Tennis Prose



Early US Open Preview


Preview of US open

With all due respect to Montreal, Cincinnati, Winston Salem, the world of tennis prioritizes the four Grand Slam tournaments. Less than a month away now, all sights are set on the fourth and final tourney, the US Open…

Roger Federer

With his recent Wimbledon victory against Marin Cilic, Federer broke the number of wins at Wimbledon. Given this feat it is not surprising that Federer is one of the top contenders to win at the US Open. This year, Federer has not only won at Wimbledon but also at the Australian Open. Many have been shocked by Federer’s success given his age and injuries. If he can win at the US Open, he will capture 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles for a total of 20 over his successful career.

Rafael Nadal

With 15 Grand Slam victories to his name, Nadal is also a top player expected to perform at the US Open. After winning the French Open for a record 10th time and narrowly losing the Australian Open to Federer, many believe Nadal is the only male player who can give Federer a run for his money. Nadal returns to action this week on Montreal after an extended break following Roland Garros, and he has won the US Open twice before, in 2013 and 2010.

Alexander Zverev

The 20-year old Russian just won Washington DC’s Citi Open – his fourth ATP final in a row – and could be ready to emerge as a Grand Slam champion. The rising #NEXTGEN star has already proven he can compete with the likes of Nadal and Federer on even terms.

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian star is ranked #7 in the world and is coming off a solid semifinal result at French Open, where he lost to Nadal, whom he defeated earlier in the year on clay. Thiem will turn 24 during the US Open and could be ready to come of age.

Juan Martin Del Potro

The beloved Argentine still has his rocket serve and forehand at 28 so the 2009 US Open champion is always a dangerous threat to any player in the world. The question is does the big man still have the endurance and health to be able to win seven best of five matches over two weeks?

John Isner and Sam Querrey

The Twin Towers of American tennis are 32 and 29 and have both won hard court titles this summer. Both are growing long in the tooth and are both in position to make deep runs at this US Open. Isner and Querrey, with the help of some luck and advantageous draws, could also conceivably win their first Grand Slam title.

Andy Murray

After his sensational 2016, the Dunblane, Scotland marvel has had a supbar season so far this year bogged down by injuries and confidence issues. But the wily Brit loves the US Open as his favorite tournament and certainly could re-awaken at any time.

Nick Kyrgios

The controversial Australian has the firepower and the resources to win any tournament he enters. Unfortunately, if his mind is not in the proper mood, he can also flame out in the first or second rounds to a journeyman grinder. Will the real Nick Kyrgios please step up?

Kei Nishikori

The former US Open finalist has played some of his best tennis in New York. Though no expert will predict this amazing Japanese star to win the title, it should also be noted that no expert pundit predicted the teenaged junior Nishikori would achieve five straight years in the ATP top ten echelon. The 27 year old has the uncanny talent to overachieve.

The Women…

Venus Williams

After being runner-up at Wimbledon last month, Williams is feverishly preparing for the final Grand Slam Tournament. Before Wimbledon, Williams was involved in a car accident where the driver of the other car passed away. Some wonder if this stress in her personal life perhaps is affecting her on the court. Williams was quick to dispel this rumour. Williams has shown excellent form this year and must be considered a top contender.

Garbine Muguruza

The Wimbledon champion was simply sensational at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and her form could transfer to New York, where she has posted some good results. The question is does Muguruza have the burning desire like her rivals, or has a sense of complacence set in after winning the biggest tournament in the world?

Angelique Kerber

The former WTA World No. 1 was so, so close to winning Wimbledon, falling just short against Muguruza. If she can use that defeat as proper motivation, Kerber could win her third career Grand Slam title next month.

Johanna Konta

The talented, hard-hitting British woman has been knocking on the door to win her first Grand Slam title. The Miami Open champion just needs that little extra push to raise her game just one extra level. She has the experience and the game now to get the job done.

Simona Halep

Arguably the best player in the world this year with her solid all around season, including a deep run at Wimbledon and a French Open final. Like Konta, Halep is ready to make history. If she can keep her nerve and drive the stake through the heart, which she failed to do vs. Ostapenko in Paris despite a set and 3-love lead.

