Feb/20

9

Noah Rubin Comes Home To New York and Wins Big Match

The New York Open began today with its qualifying matches and New York home-boy, Noah Rubin, actually came up with a big win, knocking off McKenzie McDonald. To say Rubin needed a win is an understatement. The 23-year-old Long Islander has dropped to no. 268 in the rankings and had not won a match since September when he did knock off no. 77, Andreas Seppi.

Rubin did qualify for Wimbledon last year where he lost in the first round to the young Brit, Jay Clarke, but it was the only slam of 2019 that he did qualify. Along the way, Rubin won two Masters Series qualifying matches, one each in Indian Wells and Miami, but he did not win a single ATP match over the entire year. Rubin will need to knock off another wily Italian, 38-year-old Paolo Lorenzi in the second and last round of Qualis at the New York Open, to have a chance to win his first ATP match since he beat John Isner in Washington D.C. in August of 2018.

Jack Sock makes his long-awaited ATP comeback tomorrow night against the 26-year-old former UCLA Bruin, Marcos Giron. Sock has not played in an ATP match since he lost in the first round of last year’s US Open to Pablo Cuevas. The 27-year-old Sock has no current ranking and it’ll be curious to see if Sock is still carrying the 10-15 extra pounds he seemed to be sporting on his 6-foot-3-inch frame in New York in August.

The match right before the Sock-Giron encounter is another all-American battle with Tennys Sandgren coming off his strong Oz Open showing taking on Steve Johnson. The Californian has dropped in the rankings to no. 75 while the Tennessean is now no. 56. The New York Open finally has some pizzazz with defending champ Riley Opelka returning along with Milos Raonic, Yoshi Nishioka and Kevin Anderson and Isner. Not great, truth be told, but an improvement over past years.

In other tennis news, Callum Markowitz, my 13-year-old son, won the National L2 1’s doubles title with his partner, Mikkel Zinder of Pennsylvania, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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142 comments

  • Jon King · February 12, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Kyrgios will end up marrying a super model looking lady in the long run. Anisimova is not that. Nick likely enjoys the speculation and intrigue of the tennis community about their relationship and Anisimova may be crushing on him. But Nick has marry a Brazilian super model written all over him.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 10:17 am

    WTA/St. Pete.: Cornet d(emolishes) Ostapenko, 6-1 6-2; Dodin d. Konta, with Konta now “defeated” for 2020, 0-3 record – three losses in a row and only losses this year. The young Potapova has had a “nice” week, the eighteen year old knocking out Tomljanovic today

    Out in Thailand, Q. Wang, Zheng, Svitolina all win in straight sets.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Andrew – Konta has a chronic injury of some kind – knee or back or somewhere. She didn’t play Fed Cup for GB. I can see her gradually detaching herself from the tennis grind and marrying her banker boyfriend before long.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Konta may be “done”. No Pennetta exit/celebration/praise of Fog-man on horizon. Her sports psychologist dies, her game goes into hibernation, recovers at the US Open, and then goes off into nether-nether land. So much for women’s tennis in the UK.

    One thing is for sure: the LTA does not seem to have invested in the future of British/United Kingdom tennis, men’s or women’s. Dan Evans has milked every ounce of talent from his game to put together a decent career, and sometimes Kyle Edmund surprises me – he has the hunger of a young Courier until he doesn’t and it’s gone. British/UK women seem to despise the sport. The LTA gets bashed all the time for seeming indifference to its players.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 11:20 am

    UK was fortunate the Murray brothers existed, because they will have those two on Wimbledon re-runs for decades to come. From here on out, barring any reasonable investment in the sport or Jamie Murray’s ability enough doubles slams to keep the sport on its perch in the UK, it’s nostalgia time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Tim Henman sparked the UK tennis revival. He was so close to winning Wimbledon. Good enough to win a Wimbledon cake except a guy named Sampras wouldn’t give anyone a crumb.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 11:55 am

    As I mentioned above, there’s a possibility that tennis might benfit from the shambolic state of British athletics at present – track and field has tended to attract kids who are sports minded because of Olympics and gold medals. Don’t know if this will happen but it would be good to see more black British girls getting into tennis (boys go for football). Money of course is a barrier, and the policy of the LTA requiring promising juniors to belong to a tennis club.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Andrew – I don’t think girls despise tennis, it’s just not on their radar, so few schools have decent tennis facilities (except elite ones) and no British women have made much of an impact over the years. Heather Watson is popular but she’s not winning much now. Virginia Wade won W’don but she had little impact on the game and was definitely not popular.

