Category Archives: Player Facts

Mikhail Kukushkin: On his way back!

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– With his performances on last weeks, Mikhail Kukushkin has comebacked where I think he belongs, the Top-100. He has climbed his way back into where I think he belongs, the Top-100, after a R3 showing in the USO, and two Challenger wins. But it hasn’t just been a three week work, as 2013 has seen him climb from #324 in June ( his drop in the rankings was due to a combination of injuries in the 2nd half of 2012 and not being able to defend his early points from 2012 [ he reached R4 in the AO and R3 in Monte-Carlo] ) to finally #100 this week. This year he’s won 3 CH’s [ Kosice, Istanbul-2 and Izmir] , and has reached 2 finals [ Tanger and Astana]. He didn’t appear much on the main tour ( 2-4 record, plus one loss to Hajekon Davis Cup), but he performed great in the USO, as he qualified and reached R3, losing to Ferrer in a hard-fought match. I think it’s time again for Mikhail to play ATP’s regularly, and I think he will end the year around #85.

Some Facts about him:

– Reached his 1st SF in Moscow 09′ ( aged 21).
– Won St.Petersburg over #10 at the time Youzhny in 2010.
– He ended 2010 in the Top-60.
– He made his maiden GS R4 in the AO, beating #23 Troicki and #15 Monfils in 5 sets.
– He also made his only M-1000 R3 in Monte-Carlo 2012 ( beating #20 Florian Mayer).
– Is yet to beat a Top-10 player.
– Has 9 Challenger titles in his résumé.

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Mannarino in Top-100 doors

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– Remember that crafty entertaining lefty which was as high as #49 in 2011?

Well, he’s back on track after a woeful 2012 ( 1 ATP win, vs Anderson & a Challenger final in Istanbul) which saw him go down to #198. This season, though he’s been much better, at least in the Challenger circuit. He started the season winning Noumea, Sarajevo, was a finalist in Mexico and has also made a couple of QF’s and SF’s. He’s lacking an ATP result [ lost in AO R1, Montpellier R1 & Marseille QR1] and a top-100 win [ best was vs #107 Sela in Mexico]. Adrian was known for beating higher ranked players and then lose to players who seemed worse than him. This year has been the other way round, as he’s got more solid, but consequently more predictable. I would like to see him like in 2011, where he was an ATP regular and got great wins [ Del Potro, Simon ^2, Monaco, Chela, Gulbis, took a set off Ferrer…]. He’s currently standing as #109 in the rankings, and a good CH week would get him back to where I think he belongs, the Top-100.

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Tomas Berdych going for Top-5

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It’s been a great start of the year for Tomas Berdych, as he is standing #4 in the RACE this year, with a 18-4 record with some really solid tennis, which makes us think he can finally assault Top-5 this year and why not try to win his maiden GS.

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Nalbandian’s comeback- Sao Paulo

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After a tough 2012 which despite injuries [ he missed the last quarter of the season] still saw him defeat the likes of Simon, Tipsarevic, Tsonga, F.Mayer and Monaco David Nalbandian seems more or less back in track. He purposedly missed the Oz swing to prepare Davis Cup fully ( though he just played doubles he looked great w/Zeballos in defeating Kas/Kamke) and then flew to Sao Paulo, where he has reached the final in emphatic fashion ( he had a great win vs #11 Almagro in the QF’s, saving a matchpoint and winning in the 3rd set TB with a trademark BH winner return). He faces rusty Nadal on the F, so there’s definitely a chance. With an Argentina vs France tie coming up, this return of David is very needed for Argentina hopes of clinching the Davis Cup, which has been running away from them in the last few years ( they were runner-up in 2007, 2008 and 2011). I think that winning Davis Cup would be the perfect ending for Nalby’s career, so good luck David!

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David Goffin mental strength in doubt

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It’s often tough to establish yourself after a breakthrough year ( it happened to Tomic in 2012, Golubev in 2011, Stebe in 2012, Ebden… and many other players), and it seems to be happening to David Goffin this year, and that’s a shame because the Belgian is in my opinion such an exciting prospect and he has such a good timing off both wings. This year he has a 1-4 record, with just 1 win over Ebden in Brisbane R1. Almost in all his losses he has had a chance of winning, specially in his 5 set losses vs Verdasco in Oz R1 after being two sets to one up with a break in the 4th, and his most recent loss vs Troicki on Davis Cup R1, after squandering a two sets to love lead. Even though he showed some improvements on his game, like more firepower on his groundies and with his serve, he loses all that on key moments, showing a huge lack of mental strength. I hope it’s just a temporary slump, and I think it will be that, because a player of David’s caliber can’t spend too much time without winning. Allez David!, all the best

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga awful season vs Top-10’s.

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– Throughout the course of the years, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been regarded as one of the most dangerous players for the Top-5 out there, among with Soderling, Berdych or Nalbandian & Davydenko on their prime, but he was also tagged as a player who could lose to nearly anyone on a bad day. But this changed radically this season, as he has been awful vs Top-10 players all year long ( a record of 1/15!) , but his consistency vs lesser players has made him stay in the Top-10 ( he has only been defeated 10 times by a non Top-10 player). Now we’ll some stastics from him vs Top-10’s.

Overall record by season vs Top-10’s:

2012: 1/15 [ 6,25%].
2011: 10/13 [ 43,47%].
2010: 1/5 [ 16,66%].
2009: 5/5 [ 50%].
2008: 8/5 [ 61,53%]
2007: 0/3 [ 0%].
Previously to 2007: 1/1 [ 50%].

Overall record: 26/47 [ 35,61%].

Losses not to Top-10 players this season:

1- #26 Nishikori- Australian Open R4.
2- #74 Nalbandian- Indian Wells R4.
3- #11 Isner- Davis Cup QF’s.
4- #15 Simon- Monte-Carlo QF.
5- #134 Haas- Munich R2.
6- #20 Dolgopolov- Madrid R3.
7- #69 Dodig- Queens R3.
8- #47 Chardy- Toronto R2.
9- #52 Klizan- US Open R2.
10- #58 Malisse- Valencia R1.

Losses not to Top-10 players on his Top-20 seasons:

2011: 11.
2010: 11 ( though he missed half of the season).
2009: 15.
2008: 8 ( missed again half of the season).

Top-10 players he has lost this year to:

1. Djokovic- 5 times ( Masters Cup RR, Beijing F, Olympics QF, Roland Garros QF & Rome QF).
2- Berdych- 3 times ( Masters Cup RR, Stockholm F & Shangai QF).
3- Del Potro- 2 times ( Dubai QF & Marseille SF).
4- Murray- 2 times ( Masters Cup RR & Wimbledon SF).
5- Ferrer- 1 time ( Paris QF).
6- Nadal- 1 time ( Miami QF).
7- Isner- 1 time ( Winstom Salem SF).

Took two sets off Djokovic in RG ( even had two MP’s), a set off Berdych in Stockholm, a set off Murray in Wimbledon SF, a set off Nadal in Miami & a set off Isner in Winston Salem.

Also, he had the same wins on tour this year as in 2011, 55.

Let’s see how he fares vs Top-10 players on 2013, he has got a coach after nearly two years without one ( he hired Roger Rasheed, former coach of Hewitt & Monfils), I think we all wish the frenchman gets back to his best level, in which he was a real trouble for the Top-4’s.

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5 set addicts.

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– Nowadays there are some seeded players which are almost always playing five set matches on early rounds on Slams no matter the level of the opponent is, mostly due to their flashy but inconsistent tennis. We will analyse the players which are playing more five setters on early GS rounds at the moment:

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