So with Roger being out of Tokyo and Shanghai and with Rafa being out for the next god-knows-how-long (I bet Xisca's really pissed about missing that sweet holiday it looks like he had planned!) we could be in for a boring month or so of tennis. Which... you know, is boring.
But I guess we'll just have to make the best of what we have, which at the moment is Metz and Bucharest. And yeah, Bucharest is clay. What's up with that? I've done the out-of-season clay court rant about eleventy million times, so I won't subject you all to that again, but yeah... it's stupid.
Though Juan Monaco is making a real go of it. In the absence of anything else to discuss, we're going to talk Juan - well, one of the many Juans, because you have to think that Juan Martin del Potro rather has the honour of being 'the' Juan as the moment. But Monaco is indeed a fine Juan, and provides me with many punnilicious opportunities, for which I would like to pre-emptively apologise.
He's kind of flown under the radar a bit - who wouldn't, what with Federer's clay court triumph? but he has had a fine, fine clay court record this season. He's right up there in terms of wins - and I can't remember if he's actually won a tournament, but if he hasn't, he should have. In fact, maybe he can do it this week, in this misplaced clay tournament in Bucharest. He overcame eighth seed Pablo Cuevas in his semi final, and Cuevas ain't no slouch on the red stuff.
But then, neither is Monaco, and if he can't overcome the remaining players in the tournament - Greul, Montanes and Ventura - I might have to retract all those nice things I just said about him. This tournament is pretty much his to win now - a nice little curlicue on the end of the victory from that other Argentinian Juan a couple of weeks ago.
And a shout over to Metz - Richou, subject of yesterday's ramble, is in the semis, after overcoming fourth seed Philipp Petzschner. I wanted him to have a good win, and that is one. If he wins the title he will have to go through the top three seeds, Monfils, Kohlschreiber and Mathieu - but nothing's impossible, I have found!
BCR Open Romania (Bucharest)
Juan Monaco def. Pablo Cuevas, 6-3 2-6 6-1
Albert Montanes def. Fabio Fognini, 6-1 6-1
Santiago Ventura def. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 6-2 6-3
Simon Greul def. Maximo Gonzalez, 6-2 6-2
Open de Moselle (Metz)
Gael Monfils def. Janko Tipsarevic, 6-1 4-2 retired
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Evgeny Korolev, 6-1 6-3
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Andreas Beck, 6-2 3-6 6-3
Richard Gasquet def. Philipp Petzschner, 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-3
Hansol Korea Open (Seoul)
Kimiko Date Krumm def. Daniela Hantuchova, 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4
Maria Kirilenko def. Vera Dushevina, 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
Anna-Lena Groenefeld def. Yung-Jan Chan, 6-0 2-6 7-5
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-3 6-3
Tashkent Open (Tashkent)
Yaroslava Shvedova def. Monica Niculescu, 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-2
Akgul Amanmuradova def. Stefanie Voegele, 6-1 6-4
Olga Govortsova def. Darya Kustova, 6-3 2-6 6-2
Shahar Peer def. Alexandra Panova, 6-4 6-4
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago