(4 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Aussie Open 2021 Qualifiers - Men

Frederico Ferreira Silva, 25, #182, Portugal
The rare European who prefers hard courts to clay. Has never won a Challenger title nor played in the main draw of a Slam.  Defeated #1 seed Gregoire Barrere 3 and 4 to qualify here.

Carlos Alcaraz, 17, #141, Spain
This kid got some buzz at the end of last year in my Challenger Chat thread, and rightfully so. He won three Challenger titles last year (two of them came back-to-back), all on clay.  However, earlier in 2020, he played two hard court Futures events and won both of them.  Those were the only hard court matches he had last year, meaning he is now on a 13-match win streak on hard courts. He is 16-2 in his professional career on the surface. Obviously, at such a young age, this will be his first Slam main draw. He could technically still play Juniors here if he wanted (if they're even doing Juniors tournaments this year). He beat #2 Hugo Dellien 2 and 3 to qualify.

Aslan Karatsev, 27, #112, Russia
Aslan "The Lion" started to really find a rhythm at the end of last year, but still fell short in French Open qualifying because he had the misfortune to run into a certain Sebastian Korda in QR3 there.  However, he has now finally gotten into his first ever Slam main draw.  And with some style, too, only dropping 6 games in QR2 and QR3 combined.

Sergiy Stakhovsky, 35, #301, Ukraine
This dude is still playing tennis??  This former World #33 and oldest Qualifier on the Men's side had a weak draw in qualies, facing not one but two Wild Card players, but credit to him for winning win he should win.  He'll make for an easy R1 opponent for just about anyone.  Has a career Slam match win rate of 40%.

Elias Ymer, 24, #204, Sweden
One of the promising young Ymer brothers, both of whom have not achieved the results many hoped they might.  Elias here absolutely crushed #5 Taro Daniel to qualify.  He is 1-6 all time in Slam main draws.  With a losing record on hard courts over his career, could he be a potential upset waiting to happen in R1?

Quentin Halys, 24, #206, France
Once on the cusp of the Top 100, Halys is the quintessential journeyman, with a 53% career match win rate in Challengers, but only 22% at the Tour level.  It gets worse for him in Slam main draws, with an all time record of 2-9 there.  Defeated Robin Haase to qualify.

Kimmer Coppejans, 26, #175, Belgium
A former Top 100 player, he managed 55 match wins in 2018.  However, his Tour record is a poor 3-13, and he is 0-2 all time in Slam main draws.  Still, he could be dangerous, and he proved that by knocking out #7 Damir Dzumhur 0 and 2 to qualify here.

Michael Mmoh, 23, #174, USA
Points away from losing in QR2 to Ze Li, Mmoh is now entering his 9th career Slam main draw.  He's only ever won two matches in Slam main draws.

Tomas Machac, 20, #197, Czech
Mostly an indoor guy, this young kid just won his 9th, 10th, and 11th outdoor hard court matches ever to qualify for the AO. An able clay courter, he qualified for the French last year and lost in R1 in 5 sets to Taylor Fritz. He was a big favorite in all of his Q matches this week, and his career outdoor hard record is now up to 9-2.  Could he make some waves here?

Mario Vilella Martinez, 25, #186, Spain
It's-a me! Mario!  Not a plumber, our hero qualified for the AO last year to make his Slam main draw debut. He lost in 4 sets to Karen Khachanov, putting up an impressive fight.  His path to the main draw was easier this year with a walkover in QR2, but he still earned it with an underdog victory in QR3 over Wu Tung-Lin.  Let's-a go!

Viktor Troicki, 34, #202, Serbia
No idea who this is, but he's never been beyond the 3rd round at the AO.

Roman Safiullin, 23, #181, Russia
Another young-ish Russian grinder who is making his Slam main draw debut. Despite covid, he won his first career Challenger title last year, so his career is on an upward trend. At only 23, he may be familiar to all of us in time.

Botic Van De Zandschulp, 25, #156, Netherlands
Sporting the dumbest (or most awesome?) name on tour, BVDZ really came into his own on the Futures and Challenger circuit in 2016, but then underachieved for two years. He turned it back around in 2019 winning his first Challenger title. This will be his Slam main draw debut and only his 2nd-ever match on the Tour level.

Bernard Tomic, 28, #228, Australia

Henri Laaksonen, 28, #133, Switzerland
A long-time Swiss journeyman, Laaksonen squeaked past 22-year-old Croatian opponent Borna Gojo, 9-7 in a 3rd set TB, to qualify for the AO.  This will be Laaksonen's 7th Slam main draw and he'll be looking to get his 4th career Slam main draw singles win here in R1.

Maxime Cressy, 23, #168, USA
Known for being stupidly loud on court, this French-American upset fan favorite Dustin Brown to qualify for the AO this year. He is 1-1 all time in Slams and has a big enough game to get an upset here depending on his draw.

Aussie Open 2021 Qualifiers - Women

Kaja Juvan, 20, #104, Slovenia
The #1 player in the Q draw here, Juvan qualified without dropping a set.  She qualified last year as well, but was double-breadsticked in R1 by Dayana Yastremska.  She's 3-5 all time in Slams.

Francesca Jones, 20, #241, Britain
Born with 8 fingers and 7 toes, Francesca Jones has proven here that hard work can overcome quite a lot. She started to show some promise at the end of last year but was unable to have a true breakthrough.  Qualifying for a Slam, though, is more than a breakthrough.  This will be her first Slam.  She upset Jedi Masters favorite Jana Fett (cue Han Solo: "Jana Fett?!") in QR2, and then annihilated China's Lu Jia-Jing in QR3, 0 and 1, to qualify. Her R1 match will likely get some buzz, regardless of opponent or result.

Greetje Minnen, 23, #110, Belgium
Won a good 3-set match against Lepchenko to qualify here.  This is her 2nd time successfully qualifying for the AO, having done so last year as well, and winning her R1 match before succumbing to Rybakina in R2.  Has the potential to be a dangerous floater in the draw.

Sara Errani, 33, #131, Italy
The former World #5 once made the quarterfinals here, almost a full decade ago in 2012 (where she beat the most lovely and precious and wonderful tennis player in history in the R16).  Errani needed 3 sets in all of her Q matches this year, but she has an 11-10 record at this tournament, and a 59-42 Slam record for her career. She has the experience to trouble younger players.

Whitney Osuigwe, 18, #161, USA
Osuigwe has been getting a lot of hype amongst the US tennis cognoscenti, but so far has no truly big result to her name, with a 1-9 Tour record and 0-4 Slam record.  Qualifying here may change that, as she is in good enough form to beat the #5 and #22 players in the draw.  She's the youngest Women's Qualifier at the AO this year, so it's safe to assume that she will only improve with time.

Clara Burel, 19, #236, France
Speaking of very young, French teen Clara Burel did not let covid prevent her from making 2020 the best year of her career.  She played 36 matches last year (her previous high was only 26) and finished with a 21-15 record.  She currently maintains a winning record on all three surfaces she has played on: clay, outdoor hard, and indoor hard.  She made her Slam main draw debut here 2 years ago, but had no wins until a few months ago at the French, where she made waves by winning two matches.

Timea Babos, 27, #115, Hungary
Big-serving Babos has not had to play Qualies here since 2012, having direct entry to the AO every year since then until now. Despite that, her record here is a miserable 3-8.  However, she did beat Schmiedlova in 3 sets to qualify here, despite being an underdog in that match.  It may be that she is peaking at the moment.

Mayo Hibi, 24, #182, Japan
This will be Hibi's first Slam main draw since the 2015 USO, and only her 2nd ever Slam main draw singles match. She seems to be in excellent form, not dropping a single set here in qualies, and not losing more than 4 games in a set. Last year was the worst of her career, finishing 7-13, the only year she ended with a losing record. She seems ready to make 2021 a much different experience.

Olga Danilovic, 19, #183, Serbia
Another teen phenom, you may remember her (but probably not) from her utterly absurd run to the title in the 2018 Moscow 2 WTA tournament, where she beat (in order) Schmiedlova, Kanepi, #1 Goerges, #5 Sasnovich, and then wild card Potapova in the final to win it all.... at the age of 17... as a lucky loser!!
Despite that result, and despite reaching a career-high rank of #96 on the back of it, she has never played in a Slam main draw until now.

Chloe Paquet, 26, #187, France
This will be Paquet's first Slam outside of the French Open, where she has played 4 times and won one match. She did not face a seeded player in the Q draw here, but also failed to lose a single set on her way to the main draw. Let's see if she can perform better off of home soil.

Rebecca Marino, 30, #312, Canada
Well, this name is a blast from the past.  This will be her first time in a Slam main draw in 8 years, and she qualified without dropping a set. She did not play any pro tennis last year at all, and as a result is the lowest-ranked Qualifier here, so to start her 2021 campaign with this result is impressive.  Most impressive.  *breathing noises*

Elisabetta Cocciaretto, 19, #132, Italy
This Italian teen qualified for the AO last year, looking quite impressive in Qs, and then was rewarded with a match against Kerber in R1, where she had her head aslpoded with a 2 and 2 loss.  Her Q run this year wasn't as dominant, but perhaps we can see more what she is capable of with a kinder draw.  She has 4 career ITF titles, including 2 W60s in 2019. She already sports a career W-L record of 84-40, so she knows how to win matches.

Valeria Savinykh, 29, #225, Russia
One of many young Russian women who never quite broke through (despite a career high rank of #99), Valeria is not content to end her career with a Slam record of only 2-2.  This is her 3rd time qualifying for the AO, but her first in the last 7 years.
True story: Adunar once came down with a terrible case of Valeria while backpacking across Europe. Stay safe, Ad.

Tsvetana Pironkova, 33, #136, Bulgaria
We all saw what the intensely charming Pironkova is still capable of just a few months ago at the USO, where she stomped her way to the QFs out of nowhere and even took a set off Serena.  Tsvetana played the AO main draw 12 years in a row, from 2006 to 2017, but never even made it to R3.  Could 2021 be her year here?

Ludmilla Samsonova, 22, #127, Russia
Samsonova qualified here last year, too, but is 0-4 all time at Slams.  She had a good win over Tsurenko today to qualify, so depending on her draw she may finally get over that Slam hump here.

Mayar Sherif, 24, #128, Egypt
Everyone's favorite Egyptian player is looking very strong here in qualies.  She dropped a 6-2 set in QR2 to Grace Min, but besides that one bad set, she qualified without losing more than 3 games in a set.  She looked similarly impressive last year at the French, where she not only qualified but took a set off of Karolina Pliskova in R1.  Can she go one better here and win herself two sets in R1?


(5 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Man, I had Sabalenka as winner originally and then changed it up.  SCW to start the year! big_smile


(1 replies, posted in Help, Support & Feedback)

Yep, we have a guy who can fix it but he's an "I'll get to it when I get to it" type.


(17 replies, posted in French Open)

The Men's Winner picks need to be looked at as well.  Wish we could all help with this. '^__^


(17 replies, posted in French Open)

Drivers, your PoA work is amazing as always!

So, for fear of being rude, Nishikori would be on my list of Picks I Hate.  What is the upside there?  He's in awful form and needs to beat Rafa to be BPs.  He happened to avoid the -16, but that was a huge risk for almost zero chance of BPs.
But what the crap do I know?


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Clara Tauson, Nadia Podoroska, and Jurij Rodionov have all successfully qualified for the French Open.  Aslan Karatsev, Carlos Alcaraz, and JJ Wolf all lost in qualies.


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Drivers wrote:

Thanks Arvis- glad you’re back!

You know the old saying: "Where's there's tennis, there's Arvis."*

*nobody has ever said this


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

August 2020 Players of the Month

Aslan Karatsev, 27, #116, Russia
The guy gained 200 ranking points in August, winning a Challenger 125 and making the final of another.  His one loss in those two August tournaments?  A little-known Swiss player by the name of Stan Wawrinka.  His wins came against players like Haase, Vesely, and Herbert, and interestingly two wins against Gulbis (plus a 3rd at the start of September).
Karatsev has never been this close to the Top 100 in his career, and he looks to be determined to make it, continuing his winning ways in September with yet another Challenger title.  Could he be a September PotM, too?

Special Mention: Carlos Alcaraz, 17, #186, Spain.  A teenage Spanish player making some waves?  He won the Trieste Challenger 100 as a qualifier and has been getting good results on the clay in this bizarre year for tennis.  At 17, his results are showing real potential.

Clara Tauson, 17, #196, Denmark
This wee lass has been on my radar for about 2 years now, so some of you may recognize the name.  Although August only gave the women a handful of W15s (worth a whopping 10 WTA Ranking Points if you win them), young Clara here not only won one of them, she also made the QFs of Prague 125k, which earned her 57 more ranking points, helping her to make her WTA Top 200 debut!  She lost in 3 sets in that QF to Kucova, who would go on to win the tournament.  I said it two years ago and I'll say it again now: all of you will be very familiar with this kid sooner rather than later.

Special Mention: Zheng Qinwen, 17, #410, China.  A complete surprise hit in August, this kid entered the month with a pro record on clay of 2-4.  Her clay record in August was 7-1, with her first career pro title at a W15 in Cordenons.  That one loss she suffered?  A 3-setter to - you guessed it - Clara Tauson, one of only two players to take a set off her in that tournament.  One of her wins also came against an Italian journeywoman who is currently 10-0 in September.  Watch for Qinwen in September, as she has already won her 2nd career pro title in these past two weeks and currently has easily qualified for a W25.  Her ranking may soon be skyrocketing.


