US Open 2017 Preview: almost half of the Top 10 players not present at the start.

This year’s US Open will be the last chance for Tennis players to win a Grand Slam. And if past events are anything to go by, the venue at Flushing Meadows has favorable odds for the top-end players. In fact, in the past decade or so, Marin Cilic is the only player outside of the top six seeds to have won the event.
However, given that Cilic’s victory is an isolated occurrence, we can feel confident about the seeding area. Surprise Grand Slam winners are still very much considered a rarity even if we will not be seeing the likes of Murray, Djokovic, Wawrinka or Nishikori. Men’s Grand Slams hardly ever end up that way.
The forecast for New York appears to be hospitable.
The weather is expected to be bright and sunny with a mean temperature in the mid-20s C. As long as we do not see a temperature spike for week 2, it is best for players to keep away from the excessive heat that has affected the area before. They can be severe enough to cause players to retire even during an early round.
The speed of the court here is considered to be medium-slow. It is not expected to have much of an effect on a player genre.

In spite of a comprehensive loss to Alexander Zverev in Montreal, there is little to doubt Federer’s form. His calendar year record stands at 35-3, way beyond any other competitor on the tour and is yet to be beaten in Grand Slams.
Federer is 36 years old now but over the past 12 months, his performance on hard court has been nothing short of spectacular, only trailing Murray by 1.7% on service points and return points combined. Unfortunately, Andy Murray will not compete in the 2017 edition of the US Open, a thing which makes Federer the big favourite.

To catch the action live, there are several options:
US Open official live scores on the USOpen site.
US Open live streaming on Tennisfans.tv (the site is ads clean, but I am not sure if they will put up live links, but they tend to do so when it comes to Grand Slams)
US Open live stream option 2 on VipBox – the downside is that the site is full of ads.

Enjoy!

“I’m Happy and Healthy” – Radwanska after Tying the Knot

After a decisive victory over Coco Vandeweghe at the Rogers Cup Agnieszka Radwanska made it clear she was well past her injury-related struggles of the 2017 season with a strong positive start in the US Open Series.
Following her victory over Coco Vandeweghe in Toronto, the 2014 Rogers Cup champion Agnieszka Radwanska spoke about her struggles with injury, getting married and launching her new biography.
She revealed that in addition to tennis-related injuries, she had also had to be treated for viral infections and weight loss. When Wimbledon was over she had required injections and further treatment for an injury on her foot which had persisted for over a year.
The news has not been all bad though. Radwanska married longtime boyfriend and hitting partner, Dawid Celt. Their wedding was attended by fellow WTA stars Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki.

“I had a really good wedding planner,” Radwanska said of the wedding, “so I can thank her for doing everything for me. I didn’t have to do much. I got to wear sneakers at the end of the wedding, so I went from high heels, then lower and lower, to finally running shoes!”
Regarding her newly released biography, Radwanska said she wanted it to be as clear a portrayal of her life as possible. “I just wanted to show people my personality, on and off the court, and how difficult this life is,” she said, “I think some people can’t really imagine how it is to be here. It’s not
about one match, but the whole day you spend working towards it and all the time since we were kids. I was trying to explain everything in the book, what pro sports are really like from every angle. I didn’t avoid any questions because I wanted to be honest about everything.”

Chung in the Hunt for Next Gen ATP Finals

Tuesday at the Coupe Rogers, Montreal witnessed some positive beginnings from three players eager to seal their place at the Next Gen ATP Finals which will be hosted in Milan later in the year.
These three upstarts are Hyeon Chung, Borna Coric and Ernesto Escobedo and they all have a place in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.
21 year old Chung held his nerve well against 2014 semi-finalist Feliciano Lopez in a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory after battling for over two hours and 15 minutes. Having graduated to play in the second round, Chung will next be playing either David Goffin or Yuichi Sugita. Coric, 20, who had only made three appearances at the Canadian ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament secured his second victory earlier on the same day with a 6-2, 6-4 win against his Russian opponent 8 Mikhail Youzhny after battling him for 69 minutes.
Coric’s next match will be up against three-time former champion Rafael Nadal who Coric also has a 2-1 lead over in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series. The last time these two have had a face off was at the Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati in August of 2016.
With Tomas Berdych’s unfortunate rib injury, Escobedo was just managed to clinch the no. 10 spot after a 7-6(4), 6-4 win 86 minutes against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Come the second round, Escobedo will be facing Dutch player Robin Haase.

