Sergiy Stakhovsky


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

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Fish:  – 400

Istomin:  + 250

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Hanescu:  + 700

Roddick:  – 1500

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Paszek:  – 175

McHale:  + 125

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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)

Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic (above).

When play commences on the lawns next week, tennis fans will be treated to some very good matchups.  With the Wimbledon draws announced today, we figured we’d let you know what to look out for in the first couple of rounds.  Ladies first:

 

Ladies Singles–1st Round

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(15) Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez

Akgul Amanmuradova vs. (23) Venus Williams

Alison Riske (USA) vs. (2) Vera Zvonareva

(6) Francesca Schiavone vs. Jelena Dokic

Christina McHale (USA) vs. Ekaterina Makarova

(18) Ana Ivanovic vs. Melanie Oudin (USA)

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Eleni Danilidou

Aravane Rezai vs. Serena Williams

Laura Robson vs. Angelique Kerber

(5) Maria Sharapova vs. Anna Chakvetadze

 

Mens Singles 1st Round

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Ryan Sweeting (USA) vs. Pablo Andujar

Fabio Fognini vs. Milos Raonic

Donald Young (USA) vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA)

Radek Stepanek vs. Fernando Verdasco

Tobias Kamke vs. Blaz Kavcic

Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. Daniel Cox (GBR)

Ivan Ljubicic vs. Marin Cilic

Ivo Karlovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic

Alexander Dolgopolov Jr. vs. Fernando Gonzalez

John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut

David Nalbandian vs. Julian Reister

Robin Soderling vs. Philipp Petzschner

Kei Nishikori vs. Lleyton Hewitt

Marcos Baghdatis vs. James Blake

…..

The women’s draw features Mary Joe Fernandez’s rag tag crew of hack Fed Cuppers, in Oudin, McHale, and Vandeweghe.  Oudin should get dusted by Ivanovic, who, should she lose, should probably hang it up already.  Coco’s got a glimmer of hope against Danilidou.  McHale should get shredded by Makarova.  FYI, Vania King, who has played well, is in the main draw, as is Alison Riske, who has a very tall order in Vera Z.  Who knows?  Grass is Riske’s best surface, and maybe the Pensylvania product gets lucky.  Zvonareva looked dead during her QF at Eastbourne versus Stosur, after winning 8 of the first 12 games and virtually having the match in the bag.  Zvonareva has played a lot of tennis this year.  Could that bode well for the American who should be installed on our FC squad, especially considering America’s woeful state of affairs and relegation from the World Group?  Journeywoman American by way of Russia Varvara Lepchenko did upset 18th seed Flavia Pennetta at Roland Garros, so we’ll give her a bit of a chance here against 19th seed, Yanina Wickmayer.  Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, one of the few women with the stones to consistently attack, has a great shot to upset Jelena Jankovic.  The Spaniard is 2-1 lifetime versus the gutless, annoying Serb.  Also, it would be nice to see young Brit Laura Robson win her first round match with Kerber.  Kerber will be favored.

Not to run on about the men, but we do feel it’s high time that Ryan Sweeting, with his ranking up to 66th, notch his first ever match win on grass.  We’re very interested to see our boy, young beast Milos Raonic on the grass.  The possibility of a 3rd round match between Raonic and Nadal would make for appointment television.  As would a possible Del Potro/Nadal round of 16 affair.  Nice to see DP in the top 25 again (24).  Tommy Haas looks for his first win of the year, and we welcome him back, as well as David Nalbandian, who won 2 rounds at Halle.  We also welcome back Chilean ball crusher Fernando Gonzalez who might be a big problem for Dolgopolov, who seems to adjust poorly to specialty surfaces.  We love Stepanek, a nice net player, as an upset special in round 1.  We’d love to see James Blake do something in the spot versus Baghdatis, but Blake is even more disappointing than usual at Wimbledon.  Things look good for former boys champ Donald Young, in a very winnable 1st round match versus another American Alex Bogolomov.  We always love watching talented 1-hander Segiy Stakhovsky, who gets diminutive British hack Daniel Cox in round 1.  We hope Soderling has a good run here but it wouldn’t shock us if Philipp Petzschner, a very good grass courter and last year’s doubles champ gave him a good go.  Our favorite techno tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic has his hands full with ace machine Ivo Karlovic.  We might put a few dinari on Dr. Ivo.  It would be a good time for Marin Cilic to wake up, though we don’t have much confidence in that.

And in maybe the most celebrated first round rematch ever, we look for Giant John Isner, whose ranking has fell to near 50, to get back on track and take care for Mahut before it gets to 70-68 in the 5th.  Isner has weathered the clay season, and can not be faulted for taking Nadal to 5 hard sets at Roland Garros in round 1.  We look for him to have a great summer starting here, and carrying over to the American summer hardcourt season.

