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WHAT’S INSIDE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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TSONGA: THE ONLY PRESSURE I FEEL AT THE FRENCH OPEN COMES FROM JOURNALISTS

CELEBRATING SHARAPOVA

p.18-21 2013, THE YEAR IN REVIEW (SO FAR)

p.24-30 RANKINGS

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THE CRUELEST MONTH FOR TENNIS?

CLOSING SHOTS

p.34-45

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

Blogs


Editors

Theodore L. LePak ted@tennisnow.com Erwin Ong Blair Hemley

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Letter from the Editor

To advertise with us ads@tennisnow.com General comments or questions media@tennisnow.com

Writers

Erik Gudris

Chris Oddo

Blair Henley

blair@tennisnow.com

Nick Georgandis

Design

Andy Murray’s win in Miami has propelled him to the world No. 2 spot in the rankings. This marks the first time since Nov. 10, 2003, that neither Federer nor Nadal has been ranked in the ATP top two. Make no mistake, Roger and Rafa may not be at the top of the rankings, but tennis fans still consider them the most entertaining competitors in tennis. The Sony Open made this point very evident. Despite the large number of withdrawals and injuries, no absence was missed more than the presence of Federer or Nadal. Nadal’s resurgence and win at Indian Wells shows that he is in great shape heading into the clay season. Maria Sharapova nearly became the first female to win the Indian Wells/ Miami double since Kim Clijsters did it in 2005. But Serena Williams stood in her way, capturing the Sony Open title and extending her winning streak against the Russian to 11-0. The tennis year now stands at a crossroads: Can the players who have shown so much promise on the hard courts keep excelling on the dirt? Our covers feature Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova. Murray made the cover by dominating the courts in Miami, and Sharapova deserves to be celebrated for her consistency and her stellar career. In addition to our feature on Sharapova, we also looked at the injuries and withdrawals that plagued the BNP Paribas and Sony Opens. Plus, we review the first few months of 2013, and guide you through the best in tennis fashion. We hope you enjoy this edition, and we look forward to sliding into the clay season with you!

Alberto Capetillo Juan Esparza

Photography

Natasha Peterson Tony Chang

TennisNow

Theodore LePak Editor, Tennis Now Magazine Ted@tennisnow.com

200 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018 914-595-4211 2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Tsonga: The only pressure I feel at the French Open comes from journalists

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­– David Cox In sports like cricket or soccer, playing at home is seen to be a potentially decisive advantage, intimidating the opposition and inspiring players to greater heights. So why is it that in tennis, home advantage often seems to have a crippling effect on the nation’s finest, stifling them from being able to play their game. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Grand Slams, particularly when you look at the men’s singles honours boards. An Aussie has not triumphed in Melbourne Park since 1976, a Frenchman has not ruled the terre battue of Roland Garros since 1983, and it’s hardly worth thinking about the length of time since a British man won Wimbledon. Even the decade since Andy Roddick won the US Open is beginning to feel like a widening chasm for American tennis fans. For the French, their inability to produce a male champion is a bit of a sore point. Richard Gasquet was once tipped as a future contender but his elegant game has been cramped by nerves every time he’s steps onto Philipp Chatrier. And it’s not just the men. Amelie Mauresmo was never able to replicate the form which saw her win the Australian Open and Wimbledon when competing on home soil. However, there is one individual who can’t see what the problem is. “I don’t feel any particular pressure from expectation or whatever when I compete at Roland Garros,” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shrugs. “The only pressure I feel comes from being persistently asked about ‘the pressure’ by journalists ahead of the tournament! I try to treat this slam like any of the others, the only difference is that my family is in the stands, watching.” “Seriously, playing in France doesn’t bother me. If Roland Garros started tomorrow I’d be the first man through the door. I see it as an opportunity to be the guy who ends that streak (the 30 year drought since Yannick Noah won the title), the one who sends the fans crazy.” Despite his bravado, Tsonga’s record at the French Open isn’t particularly great. He’s only once made the quarterfinal stage, but clay is far from a natural surface for the 6’2” Frenchman who generally prefers faster courts given the one-punch knockout power he has at his disposal off his serve and forehand. And after reaching the final eight for the first time in 2012, losing in five sets to eventual finalist Novak Djokovic, Tsonga is confident there’s much more to come.

