THE points penalty for Wimbledon by the ATP and WTA may have a unintended consequences to this year’s Slam numbers, with grass court specialists now unable to rack up any points.

Casper Ruud, a clay court star is one who believes that may be the case.

“It’s tough to mix politics with sport,” Ruud told reporters in Geneva.

“Wimbledon is not where I make most of my points, so for me, it’s doesn’t matter too much when you think about the points but for other players it’s of course unfair that they cannot even get the chance.”

Casper Ruud

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“Everyone can understand both sides of the situation. First of all the statement to ban the Russians and Belarusians, it’s tough. This decision is tough to know what is right and what is wrong.”

Ruud could be a dark horse challenger at Roland Garros, where he is in the other half of the draw to favourites Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Rafa Nadal.

And any other names from that side of the draw to consider?

Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Danill Medvedev in action at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

TALK of a player ban at Wimbledon has all but disappeared after the ATP and WTA decided to take away all rankings points from the event, making the tournament little more than an exhibition event.

If Wimbledon were to about turn and allow players to return, World No.2 Daniil Medvedev says he’s ready to play, but given the massive pressure the British government put on the LTA, that seems unlikely.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make,” Medvedev said.

“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.

“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love the tournament.

“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

Medvedev has been recovering from hernia surgery last month.

Emma Raducanu receives attention during a medical time out at he Austraoian Open in Melbourne in January. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Tennis Australia

A LEADING British coach has described Emma Raducanu’s recent coaching circus as akin to Manchester United.

Calvin Betton – who coaches several British players on the Challenger and Futures circuits – warned she was starting to look like Manchester United after firing three coaches in a year.

“There’s the perception – accurate or not – that she has a trigger-happy dad. As a prospective signing, you might be thinking ‘My reputation could take a hit here’,” he said.

“You don’t want to be just another person Raducanu has got rid of. And then you reach the point where it almost starts looking like the Manchester United job – an apparently desirable position which people are actually wary of taking on.”

Emma Raducanu wins her third round match against Sorana Cirstea. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

ACCORDING to an insider, Raducanu’s “tennis ability is way ahead of her physical development.”

A very fair assessment given her inability to make inroads into the WTA Tour since her remarkable US Open win last year.

Raducanu’s merry-go-round of coaches was highlighted by the BBC’s tennis correspondent Russell Fuller last week as she began working with the LTA’s head of women’s tennis Iain Bates and senior performance advisor Louis Cayer.

She has also been practising with American Raymond Sarmiento in London this week.

“I think they want somebody who can challenge her tennis IQ and there are very few people who can do that,” Fuller said.

“I think they sign up with coaches, and then they get quite disappointed, as they don’t know as much as they thought they did.”

Others have described Raducanu’s approach to coaching as “pretty wacky”.

And it has been previously reported the family drain the resource and knowledge of coaches pretty quickly, then want the next one.

It’s a very different approach and no one can tell if it will work, but clearly Raducanu’s physical development needs to be on par with her obvious talent.

Naomi Osaka addresses a press conference at the Australian Open in January. Photo: MARK PETERSON/TENNIS AUSTRALIA

NAOMI Osaka has been named the highest-paid female athlete in the world.

Sports business website Sportico ranked Osaka as the 20th highest-paid athlete with earnings of $53.2 million across the past year.

Serena Williams is the only the only other sportswoman on the list, ranked 52nd.

Osaka has stakes in a dozen brands and has her own skincare range.

She is also sponsored by Nissan, Tag Heuer and Louis Vuitton.

SAD to hear French star Gael Monfils will not be at Roland Garros this year.

Monfils has struggled all year with a foot injury and is to undergo surgery to repair his right heel.

“I have been bothered by a calcaneal spur since Monte-Carlo at my right heel which prevents me from moving properly on court,” Monfils posted on s9cla media early this week.

He’s also an expectant father, wife Elina Svitolina announcing she was pregnant.

Daniil Medvedev is looking to return to form after surgery. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

AFTER a surprise defeat at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz in Miami world No.2 Daniil Medvedev underwent surgery for a grumbling hernia, with many observers saying he could miss Paris.

Medvedev returned to the courts this week in Geneva and said he was ready for Roland Garros.

“I feel great. I managed to get around I would say two weeks of good practice and one week of full practice,” he said.

“I decided that it’s going to be good to prepare [for the] French Open, to get some matches here. Some matches, hopefully more than one.”

TALKING of injuries … Rafa Nadal has declared himself ready for another French Open.

The 13-time French Open champion said last week daily training was a challenge and he would take a doctor with him to Paris after a foot injury flared up again.

Nadal posted a picture of himself training at his academy in Mallorca with the caption: “See you on Wednesday, Paris.”

AND finally … world No. 1 Iga Swiatek will pin a ribbon in Ukrainian flag colours to her hat during her French Open run.



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