2003 is so sad

A sign of the times: Both Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero, each ranked no. 1 in the world in 2003 (Roddick won the USO over JCF after JCF had captured the French), pulled out of the French today. Roddick cited a shoulder injury, as did Ferrero. Cue the their-careers-are-done obits now.

Throwing in the (clay) towel: As @TheSliceTweets pointed out, A-Rod’s shoulder seemed just fine in Tuesday in Nice.

(Getty Images photo via SI.com archives)

delpo’s comeback? a twitter timeline of the question lingering over tennis

In the last 30 hours, the web has been abuzz with news that defending US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who hasn’t played a match since the Australian Open because of an injured right wrist, will make an appearance in New York a month from now to defend his title.

TSF breaks down the news and timelines of just how things panned out on Twitter and beyond.

Thursday, July 22nd, 9:17 AM – In what we see as the first evidence of JMdP’s comeback, SI writer L. Jon Wertheim Tweets:

Thursday, 9:30 AM Montreal Gazette writer Stephanie Myles responds to Wertheim’s Tweet and provides her own analysis from the news:

Thursday, 11:25 AM – The USTA releases its “provisional entry list” for the 2010 tournament on its web site.

Thursday, 11:29 AM Doug Robson, a tennis writer who regularly contributes to USA Today, Tweets that a USTA contact has confirmed that JMdP is already hitting:

Thursday, 11:50 AM – Less than a half hour later, an Associated Press story written by tennis writer Howard Fendrich appears on the web with Del Potro as the headline catch.

Thursday, 10:85 AM to early afternoon — Freelance writer Kamakshi Tandon follows the story on her account, but between her first Tweet about it (at bottom) and her last, doubt has popped in about the current status of JMdP:

Thursday, 12:04 PM – Tandon’s doubt was started by the Argentinean tennis blog, Fue Buena:

Thursday, mid afternoon Tennis Magazine writer and former Tandon colleague Tom Perrotta weighs in:

Friday, July 23rd, 11:41 AM – Esteemed tennis writer Peter Bodo posts on ESPN.com about Del Potro’s return.

Friday, mid afternoon — On Twitter, marcos_z, an Argentiean writer says that USO won’t happen for JMdP and that Bangkok is earliest return:

Friday, 2:14 PM – Fuebuena blog posts that “The Idea is Bangkok” for Del Potro’s return.

Thursday, July 15th – The last time Del Potro himself had Tweeted, saying that the doctor was happy with his progress and he would pick up a racquet soon.

The Del Potro Twitter feed is quite active throughout this timeline.

(screen grabs via twitter)

from roddick, we’ll take what we can get

We were on the edge of our seats as the fifth set of that Cilic/Roddick quarterfinal went underway, not knowing whether the experience of the top-ranked American could get him out of that two-set hole he dug, or if the nothing-to-lose attitude of the Croatian newcomer would get him to his first major semi.

In the end, Roddick’s bothersome shoulder (he tweaked it near the end of his match against Gonzo) rendered two of his fingers numb, leading to a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 win for Cilic.

Subtle stripes: As you know, Andy is no Venus Williams; he’s perfectly content playing in plain, drab clothing. So you bet we were happy that he welcomed some bright stripes on the collar of his Lacoste performance polo.

No word yet on when this’ll go on sale. We’ll let you know as soon as we get info.

More pics: A few more pics of the polo (also in black) after the cut…

golovin a goner?

golovin-08

TSF has learned that former French star and Lacoste-wearer Tatiana Golovin‘s career might be on the outs — for good. Golovin struggled with injury throughout her short career, but a bad back has seemingly put her on the sideline indefinitely. 

Two weeks ago she spoke with the French pub L’Equipe: “Learning my condition was a big shock, but now I know what I have and what I have, you can’t cure. Do I have any chance to play again? It’s not advised, but I’m still young. The pain may suddenly disappear.”

Her injury is spondylitis of the back,  a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones and the joints between the spine and the pelvis.

TSF spoke with an acquittance of Golovin’s coach, who said that she was practicing for a bit in the recent past, but still experiencing heavy pain in her back.

