Denis Istomin


Canadian phenom Milos Raonic (above), with a rare fist pump against Kevin Anderson, whom he defeated in San Jose last week.

So we’ll admit we were wrong on Sunday. We told you we liked Raonic and the kid could not get the win versus Jurgen Melzer. We’ll even call it a bit of a bad loss because we don’t like the way he played in losing that match. To be totally fair, he just missed a big forehand by a hair that would have saved him from going down match point in the second set tie-breaker. It really was a close match, but when Raonic and his dominant serve went up a break in the second, we thought it was a match that was destined to go to a deciding set. That loose service game, in the eighth or so game of the second, is not something we associate with Raonic in his early career. Despite some truly dominant performances on serve in the last few weeks, the kid has been vulnerable at times because he is leaving a lot up to the second serve, and only winning about 50% of the second serve points. The performance against Istomin, where he won 44/48 first serve points, was still one where he flirted with defeat by giving Istomin life in the second set. Life, for Istamin, was about getting a look at he Raonic second serve.

The kid was still only broken once in 10 matches so let’s curb our criticism a little. Because the kid is improving so rapidly, he has gone from world #156 to #24 this week, rising 132 places in the rankings in approximately 15 months. Obviously poised, at 21 years old, to be heard from in a big way for a long time. But these guys who get a lot of balls back, even at their advanced ages, like Melzer and Hewitt, have been giving Raonic a problem this year, when last year at this time, Raonic was beating Fernando Verdasco. So we can’t say we are concerned all that much, but right now, we feel like we want to see Raonic beat a guy who really moves his feet. Aside from the second serve, the only problem we see with Raonic is his immobility, which, he seems to have worked a lot on from last year, and yet, he’s not playing well right now against guys in a position to take advantage of his side to side, and baseline to net.

Obviously Raonic has worked hard with coach and former player, Spaniard Galo Blanco. Blanco was a bit of a journeyman, but that’s an interesting mentality, to get to say to Raonic, ‘look how easy it can be with your big talent?’ And Blanco similarly improved Feliciano Lopez’s footwork in his tenure with him, and has Raonic in Spain practicing on clay a good bit, and that will do wonders to the problem, if the kid is applying himself. And it appears that he does apply himself. In addition to Blanco, Raonic also works with a physio and there is no doubt they are working on his coordination.

What a nice kid he is as well. He was extremely gracious when addressing the Memphis crowd, and spoke about the good things they are doing in the community in Memphis with some of the money from this tournament, and rarely to you get those kind of words in these situations. A lot has been made of his background in advanced mathematics, which would help explain his wise use of the angles and dimensions of the court. The kid comes in with ease. He has very nice hands at net, and seems more at easy with the half volley than anyone except maybe the top 3 or 4 in the world. He gets in to net, he uses slice, he can serve and volley, and do it on second serve, which would probably be a good percentage play because he does seem to lose a lot of rallies from the baseline during second serve points when he stays back. But really, what is the kid doing in any part of the game where you could be too critical of him, and not be impressed by the guys he has beaten thus far. He’s beating most of the guys in front of him, when healthy, and the competition has been healthy as well. The guy has beaten Nicolas Almagro and Janko Tipsarevic in back to back matches this year, two top ten calibre players, has won 2 events, been to one final, and in 17 matches, he’s lost only 8 sets.

Nothing not to like about this guy. Djokovic got on such a run last year that you almost didn’t notice that Raonic got hurt and Wimbledon and missed most of fast court season. But for tennis fans, seeing this kid on the surface that suit him best was going to be appointment television. We’re really looking forward to seeing him go through his second clay court season, and how he improves there, and then play the fasts, and how his year bears out if he’s healthy.

We already corronated him the best North American player, way back last year. And having so few points to defend through the rest of the year, we expect, despite his few flaws, to be banging on the door of the top 10 by the middle of the summer. Happy are we, to have even a two-hander, who plays the game right and plays offensive tennis, the modern version of the big game that is so largely absent from the mens game these days.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Dandy Milos Raonic (above), making another ho hum play at net this week in Memphis.

First up this afternoon, in what could shape up as a poor man’s clay court epic, world #5 David Ferrer takes on fellow Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro.  Ferrer has been the clear #5, consistently getting the most out of his talent, pushing pushers like Nadal and Djokovic because he hugs the baseline, taking the ball as early as anyone on tour, and negating the heavy spins that unfortunately dominate in the, shall we say, less than optimum conditions created by the current tour, with its selection of putrid surfaces and fluffy, over-inflated tennis balls.  Ferrer is heavily favored and is expected to collect his 13th career title in Buenos Aires today.  Here are the odds:

Copa Claro Mens Final Odds — Buenos Aires, Argentina (2:00 PM EST)

________________________________________________________________

David Ferrer:  – 400

Nicolas Almagro:  + 300

……….

Ferrer is 8-0 in this matchup, with 3 of the contests being clay court finals and 2 others also coming on clay.  After Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic, Ferrer has been the most successful player on the tour with consistency, though we must note that Almagro is a bit of a clay court specialist.  Almagro has the classical one handed backhand, and attempts to be a shot maker, and we think he usually plays fairly pretty tennis.  So bravo.  He’s also improved a great deal over the past few years, and now finds himself an erstwhile top ten player.  But Ferrer is too clutch to lose to this guy, showing that he can both dominate him and outlast him, in their previous 8 matchups.

David Ferrer just does not make errors and we all know that that is what counts most on clay.  Also, mental toughness, where Ferrer has a decided advantage.  We have seen Almagro on more than one occasion play dispirited tennis, as though he did not expect to win.  We have seen the little used warning for effort invoked on him, which would seem a harsh indicator of the player’s character.  Who could argue the opposite for a player who is not playing hard?

So we feel he still has it in him, to be a dog, and we aren’t gonna apologize for that.  He has won few big matches in his life, and I can’t remember any of them.  We like Ferrer to claim this title, even at the steep odds.

Now in Memphis is the better spectacle, where Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic will take on Jurgen Melzer in Memphis.  Melzer has worked hard and has also elevated himself to erstwhile top ten after two huge years, and a couple of doubles majors as well.  But on this fast court, and the way Milos Raonic has owned hards like these, we see Melzer being left in a deluge of aces today.  We have to have a word about Raonic, who has come along to light up the game with the serve with the most buzz since Pete Sampras.

So we’re watching hockey the other night and checking tennis scores, and we notice that in Raonic’s quarter-final with Rocchus, he was up to 8 aces already by 3-2 in the first set.  So we got the feed of the match off the Google search ‘watch free tennis live’ and proceeded to see Raonic strike 13 aces in each set of a two set tilt in which his serve was the match.  Raonic’s serves are nearly bouncing into the crowd like smashes, and he’s hitting 146 on the gun routinely.  He hits one at like 133 and that’s off pace for this kid.  And the second serves, 110-120 with spin.  Okay, for perspective, Federer is hitting his second serves around 97 MPH over the last couple of years.

Justin Gimelstob was gushing in San Jose last weekend, and the Sampras comparisons were everywhere.  And these are comparisons that ring true because the kid has that kind of air about his service games.  In the San Jose final, Raonic won all but four points in the match on his first serve.  The kid simply takes the racquet out of your hands.  And when it doesn’t happen off the serve, he’s doing it with his forehand and by approaching the net, taking players to a make or break point much earlier in points than today’s reactive players are ready for.  This week it’s been Doug Adler, the latest flavor of the week commentator in love with the kid.  And Doug is right on.  The kid is making all types of plays at net, using the angles of the court to his offensive advantage perhaps the best in the men’s game right now.  Today’s odds:

Region Keegans Morgan Final — Memphis (4 PM EST)

______________________________________________________

Jurgen Melzer:  + 240

Milos Raonic:  – 300

………

Raonic is shooting for 16-1 on the year today and for his 3rd tournament victory, the most of anyone on tour.  He made the final last year, losing to Roddick, following the appearance both years in San Jose and the tournament win there, both years.  On a slower surface in Chennai Raonic beat Tipsarevic in the final, starting the year out with a tournament victory.  Now the kid has not played much tennis after March yet in his career due to a back injury last year, and will therefore move up easily in the rankings because he has virtually no points to defend from last year.  We really think he will be terrifying on grass where dominant serving has always proved out.

