About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tennis Anyone 33 1/3

To Finish
Well, what a delightful final full match of the day. Donskoy won the first set 6-1, blink of an eye, thought we were headed for a rout. But somehow midway thru the second set Dennis Kudla finds another gear, and it's like the ball coming at him is as big as a pumpkin. He breaks Donskoy, rather to my surprise. Then Kudla starts grunting, as if that will find him another gear still. Grunting or not, he wins the second set 6-3. The third set sees each player break once and goes into a tiebreak, Kudla goes down a mini-break, comes back, takes the tie-break 7-5 and the match. This was very high quality tennis. There weren't many winners, the match statistics say there were only 11 of them between the two players. But there weren't a lot of errors, either, I'm not even sure I can trust the count which is only 1 of them for the whole match, except that it's hard to think of too many. There were balls that missed, but it does seem that almost all of them were off of really good shots by the other guy that weren't easy to get back. Very high quality. The difference in the match looks to be the differential on first and second serve, Donskoy was 70% getting the point on his first serve but only 43% on his second serve. Kudla was more consistent in that metric. Even though this match went to Kudla, I do expect we may see more from Donskoy, who is just 21 and talented. Kudla just turned 19, and is showing some signs of making a breakthrough this summer. Qualifying for the Open could easily lift him 200 spots in the rankings.
There was one match unfinished, so I watched the final games of a 23 year old Croat beating a 34 year old Italian. Not great stuff, probably could have skipped, but having waited out a six hour rain delay why not see some more tennis...
The answer is that play begins in 8:30, I've got to get to bed!
But it will be a very full day, as speculated earlier the plan for Friday is to have 22 remaining 2nd round matches, 21 3rd round matches with the Thursday winners, and then to trot out the 22 winners to play their 3rd round matches as well, two matches on the day, to be sure of having the qualifying done in time. Tour rules require a half hour between matches, and even the top players in the world sometimes have to do two in one day when rain backs things up badly at a tournament. The qualifiers can do it Friday. It's unfair in equal measure to all of them, at least, none of the morning winners Friday will end up facing someone who won Thursday and has the benefit of a night's rest.

10:40 PM
Musical entertainment! Sound check/practice from Arthur Ashe blasting over grounds. Just what tennis players want during big match at 10:30 at night.

10:15 PM
Lacko won the first set in a tiebreak. He is too one dimensional in his game to pose a real threat to anyone, baseline only. That set ended just a few points into the start of the Court 11 match between Dennis Kudla (US) and Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) which I shall stick with, I think. Fewer than 30 unattached spectators, maybe 10 or 12 more coaches/family members. Kudla just made an incredible leap to get his racket on a high smash bounce that nobody ever tries for, I was shocked to see a racket in front of me at my perch in the endzone seats. There is a reason no one goes for those, his shot went up 30 feet and backwards. But I admired the effort. Donskoy is quickly up two breaks, doubt this will be a long match. A few others started around the same time, if any of those are the three tight tiebreak sets which this likely not could be tennis until 12:30-1:00 AM.

9:10 PM
The matches on 15 + 16 ended within a few minutes of one another. Jaziri won his 6-2 in the 3rd set. This made me happy; I think Jaziri is fun to watch. I was watching right next to his coach who wad taking notes in Arabic, and either cheering on his player in Arabic or "get them in" in English. Ryderstedt offered his congratulations as he left the court. I wasn't as caught up in the other match which Bozoljac won 6-3 in the 2nd set, but I would probably take any of these 4 players over the ones on Courts 7 + 16.
Wandering one walkway over I watched the final games of a match between Rogerio Dutra Da Silva from Brazil and Adrian Menendez-Maceiras from Spain. Both were very big grunters and both seemed to my eyes to have especially powerful groundstrokes, Da Silva especially. He is the #5 seed, and won the match in straight sets. Maybe try and catch more of him tomorrow.
After grazing the buffet, I have settled back at Court 15 to watch Marius Copil (Romania) vs Lukas Lacko (Slovak Rep.)I think Lacko is the younger and with more main draw results, in any event are on serve and 15-15 Copil serving 2-2 in the first.

7:50 PM
Court 15 Serbia's Ilija Bozoljac wins first set tiebreak 6-1 over Germany's Andreas Beck
Court 16 Jaziri takes 2nd set, we go to a third
Will hang out between the two courts!

7:40 PM
The plan now is to get in 3 matches on each court, including the Grandstand which is used during the qualifying only in emergencies. That will be 42 matches out of 64 scheduled. Tomorrow play will start an hour early. With rain scheduled to arrive at some point on Saturday I don't know if they plan to have some players do both 2nd and 3rd round matches tomorrow or hope to get in 11 3rd round matches Saturday. The ballperson crews are down one since the youngest can't work overtime which is a problem when all courts need to go long into the evening.

7:33 PM
Back at Court 15 for Jaziri vs Swede Michael Ryderstedt. Jaziri lost the first set 6-2 but up a break in 2nd. Both of these players seem peppier than the others I have been watching.

7:30 PM
Middelkoop won in a 2nd set tiebreak. Not sure how good he really is, but at least good enough to march rou first two rounds here.
Walked over a few paces to Court 11 where Klahn had gone up a break and watched final two games of that match. Hard to believe Ebden is the person who won a 6-0 set yesterday. No game at all today. Klahn was serving very well, and had slightly better places groundstrokes, but not very compelling. Ome court next to the Vioka rooting section, at another found myself standing next to Dennis Kudla's coach. Kudos plays Evgeny Donskoy later.

7:15 PM
Ebden was broken and lost the first set 6-4. The lackluster second set saw both players broken with Ebden taking in a tiebreak. I was bored, after wandering a bit I am settled between Courts 15 and 16 watching the end of 2nd set of Matwe Middelkoop's match against Italy's Matteo Viola while Malek Jaziri plays on the next Court over.

5:20 PM
The match I am now once again watching play having resumed aroun 5:13, is the second round match for American Bradley Klahn and the rising Australian Matthew Ebden. It was scheduled for Court 11, which is one of the largest used for qualifying and thus has priority for drying. Players are just sitting down on the adjacent Court 12, which will resume play some 20 minutes after us, and dryers are still going on Court 16. It is 2-2,and Ebden is facing a break point.

5:08 PM
Since it may be a late night, eating on the grounds. The lamb haandi from Indian stand isn't bad. Have rad 150 pages of Benjamin Tate's Well of Sorrows, and a few issues of Variety.

5:05 PM
Sun has shine a bit, some courts near to dry, and teams of ballpersons are heading out to their assigned courts. May yet be some tennis today!

11:55 AM
Players back to locker room, I am under the overhang on the Grandstand Court near the ball person perch, Andy Murray just left the court after an aborted practice session. Rain really coming down now.

11:15 AM
Grim news, forecast for an afternoon thundershower but there are already a few drops of rain. With Irene coming our way this weekend it might be a challenge to finish the final two rounds of qualifying.
More Grim News: there are mo soap dispensers in the men's restrooms at Court 7 and Court 11. Can someone call the CDC or NYC Dept of Health or something and get that fixed muy pronto.
Grimmer News: A brief rain shower right at start of first match. Iffy day weather wise.
More Grimmer News: When they updated the schedule on the web site as the evening progressed they never updated the printable PDF version which has endless TBD on the later matches, not even "winner of this vs winner of that," just TBD vs TBD. With the weather we should be so lucky as to get to those matches today.

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