Bartoli, Seppi, Tursunov, Vinci Collect Pre-Wimbledon Grass Titles; X-Notes
by Staff | June 18th, 2011, 5:37 pm
  • 45 Comments

Jittery two-handed Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli increased her Wimbledon betting line on Saturday when the No. 6 seed defeated No. 5-seeded Czech Petrra Kvitova 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 amidst windy conditions for the WTA Eastbourne title at the AEGON International in England. It was the first career grasscourt title for Bartoli and the sixth title of her career. She is 1-2 in finals in 2011 after losing at Indian Wells and Strasbourg.


Both players were also forced to play the semifinals on Saturday to make up for the rains. Bartoli trouncing No. 7 Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-1, and Kvitova advancing past one of the hottest grasscourt players of June when Daniela Hantuchova was forced to retire trailing 7-6(9), 4-2 with an abdominal strain, leaving her Wimbledon hopes in limbo.

“I think we were seven out of the Top 10 players plus Venus and Serena Williams here, so it was definitely a very hard task to win the tournament,” said Bartoli, who lost in the Wimbledon final in 2007. “It’s just great to come up with a win. Of course I would have been happier to finish in two sets, but Petra fought extremely well, and she deserved to come back. It could have gone either way, and in the end it went my way.”

In the men’s Eastburne final the unheralded Italian Andreas Seppi won his career-first ATP title, denying Serb Janko Tipsarevic a career-first title after a 7-6(5), 3-6, 5-3 (ret.) win. Tipsarevic retired one game away from the completion of the match. Earlier in the day in a rain make-up match, Seppi topped Russian Igor Kunitsyn in three sets.

Seppi improved to 1-1 in career ATP finals, while Tipsarevic, who has won nine career Challenger-level titles, fell to 0-4 in ATP finals.

Italy’s Roberta Vinci was another first-time grasscourt winner on Saturday, defeating unseeded former Top 5er Jelena Dokic 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-5 for the Unicef Open crown in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Vinci won the Barcelona claycourt title earlier this year and improved to 5-1 in career finals.

“We are both 28 and have a lot of experience, but it was a final and with all of the conditions and pressure, it’s not easy to stay completely focused,” Vinci said. “But I like to play on grass. I play the slice and it’s perfect on grass. I also like volleying so I think that’s why I play well on grass. I’m tired and am playing on Monday at Wimbledon, but I’m happy — I just won a tournament!”

Vinci has never made it past the third round in four visits to the All England Club.

Dokic was also a winner earlier in the year at the tiny Kuala Lumpur event, and fell to 6-8 in career finals. On Monday when the new WTA Rankings are released she is projected to climb back into the Top 50 for the first time in seven years.

“I’m happy with my performance — I’ve had a good week,” the Australian resident said. “Today was difficult. Roberta played well and the circumstances were pretty hard. But that’s the way things go sometimes. I’m happy to have reached this far and I’m looking forward to Wimbledon.”

In the men’s final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Russian Dmitry Tursunov won his first ATP title in two years, defeating Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-2. In that two-year span Tursunov has had three ankle surgeries. His most recent career title was also on grass in 2009, and he improved to 7-2 in career finals.

“I’ve had a lot of good results this year, but not on the ATP [level],” Tursunov said. “The start of the year was horrendous for me, in Australia I didn’t do very well and I definitely didn’t expect myself to be doing the way I’m doing right now. After being in tennis a long time now, I understand one week can be terrible and one week can be great.”

Dodig earlier this year won his first career title on home soil at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
ATP Executive Chairman Adam Helfant is quitting at the end of the year but not giving any explanation besides “professional reasons.” During his tenure the ATP’s commercial revenue rose 65 percent and reserves are forecast to have increased by more than 1,100 percent. He also shortened the ATP calendar and brought in boo-coo sponsors…Sam Querrey is out of Wimbledon with a right elbow injury…Andy Roddick can’t be happy about his former coach Jimmy Connors talking to the AP (at length) about how he has little chance to win a Wimbledon title: “He’s going to have to come up with something spectacular, and I don’t know if he can do that now. The other guys have kind of gotten on to him a bit. The big serve seems to be coming back a lot more, and the guys are getting the ball in play. They’ve figured out a way. Because all the guys have big serves now, and some of them are even bigger than his. He certainly has the weapons. I think he’s lost a bit of confidence…he’s not 23, 24 years old anymore. There’s other things on his mind probably that are taking up space Tennis is a 365-day-a-year job. If you’re not willing to put in that time and make that happen over the course of that year, other things creep in there, they take your mind off your business, and all of a sudden tennis is not the most important thing.” Roddick’s response was ‘F*@# you Jimmy!’ Not really, we made that up — but probably. Most certainly…The USTA reportedly invited NBA finals star and former German junior tennis player Dirk Nowitzki to the US Open site last week for some possible promo videos. Nowitzki’s idol growing up in the ’80s was John McEnroe, who he met for the first time last February when the Mavs beat McEnroe’s Knicks at Madison Square Garden. “I was like a little kid,” Nowitzki said after the game after meeting McEnroe. Nowitzki is also friends with German player Rainer Schuettler and has come out to events to support him…Former Andy Roddick coach Brad Gilbert also got on the Andy-can’t-win bus this week (but wisely with only one foot): “Andy’s 28, almost 29,” Gilbert said on an ESPN conference call. “I’m not going to say his window’s closed, but it’s just becoming so much more difficult when you’re outside the top four. Look at (Gael) Monfils in the (French Open) quarters. Monfils has the potential to win that tournament — he’s French; he’s ranked eighth in the world. But he would have had to beat (Roger) Federer in the quarters, (Novak) Djokovic in the semis and (Rafael) Nadal in the final. The prospects of (any player) doing that are not good at the moment. Obviously, Andy has played great at Wimbledon. He’s probably got a much better chance of doing it there than maybe anywhere else. But as long as the top guys are winning, I just think it’s that much more difficult for anybody outside of them to run the table.”…Kim Clijsters pulled from Wimbledon after aggravating her previous foot injury, initially picked up while dancing at a wedding. She re-injured the foot playing at the Unicef Open. “I’m very, very disappointed to have to withdraw from Wimbledon after injuring my foot again at the tournament in s’Hertogenbosch,” Clijsters said. “At this moment I feel frustrated that it has to happen now before one of my favorite tournaments. I’ve always enjoyed being a part of the Wimbledon atmosphere but I have no other choice now but to rest, recover and to not play tennis for a few weeks.”…Aussie Mark “The Scud Stud” Philippoussis is telling the media he is looking for ATP event wildcards after doing well of late on the senior tour…At the big pre-Wimbledon player party, Maria Sharapova wore a red Alexander McQueen, Serena Williams wore Burberry, Brit Laura Robson wore Temperley, and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands wore a daring but hideous dress made partly out of tennis balls by Lady Gaga fashion collaborator Alex Noble. Girl, Joan Rivers ain’t no friend of that dress…After John Isner and Nicolas Mahut met in the first round at Wimbledon last year, playing a match that lasted 11 hours on court and played over three days, there was a .07 mathematical chance that they would draw each other again this year in the first round — but it happened. Isner has been off his chump of late, we’re going with Mahut this time. According to Peter Bodo writing for ESPN: “The Isner-Mahut match was the equivalent of a 43-inning MLB playoff game, a 35-overtime NBA playoff game, a 15-overtime NFL playoff game, and a 12-overtime NHL game! None of which has even come close to happening in the history of those leagues.”…Serena Williams has more career Slam titles than all the current Top 10 players combined on the WTA tour…AP “international sports columnist” John Leicester opines how embarrassing it is for women’s tennis to have the Williams sisters come back and be favorites for Wimbledon. John if you followed tennis more than four times a year you’d realize that a) Kim Clijsters is out injured; b) Justine Henin is retired; c) Maria Sharapova has never been the same since shoulder surgery; and d) the Williams sisters are two of the greatest and most athletic women’s tennis players EVER. They could probably make a comeback at age 50 and be contenders at Wimbledon. Sure the current slate of top WTA contenders are shite, but give the sisters some respect. Ah, here it is, this could be the problem as quoted: “Serena hasn’t been an easy champion to warm to over the years, with forehands and backhands wielded like a woodman’s ax, her ogre-like hunger for victory, her steamrollering of opponents, and her profanity-laced bullying of a U.S. Open lineswoman in 2009. She has been physically and mentally awesome, she commands respect, is sometimes provocative, charming and cheeky, but appeared too dominant to be deep-down lovable.” — Loveable or not, where’s the respect?…You have to appreciate the awesome, wooden, finally-made-it-through-the-censors reading style of the China Daily: “Chinese Li Na’s success at Roland Garros was a breakthrough for Asian tennis, which led to positive reactions and Asian expectations on forthcoming Wimbledon all over the tennis world. Being the first Asian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament she overcame a major barrier for China and even for Asia. Experts say she is even capable of winning more Grand Slams, starting at Wimbledon. The future of Chinese tennis looks bright. To some players, Li Na’s win at Roland Garros was a surprise. At the same time, she fully deserved it, told some of her colleagues…”…I…am…not…a…robot…John Isner on playing Nicolas Mahut again: “It’s going to be pretty nuts. I couldn’t believe it. I joked with him earlier in the week, last week, and said, ‘Watch us play each other.’ And he said, ‘No, there’s no way. That’s not even funny.’”


Also Check Out:
Roddick vs. Querrey, Clijsters Highlight Grass Tennis Play: Previews
Radwanska, 4 Slam Champs, 6 of Top 10 at Eastbourne: ATP/WTA Previews
Serena Wins; Venus, Safina, Ivanovic in Action Saturday at Wimbledon
Grass Tennis Won’t Wait as Nadal, Djokovic Finish; Previews
Federer Back to Form; Jankovic Avoids Upset at US Open

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45 Comments for Bartoli, Seppi, Tursunov, Vinci Collect Pre-Wimbledon Grass Titles; X-Notes

Kimmi Says:

I dont think venus will get far, but we will see.


Eric Says:

Wait, how is anything Jimmy Connors said wrong or even insulting?


Eric Says:

The Isner-Mahut match was the equivalent of a 43-inning MLB playoff game, a 35-overtime NBA playoff game, a 15-overtime NFL playoff game, and a 12-overtime NHL game! None of which has even come close to happening in the history of those leagues.”

Not really. This ignores the huge differences on two axes between those sports and tennis.

First, those are team games. “Grooves” and psychological factors are infinitely more important in tennis. Isner-Mahut only went on so long because neither of them could summon the mental energy to play four solid points in a row. It was sort of like if two football teams decided to just punt the ball every time they failed to get a TD on the first play of a possession.

Second, those are “rack up points” sports. Tennis has a punctuated significance scoring system. It makes it completely different.

Isner-Mahut was a remarkable display of serving consistency and a truly astonishing tribute to both player’s stamina and physical conditioning. It was hardly an admirable tennis match, though.

Also – picking Mahut is simply stupid. Isner’s current and career-high rankings are both much higher, and even if you think he has been “slumping” lately (not really – just not living up to the high standard he set in early 2010) he’s still a better player. By the way, taking two sets off Rafa at the French is hardly to be sneezed at.


PJ Says:

I don’t think a win by Venus or Serena would be too surprising. Well, OK, maybe Venus since she hasn’t won one in a while, even when healthy. But, look back at the 2009 US Open. Kim Clijsters won, and it was what, her second or third tournament back? She had to take out both Williams Sisters to do it too.


Eric Says:

“Serena Williams has more career Slam titles than all the current Top 10 players combined on the WTA tour…”

Yeah…so does Roger. Wooo.


Eric Says:

“You have to appreciate the awesome, wooden, finally-made-it-through-the-censors reading style of the China Daily:”

Huh, funny. It reminded me of most of the columnists here at t-x.


Humble Rafa Says:

I always remind myself – Djoker only has 2 grand slams – both Australian opens. Given his potential, you would think it would be more. But I kind of get a feeling that he is a “Choker” in the big ones.


funches Says:

It’s not ridiculous to think Mahut will beat Isner. I like Isner in another close match, but Mahut went through Nadal to reach the final of Queen’s a few years ago and had a match point on Roddick in the final. He sucks on everything else, but he’s solid on grass.

Isner has not done anything on grass.


Oui Says:

I know what you mean Humble. After reading the above article I have to remind myself that Roddick only has 1 grand slam at age 29.


Eric Says:

funches, good points – I didn’t really think of Mahut’s style as particularly well suited for grass, but that’s definitely the most important thing to keep in mind.

I still think Mahut is the wrong call; Isner’s big serve should serve him well (har har) and if he can move decently, he’ll get break points. But you’re right – I wouldn’t be too surprised if Mahut does win.


Kimberly Says:

Almost last call!

Submit your bracket here:
http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketWimbledonATP/tennisxfans1/default.aspx

I hope Isner wins. I actually am giving him a few rounds (until he meets a certain 16X GS Champ, the bye bye)


scoreboard66 Says:

I read a few days ago Mahutstated he’s not feeling well. Maybe, Isner will win this one easily, as there won’t be any opposition.

Watched the Janko match and saw his injury; he was in terrible pain. His coach was visibly upset. Dunno how this will affect Janko’s performance atWimbles, but it can’t be a positive for him.


Kimmi Says:

I had to change tispa on my bracket. i had him to the third round….i dont think he can get there after that injury. he has a tough first round too..dr ivo. OK, I will take dr ivo to the third round instead.


Kimmi Says:

Just realize ferrer has a decent draw to the 4th round. he did well last year too, got to 4th round i think almost beating soderling there.

Tough one for tsonga to get to the qtr. dolgo will be looming large. how is dolgo grass game? I think they had a very close match last year. dolgo coming back from 2 sets down but losing in the end.

hoping delpo beat simon. will be a tough one. Rochus could be tough for him too. rochus has decent results on grass. I think the problem with delpo on grass is the bounce. too low for him. I remember him saying that after losing to hewitt in 2009.

ha-ha just having fan with my brackets..my third one now :)

there is two guys that could take out muzza before the semi I feel. Cilic and gasquet. muzza needs to be tough from get go..

ah, cant wait!!


Kimberly Says:

colino6 took roddick.

I think i took ivo over tips anyway.


Kimmi Says:

Kimberly – i am going to give WTA bracket a go this time.

now, who should i take to the final??


Kimmi Says:

I am having a hard time to decide on monfils and roddick match. ok, roddick has good grass pedigree but..
in the end i decided to put roddick to the qtr on one bracket and monfils another. monfils gave me points in paris, so i am sticking with him. can he play on grass?


Kimmi Says:

Order of play out. defending champ rafa opens up play.

venus on court 2


Kimberly Says:

I took very risky picks on both WTA and ATP but you know I always pick favs even if not smart. I think I have yet to have a tournament where I don’t pick Nadal as the winner.

I have FEDAL and Venus/Sharapova.

But I have a some real dark horse semi final/quarter final that I think I need to change.


Kimmi Says:

muzza will always be the last match on centre court. he is the prime time guy.


puckbandit Says:

Kimmi,

I thought there was a way to see others brackets, no?

Also, I picked Tipsy over Ivo and now need to rethink.

bandit


Kimmi Says:

venus/sharapova kimberly? i will have serena somewhere in the final. venus could, she always shines at wimbledon.

on the top half if i have serena to the final that means no sharpie, no woz. tough draw top half i feel..


