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STARS

Marcel Granollers beat Juan Monaco 6-2 4-6 7-6 (3) to win the Valencia Open 500 in Valencia, Spain

Roger Federer beat Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-3 to win the Swiss Indoors Basel in Basel, Switzerland

Ana Ivanovic beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-0 to win the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia

Ayumi Morita beat Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2 6-2 to win the OEC Taipei Ladies Open in Taipei, Taiwan

Czech Republic win the Fed Cup

FED CUP

Championship

At Moscow, Russia

Czech Republic beat Russia 3-2 in Moscow, Russia

WHEELCHAIR

Invacare Doubles Masters

At Amsterdam, Netherlands

Men: Tom Egberink and Michael Jeremiasz beat Robin Ammerlaan and Stephane Houdet 6-4 6-2

Women: Sharon Walraven and Esther Vergeer beat Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 3-6 7-5 6-4

Quad: Nick Taylor and David Wagner beat Antonio Raffaele and Dorrie Timmermans-van Hall 7-5 6-4

SAYING

“It’s always the greatest for me to win the title here. See you next year.” – Roger Federer, after winning the Swiss Indoors in his native Basel for the fifth time.

“Petra (Kvitova) won two points, but we needed one more. I’m glad we’ve managed to (get) the third one. We all won it because victory is made of small pieces you have to put together. It’s teamwork.” – Petr Pala, Czech Fed Cup captain.

“He was getting impossible balls back and really making me play every shot. He was better and I didn’t use the opportunities I had. I don’t think I should speak about that third set.” – Novak Djokovic, after losing to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors.

“I felt like I didn’t do much wrong. It was a great match for me. Anabel and I practiced together all week, so it was nice we got a chance to play each other on the last day of the tournament.” – Ana Ivanovic, after beating Anabel Medina Garrigues to win in Bali, Indonesia.

“She was playing so well, I couldn’t do anything today. She has been number one in the world and she’s a very good player. I’m really happy with my week, but she was too good on the court today.” – Anabel Medina Garrigues.

“It has been a long time since I felt so good physically. I’m at a different point in my career to the younger guys, I have to focus on what’s better for my body, my mind, my family, and I think it was the right decision.” – Roger Federer, explaining his long layoff before playing in Basel, Switzerland.

“The difference between us today was that she had played so many such matches this season, while I rarely had such intriguing matches.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, after losing to Petra Kvitova in Fed Cup play.

SQUEAKER

Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke captured the decisive doubles to lift the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup title, edging Russia 3-2. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won both of her two singles matches, but Russia captured the other two singles to send the decision into the doubles. Hradecka and Peschke defeated Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-2 to give the Czech Republic its first Fed Cup title as an independent nation. Their last victory was in 1988 when they competed as Czechoslovakia. Kvitova beat Kirilenko to begin the first-match tie. Svetlana Kuznetsova then tied it by stopping Safarova. Kvitova opened the second day by besting Kuznetsova, but when Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stopped Safarova, it sent the tie into the decisive doubles.

STEADY AT HOME

Let’s face it: Roger Federer owns the Swiss Indoors Basel. It doesn’t hurt that the tournament is in Federer’s home town. Federer captured the title for the fifth time when he brushed aside Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-3. Basel is now the fifth tournament that Federer has won five or more times. Wimbledon and the US Open are two others that fit that description. Strangely, though, this was only the second title of 2011 for the world’s fourth-ranked player. Federer had not won since capturing Doha to begin the season in January. The Basel, Switzerland, title was the 68th in Federer’s career – fourth on the ATP Tour list behind Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe. Nishikori was seeking his second career title, the first coming three years ago at Delray Beach, Florida, USA.

SUPER BIRTHDAY PRESENT

Ana Ivanovic celebrated her 24th birthday in style, capturing her second straight Tournament of Champions title in Bali, Indonesia, by crushing Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-0. It was the Serb’s first tournament victory since she won the event a year ago, and only her first final of 2011. Granted a wild card into the final WTA event of the year, Ivanovic never lost a set and didn’t face a break point in the title match. “I feel great,” Ivanovic said. “I think I played an impeccable match today. I didn’t do much wrong and really stayed so focused.” The Spaniard had an even easier trip to the final as two of her opponents – Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki – retired with injuries. In her march to the title, Ivanovic snapped a two-match losing streak to Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals and downed longtime rival Nadia Petrova in the semis. “I’m super relaxed here, and that helps. I come here to compete, but I also spend lots of time on the beach and in the spa, and the people are so friendly – I’ve made many new friends. It’s just so enjoyable here.”

