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SapELee 11-20-2012 01:59 AM

The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
As the title suggested, any slam discussion is welcomed :p

2012 Australian Open Wild Card Play Off (Dec 14th - 16th) in Norcross, Georgia.


The USTA will select eight of the top rising American men and women to compete in a single elimination playoff tournament with the winner receiving an automatic entry into the 2013 Australian Open main draw!

The invited players for the 2012 Australian Open Wild Card Playoff are listed below. These are the players who have been selected so far — please check back for the final list of participants.

Steve Johnson
Bradley Klahn
Daniel Kosakowski
Denis Kudla
Tennys Sandgren
Rhyne Williams
Bradley Klahn and Tennys Sandgren didn't participate last year. I'm surprised that Jack Sock is not a given at this point, but 2 spots are still to be determined. I'm guessing that at least one veteran will be invited (possibly James Blake or Robby Ginepri). I wonder if Donald Young will be invited.

T4L 11-20-2012 03:01 AM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread

SapELee 11-20-2012 11:27 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
I would love to see Chase get the invitation, but I have a hard time seeing him get the nod over Jack. Then there are players like Sweeting to consider as well. Very tough decisions for the USTA to make.

SapELee 11-27-2012 10:54 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Jack Sock and Christian Harrison got the last two spots. No Chase :sad:


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., November 27, 2012 – The USTA today announced that former Top 30 player Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Rochester, Minn.), former US Open junior champion Jack Sock (Lincoln, Neb.) and two-time reigning NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson (Orange, Calif.) are among the players competing in the 2012 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, held December 14-16, at Life Time Athletic & Tennis at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga., a certified USTA Regional Training Center........

......The men’s field also includes Bradley Klahn (22, Poway, Calif.), the 2010 NCAA singles champion at Stanford who reached the second round of the 2012 US Open; Rhyne Williams (21, Knoxville, Tenn.), a former All-American at Tennessee who qualified for the 2012 US Open; Denis Kudla (20, Arlington, Va.), a one-time US Open junior finalist who, in 2012, qualified and reached the first round of the Australian Open and won two USTA Pro Circuit Challenger events; Tennys Sandgren (21, Gallatin, Tenn.), a former Tennessee standout who has won three USTA Pro Circuit Futures titles this year; Daniel Kosakowski (20, Huntington Park, Calif.), a former UCLA star who won back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit Futures championships in September; and Christian Harrison (18, Shreveport, La.), who, with older brother Ryan Harrison, advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open doubles main draw in 2012.

SapELee 12-08-2012 02:44 AM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Jack and Steve out of the Australian WC Playoffs :sad: but happy for Chase and Tim.


Douglas Robson ‏@dougrobson

Smyczek & C. Buchanan replace S. Johnson & Sock in USTA wild card playoff for Australia….#usta

Douglas Robson ‏@dougrobson

….Hearing Sock didn't want to break offseason training to play and Johnson due to minor shoulder surgery. #usta

Re: Steve Johnson… RT @samduvall: @BenRothenberg @dougrobson he is resting his shoulder but he did not have surgery

SapELee 12-08-2012 03:22 AM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread


Tennessee’s Gain: Sock, Johnson Out for @USTA @AustralianOpen Wild Card Playoffs; Buchanan, Smyczek In
Everyone in ATL will miss Sock, the co-mixed dubs US Open champ with local hero Melanie Oudin

Young celebrity Jack Sock will not be in Atlanta next week for the USTA’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, according to tournament media staff. Neither will PAC-12 standout Steve Johnson. Ohio’s Chase Buchanan (#361) and Milwaukee’s Tim Smyczek (#128) will replace them, meaning Tim Smyczek should occupy the top seed in the playoffs.
Tim Smyczek just made it even more interesting

Sock’s departure will be sorely missed. He was a huge crowd favorite last year against Denis Kudla in the first round before retiring to the Northern Virginian Kudla. Couple that with the fact that last year’s local faves Georgians Bobby Reynolds and Robby Ginepri have not returned in 2012. Does that mean that DC’s Denis Kudla will be the men’s ‘local favorite’?

If Smyczek does indeed replace Kudla as top seed, it would be a big win for Tennessee fans, who won’t have to watch 4 seed Rhyne Williams face 5 seed Tennys Sandgren in the Friday opener. Instead, 3 seed Williams would get 6 seed Kosakowski and 4th seed Sandgren would face 5 seed Brad Klahn. Although Smyczek’s replacement as #128 over Jack Sock at #150 beefs up the average rankings of the field, the loss of #175 Steve Johnson in favor of #361 Buchanan lower the rankings below their original assessment. Before the changes, the men’s field had an average rank of 232. Now, their mean player will be have a 252 World ranking. Call it the Norcross Challenger if you like.
Sangren is Rhyno’s official frisbee tosser in warm-ups. They won’t be doing this if they have to face the other in the first.

Fear not: The women’s field looks like a WTA International-level tournament with a 143 average world player ranking. You go, girls!

SapELee 12-09-2012 12:53 AM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
If Tim Smyczek and Chase Buchanan replace Sock and Johnson, the draw will probably look like this:

(1) Tim Smyczek
(2) Denis Kudla
(3) Rhyne Williams
(4) Tennys Sandgren
(5) Bradley Klahn
(6) Daniel Kosakowski
(7) Chase Buchanan
(8) Christian Harrison

(1) Tim Smyczek vs (8) Christian Harrison
(3) Rhyne Williams vs (6) Daniel Kosakowski
(4) Tennys Sandgren vs (5) Bradley Klahn
(2) Denis Kudla vs (7) Chase Buchanan

My preview and predictions for the quarterfinals:

(1) Tim Smyczek vs (8) Christian Harrison
The 18 y.o. is up against Tim Smyczek who is coming off the best year of his career winning two challenger titles (Champaign, def. Sock; Tallahassee, def. Dancevic) to end the year with a career high of 128. Harrison, who is not blessed with power and size at this age, relies on his defensive skill and backhand to draw errors from his opponents. Against Smyczek, he will have to do more b/c the speedy veteran is very consistent and rarely makes mistakes. Smyczek has good defense and backhand himself. He is the more aggressor of the two, likes to play inside the baseline, and will jump on every short ball. At this time, Harrison's forehand has the tendency to land short, advantage Smyczek.

(3) Rhyne Williams vs (6) Daniel Kosakowski
Two players with similar game. Both have good serve, decent backhand but favor the forehand. Unlike Johnson and Sock, Williams and Kosakowski are reluctant to step into the forecourt. They prefer to play close to the baseline, though impatient at times. There are some differences though: Williams' random drop-shots and Kosakowski's one-handed backhand. Kosakowski is the more composed of the two (too calm though, show some emotions boy!). Not sure what to expect, but Williams seemed like a better indoor player and I think his bigger serve will lead him to a victory (Kosakowski tends to stay too far behind the baseline to return serve).

(4) Tennys Sandgren vs (5) Bradley Klahn
Klahn is a bad match-up for Sandgren IMO. Sandgren likes to control rallies with his backhand, particularly the backhand cross-court. The problem: his opponent is a lefty with an aggressive forehand. If he keeps hitting the ball to that side, he will be in for a long day. However, Sandgren had some pretty good wins during the USTA Pro Circuit indoor season beating Jesse Levine and Alex Kuznetsov. Could be a good match, but I think Klahn will come out victorious.

(2) Denis Kudla vs (7) Chase Buchanan
Battle of the former Junior USO Finalists (Kudla 2010, Buchanan 2009). One of the matches I'm most looking forward to (if it does happen). Haven't seen too much of Buchanan, but I liked him the first time I saw him back in June. Similar to Kudla, he seemed solid from both wings unlike most of their American peers who like to run around the backhand (*cough* Sock, Johnson, Williams, Klahn, Kosakowski *cough*). Both players like to dictate points with the backhand. However, Kudla is more of a clean ball striker/flat hitter whereas Buchanan hits with a lot of topspin. Like Smyczek, Kudla will play inside the court if you let him while Buchanan likes to grind from the baseline. Buchanan is a very streaky player; can win 5 games in the row and can also lose 5 games in the row (concentration lapses). He is a slow starter (tends to get broken early in sets). He can get away with it at the futures level, but it will be a lot tougher on this stage. If Buchanan can keep his unforced errors under control (something that he really needs to work on), the match could be close. Otherwise, Kudla will run away with it quickly. Despite being a year younger, the more experienced Kudla will have the upper hand.

Anyone wanna share their predictions? :p

SapELee 12-12-2012 08:26 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread

2012 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs Men’s and Women’s Draws, Friday Order of Play



2012 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs

Lifetime Tennis, Norcross, GA

COURT 7 (Center Court)

10:00 a.m. Madison Keys (3) vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands

N.B. 2:00 p.m. Tim Smyczek (1) vs. Christian Harrison


11:00 a.m. Irina Falconi vs. Mallory Burdette (4)

N.B. 1:00 p.m. Denis Kudla (2) vs. Chase Buchanan


11:00 a.m. Alexa Glatch (2) vs. Alison Riske

N.B. 2:00 p.m. Bradley Klahn vs. Tennys Sandgren (4)


10:00 a.m. Julia Cohen (1) vs. Grace Min

N.B. 1:00 p.m. Daniel Kosakowski vs. Rhyne Willams (3)

SapELee 12-14-2012 05:02 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Men's matches coming up.


Tennis East Coast ‏@TennisEastCoast

@RhyneWilliams and @timsmyczek caucusing before their matches. Men are next @AussieWildCard.

SapELee 12-14-2012 06:46 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Tim over Christian 76 61
Rhyne wins the first set over Daniel 6-1

SapELee 12-14-2012 06:56 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Tennys leads Brad 4-1

updates from @akpruitt and @Vol_Tennis

SapELee 12-14-2012 06:58 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
Tennys takes the first set 6-3

nole_no1 12-14-2012 06:58 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
I thought it is best of 5...

SapELee 12-14-2012 07:04 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
I think only the final is best of 5

SapELee 12-14-2012 07:13 PM

Re: The "Anything Goes Grand Slams" Thread
East coast boys cruising it seems


Amanda Pruitt ‏@akpruitt

@TennysSandgren breaks and is up 3-1 in the 2nd vs Klahn #aowc

Amanda Pruitt ‏@akpruitt

@RhyneWilliams breaks back vs Kosakowski right away. It's 3-2. R just 3 games away

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