Juan Martin del Potro won the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel, Austria, by beating Jurgen Melzer 6-2 6-1
Gilles Simon beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 6-4 to win the Indianapolis Tennis Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana
Fernando Verdasco captured the ATP Studena Croatia Open by beating Igor Andreev 3-6 6-4 7-6 (4) in Umag, Croatia
Albert Montanes downed Steve Darcis 1-6 7-5 6-3 to win the Dutch Open Tennis in Amersfoort, Netherlands
Aleksandra Wozniak beat Marion Bartoli 7-5 6-3 and won the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California
Pauline Parmentier won the Gastein Ladies 08, beating Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-4 in Bad Gastein, Austria
Goran Ivanisevic won the inaugural Turkcell Legends Cup in Istanbul, Turkey, defeating Fernando Meligeni 6-4 6-4
Mara Santangelo beat Jelena Kostanic Tosic 6-3 6-1 to win the Circolo Tennis Biella in Biella, Italy
Group IV: Costa Rica and Haiti are promoted to America Zone Group III in 2009
Group II Playoffs: Finland beat Luxembourg 3-2; Hungary beat Greece 5-0; Egypt beat Morocco 3-2; Slovenia beat Tunisia 4-1 (winners promoted to Group I in 2009)
Group II: South Africa beat Denmark 5-0; Monaco beat Algeria 5-0; Portugal beat Cyprus 5-0; Ukraine beat Ireland 3-1 (winners meet September 19-21)
“It’s another dream for me. In two weeks I played ten matches and won all of them. This week I didn’t lose a set.” – Juan Martin del Potro, after winning his second straight tournament.
“I’ve always dreamt about winning an ATP title. This moment is very special for me.” – Albert Montanes, who snapped a nine-year drought by capturing his first ATP tournament title in Amersfoort, Netherlands.
“I don’t know what’s happening. I guess I make them run too much or something.” – Aleksandra Wozniak, a qualifier from Canada who won the Bank of the West Classic. Her semifinal opponent, Serena Williams, retired in the second set with a knee injury, while her opponent in the final, Marion Bartoli, had a sore left hip and was limping badly late in the match.
“It was hurting in practice … and during the match it was getting worse. After I got off the court it was really swollen. I’m not sure how long it’ll take to heal.” – Serena Williams, who retired from her semifinal match at the Bank of the West Classic with a left knee injury.
“It’s really disappointing for me. I was able to play some really great tennis to be able to be in the final.” – Marion Bartoli, after a sore left hip hampered her play in the Bank of the West Classic final.
“It was a perfect week. It was a very difficult week because of all the rain, but when you have a tougher week like this, the victory is much bigger.” – Pauline Parmentier, who won the Gastein Ladies, her second WTA Tour singles title.
“It makes me feel old. But it is great to come back so many years and establish a consecutive run I can be proud of. It’s fun to be part of such a great sport for so long.” – Patty Schnyder, who will be competing in her 50th Grand Slam tournament at this year’s U.S. Open.
“Serena is an athlete who transcends the sport a little bit. She has world-wide popularity. She’s the Williams sister I can beat. I didn’t want to play Venus.” – Patty Schnyder, who is 3-7 against Serena Williams and 0-9 against Venus.
“We were unlucky at the French Open and unlucky at Wimbledon, but we’re going to learn from those losses. The Slams are what we play for.” – Liezel Huber, after she and Cara Black won their sixth doubles title of the year at the Bank of the West Classic.
“She is Serena Williams. I didn’t have much to lose. I pretty much gave it all. I don’t think she really expected me to play that well.” – Michelle Larcher de Brito, a 15-year-old who won the first set before Williams won the match 4-6 6-3 6-2.
“I just tried to put the ball inside. Nothing more. I don’t know why I lost the second set and won the third set 6-love.” – Gilles Simon, after beating Benjamin Becker 7-5 3-6 6-0.
“In tennis anyone can win a match. Last year everyone here thought it would be (James) Blake and (Andy) Roddick in the final. Instead it was me and (Canadian) Frank Dancevic.” – Dmitry Tursunov, at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships, where he lost in this year’s final to Gilles Simon.
“I blew it. I feel bad for the team because we were winning so big.” – John McEnroe, who lost in both singles and doubles and his New York Sportimes World Team Tennis squad fell to the Washington Kastles 18-17 in overtime.
“I heard you wanted me to play doubles here, but you never asked me. I would have, so that’s your bad.” – Brad Gilbert, to Seascape head tennis pro Rick Kepler about playing in the Comerica Challenger in Aptos, California.
