Tag Archives: Ivo Karlovic

2013 US Open Quallies Day 1

23 Aug

Here are just a few random pictures from the first day of the 2013 US Open qualification tournament. Just a couple of the day’s highlights were 16 year old American Jared Donaldson beating Farrukh Dustov and Julia Cohen moonballing and cramping her way to victory over Tadeja Majeric in the last match of the night. It is truly amazing how many people attend the quallies now, and it has really become an event unto itself. I remember no more than 10 years ago when hardly anyone was there and you had to make sure to bring your own food and drink. Now the food court is open and the stands are packed.

I will be back on Friday and will try to post more later, but here are just a few pics for now:

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Gerald Melzer – yes, it’s Jurgen’s baby brother.

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Boy Westerhof – Best name in tennis?

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Little Noah Rubin was very focused.

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New in 2013 – Heineken House above the food court.

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Jared Donaldson had composure way beyond his 16 years.

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More Baby Melzer trying to return Jarmere Jenkins’ serve.

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Melzer frustrated. Jarmere was just “TOO BIG. TOO BIG.” (annoying fan cheer)

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Ksenia Pervak takes out #1 seed Shahar Peer 64 76(3)

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Jarmere Jenkins about to serve TOO BIG….

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Farrukh Dustov was one frustrated man losing to a boy named Donaldson.

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Amir Weintraub held off little Noah Rubin.

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Old Frenchman Marc Gicquel had no reason to hide.

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Marc Gicquel out-steadied Thiago Alves 64 in the 3rd.

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Giovanni Lapentti serves in a losing effort versus Ginepri on Court 17

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No radar gun, but Dr. Ivo was hitting bombs.

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Jan Mertl ran Renzo Olivo ragged.

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More of golden boy Jared Donaldson

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So composed and so polite. Big Donaldson fan here.

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Jared Donaldson spent a lot of time signing autographs and posing for pictures.

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Julia Cohen, fierceness in more ways than one.

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Tadeja Majeric was getting so frustrated by Julia Cohen.

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Renzo Olivo returning so far back like he was still on clay.

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Good form from Olivo, but just not ready for primetime.

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It’s hard to believe that former #14 Shahar Peer has to qualify for US Open. And harder to see her lose, but Ksenia Pervak is no pushover either.

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It’s no Wimbledon, but there is still nice shrubbery in Flushing.

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Thomas Fabbiano is a feisty scrapper who eliminated Antonio Veic.

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American teenager Viktoria Duval is what I like to call a fun-ness!

Updates from Miami Beach

22 Mar

The tournament organizers had a change of heart and awarded a last-minute wild card to Ivo Karlovic for his success at Indian Wells and perhaps thanks to the #wildcardforivo Twitter campaign. From what I can gather, they decided to grant Ivo the wild card instead of replacing recently injured Tommy Robredo with a Lucky Loser. Karlovic also got himself placed in a nice little section of the draw with Albert Montanes, Nicolas Almagro, and Tomas Berdych as the seeds in his way of setting up a quarterfinal rematch with Rafael Nadal. Just like Ivo said this morning on Twitter, this was even more than he could have asked for since he originally requested a free pass to the quallies.

TCW still has no confirmation that Djokovic and Murray will be playing doubles together in Miami, but they are projected to face off in the quarterfinals according to the singles draw released today. Andy Murray has been training for more than a week in Miami due to his early exit in Indian Wells, but Nole still undefeated this season jetted off with Rafa after their final on Sunday in order to play an exhibition in Colombia. These two seem to have formed a mutual admiration society as Novak called Rafael the Greatest of All Time during Sunday’s trophy presentation. Rafa returned the compliment by saying Nole had the best chance of finishing the year at number one. In honor of the premiere of Dancing with the Stars tonight, here is video of  Rafa and Nole doing some salsa dancing after their exo.

You may remember from Melbourne that Nole has been known to dance up a storm on the tennis courts. And it sure seems like the Djokester plays better when he is having fun, and he sure seems to be having fun in 2011. Hard to argue with a 20 game winning streak, but I wonder if Nole will need to slow down to avoid petering out halfway through the season. Dance on Nole, dance on!

