Sunday, March 31, 2019

2019 MIAMI: Barty and Federer Win Titles (over Pliskova and Isner)!

As I predicted, Roger Federer and Ash Barty won their respective finals at the 2019 Miami Open. Barty outplayed Karolina Pliskova, continuing 2019's odd streak of every tournament being won by a new player, and breaking into the WTA Top 10 in the process. Federer denied John Isner a chance to repeat as Miami Open champion, becoming the first player on tour to win two titles in 2019, his 100th and 101st of his career. Jimmy Connors record of 109 career titles is starting look more and more doable!

Federer won 6-1 6-4, the first two sets in the tournament where Isner had been unable to win at least 6 games (Isner won 9 of his 10 sets in tiebreaks!). Federer broke Isner in the very first game of the match and although Isner was able to hold his next service game he ended up losing the first set in 24 minutes, with three breaks. At the end of the second set Isner had intense foot pain and could merely move as he gingerly served in the 10th game, refusing to retire. This was Federer's 50th Masters final and he is now 28-22, just behind Novak Djokovic (33) and Rafael Nadal (32) on the all-time leaderboard.

Barty beat Pliskova 7-6(1) 6-3 despite going down 1-3 in the opening set. The diminutive Aussie has an all-court game and deploys slice and topspin backhands. Surprisingly, Barty out-aced the WTA's top server, but this was mostly because Pliskova appeared to stop mounting an offense in the second set and was concentrating on holding her own serve instead of breaking Barty's.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

2019 MIAMI: Federer-Isner, Barty-Pliskova Finals Set

The finals of the 2019 Miami Open are set. In the women's draw, World #5 Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic will face World #11 Ash Barty of Australia for their biggest title. The two have a 2-2 head-to-head and both have played well in Miami to reach this spot. Barty beat Petra Kvitova in her draw while Pliskova beat World #2 Simona Halep. With a win Pliskova will rise to World #2 and Barty will enter the Top 10 regardless of the outcome. I saw their last match, which was in the 4th round of the 2018 US Open, won by Pliskova in two tight straight sets. Madprofessah's pick: Barty.

In the men's draw, John Isner is the defending champion and has surprisingly made it back to the final, for only the 5th time in a Masters Series 1000 event (1-3 record). He will be playing Roger Federer who is playing in his fiftieth(!) Masters final (27-22 record) and second consecutive final. He lost to Dominc Thiem in a tough 3-set match two weeks ago. He has a 5-2 head-to-head advantage against Isner, but the last time they played the big man won a 3rd set tiebreak in the Paris Indoors. That being said I think Federer will figure out a way to claim his 101st career title. MadProfessah's pick: Federer.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Careless Love (DCI Alan Banks, #25) by Peter Robinson

Careless Love is the 25th(!) book in Peter Robinson’s long-running DCI Alan Banks series set in northern England. Banks is clearly the main character but Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, Detective Sargeant Winsome Jackson and Detective Constable  Geraldine (Gerry) Masterson also have significant roles in this entry. 

The Banks books are straightforward police procedural murder mysteries. After 25 books we the reader have become used to the POV of Banks, his obsession with 1960s rock-n-roll and classical music and his appreciation for good looking women (despite his abominable track record in maintaining romantic relationships with them). The latter characteristic becomes of particular significance in Careless Love because the first dead bodies that show up are of a young beautiful 2nd-year University student and an older, wealthy businessman. Additionally, there is another plot thread of Annie’s father’s new girlfriend (who happens to be a stunningly beautiful Eastern European woman younger than his daughter) and has a connection to sex trafficking and may have a lead on finding a villain from a prior Robinson novel who escaped capture after setting a potentially deadly trap for Banks and abusing Annie. 

The exploitation and despoliation of women and women’s bodies is definitely a theme of the book, which Robinson makes thuddingly clear by having Banks cogitate about these ideas during his off-duty downtime (while he inevitably drinks wine and listens to a particularly itemized musical sequence. It’s somewhat curious Robinson uses his primary male character to hammer home his thoughts and feelings about this injustice instead of taking advantage of his all-female team of supporting characters to do so.

