Yes, the tournaments at the CitiOpen are different sizes but just respect both!

The American hard court swing is underway and one of the first stops on the calendar is Washington. As of Monday Washington host’s the CitiOpen once again a tournament which has attracted a few top 20 players however there is an issue and all I’m asking for is a bit of respect.

The men’s tournament in Washington is an ATP 500 event with prize money of $1.75 million where as the women’s event is a smaller international event with prize money of $250,000 but played simultaneously which I don’t think is fair or respectful to the women’s tournament as it doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

The women’s tournament in Washington has only been going for a few years so needs time to grow but there is an obvious bias and would I say it is slightly sexist? Yes.

They make the decision to play the tournament at the same time, they could play them a week apart to give the men and women a share of the main courts.

Let me take you back to 2015 and the main court in Washington is the Stadium Court and over the eight days of play 30 men’s matches were played on the top court, want to guess how many women’s matches? 6…

I remember I was ready to watch Makarova v Pavlyuchenkova in the semi-finals of the women’s singles but at the same time the Bryan Brothers were about to walk on Court 1 for their semi-final in the men’s doubles and the powers that be in Washington decided last minute to swap the courts…

Is that fair? No

Just show respect.

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Why this former finalist might be favourite to make her mark in New York

Everyone wants to win. Many have, many still dream. Recent champions include Angie Kerber, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and of course Flavia Pennetta. One lady who has made the final before could be about to make her mark again and is no stranger to pleasing crowds in New York.

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This iconic picture from 2014 is Caroline Wozniacki in a nutshell. The passion, determination and fight she shows on court is second to none. Her performance against Sharapova at Flushing Meadows three years is probably my favourite performance of all time.

Wozniacki is a player who has been on the tour for so long. She has seen so much and achieved so much but what is missing from her trophy cabinet is a Grand Slam title. She’s come close in New York twice before making the final on two previous occasions and with no Serena or potentially Maria as we don’t know what will happen there it is up for grabs and the only previous champions taking part potentially this year are Angie Kerber who has been in poor form this year, Venus Williams who has made two grand slam finals this year and surprise winner from 2011 Sam Stosur.

It’s a possibility but the coming weeks are important for Wozniacki as preparations as necessary and the decision to play in Sweden this week is one I think is a great decision as she bids to find confidence and consistency going into the final major of the year.

No Novak in New York?

Former world number Novak Djokovic on Monday will fall outside the top 4 on the rankings for the first time since 2007 and is likely to slip further down the rankings over the coming months.

It is expected that Novak Djokovic will not travel to New York over the coming weeks for the US Open and on a bigger picture I’d be surprised if we will see him again this season meaning he could miss big tournaments in Canada, Paris, Beijing and of course the season ending championships in London.

Novak has been suffering with this elbow injury for quite some time and it is unsure how long it will take to recover with some saying 8-12 weeks which would take us to the end of October where no tournaments get played and preparations for London reach the final step.

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Federer proves he’s the main man once again!

12 months ago Roger Federer fell down on centre court at Wimbledon in defeat to Milos Raonic in the semi-finals unfortunately he then missed the remaining 6 months of the season but what has happened since is quite remarkable.

As you get older you are meant to slow down and the end of your career is getting closer right now he just keeps getting better.

When Roger fell last year and missed 6 months you wouldn’t blame him for potentially calling it a day especially at this point it had been a long four years without a major title but he believed, adapted and won again.

When it matters the most he is the main man on the tour this year. Melbourne, Indian Wells, Miami and now Wimbledon when he plays at these major tournaments he wins and the message he’s sent not only to the other ‘top four’ members but also to the upcoming stars on the tour is that he isn’t done yet.

I don’t think what he has achieved this year has received the credit deserved. Not only did he go and win these titles but the changes to his game. At the age of 35 he seems to be playing quicker than ever before. His service motion has been fast throughout his career but seems to race through games and still plays with elegance and flashy style which works really well though!

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The unlikely but totally deserved champion!

Going into Wimbledon I didn’t have Muguruza down as a contender. To be honest an early exit was predicted by many due to the rollercoaster of a time she has had since winning Roland Garros 13 months ago but it feels a life time ago.

The season had been disappointing and the headlines were about poor form and of course that on court bust up with her coach Sam Sumyk earlier in the year. Coming to Wimbledon Sam wasn’t there in the coaching team but former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez was and seemed to have brought some calmness and good feeling to the match.

