Cincinnati

Madison Keys, Daniil Medvedev Win Cincinnati Titles

Madison Keys and Daniil Medvedev each produced signature triumphs of their early careers on Sunday by winning the Western & Southern Open singles titles in Cincinnati.

Keys defeated former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-5, 7-6(5) to win her second title of 2019 and first at a Premier 5 event. The victory means the 24-year-old Orlando resident will return to the Top 10 at No. 10 and become the second-highest-ranked American, behind No. 8 Serena Williams.

Medvedev, appearing in his third singles final in as many weeks, won his first ATP Masters 1000 crown, defeating Belgium’s David Goffin, 7-6(3), 6-4. The 23-year-old Russian, the youngest Cincinnati champion since 21-year-old Andy Murray in 2008, is projected to reach a new career-high ranking on Monday, at No. 5, becoming the first Russian in the Top 5 since No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko in June 2010.

The US Open Series wraps up this week with the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. Tennis Channel will have weeklong cover from Winston-Salem, through to Saturday’s singles final at 5 p.m. ET. View the full television schedule here.

Novak Djokovic and Kiki Bertens Win Western & Southern Open Titles

Novak Djokovic did what no player has ever done before, winning his first title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati to complete the ‘Career Golden Masters,’ by winning all nine ATP Masters 1000 events.

Djokovic took down Roger Federer, 6-4, 6-4, on Sunday, to improve to 24-22 in their storied rivalry and deny Federer his 99th career title and eighth in Cincinnati. The two hadn’t played since the 2016 Australian Open, and Djokovic’s latest triumph gives him 31 career ATP Masters 1000 titles, two shy of all-time leader Rafael Nadal’s 33.

In the women’s championship, Kiki Bertens took down No. 1 Simona Halep, 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2, to win the biggest of her six career WTA titles and her first at a hard-court event. Bertens saved a match point in the second-set tiebreak to notch her 10th win over a Top 10-ranked opponent this year and improve her record in North America to 15-3 this year. Twenty-year-old Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka also had an impressive week, upending three seeded players to reach the semifinals.

The US Open Series concludes this week with the women’s Connecticut Open in New Haven and the men’s Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. The Connecticut Open field features five Top-10 players, as well as Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Danielle Collins. Americans in Winston-Salem include Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Taylor Fritz, Ryan Harrison and Tennys Sandgren.

ESPN’s family of networks will carry weeklong coverage from both tournaments. Early-round matches from New Haven and Winston-Salem will be delivered live on ESPN3 and stream live on the ESPN app. ESPN2 will pick up its coverage with Friday’s semifinals and will air Saturday’s finals, at 3 p.m. (New Haven) and 5 p.m. (Winston-Salem). See the full summer TV schedule here.

Garbine Muguruza, Grigor Dimitrov Win Cincinnati Titles

Garbine Muguruza and Grigor Dimitrov each won their first titles in the United States on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, each exhibiting top form ahead of the US Open.

The Wimbledon champion Muguruza cruised by Simona Halep, 6-1, 6-0, in 56 minutes, and will ascend to No. 3 in the rankings on Monday, which determine the seedings in New York. The 23-year old Spaniard won her fifth WTA title by defeating both the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world in the same week, after taking out top-ranked Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals and No. 2 Halep on Sunday, marking the first time a player has done that on the WTA tour since 2012.

Dimitrov ousted Aussie Nick Kyrgios, 6-3, 7-5, to win his first ATP Masters 1000 title in both players’ first appearance in a Masters 1000 final. The 26-year old Bulgarian didn’t drop a set all week en route to winning the first Masters 1000 final contested between two players born in 1990. After Alexander Zverev’s victory over Roger Federer in Montreal, this marks the first summer in the US Open Series’ 14 years that none of the Big Four won one of the Series’ two Masters events.

The US Open Series concludes this week with the women’s Connecticut Open in New Haven and the men’s Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. The Connecticut Open field is led by defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and includes three-time champion Petra Kvitova. In Winston-Salem, two-time champion and North Carolina native John Isner headlines a field that includes Americans Steve Johnson, Donald Young and Taylor Fritz, along with #NextGen players Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung.

ESPN’s family of networks will carry weeklong coverage from both tournaments. Early-round matches from New Haven and Winston-Salem will be delivered live on ESPN3 and stream live on the ESPN app. ESPN2 will pick up its coverage with Friday’s semifinals and will air Saturday’s finals, at 3 p.m. (New Haven) and 5 p.m. (Winston-Salem). See the full summer TV schedule here.

