Stepanek, Haase, Radwanska Win Titles; X-Notes
by Staff | August 7th, 2011, 11:08 pm
  • 85 Comments

Worm Turns on Monfils as Stepanek Captures ATP Washington

32-year-old Radek “The Worm” Stepanek upset No. 1 seed Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on Sunday in Washington D.C. Afterwards the Czech did his patented worm dance upon capturing his fifth career title.


“It’s my biggest win in my career so far and it’s coming in the later stage of my career, so it means so much to me that I’m capable even in this age to play such great tennis, beating the guys from the Top 10 and winning the title,” said the former Top 10er, who dictated play over a flustered and game-planless Monfils.

“I wanted to be in control of the match, be the boss on the court, the one who is deciding what’s going on,” Stepanek said. “I was trying to come to the net because that was my game plan to be aggressive…my game plan was working perfectly, and I was aggressive from the first point to the last one.” Monfils looked sluggish after a three-set win over American John Isner the previous night.

Dutchman Haase Wins 1st Career Title at ATP Kitzbuhel

The last of the European claycourt events during the run-up to the US Open ended Saturday when No. 53-ranked Dutchman Robin Haase outlasted Spaniard Al Montanes 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 for the Bet-At-Home Cup Kitzbuhel title.

The 24-year-old Dutchman was appearing in his first ATP final. During the week he recorded upsets over No. 2 seed Feliciano Lopez and No. 6 Andreas Seppi.

Haase raced to a 5-0 lead in the third before closing it out. “Today, actually, in the second set I served bad, but that was the only time and the rest of the tournament I served really, really well,” Haase said. “Then I attacked with my forehand and I was defending really, really good this week, so I didn’t make a lot of unforced errors.” Montanes dropped to 5-5 in career finals.

Radwanska Ousts Zvonareva for WTA Carlsbad Crown

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska defeated top seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4 for her fifth career title on Sunday at the Marcury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, Calif.

“Everything was working,” Radwanska said. “Even though I had two really tough matches in the quarters and semifinals, I played very well today. I really wanted to win this tournament so I was really focused from the beginning. Winning a tournament with a lot of great matches against top players is always very special.”

It was the first title for the 22-year-old Radwanska since Eastbourne in 2008. Zvonareva fell to 12-17 in career finals, and snapped a nine-match winning streak after winning the Baku title two weeks ago.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

IT’S THE U.S. SUMMER HARDCOURT SEASON, WHICH MEANS IT’S CHECK-IN-ON-DONALD SEASON – From the Washington Times on American Donald Young soldiering on at the ATP Washington event: “But Young’s career has been tumultuous at best, including unrealized potential and a controversial rant that got him in trouble with the same U.S. Tennis Association that poured years of resources into the child prodigy. This week, continuing with his second-round match Wednesday against Jurgen Melzer, is yet another opportunity for Young to show that he’s still on the right track and hasn’t joined a long list of players who never lived up to expectations…Considered one of the rising stars in tennis as far back as 2004 when he was the only athlete featured in Newsweek’s “Who’s Next?” issue, he’s the 128th-ranked player in the world and a bit behind schedule.” — Young lost in the semifinal round to Radek “The Worm” Stepanek. Young gave up on the USTA earlier this year before apologizing, maybe it’s the USTA’s turn to give up on Young and put the cash into another player showing promise who doesn’t have overbearing parents holding him back? The Times also reported that James Blake has talked to Young’s agent about taking him under his wing for some training: “I’m a little older and little more experienced than Donald,” Blake said. “But I do think I have something to offer in terms of showing him how I work, how hard I train, what I do to take care of my body, what I do to rest and stretch and all that kind of stuff that gets you ready to play on tour.” Between his parents and lack of training sense and entitled attitude, Young and his family have always been at odds with the USTA in one way or another over the years, but Young’s agent Carlos Fleming spins it positive. “The relationship between Donald and the USTA has never been bad. Along with different relationships you can always have frustration,” Flemming said. “While it was unfortunate some of the things happened in April, I think that was a public display of some things that happen in relationship.” The Donald also tried to spin his current relationship with the USTA until honesty crept in: “It’s back to the way it was; I don’t think it ever really changed-changed. It’s a touchy situation…”

MISC
19-year-old Serbian Bojana Jovanovski flew into Carlsbad, New Mexico, rather than Carlsbad, Calif., for the WTA event near San Diego. “They said they were at the airport and looking for me,” she told AFP about landing at the near-empty airport then calling WTA tour officials. “I said I was the only person here.”…At the ATP event in Kitzbuhel last week, former world No. 1 and 43-year-old Thomas Muster took a wildcard, getting bageled 6-3, 6-0 by No. 5 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber. “I don’t plan to keep on playing forever, but I am still very much enjoying it,” said Muster, who with a tour-level win would eclipse Jimmy Connors’ record as the oldest player to win an ATP match (Halle 1995) at age 42. “To lose the second set 6-0 is fine with me. It just shows that Philipp did not give away any points.”…Former world No. 2 Dinara Safina says she is out until at least the end of the year due to chronic back issues: “I’m sorry to report that my back is still acting up and I will not be able to play until at least the end of the year,” the 25-year-old said on her website. “I don’t know how long my time out is going to last because I don’t want to torture myself and my body anymore.”…For the seventh straight year, Maria Sharapova tops the annual list by Forbes magazine of the highest-paid women athletes. At $25 million, she is followed by Caroline Wozniacki, $12.5 million; 3. Danica Patrick, $12 million; 4. Venus Williams, $11.5 million; 5. Kim Clijsters, $11 million; 6, Serena Williams, $10.5 million; 7. Kim Yuna, $10 million (South Korea, figure skating); 8. Li Na, $8 million; 9. Ana Ivanovic, $6 million; and 10. Paula Creamer, $5.5 million (U.S., golf)…Playing in Carlsbad last week was Kimiko Date-Krumm, at the tournament she won 15 years ago, beating Gabriela Sabatini, Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to win the title in 1996. In Sept. of ’96 she retired for 11 years before returning to the game. “I enjoyed my life with my friends,” Date-Krumm said, “but my husband kept saying, ‘You are too young not be playing. You are at your peak.’ He kept pushing me very hard. He said, ‘Why not? You should go.’”…Andy Roddick has committed to play in the inaugural Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest the week before the US Open. “It’s hard to really frame how big of a deal it is to get Andy Roddick to play this event,” Tournament Director Bill Oakes told the Winston-Salem Journal. “In his 11 years on the professional tour, he has never played the week before the US Open. He has a variety of commitments related to sponsors and media and other things the week before the US Open in New York, so for him to forgo those to play in the Winston-Salem Open is extremely significant. One of our biggest ambassadors is Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick’s best friend, and at Davis Cup a couple of weeks ago, Andy asked Mardy why he was playing a week before the US Open in Winston-Salem. And Mardy said, ‘Look, it’s a no-brainer. If I play in the finals in Winston-Salem, they’re going to fly me up by private jet to New York for the U.S. Open, and I don’t have to play until Tuesday in New York.’ It’s a nice scenario.”…Robert Kendrick’s lawyer says he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to shorten his 12-month suspension for doping. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the 31-year-old American last week after he returned a positive test result for methylhexaneamine (MHA) at the French Open. Kendrick wants his suspension reduced to three months, which would allow him to compete at the US Open. Kendrick says the positive test came from a pill to combat jet lag. The ITF said Kendrick took “an inappropriately relaxed approach to his doping responsibilities.”…Andy Roddick (oblique injury), Robin Soderling (wrist), Jurgen Melzer (quad), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (appendicitis) and Xavier Malisse (personal) pulled out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Roddick says he hopes to be ready for Cincinnati…What is the hold-up of Martina Hingis saying yes to playing mixed doubles with Roger Federer at the 2012 Olympics? If she is no longer on the coke it shouldn’t be an issue…From Andrew Bockner, designer of the player’s lounge at the Rogers Cup: “I can’t believe how much [the players] play ping-pong. They’re competitors at heart, it’s amazing. When the men were here, you’d have [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal playing against each other and the whole tour just watching them. Four year ago, it rained almost all tournament and it basically turned into a ping-pong round robin that they organized themselves.”


