Fed Cup Final
Yes, the Fed Cup final was played this weekend, did you miss it on the SportsCenter lead-in?
Russia routed Spain 3-0 for their fourth title in the last five years, only needing their “B” team of Vera Zvonareva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and doubles players Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova, who collectively manhandled Spaniards Anabel Medina Garrigues and rookie Carla Suarez Navarro.
In the last five years the Russians have only been stopped in 2006 by the Belgian super team of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters in the first round.
BCR Open Romania
Frenchman Gilles Simon is not yet regarded as one of the upper echelon in men’s tennis — but the man who defeated Roger Federer earlier this year is well on his way. On Sunday Simon defeated former No. 1 Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-4 for his third title of the year, keeping himself in the running to qualify for the Top 8 at the year-ending Masters Cup. “It’s nice to defend the title here in Bucharest,” Simon said. “Now I will take a few days off before I start practicing for the indoor season and my next tournament in Metz…of course it would be very nice if I made [the Masters Cup].”
Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic
No. 2 seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland steamrolled Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-0 for her first title in over three years, ending a streak of seven straight losses in finals. “It’s a great feeling to be the tournament champion,” Schnyder said. “I had a great feeling the last three matches, where I was at a very good level and continued everything from New York, despite the fact I’m exhausted from being away from home for the last eight weeks and travelling all over the world.”
No ATP tournaments this week due to the upcoming Davis Cup weekend featuring Russia at Argentina and the U.S. at Spain, but there are two events in Asia on the women’s side:
Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament
Six Top 10 players in Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Elena Dementieva, Dinara Safina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska head the 32 draw in Tokyo, where last year the now-retired former No. 1 and recreational cocaine user (according to ITF drug testing) Martina Hingis topped Ivanovic for the title.
Also seeded is the willowy Slovak Daniela Hantuchova and Russian Anna Chakvetadze. Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo received a wildcard and opens aganst Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, winner to face Safina. Potential semifinal meetings are Jankovic vs. Dementieva, and Ivanovic vs. Safina.
TOE Life Ceramics Guangzhou International Women’s Open 2008
Vera Zvonareva, straight from leading Russia to another Fed Cup title, is the big toe this week at the Tier III mouthful TOE Life Ceramics Guangzhou International Women’s Open 2008. A tournament without a top seed is like a foot without a big toe.
The lone Top 10 seed, the Russia is joined among the seeds by Patty Schnyder, Jie Zheng, Shuai Peng, Gisela Dulko, Olga Govortsova, Pauline Parmentier, and the always-popular Mariya Koryttseva.
Missing from the festivities is defending champ Virginie Razzano of France, who in last year’s final eased past Tzipora Obziler of Israel 6-0, 6-3.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
HOW SOON WE FORGET: Max Eisenbud of IMG, Maria Sharapova’s manager: “The way women’s tennis is being played, if you’re not at least a six-footer and can’t hit hard and deep and never miss, you have no chance.” Uh, ever heard of Justine Henin? She was 5-foot-5 and was No. 1 by a mile before retiring earlier this year. Maybe Google her.
ANYONE FROM THE CROWD WANT TO PLAY? With Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis injured, Australia in their upcoming Davis Cup relegation tie against Chile will have to go with Sam Groth, Carsten Ball, Chris Guccione and Peter Luczak, only one ranked in the Top 150.
WE SUE YOU: Italians Potito Starace, Daniele Bracciali, Federico Luzzi and Giorgio Galimberti are suing the ATP for their bans ranging from six weeks to seven months for internet gambling on tennis matches, among other sports. “A Miami law studio will defend us for violation of privacy,” Galimberti said in an interview in La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The site on which we bet a few euros didn’t have the right to reveal that data because it was prior to the agreement made with the various sporting associations. And the ATP was not allowed to make public other information, like the bets on football and other sports. We’ll go all the way to the highest court.”
LET’S JUST SEED WHO WE LIKE: John Feinstein writing for the Washington Post: “Another note to the tennis folks: stop seeding based only on the computer; use some common sense. Saying that Venus Williams was the seventh best player in the field coming into the [US] Open made about as much sense as saying that Michael Phelps is a pretty decent butterflyer).” — Thank goodness tennis writers don’t determine random seedings during each event based on players they think are hot, rather than going by results of the last 52 weeks, eh? Venus was seeded seventh because she has had the seventh-best results of any player over that period. That’s “common sense.” Tennis seedings can’t be based on jingoistic hype.
DAVYDENKO CLEARED: The ATP has ended its investigation into a gambling investigation involving Russian Nikolay Davydenko that involved roughly $7 million bet against the Russian on a match he retired in at the tiny ATP event in Sopot. “ATP can confirm today that it has concluded its investigation and found no evidence of a violation of its rules by either [Davydenko's opponent] Mr. Arguello or Mr. Davydenko or anyone else associated with the match.” The investigation lasted over a year. Now comes Davydenko’s decision whether to sue the ATP for dragging on the investigation and making his life hell.
MISC: Jimmy Connors is lending his name and has traveled to India to promote a new line of tennis academies…When shooting for the ATP’s 2009 beefcake topless calendar, the shy Marcos Baghdatis told the photographer he would only take his shirt off if everyone else left the studio…French tennis federation head Christian Bimes has announced that he will not run for re-election, and is fighting a possible five-year prison sentence for unjustified financial expenses in Paris court…Tatiana Golovin is out for the remainder of the season with injury…Serena Williams is the first player, man or woman, to regain No. 1 five years after previously holding it…Marat Safin has pulled from Russia’s Davis Cup semifinal to rest-up for his next tour event: “(Safin) needs to keep getting points before the end of the year and feels the trip from Buenos Aires to Bangkok would be very long and tiring,” his website said…James Blake, whose worst surface is red clay, bailed from the U.S Davis Cup semifinal this coming weekend at Spain citing exhaustion. The U.S. will insert Davis Cup rookie Sam Querrey…Brit brothers Andy and Jamie Murray have patched-up a long-running feud that continued through the US Open in time to represent GB in this weekend’s Davis Cup qualifier…US Open champ Serena Williams is shopping around a book deal that is expected to net her around $1 million.
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