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“Imagine being broken following a let on a first serve! Guys would go nuts!” –Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the new ‘no-let’ rule

The appointment of new coach Roger Rasheed (who coached Lleyton Hewitt to US and Australian Open finals) has given his fans even more cause for optimism. “Following the US Open I drafted a list of potential candidate to work with as a coach,” Tsonga said. Roger’s name was there. We had built a relationship in recent years as he worked a lot with my good friend Gael (Monfils) and so I’ve spoken to him many times in the past. I’ve wanted to try his approach so I asked Gael to speak to Roger for me and that’s how it began.” “The main thing is that Roger’s extremely well organized and challenges me on a daily basis. I like that. And he’s incredibly motivated. I’m trying to be as motivated as him as he wants success so badly and you can really achieve big things like that. We had a great time in Australia ahead of the Australian Open and put down some good steps for the year ahead so I’m feeling good about my game.”

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It’s been a while since Tsonga was last with a coach and he’s had to get used to plenty of change since linking up with the passionate Aussie. Rasheed is a strict disciplinarian and he spent the off season trying to focus his charge’s mind and iron out the concentration lapses which have sometimes afflicted him in big matches. In particular he’s been improving the Frenchman’s footwork when striking his backhand and the shot was noticeably less erratic in his five set epic with Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarter-finals. Rasheed has also been tentatively trying to get Tsonga to stop hitting his single-handed backhand when on the run. But there are some concessions Tsonga is not willing to make without a fight. “No way!” he laughs when I ask if he’s cutting that option out of his game. “I can still hit that shot, at least when he’s not around!”


Tsonga has always produced his best tennis in the relaxed atmosphere of Melbourne Park. The ‘Friendly Slam’ epitomizes his fun loving personality, and it’s no surprise that he’s regularly been a threat ever since his surprise run to the final back in 2008. The link seems obvious to me but Tsonga expresses surprise when I mention the consistency of his results down under. “I really have no idea why that is,” he says. “Maybe it’s because I prepare well during the off season and the playing conditions suit my game. I always feel comfortable with the court speed, temperatures, balls and the atmosphere over there.” “But if I’m ever gonna win it, I need to step up as Roger, Rafa (Nadal), Novak and Andy (Murray) are at the top right now. I always try to use my various experiences against these guys but I need to work twice as hard to get closer to them as they are often on top of their game.”

this year. “I know they’ve tried this in collegiate events in the US and I think it is kind of fun for such events but not sure we should apply to the professional game as this could drastically change a match,” he says. “Imagine being broken following a let on a first serve! Guys would go nuts.” It’s hard to imagine Tsonga going ‘nuts.’ In last year’s Wimbledon semi-finals he believed the forehand which Andy Murray ripped past him to claim victory, was actually wide but he showed exemplary sportsmanship to applaud his opponent and afterwards he told the media that he was genuinely happy for Murray to have made the final. Maybe Tsonga has simply been too ‘nice’ to achieve Grand Slam glory so far in his career, struggling to believe that he’s as talented as his rivals but with Rasheed providing some extra steel, maybe the Frenchman can step up and give the Roland Garros spectators something to get excited about.

