From the ATP web site.
2012 By The Numbers… Novak’s 5 M.P. Saved Tops List
First-Time ATP Winners
Only one player won his first ATP World Tour title in 2012, compared with 10 in 2011. As players competing for their first ATP World Tour title went 1-15 in finals this season, 23-year-old Martin Klizan was the only breakthrough, triumphing at the St. Petersburg Open with a straight-sets win over Fabio Fognini. He became the first Slovakian to win a tour title since Dominik Hrbaty triumphed at Marseille in February 2004.
It was a mark of how competitive the ATP World Tour was in 2012 that the longest winning streak any player was able to put together was Roger Federer’s run of 16 matches in February-March. In 2011, Novak Djokovic had opened with a staggering 41-0 mark, while a year earlier Nadal had compiled a 24-match winning run.
Winning Titles Without Losing A Set
Rafael Nadal reminded the tennis world of his clay-court supremacy in 2012, winning three titles at Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Rome without the loss of a set. Novak Djokovic was also able to win an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title with a clean slate over six matches, retaining his title in Miami.
See the whole article – HERE
If you were the ATP and some rich guy, say maybe the founder of a big computer software company, wanted to give one of your tournaments a little less than 1 million dollars to increase it’s prize money would you accept it or turn it down?
As you can imagine, I wouldn’t really be writing about this if it was just a hypothetical question. Oracle Founder, Larry Ellison – a guy with a Net Worth of $41 billion, has offered the Indian Wells tournament $800,000 to boost it’s prize money. The only problem – the ATP voted to turn it down. Of course three votes were from competing tournament directors.
Read all about it in Jon Wertheim’s Blog – HERE
Larry Ellison – Wikipedia and more
This is the first of a two part series on wildcards based on posting in the “Heavy Topspin” blog. “Heavy Topspin” is a great blog.
On October 24th they posted an article called “What Grega Zemlja Can Tell Us About American Tennis”
So who is Grega Zemlja?
Zemlja – a 26 year old Slovenian is currently the 50th ranked player in the world but don’t go looking for him in the Australian Open draw – he lost in the qualifiers. Not in the French Open draw either – again lost in the qualifiers. Wimbledon – beat Josh Godall of Great Britain in 4 sets and lost to Fernando Verdasco in 4 sets in the second round. So for most of the year Zemlja was not exactly a top tennis player. His ranking at the start of the year was 116th and he went into Wimbledon ranked 142nd. At Newport, Zemlja lost in the first round to Rajeev Ram. This is where the story takes a turn. He played in 3 Challenger Tournaments in China and won 2 of them and went into the U.S. Open as a qualifier. He beat Christian Harrison in the first round of Qualifiers and Yannick Mertens in the last round of Qualifiers. Grega got to the Round of 32 in the Main Draw where he lost in straight sets to Janko Tipsarevic. Next up, a Challenger in Istanbul where he got to the Semi’s. Lost in the Qualifiers in Bejing and Shanghai. Then it was on to the Erste Bank Open in Vienna – an ATP World Tour 250 event where he had to qualify, due to his ranking. He started out with a win over #60 Xavier Malisse, then Matthew Ebden (#120), then 20th ranked Tommy Haas and on to a rematch with Janko Tipsarevic – #9 in the world. This time it was Zemlja who came out on top. He lost in the finals to #8 Juan Martin Del Potro.
In his entire career Zemlja has received exactly one wildcard and that was into a Challenger event. By contrast, Donald Young has already received 27 wildcards. Most of those were given to him by Patrick McEnroe, who himself got 37 wildcards throughout his career. Almost 20% of all wildcards given out to the current top 200 players were given to 7 Americans while Janko Tipsarevic got no wildcards before his 25th birthday (Djokovic and Ferrer got 1).
The author has a proposal:
… a version of how Zemlja got into Wimbledon. He won the Nottingham challenger two weeks previous, and the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Association) wasn’t going to give away all the free spots to Brits. The Slovenian was a deserving up-and-comer, even though he doesn’t play under the right flag.