    The LTA culture seems impervious to change, as Michael Downey discovered, and there’s never been an effective head of the women’s game. Fed Cup was totally disorganized from a tale I’ve heard.

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    It is sad that the LTA is so dysfunctional. The juniors must belong to a private club? That would have eliminated a player like Leylah Annie Fernandez, who trains on public courts. She is not part of the official Tennis Canada program because she trains in Florida, but the Federation has given assistance with travel $ and some coaching, etc. Plus, she now gets the benefits of being on the Fed Cup team.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Ah Dodin, that’s who I saw play. To me, and pardon the brief detour into shallowness, a good looking player.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Maybe Leon Smith will do something. He’s gotten the max out of his Davis Cup teams even when Murray is injured. I was hoping Judy Murray’s work would lead to something, but I guess much as here in the U.S. star coaches raise their profile with little to show outside their kids.

    Did anyone read or will anyone read Judy Murray’s book, Knowing the Score? Here’s a book review. Apparently Andy Murray is indebted/aka grateful to a tennis fan named Maggie Auld that paid for his tuition for the Barcelona academy where he honed his game. From the Scotsman:

    “Maggie Auld was simply a tennis devotee but for the future world No 1 she was a guardian angel, though she passed away a day after meeting Andy for the first time.”

    Perhaps more players in need of a boost, as Andy Murray had been, will have that kind of good luck when the chips are down.

    https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/book-review-knowing-the-score-by-judy-murray-1-4532630

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Well, then UK tennis coaches should revolt against the LTA rather than go with their system of sinecures. There’s no reason to build within a system that doesn’t care. Or some LTA regions should be breakaway and run tennis their way. The players outside Evans have no hunger.

    Obviously Leon Smith must be one heck of a motivator. He has an analytics guy. Still not convinced. Smith clearly uses his strong relationship with Murray to paper over the fact that he’s often making a lot of lemonade with the lemons he has from pro tennis in the UK.

    The UK has some players, just not much. Must be awful lonely to be Kyle Edmund. Few watch your matches, you’re working hard, you’re no Andy Murray but who knows what you could be but no one cares anyways except for at Wimbledon for about five minutes. And the Tennis Podcast, which rues every missed opportunity for the British men, and as much enthusiasm as they have it can never overcome the results of this limited program and perspective. YIKES.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    For what it’s worth I like Konta and have come to appreciate her game. When she is up for it she plays hard and plays to win, but she is often in setback city these days. Her whole career has been a revolt against British tennis – she’s just not like the other lesser players – how she hits and trains, her mentality, etc. Generally in the U.S. I can trace games and influences, but with Konta in the UK her way of playing is nothing like that of her UK peers (if you can call them that).

    Catherine please help me. Are there any British wta players on the rise from the junior ranks or lower pro ranks? And I mean beyond Heather Watson. Watson was supposed to be the next […]. Even Watson is an anomaly in British tennis. I guess we should hope for more Watsons then!

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Judy Murray is strongly attached to Scottish tennis and has repeatedly said she would not be interested in any role with the LTA, and I don’t blame her. And of course if Scotland ever leaves the Union English tennis would look pretty isolated. Don’t know about Wales.

