Tramlines: L'affaire Murrayseillaise

Eurosport - Mon, 15 Feb 12:11:00 2010

Hell hath no fury like a Frenchman scorned and the organiser of the ATP Marseille event, Jean-Francois Caujolle, is telling anyone who will listen that he is not happy with Andy Murray.

Andy Murray O2 Reuters - 0

Caujolle first spoke with L'Equipe, and then to Eurosport France, and THEN the British press, about how furious he was that Murray had withdrawn from next week's event in the south of France.

Murray was due to be top seed in the tournament but pulled out so he could "take an extra week off to recuperate and recover for the long season ahead".

Not a good enough excuse according to Caujolle, who now wants Murray suspended by the ATP, especially as it is the second successive year the Scot has pulled out of his event.

"Murray did the same thing to me last year," Caujolle said with what we imagine was a typically Gallic shrug of the shoulders.

"He can't know what it is to keep his word. A week ago, he asked me for a wildcard to play doubles with his brother Jamie and I gave him one.

"A few days ago he asked me for five hotel rooms and I gave him them. The number one seed of a tournament should have a sense of responsibility. If he does not respect his commitments, he should be suspended by the ATP."

Meeeow!

Caujolle also told Eurosport France that when Murray pulled out last year he offered to play for free this season, which shows that there was at least some humility on his part. But Caujolle refused the offer and said he would pay him his usual rate.

Now though, it is hard to see what Murray can do to win back favour with the French, and while there has traditionally been no love lost between the cities of Marseille and Paris, Murray might have to deal with some sneering French spectators when he competes at Roland Garros this year.

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One place Murray is never likely to get a frosty reception is in his native Scotland (except of course from the weather, which is always frosty), and last week he said that he wanted to bring an ATP tournament to his homeland within the next three years.

"I've spoken to a few people about it. I think if you're going to do it, you make sure you do it well. I would want to make sure I was really involved in it."

February has been mooted as a potential date for the event. Hmmm...would that mean something would have to drop off the calendar to make room for it? I hear there is a tournament in Marseille around that time of year. Maybe that could be shunted?

Andy's mother Judy is also right behind the idea and said: "I think the interest is there. Most of the tournaments in Britain now are edging further and further south."

Reports that Judy is worried that Wimbledon could be moved to Dover by the end of the decade are as yet unconfirmed.

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Tramlines does not just get paid to watch tennis and spew nonsense; it also has to engage in some mundane data entry to justify its £5-a-week salary.

Last Monday, when entering the result of the 4:00 horse race from Wolverhampton, it was intrigued to see that former French and US Open champion Ilie Nastase finished third in the 1m Ĺf class six race.

Of course it wasn't the 'Bucharest Buffoon' competing, but rather a six-year old French horse that has five victories and a further eight places in 31 starts.

It went off as 9/4F at Wolverhampton though, so any tennis fans who backed him must have been cursing their luck.

Do you know of any other animals named after tennis players? If you called your pet dog Ivan Lendl, we want to know about it in the comment section.

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Rankings: Andy Murray has slipped back to number four in the rankings after declining the chance to defend his Rotterdam title. The winner of this year's event, Robin Soderling, remains eighth, but beaten finalist Mikhail Youzhny jumps up five places to 15th.

In the women's rankings, Britain's Elena Baltacha is up to a career high 70th after winning the Dow Corning Classic in Michigan. The top 10 remains the same but America's Melaine Oudin is back in the top 50 at a career-equalling high of 42 after reaching the semi-finals in Paris.

Tweet of the week: From Jamie Murray last Tuesday: "tonights prem league predictions - fulham 2 burnley 0..man city 3 bolton 1..portsmouth 1 sunderland 1...wigan 1 stoke 1." Spot on from Mystic Murray who got all four outcomes right with two of the scores being absolutely spot on. Let's hope he put his money on the football and not Ilie Nastase. Andy's brother was on fire on court too as he won the doubles in Bergamo with partner Jonathan Marray.

Honourable mentions: Two classics from Bob Bryan who is really worth following. First up he shows that despite having over $6 million in career prize money, you can never be too thrifty: "Psyched for my red eye to Miami. Instead of paying $50 for extra lbs., I'm walking around the airport w/ a big plastic bag of dirty laundry." And then he shows that a job as a food critic could await when he finally packs in tennis: "Is it just me or does chicken pad thai smell a little weird? I'm trying badly to get this down but it smells like a big dirty wet dog."

Wooden spoon: Oh Jamie Murray, you were doing so well until..." Gb davis cup squad has 3 doubles players..AGAIN...how can this be logical? captain been saying since last jan he would only pick 1dbs player." You may be right Jamie, but slagging off the GB captain to your 4,418 followers? That's not going to get you your place back.

A Bog v A Bog

It's arguably the most prestigious tennis title in the game and one that Roger Federer can never win. Who is the game's true A Bog: Alex Bogdanovic or Alex Bogomolov?

Last week, Britain's Bogdanovic was in Bergamo for the Challenger event and reached the last 16, which saw him pick up a cheque for 730 euros. However, American Bogomolov got through the qualifiers for San Jose, and while he lost in the first round proper, he picked up a whopping $5,160 for his troubles to go 2-0 up in our series.

Current A Bog

Alex Bogomolov (2-0)

We dream of the day they meet each other!

This week's action: The women take centre stage with the $2 million WTA Dubai event. Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the top two seeds but defending champion Venus Williams will be favourite. There are also WTA events in Memphis and Bogota.

Memphis is a mixed event, and the fans don't have to wait long for a blockbuster clash with Andy Roddick facing James Blake in the first round. Marseille goes ahead sans Murray with the French trio of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon looking the most likely to stop Robin Soderling sealing back-to-back wins. Finally, the dirt ballers will be tackling the clay of Buenos Aires. You don't have to speak Spanish to take part, but don't expect to understand much in the locker room if you don't. David Ferrer is the top seed but the home fans will be looking for a good run from the unseeded David Nalbandian.

Watch both the ATP Marseille and WTA Dubai events LIVE this week on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin 525) and Eurosport Player.

Eurosport

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