Azarenka (Smartly?) Withdraws Ahead Of Inevitable Serena Loss In Brisbane; Tsonga Already Injured
by Sean Randall | January 4th, 2013, 10:04 am

The big marquee match of the first week this new year never happened last night, naturally. Victoria Azarenka was to clash with rival Serena Williams in the Brisbane semifinals last night but the Belarussian withdrew just 30 minutes before the meet.

The reason? According to Azarenka, it was because of toe injury initially sustained from a pedicure gone wrong. The remarkable story goes that Azarenka had a pedicure 10 days ago, but the procedure left her right big toenail too short and eventually, from play and pressure, the toe became too infected and too painful to continue.

“It’s just very unfortunate timing, because I was really looking forward to playing and excited,” Azarenka was quoted as saying.

“But I’m also quite happy I had two matches in already, which was kind of the point to come here and get some matches.

“But, you know, the health is definitely something that’s more important.

“For me it’s important that the procedure has been done and the worst already passed by. Just needs some time to get it better.”

Despite the alleged injury, Azarenka still “managed” to demolish Ksenia Pervak a round earlier by a score of 6-1, 6-0.

Also not to be lost is the fact Azarenka had lost nine straight and 11 of 12 to Serena. And with a pressure-packed Australian Open title defense upcoming, another loss to Serena would not do Azarenka’s confidence or mental mindset any good.

So no, I don’t buy it but I understand it. And it may be the smart move. But a pedicure? Geez. That’s a new one.

Staying on injuries, JW Tsonga is already damaged. With hopes high this year under new coach Roger Rasheed, Tsonga hurt his hamstring last night at the Hopman Cup during a mixed doubles match. The injury has forced him out of the Sydney event.

“I don’t know exactly what I have but I felt something during the singles and the mixed doubles so I didn’t have time to know exactly what is it, was a bit more sore during the mixed doubles so for me it was better to quit, for the other team and for Mathilde,” said Tsonga.

The Frenchman is hopeful to be back in good health for Melbourne. Fingers crossed because those hamstrings are tricky.

On the court, with Azarenka out Serena, who battled her own toe issues last month, will face Anastasia P for the Brisbane title. Serena has won 15 straight matches and 34 of 35. In the men’s semifinals, Andy Murray, a straight set winner over Denis Istomin, will square off against Kei Nishikori in a good one. The earlier semi features Marcos Baghdatis against Grigor Dimitrov. Marcos had a nice win over Gilles Simon while Dimitrov backed up his Milos Raonic win by knocking out Jurgen Melzer.

In Doha, Richard Gasquet is currently up a set on Daniel Brands. In the later semi Nikolay Davydenko duels David Ferrer.

We’ve already had a mild upset in Chennai. The stylish Benoit Paire edged second seed Marin Cilic in three.


PAT RAFTER ARENA start 12:00 noon
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP
[1] A Murray (GBR) vs [5] K Nishikori (JPN) – ATP

after suitable rest
G Dimitrov (BUL) / K Nishikori (JPN) vs M Melo (BRA) / T Robredo (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] S Williams (USA) vs A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – WTA
[4] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) vs B Mattek-Sands (USA) / S Mirza (IND) – WTA

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85 Comments for Azarenka (Smartly?) Withdraws Ahead Of Inevitable Serena Loss In Brisbane; Tsonga Already Injured

Ben Pronin Says:

Not that I can see any results since the ATP scoreboard is new and malfunctioning like crazy, but I’m pretty sure Dimitrov beat Melzer and Nishikori beat Dolgopolov.

I understand Azarenka pulling out, too, but you never see this on the men’s side. And let’s not get the fanatics trying to claim that Nadal pulled out against Murray in Miami because he was “scared.” The men don’t pull that nonsense. You never saw Roddick pulling out of matches before he played Federer, or Ferrer, or Davyenko, or Gonzalez, etc.

Sean Randall Says:

Thanks Ben, I fixed the post. I’m also seeing similar problems with the scoring system on the ATP site.

And it doesn’t happen on the ATP because how many men get pedicures? Haha.

nadalista Says:

Cue a long, “tough love” post by @Dave calling Vika a coward……..

Ben Pronin Says:

It works on my phone. Davydenko is up 3-1 in the first set and Gasquet won 7-5 7-5.

Humble Rafa Says:

Great Davy is going to take over the world.

