Friday, July 28, 2017

2017 BB&T Atlanta Open #BBTAO @bbtatlantaopen Edmund vs. Gojowczyk videos and pictures - July 27, 2017

Thursday was perhaps the longest day for tennis at the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open, at least as far as when it ended.  Though matches began at earlier times during the week, they didn't start until 2 PM yesterday and, with a full slate planned, rain delayed their completion until the wee hours of Friday morning.

I got a chance to watch a lot of Great Britain's Kyle Edmund's match against Germany's Peter Gojowczyk.  After breaking Edmund twice in the first set and taking it 6-2, the German lost the next two after an extended rain delay.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

2017 BB&T Atlanta Open #BBTAO @bbtatlantaopen Wednesday, July 26 recap

A beautiful (if hot) day for tennis without rain (first time this week?) featured several upsets in both singles and doubles, with many matches being decided in 3 sets.  American Tommy Paul moved forward with a win over Malek Jaziri, the only player from Tunisia on the ATP tour, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Presiding over the match was Mohamed Lahyani of Sweden
While this was going on, the second seeded doubles team - and 2017 French Open Champions - Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus were being beaten in three sets by Argentine's Andres Molteni and Canadian Adil Shamasdin, who won 6-4, 0-6, 10-7.

Almost looks like a foot-fault, right?
2017 Wimbledon giant killer Gilles Muller, who beat Rafael Nadal in a match that culminated in a 15-13 fifth set, took three sets to beat France's Quentin Halys, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.  In a bizarre, extremely rare occurrence, the net cable snapped in the third game, causing an almost 20 minute delay after which the players were allowed a five minute warm-up:

Atlanta's heat and humidity were too much for this net
The next match up on the Stadium Court featured Atlanta native Donald Young and Lukas Lacko, whose forehand was the difference.  The Slovakian beat the American in less than an hour, 6-3, 6-1.

Donald Young has rarely played well in Atlanta
This was followed by the evening's featured match between three-time BB&T Atlanta Open Champion and University of Georgia star John Isner and Canadian Vasek Pospisil, which the big man won in short order, 6-4, 6-3.

Pospisil & Jack Sock won the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title
Will Isner win his fourth BB&T?
Thursday's lineup will include fourth seeded Ryan Harrison's first singles match (vs. Australian John Millman), followed by Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks vs. up-and-comer Jared Donaldson, and top-seeded Jack Sock's first singles match (vs. the diminutive Dudi Sela), all on the Stadium Court.

I have to thank my volunteer coordinator Claire and the tournament's volunteer coordinator Jane for giving me a Stadium Court pass for yesterday; I really appreciated it and it has been my honor to serve in Volunteer Services.  Today is my last day, recap with pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

2017 BB&T Atlanta Tennis Open #BBTAO Tuesday, July 25 recap

I finally got to see some tennis yesterday, Tuesday, July 25, from the volunteer viewing area atop the Stadium Court:

View of the Stadium Court setup
That's the place, just under the American flag, to the right of "Coca Cola":

Volunteer viewing area atop the Stadium Court
I got to see a little bit of the match between Reilly Opelka and Malek Jaziri; after the American squandered match points in the second set, the Tunisian won the tiebreaker 16-14, and the third 6-1:

Jaziri serves to Opelka
I also got to see the end of the first set of Atlantan Donald Young's straight set victory over American Tim Smyczek and captured his exultant scream as he came back from serving at 5-4, 0-40 to take the first set on video:

Perhaps the biggest news from Tuesday's first round matches was local favorite Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks first ATP main Tour win, in straight sets, over favored, tour up-and-comer Taylor Fritz last night.  Go Jackets!

Others moving on to the second round include Americans Jared Donaldson and Tommy Paul, Great Britain's Kyle Edmund, Israel's Dudi Sela, Slovakian Lukas Lacko, and Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open Tennis Tournament is underway!

Although I didn't get to see any tennis today - my shift was ending just as the rain was starting - I did enjoy my first volunteer gig for the tournament since 2014.  Since I'm 'working' in volunteer services, I assisted with lunch today, asking "sandwich or wrap", then serving it and directing other volunteers to the condiments,chips and drinks.  Thrilling, right?

Actually it was a lot of fun because it's a people business; I saw some familiar faces - including my coordinator Claire, who's been with the Atlanta tournament all but the first year - and met some new folks like Louis and Tricia, the other coodinator.  So much fun, am looking forward to my shifts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this coming week.  Don't forget to stop by and say hello!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Looking forward to returning to the BB&T Atlanta Open after a 3 year absence!  I will be volunteering in Volunteer Services this time, as the Scorekeeper and Court Monitor roles are no longer volunteer positions.  I'll be there this Saturday, then next Tuesday-Thursday during the day.  Stop by and say hello if you'd like.

