Newport Day One Is Here

Newport Hall of Fame Championships presented by Dell has another attractive draw this year with John Isner and Ivo Karlovic as the top two seeds, joined by other ATP standouts Taylor Fritz, Reilly Oeplka, Stefan Kozlov, Rajeev Ram, Sam Groth and Leander Paes in doubles (with Groth). Here is the day one schedule which I will be attending…

Monday, July 17, 2017 Day 2
Dennis Novikov VS Marco Chiudinelli

Denis Kudla VS Mitchell Krueger

Taylor Fritz VS Tobias Kamke

Bjorn Fratangelo VS (8) Illya Marchenko

(2) Sam Groth VS (WC) William Blumberg

Q-F (1) Ramkumar Ramanathan VS Matthew Ebden

Peter Gojowczyk VS (WC) Thai-Son Kwiatkowski

(1) Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Rajeev Ram VS (PR) Victor Estrella Burgos Roberto Maytin

Austin Krajicek VS (6) John-Patrick Smith

(4) Andrew Whittington VS Frank Dancevic


Adrian Menendez-Maceiras VS Stefan Kozlov

1ST RD Wesley Koolhof Artem Sitak VS Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan Hugo Nys

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  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Or maybe wanting to knock Pliskova off No 1 ? She’ll have some competition there I feel.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Andrew, as a Berdych fan, I thought several years ago that he was too content just being in the top 8 consistently and was unwilling to make changes, so we agree on that. Now that he is finally trying something new it is probably too little, too late. But that said, even if he had improved, how likely is he to beat Federer in Roger’s current form? He might make the matches closer, but in the end I think Fed would prevail. He would go to whatever gear he needed to in order to get the win.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

    The men’s field for the Citi Open is very strong. In addition to Milos, who is a past champion, Grigor and Kei also took WCs. Both Zverevs, Delpo, and Thiem are playing, as well as a slew of Americans including Isner, Sock, Johnson, Young and Harrison. So, without the Big 4, this is a great chance for these guys to shine.

    Even the doubles has a strong field, including the Bryans and J. Murray/Soares.

    The women’s field is not as strong, so they must be thrilled that Sloane Stephens took a WC, as well as Simona.

  • Chazz · July 20, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Catherine, that was just one of sites I saw that had the match fixing article. Google Wimbledon match fixing, it’s everywhere – USA Today, Wash Post, NY Post, Yahoo, etc. Tennis Integrity Unit confirmed the three matches will be investigated.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Chazz –
    Yes – I read the story on the Guardian site but it seems ‘investigation’ doesn’t really mean fixing actually took place – just that odd betting patterns triggered alert.
    I’d be rather surprised if there was anything irregular at W’don.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Hartt –

    This is just a guess but I would suspect quite a lot of women players think Angie had a right to No 1 having won 2 GSs and being runner-up in a third but they might consider Pliskova a bit lucky to be there.

    And first among them will be Simona who wants No 1 and is coming up to play on her best surface. So it will be interesting competition prior to USO.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Hartt, Berdych is better than Cilic (sorry Marin!). Cleaner game, bigger serve, better control. To me at least. Yet Cilic has a us open title. I constantly worry about how “content” and satisfied USA and non big five players are. Though Mardy Fish suffered from this dialogue in his head about getting better versus never being good enough, apparently Federer had the same kind of dilemma in his mind in the fifth set against Nadal in Melbourne this year.
    To win slams players must hate losing more than they love winning, and they must find a way to improve their games every year if possible or every few years if possible.

    I get it that Federer and Nadal and Djokovic and Murray to some extent are the equivalent of superheroes all cut from the same cloth of greatness. But putting them on some pedestal discounts the significant things they did to stay on top of and rediscover their talents.

    There was no just going to play my game for these guys. Murray was a pusher of sorts before he amped up his serve and groundstrokes – he still has some of the magic of Santoro but at quite a mph or kmph. Djokovic didn’t have a great volley back in 2007 when I caught a match of his. Federer truly steadied his backhand over the last twelve months. Nadal seems to be pumping his serve in as well.

    GuLbis, Karlovic, others have upped their games. For Gulbis it has paid off, and Karlovic too, given he’s still out there terrifying opponents with his serve AND the rest of his game, much of which he didn’t have – back in 2003!!!

    So- it isn’t just that the big four are absolute freaks. But that Wawrinka also became a freak, and other players that are less talented boosted their games significantly and became much better players.

    Berdych made great moves in the off season to bring in excellent coaches and trainers. He’s better for it. But why didn’t he, or anyone else for that matter outside of Robin Soderling, do this before? What took them so long?

    Winning a slam isn’t everything. But getting the most out of your game, and adding to that game with new shots and combinations, is essential.

    Alex Zverev and Nick Kyrgios and anyone else aspiring to a slam title have to take note.

    None of these champions will let you in the door. You have to break the door down.

  • Chazz · July 20, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Related to NextGen, did anyone see the Federer article a couple days ago and how he said they have to be more aggressive? http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/generation-never-federer-blasts-young-crop-of-tennis-players-who-were-supposed-to-take-over/news-story/d9949625fe2cabd60b8ca53f411e4277

    Of note:
    “I have played almost every player here that wouldn’t serve and volley. It’s frightening to see this at this level. I look at the stats and go into whichever round it is and see that the guy I’m going to face is playing two per cent of serve and volley throughout the championships. I’m going, ‘OK, I know he’s not going to serve and volley’, which is great,” Federer said.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Andrew, as I said, I agree that Berdych should have made changes earlier. But I don’t agree that he is better than Cilic. One major flaw is that he does not play the big points well, and I don’t think any amount of training is going to change that. Other players say his game is quite predictable, and that is something that he could change.

    I actually enjoy watching Karlovic, especially, as you say, now that he has improved aspects of his game other than his serve.

    In saying that the Big 4 are better than the others in no way negates the hard work they put in and how they continue to improve. Of course that is a big part of why they are so great.

    And some of the other players do make changes. A few years ago Milos knew he needed to develop a more aggressive game, in particular a better net game, and he has worked very hard to achieve that. He is not a natural volleyer, but he is better at the net than he is often given credit for. In general, he wins about 66% of his net points.

    And Mischa has said of Sascha that his younger brother wakes up each day wanting to be better than the day before.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Hartt, I miss the 2005 Berydch that won Paris indoors and the 2006 brrydch that silenced Nadal fans in Paris. That guy had an edge. Combine that attitude with this maturity of game and a few tricks and we have a slam winner

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

    That Berydch despised losing!!! Players have to somehow tap into that bratty side of themselves. All great players have it. Not just the looming despair that they might lose a match, but a visceral dislike for that possibility and an inner rebellion.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Chazz, I’ve heard Federer increasingly drop hints about this, as in “guys, you just don’t put in the effort I do, I’m not just on top of the tennis world because I’m awesome. And you’re not just coming up short because I’m around.” I really appreciated this. Federer basically says, you guys aren’t stepping it up. You don’t do what I do and you fail to even realize you need to dedicate yourself more than your happy to vmbe here way of doing things.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

    In other words, the outer brat of McEnroe and Connors is there in today’s champs – it’s different, but there. Nadal hates losing as much as anyone in history. And Federer too.
    Somehow Djoker is great with it in his search for peace and luv.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Unlike most of the players, who say they hate losing more than they love winning, Fed says he enjoys winning more than he hates losing. (Not that he doesn’t mind losing, the guy is human.) But I think that positive attitude helps him cope with the losses.

    The Berdy that you miss was over 10 years ago.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Chazz, those remarks by Federer about the younger players were widely reported. So I had a look at the net play stats for some of his opponents at this year’s Wimby. Of the 4 I looked at, 3 went to the net more often than Fed. But they were not particularly successful. There are not stats for serve and volley, but Mischa Zverev had 32/58 net points, or 55%. We know from his style of play that he would have frequently used s&v. Fed only went to the net 34 times, but he won 25 of those points, or 74%.

    Milos had 27/50 net points, or 54%, way below his usual success rate at the net. In contrast, Fed only had 22 net points (fewer than Milos’ winners) but won 18, or 82%. There aren’t stats for the number of s&v attempts, but I remember the match and Milos did try s&v during it.

    Even Berdy went to the net more often than Fed, having 20/36 points, compared to 23/31 for Roger. But, once again, Fed’s % was much higher, 74% to 57%.

    Only Grigor had fewer net points, 9/12 compared to 15/22 for Fed, but his % was actually higher, 75% to 68%.

    What this shows is that these players did indeed come to the net, for the most part more often than Fed himself. But Roger returns so well and is so adept at passing, that it is tough to do well at the net against him, even with players like Mischa and Milos who normally do incorporate net play into their game.

    This is why Federer is being a bit ingenuous. When he comes to the net he is not facing himself on the other side. He is correct when he says the players aren’t going to have great success from the baseline against guys like Rafa, Novak, Andy and himself. But they aren’t going to find a lot of joy at the net, either.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I love net play and would love nothing more than to see more serve and volley in today’s game. I just think it is extremely tough to so successfully with today’s playing conditions and today’s top players.

