Chela Doubles-Up; Del Potro, Azarenka Return; Serena Visits Oprah; Tennis-X Notes
The ageless Juan Ignacio Chela hit the double this weekend in Bucharest. A day after winning the doubles titles, the 31-year-old Chela collected the singles title with 7-5, 6-1 win over Spain’s Pablo Andujar.
“It was an unbelievable week winning in both singles and doubles,” Chela said. “I didn’t expect that. The beginning of the season was pretty tough for me so I’m very happy that I’m playing at such a great level now. I enjoy the circuit a lot.”
Chela becomes the third player this season to win both singles and doubles titles at an ATP event following Sam Querrey in Memphis and Michael Llodra in Marseille. The title was his sixth of his career and second of 2010 after Houston.
ATP Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Seeds: 1. Robin Soderling, 2. Nikolay Davydenko, 3. Tomas Berdych, 4. Mikhail Youhzny, 5. David Ferrer, 6. Marcos Baghdatis, 7. Sergiy Stakhovsky, 8. Andrei Gulubev
Floaters: Yuki Bhambri, Bernard Tomic, Kei Nishikori.
Notes: Defending champion Nikolay Davydenko returns to a European-heavy field that features four players in the Top 10 plus two potential future stars of the game in Tomic and Bhambri. Says Tournament Director Nick Freyer, “With the addition of Yuki, Kei and Bernard, we are making an investment in the future of the tournament hoping that these players, who are destined for great things, will remember their stays in KL, and wish to return year after year. It should also act as inspiration to Malaysia’s young players, seeing fellow Asians doing so well on the world stage.” If both win, Bhambri and Tomic would play in the second round. Nishikori starts with Baghdatis.
WTA Toray Pan Pacfic
Seeds: 1. Caroline Wozniacki, 2. Vera Zvonareva, 3. Jelena Jankovic, 4. Samantha Stosur, 5. Francesca Schiavone, Agnieska Radwanska, 7. Elena Dementieva, 8. Victoria Azarenka.
Floaters: Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic, Lucy Safaraova, Melanie Oudin (already lost), Daniela Hantchova, Maria Sharapova.
Notes: Tokyo is the first of two back-to-back Premier level WTA events – Beijing the other. Among the Top 8 seeds, only Francesca Schiavone has a Grand Slam title to her name. Former champions in the field are Sharapova (2005 and 2009), Dementieva (2006) and unseeded players Dinara Safina (2008) and Kimiko Date Krumm (1995).
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Russians Alisa Kleybanova and Alla Kudryavsetva won WTA titles over the weekend. Kleybanova won her second career trophy at the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul. “Before coming here I wasn’t thinking about winning the title because I haven’t been playing so well recently,” Kleybanova said after beating Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-3 for the title. “Day by day, match by match, I was feeling better about my game; towards the end of the tournament I was fighting to win the title. I’m really happy that I made it in the end.” Kudryavtseva beat countrywomen Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4 to win Tashkent… Victoria Azarenka played her first match since her scary US Open fall. Azarenka teamed with Dinara Safina to win their Tokyo first round doubles. “Well obviously I’m feeling better than I was there,” Azarenka said. “There were some things I had to recover from and it took a while. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, but I’m happy to be back on court now.” Azarenka opens her singles against Lucy Safarova….After an eight month recovery from a right wrist injury, former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro returns this week in Bangkok. Says the Argentine, “I feel very happy to be back at a tournament again for the first time in eight months. Living this life again is great for me. I feel in good shape to start again. I’m healthy and I’ve been getting better and better week by week and now I’m ready to play. I just want to go on the court and enjoy myself.”…Super coach Uncle Toni says that watching video of golf great Jack Nicklaus gave him the idea to alter Rafael Nadal’s serve. Uncle T told ABC, “In it Nicklaus said: ‘First strike far, then we will think about getting the ball inside.’ I said to myself: ‘This man must be right’. That is what I applied with Rafael. First strike hard, then we will get the ball inside.”… Outgoing US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe tweeted that Rafael Nadal would win six more Slams, Roger Federer one more…19-year-old Grigor Dimitrov has won his last three Challenger titles and 15 straight matches….Kim Clijsters was honored with fountain statue in her hometown of Opitter, Belgium on Wednesday…Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer say Federer is still the best. Said Soderling, “”He’s won so many Grand Slams already, so many titles but to me, Roger is still the best.” Added Berdych, “It’s not easy to win three Grand Slams … Still, I think it’s a lot to go for him (Nadal) to get the best player so far in history but he’s a great athlete and a great person.” And Nadal’s countryman Ferrer said, “”In this moment maybe it’s Federer because he has more Grand Slams and more titles.”… Bob Bryan announced that he and girlfriend Michelle Alvarez are engaged. Bryan popped the question for his fellow Camarillo, California native during a hike at Pfeifer Falls in Big Sur last week. Pressure is now on twin Mike to get it done with his girlfriend, Lucille Williams…Tweeted the mono-riddled Andy Roddick, “in san diego working with coach larry.. feeling 100 percent again and cant wait to get back out on tour”. Roddick is slated to play Tokyo next week… Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey helped the Bryans raise more than $50,000 for the Bryans Foundation during the twins’ K-Swiss All Star Tennis Fest on Saturday… World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is scheduled to play Bangkok, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris and then the London Masters…Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is hopeful to return next week in Tokyo. The Frenchman has been out with a knee injury…Tennis starlet and new American citizen Anna Kournikova appears on the cover of the new October Maxim 3D issue… Serena Williams celebrated her 29th birthday Sunday. The injured World No. 1 will appear on the Oprah show on Monday where she will unveil her dream job…. Both Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonerava can overtake Serena for the No. 1 ranking after Beijing.
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