Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Wk.38- Down Regret Lane to Apology House

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

First off watch this instructional video:

Now most of us have had a Long Island Iced Tea. It’s fantastic but it does lead you down Regret Lane to Apology House. Of that there is no doubt. The fact it doesn’t taste alcoholic doesn’t help. But after two glasses you begin to tingle and tangle and spangle.

And a slam is no different. It can leave you with a massive hangover. Just as one never feels like a drink after an affair with the Iced Tea, one cannot face a tennis match after a slam. And this hangover can last quite some time. After every slam tennis writers tend to want a break and then work themselves back into it.

Similarly, there is always that one annoying friend who drinks thrice what you did yet never seems to be hungover. Let’s all be honest -- we all hate that guy. He drank three times what anyone else did but the next morning there he is looking fine and dandy. No hangover. And you feel like -- well, we all know what one feels like after a night out.

And Todd is that guy. He worked so hard during the slam, harder than anyone else I know. But there he is looking just fine. And it bugs me. Gosh darn it I’m all burned out. And he just keeps on going. I couldn’t watch another match after the slam but he keeps knocking ‘em back. It’s hard not to be jealous.

And that’s why there’s always going to be a lull after a slam or even after an event like Indian Wells. Tennis collectively takes a breath after a marathon. It takes a breath so it’s ready for the upcoming events. Tennis is really the only sport that never sleeps. The break isn’t just in December, it’s whenever we can find one.

QUESTION: Raonic is the Canadian number two. That you should know. The Canadian number two is Pospisil. That’s pretty common knowledge. But who resides at number three?

Well some other things happened. Shall we have a look?

Top 32 - Paire holds 32 from Bellucci and Robredo at 31 and 30. Both men fell this week. Garcia-Lopez rose a couple of places to 29.
Top 10 – Less than 200 points difference between Simon at ten and Cilic at 14. Gasquet is at 11, ahead of big serving Anderson and Isner.
Top 8 - Little change. Raonic is comfortably ahead of number ten Simon but way out from the top eight. Ferrer is close to usurping Nadal.
Top 4 - No change. Djokovic untouchable and Federer is extending his lead over Murray. Andy leads Stan by just under 3000 but the Swiss is ahead of Berdych by some 1000 points. Nishikori sits a shade under Berdych. Expect a shake up when the Masters and World Tour Finals arrive. If Federer is fully fit he could beat Djokovic to cap the year. Right now the top two look immovable.

METZ, France
S: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Gilles Simon 7-6(5)/1-6/6-2
D: Kubot/Roger-Vasselin d. Herbert/Mahut

S: Milos Raonic def. Joao Sousa 6-3/3-6/6-3
D: Huey/Kontinen d. Knowle/Peya

...Raonic is somebody you can never count out. If he’s in a draw he can win it. There’s no player he fears. He’s pushed Federer and Djokovic. He’s beaten Nadal, too. Though the head to head is 1-5 he won the last match, which was this year in Indian Wells. Strangely he has never played Murray but I would back him to beat the Scot right now. And I would back him to beat the Scot on clay every time. In ten years’ time he will be the kind of big serving veteran nobody will want in their section of the slam. Right now a slam semi run is not considered an upset. And in 250 tournaments he will always be a favourite. It isn’t just the big serve, it’s the simple game plan and big forehand that go with the big serve. And in this tournament Raonic ripped through the field like water through paper. Or Tom Brady through everyone this season. Donskoy fought hard but still lost 6-4,6-4. Robredo could muster only three games and Milos was in the semi-finals. Fourth seed Agut was always on the defensive and he went down 6-2, 7-6[2]. 7th seed Sousa impressed, but the young Canadian was good enough to see him off 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Raonic is a solid top ten player and that in itself is impressive.
...I wish I had the ability to call it. I wish I had the ability to know when Tsonga was going to make these runs. They usually occur in France or Australia. Most Frenchies struggle in their homeland due to the pressure. You used to be able to watch Gasquet actually melt but he and Monfils have gotten better. Still the point stands that they are hard to predict. And Tsonga more so, but with Tsonga when he goes big everybody had better watch out. When Gasquet went big Federer made him look like, well, me. And in Moselle, a tournament where Tsonga traditionally does well, he once more caught fire. He can sometimes start slow and this time he did. He beat Zverev 7-6[5], 6-7[8], 6-3. Then he scraped past Mahut 6-7[8], 6-3, 7-5. He was really grinding out the wins. But Kohl couldn’t touch the Frenchman in a 6-3, 6-4 loss. And it would be one more three setter for the road as Tsonga beat the only boring Frenchman, Simon, in three sets. There was even a tie-breaker. Simon is, of course, the most consistent presence for France, but who cares about that. It pays better to be exciting!!!!
...Even in the doubles all the seeds went to plan. There were no surprises. The retirements from the U.S. Open are still a surprise. Fish and Russell both bowed out. Fish was expected but I was surprised at the retirement of Russell. It just seemed like he would stick around forever. Alas, that did not transpire. Sousa beat qualifier Albot 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. After being inches from losing he went on a tear. Granollers, Bolelli and, most impressively, Thiem all fell. He even managed to steal a set off Raonic. And of all the surprises that might be the one that jumps out at me the most.
...Dennis is an American 21 year old who just won a challenger. Chase Buchanan lost to Tomic in the final of the U.S. Open boys, but Novikov swept him aside on the way. He wasn’t the only one. Kozlov and Kuznetsov are some names you should recognize. He even did Harrison 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Ryan has been out of sync for a long time so it’s good to see him finding some of the magic again. But in Colombus, Ohio it was not to be his day.
...What is up with the Czech? He has been on a bad streak this year. He‘s had a few fantastic results and won some titles but he has been wildly inconsistent. As the year has gone on he has faded more and more. The big results are not there anymore and suddenly he looks vulnerable and utterly beatable. If I were Berdych I would be tempted to go and win a challenger event. Just go and pick up a title. For somebody of Berdych’s standard it should be easy. And then he gets confidence and wins. If it worked for Agassi it should work for Tomas.
...Bolelli is very good looking. It’s pretty much a fact.

