2019 Tennis Thread

BleedGopher

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ESPN: Roger Federer, Switzerland best Serena Williams' American duo at Hopman Cup

Roger Federer won the bragging rights over fellow tennis great Serena Williams as they faced each other on court for the first time on Tuesday, with Federer spearheading Switzerland's 4-2, 4-3 (3) victory over the United States in a mixed doubles decider at the Hopman Cup.

"I was nervous returning (Williams' serve). People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve because you just can't read it," Federer said. "It was great fun. You see how determined and focused she is, and I love that about her."

Federer and playing partner Belinda Bencic overcame Williams and Frances Tiafoe in the Fast4 format as Switzerland beat the U.S. 2-1 in front of a 14,000 capacity crowd.

Federer and Williams shared a good-natured interview afterward and then engaged in a selfie.

"It was so fun. This is super cool that we get to do it at such a pinnacle point of our careers," Williams said. "I was so excited, and literally it was the match of my career. Just playing someone so great, and someone you admire so much, and a match that actually means something."

Federer and Williams, both 37, have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.



http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/...-american-pair-mixed-doubles-match-hopman-cup

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MennoSota

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Federer and Williams, both 37, have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.
That's just sick. Most humans would be thrilled to win one. You can't help but be impressed with that stat.
 

BleedGopher

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Congrats to Minnesota's own!

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Sock desperate to turn around dismal form

Ahead of the Australian Open last year, Jack Sock was at a career-high eighth in the world rankings, but after a horror season he has plunged outside the top 100 and is desperate to turn it around.

The American's form slump has been dramatic. He played 31 singles matches in 2018, winning a mere nine.

He lost to Bernard Tomic in his opening match at this week's Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, and was on the losing end again on Thursday to Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, going down 6-2, 3-6, 10-7.

The final set was played as a 10-point tiebreak, which will also be used at the first Grand Slam of the season beginning on Monday.

Under the rules, the first player to win at least 10 points by a two-point margin takes the match.

"I had some pretty low moments last year, it was horrendous," said Sock. "I did a lot of regrouping in the off-season, talking to family, team members, coaches.

"I'm trying to take a positive outlook. I know the level that I can play the game, where my game should be."

With the Australian Open just days away, he is grateful to be out of the spotlight to focus on himself.

"It's nice to be able to fly under the radar and do my own thing."

https://www.sport24.co.za/Tennis/ATPTour/sock-desperate-to-turn-around-dismal-form-20190110

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mplarson7

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Tennis 2019

Aussie Open starts next week!


Shocking news, Andy Murray just announced that he will retire. Says the pain in his hip is too great to continue playing. He wants Wimbledon to be his final tournament, but he doesn't know if he can even play that long. Wow.
 

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Aussie Open starts next week!


Shocking news, Andy Murray just announced that he will retire. Says the pain in his hip is too great to continue playing. He wants Wimbledon to be his final tournament, but he doesn't know if he can even play that long. Wow.
That sucks.
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Aussie Open starts next week!


Shocking news, Andy Murray just announced that he will retire. Says the pain in his hip is too great to continue playing. He wants Wimbledon to be his final tournament, but he doesn't know if he can even play that long. Wow.
:(
 

BleedGopher

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Isner lost in the first round, but the good news is he lost to young American Reilly Opelka, who is the first 7-footer every on the ATP tour! This is the biggest win of Reilly's young career.

Other American's winning in the first round: Tiafoe, Kudla, McDonald and Fritz. On the women's side, winner's include: Vickery, Collins with an upset over the 14th seed, Sloane Stephens took out Taylor Townsend. Our own Mattek-Sands went out easily.

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And true to form from last year, Sock wins the first set and is now down 2 sets to 1 and a break of serve.
 

mplarson7

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What a win! Tiafoe takes out 5-seed Anderson 46 64 64 75.

McDonald putting up a battle against Cilic, but down 2 sets to 1.

Fritz at a set all vs. Monfils, would love to see him pull that one out.
 

BleedGopher

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Awesome to see Tiafoe pull that match out, what a big time win for him. And Fritz pulled his match up! Wow, two big wins for the young American's.

17 year old American Amanda Anisimova pulled off a huge upset over #24 Lesia Tsurenko and is now in the 3rd round. She's the youngest player in the Top 100. She has a very bright future.

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ESPN: Amanda Anisimova, Frances Tiafoe and career-defining matches for the Americans

Before Wednesday, American teen Amanda Anisimova hadn't seen the second round at a Grand Slam. Heck, she'd never been to Australia before arriving in Melbourne last week. But after a dominant 6-0, 6-2 win over No. 24 Lesia Tsurenko in the second round, Anisimova, who has won all four of her sets, has folks wondering just how far into the draw she can go.

