Aug/19

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Has Kyrgios Finally Solved His Self-Puzzle?

Facing Marat Safin

Nick Kyrgios is entering a new stage of his career this week at Citi Open in Washington, DC. He is definitely double downing on his extrovertness and putting on a terrific show for the crowds, even interacting with front row fans, asking where to serve on match point and when it works he runs back and hugs the fan.

This is twilight zone sports, Muhammad Ali type originality and humor. The kids and even adults are loving every minute of it. They can’t believe it, but Nick keeps pulling it off. It’s like he’s finally figured out how to fit his square peg into the round hole of pro tennis.

The oddball enigma upset Tsitsipas 64 36 76 at Citi Open with another sensational display of genius tennis mixed with showtime antics, tweeners, 64 miles an hour service winners, hot dog showboating and crowd engagement.

And this expression of his charisma is a natural benefit for his libido. The more he vents and expresses the better it is for his peace of mind and his tennis. The more he turns the tennis arena into his own personal center stage, it makes him the star of the show, all eyes are on Nick. Nick’s antics can even upstage and overshadow Fed, Rafa and Djokovic. That is the power of his personality and magnetism.

Nick has rare special qualities that Fed, Nole and Rafa lack and, I’m sure, secretly admire. Nobody has more fun on the high stakes pressure cooker ATP tennis circuit than Nick. It’s the Kyrgios Show. The problem for the Aussie has been backing it all up with his best tennis. I think Nick has finally figured out the fine line balance. And it’s all coming together this week in Washington.

I predict a Marat Safin like explosion of all time genius tennis, a major masterpiece of brilliance is about to erupt out of the unique, creative tennis volcano that is Nick Kyrgios.

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169 comments

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 4:39 am

    https://www.ubitennis.net/2019/08/rafael-nadal-coaches-scared-criticise-players/

    Interesting comments by Nadal. I imagine we can all think of players who haven’t been helped by constant changes in their team and/or sycophantic employees.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Catherine, I agree that both Bianca and Dasha looked exhausted at the end. It wasn’t unbearably hot, but it was humid, so that made it tough for the players. Bianca mentioned that the conditions had been better for her night match.

    At 3-3 in the decider, when Bianca was broken, she didn’t give much effort, which is so unlike her that I thought she had to be either injured or exhausted. She did manage to pick things up enough to win, she does have terrific fighting spirit and determination.

    The crowd gave Dasha a nice ovation as she left the court, but she looked pretty subdued. She had to be very disappointed at losing such a close match. (I also noticed that she’d lost weight and thought she looked great.) As a Dasha fan I’m looking forward to seeing her in the near future. She seems to be over that horrendous slump.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Hartt – considering how little Bianca has played over the past few months I imagine she was mentally drained as well – lacking match practice and having two tough 3 setters. I wouldn’t feel bad about her losing now – give her some rest – don’t know if she’s playing Cincinnati. She didn’t mention any injury. Dasha should get a lot of confidence from her matches in Toronto – she really fought.

    (Not sure why I think this – but I’m glad Kerber and Bianca did not meet in Toronto. Maybe just the media)

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 7:31 am

    About Kerber and Bianca not meeting, I have to agree! So Dasha did us a big favour by beating Angie. 🙂

    Bianca faces Bertens next, so that may be the end of her current run. I imagine she is scheduled for Cincy. Bianca did say that she worked a lot on her fitness and improved her nutrition during her time away, so that sounded positive.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 7:38 am

    FAA is a fan favourite wherever he plays, but he is truly loved in Montreal. I wish I could post the photo that went with this. The youngster has the biggest smile.

