The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

Serena Williams Conquers Bencic, Yips at Australian Open

Posted by Jeremy Davis on January 17th, 2017 @ 8:48 am

Serena Williams has the yips.

You saw it much in 2016. Double faults on match points. Footwork going out the door. Pained look on the face.

On Tuesday at the Australian Open, leading Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-0, it was another trip to Yip Town for the current world No. 2.

Bencic held for 1-5. Serena dropped serve. Bencic held at love. Serena double faulted on match point before finally closing it out. Win …

Nadal Says Body is Good; Murray, Federer On Deck Wednesday at Aussie Open

Posted by Jeremy Davis on January 17th, 2017 @ 8:02 am

Not No. 1, but still defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic aced a stern test in his opener Tuesday in Melbourne, defeating former semifinalist Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 to move into the second round.

“It feels like home,” Djokovic said after the match. “It feels like coming back to the place that I had an incredible amount of beautiful memories.”

A key to catching the No. 1 Murray will …

Wawrinka, Nishikori, Cilic Escape with Wins on Day 1 at Australian Open

Posted by Staff on January 16th, 2017 @ 9:07 am

World No. 1 Andy Murray cruised, but three Top 10 seeds found themselves down a set in difficult encounters on Day 1 at the Australian Open.

No. 4 Stanislas Wawrinka came from a set down to defeat Slovak Martin Klizan in five 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, while No. 5 Kei Nishikori needed five sets to beat Russia’s hard-hitting Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2, and No. 7 Marin Cilic …

Halep Halted, Women’s Upsets Abound on Day 1 at Australian Open

Posted by Staff on January 16th, 2017 @ 8:07 am

Three unseeded Americans stunned seeds, including a Top 5er, and a former No. 1 woke up healthy for an upset on opening Monday at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

American Shelby Rogers was patient in setting up points and knocking balls away during a comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 upset over No. 4 Simona Halep, who was addled by a knee issue. Rogers was joined on the upset tip by fellow Americans Coco …

Roger Federer’s Return Headlines Day 1 At The Australian Open; No. 1s Murray, Kerber On Court

Posted by Staff on January 15th, 2017 @ 12:45 am

Roger Federer will officially return to tennis Monday night in Melbourne when the 4-time champion takes on fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer in the first round of the Australian Open.

Federer, who went 2-1 at the Hopman Cup exo, hasn’t played an official tour match since July against Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon semifinals. Since then, the Swiss has got his left knee back in shape and is ready to go in …

Serena Williams: 2016 Wasn’t A Great Season

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 15th, 2017 @ 12:37 am

Serena Williams is 35, she is No. 2 in the world and last year she made three Grand Slam finals, winning one. But that’s not good enough.

Serena returns to Melbourne newly-engaged and seeking her seventh Australian Open title, and with so many withdrawals from players like Victoria Azarenka, Madison Keys, Petra Kvitova and the continued suspension of Maria Sharapova, she’s the favorite once again.

But her road is tough right …

Angelique Kerber: The Challenge Of Staying No. 1 Is Different And Difficult, But It’s A Privilege

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 15th, 2017 @ 12:12 am

Like Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber is also top seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time this week at the Australian Open. The German’s life basically changed after saving a match point in her opening round win a year ago to Misaki Doi, and she’s never looked back. Following up her Australian Open win with a Wimbledon final and then a US Open title.

Kerber, however, now faces the pressure …

Rafael Nadal: I Am A Person Who Doesn’t Like Big Changes, But Carlos Moya On My Team Is Nothing New

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 14th, 2017 @ 11:24 pm

A healthy Rafael Nadal returns to the Australian Open hoping to start the climb back up the top of the rankings. And maybe, win a second “Career Grand Slam”.

Nadal fell last year to Fernando Verdasco in a first round stunner, and later suffered a wrist injury which he says hampered him from May until the rest of the year. Fortunately, though, he says he’s ready to fight. He’ll begin against …

After Trying to Lose, Mertens Wins 1st WTA Title at Hobart

Posted by Jeremy Davis on January 14th, 2017 @ 2:06 pm

Qualifier Elise Mertens won an unlikely first WTA title of her career on Saturday, upsetting No. 3 seed Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the Hobart International in Australia.

Aside from needing to qualify to even reach the main draw, the tournament win was surprising considering the Belgian reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to retire from her second-round match so that she could rush to Melbourne in time to compete in …

Emotional Muller Wins 1st ATP Title After 15 Years Trying

Posted by Staff on January 14th, 2017 @ 1:37 pm

It took 15 years playing on the pro tour, but 33-year-old Gilles Muller of Luxembourg finally broke the title duck on Saturday, in the championship match of the Apia International Sydney defeating Britain’s Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-2.

The unexpected final featuring the No. 6-seeded Muller, who was 0-5 career in ATP finals, against the unseeded Evans who was appearing in his first-ever final.

It was 13 years after Muller had appeared in …

Sousa Gets Socked as American Wins ATP Auckland Final

Posted by Staff on January 14th, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

American Jack Sock was made to work hard for his second career title on Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand, in the final defeating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 for the ASB Classic championship.

The 24-year-old Sock, the No. 4 seed, improved to 2-4 in career finals, adding to the Houston title from 2015.

The two traded breaks early in the third set before Sock ran with the lead to eventually …

Andy Murray: I Don’t Feel Any Different Being A No. 1 Seed At A Slam

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 14th, 2017 @ 1:31 am

(Sir) Andy Murray will open play Monday afternoon at the Australian Open and he’ll do so as a No. 1 seed for the first time at a Grand Slam.

Murray will hope that holding the top spot will finally give him the Australian Open trophy which he has come up just short of winning on five occasions.

Murray could have a difficult draw with Roger Federer looming in the quarters then potentially …

Moving Forward, That’s Why Milos Raonic Hired Richard Krajicek

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 14th, 2017 @ 1:09 am

Milos Raonic is a man with a plan and that plan is to get to the top, no limits. Raonic has gone through several coaches including Ivan Ljubicic, Carlos Moya, John McEnroe and has now hired Richard Krajicek. Why go to the big Dutchmen with the similar game to him? Raonic says it’s all about “moving forward”.

Raonic admits, he can’t compete with the likes of Andy Murray and Novak …

Roger Federer: It’s A Great Draw Because I’m In The Draw, But Playing A 5 Set Match, That’s The Unknown

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 14th, 2017 @ 12:58 am

Roger Federer is back! Federer officially return to tennis on Monday night in Melbourne where he’ll face a qualifier in the first round at the Australian Open. It’s Federer first tour match since stumbling out of the Wimbledon semifinals to Milos Raonic and ending his 2016 season due to his left knee.

The knee is now okay but Federer, a 4-time Australian Open champion, is seeded down at No. 17 and …

Bernard Tomic Says He’s Fitter Than Players In The Top 10

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 13th, 2017 @ 10:25 pm

A firestorm always seems to follow Bernard Tomic. Lately, the Australian press has focused on Tomic’s fitness, or lack thereof, after former pro John Fitzgerald criticised the 24-year-old on his weight.

“He’s had some good Australian Opens, but I think he could be fitter, and what confuses me is that he has just lost four-and-a-half kilos when prior to that he said he was fitter than he had ever been,” …