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.

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“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

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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.

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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.

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Fabulous men’s line up in Toronto tomorrow. Federbear’s life hangs in balance.

xx doots

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15 responses to “Love means nothing to the Rogers Cup.”

  1. meretricula says :

    ~sigh~ look, I know it’s easy to make fun of Novak for huffing and puffing out there, but he has asthma, and athletes aren’t allowed to take medication for it. so… take that into account.

    • dootsiez says :

      Ah meretricula, sorry if I just dissed your favorite player. I’m not making fun of his huffing and puffing. I’m pointing to its excesses and convenience when he is losing. And judging by some of Tsonga and Roddick’s comments, it is the mood in the locker room too. Novak’s falling into the old boy who cried wolf pattern.

      • meretricula says :

        I’m not offended (and my fave is Rafa!) but I do like Novak, and it’s kind of frustrating that he gets so much flak for something he can’t help. I mean, what is he supposed to do, magically cure breathing problems? I think the usual treatment for stuff like that is steroids. he works just as hard as everyone else, if not harder to overcome that handicap, and then the reputation he had when he was younger for dubious retirements just gets thrown in his face. I mean, that match against Tsonga in AO this year, he was clearly sick and he *didn’t* retire because of that reputation. and then Tsonga goes and says something like that. I get that he was joking but it was a dick move. oh well. Novak’s used to dealing with the criticism, I was just irked because I’ve seen it all over this week.

        • TennisAce says :

          Hey guys. Just popping in to say that we are well aware of Novak’s breathing issues. You know when a breathing issue does not gain sympathy? When you walk on the court like you are dying and then as soon as the rally starts you can engage in a 18 shot rally, getting every freaking ball back and win the point and then beat your chest, pump your fist at your opponent and look up at your box and the crowd and tell them that it is all heart.

          It is the boy who cried wolf. I was getting to like Novak and would even say that I was becoming a fan of his but he is at almost the same age as Rafa, he wants to be No.1, he is a former Grand Slam champion. He needs to conduct himself better on the court and that means conducting one’s self in a professional manner. That includes stop acting as if you are dying out there, barely moving to get to the service line but getting Flash Gordon like tendencies when the point is in play.

  2. Alex says :

    It’s not like pink will make me question a player’s sexuality or anything. No really!

  3. jfK says :

    Wow If Novak thinks Toronto is hot, just wait until he gets to Cincy and NYC.

    Way to go Maria 😀

  4. schnargle says :

    The first sentence made me cackle.

    I see Ana’s decision and official statement as more of a ‘Fuck YOU, Lapierre, and your tournament too’ rather than immature whining. It’s true that she hasn’t been playing well recently (okay, that was a huge understatement), but she’s still a former Rogers Cup and RG champ – and we’re not talking 8-10 years ago, she won RG two years ago. She’s still very marketable. I think Lapierre had his reasons, sure, but IMO he was kind of a dick about it, which is why Ana’s furious and why I’m on her side for this one. Just my two cents 🙂

  5. Katarina says :

    Novak has trouble dealing with heat; perhaps he doesn’t sweat enough to cool his body down and lower his internal temperature. Humans don’t come out of a factory – they’re not all identical, so identical training wouldn’t produce identical results. Most people would conclude that they shouldn’t have a career in pro sports because of this, but apparently Novak refuses to accept that and is trying to push on. Yes, it’s the same conditions for both players, but the players aren’t the same inside. People should just accept that this is an issue for him and move on. If Benneteau stopped trying to win because he was waiting for Novak to quit, it’s his own fault.

  6. FortuneCookie says :

    I can’t decide if I’m with Ana or not,in one sense it’s like ‘good for you’ and I do think the tournament director went totally the wrong way about it (after he’d refused her a wild card he should have just left it at that,looks a bit pathetic of him),but there’s still a part of Ana that (to me at least,but I don’t follow her greatly) simply hasn’t accepted that she’s not a top 10 player or anywhere near a major contender anymore…
    Yeah she’s still far more of an asset than most players ranked around her because of her previous stature,but she still seems to expect people to make things happen for her (like give her WCs,before they even had she said she’d ‘take a WC into New Haven)and seems a teeny bit presumptuous??I mean I like the girl overall but I think she needs to start acting like the 50-60 ranked player she is until that changes!A good start would be entering actually appropriate for that ranking…

  7. elisha says :

    I don’t remember much of AO 2008(there’s a good reason for it, obviously…) but with all these heat issues coming from Novak these days, I’m wondering how in the world did the guy win AO??!! I mean, I remember he retired from his match against Andy Roddick in 2009 AO because of heat(which, I guess it can be a legit excuse since I remember it really was unbearably hot from what the comms were saying). But I guess the reason why a lot of people are really skeptical about it and kind of mocking Djoko is because he has a bit of a history with this kind of issue… I’ll never forget the, “My throat hurts,” as reasoning for retiring from one of the clay Masters match against Roger. I think that was the match where Roger basically told the Djoko family to shut their traps during a point?

    Oh, and this is random, but apparently Llodra asked Roger for his shirt after the match? Someone from rf.com shared this link about Rafa asking Roger for an autographed shirt after Hamburg 2007! HAHAHA
    http://www.indiaenews.com/europe/20070522/52758.htm

  8. pban says :

    Djoko huffs and puffs between points and yet seems to run well enough during them, believe you me if he were having an actual asthma attack he wouldn’t be able to play ,so using that as an excuse is silly. He obviously has issues and with the game he plays it will always surface ….i think its best if we and the players were to overlook it, similar to rafa taking an inordinately long time between points especially if it is a break point or a timeout before his opponent’s service game.

  9. SJ says :

    I’m with Lapierre on this one, to get back to the top sometimes one needs to hit rock bottom, Ivanovic needs to realise that with her ranking that she needs to qualify for these tournaments and not just wait for someone to give her a wildcard because of her previous merits, her results haven’t been great this year and other young players need the experience of playing in a big tournament, they deserve the chance to make a name for themselves rather giving the place to marketable Ivanovic who makes news when she manages to win a match or two, qualifying will be a good thing for Ana she’ll realise how fierce the competition can be in qualies, it could really toughen her up mentally, bad experiences can really motivate a person, maybe if she was snubbed a few more times, it might motivate her to get back into the top 10 and become a top player again.

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