Juan Martin del Potro beat Richard Gasquet 64 6-2 to win the Estoril Open in Estoril, Portugal
Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Marin Cilic 7-6 (8) 6-3 to win the BMW Open in Munich, Germany
Andreas Seppi beat Benoit Paire 6-3 6-2 to win the Serbia Open in Belgrade, Serbia
Kaia Kanepi beat Carla Suárez Navarro 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-4 to win the Estoril Open women’s singles in Estoril, Portugal
Sara Errani beat Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-4 to win the Budapest Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1 6-4 to win the Tunis Open in Tunis, Tunisia
Carlos Moya beat Greg Rusedski 6-4 6-4 to win the Seguros Bolivar Tennis Champons in Medellín, Colombia
Europe Zone Group III at Sofia, Bulgaria: Bulgaria and Lithuania promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II for 2013
“I didn’t imagine to win any titles this year and now I have three.” – Sara Errani, who won her third straight clay court tournament.
“It’s always disappointing to lose a final. I’ve lost five times to (Novak) Djokovic and (Roger) Federer (in previous finals); now (Juan Martin) del Potro. They were better than me.” – Richard Gasquet, following his runner-up finish to del Potro in the Estoril Open.
“I was playing very well at the beginning, but Sara is the kind of player who destroys your game and makes you feel uncomfortable on the court.” – Elena Vesnina, after losing the Budapest final to Sara Errani.
“Winning a seventh title on this tour is a great feeling and winning this one is very special because I lost here last year. I guess it completes the circle.” – Carlos Moya, after winning a record seventh consecutive tournament on the ATP Champions Tour.
“I’ve won a few matches from match points down but I’ve never won a final like this. I’ll remember this final in a good way for a long time.” – Kaia Kanepi, after staving off two match points en route to winning in Estoril, Portugal.
“I was a point away, but Kaia played really well and credit to her for the way she recovered. It was a good week for me and I’m motivated to keep working and getting better. I like clay a lot. I’m looking forward to Madrid.” – Carla Suárez Navarro, who lost to Kaia Kanepi in the Estoril Open women’s final.
“I am getting closer and closer to my best form. I have worked really hard at home and now I have another important tournament next week to improve further. If I play as well as I did today over the coming days, I will be happy.” – Juan Martin del Potro, after winning in Estoril.
“He played very well. He’s very powerful, has a great service, a great forehand and backhand. He deserved this win. He played better than me. He’s very tall and has a good second serve and was hitting the ball very well. He was the better player today.” – Richard Gasquet, following his loss to Juan Martin del Potro.
“I only had hard matches against tough players this week. I’m not used to playing so many hard matches against great players in a row. It was a great week for me but of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t do better in my first final. I have my birthday in two days and this would have been the perfect gift.” – Benoit Paire, after losing to Andreas Seppi in the Serbia Open final.
“It is a great feeling to win our first title together. We never gave up, always believed in each other and our ability. It’s been a tough week. We had a few tough matches and we had a little more pressure with Jules having won it last year.” – Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, who teamed with Jean-Julien Rojer to win the doubles in Estoril.
“This title means a lot. I was injured and it was tough to come back. And though my fitness trainer was with me here, I quit with my coach recently, so it means a lot I did this on my own. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a coach now.” – Kaia Kanepi.
“It was the first time we played together and we won, so for sure I’m happy. We really started to find our tempo after the first set, and we just got better and better as the match went on. Hopefully we’ll play together again.” – Chuang Chia-Jung, after teaming with Zhang Shuai to win the Estoril Open women’s doubles.
“It’s the surface and the dates that really attract the players … You don’t realize the amount of money involved for the rankings. Take an average player, let’s say who’s ranked 50. In his contract, if he has a good agent, in his contract is going to say, ‘If you get to the top 15 you’re going to make, you know, $100,000.” – Donald Dell, tournament director and co-founder of the Citi Open, on why some players will opt to play his event in Washington, DC, rather than the London Olympics.
“’It’s practically unrepeatable and impossible for what he did last year to happen again.” – Rafael Nadal, on the possibility of Novak Djokovic repeating his record and play of 2011.
Sara Errani just keeps winning. The Italian right-hander extended her clay court streak to 15 matches and three tournaments as she won the Budapest Grand Prix, defeating Elena Vesnina in the final. Vesnina, who has yet to win a title but has reached six finals, grabbed a 5-3 lead in the opening set and had two set points. But Errani ripped off seven straight games to build a 7-5 3-0 lead and easily won. “Elena was playing very strong today – my congratulations to her for that. I had to run a lot and fight hard to keep up with her today,” said Errani, who became the first player to win straight WTA titles on clay since Nadia Petrova in 2006. Errani’s 15-match winning streak on clay is the longest clay-court winning streak since Dinara Safina won 16 in a row in 2009.
SEVEN FOR MOYA
Carlos Moya continued his domination of the ATP Champions Tour by winning a record seventh consecutive title. His latest trophy came at the Seguros Bolivar Tennis Champions in Medellín. Colombia, where he beat Greg Rusedski 6-4 6-4 in the title match. Moya has lost only one match in his first year on the senior tour. That came 12 months ago when he lost to Mark Philippoussis in the final in his debut tournament in Colombia. Since then he’s been unbeatable.
Juan Martin del Potro became just the third player to win the Estoril Open in successive years. The Argentine defended his title by besting second-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-2 in the title match. Others who have won the Portuguese ATP clay court stop twice in a row were Thomas Muster (1995-96) and Albert Montanes (2009-2010). “I just played my game and raised my level all week,” del Potro said. “Today was my best match. To win two titles here is great. I played aggressive all the way and served well. I’m gaining confidence on my forehand, which is important to my game. My confidence is building.”
STRUGGLING, BUT WINNING
Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi never gave up and kept fighting. It finally paid off with a dramatic victory over Carla Suárez Navarro in the Estoril Open women’s singles final. After all, Suárez Navarro won the opening set and had a 5-3 lead in the second. She held two match points in the tiebreak and even led 4-2 in the third set before Kanepi’s power was finally too much for her Spanish opponent. After two hours and 37 minutes, Kanepi prevailed 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-4, her third WTA title. It proved she is back after missing a month and a half earlier this year with a shoulder injury. Suárez Navarro fell to 0-3 in WTA finals.
Grigor Dimitrov put on a devastating performance as he led Bulgaria to victory and a promotion to the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2013. Ranked 94th in the world, Dimitrov clinched the tie for Bulgaria when he hammered Macedonia’s Tomislav Jotovski 6-0 6-0 in just 45 minutes. Todor Enev and Petar Trendafilov captured the doubles as Bulgaria the tie 3-0. Dimitar Kuzmanov came from behind to give Bulgaria its first point, besting Macedonia’s Shendrit Deari 1-6 6-2 7-5.
Lithuania also advanced to the Europe/Africa Zone Group II next year, thanks to the heroics of Ricardis Berankis. After Theodoros Angelinos gave Greece the lead by beating Laurynas Grigelis 7-5 6-7 (8) 6-4, Berankis knotted the tie with a7-6 (4) 6-3 win over Paris Gemouchidis. Berankis, who is ranked 177th in the world, then teamed with Grigelis to win the decisive doubles 6-2 7-5.
With defending champion Novak Djokovic staying home, the Serbia Open was won by Andreas Seppi, only the second title of his career. In the title match Seppi stopped an error-prone Benoit Paire of France, who was playing in his first ATP final. “It was a fantastic week for me,” Seppi said. “I managed to win this time.” The Serbia Open is organized by the Djokovic family. The world’s top player pulled out of this year’s event because of the death of his grandfather.
Citing a back injury, Andy Murray won’t be playing the Madrid Masters this week. Murray won the tournament in 2008 when it was staged on an indoor hard court. The event has been played on clay since 2009. This year the tournament is being played on an all-new blue clay surface, which some players have criticized. In last year’s final, Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal.
When Kim Clijsters won the US Open women’s singles title while her daughter was watching, the Dutch woman became just the latest mother to capture one of the four major tennis titles. With Mother’s Day being celebrated in many parts of the world, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum noted the mothers who stood in the winner’s circle. Clijsters has added two more Grand Slam tournament trophies to her total, the 2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open. Evonne Goolagong won seven Grand Slam tournament titles, including two after the birth of her daughter, the 1977 Australian Open and 1980 Wimbledon. Margaret Court Smith was a mother when she won the Australian, French and US Opens in 1973. Sarah Palfrey Cooke captured the US Championships in 1945 as a 33-year-old mother; Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman won her forth US title in 1919 after giving birth; Charlotte Cooper Sterry won the 1908 Wimbledon, three years after the birth of her daughter Gwen, who went on to compete on Britain’s Wightman Cup team; and Blanche Bingley Hillyard won Wimbledon four times after having children: in 1894, 1897, 1899 and 1900.
The number of top players who will compete in the AEGON Championships in London continues to grow. Janko Tipsarevic and Mardy Fish both have joined the field that includes defending champion Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro. The grass court event at The Queen’s Club on June 11-17 also will feature Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, David Nalbandian, Marcos Baghdatis, Grigor Dimitrov, Ryan Harrison, Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic. “We are delighted that so many of world’s leading players have chosen to compete at the AEGON Championships,” tournament director Chris Kermode said. “Six of the world’s top 12 players will be playing, in addition to four-time champion Andy Roddick. We are looking forward to a fantastic week of tennis.”
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has selected Dan James as the 2011 Wheelchair Tennis Coach of the Year. The manager of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Wheelchair Tennis and the United States wheelchair tennis coach, will be presented with a trophy during eh 2012 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Seoul, Korea. James also was given the honor in 2007, when he served as the head coach at the Parapan American Games. The coach of the year is nominated by the International Wheelchair Tennis Association (IWTA) member nations, and then voted on by the IWTA Management Committee.
Sam Querrey is heading to Newport, Rhode Island, USA, right after Wimbledon to play in the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. The only grass-court event in the United States will be held July 9-15. Querrey, who has been ranked as high as 17th in the world, took off much of 2011 because of injuries. He recently won a Challenger event in Sarasota, Florida, USA and is ranked 80th in the South African Airways ATP World Tour rankings. It will be Querrey’s fourth appearance in Newport, where he was a finalist in 2009. Others who have committed to the tournament include defending champion John Isner and the world’s top-ranked doubles team, brothers Bob and Mike Bryan.
SITE TO SEE
Caroline Wozniacki will be seeking her first consecutive title when she returns to the New Haven Open in August. Wozniacki has never lost in the Connecticut city and won last year’s championship without dropping a set. She currently is tied with Venus Williams for the most titles in New Haven. Williams won the tournament four times between 1999 and 2002. The final tune-up before the US Open, the New Haven Open also received commitments from Agnieszka Radwanska and young American Christina McHale.
Brian Baker has earned a main draw wild card into the 2012 French Open. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Player Development awarded the men’s singles main draw wild card into Roland Garros to the American player who finished with the best combined results at USTA Pro Circuit clay-court challengers in Sarasota, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. Baker won the Savannah tournament and reached the second round in Sarasota. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2012 French and US Opens are exchanged.
The American wild card into the women’s singles in Paris went to Melanie Oudin, based on results at USTA Pro Circuit clay court tournaments at Dothan, Alabama; Charlottesville, Virginia, and Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. Oudin won the Charlottesville tournament and reached the second round at the others. Ranked as high as 31st in the world, Oudin is currently ranked 278th.
SUBSCRIBE FOR A PAVER
New “neighborhoods” are being added to the Avenue of Aces at the US Open to honor singles champions Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Stefanie Graf and the late wheelchair tennis pioneer Randy Snow. They join tennis greats Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Billie Jean King in lending their names to the Avenue of Aces charitable initiative. The Avenue of Aces allows the public to order their own personalized pavers. Since its inception in 2005, the Avenue of Aces initiative has raised more than USD $1.5 million to support program that benefit people with disabilities and children in underserved communities with opportunities to play tennis, fight obesity, improve academics and apply for college scholarships.
SO SUE ME
Taking exception to some advertising claims, tennis ball maker Penn and its parent, Head USA Inc., has filed a federal suit against Dunlop International Ltd. And Dunlop Sports Group Americas Inc. In its lawsuit, Penn Racquet Sports Inc. claimed that Dunlop has been misleading the public by labeling Dunlop balls as the “World’s No. 1 Ball” and boasting that it has a 70 percent share of the global tennis ball market. Penn argues that Dunlop doesn’t have the largest worldwide share and thus should not be allowed to use the number one claim. According to the lawsuit, Dunlop has agreed to stop using the number one claim but hasn’t.
Bloomberg is reporting that Prince Sports Inc. has sought bankruptcy protection, citing as much as USD $100 million each in assets and debts. According to Bloomberg, the maker of the first oversize tennis racquet plans to change its business model to become more competitive. The New Jersey-based company fired Chapter 11 documents in US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. Among the company’s largest unsecured creditors were Da Sheng International Holding Ltd. Of Taiwan and Pais International Ltd. and Marshal Industrial Corp., both of Hong Kong. The documents said each was owed more than USD $1.9 million in trade debt.
Belgrade: Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram beat Martin Emmrich and Andreas Siljestrom 4-6 6-2 10-6 (match tiebreak)
Budapest: Janette Husarova and Magdalena Rybarikova beat Eva Birnerova and Michaella Krajicek 6-4 6-2
Estoril (men): Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer beat Julian Knowle and David Marrero 7-5 7-5
Estoril (women): Chuang Chia-Jung and Zhang Shuai beat Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboeva 4-6 6-1 11-9 (match tiebreak)
Munich: Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek beat Xavier Malisse and Dick Norman 6-4 7-5
Tunis: Jerzy Janowicz and Jurgen Zopp beat Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler 7-6 (1) 6-3
Davis Cup: www.daviscup.com
Sao Paulo: www.grandchampionsbrasil.com.br
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$4,088,000 Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid, Spain, clay
$112,446 Strabag Prague Open, Prague, Czech Republic, clay
$5,189,000 Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid, Spain, clay
$100,000 Open GDF SUEZ de Cagnes-sur-mer Alpes-Maritimes, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France, clay
Grand Champions Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil, clay
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$3,188,415 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, clay
$111,621 BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, clay
$2,168,400 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, clay
$100,000 Sparta Prague Open, Prague, Czech Republic, clay