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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  • Scoop Malinowski · July 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Fritz vs Kamke and Kozlov v AMM should be very good grass court duels. The draw looks younger this year without regulars like Muller Querrey Young Mahut.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Fritz goes down hard again and botches a chance to get some much-needed points. Kozlov also goes down.

    Why would Young not play here since he has done so well in the past? Any time Marchenko is seeded something is wrong.

    Fratangelo has some nice wins this year over Simon, Sousa and Tomic. And has a favorable draw to make some noise.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    DY is playing WTT. Dancevic won a classic vs Whittington 10-8 in third. Terrific battle. Frank laid down on his back next to his chair for a good minute after. Exhausted. He gave it his all and has pts to protect from last yrs good run. Doping guy came to test Frank who joked “do i look like im doping?! Im exhausted!”

    Kozlov couldnt get going vs AMM the vet spaniard who hasnt won many if any tour level matches. But he was holding easy w good serving. Koz earned a break pt and set pt in second after being down love 40 but shoveled a fh an inch long. AMM ended up holding and winning tb despite being mini b up then down. Kozlov just couldnt rip offense because he was always behind and had to play safe. Interestingly pierre hugues herbert watched match. He lost to koz in wimble qualis 6364 so he was trying to analyze / scout kozlov for next meeting. Good crowd for day one. Paes was watching and helping two young Indians playing. Paes is partnering again w Groth. They won DC a few yrs ago together. Kamke had big win vs Fritz while kozlov played. Opelka was practicing on a hard court not grass which was interesting.

  • Dan Markowitz · July 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm


    I’ll be up there tomorrow for the matches. Can’t believe both the Koz and Fritz lost, but Newport has a way of humbling young players. I still remember Gimel bageling Murray and beating him.

    This is one weak-ass draw. I don’t know if Newport can survive too many more years with draws like this: When Izzie, Dr. Ivo, Yo Adrian, Fritz and Pierre H-H are your top players, that’s pretty sad. I’ve seen better, as in much better, Challengers.

    I mean where’s SteveJo, Tiafoe, DY and Harry? Where’s Bagdhatis and Sela? This event is really being hurt by QBall and Gilles pulling out.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 18, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Dy and Harrison are playing WTT. I like the draw. Good variety of players. A lot of players desperate for pts. The pts are real. Lets see who maximizes the opportunities available.

  • Andrew Miller · July 18, 2017 at 9:09 am

    That’s sport! Points at Newport work for any player and are for the taking. That Fritz etc lost again is getting worrying. His preparation seems very bad.

  • Chazz · July 18, 2017 at 9:32 am

    12 hours of training a day will only get you so far. Match play would have been far more valuable, as Fritz is finding out. Who is advising him?

  • Andrew Miller · July 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Chazz, so true. Federer said nothing like matches, rest, practice. Agassi once said he could do without practice but not matches. I’ve seen Fritz practice, but he was hitting around for the most part (he hits awful hard). Also saw Opelka hit, and the court seemed to shake!
    Like you said hitting around isn’t matches. Then again I saw Shapovslov hitting around and goofing off and he had a much better tournament!

  • Andrew Miller · July 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Someone will be better b/c of WTT – just enough pressure to make it real for players and all the positive reinforcement from teams. I don’t think Harrison can press the repeat button, as a lot of things have to gel for that, but he could! I’m glad he’s playing again. Looks like a good lineup for a lot of teams.
    It’s like the pre tournaments before the Australian. They may seem like exhibitions but…there’s more on the line than meets the eye.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Fritz is here with his mom. Havent seen any usta coaches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Groth Paes reunited. Guess who served first? Paes!! ??

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 18, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Sandgren loses in three to Dancevic. Still hunting first arp main tour level match win. Akira Santillan was 0-4 but got his first today vs Mmoh who is 0-7 now. Adrian maceiras menendez is 31 and had only one atp tour level win in bogota 2015 but got his second vs Kozlov yesterday.

