The giants of tennis keep moving forward at the Australian Open. Four Grand slam winners, as well as the top four seeds, are still alive on the men's side in the quarterfinals including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and former U.S. Open Champion, the 11th-seeded but always dangerous, Juan Martin Del Potro.
The women's side is equally as predictable yet, fascinating with the top four seeds Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova still alive. Kim Clijsters is last year's champion, and while she is just seeded 11th due to her limited play, she might be the odds-on favorite to win again if her ankle holds up. Serena Williams is the one really startling upset so far in the tournament.
If you are an American or an Australian tennis fan, it's a bad time to to be a patriot. After just eight days of play, no Americans or Australians are left in the men's or women's singles draws.
If you are an ATP member and you behave like a pinhead on the tennis court, then you are in good company Down Under.
David Nalbandian was fined $8,000 for throwing water at an official after his loss. Marcos Baghdatis was fined $1,250 for smashing four rackets on court on Wednesday. Even mild-mannered Tomas Berdych acted like a pinhead after beating Nicolas Almagro and refusing to shake hands after the match. It seems that Berdych was knocked down by a legal forehand directed at his body by Almagro. Certainly "headhunting" for Berdych was not nice on Almago's part, but I'll bet the "other" Giants and Patriots hit a lot harder.
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.