It seems like I have been away from tennis for a long time; however, although I have not been blogging as regularly as I used to, I have been following. Life got in the way. Now I understand how tennis players can take mental or even physical breaks from the sport and be okay. While it is their livelihood, it is still important to remember that they too need a sick day, a mental health day or even a vacation.
Sometimes, these breaks happen not by choice but as a result of illness, injury or some life changing event (childbirth, marriage, etc.). As I was watching the matches this week I realized that there is a whole new crop of tennis players, both on the ATP Tour as well as the WTA Tour.
I saw players like Irina Bara, Karman Thandi, and Rudolf Molleker who I had never seen before. I imagine some of their opponents had never seen them play before either; yet, it was nice to see some different faces. It was interesting to see the enthusiasm of the young and their in-your-face attitude. That is part of the allure of tennis, the changes that we see every season as a new crop breaks on to the scene, ready to announce their arrival.
BB&T Atlanta Open, USA
 Frances Tiafoe (USA/20yrs) vs.  Marcos Baghdatis (CYP/33yrs)
However, there is still the current generation of players who are fighting to maintain their positions and while some are doing well, some are finding it harder and harder to stem the tide of the new wave of young players. Today I watched the veteran Baghdatis defeat the young American star, Tiafoe. While the first set was a tightly contested affair, Tiafoe ran out of gas in the second set and it was a blow-out. Baghdatis won 7-5, 6-1.
 Jeremy Chardy (FRA/31yrs) vs.  Cameron Norrie (GBR/22yrs)
The veteran, Chardy, was not as fortunate in his match. Although he won the first set, he was outplayed by the young Brit in the last two sets. Not sure if it was the heat or Norrie’s attacking style of play that got to Chardy; however, he lost his way and Norrie won 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Europe: Cameron Norrie)