Usually Sunday's post is easy. I gather pictures of the winners of the past weeks tournaments and post them with short comments. I am going to do that but the last few days have been so full of tennis news I'm taking the unusual step of demoting the weeks stars to a position later in the post.
So where to start?
Well how about Roger Federer? After that announcement on his official site last week making it sound as if he was not going to play the rest of the year he shows up in Madrid ready to play.
Ironically that isn't the biggest talk out of Madrid. Juan-Carlos Ferrero, formerly the top Spaniard, was totally dissed by the Spanish tennis establishment and not given a wild card into the Main Draw at the Madrid Masters, the biggest ATP event to be held in Spain. That Wild Card, due to some deal Ion Tiriac made with the Italians rumor has it, went to Marat Safin. Marat as most fans know is not a stranger to the Spanish tennis powers that be. The other wild card went to another Spanish player Albert Montanes. The third spot went to Fabio Fognini of Italy. Spanish tennis fans didn't let this pass without comment. Juanqui was quoted as saying Manolo Santana didn't call him directly and publicly stated he would not accept an invitation after the fact. Of course this wasn't the end of it. Marat withdrew this afternoon citing a shoulder injury and was replaced by another Italian, Lucky Loser Simone Bolelli.
The Davis Cup Final
The ITF has spoken. Last week I posted pictures of the construction that had begun on the Orfeo arena in Cordoba so that additional seating would be available to meet the ITF's stated requirement that a minimum of 12,000 seats be provided. I'm sure you know by now that the ITF has chosen Mar del Plata. Rumors of pay back by the highest level elected officials in Argentian swirl. All that was missing was comment from David Nalbandian who was acting as spokesman for the DC team. Here is a much edited translation from the original Spanish. I used Google to translate from the Spanish and then edited the machine translation. I hope I stayed true to the meaning of the Spanish.
STOCKHOLM - The Argentine tennis star David Nalbandian has threatened not to play Davis Cup expressing his annoyance at the choice of Mar del Plata over his home city of Cordoba. "I hope that the Argentine Tennis Association (AAT) continues to support the players as they said at first. If not, we'll see if I play," Nalbandian said in an interview published by the daily Clarin. The player confessed to being very upset by the decision of the International Tennis Federation (FIT) to choose to host the final in Mar del Plata and not Cordoba, the capital of the eponymous province in which he was born on winning today's Stockholm Open. Both Nalbandian as well as the rest of the Argentine team had expressed their intention of playing the final in that city to take advantage of its location, 600 meters above sea level. It seemed a done deal that Cordoba would host the final until Friday when the ITF chose Mar del Plata which had been proposed by the AAT as a second option and provoking the anger of Nalbandian. The Cordoban has even sent a letter asking for explanations to the AAT. "The AAT said that they were going do what the players wanted. Therefore we ask the reasons. It was all very strange," said Nalbandian, who in his first reaction was of the view Friday that there had been "something under the table "for this decision. Nalbandian told Clarin that the request for explanations involves the entire team and said that the AAT "not telling the truth of things." The governor of the province of Cordoba, Juan Schiaretti, considered that the election of Mar del Plata to host the final, which will be held in November, has been to "give advantage to Spain" over Argentina.
Is David going to play? My initial reaction is "of course". Stay tuned.
WTA Player Boycott?
The women of the WTA are finally beginning to speak out. Not all of them of course. Leave it to those feisty Russian women, Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova both spoke out about the glaring problems with Roadkill in this BBC Article
"They said the leading players would have to play in designated tournaments while lower-ranked players would be able to enter any event they like," said Safina after losing to fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Saturday.
"There's no logic in that at all. What if all the top players choose to enter the same tournament? What will the WTA do then? We want to know. There are a lot of grey areas."
Former US Open champion and world number two, Svetlana Kuznetsova, agreed with her compatriot.
"I was told only two players from the top 10 could enter a smaller tournament like the Kremlin Cup next year," said the current world number seven.
"What if Jelena Jankovic and Serena or Venus (Williams) want to play here?
"Then all the top Russian players, and there are five of us in the top 10, will not be able to play in their home tournament. That's nonsense."
Larry, it's your serve.
David Nalbandian picks up where he left off last year winning the Men's Singles Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
Philipp Petzschner of Germany holds the BA-CA trophy as the 2008 Mens Singles Champion.
Jelena Jankovic just keeps on going. She won the Ladies's Kremlin Cup.
In what was the biggest surprise for this fan Igor Kunitsyn
played what some say was the match of his life against fan favorite Marat Safin in Moscow. I got up in time to see the end of the match, the last shot in fact.
Nadia Petrova and Katerina Srebotnik Women's Doubles Champions - Kremlin Cup
Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram Men's Doubles Champions Wien 2008
Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyet Men's Doubles Champions Stockholm 2008
Congratulations also go to Sergei Stakhovsky and Potito Starace the Mens Doubles Champions in Moscow.