Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tursunov nominated for Comeback Player of Year

Dmitry Tursunov, who trains in the Sacramento area, has rebound-
ed from No. 125 in the world at the end of 2012 to No. 39.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Don't make room in that trophy case yet, Dmitry.
   Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, has been nominated for the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year on the ATP World Tour.
   But he faces stiff competition from Rafael Nadal and others. The winner will be announced during the ATP World Tour Finals, which begin Nov. 4 in London.
   Tursunov missed three months early last year with a left wrist injury and fell from No. 40 in the world in the 2011 year-end rankings to No. 125 one year later. A right-hander with a two-handed backhand, he has rebounded to No. 39 this year.
   ”It’s probably like my fifth time attempting to get the coveted title,” the irreverent Tursunov, who also was up for Comeback Player of the Year in 2003 and 2011, joked on “Always someone gets in my way. This time, I think it’s going to be rough. I’m not losing hope. I’m 30. I think I have a couple more comebacks in me. I’m planning to get this one, and if not, I might retire, and I might come back and try to get it again.”  
   Tursunov today reached his third semifinal of the year, beating France's Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-3 on hardcourt in Valencia to earn a meeting with countryman Mikhail Youzhny. Tursunov, who reached a career-high No. 20 in 2006, seeks his first singles final since winning s-Hertogenbosch on grass in 2011 for his seventh career singles title.
   Nadal is overwhelmingly favored to win the Comeback Player of the Year award, although he's a virtual lock for Player of the Year. The 27-year-old Spaniard regained the No. 1 ranking this month after ending last year at No. 4.
   Nadal suffered a left knee injury last year and missed seven months. After returning in February, he reached nine straight finals, winning seven. In the last tournament of the streak, he won his eighth French Open title. Nadal later went on a 26-match hardcourt winning streak over the summer, claiming his second U.S. Open title.
   Tursunov and Nadal could meet in the second round of next week's BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Tursunov will face 35th-ranked Marcel Granollers of Spain in the first round while Nadal has a bye. Tursunov is 0-1 against Granollers and 0-3 against Nadal.
   Also on the ballot for Comeback Player of the Year are Spaniard Tommy Robredo and India's Somdev Devvarman.
   Robredo, who underwent leg surgery early last year, has jumped from No. 115 at the end of 2012 to No. 19. Devvarman, a right-hander who had right shoulder surgery in January 2012, has skyrocketed from No. 656 to No. 90.

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