The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

Serena Wins and Says She’s No. 1 Always; Friday Rome Preview

Posted by Jeremy Davis on May 12th, 2016 @ 11:47 pm

World No. 1 Serena Williams was at her best on Thursday in Rome, fighting off a set point to advance into the quarterfinals and reaffirming she’s No. 1 — even when she’s not.

Williams beat countrywoman Christina McHale 7-6(7), 6-1, setting up a quarterfinal with former world No. 2 and French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

“I feel good, because I feel like she hits a …

Poll: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Their 49th Meeting Friday In Rome?

Posted by Staff on May 12th, 2016 @ 9:10 pm

The headline match Friday on quarterfinal day at the Rome Masters is none other than chapter 49 of the Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal rivalry. The two have combined to meet more times in the Open Era than any other rivals, and they also have combined to win the last 11 Rome titles, seven going to Nadal.

Djokovic leads 25-23 (6-14 on clay) and has won the last six meetings and 13 sets …

Juan Martin Del Potro Won’t Play The French Open For A Fourth Straight Year

Posted by Staff on May 12th, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro withdrew his name from the French Open today. The 27-year-old is still working his way back from multiple left wrist surgeries and likely doesn’t want to risk further damage on the strenuous clay.

“We decided that the smartest move is to start my preparation for the grass season,” del Potro said on his Facebook page. “The list of tournaments is yet to be confirmed, but I …

Serena Williams Ate Dog Food Then Got Sick [Video]

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 12th, 2016 @ 9:25 am

Serena Williams is in Rome this week. So is her 3-year-old dog Chip. The story goes, Serena ordered some pricey salmon and rice off the hotel’s pet menu. So she decided to try it. And soon after, she was running to the toilet!

“Don’t judge me,” Serena said on Snapchat. “I ate a spoonful!”

And then.

“Let’s fast forward two hours. I just ran to the toilet,” she said. “I thought I was …

Roger Federer Unsure If Back Will Let Him Play French, Record Grand Slam Streak In Serious Jeopardy

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 12th, 2016 @ 9:05 am

Roger Federer played today in Rome but he’s still a long way from 100% with his ailing back. A day after beating teen Alexander Zverev, the Swiss couldn’t get the job done against the German’s doubles partner this week, Dominic Thiem, losing 76(2), 64.

Following the match, the 34-year-old Federer admitted that Rome wasn’t a results-based event. It was for information. Information on the back injury he sustained two weekends ago …

Kerber, Half of WTA Rome Seeds Lose in Another Massive Exodus

Posted by Jeremy Davis on May 11th, 2016 @ 11:58 pm

World No. 2 Angie Kerber led a tremendous seeded exit on Wednesday at Rome, losing in the second round to Canadian Genie Bouchard 6-1, 5-7, 7-5.

“I did feel like I was playing better tennis today, especially at the beginning,” Bouchard said. “That’s how I want to play. That gives me confidence knowing I can play that way against one of the best players in the world.”

Kerber, “one of the best …

Roger Federer ‘Expected to Lose’ but Wins in ATP Rome Debut; Thurs Blockbuster Big 4 Line-up

Posted by Jeremy Davis on May 11th, 2016 @ 4:45 pm

Wednesday at Rome was all about the seeds — and a young upstart named Nick Kyrgios.

All six Top 10 seeds advanced in second-round play, save one. No. 10 seed Milos Raonic was ousted 7-6(5), 6-3 by the unseeded Aussie Kyrgios, who took time off from his battles with the Australian tennis federation over the Olympics, and his brash predictions that he’ll soon be among the Top 3, to post a …

Ailing Roger Federer Didn’t Think He Would Win A Set Today In Rome!

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 11th, 2016 @ 11:56 am

Roger Federer surprised himself today Rome. The Swiss has been battling a back injury the last few weeks and speculation was strong that Federer would make it on the court for his match against 19-year-old Alexander Zverev. But the Swiss not only played, he won 63, 75 over the German. A surprise because afterward Federer admitted that he didn’t think he’d win a set.

“I was expecting to lose in straight …

Andy Murray Explains Split With Amelie Mauresmo And The Search For A New Coach

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 11th, 2016 @ 9:38 am

After the stunning news Monday that Andy Murray split with coach of two years Amelie Mauresmo, the Scot discussed what had happened that led to the break-up which came down to scheduling issues.

“I think the end of last year we tried,” Murray said. “Tried to make it work. Amelie was in Dubai, did a training block with me and agreed to, you know, try for another year.

“Obviously in Australia …

Serena Makes Winning Start On Clay In Rome; Petra Kvitova-Madison Keys Wednesday

Posted by Staff on May 10th, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

Serena Williams opened her 2016 clay season with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over German Anna-Lena Friedsam Tuesday at the Rome Masters.

After injuries, Rome is just Serena’s fourth event of the year, and she’s still seeking he first title since Cincinnati last summer.

“I was really happy with my level,” Serena said. “I think I was really consistent. I think I was mentally consistent. I started out fast. Those are some of …

Roger Federer v Alexander Zverev Wed In Rome; Djokovic, Murray, Nadal Also In Action

Posted by Staff on May 10th, 2016 @ 10:29 pm

In the match of the second round, Roger Federer will get his first look at the young phenom Alexander Zverev Wednesday at the Rome Masters. The 19-year-old German, who is ranked No. 44 after starting the year No. 83, has never beaten a Top 10 player before. But he did just dominate a player who plays just like Federer in Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s always something that I dreamed about, playing against …

Nick Kyrgios: I Don’t Think It’s An Exaggeration, I Can Be A Top 3 Player!

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 10th, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

Nick Kyrgios has been tabbed among the favorites of the new generation to reach the top of the tennis world, and the outspoken bad boy doesn’t think it’s a stretch. Having just turned 21, Kyrgios points out that he already has wins over Roger Federer at Madrid and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon plus an exo win over Andy Murray at the Hopman Cup. So why not?

“I have beaten …

Nick Kyrgios Defends Bernard Tomic’s Matchpoint Tank

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 10th, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

What’s the saying, birds of a feather flock together. Even when they don’t like each other. Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are already at odds after Tomic called out his countryman over his withdrawal from the Davis Cup earlier this year.

But now, instead of ripping into Tomic for his actions, or lack therof, in his infamous feeble attempt down matchpoint against Fabio Fognini last week, Kyrgios is coming …

Novak Djokovic Now Has The Same Number Of ATP Titles As Pete Sampras And Bjorn Borg [Chart]

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 10th, 2016 @ 2:15 pm

By winning his second Madrid Open on Sunday, Novak Djokovic equaled tennis greats Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg in terms of career ATP titles at 64. That ranks the Serb tied for 7th on the Open Era titles leaderboard, just five away from matching Rafael Nadal and 10 from Rod Laver’s 5th place.

Given Djokovic is about to turn just 29 in a few days, passing both would seem to be …

Zverev Downs Dimitrov, Thiem Advances, Tsonga Withdraws; Wawrinka, Nishikori Tuesday In Rome

Posted by Staff on May 9th, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

With the top players enjoying a day off, the young guns of the ATP had the stage to themselves Monday in Rome, and the didn’t disappoint.

Nineteen-year-old Alexander Zverev posted the best win of the day defeating Grigor Dimitrov handily 6-1, 6-4. The wins sets the German up with Roger Federer on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem needed three sets to oust Alexander Dolgopolov 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. “I had a very good start to …