Tsonga has enjoyed many fascinating battles with Nadal in the past, but we may have to wait a while to see them lock horns again as Nadal is planning more of a minimalistic schedule these days to protect his fragile body. Tsonga himself was once injury prone. He made two Grand Slam finals in the juniors back in 2003 but for three years his career stalled. He played a mere eight tournaments between turning pro in 2004 and the start of 2007 as a herniated disc, shoulder injuries and an abdominal problem left him fearing his career was over before it had even begun. However since 2007, Tsonga has largely been free of serious injuries.” I got much better with experience but this is mostly because I surrounded myself with a great team. I realized that I had to do that to be able to stay on tour and I owe a lot to my physio who’s played a big part in me being in the court, injury free.” Nadal has spoken out about the predominance of hard-court events on the calendar, blaming years of competition on cement for the current state of his knees. But he hasn’t found much support among his fellow players and Tsonga has other concerns. “We all would like different things,” he says. “But I believe that the players and the ATP could certainly work as one entity to develop a smarter, more concrete schedule. Tennis is one of the only, if not the only, property being played on all continents and the travel can be lengthy sometimes and that’s why I think guys get injured.” There’s certainly plenty for the ATP Players Council to discuss right now with many of the sport’s stars requesting increased blood testing and a greater share of the prize money at the Grand Slams. And Tsonga is also keen to see the ATP scrap the new ‘no-let’ rule they’ve been trialling in the challengers so far

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The Cr uelest Month ­– Erik Gudris

A never ending string of injuries and withdrawals at both Indian Wells and Miami left tennis fans wanting more but getting less from some of the sport’s top stars. In retrospect, it’s probably fitting that the two most talked about players at this year’s BNP Paribas Open and the Sony Open were two men making very different, yet very public comebacks from injuries. Rafael Nadal’s title run at Indian Wells had people forgetting about his long-discussed and overanalyzed knee issue that took him out of the game for seven months and instead talking about his stellar movement once again. Meanwhile Tommy Haas, who has battled injuries his whole career, made news on the cusp of turning 35 by upsetting top seed Novak Djokovic in impressive fashion en route to reaching the semifinal in Miami. But we’ll also remember this year’s two big spring hard court events for what felt like a never ending tally of injuries, withdrawals and sub-par performances. The lack of a fully healthy field on both the men’s and women’s sides, especially in Miami, added momentum to the ongoing debate on the necessity of two combined hard court events right next to each other in the already overpacked pro schedule. Roger Federer and his sore back once again wreaked havoc with his game at Indian Wells. Though he kept his date with Nadal for their highly anticipated 29th career meeting in the quarterfinals, Federer’s health struggle certainly prevented their encounter from being a memorable one as Nadal cruised to a straight sets win.

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On the women’s side, top seed Victoria Azarenka bravely dealt with an ankle injury in several matches before being forced to pull out of her quarterfinal meeting with Caroline Wozniacki in what would have been their first match against each other in two years. That lingering injury remained an issue for the Australian Open champion as she was then resigned to withdraw from Miami literally minutes before her second round match was to start. Adding to the disappointment in Indian Wells, Sam Stosur was forced to withdraw from her quarterfinal match due to a calf tear. For the Aussie looking to build momentum after a so-so start to the season, it was a tough blow. A week later in Miami, that event soon became more about who was left in the draw rather than who was in as Stanislas Wawrinka, Feliciano Lopez, and Milos Raonic were just a few from the ATP who withdrew prior to the event’s start or pulled out midway. While overscheduling prior to Indian Wells and Miami might have been a factor for some players, others have suggested that it is time for the schedule itself to change. In an interview for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper prior to the start of the Sony Open Tennis event, Spain’s David Ferrer joined that chorus. “It’s difficult the calendar, is very tough for us the season,” Ferrer said. “The players know that, but what can we do?”


h for Tennis?

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“Having two huge tournaments, almost like two Grand Slams, back to back is tough physically and mentally on players,” added Jelena Jankovic. “It’s always a risk when you play that much. They’d have to change the whole schedule. There should be a reformation.” With another week being added between Indian Wells and Miami feeling unlikely, one idea that gained steam, at least among fans and tennis pundits, was the idea of having Miami switch from a hard court to a clay-court event, specifically to the green clay that is so common in Florida. While the idea of Miami “going green” has some merit in that it would officially kick off the clay court season and keep players like Nadal, who continues to argue for less hard court events, happy and more likely to attend, don’t expect the tournament to switch surfaces anytime soon.

