Sep/19

4

Andreescu Fends Off Mertens and Draws One Step Closer to Serena Finals

I tip my hat to both of these young women. Elise Mertens did not just fold in the third set, coming back from 15-40, 2-3 to hold serve and almost climbing back from love-40 at 3-4 only to lose the game on an Andreescu forehand winner. The Belgian, who had not lost more than three games in any of the 8 sets she had won during the first four rounds of the US Open without dropping a set, is also in the women’s doubles semis. But she did not play well at the net in this match.

Andreescu, the 19-year-old Canadian, has had a dream draw rolling into the semis versus Belinda Bencic. But Andreescu had to win third sets in her last two matches. Andreescu looked winded against Mertens who ran down a lot of balls. The Romanian-Canadian best attribute is her ability to go for her shots under pressure. She showed uncanny touch during the Mertens match and a nice lob when the Belgian tracked down Andreescu’s deft drop shots.

The Serena-Svitolina semis is the more appealing match to me over Andreescu-Bencic, but both should be tightly contested lifting the women’s game here when most of the top contenders like Halep, Keys, Stephens and Kerber were all knocked out early in the tournament. The dream finals is the finals the Canadian Open had, but only saw four games of, Serena-Andreescu. The big question in that match would be can the cocky teenager once again unglue the greatest women’s champion the game has ever seen once again seemingly in top form.

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128 comments

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 8:47 am

    That was an awful match from Svito – 1hr and 11 mins. Her return game was horrible – gives you no chance v Serena. She hasn’t played this badly for quite a while. Was she overwhelmed by nerves ? If I were Gael I think I’d have had my eyes shut for most of the match. Wasn’t as bad as Wang’s effort but getting there.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Guys,

    This is not a journalistic publication; it’s not the New York Times or Sports Illustrated. There are no fact checkers here. I don’t have the time and I’m not getting paid for what I write so in most cases, besides talking maybe to other journalists or coaches or players, former players, and getting information, these are just my, and I think with Scoop, his too, observations, mind doodles on the tour, the game.

    I’ve never heard or seen a player lose in the first round of Qualis for two years straight and then make the finals of a slam. If PED use is not hypothesized I think its not outrageous to think this way. Biance is a “brute” as she called Serena. I don’t think its unfair to ask if she’s been this husky and big her whole pro tennis career, maybe over the last two years.

    Yes, players are tested, but that still doesn’t mean there aren’t players who are not using PED’s. Is Andreescu? I don’t know, you don’t know, but I don’t think it’s outrageous to say she might be. Why? Because I can’t remember ever a player starting the year in the 200’s and then winning two masters and having a shot at winning a slam now. It’s never happened and I don’t believe its because she has a great coach, because frankly that won’t leapfrog a player to these heights in so short a time.

    I think it’s probably because Andreescu is such a talented and competitive a player that she’s made this historic leap, but I don’t think it’s unfair to think of other reasons as well.

    As for Bianca’s mother and the dog…so be it. I like the whole show. It’s interesting. This is the first slam ever where I’m more interested in the women’s draw, at least the last couple of rounds, than the men’s. I do think the 5-set matches for me are getting too hard to digest in one sitting and this Serena-Bianca finals equals the expectations of the old Serena-Venus finals or Serena-Henin.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Dan, this may not be the New York Times, but it is a public forum, not a cozy private chat between you and Scoop. If you want to make outrageous statements in private that is up to you, but this is not the place. As Catherine said, who knows what could happen because of a quick, careless statement?

    How would you feel if Callum becomes a pro tennis player and someone writes that it seems unlikely he could do so well and perhaps PEDs were involved?

    These are real people you are talking about, with reputations on the line. We don’t get to say outrageous things about them, seemingly for the fun of it.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Takes my breath away. A libel lawyer would be rubbing his hands with glee over Dan’s comments. ‘I don’t think it’s outrageous to say she might be (using PEDs)’. Can’t imagine Dan and Scoop’s mentor Gene Scott being too thrilled at that kind of statement. The allegation has been repeated. It’s a libel. As I said, just because this is an on-line site it doesn’t mean you can’t be sued.’Not a journalistic publication’ won’t fly in court I’m afraid. It’s published.

