News from around the tennis world today.
Girls’ road trip
And you thought the WTA Tour was glamorous.
But whatever powers they have, they can’t fly.
A large group of women on their way to the WTA event in Eastbourne got stuck in a traffic logjam on the M14 for two hours Friday. No fun at all.
Among them were Yung-Jan Chan, Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, Americans Lauren Davis, Christina Mchale, Varvara Lepchenko and Madison Keys, and others.
Dabrowski decided to commune with nature.
The ride from Birmingham, in the end, took nine hours.
Dreddy match of the day
Unfortunately, the fabulous Dustin Brown is out of the Halle tournament, at the hands of countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber, who’s a fine fellow but doesn’t have quite the same crowd appeal.
After upsetting Rafael Nadal in the second round, Dreddy had every chance to go to the semis. He led 5-2 in the third-set tiebreaker, with his fate in his own hands on his serve.
A long while later, he lost the tiebreak 18-16.
It was torturous road but in the end, what the high-risk game Brown plays giveth, it also taketh away. He just didn’t make any returns at all when it counted. And through the tiebreak, Kohlschreiber was practically religious about making his first serves.
But for a guy who mostly looks like he has a mild case of indigestion, the drama even got to Kohlschreiber, who gave a pretty good racquet-toss imitation in the middle of it.
At 5-2, Brown double-faulted going for his second serve. At 5-3, he was beaten by a Kohlschreiber lob. He tried the Tweener, made it, but eventually made a forehand error.
Leading 5-4, he missed both returns on Kohlschreiber’s serve. At 6-7 (his first match point) he didn’t make the return. At 8-9, he didn’t make the return. At 10-11, Kohlschreiber made a big first serve, at 12-13, he also made one. At 16-16, Brown missed a pretty routine backhand drive volley that would have given him match point on his own serve. It’s grass, and returning can be a crapshoot, but when the pressure’s on the opponent, you have to at least make him play. And that’s exactly what Kohlschreiber did.
Brown is still in the doubles, after his match was moved to the stadium court in the wake of Roger Federer winning his match by default over Yen-Hsun Lu. So there will be more Dreddy to come on the weekend.
Over at the other ATP event in Queen’s, the players were riveted. In the end, we’re all tennis fans.
The players lounge in queens watching Dustin Brown and Kohlshreiber… Everyone is captivated!!! pic.twitter.com/sRAc91u8I5
— Kelsey Anderson (@KelseyOAnderson) June 13, 2014
WTA’s May Awards
Yes, it’s June 13th. But the WTA announced its “player of the month” awards.
No surprise, Maria Sharapova won the “Player of the Month” prize.
And Genie Bouchard won the “Rising Star of the Month” award.
Now, the great stuff they did to earn those awards happened in … June (although Bouchard did win her first WTA Tour title in May, and Sharapova won Madrid). But hey, details, details.
Milos made it to the AELTC
Top Canuck Milos Raonic has made it to Wimbledon (not that there was a doubt).
Nice pic, although he needs to work on the selfie technique and look into the phone’s eye.
To celebrate this, we post a blast from the past.
At 12, Milos Raonic was a devoted serve-and-volleyer …
Rogers Cup Hall of Fame will enshrine Arantxa – again!
Tennis Canada announced this week that the enshrinee on its traditional Monday opening night will be Spaniard Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who won the event in 1992 and 1994 and made the final three other times.
Here’s the obligatory quote from tournament director Eugene Lapierre:
“Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario is one of the best players of her era, a tennis legend who holds an important place in the history of the sport and also in the history of the Rogers Cup. Thanks to her performances, her charisma, and her infectious personality, tennis fans in Montreal quickly adopted her as one of their own. We are thrilled to induct her in the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame because it is an honour she thoroughly deserves.”
But what they don’t mention – and this just occurred to me – is that they tried to do this once before, in 2008.
Except it didn’t happen.
All was revealed in the lead-up to her Sept. 2008 wedding to a guy named Josep Santacana (she’s still married to him). There was much family drama, and parental disapproval, and all the tabloidy-type stuff. But the biggest thing was that it was, hehe, a shotgun wedding, that the folks changed their minds about all this because Sanchez Vicario was expecting – the giveaway being when she didn’t travel to the Beijing Olympics that fall “on doctor’s advice”.
The official reason for her last-minute bailout from the Hall of Fame ceremony in Montreal was “food poisoning”.
In fact, it was morning sickness! Pretty early doors, but little Arantxa (yes, she named her after herself) was born March 3, 2009 and is now five years old.
Six years later, the Rogers Cup will finally get it done.
Frenchman Jonathan Eysseric wasn’t happy at his loss at the Blois Challenger Friday.
— Jonathan Eysseric (@joneysseric) June 13, 2014
Translation: “A non-match against a player like that, that’s unforgivable.”
Still, that’s a little rough. While we’ll admit that Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez is a clay-courter, that’s still not very nice.
Gonzalez won, 6-2, 6-1.
Eysseric was the one who lost to Canadian Peter Polansky in the final round of qualifying at the French Open a few weeks ago.