2014/07/29

WTA Event Enters Its Fourth Year at Citi Open

Alison Riske at  Kid's clinic at Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Alison Riske at Kid’s clinic at Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

By Dave Gertler

 

(July 28, 2014) Now in its fourth year, the WTA Citi Open event in Washington is hosting one of its most impressive fields to date, even with the withdrawal of tournament favorite Eugenie Bouchard. Now seeded at No.1, Lucie Safarova leads an exciting field of 32 women including some top European hard-courters as well as American up-and-comers.

 

For the last two years running, it has been Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova who has capitalized on a line-up that has been improving from scratch since Washington began hosting the WTA International event in 2011. The world No. 37 is undefeated across ten straight matches at the tournament, and has defeated the top seed both years – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2012, and Angelique Kerber in 2013. Russian Pavlyuchenkova was ranked 28 at the time, while this year all eight top seeds are within the WTA’s top 29. Rybarikova did not play the Citi Open’s inaugural tournament in 2011, when world No.24 at the time, Shahar Peer, reached the final as No.1 seed, losing to second-seeded Nadia Petrova.

 

While Rybarikova is back in 2014 to attempt to prolong her dynasty at the Citi Open, Bouchard, Peer, Petrova, Kerber and her opponent in the 2013 final, Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, are prominent names missing from this year’s player field. The impact of their absences on the tournament, however, will be heavily reduced by the fact of the players that ARE attending.

 

Sloane Stephens leads the camp of exciting ‘new-wave’ of WTA players that will be in attendance this year. The world No. 22 – known for being much more solid at majors than she is across the WTA Premier and International calendar year – first entered the Citi Open in 2011, when she was 18 years old and ranked outside the top 120, losing in the first round. The following year, ranked just inside the top 50, she would reach the Washington semi-finals, losing to the eventual champ Rybarikova. In 2013, as a top 20 player, she would lose in the first round once again. It would seem apparent, therefore, that she’s due for another enduring showing at the Citi Open this year.

 

Although Bouchard has withdrawn from the 2014 tournament as the top seed, citing a knee injury, her results have been mixed since the Citi Open initiated their relationship with the Canadian in 2011 when they offered her a wildcard into her first main draw of a WTA event. In 2012 she lost a quarterfinal to Stephens, while last year – ranked No.62 in the world – she lost in the first round. Having reached at least the semi-finals of all three grand slams since then, Bouchard’s ranking has shot up to No.7 at the start of the Emirates Airlines US Open Series.

 

While the tournament has secured the first-time attendance of its high-profile Czech top seed Lucie Safarova, this only serves to augment the returned appearance of Romanian Sorana Cirstea, France’s Alize Cornet and American Madison Keys.

 

Cornet last year reached semi-finals on her first appearance at Citi Open. While the third seed will be vying for her fifth career WTA title, many Washingtonian tennis enthusiasts will have their eye on rising American talent, Madison Keys, who will be taking her career-high No.27 ranking into the Citi Open draw for her second appearance there. Despite retiring injured from her most recent match, a third-rounder at Wimbledon, Keys has been one of the big movers since clay season ended, going 8-2 on grass, and taking her first WTA title at Eastbourne along the way. Keys’ big serving game is a force to be reckoned with on hard courts, and has already ushered her to two WTA Tour semi-final appearances over the past year.

 

While unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova has managed to upset the field for the past two years straight, this year she faces a much tougher task if she’s to three-peat, considering the elevated level of play that will be coming off the racquets of top seeds with whom the Citi Open has been developing strong relationships over the past few years.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Citi Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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Citi Open Set to Begin

Milos Raonic (R) poses for a "selfie" on Saturday at Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Milos Raonic (R) poses for a “selfie” on Saturday at the Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

By Dave Gertler

(July 28, 2014) The Citi Open in Washington D.C. is the only North American fixture on an 11-event ATP World Tour 500 series calendar. The defending men’s champion is Juan Martin del Potro, who hasn’t completed his rehab from left-wrist surgery in time to defend his title, leaving Czech Tomas Berdych as the highest-ranked player in a strong men’s field that also includes world No.7 Milos Raonic, No.11 Kei Nishikori, No.12 John Isner and No.14 Richard Gasquet. The withdrawal of stars Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils before the draw was announced did not impact the fact that this is one of the strongest men’s draws the Citi Open has seen.

