The question of the week: Will Rafael Nadal play in 2013’s first Masters Series at Indian Wells?
Rafa is back on-court this week at the Mexico Open, testing his left knee again on clay. With his return to the game in Chile, he reached the final, then went on to win the title in Brazil. After a week off, we’ll see what this week brings in Acapulco – the men’s main draw at Indian Wells starts March 7th. Now three weeks into his return, Nadal is still experiencing pain and is hesitant to commit to a physically punishing hard-court tournament: “It’s better (knee) and I’ve been able to compete, but it’s still bothering me…which isn’t ideal for someone like me, because my idea of competing is based on giving it all at all times.”
Acapulco – just the name makes you think of warm waters, tropical temps and umbrella-topped drinks, but here’s the reality – thanks to a major turf war between drug gangs, it has become Mexico’s deadliest city. The security force for the event numbers nearly 4-thousand, featuring branches of the Mexican military working alongside local police. In other words, for the players, it’s room service and work-outs at the resort instead of mind-clearing midnight walks on the beach.
Last week in Memphis, Japan’s Kei Nishikori easily won his third career title over Feliciano Lopez (6-2, 6-3). Sabine Lisicki retired after a 1-6 first set in the women’s final, handing New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic her first career title.
Local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Marseille Open title over Tomas Berdych (3-6, 7-6, 6-4) on Sunday. Tsonga actually faced match-point in the second-set tie-break before coming back to win the second-set and eventually the match.
David Ferrer now owns 20 career titles, defending his title in Buenos Aires over Stan Wawrinka in the final (6-4, 3-6, 6-1). Ferrer: “It’s very hard to obtain two titles from one year to the next, tennis is smiling on me and I’m happy for that…I’ve always preferred even numbers to odd ones, but I never thought I’d reach a figure like this on the ATP.”
Dubai featured Petra Kvitova’s first title in sixth months. She defeated Sara Errani in Saturday’s final (6-2, 1-6, 6-1). Sara had to take-down her doubles partner Roberta Vinci to make the final, and now heads to Mexico to defend her title in Acapulco.
Jelena Jankovic won her 13th career title Sunday, defeating Paula Ormaechea of Argentina (6-1, 6-2) in Bogota, Columbia. After a few three-set marathon matches to get to the final, it took Jankovic just 74 minutes to dispatch Ormaecha, playing in her first career final.
THIS WEEK: While both the men and women play in Acapulco, the guys also play in Delray Beach and Dubai, with additional WTA tournaments in Malaysia (Wozniacki) and Brazil (Venus Williams).