SPECIAL AWARD

Petra Kvitova is the winner of the year’s final Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award of 2011. The Wimbledon champion received the honor in recognition of her performance during the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup semifinal victory over Belgium in April. With Kvitova winning both of her singles matches, the Czech Republic won the Fed Cup title by defeating Russia 3-2 in Moscow. Kvitova increased her singles record for the year to 6-0. By winning the Heart Award, Kvitova was presented with a check for USD $10,000, which will be donated to her chosen charity of Help The Children. “For me it’s really nice,” Kvitova said. “I’m glad that I won because the people voted for me. I didn’t expect to win. I’m really happy that I can give the money to our charity in the Czech Republic.” Six Heart Awards were presented in 2011. Other recipients were Andrea Petkovic of Germany, Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia, Bianca Botto of Peru, Ayumi Morita of Japan and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between BNP Paribas and the International Tennis Federation. It aims to recognize players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.

SWISS STREET

Roger Federer has plenty of titles, trophies and honors. Now he’s going to have a street named after him. The city of Biel, Switzerland, will name a boulevard in honor of the 16-time Grand Slam tournament winner. The new Avenue Roger Federer will lead to the western Swiss city’s new sports complex. Biel is the headquarters of the Swiss Tennis Federation and was where Federer lived when he was a teenager at the national training center. The announcement came just a few days after Federer had a national railway locomotive named after him. There was a picture of Federer on the side of the locomotive.

SECOND TITLE

Marcel Granollers won his second tournament of the season when he rallied in the third set to outlast Juan Monaco in the final of the Valencia Open 500. En route to the title, the Spaniard defeated four Top 20 players, including Alexandr Dolgopolov, Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils and Juan Martin del Potro. “To win a title in Spain is very nice and special, as my family was with me today. The crowd helped me a lot during the week so thanks to them,” said Granollers, who edged Monaco in the final 6-2 4-6 7-6 (3). “I kept fighting and at the end I played very good,” said Granollers, who won a hard court title for the first time. His two previous victories have come on clay. Monaco hasn’t won a tournament since 2007, when he won all three of his careers titles.

SEVEN AND COUNTING

American twins Bob and Mike Bryan continue to break records as they dominate the ATP doubles scene. The two won their record 75th team title by defeating Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4 7-6 (9) in the Valencia Open 500 final. That gave the 33-year-old brothers eight titles in 2011, and during the week they clinched the year-end number one ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record seventh time. “It feels good to come away with another title here in the indoor season,” Mike Bryan said. “I think today’s final was high quality tennis by all four players and fortunately we squeaked out the second-set breaker.” Butorac and Rojer were seeking their fourth title of the season.

SET FOR LONDON

Known as the Indo-Pak Express, Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan have qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Their direct entry into the season-ending, eight-team field for the first time leaves three teams battling for the final berth. Bopanna and Qureshi have won two titles together this year, a grass-court crown in Halle, Germany, and an indoor hard court championship in Stockholm, Sweden. They also reached the semifinals of the US Open.

SPANISH PAIN

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from this week’s Paris Masters. “I won’t be playing this upcoming week the tournament in Paris Bercy,” the Spaniard said on his Facebook site. “It’s been a difficult decision to take, but I understand that it is what I need to do right now to prepare well for the end of this season and also for 2012.” In his post, Nadal did not mention any injury, nor did he say what his plans were for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held in London the week of November 20. Nadal hasn’t played since losing to Florian Mayer in the third round at the Shanghai Masters last month.

STAYING HOME

An injury to his right shoulder has caused Juan Martin del Potro to pull out of this week’s Paris Masters. “I felt pain in my right shoulder in Valencia and it hurt more and more as matches went on,” del Potro said in a statement released by organizers of the Paris tournament. “I must now think about rest.” Del Potro lost a chance to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals when he lost at Valencia, Spain. The Argentine is 10th in the standings, but only the top eight players qualify for the Finals.

Robin Soderling has withdrawn from the Paris Masters because of illness. The sixth-ranked Swede is suffering from viral infection mononucleosis and has not played since winning the title in Båstad, Sweden, in July. Soderling had been in a brilliant form this season, winning 38 of the 47 singles matches he played and capturing his first tournament of the year at Brisbane, Australia, where he defeated Andy Roddick. Soderling beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and also won at Marseille, France, beating Marin Cilic in the title match.

