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Dunn and Dunner: The musings of a Tennis Channel intern

8/5/2013 6:00:00 PM

Ean Dunn is our summer intern at Court Report and has been doing a great job. As a reward, we commissioned him to write some weekly updates for his summer rate – which is free bottled water. Ean is as knowledgeable about tennis as he is bad at playing it. Imagine an Octopus crossed with a Jellyfish crossed with Chris Farley swing a Babolat and you’ll get an idea of Ean on the court. 

But the guy loves tennis. Even more than tennis, he loves Federer. His cubicle is festooned with Federer photos, posters and inspirational messages. It’s hard to say if its more sad or endearing, but the fact that we love having him here probably answers that question.

At any rate … he’ll be supplying a column every week, and I’ll be supplying my commentary. Enjoy.

Aug 5, 2013 

Yikes. Not what I was looking for this week. I went a terrible 1-3, which has added to a painful summer of predictions. I even had a lay up with the Granollers-Monaco final and let it slip through my fingers. I don’t think any of the clay court tournaments should count against me, but that’s just my opinion. If your hunger for tennis is still there, Tennis Channel has the Rogers Cup LIVE from Montreal, where the men are, and Toronto, where the women are squaring off, all week long! Hard courts rule!

Last week: 1-3

Overall: 7-11

I was always shooting to go 7-11, so I’m happy with where I stand…

We’ve got three tournaments this week. The men are in Montreal playing the Rogers Cup, which is the sixth Masters event this year, meaning there are only 3 left after this week (Cincinnati, Shanghai, and Paris). The women are also playing the Rogers Cup but in Toronto, which is a Premier event. Not to be forgotten is the Caoxijiu Suzhou Ladies Open in Suzhou, China, which is a 125K Event.

Last week was a tough one for me, but the silver lining has to be the del Potro-Isner match in Washington DC that I correctly called. Isner looked for a bit like he was going to pull it off, but Delpo came back to life after losing the first set to beat Isner 6-2 in the third. Delpo now looks like a favorite to compete for the US Open in a few weeks. He’s searching for his second Grand Slam title (He won the 2009 US Open).

I must have some sort of blockage in my brain to continue picking Juan Monaco to win tournaments. It seems like every time I pick him, he loses. This week was no different. After taking the first set 6-0, Monaco went away and Marcel Granollers took the title. Typical.

On the women’s side of the Citi Open in Washington DC, Magdalena Rybarikova took the title after upsetting Angelique Kerber earlier in the tournament. She knocked of Andrea Petkovic, who I said could reach the final! Half points awarded to me? No?

In the Southern California Open in Carlsbad, CA, USA, Victoria Azarenka was poised to take the title until she came into the battering ram that is Samantha Stosur. Stosur beat Vika for the first time in her career, taking the title under the sun in California.

It’s time to put the past behind us and look ahead. This week, some players to look out for in Montreal are Grigor Dimitrov. Dimitrov has a tough draw. If he beats Marcel Granollers in the first round, he’ll have to take on Reigning Wimbledon and US Open Champion Andy Murray in the second round. That being said, Dimitrov is the future of our sport, according to me, and is always dangerous to play. Delpo could also give Murray a run in the quarters. I think we’ll see a Djokovic-Murray final, though.

In Toronto, Serena Williams looks to win her second straight tournament (she won in Sweden right after Wimbledon). Vika pulled out with a lower back injury, making Aga Radwanska the next highest seed. I think we’ll see a Williams-Ana Ivanovic final, but don’t quote me on that until my Friday predictions.

Of the ladies playing in China, I think we’ll have a Timea Babos-Misaki Doi final, because I don’t recognize any other names.

That’s it for me today. Check back on Friday to see my picks for the weekend. I’ll look to crawl out of the basement and reach for a 10-11 record. Enjoy watching the Rogers Cup LIVE on Tennis Channel!
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Aug 2, 2013 

As a Roger Federer fan, I was excited for Rog to play on a hard court in Montreal next week. The tennis gods have smote me yet again. Fed pulled out of next week’s Rogers Cup. On twitter, Ivo Karlovic wondered “What should the name of Rogers Cup be now that Roger pulled out?” I wonder the same thing Dr. Ivo. We will get a glimpse into the future of tennis without Roger Federer next week, as most of the Top 20 players will be playing, minus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but enough of that. Here’s this weekend’s picks!