Karolina Plyskova

The Czech woman is the top player in the world and will be looking to affirm her ranking in New York where her power game fits nicely on the American hard court surface.

Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe

Both Americans have the attributes, experience and self-belief that they can win a major. The finalists of the Bank of the West event in Stanford (won by Keys yesterday 76 64) should both reach the second week of the US Open at the very minimum. Both could also meet in the final just as well.

Jelena Ostapenko

The amazing Latvian shocked the world in Paris, winning her first Grand Slam title to nearly everyone’s surprise. But she has suffered the expected, natural letdown since. The 20-year-old will be an interesting player to keep an eye on because she has the mental and physical qualities to win any tournament she enters.

Caroline Wozniacki

Now a WTA veteran, Wozniacki has been around a long time and is still searching for that first major. So close so many times, you have to wonder if the self-belief is still there as each year the new waves of young stars continue to complicate her quest.

Maria Sharapova

Since Sharapova did not compete at Wimbledon she must secure a wild card in order to participate in the US Open. Many fans and tennis players are in an uproar about Sharapova being given a wild card given her admission of doping. She was denied a wild card to the French Open for this reason.
These Grand Slam tournaments will also be the focus of many fans of sports betting. In the meantime until the competition resumes, fans could enjoy playing a tennis themed slot machine such as Centre Court. Time will tell how the above players will fare in the upcoming US Open.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew; Players get pissed at the media when they are unfairly or inaccurately portrayed. Courier and Rios are two examples who felt wronged by the media early in their careers and resented the media for a long time after. I'm sure there are others. Hewitt and Kafelnikov were far from press conference darlings. Capriati also. Players just want respect and to be portrayed fairly and accurately.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Right now my four picks are: Fed and Zverev and Halep/Coco.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Hartt writes:

    Catherine the analysts for Rogers Cup in Toronto said that Centre Court was slower than the outer courts, but they did not suggest it was especially slow. I think the aim is to have similar conditions to the USO. Have not heard anything about Montreal. In terms of getting fans out, Rogers Cup does a good job for the qualies weekend. They promote it as a family event, with tons of activities for young children. And it is free, (except for parking, I think, and that is expensive). If the weather is good they get huge crowds and a good audience for the matches. For the rest of the tourney ticket prices are a huge issue. Today I will get the cheapest ticket available and I am not even trying to go in the evening. I think they should find ways to fill those empty corporate seats. Kids are off school now – perhaps they could offer some seats to kids who are in a tennis club, etc.

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

    catherine writes:

    Scoop – don't forget no occ for Simona at USO, so, for me, no title. Coco's too erratic.

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 10:20 am

    catherine writes:

    And – Simona gives too many interviews- she's the WTA's go-to player for this kind of platitudinous stuff. How much of it does she truly believe ?

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Scoop, you're right. Some players don't do themselves any favors. I have awful Rios anecdotes sadly. And as much as I marveled at the guy in practice, talking to him was pretty sorry experience. Probably my fault, just should have asked him for an autograph and kept it simple. Expecting any more engagement as non media and non team is unrealistic. But I was like Rios, you the man, my favorite player! Nothing, just turned right around and waited for his practice court to open up. Saw him two straight years. Memorable. But not fun.

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

    catherine writes:

    Andrew – you're right – there's no reason for anything but the most superficial engagement between players and fans. Why should there be ? There's no relationship, no place of contact. I've heard lots of stories of disappointment when the object of worship turns out to have no interest at all in the worshipper. An autograph is just an autograph, a selfie is just a selfie. It's part of growing up to understand the reality of this.

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    catherine writes:

    Yet another retirement in Toronto – is it something in the water ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew; The thing is I don't think Rios's behavior turned you away from tennis. I doubt Rios bad manners prompted you to the tournament director's office to complain that your feelings were hurt. And I doubt you watched any less pro tennis on TV. Sure, friendly players make a lot of fans and the support can make a difference later on in a tight match. But rude oddballs like Rios have to be accepted for what they are. I have had a few disappointing encounters with Rios as well and they did not damper my enthusiasm for the sport at all. You gotta be able to roll with the punches. Whiners and complainers who whine about everything in this world or about political incorrectness or unfair treatment are just crybaby whiners who need to toughen up. The world is a tough place.