Also, so interesting are the mechanics of that serve.  Unlike most players who grip the racquet between their thumb and forefinger, Raonic points his forefinger straight up the racquet handle toward the face of the racquet.  It may seem like an awkward grip, but it actually generates more pop.  If you like to play around with different grips, give it a try.  It’s definitely interesting.

It might be a different story in a couple of weeks at Indian Wells, perhaps the slowest or second slowest surface in America.  A player like Melzer who tries to jump on serves early has a better chance their with the extra time.  Here, on this slick track, Melzer is gonna get pushed to the back fence, and giving up real estate to Milos Raonic is a losing proposition.

This kid is here now and he’s not going anywhere.  We definitely see him as the next big thing.  We shall see though. But we just feel like these days are big ones for big players.  At little 250’s and 500’s is where guys get their titles for the year who aren’t winning titles away from Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal.  Del Potro this morning, seized on an opportunity at Marseille, and got himself his first title of the year.  We are about to watch Ferrer do the same, and expect Raonic to follow suit, who may well turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

We were very lucky to sit front row at the US Open yesterday for American hopeful Sloane Stephens (serving above) and Reka-Luca Jani of Hungary.  From everything we saw prior, Sloane Stephens looked to us to be if not the best, then the 2nd best American tennis prospect in the land, and her 6-2 lead after one set seemed to bear that out.  And then the middle set and a half came.  Though the 18 year old Stephens gutted out the victory by winning a break of serve while Jani was serving for the match, and although she trailed 3-2 in the deciding breaker and then reeled off the last 5 points, we’d rather be hard on her than easy.  Let’s be real.  Is Stephens to be lauded for beating a 5’4 girl 2 years older than her who also never won a match at a major (or even competed in one before yesterday) and who is ranked about 225th in the world?

Stephens looked great early on.  She was so quick around the court, stalking the baseline, and it seemed like Jani could not hit an out and out winner.  Stephens was getting to everything.  The first set came and went and Jani looked headed for home.  In the 2nd set, Stephens looked tight, went down a break, and got no traction whatsoever on Jani’s service games.  She lost the set 6-3, and frankly, she looked like she was a junior again.  A lot of credit goes to Jani for the turn around.  Stephens has a laser beam forehand, not a lot of spin, that she gets on top of and that’s clearly her kill shot.  Jani has tactics, and variety, and against a one dimensional player, it was almost enough.

On American hards, Stephens has no business losing to a player like this, despite her limitations, to this point.  Did irk us that she hit only 3 volleys and blew an easy overhead?  Totally.  And by the way, if you are reading the match stats that counted her as 11 for 20 on her approaches, a poor percentage indeed, you might want to take more seriously the percentage than the credited approaches because she was moored to the baseline and we have good reason to question that stat.  Stephens is uncomfortable anywhere inside the tennis court.  Jani’s best play all night was the drop shot, which was a horrible sitting duck most of the time, but since Stephens can only go side to side and hates taking her hand off the racquet, just about every dropper hit to her backhand worked out for Jani, even when the droppers made the service line.

It’s not like Jani is Roger Federer.  She employed a little topspin, a lot of short balls, some approaches and some slice.  Stephens bashed flat forehands and hit looping backhands.  We can’t recall her hitting one slice backhand or taking her hand off the racquet, even for a lunge, once.  And she did not go for any winners on the backhand side.  It’s no way to win a match and at about the 1:40 mark, it looked like it had lost her the match, down a break at 4-5 in the 3rd.  Stephens did have a pretty live first serve, and she is well conditioned, and when doubt crept in for Jani in that 10th game, Stephens picked it up.  She had to or she was going home.  And she had the crowd, though there was a small but hardened Hungarian contingent annoyingly yelling out calls and shushing the rest of us, who we were happy to see, get shushed in the end.

I was preparing some comments to heckle Stephens with, or rather, constructive criticism, to nail her with if she lost.  I was gonna yell, “No variety Stephens!”  That would have been putting it kindly.  She’s only 18 and she has time to get comfortable with her secondary shots and develop more tennis sense and work on her backhand.  But still, I was not that impressed.

