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

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 10:22 am

    WTA: In Thailand, the clever Martic loses to Xiyu Wang (top 150), which strikes me as a bad loss. I’m not sure how good Ms. Wang is. The Thai tournament, which is run by Paradorn Srichaphan I think, has a very high number of players from China.

    The bigger deal is in St. Petersburg, Russia. Van Uytvanck, who has a pretty steady power game, d. Mladenovic in a hurry. The Kiki Will Triumph Over All Sashas and Dominics tour seems confined to the doubles draw for now. Tomljanovic gets a nice win over Vondrousova. D. Kat plays today…

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Andreeescu is plagued. She has been out of commission now for more than a quarter of a year with Indian Wells, Miami right around the corner. If she isn’t testing the knee now, is she really going to do that in a month under harder conditions?

    If this is a preview of the rest of Andreescu’s career it’s a sad one. She will play supernova tennis where she plays amazing and frightens everyone then players are ok because she will take off six months per year.

    Whoever trains her as a physio should be fired.

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Rublev has very few points to protect until the summer, he was out with a stress fracture in his back…picking up points and climbing the ladder..

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Andrew, we don’t know what Bianca’s future holds. In a recent interview she said a downside of her success last season was that she hadn’t played a lot of WTA matches and felt her body wasn’t ready. Maybe it was just an unusual set of circumstances, both positive and negative.

    If Bianca’s knee injury was a torn meniscus, which sounds likely, that is an injury that can take a long time to come back from. I think they are wise to be extremely cautious now. The Fed Cup captain, Heidi El Tabakh, said that there was a step back with Bianca’s knee during Fed Cup training. As I said before, I am not going to predict when Bianca should be back, and will wait until she is actually playing at a tourney.

  • catherine · February 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Andrew – I couldn’t agree more. Bearing in mind I’m hardly an expert on sports injuries I still feel quite angry at the way Bianca’s been handled. IMO her whole team should be sacked. Are they trying to keep her in the spotlight for $$$ reasons ? She won’t play IW, or Miami, or she’ll play and break down and be out for another 3 months. It’s this constant ‘will she/won’t she’ which is such a disaster for her and unprofessional on her coach’s part.

    Maybe Bianca should have had surgery in the first place. She’d be well into recovery mode by now, with a clear idea of what’s happening.

    Seems she was just a shooting star. Makes you want to weep.

  • catherine · February 11, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Hartt – what on earth was she doing at the Fed Cup ? Just to get another setback.

    She’s so good. That’s the pity of it. I don’t want to spend the year watching Kenin/Gauff and Serenamania.

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 11:42 am

    I imagine she was at Fed Cup to support the team. It doesn’t sound likely that she was going to play. She does need to try to practice.

    As far as surgery, we know players avoid that if at all possible. She consulted several experts and presumably they told her surgery wasn’t necessary.

    I am trying to be patient, but miss seeing her play, just like other folks here.

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Rotterdam has so many good players. I was thrilled to see FAA win against Struff, that wasn’t easy. And, as it turns out, I am just has happy that Grigor defeated Shapo, so will play Felix. I could not have coped with yet another all-Canuck match.

    Unfortunately, Bashy had an off day, and Rublev played well, so it wasn’t a close enough match to be entertaining.

    Today is Medvedev’s 24th birthday, so he is definitely past the youngster stage. I will be pleasantly surprised if Pospisil can give him much opposition, Vashy must be fried after his exploits in Montpellier.

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Bopanna/Shapo just defeated Peers/Venus in their Rotterdam doubles match. It went to a match TB. The oldie/youngster team has been quite successful.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 11, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    How does every post on Tennis-Prose these days come back to Bianca Andreescu? Amazing.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Hope it’s not a silent ban.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    All these girls get a taste of the big time and then they step back. Maybe the door is open for a Kenin takeover. Or a Coco take over this year. Kenin loves the game and competing more than fashion and other extracurricular stuff it seems.

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    LOL, it is not my fault! I just respond to other posts about her!

    So, to change the subject, Hurkacz vs Tsitsipas is about to begin. This is Stefanos’ fourth time in Rotterdam, but he has yet to win a match there.

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Dan, sshhhh. They haven’t updated us on the little dog in a few weeks. Hoping she doesn’t get fleas😂

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Andreescu has a huge devoted fan base, her presence is sorely missed

  • catherine · February 11, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Because Bianca has withdrawn from every tournament she’s entered so far this year and there’s currently no end in sight. Because she’s a future No 1 player who should be competing and fulfilling the promise she showed last year. Because the women’s game is poorer without her.

    That’s why.

    Plenty of posts which don’t mention her, Dan.

