Tennis Birthdays: March 2, 2015

A good (if noisy) veteran, and a couple of retirees celebrate today.

Carlos (Charly) Berlocq (ARG), 32

Seemingly out of nowhere, at a relatively advanced age, the overlooked Argentine started playing the best tennis of his career.

berlocq opt Tennis birthdays   March 2, 2012

Those are some nasty knees.

Berlocq reached a career best of No. 37 almost exactly three years ago, after the 2012 Indian Wells.

In the summer of 2009, Berlocq was out of the top 700, after missing seven months. So it was a long and successful way back. Off and on, he’s had big wraps on one or both knees although lately, they’re pristine.

Berlocq, on the court, has two rather distinct and aggravating traits: first, there’s the grunt. In addition, he is the human rain delay – arguably the very slowest player on the ATP Tour, perhaps even pokier than Rafael Nadal.

Oh, make that three – the MULLET! And a fourth characteristic might be the shirt-ripping thing he occasionally indulges in. In fact, he’s got a pic of it on his Twitter bio. A thoroughly nice fellow, though, despite the noise and the choice in coiffure. I mean, you can’t even get aggro at him about this stuff.

Berlocq played sparingly a year ago early on, quickly settling in to play supportive husband and daddy after the birth of his second child, son Agustin, who joined now 5 1/2-year-old daughter Stefania (a lovely name!)

 

This year, he’s playing more, but had some very tough draws early on and didn’t put any wins together until last week, at home in Buenos Aires. Berlocq reached the semis and gave Rafael Nadal a tussle in the first set before going down. He and Diego Schwartzman also got to the semis of the doubles.

He was named to the Davis Cup squad that will play Brazil this weekend, along with Schwartzman, Federico Delbonis and a regular Berlocq dubs partner, Leo Mayer (they beat Pospisock at the U.S. Open last summer). No Juan Monaco and, of course, no DelPo – this time. They still should beat Brazil.

Alexandra Panova (RUS), 26

Alexandra Panova

The lissome Russian made some noise at this year’s Australian Open, giving Maria Sharapova all she could handle in the second round before going down 7-5 in the third. Panova, then ranked No. 150, came out of the qualifying, so it was a shocker of a match.

It seemed to take something out of her; since then, she lost in the first of qualifying in Pattaya City (Anastasia Rodionova) and Dubai (Timea Babos). She also lost in the first round of a $50,000 tournament in St-Petersburg last week to Cindy Burger, ranked No. 249.

Currently ranked No. 125, her career best was No. 71 back in 2012. She has done better in doubles, peaking at No. 42 two years ago.

 

Kevin Curren (RSA), 57

currenold opt Tennis birthdays   March 2, 2012The South African-turned American is best known for his career-making 1985 Wimbledon final. He upset Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, all in straight sets, before losing to Boris Becker.

Curren also made the 1984 Australian Open final, and won four Grand Slam titles in doubles (men’s and mixed).

He got to No. 5 in singles and No. 3 in doubles, and after retirement was at one time South Africa’s Davis Cup captain

Born in Durban, Curran became an American citizen nearly 30 years ago after moving to Austin, Texas to play college tennis. He was the NCAA singles champion in 1979.

These days, he seems to be into golf. But he still plays some tennis.

Judith Wiesner Flomair (GER) , 49

wiesner Tennis birthdays   March 2, 20111738.Picture 2 Tennis birthdays   March 2, 2011Wiesner’s career spanned from 1987 to 1997 as a pro (although she started playing pro events in 1983). She was, at the time, one of the few married players on tour.

Her politician husband was quite a bit older, and seemed to have a life of his own so wasn’t one of those overbearing tennis spouses. And she is one of the rare female players who was into golf; she’s a scratch handicap, or close to it.

Wiesner was having the best results of her career when she called it a day, reaching No. 12 that year at age 30. She also got to No. 29 in doubles, and won six singles and three doubles titles on Tour.

(Ahh, the days of the pleated skirts, when everyone tucked).

(Weisner and Curren pics from Wikipedia)

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