“She’s going to get a taste of what green grass is like on the golf course rather than at Wimbledon.” – Greg Norman, talking about his new wife, Chris Evert, as he prepared to play in the British Open golf championships, where he finished tied for third.
Aleksandra Wozniak was still standing when the rest of the field limped off the court at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California. “I just keep playing aggressive and doing what I needed to do to win,” said Wozniak, who became the first Canadian to win a WTA Tour singles title in 20 years by beating Marion Bartoli 7-5 6-3 in the final. Wozniak, a qualifier, won her semifinal when top-seeded Serena Williams pulled out with a knee injury while trailing in the second set. In the final, Bartoli was slowed by a sore left hip and was limping badly late in the match. The last Canadian to win a WTA title was Carling Bassett in 1987. Wozniak became the third qualifier to win a tournament this year and the first to do it in a Tier II tournament, one with more than USD $600,000 in prize money.
The United States women’s Olympic tennis team will go hobbling into Beijing. Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport both withdrew from the East West Bank Classic with right knee injuries, and Serena Williams retired from her semifinal match at the Bank of the West Classic with a swollen right knee. Venus hasn’t played a tournament since defeating sister Serena and winning her fifth Wimbledon title earlier this month. Davenport’s injury has caused her to withdraw from four tournaments in seven weeks. All three say they plan on playing in Beijing.
SKIPPING THE OLYMPICS
Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, Stefan Koubek of Austria and Karin Knapp of Italy are among the latest withdrawals from the Beijing Olympics because of injuries. Tsonga will be replaced by Michael Llodra, Chris Guccione of Australia will take Koubek’s place, and Mara Santangelo will replace her Italian teammate in the women’s singles at Beijing.
SET FOR FLUSHING
When Roger Federer begins the drive for his fifth consecutive US Open men’s singles title, Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal will also be in the chase. The field will include three other former US Open champions: Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin. Federer is attempting to become the first player in the Open Era to win five straight US Opens and become the first to win that many in a row since Bill Tilden won six US Championships from 1920-25.
Five past champions have entered the US Open women’s singles – Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The reigning French Open champion, Ana Ivanovic, heads a group that includes 99 of the top 100 women. Only Akiko Morigami of Japan, who is ranked number 98 in the world, did not enter the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. Morigami recently underwent knee surgery.
Juan Martin del Potro liked his first ATP title so much he went right out and won a second. The 19-year-old Argentine won his first career tournament at Stuttgart, Germany, beating Richard Gasquet in the final. Then he zipped through the field at Kitzbuhel, Austria, downing local favorite Jurgen Melzer 6-2 6-1 in the title match of the Austrian Open. Del Potro becomes just the second player this year to win ATP tournaments in consecutive weeks. Rafael Nadal has done it twice. Melzer was the first Austrian to reach the Kitzbuhel final since Thomas Muster was runner-up to Albert Costa in 1995.
When Albert Montanes beat defending champion Steve Darcis 1-6 7-5 6-3 at Amersfoort, Netherlands, it was the first time the Spaniard had won an ATP tournament in nine years on the tour. Ranked 63rd in the world, Montanes was in his fourth career final, all coming on clay courts.
Rogers Communications Inc. will continue to be the title sponsor for the Rogers Cup in both Toronto and Montreal at least through 2011. Tennis Canada and Rogers Communications announced a three-year renewal of the title sponsorship, which began in 2000 with the WTA Tour event. Rogers Cup is now the name for both the men’s and women’s events in Canada, with the two rotating between Toronto and Montreal annually. This year the men are in Toronto and the women in Montreal. Rogers Communication is also involved in grassroots tennis in Canada.
Alexandra Krunic of Serbia made her debut in professional tennis a winning one. The 15-year-old entered the USD $10,000 International Tennis Federation Women’s Circuit event in Prokuplje, Serbia, as a wild-card entry. She completed the week by defeating qualifier Tanya Germanlieva of Bulgaria 6-4 6-1 in the final to claim the title, having dropped just one set in the tournament.
SET FOR BEIJING
Devin Mullings has been playing tennis for Ohio State, where he just finished his junior year. At the Beijing Olympics, he will be representing his country, the Bahamas, where he will be playing doubles with one of the top doubles players in the world, Mark Knowles. “He’s won the French Open and the U.S. Open in doubles. And he’s been to the Olympics, so that’s a huge thing for me to be able to use his experience during the matches,” Mullings said of Knowles. “I just want to compete well. It would be great to win a few rounds or get to the medal stages.”