Careless Love is an unusual entry into the Banks series because even though the primary mysteries are resolved (somewhat lazily I would argue) for the first time I can remember in the series one of the main plot threads is deliberately left undone, clearly indicating a continuation of the story will be occurring in the next Banks mystery. This is odd because although the 25 books in the series clearly have a sequential order to them (detailing Banks promotion from Detective Inspector in Book 1 to his current title of Chief Superintendent as well as the destabilization and dissolution of his marriage and subsequent maturation of his kids) they have always been standalone books; Careless Love isn’t really like that since there’s clearly more story to come that didn’t fit in this book. We do find out what happened to produce the first two bodies in the book but the sex-trafficking stories is specifically left hanging. Is this a device to raise interest in the next Banks book? Possibly, but it also short changes readers who invested their time in reading THIS Banks book.

Overall, even with this questionable plot decision, Careless Love is better than some of the most recent Banks books (Book 21 and 22 seemed perfunctory but the last 2-3 have been quite good) but I think it could have been better by making larger use of the supporting characters (especially DS Winsome and DC Gerry) and skipping the details of Banks’ listening habits (not a chapter goes by without a superfluous listing of albums and songs). However, the satisfaction of the revelation of “whodunit” and “howdunit” make this a pleasant genre read.


Title: Careless Love.
Peter Robinson.
Paperback: 352 pages.
 Hodder & Stoughton.
Date Published: July 26, 2018.
Date Read: March 20, 2019.

★★½☆  (3.5/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: A/A- (3.5/4.0).


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: "Nones" Become Largest Religious Group In The United States

Woo hoo! Fear not godless heathens, you are not alone! The Friendly Atheist reports on the latest polling data from the General Social Survey on religion that shows that the percentage of Americans who say that have "no religion" (often called the "Nones" by demographers) is now the largest segment of the population.

Religious News Service reports (and includes the graphic at the top of this post):
According to newly released General Social Survey data analyzed by Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University, Americans claiming “no religion” — sometimes referred to as “nones” because of how they answer the question “what is your religious tradition?” — now represent about 23.1 percent of the population, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. People claiming evangelicalism, by contrast, now represent 22.5 percent of Americans, a slight dip from 23.9 percent in 2016.  
That makes the two groups statistically tied with Catholics (23 percent) as the largest religious — or nonreligious — groupings in the country.   
“Nones have been on the march for a long time now,” Burge said. “It’s been a constant, steady increase for 20 years now. If the trend line kept up, we knew this was going to happen.”
So when will public policy (and politics) start recognizing this fact that the populace (and electorate) is changing?

Hat/tip to Friendly Atheist

Monday, March 25, 2019

2019 MIAMI OPEN: Osaka, Zverev, Kerber, Thiem Lose; Venus, Federer Move On, Serena Withdraws

Serena Williams had a tough 3-set match in her first match at the Miami Open and then withdrew with a right knee injury before withdrawing from her second match. She joined numerous other high profile entrants in the tournament who left early, including World #1 Naomi Osaka (who lost to the incredibly frustrating Hsieh Su-Wei), Angelique Kerber (who lost to 2019 Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu for the second time in 6 days!), Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza and defending champion Sloane Stephens also have been bounced from the tournament.

On the men's side Roger Federer had a scare in his first match but survived in three sets against  Radu Albot, while Indian Wells champ Dominic Thiem was not so lucky and was defeated by Hubert Hurcazc in straight sets. Similarly, Sasha Zverev continues his underwhelming season after ending 2018 on a high by losing to soon-to-be-retired David Ferrer after reaching the final in Miami last year. 2018 Miami Open champion John Isner's title defense is off to a solid start by winning his first match in straight sets.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Kingdom of the Blind  is another sublime entry in the long-running Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series set in the mythical town of Three Pines, a suburb of Montreal. This is the fourteenth book and unlike some other police procedural murder-mysteries the sequential order is VERY important as the passage of time and events from earlier books very much influences the story. 

These books must be read in order for the greatest effect and thus that makes it difficult to write a review of this book without spoiling the earlier ones. As I have said before, I believe that one of the key factors in how strong a series is (or will be) is the complexity of the supporting characters. Louise Penny has done an amazing job of populating the Gamache series with a number of supporting characters who have large, distinct and memorable personalities. These have become familiar (and perhaps a little rote) over the course of the series. That being said, in some books these “supporting characters” have become main characters and generally the books where this occurs have not suffered from their promotion. Another thing that Penny has done well is create new characters and added them to the mix, and these characters have grown and been incorporated into the stories in increasingly interesting ways.

