ATP/WTA Previews; Diving Roddick Trips Big Baby Raonic
Qatar Ladies Open
Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone, Na Li, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Aggie Radwanska, Shahar Peer
Floaters: Nadia Petrova, Flavia Pennetta, Lucie Safarova, Kaia Kanepi, Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Daniela Hantuchova
Notes: The field attracts seven of the Top 10 players; (1) Wozniacki after a bye could face Petrova 2nd rd.; (7) Radwanska starts against Safarova; (3) Schiavone after a bye could face Kanepi; (8) Peer starts against Kuznetsova; (6) Azarenka starts against Hantuchova; the tournament returns to the WTA calendar after a two-year break; wildcards went to India’s Sania Mirza and 19-year-old Omani Fatma Al Nabhani.
Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Seeds: Julia Goerges, Polona Hercog, Greta Arn, Gisela Dulko, Simona Halep, Arantxa Parra Santonja, Carla Suarez Navarro, Olga Govortsova
Notes: Wildcards went to Czech sisters Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova; Melanie Oudin in the draw; Venus Williams beat Hercog in last year’s final; this field is beat.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Seeds: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youzhny, Ivan Ljubicic, Viktor Troicki, Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis
Floaters: Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Nikolay Davydenko, Michael Llodra
Notes: Federer shooting for his fifth Dubai title; Djokovic beat Youzhny in last year’s final; No. 8 seed Gulbis makes his Dubai debut; opening-round matches of interest include (4) Youzhny vs. Simon, (5) Ljubicic vs. (Q) Sergi Bubka (winner to likely face Gasquet), (6) Tricki vs. Kohlschreiber, and (2) Djokovic vs. Llodra; returning champs in the field are Djokovic (2010-09) and Federer (2007, ’05-03).
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships
Delray Beach, Fla., USA
Seeds: Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Janko Tipsarevic, Benjamin Becker, Adrian Mannarino
Floaters: “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, Dustin Brown, Kei Nishikori, James Blake, (WC) Ryan Harrison, Juan Martin Del Potro, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek
Notes: Roddick only 4-4 career in Delray Beach without a title, and makes first tournament appearance in eight years; seeds Isner, Tipsarevic and Mannarino make Delray debuts; openers of note include (6) Tipsarevic vs. Dr. Ivo, (3) Querrey vs. Brown, and (7) Becker vs. Blake; returning champs in the field are Fish (2009) and Nishikori (2008).
Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Seeds: David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Nicolas Almagro, Stanislas Wawrinka, Albert Montanes, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela
Floaters: Milos “Big Baby” Raonic, Horacio Zeballos, Thomaz Bellucci
Notes: The baby-faced Milos “Big Baby” Raonic takes a late entry into Acapulco to get ready for Davis Cup vs. Mexico; according to the AP, 12 Acapulco taxi drivers and/or passengers were killed in the days prior to the start of the tournament, the result of “bloody drug cartel turf wars”; seed Juan Monaco at 5-6 has a losing record in Acapulco; Bryan brothers the top seeds in doubles with a 10-1 career record at the event.
Roddick Stops ‘Big Baby’ Raonic for ATP Memphis Title
Andy Roddick stopped shooting star Milos “Big Baby” Raonic, halting the baby-faced Canadian giant from a claiming a second consecutive title with a 7-6(7), 6-7(11), 7-5 win in the Memphis final Sunday.
Roddick clinched the win over the Canadian, who won San Jose last week, with a diving forehand passing shot on match point, taking in the adulation of the Memphis fans with a bleeding elbow and knee.
“That’s the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life, considering the circumstance,” Roddick said. “I don’t really remember much else besides the fact that I went for the ball, I hit it, I didn’t really think much of it. Then I heard people cheering. I was like, ‘No, there’s no way that went in.’ I guess it did.”
Raonic set a new tournament record of 129 aces, beating Mark Philippoussis’ mark of 106 in 2001. Raonic is projected to climb to No. 37 in the ATP Rankings on Monday, making him the highest-ranked Canadian man in ATP Rankings history.
Soderling Wins Marseille, Improves to 17-1
World No. 4 Robin Soderling came from a set down to defeat Marin Cilic 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3 for the title at the Open 13 in Marseille, improving to a 17-1 win-loss record on the year. It is the Swede’s third title of the year after Brisbane and Rotterdam.
“Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before,” Soderling said. “It’s the best possible start. I’ve won many matches and only lost one, unfortunately in the fourth round in Melbourne. It’s a great start and I really hope it can continue this way.”
Soderling improved to 9-10 in career finals. Cilic fell to 5-4.
Almagro Tops Chela for ATP Buenos Aires Title
World No. 13 Nicolas Almagro won his second consecutive title after Costa do Sauipe on Sunday, beating Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the Copa Claro final in Buenos Aires.
“I hope it won’t just be nine titles in my career but a lot more,” said Almagro, all nine coming on clay. “I knew it would be tough, but I was in good shape.”
Both Almagro and Chela won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches after rain washed out Friday play. Chela dropped to a 6-6 record in finals.
Wozniacki Claims WTA Dubai Title, Reclaims No. 1
Caroline Wozniacki won her first WTA title of the year on Sunday at Dubai and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking from Kim Clijsters, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.
Wozniacki did not drop a set in the tournament. The Dane improved to 13-8 in career finals, while Kuznetsova fell to 13-19.
“I was hitting the ball cleanly and aggressively,” Wozniacki said. “I knew I had to, because if Svetlana is allowed to dictate, she’s just too strong. It was very important to stay pretty close to the baseline and keep her moving. I’m a player that can play aggressively, I can play defensively, I can mix it up and wait for the right moment. It depends on the opponent and it depends on how I feel.”
Rybarikova Ends Canadian Title Hope
Magdalena Rybarikova won her second WTA title Saturday night, raising the WTA Memphis trophy after Canadian opponent Rebecca Marino retired at 6-2 after losing the first set, citing an abdominal injury.
“It first happened in the semifinals against Rodina,” Marino said. “As I kept playing today it got worse and worse. I’m upset I had to retire in the finals but I didn’t want to make the injury worse. If this injury gets worse, it’s an injury that would take a long time to recover from.”
Rybarikova wins her second WTA title after Birmingham two years ago. “It has been a while since I last won a title,” the 22-year-old said. “Now, I’m a bit back. I didn’t play well in 2010 — I had some tough draws and although I played some top players close, I kept losing. But at the beginning of this year I said I wanted to be Top 50 again.”
Dominguez Lino Captures WTA Bogota Title
No. 7-seeded Lourdes Dominguez Lino defeated unseeded Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win her second career title at the XIX Copa BBVA Colsanitas.
Dominguez Lino also won at Bogota in 2006. The 29-year-old Spaniard is now 2-2 in WTA finals.
Johansson was contesting her first WTA singles final.
Also Check Out:
Watch Andy Roddick’s Sick Diving Winner on Match Point Against Milos Raonic [Video]
Djokovic, Soderling Headline Clay Events; ATP, WTA Previews
ATP/WTA Previews: Nice, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, Strasbourg
Raonic, Isner, Stars Move to Memphis — ATP/WTA Previews
ATP/WTA Previews: Soderling, Verdasco Headline Bastad