Perhaps every Slam and Masters event should reserve a spot for the winner of a corresponding challenger. Or every tournament with a 48-or-bigger draw should be required to hand at least one wild card to a non-national.
Read the whole article – HERE
A follow up posting was titled “How much do Wildcards Matter?”
In that article, the author looks at Jack Sock (American) and Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina.
– To get a sense of the effect, let’s take a look at Jack Sock, the most gifted recipient of wild cards in 2012. He entered seven tour-level events this year, all on free passes. (He was also wildcarded into another three challengers and the Cincinnati Masters qualifying draw.) If you take away the wild cards, he would’ve played a couple of challengers, some qualifying draws for US 250s, leaving him to fill most of his calendar with futures.
As it is, Sock has boosted his ranking from 381 to 164 in a single year, earning $137,000 along the way. About half of that comes from his third-round showing at the US Open, which required him to beat Florian Mayer (who retired) and Flavio Cipolla, not a particularly tall order (as it were). Another $27,000 came entirely from first-round losses–tournaments that he didn’t earn his way into, and where he failed to win a match.
– In terms of on-court performance, Schwartzman may well have had a better 2012 than Sock did. The Argentine won six Futures events on the South American clay, and he added another four doubles titles at that level. He wasn’t nearly as successful at the next level, going 5-10 in Challenger and ATP qualifiying matches. Perhaps he was a bit worn down from his 49 Futures singles matches this year.
It’s an open question whether Sock or Schwartzman had the more impressive year. Some might prefer the American’s challenger title and handful of top-100 scalps; others would prefer Schwartzman’s 30-match winning streak at the Futures level.
But here’s the kicker: While Sock made $137,000 and raised his ranking to #164, Schwartzman made $17,000 and is currently ranked #245. By showing up at the Indian Wells Masters and losing in the first round, Sock made about as much money as Schwartzman did by winning six tournaments.
The most telling point in the article was actually in the comments:
Yet again, Murphy’s law strikes! Last week Sock sagged 4 places to 159, while Schwartzman soared 60 places to 173. So they are now just 14 places apart. Of course, Schwartzman’s sudden success was largely due to winning Buenos Aires (90 points, $10,800) after disappointing performances at Campinas, San Juan, and Villa Allende. Previously in August he had won the Argentine F20, F21 and F22 tournaments in succession for a total haul of 54 points and $3,900! Although their ranking was lower, his opponents in those tournaments don’t seem to me that less formidable than those he beat in Buenos Aires.
In the medium to long term, I expect Schwartzman to be more successful than Sock. He has had to fight – ferociously and tenaciously – for his success, and he has earned every single point in a tough uphill battle.
Read the whole article – HERE
Look for the follow up article in this blog.
- Del Potro beats Zemlja to win 12th title at Vienna (miamiherald.com)
This is from the “Parenting Aces” Blog
If you think good nutrition doesn’t play a major factor in success on the tennis court, think again!
I have spent this weekend at the Australian Open Wildcard Playoff tournament where 8 American men and 8 American women competed for a spot in the main draw of next month’s Australian Open. In the first round of the tourney, after winning the first set then losing the second in a heart-breaking tie-breaker, Jack Sock found himself up a break in the 3rd set against long-time rival Dennis Kudla. Instead of closing out the match, earning himself a spot in the semifinals the next day, Jack had to retire because of cramping.
Cramping? Indoors? In December?
First of all, Jack Sock is 19 years old and looks to be in great physical condition. He’s a big boy – 6’1″ and 180 lbs according to the ATP website – and hits a big ball and moves well around the court. Cramping? Really?
I later found out from the medical trainer working the tournament that the reason for Jack’s cramping was not due to heat (duh since we were indoors) but rather due to dehydration. You would think that players (and those who work with them) at this level would know and understand the need to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after their matches, right? Well, apparently, that’s not always the case.
To read the rest of the post – CLICK HERE
Articles on Hydration
Today’s One to Watch from the Challenger Tennis blog is Javier Marti.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
He started 2009 a rickety 9/15 but had twice the success in the second half of his season, going 18/15 to finish at 27/30 for the year. This year, Marti overcame an 0-5 start to his 2010 campaign to win his first pro tournament at the Bulgaria F3 Futures event in May.
