December 4, 2016

Andy Murray wins Shanghai Masters for Sixth Title of the Year

(October 16, 2016)

Andy Murray won his sixth title of 2016 when he defeated surprise finalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 6-1 for the Shanghai Masters crown on Sunday. It’s his 13th Masters Series 1000 title.

Bautista Agut upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday. The Spaniard was trying to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and third title of the season.

The win narrows Djokovic’s lead over Murray in the “Race to London” to just 915 points.

 

For the 29-year-old Scotsman, Murray, it’s his 41st career ATP World Tour title, placing him in 15th place on the all-time list.

 

“I did feel like I played better this week than last week,” Murray said. “In all of the matches I was hitting the ball pretty clean.”

“The most important thing to reach No. 1 is to be extremely consistent throughout the whole year, which I have done really since the clay-court season,” Murray said. “I believe I can get there. I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me… I’ll give it my best shot to do it, because I may never get another chance.”

 

“I think it was a close first set,” Bautista Agut said. “It was not easy for me to handle all the emotions I had this week. For me, it was not easy to feel perfect on the court and in my first final appearance at a Masters 1000,” Bautista Agut said. “But I think I gave everything on the court today.”

“I’m going to learn from all the success I had this week.”

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

In the doubles, Americans John Isner and Jack Sock won their first Masters title as a team, beating Henri Kontinen and John Peers 6-4, 6-4.
“We both definitely prefer singles, but we also have a lot of fun playing with each other in doubles,” Isner said. “I think that’s the No. 1 reason why we did so well this week is because we are having a lot of fun with it.”

“It’s always fun playing with a good friend,” Sock said. “John is probably my best friend on tour… Like he said, we just had a lot of fun. Laughed a lot. Kept it light out there. I think that’s why we played pretty well.”

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Nadal Loses in Shanghai Opening Round; Kyrgios Booed in Loss

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(October 12, 2016) Rafael Nadal lost in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. The fourth seed and14-time major champion was beaten for the first time by Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Nadal was trying to solidify his spot in the ATP World Tour Finals said in press he was uncertain if he was going to continue playing this year:

“I cannot say now what I’m going do during the next month,” Nadal said. “Sometimes keep competing is not the solution. Sometimes the solution is practice………. and have a process of training. And maybe that’s an opportunity to do it.”

“I have two months and a half to put myself at the level that I need to be,” Nadal said about preparing for the 2017 Australian Open, “and I have the confidence that I’m going to do it.”

“It was a great feeling on the court playing like this and playing like this against Rafa Nadal, who is a great champion,” said the 31st -ranked Troicki. “It makes it extra special to beat him for the first time, especially in such a big tournament like Shanghai.”

Advancing to third round on Wednesday included second and third seeds Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Twelfth seed Nick Kyrgios was booed by fans in Shanghai for a lack of effort in his loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-1. Kyrgios even argued with a fan.

“This is a professional tournament,” Chair Umpire Ali Nili said in reprimanding Kyrgios during a changeover. “You have to act like a professional.”

Kyrgios from his news conference on his behavior during the match:

“It’s my choice. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come and watch. Just leave.

“If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?

“You want to buy a ticket? Come watch me. You know I’m unpredictable. It’s your choice. I don’t owe you anything.”

 

He later apologized on his twitter account:

 

 

Shanghai Rolex Masters

Shanghai, China

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2016

Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d S. Johnson (USA) 63 62
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] K. Edmund (GBR) 63 64
V. Troicki (SRB) d [4] R. Nadal (ESP) 63 76(3)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
M. Granollers (ESP) d [7] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(4) 76(1)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d B. Paire (FRA) 61 76(0)
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) d [12] N. Kyrgios (AUS) 63 61
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) d N. Almagro (ESP) 64 76(10)
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 64 64
[Q] V. Pospisil (CAN) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 75 76(2)
J. Sock (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 46 64
G. Simon (FRA) d [WC] D. Wu (CHN) 62 62

Doubles – Second Round
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Matkowski (POL) / J. Rojer (NED) 61 76(3)
[4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 76(4) 63
J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d [5] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 62
M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) 57 64 10-8
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) d [7] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 16 76(6) 10-5

Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) 62 63
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) 62 76(4)

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2016

STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[9] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Zverev (GER)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] V. Pospisil (CAN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 8:00 pm
G. Simon (FRA) vs [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

UNION PAY 3 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) vs M. Granollers (ESP)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) vs J. Sock (USA)
V. Troicki (SRB) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[6] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [11] D. Goffin (BEL)

GRANDSTAND start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
After Suitable Rest – J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs [4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

COURT 4 start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [8] R. Lindstedt (SWE) / V. Pospisil (CAN)

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Andy Murray and Agnieszka Radwanska Capture China Open Singles Crowns

(October 9, 2016) Andy Murray won his 40th ATP singles title, while Agnieszka Radwanska captured her 20th WTA crown as both were victorious at the China Open.

