The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

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,” …

Stan Wawrinka: I’m Not In The Fourth Round And Neither Is Nick Kyrgios

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 13th, 2017 @ 10:07 pm

Former champion Stan Wawrinka is among the top favorites to win at the Australian Open. But the question of the day posed to the 2014 Australian Open winner was his thoughts on a fourth round showdown with Nick Kyrgios. However, Wawrinka didn’t add any fuel to the fire, dismissing the match for now.

Wawrinka opens against lefty Marin Klizan. Stan won the last hardcourt Slam. He talked to the press today …

Novak Djokovic: It’s a Huge Challenge To Face Verdasco, I Hope I Won’t Have To Defend Match Points Again

Posted by Tom Gainey on January 13th, 2017 @ 9:58 pm

Novak Djokovic is back in Melbourne home of his favorite and most successful Grand Slam. Djokovic has won the Australian Open the last two years and this year tries to become the first to win it seven times.

But he also enters under a cloud. No more Boris Becker and no more No. 1 ranking and with just one title since the summer – that in Doha a few weeks ago …

Australian Open Women’s Preview: Serena, Kerber Not Sharp

Posted by Staff on January 13th, 2017 @ 7:17 pm

The top women on tour aren’t exactly entering Melbourne playing scintillating tennis in 2017.

World No. 1 Angie Kerber has a 1-2 win-loss record on the season. Serena Williams is 1-1.

Serena by reaching the final could regain the No. 1 ranking.

A giant title could be up for grabs for a first-time Slam winner in January. Here’s a look at the women’s field of the 2017 Australian Open:

TOP QUARTER

Top 4 Seeds: (1) …

Mystery Konta Beats Radwanska for WTA Sydney Title

Posted by Jeremy Davis on January 13th, 2017 @ 3:13 pm

Britain’s Johanna Konta, who this time last year was barely ranked inside the Top 50, continued her ascension up the WTA rankings on Friday in Australia with the title at the Apia International Sydney where she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the final 6-4, 6-2.

The 25-year-old No. 10-ranked Konta had never appeared on anyone’s radar while rising up the rankings over the last few years, only cracking the Top 100 last …

Australian Open Men’s Draw Preview: Djokovic Opens With Verdasco, Federer Lands With Murray

Posted by Sean Randall on January 12th, 2017 @ 10:03 pm

The big reveal with the first Grand Slam draw of the season would be the resting place of a 17th seeded Roger Federer. The Swiss who hasn’t played a real match since Wimbledon avoided an early round hazard but will stil have the task of facing Andy Murray in the fourth round.

While Murray has an easy start, defending champion Novak Djokovic opens with Fernando Verdasco, the man who he …

Poll: Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The 2017 Australian Open?

Posted by Staff on January 10th, 2017 @ 10:02 am

The draw comes out just over two days from now (Thursday night ET), but it’s never too early to debate who’ll win the first Grand Slam of the 2017 season.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are virtually the co-favorites to win the Australian Open. Djokovic has won the title in Melbourne the last two years, six times overall.

Murray, the current No. 1, has finished runner-up five times and just lost to …

Maria Sharapova Set For April 26th Return From Ban In Stuttgart

Posted by Staff on January 10th, 2017 @ 9:52 am

The Stuttgart event will host the return of Maria Sharapova. Sharapova’s 15-month ban from tennis ends on April 25. So Stuttgart has given the Russian a wildcard and a Wednesday, April 26th first round match date.

“I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favorite tournaments,” said Sharapova. “I can’t wait to see all my great fans and to be back doing …

Bautista Agut Batters Finals Rookie Medvedev for ATP Chennai Crown

Posted by Staff on January 8th, 2017 @ 5:57 pm

Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut continued his January success of late, winning a title in the first week of 2017 by topping 20-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-4 in the Aircel Chennai Open final on Sunday in India.

Last year the Spaniard won Auckland in January, one of two titles during 2016 in addition to Sofia.

“It’s my fifth time in a row coming here,” Bautista Agut said. “This tournament has helped …

Dimitrov Beats Nishikori to Break 2-1/2 Year Title Drought

Posted by Jeremy Davis on January 8th, 2017 @ 5:38 pm

Grigor Dimitrov a few years ago saw the “Baby Fed” nickname drop away because:

a) He didn’t like it.
b) Roger Federer didn’t like it.
c) Maria Sharapova didn’t like dating babies.
d) He didn’t deserve it because he stopped winning titles.
e) All of the above.

A new nickname may be in order after the first week of the 2017 season as the Bulgarian looked dominant over seven days in winning his first title in …

Novak Djokovic Defends Doha Title, Beats Rival Andy Murray In 3 Set Thriller

Posted by Staff on January 8th, 2017 @ 1:00 am

Novak Djokovic got back in the win column for the first time in six months and he did it by beating main rival Andy Murray 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the final of the Doha.

Djokovic, who won the Doha title last year, had to save five match points in a comeback win Friday to beat Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals.

But in the final, Djokovic showed no early signs of sloppiness playing …

Thiem, ‘C’-Level Marquee Players at ATP Sydney, Auckland; Previews

Posted by Staff on January 7th, 2017 @ 10:17 pm

APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY
Sydney, Australia; surface: hard

Seeds: Dominic Thiem, Pablo Cuevas, Viktor Troicki, Pablo Carreno Busta, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Gilles Muller, Martin Klizan, Marcel Granollers

Floaters: Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Fabio Fognini, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Nicolas Mahut

Notes: Only one Top 10er in Thiem…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…(8) Granollers starts against Hot Sauce, (5) Kohlschreiber vs. Fognini, and (6) Muller vs. Dolgopolov…(2) Cuevas looking at a tough encounter with Mahut 2nd rd…Wildcards were …

WTA Previews: Kerber, 6 of Top 10 in Sydney; Ho-Hum in Hobart

Posted by Staff on January 7th, 2017 @ 9:24 pm

APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY
Sydney, Australia; surface: hard

Seeds: Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta, Elina Svitolina, Elena Vesnina, Roberta Vinci

Floaters: Laura Siegemund, Sam Stosur, Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Puig, Belinda Bencic, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe, Caroline Wozniacki

Notes: Six of the Top 10 in attendance…Lots of unseeded floaters including a former No. 1 and a Slam winner…Tough starts for (3) Cibulkova vs. last year’s breakout player Siegemund, (5) Kuznetsova vs. …

Dimitrov Downs Raonic, Will Face Nishikori For Brisbane Title

Posted by Staff on January 7th, 2017 @ 5:43 pm

Grigor Dimitrov rolled past defending champion Milos Raonic 7-6, 6-2 to advance to a Brisbane final showdown against Kei Nishikori.

“It’s just one of those matches that you just need to be ready,” Dimitrov said. “Milos is one of the biggest servers out there. I mean, I knew what to expect, so I just had to execute the right way.

“I felt everything went pretty well in the first set for me. …