The new tennis season is here. No warm-up tournaments but what does that matter, most of the 24 players in the Australian Open draw would still be without a title.

In any case this is the title they want, a grand-slam. There are those already with tier three and tier two crowns but grand-slam success has proven too much for them.

The main pretenders are well poised to meet in the final but a potential top seed could find the going too tough in the quarter-finals.

But enough of the jibber jabber, it's time to break down the draw.

The top half has the world number one Orick Angus. Word is that he has an ankle injury, but let's not kid ourselves drop him in the final.

So that means he'll beat Sheldon Mcdonald in the round of sixteen and of course Mcdonald should easily beat the newby Corey Cummings in the first round.

The fighting army man, Shadaine Douglas who is seeded five is also in the top quarter.  For his dangerous backhand and annoying tactics, he should find his way to the quarter-finals.

Angus will end his reign for the second time in three years.

The bottom quarter is probably the most OPEN.

Keno Davis and Alric sproul are the seeded players but word is their build-ups have been less than ideal and we all know they need many hours on court to be at their best.

The best match potentially could be between Davis and tour director Andre Ewan in the round of sixteen.

The winner here, who we expect to be the untalented but annoyingly steady Davis, should have a free reign to the semi-finals.

Although, Stacy Moore who we think will beat David Thompson and Sproul, could be very very dangerous.

A woman in the quarters??  Or semis??? What would the tour come to..

So it's a Angus, Davis semi-final, so the seedings should hold.


The bottom half of the draw seems most loaded.

Let’s look on the third quarter. Jovaughn Mullings ended 2013 like a dog without a bone. Titleless. That trend seems as if it will continue at the Australian Open.


The world number three is on a collision course with Us Open champion Camarsh Crumbie. The problem for Mullings is that he’s the one most likely to crash. Atleast he has a shot at the doubles title.

So Crumbie should reach the semi-finals in this section where I think there’ll be a repeat of the Us Open final with Mivkel Riley.

Riley has Mark Plunkett who is returning from injury. That shouldn’t be a problem. Then he should most likely face Ricardo Chambers who he beat at the Us Open. Again shouldn’t be a problem.

His toughest clash could be a quarter-final with the world number two Kevar Bartley who has been notably dropped by his doubles partner, world number one Orick Angus. Guess he won’t be having a title at this open. Now that’s a closed case.

So the semi-finals should have Angus against Davis with Angus winning.

Two unseeded players will then be in the other semi-final with Crumbie who beat Riley love and love last time coming out on top.

Riley should win a couple games this time.

We also pick Crumbie to lift the title, once he doesn’t lose on a walk-over at some stage.

 All the best enjoy the open, no foot faulting, bad line calls, bad light calls or faking’s a new year, come with a new attitude.



 The World No.1 leads from the front as he aims to defend his title against those who seek to dethrone him. Angus gets on the way against a former hitting partner in Allen who hasn't been on form of late and needs to hit the practice courts a bit more for the rest of the season. Angus will be through to the quarters in straights. He'll go on to face either World's No.6 Chambers, who he dispatched in their last encounter on the clay of Madrid a month ago or World's No.7 who's been nursing some sort of unknown injury. Stanley has been off the scene during the European clay swing and has fallen off the "race" pace to London. This should be an entertaining encounter with some ups and downs, I'll leave it to the match to make a prediction.

Semi-finalist : Orick Angus


Back down to his "right position" at No.3 in the world. Bartley opens against a familiar opponent in Ewan. Andre will be looking to capitalise on the lacklustre showing of one of the tour's elite over the clay court season. Bartley has failed to win a match on this surface and Ewan would have to overturn a 0-3 record against the Jamaican. This one may go down to the wire. Bartley in three tough sets. The road should get easier or maybe not. The winner could face Madrid champion Sproul in the quarter. He takes on tour debutante Kris Anthoni and should get by. The new sole holder of the no.8 ranking will be eager to add another trophy to his mantle. 

Semi-finalist : Kevar Bartley


In the quarter where anything could happen world's no.4 Douglas returns to the tour after skipping last weeks Rome masters. Rumour has it he injured his pinky. Douglas opens against Livingston who got his first victory over a top four player a week ago on his way to the Rome semi-finals. This may be a good one depending how consistent Rick will be. Douglas should get by in straights though as he'll wear his opponent down exposing Rick's lack of patience. The winner should get a crack at fast rising Jamaican Keno Davis who rode his Rome runner-up finish all the way to No.5 in the World when rankings were published. Davis has a tricky opener against the crafty french doubles specialist who will be looking to make the most of his slice in attempts on shortening the points against one of the tour's best defenders. The winner of this will be the one with the least amount of error. A true coin toss up.

Semi-finalist : Shadaine Douglas


World's No.2 returned to the tour last week in Rome where he lost to Angus in the Semis. Reclaiming his ranking from Bartley should give him enough to get through his matches to earn a final rematch with one of his nemesis. Mullings waits for the winner of Morris/Madhoo and should get by either easily. In another toss up match Josephs will meet Plunkett for the first time. What should be a match of top spins suited for the surface fitness could play a part as well as who's willing to take their shots at finishing the point. Won't see a lot of net play here which would have been decisive. I'll take the former world's No.5 in this battle.

Semi-finalist: Jovaughn Mullings

Dark Horse: Keno Davis

First round match to watch: Chambers vs Stanley

Semi-finals - Angus def Bartley

                       Mullings def Douglas

Championship - Angus def Mullings

So as we kick off the  extensive Tier I season, the stars align in Indian Wells for the PNB Paribas Open for what should be an entertaining weekend of competitive tennis. The BIG FOUR are all present and will be eager to get their hands on the trophy and valuable points up for grabs. We have a strong field of ever improving players and those journey men looking to grasp their first title, knowing that they'll have to overturn the odds to achieve that goal. Lets take a look at the draw. 


World No.1 Orick Angus comes into his first event since winning his second Australian Open title at the start of the year. Ever pressed by the Mullings in the rankings, he will be sure to come with guns blazing as he faces the technically sound Andre Ewan, who pushed him a little bit in their last encounter. Angus should however get through easily to face the winner of the match between Dwayne Doyley and Jason Allen. This should be an interested fight between two of the tours  flashier  players. The french man on the hell of a finals showing in Dubai a couple weeks ago should get the better of Allen in this one. 



Two weeks Shadaine Douglas captured his second title by beating Doyley in a surprise finals. He comes in with his eyes on the rankings in only his second event of the season. Douglas will open his bid for the title against the ever improving Cassius Watson. In what is expected to be the match of the round and the one to watch for a possible upset, Douglas is favored to out guile the crafty Italian. Advancing to the quarters should see him meeting Akeem Stanley who is tipped to get pass Kimani Madhoo. Stanley suffered a shocking lost by the hands of Doyley couple weeks ago and the former no.1 will look to put that behind him and bring his game to the court.



The third quarter is spearheaded by World No.3 Kevar Bartley. The big hitting Jamaican will be looking for his second title of the season after capturing  the season opener in Doha. The five time titlist will look to build on a good start to the season when he opens against the ever present  Alrick Sproul. Bartley should keep his unbeaten record against the Frenchman in this their third encounter. The winner moves on to face either Jordache Deuce or Richard Joseph in what should be a battle of spins and slices. Deuce is being tipped to move on as he marches up the world rankings. facing his rival Bartley should be an interesting bonus for the spectators taking into consideration more than one spicy encounter between the two. 



Three of the top four ranked players have capped titles this season, the odd one out is Wimbledon Champ and world no.2 Jovaughn Mullings. He should be eager to go and business like as he seeks to maintain his chase on the number 1 spot. He will have to be sharp at the get go as he opens against the fast rising Keno Davis. Davis gave Mullings all he could handle down under and will be looking to go a step further this time around. However, the experience and grit of the Russian should pull him through this one.  The winner goes on to face journeying Italian Ricardo Livingston, should he get pass the big man from the famed red and white country. Kamar Morris will be making his season debut after being the victim of  visa issues on his way to Australia earlier in the year.  What form will he be in as he kicks off his season. 


Semifinals 1 Angus def. Douglas 

Semifinals 2  Bartley def Mullings

Champion: Angus


At the start of the Open Angus only had one thing squarely on his mind and that was a triumphant title defense and he did! He started off a little doubtful after having physical issues but then he got enough time in between matches, paced himself, did a little scouting and became fully confident by the time the Quarter-final round began. It was here that he lashed an unsettled and hasty Chambers in 2 sets showing signs of old.

He was uncertain of who his opponent in the final would be and at the end of an entertaining semi-final between rivals Mullings and Bartley, he activated his mental game which pretty much saved him on Championship day.

Angus started out lacluster suspectingly from nerves coupled with brilliance from Mullings as he burst his one and only racquet before the end of the first service game which the Russian held to love.

Angus went down 1-3 with Mullings serving and even got game points. By this time Mullings must have been thinking 'story of my life re matches against Angus' as time and again the sets came down to who took their opportunities as soon as they saw them.

After Angus settled in with a different racquet and cheered on strongly by the crowd the Russian lost his concentration and with it 11 straight games!

