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STARS

Roger Federer beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-4 to win the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany

Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic 5-7 7-5 6-3 to win The Aegon Championships in London, Great Britain

Simona Halep beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3 to win the Nürnberger Versicherungscup in Nürnberg, Germany

Daniela Hantuchova beat Donna Vekic 7-6 (5) 6-4 to win The Aegon Classic in Birmingham, Great Britain

SAYING

Roger Federer returns to the winner’s circle in Halle

“I thought I played well from the start and I really had to fight for it, in the semis against Tommy Haas and in the finals against Mikhail Youzhny. I think I did well today and they are exactly the kind of wins I need at this part of the season.” – Roger Federer, after capturing his first title of the year.

“The difference was that he was better today – he’s been better all his life.” – Mikhail Youzhny, who lost to Roger Federer in the final at Halle.

“He’s one of the best grass court players in the world. Me and Marin, we have played against each other since the juniors and we have had a lot of close matches and tight matches. I was lucky to come through in the end because he was playing great tennis, especially towards the end of the second set and I got a little bit lucky at the end of that set.” – Andy Murray, who beat Marin Cilic to win the title at Queen’s Club.

“It was a great match from both sides, a great level of tennis. Andy showed he is capable of coming back; he’s a great fighter. Congratulations to him for a great week. It was an extremely great week for me. I enjoyed all my matches. It wasn’t easy. I had some tough fights.” – Marin Cilic.

“It feels great to finally get the title. The first week on grass is always really demanding on the body, so I’m proud of how I made it through so many long matches throughout the week. And when I really needed to, I was tough mentally. I’ve been playing here since ’99, I think – it was about time I got the title.” – Daniela Hantuchova, after winning at Birmingham, Great Britain.

“I have mixed emotions right now. I can’t be happy after losing a match, but it was a great week for me and I’m happy I could reach the finals. And I gave it my all today – maybe it wasn’t my best tennis, but it was the best I could do today, and Daniela was just the better player out there.” – Donna Vekic, following her loss to Daniela Hantuchova at Birmingham, Great Britain.

“It is something that right now seems light-years away, something that I am not even thinking about.” – Rafael Nadal, when asked about matching Federer’s record 17 Grand Slam tournament titles.

“Ten years ago I went into Wimbledon with so much pressure, even though I had lost in the first round the year before. In terms of needing to prove my point that I was a legitimate Grand Slam contender, I had incredible pressure. Now, 10 years later, I know Wimbledon, I know Halle, I know my way around and what I need to do to perform well. I’m going in with pressure because I’m defending my title. There’s always pressure because it’s a privilege to play at Wimbledon and I want to do so, so well.” – Roger Federer.

“Always having a title you feel happy, especially one week away from Wimbledon. It’s the first tournament on grass this year and to win it gives us confidence.” – Santiago Gonzalez, after teaming with Scott Lipsky to win the Gerry Weber Open doubles.

“I think it is disappointing for a serve-and-volley player to go down like this. It shows also how easy it is to hit passing shots or returns today.” – Roger Federer, after beating Mischa Zverev 6-0 6-0 in the Gerry Weber Open quarterfinals.

“Andrea beat me in Romania a few years ago and I’m happy I could win against her here today. She played great and the atmosphere was great. It’s an unbelievable feeling to win my first WTA title.” – Simona Halep, who beat Andrea Petkovic in the final of the Nürnberger Versicherungscup.

“There are definitely more positives than negatives. The good thing is Simona made it a little easier for me to get over the loss because she played such an incredible match. She played an almost perfect match, especially after she found her rhythm in the middle of the first set. I wasn’t playing my best tennis, but even if I was playing my best tennis, it would be a very, very tough call.” – Andrea Petkovic.

“There is no one leader. If there is a guy playing better than the other, he doesn’t try to be the leader. Because that is not good. You don’t want to feel that your brother is carrying you.” – Mike Bryan, on how he and brother Bob play winning doubles.

“As twins, you see your twin as an equal. You don’t want to feel like you are dominating. When one of us starts to talk and bosses the other around, that is a negative for us. It is better in big moments, when we don’t say too much.” – Bob Bryan.

“I love playing as many weeks on grass as possible. Yeah, that’s why the Olympics and playing Newport (Rhode Island, USA) last year was so special to me because I could play a bigger chunk of tournaments. I think it’s a unique surface. There are certain players that play really well on it.” – Lleyton Hewitt, who is second only to Roger Federer in number of match wins on grass among active players.

“Happy Father’s Day to our awesome Dad back home in California. He is the reason we fell in love with this game so many years ago.” – Bob Bryan.

