Tsonga, Gasquet Headline Metz; Spain, Argentina in Davis Cup Final
by Staff | September 18th, 2011, 8:53 pm


Moselle Open
Metz, France
Surface: hard

Seeds: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ivan Ljubicic, Michael Llodra, Xavier Malisse, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Gilles Muller
Floaters: Nicolas Mahut, Philipp Petzschner

Notes: (8) Muller tough opener against Petzschner; defending champ Gilles Simon takes a pass; returning champs in the field are Ljubicic (2005) and (WC) Arnaud Clement (2003); other wildcards went to Frenchmen Kenny De Schepper and Benoit Paire.

BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Bucharest, Romania
Surface: red clay

Seeds: Juan Ignacio Chela, Florian Mayer, Marcel Granollers, Pablo Andujar, Potito Starace, Tommy Robredo, Andreas Seppi, Albert Montanes

Floaters: Igor Andreev

Notes: Originally called the Guys Who Were Insufferable Assholes Open, but they though the title was too long; wildcards went to Romanian hopes Marius Copil, Victor Crivoi and Adrian Lingur; career debut for Robredo at the event; past champs in the field are Chela (2010) and Montanes (2009).

HANSOL Korea Open
Seoul, Korea
Surface: hard

Seeds: Francesca Schiavone, Marion Bartoli, Julia Goerges, Dominika Cibulkova, Polona Hercog, Mar�a Jose Martinez Sanchez, Irina-Camelia Begu, Ekaterina Makarova

Floaters: Vera Dushevina, Irina Falconi, Kimiko Date-Krumm

Notes: Interesting opener for (1) Schiavone vs. the Russian Dushevina, and (6) Martinez Sanchez against the scrappy Falconi; wildcards went to Schiavone, Cibulkova, Bartoli and Korea’s So-Jung Kim; former champs in the field are Date-Krumm (2009) and Eleni Daniilidou (2006).

WANLIMA Guangzhou International Women’s Open 2011
Guangzhou, China
Surface: hard

Seeds: Maria Kirilenko, Jarmila Gajdosova, Ksenia Pervak, Petra Martic, Bojana Jovanovski, Alberta Brianti, Chanelle Scheepers, Maggie Rybarikova

Floaters: Alona Bondarenko, Jie Zheng, Aravane Rezai

Notes: (1) Kirilenko faces Bondarenko and (8) Brianto faces Zheng in challenging openers; also known as the TOE Life Ceramics Guangzhou International Women’s Open for sponsorship reasons, according to sources; no returning champions in the field; in the 2010 final Jarmila Groth beat Alla Kudryavtseva.


Del Potro’s Argentina, Nadal’s Spain Advances to Davis Cup Final

The Rafael Nadal-led Spaniards and Argentina, headlined by Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian, drove their teams into the Davis Cup final over the weekend.

Argentina went into Belgrade and defeated Serbia 4-1 after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic collapsed with a back injury in the first match on Sunday. Del Potro was leading 7-6(5), 3-0 when Djokovic collapsed to the court, writing in pain.

“I tried although I was only 60 percent fit and I went into the match knowing there was a risk of aggravating the injury which I first felt at the US Open,” said Djokovic, who did not play on the opening Friday. “We knew my condition was not good but we believed that even so I would have a better chance against del Potro than my teammate Viktor Troicki would, at the end of the day it was my decision and it backfired…I was able to battle through the pain in the US Open final but not today.”

Djokovic fell to a 64-3 win-loss on the season. Del Potro says he looks forward to the challenge of facing Spain.

“I really enjoyed playing here and we are going to Spain knowing that they are the favorites but hopeful that we can win finally the Davis Cup,” del Potro said.

Spain reached its eighth Davis Cup final when Rafael Nadal manhandled France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-0, 6-2, 6-4 in the first Sunday singles.

Tsonga and Michael Llodra kept Spain in the match during the Saturday doubles after Spain won the opening two singles, defeating Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez in the Saturday doubles.

Nadal improved to 18-1 in singles for Spain.

“I’m very happy for the country and for the team,” said Spanish captain Al Costa. “Today Rafa played a really unbelievable match and I knew today was going to be very tough. He played so deep, so long with a lot of power, serving good and returning everything. When this guy plays good on clay he’s unbelievable.”

