January 4th, 2014
Notes: Sam Stosur still injured?…Tough draws for (3) Vesnina against the Puerto Rican riser Puig, and (5) Pennetta against the former No. 1 Venus…Venus on the small-tournament guarantee-cash circuit this year?…Wildcards went to Aussies Casey Dellacqua, Olivia Rogowska and Storm Sanders…Storm Sanders is an awesome sports name, period…Pulling from the tournament were Nadia Petrova, Ashleigh Barty and Stefanie Voegele…Vesnina in last year’s final beat Barthel…Returning former champs in the field are Vesnina (2013), Barthel (2012), and Jie Zheng (2005).
December 28th, 2013
Nadal opens against Rosol who famously ousted him at Wimbledon a couple years ago…Other tough starts for (4) Berdych vs. Dr. Ivo, and (2) Ferrer vs. the pesky Dolgopolov…Ferrer beat Nadal last week at the Abu Dhabi exhibition, eventually losing in the final to Novak Djokovic…Nadal has never won Doha in five appearances…Ferrer has never won in three appearances…Murray making his first ATP appearance since back surgery…In last year’s final Gasquet beat Davydenko…Returning champs in the field are Gasquet (2013), Davydenko (2010), and Murray (2009-08).
October 29th, 2013
Roger Federer clinched his spot in London today after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost in Paris.
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 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 29th, 2013
Notes: Andy Murray pulled from the event (back surgery)…Some opening-round testers with (1) Del Potro vs. Baghdatis, (4) Nishikori vs. Tuna Melzer, and (2) Tsonga vs. Gael Force in an all-French affair…Simon and Almagro have losing career records at the event, while Anderson makes his debut…Wildcards went to Del Potro and Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, Go Soeda, and Yuichi Sugita…Nishikori beat Raonic in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Nishikori (2012) and Tsonga (2009).
August 2nd, 2013
Juan Martin Del Potro opened his summer hardcourt season Thursday with two wins.
July 27th, 2013
Notes: Three former No. 1s among the seeds…No Williams sisters but plenty of Top 10ers and floaters…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Tough openers for (1) Azarenka after a bye against Pennetta or Schiavone, (4) Vinci after a bye likely against the veteran Mattek-Sands, (7) Ivanovic vs. Cibulkova, (5) Stosur vs. the rolling Lepchenko, and (2) Radwanska after a bye likely vs. the veteran Hantuchova…Wildcards went to American Allie Kiick, France’s Virginie Razzano, and Stosur…Pulling from the event were Marion Bartoli, Kirsten Flipkens, Bojana Jovanovski, Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova…Martina Hingis and Hantuchova received a wildcard in doubles…Cibulkova beat Bartoli in the final last year…Returning champions in the field are Cibulkova (2012), Radwanska (2011), and Kuznetsova (2010).
July 20th, 2013
Notes: Two-time defending champ Serena Williams obviously didn’t like the under-the-table appearance fee to appear in Stanford, passing on the event and last week playing the tiny Swedish Open in Bastad, which was willing to pony-up some major cash…Tough starts are (1) Radwanska after a bye possibly facing the former Slam champ Schiavone, (8) Rybarikova vs. the explosive Keys, and (2) Stosur after a bye likely facing the powerful Goerges….Wildcards went to American Nicole Gibbs and Croat Ajla Tomljanovic…Pulling from the event were Marion Bartoli (hamstring), Kirsten Flipkens, Sabine Lisicki (wrist), and Maria Sharapova (hip)…Since 1990, 20 of the 23 champions have been Slam winners, but this year there are no returning champions in the field.
May 8th, 2013
Rafael Nadal looked sharp in his Madrid opener today at the Magic Box.