STILL WINNING

Halle, Germany, seemed as good a place as any for Roger Federer to return to the winner’s circle. Federer used the grass-court tournament to prepare for his defense of his Wimbledon title by rallying from a set down to beat Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny and capture his first title of 2013. “I have won a lot in my career but not recently,” said Federer, who hadn’t won since August 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. “I am happy it worked for me today.” Youzhny played brilliantly and matched Federer with hammering ground strokes. Federer took home the Gerry Weber Open title for the sixth time after playing for two hours, 2 minutes. It was his 77th career title, tying him with John McEnroe for third place in the career titles list behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. “I was satisfied with my game in the past 10 months,” Federer said. “Maybe people thought I was playing badly. That was not the case. I was playing well but when it mattered the others were just better. Today it worked well.”

STRONG AGAIN

Andy Murray overcame an opening-set groin strain and a strong performance by defending champion Marin Cilic to win his third Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club. In gaining his 27th career singles title, Murray rallied to defeat Cilic 5-7 7-6 6-3. It was his first tournament since he withdrew from the French Open with a back injury. “I worked very hard in the time that I had off to try and get myself in the best shape possible,” Murray said. The winner screamed in agony in the eighth game of the match when his foot slipped on the grass and he strained his groin. He continued to play without treatment. “It was just a bit sore on the groin area, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad,” Murray said. Murray also won the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in 2009 and 2011, and became the sixth player to win Queen’s Club three or more times.

SLOVAKIAN CHAMPION

Daniela Hantuchova was the experienced veteran and ranked higher. She was supposed to win, considering her opponent in the final was 16-year-old Donna Vekic. But even in defeat Vekic showed she could be the face of the future on the WTA tour. “This was my second WTA final and I’m still only 16,” said Vekic, the youngest player in the top 350 in the rankings. “Things have gone fast so far in my career, but I’m hoping when I make my third final I will win it. But it’s been a great week, considering it was my first grass-court event on the WTA Tour. Now I’m really looking forward to Wimbledon” where she will be making her main draw debut. The 30-year-old Hantuchova captured her sixth career title, her first since Pattaya City, Thailand, in February. This was her first win in three grass-court finals, having been runner-up in Eastbourne, Great Britain, in 2004, and Birmingham, Great Britain, in 2011.

SIMONA VICTORIOUS

Playing in the fourth final of her career, Simona Halep finally came away with the big trophy. The Romanian never lost her serve as she bested former top-10 player Andrea Petkovic at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup for her first WTA title. “This is a very nice win for me, and this is a very nice tournament,” Halep said. “I’ll never forget this.” Halep became the eighth Romanian ever to win a WTA title, joining Virginia Ruzici, Irina Spirlea, Ruxandra Drogomir Ilie, Sorana Cirstea, Alexandra Dulgheru, Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu. Petkovic entered the tournament as a wild card. Despite the defeat, her confidence is high as she heads to Wimbledon, where she received a wild card into the main draw. “Everybody knows that grass and me haven’t become a love romance yet,” Petkovic said. “But I’m working on it. A few candlelight dinners with the grass and we’ll see.” The German has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon.

SECOND DOUBLE BAGEL

Roger Federer was perfect in his quarterfinal match at the Gerry Weber Open. And it was Mischa Zverev who paid the price. The Swiss master posted only his second career double bagel as he blanked Zverev 6-0 6-0 at the Gerry Weber Open. “It’s not something which is easy to do,” Federer said. “You never go into a match aiming for that score. I was very surprised that it happened, especially on grass.” It took just 39 minutes for Federer to close out his easy win. “I hope he doesn’t take it too badly,” Federer said. “I just had a pretty easy time picking up his serve, and I must have made a ton of returns.” He got his first double bagel against Gaston Gaudio at the 2005 Masters Cup in Shanghai, China, and said the only time he lost a match without winning a game was his first match at the age of 8. Zverev was philosophical about the beating. “I’d rather lost 6-0 6-0 to Roger in a quarterfinal” than to a qualifier in the second round,” Zverev said. “At least there is something to talk about later.”

SHOWING IMPROVEMENT

On her way to the final of the WTA event in Nürnberg, Germany, Andrea Petkovic upset top-seeded Jelena Jankovic. Both players received wild card entries into the tournament. Petkovic had missed months of action due to various injuries. Once ranked in the top 10, she had dropped to 103rd in the world. “I am glad my body has allowed me to play tennis again,” Petkovic said. “It was also mentally important for me to play such a match against a top-20 player.’” Serving for the match at 5-3, Petkovic lost the first three points, falling to a 0-40 deficit. But her Serb opponent produced error after error, giving Petkovic the victory.

