Isner, Robredo, Youzhny, Cibulkova, Svitolina Win Titles
by Jeremy Davis | July 28th, 2013, 11:23 pm

John Isner showed this week why he will be hard-pressed to win a Grand Slam title due to his return and ground game, but with his omnipresent serve he could dispatch of any opponent in one match, slogging on to win the BT&T Atlanta Open after a 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 7-6(2) win in the final.
Isner played seven tiebreakers over four matches during the week after receiving a first-round bye, needing three sets to beat No. 373-ranked Christian Harrison, two tiebreaks to defeat No. 91-ranked James Blake, a third-set tiebreak in the semifinal win over Lleyton Hewitt, and three tiebreaks against Anderson.

“This is a tournament where I could’ve been out in my first match,” Isner said. “I lived on the edge all week and seemed to come through each and every time. It’s very encouraging…I never wavered. I believed that even at love-40 that I could still hold on and was able to come up with the goods.”

The inability to finish off opponents quickly, especially those ranked outside the Top 50, is Isner’s Achilles heel, which he will need to put on ice if he to even approach making the late rounds at a Slam.

The Isner-Anderson final went into the record books as the tallest final in ATP history between the 6’10” Isner and the 6’8″ Anderson. The result moved Isner back into the Top 20 on the ATP Rankings, and the big man improved to 7-7 in career finals. Anderson fell to 2-4 in career finals. Isner was broken four times during the week holding serve in 59 of 63 games, and in the final fought off all 11 break points faced.

No. 6 seed Mikhail Youzhny took home the hardware at the Credit Agricole Suisse Open in Gstaad, Switzerland, defeating unseeded Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 in the claycourt final.

“When you win a tournament, it doesn’t matter how you’ve played or who you beat. My last title was at the start of last year in Zagreb, so it’s been quite long,” said Youzhny after the 31-year-old won his first title since February 2012. “I’m trying everything to try and play more consistently at a high level.”

The No. 33-ranked Russian entering the event improved to 9-11 in career finals. Haase fell to 2-1 in career finals.

“He’s a great player and I never beat him,” Haase said.

Tommy Robredo was yet another 30+ year old winner on the week, finally stopping the run of Fabio Fognini 6-0, 6-3 in the final of the Vegeta Croatia Open in Umag.

The No. 5-seeded Robredo collected his second title of the year, and cracks the Top 30 after beginning the year outside the Top 100 due to injury.

“Before the match, I was talking to my coach and I was saying, ‘It’s lovely to be waiting to play a final and you are nervous,'” the 31-year-old Robredo said. “Money can’t buy this feeling and I’m lucky to be part of this sport and lucky to have the chance to feel these feelings. I enjoy it and I know how to handle it…I played lovely. I played great. It was a perfect match. It’s not easy to play a final and I played very good.”

Robredo ended Fognini’s 13-match win streak, which included the titles at Stuttgart and Hamburg.

“It was an incredible week,” said Fognini, who the ATP says will rise to a new career high of “around” No. 16. “I go home with a lot of happiness. I’m a little bit disappointed, but even if you’re Roger [Federer] or Rafa [Nadal], you’re going to lose some time. I’ve played three incredible weeks and they’re going to stay in my head for the rest of my life.”

It was an upset in the Bank of the West Classic final at Stanford where Dominika Cibulkova outlasted top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

It was the first win in five meetings for Cibulkova against Radwanska.

“I didn’t play my best tennis at all today,” said Radwanska who led 4-2 in the third. “I think everything was a problem for me. I couldn’t feel the ball well — actually I couldn’t feel the ball the whole tournament. And she was much better on the court, hitting so hard and so cleanly. She was playing so well out there.”

It was the third career title for Cibulkova after Moscow in 2011 and Carlsbad in 2012, improving to 3-5 in WTA finals.

Ukranian teen Elina Svitolina also had a week to remember as she captured her first career title at the Baku Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, defeating veteran Shahar Peer of Israel 6-4, 6-4 in her first WTA final.

“It was a very tough match today and I had a lot of tough matches throughout the week, but I worked really hard coming into the tournament, and it turned out well for me,” Svitolina told the sparse crowd after the final.

Her previous best WTA result was the prior week when she reached the semifinals at the WTA event in Bad Gastein. She is the first teen to win a WTA title since 2012. Peer fell to 5-4 in career finals.