"When I got on court, I was focused," Anisimova, 17, said about Wednesday's match. "I was really relaxed and my game was really on today. I felt like a lot of competitiveness came out. I want to let my opponents know I'm here to stay and play a long match, so I'm going to fight for every single point."

Currently the youngest player ranked in the top 100 and the 2017 US Open junior champion, Anisimova had an encouraging 2018 season in which she made the fourth round at Indian Wells and the third round in Cincinnati. Born in Freehold, New Jersey, to Russian-born parents, Anisimova moved to south Florida with her parents and older sister, Maria, at age 3, and for most of her career has been coached by her father, Konstantin. At 5-foot-11, Anisimova is known for her aggressive game and powerful serve, as well as a calm focus well beyond her years.

At Indian Wells, the then-16-year-old used all of those tools to defeat two top-25 players, including then-No. 9 Petra Kvitova, who was in the midst of a 14-match win streak.

"That tournament definitely opened my eyes that I can play at a really top level," Anisimova said. "It was a confidence-booster, but it was also motivation, like I want to do this again. I want to get better and better. That was a great start to the year."

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/...nces-tiafoe-career-defining-matches-americans

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mplarson7

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He admittedly tends to exaggerate, but Brad Gilbert said on air to expect Anisimova to contend for major championships within the next 12 months.
 

BleedGopher

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Wow our girl Anisimova knocks off the 11 seed in straight sets!! On to the 4th round, amazing!!

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mplarson7

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Just watched Anisimova take out 11-seed Sabalenka 63 62...completely out-slugged her. Dang, she is a very impressive player. We're going to be seeing a lot of her. I can't believe she's only 17!
 

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Overnight, Sloane won her match 76 76. Nice to see her string a few wins together here, it's been awhile.

And Tiafoe upset another seeded player, this time Seppi, a 5 set match to make the Round of 16. He plays Dimitrov next.
 

BleedGopher

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I love a good rivalry with some edge! This is what made tennis so popular in the 70s and 80s.

ESPN: Why there was more to Sharapova's win against Wozniacki than meets the eye

From the moment the Australian Open draw was released eight days ago, Maria Sharapova said she anticipated a clash with defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. "It was definitely a match I looked forward to," Sharapova said. "But obviously I had to get there first, and so did she."

The opportunity to challenge herself against one of the best players in the world was certainly tantalizing to Sharapova, but there was more behind her eagerness to play Wozniacki in Melbourne. The Dane was outspoken in the early months of Sharapova's return from a 15-month doping suspension two years ago, questioning the way in which the WTA handled her re-entry onto the tour. Then, when Wozniacki was bumped to an outside court at the 2017 US Open while Sharapova made her Grand Slam return on Arthur Ashe, Wozniacki had harsh words for the tournament's officials.

"Putting out a schedule where the No. 5 is playing on court five, fifth match on after 11 p.m., I think that's unacceptable," Wozniacki said back then. "And when you look on center court -- I understand completely the business side of things -- but someone who comes back from a drugs sentence, performance-enhancing drugs, and all of a sudden gets to play every single match on center court, I think that's a questionable thing to do."

Sharapova snapped back after her third-round win in New York, saying, "I'm in the fourth round. I don't know where she is." Wozniacki was ousted in Round 2.

This was their first meeting since that exchange. In their 10 previous head-to-head matchups over the past 11 years, Sharapova led 6-4. But until this week, she had never beaten Wozniacki at a Grand Slam, and she hadn't beaten her on a hard court since the final at Indian Wells in 2013. But that changed Friday. Sharapova beat the world No. 3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

"I felt very much in the moment [today]," Sharapova said in her postmatch news conference. "I felt present. These are really the types of matchups that I haven't had, where I could really challenge myself. To be in the grind and to have to figure out a way to be on top is what I missed. I don't really get many of those chances."

When asked whether the win felt particularly satisfying considering their recent off-court history, Sharapova said only, "I just really like winning. I'm really happy and proud of the way I competed today, and I'm into the fourth round. That's all that matters."

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/...ia-sharapova-win-caroline-wozniacki-meets-eye

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BleedGopher

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Go Tiafoe!!
 

mplarson7

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6 Americans through to the round of 16.

Tiafoe on the men's side plays vs. 20-seed Dimitrov tonight.

