(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.

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)


(46 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


(46 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.


(22 replies, posted in French Open)

They must.  Surprisingly savvy of Tennis Channel, actually.  And they even made good picks. tongue


(22 replies, posted in French Open)

I hope they make it available to everyone to play along.  You gotta think that that is what they're looking to do.


(79 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

LOL, "Fertile Bathroom" is an old in-joke amongst the Yoda Crew. tongue

I can't update this thread like I have been, but here are some cool stories:

Abigail TERE-APISAH, who won a W25 in Singapore a couple weeks ago and who represents Papua New Guinea.

Also, Marcela Zacarias is up to 4 Cancun W15 titles in a row now.

Marina Yudanov played some pro tennis between the ages of 15-17, then quit and went to school for engineering, where she worked professionally for years.
Then at 27 years of age she quit engineering to go back to tennis, which was her dream!  She now has two pro titles!

Great job, Drivers!

Yoda Crew represent!

Ow, my neck... lol