Taylor Dent


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

Mardy Fish (above), the Atlanta and Newport champion (above).

Mardy Fish, ranked around world # 90 in May, has found himself back inside the top 40, landing at # 35 after winning two straight events and making the finals of 3 out of his last 4 events.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/fish-takes-out-isner-in-atlanta-final/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/fish-takes-out-roddick-will-face-isner-in-atlanta-final-tomorrow-stacey-gardner-brooklyn-decker-pics/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/mardy-fish-claims-1st-grass-court-title-newport/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/usa-tennis-blake-and-fish-dropping-like-stones/

This week, Fish is the fourth ranked American male this week, improving 14 spots–the most of any American in the top 100.  Ahead of Fish this week is top ranked American and good Fish friend, Andy Roddick, who remains at world # 9, John Isner, who lost to Fish in yesterday’s final, at world # 19, and Sam Querrey, at world # 20.  Querrey is back in action this week at the Farmer’s Classic in LA.  Keep in mind that Big Sam Q had a great Olympus Series last year and won the US Open Series.  He should be tough this week in front of the hometown fans.

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

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/battle-of-the-tennis-wives-ii-brooklyn-decker-vs-sara-foster/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/brooklyn-decker-new-photos-bikini-shots/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/battle-of-the-tennis-wives-pics-included/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/samurai-sam-wins-queens-club-in-all-american-affair/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/americans-dominate-draw-in-atlanta-quarters/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/roddick-gets-wild-card-in-first-ever-atlanta-atp-championships/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/roddick-skips-rome-to-celebrate-anniversary/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/roddick-goes-down-in-straight-sets-at-roland-garros/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/venus-and-serena-through-to-quarters-roddick-upset-wimbledon/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/dandy-andy-bounced-from-queens-club-as-old-habits-creep-in/

The next highest riser in this week’s rankings for America after Fish was Taylor Dent, up to world # 84 to world # 94 with his quarter-final loss to Fish in Atlanta.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/terrible-taylor-dent-derails-j-train-in-atlanta/

Michael Russell, another quarter-finalist in Atlanta, is up 8 spots from world # 89 to world # 81.  Donald young finds himself up 6 spots, and back in the top 100, sitting at # 99.  Go DY!

Tommy Haas, now an American citizen, and still recovering from injury, slid one position back to # 107.  Haas dates actress Sara Foster.  James Blake slipped 2 positions to # 117, and Robby Ginepri fell a precipitous 43 ranking spots to world # 118.

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

American John Isner congratulates friend and today’s victor, Mardy Fish (above).

World # 18, American Giant John Isner played lights out tennis for the first set today, but in the end it was Mardy Fish who took the title at the first ever Atlanta Hardcourt Tennis Championships, defeating the University of Georgia alum and former NCAA doubles champion, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/fish-takes-out-roddick-will-face-isner-in-atlanta-final-tomorrow-stacey-gardner-brooklyn-decker-pics/

A well conditioned Fish, of whom a 30 lbs. weight loss has been boasted of all week by ESPN2’s and The Tennis Channel’s announcers, had to be aided in 97 degree Atlanta heat by his new, sleeker 168 lbs. frame.  The heat index during the 2nd set was 103 and the on the court temperature was close to an astounding 150 degrees.  Fish, who played in his 15th career ATP final today, won his 5th career title, and his second consecutive title, after taking the Campbell’s Cup in Newport, Rhode Island last weekend at The Tennis Hall of Fame.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/mardy-fish-claims-1st-grass-court-title-newport/

Fish made an important tactical adjustment versus Isner early in the 2nd set that seemedto turn the match around for the world’s # 49 player, who should be ranked significantly higher when he wakes up tomorrow and checks out the ATP’s latest rankings.  Isner had dominated play with his huge serve and gigantic forehand, and Fish couldn’t seem to get the ball to Isner’s backhand in rallies, and left many balls too short which Isner teed off on.  Early in the second set, Fish began to drill the backhand to the corner of the ad court, which forced Isner to cover more territory in rallies, and limited his ability to dictate points with his forehand.  The ploy turned the match for Fish, who managed to break Isner’s serve in both the 2nd and 3rd sets, as he applied more pressure to Isner and forced the big man to rely more on his weaker shot–the backhand.  It was a similar strategy to that of the one employed by Fish in last night’s semi versus Andy Roddick.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/american-giant-john-isner-to-face-south-african-giant-in-atlanta-semis/

