Archive | September, 2014

Switzerland powers past Italy to go into the Davis Cup final.

16 Sep

A great clip here of a jubilant Swiss Davis Cup captain, Severin Luthi and Swiss # 2 Stan Wawrinka chairing Roger Federer around the stadium following his win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini which clinched the semi-final tie for the Swiss team.

Federer has made the Davis Cup a priority this year, and has 5 singles straight set wins in a row to his credit. The Davis Cup has eluded Federer and Switzerland, and this year with a team that boasts the world # 3 (Federer) and # 4 Stanislas Wawrinka they stand just one really tough match away from adding the prized “salad bowl” to the trophy cabinet.

That one match is a tantalising Davis Cup final against France, in France, late November. The French, whilst not boasting the same firepower as the Swiss big guns, are still in with a real shot as they bat very deeply. The team could include any two or three of Tsonga, Gasquet, Monfils, Simon – and even down to Benneteau and Chardy – have all given both Swiss players trouble in the past. Should be a great final and one the Swiss and, in particular Federer, will not want to let slip away.

The PRO.

 

 

Omar Jasika – I kept fighting.

11 Sep

Omar Jasika US juniors 2014

Melbourne junior Omar Jasika has joined the ranks of Pat Cash and Bernard Tomic by winning the US Open Boys Singles. Omar even went one step better than those guys by also winning the doubles title with Japan’s Naoki Nakagawa. In the singles he defeated players from the USA, Germany, France, Korea and Cyprus – again a reminder of the cosmopolitan nature of the sport.

Jasika, whose whole family are members of the Melbourne suburban Bentleigh Rec. and Clarinda Tennis Clubs, went into the event unseeded and along the way to the title defeated 3 players ranked in the top 8 seeds. In the final he managed his first win over world #4 junior and European Champion, Frenchman Quentin Halys. Halys is a powerful ball striker and has plenty of big game experience, but lefty Jasika was able to quell Haly’s power and fought back from the brink of a straight sets loss to take out the title in a gutsy 3 set win.

Great to see Omar is another in the “I started playing tennis by hitting a ball against the wall” production line. He regularly practices with Kei Nishikori, who he describes as a mentor figure. Pat Cash remarked “Jasika reminds me of former world #1 Marcelo Rios, a lefty and whilst not tall, hits the ball hard and fast”. Hopefully Cashy is on the money. Omar kept it simple in his press conference after the final. “I hung in all week and kept fighting”. Omar Jasika is a player to look out for over the next few years.

Congrats to Omar and the Bentleigh corner shop Jasika family!
The PRO

Cilic has all the Kei’s.

10 Sep
Great win by a rejuvenated Marin Cilic in the US Open this morning “Down under” time.  Cilic was able to subdue the road runner Kei Nishikori – who may well have used up all his petrol tickets prior to taking the court. Nishikori will be back on the main stage, he is too good a player to fade away.

Hats off to Cilic – who has always had something of an Aussie connection. Cilic’s long time coach (though no longer) was Bob Brett. Brett used to come out to Australia each year to visit his Mum – and would always bring a handful of players with him to train at Melbourne Park. Quite often we would match up a few lucky players from my Academy program to drill or play points with Bob’s troops.

One of those was Marin Cilic and for several weeks he and his brother, Goran would pester me for balls, courts, ball machines. Cilic must have been 15 or 16 at the time. A tall, lanky bean pole who was always practicing his serve.
Today’s win takes his career ranking back to #9, where he spent much of 2010. This could be the making of Marin Cilic. He has the game to intimidate players and is driven to succeed. Bobby Brett taught him well.
The PRO
Photo: Great win by a rejuvenated Marin Cilic in the US Open this morning "Down under" time. Cilic was able to subdue the road runner Kei Nishikori - who may well have used up all his petrol tickets prior to taking the court. Nishikori will be back on the main stage, he is too good a player to fade away.
Hats off to Cilic - who has always had something of an Aussie connection. Cilic's long time coach (though no longer) was Bob Brett. Brett used to come out to Australia each year to visit his Mum - and would always bring a handful of players with him to train at Melbourne Park. Quite often we would match up a few lucky players from my Academy program to drill or play points with Bob's troops.
One of those was Marin Cilic and for several weeks he and his brother, Goran would pester me for balls, courts, ball machines. Cilic must have been 15 or 16 at the time. A tall, lanky bean pole who was always practicing his serve. 
Today's win takes his career ranking back to #9, where he spent much of 2010. This could be the making of Marin Cilic. He has the game to intimidate players and is driven to succeed. Bobby Brett taught him well.
JPT