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When asked point blank during a press conference to discuss expansion plans for the event, Miami tournament director Adam Barrett emphatically said “no” to the idea of the event moving to clay. Some have suggested that another remedy could be to have both events speed up their courts. “We try to create the player surfaces that are best for the players as a whole,” Barrett said. “I haven’t talked to the players specifically about the bounce, but I haven’t heard any complaints about it being either too fast or too slow. So in the absence of complaints, we assume that it’s correct.” “You know, if you ask a hundred players, you will get about a hundred different opinions. So the best way to tell really is to kind


of listen to what they’re saying…I think right now our court speed is playing to allow for a balanced competition with the players.” Whether it’s due to personal overscheduling, having to play on too many hard court events at the start of the year, or the accumulation of years of wear and tear by some of the sport’s veteran stars, the recent trend of injuries and body issues so early in the season is a troubling one. April may have been the cruelest month according to T.S. Eliot. But March proved to be the cruelest month for tennis fans, as it prevented them from seeing the world’s best compete at their best during two of the sport’s biggest events.

“It’s difficult the calendar, is very tough for us the season. The players know that, but what can we do?” –David Ferrer 2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Celebrating Sharapova ­– Nick Georgandis Serena Williams made history at Maria Sharapova’s expense on Saturday in the Sony Ericsson Open final, but the vicious three-set battle did little to tarnish the magnificent second act of a career that the Russian No. 2 is currently enjoying. Unknown to most, Sharapova also had a chance to make history on Saturday. Had she won, she would have become only the third WTA player to win both Miami and Indian Wells in the same season since those two events both became 1,000-point affairs.

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The other two ladies to accomplish said feat? Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Steffi Graf in 1996. Sharapova’s lost to Williams is disappointing, without a doubt, but turn that equation around and realize it for what it is. Sharapova is the second-best player in an era dominated by an all-time great, and if being second-best means amassing 28 career titles, nearly $25 million in prize money and .806 winning percentage and a career Grand Slam as of age 25, well that seems like something the Russian can live with.


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To properly celebrate Sharapova, one must recall how we first met her, ranked 15th in the world, two months past her 17th birthday and an intimidating 6-feet, 2-inches tall, racing her way to the Wimbledon title by defeating America’s one-two sweetheart punch of Lindsay Davenport and Williams. Suddenly vaulted into the Top 10, Sharapova was everywhere - talk shows, calendars, camera ads, etc. Had it not still been the era of Anna Kournikova, she would have been the No. 1 most downloaded woman on the Internet. She was ranked No. 1 for a while and kicked off five straight years finishing in the Top 10, a dramatically refreshing switch from previous teenager Slam winners who had peaked early,

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enjoyed the limelight, and then vanished as quickly as they came. Not Sharapova. She continued to win, adding the US Open title in 2005 and Australia in 2008, and she continued to invest herself into commercial activities, reaching Forbes’ No. 1 richest female athlete in 2006, and charitable ones, donating massive amounts of time and money to the survivors of Chernobyl in her native Russia. In 2009-2010, it looked like Sharapova’s extensive run was finally over, as a lingering shoulder injury re-emerged and she plunged to No. 126 in the world in early 2009, missing 10 months before returning, and managing to stay in the Top 20 at year’s end of that season and 2010.


But the firepower seemed diminished, and seeing her name on a draw began bringing up memories of what Sharapova used to do, not what she was currently capable of. But like the aforementioned Clijsters, and yes, even rival Serena herself, Sharapova has proven that her career has a second act. Sharapova won 43 matches in 2011, her highwater mark since 2007 and returned to the Top 10. She topped that in 2012 by winning the French Open to complete her career Grand Slam, and then put the icing on the cake with a silver medal at the London Olympics. She also briefly took back the No. 1 spot in the world, eventually finishing the year No. 2 behind Victoria Azarenka. She’s held No. 2 throughout 2013, and with a glowing 19-3 start to the year, she’s in a good spot to make another run at a Grand Slam. The odds of Sharapova ever catching Serena in career Grand Slams are minuscule (Williams leads 15-4) and the odds of ever equaling their head-to-head matchup even worse (Williams has a 12-2 lead), but their is one interesting fact that must be mentioned before Sharapova’s career is summarily dismissed as inferior. Williams turns 32 this September and despite her ferocious resurgence in the last 18 months, most experts agree that the window is steadily closing on her days at the top of the game. Sharapova will turn 32 on April 19, 2019 - a bit more than six years from now, which is 23 Grand Slams from now. Just a little food for thought.

