Tennis-X Notes: Safin Hangs with Rosset, Nadal Angry
by Staff | April 14th, 2008, 7:28 am

SERBIAN POST-IT NOTE: Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic have received the honor of their own Serbian stamps, with the images created by academic painter Marina Kalezic.

EXIT COACH, ENTER THE BAR: Marat Safin is temporarily losing his coach, Hernan Gumy, who is returning to Argentina to be with his pregnant wife, but he is picking up a drinking buddy. Former pro tour player and pro partier Marc Rosset will fill in as Safin’s “coach” during the beginning of the claycourt season. “Marc Rosset was very kind to offer to accompany me in the next few events,” Safin said on his website. “I am very grateful to him and it looks like he will help me out until Gumy comes back.” Rosset, to his credit, did win gold when the Olympics was held on red clay. Safin said his decision to bring on additional help came after a loss to qualifier Bobby Reynolds in Miami.
RIOS v BRUGUERA FOR 1ST TIME ON CLAY?: Former No. 1 Marcelo Rios and French Open champ Sergi Bruguera never played each other on clay in their tour days, but that could change the week of April 24 at the senior tour event in Barcelona. Also in the mix will be French Open champ Albert Costa, Michael Stich, and dirt-loving Swedes Magnus Larsson and Magnus Gustafsson.

ATP/ITF AGREE ON RANKING POINTS FOR DAVIS CUP: OPINION ON: Starting in 2009, ATP players will receive ranking points for competing in Davis Cup at the World Group level. “This is a win/win situation for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and the ATP,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “The calendar is stabilized for the upcoming years [until 2013] in the model that the top players requested and, for the first time in history, Davis Cup players will receive well-deserved ranking points for their performance in the competition.”

ATP DEFENDING LAWSUITS ON MULTIPLE FRONTS: How much does the ATP have to spend on lawyers since Mercedes is dropping their title sponsorship? The ATP is currently being sued in U.S. courts by the Masters Series-Hamburg event for their 2009 calendar demotion, the top players are reportedly circulating a petition to halt the auto-renewal of CEO Etienne de Villers’ contract, and the five Italian players who have been suspended in association with on-line gambling and considering a lawsuit. Also on the horizon — Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who if the ATP cannot come up with anything regarding their match-fixing investigation, will have a rip-roaring lawsuit in the works regarding the upheaval in his life and his name being dragged through the media mud.

EASTBOURNE GETS COMBINED ATP/WTA EVENT: The ATP is moving the Nottingham Open to the site of the WTA Eastbourne event on the 2009 calendar, making the event the seventh combined event on the pro tennis calendar. After doubts over the future of the women’s event, Eastbourne gets a boost the week before Wimbledon.

MANTILLA RETIRES: Spaniard Felix, who overcame skin cancer in 2006, has announced his retirement. Among his major results were reaching the French Open semifinals in 1998, and in 2003 won the Masters Series-Rome where he beat Roger Federer in the final.

ATP TOURNAMENT CHANGES: According to New Zealand press, Graham Pearce, CEO Tennis Auckland is stepping down as tournament director of the Heineken Open ATP tournament after 14 years. Richard Palmer will take his place as tournament director of the Heineken Open and Brenda Perry will replace Palmer as tournament director of the ASB Classic WTA Tour event.

NADAL HITS OUT AT 2009 ATP SCHEDULE: The 2009 ATP schedule is out, and Rafael Nadal and other European players are angry at calendar concessions given to the U.S. Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, with the European Masters Series events on clay played closer together: “It’s an outrageous way to treat European and claycourt players. The truth is the ATP is making our lives almost impossible. Moving Miami and Indian Wells back because of college basketball is something I understand because it’s very important to them but this is a world tour. We only have three Masters Series events and we have to play them with an important tournament like Barcelona all running together. I’m tired of complaining about this but the people in charge of this don’t share my opinion and I have to respect that.”

RANDOM NOTES: World No. 1 Justine Henin pulled from Charleston citing knee inflammation…Sania Mirza had wrist surgery this week in the U.S. and is expected to be out of action for at least a month…Nicole Vaidisova has hired David Felgate as her new coach, replacing Vaidisova’s step-father Alex Kodat…Tim Henman has joined the BBC’s Wimbledon commentary team…Italian David Sanguinetti has announced his retirement.

