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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Roddick’

PostHeaderIcon My First-Ever “Australian Open Ten Speed”

Aijaz Rahi/The Associated Press

Frank Dancevic
(Aijaz Rahi/The Associated Press)

I’ve been rather busy with little time to write during these first few days of the Australian Open. So in an effort to get out some coherent thoughts for discussion in the most efficient manner possible, I’ve devised a plan to sit down and crank out discussion points on the top 10 items that have stood out in the previous days. So here’s the first effort cranked out in an hour before today’s play… Let me know what you think. 😉

  1. It’s Too Darn Hot! One of these years, I’d like to attend the Australian Open. But at this rate, I’m not sure I’d leave my hotel room if I did!
  2. Tournament referees will, in most instances, pull players off the court fairly quickly when the lines get wet from rain, yet the tournament organizers in Melbourne feel justified in sending players out to play with temperatures in excess of 105-108 degrees? I hate to say it, but maybe Rafa Nadal was correct when he said at the 2011 US Open: “It’s the same old story… All you think about is money.”
  3. Let’s not water down the meaning of “upset” with respect to this year’s Australian Open first round losses. Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, and Venus Williams might qualify as upsets on paper, but in reality it’s a stretch. Petra Kvitova and Mikhail Youzhny, however, are legit.
  4. Speaking of Petra Kvitova, when is someone going to be honest and start questioning her fitness as part of the problem for her sporadic results. I realize it’s a touchy subject when one mentions a player’s fitness, or lack thereof, but I wonder how much better she might be if she committed herself to shedding some excess to improve her foot speed and stamina. Petra has tons of talent, yet hasn’t made the connection between improved fitness and improved results. If it worked for multiple generations of players from Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport, and even Serena Williams, it could work for her too.
  5. Speaking of Venus Williams, her loss to Ekaterina Makarova was not wholly unexpected (I expected her to lose that match when the draw came out), even with her great results in Auckland. Like Andy Roddick before her, the retirement drumbeat is going to increase as we head further into the 2014 season.
  6. As written about by Jon Wertheim on si.com, Camila Giorgi and her dad, Sergio, appear to be the WTA version of Tatum and Ryan O’Neal from Paper Moon. Maybe with her earnings in Melbourne she might wanna think about paying some of those investors?
  7. Bernard Tomic was hammered in the press by his retirement in his match with Nadal. He was pummeled by the press, and booed by his countrymen. As I tweeted yesterday in the aftermath of the match and his “I Really Was Injured” press conference, I wish people would realize that many of these players are just kids; prone to the same boneheaded behaviors that we did when we were the same age. Just because they are pro athletes doesn’t make them mature any quicker than the rest of us. Let’s start to cut them a little more slack in 2014.
  8. Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter are great fun as a doubles team. But I hope that I don’t have to hear about how good he looks anymore from the ESPN female commentators! On a side note, major ‘props go to Lleyton for battling hard in his first round loss against an inspired Andreas Seppi.
  9. Can we please stop talking about Roger Federer’s new racquet AND the new trend of “super coaches”???
  10. Novak looks great, Serena looks great, and nothing I’ve seen so far makes me believe that they won’t both be lifting the trophies during championship weekend.

PostHeaderIcon The Best of 2013 from the Press Room, Part 1: SAP Open & Sony Open

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At my workstation in the Sony Open press room

It’s that time of year where I look back at my tournament travels, and pluck out some of the jewels from my time in the press room to share with you all. I was on the ground at four events this year: SAP Open, Sony Open, Bank of the West Classic, and the Western and Southern Open. For easier reading, I’ll start with the first two tournaments I attended earlier in the year, then finish in Part 2 with the summer tournaments.
So without further ado, here’s my 2013 “backstage tour”.

SAP Open

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Lindsay Davenport and Steffi Graf

The SAP Open ended its’ run with a Milos Raonic three-peat, and way too many empty seats. A notable bright spot was the mixed doubles exhibition match featuring Steffi Graf, Lindsay Davenport, Andy Roddick, and Justin Gimelstob. The best moment for me came when I was sitting in the press room afterward lobbing questions at Lindsay and Steffi. Sitting there, I couldn’t help but think about their ’99 Wimbledon final; their only meeting in a Slam final. They, however, had a different take on past matches. Listen to their press conference, and try not to laugh at their answer to the first question from yours truly.


