Men’s Tennis champions : 32 Week 2013

NADAL

BEATS

ISNER

FOR

WESTERN

Mason, OH (Sports Network) – Fourth-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal won back-to- back hard court finals in successive weeks for the first time in his career with a victory over unseeded American John Isner in Sunday’s title match at the Western & Southern Open.

Nadal ran his record on hardcourts this season to 15-0 with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3) triumph over Isner at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The 12-time Grand Slam champion improved his head-to-head record against Isner to 4-0.

The 27-year-old Nadal, last week’s Masters champion in Montreal, played in his 37th career ATP Masters 1000 final (26-11 in finals, 8-6 on hard). He also appeared in his 82nd career ATP World Tour level final (59-23 overall, 9-2 in 2013).

Nadal became the second Spaniard to win the title here (Carlos Moya in 2002). He will move from No. 3 to No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. The last time Nadal was No. 2 was the week of July 2, 2012 (second week of Wimbledon).

Isner, meanwhile, was aiming for his fourth consecutive win over a Top 10 player this week after beating No. 10 Milos Raonic in the third round, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals.

The 28-year-old Isner fell to 7-9 in title matches.

Nadal took home $583,800 with the victory.

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram

women’s Tennis champions : 32 Week 2013

Victoria Azarenka 32 Week 2013

AZARENKA

OUTLASTS

SERENA

FOR

WESTERN 

Mason, OH (Sports Network) – Victoria Azarenka prevailed in a tightly contested third-set tiebreaker to down top-seeded Serena Williams and win the $2.37 million Western & Southern Open in a classic championship match between the world’s top two ranked players on Sunday.

The two-time reigning Australian Open champion Azarenka won four of the final five points of the deciding tiebreak to capture her 17th career ATP title with a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) victory that took nearly 2 1/2 hours on the hardcourts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

The triumph was only Azarenka’s third in 15 career meetings with the 16-time Grand Slam titlist Williams, though one of those verdicts came on a hard surface at Doha back in February. Williams also defeated Azarenka in the finals of last year’s U.S. Open.

Williams, fresh off a title in Toronto last week, appeared well on her way to another after dominating Azarenka in the opening set. The 31-year-old American star played poorly in the second, however, committing 26 unforced errors to let Azarenka even the match.

Azarenka later came up with a big break of Williams to grab a 4-2 lead in the third set, but the 2013 French Open champ roared back and broke Azarenka twice while taking the next three games to serve for the match.

Williams couldn’t hold serve, however, as Azarenka knotted the set at 5-5 before the match eventually went to a tiebreaker.

Azarenka claimed four of the first six points of the tiebreak before Williams won the next three to hold a 5-4 edge. Azarenka rebounded too with back-to- back points with Williams serving to create match point, but Williams forced an error from Azarenka after returning serve to even things up once again.

The Belarusian standout came up with a winner on her next serve, however, before Williams hit a forehead return into the net to clinch the match for Azarenka.

Azarenka earned $426,000 for winning this event, part of the U.S. Open Series leading up to the upcoming fourth Grand Slam of the season. Williams collected $213,000.

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram

Men’s Tennis champions : 31 Week 2013

rafael nadal 31 Week 2013

NADAL

BEATS

CANADIAN HOPEFUL RAONIC

IN

ROGERS CUP FINAL

MONTREAL — Milos Raonic called it a learning experience.

It certainly wasn’t the victory party the Uniprix Stadium crowd was hoping for as Rafael Nadal took only one hour eight minutes to down Canada’s top tennis player 6-2, 6-2 in the US$3.49 million Rogers Cup final on Sunday.

But it had taken 55 years for a Canadian just to get to the final of the country’s biggest tournament, so Raonic had much to celebrate despite the defeat.

For one, by reaching the final he will be ranked 10th in the world when the next rankings appear Monday morning, making him the first Canadian to crack the top-10. He will be the youngest player in the top 10 as well.

“The tournament overall was a great thing,” the 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., said. “There were a lot of situations that I’m very happy with the way I dealt with them, and there were a lot of learning experiences through it all.

“A lot of stepping stones that I need to do in my career happened this week, so that’s great. The match, obviously I’m a little disappointed with myself. I would have hoped to deal with that situation a little bit better.”

The last Canadian to reach the final of what was then called the Canadian Open, the now 81-year-old Robert Bedard of Sherbrooke, Que., was among the more than 11,000 at centre court to see the power-serving Raonic meticulously taken apart by fourth-seeded Nadal’s service returns and brilliant baseline play.