  • Chazz · July 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Hartt, not sure if you listened to Johnny Mac’s commentary throughout the Federer-Raonic match but he pointed out dozens of times throughout the match where Federer was put in a defensive position and Raonic should have come to the net to close out points but didn’t and ended up losing the points.

    I think Federer was inaccurate to say in the article that they strictly need to S&V more. What he should have said was that they need to be more aggressive and capitalize when the opponent is in a defensive position. Also be less predictable.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I know Federer hates losing. I know he also loves the sport. But he doesn’t love it when he’s close but no cigar. Arguably he has become MORE like Nadal in the last twelve months, in terms of pushing more during matches. He used to be a great front runner, but if you stayed close you could make him uncomfortable.

    Now he’s tough to beat even when he’s behind. He’s enjoying it, but there’s also a disappointment if he loses, and he wants to stay as far away from that disappointment as possible.

    Federer’s always had the inner brat. It’s part of what makes him so incredible.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m not saying racquet smashers win title. But I’m saying that inner fury is essential. It is the fire of champions. It’s their thirst for competition.
    Tennis players are not nice in battle! Smiling and hitting phenomenal passing shots is NOT NICE. It’s humiliating to opponents.
    Please remember.
    Tennis is a gladiator sport. Winners vanquish their opponents. They may say they are sorry and better luck next time. But who is the talking about how great their trophy is?
    That would be Federer. Yep, talking about the trophy. Having an exact correctly sized replica.
    The inner brat is alive and well. They may be well behaved but oh how he loves the trophy!!!

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Example, 2005 Wimbledon final with roddick. That was not nice. 2007 Aussie final versus Roddick, not nice.

    On court Federer is merciless. He is a huge Siberian tiger.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Andrew –
    Unfortunately, Siberian tigers are facing extinction.

  • Doogie · July 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Anisimova strikes again!!

    vs Neel 6:0 6:1
    vs Min 6:1 6:2

  • scoopmalinowski · July 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Berdych does not use emotional adrenaline. That would take him to the next level. Berdych plays with semi strait jacket restricting his full potential from unleashing. If Berdych yelled ten cmons per match minimum hed have five majors.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Of course Federer is merciless on the court. Any Fedfan knows that. :)

    As far as JMac’s commentary was concerned, I thought he sounded like a broken record. As it was, Milos came to the net 50 times in 3 sets, only 8 times fewer than Mischa, whose game is built around net play. And he was less successful than normal when he did. So the answer was to come in even more? I don’t think so.

  • Chazz · July 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hartt, I would like to see the breakdown of net approaches per set. It seemed like most of those were later on when he was far behind in the match.

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    If Berdych did that he would have majors!

  • Andrew Miller · July 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Federer: Better than (every opponent save one or two guys) at everything pretty much describes his legacy. Again, opponents don’t improve like Federer. They are far less aware of their game strengths and flaws. They don’t scout very well. They don’t have all the advantages Federer gives himself.
    Talking solely about the players that he meets in the mid to late rounds of a tournament.
    Is Federer faster than Monfils? Doubt it.
    Is Wawrinka unable to hit through Federer? Doubt that also, he has a mental block that says “make sure Roger wins”.
    Are Federer’s groundstrokes so much better than Berdych? Id say no, Berdych has the cleanest strokes in the sport. Federer’s right up there.

    But is Federer in the top five or ten in every category?

    Bingo. He is. His movement is probably best on tour and makes him faster than he would be without it.

    His groundstrokes are devastating, and better placed than those hit harder. So his placement is superior and his pace is right there.

    His serve? Very good. Not best.

    I’d say Federer does so much right that it ends up boosting his entire game.

  • Hartt · July 20, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks to Scoop’s comments about him a few months ago, I added Stefanos Tsitsipas to my youngsters to watch list. He is 18, will turn 19 on Aug. 12 and is currently ranked 167. He made it through qualies at both RG and Wimby this year. The ATP site has a feature about how he spent his free day this week, which led me to his twitter account.

    Not only is Stefanos a talented young player, but he is totally charming. On twitter he has axioms and corny jokes, as well as talking about what is happening in his tennis life, such as practicing with Fed. My favourite saying: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice-cream. And that’s kind of the same thing.” A man after my own heart!

    I will be following Stefanos even more closely. At 6’4″ he is another of those tall, lanky youngsters who seem to be popping up all over the place.

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