Tennis Connected http://tennisconnected.com/home News . Views . Reviews Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:37:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 News . Views . Reviews Tennis Connected Tennis Connected danrumeo@gmail.com danrumeo@gmail.com (Tennis Connected) NEWS | VIEWS | REVIEWS Tennis Connected http://tennisconnected.com/home/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/podcastItunes-260.jpg http://tennisconnected.com/home ATP Tour 2019: Schedule of Play for Wednesday, July 24 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/23/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-wednesday-july-24-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/23/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-wednesday-july-24-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/#respond Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:37:02 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61696

The ATP Tour 2019 Schedule of Play for Wednesday, July 24 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad can be found at the links below.

LINK: Hamburg Schedule of Play

LINK: Atlanta Schedule of Play

LINK: Gstaad Schedule of Play

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Tiafoe Upset in Atlanta; Sousa Wins in Gstaad; Thiem Prevails in Hamburg http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/23/tiafoe-upset-in-atlanta-sousa-wins-in-gstaad-thiem-prevails-in-hamburg/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/23/tiafoe-upset-in-atlanta-sousa-wins-in-gstaad-thiem-prevails-in-hamburg/#respond Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:34:47 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61698 BB&T Atlanta Open—Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.

First-round results:

Bernard Tomic Defeats (5) Frances Tiafoe 46 63 764
Matthew Ebden Defeats Kamil Majchrzak 76(5) 63
HDaniel Evans Defeats Jason Jung 61 61
Soonwoo Kwon Defeats Prajnesh Gunneswaran 67(4)75 60
Reilly Opelka Defeats Alexander Bublik 63 76(1)

*****

J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad—Gstaad, Switzerland

First-round results:

Denis Istomin Defeats Marc-Andrea Huesler 63 76(0)
(5) Joao Sousa Defeats Steve Darcis 64 64
Taro Daniel Defeats Filippo Baldi 64 64
Gian Marco Moroni Defeats Tommy Robredo 62 62
Jaume Munar Defeats Malek Jaziri 57 63 64
Albert Ramos-Vinolas Defeats Henri Laaksonen 60 63

*****

Hamburg European Open—Hamburg, Germany

First-round results:

(1) Dominic Thiem Defeats Pablo Cuevas 63 76(3)
(2) Alexander Zverev Defeats Nicolas Jarry 64 62
(3) Fabio Fognini Defeats Julian Lenz 64 64
(4) Nikoloz Basilashvili Defeats Hugo Dellien 64 63
Filip Krajinovic Defeats (6) Laslo Djere 63 63
(7) Jan-Lennard Struff Defeats Thiago Monteiro 61 63
Pablo Carreno Busta Defeats Yannick Hanfmann 76(5) 64
Federico Delbonis Defeats Marco Cecchinato 67(5) 76(3) 62
Richard Gasquet Defeats Sumit Nagal 62 762
Juan Ignacio Londero Defeats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 63 62
Casper Ruud Defeats Robin Haase 63 36 61

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ATP Tour 2019: Schedule of Play for Tuesday, July 23 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-tuesday-july-23-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-tuesday-july-23-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/#respond Tue, 23 Jul 2019 02:54:22 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61690

The ATP Tour 2019 Schedule of Play for Tuesday, July 23 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad can be found at the links below.

LINK: Hamburg Schedule of Play

LINK: Atlanta Schedule of Play

LINK: Gstaad Schedule of Play

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Kudla Upset in Atlanta; Andujar Wins in Gstaad; Paire Ousted in Hamburg http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/kudla-upset-in-atlanta-andujar-wins-in-gstaad-paire-ousted-in-hamburg/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/kudla-upset-in-atlanta-andujar-wins-in-gstaad-paire-ousted-in-hamburg/#respond Tue, 23 Jul 2019 02:48:56 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61688 BB&T Atlanta Open—Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.

