Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Yankees Nation: Yankees sweep A's with big road trip looming

 

The New York Yankees continue to stay on a roll. 


Now I know the Oakland A's are terrible, but still the Yankees swept them like they should. A sweep is a sweep. They have a huge 10-game road trip, starting with a game against Houston coming up.


My goal for the Yankees is to go 8-2 in this 10-game road trip. It won't be easy, but it can be done. The Guardians and Pirates are not good and the Yankees can beat the Red Sox!


The Yankees are 56-20 with a 13-game lead on second-place Toronto. They have an 8-game lead on Houston for the best record in baseball. 


Judge had another homer today (his 29th). Pay the man, Yankees! He deserves it.


The Yankees are on pace to win 120 games, which would tie the MLB record.


This 10-game road trip is big and if they can go 8-2 (or even 7-3) it sets them up to do even bigger things down the road.


Let's go Yankees!


Marta Nation: Marta out in singles, but going strong in doubles

 


Marta had an up and down day. A tough loss to Zhang in singles.


She served for the first set, had 3 set points and lost 7-6 (6), 6-2. It was a super close tiebreaker. If she gets that first set, I like her chances of winning the match, but that's the way it goes.


On the bright side, she's right there. It's not like she's getting blown out a lot. Marta will be fine. 


Then she bounced back in women's doubles. She and Martincova beat LLD and Brengle in straights. Marta did great and played well. I love watching Marta play doubles (to be fair I just love watching Marta play anything). I think doubles will help her overall singles game.


I love Marta in singles, but right now she is No. 47 in the world in doubles. She and Ruse are ranked No. 21 as a doubles team and they are scheduled to play together again after Wimbledon. They have a shot at making the year-end championships and that would be awesome!


Marta is also playing mixed doubles with Kubot. He is an experienced doubles player, former No. 1 in the world. He's won two grand slam men's doubles titles, but no mixed doubles. There's a first time for everything.


The mixed doubles field is stacked, including the return of Venus (with Jamie Murray) and the pairing of Coco and Jack Sock. I think I'm as excited for the mixed doubles as I am anything else. It almost feels like an Olympic field.


No matter how Marta does I think it will be a great learning experience for the now 20-year old! She's getting old already.

 


TKJ's thoughts: Marta, King Carlos down and up at Wimbledon



 Here's some of my thoughts on Day 3 of Wimbledon:


First, Marta lost a heartbreaker. She served for the first set, had 3 set points and lost 7-6 (6), 6-2. It was a super close tiebreaker. If she gets that first set, I like her chances of winning the match, but that's the way it goes.


On the bright side, she's right there. It's not like she's getting blown out a lot. Marta will be fine. 


She came back and won in doubles with Martincova in straight sets over LLD and Brengle. Marta played well in doubles and I think they could do some damage in women's doubles. We shall see. 


King Carlos won his match over Griekspoor in straights. Carlos looked better today and I still think people are sleeping on him winning this slam. He's very capable! Let's do this King Carlos!


Nole cruised past Kokk and Big Foe won in straights. Big Foe has a serious chance of making it far here. I would love to see it! DMV represent!


Isner beat Andy in a 4-set tussle. Isner looks good and can't be overlooked (but let's be real he never can be, we can't see over top of him).


Kontaveit got beat by Niemier, but that's not a real surprise considering Kontaveit had COVID recently and hasn't been playing well.


Jessie beat DV in a battle of two of my faves. It was a good match, Jessie could make a deep run.


Angie won in straights and an Angie-One fourth rounder would be epic.


Last but certainly not least, Emma lost in straights to CarGar. I'm not surprised, in fact I picked it at the start of the tourney. CarGar has been playing well and played well again today. Emma didn't play badly. I know everyone wants to rip on her, but she's doing fine. Everyone needs to calm their expectations down. She's only 19, give the kid time!


