IS it something about the shape of our balls that has men’s tennis in turmoil?

Carlos Alcaraz thinks so.

A lot of players have complained about the balls in use this year, including Novak Djokovic and the constant change of ball for different tournaments.

American Taylor Fritz experienced four different balls in four consecutive events – something he described as a nightmare – and something Alcaraz, and others, say is causing stress and injuries on players’ bodies.

Alcaraz last week suggested every swing be played with the same ball.

Stan Wawrinka’s social complaint about the ongoing ball issue.

So, all tournaments in Australia play with the same ball, and then come to South America with the same ball, the US with the same ball.

“Every swing should play with the same ball and not change in every tournament,” the said.

“I think if I hear well, we’ve played with 20 or 21 different balls, something like that, in a year. It’s crazy.

“Some players have already started dealing with various arm issues this season and Alcaraz believes that everyone could end up injured if the ATP doesn’t step in.

“If the ATP want the best players in every tournament, they should change it. If not, every player’s going to be injured because of that.”

Djokovic has held talks with the ATP about the issue.

“I actually had the conversation with Andrea Gaudenzi (president of ATP) and Massimo Calvelli, the CEO,” the world No.1 said in Paris.

Swiss Stan Wawrinka joined the debate when he shared a photo of four different types of balls used over four weeks.

THE British Lawn Tennis Association sacked a council member last week who used Twitter – X – to post an offensive remark about the Israel-Hamas war in the Middle East.

Wasim Haq, who was appointed to the LTA Council 2021 to help promote diversity and inclusion within the sport, posted: “Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu”.

An LTA statement read: ‘The LTA Board considered this matter today and agreed that the tweet posted by Wasim Haq on 11 November was unacceptable and in no way reflects the LTA’s position or values.

Wasim Haq

“Therefore the Board have agreed that Wasim Haq will be removed from his role as an independent councillor with immediate effect.”

Haq was also sacked from a similar role at the English Football Association.

YES, we know it’s still November, but Andy Murray is already in the Christmas spirit, working on a TV special for a festive cookery show.

Murray needed a helping hand with his skills, so he turned to the woman in the UK known as the Queen of the Kitchen.

Mary Berry, whose mother was Scottish, joined the former Wimbledon champion and his granny Shirley Erskine for a masterclass in cooking up some seasonal favourites for the show.

Murray,36, admitted the cooking was nerve-wracking as Berry, 88, taught him how to make kedgeree in the kitchen of the Cromlix Hotel in Dunblane, Scotland.

Murray’s mum Judy, took to Twitter, or whatever it’s called this week, hoping that her mother had her hearing aid in.

“So Mary Berry’s in the Cromlix kitchen teaching Andy how to cook and Granny is assisting.

“So obviously there’s shortbread. Hope she remembered her hearing aid. Granny I mean. Not Mary.”

PLANS for a major expansion to Wimbledon are in jeopardy after the scheme, approved by one London borough, was set to be rejected by a neighbouring one.

The majority of the scheme sits in the borough of Merton, but a number of the proposed tennis courts lie just north of the borough’s boundary, in Wandsworth.

The development was approved by Merton Council last but Wandsworth planning officers have recommended the application for refusal.

A Wandsworth planning officer’s report said the Wimbledon development should be rejected as it ‘would constitute inappropriate development’.

The report read: “The proposed development would result in the net loss of open space/green infrastructure by reason of the development of substantial areas of parts of the site that are primarily grass, with no replacement provision provided.”

More than 2,000 objections to the scheme were submitted to Merton Council while a petition to ‘Save Wimbledon Park’ has attracted more than 14,000 signatures.

WIMBLEDON update: A demonstration organised by residents in the borough of Merton, south London, took place recently to protest against Merton Council’s approval of the Wimbledon Tennis expansion.

RAFA Nadal’s plans for a 2024 farewell tour are still on track with the Spanish legend saying he was sure he’ll be returning to competition ‘soon’.

Nadal missed nearly all of 2023 with a hip injury that required surgery.

He wrote on Thursday on social media: “I confirmed yesterday I’ll be back”.

“Stay tuned,” he then wrote on Instagram.

It is still not known if that farewell year will begin in Melbourne in January.

Rafa Nadal is still hoping to return to the Australian Open in January. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

STILL no comeback in sight for Emma Raducanu, but plenty of time for shopping g on Black Friday.

The young Brit, who hasn’t played a competitive match since Stuttgart early this year, took to Twitter – X to tell of her recent purchases:

“Black Friday week has me with a wireless printer, salted pistachios, electric piano, pukka pad set, pens and a sheet to put on my car so i don’t need to scrape ice off the windows in the winter,” Raducanu posted.

No new tennis racket?

Taking a break from the game, Iga Swiatek in the Maldives this week.
Sir Richard Branson takes to the court on his island home of Necker last week.

AND finally … ever heard of the Necker Cup?

No, neither had we before a story popped up on our news feed yesterday that Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson was hosting his own pro-am event and charity dinner on his own private Caribbean island.

The event ended yesterday, but not before those with enough money could mingle over a five person with several ATP and WTA players, including Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who was pictured playing with Branson before being entertained by singers Michael Bolton and Jewel.

And their cost? You can book as a spectator for $69,000 per couple for the five days or play in the cent for $99,000.

We are told that since 2012, the Necker Cup has raised over $4,000,000 for a number of charities.

Eugenie Bouchard posted a picture of herself enjoying the millionaire hospitality on Necker.

But there’s more… Memo to the woke Bouchard, who cannot grasp that millionaire tennis stars are open to criticism.

Bouchard called an Instagram poster who questioned why the divisive Nick Kygrios was acting as a commentator at the ATP finals ‘a hater’.

The fan wrote: “When are you people going to stop giving this guy a platform?” Perfectly legitimate criticism for a player who loves to criticise everyone else.

Bouchard responded: “Stop being a hater!”

No, Eugenie, it’s not hate in the real world – it’s called opinion – something the woke generation of today seemingly cannot handle.