Mondays with Bob Greene
9 September 2013
Women’s Singles: Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5 6-7 (6) 6-1
Men’s Doubles: Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-1 6-3
Women’s Doubles: Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka beat Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-7 (4) 6-1 6-4.
Mixed Doubles: Andrea Hlavackova and Max Mirnyi beat Abigail Spears and Santiago Gonzalez 7-6 (5) 6-3
Boys’ Singles: Borna Coric beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6 6-3 6-1
Girls’ Singles: Ana Konjuh beat Tornado Alicia Black 3-6 6-4 7-6 (6)
Boys’ Doubles: Kamil Majchrzak and Martin Redlicki beat Quentin Halys and Frederico Ferreira Silva 6-3 6-4
Girls’ Doubles: Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova beat Belinda Bencic and Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3 6-4
Men’s Champion Doubles: John McEnroe and Patrick McEnroe beat Michael Chang and Todd Martin 6-4 6-0
Women’s Champion Doubles: Martina Navratilova and Rennae Stubbs beat Chanda Rubin and Iva Majoli 6-2 6-4
Wheelchair Men’s Doubles: Michael Jeremiasz and Maikel Scheffers beat Gustavo Fernandez and Joachim Gerard 6-0 4-6 6-3
Wheelchair Women’s Doubles: Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot beat Sabine Ellerbrock and Yui Kamiji 6-3 6-4
Wheelchair Quad Singles: Lucas Sithole beat David Wagner 3-6 6-4 6-4
Wheelchair Quad Doubles: Nick Taylor and David Wagner beat Andy Lapthorne and Lucas Sithole 6-0 2-6 6-3
Dustin Brown beat Filippo Volandri 7-6 (5) 6-3 to win the AON Open Challenger in Genova,Italy
“I don’t play tennis for the money. I honestly love to play. I love Grand Slams.” – Serena Williams.
“Vika’s such a great opponent, such a great fighter, and that’s why she’s been able to win multiple Grand Slams. That’s why it was never over until match point.” – Serena Williams, after winning her fifth US Open women’s singles title by beating Victoria Azarenka for the second straight year.
“It is a tough loss, but to be in the final and play against the best player – who deserves to win today – it’s incredible. I gave it all today. We showed our hearts. We fought hard.” – Victoria Azarenka, following her loss to Serena Williams in the women’s final.
“I definitely felt the love, so thank you all so much for the support.” – Serena Williams, talking to the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after the women’s final.
“That’s why you play tennis. It’s to play in front of people like today in the bigger stadium in tennis. And even if I lost today, I was still happy to hear all the cheering and to hear all the crowd like this. I think it’s something quite amazing for me.” – Stanislas Wawrinka, after losing his semifinal match to top-seeded Novak Djokovic.
“I should not be nervous like this because it’s not the first time I have played in the semifinals. But when I walked on the court I felt the court was so big. I felt like it was a football stadium. For Serena it was like a table tennis court. I could not focus.” – Li Na, following her semifinal loss to Serena Williams.
“I got a little nervous, but I was able to close it out finally.” – Serena Williams, after needing seven match points before finally defeating Li Na.
“When you’re playing that well you forget how to lose.” – Martina Navratilova, talking about Rafael Nadal’s winning run since returning from his latest injury.
“It wouldn’t be right to leave here feeling regrets. It has been a great tournament for me. Sure, there is a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth about losing, but this has been a super and positive week. I played the number two in the world and I had my chances.” – Flavia Pennetta, after her semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka.
“I lost in straight sets, so that’s disappointing. I would have liked to have gone further. But, look, I can’t complain. If someone told me before the US Open last year I would have been here as defending champion having won Wimbledon and Olympic gold, I would have taken that 100 percent.” – Andy Murray, after being upset by Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
“Every point you have to play. He never miss. He never give you some presents.” – Mikhail Youzhny, explaining his quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic.
“I kind of self-destructed, which is very disappointing, especially on a quicker court. Your serve helps you out. You’re going to make the difference somewhere. I just couldn’t do it. It was a frustrating performance today.” – Roger Federer, after being upset by Tommy Robredo.
“Roger is the best player of all times. To beat him in a huge stadium like the US Open and in a Grand Slam, a match of five sets, it’s like a dream.” – Tommy Robredo, following his win over Federer.
“Of course not. I played good, though. I played really good.” – Serena Williams, when asked if her winning performance against Carla Suarez Navarro was close to flawless.
“It’s a never-ending run of history and records and there is always something on the horizon. What makes this sport so fun is there is always the next goal.” – Bob Bryan, after he and brother Mike lost their semifinals and a bid to become only the second men’s doubles team to win a calendar Grand Slam.
SERENA RETAINS TITLE
Pushed to three sets, Serena Williams solved the wind and her opponent to win her fifth US Open women’s singles title and her 17th Grand Slam tournament singles crown. It wasn’t easy as Victoria Azarenka, who is ranked second in the world behind Williams, matched her point for point – until the final set. “Victoria, you played unbelievable,” Williams said during the on-court awards ceremony. “What a great match and a great person. It’s an honor to play against you.” At 31 years old, Williams became the oldest woman in the Open Era to win the US Open and the third-oldest Grand Slam tournament women’s winner. It was also a huge payday for the American. The winner collects USD $2.6 million, and because she finished first in the US Open tune-up events, Williams also pocketed a USD $1 million bonus. Williams successfully defended her US Open title and for the second straight year beat Azarenka in the title match. The two have combined to win six of the eight major titles in the past two years.
SET FOR MONDAY
Monday’s men’s singles title match will pit the top two players in the world – number one Novak Djokovic and number two Rafael Nadal. The two will be meeting for a tournament title for the 37th time. Nadal leads the series 21-15 and has won five of their last six meetings. But his overall edge was largely built in the first half of the rivalry when he won 14 of their first 18 matches. This summer, Nadal has been brilliant. He missed the US Open last year along with seven months because of a knee injury. But since returning to the tour, Nadal has been almost perfect, posting a 59-3 match record, including 21-0 on hard courts, the surface at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It will be the third time the two have met in the US Open final, Nadal winning in 2010 and Djokovic the next year.
SIDE BY SIDE
It’s becoming habit-forming for Leander Paes, a habit the 40-year-old is perfectly delighted to continue. The Indian right-hander teamed with 36-year-old Radek Stepanek to win his third US Open doubles title and the eighth major title of his career. It was Stepanek’s second Grand Slam tournament doubles crown, winning the 2012 Australian Open with Paes. Playing in their first Grand Slam tournament final, Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares had only two break points in the match and failed to cash in on either. Peya suffered a back injury in the second set and his movement was restricted for the rest of the match.
One day after Andrea Hlavackova captured the mixed doubles title with Max Mirnyi, she partnered Lucie Hradecka to the US Open women’s doubles crown. They became the first all-Czech pair to capture America’s premier tournament, beating the Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-7 (4) 6-1 6-4. “It has been amazing,” Hlavackova said. “I cannot believe I won two Grand Slams in two weeks. I want to thank Lucie. She helped me as much as Max did.” The last player to win two US Open titles in the same year was Zimbabwe’s Cara Black in 2008, who teamed with Liezel Huber to win the women’s doubles and Leander Paes to win the mixed. Playing in only their eighth event together, Dellacqua and Barty were runners-up this year at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open,Wimbledon and the US Open.
Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan were going for a calendar-year Grand Slam. Then they ran into Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in the semifinals of the US Open. The Bryans were trying to become only the second men’s doubles team to win all four major tournaments in a single year. Instead, they fell to Paes and Stepanek 3-6 6-3 6-4. “As competitors, we hate to lose and we knew what was riding on this match and the opportunity of what we could have accomplished,” Bob Bryan said. “And then in one sense it’s a little bit of a relief where you get to kind of exhale for the first time in a few months.” The 35-year-old American identical twins has won 28 consecutive Grand Slam matches and were just two wins away from matching the 1951 feat set by Australians Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman. “You leave that door a little ajar, I will find my foot through it,” said the 40-year-old Paes. “Once I get my foot through it, I got my body through it. Once I get my body through it, I get him through it.”
Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka battled for more than four hours in their semifinal encounter before the world’s top-ranked player finally prevailed. But the well-played match was highlighted by the third game of the fifth set, which lasted 21 minutes and 30 points and featured some brilliant rallies and great shot-making. There were 12 deuces and Wawrinka saved five break points before finally holding with a service winner. The game earned the players several ovations from the appreciative crowd. “These matches is what we live for, what we practice for,” Djokovic said. “All the credit to (Wawrinka) for being so aggressive and playing so well. I’m just fortunate to play my best tennis when I needed to.”
Monica Seles is the newest member of the US Open Court of Champions. The winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments, including the US Open in 1991 and 1992, Seles spent more than 175 weeks ranked number one in the world and was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. “I brought back so many memories,” Seles said of being back on the main court at the US Open where she teamed with Chris Evert for an exhibition match. “You could feel the electricity.”
Serena Williams had a – well – Serena-like streak during this year’s US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The world’s top-ranked player showed her dominance by winning 24 consecutive games on her way to the women’s singles title match. Her streak began when she won the last five games against 15th-seeded Sloane Stephens before she “double-bageled” 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-0. Against her next opponent, fifth-seeded Li Na, Williams won the first seven games before the 2011 French Open champion finally held serve, halting the streak.
