COMMENT: At Indian Wells, the Lucky Loser Is Not So Lucky Against Milos Raonic - UBITENNIS
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COMMENT: At Indian Wells, the Lucky Loser Is Not So Lucky Against Milos Raonic

A new kid surprises, maybe gets to the third round, but then he plays the big names.

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Miomir Kecmanovic (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

By Art Spander

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The description, “Lucky Loser,” seems an oxymoron; army intelligence, jumbo shrimp, lucky loser. Except this is tennis, not the military or crustaceans.

 

And tennis is a sport in which love means nothing — getting shut out — so anything goes, including at times a qualifying loser into the main draw.

One of those in this BNP Paribas Open was a 19-year-old from Serbia, Miomir Kecmanovic (no, I don’t know why Serbs, Croats, Russians, Spaniards, French and Austrians can play and Americans can’t).

Kecmanovic finally was eliminated Thursday, as you would imagine when a guy ranked 130th in the world meets up with the guy ranked 14th, who three years ago was ranked third and was a Wimbledon finalist, Milos Raonic.

Yes, Kecmanovic was the loser, and this time not so lucky — except by getting to the quarter-finals he earned $182,000. Raonic, with his big serve, scored a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

When you’re not exempt, as in one of the top money winners, you try to get into a tournament through qualifying. Kecmanovic did try. And failed, if barely, getting beaten in a third-set tiebreaker.

Depressed? That’s an understatement; this led to an overreaction. He was going to quit the sport. Then he came to a realization. “You’re like, ‘OK, you don’t know anything else in life, so you’ve got to stick to this,’” he said.

Someone eligible inevitably withdraws. At the BNP it wasn’t someone, it was three people, all because of injuries, Kevin Anderson (the 2018 Wimbledon finalist), Pablo Carreno Busta and Grigor Dimitrov.

Kecmanovic had a bye in the first round, then won three matches, the last when Yoshihito Nishioka retired because of a bad back after losing the first set. Lucky? Perhaps, but this time Kecmanovic wasn’t a loser.

Nine lucky losers have been ATP tournament winners since 1978, the most recent Marco Ceccinato at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in April 2018. He didn’t have to play against someone as competent as the 28-year-old Raonic, who now has reached the BNP semis a fourth time.

“I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun’s out,” said Raonic. ”The court heats up a little bit. There is a good amount of jump on the court. This year it’s a little bit slower than the previous years, but it allows me to take a few more swipes at a few more shots, and I can do different things with my serve that I need to get ahead in the point.”

Raonic was born in what was then Yugoslavia, but when he was 3 years old his parents, both engineers, emigrated to Canada where Milos, now 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds — if that sounds like a basketball player, well, he took part in an NBA All-Star celebrity game — was introduced to tennis.

He had been introduced briefly, during a match in Australia, to Kecmanovic.

“I played him in Brisbane after — I wasn’t aware until they mentioned it today that he was the Lucky Loser,” said Raonic. “But he beat, fairly handily, Leonardo Mayer down there. That was a tough match.

“Today I knew it was going to be tough. He’s won his last three matches against good players.”

Against a better player, Kecmanovic didn’t win. That is usually what happens in tennis. A new kid surprises, maybe gets to the third round, but then he plays the big names. On Kecmanovic’s side of the draw are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

To borrow a lyric, the road gets tougher.

But Kecmanovic has a few dollars now to bankroll himself. And he has success in a tournament that most players consider just a notch below the four Grand Slams.

“I knew he had nothing to lose,” said Raonic, “and I had to be real.”

If that means taking the match seriously, well, anyone skilled enough to qualify for the main draw of any ATP tournament, whether as a Lucky Loser or not, is world-class. These guys, and on the other side, these women, are great athletes, top to bottom. Or they wouldn’t be on tour.

“Guys bring their best tennis at the beginning of the year,” said Raonic, alluding to the BNP and Miami, which last a week and half as compared to the weeklong events, “because guys have a lot of time. Nobody is really rushing. It’s tough to do it here.”

Even when you get lucky.

ATP

Entry Lists For Hamburg, Atlanta, Gstaad LIVE

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The ATP summer tour continues with the tournaments of Hamburg and Gstaad in Europe and Atlanta in USA. 

 

The Hamburg European Open is an ATP 500 event (former Masters) played on the red clay courts of the Rothenbaum Tennis Center. In this year’s field, Dominic Thiem will be the first seed, followed by Alexander Zverev, who received a Wild-Card, Fabio Fognini and the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire and Philipp Kohlschreiber will compete as well.

Two ATP 250 events will take place in Atlanta and Gstaad. The BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia (USA) has been played on hard courts since 2010, when Mardy Fish captured the first edition’s title. Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been the only non-American winner, in 2016. Five-time former champion John Isner leads the entry list; Alex De Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Pierre-Hugues Herbert have committed to play as well.

