If I Were A Betting Cat, I’d Be Broke

Furriends, we are wrapping up the clay court season, and that means the start of the French Open!

Image: lizabiggers.com

We are only two days in, and everything is already topsy turvy!

Here are some French Open wagers I would have lost!

I would have been all in for Dominic Thiem to win the whole tournament! But yesterday, in an inexplicable match, the second best clay court player right now, and my purrsonal favorite, lost in the first round to Pablo Andujar! Thiem took some time off earlier this season to get his mind and body right, so I guess he’s just not totally back yet.

Given his track record on clay, I would have bet a straight flush against Daniil Medvedev winning a single match at Roland Garros! But sure enough, this morning, he wins his first round match in straight sets. Now whose $$$ would be flushed?

I would have played the odds and gave Francis Tiafoe the upper edge against fellow aging American, Steve Johnson. Tiafoe is young and fierce, so I thought he had the upper hand in this first round match. I was wrong. Steve Johnson came back from two sets down, to win it in five.

I would have never made a blind bet that World #1, Naomi Osaka, would withdraw from the French Open because she doesn’t want to do the press conferences, stating mental health issues. She was fined $15,000 for skipping her press conference following her first round match. She, subsequently, withdrew from the tournament. I just think it’s a real shame it had to escalate to this.

Image:istockphoto.com

I would have won a small stack of change for this last bet: Roger Federer winning his first round match. He’s 39 years old, he’s been out with knee issues since before the pandemic, and clay is not his favorite surface. He looked good today, taking his opponent down in three sets. His next opponent is Marin Cilic, who, if I’m being purrfectly honest, is also in the twilight of his career, so this should be interesting.

The only wager that is safe to make at this point is the one you don’t make!

So in the wise words of the great American country singer, Kenny Rogers:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em,

Know when to fold ’em,

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run.

And I know when to just relax on the sofa and keep my money in my pockets!

And….He’s Gone!

Well, Federer’s return was a short one! Today, he faced Nikolos Basilashvili, and he just couldn’t make it happen.

Now here’s a mini-confession. Any time I get to see Basilashvili play, it’s always a special treat (not as special as the Greenies my mom just brought home) and I will most likely root for him. There is just something about his brooding eyes that I get lost in. Wouldn’t you agree?

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Now, don’t be sad for Roger! It was great to see him back! And he felt good about his return. From ESPN.com:

“I would have loved to play tomorrow, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, I’m also happy to get a rest,” he said. “I’m happy how I played today. I’m happy how I did yesterday. I’m happy I am back on the Tour. I’m pleased I came here to Doha. So it’s really, really a positive return for me.”

I’m sure we will see him soon…maybe playing some clay court tournaments, getting ready for Roland Garros? Who knows?

Another player who was here yesterday and now he’s gone…Dominic Thiem! My hopes for him is that he didn’t peak at the US Open last year. I would be terribly disappoint. Please Domi, my tender kitty heart couldn’t take it.

I do want to give a quick meow-out to Taylor Fritz! He had a great match today against Denis Shapovalov. Go Taylor!

He’s Baaacckkk!!!

That’s right my furriends, Roger Federer is back!

Roger Federer - GETTY
Image: Getty

He played his first match in Doha today since the pandemic sent everything into a grinding halt last year. Honestly, he would have taken this hiatus whether we had the pandemic or not. He announced he would be out for knee surgery last year at this time.

Anymeow…

He played Englishman, Dan Evans in round 2 of the Qatar ExxonMobile Open and, kittens, he looked purty good!

The first set was close and went to a tiebreak that Federer won, 7-6. Evans got the best of the second set, 6-3. And then Federer snapped back to and won the third set 7-5. It was a close match the whole way. Dan Evans was in good form, so it could have gone either way.

Even though, earlier this year, I said that Federer should retire, it was really great to see him back on court!

Also back in play this week…Dominic Theim, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, and all the players in between!! It’s going to be an excellent week of tennis for this old cat!

Welcome back, Herr Federer!