Nadal, one of the world’s best who was playing for the first time since his first-round loss at Wimbledon in June, posted his eighth tournament win this year and the 58th of his career.

He sees Raonic as one of the rising talents in the sport.

“With his serve, his chance to be in the top 10 for a long time is very good,” the Spaniard said. “Then what you need is to work on the mental part and in the game from the baseline, to try to play the right way on the important points.

“I think he will do it. He’s still young. He’s having great results. This week is going to be very important for him and for tennis in Canada in general.”

It was an unprecedented week for Canada, which already reached a milestone in April when it defeated Italy to make the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time.

Of the six Canadians in the Rogers Cup main draw, a record five got to the second round.

Then Raonic and Vernon, B.C., native Vasek Pospisil became the first two Canadians to make the semifinals of an ATP Tour tournament since Andrew Sznajder and Martin Wostenholme in 1990 in Rio de Janeiro.

They played each other in a semifinal, a cliffhanger that went to a third-set tiebreaker.

So the one-sided loss in the final stung, but it was still a big week as he made the final for the first time in a Masters series event, one level below the grand slams.

Raonic had worn different coloured Davis Cup-style shirts with a maple leaf over the heart all week, but saved a red-and-white one for the final.

When he walked onto the court, he got a standing ovation.

“That was one of the most special feelings I’ve had in my career to this date,” he said. “I even got a little bit of goosebumps from that. I’m very, very grateful to have that memory and that experience here.”

The crowd stayed with him despite the beating.

Nadal had two service breaks in a quick first set, including one game that Raonic led 40-0. The Canadian wasted three break points on Nadal’s serve in the fourth game of the second set and saw his chance to make a contest of it slip away.

His best weapon, his serve, was not on form. He got only 50 per cent of his first serves in, and had only four aces.

“I was trying more to serve hard rather than hitting spots,” he said. “I wasn’t getting the percentages I needed on my first serve.

“Obviously, (Nadal) was playing great. He wasn’t making many errors, if any. But at some points, I wasn’t making him play enough, or waiting for the right shot. I think I was rushing a lot in the first set and a half.

“But you live and learn. It’s an experience I can learn a lot from and I’m sure I will.”

Asked to comment on Raonic, Bedard says he has a bright future but needs to work on his game.

“His return of serve is his weakness, for sure,” said Bedard, who still plays doubles a few times per week. “He relies too much on his serve.

“If I were his coach, and I’m not close to that, I wouldn’t let him serve for a while and just make him play and improve on the other shots that he has. One thing he might not be able to improve as much as he should, as much as Pospisil will, is that his mobility is not that great. But that can improve also.”

Nadal, who is 4-0 against Raonic in his career, won $547,300, while Raonic took in $268,350.

Nadal stretched his record for wins in Masters series tournaments to 25 with his fourth this year. He is 48-3 and has reached the final of 10 out of 11 tournaments played in 2013.

Raonic and Pospisil are slated to play this week in Cincinnati.

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram

women’s Tennis champions : 31 Week 2013

serena williams 31 Week 2013

SERENA

DEFEATS

CIRSTEA

TO WIN THIRD

ROGERS CUP TITLE

TORONTO — Serena Williams insists it’s not as easy as it looks.

The top-seeded American breezed to her third Rogers Cup title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea in Sunday’s final, giving Williams her eighth WTA title of the year and 54th of her career.

She didn’t drop a set all week at the $2.369-million tournament and lost only 22 games, almost half of which came against third-seed Agnieszka Radwanska in a semifinal match which proved to be the only real test for the world No. 1 in Toronto.

With the absence of top-five players Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, and the early exit of Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli, all due to injury, Williams’s path to the title was made considerably less obstructed.

But with expectation comes pressure, and Williams proved more than up to the task.

“No tournament is ever easy, especially being in the position I am in,” said Williams. “The tournament starts and they expect you to win. And the tournament is like, ‘you’re going to be in the final and after your semifinal I want you to do this, and you have to do this and this press.’ Who knows if I’ll even make it to the semifinals?

“It’s a lot of pressure. It’s not easy.”

Williams says she likes where her game it as heading towards the U.S Open, where she is the defending champion, and she’ll look to use this victory as momentum this week in Cincinnati. Despite only having lost one match since March, a stunning early exit at Wimbledon, Williams says there’s still room for improvement.

“For me it’s always about constantly improving and never saying ‘I did great and I can be satisfied,”‘ she said. “I did great (today), but what can I do better? What can I improve on? That’s what I always strive for.

“When I get satisfied, and for a lot of players, the (playing) level goes down.”

Cirstea, meanwhile, had a breakthrough tournament, having ousted two former world No. 1s in Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki before dethroning defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarters, then fourth-seed Li Na of China in the semifinals.

She was appearing in only her third WTA final and looking to build on her only title, won way back in 2008 at Tashkent.

“For me it’s been a really positive week and I’m going to take everything that well to the next tournament,” said Cirstea.

Cirstea showed her nerves from the opening game, double faulting the first point and again at 30-40 to give Williams an early break.

Williams broke again for 3-0 after Cirstea sent a backhand wide. That prompted a visit from her Australian coach Darren Cahill, who gave the 23-year-old a pep talk.

It appeared to work momentarily as Cirstea won four straight points to break back and held serve at 3-2 to get back in the match.

But Williams quickly removed any chance of an upset, winning two straight games and acing a set point winner for 6-2.

“The start was not as bad as the scored showed,” said Cirstea. “The first three games I had really good chances so I could have been up three-love. Suddenly I found myself down three-love. I know the score seems quite tough but there were moments when I felt the match was closer than it seemed.”

With shouts of “Sorana” and “Serena” volleying back and forth around the stadium like tennis balls, splashes of Romania’s blue, yellow and red could be seen dotting the almost-full Rexall Centre stands on a warm, sunny afternoon.

“I was surprised to see how many Romanians there were out there and how many flags I’ve seen,” said Cirstea. “It was an incredible atmosphere and it made me feel like home when they were screaming, supporting me and saying positive things. I’m looking forward to coming back here.”

The vocal contingent cheering on Cirstea didn’t have much to go on in the second set. Williams broke out of the gate using her trademark power strokes to keep Cirstea running and ripped a 199 km/h ace to hold serve at 2-0.

Cirstea, with her head hanging low, again called over Cahill for motivation, but it did little this time as Williams eased through the final four games and wrapped up the match in just over an hour.

Williams gets $426,000 for the win while Cirstea will take home $213,000 — almost half her prize money earned so far this year.

Cirstea teared up during the trophy presentation and graciously expressed her admiration for Williams.

“Usually I’m quite emotional,” said the Romanian. “Of course I was disapointed because I wanted to play better, so it’s mixed feelings out there. I think even if I won today I would still be crying.”

All three of Williams’s Rogers Cup titles have come in Toronto, the first in 2001 before winning it again in 2011. She says she loves playing in this city because of the friends who come out to see her play. Local hip-hop star Drake, who was also present for her 2011 win, sat courtside and cheered on Williams.

“We’re really good friends,” said Williams, “I was excited that he made it today.”

In the doubles final, Jankovic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia won 5-7, 6-2, 10-6 over Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Czech Kveta Peschke.

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram

women’s Tennis champions : 30 Week 2013

STOSUR

BEATS

AZARENKA

TO WIN

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OPEN

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Sam Stosur won the Southern California Open on Sunday for her first title in nearly two years, beating top-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-3.

The fifth-seeded Stosur of Australia had lost all of her previous eight matches against Azarenka, winning only two sets.

The win was Stosur’s fourth career singles title and the first since she won her only major, the 2011 U.S. Open.

“I think this is a huge boost for me,” said Stosur. “I haven’t had great results for really all year, so to be able to bounce back and come away with this is really exciting and a good boost going into the last slam of the year.”

Later Sunday, Azarenka withdrew from Rogers Cup in Toronto because of a lower back injury.

“I’m so disappointed that I can’t make it to Toronto as I added it to my schedule knowing what an important event it is,” Azarenka said. “I am sorry to all my Canadian fans and I will work hard to get healthy and back on the courts as soon as possible.”

Azarenka, the two-time Australian Open champion, played another loose match, committing 32 unforced errors including seven double faults, and had only 11 winners.

“I think I was taking too many wrong kind of decisions or too risky decisions when there was no need to be risky,” she said. “I didn’t try to sometimes stay in the rally. I just wanted to make what sometimes I can make with eyes closed. (Sunday) I didn’t do it with open eyes.”

Stosur, playing in her first final since October, hit 20 winners compared to 29 unforced errors, but played the key points well, including saving 11 of 12 break points.

“That was a really big part of the match,” Stosur said. “That first set, she did have lots of opportunities. I think nearly all of them except one I hit a really good first serve in and she didn’t make the ball into play.”