TKJ's Picks: Mandy among the winners on Day 4 at Wimbledon



Here's my picks for Thursday at Wimbledon:


Men:


Giron d. Molcan in 5


Fritz d. Gray in 3


McDonald d. Gasquet in 5


Van De Zandschulp d. Ruusuvuori in 5: A battle of the longest names ever.


Schwartzman d. Broady in 5


Nick d. Krajinovic in 3: The real question is will he spit on a fan again?


Sonego d. Gaston in 4


Tsitsipas d. Thompson in 4


Garin d. Grenier in 3


Brooksby d. Bonzi in 3


Cressy d. Sock in 5


RBA d. Galan in 3


Shapo d. Nakashima in 5


Rafa d. Berankis in 3


Kubler d. Novak in 5


DeMin d. Draper in 5


Women:


Paula d. Bara in 2: Is Paula back?


Petra d. Bogdan in 2


Cornet d. Liu in 3


Tomljanovic d. Harrison in 2


Zheng d. Minnen in 2


Bianca d. Rybakina in 3


Tormo d. Tan in 2


Pliskova d. Katie in 3: I want to pick Katie, and she just beat Pliskova. But I think Pliskova gets her revenge.


Jessie d. Dart in 3


Krejcikova d. Golubic in 3: This is a battle of players beaten by Marta last week. Marta beat Krej in 3, Golubic in 2, so Krej it is.


Martic d. Kucova in 2


Iga d. Kerkhove in 2: Kerkohive will be lucky to win 2 games.


Mandy d. LLD in 2: Mandy will have too much power for Little Lauren Davis.


Frech d. Schmiedlova in 2


Simo d. Flipkens in 2


Coco d. Buzarnescu in 2


Record: 26-8, 1,951-993 :.663


Sunday, June 26, 2022

TKJ's Top 10: Men's Power Rankings: Nadal and his two slams, still on top



I'm starting something new called TKJ's Power Rankings. I will try to do these after every tournament for both the men and women.


So here's the men's Power Rankings:


1. Rafael Nadal: This is obvious since Rafa has already won two slams this year. Can he complete the Grand Slam and win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open? I wouldn't put it past him.


2. Carlos Alcaraz: OK, so he's my favorite so maybe I'm a little biased. But I think Carlos will win a slam before the year is up.


3. Novak Djokovic: Novak had a solid clay-court season and to many (including me) is the favorite to win Wimbledon. He needs to do win it, it will be his last slam this year and last matches until at least September.


4. Casper Ruud: I know he's a clay-specialist, but he did make a slam final and he's been really consistent this year.


5. Stefanos Tsitsipas: Stefanos finally won a grass title and could be a threat at Wimbledon. He still has the ability to win a slam and probably will at some point.


6. Matteo Berrettini: With two grass titles this year, Berrettini is definitely among the favorites at Wimbledon. He missed time due to injury, but he's still one of the top players in the game.


7. Daniil Medvedev: He won't play Wimbledon, but Meddy showed he's still one of the best in the world. he had a solid grass season and will be one of the top players during the summer hardcourt season.


8. Alexander Zverev: Sascha is out for who knows how long, but once he comes back I expect him to continue one of the best seasons of his career.


9. Taylor Fritz: Taylor is coming off a grass-court title and is showing that he is the top American player. I look for his success to continue all season.


10. Felix Auger-Aliassime: Felix is still having a great year and I think he could be a darkhorse at Wimbledon that no one is talking about. I expect him to have a strong hard-court season as well.








TKJ"s Top 10: Women Power Rankings: Swiatek still on top



I'm starting something new called TKJ's Power Rankings. I will try to do these after every tournament for both the men and women.


So here's the women's Power Rankings:


1. Iga Swiatek: 35-match win streak - enough said.


2. Ons Jabeur: To me she is the second favorite behind Iga at Wimbledon. She won a grass title and has been the second-most consistent this year.


3. Coco Gauff: Coco is coming off a French Open final (the first of many grand slam finals in her career). She will make a deep run at Wimbledon - just you watch.


4. Jessica Pegula: Jessie has put together a solid season, the best of her career. She is super consistent. It will be interesting to see how she does at Wimbledon.


5. Maria Sakkari: Sakkari is having another consistent season, but we're still waiting on that grand slam final. It could still happen this year.


6. Belinda Bencic: Belinda is quietly having a solid season (No. 8 in the race). I think she could be dangerous at Wimbledon and is probably being overlooked by most.


7. Beatriz Haddad Maia: Haddad Maia won two titles and made the semis in another tourney in the three-week grass circuit. There may not be anyone playing better right now. She needs to back it up with a big slam result.


8. Daria Kasatkina: She won't be playing at Wimbledon, but Dasha has put together a strong season (No. 6 in the race). She still has big days ahead of her, especially on the clay.


9. Jelena Ostapenko: Jelena is having a good season and she is coming off a final in Eastbourne (losing to Petra Kvitova). Penko could be a bit of a darkhorse at Wimbledon.


10. Petra Kvitova:  She just won her 29th title and if she keeps that up she's a threat to take down Iga and win another Wimbledon.

TKJ's lookback: Fritz, Tsitsipas, Garcia, Kvitova win grass titles



It was a great week of tennis last week. We had some quality champions and a lot of quality play to get ready for Wimbledon.


First of all a shoutout to Taylor Fritz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Caroline Garcia and Petra Kvitova. They each won a title last week.


Fritz won the Eastbourne men's title, for his third ATP title. Fritz beat Maxime Cressy in the final, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4). He only lost two sets in the tourney, including a great three-set win over Alex De Minaur. 


Fritz has the game for grass and could definitely go far at Wimbledon this fortnight. 


Tsitsipas may have finally conquered grass. He won in Mallorca, beating Roberto Bautista-Agut, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), for his ninth ATP title. He only dropped two sets and looked solid in winning the title.


It will be very interesting to see how he performs at Wimbledon. Is he ready to make a big run there?


Caroline Garcia won the Bad Homburg title with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 win over Bianca Andreescu.


This is her eighth WTA title and first since 2019 (Nottingham). She won some great matches, including the final. I was sure Bianca would win, but Caroline played great. She also beat Alize Cornet in a great match and Sabine Lisicki.


Garcia could be a factor at Wimbledon and could meet Emma Raducanu in the second round, what a delicious match that would be.


Veteran Petra Kvitova won her 29th career title and she looked dominant all week. She lost only one set (to Katie Boulter) all week. 


There's no doubt the two-time Wimbledon champ is a threat this year at Wimbledon and rightfully so is now among the favorites on the women's side.


If she plays like she did this past week at Wimbledon she will go deep.

TKJ's thoughts: Wimbeldon is doing the right thing, WTA and ATP are not

 


Wimbledon is about to start and I am very excited.


I am very excited despite the fact that there will be no ranking points for the players. That disappoints me. 


I believe Wimbledon got it right by banning Russians and Belarussians. For the WTA and ATP to then get rid of ranking points is like saying they support the war against Ukraine. I know that's not what they mean to do, but that's the way I take it.


Everyone keeps screaming about discrimination, but no one is looking at things from Ukrainians point of view. No one seems to care about them at all. Trust me if Russia was attacking the U.S. there would be no Russians allowed in the U.S. - I promise you that. I always believe you have to put yourselves in other people's shoes, but no one is doing that with this war. It is not the Ukrainians fault they are being attacked.


I know this isn't the Russians and Belarussians fault, but it is their country and their leader - and they allowed him to become a dictator. They created this monster and they deserve to pay some price. They need to feel the heat. They must stand up for what is right and they are not. There needs to be more sanctions and there needs to be sanctions against the people of Russia and Belarus. I have no doubt if the war continues eventually countries will start to ban Russians and Belarussians. Already, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Malta and Spain are not accepting Russian Visas. It's just a matter of time and it's what should happen.


Also, it was great to see Hubert Hurkacz donating money to Ukraine for every ace he hits. We need to see more of this.


