No announcement yet.

The 2019 tennis season begins....

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Murray has confirmed he won't play singles in the US Open.


      But he will play the doubles and mixed. I wonder who his partners will be this time around? I believe Herbert is back with regular partner Mahut for this (though Nicolas was reportedly somewhat miffed by what happened at Wimbledon). Will Lopez be up for doubles in a Slam? Not sure of that. Also, given the injury concerns* Serena playing the mixed feels unlikely.

      Talking of doubles, J.Murray/N.Skupski won their R1 match yesterday. It's an important event for Jamie, as he is the defending champion so has lots of points on the line.

      * - she is playing in Cincinnati though. Or at least she hasn't scratched yet... Whatever it was in Toronto can't be that serious.


        Impressive fightback from Dimitrov from double break and double match point down in the final set (Wawrinka serving at 5-2 40-15) to force a tie-break ... only to lose the tie-break 7-4.


          Oh Grigor! And we have been saying that far too many times this year.

          On a British front, no-one survived beyond R1 of the singles. Kyle Edmund did rather better against Daniil Medvedev than in Montreal but still didn't win a set, losing 2-6 5-7 this time. Better in the Men's Doubles, A.Murray/F.Lopez joining J.Murray/N.Skupski in R2. Murray/Lopez did so by beating #4 Rojer/Tecau, who became the only one of the eight seeded pairs to lose at the opening stage. A.Murray/F.Lopez play R.Harrison/Sock next, with the winners taking on #5 Herbert/Mahut or J.Murray/N.Skupski in the QFs. Salisbury/Ram are yet to play their R1 match, which is against Montreal Semi-Finalists Bopanna/Shapovalov.
          In other British news, it has emerged that Dan Evans split from coach David Felgate a couple of weeks ago (in Washington). Given that Evans is probably in the best place he has ever been in his career at the moment, that one comes out of left field.

          In the Cincy Women's singles, defending champion Kiki Bertens has been knocked out in her opening match by Venus Williams, 7-4 in a deciding set breaker.


            So Nick KyrgiosÖ ach, why bother? Heís out anyway, beaten by Karen Khachanov in R2. Khachanov, as the 8th seed, is the third highest left in the Menís draw at the R3 stage, and one of only five in total still standing. The ones above him to fall are #2 Rafa Nadal (withdrew after winning Montreal), #4 Dominic Thiem (also withdrew, in his case with illness), #5 Stefanos Tsitsipas (l to Jan-Lennard Struff), #6 Kei Nishikori (l to Yoshihito Nishioka(!)) and #7 Sascha Zverev (l to Miomir Kecmanovic). #10 Fabio Fognini also withdrew from the event, citing an ankle injury in his case. And Fernando Verdasco retired in his R1 match with a knee injury. The Tour is always a bit of a ER by this time of the season!
            Pick of the R3 matches is Ö um Ö hmm Ö. er, Federer vs Rublev or Pouille vs Khachanov? Bit of a mundane looking bunch, really.
            On the British Doubles front Salisbury/Ram lost in R1 to Bopanna/Shapovalov but J.Murray/N.Skupski beat #5 Herbert/Mahut in R2. They now await the winners of R.Harrison/Sock vs A.Murray/Lopez in the QFs. Talking of A.Murray, he is not sure who his Menís Doubles partner for Flushing Meadow is going to be as Lopez is already signed up to play with Carreno Busta at the request of Sergi Bruguera, Spainís Davis Cup captain. Iím sure he will find someone; he is a very handy partner to have as a fall-back if an existing combination breaks down or someone gets injured.

