The Last Word: Dec. 27, 2013

Baker out, the Magnificent One™ in Oz main draw

American Brian Baker’s misfortune is Frenchman Michael Llodra’s fortune.

The veteran didn’t get the French reciprocal wild card for the Australian Open, and was four or five spots out of the main draw when the entry lists first came out.

But with Baker still not ready to return, Llodra is now straight in.

The man who started the trend reacts #hashtagking

Andy Murray’s Tweet after the news that Roger Federer had added Stefan Edberg to his team was laugh-out-loud funny.


He’s looking handsome; his sense of humour has never been better … 2014 could be a banner year.

Doubles reunion

The penultimate post I did for the old Open Court site at the Montreal Gazette (in Aug. 2012) was a *big* scoop about the breakup of a terrific women’s doubles team: Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.


Well, lo and behold; they’re the top seeds at the Brisbane event this week.

Srebotnik played most of 2013 with Nadia Petrova; they made the final four in Istanbul.

But with Petrova home in Russia at the moment after the sudden, tragic death of her mother in a car accident, it remains to be seen whether that will continue or whether what was old is new again.

They didn’t get an easy first round: Daniela Hantuchova and Sabine Lisicki.

Canadian rehab

Vancouver’s Philip Bester, who had hip surgery a month ago (similar to the surgery countryman Milos Raonic had after Wimbledon in 2011), Tweeted this today.


Robson out of Auckland

Laura Robson, who spent most of the off-season training in Florida, has withdrawn from her first tournament of the season with a wrist injury.


Robson’s wrist gave her all sorts of issues during the 2013 campaign. That’s not a great way to start the year.

Fashion time for the top two

In Thailand to play an exhibition, No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka took their fine jet-lagged selves out onto the runway to model some, uh, dresses.


Not convinced on these (although Azarenka’s is the better of the two, even if it’s not a flattering photo of her). Williams’s style radar is usually dead solid perfect. But not this time.

Let’s cut her some slack, though.  First an eternal flight to Thailand, then a quick practice to loosen up the body, then off to try to be stylish in a fashion show. Not too many people could even pull that off.

(Pic: WTA Tour Twitter feed)

Slip, slap, slop

The way Jelena Jankovic makes it sound on her Facebook page, this sunscreen on the tennis court notion is a new thing.


Let’s hope not; there’s a reason there’s a skin cancer clinic on every second streetcorner in Melbourne.

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