Monday, July 28, 2008

YouTube Sensation Leads Day 1 of Tennis Masters Cincinnati

Mikhail Youhzny, aka "The Skull-Cracker" draws blood 

Despite the top seeds receiving a first round bye, there are great matches all day long at the Tennis Masters in Mason.

The afternoon session closes with Mikhail Youhzny v. Tommy Haas. Youhzny became famous earlier this year for busting his head open with his tennis racquet. Haas can be flashy and is at his best on the hard courts.

The twelve seed, Tommy Robredo, once Spain's Next Big Thing, plays Mardy Fish, the flaky but lovable American who once upon a time made the finals here.

Later Tom Berdych plays Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzo is a hit or miss guy. When he's on, he's a real heavyweight who smashes opponents right in the mouth with huge groundstrokes and a massive serve. When he's off, he's off. Berdych is thought by some to be a top tenner, but I'm not buying it.

The oldest man in the draw, Jonas Bjorkman, makes his final appearance here. Bjorkman won three doubles titles in the Queen City: in 1999 with Byron Black, 2004 with Todd Woodbridge and 2006 with Max Miryni. He played through the qualies to earn a first round match-up with Robby Ginepri, the talented but flaky American. (Are we sensing a pattern yet?)

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