Tennis-X Weekend Wrap: Jankovic Wins, Sampras Touts McCain
BA-CA Tennis Trophy
Seeds: Stan Wawrinka, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Martin del Potro, Ivo Karlovic, Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils
Notes: Former No. 1 Spaniards Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero (vs. Karlovic), Croat Ivan Ljubicic, and Guillermo Canas among unseeded. Wawrinka lost in last year’s final to Novak Djokovic.
IF Stockholm Open
Seeds: David Nalbandian, Mario Ancic, Jarkko Nieminen, Robin Soderling, Rainer Schuettler, Jose Acasuso, Al Montanes, Marcel Granollers
Notes: Joachim Johansson, who earlier in the year announced his retirement, appears in the main draw with a singles wildcard. Former Slam champ Thomas Johansson (vs. Montanes) is in the draw, and additional wildcards went to the soon-retiring Jonas Bjorkman and Japanese endorsement machine Kei Nishikori (vs. Granollers).
ATP Kremlin Cup
Men’s Seeds: Nikolay Davydenko, Igor Andreev, Mikhail Youzhny, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Dmitry Tursunov, Michael Llodra, Marat Safin, Janko Tipsarevic
Notes: Potential Davydenko-Safin quarterfinal; Davydenko beat Mathieu in last year’s final.
Women’s Seeds: Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Vera Zvonareva, Anna Chakvetadze
Notes: Serena Williams withdrew from the event citing a knee injury; Jankovic after a bye could face former tour threat Nicole Vaidisova; Chakvetadze opens against Tokyo winner Caroline Wozniacki, and Zvonareva starts against Russian countrywoman Maria Kirilenko, winner to potentially face Daniela Hantuchova; Ivanovic after a bye could face Marion Bartoli, and Safina after a bye will face the winner of the all-French standoff between former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo and Alize Cornet.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Serb Jelena Jankovic re-took the world No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams and collected roughly $100,000 last week with the title at Stuttgart, topping Russian Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
“I’m very proud of winning my second tournament in a row,” Jankovic said. “It was not easy coming here from China and I had very tough matches against Zvonareva and Venus, but I’m thrilled to win the Porsche today.”
Jankovic was being literal, as in addition to the prize money she drove away from the tournament with a new Porsche 911 convertible. The Serb was undecided if she would skip this week’s event in Moscow as she is struggling with a foot injury and was scheduled to fly to Serbia Sunday to get it looked at.
Sorana Cirstea won her first career title Sunday in Tashkent, defeating Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4), saving a match point in a battle of tour up-and-comers.
“I’ll cherish the title in Tashkent forever as it is my first title; I was desperate to take my first title,” Cirstea said. “I’ve been improving a lot since my first final, and I’m looking for many more titles. I’m also extremely happy to wear the traditional Uzbek dress, which has become the trademark of this event.”
Czech Tomas Berdych followed a semifinal win over Andy Roddick with a convincing championship victory against one of the tour’s hottest players, Juan Martin del Potro, to claim the Japan Open title on Sunday.
The win puts the former Top 10-ranked Berych in the running for the final No. 8 spot at the year-ending Masters Cup.
“In today’s tennis everything is so close and tough,” Berdych said. “It’s all about having confidence on the court. If you win one or two matches everything can come together.”
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated No. 5 seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the women’s final to win her third title of the year after Stockholm and New Haven.
“She was serving really well in the second set and had the advantage,” said Wozniacki. “I just tried to step it up in the third set and play better on my return and it worked out for me.”
Open de Moselle
Russian No. 5 seed Dmitry Tursunov topped No. 4 Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 7-6(6), 1-6, 6-4 on Sunday for the title at Metz.
It was the second title of the year for the 25-year-old after Sydney in January. “Today there wasn’t a big difference,” Tursunov said. “I can’t say that I was better than him. He could have broken me as well in the third set.”
TENNIS- X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
PETE SAYS GO MCCAIN: For some reason Pete Sampras recently spoke to a TMZ gossip site cameraman harassing him as he came out of a restaurant, voicing his opinion that entertainers should not share their political views, but the former No. 1 also gave a “Go McCain!” shoutout to Republican presidential candidate John McCain. “Experience,” Sampras added on his political choice. Sampras also claimed to not know who Tina Fey, who has famously been lampooning McCain’s VP choice Sarah Pain on Saturday Night Live, is. “Nothing will ever diminish Sampras’ achievements on the tennis court or how he conducted himself,” commented Britain’s The Guardian newspaper. “But any more of this Go McCain nonsense and we might have to reconsider.
MISC: Through the end of September, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic was leading the ace totals averaging 18 aces per match, followed by Andy Roddick with 13.5 per match…Russian women have won roughly one-third of the titles on the WTA Tour this year…Andy Roddick is looking to hire a new coach by the end of the year to take advantage of the off-season training period and come out firing in 2009…Wayne Ferreira on the current senior tour tennis, speaking to ESPN: “Believe me, these are much better matches than what you used to get on the old hit-and-giggle tours where everyone had to play like crap in order to make Jimmy Connors look good.”…Anna Kournikova was in Guam this week with the USO, entertaining troops and their families…Website Monsters & Critics, which does a good amount of tennis reporting, is backpedaling on their dumbass website name and is now going by ‘M&C’…Maria Sharapova is dating Charlie Ebersol, son of NBC Sports Chair Dick Ebersol, according to the SportsBusiness Daily…Instructions for press on the China Open website: “Please be in your own working area before start of the match and keep quiet. Do not get around, eat or chat with each other. When watching the game in area that is of no spectator stand, please stay outside of the court backstop without entering to watch or make interview.” — or you’ll be subject to human rights violations…Marcos Baghdatis pulled from Metz with a back injury…The new ATP event in Johannesburg, South Africa (formerly the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas) has announced the tournament will be held at the Montecasino gambling and entertainment complex, just north of Johannesburg, and that their under-the-table appearance money has been spent on acquiring France’s Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Spaniard David Ferrer as the top drawing cards…Serena Williams has pulled from this week’s Kremlin Cup sighting a knee injury…Roger Federer withdrew from Stockholm citing fatigue…Justine Henin’s former coach Carlos Rodriguez says she will undergo knee surgery. In other troubles, Belgium’s Le Soir magazine reports her older brother Thomas is being accused of bank fraud and embezzlement.
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