Here’s your roundup of the five most interesting things I’m enjoying or thinking about this week.
1.) A Guide to Hybrid Stringing
I’m a big fan of hybrid stringing, where two different strings are combined when stringing a racquet. Although fairly common, I think it’s underrated, so I dive deep on the topic to share why players might consider it along with some unexpected ways to take advantage of this stringing method.
Although her dream run at the French Open ended yesterday in the semis against Iga Świątek, it won’t be soon forgotten. At the age of 23, Nadia Podoroska from Argentina, came to Roland Garros ranked #131 as a qualifier where she battled her way into the main draw and made history by becoming the first qualifier in the Open Era to reach the French Open semis. Her success, which included a win over world #5, Elina Svitolina, matches the best showing by a qualifier at any Grand Slam, which has only occurred two other times in 1978 at the Australian Open and in 1999 at Wimbledon.
Last month, Djokovic was defaulted from the US Open after he accidentally hit a line judge with a ball during his fourth-round match. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, it happened again in the fourth round at the French Open. Once again, it was an accident, but luckily this time, it was an unfortunate ricochet off a return that hit the line judge, so thankfully, no reason for another default.
Diego Schwartzman is on a tear. Last month, he reached the finals at the Italian Open in Rome, and he’s backing his success up with a semi-final run at the French Open, which included a five-set win over US Open champ Dominic Thiem. During the Italian Open quarters, he had an impressive win over Nadal in straight sets, and lucky for us, we get a rematch as they meet today in the semis at Roland Garros. The match will air at 5:50 am PT (8:50 am ET) on NBC in the US.
5.) Game Changers: Serena & Naomi
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have been nominated as The Game Changer of 2020 by the People’s Choice Awards, which recognizes athletes who had a significant social and professional impact. If you care to support, you can cast your vote for one of them until October 23, 2020.