Murray Replaces Djokovic as Top Seed in Los Angeles
by Staff | July 24th, 2010, 1:04 am

Andy Murray and Ryan Sweeting received the final two wild cards into the 2010 Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA.

Two players who were on the initial acceptance list were forced to withdraw from the event. World No. 2 Novak Djokovic pulled out for personal reasons while 2007 champion Radek Stepanek withdrew due to a knee injury.

Also joining the field Friday were South African Kevin Anderson, who gained entrance by virtue of reaching the semifinals this week in Atlanta, along with the next direct acceptances of Illya Marchenko, Teimuraz Gabashvili and Karol Beck.

“It’s certainly disappointing to lose players like Novak and Radek, however we are very excited that we’ve added these six players to the draw,” said Tournament Director Bob Kramer. “We were looking forward to Novak making his debut in LA, but we’re very fortunate that Andy Murray, another top five player will be able to join us.”

This will be Murray’s debut in LA. He has previously had success in California, winning titles in 2006 and 2007 in San Jose while also reaching the final in Indian Wells in 2009.

Murray will be the top seed in the draw. The second seed will be defending tournament and Olympus US Open Series champion Sam Querrey. Those two, along with third and fourth seeds, Marcos Baghdatis and Feliciano Lopez, will receive first round byes.

Other stars in the field of the 84th annual Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, include Americans James Blake,Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish as well as international stars Ernests Gulbis, Xavier Malisse and Janko Tipsarevic.

(LA Tournament release)

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40 Comments for Murray Replaces Djokovic as Top Seed in Los Angeles

jane Says:

Well, if I can’t watch Djoko I’ll be happy to watch Murray!! And Gulbis, of course.

blah Says:

that’s too bad, i was looking forward to perhaps seeing djokovic play in la person, murray, not so much.

margot Says:

jane: sorry about Djko but, yes jane, let’s see how Andys looking! Let’s hope he’s cooking!

jane Says:

From the L.A. Times:

“Saturday night, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi will play an exhibition match to benefit the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. Jim Courier and rock star Gavin Rossdale are to play against Michael Chang and comedian Jon Lovitz.”

margot, yes, I hope Murray is playing well. Not sure what’s going on with Djoko (i.e., the “personal” stuff) but I hope it doesn’t affect the rest of the summer. If Gulbis gets that far, he and Murray are slated to meet in the quarters. Murray could play Gaba before Ernie. Baggy, Tipsy, Blake and Querrey are on the other side of the draw.

OllyK Says:

Nole was still in Serbia yesterday, openning tennis courts in “School of Friendship” on mountain Tara….before that (on Monday/Tuesday) my sister saw him in Montenegro with his family cruising on his yacht. :) So, I think he is just not ready to compete yet. He didn’t have time to prepare properly. :)

Anyway, I’m sure it’s nothing serious. :)

Kimmi Says:

YAY! Muzza is playing. Great. Goodluck for HC season Muzza. Fingers crossed

Djoko pulling out, mmmmh. he has pulled out of 2 tourney so far this year. I hope is nothing serious too.

Stepanek is probably still in the wedding hangover.

Kimmi Says:

And gulbis is BAAAACK at last. We wont expect too much from him coming back from injury.

he probably was also partying a lot contador. :) Good he is playing himself into form though. Go Gulbis.

margot Says:

Jane, kimmi:am fed up with folks saying Andy can’t beat “big hitters” so I went and looked at H2Hs, I know, v. v. unlike me but needs must. Interesting they are too: Andy v Verdasco 8-1, v Delpotro 5-1, v Cilic 4-1, v Tsonga 3-1, v Gulbis 4-0, v Querry 4-0, v Fish 3-3, v Soderling 2-2, v Gonzales 1-2, v Berdych 1-2. The last two matches against the last two were defeats on clay and to be honest Fed’s grandma could probably beat him on clay!
By far the worst H2H’s are against Rafa 3-8. As jane are Djko’s. Perhaps our guys have had their eyes on the wrong prize?
Am wondering if Andy wants to play this tournament to get some points as well as match practise, as Kimmi said, Soderling is yapping at his heels.

grendel Says:

Kimmi, any idea why Gulbis is out thru injury so often? he spends long, long periods off the tour – which at his age not good.

contador Says:

oh no.

nole withdrew? what? well, muzza better win. he really needs a win about now.

ohhhh no, no kimmi even if erno wasn’t coming back from injury, who knows. simply happy he’s playing.

sure, he’s been having fun. that’s some of the the problem. his “fun” is not tennis.

i’ll be thrilled if he wins his first round.

we’ll see

jane Says:

margot “Am wondering if Andy wants to play this tournament to get some points as well as match practise, as Kimmi said, Soderling is yapping at his heels.”