This match felt like a match that Angus perhaps should a lost or at least lost the first set! Instead it was Angus who proved too strong for Mullings who again has to go back to the drawing board.

Mullings always fail to play to a game plan against the Spaniard. The best display was in the World Tour Finals. None of that was seen from Mullings today.

On the plus side for Mullings, he was able to hold unto his number 2 ranking and with it the right to avoid Angus until the final stage of the Majors. But be ye warned that Bartley is closing down and fast after bagging his 5th title last month.

Well, all we can say is that Angus will be hard to beat on a good day.

The doubles event features an UPSET FINAL whereas both the number 1 and number 2 seeds lost in the semi-final round. Sproul/Davis dispatched Watson/Livingston for a second time dropping 5 games in a one set first to 8 games win by 2 format, playing deuce. Similarly Mullings/Haughton teamed to down Grant/Stanley 8-4.

This final is set for 4pm on saturday February 9, 2013 where we'll crown our second doubles Grand Slam champion.


Pretty soon there will need to be an expansion of the venues for the four grand slams especially here in Australia. A record twenty-four players have turned out for the year's first major meaning the top eight players won't bow into action until day two and could possibly play quarter-finals and semi-finals on the same day. That would be a first in six previous grand-slam events and who knows with more entries we may soon have mid-week matches and then the battle between players and officials may intensify and players representatives may come under some serious threats, especially from certain violent Jamaicans whose nasty behaviour has been well documented.

But for now everyone seems excited about the strides the tour has made in the last two years and more and more people want a piece of the pie.

But only one man can walk away with this aussie open cake and if truth be told only three or four men have a realistic shot of winning the title.

Oh and less I forget there is atleast one female in the draw. To Shellita Haughton we say welcome but don't think any of these guys will go easy on u, they will push even harder and take pleasure in you feeling pain.

Anyhow let's just take a quick look at the draw. There are two first round matches that jump out at you. On the top half of the draw Andre Ewan and Donclair Brown will do battle. They have met before twice splitting the head to head at 1-1 with Brown winning the last. Ewan has been playing well on the practice court but don't think he will convince anyone until he starts putting together match wins and this could be a good place to start.

Mark Plunkett versus Cassius Watson should be another good match. Let's give Plunkett the edge not just because of his ability to grind all day, guess you could call him a real Jamaican stulla but also because Watson is not as good as he thinks or not as good as he can be on a doubles court.

Once again Orick Angus starts as overwhelming favorite for this event and there is little in his half to trouble him. Maybe on current form a match with Qatar Open finalist Ricardo Chambers may be his toughest but then again if Jordache deuce can focus enough and be less confrontational he could get through to the semis and trouble the world number one.

Watch for a possible semi-final between Wimbledon champion Jovaughn Mullings and Kevar Bartley who won the  tune up to this event.

Have fun in Australia guys and remember re-hydrate much, bound to be lots of cramping...



Time to take attendance for the Qatar Open, the first tournament of the 2013 TJTC season. Let’s start with the world number one Orick Angus…absent…moving on to the world number two Jovaughn Mullings…absent as well. We must have the world number three Kevar Bartley…yes finally a top ranked player but the world number four Shadaine Douglas is not in the field.

 Three of the five men who won titles in 2012 will be missing the Australian Open warm up. Guess they feel they don’t need the practice. The world number three Kevar Bartley certainly needs all the playing time he can get after an early exit at the 2012 World Tour finals where he complained about feeling the effects of a viral illness.

But having said that Bartley is favourite to win his fifth title on tour and become the second winningest player.

He does have some capable players in his half of the draw. Jordache Deuce is the fifth player to have tasted title success in 2012 and he lurks in the quarterfinals and another player who knows to mix things up, (Bartley’s kryptonite) could be up in the semi-finals.  

But Bartley should make it through this half and into the final. As to who he will play is anyone’s guess. Frenchman Ricardo Chambers is seeded number two but with Keno Davis hovering around his half, it’s hard to predict him making the final. Chambers is yet to turn the tables on the Jamaican having lost all 5 encounters and if the exhibition is anything to go by, Chambers will find it hard to go one round later.

That means the possible quarterfinal between Davis and Akeem Stanley could be crucial. If Stanley wins Chambers is favourite to make the final but if Davis wins…..Chambers probably shouldn’t even turn up.

But whatever happens it is an amazing opportunity for one of these men to achieve something special and start 2013 with a bang…… 

Written by: R.C

Edited by: A.E


If number 1 seed and four time titlist Kevar Bartley should make it 5 he would have to turn the 

tables on World Tournament champion Deuce whom he lost to at this said event last year. He has

 a winning record against everyone else in his half and in the absence of his nemesis Angus and 

steely Mullings he should make his typical impact, all being well.

Stanley should get pass an out of form Madhoo booking his first official date with the Jamaican 

Davis in a clash of words and wills. Chambers looks to make a semi-final rebirth this season but 

may face opponents that have given him all he could deal with and more. The winner of the opener

 will certainly have to play for it thus setting the tone for our 2013 calendar year. 


The second edition of the world tour finals is here. Five players return from last year while three new faces join the cast.

Orick Angus is the undisputed world number one. He has won all three of the four grand slam titles this season and is once again the heavy favourite for this title. The only good news for his opponents is that he recently suffered an ankle injury which forced his withdrawal from the Paris masters. Kevar Bartley, Ricardo Chambers and especially Jason Allen will be hoping he is still injured for London because that could be their only chance against him.

Angus won this title last year unbeaten and had to deal with both Chambers and Bartley in the opening round. He beat Bartley for the Us Open title and should do so again and should even have easier days against the other group entrants.

The runner up spot should go to Bartley. He opens against Chambers, a player he has beaten twice this year and holds a 3-1 record against. He also beat chambers at this event last year and so a spot in the last four should be his.

For Jason Allen, he should just be happy to be in London.

The other group is wide open. World number two Jovaughn Mullings is expected to advance but it will not be easy. In his group he has Olympic champion, Shadaine Douglas and the silver medalist Sheldon Mcdonald who has come out of retirement for about the 20th time. Plus there is Akeem Stanley who has shown signs of improvement lately.

Lets assume Mullings will qualify by winning all his matches, then it comes down to the remaining three. Here it seems much easier to side with ranking and go with world number four Douglas. He has beaten both men this season and knows how to win close matches.

Mcdonald who has had a consistent season should get by Stanley as well.

The best match of this championship could come at the semi-final stage. If our predictions are correct then another show down beaten bartley and Mullings is a tantalizing prospect. Bartley won in the US Open semi-fiunals…Mullings won to take the Paris title. This preview favors Mullings again but Bartley certainly has the know how to get this win.

After that the tournament is over, Angus, once fit, to win in Usain Bolt style, and I am talking 2008 Olympics style.

 By: R.C

Battle in London!

The World Tour Finals is a professional and prestigious event played on indoor courts which features the year end-culmination of the 2012 tennis season for the best 8 singles players and doubles teams on TJTC with a unique round robin format.

Eight players are divided into two groups of four, and play three round-robin matches each against the other three

 players in their group as they battle for a berth in the knockout semi-finals and beyond.. From there, the two players 

with the best records in each group progress to the semifinals, with the winners meeting in the final to determine the


Let’s take a little closer look at the statistics of our 2012 contenders

Orick Angus

Second appearance at World Tour Finals (5-0 record); best previous result was winning this title in 2011 defeating Elliott 62 62.

2012 titles: Miami, Rome, Shanghai

Best Grand Slam result in 2012: Australian, French Open and U.S Open champion

Quote: “I am aware that a few players have their eyes on my number 1 ranking but they’ll have to come real good.”


Jovaughn Mullings

First appearance at World Tour Finals.

2012 Titles: Monte-Carlo, Paris

Best Grand Slam result in 2012: Wimbledon Champion, Australian Open Finalist and U.S OPEN & French Open Semi-finalist

Quote: “Looking forward to a good showing. I hope to at least make the final.”

Kevar Bartley

Second appearance at the World Tour Finals (2-2 record): best previous result was making the semi-final round in 2011

2012 Titles: Dubai, Halle, Cincinnati, Rogers Cup

Best Grand Slam result in 2012: Wimbledon & US Open finalist

Quote: “I would like to go one round later this time around. Let’s see how it goes.”

Shadaine Douglas

First appearance at the World Tour Finals

2012 titles: Olympic Champion

Best Grand Slam result in 2012: Australian Open semi-finalist, French Open finalist, Wimbledon semi-finalist.

Quote: “Doing some fine tuning going into the Tour finals. Even then I still want to come out atop my group though it will be tough.”

Ricardo Chambers

Second appearance at World Tour Finals (1-3): Best previous result was round robin 3rd place finish

2012 titles: Olympic bronze medalist

Best Grand Slam result: French Open Semi-finalist

Quote: “I feel no pressure. Just going in to do my best.”

Sheldon McDonald

First appearance at World Tour Finals

2012 titles: Olympic silver medalist

Best Grand Slam result: Wimbledon & French Open quarter-finalist

Quote: “Back into the fire I go. This will be tough but at the end of it all, regardless I’ll be fine.”

