- Dolgo defeated Igor Andreev, to set up a potentially thrilling QF encounter with Radek Stepanek at the Brisbane Open. As for Bernard Tomic, his R1 defeat over Benneteau showed some of the great work he put in over the off-season. Tomic’s point construction was impressive, as were his FHs — Tomic faces Denis Istomin in the QF.
- Milos Raonic made easy work of his R2 opponent, Victor Hanescu, at the Chennai Open. Among the post 1989-born players (Raonic, Tomic, Harrison, Young), Milos is probably the most highly-touted prospect. That said, I am actually starting to root for Tomic.
- The withdrawal/injury list continues to grow: Pico withdrew from Brisbane, due to a DC-inflicted wrist injury. Fernando Gonzalez withdrew from Auckland and the Australian Open, with a hip injury. Tommy Haas, a veteran who has had numerous injuries over the past couple of years, withdrew from Brisbane too. According to Neil Harman, “Haas said if he was a thoroughbred he’d have been shot by now.” Haas shared his mounting frustrations via his Twitter account. It’s clearly no walk in the park for the former world number 2. Haas’ recent Tweets are a sorrowful read.
- At the Summer Cup exho in Punta del Este, Gaudio defeated Guga for 3rd place and DelPo defeated Gonzo in the final. DelPo is now headed to Sydney, where he’ll play his warm-up tourny before the Oz Open. The South American media is pinning high hopes on DelPo to become a threat to the top ranking this year. When asked about it at the “trophy ceremony” for the exho, he replied “That’s a lot of pressure you’re putting on me.” Guga later followed up with a vague prediction, that “DelPo has great chances to become no. 1 this year.” Is Guga the oracle? For now, DelPo is #1 in Tandil and #1 in South America. Watch out Mardy, he’s coming after you to take over the Americas!
- Nalby spoke to the press about the upcoming DC tie against Germany. He said Argentina would be stronger with both DelPo & Nalby on the squad. Nalby has committed to the tie. The pressure is now on the Tower of Tandil to make his decision.
- At the Kooyong Classic, Nalby will play against Andy Murray in an exho match. Their first meeting was at Wimbledon in 2005, when Nalby came back from two sets down to defeat Muzz. Since then, Muzz has won 4 of his last 6 matches against Nalby. If Nalby is not going to win a Grand Slam, then I’d like Muzz to eventually win one, if only so Nalby can reclaim the double-edged label of being the Greatest Player Never to Win a Grand Slam. It’s only right.
- All the top seeds (except 6th seed Alex Bogomolov Jr., who had to withdraw with an ankle injury) are through to the next round at Doha. Fun fact: Rafa is a career 58-5 against fellow zurdos (lefties) — now 59-5, following his victory over Denis Gremelmayr. Fed is a career 83-28 (9-17 to Rafa), while Pete Sampras was 143-27 against zurdos. Perhaps Pete could counsel Fed on how to play against zurdos? Really, I just like repeating the word zurdo.