Picket Fence Newsreel: the Absentees.

Courtesy of the demands of modern tennis:

  1. Serena Williams has withdrawn from Charleston. Not that I expected her to play, but her absence since the Australian Open has been one of the longer spells in recent years. I wonder if she’s lost a little motivation to play after all her slam successes in the past 2 years. Are we in for one of her “disinterest – career dip – raring comeback” phases again?
  2. Maria Sharapova has also withdrawn from the same tournament, still bothered by her elbow injury.
  3. Sabine Lisicki is out of Charleston with her left ankle problem.
  4. Del Potro is out of Monte Carlo, with no specific date set for his return. His physician is still waiting for the swelling on his wrist to subsided before giving him the green light to play. No surgery is required.
  5. Soderling‘s total mindfuck against Berdych in Miami could perhaps be explained by his knee injury. He’s official out of Monte Carlo.
  6. As is Monfils, who hurt his hand during the Davis Cup last month.
  7. Gilles Simon (oh remember him?) rate his chances of competing in the French Open at about 20%. Damn those knees.
  8. Lots of Americans fall in Houston with bodily niggles: Fish, Ram, Dent, Russell.
  9. Azarenka retired in Marbella with a thigh injury. The only positive being that she did it against MJMS, who’s through to the semis. Hoorah!



In non-injury related news:

9. BBC reporting that Leon Smith has been named the next Davis Cup captain for Great Britain after John Lloyd’s resignation last month.

Seems that Tennis Australia isn’t the only federation with bad internal politics. Former captain David Lloyd has told the London Times that it would be “impossible”  for Smith to be appointed to the captaincy. “It would be a joke. I’m telling you, they can’t do that.




10. The Times of Indian reports that Mirza and Shoaib have moved their wedding forward to today.

And nope, the controversies ain’t going away. In a TV interview, Indian right-winger Pramod Muthalik has labelled poor Sania as a “disgrace” to her country for marrying someone from ‘an enemy nation’.

“Sania Mirza is not an ordinary youngster. She represents India in the field of tennis. She is indebted to India for her success and she has to act as a role model to others. Being in her position, it is a disgrace that she chose to marry someone from Pakistan and her decision is a shame for our country.”

Countries and cultures may differ, but bigots worldwide are exactly the same.



11. Happy birthday to Sorana Cirstea, who turned 20 on the 7th April, and had a tennis cake to celebrate the occasion. I want a tennis cake.

Unfortunately, the birthday girl was upset by 18 year-old reigning French Open junior champ, Simona Halep, better known as the Breast-Reduction Girl.

Sorry to be totally vulgar, but friggin hell … 18?





6. You saw it coming. You were in denial. And now you have to face up to the truth:

The last two wild cards for Monte Carlo have been given to Simone Bolelli and Bernie Tomic.

Well, in any case, I hope the reetard gets Mirka a nice one year wedding anniversary gift.

xx doots


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19 responses to “Picket Fence Newsreel: the Absentees.”

  1. pban says :

    I expected him to stick to his decision,with the babies in tow if he played MC he would have been on the road for 4 months…..nope MC was never an option. But Estoril??? 3 consecutive weeks before RG just ain’t making sense to me.

    • dootsiez says :

      Estoril’s an 84(? cant do maths) man draw right?

      So it’s technically only 3 extra matches. Hardly a tournament, but certainly a confidence booster. (not unless he loses LOL).

      • pban says :

        But he would have to travel and as for the last part of your comment ,please don’t even think about that.Can’t help thinking that 2008 was the last time he played Estoril and I don’t think we need any reminders of the rest of the clay grass season that year 😦

  2. TennisAce says :

    While I am upset that Serena has had to be withdrawing from tournament play since the AO, I think it is a tad unfair to suggest that she is entering “disinterest” phase while in the same breath you list Sharapova and many others as withdrawing through legitimate injury. Just as how we can accept that many others are withdrawing from tournament play because they are injured, I think we need to accept that Serena may be injured as well. End Rant

    • dootsiez says :

      Hahaha TennisAce, I’m a fan of Serena no? And even I’m dubious that she’s playing in the “Serena Williams Invitational” this week, and not bothering to turn up for her commitments in Charleston.

      I know exhos and actual tournaments are different, but it’s just a gut feeling – she might be mildly injured and mostly uninspired right now.

  3. Jack says :

    Soon enough, we’ll be talking about who isn’t injured, rather than who is!!

    Never heard of this Leon Smith. Apparently, he used to be Andy Murray’s coach. I think they’ve only hired him in the hopes that he’ll persuade Murray to play future ties. But does anyone really think Murray will play against Turkey later in the year?

