Tennis-X Weekend Dish: Gasquet, Petrova Among Winners
by Staff | September 30th, 2012, 3:18 pm


China Open
Beijing, China; Surface: hard
Men’s Seeds: Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic, Richard Gasquet, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Tommy Haas, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco

Men’s Floaters: Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, Mikhail Youzhny, Sam Querrey, Yen-Hsun Lu

Men’s Notes: Tough openers go to (6) Dolgopolov vs. G-Lo, (7) Haas vs. Youzhny, (8) Hot Sauce vs. Querrey, and a weary (2) Ferrer vs. the wily Lu…wildcards went to Romanian Marious Copil, and China’s Ze Zhang and Di Wu…Green Tennis Center was the site of the 2008 Olympic Games…Two-time winning Bryan brothers the top seeds in doubles…Djokovic is a perfect 9-0 career in Beijing…Haas makes his first career appearance in Beijing…Tomas Berdych won last year but is in Tokyo this week…Rafael Nadal and John Isner were notable players pulling from the draw…the lone returning champ in the field is Djokovic (2010-09).

Women’s Seeds: Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani, Li Na, Samantha Stosur, Marion Bartoli, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova, Maria Kirilenko, Kaia Kanepi (withdrew), Roberta Vinci, Lucie Safarova

Women’s Floaters: Alize Cornet, Sabine Lisicki, Jelena Jankovic, Francesca Schiavone, Nadia Petrova, (Q) Laura Robson

Women’s Notes: Tough openers go to (1) Azarenka vs. Cornet then Lisicki, Azarenka having trouble with dizziness of late; and (7) Li vs. the former Slam champ Schiavone (winner to face Petrova)…Kanepi pulls from the draw late with injury…also pulling pre-event were Flavia Pennetta (right wrist), Sloane Stephens, (?), Serena Williams (illness), Venus Williams (back), and Vera Zvonareva (illness)…returning champs in the field are Radwanska (2011), Wozniacki (2010), Jankovic (2008), and Kirilenko (2005).

Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships
Tokyo, Japan; Surface: hard

Seeds: Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Monaco, Nicolas Almagro, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori

Floaters: Gael “Force” Monfils, Gilles Simon, Martin Klizan, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, Go Soeda, Jarkko Nieminen

Notes: Tough starts for (1) Murray vs. Monfils, (7) Tipsarevic vs. Simon (winner to likely face hot-handed Klizan), (6) Raonic vs. The Worm, and (8) Nishikori (2-4 career in Tokyo) vs. Japanese countryman Soeda…Tipsarevic 0-3 career in Tokyo…Murray is making his first appearance since winning the US Open, and last year in Tokyo won the singles and doubles title with his brother…40th year of the event, the oldest ATP event in Asia…Mardy Fish withdrew, still dealing with mystery injury…no one has won back-to-back Tokyo titles since Pete Sampras in 1993-94…Stefan Edberg won the event from 1989-91, and Rod Laver won the first event in 1974…wildcards went to Tatsuma Ito, Hiroki Moriya and Yuichi Sugita of Japan…Murray (2011) and Berdych (2008) returning champs in the field.


Gasquet Wins All-French Final for Bangkok Title

Richard Gasquet beat French countryman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday for the title at the Thailand Open, his first title since May 2012 at Nice.

“I played against a French player who is also my friend so of course it a little bit strange but for me it’s a title and I’ve had some tough matches this week so I’m very happy to win,” Gasquet said.

Simon broke Gasquet in the opening game, but Gasquet broke back immediate then took change, winning 11 of the final 14 games and improving to 6-0 career against Simon. “I was playing some of the best tennis I ever played yesterday [against Janko Tipsarevic] and today I just couldn’t play at all,” said Simon, who fell to 10-3 in career fianls. “[Coach] Thierry [Tulasne] was here to watch, but it was our last week together so I really wanted to win.”

Monaco Takes 3-hour Marathon for Kuala Lumpur Crown

Argentinean No. 2 seed Juan Monaco defeated No. 7 seed Julien Benneteau of France 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in just over three hours to capture the title at Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Open. 

“I celebrated with my team in the locker room and tonight I’ll have Malaysian food with my team,” said Monaco after the final. “It has been nice to be in this city and win the trophy. It feels very good. When I win a title, I think of my family and my team, as they believe in me, they have supported me and we have worked hard to win tournaments.”

The 28-year-old Monaco won his fourth title this year after Vina del Mar, Houston and Hamburg. Benneteau fell to 0-7 in career finals.

Petrova Sets Career Mark with Tokyo Title

Thirty-year-old Nadia Petrova hit her stride this week in Tokyo, beating three Top 10 opponents in the same tournament for the fist time in her career to win the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, defeating world No. 3 Aggie Radwanska in the final 6-0, 1-6, 6-3.

“I played great in the first set but may have used too much energy, and in the second set I felt flat,” said Petrova, who entered the event nursing a back injury. “It took me a while to recuperate and get back into the game. After the second set when I went to change my clothes, I had a few minutes to think about what to focus on in the third set. After running out of gas in the second set, I don’t know where I found the strength and willpower to fight in the third set, but I did and it feels amazing.”