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Justin Gimelstob and Andy Roddick

Longtime friends Andy Roddick and Justin Gimelstob put on a command performance in their post-match press conference. What hopefully wasn’t lost on those in attendance was a serious discussion of the problematic business model for the modern-day tennis tournaments. The SAP Open struggled with attendance issues, but so do many others. So while players are demanding a bigger share of the revenue, tournament directors are struggling to fill sufficient seats for said revenue and sponsorship monies. Moving tournaments to new markets (other countries) may seem like a good short-term solution, but they’ll probably face the same attendance issues as here in the states. I just hope we don’t lose anymore.


I love pumping veteran journalists for info whenever possible. I ran into Vern Glenn, a prominent Bay Area sportscaster, while he was trying to get his Wi-Fi working on his laptop. He gave me this nugget in reference to working in (and getting paid in) this business: “Always make sure they keep you on scholarship!” I’m trying Vern, I’m trying.


sap-tennis-ball-cookies-editGoodbye SAP Open! I will miss your lemon-flavored tennis ball cookies! There were NEVER enough to truly satisfy my desires, but I enjoyed the few I got. 😉

(BTW, I have absolutely no idea who’s hand that is across from mine. I know I just turned 50, but is my memory getting THAT bad already???)

Sony Open

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Maria Sharapova listens to a question

My personal feeling has always been that you get better answers from a player when you’re clear about what you’re asking, and aren’t antagonistic in doing so. This is especially true when that player is named Maria Sharapova. This was a small part of Maria’s answers to one particular journalist who didn’t get that memo:

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why are you asking me if you saw it? Why are you asking me if you heard it yourself? I mean, I can’t remember exactly what he said. I mean, there’s a tape. Maybe I can get you a copy.

You can read the full exchange here, and also listen to the full press conference audio.


Goran is in blue warmup on my left

Goran is in blue warmup on my left

Some of the best moments at tournaments happen when you least expect it…like the conversation I had with Jelena Jankovic’s hitting partner, Goran Tosic, in the shuttle back to the hotel one night. Though I certainly could have tried, I didn’t pump him for info on Jelena’s condition after her late-night victory over Roberta Vinci. But I did get a nice insight into the hustling that a lower level player must do in order to make ends meet as a pro tennis player. Nice guy too. I wish him well in 2014.


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Mary Carillo and I in Miami

Mary Carillo is one of the main reasons I make the yearly trek to Miami. I ran into Mary within my first 10 minutes on my first trip, and got a great picture with her that meant the world to me. Fast forward 5 years and I’m sitting with Mary in a post-match presser for Maria after her quarterfinal win over Sara Errani. I re-introduce myself, tell her the “Mary story”, give her my card, and was ready to savor the moment just as it was. The following day, Mary grabbed my arm as she walked by me and said, “Hey Kevin. I went to your site this morning. You kept me very entertained.” Those words continue to mean more to me than almost any other compliment I’ve received.


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The elusive and rare Ivan Lendl smile

Before heading to the airport, I made one last trip out to the Crandon Park to get some photos before the men’s final. And while watching Andy Murray warm up prior to his match with David Ferrer, I caught a rare glimpse of a tennis unicorn: an Ivan Lendl smile. Who knew? And not only was he smiling, he was also joking around with a couple of young Murray fans who were watching practice. I had to rub my eyes a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things… 😉


At the airport, my Miami trip ended on a very odd “Twilight Zone” moment. For those familiar with the situation of Kevin Ware the college basketball player, you must surely understand how words can’t express what it was like to check my twitter feed one last time on the plane home only to read about “Kevin Ware’s horrific injury” when your name is Kevin Ware and you aren’t horrifically injured…
(On the advice of one of my twitter followers, I avoided watching the video of his injury — and still haven’t seen it to this day. Thanks Alice!)

*** Next up is The Best of 2013 from the Press Room, Part 2: Bank of the West Classic and the Western and Southern Open

PostHeaderIcon The Best of 2013 from the Press Room, Part 2: Bank of the West & Western and Southern Open

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One final picture at the Western and Southern Open

I started my “backstage tour” with the SAP Open and the Sony Open. Now it’s on to the Bank of the West Classic and the Western and Southern Open, my two summer tournaments.

Bank of the West Classic

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I needed a moustache like this at the Bank of the West Classic

I pulled double duty at this year’s BOTW, starting my week at Stanford first as a line umpire during the qualifying rounds, and then moving into the press room for the start of main draw matches. It was a great experience, and not one player threatened to shove a tennis ball down my throat. But a part of me really wanted to put on a fake moustache or something during my line umpire stint so that players wouldn’t recognize me once I made the switch to media.


This year’s tournament got off to a rough start with the non-participation of defending champion Serena Williams, and the late withdrawals of Marion Bartoli, Sabine Lisicki, Kirsten Flipkens, and Maria Sharapova after Wimbledon. I hate to think the worst, but this wasn’t a good sign for a tournament that’s been struggling to re-discover the deep fields it once saw. I’d hate to see it fall by the wayside like the now-defunct SAP Open, the ATP LA event, and the WTA Carson event.

Western and Southern Open

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Vika Azarenka, relaxed and chatty in Cincy

20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing. While looking back at my WTA All Access hour notes from Cincinnati, it’s easy to see in hindsight every clue for how the tournament would ultimately unfold. Serena came into the event healthy and focused, but a little tired. Vika Azarenka came in feeling no pressure. Marion Bartoli came in as glib as ever, but not particularly motivated. And Maria Sharapova came in with her cap pulled down low and tight-lipped about her work with Jimmy Connors. (For the record, Serena lost in the final, Vika won in the final, Marion retired, and Maria canned Connors after an opening loss to Sloane Stephens.)


Speaking of Maria and Jimmy… I was given a chance to chat with Milos Raonic in the Player’s Lounge with another journalist. While waiting for (a very late) Milos, Jimmy comes over to chat with the other journalist. The only thing I here is “So, what did you think about that?” referring to Maria’s loss. I would have given almost anything to follow up with him on that one!


BTW, the Milos Raonic mini-interview was okay too, but can we talk about the lack of proper and timely apology to Juan Martin Del Potro for your “touching the net” malfeasance at the Rogers Cup?


(Click the arrow to play Milos’ pre-tourney presser audio. He addresses the Rogers Cup incident after the 6:00 mark.)


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Jack and I grabbing food before Rafa v Roger

Covering a tournament can be a solitary experience, which is why it’s great when you can have positive interactions with the other folks in the press room. But more than the interaction, these moments also give one a chance to share ideas and expand your knowledge: something I love to do. I had a few of these in Cincinnati, but one stands out above the others. After one particular post-match press conference, I found myself watching a WTA stadium match with Courtney Nguyen on one of the main interview room monitors. I don’t know how it happened, but the on-court action led to a fascinating discussion of the issues and miscues facing the WTA as it tries to broaden its’ appeal. So here’s a shout out to Courtney for helping my expansion. Honorable mention goes to my press room neighbor, Jack Adam, for sharing a great evening quarterfinal between Nadal and Federer.


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Rafa Nadal in the press room

Rafa played amazing tennis to win the Cincy title, but the wear and tear of his phenomenal season was starting to show on his battered body. As the week progressed, Rafa would sometimes take the stairs one at a time to get to the interview table at his press conferences.Not a good sight! So when asked to write about Rafa’s chances at winning the US Open, I had serious doubts that he could withstand the two week hard court pounding. He proved me wrong, of course. But as the folks at RafaelNadalFans.com reminded me, that’s not a bad thing to be wrong about.


Memorable 1-on-1, #1: Grigor Dimitrov finally started to realize the potential in his game this year, but still lost a heartbreaker to Rafa Nadal 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. After the loss, I asked for and received a 1-on-1with Grigor outside of the men’s locker room. Yep, these are the moments that make the work worthwhile! Click arrow to listen to the audio.


(click the arrow to play Grigor’s interview audio)


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Novak Djokovic in the press room

Memorable 1-on-1, #2: Novak Djokovic completely destroyed David Goffin in the R16. Roger Federer, on the other hand, was pushed to the wall against Tommy Haas in a gripping 3-setter. Because it was my first chance for press with Novak, I went to the main press room when his time was announced. Everyone else in the press room stayed to watch Roger’s match. So when Novak arrived in press, he was greeted by yours truly and the transcribers, and no one else. Though he wasn’t happy with the situation (understatement), he sat down and answered a handful of questions. And that’s how I got my first 1-on-1 interview with a world #1. Click here to read the transcript.