So as usual, I applaud Wimbledon - the greatest tournament in the world -- for doing the right thing. They stand with Ukraine and so do I.

TKJ's thoughts: WTA's investigation is tip of what needs to be done with abuse on tour

 It has been reported by "The Telegraph" "that two WTA coaches are under investigation by the WTA for engaging in unprofessional potentially abusive relationships with their players."


Here's my thoughts on that. This is a slippery slope. Obviously, recently details emerged from Pam Shriver and Andrea Jaeger about past abusive relationships and clearly things need to be done to make sure more of this doesn't go on. 


It's a hard thing to regulate, especially if the players are 18 or over. In some countries even 16 is a legal age. I don't know that you can punish anyone for it, unless they are underage. I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is more awareness on the subject with the players. 


Whether that's a Pam Shriver or someone like that reaching out and staying in touch with some of the younger players or something else along those lines. I definitely think more awareness is part of the solution.


The WTA has too many young players that are entering a very adult world and not enough is done to protect these kids -- because that's what they are. This has been a problem in the WTA for as long as I can remember and there definitely needs to be steps taken, maybe a hotline, maybe a WTA psychologist who can work with all the players, but especially the younger ones.


I do think more awareness has happened recently and hopefully this is a sign that things will get better. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Changes coming to TKJ Sports!



It's a new day for TKJ Sports. There's a lot of sports going on and with the crazy full-time job I have I've decided to just focus on tennis for now with TKJ Sports.


I may someday decide to expand at some point, or during down times maybe I'll mix in some other sports but for now tennis will be the focus.


I'm a huge fan of tennis, with Marta Kostyuk and Carlos Alcaraz (if they ever got together I would be in heaven, just saying). 


I will try to post as much as I can from here on out, but I have a very busy job, especially from mid-August to early June.


I am hoping to do some special content during the Citi Open, which is close to where I live.


I will also try to be as active as I can be on social media. My twitter is @tkjsports 


Let's get this party started! Wimbledon is my favorite tournament in the world, can't wait to have some fun! As the season goes on I hope to do some cool blog posts, so stay tuned.






TKJ's picks: TKJ"s faves Kostyuk, Alcaraz will win first rounders at Wimbledon



Here's my picks for Monday's Wimbledon. I know everyone will be surprised that I'm picking my two faves Marta Kostyuk and Carlos Alcaraz (both of whom I have going to the quarterfinals!).  You can see Marta's reaction to that in the pic above.


Let's do this:


Men


Basliashvili d. Rosol in 4


Hurkacz d. Fokina in 4


Humbert d. Etcheverry in 4: I can't believe I'm picking Humbert - but it's Etcheverry?


Mannarino d. Purcell in 5


Bedene d. Marterer in 5


Monteiro d. Munar in 5


Norrie d. Andujar in 3


Paire d. Halys in 4


Paul d. Verdasco in 3


Ruud d. Ramos in 5: This is closer than most people probably think.


Tiafoe d. Vavassori in 3: Let's go Big Foe. DMV!


Isner d. Couacaud in 3: Three tiebreaks probably.


Kokkinakis d. Majchrzak in 3


Djere d. Tablio in 5


Vesely d. Coria in 3


Kecmanovic d. Millman in 5


Djokovic d. Kwon in 3: Easy money.


Altmaier d. Ymer in 3


Clarke d. Harrison in 3


Griekspoor d. Fognina in 5: Upset alert.


Busta d. Lajovic in 5


Otte d. Gojowczyk in 3


Sinner d. Wawrinka in 5: Winner Winner Chicken Sinner. With Darren Cahill in his corner, Sinner may be ready to turn a corner.


Alcaraz d. Struff in 3: Carlos will be just fine on grass. Wait and see.


Van Rijthoven d. Delbonis in 3


Fucsovics d. Bublik in 5


Baez d. Daniel in 3


Goffin d. Albot in 5


Dimitrov d. Johnson in 5


Peniston d. Laaksonen in 3


Opelka d. Taberner in 3


Murray d. Duckworth in 3: Time for another Andy Murray run?


Women:


Tsurenko d. Burrage in 3


Riske d. Albon in 2


Kalinina d. Bondar in 2


Chwalinska d. Siniakova in 3: I don't know how to pronounce her last name, but Maja was impressive in qualifying.


Marino d. Kawa in 2


Jabeur d. Bjorklund in 2: If anyone can stop Iga, it's probably Ons.


Collins d. Bouzkova in 2: This will be closer than you think.


Garcia d. Miyazaki in 2


Haddad Maia d. Juvan in 2: The winning continues.


Kanepi d. Parry in 3


Cirstea d. Krunic in 2


Niemeier d. Wang in 2


Osorio d. Mertens in 3: Upset alert!


Kontaveit d. Pera in 2: This could be an upset, but I'm not picking it.


Hontama d. Tauson in 3: Upset alert! I love Tauson, but she's been in quite a slump.


Inglis d. Galfi in 3


Bencic d. Wang in 2: Belinda could be a darkhorse in this tournament.


Korpatsch d. Watson in 3


Linette d. Contreras Gomez in 2


Trevisan d. Cocciaretto in 2


Zidansek d. Udvardy in 2


Bronzetti d. Li in 3: Li's been in a slump.


Maria d. Sharma in 3


Raducanu d. Van Uytvanck in 3: This could be an upset, but I'll pick Emma for now.


Ostapenko d. Dodin in 2


Begu d. Gorgodze in 2


Kerber d. Mladenovic in 2: Is Angie on a mission?


Sakkari d. Hives in 2


Saville d. Tomova in 2


Wickmayer d. Zhu in 3


Zhang d. Doi in 3


Kostyuk d. Swan in 2: I saved the best for last. Quarterfinal run starts here!


Record: 3-1, 1,838-948 :.660





Friday, June 24, 2022

TKJ's picks: Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek will win Wimbledon titles



 The Wimbledon draw is out and here are my picks for the tourney.


Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek will win the titles (shocking I know). Seriously, they are the favorites for a reason.


On the men's side I have Nole beating Carlos Alcaraz, Hubert Hurkacz beating Frances Tiafoe, Marcos Berrettini over Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal beating Felix Auger-Aliassime.


Then Nole beats Hurkacz and Rafa beats Berrettini in a five-set thriller.


That leaves the two GOATS to battle it out and this time it will be Djokovic coming out on top.


On the women's side, I have Iga beating Bianca Andreescu in the quarters, Simona Halep over Coco Gauff, Ons Jabeur over Marta Kostyuk (get it Marta!) and Maria Sakkari over Beatriz Haddad Maia.


In the semis, Iga takes out Simo and Ons beats Sakkari. That gives us an Iga-Ons battle in the final and I have Iga taking it.

TKJ's picks: Fritz will win Eastbourne, Tsitsipas will take Mallorca

 


Here's my picks for Saturday's matches after another not so great day of picking.


Eastbourne men:


Fritz d. Cressy in 3


Mallorca:


Tsitsipas d. RBA in 3


Bad Homburg:


Bianca d. CarGar in 2


Eastbourne women:


Petra d. Penko in 3


Record: 4-3, 1,835-947 :.660

Thursday, June 23, 2022

TKJ picks: Tsitsipas, RBA, Cressy, De Minaur will advance to ATP finals

 Another week of tennis, another week of me not picking the tourney winner ahead of time. Oh well.