Also Check Out:
Del Potro in Sydney; ATP/WTA Tennis Previews
Djokovic, Federer in Dubai: ATP/WTA Previews
ATP/WTA Previews: Dusseldorf, Nice, Brussels, Strasbourg
Roddick Tries to Shake Funk; Winston-Salem, WTA Previews
Querrey, Blake Head Rock-bottom ATP L.A. Field

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85 Comments for Stepanek, Haase, Radwanska Win Titles; X-Notes

jane Says:

Rafa’s unsure about his foot, by the sounds of it:

http://m.crunchsports.com/category/Tennis/Rogers-Cup-Rafael-Nadal-unsure-if-he-will-be-at-100-in-Montreal-201108080004/

I wish Raonic were well enough to play in Canada. Drag.


Kimmi Says:

Rafa and the foot..hmmm, i think he gets to at least the semi.


Kimmi Says:

I will have murray to the final with novak.

tsonga must have drawn a lot of confidence from that win at wimbledon and gasquet..tough one for fed.


Humble Rafa Says:

Don’t read too much into my comments. That is just insurance policy, in case I lose you know.

Remember, a fit Rafa never loses.


Brando Says:

As a rafa fan I really think rafa needs to just not talk about these niggling injuries anymore, since this foot injury is the same one he had at wimby where he not only finished the JMDP but also completed 3 whole matches after that with no real issues whilst playing!!! I think he shall play all his matches in this tournament unaffected by it. What rafa needs to do is focus his time and energy regarding the djokovic conundrum since that is the key issue for him at this stage in his career!


Kimberly Says:

atp lifted the ban in response to my email and patricko4 is IN! Its on like Donkey Kong!


grendel Says:

“For the seventh straight year, Maria Sharapova tops the annual list by Forbes magazine of the highest-paid women athletes.”

You think this just happens? Hi, I’m the Sharp. I swing a mean racket and I’m told I’m kind of attractive. I have the face, the figure, the attitude – that’s what they tell me. I wouldn’t know, of course. Don’t attach too much importance, me, to the superficial things in life. I just go my way, being myself, telling it how it is, and whatdya know, I end up getting the sheckles by the sack load. Guess I’m kinda of lucky, huh?

Heh-Heh.

Oh, and by the way, corpses in that corner, and make sure they’re disposed of pronto – in this weather, they’re an offence to my nostrils, know what I mean. And when I say “pronto”…

Well, you don’t want to join them now, do you?


Kimmi Says:

Really, I must be not very smart to pick nalbandian over wawrinka.


Jean Says:

GgggRrrrrrr


Humble Rafa Says:

Some interesting stats on the top female money maker list.

Venus makes more money than Serena….OK!
May be she is willing to “expose” more than the others. I am not sure.

If Sharapova goes Venus low on her clothing, exposing and all, she might get $40 million easy.


Kimmi Says:

ivanovic is in the list too (what has she done since winning FO in 2008)..that really tells you beauty is also important if one wants to succeed.


Kimmi Says:

oh lord, dolgo was cruising along nicely then suddenly pressure when serving to stay in the second set. one error after another then double faults to lose the second set.

a wild card canadian ranked 219 has hope.


jane Says:

Kimmi, i picked against Nalby only because he lost so quickly to Blake last week; I wonder if he will retire soon?

I picked Dolgo to get all the way to Rafa, after his win in Umag. But that was clay. Maybe I blew it there. But who knew this Canadian quallie would make a go of it? Crap shoot, really.


