With G.E.M.S. history, MladenoThiem a power

The only thing that could have made Sunday better for Dominic Thiem and Kristina Mladenovic would have been for Thiem to beat Rafael Nadal and win Roland Garros

Otherwise, the low-key couple of nearly two years had a great fortnight.

Mladenovic won the women’s doubles after logging hours courtside supporting her beau. She also took over the No. 1 ranking.

It’s not all “love” out there, though.

G.E.M.S.life, the Instagram account started by lovebirds Gaël Monfils and Elina Svitolina, is defunct.

Avid Insta watchers also note their respective accounts have been “scrubbed” of each other’s existence.  

Murray to return (in doubles) at Queen’s

Good news for Andy Murray fans looking for him to return on the grass after his hip surgery.

The 32-year-old plans to play Queen’s Club, just two weeks before Wimbledon, in doubles with old friend Feliciano Lopez.

Murray hasn’t played doubles since teaming up with Dan Evans at Indian Wells in 2017 (they actually beat Lopez and Marc Lopez there in the first round).

But of course it’s not about that. It’s about being on court again.

The two have never played together. They squeezed in last with Lopez’s doubles ranking (No. 51) and Murray’s protected singles rankings (No. 2)

Kyrgios loses his … stuff in Rome

Nick Kyrgios revved up a rowdy crowd in Rome that was chanting his name against Casper Ruud.

And then it turned – seemingly because of one fan.

In a heartbeat, the racket flies (far too close to the  line umpire). A small racket bag stand goes flying into the middle of the court.

And then Kyrgios packs up his bag, shakes the hand of his opponent, the umpire and the supervisor, leaves the court and forfeits.

He received 20,000 Euros in fines, loses the 45 points he earned and is on the hook for his hotel bill.

Wozniak begins coaching career in Cancun

In addition to starting a marketing job with Elixir, Canadian Aleksandra Wozniacki has also kicked off her coaching career.

The 31-year-old, who retired at the end of 2018, is in Cancun, Mexico this week at a $15,000 entry-level ITF event.

Wozniak did a coaching certification course just two weeks ago in Toronto (former pros get to skip a couple of levels).

And she’s already on the job.

Two young Canadians were in the Cancun draw: Alexandra Vagramov (a Vancouverite who turns 18 in two weeks and is headed to UCLA) and Jada Bui (17 in February, from the Toronto suburbs). 

Canadian Carol Zhao does Shallow

It hasn’t been a fun year for Canadian Carol Zhao.

The former Stanford standout, who turns 24 next month, hasn’t played since last November because of an elbow issue that had bothered her most of 2018.

At one point last year in the pre-Andreescu breakout era, Zhao was the Canadian No. 1. She peaked at No. 131 last July. She continued to play, but was compromised.

As Zhao tries to find the right solution, at least she has some other interests to keep her occupied.

Here she is pulling off a really good version a tough song to sing, “Shallow”.

Kevin Anderson elbowed out of clay season

Kevin Anderson struggled with injuries in 2016 and 2017.

But in 2018, he had the season of his career despite more injuries. He reached a career high No. 5 after reaching the Wimbledon final.

So what a shame that his right elbow is compromising a great start to 2019, which began with a title in Pune.

Anderson missed two months after Australia. He went to Indian Wells, but couldn’t play. And after making the Miami quarterfinals, he’s now announced he hopes to be back or the grass.

He had to withdraw from Estoril, Madrid, Rome and the French.

Two South American players retire

Not since the days of Gabriela Sabatini nearly 30 years ago has a South American female player reached the top echelons of the game.

But several have had viable careers in recent years. Unfortunately, two have called it a day in the last week.

Mariana Duque-Mariño of Colombia won the Bogotá event in 2010, and reached No. 66 back in 2015. After a six-month break to see if she missed it, she announced late last week.

Mery Irigoyen of Argentina, 31, a former top-50 doubles player with two career titles, also said goodbye after last playing in July, 2018.

Get your Pliskova merch on her website

It’s actually surprising that more players don’t do this. But Karolina Pliskova is marketing a line of merchandise on her website, with the hashtag “#AceQueen”.

The hashtag has been around for years. But sponsor FILA came up with merch incorporating the hashtag last year.

This year, Pliskova has it on her site – but without the FILA logos.

Prices range from $18 for a T-shirt to $60 for the hoodie.

She also has a limited-edition calendar, from which proceeds reportedly go to her foundation.

Pliskova currently leads the WTA with 183 aces. Only six others have more than 100 so far this season.

All kinds of crazy in “Clay Court Things”

A promotion for the upcoming European clay-court season was Tweeted out by the ATP Tour.

Universally panned, the Tweet was deleted.

That Roger Federer was the biggest, front and centre on the graphic was an … interesting choice?

He hasn’t played the French Open since 2015. His only clay-court title since the blue clay of Madrid in 2012 was … a small tournament in Istanbul in 2015.

And the king of the “clay things”, Rafael Nadal, is sort of pushed off to the side.

None of them even look … happy!

(They ended up redoing it).

Del Potro still not back on court

Juan Martin del Potro released an update on his knee. But there still appears to be no firm date for his return to action.

The Argentine was in Spain this week undergoing tests supervised by Dr. Ángel Coterro.

“After reviewing my results he advised me to continue with my current treatment. He is satisfied with my progress and soon I will be back on court training,” del Potro wrote on Twitter.

Which means he’s still not on court, although he did hit with Greece’s Maria Sakkari in Miami.

He’s entered in Madrid, which starts in a month.