Mondays with Bob Greene
Leonardo Mayer beat David Ferrer 6-7 (3) 6-1 7-6 (4) to win the bet-at-home Open in Hamburg, Germany
Bernard Tomic beat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (5) 3-6 7-6 (4) to win the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota, Colombia
Caroline Wozniacki beat Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-1 to win the TEB BNBP Paribas Istanbul cup in Istanbul, Turkey
Mona Barthel beat Chanelle Scheepers 6-3 7-6 (3) to win the Collector Swedish Open in Båstad, Sweden
Lu Yen-Hsun beat Luca Vanni 6-7 (7) 6-4 6-4 to win the Kaohsiung Challenger in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
“I can’t believe it. I was able to do it against (David) Ferrer, who is one of the best players on this surface. I’m really happy and it still hasn’t sunk in that I won.” – Leonardo Mayer, after upsetting David Ferrer to win his first ATP title.
“I’m happy to have won my 22nd WTA title – it’s a great feeling. I’m happy how the final went today. I served well and pushed her around the court, and I really dictated the match.” – Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Roberto Vinci in the final in Istanbul.
“I tried to play aggressively like always but made a lot of mistakes. It’s tough to play like that against Caroline because she puts everything back in the court, and it was tough for me to stay in the rallies today.” – Roberto Vinci.
“It was like a perfect week for me. I was fighting a lot – in some matches I was behind, and I was just fighting for every point. I’m just happy everything worked out. I love this tournament so much. I can’t wait to defend my title.” – Mona Barthel, who beat Chanelle Scheepers to win the Collector Swedish Open crown.
“I didn’t play bad. It was one point here or there, it was 7-6, 7-6, so to finish like this I didn’t mind. Some matches you feel very upset after the loss; I was OK with the loss. I played OK, he played better than me in the big points so I said it’s going to be OK and I accepted this.” – Dudi Sela, after losing to defending champion Ivo Karlovic in Bogota.
Leonardo Mayer really earned his first ATP World Tour title. When he beat top-seeded David Ferrer in the final, the 46th-ranked Mayer became the lowest-ranked winner of an ATP World Tour 500 event since Radek Stepanek captured the Washington title in 2011 when he was 54th in the world rankings. Mayer also knocked off 10th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber on his way to the title match. The 27-year-old Argentine is in the midst of one of his best spells of his career. He reached his first ATP World Tour final in Vina del Mar earlier this year and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon just a few weeks ago. “At the start of the match, I was a little tense. But I relaxed and started to play better,” Mayer said. “He also made some mistakes that got me back into the match. I tried to enjoy it, and that’s why I won, I think.” He is the fourth first-time singles winner on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Federico Delbonis, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Cuevas.
Caroline Wozniacki is back in the winner’s circle. The Danish star crushed second-seeded Roberta Vinci, dropping just two games, to capture the Istanbul title. Once ranked number one in the world, Wozniacki has now posted at least one WTA title for the last seven years. It took the winner just 67 minutes to capture her 22nd career title. When she was serving, she fought off all six break points she faced and never dropped any of her seven service games. Not so with Vinci. Wozniacki broke the Italian five times in the match, including in Vinci’s last three service games. “I’ve had a good week and am feeling good on hard courts, which is great moving forward, Wozniacki said. The victory snapped a two-match losing streak Wozniacki had with the veteran Vinci.
Germany’s Mona Barthel held on just long enough to capture her third WTA career title. “I was so tired in the second set, and I just told myself ‘I need this one’ because I didn’t know if I’d have enough energy for a third set,” Barthel said. The strategy paid off as she won the second-set tiebreaker 7-3 to defeat South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets. Barthel saved two of the three break points she faced against the 91st-ranked Scheepers. Barthel went into the Swedish Open ranked 61st in the world. Both finalists were surprises. Seven of the top eight seeded players were bounced in the first round. The sixth seed, Annika Beck, went out in the second round. It was the first WTA draw where no seeded players made the quarterfinals since Hobart in January 2009. In the final, Barthel dropped serve only once – early in the second set – and she held nine or her 10 service games. “It’s been an amazing week for me,” the winner said. “I cannot believe I won the title.” Her other victories came at Hobart in 2012 and the Paris Indoors in 2013.
Li Na is bringing to her hometown a new WTA tournament and lots of competition. Headlining the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open will be the world’s top two players – Serena Williams and Li – along with the two newest Grand Slam tournament champions, French Open winner Maria Sharapova and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. “I’m so proud that my city is staging such a prestigious tournament,” Li said of the Premier-level event. “I’m very excited about being part of such a strong field of players and I can’t wait to play in front of my home crowd.” The inaugural Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open will take place the week of September 21.
SKIPPING US OPEN
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro will miss his second straight Grand Slam tournament when the US Open gets underway next month. Ranked 27th in the world, Almagro has not played since retiring with a left foot injury from his first-round match at Roland Garros in May. The injury also forced him to miss Wimbledon. Almagro’s best finish at the US Open was in 2012 when he reached the round of 16. He has made four Grand Slam tournament quarterfinals in his career.
