The Last Word: Dec. 17, 2013

Janowicz out of Hopman Cup

A foot injury has taken the fun-to-watch Polish player Jerzy Janowicz out of the Hopman Cup.

Which leaves Team Poland, in its first Hopman Cup appearance, with top female player Agnieszka Radwanska and …

PanfilGrzegorz Panfil, ranked No. 287.

Here’s the official quote from Radwanska:

“I hope Jerzy recovers quickly and wish him all the best. We will miss him in Perth but I’m very pleased Grzegorz is able to join me in representing Poland for the first time at the Hopman Cup.”

One reaction to that.

On the plus side, Panfil’s birthday is Jan. 1 – so there’s a good chance he might be a pretty fun date at the annual Hopman Cup bash, even if he doesn’t look like a barrel of laughs on his ATP Tour web site mug shot.

His first assignment: Andreas Seppi of Italy. His second: Milos Raonic.

Flipside for A-Rad

In other positive news for Radwanska Tuesday, she confirmed that she will be playing her home-country event, the BNP Paribas Katowice, this year.

Remember a year ago, when she wasn’t allowed to play it because of the WTA’s apparently unbendable rules about top-10 players and limits on playing lower-tier events. Radwanska had played her quota of one-per-six-months in Auckland.

The rules are logical enough in theory; but with so many of the smaller WTA Tour events playing to empty seats, and a bonafide top player actually originating from the country of a startup, you’ve got to think …

BJK invited to Sochi by the POTUS

BillieJeanKingIn the face of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law – sure to be a hot-button issue during the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics – U.S. President Barack Obama has invited tennis legend Billie Jean King to be part of the country’s official delegation.

The 70-year-old King has been around too long to hesitate even for a second to make her feelings on the issue clear.

With the appointment, the Prez also appears to be making his own feelings clear.

Here’s USA Today’s Christine Brennan on that.

TCMerryXmas(Pic: Women’s Sports Foundation)

Tennis Canada wishes you a Merry one

Cute slideshow e-card from Tennis Canada. All the Davis Cup guys look great on the cover pic.

Just make sure you turn off the sound on your computer, though – otherwise you might want to put a fist through it 🙂

Hitting with Rafa

Croatian kid Borna Coric, who trains in the U.K., is practicing with Rafael Nadal this week.

Check out Uncle Toni with the big fleece jacket.

BornaCoric(Pic: Twitter)

Milos goes polar bear in Monaco

While just about every other Canadian tennis player is training in Florida, in preparation for the 2014 season, Milos Raonic is doing his own thing in Monaco.

And that includes risking the usual damage in taking a dip in the sea.

MilosRaonic

Then again, the vista is a lot better than an ice bath.

According to this, the average temperature for the water there in December is 14C. If you’ve ever been to Maine in the summer, you’ll think this isn’t so bad.

(Pic: Twitter)

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