In Kingdom of the Blind there are really three main protagonists, Gamache, Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Amelia Choquet. Beauvoir and Gamache have been a team from very early in the series but Choquet has only been a presence in the last few books. Of course, all our favorites from past books, Ruth, Rosa, Clara, Myrna, Reine-Marie, Gabri and Olivier make appearances, mostly as cameos (unfortunately). 

This time the primary mystery is about the will of a crazy old lady who despite being apparently penniless leaves inheritances of millions of dollars to her three kids. Myrna, Gamache and a handsome young stranger are named executors of her estate despite apparently having no connection to the deceased and we and they first need to solve the puzzle of why this woman decided on them as her will's executors. Soon after the will is read publicly there’s a murdered corpse to add to the story and off we go. 

Overall, I would say that is a better than average entry in the Gamache series. The primary murder mystery is interesting (but actually not too difficult to solve). As with most of her best books, the most salient aspects of the story involve events which happen to our protagonists (especially Gamache and Beauvoir) that will have long-term impacts on these characters lives, insuring we continue to connect to, and emphasize with, them.


Title: Kingdom of the Blind.
Louise Penny.
Paperback: 416 pages.
Date Published: November 27, 2018.
Date Read: March 8, 2019.

★★★★½☆  (4.5/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: A/A- (3.83/4.0).


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Karen Uhlenbeck Becomes First Woman To Win Abel Prize in Mathematics

Karen Uhlenbeck (formerly of University of Texas at Austin and now at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study) has become the first woman to win the Abel Prize. The Abel Prize has been awarded since 2003 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and comes with a check for 6 million Norwegian kroner (about US$700,000).

Uhlenbeck, 76, is cited for her "pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics."

The American Mathematics Society states:
Uhlenbeck is a former MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the National Medal of Science (2000) and the Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research (2007), and a member of the inaugural class of AMS Fellows. She is the first woman mathematician to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1986) and the second woman to give a plenary lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (1990—Emmy Noether was the first). In "The Abel Prize Laureate 2019," Uhlenbeck observes that she is a role model but "it’s hard, because what you really need to do is show students how imperfect people can be and still succeed. ... I may be a wonderful mathematician and famous because of it, but I’m also very human.” Uhlenbeck was the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents' Chair in Mathematics before retiring from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, and is now a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University and a visiting associate at the Institute for Advance Study. See more about her work in the March Notices article, "Karen Uhlenbeck and the Calculus of Variations," by Simon Donaldson,  and on the Abel Prize website, which has the full prize citation, her biography, descriptions of her work, and a video of the announcement of the prize.

Congratulations to Professor Uhlenbeck!

Monday, March 18, 2019

2019 INDIAN WELLS: Andreescu and Thiem Win Their Biggest Titles In Thrilling Upset Over Major Champs

Defying the predictions of many observers (including yours truly) Bianca Andreescu and Dominc Thiem won the women's and men's championships at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Sunday. Andreescu received a wildcard into the event, becoming the first wildcard to win the title and the youngest player since Serena Williams won it at age 17 in 1999. Andreescu beat 3-time major champion Angie Kerber 4-6 6-3 6-4 in a very compelling contest which was decided by the 18-year-old Canadian's power and determination to win against her opponents guile, stamina and defense.

In the men's championship, Roger Federer won the first set and looked to be extending his streak of winning finals after having won the first set from 20 to 21 when Thiem raised his intensity and the power of his strokes to simply overpower the 100-time ATP singles champion. The 25-year-old Austrian was the tour leader in 2018 with the average speed of his groundstrokes on both wings (depsite a one-handed backhand) and in the final with Federer he exceeded his 2018 average in the match. The final score was 3-6 6-3 7-5. At 4-5 30-30 Federer came within 2 points of his 101st title when he approached the net on a good, deep cross-court approach shot only to find Thiem blasting a backhand directly at him which was too much to handle. A quick service winner later and Federer was unable to hold his serve at 5-all, getting his service broken and allowing Thim to serve out the championship with little hesitation.

