it’s “improved” again – it really does get better, worse, better, worse).

    I think, in some ways, at lower rankings, say #6 on down, the effect of a worsening serve, movement, etc have a pretty big impact on a ranking. It doesn’t take long in a sport where every week is a new tournament to be on a losing streak, and to sail outside the top hundred, from the top 40 etc, in no time flat.

    Once a player gets top 40 or so, their first round matches look a little harder than say their challenger first rounders. What was a semifinal before is now your first round, so when a player, say Tiafoe, can’t make it out of those first rounds after a career high ranking, his ranking will begin to go down pretty fast (or in Harrison’s case, snowball).

    Nadal, big guys, have a lot closer monitor on their strokes, etc. They don’t go on these epic losing streak – their losing streaks are in finals maybe, but not early round matches. They usually correct things pretty quickly (even if they don’t “improve” their shots drastically). They fix whatever’s wrong quickly, and then make other more considerable adjustments when they decide to focus on those things.

    Nadal in the great documentary with Federer on their 2008 Wimbledon final, greatest match ever played (some title like that), at the end talks about the need to get better, learn from mistakes, study opponents – these aren’t throw-away lines for him or for Djokovic etc. When they make improvements they do so in a very serious way.

    I hope other players pick this up. If it works for the top guys, whose reign seems permanent in such a fickle sport like tennis, it would work wonders for players up and down the ladder.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    I like Raonic! His run in Australia was excellent for him and should be a confidence booster – he isn’t Thiem in challenging for big titles, but I don’t think he’s so far off assuming he stays healthy. Even on clay! Tim Henman put up some great results on clay, P. Rafter – players I think Raonic has something in common with.

    I got the dates wrong on Harrison vs Raonic. They were 2011 in Indian Wells (Harold, you caught this match?) and the 2016 US Open. I know Raonic had an issue at the 2016 US Open – he had just penned a (very good) essay on the Player’s Tribune, but it focused (I think) too much on beating the biggest guys (and this was published right before the US Open). Kind of thing I wouldn’t think he would write before a big tournament (more of an off-season thing) but Raonic was generous and maybe his agent felt this was a good idea (again, any time you express in long form you really look forward to playing the big players and hopefully one day beating them, maybe you’re looking ahead a little too much in the draw).

    Even so. 2016, Harrison played lights out that summer. That high carried over for a while (1.5 years, an ATP title, then the idiotic lawsuit?) then after having it all together, the super plunge to the depths of the ocean.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Andrew, I appreciate the way you support Milos when so many people have written him off.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Raonic is a unique player – he’s too hurt these days to show how good he is. Specializes in popping hype balloons – whenver anyone says “so and so is a threat to the top guys” (Zverev, Tsitsipas, etc) and they are in Raonic’s quarter, and Raonic isn’t mentioned, I like to believe I circle that match and say – if Raonic gets this match, he wins.

    As has been said, he’s too injured most of the time. For a big guy, he’s more fragile than one would expect, but big guys these days seem to get hurt a lot – Querrey, Isner, Karlovic, Cilic, Del Potro, Anderson – ALL of them, nearly to a one, have spent so much down time injured. One reason I look at Opelka, who a lot of attention is given in these quarters, and say, given how he’s usually on the injured list, I don’t think he goes too far.

    Set all that aside – Raonic’s one of the best ATP players. His ranking doesn’t always reflect it, but he plays with ferocity and intelligence, knows what big points are, and consistently demonstrates a technically sound all around game. He has since he burst on the scene in 2011, when he might have been a little surprised by his breakthrough.

    Things that used to hold him back, like movement, don’t as much, and he has developed some good ways of coping with what used to be hiccups in his game. He needs some good fortune for his effort, and hopefully to appreciate more of the game as he plays it, because it should help him relax out there. He’s an intense guy but stays bottled up, and he has to let off some steam out there.

    Anyways. Raonic is actually the closest to Sampras that I have seen in terms of his mentality, ferocity, his serving accuracy, some other things. Reminds me the most of Sampras. I wish he had a little more of the unpredictability of an Ivanisevic, and a little more of the flexibility of a Krajicek or Michael Stich in his transition game.

