...[Neha]Uberoi reached the main draw the hard way. She has won three-set matches in each of the past three days.
Valerie Tetreault also earned a spot in the main draw after a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Mirjana Lucic of Croatia... In addition to the four winners, Lucic and Boffa were selected at random to replace third-seeded Su-Wei Hsieh and sixth-seeded Sabine Lisicki, who both withdrew on Tuesday due to injuries.
Fichman is already having a good week in Midland. She came here as a qualifier and won three matches to get into the main draw. Her latest win was a three-set victory over fellow Canadian Maureen Drake on Tuesday.
"In other tournaments, I've done well," Fichman said. "I'm playing the ITF Circuit and the lower level tournaments. But it's been tough because I'm a senior in high school, so it's tough to balance both and have a full schedule.
After I graduate, I'm hoping to play more and come to bigger tournaments like this."
Canberra tennis player Alun Jones finally feels like he's "part of the club" after winning selection in Australia's Davis Cup team to play Taiwan starting tomorrow... And while the 27-year-old is not guaranteed of any match time in the crucial Asia-Oceania Group One playoff, he rates it as the highlight of his career.
Addressing a news conference ahead of India’s Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan beginning Friday, Paes said he was delighted to get Bhupathi back into the fold.
“Now that Mahesh is back in the team we are confident of winning the tie. He will take care of the doubles. He’s in great form. The kind of tennis Mahesh played in the Australian Open was excellent.”
Bhupathi chose to remain silent for the most part. And whenever he was confronted with a question, he restricted his answers to a few syllables.
Asked what made him change his decision of not playing against lower-ranked teams in Davis Cup, Bhupathi said: “You know about it. I have to play for India in order to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.”
“As far as we are concerned there is no player who can hold the tournament to ransom. No one can presume the tournament revolves around her. This event is not about Sania Mirza,” Raju said.
Clarifying on the wild card issue, he added: “If she changes her mind we will be happy to accommodate her but if a high profile player approaches us before she makes up her mind, then it’s her loss.”
...It has been further learnt that KSLTA was approached by Mirza’s agent Mahesh Bhupathi before the start of the Australian Open to discuss the issue of appearance money. At that time, since the sponsors had not been sewed up, the organisers were unable to make a commitment high enough to grab the player’s interest. This seems to have been perceived by the Mirza camp as indifference and the next that KSLTA heard about Mirza’s participation was when she announced at a press conference her decision to skip the event. It is apparent that there has been some lack of communication between the concerned parties as KSLTA insiders say they were willing to negotiate the figure that may have been lesser that the estimated $100,000 she was paid last year.
Brad Gilbert spends the night after our interview tossing and turning. It’s madness. The guy needs help. He is lying in bed with possibly the prettiest woman in California, and the only thought in his mind is a journalist. He throws back the sheets at 2am and scribbles some notes on a pad. He returns to bed, but his mind is in turmoil. First thing next morning, he makes a call.
“Hey, buddy, did I wake you?” “No, Brad, still struggling with jet lag,” I reply.
“Oh, okay, listen, I’ve been thinking about a couple of questions you asked.”
“Yeah?” “You quoted me something that Pat Cash said?”
“Yes,” I reply. “A column he wrote after your split with Andy Murray.”
“No, it was another quote.” “Yes, about the nature of top-flight coaching . . . I’m working on the transcript now. Would you like me to read it out?”
“That would be great, buddy.” “Okay, I’ve found it. This is what he wrote: So what exactly is the role of a top-flight coach? Motivator, shot mechanic, tactical guru, friend, confidant, disciplinarian, occasional surrogate big brother, highly paid skivvy, verbal punchbag? I’d love to be asking that question of Andy Murray and Andy Roddick. Better still, perhaps I should ask Brad Gilbert and Jimmy Connors, their respective new coaches.”
“And what did I say?” he asks. “You asked me to explain what a skivvy was, then you said, ‘Well, if you’re a highly paid skivvy, you are not a coach’.”
“Yes, that’s it. A coach should wear different hats; some days you’re a friend, some days a tactician, some days a strategist, but the important thing is that you should have a predetermined thought of what you need to be.”
“Do you want me to put that in?” I ask. “Yeah.” “No problem.”
...“In his own way, [McEnroe] probably thinks I’ve exceeded what my potential was, tennis-wise, coaching-wise, writing-wise, but to be honest, I don’t know him that well. We’ve never hung out.”
“Why not?” “When we played we didn’t hang out a lot, but I don’t dislike him. Once, with Andre, we had a few beers and a decent discussion, but if you disagree with Mac on something - sport or politics - prepare for a battle. He is very opinionated. But maybe I am too . . . But hey, listen, I have nothing against him. I was perturbed about a few of those matches, but you’ve got to let go and move on.”
...“Do you know what one of the best things about my stint with Andy Murray was? Getting to know Tim. I never knew him. I remember Andre would practise with him occasionally, and I coached against him when I worked with Roddick, but in the last year I got to go out with him a bunch of times, and man, this is one cool cat.”
“That’s not a side the public has seen.” “No it’s not,” he agrees. “He has a great sense of humour – a bit like Andre – spinning things, telling jokes, telling riddles and just this great ability to engage your brain. I believe he could have won Wimbledon, but he came along when there was some serious greatness in the game. He crisscrossed with Sampras and Federer – probably the two best grass-court players ever – but I like the way he went about himself and about the business of trying. He did everything he could, and I respect that more than anything.”
