10 Thoughts from Cincinnati Qualies

1. We may not have Juan Martin del Potro here in Cincinnati, but we do have the ballkids wearing shorts that look like Del Pajamas.


2. I love photographing certain tennis players. Benoit Paire is definitely one of them. It was great seeing him back on court after a rough few months, qualifying easily for the main draw with wins against wunderkind Alex Zverev and Blaz Rola.




He stopped to take pictures with fans on the way out of his match against Rola, with girlfriend in tow.


3. Bernard Tomic continued his recent pattern of caring about winning matches, beating Farrukh Dustov and Matt Ebden to reach the main draw.

He seems to be pushing the ball around a little more than he did when he was at his “peak” a few years ago, which is something I noticed watching him in D.C., too. However, he was playing a bit more aggressively against Ebden today. Since he’s still in the first few months post-hip surgery recovery, I would imagine it might get better as he continues to feel more comfortable on-court.


4. Teymuraz Gabashvili has to be one of the most entertaining tennis players to see up-close, if only for the faces he makes and the grunts that he emits. He qualified for the main draw with wins over Jimmy Wang (by retirement) and Alejandro Gonzalez.



5. It’s always fun to see which players come to watch other tennis players’ matches. Gabashvili was out on Court 3 for Anna Tatishvili vs. Varvara Lepchenko.


6. Victoria Azarenka was unsurprisingly not in a great mood in her pre-tournament press conference, after injuring her knee in Montreal last week. Starting out the presser with terse answers, she loosened up after a few questions and said she was still in some pain from the injury. She was spotted practicing on the grounds with heavy taping on the knee.




7. During the Toronto final between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the tournament bar had the final on the big screen, and people were gathered around, cheering mostly for any good Federer point. It was funny seeing a bunch of people at a tennis tournament, watching a different tennis tournament. That’s the life of a tennis fan, I suppose.

8. Andy Murray was as dry as can be in his pre-tournament presser.

Asked about his rough year, he said, “I’ve messed up a lot of matches this year.” He then went on to list a bunch of matches to demonstrate his point. The list was very detailed, and amusingly long.

He also joked about talking with Amelie Mauresmo in written messages, saying that her spelling wasn’t very good, and that he always corrects her. It was all good-natured, lest anyone be offended on Mauresmo’s behalf. He said that (as pre-planned) Mauresmo isn’t in Cincinnati with him this week, but she will rejoin him next week to prepare for the US Open.

9. Apparently this happened on the practice courts:


10. Asked about Mardy Fish in his presser, John Isner said that he wasn’t sure whether Fish would return to tennis. He said that Fish is happier now than he ever was as a top 10 player, which is nice to hear. I hope he gets the chance to retire properly if he is in fact done playing tennis.

Amy can be spotted on a tennis court in the Philadelphia area, shanking backhand volleys.

One Response

  1. ST
    ST August 11, 2014 at 2:30 am |

    Amy – very entertaining intro to Cincinnati. Couldn’t help but laugh at the Vika thoughts.

    What would have been really funny is if after she said “I’m not sure if I would live here,” she added the rest of what she was likely thinking, which was probably something along the lines of “Actually I have no idea what LeBron was thinking, to tell you the truth.” 🙂

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