The Davis Cup final will be held on Dec. 2-4, 2011. Spain has captured the Davis Cup in three of the last four years.

Pervak, Zahlavova Strycova Win First-time WTA Titles

Russian Ksenia Pervak and Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova captured first-time titles over the weekend in Tashkent and Quebec City respectively.

The 25-year-old Barbora Zahlavova Strycova won the Bell Challenge on Sunday, defeating Marina Erakovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-0.

“I could see she was very tired after the first set so I started putting more balls in the court and making her run,” Zahlavova Strycova said. “In the first set she was playing very good, but I could see she was starting to make more mistakes, and after the second set I felt she was breaking down. Once it got to the third set I was just in the zone.”

Pervak, the No. 1 seed in Tashkent, didn’t drop a set all week in capturing her first career title 6-3, 6-1 over first-time WTA finalist Eva Birnerova.

“Both of us were nervous, but being the top seed was a little more pressure on me,” Pervak said. “This win is very special for me as it’s my first win on the WTA circuit.”

The 20-year-old Pervak is also good friends with Birnerova.

“I was expecting nothing coming here, so this means a lot to me,” Birnerova said. “I was injured and off the tour, and made a comeback from zero. This will give me a big boost and will help me end my year in the Top 100.”

In addition to the prize money, Pervak also collected a new SPARK car by local tournament sponsor My Dream Factory.

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31 Comments for Tsonga, Gasquet Headline Metz; Spain, Argentina in Davis Cup Final

Blah Says:

Who else is on the “let nalby win one” bandwagon?

scineram Says:

I certainly am. And Delpo too.

TC Says:

Me too – All Nalby wants to do now is win DC.

WTA Says:

Re: Guangzhou

“no returning champions in the field; in the 2010 final Jarmila Groth beat Alla Kudryavtseva.”

Jarmila Groth = Jarmila Gajdosova, the 2nd seed. Please amend.

M Says:

“The Davis Cup final will be held on Dec. 2-4, 2011”

Yes, but — where specifically in Spain will it be held? What province? What venue?

Anyone? Bueller …?

jane Says:

I am on the let Nalby win one train, lol. But on clay in Spain? Seems unlikely unless Rafa opts out, which under those circumstances – home court and turf – why would he!?

BTW, how do the powers-that-be decide who gets home court/surface advantage? In other words, both team made it to finals, but Argentina played their semi “away” from home, whereas Spain played there semi “at” home and on clay. So why do Spain get home court advantage again for the final? I have never really looked into how that works.

Dan Martin Says:

Gasquet and Tsonga got demolished by Rafa. I guess they are getting back on the horse.

Lulu Iberica Says:

Jane, it depends where the two teams last played, with homecourt advantage alternating. In 2008, the Spaniards went to Argentina. If Serbia had beaten Argentina, the Spanish team would’ve gone to Belgrade.

skeezerweezer Says:


More importantly, what surface? Duhhhhh …errrrrr….let me guess…..uh…CLAY? LOL…

El Flaco Says:

I don’t think it is a given that Nalbandian will play singles on the dirt in Spain. He has never beaten Ferrer on clay. Monaco has beaten Ferrer 3 times on clay and has had close matches when he lost. If Monaco is in decent form I think he will get the nod. Nalbandian is a good doubles player so he will definitely see action in dubs.

jane Says:

Thanks for clarifying Lulu Iberica; I never knew how that worked and sometimes it didn’t seem to make sense! But now I know – it’s alternating based on the team match up, based on where they last played. Got it. :)

Lulu Iberica Says:

You’re welcome, Jane. I only just learned how it works myself!

Humble Rafa Says:

I was having coffee with Uncle Toni while reading the newspaper and I threw up on his face after reading the sports headline:

“Roger Federer is the second most respected man in the world”.

Thank you Nelson Mandela. It could have been worse.

Lou Says:

I think Delpo will be next champion to look forward to- he is really in good form and here is an inspiring story about him: Juan Martin Del Potro – Fall and Rise of the Fighter? http://bit.ly/owcb66

dari Says:

I’m surprised uncle toni allows you to drink coffee.
I think he gave you hot chocolate and told you it was coffee

mat4 Says:

Interesting twist of arguments

I found an article on bleachreport about Rafa’s level of play this year, compared to 2010. The article is sensible, but the comments are… great.