    Once reason I liked T-P was that it seemed to me a site for lively conversation about the game – not a place for wild speculation over drug use by named individuals. You’ve tarred and feathered Bianca, who isn’t physically that big actually.

    I was once asked by a magazine in London to write a short piece about Bjorn Borg which involved discussion of his relationship with his agents, IMG at the time I think. The magazine’s lawyer called me (as a routine) and together we went through the whole article word by word, line by line. A real eye-opener for me and I’ve never forgotten.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Would not be shocked if Wang and Svitolina took dives for Serena, can’t prove it but the motive i$ there. Because a Wang or Svitlona vs Andreescu is the worst nightmare of ESPN, USTA and WTA. Serena vs Andreescu is winning the lottery and it will be a fascinating intriguing final as good as or better than Serena vs Osaka which was an all timer. Andreescu has always had a body like she has, I saw her at 14-15 at Eddie Herr, I watched her beat Giorgi in Citi Open in DC two or three years ago. She has a Clijsters body. Dan and others if you are going to suspect Andreescu’s new success, how about Dimitrov? He couldn’t beat Kevin King a month ago, he couldn’t beat anyone. Now he’s in the semis. Why aren’t you suspecting Super G?

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

    What’s the problem with a little nuttiness in tennis families? If we expected otherwise…people have written books about this. Tennis seriously is one big psychology case study on people and families. This year’s Kyrgios R Us should make that clear!

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I think the Andreescu parents make for an interesting site how they sit there stoic and almost like mannequins, with momma Andreescu’s sometimes wacky styled shirts and 70’sesque hair do. Also the dad with his hand on his wife’s leg is uncommon. There is a uniqueness about the Anreescu’s that is fresh and welcome. Bibi is the breath of fresh air the sport needs. The sports world is buzzing over her similar to Osaka last year.

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Forgive the stereotype but…that’s kind of Romania from a quick review of other colorful Romanian personalities in the sport. Ion Tiriac…Ilie Nastase…I mean if the question is why does Cirstea seem like a locomotive and then says some wacko things, that’s in keeping with Romanian sensibilities!

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 10:12 am

    That’s right Andrew, you have to be nuts to dedicate your life to hitting a yellow tennis ball with a fancy paddle over and over and over millions of times. And you have to be nuts to dedicate hours to watching people play it. And you have to be nuts to write about it and write books about it 🙂 No, seriously, the sport brings all kinds of different people together, more than religion and it overcomes the divisional powers of religion and politics. Michael Llodra told me emphatically for Facing Federer “Federer is CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY. He has all you guys fooled. He’s CRAZY.” So it starts at the top and the crazy trickles down.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I could care less if any player is on steroids. Steroids do mot make a player play great. They help a player play longer and more tournaments by aiding recovery. The big stars of the sport are needed to play as much as possible to sell the sport as far and wide as possible. Steroids or perforance enhancing drugs may be needed to extend the careers of the biggest money making attractions of tennis. As Marcelo Rios said, “If (star 1 and star 2) test positive you guys in the media will never know about it because they are too important to the economics of the Tour.” Jonas Bjorkman said, “I have heard of cases of the ITF covering up positive tests.”

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I’m glad Scoop mentioned Bianca at the Citi Open in 2017. She had a WC, and not only defeated Giorgi, but Mladenovic as well, making Bianca the first player born in 2000 to beat a top 20 player. This was shortly after Bianca got through qualies at Wimbledon. Her success this year did not come out of nowhere.

    I wish there was less speculation on this site. I was under the impression that Scoop and Dan were journalists, only to discover that they are just producing “mind doodles on the tour, the game.” If that is the case it makes me much less interested in what they write. It is one thing to have a lively discourse, quite another to engage in idle speculation.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I don’t believe any of that Scoop. If Nadal was caught using steroids believe me, there would be no cover-up. Prizewinning opportunities for too many journalists.

    Even Lance Armstrong got caught in the end.

