Gulbis Nets Fish for 2nd Career Title
Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis upset top-seeded Mardy Fish 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Farmers Classic on Sunday to win his second career title. Gulbis nervously double-faulted the first set away, but in the third built a 5-1 lead before again nervously closing it out.
The No. 84-ranked Gulbis denied Fish a second straight title after winning Atlanta.
“I was tired,” Fish admitted. “I’ve played a lot of matches the past couple months.” It was Gulbis’s second title after Delray Beach in 2010. Fish falls to 6-13 in career finals.
Dolgopolov Wins First Career Title at ATP Umag
Alexandr Dolgopolov won his first career title on Sunday in Umag, Beating homecountry favorite Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 for the ATP Studena Croatia Open title. The 22-year-old improved to 1-1 in career finals after losing to Nicolas Almagro in February at Costa do Sauipe.
“I was first in the rankings in Ukraine, but I hadn’t won a title and everyone was talking about that a bit,” Dolgopolov said. “So I’m really happy that I eventually did win it, because I was playing pretty well for a year, but still I couldn’t manage to win a title.”
The 22-year-old Cilic fell to 5-5 in finals. “We haven’t had a Croatian in the final here for 21 years and it was a relief I think for all the tournament organizers and also for me to reach the final and be playing well at home.”
Granollers Upsets Verdasco for ATP Gstaad Crown
Spain’s Marcel Granollers upset countryman Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Sunday at the Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad for his second career title.
The 25-year-old Granollers also upset No. 2 seed Stan Wawrinka and No. 3 seed Mikhail Youzhny. He improved to 2-1 in career finals. Verdasco fell to 5-11 in career finals.
“It’s very important for me because I won my first tournament in 2008, which was a little unexpected, and three years later I won here,” Granollers said. “So there is a lot of work behind today and I feel amazing.”
Serena Williams Subdues Bartoli for WTA Stanford Title
Former world No. 1 Serena Williams improved her triple-digit ranking, winning the Stanford title in her third event back after a year-long injury hiatus to capture the crown at the Bank of the West Classic. The American defeated Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 in the final.
“Marion’s always coming back. I was relieved after that last point,” said Williams, who lost to Bartoli at Wimbledon. “She’s playing really well and really aggressively. I just had to bring the level of my game up to her level because she’s clearly a really good player.”
Williams improved to 38-14 in WTA finals in her career.
Petrova Beats Peer for 10th Career Title at WTA Washington
Russian Nadia Petrova topped Israel’s Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-2 for the Citi Open in College Park, Md., outside of Washington, DC.
The 29-year-old Petrova won her 10th career title, her first title in almost three years. “Before Miami I had vertigo for six weeks. It knocked me off my feet,” she said. “I couldn’t defend my points in the claycourt season and felt a little down. I wasn’t in a happy place, but Wimbledon was a turning point for me.”