Stosur, ranked No. 13, requested and was granted a wild-card into the event after she lost her opening-round match last week at Stanford in the Bank of the West Classic. Stosur had victories over No. 4-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and the third-ranked Azarenka, the first time she has defeated two top-five players in an event since the 2011 WTA Championships.

“You can practice all you want, but at some point, you got to put it into play in matches,” Stosur said. “That was the reasoning behind coming here. You got to put yourself under that pressure of playing matches. That’s why I came, and obviously now, very, very pleased with that decision.”

Azarenka, who will move into the No. 2 ranking ahead of Maria Sharapova on Monday, was playing her first tournament since withdrawing from Wimbledon with a right knee injury before her second-round match.

Azarenka set the tone early when she didn’t win a point on her first service game of the match, including consecutive double faults to give Stosur a 2-0 lead. She then scored her only break of the match on Stosur’s serve in the next game before the Aussie broke back for a 3-1 lead.

In a key game, Stosur fended off five break points in the next game to hold her serve and take a 4-1 lead en route to winning the first set.

Stosur held a huge advantage with her serve in the set over one of the game’s best returners. Stosur, who had six aces, won 73 per cent of her first serves compared to Azarenka, who won just 43 per cent. Azarenka was even worse on her second serves, winning only 30 per cent.

Azarenka improved her game slightly in the second set as the pair were on serve until Stosur struck with the only service break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

Stosur improved her record in finals to 4-12.

RYBARIKOVA

TOPS

PETKOVIC

FOR SECOND STRAIGHT

WASHINGTON TITLE

WASHINGTON — Seventh-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia beat unseeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Sunday to win the Citi Open for the second consecutive year.

Rybarikova, who is ranked 43rd, improved her record at the hard-court tournament to 10-0.

Half of her four career titles have come in Washington.

“I would love to play (here) all the time, maybe,” said Rybarikova, who is ranked 43rd.

She fell behind 4-0 before taking eight consecutive games to win the first set and go up 2-0 in the second.

There was one other blip for Rybarikova, who was broken while serving for the match at 5-4 in the last set.

“I was really tight and my arm was kind of shaking,” Rybarikova said.

But she pulled herself together in the tiebreaker, explaining later that she was “really, really calm and relaxed.”

Petkovic, in contrast, was feeling fatigued out down the stretch. She had a tough turnaround, coming back to play in the final a little more than 15 hours after her rain-delayed semifinal finished past 2 a.m. Sunday.

By the time she got a massage and ate something and wound down, Petkovic said, she didn’t get to bed until 5 a.m. and got only four or five hours of sleep.

“That lack of energy — it doesn’t affect my body so much, but it affects always my emotions and my mental state. So I was getting really emotional out there when I normally stay really calm,” said Petkovic, a former top-10 player who is coming back from a series of injuries and is currently ranked 64th.

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram

Men’s Tennis champions : 30 Week 2013

juan martin del potro 30 week 2013

DEL POTRO

SOLVES

ISNER’S SERVE,

WINS

THIRD WASHINGTON TITLE

WASHINGTON — When Juan Martin del Potro is healthy, and his shots are on target, he’s as dangerous as they come on the sort of hard courts used at the U.S. Open.

Getting his game in shape ahead of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament, the top-seeded del Potro solved John Isner’s big serve and pulled away for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory in the Citi Open final Sunday, winning his third championship and 14th consecutive match in Washington.

“His forehand is widely regarded as maybe the best in the world,” Isner said. “I couldn’t do anything about it. I actually wasn’t really surprised. I’ve seen him do that a lot of times. That’s what he does. He’s got a lot of talent, and a lot of talent on that forehand side.”

Back in 2009, del Potro followed up a title in the nation’s capital with a trophy at the U.S. Open, which starts in three weeks.

“Fantastic memories,” the seventh-ranked del Potro told the crowd.

When the Argentine arrived in Washington this time, he came with some questions about his body and his game. He hadn’t played a hard-court match since the spring. He hadn’t competed at all in nearly a month — a five-set loss July 5 to No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history, more than 4 1/2 hours. And he hadn’t fully tested the left knee he hyperextended in a tumble during a match at the All England Club.

“I’m surprised to win this tournament,” del Potro said.

He came through without any problems, other than that first-set hiccup, which might have been due to a short turnaround: His semifinal was delayed by rain Saturday night and ended after midnight. He didn’t get to sleep until about 3 a.m., 12 hours before the final started, which he said was “a little frustrating.”