  • dan markowitz · July 18, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    What struck me today on the Newport grass courts was how quickly you can go from being solidly ahead in a match to all of a sudden losing it. That’s what happened to Sandgren today. He was out-playing Dancevic or Frank the Tank, but then Tennys started getting emotional, talking negatively to himself and then seemingly berating a fan, and Frank just kept plugging away and came back from a set and a break down to win going away in the third set. Maybe that’s why Tennys has never won an ATP match; he doesn’t have the head for it.

    A top coach who I’m working on an article with, and I met at the Canas Academy in Miami, told me today: “Players have to be willing to suffer. A lot of players are not willing to suffer like Kyrgios and Tomic. They don’t have the maturity to get to the next level. Rafa, Roger, Andy and Novak keep fighting and composed.”

    You can see that out here. Sandgren lost his cool and his focus and he was made quick work of soon after. A surprising result was Matthew Eden disposing of the Newport killer, Rajeev Ram, 1 and 4. The match lasted 65 minutes.

    At Newport, if you get all hung up about bad bounces the way a lot of players do, it’s all she wrote. You think Ram can get over a loss? He’s now 33 and his career ATP record is 57-95 only bested for futility here by 35-year-old Marco Chudinelli who’s career mark is 50-95.

    If you don’t lose well on the ATP Tour you’re not going to have a long career. Look at John Isner, the guy has lost 212 matches in his career, but he’s won 337 and has made more than 11 million bucks.

  • Chazz · July 18, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Dan, that’s a really interesting observation. It is hard to be a fan of players who seem to be head cases. It is possible, though, that Sandgren was just having one of those days. I watched the veteran Kohlschreiber do the same thing against Coric in the Marrakech final a few months ago. It was a total meltdown after having 5 match points. Hard to say whether Sandgren is a head case but something to watch.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Sandgren has been known to lose his temper and vent. But its normal for a lot of players. We saw it with Harrison for yrs. We saw it with Murray. Players have to vent. We know how tense and how much pressure there is. Thats a good pt on Tomic and Kyrgios being unwilling to suffer. They dont dig down deep enough.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 19, 2017 at 7:48 am

    What struck me yesterday was watching matches on grass then seeing players like Kamke and Fratangelo practice on the new hard courts. Its totally different tennis. Different speed and rhythm. Hard court is like shooting rapid fire bullets while grass is more elegance and artistry. I havent seen any players practice on grass yet.

  • jg · July 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

    You think they’re just getting ready for the hard court season? Not taking this tournament too seriously unless they win a few rounds then maybe they will switch to grass.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

    That’s Dancevic’ m.o.! I’ve seen it. I saw him as a junior qualifying for an ATP title. He generally doesn’t count himself out; if he’s behind but it’s close, he is always 50/50 to win. I’ve been surprised by his ever lower profile in Canada and on the tour. As Raonic and Pops emerged, Dancevic has slummed it. At challengers though if you can beat him you’re probably a good bet to make it far in that challenger.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I’m sure Sandgren will keep at it. Much like hardcourts and clay courts are Kudla’s worst surfaces (cough) grass doesn’t suite Sandgren as well as hard courts and clay.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Mmoh is now officially in the cellar of USA next genners

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Cirstea has bombed out in Bucharest. Other Romanians seem to be fine. If ever a player needed a steadier veteran in their corner, it would be Sorana Cirstea. Big game, no consistency. She’s the reverse of Bouchard, moderate game, pretty consistent.

  • dan markowitz · July 19, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I rode my bike past Momh yesterday as he was walking in Newport with an older white woman who I assume is his mom, and the dude is big. I didn’t stop, I just pedaled by, but he looked NFL safety big. He probably doesn’t have too much of a finesse game.

    You know a tournament has a weak draw when Yo Adrian Mannarino is your big name for foreign players and Izzie tops the American list. Izzie and Dr. Ivo give you the giant factor, but I never loved watching either play although of the two, I’d watch Dr. Ivo because he has that wicked snap forehand and slice backhand.

