Sharapova + Nadal withdraw, Novak’s wildcard, Roger’s return and Stan’s sensible schedule change!

The second major of 2018 is over. Now the attentions turn to Wimbledon and with a quick turn around the big guns have been busy these last few days.

Sharapova’s two year deal…

Just over a year ago Maria Sharapova signed a deal with the LTA to play WTA Birmingham for two years. The LTA came under criticism for this having rewarded the former world number one with two scheduled wildcard so close to her return from a drugs ban.

How did Sharapova repay them? Well, she hasn’t turned up to either event.

Sharapova withdrew last year at the last minute and rumours started circling yesterday morning that the Russian would not be taking part in this year’s tournament and that has since been confirmed!

LTA have been made to look a little silly. I wouldn’t even ask if she was coming back next year.

Novak’s wildcard

Following that explosive press conference following the loss to Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros the press hounded Djokovic about the grass court and were unfair to him. I said in my piece it was a blip and his explosive press conference shows he cares and expects better.

On his quest to find better tennis ahead of Wimbledon for the first time since 2009 he will be at Queens Club in London having taken a wildcard there!

Stan’s sensible withdrawal

When Stan withdrew from Madrid during the clay court season it was announced he’d go to play two clay court tournaments at the end of July and I asked ‘why’ and called the decision ‘bizarre’ especially for a man who has struggled this last year or so with surface changes and he didn’t look too sharp at Roland Garros but has been practicing on site at Queens Club.

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Nadal’s expected withdrawal

Some things in life you can predict.

Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from Queens Club is one of them. The world number one is resting once again following a long clay court season and the question is how can Rafa follow up a successful clay court season with a successful grass court season?

Changing surfaces is tough and he does not want to do that knee any damage however history has shown he needs warm up tournaments on grass to do well at SW19. He hasn’t made it to the second week at Wimbledon since made the final in 2011 and with no warm-up event I don’t think that run will be ended this year.

Roger’s back!

Clay season is over which means Roger is back!

Roger’s schedule on grass is like clockwork. He will begin in Stuttgart before travelling to Halle; a tournament he has won 9 times and then he will make his move to Wimbledon.

Federer faced Mischa Zverev in round one of Stuttgart a player he once defeated 6-0 6-0 but had to come from a set down to navigate to the next round.

 

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