We’ve been away.  Now we’re back.  Odds for today’s tennis out at Flushing:

12:30 PM EST

__ __ __

Juan Martin Del Potro:  – 10000

Filippo Volandri:  + 2500

____________________________________

Rui Machado:  + 600

Robin Haase:  – 1200

____________________________________________

Denis Istomin:  – 175

Ryan Sweeting:  + 125

_________________________________________

Shuai Peng:  – 400

Tsvetana Pironkova:  + 250

__ __ __

1:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Alex Bogomolov:  – 1200

Steve Johnson:  + 600

___________________________________

Somdev Devvarman:  + 2500

Andy Murray:  – 10000

_________________________________

Marion Bartoli:  – 225

Christina McHale:  + 165

__ __ __

2:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Ricardo Mello:  + 1000

Gilles Simon:  – 2500

__ __ __

2:30 PM EST

__ __ __

Robby Ginepri:  – 180

Joao Souza:  + 130

______________________________

Nadia Petrova:  – 300

Polona Hercog:  + 200

_____________________________________

Coco Vandeweghe:  + 700

Sam Stosur:  – 1500

__ __ __

3:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Dominika Cibulkova:  – 400

Irina Falconi:  + 250

__________________________________

Venus Williams:  + 110

Sabine Lisicki:  – 150

__ __ __

4:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Jack Sock:  + 185

Marc Gicquel:  – 275

_____________________________________

Yanina Wickmayer:  – 375

Alla Kudryatseva:  + 235

__ __ __

4:30 PM EST

__ __ __

Angelique Kerber:  + 550

Agnieszka Radwanska:  – 1000

_________________________________________

Flavia Pennetta:  – 400

Romina Oprandi:  + 250

__ __ __

5:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Marcos Baghdatis:  + 200

John Isner:  – 300

__ __ __

7:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Andy Roddick:  – 1500

Michael Russell:  + 700

__ __ __

9:00 PM EST

__ __ __

Anastasiya Yakimova:  + 1200

Maria Sharapova:  – 3000

……

A couple of things to mention here.  How often does Venus get a plus next to her name?  Nightmare matchup for Lisicki.  We’d like to see ugly 2-handers, Peng and Bartoli, out of here.  Especially Bartoli, facing young Jersey girl Christina McHale.  Angelique Kerber defeated our little darling, Lauren Davis.  We could see her being a nice bet against Radwanska who seems to be an awfully big favorite.  Who’s betting 1000 to win 100 on a Radwanska girl?  We’d like to think Coco and Jack have a shot today.  Especially Sock, against the very ancient Gicquel.  We are liking Hercoq against the burly Petrova, especially after she steamrolled Mattek-Sands, 1 and 3.  We like Falconi over Cibulkova, thinking she’s played well and that it’s a great matchup for her.

Romina Oprandi in action after predictably taking out Oudin (does she have to get bageled in every loss?).  Isner-Baghdatis might be the best match of the day.  We like Steve Johnson, USC’s NCAA champ, against Bogomolov, who we have never seen as – 1200 against anyone, and maybe never even seen as a favorite. 

Big day for USA potentially.  And Madison Keys could have gotten us off very well by finishing off Lucie Safarova.  Not to be, once again showing it takes more than defense to win at this level.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (above), who “upset”  15th seed Jelena Jankovic today, as we expected.

As you know, we were on Radek Stepanek today, and unfortunately for us, after taking the first 2 sets from Fernando Verdasco, whom we think is a quite poor big match player, the Spaniard got out of jail, winning 3 straight sets, and 9-7 in the extended fifth.  We aren’t about to apologize.  This is the kind of action we like, and we’d go the same way if there was a rematch of these 2 on grass tomorrow.  Some of other picks did a little better.  We think that Gonzo is officially back, after popping 25 aces and playing very clean tennis against Alexandr Dolgopolov, who got stung by an abysmal draw.  Gonzo hit 50 winners and had only 19 UFE in a very entertaining match in which Dolgopolov played pretty well, save for his weak second serve, now very exposed come fast court season.