Scotsman Murray became just the 16th man to win 40 titles in the Open Era beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(2).

“It was probably my best match of the week,” Murray said. “But my second serve tonight was probably the best part of my game. A lot of the unreturned serves came off second serves. Considering the conditions were fairly cold, I was still serving over a hundred miles an hour on some second serves. I felt using good variation on that shot, so I didn’t give him a chance to really attack me there and that was probably the thing that I did best tonight.”

“I think the past couple of times, Andy has been playing really well against me,” Dimitrov said. “I didn’t start my match the best way possible. I got broken right away in the first game. There are very different conditions today, pretty chilly. I think I just didn’t have enough time to adjust.”
For Murray, this was his fifth title of the year, the most in a year for the 29-year-old since 2011.

 

Murray, who did not drop a set this week, is now within 1,555 points of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the rankings.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska

For the third seed Radwanska, her win over Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2, gave her, her third title of the year, all without dropping a set.

 

“Every title means a lot, but especially here when you play against the best players in the world, in one of the biggest tournaments,” Radwanska said. “It’s top players from the first round and I’ve been playing my best tennis all week so of course I’m very happy to win this tournament again, and this trophy is going to stay in a very special place.”
The Polish woman now joins Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova as the only women to have won three or more Premier Mandatory titles. She is now tied with Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, and Victoria Azarenka for most titles in 2016.
Konta great week makes her the first British woman to crack the Top 10 since Jo Durie did it in 1984.

“It’s pretty cool! I’m very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb,” Konta said. “I’m just working hard towards playing matches like these, against players like Agnieszka.”
“I had a lot of very amazing memories here at the China Open. It’s definitely one event I will remember for a very, very long time. Obviously I definitely would have loved to come out on top today, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

“Yeah, no, I think all in all I kept improving every match that I played. I really tried to build on the previous one constantly.

“I think equally today I will have a lot of things that I can build on and improve on, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully I will be able to create many more opportunities like this.”

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

In the men’s doubles, Rafael Nadal improved his finals record to 11-4 pairing up with countryman Pablo Carreno Busta to win 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-8 over Jack Sock and Bernard Tomic.

“We enjoy [playing] together,” Nadal said. “We played some good matches here, I think, winning against some good players. Winning with a good friend, too, is something that is a bit more special. So we’re happy for that.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the women’s doubles title, extending their current winning streak to 16.

“We had a lot of fun, like we do at every tournament,” Mattek-Sands said. “We have fun on and off the court, from the warm-ups to the dinners and foot massages. We had a lot of fun here in China and we’re looking forward to coming back.”

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Murray Win Sets Up Quarterfinal Match Against Davis Cup Teammate at China Open

(October 5, 2016) Top seed Andy Murray beat Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-1 at the China Open on Wednesday to set up an all-British quarterfinal against Davis Cup teammate Kyle Edmund.

Edmund, who came into the event as a qualifier, upset seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

With the Maria Sharapova doping ban reduced on Tuesday, Murray was asked about Head who makes both Sharapova’s and Murray’s tennis racquets. Head put out a press release as well as social media posts with a “#WestoodwithMaria” hashtag supporting Sharapova, which received some scrutiny.

Murray responded: “Well, I think Head made themselves pretty clear in March time when obviously the story came out how they were going to handle it. They said that they were going to support her through it all. I don’t think anyone maybe should have been surprised by it because of how they reacted in March.

“I spoke about it back then, how I felt about it. Obviously when I was asked about it yesterday, I was asked about the sentence potentially being reduced. It doesn’t mean I’ve changed my stance on how I feel about it.

“Maria competed at the Australian Open whilst using a banned drug, and then deserves a suspension. The time of the suspension, that’s not up to me. With everything that’s gone on this year with meldonium, obviously there were going to be some issues with that legally.

