Category Archives: And the winners are…

And The Winners Are…

So Victoria Azarenka emerged victorious in Moscow, defeating Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-4. Though straight sets, the match wasn’t without its drama. The first set was a pretty crazy affair, with both girls participating in some insane points. Azarenka had the edge though, and she took advantage of some passive play from Maria to wrap up the set with a double break. After a long toilet break, Azarenka’s level dropped off slightly and Kirilenko took full advantage, racing to a 4-0 lead and urging herself on with some of the most incredible fistpumps known to man. However, when she got to 4-0, she just couldn’t handle the pressure. She began to miss the most pedestrian of shots and by the time it was 4-4, she couldn’t even find the middle of her strings. But let’s all stop acting surprised now, it’s the WTA after all.

On the men’s side in Moscow, Viktor Troicki took home his first ever ATP title, downing Marcos Baghdatis 3-6 6-4 6-3. A pretty great week for Viktor ahead of the Davis Cup Final. The last few months have seen him squander massive chances against both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and so it’s nice to see that those setbacks haven’t held him back.

Easy peasy. Roger Federer cruised to his 64th title in Stockholm, defeating Florian Mayer 6-4 6-3. I guess the biggest thing to take out of this is the fact that this 64th title means that he now stands shoulder to shoulder with Pete Sampras on the all time list. How many more can he win?

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And The Winners Are…

Better late than never…

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And The Winners Are: Wozniacki, Garcia-Lopez and Youzhny…

WTA Tokyo (Premier 5):

(1) Caroline Wozniacki def. (7) Elena Dementieva 1-6 6-2 6-3

ATP Kuala Lumpur (250):

(4) Mikhail Youzhny def. (8) Andrey Golubev 6-7(7) 6-2 7-6(3)

Mikhail Youzhny followed up his US Open semifinal run with a title; his 7th career title and second of the year. Also a good week for Golubev as he proved that his Hamburg run was no fluke, defeating 5th ranked Soderling in the quarters.

ATP Bangkok (250):

Guillermo GARCIA-LOPEZ def. Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 3-6 6-4

First career title for Garcia-Lopez. Perfect way to end a week which saw him beat the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and US Open champ. Not many can say they’ve done that.

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And The Winners Are…

Davis Cup:

France defeated Argentina 5-0 in France

7-5 4-6 7-5 6-3
6-4 2-6 6-4 6-3
6-4 7-5 6-3
7-6(5) 6-7(6) 6-3
7-5 6-1

Serbia defeated Czech Republic 3-2 in Serbia

4-6 6-2 6-4 6-4
7-5 6-2 2-6 7-6(5)
3-6 6-1 6-4 6-1
4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4
6-0 7-6(6) 6-4

So France and Serbia are to meet in the final of the Davis Cup in December. A pretty cracking final if I say so myself and the one I really wanted all along. It really is anyone’s tie to win. And with my top two favourite players on the opposing teams, how can I complain? On a side note, you gotta love the Davis Cup celebrations.

Guangzhou International:

(1) Jarmila Groth (AUS) d. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 64
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Only lost 15 games all week and she commented that it was the lowest ever games lost en-route to a WTA Title. If it’s true then that’s pretty crazy.

Quebec International:

Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 76(6) 26 75

Queen Bethanie does not break the blogger’s curse, but she did choke. She choked from 4-1, 5-4, *6-5 and also 6-4 in the tiebreak in the first, and then again at 3-1 in the third. Well done QB.

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And The Winners Are…

WTA Montreal (Premier 5):
Caroline Wozniacki def. Vera Zvonareva 6-3 6-2

ATP Cincinnati (1000)

Roger Federer def. Mardy Fish 6-7 7-6 6-4

I’ll be writing up a US Open preview in the next few days and this week has certainly given us all a lot to ponder over. On the ATP Federer took his first title, Rafa was visibly struggling, Fish took a number of top ten scalps, Roddick finding some form at last and so on. Over in Montreal, Kuznetsova’s horrific loss to Wozniacki could be very indicative of her US Open campaign in a week’s time while Wozniacki played (somewhat) more aggressively tennis this week and has taken her first big title. Could she go all the way in New York?