SERB TROICKI IS BACK
This week’s Swiss Open will see Viktor Troicki back on the court following a controversial one-year ban for delaying a mandatory blood test. The Serbian player was given a wild card entry into the Gstaad tournament only hours before the draw. Troicki delayed taking the blood test at Monte Carolo in April 2013, saying he was ill. Although the blood was drawn the following day, the 28-year-old was given a one-year ban. Troici reached a career high ranking of 12th in the world in 2010 when he helped Serbia win the Davis Cup. He currently is ranked 842nd in the world. “Honestly, it’s been a tough year,: said Troicki, whose original 18-month ban was cut to 12 months after an appeal. “Mentally it was tough to handle everything,but as time went on I started preparing and practicing, and I was focused on my comeback and new start – and looking forward to it.” Troicki praised the support of teammate and world number one Novak Djokovic, with whom he practiced while he waiting out his ban. “Novak helped me a lot when he had weeks of preparation, he always invited me,”Troicki said. “He really did a lot for me and I will never forget that.”
SHORT & TALL OF THINGS
When Dudi Sela narrowly lost his first-round match, he headed for a chair rather than the net. That’s because he wanted to look his conqueror, Ivo Karlovic, in the eye. “After I won, I was going to the net to have a handshake and then I look at him and he’s going back to get a chair,” Karlovic said. “I didn’t know what he was going to do and then he arrives and he gives me a hug, which was unbelievable and hilarious. Obviously he needed a hug, so I hugged him back.” Karlovic is 6-foot-11 inches (211 cm) tall, while Sela is just 5-9 (175 cm). “He’s a really nice guy and I like him a lot. It was funny,” Karlovic said. Sela agreed. “We’re good friends and I really like him, he’s a very nice guy,” Sela said. “I always wanted to hug him, but I didn’t have the chance, and today I think was a good moment. I saw the chair and I thought it would be nice to finish the match like this with a hug, so the crowd will see it’s OK.” Sela saved all seven break points faced during the match, while Karlovic slammed 16 aces. Karlovic won four more points than the Israeli, 85 to 81. “I felt good with myself,” Sela said. “Suddenly I felt 211 (cm) like him … I think I was (still) shorter than him. It was funny.”
SET FOR LONDON
Rafael Nadal ad Novak Djokovic are the first two singles players to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held in London, Great Britain, November 9-16. Also grabbing spots in the elite field are brothers Bob and Mike Bryan. Nadal has qualified for the eight-player tournament for the 10th straight year. He has twice finished runner-up, in 2010 when he lost to Roger Federer, and in 2013, when he lost to Djokovic. The Spanish left-hander has never won the season finale. Djokovic has won the event three times. The Bryans have qualified for the eight-team doubles field for the 13th consecutive time. No doublesd event was held in 2002. Last year the brothers clinched the year-end number one ranking for a record ninth time and for a fifth consecutive season The brothers are seeking to win teh Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a fourth time.
SAYS I DO
Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova captured the ESPY Awards for the Best Male and Best Female Tennis Players. The 28-year-old Nadal beat out fellow nominees Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. He has been nominated in the category for a 10th straight year and won it for the second time. Djokovic had been named Best Male Tennis Player the past two years.
After one point in his upset loss to Filip Krajinovic, Italy’s Fabio Fognini called his Serbian opponent “zingaro,” an Italian word for gypsy. The ethnic slur was captured on video and put on social media. “I made a mistake,” Fognini tweeted in Italian. “I made a mistake. I didn’t want to offend anyone. … I know Filip very well and anyone who plays sports knows that at times you get carried away saying things that make no sense.” Ranked 149th in the world, Krajinovic shocked Fognini 6-4 6-0 in a second-round match at the Hamburg Open, where the Italian was the defending champion. Heading toward his chair during a changeover midway through the second set, Fognini stepped on his racquet, snapping it in two.
The son of tennis star John McEnroe and actress Tatum O’Neal has been arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police say 27-year-olde Kevin McEnroe and another man were arrested during “a narcotics transaction” in New York City’s East village. According to police Kevin McEnroe was in possession of cocaine and prescription medication. According to the Wall Street Journal, McEnroe’s lawyer said there was “nothing remarkable” about the amount of drugs found on her client.
SAYS MATCHES FIXED
Australian police say they have arrested several men allegedly involved in betting on tennis matches “where the outcome was predetermined by at least one of the players involved.” A police spokesman said the allegations do not involve any matches on the ATP World Tour or at the Australian Open. Australia’s Fairfax Media reported that tennis players were believed to be among those arrested. All of the men arrested are in their 20s, except for one who is 40 years old.
Båstad: Andreja Klepac and Maria-Teresa Torro-Floro beat Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6-1 6-1
Bogota: Samuel Groth and Chris Guccione beat Nicolas Barrientos and Juan Sebastian Cabal 7-6 (5) 6-7 (3) 11-9 (match tiebreak)
Hamburg: Mario Draganja and Florin Mergea beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-4 7-5
Istanbul: Misaki Doi and Elina Svitolina beat Oksana Kalashnikova and Paula Kania 6-4 6-0
Kaohsiung: Gong Mao Xing and Peng Hsien-Yip beat Chen Ti and Huang Liang-Chi 6-3 6-2
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$580,272 Crédit Agricole Suisse Open, Gstaad, Switzerland, clay
$580,272 Vegeta Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia, clay
$568,805 BB&T Atlanta Open, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, hard
$125,000 President’s Cup, Astana, Kazakhstan, hard
$250,000 Baku Cup, Baku, Azerbaijan, hard
$125,000 Zhonghong Jiangxi International, Nanchang, China, hard
$100,000 President’s Cup, Astana, Kazakhstan, hard
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$1,654,295 Citi Open, Washington, DC, USA, hard
$685,893 bet-at-home Cup, Kitzbühel, Austria, clay
$100,000 Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, hard
$710,000 Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, California, USA, hard
$250,000 City Open, Washington, DC, USA, hard
$100,000 Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, hard