Federer, Soderling Capture Titles; U.S. Wins Hopman; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | January 9th, 2011, 5:06 pm
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Federer Stops Defending Champ Davydenko to Win 2011 Doha Crown

Russian workhorse Nikolay Davydenko was one match away from duplicating the 2010 feat when he defeated the top two players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, to repeat as Doha champion on Sunday, but this time the world No. 2 Federer was having none of it. Federer defeated Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 to claim his third career Qatar ExxonMobil Open title in Doha.


The Swiss improved to 67-28 in career finals.

“This is important to do well here,” said Federer, who will in roughly a week’s time begin his defense of the Australian Open title. “I’m not just using this to get ready for the Australian Open. This is a pleasure coming to this part of the world where I actually do spend quite a bit of time, and I’ve always had good friends here in Qatar.”

Federer was untouchable on serve against the Russian, not offering Davydenko a break point opportunity over the two sets.

“When he’s on, he’s easily Top 10 if not Top 5 potentially, and that’s why this is obviously a huge win, because I thought he was playing well,” Federer offered faint praise to the Russian, who defeated him in Doha last year and has ranked No. 3 on the ATP Rankings. “I thought the level of play was extremely high. I was very happy with, from my side, I was almost flawless, and I was able to play offensive when I needed to, and when I wanted to it all worked out.”

Davydenko fell to 2-15 head-to-head career against Federer. In the semifinals he beat the world No. 1 Nadal, who suffered from a fever and illness during the work.

“Today he was tough. Really played fast,” Davydenko said. “He gave me no chance on the return, and also he was returning good. His first serve was very good. My tennis is OK, really. I don’t want to say I played bad today.”

Davydenko tumbled from the Top 20 in 2010 after being sidelined with a fractured wrist, and entered the event at No. 22 on the rankings.

Soderling Batters Roddick for 2011 Brisbane Title

Once the biggest server on tour, defending champion Andy Roddick received a bit of his own medicine in the Brisbane final on Sunday, not getting a sniff of one break point in a 6-3, 7-5 loss to champion Robin Soderling of Sweden. Soderling will on Monday climb back to a career-high No. 4 on the ATP Rankings.

“I’ve never really played well in Australia before and now finally I won a tournament playing really good tennis,” Soderling said. “It gives me a lot of confidence for Melbourne…now I’ll have a week of rest and practice in Melbourne and I’ll be more than ready to go. I know I have a chance to do really well if I play good tennis like here.”

Soderling saw plenty of chances on the American’s serve, converting one break point in each set from 10 break chances.

“He served great. Conditions were heavy and he served through it better,” Roddick said. “I think that was the difference. I wasn’t able to get into any return games and he got into two and was able to break in those. I don’t think the conditions will be similar to this in Melbourne. But all you can ask for is getting in five good matches, that’s what you want after a layoff.”

Soderling did not drop a set all week, and had his serve broken just once by Radek Stepanek in the semifinals. It was the Swede’s seventh career title, and second outdoors. He improved to 7-10 in career finals.

After the final Roddick announced he would double the $100 per ace he previously pledged for Queensland flood relief efforts for a total of $10,800.

U.S. Beats Belgium to Win Hopman Cup

The unseeded U.S. squad of John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the Hopman Cup on Sunday, defeating Belgium 2-1. Justine Henin started with a win for Belgium, beating Mattek-Sands 7-6(3), 6-3, but Isner evened the final with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ruben Bemelmans before the U.S. won the deciding mixed doubles 6-3, 6-4.

“I’ve got to thank Bethanie; her back’s got to be hurting from carrying me all week,” Isner said. “She was rock solid all week long. I kind of got a whooping yesterday [against Andy Murray], but I regrouped and played very well today which is really, really encouraging. Also I want to say congrats to the Belgium team. It’s a great team we beat today.”

Mattek-Sands was 3-0 during the week in singles before the loss in the final to Henin. She led the first-set tiebreak 5-3 before Henin took charge.

