10 Things About The 2013 Tennis Season You’ve Already Missed

So, I’m a little late getting started on the tennis season. Sorry. I was home for the holidays and family is distracting, then there was New Year’s Eve and I was drunk/hungover for a couple of days, then I was traveling and then I was sleeping. But now I’m back in my tiny New York apartment and in-between naps and meetings I’ve gotten somewhat caught up on the happenings. If you’re a bit slow like I am, here are 10 things you need to know:

1. Apparently it’s 2009 again and Nikolay “Playstation” Davydenko is back!

Kolya has come out on fire in 2013, and man, has it been awesome to see. He’s carved up the field in Doha, taking out Mikhail Youzhny and No. 5 David Ferrer along the way, and he’ll face Richard Gasquet in the final. Mostly I’m just happy he’s back because his pressers are the best things in the world.

2. Everyone is still injured.

Apparently the tennis gods didn’t hear our pleas for an injury-free 2013. So far, Andrea Petkovic is off the tour again for two months for hurting her knee in Hopman Cup, Maria Sharapova withdrew from Brisbane with a collarbone injury, John Isner has a hurt knee, Sabine Lisicki had a viral illness, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has a hamstring injury, Victoria Azarenka got a bad pedicure, Kei Nishikori has a bum knee, and Tommy Haas has an injured toe (no word on whether he has the same pedicurist as Azarenka). Am I forgetting anyone?


3. Fernando Verdasco is now a doubles specialist.

Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues are through to the Hopman Cup final despite the fact that Verdasco hasn’t won a singles match against a peer all tournament. (I’m ignoring the fact that he beat 16 year-old sub Thanasi Kokkinakis, although it is worth noting that this junior took Verdasco to a first set tiebreak.) Spain plays Serbia in the final, which means Verdasco faces Djokovic, so yeah … good luck with that, Fer.

He and AMG are undefeated in doubles though!

4. The up-and-comers might have arrived … especially Grigor Dimitrov.

The 21 year-old Bulgarian is into the first final of his career in Brisbane, where he’ll take on Andy Murray. He has looked impressive all week, taking out Milos Raonic, Jurgen Melzer, and Marcos Baghdatis along the way.

Meanwhile, the ever-controversial Bernard Tomic went 3-0 in singles play in Hopman Cup, notching exo wins over Novak Djokovic (!), Andreas Seppi, and Tommy Haas.

Elsewhere, Aljaz Bedene and Benoit Paire are in the semifinals of Chennai (haven’t played yet as of publication), and Daniel Brands made the semifinals in Doha, where he lost in two close sets to Gasquet. (I realize I’m being generous with the term “up-and-comer,” but the current state of the ATP allows for it.)

Things have been good on the WTA side as well. Sloane Stephens beat Domi and Arvidsson to make the Brisbane QFs before losing to Serena. In Auckland, Jamie Hampton upset Jie Zheng, Marina Erakovic, and Kiki Bertens to make the semis where she fell to Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets. And 19 year-old Monica Puig, No. 124, took Kerber to a third set tiebreak in the second round of Brisbane.

Oh, and Pavs is back! She took out Kerber and Kvitova on her way to the Brisbane final, where she’ll face Serena. Lollipops for everyone!

5. The new time violation rules are an extremely entertaining mess.

During the offseason, the ATP and ITF sent notice to players that umpires were going to be enforcing the 25-second (20 for ITFs) between-points rule this year. So far, it has not gone over very well. Lopez, Monfils, and Baghdatis have all thrown tantrums. Beyond The Baseline and Running Forehand have both done write-ups on the complex issue. This is sure to be a running storyline throughout the Australian Open, and I expect the tantrums will only get more intense as the stakes get higher.

6. There was a pothole on the court in Doha.

Yeah, just read this post from The Grandstand for more info. I don’t even know anymore.

7. Gangam Style is not dead.

Ugh. I thought we had all agreed to leave that in 2012? Did we forget to send Novak the memo?

8. Berdych, Wozniacki, and many others have been the victims of a big upset.

Here are a few of the more significant upsets that have taken place so far this year. Time will tell if any of them hold any real significance:

No. 80 Roberto Bautista Agut d. No. 6 Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 Chennai QFs
No. 86 Aljaz Bedene d. No. 17 Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6 Chennai QFs
No. 48 Grigor Dimitrov d. No. 13 Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 Brisbane R2
No. 116 Lesia Tsurenko d. No. 32 Daniela Hantuchova6-3, 6-4 Brisbane QFs
No. 36 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. No. 5 Angelique Kerber 7-6, 7-6 Brisband QFs (she also took out Petra in R2)
No. 32 Daniella Hantuchova d. No. 7 Errani 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 Brisbane R2
No. 103 Ksenia Pervak d. No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 Brisbane R1
No. 41 Sofia Arvidsson d. No. 9 Samantha Stosur 7-6, 7-5 Brisbane R1
No. 44 Nikolay Davydenko d. No. 5 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-3, Doha semis

9. Apparently Martin Klizan … well … just read this:


The ever-on-top-of-it Foot Fault has some more information:




10. There’s still drama in the WTA.

Maria Kirilenko is engaged. Caroline Wozniacki is not. Sloane Stephens felt disrespected by Serena Williams. Caroline Wozniacki got berated by her father. Hold on, folks. 2013 is going to be a wild ride.


Did I miss anything? I’m sure I have. Sound off in the comments below! Let’s help each other out.

Lindsay is an author, a filmmaker, a long-winded blogger, and a huge tennis fan.

3 Responses

  1. Jess
    Jess January 5, 2013 at 3:48 am |

    Grigor is 21.

  2. harini
    harini January 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm |

    This was interesting (and fun!) to read. So much for my resolution to be more tennis-oriented in the new year. Are these going to be a regular feature? They’ll be very helpful for me 🙂

Comments are closed.