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)

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

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


(22 replies, posted in French Open)

Thanks, guys!

Hey look, Kontaveit tanked horribly. I knew when I picked her that she can't be trusted at all.  She's proven that time and again.  Her draw was just so easy I thought it was more likely that even she couldn't screw it up.  But once again she proves there is no tennis match that she is incapable of losing.


(22 replies, posted in French Open)

I'm definitely nervous about Tsitsipas, being one of the only ones who doesn't have him.  He's capable of making the semis here.  Better, even?  Not likely, but possible.

I do think Feddy is a solid pick and can be relied on to make the 2nd week.  The 7 who didn't take him have plenty to lose and not much to gain.  We'll see how that one shakes out.

5 with Delpo, kinda thought there would be more, but he's more of a question mark this year than he usually is.  I do think he's ready to crush some tennis balls, though.

Zverev is having a bad year and he's always been bad in Slams.  Yet, 3 still took him.  What a coup that would be for them if it lands.  However, even at his best he'd have to overcome Novak to make it worth a Top 16 pick, imo.  Not likely.

I thought SOMEBODY besides Johnny would pick Fognini, but nope.

Wawa WAY more popular than I thought. Over half of us have him.

Props to Aiur for having the guts to pick Pouille. His section is possibly the softest in the whole draw, so whoever comes through there will be a surprise no matter who it is.

The fact that 7 have Cuevas blows my mind.  He is AWFUL at Roland Garros, historically, and super inconsistent this year.  That Estoril final was a fluke.  That said, they still have to play the matches and anything can happen on any given day, as they say.

I really don't like my Paire pick, since there's every chance he'll have a letdown from his Lyon victory. But his draw was too tempting and you just never know if he'll stay motivated and dangerous or not.

I love Edu's Tsonga pick and Drivers' Fritz pick.  I was looking at both of them before settling on Paire.  I also rather like Johnny's Barrere pick, I think it's quite clever.

I totally love and respect OZ for at least putting Feddy in the final along with Rafa.  Might be our last chance to support Feddy on a French Open Yoda team.  I picked Feddy to win in my bracket, since I'm not really competing for anything in that competition.  But here, i don't want to lose yet another YC because of something stupid, like not picking Rafa to win Roland Garros. lol

Arvis most certainly DID NOT go 5-0-3 on his men's team.

I wonder why Aiur left Halep off his team.  Aiur, can you weigh in, perhaps?

Even though she won Rome, I kinda avoided Karolina because of her inconsistency at Slams.  She's having MAYBE the best year on the tour, though, so it was quite a risk to leave her off.  I think the 12 that took her made the smart move, odds-wise.

In an amazing illustration of why tennis is impossible to predict: the 12 who took Petra, who's having probably the 2nd best year on tour, get 0 points, while the 8 nutjobs who took Sloane are sitting pretty.

I'm surprised Barty is such a popular pick.  She's playing her best ever tennis, but it's still clay.  She certainly COULD make the second week, but she's gonna run into Serena, probably.  And I honestly think Collins could beat her in R2.  That's just too much risk for a Top 16 player, imo.

I understand why most of the Crew avoided Osaka, but I like her draw and I think she's sufficiently motivated.  After the USO, she was super motivated to prove herself in Australia, and turned it into a Slam win.  Knowing she's not comfortably on clay will motivate her to prove herself yet again.
That said, the 4 that took Sakkari have everyone reason to be comfortable with their chances there.

Adunar and Tenedab took a shot on Keys.  I love that pick.  She could win the whole dang tournament, imo.

As inconsistent as Mugu has been this year, that draw was just too tempting.  Half of us have her.  However, Svitolina looked dangerous against Venus, she was really crushing it out there.  Could Mugu really handle her for BPs?  I'm not so sure now.

Kontaveit's draw is absolute cake, even more so with Petra out.  Doesn't mean she won't tank horribly, but I love her chances to for BPs and even more.

There are so many interesting mid-tier and unseeded picks on the women's side, it's hard to single a few out.  But I find it hilarious that 14 of us have Vondrousova.  I knew she was a solid pick that would be popular, but to be the 3rd-most-picked woman in the entire draw?  When she's unseeded?  Wow.