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Gear Guide

Maria Sharapova The Indian Wells champion and reigning No. 2 player in the world just seems to get better with age, as Maria Sharapova’s resume extended to add the French Open title and a silver medal in 2012. Her style is one of the most unique and well-respected in tennis.

Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour Nike Women’s Zoom Vapor 9 Tour Tennis Shoes Grey/ White/ Citrs - Sharapova is often deadly in white, from her annual Wimbledon ensemble to these unassuming shoes that are actually a fount of stability and velocity. Thise footwear features the Phylon midsole that reduces stress on both the heel and the forefoot every time you take the court.

Youtek Graphene Instinct MP

Nike Premier Tennis Skirt

HEAD Youtek Graphene Instinct MP - New and improved for 2013, it uses graphene, the world’s lightest and strongest material in the shaft of the racquet, meaning it is both light to wield and deadly effective without worry of a snap. The result is a vastly more lethal combination of power and stability.

Nike Women’s Premier Tennis Skirt: This is built for comfort while looking like $1 million - something Maria Sharapova knows all about. The 90% polyester/10% spandex mixture makes for a comfortable fit, even if you are 6’2” like Ms. Sharapova. The built-in shorts offer coverage, support and a place for your next serve to sit, while the hem is made of a perforated fabric that enhances ventilation from the opening hit to the final point.

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Gear Guide Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal showed that no injury can keep him down when he returned in style, winning Indian Wells as his quest resumes for another French Open title and a trip back to No. 1 in the world. Rafa’s amazing game is complimented by the amazing equipment he straps on daily before heading for his field of battle.

Nike Men’s Rafa Bull Logo Cap Nike Men’s Rafa Bull Logo Tennis Cap - No animal symbolizes Rafael Nadal more than the bull, and this hat displays it perfectly, offset a bit to the right. You’ll still look stylish without any of the unwanted sweat in this cap, thanks to its patentend four-vent system and breathability

Babolat AeroPro Drive

Nike Premier Rafa Tennis Crew

Complimenting Nadal’s ferocious intensity on the court, the AeroPro Drive has a very fast frame that doesn’t lack a bit for raw power - perfect for your game or the price of Mallorca’s. The AeroModular “wing” on the shaft means the ball doesn’t just bounce off your racquet, it flies off it for maximum return power. The highlights of this racquet are stability blended with spin and velocity.

Nike Men’s Premier Rafa Tennis Crew: When you hit the big time, Nike starts naming shirts after you, and the Rafa Tennis Crew is no exception. Wear the gorgeous fiberglass that has been on Rafa’s back when he’s won Australia and Roland Garros and know that the impressive mesh paneling will keep you from building up a sweat, regardless of what continent you’re playing on. 2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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2013, The Tennis Year in Review (So Far) In tennis, time flies. As soon as another season begins we are here to say goodbye to a significantly large portion of it. Goodbye to hard courts, hello to clay. Goodbye to the first quarter of 2013, hello to the meat of the season. Goodbye Australian Open, hello French-Wimbledon double. It’s a nice trade if you can get it and good for the knees, as well. We are less than two months from first ball in Paris and less than three weeks until first ball Monte Carlo. But before we fully commit to clay-court tennis and the meat of the season, let’s take a moment to reflect upon what has transpired in the first quarter of 2013. It may not be what defines the season, but it could very well be the harbinger of things to come.

