News from around the game.
Canadian collegian wins the National Intercollegiate Indoors
The ballkid may not look impressed, but Canada’s Brayden Schnur, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, won a big U.S. college event on Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queen’s, site of the U.S. Open.
Schnur defeated Gonzalez Austin of Vanderbilt 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the final.
Austin upset the No. 5 seed in the first round and he, too, then didn’t have to face a seed the rest of the way.
This is a good one, right here.
Schnur is ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division I pre-season rankings.
Grigor playing hooky in London Town
Poor Grigor Dimitrov got enough flack on social media when he declined to go to the World Tour Finals as an alternate. Well, imagine the OUTRAGE when it turns out he’s in London anyway and STILL not an alternate! The NERVE of him!
Newsflash: Dimitrov is there with girlfriend Maria Sharapova. And if any of you out there have tried to carve out time with your significant other when you’re both traveling all the time for work, you would know how precious those moments are.
If he had QUALIFIED for the World Tour Finals and blew it off to spend time with his girlfriend, that might be another matter.
But he didn’t. Is there some unwritten rule about being duty-bound to show up as a spare?
Let’s go back to 2008 in Shanghai when Radek Stepanek, ranked No. 26, ended up being an alternate.
Oh, right, that was before tennis fans were on Twitter to kvetch about every single little thing. So the 15 or so players ranked ahead of Stepanek got a pass.
If Dimitrov would rather hit a strest festival or a watch show and enjoy quality time with Sharapova instead of having to hang out at the O2 all day doing nothing, waiting and hoping/not hoping that someone is going to get injured and pull out, more power to him.
I mean, wouldn’t you?
The Bulgarian said he didn’t want to be there because he didn’t earn it. And in our books, that’s legit.
It’s a long season, and a short off-season, as it is.
(Pic from Maria Sharapova’s Facebook page).
Less mascara, more homework, honey
The woman hired by the ATP’s broadcast arm to do those inane ‘pre-match’ interviews at the World Tour Finals set a new standard Sunday.
Not only did she butcher Kei Nishikori’s name during the day session, she came up against the recently-divorced pair of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic and, after beckoning them over for a “bit of a chat” (???) proceeded to ask them why they were back together.
We’ll assume she read the list of former champions (although you know what they say about ASSuME), saw their names as the 2010 champs and figured, well, we’re not sure what she figured.
Anyhow, Nestor and Zimonjic probably thought she actually knew her stuff, so they tried to answer the question they thought she was asking, which would have been “why are you here together when you just broke up and you’re playing with other people next year?”
Basically, Nestor said Zimonjic dumped him; Zimonjic said “s..t happens” and one of your more awkward moments was handled.
If the Brits are going to inflict their accents on the rest of the planet on a world feed, they should pick TV people whose patois is at least comprehensible.
No doubt she’ll be back tomorrow. Woohoo.
Coaching advice from the old coach
Milos Raonic’s longtime coach (from his beginnings until the age of 17) weighed in on Twitter during the first set of his former charge’s match against Roger Federer Sunday.
Milos should be hitting his second serves at 115-120mph- Something he can do at close to 95% success rate and which would win him 70-75%pts
— Casey Curtis (@CaseyCtennis) November 9, 2014
Well, it’s a thought. That would be scary. Meanwhile, coach, what say you about the return of serve?
WTF stat of the day
And you thought it was the Fed. LOL
Justin Gimelstob is everywhere
The aspiring king of all tennis was a busy man Sunday at the O2.
First there was a practice with his good buddies, the Bryan brothers, followed by a photo request from broadcaster Leif Shiras.
— Leif Shiras (@LShirock) November 9, 2014
Then, later in the evening, there were presentation duties on court as his good buddy Roger Federer received his Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award from … the man himself. Also Gimelstob’s good buddy.
Fun moment on live TV when Gimelstob suggested to Edberg that since he’d only won five sportsmanship awards to Federer’s 10, he should probably give up the naming rights for the award to the Fed – 10 being, um, twice as many as five.
To his credit, Edberg didn’t really answer.