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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS                       

Australian Open

(First Week)

Hsieh Su-wei beat third-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza 7-6 (1) 6-4

Hyeon Chung beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 5-7 7-6 (3) 2-6 6-3 6-0

Belinda Bencic beat fifth-seeded Venus Williams 6-3 7-5

Julien Benneteau beat seventh-seeded David Goffin 1-6 7-6 (5) 6-1 7-6 (4)

Anett Kontaveit beat seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-3

Yuichi Sugita beat eighth-seeded Jack Sock 6-1 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-3

Tennys Sandgren beat ninth-seeded Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-1 6-4

Bernarda Pera beat ninth-seeded Johanna Konta 6-4 7-5

Marin Cilic beat 10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (2) 6-3 7-6 (0) 7-6 (3)

Timea Babos beat 10th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe 7-6 (4) 6-2

 

SAYING

“In women’s tennis anything can happen when there is no Serena Williams.” – Timea Babos, after upsetting 10th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe.

“Right now, I’m playing with house money.” – Caroline Wozniacki, referring to her win over Jana Fett after trailing 5-1 in the final set.

“I don’t think I played a bad match. She just played above and beyond.” – Venus Williams, on losing her first-round match to Belinda Bencic.

“I’m not going to get too down.” – Sloane Stephens, after losing her eighth straight match since winning the US Open women’s title.

“She’s a great player, but when I arrived in Australia I was ready to play anyone.” – Zhang Shuai, after upsetting US Open champion Sloane Stephens 2-6 7-6 (2) 6-2.

“She was the more aggressive player. She took a lot more risks than I did. I didn’t return well. I gave her the confidence by making a lot of errors on the return games.” – Maria Sharapova, after losing to Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-3 in a third-round match.

“When you won three Grand Slams, you don’t feel great on the court (playing) like (I did) today, But I need to take what I can to be positive with everything, with the big picture. That’s the most important.” – Stan Wawrinka, after losing his second-round match to Tennys Sandgren.

“When he plays like that, there are very, very few people who will beat him.” – Alex Zverev, talking about his conqueror, South Korea’s Hyeon Chung.

“I was pretty happy in the end. I’m glad that I’m still able to play tennis. That’s important.” – Petra Kvitova, pleased with the crowd support she received although losing her first-round match just over a year since a knife attack in her native Czech Republic left her career in jeopardy.

“I look cute and young. I don’t think too much about the age thing.” – Hsieh Su-Wei, at 32 the oldest player to reach the second week in the women’s singles.

“That’s like having to choose between your four best friends to be best man at your wedding … Love them all but I’ve known Wimbledon the longest.” – Andy Murray, when asked which was his favorite Grand Slam tournament.

 

SURPRISING SANDGREN

The player with the best name in the sport has the biggest win of his career. Tennys Sandgren shocked three-time Grand Slam tournament champion Stan Wawrinka in his surprising run into the second week at the Australian Open. Wawrinka won the year’s first major in 2014, but this time he lost 6-2 6-1 6-4 top the American. “I was really happy just to get my first Grand slam win, so now I’ve got a second,” Sandgren said. “This would definitely be all the categories: biggest win, biggest moment of getting a victory, setting me up for the biggest stage to play third round of a Slam, biggest opportunity. All those good things.” Sandgren continued his winning ways, stopping Maximilian Marterer in four set to advance to the second week.

 

SWEPT AWAY

Last year Sloane Stephens won the US Open while Venus Williams reached two Grand Slam tournament finals. Both Americans were swept out of the Australian Open on the first day of competition. Williams fell to Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-5, while Stephens was ousted by China’s Zhang Shuai 2-6 7-6 (2) 6-2. With her sister Serena skipping the tournament after giving birth to a daughter, it marks the first time since 1997 that neither of the Williams sisters reached the second round in Melbourne.

 

SO SOON

Milos Raonic lost in the first round to Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, the Canadian’s earliest exit at a Grand Slam tournament in seven years. Raonic last lost in the first round of a major in 2011 at Roland Garros. He was a semifinalist in Melbourne two years ago. “I wasn’t sharp and I struggled physically, thankfully not from injury but from fitness and preparedness, and that caught up with me a lot,” Raonic said. A finalist at Wimbledon in 2016, Raonic is coming back from a wrist injury last season.