Makes good sense. He can stack up a bit more of a lead over Soda pop, if he wins all 250 points (plus he hasn’t played many [any?] 250s this year), and he can get in some practice at the same time.

Nole, on the other hand, has DC semis after the USO and a lot of points to defend later in the fall. So I think not playing is wise. Thanks for your update OllyK.

Really, this seems like sound decision-making for both of them. I wish only that Ernie were on the other side of the draw so that Murray and he could potentially meet in the finals.

Kimmi Says:

margot – a lot of work there. H2H vs big hitter. Well, your work kind of proves he can DEAL with them OK.

You know, the big hitter of Soda pop and berdych started to be in the mix recently. Even the master fed is having problems with them now.

If andy keeps serving like wimbledon, no big hitter will trouble him.

Andrew – gulbis injured often? well..i don’t think it is too often, only this year he is starting to get serious. that armstring injury at RG was very unfortunate..bad timing…not good.

sar Says:

Nole, on the other hand, has DC semis after the USO and a lot of points to defend later in the fall. So I think not playing is wise. Thanks for your update OllyK.

Jane, yes it is wise of him to have more R&R right now. Good thinking for Nole.

MarkoPolo Says:

Well seems like Nole is busy opening new tennis courts in Serbia and attending folk concerts in Montenegro (see below)! I hope chasing women will not interfere with his HC Season. That will be sad because he has a lot of points to defend!!! I am a true Nole fan and I worry about him!!!!! He can do a lot more than he has so far this season!!!!

Rough Serbian Translation (see original serbian text below and you are welcome to correct my translation)

“Natasa (Bekvalac) Serbian folk singer, was singing in Budva for Nole”!
Source: Kurir
“The Best Serbian Tennis player was following folk singer’s concert from a VIP section at a club “Top Hil” in Budva.
“In me 300 degrees, I am not myself when I think about you”……
Beautiful Nata was singing the other night while Nole, her good, good friend, was listening and following her and gave her support from the VIP section at the club.
On the mountain, above Budva,where the club is located,they had severe security in place because in addition to Nole, Milo Djukanovic (Montenegranian Politicia) was also in attendance: Nole arrived at the club just before the concert and there was a private VIP section waiting for him. In addition, the performance of the: Novi Sad Sweetheart was also attended in VIP section by the Premier, Milo Djukanovic, and volley ball player Milos Marovic, son of Svetozar Marovic. The atmosphere was phenomenal and accordingly to those attending, she would look at Nole while performing. Bassed on the source Kurir, Natasa and Nole greeted each other affectionately. Based on the report from Kurir, Nole’s and Hot Natasa’s intensive friendship is continuing and it started last Friday when they both rented rooms at the promintent hotel “Splendid”. Nole arrived from Monte Carlo and Nata (Natasa) arrived from Novi Sad. Coincidence or not, you be the judge.”

“Natasa u Budvi pevala za Noleta”
Izvor: Kurir
Najbolji srpski teniser iz VIP separea pratio nastup pop pevačice u budvanskom klubu “Top hil”

U meni trista stepeni, nisam pri sebi kad na tebe pomislim…
Pevala je preksinoć lepa Nata u prepunom budvanskom klubu “Top hil” dok joj je iz VIP separea podršku davao njen mnogo dobar drug Novak Đoković. Na brdu iznad Budve, gde se nalazi klub, vladale su neviđene mere obezbeđenja jer je pored poznatog tenisera u publici bio i crnogorski premijer Milo Đukanović: Nole je stigao u klub neposredno pred početak, gde ga je čekao specijalni separe. Osim njega, svoja VIP mesta na nastupu “novosadske šećerleme” imali su i crnogorski premijer Milo Đukanović, kao i odbojkaš Miloš Marović, sin Svetozara Marovića. Atmosfera je bila fenomenalna, a većina prisutnih komentarisala je i pažljivo gledala u Noleta svaki put kada bi ga u njegovom separeu pogledala Nataša. Inače, njih dvoje su se srdačno pozdravili nakon koncerta – kaže izvor Kurira iz pomenutog kluba.
Kao što je Kurir juče objavio, intezivno druženje drugog tenisera sveta i atraktivne pevačice se nastavlja, a počelo je prošlog petka kada su oboje istog dana iznajmili sobe u luksuznom hotelu “Splendid”. Nole je iznenada stigao iz Monte Karla, a Nata iz Novog Sada. Slučajnost ili ne, procenite sami.

jane Says:

p.s. margot, am not surprised to see those stats on Murray; always knew he could play the big hitters fine. He’s 6-3 over Roddick, and 1-0 over Isner also. Djoko has worse records over some of these big hitters (2-5 Tsonga and 2-4 Roddick for e.g. ). But he is 5-1 over Soda, 2-1 over Berdy,2-1 over Gulbis, 5-0 over Cilic and 3-0 over Delpo. It’s all about the *one-on-one* match ups generally (which involves ALL facets of the game, including history, confidence, etc, not just playing style). It’s difficult to say “counter-punchers” trouble this player, or “big hitters” trouble that player, just because there’s almost always 1, 2, or 5 guys that prove that statement wrong.