Citi Open.
Washington, DC, USA (ATP 500).

Rain attempted its usual anti-tennis maneuver, but we’re back on track. Juan Martin del Potro had to play two matches on Thursday, winning both. At this point he looks like the favorite, and if you know anything about me, it’s that I like a favorite. He’s got a tough match against Kevin Anderson, but I think he’ll prevail.

The Pick: del Potro d. Isner 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. Big John Isner is in fine form after winning Atlanta last week. But not in fine enough form to beat Delpo.

Citi Open.
Washington, DC, USA (WTA International).

The women are also in the nation’s capital this week. Sloane Stephens was upset in the first round by Olga Puchkova, who was then disqualified in her next match for hitting an umpire with an angry shot in between points. There was no ill-intent, but rules are rules. Wild Card and #1 seed Angelique Kerber looks to win her first title of the year.

The Pick: Kerber d. Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-4. Routine win for Kerber, but don’t be surprised if Andrea Petkovic reaches the final here instead of Cornet.

bet-at-home-Cup
Kitzbuhel, Austria (ATP 250).

Kitzbuhel, which is the last clay court tournament for a while (finally), has already played the semifinals, meaning I’ve only got to pick a winner!

The Pick: Juan Monaco d. Marcel Granollers 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. Both of these men have played well this tournament, but I think Juanaco has what it takes to win here.

Southern California Open.
Carlsbad, CA, USA (WTA Premier).

As I write this, the Quarters are being played. I think it’s a safe bet to say Victoria Azarenka will make a run here. I’m also sticking with my girl Aga Radwanska. Ana Ivanovic, if playing well, can beat anyone in the world, so she may be a threat to Vika.

The Pick: Azarenka d. Radwanska 7-5. 4-6, 7-6. Tight match. Aga lost a heartbreaker last week to Dominika Cibulkova after being up a break in both the second and third sets. She’ll have to endure another tough one.

This has been your look ahead to the weekend. Check back on Monday to see how I did. I’m thinking 4-0 this week to bring me above .500 for the first time. Let’s Go!
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July 30, 2013 

My upward trend has continued, to no one’s surprise. I had another good weekend of picks, with John Isner, Elina Svitolina, and Mikhail Youzhny coming through for me. In the other two tournaments, the player I picked to win it all made the final, but couldn’t pull it out (I’m looking at you Fognini).

Last Week: 3-2

Overall: 6-8

Man, that first week really killed my overall average (much like my first semester of college). In Umag, Gael Monfils wowed the crowd plenty of times, but lost a tight match to Fabio Fognini. The Fog then decided that the first time I picked him to win, he would lose. Tommy Robredo blitzed The Fog, bagelling him in the first set (6-0 for those that didn’t know) on the way to a 6-0, 6-3 win.

At the Bank of the West final, Dominika Cibulkova got her first win over Aga Radwanska. Cibulkova was nice enough to grant Tennis Channel a skype interview, which no doubt gave her the hope and drive to win. Mikhail Youzhny destroyed Robin Haase in Gstaad, Elina Svitolina beat Shahar Peer in Baku, and Big John Isner beat Kevin Anderson in what was the largest combined height final on the ATP World Tour. There were no breaks in the match, which is pretty typical of these big men.

Anyway, here at Tennis Channel, we can’t dwell on the past because there’s always more tennis to be played. We’ve only got four tournaments this week, but there are some big names in action. Here’s a look at the week ahead!

Juan Martin del Potro makes his first post-epic Wimbledon Semi appearance, playing in Washington D.C. at the Citi Open. There are other huge names as well, with Kei Nishikori, Tommy Haas, and Milos Raonic rounding out the top four seeds. They’re all hoping for some much needed hard court points. The Citi Open is a 500 event, so there are serious points to be won.

The Citi Open is actually a men’s and women’s event, with Angelique Kerber taking a wild card and the #1 seed. Sloane Stephens is also in action here, hoping to piggyback off of her Wimbledon quarterfinal. Stephens isn’t the only young American woman in action at the Citi Open as Madison Keys is also here, as well as 17-year-old Taylor Townsend, who received a wild card.

