Federer, Azarenka, Raonic Among Weekend Tennis Title Winners
Federer Rebounds for ATP Rotterdam Title
In his first even since Switzerland was swept 5-0 by the U.S. in Davis Cup play, Roger Federer claimed the ABN AMRO Rotterdam title, defeating Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 6-4 in the final.
“In the first set, I was rock solid. I played great from start to finish,” Federer said. “In the second set, it got tighter. I’m happy I was able to sneak it out.”
Del Potro didn’t get on the board until the sixth game of the first set, and in the second set was broken in the fifth game.
“He couldn’t pull the trigger the way he wanted to,” Federer said. “Just like yesterday, I had a good mindset. I really believed I was going to make it difficult for him, especially on the break points. I know the second set could have been a whole lot different.”
Federer improved to 71-30 in finals, and del Potro dropped to 9-5. “I didn’t take the break points when I had them,” del Potro said. “It’s really difficult to beat Federer if you have the chances and don’t take them. He was more confident and concentrated than me in the important moments and I think that was the key.”
Raonic Ices Istomin for 2nd Straight ATP San Jose Title
In San Jose, Calif., Milos Raonic won his second straight SAP Open title, beating surprise unseeded Uzbekistan finalist Denis Istomin 7-6, 6-2.
“It’s definitely a different feeling from the first time last year,” Raonic said. “I think I’m more aware and a lot happier. I think everything I wanted to do, I did and I did it right. I’m very proud of that.”
The two San Jose titles are now three of the Canadian’s career titles, along with the Chennai (India) title. Raonic was a question mark coming into the event after missing a Davis Cup match due to a doctor’s recommendation.
“I just hope to keep playing good tennis,” Raonic said. “Hopefully the things go my may…Hopefully on to better and bigger things.”
Almagro Claims 3rd ATP Brazil Open Crown
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro won the Brazil Open Sunday for the third time, defeating Italy’s Filippo Volandri 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to successfully defend his title.
After the victory Almagro went to his chair and changed into a shirt that said “I love Brazil.”
“It was great to see the stadium packed,” Almagro said. “We always enjoy the atmosphere here, with the fans pushing us.”
Sao Paulo was hosting the event for the first time after 11 years in Costa do Sauipe.
“This was not my best match here in Brazil, as I was tense and nervous,” Almagro said. “But once again, I had control of my emotions, which is what I have always demanded, controlling the important moments.”
Azarenka Steamrolls Stosur for Doha Title
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, despite an ankle injury, continued her bludgeoning of the opposition on Sunday, defeating Aussie Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-2 for the WTA Doha title.
Azarenka did not drop a set all week.
“I was trying to be really aggressive and not let her command it, because that’s what she likes to do,” Azarenka said. “She has a huge serve, and the first shot, that’s where she puts the opponent on the run, and you run so far behind the baseline. I tried to take that away from her.”
The Belarussina added her ankle injury will be manageable.
“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” Azarenka said. “I have a couple of days to recover before Dubai and see how I feel. Right now I just want to enjoy the moment and not think ahead too much.”
Azarenka is 17-0 in 2012, the best start to a WTA season since Maria Sharapova went 18-0 to start 2008, and she improved to 11-8 in career finals.
Stosur dropped to 3-11 in tour finals.
“It’s been great to turn my form around so quickly after a disappointing month first up,” the Aussie said. “She doesn’t stand up and hit 50 winners a match, but she makes you work for every point and moves very well, stays on the baseline and really takes time away from you that way. It was obviously pretty tough for me to play aggressively.”
Spanish Teen Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino Breaks Through for 1st WTA Title at Bogota
Unheralded Spanish 19-year-old Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino captured the XX Copa BBVA Colsanitas crown on Sunday in Bogota, beating Alexandra Panova 6-2, 7-5 in her first WTA final and only her third WTA tournament.
“It was a very tough final today,” Arruabarrena-Vecino said. “Alexandra has been playing so well this week, so I knew it would be tough and I would need to run a lot. But I played well — I was very happy with my forehand today and even though I was nervous at the end, I managed to finish the match.”
It was also a name-gasm for the WTA, which wrote on their website, “Arruabarrena-Vecino also achieved a somewhat unique first — with 18 letters, no WTA champion has ever had a longer last name, excluding married names. Marie Neumannova-Pinterova (19 letters) and Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi (18 letters) also captured WTA titles, but those are both married names.”
The 22-year-old Panova was also appearing in her career-first final. She went on to win the doubles title with Czech Eva Birnerova.
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