I see Melzer (ranked number 15 now!!) is continuing to play very well, having one of the best seasons of his career. And of course he’s playing on clay this week, where he’s had stellar results this year, even pushing Rafa to a tiebreak; plus he is playing sort of at “home” (well Austria is next to Germany right? : )) Plus his Wimbledon doubles crown, only guys to stop him at last 2 slams, Nadal & Fed. Wow. He’s flying high. I hope he wins tomorrow.

MarkoPolo Says:

Jane, did you read my previous post? Do you know anything about it?! I am really worried about Nole and hope that he will start his HC season in a big way! He sure does not need any distractions!

sar Says:

Nice photos on his website and this article. I am really proud that Nole is doing this wonderful charitable event. Bravo! Thanks also to Murray. I’m thinking maybe Novak might have called him to sub? 23.07.2010. | Novak Djoković Official Site

The best Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic visited the School of friendship on Tara mountain, where 200 children-proteges of Naša Srbija (Our Serbia) are staying, and donated a million dinars to the charitable organisation.

Novak used his visit to officially open the School of friendship’s tennis courts.

World no.2 said he knew that the majority of children in School of friendship are from the Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija and that he was very pleased to have the opportunity to be with them and see them joyful, happy and free to play.

“It is important to see children laughing and having fun, enjoying in this wonderful center. This is a great thing and it is not just my wish, but also the wish of Serbia and all of us standing here,” said Novak.

Opening the courts, Djokovic said he would consider choosing Tara for some future preparations.

“I will consider the possibility to practice for some hard court tournaments here on Tara. Tara is a beautiful national park, I would have all the necessary conditions and also you children to give me energy,” added Djokovic.

Djokovic gave T-shirts to children and took pictures with them. His family will take care of 12 children of Naša Srbija, organisation which takes care of 1500 children this year, celebrating ten years of work.

Serbian consul in Chicago Desko Nikitovic whose family donated funds for building the courts named after Novak Djokovic, said he was pleased that his family helped the children get the courts.

“Our family is happy that we made it possible to build facilities for children so they now have conditions to practice and love tennis. We are glad that today they can see Novak Djokovic who is an example that success can be achieved if one works hard enough,”said Nikitovic.

jane Says:

Marko Polo, Djoko has been doing some charity work opening a tennis center for children, as well as having some fun, from what I understand. And he played too many tournaments last year, so I still think this is a good choice. According to the ATP rankings, Novak has played 21 tournaments (compared to Rafa 18; Fed 20; Murray 17; Roddick 20 – guys like Soda, Hotsauce and Berdy have played a few more than Djok), plus he is still in DC, so leaving off one 250 event to get down to business and practice or even have another week of R&R, isn’t a bad choice. Keep the faith Marko! : )

sar Says:

It says Bekvalac was born in 1980…hmmm. And where is his GF Ristic?

MarkoPolo Says:

That is a million dollar question Sar!!!! Jane I never loose faith in Nole!!!!! I just hope that a folk bimpo like Bekvalac will not give him wrong vibes and divert him from what he is best at, tennis…… Cheers!

OllyK Says:

sar, yes and she’s married to one of the Serbian most famous waterpolo (ex)players and has a daughter. Marco, Kurir is NOT reliable source. It’s no1 tabloid here in Serbia.
2 years ago, Nole and Natase had a photo session together for local magazine Story, and since then tabloids don’t want to leave them alone. Even his parents and Natasa’s husband had to deny roumors that they were together…
According to other (more reliable)newspapers, Jelena was with him. She was with him in Croatia, I saw her on TV, on Janko Tipsarevic wedding (you can see pics on net), then they were together in Monte Carlo on vacation and probably in Montenegro, too. :)Nole is a smart kid, don’t worry.

MarkoPolo Says:

That is encouraging Ollyk!!!!! Seems like they are friends based on what you are saying!!!!!! So roumors will always be roumors….

jane Says:

Yes, that’s right OllyK, I have seen Nole and Jelena together in pictures at Tipsy’s wedding, and I read that they were on the beach together as well. Nole seems like a dedicated guy, to family and to friends.

jane Says:

Yes, that’s right OllyK, I have seen Nole and Jelena together in pictures at Tipsy’s wedding, and I read that they were on the beach together as well. Nole seems like a dedicated guy, to family and to friends.

jane Says:

Oops – why’d that post twice? Sorry peeps.

Huh Says:

Well, I liked Nole’s photos with the kids very very much, not to mention I like Nole too! :P

If Roger/Murray/Rod can’t win US 10, I hope Nole would.
Best of luck sweet Nole. :)

Duro Says:

Ha ha ha, people! What’s that fuss all about? Nole is fine, enjoying, living the life with full lungs. It’s his vacation, so it should be that way! I’m from Montenegro. I know everything that’s happening. He prolonged a bit his vacation, skipped LA to enjoy and rest some more and have some extra time to practice and prepare form Rogers Cup. As simple as that. He is more than fine! Jelena is OK (with him), Natasa is his friend and a singer which he likes, that newspaper is “yellow” class paper, everything is all right and I support him 100%! Absolutely right thing to do! He needed that rest badly and he deserved it especially after DC in Split and late start of his vacation. If only he had played in LA he would be frustrated, unprepared, lost, unrest and he would regret it big time. Not to mention the consequences of that decision on his future Rogers Cup performance.

Now he has enough time to prepare, practice couple of days more and show his real strength on hard courts! Way to go, Novak. You did well.

Duro Says:

MarkoPolo, you sound like a girl (girls, no offence) and you have such a courageous and fearless name! Don’t worry! No Natasa affair and no other reasons for withdrawal from LA but pure enjoyment and rest!

Ollyyyy, They (Jelena and him) are not probably in Montenegro. They are in Montenegro! They make tours to the Montenegrin beaches every day on Novak’s yacht, enjoying, hanging around with friends, playing volleyball and everything. Novak is at the moment in Serbia opening these tennis courts, but will be back some more to Montenegro where his yacht is waiting for him (and Jelena on it :-)). Relax. In Novak we trust, so just be happy seeing him happy. I am!

OllyK Says:

Duro, I knew you would solve the mistery. Nole’s biggest Monetengrin fan. :D My sister was (and still is) in Rafailovici, and told me that he’s there with whole family, cruising from beach to beach, enjoying himself. :) I said “probably” cause about Jelena I read in newspapers. I’ve never doubt in him. He is one&only. And yes, in NOVAK WE TRUST! ;)

OllyK Says:

*I’ve never had doubts about him.* That’s what I meant to say. :)

margot Says:

jane: hi! pps!! Interesting h2hs for Djko, only looked up his v Rafa and Fed. Seems to me he and Andy are continually being bumped out by either of those two, which explains why they never seem to meet!
As far as I know its never been claimed that Djko can’t handle the “big hitters,” whereas its a claim made against Andy ad nauseam, which is why I looked up those stats.
I think Meltzer’s experience will tell today but Gulibov(spelling?) is a very exciting talent. What a wicked serve he has and a very powerful but erratic forehand. Saw all those spectators in Hamburg with jackets and blankets and had to laugh. Here, in usually- miserable- weather- UK, we are still sweltering.

Jake Willens Says:

The Djoker is so soft and needs to toughen up. Murray is going to win the US OPEN summer series this year.

Novak Djokovic Opens Tennis Courts on Tara Mountain [Video] Says:

[…] Murray Replaces Djokovic as Top Seed in Los Angeles […]

danica Says:

Oh, neverending garbage about Nole and Nata. Can’t believe you trust “Kurir”, Marko Polo :))).

According to this Serbian site, Nole will try to persuade Nadal to play an exibiton match in Budva in order to promote the tourism of Montenegro. He still feels that Serbia and Montenegro are one country. Duro, do you know anything about this:

As far as Murray coming to LA and replacing Djokovic, lets hope he fares well. My feeling is that he needs to bust his confindence and a win there would do just that. However, I must be honest, in Novak’s absence, I am rooting for Tipsy and Ernie ;)

Duro Says:

Oh, I do, Danica. Did you see the names who organized a dinner? They brought Madonna to Budva (7 million Dollars), Rolling Stones (five), so if enough money on the table it’s gonna be possible, all right, very possible. Expect a tennis center, that exhibition match and even a ATP tournament there. Budva is more than beautiful and if Nole refused to go from there and play in LA so he could enjoy some more, considering he could choose any place on earth, you can imagine how good it was for him. These predominantly business ideas are going to come through, no doubt about it.

danica Says:

I am just waiting to hear about the possible date of this exibition to plan my vacation around it :))). In fact, am thinking about coming to Montenegro with family in early October. Will see. Have still some relatives and a bunch of friends there ;).

sar Says:

Duro let us know the date and we will try to come.You’ll have to get tickets.

sar Says:

Danica:Brad and Angelina were there and they love it.

Duro Says:

Sar, that’s a promise! It’s 40 km from my home and I’ll get tickets for all of you that want to come! Everyone is invited, just let me know.

danica Says:

Sar, oh, I know, Montenegro is beautiful, spent many a summer there. Love the Bay of Kotor ;). Most of the Serbs living in Serbia now come from Montenegro anyway.

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