 

SOUTH KOREAN STAR

Hyeon Chung became just the third player from South Korea to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament when he shocked fourth-seeded Alex Zverev of Germany 5-7 7-6 (3) 2-6 6-3 6-0 in a third-round battle. “I have some figuring out to do, what happens to me in deciding moments in Grand Slams,” said Zverev, who is considered one of the sport’s rising stars. “It happened at Wimbledon, it happened in New York. It happened here. But I’m still young, so I’ve got time.” With the victory, Chung advanced to a fourth-round meeting against Novak Djokovic. “I’m happy to share the court with Novak,” Chung said.

 

SHARAPOVA STOPPED

Maria Sharapova’s return to the Australian Open ended abruptly as she was crushed by Germany’s Angelique Kerber in a battle of former champions. With the 6-1 6-3 victory, Kerber became the last remaining player in the women’s draw to have won a major title. Sharapova was playing in the year’s first Grand Slam tournament since she tested positive for banned drug in 2016, resulting in a 15-month ban. “Of course, this was quite a big match,” Kerber said. “Maria is a champion. She’s always dangerous, especially at the Grand Slams. But I was really trying to not think about everything around and everything about the match, about against who I was playing. I was just more trying to go out on the special court for me and play good tennis.”

 

SENIOR IVO

Ivo Karlovic is still doing what he does best. The Croatian fired 53 aces in his 7-6 (3) 6-7 (3) 7-5 4-6 12-10 second-round victory over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita. The win also made Karlovic, who turns 39 next month, the oldest player to reach the Australian Open third round in 40 years. That was when Australian great Ken Rosewall reached the third round at the age of 44 in 1978 when the draw was 64 players. Karlovic is the oldest player to be in the Australian Open third round since the advent of a 128-player draw in 1982.

 

SOON TO RETURN

Andy Murray says if he had a choice, he would “give back being number one in the world just to be back playing on the court.” Great Britain’s top player was forced to pull out of the Australian Open, then underwent hip surgery to address a long-standing injury. The 30-year-old Murray says the recovery is going much quicker than he expected and hopes to be back on the court very soon.

 

SMILING A LOT

While continuing her winning ways in the women’s singles, second-seeded Carolina Wozniacki has another reason to sport a big smile on her face. She is wearing a diamond on her finger after being recently engaged. The one-time world number one saw her ranking drop to 74 in August 2016. But she is now ranked second in the world and could take over the number one at the end of the Australian Open.

 

SELECTED

The season-ending WTA Finals is moving to Shenzhen, China, in an agreement that is estimated to be worth close to USD $1 billion. According to SportsBusiness Journal, Shenzhen will stage the event for the top eight singles and doubles players from 2019 through 2028. This year’s WTA Finals will be held for the last time in Singapore. Shenzhen is a city of 68 million people close to Hong Kong.

 

SLIPPERY SUBJECT

CoCo Vandeweghe was assessed a code violation for taking too much time during a changeover after the first set ended. “I’m waiting for the bananas,” Vandeweghe told the umpire. There were no bananas available at Hisense Arena for the 10th-seeded American, who ended up losing the first-round match to Timea Babos of Hungary 7-6 (4) 6-2.

 

SETTING RECORDS STILL

Roger Federer is rewriting the record books almost every time he takes to the court. When Federer beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets in the third round, it was the Swiss star’s 90th career match win at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic is second, with his third-round win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas being his 61st match win in the year’s first major event.

 

SEEKS MORE MONEY

Saying players should get more prize money, Novak Djokovic is also calling for the players to form their own union. Djokovic said the four Grand Slam tournaments pay out only around seven percent of their income, where as the National Basketball Association (NBA) pays out around 50 percent of its income. Currently the Association of Tennis Professionals is constituted of players and tournaments. Djokovic is president of the ATP Player Council. His vice president is Kevin Anderson, who said the goal is to extend the number of players who earn a reasonable income from the tour. “Things have got a lot better from where we were four to five years ago,” Anderson said. “Now, if you are top 100 you are making a good living. I think we want to push that to 150, 200 and keep going.”

 

SLAM GRANTS

Twenty-nine players from 20 countries will receive the 2018 International Player Grand Slam Grants financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund. Now in its second year, the program provides money to selected players from around the world as a contribution towards their competition-related costs.

