Serena Back in Action; Davydenko Ready to Sue ATP
AIG Japan Open
Men’s Seeds: David Ferrer, Andy Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez, Richard Gasquet, Juan Martin del Potro, Tommy Robredo, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mikhail Youzhny
Women’s Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Jie Zheng, Maria Kirilenko, Kaia Kanepi, Shahar Peer, Tamarine Tanasugarn, Aleksandra Wozniak
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Seeds: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Vera Zvonareva, Agnieszka Radwanska
Seeds: Shuai Peng, Olga Govortsova, Sorana Cirstea, Sabine Lisicki, Magdalena Rybarikova, Monica Niculescu, Akgul Amanmuradova, Galina Voskoboeva
Open de Moselle
Seeds: Ivo Karlovic, Gilles Simon, Nicolas Almagro, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Dmitry Tursunov, Andreas Seppi, Radek Stepanek, Mario Ancic
No. 2 seed Andy Roddick puts down a surprisingly-resistant unseeded Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 for his third title of the year. Roddick also announced he would donate $25,000 of his prize money to the Chinese Tennis Association (CTA) to support in assisting those who suffered in the catastrophic earthquake in the Sichuan Province. Sela was the first Israeli to reach an ATP singles final since Harel Levy at Nottingham in 2001, and was attempting to become the first title winner since Amos Mansdorf at 1993 Washington.
“To beat Ferrer, Robredo and Schuettler — it’s tough to chalk that up as a coincidence,” Roddick said of Sela. “He was definitely playing well this week and I thought he played well today also. I knew in the back of my mind that I was playing in my 40th final and he was in his first one, so I knew that had to count for something.”
In the women’s final top-seeded Jelena Jankovic easily defeated the title-phobic Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2, for her second crown of the year. The Russian Kuznetsova drops to 9-17 lifetime in finals, losing 10 of her last 11, 0-5 in 2008.
“I’m disappointed,” Kuznetsova said. “I wasn’t moving to the ball or doing the right things on the court. I love playing here, so it was disappointing to not play well in the final. But she played well today. She was consistent as always. I think we both played better in Tokyo, but she played better than me today.”
French riser Jo-Wilfried Tsonga picked up on the promise he showed earlier this season during the weekend in Bangkok, ousting top-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 6-4 for his first-ever ATP title. The 23-year-old Tsonga made his return from knee surgery at the US Open after a three month absence. The win avenged a defeat at the hands of Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January.
“Jo wisely used his opportunities and deserved to win his first title,” Djokovic said. “I played a bit too defensively today in the final. You have to use your opportunities and I didn’t. It’s unfortunate to lose in the final but I lost to a great player so I have no regrets. Congratulations to Jo and his team on his first ATP title. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of him in the future.”
Hansol Korea Open
Russian Maria Kirilenko upheld her top seeding to collect her third title of the year Sunday in Seoul, coming from a set down to defeat unseeded Aussie Sam Stosur 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Stosur dropped to 0-4 lifetime in tour singles finals.
“The momentum switched around,” Stosur said. “I got passive with the way I was playing and she stepped it up and became more aggressive. It continued through 4-0 in the third. I knew I had to stop it. I started stepping up and going for it more, being more aggressive and taking some time away from her. And I got myself back in the match, but she played well at the end to finish it.”
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
DAVYDENKO WANTS CASH: Nikolay Davydenko’s lawyer says the ATP has refused a settlement request, and the Davydenko camp is putting together a plan to sue the ATP. The Russian has reportedly lost millions of Euros over the last year-plus as sponsorship talks were dropped in addition to under-the-table tournament appearance fees. Seven million dollars were waged on the questioned match where Davydenko retired in the third set against a much-lower ranked opponent.
MISC: Jelena Jankovic is apparently dating a Montenegro water polo player she met while at the Beijing Olympics. If you can’t get hooked at the Olympic Village, you can’t get hooked anywhere…John McEnroe beat Henri Leconte in the seniors Luxembourg final…Jim Courier beat Todd Martin in the senior final at Charlotte…29-year-old Thai Paradorn Srichaphan says he is eying a switch to motorsports competition if his tennis comeback from injury does not work out…Mardy Fish was married over the weekend, with his buddy Andy Roddick oddly missing the event to play a tournament in Asia…From Neil Harman of the Times Online: “Neither Roddick nor Fish may know this but it was hugely noticeable at the recent US Open that American newspapers do not find their own ‘major’ quite the tournament it used to be. Many have stopped sending reporters to cover it. The British contingent (not as large as it once was) are located in a row in the press room at Flushing Meadows usually occupied by the likes of the evocatively named Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Orange County Register, Oakland Tribune and San Diego Union-Tribune. There were lots of unoccupied seats this year. The Dallas paper stopped sending long ago, as did Philadelphia, and Dale Robertson, a great character from the Houston Chronicle, paid his own way to spend four days at Wimbledon this year “‘coz I just can’t get along without it.”
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