Sorry, everyone. My full time gig is interfering with the tennis. Damn my need for affordable health insurance! I’m finally getting caught up on Rogers Cup action from Toronto. And I’m catching the red (or should I say pink?) eye to Canada tomorrow evening – after a full Pasadena to-do with harp, flute and fifty lovely donors – so I can be on-hand for the action. (Thanks to Tennis Canada for the credential and my awesome boss for the days off.)
Roger Federer was in the pink on Tuesday! Here he is in his new shirt.
What do you think of Roger’s baby fresh look? It’s quite a bit softer than Rafa’s flamingo neon at last year’s Roland Garros (*shivers* still have a Pepto Bismol hangover). I’m thinking this would be better if it skewed more lavender, less carnation. I’m being picky.
And a classic coach/protege shot with Paul Annacone. Kind of exciting, don’t you think?
But let’s not get too excited. Here are some updates on Federer’s coaching situation via ESPN:
“I’ve always gotten along very well with Paul, him being obviously the coach of Sampras and Henman who were sort of friends to me,” Federer said. “It’s been interesting with all the experience he’s had with all the top players, and just hearing someone else for a change is good, too.
“Paul, I think, with his experience can bring something to our team, and that’s what we’re exploring right now.”
But Federer was also careful to emphasize that Swiss Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi, who has served as Federer’s semi-formal coach since he parted ways with Jose Higueras in 2008, remains in the picture. Both Annacone and Luthi will be at the Cincinnati Masters next week.
Roger got past Juan Ignacio Chela on Tuesday: 7-6, 6-3. He has a healthy take on his current No. 3 ranking (via RogersCup.com):
“I look at what I’ve achieved in my career, what I want to achieve, and what I’ve done in the past few weeks,” said Federer.
“I haven’t been winning matches, and other guys are doing well so they deserve it. Rankings usually don’t lie, so it’s up to me to make a move now.”
One of my fabulous GTT regulars commented that Roger’s looking better than ever, at 29. You decide:
Besides Roger, what really intrigued me on Tuesday was the match of the Davids: Nalbandian vs. Ferrer. These guys are both such quality players, so tough to beat, hitting the ball so cleanly, that it could only be a pleasure to watch. Oh, and I have a crush on both of them. I must admit I was pleased to see the Argentine score the win: 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 .
Given his masterly performance vs. Team Russia in Davis Cup, his title win in D.C. on Sunday and now a quality victory over a world class opponent, you know David Nalbandian will be on everyone’s list of U.S. Open contenders. He’s definitely my favorite outside pick – best current player never to win a Major, hands down. (The only time I ever remember Rafa admitting to fear, was when he described Nalby’s backhand last year. You know that’s one killer shot.) Some highlights after Berdcyh, who I think will be subject to even more Lendl comparisons in the coming seasons. (Is he an unfeeling cyborg or an unappreciated ball striker with a cute WTA girlfriend?)
On Wednesday, we see Rafa, Murray and Nole.
A few injury updates, via Tennis Canada:
“Fernando Gonzalez of Chile has withdrawn from competition due to a left calf injury. He will be replaced in the main draw by Somdev Devvarman of India. American Andy Roddick will not be competing in Toronto due to illness. He will be replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Paul-Henri Mathieu of France.”
“Lucky loser Paul-Henri Mathieu” – a bit redundant, that?