Monday, 29 August 2011

American Tennis Player PHotos Gallery

Might as well get the big one out of the way. . . I just don't expect to be typing names like James Blake when I am recapping pro circuit results for y'all. No offense to the big dogs or the little dogs but I just get used to the same set of a couple dozen names every week. So when I saw tennis demigod James Blake listed in the main draw of this event, much less with a WC by his name, I was scratching my head. I mean, a 50K event is not chump change to someone like me but I have to think it is pretty chumpy to a world class athlete like Blake. My first thought was, gee, James Blake is a pretty common name so naaaahhhhh, can't be the same guy. But of course it was. The plot thickens. He's here as a WC, not even seeded. He barely squeaks by Frank Dancevic (CAN) in three sets in R1. Frank who? (an aside - Dancevic was Canada's #1 for a while, has been as high as 65 in the world before a back injury plunged him below 200. Factoid - he was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario). Okay, Blake throttled Lucky Loser Nick Monroe in R2 3 and 2. Was Nick a little starstruck? I would be! Then Blake loses to Young in the semis. So . . . I don't know what to say other than good on 'ya, Donnie and I will be checking the news feeds to see what everyone else has to say about this development.

American Tennis Player
American Tennis PlayerEnough handwringing over Mr. Blake. Let's give props where props are due. Mr. Donald Young also had a scare in the first round from Grega Zemlja (SLO) 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. Now that's a match! The Chicago native and Atlanta resident is having a good year, including stunning world #5 Andy Murray in straight sets at Indian Wells 7-6, 6-3. Young had a similar score in his second round win here over WC Dennis Kudla 7-5, 6-3. While Young battled Zemlja, Kudla also had a tough match in R1 against WC Michael Shabaz 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Young's win over Kudla put him out of the frying pan and into the fire against #1 seed Rainer Schuettler (GER). Schuettler had vanquished Carson Ball and Greg Ouellette to make it to the quarters and had his eyes on the prize. But Young refused to yield after a shaky start and came away with another win 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Once again it took three sets but Young came up the victor again, beating Blake 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 to set up a final against Wayne Odesnik.
American Tennis Player
American Tennis Player
Let's take a moment here to see how Odesnik arrived at the final. In hindsight he appears to have had a much easier time getting there than Young. In the bottom half of the draw, he beat #3 seed Michael Russell in straight sets in R1, then Philip Bester (CAN) easily 2 and 1. The quarterfinal match was more of a challenge with Vasek Pospisil (CAN) across the net. But after sweeping the first set breaker 7-0, Odesnik powered through the second set surrendering only two games. Bobby Reynolds was there to greet him at the semis after eliminating #2 seed Go Soeda (JPN) in R2 and Alex Kuznetsov in the quarters. Once again Odesnik scratched out a tiebreak win against Reynolds in the first set and cruised through the second, 7-6, 6-1.
American Tennis Player
The American men meant business in Tallahassee last week. 15 in the singles main draw, 9 advanced to R2, 6 to quarters. It was an All-American semifinal and final. #7 seed Donald Young emerged as champion but unseeded qualy Wayne Odesnik pushed it to three sets before succumbing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Imagine the roar from the crowd after Odesnik took the second, extending the tennis enjoyment for everyone. Probably not as loud as the roar when Young upset James Blake in three sets in the semis. . . yes, that James Blake. More on that in a minute.

Forestmeadows Tennis Complex
The event was held at the city owned Forestmeadows Tennis Complex. The 19 court facility is split 6 hard/13 clay but this event was held on the hard courts. The Tally Challenger, as it is lovingly known, is in its 19th...


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