Category Archives: Tournaments

EARL FLOPS, TOURNAMENT MOVES ON

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NEW YORK – Waiting for Earl… Thousands decided to wait for Earl the Hurricane at the tennis parlor in Flushing Meadows.  They packed umbrellas, raincoats, hip boots, transistors, emergency rations, perhaps collapsible row boats and kerosene lanterns. Peering at the rumpled gray sky and the US Open’s blue tennis courts, the tennis nuts were ready …

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IS NO. 371, CAPRA, GOING TO BE THE NEW OUDIN?

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NEW YORK – “…and so here I am…” Where is “here”? For the young American speaker, Beatrice Capra, the word had geographical and geneological meaning.  She was very unexpectedly taking up space in the third round of the year’s last major tennis championship, the US Open.  Wearing  a No. 371 ranking, she sent No. 20 …

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THE COMING AND GOING: HARRISON AND YOUNG

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NEW YORK — You are 11-years-old, and you’re trying to beat your old man on a tennis court.  He shellacs you.  No mercy.  But this is no casual backyard scuffle.  It’s for the men’s championship of Shreveport, Louisiana. “I wanted to win more than anything in the world at the time,” Ryan Harrison, now 18, …

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US OPEN SWEETHEART, MELANIE, KEEPS GOING

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NEW YORK – From the sea-breezed grassblades of Rhode Island’s Newport Casino in 1881 to the steaming blue asphalt slabs of Flushing Meadows, the planet’s longest-running tennis show has settled in again for a fortnight’s duels with gut-strung cudgels.  Oh, yes, I know that Wimbledon is four years older, but was dark nine years for …

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OLLIE IS A WONDER BUT FISH HAS THE TITLE

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NEWPORT, R.I. – Little guy.  Little country. Giant performance. But it wasn’t quite enough for the diminutive dynamo named Olivier Rochus, who did his best to wreck the afternoon for the homebodies – and very nearly did. You really couldn’t dislike this teddy bear of a tennis player, 5-foot-5, 140 pound Ollie.  However, he was …

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RAFA DEFENDS HIS 2008 TITLE, WINS EASILY

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LONDON – Federer and Venus got beat.  So did Roddick, Djokovic, Henin and Clijsters.  Wimbledon upsets to be sure, but not the most startling reversals as the aged tennis tournament faded away for another year. Caught up in the most incredible upset of the fortnight was none other than that veteran performer – Jupiter Pluvius. Surely you …

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS ADD SPICE TO WOMEN’S TOUR

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LONDON – If they had been shooting at each other in a Western, one of the antagonists might have threatened, “This country ain’t big enough for both of us.” The country in question is tiny Belgium.  Not much cactus, sagebrush or prairie there, but the firing was fierce as they tried to drive one another …

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A SURREAL DREAM, THE MATCH THAT WILL NOT END

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LONDON – Shall we call it “The Johnny and Nico Show”?  Two young guys skipping about on a grassy stage of an outdoor theatre called Wimbledon, and hoping “you’ll tune in again tomorrow because we ain’t finished yet.” So here are American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, a soap opera in short pants, playing …

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THOU SHALT VOLLEY AND DROP SHOT

ROME – Just when you thought it was against the rules of women’s tennis to serve and charge the net, a who-she? senorita with a boxcar length name landed amid the pines at Il Foro Italico to smack holes in the accepted wisdom. Apparently nobody told Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez out of Barcelona that the …

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EASTER ON KEY BISCAYNE

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KEY BISCAYNE, FL – Forget the Easter egg allusions.  Eggs had already been laid on the blueberry-toned tennis court by such embarrassed participants as Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Venus Williams.   If you had bought tickets for yesterday’s Sony Ericsson Open finals, you probably muttered, “Where’s Federer?  Where’s Nadal?  Aren’t they supposed to play …

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