The Swiss Open Gstaad, held in the red clay courts of the Roy Emerson Arena, has one of the most beautiful views in the tour, inside the Swiss Alps. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Fernando Verdasco and Dusan Lajovic will be among the favourites, while the defending champion Matteo Berrettini will not play due to injury.

NEWS: Grigor Dimitrov has accepted a Wild-Card into Atlanta.

 

ATP 500 Hamburg (GER, Red Clay), entry list:
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Klizan, Martin (SVK)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
SE Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
WC Zverev, Alexander (GER)
WC Zverev, Mischa (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
1. Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
2. Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
3. Dellien, Hugo (BOL)

 

ATP 500 Hamburg, qualifying:
Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
OUT Coppejans, Kimmer (GER)
OUT Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
OUT Brown, Dustin (GER)
OUT Otte, Oscar (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
IN Domingues, Joao (POR)
OUT Marterer, Maximilian (GER)
IN Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
IN Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
IN Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
OUT Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
1. Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
2. Miedler, Lucas (AUT)

 

 

ATP 250 Atlanta (USA, Hard), entry list:
Isner, John (USA)
OUT Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
OUT Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Copil, Marius (ROU)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
IN Klahn, Bradley (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Schnur, Brayden (CAN)

 

ATP 250 Atlanta, qualifying:
OUT Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Klahn, Bradley (USA)
OUT Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
OUT Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
OUT Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
Andreozzi, Guido (ARG)
Jung, Jason (TPE)
Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
Kwon, Sun-Woo (KOR)
Harrison, Ryan (USA)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Paul, Tommy (USA)
OUT Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Bolt, Alex (AUS)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN (Alternate)
IN (Alternate)
IN (Alternate)

OUT Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Halys, Quentin (FRA)
1. Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
2. Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
3. Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
4. Young, Donald (USA)
5. Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)

 

 

ATP 250 Gstaad (SUI, Red Clay), entry list:
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Lajovic, Dusan (ITA)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Darcis, Steve (BEL) PR
Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Lorenzi, Paolo (ITA)
Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Fabbiano, Thomas (ITA)
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

 

ATP 250 Gstaad, qualifying:
Novak, Dennis (AUT)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
OUT Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER) PR
Baldi, Filippo (ITA)
OUT Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Trungelliti, Marco (ARG)
Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
OUT Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
Napolitano, Stefano (ITA)
Arguello, Facundo (ARG)
Galan, Daniel-Elahi (COL)
Galovic, Viktor (CRO)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
OUT Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
OUT Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
IN Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
IN Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
OUT Masur, Daniel (GER)
OUT Weintraub, Amir (ISR)
OUT Kamke, Tobias (GER)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
IN Moroni, Gian Marco (ITA)
IN Robert, Stephane (FRA)
IN (Alternate)

1. Escobar, Gonzalo (ECU)
2. Pavlasek, Adam (CZE)

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ATP

ATP Newport Draw: Last Chapter Of Grass Season

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After Wimbledon, the grass court season moves to Newport (Rhode Island, USA), for the historic tournament taking place at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. 

 

The Newport’s grass tennis courts have hosted the legends of the sport since 1881, when the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championship was played.  The Hall Of Fame Open, an ATP 250 event, has been part of the calendar since 1976; Vijay Amritraj, Greg Rusedski, Taylor Dent, Mark Philippoussis and Lleyton Hewitt are some of the past singles champions.

Because of its location and its low-bouncing courts, Newport is not an ordinary tournament: unlike the other grass tournaments, it still suits the old-school game well, as some of the recent winners witness (Rajeev Ram, Ivo Karlovic, Nicolas Mahut). The atypical conditions of play also supported some surprising runs to the final of low-ranked players, like those of Leander Paes (1998), Prakash Amritraj (2008), Matthew Ebden (2017) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (2018).

Three-time champion John Isner is the top seed, USA’s Steve Johnson is the defending champion, while the runner-up is the serve and volley specialist Ramkumar Ramanathan, who will start his run from qualifying. Adrian Mannarino, Ugo Humbert, Mischa Zverev and Sergiy Stakhovsky will compete as well.

 

ATP NEWPORT (USA, RI, Grass), main draw:
Isner, John [1 WC, USA] bye
Gray, Alastair (WC, GBR) vs Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
Ebden, Matthew (AUS) vs Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
Kudla, Denis (USA) vs Klahn, Bradley [8, USA]
Humbert, Ugo [4, FRA] bye
Ramanathan, Ramkumar (Q, IND) vs Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
Tomic, Bernard (AUS) vs Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Eubanks, Christopher (WC, USA) vs Johnson, Steve [5, USA]
Karlovic, Ivo [6, CRO] vs Andreozzi, Guido (ARG)
Zverev, Mischa (GER) vs Smyczek, Tim (Q, USA)
Granollers, Marcel (ESP) vs Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
Thompson, Jordan [3, AUS] bye
Bublik, Alexander [7, UZB] vs Bolt, Alex (Q, AUS)
Troicki, Viktor (Q, SRB) vs Jung, Jason (TPE)
Istomin, Denis (UZB) vs Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Mannarino, Adrian [2, FRA] bye

