7/28/09 9:38 PM | Johan Lindahl
Europeans may prefer to refrain from too much time in the States during the run-up weeks before the US Open. But that doesn't mean that players are neglecting to prepare for the summer switch to hard courts and the punishment of cement.
At this week's leisurely Umag event on the Croatian seaside, world No. 4 Serbian Novak Djokovic and Croatian Ivan Ljubicic have benefitted - along with the rest of the field - by a hard court they specifically asked to be laid down.
The cement contrasts with the orange of the clay upon which the event is played. But Djokovic and Ljubicic were planning to spend most of their practice time prepare for the inevitable, which will arrive a week from Sunday with the start of the Montreal Masters in Canada.
The event is still awaiting the final decision of Roger as the Swiss copes with his new life as the father of twins.
But injured Rafael Nadal is due to defend his 2008 Canadian title as he plays on the ATP for the first time since the fourth round of the French Open,when he lost to Robin Soderling and was then ordered to rest overly tired knees.
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