ATP Barcelona Blog
by Staff | April 28th, 2008, 8:52 pm
  • 29 Comments

by Jill Neuharth

Barcelona Day 1


Whoever coined the phrase “Sunny Spain” must have been drinking a bit too much vino tinto. The weather today was a cloudy and damp 61 degrees. Perfect weather if you happen to be a Russian sea captain which is precisely the look Dmitry Tursunov is going for these days. The thickly-bearded former backstreet boy look-alike bested Kevin Anderson in straight sets. For those of you uttering the collective “who?” Anderson was the one who ousted Novak Djokovic in Miami.

Europeans in general are known for their lackadaisical response times, especially in restaurants. Not so on the court today. Croatian Mario Ancic dispatched German Mischa (no relation to the girl on the OC) Zverev in a scant 42 minutes. Next up on the plate, Dutchman Robin Haase devoured the jolly Belarusian giant “air” Max Mirnyi in a less-impressive 54 minutes. Looks like Ancic and Haase were anxious to explore the bounty of Barcelona. Wonder if they know they actually have to play more matches here. Also eager to experience Barcelona, Robby Ginepri, who lost his match to lucky loser Yuri Schukin of Kazakhstan in 84 minutes today. On the plus side, Ginnery’s Beatlesque hairdo was a real hit with the Spanish senoritas out on the town tonight.

In doubles action today, Spaniards Alberto Martin and Marc Lopez narrowly defeated Argentines Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto with an 11-9 super tiebreak. After winning 6-2 in the first set, Lopez- Martin proceeded to lose the next six games straight. Then trailing throughout most of the tiebreak, Martin suddenly remembered he forgot to buy his Dad a birthday gift and the Spaniards came back to win it in a nail-biting last few points. Meanwhile the senior Martin, Orlando, celebrated his 72nd birthday in style by charming all the ladies in attendance at his sons match.

While the Argentines split their doubles matches today with a win for Nalbandian and Ker and the loss for the a fore-mentioned Acasuso-Prieto team, all three singles combatants prevailed. The homecourt advantage was not to be so for the Spaniards. Unless you happened to be a wildcard (Martin-Lopez, doubles) or a qualifier, it was hasta la vista for you. Out of nine matches featuring Spanish players, only three winners emerged. One from an all-Spanish match, and two qualifiers. Let’s hope that the Spanish turn it around when their big guns take to the court starting tomorrow.


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29 Comments for ATP Barcelona Blog

Zola Says:

Thanks a lot for the report. Are you actually in Barcelona?
Can’t wait to read more.

I also want to thank whoever is writing the funk/trunk stuff. It is just brilliant this week with the European clay court schedule getting the No 1 in the trunk. You are the only tennis site that has been sensitive to this issue. Thanks a lot for that.

How can we let the ATP know that we want more of a clay court season? Is there a number or an e-mail to contact them?


rafafan Says:

lol the big guns im sure will keep th title in spanish hands…….if it doesnt go to rafa (collosal IF) it will prolly go to ferrer.


Dr. Death Says:

Greetings from one airport lounge or another. Just saw on one of the tennis newsletters that the German Tennis Fed. is suing the ATP about being left out of future Masters events series. Monte Carlo apparently did the same thing a few months ago.

These proposed changes by the ATP will alter the points for various tournaments. People like the Germans are worried that the big names won’t play and the affect that will have on revenues, etc.

I would imagine that the ATP changes will diminish the clay court season. Even if the Nadals of the world play on clay, they would win less points. I could be all wrong on this and no time to research, but I think the Zola/clay court fans may wish to take a look at this. I can’t imagine that the ATP would downgrade Hamubrg (or MC) and replace it with another clay court tournament.


Zola Says:

hey Dr. Death,
did you receive my hugs yet?

I think Hamburg has already been downgraded. It is not a maste series anymore. Madrid will be a clay tournament, I don’t kow indoor or outdoor.MC will not be mandatory. So it IS a blow to the clay courters. Just look at this year’s calendar. The pushed threemaster series in a month to accomodate American Basketball on TV.

I read that most of top 20 ( all but three) have signed a petition, asking the ATP board not torenew ET’s contract before reviewing the resume’s of other applicants. RAfa has been very vocal and just said: ATP does not think about the players. So ,we will see how things will fold in the near future. Right now, it seems that US, hardcourts and money rule take precednce to tennis.


Dr. Death Says:

Indeed, thanks for the hugs. Hope all is better.

Sports in general has become money and been that way for a long time, but so complicated now with competing sports for tv time. We will see what happens with E T. Probably like a pig in a parlor, the sooner out the better.

As one gets older, clay and related soft courts become the surface of preference to play on. The question facing the tennis masters is – will they make more money 10 years from now appealing to older amateur player/spectators, or are hard courts more appealing.

No answer to that question. I am always amazed when I visit some clubs the number of senior players on the hard surfaces – knee braces, straps, wraps, etc.

Time to fly.


Zola Says:

Dr. Death,
you are a player, so you can say better, which surface has the least impact on the body?
Or better, which surface can help prolong the career of tennis players, clay/grass or hard?

