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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS

Damir Dzumhur beat Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-4 6-2 to win the St. Petersburg Open in St. Petersburg, Russia

Caroline Wozniacki beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0 7-5 to win the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan

Peter Gojowczyk beat Benoit Paire 7-5 6-2 to win the Moselle Open in Metz, France

Zhang Shuai beat Aleksandra Krunic 6-2 3-6 6-2 to win the Guangzhou Open in Guangzhou, China

Jelena Ostapenko beat Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4 to win the KEB Bank-Incheon Airport Korea Open in Seoul, Korea

Belinda Bencic beat Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-3 to win the Neva Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia

Irina Falconi beat Louisa Chirico 7-5 6-7 (3) 6-1 to win the Abierto Tampico in Tampico, Mexico

 

DAVIS CUP

 

World Group Playoffs

Japan beat Brazil 3-1 at Osaka, Japan

Canada beat India 3-2 at Edmonton, British Columbia, Canada

Group II, 3rd Round, America Zone:  Barbados beat Venezuela 3-2 at Widley, Barbados

 

SAYING

“There are some tournaments where you just feel good and do well almost every year and, for me, this is one of them.” – Caroline Wozniacki, who won the Japan Open, her first title in seven finals this year.

“In the end I found my game and played good. It was the best day of my life.” – Damir Dzumhur, who won his first ATP World Tour title in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“We stayed solid in the big moments today … We forced them to make some mistakes, and that was the key in the end.” – Julien Benneteau, who teamed with Edouard Roger Vasselin to win the Moselle Open doubles.

“My best tennis wasn’t here. I’m not going to think about this loss too much. I still feel (Tokyo) was a good tournament for me to start the Asian swing.” – Garbiñe Muguruza, after losing to Caroline Wozniacki in the Japan Open semifinals.

“I was already thinking about going to Wuhan; in my head I was booking flights. But at the same time, I always fight to the last point.” – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while playing former world number one Angelique Kerber at the Japan Open. Pavlyuchenkova rallied to win the semifinal.

“This victory means so much for me. I was thinking all time when I was home – it was very tough, and I was doubting if I could play good again.” – Belinda Bencic, after winning a tournament following her return to the WTA tour from left wrist surgery.

“When you go on a roll and play great tennis, you’re going to give yourself opportunities.” – Caroline Wozniacki, who won the Japan Open, her first title in seven finals this year.

“We are happy, we are proud, and at least we are not the last team in our group.” – Sada Nahimana, after winning Burundi’s first-ever victory at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Budapest, Hungary.

 

SEVENTH TIME WORKS

Playing in her seventh final of the year, Caroline Wozniacki finally came away with the big trophy, winning her second straight and third career Pan Pacific Open title. “It was my seventh final this year and obviously after a while it gets harder and harder,” the Danish former world number one said. Wozniacki stormed through the opening set before finally closing out the win on her third match point, firing a backhand pass down the line. It was the 26th WTA singles title of her career. “Obviously I’ve won here in the past and it has great memories for me, so I’m happy I was able to stay focused and aggressive,” the winner said. Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova never appeared to be in the running for the victory. “The first three games were the key,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who beat Angelique Kerber in the semifinals. Wozniacki reached the title match by knocking off top-ranked Garbiñe Muguruza.

 

SECOND TITLE

Jelena Ostapenko finally has a title to go along with her French Open championship. The 20-year-old from Latvia beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia to win the Korea Open. “I’m really happy to win my second title here and in my career,” Ostapenko said. “I enjoyed playing here and to also see so many Latvian flags is amazing.” Ostapenko’s first career title came in June when she won Roland Garros by upsetting third-seeded Simona Halep in the final. Against her Brazilian opponent, Ostapenko rallied after dropping the first set. “This match today was really tight,” Haddad Maia said. “Both of us were playing very well.” Haddad Maia was competing in her first WTA final.

 

SARAJEVO CHAMPION

A native of Sarajevo, Damir Dzumhur became the first player from Bosnia/Herzegovina to win an ATP World Tour singles title when he knocked off third-seeded Fabio Fognini in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I was very nervous in the first set and couldn’t find my game, while Fabio played good,” Dzumhur said after his three-set victory. “But I tried to stay in the game and that helped me to take the second set. In the deciding set I found my rhythm and played well while Fabio went down.” Fognini was playing his first tournament since being kicked out of the US Open for launching into a sexist tirade against a female umpire. The 25-year-old Dzumhur has gone 153 in tour-level matches since July 31 in a run that will put him around 40th in the world in the rankings. With the two tied at 4 in the second set, Dzumhur won four straight games. “In the second set I started to serve better,” Dzumhur said. “After one break (at 2-2 in the second set), he broke me back. But I knew that I could break him again and I was returning better. That first break was very important for the whole match.”

