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Mondays with Bob Greene


STARS

David Ferrer beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-4 to win the SkiStar Swedish Open in Båstad, Sweden

Andrey Rublev beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 6-2 to win the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag, Croatia

John Isner beat Matthew Ebden 6-3 7-6 (4) to win the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Irina-Camelia Begu beat Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5 to win the BRD Bucharest Open in Bucharest, Romania

Kiki Bertens beat Anett Kontaveit 6-4 3-6 6-1 to win the Ladies Championship Gstaad b iXion Services in Gstaad, Switzerland

Egor Gerasimov beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (9) 4-6 6-4 to win the Presidents Cup men’s singles in Astana, Kazakhstan

Zhang Shuai beat Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3 6-4 to win the Presidents Cup women’s singles in Astana, Kazakhstan

 

DAVIS CUP

Group III

Africa Zone at Cairo, Egypt: Egypt and Zimbabwe promoted to Group II play in 2018

Asia/Oceania Zone at Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka and Lebanon promoted to Group II play in 2018; Turkmenistan and United Ara Emirates drop to Group IV play in 2018

 

FED CUP

Group II

Americas Zone at Panama City, Panama: Puerto Rico and Guatemala promoted to Group I play in 2018

Asiana/Oceania Zone at Dushanbe, Tajikistan: Hong Kong, China promoted to Group I play in 2018

 

SAYING

“I’m not the best of all time. I’m not going to win Wimbledon. I’m not the best of my generation. I’m not the most well-behaved. I’m not the most polished. I’m also never going to take this honor for granted. I may not be a lot of things, but from this day forward I’ll never be anything less than a Hall of Famer.” – Andy Roddick, being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

“Everyone who has stood on this stage before and will stand after has a passion for the sport of tennis.” – Kim Clijsters, during her acceptance speech when she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

“I am going week by week, match by match, and I still have the motivation. I know it will be very difficult to get back to the Top 10, but if I stay competitive like this week, I will play next year for sure. I still enjoy playing tennis, but it’s different as I am 35 years old.” – David Ferrer, after winning the Swedish Open, his first title in two years.

“It’s hard to win a tournament. It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.” – John Isner, after winning the Hall of Fame Open for the third time.

“I think when you watch me it’s not that I’m the most relaxed player on the court. He’s trying to not make it such a stressful life. Like in the finals, of course you want to win it, but you also have to enjoy it. He’s really trying to teach me that. Enjoy the hard work, enjoy to play matches, enjoy to play matches on the big stages.” – Kiki Bertens, on her coach Raemon Sluiter.

“I didn’t feel like I played perfect tennis this week, but I was just fighting each match … and I felt like I played really well on the key points in almost every match. To get these key points gives a bit of confidence and I think that’s a positive thing I’ll take out of this week.” – Anett Kontaveit, who lost to Kiki Bertens in the Gstaad final.

“In the end, it didn’t go my way. That’s life, that’s tennis. That’s how it goes sometimes.” – Ivo Karlovic, after being upset in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships semifinals by Peter Gojowczyk 7-6 (5) 6-7 (1) 7-6 (40.

“She deserved to win today. She was the better player. It’s not always about the score, it’s about the way you’re playing and creating your points. She was creating very well and very smartly today.” – Julia Goerges, talking about Irina-Camelia Begu after losing to the Romanian in the BRD Bucharest Open final.

“Don’t play tennis. Do something you love and enjoy, because it’s a grind, and it’s a tough, tough, tough life. My position, I’m trapped. I have to do it. Tennis chose me. It’s something I never fell in love with. You know, I like it.” – Bernard Tomic, in a television interview when asked to give advice to aspiring tennis players.

“Seeing them hold the trophy, their emotions, how happy they were. From being so focused, being so composed, to that outburst of winning, that was really inspiring and gave me an almost addiction. I loved seeing that. I loved seeing those changes, to be able to relax when you were done. That’s what I really admired.” – Kim Clijsters, saying how she was inspired by Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

“Steve Flink is being inducted today for a lifetime of making tennis the center of his world.” – Chris Evert, presenting the journalist for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

“I’m so fortunate to have tennis in my life. It’s been magic for me.” – Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, an inductee into the Tennis Hall of Fame discussing fighting cancer at the age of 14 and how her friends pushed her around on a court in her wheelchair so she could feel she was still involved with the sport.

“I have a simple way of putting it. If you have a problem with Kim Clijsters, I blame you.” – Andy Roddick, about his fellow inductee into the Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

SWEDISH OPEN WINNER

David Ferrer is a winner again – finally. The 35-year-old Spaniard won his first ATP World Tour title in two years when he finally overcame Alexandr Dolgopolov on his seventh match point. “I was a little nervous up 5-1 and Alexandr played without pressure,” Ferrer said. “I tried to be focused on every point, but when I had all those match points I was thinking too much.” Once ranked as high as third in the world, Ferrer has fallen to 46th in the Emirates ATP Rankings. This was his 27th ATP World Tour title, the most of any man in the Open Era without winning a Grand Slam tournament. His last title was in Vienna in 2015. Ferrer becomes the fourth player aged 35 and over to have won on the men’s tour this year, joining Roger Federer, Feliciana Lopez and Victor Estrella Burgos. Ferrer twice served for the title and was broken each time. He finally won when he broke Dolgopolov for the third time in the set, joining Mats Wilander and Bjorn Borg as three-time Swedish Open champions. Another Swede, Magnus Gustafsson, was a four-time winner at Båstad.

 

SWEEP

Kiki Bertens returned to clay courts with a vengeance. The Dutch player won her second singles title of the season, defeating Annett Kontaveit, then teamed with Johanna Larsson to grab the doubles crown at Gstaad. After a very successful season on clay, winning at Nürnberg, Bertens failed to win a match at four grass tournaments. “It’s not like I played bad,” Bertens said. “It’s just sometimes you’re a little bit unlucky. … It was nice going back to clay again.” Bertens won the first three games of the match before Kontaveit took the next three. Then began an exchange of service breaks until Bertens finally held and took the opening set. Kontaveit gathered the only service break in the second set to level the match. In the decider, the two each held serve once before Bertens reeled off the final five games for the title. After a short break, Bertens and Larsson won their second doubles title of 2017. “This was our seventh title together and it was Johanna’s 10th, which is really amazing,” Bertens said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

 

SUPER HOMESTAND

Irina-Camelia Begu knows how to throw a party. The hometown favorite won her fourth career WTA title at the BRD Bucharest Open, then added the doubles crown. “It is amazing,” Begu said. “I never thought that I could win two trophies in one week, especially in Romania, in Bucharest, my hometown. It’s unbelievable. I am a little bit tired after so many hours spent on court. It’s tough. It was really hot this week here so, yes, I am tired, but happy in the same time. It was an amazing week for me.” The loser, Germany’s Julia Goerges, had the untenable task of beating three straight Romanians in the Bucharest tournament. She ousted Alexandra Dugheru and Ana Bogdan, but then ran into Begu. “Irina played a very solid match and she didn’t give me much time to create my shots,” Goerges said. “She took control over the first set, but I always thought I had a chance to come back. … She was pushing me a lot and I have to give credit to her.” After capturing the singles title, Begu and compatriot Raluca Olaru won the doubles, defeating Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs 6-3 6-3.

 

SWEET COMEBACK

Although he lost at Umag before the Plava Lagun Croatia Open main draw began, Andrey Rublev wound up the week as the biggest winner. The 19-year-old Russian had been knocked out of qualifying by Hungary’s Attila Balazs before he was given a spot in the main draw when Borna Coric withdrew with an injury. Rublev made the second chance pay off, downing Paolo Lorenzi for his first ATP World Tour title. It wasn’t easy. He had to beat third-seeded Fabio Fognini in the quarter finals before facing the fourth-seeded Lorenzi. Rublev controlled the final from the start, taking a 4-1 lead to start the match. The young Russian won the last five games to prevail in 76 minutes. Rublev is the seventh lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title, the first to do so since Rajeev Ram captured Newport, Rhode Island, USA, in 2009.

 

STAR POWER

Two Grand Slam tournament champions – Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick – are the latest entries into the International Tennis Hall of Fame along with six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, instructor and innovator Vic Braden and journalist and historian Steve Flink. “It (stunk) being in your vacuum at times,” Roddick said of Roger Federer, who beat the American in four Grand Slam tournament finals. “I still consider myself lucky. I got to guard Jordan. I went the distance with Ali. I pitched to Babe Ruth. I feel like I know what it must have been like to watch Picasso. I saw it all.” Roddick won one major – the 2003 US Open – while Clijsters captured four Grand Slam titles, three after giving birth to her first child. Braden, who died in 2014, was inducted posthumously.

 

SET FOR FUTURE

The idea of a World Cup of Tennis Finals has run into a roadblock. Last month the International Tennis Federation said it wanted to combine the 2018 Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event played at one site, a proposal that would raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But now the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. That meeting will vote on other changes, including reducing the men’s matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, what now is called a “dead rubber.” “We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation” to its voting members. Haggerty also announced that Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed co-chairs of a newly created World Cup of Tennis Finals task force.

 

STORMIN’ TO VICTORY

John Isner’s third Hall of Fame Open title was his easiest. The big-serving Isner became only the second man to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas did it in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, in 2007. The top-seeded Isner beat Australian Matthew Ebden for his 11th career title but first since 2015. “I could never imagine playing four matches and not facing a break point, but I’ll certainly take it,” Isner said. “I served well all week, played extremely well all week. This is a very good tournament for my serve and I knew it was going to be hard for my opponents to break me.” Isner pounded out 17 aces on the Newport, Rhode Island, USA, grass court and won 90 percent of his first-serve points. “It doesn’t matter the surface,” Isner said. “If I just take the tournament with the right mindset, I’m going to be a very tough out.”

 

SAYS STAY HOME

Bernard Tomic says he has no love for the game that has earned him millions and believes fans should stay at home rather than pay to see him play if they are opposed to his on-court antics. “Throughout my career I’ve given 100 percent,” Tomic said in an Australian television interview. “I’ve given also 30 percent. But if you balance it out, I think all my career’s been around 50 percent. … I haven’t really tried, and (still) achieved all this. So, it’s just amazing what I’ve done.” Tomic, who was ranked as high as 17th in the world but has now dropped to 73rd, was fined USD $15,000 when he said he was “bored” during his first-round loss at Wimbledon earlier this month.

 

SWITCH IN COACHES

Alexander Zverev has a new coach. The youngest player in the ATP Top 50 has started working with former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ranked 11th in the world, Zverev’s first tournament with Ferrero will be the Citi Open in Washington, DC, USA. Ferrero won the French Open in 2003 and also was a finalist at the US Open.

 

SUCH A LONG DAY

Because of “highly inappropriate and racially insensitive” comments he made about Serena Williams’s unborn child, Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase has been banned from all International Tennis Federation (ITF) team competitions until December 31, 2010. Nastase was also found guilty of making “advances of a sexual nature” towards British team captain Anne Keothavong and “abusive and threatening comments” to members of Britain’s Fed Cup team, match officials and a member of the press. Because of the latter, the former tennis star was also fined USD $10,000 and denied access to all official ITF team competitions and tennis circuits until December 31, 2018. Grand Slam tournaments, which lie outside the ITF’s jurisdiction, are not included in the ban. However, this year the former top-ranked player was barred from the French Open and not invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon. Both Nastase and the Romanian Tennis Federation have 21 days to appeal the decision.

 

SAYING VOWS

Surrounded by family and friends, Agnieszka Radwanska wed her long-time boyfriend Dawid Celt in a ceremony in Krakow, Poland. Celt has been involved in tennis, where he has also been the hitting partner for the world’s 10th-ranked player. Among those attending the ceremony were WTA players Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, former Polish number one Marta Domachowska and former ATP Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz.

Andrea Hlavackova, a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, was married in the Czech Republic. Hlavackova, who teamed with fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka to win the French Open doubles in 2011 and the US Open doubles in 2013, married former tennis communications professional Fabrizio Sestini. She retired from the WTA tour last fall, but has been working as a commentator. Sestini currently works in tournament and players relations for the WTA.

 

SET FOR CITI OPEN

Three top players, Simona Halep, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, have accepted wild card entries into the Citi Open, a hard-court event in Washington, DC, USA, which begins July 31. Ranked second in the world, Halep has missed two chances to take over the top spot in the women’s rankings. Raonic, who won the Washington tournament in 2014, means the Citi Open will feature its past four men’s champions. Also in the field are Juan Martin del Potro, a three-time winner whose most recent crown came in 2013, eighth-ranked Kei Nishikori, who won Washington in 2015; and 13th-ranked Gael Monfils, the defending champion. Also accepting a wild card into the women’s event is Sloane Stephens, who won her first WTA title at Washington in 2015.

 

SEEKING ANSWERS

Three matches at this year’s Wimbledon are being investigated for possibly match-fixing. The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said two qualifying matches at Roehampton and one from the main Wimbledon draw have come under scrutiny because of bizarre betting patterns. While the TIU checks on irregularities such as strange betting tendencies, it insists the alerts do not mean a match has been fixed. One match from last month’s French Open also will be investigated. There have been 49 other alerts received by the TIU since April, with those matches being played on Challenger, Futures and ITF women’s tours. There were 73 alerts during the same period a year ago.

 

SETS VIEWERSHIP RECORD

When Britain’s Johanna Konta took on Romania’s Simona Halep in a quarterfinal match at Wimbledon, it was a winner for BBC television. A record 7.4 million fans watched Konta’s 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5) 6-4 victory as she became the first British woman to reach the semifinals in nearly 40 years. That was one million more fans that tuned in to see the men’s final.

 

SHE’S A MOM

Patty Schnyder has returned to the WTA tour, but she’s not alone. The Swiss left-hander was playing a second-round match against Antonia Lottner of Germany when she noticed her daughter was in the stands with her arms uncovered. Worried that she might get sunburned, Schnyder stopped play long enough to make sure her daughter’s arms were covered. The veteran lost the match 7-6 (0) 2-6 6-3.

