24 March 2008
Novak Djokovic stopped giant-killer Mardy Fish to win the Pacific Life Open men’s singles 6-2 5-7 6-3 in Indian Wells, California
Ana Ivanovic won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of the year, the Pacific Life Open, and sixth of her career by defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 6-3.
Mardy Fish joined a growing list of players who can claim an upset victory over Roger Federer when the American beat the world’s No. 1 player in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open. It wasn’t even close as Fish crushed his Swiss opponent 6-3 6-2.
Roger Federer, who has won eight of the last eleven Grand Slam tournaments, has yet to win a title of any kind in 2008. Federer’s hold on the world No. 1 ranking became even more tenuous after he fell to American Mardy Fish in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open. So far in 2008, Federer has lost three times, to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals, to Andy Murray in the opening round at Dubai, and to Fish in Indian Wells.
“There is something in this desert air which keeps me going year after year. I’m doing pretty good here.” – Novak Djokovic after winning the Pacific Life Open men’s crown with a 6-2 5-7 6-3 win over Mardy Fish.
“It’s always painful to lose, but I prefer losing in the final to losing in the second round.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the women’s title match of the Pacific Life Open.
“He would never miss, really, when I needed a miss once in a while.” – Roger Federer after his 6-3-6-2 semifinal loss to Mardy Fish at the Pacific Life Open.
“This obviously wasn’t Roger’s best day.” – Mardy Fish after upsetting top-ranked Roger Federer.
“The truth is he played better than me today. It’s difficult to say more things.” – Rafael Nadal after losing to Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2 in the Pacific Life Open semifinals.
“I think we both played good tennis from the first point on, and I was really happy with that.” – Ana Ivanovic after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the Pacific Life Open women’s singles.
Dinara Safina teamed up with fellow Russian Elena Vesnina to win their first women’s doubles title, defeating the third-seeded Chinese team of Yan Zi and Zheng Jie 6-1 1-6 10-8 (Match Tiebreak) at the Pacific Life Open.
Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram won the Pacific Life Open men’s doubles crown. They beat Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-4, 6-4.
Not only did Svetlana Kuznetsova hand Maria Sharapova her first loss of 2008, she may have had a hand in knocking the Australian Open champion out of her next tournament. After losing to Kuznetsova 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 at Indian Wells, Sharapova pulled out of next week’s Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, citing a shoulder injury.
WTA head Larry Scott was quick to defend two of the sport’s greatest champions after Richard Williams took a verbal swipe at them. “Champions like Chris Evert and Tracy Austin have done so much to help build women’s tennis to where it is today, and it is regrettable that anyone would criticize them in this manner,” Scott said. His response came after Williams, Venus and Serena’s father, charged that Evert and Austin, both enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, were boosted by the media even though they “cannot hit the ball.”
Svetlana Kuznetsova has problems on the final day. Ranked fourth in world, the Russian has reached three singles finals this year, and has lost them all. She has now lost eight of the last nine tournament finals she has played.
The back injury that caused her to pull out of the Pacific Life Open has been even more troublesome for Lindsay Davenport at home. The problem has prevented the new mother from carrying her baby. “I haven’t been able to lift him out of his crib, out of the stroller or out of the car seat, so I’ve feel like kind of a bad mom in that regard,” Davenport said.
SELES BY SELES
Monica Seles is writing her memoirs. Seles was the No. 1 player in the world when a man climbed out of the stands in Hamburg, Germany, during a match in 1993 and stabbed her in the back. She was off the tour for more than two years before coming back to win the Australian Open in 1996.
John McEnroe will play World Team Tennis for the eighth season this year when he competes in three road matches for the New York Sportimes. McEnroe will visit the Philadelphia Freedoms on July 14, the Washington Kastles on July 15 and the Newport Beach Breakers on July 22. Others scheduled to play World Team Tennis this season include Lindsay Davenport, Serena and Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova, Anna Kournikova and the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike.
SITES TO SURF
Men’s tour: http://www.atptour.com
Women’s tour: http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com
Fox TV: http://msn.foxsports.com/tv/schedule
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
ATP and WTA Tours
$3,770,000 Sony Ericsson Open, Key Biscayne, Florida, hard court
24 March 2008