Nadal, Sharapova Among Weekend Tennis Title Winners
Nadal Wins 2nd Title in 2 Weeks at Barcelona
The King of Clay is back in his element. After claiming a mind-boggling 8th straight title last week in Monte Carlo, on Sunday Nadal won his second title in two weeks, defeating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-6(1), 7-5 for his seventh career Barcelona Open crown.
Nadal improved to 4-0 against Ferrer in Barcelona finals. “It’s a special tournament for me, at home in my club,” Nadal said. “To win at home in front of the people you know is always more special.”
Ferrer was up a break in the first set, eventually failing to convert on five set points, and in the second failed to serve out the set before dropping the last three games. Nadal became the first player in the Open Era to win two ATP tournaments seven times. Ferrer dropped to 14-15 in career finals.
Simon Claims 3rd Career Bucharest ATP Crown
Frenchman Gilles Simon won his third career ATP Bucharest title on Sunday after he defeated Italian and first-time ATP finalist Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3.
Simon had not made a trip to Bucharest since winning in 2007-08. “Fabio played well and I had to run a lot today,” Simon said. “You really have the feeling that you are never in control of the game.”
It was the 10th career title for Simon and fifth on clay. Fognini, who has not played much this season due to a foot injury, rued his opportunities. “I had my chances, but he has played more finals than me and is more experienced,” Fognini said. “Maybe next time I will have the chance to win the tournament…it was just my third tournament after the injury.”
Sharapova Stops World No. 1 Azarenka for WTA Stuttgart Title
Not exactly known as the queen of clay for her sometimes-susceptible movement, former No. 1 Maria Sharapova battered past fellow screamer and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 in the Sunday final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
“This was such a tough tournament with such difficult opponents, so I’m just happy to be the champion,” Sharapova said after battering 31 winners, coming out on top of a field which featured the Top 8 players on the WTA Rankings. “I came to Europe this year a bit earlier than I usually do. I added this to my schedule and was going to use it as a warm-up tournament for the claycourt season. But maybe I should start doing it every year since it’s obviously working for me.”
It was only the second loss of the year for Azarenka. “Obviously I’m not happy I lost in the final, but congratulations to Maria, she did a really good job this week,” Azarenka said. “It was still a good week for me. I was really happy to come to Stuttgart and I hope to do better next year.”
Unknown Bertens Caps Cinderella Week at WTA Fes
So little-known that she had a blank biography on the WTA website last week, 20-year-old Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens won the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem event in Fes, Morocco, on Sunday. The qualifier defeated Spain’s Laura Pous-Tio 7-5, 6-0 in the final.
Bertens entered the event with an 0-1 career win-loss in WTA events. “In the beginning I was very nervous and she started well, but after I won the first set all my nerves were gone,” Bertens said.
Pous-Tio was back on tour after a knee injury. “It has only been a few months since I’ve been back and only my second tournament on clay, so I’m still happy with the result,” the 27-year-old Spaniard said. “In the final she started attacking more and everything started going faster — she played a very good match today.”
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