Radwanska, the defending champion, said “I’m disappointed — I wanted to win this title so much, and when you’re so close and feel you can make it, it’s always emotional if you don’t. But she was playing really well. Her biggest weapon is her serve, for sure, but also her return was very good today, and I had to serve really well myself to hold my serve.”

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16 Comments for Tennis-X Weekend Dish: Gasquet, Petrova Among Winners

jane Says:

Congrats to the winners; I haven’t watched matches as just swamped at the mo, but I did kind of hope Benneteau would get his first title. Is that right? Did I write that right? He really doesn’t have a title!? It seems like he should have one.

grendel Says:

agree, jane, wish Benneteau had got his first title – I think you’re right about that.

“I played great in the first set but may have used too much energy, and in the second set I felt flat,” – I watched Petrova saying that, and didn’t make sense at the time and it doesn’t now. She did play quite superb tennis in the first set, and in fact had Radwanska 0-40 down in 1st game of 2nd set but lost it, old Raddy serving her way out of trouble – you don’t believe? how much you wanna bet? (odd too, since Radwanska was 40-0 up in 1st game of 1st set and lost that).

And then Petrova says she ran out of gas following the 2nd set, and ” I don’t know where I found the strength and willpower to fight in the third set, but I did and it feels amazing.”

Something feels wrong here. Petrova played beautifully in the 1st set, everything went wrong in the 2nd. Why? Flatness? Can’t be just that. The feeling I got was that she became very very tight as the possibility of a huge (for her) victory loomed. And so she had no control over her strokes. And this is typical Petrova.

True, she fought back well in the 3rd – but then, she was in familiar terrain, having to mop up after some spectacular self-sabotage. As it is, she may only have done the job because Radwanska herself gifted her with 2 doublefaults on the trot, allowing Petrova to serve it out.

You’ve got to feel sympathy for people like Petrova who can’t control their nerves. But in the end, the ones who win the big ones are the ones who can control those nerves.

Kimmi Says:

I hope petra does well in china, she needs to start playing well again.

I see young Laura won her first round match. It is so tough when they have to qualify, while players on the main draw plays fewer matches. Well, everybody has to start somewhere it seems. great first round win.

Kimmi Says:

congrats to gasquet. surprising such an an easy win over simon. Good to see him still contending, great talent that never got realized.

nadalista Says:

Ole Europa!!

blah Says:

It seems that the only players that frenchmen can beat are other frenchmen

grendel Says:

Kimmi, did you watch Kvitova losing 3-6,2-6 to Suarez Navarro? I didn’t catch the match, but it seems she only served 48%.

Suarez is a clever player, of course – in the US Open I watched her take Radwanska apart for a set and a half before she tightened or something.

But things are looking bad for Kvitova. It’s all very well saying she’s an all or nothing player. What if it’s nothing?

This trouble she is having with her serve – doesn’t it seem strange that so many top class players should experience these deep difficulties? Gives one slight concern about Laura Robson, although obviously it is early days. The thing is, first time I saw Robson, 4 years ago, she had a wonderful serve but little control on it. Now, her game is coming together on many fronts – but the serve is still a cause for wonder and alarm.

Let’s hope she doesn’t travel the road of fellow leftie Kvitova, who had one of the most wicked leftie serves drifting out wide I have ever seen.

Kimmi Says:

Didn’t watch the match grendel. Abysmal score!! Looks like Petra has lost the confidence, her serve goes and her whole game follows. Suarez is good but she should be able to beat her. lets hope she bounces back because she is very good to watch when she is on.

RZ Says:

I read that Kvitova was playing with a stomach bug. That may explain the score. Though I wonder why she played at all if she was sick.

RZ Says:

Grendel, my guess is that Laura and her coach have been working on her serve, so it’s not as stable as a few years ago. With her tall height, it’s a good time for them to tinker with it and turn it into a weapon.

M Says:

Sasha got through today, FeVer did not.

I hope Ferru does okay; I was thinking the same about his fatigue level after all he’s been though.

racquet Says:

Glad to see Andy made it past Ivo (and without facing a single BP). But what is going on with Nole?? He just lost the 2nd set to Berrer!!
It sucks that there’s no TV coverage until Thursday. grrrr

alison Says:

The Stosur/Goeges match is so frustrating,niether player can hold onto a lead.

racquet Says:

Ok, I see Nole made it 6-2 in the 3rd. Must have had a few cobwebs to shake off.

andrea Says:

hats off to eternal head case petrova for pulling through and winning. and bummer than julien bennetau was denied his first ever ATP title. makes you realize how many of these people toil away with no glory….but are still out there week after week.

Alok Says:

I read an article that mentioned Dolgopolov suffers from Gilbert’s Syndrome, which is a disease that causes extreme fatigue and listlessness. Dolgopolov stated that the fatigue hits him without any warning which is the reason his performance at times, is very poor.

There are quite a few players now on tour who are playing with immune disorders that we’ve never heard of in years gone past, except for Sampras’ thalassemia disorder. I suppose this is the end result of so much travelling in aircraft. One of the hazards of modern day living.

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