I don’t really know where to start with all the stories that have been emerging from Australia in the build-up to the Australian Open.
Probably with Novak Djokovic.
For a guy who has been at the top of his sport for so long, he really hasn’t mastered how to win friends, has he?
He is now saying he had “good intentions” when he came out with suggestions on how to improve player conditions and ease some of the protocols in the hotel quarantine that he and others are living through.
But the damage was done. After all the nonsense with his ill-fated tournament last year, you’d think he’d just keep a low profile when it comes to pandemic comments.
Problems facing athletes at tournaments
I totally understand why the rules are so strict Down Under. Australia has got a grip on Covid-19 and a tennis tournament isn’t worth weakening it for.
All the quarantine issues have shone a light on how problematic it is going to be getting many more athletes from many more countries together at an Olympic Games in a few months.
From a purely sporting point of view, the Aussie Open could end up having the biggest asterisk yet after the winners’ names since coronavirus started.
Preparations have been so diverse, with some players getting practice facilities and others not.
It will be a shame, but the tainted title phrase could well be an understandable one.
We had an important win in the latest in-house tournament at the National Curling Academy last week.
We played really well and I never felt in any of our games, including the final, that we were in trouble.
That’s the third competition between the programme teams and we’ve won two of them.
There’s one more to go – a week-long event to try and replicate the Scottish Championships format – and after that decisions will be made on selection for the Worlds at the end of March.
I’d like to think we’re in a strong position to get chosen and Team Mouat will feel the same way for the men’s selection. They’re three out of three.
There was another bit of good news this week when confirmation came through of our place in the two Grand Slam events in the ‘Calgary bubble’ in April.
The logistics of whether we would fly straight out there from the Worlds in Switzerland are yet to be figured out – and you don’t take anything for granted these days for obvious reasons – but we do know we’ll have to quarantine for a week when we get to Canada.
The prospect of top level competition in the spring is really exciting, though, and will definitely help keep our focus in training over the next few weeks.
Good luck to St Johnstone this weekend!
So many Saints fans will have mixed emotions when the team are playing their cup semi-final on Saturday and it brings back all the memories of 2014.
I’d like to think I was becoming a bit of a lucky charm back then and maybe it’s a good omen that the game I got on to the pitch at McDiarmid Park with my Olympic medal was against Hibs.
That was a special day – and I’m told I even had the privilege of being the first person allowed into the boardroom wearing jeans!