Michael Llodra


Since the headliner is scheduled first today, and is obviously the most intriguing matchup of the day and perhaps the summer, let’s begin by talking Federer-Djokovic.  The head to head right now is 14-9 in Roger’s favor and Roger is 4-3 against Djokovic since last year’s terrible 5 set loss here in which Roger blew several match points.  Here’s a good bit of information: since last October, Djokovic has lost 5 completed matches (76-5 in those matches).  Four of the losses have come to Federer, and one to Michael Llodra of all people.  In their illustrious head to head, they have met in 6 major semi-finals (3 US, 2 Australian, 1 French) and are 3-3, but all three of Djokovic’s wins have come in late afternoon (US Open) /evening matches (Oz).

Roger is a fast starter and usually thrives on being first up.  He seems to have some problems at Flushing in the twilight when the sun is escaping and night is setting.  Recall the first rate meltdowns against Del Potro and Djokovic in ’09 and ‘010.  In three early starting major semis versus Djoker (USO ’09, USO ’08, and AO ’08), Roger has dropped one combined set.  Federer has always spoken highly of the virtues of being a morning person.  He has espoused the old axiom that every hour before noon time is essentially worth 2.  We think the early start definitely favors him because it is where he is most comfortable beginning.

In watching Djokovic-Tipsarevic the other day, we credit Tipsy for pushing Djokovic and winning a set, and almost two, before eventually packing it in.  Maybe you saw Djokovic working indoors at the indoor bubble over at the NTC in preparation, and he was going very hard, crushing, absolutely crushing 2 handers.  With their friendship annd coming from the same backyard, Djokovic did not want to lose to Tipsarevic, and he anticipated Tipsy’s best match.  Good calls.  Tipsarevic was the first man to get a set off him in this event, and really, the first guy to push him to hit hard off both wings.  We were privileged enough to be in the building for Djokovic-Berlocq last Thursday.  The match was a complete joke, but we noticed something that we thought consistent from Djokovic in rounds 1-4, that he was avoiding crushing the forehand.  Lingering shoulder issues maybe.  We’ve all seen Tipsarevic play well, push great players, etc.  But let’s be real.  The guy has never even won a tournament.  Ever. 

Looking at how Federer played his last two matches, two clinics, and how Djokovic played Tipsarevic, we are wondering if the grinder among them is tired/worn from a year of grinding and basically making every final of every event but one, and if the glider among them is fresh and hitting his stride.  Because Roger has not looked this good in years, and despite a low ace total against Tsonga, he has been hitting all the spots with his serve.  Djokovic allowed something like 14 break points against Tipsarevic.  We don’t expect him to win if he gives Roger those chances.

12:05 EST

_____________________

Novak Djokovic:  – 175

Roger Federer:  + 150

The odds have been fluctuating on this match since last night, but more pertinently, in the last hour, toward Roger.  Djokovic was – 190 just a few minutes ago.  Late money is on Roger.  That’s worth noting.

Est. for aproximately 3 PM EST

________________________________________

Andy Murray:  + 210

Rafael Nadal:  – 250

Obviously we were extremely disheartened by Roddick’s performance yesterday, and his inability to even tire out Nadal, which as was noted by contributor Mr. White, at least Ferrer would’ve given Nadal a match.  We will go further than that.  We think at this point that Roddick should quit tennis.  Seriously.  All this talk of Nadal’s beefed up serve…Patrick McEnroe should note for us which player in history has started out with an anemic, basic point starter serve and ended up serving bombs and aces? 

Roddick can not return serve.  He is the worst returner in the game.  And he can’t hold serve against Nadal on a relatively fast court.  I have tremendous respect for Boris Becker.  When that guy walked away, he could still play.  But there was one guy he couldn’t beat, and that was Pete Sampras.  So Becker retired behind the sentiment that if he could not beat the best then there was no reason to suit up.  Nadal is not even the best by any stretch of the imagination, though he’s obviously no slouch.  He has had a cake draw, and it hurts Murray that the lad was taxed by Isner for 3 plus hours.  But Murray has made a living off his conditioning and has beaten Nadal in this very spot in 2008 and in 2010 in Melbourne.  Though Murray is only 4-12 lifetime in the h2h, all four victories came on hards.  Murray is playing very well on hards, taking out Djokovic and winning Cincy, and he would love to avenge a bad Wimbledon loss in the semis in which he was well on his way to a win.