 

ATP NEWPORT (RI, USA, Grass), qualifying draw:
Fratangelo, Bjorn [1, USA] vs Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
Poling, Karl (WC, USA) vs Troicki, Viktor [6, SRB]
Bolt, Alex [2, AUS] vs Karlovskiy, Evgeny (RUS)
Weintraub, Amir (ISR) vs Rubin, Noah [7, USA]
Ramanathan, Ramkumar [3, IND] vs Cressy, Maxime (WC, USA)
Sugita, Yuichi (JPN) vs Halys, Quentin [5, FRA]
Ito, Tatsuma [4, JPN] vs Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)
Smyczek, Tim (USA) vs Krueger, Mitchell [8, USA]

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ATP

Entry Lists For Newport, Bastad, Umag LIVE

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After Wimbledon, three ATP 250 tournaments will take place in USA, Sweden and Croatia from the 15th to the 21st of July. 

 

The Hall of Fame Open in Newport will put an end to the 2019 grass-court season, while the Swedish Open in Bastad and the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag will be played on clay courts. Steve Johnson, Fabio Fognini and Marco Cecchinato are the defending champions.

 

ATP 250 Newport (RI, USA, Grass), entry list:
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
Johnson, Steve (USA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
Klahn, Bradley (USA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Andreozzi, Guido (ARG)
Zverev, Mischa (GER)
Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
WC Isner, John (USA)
WC Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
WC Gray, Alastair (GBR)
(SE)
(SE)
Alternates:
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Jung, Jason (USA)
1. Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
2. Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
3. Bolt, Alex (AUS)

 

ATP Newport, qualifying:
OUT Jung, Jason (USA)
Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Bolt, Alex (AUS)
OUT Lacko, Lukas (SVK)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)
Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
Halys, Quentin (FRA)
Rubin, Noah (USA)
Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
OUT Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Karlovskiy, Evgeny (RUS)
IN Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)

IN Smyczek, Tim (USA)
IN Weintraub, Amir (ISR) PR
IN Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
1. Purcell, Max (AUS)
2. Aragone, JC (USA)
3. Arevalo, Marcelo (ESA)

 

 

ATP Bastad (SWE, Red Clay), entry list:
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Cuevas, Pablo (FRA)
Dzumhur, Damir (BIH)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
OUT Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Kovalik, Jozef (SVK) PR
Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(SE)
(SE)
Alternates:
IN Darcis, Steve (BEL)
IN Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
OUT Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Novak, Dennis (AUT)
1. Maden, Yannick (GER)
2. Ymer, Elias (SWE)
3. Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

 

ATP Bastad, qualifying:
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
OUT Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
OUT Novak, Dennis (AUT)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Domingues, Joao (POR)
Horansky, Filip (SVK)
Arguello, Facundo (ARG)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Lestienne, Constant (FRA)
Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
Diez, Steven (CAN)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
IN Huesler, Marc-Andrea (SUI)
OUT Krawietz, Kevin (GER)
IN Grigelis, Laurynas (LTU)
OUT Sedarusic, Nino (CRO)
OUT Satral, Jan (CZE)
OUT Doumbia, Sadio (FRA)
OUT Munoz De La Nava, Daniel (ESP)
OUT Berrettini, Jacopo (ITA)
OUT Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA)
IN Ocleppo, Julian (ITA)
1. Mertens, Yannick (BEL)
2. Olivetti, Albano (FRA)
3. Zhurbin, Alexander (RUS)

 

 

ATP 250 Umag (CRO, Red Clay), entry list:
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
OUT Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Klizan, Martin (SVK)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
OUT Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER)
Fabbiano, Thomas (ITA)
Lorenzi, Paolo (ITA)
Daniel, Taro (JPN)
WC Sedarusic, Nino (CRO)
(WC)
(WC)
(SE)
(SE)

Alternates:
OUT Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
IN Sousa, Pedro (POR)
IN Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
1. Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
2. Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)

 

ATP Umag, qualifying:
OUT Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
Baldi, Filippo (ITA)
Trungelliti, Marco (ARG)
Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
Napolitano, Stefano (ITA)
Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
OUT Galovic, Viktor (CRO)
Balasz, Attila (HUN)
OUT Sinner, Jannick (ITA)
OUT Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Kavcic, Blaz (SLO)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
OUT Quinzi, Gianluigi (ITA)
IN Brkic, Tomislav (BIH)
IN Pavic, Ante (CRO)
OUT Doumbia, Sadio (FRA)
OUT Sakamoto, Pedro (BRA)
IN Torebko, Peter (GER)
OUT Gonzalez, Alejandro (COL)
OUT Munoz De La Nava, Daniel (ESP) PR
OUT Berrettini, Jacopo (ITA)
OUT Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA)
IN Barranco Cosano, Javier (ESP)
OUT Simon, Tobias (GER)
IN Mertens, Yannick (BEL)
OUT Olivetti, Albano (FRA)
IN Zhurbin, Alexander (RUS)
1. Ornago, Fabrizio (ITA)

 

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