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.

Svetlana Kuznetsova ready to return?

Svetlana Kuznetsova, out of action since last September nursing wrist and knee issues, has been in Barcelona training on clay for a week.

Russian journalist Ilya Ryvlin reports she hopes to play Lugano next week. Not entered, she would need a wild card.

Currently ranked No. 111, a protected ranking would only be slightly higher than that as she’s lost little ground in the rankings during her time away.

Here’s a recent interview that has … a lot of interesting insight.

Kuznetsova is officially entered in Madrid (main draw only), the Rome qualifying and … the French Open.

Trial over for Johansson and Krajinovic

Swede Thomas Johansson signed on to coach Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic last December, on a trial basis.

Krajinovic season started with a two-sets-to-none comeback over No. 18 Marco Cecchinato, a third round in Melbourne, and a win over David Goffin in Montpellier before a squeaker loss to Tomas Berdych (7-6, 6-7, 7-5) in the quarters.

But the trial is apparently over. And Johansson confirms they are done.

Which immediately started the Belgian press speculating about a return to David Goffin, currently coachless. Johansson and Goffin collaborated in 2016.

“We’ll study it, but we haven’t yet contacted him,” Team Goffin told RTBF.

Synergy for Nalbandian and Londero

Argentine players don’t win ATP tournaments in Argentina every day – never mind in their hometown.

In fact, the last time it happened was when former world No. 3 David Nalbandian won the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires in 2008.

But 25-year-old Juan Ignacio Londero did it Sunday in Córdoba. 

In an awesome full circle, Nalbandian and Londero have history together, posing for this pic long before either held up those hometown trophies.

The last player to win his first career ATP Tour match – and win that same tournament – was Steve Darcis in Amersfoort in 2007.

Londero did it last week.

Robson returns in Shrewsbury

Time flies.

Former British prodigy Laura Robson turned … 25 Jan. 21.

And after hip surgery last summer, the former world No. 27 is making yet another injury comeback.

Robson has a wild card into qualifying at the $60,000 ITF in Shrewsbury, England next week. It will be her first singles appearance since May 2018.

She played two doubles matches during the 2018 grass-court warmup season. By Wimbledon, she was ambling around the All-England Club on crutches.

Robson is working with BT Sport on the Fed Cup event from Bath, England this week – so she’ll have to switch gears quickly.