“But, yeah, obviously it’s done now. I’ve answered so many questions on it this year, all through March, and again here, I don’t feel like I need to keep talking about it. I’ve made my position very clear on how I felt about it. It’s the same as it was in March, and I’ll move on.”

In the women’s event, top seed Angelique Kerber had a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Barbora Strycova.

Asked about her thoughts about Sharapova’s ban reduction, the world No. 1 said: “You know, actually at the end the final decision is out. That’s all I can say because I don’t know exactly the whole story. I was not into it.

“Yeah, now she’s coming back in April, I think. Yeah, this is all I can say actually to this thing.”

Asked by a reporter if tennis missed Sharapova, the German responded: “I don’t know. I mean, you know, everybody is going her own way. Actually, you know, this is what I can say from my position. I’m not thinking about this because that’s her way. She have to go through it. Yeah, I think she’s looking back to being back on court.”

In other women’s results, US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova survived a match point to win 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over 19-year-old Daria Kasatkina. The win clinched a spot in the WTA Year-End event in Singapore.

Petra Kvitova beat second seed Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4 to advance. Kvitova is a on a winning streak in China, last week winning the Wuhan Open.

Other winners included Madison Keys, Johanna Konta, Daria Gavrilova, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia.

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 5 OCTOBER 2016

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Murray (GBR) d A. Kuznetsov (RUS) 62 61
[5] D. Ferrer (ESP) d F. Fognini (ITA) 63 64
[Q] K. Edmund (GBR) d [7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 46 64
A. Zverev (GER) d J. Sock (USA) 64 62

Men’s Singles – First Round
[8] R. Gasquet (FRA) d S. Querrey (USA) 26 63 62
P. Carreno Busta (ESP) d B. Tomic (AUS) 63 61
M. Jaziri (TUN) d G. Pella (ARG) 64 64
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d S. Johnson (USA) 75 67(9) 64
[Q] A. Mannarino (FRA) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 63 46 63

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP) d [WC] M. Gong (CHN) / Z. Zhang (CHN) 75 63

Doubles – First Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / D. Ferrer (ESP) 61 36 16-14
[2] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / V. Troicki (SRB) 76(10) 63
R. Gasquet (FRA) / L. Pouille (FRA) d M. Pavic (CRO) / M. Venus (NZL) 46 64 10-6
J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d M. Raonic (CAN) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 75

Women’s Singles – Third Round
[14] P. Kvitova (CZE) d [2] G. Muguruza (ESP) 61 64
[8] M. Keys (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 76(2) 62
Second Round
[1] A. Kerber (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 76(4)
[5] K. Pliskova (CZE) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 36 75 76(7)
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d T. Babos (HUN) 75 62
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d [12] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 46 60 64
[16] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [WC] S. Lisicki (GER) 64 64
C. Garcia (FRA) d [WC] S. Peng (CHN) 63 36 76(4)

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
[1] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Krunic (SRB) / K. Siniakova (CZE) 60 26 10-7
[WC] C. Mchale (USA) / S. Peng (CHN) d [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) 63 61
[3] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d V. King (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU) 76(6) 64
G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d [4] S. Mirza (IND) / B. Strycova (CZE) 46 61 10-4
[5] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) / C. Chuang (TPE) 61 64
J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] M. Hingis (SUI) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) 64 36 10-8
[WC] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) / J. Ostapenko (LAT) d [8] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(3) 06 10-5
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 57 75 10-4

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2016

NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 12:30 pm
WTA – [3] A. Radwanska (POL) vs C. Wozniacki (DEN)
WTA – [1] A. Kerber (GER) vs [16] E. Svitolina (UKR)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [6] L. Pouille (FRA) vs G. Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – S. Zhang (CHN) vs [4] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [Q] A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)

LOTUS COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – [5] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [11] J. Konta (GBR)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [8] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP)

Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – A. Cornet (FRA) vs Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

Not Before 6:30 pm
ATP – M. Jaziri (TUN) vs [3] M. Raonic (CAN)

MOON COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – [3] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO)
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
ATP – J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [2] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
WTA – After suitable rest – [1] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [WC] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) / J. Ostapenko (LAT)

BRAD DREWETT start 1:30 pm
ATP – J. Sock (USA) / B. Tomic (AUS) vs [Q] P. Lorenzi (ITA) / G. Pella (ARG)
WTA – After suitable rest – J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) or [4] S. Mirza (IND) / B. Strycova (CZE)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – TBA – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Gasquet (FRA) / L. Pouille (FRA)

 

 

At the Japan Open, former champions Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych both lost.

