Jun/19

28

Rivalry Alert: Fritz vs Querrey Eastbourne Final

They say pro tennis needs more appealing rivalries. One will resume tomorrow in the Eastbourne final, to be contested by two striking Americans, one 21, the other a generation older at 31.

This will be the fifth meeting for the two Californians, who have split four previous clashes, each one a very close, tight duel.

The first meeting was in 2016 in Acapulco QF, won barely by the veteran Q-Ball, 26 64 64.

Fritz exacted revenge in 2018 in Delray Beach, 26 63 76 in the round of 32.

Fritz managed to consolidate the edge on Querrey again later in 2018 in Chengdu by taking the 75 76 decision.

They met one more time late in 2018 in Shanghai R32, with Querrey avenging the whippersnapper, prevailing 63 67 75.

Querrey has won ten career ATP singles titles and Eastbourne would be eleven. Fritz, currently higher ranked than Querrey – 42 to 79 – is seeking his first ATP title at the expense of his compatriot.

Four very close battles in the books, now the fifth edition tomorrow with an ATP title at stake. Doesn’t get much better than that for American tennis.

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47 comments

  • Jeff · June 29, 2019 at 2:40 am

    “Doesn’t get much better than that for American tennis.”

    Truer words have never been spoken. Two never-have-beens playing the final of a 250. When I was younger, we had two U.S. players contesting Grand Slam finals. Now we have Fritz and Querrey in a match in which it truly “doesn’t get much better than that for American tennis.”

    It’s a sad state of affairs. Canada is the tennis power in this region for sure on the men’s side.

  • Dan Markowitz · June 29, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Alright Jeff, stop with the sarcasm. I think Fritz has been loooking good while in Europe. He’s got a sick forehand. He might not be the fastest mover, but you could argue that both he and Tiafoe are on the same level as Shapovalov. So really what Canadian tennis really has right now is one seemingly great player in FAA. I don’t see the depth in Canadian tennis that you have in American tennis where Opelka and Paul make four under22 players who all could be top 50 players.

  • catherine · June 29, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Eastbourne women’s final – Pliskova bt Kerber 6-1 6-4, a relief for both I imagine. It is very hot today and Angie would not have wanted to struggle back from that first set. Good tournament for her though and obviously better for Karolina. Ka was wearing her W’don whites.

  • Hartt · June 29, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Karolina played well today, serving well, as you’d expect. But she also defended well and came to the net several times. During the ceremony she said she plays her Wimby match on Monday, which is not ideal. This is her third Eastbourne final, and her 2nd title.

    It looks like having Conchita as a coach has been a success.

  • Hartt · June 29, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I think there are a couple promising American male players in Fritz and Tiafoe, but I don’t think the US is showing a lot more depth than Canada. Shapovalov, ranked No. 27, is still ahead of Tiafoe, ranked No.39 and Fritz, ranked 42.

    If you are going to count Tommy Paul, ranked No.136, I will counter with Brayden Schnur, ranked No.114. Brayden is in the Wimby MD as a lucky loser.

    And of course there isn’t a young American player who can match FAA, a future superstar.

  • catherine · June 29, 2019 at 10:09 am

    This Eastbourne event is a bit of a pain actually – if you have a W’don match on Monday you certainly don’t want to tire yourself out, or get injured, in the final on Saturday. Not sure why Ka is playing Monday. Angie is starting on Tuesday. I admit I haven’t looked at the draw but I would’ve thought Ka would have a bye.

    Scoop no doubt would consider that Angie subconsciously tanked but I don’t think it was exactly that. She hadn’t met anyone who plays like Pliskova for a long time. So it was all too much today.

    Hartt – you’re right about Conchita. Her status as a coach must be rising fast.

  • Harold · June 29, 2019 at 10:20 am

    American tennis timeline:

    90’s – 4 top tenners
    00’s- 3 top tenners
    2010 to now…throw a parade when there are 4 in top 50

  • Hartt · June 29, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Fritz just beat Querrey in SS, finishing with an ace. Taylor’s first ATP title, someone said. Good for him! He was definitely the better player today.

