James Duckworth

In Photos: Wimbledon Qualies Days Two and Three

(June 19, 2013) Action from around the grounds for days two and three of Wimbledon qualifying include Vania King, Denis Kudla, Irina Falconi, Maria Sanchez, Caroline Garcia, Samantha Crawford, James Duckworth, Bobby Reynolds, Naomi Broady and many more.

[nggallery id=133]

In Photos: Wimbledon Day One Qualies with Sock, Williams, Rice

(June 17, 2013) Day One of the Wimbledon men’s qualifying tournament wrapped up on Monday, and saw some surprises including top seed Dudi Sela being ousted.

The day’s winners included David Rice of Great Britain as he defeated German Sebastian Rieschick, 6-3, 6-2; Aussie James Duckworth overpowered Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, 6-3, 6-1; American Rhyne Williams worked Victor Crivoi over, 6-2, 6-4; and Canadian Steven Diez had a close win against Fabiano De Paula, 7-6(6), 7-5.

American hopeful Jack Sock and Brit Dan Evans both lost in the first round.

Photos of all these players and more in the Monday gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Christopher Levy below.

[nggallery id=132]

A Quick Pick of their Brain – Mark Woodforde

James Crabtree is currently in Melbourne Park covering the Australian Open for Tennis Grandstand and is giving you all the scoop directly from the grounds.


By James Crabtree

MELBOURNE – During a Jacobs Creek Promotion whilst being hydrated by a seriously good glass of rosé I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Woodforde, 12 time grand slam doubles champion, winner of four singles titles and the surprise, and often forgotten, 1996 Australian Open semi-finalist.

Q- Mark, tell us a little behind your Snauwaert racquet with the famous 12×14 pattern as opposed to the traditional 18×20?

I first started using the racquet early on in an effort to control the ball and gain more spin. I was on a trip to the European clay and one of eight in a team using that pattern. My progression was more accelerated than the others and that turned some heads. There were matches where my opponents called over the referee wondering if that string pattern was legal, because of the results I started to have.

I knew it didn’t give me an overwhelming advantage. I know when anyone improves their form or improves their ranking people are always asking why and how are they doing that? People just pointed out the racquet issue because it was different.

The last few years I have been trying to develop a racquet with a string pattern that looks more conventional but still attain the same level of spin.

Q. What would be the advantage for a singles player to play more doubles matches?

I think we would see more natural volleying skills and more varied matchups. Players are just hoping for the easy put away and never learn the confidence in how to play the volley from the service line.

I think it would be great to have the top singles players sign a contract and agree to play doubles at one of the four slams and a few of the 1000 events. On the flip side of that it would be great to see a doubles specialist do the reverse at a singles event.

You look back at the older generations and the players who played both singles and doubles had the all court game, and never looked out of sorts at the net.

Q. Tell us something we don’t know about Todd Woodbridge

(Laughs) Todd fancies himself on the dance floor, on the tennis court and as a chef. There were times he would cook for all of us and he is pretty good. Sometimes you would get back to the apartment and he would be preparing food for all of us, our partners included.

Todd was a lot more strict about food during our playing days. I was the guy at Davis Cup who would throw down four courses, leaving our trainer to scratch his head, although I do have to watch the portions now. Lucky my wife is the master-chef in our house.

Todd has been talking of his personal trainer, who works wonders and how he has been seeing him four nights a week, but I am yet to see the effects and I suspect he could be some sort of phantom. (laughs)

Q.Tell us about your role in Aussie player development

I started working with (Matthew)Ebden and (Marinko) Matosevic. I worked with them for twelve months to help get them out of the Challenger mentality and playing more aggressive tennis.

The last few seasons I’ve been working with the juniors and their transition to seniors.

I’m more opinionated about Australian tennis players staying true to be more attacking all court players. That’s how we have always been and I don’t want to see that erased. I love watching guys like (James) Duckworth, guys who are willing to roll the dice and cause headaches for their opponents.


Mark Woodforde continues to work with Australian junior players, assisting in developing the next wave of Australian champions.

The Mighty Duck(worth): Five-Hour Battle with Kavcic

James Crabtree is currently in Melbourne Park covering the Australian Open for Tennis Grandstand and is giving you all the scoop directly from the grounds.

By James Crabtree

MELBOURNE — There were plenty of bigger names playing on bigger courts, but this match was a classic.

Two fighters, James Duckworth and Blaz Kavcic, going toe to toe, slugging it out until one dropped to the canvas on the count. It was pure Rocky and Apollo Creed.

Everyone was dropping like flies, not just the players but the fans. The heat was 40 degrees Celsius which translates to 104 Fahrenheit, probably more like 1004 degrees on court with nowhere to hide.

And if they weren’t dropping they were gasping at the jaw-dropping play.

Nothing against you Blaz Kavcic, but before we go any further this is a brutally bias tribute to the twenty-year-old Australian from New South Wales and current world number 223, James Duckworth. Indeed, Blaz of Slovenia was battling not just his opponent but a partisan home crowd the umpire had to constantly keep in check.


“Ducky,” who might train by running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Arthad, had a bad start losing his opening service game. He did rebound quickly to break Kavcic twice and take the first set. Kavcic bounced back, as in any Hollywood script, taking the next two sets before Duckworth re-grouped in a tense tie-breaker, to the hallowed home fan chants “QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK” for the inevitable fifth set.

Experts say that towards the end of five-set matches, players’ reaction times may slow by up to a quarter of a second and this was truly evident as both had trouble moving between points.

The fifth set was a drama, Kavcic taking the lead before Ducky rallied from 5-2 down fighting off match points. Now, during points only adrenaline seemed to push them through. Both men were calling out in pain, sending for trainers, cramping, limping and grimacing. It was a wonder how they could hit the ball over the net at all.

The Duck admitted later ‘‘We both were just hanging on for dear life.’’

Blaz ran out the winner 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-7(3) 10-8

“Total physical collapse after the match.. feeling quite happy though, just don’t know, because of my win or morphine :)” said Blaz later on Twitter although he admitted soon after the morphine reference was a joke.

Ducky left the court screaming “Adrian Adrian,” although I may be making that part up for effect. Disappointingly this is James Duckworth’s second straight Australian Open second round loss, losing to Tipsarevic in a tough four sets this time last year.

Tragically the loss leaves Tomic as the only Australian left in the draw and the prospect of no Australian making the second week if Bernie falls to Federer on Saturday.

Back in the changing room, and possible elements of fiction Blaz, between puffs on the oxygen mask he might have repeated “Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”

Blaz faces Jo-Wilfried “Muhammad Ali” Tsonga in the next round.