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You Call This Summer?

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ATP Toronto

Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer 7-5 7-5 in the finals of the Rogers Cup to clinch his fifth ATP 1000 title. As someone who usually dislikes Murray, I have actually quite enjoyed watching him play this week. In the match against Nadal on Saturday, it was interesting to watch Murray in such an aggressive mindset. He was taking the ball so early on the return and off the ground and his forehand held up extremely well. Of course he wasn’t as aggressive against Federer, but after seeing his breaks slip away in both first and second sets, the Scot never panicked and recovered extremely well to finish off the job. He is definitely in a very good position going into the US Open, but Matt Cronin raised a very valid point yesterday. I too won’t be convinced until he is holding up a Grand Slam Trophy.

In stark contrast to Murray’s improving form, Federer continues to disappoint. He was helped a number of times by the constant rain delays which halted Murray’s momentum, but still failed to take advantage as he crumbled in the tight moments and failed to even find the middle of his strings on the important points. Whether this is a sign of decline remains to be seen, but I think the 29-year-old’s performance in the final slam of this year will be very telling.

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WTA Cincinnati:

Never to be out-drama’d by the ATP, thunderstorms forced the players off the court in the WTA Cincinnati Final with Maria Sharapova leading Kim Clijsters 6-2 5-3. Sharapova had played a very solid match up to that point - serving well and consistently smashing through the defence of Clijsters, while Clijsters struggled to even keep two successive balls in court. However the rain delay enabled Clijsters to settle down and after saving three match points in that very game, she turned the match on its head and eventually emerged the victor.

Though Sharapova will undoubtedly be disappointed with the outcome, I think she has a lot to be satisfied with. Before the match I felt her play had been far too central and wouldn’t be enough to penetrate the Clijsters defence consistently, but she adapted and dominated the first part of the match. With her serve and groundstrokes finally working in sync, the question is whether she can regain the belief and confidence that made her a Grand Slam Champion. If she can, then she stands a great chance at this US Open with the Williams Sisters both having not played since Wimbledon due to injuries.

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And The Winners Are…

ATP Washington:

[WC] David Nalbandian def. [8] Marcos Baghdatis 6-2 7-6(4)

David Nalbandian continued his fine form from the Davis Cup to win his first tournament in a year and a half. It really is great to see the 28-year-old back and playing such attractive, attacking tennis. Even now his backhand remains one of, if not the best in the game. It’s also great to see Marcos Baghdatis stringing a good week together and you would be forgiven to think that we jumped back in a time machine to 2008. Both men will be looking to push back into the top 20 and beyond and after their level of play this week, they definitely will have a good shot. If Nalbandian just misses the seeding cut, he is going to be by far the most dangerous floater in the US Open draw and he could really crush anyone in the world when he is on his game. Watch out Roger and Rafa!

WTA San Diego

Svetlana Kuznetsova def. [4] Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-7(9) 6-3

2009 French Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Aga Radwanska in the San Diego final to clinch her first title in 10 months. While slightly lacking in quality at times, the match was such an absorbing, exciting and intense spectacle. Kuznetsova held a 5-1 lead in the first set, only to watch Radwanska fight back before she eventually clinched it 6-4. Similarly, in set two she held a *5-2 lead but this time she couldn’t crawl over the finish line as Radwanska dug deep to eventually take the set by a tiebreak.

The second half of the second set was full of titanic rallies and some spectacular shotmaking as Radwanska leveled the match but Kuznetsova quickly raced to a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak and looked like the winner. Radwanska clawed her way back yet again but eventually Kuznetsova had three match points - to which she double faulted and hit two backhand errors off lengthy rallies. After the pair hilariously traded double faults at 6-6, Radwanska came up with a pair of breathtaking forehands and backhands to take the match into a decider. Kuznetsova eventually found her form again in the third set after an early 0-2 deficit and the match was never really in doubt as she clinched the final set 6-3.

