Tennis Prose



Kozlov Miracle Volley And Win In Vegas Challenger

Here’s the scene. Today Stefan Kozlov is in the semis of Vegas Challenger, down match point at 30-40, and 63 16 45, he hit a diving Boris Beckeresque forehand volley angled winner. Kozlov laid on the court frozen in pain for almost a minute. It was arguably the best volley of his career.

So at deuce, 45 in the third set, he needed a medical timeout for something, I think it looked like shoulder. So after a couple of minutes play resumes and Kozlov and Johnson split the next four points and then suddenly Kozlov won eight straight points until at 30-love in the 65 game he missed an inside out forehand into the net, then he won the next two points, game set and match Kozlov.

The key point looked like the first point of the 8 point streak at deuce at 45, Kozlov hit another forehand winner and screamed roared and fist pumped CMON!!!! as loud and furious as I’ve ever heard him roar on court. The emotional adrenaline sparked Kozlov’s eight point run. Meanwhile, on Johnson’s side of the net, there was zero animation, intensity or emotional adrenaline.

Yet another of emotional adrenaline being the difference in a close, tight ATP match.

Kozlov, ranked 133, is into the final where he will meet Tennys Sandgren, a straight set winner over Juncheng Shang.

Kozlov now leads the head to head with 119th ranked 32 year old Johnson at 4-2.



  • Scoop Malinowski · October 30, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Sandgren won the final today 75 63, second win vs Kozlov, who won the first five matches. Sandgren has won the last two matches, last time being in 2019 in Tallahassee 6263 which I was at.

    Here is a player comment on Kozlov I obtained this weekend: here is what preston brown atp 1000 something told me about playing sets with Kozlov, which he does a lot in Boca. I asked him what is so difficult about playing him? PB: “backhand ……. And when he is mentally in the zone – he just believes the match is HIS and no player, chair umpire or linesman is going to take it from him.”

  • Cory · October 31, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Checked out those highlights on YT – Kozlov needed that F appearance, needs the points. So talented just needs to pull the mental game together. He showed some serious desire & fire against Johnson.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 31, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I talked with one of his recent coaches, which he does not have right now a permanent travel coach: “I was coaching him out at San Diego open. Nice kid. He needs to be fitter and make more first serves. That double fault on set point against Sandgren today killed him. Top 100 a different level than the challenger tour…he needs to raise his game and make sure he beats everyone he is supposed to!!!” I think Spadea would be a good fit to coach Kozlov.

  • Cory · November 1, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    Scoop it’s worth mentioning that Kozlov was serving 5-4, 40-0 against Sandgren and somehow blew the set. It’s difficult to lose a game up 40-0 – but tougher to do that and then lose the next 2 games as well. What a disaster.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Cory, I didn’t see that final, yes that’s a crush, he was in control. At 31, Sandgren’s career is at stake, he’s very dangerous now being ranked in the 330 range.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Just watched the end of Kozlov vs Krueger rivalry in Charlottesville, Kozlov won 75 16 76 (1), now leads the head to head 5-3. Kozlov very animated, bold, intense, emotional adrenaline, roaring, fist pumps, Krueger was also boisterous but not as much. Mike C called Kozlov “an irritant” but it was not in any way disrespectful. Fun match to watch. Kozlov puts on a show.

  • Cory · November 1, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Good heads up, I’ll check out the highlights. I love the Challenger circuit; i’ll take the Challenger hustle and grind any day over the lazy ATP250, 500s… generalizing but you get what i’m saying.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Cory in some ways I prefer the Challengers too, I love the tournaments at Sarasota Open and Tallahassee is totally different but also fantastic in it’s own way. DC and Newport are also wonderful tournaments. I don’t like the feel of the wta right now, when the best player in the world Barty suddenly quits the wta, you know something is really off.



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