Azarenka, Rafa, del Potro, Raonic Win Tennis Titles
by Staff | February 18th, 2013, 12:54 am

Azarenka Stakes Statement Win Over Serena in Doha Final

Serena Williams is No. 1 in the world, but Victoria Azarenka is No. 1 in Doha.

The younger Williams sister took over the No. 1 ranking from Azarenka during the week, in the process setting the record for becoming the oldest No. 1, but Azarenka was the rare winner in the Doha final over Williams, triumphing 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3.

In the process Azarenka stopped a nine-match losing streak against the American.

“Near the end she saved a match point with a good serve — that’s what you normally expect to get from Serena when she’s in trouble — a bullet,” Azarenka said. “But it wasn’t a big deal, really — I just had to keep my composure and make another opportunity and create another match point.”

Azarenka improved to 14-0 on the year.

Serena, with her high unforced error rate, said the results were all on her.

“On my end it probably wasn’t the best quality — I made so many errors. It was just weird,” Serena said. “My serve, oh my gosh — it was just one of those days. I’m having too many of those days. I’ve got to cut them out. This whole week I just don’t think I played my best tennis. But I was fighting every match. I was really excited to make it to the final with the game I was playing all week.”

Serena gave herself a “2 out of 10” for the final, and got around to giving the Belarussian credit.

“I always respect Victoria,” Serena said. “I think she’s a really good player. Obviously she’s so consistent and she plays well. She’s such a solid player. It’s nice to always play someone and go home and you’re like, ‘Okay, I didn’t do great, but let me work harder.”

Del Potro Overcomes Nose Bleed, Benneteau to Win Rotterdam

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro overcame a number of obstacles, most importantly Frenchman Julien “United Colors of” Benneteau 7-6(2), 6-3 to capture his 14th career title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Del Potro lost in the final last year to Roger Federer.

“It’s amazing. I’m so happy to win this tournament,” del Potro said. “I played really well from the first round to the final. I think I played the way I needed to, to win this kind of tournament.” In the second set del Potro weathered a nose bleed, serving out the match with a cotton plug in his nose. “I have a big nose,” del Potro joked. “Maybe it was nerves, getting close to finishing the match and winning the tournament. But it was not dangerous and I felt fine to close out the match at 5-3.” Benneteau topped Federer in the quarterfinals, and countryman Gilles Simon in the semifinals.

Canuck Raonic 3-Peats at ATP San Jose

Canuck Milos Raonic won a third straight San Jose title, defeating former world No. 2 Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3 in the Sunday final of the SAP Open. “With this event, that has had so many great champions, it’s pretty special. To sort of one-up it and three-peat is pretty awesome,” Raonic said.

“I didn’t play a bad match,” Haas said. “I just came up against a guy who played phenomenal tennis today. He didn’t give me any looks on his serve. All the credit to him for that. He served extremely well. He has a lot of confidence. He took risks when he had to and got rewarded for it. That’s his game and that�s what makes him so tough.” It was the final SAP Open after 125 years held in San Jose.

Comebacker Nadal Beats Nalbandian for ATP Sao Paolo Title

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, denied last week in his comeback tournament, captured the title on Sunday at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo, rolling over David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3. It was the first title for Nadal since the 2012 French Open. “It’s very nice and important because at the end of your career, what’s left are the titles, and depending on certain moments there are some titles that you appreciate very much,” Nadal said.

Nadal recovered from an 0-2 deficit in the second set. “I don’t think I played my best match of the week today. I think Rafa played better, he played deep,” said Nalbandian, who fell to 11-13 in career finals. “I feel good because after a long time not playing, I reached the final in Sao Paulo.”


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21 Comments for Azarenka, Rafa, del Potro, Raonic Win Tennis Titles

M Says:

Serena is actually the younger Williams sister, not the elder.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Chase review showed that Serena “bullet” on Vika’s first Championship match point was… out! But Vika didn’t challenge. It could have been the story of the week if Serena had come back.

Humble Rafa Says:

Big Lady lost!

Margot Says:

Rafa’s movement seemed fine and he was hitting that mighty forehand splendidly. His fans should feel very cheered :)
Oh my word, Serena’s game was so error strewn. Has she had 7 months off too…;)
Vika played gr8 in the third set. Seems she’s the only player who could offer Serena any kind of challenge.

jane Says:

Congrats, again, to all the winners.

“Serena gave herself a “2 out of 10″ for the final, and got around to giving the Belarussian credit.”


RZ Says:

The link in the “Quicklinks” box says “Serena” rather than “Azarenka.” I know it’s what we expected…

RZ Says:

Raonic will remain undefeated at the SAP Open. Pretty cool.

Brando Says:


Really nice to see you posting Margot. I was thinking only yesterday how some of the posters i most enjoy reading on here seem to be absent from the blog recently.

Glad to see one of them back and posting! Please stick around. :-)

Re Rafa: Thanks for the kind words. Just glad to see him back on the court first and foremost. He shall progress hopefully as he continues to play more matches.

Brando Says:

Congrats to the other winners also- most especially JMDP.

The game for me is at it’s best and most compelling when there are a genuine number of contender’s for the big prizes.

Delpo, at his best and healthiest, is certainly capable of being a genuine contender- if not more than that.

Hope he continues to progress and climb up the rankings as i believe he could genuinely trouble the top 5.

He certainly may be the one they most fear outside of their exclusive club.

Margot Says:

Brando @12.02
Cheers and hugs…..u know how it is when you’re favourite isn’t playing….;)

juljo724 Says:

Delpo is definitely fun to watch and also gracious no matter the situation. It was such a shame when he hurt his wrist and I have always hoped he truly, totally recovers from that. He is such a powerful player.

Seth Says:

Was rooting for Nalbandian, which I don’t do often. Oh well.

grisham Says:

Here is the quote

“I can’t play that quality game against a top player like Victoria. I
have to be able to pick up my game, and I wasn’t able to do that
today. I stayed at a 2 out of 10, and I really can’t play that low.”

Michael Says:

Congratulations to all the winners !! I am particularly happy for Del Potro and Rafa. Although Raonic’s win too cannot be glossed over. I was sympathetic towards Tommy Haas who I had wanted to win desperately considering that he being a veteran. But it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I am happy that at this age, he is still able to reach the late stages of tournaments which just goes to show as to how fanatastic a player he is. That should really be an inspiration for even Roger who is 31. It should give him enough confidence that he can carry on and above all he is injury free unlike Tommy.

jane Says:

Not sure where to put this, but it’s for Wog Boy and other Nole fans:

Wog boy Says:



” The scary thing with Novak is he actually has room to improve.”

Very much agree so and Nole is working hard for that to happen, 101% dedicated to tennis. As I was told long time ago by my late father “all the goods and the bads you are doing in your life will come back to you soon or later … as reward or punishment.” Nole has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication and the best is yet to come, IMO.

mat4 Says:

Thanks, jane.

Russell’s comments made me watch a bit of Dimitrov, especially since I read an article on tennis prose about him.

mat4 Says:

Hi, WB.

Do you think there will be thread about Novak soon?

Wog boy Says:

should say “sooner or later”

Wog boy Says:

Hi mat4,

I think Rafa is in fashion ATM, hopefully next week, Dubai?

jane Says:

Hi guys, glad you liked the little commentary. Wog Boy, your dad sounds like he was a wise man. Very good advice! Looking forward to watching tennis at Dubai again; it’s usually a good event.

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