Gasquet, Sharapova, Dulgheru, Argentina Win Titles Entering French
by Staff | May 23rd, 2010, 7:47 pm
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Polsat Warsaw Open
Warsaw, Poland
Surface: clay

Warsaw remained magic for Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru, who won her second career title, and second Warsaw title in a row, defeating Zheng Jie in the final 6-3, 6-4, Saturday at the Polsat Warsaw Open.
“I felt good from the beginning, but Zheng is a very good player and I had to focus on every point,” said the 20-year-old Dulgheru. “It’s a special feeling to win here. Besides the tactics and strategies, the nice feelings I get here also helped me win today. I’ll have more confidence going into the French Open, but I’m a bit tired now. It’s important for me to rest and recover in the next few days and get ready.”

Internationaux de Strasbourg
Strasbourg, France
Surface: clay

Maria Sharapova won her second title of the year on Saturday at Strasbourg, topping first-time finalist Kristina Barrios 7-5, 6-1 in the final. Sharapova was down a break late in the second set but got on top to win 10 of the last 11 games.

“Kristina changed it up a lot. Her backhand was more old school, with 90% of the shots low, so I really had to bend my knees,” Sharapova said. “I had one sloppy game where I made a few unforced errors and that gave her the chance to go a break up. When she was serving for the set at 4-5 I managed to hang in there, and after that I felt my level went up a little bit. In the end, it was just a combination of doing a few things better than she was.”

The top seed, Sharapova twice weathered three-setters during the event.

Open de Nice Cote d’Azur
Nice, France
Surface: clay

Richard Gasquet defeated world No. 9 Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5) for the Open de Nice Cote d’Azur title on Saturday, his first title since 2007.

“I didn’t see myself coming back when I was in the third set,” Gasquet said. “I saw myself really far from victory. I was a little tense while serving, which also happened to me in the second set…I couldn’t have been more tired at the end and I really gave everything to the match. It is a title, my sixth, and it has been a long time since I won my last ATP title.”

Verdasco led 3-0 and 4-1 and served for the match at 5-3 but was unable to put the Frenchman away. “Every break point was a good serve or a crazy forehand, every time a winner,” Verdasco complained. “I was not able to play in those circumstances. He got lucky in the 4-1 game and grew in confidence to break me and to come back. He started to play and run for everything again.”

ARAG ATP World Team Championship
Dusseldorf, Germany
Surface: clay

With John Isner on the sideline due to injury, the U.S. was unable to put a point on the board in the World Team Championship final Saturday when Argentina clinched the title 2-0 after the singles.

In the first singles Sam Querrey was unable to maintain his first-set momentum, losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Juan Monaco. In the second singles Robby Ginepri lost 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5 to Horacio Zeballos. It was Argentina’s fourth title at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship. “I think my match was difficult, but also his (Zeballos’) match was incredible,” Monaco said. “He was fighting like an animal for, like, three hours. We are very happy because when we came here the goal was to win here for Argentina and we did it.”

“It was a tough fight,” Ginepri said. “The first set, I got off to a shaky start. I was a little nervous when I realized that I had to get through the match for the U.S. to have a chance to win it. But hats off to him, he played well. I fought hard to win that second set after saving a match point and had some momentum going into the third set, but just wasn’t able to put as many balls into the court as I needed to.”

In the “dead rubber” doubles Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the U.S. beat Diego Veronelli and Eduardo Schwank 6-1, 6-2.

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