1st Ladies Semi-final

__________________________________

Angelique Kerber:  + 325

Sam Stosur:  – 450

__ __ __

2nd Ladies Semi-final

______________________________

Caroline Wozniacki:  + 300

Serena Williams:  + 400

…..

We endorse no action on the Stosur match right now.  We hate Stosur as a big favorite, we hate her in a big spot, and frankly, we doubt she makes the move she has in the women’s game if the Clijsters, Henins, Serenas, Venuses, Sharapovas, Ivanovics, and Safinas are around and consistently good.  Kerber has impressed her.  We have not been surprised by her at all, and we loved her early.  Later we may venture a wager theoretically on AK.  We will not touch Stosur.

Should we even mention the late match?  Obviously Wozniazki has no business winning, and Vegas has given her no mind whatsoever.  We don’t like a – 400 line on principle because the payout is tiny.  That said, we have Serena twisted up in a nice parlay theoretically so far.  Also, we theoretically are riding with what we feel are smart bets regardless of who is favored.  Federer and Murray.  That’s why it’s called gambling.  We may even like Federer in 4 at + 550.

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

At the biggest hardcourt stop yet of this sumer’s Olympus Series, on the way to the US Open, it’s good to see aggressive players, young and old, bringing some much needed flair to the men’s game as the tour returns to the right type of hardcourt: Decoturf.  In action today are five one-handers, with 3 on the courts as we speak.  American James Blake (above), who dropped off the face of the earth in the last year and a half, is enjoying a surprising renaissance at the moment, leading former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian 6-2, 1-0 (a break to the good already in the 2nd) taking that first set in a little more than 30 minutes.  Blake’s free swinging style and hard bang ball crushing are a bad matchup for Nalbandian, who tries to dictate without gving up much ground on the baseline with his 2-handed backhand.  Blake is a difficult guy to do so against because he hits with too much pace for Nalbandian not to give up some feet on the baseline.  If Blake is on, it is impossible for a tight two hander to take the ball early against him.  Blake doesn’t give them enough time.  That’s why Blake has given Nadal so much difficulty over the years, especially before Blake’s demise.

Fortunately for Blake, Nalbandian has suffered an injury related demise as well and seems to be struggling to regain his form.  Blake’s demolition at the hands of the almost unbeatable Novak Djokovic in Miami looked like a fait accompli for the once 2nd most talented player in the game.  Blake, complaining about tendinitis in his knee, mused aloud about retirement, and getting smoked by the Djoker in that manner made us wonder if hadn’t already retired mentally.  But Blake has was worked hard with new coach Craig Boynton, who has done wonders with Giant John Isner, and that hard work seems to be paying off right now.  You will remember that Blake, loyal to a fault, refused to fire his previous and one and only coach, Brian Barker, even as the wheels were coming off of his career.  Sometimes you have to change to grow though.  We are glad to see Blake, who is one of the best athletes on the tour when healthy, holding his serve and concentrating again on big points.  We consider Blake a young thirty and feel he can recapture some of the magic his enormous potential and natural ability holds.  Blake is now serving, up 3-2 in the 2nd set.  Go James!

Thirty-one year old Tommy Haas has had a very hard road back from a hip that effectively ruined his last year and a half on tour.  Since returning in April, Haas has shown flashes of the wealth of talent he possesses, but had only won one match, which came at Newport in July against countryman Michael Berrer.  In his next match, Haas was forced to retire down 5-2 in the 1st set.  Today Haas took out former American collegiate star and solid doubles player, Amer Delic, 6-2, 6-3.  Haas’s high risk, high reward style, which has seen him rise as high as world #2, making 4 major semi-finals (3 down under, 1 at Wimbledon), has been sorely missed.  Remember that Haas was only 5 points from closing out Roger Federer in the round of 16 at Roland Garros in 09, the year that Federer won the crown, and that Federer also defeated Haas in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, on his way to his last Wimbledon crown.  That year, Haas defeated Marin Cilic 10-8 in the 5th on the lawns in one of the most entertaining matches in recent memory, and then blitzed Novak Djokovic, upsetting the Serb star in the quarter-final round.

The Blake match is now final, with the American winning 6-2, 6-4 in 1:12.  Blake struck 7 aces and was not broken in the lopsided contest.  He will face the winner of Isner-Kamke, which is just under way, in the 4th round.  Tommy Haas will face another very talented one hander on the comeback trail in the second round, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who upset Alexandr Dolgopolov Jr. at Wimbledon (we called it!).

Up and coming one handed Bulgarian prodigy Grigor Dimitrov just came through a few minutes ago against putrid American Tim Smyczek in a 3rd set breaker.  Dimitrov is a kid we’ve had our eyes on for a long time because we see him as having the most potential of any young one hander in the game.  Dimitrov, who has patterned himself after Roger Federer and who was coached by Roger’s same developmental coach, Peter Lundgren, broke into the top 60 for the first time this summer, and has risen relatively quickly in the last year after a rough first year on tour.  Dimitrov has yet to do much on hardcourts, and if he wishes to here, he will have to go through another talented one hander, Frenchman Michael Llodra, in the 2nd round.

Michael Berrer, German one hander, defeated refreshing Italian serve and volleyer Paolo Lorenzi in straights earlier and will face our favorite techno ace, Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the next round, with an opportunity to meet the Llodra/Dimitrov winner in the round of 16.  Big Aussie redheaded one handed serve and volleyer Chris Guccione has just gone to a decisive 3rd set with giant South African Kevin Anderson, a teammate of Amer Delic’s at Illinois.  Notable Americans Donald Young and Ryan Harrison, who is having an excellent summer so far, won their first round encounters as well. 

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

Alexander Dolgopolov:  + 10000

Andy Murray:  + 600

Andy Roddick:  + 3000

David Ferrer:  = + 15000

David Nalbandian:  + 10000

Ernests Gulbis:  + 10000

Fernando Verdasco:  + 15000

Gael Monfils:  + 10000

Ivo Karlovic:  + 10000

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:  + 3000

John Isner:  + 5000

Juan Martin Del Potro:  + 2000

Jurgen Melzer:  + 15000

Lleyton Hewitt:  + 15000

Marcos Baghdatis:  + 15000

Mardy Fish:  + 8000

Marin Cilic:  + 8000

Michaael Llodra:  + 15000

Mikhail Youzhny:  + 15000

Milos Raonic:  + 4000

Nikolay Davydenko:  + 15000

Novak Djokovic:  + 275

Rafael Nadal:  + 200

Richard Gasquet:  + 6000

Robin Soderling:  + 3000

Roger Federer:  + 225

Sam Querrey:  + 12500

Stanislas Wawrinka:  + 12500

Tomas Berdych:  + 3000

Field (Any Other Player):  + 5000

The rising sun, Canadian phenom Milos Raonic (above).

Beating Michael Llodra at the Australian Open in 3 straight, tight sets does not necessarily make us stand up and take notice of a guy.  The Frenchman Llodra, a nice player with good hands and a nice one hand backhand, has squeezed a lot out of his slight frame, and probably had over-achieved to get his ranking up to the mid twenties, his seedline in Melbourne.  Beating Bjorn Phau in round one, in a match by the same score, also doesn’t wow us.  And then we laid our own eyes on the stunning talent that is Montenegran born Canadian Milos Raonic, who we will once again say, without hesitation, is the best player under 25 in all of North America.  Soon he will hold that title without the age qualifier, as Raonic out played the current “title holder”, Andy Roddick, a few weeks back in Memphis in the final of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championsips, and Roddick was lucky to get out alive.

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

Back to Australia.  Devoted Nadal haters that we are, we were hoping to see flat ball wizard Mikhail Youzhny and tenacious Spaniard David Ferrer battle it out in the round of 16 for the right to play Nadal.  Both guys have given Nadal problems in majors on hardcourts, and Ferrer is still the only guy to beat Nadal at a major after dropping the first set.  Youzhny had to do his part first.  Raonic, Youzhny’s 3rd round opponent, did his part better.  The kid who had played only a handful of pro tournaments on the main tour, who had never played a major, smoked Youzhny in 4 sets behind the livest serve we’ve seen on a 20 year old since Pete Sampras, a solid forehand, a deadly 2-handed backhand which he takes early and wreaks havoc with, and a beautiful transition game and gifted hands at net.  By the way, the transition game, from baseline to net, by far the most neglected skill among the homogenized legions of boring baseline hackers that now define tennis, and which separates Raonic, among other things, has obviously gotten a big assist from Raonic’s coach, Spaniard Galo Blanco, who is also firmly on our radar.

Are we in love?  Well, you know our philosophical opposition to 2-handed backhands, but we’re willing to overlook it when we gaze upon this kid and the full glory of his talented game.  Ferrer, a gritty, all heart guy, ended Raonic’s Melbourne magic carpet ride in 4 sets in the round of 16.  But Raonic came through qualifiers down under, which meant he had to win 3 best of 5 set matches before the tournament began.  Ferrer was not his 4th opponent, he was his 7th, and still, it was a 4 set match that probably could have gone either way.  Translation: Ferrer, nor anyone else, is looking forward to their first, or next meeting with this young monster.

Not Roddick, who prounounced himself lucky after Memphis, and who showered praise upon his young opponent, admitting that Raonic had taken it to him.  Roddick was on the defensive all match, and literally pulled out passing shot after passing shot out of the clear blue sky to stave off Raonic.  Certainly not James Blake, who the kid destroyed, and who would say afterward of the kid, who hit 149 MPH on the gun, that he had played a lot in his time against Pete Sampras, Roddick, and once even had Sam Querrey jam 10 consecutive aces down his throat, still a record, and that Raonic serve popped like no other’s.

Certainly not Mardy Fish nor Fernando Verdasco wait in eager anticipation of their next tangle with the kid.  Raonic, stepping up to the plate in his first ever ATP final in San Jose against Verdasco, handled him in straight set tie-breakers.  Then, because of an asinine and archaic ATP rankings system, had the good fortune of facing Verdasco in the first round at Memphis a day and a half later.  Raonic, despite soaring up the rankings from world #209 in October, is now #37, but despite the meteoric rise, his ranking has not yet registered in terms of making the main draws at these events.  But the system that has seen Raonic either wildcard or qualify his way into all of these events where he is already the best power player, was a lot less kind to Verdasco, whom Raonic handled once again, this time allowing the Spaniard to have a set.

Mardy Fish?  He’s another top 15 guy who has now lost twice in a few weeks to Raonic.  The kid served Fish a loss in the semis at Memphis, paving the kid’s way to the finals, his second consecutive final, and the first man in eons to win his first ATP tour final and then to make another ATP final in consecutive weeks.  The first Canadian man to win an ATP singles title of any kind in more than 15 years.  The first Canadian man…stop.

If there’s a real deal type to come out of nowehre faster in this game, then I haven’t seen it since Boris Becker won Wimbledon as a 17 year old.  Last night, Fish, in heavy conditions, had been rolling on serve, taking some 89% of his first balls and cruising to easy holds, and the young tennis god was laboring, and had called the trainer to deal with his back/mid section.  After the timeout, Raonic dumped a few anxious forehands into the net to go down love-30.  They were less a product of his injury than the fact that the ball was moving so slow off Fish’s racquet on this horrible IW Plexipave Slow “hardcourt” that the fast reacting Raonic had too much time.  Not so for Mardy.

Without a really, really big television one couldn’t even really glimpse Mardy Fish while he returned Raonic’s serve, basically from the 2nd row, having conceded the entire court plus an extra 6-7 meters so that he could even lay a string on Raonic’s bombs.  It’s was a clinic for the kid–the injured kid–from there on out.  Raonic embarrassed Fish in 3 straight games to take the 1st set 7-5, and then made short shrift of Fish in the 2nd set, taking 9 of the last 13 games in total.  And Fish’s morale, to boot.  Fish, a guy who prides himself on getting to the net, could barely get near the baseline, and he put an abundance of balls into the bottom of the net and watched Raonic crack forehand and backhand winners at will, Federer like droppers that make you go “Ooooh!”, and of course, the almighty ace, which is the biggest staple of the kid’s game right now.

Tomorrow, barring Raonic being unable to walk, we’d look for him to carve up America’s best young almost 19 year old, Ryan Harrison, in what will be an ugly bloodbath for the American in all likelihood.  And then, in the round of 16, should Roger take care of business, is when we are sure to see the real fireworks.  Raonic, at 15-3 so far this season with 5 wins over top 15 players, versus Federer, who really has looked quite good this year, having a tournament victory in Doha, a major semi appearance, and just 2 losses on the resume, both to Novak Djokovic.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/fed-doubles-up-at-iw-and-commits-to-swiss-davis-cup-team-for-julys-euro-zone-matchup/

A Chinese proverb states that it is far wiser to pay attention to the rising sun than the setting one, though we are not Roger fans of little faith.  Raonic does have a weakness in terms of the return game.  He has played an inordinate number of tie-breakers.  But if we’re crazy about Grigor Dimitrov at around world #75, and he does hit the beautiful one hander for us, then we have to be crazy about Raonic, who has powered through on slow clay like hardcourts during his meteoric rise to world #37.

Rising sun?  We’ll go with it, even if that seems a little quick to you from here.  But we can just imagine what he’s going to be like on real hardcourts (acrylic Decoturf and not this soft synthetic garbage) that actually play fast in the true tradition of the game, this summer in Cincinnati and New York.

Hell on earth.

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

Grigor Dimitrov (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/1-h-bh/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/giant-john-isner-wins-longest-match-in-tennis-history-in-1st-round-wimbledon/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/marathon-record-man-isner-falls-easily-in-2nd-round-wimbledon/

It’s time that we start taking notice of the great tennis prodigy Gregor Dimitrov, who was ranked 750 in the world in September 2008, and 338th in the world on January 1, 2010 has aceded to his highest ever ranking this week–106th and is poised to break the top 100 this month.  Dimitrov, who turned 19 in September, has long been noticed by tennis fans like myself who are on the hunt for the game’s next great 1 hander.  Dimitrov has been catching attention with his play for years, and was an accomplished amateur who won many impressive titles, including the Boys Orange Bowl Under 16, Junior Wimbledon, and the Junior US Open.  Dimitrov is a groundstroke machine who hits perhaps the most aggressive 1-hand backhand in the game.  His former coach, Peter Lundgren, made waves when declared that at 17, Dimitrov was a better player than Federer.  Lundgren also coached Federer as a junior, but Federer is widely regarded as the better player at an early age, having reached the top twenty by the age of 20–something that with a good year Dimitrov could acheive in 2011. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/grigor-dimitrov-one-handed-tennis-prodigy-out-in-2nd-round-at-queens-club-see-dimitrov-clips/ 

Dimitrov changed coaches early in the summer, dropping Lundgren for savvy Australian Peter McNamara.  McNamara, an all-courter in his day, reached #7 in singles in 1983, and also won the doubles at Wimbledon in 1982 with long time doubles partner Paul McNamee, defeating John McEnroe and Peter Fleming in the final.  The Aussie pair occupied the top spot briefly in the men’s doubles game, partnering for 13 titles, and 3 majors, all on grass (2 Wimbledon, 1 Australian).  McNamara’s very even personality and emphasis on fundamental tennis has seemed to really propel Dimitrov.  Grigor, or who his friends refer to as “G-Force”, has won 6 satellite tournaments since July (Bangkok-2, Bangkok-1, Geneva, Spain F10, Germany F10, Germany F-9), taking two on hard courts and four on clay.  Recently at Orleans, Dimitrov lost a tight final to Nicolas Mahut, beating Lukas Lacko and Michael Llodra on the way there.  In fact, Dimitrov has has several impressive match and tournament victories on the satellite circuit of late, and at #106th right now, he is almost assured of being in the main draw at the Australian Open in January.   

Dimitrov has tended to be an “ooh” and “ahh” type player, capable of hitting any shot under the sun when right.  There are some clips of him in the above link, and in one of them, Dimitrov is playing Nadal on indoors at Rotterdam from 2008.  Dimitrov totally rips the backhand in all of the clips, and in interviews has said that he considers his backhand an offensive shot.  Dimitrov has modeled his game after Federer’s, and glides around the court looking for put aways when he is at his best.

We saw him play his matches on television from the Eastbourne championships, a Wimbledon tune-up.  Dimitrov seemed to play very well, but without a consistent weapon when serving, he had to play too many points and lost too many close ones.  But the kid is 6’2 and he’s not buzzing through the challenger circuit without popping his serve.  I think he’s going to win a few rounds in Australia where the courts will suit him, and that he will start to become a fixture in the men’s game next year.

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

5 time ladies female champion and second seeded Venus Williams defeated Ekaterina Makarova of Russia who won her first grass court championship at Eastbourne last week, 6-0, 6-4 in 65 minutes.  The elder Williams looked excellent in the match, facing only 1 break point while converting on 5 out of 14 of her own break chances.

Check out the match stats below:

 
   Makarova (RUS) Williams (USA)
         
  1st Serve % 35 of 60 = 58 % 25 of 41 = 61 %
 
  Aces 2 5
 
  Double Faults 4 3
 
  Unforced Errors 16 10
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve 22 of 35 = 63 % 22 of 25 = 88 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 7 of 25 = 28 % 8 of 16 = 50 %
 
  Winners (Including Service) 12 29
 
  Receiving Points Won 11 of 44 = 25 % 31 of 64 = 48 %
 
  Break Point Conversions 1 of 1 = 100 % 5 of 14 = 36 %
 
  Net Approaches 3 of 8 = 38 % 18 of 20 = 90 %
 
  Total Points Won 40 61
 
   Fastest Serve Speed 107 MPH 125 MPH
 
   Average 1st Serve Speed 101 MPH 113 MPH
 
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 83 MPH 94 MPH

Williams awaits the winner of the all Russian matchup between Kleybanova and Kudryavtseva in the 3rd round.  Andy Roddick also carried the flag proudly for America in a tough 2nd round matchup against Michael Llodra, who also won at Eastbourne last week.  Roddick’s match was more of a classic attack style grass court matchup, as Llodra, with new coaching consultant Amelie Mauresmo in his box, served and volleyed on approximately half the points, to much early success.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/llodra-and-makerova-win-final-wimbledon-warmups/

Until Roddick mustered a break in the 9th game of the 2nd set, Llodra seemed untouchable on serve.  From that point, Roddick had it a bit easier, winning in a tight 4 sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (2) in 2 hours and 23 minutes.  The level of tennis in this match was extremely high, seeing Llodra strike 80 winners to only 16 unforced errors, while Roddick struck an astounding 82 winners to only 11 unforced errors.  Here are the match stats:

Llodra (FRA) Roddick (USA)
         
  1st Serve % 60 of 97 = 62 % 86 of 119 = 72 %
 
  Aces 23 25
 
  Double Faults 5 1
 
  Unforced Errors 16 11
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve 48 of 60 = 80 % 70 of 86 = 81 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 21 of 37 = 57 % 15 of 33 = 45 %
 