On the women's side, we have Serena, Keys, Stephens, Anisimova, and Collins still playing. Some tough matches coming up for a lot of them in this round, but here's to hoping we get a few into the quarters!
 

mplarson7

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Anisimova got kind of steam rolled today, but still an excellent tournament from her.

Tiafoe currently up 2 sets to love again Dimitrov. Go go go!

Collins off to a very fast start against Kerber, currently serving while up 4-0 in the first set.
 

BleedGopher

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Disappointing finish for Federer, though Tsitsipas played fantastic.

Another huge win for Tiafoe, we are seeing the emergence of the next big American (I hope!).

Sure hope Serena can knock off Halep tonight. If her serve is on, she should win.

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BleedGopher

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per ESPN:

Li Na is the first player from Asia elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

She joins Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the Class of 2019, which was announced Monday at the Australian Open.

All three players won a pair of Grand Slam singles titles -- one at Melbourne Park and the other at Roland Garros.

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/...erce-yevgeny-kafelnikov-head-tennis-hall-fame

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BleedGopher

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American Danielle Collins is the story of the Aussie Open on the women's semifinals. A nice ESPN story on her with a local angle as well:

Into the Aussie Open final four, Danielle Collins feeling the love back home

As the buzz around American giant-slayer Danielle Collins has grown around Melbourne Park, so, too, has the support in her player's box. Tuesday afternoon, as Collins fought back from a one-set deficit to defeat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-5, 7-5, 6-1 and lock in her first spot in a Grand Slam semifinal, Collins' cousin, Ana Chisholm, was updating family back home from her courtside seat.

"I was trying not to look at my phone during the match," Chisholm said after watching Collins play the first match of her career on Rod Laver Arena. "But we have a big family text chain going. On breaks, they were all like, 'Let's finish this! Let's get it, Danielle!'"

That Collins, 25, is a surprise semifinalist here in Melbourne -- she was 0-5 in Grand Slam matches before this tournament -- only partly accounts for her lack of familial support this fortnight. Of all the Slams, the Australian Open proves the greatest logistical puzzle for many athletes' families, even those who arrive expecting to play deep into the draw.

"I don't think it's been a surprise to any of us that she's made it this far," Chisholm said. "Her parents know her talent and her drive to be the best. There's so much pride. We know how hard Danielle's fought. It's a matter of logistics with these faraway tournaments. But she has such a big, supportive family and I felt like somebody needed to be here to represent us all."

Saturday night, after watching Collins win her fourth-round match over No. 2 Angelique Kerber in straight sets, Chisholm texted Collins and told her she was booking a flight to Australia. Sunday morning, she kissed her husband and four kids goodbye, drove from their home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, to Minneapolis and hopped a flight to Melbourne. More than 24 hours later, she arrived at her hotel with just enough time to shower before meeting Collins at the players' lounge for lunch.

"I had like five minutes to pack," Chisholm said. "It's winter at home and my shorts were all packed away. I didn't have time to get a ladder and pull them down."

While Chisholm might be unprepared for an extended stay in the Southern Hemisphere, Collins has seemed completely at home the second week of a Slam, unfazed by the pressure of playing in the first Australian Open main draw of her career. A two-time NCAA champion at Virginia, Collins turned pro just two years ago, after graduating with a degree in media studies and a master's degree in business, and began steadily climbing the WTA rankings. Last season, she broke into the top 50 on the back of strong runs at Indian Wells and Miami and scored upsets against several top-20 players along the way.

As her ranking rose, so did her confidence. At this tournament, Collins has played each of her matches with the mindset that she belongs on this stage. That she delayed her arrival to hone her game in college is simply part of her story, one she believes will eventually include Grand Slam wins.

"I think I'm playing really good tennis," Collins said after her quarterfinal win. "I've gained more experience in the last year, which is great. I don't think much has changed. I'm just getting a little bit different outcome. That's based off of the hard work that's been put in, and having faith in what I'm doing."

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/...-four-danielle-collins-feeling-love-back-home

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BleedGopher

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Brutal loss for Serena last night, up 5-1 in the 3rd set. This is the second straight Slam she's lost herself emotionally and mentally at a critical time.

Go Serena!!
 

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Osaka vs. Kvitova should be a good match...I imagine it'll be quite the slug fest.

Chances look good at yet another Djokovic vs. Nadal final.
 

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SI: Tiafoe, Collins and Anisimova Signal a New Generation of American Tennis Stars

For American tennis fans, the 2019 Australian Open will be remembered as a breakout tournament for a new crop of young players.

