Mondays with Bob Greene
Men’s singles: Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4
Women’s singles: Maria Sharapova beat Simona Halep 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-4
Men’s doubles: Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3 7-6 (1)
Women’s doubles: Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-wei beat Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-4 6-1
Mixed doubles: Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Jean-Julien Rojer beat Julia Goerges and Nenad Zimonjic 4-6 6-2 10-7 (match tiebreak)
Boys singles: Andrey Rublev beat Jaume Antoni Munar Clar 6-2 7-5
Girls singles: Darya Kasatkina beat Ivana Jorovic 6-7 (5) 6-2 6-3
Boys doubles: Benjamin Bonzi and Quentin Halys beat Lucas Miedler and Akira Santillan 6-3 6-3
Girls doubles: Ioana Ducu and Ioana Loredana Rosca beat Catherine Cartan Bellis and Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 5-7 11-9 (match tiebreak)
Men’s Wheelchair singles: Shingo Kunieda beat Stephane Houdet 6-4 6-1
Women’s Wheelchair singles: Yui Kamiji beat Aniek Van Koot 7-6 (7) 6-4
Men’s Wheelchair doubles: Joachim Gerard and Stephane Houdet beat Gustavo Fernandez and Nicolas Peifer 4-6 6-3 11-9 (match tiebreak)
Women’s Wheelchair doubles: Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley beat Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot 7-6 (3) 3-6 10-8 (match tiebreak)
Jiri Vesely beat Norbert Gombos 6-2 6-2 to win the UniCredit Czech Open in Prostejov, Czech Republic
Alexandra Dulgheru beat Johanna Larsson 6-3 7-5 to win the Open Féminin de Marseille in Marseille, France
“I’m so emotional right now, I don’t know what language to speak – English, Russian or French.” – Maria Sharapova, after winning Roland Garros for the second time in three years.
“Last year was emotional for a few things, this year was emotional for other ones. But for sure if you win Roland Garros it’s always going to be emotional – and always when your age is older. It’s not forever. You will have a few more opportunities, yes, but you never know if you’re going to win it again.” – Rafael Nadal, after winning Roland Garros for the fifth straight year and ninth time in his career.
“It’s not impossible, but it’s very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court, throughout the whole match, on the highest level of performance. I started feeling a little bit better, but I wasn’t managing to bring my A game when it was most needed at the end of the fourth (set).” – Novak Djokovic.
“Maybe we just stopped thinking about winning or losing, you know, and just tried to play our tennis.” – Peng Shuai, after teaming with Hsieh Su-wei to win the mixed doubles.
“If somebody had told me that I’d win, at some stage in my career that I’d have more Roland Garros titles than any other Grand Slam, I’d probably go get drunk. Or tell them to get drunk, one or the other. You’re not just born being a natural clay‑court player. OK, maybe if you’re (Rafael) Nadal. But certainly not me. I didn’t grow up on it, didn’t play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it.” – Maria Sharapova, after beating Simona Halep for the women’s singles title.
“For me, it’s amazing, emotional today. I lost the final of Australia this year, had a problem with my back in the final, was a very hard moment. So today the tennis gave me back what happened in Australia.” – Rafael Nadal.
“It is a day full of emotions for me, for my team, I gave my maximum that I could, with all my power, all my capabilities, but Rafa was a better player on the court and I congratulate him for that.” – Novak Djokovic.
“I played really well today. I’m really happy about this. I think I was OK on court. I did everything I could. It’s really tough to play a first final in your career, but it’s also amazing to be there.” – Simona Halep, who in her first Grand Slam tournament final lost to Maria Sharapova.
“’This is the best moment of my career, almost of my life.” – Edouard Roger-Vasselin, after teaming with Julien Benneteau to become the first French team to win the men’s doubles at Roland Garros in 30 years.
“This trophy, it is not for us this year. But we will return next year, and return again and again, and I hope I will win Roland Garros one day.” – Novak Djokovic.
“I’m not going to celebrate. It’s not enough. I need to reach more now. Now I’m addicted to success, really.” – Ernests Gulbis, after losing in the semifinals to Novak Djokovic.
“You can go out there with all the tactics in the world, but when he’s hitting the ball like that, it’s very difficult to hit the ball where you want to.” – Andy Murray, after losing to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals 6-3 6-2 6-1.
“This is the toughest Grand Slam final I have ever played and all respect to Simona as she played an unbelievable match today.” – Maria Sharapova.
“That I can play at a very high level. I can play the finals without big emotions. Before at the Grand Slams I couldn’t play my best tennis because I felt the pressure, but here I did play my best tennis.” – Simona Halep, when asked what she’s learned about herself at this year’s French Open.
“The thing is, against Simona, I have to play really aggressive, and you have to step into the court so she doesn’t have the time to play her game. Because when she starts opening up the court, she plays super smart, and she really uses the whole court.” – Andrea Petkovic, after losing to Simona Halep in the semifinals.
“She is already in the Top 10 and is a very good player. I think she is going to get even better than she is now.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, talking about Simona Halep, who beat the 2009 French Open champion in the quarterfinals.