New Year’s Resolutions I Wish The Players Would Make – 2021 Edition

It’s that time of year again…new year, new beginnings, new resolutions. I, for one, always make one solitary resolution each year – to watch as much tennis as I can!

Reader warning: this post will include some very UNPOPULAR opinions, so read with caution AND an open mind. This is only one feline’s opinion, so read with interest, but leave purrsonal feelings for any one player out of it.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, here we go!

Dominic Thiem – I resolve to win at least one major this season. If I had my preference, it would be the French Open. I know that Frazier has been predicting my success at Roland Garros for years now, so I resolve to make it so!

Reports: Dominic Thiem to play for Austria at ATP Cup 2021, father Wolfgang to be captain
Image: Sportskeeda.com

Stefanos Tsitsipas – I resolve to cut my hair! I know most of my fans have grown accustomed to my pirate-like locks, but hey, even Roger Federer eventually cut his hair and turned out to look quite handsome. I also resolve to stop being “Greek philosopher” on social media. I’m just a 20-something year old guy trying to make my way in the world. I don’t always have to be the Jack Handy of the ATP and have Deep Thoughts.

Image: celebvogue.com

Adidas and Nike – We resolve to design tennis kits that are shocking, bold, innovative! We want to give viewers something to talk about.

Coco Gauff – I resolve to make it to at least a quarterfinal of a grand slam this year! Yes, yes…I know I am only 16 years old, but I have raw talent. Some would even call me a phenom. I recognize this is a lot of pressure, but at the very least…I will try my best!

Image: tennis365.com

Jen Brady – I resolve to build on the momentum of the last half of 2020 and make it to at least one grand slam final! I want to give Frazier and the rest of the tennis fans some American tennis to be proud of! I’m good. I’m really good, and I can’t wait for 2021 to improve on my successes!

Image: tennisaccent.com

Vika Azarenka – I resolve to win at least one grand slam this year, maybe the US Open! I know that, at 31 years old, time may not be on my side, but have you seen what Serena has been able to accomplish after 30? I got this!

Image: essentiallysports.com

Roger Federer – (OK furriends, here’s where it might get dicey…I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am arguably the best male tennis player of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I am 39 years old. I missed most of 2020 due to surgeries on my right knee, not the pandemic. I have already withdrawn from this year’s Australian Open, but I will be focusing on Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics. I think it’s time to officially call it a day, and retire. Retire with dignity, like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi!

Image: express.co.uk

Serena Williams – (again, I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am undoubtedly the best tennis player, male or female, of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I’ve beat all the records. I’m an icon! I have a beautiful family who loves and supports me. My life is full. I have it all, and then some!

Image: usmagazine.com

All tennis players – we resolve to follow the rules! All of the rules. We are still lucky enough to play our sport globally, even during a worldwide pandemic. Tournament officials have certain health and safety protocols in place so that we can continue to travel, play and make our livings doing what we love. We must respect them and do as they say. They are working with experts on this, and hey, we are just tennis players, not scientists. We will trust they are working in our best interest because we are working in everyone’s self interest…including the fans who have patiently waited for the return of tennis!

OK feline friends, what do you think? Will any of these resolutions come to fruition? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

The tennis season opens this week with two tournaments for the men, the Delray Beach Open in Florida and the Antalya Open in Turkey, and one tournament for the women, the Abu Dhabi Open. The first grand slam, the Australian Open, which usually takes place toward the end of January, has been pushed back to February 8. They played a little shuffleboard with the tournament schedule this year, but that’s OK. It’s keep me on my paws and I will be sure to bring you all of the excitement of the 2021 tennis season.

A Little Shift In The ATP Rankings

What was that? Did you feel something? Was that a little rattle, a little hum? Did the Earth tremble just a little bit? It’s subtle, but I could swear it did!

Maybe there was no 8.0 earthquake, but let me meow to you…there is a shift happening in the ATP rankings right now and I am super excited!