Over two weeks in Melbourne, U.S. fans got new faces to root for, while older mainstays like John Isner, Sam Querrey and even the Williams sisters left disappointed. The older guard that came of age in the 2000s still have much to give the sport. While fairly recent breakout American stars like Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe are still in their primes, they all came to prominence over six years ago. Meanwhile, prior to this month, the only American man to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal under the age of 30 since 2011 had been 26-year-old Tennys Sandgren, whose impressive run in Melbourne last year was met with backlash over his alt-right Twitter activity. It also hasn't lead to a sustained patch of success, as he remains outside the world's top 40.

DANIELLE COLLINS
Age: 25

Projected post-Australian Open ranking: 23

Collins has bucked all trends in her career. First, she chose to play college tennis over trying to make it as a pro. NCAA tennis has been bypassed, especially in women's tennis, for years as most top players go pro rather than spending four years of earning time on campus. Collins went gone the other way, graduating from Virginia in 2016 with two NCAA singles titles and a master's in business. By the way, she's made use of that business degree by starting her own jewelry company, which is quite the side hustle for a top-30 player in the world. After a year toiling in the ITF circuit, she had a breakout year on the WTA and made a meteoric rise to the top 40. This momentum culminated in her run to the Australian Open semifinals over the last week and a half.

FRANCES TIAFOE
Age: 21

Projected post-Australian Open ranking: 30

The youngest American man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Andy Roddick in 2001, Tiafoe is the best young American talent we've seen in a generation. With his LeBron-inspired celebrations and winsome personality, he's poised to become the face of this new wave. The only thing that's left to do for Tiafoe is making these deep runs at majors a regular occurence. As our own Jon Wertheim and others have noted, Tiafoe is steadily improving, and this level is just a new peak for him. And yes, American sponsors (read: Nike) are ready to throw huge piles of cash at the media-savvy and charismatic 21-year-old.

AMANDA ANISIMOVA
Age: 17

Projected post-Australian Open ranking: 61


Anisimova made headlines by defeating everyone's trendy pick to win the tournament, Aryna Sabalenka, in straight sets in the third round. The 17-year-old American has an exciting game and all the talent in the world. Women's tennis has not really had a teenaged superstar since Maria Sharapova, but Anisimova certainly looks capable when her game is in full flow. Her backhand and forehand are solid, and her serve is great for her age and only going to improve. It's worth nothing that, like Collins, while it seems like Anisimova has come out of nowhere, she showed obvious signs of a breakout in 2018 as well—she made her first WTA final in Hiroshima late last year and also scored a huge win over Petra Kvitova at Indian Wells.

SOFIA KENIN
Age: 20

Projected post-Australian Open ranking: 36

Kenin lost the earlier than Anisimova and Collins, but she also faced the toughest player in world No. 1 Simona Halep. Kenin had a great month of January, taking her first WTA title in Hobart and playing well against Halep in the second round. She's another talented prospect, but she has the least power of the three and seems to dip into the dreaded "pusher" territory at times. You won't see it in highlight videos since they only show her bombing winners, but she junkballs more than she needs to, and she needs to develop some aggression before making another leap. She hit just three aces over six sets and nearly five hours of tennis in Melbourne.

TAYLOR FRITZ
Age: 21

Projected post-Australian Open ranking: 48

While we're on the subject, Fritz scored a great win over Gael Monfils in the second round and didn't embarrass himself against Federer in his third round loss. Fritz is more of a traditional male American tennis player than Tiafoe. He's a baby-faced guy with a massive serve and a heavy forehand. It wasn't long ago that Fritz was considered the next big thing. However, after making the top 50 in 2016 as an 18-year-old, Fritz lost a lot of matches, had some injury issues, and became a father. His ranking suffered, and he has had to fight his way back to the top 50 through challengers and qualifying.

https://www.si.com/tennis/2019/01/2..._campaign=si-tennis&xid=socialflow_twitter_si

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Osaka wins in 3 sets, she'll be the new #1 come Monday. Does women's tennis finally have a consistent champion outside of Serena?
 

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Djokovic with quite the beat down on Nadal, 63 62 63. He'll extend his lead in the rankings by a sizable margin and has now won 21 straight matches at the majors. If he continues this form and stays healthy, the French Open will be very very interesting in a few months.
 

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Djokovic with quite the beat down on Nadal, 63 62 63. He'll extend his lead in the rankings by a sizable margin and has now won 21 straight matches at the majors. If he continues this form and stays healthy, the French Open will be very very interesting in a few months.
Amazing performance by Novak. Hard to believe how easily he dismantled Nadal.

For those keeping score at home:

Federer: 20
Nadal: 17
Djokovic: 15
Sampras: 14

Go USA!!
 
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