Love means nothing to the Rogers Cup.
If you break your opponent 4 times and still can’t win a single set, then you’re probably mildly deficient in this critical little organ we call the brain.
Yes, that’s you, Julien Benneteau. It must’ve taken some serious skills to lose to a man who looked like he was about to kneel over any second and start frothing at the mouth. A man who looked like there was no way on earth he could finish the match if it had gone another set, as it was threatening to do for most of the match.
“It was obvious that on the court I wasn’t feeling the best, but I overcomed it. It was nothing unusual, just little heat issues that I have, but, you know, the life goes on.” – Novak Djokovic
I don’t know about calling it “little heat issues” when some of my friends who only follow tennis 2 weeks a year during the Australian Open make jokes about it. Either we’re faced with the anomaly of a young, lean professional athlete who is barely fit enough to finish matches (especially when he’s losing), or Novak Djokovic is a hypochondriac. There, I said it. And I wouldn’t be the only one. Some kinds of dramatic flair I can really do without.
The Dramarama for Serbia doesn’t stop there.
Since she missed the rankings cutoff for Montreal a few weeks ago, Ana Ivanovic has requested a wild card from the Montreal tournament organisers. Her request was denied.
Officially, the tournament wanted to give its 3 wild cards to local players like Dubois. Unofficially, the tournament organiser Lapierre was quoted in the Montreal Gazette as saying “the fact is that she hasn’t demonstrated that she deserves a wild card“.
If we’re talking about a player who makes the news by sheer virtue of stringing 2 wins together, yes the comment was harsh, but – as harsh comments generally are – it was also true.
But not to be ditched without a protest, Ivanovic released a statement on her website:
“I was quite hurt by the comments of Mr. Lapierre that I was shown in The Montreal Gazette recently. I don’t think his comments were necessary, and they contradicted everything he had told my management previously: that I was not getting a wild card, because I am not Canadian.”
Since the statement was made, the tournament has extended a wild card to Ivanovic. Dubois has secured her place in the main draw without the need for a wild card, and Lapierre felt sure that Ivanovic would accept. Wrong. Ana promptly rejected the wild card, citing that she felt “they kind of stepped over the line with this interview,” and “misrepresented” the correspondence between the two parties.
“It’s very tough, you know. When you’re not playing well and when you’re low, you need friends who can help you, you know, not remind you of your poor form in the press as well.”
As far as Miss Muffin goes, this is her way of saying “you hwurty my feelings? I hwurty yours.” I can see where the hurt comes from – for Ana, it must’ve been a rude awakening to suddenly find yourself faced with the option of either qualifying for a major tournament or be at mercy of the organisers for a wild card. She doesn’t need to be reminded of her own misery … or does she?
Miss Muffin wanted to be treated like an old friend of the tournament, a former No 1 perhaps, a slam winner. But ultimately, the Rogers Cup is a business. To quote the horrible slogan of Tennis Canada, “Love means nothing”. You’re only as good as your latest results, and your latest results ain’t good. Welcome to the other side of victory and glory.
Over on the men’s side of things, Toronto abounds with “upsets” as the top quarter of the draw went kaput. Verdasco, Querrey, Almagro, Robredo were among the day’s casualties.
Rafa, on the other hand, amped up his imitation-as-flattery signals towards Roger, struggling a little in the first set to put a resistant Stan away before prevailing in straight sets. The Fedal even went matchy-matchy with their outfits.
Just don’t call it pink.
In Cincinnati results, Maria Sharapova’s serve was on better behavior in her straight sets dispatching of Andrea Petko, while Clijsters defeated physically ailing Safina in a 75 62 match over an extended rain delay. Vera Zvonareva fell over the finish line against MariKiri in a third set tiebreaker while poor Sybille Bammer could do no more than win 2 games against Carol Pushniacki.
Fabulous men’s line up in Toronto tomorrow. Federbear’s life hangs in balance.