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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS

Grigor Dimitrov beat David Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-3 to win the Nitto ATP Finals in London, Great Britain

Belinda Bencic beat Arantxa Rus 7-6 (3) 6-1 to win the OEC Taipei WTA in Taipei, Taiwan

 

SAYING

“I don’t want to get too hyped up because I’ve done well, now I’m number three in the world. Of course, one of my main goals is to win a Grand Slam tournament. This has always been, again, a dream of mine.” – Grigor Dimitrov, after winning the biggest title of his career, the ATP Finals.

“I think after this week I’m a better player mentally. I proved to myself that I can do it.” – David Goffin, who upset both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer before reaching the title match of the ATP Finals.

“I had to be realistic. I fought till the last breath, but it is time to move on.” — Radek Štěpánek, announcing he is retiring from tennis as a player.

“It’s been tough but I’m about to start a new chapter in my career, with a new coach.” – Angelique Kerber, announcing Wim Fissette will coach her next year.

“I have no words. I cannot describe how I’m feeling. So much joy, so much happiness. I’m so happy to play the match I played, it was such a special moment.” – David Goffin, after upsetting Roger Federer in the semifinals of the ATP Finals.

“It’s a bit disappointing for me because it’s indoors, it’s a court I like to play on. But I had my chances and missed them. When he had them, he was very committed. I think that was the difference today.” – Roger Federer, after losing to David Goffin in the semifinals in London.

“Great eyes, great hands, great under pressure. I was a fighter, a killer. I hated to lose to anyone. My concentration was so intense. I could do anything with the ball.” – Pancho Segura, talking about himself.

“Sad day. Love my friend, coach and mentor.” – Jimmy Connors, on the death of Pancho Segura.

“Fifteen minutes of freezing, miserableness.” – Jack Sock, reporting on the conditions when and other players at the ATP Finals were routed from their London hotel because of a fire alarm.

 

SUPER ENDING

Grigor Dimitrov capped his best year by winning the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian outgunned David Goffin of Belgium three set to capture the Nitto ATP Finals. “It’s been an amazing week for me,” Dimitrov said. “It’s such an honor to be here and this week has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.” With his season-ending success, Dimitrov also catapulted to the ATP Rankings to third in the world behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Despite losing the final, Goffin also had great week. In the elite eight-player event, the Belgian upset both Nadal and Federer, only the sixth man to beat both in the same tournament. Goffin finished the year at a career-high seventh. “It was a special week for me,” the Belgian said. “A week with a lot of emotion and a lot of fatigue. Now I am feeling tired, but it was an amazing week.” Both Dimitrov and Goffin were playing in the ATP Finals for the first time in their careers.

 

SWISS STAR

What a way to end a season. Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic won her final 10 matches of the year and the last two tournaments. One week after capturing the EA Hua Hin Championship, Bencic defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands to capture the OEC Taipei Open in the Taiwanese capital. Once ranked as high as seventh in the world, Bencic’s late-season spurt has moved her back into the Top 100 after she was off the tour for nearly five months during the spring and summer with an injury. After beginning the Taipei Open final with a double-fault, Bencic took a 5-2 lead. Rus, however, fought back, sending the first set into a tiebreak, which Bencic won 7-3. She sprinted through the second set, dropping just one game and never facing a break point.

 

SUCCESSFUL RUN

Henri Kontinen and John Peers won the ATP Finals doubles crown for the seconds straight year. This time they knocked off Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the title match. A service break in the fifth game gave the winners the opening set. The eventual champions then broke in the opening game of the second set and Kubot and Melo were never able to challenge after that, also losing their serve in the fifth game.

 

SACRE BLEU

Roselyne Bachelot, who falsely accused Rafael Nadal of failing a drug test, will have to pay the Spanish star USD $18,000 in damage. Last year, Bachelot, a former French minister for health and sport, charged that Nadal’s seven-month injury layoff in 2012 was “probably due to a positive drug test.” Nadal went to court. “When I filed the (defamation) lawsuit against Mrs. Bachelot, I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete, but also the values I have defended all my career,” Nadal said in statement.  He said he wanted to keep public figures “from making insulting or false allegation against an athlete … without any evidence or foundation and go unpunished.” Nadal said he will donate the money to a non-governmental organization or a foundation in France.

 

STOPPED BY KNEE

After Rafael Nadal was upset by David Goffin in his first round-robin match, the top-ranked Spaniard pulled out of the ATP Finals with a knee injury. “I’m not ready to play,” Nadal said. “I fought a lot knowing it was my last match of the season. But my commitment was to try. I’ve missed this event too many times in my career.” Nadal has been dealing with tendinitis in his right knee. The loss and subsequent withdrawal ends a season in which Nadal won the French Open and US Open to boost his career total to 16 Grand Slam tournament titles.

 

SCARY NIGHT

A fire alarm in the middle of the night sent the world’s top men tennis players into the freezing cold in central London. “It was probably one of the most annoying noises I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” American Jack Scott said. “We were right there, kind of right in the center of it. Super loud, super annoying. I stayed in the room for a while, which obviously probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I’m not even sure what the exact reason why the alarm went off, but it was unbearable to stay in the room. Outside, we saw everyone, Rafa (Nadal), Dominic (Thiem). Everyone was all bundled up, freezing cold, just wanting to get back inside.” It was a false alarm.

 

STAR-STUDDED WEDDING

A star-studded guest list showed up in New Orleans to watch tennis star Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tie the knot. Holding the ceremony at the Contemporary Arts Center, the newly-weds were surrounded by a bevy of friends, families and celebrities along with their 2-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Among the attendees were sister Venus Williams, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and the members of New Edition, who played a five-song set during the reception.

 

SPLITTING AGAIN

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl are breaking up for a second time. With Hall of Famer Lendl coaching him, Murray won three Grand Slam tournament titles and two Olympic gold medals. But in an announcement on his website, Murray said the two “have mutually agreed to end their coaching relationship.” The two split for the first time in 2014 before reuniting last year about a month before Murray won his second Wimbledon title. “I’m thankful to Ivan for all his help and guidance over the years,” Murray said. “We’ve had great success and learned a lot as a team.” Under Lendl’s tutelage, Murray reached number one in the ATP rankings in November 2016. The Scot lost his top ranking in August before announcing he would miss the rest of the 2017 season because of a hip injury. He plays on returning to the ATP World Tour in January.

 

STEPANEK RETIRES

Not fully recovered from back surgery he underwent this year, Radek Štěpánek has decided to retire from tennis. The 38-year-old won five ATP singles titles and was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in 2006, when he reached a career-high eighth in the world rankings. Although suffering from back problems, Štěpánek teamed with India’s Leander Paes to win two Grand Slam tournament doubles titles, the Australian Open in 2012 and the US Open in 2013. Štěpánek helped the Czech Republic win the Davis Cup title in 2012 and 2013.

 

SIGNS NEW COACH

In a bid to regain her winning form, Angelique Kerber has a new coach. The German took on Wim Fissette of Belgium to replace Torben Beltz. Kerber won two Grand Slam tournament singles titles and an Olympic silver medal in 2016. She took over the world number one ranking this year before slumping. She didn’t win a title and her ranking fell to 21st in the world. “It’s a new chance and I’m curious to find out what we can achieve together,” Kerber said. Fissette previously worked with Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Johanna Konta.

 

SAD NEWS

Pancho Segura is dead at the age of 96. One of the world’s top amateur players in the 1940s and professionals in the 1950, Segura died of complications of Parkinson’s disease at his home in Carlsbad, California. Born into poverty in Ecuador, Francisco Olegario (Pancho) Segura taught himself how to play tennis at a club in Guayaquil. He developed into a South American champion when head coach Gardnar Mulloy recruited Segura to the University of Miami on a scholarship. He won the NCAA singles championship three years in a row, 1943-45. Four times he reached the semifinals of the US Championships, today the US Open, and was runner-up in men’s doubles and mixed doubles twice each at major tournaments in the 1940s. He turned pro in 1947, barnstorming with Bobby Riggs, Pancho Gonzalez and others. He played his last US Open singles match in 1970 reaching the second round at the age of 49. He began coaching tennis in 1962, his most famous student being Jimmy Connors.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

London: Henri Kontinen and John Peers beat Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4 6-2

Taipei: Veronika Kademetova and Aryna Sabalenka beat Monique Adamczak 2-6 7-6 (5) 10-6 (match tiebreak)

 

SURFING

Honolulu: https://hawaiitennisopen.com/

Dubai: www.habtoortennis.com

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

$150,000 Ea Hua Hin Open Challenger, Hua Hin, Thailand, hard

$100,000 Bengaluru Open, Bengalore, India, hard

 

WOMEN

$115,000 Hawaii Open, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, hard

$115,000 Mumbai Open, Mumbai, India, hard

 

DAVIS CUP

Final

France vs. Belgium at Lille, France, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS WEEK of Dec. 11

 

WOMEN

$100,000 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenger, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS WEEK of Jan. 1, 2018

 

MEN

$1,283,855 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Doha, Qatar, hard

$482,085 Maharashtra Open, Pune, India, hard

$461,330 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, Brisbane, Australia, hard

 

WOMEN

$1,000,000 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, Brisbane, Australia, hard

$750,000 Shenzhen Open, Shenzhen, China, hard

$250,000 ASB Classic, Auckland, New Zealand, hard

 

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov



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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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