DC final tix on sale Thursday


If you have a French players’ licence, you can get a jump on tickets for next month’s Davis Cup final on Tuesday.

For the rest of the world, tickets go on sale Thursday.

Prices start at 25 Euros. But there is definitely incentive to get the top “Premium” ducats at 200 Euros, and the “Cosy” tickets at 120 Euros.

Temperatures in Lille in late November rarely break 60 degrees. Even though the Stade Pierre-Mauroy has a roof, it will be chilly.

Premium tickets will have event heating. “Cosy” seats will have access to a heated passageway.


Nishikori rehabbing in Belgium


Who’s in Belgium?

According to Belgian journalist Filip de Wulf, Kei Nishikori.

The Japanese player, who cut short his season in August to heal a torn tendon in his wrist, has been rehabbing with osteopath Sam Verslegers.

Verslegers works out of Kim Clijsters’ club in Bree, Belgium.

The osteopath was recommended by world-renowned hand surgeon Frederik Verstreken, who also is a Belgian.

De Wulf spotted Nishikori working out at Clijsters’ club last week. 

Rebecca Marino returns to ITF circuit


Her last match came at the Memphis Open in 2013.

After that, Canadian Rebecca Marino, barely 22, turned the page on her tennis career as she took care of something far more important: her mental well-being.

Marino had been trying to climb the ranks on the WTA Tour and deal with depression. And the combination proved too much.

But after more than four years away, much of it spent at university in her native B.C., Marino is planning a return at two ITF events in Canada this month.

We’ll see where it leads.

Macci inducted into USPTA Hall of Fame


Rick Macci, the coach who worked with so many big names in U.S. tennis history, was inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame Friday in Orlando.

The organization represents and certifies teaching pros and coaches.

Macci, now 62, coached five players who went on to become world No. 1s. Notable among them are Venus and Serena Williams, who came to his Florida academy at a very young age.

Jennifer Capriati, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are also on his resumé (although, if you read Sharapova’s book, there’s a story there).

Federer drops a dig on the French


The context was Roger Federer being asked, in Shanghai, about the future prospects of Chinese US Open junior champion Yibing Wu.

China has had top players on the women’s side. But with Wu’s potential, he’s already practically a superstar even though he only turns 18 on Saturday.

Federer used France as an example of the dangers of early hype.

“I think (France) makes their players too big, too soon. And then they become a bit – I don’t want to say spoiled – but a bit too happy, too soon, rather than finishing their development at every stage throughout.”

Sharapova takes WC into Moscow


As Americanized as she is, Maria Sharapova is still Russian to the core.

Which is why it’s somewhat surprising that the 30-year-old hasn’t played the Moscow Premier event in a decade.

But she will return next week, after taking a wild card.

Sharapova played the tournament from 2005-07. But she never did well. In three tries, she has won just one regulation match (she earned another victory after her opponent retired).

If she wins this week’s event in Tianjin, Sharapova’s ranking would move inside the top 60.

Tsonga subs for Monfils in Antwerp


The WTA isn’t the only tour suffering from late-season pullouts these days.

The ATP Tour event in Antwerp, Belgium is only its second year. But it will be missing two players popular in that part of the world – defending champ Richard Gasquet (still alive in Shanghai) and, most recently, Gaël Monfils.

It’s tough to replace big names at this stage of the season, especially with three ATP Tour events going on concurrently.

But they managed to snag two pretty good substitutes with wild cards – Monfils’s good mate Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Nick Kyrgios.

Errani in Tianjin singles and doubles SFs


After serving a two-month doping suspension, Italy’s Sara Errani has picked up where she left off.

In fact, the 30-year-old seems to be playing much better than before the suspension.

Errani, whose ranking is down to No. 280, hadn’t won back-to-back matches at the WTA Level since early May, at a small clay-court event in Rabat, Morocco.

After getting through qualifying, Errani is in the semifinals of the singles in Tianjin Saturday. She’s also in the doubles semifinal with Irina-Camelia Begu.

A singles final against Maria Sharapova would elicit … headlines.

Kyrgios retirement sets him back $31,085


It’s pocket change compared to the other major fine announcement on Wednesday.

But Aussie Nick Kyrgios will be out $31,085 US after his mid-match retirement Tuesday in Shanghai.

He was assessed a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. Added to that, he forfeits his first-round singles prize money for taking a pass on the mandatory post match-retirement medical.

So it was an expensive day.

The official reason was “viral illness”. Mischa Zverev retired for the same reason, up 6-3, 5-6 in his first-round singles match.

Kyrgios also earned nearly $11,500 US for reaching the second round of doubles.

Captains for Spanish Davis, Fed Cup teams


After all the drama surrounding the ouster of Conchita Martinez last month, the Spanish Tennis Federation named its new Fed Cup and Davis Cup captains Wednesday.

For the men, it’s French Open champion Sergi Bruguera. For the women, Anabel Medina Garrigues.

The intrigue will center on Medina Garrigues’s future as the coach of Jelena Ostapenko.

Juan Carlos Ferrero took himself out of the running on the men’s side because of his current work with Alexander Zverev. Bruguera is a part-time coach for Richard Gasquet.

But Medina Garrigues is a key reason for Ostapenko’s breakthrough this year.