Davenport Wins Title in Comeback; Gonzo, Simon Win

Posted on September 17, 2007

Davenport Wins Bali, Plays This Week at Beijing

Motherhood hasn't slowed down former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, who won the Bali title Sunday with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over No. 2 Daniela Hantuchova to claim the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic.

Davenport entered the week at No. 234 on the WTA Tour Rankings after nearly a year off to have her first child.

"It's crazy," said Davenport, who earlier in the week toppled top seed and world No. 3 Jelena Jankovic. "Maybe the pregnancy gave me some magical powers, I don't know. I was definitely getting tired there in the second set but was able to re-group and get a second or third wind for the third set. That was important. I don't know exactly where that came from, but I definitely felt a little bit fresher in the third than I did in the second."

Davenport won her 52nd career singles title, improving to 52-38 in career finals. Hantuchova falls to 1-1 in singles finals this year (winning at Indian Wells) and 2-5 career.

"I think I used the right tactics, but it just didn't work out," said the willowy Slovak. "All the credit to her and how she was playing. She was serving great. Maybe I was trying for too much and that's where the errors started coming. Against a player like that, you can't really afford to do that."

Davenport is unseeded again this week at Beijing, where she faces a qualifier in the first round.

Gonzalez Earns Lopsided Win Over Robredo for Beijing Crown

No. 2 seed Fernando Gonzalez outlasted No. 3 Tommy Robredo 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 Sunday to capture the title at the China Open in Beijing.

The win helped the slumping Chilean who is currently on the bubble in his quest to qualify for the eight-man year-end Masters Cup.

"It's going to be a tight Race but now I am No. 7 and I think I will have a really good chance," Gonzalez said about the year-end event in Shanghai. "I will try my best but there are still a few tournaments left. I really enjoy this country and I hope to come back."

Robredo says he is also looking to up his ranking for a Masters Cup appearance.

"The last two Masters Series [Madrid, Paris] will determine who will make Shanghai, so it will be important for me to play well there," Robredo said.

Gonzalez went 0-4 over the U.S. hardcourt stretch. The Chilean is now 1-3 in finals this year after losing in the Australian Open and Masters Series-Rome championship matches.

Robredo kept alive his streak of never winning a title on a surface other than clay.

Simon Making a Name, Beats Hanescu for ATP Bucharest Title

French No. 6 seed Gilles Simon won the last claycourt event of the 2007 season Sunday, outlasting Romanian wildcard Victor Hanescu 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win the BCR Open Romania.

The 22-year-old has reached the quarterfinals or better in four of his past five tournaments, claiming his second title of the year after Marseille, and is projected to climb to around No. 30 on the ATP Rankings.

"It feels great to win my second title," Simon said. "It's very different from the first one in Marseille earlier this year. In Marseille it was quite a surprise, but here I was the favorite in all my matches and once I got to the quarters I saw all the top seeds losing and I knew that I had good chances to win."

It was the first time Hanescu had reached the quarterfinals or better at an ATP event all year after being sidelined most of last season with an abdominal injury and a back injury.

"Of course I'm disappointed to lose after winning the first set," Hanescu said. "I was a bit tired from the second set on and Gilles started to play much better. Now my goal is to get back into the Top 50 as quickly as possible."

Russia Beats Italy to Win 2007 Fed Cup

Russia won its third Fed Cup title Sunday after Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 in the first reverse singles, clinching a 3-0 demolition of Italy.

Russians Anna Chakvetadze and Kuznetsova won their opening singles on Saturday, beating Schiavone and Mara Santangelo respectively, to put Russia out ahead 2-0.

Russia last won the Fed Cup title in 2004-05.

Maria Sharapova cheered from the bench, practicing with the team but passing on playing due to a shoulder injury.

Kuznetsova appeared nervous in the opening set of what would become the tie's decider.

"She made me play some very inconvenient tennis," said Kuznetsova of Schiavone. The 2004 US Open champ and 2007 US Open runner-up saved two match points in the tiebreaker. In the third set Schiavone ran out to a 4-1 lead but could not hold on.

"She put me under a lot of pressure and I couldn't keep my serve," Schiavone said.

Mauresmo, Davenport Return to Beijing: WTA Preview

Lindsay Davenport is wasting no time in her return to the WTA Tour, winning Bali last week and appearing unseeded this week at the China Open in Beijing.

Davenport opens against a qualifier and then could face No. 8 seed Eleni Daniilidou who she defeated last week.

Beijing is also the return for another former No. 1 in Amelie Mauresmo, who briefly dropped out of the Top 10 after missing the US Open with injury.

US Open champ Justine Henin withdrew from the event with illness.

Order of seeding for the event is Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic, Mauresmo, Elena Dementieva, Martina Hingis, Agnes Szavay, Anabel Medina Garrigues, and Daniilidou.

Wildcards went to China's Zi Yan and Tiantian Sun, who opens against Hingis.

Kuznetsova will attempt to defend her title from last year when she beat the top-seeded Mauresmo 6-4, 6-0.

Bartoli, Mirza Headline WTA Sunfeast Open at Kolkata

Headliner Sania Mirza's participation is still in doubt due to a wrist injury, but the Sunfeast Open has a potential blockbuster in wait as the No. 3-seeded Indian princess opens against American-based Indian wildcard Sunitha Rao.