    Talk of Sock today and who’s coaching and not even the ATP Media guy here at Newport knows who’s coaching him. Since Miami, Sock has become the mystery and disappointment man.

    Fritz was playing doubles here and lost and boy is he Hollywood good-looking. I almost had to do a double-take, like “Are they filming a movie here or is that a real pro tennis player?” Fritz is like a cross between Cary Grant and George Clooney. Now his game has to take shape. Kamke, the German he lost to here, has a career mark of 61-101. Ouch!

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Tomic and Kyrgios don’t like tennis. They aren’t comfortable with acknowledging the sport’s bigger than they are. Kyrgios has all the talent in the world, and Tomic more than enough strategy. For now they are both versions of Philipoussis with worse results and less ambition and drive and motivation. I hold out hope for both of them, given they are young in a graying sport and because this is a sport that rewards redemption, and because Australia has too strong a tennis community and legacy. Australia will support them towards more appreciation for the sport, whatever their personal problems. I’d wager one of them gets over himself, if not both, and sooner or later they’ll either face off in a high stakes slam match or team up for an Australian Davis cup title.
    Or they’ll both get leapfrogged by a younger or more enthusiastic Australian who feels the need to be a better ambassador for Australian tennis. Probably a wta player,maybe even the hungry and talented Gavrilova!!!
    If Pennetta could win a us open and Stosur a slam herself, why not Gavrilova?

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Fritz is a cross between Tommy Ho and David Witt. He better get some real matches soon and win then, or at least make a run during wtt, because at this rate his agent must be wondering whether to dump him or sign him up with keds as people ask Taylor who?

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Sock has pulled the magic trick of becoming invisible. Since Houston his performance has tanked. He has put a Sock in his own career, and he hasn’t followed up well at slams on his runs at the us open and during the masters hardcourts this year.
    Now Querrey is the undisputable best USA men’s player despite his ranking. Sock might want to let that settle in that he’s worse than his rankng.

  • Hartt · July 19, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Andrew, I can’t share your optimism about Tomic and Kyrgios. At 24 and 22, they aren’t kids any more, and their characters are pretty well formed. They would need to change their basic outlooks and, while anything is possible, it seems highly unlikely. A more probable scenario is another Aussie, either a male or female player, taking on the mantle for Australian tennis. Someone with less talent, perhaps, than these two, but with the necessary desire, drive and commitment.

  • Chazz · July 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Has anyone watched WTT? The tiebreaker rules/format are really confusing. Both teams were constantly asking the umpire about them. Anyway, Tiafoe played against Fish last night and it was really close, with Fish winning the set 5-4 and “Big Foe” winning the “super tiebreaker” to seal the win for the DC team.

  • JG · July 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

    And I think Fish beat DY the night before, Fish can still play, albeit maybe one set.

  • catherine · July 19, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Australia is used to Bad Boys in sport – there is a strong contrarian/subversive strain in the culture and neither Kyrgios nor Tomic will be damaged beyond repair reputation wise.

  • Doogie · July 19, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    My new favourite female player is again back on court:
    Amanda Anisimova is playing this week!

    Tournament in Sttockton

  • Chazz · July 19, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I want Kyrgios to win most of the time. Not that I like his personality but I like what he can bring – unpredictability and freakish athleticism. If he can get his head on straight and his injuries reduced, he will be great for tennis even if he is a villain. I want to see what happens if he makes a deep run in a Slam. There is so much intrigue.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Catherine, how did Molik, Stosur, Deallaqua etc escape the rat pack in Australia? Is it because they are wta and are therefore lower key, less in limelight?

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Hartt, I’ve seen so many results in the tennis world beyond my comprehension that it wouldn’t surprise me if the two leading Australian men face off in the Australian Open or Wimbledon final in the future, or in some obscure challenger. Both are possible.

