Fed Cup World Group First Round
The top Americans, Russians and Serbs skipped the opening round of Fed Cup, but here are the exciting results:
Italy d. U.S. 3-2
Varvara Lepchenko keeps the U.S. in it with two singles wins, but the Americans, without the Williams sisters or the injured Sloane Stephens, get scrubbed in the deciding doubles 6-2, 6-2.
Slovakia d. Serbia 3-2
Daniela Hantuchova seals it for the Slovaks in the fourth singles match over a sad Serbian squad missing both Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.
Russia d. Japan 3-2
The Russians trailed 1-2 until Ekaterina Makarova won her final singles over Kimiko Date-Krumm, then the clinching doubles with Elena Vesnina.
Czech Republic d. Australia 4-0
The Czech twosome of Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova are too tough for the Aussies, with Sam Stosur going 0-2 in singles.
Zeballos Zaps Rafa in Vina Del Mar Final
No. 73-ranked Horacio Zeballos collected his first ATP title Sunday, shocking back-from-injury Rafael Nadal 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4 in the final at Vina del Mar, Chile. “It was a great tournament for me,” said Nadal, playing his first tournament since Wimbledon 2012 due to a knee injury. “If we take everything, it was positive. It’s true I wanted to win the final but in wasn’t possible. He made things better than me and I didn’t play my best match.” Nadal was up a break in the final set, but in the end was broken serving at 4-5 for the match.
Hot Gasquet Wins 2nd 2013 Title at Montpellier
Richard Gasquet beat Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday at the ATP stop in Montpellier, France, to become the first two-time winner on tour this year. “I feel very happy and relieved to win here in Montpellier in front of my friends and family,” said Gasquet, who improved to 14-1 in 2013. “Defeating Gael [Monfils] in a difficult match earlier this week put me in the right direction towards the title.” Gasquet, who won in Doha last month, improved to 9-10 in career finals, as Paire dropped to 0-2. Gasquet lives so close he drove from home to the tournament every day, and Paire also enjoyed playing in front of friends and family. “It was important this week to show my parents I am no longer the Benoit who goes crazy and breaks racquets,” he said. “I really needed them to see how I have changed and I need to keep going. I feel I am on the right track if I stay calm and focused.”
Cilic Lifts 3rd Career Zagreb Trophy
Marin Cilic won his third PBZ Zagreb Indoors title on Sunday, beating Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer 6-3, 6-1, following wins in 2009-10. “My returns were really good and I had a read on almost all of his serves,” Cilic said. “I took my chances and defended well. Overall, I played a great match from beginning to the end.” Cilic improved to 9-2 on the season, while Melzer dropped to 4-8 in career finals. “I needed it to be close at 4-all, 5-all in the first set to give me confidence,” Melzer said. “That didn’t happen and he ran away with it. I felt like I was hitting the ball really well at the beginning, but he hit the ball even better.”
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