 

The tournament takes place at the William HG Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park, with a Stadium Court that holds 7,500 people at full capacity. The arena took a year to build, opening in 1991, and was named after a man who was one of Washington’s leading philanthropists, and who helped establish what is now the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), and organization that uses tennis to help disadvantaged youth in the D.C. area.

 

The WTEF is the owner and beneficiary of the Citi Open, and has organized a series of fundraisers and community programs throughout the week, including top seed Tomas Berdych leading a community tennis clinic, a ‘Celebrating Our Heroes Day’ which featured WTA drawcard Sloane Stephens, and the screening of a documentary called ‘Queens At Court’, about struggles and successes of four lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender amateur tennis players.

 

While the WTA Citi Open event has only been going for three years, the history of the men’s singles event goes back to 45 years ago, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil beat Arthur Ashe in a five-set final. Since then, the tournament has been won by luminaries of the sport such as Ken Rosewall, Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, Yannick Noah, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt. Agassi currently holds the record at five titles, Connors also won all three finals he appeared in (as well as being doubles runner-up with Ashe in 1974), as has Argentina’s Del Potro.

 

Inaugurated as the Washington Star International from 1969 to 1981, the tournament was also known as the Sovran Bank Classic from the early ‘80s to the early ‘90s. Pete Sampras, whom many consider the greatest player that ever lived, was actually born in Washington D.C. but never played the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, as it was known from 1994-2011.

 

While Sampras is long retired, the D.C. crowd will still be able to cheer on a few of their own. Treat Huey, a D.C. native and resident, will take the court with doubles partner Dom Inglot in an attempt to reclaim a title they won in 2012.

 

Considerably more hype, however, has been placed around the 16-year-old winner of the Citi Open Wildcard Challenge, Francis Tiafoe, who grew up a short drive north of Rock Creek Park, at College Park Tennis Center. Taifoe’s wildcard was initially purposed for qualification-round entry, but after the withdrawal of France’s Gael Monfils, it was upgraded to a main-draw berth. Tiafoe faces Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy in their first round match on Monday night.

 

Australia’s Sam Groth, who lost in qualifying, has been named Lucky Loser in Dimitrov’s absence, and will play Israel’s Dudi Sela in their first round match on Tuesday.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Citi Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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John Isner Defends Atlanta Open Title

 

(July 27, 2014) John Isner won his ninth ATP World Tour title on Sunday by defeating Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3, 6-4 to win the Atlanta Open for the second straight year. It was the American’s fourth Atlanta final in five years.

“The field is so tough at this event,” Isner said. “I’m so happy to win this. I consider myself fortunate that this event is even here. It’s a big advantage for me to play in Georgia and to have a lot of support.”

“Isner went for his shots and played more freely,” Sela said. “With his return game, he just went for it.”

In doubles action, Wimbledon champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil reman a perfect 10-0 as a doubles team, capturing the title with a 6-3, 5-7 10-5 over Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey.

“[Johnson and Querrey] played well, but we felt like we were playing better than they were even after losing the second set, said the Canadian Pospisil. “We just had to stay calm in the [Match Tie-break] and go point by point.”

“We’re trying to make the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals,” said Sock. That’s one of our goals this year on the side, aside from improving our singles rankings.”

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Qualifier Cuevas Wins Umag

 

(July 27, 2014) Pablo Cuevas won his second ATP World Tour title in three weeks, taking the Umag title as a qualifier with a 6-3, 6-4 over second seed Tommy Robredo. Cuevas claimed his singles title in Bastad earlier in the month.

Cuvas had to play the semis and the finals in the same day. In the semifinals, he defeated top seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4.