But he didn’t stop there; the speedy-wiry Spaniard with the liquid backhand went on to take titles in Romania and Portugal as well, finishing at a 54/28 pace, gaining 350 spots on the ATP ladder and slicing his ranking in (more than) half, from #685 to #335. He’s now the fifth-youngest player in the Top 400, behind Bernard Tomic, yesterday’s profilee Facundo Arguello, Ryan Harrison andFilip Krajinovic.
Though he didn’t have much success at the Challenger level, going 6/9 on the year, he did post wins over Sam Groth and Alex Ward, and I strongly suspect that his results will only continue to improve has he fills out and gets stronger. According to his coach, Oscar Burrieza, there’s a lot he can do to get better mentally as well. I’ll have the opportunity to see him play in a few weeks, as he’s on the entry list for the USA F2 Futures in Tamarac, FL. I’m very much looking forward to my first chance to see him play in person.
OK, I got some vids for ya. This first one, which I trust you skipped right to (per my instructions), is of Collarini and Marti facing off in a U16 battle in Palafrugell Spain. I won’t spoil the outcome for you – you’ll just have to watch and see. What I will say, is that – with its hilariously epic music and descriptive documentation – I hope and expect this holcombBrook masterpiece to one day be looked back upon as a vital document of two talents who have since made it big. Their games may have changed a bit since then, but this vid provides terrific audiovisual insight into the sometimes awkward and hard-to-read lefty game of Collarini, as well as the tremendous racquet head speed of the Marti forehand and his comparatively compact and smooth swing off the backhand side. Great stuff! (Marti is the one in blue the blue top).
CLICK HERE for the whole article
CLICK HERE for his ATP page
Marti finished up last year ranked #335. Since then he has moved all the way up to #188. His doubles ranking went from 296 to 254. His ranking has risen consistently throughout the year. I look forward to seeing how far he can go.
From the “ANY GIVEN SURFACE” Blog
by Kait O’Callahan
Dear Andy Murray,
We’re pretty different, you and I. But we both feel overworked, so I guess we have something in common. Only I don’t play tennis for a living; I work in public health care 47 weeks of the year, at least 40 hours a week. It isn’t exactly a dream job, but I’ve got to admit, there’s some pretty good perks. Like free milk in the tearoom most mornings, and the occasional pack of biscuits due to expire. We get leftover apples from patients, (it used to be bananas before the floods hit), and if you’re in dire need of tampons, well, there’s plenty of them in the store room. So it isn’t bad. I don’t want to do it until I’m 65 though, (that’s the age I’m supposed to retire). So in the weekends I write, because that’s my real passion. And I’m sure you know all about passion, as you play tennis. My understanding is that tennis players play for the love of the sport, not the money. For the feeling of winning, of improving, of having masses of people supporting you through thick and thin. So you must understand that even though I don’t get paid much for my writing yet, I love doing it anyway and nothing can stop me trying to make it professionally. I imagine you can relate.
When you said that comment about the US Open needing to pay you more if they want to extend the tournament to 15 days, I knew you were joking. I mean you already earn more in one day of the US Open than the average person does in a year. If it’s the right day, you can make as much money as most people do in decades. So clearly you must have been kidding, because that sounds rather greedy, and I know it isn’t about the money for you. But you were clearly serious with your comments about the schedule. I have to admit I moan too sometimes when I get sick of working weekends and late shifts. But I’ve got to admit, I’ve got it pretty good. And so do you, from what I can tell. 20 weeks a year and a say in your working schedule? That doesn’t sound too bad to me. And they’re giving you more holidays next year too, so maybe you should see how that goes before you start threatening radical strike action. After all, you don’t really want to strike do you? Because that means you won’t be able to play tennis. And tennis is what you love, right?
Thanks for clearing that up, Andy.
All the best,
MEET DENIS KUDLA from “On The Go Tennis” Blog
Denis Kudla is one of the rising American stars on the ATP World Tour. Today he stunned Ivo Karlovic in his first round at Newport, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4, and afterwards he sat down with me to do a quick off-court Q & A.