Nick Kyrgios Has a Practice Session with Twitter Fan

A lucky Twitter follower managed to score a practice session with Australian Tennis player Nick Kyrgios right before his face-off with fellow countryman, Matt Reid in Montreal on Tuesday.
Despite coming off a few injuries, Kyrgios appears to be in great touch after nailing a victory over Viktor Troicki of Serbia on Monday, his first win in over two months. But it also came out that the Australian has a great sense of humour too when he responded to one of his fans on twitter, Mathieu Marshall, on Saturday.
“@NickKyrgios I’m at Rogers cup on Tuesday, I know this is a long shot but could we hit for 5 minutes if you’re practicing? That’d be dope!” was Marshall’s tweet. Kyrgios’ response did not disappoint. “Sure, hit me up when u there,” he tweeted. As appreciation grew more for the gesture, Nick followed through with another tweet. “Also anyone at Rogers cup throughout the week can come on
my practice court and chill and hit if u want.” he tweeted. As promised, Nick and Marshall hit with each other during that practice session on Tuesday.
“He had his racquet and he was ready to go. He was on the side of the court, he said ‘Nick you owe my five minutes’. He was pretty direct,” Nick said of Marshall, “I was like ‘man, come on wheneveryou want’ and we had a lot of fun today.”
“He was pretty good as well. I actually used it as a bit of training. It’s always fun, if I’m able to makesomeone’s day even for five minutes then I’m happy to do it.”

Katerina Siniakova Takes the Swedish Open title From Injured Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki was handicapped with an injury on the Sunday final for the Swedish Open and lost it to Katerina Siniakova.
This would be the second career title Siniakova, ranked at 56, and was also playing with injury problems of her own. Capitalizing on Wozniacki’s deprived serves, she managed to seal her victory 6-3, 6-4.
Siniakova later said, “I couldn’t imagine a better week. I’m so happy that I won. I was just enjoying the game.”
Meanwhile, Wozniacki has now lost her fifth final of 2017 in straight sets just like the previous four. Since the time she was the world No. 1 in 2011, she has been gunning for her first title on the clay court and 26th in her entire career. However, the injury had plagued both players and it seems Wozniacki had a little more to worry about than her opponent.
“It was a tough match,” Wozniacki said of the final. “Katerina played very well.” Both she and Siniakova had to take medical timeouts after the first set. Siniakova had to examine her right arm and Wozniacki, her left wrist.
Wozniacki played well to go a break up at 3-1, her next two service games exploited her injury terribly and she ended up losing both and affording Siniakova a distinct advantage.
It was second time’s the charm for Siniakova with this year’s Swedish Open final after losing last year’s title to Laura Siegemund of Germany.

