GG Lopez


One handed tennis prodigy Grigor Dimitrov (above), who is coached by Serena Williams new coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Fitting that with Roger Federer, King of Tennis, King of One Handers, back on his throne, and with the TTC replaying the match 400 times, that they’d get back to, well, not live, but new tennis with one handed prodigy Grigor Dimitrov.  Dimitrov came in this week ranked 69th and comes off an odd retirement at Wimbledon in the second round versus Marcos Baghdatis.  Dimitrov had fought his way up to a high of world #52 in November, as his points accrued through the hard court season.  That Dimitrov has slid back down doesn’t bother us that much.  We think it more a case of him developing than backsliding.  It also doesn’t bother us that he’s playing in Sweden at Skistar.  On clay.  Theoretically, we like to forget about clay during the summer.  The summer is when players need to get ready for the hard court season, but since most players see the early part of the American summer tour as a joke, a lot of Europeans who want to play and stay close to home play Stuttgart and Bastaad.  With players like Almagro, Ferrer, and Robredo there, it’s a viable event where a kid can get valuable match play, and maybe notch some W’s.

Skistar Swedish Open — Semi-finals

David Ferrer:  – 800

Grigor Dimitrov:  + 500

__ __ __ __

Jan Hajek:  + 260

Nicolas Almagro:  – 340

……

And so Dimitrov is into the semi-finals in the early SF versus David Ferrer.  The kid has looked good this week.  He’s a huge underdog and we do not expect him to win, but we’ll take a play on him at that number any day, especially since we root for the kid.  He went to the semis at a vastly diminished Queens last month, but that’s still on his resume.  He is playing solid tennis.  Ferrer on clay is a tough matchup for the kid, for sure.  Last year in Cincinnati they met, and Ferrer, on a very fast hard court that suited Dimitrov, edged the kid 7-5 in the 5th.  Dimitrov should have a little confidence coming in, and perhaps David Ferrer gets tired once in a while?  The man is non stop.  It will be interesting to see how Dimitrov’s backhand holds up against the Ferrer forehand.  At any rate, we like Dimitrov’s progress.  We expect him to finish up here and then get to LA for the Farmer’s Classic.  Dimitrov should move up a lot this summer, as he has a lot more winnable early round matches, and we’ve seen him hold his own against pretty good competition, so now it’s a matter of breaking through.

As for the 2nd matchup, we’ll tell you that Nicolas Almagro makes a living on clay.  We would be very surprised if Almagro and Ferrer aren’t duking this title out on Sunday.  Almagro is a very talented one hander with questionable heart.  The same might be said of Dimitrov.  These guys are very similar, in terms of possible career trajectory.  Hopefully, Dimitrov can do better than Almagro has in big matches, though he has specialized well enough on clay to make the top 10.  We also think Dimitrov’s game translates better to fast courts, and we will be eager to see it.

Mercedes Cup (Stuttgart) — Semi-finals

Janko Tipsarevic :  – 180

Thomaz Bellucci:  + 140

__ __ __ __

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez:  + 300

Juan Monaco: – 400

…….

Let’s be serious.  Juan Monaco is a horrible favorite.  Lopez is a very talented player, and very good on clay.  This is a good opportunity to reclaim some rankings points.  Monaco leads the h2h 3-1, with Lopez’s win coming on clay.  We just kind of feel that in some of these early summer matchups, the fresher player may have a good chance.  So we will take a flyer on Lopez.

Tipsarevic-Bellucci is quite a matchup.  We like Bellucci.  That kid is a clay court specimen.  Bellucci plays a lot like Nadal, who Tipsarevic does not handle well.  Bellucci gets that lefty forehand spinning way out of the smaller man’s strike zone, and the key to the match will be how our favorite Techno tennis player handles that spin.  Bellucci took the only meeting in the series in 2009 at Indian Wells, which might play slower than Stuttgart.

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

Ivan Lendl (above, R.) makes time for new pupil Andy Murray.  But will he make enough time?

We’ve been meaning to admonish Andy Murray a little.  Perhaps it was good we waited, in light of the news that he was banged up in Miami.  We’re still gonna admonish him, but if he was nursing a hip injury it would explain why he didn’t execute on his game plan in Sunday’s Miami final against Djokovic.