We loved Ryan Harrison and along with Gonzalez and Martinez Sanchez, we were very happy with a nice trio of wins from those dogs.  Simply put, Dodig was not the same player he was last week against Harrison, who dominated every positive category except aces.  Harrison will play David Ferrer in round 2, and we’ll be liking him again in that matchup on Thursday.  Harrison is a very tough kid, for an American.  Very atypical of the sort of tennis brats our nation has been raising.  Speaking of brats, how about that Melanie Oudin, who caught a bagel and a breadstick from Ana Ivanovic, in the route of the day.  Oudin should give it up.  How sad was that performance, in which she won a mere 15 points out of 39 on serve, and a meager 8 points in the return game?

Frankly, we are absolutely sick of seeing her touted as a rising American.  She has gotten by too long on her opponents double faults.  If we trot her out for Fed Cup again, I’m gonna puke.

We thought Lleyton Hewitt would out-tough Kei Nishikori on the grass, and he did, for his 104th career win on grass.  We also thought talented 1-hander Sergiy Stakhovsky would roll British hack Daniel Cox, and he did.  We had Isner going through, if you recall, with few breaks of serve, and we loved Dimitrov, and fully expect him to come through when his match is resumed tomorrow.  The Bulgarian 1-hander who has been called by some a Federer clone wass up 7-5, 7-5, 3-3 when darkness fell.

On the women’s side, sure we went against Wozniacki, as we will in every round until she is eliminated.  We weren’t impressed with the short work she made of Parra Santonja, and have no respect for her game or rank.  As we expected, Irina Falconi, a terrible favorite, fell easily to Stephanie Dubois of Canada, 2 and 2.  Tamira Paszek came through againt Ayumi Morita in 3 sets, and will draw suprise winner from New Jersey, Christina McHale in the second round.

And before we get to the morning’s odds, we’d just like to mention that Serena had a very tough match and seemed, by her post match comments, just happy to be there and to have won a match.  We have seen her get hot many times, and many times, off of long layoffs, notably dusting Justine Henin, and silencing the “Serena is fat” bandwagon by winning at Melbourne while fat, but we just feel like this may be a bit too much for here here, despite a favorable draw.

Serena may bow out early.  And we might be betting against her.  As for tomorrow’s odds:

Nadal:  – 12000

Sweeting:  + 3000

___________________________

Fish:  – 400

Istomin:  + 250

__________________________

Hanescu:  + 700

Roddick:  – 1500

____________________________

Paszek:  – 175

McHale:  + 125

_________________________

Dulgheru:  + 250

Kuznetsova:  – 400

……..

We think Kuznetsova’s movement is suspect on grass, and we don’t like her as a big favorite here.  McHale has a fighter’s chance in what is basically a toss up.  We hate Roddick at minus 1500, and Nadal at minus 12000.  I mean, who really wants to lay 1500 units or 12000 units to win a 100.  I’ll take my chances with the dogs at those rates.  We also don’t like Mardy Fish much at (-400), and don’t think he’s much good in the big spot.  There are a lot of 1st round matches yet to come off, and we spoke about some of them yesterday.  We didn’t mention Kristina Barrois,  a one hander whom we have a soft spot for.  We are pulling for her, a slim favorite over Petra Cetkovska.  And Bethanie Mattek-Sands is (-600) against Misak Doi.  Wow.  Another sign of how bad the women’s game is.  Gun to our heads, we’d say Hanescu/Istomin would be our long shot parlay of the day.  Maybe throw in Ryan Sweeting if we are feeling really crazy.  A 5 unit 3 team parlay there would net 4340 units, if the stars aligned.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Uzbeki Denis Istomin (above).

Denis Istomin, world # 39, fresh off a runner-up’s finish to polished one handed Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky (who eliminated 18 year-old American Ryan Harrison in 5 sets today) at Pilot Pen in New Haven last week, is taking on world # 1, Rafael Nadal, live right now on ESPN2.

Looks like an interesting matchup, especially since Nadal needed 4 hours to polish off Istomin at Queen’s Club in their one previous matchup in June.

Istomin leads 2-1, 1st set, on serve, as we speak, and Serena Williams is in the booth with John and Patrick McEnroe.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

 

World # 2 and 16 time major singles champion, Roger Federer, ran his career record versus world # 6, Nikolay Davydenko to 14-2 this evening with a 6-4, 7-5 victory in the quarter-finals of the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati.  For Federer, it’s been an interesting week of inactivity.  Roger won his 2nd round contest against up and coming Uzbeki, world # 53 Denis Istomin, when the youngster retired with Federer up 5-2 in the 1st set.