You Might Like:
Justine Henin Is Back! She’s Now Coaching Elina Svitolina
Andujar, Cuevas, Isner, Svitlona Win ATP/WTA Titles
Kerber, Errani, Monaco, Andujar Win WTA/ATP Titles
Svitolina Perfect, Wozniacki Perfectly Bad in Finals after WTA Toronto Championship
Svitolina, an Outside No. 1 Shot in 2017, Starts Strong with WTA Brisbane Crown

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

28 Comments for Isner, Robredo, Youzhny, Cibulkova, Svitolina Win Titles

Matthew Says:

Isner moved back into the top 20, not the top 10. :)

the DA Says:

Has anyone seen the controversial quotes from Nole’s father (taken from a two part interview in a Serbian paper)? He certainly speaks his mind and a few tennis journos are going to have a field day with some of the quotes.

Of the top 4 he’s critical of Rafa’s behavior (since Nole started beating him more) but he totally slams Federer. Only Murray escapes a tongue lashing.

Part 2 tomorrow. Perhaps Wog boy could let us know whether he’s really as critical as the translations make out.

Giles Says:
This is the English translation of Mr. Djokovic Sr’s interview. Some of the comments are interesting.

Giles Says:

Now I know where joker gets his big head from!!

Ben Pronin Says:

The stuff about Federer seems pretty harsh but the stuff about Nadal is true. (Albeit it doesn’t sound too bad in the half assed translation Google gives so maybe it’s worse in Serbian).

James Says:

Maybe Roger as a person isn’t really that great. Don’t know what his fans have to say ’bout that ;)

James Says:

Andy Murray, before the Wimbledon final was asked if he and Novak are friends. Muzza said no, it used to be friendly when they were younger, now just professional relationship.

James Says:

Ben, maybe you’re right about Nadal. I don’t know him as a person so don’t really know that side of him well. But if I were him, I wouldn’t like being friends with a guy who beats me in tennis finals and then make fun of it with his good friend Tipsarevic behind my back.

James Says:

Btw didn’t that Tipsarevic-Djokovic unfunny joke prompted a TX poster to call them “Serbian peasants”?

El Flaco Says:

The men’s tour is so deep and is so much better than 10 years ago that 30 somethings like Youzhny and Robredo who are way past their prime are winning tournaments.

madmax Says:

Pretty sad to be honest James, that Novak’s father (and we all know how passionate and how rude he can be), can say what he has said about Fed.

Have you ever read an article about Fed “attacking” Novak? No. Neither have I. He “attacked Novak at Davis cup in Geneva”. Seriously? Do you remember these headlines? No. Nor me.

Always take things like this with a pinch of salt.

“He also said that Nadal used to be Novak’s best friend while he was winning. But when things changed, they were no longer friends. This is not sport, says Srdjan. This is what Novak has in him, but others don’t. Federer may still be the best tennis player in the history of tennis, says Srdjan, but as man he is completely opposite. He attacked Novak at Davis Cup in Geneva, he realized Novak is his successor and in every way tried to discredit him. Novak’s success is an amazing thing and something that some people simply cannot understand, says Novak’s father.

If Fed was not “the man”, “the gentleman” that everyone says he is, from 10 year old tennis fan, to BBC commentator, to sports icons, to Moet and Chandon, to Credit Suisse, to Mercedes, then seriously. Fed would not be such an ambassador for these ‘brands’ (!), and they can’t all be wrong.

Sour grapes.

But you know, I admire Novak’s father’s passion for his son, and I admire the fact that this family have faced destitution and poverty.

It is important though to remain dignified and that is one thing he does not have – dignity. His mouth is shooting off here because, if anything, he is angry/jealous and his scorn and criticism is misplaced and aimed at the most popular tennis player on the tour. ATP fan’s and players favourite can’t be wrong year in, year out.

I agree with Novak being the most gracious loser though (though that is rare these days). Shows much more dignity than his father.

volley Says:

@ madmax “Have you ever read an article about Fed “attacking” Novak?”

he is referring to the following federer interview after beating djokovic in the geneva davis cup match:-

“You know I don’t trust his injuries, no it’s not funny, I mean I’m serious, and I think that he’s a joke when he comes down to these injuries. The rules are there to be used but not abused and that’s what he’s been doing many times. That’s why I wasn’t happy to see him doing that and then running around like a rabbit again. Yeah it was a good handshake for me. I was happy to beat him.” – federer

to be honest djokovic senior didn’t say anything we didn’t already know.

Rogerisclass Says:

Nadal. ” Djokovic is lucky. Give me two years without an injury and”

Toni Nadal : “it’s ATP’s fault if Rafael never won WTF”

Toni Nadal : ” I hope now Federer and Djokovic will get injured.”


these arrogant utterances are not related?