In the women’s final, seventh-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia beat unseeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (2) to win the Citi Open for the second consecutive year. The 43rd-ranked Rybarikova is 10-0 in Washington, where she’s won half of her four career titles.

With wind whipping around at 15 mph and temperatures at 80 degrees, Isner got off to a terrific start Sunday — thanks in part to his powerful and always effective serve, not surprisingly, but also with other aspects of his still-evolving game.

It took Isner less than 10 minutes to create a cushion, breaking at love for a 3-1 edge and soon was up 5-2. Given that Isner never had won a set against del Potro in three previous meetings, it made sense that nothing would come easily this time, either. So Isner required five set points before eventually cashing in with a 137 mph service winner.

And then, everything changed. Perhaps Isner was bound to falter after such impeccable serving all week. Perhaps the fatigue of playing his ninth match in 11 days — the American won a hard-court title at Atlanta last week — caught up to him.

After all, Isner thanked his chiropractor during the trophy ceremony, drawing chuckles from fans.

Del Potro’s take: “It was strange to hear that.”

While Isner acknowledged he was tired, del Potro had a lot to do with the way the match shifted.

Starting off way behind the baseline to receive serves and using every bit of his considerable wingspan, Del Potro broke Isner four times in all, including three in a row while winning seven consecutive games to take control.

Isner — best known for winning the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010 — had not even faced a break point over any of his previous three matches.

Del Potro also limited Isner to six aces after the eighth-seeded and 20th-ranked American pounded 29 in the semifinals.

“I’m sure that was his game plan, just to get my serve back and go from there,” Isner observed. “He was standing so far back that the guy calling the sideline had to move out of the way.”

Del Potro added to his Washington titles from 2008 and 2009. He skipped the tournament for various reasons from 2010-12.

He earned his first break point Sunday — and the first Isner faced since his opening match — 35 minutes into the final, in the second set’s second game. But a 14-stroke point ended with del Potro sailing an easy forehand long for an unforced error. He hung his head, leaned over with hands on knees, then crouched down and stared at the net.

Isner also took the next two points to hold for 1-1. But Isner wouldn’t win another game for a substantial stretch.

A bad drop shot into the net, a poor overhead smash right at del Potro that resulted in a cross-court forehand winner, a long forehand and a long backhand all added up to a break at love. That ended a run of 50 consecutive service games won by Isner across four matches and put del Potro up 3-1 in the second set.

Clearly, he was in charge. After only 1 1/2 hours, the final was finished.

Next for del Potro are hard-court tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati. Those lead up to the U.S. Open, where Isner said del Potro will be “certainly one of the top favourites.”

marcel granollers 30 week 2013

GRANOLLERS

WINS KITZBUEHEL TITLE

AFTER RALLYING PAST

MONACO

KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Marcel Granollers won his fourth ATP title after overcoming a disastrous start Saturday, defeating second-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the bet-at-home Cup final.

The 53rd-ranked Spaniard won his first title since also beating Monaco two years ago in Valencia, Spain. Becoming the first Spanish winner here since Alex Corretja in 2002, Granollers improved to 4-2 in career finals.

“It’s a very special feeling to win here,” said Granollers, who had failed to go beyond the quarterfinals of an event this season but ended Robin Haase’s two-year winning run in Kitzbuehel in the semifinals.

Monaco was seeking his ninth career title and second of the year, after winning in May in Duesseldorf, Germany.

The 31st-ranked Monaco, who won here in 2007, dictated the pace in the opening set with strong forehands from the baseline, sending Granollers from one corner to the other.

Monaco broke Granollers’ first service game with a winner off the net cord and added two more breaks to take the opening set in 23 minutes.

“I didn’t play well at all in the beginning. He was very solid from the start,” said Granollers, who won only nine points in the set. “When you’re close to winning a title, you get nervous.”

Granollers saved two more break points early in the second set, helping him to settle, and broke himself at the first opportunity to lead 5-3.

“He had chances in the second set as well and I was lucky he couldn’t take them,” Granollers said. “From then on it became a different match.”

Granollers had a 4-0 lead in the deciding set. He missed three match points at 5-2 but converted at the fourth chance on Monaco’s serve when the Argentine sent a backhand volley long.

“Marcel deserved to win,” Monaco said. “In the end, he just played better than me.”

Images and text credits  ; http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/

compiled by : ram0ram