Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wk.34- The Small Opening Before the Open

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Our little tradition of a shorter post before the big event is a nice one. And considering the work that BACKSPIN has put in the last few weeks and the upcoming weeks, this shorter post is a godsend for the BACKSPINNERS.

Somebody has to win these pre-slam events and it’s usually one of the top two or three seeds. And Winston-Salem would be no different. Won by a player with serious weapons who is a threat at the U.S. Open, the event was a nice warm-up for the big meal. It was the perfect starter. Kevin Anderson won another title, again on hard courts. The South African will rise in the rankings and top ten is a real possibility, especially if he makes the fourth round in New York. If Cilic falls early there will be a lot of moving and shaking.

QUESTION: Kevin Anderson has the most wins at which slam?

S: Kevin Anderson def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4/7-5
D: Inglot/Lindstedt d. Butorac/Lipsky

...With there being just the one event on this week, the winner was always going to take Player of the Week. And really, Anderson deserves having more written about him. Not flashy, not particularly exciting, but effective, solid and consistent. France could follow his example. He knows his style and he applies it. And because it is so simple it always works. It worked against Djokovic at Wimbledon. It works everywhere. And it’s more than just the big serve, big forehand combination. He has a well-rounded consistent game. He’s even a solid volleyer. Slated to reach the fourth round and play Murray, he needed a good warm-up tournament. And he had one. At what is possibly the biggest 250, Anderson was seeded second but once top seed Simon lost he became the favourite. He edged Kukushkin 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Then he beat 16th seeded Janowicz to make the quarter-finals. Eighth seeded Coric was waiting but Kevin had too much in a 6-2, 7-6[1] victory. He was solid in the semi-finals, beating Jaziri 6-4, 6-3. He then won the final against Herbert 6-4, 7-5. A good week from Anderson surely signals a good U.S. Open. Anderson improves to 1-2 in finals this year and 3-8 overall.
...America is showing signs on weakness in a lot of its sports. And it must be worrying. In the track events and the swimming their stranglehold is loosening. On the golf links they are no longer a power (Editor's note: well, there IS that Jordan Spieth fellow, soooo... - tds). And in tennis they are not as strong as they seem. Once the Williams sisters go are the women really that strong? Once Isner starts to go down that really will be it. And he isn’t even a slam threat. Steve Johnson is capable of making the third round. And that is exactly how one rebuilds. Seeded 12th, Johnson was not supposed to have a run here. He opened up by beating Groth 6-4, 6-7[4], 6-1. Then came the big win. He ousted third seed Tsonga 6-3, 4-6, 7-6[4] to go through to the quarters. And there he received a bye from Lu. Then when he was the favourite he blew it. He let Herbert come back at him and win it 3-6, 7-6[5] 6-2. Isn’t sport funny like that?
...In a tournament where the script was shredded then burned, it’s hard to recognise the great play of everyone. But Jaziri had a great tournament here and he really is a journeyman. He beat Souza 6-3, 6-4. That is expected and winning as the favourite when one is a journeyman is absolutely key. But then he beat 4th seed Troicki 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Worn out by his exertions in taking out Kokkinakis, 15th seed Gabashvili went down 7-5, 6-4. Jaziri then allowed 6th seed Bellucci just five games in a medieval style beat down. Anderson had way too much for the African player and Malek could only win seven games against the African number one.
...Already a solid doubles player, he has been trying to improve in singles. He even has a junior doubles slam. But this was his first ever final. He got through qualifying without dropping a set. He even beat sixth seed Coppejans there. Then in the first round he beat Stahovsky 6-3, 6-2. He showed it was no fluke when he took on 14th seeded Baghdatis. He beat him 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 before beating Bedene 3 and 0. Don’t forget the Brit had beaten the top seed the round before. Then he came back from the dead against Busta to win 4-6, 7-6[4, 6-2. He had made the semi-finals. And he recovered again to beat Johnson 3-6, 7-6[2], 6-2.
...There’s nothing worse than coming off a loss and going straight into a slam. Simon didn’t just lose he lost in three breakers. He is supposed to be able to out-grind the rest of the tour but he lost 6-7[5], 7-6[5], 7-6[76]. That is an insane score line. Simon had match points in the three minutes shy of three-hour contest. He served for it and still managed to blow it. Sometimes you can’t help but be impressed.
...See above.

Casey is seeded sixth at the Open along with Shvedova. They reached the quarters in the doubles in New Haven. Casey did not draw a seed in the singles. Qualifier Kontaveit is up first, then possibly 31st seed Pavlyuchenkova. 8th seed Pliskova is the big fish in her section.

Now for the answer: If you had said the French and Australian you would have been right. He has 11 wins at both. It was a trick question.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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