After Newport, back at the hardcourts

Christopher Eubanks

At Newport, the veteran Adrian Mannarino won it, beating the 20-year-old Alex Michelsen 6-2, 6-4 in the final. 

The Frenchman is 35 years old, and he plays all the time, going to various tournaments. If he wins, he can look so intense, but also, he can lose against many of the top competitors. However, he is just going to continue to play a lot of events until he retires.

When? Who knows?. He has won three 250 titles, but no ATP Masters 1000, or even the final or at any Grand Slam. Excellent competitors have beaten Mannarino for years. He has a lot of moxie and is heavy on the self-analysis. He is ranked No. 27, and he does have a chance to finally reach the top 20 for the first time. Maybe he will.

As he said about beating Michelsen, “It’s all about what you’re going to show to your opponent. Today I was trying to make him think I was comfortable and that I would be able to play some long rallies and not missing so much and I would make him work a lot.”

Mannarino has yet to reach into a quarterfinals at the Slams. He does really like playing on the grass, and also, on the hard courts, but on the clay, he loses very early. He likely cannot change, but the lefty will continue to be solid.

The American Michelsen played terrific this week, even though he lost. He is very tall, and he is a pivotal hitter. He has yet to play dozens of people, so coming up, he might not be able to beat many darn good players. Eventually, though, he will add some new shots. He is an incoming freshman on the University of Georgia team. Will he play college tennis?

Andrey Rublev has now won 14 titles after he beat Casper Ruud in Bastad on clay. He can be great at times, but he has only won one ATP Masters 1000. Maybe he can do it again during the next seven weeks. Perhaps in the ATP 1000 Toronto, which will start in two weeks…

The Atlanta Open begins this week, with, of course, with Michelsen, as well as Taylor Fritz , Maxime Cressy, John  Isner, Ben Shelton and Christopher Eubanks, among others. Outside of the American, there are two once excellent players before they got hurt a lot, with Kei Nishikori and Gail Monfils. If you are there, I would definitely watch them on the court, as they will retire, pretty soon.

At Warsaw, there are some solid players this week including the No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Karolina Muchova, Lin Zhu and Katerina Siniakova. Swiatek lost at Wimbledon, but she certainly likes to play on the clay, and the hard courts, too. As long as she very thoughtful and focuses, then she will have another change to win Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open.