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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

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French Open

Men’s Singles: Rafael Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1

Women’s Singles: Jelena Ostapenko beat Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3

Men’s Doubles: Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus beat Donald Young and Santiago Gonzalez 7-6 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-3

Women’s Doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova beat Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-2 6-1

Mixed Doubles: Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah 2-6 6-2 12-10 (match tiebreak)

Boys’ Singles: Alexi Popyrin beat Nicola Kuhn 7-6 (5) 6-3

Girls’ Singles: Whitney Osuigwe brat Claire Liu 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-3

Boys’ Doubles: Nicola Kuhn and Zsombor Piros beat Vasil Kirkov and Danny Thomas 6-4 6-4

Girls’ Doubles: Bianca Andreescu and Carso Branstine beat Olesya Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-3

Men’s Wheelchair Singles: Alfie Hewett beat Gustavo Fernandez 0-6 7-6 (9) 6-2

Women’s Wheelchair Singles: Yui Kamiji beat Sabine Ellerbrook 7-5 6-4

Men’s Wheelchair Doubles: Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer beat Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid 6-4 6-3

Women’s Wheelchair Doubles: Marjolein Buis and Yui Kamiji beat Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot 6-3 7-5

 

OTHERS

Jiri Vesely beat Federico Delbonis 5-7 6-1 7-5 to win the Unicredit Czech Open in Prostejov, Czech Republic

Yuichi Sugita beat Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7) 7-6 (8) to win the Aegon Surbiton Trophy men’s singles in Surbiton, Great Britain

Aleksandra Krusnic beat Alexandra Cadantu 6-3 3-0 retired to win the Bol Open in Bol, Croatia

Jasmine Paolini beat Tatjana Maria 6-4 2-6 6-1 to win the Open Féminin de Marseille Trophée les Terrasses du Port in Marseille, France

Magdalena Rybarikova beat Heather Watson 6-4 7-5 to win the Aegon Surbiton Trophy women’s singles in Surbiton, Great Britain

 

SAYING

“It’s really incredible. To win La Decima is very, very special. I am very emotional. The feeling I have is impossible to describe.” – Rafael Nadal, after winning his 10th French Open title.

“I have nothing to say – you were too good.” – Stan Wawrinka, to Rafael Nadal after losing the Roland Garros final to the Spaniard.

“I have no words. It was my dream.” – Jelena Ostapenko, after beating Simona Halep to win the French Open women’s singles.

“I was very close to take the first Grand Slam and also number one in the world. This one hurts a lot maybe because I realize more what is happening. Three years ago, it was something new, so now I know. Hurts a lot, and I need time just to, I don’t know, to go away.” – Simona Halep, who lost the French Open final for the second time.

“I think we didn’t start off great today, but we kept pushing, kept working hard together, and we finally got through. … For me, it was always a personal goal to win a Slam. And it’s still sinking in, to be honest.” – Rohan Bopanna, after he teamed with Gabriela Dabrowski to win the mixed doubles.

“We are taking it one match at a time. Really, we kind of enjoy our practice days. We enjoy our off days. We’re playing singles, doubles. I played mixed doubles here. I think the moment is enough, actually.” – Bethanie Mattek-Sands, after teaming with Lucie Safarova to win the women’s doubles.

“I’m proud of the tournament I had. I did well considering I was one tiebreak away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling. So, I have to be proud of that.” – Andy Murray, after losing in the semifinals to Stan Wawrinka.

“Of course, I’m disappointed. I’m a competitor and it really annoys me not to be in the final.” – Timea Bacsinszky, after losing to Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals.

“Such a big event. It can happen.” – Elina Svitolina, acknowledging she had “a little bit of nerves” in losing a 6-3 5-1 lead and her quarterfinal match to Simona Halep.

“I’m just happy with the way I celebrated my birthday.” – Jelena Ostapenko, after winning her French Open semifinal on her 20th birthday.

“I’m not ashamed to say that she played better. She was braver. She had more courage. She was more successful.” – Timea Bacsinszky, after losing to Jelena Ostapenko.

 

SPANISH ORO

His 10th French Open title was one of his easiest. Rafael Nadal crushed Stan Wawrinka just like he did every other opponent this year on the red clay of Roland Garros to become the first player in the Open Era to win the same major 10 times. The Spanish left-hander lost just 35 games in the fortnight and only six in the final, he most lopsided victory since another Swiss player, Roger Federer, was held to just four games in the 2008 final. “It’s difficult to compare with other tournaments, but the nerves and adrenaline I feel, it’s like no other place,” Nadal said of the Paris arena. Wawrinka, seeking to win his fourth Grand Slam title and second French Open, had no answers for the overpowering game that Nadal produced. At 32 the oldest man to play for the title in 44 years, Wawrinka staved off our break points in the fourth game to hold serve. It turned out to be his last hurrah. “I play my best at all events,” Nadal said, “but the feeling here is impossible to describe. … This is the most important event in my career.” He has shown it. Over his career he is 79-2 at the French Open and 102-2 in all best-of-five set matches on clay.

 

SURPRISE ON CLAY

It was on Jelena Ostapenko’s racquet to win or lose. Forget the losing. Two days after turning 20, Ostapenko shocked Simona Halep to capture the French Open and send everyone else to the record books. She became the first player from Latvia to win a Grand Slam tournament title, the first unseeded player to capture Roland Garros and the lowest-ranked champion in French Open history. She is the youngest French Open winner since Iva Majoli in 1997 and the first player to win her first tour-level title at a Grand Slam event since Gustavo Kuerten in Paris that same year. In perhaps the biggest coincidence of all, Kuerten’s victory came on the day Ostapenko was born. “It was my dream always,” said Ostapenko, who rockets from 47th in the world to 12th in the rankings. “When I was a child I was watching. It’s amazing to play here. I just enjoy it so much.” Although it was Ostapenko who controlled the points throughout the day, it was Halep who seemed to be close to her first major title, leading 6-4 3-0. But that’s when those booming shots off Ostapenko’s racquet started finding the lines and the passing lanes. “I am sick in the stomach with emotions, but hopefully I can win this one in the future,” said Halep, who has twice lost the final at Paris. This time, it was Ostapenko’s big game that proved to be the winner. “I was always playing aggressive and hitting the ball when I have a chance,” Ostapenko said earlier in the tournament. The final proved to be no different.

 

STANDING TALL

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova continued their winning streak on the clay of Paris. It was their third straight major women’s doubles title, their second at Roland Garros and their fifth Grand Slam title overall. Not bad for a team that began playing together just two years ago. Mattek-Sands is currently ranked number one in doubles, with her Czech partner holding the number two spot. They also won the US Open last year and the Australian Open in January. If they win Wimbledon, they will hold all four major titles at the same time. “It’s funny, because we don’t even kind of think about it that way,” Mattek-Sands said. “It’s kind of tough to even look back and to the future to what you could do and what you have done. But we’re really excited for grass. We’re looking forward to Wimbledon. We love playing on grass. We are going to be ready there, too.”

 

SURREAL

They took the long route, but Michael Venus of New Zealand and American Ryan Harrison won the French Open men’s doubles title by outlasting another unseeded team, Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and American Donald Young. “You always dream of winning a Grand Slam every time you’re playing as a kid,” Harrison said. “You idolize people you see winning Grand Slams. You picture yourself in those moments, so it hasn’t really sunk in yet. It feels a little surreal.” Venus and Harrison are the first doubles team in Roland Garros history to win a deciding set in every match since the doubles event was shortened to best-of-three sets in all rounds in 1990. The 29-year-old Venus is the fifth New Zealander to win a Grand Slam title and the first man to do so since Onny Parun won the doubles at Roland Garros in 1974.