Humble Rafa Says:

Mr. Lady Forehand is ahead of me in the ranking. I have to remember that next time we meet. I will put Sir Lady Forehand where he belongs.

Giles Says:

^^ Looking forward to that one. #Crush’EmAll

Ben Pronin Says:

Holy crap Davydenko thumped Ferrer (perhaps drawing inspiration from his fellow 30 year old). Interestingly, this match featured 0 aces and 0 double faults. But even more interesting is Ferrer didn’t manage a single break point opportunity. Davydenko won 85% on first serves and 83% on second. Poor showing from Ferrer or is Davydenko really back to his top form? This could make for an even more interesting Australian Open, where Davydenko has had a good amount of success when playing during his better years.

alison Says:

I saw that result,and im shocked to see what a convincing result it was for Davey,would be great to see him back in the big time again.

Sandra Says:

Davy played very well. Hope to see him continue this form.

the DA Says:

Saw the 2nd set, Davy was back to his old form. He was taking the ball early and redirecting with pace – he made Ferrer look slow. Best I’ve seen him play since WTF 2009.

Giles Says:

Ferrer is perhaps playing too much? He is playing in Auckland next week and the week thereafter in AO!

Giles Says:

Hope Gasquet beats baldy in the final! Go Richard!!

Humble Rafa Says:

Hey Tournaments,

Line up the $25K appearance money. Great Davy is back and will play at ALL your tournaments for appearance money.

RZ Says:

Vika’s withdrawal sounds fishy, but manicure/pedicure infections are quite common, which is why I do my nails at home!

Looks like Davy is on a roll.

jane Says:

^ Yes they are, and it almost sounds like it’s ingrown (i.e., cut too short). Anyhow too bad the match couldn’t happen.

Glad Murray is through and that he was more consistent this match. I’d love to see his match with Kei, but the time difference is killer!

Nole won, too, beating Haas 6-2, 6-0. He had 33 winners to 9 errors so it sounds like he played well. Haas then pulled out of mixed doubles with – guess what? – a toe injury. Maybe he had a bad pedicure too? :) Nole and Ana will be in the Hopman Cup finals vs. Spain.

Sad news about Tsonga.

alison Says:

Congrats to Davey he played brilliantly,hes had a brilliant week,looks like Andy has shaken off any rust,as for Nole normal service was resumed,nothing much to add there other than buisness as usual,and that Tommy never stood a chance.

skeezer Says:

“..calling Vika a coward……..”. errr. no…just needs a better pedicure manager(apparently).

“Despite the alleged injury, Azarenka still “managed” to demolish Ksenia Pervak a round earlier by a score of 6-1, 6-0.”


Serena is smiling.


I can guarantee you Hass didn’t pull out because of a bad pedicure ;)

Brando Says:

Muzza is getting some TOP DRAW opponents to face prior to AO.

Kei and then potentially Baggy- just the type that can test Andy strongly and get any ring rustiness out of him prior to AO.

Come on Muzza, keep that upward curve continuing up and onwards!

Brando Says:

Re Vika: Smart move by her.

Wog boy Says:

Before I lose the signal, Vika was injured they did show her toe on TV, she had minor operation day before yesterday, instead of waiting another 2-3 days so she is ready for AO, Serene did suport Vika’s decision to withdrow, aren’t we quick to judge at lough at others?


It was masterfull performance by No1e:)

RZ Says:

Poor Haas. Can’t Tommy have one year without any kind of injury? He deserves it, and us ladies deserve more opportunities to watch him. :-)

Humble Rafa Says:

Lessons from the Screecheee…

I have to pay close attention to my pedicure. One more thing to track.

RZ Says:

^ I meant that he deserves a year without any injuries

alison Says:

RZ agree and the same goes for Rafa too,i guess some players will always be injury prone i suppose.

skeezer Says:



So was that before or after he previous round thumping of her opponet?

Wog boy Says:

Tommy is going stright to Auckland to play, wasn’t real injury just no need to play doubles, he came out to explain himself, he didn’r really need another hour or so to play and stay on court. I just don’t know how smart is to do that before AO since from Perth to Auckland is something like 7-8 hours and few time zones and than back to Melbourne and again changing time zone?

jane Says:

Yeah at that point Germany had already lost the tie, because both Nole and Ana won in singles. Tommy had some nice words for Nole’s play. Usually their matches are tight. So it was likely a combo of a couple of things.

jamie Says:

8 Predictions for Andy Murray’s 2013 Season After Epic 2012

Andy Murray has had a sensational second half this year, and everyone including him believe that this is just the start of a bigger journey.