Jason Allen

First appearance

2012 titles: -

Best Grand Slam result – round of 16 for all four slams

Quote: “ It will be extremely difficult but I’m glad to be able to make the top 8 cut this year.”

Akeem Stanley

Second appearance (1-1): best previous result was finishing 3rd in the round robin stages

2012 titles: -

Best Grand Slam result – Wimbledon & US OPEN Quarter-final

Quote: “Glad to be back here. Almost never made it but I’m excited about my group. Let’s see how well I do.” 


The world number 2 was up against it when Angus withdrew due to a sprained ankle as pressure shifted to the way of the Russian. He tried to settle early while Bartley made his onslaught but found himself battling with himself throughout the match up until the final set. Bartley, after being down a set point at 4-5 30-40 saved that set point and ran with the momentum taking the next 2 games and the set. A frustrated Mullings however kept his cool as he tried to play into his comfort. An early break in the second set seemed auspicious for Mullings as he hung in the match, after Bartley did well to level the set at 4-4. By this time the Jamaican was heading to the finish line but lost focus which Mullings capitalized on an clutched the second set 6-4. Mullings then found his range hitting a little bigger than he was in the first and second set and with a couple loose points from Bartley raced out to a commanding 5-0 lead. Bartley started yet another run but Mullings hung tight and bagged his 4th title, and second Masters title.

“I am quite happy to have won this match remembering our previous encounter at the US OPEN. I knew that it was going to be tough. It’s nice to be heading to London with such a huge title win, having lost to Angus last year”, said Mullings.

“Well, I tried. I felt like I had the match but I had a little bit of a letdown which cost me. I had a couple easy errors which when you commit these against Mullings you are going to feel it. All in all, a good tournament going into the London battle.”

Later that evening Mullings joined his Russian teammate Ewan in closing out a spirited performance from Bryan/Haughton in the doubles semi-finals. Their opponent in the finals was Shanghai champions and US Open runners-up Livingston/Watson who were looking to take the Shanghai-Paris sweep.

The Italians started out quite slowly while the Russians found their range early playing steadily from the back. They raced out to a 4-1 first set lead and before you know it the set was over. In the second set the Italians started to play their way into some form of rhythm but it was the gritty Russians who proved strong in the end.

“I am quite thrilled to have won my first title on tour. The feeling is awesome. I’ve been frustrated recently trying to work things out and this victory makes me feel really happy. I felt like the hunted all tournament playing with Mullings but I expected that and did well under pressure and that I’m pleased about. ”

“I’ll admit that we didn’t play our best today but all credit to the winning team. They played well.”

“I am quite pleased to be the second person behind Angus to have won Singles and Doubles of the same tournament. It’s quite an achievement. We started out just looking for some doubles practice going into the Davis Cup Final later this month. Winning this title is an incentive and we even qualify for the year ending. We have no pressure on our backs. Just having fun with it. I have to say well done to my teammate though. He really stepped up”, said Mullings.

We now move to our penultimate tournament of the year, The World Tour Finals which spans over 3 weekends.



There were no real surprises thus far in this tournament. Angus through to the semi-final round without dropping a single game, Livingston got the better of Morris in less than 3 hours (actually quite quicker than last time) and Jordache retired while trailing by a set to new Serbian player Stanley. Keno made his 4th semi-final at the hands of 4th seeded Chambers defeating the Frenchman in a fashion that they both know too well. He again came from behind and snatched the match in a 3rd set tiebreak.

Josephs, Davis' previous opponent was made to suffer via the 30min rule and as dsgruntled as he was and understandably so he had to accept this reality in his 3rd tournament on tour. Madhoo gave Sproul quite a scare after making his first eat at taking a set from an opponent this season. Madhoo rebounded after shaking off a rusty bageled first set performance and had several chances to consolidate his break being up 3-2 second set.

Stanley now looks to make his best performace of the year and he may well need to if he's to qualify in the final spot for the World Tour Finals over Jason Allen. Davis has to win this tournament to surpass both Allen and Stanley.

Angus awaits the winner of Bartley/Stanley, both players he has dominated thus far on tour. Mullings has an interesting matchup with Livingston while Davis awaits.

In DOUBLES action, Ewan/Mullings defeated Morris/Alllen surrendering just 4 games. Grant/Stanley were made to work hard in closing out tour debutante team of Bryan/Huaghton. The second set is locked at 2-2 and will resume on saturday.


No one could stop a rematch of last year's final between Angus and Mullings. This time last year Angus only dropped one game but today Angus had to tough out the conditions and bagged his 11th title and 5th Masters title of his career. He made light work of his semi-final debutante Allen by only dropping one game. Mullings had a tougher road to the finals dropping a total of 11 games in just 2 matches on his way to a repeat final. With point for 4 all Mullings became flustered after his unconverted chances mounted and with it, the first set which lasted 57 minutes.

Asked about the match Mullings was pleased to be finding back range. "I had no pressure coming in. Orick started out well and I just tried to get my feet moving and get myself going and try to stay in the thick of things. I had to raise my level. We both had unconverted chances and played quite a number of deuce games. I'm just glad to be in good form going into the Year end Championships."

"Jovaughn played well given the circumstances. The heat was unbelievable and I started to feel it physically midway the second set which I tried to conceal which worked out good enough. This was the best he played against me."

When asked about his game plan against Mullings, he said, 'I was a little nervous going in but my game plan was to stay very aggressive. He can be a backboard at times and plays long rallies and so I had to serve well and stay very aggressive to shorten the points. I'm just glad it never extended into a third set."

Angus now looks forward to another title defense in Paris, on October 27, 2012.

Ewan/Mullings suffered via the 30mins rule where one of the teammates showed up late for the resumption of the match. "We were really looking forward to the final with nothing to lose against the veterans and with much confidence that we would have won ourselves our first doubles title but life continues. All the very best to Angus/Allen", said Ewan/Mullings. The Russians led 61 21 but had to give Allen/Angus the walkover into the final round. At this final round they will face Livingston/Watson who is making their second final in just two tournaments. They easily dispatched Morrison/Chambers in what was expected to be a formidable match-up. 

"We were looking forward to playing against Mullings/Ewan to see how we would do against them especially going into the year end championships for doubles. It was quite unfortunate that they did not get a chance to complete their match which looked to be going their way.''

Livingston/Watson suspects that they'll bag their first title and Masters to back up their final round loss in the US OPEN a month ago.

The doubles final will begin at 4pm on Saturday, October 21, 2012.

U.S Open - Day 3

So far no major upset has happened at the Open. Mullings, after digging out a 3 sets win over Watson, was handed a walkover when Stanley failed to show. He now faces Bartley in a repeat Wimbledon final. Bartley played well to dispatch McDonald 62 75 while his back became more of a concern towards the end of the match. Angus dismissed Livingston 62 60 to face Deuce once again after Deuce outlasted Grant 76(6) 2-0 retired.

Later in the evening, Only 2 doubles match were played which featured Watson/Livingston brushing aside Madhoo/Plunkett in a 61 63 affair. They will now face Sproul/Davis who defeated top seeds Allen/Morris 61 36 60 in their quarter-final. Grant/Stanley was handed a walkover when Morrison withdrew because of an ankle injury. They will face the winner of Bartley/Angus who plays Ewan/Jones in the semi-finals.


The year’s final grandslam is here after a summer where the top players were largely absent. That presented an opportunity for new stars to be born and certainly at least two took that opportunity. But coming into the Us Open Shadaine Douglas the Olympic champion and Kevar Bartley, the Rogers Cup winner are only seeded third and fourth. We break down the draw and make our picks.


When it comes to grand-slam tennis few people want to be in the same quarter as the world number one Orick Angus. I guess that is bad luck for his first round opponent Keno Davis. Davis has caused a few upsets on tour so far but this is one he can forget. All I can say to Davis, make sure you turn up on time to honor your fixture. This quarter will also see Alric Sproul taking on grand-slam debutante Ricardo Livingston.  Both players have been inactive recently but Livingston should have a slight edge. This one could go three sets.



The big match-up in the second quarter is between the third seed and Olympic champion Douglas taking on Andre Ewan, the Russian who has so often flattered to deceive. These two could be looked at as complete opposites. Douglas, the player who knows to win and Ewan the one who knows how to lose. Against that background Douglas enters as overwhelming favorite but if Ewan can play at his very best, it could be quite a match.

In this section Craig Grant and Kamar Morris will contest a round of thirty-two match. Grant should come through that contest as well as the round of 16 against Len Morrison.



A year ago Ricardo Chambers and Kevar Bartley met in the first round of the Open. At that time Chambers was the fourth seed and the more informed player while Bartley was just making his debut. However things have changed. Bartley has been one of the most consistent players this summer and already has three titles this year. Chambers on the other hand has slipped down the rankings, from a career high three to a career low of five. Bartley enters the heavy favorite and not many would bet against him recording his third straight win against the Frenchman who could in short order fade in wonderland. This quarter has the greatest depth. It is hard to pick the winner of the next match between Plunkett and Mcdonald. One is tempted to give Mcdonald the edge because he has more match play this summer. He is also the only man to beat Bartley since Wimbledon, where he had chances as well. (Cincinnati finals not completed up to now).


FOURTH QUARTER...............

Last year Akeem Stanley found himself in an early round tussle with the unseeded Orick Angus. This time around he is unseeded but his first round task against Jason Allen should be a cake walk. He has played brilliantly in recent times but his ability to play consistently well for three sets still remains a big question. The world number two and Wimbledon Champion is also in this quarter. He will await the winner of Quincy Lester and Cassius Watson. This could be a tricky draw for Mullings especially with his ankle injury which forced him out of Cincinnati. If he is unable to move at his best then the combination of Watson and Stanley could wear him down, but he is the number two seed and one of only two grandslam winners. He's expected to battle it through.




By: R.C



All four seeds have interesting round of 16 match-ups. Defending Champion and top seed Angus will try to avoid the Keno bug in his opener. Keno has been a Wimbledon semi-finalist and has beaten a tournament top seed before dating back to Roger's Cup quarter-final dispatching Chambers in a third set tiebreaker. 

Douglas, the Olympic Champion, has to fend off Ewan who on a good day could stir up trouble at the office for the Spaniard. Douglas and Ewan have never played before. He then will face the winner from Grant/Morris/Morrison in the quarter-final. Number 4 seed will face Chambers who is unranked for the first time since Cincinnati. Bartley leads the head to head 2-1 and also has a winning record against all players in his quarter yet again. He then plays the winner of McDonald/Plunkett which is expected to be decent rounding out the hardest quarter of the draw.

 The it's the injured Russian who will battle to remain on course for the second week as he'll have to fend off either Watson/ Quincy then he may well run into the former world number one, Stanley in the quarter-final.

Stay tuned for Previews and EDITOR'S PICK.

Let's do this again, shall we?

Douglas and Bartley have gone unto a title rampage in the absence of Angus and Mullings. Douglas is into his 3rd consecutive final of the summer season stemming from his Gold medal win in London.Once again he had to put his friendship aside for a 4th time in dispatching McDonald in a fashion that we know too well. McDonald started off like he had a train to catch racing out to a 4-0 lead but saw that lead being cut away gradually as Douglas was reluctant to go away. He clawed his way back into the thick of things and it became clear to us that he had at least the first set in his bag when he extended it to a tiebreaker which he won 7-4.

McDonald was not to recover from a fate that was in the making of a repeat and lacked the belief that he could come back into the match. He literally went away and Douglas was in no mood to let up as he went through the second set untouched ending the match with an emphatic 76 60 win.

Now Doulgas faces a new challenge this season, an invigorated Bartley. He is intent on figuring out the Jamaican who was handed a walkover victory when Brown failed to show-up for his semi-final match. Douglas was hoping to get a rematch at the same stage of a major tournament. "A part from not playing my best in the last match he was simply too good. Ofcourse I will not settle for second place this time and is anxious to get my revenge", said Douglas.

Bartley on the other hand knows the challenge that he faces and will try his best to bring the same level of intensity expecting a difficult match. "I have a growing rivalry with the Spaniards. I've just got my first victory over Douglas a week ago. I know what to expect so I will just play my game and hope I can pull it out again, with a repeat win," said Bartley.

For Douglas to come away with the revenge he will have to serve well and play more aggressive shots to keep Bartley pinned behind the baseline. Bartley simply has to play his game, maintain his serve and punish anything that lands short on his side of the net. The rankings going into the U.S OPEN will not be affected by the outcome of this tournament where the 3rd and 4th rank is concerned. 

The final is set for Friday, August 31, 2012 at 4pm.


The tournament started off with McDonald not finding Madhoo worthy of a single game as he went about business 

once again on court. After taking care of Madhoo he brushed aside old rival Morris, who was making his first quarter-

final appearance, by only dropping 2 games. Thus far, the Olympic silver medalist has only surrendered 2 games in 

both matches and look to take the same form into his 4th battle with countryman and Olympic Gold medalist Douglas 

once again. Douglas, the tournament’s top seed had to take down last year’s semi-finalist Stanley who was hitting 

missiles after missiles. The number 1 seed settled in and picked up pace coupled with an expected Stanley letdown to 

book another third set match win, extending his third set record which remains flawless.

Bartley staged off a late match surge from Grant who was trying not to do too much to aggravate a suspected injury

 that he has. He kept his focus even off the court then went into Keno’s match practicing his shots for the next round as

 he sent Davis packing with a 62 62. He now faces Brown, last year’s runner-up, who brushed aside Allen 61 61 and 

then took down the world’s number 3 in a 3rd set tiebreak for the highlight of the day. A lethargic Chambers struggled

 to close out Morrison who was playing well but wasn’t able to power pass Chambers, the backboard. With this loss,

 Chambers will fall to number 5 in the world, his lowest ranking since June when he overtook countryman Elliott.

Semi-final action begins at 11am on Sunday when McDonald faces Douglas and Bartley faces Donclair in their second

 meeting on tour. Key to note is that both Bartley and Douglas have never lost to their semi-final opponents.


A year ago it was a draw of eight. The top players had not even begun to establish themselves. Take for example that

 Jovaughn Mullings would have been seeded two behind Akeem Stanley. But one year later things are different. With

 Mullings out injured, Spaniard Shadaine Douglas, who was non-existent a year ago takes the top spot.

And like this tournament was instrumental in sorting out the rankings a year ago, it could do the same this time.

Douglas has already broken into the top four and so Frenchman Ricardo Chambers remains the only player in the elite

group not to have won a title. It's sad but despite his consistency he may well end up the Wozniacki of the tour.

The man who stands on the edge of taking over the 4th spot is Jamaican Kevar Bartley and he already has three titles, 

including a jaw dropping performance to win the Rogers cup last week.

All he has to do is outperform Chambers in Cincinnati and the big four will then resemble a line up many have been 

clammering for.

Three time grand slam winner Orick Angus, Wimbledon champion Jovaughn Mullings, Olympic Champion Shadaine 

Douglas and three time tournament winner, Kevar Bartley.


What a sad way to kick start our final warm-up tournament going into the last slam of the year?! World's number 2,

 Wimbledon Champion and defending champion of this year's staging of the tournament has pulled out due to an injury

 he sustained to his ankle. With this withdrawal, Douglas assumes the position as the top seed for the first time in a 

draw. He is again tipped to take the title should he prevent casualties, remembering the barage he faced in the final of 

Rogers Cup. He may face one of two opponents that he has beaten before and may end up with another battle with 

either Plunkett or McDonald in the semi-final who has an interesting possible meeting in the quarter-final. Recently 

crowned Rogers Cup Champion may again have to avoid the Keno bug. He faces Grant in his opener. Keno faces 

doubles team mate Sproul. Chambers, who looks to pick things up have Len to face in his opener and a possible first 

time clash with Brown.

We welcome back Plunkett to the battlefield and Mullings also whose U.S OPEN preparations have been thwarted.

 Could it be a repeat Rogers Cup final? Shall we?

***First round to watch - Watson vs Stanley***

Confident Bartley: Title number 3 

The Jamaican demanded his third title after defeating rival Douglas 61 64 in a match that lasted 1 hour

and 9 minutes ending Douglas' 7 match win streak and the hope becoming the second player

behind Angus to get back to back title wins. He was very prepared for every thing and was focused from

the start and went after the ball with every single opportunity that presented itself. After the usually slow

 starting Douglas took the first game he went on a game drought as Bartley ran away with the next 8

games in an impressive display. Douglas did well enough to make it into a match during the second set

 as he fought hard to hold each and every service game that he could, having to face such barage. He

did well enough especially when the wind came to break the flow of Bartley but the Wimbledon runner-up

 held steady and got the decisive break at 4 all in the second set and served it out quite emphatically at

40-15 for his biggest title of his career thus far, stepping closer to what could be called the 'Big Four'.


When asked about the match Douglas was uncharacteristically gracious in defeat as he deemed Bartley

 'too good on the day'. Bartley was ecstatic for the win, following his major idol Roger Federer who had

won Cincinnati a couple hours before his final. Bartley was having a good day hitting 24 winners from

forehands to volleys to smashes, even several net chords. Couple that with good serving and you get a

quick straight sets win in his favour. He did his homework on Douglas and what better time to

show it than in a big final?

Congratulations Bartley!

The Tournament of our Anniversary

An interesting draw presents itself with Chambers being the top ranked seed. In his quarter he faces a possible third test against the Jamaican Keno who defeated the World’s number 3 on their previous two encounters with latter victory being more convincing. The number 3 seed will be however rested as he was given the only bye of the tournament.

The second quarter features the number 3 seed and Wimbledon finalist Bartley who faces an improving Ewan in a rematch of the Halle final. The winner of this match will face streaky Brown or the powerful Morrison in the quarterfinal on Sunday. This quarter features first round clashes between doubles partners. Key to note is that Bartley has a winning record against everyone in the top half except Morrison whom he has never played before.

The third quarter is an open quarter but defending champion and former world’s number one Stanley will look to make a deep run. He faces Madhoo whom he has bested on all previous encounters. He may face the American Grant who he has beaten in their only meeting or Morris whom he has never played before.

The fourth quarter features Olympic Champion Douglas as the number 2 seed who faces tour debutante Quincy. He may face McDonald in a rematch of the Olympic final who has to first preclude revenge for Watson in the first round after he was pushed to 3 sets in a rain interrupted match in the semi-final of the London games.

As for our first Doubles draw McDonald/Douglas is the team to beat as they are seeded one whilst Ewan/Bartley is seeded two. Both teams got a bye into the next round. McDonald/Douglas faces either Madhoo/Quincy or Morris/Allen while Ewan/Bartley may face Grant/Stanley or Brown/Morrison. 

Doubles draw is displayed below the Singles draw on the Draw page.

Finally! - Olympics

Douglas arrogantly dusted off the monkey off his back after closing out a valiant effort from compatriot McDonald

 when he came back from what seemed to be heading to a blow-out win for McDonald to take the title in three sets, 

06 64 64. This time however the delay did not work in McDonald's favour after the match was postponed due to bad

 light when they were both locked at 2 games all in the third set.

It all began when Douglas entered the premises with a gold medal around his neck signifying his intent very clearly to

 his opponent. However, McDonald was not phased as he was ready to bring it to Douglas as he vividly recalled their

 first meeting and was intent on turning things around this time. He came out looking the sharper of the two moving the

 ball well picking his spots strategically, taking care of the slow starting Spaniard. 

But it was that one break point at the beginning of the second & third set that proved crucial for Douglas and he held

 unto those breaks and with them his first title on tour. Congratulations to Douglas!



When the match resumed between McDonald & Watson it was a different ball game. Watson wasn’t his sharp self coming off a steamy first set missing first serves and forehand shots but the Spaniard was renewed and remained calm and focused as he tried to pounce on any opportunity that he was given. He sensed his opponent’s letdown and grew silently in confidence as Watson’s break point conversion percentage plummeted. He kept it together a ran away with the match 16 63 63 thanking God for the rain.

When Douglas arrived it was game face on and he arrived with a medal around his neck signifying his intent and confidence over McDonald. But things went to the way of the underdog in the first set as he won the first 6 games of the encounter. He played fluid and confident tennis moving the ball around and choosing tactfully when to close at the net which is an all important factor when playing Douglas.Putting the friendship aside, the duel intensified in the second as Douglas played more aggressively and was thinking clearer. He noted that his countryman was playing well and that he had to step it up and the early break that he got at the start of the second was enough to seal the second set 64. McDonald did well to regroup and get himself back on a roll after trailing 2-5.

In the second set things seemed to be heading down to an easy third set win when Douglas broke in the first game. But McDonald responded with a break of his own and both held serve for 2-2 in the final set when the match was postponed due to bad light. 

The bronze medal play-off between Chambers and Watson will be played at a later date


Douglas ensured that he fulfilled his half of the Editor’s predictions when he, expectedly, defeated Chambers thus extending his head to head advantage over the higher ranked Frenchman. Chambers started the match tense while contrastingly Douglas started the match off very well steam rolling Chambers by racing out to a 4-0 lead. Douglas played like he was assured of the victory steeping in and taking charge of the short responses that Chambers gave him. His backhand was quite ruthless in the first set, striking it with efficiency and depth. Chambers began to settle in and responded by winning the next 4 games and even had a game point to make it five games in a row. Douglas recuperated and managed to squeeze out the first set after Chambers seemed to have taken quite a while to forget his missed opportunity. But the first set was all a Douglas' backhand show.

It was more of the same in the second set. Douglas played more aggressively hitting shots that were accentuated by his intense grunt signaling the magnitude of the match and the glorious opportunity ahead of him. Chambers was resilient from the baseline and at times got Douglas on the run but came up short whenever he’s a foot away from the net. Chamber’s weakest part of his game was yet again in display. Time and again he would get to net and miss a smash or fail to punch the volleys thus making the net exchanges an infant see-saw battle which most cases he came up short. Certainly he had a few chances but the match went in Douglas’ favour. What was evident from that match was that it wasn’t so much that Douglas was outplaying Chambers but that Douglas played with confidence was Chambers seemed to have thrown in the towel.

So the rain came and the second semi-final had to be suspended after the first game that Watson won on serve. After the rain subsided Watson came out aggressively using all the elements of his game that he needed to unsettle the Spaniard. He was striking winners at will doing so much damage with that lefty forehand hitting with so much depth that it was a little bit of a challenge to read. He found the corners with his serve and forehand and his backhand slices graze the net and caresses the court. 

Watson showed the kind of form that saw him race out to a 4-0 second set lead over Douglas back at Wimbledon after overcoming a nervous start to his first tour match. Even then things looked a little ominous for all tour players where Watson was concerned. 

McDonald tried to do a few things differently like coming to the net and exploiting Watson’s level of mobility but Watson being aware of that was quick to take that chance away from McDonald by taking charge of the point as soon as he saw it. The first set was quite one-sided as the tension showed on McDonald’s face as he seemed to be so tight that he was wilting under pressure of making his first major final on tour. The dip in form that McDonald had suffered after Wimbledon was very evident in this match. The Spaniard never had as much intensity as he did 2 weeks ago and this is where he has come up short the most. 

Watson ‘the spoiler’ made his intentions quite clear pumping his fist with every point that he would come up big with and played tennis that was quite easy on the eyes. At the start of the second set however McDonald seemed to re-fuel his tanks putting the first set behind him and came out determined to make a match of it holding his serve for 1-0. Then the rain came back While Watson was serving 1-2 and it seemed to have troubled the Italian’s serve and he never won a single point after going down 0-40 before play was suspended.

The rain may be a blessing for McDonald because it has given him time to think and start all over again and analyze what has taken place in the match thus far, what he needs to improve on and come up with a better game plan. Watson now has to hope he can resume with as much intensity because if he slips then the Spaniard will grow in confidence as the match progresses and then it becomes a different ball game. 

Will Watson continue his form and settle in as the ‘spoiler’ he presents himself to be? Will McDonald redeem himself and make a triumphant comeback that team mate Douglas knows too well? Seems like Watson has a specific mandate to break down the Spanish Armada. Either way, we look forward to developing rivalries. With that said let us keep it locked to this one shall we?



So the EDITORS strike again and this time they favour an ALL SPANIARD FINAL at the end of day 3 - Semi-final day. This feat will be the second by any nation following RUSSIA. So RUSSIA will be looking to give Spain a ''membership card''.

McDonald will start as favourite against Watson for more reasons than one. McDonald, though not in his best form, is a big match performer and has only lost to top ranked players, barring Douglas who was not highly ranked at the time, thus far on tour. He is quite a persistent player who plays the critical points well enough. With that said it is Watson's first match of this magnitude on one of the grandest stages of tennis. He is still match rusty having only played just 2 matches on tour thus far splitting his win-loss record at 1-1, and may be cold coming off a walkover victory over Wimbledon champion Mullings who had to pull out for medical reasons. Watson has the weapons to pull off the upset with a big serve and forehand and a low slice BUT has to play near his best using all his weapons compoundedly as it will be quite a task to topple the McDonald who is riding on a high horse coming off an emphatic win over Jamaican Wimbledon runner-up Bartley in the quarter-final. McDonald is well aware of his chances as Mullings nor Angus is in the draw.

 “I am thrilled I was able to hold my nerve together this time and closed out the match. I was a little afraid that I would have wilted again but I looked to the heavens and kept calm. I thought that the stars would have aligned for me at Wimbledon but it turns out I am one tournament too early but I’m thankful nonetheless. Anything after this is bonus.” McDonald said.

 Where do we start with Chambers and Douglas? Their rivalry dates as far back as toddler stage. Thus far Douglas has made the semi-final round more than any other player not named Mullings or Angus on tour. He too is a resilient fighter who refuses to surrender any number of match points that he faces against his opponents. Going back down memory lane, Chambers had about 11 match points in 2 matches against the Spaniard but astonishingly failed to close out the Spaniard for one reason or the other.

 “I am looking forward to playing my fellow countryman in the finals. What a joy it would bring to the Spanish camp. We’ve held the flag high that Angus left with us. However, I expect the match to be tough as always and I will have to bring it, which I always do,” said Douglas.

 Couple this with a less confident Chambers, courtesy of Keno, he is just getting back in the habit of winning 2 matches in a row and this confidence he may well need to topple the Spaniard. “I am not playing my best but have been showing some steel thus far in the tournament. I know I have to play better to beat the Spaniard. It’s the semi-final and I’m glad to be back at this stage. I know I have a good chance at it as the past would indicate but a medal of any colour would be great.” Said Chambers.

Don’t be fooled however into thinking Douglas has the match in the bag because Douglas has been a little shaky these days and should Chambers get to match point number 12 AND CONVERTS it then it should come as no huge surprise as the editors believe that Chambers has nothing to lose going into this match with Douglas defeating him in his debut tournament back in Doha. Chambers will have to win it in 2 sets otherwise once it’s a third then it’s all Douglas.

