Match Points – Feb. 5, 2015

News and notes from around the tennis tours.

Jaziri says it’s an elbow injury

Tunisian Malek Jaziri, who retired after winning the first set against Denis Istomin Wednesday, then pulled out of the doubles (in both cases, he was to face Israeli players), says it was a legitimate elbow injury that forced him to withdraw, not politics.

JaziriIn Tashkent two years ago, when the situation arose two years ago (see Wednesday’s Match Points for details), he had a medical certificate claiming a knee injury. Which turned out not to be the case.

This time, the elbow.

Jaziri told l’Équipe that his phone was dead, and that he had received no directives from his federation. He also said that he hadn’t looked ahead at his next opponent(s) and even if he had, he got golfer’s elbow in Australia, and had only practiced once in the last eight days. Combined with jet lag and despite taking pain killers, he wasn’t able to continue.

He said it was like forearm tendonitis, that it hurt when he squeezed the racquet, and that with so many big tournaments coming up, he couldn’t afford to take a chance.

Sounds reasonable enough, for a player in different circumstances. Even Jaziri is in different circumstances than he was the previous time. Most players, though, will play at least a few games of a doubles match so as not to let down their partner, and to earn whatever points and prize money come with being a second-round loser (not many, at a 250. But still).

It may take some time to find out whether it was legitimate or not. In this case, probably guilty until proven innocent. Unfortunately.

In a statement to the Associated Press, the ATP said the physio on site had confirmed the injury (they did that with the knee as well, so we can take that for what it’s worth). But because of the previous incident, they would be looking into it.

“Given a previous incident involving the player’s national federation in 2013, we are looking into any wider circumstances of his withdrawal as a matter of prudence.” The Tunisian federation did not reply.

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Davis Cup News

It didn’t seem likely that Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka would play in the first round of this year’s Davis Cup against Belgium.

But all may not be completely lost, even if it remains rather unlikely. According to Le Matin, Wawrinka says the decision will be make last week. “We’re currently in discussions about it with Roger (Federer) and Severin (Luthi, Davis Cup captain),”  he said Thursday at the announcement that he was committing for the first three editions of the new Geneva Open, which will be a warmup event before Roland Garros.

 

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Fed Cup News

The British Fed Cup team led by Judy Murray received a blow Thursday, as they lost both singles to … Turkey.

It’s a tough road out of the zonal competition if you don’t go undefeated.

In other news, Dominika Cibulkova, set to play for Slovakia against the Netherlands is out. She is replaced by young Kristina Schmiedlova, younger sister of Anna, who played for Slovakia against Canada last year in Quebec City.

Here are some other results from the zonal ties.

Serbia 2, Hungary 1 (Jorovic and Krunic win in singles; Krunic 76 06 76 over Babos)

Belarus 3, Bulgaria 0 (Victoria Azarenka’s luggage finally arrived; she defeated Pironkova 63 26 75)

Belgium 3, Israel 0 (After sitting out a day, Wickmayer back in action for Belgium)

Turkey 2, Great Britain 1 (Buyukackay over Watson 7-5 in the third)

 

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Sick Monfils rules on court

He’s not in the mood, he’s got personal issues and, for the last two night, Gaël Monfils said he hasn’t slept a wink. And he has the flu.

Monfilsdead

So, naturally, he went out and defeated countryman Kenny de Schepper 64 76 in his first match at the ATP Tour event in Montpellier. Not only that, he said he hit the ball “clean and pure’.

Of course he did! Monfils gets qualifier Steve Darcis next.

 

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Canadian Peliwo in good company

Young Canadian Filip Peliwo’s relocation to France to train has him in very good company at the All-In Academy, as you can see below.

Peliwo and company

Next to him is Nicolas Mahut, Australian Open doubles finalist. To the far right is the recently retired Marc Gicquel, a solid player. And on the far left is Thierry Ascione, who coaches the currently injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

 

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