    Hartt – I’ll try to find out more about the club business – I certainly wasn’t aware of it when I was around,and it seems to me strange to say the least. A friend of mine is involved with a free tennis program run on Saturdays and they have a promising young player so I’ll see what kind of pathway is open to him. His family certainly could not afford a private club.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Andrew – Konta is a bit of a hybrid, being Hungarian and then learning tennis in Australia, so it’s not surprising she doesn’t fit easily into categories. I’d say if only Watson had turned out better she would have had more of an influence – she’s personally very popular and has a wide appeal. She’s just the kind of player who might encourage girls who are put off by tennis’ snobby associations.

    There are a few Brit girls on the pro tour, you know their names, but I don’t know of anyone outstanding who is up and coming. I’ll ask around.

    Maybe Cocomania at Wimbledon could break the mould 🙂

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Didn’t know Watson’s back story. Like Murray, Konta, she’s the kind of player that a country should want in their program. Hungry, wanting to break out of “the isles”. Yes, Konta, now that I know more of her story as well, I had thought she was from Australia but didn’t know the Hungarian part until recently. She doesn’t have the same sense of complacency, low standards, etc.

    Neither does Evans either. Who would believe that Evans would be the UK’s top player? Anyone? Yet he is indeed the British No. 1

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    What happened to Anna Konjuh?

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Fed Cup captain Heidi El Tabakh was asked in an interview about Canada’s junior girls, and she said there were a couple promising young players, one is 13 and the other is 14. That was encouraging to hear.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Anrew – Heather’s mother is a native of New Guinea and the family live in Guernsey so she has a kind of unusual background. There’s a new boyfriend now, a footballer, so like so like Konta Heather may be entering her twilight years as a pro.

    Evans is a Welsh name ! Many years ago there was a Welsh player called Gerald Battrick who had minor success, but mainly the Welsh think about rugby.

    Scoop – I don’t know what happened to Konjuh. She just kind of disappeared.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Their names are Cross, Mboko and Brace.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Sock and Monroe won in doubles last night 75 76.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Good for Sock/Monroe. People don’t believe me, no matter where I talk tennis – winning doubles helps if you’re a singles player. You need the practice, the camaraderie, the match play, and the confidence. I’ve seen it in person and I thought, wow, so much goes on in tennis. Players don’t get much confidence from meaningless practice sets, but with something at stake you either make the most of it or shrug from the competition. Shapovalov, staring his slump in the face, wisely signed up for doubles to pair up with one of the best doubles players around in “old man” Bopanna.

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Wow, Pospisil just beat Medvedev in SS! Daniil wasn’t at his best, but Vasek played strong attacking tennis. He served well, won a ton of points at the net, and used S&V effectively. S&V is a good tactic against Daniil, who stands so far behind the baseline.

  • Harold · February 12, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Dimitrov/ FAA is a break fest, FAA up a break now 4-3. Error filled tennis..

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    It’s true that FAA vs Grigor wasn’t great tennis so far, but Felix was a bit better and took the first set.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Pospisil playing great. He should be able to do this outdoors. Another outstanding win in taking out Medvedev.

    We have to also start talking about Medvedev’s sophomore slump after his epic summer of 2019, when “bad Medvedev” took over North American hard courts left and right. He hasn’t been doing well since his signing up with BMW. Neither for that matter is Andreescu, falling to injuries after inking her own deal with them.

    The moral of the story: Maybe look for a different car sponsor. Maybe.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Evans KOs Khachanov in Rotterdam.

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Tons of French players in Cleveland. All pretty young – Cressy, Blancaneaux, Rinderknech. Maybe all aiming to play qualies in Indian Wells, Miami? Moutet had headed to South America (where he’s NOT winning) and Humbert is in the draw in NY playing today.

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    FAA beat Grigor in SS! Now if Milos can win his New York Open match it will be a perfect day for Canadian tennis. 🙂

  • Andrew Miller · February 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    The challenger for Indian Wells field is incredible. Most former top 50 or far higher. It will be hard for Sock or anyone in the challenger to make it to the IW main draw. Looks worse than a slam qualies draw.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Andrew, If Sock can revive his dead singles career it will be by doubles success. Doubles actually may be the only hope for Sock’s singles career.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Brian Shi accounted well for himself last night vs Norrie, losing 75 63 but the Harvarder was more than competitive. Looked like a younger Michael Chang how he darted around the court. Also liked his fire level.

