Some cool stuff that happened in 2012

Yen-Hsun Lu

Yen-Hsun Lu

Yen-Hsun Lu becomes the Challenger GOAT

The man from Taiwan claimed another three Challenger titles to take his career total to 18, surpassing the semi-retired Takao Suzuki’s haul of 16.

His cause was helped by his schedule, consistently opting to play weak Challengers in Asia instead of ATP events and he was top seed (by a large margin) in all three victories.

The Ratiwatana twins do the same

If Lu is the Roger Federer of the Challenger circuit then Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana are the Bryans. Continue reading

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David Savic banned for life: Questions answered, questions unanswered

David Savic

Few tennis fans had heard of David Savic before he was banned for life on corruption charges at a hearing in London last September.

Given that he operated mainly on the Futures tour and had a career high of 393, it’s not surprising. He was barely a household name in his own house.

Initial details were sketchy. Savic received a life ban and a $100,000 fine for “contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an event”. He claimed he’d been set up by a “current top player” who was reported to be a friend from his junior days.

Last month The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the Serb’s life ban but quashed the fine. With the release of the case file, some fascinating details have emerged.  Continue reading

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Twitter loves Andrew Castle

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Or not as the case may be. The part-time tennis fans should be grateful they only have to put up with him for a couple of weeks a year.

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Self-parody with John McEnroe and the cramping rule clarified: Reflections on day five

Roger Federer and Julien Benneteau exit Centre Court after their five set third round battle

Self-parody with John McEnroe 

It seems I wasn’t alone when I was irritated by media descriptions of Lukas Rosol as an “unknown” and a “nobody”, amongst other disparaging terms.

John McEnroe was also disgusted by his colleagues in the mainstream media. Continue reading

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Cool head Luke, misguided Murray mania and the equal pay endgame: Reflections on round two

Lukas Rosol

Cool head Luke

Lukas Rosol’s five set victory against Rafael Nadal was one of those matches that leaves you frantically searching for superlatives.

As far as upsets go, it’s arguably the biggest of the Open Era with only George Bastl’s victory over Pete Sampras at the same stage at the same event in 2002 coming close in the last decade. Continue reading

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Easy money, self-flagellation and timely reminders: Wimbledon day one

Potito Starace contemplates the moral dilemma (for about two seconds)

Easy money

It was another productive grass season for Potito Starace. Two matches, two retirements, a total of 16 games played.

His reward? A mere €3,870 for his first round defeat to Flavio Cipolla in Rosmalen and then £14,500 for his retirement at 2-6 0-2 today against Ryan Sweeting. Continue reading

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No wildcard, no problem and other thoughts from the final round of qualifying

Comeback kid Brian Baker

No wildcard, no problem

Brian Baker was denied a main draw wildcard but breezed through qualifying to secure his first Wimbledon appearance in seven years with a 5-7 6-2 6-1 6-2 win against Maxime Teixeira.

The AELTC decision now looks like a blessing in disguise. Continue reading

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The return of Miracle Matteo and other reflections on qualifying round two

Matteo Viola

The return of Miracle Matteo

I first wrote about Matteo Viola at the Australian Open. You can read the details of his ridiculous comebacks here but the short version is he won his first two qualifying matches from a total of 11 match points down and qualified for the main draw after trailing Rik De Voest by a set and a break. Continue reading

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Au revoir Arnaud and other thoughts from round one of Wimbledon qualifying

Arnaud Clement: say bye to the bandanas

Au revoir Arnaud

Arnaud Clement’s singles career came to an end in rather low-key circumstances with a narrow defeat to big-serving compatriot Kenny de Schepper today in Roehampton. Continue reading

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USTA Roland Garros Wildcard race: Current standings

One-time leader and people's choice, Wayne Odesnik, now out of contention

Rather than holding a separate tournament, this year the USTA will award its Roland Garros wildcard to the player who accumulates the most points at the Sarasota and Savannah Challenger events.

With his victory in Sarasota, Sam Querrey technically leads the standings but his ranking of 99 on the April 16 cut-off was enough to secure a place in the Paris main draw anyway.

After of the Savannah quarter-finals, three players remain in contention. Here are the current standings: Continue reading

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