Kimberly Says:

a million break chances gone begging, colin06 sick so we are home watching a million screens


Kimmi Says:

jane,i was thinking he lost to blake easily coz it was his first match back. he always does well on amarican hardcourts. he will regroup in montreal since wawa hasnt been great for a while…so much for my reasoning.

K.anderson won, and dolgo is up a break so there is hope.

Dari – that is really bummer. I finished my bracket yesterday and refused to change anything.

I am also watching bartoli vs voskoboeva..the qualifier has the first set and quite impressive so far.


Kimmi Says:

bartoli is 3-6 0-2 down. she is mad, the qualifier keeps pushing.


Kimmi Says:

interesting! the qualifier is now 3-0 up in the second.

daddy bartoli comes on court..give her few words, let see if they help.


Kimberly Says:

already 3-0 Ferrero, darn Gulbis. This is not going to be a good bracket.


jane Says:

Well Dolgo came through for me, but it is not looking like Gulbis will. Should’ve gone with JCF!


Kimmi Says:

kimberly, it is still early days yet. If gulbis didn’t win in LA i would have picked Ferrero. Lets see what happens.

meanwhile bartoli in trouble. the qulifier is playing her best match ever. serving well and lots of drop shots that bartoli cant reach.

5-2 to the quali now..one more game, one more!


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha bartoli is pumped up. wants to get the quali to serve it out. lots of allez!!


Kimmi Says:

voskoboeva to serve for the match now..c’moooon!


Kimmi Says:

OK, the quali is nervous..she is still in it though.


Kimmi Says:

voskoboeva ranked 135 beats bartoli. big upset. good for her.

I enjoyed that match :)


Kimberly Says:

quali gets it. good. i’m not a big bartoli fan as we all know.


Kimberly Says:

Goerges Jankovic should be a nice match tonight yes?


jane Says:

Tennis.com short article on seeing Nadal in practice with Fish today: sounds encouraging for Rafa & fans:

“You always hear that players “look good” in practice—typically because their practice partner isn’t even close to their league. But when I say that Nadal looked good in his exchange with Fish, a fellow Top 10er, I report that with confidence. Their back-and-forths gradually morphed into all-out points, with Nadal winning the majority. He changed speeds seamlessly, hit his spots near the baseline, didn’t appear at all affected by foot trouble, and of course, was the focus of many photographs, including the one above. Although many fans watched Novak Djokovic play doubles on nearby Court 9 (him and partner Janko Tipsarevic beat Philipp Petzschner and Mark Knowles, 5-7, 6-3, 12-10), this may have been a rarer sight, the equivalent of Rafa being relegated to Court 16 at the U.S. Open.”


Kimmi Says:

well jane, thanks for that quote. i have rafa to the semi. he might as well get to the final for all we know.

Gulbis pumping it up now. breaks early in the second.

Kimberly – JJ/gergoes could be good just for watching beautiful georges. She has been very poor since she broke out on the scene during the clay season.


Kimmi Says:

so GUILLERMO CANAS is coaching gulbis now,interesting! things must be starting well, gulbis win a title recently.


grendel Says:

That’s interesting, Kimmi. Canas first popped up on the screen looking exactly like a squirrel having a little chew on his nuts. Ten minutes they showed him again, more like a squirrel than ever. Kind of mixture between cute and vicious. 3rd time he popped up, he was cheering Gulbis vociferously. So had to wonder: was the squirrel coaching the lounge lizard? You say yes, Kimmi.

Pure Gulbis at the death in first set. In the middle of a long rally, he falls over but not only picks himself up but puts himself in control through sheer skill, earns a dolly – and what does he do, slams it into the net so that it’s set point to Ferrero instead of break back point. However, he seems to be in control now.

