For most people, it’s an off time for tennis, with Wimbledon done, the World Cup happening, baseball, and endless NHL and NBA signing talks abound. But not here at MTR!
Kicking things off, Polona found herself in a dogfight against Catalina Castano of Columbia. That’s a mouth full. Anyway, after dropping the first set and going down a break in the second, she kept up the aggressive play and not only got it back, but got a break herself. She took the second set 6-4, and eventually the third set 6-4. I’m a pretty big fan of Polona. She doesn’t posses much power, but she plays aggressively and balances it with a pretty awesome backhand slice. The aggressive play is likely what helped her win the Wimbledon junior championship and allowed her to find success on clay on tour this year. If she can add some power to her game, particularly the serve, she could be a steady player over the years to come.
Next up was Dustin Brown taking on top seed Sammy Q in Newport. Simply put, Dustin came out playing like a psycho, and Sam came out looking pretty complacent. As early as the fifth game (where BrownTown would get his break) he was yelling and “come on!”ing like it was a slam final, Franny style. His serve is huge, and his volley skills are equally impressive. Playing serve and volley, he didn’t get Sam much ground and has an smooth, calm style, following every ball around at the net with his racquet, and is incredibly athletic. Fun stuff. Sam was nice after the match too: “His service game, there was never a point more than two shots. On my service games, I’d throw in a double fault and he’d rip one of those continental forehand winners.” This is only Dustin’s second ever quarterfinal appearance at a main tour event, the first coming this year in Johannesburg.
Not long after came up Canadian Frank Dancevic AKA Fancy Dancy taking on marathon man Nicolas Mahut. Only Dancy’s third match back after injury, he looked as comfortable as ever on grass, winning a first set tiebreak and finally breaking in MaChooChoo’s first service game of the second set and took the match 7-6(5), 6-3. He didn’t face a break point all match. Not bad, Dancy! Good to see you back.