  • Chazz · August 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Escobedo with a nice SS win today over Basilashvili. He can certainly beat Haase and make it to the 3rd round if he plays well. Tiafoe just bageled Lorenzi in the 2nd set and they're headed to a 3rd.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Escobedo suddenly back from the couple month slump. Tiafoe is in need of a decent winning streak too. He needs this win.

  • jg · August 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    jg writes:

    Tiafoe no Tommy Paul, at least not this week, he does need a decent run, at least win 2 rounds, Winston Salem may be his best hope.

  • Duke Carnoustie · August 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    Scoop, I agree 100 percent that whiners need to toughen up. But then why defend an excuse-making whiner like Medvedev? Anyway onto your other point about Kyrgios relating to fans. I think it's great and like you said, he doesn't need the media to connect to his fans. It would be great to see him win with his attitude since Fed and Nadal – while obviously all-tie greats – have only helped to make the sport look more elitist and just not fun. Tennis needs to be fun to appeal to the masses and Kyrgios is trying to make it fun for himself. It looks like these guys are enduring an ordeal to play these matches too often. I watch baseball and they do balloon animals in the dugout and wear crazy outfits off the field. One player, Chris Archer, had a hilarious "feud" with a mascot. When is tennis fun like this?

  • Chazz · August 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Escobedo, like Paul and some other young players, hits a hard clean ball from the baseline. From watching Tiafoe lately, he doesn't seem to have the urgency that he had earlier in the year. That was a really poor 3rd set. Hope he regains the fire.

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    catherine writes:

    Bouchard out to Vekic – Genie doesn't seem to have benefitted from hitting with Agassi recently. Vekic v Kerber – Angie's first match and she can't afford a slow start or could be a fast exit. Donna has improved quite a bit this year. Stan's influence ?

  • Busted · August 8, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    TPBlogGuest said:

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    Scoop, I agree 100 percent that whiners need to toughen up. But then why defend an excuse-making whiner like Medvedev? Anyway onto your other point about Kyrgios relating to fans. I think it's great and like you said, he doesn't need the media to connect to his fans. It would be great to see him win with his attitude since Fed and Nadal – while obviously all-tie greats – have only helped to make the sport look more elitist and just not fun. Tennis needs to be fun to appeal to the masses and Kyrgios is trying to make it fun for himself. It looks like these guys are enduring an ordeal to play these matches too often. I watch baseball and they do balloon animals in the dugout and wear crazy outfits off the field. One player, Chris Archer, had a hilarious "feud" with a mascot. When is tennis fun like this?Click to expand…

    I'm sorry, I must be missing something – how did Federer and Nadal make tennis "look more elitist" by being polite, courteous, respectful, gracious, PROFESSIONAL and kind off court while trying to rip each other's heads off on the court? Murray and Djokovic, too, for that matter? Being an asshat because you're a petulant, whiny little child DOES NOT equate to being "fun" or "entertaining" regardless of how much potential he has. If Kyrgios's game can't do his talking for him, then he needs to STHU. But, I'm old school. Walk your talk or just plain walk.

    As a fan I'm not spending my hard-earned money to watch spoiled brats whining about how the people who are paying their salaries by buying tickets aren't being "fair" to them or that the media doesn't treat them the same as a 19-20 year veteran who's the all-time greatest tennis player. Sorry, but it's time for Kyrgios and his fellow petulant Aussie Tomic and equally snot-nosed Daniil Medvedev to GTHU, put on their big boy pants and act like adults with a shred of common sense and decency. They're 21-24 MEN not – 11-14 year-old BOYS. If they're not going to grow up and man up – then go work in the real world at a regular job for 6 months and see how they like that. Kyrgios (et. al.) are as privileged and "elitist" as you say Federer and Nadal are – maybe more so. At least Federer and Nadal have EARNED the right to be elitist. What has Kyrgios ever done except be a whinebag and a complainer? And not even a "fun" one at that. At least John McEnroe's brat antics were entertaining up to a point. Nobody can say that about Kyrgios with a straight face.

