It was a good week for Irish tennis as James McGee cracked the top 200 for the first time in his career. Bad week for Italian tennis as Fabio Fognini continues on his quest to rack up as many fines and punishments as humanly possible.
Biggest Talking Point
Bernard Tomic claimed his 2nd ATP title, defeating Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 at the Claro Open in Colombia. The Australian won the hard way, winning 4 out of 5 tie-breaks in the semi-finals and final. He was a wildcard entry into the tournament and showed everyone the talent and passion he possesses.
It’s been a while see we saw such a display from the 21-year-old. Two hip surgeries and a groin injury have severely hampered his 2014 season but thus far but now he is looking good going into the hard court season. The win in Colombia has pushed him back into the top 70 for the first time since February. Being dropped by IMG and overshadowed by compatriot Nick Kyrgios seems to have given Tomic the kick he needed.
McGee Breaks Top 200
James McGee finished this week ranked No.193, he is only the second Irish male player after Louk Sorensen to break into the top 200. A semi-finals appearance in a Challenger event in Granby, Canada gave the Irishman the points he needed to climb up the rankings. He unfortunately lost to No.164 Hiroki Moriya 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, but things are looking up for the 27 year-old.
It was a winning week for Caroline Wozniacki as she picked up her 22nd career title at the Istanbul Cup. Wozniacki crushed Italy’s Roberta Vinci in the final 6-1, 6-1 in just 67 minutes. It has been a good few weeks for the Dane, reaching the Eastbourne semi-finals and the Wimbledon fourth round. Winning the title will be a great confidence boost, especially with the U.S. Open just around the corner.
Caroline is now up to No.13 in the rankings. With the hard court season coming up, expect her to pick up more points.
The Unending Antics of Fabio Fognini
Ah, Foggy! He’s both irritating and entertaining in equal measure these days. After being fined $29,500 for his outbursts at Wimbledon, he got himself in trouble again in Hamburg. During his 2nd round loss to Filip Krajinovic, the Italian karate kicked his racquet, snapping it in half. The “fun” didn’t end there as the on-court microphones picked up Fognini making an ethnic slur against his opponent, Sebian Filip Krajinovic. The karate kick – fun. Ethnic slur – not so much!
No word yet from the ATP on whether Fognini will be punished for this latest outburst but they are almost certain to take some action.
U.S. Open Series
The U.S. Open Series began this week in Atlanta. The series, sponsored by Emirates, is the 5 weeks leading to the U.S. Open which links 12 ATP and WTA tournaments together. More than $40 million is up for grabs this year. The men and women that finish in the top 3 will earn bonus prize money at the U.S. Open. The amount depends on a combination of their US Open Series placement and US Open result.
Last year, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams received $3.6 million each as they won the series and the U.S. Open title. To date, it is the biggest prize money cheque handed over in tennis.
Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena.