July 17th, 2011
Notes: Interesting openers include (1) Fish vs. the Mahut-Richard Bernakis winner after a bye, (8) Devvarman vs. Ryan Sweeting, Blake vs. Gulbis in a battle of strugglers, (7) Bogomolov vs. Muller, (WC) Haas vs. (WC) Robby Ginepri, and (WC) Donald Young vs. “Iron” Mike Russell (winner to face (2) Anderson); Fish beat Isner in last year’s final.
May 15th, 2011
Notes: Why “Qualifier” and Victor Hanescu as floaters? Because one of those will likely send the struggling No. 4 seed Roddick out of the tournament in his first match; interesting opening-round match-ups include (6) Baghdatis vs. (WC) Benneteau, and (8) Fognini vs. (WC) Gulbis; Roddick is making his debut in Nice, looking for some last-minute clay preparation after going winless this dirt season, and extending his losing record to four straight matches; the Top 4 seeds in Nice this year are all making their tournament debuts; Richard Gasquet won the title last year.
May 1st, 2011
The title lifted Djokovic’s win-loss record on the year to 27-0, the best season start by a player since Ivan Lendl began the 1986 year 29-0.
April 5th, 2011
Americans went 1-for-3 in the final round of qualifying play on Monday as American Donald Young lost to Ivo Karlovic in straights, Americna Rajeev Ram lost to Chile’s Paul Capdeville in three, American Alex Bogomolov Jr. lost to Croat Franco Skugor in three, and American Tim Smyczek gained the main draw after defeating Canadian Frank Dancevic in three sets.
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March 6th, 2011
Andy “The Closer” Roddick clinches for the U.S. in the first match on Sunday, beating Paul Capdeville in four sets. Chile got its only live point on Day One when Capdeville turned his match against John Isner into a fitness contest, beating Big John from two sets down. Roddick opened with a win over Nicolas Massu on Day One, and the Bryan brothers won the Saturday doubles point for the U.S., which will next host Spain.
February 27th, 2011
Notes: Troubled former No. 1 Dinara Safina floats seedlessly in the draw, starting against China’s Xinyun Han, then a possible meeting with (5) Safarova; (8) Jovanovski a tough start against Tanasugarn, and (1) Schiavone vs. Dokic; last year Kleybanova beat the now-retired Elena Dementieva to win her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur.
February 19th, 2011
After last week winning his first ATP title at San Jose, this afternoon Raonic beat Mardy Fish 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the Memphis final. Only breaking on the scene last month at the Australian Open by reaching the round of 16, Raonic seemingly has no weaknesses. His serve is a monster. He batters forehand and two-handed backhand winners from the back court, and has variety with a slice backhand that is at his height is like playing ping pong. He is aggressive and doesn’t hesitant to push in and end the point at the net. His return of serve is big. His volley is solid. He hammered 23 aces on Fish. This kid is a nightmare for anyone he faces. Ask Top 10er Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, who lost to Raonic in the San Jose finals, then lost to him again a couple days later in the first round at Memphis.
January 8th, 2011
Notes: (8) Lu opens against Simon, and (6) Lopez vs. (WC) Del Potro; other wildcards to Brit James Ward and Aussie Matthew Ebden; Baghdatis beat Gasquet in last year’s final; Del Potro makes his first tournament appearance since October and only his third in the last 11 months after a right wrist injury that required surgery; American Donald Young lost in the qualifying as did Aussie Carsten Ball; seeds Querrey, Gulbis and Lopez have losing career records in Sydney; the Bryan brothers, winners in 2009, are the top seeds in the doubles; Baghdatis, the only returning champ in the field, is looking to become the first back-to-back winner since James Blake (2007-06); Pete Sampras and Lleyton Hewitt (twice) won back-to-back titles, but no one has one three in a row in Sydney in the Open Era.
November 20th, 2010
At Wimbledon this year the 2010 Sportsman Nadal was warned by the chair umpire not to receive coaching from or talk to his uncle in the crowd. Yet later in the same match Nadal was slapped with a code violation for talking to his uncle, who was in the player’s box.
September 18th, 2010
American un-prodigy “The” Donald Young lost to US Open Playoffs-Qualifying tournament winner Blake Strode this past week at a $50,000 Challenger in Tulsa, OK, USA