Shanghai ATP Masters 1000
Russian Nikolay Davydenko improved his chances of qualifying for the ATP year-end championship on Sunday after giving world No. 2 Rafael Nadal a fast-court lesson 7-6(3), 6-3 to lift the Masters series trophy in Shanghai.
“On the final day, last match, you want to give everything in this match, 100 percent what you can do,” said Davydenko. “And really I lost five finals and I won 17…Really, in finals I play very well.”
Nadal was typically congratulatory in losing to the Russian.
“I don’t like to lose, but I had my chances. He beat me,” Nadal said. “He played very good match. Just congratulate him, because he deserved the victory. He did very well, and with this victory probably he’s closer to being [at the ATP year-end championship] in London.”
In the semifinals Davydenko upended No. 4 Novak Djokovic, while Nadal steamrolled Spanish countryman Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez.
Generali Ladies Linz
Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, still rolling off the momentum of her US Open semifinals appearance, won her second career title on Sunday by defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4 in the Linz final.
In the semifinals Wickmayer ousted top-seeded Flavia Pennetta 7-6(5), 6-3. Kvitova for her part upended world No. 10 Aggie Radwanska in the semis. Wickmayer will crack the Top 20 on the WTA Tour rankings for the first time come Monday.
Australia’s Sam Stosur broke her 0-5 run in WTA Tour singles finals, finally raising the trophy after a 7-5, 6-1 win over top-seed in the HP Open final.
The win followed a sterling 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 upset over top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals.
“I played very well in the first set and barely made a mistake — I was still playing well in the second and nearly led 4-1 but she got back into the match,” Stosur said. “I just told myself not to panic, keep doing the same things as I did in the first set and stay positive. I tried to do what I wanted to do and not let anything frustrate me. Obviously I’m pleased to bring it back and close it out.”
Schiavone fell to 1-10 in career finals.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
TOUR SEASON TOO LONG (EXCLUDING LUCRATIVE EXHIBITIONS, OF COURSE!) — Amidst all the bitching on the ATP circuit about the season being too long, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already committed to play the money-raining Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, exhibition event at the beginning of January 2010.
CZECHED OUT — Czech Ivo Minar has been banned for eight months after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine after a Davis Cup match. The sample was taken in July, and the ban ends in March 2010. The 25-year-old Minar says it was a food supplement that contained the substance.
AND AFTER SHOW THE CROWD YOUR ABS — Wildcard American Jan-Michael Gambill lost first round to Go Soeda at the Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger.
SAM SEDATED — Bonnie Ford of ESPN reports that Sam Querrey had to be sedated at the hospital in China when they brought him in for emergency surgery to fix him up after his arm was badly cut after falling through a glass table. “I couldn’t stop crying and shaking because I didn’t know how bad it was,” Querrey said. Writes Ford, “The glass left a nearly 3-inch-long gouge in Querrey’s forearm muscle but did not sever it — and also barely missed a nerve that, if damaged, could have compromised Querrey’s chances of ever playing again.”
BLAKE AND BARKER BREAK — James Blake and his coach Brian Barker, who has coached him since his junior days, have mutually parted ways. Blake is finishing out the year with fellow Floridian Kelly Jones as his coach. Jones, a former No. 1-ranked doubles player on the ATP tour, has worked with other Floridians Mardy Fish and John Isner.
ANDY WANTS A BURRITO — Andy Roddick is leading the charge for the ATP to follow the WTA in instituting a longer off-season: “I can tell you that six weeks is simply not enough time to recover from the excesses of a season,” he said. “We played almost 11 months, we have a solid block of mandated events, we have to play four of the 500 [-level] tournaments, the demands are getting harder. Heck, I’d just like a couple of weeks in a year when I could overdose on burritos, but I have to watch what I do probably more closely than most players, I train like a dog and when I’m out there, I kill myself to win.”
END OF AN ERA — Andre Agassi says the era of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dominating at the No. 1 and 2 ranking is over: “Now we have possibly the changing of the guard. You have those top two who are now losing ground to the likes of (Novak) Djokovic and Murray and (Juan Martin) del Potro…If you’re (Nadal) struggling with your knee, it tends to be recurring and not to be easy to do, so I got to believe he’ll struggle with it probably for his career…From a talent standpoint, Murray is a person who should win multiple Slams. When I look at his game compared to the other players, he has what it takes to win and to win against anybody on any surface.”
ATTACHMENTS and DISILLUSIONS — Mark “The Scud Stud” Philippoussis is reportedly engaged to actress Jennifer Esposito, while Indian doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi is divorcing his wife, Shvetha, after 6-1/2 years of marriage.
JUST PLAY LESS — Marat Safin speaking to the media in Shanghai on all the crying going on about the season being too long: “In 2004, we had this discussion at the Olympic Games with [Andy] Roddick and they were blaming me that I’m playing too much. And I was saying that the season is too long. We should make it shorter. And the guys jumped on me, like I was the one that was wrong. So, look at all of them — everybody is falling apart. Everybody is getting injured left and right, and everybody is complaining the season is long. It takes six years to realize something is wrong? They just have to deal with that, not when they are 21 and ambitious and want to make money. They have to think a bit with their brains to make their careers a little bit longer.”
THE RACE IS…OFF — Tennis writer Tom Tebbutt on the ATP killing its “Race” standings they started in 2001: “The ATP braintrust of the day, citing surveys, believed the Race, starting on January 1, would create interest in a year-long quest for No. 1 as is the case with Formula One Racing…Promoting the Race and hiding the rankings (now re-baptized the Entry System) from the public was a misguided notion because the rankings had long been vital for functions such as entry to tournaments and seedings at those same tournaments…”As part of our changes to the ATP World Tour, we have looked to introduce one rankings system that is as easy to follow as possible,” is the claim on ATPWORLDTOUR.COM. “At times, having two, simultaneous running systems — the rankings and the Race — was confusing and difficult to for fans to follow. The ATP Rankings represents the sport’s DNA.”…Despite its excellent product, the ATP has consistently botched its attempts to re-brand itself, as evidenced by the rankings/Race fiasco. There has also been the changing of its name from ATP Tour (1990-2000) to the ATP (2001 to 2008) and this year to ATP World Tour…As well, it has renamed its year-end championships from the ATP Tour World Championship (1990-1999) to the Tennis Masters Cup (2000-2008) and this year to the ATP World Tour Finals. In the end, who looks good through all the ATP’s tinkering with terminology?”
SENIOR BOYCOTT — Sure we love senior tennis, who doesn’t? Old guys battling it out, a return to finesse over power, yada yada. But as long as there remain two separate battling senior tours (the ATP’s Champions Tour and Jim Courier’s Outback Champions Series) without a unified senior rankings, we’ll be boycotting senior tennis results. Including last week’s Surprise, Ariz., event where Todd Martin beat Andre Agassi in the final. Oops, shouldn’t have even reported that. What’s the point? A bunch of seemingly random events with two rankings systems contradicting each other, an ever-changing policy for players who qualify to play, etc. Good luck with that. Get back to us when you have a semblance of having gotten your shit together…
SHUT THE @!%$ UP — Marat Safin after losing to Tomas Berdych in Shanghai after the Czech took a timely injury time-out in the match: “Just come on, just grow up a little bit — 26 years old, just deal with that. If you’re losing, just be a man, be a man and lose as a man. Don’t pretend that you are injured and then you start running around and start to hit winners and then all of a sudden you pull the hands up in the air after winning the match. You’re playing or you’re not playing. If you’re playing, so just shut [the bleep] up and play.”
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