The Fed Cup losers over the weekend were — everyone?
The top Russian, Italian and U.S. players bowed out, leaving numerous “B” squads competing at what is supposed to be the premier women’s international tennis event.
The Italian “B” squad routed the favored U.S. “B” squad, and advanced to the semifinals to face the winner of the unfinished Spain vs. Czech Republic meeting. Spain leads 1-0 as rain held up weekend play.
The other semifinal will be Germany, which defeated the Slovak Republic 3-1, against Australia, which has the choice of ground in its next tie, after rolling a star-less Russian squad 4-0.
In World Group II meetings Canada d. Serbia 3-1, Poland d. Sweden 3-2, France d. Switzerland 3-2, and Argentina d. Japan 3-1. The World Group I losers will face the World Group II winners in the playoff round, meetings TBA.
Rare Final-round Win for Monfils at ATP Montpellier
Gael “Force” Monfils improved his career record in finals to 5-16 after upsetting top seed and defending finalist Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 in the all-French Open Sud de France final in Montpellier, France.
“I had some back problems at the beginning of the week and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play, so to now be with the trophy is pretty crazy,” said Monfils after defeating his long-time friend. “I have been elevating my game match after match and I am extremely proud in the way I played today.”
It was the second career Montpellier title for Monfils. Gasquet fell to 10-11 in career finals. “I am extremely disappointed to have lost in the final, but that’s tennis,” Gasquet said. “I wasn’t able to read his serve, he was serving bullets all match.”
Cilic Beats Haas for 4th Career Zagreb Crown
Marin Cilic’s comfort level showed on Sunday in Zagreb as the Croat captured his fourth career PBZ Zagreb Indoors title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over top-seeded Tommy Haas.
“I feel great after winning it last year and winning it twice more in ’09 and ’10,” said Cilic, who threw down 10 aces. “It’s going to help my confidence and my game, especially in the indoor season. I’m going to head to Rotterdam now and I’m looking forward to keep playing with good form there.”
Haas fell to 15-13 in career finals. “I started with a break, didn’t feel I was playing my best tennis in the beginning when I needed to step up and put more pressure on him,” Haas said. “He played the big points better with good shots and deserved to win.”
Fabulousness in Royal Guard Open Vina del Mar
Top-seeded Fabio “The Fabulous One” Fognini continued his career-best run from 2013 on Sunday at the claycourt Royal Guard Open Chile in Vina del Mar, defeating unseeded Argentine Leo Mayer 6-2, 6-4.
Fognini is 19-1 on clay since Roland Garros last year, and has now won titles at three of his last four claycourt events.
“I was coming from reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open after overcoming an injury I had earlier in the year,” Fognini said. “I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season. It’s the third title, it’s important, and now I go to Buenos Aires with a lot of confidence.”
Mayer lost in his career-first ATP final. “I was sick in the morning, I almost didn’t play, but later the doctors and I decided that I could play.”
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