            Over on the Womenís side the seed attrition rate hasnít been as high, with just #5 Kiki Bertens and #6 Petra Kvitova of the top ten seeds losing on court so far. One other is not there though, #10 Serena Williams withdrawing. It is cited as an upper back injury. Also not playing though a back problem was Amanda Anisimova, whilst Lesia Tsurenko withdrew with an elbow problem, Bianca Andreescu just withdrew as she is only recently back from injury and most overtax herself and Belinda Bencic retired hurt with a foot problem whilst a set down in R1 against Victoria Azarenka.
            Azarenka lost to Donna Vekic in R2, who now plays Venus Williams in a fine looking R3 match. The pick of the others is the one all-seeded affair, #16 Madison Keys vs #4 Simona Halep. Halep canít get the World No.1 ranking back this week, but Ash Barty or Karolina Pliskova could take it from Naomi Osaka if they reach the final. Barty, started her campaign by thrashing Maria Sharapova in R2 (yay!) after Sharapova had beaten Ali Riske in the first round (booo! boooooo!), has a tough one in R3 vs Anett Kontaveit. Pliskova bt Wang Yifan and now plays Johanna Kontaís conqueror Rebecca Peterson, whilst Osaka got past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three and takes on Hsieh Su-wei next.
            The most notable thing about the Womenís Doubles is the dominance of the top half of the draw by the Czech Republic Ė six of the eight quarter-finalists in this section are Czech. One QF is two all-Czech pairs, #3 Krejcikova/Siniakova vs Ka.Pliskova/Kr.Pliskova, the other is #1 Hsieh/Strycova vs #8 Hradecka/Klepac (Hradecka is the Czech in the later partnership for anyone wondering, Klepac is Slovene). The Pliskova sister also beat Melichar/Peschke in the previous round, which is a Czech-American/Czech tandem.


              His obvious dislike for Fergus Murphy is getting very costly.


                That Dan Roan tweet is lifted almost entirely from an ATP statement. Roan omits that one sanction available for Player Major Offenses is yet another fine!

                Originally posted by Janik View Post
                Talking of A.Murray, he is not sure who his Menís Doubles partner for Flushing Meadow is going to be as Lopez is already signed up to play with Carreno Busta at the request of Sergi Bruguera, Spainís Davis Cup captain. Iím sure he will find someone; he is a very handy partner to have as a fall-back if an existing combination breaks down or someone gets injured.
                We have an answer to this Ė no-one! Having played one singles match, Muzza has got the bug again and doubles is going on to the back-burner. Heíll play Winston-Salem next week, then probably a Challenger whilst the US Open is on (the former Womenís Premier event at Yale has downgraded over a lack of funding and is now a super-challenger for Men and Women scheduled against week two in Flushing Meadow, so probably that), and then the Far East events already announced. The target is clearly the 2020 Aussie Open. Fingers crossed it all goes well, and we donít get an abrupt retirement from a match, followed by one from the sport.
                The last doubles match for now may well be against brother Jamie, Andy and Lopez having beaten R.Harrison/Sock from a set down yesterday to set up the QF versus J.Murray/N.Skupski. That match takes place nb4 4:30pm local time today.

                As for the Cincinnati singles, the two matches I picked out in the Menís draw yesterday produces shocks, most resonantly Andrey Rublev beating #3 Roger Federer in straight sets. Rublev only got into qualifying as an alternate (due, presumably, to a late entry as when it actually got underway he was seeded). He has now beaten Bernard Tomic (by retirement), qual top seed Mikhail Kukushkin, #15 Nikoloz Basilashvili, Stan Wawrinka and Federer in a week. A very good week. Rublev faces countryman #9 Daniil Medvedev in the QF.
                The other lesser shock was Lucas Pouille beating #10 Karen Khachanov. Pouille will have to step up a level in the last eight though as he faces #1 Novak Djokovic, who is the defending champion. On the other side of the draw, Rublev isnít the only qualifier through as Yoshihito Nishioka backed up his signature win over Japanese no.1 Kei Nishikori in R2 by beating Alex de Minaur. Nishioka has been the lower ranked player in every match he has played so far in Ohio, including both in the qualifiers, so he wonít be fazed at facing #16 David Goffin. The fourth QF pits #11 Roberto Bautista Agut against Richard Gasquet; itís nice to see Richard coming back to something like his best.

