Tennis-X Barbs: Grass is Greener for Spaniards…and Slower
Ferrer Wins Netherlands Grasscourt Title
Think nothing radical has changed in the realm of grasscourt tennis?
Grasscourt organizers have slowed the surface to ridiculous lengths in order to appease critics who though the surface was too fast and favored big servers. Now the pendulum has swing in the other direction. Last week Rafael Nadal became the first Spaniard to win on grass in 36 years. A week later, baseline wall David Ferrer, another Spaniard, takes home the ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands title with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Frenchman Marc Gicquel.
Thai qualifier Tamarine Tanasugarn won the women’s half of the event, defeating No. 3 seed Dinara Safina 7-5, 6-3.
Ferrer won the battle of long baseline rallies on the Dutch lawns.
“I think this proves that we Spaniards can play well on grass,” Ferrer said. “This was my first appearance here and it’s great to win the title. This title means a lot to me, since it’s my first title on a grass court. It also gives me more confidence for Wimbledon.”
Radwanska Wins Eastbourne Grass Title
Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska upped her Wimbledon stock Saturday with a 6-4, 6-7(11), 6-4 win over former Top 10er Nadia Petrova in the final of the Eastbourne International Women’s Open.
It was the third title of the year for Radwanska, putting her in class with three-time time title winners Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
Karlovic Serves Way to Nottingham Title Over Spaniard
Croat “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic successfully defended his Nottingham Open title Saturday with a 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(8) victory over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
Due to rain the final was moved indoors to the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre, making Karlovic the second player to win the title indoors after Greg Rusedski in 1997.
Sampras Slams Mouthy Rios in Senior Sao Paulo Final
Pete Sampras handled Marcelo Rios 6-2, 7-6(5) in a battle of former No. 1s in the Sao Paulo final to win his first title on the BlackRock Tour of Champions.
Rios finished No. 1 on the Blackrock Senior Tour last year, yet ran up against Sampras on one of his better surfaces. Last year Rios talked up the beating he gave John McEnroe prior to facing the fellow world No. 1.
“Pete is playing very good tennis and it was hard to beat him as his serve is so big,” Rios said. “I hope to have other chances to play him. On this surface it is obvious that he has a big advantage but in the future I hope to have a second shot at him.”
Hey Marcelo, don’t hold your breath waiting for Pete to take appearance money to play an event against you on clay.
Monday Wimbledon Schedule Matches of Note
(1) Roger Federer vs. Dominik Hrbaty, (7) David Nalbandian vs. Frank Dancevic, (15) Fernando Gonzalez vs. Robby Ginepri, (32) Michael Llodra vs. Mario Ancic, (21) Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Sam Querrey, and (30) Gael Monfils vs. Chris Guccione.
(1) Ana Ivanovic vs. Rossana De los Rios, Kaia Kanepi vs. (6) Serena Williams, (29) Amelie Mauresmo vs. Playboy bunny Ashley Harkleroad, and Vera Dushevina vs. (19) Maria Kirilenko in an all-Russian.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova says she could win on grass if it wasn’t for her — brain: “Grass has never been my favorite surface. I have to change so much for it but I’m improving. Everyone’s game is different on it and we just have to adapt. Every year I push myself more and try new things but my biggest opponent is my mind. You can train your mind but it is difficult for me as I have many ups and downs.”…
Wimbledon pulls on the women’s side: Tatiana Golovin (back), Laura Granville (left hand), Karin Knapp (ill), Anne Kremer (right wrist), Akiko Morigami (left knee), Anastasia Pivovarova (abdominal), Ahsha Rolle (back), Maria Emilia Salerni (foot), Julia Schruff (ill), Meghann Shaughnessy (knee), and Meilen Tu (hip)…
After receiving short shrift for the last couple years, the ATP players have finally gathered for a mini-revolt, electing the top three players, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to the ATP Player Council. The three players availing themselves is a result of ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers ignoring the ‘player voice’ and operating over the years without player consultation. “I think it’s fantastic for the sport,” Djokovic said shortly before the vote that could put de Villier’s job in jeopardy. “We’re changing the face, changing the picture of everything in general.” One face that will have to be changed, and No. 1 for the new Player Council, is the ATP being sued for $76 million for demoting the Hamburg event from Masters Series status. If the ATP loses the July court case it will likely mean bankruptcy for the men’s tour…
From the Times Online: “Eight matches at Wimbledon have been reported to the tennis authorities on suspicion that their results have been fixed by professional gambling syndicates. The matches are named in a dossier compiled by leading bookmaking companies, which monitor suspect betting patterns and players thought to be willing to throw games. Four of the matches are from last year’s men’s singles at Wimbledon and involve foreign players who each lost by three sets.”…
The Guarian writes that even if the U.S. has no champions, it’s alright because the U.S. can adopt European champions: “Washington-based Micky Lawler, of the management group Octagon, whose clients include Amelie Mauresmo, Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva, says the failure of US players to win the big tournaments is less of a problem than it would have been a few years ago. She argues that, while the US has no intention of giving up on trying to produce winners of the major tournaments, Americans are quite happy engaging with the modern champions such as Russia’s Sharapova and Ivanovic of Serbia, because they transcend borders. She gives as an example the interest generated in America by Ivanovic when she won the French Open two weeks ago.”…
Tennis writer Charlie Bricker on Sam Querrey: “This, too, was a Sam Querrey moment: A year ago, he pulled out of a grass-court tournament in Nottingham, England, a week before Wimbledon, announcing he had an ankle injury. “Um…” he began haltingly a few days ago. “Actually, I just wanted to go golfing in Scotland. It was great. St. Andrews. It was raining, 50 degrees, 50-m.p.h. winds. But you have to play it. I think I shot a 110 or a 112, but it was really cool.”…
New ATP Player Council member and U.S. TV commentator Justin Gimelstob speaking to a D.C. radio show on Anna Kournikova: “Hate’s a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level, right below hate. I think she falls into the Marcelo Rios ‘Scumbag’ category….And this whole bluff about her retiring because of her back? She had the yips on her serve, she can’t get her serve on the court. Wait until you see on July 23, she’s gonna be serving 40 miles an hour and I’m gonna be just plugging it down her throat…We do exhibitions together and I’ll mock her, and make fun of her. I’ll just make her know that she’s stupid…I’m sure she’ll rue the day that she has to come here and actually share space with me…I have no attraction to her, because she’s such a douche…I really have no interest in her. I wouldn’t mind having my younger brother, who’s kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits of that.”
Also Check Out:
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Venus into 6th Wimbledon Final; Nadal Still Awaits Schuettler or Clement