Montreal Open Rogers Cup

Hats off to Robredo for giving Murray a run for his money.  His didn’t quite pull it off, but it was close enough to make Murray fans sweat.

A big congrats to Jack Sock and Donald Young for advancing, too. So excited for these two.

Isner and Pospisil – Johnny I love what you’ve done with your forehand. Good stuff.  So much more bend in those knees.

Bee Stings, Tennis and a Bottle of Gin

There is a reason I don’t wear neon yellow or green colored clothing while playing tennis, and I think Roger Federer may also reconsider this color choice in the future after suffering a bee sting in the 2nd round of the Australian Open.  It attracts insects, including bees. Bees really needn’t an inviting color to be annoying; however, green is one of the most inviting colors.  Bees are attracted by pheromones and smell.  Another little factoid about bees is that they sting redheads more than people with other hair colors.  I get stung anywhere from 3-7 times a year.

What do you do if you get stung by a bee while on the court, or specifically, while playing for a state singles title? Yes, that did happen.  Since I have a lot of experience with wasp and bee stings I’ve delveoped my own emergency kit to take with me since this happened. Although most people rely on cortisone, for me this takes too long and you have to apply it many times to get relief. While playing for this title the only thing I had in my bag was a bottle of gin.  I had gotten stung on my back, just below the collar area of my shirt. It was during a game and I was only alotted 90 seconds between the changeover.  There was nothing within my means with which I could treat the bee sting.  I rummaged around in my tennis bag and there it was- It appeared almost as if it were the Room of Requirements- a bottle of gin. I poured the gin down my back and relief was immediate and it felt very cool for a short while after. I went on the win that match, too.  Nowadays, I always keep emergency supplies for me and my teammates for bee stings and other maladies that affect us tennis players.

Smyczek vs. Nadal Australian Open 2015

Oh dear what a match this was.  Nadal had to fight hard to win this match in 5 sets (2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 3-6, 5-7). Smyczek was unrelenting and showed amazing mental strength and heart in his playing. Sometimes big cats like Nadal almost seem affronted when a relatively unknown, less-accomplished player reams them from inside out like Smyczek did, but Nadal showed amazing grace and deference to his very-worthy opponent. Nadal’s reaction to winning was as if he’d won the title, falling to his knees and quite emotional over his win.  The lesson or take-away for this match, though, is Smyczek’s show of upstanding sportsmanship. Nadal was serving at match-point and some pompous-ass fan yelled as he was hitting his serve, which resulted in a fault. Smyczek allowed Nadal to take the serve over and Nadal won the match. In this last game Smyczek came back from Love-40, which is a huge display of mental toughness.  I hope we see more of this guy in 2015.

Kevin Anderson vs. Jan-Lennard Struff

Disclaimer: I have a deep fondness and respect for Kevin Anderson

I’m watching this match live on the Tennsi Channel right now and Der Struffi is serving amazingly.  My favorite out of this match is Kevin Anderson, though, due to his experience.  I saw both of these gents play in 2014 and what was most impressive about Struff was his steadfast serving.  Not only does he hold serve very well, but his drive and skill to finish the point are reliable, and giving Anderson much trouble.

When Anderson does return Struff’s serve, he is able to make it a winner in many cases. Not to mention his serve is beautifuly on point. Of all the ATP players I have met in person, Anderson is one of the most genuine and down to earth there is. Even though I have an affliction for German tennis gods, Anderson’s personality and likability are swaying my pull right now. My prediction is that Anderson will win the tie-break and sweep the second set.

Isner vs. Janowicz Hopman Cup

I’m a huge Isner fan and have been waiting for his game to progress more beyond his serve.  Despite his 7-6/6-4 vistory over Janowicz, staying in rallies enough to win the point against big hitters has been a challenge for him.  This was witnessed in the 2015 Hopman Cup.  In matches like this one, aside from his serve, Isner is very dependent on his opponent’s errors in order to remain in the game.  With janowicz’s hard, flat return it was difficult for a very-tall Isner to get under these balls.

Another issue I’ve seen with Isner, and others that are losing points in the net or going long, is that they are not bending their knees enough in their returns. This is even more problematic with Isner’s height.  In most of his forehand returns that were hit in the net or went long, Isner was not bending his knees enough. If I were isner’s trainer I would prescribe him some light weight barbell squats to increase his vascular capacity and increase stamina and movement for bending those knees.

US Open 2014

I’ve been following The Open, but have been too busy to post with so much going on. If I were looking at underdogs for a finals meeting it would be a Nishikori – Kohlschreiber match up. Both of them have shown so much promise and are primed to win a major if injuries don’t come into play.

If you go by the natural order of alpha-male tennis, then a Federer – Djokovic match up may be more likely. Who do you knuckleheads see in a finals match up?

Dayum!

Did not get to watch the Berdych – Gulbis match, but it looks like serving was not in Berdych’s favor.  I guess we’ll have to wait for Djokovic to put the smack down.  Right now Muguruza is leading Sharapova 3-0, but not holding my breath on this match.  Hoping for a  peaceful final though!

Murray vs. Verdasco French Open

Currently watching Murray and Verdasco play in Round 4 of the French Open.  Love watching both of these men play.  Like many, I would predict Murray the winner based on record, but never underestimate a Spanaird and his red clay.  The French Open as become a tournaments of upsets this year.  My take on these two is that Murray is mentally tough and after a few games adapts so well to his opponents game and uses it against him.  Verdasco is still trying to create his own baggage, which can be an ace in his cap.   Murray’s power is amazing and he can easily chase down Verdasco’s direction of the ball.

Nice touch for these two wearing the same clothing. Nice job Adidas! :-)))

Gulbis Defeats Federer After Medical Time-out

I waited to write about Gulbis’ victory over Federer in Round 3 of the French Open due to high emotions.  I should also state a few disclaimers. 1. This is a highly opinated blog by someone that plays and watches a lot of tennis, who also played in college. 2. I love and have more respect for Roger Federer than most any player, but I’m not a dedicated fan like most. 3.  I love Tommy Haas. And Juan Monaco.

Having gotten that out of the way, allow me to digress with the opinion part of this blog.  In past interviews Gulbis has come off as a total ass, and interviews about his match with federer are not much different. Gulbis was down 2-5 in the fourth set and decided to take a medical time out before it was Federer’s turn to serve. Yes, it is allowed and no, it’s not always necessary for the player taking the time-out.  However, it is a great way to slow momentum of the winning player.

Federer ended up losing to Gulbis.  I don’t want to take away from Gulbis’ skillful playing in this match, because he did play well.    By Gulbis’ own admission ‘..he got lucky’.  Hey, even ugly whores make money!  He also stated that, ”He’s Roger Federer, but he also gets tight.”  To put the onus of mental toughness on Federer is completely short-sighted.  If Roger is tight then what is Gulbis?  Most of us in the tennis community do not hang out in the gutter, so it’s hard to relate to this mentality.

I’m not a disgruntled Federer fan, but I do believe in calling a fig a fig.

I hope Tomas Berdych kicks his ass in the quarters.