SERENA SCARED

When Serena Williams saw an unidentified man on her security camera screen, she thought he was an intruder and rushed to a panic room inside her Los Angeles, California, USA, mansion. Her assistant called 9-1-1 reporting a possible burglar or prowler. Police came and discovered the person was a drug tester making an unannounced call to do a random out-of-competition urine test. Serena has not played since the US Open because of injuries.

SWISS COURT

When Switzerland plays host to a first-round tie with the United States in February, the teams will battle on an indoor clay court in Fribourg, Switzerland. The biggest indoor arenas in Switzerland are in Geneva and Zurich, but neither was available for the February 10-12 match. So the Swiss tennis federation is holding the tie at the 7,200-seat capacity Forum Fribourg arena. While the Swiss federation announced the site of the competition, it did not say if Roger Federer would be on the Swiss team. The Davis Cup first round will be played two weeks after the Australian Open.

SIGNED UP

Sabine Lisicki of Germany has entered the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, in January. Earlier, Venus Williams announced she would be playing in the Auckland tournament, which will be held January 2-7. Lisicki reached the Wimbledon semifinals this year and is currently ranked 18th in the world. She also won WTA titles in Birmingham and Dallas before reaching the fourth round of the US Open. The big-serving German has victories this year over US Open champion Sam Stosur, French Open winner Li Na and Marion Bartoli of France – all three in the top 10. Last year Lisicki qualified for the ASB Classic main draw before being eliminated by Yanina Wickmeyer.

SKIT FOR TV

The rumor was that Venus and Serena Williams were going to be at the Tennis Center in Orlando, Florida, USA. Instead, two comedians showed up wearing atrocious-looking wigs that closely resembled the tennis stars. Entertainers Tyler the Creator and Lionel Boyce were filming a skit for their upcoming sketch comedy show “Loiter Squad,” which is expected to air early next year on Comedy Central. The point of the sketch was to film the reaction of disappointed fans who were expecting to see the Williams sisters.

SAD NEWS

Tom Brown, who lost the finals of two Grand Slam tournaments to Jack Kramer, is dead at the age of 89. Brown reached the men’s singles title matches at the 1946 United States Championships – now the US Open – and Wimbledon in 1947. Both times he was beaten by Kramer. In 1946, at the first Wimbledon following World War II, the unseeded Brown upset highly favored Pancho Segura of Ecuador before losing in five sets in the semifinals to eventual champion Yvon Petra of France. Brown did team with Kramer to win the men’s doubles and captured the mixed doubles title with fellow American Louise Brough. He also won the US Championships mixed doubles title with Brough. Brown played on three USA Davis Cup teams, including the 1946 champions. A native of Washington, DC, Brown grew up in San Francisco, California, USA, where he practiced law. His companion for the last nine years, Lee Tyler Bradford, said Brown suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

SHARED PERFORMANCE

Basel:

Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic beat Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-4 7-5

Taipei:

Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie beat Karolina Pliskova and Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (5) 5-7 10-5 (match tiebreak)

Valencia:

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan beat Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4 7-6 (9)

SURFING

Paris:

www.fft.fr/bnp-paribas-masters-0

Phoenix:

www.goldwaterwomensclassic.org

Geneva:

www.atpgeneva.com/

Ortisei:

www.atpvalgardena.it

Santiago:

www.royalguardchampions.cl

Bratislava:

www.slovakopen2011.sk/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

MEN

$3,155,000 BNP Paribas Paris Masters, Paris, France, hard

$90,600 Sparkasse ATP Challenger, Ortisei, Italy, carpet

$90,600 Geneva ATP Challenger, Geneva, Switzerland, hard

$75,000 Copa Topper, Buenos Aires, Argentina, clay

WOMEN

$75,000 Goldwater Women’s Tennis Classic, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

SENIORS

Royal Guard Champions, Santiago, Chile, clay

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

MEN

$220,000 ATP Challengers Tour Finals, Sao Paulo, Brazil, hard

$117,300 Slovak Open, Bratislava, Slovakia, hard



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About Bob Greene
Bob Greene, the esteemed former Associated Press tennis writer, wraps up the week that was in international tennis with his “Monday’s With Bob Greene” column – a revival of his popular weekly feature at the AP.

One Response to “Czech Republic Wins Fed Cup Title – Mondays with Bob Greene”

  1. I have a good feeling Kvitova would soon be World Number 1.