An clever Fed fan accepted the argument that Fed played in a weak era – and the definition of a strong tennis era, when two or more players with at least 3 GS are playing in their prime – to demonstrate that Rafa won his slams in a weak era, without real opposition!

I had a good laugh.

But reading that article and recollecting a bit, I am amazed how the 3 best are not able to accept defeat: Roger should have won (in his own words) almost every match, especially against Djokovic; Rafa is injured, but he bravely plays to the bitter end; and Nole simply retires, because he doesn’t feel well (or is injured). Is that refusal of defeat what makes them so strong?

mat4 Says:


This could interest you: http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/112225.html

Peter Lundgren new coach of AM.

jane Says:

Oh that might work, mat4. Hope so. Think Muzza could do with a good coach; thanks for the link.

Also, do you have the link to that “funny” Bleacher Report article, even so I can read the comments section? :p

Skeezerweezer Says:


Found your insight interesting also, in that all great Champions refuse inwardly to admit there was no one else to account for the times they lose but themselves. Don’t let there platitude public comments fool you.
Fed always says coulda woulda shoulda on my own, Rafa if only I was 100%, and Novak retiring. I don’t know now if it is wrong, or just a Champions heart in denial when they lose. After all, they mostly win, so why is that? Partly because of the fact they at times think all wins and losses are there own doing? Me thinks so.

Skeezerweezer Says:

As usual, LMAO on ur 8:44 pm post. Sometimes you miss, and sometimes you hit a in the park home run.

grendel Says:

mat 4
“Is that refusal of defeat what makes them so strong?” That’s an interesting one. I agree with skeezer up to a point. But 2 provisos:1) I think most of us are instinctively like that. Have you ever heard someone (and it could be me, could be you) in a political type argument admit he is in the wrong even when he has been plainly wrongfooted ?- the tendency, if desperate, is either to slide around and attempt to muddy the waters or, if that’s too difficult, to go purple and shout. Anything but concede defeat. Manliness at stake and so on. 2)A really smart competitor would only take denial so far, i.e. he will eventually admit failure not through humility but through the urge to discover his mistakes and attempt to rectify them. Players like Federer and Murray in particular are known for their stubborness – definitely a double edged sword, I’d guess.

re Peter Lundgren, when he was coach for the LTA, I believe he had severe alcohol problems. I assume he must have cleared these up to have been able to coach Wawrinka with such success. Just shows what the British LTA does to any sane person. I like the look of Lundgren – like a character out of Dickens.

Kimberly Says:

re Peter Lundgren, when he was coach for the LTA, I believe he had severe alcohol problems. I assume he must have cleared these up to have been able to coach Wawrinka with such success

maybe he is back on the sauce based on wawa’s recent performance, losing to donald young

vox777 Says:

Staff it was 3-2 for Argentina not 4-1. No biggie but still… You should correct it :)))

M Says:

skeezer, I understand why you want to focus on the surface.

But some of us, you know, want to actually know where in Spain the tournament is going to be held.

dari Says:

What? Lundgren an alcoholic? I’ve got my head in sand often, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard alcohol and tennis coach ever. This shocked me. Can’t say he does not have the look of it a bit, with the beer belly and long hair. I like peter lundgren he’s worked with some FANTASTIC talent.
I heard only in passing that stan is back with his wife.

skeezerweezer Says:


scuse my sarcastic wit, it fails at times….:(, Seriously, it was a good question……..I just saw the opening…and I took it ;). Did you ever get the answer?

grendel Says:

dari – only a very special type of tennis coach, namely one that coaches for the British L.T.A. Incidentally, I don’t know whether he is/was a full blown alchoholic, maybe it was a phase. Presumably that is in his past, in any case.

Dan Martin Says:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_wertheim/09/21/mailbag/1.html I got a mention on Wertheim’s mailbag. Thought I would pass it along.

dari Says:

Ah, so he was just a bit stressed out, I overdid it with the word “alcoholic”
But I’ve almost forgotten about Murray coachless, its been a while, this late part of the sason leading into the “off” season would be a good time to get one, if he wants it. Should list “forehead and forebrain” as areas of improvement in the ad

Kimberly Says:

going to see an exo with CHang Conners Sampras and Courier tomorrow night with great seats! Can’t wait!

jane Says:

Dan, great. Kimberly, have fun.

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