Philipp Kohlschreiber

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (above).

Queen’s Club Mens Final


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:  + 290

Andy Murray:  – 380


Gerry Weber Mens Final (Halle, Germany)


Philipp Kohlschreiber:  – 155

Philipp Petzschner:  + 125


Eastbourne Ladies Final


Sabine Lisicki:  + 130

Daniela Hantuchova:  -160

Best for first.  You’d have to love, as do we, Andy Murray, soldiering on with torn ligaments in his ankle, knowing full well he can’t miss the grass season without a polite British revolt, and after working out some problems earlier in the week, he thrashed Andy Roddick today, and maybe had the best serving day of his career.  High praise.  Not that Roddick played nearly sharply or aggressively to win.  But Tsonga is who we are interested in here.  He’s a good value at + 290.  Tsonga is an attacker and he had Nadal confounded on Friday, and then took care of the other local, James Ward, who was vying to make Queens an all English affair.  In straights.  If Murray is laying the ball out there in Tsonga’s strike zone, then he is going to play well.  Murray needs to return very well tomorrow.  Grass is perfectly suited to Tsonga’s game, and this is the best we’ve seen him look on the surface.  A win for Murray would make for his second grass title and his 2nd at Queens, where he defeated James Blake in 2009.

Kudos to the Germans who will be getting an all German affair at Halle, after the 2 Philipp’s both won today as dogs.  Kohllschreiber, an upset specialist who narrowly lost this title to Federer a few years back, stuck it to a broken down Gael Monfils.  Wimbledon doubles champ Philipp Petzschner, a late bloomer, and a very intriguing talent, especially on grass, whom John McEnroe has described as having a “perfect” service motion, should play some very entertaining tennis.  Gun to our heads, we’d probably take PK.

As for the ladies, again, kudos to Germany.  Good to see Sabine Lisicki beat that chubby, wretched double hander on bothh wings, Peng Shuai.  Lisicki gets Hantuchova in the final, who we hate hate hate as a favorite.  We thought Ivanovic, who served great this week, a great sign, would pull through in her first semi of the year, but unfortunately it was not to be.  Still, her stock is up, and we like her game much better on fast courts than on clay, where she won the French once upon a time.  We wouldn’t be surprised if Ivanovic gets her act back together this summer.  Taking nothing away from Hantuchova, who played a great match, but the ugly two fisted swinging backhand volleys?  Bad tennis.  Hantuchova, for a usually well ranked gal, doesn’t win hardware much.  Keep it in mind.

BTW, Andy Murray will be breathing some rarefied air with a win tomorrow, joining Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl as 2 time winners at Queens.  John McEnroe, Lleyton Hewitt, and Andy Roddick are 4 time winners, and Boris Becker and Jimmy Connors have won there 3 times.

Stay glued to The Tennis Channel starting bright and early for all 3 finals.

Crack (,

Jeremy Chardy:  – 180

Grigor Dimitrov (above):  + 130


Elena Baltacha:  + 175

Sloane Stephens:  – 250


Rafael Nadal:  – 10000

John Isner:  + 2500


Sam Querrey:  + 175

Philipp Kohlschreiber:  – 250


Andreas Haider-Mauer:  – 120

Ryan Sweeting: – 120


Juan Ignacio Chela:  – 1500

Tim Smyczek:  + 700


Gilles Simon:  – 2000

Michael Russell:  + 800


Dominika Cibulkova:  – 600

Vania King:  + 350


It looks like it’s going to be sunny, high 70’s in Paris tomorrow, and that could bode well for John Isner, who you won’t see as such a big underdog too often.  He should get traction on his serve in the warm weather, making for possibly an interesting match.

Grigor Dimitrov, the phenomenally talented one handed Bulgarian, has a real chance here against Chardy, who has seemed ro regressed in the last two years.  Dimitrov already has his ranking up to about 60, and winning a few rounds would get him on his way to getting right in to smaller events.

You know we love Sloane Stephens.  Go girl!  Wouldn’t be surprised if Sweeting won and Querrey lost.

Hit up the action on the mixed channels.

Crack (

Under way, Roddick up 7-6 (9-7), 5-2, 15-30, while Janko Tipsarevic is serving to go up 2 sets at 6-2, 5-4, 30-15…Gasquet, Kohlschreiber vs. Berdych…

Get to the mix channel quick!

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



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.”

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.

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.

–Crack (,

Venus Williams was tested today by 26th seed, Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, and needed 1 hour and 37 minutes, before escaping with a 6-4, 6-2 victory which was a lot closer than the scoreline indicated.  Lady V, who had only met Kleybanova twice previously, splitting those meetings, but one of those meeting came in the round of 16 here at Wimbledon in 2008, which Venus won 6-3, 6-4, on her way to her 5th Wimbledon title.  Venus was aggressive all match, looking to move forward and finish off points at net, which she is still the best at in the women’s game.

If Williams, widely regarded the best grass court player in the game, is to advance to her 9th Wimbledon final in 11 years this year, she will have to go through the very hot Australian, Jarmila Groth, who upset German Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 7-5 and who has now made the round of 16 at successive majors–a significant breakthrough for the young Australian, whose play should get her a spot in singles on Australia’s Fed Cup team next to French Open finalist Sam Stosur.

Once again, Groth brought her big game to a defense first player, out-winnering the young German 35 to 14, and winning close to 65 % of the points on her serve, opposed to Kerber, who won exactly 50 % of the points on her own serve.  Groth eliminated American Melanie Oudin in the 2nd round earlier in the week by serving big and dictating play with her big forehand.

Andy Roddick defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber, who he had not met since Kohlschreiber’s impressive upset of Roddick in epic fashion in Melbourne in 2008, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 6-7 (3), 8-6.  Today was a day for Roddick’s revenge, and though the match was close, Roddick really played excellent tennis in notching the 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3 in 2 hours and 56 minutes.  Roddick made only 14 unforced errors, struck 60 winners, 28 aces, and hit 138 MPH on the serve gun.

Dandy Andy will face Yen-Hsun Lu in the round of 16–an absolute gift matchup for Roddick, who could face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals and possibly Roger Federer in the semi-finals.  Lu is making his first appearance in the round of 16 of a major, on the verge of his 27th birthday this summer. 

Both Venus and Andy should play their round of 16 matches early next week.  Venus and Serena marched on in doubles today, but were tested by the team of Bacsinszky/Garbin, 6-1, 7-6 (2).  They will face Cibulkova/Pavlyuchenkova in the 3rd round.

Should the Williams sisters win the doubles title here, it mark their fifth consecutive major championship. 

–Crack (

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.

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.

–Crack (

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