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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS

                                  

MEN

Petra Kvitova beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-1 6-2 to win the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in St. Petersburg, Russia

Timea Babos beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-5 6-1 to win the Taiwan Open in Taipei, Taiwan

Kei Nishikori beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-1 6-4 to win the RBC Tennis Championships in Dallas, Texas, USA

Madison Brengle beat Jamie Loeb 6-1 6-2 to win the Dow Tennis Classic in Midland, Michigan, USA

 

DAVIS CUP

(First Round)

 

WORLD GROUP

France beat Netherlands 3-1 at Albertville, France

Italy beat Japan 3-1 at Morioka, Japan

Spain beat Great Britain 3-1 at Marbella, Spain

Germany beat Australia 3-1 at Brisbane, Australia

Kazakhstan beat Switzerland 4-1 at Astana, Kazakhstan

Croatia beat Canada 3-1 at Ostjek, Croatia

United States beat Serbia 3-1 at Nis, Serbia

Belgium beat Hungary 3-2 at Liege, Belgium

 

GROUP I

Americans Zone: Chile beat Ecuador 3-1 at Santiago, Chile; Colombia beat Barbados 5-0 at St. Michael, Barbados; Brazil beat Dominican Republic 3-2 at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Asia/Oceania Zone: China beat New Zealand 3-1 at Tianjin, China; Pakistan beat Korea 4-0 at Islamabad, Pakistan

Europe/Africa Zone: Israel beat South Africa 3-2 at Centurion, South Africa; Sweden beat Ukraine 3-2 at Dnipro, Ukraine; Austria beat Belarus 5-0 at St. Polten, Austria

 

GROUP II

Americas Zone: Venezuela beat Guatemala 3-1 at Guatemala, Guatemala; Uruguay beat El Salvador 4-1 at San Salvador, El Salvador; Mexico beat Puerto Rico 5-0 at Tijuana, Mexico; Peru beat Bolivia 4-0 at La Paz, Bolivia

Asia/Oceania Zone: Thailand beat Sri Lanka 3-2 at Colombo, Sri Lanka; Philippines beat Indonesia 4-1 at Jakarta, Indonesia; Hong Kong beat Iran 4-0 at Hong Kong; Lebanon beat Chinese Taipei 3-2 at Beirut, Lebanon

Europe/Africa Zone: Romania beat Luxembourg 4-1 at Piatra Neamt, Romania; Morocco beat Georgia 3-1 at Marrakech, Morocco; Poland beat Slovenia 3-2 at Maribor, Slovenia; Zimbabwe beat Turkey 3-1 at Harare, Zimbabwe; Egypt beat Norway 4-0 at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Denmark beat Ireland 4-1 at Birkerod, Denmark; Finland beat Tunisia at Tunis, Tunisia; Lithuania beat Estonia 3-1 at Siauliai, Lithuania

 

GROUP IV

Asia/Oceania Zone at Muscat Oman, hard: Oman and Singapore promoted to Group III in 2019

SAYING

“All week I played unbelievable matches and I really had to fight to make the final. It is not easy at the beginning of the year.” – Petra Kvitova, after winning the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy event.

“It’s been five-and-a-half weeks, amazing five-and-a-half weeks.” – Timea Babos, who continued her Australian Open doubles successes by winning the Taiwan Open singles title.

“It was so close. I went through all the emotions the whole weekend.” – Yannick Noah, Davis Cup coach whose French team defeated the Netherlands 3-1 when Adrian Mannarino edged Robin Haase in five sets.

“I am super positive and excited to follow my recovery through so I can come back to the place I love the most. The court.” – Novak Djokovic, announcing he has undergone elbow surgery.

“It’s awesome, it’s an amazing feeling, and without my teammates it wouldn’t have been possible.” – Alexander Zverev, whose straight-set win over Nick Kyrgios gave Germany a Davis Cup World Group victory over Australia.