Receiving grants of USD $25,000 are: Magdelena Frech, Poland; Dalma Galfi, Hungary; Gao Xinyu, China; Valentini Grammatikopoulou, Greece; Lloyd Harris, South Africa; Youssef Hossam, Egypt; Hubert Hurkacz, Poland; Soon Woo Kwon, Korea; Duck Hee Lee, Korea; Edam Leshem, Israel; Liu Fangzou, China; Kamil Majchrzak, Poland; Sebastian Ofner, Austria; Rebecca Peterson, Sweden; Zsombor Piros, Hungary; Casper Ruud, Norway; Sabina Sharipova, Uzbekistan; Ipek Soylu, Turkey; Fanni Stollar, Hungary; Viktoriya Tomova, Bulgaria; Elias Ymer, Sweden; Mikael Ymer, Sweden; and Tamara Zidansek, Slovenia.

In addition, Hugo Dellien, Bolivia; Darian King, Barbados, Daniela Seguel, Chile; Chanel Simmonds, South Africa; Abigail Tere-Apisah, Papua New Guinea; and Renata Zarazua, Mexico, will receive USD $12,500 grants as the highest ranked players in their respective regions to ensure that at least one player from each region receives a grant.

 

lavackov

SURFING

Melbourne: https://ausopen.com/

Newport Beach: http://oraclechallengerseries.com/

Dallas: www.tennischampionshipsofdallas.com/

Midland: www.dowtennisclassic.com

St. Petersburg: http://wta.formulatx.com/en/

Davis Cup: www.daviscup.com

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

Australian Open (second week), Melbourne, Australia, hard

$150,000 Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach, Newport Beach, California, USA, hard

 

WOMEN

Australian Open (second week), Melbourne, Australia, hard

$140,000 Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach, Newport Beach, California, USA, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

MEN

$125,000 The RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, hard

 

WOMEN

$799,000 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, St. Petersburg, Russia, hard

$250,000 Taiwan Open, Taipei, Taiwan, hard

$100,000 Dow Tennis Classic, Midland, Michigan, USA, hard

 

DAVIS CUP

(First Round)

WORLD GROUP

France vs. Netherlands at Albertville, France, hard

Japan vs. Italy at Morioka, Japan, carpet

Spain vs. Great Britain at Marbella, Spain, clay

Australia vs. Germany at Brisbane, Australia, hard

Kazakhstan vs. Switzerland at Astana, Kazakhstan, carpet

Croatia vs. Canada at Ostjek, Croatia, clay

Serbia vs. United States at Nis, Serbia, clay

Belgium vs. Hungary at Liege, Belgium, hard

 

GROUP I

Americans Zone: Chile vs. Ecuador at Santiago, Chile, clay; Barbados vs. Colombia at St. Michael, Barbados, hard; Dominican Republic vs. Brazil at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, hard

Asia/Oceania Zone: China vs. New Zealand at Tianjin, China, hard; Pakistan vs. Korea at Islamabad, Pakistan, grass

Europe/Africa Zone: South Africa vs. Israel at Centurion, South Africa, hard; Ukraine vs. Sweden at Dnipro, Ukraine, hard; Austria vs. Belarus at St. Polten, Austria, clay

 

GROUP II

Americas Zone: Guatemala vs. Venezuela at Guatemala, Guatemala, hard; El Salvador vs. Uruguay at San Salvador, El Salvador, hard; Mexico vs. Puerto Rico at Tijuana, Mexico, hard; Bolivia vs. Peru at La Paz, Bolivia

Asia/Oceania Zone: Sri Lanka vs. Thailand at Colombo, Sri Lanka, clay; Indonesia vs. Philippines at Jakarta, Indonesia, hard; Hong Kong vs. Iran at Hong Kong, hard; Lebanon vs. Chinese Taipei at Beirut, Lebanon, hard

Europe/Africa Zone: Romania vs. Luxembourg at Piatra Neamt, Romania, hard; Morocco vs. Georgia at Marrakech, Morocco, clay; Slovenia vs. Poland at Maribor, Slovenia, hard; Zimbabwe vs. Turkey at Harare, Zimbabwe, hard; Egypt vs. Norway at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, hard; Denmark vs. Ireland at Birkerod, Denmark, hard; Tunisia vs. Finland at Tunis, Tunisia, hard; Lithuania vs. Estonia at Siauliai, Lithuania, hard

 

GROUP IV

Asia/Oceania Zone at Muscat Oman, hard: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Guam, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates

 

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki



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About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

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