Montreal – 3R

Viktor Troicki [15] just like Nadal yesterday, lost a match in which had opportunities to win both losing sets; taking into account the progress of his match with Gael Monfils [7], I’m prone to say that his loss is more painful than Nadal’s one. Troicki was a dominant figure through a  set and a half, he led 6-3, 4:3* (30-0), but Monfils managed to hold his serve winning a spectacular point at 15-30 in that game, which gave him the first reason for the fist pump. The Frenchman survived three match points serving at 5:6 – Troicki had the best chance on the first match point but missed awfully, trying to finish it off with a backhand down the line. The Serb had the match in his hands again in the 3rd set, led 5:3, and was serving at 5:4 (30 all) – made a double fault… In the tie-break he saved three consecutive match points, but on the fourth, Monfils fired an ace followed by a little dance of victory. Troicki has distincitvely the worst m.p. record among the tennis elite: 1-7 #.
In the same time on the other court, Mardy Fish got revenge for losing to Ernests Gulbis in the Los Angeles final two weeks ago. Fish lost 4-6 in the 3rd set then, this time prevailed 6-4 in the 3rd (Gulbis in the 9th game saved 5 match points on serve). Jo-Wilfried Tsonga impressed a lot (especially in the deciding set) in the last match of the day, dissmising Roger Federer 7-6, 4-6, 6-1. Tsonga saved a set point with a powerful serve in the 1st set, he has beaten Federer twice in Montreal, and twice in the last two months. “He’s confident right now and he played an excellent third set,” said Federer, “The first two sets were tighter. I should maybe have won the first one. I had some opportunities. In the second I was able to hold my serve. I might have won, but he was able to finish off the match very well.”

# Troicki’s m.p. matches (1-7):
2008, Moscow: M.Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 5-7 – 2 m.p.
2009, Umag: M.Gonzalez 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6) – 3 m.p.
2009, Basel: M.Cilic 6-7(7), 7-6(8), 6-7(6)  – 3 m.p.
2010, Belgrade: S.Wawrinka 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-7(6)  – 2 m.p.
2010, Wimbledon: J.Melzer 7-6(5), 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(6), 3-6 – 1 m.p.
2010, Tokyo: J.Melzer 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(3) –  1 m.p.
2010, Tokyo: R.Nadal 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-7(7) –  2 m.p.
2011, Montreal: G.Monfils 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-7(5) –  3 m.p.
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Montreal – 2R

Three players had to play two matches on Wednesday because their first round encounters were interrupted by rain: Fernando Verdasco (1-1, *2:2 with Kamke), Feliciano Lopez (1-1, *2:3 with Stepanek) and John Isner (6-3, *1:2 with Baghdatis). Neither of them was able to get two wins within the day…
Kevin Anderson [35] made the biggest upset of the first two days of the tournament (the only second round meeting on Tuesday), outplaying in just 69 minutes the double defending champion Andy Murray 6-3, 6-1. “Sometimes you can make mistakes with your preparation, but I’ve done pretty similar stuff to what I’ve always done coming in here. It’s just a really bad day. It’s happened to me a couple times this year and also last year, as well” explained Murray, who spent 10 days in Miami preparing himself for two Masters Series events in North America. “It was probably not exactly what I was expecting” admitted Anderson, for whom it’s the biggest win since beating Novak Djokovic three years ago in Miami.
Djokovic in his first match as the new No. 1 in the world, played against Nikolay Davydenko [30] one of the weirdest sets in career. There were seven breaks of serve in the 1st set, the Russian led with a double break 4:1, and had a set point on serve at 5:4 – sent a forehand long. Djokovic said after a 7-5, 6-1 victory: “I didn’t play a match for four weeks. It took me some time to get used to the conditions, get into the match. I needed to hang in there. I needed to wait for the chances“. It was a good day for the Serbs: in 3-setters won D’Joke’s compatriots – Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic, the latter after a 3-hour-double-fault-fest (27 d.faults in total, including 3 in a row in the  tie-break!!) battled past Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, Tipsy squandered a triple match point on serve in the 2nd set. He faces next Ivan Dodig [41] who scored the biggest win of his career stunning in the other 3-hour match, Rafael Nadal 1-6, 7-6, 7-6. Nadal led 3:1* in the 2nd set, he never before suffered a loss wasting such a big advantage, considering a set and a half! The Spaniard had his chances also in the deciding set, led 3:0, afterwards was two points away from win at three different occasions: *5:3 (30 all), 6:5* (deuce), 5:4* in the tie-break!! He was unusually tentative from his forehand side, but credit to the Croat for great service performance (19 aces; 11 in the final set!) and offensive attitude – he was going to the net after the 1st serve regularly since the middle of the 2nd set. Dodig converted the first match point with a cross-court backhand winner. “He played very well, very aggressive. He didn’t feel the pressure in the important moments. And at the end of the match, probably I was a little bit unlucky today,” said Nadal.
Ivo Karlovic [125] has won the most all-tie-break matches in history #. This time he prevailed in three tie-breaks against Philipp Petzschner in a match with only two breaks of serve (an exchange of breaks in the middle of the 3rd set, the German was *3:2 ’40-30′ ahead). In the deciding tie-break Karlovic led 3:0 with two mini breaks but Petzschner fought off a triple match point, only to lose his serve on the 4th match point.