ST. PETERSBURG TROPHY

Entering the tournament with a wild card, Petra Kvitova wound up winning the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, stomping defending champion Kristina Mladenovic in the final. “This was a special tournament for me,” Kvitova said after winning her first title of 2018. The title match was all Kvitova, who slammed seven aces and saved all three break points she faced in becoming the first left-hander to win a singles title in Russia. The victory extends Kvitova’s streak of winning at least one WTA title since 2011. “I fought very hard every single match,” Mladenovic said, “but Petra had an amazing week.” It was Kvitova’s 21st career singles title, fifth highest among active players and snapping the tie she had with Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska.

 

SURGERY ON ELBOW

Novak Djokovic underwent surgery to cure an elbow injury that has troubled him for the past two years. “I agreed with my team that I would try different methods after I finish in Australia and a few days ago I accepted to do a small medical intervention on my elbow,” the 30-year-old Serb said. “I’ve been carrying this injury for the past two years, and during this time I’ve been seeing many doctors. I took six months off last season, hoping to come back fully recovered, but unfortunately I still felt pain.” Once ranked number one in the world, Djokovic has won 12 Grand Slam tournament singles titles.

 

STRONG RETURN

Playing in his second tournament since missing nearly six months with a wrist injury, Kei Nishikori of Japan captured his first title in two years by winning the RBC Tennis Championships, an ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas, Texas, USA. It was Nishikori’s sixth Challenger circuit title and his first since 2010. The Japanese star was ranked as high as fourth in the world. But he was one of several players who saw their 2017 seasons cut short by injury. The 28-year-old Nishikori has used the Challenger Tour to rediscover his rhythm and find confidence in his return to the court. In the Dallas final, Nishikori easily beat American Mackenzie McDonald, turning aside all four break points he faced.

 

SURGING

It has been the best year of her career so far for Timea Babos. The Hungarian won the Taiwan Open singles title by beating Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova in straight sets. And that comes right after Babos teamed with Kristina Mladenovic to win the Australian Open women’s doubles and finished runner-up in the mixed doubles with Rohan Bopanna. “Starting with a quarterfinal (at the Shenzhen Open), winning my first Slam in doubles, beating a Top 10 player in singles (CoCo Vandeweghe in the first round of the Australian Open), and here winning another title in singles, it’s been amazing,” Babos said. “So far this season, in all my matches I’ve played, I’ve played good, I fought hard, and this is what happened all week here.” Kozlova took a 4-2 lead in the first set, breaking Babos twice. “It was not easy. She played really well and really aggressive in the first set,” Babos said. “But I stayed there, I got all the important moments, and I really fought hard.” Babos won five of the next six games to grab the first, and six of the next seven to capture the title.

 

STRONG SHOWING

Alexander Zverev’s 6-2 7-6 (3) 6-2 win over Nick Kyrgios gave Germany an unbeatable 3-1 victory over Australia in their Davis Cup World Group tie in Brisbane, Australia. Besides serving well throughout, only facing two break points in the match, Zverev also returned well in beating Australia’s top player. “(To win) against a very strong Australian team makes us very confident for the next round, for the upcoming years,” German captain Michael Kohlmann said. “We showed we have a lot of good players, a lot of strong players. We showed that we are able to go further than this.” It was a different Zverev than the player who needed five sets to stop 18-year-old Alex de Minaur. But after the Germans won the doubles to take a 2-1 led, Zverev broke Kyrgios twice to win the opening set in 23 minutes. The Australian appeared troubled by his elbow and often shook his right arm between points. Still, Kyrgios played much better and twice reached set point, only to have Zverev save them both, then take the tiebreak 7-3. It was all Germany after that.

 

SICK CALL

The blisters that forced him to retire from his semifinal against Roger Federer at the Australian Open are continuing to keep Hyeon Chung sidelined. The young Korean pulled out of next week’ New York Open because his feet have not fully recovered. The 21-year-old Chung became the first Korean to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament last month, beating Novak Djokovic along the way. But he had to stop during the second set against eventual champion Federer because of blisters on his feet.

