Fognini-Dimitrov draw a crowd

It’s always a bonus when popular singles players get on the doubles court.

So the smallest court at the Paris Masters was packed as Grigor Dimitrov and Fabio Fognini teamed up in a losing cause against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau Monday.

It was Dimitrov’s first collaboration with Fognini.

And the Bulgarian had a special guest as he prepares to defend 1590 points (nearly half his points total) from Paris and his win at the ATP Tour Finals a year ago: Andre Agassi.

Agassi is a guest coach in a crucial week, as Dimitrov didn’t qualify for London.

Zverev-Lendl collaboration not permanent

The tennis website Tennis Prose broke a little news Monday: former No. 1 and Andy Murray coach Ivan Lendl was spotted at the Saddlebrook resort near Tampa, Fla. with Alexander Zverev.

It’s not the first time Lendl has been seen around Team Zverev.

But Sky Sport News reporter Moritz Lang, who contacted Zverev’s management, wrote on Twitter that there has been no change in Zverev’s coaching structure.

His father remains his coach.

A year ago, Zverev had another former No. 1, Juan Carlos Ferrero, as an extra mentor through the hard-court season.  The relationship lasted six months.

Kermode: longer careers = more injuries

ATP chief Chris Kermode says Masters Series exemptions for veteran players may have extended careers.

But an ancillary consequence, not envisioned at the time, is that more older players means more injured players. 

“This is the first year that I think we’ve had such high-profile players being injured. … Overall, the tour injuries are down six per cent. It’s a strange conundrum going,” Kermode told Sky Sports.

Kermode said the Tour has medical personnel crunching data. Poor early stretching habits? Changes of ball types?

He said most players look to surface changes as the biggest cause.

Djokovic can get back on top – Agassi

Word from Paris last week was that Novak Djokovic still isn’t back on court. But he’s spending time with mentor Andre Agassi.

“I think he can get back on top without me, to be quite clear,” Agassi said in an interview with Sky Sports

According to Agassi’s wife Steffi Graf, though, it will be nowhere near a full-time gig.

“He won’t do a full schedule with him being at all the tournaments; I think they will select a few,” Graf said in Zhuhai. “Our lives with our kids, as well as with our foundation, are already pretty busy.”

Injury replacements discussed by ATP

According to chief player officer Ross Hutchins, the ATP has at least discussed options if a player has to default late in a tournament.

The news peg was Juan Martin del Potro re-injuring his left wrist in the Shanghai quarterfinals. He did end up playing his semifinal.

“There is a precedent from qualifying to main draw and that’s why we looked at it,” Hutchins said

“We had numerous discussions … Often we say tournaments should be aware this could happen, we try and incentivize them to have great ex-players … who can entertain a crowd.”