I thought that perhaps Mladenovic was an idiotic pick and I was just fooling myself, but I have three others who picked her along with me, making her the 2nd most popular female unseeded.  So I feel better about it, plus she didn't give me a -16, which is sometimes all you can ask of your unseeded.

Tono picked Sloane Stephens to win Roland Garros.  Hmm.  Hmmmmmmmm.  Sloane Stephens.  Hmmm.  Care to weigh in, Tono?

The Perfect Bracket will never happen, I'm convinced tongue

Thank you, Tono!  Lyon was a fun ride, for sure. lol


(79 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Week 19


Aix-en-Provence, France (125)
Not long ago, Pablo Cuevas (33, #49, Uruguay) lost in qualies of Estoril 250 to Salvatore Caruso.  However, he was given a lifeline in that tournament as a Lucky Loser.  His first order of business was to utterly annihilate Salvatore Caruso in R1.  From there, Cuevas lost in the Final to Tsitsipas, then followed that up by winning this Challenger.  He is having quite a season on the dirt.
He defeated Quentin Halys (22, #154, France) in the final in 3 sets.  Halys was unseeded, but kind of "took over" the #2 seed after defeating Jiri Vesely in R2.

Busan, South Korea (125)
Another hard court Challenger, another title for Ricardas Berankis (28, #70, Lithuania).  He's now tied with Sascha Bublik for Most Challenger Titles this year.  Berankis is wisely avoiding clay, a surface he's never been very good on.  Will he skip the French, despite his current ranking?
Like in Aix-en-Provence, Berankis was #1 seed here and defeated an unseeded opponent in the final, one Andrew Harris (25, #223, Australia).  Harris was mentioned previously when he made the finals of Chennai.  He's been having a good year and is up to 21-9 on hard courts in 2019.

Rome, Italy (90)
No, not THAT Rome, the Rome Challenger.  This one was won by #4 seed Henri Laaksonen (27, #105, Switzerland), who upset the Italian crowd by defeating #2 seed Paolo Lorenzi in the SFs and narrowly squeaking past #17 Gian-Marco Moroni (21, #216, Italy) in the final.  "The Great Laak" is 11-3 on clay this year and has two 2019 Challenger titles to boot.  What can we expect from him in Paris?  Anything?

Braga, Portugal (80)
Boy, this Joao Domingues (25, #163, Portugal) has quietly had an amazing couple of months.  Runner-up in Tunis 80, QFs of Estoril 250, and now his second career Challenger title here at home in Portugal.  This has gotten him up to 17-8 on clay, much improved from his under .500 effort in 2018.  He was #13 seed here and defeated #2 seed Fertile Bathroom (29, #144, Argentina) in the final in 3 sets.

Shymkent, Kazakhstan (80)
And it's two titles in a row for Andrej Martin (29, #166, Slovakia)!  After winning Nanchang 80 two weeks ago, he's now won this title as well, his winning streak now up to 11 matches!  Amazing!  He even defeated #1 seed Egor Gerasimov here in the SFs quite easily.  However, Andrej isn't the whole story by himself.  The runner up here was a total shocker: Dmitry Popko (22, #359, Kazakhstan).  Young and a favorite of the home crowd, Popko has won SEVEN (!) Futures tournaments on clay so far this year for an absurd clay record of 50-7 for 2019.  The Shymkent organizers wisely gave him a WC here and he did not disappoint, defeating the #3, #5, and #15 seeds and even taking the 1st set off #4 seed Andrej Martin in the final before finally succumbing!  I think Popko should have no trouble staying above Futures level going forward.



Bonita Springs, Florida, USA (100)
A couple weeks ago, Lauren Davis (25, #112, USA) was a mere point away from winning Dothan W80, but she couldn't close it out.  This week, she gets redemption.  And what sweet redemption it is, winning an even higher-value tournament!  Davis was #4 seed here and never even had to play a seeded player.  However, her opponent in the final was a very talented and promising one who I think is proving that she has an extremely bright future: Ann Li (18, #167, USA)!  My second-favorite young Asian American tennis player, Li lost to Davis 5 and 5 in the final, but she continues to show great promise on clay, having now gone 10-2 on the surface over her last 3 tournaments.  Remember, she had an 11-10 pro record on the surface before this year.
Elsewhere, my FIRST-favorite young Asian American tennis player, Claire Liu, was truly busting her slump and annihilating Whitney Osuigwe in R2, only to injure herself and retire from the match.  A bad year gets worse for her, and for me as well.  I really hope she's ok.

Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (80)
Top seed here was Vitalia Diatchenko, who has won a staggering FIVE titles this year and was on a mindblowing 15 match win streak coming into this tournament.  We can assume she made the transition to clay perfectly and won the title and.......... nope, she lost in the first dang round in straights.  Curious.
But her loss was Christina McHale's (27, #119, USA) gain, as she takes the title without dropping a set!  It's McHale's first title of any kind since 2016 and despite her not dropping a set, it did NOT come easy.  She had to beat the likes of Bernarda Pera, Timea Bacszinszky, and finally Stefanie Voegele in the final in order to take this title.  A truly impressive run of matches for Christina.  This is actually her biggest career ITF title.

Luan, China (60)
Han Xinyun (28, #182, China) could scarcely BUY a win in 2019 before this tournament.  She was 4-10 on the year and had lost 6 of her last 8 matches.  And then she decides she's just going to win this W60 title, even defeating #1 seed Zhu Lin along the way.
Han has been ranked as high as #105 in the world and has several career ITF titles, but only one is bigger than this title.  Could this be a good turning point for her in 2019?  Let's see how she does in Strasbourg qualies, starting tomorrow.

Fukuoka, Japan (60)
Major kudos to our seeded women here, as the SFs were contested between the #1, #2, #4, and #6 seeds, with #1 Zarina Diyas and #2 Heather Watson playing each other in the final.  After two TB sets, it was Watson (26, #110, Britain) who took the title, getting her first tournament win at any level since she won Monterrey 280 back in 2016.  Watson came into this tournament on an 8 match losing streak and was 2-9 on the year.  This is a good week for busting slumps. 
Diyas, for her part, did a great job keeping up her winning form from her Gifu W80 title last week, but just didn't have enough left in the tank to win two titles back to back.  She's ranked #90 now.

Rome, Italy (25)
Daniela Seguel (26, #330, Chile) continues to really enjoy the clay this year.  She made the finals of Tunis W25, and now she takes the title here in Rome!  That's good for 12-2 in her last 14 matches.  She even defeated on-fire #1 seed Elena Rybakina in R2 here.  Runner-up here was Gabriella Ce (26, #385, Brazil), making this her 2nd runner-up appearance in as many weeks.

Obidos 3, Portugal (25)
#3 seed Pemra Ozgen (33, #252, Turkey) defeated #1 seed Valentini Grammatikopoulou in SFs, and then #4 Urszula Radwanska (28, #300, Poland) retired with injury in the final.  This makes Ozgen's first title of 2019 ad her 4th at the W25 level, the highest level she has achieved.

Monzon, Spain (25)
I can only assume that the tournament organizers here forgot they were in Spain and accidentally organized an illegal hard court tournament.  Either way, it worked out well for #4 seed Nadia Podoroska (22, #270, Argentina), who won the title, defeating home-favorite #5 seed Cristina Busca (21, #258, Spain) in the final in 3 sets.  Podoroska was once nearly a Top 150 player.  Her hard court record this year is 15-7, which is decent but not great.

W15 Champs for Week 19
- Natasha Subhash (17, #788, USA), 1st career title, 10-3 on the year
- Johana Markova (20, #616, Czech), 1st career title, recently played her first ever Tour level qualies in Prague 280, getting utterly crushed in QR1 by Jasmine Paolini.
- Draginja Vukovic (19, #818, Serbia), 3rd career title, had a dismal 5-7 2019 record before winning this week.
- Aneta Laboutkova (19, #???, Czech), 1st career title, was 3-6 on the year before this. Won the final from 2-6, 6-6 down.
- Eva "Eddie" Vedder (19, #???, Netherlands), 1st career title
- Eleonora Molinaro (18, #480, Luxembourg), 2nd title this year, 4th all time, now 20-4 on clay this year.