# Karlovic’s all tie-break matches (8-3):
2004, Indian Wells: A.Pavel 6-7(10), 7-6(4), 6-7(4)
2004, Cincinnati: W.Moodie 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 7-6(9)
2004, St. Petersburg: A.Corretja 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-6(8)
2006, Barcelona: E.Korolev 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(5)
2007, Tokyo: H.T.Lee 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 7-6(8)
2007, Basel: T.Berdych 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 7-6(13)
2008, Queens Club: R.Nadal 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-7(4)
2008, Gstaad: V.Hanescu 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-7(11)
2011, Doha: P.Kohlschreiber 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 7-6(2)
2011, Houston: J.Isner 7-6(2), 6-7(2), 7-6(9)
2011, Montreal: P.Petzschner 6-7(0), 7-6(2), 7-6(6)
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Montreal – 1R

After five weeks of boredom, another tournament (the Canadian Open) with the best players kicked off. Traditionally, the three best players in the world (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer) skipped all tournaments which were held in the meantime. Two top 10’ers, Robin Soderling and David Ferrer pulled out, also the 2003 champion – Andy Roddick [12] and the Canadian rising star Milos Raonic – suffers an injury since Wimbledon.
In one of the most entertaining first round encounters,”wild card” Ernests Gulbis [55] survived a tough test against the former No. 1, Juan Carlos Ferrero [104]. In the 3rd set, the Latvian saved a mini-m.p. at 3:4 with a forehand winner, then at 4:5 was three times two points away from defeat, at one of those situations served a second serve ace on the line, and broke the Spaniard in the following game with an unconventional overhead-dropshot (!) to seal a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 triumph with four booming serves. Gulbis was “two points away” also two weeks ago in his first round match in Los Angeles, where he ultimately became a champion. Gulbis’s next opponent Michael Llodra was two points away from loss as well (against M.Youzhny). Llodra, who won two doubles matches faving match points last weekend, according to my stats hasn’t won a m.p.down match in 179 main-level tournaments!
Andrey Golubev [99] is worth mentioning because the Kazakh chases an infamous record of the most defeats in a row, beaten by Thomaz Bellucci, Golubev has extended his losing streak to 18 – four defeats away from breaking Spadea’s record.

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31st WEEK

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Two and a half years ago, when Radek Stepanek [54] won a tournament in Brisbane, John Alexander asked him more or less “What do you do to be so fit at the end of the career?“, Stepanek answered: “It’s not the … Continue reading

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Koubek’s farewell

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The 34-year-old Austrian, announced his retirement a few months ago but has presumably played his last professional match this week in Kitzbuhel, along with Thassilo Haun lost in the first round to D.Bracciali/S.Gonzalez. I had an opportunity to follow his … Continue reading

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30th WEEK

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Los Angeles. Ernests Gulbis [84] is perhaps the most tricky player on the tour for the best guys. The emotionally changeable Latvian, is able to lose back-to-back matches and suddenly beats the top guys or gives them run for their … Continue reading

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29th WEEK

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The third edition   (since the event lost its prestige)  of the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg, won Gilles Simon [19] capturing his 9th career title, but the first one “ATP  500”. The Frenchman for whom it’s the biggest triumph … Continue reading

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US Open page

The eight-week North American swing gets underway with a tournament in Atlanta. Next week Los Angeles, afterwards Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, Winston Salem and a two-week tournament in New York, thus I prepared a new page about the fourth Grand Slam tournament of the year – the US Open. It’s also a time to change the background and a photo in my header.
I’ll add a page about “Masters” tournaments after the US Open 2011.
-US Open
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“The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by S.Wood

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I consider myself as a tennis historian and statistician focused on the Open era, but the transition between eras is important in every field of history, therefore I recommend a book of a player, who passed away two years ago – … Continue reading

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Aspelin retires

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37-year-old Swede, Simon Aspelin went into retirement today after losing a doubles final in Bastad. Aspelin was a player devoted almost only to doubles, in singles he played just two matches at the main level (both dead Davis Cup rubbers), … Continue reading

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