I hope to be posting pictures and summaries of matches that I'll watch from the new covered volunteer watching area.  In the past, volunteers got two tickets to a day or night session before the quarterfinals began on Friday.  So, I guess I won't be down there on championship weekend;-)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 - Semifinal Saturday @BBTatlantaopen

My recap of Saturday at the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station begins with a point to my Twitter feed, where I spent a lot of time sharing the activities of the day in real-time.  My post here is really just an overflow from the events with some additional pictures I took which weren't shared on Twitter:

Steve Johnson (partner Sam Querrey) serves to Kevin King (partner Michael Venus)
Venus serves to Querrey
Querrey serving (partner Johnson at net)
Querrey-Johnson walking toward your humble photographer (notice ball)
John Isner in full-flight serving to Jack Sock (ball right above Isner's head)
And again, both players off the ground (ball on racquet)
Sock hitting a forehand return above his shoulders
Isner with a backhand return

Only got this one of Sock serving, sorry
I very much enjoyed the doubles match, and hope today's is even better.  The singles was a BORING serving contest between two guys that need backhands if they want to compete with anyone in the top 10.

The tournament was great this year, my first in which I am missing the finals.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 - Friday's fun @BBTatlantaopen

It was a beautiful if hot Friday at the BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 at Atlantic Station.  Matches started early at high noon with a couple of doubles matches followed by Isner vs. Matosevic, all quarterfinals.  See my Twitter feed for a play-by-play.

The first doubles match featured a couple of players I'd heard of beforehand, most notably Chris Guccione, and a couple that I didn't.  I scored the first set of the first match, which began well for the Australian and his partner, but ended in a tiebreaker loss.  They recovered to win the second, but lost the third set in a one-sided tiebreaker.
Johnson's serve was a big reason why he and Querrey won the match
The second doubles match featured some better pairings and the tennis was much better too.  Doubles specialists Lipsky and Gonzalez matched against a couple of singles players, fellow Californians and friends, that had already been unceremoniously bounced from the singles draw:  Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson.
Querrey and Johnson - both have great smiles, don't you think?
It was a fun match to watch from start to finish, and match point was this 138 MPH ace by Querrey, which I uploaded to YouTube for better resolution than what I posted yesterday on Twitter (and subsequently removed).

After the doubles was over, there was about an hour delay until 4 PM when the first men's quarterfinal match between John Isner and Marinko Matosevic was contested.  By that time, the sun was in full heat and the players were obviously feeling it.
The Isner "hang dawg" is both expected, and tiresome

The players traded breaks in the first set before it ended in a predictable tiebreak won by Isner, who had to come from behind to win it.  The second set began much the same way until Matosevic started to double fault his way to handing Isner the set and the match.

After leading the 1st set tiebreaker, Matosevic's double faults gave the 2nd set/match to Isner
I am looking forward to another great day at the tournament this afternoon, two semi-finals:  a doubles match between Querrey-Johnson and Kevin King-Michael Venus followed by Isner vs. Jack Sock (not before 3 PM).  Check back tomorrow for more pictures and commentary.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 - Tuesday's fun @BBTatlantaopen

What a day!  Started out with some confusion as to when my shift was to begin at the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station, but I was able to manage getting there on time for a 2 PM (instead of 4 PM) start with my scorekeeping partner Brian.  First up was two Americans, Tim Smyczek vs. Ryan Harrison, both BB&T tournament regulars.

Unfortunately, Harrison had a long and late night Monday in a doubles match victory, and never really got going; Smyczek took the first set at love, and was up 2-0 in the second before Harrison, who had a couple of trainer visits during the match, managed to win a game.  After getting broken a second time to fall behind 0-3 in the first, Harrison smashed his racquet before receiving a medical timeout for treatment on his foot (blisters?).  Harrison could manage only one more game in the second, falling weakly 0-6, 2-6 in about 53 minutes.

Fortunately the next match was much better:  Atlantan and former #15 in the world Robby Ginepri against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, who'd upset Roger Federer in the 2nd round of Wimbledon in 2013, ending the Fed's Grand Slam streak of consecutive quarterfinal appearances at 36.

Breaking his opponent early in the set, Stakhovsky looked to be cruising to take the first, leading 5-3 with break and set points again, but that's when Ginepri showed guile and brilliance, hitting a running forehand rocket from one corner to the other to save the first set point against, and a down-the-line forehand to save another.  After holding for 4-5, Robby then broke and held for a 6-5 lead before Sergiy could hold to force a tiebreaker, which was won by Ginepri in 48 minutes.

However, Robby came out flat in the second, falling behind 0-5 before losing it 3-6.  Now it was his opponent's turn lose his rhythm; Stakhovsky never challenged in the deciding set, losing it at love.  I scored the second two sets, which consumed about the same amount of time as the entire Smyczek-Harrison match.  The hometown crowd was exuberant, especially after Ginepri's interview with the on-court announcer and, afterwards, signing and hitting more than a handful of tennis balls into the stands.

