Match Points – July 16, 2015

Lots going on in the world of tennis.

Simona Halep takes WC into Toronto

Not sure why Tennis Canada hasn’t announced this (maybe they don’t want to mix the messages during Davis Cup), but the Romanian reportedly announced it herself at a press conference at the WTA Tour event in her home country. She didn’t actually play it, but showed up and did fun things with the kids and stuff.

Halep also announced in Bucharest that she will also play New Haven the week before the US Open (in addition to Cincinnati, already entered). That’s a whole lot of tennis before a tough Grand Slam, and Halep’s not always been the pillar of health when playing a lot of events back to back. So the sudden, major shift in summer programming is an interesting one although skipping Bucharest this year was probably a game-changer, as was her lack of success at the summer’s majors.

The Romanian last played Canada in Montreal in 2012, when she beat qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito in the first round and retired at 4-4 in the second set of a tight one against No. 4 seed Samantha Stosur in the second round.

Halep lost in the second round at the French Open and the first round at Wimbledon, after reaching the final in Paris and the semi at Wimbledon a year ago. She’s still ranked No. 3, though.


Gold for Canadian women at Pan-Am Games

The team of Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao, who have never played together, teamed up to take gold on Thursday in the women’s doubles at the Pan-Am Games.

They defeated Rodriguez and Zacarias of Mexico 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.


Weekend with Bernie

Bernie Tomic mug shotMr. Tomic took a wild card and went to Newport, perhaps (as it turns out)  because it was more or less on the way to South Beach from Wimbledon.

He dropped a first-rounder to lesser compatriot John-Patrick Smith, and headed to …paaaaahty, apparently. A little too hard, and far too obnoxiously and disrespectfully to the uniformed personnel.

This isn’t good.

The fact that he appears to be shirtless in his mug shot is another thing altogether.

Don’t blow it, Bernie. Many better men than you have tried to do it before you – and probably did it a whole lot better. And most of them have found they couldn’t get it back once they smartened up and grew up.

Not like you’ve got medical school as a fallback here.

Tennis Australia high-performance boss Pat Rafter, who already got the full Bernie treatment during Wimbledon, said this:

“It looks like overnight he’s probably hit rock bottom, so hopefully when people hit rock bottom they can turn things around.”

Clearly Rafter, who seems to be a fairly clean-living guy, has no clue what the concept of “rock bottom” really is.



Another tennis marriage bites the dust


These two crazy kids seemed so in love through their whirlwind romance and marriage. But apparently that wasn’t enough.

Iveta Melzer is now Iveta Benesova again.

She pours her heart out on her blog.

All we can hope is that the commenter named “Gerald” isn’t Jurgen Melzer’s little brother. ‘Cause that’s kind of personal.


And yet, others are taking the plunge

After an eight-month engagement, Tomas Berdych reportedly married fiancée Ester Satarova Thursday in Monte Carlo, just three days after his compatriot Lukas Rosol also took the plunge.

Satarova is a model; Rosol’s new bride, Michaela Ochotská, is the perennial “actress-presenter”.

This weekend, Feliciano Lopez is getting married (and so is retired Quebec player Stéphanie Dubois, up in the Laurentians).

Best wishes for all from Open Court.  



It pays to be a Friend of Marat

Look at Yevgeny Kafelnikov, living the life of Riley. Kafelnikov-Safin



Turns pro, wins junior Wimby, signs a clothing deal

Milos Raonic will no longer be the tallest guy in the New Balance stable (was he, even) as the company has signed 17-year-old Reilly Opelka to wear its kits.


American Vania King returns

The American, now 26, is currently outside the top 300 in the rankings after a right hip injury plagued her the last half of 2014.

She hasn’t played since getting one game in a second-round loss to eventual champ Serena Williams at the U.S. Open last August.


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