U.S. Loses, Federer Wins in Davis Cup; Weekend Dish
by Staff | September 17th, 2012, 1:09 am


Moselle Open
Metz, France
Surface: indoor hard
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Marcel Granollers, Florian Mayer, Andreas Seppi, Jarkko Nieminen, Gael Monfils, Nikolay Davydenko

Floaters: Gilles Muller, James Blake, Nicolas Mahut, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse

Notes: Not a lot of opening-round matches to grab your attention, or after that; wildcards went to Paul-Henri Mathieu, Davydenko, and Albano Olivetti of France; returning champs in the field are Tsonga (2011) and Monfils (2009).

St. Petersburg Open
St. Petersburg, Russia
Surface: indoor hard

Seeds: Mikhail Youzhny, Denis Istomin, Martin Klizan, Fabio Fognini, Lukas Lacko, Yen-Hsun Lu, Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, Jurgen Zopp

Floaters: none

Notes: Istomin the No. 2 seed, and Klizan No. 3? Yikes, no one playing the week after Davis Cup; Youzhny (2004) the lone returning champ in the field.

KDB Korea Open
Seoul, Korea
Surface: hard

Seeds: Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko, Kaia Kanepi, Nadia Petrova, Julia Goerges, Varvara Lepchenko, Klara Zakopalova, Ekaterina Makarova

Floaters: Arantxa Rus

Notes: The slumping Woz against the former world No. 1 junior Rus, could be good watching; returning champs in the field are Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (2011), Kimiko Date-Krumm (2009), and Maria Kirilenko (2008).

GRC Bank Guangzhou International Women’s Open 2012
Guangzhou, China
Surface: hard

Seeds: Marion Bartoli, Zheng Jie, Sorana C�rstea, Urszula Radwanska, Chanelle Scheepers, Monica Niculescu, Peng Shuai, Alize Cornet

Floaters: Laura Robson

Notes: The Brit Robson could face (2) Jie in the second round; no returning champs in the field.

Davis Cup Results

World Ground Semifinals

Spain d. USA 3-1
David Ferrer clinches a spot in the final for Spain with a win in the first match on Sunday over John Isner in four sets.

Czech Republic d. Argentina 3-2
Tomas Berdych clinches the tie for the Czechs in the first match on Sunday, beating Argentine Carlos Berlocq in straight sets.

World Group Playoffs

Kazakhstan d. Uzbekistan 3-1
Mike Kukushkin clinches the tie on the first match on Sunday, beating Denis Istomin in four.

Germany d. Australia 3-2
The Aussies led 2-1 going into Sunday, but Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt drop two on Sunday as the Germans move into the World Group. Look for Lleyton to retire at the 2013 Aussie Open.

Israel d. Japan 3-2
The Japanese win the first match on Sunday to stretch it to a fifth, but unheralded Amir Weintrab tops Go Soeda to send Israel into the World Group in 2013.

Belgium d. Sweden 5-0
The once-mighty Swedes mighty no more. Time to buy some Soviet satellite players.

Canada d. South Africa 4-1
Wayne Ferreira is a distant memory as the no-name South Africans get housed by the Canucks.

Brazil d. Russia 4-0
Are you kidding us? Brazil sweeps the former powerhouse Russia to claim a spot in the World Group behind Thomaz Bellucci and Rogerio Dutra Silva. Igor Andreev and Teymuraz gabashvili take it on the chin for Russia. Time to bring Safin and Y-Man out of retirement.

Italy d. Chile 4-1
Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini propel Italy into the World Group over the struggling Chileans.

Switzerland d. Netherlands 3-2
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka lose the Saturday doubles, but Federer clinches in the first Sunday singles to send the red cross back into the World Group.

Flipkens Beats Hradecka for WTA Quebec City Title

Belgian Kirsten Flipkens won her first career title at the Bell Challenge in Quebec City on Sunday, defeating Lucie Hradecka 6-1, 7-5.

“I wasn’t supposed to come here, but then a few people pulled out and I got into the main draw, so I said hey, I’ll go to Quebec City. I changed my plans and here I am,” Flipkens said.

During the week Flipkens beat No. 1 seed Dominika Cibulkova, No. 3 seed Mona Barthel, then the No. 8 seed Hradecka.

Hradecka fell to 0-5 in WTA finals.

Begu Stops Teen to Win WTA Tashkent Open

Irina-Camelia Begu defeated 16-year-old Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-4 to win the Tashkent Open.
“My service is what got me through — Donna played very well and I was happy to break her in both sets,” Begu said. “I was a little worried when she came back from 4-2 to level the score 4-4 in the second set, but I managed to break her back immediately to take a 5-4 lead, and then I served it out.”
Vekic qualified to the main draw and was the youngest player in six years to reach a WTA final.

“I was ready for this final, but Irina played very well and deserved to win today,” Vekic said. “I had my chances in the second set when I broke her to get back to 4-4, but I hurried a little bit on my serve and she broke me right back.”