Where Are Last Week's Champs Now?
- Sebastian Ofner lost his first match in Heilbronn 2 Challenger.
- Lucas Pouille lost in R2 of Madrid Masters and R1 of Rome Masters.
- Kwon Soon-woo was upset in his first match in Busan, but is currently into the SFs of Gwangju.
- Kamil Majchrzak lost in QFs of Rome 2.
- Taylor Townsend lost in QFs of Bonita Springs W100 to Whitney Osuigwe, the same player who beat her in her last loss before this one.
- Zarina Diyas lost in the finals of Fukuoka W60 (see above).
- Katy Dunne retired with injury in R1 of Fukuoka W60.
- Mirjam Bjorklund lost in R2 of Rome W25, then R1 of La Bisbal W60 after successfully qualifying for the main draw there.
- Sofya Lansere lost in QR2 of Saint-Gaudens W60.
- Valeria Savinykh lost in QFs of Luan W60 to eventual champ Han Xinyun (see above) and is currently into the SFs of Singapore W25.
- Indy de Vroome withdrew from a W15 before her SF match with Eva Vedder (see above).
- Estelle Cascino lost in QR1 of Cagnes-sur-Mer W80, then retired with injury in QR1 of Saint-Gaudens W60.

Tenedab's right.  If the rest of us weren't here, who would he have to defeat, crush, and humiliate?  It's nice for Ol' Tenny to remind us how important we are to him.  <3

ROFL! lol

Yes, those reports might be exaggerated a little, they were more like shirtless cartwheels, really.  But thanks, Tono!

Ha!  Heavy the head that wears the crown, Tenedab. tongue

Thanks, you guys. smile <3

The Top 9 finishers here all had both finalists, so this was a lucrative tournament, but with low margins.  This means that the two Jedi who failed to have either finalist, Drivers and HTS, really suffered, unfortunately, essentially losing 1600 points to almost everyone in one fell swoop.  BOTH of them were in the Top 5 coming into this tournament.
Adunar got the high score here, and it was a big one: 2535 points, only 3 MWs away from a PT.  Really impressive, Ad!  However, that was a mere 55 points above 2nd place Spotec.

Padme Standings
1. Tenedab: 18478
2. Arvis: -1241 ↑51
3. Edu: -2731 NEW 
4. BHP: -2794 ↓918
5. Tono: -3222 NEW 
-- Drivers, HTS eliminated --

Tenedab continues to maintain control here fairly easy, but this has become even more of a one-and-a-half-horse race here with Drivers and BHP falling off so sharply this past week.
Tenedab simply refuses to put a foot wrong here.  Really impressive, Tenny!

Only Drivers, Tenedab, and HTS were willing to use one of their Novak picks here, but boy did it pay off.  1000 points for them that nobody else gets!  Incredible!
Drivers had the high score, a mindblowing 2420 total points, having all 4 SFists and just a few MWs away from a PT.  As impressive as that was, it was less than 100 points above Tenedab in 2nd.  Only 2 MWs separated them.
Although Dtrain had by far the best bracket, he barely used any "big" picks here for Vader, so he finished last place, a full 1870 points behind our winner.  Yikes!  This result will definitely impact Dtrain's place atop the Vader standings!  But will his saving picks here pay off in the long run?  We won't know for a long time, yet.

Overall Vader Standings
1. Tenedab: 16015 ↑1250  ↑3 ranks
2. Murree: -310 ↑55  ↑1 rank
3. HTS: -735 ↑250  ↑2 ranks
4. Dtrain: -780 ↓1045  ↓3 ranks
5. Dwight: -870 ↓605  ↓3 ranks

Congrats to Tenedab on an amazing Madrid!  With his incredibly huge payday he leaps into 1st place here.  I knew it was only a matter of time before we saw him take the lead again, but I didn't expect he'd do it in such dramatic fashion.
As impressive as Dwight was last week in the smaller tournaments, he didn't cash in here.  He *is* still in the Top 5, though, so he's very much in contention.
HTS had only just popped back into the Top 5 and now he's at the #3 spot.  Well done, HTS!

It's crazy how competitive this competition still is this far into the year.