At the Southern California Open in Carlsbad, California, Victoria Azarenka looks to regain her winning ways, and her footing, as she fell early both literally and figuratively at Wimbledon. Aga Radwanska is the #2 seed here. I think we may be in for a Vika-Radwasnka Final, but I‘ll save my picks for Friday.

Last but not least we have the bet-at-home-Cup, not to be confused with the bet-at-home-Open which took place in Hamburg two weeks ago. The bet-at-home-Cup is held in Kizbuhel, Austria, and features Philipp Kohlschreiber and Juan Monaco. The players will be vying for 250 ATP points on the red clay (I am so sick of clay).

That’s it for this week. You can catch action from Kitzbuhel, Carlsbad, and both events in Washington D.C. this week on Tennis Channel! Check back on Friday for my predictions as I look to move out from under .500. Catch you all later!
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July 26, 2013 

It’s already been a crazy week on the ATP World Tour and the WTA Tour; Roger Federer lost in the second round of Gstaad, much to my dismay (I’m blaming his racquet change). Sammy Stosur is out of the Bank of the West Classic and Richard Gasquet is out of the Vegeta Croatia Open. On to the picks!

ATP Vegeta CroatiaOpen. 
Umag, Croatia (ATP 250).
Umag is the place to be. It’s got a cool name and it’s in Croatia. Many are fighting for a chance to win this trophy, but only one man will stand and hoist it on Sunday. With his recent string of wins, why shouldn’t I pick Fabio Fognini? The Fog is playing lights out. We also can’t forget about Andreas Seppi, who’s also good on clay. 
The Pick: Fognini d. Seppi 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. The Fog makes it three in a row (most likely he’ll lose his next match because I picked him).

Baku Cup 2013. 
Baku, Azerbaijan (WTA International).
I dare you to find Azerbaijan on a map without looking it up. Impossible. The top two seeds are already gone (Jovanovski & Vekic), so I’ll have to dig deep for my pick. The real match up is Svitolina-Cadantu. They face off in the semis, vying for a spot in the final. One of them will play the winner of Shahar Peer and Magda Linette. 
The Pick: Svitolina d. Peer 6-1, 6-3. Routine. Svitolina has the game and hasn’t been pushed too hard so far.

BB&T Atlanta Open 
Atlanta, USA (ATP 250).
The Quarterfinals are being played as I type this, but I have a good feeling that I know what I’m talking about. The North American Hard Court swing is under way, which is great news for John Isner. He barely escaped Christian Harrison (Ryan’s younger brother) last night, 7-5 in the 5th. It seems Isner is always running into a Harrison this year.
The Pick: Isner d. Anderson 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. It wouldn’t be an Isner match without a few tie breaks. He’s due for a win, and I think he’ll get it here.

Bank of the West Classic. 
Stanford, USA (WTA Premier).
More hard courts! As I said before, Stosur is out, leaving the door open for Sorana Cirstea, Dominika Cibulkova and Urszula Radwanska. I’d love to see an Aga Radwanska-Urszula Radwanska final, but it isn’t going to happen like that. 
The Pick: A. Radwanska d. Cibulkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Cibby has some pop for a smaller player, and always plays with high energy, but I think Aga is too strong right now.

Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. 
Gstaad, Switzerland (ATP 250).
I’m getting sick of Roger Federer losing, especially on clay. Everyone in the office seems to think King Fed is done, leaving me as the only ambassador for Rog. That’s fine. I’ll take that job. There are other players playing, I guess. Mikhail Youzhny is looking to reach the final, which he will (he’s playing Vic Hanescu). Feliciano Lopez and Stan Wawrinka fought in a tough 3-set battle, which Lopez won after Wawrinka retired.
The Pick: Youzhny d. Lopez 5-7, 6-3,6-4. This is the first time the men have met on clay, but overall, Lopez leads the head-to-head 3-2. I think The Youzh will take this one though.

This has been your look ahead to the weekend. Check back on Monday to see how I did. There’s no doubt in my mind that these are accurate predictions. Intern out.
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July 22, 2013
Editors Note:Ean the intern is a shameless, devout Roger Federer fan. So when King Fed got dumped out of Hamburg to a qualifier, I was seriously concerned for Ean’s mental health. Sure enough, I found him on Monday underneath his desk. He was shivering, clutching a Roger Federer doll and watching the 2003 Wimbledon Final on loop.

And yet you know he’ll be fine. He went 2-2 on predictions this week and declared himself a genius. When the bar for feeling like a genius is being right half the time, it’s tough to stay down for too long. It’s an interesting week on tour as we transition to the US Open Series … and with that, Ean the Intern.


I told you it couldn’t get much worse than last week’s 1-4. I came back as strong as possible, going 2-2. I correctly predicted both women’s finals and all four finalists, picking Meusburger and Serena to win, which is exactly what they did. I’m practically a genius.

Last Week: 2-2
Overall: 3-6

On the men’s side, living legend Roger Federer destroyed hearts worldwide when he lost to Federico Delbonis. This is the second straight tournament Roger Federer has lost to a player ranked outside of the top 100. There’s trouble afoot for Rog, which is very disheartening. The tears have stopped flowing, and my post-loss depression has subsided. If only he knew what his matches do to my psyche.

In Columbia, both Kevin Anderson and Janko Tipsarevic fell, leaving the door wide open for Ivo Karlovic. Dr. Ivo battled back from viral meningitis, which left him unable to remember his name and won his first title in five years, defeating Alejandro Falla in the final.

So what do we have on tap for this week? Two hard court tournaments on the women’s side, 1 hard court tournament on the men’s, as well as two more clay tournaments that the men will be playing.

The women are playing the Baku Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, with Bojana Jovanovski as the first seed. Funny story, one time I was on a trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and I met the President of Azerbaijan. He was a cool guy, and to this day I have no clue why he was there. Anyway…

The ladies are also playing the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, USA. Aga Radwanska and Samantha Stosur are the top seeds there. Both are looking for hard court victories leading into the US Open.

The men are playing in Atlanta, Gstaad, and Umag. Ten points if you know where Umag is.

In Atlanta, John Isner and Kevin Anderson look to win the BB&T Atlanta Open. But the big story this week is the return of Mardy Fish. Fish has been sidelined with health problems stemming from a heart condition. It will be nice to see Fish back on the court, especially the hard courts, where he excels.

Want more clay? No worries, we’ve got plenty of it. Roger Federer has a quick turnaround after his loss last week, as he returns to Gstaad, Switzerland for the Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. Fellow Swiss Stanislas (Stan the Man) Wawrinka is in the draw, as well as clay courter Juan Monaco. Look for the Fed to return to excellence.

Last but not least we have the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open in Umag, Croatia. Did you guess it would be Croatia? I didn’t think so. This is also a clay tournament, where Richard Gasquet is the top seed. But, the resurgence of The Fog, Fabio Fognini, has me searching for answers. Who will win this title? Don’t fret; I’ll let you know on Friday!

Stay tuned for my picks and predictions this Friday. I’ll look to continue my upward trend. I’m thinking 4-1 this week. Adios!

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July 19th, 2013

So I didn’t do too well with my picks last weekend. There’s no way I do worse than 1-4 this week. Federer’s on a roll in Hamburg and in Bogota, Janko Tipsarevic and Kevin Anderson look like they’re headed to the final. On the women’s side, Top seed Mona Barthel is out in Bad Gastein, leaving (2) Annika Beck as the highest seed and in Bastad, Serena Williams has been dominant. Well, my shot at redemption follows…

Collector Swedish Open.
Bastad, Sweden (WTA International).

Tennis in Sweden is a wonderful thing, especially if you like scenic backgrounds during matches. The area surrounding centre court is beautiful, which only accents the wonderful play on clay. Carlos Berlocq dazzled the crowd last week, winning his first title of the year out of nowhere, but I have a feeling the women’s result will be different. Serena is back.

The Pick: Serena Williams d. Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-2. Larsson is the hometown favorite, but Serena is too much to handle for mere mortals. 

Clara Open Columbia.
Bogota, Columbia (ATP 250).

Growing up on hard courts has left me with bad knees and yet a wonderful admiration for the concrete surface. Now that we’re finally back on a hard court, I feel right at home. Big South African Kevin Anderson excels on hard courts, as well as Janko Tipsarevic, so I think these two will meet in a hotly contested final. I’m also giving a shout out to the original big man, Dr. Ivo. That’s Ivo Karlovic, if you didn’t know. The man has valiantly fought back from viral meningitis. He’s made a good showing in his last two tourneys, so congrats big man.

The Pick: Anderson d. Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. Tipsy will put up a fight, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took the match. But Anderson will pull through.