Federer received a walkover in the 3rd round when his opponent, German one hander, Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to withdraw due to injury, setting up a quarter-final showdown for Roger in which he’d have to face either Davydenko or Ferrer, the latter whom Roger is 10-0 against.  Since Davydenko outlasted Ferrer yesterday in a tight 3 sets, Federer had to go toe to toe with Davydenko, who has both of his career wins over Federer in the last year.  But Roger made fairly easy work of the would-be Austrian defector, banging 12 aces while winning 32/41 points on his first serve, and breaking Davydenko 3 times in 11 opportunities–an average of 1 break chance in each of the Russian’s service games.

Roger comes out with the win in 1 hour and 39 minutes, and will face tonight’s winner, Marcos Baghdatis, who Federer defeated for his 2nd Australian Open title, or world # 1 Rafael Nadal, who has not faced Federer on a hardcourt since his 5 set major victory over Federer in Melbourne in 2009.  The two rivals have not met on a fast hardcourt since the semi-finals of the Year End Championships in 2007, and have not met in the semi-finals of an open event since Roland Garros in 2005.  Nadal is yet to advance past the semi-finals in Cincinnati, which is the only Masters Series event that he has never played in the final of.

Nadal and Federer are on the same side of the draw, despite being ranked 1 and 2, because Federer was 3rd in the world last week when the draws for Cincinnati were announced.

On the other side of the draw, a re-invigorated Andy Roddick, who just last week seemed to be talking about a lack of energy and suffering from mononucleosis, defeated Robin soderling lst night in impressive fashion, blasting 26 aces, and then today took out Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 7-5 today in 1 hour and 21 minutes.  While this week has been good for Roddick, who should have already done enough here to return to the top ten next week, I can’t say I didn’t cringe when loyal Roddick supporter Patrick McEnroe, upon seeing Roddick make consecutive backhand touch volleys, called the net play “Fish like.”

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/roddick-gets-wild-card-in-first-ever-atlanta-atp-championships/

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No disrespect this time around to the newly dedicated Mardy Fish and his three recent titles (Newport on grass, Atlanta, and LA in doubles with Mark Knowles), but they have been talking about Fish this week like he’s Roger, and Andy like he’s Fish.  Fish may have gotten the impressive victory over Murray today, who himself is on a roll in terms of giving landmark top 5 wins to Americans this summer (Querrey, Farmers Classic F.), but Roddick took out Soderling, which seems to me the taller order.  While Roddick/Fish makes for great copy in a semi-final, All-American, the two kids who lived together growing up (Fish lived with Roddick’s family so that he could play tennis) and who were working out together at the Roddick compound in Austin just last week, facing off, I have to say I will be rooting for Roddick hard tomorrow.  Roddick may have had a bad Wimbledon, but he did win 2 rounds at Roland Garros, and has been to 2 Masters Series finals this year consecutively (Indian Wells, Miami).  Dandy Andy’s Australian effort was hampered by injury, but he still almost came back from down two sets and gimpy versus eventual semi-finalist Marin Cilic. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/roddick-withdraws-from-rogers-cup/ 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/federer-wins-debut-with-annacone-roddick-out-of-top-10/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/venus-and-serena-through-to-quarters-roddick-upset-wimbledon/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/roddick-goes-down-in-straight-sets-at-roland-garros/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/roddick-comes-back-from-down-2-sets-to-1-to-advance-at-roland-garros/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/roddickrafa-sony-ericcson-sf-key-biscayne/

Roddick is the bigger star.  When he’s right, he owns Fish, and it would be great for tennis to see a powerhouse final like Federer or Nadal versus Roddick on Sunday, especially after we were led to think that Roddick’s recent woes and health issues might impinge on his US Open efforts just last week.  

Win or lose for Fish, he will re-enter the top 25 next week, which will include four Americans for the first time in a couple of years.  In case you’re wondering, Fish last went to a Masters final at Indian Wells in 2008, where he beat Roger Federer and lost a tight final to Novak Djokovic.

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–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)