SOUTHERN CAL OPEN PARTNER

Tonic by Martina Hingis has been named the Official Clothing Partner of the Southern California Open, a WTA Premier 700 event that will be held July 27-August 4 in Carlsbad, California, USA. The youngest Grand Slam tournament champion of this era and the youngest player to be ranked number one in the world, Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame next month. She is collaborating with Tonic to create her own signature tennis collection. The pieces were created for the high intensity movements of tennis.

SIGNED UP

Serbia’s top two female players – Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic – along with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta have announced they will be play in the Southern California Open, a major stop on the Emirates Airline US Open Series calendar. Others in the field include reigning Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska. The 28th edition of the Southern California Open will be played at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

SICK BAY

Gael Monfils has pulled out of Wimbledon for “personal reasons.” The 26-year-old Frenchman has just returned to action after being sidelined with a knee injury. He said he withdrew his request for a Wimbledon wild card because he had to deal with a personal problem that could not be delayed. He didn’t elaborate. Once ranked as high as seventh in the world, Monfils fell to 119th in the ATP rankings before rebounding to 67th following a series of good results.

SPOTS SECURED

Rafael Nadal has already earned a spot in the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals, which will be held in London on November 4-11. Since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months, Nadal has reached the final in all of the nine events he has played, winning seven titles, including a record eighth French Open crown. While Nadal is currently fifth in the world rankings, he is first in the current Race standings and guaranteed a top-eight finish and end-of-season showpiece event. Nadal missed last year’s World Tour Finals due to the knee injury that also forced him out of the London Olympics, the US Open and this year’s Australian Open. He has qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals for nine straight yeas. In 2010, Nadal lost to Roger Federer in the title match.

Also qualifying for the season-ending event are brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s top-ranked doubles team. The 35-year-old American twins are three-time ATP World Tour Finals champions, winning in 2003-04 and 2009. The Bryans have qualified for the season finale for the 12th consecutive year. They are trying to finish the season ranked number one in the world for a ninth time and fifth consecutive season.

SUSPENDED

Yannick Ebbinghaus of the Netherlands has been suspended for six months and fined USD $10,000 for violating tennis’s betting rules. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the 23-year-old Ebbinghaus admitted to 67 violations between May 2012 and February 2013. The ITF said he can cut three months off his suspension if he commits no future violations and attends anti-corruption education training. If Ebbinghaus cooperates with the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) in educating others about the ban on betting, half of his fine will be waived. Under tennis rules, players are prohibited from betting on matches.

SISTERS AND SELES

Sisters Venus and Serena Williams will play a doubles exhibition match against Monica Seles and Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard to kick off the Rogers Cup competition in Toronto, Canada. The match will be played August 5 on the opening night of the week-long WTA tournament. A member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Seles will be returning to Toronto for the first time since she was inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame in 2009. She won the Rogers Cup in 1995 following a two-year absence from the sport after being stabbed by a spectator at a match in Hamburg, Germany. Bouchard won the Wimbledon junior girls singles in 2012. The Williams sisters had received a wild card into the French Open women’s doubles, but withdrew because of an injury suffered by Venus.

STILL REMEMBERED

They remember Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon. Still reaping the fruits of his record 11-hour, 5-minute marathon match against John Isner in 2010, Mahut has been given a wild card into this year’s tournament. Mahut lost the first-round match 70-68 in the fifth set. He currently is ranked 224th in the world and could not have entered the main draw without a wild card. The 31-year-old Mahut teamed with fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra to reach the French Open doubles where they lost to American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan.

SINGLES ACHIEVEMENT

Thanks to four rain delays, it took more than five hours before Sam Querrey was able to wrap up his 200th career singles victory. That came on the American’s 7-6 (11) 5-7 7-6 (5) win over Aljaz Bedene in the second round at the Queen’s Club grass-court tournament in London, Great Britain. Querrey saved a match point at 6-5 before winning the tiebreaker and wrapping up the victory. Bedene fell hard while hitting a cross-court forehand winner. He received medical attention but was not injured.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Birmingham: Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua beat Cara Black and Marina Erakovic 7-5 6-4

Halle: Scott Lipsky and Santiago Gonzalez beat Daniele Bracciali and Jonathan Erlich 6-2 7-6 (3)

London: Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 4-6 7-5 10-3 (match tiebreak)

Nürnberg: Raluca Olaru and Valeria Solovyeva beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 2-6 7-6 (3) 11-9 (match tiebreak)

SURFING

Eastbourne: www.lta.org.uk/

‘s-Hertogenbosch: www.topshelfopen.nl/

Wimbledon: www.wimbledon.com

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)

MEN

$618,000 Aegon International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass
$541,600 Topshelf Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, grass

WOMEN

$637,000 Aegon International, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass
$235,000 Topshelf Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, grass

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

MEN and WOMEN

The Championships, Wimbledon, Great Britain, grass (first week)



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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.

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