When Alexandr Dolgopolov burst onto the ATP, I quickly realized I had a new favorite player. His happy-go-lucky attitude paired with his flashy game sealed the deal for me! I will mention that it hasn’t always been an easy road being on the Team Dolgo fanwagon. Convincing other tennis fans about his talent and potential to be in the top 10 on the ATP has always been a task. While staying a loyal fan through heartbreaking losses, injuries, and low percentage tennis hasn’t always been easy, Alex has remained my favorite through it all. My friends and colleagues at Tennis Warehouse have had to put up with my Dolgo chatter since they met me, and especially during this year’s BNP Paribas Open, so check out the reasons why this talented, bouncy Ukrainian is number one in my book…and hopefully climbing the rankings to make the top ten very soon.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for tennis season to be back in full force! I am counting down the days until the Australian Open! But until then, let’s discuss some player/coach relationships as it seems like lately there has been an influx of new relationships being formed.
It’s not new to see former pros on the coaching end of things, but it seems like lately, all of our favorite players from the past have made their way back to the circuit via coaching. Brad Gilbert has worked with the best of them — everyone from Agassi, Roddick, Andy Murray to Nishikori and even Sam Querrey. Some of those relationships blossomed in chemistry, and some were duds. In 2013, we saw Sharapova hire, and quickly fire, Jimmy Connors — but let’s be honest, there wasn’t enough room on the court for those two superstars. Then there was Martina Hingis’ stint in coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchnkova…until Martina realized how much she missed the limelight and competition.
So, who do we have paired up in 2014?
We’re off and running in the TW Friday Doubles League with two more matches just completed last Friday afternoon. In the first match, Team Johnson & O’Leary (Andy/Spencer) and Team Leftovers (Troy/Mark) went back and forth early on, with long deuce games. After a tough hold by Troy to get the match to 3-4, Andy and Spencer won 11 of the next 12 points to help them secure an 8-3 victory. (Click here for some video footage of last week’s matches!)
In the second match, Team Blonde (Michelle/Brittany) came out with an excellent gameplan and executed to perfection against Team Air Cooled (Granville/Chris). The girls jumped out to an early lead, held off a fierce comeback attempt, and finished strong for an 8-3 victory.
“Since we have played them several times before we knew what to expect – serve and volley, solid volleys, and lots of slice,” Brittany said following the match. ”We wanted to play consistent, smart tennis and then when we had the opportunity to be aggressive to take advantage of that. We were aiming for a high percentage of first serves and returns to start the point, then solid groundstrokes with a lot of shots down the middle. Lastly, we were ready to hit one more volley than we were used to because both of them have great hands.”