Sep/18

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert In Big Win In China

The man with the most John McEnroe-like serve in today’s game and the most unwieldy name, scored a big win in the semis of the Shenzhen Open in China, knocking out the diminutive but ever feisty, Alex de Minaur. Herbert, 27, ranked #67 has never been ranked higher than #63, but he has a smooth big game and one wonders if he can be a late bloomer and make a deeper rise in the rankings.

The only French player above him in the rankings who’s younger than Herbert is #19 Pouille at 24. All the others are all older than Herbert, Paire, 29, Chardy, 31, and the only other top two Frenchman in the top 30, Gasquet at #25 is 32 and Simon at # 27 is 33. Of course, France is back in the Davis Cup finals. Although, a Frenchman hasn’t won a slam since Noah in ’84, the Frenchman have fared well in Davis Cup (champions in 1991, ’96, 2001 and 2017) and in stacking the Top 20 with players like Tsonga, Monfils, Grosjean, Clement, Santoro, Simon and Gasquet.

But maybe this breakthrough of sorts for Herbert in China will galvanize his career. He already has 23 wins this season out of an ATP career total of 53. He plays Nishioka in the finals who upset Verdasco and this could be Herbert’s first ATP title so big things might be ahead for the dashing Frenchman.

 

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33 comments

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Other Chinese action – intriguing match in Chengdu – resurgent Tomic v Fognini who may be having his best season ever. The hairstyle ?

    WTA off to a bad start in Beijing with 1 retirement and 3 cancellations already. Kerber bts Kiki SS but 5 dfs. Serve coach needed.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Tomic/Fognini going to 3 sets.

    Halep retires after losing 1st set 1-6 to Jabeur. The way things look, she should be in a hospital not on a tennis court.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Simona says she can’t move properly and she is very worried and I believe her. What’s Cahill doing letting her get into this state ? Doesn’t he have contacts in the US to deal with her problem if it can’t be solved in Roumania ?

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Tomic wins – should improve his ranking. 12 aces and no dfs. I’ve never been a fan of Bernie’s but that’s a decent result.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Shocking win for Tomic, major major achievement for this forgotten, vilified, mocked champion. Doing more than the entire Aussie Armada has done all year in singles yet Hewitt snubbed him from Davis Cup. Hewitt can’t snub Tomic any longer. Absolutely unbelievable that Bernard Tomis is now the leader and highest achiever in Australian tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 7:52 am

    PHH is 0-2 vs Kozlov who returns after two month hiatus this week in Monterrey Challenger. Nishioka avenges his loss to Verdasco at FO.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Tomic/Fognini – never seen so much slice in a men’s match in my life.

    I just don’t understand occ – Kiki’s coach comes out and that’s understandable – she was being flattened – and then Fisette trots along to chat with Angie when she was winning easily all by herself. Maybe he was passing on some tips from Tursunov 🙂 Or maybe it’s in the WTA contract: ‘stick your face in front of the camera as often as you can’.

    If they have occ at W’don I think I’ll kill myself.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I saw the last half of the Tomic vs Fognini match and it was enjoyable overall. Tomic served well and had some nice DTL winners. Fognini played well at the net, which was nice to see. Fognini was very unlucky in the third set TB. On his championship point the ball hit the net cord and barely went over. Fognini had absolutely no play on it. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he got angry then, but he kept his cool and simply continued.

    Watched the last few games of Nishioka vs Herbert, This was a huge win for Nishioka, his ranking must take a huge jump from his current No. 171. After he had the long injury time away, it’s great to see him back playing well.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Scoop, Tomic can’t say things like Tennis Australia is corrupt and he will prove it at some point (although he never did), and expect to be welcomed with open arms for Davis Cup.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Catherine, the player must call on the coach for OCC, so it was Angie’s choice to have Fissette come out.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Tomic and Fognini played really softly sometimes. It was more like women’s tennis.

    Garcia and Wang play 3 sets over 3hrs and there was absolutely no one there to see it.

