-- Novak Djokovic is scaring the French right now with the Davis Cup final coming up. The Serbian is sending pretty clear messages to my French compatriots when they happen to cross his path in tournaments of late. He had the last word with Gilles Simon in Beijing then with Richard Gasquet in Shanghai; both were dispatched with relative ease by Nole. (He also sent Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilifried Tsonga packing in doubles.) The Frenchies have been warned: Novak is more than ready.
-- Roger Federer, by reaching the Shanghai final, is the the new No. 2 in the world. It remains a surprise to see him play in Stockholm this week, a $600,000 tournament, and then jam up with a very packed schedule before the year-end tournament in London. So much for wanting a shorter schedule!
-- Thomas Muster, 42, has been given a wild card for the ATP tournament in Vienna.
The youth corner
-- On the girl's side, the recent U.S. Open junior finalists, Russians Daria Gavrilova and Yulia Putintseva, were given a wild card in a WTA even this week. They made their starts at the professional level. The first one played (and lost to) Alona Bondarenko in Moscow, whereas the second one played (and lost to) Angelique Kerber in Luxembourg on Monday.
The young French hope Caroline Garcia, 17 years old, reached the semifinals in the $25,000 Limoges event after a victory over the No. 1 seed. She then lost in the qualies of the Luxembourg tournament against Chanelle Sheepers. She's now ranked No. 312 in the WTA and No. 21 for the ITF Junior ranking of this week. Garcia is slowly catching up to Kristina Mladenovic (264), often injured this season.
-- On the boy's side, Grigor Dimitrov (19 years old) and Henri Kontinen (20 years old) are playing the Rennes challenger; Svetlana Kuznetsov (19) and Milos Raonic (19) are in Tashkent, while Ryan Harrison (18) plays Tiburon.
This week, you'll have to keep an eye on...
-- ATP: Moscow and Stockholm
-- WTA: Moscow and Luxembourg
-- Juniors: Osaka Grade A (the highest level in the granting points process)