Last up on the day's docket was a doubles match featuring a couple of players with local ties, albeit on opposite ends of the court.  Donald Young with D. Sharan vs. Kevin King with M. Venus (the only right-handed player on the court).  I was only able to stay to score the first set, which was won easily by the taller pairing (King and Venus) 6-1 in less than 20 minutes.  I understand it got interesting, with Young and partner taking the second before losing 9-11 in the tiebreak decider.

Besides the Ginepri-Stakhovsky battle, the second most exciting part of the day for me was meeting the man behind the tournament's social media feeds.  Zach, who is a college junior that plays collegiate tennis in Pennsylvania, posts all the information on the tourney's Facebook page and tweets out on @BBTatlantaopen too.  Great meeting you today, and thanks for the follow!

For more pictures of yesterday's events, see my Twitter feed @atltennisblog.  Thanks and I'll see you Friday!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 - 1st Day of Qualies @BBTatlantaopen

Yesterday started out very wet and matches were delayed from their original 9 AM start to 10:30, 12:30 and ultimately 1:30 PM because of the weather.

No worries though, everything cleared up quite nicely and several players and their playing partners actually took the court to warm-up and test the conditions on the new stadium court, even while officials prodded various parts of the court (particularly the baseline corners) for moisture.

While waiting for the tennis to begin, I had a chance to catch up with old friends, and meet some new ones.  The staff that had been in place for the first two years of this sponsor's event has changed, starting with PA announcer Kevin Payne.  His replacement hadn't arrived yet, so Sam Crenshaw from 11 Alive was on hand.  I'd met Sam a couple of years ago (documented on these pages) and asked why I hadn't seen MatchPoint on TV this summer.  He said that he hoped the show with Jeff Batten would return next summer.

By 1:00 PM, it looked like all would be well for the day, and the tournament gates were opened for the fans to stream in, albeit a trickle of the most dedicated that were actually on hand to witness the opening of this year's tournament.  I was soon at my post to score the first set of the first qualifying match on stadium court.

I used my twitter account @atltennisblog to record the action in real-time, in what almost seemed like a contest to post the results before the tournament's tweeter did.  See my tweets for even more pictures.  Michael Shabaz from the University of Virginia Cavaliers had a rather easy time defeating Georgia Tech's Nathan Rakitt, who continued to attempt to serve and volley despite being passed rather easily by his opponent.  The final tally 6-2, 6-1.

Unfortunately it was now 2:45 PM, our replacement scorekeepers were on hand and the rest of my Saturday schedule beckoned, so I had to leave.  But I'll be back Tuesday on Twitter and probably Wednesday morning here on Blogger to share my experiences ... until then, enjoy the BB&T Atlanta Open!

Friday, July 18, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 @BBTatlantaopen starts tomorrow!

Long time no post.  Very sorry to those that have followed these pages faithfully through the tournament's week each summer.  The good news is, I'll be at it again very shortly ...

That's right, starting tomorrow, I'll be the first shift scorekeeper for this year's BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station, which gives me a tantalizing view of the stadium court's matches.

So tune in here for pictures and updates of the event.  I won't be on-site every day, but I will be posting updates on the days (or after the days) that I am.

Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement to provide these updates!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BB&T Atlanta Open 2013 - pictures and videos from both finals

Sunday was a beautiful day to conclude this year's BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station, though not quite as cool as Saturday, a nice (if occasional) breeze could be felt during the latter stages of what turned out to  be the longest 3-set match of the year.  There were no breaks of serve and John Isner prevailed over Kevin Anderson 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2).  Here are some pictures and videos (of the end of each set) from the singles and doubles finals on Sunday, July 28:
Anderson serves to Isner up 15-0 in the first game
Anderson launches a second serve at Isner
Anderson prepares to return Isner's serve down the middle

Anderson won the first set over Isner 7-6 (3) - watch the HD video on YouTube here!

Our seats were not bad, right next to the cameraman
Another picture of Anderson preparing to return serve
Isner won the second set 7-6 (2) over Anderson - watch the HD video on YouTube here!

Isner prepares to serve to Anderson (ball at top)
Isner launches a serve at Anderson (ball at top)
As Isner prepares another serve, note his shadow
Isner saved one match point, and then a second, while serving at 5-6 to Anderson in the third.  But Isner won in the third set tiebreaker 7-6 (2) to win the Atlanta title on his fourth try (third final).  Click on the links in the previous sentence to watch the videos on YouTube.

In doubles final, Colin Fleming prepares to serve
Note his unusual pre-serve technique

But alas, the Brits couldn't win it, as Roger-Vasselin and Sijsling won the first set 7-6, and the second 6-3.