                One QF is already done on the Womenís side, #1 Ash Barty (but this weekís world no.2) keeping her hopes of top seeding for Flushing Meadow alive by beating Maria Sakkari in three (6-0 in the third). Barty had a major scare in the previous round when Anett Kontaveit lead their deciding set 5-2 but stormed back to win that 7-5; Sakkari recorded a good win over #9 Aryna Sabalenka from a set down. The other player with a hope of usurping the top seeding for the major is #3 Karolina Pliskova. She plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last eight. Kuznetsova absolutely thrashed #8 Sloane Stephens in R3, 2&1, and has utterly justified the wild card awarded to her (possible embarrassment over the lack of a visa for Washington?). Sveta also beat another seed, #11 Anastasija Sevastova, in R1.
                The other half of the draw is heavy on the home players, with three Americans involved (and the fourth has lots of links there). One match is Venus Williams vs #16 Madison Keys, following victories for Williams over Donna Vekic and Keys vs #4 Simona Halep yesterday. And the match at the bottom of the draw pits Sofia Kenin against #2 Naomi Osaka (the current world no.1). This will not be easy for Osaka, as Kenin is in very hot form. Her R3 win against Elina Svitolina was the second time in a week she has beaten the Ukrainian. She is also partly responsible for Osakaís return to the top ranking, as it was Kenin who knocked Barty out in R2 last week to end the Aussieís reign. Beating two different World No.1s in successive weeks would be a very rare achievement, but one Kenin is very capable of managing.

                The Womenís doublesÖ continues.


                  Oh, and because the major is coming up, next week's WTA event is already underway. This is a new one to replace the defunct New Haven Premier, and it's very conveniently located for players heading towards New York as it's the Bronx Open! It's being played in a relatively newly opened facility in Crotona Park. What this appears to lack is a stadium court - presumably something temporary has been erected. The main draw isn't out yet, but it won't include Jo Konta. She was signed up but has withdrawn. Petra Kvitova is expected to be the top seed. However, the qualifying is already underway and includes one Brit - Emily Webley-Smith. She benefits from the clash with the singles qualifying at the major, which she is ranked nowhere near high enough to enter. But lots of players are, making for a very varied qualifying draw with around a dozen top 100 players and then bunch ranked 2509 (including Emily). She'll have to go some to make the main draw, as the qualifying of this is over three rounds.


                    A bit late with this update, as one Semi has been completed in each draw.

                    Starting with the Menís, the player into the final is #16 David Goffin. Tomorrow will be his first Masters Series title match, though he was in the Tour Finals decider in 2017. That match, back in November 2017, looked like it would be a springboard for Goffin and the man who beat him, Grigor Dimitrov but it hasnít proved to be that way. Dimitrovís travails have been documented on this thread, Goffinís less so but the Belgian has also struggled. He went nearly 18 months without making another final until losing to Federer in Halle, and this will be his second since the O2.
                    Goffin reached the Semi in disappointing fashion as Yoshihito Nishiokaís best ever week had a very frustrating ending, as he got food poisoning at lunchtime of the game and reportedly couldnít stop vomiting so had to forfeit his first ever Masters QF! Assuming itís a brief episode, at least this shouldnít impact his ability to play the slam in 10 days time, unlike some other Japanese players (more on that later...). Goffinís semi-final opponent was Richard Gasquet, who beat #11 Roberto Bautista Agut in the QFs in three. Really good news that Richard, who needed to use a protected ranking to enter the event, is on form again.
                    In the top half of the draw, the two shock R3 winners, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev, didnít manage to back things up losing in straight sets to #1 Novak Djokovic and #9 Daniil Medvedev respectively. Neither of those is humiliating results, of course. Given Medvedevís recent form, it will be intriguing to see how hard he can push Djoker in their Semi later this evening (due at nb4 6:00pm local time or 23:00 UK).
                    On the Menís Doubles front, the Murray vs Murray match yesterday ended in a win for J.Murray/N.Skupski over A.Murray/F.Lopez 10-4 in a match breaker. Jamie is actually the defending champion here, having won the title with Soares last year. There is a chance the two of them could return to the title match on opposite sides of the net as one Semi is #1 Cabal/Farah vs #6 Pavic/Soares. However, it doesnít look likely as J.Murray/N.Skupski currently trail Dodig/Polasek by a set and a break in their Semi. It is early in the second though, so there is still some time to recover matters.

                    On the Womenís side, the identity of next weekís World No.1 is known Ė it will still be Naomi Osaka. The person responsible for this is... mostly Svetlana Kuznetsova! That is because she beat #3 Karolina Pliskova in three sets in the QFs to end the Czechís chances and has backed that up today with a comprehensive win over Ash Barty in the Semis. The Final tomorrow will be Svetaís first since the 2018 Washington one in which she won the crown that she was unable to defend earlier this month. Her ranking dropped to nearly 200 after that, but it leapt back to ~150 after she made R3 in Toronto last week and will vault back to 62 with this run, or 44 if she can add one more win tomorrow.
                    Defeat for Barty will have been galling as she knew the top ranking was within her grasp after Naomi Osaka went out in the QFs yesterday. However, despite being no.2 Barty may yet be the top seed at Flushing Meadow as Osakaís exit was rather worrying Ė she retired hurt with a knee injury. And it was a sudden onset rather than a slow build as Osaka was coming back hard on Sofia Kenin at the time. Having lost the first set, Osaka had just won the second 6-1 when the injury occurred early in the third. She played just two more points after getting it treated and then called it quits. That is pretty worrying.
                    Osakaís misfortune sent Kenin through to her second big Semi in consecutive weeks after she made the same stage in Montreal. She will try and go one better in a match starting (checks watch) about now against Madison Keys after Keys ended Venus Williams run 2&3 yesterday.
                    On the Womenís Doubles front, this is up to the final, which will pit #8 Hradecka/Klepac vs #5 Groenfeld/Schurrs. Hradecka was also the winner last year. Her and Klepacís Semi win yesterday made a bad day worse for Karolina Pliskova as the defeated opponents were Karolina and twin Kristyna. Groenfeld/Schurrs beat Mattek-Sands/Vandeweghe in the other Semi. Both matches were straight sets, three of the four were tie-breaks and the other was 7-5. One point here or there decides these things!


                      As for next week, no Brits will be involved in the Womenís event, the Bronx Open, after Blinkova tonked Webley-Smith in Q1. That is unless Webley-Smith gets a late entry as an alternate in the Doubles, which currently wonít involve her.

                      Brits are certainly present in Winston-Salem though. Dan Evans is the #5 seed for the event. He has a bye through to R2 and will face either Steve Johnson or Corentin Moutet. However the big noise will be around Andy Murray, who has taken a late wild card to play. He will face Tennys Sandgren in R1, which pits possible the most woke player on the ATP Tour against the arguably the least. If ever there was a match to fervently hope Muzza wins... If he does (fingers crossed) he will take on #2 Dennis Shapovalov in R2.
                      Whilst Andy may have sacked off Doubles for now, there is no shortage of Brits for whom this is bread and butter. Five all- or half-British pairs will take the court in R1. The top ranked tandem is #2 Salisbury/Ram (UK/USA) who face Erlich/Paes (Isr/Ind) in their opener. J.Murray/N.Skupski are the only all-British pair; Jamie does remain the British No.1, itís just that Neal is ranked highly enough for the overall to get them seeded. That means they can run into things like being drawn against #3 Mektic/Skugor (Cro) in the first round! Also up against seeds are Inglot/Demoliner (GB/Bra), who play #1 Kubot/Melo (also half-Brazilian) and Bambridge/McLachlan (UK/er, Jpn) who face #4 Krawietz/Mies (Ger). K.Skupski/Daniell (UK/NZ) may not be facing a seed but do have to contend with a pair in form as they play Dodig/Polasek (Cro/Svk).


                        Well now, we knew Daniil Medvedev was playing well recently, being the runner-up in both Washington (to Kyrgios) and Montreal (to Nadal) attested to that. But beating Novak Djokovic from a set down as he did yesterday? That is really worthy of taking note of. He will now hope to go one better than the last two weeks when he plays David Goffin in todayís final. Whoever wins will be taking the first Masters Series crown of their career. In fact the only previous final either has ever made was Medvedevís run in Canada last week!
                        Djokovic was the defending champion, but went out at the Semis. The two defending champions in the Menís Doubles were also in the Semis, but in separate ones. Only one of them is through to defend his crown and that is... Bruno Soares, who beat Cabal/Farah alongside Pavic. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski went out to Dodig/Polasek.

