While we were deprived another Williams-Azarenka clash in Dubai last week -- both pulled out on successive days -- we were reminded that there are other talented players in the WTA cast. Perhaps chief among them is Petra Kvitova. The erratic 2011 Wimbledon winner reminded us how it is she reached No. 2 in the world. Kvitova brought her lefty power to bear and cruised through the Dubai draw, capped by a three-set victory against Sara Errani to win her 10th career title and first of the year. She will move up to No. 7 now. But the truth is, she's simply too good not to inhabit the top five.
Still, we got at least a sliver of optimism
Clearly there remains work to be done before we toggle the settings on the hype machine and start in on the Roddick comparisons again. Nevertheless, with Ryan Harrison stalling, John Isner off to a dispiriting start and Mardy Fish's future cloudy, the 20-year-old might represent the best U.S. prospect for the foreseeable future. Sock, who reached the Memphis doubles final as well, will be a player to watch in Indian Wells and Miami.
? WTA CEO Stacey Allaster is scheduled to be in Singapore this week visiting one of the three cities in the running to host the 2014 WTA Championships. The other candidates are Tianjin, China, and Monterrey, Mexico.
? Usually you like to see tennis penetrate the mainstream news.
? Nice to see Taylor Townsend get a wild card into Indian Wells.
? Doubles winners: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Sania Mirza in Dubai. Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan in Memphis. Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in Buenos Aires. Timea Babos and Mandy Minella in Bogota.
? Second-seeded Kenyon needed almost six hours, but the Lords eventually pulled off the 5-4 upset of top seed Emory on Sunday in the final of the ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.