Isner must be given credit for his perserverance in his first tournament since Wimbledon, where he and Nicolas Mahut set a record in the first round by playing in an 11 hour and 10 minute match that spanned 3 days.  Isner won 4 matches this week in singles and 3 in doubles, and survived a very tight 3 sets versus South African Kevin Anderson in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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/

As for Fish, the victory makes him the the third American to win 2 tournaments this season, behind Sam Querrey with 3 (1 on each surface) and Andy Roddick with 2.  Fish, who had dropped to about # 90 in the world prior to the French Open, has put himself in great position to have an excellent summer.  He also displayed tremendous sportsmanship, wishing John Isner luck in the 3rd set as players changed ends and prepared for the start of the deciding set.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/usa-tennis-blake-and-fish-dropping-like-stones/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/battle-of-the-tennis-wives-ii-brooklyn-decker-vs-sara-foster/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/brooklyn-decker-new-photos-bikini-shots/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/battle-of-the-tennis-wives-pics-included/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/samurai-sam-wins-queens-club-in-all-american-affair/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/terrible-taylor-dent-derails-j-train-in-atlanta/

Fish’s victory today also marks more titles won by Americans in the men’s game this year than last year.

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

American and world # 9, Andy Roddick (above), who will take on Xavier Malisse in the quarter-finals today at the inaugural Atlanta Hardcourt Tennis Championships.

Andy Roddick will join Americans # 49 Mardy Fish, # 94 Taylor Dent, # 89 Michael Russell, and world # 19, Giant John Isner in action that will be televised in America by ESPN2.  The most intriguing matchup after Roddick-Malisse, is probably Fish-Dent, where a good showing from Mardy could mean he takes back to back tournaments on different surfaces–an enormous accomplishment and a nice confidence boost heading toward The Open.  Fish (below) moved up to world # 49 this week with his win in Newport on grass, and hardcourts are by far his best surface.  Fish should be a huge favorite today over Taylor Dent.

Everyone would expect John Isner’s big game to be way too much for scrappy American journeyman Michael Russell, who has only made one other quarter-final this year, one he lost to Sam Querrey in San Jose.  As for Sam, good move on his part to sit this one out.  Querrey has seemed to have low energy at the US Open, which is the surface he is most likely to succeed on.  He has played a lot of tennis and shouldn’t play too many non mandatory events leading up to the US Open. 

The Roddick-Malisse matchup is an interesting one because of Roddick’s weak play of late and because of the talented Malisse’s renaissance.  A win this week would hopefully get Roddick out of the doldrums he has been in. 

And for those who are interested, the team of Blake and Isner is still alive in the doubles draw.

–Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress)

American Donald Young, up to # 105 in the world (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/roddick-gets-wild-card-in-first-ever-atlanta-atp-championships/

In an absolute clash of the titans yesterday in Atlanta, world # 94 Taylor Dent, defeated world # 115, “Where have you gone, James Blake?” Dent, who we have made fun of since the dawn of time, despite playing a style we admire, being the serve and volley dinosaur that he is.  The only problem is, you have to be good enough to pull it off.  And not just against the Ivan Navarros of the world. 

Dent, who looked fat at the US Open last year, made an improbable run to the third round at Flushing, and has also improbably won a round at each of the majors this year, including Roland Garros, where he had yet to win a match in his career.  All this a level of success that his opponent yesterday, James Blake could only dream of.  Blake has fallen off the face of the Earth since beating Roger Federer in 2008 at the Olympics in Beijing, and as a Blake fan, a crushing defeat he suffered to Fernando Gonzalez in the bronze medal match has seem to linger with Blake and seems unshakable for the exciting American with all the talent in the world, but who may never put it all together, we must assume at this point with Blake nearing 30 years old.

Had Blake won that bronze medal, he would have attained his singular best achievement to date in the game.  I am not a lover of Olympic medals.  Ridiculous people have won golds.  In my lifetime, I have seen Tim Mayotte, Jordi Arresse, Agassi, Arnaud Di Pasquale, Nicolas Massu, and Mardy Fish, among others medal.  Yes, Fish won a silver.  Does that make him more successful overall than Blake?  It’s a tough call, but I would say that it does.  Neither has won a major and neither has done more than quarter-final at a major.  Blake finished in the top 10 a few times, and once faced Roger Federer in the finals of the Year End Championships in China. 

But Fish is younger and his game is in much better shape than Blake’s.  And you could almost see where Fish surpassed Blake.  I believe it was a few weeks after that Olympic games in 2008.  Blake and Fish were facing each other in the 2nd round of the US Open, and Blake had owned the head to head, to that point.  But Fish came out and served big and Blake missed a lot of first serves, and really, ir was never a match.  Now I have called Mardy Fish an embarrassment to the American game in the past, because he was a chubby kid with a weird haircut, and he served big but never moved his feet, and usually lost in the big spot.  But Fish has gotten it together, has gotten into great shape and now has the requisite footwork to pull off keeping 2 hands on the racquet on the backhand side as much as he does.  Fish also is an excellent volleyer, and he gets to the net quite a bit.

Does he do anything better than James Blake does at his best?  No.  Perhaps the serve is a little bigger than Blake at best for argument’s sake.  But Blake pulls off everything a lot easier and more athletically when he is right.  So Blake doesn’t have the footwork anymore in a 5 set match to beat guys who can bomb first serves, but to try to sneak Taylor Dent into that category, which Blake did yesterday, lauding Dent’s serve and saying that when Dent “gets it going like that, there’s not much I can do” is laughable. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/usa-tennis-blake-and-fish-dropping-like-stones/ 

There isn’t much Blake can do when Federer gets it going like that.  At this point, that much is obvious, with Blake beating Roger one time out of 18 I believe, in his career.  An astute commentator once remarked of Blake when he was rallying with Roger Federer, that Roger has more pace on his backhand than Blake does on his forehand.  I believe Blake’s brother made the same observation when interviewed after the match.  I can’t kill Blake for that.  Won’t kill him for losing to Sam Querrey and standing there and getting aced ten points in a row–still a record, I believe.  Should a quick guy like Blake be able to get 1 or 2 of Big Sam Q’s serves back in that span.  I should think so.  But Querrey can make the gun read 140 and he’s very tall so he’s got the angle to his serve as well.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/fish-and-querrey-to-play-in-all-american-final-at-queens-club/

But Arnaud Clement for 2 plus sets in Melbourne is unacceptable.  Taylor Dent is unacceptable.  Yesterday, James Blake only converted on two of fourteen break points, losing to Taylor Dent, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 51 minutes, and Dent won despite hitting 21 double faults.  Dent then won today’s 2nd round match, defeating 4th seeded Horacio Zeballos, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, and earning a date in the quarter-finals, along with American Michael Russell on Friday, in a matches that will be televised in America on either The Tennis Channel or ESPN2.

Russell at world # 89, Dent at # 94, Fish, who just cracked the top 50, Robby Ginepri at # 75, and even Donald Young, up to # 105, are all guys that Blake, if his footwork is right, should demolish.  If Craig Boynton, Blake’s new coach, is listening and can get Blake’s feet going so that he can maximize what’s left of his career.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/serena-sam-q-lead-americans-wimbledon-blake-out-in-straights/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/ginepri-gabashvili-check-out-in-round-of-16-at-roland-garros/

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Mardy Fish leads Atlanta’s own, Robby Ginepri, 6-1 at the start of the 2nd set of their 2nd round match.  The winner makes the quarter-finals Friday.  John Isner survived talented touch player and Luxembourgian, Gilles Muller, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7).

Donald young will face the talented 6’7 South African Kevin Anderson for a date in the quarter-finals.  Andy Roddick faces American Rajeev Ram for the other spot in the quarters.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/brooklyn-decker-new-photos-bikini-shots/

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