Time for another entry, it has been too long in coming, some of this news maybe already known and some of it not, so just read what you think is relevant. In other words, it could read as some random comments, but here goes.
Thanks to everyone who read the Peter Luczak interview, it was great to read the comments and it was very much appreciated. It was a great interview to do and hopefully I can get some more subjects during the year, though I don't expect them to all go like that. On the Luczak front, he and his wife Catarina welcomed their second child, so now Seb has a sister. He will now return t the tour in France next week and is 2nd alternate in Athens the week after. He was just getting some match practice as well before the break, but some things are more important than ranking points.
Lucho Horna another blogger favourite, finally won 2 matches in a row for the first time this year in Barletta. He has had a difficult time since coming back from his injury problems, it's the old classic chicken and the egg. A player needs to play and win matches to get confidence, but losing early, then can ebb away at the confidence, it only needs a good result somewhere and that can do wonders for the mental state. Horna is in a strange position, where last season he had great success in the doubles, while this is good, he considers himself a singles player and his results in singles were spasmodic at best. He did his usual beat a top 10 player routine, he has an excellent record when playing top 10 players, but hasn't been able to consolidate on it. He does have a lot of injury problems, not say like Massa or Russell for example, but more the annoying ones that keep him out for a month at a time, and don't allow any momentum to build up. When a guy like Bobby Reynolds is in the top 100, then Horna should be there.
Speaking of Americans. Michael Russell made a good move in playing the qualies of Indian Wells and Miami, even better that he made the main draw of both. He has played well in Indian Wells in the past, there is a bit of altitude, but it's far from quick. He won his 1st match and then lost to Tursunov in three which was a bit disappointing, nothing against Tursunov. It's that he would have played Nadal and it would have given me a reason to watch a Nadal match, not that the result matters. Russ took out Lurch Hanescu in Miami and now plays the "panther" Monfils, they had a tight one a few years ago at the US Open, anything can happen in a Monfils match. Russell has to concentrate on the ball and not the Monfils shenanigans. All small steps so
Miami had some interesting results last night, which is good for the game, considering the clay season coming up, which will be even more obvious that sun rises in the east, that as long as Nadal is breathing, he is going to be dominating the clay season, which renders it almost useless except for the events he isn't playing, but that's another entry.
Best result of Miami was "King Oscar" Hernandez defeating Ljubicic 6-4 6-4, the Latino community appreciate the King, he makes Tony Montana look like a block of wood when it comes to the charisma department. There have been no reports of Oscar saying to Ljubo "you are so bad", though there would be some nutty Croatians, who want to nail Ljubo's balls to a wall, of course they forget that he carried Croatia to a Davis Cup win, something Argentina hasn't been able to do as of yet.
Gaston Gaudio who has a place in Miami decided to play qualies and lost after having a match point against Korolev. He has been playing quite well since his comeback, though he hasn't been getting the results. He used to serve a few foot faults, but the problem does seem to be quite entrenched, sure he could move back from the line a few centimetres. It's not like he is going to get a great advantage with the serve, though Gaston dances to his own tune and this is not a bad thing at times. He has got a wildcard for Houston qualies, he should be grinding out in the challengers trying to get match practice that way, getting a WC and not winning matches results in 0 pointers, at the same time he can save his protected ranking. I would love to see him at Roland Garros, but there needs to be some significant improvement.
To finish, there is an update on Andreas Vinciguerra and it's good news. It was a big surprise that Wilander called him up for Davis Cup in Malmö after not playing for 2 years due to various knee problems. Sadly for him he lost both of his matches in 5 sets against Sela and Levy, the fact he got so close after so long out, says a lot about his ability, though the lack of matches cost him in this situation. A player can have all of the off court training, but that doesn't replicate playing matches. He is in good spirits and is going to play some Challengers shortly, just hope his body can hold up. He has a protected ranking and will use this for some of the events, of course he has a guaranteed wild card to Båstad, as long as he is fit enough to play, this is the key, the ability is still there.