The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

Maria Sharapova Rises From No Ranking To 262

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 2nd, 2017 @ 9:52 am

After just one tournament, Maria Sharapova has already gone from no ranking to No. 262, and it puts her close to entering on her own merits into the Wimbledon qualifying event.

Sharapova, who made the Stuttgart semifinals losing to Kristina Mladenovic in her return from a 15-month doping ban, is taking this week off to train before she returns for Madrid and then Rome, and if she does well enough …

Pouille Party as Frenchman Wins 1st ATP Claycourt Title at Budapest

Posted by Staff on May 1st, 2017 @ 12:22 pm

France’s 23-year-old Lucas Pouille is having a coming-out party on clay this season, highlighted by his first career claycourt title on Sunday at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Budapest.

The top seed in the final defeated Brit qualifier Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-1 for his first title on clay and second career after Metz on indoor hardcourt last year.

Pouille’s win came on the heels of reaching the semifinals at the Monte Carlo …

Siegemund’s Star Rising After WTA Stuttgart Title

Posted by Staff on May 1st, 2017 @ 12:53 am

Laura Siegemund outlasted Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5) to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Sunday in Stuttgart, Germany, capturing the second and biggest title of her career.

On match point Siegemund ran down a drop shot, flipping it past her French counterpart, and when the chair umpire ruled the line-clipping shot good, the celebration ensured.

“I was so much in the zone that when I finally won — and even …

Nadal Tops Thiem To Win Incredible 10th ATP Barcelona Title on Heels of Monte Carlo

Posted by Staff on May 1st, 2017 @ 12:22 am

The King of Clay is apparently back to form.

It seemed miraculous last week when Rafael Nadal became the only player in Open Era history to win 10 titles at one tournament when he did it at Monte Carlo.

On Sunday Nadal repeated the feat at Barcelona, defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 for his 10th career title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Improving to 10-0 career in Barcelona finals, he won …

WTF is the WTA Doing? Website, Handling Maria, On-Court Coaching Mess

Posted by Jeremy Davis on April 30th, 2017 @ 1:41 pm

You don’t read this a lot on the web, but you should leave this web page right now and go to www.wtatennis.com. Go quick as it might change, but it looks to be permanent. The WTA re-did their website in 30-point fonts in a graphics-blast format that looks like a middle school web class project.

Things are impossible to find. It’s the opposite of intuitive. But that’s how things are going …

Sharapova Stumbles In Comeback, Falls To Mladenovic In Stuttgart SFs; Halep Upset

Posted by Staff on April 29th, 2017 @ 11:54 pm

Maria Sharapova’s comeback to tennis was halted by Kristina Mladenovic who stunned the former No. 1 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals in Stuttgart Saturday.

Behind her powerful serve, Sharapova rolled out quickly with an early break, then after taking the first set, she led 2-0 in the second. But Mladenovic turned things around and upped her game to force a decider.

The Frenchwoman kept the pressure on going up 5-2 then …

Thiem Picks Up First Career Win Over A No. 1, Spoils Nadal-Murray Final In Barcelona

Posted by Staff on April 29th, 2017 @ 11:43 pm

Dominic Thiem dashed the hopes of a dream Rafael Nadal-Andy Murray final in Barcelona when the Austrian took down Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 earlier today in the semifinals.

Thiem squandered a break lead in the third but with Murray serving 4-5, 15-0, the Scot didn’t win another point giving up uncharacteristic errors and Thiem took with an exception lob that Murray couldn’t return.

It was Thiem’s first career win over a World …

Del Potro, Raonic Feature at 3 ATP Events Next Week; Previews

Posted by Staff on April 29th, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL OPEN
Istanbul, Turkey; surface: clay

Seeds: Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Diego Schwartzman, Paolo Lorenzi, Viktor Troicki, Bernard Tomic, Borna Coric, Steve Darcis

Floaters: Marcos Baghdatis, Dudi “Where’s My Car?” Sela

Notes: Two Top 10ers make Istanbul the top event this week…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Matches to watch for in the 1st rd. include (5) Troicki vs. the big-match Baghdatis, and (8) Darcis vs. Sela to see who can …

Pliskova Headlines Prague, Bacsinszky Defends at Rabat; WTA Previews

Posted by Staff on April 29th, 2017 @ 7:08 pm

Only one Top 10 player is in action this week on the WTA tour, but a number of former No. 1s and young guns are in the mix at Prague, where defending champion Lucie Safarova shoots for a fourth career title, and Rabat where Swiss Timea Bacsinszky is the defending champion.

Here are the tournament breakdowns:

J&T BANKA PRAGUE OPEN
Prague, Czech Republic; surface: red clay

Seeds: Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki, Barbora Strycova, Samantha …

Sharapova, Halep Breeze Into Stuttgart SFs, Pliskova Out

Posted by Staff on April 28th, 2017 @ 7:25 pm

Just three matches into her comeback, Maria Sharapova is already looking like a Top 5 player. Today, the 30-year-old former No. 1 cruised past Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4 in the Stuttgart quarterfinals. Sharapova hasn’t dropped a set in three matches this week.

“I thought I moved a lot better today, and was more comfortable with the ground and the surface,” Sharapova said. “Coming into the first match, I didn’t have a …

Murray Survives Ramos Threat In Barcelona, Rafa Runs Away From Chung

Posted by Staff on April 28th, 2017 @ 7:11 pm

Andy Murray nearly fell for a second time in as many weeks to Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Spaniard Vinolas twice led by a break in the final set against the Scot today in the quarterfinals at Barcelona, but failed to serve out the match at 5-4 and eventually lost in a deciding breaker 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).

“It was very similar to the match in Monte-Carlo, except in that match I was the …

Kerber Out Of Stuttgart In First Match, Sharapova Marches On

Posted by Staff on April 27th, 2017 @ 6:26 pm

Angelique Kerber’s struggles this season continued Thursday in Stuttgart. Playing in front of her home fans, the world No. 2 was bounced by Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 7-5 in her opening match.

Kerber had just made her first final of the year last week in Monterrey, so hopes were high the lefty could continue to improve, but a poor serving day cost the 2-time Stuttgart champion.

While Kerber falls to 0-7 vs Top …

Nadal, Murray Move Into Barcelona QFs; Chung Ousts Zverev

Posted by Staff on April 27th, 2017 @ 6:09 pm

Tournament favorites Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both rolled into the quarterfinals of Barcelona on Thursday.

Nadal, who is seeking a 10th Barcelona title, eased past big bomber Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4.

“It wasn’t a day where I took a lot of free points because the court was very heavy. But I was serving well, at a good speed and changing directions well,” said Nadal who never faced a break point. “I …

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray Advance In Barcelona

Posted by Staff on April 27th, 2017 @ 12:43 am

King of Clay Rafael Nadal and World No. 1 Andy Murray both advanced into the third round Wednesday in Barcelona.

Murray, who take a late wildcard to get more match play, got none when his opponent, Bernard Tomic, withdrew due to a back injury. Murray will face Feliciano Lopez on Thursday.

Seeking a 10th title in Barcelona, Nadal took the court with his name on it and destroyed Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-1, …

Maria Sharapova Victorious Over Vinci In Return From Drug Ban

Posted by Staff on April 27th, 2017 @ 12:35 am

Playing in her first match after serving a 15-month doping ban, Maria Sharapova returned a winner Wednesday in Stuttgart. The Russian former No. 1 overcame a 2-0 first set start to defeat Roberta 7-5, 6-3.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Sharapova said.

“I don’t know what type of expectations I had,” she added. “I’ve been visualizing it and thinking about it, but I don’t know. I think I was …