  Winners (Including Service) 80 82
 
  Receiving Points Won 34 of 120 = 28 % 28 of 102 = 27 %
 
  Break Point Conversions 1 of 5 = 20 % 3 of 3 = 100 %
 
  Net Approaches 45 of 69 = 65 % 35 of 53 = 66 %
 
  Total Points Won 103 113
 
   Fastest Serve Speed 128 MPH 135 MPH
 
   Average 1st Serve Speed 117 MPH 123 MPH
 
   Average 2nd Serve Speed 104 MPH 108 MPH

Roddick will face giant killer Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 3rd round, who defeated Roddick’s conqueror in Paris, Teimuraz Gabashvili this morning in 5 sets, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 9-7 in the 3rd round.

Unfortunately, American Mardy Fish’s Wimbledon odyssey ended this morning when he was beaten by Florian Meyer of Germany, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.  Mayer upset 11th seed Marin Cilic in the first round.

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/cmatch/10ms.html

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

Roger Federer (above), holds his head during his too close for comfort first round match with Alejandro Falla.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/federer-down-2-sets-advances-in-round-1-at-wimbledon/

Roger Federer, the defending champion, six time champion, and top seed, wasn’t the only top male to find himself on the brink of elimination today in the first round on the first day of Wimbledon, 2010.  Third seed Novak Djokovic, desperate for a good result here, was also down 2 sets to 1 and a break to Belgian one hander, Olivier Rocchus, and was able to climb out of the hole, to win 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 3 hours and 51 minutes.  The match was completed under the roof on centre court, and ended near 11 pm local time, the latest ever ending Wimbledon match.

Nikolay Davydenko, the 7th seed who missed the last few months due to injury, also had to come back from down 2 sets to 1 against South African 6’7 shot maker and University of Illinois product, Kevin Anderson, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-5, 9-7, needing an extended 5th set.  Anderson played amazing tennis, striking 116 winners along with 36 aces, and 41/66 net approaches.  The error count was low on both sides, and Davydenko also played excellent tennis as well, as the edge may have come down to experience.  Davydenko also did an amazing job at net, winning an astounding 85 % of his approaches (30/35).

The rest of today’s first round matches were a bit more predictable on the men’s side, and a few Americans notched wins.

Mardy Fish over Australian prodigy Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 7-6 (8), 6-2.

Dandy Andy over American Rajeev Ram, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Terrible Taylor Dent takes out Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 7-5.

American Jesse Witten fell to talented one handed Frenchman, Michael Llodra, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/llodra-and-makerova-win-final-wimbledon-warmups/

Seventeeth seeded Ivan Ljubicic fell in straights to Michal Przysiezny of Poland, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Ilija Bozoljac, who will meet Federer in round 2, got by in a tight 4th setter, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) over Nicolas Massu.

Gael Monfils took out Argentine Leonardo Mayer, 6-1, 7-6 (9), 6-2 in Monfils first match at SW-19 since 2007.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/fognini-drops-negligent-officiating-crass-crowd-and-monfils-in-paris/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/monfils-umpire-french-crowd-no-class-dignity-or-sportsmanship-in-paris/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/monfils-in-a-fools-bet/

In a shocker, 11th seed Marin Cilic lost in straights to Florian Mayer, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Other victors included former champ Lleyton Hewitt, Feliciano Lopez over American Jessie Levine, Philipp Kolschreiber, Tomas Berdych, Yen-Hsun Lu, Rainer Schuettler, Daniel Brands, Evgeny Korolev, Teimuraz Gabashvili, Karol Beck, Victor Troicki, Peter Luczak, Ben Becker, Arnaud Clement, American teenager Brendan Evans, Lithuanian prodigy Ricardas Barankis, Marsel Ilhan, Jurgen Melzer, Denis Istomin, who upset Stan Wawrinka, and who famously played Nadal to a 4 hour, 3 set match at Queen’s Club 2 weeks ago, and Victor Hanescu.

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

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