...“Yeah, and to be honest, I don’t really want to get into this, but I’ll just say one thing: the money they reported isn’t the right number.”
“So the figures mentioned – and they varied from a half-million to three-quarters of a million – aren’t true?”
“Well, I was not being paid three-quarters of a million pounds. And I don’t know why there was such a big deal. It should be about results. If Sven-Göran Eriksson had won the World Cup, would the £5m [his salary] have been an issue?”
...“And what’s next for Brad Gilbert?” “Well, I’ve got this year [with the LTA] and I’d like to get back to doing some TV and some writing, and I’ll start coaching again if the right situation comes up, and I get a chance to go over to Berkeley [University] to watch my son play.”
...“I’ve a couple more questions for you.” “Okay, shoot.” “You made the point a few years ago that one of the things you admired about Roddick was the manner in which he had fired his previous coach, Tarik Benhabiles, just before you started working with him. I quote, ‘Andy doesn’t get enough credit for the fact that he got on a train, went to Paris and told Tarik the news in person; 99.9% of touring pros would’ve done it over the phone. Or by e-mail. Or had someone else do it. Not Andy – he’s a grown-up in a 20-year-old body’.”
“Yeah, I thought it was nice that he told him in person.”
“Did he tell you in person?” “No, he told me over the telephone.” “Did Andy Murray tell you in person?” “No.” “It was Patricio [Apey, Murray’s agent]?” “I don’t really want to get into that.”
Jamie Baker relishes big chance as Murray's stand-in - Neil Harman, The Times
Baker accepts that when he heard of Murray’s decision – made on Wednesday last week – to pull out of the tie, his stride was momentarily broken. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I’d put a bet on Andy showing up, I’d have lost a lot of money,” he said. “I thought, 100 per cent, he’d be here with us. I don’t care what team you’re in, when a top-ten player is missing, you’re going to miss him an awful lot. But there’s nothing I can do about what Andy’s doing.
“I look at this as a great opportunity. I don’t think there’s any person in the world with a ranking like mine that is faced with the kind of situation I’m in this weekend... In a sense, this is what a lifetime’s work is all about – the chance to play someone like Nalbandian in Argentina in the Davis Cup.["]
...Reinforcements have arrived in the shape of Richard Bloomfield, the 24-year-old from Norwich, called upon in case of injury to Baker or Alex Bogdanovic. Without him, Britain would have had to call on either Jamie Murray or Ross Hutchins, the doubles specialists who do not possess a singles ranking, as cover.
As it is, the LTA has told Paul Hutchins, the former Davis Cup captain and now head of men’s tennis, to stay at home this weekend, rather than travel to watch Ross, his 22-year-old son, playing with Jamie Murray in what is likely to be Hutchins Jr’s last such match at this level.
Jamie and Andy Murray at war over Davis Cup - Mark Hodgkinson, The Telegraph
A family row exploded across the British tennis scene like a Buenos Aires firecracker last night, as Jamie Murray admitted to intense feelings of anger and disaffection that younger brother Andy decided to pull out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Argentina. "It kind of affects the way I feel about him," Jamie said in an open and unprecedented criticism of Andy.
...So brotherly love was in short supply in Argentina's elegant capital city last night. Jamie suggested it was down to Andy to initiate a conversation. "I haven't spoken to him at all, or sent him a text message. There isn't really much to say. I'm here working hard for the team, trying to do the best I can, and he's at home doing whatever he's doing. I think it's kind of up to him to clear the air. I don't see why I should go to him or anything like that," Jamie said. "I last saw him at the Australian Open and I was unaware that he had a problem."
Murray brothers at odds over Andy's cup cry-off - Steve Bierley, The Guardian
"I guess he doesn't regret anything otherwise he would have wanted to come," said his brother. "It's not that he doesn't enjoy Davis Cup; it's just that he obviously felt it was more important for him to concentrate on next week's tournament in Marseilles."
So a tie that at best would have been extremely tough became an impossibility, drawing parallels with Britain's last world group match against Australia five years ago when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were unavailable and Britain lost 4-1. "Morale is good now but it was a big blow when Andy pulled out, there's no question about that," said Britain's captain, John Lloyd.
"We were all very surprised. We weren't expecting it at all. Now we are just trying to make sure that everyone embraces the situation. You either open up your shoulders and have fun or you're scared shitless. I hate the cliche 'you've got nothing to lose', as I think that's a cop-out, but in this case it's exactly right. No one, and I mean no one, expects us to do anything. It's a freebie, a chance to gain experience. That's the way to look at it."
Alex Bogdanovic (ranked 188) and Jamie Baker (235) are set to play the opening singles and it is a measure of Argentina's strength that they have no fewer than 19 players ranked higher than Bogdanovic, Britain's No2.
However, it did not help his public relations that his own website showed him playing football with three friends last week.
"From what I've heard he hasn't actually said that he was injured, it was more of a preventive thing," Jamie said. "If he really wanted to push himself, he probably could have come here to play the tie."
Jamie said he had not been aware of his brother having any problem with his knee and had not had any contact with him since the Australian Open. "There isn't really much to say. I'm here working hard for the team, trying to do the best I can, and he's at home doing whatever he's doing."
Murray boys at war as absent Andy feels full force of Jamie volley - Daily Mail
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