For those of you watching DWTS, I have to give the early nod to Ralph Macchio, who really does still look like The Karate Kid. A 49 year-old kid. By the way, did you notice which of his co-stars was wildly cheering on Rafa at Indian Wells?

Small Talk and Tall Tales from Olivier Rochus and Doctor Ivo

20 Mar

As I watched world #1 Rafael Nadal lose to newly-crowned #2 Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Open final, my wandering mind reflected on the promising showings from both the shortest and tallest ATP players this week. Despite their obvious height difference, these two actually have a lot in common right now. With 5’6 Oli at 30 and 6’10 Ivo at 32, they are both in the latter stages of their careers. While Rochus has said that playing for Belgium in his 3rd Olympics in London 2012 remains a top goal, one has to wonder how many more years Dr.Ivo has left in him as well. Rochus and Karlovic are far below their respective career-high rankings of #24 and #14. One more similarity is the 2003 Wimbledon where Rochus made a little wave by beating #7 Guillermo Coria in the 1st Round en route to a career-best 4th Round while Ivo created a tidal wave by beating world #1 and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the 1st Round before bombing out in the 3rd Round. To be fair, in 2003 Rochus was already known as a giant-killer at Wimbledon where he had beaten #2 Magnus Norman in 2000 and #2 Safin in 2002.

But enough about their pasts, what have they done for us lately? With his ranking down to #116, Olivier Rochus has been forced to play the challenger circuit so far in 2011. This weekend on the Caribbean Island of Guadeoupe, the tiny Belgian got himself back in the Top 100 by winning the Orange Open in Le Gosier. Rochus defeated another 30 year-old Stephane Robert 62 63 in the singles final but Robert and Ghedin exacted revenge in the doubles final over Rochus and Clement. This is his 7th Challenger win, and Olivier recently expressed that he really wants to win one more Tour-level title before he retires. He added that “to still be playing, at my size and my game for over 10 years. I am proud that I was able to have a long career as the smallest player on tour.” TCW thinks you have at least one more in you. Allez, Ollie!

Dr. Ivo was just a couple of points away from having the best week of his career but Rafael Nadal hung tough to beat the giant Croat 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7). This however should not detract from his amazing quarterfinal run with solid wins over Ferrer, Simon, and Montanes. While this week will do wonders to bolster his #239 ranking, one has to question the Miami Sony Ericsson Open’s decision to refuse Karlovic a wild card next week. And not just the main draw, they refused Ivo a WC to the quallies. No offense to any of the following players, but I think Ivo deserves a spot over almost all of them: James Blake, Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Milos Raonic, Bernard Tomic in the main draw and Gastao Elias, Jesse Levine, Alex Domijan, Nicolas Massu, and Jordan Cox in quallies. TCW hopes Ivo can stay healthy to cause some early round drama for the top players at all of the other Master Series and Grand Slam events. Karlovic is too dangerous to not have more titles and a better Grand Slam resume, and time may just be running out. Oh yeah, and he just recently broke the fastest serve record with a 156 mph bomb in a Davis Cup doubles match.

Where Did All of The Dangerous Floaters Land?

14 Jan

The Australian Open draw has been released, and there will be a plethora of marquis 1st  Round matches to behold.  Let’s take a look…

(3) Kim Clijsters vs Dinara Safina

The popcorn match of the 1st Round for the Ladies is a battle of former #1’s Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina.  Kim is the tournament favorite according to oddsmakers (and me), but Dinara is a tough 1st round match no matter how you slice it.  Yes, I do know that Dinara is ranked 65th and lost both of her matches in 2011, but she clearly has the skills needed to beat Kim as she has has done two times before.  Clijsters just lost the Sydney final 76(3) 63 due to some sloppy play after jumping out to a 5-Love lead over Li Na, so Kim will quickly need to find her form once again. Very quickly.

(1) Caroline Wozniacki vs Gisela Dulko

This match will  feature a clash between the #1 ranked singles player and the #1 ranked doubles player.  Ranked 48th in singles, Gisela Dulko has become known for causing early round upsets at the Grand Slams.  Last year, Dulko had wins over Ana Ivanovic at the Australian and Victoria Azarenka at both the French and U.S. Open.  In 2009, she beat Maria Sharapova on the grass courts of Wimbledon.  Caroline had a shaky start to the 2011 season with a 60 61 loss to Zvonareva in a Hong Kong exo and then proceeded to lose 1st round in Sydney to Dominika Cibulkova.  And that’s exactly who Caroline could play in the 3rd round.