    “There was a touching moment as Auger-Aliassime made his way through the crowd on his way to the locker room following the match. He stopped to sign autographs and to take selfies. And at one point the assembled fans broke out into a “bonne fete…” (happy birthday…) chorus for him. That was followed by the singing of the familiar Quebec anthem with the words, “mon cher Félix, c’est a ton tour de te laisser parler d’amour (my dear Félix, it’s your turn to be talked to about love.)” (Tennis Canada)

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Some good news about Bianca:

    “Bianca Andreescu assured me in her post-match press conference that the tape around her thigh was precautionary more than anything and that the shoulder rotations between some points were just to keep things loose. She’s tired after two long @rogerscup
    matches but good to go.” (Mike McIntyre tweet)

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Hartt, it’s curious Andreescu comes on court looking like a wounded warrior and then later tears off all the decoration and wins the match. Like I said, it may be a drama queen factor and some of the injuries are overrated, faked or they magically healed during the match 🙂 You always have to wonder when a player tears off heavy taping and proceeds to win a tough match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Jeff, Paul is very close and he’s knocking on the door of playing top ten tennis, he was a little better than Fognini but just couldn’t close out that first set. He’s close. Fognini is a real hot dog out there, got an exciting style to watch, hotdognini.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Catherine, Serena looked okay but Mertens was afraid to win. Still, Serena barely got it done. Osaka vs Serena will be the match to see. One round away.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Nadal opening an interesting can of worms.here. Coaches can be awfully overrated and overpaid. $150,000 for half a year is a lot if the player has poor results, then he should be fired but a drop in the bucket if the player responds to the coaching and his earning millions. Not sure how player/coach payscales work, if it’s the coach negotiating what he can or a base salary with % of prize money or just flat fee as I heard Fed paid Annacone about $5000 a week. Which seems low but is fair because look at the face time value Annacone gets out of it. Being seen as Fed coach opens a lot of doors and opportunities. No coach will ever criticize a top player because the ego of the player would fire him on the spot. Rafa is right. Curious that he’s talking about this now, wonder what his ulterior motive was to say this?

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Scoop – Bianca is not faking her injuries. Why would she do that when it meant she lost a lot of time during the season and has virtually to start all over again ? As Hartt has said above the taping was mainly precautionary and Bianca took it off when she felt it was hindering, not helping.

    It’s insulting to suggest Andreescu is faking or otherwise over playing injuries. We have no evidence of that at all. And it’s about time the ‘drama queen’ stuff was forgotten.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Hartt, it sounded like Felix had more fan support than Raonic. That match was a dreadful situation for Raonic, to be the big villain against the young believed prince and future king. I would not be surprised if Raonic fabricated that back injury to get out of the match. He proved to himself that he won a set and just rolled out of there, let Felix have his time. Raonic is clearly a second banana now to Felix. I don’t think Raonic really wanted to win that match, or even believed that he could. Just a nightmare of a situation for poor Raonic to be in. Could not afford another loss to the prince. Still, I rate Felix well ahead of Raonic now and far closer to winning a major or 1000 title than Raonic is. Raonic is on the verge of journeyman status with Sock, Dimitrov, Berdych, Gasquet.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Thigh tape was precautionary for what exactly? Of course no player would ever admit faking a tape job to use as an excuse for losing. But I think it has to be one of the multiple choice options.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Catherine, no one likes Andreescu more than I do, but I do have my suspicions about her tactics. I have seen her feign pain and then win in three brutal sets. We have heard other top players accuse her of using drama queen trickery. We have seen hall of fame players of the WTA use fake injury timeouts to stop a match and ice the winning opponent. If Andreescu had thigh pain at the outset of the match why didn’t it get worse after all the running she did? And why didn’t it get worse when she took off the tape? It’s no crime to fake injuries or exaggerate pain. Hall of Fame legends have done it. Remember the Wally Masur quote?

  • Vijay · August 8, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Jeff, Scoop, I know you’re both hot on Tommy Paul. Unfortunately, I’m not.

    I like him. He’s a good kid, good attitude, pleasing on the eye for the most part, and someone I’d pay to see. However, I don’t think he can be a consistent top 10 player. I wrote here (on T-P) a month or so ago, how top players would beat Paul: Go to his backhand to reset points. His backhand isn’t a weapon, and it allowed Fognini numerous opportunities to get back into a neutral position, and out of trouble.