Golovin was ranked as high as number 12 in the world in 2008, but stopped playing in May of that year due to her injury. She owns two WTA Tour titles.

Another Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet, will carry on the Lacoste tradition.

(some golovin info via tennis-x; photo by passionleica via flickr)

mischa zverev: before the fall, another erke peek

German Mischa Zverev had to retire from his first-round match against tenth seed Fernando Gonzalez at the Shanghai Masters Tennis Tournament this week. A right wrist injury, sustained during a fall early in the third set, left the score at 7-5, 6-7 (0), 2-2 — which sucks, since Zverev won that tiebreaker against Gonzo.

But before his departure, we got another peek into the wonderful world of Erke; Zverev’s the tennis face of this Chinese brand, which also calls Yanina Wickmayer one of its athletes.

Bracket: Roger Federer and Andy Murray pulled out of the tourney due to exhaustion and a wrist injury, respectively. Roddick and Nadal are grumbling about how long the tennis season is (with reason: have anyone play grueling tennis for 11 months a year and their body will surely fall apart).

Okay, I tried to find the bracket on that user-unfriendly tourney website. I will love you forever if you can help me track it down.

Deets: Note the color gradation detail down the sleeves of Mischa’s polo. Cute monochromatic wristbands, too. See more pics after the cut…

taylor makes a comeback

Two snaps for Taylor Dent, who’s still searching for his groove after a long-term absence from the ATP Tour to address a serious back injury (it left him in a body cast for nine months). He is also a wild card in the main draw of this year’s U.S. Open, which starts next week. In the meantime, he’s trying to get match-tough by working his way through the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament this week.

And two snaps for Nick, who got Dent’s story in the NYT‘s Straight Sets blog. Read it here.

rafa’s out of wimbledon

We’re sad that Rafa is not going to be defending that Wimbledon title of his (after he hussled for five hours to get it), but we’re glad that everyone’s abuzz about it.

People who I didn’t think even paid attention to tennis have been forwarding me links/tweets/emails for the last hour.

Here’s to tennis finally being in the spotlight!

(Rafa, get well soon! xoxo, TSF)

rg2009: no trophies were bitten in the making of this record-tying feat

Congrats to Roger Federer for getting that clay monkey off his back; up until this morning, he lacked a mini Coupe des Mousquetaires* in his overflowing trophy case, which put his place among the tennis greats into question. But now that he’s filled that French Open void in his record — with a 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 performance over an overwhelmed (and likely exhausted) Robin Soderling — Federer can play out the rest of his years with a clear mind. He’s achieved pretty much everything: a prolonged stay at the top of the rankings, an Olympic gold (albeit in doubles), and singles trophy from all four majors. (Has he won all of the Masters Series events?). Nothing is stopping him from surpassing Pete Sampras‘s record in bagged Slam titles and becoming the GOAT of his generation. Unfortunately, Roger could also get a boost from his greatest rival, Rafa Nadal, if the Spaniard starts to sputter because of bad equipment; Nadal’s deteriorating knees have forced him out of this year’s Queen’s Club draw and makes a Wimbledon title defense uncertain.

Props to Soderling for his week, btw. Too bad he couldn’t push Federer to four or five sets. But after bulldozing Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, and Fernando Gonzalez on the way to the final, something had to give. Also, the Swede gave one of the most sincere and gracious speeches I have heard in recent years. For as much as we hear that he’s disliked by other players for gamesmanship and such, he had a very cheery attitude as he received his runner-up platter.

*funny observation by Pierre, who commented on Bodo‘s blog that mentions of the CdM had overtaken terre battue as le mot de l’année

(image via Getty Images)

le sigh: nicky kiefer withdraws from aussie open

nicolas-kiefer-australian09

Nicolas Kiefer has pulled out of this year’s Australian Open because of a left ankle injury he sustained at the Hopman Cup (two weeks ago). He was to face Guillermo Canas in the first round. Instead, Canas will play German qualifier Dieter Kindlmann.

Feel better, Nicolas!

(photo by Getty Images)