Friday, 12 May 2017


I have always been fascinated by things in tennis that I suppose 'normal' people would simply take for granted. My silly mind dissects certain score lines and circumstances like a Professor might dissect a frog in a Science lesson.
It's something that I have owned since I was a kid though at times I wish I hadn't delved into the nuts and bolts of it all so much particularly when I was playing tournaments. Sometimes the wavering mind can be your own worst enemy on a tennis court.
Now days I look at Pro Tournaments and wonder how on earth did certain things happen the way they did yet I always come back with the same answer most times, ' It's simply the nature of tennis, tough sport'.
The current tournament in Madrid has thrown me a ridiculous amount of dialogue for my strange mind to digest, dissect and spit out, so to speak. There have been story lines aplenty and score lines that defy logic.
At times it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but when it comes to tennis I will ask you the obvious question 'What does make sense' ?
Gael Monfils was seeded 15 and received possibly one of the toughest first round assignments, in more ways than one. Gilles Simon is one of his Davis Cup team mates and is ranked 32. Between them they have won just over 24 Million Dollars in their rather illustrious careers with Monfils a lazy one mil in front of his Countryman but who's counting by this stage ?
Now at a first set score line of 6-0 to Monfils you would have to question whether Simon was simply going through the motions due to the difficulty of playing a good friend in a major championship. Circumstances like this can play on anyone's mind.
At the completion of set number 2 the score card read as follows; 0-6, 6-0. Yep Simon returned the bagel that was dished out to him by his buddy in the first, anything you can do.........
Third set, all the way to a tie breaker, makes sense hey ??! One more twist in this rather strange match, the tie breaker score. You guessed it, bagel to Simon, 7-0. Remember, tennis isn't supposed to make sense.
Borna Coric of Croatia is a bloody good tennis player, in fact he just won an event in Morocco, he is ranked 59. Coric however was not 'good enough' to make it into the main draw in Madrid so he was forced to play the qualifying event where he lost to Kukushkin who is ranked 21 places lower than him. Yes I told you it all makes sense.
Borna Coric though is literally a lucky young man and received a ticket through to the main draw despite his loss to Kukushkin as two players pulled out through injury. Coric initially made just under $4,500 Euros in losing early in the qualifying but hey, what not ride your good fortune while you can and take out World Number 1 Andy Murray while you are at it ?
You see that's tennis for you, it defies logic, guys who are playing qualifying events still own all the shots that a walk up main draw player does, they simply do not own the grey matter to do it consistently until the brain eventually gains the understanding required at that level.
The straight sets 6-3, 6-3 win by Coric over Murray in the Round of 16 was in a way outrageous in it's simplicity but if you own any title on the ATP Tour you own what the game asks of you to be successful. It just goes to show that the gap between 1 and 50 is minimal.
Coric went home with just over $130,000 Euros, not a bad increase from his qualifying loss pay cheque.
Jared Donaldson of the US can also lay claim to being a lucky type of guy as he claimed the other 'Lucky Loser's' position in the main draw after getting beaten at the same stage in qualifying as Coric.
Donaldson is only 20 years of age, born the same year as Coric and is steadily improving his ranking which now sits at 78 and his second round prize of just under $36,000 Euros will go a long way to helping fund the rest of his season.
Two players, same age, similar rankings, similar standard, both were on a plane flight out of Madrid after qualifying losses, instead they both had success in the main draw and picked up a tidy sum of Euros after some luck and some great play all rolled into one.
The good players know how to make the most of their chances in this sport.
For the record Gilles Simon lost his next match, again it went to a third set tie breaker but this time he was not so dominant and Lopez took the points 7-3. In fact if you follow Gilles at all on the tour you would be on the edge of your seat in many of his matches as he usually finds a way to keep you entertained.
His first round doubles in Madrid finished with another nail biting loss, 5-7, 7-6, 10-8 to Baker and Monroe.
Do you need nerves of steel to play Pro Tennis ? You do the sums..........

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