As for Nadal, why doesn’t he just shut up about those bloody feet of his? That record is wearing very thin indeed. Me, I’ve got him as favourite for the US Open. Something strange is happening in tennis. Nadal should have been beaten in the French, either by Federer or Djokovic, whereas there are maybe 4 contenders for the US who are supposedly ahead of him. I don’t believe that for a minute. I believe Nadal will show last year’s form and be very, very hard to beat. If Djokovic’s level slips – and he is not an automaton – or if somebody beats him before the final, Nadal wins.


Wayne Says:

where on the internet are you watching?


jane Says:

^ Yeah, interesting coaching choice for Ernie. Hope he keeps up the momentum.

Kimmi, picked Rafa to the semis, and then Muzza winning that match, but it could very well be Rafa winning it all, of course. It is difficult to know, really.

I picked Monaco over Dr. Ivo, who hasn’t had a great year, but it looks like he is rallying. Also picked Bellucci.


jane Says:

Wayne I am watching on T.V. for once! That is beause I am in Canada.


Kimmi Says:

http://www.fromsportcom.com/

wayne, you will find some of those matches here


Kimmi Says:

I agree grendel, rafa should shut up!!!


jane Says:

Stellar serving by Gulbis just here. Nice!


Kimmi Says:

me too jane, tv for both wta and atp. too much choice. niceeeee!


jane Says:

JCF definitely holding more easily in e third.


Kimmi Says:

crunch time now


jane Says:

Kimmi, have you been able to get into the tennisx fan group at the bracket challenge today? I keep getting a blank white screen.


jane Says:

Ferrero knows so well how to direct the ball around the court and construct points; has seems to be winning the majority of rallies. But it is down to the wire: 30 all 5 all his serve…


Kimmi Says:

wow! break from nowhere..gulbis :)


Kimmi Says:

same here, i tried it few hrs ago. Must be a problem then.


jane Says:

Gulbis got a little lucky on that strange dropper! :) or maybe it is all part of his grande planning with Canas. He took a few risks like that in L.A. as well, and won the whole thing! Whoo hooo, Ernie!

Although I like JCF. : / Too bad they had to meet this early along.


Kimmi Says:

gulbis wins


jane Says:

Should have picked Dr.Ivo. But my Dodig crap shoot may pay off.


Kimmi Says:

kutznetsova is also struggling. what is wrong with this women?


Kimberly Says:

me too, colin05/6 tried, wanted to post comments and couldn’t get in. home sick, so very disappointed, wanted to write and get notes.

Thank you Gulbis!


Kimberly Says:

kuznetsova about to be out


grendel Says:

Kimmi,Kutzi has always been up and down. Just the way she is. Mind you, she’s more down than up these days. She’s a woman with a huge talent – both Henin and Serena had the highest regard for her abilities – which only goes to show how strong a role the mind plays in tennis. When Nadal says his strongest asset in tennis is his mind, people think “yeah, yeah…” whilst they should be thinking, “yes, yes”.


Kimmi Says:

yes kimberly, she is OUT. another big upset by the qualifier. crazy tournament already.


Kimmi Says:

I agree grendel with the mind thingy in tennis. true kutzy has been more down than up this year. halep was playing well but not great. she was just putting the ball back on play..kutzy going for too much most of the time.

well, i am not too sad she is gone. Cheering for petra and kim this week.


Kimmi Says:

Nole is going to be handed his number one trophy apparently. everyone is waiting for that at the moment..

GOOD FOR HIM!!!


Kimmi Says:

there is nole. watching the congratulations video from the greats and all his accomplishments this year.


Kimmi Says:

where is the number 1 symbol trophy? They gave him a globe symbol. maybe they get a number 1 symbol trophy at the end of the year?


jane Says:

Nole looked sleek and handsome in his suit jacket. Awww, nice that they made a point of honouring him.

Delpo is pouncing all over Jarko. And Davy is cruising. Sheesh, Nole’s draw is tough: Davy first match back and then possibly Delpo. I hope he makes it through, but I wouldn’t be surprised with an upset.