Both youngsters came from behind in the match to win their biggest titles of their career. Of the two, Andreescu's was the more surprising result. Thiem has been known as a clay-court specialist, having reached (and lost) two Masters 1000 finals in Madrid and the 2018 Roland Garros final but with  a signature win over Federer (playing in his 9th Indian Wells final) on a hard court, Thiem showed he is  developing into an all-court player. Andreescu was playing in only her second WTA tour-level final and career earnings of $300,000; she earned $1.3 million on Sunday. There were echoes of last year when now World #1 Naomi Osaka was unseeded and won her first career title and then went on to win two consecutive hardcourt majors.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

2019 INDIAN WELLS: Federer-Thiem and Kerber-Andreescu Finals

The finals of Indian Wells are now set. Sadly, Fedal39 ended up being a bust because Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament (and, eventually, the Miami Open) a few hours before his semifinal clash with Roger Federer. Bizarrely, after getting a walkover from Gael Monfils in the quarterfinal, Dominc Thiem defeated Milos Raonic 6-4 in the 3rd set to reach his first final in the Desert. So Federer and Thiem will compete for the first Masters series title of the year. The two have a 2-2 head-to-head record, but both of Federer's wins have occurred on hard courts. Federer is playing in his 9th final in Indian Wells, but last year he lost the final here (after having match point!) against Juan Martin del Potro. I suspect that won't happen this year. MadProfessah's prediction: Federer.

The women's side of the draw has been the more interesting tournament. After Belinda Bencic continued her incredible win streak by taking out World #1 Noami Osaka and Karolina Pliskova before falling to Angelique Kerber in the semifinals. Venus Williams had a resurgence in form, reaching the quarterfinals, winning one of the best matches of the tournament against Petra Kvitova. However, the biggest story of the tournament was the performance of 18-year-old Canadian wildcard Bianca Andreescu. She is in the final of her first WTA premier mandatory tournament on the strength of beating Garbine Muguruza 6-0 6-1 in the quarterfinals and outlasting Elina Svitolina in the semifinals (6-4 in the 3rd set). However, she will face Kerber, who has shut down the two other red-hot players in the tournament already (Venus and Bencic) and can probably do it a 3rd time. MadProfessah's pick: Kerber.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Federal LGBT Civil Rights Bill #EqualityAct Introduced In U.S. House

There are 28 states where it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community today. Most American believe that LGBT citizens should have (and already have) equal civil rights in the United States.

On March 13, the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBT civil rights bill was introduced into the Congress with one House almost certain to pass it due to the fact Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives.

The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School did an analysis of the state of cvil rights for LGBT Americans and published a report summarizing its findings. Key among these, are:

  • An estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers age 16 and older live in the United States. About half of these workers4.1 million peoplelive in states without statutory protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment.
  • There are over 3.million LGBT students age 15 and older in the U.S. About 2.1 million live in states without statutory protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in education.
  • There are an estimated 13 million LGBT people age 13 and older in the U.S. Approximately 6.9 million live in states that do not statutorily prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in public accommodations. 
  • There are an estimated 11 million LGBT adults in the U.S. Over 5.6 million live in states without statutory protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing and 8 million lack such protections in credit.
Hat/tip to Williams Institute

BOOK REVIEW: Embers of War by Gareth Powell

Embers of War is a curious example of a space opera. The main character is a sentient ship, called the Trouble Dog, which was a warship that was involved in a horrific genocide that ended a war and is now part of an organization which resembles an interstellar version of the International Red Cross known as The House of Reclamation. Other characters in  Embers of War  include Ona Sundak, the former warship captain who actually ordered that genocide and who has been hiding incognito for years; two spies for opposing governments, Laura Petrushka and Aston Childe, who could be and may be more than just friends and Sal Konstantz, the current captain of the Trouble Dog.

The heart of the story is is about a conflict between a multitude of competing factions who are trying to control a precious resource. A major theme is also about the nature of forgiveness and the after-effects of war. A planet-spanning sentient forest was exterminated by Sundak in an attempt to end a war in order to save lives that would be lost if the war continued. How does one weigh the consequences of such an act? Are genocidal acts ever"reasonable"? As I said, this is an unusual topic for a military SF space opera tale, but it is a compelling one. 