                        On the Womenís side, Svetlana Kuznetsovaís opponent in the final will be Madison Keys after Keys won the all-American semi against Sofia Kenin. It was a genuinely high quality match with lots to admire, and one element of concern. That was the on-court Ďcoachingí Kenin received from her coach and father, Alexander, at what proved to be the last change of ends. It was a monologue from Dad which started fast and ended if not aggressively then clearly agitated about how his daughter was playing. It felt rather inappropriate to the moment as Sofia had been operating at a very high level. It hadnít quite been perfect, she had twice had break leads in the second set and saw them disappear, but it was still extremely high standard and really not grounds for a berating. Itís not like she was losing at the time, the score was 7-5 5-4 on serve to Keys. What Kenin needed was positivity and forward focus to set her up to hold and fight on, what she got was frustration and recrimination going by tone of voice and body language of the pair (the talk was conducted in Russian, so this is a little bit guesswork). For me, the break of serve and therefore defeat was on Dad not Daughter; he acted like a fan and a not a coach.
                        Anyway, back to defending champions and one who has done it successfully, and that is Lucie Hradecka. She retained her Womenís doubles crown with a new partner, Andreja Klepac, beating Groenfeld/Schurrs in yesterdays title match.

                        As for the coming week, main draw play commences today in both Winston-Salem for the Men and the Bronx for the Women. However no Brits are on the card in North Carolina and none are left in the tournament in New York.


                          The Cincy finals brought wins for Madison Keys and Daniil Medvedev. In both cases it was the biggest title of eachís career. Keys had won Premier level events before but this was a Premier 5, and for Medvedev it was a first Masters Series to add to the 500s in his collection.

                          In Keys case it was all come-from-behind stuff. Svetlana Kuznetsova served for both sets at 5-4 but Keys broke each time. She did so again to win the first 7-5 and then took the second on a tie break 7-5. So 7-5 7-6(5) overall. The victory was rather out of nowhere for Madison, as she had been in really poor form prior to this, losing in R1 of both Toronto and Washington (to Donna Vekic and Hailey Baptste (who?) respectively) and going out of Wimbledon in R2 (l to Polona Hercog).
                          In fact itís been a really streaky season for Keys. Her W-L now stands at 21-10 from 12 tournaments, but with 18 of those wins concentrated in four events. The win here (6 of them), another title at Charleston (5 wins), and four and three wins at the French and Aussie Opens respectively. Outwith those itís seven events with R1 or R2 losses and a 1-2 record in Fed Cup as the US had a poor season. She got this win the hard way as well Ė her draw was full of Ďnameí opponents: Muguruza, Kasatkina, #4 Halep, V.Williams, Kenin, Kuznetsova.
                          On the other side of the net, Svetlana will presumably look back on the match as one that got away, given the Ďserving for both setsí thing. Which is a pity as, remarkably, this was apparently the first time in her entire career that she had beaten three top ten players in a week (Stephens, Ka.Pliskova and Barty back-to-back-to-back). She also toppled another seed, Sevastova, in R1.

                          On the Menís side, Medvedev finally got over the hump that has seen him beaten in Finals in the previous two weeks as he topped David Goffin 7-6(3) 6-4. The Russian is clearly in high form and will be a threat for Flushing Meadow. As noted it was his first Masters Series title in his second final (in successive weeks) and he really earned it having beaten Novak Djokovic in the Semis. His recent form has pushed him into the top five for the first time in his career at, et, 5. That is a rise of three places from what was already a career high spot.
                          Goffin also climbs a few spots to 15 after his first ever Masters Series final in what was a return to form for the Belgian after a year of struggles that had seen his ranking drop outside the top 32 after the French Open. Grass was the surprising catalyst which started the recovery, runner-up in Halle and QF at Wimbledon (l to Federer and Djokovic respectively which is just shameful!). However he appeared to have stalled again, going out in his first matches in Washington and Montreal. There was some luck in the run, the draw opening up in front of David (Medvedev was the first seed he faced) but Taylor Fritz in R1 was a good win as the young American has been on form and after that he didnít drop a set until the Final.
                          On the Menís Doubles front, the title went to Dodig/Polasek. I believe I claimed up thread that #6 Soares/Pavic were in the final. Not sure, but I somehow misread their Semi result Ė it was #1 Cabal/Farah on the other side of the net in the title match.

                          The main focus this week will be the US Open qualifying, which should get a separate thread I guess (Iím less enthused by this event given coverage is solely on Amazon Prime). However there is one more week of warm-ups which has some interest. Attention to the Womenís Bronx Open will be fleeting, with eyes mostly turned to the Menís event in Winston-Salem and the latest step on Andy Murrayís comeback path. He plays his R1 match against Tennys Sandgren today, in the prime time not before 7:00pm Center Court slot. Also on the schedule today are Bambridge/McLachlan and Inglot/Demonlinerís R1 doubles matches, which both take place on outside courts.


                            Ugh. Andy Murray loses 6-7(8) 5-7 to Tennys Sandgren in Winston-Salem. Sandgren is a decent player of course (if not a decent person) but that still makes it feel like the road back is a very long one. If it even has an endÖ
                            The other British result from yesterday was a win for Bambridge/McLachlan over #4 Krawietz/Mies in R1 of the doubles. Inglot/Demolinerís scheduled match didnít happen due to the weather. They will go on court today instead.
                            The weather has also benefitted Dan Evans, as his opponent in R2 will have to play twice in a day as Corentin Moutet and Steve Johnson didnít even get to start yesterday, one of just two R1 matches yet to happen. They play first match today, with the winner taking swig of drink and having a quick massage and then facing Evans in the third match on Court 3. Evo then has some of the same thing, as he and OíMara have got an alternate entry into the doubles draw and will play their R1 against K.Skupski/Daniell fifth match on that court. Ram/Salisbury and J.Murray/N.Skupski are also due to play today.

                            Talking of Evans, he has opened up about what prompted the split from coach David Felgate. Reading between the lines of this quote:
                            "I wanted to go a different way and try something new. I've never had to do that before. It was not an easy conversation but it was better for me to say it there and then than carry on until the end of this trip, and waste this trip"
                            it looks like itís the first time that a coaching relationship has ended for Evans are his instigation, rather than the coach walking away!

                            US Open qualies are underway as well. Thread coming upÖ


                              Winston-Salem:- Dan Evans Ďadvantageí in playing Steve Johnson when Johnson already had a match in his legs from earlier in the day didnít add up to much. Maybe if Evans had succeeded in making the encounter last longer than 65 minutes it would have done, but Johnson won 3&1. In a cross-over from the US Open thread, Johnson has been in a similar boat to where Anisimova now is as the loss of his father knocked him sideways. Everything Iíve read about Johnson makes him seem like a good guy, so Iím guessing he will be reaching out when the time is right.
                              Evans did bounce back from his singles loss later in the day, he and OíMara beating K.Skupski/Daniell in the three-quarter British Doubles R1 match. It was mostly a good day for British or half-British pairings as #2 Salisbury/Ram and J.Murray/N.Skupski also won, the later beating the #2 seeds for the event. Not perfect as Inglot/Demoliner lost, but they were up against the #1 pair.
                              Todayís schedule has all remaining British tinged doubles teams in QF action, Bambridge/McLachlan playing Gille/Vielgen, Evans/O'Mara taking on #1 Kubot/Melo, J.Murray/N.Skupski facing Marach/J.Melzer and #2 Salisbury/Ram playing Monroe/Sandgren (WC). Given that is every one of the last eight matches, the Semi line-up could be British dominated. Or complete free of them!


                                The fact that a professional tennis tournament is being played in what can fairly be called the South Bronx is completely amazing to those of us who remember what it was like in the 70s and afterwards.


                                  Time and energy are great, but if someone has both of those and money it can make a huge difference to a place.

                                  Actually, I've been meaning to mention something about the Bronx Open, but it kept slipping my mind. And that was that Eugenie Bouchard's horror run continued, beaten in three by Kaia Kanepi in the first round of qualifying.
                                  The tournament is up to the QFs in the singles now. The line up for these is #1 Wang vs Blinkova (LL), Giorgi vs Cornet, #10 Muchova vs Linette (Q) and #5 Siniakova vs Pera (WC). The event only has a 10th seed due to a bunch of withdrawals. It's only a 28-player main draw.