 

STEP BACKWARDS

Australia’s troubled Bernard Tomic has entered two Challenger tournaments in Europe as his first steps back to a tennis career. That’s against the advice of several members of the Australian tennis community, who suggest Tomic step away from the game for at least 12 months. The Courier-Mail newspaper said Tomic has entered a Challenger level tournament in Lille, France, that begins March 19, and a second Challenger event in Alicante, Spain, that begins April 2.

 

SO COSTLY

Marcelo Rios, a member of Chile’s player support personnel team, was fined USD $2,500 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for verbal abuse toward a group of journalists covering Chile’s Davis Cup Americas Zone Group I tie against Ecuador. The referee reviewed video footage of the incident and determined that Rios’ comments were abusive and in violation of the Davis Cup Code of Conduct.

 

STAYING AWAY

Israel’s 3-2 Davis Cup Group I Europe/Africa Zone victory over South Africa was tense both on and off the court. The Israelis won both reverse singles after South Africa led 2-1 following the doubles. Dudi Sela began the final day by beating Lloyd Harris 7-6 (2) 6-1 before Eden Leshem downed Nicolaas Scholtz 6-3 7-5 in the decisive fifth match. While the two nations battled on the court, anti-apartheid activists protested outside the event over what they claim is Israeli racism against Palestinians. South African Sports Minister Thusal Nxesi also boycotted the event. The protests did not interfere with the play.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Dallas: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Christopher Rungkat beat Leander Paes and Joe Salisbury 6-4 3-6 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Midland: Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria beat Jessica Pegula and Maria Sanchez 7-5 4-6 10-8 (match tiebreak)

St. Petersburg: Timea Bacsinszky and Vera Zvonareva beat Alla Kudryavtseva and Katarina Srebotnik 2-6 6-1 10-3 (match tiebreak)

Taipei: Duan Ying-Ying and Wang Yafan beat Nao Hibino and Oksana Kalashnikova 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5)

 

lavackov

SURFING

Sofia: https://sofiaopen.bg/en

Quito: www.ecuadoropen.com.ec/

Montpellier: www.opensuddefrance.com/

Fed Cup: www.fedcup.com

Doha: www.qatartennis.org/tournaments/index/123

Rotterdam: www.abnamrowtt.nl/en/

New York: www.NewYorkOpen.com

Buenos Aires: https://argentinaopenatp.com/atp/es/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

$697,930 Diema Xtra Sofia Open, Sofia, Bulgaria, hard

$697,930 Open Sud de France, Montpellier, France, hard

$561,345 Ecuador Open, Quito, Ecuador, clay

$100,000 Kunel Patel San Francisco Open, San Francisco, California, USA, hard

 

FED CUP

First Round

WORLD GROUP

Belarus vs. Germany at Minsk, Belarus, hard

Czech Republic vs. Switzerland at Prague, Czech Republic, hard

France vs. Belgium at La Roche-sur-Yon, France, hard

United States vs. Netherlands at Asheville, Tennessee, USA, hard

 

WORLD GROUP II

Slovakia vs. Russia at Bratislava, Slovakia, hard; Australia vs. Ukraine at Canberra, Australia, grass; Romania vs. Canada at Cluj-Napoca, Romania, hard; Italy vs. Spain at Chieti, Italy, clay

 

GROUP I

Americas Zone at Asuncion, Paraguay, clay: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Venezuela

Asia/Oceania Zone at New Delhi, India, hard: China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Thailand

Europe/Africa Zone at Tallinn, Estonia, hard: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Great Britain, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey

 

GROUP II

Asia/Oceania Group at Isa Town, Bahrain, hard: Bahrain, Indonesia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Pacific Oceania, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

 

MEN

$2,485,960 ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, Rotterdam, Netherlands, hard

$748,450 New York Open, New York, New York, hard

$648,180 Argentina Open, Buenos Aires, Argentina, clay

 

WOMEN

$710,900 Qatar Total Open, Doha, Qatar, hard

 

Timea Babos

Timea Babos



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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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