Category Archives: Bangkok

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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Rafa Gets The Red Carpet Treatment

I have seen the likes Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova all play in 250/International events, but never have I seen any tournament go as far as to lay a red carpet down for their marquee star. That is, of course, until today. Rafa’s entrance to his match resembled a movie premiere - red carpet, screaming fans, huge bodyguards. It was mayhem. The match was uneventful though, and he dropped only five games en route to a straight sets victory over Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium. He also had a chance to meet the Prime Minister which was pretty cool. Oh, and he smiled. A lot.

A clean-shaven Ernests Gulbis (*gasp*, an oxymoron) toughed out a tight 3 setter to defeat Schuettler yesterday and so a Nadal-Gulbis semi is still on the cards. A matchup more than worthy of a red carpet entrance.

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Welcome Back, Mr Del Potro

He may have lost 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 to Olivier Rochus today, but after 8 months out with his wrist injury the result was probably irrelevant to Juan Martin Del Potro. The wrist was the main worry and concern for JMDP and after the match he is assessed it as “perfect”. Game on.

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Rafa, JMDP at Bangkok 2010. Be there.

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I was quite skeptical when Rafa’s name popped up on the Thailand Open entry list. Seemed like a random and pointless detour for the World Number One en-route to the European Indoor Season. But he touched down in Bangkok today so he clearly has every intention of playing there next week. But he, more than anyone else, is well aware of his priorities and I’m sure he won’t exhaust himself at a 250 event weeks before it all kicks off again. Knowing Rafa, he probably felt he needed to make it up to the tournament after he was forced to withdraw from Bangkok last year.

On a side note, he really doesn’t have a hell of a lot to defend between now and the end of the year. He is already over 4,000 points ahead of Novak and he is set to end the year light years away from his nearest rivals. Hell, do they even count as rivals anymore?

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Bangkok also marks the much-anticipated return of Juan Martin Del Potro. Not particularly a fan of his, but it will be great to see him back in the mix. It remains to be seen whether he will come thundering back immediately after such a long layoff, but returning at the beginning of the indoor season will put him in a good position to be back playing great tennis by the Australian Open next year, where he will have to join Novak, Roger, Andy and Robin in the fight against what will have to be renamed the “RafaRena Slam”. His forehand and the grip he used inevitably put a lot of strain on his wrist so I’m also interested to see whether he will have tweaked anything in his game upon returning to the courts.

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