However, overall, I was not as enthralled with Embers of War as I expected to be, considering the genre it is in and the fact that it was nominated for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Awards (BSFA). One of the problems for me was that I didn’t really connect with any one of the human characters. The most compelling character in the book is the ship, but “she” portrays herself as such (it probably shouldn’t have a gender but it thinks of itself as female based on the source of the cells that comprise the biological substrate of the ship’s mind). Speaking of gender, the majority of the characters are female and the male characters are either viewed as incompetent or as needlessly and recklessly violent. This may have been another reason I didn’t emotionally connect with the story. I would note that there’s a lot of action in Embers of War, which is a nice feature of the book and there is also a significant presence of aliens and ships can travel faster-than-light by moving through the equivalent of "hyperspace." Overall, I'll probably still read the other books in the trilogy (Book 2 Fleet of Knives was recently released), but I'll probably wait until the entire series is complete.

Title: Embers of War.
Gareth L. Powell.
Paperback: 411 pages.
 Titan Books.
Date Published: February 20, 2018.
Date Read: February 25, 2019.

GOODREADS RATING: ★★½☆  (3.5/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: A- (3.67/4.0).


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 INDIAN WELLS: Djokovic(1),Osaka(1),Halep(2),Bertens(7),Cilic(10) All Lose!

Major upsets in the Desert today! Both World #1's lost. Novak Djokovic lost 6-4 6-4 to Philip Kohlschreiber while Naomi Osaka lost 6-3 6-1 to Belinda Bencic. Other seeds who lost included World #2 Simona Halep, World #10 Marin Cilic, World #7 Kiki Bertens among others.

Winners included Venus Williams  and Garbine Muguruza (reaching the quarterfinals).

Monday, March 11, 2019

2019 INDIAN WELLS: Serena Withdraws After Losing 7 Consecutive Games Against Muguruza

Bad news from Indian Wells! After playing brilliantly to win in straight sets against Victoria Azarenka on Friday night, Serena Wiliams had her 3rd round match against Garbine Muguruza on Sunday and while she started off well, winning the first 3 games (1 break). she ended up retiring. Something went horribly wrong around the 5th game and she started having difficulty keeping a ball in the court and was side-arming her serve into the court. She ended up losing 7 consecutive games and abandoned the match and the court down 3-6 0-1 when it became clear it was unlikely she was going to win another game.

This is sad because I will be spending all day Wednesday at the tournament and had hoped to see her in action. Oh well, it is still a great tournament, and I look forward to visiting again.

EYE CANDY: Diego Barros

Diego Barros is a "thirst trap" on Instagram (with well over 600,000 followers @diego_rodrigob) who also happens to be the owner of Coconut Supply, an underwear supplier. I can't seem to find his age, height or weight but one can find a lot of pictures of him on the internet, usually featuring his impressively bulging crotch, including some pictures where he is nude and, umm, aroused. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 09, 2019

2019 INDIAN WELLS: Venus Upsets Kvitova, Serena Beats Vika, FAA Stuns Tsitsipas

Venus Williams surprised very many naysayers by completing one of the biggest upsets in the early rounds of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells today by coming back from a 6-4, 3-0 (double break) deficit against World #3 Petra Kvitova to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Venus and Kvitova have played 7 times and all of their matches have gone to three sets, with the American now having a 4-3 edge.

Serena Williams played her first competitive match since she departed the Australian Open five weeks ago. This match  was against Victoria Azarenka and it was a reprise of the 2016 BNP Paribas Open final with a different result this time. Serena won in 2 very tight, high-quality sets 6-4 6-3.

Felix Auger-Aliassime pulled off his very first Top 10 win by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas  6-4 6-2 in the youngster's first appearance in the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open. FAA saved all 7 of the breakpoints he faced while converting all 3 that he had, and that was basically the match.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: A Merciful Death (Mercy Kilpatrick, #1) by Kendra Elliott

A Merciful Death is the first book in Kendra Elliott's Mercy Kilpatrick police procedural series set in Oregon.

I didn't know much about the series when I started the book except that there's a fair number of entries in it so far (at least eight( and that they are pretty cheap on Amazon Kindle.