Here's my picks for Friday's matches:


Eastbourne men: Cressy d. Draper in 3


De Minaur d. Fritz in 3


Mallorca 


Tsitsipas d. Bonzi in 2


RBA d. Bellier in 2


Bad Homburg


Simo d. Bianca in 3


Cornet d. CarGar in 3


Eastbourne women


Maia d. Petra in 3


Penko d. Giorgi in 3


Record: 10-6, 1,831-944 :.660

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

TKJ's Picks: Anisimova will upset Halep in Bad Homburg quarters

 Here's my picks for Thursday's matches:

Eastbourne men:

Norrie d. Cressy in 3


Fritz d. Bublik in 3


DeMinaur d. Paul in 3


Mallorca


Bonzi d. Altmaier in 3


Tistsipas d. Giron in 2


Medvedev d. RBA in 2


Griekspoor d. Bellier in 2


Bad Homburg


Lisicki d. CarGar in 3


Bianca d. Dasha in 3


Angie d. Cornet in 2


Mandy d. Simo in 3


Eastbourne women:


Giorgi d. Tomova in 2


Petra d. Dart in 3


Penko d. Kalinina in 3


Maia d. Tsurenko in 3


Record: 18-11, 1,821-938 :.660

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

TKJ's picks: Marta Kostyuk will win again in Eastbourne



Marta Kostyuk picked up a big win, topping Krejcikova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Eastbourne. She will now play either Harriet Dart or Jill Teichmann. Their match was suspended at a set apiece. 


Marta will beat either one of them on Wednesday in two sets.


Here's my other picks for Wednesday:


Eastbourne men:


DeMinaur d. Sonego in 3


Norrie d. Nakashima in 2


Cressy d. Evans in 3


Fritz d. Monteiro in 2


Bublik d. Millman in 3


Sinner d. Paul in 3


Peniston d. Martinez in 2


Draper d. Schwartzman in 3


Mallorca


PCB d. Bellier in 2


McDonald d. Giron in 3


Griekspoor d. Molcan in 2


Baez d. Altmaier in 2


Shapo d. Bonzi in 2


Tsitsipas d. Ivashka in 2


Medvedev d. Karatsev in 3


Nick d. RBA in 2


Bad Homburg


Cornet d. Maria in 3


Lisicki d. Minnen in 3


Mandy d. Li in 2


Bianca d. Swan in 2


Angie d. Bronzetti in 2


Simo d. Zidansek in 2


Eastbourne women:


Petra d. Katie in 3


Flipkens d. Tomova in 2


Mugz d. Giorgi in 3


Maia d. Burrage in 2


Maddy d. Penko in 3


Kalinina d. Poots in 3


Linette d. Tsurenko in 3


Record: 16-13, 1,803-927 :.660








Monday, June 20, 2022

TKJ's picks: Marta will beat Krejcikova in Eastbourne

 




Marta Kostyuk played fabulous today. 


She split sets with Barbora Krejcikova in the second round in Eastburone. Krejcikova took the first set 6-4 with a break of serve in the fifth game.


Marta came back and broke in the eighth game of the second set, in hard-fought battle and then held to win the set, 6-3.


Tomorrow it should be an epic finish. I picked Marta to win before the match started and I'm not backing down now! You got this Marta!


Marta in 3


Other picks for Tuesday:


Eastbourne men:


Rune d. Peniston in 3


Sonego d. Duckworth in 3


Paul d. Cerundolo in 2


Humbert d. Monteiro in 2


Fokina d. Martinez in 3


Evans d. Mannarino in 2


Mallorca


Van De Zandschulp d. Giron in 2


Lajovic d. Altmaier in 2


Nick d. Djere in 2


Thompson d. Baez in 3


Bad Homburg


Korpatsch d. Lisicki in 2


Mandy d. Van Uytvanck in 2


CarGar d. Rakhimova in 2


Angie d. Gasanova in 2


Bianca d. Trevisan in 2


Simo d. Siniakova in 2


Dasha d. Niemeier in 2


Eastbourne Women:


Kanepi d. Maia in 3


Giorgi d. Marino in 2


Mertens d. Flipkens in 2


Petra d. DV in 3


Maddy d. LLD in 3


Kalinina d. Sakkari in 3


Pliskova d. Katie in 3


Rogers d. Tomova in 2


Rybakina d. Tsurenko in 2


Paula d. Burrage in 2


Penko d. Tomljanovic in 3


Teichmann d. Dart in 3


Record: 16-10, 1,787-914 :.662