    The other thing about steroids, as you may know, is that constant use leads to premature death. What aids recovery in the short term in the end kills you.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Hartt – glad you’ve said that about Bianca. I remember when I first came on this site your mentioning her name. It sounded unusual. And that was a few years ago.

    I agree about speculation – ultimately it’s boring. You can say anything about anyone – like Wang and Svitolina throwing their matches. I’m sure.

    I know I’ve written a fair bit about Kerber over time but I don’t think I’ve ever said anything about her which wasn’t based on stuff already in the public domain, including on-court performances which are pretty public. I wouldn’t speculate – I’d be too frightened.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Dan and I are journalists but we try to dig deeper with the tools and inside information we have. Believe me, there are a lot of dark corners in pro tennis that are unexplored by the media who do not want to disturb anything. Final word on the matter, I was having lunch with a former top 5 player and major finalist at the US Open years ago and I said to him one of the main reasons I loved tennis more than boxing was because there was, from my point of view, nowhere near the corruption in tennis compared to boxing. This player then gave me a silent look I will never forget, it was an expression of awe and pity, he was stunned I was so naive. From that moment on I kept my ears and eyes open and have learned a lot more and that my view of the sport before that memorable lunch is now complete. And I will also add I love the sport no less knowing that there is a dark side and some corruption does exist, as it does anywhere big money is involved.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Armstrong got caught because he was a super arrogant jerk and there was no one left willing to protect him. The big stars in the major sports are better protected than Armstrong was. “There will be doping for as long as there is commercial sports, performance-related shoe contracts and television contracts.” — “I’ve created 20 different drugs that are still undetectable for the doping testers.” — PEDs expert Angel Heredia

  • Harold · September 6, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Andreescu’s Mother looks like she’s channeling Oracene Williams. Players have idols, maybe tennis parents have them too.

    I’m still shocked “ The Asian Fetish” comment a few weeks ago escaped scorn from the PC police here.😀

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Food for thought quote: “I looked on the ticket site and upper deck tickets were $365 a piece. After Fed lost they they went down to $115. If the final is Medvedev vs Berrettini they will have to give them way.”

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Catherine, I’ve enjoyed what you wrote about Kerber. It made me more interested in her. A study of someone’s ups and downs, successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, is a story of the human condition.

    And I enjoy Scoop’s Biofiles, and his stories about young players such as FAA and Tsitsipas. I remember Scoop writing about meeting Stefanos and his father when no one was aware of the Greek youngster. I started paying attention to him them.

    These, along with Andrew’s analyses of players, etc., are what bring me to this site, not idle speculation that anyone could come up with.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Scoop, I don’t doubt there are dark corners and corruption in tennis. But what is the point of throwing stuff out there if you can’t say anything specific, because you have no proof? I could write all sorts of things, but that would mean absolutely nothing.

  • Jeff · September 6, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I have no problem with the speculation. We all know the ATP is totally corrupt, as Kyrgios says. We know that Federer has been involved in many illegal activities and he is considered the best of all time. Serena has also had her share of controversy.

    As they say, sex sells and so does the intrigue in the tennis world. If it was all goody two shoes we wouldn’t watch either. I am quite suspicious if Svitolina was paid off by the USTA to throw the match since her head was not in the game at all. Nothing would surprise me like that female tennis player who was actually male.

    So, I applaud what Dan and Scoop do on this site is say the things that are not “politically correct” but honest. Like me saying I love the WTA cuties. I admit it so at least I am honest.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Jeff – I didn’t know that Federer ‘has been involved in many illegal activities’. I’m surprised you haven’t contacted the relevant criminal agencies with this exclusive.

    Who was that female tennis player who was actually male ? Do you mean years ago or recently ? I’m agog.

    As far as Svito goes I rather incline to the view that she played a terrible match because she actually isn’t that good when it comes to beating a player like Serena who knows all the tricks in the book against a basically limited opponent. Not that she needed any.