Q. What is your greatest moment on the tennis court?
Definitely today, today was my greatest moment, beating Ivo Karlovic. It just gave me a sense of belief that I could really make it. I’ll also say, when I was 14 or 15, being on Arthur Ashe Stadium and playing on Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day. It was really incredible for me. Seeing Federer and Nadal, looking up to them as a young kid, it was just a dream.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I would probably say someone who does everything really slow and takes their time on everything, or chewing with your mouth open. I can’t stand that.
Q. What is your greatest fear?
Spiders. I’m terrified of spiders. Even on the internet I freak out.
Q. Any nicknames?
A lot people call me Kuds, you know Kudla’s my last name, and that’s pretty much it.
Q. Do you have a lucky charm that you bring on the court?
No, not really. I try to get away from superstition and lucky things because then I’ll depend on it too much. I use this chain, [points to neck] a cross from my Grandma from Ukraine, so I consider that my lucky charm.
Q. Do you still have a lot of family in Ukraine?
No, not really, I just have a grandma over there now.
Q. When did you come over to the States?
I was one.
CLICK HERE for the entire article
What is Core Tennis?
How comprehensive is it?
Core tennis covers: 22,256 tournaments; 68,949 players; 816,731 matches (and counting). I was surprised at how many local players have profiles at Core Tennis. if you have played in a National Open, you are in Core Tennis, even if you just played in the doubles and lost in your only match 2 years ago.
What local players have you found on there?
So far I have found Derrick Angle, Bryan Chow, Jake Crawford, Cat Crummey, Alex Demetreus, Nisha Detchprohm, Chris Frost, Riley Lorenz, Jessica Macaluso, Sarah Kandath, Matt Kandath, Nicole Kellogg, Lars Olson, Ann Phillips, Claire Schmitz, Ian Van Cott, Alex Van Cott. Click on the name to see that players Core Tennis page. If you are that player you can update information and add a picture.
What unique features does it have?
One of my favorite features is the graphs of a players ranking points.
With a break in the main tour action this week, The Tennis Scoop has taken a look at a few of the players regarded as the stars of the near future on the ATP tour. We start off with highly rated Richard Berankis.
The 20-year-old from Lithuania is currently ranked at a career-high 73 in the world. The right-hander from Vilnius certainly has a lot of potential, although he doesn’t quite fit the mould for the modern male tennis pro. Standing in stark contrast to most of the breakthrough players of the last few years, such as Isner, Del Potro and more recently Raonic, Richard Berankis is only 1.75 meters tall and his stocky frame and speed around the court has drawn comparisons to Arnaud Clement. However the Lithuanian is far more explosive off the ground and is capable of some excellent shot making, which should help him to surpass the French journeymans career achievements.
The youngster is already the highest ranked player to play for his native country, has captured the US Open Junior title in 2007 and the prestigeous Orange Bowl title, and became the world junior number one. He will also struggle to find a better base from which to launch his career, training and being coached at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Florida, home to such legends as Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Andre Agassi and the Williams sisters. He has however had the same coach, Remigijus Balzekas, since he was just 9 years old.
2010 was the year that Berankis started to show signs he was ready to compete on the main tour. Two singles rubber wins against Great Britain set the tone early on. A challenger win on grass at the Nottingham event was followed up by an impressive second round exit at Wimbledon, taking a set off grass court veteran Feliciano Lopez in a 3-1 defeat. He reached another challenger final on the hard courts of Vancouver in week 31, losing in straight sets to Dudi Sela, before embarking on his strongest grand slam run to date. After defeating American Ryan Sweeting in the 1st round, Berankis then went on to give current world number 10 Jurgen Melzer a scare in a 5 set epic, losing a tight 5th set 7-5. Richard finished off 2010 with another challenger win, this time against a strong field in Helsinki, including wins against Teimuraz Gabashvilli, Frank Dancevic and fellow rising star Grigor Dimotrov.
CLICK HERE – For the complete article