    And they’re moving Singapore to China $$$$$ I suppose but not through the gate.

    Hartt – Tomic will be welcomed with open arms for the Money Cup.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Catherine, I love the “Money Cup” name. But Hewitt is very hard nosed and hates the new format. I doubt that he will ever forgive Tomic, in any case.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Tomic is now at around No. 76 in the live rankings. At this rate he soon will be back in the top 50 and will be finished with qualies.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 8:43 am

    What a fantastic win for Nishioka and also Tomic. The mocked and scorned Tomic is now a champion again and everybody has to eat their words about him being a tank, he’s a champion now, again. He can say whatever he wants about Aussie tennis, I’m sure he would not fabricate accusations about TA being corrupt if it were not true, if it were false, he would have been sued for slander. He knows something and he was using it as leverage is my gut sense. “Hey if you’re gonna trash me, I can just as easily open the can of worms and trash you too.” Tomic is no dummy and he’s not crazy… he’s MFin champion, and that’s more than any other Aussie player can say this year.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Hartt- yes, I know that it was Angie’s call but I’m still baffled – she was well in control and can’t really have feared Kiki. I don’t know, I think Angie’s trying to be aggressive but that’s not really her nature so she may want reassurance. She hasn’t played with confidence since W’don and here’s Singapore coming up. She’d really like to be No 1 again and not make a pig’s ear of it this time.

    Still, I bet the WTA like to see occ as often as possible.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Hartt, Tomic can say whatever he wants, there’s no crime to speak the truth. If TA doesn’t like Tomic’s words then sue him for slander. But there’s a big risk on that, Tomic may have some evidence. Ever think of that?

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Catherine, Tomic has always used slow balls and softballs and variety in his arsenal. It’s calculated, it’s carefully thought out, it’s dissecting an opponent like a matador with a bull, like a boxer jabbing at brawler. I’m sure it was Tomic’s plan to use change of pace on Fognini and the result proves Tomic’s tactics worked.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Scoop, there was no reason for TA to go after Tomic for his vague accusations, but there is also no reason for them to embrace him. He has to take the consequences of his actions.

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Catherine, I agree with youaabout OCC and the WTA wanting as much of it as possible. I bet they would like the coaches to be able to have ongoing input. After all, the coaches are SO important, sometimes it feels like the WTA thinks the players are just there to do the bidding of the coaches.

  • catherine · September 30, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Angie won 3 GS titles including Wdon without OCC. Why does she suddenly stop believing in herself in lesser tournaments ? I’m not sure OCC is that effective anyway. Sometimes it reinforces what’s wrong. I’ve seen a couple of Youtube clips which are quite revealing.

    Phil Brooks, Chairman of AEC, came out as very much against OCC at W’don last week and then he suddenly changed his tune and said, oh it might be possible etc. I was disgusted. I wonder who got at him ? TV company I bet.

    For all her faults, Serena Williams has never used OCC and I don’t believe it’s anything to do with Patrick’s virtues as a coach. She just doesn’t want it.
    Doesn’t the WTA see how weak and useless OCC makes women look ? Probably not. I’d go further than you – make the players sit courtside and let the coaches play 🙂

  • Hartt · September 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

    From what I read, the Wimbledon officials have said they were open to a discussion about coaching, but would need to be convinced. Unless all the other Slams went with it and Wimby felt a lot of pressure to follow suit, I can’t see it ever happening at Wimbledon.

    It has to be a big detriment to the players who use it for the other tourneys and then suddenly have to make their own decisions at the Slams. It is one reason I am not a Wozniacki fan, it seems like every time you turn around she is calling for her father. It is a minor miracle she won the AO, but I would be truly shocked if she ever wins another Slam.