  • Duke Carnoustie · August 8, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    We may be too old to appreciate Kyrgios since kids love playing him in tennis, Pokemon and video games and he loves the NBA too which relates to the younger generation. Scoop is right that tennis needs to freshen up with new personalities.

  • Duke Carnoustie · August 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    Ask yourself which pro tennis players are actually having fun and see what your answer is. If tennis isn't fun, how can we expect younger kids to play it?

  • catherine · August 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    catherine writes:

    Duke Why does everything have to be 'fun'? Doing anything at a high level of skill isn't always 'fun' – either to practise or watch. Doesn't mean it's not entertaining. Just that to reach the top level and stay there, in tennis or any worthwhile activity, requires hard work and dedication, not always qualities associated with 'fun', and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Scoop, Catherine, it was all good. Rios' mastery of the sport while hitting was more than enough for me. He's a prickly player or was one. I saw it as this is part of the player, you can be a cheerful player and play great, or a prickly player and play great. As a fan the only thing I expect is effort. If a player isn't trying I prefer to switch courts asap. If they are pushing it out there I'm going to root for them.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    I'd argue Federer is rare. He gets that fans exist. He also loves the game inside out.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Nadal too. His love is more for the competition than the sport necessarily. But it is real.

  • Chazz · August 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Chazz writes:

    Jared Donaldson and Cici Bellis are two youngsters playing really good tennis and will keep moving up the rankings if they play like this.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Not much time on summer tennis clock! I'm sure all these guys want to win a few rds at us open.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Was I whining or complaining? Scoop, I don't think I did that at all. Rios may be a private person for all I know, and like Catherine said none of us are all that important to players. I'll say it again, the most I expect from a player is to show effort during a match. One reason I go after Coric. Some players couldn't stand Muster. But did anyone work harder during a match?

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Wta side, more head scratchers. Kudos to Makarova who won the dc tournament and won her early round in Canada. Not so for her opponents. Coco bottoms out to Radwanska. Cirstea falls. Maybe a lot of players writing it off.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    ATP side how about Sock? Last week be did no favors for himself complaining about court speed, and inviting everyone to stick the fork in Sock. Yet here he is with Donaldson winning early in Montreal with Querrey too, no doubt exhausted from the Mexico tournament. Maybe that's what Scoop was getting at. Sock was whining and complaining about last week's court, but it's as if last week never happened and here he is winning his early round. Nice showing from Shapovalov too. Donaldson isn't flashy but the kid has paid attention to the physio, he is handling the rigors of the tour from tournament to tournament.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew, No you didn't whine at all. You took the Rios blow off like a man and carried on and accepted that's just his unique eccentric character. He brushed off my Biofile interview requests similarly back in the late 90s. I didn't lose any respect for him or his game, just accepted it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Think we need to give Medvedev the benefit of the doubt. Maybe just maybe he was getting hooked. I don't think he would fabricate that twice. If he did, shame on him. But it's possible he was getting hooked and he stood up and made his statement. I admire anyone who stands up to corruption and or injustice. Let's keep an eye on Medvedev to see if the pattern continues. We didn't see the two matches in question so we have to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Scoop, Rios, one of few to hit a ball like few others in history. I was lucky to see it!

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Beyond Medvedev, I'm still shocked by the Russians. You had blogged it and I said really? How good are these guys? Pete Bodo at espn tennis then ranked most of them ahead of the best young USA players and behind Zverev Alex and Coric I think. And Rublev already has a title? They came out of nowhere. The fight for the next champions is going to be huge. We will miss the big four, but the talent is there for a very good generation to take over once Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic opt for retirement.

  • Duke Carnoustie · August 8, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Duke Carnoustie writes:

    Scoop both matches were on TV and I saw the entirety of the Young match and went back and watched the final set of Bemelmans. The Young match was about one call and he came back from two sets down in the other one so maybe he got hooked in the first two sets, doubt he was complaining about third or fourth. In the fifth, there was one call in the beginning he was upset about, hardly critical. He had all the momentum and blew it. Regarding Kyrgios, I think sports is supposed to be fun and he is part of a generation of athletes who have fun since he follows NBA. It rankles him that tennis is more button-downed – especially when it really is a confrontational game. I hope he makes it work his way.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    I must be missing something. Federer is the ultimate jokester in practice. Nadal is a foosball wizard. We are going to miss the big four. But any repeat of the big four wouldn't be tennis. We'll need to get used to new personalities. Much as the USA is finally moving beyond the Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang era, or how in Spain, same thing, it moved well beyond Aranxta Sanchez and the "We only love the French Open" parade of players (even if only Nadal won slams and the vast majority on the dirt). Yeah, we'll need these guys to emerge and be themselves. It's already happened on the wta tour. And sooner or later, it will happen on the ATP tour.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 3:07 am

    catherine writes:

    Are there delays in Toronto ? We're Wednesday and no 2 & 3 (SH & AK)have yet to play as far as I can see. Must be frustrating.

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Chazz writes:

    Cstherine, from what I can tell from the schedule, the earliest Toronto matches start at 11am EST. The earliest Montreal matches start at 12:30pm EST.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

    catherine writes:

    Chazz – I'm thinking of the order of play rather than the time – which I get confused about anyway,living in UK timezone. So it's Wed here and in Canada as well and GMT is 13.36. I was looking up the betting site (!) I use for point by point coverage and neither Halep nor Kerber are down to play. Does this mean they won't play until Thurs ? Seems odd, or I've missed something.

  • Chazz · August 9, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Chazz writes:

    Yes, it looks like Halep plays at 7pm EST and Kerber plays on the same court after her, so that would be 12am GMT for Halep and then maybe 2 or 3am GMT for Kerber?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Federer is a jokester in practice, I saw it close up on Ashe about five years ago when he and Fish were training together. I wrote about it for this site and included the piece in my book Facing Federer. He's no Kyrgios in practice but he definitely has a fun loving side.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    The Russians are coming, Khachanov, Rublev and Medvedev are storming up the rankings and Zverev is really Russian. An interesting thing I was told by a Russian journo last week in Washington is that Medvedev has lived in Nice since age seven and his family is very wealthy. Also he's been receiving support from the FTF for three years even though he's Russian. Could we see Medvedev change allegiance to France in the future?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew: Rios update: He loves in Florida now, just moved here a month ago. Was with his family in Las Vegas last week. Rios and his family are doing the American vacation thing for the next year. He's looking to buy a mansion, renting right now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Fed and Fish practice story at US Open

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

    catherine writes:

    Thanks – I won't be following in the early hours however. Don't think Angie enjoys being on court in latish pm so she's probably hoping Simona gets her match over fast. I'll be interested in the odds on Kerber(I don't bet) because, as I think I said above somewhere, Vekic could upset her. Got that feeling. Although I'm not crazy about Donna as a player.

  • catherine · August 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    catherine writes:

    Scoop – 'Zverev is really Russian' ? I think Andrew might argue with you there. And so would I if Zverev was born in Germany, developed there as a tennis player and has German nationality. Though in the end I suppose, you are what you consider yourself to be – Sharapova believes she's still Russian it seems 🙂

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Hartt writes:

    I had a great day at Rogers Cup yesterday. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm but not too hot. Although those metal seats in the main stadium still made you feel like you were in some sort of oven. The first match I saw was Bouchard v Vekic. I must be one of the few tennis fans on the planet who is basically neutral about Bouchard (neither a fan nor a detractor), so it was interesting to be among a huge crowd of Genie fans. It was a big crowd for a Tuesday afternoon, a real testament to her star power. And it also meant I had to pay twice as much for my ticket as I'd planned – all the cheap seats were sold out. I kind of felt sorry for Genie, the crowd was very demanding and although they gave big cheers for her good shots they let their disappointment be known as well. I began to understand the incredible pressure she is under when playing at home. (And the pressure is even worse when Rogers Cup is in her home town of Montreal.) The match itself was OK but not great. Both women struggled with their serves, with Bouchard having even more problems than Vekic – poor first serve %, too many double faults, and Donna feasted off Genie's 2nd serves. Bouchard seemed nervous at the beginning and was broken in her first service game, much to the crowd's dismay. It was mostly baseline rallies, with the occasional drop shot and some excellent DTL winners from both. Overall Vekic was the better player and it was clear early on that she likely would win the match. (As she did.) I thought Genie looked fit – she is a good weight and has noticeable muscles in her upper arms and shoulders. On the other hand, if Karolina Pliskova looked slender, Donna Vekic looked downright scrawny. Later on I saw part of the Aga v CoCo match and Aga in person is so tiny – not short but with a small frame and thin arms and legs. When she and CoCo stood next to each other, waiting to shake the ump's hand, CoCo looked like she would make 2 of Aga. As an Aga fan, I was thrilled when she creamed CoCo, making it look easy. Outside of a couple brave CoCo supporters, this was definitely an Aga crowd. The match I was especially looking forward to was Kasatkina v Svitolina, a battle between 2 young up-and coming WTA players. I am a big Dasha fan (she is on my treats list), and Svitolina is having a great season, now ranked No. 5. The match was at the Grandstand, where you are so close to the players you can see every change of expression as well as their shots. This was very helpful when watching Dasha – when she hits the ball she looks fierce, even angry. But, unfortunately, the match was something of a disappointment. It was a good example of what we complain about here, the lack of variety in women's matches. Both players hit powerful, deep, accurate shots, mostly down the middle. This creates long rallies that end when one of them makes an error. There was an occasional drop shot and the few times that Kasatkina had the opportunity, she hit a good volley or swing volley. But it was boring after a while, and I started to think more about the German beer I was planning on having to celebrate Sascha's Citi Open title than the tennis. I left during the 2nd set and learned later that Svitolina won in SS. I saw parts of a couple other matches. Makarova dispatched Peng easily in front of the couple dozen fans who weren't at the Bouchard match. During her on-court interview Kate had a nice smile and was very gracious. She seemed genuinely excited about the win. Following that match Pavlyuchenkova had no problem with Cornet, who had no answers to Pavs' powerful shots. Pavs leads their h2h 5-0 (now 6-0), and it was easy to see why. So I got to see a lot of tennis yesterday, and that has to be it for this year. The ticket prices are a real obstacle. But it was nice in the Bouchard match to see about 20 young kids sitting near me, who looked like they were from a community centre, enjoying the match. So someone has donated tickets, it's just too bad there is not more of that generosity (and a good way to fill some of those empty seats).

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Hartt writes:

    I agree with Catherine, in terms of tennis nationality you are what you consider yourself to be and Sascha makes it very clear he is German.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Hartt writes:

    I do create paragraphs when I write these reports, skipping 3 spaces, but sometimes they don't come out. I have no idea why, because other times there is no problem.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thanks Hartt, nice report. Pav is an interesting story. The Russian journo said she has made so much money and has apartments in Dubai etc that she really doesn't care if she wins or loses. She doesn't care. Yet she's a very good player. The big money can alter a player's drive and ambitions.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Hartt writes:

    Regarding Fed's light side in practice, earlier I mentioned an example. The last time he played Rogers Cup in Toronto I saw him practice with a hitting partner, Edberg looking on. He was working on volleys and both he and the hitting partner were very close to the net. Suddenly Roger sent up a big lob, sending the hitting guy scurrying to the back of the court while Fed and the others had a good chuckle.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Hartt writes:

    Pavlyuchenkova never interested me, but I was very impressed by what I saw yesterday. She is powerful, but very accurate at the same time. And she did mix things up a bit, with the occasional drop shot, etc. She plays Pliskova today, so that could be an interesting match.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Hartt writes:

    The big tennis news in Canada yesterday was Denis Shapovalov making a comeback to defeat Dutra Silva, saving 4 MPs along the way. Denis always continues to fight, even when he is down. He said that he wasn't going to change his approach (playing aggressively) just because he faced MPs. His next challenge is a tough one – he faces Delpo. Yesterday was Felix Auger-Aliassime's 17th birthday. Although a wrist injury meant he could not play yesterday as originally planned (it was a big deal for him, he has a long way to go to be jaded like Fed), he is healing well. He said he plans to play the USO qualies.

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