(12) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Kimiko Date-Krumm

The 40 year-old Japanese woman has been proving that age is only a number during her improbable comeback, and she has a real chance to cause an upset over yet another Top 20 player.  In 2010 alone, Kimiko had wins over 7 Top 20 players including Maria Sharapova, Li Na, and Sam Stosur.  Date-Krumm may even be considered the favorite in this match since Radwanska is coming back from injury and has not played any of the warm-up tourneys.  This will be an interesting battle to watch because both women like to stand inside the baseline and take the ball early.

(27) David Nalbandian vs Lleyton Hewitt

This is the match that has tennis fans buzzing, especially back in Australia.  Both of these players are ranked lower than their current level of play, and this match is an unlucky draw for both.  They are two of the  in-form players right now with Hewitt set to play Gael Monfils in the Kooyong final and Nalbandian taking on David Ferrer in the Auckland final.  Lleyton notched wins over Mikhail Youzhny and Nikolay Davydenko this week, and David has not lost a set on his road to the final.  They also have quite the history with Hewitt owning a 3-2 head-to-head record but  Nalbandian has won the last two.  Hewitt won their only two Grand Slam meetings including the 2002 Wimbledon final and the epic 2005 Australian Open quarter final that he won 10-8 in the 5th.  This is a juicy match made even juicier if you believe the rumors that these two players genuinely dislike each other.

So where did the other so-called Dangerous Floaters land? Juan Martin Del Potro will meet Dudi Sela in the first round and could face Marcos Baghdatis in the 2nd.  Ivo Karlovic pulled countryman Ivan Dodig and will most likely meet Novak Djokovic in the following round.

Gilles Simon will play 35th ranked Yen Hsun-Lu in the first round followed by an inevitable 2nd Round clash with Roger Federer.  The Frenchman is on a roll this week with a 76(1) 60 win over Ernests Gulbis in the semis.  Gilles only lost 3 points in the second set, but that speaks more to Ernie self-destructing after he got broken at love while trying to serve out the first.  I should probably remind you that Gilles is undefeated against Roger in their two meetings, and I will never forget his 2008 Shanghai Masters Cup press conference after that second win.

JOURNALIST: You beat Roger Federer once. People might call it an accident or surprise. Now it’s the second time. What would you call it?
GILLES SIMON: A second accident (laughter).

While we are talking about French men, here is an update on TCW favorite Nicolas Mahut.  Nico barely got through his second round match in quallies over Guillermo Olaso of Spain by a score of 67(6) 75 63.  Nico needs to win just one more match against Frederik Nielsen of Denmark before he can become a Dangerous Floater in the main draw.  Allez, Nico!


TCW Alert: Oz Open Draw

13 Jan

Just in case you want to watch the draw ceremony for the Australian open, this should begin in about 5 minutes.  5:55PM EST or 9:55AM AEST.  I apologize in advance if I got this wrong as the time zone conversion for Australia always throws me for a loop.  Here is the link in case you want to watch:

Win, Lose, or…..DRAW!!!!!

I know I promised an entry on the Dangerous Floaters, but in reality I think we all know that the biggest one in the men’s draw will be Juan Martin Del Potro.  Take a look at the following video for another former Top 10 player who will also not be seeded but should really not be overlooked.  It is nice to see Gilles Simon have a good week still alive in the semis of Sydney while looking physically fit, and he must be considered dangerous if he can chase every ball down like he did two years ago.  Simon has not lost a set this week and has barely lost any games in his first three matches, but his next opponent Ernests Gulbis should provide a bigger test for the Frenchman. 

Big-serving Ivo Karlovic is another player the top seeds do not want to face in the first round.  I think despite not playing great recently, you always need to be wary of former top 10 players like Radek Stepanek, Tommy Robredo, and Lleyton Hewitt that are all unseeded floaters right now.  Now let’s get to that draw cermony, and we’ll analyze in full detail….and then over-analyze as well.  Enjoy!