  4. BS says :

    Playing 3 consecutive weeks before the French Open isn’t ideal preparation (I know he will have match practice but he can hardly be “fresh” for all of those tournaments, can he?) It will be very interesting to see how Rafa does on clay this year. Even though it’s 11 months since his last title, I wouldn’t bet against him to have what would be a normal claycourt season for him and win most of the tournaments he is entered for. If Federer doesn’t win Estoril don’t know how I will feel. If he loses to Rafa badly at any stage between now and Wimbledon, I will curse him. A lot. 😛

    • TennisAce says :

      I think Federer is avoiding playing Nadal at all costs, not because he is afraid to lose to him, but I think he is of the view that the more he plays Nadal, the more it builds Nadal’s confidence in employing those tactics that work against Fed and apparently hardly anyone else. It is instructive that most of the players on Tour have found out what it takes to beat Nadal and neutralise all that top spin. Come in hard and fast; play to backhand until opening and then go to forehand; serve big and blast forehands and backhands; put him on the defence. It helps that this strategy seems to have been working during the same time period as the wonky knees. However, I think a lot of the success that other players have had is due more to the playing style that the likes of Del Potro and Soderling have employed to good use and less the wonky knees and shaken confidence.

      • pban says :

        It helps if you are 6 and a half feet tall though and Rafa’s topspin reaches your waist, and built like an ox both of which unfortunately Roger is not.Besides Rafa was hitting balls in the middle of the court late last year so you could take the ball early ,from what I saw at IW and Miami the shots are going deeper now so I am not sure whether this strategy would work on clay.

        • dootsiez says :

          I don’t think Monte Carlo is Federer not wanting to play Nadal. I think it’s him needing a block of rest and training before starting the long and exhausting road that is Rome-Wimbledon.

          Agree on Sod and Del Potro though – Rafa’s topspin, so troublesome for Fed and his SHBH, tends to bounce right into someone like Delpoop’s hitting zone.

          To some extent Murray as well. Rafa hooks a high bouncing forehand to his backhand and it hardly gives Muzz fits unless it’s some ridiculous angle.

      • Mia says :

        Agree. I recall reading an Interview with Fed last year where he said going up against his top rivals too often and especially heading into the big events was not what he considered an optimum preparation. As it is, they already know each other’s games so not meeting that often is one way of still preserving that bit of “surprise” in strategy by way of tweaks here and there. And Fed demonstrated this in Madrid last year when he unveiled a relatively different strategy vs. Nadal, who he did not meet in the other pre-clay events.

        The Nadal-Soderling case also seemingly demonstrated this, in a different way. Before RG, Nadal shellacked Sod 6-0, 6-1 in Roma. So, Sod looming in the RG draw could only mean for Nadal “see Roma, do Roma”. But the scoreline was actually deceptive because Soderling was into almost all of Nadal’s games. Come RG, Sod only had to uncork Roma 2.0, i.e., same strategy but follow it all the way through. History, done and dusted.

  5. jfK says :

    I don’t think Roger is trying to avoid Nadal. That’s what people said last year. I’m still pissed that he’s not playing MC though. He did play embarrassingly bad at IW and Miami, and needs the matches. I’m also worried about 3 clay tourneys in a row. I don’t want him to run out of gas and lose early at RG like Nadal and Djokovic. If he has another WTF? early upset in Rome, then I am officially hitting the panic button.

    • TGIF says :

      I won’t be shocked by an early loss in Rome; it’ll be the first clay tourney and after a long break.
      If he loses early in Rome but gets in some matches in Estoril and does well in Madrid it’s all good . . .

      • dootsiez says :

        Ditto that.

        But I’m not sure how well Roger himself will take to losing early 3 tournaments in a row. He’ll be extra motivated to get his shit together for the clay season.

      • Mia says :

        Nope, not good. Anything less than his points last year will be disaster as far as the Sampras record and his #1 standing are concerned. He won a Masters (Madrid) and was a semifinalist (Roma) in another. Estoril, even with a win, will not give him that much breathing room. We have to remember, Nadal and Djokovic have so much to gain in RG. Roger cannot afford to leave his fate to the other players.

  6. flo says :

    Can’t share in the angst over No. 1 record. I don’t think Federer is concerned about it to the degree that he would disrupt his preparation schedule for the French and Wimbledon. Prime example: Serena Williams, say she gets to 20 slams, she’ll be in Graf/Martina territory whether she was #1 for a long time. As long as he stays healthy and in form, even if he surrenders the #1 after Wimbledon, it wouldn’t mean that he couldn’t get it back.

    Defending the French would be big for his tennis legacy: too many reasons. I know he’d say Wimbledon is a bigger priority but…it’s close let’s say, not because of the circumstances of last years win but to have more than 1 of every slam would reflect an abundance. Like if you have a million dollars, you’re a millionaire but just barely, you know? He has a career slam, just barely, like Agassi. It’s not Laver-esque yet.

  7. Chairman, Federer Puny Left Arm Society says :

    Chairman thinks we “may” be Federer use the double handed back hand on clay this year.

  8. Warwick360 says :

    Indian right-winger Pramod Muthalik can go F himself for trying to intrude into other people’s personal life. What a disgrace that man must be not only for his party but for the country itself.

    BTw…. for posting the “After” pics of simona halep. But seeing the after result, I cannot say that I am amused.

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