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    What’s up with tennis players and Miss Worlds? Paradorn, Connors dated a British Miss World ( can picture her can’t remember her name)between Evert and the Playboy Playmate. Amos Mansdorf was married to a Miss World. Wouldn’t put her up against Kordas tennis playing wife for a bet on practice sets at the US Open. Mansdorf ended up collecting a few 50’s instead

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Hurkacz is up a break in the first set, leads 4-2. He sounds like a wonderful young man. A piece on the ATP site:
    https://www.atptour.com/en/news/hubert-hurkacz-nicest-guy-in-tennis-2020

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    I just learned that Hubi turned 23 today. Will a win against Stefanos be his birthday present?

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Question for Scoop to jokingly ask in his Biofiles. Ask if a ball kid ever offered tennis advice to a player during a match. Some kid offering sage advice, like, play the opponents bh, chip and charge..
    Wonder how they’d react

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Harold it’s a good question. It did happen once that I know of. Jeff Borowiak said in a book that he was losing at Wimbledon and the ball kid told him he should go to net more. Jeff listened to the sage advice and came back and won. I met Jeff’s son Andres Borowiak on Facebook after he read my Rios book and I asked him if this story was really true and he confirmed it was, he confirmed it with his father.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 11, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Ugh Craig Boynton, that’s Hurkacz coach?! Basically, Boynton was the most unfriendly guy I’ve met on the tour. The year I was writing the Spadea book, Break Point, Vince hired Boynton (remember Vince hired almost everyone to be his coach). And as always, I think there were like five different coaches Vince had in that one year, Greg Hill, Pete Fischer, Gabriel Markus, Boynton, Davide Sanguinetti, and there was always Vince’s father lurking in the background, Boynton was the biggest jerk. I befriended all of Vince’s coaches except for Boynton. Part of the problem is he saw me as a distraction–which I guess I was, but Vince chose to write the book with me so Boynton should’ve made the best of that setup–but the other part was the guy in my opinion, had an ego the size of Texas. I mean, I know he’d been Navratilova’s coach, but besides that, he’d never been a player I’d ever heard of and he just was over-baked EGO in my eyes.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Didn’t know Giron is now coached by Ginepri. Also just re read my Giron Biofile and he said he lost to Sock at Kalamazoo juniors 76 64. Roddick hit with Giron before he played Sock in the US Open that same year tand asked about the Sock match and Giron’s coach told him he was broken three times in the first set and Roddick said You didn’t deserve to win the match. For being broken three times.

  • catherine · February 11, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Harold – Connors dated (briefly) an actress called Susan George, and even brought her into the player’s area when Chris was on Centre Court, but I don’t think she was ever Miss World. You might have been thinking of her.

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    WTA has an elephant in the room. The young lady that won the most matches last year on the biggest stages and scorched everyone. She may have been the “latest flavor of the month” when it comes to first time slam champs on the WTA, but there was the otherworldly sensation that we were, in fact, seeing a “hungry champion” that savored the big stage and the even bigger wins, and wanted more…and more…and more…

    I’ll leave it at that. It’s not that big a deal in the carnival of the WTA tour where everyone is taking a turn at the top spot and no one knows who will win the next slam let alone if they’ll win their first round match. But it is real that players are sighing relief that she’s not across the net from them now. Their earnings are up 🙂

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Am not one for BIANCAMANIA!!! and SHE THE NORTH! but I appreciate that she plays gangster tennis. It’s good to see a player that “wants slams” as much as Andreescu, much as it was good to have a player like Serena Williams that tore up the tennis circuit for a few decades. That kind of hunger is good for the sport. It’s a different world now, where some players want the status but don’t care about the titles. I like that Andreescu understands how tennis glory works.

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Underappreciated: Vesely’s second title, vs Gerasimov. What a match. I was sad to see Vesely playing so well – not sure why he hadn’t been playing this way more consistently. Doogie certainly DID see something unique in the Vesely game – I noticed it the other day. He does a lot more than I expected he could do with the ball and played with disguise – one shot he hit he looked up I think before then hitting a winner – it was like a head-fake in basketball.

    Maybe he should have been playing much better since his break-out a long time ago. Gerasimov is also MUCH better than I thought he was, and Vesely had to play very well to pull that off.

  • Hartt · February 11, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    A combination of Stefanos raising his level and Hubi falling apart meant that Stef won the decider 6-1. He finally won a match in Rotterdam on his fourth try!

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Tsitsipas played the fake shoulder injury and then won six of next seven games to force third set which he won easily. Fake injury timeout works again! Glad Federer’s groin healed in time for South African exo!

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Gerasimov looked very good beating Kozlov 64 64 at US Open qualies last year. Could be a top 20 player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I remember Susan George, she was in ‘Dirty Mary Crazy Larry’, a good 70s movie. She is on instagram now too.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Win 1 major, priorities change. Desire and hunger turns on to different targets than silver trophies and cups. I think these girls like Osaka and Andreescu missed out on teen years boyfriends and dating and their delayed pent up boy crazy inclinations need to be addressed. Chris Evert, Hingis and Bouchard could write the book on this subject.