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

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/marathon-man-mahut-returns-to-play-doubles-after-world-record-longest-singles-match/

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

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

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

Rafael Nadal:  – 7000

Pablo Andujar:  + 1900

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Antonio Veic:  + 350

Nikolay Davydenko:  – 600

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Sam Querrey:  + 110

Ivan Ljubicic:  – 150

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Xavier Malisse:  + 450

Fernando Verdasco:  – 700

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Mardy Fish:  – 190

Robin Haase:  + 150

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Jeremy Chardy:  + 200

Gilles Simon:  – 300

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Marcos Baghdatis:  – 145

Leonardo Mayer:  + 105

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Albert Ramos:  + 800

Robin Soderling:  – 2000

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Andy Murray:  – 3000

Simone Bolelli:  + 1200

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Arnaud Clement:  + 130

Michael Berrer:  – 180

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Alexander Dolgopolovic:  – 650

Andreas Heider-Mauer:  + 375

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Tobias Kamke:  + 400

Victor Troicki:  – 700

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Lukasz Kubot:  – 130

Carlos Berlocq:  – 110

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Alejandro Falla:  + 350

Florian Mayer:  – 600

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Kevin Anderson:  + 175

Juan Ignacio Chela:  – 250

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Lukas Rosol:  + 350

Jurgen Melzer:  – 600

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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.

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

World #173, American Ryan Harrison (above).

Ryan Harrison, the 18 year old standout American tennis prospect and Texas product now living in Florida, defeated 2010 US Open Junior Boys Champion and New York Junior Tennis League alum Jack Sock today in 4 hard fought sets, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4 at the finals of the USTA’s Australian Open Playoff Final in Norcross, Georgia today.  Harrison has now played his way into a 2nd consecutive Australian Open wildcard, defeating Jessie Levine in the final last year.

Harrison was eliminated in the main draw by the entertaining Janko Tippsarevic, who famously took Roger Federer to 5 sets in the 3rd round of the 2008 Australian Open, and who had Roger down 2 sets to 1 before the great man made his charge, in an electricity charged night match on Rod Laver.  Harrison has now qualified for his 3rd major and second consecutive major, having made the main draw of the 2010 US Open where he won his first round match against Ivan Ljubicic before dropping a tough 5 setter in round 2 to a one-hander we’ve had our eye on for his impressively fluid game, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

We feel Harrison is supremely suited to the forgiving Australian Open Plexi-cushion surface, which is rated kindly as medium fast.  Harrison’s speed around the court should be on display, and he could do some damage should he not face a top 5 calibre player in round one.  In fact, we are going to go out on a limb and say Harrison turns in his best major showing to date next month in Melbourne.

Tough break for Sock though, who will rebound and who is sure to make New York and Nebraska proud. 

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Also a tough break today and a bit of a surprise for Coco Vandeweghe, who has had quite an end to her season, as the 19 year old scored impressive victories over quality opponents such as French top 20 player Aravane Rezai, and who had caught the eye of US Federation Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  Vandeweghe hung tight in the Fed Cup final where she replaced Venus Williams, and gave 2010 French Open Ladies Champion Francesca Schiavone quite a run for her money, despite several hiccups on her service games.

Today 17 year old Lauren Davis of Ohio who is currently world #444 and who trains in Florida at the Evert Academy, routed Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-2 in a non comppetitve match, earning the younger player her first entrance into the main draw of a major.  We’ll say it again: several young Americans are deserving of discretionary wildcards, including Vandeweghe, Sock, Young, Rhyne Williams, and hard serving Pennsylvania native Alison Riske.

The US and Australian Tennis Federations have a reciprocation agreement in which they trade each other 1 discretionary wildcard on both the men’s and women’s side, so we think there’s a good chance for Sock and Vandeweghe.  As for one of our favorites, Donald Young?  At this point he has had so much hype and so many chances, we doubt we’ll see him, unfortunately, anywhere on the main tour outside of the United States until he can earn his way in.

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

US Open 2010 Boy’s Champion Jack Sock (above).

Last night US Open Boy’s champ Jack Sock, an alum of the very impressive New York Junior Tennis League, defeated up and down American tennis prodigy Donald Young in 3 tight sets, advancing to the finals of the USTA’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs in Norcross, Georgia.

Today Sock will take on the extremely impressive American youngster Ryan Harrison, who defeated Ivan Ljubicic in the first round of the US Open, and who took the wildly talented Russian one-hander Sergiy Stakhovsky to a 5th set tie-breaker in round 2, losing 8 points to 6 in that breaker.  Harrison defeated University of Tennessee sophomore and native Tennessean, Rhyne Williams to reach the final, 4-6, 6-2, 9-7, also last night.

Williams is fresh off an impressive tournament victory, as he took home the trophy at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, on the strength of his very impressive return of serve.  Williams scored the surprising victory by upsetting top seeded Alexander Domijan in the first round, and then defeated Steve Johnson of USC in the final.  Williams was the only player to break Johnson’s serve in the entire tournament, which was played in Flushing at the National Tennis Center.

It would be an injustice if the Australian Tennis Federation did not see fit to dispense a few discretionary wildcards to this bumper crop of young Americans.  In our opinion, Sock, Williams, Harrison and Young are all worthy of direct entry into this year’s main draw in Melbourne.

That said, we’re sure the Aussies will throw bones to journeyman Australian bums like Alun Jones and Peter Luczak, who no doubt, will be steamrolled in round 1.

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

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)

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