Nishikori was forced to retire from his match with a left Glute injury.

Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships
Tokyo, Japan

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 5 OCTOBER 2016

Singles – Second Round
J. Sousa (POR) d [1] K. Nishikori (JPN) 34 ret. (left glute)
[4] M. Cilic (CRO) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 46 75 75
[5] D. Goffin (BEL) d J. Vesely (CZE) 63 75
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [Q] J. Duckworth (AUS) 76(3) 63

Singles – First Round
G. Muller (LUX) d [3] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(7) 61

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [3] D. Inglot (GBR) / J. Rojer (NED) 76(6) 36 10-7

Doubles – First Round
[2] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d [Q] N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) 64 62
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT) d [4] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 67(5) 63 14-12
A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) 16 64 13-11

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2016

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[6] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE)
M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs G. Muller (LUX)
G. Simon (FRA) vs [2] G. Monfils (FRA)
[7] I. Karlovic (CRO) vs [PR] J. Tipsarevic (SRB)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

SHOW COURT 1 Not Before 1:00 pm
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) vs [2] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

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Berdych and Khachanov Take Titles in China

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

(October 2, 2016) Tomas Berdych defended his Shenzhen title on Sunday beating Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3. For the Czech, it’s his 13th ATP World Tour title.

Berdych missed the US Open due to appendicitis, but came back to the tour last week in St. Petersburg reaching the semifinals.

The victory moves him just 330 points behind Rafael Nadal in the ATP Race To London. He is currently in ninth place and the top eight make the Year-End event.

The 31-year-old Berdych last won a tournament at last year’s Stockholm Open.

“Five weeks ago I was in hospital, now I’m sitting here with the trophy,” Berdych said. “Things are changing very quickly. Luckily for me, everything is going well, I’m feeling good, sitting here as a winner. I’m just taking all this as a bonus, that I can play and win some matches.

“I think it was a very solid game. I said after the semi-final that I wanted to raise my game and play better and I think I achieved that against a tougher opponent. I’m very pleased with the way I played.

“The two match points [in the second set] were very tough. He served aces so I couldn’t do anything about that. He started playing very well and deserved to win the second set. I had to battle for the win and sometimes that happens.”

 

In Chengdu, Karen Khachanov became the latest first-time winner on the ATP World Tour when the unseeded player from Russia beat fifth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3.

 

“I can’t believe I won my first title,” said the champion. “I am very happy. I have been working hard and I am happy to achieve my first goal.

“In the second, I was thinking to win the set and keep fighting. I was playing against a guy much higher-ranked than me, so I just had to focus on every goal and keep going. You cannot lose focus and be relaxed. I was just pushing myself to the limit and I got the second set and then the third.”
“I fought as much as I could,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “And I think I didn’t play bad. I can play better but he played so well and what can I say, I’m not happy but maybe I’ll be happy tomorrow. It was not so good today, but also he was serving so well and so fast. That’s why I didn’t return so well.”
The 20-year-old will see his ranking move up by almost 50 spots to No. 55.

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Petra Kvitova wins Second Wuhan Open

Kvitova bh-001

(October 1, 2016) Petra Kvitova won her second Wuhan Open title on Saturday beating Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1. Kvitova’s win is her first title of 2016 and 18th of her career.

The 16th ranked Czech will move up to No. 11 in the world, while the Slovak Cibulkova will to a career-high No. 8 in the world on Monday.

“It’s great for sure to win it for a second time,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion. “I’m happy for that, how I played all week. I think it was amazing really. Especially everything started with the match against Angie (Kerber) when we really play long. It was great match from both of us. I think it was a big really fight.

”I’m really, you know, happy how I played afterwards, as well, how physically I managed to play great, even I didn’t really felt the best, but I was still mentally strong and I was try to really play my game, which was really important.”
“I have to say she played extremely well,” Cibulkova said. “I couldn’t do much more today on the court because she didn’t let me do so. I can’t regret anything. Okay, few balls I could do better, but otherwise she was just playing, you know, too good. Sometimes it happens.

“She’s a great player. When she’s playing like this, she can beat anybody. You know, I have to see the big picture. I had a great week here. Today’s final, you know, she was just playing really, really well and I couldn’t do much about it.”