    By contrast, look at the backhands of Fognini or FAA or Khachanov or Kyrgios or Nishikori (and I’m sure I’m forgetting others). All can turn defense into offense in a flash. They can blast winners from the backhand side from outside the court. There are no real safe spots in their games, where you can go to in times of trouble.

    Tommy Paul doesn’t have that. (I said before I don’t think he ever will, for technical reasons. But that’s another story.) For that reason alone, I think he won’t be a consistent top 10 or 20. I really hope he gets there, but I won’t hold up my hopes.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I found this particular nugget of gold on You Tube, from former ATP pro Wally Masur.

    The three-time ATP singles title winner (Newport, Hong Kong and Adelaide) made this interesting statement about tennis players using falsehoods to bolster their egos and images.

    “Tennis players, and I guess this goes for a lot of sportsmen…they cocoon themselves with excuses, lies, fabrications to protect their ego…”

  • Vijay · August 8, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Not sure if that was commented on, but Jen Brady looked phenomenal. Complete game, went toe to toe with Halep. Came down from 4-0 in the third set to force a tie-break. What a shame she lost.

    If she can sort out the mental side and avoid some unfortunate unforced errors, she can be a top 10 or 20 player.

  • Harold · August 8, 2019 at 9:20 am

    It’s not just pro tennis players. I used to hit with a woman 20 years ago that had a high Eastern ranking, before she played tournaments. This woman was brilliant, well adjusted, successful. We’d start playing, if I was up, every changeover, was like a medical report, or update, to the point I would ask if she wanted to stop, and not risk further injury. Then all of a sudden, the shoulder doesn’t hurt, the feet, don’t hurt.

    Think she was working with n her gamesmanship more than her strokes. I stopped taking her calls to play..

    People hate losing. Another thing I find, people that come to Tennis as adults rarely played any competitive sport before, and don’t know how to deal with losing

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2019 at 9:39 am

    No, we’re lucky Kyrgios was up for it. If you catch him when he’s interested, which is rare, it’s a sight to behold. There are a few guys like Kyrgios that have played this kind of ball over past few decades, and it’s always you’re lucky to have seen it.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Vijay, I was there for the Simona vs Jennifer Brady match. I’d bought the ticket as soon as I heard that Simona would play on Wed. But I was extremely impressed with Brady. She is a big woman and has a lot of power. She played well and fought hard. In the end Simona’s greater experience got her through.

    There were a lot of Simona fans in the crowd, and there were a number of Romanian flags. Plus, of course, the “SI-MO-NA” chant. But there were a few people yelling out Jennifer’s name. When Brady left the court the fans gave her a huge ovation, recognizing how well she’d played, and Jennifer looked pleased with that.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Scoop – unless you have evidence then I don’t think you should accuse anyone of faking injury – and only one person has publicly called Andreescu a drama queen to my knowledge. That Bianca was running around without any sign of injury suggests that the taping was indeed precautionary – so later she took it off. Her physio would know more about that than us. Bianca’s had a long history of injuries so she is probably more aware of how her body feels moment to moment than most people, and most players. It isn’t a crime to fake or exaggerate injury but it’s a form of cheating and I think it’s unfair to accuse anyone of that without knowing more. Bianca didn’t take any MTOs in either match as far as I know (Hartt didn’t say)and she made no mention of injury in her pc.

    Why don’t you accuse Raonic of faking injury and cheating ? Every time I see his name he’s retiring from some match.

    And I don’t think at her age, and at this time in her career the Masur quote applies to Bianca. She’s a good player who is, one hopes, going to fulfil her promise so we’re probably going to hear a fair bit of sniping about her. Some players attract those comments but it doesn’t mean they’re true.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Scoop, you are very big on the idea of players faking injuries. Milos was devastated at having to retire from the match.