First-round results:

Bradley Klahn Defeats Marius Copil 76(3) 75
Cameron Norrie Defeats (7) Jordan Thompson 76(3) 46 63
Alexei Popyrin Defeats Denis Kudla 63 64

*****

J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad—Gstaad, Switzerland

First-round results:

Thomas Fabbiano Defeats Sandro Ehrat 64 75
(6) Roberto Carballes Baena Defeats Paolo Lorenzi 671 63 62
(7) Pablo Andujar Defeats Dennis Novak 61 36 63
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe Defeats Corentin Moutet 64 64
Stefano Travaglia Defeats Daniel Elahi Galan 767 63
Jiri Vesely Defeats Ernests Gulbis 75 75

*****

Hamburg European Open—Hamburg, Germany

First-round results:

Rudolf Molleker Defeats Leonardo Mayer 76(8) 64
Jeremy Chardy Defeats (5) Benoit Paire 67(4) 75 63
Andrey Rublev Defeats (8) Cristian Garin 64 76(5)
Marton Fucsovics Defeats Philipp Kohlschreiber 63 60
Martin Klizan Defeats Daniel Altmaier 62 62

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Live Streaming for the ATP Tour and WTA Events in Hamburg, Atlanta, Gstaad, Jurmala and Palermo http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/live-streaming-for-the-atp-tour-and-wta-events-in-hamburg-atlanta-gstaad-jurmala-and-palermo/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/live-streaming-for-the-atp-tour-and-wta-events-in-hamburg-atlanta-gstaad-jurmala-and-palermo/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:44:04 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=52390 Live Streaming for the ATP Tour and WTA Events in Hamburg, Atlanta, Gstaad, Jurmala and Palermo can be viewed at the links below.

Link: TennisTV (best quality)

Link: WTA TV (best quality)

Link: EuroSport (Europe)

Link: SkySports (Europe)

Link: TSN (Canada)

Link: TVA (Canada)

Link: ESPN (US Only)

Link: Tennis Channel (US Only)

 

 

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Who are the hard-court Favourites Heading into the US Open? http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/who-are-the-hard-court-favourites-heading-into-the-us-open/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/who-are-the-hard-court-favourites-heading-into-the-us-open/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:37:41 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61678 Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews the 2019 hard court season.

Do you see the end of the rainbow?

Readers of a long while here have become accustomed to us calling every tennis season a huge, long rainbow with the US Open and the Big Apple acting in the form of the big pot of gold at the end of said rainbow. (Of course, there are still plenty more tournaments ahead after the US Open rolls around, so this analogy isn’t all worked out but, erm, it’s a start.)

Well here we are at the top looking down; we’ve started our descent to the end of this big rainbow, and we can’t wait to arrive in New York for the biggest party in the tennis world.

But before we get there, we have about a month’s worth of events scattered across North America in stadiums and cities of various sizes—with each tournament another occasion for all men and women contenders and pretenders to make their mark.

Women’s side

Simona Halep. The Romanian is currently working on two straight first-round losses at the US Open, but after rewriting her legacy this summer at Wimbledon could Simona Halep finally breaks through in the Big Apple this year? We’ll know the answer in a few weeks.

Serena Williams. The great champion proved it over again recently in Wimbledon: mostly everything and anything in women’s tennis goes by and through her. Serena Williams may not have much time left at the top, but she’s still very much there in 2019.

Naomi Osaka. Will the 21-year-old rediscover her best form in the days and weeks leading up to the site of her biggest triumph, the springboard with which she took over the WTA in 2019? The mercurial and candid Japanese has had an eventful season, first grabbing the Australian Open title and also somehow deciding to split with the coach she had taken over the world with—a decision that’s still as puzzling now as it was then. But Naomi Osaka should be a force to reckon with. Probably.

Dark horse: Sloane Stephens. Sloane Stephens’s career has been anything but regular and constant, but if there’s been one place where the American has known almost nothing but success—and not injuries—it’s at the US Open. Can she recapture magic in 2019 like she did two years ago? Maybe.

Real dark horse: Anastasija Sevastova. Quick thinking, who made a semifinal and two quarterfinal berths at the US Open in her last three participations there? Don’t be surprised if Anastasija Sevastova does it again.

Men’s side

Novak Djokovic. The Serb will be the overwhelming favourite in Flushing Meadows, as he should be. If he keeps playing at this current level, we’re about 18 months away from calling Novak Djokovic as the greatest player in history—with little to no pushback possible against it.

Roger Federer. The Swiss hasn’t had a coronation in New York since 2008, and yet he’ll see the proverbial seas part every step he takes while he plays there. If nothing else, Roger Federer will be the clear people’s champion in the eyes and hearts of every tennis fan. Not bad for a soon-to-be 38-year-old.

Stefanos Tsitsipas. For the third choice on this list, you could pick Dominic Thiem as well but we’re rolling with the most-online player on tour. The Greek hasn’t quite played this well at major events, but his game works well on hard courts: he made it to the 2018 Rogers Cup final and the 2019 Australian Open semifinal after all, both times on hard courts.

Dark horse: Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 18-year-old probably wants nothing more than a redo on his big US Open debut, as his was spoiled a year ago when he had to withdraw from a match with heart palpitations. This year will be different: after playing a full season on tour, he’s more suited to understand the wild atmosphere he’ll encounter in New York. And for what it’s worth, his game is perfect for the bright lights and the hard courts.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG

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Will Federer Know When To Let Go?  http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/will-federer-know-when-to-let-go/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/will-federer-know-when-to-let-go/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:35:52 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61683 When all was said and done at this year’s Wimbledon, the crowd was split. Everyone had just seen the longest and most draining Men’s Singles final of all time at the prestigious tournament, and Novak Djokovic was the winner. In the process, Djokovic made a strong case that he should be viewed and spoken about with the same reverence that’s given to his beaten opponent Roger Federer, and long-time rival Rafael Nadal. Everybody was happy for Djokovic, and recognized his great achievement. At the same time, it was impossible not to feel sorry for Roger Federer.

Winning the tournament would have been a Cinderella story for 37-year-old Federer. He dominated the competition – and tennis in general – for the first ten years of the 21st century. Since then, we’ve been watching him gradually slow down. He still occasionally makes a grand slam final. Sometimes, he even wins one. Despite that, no man can fight against the ticking of the clock forever; the unavoidable truth is that his wins and final appearances are less frequent than they used to be. This may have been his final chance to win Wimbledon, and doing it in such a dramatic fashion would have been the perfect way to say goodbye.

It wasn’t to be, though. The critics marveled at his seemingly super-human endurance and fitness, but it wasn’t enough to get him over the line. He took defeat gracefully, as he always does, and had only good things to say about the man who took the crown for a second successive year. In the back of his mind, however, he may have been quietly asking himself the same question that all professional athletes frequently ask themselves in their late 30s – ‘Is this it?’

Closing Time

Although rumors of Federer’s retirement have appeared frequently in the press for the past three years, the man himself has always shot them down. As recently as the start of the year he was telling reporters that retirement was not on his mind. He followed that up before the French Open in May by saying that he will continue to play for ‘as long as the stars are still aligned.’ It’s unclear what he meant by that euphemism – he’s previously said that he won’t still be playing by the time he’s 40, and that window is beginning to close. Could a heartbreaking loss in the final of the greatest tournament in tennis be the thing that finally knocks his stars out of alignment?

Sporting history is littered with the tales of athletes who didn’t know when to call it quits. Muhammad Ali boxed on long beyond the point when he should have stopped, as have many other fighters. Football players often linger for a season or two too long. Michael Jordan has openly stated that he regrets his final seasons on the basketball court. The spotlight is a hard thing to leave, but those who stand in it for too long eventually find that it starts to burn.

It can also be hard to retire while the money is still good, and very few players – if any – have made as much money out of playing as Roger Federer. His enormous skill has brought rich rewards, and those rewards won’t be there in retirement. He now has to assess whether the potential money that could be there in the future makes it worth continuing. There’s an online slots game called ‘Tennis Stars,’ which uses a tennis theme as a backdrop while players spin the reels. The fact that playing slots like that is even possible is down to the mass appeal that stars such as Federer have brought to the sport, but there’s also a theory that comes with playing mobile slots at AmigoSlots.com. Players have to work out when the slot is likely to have paid out the largest prize it’s going to give them, and walk away. That’s what separates good slots players and bad ones. Federer now has to make the same assessment of his career – is there anything more to be paid out, or have the good times been and gone?