Image result for novak djokovic shanghai 2018Image: atpworldtour.com

This past week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Roger Federer lost in the semifinals to 21 year old, Borna Coric, and Novak Djokovic won the title! What does this all mean, you ask? It might sound a bit complicated, but follow me here (simplified version)…

Earlier this year, I explained a bit about ATP points in a post titled Everything Counts In Large Amounts. Since then, there’s been a lot of movement in the ATP rankings, which affects who gets to play in the ATP Finals in November.

The Shanghai Rolex Masters was a 1000 level tournament. That means the winner gets 1000 points, and every person after that gets fewer points, depending on how far they got in the tournament. For instance, the loser of the final match gets 600 points, if you make the semifinals you get 360 points, etc. If you win the year before, you have to defend your points or they are lost.

Roger Federer won the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2017. This year, he only got to the semifinals (loss in points), and Novak Djokovic won (gain in points). Last year, Roger won Wimbledon (a 2000 point grand slam), but this year Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon. So all of this gaining and losing of points has now moved Novak Djokovic into the #2 ranking! Last year and for most of this year, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal went back and forth for the top two spots. Recall that in 2017, every grand slam tournament was won by either Rafa or Roger. Now, there is a mere 215 points separating Rafa Nadal at #1 and Novak Djokovic at #2.

In April 2018, the rankings looked like this:

  1. Rafa Nadal – 8770 points
  2. Roger Federer – 8670 points
  3. Sascha Zverev – 5195 points
  4. Marin Cilic – 4985 points
  5. Grigor Dimitrov – 4950 points

Today, the rankings look like this:

  1. Rafa Nadal – 7660 points
  2. Novak Djokovic – 7445 points
  3. Roger Federer – 6260 points
  4. Juan Martin Del Potro – 5860 points
  5. Sascha Zverev – 5025 points

What an exciting way to finish up the season. With one more Masters 1000 level tournament left and a couple of 250 and 500 level tournaments, it truly is a race to the finals! Can’t wait to see how it ends!

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The Importance of Beauty Rest

Furriends, have I ever talked to you about how important it is to get your beauty rest? Well, it is super important. Getting the proper amount of rest is imperative in all aspects of your overall health, from improving your mood and concentration to helping with weight loss.

Well, let me tell you…this week I have NOT been getting my beauty rest! Did you know that cats sleep 16 to 20 hours a day? I need at least that much to maintain my good looks! But epic night matches at the US Open has kept me from getting adequate rest this week!

It started with last Saturday night when I just had to stay up for the Marin Cilic/ Alex De Minaur match. Late Night at the Open

Then came Monday night with the Roger Federer/John Millman match that had everycat talking! If you recall, that match was played in hot, humid conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Both players were soaked to the bone and Roger wasn’t looking his best. But it was Millman that out hit, out played, and just dominated that match. I couldn’t possibly go to bed and miss that drama.

Here is John Millman after winning his match against Roger.

John Millman.Image: MSN Sport

The following day, we were gifted with an epic quarterfinal match between Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem. This turned into a 4 hour and 49 minute smashfest that is an instant classic. It is matches like this that makes me wish both players could win, but of course we know that this is not the nature of sports! You have winners and you have losers. The winner was me because I got to witness a beautiful display of athleticism and sportsmanship from both players. And the loser was me because I didn’t get to bed until 2am!!

Rafael NadalImage: BBC Sports

Thankfully, last night was not as bad. John Millman, the guy who knocked out Federer Monday night played Novak Djokovic. I think Millman didn’t have enough gas left in his talk to play the type of match he wanted to, and Djokovic won the match in three sets. I was in bed by 11pm.

So, here I am on day four this week and I just watched Serena Williams win her semi-final match against Anastacia Sevastova in no time flat. I am currently watching the second women’s semi-final match between Madison Keys and Naomi Osaka. Osaka is up a set, but you know how it is. Momentum could swing and this could easily turn into a three set match. I’m purrty sure Osaka has this in the bag (she has Serena’s former coach now), so hopefully there will be lights out here soon. This kitty needs his rest…

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A Cinderella Story

Today, was definitely a Cinderella Story on center court in Cincinnati today. Or should I say a “Cinci-rella Story?” Get it? And no, not THAT Cinderella! Cinderella, the big hair band rock group from the 80’s! Remember them? Ah yes, you’re welcome!

