News and notes from around the courts today.
The Djoker out of Madrid?
Nothing is certain yet, but Marca is reporting that Novak Djokovic, who would be the No. 2 seed in the big Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid that gets under way for the men in earnest Sunday, may have to skip it.
****UPDATE: Djokovic officially withdrew Sunday.****
The newspaper said Djokovic was supposed to arrive in Madrid last Wednesday, and was even expected to be among the participants in the charity event on Friday. That arrival was pushed back to Monday, and now he is not scheduled to arrive until Tuesday, after having his troublesome right wrist examined by his doctor in Monte Carlo.
That doesn’t sound good; Marca reports that he has barely practiced since he was obviously impaired by the wrist in Monte Carlo. In between, he had some big news, traveling to Greece and announcing that longtime fiancée Jelena Ristic was expecting the couple’s first child.
The Djoker could mathematically take over the No. 1 spot from Rafael Nadal – something pretty unthinkable just a few months ago – by winning in Madrid and by having Nadal fail to reach the quarterfinals.
But with the big prize, Roland Garros, coming up shortly, that would be a secondary consideration.
Normally, with Djokovic’s withdrawal, the tournament would shift the seeds around a little – with No. 9 seed John Isner moving into Djokovic’s spot (and therefore getting a first-round bye), and unseeded Kevin Anderson, the next in line, moving into Isner’s spot as the No. 17 seed.
But because the order of play had been released for what was technically the first day of main-draw play Sunday – in this case, there were only a few singles matches on the schedule – Djokovic’s spot (and first-round bye) would go to a lucky loser or qualifier.
The winner of that lottery wouldn’t get second-round ranking points for the bye, but he would get second-round prize money even if he loses. That’s a tidy little difference of some 11,000 Euros. Thanks, Djoker! Get well soon!
Sveta classy in defeat
You know Svetlana Kuznetsova, who blew a two-break lead in the third set in Portugal Saturday and watched her first clay-court title since winning the 2009 French Open go up in a storm of terre battue, wasn’t really in the mood.
But it should be pointed out and applauded that the Russian – who’s practically an adopted Spaniard after spending many formative years there and having a succession of Spanish coaches – still had the grace to envelop winner Carla Suarez Navarro in a nice hug at the net, after the Spanish player finally won her first WTA Tour title.
Eysseric, the tennis commuter
Young French player Jonathan Eysseric is going to be a busy guy on Sunday.
In the morning, he’s first up in the Challenger qualifying at a tournament in Aix-en-Provence, France, with a 10 a.m. start.
In the afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., he plays in the final of a $15,000 Futures event, the Open de Grasse Trophée E. Leclerc.
Luckily for him, they’re both in France and there’s a good chance he can make it.
We’ve thoughtfully mapped out the quickest route for him; the best-case scenario is about an hour and a half.
There’s a good chance they’ll wait for him, since the singles final is the only match on the schedule in Grasse. But while youthful exuberance can go a long way, it’s unlikely he’ll be feeling his best for the Futures final.
UPDATE – Eysseric gets it done in Grasse. Now … back to Aix-en-Provence for another round of qualies on Monday.
— didier lanne (@didierlanne) May 4, 2014
Because we’re shallow, here’s a gratuitous shot of the fellow.
(Thanks to @fly_break on Twitter for the heads up).
Judy Murray wins Twitter again
With a couple of photo Tweets the last few days, Andy’s mum wins.
— judy murray (@judmoo) May 3, 2014
— judy murray (@judmoo) May 2, 2014
The big Wimbledon dig
Court 14 – a great little court right outside the press centre – reportedly won’t be in operation for this year’s Wimbledon.