Quarterfinalists March On @TennisHalloFame
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
J.P. Smith is causing a lot of problems this week. I told him as much at press. I mean, first you take out Tomic and now you do this to Jared Donaldson? “I wouldn’t say that”, he replied. “I did get off to a quick start toward the front of the match.” Smith noted that he was able to get in a lot more second serve points than he was used to doing on the tour as he eased past local favorite Jared Donaldson at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, RI earlier today.
Not giving Donaldson a lot of pace on the Court today paid off for Smith. “These courts are really conducive to slices and you can skid through. Sometimes, you don’t know what kind of bounce you’re going to get. The more you make them play, the more you can dictate the rallies like that. I kept my play unpredictable.”
Donaldson was definitely shell-shocked after the match but was kind enough to grant us a post-match 1-on-1. I look forward to seeing Jared win many matches like these in years to come.
The awesome Tommy Haas bowed out of the singles draw today after losing the third set of last night’s suspended match against Adrian Mannarino. While Tommy Haas gave lots of post-match autographs, Mannarino stopped for two before whining to the assembled children that he had another match to play. Whatever. It must have worked, as he won his second round match later against Edouard Roger Vasselin in three.
Rajeev Ram is a giant killer, and he keeps on killing. After knocking off top seed John Isner yesterday, he claimed Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 6-3.
Tatsuma Ito was cool and composed as he headed to the quarters by virtue of his workmanlike 6-4 6-4 victory over American Steve Johnson. Ito has JP Smith in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.
Jack Sock gave everyone a scare after the fans lost Isner to the Curse of the Cup yesterday. After an abysmal first set, Sock escaped a second set tiebreak before winning the third set 6-4.
And how about crusty old Jan Hernych, who at 36 has played more tennis than anyone here at Newport this week? His fifth consecutive victory at the tournament propelled the veteran player into the quarters. Take that, Tommy Haas and Mark Philippoussis.
Just starting are Dustin Brown and Sam Querrey. Ivo Karlovic and Malek Jaziri are already underway. It is pea soup in Newport right now, so don’t be surprised if some portion of a match needs to be completed tomorrow.
See you tomorrow in Newport!