So, I only remember one song from Cinderella and it was a rock ballad called “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone.” You know the old adage. That is how I feel about Novak Djokovic. I didn’t know what I had until he was gone.

Image: Yahoo Sports

And he had been gone a while…with injuries, personal issue, coaching changes, etc. He has been creeping his way back into relevance this year and the tennis sphere is grateful for that! Personally I was never a HUGE fan of Djokovic. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t like when he would get crazy eyes and rip his shirt off in the heat of a match like he is a Chippendale dancer at a bachelorette party. Nope, I don’t need nor want to see that during a tennis match. And I’ve already expressed my feelings about smashing racquets. Get yourself together!

But what has been missing that apparently is back, thank goodness, is his enjoyment of the sport, his fight to win, his health, and his game! His game is sharp and it was on full display against Roger Federer in the final today. It was great to see two great champions on court, play high quality tennis. Novak Djokovic won in two sets 6-4, 6-4. This win give him a new record…first playerto win the Career Golden Masters, all nine Masters 1000 tournaments in this era! This also sets him up to be a favorite going into the US Open in a week. All eyes will be on Novak! And THIS has not happened in a LONG time!

Great to have you back, Novak! Can’t wait to see how things shake out at the US Open!

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Tennis ESP

Meow! Just meow! I don’t even know where to start with today’s matches! Oh wait, yes I do. How about “I told you so.”

I have long said I have Tennis ESP. You know, the ability to know what’s going to happen on court before it happens. A friend once told me that, no I don’t have Tennis ESP. I have just watched enough tennis to know statistically how things are going to go.

Well, I can guarantee you that no one predicted Roger Federer would be anywhere except hoisting the winner’s trophy on Sunday, except me. In my Wimbledon preview, I predicted he would be out in the quarterfinals….and I was not wrong! Of course, I didn’t know it was going to go down in such dramatic fashion, but it did.

Image: Yahoo Sports

Roger played Kevin Anderson, and I know what you’re thinking. “Frazier, who the heck is Kevin Anderson?” Well, I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while, and last year he made it to the US Open final, where Rafa Nadal ended up winning. He played college tennis before turning pro about ten years ago, and is currently ranked #7 on the ATP tour. If you see him, you might notice that his hat always sits a little crooked on his head. I think he places with the movement of the sun for maximum protection.

There are so many things to love about Kevin Anderson. Kevin, be looking for a fan letter from me real soon!!

Well furriends, the match started out just as everyone predicted with Federer taking the first two sets pretty handily. And then in the third set, at 5-4 Federer, it was as if Kevin said to himself “Not today, Federer. Not today.” He came back to win the third set 7-5. Then he won the fourth set 6-4.

And now…the final set.

In the majors, men play the best three out of five sets, and in all majors except the US Open, the winner must win by 2 games. In the fifth set, neither player got broken. If Roger won his service game, then Kevin won his service game. This went back and forth and forth and back furrever!! The final score of the final set was 13-11! That’s practically an entire other set played. It was a fierce battle, but Kevin was hitting his returns so early with incredible amount of pace. And the angles he was making! Unbelievable tennis.

And then we had Rafa Nadal play Juan Martin Del Potro. I predicted this was going to be a fiery match, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve said it before, I love watching Del Potro play because he puts it all out there. The crowds love it. His opponent respects it. And Rafa plays every match with such intensity you can’t help but get fired up!! Vamos!

Nadal/Del Potro was another five setter and it was fireworks to the very end when Rafa hit the winning shot and Del Potro fell face down in exhaustion, across the net. In a display of pure sportsmanship, Rafa steps over the net to help his friend up and congratulate him on a good match. How could you not love these guys?

Rafael Nadal of Spain, left, meets Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on the court after defeating him in their men's quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Image: Yahoo Sports

All in all, it was a great day to be a tennis fan! But now I’m exhausted and must sign off.

More Wimbledon later…

Crack Open a Window Or Kick Open the Door

Well, here we are in week two of Wimbledon, folks. A few of the Next Gen stars took a peek through the cracked window of success, but the big name players kicked the door of the Championships wide open.

I was excited to see two Next Gen stars (ATP players, age 21 or younger and ranked in the top 200) make it to week two of the Championships at Wimbledon. Fourth round at Wimbledon is not a bad gig. Unfortunately for Mackenzie McDonald and Stefanos Tsitsipas, they had some unforgiving opponents across the net. However, both put up a pretty good showing.

American, Mackenzie McDonald, had the misfortune to meet up with Milos Raonic. If these two names sound familiar, it because I have written about them both recently…Mackenzie just last week as a player to watch, and Milos as a player experiencing a Tennis Renaissance. Here, I think experience won out against youth. Milos has been a finalist at Wimbledon in 2016, so he knows what it takes to grind through a match. Milos beat Mackenzie in 4 sets. Not too bad.

Image result for mackenzie mcdonald Image: usatoday.com

Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was paired up against huge hitter and the King of Tiebreaks, John Isner. Stefanos put up a good fight , but in the end, John won 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 (of course finishing it off in two tiebreaks).

Image result for stefanos tsitsipas          Image: Daily Express

Of course, the big names made it to week two and busted the door wide open! Tomorrow, the stage is set for the following quarterfinals:

  • Roger Federer vs. Kevin Anderson
  • Milos Raonic vs. John Isner
  • Novak Djokovic vs. Kei Nishikori
  • Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Rafa Nadal

The latest debate is which matches gets Center Court and which matches gets Court 1. Purrsonally, I hate that this is even discussion, but people are people, and people like to debate. It really doesn’t matter at all to me…I watch them from my comfy couch, usually with a plush blanket covering me anyway!

I’ve been predicting that Federer will be upset in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Tomorrow will tell us if I’m right.  The Raonic/Isner match should be fun because they are both big beasts!! On the opposite end of things, Djokovic/Nichikori will be a battle of the fit and slender. Then we have the great Juan Martin Del Potro against Rafa Nadal. This could go with either way, really. Expect a lot of Argentine and Spanish heat! All in all, a great day of tennis tomorrow.

I’ll be watching! Will you?

The Emperor’s New Clothes

At the conclusion of day 3 of Wimbledon, one thing is for sure…The Emperor has some new clothes. That’s right, furry furriends, The King of Grass, Roger Federer, has a new clothing sponsor. After many years with Nike, Roger just signed a 10 year, $300 million deal with Japanese clothing company, Uniqlo.

Image: Yahoo Sports

Roger is 36 years old and he is guaranteed $30 million per year until he is 47 years old. Not too bad for the old guy!

But in all seriousness, it is weird to see Roger play without being decked out in the Nike “swoosh”.  So far, he has played his first two matches very solidly. But I still think there will be an upset somewhere along his way to the final. We’ll see.

In other Wimbledon news…the players I mentioned in the Tennis Renaissance are all doing well, except for Andy Murray who had to pull out of the tournament due to his ongoing injury. But Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic all look really solid! And that is grrreat news!

Play was suspended today due to rain, but there are some really great matches that should finish tomorrow. The one I have my eye on is young Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Jared Donaldson. Tsitsipas is my new “next gen” favorite. Tsitsipas is up two sets to one, but Donaldson is making a good run right now…this may go to a fifth! Take a good look, y’all. This is the future of tennis.

https://www.tennisworldusa.org/imgb/41196/stefanos-tsitsipas-talks-about-tennis-players-who-had-to-stop-their-career-because-of.jpgImage: tennisworldusa.org

More Wimbledon news to come…

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The Tide Has Shifted

Did you feel that this morning? Maybe a tiny disturbance while you were pouring your breakfast cereal. Or an a small inexplicable light flicker? What was that? A little shift in the tides, purrhaps? Well furry furriends, you were not imagining these things. We had a great tennis match and the tennis tides are shifting!

If you recall, last week I noted that Roger Federer, the King of Grass, did not look as commanding coming into Wimbledon as Rafa Nadal did on clay this year. I didn’t think his winning streak would last. His power, dominance and presence would be tested and today, 21 year old Croatian, Borna Coric was on the opposite side of the net ready to take him to task!

Coriccropped

So what if Borna’s big round eyes looked like they just woke up, he was ready to play! Coric was solid as a rock, strong as steel, smooth and steady throughout the whole match. And I think most importantly, he was not intimidated by his opponent. A lot of players let the fact that they are playing the best male player to ever play the game get into their heads. Well, guess what…what goes up, must come down eventually. You can’t be at the top forever. Today, Coric was better.

The match went to three sets. The first set was a tiebreak going to Coric (I even high-fived my human when Borna won that first set). The Roger looked across the net angrily, as to say “Don’t you know who I am,” and he wins the second set 6-2. But Coric didn’t flinched. He basically answered Roger with a win in the third set, as to say “Yes, I do. And now you know me!”

We have one week until Wimbledon and I think this win will not only give Borna Coric some confidence going in, but other players, as well. They see that Roger is not unbreakable. I’m still sticking with my prediction that is will not be Roger lifting the Wimbledon trophy at the end. Stay tuned and we will see together.

 

 

 

Mercedes Cup – Welcome Back Milos!

As purred yesterday, the grass court season has begun. And of course with that, is a resurgence of Fed Express Mania. So, it’s no big surprise that Roger Federer won the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany this morning. What IS surprising, though, is who his opponent was…Milos Raonic!

Germany_Tennis_57983.jpg                        Image: Associated Press

If you are new to tennis, you may not know who Milos is because he spent a huge chunk of last year out with injuries. But before that, he was ranked as high as #3 in the ATP rankings in 2016, reaching the Wimbledon finals that year. He is the most successful Canadian tennis player in history, so he’s practically my neighbor.

OK, so he didn’t win the Mercedes Cup today, but I am glad to see him back in good form. His serves were on point and he movement looked good! Here’s hoping for a great, injury-free, grass court season for Milos! Welcome back!

Side note: I don’t think it’s necessary to actually drive the winning Mercedes on to the court during the trophy ceremony. That was just silly.

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Welcome to Grass Court Season

Last week, we witnessed Rafa Nadal grab his record-breaking 11th French Open title, signaling the end of the clay court season. And with the blink of a catnap, here we are paw deep in grass!

A semi-final match between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios at the Mercedes Cup is the perfect way to kick off the grass court season! Roger, who completely skipped clay court season (because there’s no way he could compete against the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal). Nick Kyrgios, who has been out nursing an injury. Of course, I was rooting for Nick, but it was nice to see them both back on court.

I never really know which Nick is going to show up when he plays. Will I get an unfocused, disinterested Nick who is a showman with trick shots that don’t work, or the one I know and love? The Nick that fully shows up ready to play with fierce serves and precise shots. For better or worse, we got a little of both of Nick today.

Image:gifphy.com

The first set was close with Nick winning in a tiebreak. Then in the second set, Nick loses focus and was playing more in an exhibition style, and of course, Federer jumped all over that and won the set 6-2. Nick finally snapped out of it in the last set, but it was too late. Federer won the match, winning the final set in a tiebreak, 7-6.

Even though Nick didn’t win, it was great to see him on court, feeling pain-free, and enjoying the game again! Welcome back Nick!

Roger Federer Image: bbc.com

Federer returns to the #1 ranking by winning this match, dethroning Rafa Nadal, who held the number one spot for all of clay court season. Concatulations to Roger.

But I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction. I do not think that Federer will win Wimbledon this year. Comparing Roger’s play today to Rafa on clay, I think that Roger is a little rusty and vulnerable. When Rafa is a clay, there is nothing vulnerable about him. Not sure who I think is going to win, but I don’t think it’s going to be Roger.

I also predicted that Nadal would not win the French Open this year, and he did, so what do I know? Probably nothing. So, this is just my inner cat intuition talking. We shall see as this season progresses. Stay tuned.