    Yes, I like the way Serena does not use OCC. From what she has said she would find it more of a distraction than anything. Venus does not use it either. But the younger players have had it during their pro careers and are far too dependent on it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Catherine, If Patrick was such a super coach, why wouldn’t Serena want to use his counsel during a match she is losing? It makes no sense. Serena is a smart player and would use all her resources to win. She obviously does not value Patrick’s counsel as much as some may expect otherwise she would use it. Serena is a player who does not need a coach, she plays one way, hit the ball hard and if they go in she wins, if not she loses. There are no plan B and C’s in Serena’s play book. Patrick is probably a pretty good coach who is riding the coattails of a super champion.

  • catherine · October 1, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Hartt will be pleased to see Raonic win and Shapo bt Hung today.

    So far, Muguruza and CSN win which means Sabalenka v Muguruza, interesting prospect, and Carla v Kerber – Angie will have to be aggressive from the off or she will be tied in knots.

  • catherine · October 1, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Sorry – Denis bt Chung. 3 sets but it looked easy at the end.

  • Krzysztof · October 1, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Who will be a new Davis Cup coach? I predict James Blake to be successor of Jim Courier

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 1, 2018 at 7:35 am

    The leading candidates – Blake, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Roddick, Ginepri, Gimelstob. The heavy favorite is Blake.

  • Hartt · October 1, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Catherine, yes I was thrilled with those results. I saw Milos win over Mannarino. He served extremely well even by his standards. He had a first serve % of 75%, won 92% of first serve points and had 17 aces. He got the necessary break in each set, so it was a straightforward win.

    I fell asleep during the last 2 sets of Shapo’s match because it was the middle of the night. I woke up just as Kei’s match was beginning, so was relieved to see that Denis won, and must have dominated in the third set. Will watch the recorded match this morning.

    The youngster Wu Yibing (just 18) vs Jaziri has just started. Wu did well in juniors and I’m looking forward to the match, although Wu is a big underdog.

  • Hartt · October 1, 2018 at 11:21 am

    As you’d expect with a seasoned pro vs a youngster with little ATP main tour experience, Jaziri had a fairly straightforward win over Wu, taking it in SS. But Wu was impressive overall. He has power and is an aggressive player. He seemed cool and collected on the court and fought to the last point. Like many aggressive young players he had too many UFEs and made some poor decisions, sometimes going for an aggressive shot that wasn’t there. But he did play some good defense on occasion as well.

    wu Yibing is just 18, but he shows terrific promise. Perhaps he will develop into that top male Chinese player that so many have been looking for.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 1, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Yibing Wu won the US Open juniors last year and also a Challenger already so he is on the path to stardom. Jaziri is a tough outing for just about anyone, one of those veteran players that doesn’t get any media attention or fanfare but he has a lot of good wins in his career and still keeps his ranking in a good range, so he consistently produces good results.

  • catherine · October 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Scoop – I’m sure you saw all about the little spat between Stephens and Pavs today – certainly makes for brighter tennis – particularly Stephens’ parting shot when a Pav volley missed her by inches. ‘******* bitch tried to hit me.’

    No disciplinary action 🙂

  • Hartt · October 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve added Wu Yibing to my youngsters to watch list, so looked him up. He turns 19 later this month. His current ranking is No. 422, down from last Nov. when he was No. 301 because he has had injury problems this year. He is 6′ and 161 lbs, so about the same size as Shapo, not a big guy but not small either.

    Sven Groeneveld is working with Wu for about 20 weeks a year, so having such an experienced coach on his team should be a big help. He will be working at the IMG Academy in Florida in the off season.

    Jaziri was a good test for the youngster. He is a player who keeps getting the ball back again and again, making Wu work hard for his points. I am looking forward to seeing more of this talented young player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Yes Catherine I did see the Pav-SS feud and it was a good one. Like to see SS standing up and calling out a suspect injury timeout and then backing it up with winning tennis. Most players are afraid to call out injury fakery.

  • catherine · October 2, 2018 at 5:09 am

    All straight SS so far in WTA, except Kontaveit bts Siegemund in 3. Not much excitement.

    Kerber bts CSN 6-1 second set and that’s a good result for her. t/b 1st set.

    Sabalenka/Muguruza coming up soon.

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