  • catherine · June 29, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Walking wounded going into Wimbledon – Kvitova has decided to play although her arm/wrist is not healed. Kerber played today with two patches on her right thigh. Sabalenka has had her right thigh heavily strapped all week. Jabeur has a bad ankle. Serena has said she is not fully fit.

    Don’t know about the guys – possibly they’re not saying. Stiff upper lips.

    My prediction – there will be lots of upsets the first week and Kerber will not defend her title. She says she wants to take a photo of her name on the wall. That means something. 2019 will be Serena’s last Wimbledon.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 29, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Fritz is breaking out now, that’s a big win after a solid two months. He’s playing better the higher he goes up the rankings. Starting to wonder if Fritz is top ten material. He could be. Major win for Fritz today to beat Q Ball who does not like to lose to kids. No vet does. Fritz now 3-2 vs Q.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 29, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Finals just days before day one of a major are always going to be question marks. The less said the better.

  • Jeff · June 29, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Another point on Canada is that Raonic has outperformed the U.S. players of his era in Isner and Querrey. Raonic has reached a Slam final and two other semis and a handful of QFs. That is better than Isner and Querrey combined. Only Isner has a Masters title and Raonic does not.

    I am not being sarcastic but if winning Eastbourne or Delray Beach is the best for our young guns, we are not that good. Having the most Top 50 or Top 100 players means nothing. Like Scoop said, you either are No. 1 or you lost. American tennis is not any good on the men’s side and the women have the Williams hanging on as well as Stephens, Keys and up and comers like Anisimova, Kenin and Danielle Collins. The only person in that trio I expect to fail is Anisimova since she is dating Kyrgios.

  • Dan Markowitz · June 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t think you can say Shapo has a brighter future than Fritz. Shapo is 6-feet. Besides Nishikori and Wawrinka, 6-foot-players or shorter don’t have big upsides as far as going deep in slams. Tiafoe is 6-2, Fritz is 6-4; he’s got a bigger weapon than Shapo with his serve. He’s only a year and a half i think older than Shapo.

    And to say that Raonic has outplayed Qball and izzie is true, but who was the big Canadian player before Raonic? Nestor? What was his highest singles ranking because doubles doesn’t count and Mixed Doubles is like…pathetic, please don’t bring up Mixed Doubles. As Spadea said to me once, “These doubles players are pains in the asses. They only cover one-half of the court, but they book twice the amount of massages as soon as the training room opens up.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 29, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    I rate Fritz ahead of Shap now. Shap has stagnated. No notable results lately, just mediocrity. You would think the better Felix does, it would spark Shap but it is not working. He just keeps plodding along with underwhelming results. I would be very concerned for Shap right now. He’s not looking like a top five or major champion. He’s looking more like another Vasek Pospisil or Frank Dancevic with a better forehand and backhand.

  • Hartt · June 29, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I think it is way too early to write off Shapo. Many of those mediocre results were on clay, his worst surface. He beat both Tsitsipas and Tiafoe on his way to the Miami SFs, where he lost to Fed. Let’s at least see how he does during the upcoming hard court season.

    Shapo has a lot of power, so I don’t think his size is a big problem. And he is very quick around the court. At their young ages, the age difference between Fritz and Denis does make a difference.

    As far as what happened before Raonic, most Canadian tennis fans would agree that things weren’t great, outside of Nestor. But we are talking about the present and the future, not the past.

  • Anonymous · June 29, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    You have all heard the news by now of the 7-hour meeting last night and the resignations of Vallverdu, Murray, Haase and Stakhovsky from the ATP player council. David Egdes and Alex Inglot were squarely in Evans’ corner. As I said before, Lapentti never had the votes and the selection of Weller Evans was a fait accompli when you look at the principles.

    Oddly, Djokovic addressed the situation at his press conference and complained about leaks as the primary problem and the reasons for the resignations. This is blatantly false; the information is all coming from the group of people resigning. What we are seeing is that the players do not trust Novak’s leadership capabilities and it is not hard to see why given how events have unfolded.

  • catherine · June 30, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Jeff – I know you have a pash for Danielle Collins but you can’t call her an ‘up-and-comer’ – she’s 25 yrs old, ranked 34, and apart from her Kerber-slaughter at the AO she hasn’t done much this year.