 

STEROIDS

A Brazilian doubles player, Americo Lanzoni, has been banned from playing for three years and nine months for using an anabolic steroid. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Lanzoni tested positive for norandrosterone at a Challenger tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in April last year. Lanzoni will be 31 when the ban expires in March 2020. His highest doubles ranking was 1,552nd, while he never held a singles ranking.

 

SUPER SUITS

Sports Illustrated has once again named Roger Federer and Serena Williams to its “Fashionable 60” list. “His timeless style extends to his looks on and off the court, but he really excels in classic pieces, such as blazers ad slim suits,” SI wrote. “Lately, he’s been taking risks with these staples, adding in different fabrics, textures and designs, including a Gucci tuxedo with an embroidered crystal king cobra at the 2017 Met Gala. The list was compiled by a panel consisting of Sports Illustrated editors, sports and fashion experts, taking into consideration such factors as their attire, endorsements, designer collaborations and social media presence. Russell Westbrook of the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder headed the list with last year’s winner, Victor Cruz, finishing second. Williams was third, Federer fourth and another NBA star, LeBron James, fifth. Last year, Federer was named “Most Stylish Man” by GQ Magazine.

 

SHOUTING SLOGANS

A spectator briefly disrupted Saturday play at the Swedish Open when he walked onto the court and shouted a Nazi slogan. The man, wearing a black T-shirt and tan slacks, calmly walked onto the court during the Fernando Verdasco-David Ferrer match, raised his right arm with fist clenched, and shouted “Hell Seger,” a Swedish translation of the Nazi slogan, “Sieg Heil.” The umpire stopped play and the man was led away by security guards before play resumed.

 

SAD DAY

Peter Doohan, who upset Boris Becker at Wimbledon in 1987, has died. He was 56. Nine weeks ago, the Australian was diagnosed with an aggressive form of motor neurone disease. Doohan’s second-round victory over Becker at the time was considered one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon’s history. It was the earliest defeat by a defending champion in 20 years. “I think I’m a better player than he is, but he was like magic, guessing everything I would do,” Becker said at the time. Doohan won one ATP singles title and five doubles titles, reaching a career-best singles ranking of 43 and a doubles ranking of 15 before he retired in 1996. While at the University of Arkansas, Doohan won an NCAA doubles title and was named All-American.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Astana (men): Toshihide Matsui and Vishnu Vardhan beat Evgeny Karlovskiy and Evgeny Tyurney 7-6 (3) 6-7 (5) 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Astana (women): Natela Dzalamidze and Veronika Kudermetova eat Ysaline Bonaventure and Naomi Broady 6-2 6-0

Båstad: Julian Knowle and Philipp Petzschner beat Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop 6-2 3-6 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Bucharest: Irina-Camelia Begu and Raluca Olaru beat Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs 6-3 6-3

Gstaad: Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson beat Viktorija Golubic and Nina Stojanovic 7-6 (4) 4-6 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Newport: Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Rajeev Ram beat Matt Reid an John-Patrick Smith 6-4 4-6 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Umag: Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni beat Marin Draganja and Tomislav Draganja 6-3 6-7 (4) 10-6 (match tiebreak)

 

SURFING

Hamburg: https://german-open-hamburg.de/en

Atlanta: www.bbtatlantaopen.com/

Granby: www.challengerbanquenationale.com/

Nanchang: www.jxopen.net/

Båstad: www.ericssonopen.org/

Washington: www.citiopentennis.com/

Los Cabos: www.abiertoloscabos.com/es/

Kitzbühel: www.generaliopen.com/

Biella: http://ifaggiclub.it/

Stanford: www.bankofthewestclassic.com/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

MEN

$1,629,375 German Tennis Championships, Hamburg, Germany, hard

$720,410 BB&T Atlanta Open, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, hard

$616,605 J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland, clay

$100,000 Challenger Banque Nationale de Granby, Granby, Canada, hard

 

WOMEN

$226,750 Ericsson Open, Båstad, Sweden, clay

$226,750 JiangXi Open, Nanchang, China, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

MEN

$2,002,460 Citi Open, Washington, DC, USA, hard

$729,995 Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex, Los Cabos, Mexico, hard

$630,247 Generali Open, Kitzbühel, Austria, clay

$125,000 International Challenger Chengdu, Chengdu, China, clay

$123,644 Thindown Challenger Biella, Biella, Italy, clay

 

WOMEN

$710,900 Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, California, USA, hard

$226,750 Citi Open, Washington, DC, USA, hard

 

David Ferrer

David Ferrer



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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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