- Jurij Rodionov has been mostly bad since winning Feb 2020 PotM.  He came within a few points of winning a Davis Cup match for Austria, and he took a set off Thiem in an Austrian exhibition.  However, since the resumption of the pro tour in August, he's 2-4, all on clay.

- Eva Lys played a handful of exos in June and July with mixed results.

- JJ Wolf picked up where he left off in Feb, qualifying for Cincy and then making the most of his direct-entry into the US Open by making the 3rd round.  He's now at career-high rank #120.

- Nadia Podoroska struggled to break through on the Tour level in August, losing in the first round of Palermo and then failing to qualify for Prague.  However, she made the semis of Prague 125k, then in September won a W60 title.  She's now up to #130 and in real contention to be Sept PotM, which would make her the first two-time PotM.


(13 replies, posted in US Open)

Wow, "Train Drivers" that is too adorable.  I'll be rooting for you guys now.


(54 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Djokovic def. Medvedev
DH: Raonic

Osaka def. Konta
DH: Brady

Charles, you've got the wrong Zverev as the #5 seed.

You rock, Charles!

No idea, Teggy, sorry to say

Djokovic (Winner)
Medvedev (Finalist)

Osaka (Winner)
Konta (Finalist)

Ok guys, honor system:  don't look at any teams below, just scroll immediately to the bottom and click "Post Reply" on the bottom right.  Once you post your team, jump out of the thread and don't come back unless you want to change your team or the tournament has started.

My teams are below.  Use brackets (these things: [ and ]) and type "color=white" without the quotation marks inside the brackets at the start of your team post.  Then at the end of the post type "/color" in brackets without the quotation marks.  This will make the text hard/impossible to see, which will help prevent accidental peeking.  I will still be able to see them so don't worry.


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

February 2020 Players of the Month

Jurij Rodionov, 20, #168, Austria

This kid went 15-2 across four tournaments in February, winning two of them and making the semis of another, losing only to Denis Istomin and January's PotM Jeffrey John Wolfe.  He previously had only one career title before this, a Challenger in 2018.  He's been a promising player from a very young age and jumped right into Challenger success without spending much time at all in Futures tourneys.  We could be looking at the next Austrian to make the ATP Top 50 in a couple years.

Special mention to Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech and French-American Maxime Cressy for making two Canadian finals against each other in a row and trading titles between them.

Eva Lys, 18, Unranked, Germany
There were so many candidates for Women's February 2020 PotM here, but I felt I had to give it to this very beautiful child here, who has no tour ranking at all, entered a W25 in Altenkirchen as a Wild Card, and then won the whole tournament without dropping a set.  She defeated Bibiane Schoofs, a Top 200 player, 2 and 4 in the final.  She will absolutely be one to keep an eye on.

Special mentions to several other players here, please check out what they did this month:
- Shiho Akita (out of the Top 500, had to qualify for W25s, but 15-1 in Feb)
- Maddison Inglis (two titles, 10-1 record, also the only player to defeat Shiho Akita in Feb, see above)
- Clara Tauson (8-1 in tour tournaments, one title, and went 3-1 in Fed Cub matches for Denmark, including pushing Ons Jabeur to two 6-4 sets)
- Ankita Raina (10-1 record with two titles)

Updates on last month's Players:
Jeffrey John Wolfe continued his winning ways, going 8-2 in February with a title in Columbus, defeating Denis Istomin in the final.

Nadia Podoroska went 3-0 in Fed Cup matches, and even qualified for WTA Monterrey, where she lost in R1 to Lauren Davis.

Harold Mayot made the QFs of Pau Challenger, losing to Jiri Vesely in two TBs.

Victoria Jiminez-Kasinteva has not played since her AO Junior title.


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Thanks, Ol' Tenny.  I'm hoping to just highlight some standout players that we can keep an eye on as they slowly start to creep into our fantasy tennis world.  You could say I'm somewhat inspired by these young standout players we've seen this year.

One of the most common names from last year's Challenger Chat before it became too difficult for me to keep up with was Vitalia Diatchenko, and we're starting to see her in all these main draws now, and making some noise, too.


(12 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

January 2020 Players of the Month

Jeffrey John Wolf, 21, #164, United States
Started the year ranked nearly out of the Top 200, but that didn't stop him from winning his first tournament of the year, the Noumea Challenger.  He defeated Pablo Carreno Busta and Yuichi Sugita to take the trophy here.  He followed it up by playing well in AO Qualies, but faltered in QR2 after starting strong.  Could have been nerves, could have been injury.
Could he break the Top 100 this year?