American Dreams

The answer to these questions isn’t likely to come immediately. Federer seems committed to at least playing through the remainder of 2019, and is already gearing up for the US Open. The Swiss is a five-time champion at the event, but last picked up the trophy there over ten years ago with a triumph over Andy Murray in 2008. Since then he’s managed just two appearances in the final. The most recent was a loss in 2015, which also came at the hands of Djokovic.

Djokovic is the favorite for the tournament in the eyes of most bookmakers, with Federer considered to be behind Nadal when it comes to who’s most likely to walk away with the top prize. That should mean less pressure on focus on Federer than he experienced at Wimbledon, but it’s known that he’d love to walk away from the tournament a winner one more time before he calls it a day. That’s the kind of ambition that can drive a person mad just as easily as it can drive them on. If he’s unsuccessful, does he commit himself to try again in 2020, or does he call it a day?

None of us like to see our favorite players walk away from any sport. We all wish the legends could stay forever, and continue to demonstrate their incredible skill. When the time comes, though, we’d also prefer them to bow out with dignity than become a shadow of the star they once were. Right now, Federer is enjoying a glorious autumn to his career. His performance at Wimbledon proves that he’s still within touching distance of being the player he was in his 20s. Our great hope is that he keeps the awareness to recognize when autumn is about to turn into winter, and walks into a comfortable retirement rather than gradually fading away. As one of the most phenomenal ambassadors for the sport that tennis has ever seen, he deserves nothing less.

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Can anyone dismantle the big three in men’s singles? http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/can-anyone-dismantle-the-big-three-in-mens-singles/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/22/can-anyone-dismantle-the-big-three-in-mens-singles/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:30:09 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61680 Since the early nineties, tennis fans have been spoiled, bearing witness to the exceptional talents of the men’s singles ‘big three’: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Between the three champions and legends of the sport, they have a combined total of 54 Grand Slam titles – with Federer leading the way with 20, Nadal with 18 and Djokovic with 16. The US Open 2019 is just around the corner and again the three are a dominant force in the tournament, with 11 wins between them. The big question is, can anyone dismantle them?

US Open Successes

Between the years of 2004 and 2018, there have been just four occasions where one of the ‘big three’ haven’t won the US Open and just once has the final not been contested by Djokovic, Nadal or Federer.

The Swiss maestro leads the way with five victories in the tournament, winning it five years consecutively, between 2004 and 2008. Since then, Federer has also lost two finals, the most recent being in 2015 to Djokovic.

Djokovic is the current holder of the US Open men’s singles title, beating Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets: 6–3, 7–6(7–4), 6–3 to record his third victory in the tournament. One of the men to previously dismantle the ‘big three’ is del Potro himself – he beat Roger Federer in 2009 to win his only Grand Slam to date.

Nadal also holds the title three times, and in his first two victories, beat Djokovic.

Both finals (2010 and 2013) went to four sets; while he also lost to the Serb in 2011. His most recent victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium was in 2017 when the Spaniard beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa: 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Other winners

As we have already mentioned, del Potro was the first man to dismantle the ‘big three’ in 2009. Since then, we have seen Andy Murray win the Grand Slam in 2012. He beat Djokovic in a thrilling encounter: 7–6(12–10), 7–5, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2 to win what was his first major title. Murray hasn’t yet confirmed if he will be playing at the Open this year, having recently returned to the sport, following hip surgery. His doubles campaign at Wimbledon saw him make round two in the men’s competition, and the third round in the mixed doubles – so who knows if he’ll be up for singles tennis just yet. You’ll find the Scot priced 33/1, while de Potro’s odds are more favourable at 20/1.