I played on hard courts for a couple of years when I started and it affected my left knee. I had to wear a brace. Then, on a trip, I discovered an outdoor carpet and I had no problems with my knees. Never played on grass or clay. But I think they will be much more friendly to the body than hard courts.

I also think maintanace is much easier for a clay or even grass than a hard court that cracks and needs to be re-surfaced every year.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

Sorry about the burning comment, etc., but I was upset at your remark. I felt you were just stoking the situation. I interpreted it as an “ET TU BRUTUS” type of remark, and couldn’t understand why. It’s very difficult to understand anything much from a one-liner — I never know how to interpret it. Anyway, for whatever it’s worth, if I misinterpreted your remark, I apologize and hope all’s forgiven and forgotten.

I remembered you mentioned that your tournament was scheduled for May 3rd. Goodluck to you and your partner. Maybe if you’ve forgotten about the foregoing, you’d give me some feedback and the results about your tournament.


Dr. Death Says:

Flight delayed. Nothing new with that I suppose.

Von – no worries. Just stirring the pot that day. I could tell you were upset in general so did not bother to respond. When I attack, it is frontal. (I was surprised you did not pick up on my “huckleberry” comment aimed at Djo. “You poor huckleberry; your heart wasn’t strong enough” What movie? Thanks for the words of encouragement on the tournament.

Zola – surfaces: Clay you can play to grave. “Carpets” depends on what it is. Slide your foot once and see what kind of “give” it has. If none and or you feel the knee, go play somewhere else. Hard courts kill the body – knees, back etc.(U S Open blue courts, though hard, have a little give to them.) Grass – like going to the beach – but unless you are rich, impossible to find.

Maintenance – grass and clay require constant attention (every day)and are expensive. Find a club with har tru – an interesting surface, low maintenance, clay like, etc. If the designer paid attention to the drainage, an excellent surface.

Time to rock.


Zola Says:

Dr. Death,
thanks for the review of the surfaces. I played on that carpet for 3 months and now I don’t even wear a brace anymore ( i ahve not been playing a lot lately). But I could immediately feel how much easier it was on my knees.

After playing a few hours on hard usually my knees would become stiff. No such thing on the carpet.

Best of luck with your tournament. Let us know of the result.


Daniel Says:

I like to play an agressive game, so I prefer hardcourts, but played more on clay then hardcourts in my life (south american tennis). Clay is no doubt softer on the body, but then, the points are bigger so you spend more time on court (I tend to get tired more on clay). It also depends on your weight, heavyer people have more impact and get injury more on hardcourts.

The last time I played in a hardcourt I ran to the net to get a short ball and when I stopped with my rigth foot and stretch with the racquet I felt a pain in my lower back that is giving me trouble for 4 months.:)

So, it depends on several factors, but clay is smooth!

Btw, instead of diminishing clay tournaments they should add at least 2 more important ones. This idea of changing Madrid to a clay event is interesting, if they put a preparatory tourney before it, to motivate the playes to play both.


jane Says:

Dr. Death,

I know the question wasn’t addressed to me, but I’ll take a couple of guesses:

/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind/ (you know…Clementine?)

/Rambling Rose/?

I dunno.

Best of luck with the tennis there dude.


jane Says:

Jill – a female tennis writer? Good stuff. I always read Bonnie Ford’s stuff at EPSN too.

What’s with Tursonov’s new look? He reminded me of Nick Nolte in /Down and Out in Beverly Hills/ or something. Maybe he looked more “aye matey” in person? Weird. Oh well, at least he won!


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“(I was surprised you did not pick up on my “huckleberry” comment aimed at Djo. “You poor huckleberry; your heart wasn’t strong enough” What movie?”

Sorry for the delay. That day I was only seeing red. I’m not that great a movie buff, but what comes to mind is Pettigrew being shot in the breast not the finger, from the movie “Gettysburg”. Other than that, I’m lost. You’ll have to tell me which movie.

“I am always amazed when I visit some clubs the number of senior players on the hard surfaces – knee braces, straps, wraps, etc.”

Sounds like the setting for a geriatric ward. And, what’s a nice guy klike you doing in a place like that? :) I’ve just recently read that tennis should NOT be considered as a form of exercise for those who are seeking to improve their health. According to the experts, tennis is an extremely taxing form of physical stress on the body, e.g., too many knee, back and wrist/arm injuries. It was suggested that consideration be given to golf, swimming and speed walking. Think about it, but then you’re a golfer also. Tell me something, do you work? Where’s the time, between golf, tennis and flying? You’re a busy little bee aren’t you? :) Enjoy!!


Dr. Death Says:

Hi All!

I do work curing the well and burying the healthy. At the stage of life where I manage things and let the younger ones make more money.

That line (or close) is from Tombstone – Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday after he shoots Johnny Ringo. The Kilmer role is one of his best.

From what little research I did, “huckleberry” is an old 19th century slang, Southern U.S. word.

I spent my sports life jogging, atudying aikido and Taekwondo. Fun but many injuries. Golf is not exercise. Swimming and speed walking I would endorse. Tennis is great. Doubles, if you take the net, is good aerobics; singles we need make no comment on.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“I do work curing the well and burying the healthy. At the stage of life where I manage things and let the younger ones make more money.”

A doctor and a mortician. :) LOL. Remember the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm”. Let’s see, first you make a feeble attempt to cure them, which is what you’re supposed to do, and that’s fulfilling the resume requirement for a ‘cure’ (doctor), and then you kill them to fulfill the requirements of the other job, (mortician). Either way you’re making money and it’s a win, win situation for you. :) You’re too much. All you have to do is go to the seniors tournaments and you’ll be able to fulfill the job description of both jobs. LOL. But, keep on trucking. Are your jitters now beginning for the May 3rd tourney? Not likely, since you’re an “old” pro at this. Follow the prescription: Take 2 Xanax, and don’t call yourself, in the morning. :) Good luck!!


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“From what little research I did, “huckleberry” is an old 19th century slang, Southern U.S. word.”

Huckleberry Finn always come to mind whenever I hear that word.

“Doubles, if you take the net, is good aerobics; singles we need make no comment on.”

I’d say that there’s more longevity in doubles too. Bjorkman and Johnny McEnroe, are two who stand out. However, from what I’ve observed these doubles teams seem to develop an itch to try out new partners and then it’s downhill thereafter. Bjorkman and Myrni, Nestor and Knowles. Two good teams that succumbed to the ‘itch’ and are now having difficulty stringing 2 or more matches, much more win tournaments. The Bryans have the best deal — twins. No one is going to place a wedge between those two. Thank God for that, the US needs all the help they can muster to have players in the top 10. I’m wondering what type of results the US/Spain tie will yield in DC. A somewhat gruesome picture comes to mind.


jane Says:

Martina in doubles – until she was what? 50?


jane Says:

Thanks for the answer; I’ve never seen /Tombstone/.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – Bryans are definitely the team to beat in doubles. Spain – U S will be a challenging one. I have been impressed that Nadal is out there playing doubles and winning. It will be good tennis for sure.

Jan – see the movie. Very much to the period with reasonable historical accuracy. You will look twice and then again at Val Kilmer. He really got into this role.

Round 1 done: 6-4, 6-2


Dr. Death Says:

Von – thanks. We are rocking.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Round 1 done: 6-4, 6-2.”

“Von – thanks. We are rocking.”

Whoo-hoo!! I’ll say, rocking and rolling. It’s time to rock and roll. Watch those advils though, I heard if you take too many then you begin to serve like A-Rod. Now wouldn’t that be a blast. Keep on trucking.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Von – Bryans are definitely the team to beat in doubles. Spain – U S will be a challenging one. I have been impressed that Nadal is out there playing doubles and winning. It will be good tennis for sure.”

Yes, it will be good tennis for sure and the Bryans are definitely ‘the team’ period. I have faith in them now that they’ve won a title, they should be rolling. Rolling, Rolling, rolling down the river. Do you know this one? Keep on rocking.


Dr. Death Says:

CCR, John Fogerty, but best performed by Young Tina Turner. Omygod, would that improve my serve!

If Advil would make me serve like A Rod I would insert themXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

(bad boy)


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

Correct as usual — Tina Turner.

“If Advil would make me serve like A Rod I would insert themXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (bad boy)”

You’ll have to take the heat also — big headlines for beating up on the umps.

Btw speaking of headlines, I read you built a bridge to the tune of $1.8 Billion. Are you giving out shares to your friends? Can I have some? Here’s the news:

“China has formally opened what it says is the world’s longest sea bridge with a ceremony and fireworks.

“The 36km (22.5 mile) bridge spans the mouth of Hangzhou Bay in the East China Sea, linking the commercial capital Shanghai and the port city of Ningbo.”

How are you doing with the tourney? Still rocking? Feedback, feedback. Goodluck!


Dr. Death Says:

Hi Von – we are 2 and 1 so far. We lost a close one yesterday, but the format is such that we are still in the running. Four hours + on the courts yesterday. I had Advil for dinner and a snack.

Thanks for the good words. Taking my evil pills early today.

dr.dth1@gmail.com will find me btw.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

Congratulations. Seems like you’re in the SFs. Thanks for the email address. I replied and hope it was received. Sometimes my program is discriminating in its choice of addresses. Hopefully my reply was allowed.


Proof tennis-x is run by 12 year old Federer fanboys Says:

tennis-x poll:

Who will be the best on clay this year?

-> Rafael Nadal 19%
-> Roger Federer 79%
-> Novak Djokovic 1%
votes: 700

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jane Says:

Proof -

It is rather an astonishing result! Maybe it’s the same Federer fan voting over-and-over again?? So far, anyhow, Rafa is THE best on clay. How can we question it rationally??

For 80% out of 700 people to vote for Roger – especially given his patchy results up until this point in the season – does imply a bit of a Fed-warp. (fan-warp?)

As I write, Rafa is rocking Ferrer 5 love in the third set of the Barcelona championships. Stamp that on the dirt!!


Skorocel Says:

To proof tennis-x is run by 12 year old Federer fanboys:

Goes to say who’s the most popular player out there… Anyway, I’m a realist, and thus voted for Rafa… Exception proves the rule, isn’t it? :)

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