“I’m really happy,” said the Uruguayan. “I never expected to win two tournaments in a row. This week was more difficult because I had to play [qualifying] and I played against very good players. During the two years I was out, I thought I would never be able to play again and especially at that level.”

“I had a great tournament, but today Pablo was better than me,” Robredo said. “I would like to congratulate Pablo. He [played] a great match and he didn’t miss a lot of balls. It’s good to have him back to that level.”

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Svitolina and Peng Grab WTA Titles This Week

 

(July 27, 2014) Elina Svitolina defended her title at the Baku Cup in Azerbaijan beating 2012 champion Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 7-6 (2). It’s the first time the tournament’s history that a player has defended her title.

The Ukrainian 19-year-old is the first teenager to win multiple WTA titles since Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won three titles before turning 20.

Shuai Peng

Shuai Peng

At the 125K event in Nanchang, China, Peng Shuai captured her first WTA 125K Series tournament, defeating Liu Fangzhou 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Liu was the last player with direct entry into the draw.

“I’m very glad to become a WTA 125K champion for the first time. There were so many people staying with me right until the end and I’m really thankful for the passion they all showed today. I think it’s been a good week for Chinese tennis and I really hope that it will help more and more people to take up tennis.”

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Tennis Results Round-Up for July 24, 2014

atp wta

 

ATP – Atlanta Open

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] J Isner (USA) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) 46 76(5) 75
[LL] T de Bakker (NED) d [2] K Anderson (RSA) 64 75
B Becker (GER) d [7] Y Lu (TPE) 64 63
[8] M Matosevic (AUS) d T Smyczek (USA) 64 75

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) d B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER) 64 61

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) vs N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM)
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[1] J Isner (USA) vs [8] M Matosevic (AUS)

7:00 pm
J Sock (USA) vs L Lacko (SVK)

Not Before 9:00 pm
D Sela (ISR) vs [4] V Pospisil (CAN)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 6:30 pm
Not Before 6:30 pm
B Becker (GER) vs [LL] T de Bakker (NED)

BAKU CUP 2014 – BAKU, AZERBAIJAN
$ 250,000.00
20 – 27 JULY 2014

RESULTS – JULY 24, 2014
Singles – Second Round
S Voegele (SUI) d [1] S Cirstea (ROU) 61 61
[2] E Svitolina (UKR) d S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 75 62
K Mladenovic (FRA) d D Vekic (CRO) 26 63 60
F Schiavone (ITA) d J Glushko (ISR) 62 76(2)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) d N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR) 63 62
[3] I Olaru (ROU) / S Peer (ISR) d A Hesse (FRA) / P Parmentier (FRA) 61 61
A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR) d K Bondarenko (UKR) / N Melichar (USA) 76(5) 64
F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI) d [WC] O Korashvili (UKR) / T Martincova (CZE) 62 63

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] M Eguchi (JPN) vs [5] B Jovanovski (SRB)
S Voegele (SUI) vs S Peer (ISR)
P Parmentier (FRA) vs [2] E Svitolina (UKR)
K Mladenovic (FRA) vs F Schiavone (ITA)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) vs A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR)

ATP – Gstaad

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) d K De Schepper (FRA) 63 64
[7] R Haase (NED) d [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) 64 16 75
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) d [1] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 57 64 11-9
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) d D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT) 76(3) 64

Doubles – First Round
[3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) d [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) / Y Marti (SUI) 63 62
[4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA) d M Granollers (ESP) / E Schwank (ARG) 57 63 11-9

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 10:30 am
J Monaco (ARG) vs T Bellucci (BRA)

Not Before 12:00 noon
J Struff (GER) vs [4] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 36 11
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) vs [7] R Haase (NED)

Not Before 3:00 pm
P Andujar (ESP) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP)

Not Before 5:30 pm
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) vs J Struff (GER) or [4] F Verdasco (ESP)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA)
After Suitable Rest – [3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) vs P Marx (GER) / B Rola (SLO)

ZHONG HONG JIANG XI INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S OPEN – NANCHANG, CHINA
$ 125,000.00
19- 27 JULY, 2014

RESULTS – JULY 24, 2014
Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) d I Kremen (BLR) 63 64
[3] M Doi (JPN) d L Zhu (CHN) 62 46 63
[4] L Kumkhum (THA) d M Melnikova (RUS) 64 61
[6] S Zheng (CHN) d Y Xu (CHN) 67(5) 63 62
[WC] Y Wang (CHN) d T Mrdeza (CRO) 64 64
L Zhang (HKG) d A Raina (IND) 62 61
F Liu (CHN) d N Kolar (SLO) 62 64

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX) d I Kremen (BLR) / N Lertcheewakarn (THA) 57 61 10-8
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) d G Barbieri (ITA) / M Melnikova (RUS) 63 61

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014
CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) vs Q Wang (CHN)
L Zhang (HKG) vs F Liu (CHN)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
[3] M Doi (JPN) vs [6] S Zheng (CHN)
After suitable rest – [1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) vs L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA)

COURT 2 start 5:00 pm
[WC] Y Wang (CHN) vs [4] L Kumkhum (THA)
[3] C Chan (TPE) / Y Xu (CHN) vs C Liang (CHN) / L Zhu (CHN)

COURT 3 start 5:00 pm
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) vs [2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX)

 

   Vegeta Croatia Open Umag
RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014Singles – Second Round

[1] F Fognini (ITA) d A Montanes (ESP) 76(2) 60
T Gabashvili (RUS) d [4] J Sousa (POR) 36 64 62
[Q] P Cuevas (URU) d [6] A Seppi (ITA) 63 61
[WC] B Coric (CRO) d [Q] H Zeballos (ARG) 76(4) 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals

[2] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG) d G Duran (ARG) / T Gabashvili (RUS) 76(5) 61
[4] F Cermak (CZE) / L Rosol (CZE) d P Riba (ESP) / J Sousa (POR) 36 63 10-6SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 5:30 pm
[5] L Rosol (CZE) vs [3] M Cilic (CRO)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] F Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] B Coric (CRO)
D Lajovic (SRB) / F Skugor (CRO) vs [2] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG)

GRANDSTAND start 5:00 pm
T Gabashvili (RUS) vs [Q] P Cuevas (URU)
P Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [2] T Robredo (ESP)
[1] J Knowle (AUT) / O Marach (AUT) vs [4] F Cermak (CZE) / L Rosol (CZE

 

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Tennis Results Round-Up for July 23, 2014

 atp wta

WTA-BAKU 2014 – BAKU, AZERBAIJAN
$ 250,000.00
20 – 27 JULY 2014

RESULTS – JULY 23, 2014
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[5] B Jovanovski (SRB) d K Piter (POL) 63 61
P Parmentier (FRA) d [8] J Cepelova (SVK) 76(2) 64
S Peer (ISR) d [Q] V Dolonc (SRB) 36 62 63
[Q] M Eguchi (JPN) d U Radwanska (POL) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI) d [2] J Husarova (SVK) / K Jans-Ignacik (POL) 36 64 10-2
N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR) d M Eguchi (JPN) / P Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 62 46 10-5
A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR) d B Jovanovski (SRB) / D Kovinic (MNE) 64 57 11-9

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] S Cirstea (ROU) vs S Voegele (SUI)
J Glushko (ISR) vs F Schiavone (ITA)
K Mladenovic (FRA) vs D Vekic (CRO)
S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs [2] E Svitolina (UKR)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
K Bondarenko (UKR) / N Melichar (USA) vs A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR)
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) vs N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR)
A Hesse (FRA) / P Parmentier (FRA) vs [3] I Olaru (ROU) / S Peer (ISR)
[WC] O Korashvili (UKR) / T Martincova (CZE) vs F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI)

 

ATP – Atlanta

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 23 JULY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[4] V Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] I Marchenko (UKR) 75 63
L Lacko (SVK) d [6] D Istomin (UZB) 57 61 64
D Sela (ISR) d [9] S Querrey (USA) 62 64
J Sock (USA) d [Q] M Venus (NZL) 64 62

Singles – First Round
[7] Y Lu (TPE) d [LL] A Kuznetsov (USA) 64 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals

K King (USA) / M Venus (NZL) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) / R Harrison (USA) w/o (Harrison – foot)

Doubles – First Round
[2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d M Ebden (AUS) / Y Lu (TPE) w/o (Ebden – wrist)
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) d J Erlich (ISR) / R Ram (USA) 36 63 10-6
N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM) d S Ratiwatana (THA) / S Ratiwatana (THA) 67(2) 63 10-8


SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

STADIUM start 4:00 pm
[LL] T de Bakker (NED) vs [2] K Anderson (RSA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] J Isner (USA) vs [WC] R Ginepri (USA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
T Smyczek (USA) vs [8] M Matosevic (AUS)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 4:00 pm
[7] Y Lu (TPE) vs B Becker (GER)
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) vs N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM)
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) vs B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER)
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

 

ATP Gstaad

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 23 JULY 2014

Singles – Second Round
[2] M Granollers (ESP) d [WC] Y Marti (SUI) 61 64
J Monaco (ARG) d [3] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 26 64
T Bellucci (BRA) d [5] F Delbonis (ARG) 64 64
P Andujar (ESP) d B Rola (SLO) 63 63

Singles – First Round

[WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) d [Q] G Mina (FRA) 76(5) 76(3)

Doubles – First Round

D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT) d [2] M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) 75 75
F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) d [WC] A Bossel (SUI) / M Lammer (SUI) 63 57 10-5
P Marx (GER) / B Rola (SLO) d D Brown (GER) / D Thiem (AUT) 63 64
R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) d T Bednarek (POL) / H Kontinen (FIN) 63 36 10-8
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) d M Emmrich (GER) / C Kas (GER) 26 76(6) 11-9

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) vs K De Schepper (FRA)
[WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) vs [7] R Haase (NED)
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) vs A Golubev (KAZ)
Not Before 5:30 pm
J Struff (GER) vs [4] F Verdasco (ESP)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

[1] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG)
Not Before 12:30 am
M Granollers (ESP) / E Schwank (ARG) vs [4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA)
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) vs D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT)
[3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) vs [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) / Y Marti (SUI)

 

ZHONG HONG JIANG XI INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S OPEN –

WTA – NANCHANG, CHINA
$ 125,000.00
19- 27 JULY, 2014

RESULTS – JULY 23, 2014
Singles – Second Round
Q Wang (CHN) d N Lertcheewakarn (THA) 61 76(2)

Doubles – First Round
[1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) d D Jakupovic (SLO) / N Kolar (SLO) 63 67(3) 10-7
[2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX) d S Jang (KOR) / Y Wang (CHN) 62 62
[3] C Chan (TPE) / Y Xu (CHN) d [WC] X Sun (CHN) / W Zheng (CHN) 63 61
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) d [4] M Doi (JPN) / S Hsieh (TPE) 63 75
L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA) d X Han (CHN) / K Zhang (CHN) 61 60

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014
CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) vs I Kremen (BLR) 00

Not Before 6:00 pm
N Kolar (SLO) vs F Liu (CHN)
I Kremen (BLR) / N Lertcheewakarn (THA) vs [2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
L Zhang (HKG) vs A Raina (IND)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[3] M Doi (JPN) vs L Zhu (CHN)

COURT 2 start 5:00 pm
M Melnikova (RUS) vs [4] L Kumkhum (THA)
T Mrdeza (CRO) vs [WC] Y Wang (CHN)
G Barbieri (ITA) / M Melnikova (RUS) vs C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN)

COURT 3 start 6:00 pm
Y Xu (CHN) vs [6] S Zheng (CHN)
TBC – [1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) vs L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA)

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Leonardo Mayer Wins First ATP Title with Upset Over Top Seed David Ferrer

By Florian Heer

 

(July 20, 2014) HAMBURG – Sunday’s final at Hamburg saw top-seed David Ferrer and Leonardo Mayer clash for the second time with the Spaniard having won their only previous meeting in s’Hertogenbosch two years ago.

Sunday’s match was an even affair with a couple of close rallies. Ferrer took the opening set after 58 minutes but lost his service in the fourth game of the second and also a bit of his rhythm. Consequently, Mayer took the match the distance in the seventh game. The Argentine showed an impressive performance with big serves – a lot fired with more than 200 km/h (124 mph) – solid groundstrokes with good length and some hard hitting forehands. The world No. 46 from Buenos Aires fully deserved his maiden title on the ATP World Tour and eventually emerged victorious after two hours and 20 minutes winning 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-6(4).

“Leonardo was simply better today in the entire match,” Ferrer said. “I was a bit nervous in the important moments and he played more aggressively than me.”

“It was a positive week but I’m sad because I lost the final. I will go back home now and have a rest for a few days before I’ll prepare for the hard court season starting in Toronto and Cincinnati,” the Spaniard said.

Leonardo Mayer

The winner was understandably overwhelmed. “Today is a very special day. So far, I haven’t really realized that I won the match. This is simply unbelievable. I really wanted to win the match. Still on court, I called my girl-friend, my family and my team, who was watching the final on TV,” Mayer told the media in Spanish, as he is still too shy to speak in English. “I promise that I will take a teacher with me next year that I can answer the questions in English. I am able to speak but I’m nervous and I do not feel comfortable,” the Argentine added. “Tomorrow I’ll fly back to Argentina and then I am going to play the US Open,” Mayer said about his upcoming schedule.

In the doubles final the team of Marin Draganja and Florian Mergea beat the tournament’s top-seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in straight sets winning 6-4, 7-5 in 78 minutes taking their maiden title as a tandem on the ATP World Tour. “We beat a very, very good team today. We were happy to enter the draw and gaining the title here is amazing,” Draganja was happy afterwards.

Earlier the day, tournament director Michael Stich spoke to the media about the 108th edition am Rothenbaum. “We’re very satisfied with this week. With David Ferrer, we had a top-ten player in our field, who made it into the final to face the first Argentine here since Juan Mónaco, which is a very interesting affair. Of course, I would have loved to see the defending champion Fabio Fognini staying a bit longer in the tournament but that’s sports,” the former Wimbledon champion said.

“In the future we will try to present the fans a mixture of top players and the new younger generation. I think there will be generation change on the ATP World Tour and we will see new Grand Slam Champions like Dimitrov or Raonic maybe in two years’ time. That’s why we also made a long-term contract with Alexander Zverev to play here in Hamburg for the next five years. Nonetheless, it will remain our own demand to present players ranked within the top-3,” Stich told and added that around 60,000 spectators came to the venue this year.

 

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Futures Circuit.  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Top Seed Ferrer Ends German Teen Zverev’s Run in Hamburg

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

 

By Florian Heer

(July 19, 2014) HAMBURG – The 48-man draw in Hamburg has been whittled down to just four players, who stepped into action on Saturday for the semi-finals.

In the highly expected match of the day top-seed David Ferrer took on talented youngster Alexander Zverev, who is enjoying a breakthrough week in his home city. The 17-year-old German has already become the youngest player ever to reach the semi-final at an ATP 500 event but the world No. 7 was too strong in this match. Most of the longer rallies went in favour for Ferrer and Zverev was only able to win 50% of his first service points. The 32-year-old Spaniard served the match out in only 55 minutes winning 6-0, 6-1 and booked his place for his second final of season after he had taken the title in Buenos Aires.

“Today I played point by point and remained focused on my serve. When I won the third game of the second set, Alex lost a bit of his focus. He played a lot of matches this week. Maybe he was also a bit tired. Nonetheless, he will have a very good future. He has a very good service and plays in a pretty intelligent way,” Ferrer said.

“With every day more here in Hamburg, I gained more confidence with my game. In the first two matches this week, I only played well in some moments but yesterday and today I was more consistent,” said the Spaniard about his game.

“Taking on Leonardo will be tough for sure. He is playing a good week with a lot of confidence, even maybe his best tennis ever. I try to do my best in tomorrow’s final.”

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

“It was a great experience taking on a top ten player but David was simply too good for me today” Zverev said. “Nonetheless, I’m still proud that I reached the semis in Hamburg. I’m only 17, so I don’t think it is a shame to be within the last four at an ATP 500 event.”

The teen, who already knew that he will crack the top 200 with a place around 160 on Monday in the ATP World Tour rankings, said: “I hope that I can hold this level for Umag next week. So there won’t be a lot of time to celebrate, as I will fly to Croatia tomorrow for practice sessions in the evening,” the German teenager revealed.

 

Seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber went up against an in-form Leonardo Mayer in the first match of the day. Before Saturday’s match, the German had not been able to gain a single set against the man from Buenos Aires in two previous meetings and the match in Hamburg should not become an exception. Kohlschreiber lost his serve four times and two of the breaks he suffered took place at unpleasant moments for the German. The first occurred on set point in the twelfth game of the opening frame and the other one on match point in the tenth of the second set. After one hour and 28 minutes, Mayer sealed victory winning 7-5, 6-4 to advance into his second final of the year after Viňa del Mar in February but his first on ATP 500 level.

Consequently, the winner was in a good mood afterwards. “I’m satisfied with my performance today. My service worked very well and I played the points very fast. I’m very happy to reach the final here tomorrow, which will be a nice thing but also a difficult match,” Mayer said. “I beat Philipp two times before, so I knew how to play against him. It was also the revenge for the World Cup final Argentina versus Germany,” the Hamburg finalist laughed.

“Of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t make it into the final today,” Kohlschreiber said. I tried everything but sometimes I just made the wrong decision. Leonardo made it very difficult for me to get into the match. He was very dominant on court today and it was very hard for me to read his service and his game in general. He put a lot of variety in his second service, which was well placed and with good speed. I think that this gave him the necessary confidence for his return games.”

“Nonetheless, I played a good tournament with some great matches and now I take a rest and in two weeks’ time I will play my last clay court tournament in Kitzbühel,” the 30-year-old German said about his future schedule.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

Results for July 19, 2014

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] A Zverev (GER) 60 61
L Mayer (ARG) d [7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 64

Doubles – Semi-finals

M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) d [4] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 61 63

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014

CENTER COURT start 12:30 pm
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU)

Not Before 15:00
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs L Mayer (ARG)

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German Teen Alexander Zverev Reaches Semis in Hamburg

 

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

By Florian Heer

(July 18, 2014) HAMBURG – It was quarterfinal action on Friday in Hamburg and play started with an all-German clash between Tobias Kamke and Alexander Zverev. The two wild cards, both reside in Hamburg, met only 17 days ago at the ATP Challenger in Braunschweig, where the emerging youngster gained the title. The only 17-year-old Zverev, last year’s junior world No. 1, has been the story of the week so far. The teenager gained his first victories on the ATP World Tour beating Robin Haase, Mikhail Youzhny and Santiago Giraldo to become the first 17-year-old contesting a quarterfinal of an ATP 500 event since Rafael Nadal in Dubai in 2004.

Zverev, however, had a bumpy start into today’s match, lost his first service game and received a warning after only 8 minutes of play due to racket abuse. The youngster acted like an unforced error machine from the baseline and consequently lost the first set in only 21 minutes to love. The world No. 285 made it on the scoreboard in the second game of the second set and from then on he seemed to find his rhythm.

Supported by the majority of the crowd, Zverev became stronger the longer the match lasted. Eventually, the 17-year-old served the match out winning 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and four minutes to become the first player of his age to reach a semifinal at an ATP 500 event since Marin Cilic in Gstaad in 2006.