Serena’s “double-bagel” of Suarez Navarro was the first in a US Open women’s quarterfinal since Martina Navratilova blanked Manuela Maleeva 6-0 6-0 in 1989.
Roger Federer was seeking his sixth US Open title. Instead, he was surprisingly ousted in the fourth round by Spain’s Tommy Robredo, 7-6 (3) 6-3 6-4. Federer began the year ranked number one in the world. He was ranked seventh when he began the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. The Swiss star made 43 unforced errors and converted just two of 16 break points. “I kind of feel like I beat myself, without taking any credit away from Tommy,” Federer said. It is the first year that Federer has failed to reach a Grand Slam tournament final since 2002 and his earliest US Open exit in 10 years.
Andy Murray will play Davis Cup when Great Britain meets Croatia in a World Group playoff this week in Umag,Croatia. Also named to the squad were Dan Evans, James Ward and Colin Fleming. Murray didn’t play in April when Evans, Ward, Fleming and Jonathan Marray stunned Russia. The Croatia tie will be played on clay, the first time Great Britain has played on that surface since 2008. Britain and Croatia have played each other only once before in the international team competition, with Britain winning a 2007 World Group playoff 4-1 at Wimbledon.
The father of Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic has been sentenced to eight months in prison for assaulting his son’s training partner. Under Spanish law, John Tomic will not go to prison because he has no criminal record and his sentence is for less than two years. Just prior to the Madrid Open in May, John Tomic head-butted Thomas Drouet, breaking his nose. The father claimed he was acting in self-defense. According to Australian media, John Tomic is likely to be banned from all ATP Tour events. The players association has already assessed the father a one-year ban. Drouet said he was assaulted at aMadridhotel when John Tomic asked him “to step aside for a quiet word.”
SO LONG ESTHER
An athlete with what has to be one of the best records in all of sports was given a special farewell at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Esther Vergeer first reached the world number one ranking in wheelchair tennis in 1999. When she retired this past February, she had compiled a 470-singles match winning streak, a string that went back to January 2003. She won four Paralympic gold medals in singles –Sydney in 2000,Athens in 2004,Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 – and three gold medals in doubles: Sydney, Athens and London. A native of the Netherlands, Vergeer won 21 Grand Slam tournament titles, including six US Opens. In her career, she won more than 1,100 singles and doubles matches.
Genova: Daniele Bracciali and Oliver Marach beat Martin Draganja and Mate Pavic 6-3 2-6 11-9 (match tiebreak)
Quebec City: www.challengebell.com
Davis Cup: www.daviscup.com
St. Petersburg: www.spbopen.ru
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$235,000 Tashkent Open,Tashkent,Uzbekistan, hard
$235,000 Bell Challenge,Quebec City,Quebec,Canada, hard
World Group Semifinals
CzechRepublicvs.ArgentinaatPrague,Czech Republic, hard
World Group Playoffs
(Winners are in 2014 World Group)
Spainvs. Ukraine at Madrid, Spain, clay
Croatiavs.Great BritainatUmag,Croatia, clay
Switzerlandvs. Ecuadorat Neuchatel, Switzerland, hard
Germanyvs. Brazilat Warsaw, Poland, clay
Belgium vs. Israel at Antwerp, Belgium, clay
Japan vs. Colombia at Tokyo, Japan, hard
Group I Second Round Playoff
Americas Zone: Dominican Republic vs. Chile at Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic, hard; Asia/Oceania Zone: Chinese Taipei vs. Indonesia at Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, hard
Group I First Round Playoff
Europe/Africa Zone: Slovenia vs. South Africa at Ljubljana, Slovenia, clay
Group II Third Round
Americas Zone: El Salvador vs. Venezuela at Ciudad Merliot, El Salvador, hard; Asia/Oceania Zone: Philippines vs. New Zealand at Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines, clay; Europe/Africa Zone: Latvia vs. Finland at Riga, Latvia, hard
Asia/Oceania Zone at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hard: Cambodia, China-Hong Kong, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Pacific Oceania, United Arab Emriates, Vietnam
Asia/Oceania Zone at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hard: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkmenistan
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$600,592 St. Petersburg Open, St. Petersburg, Russia, hard
$540,536 Moselle Open, Metz, France, hard
$140,339 Pekao Szczecin Open, Szczecin, Poland, clay
$125,000 Kaohsiung Tennis Challenger, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, hard
$500,000 KDB Korea Open, Seoul, Korea, hard
$500,000 GRC Bank Guangzhou International Women’s Open 2013,Guangzhou,China, hard