Lukas Kubot

Andreas Haider-Mauer at the US Open (above).

Rafael Nadal:  – 7000

Pablo Andujar:  + 1900


Antonio Veic:  + 350

Nikolay Davydenko:  – 600


Sam Querrey:  + 110

Ivan Ljubicic:  – 150


Xavier Malisse:  + 450

Fernando Verdasco:  – 700


Mardy Fish:  – 190

Robin Haase:  + 150


Jeremy Chardy:  + 200

Gilles Simon:  – 300


Marcos Baghdatis:  – 145

Leonardo Mayer:  + 105


Albert Ramos:  + 800

Robin Soderling:  – 2000


Andy Murray:  – 3000

Simone Bolelli:  + 1200


Arnaud Clement:  + 130

Michael Berrer:  – 180


Alexander Dolgopolovic:  – 650

Andreas Heider-Mauer:  + 375


Tobias Kamke:  + 400

Victor Troicki:  – 700


Lukasz Kubot:  – 130

Carlos Berlocq:  – 110


Alejandro Falla:  + 350

Florian Mayer:  – 600


Kevin Anderson:  + 175

Juan Ignacio Chela:  – 250


Lukas Rosol:  + 350

Jurgen Melzer:  – 600


We’re not going to go through the women, but if you are interested you should check out the odds becaause there are some seeming ridiculously high favorites according to the money lines.  We especially, are in long with Jie Zheng at plus 700 to Petra Kvitova at minus 1500.  As for the men, the good bet is the big underdog as well, as you’d have to love Andugar, who can bring you back $91 on a $5 wager if there’s an upset.  Mardy Fish, in action, with a good chance to make at least the 3rd round.  Nice story.  Chardy/Simon, in the all French battle.  Arnaud Clement, still doing it, and probably with those dumb goggles and head band.  Long shot parlays would rack up the dollars if the stars aligned and a few long shots hit on the same ticket.  By the way, Dolgopolov Jr. is way too heavily favored.  Haider-Mauer might only be world #88, but he took Robin Soderling to 5 sets at the US Open and he’s had a very good year, and at 23, could be poised to climb.  He’s also a natural clay courter and Dolgopolov is not, and hasn’t had the type of good season we were looking for after his magical Australian season.  And good for Sam Querrey, who finally won an important match.  We hope he does it again tomorrow, again as underdog.  BTW, we are pulling hard for Kevin Anderson, shot maker, tomoorrow, and we are very impressed with Sergiy Stakhovsky, the big, lean one hander who won his first round match by making passes and tough volleys.  We think he’ll be fun to watch in the doubles tomorrow.

Look for it all on the mix channels.

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In impressive fashion, American by way of Fort Lauderdale, 18 year old Sloane Stephens (above), world #138, won her 3rd consecutive match in the qualification round at Roland Garros, defeating Anastasia Pivovarova, world #95, who probably should have gotten right in to the main draw, 6-3, 6-4 in 79 minutes.  It’s a tough break for Pivovarova, the 20 year old Russian who was seeded first in the qualification section.  But out on court 14 earlier, she did not play the better tennis in big moments, and was continually thwarted by Stephens, who is an excellent mover on the dirt, and who is probably America’s most notable female prospect at the moment.

Pivovarova, at almost 6′, struggled to win points on serve all day, only managing to win 33 of 62 points on serve, despite getting 82% of her first serves in play.  Qualifying action today boded poorly for big servers amid the cold weather, a clear indication that the clay of Roland Garros is playing very slowly.  Stephens earned 8 break points and won four of them, a day after spanking American Julia Cohen, 6-0, 6-3 in 73 minutes.

On Wednesday, Stephens opened the quallies with a straight set win over Severine Beltrame, formerly Bremond, who is one of only 3 women on tour right now we can think of who play with one hand (the others being Francesca Schiavone and Kristina Barrois).  Stephens, who we recently lobbied for to make our piss poor Fed Cup squad, did not drop a set on her way to a winnable 1st round matchup with Elena Baltacha.

She also won a recent challenger on red clay (early May) and is most definitely playing the best tennis of her young career.  We are gratified.  And we like her draw.  Despite the presence of Cibulkova, Na Li, Dulgheru, and Kvitova in her quarter, we could see Stephens staying close with most of those women, in what is a very weak draw.  If Stephens can avoid Na Li, or get enough of her heavy groundstrokes back, a trip to the round of 16 could be in the cards for the bright young American.

American Jamie Hampton fell to Canadian Alexandra Wozniak, failing to qualify.  She and Stephens were the only Americans left vying for positions in the main draw today.  Young Brit Heather Watson got past Swiss vet Stefanie Voegele in straights.  Watson, a former US Open junior champion who trains in Florida, has now made the main draw of her second career major (Wimbledon, 2010). 

As for the men, how weak is the fact that they only played best of 3 set tennis?  Is this a major or not?  Veteran 1-hander Steve Darcis qualified in straights over top seeded American Alex Bogomolov.  Also unfortunate for the Americans, Ryan Harrison fell today in straight sets. 

Talented Canadian Frank Dancevic made the main draw with a straight set win over Victor Crivoi.  We can’t see him doing much here, but stay tuned for the lad on grass.  Lukasz Kobot, Leonardo Mayer, Alejandro Falla, and Bjorn Phau all qualified today.  And French fans will be happy that countrymen David Guez, Eric Prodon, and Stephane Robert all made it through.

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Big Sam Querrey (above) who let America down today.

The great man took to his Australian Open title defense today in style.  Lukas Lacko, a perhaps capable Slovak in anotheer setting, was treated to the full reportoire by Roger, who won 9 out of the first 10 games, in only 36 minutes.  The match had the feel of an exhibtion with Federer throwing in several backhand drop shots, that left the opponent and the crowd in a daze.  The oohs and aahs came a plenty, for Federer, decked out in tennis whites with stylish yellow accents, serving big, setting up points with the deadly forehands, slice backhands, and finishing them in style at the net, where he dominated. 

Check out these stellar match stats:

  Rod Laver Arena – Men’s Singles – 1st Rnd.
    Lukas Lacko SVK          1   1   3          
Match Completed
    Roger Federer SUI (2) Winner       6   6   6          
  Match Statistics Serve Statistics  
  Match Summary
     Lacko(SVK)   Federer(SUI)
  1st Serve %
56 of 83 = 67 %
38 of 59 = 64 %
3 8
  Double Faults
1 1
  Unforced Errors
27 18
  Winning % on 1st Serve
33 of 56 = 59 %
33 of 38 = 87 %
  Winning % on 2nd Serve
6 of 27 = 22 %
14 of 21 = 67 %
  Winners (Including Service)
11 37
  Receiving Points Won
12 of 60 = 20 %
44 of 84 = 52 %
  Break Point Conversions
1 of 1 = 100 %
7 of 14 = 50 %
  Net Approaches
6 of 12 = 50 %
16 of 20 = 80 %
  Total Points Won
51 91
  Fastest Serve Speed
202 KMH
206 KMH
  Average 1st Serve Speed
186 KMH
183 KMH
  Average 2nd Serve Speed
149 KMH
151 KMH

Roger needed but 1 hour and 24 minutes.  A different story entirely for our American boys and girls.  Samurai Sam Querrey, frankly, got punked by Poland’s Luckas Kubot, in a spot where, let’s face it, it was a must win for the American.  Querrey does not seem to have the steele of his friend and counterpart, John Isner.  We were not surprised, with Querrey being easily upset by Alexander Dolgopolov, world #49, in his first match of the year in Sydney last week, where he was seeded first.  The Ukrainian bombed serves on his way to an easy 6-4, 6-3 win in 62 minutes.  Sam is the one who is supposed to be bombing the serves and ripping huge forehands, but he played timid tennis last week, and again today, and deserved to lose.  This morning Kubot was the agressor, making an astounding 49/69 points at net.  Kubot played the right way, and dug in after losing the first and third sets, continuing to play all or nothing tennis.  Kubot blitzed Querrey 6-1 in the 4th, and then took the extended fifth set 8-6.  Querrey looked lost while Kubot looked like he wanted to win.  Good win for the Pole, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6 in 3 hours and 20 minutes, and smacked an impressive 75 winners on his way to victory.

Mardy Fish, looking lean and mean, but lost early versus Victor Hanescu, dropped the first two sets before figuring his opponent out.  In the end, Fish had an impressive 5 set victory in which he struck 70 winners and won 36/48 of his approaches, showing nice touch and smart instincts as far as when to get in to net.  Fish moves on, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in 3 hours and 32 minutes.

At the moment, we are waiting for Venus to pull through against Sara Errani.  She suffered an early break of serve, but righted herself to take the 1st set 6-3.  A few nervous moments for Lady V, who did notoriously little in the way of traditional match preparation leading up to this year’s Australian.

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