Having won the Olympic gold medal, Murray was on a high after avenging a defeat to the same opponent (Roger Federer) couple of weeks earlier on the same surface (Wimbledon).

This momentum carried forward to the Flushing Meadows, where Murray was at his best tennis-wise in winning the U.S. Open.

What can we expect from the Scot next year? Let us gaze into the crystal ball for a few thoughts.

Obviously, we cannot expect all the ones mentioned to be achieved but that is the luxury such a dream presents!

Signing Big Cheques

As of this month, Andy Murray was ranked 42nd in the list of richest British sportspeople.

The U.S. Open is just the beginning for Murray to sign bigger cheques and climb rapidly in this list—look out for him in the top 10 next year.

Australian Open Finals

Andy Murray lost an epic semifinal against eventual winner Novak Djokovic in the 2012 Australian Open.

Surely 2013 will see him go one round further and reach the final of the first Slam of the year.

With Rafael Nadal still unsure about when he will be back on tour, the Australian Open offers Murray the opportunity to be ranked third (or even higher if he can string good performances from now on).

If he can avoid Djokovic and Federer earlier, the final will be the minimum Murray should expect!

Is Wedding on the Cards?

Though Andy Murray has mentioned that he has given wedding plans the tennis elbow, there might be a surprise next year.

Look out for Murray proposing to his girlfriend Kim Sears next year.

Better Performance at Roland Garros

Ivan Lendl won the French Open thrice in his career. Obviously, the tips that helped him win will no doubt help Murray in 2013.

Murray will learn to slide on the red clay while also bringing out the shots that will help beat him the specialists at Paris.

While a title might be too early next year, a performance better than the quarterfinal appearance in 2012 will be definitely in the cards.

Ivan Lendl won the French Open thrice in his career. Obviously, the tips that helped him win will no doubt help Murray in 2013.

Murray will learn to slide on the red clay while also bringing out the shots that will help beat him the specialists at Paris.

While a title might be too early next year, a performance better than the quarterfinal appearance in 2012 will be definitely in the cards.

A Maiden Wimbledon Title

Having faltered at the last step in Wimbledon, Andy Murray will have the crowd behind him to capture the crown at The Championships in 2013.

With his game suited to the hallowed lawns, Murray has the chance to set the record straight after Fred Perry in 1936.

Year-End ATF Title Win

The year-end ATP Tour Finals at London has not seen Murray blossoming as well as he could.

Murray will try to set the record straight at home and win the season-ending title for the first time.

US Open Defence

Andy Murray will look to defend his crown in the Flushing Meadows next season.

The Scot will surely repeat his tricks in 2013 to win the U.S. Open once again.

No. 1 Ranking

Andy Murray set his sights on the No. 1 ranking as soon as he won the U.S. Open.

Murray will definitely achieve the ATP crown in 2013 thanks to a combination of factors (declining form of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer as well as his own improving game).

jamie Says:

The year of Novak Djokovic

By Ravi Ubha

On Wednesday, we unveiled five predictions about the women’s game in 2013. Now it’s time for the men.

Simply put, expect Novak Djokovic to be the clear MVP, with Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal (hopefully) and Juan Martin del Potro doing the chasing.

5. No Grand Slam quarterfinals for Raonic
Milos RaonicDani Pozo/AFP/GettyImagesMilos Raonic is not going in the right direction.

Reasons exist to root for Milos Raonic in 2013.

Canada needs something to cheer about after being deprived of hockey (let’s not underestimate that one, eh?) and Raonic is a likable, well-spoken chap.

But compared to a year ago, the future holds less promise — at least in this author’s opinion. Back then, I thought Raonic would one day become a Grand Slam champion. Not so sure now.

Raonic looked a whole lot like John Isner in 2012: The serve makes him a threat against any player, but not being able to break opponents means he’s vulnerable in any round.

Twelve of his 20 defeats came against lower-ranked foes, and he was 47th in percentage of return games won — one spot ahead of Isner. Although he moved up from 52nd in the same category in 2011, the actual percentage of return games won slipped from 16 to 15. Going in the wrong direction.