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ATP Previews: Davydenko Opens vs. Safin in Moscow; Stockholm
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21 Comments for Tennis-X Notes: Safin Hangs with Rosset, Nadal Angry

zoe Says:

Looks like the ATP is trying to find a way for Americans to win more. I can’t believe how they have created a 2009 calendar so UNFAIR to clay players. (mainly Europeans and South Americans) If Americans choose March Madness over tennis…so be it. It’s ATP that does nothing to get tennis televised that would create a fan following. Tennis is so much more important to Europeans (unfortunate for us American fans) than America…therefore their clay season should not be shortened to favor the uninterested Americans.

Zola Says:

It is important to quote Rafa right here and not portray his reaction as mere anger! No concession is given to IW and Miami. Pls don’t make up things here. The concession is given to CBS who wanted to have Miami and NCAA finals in the same weekend.

That’s why they pushed the Miami/IW one weak ahead and took the one week before Roma. LAst year they had three master series in 5 weeks which was bad enough and now they have made the matters worse by reducing it to 4 weeks, with second week being Barcelona, the biggest non-master clay tournament.

It affects everyone and IS outragrous.

Please also ass that almost all 20 top players have given a petition to the ATP board not to renew Devillers’ contract before looking at other applicants. It tells a lot.

I am a regular resder of this website and appreciate if you respect the intelligence of your readers by publishing the stories correctly.

Zola Says:

sorry about the typo.

***Please also ass …* should read

Please also add

Dr. Death Says:

Zola – I think the word “anger” makes one read the blog. Otherwise, it looks like a balanced report to me.

This schedule is indeed out of control and all we are going to have is more injured players OR less big name stars at tournaments where they would normally be.

It is all about money and nothing else.

ChrisM Says:

If someone says somthing is ‘outrageous’ that means they are OUTRAGED.

= Angry.


tennismonger Says:

It’s all so strange – tennis is in a death spiral in the USofA & the clay euro-events/players get the shaft – ‘course who know what’s really going on – IW & the Tournament Formerly Known As The Lipton must have some serious clout to warp the spring clay season as they have.

Well, on a positive note, maybe if enough dirtballers are worn out come Roland Garros time, the Fed can stage his big mid-season comeback!

But the front page story here is Sanguinetti – Italy’s answer to Brad Gilbert has packed it in & now there’s one less Italian to kick around on the ATP Tour – especially sad since the younger ones have been banned into oblivion for…well, nothing really, just for being easy to be made an example of…what a joke!

lines Says:

Agassi and Sampras should start an alternative league, and sign the top 20 players in the world to play exciting televised matches around the world at various locations. Like boxing. Once you get to number 1 in the ATP you can challenge your way into the top 20 alternative “title bouts” league.

The reason you dont see boxing “tournaments” is because one or two guys would always come out on top, which is the prob the ATP is having forever.

lines Says:

when you add race points to the equation, it becomes an assanine setup to allow top 1-8 to play cupcakes all the way through to the semis, while top 9-20 have to play much tougher early round matches week in and week out. The whole top 20 should just play one-off matches for viewers’ entertainment. That way we could be guaranteed a Nadal Fed showdown, or a Roddick Blake, or a Murray Djokovic, or how about a Hewitt Davydenko… and everyone would tune in like a boxing match. The players could perform at their 100% because not bogged down with long tourneys… only prob is old money wont like it.

sensationalsafin Says:

That doesn’t make any sense. What about the thousands of other pros. You can’t single out the top 20. And Murray isn’t even in the top 20 right now.

Zola Says:

Dr. Death,
you are right about the title, but the report is not written right. This is the second time tennis-x had done it ( read Richard Vach’s post on the same topic).

***The 2009 ATP schedule is out, and Rafael Nadal and other European players are angry at calendar concessions given to the U.S. Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, ….*

To a reader that doesn’t know the story, it seems Nadal is angry at the American tournaments IW and Miami. That is not true. It has nothing to do with IW and Miami. It is ATP that has pushed these two tournaments one week ahead for the sake of CBS and NCAA. That has taken one week off the clay season and resultd in a very compact schedule:

MonteCarlo(Master series)
Baecelona (Golden Series)
Rome(Master series)
Hamburg (Master series)

all withinn 4 weeks.

Maybe that’s what the writers wanted to say, but it certainly did not come through like that.

It affects all the players.I am sure Federer/Almagro…many players who can reach the final in the three master series will feel the pressure on their body and as you said we will just see more injuries.

I think having a Disneyland guy to run ATP was huge mistake!

Zola Says:

please read my post ( two posts) carefully. I think you are missing my point.

The problem is not an angry player. It is what ATP is doing to the players and the whole ATP tour.

Another example is giving points to the DC players. The players always complained about the schedule, not the points. Only 4 players get to each team. what about the rest of the players? Why not reschedule the whole DAvis cup?
Why not reschedule and spread all the master series evenly throughout the year so that players can rest their body?

Dr. Death Says:

Zola – I can see your point especially concerning readers who may not follow the whole story.

Vach – careful with the words in the future or we will send Gasquet to give you a tongue lashing.

Zola Says:

Dr. Death,
I was a bit sorry for GAsquet. I felt he didn’t want to be in the DC team ( I don’t know why)and the lashing he took from Forget in their last press conference was tough. He is so talented and to see him in that fragile mental state just made me very sad.

Dr. Death Says:

I did not see that report on the press conference. Would love to if you still have a link.

I like Gasquet if for no other reason than I learned something from him which improved my backhand.

You are a kind person, but when these guys choose to swim with the big sharks, they have to be prepared to fight. If not, they ought to go teach tennis at some academy and avoid the competitive pressures.

Zola Says:

Dr. Death,

here’s the link to their press conference:

I don’t think I am kind. I am a bit torn here. On one hand I think GAsquet has occupied somwonw space in the team. Maybe Monfils or Simon, or someone who was more willing to play, could halp France advance. With Gasquet, the French team was just 3 players not 4.

On the other hand, I think it would have been best if Forget did not vent his frustration in a press conference. If a guy is not willing to come, don’t bring him along, That’s it.

So, what did you learn from Gasquet’s backhand? Do you have a one-handed backhand? I started with a one-handed and for a while I was very good with direction but no power. Then I tried double-handed and it is working well. I am looking for a day that I can have consistent ground strokes. They seem to appear and disappear on me, both my forehand and my backhand!

Dr. Death Says:

Zola – thank you for the link.

Note how low Gasquet has the path of his racquet as it goes forward to strike the ball. This provides the upward sweep that puts topspin on the ball. No one does it better. (& I use a one hand backhand because the motion is similar to delivering a blow with one’s knuckles which is a move I can relate to.)

As to groundstrokes in general, first have a couple of check points on forehand and backhand. This is for practice and warm up. (When you play, hit the bloody ball!) The check point ought to be what makes the shot work for you.

Eventually muscle memory will take over. In tennis, one would describe successful muscle memory as being able to hit 500 shots in a row in the same manner. There is the challenge!

I trust you are taking lessons. The worst possible event is to develop a bad habit and to have that imbedded in your muscle memory.

Von Says:

Too much angst on this blog to even dare to comment. Very bad situation, and not worthy of begiing WW III. This is a case of discetion being the better part of valor.

Dr. Death Says:


Charge to the sound of the gunfire.

That’s what I told Gen Custer and the rest is history.

Von Says:

Dr. Death: *****”Nonsense. Charge to the sound of the gunfire. That’s what I told Gen Custer and the rest is history.” ****

If you think that egging me on in this manner is going to make me hang myself out to dry, you’re mistaken. I’m too chicken and I’m going to take the path of least resistance. But, if you take the initiative, then I’ll back you up. I think that’s a fair deal. :) Hop to it!!

Dr. Death Says:

Pleased to meet you; hope you know my name.

You saw through my little ploy. Thank you for the Roddick report on the other string.

bearbee_malaysia Says:

aiyo…so pity lah nadal like this..but its ok,he will do his best for sure…

to Staff,
the way u atract ppl to read ur blog was very good..
but if u can,pls dont pun NADAL only..
some ppl might not read whole post,and spread the topic “NADAL ANGRy” to other ppl…its no his only one angry,but all players.u mention that too..
vamos rafa!!!i love this web!!feeling like i’m at home….next post,tell more about rafa!!he’s the king here…n now..

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