The WTA tour is really struggling at the moment with the stars and elite players all underperforming at the exactly the same time. So many of the Grand Slams have been filled with surprise runs and while they can be exciting stories, usually they’ll get to the semis, quarters or finals and then just get completely blown away. Hopefully for the sake of the WTA and quality tennis, Svetlana and her grand slam winning/former world number one contemporaries will begin to rise again. It certainly is an encouraging week for Svetlana this week as well as Maria’s run to the Stanford final last week. We need the best players competing in the final rounds of slams and putting on exiting and sensational matches.

WTA Copenhagen

[1] Caroline Wozniacki def. Klara Zakopalova 6-2 7-6

Copenhagen got its fairytale ending as Caroline Wozniacki took home the title at the e-boks Danish Open. The Dane struggled all week in tight matches against players outside of the top 40 but she fought all the way to clinch the eighth title of her career. She will now move onto Cincinnati as the second seed and with the people surrounding her injured, it is looking more and more likey she will clinch the second seeded spot for the US Open.

(Photos: Zimbio)

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And The Winners Are…

WTA Stanford

(8/WC) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (5) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 64 61

(WC) Davenport/Huber (USA/USA) d. (2) Chan/Zheng (TPE/CHN) 75 67(8) 10-8

Victoria Azarenka played an impressive match to defeat Maria Sharapova in the finals of the Stanford Premier event. The Belarussian played fearless tennis; returning seamessly and striking backhand winners at will and she was clearly the less inhibited of the two players. The first set saw some quality tennis being played as the volume rose, and the difference between the two was Azarenka’s outstanding returning which gave her the upper hand in every Sharapova service game. Eventually the 21-year-old took the first set 6-4 and it seemed to unsettle Sharapova even more as she committed error after error to hand Azarenka the title. A well deserved win for the Stanford champion.

Azarenka wasn’t the only wildcard to win in Stanford as the new pairing of Huber and Davenport romped to victory in the doubles defeating Chan/Zheng in the final. This tournament marked Davenport’s WTA comeback after two years off the tour and so to win the title on her comeback is quite something.

ATP Los Angeles

(2) Sam Querrey d. (1) Andy Murray 5-7 7-6(2) 6-3

The final of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles was a topsy-turvy affair as Sam Querrey defeated Andy Murray for the very first time to defend his title. Querrey had never previously even won a set against Murray and it showed earlier on as the Scot stayed composed and consistent to close out the first set 7-5. Murray seemed to be closing in on the match but Querrey impressively saved a match point to level the set before taking the tiebreak with the loss of only two games. The missed opportunities of the second set were enough for Murray to spectacularly combust - punching the strings of his racket numerous times and eventually drawing blood as his fist busted open. As the American served for the title, nerves seemed to get the better of him as he double-faulted and missed two routine shots, but he steadied himself with a massive down-the-line forehand to save a breakpoint before finally closing out the match.

ATP Gstaad

[2] N Almagro (ESP) d [7] R Gasquet (FRA) 75 61

J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Nieminen (FIN) d [4] M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA) 63 67(4) 11-9

ATP Umag

[4] J Ferrero (ESP) d P Starace (ITA) 64 64

L Friedl (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) d [2] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) 63 76(7)

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WTA Istanbul

(3) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 57 75 64

The match beween Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina was nothing short of crazy as Vesnina, on her twenty-fourth birthday, managed to let a 7-5 4-0 lead slip to lose in her third career final. After the match the older Russian was inconsolable as she sobbed into her towel.

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And the winners are…

German Open
A Golubev (KAZ) d [3] J Melzer (AUT) 63 75

[6] M Fish (USA) d [2] J Isner (USA) 46 64 76(4)

Slowenia Open
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 61 62

Bad Gastein
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (2) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 61 64

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