Daily Dispatch: Tennis Under The Radar
In the wake of the US Open and Davis Cup weekend, tennis continues in lower profile venues. While the very top ATP players are dormant, those in contention for ATP World Tour Finals and lower-ranked players hoping to boost their ranking toil away at ATP 250 events, hoping to earn some points during the lull.
Striking numbers: World No. 2 Novak Djokovic has played just 13 tournaments in 2012. In contrast, World No. 12 Nicolas Almagro has played 22 tournaments. However, Djokovic and Almagro have both played a total of 71 matches in 2012, a product of Djokovic making it much further into the tournaments he’s playing. When a player makes it to semifinals and finals in every tournament, it’s much easier to get matches under their belt.
Though he’s in first place in the 2012 ATP Race, Djokovic’s 13 tournaments played are the second-fewest in the ATP Top 100, second only to Lleyton Hewitt’s 10 tournaments played (Hewitt is in 79th place in the 2012 ATP Race). So it seems Djokovic has chosen to play a conservative schedule, but has performed strikingly well at the tournaments he has chosen to play.
The WTA’s Kevin Fischer points out that five players have won more than 50 matches this year: Angelique Kerber has won 56, Victoria Azarenka 54, Serena Williams 53, Sara Errani 52, and Agnieszka Radwanska 51.
The WTA website has a great gallery of pictures from Kim Clijsters’ comeback, in honor of the tennis star’s recent retirement.
France’s Gael Monfils returned to the ATP Tour today, beating Olivier Rochus, 6-3, 6-2, in his first match in over 200 days at the ATP 250 event in Metz. It’s good to see him back after a long injury layoff.
Fresh off of a rough summer, World No. 42 Bernard Tomic arrived in Bangkok early to kick off his Asian swing. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia downplayed the public exchange between Davis Cup coach Tony Roche and the 19-year-old, in which Roche appeared to berate him throughout his match against Florian Mayer in their singles rubber. Todd Woodbridge, head of Tennis Australia, said Roche was just trying to “fire him up.”
Levity break: A cat interrupted an ATP Challenger Tour match today, running onto the court and vaulting over the net at the Szczecin Open in Poland:
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