More recently, Marin ?ili? won his first – and only – Grand Slam to date, beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori in straight sets: 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. 2014 was certainly more open to a new winner, with defending champion Nadal ruled out, due to a wrist injury. In the semi-finals, Nishikori beat Djokovic, while ?ili? recorded a straight-sets victory over Federer – making it the first final in 12 years not to feature one of the ‘big three’.

2016 saw a Swiss star take home the trophy, but his name was not Federer. Stan Wawrinka beat Djokovic to win his third major title in as many years. The former world number 3 is a Wimbledon title short of a career Grand Slam.

US Open 2019

Looking ahead to the final major of the year, who, if anyone can topple the ‘big three’? There are plenty of ‘up-and-coming’ stars of the men’s game, while we’ve already named a few players who would probably have been more successful if it wasn’t for the dominance of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in singles tennis.

Young German Alexander Zverev (12/1) is one of the rising stars and he has the shortest odds. He’s the second-youngest player in the ATP top 10 and at 22-years-old, Zverev has already won the ATP Tour Finals. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really set the Grand Slam scene alight, with two French Open quarter-finals his best performance across the board.

Other possible contenders for the title include Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem (33/1). Both players are yet to win a Grand Slam, but have 21 career titles between them and have featured in the ATP top five.

If we’re honest, we can’t see anyone else but the ‘big three’ winning the US Open, but with Federer surely close to retirement and injuries holding Nadal back somewhat, maybe the ‘new age’ of tennis stars will come through sooner than we think.

 

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Isner Wins Newport Title; Jarry Claims Bastad Crown; Lajovic Triumphs in Umag http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/21/isner-wins-newport-title-jarry-claims-bastad-crown-lajovic-triumphs-in-umag/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/21/isner-wins-newport-title-jarry-claims-bastad-crown-lajovic-triumphs-in-umag/#respond Sun, 21 Jul 2019 20:47:02 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61671 Hall of Fame Open—Newport, RI, U.S.A.

Top seeded American John Isner won his 15th career title on Sunday in Newport, RI, dispatching Alexander Bublik 7-6(2), 6-3. Needing one hour and 15 minutes to claim his victory, Isner hit five aces, won 79 percent of his first serve points and never lost his serve.

Playing in only his second tournament back after sustaining an ankle injury in the Miami Open final, Isner also improved to 20-8 on the year.

Reaching his first-career final, Bublik is currently ranked No. 86 in the world.

*****

Swedish Open—Bastad, Sweden

Chilean Nicolas Jarry captured his first-career title in Bastad, Sweden on Sunday, dismissing Juan Ignacio Londero 7-6(7), 6-4.

In a closely contested encounter, Jarry used his size and potent serve to win the first set and capture the only break of serve by either player in set two.

Needing one hour and 31 minutes to prevail, Jarry improved to 19-15 on the season.

Londero, who was searching for his second-career title, fell to 18-12 in 2019.

*****

Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag—Umag, Croatia

No. 4 seed Dusan Lajovic continued his strong season on Tour on Sunday by claiming maiden career title over
Attila Balazs 7-5, 7-5 in Umag, Croatia.0

Reaching the finals of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in April, Lajovic used his sound backhand and precise movement around the court to offset his Hungarian opponent.

Currently ranked No. 207 in the world, Balazs put forth a valiant effort all week but was not able to defuse the experience of his more experienced opponent.

Lajovic, who is currently ranked No. 36 in the world, improved to 17-16 on the year.

 

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ATP Tour 2019: Schedule of Play for Monday, July 22 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/21/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-monday-july-22-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/ http://tennisconnected.com/home/2019/07/21/atp-tour-2019-schedule-of-play-for-monday-july-22-for-hamburg-atlanta-and-gstaad/#respond Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:43:26 +0000 http://tennisconnected.com/home/?p=61674 The ATP Tour 2019 Schedule of Play for Monday, July 22 for Hamburg, Atlanta and Gstaad can be found at the links below.

LINK: Hamburg Schedule of Play

LINK: Atlanta Schedule of Play

LINK: Gstaad Schedule of Play

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