Monday, June 29, 2015

Wk.25- The Night Before Christmas

Hi all. Galileo here.

This is the schedule:

Like with the post just before the French Open, this is just a brief tidying of the house. Todd has written a lot of great stuff, as usual, and there's a big pre-Wimbledon post hanging around Backspin. That post is good enough so that I can serve you a slice of apple instead of an apple.
And to get you really in the mood, here is a Wimbledon question.

Q: Which player in the Open era who won Wimbledon has the lowest total of grass court titles?

S: Denis Istomin def. Sam Querrey 7-6(1)/7-6(6)
D: Guccione/Sa def. Cuevas/Marrero

...Yep. It is only rarely a finalist gets this but Querrey had tougher opponents and he did not get a walkover in the semi-finals. Seeing as there was just the one event on, there's no winner to look to, so Sam gets it for walking the hard road with ease. Querrey is too talented not to be seeded at Wimbledon. He is too close to Fed in the draw but he could still trouble the Swiss in the second round. A bye for Querrey is not the same as benefiting from a walkover, as you have probably earned the bye. And the American edged Giraldo 7-6[4], 6-4 to advance to the third round. There the twelfth seed needed a pair of breakers to get through against fifth seeded Cuevas. And he got it, winning them 9-7 and 7-3. Then he beat the second seed Simon in three long sets. He finally triumphed 5-7, 7-6[8], 6-4. After that he beat Dolgopolov in three long sets before Istomin overcome him in the final. Querrey goes into Wimbledon knowing he will get a win and a visit to Centre Court. And that is a pretty good Wimbledon by anybody's standards. And if he can drag Fed into a couple of tiebreakers he could make something happen.

...That's why. I've only ever seen something like that once before. And I've never seen it in the top 100 after a 250 event. The biggest jump I can recall is this one.

...The former junior number one has been making strides on the tour. Wait. Hang on. That's this guy's brother. Mischa is a lefty and his brother is a righty. A righty with long flowing blonde hair. Alex was given a wildcard and then beat Kukushkin 2 and 0. He also beat Bellucci before Baghdatis just had too much. But while all the attention was on the young star, Mischa put together a run. He beat third seed Lajovic in the first round of qualifying. Then he dismissed Zemlja 6-4, 6-2 before routing Rola 7-5, 6-0. But then he lost to Sam Groth in two straight sets, a strange result after being so good in qualifying. Still, both brothers rose in the ranking. Mischa still sits around 340 but Alex is in the 70's now and closing.
...Another Italian is just what we need. I suppose that we are running out. He has won a challenger before. He did so in 2013 and he made a semi-final at challenger. Seeded four he lost to Dutra Silva on the clay of Milan. It pushes his ranking to its highest ever. He has now reached 113 in the world. He has made some progress in the qualifiers of slams but his ranking may soon be at the point where he gets direct entry.
...Lopez is slumping and it's worrying. What can possibly go wrong with his game? He is usually a Wimbledon dark horse but this year he has simply not delivered. And it's been full blown meltdowns. He really crashes. He lost to Lu 6-3, 6-2. This is the Asian man's best surface but that is not justification for the Lopez loss. It's also hard to imagine any kind of match where Lopez gets broken that many times.
...Well, well, well. Look who's getting hot just in time for the biggest event of the year. Is Wimbledon the biggest event of the year? For our sport, on balance, it probably is with the US taking a close second. He beat Ferrer 6-2, 7-6[4] but Ferrer is not a grass court player. It was still a big upset and Baghdatis is so dangerous. And this is the man who made Djokovic smash his racket. Or at least attempt to.

That was a classic four set thriller from 2011. And with Bagman in the draw hopefully more are just around the corner.

Well, we shall see a lot of each other. Casey is seeded in the doubles at nine with Shvedova. She drew qualifier Paszek in the singles and then if she wins that she gets Svitolina, so it's tough. Dellacqua lost to Jankovic at the Aegon Classic in the second round. Seeded top in the doubles, she and Mirza didn't even win a set.

ANSWER: Jan Kodes won one grass court title in his career. But it was Wimbledon. He made 26 finals and won eight. What a strange record to have.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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