 The results of both matches will be interesting and could set the tone for the upcoming US OPEN series which kick starts with our anniversary tournament, ROGERS CUP. Thanks to Mullings the tournament has gotten more intriguing. Let’s see if the Editors will again be right. What will another Shadaine loss for Chambers mean? What if Chambers avenge those losses? Could Watson stun McDonald?

Matches start at 4pm at the Eric Bell Centre. “””GO TEAM SPAIN”””


As of July 28, 2012 players will get the privilege of representing their country in the games of the 20th olympiad to be

 held at the All England Club. Mullings starts as favourite once again after defeating Bartley in straights at the recently

 concluded Wimbledon Singles Championships. Mullings will try to do what his possible semi-finalist and Wimbledon

 finalist did twice by avoiding the Keno bug in his first round. Then it gets interesting with either Morrison or especially

 Watson in the quarters.

Former World number one McDonald looks to pick up where he left off prior to a bad exit to his Wimbledon 

campaign with a first round opponent being Donclair Brown. Then it is possibly a rematch with Bartley, where 

McDonald was two points away from winning that match before falling a part.

The bottom half sees a first time clash between American Grant and Douglas. A quarter-final against a Russian is 

almost certain when Ewan goes up against compatriot Stanley in the first round. Morris looks to take on tour debutante

 Livingston and this winner will set up a clash with either the world number 3 Chambers or Madhoo who will be playing

 each other for the 3rd time.

blog comments powered by Disqus


‘The Moment  has finally arrived’, were the words of the Russian after he copped his maiden slam, Wimbledon the prestigious. Mullings has made 3 of four slam finals played on tour(after giving the Spaniard Douglas a walkover in the French Open) and on 2 occasions he was halted by none other than Angus, the winner of all other slam titles.

Mullings, as did everyone else, knew the magnitude of an opportunity it was not having to face Angus in any tournament. He chosed to stay away from the hype and excitement and gathered his thoughts and desire together and stormed to his first of several other slam victories to come.

The Russian held his sometimes fragile serve together was resolute from the baseline. He had to topple Douglas, who appeared mentally absent and Halle champion en route to victory. He has cemented himself as the second best player on tour as the slams are now split only between the number 1 and 2 players in the world.

From the minute the draw was released Mullings was at the fore front of everyone’s mind as the eventual champion. He was playing himself into form and is playing near his best tennis since. He has his mind clear, stayed focused and mentally tough and most of all calm throughout his straight set throbbing of whoever would cross his path, picking up where Angus left off much to his delight.

“It feels so good to call myself a slam champion let alone a Wimbledon Champion. That’s something that no one will take away from me as of today. I feel invincible and like I no longer have nothing to lose nor prove. I know what tennis I can produce and I’m thankful to God that I was able to pull it all together for this tournament. Douglas was his usual self trying to annoy me with his moonshine balls but I was too prepared for that.  Bartley was playing well at the start and that’s when I needed to really focus. I kept calm and was glad that I took my chances and it went in my favour. I am beyond happy.”

Bartley was also thrilled to make his first major final. He had quite a few battles but that only adds to the delight that he felt. He now has a slam accolade in that of a runner-up trophy.  “I had a good run. I’ve defeated two good players in my run and came up against someone that was playing well. I lost concentration a bit and struggled to get it back.’

Other notable performances came from McDonald who failed to serve out the match against Bartley in the quarter-finals for one reason or the other. Besides the antics that his opponent was carrying on with McDonald lacked the belief and intensity when serving out the match and collapsed shortly after when the opportunity went and was long returning. The second performance came from Kino Davis made a dream run to the semi-finals, again defeating 2 higher ranked opponents and is slowly cementing himself on tour as a dangerous floater.

With Olympics to be played at the All England Club in a few days, it’s not a difficult task to predict who the front runners are for the title. Even then, the possibility of Mullings’ non-participation might make things more interesting. What a letdown for him but after all he’s the Wimbledon champion. 

blog comments powered by Disqus


All but one seed advanced to the semi-final stage of Wimbledon. Chambers was straight setted out of the tournament 

again by Davis. Mullings didn't even break a sweat after dropping just a single game in his quarter-final match up 

againsSproul and after being given a walkover as Donclair failed to show. Douglas saw off a strong second set 

showing from Watson overcoming the debutante 62 64 with his trademark comeback being down 0-4, then went on to 

handily defeat the patchy former world number one Stanley in the quarter-finals. Davis is the tournament's Cinderella 

story after straight setting Grant for his first semi-final in his first slam. Bartley was walking on thin lines as he was 2 

points away from defeat to the Spaniard McDonald who was unable to close out an improved Bartley and visibly the 

Spaniard was clearly out of sorts mentally after letting such an opportunity pass up. Bartley ran with the advantage and 

the Spaniard never quite responded being disgruntled with his opponent for unnecessary complaints and outbursts in 

the match. The Jamaican went on to win the match after the Spaniard retired in a scoreline of 46 75 4-1 ret.

What the Players have to say going into the Championships

Kevar Bartley

"I’m super excited about this one…it’s the most prestigious and I so fancy my chances of going all the way. If I can play my game then I should be fine. I have the confidence to."

Sheldon McDonald

"I’m going to bring it in this tournament. I feel that the stars will align for me this time around. I’m glad I’m viewed as an underdog though I’m former world’s number one."

Shadaine Douglas

“I don’t know why there’s so much commotion about the expectations surrounding my first match. I don’t see it as a match at all. I’m through to the semi-finals to battle the Russian.”

Cassius Watson

“I can beat anyone on tour. I see no reason why I can’t.”

Craig Grant

“Friendship aside, we’ll have to battle it out on court then back to friendship.”

Ricardo Chambers

“I am glad for a rematch but I will feel a little pressure but let’s see if I can do some things a little differently this time around. For starts, I won’t have a broken racquet. There’s not much changes to be made anyhow. I will try to stay aggressive.”

Andre Ewan

“So unfortunate that I’m playing my friend. It’s always tough against him from eversince. I struggle to play my best tennis against him. I’ll try not to pressure myself too much and try to bring over my Halle form.”

Jovaughn Mullings

“I’m trying to stay clear of all the drama and try to focus on what I have to do. Been working hard with my coach. It would be nice to finally win a slam and what better way to do it than at Wimbledon?”

Donclair Brown

“Jovaughn is my friend and he’s a great player. I've got to try to be ready. The last time we played I didn’t do too well. Let’s hope I make a match out of it this time.”

Kamar Morris

“It’s quite difficult to run into a slam without any match play…but what else is new?”

Kimani Madhoo

“I know what to expect against Stanley. Played him before. Didn’t go too well. I’m hoping I can play as well as I did in Halle by my own standards and stay calm.”

Alric Sproul

“I’m excited because I have a good chance of making my first slam quarter-final. Been slowly improving. I’ll take any reward for that no matter how small it might be and keep working. Coach Phillip will be watching.”

Akeem Stanley

“Finally I’m getting a chance to play the Spaniard. I was hoping to be in tip top shape though but I’ll fight.”

Jason Allen

“So I’m playing Bartley again. Ofcourse I would prefer a different opponent this early but looking forward to it. I will fight as usual however poorly I’m playing and regardless of the score.”

Len Morrison

“I just go out there to compete and whatever results I’ll accept. That’s me.”

Kino Davis

“I know he wants revenge. This time pressure is on both of us because I have to prove that I am not a fluke. But he’s the seed. It’s so coincidental that we drew each other in the first round. Who did the draw again?”

Orick Angus

“I will be in the draw. That draw will have to be adjusted. I sent in my request for this tournament. My flight, 0029, leaves today at 3pm. See y’all in London! Go team Spain!”

blog comments powered by Disqus


The picks were solely made from the draw with the fact in mind that the top four seeds are at least supposed to make it to the last 4.


CHAMPION - Jovaughn Mullings

The Russian has been one of the most consistent players on tour. He knows what tennis he can produce and  is quite 

relentless. The lefty has been at every slam final except at Roland Garros where he was defaulted. Each time the 

Russian has made it to the end of the major tournament he runs into Angus. With Angus absent one would think that 

this is the lefty’s best chance to grab a major title. After all, after knocking at the door several times it will surely open 

one day.

He must maintain his serve, show confidence and use up his lefty forehand as much as he can.

Dark Horses

Sheldon McDonald

Sheldon has won more matches than he has lost on tour and each loss has come to a top player thus far. He is pretty 

consistent, can be tricky and is a big match player. Being formerly at the pinnacle of the game he knows what it will 

take him to make a dream run and he’s ready to deliver. The top seed in his quarter is Bartley and they’ve played each 

other with Bartley winning in two tiebreaker sets. Certainly the Spaniard will draw a thing or two from that match and 

once he can use his slice and serve effectively and efficiently then he’s justified as a lurking danger.

Craig Grant

He’s yet to deliver on the bigger stages partly because of his conditioning and lack of play but the American has a 

competent enough game to pull off back to back big wins on good days. He has a decent serve and forehand and once 

he is feeling himself then he should give a good account of himself.


CHAMPION - Kevar Bartley

The Jamaican will be looking to go all the way this fortnight. Beaming with confidence off a title run at the Gerry Weber 

Open this year he has the grass court game with big enough serving, a big forehand and good net skills. The Jamaican 

knows when to adjust and plays the bigger points with a lot of intensity. Should he run into the Russian he's got to be 

the favourite on grass noting his strengths and his ability to hit through the court which works well on grass.

Dark Horses

Sheldon McDonald

This player is a big match player who's least intimidated by anyone. He has played well against the top players on tour 

and in particular Bartley, who's the top seed in the Spaniard's quarter. He will fancy his chances against the Jamaican 

as he already knows what to expect. Once McDonald can keep his head clear and try to neutralize the pace on the 

grass with his slice then he's a real danger.

Cassius Watson

A video surfaced on tour with Watson playing a practice set and from what we've seen he has strengths we need to 

point out. Firstly he's another lefty with a good forehand that goes through the court when cleanly hit. He has a good 

serve and a great backhand slice that goes really well altogether with grass. Once this tour debutante can hold his nerve 

and quickly settle in his first match on tour then we might be up for a surprise especially because the Spaniard Douglas 

has not been looking himself of old and it seemed he has been taking the loss hard coupled with a bad finger, one the 

Spaniard is treating as a minor one. If the newcomer can impose his game to the fullest then Douglas might wilt under 


**Sleepers - Kino Davis, Len Morrison and Akeem Stanley

blog comments powered by Disqus


Ever since it was announced that world number one Orick Angus would be missing wimbledon the anticipation on the 

part of the remaining players has risen considerably, resulting in a record turnout to witness the draw ceremony. Now 

that the draw is out we break it down and separate the contenders from the pretenders.


After two grandslam finals Jovaughn Mullings gets his shot of winning a major. He will start favourite, not just in the first

 quarter but for the entire draw. The Russian should get by the talented Donclair Brown in round one. Also in this

 section Alric Sproul plays Kamar Morris as they seek their first grandslam main draw victories. Sproul though should 

have enough to take this one. 


This quarter could quite possibly provide the match of the first round. Third seed Shadaine Douglas seeking to continue

 the strong Spanish grandslam legacy goes up against wildcard Cassius Watson. Watson could be dangerous on this 

surface, heavy forehand and a nice sliced backhand, but if anyone can soak up that pressure it is Douglas whose ability

 to grind out victories should take him to the last eight. 

This quarter also provides an opportunity for former world number one
Akeem Stanley, another Russian to get his first

 major win. He has had some tough draws in the past but could not have asked for better than Kimani Madhoo in the

 first round.

The quarterfinal match up should be good as well but once again Douglas may be too good defensively.


The player coming into this tournament with the most confidence should be the third seed Kevar Bartley. He won the

 lone lead up event for his second tier three title of the year. He didn't drop a set in Halle and showed that players will 

be rewarded on grass for big ground strokes. Jason Allen should be overwhelmed in the first round. Sheldon 

McDonald should also have too much for Djimon Alando in a relatively easy quarter for the top players. That should 

make for a classic last eight match. The spaniard maybe pre-historic but he does possess the game that has given 

Bartley so much trouble in the past. Should be a classic but Bartley wants Wimbledon too badly not to make the 



This final section could well be the most competitive quarter although it has the number two seed Ricardo Chambers

But the Frenchman's confidence could well be shattered after his disappointing first round exist in Halle. But it is a 

grand slam and the 22 year old knows how to get it right when it matters having reached 2 of three slam semi finals. He

 should get revenge on Kino Davis and is 4-0 combined against his possible quarterfinal opponent but it won't be easy 

and all four players in this quarter will feel they have a great chance of reaching the last four. 

Semi-finals: Mullings def. Douglas

                  Bartley def. Chambers

Final:  Mullings def. Bartley

HALLE Concluded

The first draw of only 8 players ended with a major upset and a Jamaican winner. Number 2 seed Chambers
bowed out in his opener against tour debutante Davis in a 3sets dramatic contest coming from a set down to take

the match 46 63 10-5. Len Morrison came away with his first win in another battle coming also from a set down

 to defeat Allen 46 64 10-8. The Jamaican Bartley did all he needed to against the Frenchman Sproul taking that 

match 62 63. The Russian also defeated Madhoo in a similar scoreline.

In the semi-finals a tentative Ewan proved too strong for Len taking the match on a forehand drive that went long

 off the racquet of Len 62 64. Bartley had to mix things up against newcomer Davis showing off his skills at the

 net to take that match 62 63. After that match Bartley said, "I could now see why Chambers lost the match 

against him. You can't always expect to close him out from the baseline."

Then it was unto the finals between Ewan and Bartley which featured some good baseline exchanges, big serves,

forehands and fight from both ends. The Russian shook off his nerves by taking his first game of the match 

already down 0-5 and then it became a match after that. "I am thrilled to have won my second title today. It 

wasn't all that easy as Ewan really played well. He picked things up and placed a lot of pressure on me. I had 

to stay calm and try to take my opportunities as they come. It could have easily been a 3rd set", said Bartley. 

Ewan was understandably optimistic about his showing when he said, " I think I settled in a little too late in the 

first but I'm usually a slow starter. I had to raise my level today. Pleased with a few aspects of my game and my 

performance generally. I had to be strong on the returns, defend well and serve well also trying to keep him on

 the back foot as early as I could. A little misfortune in the second set but congratulations to him, he played

 well. I'm now looking forward to Wimbledon hoping to sustain such level."

With the Wimbledon draw 6 days away and the possibility of the absence of the world number 1, the 

championships should be a heated one!


blog comments powered by Disqus


The French Open semi-finals are upon us. The players that will hold the top four spots in the race to London as of

 Monday are the ones vying for the year's second grandslam .


The first semi-final will see world number one and favorite Orick Angus taking on the third seed and crowd

 favorite Ricardo Chambers. Angus has only dropped 4 games on his way to the last foour while Chambers

 has dropped 6. However that should not be taken as a sign of how close this match will be. Angus has won

 all three previous meetings dropping just five games in total. "I never underestimate anyone, I am always

 focussed and ready for my matches," said a confident number one. As for Chambers, reach his first

 grandslam semi of the year is a big feat. "I am just happy to be here, I think the pressure is all gone now so

 I can let go and play freely." Chambers will need to be at his very best but even that may not be good

enugh to reach his first grandslam final. THE ANGUS TRAIN ROLLS ON. 


The second semi-final features the world number two Jovaughn Mullings taking on Shadaine

 Douglas of Spain. Douglas could help create history as no two players from the same country has

 ever contested a grandslam final. The two were set to meet in the Monte Carlo final however

Mullings was given a walk-over. "I was disappointed to hand him a walk over finals victory in

 monte carlo but this time i am looking forward to the challenge, should i be fit and healthy."

The 'should I be fit and healthy' could be taken as just another part of Douglas' mind games

although he prefers to describe it as an intangible. "Well it all boils down to my mentality and

 determination that should give me the edge, I mean we both have good groundstrokes so it will

 come down to the intangibles." The experience of being here twice before and making two

 grandslam finals shud help Mullings. He will also have pressure to keep a Russian flag that has

 mostly been overshadowed, still flying high. Whatever happens in this one it could turn out to be

another drama filled classic. MULLINGS MOVES ON.

And then there were 4

When Kevar Bartley returned to the tour most expected him to quickly climb the rankings and

 solidify his position as a top four player. However that has not been the case. We have seen 

glimpses of his capabilities but no conistency but who knows an inspired quarterfinal against Orick

 Angus may be the start of a lot more too come. His big forehand put Angus under pressure and 

forced the world number one to come up big in tough coonditions and clinch a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Sheldon McDonald has done well since joining the tour and has score some impressive wins along

 the way. When he won the first set against world number two Jovaughn Mullings it seemed as if 

he was heading for the finest win of his career on one of the sports' greatest stage. But the top 

Russian would roar back to end the match in style. It is not for any great quality why this match is 

ranked at two but just for the fact that the world number two was taken to three sets. It shows

that the depth on tour is getting better.

Shadaine Douglas always seems to be a part of the drama, you could even say he is drama. 

Another marathon, another fightback and another victory. Mark Plunkett must also be credited as 

when the match looked over at 0-4 in the third and he was cramping he found a way too come 

back to 4-3 before Douglas eventually sealed the win. Close to two and a half hrs of slice and dice,

 no big forehands, no big backhands but they trained shots and net and the overheads were in full 

flow. A match that had the attention of the crowd, if not for the faulty line calls, certainly for the 

faulty overbearing shouts of come on!!!!! But it was that type of a match where emotions were 

high and the breaks were long and the play was slow. The type of match that drew your attention 

but that you probably would not want to see again.