    Tom Tebbutt reported on the Tennis Canada site:

    “Giving a sense of how gutted he felt in Court Central on Wednesday night, he said, “the last 30 minutes of that match, just because of the situation we’re playing in – being a prime time night match here in Montreal – was probably the least enjoyable 30 minutes I’ve spent on a tennis court.”

    Milos has had 4 MRIs on his back and said that he will have further tests. He is very frustrated that this is an ongoing problem and that they haven’t found a solution. He said last night the pain was going down his leg as well as in his back, and that sounds serious.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Vijay – I saw the whole match and commented on it briefly above. But good to see Hartt’s reaction since she was there. Simona really snuck out of that one – as Hartt says it was probably experience that told in the end. Simona had an MTO at a vital stage in the match actually but I doubt she was feigning anything. She probably hasn’t trained a lot since W’don.

  • Jeff · August 8, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Scoop may be right. It definitely looked like Milos faked the injury to avoid humiliation. He mentioned the crowd in his presser. This wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    Interesting how Tsitsipas goes down again to a player much lower ranked and no one bats an eye this week. I wonder why.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Scoop, it’s not surprising that FAA had more fan support in Montreal than Milos. Not only is the youngster an exciting up-and-coming player, but he is playing in his hometown. There is a big rivalry between Montreal and Toronto, and Milos would be seen as a Toronto player.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Oh – and welcome back Andrew Miller ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Brady has had some sporadic very good performances vs big players in recent years, she has potential to suddenly put it together like later bloomers Collins or Bacszinsky.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I think it is ridiculous to suggest that Milos faked that injury. He won the 2nd set, so it isn’t as though he was being totally outplayed. The Rogers Cup is very important to him, and is the last tourney where he’d want to retire in a match. So is he having all those MRIs just for the fun of it? Is he unable to practice for a couple weeks at a time because he is faking injuries? This is a player who puts a lot of stock in practice.

    Milos is a proud guy, and he knows that FAA is a tough opponent these days. But he also knows he is able to beat tougher opponents than Félix. There is no way he was faking that injury.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Harold that is very funny, she knew the tricks to disconcert even a male foe. I think Andreescu is a master at it, a crafty injury and fake injury exploiter. Hey, if her antics provoke even a mild mannered Angie Kerber to blow her stack and call her a drama queen, something is up!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Andrew, I would venture to say Nick is one of the most original champions of tennis history, totally unique and different, like Rios, McEnroe, Serena, Monfils, Isner, Ferrer, Federer, Agassi, Rochus, Santoro, Safin, Kournikova, Bryans, Seles. It’s the what will he do next factor? People love surprises and unpredictable personalities. And people love funny tennis players and champions. It’s rare for a tennis player, a great tennis player, to show humor on court in the heat of battle. Nick does it just about every match. Federer and Nadal never did it once.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Catherine, let’s see how the Andreescu drama plays out 🙂 And enjoy the show for many years to come hopefully. Raonic is a prime suspect, some of his injuries may be legit but some may be manufactured for damage control, as Masur revealed. Don’t forget what McEnroe said about Raonic, he hinted he’s a hypochondriac. What weighs heavily in favor of Andreescu as a star and beloved princess of tennis is how the other generation players adore her, we heard Santoro express he’s a huge fan of her and also I talked with Gigi Fernandez who also expressed she’s a big admirer of Andreescu.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Scoop – you really are the limit: ‘crafty injury and fake injury exploiter’. Good thing no greedy libel lawayers are reading this site. Where’s the evidence ? You can’t just say anything about anyone and chuck around these sorts of allegations. And Bianca’s 19. She’s probably not really capable of all those sophisticated mind games yet – her career’s hardly begun. You’re big on conspiracies but any successful conspiracy takes up a good deal of time and energy and I doubt most tennis players, including Andreescu, would be capable of maintaining that type of behaviour.