As it turns out, judging from the first entry A Merciful Death, these books are a cross between murder-mystery, police-procedural and suspense thriller with a touch of romance and family drama thrown in for good measure. As with most genre works, especially detective novels, in my opinion the key factor in assessing the quality of the books is the complexity of the main character. Here that person is Mercy Kilpatrick, a FBI agent who left her small-town of Eagle's Nest, Oregon at the age of 18, estranged from her patriarchal family, who are anti-government, self-sufficient, doomsday "preppers" (people whose lives revolve around preparing for the end of civilization).

After a 15-year break, there are more murders in her hometown and Mercy is sent to investigate the deaths of three old male preppers who each had large stockpiles of guns and ammunition that have disappeared and the FBI is interested and concerned about determining what happened to these weapons. Back in Eagle's Nest for the first time since she she fed as a teenager, Mercy meets the new, hunky police chief Truman Daly whose uncle is one of the recent murder victims. The previous set of murders had been of young women close to Mercy's age and these events were related to why she had been forced to leave town. She hasn't had any contact with her family since then so there is a lot of family drama when she returns home, especially as an employee of the hated federal government.

Overall, I thought the first book in the series was quite effective as a thriller and as a story. Both Mercy and Truman are compelling characters and I enjoyed spending time with them. The secondary characters (her niece Kaylie and blind sister Rose) were also interesting. The plot was resolved a little too neatly but I suspect I'll be reading more of these books in the future.

Title: A Merciful Death.
Author: Kendra Elliott.
Paperback: 352 pages.
 Montlake Romance.
Date Published: January 17, 2017.
Date Read: February 5, 2019.

★★☆  (4.0/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: B+/A- (3.5/4.0).


Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

TENNIS TUESDAY: #RF100; Osaka Picks New Coach; Kyrgios Bulldozes Acapulco

Roger Federer got revenge against Stefanos Tsitsipas in t.he finals of the Dubai Duty Free Open by winning 6-4 6-4. By doing so, he was able to win the 100th title of his career, becoming the second man in history to reach this milestone. The 21-year-old Tsitsipas made history to become the first player from his country (Greece) to be ranked in the Top 10. He will almost certainly continue to make history, as many observers expect to him reach the Top 5 and potentially win a major title.

World #1 Naomi Osaka has followed up her dismissal of  Sascha Baijin as her coach by replacing him with Jermaine Jenkins, another person who knows the game of her idol, Serena Williams, very well. Baijin was Serena's hitting partner for years, and Jenkins had been part of Venus Williams camp for years, including serving as hitting partner. His twin brother served as Serena's hitting partner at the 2018 French Open, and has recently been named Director of Women's Tennis for the United States Tennis Association.

Two weeks after Belinda Bencic had an amazing week to win her first title in memorable fashion, Nick Kyrgios did the same thing by beating Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Sascha Zverev to win the title in Acapulco. The mercurial Australian Player demonstrated  that when he focuses on his game, he can basically beat anyone.

Monday, March 04, 2019

2019 DUBAI: Federer Wins 100th ATP Career Title! #RF100

Roger Federer won his 100th career title in Dubai on Saturday, becoming the second male player to reach this landmark, after Jimmy Connors who ended his career with 109 titles. Can Federer equal or break this record? Possibly, but it will be tough unless either he plays beyond the 2020 Olympics, which many of us doubt he will do, or he goes on a winning spree in the next 15 months or so.

Another question is will Federer's title haul exceed his other rivals for G.O.A.T. status, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both of whom have more Masters Series shields than the Swiss player. Djokovic has 73 titles while Nadal has 80, but they are both 6 and 5 years younger than Federer, respectively.

Federer's 100th title came at the Duai Duty Free Open, where he has now been champion 8 times in his career. He beat Stefanos Tsitsipas the 21-year-old Greek phenom who ended Federer's title defence of the Australian Open this January. Tsitsipas has a game style reminiscent of Federer's (great movement, shot-making, one-handed backhand) but he's 6-foot-4. Federer had an awful conversion rate on breakpoints in their first meeting in Melbourne but in Dubai he broke in the very first game of the match, defended the 2 breakpoints he had serving out the first set, and then broke Tsitsipas again in the 19th game of the match and easily held serve to win the second set and championship 6-4 6-4.


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