    I have a soft spot for players that has reckoned with the game and never lost their ability or self-belief, but who were dealt a few bad cards – Del Potro, Brian Baker (and for players dealt bad hands, like Muster with his accident, or players losing their parents this year or last year, etc, or Dokic, etc). But especially for players who decided better to have their fate on their racquet and serve it up. I like that Raonic has done this.

    That would mean I should probably appreciate Thiem more. I do appreciate Thiem – I just believe he messed up in letting Djokovic dictate the fourth set, which he had no right to do given Thiem had him. I think if Raonic were in that position, or another player like Feliciano Lopez when he played Davis Cup in 2008 in Argentina against a formidable Argentine team, you wipe the other player out and extinguish all hope for them.

    Players can’t take chances like that with so much on the line. They have to send the message and keep sending the message to a player like Djokovic: “today is not your day.”

    Brutal…but this is a gladiator sport.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    I think Kenin sent this message from the second set of her Gauff match onwards to her opponents: “Today is not your day. You may believe today is your day, but it’s not. That game you just won? Felt a little unsteady, right? Good. Today’s not your day.”

    I think most matches against Andreescu feel more like: “Today is DEFINITELY not your day. Did you hear what I said? GO HOME NOW. Do you want more of this? How much of this can you handle? YOU AREN’T WINNING TODAY.”

    I think her matches are similar to what Serena Williams matches were a while back. Graf’s matches…basically players gave up. Seles matches, a lot of players seemed to give up somewhere around the end of the first set!

  • Harold · February 4, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    2016.. I imagine in 2011 beating Raonic wouldn’t be thought of as much as by 2016

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Andrew, the biggest news regarding Milos is that he got through a Slam without getting injured! Now, if he can just go a few more weeks without injury, say through IW and Miami, things will be looking up.

    I wonder if that hip surgery in 2011 had an affect in the long term. Most of his injuries have been on that side. Anyway, I am optimistic again, and hope that Milos can get back to the top 10.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Players fear Raonic. Not sure how many other players have this status, it’s no fun playing Raonic.

    Did Harrison play badly in the Raonic match? I thought he had played well up until the Raonic injury.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Man, Mouratogou must be upset with Serena Williams. His statement struck me as a little strong (but accurate). A little surprised by the honesty.

    http://www.tennisnow.com/Blogs/NET-POSTS/February-2020-(1)/Mouratoglou-on-Serena-s-Quest-It-s-Not-Working.aspx

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Andrew – that’s the same as the link I posted at the top – the Ubi one had more quotes.

    It’s hard to say from that if he’s her coach or not.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Tom Tebbutt has an interview with Bianca as part of his most recent article on the Tennis Canada site.

    “TT: Where did your friendship with Sonya (Kenin) start and how did it grow?

    BA: It started in Acapulco when we first played each other (February, 2019 and Kenin won 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the semi-finals). I’d played many junior tournaments with her but we never really sat down and spoke like we did all of last year. I think that’s because we are kind of the up-and-comers, we kind of find ourselves…Since then we kind of just starting talking, hanging out and it got a bit more when we did the exhibition at the Aurora Games (in Albany, New York) before the US Open. And now seeing me winning a Grand Slam and her winning a Grand Slam it’s just crazy because I remember us talking about how we wanted to accomplish that as soon as possible and it’s funny how it happened back-to-back.”

  • catherine · February 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Hmmmm – I wonder how long this beautiful friendship will last if both find themselves competing against each other again and again for the same trophies ? Quite rare for players to be close buddies if they are on the same level.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I guess we will see. But I think it’s great they are friends now. It must be lonely on the Tour if you don’t have a friend or two.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Amusing anecdote from Andreescu. Still holding off predictions for the WTA. As far as I know Goerges will hoist a slam soon, Puig will win Wimbledon, and Halep (this one I will get right, I know it) will say something nutty about Cahill, to which Cahill won’t say anything.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Andrew, the WTA is so totally unpredictable that anything you say could be right! 🙂

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Friends on tour, can’t help but say it.

