Miami: So there’s tennis going on in Florida, I hear.
But what would I know? Since there was no actual coverage of the tournament.
1. Can’t say I’m sorry to have missed this match though: Rochus def Djokus 62 67 64. Can’t even say it surprised me.
Never mind Dubai, Nole’s game has been falling apart since the start of the year. And Oliver Rochus has giant-killing tendencies, almost booted Fed out of Miami one year, if I remember correctly.
“I wasn’t attacking,” Djokovic said. “I was just kind of waiting for him to make the shots, and it wasn’t the right approach. He was making me run a lot, so points were really long. That was exhausting.”
Exhausting? No kidding. Like a cartoon character, Oliver Rochus has legs that run fast enough to leave a cloud of dust hovering waist down. And he now leads Djoko in their career H2H: 3-1.
But at the end of the day, Djoko went “Ivano” on us. 11 double faults, a steady flow of unforced errors and a smashed racquet later, he was booed off court by the Miami crowd, who evidently didn’t appreciate the moody vibes.
At least Ana waited til she was No 1 to start her free fall.
2. Speak of the deviless, the “Ana Ivanovic Prayer Circle” can now breathe a sigh of relief: she won a match – in straight sets too, thus ending a 4 match winning streak.
No actually hold that breath, because she’s due to play Aga next, and it doesn’t get any easier from there on.
3. Nole’s departure signaled the start of the culling in the bottom quarter of the draw:
Blake could not hold off Bellucci, conceding the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, while Querrey was quelled by Chardy 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
4. After her early loss to Gisela Dulko last week, I expected Justine to run into some trouble against Demmy. But she was surprisingly solid on serve, wrapping up the win in straight sets 63 62. Easy peasy.
Not that I saw any of it, no thanks to the lack of coverage.
Wayne Odesnik pleaded guilty to importing eight vials containing eight milligrams of performance-enhancing human growth hormone into Australia, ahead of the Brisbane International this year.
Odesnik was fined over AUD$8000 for his conduct by the Brisbane Magistrates Court and the matter has been referred onto ITF, which could decide to ban him for 2 years.
The ATP released a statement to the AP, saying that they were
“extremely disappointed in the behavior of this individual, which is in no way representative of the sport of tennis”.
The ITF had no comments.
“The case has been referred to the tennis anti-doping program, and we don’t have any further comment. It’s just like any other case that gets referred to the anti-doping program, we don’t have a comment on it.”
But Randy did have something to say:
“There’s nothing worse than that [HGH]. That’s just plain cheating, and they should throw him out of tennis. There’s just no room for it.”
Jimmy Blake said he didn’t know Odesnik well, but liked the guy well enough.
“I wouldn’t say shocked is the word, because sports is a business and people are trying to find ways to get ahead and that’s unfortunate. I wish it didn’t happen in sports, but I think we’re all realistic in the fact that it does happen and we do the best possible job of policing. … I hope it doesn’t sully our sport as much. You want to feel like you’re playing on a fair playing field. I’ve always felt we have in the ATP.
“It’s the same thing you hear about the criminal next door – he seemed like a nice guy until they found something going on,” Blake said. “People look for a way to get ahead, and that’s unfortunate.
“It’s something that’s frustrating. You want to feel like you’re playing on a fair playing field. I’m glad they caught him.”
Canas, who retired last week to coach Odesnik, found himself dragged into a drug controversy once more. During Canas’ career, he received a 2 year ban from tennis after testing positive to a masking agent. There were mitigating circumstances found, and he eventually received an undisclosed sum and a shortened ban of 15 months.
“I heard this morning, but really I don’t know anything,” Canas said. “It’s tough for me to speak because I don’t know anything.”
Who know coaching could be so incriminating?
And more importantly, why did it take a national law enforcement authority to find a cheater in the sport of tennis?
Given Andre’s revelations late last year, and the lack of any records indicating that Odesnik tested positive previously for HGH, it’s time the ATP and ITF starts treating the issue of doping more stringently. Incidents like these do much to sully the reputation of the sport and public confidence in fair play.