This Week: Cheers and Jeers ... and Fears

by: Jonathan Scott | December 26, 2012

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Here, a roundup of the busier-than-it-should-be week in pro tennis news. Let's get right to it.

CHEERS, even as Rafael Nadal's return has been delayed due to a stomach ailment, on the arrival of his iPhone app, helpful for any and all who seek to mimic his strokes. Looks like a good use of his off-court time in recent months. No word yet on how fruitful the returns are on using it.

Happy Boxing Day and CHEERS to Jesse Levine, the Ottawa-born resident of Florida soon to pay Davis Cup and all other tournaments under the Canadian flag. The United States wishes him well even as the USTA asks for its money back.

FEARS, in three parts: For Vera Zvonareva, who announced her withdrawal from the 2013 Australian Open via Facebook, and for Gael Monfils and Robin Soderling, all ailing in their different ways.

CHEERS to another arrival this year, that of Riley Blake. This week's photo that will make you melt, figuratively speaking: Riley held by proud father James Blake. Here's another look at the wee babe, and a shot of Blake with buddies Justin Gimelstob and Mardy Fish. The trio has seen a lot of hangout time lately.

Speaking of Gimelstob, CHEERS to him on speaking out against the U.S. Open changes for 2013. The idea of a Monday men's singles final is just deplorable. If this comes to pass, the TV ratings will fall through the cracks and say hello to the hobbits in Middle-Earth. You can't wonder why tennis isn't more popular stateside and then destroy the momentum of its landmark event here.

Belated CHEERS to Serena Williams for belatedly addressing the Caroline Wozniacki exhibition kerfuffle.

JEERS to all involved, if these details are true about the state of Israeli women's tennis. Just sad. Shahar Peer and her cohorts deserve better, and from each other.

CHEERS to Martina Hingis for aiding the cause of Jeremy Chardy's 2012 campaign on the ATP World Tour. It's just plain good to see her involved in tennis at the pro level, and at the academy where Serena also sometimes trains.

JEERS to ATP players' inabilities to keep beefs behind them, or to roll to the middle, have it out, and move on. Thoughts turn to Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Almagro this season, and the latest iteration of this problem belongs to Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, apparently.

JEERS, it seems, to those who prescribe to the idea that courtroom defendants are "guilty until proven innocent." That doesn't appear to be the case for one Lois Goodman, the line judge just reinstated after criminal charges that she killed her husband. CHEERS to the USTA for giving her a second chance to do what she loves. Now make us proud, Ms. Goodman.

JEERS to all involved with this squabble among Fed Cup team members and would-be contributors. One is inclined to think that Amelie Mauresmo remains fair and open-minded with this, but it's difficult to discern just who is most stubborn here. It's to France's great benefit that the No. 11-ranked player, Marion Bartoli, perform in Fed Cup play. The next Frenchwoman in the rankings: No. 44 Alize Cornet.
Finally, CHEERS to Samantha Stosur for, once again, serving as the voice of reason in the WTA. One can't see ever jeering Stosur, frankly, and once again, she tells it as it is.

Your turn, Spin readers: Who would your own 2012 tennis season CHEERS and JEERS go out to now?

—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)

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