Mondays with Bob Greene
Men’s Singles: Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 6-3 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3
Women’s Singles: Serena Williams beat Venus Williams 6-4 6-4
Men’s Doubles: Henri Kontinen and John Peers beat Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-5 7-5
Women’s Doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova beat Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-3
Mixed Doubles: Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal beat Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig 6-2 6-4
Junior Boys Singles: Zsombor Piros beat Yshai Oliel 4-6 6-4 6-3
Junior Girls Singles: Marta Kostyuk beat Rebeka Masarova 7-5 1-6 6-4
Junior Boys Doubles: Hsu Yu Hsiou and Zhao Lingxi beat Finn Reynolds and Duarte Vale 6-7 (8) 6-4 10-5 (match tiebreak)
Junior Girls Doubles: Bianca Andreescu and Carson Branstine beat Maja Chwalinska and Iga Swiatek 6-1 7-6 (4)
Men’s Wheelchair Singles: Gustavo Fernandez beat Nicolas Peifer 3-6 6-2 6-0
Women’s Wheelchair Singles: Yui Kamiji beat Jiske Griffioen 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-3
Men’s Wheelchair Doubles: Joachim Gerard and Gordon Reid beat Gustavo Fernandez and Alfie Hewett 6-3 3-6 10-3 (match tiebreak)
Women’s Wheelchair Doubles: Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot beat Diede De Groot and Yui Kamiji 6-3 6-2
Quad Wheelchair Singles: Dylan Alcott beat Andy Lapthorne 6-2 6-2
Quad Wheelchair Doubles: Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner beat Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson 6-3 6-3
Uladzimir Ignatik beat Andrey Rubley 6-7 (6) 6-3 7-6 (5) to win the Open de Rennes in Rennes, France
“Tennis is a tough sport, there are no draws in tennis, but I would have been happy to accept one tonight and share it with Rafa.” – Roger Federer, after outlasting Rafael Nadal in five sets to win the men’s singles title.
“It was a great match and I think Roger probably deserved it a little more than me.” – Rafael Nadal.
“Thank you, Venus, for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.” – Serena Williams, after beating her older sister, Venus, to win her 23rd Grand Slam tournament title.
“Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys. Congratulations Serena on No. 23. I have been right there with you. Some of them I have lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome thing, your win has always been my win, you know that. All the times I couldn’t be there, wouldn’t be there, didn’t get there, you were there.” – Venus Williams.
“I will never ever ever forget this day. This has truly made my life and everything bad that happened, it has made it OK.” – Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, after losing her semifinal match to Serena Williams.
“I have a lot to give to the game. I feel like I have a lot of great tennis in me. So, any time you feel that way, you continue. Why not? I have nothing to lose, literally.” – Venus Williams, following her 6-4 7-6 (3) quarterfinal win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“At the end of the day, it really helps me to realize that you have to always go for your dreams.” – Serena Williams.
“Everyone knows that both Serena and Venus, they’re like legends in tennis.” – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“I try to believe. Should I look across the net and believe the person across the net deserves it more? This mentality is not how champions are made. I’d like to be a champion, in particular this year. The mentality I walk on court with is: I deserve this.” – Venus Williams.
“This is what I’ve been dreaming about, this is what I’ve been training for. At 34 years old, I have a wonderful home. I’m happily married. I would be perfectly OK being at home enjoying my family. But I really knew deep down in my soul that I have these results in me. To now be here and actually live these moments, it’s incredible.” – Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, after reaching the semifinals.
“What I will say about sport, I think why people love sport so much, is because you see everything in a line. In that moment, there is no do-over, there’s no retake, there is no voice-over. It’s triumph and disaster witnessed in real-time. This is why people live and die for sport, because you can’t fake it. You can’t. It’s either you do it or you don’t.” – Venus Williams, following her semifinal victory.
“I don’t have anything to prove. I don’t have to win another match as long as I live. I just have to have fun and do what I do best. That’s what I’ve been doing this tournament.” – Serena Williams, after winning her semifinal match.
Talk about reviving the past! The 2017 Australian Open provided a flood of memories as past champions took over almost every event. The men’s and women’s singles finals brought together players who had won 60 Grand Slam titles between them – not counting this year’s haul. And only the two 25-year-old semifinalists – Grigor Dimitrov and CoCo Vandeweghe – have yet to play in a Grand Slam tournament final. The other losing semifinalists were 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and 31-year-old Stan Wawrinka.
Then there were the losing finalists in the men’s doubles, 38-year-old twins Bob and Mike Bryan. And only one player under the age of 30 appeared in the title matches in both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles, that being 29-year-old Lucie Safarova. She turns 30 in February.
It was a blast from the past, and it didn’t disappoint. In a five-set thriller, Roger Federer outlasted rival Rafael Nadal to win his record-extending 18th Grand Slam tournament title – his first since 2012. And it was the first time in four Australian Open meetings that Federer had triumphed over his Spanish foe. “I would have been happy to lose, to be honest, the comeback was as good it was,” said Federer, who had not played since Wimbledon last year until this month. “I hope to see you next year, but if not then it was a wonderful year here and I couldn’t be happier tonight.” Federer took the opening set, only to have Nadal match him by grabbing the second. The repeated that scenario in the third and fourth sets, bringing up a decisive fifth set. And it was Nadal who struck first, taking a 3-1 lead. He didn’t win another game. “I played a great quality of tennis,” Nadal said. “That’s great news for me. I believe that if I have my body in the right condition, I can have a great year.” Like Federer, Nadal had missed a large part of last year with an injury. “Now it’s time to celebrate in a massive way,” Federer said. “(But) at 35 years old, I don’t like to say it, but I’m so old and so the body hurts, it aches.”
SISTER ACT IX
The women’s singles final was a family affair. And in their ninth meeting in a Grand Slam tournament title match, it was Serena Williams who bested her older sister, Venus. The victory was Serena’s seventh Australian Open crown – the most in the Open era for both men and women – and her 23rd major title, the most of any player in the Open era. Yet Serena, in her post-match comments, wanted to talk about her sister. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person. She’s my inspiration,” Serena said. “There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I would be at one without her.” Venus was playing in her first Grand Slam tournament final in 7½ years, and her seventh loss to her sister in a major final. The win also boosted Serena back into the top spot in the WTA rankings. It was the oldest major tournament final in the Open era with the Williams sisters combining for 71 years, 11 months.
Henri Kontinen became the first player from Finland to win a Grand Slam tournament title when he teamed with John Peers to beat American twins Bob and Mike Bryan. Peers also became the first Australian to win a Grand Slam doubles title since 2001. “I was looking through some of the names on the trophy,” Peers said. “To be alongside some of the guys and idols I looked up to in the past is something that hasn’t sunk in yet.” Kontinen and Peers teamed up for the first time at last year’s Australian Open. They won five titles together in 2016, including the Paris Masters and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Bryans were seeking their 17th Grand Slam tournament doubles crown, including a seventh Australian Open title.
SECOND STRAIGHT SLAM
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucid Safarova have found the winning touch. The two won their second straight Grand Slam tournament women’s doubles title, this time besting Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai in a tight three-setter. “We were celebrating like 5-year-old kids out there,” Mattek-Sands said. “I mean, it still feels amazing to win it. It’s a Grand Slam. When we got the trophy, we saw our names written on it. … It’s just special.” Since last summer, Mattek-Sands and Safarova have dominated the doubles, winning their third Grand Slam title at the US Open and taking an 18-match winning streak into the final of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals. “We played a lot of great teams to get to the finals,” Mattek-Sands said. “Part of it is really enjoying the journey, enjoying each match. Really, the celebrations kind of go quick. We’re going to make sure we enjoy this moment for a little bit.”
SEIZING THE MOMENT
American Abigail Spears and Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal can finally call themselves Grand Slam tournament champions. The two won the mixed doubles by stopping Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Sania Mirza of India in straight sets. Spears and Cabal won the first four games of the match, losing just six points, then grabbed the title by winning the last five games to rally from a 1-4 deficit. Until now, Cabal’s best Grand Slam tournament finish was in 2011 when he and Eduardo Schwank reached the French Open men’s doubles final. Spears was runner-up with Santiago Gonzalez in the 2013 and 2014 US Open mixed doubles.
After reaching the junior girls final, winning the title became a secondary thing for Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine. “I was more excited yesterday when I got through the semis,” Kostyuk said after knocking off top-seeded Rebeka Masarova for the title. Then there was the picture she took with Roger Federer. Kostyuk has been working with Ivan Ljubicic since last spring. “He did a lot,” she said of Ljubicic, who also coaches Federer. “He gave me a bit of his experience and big tennis. And I met finally Roger today. He congratulated me. And I took a photo with him, so I was very excited.”
Maria Vittoria Viviani was disqualified from the Australian Open junior girls’ singles when a ball she hit in frustration struck a ballperson. After sailing a forehand long on set point, the 17-year-old Italian hit her second ball in frustration. The ball reportedly hit a ballperson in the chest. Viviana immediately raised her hand in an apologetic fashion, but the chair umpire disqualified her and awarded the match to Wang Xin Yu of China.