We didn’t see much from Murray there who was extremely lucky to be in that final.  We know Murray likes playing on this surface, theoretically.  But he hasn’t played nearly as well in Miami on the Defensepro surface as he has on Plexicushion, where he has made 2 Australian finals and in one of the semis dominated Rafael Nadal.  Defensepro is the slowest hard surface at any of the stops on the tour.  Floridians like their hardcourts to be gritty and sandy.  All of their players seem to be In the mold of their matriarch, Chris Evert.  Pushers until the end.  Though Evert did it all on the court as well as anyone and these little girls and boys just seem to embody the pukey pusher stuff.

Theoretically, Murray is ideal at pukey pusher.  In actuality, he does better when he dictates and goes for his ground strokes.  He doesn’t get any free points at all on that slow of a court and that’s too few for anyone.  So a guy like Tipsarevic, who takes some initiative, can do damage.  But Murray goes classic grinder, letting it get to where he was a set and a break down before really grinding it out.  And in doing so, he comes up a little lame on what looked to be his left side, probably off another back footed forehand.  He seemed to tweak his left hip.  Still he pulled out that match and won his next on a Nadal retirement.  Who is surprised by that (but that’s another story)?

So Murray, we thought looked good in that match based on Nadal’s gimped out knee.  After looking at how Djokovic dismantled Murray in that final, we’d like to reconsider.  Murray might have been hampered in that match.  Could Djokovic have dominated like that for so long if Murray was right?  Probably.  But the last few matchups have been very close.  Djokovic is the king of slow hardcourts after all though.  His winning in a route over anyone could not come as all that surprising.

But Murray seemed abnormally frustrated in that match to us.  We are thinking he was not right.  Even so, he’s had a healthy year so far and he has made the final of the year’s only major.  The Lendl philosophy has been omitted from certain matches, like his loss to Guillermo Garcia Lopez at Indian Wells.  He played classic pusher tennis, thinking his gameplan could be simple enough to just direct toward the Lopez backhand.  Too simple indeed, and though it worked against Tipsarevic in South Beach, the effect of the grind left Murray too lame for Djokovic.

Lendl is there to remake the Murray forehand and embolden the kid to do more than push.  Though he’s not really there there to the point were Cahill is sub coaching a bunch.  Cahill and Lendl have very different philosophies.  Lendl is also there to improve the gameplanning.  Just directing to a guy’s backhand seemed to be the Cahill strategy, and that’s about the speed of a Cahill blueprint.  That style will however suit him well on clay where, in our minds, he has improved a great deal.  Murray seemed to play all his matches on clay with  confidence.  He made the semis at Roland Garros.  He looked to have a real shot against Djokovic in Rome where he took the 1st set 6-1.  That was one of the best sets he played all last year and one of the best anyone played all year.

So hard to predict how he’ll come into the clay season.  He seemed last year to really find his footing on clay, but he did get in a nice rhythm with matches.  We think that this year his success on clay will be tied to Lendl.  Lendl was an excellent clay courter, winning 3 FO titles.  If Lendl is there running the show then Murray can do a lot of damage.

That’s a far cry from where we are usually at with him.  At one point we were convinced he’d never pan out on clay.  But now he is probably 4th or 5th best on clay with a much more realistic shot at taking out a Titan in the big spot.  Lendl is perhaps the biggest winner in coaching right now with 8 majors.  Lendl gets Murray so well because he also liked to ground stroke people to death once upon a time.  Lendl was one of the first players to start passing up volleys in favor of big forehands.  Bad tennis.  We hate to see that.  Happens every few seconds in the women’s game, and almost that frequently in the men’s game.

To be very honest though, while Murray is a fine talent, he is not the Lendl doomsday stroking machine.  Lendl’s poor short game and shaky transition skills prevented him from ever winning Wimbledon, which served him right for essentially starting the trend away from complete tennis.  Murray, a pretty good doubles player, actually does have great hands at net.  But as we’ve said of Murray’s hands at net, they are more like the tree falling in the forest.  How would anyone know about them if he never actually uses them?

Hopefully Lendl will give the kid an honest appraisal of what it takes to win Wimbledon, a sort of ‘the error in my ways’ speech.  The irony is rich.  Wimbledon being so big for Murray, as it was for Lendl, who won everything but.  But first, Lendl has to get the kid primed for clay season, a far easier task with Murray’s skills seeming to really click on clay last year, but hard enough via cell phone or skype.

So we’d really like Murray on clay, a bit more than on grass anyway, if we knew that Lendl was actually going to be there.  After Murray spent a month with Lendl prior to Australia, his forehand looked cleaner than ever.  the last few weeks though, his forehand looks more like another Adidas star, Caroline Wozniacki.  While we said recently that we’d be happy to take zero for our over/under on Murray career majors, we could also see him winning big on every surface.  It’s that close.

We know Lendl sees it too.  He wouldn’t roll out of bed for just anyone.  He was after all completely absent from the tour almost all of these years since retiring.  But if he still has that yen to be away from the game as much as he has been since taking Murray’s reins, then he is the wrong man for Murray, who’s youth is fading fast.

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

Guillermo Garcia Lopez (above), slicing and dicing Andy Murray with the one hander, all the live long day.

It was our viewing pleasure to watch the pride of the isles, “the best world #4 of all time”, Andy Murray Saturday in his latest travail.  On successive Saturdays, Murray excited us with his losses, and we say to that, kudos!  About the best #4 nonsense, know that is no title we attached, but rather, something that we think Doug Adler’s partner of late, Sam Wilder (?) has been trying to make stick to sell soap probably while feeding into the great Andy Murray hype machine.  We don’t like Murray.  Never did.  Never will.  But sometimes we have to root for him, like when he plays Nadal.  Since we have to root for him at times, we’d like to see him play the kind of tennis he needs to in order to win.  We’d like to see him lean forward when he strikes his forehand, so that the shot has the full weight of his momentum.  One thing these guys should learn is that cute does not win big.  Must we recall Federer getting cute with Nadal on that drop shot toward the end of the second set last year at Roland Garros?  Or Federer blowing a threw the legs volley against Safin down under in 2005?

Cute doesn’t win.  So when Andy Murray draws a guy in and that guy is to be a lame duck at net on a conventional pass, and Murray tries to throw up a fancy lob when he has an entire alley both cross court and up the line, well, then there’s a moment where you say to yourself that Ivan Lendl in the kid’s box has to take that out of the playbook.  The opponent, GG Lopez, is not exactly a little man at 6’2, and going with an offensive lob in a night match subject to desert winds, is simply not very bright.  This play, one of the very few in the entire match dictated by Murray, which he lost when Lopez slam dunked the lob into the crowd, was everything wrong with the old Andy Murray, which he has supposedly shed like bad skin.

We know better.  It’s very hard to squeeze a yellow streak out of player.  Make no mistake about it.  Djokovic was a pussy, and that was a mental issue, and not a tennis issue.  Djokovic plays brave tennis.  His body and mind had to leave the pussy behind, and they did.  Murray is a different story.  He has never played brave tennis.  He’s a puke.  And since he is so good against the average guy, he rarely has to play brave tennis, and so he really only tries to play brave against Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer and aside from some small successes and moral victories, he hasn’t been getting it done against those guys.  The Lendl I know was like Djokovic.  Didn’t play soft tennis, but he was soft, and so he found a way to become hard.  Murray is physically hard.  He’s a great athlete, and at any given event, may be the best conditioned guy present.  Lendl is trying to adjust the kid’s style of play, because as our good buddies Justin Gimelstob and Doug Adler always say, backboard tennis is simply not good enough at the top level.

So TTC cameras kept showing Murray’s mum and Lopez’s team, but I don’t see Lendl anywhere.  This Wilder (?) guy talked and talked like Lendl was in the coaching box though, or, as if Lendl is God’s gift to coaching and that now Murray is a veritable terminator.  Then the cameras focus on Darren Cahill, decked out like a clown in crazy colored Adidas attire, and the announcers casually mention that Lendl isn’t there, again, and so Murray wanted Cahill there, because he can call on any coaches in the Adidas stable.  Now, we joked last week that Cahill was perhaps the only coach around worse than Murray’s mum and so that’s the guy he chooses, the worst pusher hack coach available, who we could imagine telling Murray it was a good idea to pussy foot around with Lopez and hit lots of balls to his backhand and keep the rallies going because a guy like Lopez will break down.

Clearly it was what Wilder (?) thought, who kept implying, broken record, that Lopez was not going to be able to sustain the level, and then almost creaming when Lopez went down love forty in about the 6th game of the 1st set.  But Adler gritted his teeth, clearly not a good match chemistry wise with this annoying fuck, and when Lopez had dug out of that hole and when about an hour later, had a 6-4, 6-2 victory, we were as gratified as Adler at the fact that a classic one hander, a shot maker, had stepped up and that backboard tennis wasn’t good enough, not even against the world #98.

While we don’t like Murray, we are past the point of hating him.  His tears in Melbourne 2010 sort of humanized him for us in a way, and we get all the pressure that comes with being perhaps the first Brit since Fred Perry to do something in the game.  We’d have been thrilled regardless of who the pusher was and who the glider was on Saturday night.  But Lendl is off globe trotting to exos while his boy, in a week’s time, went from hot back to hangdog.  And Cahill, who comes from a different school of thought than Lendl, if you can call it that, is presiding over this horrible loss.

Lopez played brilliant tennis.  He had reasoned out that Murray’s game plan was not to try to win, but to make less errors than his opponent.  So Lopez did not make any errors.  Lopez went backhand to backhand with Murray and did not break down.  When he could take the ball early, he ripped the one hander and had Murray scrambling.  When he couldn’t, he sliced the backhand, totally neutralizing Murray.  He even hit a clean winner off a slice backhand, which was possible because Murray guessed the wrong way, and Lopez was all over it.

A lot of times, really big name guys don’t get totally into the commitment aspect of coaching on the tour.  It seems like Lendl is that type of guy.  You can’t even describe Indian Wells as a minor event if you tried.  5th major?  Nonsense.  There are four majors, and that 5th major talk is frankly disrespectful to the history of the game.  But how is Lendl not here for Murray?  Murray needs a full time coach.  We never sound any alarms when guys lose in the Masters Series, because for all of that nonsense ‘kinda major’ type talk, it was just one match.  But we see some things breaking badly for Andy Murray, and he needs to pay attention because he is not a major champion and he is very unlikely to change that at Roland Garros or Wimbledon.  His youth is vanishing, and we feel, given his propensity for the yellow streak, he is far from a lock to win any major ever, and may go out with a fat zero by his name.  If we had to bet on a number of majors for him in fact, we’d happily take zero.

Less of a problem for our lefty love, Petra Kvitova, who somehow lost to American Christina McHale last night.  Kvitova has the hardware, for one.  For her, a slump is more permissible.  Sure, she hasn’t played great tennis, and has little business losing to McHale, but McHale is making her name as the American Radwanska after all, is she not?  We don’t think it’s more than a little slump.  It’s not like an Ivanovic slump where she wins the major and then goes underground.  Kvitova won Wimbledon, then didn’t have the ideal summer, but ended the year as the veritable number one, winning the YEC and the Fed Cup, virtually unbeatable the final 9 weeks of the year.

We think Kvitova might have figured on winning down under, and that loss to Sharapova was a bad shock to her system.  In our minds, she was a big favorite in Melbourne, and she had been virtually untouchable coming in, and could not have been quivering at the thought of taking on that field.  We can’t argue against Azarenka right now, who has definitely proved she earned the ranking.  But we will remain resolute that Kvitova is the better player of the two, and we’d expect that to begin to bear out again on clay the way that it had on indoor hards at the end of 2011.

Kvitova is a better clay courter than Azarenka, and probably, like a lot of people, she can’t wait to get off these tacky American slow hardcourts.  BTW, just saw Mardy Fish get finished off by Matthew Ebden.  Good of Mardy to put a youngster on the map like that.

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

Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka (left) discussing doubles strategy in Davis Cup (above).

Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka are off to a good start, in their first doubles pairing since taking the gold against the Bryan brothers in 2008 in Beijing.  In the main draw of the doubles together at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, the Swiss team obliterated the tested major doubles winners Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, who recently paired after Nestor split from long time patner, Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, with whom he had won 3 major titles.  Zimonjic and Nestor represented the stiffest competition in doubles for the Bryan brothers over recent years and were widely considered no worse than #2 and perhaps even the best doubles pair in the men’s game while together.  Nestor also enjoyed immense success with Mark Knowles, with whom he also won 3 major titles with on the men’s side.  Mirnyi is a 4 time major doubles champion and a 3 time major mixed champion, winning two titles with Serena Williams and one with Victoria Azarenka.