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Everything Counts In Large Amounts

Depeche Mode! One of my favorite bands of all time! So, it was no wonder when I was in the kitchen, staring at my food bowl waiting on my human to fill it up, chilling to the classic “Everything Counts In Large Amounts” I had a kitty epiphany! I said aloud to my human “Especially when it comes to ATP ranking points! Am I right? Meow! ”

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Newsweek

That is why this past year, all we’ve heard about are the 3 R’s! No, not reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, but instead Roger, Rafa and the Rest. Once you understand how the points work, you’ll see why. I’ll break it down for you in simple, broad stroke terms. Ready?

The grabbing hands

Grab all they can

All for themselves

After all…

It’s a competitive world.

Everything counts in large amounts.

Who has these grabbing hands, anyway? Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, that’s who! And when we talk about large amounts, we mean the big G’s! 1000’s!

The ATP has tournaments year round for which players earn points. The Masters tournaments range from 250, 500, and 1000. That number refers to the number of ranking points the winner gets. There is also four grand slam tournaments, worth 2000 points each. You win a Masters 250 tournament, you earn 250 points. You win Wimbledon, you earn 2000! See how that can make a difference?

Let’s look at the current rankings:
1. Rafa Nadal – 8770 points

2. Roger Federer – 8670 points

3. Sascha Zverev – 5195 points

4. Marin Cilic – 4985 points

5. Grigor Dimitrov – 4950 points

Notice how close Rafa and Roger are? A mere 100 points. Notice the gigantic drop of 3475 points between #2 and #3? That’s because Rafa and Roger won all of the grand slam tournaments last year, two a piece (remember, that is 2000 points per tournament). Of course, the small amounts in the other tournaments of the year help move things up and down slightly. And you have to factor in defending points from previous year’s tournaments. But it is the large amounts that make the biggest difference.

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Business Insider

If any of these other players even think about being a contender against Roger and Rafa and knocking them off their thrones, these other players’ grabbing hands will have to start grabbing all they can and start winning the grand slams. It is simple math!

Of course, it is a little more complex than this and if you want to read all about the ATP rankings, you can find information here. ATP Rankings

Hopefully you learned a little something today. It’s pretty fascinating when you start following things closely. I am going to make a bold prediction and say that someone else besides Roger or Rafa will win a grand slam this year and really shake things up in the ATP rankings. But we will have to wait and see. And of course, I will be here to bring you the big news!

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Bienvenidos a Miami

Well furry friends, we went from the deserts of California to the Sunshine State, Florida this week. Tennis is in full forehand swing in Miami on the Barney-esque purple courts at the Miami Open.

Image result for miami open 2018

Let’s re-cat what has happened so far:

Last week, we saw two of the big names OUT in the early rounds.

  • Serena Williams is trying to make a comeback after being on maternity leave, but unfortunately for her, she draw Naomi Osaka, winner in the Indian Wells desert last week, for her first match. Serena…OUT.
  • After losing the final in the desert last week, Roger Federer, lost in his first match to qualifier, Thanasi Kokkinakis, in a claw biting three set match under the Miami sun. Roger…OUT.

This week is definitely the business end of this tournament and yesterday saw so many three set close matches between “veterans” and this “next gen” of tennis stars. And not all of this was nice and pretty. Matter of fact, the handshakes at the net were more ice cold than beach warm. Here is how it all shook down:

  • Sascha Zverev defeats David Ferrer 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
  • Denis Shapovalov defeats Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
  • Borna Coric defeats Jack Sock 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
  • Pablo Carreno Busta defeats Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-3

Here’s a fun video showing just how Denis Shapovalov took down the veteran, Sam Querrey.

 

And then there was the Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Fernando Verdasco match that went down in flames! Oh boys, can’t you just play nice? The answer is NO. In a bizarre exchange of accusations, curse words and arguing with each other on the change overs, Verdasco was the one who kept his cool and finally won that final set. It is unfortunate that Kokkinakis couldn’t hold it together because he has a nice game. I meow, he beat Roger last week, for goodness sake! But at 21 years old, he still has some learning about controlling one’s emotions.

The rest of this tournament should be a good one. I, for one, am excited to finally spy some young talent showing up to play! Stay tuned, furriends, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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