As a former finalist she knows what it takes to get to the final and her game relies on that raw power she can generate via the backhand which is one of the best on the tour on it’s day and because of the risk behind the shot when it isn’t working and without it moments like this wouldn’t happen…

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There was a point during the tournament where I felt this is where she is a contender. During the match with Kerber she was just starting to take control as the first set went on and fought incredible hard and at such a high level something I haven’t seen from her in a while and the way she moved up the court but still defended quite deep when required was excellent.

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Muguruza is about 45% inside the baseline and 10% outside which is still a lot but she picked her shots incredibly well to get the better of the former world number one.

This is massive for Garbine. I remember she said winning Roland Garros was the best and worst thing that happened to her but she saved her best for when it mattered and more than anything that smile says it all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Going into Wimbledon I didn’t have Muguruza down as a contender. To be honest an early exit was predicted by many due to the rollercoaster of a time she has had since winning Roland Garros 13 months ago but it feels a life time ago.

The season had been disappointing and the headlines were about poor form and of course that on court bust up with her coach Sam Sumyk earlier in the year. Coming to Wimbledon Sam wasn’t there in the coaching team but former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez was and seemed to have brought some calmness and good feeling to the match.

As a former finalist she knows what it takes to get to the final and her game relies on that raw power she can generate via the backhand which is one of the best on the tour on it’s day and because of the risk behind the shot when it isn’t working and without it moments like this wouldn’t happen…

 

There was a point during the tournament where I felt this is where she is a contender. During the match with Kerber she was just starting to take control as the first set went on and fought incredible hard and at such a high level something I haven’t seen from her in a while and the way she moved up the court but still defended quite deep when required was excellent.

 

Muguruza is about 45% inside the baseline and 10% outside which is still a lot but she picked her shots incredibly well to get the better of the former world number one.

This is massive for Garbine. I remember she said winning Roland Garros was the best and worst thing that happened to her but she saved her best for when it mattered and more than anything that smile says it all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Grigor Dimitrov set for his biggest challenge on grass yet!

Grigor Dimitrov lived with a label for quite some time, that label was ‘Baby Fed’ and I think it is fair to say the Bulgarian has shook it off and it’s been tough and now he faces what I’d call his biggest ever challenge against the main man Roger Federer.

Dimitrov’s game back a few years ago was likened to that of Federer’s with the way he approached many shots and when you are then labelled with the caption of the next big thing as well it can be tough.

At the beginning of the season I think it’s fair to say that Grigor was the form player on the tour winning 15 of his 16 tour matches and winning two titles and his game has definitely improved but during the clay court season it didn’t work out for him as his style of play doesn’t adapt well to some of the slow conditions on the European clay courts but on the grass the speed of the courts allows him to use his full weapons to great extent.

Back in February I wrote about Dimitrov’s game and how he uses a slice serve down the T to help himself, the flicked forehand, backhand slice and of course the one handed backhand but on these fast courts at Wimbledon he has to try and boss rallies from the baseline and the way of beginning that process is with that inside out forehand.

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You can see above Dimitrov playing it against Gasquet in Melbourne. Worst case scenario for Dimitrov going for this shot against Federer is that the former champion might be able to get a slice racket on it to pro-long points and plant that seed of doubt in rallies but also Grigor cannot afford to go to slow with the shot as if Federer times well enough he could fire that backhand down the line.

This will be tough for Grigor but I feel over 5 sets it is do-able, a good start is essential for Grigor as going down an early break could cost him once Federer gets into a rhythm it’s tough to get out of.

 

Spoilt and ungrateful Bernard Tomic admits to being bored!

Not for the first time and probably not the last Bernard Tomic has grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The Australian who once had his dad removed from the court during a match admitted after his defeat by Mischa Zverev who beat Murray in Australian that he was bored…

When asked about giving back the prize money of £35,000 he said well we all work for money and got quite defensive and ended up saying I will if Roger or Novak do which shows how childish he is.

Bernard Tomic probably doesn’t know how lucky he is to able to travel the world playing a sport he is meant to love or enjoy well it certainly doesn’t rub off like that and to admit to being bored is disgusting but he’s still happy to turn up to pick up his £35,000 prize money.

If I were a parent or a coach there would be one player I’d say don’t be like them and it would be him.

Maybe Tomic should pop into the real world for a few weeks and see what it’s really like.

You see players give their all and the emotion they show week in week out to play at these events and it’s wasted on him.

I don’t think we have ever seen it with him and if I’m brutally honest he’s just spoilt and ungrateful.

Pat Cash and Martina Navaratilova had some words on this…

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