    I’m not aware of being ‘politically correct’. I just like stories to be true so we’ve something to talk about and not will o’ the wisps. And don’t forget prisons are full of psychopaths who are honest as the day is long but unfortunately are just horrible people.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Hartt and Catherine,

    I can understand your anger and dismay, but I think you’re exaggerating my comment wondering if Andreescu has possibly taken something to aid her terrific rise in the game. I have no proof other than her rise is historic and she seems more developed than most 19-year-old’s I know in the physical muscular department.

    It would be libel if I said she was on steroids and I have proof. It is not libel to suggest a curiosity about it. I am not tar and feathering Andreescu as Catherine has suggested. I too have written books and had a publisher’s editor go over them with a fine-tooth comb.

    I’m an Andreescu fan. I think she’s a great player and great for the sport. Tennis has been a sport that has not policed PED use well and from what I hear still doesn’t. So I wouldn’t go by who gets caught as to who might have taken something. But you’re right, it is wrong to sully Andreescu’s great run here at the Open by such a conjecture.

    I wrote many many pieces for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Tennis Magazine and Tennis Week Magazine on tennis. I don’t want to work that hard on this web site in writing my posts. So yes, a lot of what I write is just what I think about the game, not what I research or go out and interview sources for. I think that’s part of the fun of this site. To write openly about the sport and its players. I think in most cases I’m respectful, but here people think I’ve crossed the line. It makes for good debate.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Hartt – I’ll go on discussing Angelique so long as she doesn’t do something unforgiveable like suddenly retire on me. In the meantime I do wish she’d get herself a coach.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Federer has not been involved in any legal activities that I know of, nor has he been convicted of any crimes, or even charged with anything illegal. But yesterday I was actually speaking with some tennis figures about former players who ended up in jail, as two people said they saw Roscoe Tanner at the Open last week. And we started discussing if any other players had spent time in jail like Tanner had for writing bad checks. And we could only think of a few – Bob Hewitt for molesting little girls, and Pierre Duclos who got mixed up with a minor girl and tried to meet her at a Starbucks and got caught by police, he just was released from jail last month and is working in Canada. Some other prominent players had some drug issues with cocaine but none of the spent time in jail.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Dan, even bringing up the idea of PEDs is one of the worst things you can say about a player. You didn’t answer my question about how you would feel if Callum (as a pro player) were the subject of that kind of speculation. I imagine, as his father, you would be outraged.

    You base this idea on nothing but her appearance and her sudden success. But neither her appearance nor success come as a huge surprise to people who have followed her career and actually know something about her. I will do a separate post with some info on Bianca, which I hope will be more informative than mere speculation on possible PEDs use.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Dan you are right, everything should be questioned, everything should be examined. Why is it kept secret about which players use therapeutic use exemptions to use performance enhancing drugs? Remember, the TUE story only was made public after the Russian hackers exposed it. The fact the TUE is kept secret and which players use TUEs and how often is suspect.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Bianca Andreescu

    Born in Mississauga, Ontario June 16, 2000.

    Started playing tennis in Romania at the age of 7

    She showed so much promise that her parents moved back to Canada, so she would have better opportunities to fulfill her talent.

    Accepted into Tennis Canada’s National Training Program at age 11, one of very few youngsters they take each year. She said she started to get serious about a tennis career then.

    January, 2014 won the prestigious Les Petits As tourney. She said that experience, where there were big crowds, and the players were interviewed, etc., gave her a taste of what pro tennis would be like (and got her excited with the idea).

    That same year she won the Orange Bowl under-16 title. The next year, as a 15-year-old, she won the under-18 Orange Bowl title.

    Also as a 15-year-old, she competed in her first pro tourney final.

    In 2015 Tennis Canada engaged Nathalie Tauziat to work with her. I think this is the only time they hired an individual coach to work with a young player. Tauziat said of Bianca: “She can do many things, she has good hands and she’s a very powerful girl . . . . She has big goals and she is doing many things to reach these big goals.” (So unless you think she was using PEDs as a 15-year-old, she has natural power.)

    Bianca reached No.3 in the junior rankings in Feb, 2016. But she was having success at pro tourneys, winning both the singles and doubles titles in Gatineau that summer. At the Rogers Cup Simona Halep advised Bianca to turn pro.

