* Rafael Nadal, who is scheduled to return to the practice courts this Thursday according to his site, was spotted with girlfriend Xisca Perello on the green still in vacation mode. You see? His infamous ass-ets are so drool worthy even SHE needs to document them and Xisca's seen them up close and personal, I'm guessing (read: fantasizing.)
* Ana Ivanovic was denied a wild card into Montreal and will need to play qualifying to get into the main draw. The tournament director handed it to homegirl Stephanie Dubois instead and said in a statement, "...she's a player who has done a lot for our tournament - almost saved it one year. She has a lot of charisma. Everyone likes her. But the fact is that she hasn't demonstrated (with her play) that she deserves a wild card. It's not the same as a player who has been injured and away for awhile. ... She is the one who dropped down to No. 65, not because of an injury."
Agreed and not at all disrespectful in my opinion. The truth, no matter how it's said, really does hurt. NaturAna should start playing some tourneys on the ITF Women's Circuit (women's Challengers) and rebuild her game and confidence Agassi-style. She's not one win away from getting her A-game back - she's many wins away. If she really has the goods we'll see her back full-time on the WTA tour. If she doesn't, well...
* TENNIS mags Steve Tignor + Peter Bodo talk tennis fandom: truth vs. modesty and social vs. solitary
* Ravi Ubha for ESPN.com tells us who he thinks needs a strong summer including Andy Roddick, Marin Cilic, Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
* 18-time Grand Slammer Martina Navratilova will receive the Eugene L. Scott Award for "her contribution to tennis and commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game."
* "Without tennis, who am I?" is a pointed and painful question Jennifer Capriati, who's recovering from an accidental prescription overdose, has asked of friend Justin Gimelstob according to an insightful article about the 3-time Grand Slammer by Johnette Howard for ESPN.com. Thankfully for all, the answer isn't a 'Celebrity Rehabber'. Double PHEW.
* Thank you Fue Buena for this photo. That is all:
UPDATE: TMZ has more Rafa porn, more specifically the Mallorcan Matador beaching it today!
[Photo(s): Serena Williams - Vogue, Rafael Nadal - Sina Sports, Splash News Online]