Category Archives: David Nalbandian

Onwards and upwards: Toronto 1000 and Cincinnati Premier 5

This week sees the men stop off at Toronto and the Women have a rest in Cincinnati as they continue on their roadtrip to the US Open.

ATP Rogers Cup, Toronto (1000):


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The Rogers Cup is the first of two Masters 1000 events on the road to the US Open and it promises to be a cracker with the draw led by the world’s top four - Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

The top half of the Toronto draw is extremely interesting. Nadal could face some resistance in the form of Farmers Classic Champion Sam Querrey, but it’s the second section of the top half which is where all the drama will likely take place. Robin Soderling and David Ferrer drew the short straws by being dumped in the same section as Washington Champion David Nalbandian. If he continues the form he showed last week, they would be smart to start booking their flights to Cincinnati from now. There is also the mouthwatering match-ups of Fernando Gonzalez against Gael Monfils and Gulbis versus Bellucci to look forward to, so keep an eye on that section.

The bottom half is a little more balanced and the most prominent first round match has to be between 2008 semi-finalist Gilles Simon and Mikhail Youzhny. It is quite odd to see Federer seeded third but he will have to get used to it quickly as he is seeded to meet Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, whom he has lost to twice this year. It will also be interesting to see who comes out of the Verdasco-Davydenko section. Both are such great players but have been in bad form after injuries/poor scheduling. They could easily produce one of the matches of the tournament.

Also keep an eye on our #1 and #2 doubles team Rafole who will be making their debut together tonight.

WTA Cincinnati (Premier 5):

Over in Cincinnati, the draw isn’t quite as full with Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Sam Stosur and Justine Henin all forced to sit out with injuries. Even the top seeded Jelena Jankovic is injured, having twisted her ankle a few weeks ago in Portoroz. Therefore, the overwhelming favourite has to be last year’s US Open Champion Kim Clijsters.

There are some crazy first round match-ups this week with Victoria Azarenka up against Ana Ivanovic and even more shockingly; three-time Grand Slam Champion Maria Sharapova facing two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. This match could and should be the type of match taking place slam finals but instead it’s happening in the first round of a 64-draw event, which is why both champions need to hurry back up the rankings. Elsewhere, Dinara Safina could face Kim Clijsters in the second round and Sorana Cirstea could go up against second seeded Caroline Wozniacki. It will be interesting to see whether either will be able to put up a fight considering Safina and Cirstea had actually defeated Clijsters and Wozniacki this time last year. It’s crazy just how much difference a year makes.

Stay tuned!

(Pictures: Zimbio)

Posted in Ana Ivanovic, Cincinnati, David Nalbandian, Maria Sharapova, Robin Soderling, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Toronto, Victoria Azarenka | Leave a comment

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)

Posted in And the winners are..., Caroline Wozniacki, David Nalbandian, Svetlana Kuznetsova | Leave a comment