Giles Says:

@James. Have you seen the video of joker and his team’s celebrations after he beat Rafa in Madrid 2011? I do believe these celebrations took place outside Rafa’s hotel. Rafa was not impressed and commented thereafter that Novak did not respect him.
Next came the gun incident with Tipsy involved.
Am surprised Rafa even speaks to him.

Giles Says:
@James. Video of Madrid celebrations referred to in my previous post.

madmax Says:

volley Says:
@ madmax “Have you ever read an article about Fed “attacking” Novak?”

he is referring to the following federer interview after beating djokovic in the geneva davis cup match:-

“You know I don’t trust his injuries, no it’s not funny, I mean I’m serious, and I think that he’s a joke when he comes down to these injuries. The rules are there to be used but not abused and that’s what he’s been doing many times. That’s why I wasn’t happy to see him doing that and then running around like a rabbit again. Yeah it was a good handshake for me. I was happy to beat him.” – federer

to be honest djokovic senior didn’t say anything we didn’t already know.

July 29th, 2013 at 9:53 am

Volley, what concerns me is the comments made by Novak’s father when clearly it is projectionist rubbish.

Roger has the utmost respect for Novak, there is plenty of proof in print out there my friend – he has said it many times. He may not be effusive with his comments, the way that some other sportsmen are, but rest assured, Roger is a gentleman. One thing is for sure. Novak’s father is not. ‘Attack’ is a very strong word to use. What I find interesting is there is not one comment on Roger’s ‘attack’ of novak. Why? Because it is a lie. But I have to give Novak’s father the benefit of the doubt of being misquoted. We know how journalists can miss out the important points to give a very distorted view of what really happened/what was really said.

And in terms of ungentlemanly behaviour, I do remember a few years ago when both Novak’s parents were cheering fervently, their son on, in a match with Fed and Fed rightly told them to be quiet. That was a violation of the gentleman code.

Thank goodenss Novak is head and shoulders about him, and in terms of graciousness, the best of all time.

Thomas Says:

What the hell is so surprising about novak’s fathers interview?(apart from the bluntness) Djokovic and Federer have never liked each other.(it’s obvious when you see them shake hands at the net.) As for Nadal, his relationship with Novak has clearly been more bitter than before. That is also obvious. Djokovic is good friends with Murray, so obviously his dad would like him. His dad is basically telling us what Novak thinks.

Thomas Says:

I hate Djokovic’s parents. I don’t mind NOvak himself though.

Giles Says:

@Ben Pronin & @James. In an article Novak said his professional rivals Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal cannot be his friends till the time they are competing against each other, but added that after retirement all 4 of them could become great pals. This is completely contrary to what Mr. Djok Sr has said.

Colin Says:

Thomas, what the hell are you talking about? Didn’t you see Mrs Djokovic, when she must have been shattered by her son’s loss, climb into the box and congratulate Judy Murray on the Wimbledon result? A charming moment, which has now been tarnished, and you ignorant remarks don’t help!

Colin Says:

OOps, should be “your”, but “ignorant” is correct.

James Says:

@madmax, to be honest I don’t think Federer ever liked Novak. And judging by Mr Djokovic’s (sr) interview, the Nole camp don’t like Fed either. Until a year ago or so, Roger hated losing to Novak more than say to Nadal or Murray.

Novak’s winning celebrations used to be over the top which could seem disrespectful to the losing player. I believe he has changed that in the last one year or so. You’re right, Novak’s one of the few I’ve seen gracious in defeat, even very heartbreaking ones.

James Says:

Yes @Giles, it’s kinda hard being friends with someone who beats you in a tennis match and follow that up with way over the top celebration. Not once, not twice, almost every time. I’d feel disrespected and betrayed if my friend who’s been beating me in finals (painful for me) and then mock me behind my back with some other friend, which then is posted on twitter for the world to see.

hawkeye Says:

Friendship? Are we talkin’ about friendship?

“Attack.” Really?

This was a translated interview. Regardless…


James Says:

^ having said that, I don’t think Novak’s really a bad guy. I’ve been following him on twitter even before 2011. He probably wasn’t too good at showing his passion/emotion. He’s gotten older and hopefully wiser.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Just to say congrats to all the title winners,shame FFF run has come to an end though,great to see that little pocket rocket Cibulkova winning a title against one of the top players,wish she could play like that all the time,for someone so small,she hits the ball very hard,and so cleanly sometimes,shame she lacks consistency though.

linda gray Says:

I think Djokovic and his father are classless and arrogant. My grandmother always told us to never get above your raising. It means don’t forget where you came from. It is great advise.

Success us a fleeting thing . Be grateful and humble. One day you could lose it all.

Top story: 9 Things I Think I Thought About The 2020 ATP Finals And Daniil Medvedev