Cibulkova talked about the difference in Kvitova’s game on Saturday: “he was just really hitting everything full power. She was just serving really well, going for returns. I couldn’t really play my game that I played during this week. Couldn’t get in the long rallies or in the rhythm because she didn’t let me. She was really powerful from the first strokes. That’s how she overpowered me today.”

 

“I think I played great six matches in six days, which it’s unreal for me to just think about,” said the Czech. “I’m really proud of myself how I did it, how I handle it physically, how everything went.

“Even I came late to my hotel room, I couldn’t really fall asleep straightaway, so it took me a while to get over it. I was sleepy all day. I really had to start warming up and prepare for the match which always kind of gave me some kind of, you know, like ready to be there.

“Especially the match against Angie was really difficult, for sure. The next days, I mean, playing Konta or Halep, they are really great players, Domi today. I was able to play and not have that many unforced errors.

“Yeah, I mean, that’s the tournament. I need this kind of consistency all year, which to be honest, I don’t think I can really do that. I’m probably the player who has up and downs. Of course, I going to try to be better in the downs. But I don’t really think that I can be, like, consistent all season. I’m just how I am probably, and I can’t really change it.

“I’m happy that my ups, they are really high, which I love of course. The downs are very low, but that’s how it is.”

 

In the doubles final, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the title. The victory qualifies the team for the WTA Year End in Singapore.

 

“I think we had an amazing match today,” Safarova said of the 6-1, 6-4 win over Mirza and Strycova. “We came out strong from the beginning. We returned great, served great, took their time away. That was the right strategy.”

 “We knew we were going to be close [to qualifying for WTA Finals] if we won,” Mattek-Sands said.  “But it’s something that we weren’t really in contention until before US Open. We were pretty far from it. But it’s amazing to make it again. Singapore obviously is the best of the best. Yeah, but we literally just found out right after the match.”

In Tashkent, Kristyna Pliskova defeated defending champion Nao Hibino 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to win her first WTA-level title. She is the twin sister of US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova.

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A Pair of First-time ATP Winners as Zverev Takes Down Wawrinka for St. Petersburg Crown and Pouille Wins Metz

 

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

(September 25, 2016) The ATP World Tour saw two first-time winners on Sunday. US Open winner and top seed Stan Wawrinka lost to 19-year-old up-and-and-coming German Alexander Zverev in St. Petersburg, while Frenchman Lucas Pouille beat top seed and No. 10 in the world Dominic Thiem to win in Metz, France.

The third seeded Pouille is coming off a successful US Open where he beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round on his way to the quarterfinals for the first time, where he lost to fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils.

The 22-year-old Pouille, ranked 18th won 7-6 (5), 6-2 to claim the Moselle Open.

 

Louis Pouille

Louis Pouille

 

“I’m very happy with my week, Pouille said after the victory. “Winning a title is a big step, it’s an objective I wanted to achieve this year. It was a well-played final. We both played at a high level.”

 

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

“I think the first set was a pretty high level from both of us,” said the 23-year-old Austrian finalist. “I should have won the tie-break, but had an easy volley mistake. All in all, he was the better player and had more chances in my service games. He deserved to win today. I think he put pressure on me all the time and was serving really well.

“He’s had an amazing year, reaching the quarter-finals in the last two Grand Slam and semis in the Masters 1000 in Rome. I think we will see him in the Top 10 soon.”

Just two weeks after winning his first US Open title for his third major title, Stan Wawrinka fell victim to the rising 19-year-old Zverev 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Zverev snapped the Swiss’ 11 match winning streak in finals in winning his first title. The last time Wawrinka lost in a final was in 2013. The German became the first teenager to win an ATP World Tour title since 2008 when Marin Cilic won in New Haven.

“This victory is something special,” the German said. “I played all the finals well. I lost to Dominic Thiem on clay and I could have won against Florian Mayer on the grass… Now I’m very happy with the win, especially over such a great player like Stan.”

“In the third set I had the initiative and played slice to his left more. I tried to neutralize his massive backhand. I’m satisfied with the win.”

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

“We showed high-quality tennis,” said Wawrinka. “I was struggling in the third set. I had chances but I didn’t manage to convert them. He deserved the win.”

“He is a good player right now. He scored a couple of big wins over top players. It means he is really strong.”

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Wozniacki Holds Off Osaka to Win Tokyo for First Title of 2016

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

 

(September 25, 2016) Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki kept her streak of winning at least one tournament a year alive when she fended off a charge by Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka 7-5, 6-3 to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday. Wozniacki also won the event in 2010.

Wozniacki, coming off having reached the US Open semifinals, has seen her ranking fall due to injuries this year, jumped out to a 5-0 first set lead, before Osaka fought back. She took a medical time out during the first set for a left leg injury which the Dane had taped.

Osaka was playing her first WTA final.

“I just fought for every point and tried to stay aggressive and make her move,” Wozniacki said. “She fought back in the second set so I was just happy to close it out.”

“Injuries happen and you never know when you can be taken out of the game, so I’m just enjoying every minute.”

“I’ve won a tournament every year since 2008 so I’m happy to keep that streak going,” Wozniacki said.

This was the Dane’s career 24th title win. She is currently 28th in the world.

Lara Arruabarrena

Lara Arruabarrena

In other WTA finals over the weekend, Lesia Tsurenko upset defending champion Jelena Jankovic at the Guangzhou Open for her first tour title while Lara Arruabarrena won the Korea Open over Monica Niculescu 6-0, 2-6, 6-0.

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With Title Win in Zhuhai, Venus Williams Returns to the WTA Top Ten

 

(November 8, 2015) Venus Williams ended her 2015 season by reaching the Top Ten for the first time in four years, when the 35-year-old top seed defeated Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-6 (6) to win the WTA Elite Trophy on Sunday in Zhuhai.

Williams held off a set point against the Czech in the second set tiebreak and secured the win. For Williams it’s her third WTA trophy of the year, also taking titles in Wuhan and Auckland.

“I’m so excited to win the first trophy in Zhuhai,” Williams said on court after the match. “All the players felt so welcome here and we appreciated all of the enthusiasm. To see every seat filled for every match, that’s all the players and tournament hope for.”

“I was really lucky to win at the end.”

The Zhuhai event had 11 of the top players who did not qualify for last week’s WTA Finals tournament in Singapore which hosted 8 of the top ten players.

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Djokovic Wins Third Shanghai Crown; Jankovic, Radwanska and Pavlyuchenkova Claim WTA Titles

 

(October 18, 2015) Novak Djokovic won his third Shanghai title on Sunday besting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final 6-2, 6-4. The victory, which gave him his 25 ATP Masters Series title and 57th career tournament win extended his current winning streak to 17 straight matches.

“Today the key was to get as many serves back into play to Jo because he has one of the biggest serves in the game,: said the world No. 1. “He has shown that in the second set, with some break points early in the set. He came up with some aces, some big serves.

“Generally I always felt in control of the match. I felt like I’ve done everything right. I’ve won many of my service games very comfortably. I didn’t allow him to get into the rhythm, get into the match. Today’s match, and overall the tournament, it’s gone incredibly well for me.”

“The first set went quick,” Tsonga said. “It’s not easy to stop him. He is really consistent on his return. Today I didn’t serve well enough, especially in the first set. After that, in the second, I served a little bit better, and it gave me the opportunity to have a chance on his serve. But finally I was not able to do it, and he broke me at 4-all.

“I’m very satisfied. To come back at your best level, it’s always a long process. I’m happy today to be back really close to the Top 10. Like I said just before, it gave me energy to continue to work hard and try to achieve other good things.”

With his performance this week, the Frenchman in now No. 9 in the Race to London for a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals.Just two spots remain in the eight-man field as Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych secured their places this week. They will join Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka who have already qualified.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova photo courtesy of Taste of Tennis

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova photo courtesy of Taste of Tennis

Twenty-ninth ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won her first title of the year and eighth WTA title overall defeating Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-4, 6-3 for the Linz title Generali Ladies.

 

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

Veteran Jelena Jankovic rallied from a set and 6-5 down to beat second seed Angelique Kerber in the Hong Kong Open final 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1

For the former No. 1 WTA player coming into the event as a Wild Card, Jankovic this was her 15th career crown. Jankovic said that this win will improve her confidence, especially beating Kerber and Venus Williams. She said it proves that she can still play at the top level and said that if she works hard, maybe she can win a major next year.

Aga Radwanska Party with the pros

Agnieszka Radwanska easily defeated Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 win the Tianjin Open title and claim a place in the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Radwanska, who won her 16th WTA title of her career, became the fifth player to qualify for the year-end championships. She will be joining Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza in Singapore. No. 1 Serena Williams withdrew from the event to rest and recover.

 

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