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Was just looking at the schedules, FAA is playing every week now through Miami.. chasing points? Maybe he’ll take a break the early part of Clay season

  • Doogie · February 11, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Of course Vesely can play very well. He is just not working hard. He is such a gifted talent with a huge serve (he won the whole tournament basically with his serve). Anyway this tournament will not change anything for Vesely in terms of work ethic.
    From time to time he will beat Top20 players, but on daily basis it is much more necessary than talent.

    @andrew. Thank u for mention me here, although I write so less 🙁

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Felix needs some good results to get his aura back. He’s struggled and stagnated recently. Smart move to get out there and play. Good things happen when you go for it.

  • Harold · February 11, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Vesely close up has a weird body, not balanced, hes not a good mover..have seen him up close at qualies, hits a great ball, talented..think his movement has kept him back. Don’t know whether he’s a hard worker or not

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 6:23 pm

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    NY – Koepfer (d. Schnur), Nishioka (d. Laaksonen) with wins, so too a few Brits in Edmund and Norrie. For whatever reason, there are a lot of good young left-handed players like Norrie on the rise. Shapovalov heads the pack, then Moutet, Humbert, Norrie, etc.

    In Cleveland Challenger, some humbling outings: Korda d. DY in straights with a modest scoreline; Rodionov, fresh off his Dallas triumph, d. Hopper; Mmoh d. Nakashima in straights (nice win for Mmoh over the rising Nakashima); Aragone d. O’Connell, and O’Connell falls back to earth after a “dream” year on the challengers as the man that won the most matches; Blanch d. Menendez-Maceiras, who has been on the tour a long time.

    Bopanna and Shapovalov win an extremely close doubles match over the strong team of Peers and Venus. Bopanna is a good player to learn from, it’s good Shapovalov signed up for the dubs.

  • Andrew Miller · February 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Korda the Younger is GOOD. I was curious about his win vs DY – DY didn’t play badly. Korda had his number the whole match. The Korda serve isn’t great – it’s solid, not winning him as many points as it should, but he makes up for it with a smooth all-around game, a nice volley, and some decent strategy. I’d say “better than junior” strategy. Good tennis IQ.

    The U.S. men’s “next gen of next gen” players, Nakashima and Korda, have MUCH steadier back-court and all-around games than their predecessors in the U.S. Their physio from what I can tell is DNE. Nonetheless a very good win against an always fun to watch DY.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 1:13 am

    Scoop – Bianca had a boyfriend when she was younger – saw a photo of them together. But I suppose she decided at one point that boys and tennis didn’t mix and she could leave that till later. I think Naomi may have been a little more protected by her family.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 1:20 am

    DKat exits first match in St Petersburg to Androvnova and Vondrousova to Tomjlanovic – Vondrousova hasn’t done much since coming back from her wrist injury and isn’t looking the NBT from CR now. Muchova ? Could be an important year for her.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 1:45 am

    Andrew – you mentioned Edmund and Norrie and there could be better times ahead for British tennis believe it or not – UK Athletics is in a bigger mess than tennis at present so it may be that a tennis career will begin to look the more attractive option for sport inclined kids than the remote chance of a few medals to hang on the wall. We need a British Kyrgios 🙂

  • Jeff · February 12, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Disappointing to see Thompson win. We are denied possibly the last matchup between Isner and Karlovic, who have not met since 2014.

    The last 8 sets between them have been tiebreakers and 9 of 12 overall and Karlovic has won 3 of 5 matches.

    A Isner v. Karlovic matchup in the NY OPen spotlight would have been a treat. Sadly, they never met in a Grand Slam, as well.

  • Jon King · February 12, 2020 at 3:36 am

    Benjamin Sigouin was the guy Bianca was hanging with. They met in juniors. He now plays college tennis at UNC.

  • catherine · February 12, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Muguruza and Svitolina WCs for Dubai. All eyes on Clijsters. She’ll be lucky to get through a match IMO.

  • Jeff · February 12, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Jon, good intel on Andreescu. Sigouin has a face that reminds me of a young Ivan Lendl. Maybe it means that Bianca goes for Lendl lookalikes.

    Feel bad for Sigouin, I am sure he wishes he was still dating her.

  • Hartt · February 12, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Bianca and Ben Sigouin broke up some time ago, and it sounds like it was hard for Bianca because she has referred to a difficult time in her personal life. Sigouin was part of the winning Canadian junior Davis Cup team, along with FAA and Shapo.

  • Jeff · February 12, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Thanks Hartt. Wow What a junior Davis Cup team.

    So Anisimova has dumped Carlos Rodriguez as coach. No official word on if she is dating Kyrgios, although he seems to indicate that it is happening.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Kyrgios said he pulled out of NY because his shoulder flared up and he’s unable to play. Not sure if even one or two people will buy that. More likely he has both his hands full with his new love interest.

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