In a defeat to Grigor Dimitrov this week in Brisbane, Raonic didn’t win a point on the Bulgarian’s first serve, and Dimitrov isn’t known for having an overpowering delivery.

4. Top 30 for Ryan Harrison
Ryan HarrisonElsa/Getty ImagesRyan Harrison is a player on the rise.

A young pitcher comes in and has success in his rookie season. The next year, with batters knowing his stuff and patterns, he dips. What happens in the third year? If he’s the real deal, he sticks with it, stabilizes and the quality shines through.

Though some aren’t convinced, we’re backing the 20-year-old Harrison to rebound from a disappointing 2012 and reach the top 30.

He still has the tools to be competitive against the best of them, and unlike, let’s say, Ernests Gulbis, he’ll put in the hard work. He’s more settled now, too, after sorting out his coaching situation.

In assessing the American men overall, with little ranking points to defend in the first half of 2013, Sam Querrey will hope to make his top-10 debut. But for what would be only the second time since the rankings were introduced in 1973, an American man ending the year in the top 10 isn’t likely.

Do you miss Andy Roddick? Take comfort in knowing he still has a ranking. It’s 39th this week.

3. A Grand Slam final for del Potro
Juan Martin Del PotroTimothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesA wrist stymied Juan Martin del Potro’s climb in the rankings.

Had it not been for a wrist injury, del Potro would have landed in several Grand Slam finals by now and been the fourth member of the Big Four first, ahead of Murray. The worst, however, is behind del Potro, and he can add to the 2009 U.S. Open.

While the chunk of the calendar post-U.S. Open isn’t the most vital, it turned out to be hugely significant, in a good way, for del Potro in 2012. He ended a seven-match losing streak against Federer — the moment was similar in importance to his breakthrough victory against Nadal in Miami in 2009 — and won back-to-back titles in Vienna and Basel.

He’s on an upward curve that only another injury can send tumbling.

2. No Slam titles for Roger
Roger FedererJulian Finney/Getty ImagesRoger Federer will rest before the French Open.

We can stipulate that Federer is dangerous.

He may be 31, but the Swiss is a young 31, given his game style and effortless movement. He has been able to avoid serious injuries and his motivation remains high.

Deciding not to play Miami in 2013 shows how motivated he is to add to his 17 majors: Why mess around with a non-Slam tournament (albeit a substantial one) ahead of the clay-court season? He’ll get a nice two-month break to recharge, train and prepare for the French Open and Wimbledon.

He wants to avoid a repeat of late last summer, when he was “exhausted” after chasing the No. 1 ranking and going deep at the two European Slams and the Olympics.

Count on Federer to achieve a clean sweep of Grand Slam semifinals — the last time he did that was in 2009. But going on to win a major will prove to be difficult because of Murray’s progress and, more relevant, Djokovic. If Nadal picks up where he left off on clay when he re-emerges on the tour, the Spaniard will have to be considered the favorite at Roland Garros.

If not, Djokovic is the man to beat.

Federer won’t slide out of the top four. Not even close. But he’ll remain stuck on 17.

1. Three majors for Nole
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Djokovic coped well with increased expectations in 2012 while dealing with the death of his grandfather and illness of his father.

He matched his 2011 season by appearing in three Grand Slam finals and won the year-end championships.

With Nadal’s future uncertain, and even if Murray has raised his level under Ivan Lendl, Djokovic has a fine opportunity to claim three more majors in a season.

Murray figures to be Djokovic’s top challenger on hard courts, and the Serb has won two straight against the Scot.

Djokovic tends to get roped in by Murray and mirror his mostly defensive style instead of being aggressive (as he was in the third and fourth sets of the U.S. Open final), leading to extended slugfests. But when he does step on it, there’s only one winner: Djokovic.

He’s comfortably the better player.

Perhaps he should pretend he’s down a match point against Murray on every point. Far from being overly risky, when Djokovic fended off five match points in Shanghai, it was controlled aggression that won him three of the points. (A good serve and backhand winner on the defensive accounted for the other two points.)

You’d also have to anticipate that Djokovic will perform better at Wimbledon than in 2012, when he underwhelmed in the semifinals against Federer.

This will indeed be Djokovic’s year.

jamie Says:

Men’s Tennis: Who Will Win the 4 Majors in 2013?