Kimmi Says:

bandit, you can only see other brackets after it is closed (when tournament start). that way you wont copy other brackets :)


Kimberly Says:

If Venus can serve well and play aggressive with an iota of consistency I don’t think any of these women have a chance with the exception of her sister and maybe not even her. The problem is thats a VERY BIG IF and more a thing of the past than today. However, i picked Sharapova over her in the final which is 100% sentimental because I believe from the bottom of my heart if they were both in the Final (very small chance) that Venus would win convincingly.


Kimberly Says:

Jane, Margot, Daniel, funches, blank, and TV MIA on the brackets. Where are you guys?


Humble Rafa Says:

I am glad that Wimbledon is about the begin and Venus has not started talking about her and her family’s behind! May be that is because she didn’t play the French or as Venus calls it, “The Show off Open”


Eric Says:

No way a Williams is in that final. Too lazy to fill out a WTA bracket, mind, but that’s my claim. ;)


funches Says:

Ferrer is very underrated on grass. His lethal return of serve is a huge advantage, and he is versatile enough to handle any surface.

He was a few points away from beating Sod last year. He probably will end up in a similar position against Tsonga, but for a guy who otherwise gets the absolute most out of his ability, Ferrer performs poorly in tight matches.


funches Says:

Kimberly,

I’m taking a year off from all brackets, other than the inner board here that has dwindled down to nothing. I spent way too much time obsessing over that stuff. I’m done worrying about a fifth set in the first round between two irrelevant players, even though those matches barely matter since the pools are weighted heavily to the back end of the tournaments.


funches Says:

My guess is Li Na will win the women. I have no idea who will win the men. It could be any of the top four.


jane Says:

puckbandit, Hi, yeah I’m over the loss, but the “oh-so-close” regrets still linger. Boston were better, in the end. Thomas was a wall. Hate Marchand, he’s such a rat, but he can play. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the off-season with the Canucks. I hope they sign Bieksa and Hansen for sure. Anyhow, good year for them and the fans (other than the moron non-real-hockey-fan-rioters who put a black eye on everything :( ).

Hey Kimberly, am away from home this week: just checked in here quickly now. Not sure I will have time to do a bracket this time, but will maybe try later.


AndresKB Says:

Hi, Kimberli. I seems to have submitted two entries when I tried to sign up to the Main Pool bracket. I am not sure if this one bracket for main and one bracket for private pool. They are the same, though. If it is a duplicate, could you please delete one. Thanks!


andrea Says:

congratulations bartoli. that’s a pretty nice win. alas, her game does nothing for me, aside from the giggles i get watching her service motion.

jane, i have to admit it, i still hate marchand. if only for the head punching he gave sedin after the whistle and then his comment afterwards as to why he did it: “i felt like it”. classless.


Kimmi Says:

going through women draw. No way venus can get past JJ and then zvonareva. we will see. but her draw is a little bit tough for “this” venus.

strange, but i have taken petra kvitova to the final..wishful thinking i know, but why not. go petra.


Kimmi Says:

venus game has not been matching well with JJ, even when she was playing well. lets see.

bring it on.


thark Says:

does anyone know if there is anything to see on the middle sunday of wimbledon? i have a friend with a 24 hour layover in london but unfortunately it just happens to fall on the middle sunday. i was thinking maybe there would be some practice sessions or the like he could check out. any recommendations by those who have been?


Eric Says:

I guess the tennis-x staff got the message about Roger being in the trunk after almost winning the French. But where’s Andy Murray, and why are Isner and Mahut given the funk just because they might have an entertaining match? As usual, stupid.


sar Says:

I watched the match on livestream. After the second set Tipsa asked the supervisor when he was going to stop the match since it was 8pm. The supervisor said there was another hour and a half of play left. Tipsa said why? A few days ago when I was playing James Ward we had to stop at 7:30 due to darkness and the supervisor said he doubted that. Tipsa said he was already showered and at his hotel by 8:15. He kept playing but complained it was getting too dark. You could tell he was pissed off and started to tank the match. Seppi was up 4-0 now. Then there were a few drops of rain and they decided to stop the match. After a few minutes they restarted but tipsa said, can I just quit now it’s even darker. They said no. So Seppi starts missing shots due to darkness and Seppi is up only 4-3. Tipsa goes for an easy baseline shot and does an ugly looking split and he’s screaming in pain. They give him a MTO and then he tries to play another minute but retires. The talking heads said the tourney has got a lot of explaining to do because of this incident. He took his money and prize, didn’t talk to anyone and left the court. I don’t blame him. If they had stopped the match after two sets like he wanted, he would not have slipped and fallen due to the rain. He’s screwed for WIM. I did hear him tell the umpire what a shtty f’ing place it was there.

“I’m taking an ultrasound now but it doesn’t look good,” Tipsarevic said. “I know matches are played here until late, but that is the case when there are no clouds and you have enough light.

“It’s an absolute disgrace … what happened today. At 4-3, 15-all or love-30 when I slipped, I asked the chair umpire or the referee, ‘What else needs to happen for you to postpone this match?’ And he was just quiet. He was just repeating like a parrot that we have enough light, we have enough light.”


Kimmi Says:

thank you for that sar. sounds terrible. i would have liked to know how serious his injury is. can he play…his first round match is not easy too.

I guess if it was one of the top guys (federer, muzza, rafa, djokovic) complaining, these news would have been everywhere….i mean everywhere. a top guy missing wimbledon because of an injury sustained two days before wimbles starts. Injury that could have been avoided. too dark, too slippery etc.

Poor tipsy, hope his injury is not too bad.


puckbandit Says:

Sar,

Ditto what Kimmi said.

I’m sorry Tipsy may be out because he’s a dangerous player that could take out higher seeds and is always interesting to watch.

I hope the injury isn’t serious. I did change my bracket to an Ivo win but would love to be proven wrong on that.

Jane,
Glad to hear the loss is behind you. But I know exactly how you feel regarding coming sooo close (NJD loss in game 7 in 2001 to Avs),

Marchand is one of those guys that are only liked or tolerated by their own fans and team mates. I’m sure there are a few folks in Boston that feel the same way about Lapierre (sp?)

I’m not a big Luongo fan, but he got a really bad rap from the press regarding his “I’d make that save” and the “pumping tires” comments. That’s the problem with sports media, including the tennis journos. They don’t want the same old answers and cliches from the players, but then as soon as they get some spontaneous, honest commentary from a player they drag the guy through the mud with his words.

It’s no wonder professional athletes are so guarded in their interviews interviews


Hypnos Says:

I predict that the Isner-Mahut match will once again go five sets:

* As Eric and funches noted, Mahut is strong on grass.

* Even though they are now friends, Mahut has a lot of pride on the line in this rematch.

* They both suck at returning serves on grass. They played 11 hours last year and couldn’t figure out each other’s deliveries. I am doubting that their practice time together will make much of a difference …


jane Says:

Excellent points about the sports media puckbandit.

Yeah, all teams have those pesty guys: we have Lappy and Burr who can be like that, but I really don’t think either would punch a guy 5-6 times after the whistle and then tell the press he “felt like it”!

I have mixed feelings about Bobby Lou. He can be so good, and then he has these awful games, esp in playoffs. But he is a very honest guy in interviews and it does haunt him. Plus he is the scapegoat for the entire team all too often.

Anyhow, time to get back to tennis!

I don’t know if I have time to get a bracket done tonight.

andrea, I know – that Marchand comment is burned into memory.


Kimberly Says:

AKB, in the morning I will be able to see if it is in fact a duplicate. If it is I will delete one. If there are differences I will message you for which one u want to keep. Once someone actually had a blank bracket as a second accidentally, I don’t want to delete until I see it!!!

I think I need to make some changes, I’ve got some wild picks that vie never gone and corrected.


RZ Says:

OMG, Fed has the Funk for once. Am I on the correct website? LOL.


Humble Rafa Says:

No, you are not on the right website. You are actually on the rogerfederer.com, where Fed belongs to the funk always!

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