*** That’s all for the tournaments I covered. I could write more, but you get the picture. Have a great Holiday Season, and a safe New Years! And a very special Thank You to Karen P./Tennis Panorama for my media credentials in 2013. See you at Indian Wells in 2014.

PostHeaderIcon US Open Notes for Day One and Day Two, 8-28-13

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James Blake and Vicky Duval courtesy USOpen.org

The first two days of this year’s US Open have been very busy, and VERY eventful. There’ve been retirements, upsets, bagels (without schmear), and even a little rain. We’ve had it all.  Here are a few thoughts on the first two days of action at the US Open.

Bye Bye Blake

James Blake pulled a “Roddick” and announced his retirement effective immediately at the end of his US Open campaign. While not wholly unexpected, it’s always sad to see the old guard step away from the game.  There are still a couple of them hanging on (Ginepri and Fish), but I can’t see either of them hanging around too much longer either.

More Goodbyes?

We’ve also said goodbye to Nicolas Massu and Jill Craybas… for now.

Too Many Carbs

Bagels were given out freely in the first round of play. Lauren Davis got a couple Carla Suarez Navarro, Francesca Schiavone got one from Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka gave out a couple to Dinah Pfizenmaier… heck, even Donald Young got in on the act and gave one to Martin Klizan. I love a good bagel as much as anyone else, but it’ll be interesting (and much more satisfying) to see how long it takes for matches to become competitive. (Note: Francesca should thank Serena for cutting back on the carbs, and giving her a bagel-breadstick combination instead of the double bagel.)

Missed Opportunities

Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Vasek Pospisil, Grigor Dimitrov, and Kei Nishikori all fell in the first round of the Open. At least Jerzy could claim injury for his dismal result; not so with Gulbis and Dimitrov. I can’t say that Pospisil, Nishikori, or Dimitrov had great chances given their draws, but Gulbis and Janowicz both had excellent opportunities to come through a week quarter with David Ferrer [4] as the top seed. The talented Gulbis made lots of noise this year – off the courts – in criticizing other players. Maybe next year he’ll keep his mouth shut and make sure his game does the talking instead. #NobodyLikesABlowhard

Upset Extravaganza

Kei Nishikori was the first notable upset of the tournament when he lost to Daniel Evans of Great Britain. He hadn’t been playing well the past few weeks, so it wasn’t a complete shock to see his game sputter out. However, nobody could have imagined that Sam Stosur would crash out so spectacularly to the 17 year-old qualifier, Vicky Duval. I hate to say this, but it wasn’t completely a surprising end to her erratic hard court summer after losing in the first round of Stanford, winning Carlsbad, and losing in the third rounds of both Toronto and Cincinnati. Sam is too good to consistently play so badly. At the risk of sounding overly-dramatic, it would be almost criminal to see her career continue on like this.

Venus Watch

Venus got past an extremely tricky first round match against Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium. Flipkens beat Venus a few weeks back in Cincinnati, so there was a measure of revenge in this victory. Still, Vee doesn’t move or play like the Venus of old, exerting much more energy, effort, and screaming to accomplish a diminished level of shot-making. It’s great that she still enjoys the game as much as she does, but less so for those of us who hold our breath with each match, hoping that it’s not “one of those days” for her.

Ryan’s Grand Slam Woes

Ryan Harrison has had the worst luck in his Grand Slam draws. Since 2012, Ryan has faced a top seed in the first or second round of five Slams. In 2012, he faced Andy Murray in the first round of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic in the second round of Wimbledon, and Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round of the US Open. 2013 was slightly better since he ONLY faced Novak in the second round of the Australian and Rafa Nadal on Monday in the first round of the Open. I hope his fans start saying their prayers to the 2014 draw gods NOW.

Duval and Townsend on Different Paths

New pro Taylor Townsend fell at the final round of qualifying while Vicky Duval, still an amateur, took out a lackluster Sam Stosur in the first round. Taylor tried a few different strategies to get into the main draw at the Open, and all fell flat. Why was there such a rush for her to turn pro in 2013 with so much still to work on in her game?

Top Seeds Roll

Serena, Vika, Aga, and Na all cruised to victory in the first round.  Man oh man would these four have made a great top four for an equally great semifinal lineup! But it was not meant to be.