Looking back at 2012, it really was a great year for men’s tennis. For the first time since 2003, we saw a different winner at every single Grand Slam.

We saw Britain’s much-anticipated first slam of the open era. We also saw the triumphant return of 31-year-old Roger Federer to No. 1 and the end of his three-year Grand Slam drought.

So what does 2013 hold?

Earlier we previewed 10 players to look out for on the men’s side. Let’s now predict the four Grand Slam winners in 2013.

Australian Open

Winner: Novak Djokovic

There’s no reason to think that Djokovic couldn’t repeat at Melbourne Park as champion for a third straight year.

The Serb has been downright dominant the last two years at the Australian Open, so you can expect nothing less from him in 2013. However, the march toward his third straight title might be the toughest yet, especially with Andy Murray playing some of the best tennis of his career.

Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro stepped his game up to near-2009 levels last year. The Argentine had his best performance at a Grand Slam since his title at the U.S. Open with a quarterfinal appearance at Melbourne Park in 2012.

Del Potro was ousted in straight sets last year by Roger Federer, but he has been showing more of the form that made him a champion. While fitness is always a concern with DelPo, all signs point to him being ready for a deep run Down Under.

Player to Watch: Kei Nishikori

Nishikori announced himself to the world tennis stage last season when he made his way to the quarterfinals in Australia before being ousted by Andy Murray.

He’s a man to keep an eye on in the tournament considering his strong past results and his great finish to 2012.

French Open

Winner: David Ferrer

Personally, I just feel like it might be Ferrer’s year. He had a career year in 2012 and will be looking at a field that will likely feature a less-than-100 percent Nadal.

In 2012, Ferrer cruised through to the quarters, dropping just 21 games before ousting fourth seed Andy Murray. Ferrer suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of his Spanish compatriot Nadal, but that could play out as a very different scenario this year.

Ferrer’s best surface is clay, and he might have his best chance ever coming up in late May and early June to achieve that coveted slam.

Dark Horse: Rafael Nadal

It’s funny to talk about Nadal in a dark-horse context, but it really is a toss-up right now.

Will he be healthy? Will he be able to compete at the highest of levels by June? It’s tough to say. This will become much more clear by April or so, but it is a huge question mark right now.

He’s the defending champion, and we all know what a battler he is. Will he be primed and ready to defend his title? For the sake of competition, let’s hope so.

Player to Watch: Richard Gasquet

Gasquet quietly had one of the best years of his professional career in 2012. He made it to the fourth round or better in every major and saw his ranking rise back into the Top 10 by the end of the year.


Winner: Andy Murray

It’s his time. Andy Murray finally got the 10-ton gorilla off his back with a Grand Slam title in Flushing Meadows. He replaced the turmoil of a 2012 Wimbledon final loss to Federer with memories of centre-court redemption at the London Olympics.

With a newfound confidence in himself and a familiarity with high-pressure situations on centre court, Murray can finally bring home a Wimbledon title. It’s a title that has alluded the Brits since the days of Fred Perry.

Since 1936, Great Britain has waited for a homegrown champion at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but it may not have to wait much longer.

Dark Horse: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Big Jo-Willy has been a semifinalist the last two years at Wimbledon. In 2011, he was defeated in four very tight sets by eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He was defeated in a competitive four-set match by Andy Murray in 2012.

Tsonga has been so close he can taste it these last two years. He’s an absolute beast to contain when he’s on his game, and grass is by far his best and most suitable surface.

If he can get hot in the late rounds of the tournament, it might be his time. He’s already pushed the top players to their limits in the semis. Can he take it a step further?

Player to Watch: Tomas Berdych

Berdych had an incredibly disappointing 2012 Wimbledon. No one expected the 2010 finalist to be bounced in the first round by the Latvian Ernests Gulbis, but that was the reality.

However, Berdych is an intense competitor and will likely be looking for a bounce-back tournament.

Last year he made it to the Round of 16 in Paris before falling to Andy Murray. He tends to struggle against Top 10 opponents, but don’t think that Gasquet isn’t a tough out.

He plays beautifully on the red dirt, and he will have the sixth man, the French crowd, on his side if he makes a deep run in the tournament.

U.S. Open

Winner: Novak Djokovic

Yes, it’s going to be a double kind of year for Novak Djokovic.

He will back up his hard-court slam in Australia with a hard-court slam under the bright lights of New York City. He was bested last year by Andy Murray, but the 2011 champion will not be denied in 2013.

Djokovic is arguably the most dominant hard-court player on tour right now, and he loves playing at the U.S. Open on the big stage. It’s tough to bet against Djokovic in New York, but if he runs into Andy Murray again, we could be in for a slugfest of the ages.

Dark Horse: Tomas Berdych

Berdych gave Murray a definite run for his money last season in the semis of the U.S. Open. It was a very tense four-set match, and after Berdych took the first, it looked like momentum might be on his side.

However, the rest is history. Murray blasted Berdych off the court the next two sets, won a tight breaker in the fourth and went on to win the title.

Berdych always leaves fans wanting more; he has showed an ability to beat top players and make deep runs in the big tournaments. He looked strong in the Big Apple last season, and this might be the year he puts it all together.

Player to Watch: Milos Raonic

The big Canadian had a great run last season, losing to eventual champion Andy Murray in the fourth round. He showed a very big game that was well suited for the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.

While Ferrer, Berdych and Del Potro all had fantastic runs worth talking about, Raonic may have had the most surprising one considering his young age, 21, and mental stability at the big moments.

He’s cool as a cucumber under pressure, and backed with that strong service game, this might be a tournament year where Raonic tosses his hat into the conversation of Grand Slam champions at New York for years to come.


Giles Says:

Ferrer? French open? Don’t make me laugh!! #InHisDreams

jane Says:

Interesting predictions jamie – looks like one thinks Murray will do great, one Rafa and one Nole.

skeezer Says:


100% agree with with you for once ;)

queen Says:

Jaime, since you make those predictions you may want to check this out. Do I believe it?- NO, Do I want to believe it? -Hell yea!

mat4 Says:


You’ve got the whole match here:

Although I have to say that Tomic played the right way against Novak, and played quite well, Nole’s performance against Haas was better. His BH especially worked like a Swiss watch. Haas played an excellent second set but lost easily.

Michael Says:

The year 2013 has just started and we are having a streak of withdrawals by players due to injuries. It goes to show as to how difficult it is to maintain your physique in this gruelling sport. This is where the continuous semi and quarter final streak at Slams by Roger gains added eminence and importance. Even Roger’s staunchest critics will admit that he is a fitness machine. More than his Tennis histronics it is this aspect of Roger which is adding more glamour to his already over loaded resume which envies his competitors and makes a perfect case study for young Tennis aspirants who dream to make it big in this sport. I have never seen any other player who has been so injury free in his whole career like Roger. He is unique and one of his kind.

Colin Says:

Dmitrov beats the Bagster in a third set tie-break. Excellent tennis, played in a nice friendly spirit.

jane Says:

I didn’t see it but I guess Baggy got penalized in the 3rd set tiebreak, lost his second serve, and his concentration.

jane Says:

Nishikori is injured? He was worked on during the changeover. He started well but now his level has dropped. Meanwhile, Andy began slowly but at the end of the first set he really turned it on with some jaw-droppin defense.

jane Says:

Kei retired. So Murray vs Dimitrov in the final.

Colin Says:

Nishikori retires. After trailing early on, Murray turned the first set round nicely, but the Japanese wasn’t fully fit, and Andy will need to play better against Dmitrov. I think he will.

The Great Davy Says:

Now that I reclaim Iron Man status time to reclaim Doha status. The one place that remembers my name it inspire me to go ALL the way.

Tomorrow, it will be tough. It always be a tough to play frenchman in finals. I will show Mr. “talented” what real backhand looks like!

Wog boy Says:

Very nice match by Dimitrov, feel sorry for Baghdatis, he was hard done in TB by umpire and don’t tell me there is no common sense in implementing 25sec rule, it has to be, it was TB decider !

alison Says:

Anyboby can make predictions,and theres nothing wrong in that,but i think some fans tend to get swept away with the euphoria of their own personal favorites,and because it suits them as fans they believe what they want to believe,and journalists are no exceptions either,and theres nothing wrong in that dont get me wrong,whats annoying is the nasty name calling of one poster to another when all we are doing is merely speculating,we all know nothing as yet lets wait and see.

