Monfils Debuts in Stockholm as No. 1 Seed, Del Potro No. 2
Frenchman Gael Monfils is the top seed in Stockholm where he will make his tournament debut, while locals mourn the missing Robin Soderling who continues to struggle with illness.
The tournament is a big one for Monfils, who is looking for points to sneak into the Top 8 and the ATP year-end championships. He is joined by fellow seeds Juan Martin Del Potro, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Ignacio Chela, Kevin Anderson, Milos Raonic, Ivan Dodig, and Tommy Robredo on the indoor hardcourts.
Floaters in the field include (WC) Bernard Tomic, (WC) Tommy Haas, Marcos Baghdatis, David Nalbandian, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse, and James Blake.
Monfils after a bye will likely face Tomic in his opener. The No. 6 seed Raonic starts against the former champ Baghdatis, and the Nalbandian-X-Man winner will likely face the No. 7 Dodig second round.
Homecountry hero Soderling pulled from the event, still suffering from mono. “I’m extremely disappointed and sad right now,” Soderling wrote on Facebook. “Playing in Stockholm is very special for me and it’s a title I still miss and dream about. I made an attempt to train, but my body just could not do it. I felt worse after practice and so had to make a tough decision to not play in Stockholm.”
Past champions in the field are Baghdatis (2009), Nalbandian (2008), and Blake (2006-05).
Troicki Hopes to Turn Trick Again at ATP Moscow; Zvonareva Top Women’s Seed
Serbian Viktor Troicki is the defending champion and No. 2 seed, and countryman Janko Tipsarevic the top seed as the Serbs look for a Moscow take-over during the 2011 Kremlin Cup, an event where more often than not a Russian raises the trophy.
They are joined by fellow seeds Alexandr Dolgopolov, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, Alex Bogomolov Jr., Russian Dmitry Tursunov, Gilles Muller and Andreas Seppi.
There are few floaters in the field, but the No. 8-seeded Seppi will have a difficult opener against Russian Igor Andreev.
Returning champs in the field are Troicki (2010), Igor Kunitsyn (2008), Davydenko (2007-06,’04), and Andreev (2005).
The women’s seeds are Vera Zvonareva, Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Roberta Vinci and Dominika Cibulkova.
Returning champs in the women’s field are Schiavone (2009) and Jankovic (2008).
Ivanovic, Goerges, Kirilenko Among Line-up at WTA Luxembourg
One of the hottest WTA fields in history will contest the title this week at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on indoor hardcourts, led by the lone Top 10er in the field, Victoria Azarenka.
Completing the stunning line-up in Luxembourg are Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sabine Lisicki, Flavia Pennetta, Ana Ivanovic, Julia Goerges, Maria Kirilenko and Daniela Hantuchova.
Floaters in the field include Tamira Paszek and the ageless Kimiko Date-Krumm.
There are no returning champions in the field. Kim Clijsters, currently injured, won the event in 1999, 2001-03, and ’05.
Murray Continues Run with ATP Shanghai Title
Brit Andy Murray successfully defended his Masters Shanghai title on Sunday, his third Asian title in three weeks with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Spaniard David Ferrer. Murray will on Monday overtake world No. 3 Roger Federer on the ATP Rankings.
“If you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that,” Murray said. “So that’s obviously a nice thing if I can do it.”
Murray has now won 25 of his past 26 matches after previous titles in Bangkok and Tokyo for his fifth title of the year.
Wimbledon Champ Kvitova Emerges for WTA Linz Crown
Petra Kvitova finally made good on her 2011 Wimbledon title on Sunday, as the top seed defeating No. 7 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-1 for her first title since triumphing at the All England Club.
“The semifinal with Jelena was tough, but it was very nice tennis from both of us,” said Kvitova on coming back from a set and a break down in the semifinals against Jankovic. “And the first set with Dominika was very close. I know how well she plays and I knew I had to play well to beat her.”
It was Kvitova’s sixth career title, while Cibulkova is still looking for her first career title, losing all three final appearances.
Bartoli Wins WTA Osaka, Spanking Stosur
France’s Marion Bartoli kept alive her chances of qualifying for the year-end WTA Championships, defeating Aussie Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-1 to capture the title at the HP Open.
“I felt my level dropped in August, especially at the US Open, but now I’m playing well again,” Bartoli said. “Obviously to win a title is great. Now I have two this year, so I’m really happy.”
It was the seventh career win for Bartoli, while Stosur falls to 3-10 in career finals.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
At the $100,000 First Republic Bank Tiburon Challenger in Tiburon, Calif., former U.S. Davis Cup doubles players Ken Flach and Rick Leach competed together, losing in the first round to Americans Brian Battistone and Chris Wettengel in straight sets…No joke, Maria Sharapova will be debuting a candy line, “Sugarpova.” Brand yourself more in every direction?…The 2012 Gerry Weber Open grasscourt event in Halle, Germany, the 20th anniversary of the event, will shell out the money to get both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in attendance…Li Na has signed with Penguin publishing to release a memoir after becoming the first Chinese woman to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open, and now in 2011 is the first Chinese woman to qualify for the year-end championships, even though her game and confidence have completely dropped off a cliff since winning at Roland Garros.
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