 

SHARING A TITLE

Gabriela Dabrowski became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament title when she teamed with India’s Rohan Bopanna to capture the Roland Garros mixed doubles. It was their third tournament together, having teamed up at last year’s US Open. They reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January. On the red clay in Paris, they saved two championship points before defeating Colombia’s Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Grönefeld of Germany. It was the first major title for both the 37-year-old Bopanna and his 25-year-old partner. Bopanna is only the fourth Indian player to win a Grand Slam title, following Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

 

STUNNER

There’s no other way to put it: The defending champion Novak Djokovic was stunned by Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the French Open quarterfinals. Djokovic, ranked number two in the world at the time, suffered his earliest loss in Paris in seven years, 7-6 (5) 6-3 6-0. It was his first straight-sets loss at a major in four years. It follows his second-round exit at the Australian Open in January. “All the top players go through this,” Djokovic said. “I will get through it and learn the lessons and figure out how to get out of it. It’s a big challenge, but I’m up for it.” Thiem lost to Djokovic in straight sets in the French Open semifinals last year. “It’s a dream to beat Novak for the first time and reach the semifinals at Roland Garros again,” said Thiem, who then lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal in the penultimate round.

 

SWEET VICTORY

She’s only 15, but she’s a champion. Whitney Osuigwe became the fifth American to win the girls’ French Open title when she defeated Claire Liu in only the second all-American girls’ final at Roland Garros. “It was one of my goals, but I didn’t really have any expectations,” Osuigwe said when asked if she had expected to win a junior Grand Slam title at such a young age. “I just kept working hard and knew the results would come.” It was a big change from the last time the two met. That was at the Easter Bowl in April when Liu beat Osuigwe 6-1 6-1. “I beat her, like, fast at Easter Bowl, but that was on hard,” said Liu, who is two years older than her opponent. “And I knew she would learn from that match. So, I was expecting her to play well, and she did.” Despite her age, Osuigwe has already turned pro. “It’s a decision I have made. I have been doing well this year. I think it was the right one,” the Florida native said. Only three other Americans have won the French Open girls’ singles: Anne Smith, Bonnie Gadusek and Jennifer Capriati.

Alexei Popyrin won the boys’ singles by defeating Nicola Kuhn of Spain. The 17-year-old is the first Australian to win the boys’ title at Roland Garros in 49 years.

 

SKIPPING WIMBLEDON

Citing an injured left thigh, Maria Sharapova has decided to skip the grass-court season, including Wimbledon. The former world number one announced on her official Facebook account that “an additional scan” showed that the muscle tear she got at the Italian Open last month will not allow her to return to competition yet. Now, she plans to return to tennis at the hard-court tournament in Stanford, California, USA, which beings on July 31. Sharapova recently returned to the tour after a 15-month ban for doping. Because her current ranking is so low, she is unable to gain direct entry into main draws and has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations. She had been planning of entering Wimbledon qualifying this year.

 

STOPPING ANDY

Andy Murray’s struggle to win Roland Garros ended yet again. This time it was in the semifinals where he fell to Stan Wawrinka in an epic 6-7 (6) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (3) 6-1 battle that lasted four hours, 34 minutes. In last year’s semifinals, it was Murray who beat Wawrinka. “Last year he was much more aggressive but last year he was stronger,” Wawrinka said of Murray. “Today I think he’s less confident. He played a bit less fast. He was a little more hesitant, and that gave me a bit more time to actually install my game. You know, when you start hesitating, you don’t necessarily make the right picks.” The two battled evenly through the first four sets, but the fifth was all Wawrinka, who took a 5-0 lead before losing his serve to Murray. Wawrinka broke right back for his place in the final.

 

SIGNED

Petra Kvitova will play the Connecticut Open in August in her preparation for the US Open. The two-time Wimbledon champion returned to tennis at the French Open less than six months after suffering a serious injury to her left hand when she was cut by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic. The left-hander lost to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round at Paris. Kvitova won the New Haven, Connecticut, tournament in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

 

SEEKS CHANGES

If the International Tennis Federation (ITF) board gets its way, Davis Cup matches will be reduced to best-of-three sets. In another change, the women’s Fed Cup World Group will be expanded to 16 teams in an effort to simplify its structure. “Davis Cup and Fed Cup are two of the most iconic team competitions in sport, but there is no doubt change is needed to ensure that we maximize their full potential,” said ITF president David Haggerty. ITF member will be asked to approve the changes at the annual general meeting in August. The aim is encouraging more top players to participate. In another change, the finalists in both competitions will be guaranteed the choice of hosting their first-round ties the following year. “While still needing AGM approval, we are confident that our national associations will see that to vote for these reforms is to vote for the long-term future of our competitions and our sport,” Haggerty said.

 

SPECIAL K SUIT

Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis is in a different type of court these days. The cereal giant Kellogg has sued the tennis player for using the nickname “Special K” commercially. Kokkinakis and doubles partner Nick Kyrgios have been dubbed the Special IKs by media and the public, and the 21-year-old wants to use the moniker as a branding campaign for clothing and tennis wear. But the US-based multinational has held an Australian trademark for its Special K breakfast cereal for more than 50 years, and has launched court action to stop Kokkinakis. “Kellogg will continue to defend our very strong and iconic Special K brand – which is known and loved by many Australians,” the company said.

 

SPLITS

Milos Raonic has decided to go on without Richard Krajicek as his coach. The Canadian and the 1996 Wimbledon champion began working together last December. “My coach, Richard Krajicek, and I have decided to part ways,” Raonic said on his Twitter account. “This decision has been a mutual one.” Raonic is still working with longtime coach Riccardo Piatti.

Tomas Berdych said he will no longer be working with 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic. “I enjoyed the ride and we will remain great friends,” Berdych, who also works with Luka Kutaniac, said on social media. Berdych and Ivanisevic began working together last August.

 

STAN HELPER

The former coach of two players who reached the world number one ranking is joining Stan Wawrinka’s team. Paul Annacone will join the three-time Grand Slam tournament champion during the grass-court season. Annacone is a former coach of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, both Wimbledon champions. Wawrinka, who lost this year’s French Open men’s final to Rafael Nadal, has won all of the majors except for Wimbledon.

 

SIBLING’S DAD

The father of Serena and Venus Williams is going into the American Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame. Richard Williams will be honored for his contribution to coaching his two daughters, who have won 30 Grand Slam tournament singles titles between them. He will be the first inductee into the Hall of the ATA, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary of promoting and supporting African-American tennis players. “Williams will be recognized for his success as a coach to his Compton-born daughters, who have received numerous accolades for their successes in the Summer Olympics and Grand Slam tournaments,” the ATA said. “For about 20 years, the sisters have steadily been credited as top-of-the-line tennis players, with Serena leading as number one. When paired together in doubles tournaments, the two are practically undefeatable and have won 22 out of 23 titles.” Williams will be recognized during the ATA’s Centennial Celebration Gala on August 2.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Bol: Chuang Chia-Jung and Renata Voracova beat Lina Gjorcheska and Aleksandrina Naydenova 6-4 6-2

Marseille: Natela Dzalamidze and Veronika Kudermetova beat Dalma Galfi and Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (5) 6-4

Prostejov: Guillermo Duran and Andres Moteni beat Roman Jebavy and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5) 10-6 (match tiebreak)

Surbiton (men): Marcus Daniell and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi beat Treat Huey and Denis Kudla 6-3 7-6 (0)

Surbiton (women): Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders beat Chang Kai-Chen and Marina Erakovic 7-5 6-4

 

SURFING

Stuttgart: http://www.mercedescup.de

‘s-Hertogenbosch: http://ricoh-open.nl/

Nottingham: www.lta.org.uk/major-events/aegon-open-nottingham/

Caltanissetta: www.tennisclubcaltanissetta.it/

Manchester: www.lta.org.uk/aegonmanchestertrophy/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

$791,814 Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart, Germany, grass

$744,890 Ricoh Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, grass

$143,253 Aegon Open, Nottingham, Great Britain, grass

$143,253 Citta Di Caltanissetta, Caltanissetta, Italy, clay

 

WOMEN

$226,750 Ricoh Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, grass

$226,750 Aegon Open, Nottingham, Great Britain, grass

$100,000 Aegon Manchester Trophy, Manchester, Great Britain, grass

 

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal



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About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

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