The new team of Mirnyi and Nestor went to the semi-finals in Melbourne at their first major together, and recently in Memphis, they took home their first hardware.  But on the soft as clay slow Plexicushion of IW, the new team was no match for Roger and Stan, who thoroughly dominated on the way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.  Federer and Wawrinka will face crafty Frenchmen Benneteau and Gasquet in the round of 16, and could possibly face defending champs Nadal/Lopez in the semis, though a matchup with Wimbledon champs Melzer/Petzschner possibly looms for the Spaniards.

As for Federer announcing his first Davis Cup participation since a fairly meaningless go round with the Italians in 2009, we can’t claim that little old us had anything to do with it, but the Fed D.C. word did come a few days after we had taken Rog to task for his lack of participation:

Again, we get it.  Federer is the all time mens singles major champion with the Swiss flag behind him, so what does it matter that he doesn’t have a DC title?  A tennis purist would say it does matter some.  There is no definitive greatest player of all time, and everyone from Borg to McEnroe, Sampras, and Nadal have won the DC, and in most cases, had at least one title they were the impetus behind.  The only greats we can think of that have not won the Davis Cup are the ultra selfish and loutish Jimmy Connors, and Federer. Perhaps Federer, like Connors did, will feel the hole in his immortal resume, and come back to Davis Cup in his twilight years.  And unlike Connors, Federer is great enough to pull off such a thing and win a late DC title, maybe even into his early 30′s.  Maybe Federer has lost a bit of his ‘major edge’ because he isn’t as tested in Davis Cup lately and in the best of 5 set format as the last 3 guys who have beaten him at majors, Soderling, Berdych, and Djokovic.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/dirty-dozenth-dandy-clinches-another-dc-tie-for-usa-federer-kobe-pistol-pete-chilling-staples-center/

Yeah, we didn’t want to make too much of it, but we’ve been quietly directing Roger’s career for some time, if you must know.  The Annacone hire, now the return to Davis Cup and to tour doubles competition…what purist wouldn’t be happy?

Federer needs to keep his head here at IW in the coming days when it comes to his singles draw.  With wins over Andreev tomorrow and then the Chela/Petzschner winner, and if Canadian budding super-star Milos Raonic, holding firm at world #37 and fresh off his first ever Masters Series match win yesterday, can defeat Mardy Fish tomorrow for the 2nd time in 3 weeks and then take the winner of Ryan Harrison/GG Lopez, then Federer and Raonic would meet in the round of 16.

Not that we are worried, but in our honest assessment, Raonic is already a big time player and is definitely the best North American youngster to come up through Canada or America since Andy Roddick did 10 years ago.  Much more on Raonic to follow, and we’ll pay particular attention to a Federer/Raonic matchup, should we be lucky enough to see that come off.

Federer and Raonic will both play in televised matches Sunday on The Tennis Channel.

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

Jim Courier hoists the French Open Men’s Championship trophy (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/patrick-mcenroe-resigns-davis-cup-captaincy-courier-declares-interest/

Inside Tennis and The Tennis Channel are both reporting that former world # 1 and 4 time major singles champion Jim Courier will succeed Patrick McEnroe as America’s Davis Cup Captain, having beaten out Todd Martin and Brad Gilbert for the post.

Reliable sources indicate that Jim Courier — who heads a short list of candidates that includes Todd Martin and Brad Gilbert — will replace Patrick McEnroe as the next captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team.The 40-year-old former No. 1-turned broadcaster was quick to put his name in the hat following McEnroe’s resignation at the U.S. Open, saying, “Davis Cup means the world to me.  And at some point in my life I certainly hope to have that seat.  I’m definitely interested in the job, so hopefully they’ll give me a call and we’ll chat about it.”