 

START EXPECTED

Not surprising, it was Roger Federer who led Team Europe to victory in the first Laver Cup, an exhibition featuring Europe’s top players against the rest of the world. Federer’s title-winning win came on a super tiebreak over Team World’s Nick Kyrgios 4-6 7-6 (8) 11-9. “It was a nail-biter at the end, but for me personally it was a dream scenario,” Federer said. The odds-on favorite with five of the world’s top seven players, Team Europe led 93 going into the final day. Jack Sock and John Isner beat Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic to open play. Germany’s Alexander Zverev beat American Sam Querrey in straight sets before another American, John Isner, stopped Spain’s Rafael Nadal. That set the stage for Federer’s victory. “I gave everything I had and I came short,” said Kyrgios. Captained by Bjorn Borg, Team Europe also comprised Dominic Thiem, while Frances Tiafoe and Denis Shapovalov also played for captain John McEnroe’s Team World.

 

SCENE IN 2018

The Laver Cup is coming to the United States. The international tennis competition pitting Team Europe against the rest of the world will be played in Chicago in 2018. The Laver Cup organizers said the date for next year’s exhibition will be September 21-23 and it will be held at Chicago’s United Center.

 

SWISS WINNER

Once ranked as high as seventh in the world, Belinda Bencic underwent surgery on her left wrist and missed five months this season. That all seems like a long time ago now after the Swiss star won the Neva Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. “This victory means so much for me,” said Bencic, whose ranking had dropped to 312th in the world. The USD $100,000 ITF event was the first action for Bencic since she played Fed Cup doubles in April alongside Martina Hingis. But the 20-year-old showed from the beginning that she was back. She began the tournament with a 6-0 6-0 win over local qualifier Anastasia Gasnova and didn’t drop a set on her route to the title. “I think the toughest match of the tournament was in the second round against (Vitalia) Diatchenko,” Bencic said. “I think she has a very unique game and it was difficult to play her. It was only my second match so I was very nervous again, but I managed to beat her” 6-4 6-3.

 

SWEET HOME WIN

No surprise that Zhang Shuai has won the Guangzhou International Women’s Open. After all, she was seeded second in the field at the hard-court tournament. And it’s the second time Zhang has emerged victorious in Guangzhou, her only two career WTA titles. She first won the Guangzhou event in 2013. This time, she stopped Aleksandra Krunic in the final, although not without difficulty and needing three sets. After Zhang took the opening set 6-2, Krunic found her game. The Chinese player was broken on a double fault for the second time and Krunic mixed up her strong ground game with judicious forays to the net. A three-game run gave Krunic the second set and leveled the match. There was long pause before the final set as the WTA heat rule was put into play, then Krunic took a medical timeout to have her right shoulder attended to. Zhang won the first two games of the set, then held on to close out the win with her third ace of the match.

 

SWITCH TO DIPLOMACY?

Serving a three-year ban from International Tennis Federation (ITF) events for verbally abusing players and coaches, Ilie Nastase now is a diplomat. The 71-year-old Romanian was named the Czech Republic’s honorary consul in Romania. “I trust Mr. Nastase,” said Lubomir Zaoratek, the Czech foreign minister. “(In diplomacy) we have to weigh our words, and I think Mr. Nastase is fully aware of that. I am sure that his transfer from sports to diplomacy will be successful because I can see him as (a) person who realizes the responsibility he has in the new function.” Nastase was banned by the ITF after he commented on the skin color of Serena Williams’s baby, then used derogatory terms about two British players last April during a Fed Cup competition between Great Britain and Romania.

 

SHOCKER

Peter Gojowczk had to qualify for the Moselle Open. He wound up winning his first ATP World Tour title by upsetting seventh-seeded Benoit Paire. Gojowczk becomes the first qualifier to win a main tour title since Nicolas Mahut of France at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2015. The winner withstood 12 aces from his French rival and broke Paire three times to capture the indoor tournament. “He didn’t miss many shots and it was tough for me,” Paire said, who nonetheless was pleased with his week. “If I play like I did this week, I think I can do something good,” he said. “There are a lot of positives.” Gojowczyk did not face a break point the entire match. For the 28-year-old German, this has been a breakout season. He won a match in Indian Wells, California, reached the second round at Wimbledon as a qualifier, and battled his way into the semifinals at Newport, Rhode Island, USA in July. “I was serving well all day, and that was the difference,” Gojowczyk said.

