There's Ryan Harrison in the corner watching some of the second set of Young vs. Russell. He's on next against Ruben Bemelmans. A fan asks for a photo and Harrison nicely says, "Sure", and poses with him. Harrison has all the qualities of a future star. Right behind Harrison on the practice court is David Goffin, in all white. Istomin is one court down. Harrison survived a long, frustrating three setter vs. lefty Bemelmans, who impressed super fan Lou Noritz. Noritz insists that Bemelmans can reach the top 30 someday. Dan, Lou and myself were commenting that Bemelmans reminds us of Dolgopolov and Lopez with also a touch of Nicolas Escude. The Belgian is a very nice player to watch. After his narrow win over Bemelmans, Harrison slowly jogged a couple of laps around the three practice courts minus shirt.Goffin was up 4-1 today vs. qualifier Benjamin Becker but he lost the match and later was seen walking down Bellevue Ave. by himself back to the Viking Hotel. Tough day for Goffin, the rising star, he also lost in doubles 10-8 in the superbreaker with Rochus to Muller/Bogomolov. Muller's forehand volley was the match winner.By the way, I did a Biofile with Goffin yesterday after the first set of Harrison-Bemelmans. A superb Biofile, you're gonna enjoy it.Team Sock, Jack and his lookalike brother Eric and another guy are in the stadium looking over watching the end of Querrey-Bogomolov, won by Q-Ball in two close sets 75 76. Sock is huge these days, looks like a college football tight end. Hewitt played doubles with his buddy Chris Guccione on Monday and it was on an outer court, which drew a huge throng of fans, the biggest crowd I've ever seen in four years around an outer court. Started talking to a couple of Hewitt fans, one guy was a produce manager from South Mass named Bill, he was wearing a Yonex cap. The other was a gent named Conrad, he had on one of those Pat Cash headbands under his Nike cap. Hewitt's pal and coach Peter Luczak was sitting a couple of feet away and seemed to enjoy our reminiscing about the good ol' days of Hewitt.Hewitt's here with his wife and three kids, it's his first time in Newport since he was 17. One of Hewitt's sons was wearing a Star Wars shirt. A Jamiacan woman named Charmaine Rousseau showed me some photos she got with Hewitt, Guccione, Rochus. I snapped a couple for her with Goffin. She also had some photos with Courier, Bud Collins and Sam Querrey from a few years back. Rousseau is a superfan who lives in Providence and attends Newport every year for a few days.
Big Todd Martin strode by the locker room area on Monday in full Wilson attire, looks like he just came off the court from his touring pro gig at the Newport Beach Club. Martin made a friendly comment that he "almost didn't recognize" me without my trademark fedora and gave me an answer to the first famous tennis pro he ever encountered? "There was a handful of them, I ballboyed at a tournament in Lake Erie. In the late 70's, probably in 78 or 79. Actually in both 78 and 79. And the guys that were really nice to me Erik Van Dillen and Dick Stockton, I also ballboyed for Gene Mayer and Victor Amaya."Martin will play an exo with soon-to-be inducted Hall of Famer Gustavo Kuerten on Sunday. Tuesday afternon, perfect Sunny afternoon, Jesse Levine is out standing watching some of Muller-Van Der Merwe, which is being played on a court that looks like a football game was played on, it's all torn up. Both players are visibly upset about the condition of the court. They have split sets and are just starting the third set. I look out the window now and there's Ryan Harrison doing some lunge stretch moves raising an arm with a coach. Yesterday after Ryan's win, I saw his brother out the window on the same spot, by himself playing some shadow tennis. Christian Harrison is here still though he lost in the first round of qualies. Nicolas Mahut just ran the length of three courts twice at about 75 full speed. He's getting ready to tangle in doubles with partner Lukas Dlouhy against John Paul Fruttero and Denis Istomin. Harrison is now hitting with Trent Conrad Huey, a crowd of about 20 are watching. I think Huey won the last tiebreak they played, 7-5 on a service winner. Huey has a big lefty serve. Rajeev Ram is doing a cooling down job after his match with Grega Zemlja while talking on the phone at the same time.Greg Sharko just told the media, Americans were 5-0 today (Tuesday).Newport is a special place. This is my fourth year here and I like this place more every year I come.