Tennis-X Wrap: Fish Speared at New Haven, Hewitt Out of US Open
PILOT PEN TENNIS
New Haven, CT, USA
(6) Marin Cilic (CRO) d. (8) Mardy Fish (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Cilic wins his first ATP title after the battle of players with no forehands. The 19-year-old Croat converted five of six break points and lost his serve three times. ESPN commentator Brad “Do the Opposite” Gilbert sealed the deal for the Croat when he picked Fish pre-match. “I am feeling very excited,” Cilic said. “The match was a little bit thrilling. It was a lot of ups and downs from both of us. But eventually in the third set I got my thoughts back and my rhythm.”
PILOT PEN TENNIS
New Haven, CT, USA
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (1) Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Wozniacki collects her second career WTA Tour singles title on the heels of a third-round effort at the Beijing Olympics where she lost to eventual gold medalist Elena Dementieva. Chakvetadze was a perfect 7-0 in career finals entering the New Haven championship match. “This is a really big tournament before the US Open and I beat some really great players to win it,” the Dane said.
FOREST HILLS TENNIS CLASSIC
Forest Hills, New York, USA
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-4, 6-2
Safarova wins her fourth career title at the tiny Tier IV event, improving to 4-2 career in finals and dropping Shuai to 0-2. “I was injured at the beginning of the year and haven’t had my best results, but this week has helped me regain my confidence in time for the US Open,” says Safarova, boyfriend of fellow Czech and ATP player Tomas Berdych. “I’ll celebrate this win and just look forward to New York.”
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
LOOSE CANNON: Tennis Week’s Richard Evans on departing ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers: “The sad thing is that a majority of the very top players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal actually seem to dislike de Villiers personally. But, equally sadly, de Villiers brought that on himself. There is an anger inside him which he does not seem able to control. Charming one minute, he could blow a gasket the next. Staff below the executive level were afraid of him; players who were only trying to put forward alternative opinions were shocked at being yelled at and the leaders of other tennis organizations such as the ITF and Grand Slam chairmen quickly tired of his outbursts.”
WORLD NO. 1 BEATER: With her win at the Olympics over Jelena Jankovic, Russian Dinara Safina became the first player in history to beat three different reigning No. 1 players in the same year.
FEDERER NOT WORSE, OTHER PLAYERS BETTER: James Blake says Roger Federer’s game isn’t necessarily falling off — other players are just catching up. “Guys are getting stronger and fitter and guys are playing better tennis,” Blake said at the US Open. “I don’t think it’s Roger getting worse. I don’t think there’s any way that’s the case. I think guys are definitely improving. Guys are catching up a little. That’s not to say he can’t turn it on at any time, because the talent, confidence he has, and court sense, he could turn it on and go through this tournament just like last year and couple years ago where he just goes through making it look easy. But I hope I have something to say. I hope some of the other guys have something to say about that, and we’re going to do our best.”
EAT YOUR OREOS: Venus and Serena Williams opened their pre-US Open press conference with a mini-commercial for their sponsorship of cookies — to be precise, Oreo cookies. Training food of the stars. The sisters will be competing in the “Oreos Double Stuff Racing League,” where you, uh, race to eat cookies. “It puts a new spin on the classic twist, lick, and dunk,” Venus said. “People compete to see who can eat a Double Stuffed Oreo cookie the fastest, so Serena and I have joined the league. We’ve become very fast, actually.” Serena added, “We’re the fastest ever. You know we love to have a lot of fun and be competitive at whatever we do. Since we have been young we’ve been enjoying Oreos, and decided to take it to a new level and get involved with DSRL as adults.” Mmmm, healthy! The Williams sisters also front for that fast-food behemoth responsible for the U.S.’s skyrocketing obesity epidemic, McDonald’s. “We like to involve ourselves in companies that mean things not only that has a lot to do with family, because me and my sister, we are really close with family and things that have to do with charities off court, as well,” Serena said.
MISC: Leander Paes has stepped down as India’s Davis Cup captain amidst criticism from team players…The WTA Tour, ATP, International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Grand Slam Committee this week announced the appointment of Jeff Rees as Director of the sport’s newly-formed Tennis Integrity Unit and the adoption of a uniform Anti-Corruption Code across the sport…Sales of US Open pre-event tickets hit an all-time high record this year…India’s Sania Mirza is out of the US Open with a wrist injury…From Tennis Week: “New York City represents both the realization of a vision and the city where revisions have been realized by Andy Roddick.” — Huh?…Lleyton Hewitt underwent hip surgery and will miss the US Open.
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Wozniacki, Dementieva Lead Solid Field at WTA New Haven; + Men