Cilic Heads French-Heavy Metz; Sharapova Racquet Cheat
Open de Moselle
Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Marin Cilic (CRO), Gael Monfils (FRA), Ivan Ljubicic (CRO), Richard Gasquet (FRA), Michael Llodra (FRA), Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER), Tommy Robredo (ESP), Gilles Simon (FRA)
Floaters: Xavier “X-Man” Malisse, Dustin “Downtown Jamaican” Brown, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Kristof Vliegen, Jarkko Nieminen
Notes: Openers of interest are (3) Ljubicic likely opening against X-Man, (8) Simon vs. Downtown Dustin Brown, a likely all-French opener for (4) Gasquet against Mathieu, and (5) Llodra vs. Vliegen; some nice potentials for French fans in (2) Monfils vs. (5) Llodra in the quarters, winner to face (4) Gasquet; Llodra is 4-5 career in Metz, Simon 0-4; Monfils beat Kohlschreiber in last year’s final; other former champs in the field are Robredo (2007), Ljubicic (2005), and Clement (2003); Clement has won the doubles title three times, two times with Llodra and once with Nicolas Mahut.
BCR Open Romania
Seeds: Albert Montanes (ESP), Florian Mayer (GER), Potito Starace (ITA), Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG), Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP), Victor Hanescu (ROU), Andreas Seppi (ITA), Jeremy Chardy (FRA)
Notes: Not a big star turn-out in Bucharest, where Victor Hanescu will try and shoulder the Romanian pride along with wildcards Marius Copil, Andrian Ungur, and Victor Crivoi; exciting note, the Bucharest Palace of the Parliament is the largest building in Europe and the second largest in the world; Montanes is the defending champ, and the only returning champ in the field; Bucharest was a big event in the ’90s, boasting winners such as French Open runner-up Alberto Berasategui (1996), Thomas Muster (1995) and Goran Ivanisevic (1993).
Seeds: Alexandra Dulgheru, Akgul Amanmuradova, Anna Chakvetadze, Elena Vesnina, Monica Niculescu, Magdalena Rybarikova, Alla Kudryavtseva, Maria Elena Camerin
Floaters: Sania Mirza, Tamarina Tanasugarn
Notes: A heinous field, and a chance for former top dog Anna Chakvetadze of Russia to continue her climb back; last year Shahar Peer beat Amanmuradova in the final.
Hansol Korea Open
Draw not available as of Saturday night.
Projected seeds: Nadia Petrova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Maria Kirilenko, Alisa Kleybanova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Klara Zakopalova, Agnes Szavay
Projected floaters: Ana Ivanovic, Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, Dominika Cibulkova, Dinara Safina
Notes: Played in the Seoul Olympic Park Tennis Center; Kimiko Date Krumm was the 2009 champion, and Kirilenko won in 2008; other former champs of note are Venus Williams (2007) and Maria Sharapova (2004).
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer is trying to become the first player to qualify for both the singles and doubles year-end championships since Emilio Sanchez in 1990…American Ryan Harrison is the youngest player ranked inside the Top 200…Vera Zvonareva is at a career-high No. 4 after the US Open…China’s Zheng Jie will have surgery on her wrist and could be out for as long as six months…Maria Sharapova wore a Tiffany yellow diamond pendant worth $16,000 at the US Open…Roger Federer earlier this year on being a leader: “In a way I was always a bit of a leader, whether playing football or at school. I frequently drew attention to myself and was never uncomfortable with taking center stage. Although I was a rather shy child to begin with, that soon changed when I discovered tennis. A good leader cannot feel they are too good to lead from the front when the going gets tough. The mark of a leader is the way they deal with a crisis. You certainly need a healthy dose of self-confidence and must face the world head on.” — Let’s see how he faces the crisis of Rafa dominating him these days in virtually every aspect of the game, that’s got to be an ego kick in the rocks…From CNBC on Maria Sharapova at the US Open apparently not being happy with her company’s racquet offerings: “But there was something different about what the 23-year-old took out of the Prince bag. You see, the company’s most marketable tennis player — who has what is termed as a “lifetime deal” — wasn’t playing with a Prince racket that you can actually buy on the shelves. Whether she was playing with a disguised competitor’s racket or something Prince has made for her remains a mystery, but what is clear is that Sharapova hasn’t played with a racket whose strings are stenciled with the company’s famous “P” since March…Stringers and tennis geeks guess the frame of Sharapova’s racket is made by Head. One online message board said it was definitely Head’s YouTek Radical, while one stringer told CNBC that his best guess is that it’s a Head Prestige due to the eight string holes in the throat of the racket and the very thin frame profile.” — Doh! Nice. Prince officials responded, “Sharapova has agreed to participate in a very innovative, pioneering product development program with Prince. She will be using some experimental frames over the next few months in practice and in competition.” Translation: ‘She told us to suck it until we could come up with a racquet she likes, or come out with a copy-cat model of the Head.’ Nevertheless, judging by the results, Maria doesn’t give good Head…American un-prodigy “The” Donald Young lost to US Open Playoffs-Qualifying tournament winner Blake Strode this past week at a $50,000 Challenger in Tulsa, OK, USA…Emilio Gomez, the 18-year-old son of former French Open champ Andres Gomez, is a practice partner this week on Ecuador’s Davis Cup team, ranked No. 648 in singles and No. 361 in doubles…Rafael Nadal has clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for the second time in three years…France has sealed a spot in the Davis Cup final as of Saturday, and will face either Serbia or the Czechs…Austria’s Tamira Pasek and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands will meet in the final of the WTA Bell Challenge in Quebec City…Italy’s 14-year-old Gianluigi Quinzi claimed his first Boys 18-and-under ITF title at the Honduras Bowl 2010. The 2010 Boys 14 European Champion won the event on clay without dropping a set…Tennis writer Greg Couch: “And then last week, Patrick McEnroe, who is also the outgoing captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, announced that he would fill the final spot on the team this weekend with 18-year old phenom Ryan Harrison, who beat a top 25 player at the Open. [Donald] Young went to his Twitter account, saying he wants to know “why Harrison gets chosen for the 4 man davis cup team before me???” Young was ranked No. 100. Harrison was 220. This summer, Young beat Harrison 6-3, 6-2 near Chicago. “Patrick,” Young said on Twitter. “Just please answer that for me.” And the relationship just bumps along.” — Does that Twitter question really need an answer, to those in the know?…Spain’s top women players are boycotting Fed Cup, saying the Spanish tennis federation is screwing them: “[There is a] total lack of support and interest shown to women’s tennis by this federation,” says a letter signed by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and other top players…Qatar will host the season-ending WTA Championships for the third and last time Oct. 26-31 at the Khalifa Tennis Complex. The event heads to Istanbul next where it will be held from 2011 to 2013, then to hell — as long as hell fronts the most money.
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