Nadia Podoroska, 23, #173, Argentina
You'd be hard pressed to find any woman who had a better January than Nadia Podoroska.  She played 14 matches in January and she won all 14.  She won two tournaments in a row (W25 Malibu, W25 Petit-Bourge) and made the SFs of WTA 125k Newport Beach.  She lost her SF match to eventual champ Madison Brengle... on February 1st, completing her Undefeated January.
She will definitely be one to keep an eye on in the coming year.

AO Junior Boys Champ: Harold Mayot, 18, #509, France
Has one career Futures title (2019) and is 6-3 on the Challenger Tour this year.  Just took Gilles Simon to a 2nd set TB today.

AO Junior Girls Champ: Victoria Jiminez-Kasinteva, 14, Unranked, Andorra
Yep, only 14 years of age and from a country nobody has heard of.  Twice she was just a point or two away from losing in the 3rd round here, making this run even more miraculous.  She's so young and so unknown, it's actually hard to find any history on her.  Could "VJK" be a set of initials we become very familiar with in a few years?

You did this on your ipad???  Incredible.


(6 replies, posted in Australian Open)

AO 2019 Qualifiers (so far)

Ilya Ivashka
- 25, #148, Belarus
- 1-1 all time in Melbourne, never won a match in Qualies before now.  Lost in straights in R2 last year to PCB.  Beat #7 Kudla in 3 in QR2 this year.

Norbert "Goomba" Gombos
- 29, #111, Slovakia
- First career AO main draw appearance.  #10 seed here in Qualies, did't drop more than 4 games in a set on the way to qualifying.

Pedro Martinez
- 22, #168, Spain
- First career AO main draw appearance.  Lost in QR3 last year, but this year qualified without giving up more than 4 games in a set.  Beat Rosol 4 and 2 in QR3 yesterday.

Max Purcell
- 21, #216, Australia
- This was his 4th career AO Qualifying tournament and his first successful qualification.  Previously had never even won a single match in AO qualies.  Came very close to a repeat of that here, but turned it around, even defeating #13 Gianluca Mager in QR2.  He should garner some interest no matter his R1 opponent.

Ernests Gulbis
- 31, #254, Latvia
- Oh boy.....

Peter Gojowczyk
- 30, #119, Germany
- 1-6 all time in Melbourne.  This is his 4th time successfully qualifying for the main draw here.

Ann Li
- 19, #142, USA
- This is her first attempt at qualifying for the AO main draw.  Beat #1 seed Ana Bogdan in 3 sets to qualify, narrowly winning the 2nd 11-9 in a TB.

Shelby Rogers
- 27, #155, USA
- Has a 1-3 all time record here, but this is her first time successfully qualifying.  Had little trouble in this Qualifying tournament, never dropping more than 4 games in a set, including beating the #8 and #30 seeds.

Martina Trevisan
- 26, #154, Italy
- This is only her 2nd career AO Qualies and boy did she impress here.  Beat #9 Bonaventure 0 and 2 in QR2, then beat an improving Bouchard 4 and 3 to qualify for the main draw.  This will be her first time playing in the AO main draw.

Monica Niculescu
- 32, #128, Romania
- Slice those forehands

Ludmilla Samsonova
- 21, #118, Russia
- Like many others, her first AO main draw.  Already made a splash in 2020 by qualifying for Brisbane and then beating Sloane Stephens in R1.  Struggled here in qualies, but managed to win QR2 and QR3 in the 3 sets each to qualify.

Harriet Dart
- 23, #169, Britain
- Qualified last year, too, but won a grand total of zero games in her R1 match against Maria Sharapova.  Might she win her first ever AO main draw game this year?  She had absolutely zero trouble in qualies, even against #15 Nicole Gibbs.

(to be continued)


(54 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

I can be more sensible with my brackets and Yoda teams.  Here, I can just do whatever I want!  tongue


(54 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Medvedev def. Djokovic
Kvitova def. Andreescu

Thiem def. Nadal
Halep def. Martic

Federer def. Kyrgios
Kvitova def. Barty

Tsitsipas def. Shapovalov
Andreescu def. Barty


(49 replies, posted in Wimbledon)

Hey, thanks Marco, that was really well done!

I've been traveling as well as having twice as much work at my day job.  Sorry to be less involved with the group.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have more traveling ahead of me as I prepare to pay an unexpected visit to my brother.  *loads rocket launcher*

At this point, I don't think there's any reason to doubt Barty's ability to consistently win.  Heck, she WON THE FRENCH OPEN entirely because of her consistency.

SWEET!  Thanks guys, and good job Spotec and Murree!

Too bad the rest of my bracket is so stupid.