This week saw the tennis world begin to calm down as memories of the Australian Open faded and the lead up to the back to back Masters 1000/Premier 5 events of Indian Wells and Miami loom large on the horizon.
The women's tour focused on Fed Cup play so there were no main tour tournaments. Was there news from that front? Hell yeah.
The United States Davis Cup team defeated a Belarus team minus newly minted WTA #1 Victoria Azarenka 5-0. Despite rumors to the contrary Venus Williams returned to the court and did well. I wasn't able to watch any of it because my cable provider, Cablevision, is still at war with Tennis Channel. I'm glad Venus returned. I'm glad we won. I hope Venus played well and didn't fade. Not sure she can stand the rigors of a Slam right now but only she and her doctor know what she can and can't do. Anything I say is simply idle speculation.
Congratulations to Captain Fernandez.
Complete Fed Cup results are below.
WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND
RUSSIA defeated SPAIN 3-2
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoors)
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 61
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 63 61
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Nadia Petrova (RUS) 60 63
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 46 63
Nuria Llagostera Vives/Arantxa Parra-Santonja (ESP) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova/Nadia Petrova (RUS) 63 ret. (Kuznetsova foot injury)
SERBIA defeated BELGIUM 3-2
Venue: Spiroudome, Charleroi, BEL (hard – indoors)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 75 75
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 64 64
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 61 60
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 62 64
Bojana Jovanovski/Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Alison van Uytvanck/Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 76(2) 46 61
ITALY defeated UKRAINE 3-2
Venue: Lauretana Forum, Biella, ITA (clay – indoors)
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 62 63
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 61 62
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 67(6) 75 64
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 61 3-0 ret.
Flavia Pennetta/Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Olga Savchuk/Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 75 06 61
CZECH REPUBLIC defeated GERMANY 4-1
Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (hard – indoors)
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 26 64 62
Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 36 63 108
Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 67(2) 64 61
Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 64
Iveta Benesova/Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d. Julia Goerges/Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 63 76(4)
WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND
USA defeated BELARUS 4-0
Venue: DCU Center, Worcester, MA, USA (hard – indoors)
Christina McHale (USA) d. Anastasia Yakimova (BLR) 60 64
Serena Williams (USA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 75 60
Serena Williams (USA) d. Anastasia Yakimova (BLR) 57 61 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. Darya Kustova (BLR) 60 61
Liezel Huber/Venus Williams v Darya Kustova/Anastasia Yakimova (BLR)
JAPAN defeated SLOVENIA 5-0
Venue: Bourbon Beans Dome, Hyogo, JPN (hard – indoors)
Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 26 64 62
Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Nastja Kolar (SLO) 26 64 63
Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 36 76(6) 61
Kurumi Nara (JPN) d. Petra Rampre (SLO) 64 64
Rika Fujiwara/Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Nastja Kolar/Petra Rampre (SLO) 63 57 60
SLOVAK REPUBLIC defeated FRANCE 3-2
Venue: Aegon Arena, Bratislava, SVK (hard – indoors)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 57 61 97
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 64
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 63
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Alize Cornet (FRA) 63 64
Kristina Mladenovic/Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Jana Cepelova/Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 62
AUSTRALIA defeated SWITZERLAND 4-1
Venue: Forum Fribourg, Fribourg, SUI (clay – indoors)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 62 75
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 60 67(8) 86
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 62
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) d. Amra Sadikovic (SUI) 63 36 86
Casey Dellacqua/Jelena Dokic (AUS) d. Belinda Bencic/Amra Sadikovic (SUI) 75 64
Dismissed coach Ricardo Sanchez has spoken out about working with Caroline Wozniacki and her father Victor Krason who is doing business as Piotr Wozniacki. Krason is Caroline's father's legal name.
Sanchez is quoted in Yahoo Sports as follows:
...Ricardo Sanchez told Spanish sports daily Marca. “I tried (to help her) but they wouldn’t let me. Wozniacki should be a race horse, not a pack horse.”
Sanchez was fired after two months as Wozniacki’s coach following her Australian Open quarterfinal exit that cost her the top ranking. Wozniacki remains without a Grand Slam title and is now ranked fourth.
Sanchez, who has also coached another former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, was quoted as saying he felt “deceived” by Wozniacki’s father Piotr, who has now returned to coaching his daughter on his own.
“I was told that I would be free to coach her as I wished, and then I was given very little margin to do so,” Sanchez said. “In just five weeks I went from being a coach to being just a consultant.
“Her father put together his own training system, and I was pushed into the background.”
To any serious tennis fan what happened was a surprise only to Sanchez, if it really was a surprise at all. Victor is not going to give up control of his daughter to any outsider. End of story. Moving on.
As mentioned above Victoria Azarenka did not play for Belarus this weekend citing a lower back injury. She isn't playing the Premier event in Paris this weekend either. Will we see her before Indian Wells? She is on the entry list for Qatar and Dubai.
The other surprise is that Venus has elected not to play in Acapulco, a clay event she's won in the past.
French Fed Cup officials are reportedly considering asking Marion Bartoli and her father to participate in the Fed Cup playoffs. I guess it finally occurred to them that without her they've got a snowballs chance in hell of avoiding relegation again. It's kind of like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. They needed to win this round. Instead they got creamed, only winning matches Virginie Razzano played. If they think just announcing they want to talk while not changing their position is the way to go they're sillier than I thought they were. The Bartoli's will not change their position.
The ATP got back to business as usual by putting on three 250 events.
Juan Monaco of Argentina won the singles title in Vina del Mar. It's his first win since 2007 when he won three titles.
The doubles team of Frederico Gil and Daniel Gimeno-Traver won doubles.
Mikhail Youzhny and his beard (not the Hollywood kind) made a successful debut in Zagreb. Youzhny then paired with Marcos Baghdatis to take the doubles crown.
Tomas Berdych won Monpellier. He really likes playing in France.
Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin were the doubles champions.
This week the men will play Davis Cup.