    Where did you get the story about Kyrgios/Anasimova ? Reddit ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 30, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Snap is just letting Felix pass by and take all the spotlights. He’s in the shadows right now and seems content about. As Micke Duff the boxing manager once said of young Lennox Lewis, “he’s doing a CC DeMille in reverse.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Thanks anonymous, the whole thing stinks now, we all knew this was going to happen, Evans installation, but we still dont know any details of novak and gimelstobs secret master plan.

  • Harold · June 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Shapo got to the top 25, still a dream for Fritz. Shapo needs to defend points, so give him the chance to defend his ranking. If next year he falls into the American Zone( 50to 100) then you can start worrying.

    This site is a “ what have you done for me lately” site. Win a 250 before a slam, and you’re one of the favorites.

    I’d bet Shapovalov future against Fritz anytime

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Nobody is writing Shapo off but whenever a young gun hits a wall and stagnates, it’s a cause of concern. His coaching choices and having his mom constantly around is another area of concern. He’s had a lot of bad losses to lesser players, not a good sign. But on the bright side he has amazing athleticism and weapons and a passion. He could be another Chang who summoned his best tennis at 17.

  • Dan Markowitz · June 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Wait a second, you make Chang out to be a one-slam wonder. The guy got to two other slam finals besides the French that he won. He won like 34 tournaments and 662 matches, that’s a sick total, and was no. 2 for a good long time. I”m not saying Shapo can’t exceed Chang, but don’t make Chang out to be a player who never reached the level he did when he won his only slam at 17.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 30, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Chang had a very long career very consistent and longevity at the top five like Ferrer but it’s indisputable his best career moment was winning Roland Garros at 17. He was one match win from no. 1 at US Open, he had many other big wins but his best result, best tennis came at age 17. Tennis is quirky like that. Right now I would predict Shap does not achieve more than Chang, not even close. Hope I’m wrong,

  • Jeff · June 30, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    I think Collins is still an up and comer because she played college tennis and didn’t turn pro that long ago. But yes, it helps that she looks like none other than Nicole Aniston!

    Anisimova and Kyrgios: https://tennistonic.com/tennis-news/68787/amanda-anisimova-and-nick-kyrgios-together-in-rome/

    https://tennistonic.com/tennis-news/62256/is-kyrgios-asking-anisimova-on-a-date-on-twitter/

    I think Shapo has done more than the Americans. Sure he hasn’t won a prestigious 250 yet but he has reached the semis in 3 different Masters series.

    There is no big Canadian player before Raonic but my point is since Raonic’s rise about 6 or 7 years ago, Canadian tennis has surpassed the American men. It’s just an obvious statement.

    What is Djokovic doing with the ATP that has everyone so up in arms? I haven’t followed this much and Redditors don’t seem to know either.

  • Jeff · June 30, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    “Whenever anyone would think of Canada,” says Denis Shapovalov, “it was always, like, it’s a hockey country. But now it’s a tennis country. It’s great for every one of us but it’s great for the country.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jun/30/canada-tennis-new-stars-wimbledon-denis-shapovalov-felix-auger-aliassime

  • Dan Markowitz · July 1, 2019 at 3:28 am

    No, Shapo has a chance to exceed Chang as he’s coming of age at the right time where the top guys are all dropping off–or will be soon. Chang had Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, Lendl, Becker and Rafter to contend with. Shapo will have FAA, Tstsipsas and Zverev to contend with and that doesn’t look to be as strong a group.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Jeff – the last comment from you I’ve seen is the one with the Guardian link. Maybe it was a computer blip if something else you wrote disappeared.

    It’s a beautiful day here for the opening of Wimbledon. Sunny and a bit breezy and not too hot yet. Action starts in about 30 mins. In the old days it was 2pm and Tuesday used to be Ladies Day, only women’s matches. Can you imagine ?

    Free on British TV (BBC) but W’don is the meanest of all GSs with highlights. You can catch matches a year later 🙂

  • Hartt · July 1, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Catherine, it’s so good to hear that the weather is great for the start of Wimby.

    My cable company has added 4 extra channels for Wimby, in addition to one regular one – I just hope they show different matches.