    Robson: We used to be friends. Then she stole my coach.

    Bouchard: Don’t believe in friends. Friends are over-rated.

    Journalists: You lost because you couldn’t find a hitting partner. Didn’t you say something about friends?

    Hitting partners: Journalists aren’t paying attention. We are fellow WTA players and we like hitting with Bouchard.

    Bouchard to Tom T.: I am having dinner here with my friends who used to play juniors here at Wimbledon.

    Gossip columnists: Bouchard and Andreescu aren’t friends.

    Everyone: give it a rest.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Catherine good of you to post it. Sure sounds as if Mouratoglou imparts some sort of coaching, even though generally Serena Williams’ game looks the same as ever, just played as she is now: sometimes looks like she has it, sometimes looking as if best days were long ago.

    I gather they talk a lot. Or he studies her game, because what he said was spot on – just not used to him saying something that straightforward/honest/what have you. He sounds as though he’s at wit’s end. Not normal.

  • Hartt · February 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    To be fair to Genie, what she actually said was that it is hard to be friends with other players, because then you have to play against them in matches, and it is tough to play against a friend. Some players are able to separate the two, and put the friendship aside during a match, but I can see how not everyone is able to do that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Andrew, Harrison lost a lot of matches last year and had some kind of elbow surgery. Maybe he’s still finding his form. Maybe he’s in the same boat as Sock. Not sure if my books can rejuvenate his mind and game as much as Mouraoglou’s coaching can (sarcasm intended).

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Grad victims gave up around the end of the first set? Try this, they gave up in the locker room before the match. Some of the players even admitted their goal was to last on court 45 minutes or an hour. Catherine read Facing Steffi, she can vouch for that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    My take on that US Open Raonic Harrison match was Harrison was coming in with no momentum and Raonic expected a steam roll. But Harrison was sharp that day and fired up and stunned Raonic and simply outplayed him. Raonic, in my opinion, mentally took him lightly, went on court complacent and cocky, already had the win mailed in with stamp.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Mouratoglou sounds ready to jump off Serena’s coattails and onto Cocoa’s coattails. Anybody want to bet? WOuld have been interesting if Coco played Serena at AO, where Mouratoglou would have sat. Doubt he would have made the dumb mistake Bollettieri made by sitting with Andre camp instead of Courier or neutral seat.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Harrison had a lot of momentum going into that match! He had just won the WTT title for the San Diego team (and was named MVP) – he had won 3 matches in DC (coming out of qualifying), then came through qualifying to make Canada Round of 16 (won four matches), barely lost to Millman in Cincinatti qualies, came out of qualies at the US Open to make the Raonic match (won four matches). So Harrison was coming in WAY under the radar – it was one of the best stretches of Harrison’s career.

    Again don’t want to make this Harrison watch. But he was way under the radar while playing very well before the Raonic match, and I don’t think Raonic expected this version of Harrison. I think he expected the struggling Harrison.

    The elbow issue would make sense – he looks wobbly.

  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Dallas Challenger, some results.

    – DY d. Kozlov, 6-2 6-2 (DY!)

    – JJ Wolf d. Escobedo in straights. The Escobedo Express is de-railed.

    – Watanuki d. Schur. Where is the Schnur from Aussie Open qualies?!

    – Mmoh d. Polansky. Nice to see Polansky still out there.

    – Redlicki d. Novikov. Redlicki keeps winning.

    – Quiroz d. Reese

    – Bangoura d. Galan

    France – ATP

    Looks like Felix AA will pull out his match on Dzumhur. Good match, good result if he gets it.

    Ymer the younger d. Sinner. Ymer is getting better!

    Some other results in ATP Cordoba.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    But those wins by Harrison were minor league journeyman stuff compared to what Raonic was doing. Surely Raonic did his homework and said to himself, Okay Harry won a few matches. Straight sets then dinner in Little Italy.

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