Other seeds are Marion Bartoli, Daniela Hantuchiva, Maria Kirilenko, Alla Kudryavtseva, Flavia Pennetta, Yung-Jan Chan, and Yaroslava Shvedova.

The top-seeded Bartoli opens against American Vania King, the No. 7-seeded Pennetta against Indian wildcard Tara Iyer, and the No. 4 Kirilenko against American-Indian qualifier Neha Uberoi.

In the 2006 final the top-seeded Martina Hingis beat unseeded Russian Olga Poutchkova 6-0, 6-4.

Golovin Top Seed at WTA Portoroz

France's Tatiana Golovin is the reigning top seed this week at the Banka Koper Slovenia Open in Portoroz, where she is joined by fellow seeds Sybille Bammer, Katarina Srebotnik, Vera Zvonareva, Emilie Loit, Gisela Dulko and Vera Dushevina.

Wildcards for the event went to Slovenia's Andreja Klepac, Masa Zec Peskiric, and Polana Hercog.

In last year's final austrian qualifier Tamira Paszek upset No. 6 seed Maria Elena Camerin 7-5, 6-1.

Marat Safin
says he is done for the year with a stress fracture in his left wrist. Safin is using his time off time to climb the 30,000-feet Cho Oyu mountain in Nepal with a Russian expedition...Rafael Nadal may pull from Bangkok with a sore knee...Jelena Jankovic after losing to Lindsay Davenport at Bali: "I didn't train much and it's tough to get motivated here. But it's OK, now I can finally go to the beach."...Dubai Duty Free, owners and organizers of the Dubai Tennis Championships, has signed a $9 million agreement with Barclays that will see Barclays become the title sponsor of the tournament for 2008?2010...Venus Williams climbed back into the Top 10 after the US Open, the first time her and sister Serena are both in the Top 10 in nearly two years. Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova climbed to No. 2, replacing Maria Sharapova who fell to No. 4...Sweden's Robin Soderling is reportedly likely to miss the upcoming Davis Cup semifinal against the U.S. due to a wrist injury...Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt dropped out of the Top 20 after his second-round loss at the US Open...The BlackRock Tour of Champions men's senior tour will expanded to 12 events in 2007 after a tournament was added in Sao Paolo, South America, Nov. 22-25 featuring Bjorn Borg. Organizers say they are also actively recruiting Gustavo Kuerten for the event...The ATP is transitioning their quarterly DEUCE magazine, launched in 2002, to a digital-only format available on their website...Nikolay Davydenko has enlisted Ronnie Leitgeb, former agent of world No. 1 Thomas Muster and Italian No. 1 Andrea Gaudenzi, as his agent...Mark Philippoussis says he is "still seeing" 25-year-old "Age of Love" reality show winner Amanda Salinas...Mats Wilander has pulled from the seniors Charlotte event in September with a back injury...Gustavo Kuerten, who last won a title in 2004, says he will hang it up in 2008 if he cannot sufficiently return for hip surgery: "My goal is to try to gain more confidence and feel conformable for the singles tournaments, and I think next year I need to be feeling that way and competing at a high level," Kuerten said. "If I can't, I'll probably opt to do other things and plan the end of my career. The goal today is to extend my career."...Justine Henin will skip the China Open citing an infection. "The legendary pollution of Beijing would not have helped Henin's fitness," wrote AFP...The Bryan brothers have clinched the year-end No. 1 doubles ranking for the third year running...From the Winston-Salem Journal: "Nikolay Davydenko, the world's fourth-ranked tennis player, is fighting a request by the men's tour for his telephone records as it investigates betting on one of his matches. Frank Immenga, an attorney for Davydenko, 26, said yesterday that the ATP Tour used incorrect legal procedures in seeking the records and that a Swiss-based arbitrator, Peter Bratschi, has been appointed to hear the case. Immenga said Davydenko was "fully innocent and fully cooperating with the ATP under the rules." Davydenko has said repeatedly that he did nothing wrong and has offered to be interviewed by the ATP."...Tim Henman withdew from the Betfair Turbo Tennis exhibition Friday after becoming a father for the third time, with wife Lucy giving birth to a baby girl, Grace, weighing 8 lbs., 11 oz...Tough Davis Cup spot for Croatia against Britain, with Mario Ancic injured, and Ivo Karlovic and Goran Ivanisevic both turning down invites due to a falling out with Croatian tennis authorities...Roger Federer and Pete Sampras will play an exhibition match on March 10, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York...The USTA has announced that an award has been created in honor of the 50th anniversary of Althea Gibson's U.S. National Championship title. The Althea Gibson Leadership Award, a $2,500 grant, will be given to two junior players each year as selected by the USTA, with nominations beginning this year on Nov. 1. Players must be a high school students age 14-18 and ranked inside the Top 100 in the USTA rankings at the section or national level, or have an ITF, ATP or WTA ranking...Martina Hingis speaking to Tennis Week at Fashion Week in New York: "PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] is going to hate this, but I have this fancy chinchilla shawl that is very elaborate. What can I say? It's cold in Switzerland! Now all I have to do is obtain the dress to preserve my marvelous first Fashion Week experience...I want to do this again and again! Bring on London, Milan, and Paris!"