4. Beauty requires sacrifice
Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw from her semifinal in Brisbane due to a procedure to remove an ingrown toenail, a result of a pedicure-caused infection. If only she had asked her semifinal opponent and certified nail technician Serena Williams to perform the pedicure, we might have seen a classic.
5. The 'need for speed' is a good thing
For years, time violations between points were not enforced universally (and, by some umpires, at all), particularly on the ATP World Tour. Now that the organization and its umpires were given the directive to uphold the time limit, some players are outraged the ATP rulebook applies to them. The more the rules are upheld, regardless of the moment of the match (but with umpire's discretion), the faster this becomes a non-issue.
6. Take that, Kim Clijsters
There are several players on the comeback trail this January, but one returning top player was able to snag a title in her first tournament back. New mom and former World No. 1 Cara Black won the Auckland title with partner Anastasia Rodionova, after a year-and-a-half long break from the WTA Tour (she played a few ITF events in the fall, with Rodionova). The Zimbabwean now holds 55 WTA doubles titles and signs point to that number growing. Her son Lachlan Alexander was born in April 2012.
7. If you don't believe in bad luck...
...allow me to introduce Andrea Petkovic.
On that note, our thoughts and well-wishes go out to top doubles player Ross Hutchins of Great Britain, who announced on Sunday that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery and a swift return to tennis.
Happy New Tennis Season!
Photo from the 2010 Rogers Cup.