Tournament regular Mikhail Youzhny, however, suggested that other players have simply not yet acclimated to indoor surfaces. St. Petersburg is played weeks earlier this year than in the past, and players are not yet used to playing indoors, the tournament's top seed claimed.
Tuesday's Moving On
Zimonjic, who won his first round match on Tuesday, partnering with Rajeev Ram of the United States to defeat Flavio Cipolla and Paolo Lorenzi, is not having his best season. Having won only one tournament this year, in Rotterdam, Zimonjic's doubles ranking dropped to 15th in the world. Speaking to TAT, Zimonjic also noted he had a US Open to forget, losing in the First Round of Men's Doubles with partner Michael Llodra to the upstart pairing of Nick Monroe and Donald Young, then bowing out in the same round in Mixed Doubles (Zimonjic partnered Katarina Srebotnik).
The early men's doubles loss at the U.S. Open, and the instability of his results through the year can be explained by the different priorities of his partner Llodra, the Serb hinted. Llodra, who recently announced the two will not be pairing up in 2013, spoke to Zimonjic before Wimbledon, saying he would need to skip several tournaments, first to ensure he is present for the birth of his third child, then to focus on singles. Zimonjic weighed his own priorities, then chose to break the partnership with "friend" Llodra.
In 2013, Zimonjic will return to "where I began my career," on the backhand side, playing with Sweden's Robert Lindstedt. He says he would have reunited with former partner Daniel Nestor (their first tournament win together was here in St. Petersburg in 2007), who will no longer play with Max Mirnyi. However, it was a case of missed timing – Zimonjic had already agreed to pair with Lindstedt when Nestor made him the offer.
Tuesday's Looking On
At 36, Zimonjic seems very eager to return back to the top of the doubles standing. While he says he is happy with what he has already achieved, he says his wish list includes winning the Australian and U.S. Opens, Miami and Indian Wells and helping his country reclaim the Davis Cup.
Youzhny is the top seed in St. Petersburg and is the most recognizable name in the tournament. In the absence of Nikolay Davydenko or any of the top ranked foreign players, Youzhny is St. Petersburg's star. The stands filled up for his match Tuesday, as did the media center for his post-match interview.
Tuesday's Less is More
One of the many questions posed to Youzhny concerned the recently much-discussed issue of fair prize money. Asked whether he believes men should switch to the Best of 3 format at the Grand Slams or receive an increase to the prize money, Youzhny stayed away from the controversial comparisons with women and simply replied that a change is needed. He mentioned a preference for playing only up to 3 sets at Grand Slams, but suggested that the idea of a boycott, voiced during the US Open by some players, should be the last resort to achieve the changes.
Tuesday's Quote of the Day
Q: During the first set tiebreak, you and [Vasek] Pospisil both mishit a lot of smashes. Was that a result of not having enough practice coming into the tournament, the surface changes, or..."
M. Youzhny: Actually, I just hit the ball into the wrong place.