    And if you think Angie is ‘mild mannered’ then you haven’t been paying much attention to her. The ‘drama queen’ taunt came from deep within her – out of anger, doubt, disbelief, confusion. I’ve seen her screaming obscenities at her box, whining at her coach, chucking and smashing her racquet, telling off her opponent for something which had nothing to do with her, retiring suddenly with ‘injuries’ – the whole normal tennis playing bit.

    Nothing’s ‘up’ with Bianca. She’s young, she got hurt, she’s maybe scared of getting hurt again. It’s her livelihood.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Kyrgios…all depends. He might pull it together, and is unlikely to do that because he’s Kyrgios.

    There’s a great fear of players of being slam champions. For whatever reason today’s players don’t see that before Federer won his first slam, he was just another talented player like they are, with extraordinary talent and hints of greatness combined with inconsistency. Djokovic was a guy getting pasted by Safin, but showing that he wanted to be there. That’s all we had to go on: talent and aggression.

    Now again not even clear Kyrgios, others want to win slams. They’re just waiting for the slam champs to retire.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Hartt, if the Raonic back is so bad, how did he win the set? My view is Raonic was suffering more from the mental aspects of the match, that the crowd of Canadians had rejected him and were fully backing Felix. That’s a slap in the face of a great champion like Raonic, and borderline disrespectful. That’s what the suffering was based on in my opinion. Raonic could not show any fire or the fans would have rejected him even more. To be rejected in favor of a teenager is a dismal feeling. Milos looked miserable on the court though he played a fantastic second set and stole it. Again, how bad was the back if he was able to win the set? I believe Raonic wanted to prove to himself and Felix that he could still beat him and winning that set was huge in the mental battle if they meet again at US Open or Cincy. But Felix has passed Raonic, he is the better player now. Thanks for sharing Raonic admission that it was the worst moment on court in his career.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Scoop – I wrote the above before I saw your post, but I don’t take it back overall. If, as you say, the older generation like her, that tells us something.

    Yes, all pro players are hypochondriacs. They’re incredibly sensitive about their bodies and sometimes might behave in ways which seemed to us completely OTT.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Catherine, what kind of lame welcome back is that for one of the founding members of this site?! You can do better than that. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Hartt, I think it’s deeper than that. Canadians may have given up on or even rejected Raonic, he came close to being the Canadian tennis hero but no cigar…the cigar stub has burned out in the ash tray. Raonic was treated like yesterday’s newspaper last night, fair or unfairly, the fans are always right. It had to be embarrassing and humiliating. Now Felix is the stick of dynamite ready for a blaze of glory. Don’t be mislead by smoke and mirrors that happened on the court and in the press conference, a torch was passed last night. Felix is the new prince and that king’s crown is waiting to fall on his head.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Raonic never gives up, he would quit the sport first. Raonic’s body is always falling apart. It’s why we aren’t talking about Raonic’s slam count, he’d have one by now. If he says his back is shot,let’s realize it’s Raonic who’s saying this, not Justine Henin and her flimsy stomach ache during the Australian Final in 2006 vs Mauresmo, where it really was Henin prefers not to lose than give Mauresmo a triumph.

  • Andrew Miller · August 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Scoop, is Tsitsipas reading your Federer book? He said he’s reading a Federer book and finds it fascinating. I’d have thought you’d have handed him a copy.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Catherine, thanks for your defense of Bianca.

