Returning from Illness: 10 Quick Hits

I have been sick with assorted ailments throughout February.  My kids and spouse have also had a mixture of maladies (I love alliteration).  I am back to writing more regularly now.

  1. Stan Wawrinka winning Rotterdam and skipping Davis Cup makes me think he is tired of being on the outside of the Big 4.  I suspect we may see a Big 5 by the end of 2015 or he will supplant either an injured, aging, or mentally fragile member of the Big 4 (Nole is safe in my view).
  2. Ivo Karlovic won Delray Beach and Donald Young enjoyed his best two tournament stretch ever.
  3. David Ferrer wandered around Rio with 9-time and 3-time French Open Champions, but he left Rio with the trophy.
  4. Rafael Nadal is nowhere near panic mode, but his ground strokes seemed to lack some depth and weight vs. Fognini.
  5. Tomas Berdych seems like the hard luck kid.  He has had some nice results in 2015, but then run into brick walls.  Can he make a serious charge at a slam title before the end of 2016?  Reaching a semifinal is almost a serious charge, but the semifinal loss cannot come in straight sets.  Wawrinka’s 2013 US Open semifinal loss was a serious charge.  Berdych’s 2010 semifinal loss at Roland Garros was a serious charge as was his 2010 Wimbledon runner-up finish.  I am rooting for the Big Czech to do something.
  6. Kei Nishikori is becoming as big of a fixture in Memphis as Jerry Lawler is.  What is the over/under on Kei smacking someone on the David Letterman Show?
  7. Dubai is to my mind the top 500 level event on the ATP Tour.
  8. Who knew Roger Federer’s cricket preferences could create a controversy.  I guarantee you that if Federer tells the fans at Cincinnati next year that he loves the Reds that no one in Cleveland will get very upset.
  9. Milos has 4 losses in 2015.  Three of them have come against Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Stanislas Wawrinka.  I guess if he keeps knocking at the door sooner or later it will open.  He will have a shot at Nishikori in Davis Cup.
  10. Brazil selecting a hard court surface for the 2016 Olympic games will likely prevent players avoiding the games due to not wanting to switch from clay to grass to clay to hard court a la the 1992 games in Barcelona.  A 2 of 3 set format on hard courts also means that the medals are not going to be easy to predict.  On clay, Rafa failing to medal would have been as unexpected as Edwin Moses losing at hurdles.  I still think Brazil is more of a clay court haven than anything else so putting the games on a hard court is a curious choice.

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