DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINALS
Argentina d. Kazakhstan 5-0
The Argentines blast the opposition at home on red clay, where Juan Monaco and Juan Martin Del Potro fail to drop a set in the opening singles. Veteran Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank clinch it for Argentina in the doubles. In the semifinals Argentina will travel to Serbia.
Serbia d. Sweden 4-1
An ailing Novak Djokovic (knee) couldn’t clinch the tie in the doubles with partner Nenad Zimonjic, but Janko Tipsarevic clinched in the first singles on Sunday over the Challenger-level Swedish team. Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki took both the opening singles on Friday. Sweden was doomed without Robin Soderling, who skipped the tie to “rest,” even though that rest ends this week when he plays the ATP event in Bastad.
France d. Germany 4-1
The German clay didn’t bother the visiting Frenchmen, who swept 3-0 behind the singles play of Richard Gasquet, who defeated German Florian Mayer from two sets down, and Gael Monfils, who beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in straights. In the doubles Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra clinched it in straight sets. France will travel to Spain for the semifinals.
Spain d. U.S. 3-1
Missed opportunities was the theme of the weekend for the U.S. as singles players Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick repeatedly failed to serve out sets in dropping both opening-day singles matches to Feliciano Lopez (five sets) and David Ferrer (three sets) respectively. The Bryan brothers put the U.S. on the board in doubles, but Fish failed to serve-out the first set in what was a four-set tie-clinching loss to Ferrer in the first Sunday singles.
Isner Towers Over Rochus to Win ATP Newport Title
Six-foot-9 American John Isner defeated 5-foot-6 Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-3, 7-6(7) to capture the title on Sunday at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. The win by the top-seeded Isner broke the Newport “Casino Curse,” where no top-seeded player had won the event since it began in 1976.
The 26-year-old Isner captured his first ATP title of the season and the second of his career, improving to 2-4 in career finals. The final also featured the biggest-ever height differential in an ATP championship match.
Last year Rochus also lost in the final to an American, Mardy Fish, and on Sunday fell to 2-7 in career finals. The difference-maker was Isner averaging almost two aces per service game, ending the day with a tally of 22.
Vinci Wins 3rd Title of the Year at WTA Budapest
Italy’s Roberta Vinci is putting together the year of her career, on Sunday defeating Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 for the Poli-Farbe Budapest Grand Prix title in Hungary, her third title of 2011.
“I began well, but in the second set I felt tired and the heat made things more difficult. I didn’t play aggressively enough,” said Vinci, who trailed a break in the third. “I was still tired in the third but at 4-2 down I pushed myself and told myself, ‘Come on, come on.’ I started to play stronger on my forehand and managed to turn things around.”
The top-seeded Vinci was enjoying her first week ranked in the Top 25 at 28 years old. It was her sixth career title.
Hercog Captures Career 1st WTA Title as Bastad
Slovenia’s Polona Hercog defeated Swedish home favorite Johanna Larsson 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday for the title at the Collector Swedish Open in Bastad.
“It was tough with the crowd supporting her so much, but it’s normal,” Hercog said. “I was ready for it. I had a feeling in myself I could win the tournament. I never spoke about it, but through all my matches I thought I was really getting there, even when I was exhausted after my semifinal match.”
Hercog improved to 1-1 in career finals, while Larsson dropped to 0-2.
Skistar Swedish Open
Seeds: Robin Soderling, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro, Tommy Robredo, Juan Monaco, Andrey Golubev, Potito Starace
Floaters: Igor Andreev, Filippo Volandri
Notes: Soderling leads the field after opting out of Sweden’s Davis Cup tie against Serbia, leaving his mates to get slaughtered in the Davis Cup quarterfinals against Novak Djokovic and crew; Soderling after a bye will likely face a tough meeting against Andreev, and (5) Robredo vs. Volandri in a veteran match-up; none of the Top 8 seeds have losing records in Bastad, with Soderling 18-8 and Ferrer 11-4; returning champs in the field are Almagro (2010), Soderling (2009), Robredo (2008,’06), and Ferrer (2007); no player has won the Bastad title three years in a row, but four players have won back-to-back titles, including Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander.
Seeds: Gael “Force” Monfils, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, Mikhail Youzhny, Gilles Simon, Florian Mayer, Nikolay Davydenko, Andreas Seppi, Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez
Floaters: Philipp Petzschner, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marcel Granollers, Al Montanes, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek
Notes: Tough openers include (3) Youzhny vs. homecountry favorite Petzschner, (7) Seppi vs. Granollers coming off Davis Cup win over the U.S., (4) Simon vs. Montanes, and (8) G-Lo vs. The Worm; Montanes won the title last year when Monfils twisted his ankle in the final; seeds Melzer and G-Lo have losing career records in Stuttgart; returning champs in the field are Montanes (2010), Jeremy Chardy (2009), and Youzhny (2002).
NURNBERGER Gastein Ladies
Bad Gastein, Austria
Seeds: Julia Goerges, Jarmila Gajdosova, Lucie Hradecka, Iveta Benesova, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Simona Halep, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Ksenia Pervak
Floaters: Alize Cornet, Carla Suarez Navarro
Notes: Tough openers for (8) Pervak vs. Cornet, and (7) Zahlavova Strycova vs. Suarez Navarro; Goerges (2010) is the lone returning singles champ in the field, and Hradecka is the four-time defending doubles champion.
XXIV SNAI Open — Internazionali Femminili di Tennis di Palermo
Seeds: Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Klara Zakopalova, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Tsvetana Pironkova, Polona Hercog, Petra Cetkovska
Floaters: Aravane Rezai
Notes: Returning former champs in the field are Pennetta (2009), Errani (2008), and Medina Garrigues (2006-04,01).
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