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29 Comments for U.S. Loses, Federer Wins in Davis Cup; Weekend Dish

grendel Says:


Interesting comment (also) on Fed’sview of Davis Cup:
“Not really a whole lot to be quite honest,” Federer said when asked how much he valued the tournament [Davis Cup]
“For me it’s more about taking part with my team-mates, I enjoy being with them, and that’s about it really.

“I have a good time and my team-mates are all my best friends – I don’t see them regular basis on tour and we have a great friendship and it’s always a lot of fun.”

Of course, one’s views are not set in stone, but are tempered by circumstance. You can be sure Federer’s position would be rather different if, for example, Switzerland was in the semis. Still, good to see the old fella being candid as usual.

Laura Robson is in the 2nd round, so she will face Zheng Jie if she comes through. That’s is a very interesting prospect. Robson is unusual – almost uniquely so for a British tennis player, Murray excepted – in loving the big stage. Of course, the China Open is not exactly your local village tourney, but it is definitely a few notches down from the US Open, where Laura experienced all that excitement. But before Laura can really do herself justice in the huge events, she is going to have knuckle down and face gritty and talented players like Zheng in the smaller events. I am deeply interested to see how she performs.

Wog boy Says:


Remember the name of Donna Vekic, she is sixteen years old just turned professional and already played WTA final this week. She is Croatian based in London. Her tennis future looks very very promising.

joe Says:

headline should be “Fed feigns disinterest in something he can’t achieve”

grendel Says:

I disagree. Degrees of interest vary in proportion to attainability. Happens all the time. The more you understand something, for instance, the more your level of interest naturally rises. It’s not a static thing, and feigning doesn’t come into it. And b.t.w., something like davis cup success is about collaboration – it’s not about one person achieving something.

Wog boy, this Donna Vekic, have you seen her play, or are you going on results? When I saw Laura Robson at the age of 14, I knew she’d be a winner, it was just a matter of time.

RZ Says:

Tough situation for Laura to be playing a home crowd favorite in China. Zheng is a tough player too.

grendel Says:

Absolutely to both propositions. Which is why we should learn something about Laura from this match.

Ilene Says:

In response to comment above on Federer’s comment re:Davis Cup.

Interesting comment (also) on Fed’sview of Davis Cup:
“Not really a whole lot to be quite honest,” Federer said when asked how much he valued the tournament [Davis Cup]

The words from Federer are correctly quoted but the question is not. I listened to the interview (everyone can, it’s on Davis Cup site – go to audio and keep scrolling down to you see Fed’s Sun interview).

The question was (words not exact) – “on Friday, you spoke of your appreciation of the history of tennis, is that the basis of your making Davis Cup a priority?”

His comment was direct response to this – the ‘not really a whole lot’ has to do with why he plays not whether he considers it important. It was misquoted in a news article – I assume responder and many others are just taking it from there.

The question makes a difference – unfortunately articles just print the comment and mislead others.

grendel Says:

Ilene – as the “responder” you refer to, I have now listened to the audio, and you are quite correct. It’s actually quite a subtle distinction you have spotted in a very short interview. You are right, journalistic reports can be endlessly misleading, often more through carelessness than deliberate intent. I guess one should scrutinise them more carefully.

skeezer Says:


*walking on eggshells* ……….Which leads me to bring up the News reporting overall in this world;


Deborah Says:

Ilene, I can’t thank you enough. If I had a dollar for every time this is done with a Federer quote, I would probably be sitting in his box someday.

Besides, why should he try to attain Davis Cup? Look at the teams that will play the finals. Not a Slam winner among them: one player who has been to one Slam final and a few semis and on the other side, a player who has made a couple of Slam semis. What each team has is a group of solid midlevel players and a deep enough bench. Right now, the level below Roger and Stan in Swiss players is way below and not realistic contenders up against the likes of teams from Spain, France, or even the US with the #1 doubles team.

steve-o Says:

Basically every time Federer has to play and win two singles matches to ensure victory for Switzerland in Davis Cup. And often he’s forced to play doubles as well. When was the last time Switzerland won a tie without him?

He had to play this fall to keep Switzerland in the World Group. And I think that’s one of the problems–they can’t reserve Federer for the later rounds and rely on second-stringers for the early rounds, but have to call on him regularly just to stay in contention.

As Deborah says it’s much better to have a deep bench of solid players than to have one superstar and no bench behind him. One superstar can only do so much; you can’t always have him play two singles matches and do doubles as well. Basically if Federer loses one match, Switzerland is screwed, and that’s a very thin margin for error.

Few Davis Cup teams have top players; you don’t need a Federer to beat the vast majority of them. If Switzerland had more depth they could save Federer for ties with the toughest teams instead of calling on him to beat the likes of journeymen such as De Bakker and Haase.

Wog boy Says:


I just saw bits and pieces of her match so I cannot say I saw her play, but ftom what I saw and read abiut her and the way she handles herself at the age of sixteen she looks very promising. I am looking forward to seeing her match and then I will get back to you with full report:)

grendel Says:

Ilene – another thing comes to mind as a result of listening to the audio interview. Together with the original Eurosport article, there is an inset picture of a tired looking Federer (not, I think, an absolutely recent photo, I seem to recognize it – therefore it is deliberately misleading) with the caption:”‘wounded’ Federer wants break from tennis”.

