Eleven of the top twenty ATP players were on the blistering courts in Cincinnati today and lots of them, six to be exact, lost. The scoreboard looked more topsy turvy than the roller coaster ride at Kings Island which does repeated 360 rotations while dropping you 138 feet. Very hard on the tummy.
For starters, Nicolas Almagro beat Ivan Ljubicic, Sam Querry beat Mikhail Youzhny, Carlos Moya beat Novak Djokovic, and Juan Carlos Ferrero took out Fernando Gonzalez.
Oy, what is wrong with Gonzalez? He has yet to win a match in the summer hardcourt swing. And what’s up with clay courter Almagro? He has now won a total of four matches on hardcourt in this year.
Kings Island is next to the stadium so Rafael Nadal could probably see that rollercoaster during his match with Juan Monaco. But it was his forearm, not his tummy, that was bothering him. He was hitting his forehand short and putting drop shots into the net. He still managed to get to the first set tiebreaker but he lost it then called for the trainer and by the time he was down 1-4 in the second set, he retired.
Lleyton Hewitt beat Richard Gasquet who retired with a blister on his right hand. After the match Gasquet said: “Two days ago, I couldn’t touch my racket, but yesterday it was better.”
I’m only a fantasy tennis player. I don’t pay anything to play the ATP fantasy tennis game and if I win, my prize will be a South African safari for two. But if I were a gambler and I’d put a few thousand dollars on Gasquet, I’d be pretty mad to find out he couldn’t pick up a racket just two days ago and I knew nothing about it.
Here we go again. Lack of injury disclosure. We didn’t know that Nikolay Davydenko had a stress fracture in his foot when he lost that highly suspicious match to Martin Vassallo-Arguello in Sopot. Over $7 million dollars was laid on the match at Betfair.com, much of it against Davydenko after he’d already won the first set 6-2. Davydenko ended up retiring in the third set.
I’m obsessed with this injury disclosure thing. I didn’t pick James Blake for my fantasy team this week because he withdrew from Montreal last week with an abdominal strain. Without specifically knowing his current condition, how did I know whether to pick him this week or not? He looked like it was bothering him in his victory over Nicolas Kiefer today – he wasn’t extending on overheads or getting much topspin on his second serve – but after the match he said it was indigestion.
Why is it that I don’t believe him? I find myself trying to decode verbal and visual signals in the absence of real information. It’s like trying to read cues from your lover. If you read too much into his or her facial expressions, you’ll be accused of being paranoid. If you ignore them, you’ll be accused of neglect.
I’ve been in contact with a Betfair user that bet on that Davydenko match and followed the situation closely, by the way. I should be writing something about it in the next few days.