The NCAA suspended Texas Southern University’s tennis program and placed the school’s athletic programs on probation for four years. The school got a jump on the NCAA by dropping its tennis program and firing tennis coach Alberto Rojo Jimenez, the 2006 Southwestern Athletic Coach of the Year, and athletic director Alois Blackwell. The NCAA report said that TSU’s tennis team was struggling until Jimenez started recruiting international players, many whom he promised full scholarships. According to the NCAA, Jimenez knowingly provided USD $19,000 in impermissible aid to 22 players to help cover their tuition, fees and other expenses.
Jane Brown Grimes, the current United States Tennis Association (USTA) president and chairman of the board, heads a class of six inductees into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame. The inductees’ contributions to the sport of tennis will be celebrated at the 2008 Hall of Fame Induction dinner and auction set for October 24 in Mendenhall, Pennsylvania. Besides Brown, who represents the USTA on the Grand Slam Committee and on the International Tennis Federation’s Fed Cup Committee, other inductees are Edward D. McQuillin, Rose Weinstein, George K. Wills, Ann Paley Hoffmann and Wallace F. Johnson. Hoffmann and Johnson are being inducted posthumously.
SIGHTS ON BEIJING
Seven of the top ten singles players signed up to play doubles at the Rogers Masters in Toronto. With the Beijing Olympics close at hand, Roger Federer will team up with fellow Swiss Stanslas Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal will join forces with fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, Nikolay Davydenko and fellow Russian Igor Andreev will pair up, as will Great Britain brothers Andy and Jamie Murray. The doubles draw in Toronto will also include the top five ATP doubles teams.
Peter Johnston has landed on his feet. Just three months after his 15-year career at Tennis Australia ended, Johnston has taken a senior management position with the WTA Tour. He will be the women’s tour’s senior vice president of competition and member relations and will be based in Florida.
Jerica Coley, who just finished the 10th grade in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the first female winner of the First Serve National Student Athlete Competition. Academic grades and results at junior tennis tournaments were tabulated to come up with the top male and female First Serve Student Athletes of the Year, with each receiving USD $5,000 scholarships and a trip to the US Open to meet their favorite players. Julian Haerie of St. Petersburg, was the top male in the first year of competition. Coley’s scholarship funds were a gift from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Davis Cup in 2009 will be played March 6-8, with the World Cup quarterfinals set for July 10-12, the semifinals September 18-20 and the final on December 4-6. The 2009 Fed Cup competition begins February 7-8 with the semifinals April 25-26. The final of the women’s competition will be held November 7-8. The International Tennis Federation will hold the draw for the 2009 first-round pairings September 23 in Madrid, Spain.
SEARCHING FOR DOLLARS
James Blake has begun the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund to support cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City. Blake said his goal was the raise USD $1 million in the next year through various fundraising initiatives, including a charity tennis exhibition, the J-Block merchandise program and individual and corporate contributions. The fund is named in memory of the player’s father, Thomas Blake Sr., who died of gastric cancer in 2004. To date, the fund has raised more than USD $500,000.
Kitzbuhel: Victor Hanescu and James Cerretani beat Lukas Arnold Ker and Olivier Rochus 6-3 7-5
Indianapolis: Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips beat Scott Lipsky and David Martin 3-6 6-3 10-5 (match tiebreak)
Amersfoort: Frantisek Cermak and Rogier Wassen beat Jesse Huta Galung and Igor Sijsling 7-5 7-5
Umag: Michal Mertinak and Petr Pala beat Carlos Berlocq and Fabic Fognini 2-6 6-3 10-5 (match tiebreak)
Stanford: Cara Black and Liezel Huber beat Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva 6-4 6-3
Bad Gastein: Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka beat Sesil Karatantcheva and Natasa Zoric 6-3 6-3
SITES TO SURF
San Marino: www.atpsanmarino.com
Los Angeles: www.eastwestbankclassic.com
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$2,615,000 Rogers Cup, Toronto, Canada, hard
$100,000 Porsche Open, Poznan, Poland, clay
$100,000 San Marino CEPU Open, San Marino, clay
$600,000 East West Bank Classic presented by Herbalife, Los Angeles, California, hard
$145,000 Banka Koper Slovenia Open, Portoroz, Slovenia, hard
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$2,615,000 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, Cincinnati, Ohio, hard
$135,000 Internazionali del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Cordenons, Italy, clay
$100,000 Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, Vancouver, Canada, hard
$1,340,000 Rogers Cup, Montreal Canada, hard
$145,000 Nordea Nordic Light Open, Stockholm, Sweden, hard
s Tennis Masters, Graz, Austria, clay