Courier, who went a combined 17-10 in Davis Cup play in the ’90s, lost both his matches against Russia during America’s victorious run to the World Group title in Moscow in ‘95, but played the role of hero in ‘99 in Birmingham, England, where he posted a pair of dramatic five-set victories in lifting the U.S. to 3-2 victory over Great Britain. In one of the greatest post-tie celebrations, U.S. coach Tom Gullikson rolled around on the court hugging Courier, then single-handedly carried him around on his shoulders.

http://www.insidetennis.com/2010/09/courier-davis-cup-captain/

We applaud this decision, especially when considering the alternatives.  Courier, a Floridian who now lives in the city, has been our pick since we learned who the candidates were.  Todd Martin’s poor run with Novak Djokovic’s coaching team which destabilized the world # 2, set the young Serb back markedly.  Martin was brought in to help the Djoker improve his serve, but in tinkering with Djokovic’s service motion, things went awry.  Djokovic, whose serve was once considered a strength of his game, only began to regain his serving edge late this summer, months after Martin had already been dispatched.

Aside from his short tenure with Djokovic, Martin has little experience working with elite players.  While the same could be said of Courier, who has settled in as an announcer, at one time for USA Network and currently for ESPN, we have no doubts that Courier will have the player’s attention on the American team.  Courier, once upon a time, helped dispell the myth that Americans could not win on clay by winning back to French Open titles in 1991 and 1992, famoulsy upsetting rival Andre Agassi in the ’91 final.

Courier, a work ethic player with a big serve and forehand, was a guy willing to grind out, but who could also win free points and end points off either wing and at the net.  In 1992, Courier won 2 major titles, and Courier made two major finals in each of the years 1991, 1992, and 1993.  Courier, coached to his greatest successes by Spaniard Jose Higueras, who had short stints coaching both Sampras and Federer as well, may pick Higueras’ brain frequently on Davis Cup matters, considering that Higueras is now one of the USTA’s top coaches.

Courier once said that he was so determined to adapt to clay that he would practice on the surface for between 9 and 11 hours a day leading up to Roland Garros.  That’s the attitude that the American squad needs.  Young Americans Sam Querrey and John Isner would both seem to benefit greatly by Courier’s hire, as in all likelihood, they will be playing a lot of singles in Davis Cup over the next few years.  The entire American stable of players would likely benefit, including impressive young Texan Ryan Harrison and rising American Mardy Fish, who all play styles similar to Courier’s.

Brad Gilbert was apparently also in the running for the job, and we are ecstatic that he doesn’t seem to be in line for the coveted spot.  Gilbert, admittedly a “pusher”, or grinder, is uncomplicated as a coach, and has clashed with his last two big ticket clients, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.  His coaching style consists of imploring his players to just get it back, and many have griped at the emphasis Gilbert places on weight training.  Gilbert likes to say that players should only come to the net “on their terms”, which produces a very boring style of baseline tennis that encourages passive play.  That’s not the American style of play and is not a style best suited to American hardcourts.

In other quality tennis news, Rafael Nadal finally lost.  Fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez bested the world’s undisputed # 1, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in 2 hours and 45 minutes in the semis of the PTT Open in Thailand.

U-S-A!!!!!

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

Roger Federer’s beautiful one hand backhand (above).

“You don’t have that room for movement with the 2-hander that you do with the one hand.”–Martina Navratilova

–Crack

Talented French one hander, Michael Llodra (top), won his 2nd career singles grass court title and his 5th career title this morning, defeating another talented one hander, Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-2 at the AEGON Championships at Eastbourne.

Llodra followed up a quarter-final showing at Queen’s Club last week with a great week at Eastbourne, where he saved 17 of 19 break points faced throughout the tournament, and only surrendered 7 points on serve in today’s match.  Llodra has made recent news by working with French Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, Amelie Mauresmo, in a stunning move to some, as it is rare that male pros receive coaching from females.  Here’s to Llodra for making a smart call to Mauresmo, in the face of conventional wisdom.

http://www.sportsviews.com/complete_article/56427

For Makarova, a Russian qualifier this week at Eastbourne, the win is her first title on grass, and her first tournament victory since 2007.  Ekaterina Makerova notched an impressive win today over Victoria Azarenka, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in which she saved ten out of eleven break points and converted on her only two break points when receiving in the match.

Makerova came into the week the 100th ranked female in the world.

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