Break Points: January 8, 2014

Break Points is a roundup of tennis news, videos, links, and tweets. If you have something you think we should include, email us at

Notable results:

  • Auckland (R2): Jack Sock d. (2) Tommy Haas, 6-4, 6-4
  • Auckland (R2): Steve Johnson d. (5) Kevin Anderson, 7-5, 6-4

Former USC Trojan Steve Johnson played 5 sets of tennis yesterday, beating Baghdatis in three, and then this upset of Kevin Anderson. The American men are on fire in Auckland!

  • Auckland (R2): Roberto Bautista Agut d. (6) Benoit Paire, 6-3, 6-4

Bautista Agut couldn’t repeat his run to the Chennai final, but he’s doing his best to make up for that in New Zealand.

  • Hobart (R2): Estrella Cabeza Candela d. (3) Elena Vesnina, 4-6, 6-2, 4-1 RET
  • Hobart (R2): Monica Niculescu d. (6) Mona Barthel, 7-6 (5), 6-1

Last year’s winner and runner-up get bounced on the same day.

  • Sydney (R2): Bethanie Mattek-Sands d. (1) Agnieszka Radwanska, 7-5, 6-2

A good time to remember that last year Aga won the title by double-bageling Cibulkova.

  • Sydney (R2): Lucie Safarova d. (6) Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 7-6(7)
  • Sydney (R2): Alexandr Dolgolpolov d. (2) Jerzy Janowicz, 6-2, 6-2

Great way to start the season, Jerzy!

  • Sydney (R2): Denis Istomin d. (7) Marin Cilic, 6-3, 6-4
  • Sydney (QF): Tsvetana Pironkova d. (3) Sara Errani, 7-6 (2), 6-3

Pironkova is in the semifinals of a Premier event held on hard courts. Time to revive #Mayans? She’s also on a 6-match winning streak (had to go through qualies to get in the draw).

  • Sydney (R2): Sergiy Stakhovsky d. (6) Julien Benneteau, 6-3, 6-2

Token “LOL Benny” of the week.

  • Sydney (QF): Madison Keys d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 3-2 RET

More bad luck for Mattek-Sands, but Keys keeps her run going and makes her second ever WTA-level semifinal (first was last year in Osaka, where she lost to Stosur)

News and Links:

Nicolás Almagro is out of the Australian Open. Silver lining: he avoids the potential PTSD from last year.

Fun interview with Pironkova after her win over Errani. She’ll face Kvitova next:

The ongoing saga of Juan Martín del Potro and his Wilson racquets continues – the man is down to only two sticks:

“I was close to change, but I’m not feeling 100 percent at the moment,” said del Potro, who joked that if he does break both racquets in Melbourne, he will ask fellow Wilson player Roger Federer to borrow one. “Hopefully me and Wilson, we want to change, [we are] really close and really soon. I need to change racquets because I use [the same racquet] a lot. I think the other guys, they have advantage to me when they play with six or eight racquets in one match.”

Kamakshi Tandon lists 40 things that have changed since the end of the 2013 season and the beginning of the 2014 Australian Open:

15. Serena Williams is focusing on trying to be ”more relaxed” during matches this season. “If I play relaxed, I just feel a lot better. I’m really going to try to incorporate that mainly in the Grand Slams,” Williams said early on at Brisbane.

16. But it only goes so far: “One of my goals is to stay relaxed, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of not having the intensity,” she added after playing a tough match in the final.

Non-tennis: this piece on how the baseball media covered the infamous steroid era is absolutely fascinating. As is the process by which Dan Le Batard gave his hall of fame vote to the Deadspin readers.

Tennis on Twitter:

One Response

  1. TheHumbleOne
    TheHumbleOne January 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm |

    Not bad, but I’d say that “Laver”-fellow needs to step in & punch those volleys a bit more…

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