Nadal, Sharapova Among Weekend Tennis Title Winners
by Staff | April 29th, 2012
  • 29 Comments

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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29 Comments for Nadal, Sharapova Among Weekend Tennis Title Winners

Steve 27 Says:

Great match in Barcelona, but the best is always the winner. Poor David, but if you don’t have the mental aptitude to had the momentum, you are unable to win the match.
Nadal is already the 11 tennis player with more titles in the open era, one from Becker. Is not Madrid, certainly Rome is the best opportunity to catch the German and look for more history at Roland Garros.


Dan Martin Says:

I was surprised to see Sharapova win, but it is good for women’s tennis that #2 and #1 trade some wins. David Ferrer is just like a brick or two shy of the load needed to beat the top 3 or 4 guys in big events. He had his chances today, but Nadal is mentally as tough as they come.


Thangs Says:

Nadal had to work hard today. It was a combination of Ferrer’s superb play and Nadal’s average play. Nadal was not penetrating his shots effectively. It was all the time coming to Ferrer’s hand..Nole must be watching.


skeexerweezer Says:

Great match? By who’s standards? I can’t find on the media and the forums and the infinite comments how this was …..that.

Thangs,

I agree. You can’t judge the state of Rafa ‘s game cause he beat Ferrer, again. Ferrer can’t match the mental toughness of the top dogs. Btw….top dogs …where were the top dogs?

Madrid is a 1000 pointer and the quality of players will be more of a true test. Oh wait..its painted blue! Omg! Excuses comin.,.,..

Regardless, a title is a title. Hope Rafa didn’t break a tooth on this trophy though……


Wade Says:

The size of the barcelona Trophy is like WTF Its Huge! Well done to Rafa again. He needs confidence on his beloved clay to have enough confidence to hopefully conquer the grass and hard courts in the near future.


alison hodge Says:

While i agree Rome,Madrid,RG,will provide a better test for Rafa,as there will be a full field at those tournaments, however he can only beat whos stood in front of him,strange how fans of their favs never complain when their guy wins a trophy over a less than stellar field of players hmm.


Lindsey Reed Says:

I always wondered why media complains incessantly about Maria Sharapova grunting, but is deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to Venus and Serena Williams’ much louder and purposefully-disrupting screaming, actually shrieking.

Why is that?


jamie Says:

The media are jealous because Maria is hot. They won’t forgive her anything.

The Williams sisters are not.


Lindsey Reed Says:

Are you kidding? The media don’t breathe a word about the Williams’ sisters’ screaming because they are black. The same reason the media cameras linger on their father/coach, and ignore the racists comments he has made.


grendel Says:

There is another factor to consider. Speaking personally, I find Sharapova and Azarenka far more annoying than either of the Williams sisters on the screaming front. That’s because with the 2 blondies, the screaming is mechanical, ritualistic almost. Hit, scream. Hit, scream. It isn’t in any sense related to the state of play. There is just this absurd and deeply unpleasant shrieking.

Whereas with the sisters – and in particular Venus, their patterns are not the same – the screaming is not automatic, you don’t know when it’s coming, and it seems to reflect excitement or tension. To that degree, it is natural and even enhances the spectacle sometimes. Sometimes, it’s annoying, too. But the key word is: sometimes.


Lindsey Reed Says:

It’s racist to refer to tennis players as: “The two blondies…”. And stereotyped and prejudical when you say “…with the sisters…”, etc.

Unless you’re okay with referring to Williams’ as “the two blackies…”

The rest of your words don’t make any sense.

Williams’ sisters are a lot more unpleasant than anyone else on the tour, because they are louder, and because they do it purposefully to try to rattle and distract their opponents. It doesn’t reflect “excitement” or “tension,” it’s moronic and stinks.

That’s forgetting Serena’s periodic violent and threatening outbursts, which would have gotten a “blondie” thrown out of tennis.

That they were and are allowed to get away it, Williams’ being the first to shriek at that volume, just means that the tennis authorities can’t discipline anyone else, now, without appearing obviously biased.


grendel Says:

No, it is not racist to say “the blondies”. It may be mildly rude, however.
As for the “sisters”, it is you who go on about the Williams sisters as if they comprised a single entity – I pointed out that their patterns are different.

The reference to Serena’s “periodic, violent and threatening outbursts” has nothing to do with screaming, which is the issue you orginally addressed and to which I responded.

Your attribution of the word “grunt” to what Sharapova does, although surprisingly common, is one of the more bizzare euphemisms. Usually, a euphemism bears some resemblance to that which it seeks to disguise. A “grunt” is something someone does when they want to give, for example, a non-committal response. It conjures up, for me anyway, vagues images of a granfatherly figure ensconced in an armchair and hiding behind a newspaper, annoyed at being interupted. The noise coming from Sharapova is a full throated scream.