However, on the audio, there is a little break in Federer’s voice as he says “wounded”; it’s a kind of incipient laugh, he is quite obviously smiling, since the notion of being ‘wounded’ might be taken as being rather grand or pretentious even. Of course, there is no way you can possibly tell that by simply reading the transcript.

And actually, Eurosport, who seem to think they’re onto a good thing with this tiny interview have also, on another “page” a much bigger photo (also not new I think?)with the caption “The beginning of the end for the artful Roger”. Let us draw a quiet veil over this rather pathetic attempt at a literary pun (the reference, for non-Dickens readers or film goers is to the Artful Dodger), and merely note that it is an absurd conclusion to draw from such a thin source. Absolutely my bad to have posted this link without having done a bit of checking.

However, I don’t think the intention was malign (as, Skeezer, it appears to have been in the Michael Jackson case which you adduced via your link – very dubious fellow indeed that Bashir character). Journalists can be careless due to pressure of time, more likely they are tempted to massage or even concoct a story simply because it suits their dramatic instincts, not to mention career prospects.

It was ever thus. Someone I knew well once told me that whenever the media got involved in his own line of work, they invariably got it badly wrong. And this didn’t give him much faith in the authenticity of their other operations. It’s a lesson one tends to forget.

tennismonger Says:

If Stan & Fed were to commit to an entire DC season & build their respective tour schedules around that commitment, a DC Finals appearance would not be outside the realm of possibility.

Not realistic though & both would probably pay a heavy price in tour/slam results.

Margot Says:

@ grendel
Golding loves the “big stage” too. Child actor, apparently he’s been in West End Musicals?
Have u seen him play? He’s got a BIG game. Needs to tame his shots a bit.
Of course being good at tennis is greatly helped if you’ve got a tennis court in your back garden..;)
Don’t know if its grass.

grendel Says:


I’ve heard of Ollie Golding, not least from you. Didn’t he win The US Junior Open last year? But I haven’t seen him play. I saw Liam Brody about a year ago – and he didn’t have a big game then. He nearly won the Junior US this year, didn’t he – so maybe he’ll top 50 it or something like that. But you think Golding can go further – hope you’re right.

RZ Says:

Grendel, Laura Robson did it – knocked off Zheng Jie in straight sets!

alison Says:

I am delighted for Laura Robson,what an incredible few weeks its been for this talented young player,such a convincing win against a player like Zheng,i like Zheng and always thought she would go on to do great things but never quite lived upto that potential.

RZ Says:

She did it again! Laura Robson knocked off Peng Shuai in 3 sets to reach the semis. She plays Sorana Cirstea (another tough opponent) in the semis. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/19663078

The Great Davy Says:

Take that Muller. You waste of a U.S. Open QF! Bow done to Your Great Davy!

The Great Davy Says:

Look like I have doctor’s appointment tomorrow, I bet he’ll perscribe somethings to about my ‘serve yips’. In soviet Russi… I mean, Metz, Dr. Davydenko sees YOU!

the DA Says:

Laura Robson just beat Cirstea 6-4 6-2 and becomes the first Brit in a WTA final for 22 years. After the drought comes……

jane Says:

Good for Laura; I am not following – what’s the tournament?

the DA Says:

It’s Guangzhou. She will face world no. 53 Hsieh Su-Wei in the final. Great opportunity here to crack the top 50.

jane Says:

^ Thanks, and yes, hope she wins the title.

grendel Says:

DA – I heard if Laura won the final, she’d be #54. Dunno if that’s true, but anyway, it’s a hell of a jump from #75 I think it is.
RZ, I agree Cirstea was another tough opponent, and considering Robson was on the court for over 3 hours yesterday, the scoreline is surprisingly convincing. Her coach has remarked that Laura herself doesn’t know how good she is, and I would guess that is probably true of the tennis watching public at large. At this rate, not for much longer.

alison, I agree, the win against Zheng Jie was stunning. I too like Zheng. She does concentrate a lot on doubles, but I think she is ultimately hamstrung by her size. Just isn’t big enough. Which once more tells you just how very, very, very great indeed was Justine Henin.

grendel Says:

oh, and alison: d’you have Eurosport? They’re televising Tokyo next week, and Laura Robson is playing. I don’t think we should expect too much from her, especially if she wins tomorrow. Still, it’ll be good to see her.

RZ Says:

Grendel, another great win for Laura! Not sure the Chinese home crowd will root for her considering at this tournament she knocked off Zheng and Shuai, and took out Li at the US Open. But regardless, a great run and I hope she wins tomorrow to end yet another British tennis drought.

I just hope that despite tomorrow’s outcome, she wins a few rounds at Tokyo. I hate when players win one tournament and then lose the first round of the next tourney.

The Great Davy Says:

Why people only talk about a boring British players, when they could be talking about ME. The Great Davy! ..? I save match point today and all I here is Robsen Robsen Robeson. Britain its more boring than me!

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