Backhands and Compliments – ATP Edition

Gulbis, Dolgopolov and Granollers take titles

Three guys all ranked out of the top 20 won their first titles of the season. Ernests Gulbis broke a five-match losing streak en route to winning in L.A., Alexandr Dolgopolov bested hometown favorite, Marin Cilic, in the final in Croatia, and Marcel Granollers reached a career-high No. 33 with his title in Switzerland. In their post-match winners’ speeches all three thanked their forehands, God, and Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, and Murray for not entering a single tour event since Wimbledon.

Kendrick receives yearlong ban

American Robert Kendrick was suspended for a year by the ITF after testing positive for a banned stimulant at the French Open. Currently ranked No. 105, Kendrick won’t be able to compete on tour until May 21 of 2012. Kendrick claimed the substance – methylhexaneamine – got in his system courtesy of a pill he took to combat jet lag. The ITF accepted his explanation, but still ruled that:

  1. An athlete is ultimately responsible for everything that enters his body.
  2. Nobody needs to ingest something with 14 syllables to combat a problem everybody else beats with a few cups of French Roast.

Roddick pulls out of Legg Mason

Citing a partial tear in an abdominal muscle, three-time champion Andy Roddick has pulled out of next week’s Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C. This is the second injury setback for Roddick this season after sitting out the French Open with a bum shoulder. Roddick joins four other players who have already withdrawn due to injury: Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Querrey, Milos Raonic, and Kei Nishikori. Tournament director, Jeff Newman, admitted the amount of player attrition – especially the tournament’s headliner –  has been disappointing but he remains optimistic. “Sure you’d like to have all those names, but we’ve still got a loaded draw. Look at our top three seeds: Gael Monfils always gives an honest effort, Mardy Fish is pure charisma, and Victor Troicki is the other guy from Serbia…Oh who am I kidding? If anybody needs me I’ll be at Skins practice.”

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