  • catherine · July 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Andrew – not sure what you mean, if you mean publicity etc then yes, it would be because they are women.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Stosur, Molik, Dellacqua all have much more significant results than the reigning Australian men. I wonder why, but maybe much as their is a cultural expectation for the Aussie men to rebel, maybe there’s some expectation for the Aussie women to stay the course and make do with what they got. Which allows Stosur etc to meet her potential, and dooms the Australian males that aren’t making the most of their considerable talent, of which they have so much more than so many peers or veterans.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Article recommendation: ESPN piece on Federer by a writer named Kurt Streeter. The piece says how mentally the Australian match with Nadal, the last twenty minutes of that match, supercharged his year and results. Probably as much as all the time off and dedicated practice, the experience of facing down himself (unbelievably). In the fifth set he felt he would lose to Nadal, having been in the situation before. But he also felt he was playing great tennis. And the article talks about he worked between his doubts and his confidence to focus and find his best tennis.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Dancevic is a great competitor, I agree. And I always enjoy watching him since his hot wife attends many of his matches. Wherever he is ranked, I rank her in the top 10 for ATP spouses for sure. Maybe Tomas Berdych is No. 1? You guys can enlighten me.

    Here are the highest ranked non-Big 4 players between ages 24-30: Cilic, Nishikori, Raonic, Grigor, Monfils, Goffin, Busta, Sock, Agut, Querrey, Vinolas, Fognini, Mischa Zverev – all in the top 30. These are theoretically the players who should be competing for Slams – only Cilic has won. It is this age group that has not pushed for Slam titles and allowed the Big Four to dominate.

  • Chazz · July 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Have to admit, Duke, I thought by now Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov would have at least one. Especially Nishikori. For awhile I thought he had what it takes. I don’t feel that way anymore.

  • catherine · July 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Andrew – I’m not sure if there is any specific reason. The Aust women tend to carry on with very little fanfare and one or two men have generally hogged the limelight.

    I think it’s a coincidence that Kyrgios and Tomic have been making headlines at the moment – or maybe the women are just better behaved :)

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Duke, I think there is something to that, that those players allowed the big four to dominate. At the same time, those big four have pushed the sports level so much higher, in part from technology and strings, but also training fitness etc. There’s a reason there’s no 6’6″ giant dominating tennis, as power matters but absolute mastery and skill matter more.
    Maybe the other guys didn’t make the sacrifices. Or haven’t hired big coaches. Or haven’t improved in the same way. Djokovic has proven he’s human, so my guess is the rest of the big four guys are too.
    Which makes the rest of the field, even as they are stronger than ever, seem much weaker in comparison. And somehow they fall short for years and years and years.

    Whatever it is the young guys should determine what they need to find their mark and develop excellence under pressure. I’d ask they all play dubs, which gives the practice under real world situations, and reduces the practice strain, and develop new shots every year.

    And take ballet lessons to move well. Federer and Nadal footwork are best.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Catherine a tip of my hat to the Aussie women. They’ve made a bigger mark on the sport than their counterparts that are still active. No headlines yet superior performance. And more grace.

  • Chazz · July 19, 2017 at 6:41 pm

  • Hartt · July 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    The group just prior to the 30 year-olds and under group could nor compete against the Big 4 either. Those who are 31 or older in the top 30: Tsonga, Berdych, Muller, Isner, Cuevas, F. Lopez, Gasquet and Karlovic. Of that age group only Stan has won Slams.

    Perhaps it is not that the current under 30 guys are not trying hard enough. Perhaps the all-time greats of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic (and to a degree Murray) are just too good.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 19, 2017 at 7:34 pm


    Good point you’d have to say of that group certainly Berdych, Tsonga and maybe Gasquet and Lopez could have been contenders. Throw in a guy like Verdasco from that age range who maybe had the goods. Then you have other older guys who never won like Nalbandian (who is younger than Fed!) and Fernando Gonzalez (older than Fed by a little) who also never won Slams.

    Altogether about 10-12 names of guys who flat out never did it. I mean, for me there was never anything separating Wawrinka from Tsonga until Stan went out and won one, then two and then his third Slam.

  • Andrew Miller · July 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Hartt I’d like to believe the big four are too good. But Wawrinka muscled his way into the slam winner circle, Del Potro, as injured as he always is, did make a legitimate run in 2009 to his title, and Cilic hasn’t had a bad showing with his own us open victory to match his past mentor, Wimbledon slam winner Ivanisevic.

    I just recall Gasquet, Monfils, Berdych, at least those three, as being viable slam champions in waiting. Tsonga surpassed his fellow Frenchmen through his slam performance.

    Maybe it’s that the French winning a slam is even less likely than a USA men’s champ, given Noah was last to do it and there’s more emphasis on pleasing crowds than winning slam championships. They are different! Or, in Berdych’s case, maybe not surrounding himself with past greats to propel him.

    The big four aren’t just on top because they are better – they are on top because they have great advice, great teams, good scheduling, a healthy amount of practice, and believe it or not a willingness to learn new tricks. Djokovic improved his volley and more with Todd Martin and Boris Becker, Federer brought in a slew of elite coaches to advise him and exceptional trainers, so too Nadal, and Murray got back into slam form with Lendl, Mauresmo, and Lendl again.

    Those aren’t the moves of Monfils. Or Gasquet. Or Berdych. We’ve never seen Berdych call up an elite coach until recently. Their games haven’t evolved in the same way the big four have. The big four of the past might lose to their 2016, 2017 versions (if that were even possible).

    Why couldn’t Berdych develop a few more tricks? Probably because he’s Berdych. He doesn’t do tennis that way. He’s gone with what’s brought him here. He hasn’t surpassed the big guys of the past and he hasn’t had an easy time of handling the big guys of the moment. He’s a fine, fine player.

    But maybe they aren’t good enough because, like a lot of players, they just played their game, and the version of their game they play hasn’t changed or evolved much, and here they are heading into the home stretch of their careers.

  • scoopmalinowski · July 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Talked with Fritz mom Kathy May whonis here coaching him. She said hes having problem with confidence at the moment…Dancevic is a pretty chill guy. Minutes before taking court with Novikov he was sitting at media porch table with wife reading something. Then i did an eight minute interview with Todd Martin about Facing Sampras and next thing i see is Dancevic vs Novikov already playing. No warmup or prematch regimen for Frankie D. Novikov won in SS..Paes is playing for first time since 98 when he won singles here. So we have two defending champs, Paes and Ivo…Rajeev Ram has quit singles after 1r loss to Ebden to concentrate on doubles… Fritz is still hear training with Krueger…Isners intensity vs Groth was super amped. He really wants this title. Its been a while for big John who disposed of Groth in SS…

  • Ryan B · July 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    How about Hebert winning a tight one in three sets. Great match, some drama and quality points throughout the entire match.

    I’d love to see him win the title and think he’ll only get better as the tourney goes on, big serve, solid ground game and obviously a great net game.

    Overall very weak draw in Newport this week- I’ve attended this tourney since 1995 and now considering this a challenger opposed to a 250…

    Thankfully the weather has been great, fantastic atmosphere and both Dan and Scoop are in attendance who if they played would have a solid chance of winning a round here!!!

    That said, Newport may not have the best of Players attending but one of the best places to watch solid tennis, enjoy the tennis hall of fame and everything Newport has to offer.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Chazz –
    Match fixing – this only refers to odd betting patterns which could have a number of other causes. Unlikely to happen at Wimbledon.
    I wouldn’t believe anything you read in the Daily Express.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 2:49 am

    I’m old fashioned – I think most of the time a few are the best because they’re better than the rest.

    But who knows ? In a few years men’s tennis may be like pro golf is now – no one player dominating. Big discussion going on about that at the moment.

  • catherine · July 20, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Simona and Raonic have wc into DC – Simona skipped Bucharest this year. She also took a wc into Eastbourne I think – she’s making some last minute decisions. Maybe wanting match practice ?

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