The kind of man pop stars have love affairs with in the Mediterranean. The kind of man who can undress you with a wink. Great sense of humour and just enough facial hair. And that earring. Well, it’s the whole shebang. But in this love affair it’s Berdman who’s been dumped. And beautiful Bolelli moves onto his next conquest.

Five notes from the week...
1 - Nadal is building a tennis academy. This is fantastic news for our sport. Uncle Tony should be president.

2 - Belinda Bencic continuing to impress. And you know a players made it when they have a big week and nobody bats an eyelid.
3 - Yogi Berra died. It’s not often the passing away of an athlete merits such attention, but Yogi was special. Here’s one of his quotes to make your week, but really there are so many to pick from.
4 - Hyeon Chung is up 17 places to 58. He’s just 19. Sure, the signs were there but it’s still amazing. He’ll crack the top 50 before he turns 20 and the top 40, too, most likely. At some point it looks likely he’ll be top ten.
5 – The link is up on WTA BACKSPIN, but a coma patient woke up after 11 years and was shocked when he realized Federer was still top two in the world.

1. Moselle Final - Tsonga d. Simon 7-6 [5], 1-6 6-2
...Simon has a fantastic record in finals. It used to be consistently over 75 per cent but Tsonga found the magic and took it. There’s been a little bit of resurgence from the French star lately. Will it continue? Will he once more be a big threat in Australia? It is his best slam, after all.
2. Moselle QF - Klizan d. Garcia-Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 6-7[4]
...Well, Klizan continues to impress on the tour. He beat GGL despite the Spaniard having rhythm. The wins just keep on coming but he needs to produce at slam level, too. Klizan upset the fourth seed but could not find his form in the next match. Alas, it is so often the way.
3. St. Petersburg 1st Rd. - Bolelli d. Berdych 7-6[5], 6-4
...”I’m not in a slump, I just ain’t hitting it,” is another Yogi gem. And Berdych ain’t hitting it. He is in deep trouble right now and a fall out of the top ten could be beckoning. Losing to a veteran journeyman is a poor loss. Berdych couldn’t even find a set.
4. St. Petersburg QF – Raonic d. Robredo 6-1, 6-2
...Two former top five players played in the quarters of an ATP level tournament. They were both also top five seeds. Both were on some kind of form. And that’s why it’s so impressive what Raonic did.

*Kuala Lumpur*
Ferrer [1] d. [4] Dimitrov
Lopez [2] d. [7] Kyrgios
Lopez [2] d. [1] Ferrer

...I’m just not sure Ferrer is back yet, but Lopez is on form. The Spaniards should be able to hold off the exciting young guns here. Kyrgios is looking for seeding for the Australian Open and a good ranking to end the year on. Actually, is Dimitrov still a young gun?

Berdych [1] d. [4] Robredo
Cilic [2] d. [5] Mannarino
Cilic [2] d. [1] Berdych

...Robredo’s experience should guide him through a weaker field, but Berdych is the pick here. It’s in these kinds of tournaments where the Frenchman shines, but how can one go against a recent slam semi-finalist? It’s now a coin toss, but logic would suggest Cilic has the edge in form right now.

In their opening round matches Kuznetsova/Stosur combined got four games. They are the opponent of Dellacqua/Tomljanovic in Wuhan. Hlavackova/Hradecka [6] likely await the winners with second seeds Babos/Mladenovic lurking there, too. While she will not be making strides higher, Casey only holds her world number five doubles ranking by a couple hundred points. She’s holding off Vesnina and her usual partner Shvedova. Still it’s strange the 5th ranked player wasn’t given some kind of seed.

ANSWER: Raonic is in at 9 and Vasek is at 44. Frank Dancevic at 203 and Phil Bester at 261 are the next two.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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