Monday, April 15, 2013

The ATP Transitions to European Clay

by Savannah

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Stop the presses. Well almost. John Isner won the US Men's Clay Court Championship played in Houston last week. John took the ritual leap into the pool all winners of the event take, always fully clothed.

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The bigger news was that Isner took a Wild Card into Monte Carlo becoming the only American singles player in the draw. There is never any rest for the weary though and Isner, as well as the man he defeated, Nicolas Almagro, are both playing on Tuesday.

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Is this going to be the year of the Tommy's? Tommy Robredo, who has struggled coming back to the tour after injury, won in Casablanca, a traditional clay warm up event. The other Tommy wisely took this week off. I don't think anyone is looking for either man to win one of the events but both are expected to do well. Haas, who was the second seed, lost in the second round at Houston to Ricardas Berankis.

End Notes

Gael Monfils is making his return in Monte Carlo after being sidelined for a long time with injury.

Australia's Davis Cup Captain Patrick Rafter has filed an official complaint with the ITF over the accommodations his Davis Cup team were forced to live in in Uzbekistan.

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Rafter said the following in Adelaide Now :

"It was more uncomfortable and unreasonable conditions for what we're used to. If you want the best players playing it (Davis Cup), you've got to have good conditions. The crowds were fine. The court was OK. The hotel - not knowing if you were going to have a good night's sleep - wasn't great.

"There were car horns all the time on one side of the hotel and there was an aviary and barking dogs on the other side. You go all that way to play Davis Cup, you shouldn't be worrying about having a good night's sleep. The food was a worry over there, too, so we took our own chef.

"A few of the people had rooms where the sewage backed up through the pipes and that wasn't much fun. It stunk. Our manager had bed bugs. It was pretty grotty."

"The ITF was there and I said, 'This is crap.' They didn't want to listen and they fined us because the boys didn't go to the dinner. I didn't want the boys to do what they didn't want to. They (ITF) said, 'You should have been here earlier,' and I said we were preparing to get ready for the match (in Munich). So I played hardball with them. I'm going to try and get all the captains and players who want change and get the head guys off the (Davis Cup) committee."

The ITF is going to have to look at conditions on more than the court wince Davis Cup is now being contested in non Western countries. A tie was forfeited in Malaysia because of court conditions. While Australia won the tie against Uzbekistan from Rafter's description there were issues that the ITF didn't want to face and fined the victims not the people responsible.

I'm not familiar with the word "grotty" but I think we all get the message.

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