Tag Archives: Pablo Andujar

2013 US Open Quallies, Final Round

25 Aug


Here are more pictures from the last round of US Open Quallies. There is a mix of today’s stars practicing as well as the players from the qualification tournament. Let’s test out the tennis crack whore in you as I will not label any of the pictures. How many can you name? You can look at the “tags” if you want some help.

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I will not make you guess who is in the following two pictures because I think she deserves special attention. This was the first time I had the opportunity to watch a 20 year old Serbian woman named Aleksandra Krunic play, and I am expecting big things from her. Ladies and gentleman, please meet Aleksandra Krunic.

Aleksandra Krunic US Open 2013

Aleksandra Krunic serving. See the ball?

Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia

Fluid service motion by Aleksandra Krunic

 

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Ryan Sweeting and Pablo Andujar Win Their First Titles

10 Apr

The first week of the clay court season witnessed four unexpected players in the finals of Casablanca and Houston today. Pablo Andujar. Potito Starace. Ryan Sweeting. Kei Nishikori. These were not the guys expected to be left standing on Sunday. Only one of those four players had ever won a tour-level title before, and that came from the youngest of the lot with 21 year-old Kei Nishikori winning once before in Delray two years ago.

Casablanca pitted the 29 year-old Italian veteran Potito Starace against the overlooked 25 year-old Spaniard Pablo Andujar. Potito looked to be the favorite as the world #47 once ranked as high as #27 won both of his previous matches against Pablo. Today was a different day however as Pablo won 61 62 and never let Potito in to the match, and the Italian saw his chances of winning his first title slip away rather quickly. Andujar came in to the match with a respectable ranking of #69, yet he is not even a Top 10 player in his own country. Until now.

Pablo explained after the match, “It’s really unbelievable for me. It’s very, very important for me to be one of those big Spanish players. I really don’t have words to describe what I feel right now to be one of those, and it’s unbelievable. For me, I didn’t think I could. Of course before here I felt I could win, but now that I’ve finished pablo  andujar y potito starace en casablancathe match and I won the tournament, it’s really amazing for me.”  In response to a question about his biggest strength he added, “I think I’m solid. I have a solid game. I can come to the net. I try to be physically and mentally very, very focused and very good at it and try to imitate a little bit David Ferrer.”  It’s hard to believe, but it sounds like the Spanish Armada is getting stronger and deeper.

potito staracePotito Starace unfortunately still has yet to win that first title after his fifth attempt in a tour final, but hopefully he finds some time to hit the beach before playing Monte Carlo. But Potito may not be happy to hear he drew another overlooked Spaniard in the first round against Pere Riba who already won two matches to qualify for the first Master Series on clay of the year. Odds are it might not be next week in Monte Carlo, but we sure hope Potito gets that elusive title before his career comes to a close.

ryan sweeting shirtlessNow let’s talk about Houston. We have a special place in our hearts at TCW for Ryan Sweeting since we have been talking about him for some time now. Even more selfishly, internet searches of Ryan is the most popular way people find our site….literarlly surpassing “Roddick bald spot” and “Ashley Harkleroad Playboy pics” this week. What can I say, people must like his torso-length “Mayhem” tattoo.

Sweeting showed he deserved the wild card entry this week as he put in a solid performance to beat Kei Nishikori 64 76(3). Ryan had never beaten Kei before in their 4 previous meetings, but he started the match playing with confidence and aggression. Ryan found himself up a set and a break, but he began to play a bit safely when he realized he had a great chance of winning his first title. 

Ryan showed lots of nerves throughout that second set, but he held himself together enough to squeak out a particularly tight 10th game to hold serve and eventually the match. Kei looked like he was getting nervous too once it looked like Ryan had let him back in the match. You certainly can’t blame him as not only has he been distracted by the tragedy back home, but he was also one win away from achieving Kei NishikoriProject 45. If you are unfamiliar, Project 45 represents his career goal of surpassing Shuzo Matsuoka to become the highest ranked Japanese player ever. Kei will be ever so close and will undoubtedly achieve this goal soon. More importantly, please go to his charity auction to help him achieve his fundraising goals for the Red Cross while buying some really cool stuff donated by all of the ATP and WTA players.

Congrats to all four of these players for their great weeks which will help bolster their rankings and chances throughout the clay court season and beyond. I love the clay court season since the players really need to construct each point, and you often see lots of drama since it’s simply not as easy to close points (and matches) out on a slower surface. Before we go, let’s watch Ryan do the traditional jump in the pool after his win today in Houston.

Ryan Sweeting showed some decent shot-put form hurling that kid in the pool. I wonder if there will be yet another outcry (pun intended) like there was against David Ferrer with that baby.