    In 2017 she played a couple junior Slams, making the SFs at the AO and winning the doubles titles at both the AO and RG.

    At Wimbledon that year she qualified for her first senior Slam main draw.

    She won a couple small pro tourneys and got to the QFs of the Citi Open, defeating Mladenovic, the first player born in 2000 to beat a top 20 WTA player. She had just turned 17. Her pro career was truly launched.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Scoop,

    Are you suggesting I’m going to go to jail?

    Hartt,

    Callum using PED use? Where do I sign up. No, the big thing on the junior tour at least at Callum’s age and a little above is kids who’s parents have put them on HGH so they will grow. Some speculation on HGH use for getting taller is that it will accelerate a kid’s growth, but it won’t actually make the kid any taller. We’re a long way down the road for Callum using PED’s and he doesn’t use HGH. It’s supposed to be like $6,000 a month. He’s back playing baseball and tennis now and barely eats. So my big mission is just finding the foods he’ll eat that are nutritious and make him grow naturally. He’s 5-5, 130 lbs now and not hitting many aces.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Yes Dan, you should be in jail for trespassing at the Viking Hotel Gym and sauna in Newport when you were not an official guest. 🙂

    BTW, Svitolina apparently had her flight out of NY to China already made before the semi last night vs Serena.

    Q. You have some points, maybe a little bit of pressure heading into Asia. How will you handle that heading into Asia?
    ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, how I prefer, I have a flight on Saturday to go to Zhengzhou. I’m going to play my match on Tuesday or Wednesday. I have no time for preparation.

    I’m going to recover and see how it goes because been little bit having some issues with my knee, which again I don’t want to go back into what was in the summer, which is tough.

    I will see how it goes, my health. I’m now going to play few tournaments in China. They’re very important, of course. I’m trying to get back in Shenzhen.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    It’s probably that some juniors take PEDs or HGH. I won’t name any names but several very prominent players are sometimes a foot taller than both parents and with tree trunk legs compared to his father, who I have seen at many pro tournaments, who had bird legs. No names but you know these players, they are very prominent.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    In updating my Bianca notes I came across a photo of Bianca with the Orange Bowl trophy. I wish I could post it here because I always got a kick out of that glass bowl filled with oranges. I know it now looks more like a real trophy, which is sort of a shame.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Nice review of Andreescu’s career thanks Hartt. I watched her press conf last night, she is not in the least bit awed by Serena, she said she got a good feel for her shots in Toronto and showed no sign of being intimidated. She said confidently, that she hopes they both play their best level and may thebest player win.

  • catherine · September 6, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    My prediction: Serena will win in SS and she will not announce her retirement. Bianca may actually benefit from losing, overall. She’s had a good tournament and learnt a lot.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks, Scoop. Of course that is just one part of her story, but it does show she exhibited unusual talent and a strong drive at an early age.

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    They’ll be some nerves. But we’ve seen a lot of first time slam champs on the WTA side. That gives a player a lot of confidence. I expect Serena to play better. I think Andreescu has proven she believes she belongs across the net from anyone. She’s put in a lot of brave performances – and there IS a lot of performance to the drama queen. I’ve seen other players seem injured that then pull off victories – it throws the whole match off.

    That’s why players must be crazy in these matches. If your opponent is down and injured by all means go and help them.

    But if they are still walking etc hit the ball past them and drop shot them.

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    If steroids please punish.

  • Harold · September 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Jeff · September 6, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I have no problem with the speculation. We all know the ATP is totally corrupt, as Kyrgios says. We know that Federer has been involved in many illegal activities and he is considered the best of all time

    Can you expand on this statement?

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Medvedev is a machine. Just knew he would win that set, just by his demeanor, looks more comfortable on the court and he has more weapons. He reminds of a rich man’s Todd Martin but he wallops the ball harder than Todd. Also cooler under pressure, not afraid to kill the opponent. Todd maybe was too nice?

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Medvedev now a set from final. Dimitrov could come back, unless his spirit is broken.

