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Messages To Japan

Although this week has been filled with tennis, it has been impossible to ignore the the catastrophic chain of events that has happened in Japan, which was recently devastated by an earthquake, subsequent tsunamis, and now is in a nuclear crisis.  Several of the tennis stars at the BNP Paribas Open have been sending their well wishes to Japan in various ways.  Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal created the video above to send their support.  In addition, Novak also placed his support in an interesting place, his knee.

Photo: Reuters

Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka expressed their support after their quarter-final match today.  Caroline had her manager drive 2 hours from Indian Wells to find a Japanese flag.

I have been looking at the news, and it's just devastating to see what's going on in Japan and all the families and people affected there. We just wanted to show that we're thinking about them over there. It's tough for us to do something, but at least we thought this was the least we could do.

Photo Getty Images

There has been some talk of the ATP and WTA having a joint fundraiser to raise money for the victims in Japan, and I will keep you posted.


Injury Update: Victoria Azarenka and Tommy Robredo

Photo: Reuters

Let's just say that today was not a good day for the tournament director or the ticketed fans at the BNP Paribas Open.  First, Victoria Azarenka retired from her quarter-final match against Caroline Wozniacki due to a hip injury that she sustained in the 3rd game of the opening set after stretching to return a shot.  She took a prolonged medical time out, played two more points, but then retired after consulting with her team.  She also had to withdraw from her upcoming doubles match with partner Maria Kirilenko

About 30 minutes later Tommy Robredo pulled out of his quarter-final match giving Juan Martin del Potro a walkover, due to a left abductor injury that happened during his previous match against Sam Querrey

Victoria is still slated to play in the upcoming Sony Ericsson Open later this month, but unfortunately, Robredo has pulled out of Miami due to the strain.

Caroline's next opponent will be the winner of Shuai Peng/Maria Sharapova, and Del Potro will play the winner of Rafael Nadal/Ivo Karlovic.


Novak Djokovic Does Cockpit Check For "Wingtennis" Stunt

Novak Djokovic regresses to a 8 year old in this video and does a little pretend play in the cockpit of the plane that he is supposed to do his "Wingtennis" stunt.   He always looks like he is having a great time no matter what he is doing.

To learn more about this stunt, click here.

Do you think Nole is really going to play tennis on a plane?  We'll all find out on March 21st.


You Done Good Kid

Photo via Ryan Harrison's Facebook Page

Everyone, myself included, thought that Roger Federer was going to DESTROY newbie Ryan Harrison last night in the 4th round of the BNP Paribas Open.  I mean, COME ON, he was playing The Maestro, 11 years his elder, who was going to teach him a lesson or two about what it really takes to be on top of the game of tennis, and initially it was cringe-worthy as Ryan was easily broken in his first service game.

But then something amazing happened.  At the young age of 18, under the lights and in front of a huge crowd, he shook off the nerves, composed himself, and showed everyone that he's got game.  It was a gutsy performance, and even though the scoreline was 7-6, 6-3, I don't even feel like he lost, Federer just did what he does best, and elevated his game and won.  I still can't completely come to grips with the fact that Ryan is still a teenager in possession of such dangerous weapons as his forehand and return of serve.  I feel like it should be illegal.

What I do know, is that as long as he stays injury free, I think the sky's the limit for this kid.  Who says American Tennis is in trouble?


He's On A Whole Nole Level

This was the first tweet that I saw when I logged onto Twitter after Novak Djokovic delivered a bagel (6-0) and a breadstick (6-1) to his fellow countryman Viktor Troiki, advancing to the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals.  And words have never rung so true. 

The man is on FIYAH.

Since the beginning of 2011, Novak has been undefeated, and yesterday he extended his winning streak to an impressive 15-0. Even world number 1 Rafael Nadal admitted that Nole would be the one to beat in this tournament, and so far he has proved Rafa correct, losing only 6 games in his first 3 matches.

I have to be honest, I wasn't a Nole fan in the past, but in the past 2 years he has really matured and has been able to balance the off-court "Djoker" with the on-court "Falcon" without any "injuries" and/or "breathing problems" clouding the view. 

He's a good guy playing great tennis.  What more can you ask?  Adje!


BNP Paribas Open Results and Order Of Play


RESULTS - MARCH 16, 2011
Men's Singles - Fourth Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] S Devvarman (IND) 75 64
[2] R Federer (SUI) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(4) 63
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [16] V Troicki (SRB) 60 61
[12] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [7] T Berdych (CZE) 36 64 64
[18] R Gasquet (FRA) d [8] A Roddick (USA) 63 76(5)
[25] T Robredo (ESP) d [21] S Querrey (USA) 61 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d [23] A Montanes (ESP) 76(7) 62
J Del Potro (ARG) d [32] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(3) 76(7)
Men's Doubles - Quarterfinals
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) d A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) 67(7) 63 10-8
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) 61 76(5)
Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
[23] Y Wickmayer (BEL) d [10] S Peer (ISR) 63 63
[15] M Bartoli (FRA) d [19] A Ivanovic (SRB) 64 76(4)
Women's Doubles - Quarterfinals
[8] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) d [3] L Huber (USA) / N Petrova (RUS) 64 63
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) d [4] V King (USA) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) 61 60

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [8] V Azarenka (BLR) - WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs [25] T Robredo (ESP) - ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[16] M Sharapova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) - WTA
M Knowles (BAH) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) - ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs I Karlovic (CRO) - ATP
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) vs S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) - WTA

STADIUM 2 start : Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] V Azarenka (BLR) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [8] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) - WTA - After Suitable Rest

Not Before 3:30 PM
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) vs R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)


Injury Update: Kim Clijsters


Kim Clijsters was forced to retire in her 4th round match against Marion Bartoli at the BNP Paribas Open due to a nagging shoulder injury that she has had since the Australian Open, and although the pain isn't constant, and she says she's not too worried about it, she also doesn't want to take unnecessary risks. 

At the end of the Australian Open I was already having some acupuncture from my trainer because I had some pain in that shoulder.  And especially I kept telling him even with the drive volleys that I was hitting, everything that was kind of a little bit higher up, I felt I was struggling with it a little bit . 

Obviously something is not the way it should be at the moment in this area, so I'm gonna have to figure out, gonna have some tests done, and then try to get to it and solve it.

I don't want to be in that position where I'm taking medication to cover the pain and not knowing if it's getting worse during my match.

She still intends to play at the Sony Ericsson Open begining March 21st, but wants to be completely healed for Fed Cup and the clay court season.

Obviously we have Miami, but then after Miami we have Fed Cup, which, you know, I'm taking very seriously.And also obviously the clay court season, which is, you know, a very tough part of the season for the shoulders.  And so, you know, I'm gonna have to make sure that I'm, you know, fully healed until I start playing on that surface.