On Court
1 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Raonic’s struggles continue in Delray

Canadian Milos Raonic won his first match of the season Tuesday at the Delray Beach Open. On Wednesday, he suffered his third defeat – a 6-2, 6-4 loss to American Steve Johnson. Raonic had been 3-0 against Johnson; all three matches took place within a three-month span in 2014.  Still, if the Canadian looked undercooked in Australia after an off-season shortened by a knee injury, he still doesn't look fit. Raonic didn't play any matches in the five weeks between Melbourne and Delray. Raonic's ranking will drop to about No. 40. Coming into Delray a year ago, he was No. 4.

2 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Recovering Goffin channels Bowie

Belgium's David Goffin, whose bad luck on a tennis court seemingly knows no bounds, reports his eye is "recovering well" after he hit himself with a ball that ricocheted off his racket last week in Rotterdam. In the meantime, though, the pupil is very dilated. Which brought up the comparisons with ... another David. The late David Bowie's eyes were a feature of his look throughout his lengthy career as a rock star.  In Bowie's case, though, it wasn't an errant tennis ball. It was due to a condition that left one pupil permanently dilated.

3 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Cirstea, Hantuchova join Tie Break Tens

The lineup for the first all-female Tie Break Tens event at Madison Square Garden in New York March 5 is nearly complete. Sorana Cirstea and the retired Daniela Hantuchova will join a field that includes Serena and Venus Williams, Elina Svitolina, CoCo Vandeweghe and Marion Bartoli. The also-retired Bartoli plans to officially return in Miami later in March. There is one spot remaining in the eight-player field. Not a fair comparison (we know). But the same event in Melbourne last month featured Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Aussies Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios.

4 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Federer San Jose exho a near sellout

It didn't take long for the cavernous San Jose Arena to virtually sell out the March 5 "Match for Africa" exhibition, featuring Roger Federer and American Jack Sock. The venue seats more than 17,500. Ticket prices ranged from $30, to VIP packages at $1,600. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were a few wheelchair and companion seats, 11 seats at $500 and 39 of the fancy VIP seats remaining on Ticketmaster. Federer's trip to Seattle for a similar event with John Isner in April welcomed some 16,000 fans. And a total of  $2 million was raised for Federer's foundation.

5 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Top Five agency signs 14-year-old Lilov

If it seems the signing of extremely young players by management agencies ended back with the Harrison brothers, the strategy is making a comeback. American Coco Gauff, just 13, reportedly signed with Federer's Team 8 management last fall. This week, Bulgarian-American Victor Lilov (who turned 14 on Feb. 10) inked a deal with the Top Five agency, which represents Elina Svitolina, Daria Kasatkina and Daniil Medvedev as well as a lot of younger players. The still-undersized Lilov, 13, won the "Les Petit As" tournament (the unofficial 14-and-under world championships) last month in Tarbes, France.

Off Court
1 Off Court Sources: CNN

Serena chronicles post-birth trauma

Serena Williams chronicles her health struggles after the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia in a CNN editorial for UNICEF that also does a lot of good to raise awareness. Williams describes the pulmonary embolism she suffered after the birth. A hematoma was found in her abdomen, and she had another procedure after that. Williams spent her first six weeks of motherhood in bed. But Williams says she considers herself lucky, because she had the finest medical care available. She writes that most black women in the U.S. and women in less-developed countries don't have that luxury

2 Off Court Sources: Tennis.Life

New “Decima” Babolat on sale March 1

As the 2018 French Open approaches, Babolat has designed a pretty nifty "La Decima" cosmetic for Rafael Nadal's Pure Aero stick. It commemorates Nadal's 10th title at Roland Garros last year, and will be available on March 1. It will also be available in the "Lite" and junior models. The colors will pop on the red clay. There are some great touches, including the 10 mini "trophée des Mousquetaires" on the inside of the frame, with the years Nadal held up the real thing. If you don't play with that frame, the equipment bag is a pretty sweet accessory.

3 Off Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Former Wimbledon boss gets Black Rod

Former Wimbledon tournament director Sarah Clarke has experienced some moments to last a lifetime this week. The 52-year-old was introduced in the British House of Lords Tuesday as the "Lady Usher of the Black Rod". Clarke is the first woman in the 669-year history of the position. She's also the first not to have a military background. Queen Elizabeth herself presented Clarke with the ceremonial ebony staff last week. It's used to summon British MPs to the Queen's Speech every year. The job itself "involves controlling access to and maintaining order within the upper Lords chamber."

4 Off Court Sources: Twitter

Farah (briefly) promos betting site

The relationship between sports betting and tennis is edgy, with the Tennis Integrity Unit founded partly to limit its effect on pro matches. But just as often as the match-fixing situations, players have been suspended when they're discovered betting on tennis via online sites.  (This disdain for the betting sites doesn't extend to tournament sponsorship. But that's another subject). Perhaps Colombian doubles specialist Robert Farah had a blank moment when he Tweeted this promo for the Colombian betting site BetPlay Tuesday, and wrote that he had placed his bets. The Tweet was quickly deleted.

5 Off Court Sources: Forbes

Federer re-ups with Mercedes

Once Roger Federer has a sponsor, it seems he has it for life. The latest to renew its deal with the 36-year-old is Mercedes, for whom he's been an ambassador since 2009. According to Forbes, Mercedes has re-upped with Federer for another multi-year deal worth $5 million annually. This 90-second promo (from 2016) is a little creepy, though. It capitalizes on Federer as family man, with his two sets of twins. But while any Federer fan worth their salt could pick the FedKids out of any crowd, they've used child actors instead – and a Mirka stand-in.