Rafa crushed Harrison (including his first “shot of the tournament” moment), Roger crushed Zemlja, and Novak crushed Berankis. Too bad the Open scheduler’s stretched out the first round over three days, as Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro have yet to take the court. Roger’s match was delayed a day due to rain, so let’s hope the weather holds up on Wednesday.

Roof and Rain

When is that roof going to be built???

PostHeaderIcon Lleyton’s Kooyong Reality Check

Photo courtesy of australianopen.com

Photo courtesy of australianopen.com

After his winning his second Kooyong title in three years, Lleyton Hewitt came in to this year’s Australian Open with high hopes of a deep run at his “home” Slam.  He was playing well, moving well, and free from the injuries and pain that had marred previous attempts at a good showing.  Instead, he received another painful reminder that the Kooyong exhibition event, held not far from Melbourne Park and using the same surface, has become an obsolete indicator of (and preparation for) Australian Open success.

There may have been a time when the Kooyong exhibition tournament provided some hint at Melbourne Park greatness, but that hasn’t been the case for quite some time.  The last man to win at Kooyong and then go on to win the Australian Open was Andre Agassi in 2003.  In fact, Andre won Kooyong three times from 2000-2003:  2000, 2001, and 2003.  The only year he didn’t win, he was a losing finalist (to Pete Sampras).  He followed each of those victories with a win at Melbourne Park.

Year Kooyong Champion AO Champion
2013  Lleyton Hewitt
2012  Bernard Tomic Novak Djokovic
2011  Lleyton Hewitt Novak Djokovic
2010  Fernando Verdasco Roger Federer
2009  Roger Federer Rafael Nadal
2008  Andy Roddick Novak Djokovic
2007  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2006  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2005  Roger Federer Marat Safin
2004  David Nalbandian Roger Federer
2003  Andre Agassi Andre Agassi
2002  Pete Sampras Thomas Johansson
2001  Andre Agassi Andre Agassi
2000  Andre Agassi Andre Agassi

Since then, not even the great Roger Federer has managed the Kooyong/Australian Open double.  And as the tour has become increasingly more physical for the top players, many have opted out of this exhibition altogether.  That’s not to say that playing practice matches with guys ranked between No. 6-25 isn’t adequate preparation, because I’m sure it must be useful in working out the off-season rust.  But it’s certainly not the most ideal format to prepare for Slam matches against the current elite; and definitely not with the dramatically different best two of three set format.

Lleyton is probably feeling more let down by this loss to Janko Tipsarevic in 2013 than his loss to David Nalbandian in 2011.  After beating Raonic, Berdych, and Del Potro – and beating them all in straight sets – he must have felt great about his chances. Drawing Tipsarevic in the first round was tough luck, but certainly a winnable match, right?

It would be easy to blame the loss on Kooyong by saying that playing in an exhibition is inadequate preparation for the different needs of a Slam.  But I don’t think blame can be assessed that easily against an exhibition event.  The Queen’s Club event in London, a “real” tournament stop with rankings points at stake, is another example of a prep event for a Slam that has fallen short in terms of producing (Wimbledon) Slam winners.  Take a look at the results for the Queens/Wimbledon combo from 2000-present:

Year Queens Champ Wimbledon Champ
2012  Marin Cilic Roger Federer
2011  Andy Murray Novak Djokovic
2010  Sam Querrey Rafael Nadal
2009  Andy Murray Roger Federer
2008  Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal
2007  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2006  Lleyton Hewitt Roger Federer
2005  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2004  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2003  Andy Roddick Roger Federer
2002  Lleyton Hewitt Lleyton Hewitt
2001  Lleyton Hewitt Goran Ivaniševic
2000  Lleyton Hewitt Pete Sampras

Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal are the only players that have benefited from the same of type of Slam preparation as that found in Kooyong i.e. local tournament and similar surface conditions, tournament since 2000.  If not for Andy’s yearly losses to Roger, these stats would be greatly improved.  But many might say that’s a pretty big “if”.

Maybe the truth of the matter is that there is no one event that can provide perfect preparation for a Slam, because the needs for a Slam are so very particular for each individual player and each surface.  However, someone might want to suggest to Lleyton that he rethink his Kooyong strategy for 2014 if he wants to do better at the Open.