Good grief, what a week for Dtrain!  He was the ONLY one to back Novak to win Madrid, and on top of that the rest of his bracket was amazing, too!  This got him a grand total of 117 points, a staggering 23 above 2nd place Murree!  That's a bigger margin than between first and last in many tournaments.  An absolutely unbelievable result.
Speaking of last place, HTS struggled here and finished in the bottom spot with only 59, almost exactly half of Dtrain's score.  He was tied for 4th overall in Masters 1000 brackets coming in, so that's a bitter blow.  Fortunately, he can use Rome to potentially bounce right back.

ATP 1000 Standings
1. Dtrain: 342 ↑24  ↑2 ranks
2. Murree: -11 ↓22  ↓1 rank
3. Edu: -37  NEW
4. Drivers: -38 NEW
5T. Dwight: -46 ↓27  ↓1 rank
5T. Tono: -46 BOUNCE BACK
-- Snolly, HTS eliminated ---

Boom, Dtrain takes the lead!  Incredibly impressive, man!
Murree, who was in the lead here going into Madrid, finished in 2nd place with a fantastic score and still lost his first place spot.  Sometimes things just aren't fair.
Snolly has gone from 2nd place to all the way to the bottom because he failed to make a Madrid bracket at all. A devastating, season-ending mistake.  He has, however, returned for Rome.  Hope you're ok, Snolly!
Tono, who finished middle-of-the-pack in Madrid, proves that you don't have to do that well to bounce back in this competition, you just have to do better than the guys ahead of you.

ATP Overall Standings
1. Murree: 1081 ↑13  ↑1 rank
2. TE: -8 ↓13  ↓1 rank
3. Edu: -11 ↑5  ↑1 rank
4. Dtrain: -21 NEW
5. Tono: -26 ↓11  ↓2 ranks
-- Dwight eliminated ---

A nice jump into the Top 5 Overall here for Dtrain.  But interestingly it's Murree who makes the news, retaking the lead here from TE.  Murree may have suffered a blow in the Masters 1000 competition, but here his fantastic Madrid result has an even more prestigious payoff.  Nicely done, Murree!



The only thing keeping Arvis' win here from being even more dominant than Dtrain's on the men's side is the fact that he had a buddy join him for the destruction.  Although Arvis still beat 2nd place BHP by 18 (a significant margin), BHP himself beat 3rd place Adunar by a further 20 points, showing that he and Arvis managed to make some truly impressive brackets here!  Arvis finished with a total of 124 points and was the only one to correctly predict the winner, while BHP finished with 106, breaking the 100 point barrier without even having the winner correct, which is extremely rare.
This makes back-to-back 1000/900 bracket wins for Arvis.
On the opposite side of the rankings, we have HTS again.  He managed to pull off the last-place double in Madrid brackets.  Ouch.  Hard to even know what to say to that except, "hey at least you remembered to make brackets at all!"

WTA 1000/900 Standings
1. Arvis: 381
2. BHP: -60 NEW
3. Adunar: -71 ↓39
4. Tenedab: -77 ↓50  ↓2 ranks
5. Edu: -89 ↓57  ↓2 ranks
-- Tono eliminated ---

I try to be totally objective and keep everything in the 3rd person when I write these, but holy crap does this feel good.  I guarantee I'll screw it up, but I'm just going to enjoy that a lead like this will likely never be repeated.  Ever.  By anyone.
I mean, I'm first place on the whole site in 1000/900s.  Hard to not let myself be a little proud of it, ha ha.

WTA Overall Standings
1. Arvis: 945 NEW
2. Tenedab: -5 ↓25  ↓1 rank
3. Tono: -22 ↓2  ↓1 rank
4. Adunar: -26 ↑9  ↓1 rank
5. Edu: -44 ↓7  ↓1 rank
-- Drivers eliminated --

And with that, we have a new Overall #1!  Arvis has really put on a show with some solid WTA picking this year at the higher level tournaments.  It's enough for now to squeak him past the impenetrable Tenedab, but will Arvis be able to be consistent at the smaller tournaments?  He'll need to figure it out if he's going to maintain his lead here.
But for now we have another high-value tournament in Rome, and Arvis and Tenedab have the same Winner and Finalist, so there won't be too huge of a gap between them here.  Could this be a chance for Tono or Adunar to make a move?

Amazing, Dtrain!

Dtrain: the best kind of train.™