April 20th, 2014
Notes: Eight-time winner Rafael Nadal heads the field, and after a bye likely starts against Davydenko…(14) Marcel Granollers after a bye likely starts against The Worm…Wildcards went to Argentine Facundo Arguelleo, and Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena, Inigo Cervantes, Daniel Gimeno-Traver…Withdrawing from the event were Pablo Andujar, Federico Delbonis, Richard Gasquet, Ivo Karlovic and Juan Monaco…David Ferrer is 0-4 in Barcelona finals…Fabio Fognini has never won a match in Barcelona (0-4)…Nadal beat Almagro in last year’s all-Spanish final…The two-time champ Bryan brothers are the top seeds in the doubles…Former singles champs in the field are Nadal (2013-11,’09-05), Robredo (2004), and Verdasco (2010).
March 17th, 2014
It was rumored that Serena (and Venus) were going to embrace the “Forgive and forget” message, inspired by the late Nelson Mandela and her Serena’s Jehovah’s Witness religion, but in the end — didn’t happen.
February 8th, 2014
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal pulled from the event citing a stomach virus…Ferrer shooting for third title in a row…Wildcards went to Ferrer and Argentines Facundo Arguello and Guido Pella…Returning champs in the field are Ferrer (2013-12), Almagro (2011), Robredo (2009), and Monaco (2007).
February 3rd, 2014
Russian tennis was crumbling even before legendary captain Shamil Tarpischev bailed out last year in favor of new Russian captain Anastasia Myskina. The iron-handed Tarpischev always seemed to pull together the top Russians, as evident by Fed Cup titles in four of five years from 2004-08. But over the last few years, due to payout squabbles and changes in the Russian sports hierarchy, Russian Fed Cup has become a joke. All the top Russian players have again blown off this tie for Mother Russia, and the rookie captain Myskina now has at her disposal Victoria Kan (ranked No. 160), Irina Khromacheva (240), Valeria Solovyeva (247), and Veronika Kudermetova (689) in her first tie as captain. Good luck with that. Australia will post with their top player and former Slam winner Sam Stosur, in addition to Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty, and will ease into the semifinals. This is an “F” on the watchability report card.
January 26th, 2014
Notes: Strong field with four Top 10ers…Tough starts for (1) Sharapova after a bye likely facing Hantuchova, (2) Kvitova after a bye likely meeting Cornet, and (8) Flipkens vs. the defending champion Barthel…Wildcards went to Caroline Garcia, Petra Kvitova and Kristina Mladenovic…Pulling from the tournament were Dominika Cibulkova, Ana Ivanovic, Kaia Kanepi and Lucie Safarova…Returning champs in the field are Barthel (2013), Kerber (2012), and Kvitova (2011).
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January 11th, 2014
“I think Bernard was a little frustrated after seeing me very focused on the match and hitting the ball so well,” Del Potro said. “He is still young in some moments of the match…”
January 9th, 2014
Serena’s exit out of the top quarter into the semis would likely also go through No. 31 seed Daniela Hantuchova, then No. 14 Ana Ivanovic or No. 17 Sam Stosur, and in the quarters possibly the fast-rising No. 30 seed Eugenie Bouchard.
October 22nd, 2013
Previewing the WTA Championships.
October 20th, 2013
Controversy came with the end of the season as Kerber received a late wildcard for the Linz tournament, which she won, allowing her to edge Wozniacki for a Top 8 spot. “I do not understand that (the WTA) can suddenly change the draw and allocation of wildcards that way,” Wozniacki said. “There are many things that have been done in an unsportsmanlike and unethical manner. And you can hear from other players. They think it’s so ridiculous.”…
October 13th, 2013
Kerber failed to serve it out at 5-4, 40-0, then Ivanovic let two set points slip away serving at 6-5 — then two more set points at 6-4 in the tiebreak before Kerber won four straight points to secure the title.
October 12th, 2013
Tough starts go to (1) Gasquet vs. either Baghdatis or Evgeny Donskoy, (5) Istomin vs. Russian (WC) Andrey Kuznetsov, and (7) Sousa vs. Stakhovsky…Seeds making their debuts at the event are Gasquet, Sousa and Mannarino…Russians have won the event 14 times since 1990…Last year Seppi beat Thomaz Bellucci in the final…Notable pulls from the event were Nikolay Davydenko (wrist) and Stan Wawrinka…Returning former champs in the field are Seppi (2012) and Tipsarevic (2011).
September 28th, 2013
Tomas Berdych and Milos Roanic meet for the Bangkok title Saturday night.
September 27th, 2013
Eight of the Top 10 take to the court in Beijing, with play starting on Saturday…Six current or former No. 1s in the field…Tough starts go to (3) Radwanska vs. Keys 2nd rd., (14) Ivanovic vs. Pennetta, (2) Azarenka vs. Petkovic (winner to likely face former world No. 2 Kuznetsova), (5) Errani vs. Flipkens, (13) Lisicki vs. V.Williams likely 2nd rd., and (4) Li vs. Hantuchova…Wildcards went to Francesca Schiavone, Venus Williams, and China’s Zhang Shuai and Zheng Jie…Pulling from the event were Martina Hingis (from doubles citing personal reasons) Marion Bartoli (retirement), Jamie Hampton (left ankle), Ekaterina Makarova, Romina Oprandi, Nadia Petrova (left hip), and Maria Sharapova (right shoulder)…The Williams sisters took a doubles wildcard…Former champs in the field are Azarenka (2012), Radwanska (2011), Wozniacki (2010), Kuznetsova (2009,’06), Jankovic (2008), Maria Kirilenko (2005), and Serena Williams (2004)…No player has ever won back-to-back singles titles in Beijing.
September 22nd, 2013
Tough openers for (4) Simon after a bye vs. the winner of Karlovic-Tomic, and (7) Nieminen vs. the Dutch riser Sijsling…Wildcards went to three dudes whose names you can’t pronounce…Pulling from the event were Ivan Dodig, Andy Murray (back surgery), and Tommy Robredo…Gasquet beat Simon in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Gasquet (2012) and Simon (2009).
August 18th, 2013
Notes: Will Isner pull out after his draining run in Cincinnati? Probably…Not a lot of floating talent, and all 16 seeds receive first-round byes…Potentially tough opening-round match-ups for seeds after byes include (11) Nieminen vs. (WC) Fish, (9) Melzer vs. the rising Dutchman Sijsling, and (5) Paire vs. Blake…Other wildcards went to Berdych, Spain’s Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, and Belgian Romain Bogaerts…Pulling from the event were Carlos Berlocq, Nikolay Davydenko, Marcel Granollers, Tommy Haas, Albert Ramos, the doping-suspended Viktor Troicki, and Horacio Zeballos…Isner is the two-time defending champion, last year beating Berdych in the final.