1000061_10151550530367753_1846783606_nMaria Sharapova made her long-awaited return to pro tennis today in Stuttgart, Germany with an impressive 75 63 win over Roberta Vinci after a one year doping ban for using the now illegal drug/medication meldonium.

But several WTA players criticized the decision to allow the five-time Grand Slam major champion and former world no. 1 Sharapova to compete this week on the WTA circuit in Germany.

“For the kids, for the young players, it is not okay to help with a wildcard the player that was banned for doping,” said Simona Halep, the world no. 5 ranked player. “It is not about Maria Sharapova here. But it is about all the players that are found doped. I cannot support what the tournament director did but also I cannot judge.”

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Apr/17

25

Adamant Nastase Holds His Ground

1916638_10206796116074740_2146710316373891023_nRomanian team captain Ilie Nastase has no regrets about his Fed Cup tennis expulsion and defended his honor in the face of an onslaught of heavy media criticism. The 1973 Roland Garros and 1972 US Open champion (and two-time Wimbledon finalist) told the Daily Mirror: “I don’t regret it and they can send me to prison if they want – I don’t care.”

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Apr/17

25

Scoop Scoops 2

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Marcelo Rios was involved in a nasty crash last week in Chile with his orange mcclaren sports car but was uninjured – I was sent a short video of Marcelo cursing at a Media guy who was videotaping the scene just after the police arrived – Rios is still Rios — I was fortunate to play doubles tennis with a former Indian Davis Cup captain on Sunday and he revealed insights about the Leander Paes - Bhupathi relationship:

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Apr/17

24

True Tennis Tales: “I want your top dawg”

scoopten2Which Bay area former ATP top ten star and future author and ESPN analyst entered Golden Gate park courts after his Pepperdine season seeking gambling matches with local heroes?

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Apr/17

22

Sarasota Open Finals Sunday

scopatsaraThe Sarasota Open has been a very eventful week with all the fine court action as well as the unique event on Tuesday evening with the unscripted sound effects by the two lovers which has snowballed into an international news story as well as unbelievably huge promotion for the tourney. The Pro Circuit live stream commentator told me he has done dozens of interviews for some of the largest media outlets around the world and the tournament director said the web site has gotten millions upon millions of visits, and the shirts with Frances Tiafoe’s famous line “It can’t be that good” are already selling briskly.

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Apr/17

22

Will Rafa Make it a Perfect 10?


by Henk Abbink
Tennis is getting ready for an all-lefty, all-Spanish Monte Carlo final. Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos-Vinolas are the two last men standing after a week chock-full of surprises and upsets. This final may not be considered as exciting as a Roger-Rafa or Novak-Rafa final. The fact that another chapter to tennis history may be added tomorrow, however, has fans worldwide waiting in anticipation.
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Apr/17

21

Monte Carlo Surprises

Tennis_Prose_Rolex_Monte_Carlo_Masters_01What is wrong with Novak Djokovic? He struggled to eke through his first two rounds and now is down 26 to the miniature marvel David Goffin. Could he be in physical decline after all those grinding battles over the years? Could the $100 million man have been ordered off a banned substance like Sharapova was (meldonium)? One thing is for sure, Novak Djokovic has lost his aura of invincibility and dominance. And it all happened so suddenly. A year ago in Miami I remember asking Svetlana Kuznetsova if she had any suggestions how the ATP players could beat him. Now Djokovic is struggling to get to the semifinals of Masters Series events.

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Apr/17

20

Biofile: Horacio Zeballos Interview

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 Status:  ATP no. 87. Career high ranking was 39 in 2013. Reached the Sarasota Open quarterfinals with today’s 61 76 win vs Stefan Kozlov.
Ht: 6-2  Wt: 183
DOB:  April 27, 1985  In: Mar de Plata, Argentina
First Tennis Memory:  “I remember my father (Horacio)’s club. He has a tennis club. I grew up there and I start to play there. And my friends are from there. So that’s my first memory.”
Tennis Inspirations:  “My father was one of them. Also there’s a lot of good Argentine players like (David) Nalbandian, (Guillermo) Coria and (Gaston) Gaudio. I remember watching all their matches.”
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Apr/17

20

Biofile: Miomir Kecmanovic Interview

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Status: ATP No. 476. 2016 ITF Junior World No. 1 ranked player.

Ht:  6-0  Wt: 165

DOB:  August 31, 1999  In: Belgrade, Serbia

First Tennis Memory:  “When I first started playing it was eleven years ago. I started on a mountain in Serbia called Zlatibor. That’s where I started.”

Tennis Inspirations:   “Djokovic and Federer.”

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Apr/17

19

Sarasota Open: Kecmanovic is Soaring in 2017

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Miomir Kecmanovic is has exceeded all expectations this year, starting off winning nine rounds to win a Sunrise Futures in late January, which caused Team Kecmanovic to change its goals. Since January the seventeen year old Kecmanovic has upped his ATP World Tour ranking from 802 to 476 on Monday. The highlight of the year was reaching the semifinal at the San Luis Open Challenger last week where he defeated Stefan Kozlov 62 75.

 

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