“It’s been an amazing week,” Mattek-Sands said. “It’s my first time in Perth and I’ve really enjoyed myself. It’s funny, I saw this (diamond tennis ball trophy) actually when I first got here and I thought it was the best trophy in sports…There was a really strong field this year, there was great players; Ana [Ivanovic], Justine, [Novak] Djokovic, [Lleyton] Hewitt.”

It was the record sixth Hopman Cup title for the U.S.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

MARIA GETS HEAD – Former No. 1 Maria Sharapova and HEAD have announced a multi-year endorsement deal reportedly worth $2 million a year. The 23-year-old dropped Prince racquets after 10 years of sponsorship, and is working with HEAD to develop a custom racquet rather than using one of their current lines. The Russian debuted in Auckland with a HEAD racquet, losing early.

MISC
India’s Leander Paes says he will make the transition to acting after tennis: “I cannot go on entertaining people with my tennis as age catches up. So I am now taking up a new career in films. I have signed up to act in four films to remain active after tennis.”…Jarmila Groth blew up at her husband and on-court coach Sam during the Brisbane event, yelling at him “Don’t talk to me like a f***ing tourist.” She later apologized to fans via twitter…Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters have committed to playing Fed Cup for Belgium against the U.S. next month. Which means U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez needs to shore-up some talent on the north side of Coco VandewegheAlona Bondarenko has withdrawn from the Australian Open after undergoing knee surgery…Mikhail Youzhny, Andre Agassi and Marat Safin collected exhibition cash this week in Taipei. Agassi beat Safin 2-6, 7-6(7), 13-11…Flavia Pennetta pulled from Brisbane citing illness…Lucie Safarova is working with Biljana Veselinovic, one of the few women coaches on tour…This week Wayne Odesnik playing for and earned a wildcard into the USTA $10,000 Plantation Open Futures next week in Florida. The Sun-Sentinel reported that while he never tested positive for HGH, Odesnik says a doctor advised he take it for a shoulder injury…The Champions Series senior men’s circuit founded by Jim Courier, with certain events rumored to be financially strapped last year, has announced for 2012 it will re-jigger its format to 12 one-night four-man events, with locations to be announced…Swiss Stan Wawrinka reportedly walked out on his wife, former TV personality Ilham Vuilloud, and newborn last September. “Stan returned on September 20 after the Davis Cup in Kazakhstan and told me he had new priorities. He packed his bags and moved into a hotel,” Vuilloud told the tabloid Blick. The walkout came after Wawrinka canned his longtime coach and childhood friend Dimitri Zavialoff for Swiss veteran coach Peter LundgrenAmelie Mauresmo has been named as joint director of the February WTA Paris Open tournament…Juan Carlos Ferrero pulled from Auckland citing knee and wrist injuries, and from the Australian Open…World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has signed a deal to play with Yonex racquets, dumping Babolat…Taylor Dent is starting a tennis academy in Newport Beach, Calif…Serb Viktor Troicki has switched to adidas…Former No. 1 Venus Williams’ Aussie Open preparation at a Hong Kong exo hit a snag this week when she lost to China’s Li Na in straight sets, and wouldn’t elaborate on an apparent injury where she was holding her stomach: “I just tried my best and just pushed myself to play my best tennis,” said Venus in her best Williams sisters’ patented avoid-the-topic explanation. The 30-year-old elder Williams sister has not played a tour event since the US Open last year after a knee injury ended her year…Ana Ivanovic (stomach strain) and Francesca Schiavone (groin strain) pulled from the Hopman Cup with injuries. In total, seven of the 16 players originally named in the line-up for the mixed team event either pulled out beforehand or suffered injuries during it.


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray at Hopman Cup: “I Didn’t Feel Very Fit Today, Hopefully That Will Improve”
Off Season, What Off Season? Early 2010 Player Schedules
Nicolas Mahut Goes Drag, Wears a Dress for Hopman Cup Mixed Doubles [Video]
Novak Djokovic Is OK After Scary Autograph Mishap [Video]
Nadal bests Soderling, Abu Dhabi Tennis Day Three

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20 Comments for Federer, Soderling Capture Titles; U.S. Wins Hopman; Tennis-X Notes

Kimmi Says:

oh lord! too many injuries. nice to see henin playing well. she wins all her matches in hopman cup. good luck to her at the AO.

hmm, sharapova still getting too much money for everything. 2 mil a year for HEAD racket! wow, she better starts to play tennis.

I wonder how much ATP top players get for their rackets?


dunbar Says:

This business of beating Federer and Nadal in same tourney – leaving aside Gordo’s qualification (the word “same” is ambiguous here) – I was looking again at the Fed/Davy match, and Chris Bradnam remarked that Davydenko had the opportunity of being the first player to beat Fed and Nadal THREE times in the same tourney. 3? Yes, well, apart from Doha, there is 2009 WTF at the O2. Funny how we all missed that. Of course, the Nadal defeat was round robin, so it’s slightly different. Even so.


GDSNAB Says:

I hope that Federer will capture his 17 GS title at Australian Open, but its not going to be easy


dari Says:

shucks, dunbar, i just came across the same info you did in written form: an article in the ny times points out davy was going for #3!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/sports/tennis/09tennis.html


dari Says:

GDSNAB- you are right, it would not be easy! That’s is why it would be all the more special if he does it! We should definitely see some tears of joy, then.
Speaking of, saw a YouTube video of fed absolutely losing it in tears after he won 2006 AO. something about down under must bring out the emotions, we all know what happened at AO 2009, not to .mention the surprising tears from Murray in 2010. Besides the two weeks of fierce competition, maybe the delayed jet lag has something to do with it!
Defend that title, roger!


dunbar Says:

yes, well, dari, I have less excuse than most since I was actually at the O2 to watch Davydenko beat Nadal. For some reason, I had forgotten that, whilst I remembered perfectly well Davy’s defeat of Federer, watched on telly. Strange the way memory works – or fails to work.


dunbar Says:

Delpo/Lopez – 4 all. Can only get score? Is there a live stream, although frankly, this is silly, it’s bedtime or very sore head in morning.


margot Says:

kimmi, jane: Laura Robson out of AO as well with injury :(
Would hardly describe Davydenko as a “workhorse” he’s far more like one of those delicate ponies that used to pull the small, open carriages of the upper classes at “events”….


guy Says:

davydenko was top 5 for 5 years or so, during fed and nadal reign. at 177cm no less. he’s one of the most talented players on tour. there’s really no other way to explain these results. sponsors and most fans don’t seem to recognise his ability however. don’t know how many times i’ve heard commentators call him a backboard,pusher when he’s hitting more winners than his opponent practically every match, dictating the likes of nadal,delpo,tsonga,murray,djoker etc off the ground. not many guys can outhit him from a neutral position. fed, nalb and feisty djoker some of the only guys i’ve really seen do it for stretches on hard court.
great shotmaker, but hey, he doesn’t do a jungle dance or berate the umpires or smash equipment, you know have ‘personality’. so good luck with a clothing sponsorship.


dunbar Says:

the workhorse idea came from the fact he used to play non-stop, tourney after tourney. “Russian tennis playing machine” as Tommy Haas characterised him when asked how he viewed the prospect of meeting him (in quarters at the US 2006). Haas had just been involved in a draining 5 setter – can’t recall with whom – and he seemed to speak with feeling. Davydenko beat him, of course, earning a semi with Federer.

Then he went through that bad phase when he was unfairly targetted for cheating. In one match, he could barely get a serve in. The umpire told him to try harder. Surely he could at least get the ball in, the podgy man from the chair urged. After all, he (podgy) could do that. Davydenko politely responded that he was trying his best. This extraordinary restraint must have endeared him to a lot of people. Whether it showed “personality” or not, I don’t know, it certainly expressed the character of the man. Quirky, a sly humour with no edge to it and his own unique brand of double-quick English.

I first saw him when he quietly put Henman away. I’d thought this was surely an easy one for Henman to win. There was always this tendency to underestimate Davydenko.

He’s changed quite a bit. The sad faced character who shook his head when playing Roddick in the sun is now as resilient as anyone. And the guy who battered relentlessly away from the back now moves to the net with accumen, style and general success. He must be one of the best drive volleyers in the game. And like Nadal, he gets back the pretty difficult ones, generally with interest. Against Davydenko, you think you’ve won the point, and you find you have to start all over again. He must provide quite a test of patience. His serve is as good as you could expect from someone his size.

Davtdenko is one of those players who can cause real damage in a grand slam, but for some reason I can’t quite fathom, is unlikely to win one. Maybe that’s wrong, though. Maybe we just imagine he’s unlikely to win one, the old habit of underestimating him resurfacing. Perhaps he really will win one.


MMT Says:

Davydenko is no pusher – he hits cleaner and more consistently deep and hard than any player on tour – including Federer and Nadal in my opinion…del Potro and Djokovic would be up there as well, but Davydenko never backs down from a bomb-fest.

His problem is he is not particularly resourceful, and his serve is weak, which forces him to earn every point – that’s hard to do against the best of the best.


Skeezerweezer Says:

MMT

Good take on Davy, I was going to mention something technical about his game ( btw pusher?lol) but your “not particularly resourceful” said it best.


ged Says:

i was trying to work out where rafa and fed stand wrt their rankings points. after doha, they’re at 12,390 for rafa and 9,245 for fed, a difference of 3,145 in rafa’s favour.

between here and the end of the first half of the 2011 season at wimbledon, here’s what they have at stake:

nadal
=====
18.01.2010 Australian Open Q 360
24.03.2010 ATP 1000 Miami S 360
11.03.2010 ATP 1000 Indian Wells S 360
25.04.2010 ATP 1000 Rome W 1,000
11.04.2010 ATP 1000 Monte Carlo W 1,000
09.05.2010 ATP 1000 Madrid W 1,000
24.05.2010 Roland Garros W 2,000
07.06.2010 Queen’s Club Q 45
21.06.2010 Wimbledon W 2,000

federer
======
18.01.2010 Australian Open W 2,000
24.03.2010 ATP 1000 Miami R16 90
11.03.2010 ATP 1000 Indian Wells R32 45
25.04.2010 ATP 1000 Rome R32 10
03.05.2010 Estoril S 90
09.05.2010 ATP 1000 Madrid F 600
24.05.2010 Roland Garros Q 360
07.06.2010 Halle F 150
21.06.2010 Wimbledon Q 360

which works out to 8,125 for rafa and 3,705 for fed. so after wimbledon, they’ll be at 4,265 and 5.540 respectively.

rafa will probably make it much further than last year in melbourne and fed will probably pick up at least a 1000, so tough to call the AO. thereafter, rafa clearly has a lot more stuff to defend (though his 2K points at RG are guaranteed), whereas fed will be hard pressed to play as shittily as he did last year.

could be an interesting few months, though it’s hard to see fed making up that much of a difference, eh?


sar Says:

Looks like Stan’s new priorities helped him win a title.


sar Says:

Kimmi, I think Novak got a 10 million contract from Head but don’t know details.


dari Says:

re: Funk/trunk- so then why did YOU put davydenko at the BOTTOM of the trunk? He got to a final didn’t he? And roger added after top 10, that davydenko was top 5 even.
And nobody, not even nikolay himself, said anything about poor play this week, just that he met a highly in- form federer that day.
Don’t think he really deserved the bottom of the trunk this week!


RFFan Says:

It’s not easy to be top 5 now w/ the likes of Djoko Murray and Sod around; I think to say someone is potentially top 5 is a big compliment.

Given that Davy is currently ranked under 20, Fed was trying to show him respect, not disrespect.


fedeRER Says:

ged :
fed isn´t defending any points from halle or estoril only the 2 best 250 count Stockholm and doha(both wins)


fedeRER Says:

and nadal does n ´t defend points in queens either but i get the point.
BUT if roger wins SW19 then the difference would really shrink( from 3145 to 705) and that would make much more realistic for fed to get back to no 1.

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