April 28, 2013 by Parveer Mann
As the month draws to a close, it’s a good chance to recount those who have stood out on both tours. With a full month of clay court events and Davis/Fed Cup action behind us, there were plenty of options to choose from.
Lukas Rosol: This month will be one Rosol never forgets for a variety of reasons. He was the difference maker in a Davis Cup tie for the Czechs against Kazakhstan when the squad was missing top ranked player, Tomas Berdych. Even better, he won his first ATP title in Bucharest over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in two impressive sets this past weekend. These two joyous results bookended the loss of his father, a man who he said he was openly playing for in the finals. It is unbelievable how he was such a symbol of class in both victory and loss this month.
Novak Djokovic: In a spot normally reserved for Rafael Nadal, it was Djokovic’s triumphant effort in Monte Carlo that helped him supplant Rafa on this list. Coming off a tumultuous Davis Cup experience that saw him hurt his ankle, there was little expected of Nole even if he did decide to play. However, what we saw was a player who simply outclassed Nadal in a tournament that he absolutely dominates. If you think he was less than a 100 per cent, it will be scary to see him on clay when that ankle is completely healed in Madrid.
Roberta Vinci: You just have to ask Petra Kvitova about how good Roberta’s month was. She saw it first hand in both Fed Cup and Katowice, losing to Vinci on both occasions. She may be the most unheralded of the current Italians on tour but really could play spoiler in many upcoming tournaments. Those victories over Kvitova show that she can potentially knock off any top 10 player if she plays well enough.
Team Canada/Team Russia: Both teams had historic moments in Davis and Fed Cup this past month. The Canadians led by Milos Raonic knocked off Italy to reach their first ever semi-finals. On the flip side, the Russians came back from 2-0 to upend Slovakia and make it to the finals. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the drama and surprises of this year’s cups.
Highlights of the Tennis Weekend:
After inking a new endorsement deal with Porsche, Maria Sharapova did the company well by defending the Porsche sponsored event in Stuttgart. She showed real grit in overcoming Angelique Kerber in a tough semifinal that lasted three sets and over two hours. The reigning Queen of Clay will continue to prepare for her title defence in Paris next month beginning with Madrid in two weeks’ time.