Petrova improved to 6-0 career vs. Peer. “I knew Shahar wasn’t able to hurt me with her serve, especially her second serve, so even though I was broken early in each set I knew I could turn it around,” Petrova said. Peer fell to 5-3 in career finals.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Among the throng pulling out of the WTA San Diego event are defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (no reason, hasn’t played since Wimbledon), Kim Clijsters (ankle), and Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova (abdominal injury)…American Robert Kendrick has been banned for a year after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine during this year’s French Open. The 31-year-old Kendrick, who says he mistakenly took the substance as part of a capsule to combat jet lag, will be able to return in May 2012…Britain’s Heather Watson has gained direct acceptance into the US Open, the first time directly into a Slam for the former US Open juniors champ…Victoria Azarenka, speaking to Tennis.com, compares the loud shriek-grunting players do on the WTA tour to — wait for it — snoring: “My dad and a lot of men, they snore, right? But they’re not conscious about it. And you ask them every time, ‘Damn it, you were snoring the whole night.’ And they’re like, ‘Really?’ And you say, ‘Yeah.’ And they can’t change it. A lot of people who ask this question…do they snore or not? Can they change it? I can ask the same question, you know. But I’m there busting my butt to win the point. That’s part of my game, that’s part of who I am, it’s part of my breathing, it’s part of my movement.”…Aggie Radwanska is considering dumping her father Robert as her coach following arguments between the two according to Tennis.com: “Sometimes it’s good to have a break, especially from someone you’ve been working with for 17 years already and sometimes it’s just too much.”…James Blake has switched to the new Donnay line of racquets…26-year-old U.S. college-trained-and-paid-for Indian Somdev Devvarman is at a career-best No. 62 ranking…Andy Roddick dropped out of the Top 10 again last week, from 10 to No. 12, and is now out indefinitely with injury…Best Headline of the Week from the crank-out-500-garbage-stories, now-I’m-a-journalist!’s over at Suite101.com: “Novak Djokovic in Search for More ATP Tour Titles in 2011″ — No shit?!? We thought he had his fill of titles this year already. Thanks for the scoop! Watch for the AP to grab that up and put it on the wire…Mardy Fish says that while Andy Roddick has fallen out of the Top 10 he is still the “top dog” American: “It’s hard to think that just because of four or five or six months that I’m ahead of him (in the rankings) you can say that over a 10-year period I’ve had a better career. That’s not accurate. He’s gone through a lot more stress as far as (being asked) why American tennis isn’t better. He’s had the brunt of the questions for the most part so I’m happy to maybe take a little bit on my shoulders.” — OK, here’s one then: why can’t we beat Spain on our home court in Davis Cup when they don’t have their top player?…Serena Williams says she will play at Cincy and Toronto prior to the US Open…American Sam Querrey says he hopes to make his return from elbow surgery the week before the US Open during the new ATP Winston-Salem event: “It’s a bummer I can’t defend my title here in LA. I miss playing and miss my Sam-urais [Sam Querrey cheering section].”…Maria Sharapova has picked up former ATP Russian pro Vladimir Voltchkov as a hitting partner: “It’s pretty tough to have two cooks in the kitchen,” said Sharapova on the fact he will not be on the same level as coach Thomas Hogstedt. “He’s great cause he willing to travel full time — it’s a sick Russian mentality, you just want to stay home I’m not sure why, we are crazy,” she said with a laugh. “There are also some weeks when Thomas can’t come because he has to be with his family and then I can have [Voltchkov] for a few weeks. I’m excited about it.”…Pete Sampras is no longer taking appearance fees on the ATP tour, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten how to collect giant checks. Sampras will play fellow former No. 1 Marat Safin on Sept 30 to open the new tennis stadium at the China Open. “I’m looking forward to playing against my old friend Peter in the new stadium at the China Open. I believe it will be a very tough match and hope the fans will enjoy it,” said Safin in a crafted canned statement. It will be Sampras’ third trip to China after playing in the Champions Tour in Chengdu the past two years. He will then appear in Wuhan, the hometown of Li Na, to attend the “Li Na & Friends” exhibition matches from Dec. 17-18. He will then need to rent an extra plane to get the cash back to the U.S…Tennis.com reports that American teen CoCo Vandeweghe has split with USTA coach Tom Gullikson, and that her mother, the former Olympic swimmer Tauna, is now “heavily back in the picture.”…Going head-to head in selling their own signature underwear lines in a friendly competition are Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. In July they launched “Bjorn Loves John,” a limited-edition underwear line featuring their names on their own individual designs. And no, we didn’t make this up. “I’ve been wearing his underwear for 10 years,” McEnroe said. “Now I finally have a chance to see if my name has any cache below the waist. Since it’s his company and his brand, I feel like my back’s against the wall but I was told that I would have an equal opportunity to sell as many as him.”
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Unseeded Serena Looms at Stanford; Roddick Still in Hiding; ATP/WTA Previews