Offseason Newsreels: Open trials. Secret Weddings.
UPDATE: Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse have been removed from the list of suspended players and are now eligible to play tournaments. Will Craig Tiley give a wildcard to Wicky, who is obviously grossly over-qualified for the qualification rounds?
1. Despite having her one year ban suspended, the ITF claims that Yanina Wickmayer is still not eligible to play.
ITF spokesman Nick Imison said Tuesday that both players are still banned ”until such point that we receive any further communication to suggest otherwise”.
Imison said the ITF is waiting to hear from the Belgian national anti-doping agency before it can make a formal ruling of their eligibility.
“Basically, it’s up to (them) to liaise with the Belgian court and make its decision based on that and inform us. As of last night, we hadn’t received any official correspondence at all.”
Since the Belgian ruling, Wicky was offered a wildcard to play at Auckland. She is also hoping for a wildcard to the Australian Open.
But the ITF maintains that the ban is still in force. “At this precise moment, she is ineligible to play,” Imison said.
“From our point of view, procedures are clear, and that if a decision is made by a national anti-doping authority, then these are sent though to us and then the ITF needs to make sure proper procedure has been followed,” Imison said. “At this stage, all we can say is that we await to receive the kind of relevant documentation and ruling from Belgium.”
Questions left unanswered:
- Does the Belgian court actually have jurisdiction for this or is it purely advisory?
- If the Belgian court does have jurisdiction over the matter, then surely its decision voids the bans?
- On what authority then does the ITF or the Belgian national anti-doping authority propose to ‘liaise’ with a Court or to even consider the ban to be still in place after a court ruling declaring otherwise? The last time I checked, being assholes isn’t a legitimate ground.
- In addition to domestic courts, Wickmayer and Malisse have also appealed to the Court of Arbitration and the European Human Rights Commission. So whose decision counts here? Is the ITF bound to listen to any of these so-called courts, commissions or tribunals?
One thing is for certain, you won’t find the answer to any of these in the media coverage on the matter. Most reports seem to accept that the ITF is free to just ignore a court ruling and Wickmayer can appeal to whoever the hell she wants. But what are the implications?
Does anyone – the ITF, WADA, the tournaments, Wickmayer and Malisse themselves included – actually know what’s going on?
2. Nicole Vaidisova has won her first match in 6 months, defeating Katalin Marosi 26 64 64 round 1 at the ITF Dubai 75k tournament.
Yes. It has come to that.
Word is that her current coach is Eric van Harpen, who used to work with MariKiri.
3. The Swiss have a thing for marrying pregnant girlfriends in uber-secret weddings.
Stanislas Wawrinka wedded his heavily pregnant concubine Ilham Vuilloud in a private civil ceremony on December 12. (Thanks FortuneCookie, HCFoo)
Dude, couldn’t you have shaved for your own wedding?
The couple is expected to have another wedding next year, after the birth of their child (children?!) in February.
“We shall celebrate our union in a church ceremony with lots of guests when our child is able to carry our rings,” she said. (Swissinfo)
I can’t wait. Baby Stan will cause ovaries all around the world to flutter with excitement. Err, that is if ovaries are capable of fluttering.
4. I hate agreeing with Pat Cash, but I do. The former Wimbledon champ had some sombre things to say about the state of tennis in this country.
”To be perfectly honest, it would be good to see greater depth in the Australian Open play-offs.
”The reality is, even if they [the Aussies] dominate, to win a round in the Australian Open is still a big ask. If any of them get through and win a round or two, that’s a great achievement.
”In many ways Australia is behind the rest of the world, unfortunately.”
Cash is also reserving judgement on Bernard Tomic.
”I’m reluctant to say that he’s going to be a superstar, it’s not possible to judge that.
”He’s got work to do on his game, he’s got a lot of improvement and that’s a good thing.
”I wouldn’t expect him to set the world on fire in the next couple of years but in time, if he keeps working on his game, in two or three years he might be able to knock on some doors, the top 100 or top 50.
”He’s got a lot of potential but I’d be reluctant to say this is the kid to watch, it just adds too much pressure.”
”Bernard Tomic and some of those young guys should be getting through events and winning a round or two if they’re going to be world champions,” Cash said. ”I don’t think people realise how tough it is, particularly in the men’s game. It’s brutal.
”It’s a big difference to 20 years ago when I first started, there were some guys who weren’t very good.
”The girls, if they have a good run, can win a couple of matches if they’re lucky.”
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
It’s a sad state of affairs folks, and like Cash, I ain’t jumping on the Tomic bandwagon yet.
I’m not even sure that I want a seat on that bandwagon after Tomic’s snubbing of Hewitt at Wimbledon this year. I may not be the biggest fan of Hewitt, but the guy deserves more respect and less jealousy from the little twat.
5. Marat Safin has been elected vice president of Russian Olympic Committee.
What when how WHY?!
Oh, and he’s due to play in Buenos Aires this week, along with Moya and Nalbandian.
6. I have no idea what the hell they’re even talking about, but this was way below the belt.
Ouch. Who the hell is Skip Bayless and who is he to trash talk Andy Roddick for being one of the top 5 players of this decade?