    Scoop, even when he can’t serve his best, Milos has an effective serve. Plus he had to be aggressive to keep the points short. And I bet some of the frustration he felt over the pain went into his shots.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Catherine, faking injuries and tactical medical timeouts are a part of tennis. Like playing possum is a part of boxing and other sports. Pretend your hurt and invite the boxer to come in and hit you and whammo. Vitali Klitschko told me Lennox Lewis did this to him, pretended to be hurt and lured him in and suddenly hit him hard with a counter punch. Mental trickery, Heck even 12 year olds are faking injuries and creating drama in the national junior tournaments. So using Andreescu’s age of 19 as a defense of naivete is a reach. Read that Wally Masur quote again. Remember how Wozniacki won her first and only major? Called the injury timeout vs Halep in the final at 34 or 44 in the third set and froze Halep and won the rest of the games and title. Fake injuries or exaggerated injuries pay dividends.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Andrew, these layers like Dimitrov and Gasquet and Monfils have no belief to win a major because they have been killed so many times by the big 3. Todd Martin said it best, Sampras and Agassi and Kafelinkov ruined his dreams and put him out of business. That’s what the big 3 monopoly has done, put almost everyone out of business. I just lost again in the state 45 QF on har tru to a guy I’m like 0-12 against in USTA tournaments. I was up 2-0 and lost 62 61. I played very well but somehow managed to blow all the big games and points. Same guy beat me in the red clay states finals 36 64 63 a few years ago. I feel I’m the better player but he wins every time. Not sure how it happens. Not sure how to play him but I feel I have the shots and the weapons to win but I don’t get the job done. He has the mental edge. The big 3 monopoly has the same thing over the rest. But Kyrgios knows he can beat Fed Rafa Novak at their best. He’s done it. He’s the scariest threat to them and they know it.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Scoop, of course Milos doesn’t want FAA to pass him, but he’s known for a long time just how good the youngster is. As I said, the match being in Montreal made a difference. Montrealers will support one of their own big time. If the match had been in Toronto, the fans would have been torn, but Milos would have had lots of support.

    I think Milos is much more concerned about his never-ending injury problems than about Félix’s rise.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Hartt, will be interesting to see the reaction Raonic gets in Toronto next year especially if he plays Felix, I still believe it will be heavily in favor of Felix, he has stolen the hearts and affection of Canada IMO. Felix is the beloved prince, Raonic could even be interpreted or type cast as the villain. Let’s see if Raonic plays Cincy and US Open, my guess is Yes he does.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Scoop – I didn’t mean Andrew any disrespect 🙂
    His name just suddenly popped up and I was surprised to see it – it’s been a while. So welcome back Andrew and I hope to see your comments often.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Catherine, a post from a forum about the Andreescu-Kasatakina match…

    Re: Toronto R2: Andreescu def. Kasatkina 57 62 75
    High quality drama! It was Bianca’s to win or lose and so many momentum shifts. She looked physically done for from the first sit down of the final set. Where did she find it from!

    Such attractive tennis to watch from her

    Bianca’s just said in on court interview that maybe she just likes to give her fans anxiety watching her 🙂

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Kenin just wiped Yastremska 6-2 6-2 so looks as though US has another rising star. Dayana looks like another of the young players from Eastern Europe who flatters to deceive. What’s happened to Vondrousova ?

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Hartt – Bianca also said she was ‘pissed’ that she lost four games in a row in the third set and used that anger to drive her through to the win. After the match was over she was so relieved I suspect that she could joke about giving her fans anxiety. On court she doesn’t show much emotion – except in tv closeups.

  • catherine · August 8, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Sorry Scoop – I was answering you not Hartt. Anger gets the adrenaline going and that’s what carried her through the 3rd set.

  • Hartt · August 8, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Scoop, we will have to agree to disagree on Canadian fans’ attitude towards Félix vs Milos, because this debate could go on forever. As you know, I am a huge FAA fan, and have been since he was a 14-year-old kid. I will root for FAA against any player, including Fed and Milos.

    However, I don’t think Milos would be seen as a villain vs FAA, especially in Toronto. Maybe Milos isn’t the most exciting player, but he has had some excellent results. And very important from a Canadian tennis fan’s viewpoint, he put tennis on the map in Canada. It is largely thanks to him that we now have good tennis coverage on TV. He was a huge influence on the youngsters who are doing so well now, showing them when they were just starting out that a Canadian player could do very well in pro tennis.

    On a lighter note, Khachanov, after yesterday’s match, pleaded with the fans to give him some support today against Félix. Good luck with that, Karen!

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