 

STRONG WOMEN

In an open letter, Serena Williams thanked her own mother for being a role model and called her “one of the strongest women I know.” Noting some of the criticisms about her muscular body, Williams told her mother Oracene Price that she’s proud that “we were able to show them what some women look like,” adding, “we are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same we are women and proud.” A new mother herself, the tennis star said she hopes to “have the same fortitude in raising her own daughter, Alexis Olympic, who was born on September 1. Serena signed the letter, “Your youngest of five.”

 

STEPS UP

Harel Levy is the new Davis Cup captain for Israel, replacing Eyal Ran. The 39-year-old Levy was ranked as high as 30th in the world and played in 21 Davis Cup ties for Israel, compiling a 20-16 win-loss record in singles. During his career he reached two ATP World Tour finals, falling to Marat Safin in Toronto in 2000 and to Thomas Johansson in Nottingham, Great Britain, in 2001. Ran stepped down as captain after Israel lost to Ukraine 5-0 in Europe/Africa Zone Group I play. Levy will be in charge when Israel takes on Romania in October with the loser dropping down to Group II. “I had the honor of representing Israel as a player, and now I’ve been called up for a very important mission with the national team,” Levy said. “We will do our best to keep the team, the coaching staff and the players in Group I.”

 

SUCCESSFUL

Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe teamed to lead the United States to a 2-0 win over Japan as the Americans captured the Junior Fed Cub title for the first time since 2014. McNally defeated Naho Sato 6-3 6-2 before Osuigwe, the French Open girls champion, completed the victory by stopping Japan’s Yuki Naito 7-5 6-3. The United States was the top-seeded team and favored to win the title.

The Czech Republic blanked the United States 2-0 to claim the 2017 Junior Davis Cup title. Jonas Forejtek defeated William Grant 6-4 7-5 before Dalibor Syrcina completed the victory by stopping Govind Nanda. Forejtek raced through the week without dropping a set. Against the Americans, Syrcina played his best match of the week. It is the first time the Czech Republic has won the Junior Davis Cup title since 1997.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Guangzhou: Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs beat Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders 6-2 6-3

Metz: Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 7-5 6-3

Seoul: Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson beat Luksika Kumkhum and Peangtarn Plipuech 6-4 6-1

St. Petersburg (men): Roman Jebavy and Matwe Middelkoop beat Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos 6-4 6-4

St. Petersburg (women): Anna Blinkova and Veronika Kudermetova beat Belinda Bencic and Michaela Honcova 6-3 6-1

Tampico: Caroline Dolehide and Maria Irigoyen beat Kaitlyn Christian and Giuliana Olmos 6-4 6-4

Tokyo: Andreja Klepac and Maria José Martinez Sânchez beat Daria Gavrilova and Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2

 

SURFING

Chengdu: www.chengduopentennis.com/2017/eng/

Shenzhen: www.shenzhenopen.cn/

Orleans: www.opendorleans.com%20/

Tiburon: http://tiburonchallenger.com/

Wuhan: www.wuhanopen.org/

Tashkent: www.tashkentopen.uz/en/

Beijing: www.chinaopen.com/

Tokyo: http//en.rakutenopen.com/

Kaohsiung: http://oecopen.com/

Monterrey: www.sierramadretennisclub.com/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

$1,138,910 Chengdu Open, Chengdu, China, hard

$731,680 Shenzhen Open, Shenzhen, China, hard

$127,000 Open D’Orleans, Orleans, France, hard

$100,000 Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger, Tiburon, California, USA, hard

 

WOMEN

$2,288,250 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Wuhan, China, hard

$226,750 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

 

MEN

$4,280,460 China Open, Beijing, China, hard

$1,706,170 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan, hard

$125,000 Kaohsiung OEC Open, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, hard

$100,000 Abierto GNP Seguros, Monterrey, Mexico, hard

$100,000 Stockton Challenger, Stockton, California, USA, hard

 

WOMEN

$4,720,380 China Open, Beijing China, hard

 

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki



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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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