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Oct 9, 2009

TENNIS WATCH: On coaches, nudity, money & power, retirement & comeback, etc.

Since I'll be away for a couple of days, here's a longer than usual brief tennis news for you to read. Have a good weekend!
  • Finally James Blake has stopped working with long time coach Brian Barker after the US Open. He is now coached by Kelly Jones in Beijing. Although lost to Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 in the second round yesterday, Blake saved a match point to claw back to 5-5 and eventually won the second set.
  • Ernests Gulbis seems to improve a lot after getting help from new coach Hernan Gumy. He has won back-to-back ATP matches for the first time this season and advanced to the quarterfinals of Tokyo when Juan Monaco retired at 6-3, 4-1 yesterday.
  • Have we forgotten about Mario Ancic? I guess not. The Croatian has not retire from tennis to become a full time lawyer. He is expected to get medical clearance (from mononucleosis) to begin training again. Ancic hopes to return to the tour next January.
  • No.1 again next week, Serena Williams, on posing nude for the cover of ESPN The Magazine, "ESPN had a body issue, and they told me I had a great body and wanted me to be on the cover. So I was super flattered, but I wanted to do it classy and not trampy, for lack of a better word. It's tasteful and super cool, and I love it."
  • It's not a surprise when AskMen.com poll voted tennis stars Roger Federer (no. 8) and Andy Roddick (no. 35) as among the world's most influential men of the year.
  • Andy Murray is the 8th highest-earning sportsman in Britain with an annual income of £7 million, according to The Daily Telegraph.
  • Still on money, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, like many other sportsmen who resides in Switzerland for tax purposes, will be unable to play in Basel. Tsonga's tax agreement with local Swiss authorities would become invalid if he were to earn money inside Switzerland.
  • Justine Henin will make her Grand Slam comeback at the Australian Open, tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed at the official event launch. Henin's first tournment back will probably be Brisbane Open.
  • While veteran players are planning a strong comeback, Amelie Mauresmo is considering retiring from tennis. In her website, she said, “Since I came back from the U.S. Open, I’ve been trying to practice but I can’t find again the desire to come back to competition. I don’t want to rush or force things. (I will take) some time to think before making a decision regarding the remainder of my career.”
  • Martina Hingis who is now given the green light to return to the tennis circuit after her two-year cocaine ban, chose to return to competition - but in horse riding. She is set to make an appearance in a show jumping contest in Switzerland this week.
  • Jelena Dokic's dad, Damir is on a hunger strike to protest his jail sentence for making threats against the Australian ambassador.
  • The Spanish tennis federation has narrowed its choice of venue for the Davis Cup final against Czech Republic to Valencia or Barcelona. The final decision to be announced this Saturday.
(Via AP, tennis.com)

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