The Last Word – Dec. 13, 2013

It appears as though Vera Zvonareva, who will have been out nearly 18 months, is really and truly on her way back.

VeraZvonareva-Laura Robson

Now 29, Zvonareva got all the way up to No. 2 in the rankings in October, 2010. She also was one of those rare players who has been top 10 in both singles and doubles; she hit No. 9 in doubles in August, 2005.

Her WTA bio says she’s been working on a second university degree, in international economic relations at Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

Zvonareva’s last match was a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Serena Williams in the third round of the Olympic tournament in 2012.

Before that, she retired in her third-round match at Wimbledon to Kim Clijsters. Before that, she did go to Paris and practiced at Roland Garros (see feature pic), but pulled out of the tournament.

Zvonareva had surgery on her right shoulder in February; but in 2012, that certainly wasn’t her only issue. She also had a left hip injury and assorted illnesses.

Her ranking was No. 14 when she stopped; she has no ranking at the moment but obviously can play on a protected ranking for the usual number of tournaments.

One great reason to be back is (as you can see from the two pics above and the one below), it’s kind of time she trades in that green Fila T-shirt for something a little fresher. The other pics were taken at the 2012 Australian and French Opens.

VeraZvonareva1_new

(Photo with Laura Robson from Twitter/coach Julian Vespan, who has been the longtime (8 years) coach of Alisa Kleybanova and just opened an academy in Boynton Beach, Fla.)

“I’m a better player than 10 years ago” – The Fed

To promote his charity exhibition with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Melbourne Park the week before the Australian Open, Roger Federer held a conference call with the Australian media.

Here’s what he had to say.

New captain in Holland

Paul Haarhuis has been named the new Dutch Fed  Cup captain, replacing Manon Bollegraf.

Manon Bollegraf_new

Nottingham joins Birmingham and Eastbourne

With the break between the French Open and Wimbledon to become three weeks rather than two starting in 2015, an additional grass warmup event has been added in Nottingham, U.K.

Nottingham

It will come first, the week right after the French Open.

(Photo: LTA)

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