Nurnberger Gastein Ladies 2013.
Bad Gastein, Austria (WTA International).

Weird name. Only two of the top eight seeds remain and ironically, those seeds are 2 and 8. And they face off today. (2) Annika Beck looks to take advantage of a depleted field. (8) Karin Knapp will try to deny her from reaching the semis. On the top half, I’ve got a feeling Andrea Hlavackova will make a run, only because I’ve never heard of the other competitors. But let’s think bold.

The Pick: Meusburger d. Hlavackova. CURVEBALL! Meusburger is last week’s finalist, losing to Simona Halep in Budapest. She’ll beat the winner of Beck-Knapp, (Beck will win that one).

bet-at-home Open – German Tennis Championships.
Hamburg, Germany (ATP 500).

It’s going to be a joy writing this one. Roger Federer. The Man, The Myth, The Legend/Greatest Of All Time, has been dominant after losing the first set of his first match. He dispatched Daniel Brands and Jan Hajek rather easily, and has transitioned well into his new weapon: his blacked-out Wilson racquet. Who else is playing this tournament? Tommy Haas, Fabio Fognini, Juan Monaco, and Nicolas Almagro, whom I’ve dubbed Timbo, The Fog, Juanaco, and Nico. None of these men will face Fed until the final. Federer plays Florian Mayer next, and the winner of Verdasco-Delbonis.

The Pick: Federer d. Haas 7-6, 6-3. 30-something Fed beats fellow senior citizen Tommy Haas (35-years-old) in a thrilling victory. (It’s only thrilling if you’re a Fed Fan, which you all should be). This should leave me 4-0 on the week.

This has been your look ahead to the weekend. Check back on Monday to see how I did. There’s no doubt in my mind that these are accurate predictions. Intern out.


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July 15, 2013

Editor's Note:
Ean lives, breathes and eats tennis. So when he went 1-4 on his predictions this past weekend, it had him questioning everything he thought he knew to be true. He came out of that dark place more confident than ever, and doubled down on his belief that he understands our great sport. Of course, this just doubles the height from which he’ll fall when he goes 1-4 or so again. 

Regardless, nothing makes Ean happier than a Roger Federer sighting. And King Fed returning this week to Hamburg has him babbling with joy. Great for him, not so great for the rest of us as we have to suffer through his daily celebration of Fed. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Fed. But there’s only so many “One more amazing stats” that one can handle. Anyone have a fax they’d like hand delivered? I’ve got the guy.

The week after Wimbledon proved to be just as upset-heavy as The Championships itself. I picked Grigor Dimitrov, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Simona Halep, Sara Errani and John Isner to win championships this weekend. Boy was I wrong. Halep was the only pick to survive, winning in Budapest. It’s okay though, I’m confident I’ll bounce back.

Last week: 1-4

Nicolas Mahut prevailed at the Hall Of Fame Tennis Championships with a win over Lleyton Hewitt, who stunned the Newport crowd when he beat crowd favorite and two-time defending champ John Isner earlier in the draw.Fabio Fognini did what he does best: confound avid tennis fans. In Stuttgart, he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber, making tennis fans everywhere wonder how The Fog does it. Fognini will look to build on this win in Hamburg this week.

Carlos Berlocq beat Fernando Verdasco at the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad. Verdasco continued his recent success after reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals, but the Argentine was too much to handle for Nando, as Berlocq won his first title of the year.

Simona Halep won, which admittedly was a great pick. She knocked off the surprise of the tourney, Yvonne Meusberger in three sets. Halep has continued her streak of dominance, winning her third title of the year.

Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani both made the final (like I said they would), but I picked the wrong doubles partner. Vinci took it in the third after squandering a 4-0 lead. The two close friends seemed drained after the match, which produced some great tennis.

But that was last week. This week… The return of the King, Federer that is. Roger Federer has taken a wildcard into Hamburg, where he returns to the clay after an abysmal 2nd round showing at Wimbledon. He now sits at 5th in the world, the lowest he’s been since 2003. Federer, as well as Tommy Haas and Nico Almagro, are looking to win the bet-at-home.com Open in Hamburg, Germany, which is a 500 ATP event. The field of 64 is packed with great clay court players, so be on the look out for upsets!

But enough with clay already! Now we get to see some hard court action in Bogota, Columbia. Janko Tipsarevic is the top seed at the Clara Open Columbia, hoping for his 5th career ATP title. The 250 event is stacked with good players like Kevin Anderson, who’s the other favorite to make the final, but anything can happen now that we’re on hard courts (Finally).

The women are in a familiar place this week: Bastad, Sweden. The men wrapped up the SkiStar Swedish Open just yesterday, but in come the women. The Collector Swedish Open features top-ranked Serena Williams, and last week’s victor in Budapest, Simona Halep. Serena also suffered a shock loss at Wimbledon this year to Sabine Lisicki, a loss that snapped her 34-match winning streak.

The women are also playing on German clay at Bad Gastein (Gastein Ladies 2013). The top seed here is Mona Barthel, followed by Annika Beck. Neither woman ranks inside the top 30 players in the world, but the field is rich with clay courters. It will be interesting to see who pulls out the win here.

As is customary, on Friday I will have my weekend preview, complete with predictions and championship picks. After all, it can’t get much worse than 1-4, can it?
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Wimbledon fans have nothing on Ean's fandom

July 12, 2013

Wimbledon, sweet Wimbledon. For years this was my favorite tournament on the calendar because my favorite player, Roger Federer, would dominate the grass. He was a shoe-in for the final every single year. Then Sergiy Stakhovsky happened. How Fed lost to him, I’ll never know. But what I do know is that upsets were the key to Wimbledon this year.

If you blinked you would have missed carnage nearly every day this tournament. Seeds dropped like flies, opening the door for old and young guns alike. On the ladies’ side, the top 3 seeds fell before the semi. On the men’s side, the veterans fell, and the established younger players rose. Jerzy Janowicz made his first Grand Slam semi. Andy Murray lifted his second Major trophy, and ended the British drought at Wimbledon, a daunting feat that weighed heavy on him in the past. And Marion Bartoli took the women’s trophy, beating an overwhelmed Sabine Lisicki who had knocked off Serena Williams and her 34 match-winning streak just a few rounds before.

It was definitely one of the crazier majors we’ve seen on the men’s side in the last decade or so, especially when you consider the dominance Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have had. Now we can add Murray to that list; in the last five majors, Murray has won two grand slams trophies (Djokovic, Nadal and Federer each have one during that span). 

So where are we know? I’m glad you asked. Now that the French Open and Wimbledon are over, we shift our attention to the hard court season, which leads up to the final major of the year, the US Open. But even before we hit the concrete surface, we’ve still got clay and grass court tournaments going on.

In Stuttgart, Germany, the 250 event known as the Mercedes Cup will be played on grass. The top seed at the tournament is German Tommy Haas, whose game is well suited for grass (He beat Federer in the final of Halle last year). The only problem for Haas could be his second round opponent Ernests Gulbis. Ernie, as I like to call him is a known giant killer. At Wimbledon he pushed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to his breaking point, quite literally. Tsonga had to retire before the match was over. Haas’ only other trouble could be in the final against countrymen Philipp Kohlschreiber.

If you feel that you haven’t gotten enough grass tennis these past 3 weeks, don’t worry. The Hallof Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island has you covered. This 250 event, which is played at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in RI, features a bunch of top guys. Can John Isner make it three straight championships there? Most likely.The 250 event in Bastad, Sweden is a clay court tournament that will feature a few top 15 players, and a bunch of Swedish qualifiers. The windy conditions will make it tough for a lot of the players, but Tomas Berdych looks poised to take his first title of the year. You can catch all the action from Bastad on Tennis Channel.

The women are in Palermo and Budapest this week, with most players looking to recuperate after a long swing of tennis. In Budapest, there a no big name ladies in action on the clay, but a few younger players such as Alize Cornet and Simona Halep are in the draw.

In Palermo, which is another clay tournament, the top seed is Sara Errani, who went out in the first round of Wimbledon just a few weeks after reaching the semifinals of the French Open.

So there you have it. We’re nearly passed the grass season, which comes and goes quickly, and we’re right at the cusp of the summer hard court season. On the road to the US Open, many players will be looking to solidify their season with wins at these 250-1000 tournaments. Can Roger Federer return to the Top 4? Will Serena Williams recover from her loss? Can Rafael Nadal’s knees stand up to the pressure of playing on a hard court every day? I guess we’ll just have to watch to find out!