    I was almost amused by the Guardian article. These pieces about Canadian tennis players being the children of immigrants is almost a fad now. But have to admit, I never get tired of reading about FAA. 🙂

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 6:14 am

    https://www.wtatennis.com/news/wimbledon-2019-naomi-osaka-grass-its-been-very-humbling-experience

    I don’t really mind missing some of W’don action. I know how many players play and I can follow on the Guardian site, radio etc. My Wimbledon going days are long over anyway – too crowded, too noisy.

    Link is to interview with Naomi which has some interesting snippets. Because she’s young and not super sophisticated yet she tells you more than many of her colleagues would dare.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 1, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Can’t believe Osaka straightened her hair out, got rid of her signature curls. Can’t believe Gimelstob flew to London to influence the board vote after it was deadlocked at 5-5. Can’t believe he is still involved in the process. Can’t wait for Djokovic to explain this one. Did Djokovic hire Goran as coach to use a smokescreen to divert the media from asking questions about Gimelstob, the vote and the pressure of being defending champion?

  • Harold · July 1, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Never saw this McNally kid. She looks like a mini Coco.. by the way, what happened to Coco? TC curse

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Scoop – I’d really hate ATP politics to overshadow the action at Wimbledon. And I imagine Djokovic is not bothered by questions about being defending champion. Neither do I think journalists are fools enough to be diverted from asking questions about Gimelstob if they care to.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Harol – which Coco ? Coco V got injured and now seems to have drifted away from the game.

  • Harold · July 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

    V not Chanel😀

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Sabalenka out in 1st round to Rybarikova SS. So Eastbourne was a mirage.

    Tursunov better put himself on the market. Aryna’s a deadend.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Saba served 8 dfs and covered 1089 metres to Rybarikova’s 864.So she won the sprinting and lost the match 🙂

    (Haven’t seen that statistic before)

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 1, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Coco had surgery on knee I believe.

  • Jeff · July 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I had written that Collins played college tennis and that she looked like an, ahem, very famous star.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Oh well Jeff, I think we should avoid those comparisons.

    I like Flashscores’ statistic of metres covered in a match and will keep my eye out for interesting figures.

    No huge upsets yet. I suppose Venus could fall to Gauff (another Coco – or not). Iga Swiatek lost – I don’t see it with Iga – I know she’s young but she’s had some horrible results.

  • Jeff · July 1, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Oh, never mind. My comment is there. How about Osaka going down? Many people said it could happen but I never believed it. She is truly terrible on grass.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 1, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Collins has cooled off, she has had more coaches than any player in the span of a year that I can think of – Chip Brooks, Pat Harrison, two different Dutch guys who were college players (both with tough names to remember), Besty Nagelsen, and I might even be missing one or two or three.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Jeff – have a look at the link to the interview with Osaka I posted above and you’ll see why I’m not surprised she’s gone out. Putintseva did more running – covered a 1000 or so metres more than Naomi. How do they measure this ?

    Many less highly ranked players have fewer problems than Naomi switching to grass – it can become an obsession. She’ll learn though.

  • Jeff · July 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Interesting interview, thanks for the link.

    Sascha is going to lose again, isn’t he? Just disgraceful.

    I think Danielle can beat Sevastova, looking forward to it.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I think it’s a shame that the defending champions no longer open the men’s and the women’s events on the Centre Court. That was a nice tradition. But I expect Angie will be there tomorrow vs Tatyana Maria. They have never met before although they are both German. Maria has a decent grass court game and plays a lot of slice. She won Mallorca last year. So not a rollover.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Gauff bts Williams 6-4 6-4 and I’m not entirely surprised. Venus is well past her best. Be interesting to see how Coco fares now. 15 is a bit young. She’ll get a lot of attention.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    How sensational did Gauff look. No limits on what she will do. But the floodgates of media attention that will hit her could be a distracting problem, look what it’s done to odaka.

  • catherine · July 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Well, I think Venus flattered her a little. But yes, I’d be concerned about how she copes with this. In a normal world she’d still be at school.

    Simona is making some weird statements. About how happy she is. Angie outplayed her in Eastbourne. She’s also hurt her ankle.

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