                                  Up to the last eight in singles in Winston-Salem as well. The line-up for this is #1 Paire vs #11 Carreno Busta, #14 Millman vs Johnson, #10 Tiafoe (WC) vs #3 Hurkacz and Rublev vs #2 Shapovalov (WC). The double figure seed numbers here are because the draw of this was a 48-man event.
                                  Seeing Hubert Hurkacz's name nudges my memory that I didn't include one notable thing about this tournament - a first ever Tour level win for Lee Duck-hee. He beat Henri Laaksonen in R1 before playing and clearly losing to Hurkacz in R2 (looking it up it was three sets). Why is a R1 win for a relatively obscure Korean player remarkable? Because Lee is profoundly deaf. No previous man with his condition has won a Tennis match in top tier competition. So yeah, it was a big deal.
                                  Yesterday was Brit-fest in the Winston-Salem doubles, with a pair in each QF. How many made the Semis then? [checks] err, just one, J.Murary/N.Skupski who beat Marach/J.Melzer on a match breaker. They now play #1 Kubot/Melo after the top seeds comfortably saw off Evans/O'Mara. In the other half Bambridge/McLachlan lost in a match breaker to Gille/Vliegen and #2 Salisbury/Ram were beaten in straight sets by Monroe/Sandgren.


                                    Where we were up to? Oh yes, the QFs. Right, letís do it in reverse order, starting in the Bronx. The first champion thereof was Magda Linette. It was also her first ever WTA Tour level crown in the second final of her career, and it came in an event she had to qualify for! She beat Camila Giorgi in the title match. That was the second time this summer that Giorgi has made a final, only to lose it to a debutant (also Washington vs Pegula). Giorgi is now 2-6 lifetime in title matches, with her last crown being last autumn. At least it was closer than in DC, where Pegula won 2&2. In fact Giorgi was a set up this time.
                                    The last two seeds fell in the Semis, #1 Wang Qiang to Giorgi in a deciding set tie-break and #5 Katerina Sinakova to Linette in two. Linette also had a match go all the way to a deciding breaker, against Karolina Muchova in the QFs. The other losing Quater-Finalists you can deduce for yourselves!
                                    The Bronx Doubles was won by Jurak/Martinez Sanchez.

                                    Over in Winston-Salem we also had a first time champion, Hubert Hurcakz getting his first pot (I think he will win more than Linette in the end). He beat #1 Benoit Paire in the final in three sets, all of them 6-3. Hurcakz was seeded #3, for the record. That was Paireís third final of 2019, but he won the previous two so no particular monkeys to carry here.
                                    Hurkacz actually beat the top two seeds in consecutive rounds as he topped #2 Denis Shapovalov in the Semis. That was a clash between two players who, at that stage, had never played an ATP Tour level final. Itís overdue for the Canadian, really. The other Semi had a nuts scoreline, the sort more commonly seen on the Womenís tour as Paire beat Steve Johnson 1-6 6-0 6-0. That is so weird as to have one wondering about injury, to be honest. Johnson had been the runner-up in 2018, so had points to defend here.
                                    Three of the four QFs went to three sets (again the losers here are clear from previous posts). The one that didnít was Shapovalovís win over Andrey Rublev, who had been on good form of course.
                                    To complete a great week for Polish Tennis, the Doubles was won by Kubot/Melo (Pol/Bra). Three champions out of a possible four is really good going. That they were in the final means J.Murray/N.Skupski were beaten in the semis. Well, Kubot/Melo were the #1 seeds I suppose.

                                    And now we would normally park this thread for the Slam. But maybe not this time Ė Andy Murray has entered himself for the only hard court challenger event going on next week (in addition to two on clay), which is the Rafael Nadal Open in Mallorca. Odd name, given the chances of Nadal ever playing it are zero. But then I guess everything Tennis related in Mallorca is branded with Rafaís moniker or likeness! This is a 48-man draw, with Murray starting from R1. He will face a qualifier or lucky loser there, and then #3 Norbert Gombos in R2 if he wins his first singles match on the comeback trail.