­– Chris Oddo

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Top Story Line, ATP: Nadal’s Return We started to worry, somewhat frenetically, when Nadal pulled out of the Australian Open. Missing the swashbuckling Spaniard, and all the zest and vigor with which he plays the sport, we feared a future for men’s tennis that didn’t include him as a major player. Then, suddenly there he was, in Vina del Mar, looking tentative and getting blown away in the final by Horacio Zeballos (who joined Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as one of the three players to have ever defeated Nadal in a clay-court final). That was a shock. Suddenly, the 11-time Grand Slam champion and longtime King of Clay was getting clobbered by talented journeymen in clay-court finals? How could it be? Not to worry: three weeks later Nadal was sizzling again. With his win over Almagro in the Acapulco semis, and the clinical destruction of Ferrer in the next match, Nadal was proving that he’s every bit the player he once was. At Indian Wells, during a boisterous final with Juan Martin del Potro, he was a combustible, ornery, bull of a man, and it was beautiful. Nadal has added an air of intrigue to the upcoming spring. Can he stay healthy? What will happen when he locks horns with a certain someone named Djokovic? Oh, we shudder to think. And we smile, knowing that the player we missed so much is finally back.

Top Storyline, WTA: Has Azarenka Passed Serena By? Could it be that Victoria Azarenka, currently No. 3 in the world, is the real No. 1? No way, right? But maybe, just maybe, that is the underlying theme that we’ve missed while we’ve been celebrating Serena Williams as the oldest No. 1 in WTA history and the six-time Miami champion. Of course there’s a part of me that thinks it is idiotic to ever doubt Serena Williams. One should Never. Ever. Do it. Right? But Azarenka has the year’s only Slam under her belt and she prevailed over Serena in their only meeting in the Doha final. Doesn’t that say something about who the current boss might be? Azarenka’s defense of Melbourne was incredible, but her triumph over Serena in the Doha final might turn out to be the gateway to higher ground for the Belarusian. With Serena—who is just three Grand Slams away from a tie with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova—no doubt unwilling to give an inch to Azarenka, the rivalry may have yet to begin. We can only hope.

Top Upside Surprise, ATP: Tie, Ernests Gulbis and Tommy Haas For a few weeks in early January, it looked like Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov were going to be huge stories in 2013. Tomic won

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his first title in Sydney, and Dimitrov was resplendent in reaching the final at Brisbane. But neither has followed through, and our attention quickly turned to Ernests Gulbis, the best quote in all of tennis, as he surfaced in Rotterdam, verbalising his support for legal marijuana, saying that most top 100 players suck, and playing pretty stellar tennis as well. Remarkably (because he had totally dropped off the radar in 2012), Gulbis qualified for four ATP events and didn’t lose to anybody outside the ATP’s top ten in any of them. He notched six top 50 wins and three top 20 wins and nearly pulled off the upset of the year against Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 at Indian Wells. One of his victims during Gulbis’ title run at Delray Beach, Tommy Haas, was also a pretty big surprise in the first quarter. Haas reached the final in San Jose, then cracked the top 15 for the first time since 2008 after defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to a semifinal appearance.

Top Upside Surprise, WTA: Sloane Stephens Say what you want about the fact that Serena Williams was injured in her quarterfinal match with Sloane Stephens at this year’s

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Australian Open. It doesn’t matter a lick, because Stephens still proved that she is a big-time big-match player in Australia when she navigated herself all the way to her first Grand Slam semifinal. The fact that she was clearly inside the head of Victoria Azarenka before falling to the Belarusian in that aforementioned semifinal bodes well for Stephens, too. Stephens has gone cold since, losing four of six, but tennis is about the Slams, and in the only Slam of the year, Stephens acquitted herself quite nicely, proving that the young American just might have the stuff to be a future Slam winner and top five player.

Biggest Bummer: The FedererNadal Match With lofty expections sometimes comes a massive letdown. And the letdown that the packed house, millions of television spectators, and the buzzing twitterverse felt when Roger Federer’s game started to go horribly south in his 19th career loss to Nadal was most certainly enormous. It was like all the air had been let out of a hot air balloon. Psssssssfffffffffffffffftttttttttt. Clearly Federer’s back was a problem at Indian Wells, but the bigger problem was that Nadal, injuries notwithstanding, is nearly five years younger than Federer, and he’s just too damn good for

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him right now. The whole affair was made gloomier by Federer’s sullen, downtrodden demeanor throughout the match. It look and felt like Swiss maestro had just found out that he owed $80 million in back taxes. Nadal’s 6-4, 6-2 beatdown of Federer was difficult to watch on many levels. It wasn’t as bad as the infamous 2008 French Open final, but it was eerily reminscent. It’s the match of 2013 that we’d like most to forget.

the limit. The disappointment is there and the disappointment is enormous. But I do think it’s also the most accomplished match I’ve ever played.” The match also ended with one of the most compelling match points in recent memory. If you haven’t seen it, fire up the YouTube ASAP.