SKIPPING DAVIS CUP
Milos Raonic will miss Canada’s first-round Davis Cup tie against Great Britain after suffering his fourth abductor muscle injury in 12 months. Ranked third in the world, Raonic was hurt during his quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal. Raonic said the injury will sideline him for several weeks. He was replaced on the Canadian Davis Cup squad by Peter Polansky. The tie will be played in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
SUCH A GENTLEMAN
When Jo-Wilfried Tsonga noticed a ballgirl trying to hold back tears, he went to check on her. It turns out the girl was in pain, although she was trying to contain herself so as not to interrupt the match. Tsonga determined that she wasn’t OK, so he wrapped his arm around her and escorted her off the court to the cheers of the crowd. The Frenchman tweeted later that he had received a letter from the ballgirl, apologizing “for the times when you asked for the ball but I did not service it to you or acknowledge you. I had picked up a virus which I was unaware of and it caused me to become dizzy and lightheaded. This also affected my vision and hearing. I apologize for not being a le to perform my duties as a ball kid to the high standards that are expected.”
Rennes: Evgeny Donskoy and Mikhail Elgin beat Julian Knowle and Jonathan Marray 6-4 3-6 11-9 (match tiebreak)
St. Petersburg: http://wta.formulatx.com/en/
Davis Cup: www.davisup.com
Fed Cup: www.fedcup.com
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
$125,000 RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, hard
$710,900 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, St. Petersburg, Russia, hard
$226,760 Taiwan Open, Taipei, Taiwan, hard
$100,000 Dow Tennis Classic, Midland, Michigan, USA, hard
Argentina vs. Italy at Buenos Aires, Argentina, clay
Germany vs. Belgium at Frankfurt, Germany, hard
Australia vs. Czech Republic at Melbourne, Australia, hard
United States vs. Switzerland at Birmingham, Alabama, USA, hard
Japan vs. France at Tokyo, Japan, hard
Canada vs. Great Britain at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, hard
Serbia vs. Russia at Nis, Serbia, hard
Croatia vs. Spain at Osijek, Croatia, hard
Group I – First Round
Americas Zone: Ecuador vs. Peru at Guayaquil, Ecuador; Dominican Republic vs. Chile at Santo Domino, Dominican Republic, hard
Asia/Oceania Zone: Chinese Taipei vs. China at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, hard; Korea vs. Uzbekistan at Gimcheon, Korea, hard; India vs. New Zealand at Pune, India, hard
Europe/Africa Zone: Bosnia/Herzegovina vs. Poland at Zenica, Bosnia/Herzegovina, hard; Belarus vs. Romania at Minsk, Belarus, hard; Portugal vs. Israel at Lisbon, Portugal, clay
Group I – Second Round
Europe/Africa Zone: Slovakia vs. Hungary at Bratislava, Slovakia, hard
Group 2 – First Round
Americas Zone: Paraguay vs. Barbados at Asuncion, Paraguay, clay; Guatemala vs. Mexico at Guatemala, Guatemala, hard; El Salvador vs. Bolivia at San Salvador, El Salvador, hard
Venezuela vs. Bahamas at Doral, Florida, USA, hard
Asia/Oceania Zone: Pakistan vs. Iran at Islamabad, Pakistan, hard; Vietnam vs. Hong Kong-China at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, hard; Philippines vs. Indonesia at Manila, Philippines, clay; Kuwait vs. Thailand at Meshref, Kuwait, hard
Europe/Africa Zone: Tunisia vs. Sweden in Tunis, Tunisia, hard; Cyprus vs. Turkey in Nicosia, Cyprus, hard; Lithuania vs. Madagascar in Siauliai, Lithuania, hard; Georgia vs. Finland in Tbilisi, Georgia, carpet; Latvia vs. Norway at Jelgava, Latvia, hard; Denmark vs. Morocco in Aarhus, Denmark, carpet; South Africa ccs. Estonia in Centurion, South Africa, hard; Slovenia vs. Monaco in Maribor, Slovenia, hard
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$540,310 Ecuador Open, Quito, Ecuador, clay
$577,748 Garanti Koza Sofia Open, Sofia, Bulgaria, hard
$577,748 Open Sud de France, Montpellier, France, hard
$100,000 Kunal Patel San Francisco Open, San Francisco, California, USA, hard
Americas Zone in Metepec, Mexico, Round-robin, hard: Pool A: Canada, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela; Pool B: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico
Asia/Oceania Zone in Astana, Kazakhstan, Round-robin, hard: Pool A: Thailand, Kazakhstan, Korea; Pool B: China, India, Japan, Philippines
Europe/Africa Zone in Tallinn, Estonia, Round-robin; hard: Pool A: Poland, Austria, Georgia; Pool B: Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Hungary; Pool C: Great Britain, Latvia, Portugal, Turkey; Pool D: Bulgaria, Estonia, Israel, Serbia