  • Jeff · September 6, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Federer is Swiss and has many comrades and contacts in the notoriously corrupt Swiss banking industry. It is why the country has so many players residing in it because of the endemic tax corruption there. Have any of you been to Switzerland? It is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, that is why FIFA – the world soccer organization – is headquartered there: to provide cover for its covert operations.

    I thought this was common knowledge. Think about it – you never hear anything about Switzerland in the news and it is a haven for the rich and wealthy, sports executives worldwide wine and dine there as well as political scum in the annual Davos convention. Of course Federer is well connected in this world being from Basel. You put 2 and 2 together and it equals 4.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Medvedev steamrolls the red hot Dimitrov, making it look easy. Total control, looks like he can do anything he wants out there. Rafa will have his hands full.

  • Jeff · September 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Wow just saw that Stan the Man is dating the former Playbot model Victoria Silvstedt. Wow! He went from the young Vekic to the cougarish Silvstedt. Stunning development.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Is this a tennis site or a scandal rag, with wild accusations about individuals with no specifics, much less proof! Can this nonsense stop now, because it is getting out of hand.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Jeff, I disagree. Switzerland has it’s own tax laws, we must respect it. I have interviewed all the Swiss top players over the years, all were likable, normal people, a reflection of the nation itself. Stan, Fed, Hingis, Schnyder, Rosset, Chiudinelli. FIFA being headquartered there proves nothing about the country.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Medvedev’s is the best mover the game has ever seen for a 6-6 player. Tremendous backhand. Danil becomes the first Russian in the Top 5 since Davydenko in 2010. Are we looking at the next first-time no. 1 player? Amazing US run, 20-2. And his English is very good. Remarkable tournament so far, but I don’t give him a fighting chance against Nadal since the Spaniard only gave up 3 games in their Canada finals.

  • Hartt · September 6, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Medevedev lived in France for many years, so he speaks fluent French as well as his native Russian and excellent English.

    I agree that Rafa will be a huge favourite in the finals, but having played against Rafa in Montreal will help Daniil. He will be more used to Rafa’s game and his shots. Apparently it is extremely difficult to play Rafa for the first time because his game is so completely different from everyone else’s.

  • Jeff · September 6, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Oh yeah Scoop, I agree completely the Swiss are likeable people especially Federer himself. I never said anything to the contrary.

    My point is there is a reason a known corrupt organization like FIFA is headquartered there – because it is cover for its covert activities. That is why the United States stormed that hotel in Zurich to ferret out some of the weasels not too long ago.

    https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/soccer/fifa-soccer-officials-arrested-zurich-world-cup-votes-probed

    People, this isn’t hard to figure out. There is a lot of shady activity in the country 100 percent. This isn’t a revelation.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Very few players beat Rafa the first time, not even Federer could do it vs 17 yr old Rafa in Miami. Kyrgios did it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Medvedev is from wealthy family, moved to Nice at age 7. I got the inside scoop from a Russian.

  • Andrew Miller · September 6, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Medvedev might have the same “tennis algorithm”, shape shifting ways of the big three, who essentially absorb other players’ styles and patterns, reverse engineer them, and pick them apart. This helps the big three to defang any opponent – they study the patterns, determine the opportunities, and execute like there’s no tomorrow.

    Soderling had some of this too, when he took a Nadal beatdown only to then upset Nadal at the French Open. It’s a rare quality and, outside of courage, physical fitness, and quality of game, strategy, is a major competitive advantage for the top guys and the best women.

    Basically: determine pattern, determine opportunities, adjust strategy, change your pattern, upset their pattern.

    I don’t think the players think much about it. It’s like Nadal vs Haase in 2008 I think if I remember correctly – Nadal was down a set to the hard serving Haase. Nadal, noticing his return game failing more than it should, took a step back and then feasted on Haase serves. It was a minor adjustment, but upended the Haase game plan. That can be a shock to players who feel like they have momentum.

    Then again Nadal is a ruthless man as a competitor and Haase shouldn’t have expected his Plan A was going to do the job!

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