“I never want to say forget about matches like this, but obviously the grass court season starts in a couple of days and I need to switch my mind to that.” – Andy Murray, following his semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal.
“I think when I’m healthy, like I have been now for the last six to nine months, I think I can also decide the outcome of the matches more than I could last year. I’m very excited about my chances for Wimbledon now this time.” – Roger Federer, who has won the most ATP grass-court titles with 13, seven at Wimbledon and six at Halle, Germany.
“Grand Slams is best-of-five (sets and it’s a two-week-long event. It’s all this pressure and expectations. … It’s not easy. Mentally it affects you. You are, up to this point, only a young player who is very talented and swinging through and playing your best tennis. But suddenly, when you have to encounter these mental challenges, then it becomes a different sport. That’s something that in my personal experience and career was a lesson, and it took me some time to understand how to handle it.” – Andy Murray.
“Tennis is not a cheap sport, and outside of the Grand Slams I don’t think there is enough money in regular tournaments. The payout to cover expenses is not even remotely close to the reality of things. The money hasn’t changed much and the cost to fly anywhere has risen to enormous levels. How are we supposed to compete with that with the job we have? Especially now that they’re putting a lot more tournaments in China. It’s crazy. – Coco Vandeweghe, an American ranked 91st in the world.
For a record fifth straight year and the ninth time in his career, Rafael Nadal hauled away the biggest trophy after his two-week stay on the red clay courts of Roland Garros. “The day was very tough, very humid, and the combination of two weeks of cold with the drastic change of yesterday and today, this was the first day we played in it,” Nadal said after his 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 demolition of Novak Djokovic. “It affects us, affected our physical performance, and after one set and a half, we were both tired. It was very important for me to win that second set. Without that second set, I don’t think I would be sitting here with the trophy now.” With the victory, Nadal also kept his number one ranking, with Djokovic still ranked second in the world. Nadal now has won 14 Grand Slam tournament titles, tying him with Pete Sampras and just three behind Roger Federer, the men’s record-holder. Novak, who also lost the Paris final in 2012, still needs to win Roland Garros to become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam. This time, he dominated the early stages of the match. But Nadal grew stronger as the match went on and won it when Djokovic, shaken by a shout from the crowd, double-faulted on championship point. The broiling sun and baking heat took its toll on both players. Djokovic appeared to vomit early in the fourth set, while Nadal grabbed his back on a couple of occasions. Both players were teary during the trophy ceremony. Nadal said: “Days like today, all the things I did to be here were more than (worth it).”
SHARAPOVA QUEEN AGAIN
Maria Sharapova felt like a survivor – but a survivor with a title. “This is the toughest Grand Slam final I have ever played,” the Russian said after needing three sets to get past Romania’s Simona Halep in the women’s singles championship. Sharapova now has five Grand Slam tournament titles – two at Roland Garros, one each at the other three – but had until now always won in straight sets. And it wasn’t just in the final. Sharapova was taken to the limit in all of her final four matches, beating, in order, Samantha Stosur, Garbiñe Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard before Halep. It was the first three-set women’s final at Roland Garros in 13 years. Twelve double-faults were not enough to keep Sharapova from winning in Paris for the second time in three years. Neither was the tremendous defense and surprising grit displayed by Halep, who reached her first Grand Slam tournament final. “I wish I could keep the big (trophy) … I might have to steal it,” Sharapova said after posting her 50th win at the only clay-court major. “There is a reason why I haven’t been to one shop while I have been in Paris. It’s because I want this. I haven’t eaten many macaroons, either. It’s because I want this.” Serving at 4-4 in the third set, Halep was distracted when a Sharapova short was called “out” by a linesman, only to be overruled by the umpire. The Romanian ended up losing the final eight consecutive points and the title.
SOMETHING FOR THE HOME TEAM
Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin couldn’t have picked a better place to win their first Grand Slam tournament men’s doubles title. The two defeated Spaniards Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers 6-3 7-6 (1) to become the first French team to capture the Roland Garros men’s doubles crown since Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte did it in 1984. “It was repeated to us. We knew that before,” Roger-Vasselin said of the history. “We took time to discuss the match from the tactical point of view and also the emotion that we would feel.” It was only the third time that Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin had played together in a Grand Slam tournament. Granollers and Lopez were bidding to become the first Spanish team to win the men’s doubles at Roland Garros since Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez captured the 1990 crown.
Peng Shuai of China and Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan proved their top-seeding wasn’t a fluke when they knocked off the second-seeded due of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci to grab the women’s doubles title. Peng and Shuai also won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon and the WTA Championships last year, while the Italian pair captured the Australian Open in January. It wasn’t even that close. Errani and Vinci raced to a 3-1 lead in the opening set, but would win just two more games the rest of the day. Hsieh and Peng pinned the Italians behind the baseline with a mixture of aggressive returning a series of precise lobs. “I think at the beginning of the match we were like really, really nervous and tight,” Peng said. “I think they also played really good at the start, but then at some point, when we were 3-1 down, I think we started to relax.” It worked.
