Exhausted Olympians Dropping Like Flies at Rogers Cup
Victoria Azarenka won gold in mixed doubles and bronze in singles last week in the London Olympics, turning her knees to tin for this week's Rogers Cup in Montreal. She withdrew from the tournament, citing a knee injury.
She was tied, 3-3, in her second-round match against Tamira Paszek when it was suspended by rain. That must have given her the chance to realize just how spent she was.
"I have to kind of stop and just take a little bit of time off because I absolutely had no rest for a long period of time," said Vika. She's skipping the Western and Southern Open next week in Cincinnati, to rest up for the US Open.
She joins Olympic silver medalist Maria Sharapova on the sidelines. Sharapova withdrew Wednesday because of a virus. She's also bypassing Cincy. And 4th seed Samantha Stosur will find no redemption for her surprise first round ouster at the London Games. She was booted by 16th seed Luci Safarova in two close sets, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) in the Round of 16.
The top men are also in a post-London fog. Gold medal winner Andy Murray pulled out yesterday, saying he had a knee injury. Roger Federer withdrew a week ago. "After a long stretch of tournaments, I'll need some time to recover," he said at the time.
And this was before he played in the Olympic championship final against Murray.
Rafael Nadal has been home in Spain with his feet up since Wimbledon (the Slam, not the Olympics; the defending 2008 gold medalist didn't defend his title, out with knee tendonitis). So defending Rogers Cup champ Novak Djokovic is all alone in Canada. He and Tommy Haas were on serve in the deciding third set of their quarterfinal match at the time I was writing this in the late, late hours of Friday night. Would love to watch it, but even TennisTV.com has gone to bed.
Olympic exhaustion and injury will be the corrosive threads in the warp and weave of the hard court season. It will play a factor at the US Open. I think there could be early round upsets and injury retirements for some of the top seeds.
Keep that in mind when you make up your I Hate Tennis US Open Cake Brackets in a few weeks, Haters!