Notebook: Nabakov the Teaching Pro

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RODDICK OUT OF ROME: The rumors proved right. Andy Roddick has pulled out of the Rome Masters, citing personal reasons. The Texan, who also missed Monte Carlo, will not be fined for skipping th

e mandatory event because he’s allowed one free exemption per year. He’s expected to be back for the Madrid Masters.

HALL CALL?: Asked by Dan Patrick if his 527-167 career win-loss mark is Hall of Fame worthy, Roddick said, “I think based on the track record of people who are there, the precedent has been set for those to be Hall of Fame numbers.” (Like A-Rod, recent Hall of Fame inductee Michael Chang bagged only one Slam and finished with a record of 662-312. Unlike the Texan, he never reached No. 1.)

HUMBERT HUMBERT THE TEACHING PRO: Years before making his name with such books as “Lolita” and “Ada,” author Vladimir Nabokov made a modest living teaching tennis.

TOUGH COMPETITION: A former Bryan Bros. girlfriend told SI’s Jon Wertheim, “It’s hard to be in a relationship with someone when, no matter what happens, you know that you’re not going to be the most important person in his life.”

PREZ COURTING A NEW SPORT: Asked by a group of students about the White House facilities the First Family enjoys most, Michelle Obama said, “You know, right now I do think we’re using the tennis court the most, because everybody is taking tennis lessons.”

HEADLINES

Fed Cup: Venus and Serena Won’t Level With U.S. Squad

THE NUMBERS

2007: The last time Serena or Venus Williams represented the U.S. in Fed Cup play.

5: U.S. women in the WTA’s top 100 — No. 1 Serena, No. 5 Venus, No. 31 Melanie Oudin, No. 76 Vania King and No. 91 Jill Craybas. (The dearth of top-ranked Americans prompted the Birmingham News’ Ray Melick to querry, “What in the name of Billie Jean King is going on?)

13: Americans ranked in the ITF’s top 100, including No. 15 Beatrice Capra, No. 17 Lauren Davis and No. 25 Sloane Stephens.

QUOTEBOOK

“It’s time to call BS on Venus and Serena Williams when it comes to Fed Cup, an event they profess to love but consistently stiff in a way that’s so transparent that I wonder how Mary Joe Fernandez, our Fed Cup captain, can face the rest of the women on the squad.” — Peter Bodo

“We’re kind of used to not having either Venus or Serena around, so it’s not like a shock to the team that really disrupts it.” – U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez