US Open (First Week)
Martin Klizan beat fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 1-6 6-1 6-3
Marion Bartoli beat fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova 1-6 6-2 6-0
Irina-Camelia Begu beat eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-2
Laura Robson beat ninth-seeded Li Na 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat 10th-seeded Juan Monaco 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (6) 7-6 (3)
“I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.” – Andy Roddick, announcing his retirement from tennis after this year’s US Open.
“I think the first hour after the match there was still disappointment and a little bit of frustration. You know, still kind of had that routine of going through the match and trying to figure out how to do it better next time. But obviously now, after talking and kind of thinking about the retirement in singles, I’m happy. … It’s been an incredible journey, and a lot of dreams for me have come true because of tennis.” – Kim Clijsters, after falling to Laura Robson in the final singles match of her career
“Kim always displayed grace and character on and off the court. So it’s appropriate that Arthur Ashe Stadium brought out her best, because she embodies so many of Arthur’s qualities. We will miss this great champion, and we wish Kim and her family all the best.” – Jon Vegosen, USTA president, on the retirement of three-time US Open women’s singles champion Kim Clijsters.
“I’m thankful for everything he’s done for the game, especially here for tennis in America. It’s not been easy after Agassi and Sampras, Courier, Chang, Connors, McEnroe, you name it. … It’s been hard for him as well at times. I thought he always did the best he could; that’s all you can ask from a guy.” – Roger Federer, commenting on Andy Roddick’s retirement
“It’s part of the game in sport. I always joke because people say sport is good for you. But, you know, we are always hurting. You know, it’s hard on the heart, too.” – Ana Ivanovic, when asked if she had learned to play through injury and with pain.
“The guy’s a freak. He’s so good. It’s really incredible. I could spend another hour talking about the things I’m impressed with by him.” – James Blake, talking about Roger Federer.
“You certainly don’t get confused in the locker room. You hear your name and you know it’s about you.” – Samantha Stosur, commenting on being called “Sam.”
“I’ve decided that tennis is what I love and that’s what I really want to do. So I give 100 percent all the time, practice, matches.” – Sloane Stephens, after upsetting 22nd-seeded Francesca Schiavone.
“I’m definitely better than last fall. Last fall I didn’t play any tournaments and I was at home watching on TV. So there’s a big difference between watching on TV and being in a tournament. For me it’s very rewarding, it’s very exciting.” – Venus Williams, comparing her health this year to last.
“She was crushing her serves. I don’t think anyone’s returning those, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much.” – Bethanie Mattek-Sands, after a 124-mph serve by Venus Williams jammed Mattek-Sand’s left index finger so hard she needed attention from a trainer.
“It’s a humbling experience, for sure. It’s certainly nice to feel appreciated at the end of all of it. … It’s a good feeling. Kind of an outpouring of support from inside the tennis world and outside the tennis world in the last 24 hours is certainly not something that I expected to the lengths it’s come from.” – Andy Roddick, on the commentary about his retirement.
“I was feeling like I was melting out there.” – Agnieszka Radwanska, after beating Jelena Jankovic in steamy hot weather.
“I’d be an idiot not to use the crowd right now. It’s a huge advantage.” – Andy Roddick.
SAYS ENOUGH’S ENOUGH
Andy Roddick picked his 30th birthday to announce he will be retiring following this year’s US Open. “I’ll make this short and sweet,” Roddick said to begin his press conference Thursday “I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament.” The 2003 US Open champion, his only Grand Slam tournament title, Roddick became the youngest American to finish the season at number one in the ATP rankings. He reached four other major finals – three times at Wimbledon, in 2004, ’05 and ’09, and at the 2006 US Open. He lost to Roger Federer each time. The 2009 Wimbledon final was decided in a 16-14 fifth set, Roddick not dropping serve until the final game, holding 37 straight service games. Since turning pro in 2000, Roddick has won 610 matches and 32 titles – the second and third, respectively, among active players on the ATP World Tour. He became the 19th player in the Open Era to reach the 600 match wins plateau this past June en route to the grass-court title at Eastbourne, England. “I’ve been very lucky and very fortunate,” Roddick said. “I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities. I wouldn’t trade away a day of it. I’ve loved every minute.”
Laura Robson’s run through past Grand Slam tournament champions ended with last year’s US Open winner. Samantha Stosur ousted her young British opponent 6-4 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, USA. At 18 the youngest player in the top 100 in the WTA rankings, Robson had become the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1991 to reach the fourth round of the US Open. She defeated three-time US Open winner Kim Clijsters in the second round, then eliminated 2011 French Open champion Li Na to gain her fourth-round berth. Stosur, however, finally overcame Robson, who still put up a game fight. In fact, Stosur didn’t close out the victory until the ninth match point over three games.
It could be just a coincidence that America’s top doubles teams are siblings. Don’t look at the rankings, just the results. Leading the men are twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won more titles together than any other team. Sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who needed a wild card to get into the event, are a strong favorite to add the US Open title to the trophies they’ve collected this summer at Wimbledon and the London Olympics. Then there are the Harrisons. Brothers Ryan and Christian Harrison have been the big surprise in the men’s doubles, advancing to the quarterfinals as wild cards. The two eliminated the 14th-seeded British team of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins 6-3 6-4. They began the two-week event by upsetting the fourth-seeded Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski then defeated the Israeli duo of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. Christian, at 18 two years younger than his brother Ryan, had never played a main draw match at the tour level before in either singles or doubles. The brothers had played just one professional match together entering the Open, having reached the quarterfinals at last year’s Sarasota Challenger.
America’s top women’s doubles team, according to the rankings, is Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. The defending US Open champions, they were seeded number one at this year’s tournament. That was before Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain upset the top seeds 6-4 2-6 6-4.
Kim Clijsters has retired again – this time for good. Her retirement came in spurts as she played three events in her announced final tournament, the US Open, which she has won three times. In 2001 Clijsters became the first Belgian to reach a Grand Slam tournament final when she played in the French Open title match. Nearly two years after winning the US Open in 2005, Clijsters retired, got married and had a daughter. She returned to the game in 2009 and became the first unranked woman in the Open Era to win the US Open in just her third tournament back. That also made her the first mother since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980 to win a major title. The following year, 2010, the Belgian won the US Open for the third time. Clijsters’ singles career ended in a second-round loss to Britain’s Laura Robson. She then lost her first-round doubles match where she teamed with compatriot Kirsten Flipkens. Her retirement began when she and American Bob Bryan were defeated by Bruno Soares of Brazil and Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the mixed doubles. “It was an honor to be part of this lifestyle and this sport,” Clijsters said. “I started when I was four and had so many dreams come true. But life goes on.”
Clijsters posted a career US Open record of 38 victories against just six losses. She won 22 consecutive matches during her title runs in 2005, 2009 and 2010, the second longest win streak among women in the tournament’s history, trailing only Chris Evert.
SEVEN MAJORS, SEVEN WINNERS
If history is any judge, a new Grand Slam tournament women’s singles winner will be crowned when this year’s US Open is over. That’s because the last seven major tournaments have yielded seven different winners, one shy of the Open Era record. As of Sunday night, seven women who have never won a major were still in the running, led by Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska. Beginning with the 2011 Australian Open, the women’s singles champions have been, in order, Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. Sharapova and Williams were among the winners when eight different women captured the majors from the French Open in 2004 to the Australian Open in 2006. They were, in order: Anastasia Myskina, Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Amélie Mauresmo. Beginning with the 1977 Australian Open, eight different players won, including, in order: Kerry Ann Reid, Mima Jausovec, Virginia Wade, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Virginia Ruzici and Martina Navratilova.
Three different men have won the first three Grand Slam tournaments this year: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal is not playing the US Open because of injuries. If someone besides Azarenka, Sharapova, Serena Williams, Djokovic and Federer win this year’s US Open, it would be the third time in the Open Era wherein both the men and women had four different Grand Slam tournament winners in the same year. The other occurrences were in 1990 and 1998.
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro reached the second week of the US Open for the first time since he won the year’s final Grand Slam tournament in 2009. Seeded seventh this year, del Potro advanced to the fourth round by defeating countryman Leonardo Mayer 6-3 7-5 7-6 (9). Three years ago, the Argentine beat Roger Federer in the final. In 2010, he was unable to defend his championship after undergoing surgery on his right wrist. Last year, del Potro was ousted in the third round. Del Potro beat Novak Djokovic in the London Olympics to capture the bronze medal.
English football star Wayne Rooney made a blunder who he wrote the wrong name when he took to Twitter to sing the praises of Laura Robson after she beat China’s Li Na, the tournament’s ninth-seeded player. Unfortunately, he wrote, “Laura Robinson is playing brilliant good luck Laura.” He quickly composed a red-faced correction. Robson, however, forgave Rooney, saying celebrity interest can only be good for her and tennis. “He called me Robinson. I saw that when I was stretching,” the British left-hander said. “Can you blame that on predictive text? I’m not so sure. But it’s great that he watched, even though he got my name wrong. The more people watch the better. Maybe a few people a bit younger than me have seen his tweets and said, ‘I want to play a bit of tennis now.’”
Maria Sharapova is available again. Following her third-round victory over American Mallory Burdette, Sharapova told a news conference that she is no longer engaged to professional basketball player Sasha Vujacic. Actually, the relationship has been over “since the end of spring,” she noted, and then added: “I was waiting for someone to actually ask me that question, but nobody did, directly. It was obviously a challenging decision, you know, from both of our ends.” Vujacic announced their engagement nearly two years ago. A first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004, Vujacic was traded to the New Jersey Nets in the 2010-11 season, and then left the NBA to play in Turkey. “It was a really nice period of time for both of us, but, you know, our career schedules just made it extremely difficult to see each other with the traveling, and especially his career move to Turkey,” Sharapova said. “He wasn’t able to travel much. He wasn’t home one time during the 10 months that he was in Turkey, so that made it extremely difficult.”
SEEDED NUMBER ONE
By virtue of his number one ranking, Roger Federer was given the top seed in the men’s singles at the US Open for the first time since 2009. This is the sixth time Federer has been seeded number one at America’s premier tennis event, breaking the record he previously held with John McEnroe for the most by any man in the Open Era. Steffi Graf was seeded number one nine times, while Chris Evert is second with seven number one seeds.
New York: www.usopen.org
Quebec City: www.challengebell.com/
Davis Cup: www.daviscup.com
ATP World Tour: www.atpworldtour.com/
International Tennis Federation: www.itftennis.com
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
US Open, New York, New York, USA, hard (second week)
$106,332 AON Open Challenger, Genova, Italy, clay
US Open, New York, New York, USA, hard (second week)
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$220,000 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hard
$220,000 Bell Challenger, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, hard
$100,000 Ningbo International Challenger, Ningbo, China, hard
Spain vs. United States at Gijon, Spain, clay
Argentina vs. Czech Republic at Buenos Aires, Argentina, clay
World Group II Playoffs
(Winners advance to World Group in 2013)
Kazakhstan vs. Uzbekistan at Astana, Kazakhstan, clay
Germany vs. Australia at Hamburg, Germany, clay
Japan vs. Israel at Tokyo, Japan, hard
Belgium vs. Sweden at Brussels, Belgium, clay
Canada vs. South Africa at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, hard
Brazil vs. Russia at Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil, clay
Italy vs. Chile at Napoleon, Italy, clay
Netherlands vs. Switzerland at Amsterdam, Netherlands, clay
World Group III Third Round
(Winners advance to Group II in 2013)
American Zone: Dominican Republic vs. Mexico at Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, clay
Asia/Oceania: Indonesia vs. Philippines at Jakarta, Indonesia, hard
Europe/Africa: Latvia vs. Ukraine at Liepaja, Latvia, hard