Baghdatis the Gaunt

MELBOURNE – It wasn’t exactly roses and sunshine on the practice court for Marcos Baghdatis and his coach of seven months, Zeljko Krajan.

Not only were they bickering a lot, it was shocking to see Baghdatis in the flesh for the first time in a bit.

He looked positively gaunt – not sure the pics even do justice to it. His hair was lank. His face was drawn.

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The immortal Tommy Haas (pics)

****Postscript to this – Perhaps those twinges we witnessed Haas dealing with during practice weren’t nothing after all. He retired in the second set of his match Monday against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.******

MELBOURNE – At 35, the No. 12 seed in the Australian Open men’s singles draw is as fine as ever.

And – big news – he now, finally, has a clothing deal. Continue reading

Court speed: the final verdict?

MELBOURNE – When “word” first came out that the courts at this year’s Australian Open had been speeded up, the first feeling here at Open Court Central was … skepticism.

Even through much discussion with followers on Twitter, it said here that when the players were asked about it upon arrival, there would be as many different opinions as there are players.

Some would have clear memories of Melbourne Park a year ago. Some, having played on hundreds of different courts since then, would find those memories rather hazy.

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La Monf plays hurt

You would think that Gaël Monfils, a guy who’s injured so often you’d think he’s made of glass, wouldn’t joke about getting hurt on court.

But this is Monfils.

And we THINK he was just joking around with practice partner Jan Hajek and his girlfriend/wife.

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