Andy plays in the afternoon tomorrow versus Anderson, who can be a tough customer, but Murray should be able to neutralize his big serve, which is the main thing. They played only once and Murray routed him.

Nole plays Davy in the evening match tomorrow. The record is 3-2 Nole but they’ve not played since 2009, YEC.


Kimmi Says:

delpo finishing nieminen him now.


Kimmi Says:

nieminen went completely away..bagel coming up.


Kimmi Says:

yay delpo. expected but great win.


Kimberly Says:

definite bagel, nice first set, this is almost done


Kimmi Says:

goerges with a great start…needs to keep it up.


Kimmi Says:

i didn’t expect julia to play well today..great to see her playing like this. Hope she can finish it off

tomic/Lu is interesting match.


Kimmi Says:

goerges wins. great performance. hope she gets far here.


jane Says:

Yeah, Lu had the lead 4-1 or something but Tomic managed to level it. Almost the same thing happened in the Tsonga vs. fognini first set, as the Fognini had rallied too, but Tsonga managed to break and close out the first set.


Kimmi Says:

i picked tomic, he better win:)


Kimmi Says:

tomic breaks, will serve for the match


Kimmi Says:

what the??? 2 match points came and go. now Lu to break back. he is tightening up.


Kimmi Says:

aces to save 3 break points. and an ace to finish the match. congrats to tomic!!


jane Says:

Bummer, Rebecca lost. :( I see Rafa/M.Lopez are out of the dubs; Berdych/Mayer won (those Berdych pics in the leather jacket at the ATP site are nice). That may not be a bad thing for Rafa.


Kimberly Says:

well jankovic/gtoerges was a non-event. Should be some nice matches today and tonight


Kimberly Says:

Djoko/Davy may be a 3-3 H2H but they haven’t played since 2009 and since then Nole went one way and Davy the other!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Davydenko is not what he once was, but then again, who among us is? He’ll still be a good practice round, and is always entertaining. He’ll force Nole to be a bit more aggressive than he has been lately, which is good for the fans.
The DelPotro Cilic Match is the best today, should be a lot of fun.


jane Says:

Tennis Canada has purposefully built clay courts to hone young players coming up, and players like Raonic can practice on the surface – year round – the courts are indoors. Both Nole and Rafa were there for the inauguration.

http://www.rogerscup.com/men/english/currentNews.php?id=Djokovic_and_Nadal_give_the_new_clay_courts_their_stamp_of_approval


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Where’s Dancevic and Popovic or whatever his name is?


Kimberly Says:

TV, the delpo cilic match in Madrid was a non-event. Delpo totally crushed him. I am expecting the same.


skeezerweezer Says:

@jane

Good stuff by Rafa and Nole to promote the game for another country. Always great to see the top players taking time for the greater good of the game :)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Kimberly, please, my hopes and dreams are all I have.


jane Says:

Popsicle played doubles TV, and lost. Don’t know about Frankie. Can we assume injured? : /


jane Says:

Staks and Khols are both bracket busters. I could not decide who to pick in that one, so I went with Khols, who is losing. :/ Same with Petz & Simon. I think I went with Gilles as he recently won a tournament. Cripes. Oh well… Gasquet is cruising, which is nice.


Kimberly Says:

Simon about to F up alot of brackets if he keeps this up. I think a fair amount took him to the quarters.


Kimberly Says:

Defintiely time for Simon to start packing.


jane Says:

All my picks so far, besides Gasquet, are losing: Simon, Montanes and Khols. :/


jane Says:

T.V. Popsicle is playing Chela right now, so tuuuune in. :)


jane Says:

Too bad that Popsicle is kind of impoding after Chela’s time out. I hope he can pull an upset but it probably isn’t likely. Anyhow, a solid match from him, what they have shown of it,


jane Says:

Gooo Popsicle gooo!

Top story: Meet Mr. And Mrs. Novak Djokovic!
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Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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