BT Says:

Serena annihilated Pavlynchenkova in Brisbane final tonight. 6-2 6-1. Looked like she barely raised a sweat playing. Very dominant heading into AO. It’s hard to see many players troubling her. Especially with injury clouds hanging over Vika and Masha.

alison Says:

Serenas the lady to beat at the AO,likewise Nole on the mens side,in fact i would be very surprised to see any other two players winning the AO this year,in fact i would go as far as to say that both could do it without even dropping a set,as thats how good they are,just my opinion.

Colin Says:

“Anyboby can make predictions”
Alison,your slip of the fingers almost produced the truth, which would read “Any booby can make predictions”.

alison Says:

Colin lol honestly didnt realise till you brought it to my attention,but now you mention it,it does make alot of sense lol.

nadalista Says:

Baghdatis v Dimitrov, Brisbane semi:

2nd set Marcos gets a time violation warning, then goes over the time limit for the next 3 serves (TV was running the clock, 3rd one took at least 30 seconds), but no serve was docked. Arbitrary application of the rules, much?

3rd set tie breaker, Marcos gets docked a serve, all hell breaks loose, Marcos loses the match and the commentators sympathise with him. Pity Marcos cannot take sympathy to the bank.

My take aways:

1. Umpire decisions now constitute important match talking points. Time was it was the play on court.
2. Umpire decisions are still arbitrary, in spite of The Rules.
3. Used to be 2 people decided the outcome of matches, the players on the court, now it’s 3 with the Umpire.

Giles Says:

^^^ I think you make very valid points, in fact good enough to relay them directly to the ATP! #SendThemEmail

nadalista Says:

^^^^No need, the ATP know EXACTLY where they were going with this, they are not stupid.

More comfortable sitting back nursing my cynicism, thank you very much……..

Thomas Says:

Here’s an interesting article on the new rule.

Murray likes the idea of the rule, but thinks it should be adjusted quite a bit. Dimitrov weighs in as well.

jane Says:

Murray’s comments make sense. Thanks for posting.

Wog boy Says:

Nice win by Nole against Verdasko in two sets. It was high quality match. I am watching last two hours Ana and she is doing her best to lose her match and leave mix doubles to decide who is taking Hopman cup home. Spaniards are better double players:(

Brando Says:


Thanks for posting that article.

The world no.3 and winner of the last GS makes excellent points on this subject matter and IMHO, points that make a lot of sense.

Best take i have read on this issue by anyone so far.


Brando Says:

Roger Federer’s take on Rafa’s absence:

For SOME strange reason unlike the haters Federer thinks rafa runs through 90% of the competition and believe his absence creates an OPPORTUNITY for others.

Strange for Fed to think like that me thinks.

A good short interview and IMHO i think after Nole , Fed has as good a chance as anyone in winning AO.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he did!

skeezer Says:

Thomas thanks for that link.

Murray is spot on. Being saying that all along.


Read the link Thomas posted, and re-nurse you cynicism.

Oh btw, the players voted for it, does that mean Rafa voted?

jane Says:

Murray thinks it’s wrong that players have been penalized for changing their racquets and such; he thinks last year’s AO final was a classic; and he thinks the rule should be 30 seconds, not 25, because the game has changed since the rule was made.

skeezer Says:

^yes but imho he backs the heart of the rule, a time limit. If its 30, fine, but not 30 one point, 55 next, 35 next and so on. Being an athlete, he also sees the importance of the hard limit for long rallys. You work your opponet for an advantage, and he has a chance to recover? Ugh.

jane Says:

Like Andy, I think 30 seconds is reasonable. I also think things that can’t be helped, like a shoelace coming undone or a racquet string breaking shouldn’t be penalized, so I agree with him there too.

skeezer Says:

Knowing the players voted for it, they’ll figure out those small details soon enough. Happy they saw the light ;)

Also, the racket thing seems absurd but, someone is going to abuse that, you wait. Unless the player can show the ump his racket strings are broken. Need time to recover? Oh….ump…I need to change rackets! Uh? My shoe lace needs re tying. Uh?..should be checking that on changeovers……Players will adapt, no need to be babied.

Giles Says:

skeezer. Gosh, you’re a hard man! Were you an executioner at some point in your career? “Oh btw the players voted for it , does that mean Rafa voted?”. They probably organised the poll when Rafa was away injured!!! Who are the players that voted? Here is a list : RF, RF, RF, RF, RF. He is the one who started this ball rolling!

Brando Says:


TBH i HIGHLY DOUBT RF started the ball rolling on this one, and i doubt it was a move against rafa or nole either.