“Tobias played very well in the first set and I really felt that I needed to change some things. So I played more slices to break his rhythm. I would have lost the match for sure, if Tobias continued to play like this in the beginning. It is really nice to reach the semis here and by the start of this week I wasn’t thinking that this could happen,” said a happy Zverev afterwards.

“It is a goal to crack the top 100 but the players inside this ranking are of another level than the players ranked 180 or 190. It will be a huge challenge for me to get inside this group,” the German youngster stated.

“I haven’t had a clue that David Ferrer is in my half of the draw here until a friend told me this morning during practice. I knew that Pablo (Andújar) is still in the draw as well but I really didn’t know my possible opponent in the semi-finals right after the match,” Zverev explained after he wasn’t able to name his two next possible opponents during the on-court interview.

Kamke was disappointed after the match but found some nice words, though, and was full of respect concerning his opponent. “If Alex stays healthy, I’m convinced that he will have a great future without any limits,” Zverev’s former club teammate stated.

Tournament director Michael Stich seemed to be satisfied as well after the youngster’s victory. “Physically he is still very strong and he plays a very solid game throughout the week. He has strong nerves and simply acts really cool on court. Of course I feel a bit sorry for Tobi but I also hope for a full house tomorrow and that a lot of people will come out to watch the new German tennis hope,” the former Wimbledon champion was looking forward to Saturday’s semi-finals.

In a match of two supposed underdogs Leonardo Mayer faced Dusan Lajovic for the first time. The Argentine defeated Austria’s youngster Dominic Thiem the round before and the 24-year-old Serbian reached the quarterfinal after his 3rd round opponent Filip Krajinovic was forced to retire due to illness. Mayer, who is currently ranked at a career high 46, was untroubled and only had to save one break point in the entire match. After 75 minutes the 27-year-old from Buenos Aires served out winning 6-1, 7-5 to reach his second semi-final of the season.

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

It followed an all-Spanish affair with the tournament’s top-seed David Ferrer taking on Pablo Andújar. On Thursday, the world No. 7 extended his head-to-head lead over Andreas Seppi to 8-0 after seeing off the Italian in three sets in almost three hours. Andújar advanced to his third quarterfinal of the season with a comfortable straight set victory over Dustin Brown. Friday’s encounter was one-way traffic in favour for Ferrer. The 32-year-old from Javea controlled the match right from the beginning and Andújar needed 45 minutes to get on the scoreboard in the third game of the second set. Ferrer sealed victory in 66 minutes winning 6-0, 6-2.

“For sure this has been my best match of the week so far. In the first two matches I didn’t really play good tennis in some moments but today it was much better. I made less errors, played more aggressively with my forehand and I’m happy with my game as well as to be in the semi-finals,” the winner said afterwards.

“I’ve never played with Alexander Zverev before but this week was impressive. Of course I respect him like any other player on the tour. He is a really good player with a good serve and a good forehand. He has a bright future, which is a nice thing for the tennis in Germany. He is not having any pressure and my goal will be to stay focused on every point. I hope that the people will enjoy the match tomorrow,” Ferrer said about his next opponent.

In the final match of the day, the second remaining seeded player, Philipp Kohlschreiber, faced Lukas Rosol for the second time within two weeks. The Czech defeated Hamburg’s seventh seed in straight sets at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart last week. This time, Kohlschreiber was able to take revenge through a comfortable victory in 77 minutes winning 6-4, 6-4 and advanced into his fourth semi-final of the season.

 

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d P Andujar (ESP) 60 62
[7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d L Rosol (CZE) 64 64
[WC] A Zverev (GER) d [WC] T Kamke (GER) 06 75 63
L Mayer (ARG) d D Lajovic (SRB) 61 75

Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d [3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 63 64

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 19 JULY 2014

CENTER COURT start 13:00
[4] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU)

Not Before 15:30
[7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs L Mayer (ARG)

Not Before 18:00
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] A Zverev (GER)

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