You write:”The rest of your words don’t make any sense”. On the contrary, they make excellent sense. Furthermore, they are not theoretical, but spring from my own experience. It maybe that I am deluded in my experience, of course – that’s another matter.

“because they do it [i.e.scream] purposefully to try to rattle and distract their opponents. It doesn’t reflect “excitement” or “tension,” it’s moronic and stinks.” Now, you might have a point here, but as usual in your exciteable posts, you undermine it by wilful exaggeration. Essentially, you are accusing the Williams of gamesmanship. Now almost all players indulge in that to some degree or other, some more than others of course. Serena, for instance, vastly more than Venus who comes across as tough and sometimes arrogant but fair – very fair.

However, if some of the screaming is deliberate gamesmanship – and it may or may not be, it’s not particularly easy to see how you could assess that one – what I say is also true. There’s not the slightest doubt that as the tension rises, so do the decibels – I have observed it time and again. In the end it is a question of balance – an attribute singularly lacking in your posts.


jane Says:

grendel for me it’s the opposite: the consistent screaming doesn’t bother me as much because it’s expected, so it kind of blends in, and I sometimes stop noticing it, if you can believe that! However, the screaming that intensifies dramatically when a player is trying to break, or similar, I find to be more annoying. It seems more calculated, and thus it even could be argued that it’s more strongly associated with gamesmanship than the rhythmic stuff that is there throughout – beginning-middle-end of match. That seems more like a tic or habit and it kind of seems more tolerable to me as a result.

I realize this is entirely debatable and that it’s also subjective how we react to such things.


mat4 Says:

@jane, Grendel:

What suprised me is that some of the players screaming in matches don’t do that while training. Could it be a behaviour taught by their coaches?


mat4 Says:

Then, what’s wrong about blondies? I always thought that they have а lot of great attributes. They are blond, e.g.


jane Says:

As for screaming after a point, or yelling come on, or vamos, or ajde, I like it!

Back to within the point, I definitely agree with you grendel that as more energy is exerted, the decibels go up, and that applies to the men and women. But with the ones who typically scream or grunt, I tend to not notice it after a while, perhaps until those tenser/more difficult moments. Those who normally don’t grunt or scream and suddenly begin doing so are especially noticeable, by contrast. And because it’s more noticeable it can be more distracting imo.


jane Says:

mat4, that’s insider information; how would we ever know? But you make a good point – do Nole and Rafa grunt in practice?


mat4 Says:

@jane:

What’s the insider information: that blondies are blond or that Azarenka doesn’t scream in practice? I am a bit confused.

If it is the second, I believe I heard his coach, Sam Sumyk say that in an interview for Fuzzy Yellow Balls.


mat4 Says:

I am an indeed an idiot, as some have asserted. You thought about the coaches and the learning.


jane Says:

mat4, I meant insider information, i.e., that they were “taught” by their coaches, yes. But if you heard it in an interview then I guess it’s no longer insider info. You have the scoop once again! And no, you’re not an idiot.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I first thought you were joking about blondies. I needed a minute to understand your sentence. Sorry for the misapprehension.

No, I don’t have this kind of information. But I first thought about it when I noticed that Maria Sharapova, in clutch situations, screams a bit louder and a bit longer than usual.


jane Says:

mat4, I suppose it’s also insider information as to whether they are bottled or natural blondies. ;)


mat4 Says:

Who cares. I am colour blind. But I guess that blondies are fair.


jane Says:

Me too mat4. On all counts.


grendel Says:

jane says:”the screaming that intensifies dramatically when a player is trying to break, or similar, I find to be more annoying. It seems more calculated, and thus it even could be argued that it’s more strongly associated with gamesmanship than the rhythmic stuff that is there throughout “.

Well, this is the point at issue, isn’t it? Is it calculated? Or does it reflect rising tension? Logically, it must be one, the other or some sort of mixture. Hard to say. But I am dubious where Venus is concerned. She has always been a proud woman who believes she is just better than everybody else (except presumably her sister – actually, the sisterly dynamics are a source of some fascination; I recall one interview with Serena, I think after she’d won the AO, when, in an unguarded moment, she let slip her irritation that the attention had always been on “Venus, Venus, Venus” – how about that for motivation? That sentence got out of hand. What I meant to say is that Venus has always given the impression she should win anyway, and that “cheating” would be demeaning to her. Even in the early days, when she found it hard to give credit to her opponent, she never made excuses. Thus she refused to attribute her defeat by Steffi Graf to the difficulties induced by the rain interruptions.

I can see how the “mechanical” screaming of Sharapova and Azarenka might be absorbed into the background, so to speak. That’s a personal thing, I suppose. I think what gets to me is the sheer pigheadedness of these women when they know very well how irritating it is for the viewer and possibly offputting for the opponent (but I don’t know for sure about that) – and just don’t give a damn. Champions – and both these two have the champion mentality – do not get where they are without being singleminded to the point of utter self-absorption. It’s naive not to accept that. But then, I always did have a tendency to kick against the pricks.

mat4 – the following incident might amuse you, as a student of human affairs. Seles was the one who started all this screaming I believe – she seems such a tragic figure now (or did anyway perhaps things have got better) that I only wish her well – and there were a number of complaints at the time. In one doubles match, Novotna suddenly went up to the umpire and started protesting about untoward noises coming from Martina Navratilova. It was a ludicrous complaint, of course – Navratilova! – fuelled a)by a passing fad and b)by annoyance at losing. The first point has always intrigued me – what sheep we all are.


grendel Says:

just out of curiosity, what is it that requires moderation? Apart, of course, from the fact that I am an interminable gasbag?


Lindsey Reed Says:

Grendel, you are wrong, it is extremely racist to say “the blondies,” not just “rude.” Like I said (which you ignored), this is equivalent to saying “the blackie sisters,” which you wouldn’t tolerate for a nanosecond.

“The reference to Serena’s “periodic, violent and threatening outbursts” has nothing to do with screaming…”

Sure it does, it’s just another symptom of their personalities, such as assaulting a line judge. The ‘hood background shines through.

I am using the word “grunt” because that’s the word the media settled upon, when complaining about cries from non-black players. The media ignores black players’ grunts, shrieks and screams, does not refer to these noises whatsoever. The usual double standard, or should I say, the usual “affirmative action” standard.

“The noise coming from Sharapova is a full throated scream.”

Compared to either Williams’ shrieks, it’s a low moan.

“Essentially, you are accusing the Williams of gamesmanship.”

Oh, yeah. When Williams’ showed up on the tennis scene, they shrieked and screamed at their opponents, and the media ignored this un-tennis-like bad behavior. Tennis isn’t supposed to be played like this, just as can’t put lead knuckles inside your boxing gloves, or play chess while smoking. But the media accommodated this unsportsmanlike behavior, because they are black. Then, later, when Sharopova and others started with their grunts, too, the media jerked up like a surprised cat, noticed and complained about it. A double standard, sure.

“Serena, for instance, vastly more than Venus who comes across as tough and sometimes arrogant but fair – very fair.”

I’ve never seen anything “fair” about how the tennis association handles “the sisters” compared to everyone else. Several incidents prove this. For example, assaulting the line judge. Yes, look it up in your dictionary and law-book, that was a legally-defined “assault” – threatening a person and having the ability to follow through on the threat.

So there is no fairness, but a glaring double standard – one for the Williams’ sisters and the other for everyone else.

Their coach-father has made racist remarks, and he was not banned from tennis. the old affirmative action standard.

“In the end it is a question of balance – an attribute singularly lacking in your posts.”

Look in a mirror. I don’t see any “balance” in your posts. And “balance” is not something I seek, anyway, nor do tennis stars, politicians, millionaries, etc.

I have no idea what bizarre notion you have when you say it’s not “balanced.”

I’m wasting too much time here. It’s useless trying to make sense of someone who refuses to engage reality.


grendel Says:

re “grunting”: just because the media uses a ridiculous euphemism doesn’t mean anyone else has to.

“compared to either Williams’ shrieks, it’s [Sharapova's screaming, i.e.]a low moan. What nonsense.

Words derive their meaning from use, association and context. For largely historical reasons, “blackie sisters” is offensive, “blondies” is not, at least certainly not in the racist sense – that’s just too absurd. However, I can imagine feminists taking umbrage – that’s another matter.

You quote me “The reference to Serena’s “periodic, violent and threatening outbursts” has nothing to do with screaming…” and comment:
“Sure it does, it’s just another symptom of their personalities, such as assaulting a line judge. The ‘hood background shines through.” What you are saying is quite dangerous, you know, the sort of thing which is prevalent in mob rule. If a person is accused of a particular malpractice, then you address that malpractice, and don’t start sneaking other things in through the back door as a way of weighting your argument. You don’t know what I think about the incident with Serena and the line judge. I may agree with you, I may not, but I am not about to say here. This exchange is about screaming – and nothing else.

I said Venus, for all her faults, has a history of being fair. In response, you drag in the line judge incident. What on earth has that got to do with Venus?

Originally, I responded to your post in an uncontentious manner. I didn’t have an axe to grind – I was simply recording why I personally find Sharapova/Azarenka screaming more irritating than that of the Williams sisters, although as it happens, I find that annoying too, just not as much for reasons I have given. These have nothing whatever to do with race – an obsession of yours, it seems. Now jane, for example, takes an exactly opposite view to mine. And that’s fine, I understand her position, it’s a rational one. I see little which is rational in your remarks.


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[...] First up, it’s a battle between the two best Spain has to offer. Nadal leads Ferrer 14-4 in their meetings having won 11 straight on clay including a tough 7-6, 7-5 victory in the Barcelona final. [...]

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Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
10 John Isner10 Dominika Cibulkova
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