Best Off-Court Story: Prize $$$$$$

Best Match: Wawrinka-Djokovic There have been plenty of epic battles in the season’s first three months – Zheng-Stosur in a tense battle during the first week of the Australian Open, Gulbis-Nadal in a surprisingly well-played tilt at Indian Wells, Federer-Murray in the second best men’s match at the Australian Open, and Williams-Kvitova in the match that springboarded Serena back to the No. 1 ranking to name a few-but the balmy intensity of Djokovic’s 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10 victory over Stan Wawrinka takes the cake. “I just had a flashback of 2012 in the finals,” said Djokovic afterwards. “It was maybe 45 minutes less, this match, than the one 12 months ago, but it was still as exciting.” Wawrinka, who gained many a fan on the heels of his heroic upset attempt, took the loss hard saying “We pushed each other to

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ATP and WTA players are finally starting to get an adequate portion of the lucrative takes that the Grand Slams have been hording for so long, as the Australian Open and the US Open have announced major prize increases (even first-round losers made $7k more than they did in 2012 at Australia). BNP Paribas owner Larry Ellison is lending a hand as well, increasing the take at Indian Wells significantly. It’s great news for tennis, as journeymen can actually make a workable wage over the course of the season. This will allow those journeymen to afford coaches and support staff that might ultimately increase the quality of play on both tours. Additionally, it will make tennis a more desirable choice for talented athletes, who may have been shunning the sport due to a lack of financial incentive in the past.


Ten Great Moments, In No Particular Order 1. Serena Williams breaks down in tears after reclaiming the No. 1 ranking for the sixth time. 2. Tommy Haas gets his first victory over a reigning No. 1 in fourteen years, while his daughter watches on in Miami. 3. Mardy Fish returns to tennis after months off the court with heart problems and anxiety at Indian Wells. 4. Victoria Azarenka removes the one-Slam wonder label with her second Australian Open title. 5. Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol defeat Stan Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in the longest Davis Cup and doubles match ever. 6. Kimiko Date-Krumm defeats Nadia Petrova to become the oldest player to ever win a singles match at the Australian Open, then reaches third round. 7. Caroline Wozniacki defeats Angelique Kerber in a moonball-fiesta at Indian Wells to reach the final. 8. Novak Djokovic wins his sixth career Grand Slam in Australia, and his third in a row at the Happy Slam. 9. The Bryan Brothers finally win Indian Wells. 10. Serena Williams wins her sixth Miami title in a classic confrontation with Maria Sharapova.

Top Meltdown: Jerzy Janowicz How Many Times? How Many Times? How. Many. Times!!!!

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Most Ridiculous Hot Shot: Agnieszka Radwanska This was going to be Roger Federer’s award. The pirouette into a one-handed backhand that he hit against Ivan Dodig in the third round at Indian Wells was surreal and sublime in the manner that only the regal, elegant Federer could pull off. It was one of those shots that made you say, ‘ah, this man, how can you not be awed by him.’ Then came Agnieszka Radwanska’s shining moment in Miami. It was essentially the same play: a high-bouncing ball off a let cord that caused Radwanska to be wrong-footed. Radwanska’s reaction, too, was nearly the same as Federer’s. Except that her pirouette was not nearly as graceful, and she had only enough time to swat at the ball while not even looking at it. Oh, why am I bothering to try and explain it? What Radwanska achieved is inexplicably amazing. It can only be described by the exalted groans and subsequent laughter and joy that it caused. Again, the familiar refrain: If you haven’t seen it, fire up the YouTube.