Fognini Secures His Fifth ATP Title in Gstaad

Fabio Fognini executed a comprehensive victory at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open final in Gstaad on Sunday beating Yannick Hanfmann 6-4, 7-5 and laying claim to his first title of the year and fifth of the ATP tournament.
Throughout the tournament, Fognini went about his matches with an aggressive but steady technique before finally kissing the trophy in Gstaad. He delivered 21 winners including two aces. While Hanfmann incurred 18 unforced errors, Fognini made just 11. It was the first title for the 30-year-old Italian in just over a year, since prevailing on the clay of Umag in 2016. All five of his victories have come on clay.
Fognini had this to say, “It’s always a good feeling when you win. Our job is winning matches and of course, I’m happy with this. It was a really tough week for me. I remember my first match was really difficult. I couldn’t play. I lost the first set 6-1 in 20 minutes, but in the end, I won the match. I said to my team that if I continue playing like that, I’ll go home. That’s the sport. Every day I was feeling better and now I’m here with the title.”
Both Fognini and Hanfmann were remarkably consistent throughout all seven combined matches entering the final. From the very first serve against his German opponent, Fognini was in form and in focus, starting off the match with a break followed by another after two more games eventually allowing him to rack up an impossible 4-0 lead and secure the first set after 40 minutes on the Roy Emerson Arena.
Hanfmann managed to deter a break point in the first game of the second set, but despite his efforts to elicit a tie-break, Fognini came back strongly from 40/15 at the 11th. A masterful backhand won him the decisive break and a game later served out the match. By the end of a battle lasting an hour and 33 minutes, Fognini secured victory on his first championship point.
When asked if the title was perhaps as fulfilling as fatherhood, Fognini said, ” Yes, for sure. This is the first title as a father, so it’s something different and special.”
For a successful run at Gstaad, Fognini will receive 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and prize money worth €85,945; a fitting comeback to the ATP World Tour 250 event since a disappointing defeat in the final round of qualifying a decade earlier in 2007. Currently sitting at No. 29, Fognini is en route to securing a spot in the Top 20, along with a quarter-final showing in Umag and third round results at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Fognini is the first Italian to win the title and third to qualify for the final in Gstaad. The only other two players who managed it were Adriano Panatta (1972 and ’76) and Andreas Seppi (2007).
As for this year’s final, Hanfmann receives 150 points €45,265 in prize money. Despite losing the final, Hanfmann has still had the best week of his career as a professional player of Tennis, emerging victorious in six matches over seven days as a qualifier and taking his first Top 50 win toppling over defending champion, Feliciano Lopez. He also unsettled Robin Haase having saved four match points in the semis. It is estimated that he will rise 50 spots to a career-high in the Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 125. Speaking of his opponent and his campaign in Gstaad, Hanfmann said, “Fabio was the better man today, he deserves to win. I had an amazing week here in Gstaad, the crowd was great. I come from college tennis and I’m used to great crowds, but the atmosphere here was unbelievable.”

Wimbledon Takes Its Toll on Djokovic’s Hand

12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic was playing an already handicapped hand in a quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych when a trailing injury in his elbow finally gave way. As a result, he will be ending his participation in the 2017 season in order to recover. So he will not be expected to show at the upcoming US Open and ATP World Tour finals either.
Djokovic revealed that the injury to his elbow had been steadily ailing him for over a year and a half until it finally gave way under the stresses of the Wimbledon tournament. It will be the end of the continuous run of 51 Grand Slam appearances by Djokovic.
It will take a reported 5 or so months before we can expect to see Djokovic playing tennis again. Meanwhile he and wife, Jelena are also preparing to welcome their second child. “These are things that fill me with greatest happiness and delight,” Djokovic said, “I’m confident I will be ready for start of the new season.”
Djokovic has confirmed that Andre Agassi will remain his coach when he makes a comeback and thereafter. The two first started working together in preparation for the French Open last May.
Speaking of Andre, Djokovic said, “He supports my decision to take a break, and remains my head coach. He is going to help me get back into shape and bounce back strong after the recovery period.”
The long break Djokovic will be taking from the professional arena is likely to cause great speculation and anticipation about his return.

Mattek-Sands Screams in Agony During Wimbledon 2017

World 103 Bethanie Mattek-Sands was badly involved in one of the most horrific scenes in professional Tennis. It happened during a match in the second round against Sorana Cirstea. Mattek-Sands suffered an extremely nasty fall and it was not a pretty sight for all who were watching.
The injury was to her right knee and considered a freak consequence of the fall. However, as the match had just gone into the third set, the 32-year-old American fell to the ground in while holding onto her leg in a state of perpetual agony. The screams pain shot through everyone in the vicinity.
Cirstea was quick to respond, racing over the net to aid her stricken opponent. Mattek-Sands was reportedly screaming “F**k, help me, help me” which was enough to give most people an indication of what she was going through.
Looking back at the incident, Cirstea said: “I think the kneecap, it was out. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a specialist. I’ve never seen anything like this, but it wasn’t in a normal position.”
Medics quickly arrived on the scene and spent some 25 minutes treating Mattek-Sands who was squirming on the ground. Her husband, Justin and Doubles partner Lucie Safarova were also present.
In a statement to the press regarding the incident, the All-England club said “The first response to Court 17 was within 1 minute, by a qualified ambulance technician. The player was kept on the court while pain relief was given. The player was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital.”
Mattek-Sands will have to go through more scans and treatment for her knee to recover.