Frenchman Jean-Julien Rojer teamed with Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld to win the mixed doubles title at Roland Garros. The two won a 10-7 match tiebreak after splitting the first two sets with Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Julia Goerges of Germany. It was Rojer’s first Grand Slam tournament title and a second for Groenefeld, who teamed with Mark Knowles to win the mixed title at Wimbledon in 2009. “I’m very excited and very happy,” Rojer said. “Prior to this I made, I think, four semifinals. But I was never even in the finals before.” Zimonjic is a regular in the mixed doubles final at Paris, winning in 2006 and 2010 and now with four runner-up finishes.
STIRRING UP MEMORIES
Romanian tennis fans had more to cheer about this past week than Simone Halep reaching the women’s singles final at Roland Garros. It’s been a long time since Romania was a power in the sport, but Virginia Ruzici won Roland Garros in 1978 and Iva Majoli in 1997, while Ilie Nastase captured the men’s singles in Paris in 1973 and the US Open in 1972. Both Nastase and his doubles partner, Ion Tiriac, have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. While Halep put her winning game on display at Roland Garros, even in a losing effort against Maria Sharapova in the final, she brought back memories of the country’s glorious past. At the same time, in southern France, Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania defeated Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-3 7-5 to win the Open Féminin de Marseille, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) event.
Russian tennis is only going to get stronger, if the junior events at Roland Garros are any indication. Russians won both junior singles titles with Darya Kasatkina topping top-seeded Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-7 (5) 6-2 6-3 in the girls’ final, while Andrey Rublev stopped Spain’s Jaume Antoni Munar Clar 6-2 7-5 in the boys’ title match. Kasatkina put her game on display as she raced out to leads of 3-0 in the second set and 4-0 in the third. “It was my last junior tournament and I’m happy to finish like that,” Kasatkina said. “I’m starting to play pro tournaments. Rublev is the first Russian to win the boys’ title at Roland Garros since Vladimir Korotkov in 1966.
SHARING A SIDE
It will be double duty for Roger Federer at the Gerry Weber Open. A six-time singles champion at Halle, Federer will also play doubles at the grass-court Wimbledon warm-up tournament this week. Federer won’t be a shoo-in to win the singles. Also in the draw are Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and two former champions from Germany, Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber. Federer will team with fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli in the doubles.
SET FOR LEGENDS
Martina Navratilova will be on-court and on a trophy bearing her name when she competes in the inaugural WTA Legends tournament when it is played in Singapore in October. The Legends event will be held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore president by SC Global. Not only with the WTA Finals eight-time singles champion and 11-times doubles champion compete, she will help design the newly named Martina Navratilova WTA Finals Doubles Trophy, which will be awarded to the doubles champions. She also will participate in community young programs aimed at inspiring young girls to play sport. “With more doubles titles than any other player in WTA history, it is fitting to create the WTA Finals Doubles Champion trophy to permanently recognize Martina’s contributions and inspire generations to come,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster.
SIGNS NEW COACH
Andy Murray has a new coach as he heads into defending his Wimbledon title. The Scot will be coached by former women’s number one Amelie Mauresmo, who will join Murray at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club this week. Murray is also the defending champion at Queen’s Club. “I’m excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amelie is someone I have always looked up to and admired,” Murray said on his website, www.andymurray.com. “She’s faced adversity plenty of times in her career, but was an amazing player and won major titles, including Wimbledon. I have a very strong coaching team already in place, but I think Amelie brings with her experience and tactical expertise and will push us all to improve.” Mauresmo replaces Ivan Lendl, who ended his relationship with Murray in March. With Lendl as coach, Murray won two Grand Slam tournament titles and the men’s singles gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012. The 34-year-old Mauresmo is currently France’s Fed Cup captain and coached Marion Bartoli to her first major title at Wimbledon last year.
SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES
Bob Hewitt, a former member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Grand Slam doubles champion, has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual assault. His trial is scheduled to be held in February near Johannesburg, South Africa. Hewitt’s attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, said his client has denied the two charges of rape and one charge of sexual assault of girls he coached in South Africa decades ago. The Australian-born Hewitt won nine Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and six mixed doubles titles in the 1960s and 1970s, playing occasionally with former stars Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean king. His usual doubles partner was South African Frew McMillan, who with Hewitt was inducted into the tennis shrine in 1992. Hewitt also reached the Australian Open men’s singles semifinals three times and won the Davis Cup with South Africa in 1974 after moving there to live. He was stripped of his membership in the International Tennis Hall of Fame after the Newport, Rhode Island-based institution investigated the allegations of sexual abuse against Hewitt.
Marseille: Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Beatriz Garcia-Vidagany beat Yuliya Beygelzimer and Olga Savchuk 6-1 6-2
Prostejov: Andre Begemann and Lukas Rosol beat Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin 6-1 6-2
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$968,182 Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany, grass
$968,182 Aegon Championships, London, Great Britain, grass
$145,021 Citta’ di Caltanissetta, Caltanissetta, Italy, clay
$644,900 Aegon Classic, Birmingham, Great Britain, grass
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$686,314 Aegon International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass
$581,864 Topshelf Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, grass
$644,900 Aegon International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass
$226,750 Topshelf Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, grass