PostHeaderIcon The Best (and Worst) of the Best for 2012 – ATP Edition

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These are the high and low-lights for 2012 that remain fresh in my mind after a ridiculously long and action-filled tennis year. On the plus side, all of the Big Four had amazing years, and the fifth wheel finally got his long-awaited Masters breakthrough. On the not so plus side, bad behavior and bad courts often took center stage. Add in a couple of high-profile retirements and there’s quite a bit too discuss.

Andy

Roger

Rafa

Andy Roddick

Novak Djokovic: The Top Dog

In one of the most brutal seasons in recent years, Novak started and ended the year with the top ranking. He made three Slam finals, winning at the Australian Open. Though it didn’t have the brilliance of 2011, Novak’s 2012 season was an extraordinary one by any measure. In addition to winning the year-end event, he also received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award, further underscoring just how awesome it is to see greatness happen before our very eyes.

Andy Murray: Breakout Year

All doubts about his selection of Ivan Lendl as a coach were erased with an inspiring run, and heartbreak finish, at Wimbledon. His tears, and those of his entourage, touched everyone’s heart. His vindication at the London Olympics in winning the gold medal was the stuff of which legends are made (not even the great Federer owns a gold medal). And Andy’s US Open title was a fitting end to a fairy tale summer. After years of being the odd man out, Andy finally "arrived".

Roger Federer: Number 17

There’s lots of tennis left in Roger, as displayed by his 17th major title at Wimbledon, and ascension back to the top spot. When healthy/rested, Roger can still play amazing tennis. His withdrawal from the Paris Masters prevented a challenge for the year-end top spot, but that’s okay. Roger’s smart enough to know what’s best for his longevity. He’s stated his intention to play in the 2016 Rio games. It’d be a pleasure to see him do that if he’s still playing well.

Rafael Nadal: Clay Dominance

In an abbreviated 2012, Rafa still managed to break a boatload of records during the clay season; winning his eighth Monte Carlo title, his seventh Barcelona title, his sixth Rome title and, most importantly, his seventh French Open. No matter what happens from this point on, Rafa has rewritten what it means to be successful on clay. Given the state of his knees, that’s a good thing.

The Fifth Wheel and Other Notables

David Ferrer – With the Big Four in complete command of the Slams, there isn’t much left for the other guys. But with his first Masters Series shield win at the Paris Masters, David finally got his due.
Juan Martin Del Potro – The big guy won the bronze: over Nole and on grass.
Czech Republic – Congrats to the Czech Republic for besting the powerhouse Spain in Davis Cup with a gritty performance by Radek Stepanek.
Paul-Henri Mathieu – Welcome back!
Bryan Brothers – The greatest doubles team of all time!

Say Goodbye

Fernando Gonzalez, Ivan Ljubicic, Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero were the notable singles retirees of the season. Doubles lost Mark Knowles.

Worst of the Year

Bob Hewitt – Good riddance to this predator and suspended Hall of Famer.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – His accusation of favoritism by chair umpire Damian Steiner at the Sony Ericsson Open was outrageous. He would have been fined by the NBA or NFL, but none came from the ATP. I’m still amazed that the ATP allowed him to impugn the integrity of a respected umpire.
David Nalbandian – David injured a linesman in front of God and the world, and then tried to lay blame for it on the ATP and everyone else. He was defaulted, and lost all points/prize money from the event, but didn’t receive any suspension. Can someone please find the ATP’s backbone?
Tomas Berdych – Tomas acted like a big baby at the Australian Open by not shaking hands with Nicolas Almagro. The crowd booed him heartily after the match, and deservedly so.
Bernard Tomic – Began the year with a police standoff, and ended it being kicked off Davis Cup squad and losing funding to start 2013. Time to grow up.
Alexandr Dolgopolov – It was a long season, but there’s never really an excuse for tanking. A Masters Series loss in Cincinnati (1 and 1 to Davydenko), accompanied by on-court exhortations of "I don’t want to be here", cheapened him.
Pat O’Brien – Awful Wimbledon commentary!
Olympic Grass at Wimbledon – A skating rink!
Monte Carlo – There’s no excuse for a tournament of this stature to lay down a court that causes so many horrific injuries to players.
Ion Tiriac’s Blue Clay – A bad court and bad execution of a marketing gimmick.

Next up: the WTA Edition.

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