Most Annoyingly Overhyped Subject: Time Violations Most Annoyingly Overhyped Subject: Time Violations Given that the worst that ever seems to happen from any time violations that occur on court is a warning (not even a lost firstserve, which is the actual punishment to be levied on the second violation), it seems that the whole tennis universe is over reacting a bit to this rule. Take the warning and serve the ball. Nothing to see here, people.

Player of the Year, ATP Novak Djokovic, on the strength of his performance in Australia, but Rafael Nadal is closing fast, as is Andy Murray.

Player of the Year, WTA Victoria Azarenka. She won the year’s only Slam and she hasn’t lost a match in 2013. But Serena Williams is looks like a good bet to pass her by unless Azarenka can put her health issues behind her and get back on the court.

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


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RANKINGS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Djokovic, Novak Murray, Andy Federer, Roger Ferrer, David Nadal, Rafael Berdych, Tomas Del Potro, Juan Martin Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried Gasquet, Richard Tipsarevic, Janko Cilic, Marin Almagro, Nicolas Simon, Gilles Haas, Tommy Nishikori, Kei Raonic, Milos Wawrinka, Stanislas Seppi, Andreas Monaco, Juan Querrey, Sam Kohlschreiber, Philipp Dolgopolov, Alexandr Isner, John Janowicz, Jerzy Chardy, Jeremy

SRB GBR SUI ESP ESP CZE ARG FRA FRA SRB CRO ESP FRA GER JPN CAN SUI ITA ARG USA GER UKR USA POL FRA

12,370 8,750 8,670 7,050 6,385 5,145 4,750 3,660 3,230 3,000 2,705 2,435 2,390 2,260 2,135 2,095 1,960 1,865 1,835 1,825 1,670 1,635 1,535 1,404 1,331

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Williams, Serena Sharapova, Maria Azarenka, Victoria Radwanska, Agnieszka Li, Na Kerber, Angelique Errani, Sara Kvitova, Petra Stosur, Samantha Wozniacki, Caroline Petrova, Nadia Kirilenko, Maria Vinci, Roberta Bartoli, Marion Cibulkova, Dominika Stephens, Sloane Ivanovic, Ana Jankovic, Jelena Safarova, Lucie Suarez Navarro, Carla Zakopalova, Klara Flipkens, Kirsten Makarova, Ekaterina Williams, Venus Cirstea, Sorana

USA RUS BLR POL CHN DEU ITA CZE AUS DNK RUS RUS ITA FRA SVK USA SRB SRB CZE ESP CZE BEL RUS USA ROM

11,115 10,015 9,325 6,845 5,880 5,475 5,405 5,225 3,865 3,760 3,125 2,811 2,715 2,710 2,695 2,520 2,466 2,115 1,930 1,875 1,860 1,816 1,770 1,770 1,730 2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Rafa Nadal lifts his trophy in Indian Wells after defeating Juan Martin Del Potro in the finals. Going into the tournament there were many questions surrounding his return to the hard courts. Nadal squashed them all on his way to winning the title. “Rafa’s not going to come back half-broken. I expected him to tear through the clay. I expected him to be tough here, which he shows to be.” -Roger Federer

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Juan Martin Del Potro powered past Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, ending the Serbian’s 17-match win streak. Djokovic, though obviously disappointed, was a great sport as always. Here these two champs share a post-match embrace.

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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The Bryan Brothers finally won their first BNP Paribas Open title!

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic made it to her first semifinal since 2008. Jankovic now jumps in the rankings to the 18 spot.

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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The sun sets behind Crandon Park at the 2013 Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

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2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review


2013 Indian Wells & Miami Review

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Profile for Tennis Now

2013 Indian Wells and Miami Review  

Our covers feature Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova. Murray made the cover by dominating the courts in Miami, and Sharapova deserves to be ce...

2013 Indian Wells and Miami Review  

Our covers feature Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova. Murray made the cover by dominating the courts in Miami, and Sharapova deserves to be ce...

Profile for tennisnow