WTA Previews; Del Potro, Ferrer, Dulko Win Titles
Whirlpool Monterrey Open
Seeds: Jelena Jankovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Aravane Rezai, Julia Goerges, Anastasija Sevastova, Sara Errani, Iveta Benesova, Polona Hercog
Floaters: Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Alize Cornet, Gisela Dulko
Notes: Tough opener for (7) Benesova against Dulko, and (1) Jankovic vs. Bogota champ Dominguez Lino; American Fed Cup teammates Vania King and Melanie Oudin will square off in the first round to see who faces (2) Pavlyuchenkova; last year Pavlyuchenkova beat Daniela Hantuchova in the final; Jankovic exited in the first round last year.
BMW Malaysian Open
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Seeds: Francesca Schiavone, Marion Bartoli, Alisa Kleybanova, Jarmila Groth, Lucie Safarova, Ayuma Morita, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Bojana Jovanovski
Floaters: Dinara Safina, Jelena Dokic, Tamarine Tanasugarn
Notes: Troubled former No. 1 Dinara Safina floats seedlessly in the draw, starting against China’s Xinyun Han, then a possible meeting with (5) Safarova; (8) Jovanovski a tough start against Tanasugarn, and (1) Schiavone vs. Dokic; last year Kleybanova beat the now-retired Elena Dementieva to win her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur.
Del Potro Dominant in Delray; Ferrer, Dulko Win Acapulco Crowns
Former US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro won the first title of his comeback from wrist surgery last year, beating No. 6-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. It was the first title for the 22-year-old since the 2009 US Open.
Del Potro came back from a 1-4 deficit in the first set, and broke at 2-2 in the second set before clinching the title. In the semis the Argentine topped Florida favorite Mardy Fish, while Tipsarevic beat a struggling Kei Nishikori, both in straight sets.
Del Potro improved to 8-3 in career ATP finals, and 4-0 on U.S. soil. Tipsarevic fell to 0-3 in career finals.
The Argentine underwent wrist surgery in May of last year.
On the clay in Acapulco, Spaniard David Ferrer won the men’s title, while Argentine Gisela Dulko won the women’s.
Ferrer beat Nicolas Almagro, successfully defending the Abierto Mexicano Telcel title with a 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-2 victory.
“It was a very intense match with a lot of rallies in the first and second set, we played a lot of great points,” Ferrer said. “In the third, I think I was better physically and he started making more mistakes. My error was that after coming back and winning the first set, I relaxed in the second and he started attacking a lot more.”
Almagro fell to 0-6 career vs. Ferrer. Almagro won two straight events coming into Acapulco.
“I am disappointed right now that I couldn’t close this first set, maybe things would have been different,” Almagro said. “It’s been an unbelievable South American swing for me. I played nonstop for three weeks at a very high level and I know I need to be proud and happy about it. I now look forward to resting a few days at home before getting ready for Indian Wells and Miami.”
Ferrer is now 14-2 in 2011, earlier winning the Auckland title.
In the women’s final Dulko became the first Argentine woman to win the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL title, beating Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-3, 7-6(5).
Dulko led 6-3, 5-1 before struggling to finish off the Spaniard.
“Finals are always special and we were both nervous in the first set, but after that I was playing much better,” Dulko said. “All of a sudden I started to get a bit nervous again and Arantxa started playing so well. I was three set points down. At the end I ended up winning, so I’m really happy.”
Dulko improved to 4-4 in career finals.
“I love this tournament but I was always struggling here,” Dulko said. “I felt great this week though, on and off the court. I couldn’t go to the beach too much though, so I’ll try to do that tomorrow morning before I leave.”
Following the singles final, Parra Santonja took the court again for the doubles final, losing again with fellow Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino to Mariya Koryttseva and Ioana Raluca Olaru 3-6, 6-1, 10-4. Koryttseva now has five WTA doubles titles to her name while Olaru has two; this was their first together.
“It was a really good doubles final,” Parra Santonja said. “Maybe I was a little bit tired from the singles final — I think we could have used a bit more energy. But we were happy to reach the final. And for me to reach both finals was great.”
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