  • jg · February 12, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Popisil looked really good in the late fall challengers, dominating, he’s definitely playing top 20 tennis, Canada has 4 top men’s players, maybe it’s in the maple syrup, commentators were saying he was drinking maple syrup on changeovers

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    I have the stats for Vasek vs Daniil, a match Vasek won 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 7 minutes. Vasek served well, making 65% of first serves, and winning 81% of first serve points. He had 8 aces to 2 DFs. He went to the net often, winning 20/24 net points. He also used S&V throughout the match. I hope this means that Vashy, who has a good net game, will use this more often in his matches.

    Vasek had 21 winners to 13 UFEs and Daniil had 19 winners to 17 UFEs.

    Vasek should have a decent chance against his next opponent, Filip Krajinovic.

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Yes, Vasek did drink maple syrup during changeovers, both yesterday and today. He said he was low on his usual energy stuff, and his trainer suggested maple syrup, saying that marathon runners use it. Apparently Vashy does like maple syrup and always has some with him on the road.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Looked like motor oil.

  • Harold · February 12, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Good win for FAA, but Dimitrov has to do something out of the box to jumpstart his career. Play doubles or hire Maggie Maleeva

  • jg · February 12, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Saw the last few games of JJWolf in Cleveland, the guy bludgeons the ball, not sure anyone is hitting it harder, his serve is different from Roscoe Tanner but it reminds me of it, he just cranks it once he tosses the ball. He took out the guy who just won Dallas.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 13, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Wolf is a powerhouse.

  • Andrew Miller · February 13, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Rotterdam-ATP – Rublev d. Bublik (Rublev WILL keep his ranking high this year – he wins all his early matches) – Bublik only shines at the end of the year.

    Bedene d. Tsitsipas as Tsitsipas continues to play unremarkable tennis in what should be known as “Post ATP Finals Champion’s Slump”, in which ATP Finals Champs of the next generation take a mental or mojo vacation while collecting paychecks every tournament. Hope Tsitsipas is at least enjoying the appearance fee money. Unless he has a cold or something, count me unimpressed.

    Young Sinner d. Goffin, nice win for Sinner who somehow won a round without playing a point, they couldn’t find another player for him in the first round. Good win to beat Goffin.

    Cleveland – Amazing! Ryan Harrison tops Ofner in 3 – Harrison may be getting his sea legs back. Escobedo wins! Kudla wins. And among the french, Blancaneaux and Cressy move on. Harrison gets a good match today with the young frenchman Blancaneaux.

    NY – Humbert d(evastates) Giron, 6-0 6-1. That’s a bad result for Giron. I ask again: is Humbert the best young lefty men’s player behind Shapovalov? There are tons of them now, from Rodionov (who won the Dallas challenger), Norrie (who Tennis Podcast loves because he’s from the UK), Moutet (who Scoop loves), Humbert (who I think is good) and then as the price of the group Mr. Shapovalov. I think this is the best group of young left handed players in a long time.

    Before there was Vesely, Klahn, Bellucci, very good left handed players (Vesely probably better than all these guys and all left-handed players except Shapovalov)

    Down in Buenos Aires, Spain’s next gen Pedro Martinez keeps proving he is part of a group of Spanish players that shall continue to go nowhere for the foreseeable future (joining Munar, Davidovich, etc). Loses in a close two set match to Lajovic, who is of course very good – but still. I see Coric played as well as expected, losing quickly to Monteiro (Coric never fails to live down to my expectations of his abilities. I remember many times he put in no effort and I expect he plays well only when he feels like it). Ruud d. Carballes, stays on the radar and has a pulse.

  • Andrew Miller · February 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Kecmanovic going deep almost every tournament.

  • Andrew Miller · February 13, 2020 at 10:46 am

    WTA, nothing jumps out at me. Sakkari does well, polishes off Cornet in two in Russia. Surprised by Linnette’s results too, doing well in Thailand.

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