Let’s be honest: rafa has taken his time between points for many years, so IF fed wanted to start a campaign or whatever against him he would have done so YEARS AGO.

IMHO, rafa and others will adapt to it in time. And it WILL NOT hinder them from winning matches either.

Sure they may be a few headline moments initially whilst adjusting to this new enforcement but eventually all it will end up being is a storm in a tea cup, and the show will just roll on as per usual!

Giles Says:

Brando. Have you forgotten RF’s press conference, I think it was in Jan 2012, when this topic was brought up and he singled out Rafa for slow play. He didn’t mention Nole, just Rafa! Go figure!

skeezer Says:

^thats because it is a fact!


Thank you Brando. If Rafa abides by the change, and then kicks everyones @ss, then who is going to have egg on there face? Isn’t this the guy who was pegged as a Clay courter and was never going to win on other surfaces? If anyone can adapt, I believe Rafa can. Some of his fans, however, think otherwise apparently.

Brando Says:


No big deal though IMHO.

TRUTH doesn’t pick sides.

Rafa is one of the slower players, as we all know, so if Fed mentioned him then it was just to make an honest point most probably as opposed to a personal attack on rafa.

Rafa, likewise, in the past has pointed out where he feels fed erred on the wrong side of things.

BOTH rafa and roger get on pretty well and are above making personal attacks against one another in the media.

Heck, fed is ONE of the non-spanish players who has kept in touch with rafa in his lay off to see how he is doing.

To me it indicates that these to get on really well and its about time their fans do the same!

On both sides!

Giles Says:

skeezer. Which Rafa fans have said that he can’t adapt? People are just discussing and debating the new rule which many think is flawed. No doubt it can be refined but at the moment even in Rafa’s absence players are getting time violation warnings, some of which are not warranted. ATP need to get their act together!

Brando Says:


Agreed. I think he can adapt to the change and in all honesty he and everyone else has no choice BUT to adapt to it.

It’s start of the new season and the rules are just going into to play hence the some what intense debate about it.

In a few months it shall be accepted as part of life on tour and i think everyone will move on from it and get on with playing some tennis hopefully.

Giles Says:

Brando. “and it’s about time their fans do the same. On both sides”. I have no qualms on this BUT it has to be on both sides. Exactly!!

skeezer Says:

“..debating the new rule which many think is flawed.”

Read Thomas link with quotes from players. Guess they all voted to have the new change “flawed”, lol. The old rule was flawed, thats why they changed it.


Agree Brando…moving on..


Davy in MTO, split with Gas….

Giles Says:

I personally don’t think the Umpires fully understand the new rule themselves. It is trial and error at the moment. Why don’t they have a proper meeting with all the Umpires and explain exactly what is required of them, not discounting the element of discretion where needed!

Polo Says:

Tennis is a sissy sport. If you are injured, play through it or quit. Injury time out favors the sissies.

Giles Says:

skeezer. Now that it has been put into practice, the cracks are showing!! I have read the players’ comments, have you? Andy is suggesting a 30 second time between points which makes much more sense!! As for RF, he doesn’t need more than 5 seconds!!

Giles Says:

Spain beat Serbia in the Hopman Cup!

Skeezer Says:


Don’t have an issue with 30, the issue is setting the limit and enforce it, as Andy mentions.

nadalista Says:


I did read Andy’s comments, perfectly reasonable and sensible. I totally agree with his take: 30 seconds, common sense and discretion in the application of the rules. This is what I have been saying all along.

You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that I am against the rules. Au Contraire.

Now, if the ATP were to implement Andy’s suggestions I may re-think my cynicism…………

jamie Says:

Nole winning 6-8 more slams is more believable.

jamie Says:

Expect him to add another 6-8 Grand Slams in this three-year period and end up with a total tally beyond 15 by the time he retires.


Nole ending up with a total tally beyond 15 by the time he retires… Wow.

jamie Says:


Federer: 20 slams
Nole: Beyond 15 slams
Nadal: 15 slams

Wow. The rest of the ATP tour is screwed.

Margot Says:

@ Polo
Yes, but team players don’t have to do that. They can be substituted etc.
Tennis players rely entirely on their own bodies being A1. Nobody can be substituted, interesting if you could call on subs……
Like boxing, it is a hard and grueling, individual sport. It takes no prisoners.

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