And then there were 8

The Quarter-final line up is now set. Bartley came away a 60 64 victor from what was suspected to be a blockbuster round of 16s match against Donclair. The Jamaican looked business-like and fully focused and rightly so as he was aware of his opponent's capabilities. He set up a 4th meeting with the world number one who has won on all those previous occasions. Chambers set up a 3rd meeting with  the American Grant with both players having relatively easy wins coming in. Chambers got the better of a lethargic Sproul 61 60 while Grant did enough to secure his meeting with the world number 3. Douglas is set for a rematch of the Miami semi-finals 2012 with Plunkett who was relieved to have done enough against the former world number one 62 76(3). Former world number one McDonald takes up the challenge against the arrogant Russian, who got the better of his fellow country man who made a good showing 62 63, by defeating Morris 62 60. We're in for an interesting day at the office tomorrow. Can all seeds make the semi-final?


For the first time this clay court season all the big guns are out and participating in the same tournament. That's not surprising because come saturday the battle will start for one of the year's four most coveted titles, the French Open. The red clay of Paris will come alive with 16 main draw competitors but one will start overwhelming favourite. The top half of the draw seems pretty tough, at least in the battle to decide who will meet world number one Orick Angus in the semi-final. His quarter-final opponent will either be the Canadian Donclair Brown or Jamaican Kevar Bartley. Bartley has been struggling for form and confidence recently and after a hammering by Shadaine Douglas in Rome he will quickly want to rebound. However Brown could provide the type of tennis that could affect his rhythm. Either Angus should be too good for both in the quarter-finals. Another match that will be difficult to predict is the one between American Craig Grant and Jordache Deuce of Jamaica. The difficulty in choosing a winner is not for quality but more for inactivity. Deuce retired in the first round of the D'italia Open as he seemed short on work and playing time. But with his experience he is expected to get the better of Grant and could provide great competition for Chambers in the last eight.

The bottom half of the draw seems pretty much straight forward. Akeem Stanley the former world number one returns to the grandslam stage. He will face Mark Plunkett the fourth seed. Plunkett looked a shadow of himself in Rome but is expected to still have enough to deliver the win. Shadaine Douglas the Spaniard who beat Djimon Alando in Rome should have no problems in putting him away. That would mean a last eight matchup between Plunkett and Douglas. Although Plunkett won their last meeting, Douglas has been most consistent this season and should start favorite. Sheldon Mcdonald should have no problems in dismissing kamar Morris who has only played grand slams on tour and is still searching for his first win. Then the world number two and Monte Carlo champion Jovaughn Mullings will take on Andre Ewan who has not played any of the warm-up events. If Ewan plays his best it could be a very good match but one is expecting the consistency of Mullings to prevail which would set up a mouth watering clash between himself and Douglas, a repeat of the final that wasn't in Monte Carlo.


World number one, US and Aussie Open champ Orick Angus enters the French as the overwhelming favourite. He leads three(3) Spanish players who have all stated their intentions to rise among the game's elite. Shadaine Douglas has already had a fabulous clay court season, reaching the final in Monte Carlo and semi-final in Rome but he has not lost on the court just yet. Then there is Sheldon Mcdonald who expertly put away Jordache Deuce on his way to the Rome semi-finals. The draw presents a great opportunity for an all Spanish final at the French and that is exactly what the world number one wants to see. "Im excited to see the damage my fellow spaniards will be doing in the bottom half, after all they have been doing really great all season so im looking forward to that." While Douglas and Mcdonald will have to knock out top ranked players to reach even the last four, Angus is excited about winning his third straight grand slam. "Who gets bored of winning," he said, the reason for his immense focus coming to the fore.


Ricardo Chambers the French Open will not just come with the pressure of being at home but also adjusting to life as the new world number three. In Paris French hopes will rest squarely on his shoulder with Saddique Elliott pulling out of the event. Chambers is confident he can deliver on home turf but isn't promising anything. "Everyone on tour is just playing real well right now, I got to the final in Rome but I know to beat some of these guys and even get to the semi-finals will be real tough." The pressure of being world number three is not lost on him either as he grapples with the pressure of proving he belongs among the world's elite. "I have been in the top four for a long time now but I av also lost some close matches that I should have won and until I can win those matches like my quarterfinal in Australia then I would not have truly cemented my place as world number three." As he looks ahead to his third major he would ideally like to be in the final but, "let's not fool ourselves, Angus is almost unbeatable at the moment and I am not sure I am the man to beat him right now, if I get there all I can do is play my best and hope not to get love and love." 


So we're unto the second major of the year and third on tour. It was Angus who was ruthless in the previous two slams as he eyes a possible career slam. He maintains that he has no time to become complacent as he's aware of several key persons' intentions. 

The top half of the draw features some delightful match ups. Angus should get pass his first opponent comprehensively and will await either Bartley or Donclair which should be an interesting match up. Either way Angus has beaten both players on tour and even owning Bartley as he won all sets played against the Jamaican in the 3-4 matches they've played. Angus played Donclair once. 

The dangerous Grant goes up against another Jamaican in the form of Deuce in the 4th round. Both have played each other before and the Jamaican came away with the victory in what was somewhat a controversial match. With that aside and a looming umpire this match will be keenly watched. The winner is expected to push the calmly confident Chambers who may be put to work by his 4th round opponent, more than likely Sproul who will face Allen in the 3rd round. This wraps up the top half.

The bottom half features the number one Russian Mullings who faces his countryman in the opening round. Seeing that he bested Ewan in straight sets on their only encounter on tour the number 2 seed is expected to be safely put into the quarter-final round where a fresh match up against a consistent late tournament quarter-finalist McDonald awaits who's expected to get the better of the inactive Morris.

Mark will open against the hard hitting Stanley who's form is being questioned. Plunkett himself may be a little rusty and may need to up it a notch or two as he's expected to face Douglas who should be smiling about his draw and a chance to avenge both his recent losses which signifies a possible semi-final run. He will be keen to go all the way but he, like Mullings, should hope it ain't Angus who comes out at the top of the draw. But question also surrounds Douglas' form who's activity decreased due to grouses with tour management. 

This tournament may bring the biggest tour surprise yet and we're eager to kick things off on June 2, 2012.           


It is almost as if they are taking turns at the clay court titles. The world number one Orick Angus sat out Monte Carlo and number two Jovaughn Mullings came up trumps. Angus will seek to get his feet dirty in Rome, and truth be told there does not seem to be anyone in the draw to stop him. A quarterfinal with Jason Allen already seems a foregone conclusion and while either the inform Mark Plunkett or Jordache Deuce, (considering he can beat Sheldon McDonald) will be in the semis its tough seeing Angus even dropping a set. That quaterfinal between Pliunkett and Deuce assuming they both get there shud be a cracker but with Deuce's limited play recently Plunkett must be favored.

The bottom half is headed by world number four and second seed Ricardo Chambers but while he is expected to get the better of the ever improving Alrick Sproul, it gets a little more tricky from there on. Once again it seems like 4th seeded kevar Bartley will have Shadaine Douglas to deal with in the last eight. Just the lastest edition of their intense rivalry. Douglas has been playing well and was in the Monte Carlo final. Hence he will fancy his chances of not just making it to the semis but all the way to the final having beaten Chambers twice already this year. Infact Chambers has never beaten Douglas. 

So this one is set for another Angus title, it will be interesting to see who can go deep and pick up valuable points to shift ranking positions going into Roland Garros.

By: R.C 


So championship weekend had contrasting results for the semi-final round. Orick outplayed Douglas in a lopsided match which saw Angus only surrendering just one game. Angus was calm but business-like as he looked to brush aside their friendship and patronage for a chance to grip his second major on tour. Douglas knew he was up against it from the first ball as Angus’ superior serve and ground strokes showed up Douglas’ weaknesses.

The world number two was up next and he was up against Doha champion Elliott. Mullings raced to a 5-2 first set lead before he found it tough to close out Elliott who stormed back to take the next 5 games and the set at 7-5. Mullings was determined to stay with Elliott as much as he could and upped his level with more whip on his shots and edged out Elliott 64 to take it to a deciding set which ended briefly as Saddique started to cramp(upper limb) being up at 2-1, He went on to lose a point and then the game for extended delay of play. Saddique was disappointed as he believed he could have had a grand slam final birth. Mullings was relieved to be back into a major final securing his hold on the number 2 rank after having too long of an off season. He always believed in himself but knew the going was going to be the toughest for him with the very little preparations that he’s had going into his first tournament.

But Mullings could not breathe that much of a relief as atop the top half was Angus whom he lost to in four other finals on tour. Angus had a quick start and sealed the first set 6-2. He maintained his high level of play which he didn’t display as much in the rounds coming into the finals to beat Mullings 62 61. The analysts believe that the match was more entertaining and competitive than the score suggested with high level baseline exchanges between both lefties(evidence of this is outlined in the stats for the second set with only two net points being played which were both won by Angus).

 Angus knew what he had to do and that was quite clear as Mullings had no real intentions to attack the little weaknesses that Angus has. At the end of the championship it was Angus who stood tall amongst all the other players on tour. This is becoming a commonality for him and one begs to question the day when his streak will come to an end, if ever.


Make a free website with Yola