Fans can join the conversation by using hashtag #USOpenSeries and by following @usopen. Fans can share their experiences at US Open Series tournaments using hashtag #MyUSOpenSeries.

About the US Open Series
Now in its 14th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

About the WTA
The WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2,500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for a record $139 million in prize money. The 2017 WTA competitive season includes 55 events and four Grand Slams in 32 countries.

About the ATP World Tour
The ATP World Tour, with 63 tournaments in 31 countries, showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events).

Roger Federer’s Win Over Novak Djokovic In Cincinnati Boosts US Open Chances

Roger Federer spelled out revenge for his Wimbledon final loss in July to world number one Novak Djokovic, as he stormed to a 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 straight sets win in the Cincinnati Masters Final on Sunday.

Federer’s path to the final involved a semi-final victory over British number one, and new world number two, Andy Murray, whilst Djokovic defeated Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in his semi, in a two sets to one win.

Federer, who claimed his seventh Cincinnati Masters title and 87th tour-level title, claimed the ever-tight battle every time the two take to the court has heated up even more in recent times.

“We really get the best out of each other,” he said.

“We have improved a lot playing against each other over the years. It’s very special for me. I will try my best to come back for many years to come.”

The win means the 34-year-old Swiss will go into the US Open, which officially begins on August 31st, as the No. 2 seed.

The win was never going to be straightforward against one of the greatest tennis players in history – Djokovic, but Federer held serve to take the match in just one hour and thirty minutes.

Not only that, but the win also has gives Federer the edge in the twos career head-to-head tally at 21-20 to the Swiss, whilst also denying Djokovic the chance to seal all nine ATP Master titles too.

The tournament was seen as a good warm-up for players before the US Open begins on Monday.

Punters will be eager to get the best free bets offers before the tournament starts and Bookmakers.co.uk will be a popular destination for those people – with the site offering all the latest and greatest bookies offers from each and every large bookmaker. Not only that, but they also offer high quality betting previews and it will be more than worth your while to check their US Open preview when it is released.

The big tournament favourite despite his loss in Cincinnati is Djokovic, with 5/4 odds on him. Murray is fancied next with 7/2 widely offered for his successes, whilst Federer will have to settle for pre-tournament odds of 5/1.

Whilst on the Women’s side of things, Serena Williams continues her dominance on the world stage, as she will enter the tournament with odds as short 10/11 for her success. Victoria Azarenka is deemed her closest rival for the title, and can be found at 8/1.

 

Roger Federer Keeps On Keeping On

by Thaddeus McCarthy

 

Turning 33 earlier this month, Roger Federer passed a milestone. That milestone is that no player has won a Grand Slam at 33 or older since Ken Rosewall won the Australian at 37 in 1972. Andre Agassi won the Australian in 2003 a few months before his 33rd birthday, but other than that there is not a single player who has come within a whisker of emulating Rosewall’s Grand Slam age record. Federer has the chance to come within a four year whisker at the US Open.

Whatever happens for Federer at the US Open, he has had a good year. Perhaps though, the one disappointment he will have, is his record in finals. Before Toronto he has won 3 and lost 5. His win in Cincinnati was his best victory since Wimbledon in 2012, as although he has since won titles, they have not been Masters crowns.

Looking at recent past players Agassi won his final Masters title at the grand old age of 34 in 2004. In fact this title was also at Toronto. So perhaps there is some mystical happenings at work for the older players in Cincinnati. I certainly hope so. And when you consider that Pete Sampras won his final title at the US Open at 31 in 2002, to put some frosty icing on his glorious career, then maybe you could summise that the whole American summer would line up well for Federer. Certainly winning the US Open would be fantastic for Federer’s legacy, and would be a title in a similar ilk to Sampras in 2002.

 

Cheers! Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic In No. 1 vs. No. 2 Cincinnati Final

For the first time in the history of Western & Southern Financial Masters, the No. 1 and No. 2 ATP-ranked players competed in the final.

It was the Roger Federer, the world No. 1, who emerged victorious, defeating the No. 2 ranked Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6 (7) Sunday at the tournament that started play in 1899 and is the oldest tennis tournament in the United States played in its original city.

The win for Federer gave him his record-breaking fifth title in Cincinnati, and a record-tying 21st “Masters 1000” level ATP tournament title, tying Rafael Nadal for the most all time.

Federer won the title without losing a set and without losing his serve, facing only three break points the entire week.

“Looking back, it’s just unbelievable,” Federer told reporters after the match. “This was probably the best week for me here in Cincinnati. I didn’t lose a set. This is very sweet, no doubt about it.”

He won the first set 6-0 in only 20 minutes – his first ever bagel set against Djokovic, who won only 10 points.

“I was hoping for a good start, but not like that,” Federer said.Said Djokovic, “It was a final today, so I really wanted to win. There is no question about it. Maybe playing couple weeks in a row, four weeks in a row, got to me maybe mentally. Physically it didn’t. I felt OK on the court.”The Cincinnati title was also Federer’s 76th career singles title, one shy of John McEnroe’s third-place tally of 77 singles titles. Only Jimmy Connors (109 titles) and Ivan Lendl (94 titles) have won more men’s singles titles than McEnroe and Federer in a career.Federer will be the No. 1 seed at the US Open that begin August 27. Djokovic will be the defending champion and the No. 2 seed. The tournament was Federer’s first since winning Olympic silver at the London Games, losing to gold medalist Andy Murray. Djokovic, who lost in the Olympic bronze medal match to Juan Martin del Potro, won the title in Toronto last week.

To read more about tennis history, including many of the records that Federer is breaking, pick up THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS here http://www.amazon.com/The-Collins-History-Tennis-Authoritative/dp/0942257707/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345399400&sr=8-1&keywords=bud+collins+history+of+tennis. To read more about Roger Federer, pick the Rene Stauffer-authored biography of him ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION atwww.RogerFedererBook.com

JELENA JANKOVIC TAKES INDIAN WELLS

It’s been a good two weeks of tennis at one my favorite tournaments of the year. It had many upsets in the women’s draw. The early exit of Justine Henin for example.  Tournament favorites were ousted in earlier rounds. Outsiders and underdogs surprisingly made it to the finals.  Ofcourse we are talking Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki here.

Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki both made it to the finals of the prestigious Indian Wells tournament. And Jelena Jankovic won the finals in only two sets 6-2, 6-4 and took home her first title since Cincinnati last August.

Jankovic is now expected to rise to the 8th place on the WTA Tour while the diligent Dane will reach a career high of No. 2.

Wozniacki has yet to beat Jelena Jankovic. She failed to do so in the past 3 meetings between the two.

Photos of Jelena Jankovic at Indian Wells:

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Ma Clijsters Continues Hot Play at US Open

NEW YORK –Ma Clijsters took another giant step for motherhood Sunday and moved closer to regaining her women’s singles title at the US Open.

Playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since giving birth to her daughter, Kim Clijsters out-gunned Venus Williams 6-0 0-6 6-4 to advance into the quarterfinals of America’s premier tennis event.

“I’m not trying to get carried away with it all,” Clijsters said of her surprising run into the second week of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. “Just trying to focus on what I have to do because the tournament’s still going. I just want to keep focusing on my tennis without having to worry too much about what’s going on around.”

Two years ago, Clijsters retired from the sport. She got married to an American basketball player and gave birth to their daughter. Earlier this year, she decided she wanted to return to the tennis tour and is playing the US Open for the first time since she captured the title in 2005. She was injured when the 2006 US Open came around, and retired the following year.

This is her third tournament back since retirement, and it’s as if she had never been away. She reached the quarterfinals at Cincinnati and the third round in Toronto, losing in the latter to Jelena Jankovic.

“Although I lost to Jankovic, it really helped me a lot knowing that I was capable of taking her to a 5-3 in that third set,” Clijsters said. “That’s where after Toronto I felt like, OK, I feel at this moment I can compete with those best players. … I had a good feeling that I can have a chance against these girls. That’s something that I didn’t have before I went to Cincinnati.”

She was almost perfect in the opening set against the third-seeded Williams, a two-time US Open champion, but the last title coming in 2001. Williams turned the table in the second set, needing only 23 minutes to run through the six games, allowing Clijsters to win just nine points.

“I just said to myself, OK, forget about what happened this last hour,” Clijsters said. “You start from zero and just make sure that you stay aggressive, keep serving well, and it worked.”

The mother broke Williams in the third game of the final set, then held on to hold her own serve for the rest of the match. In the final game, Williams won three of the first four points before Clijsters, pounding the ball deep into the recesses of the court, won the final four points to grab a spot in the quarterfinals.

Clijsters is trying to become the third mother to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era, after two Australians, Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong.

Clijsters will next face 18th-seeded Li Na, a 6-2 6-3 winner over Italy’s Francesca Schiavone. Li is the first Chinese player to reach the quarterfinals at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The other quarterfinal in the bottom of the draw will pit second-seeded Serena Williams against No. 10 Flavia Pennetta of Italy, who staved off six match points before beating No. 7 Vera Zvonareva 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-0.

Williams is 0-6 in her career after losing the first set at love. The last time she lost a 6-0 set at the US Open was in the final in 1997 against Martina Hingis.

Serena Williams began Sunday’s play by crushing Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 6-0, winning the last 10 games of the match.

“I traditionally play well in fourth-round matches,” Serena said. “I want to keep this level, stay focused and play well my next match. I enjoy every moment. I enjoy walking out there and I like to battle.

“I’m blessed to be in this position, to travel the world, play tennis and do something I love every day.”

Third-seeded Rafael Nadal grabbed a fourth-round spot in the men’s singles in an early match, beating Nicolas Almagro 7-5 6-4 6-4.
In other early third-round matches, seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Julien Benneteau 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-4; No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez ousted No. 17 Tomas Berdych 7-5 6-4 6-4; No. 13 Gael Monfils advanced when Jose Acasuso retired with a left knee injury while trailing 6-3 6-4 1-0; No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro beat Daniel Koellerer 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-3; No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero upset No. 9 Gilles Simon, who retired with a right knee injury while trailing 1-6 67-4 7-6 (5) 1-0; and No. 16 Marin Cilic stopped Denis Istomin 6-1 6-4 6-3.

Jelena Jankovic upends Dinara Safina to win Cincinnati title

Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia knocked off current world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia, 6-4, 6-2, in one hour and 25 minutes to claim the championship on Sunday afternoon at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.

Despite having played late into the evening last night during her semifinal victory over No. 4 Elena Dementieva, Jankovic looked very fresh from start to finish in the extremely hot temperatures.

“When I did the interview before the match, Pam Shriver asked me how I felt today after such a tough one last night. I said I wanted to believe I wasn’t tired, that I’m fresh and ready to play,” said Jankovic, who has now won two titles this season, winning the Marbella title on clay in April. “I was feeling sore this morning, but when I went on the court I felt fine. I’m really pleased I was able to play well and beat the No.1 player in the world. This is very good for my confidence going into Toronto and the US Open.”

Both players served very well, but it was Jankovic who was able to come up with crucial service breaks of Safina’s serve. Jankovic, who earned her first career win over a reigning No. 1, broke serve once in the third game of the opening set and followed it up by breaking serve three times in the second set. The 24-year-old Serbian won 30 of 39 first serve points and 50 percent of points on her second serve. Safina wasn’t as steady, winning just 22 of 37 first points and 36 percent of points on her second serve. Jankovic hit three aces and three double faults compared to five aces and seven double faults by Safina.

“I’m really pleased that I was able to play well today and beat the No. 1 player in the world, and yesterday beat Elena Dementieva,” said Jankovic, who earned her 11th career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title. “I got quite a few good wins under my belt this week, which is very good for my confidence coming into Toronto, and especially US Open.”

The Russian had won both previous meetings all played last season on hard courts, but Jankovic was more consistent throughout. When Safina fired a shot long beyond the baseline to give the Serbian the title, Jankovic put her hands on face in excitement. Jankovic was immediately rushed off the court to the opposite side of the Lindner Family Tennis Center to have an interview at the ESPN desk with Cliff Drysdale, Mary Jo Fernandez and Pam Shriver.

In the post-match press conference, Jankovic praised her father for the victory after being asked if her coach contributed to the title run.

“My dad contributed a lot to this,” said Jankovic, a finalist at last year’s US Open.

Both Jankovic and Safina will play next week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto before taking a week off to prepare for the US Open in New York.

Safina Breezes Past Pennetta In Cincinnati; Jankovic Saves Four Match Points

World No. 1 Dinara Safina cruised into her eighth final of 2009 with a convincing win over No. 14 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy, 6-2, 6-0, in 56 minutes on Saturday afternoon at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati. With the victory, Safina snapped Pennetta’s career-best 15 match winning streak that started several weeks ago during her title run in Palermo, followed by winning the championship last week in Los Angeles.

“I think she was playing very great, very good,” said Pennetta following her defeat.

From start to finish, Safina showed she was in complete control, placing her shots perfectly and being very steady on serve.

“I was feeling very good and confident,” said Safina, who has won titles this season in Rome, Madrid and Portoroz. “I think it was a good performance by my side.”

Pennetta, who knocked Venus Williams earlier in the week, looked exhausted and not at 100 percent with her fitness due to the fact that she has played 11 matches in the last two weeks and the Cincinnati temperatures were in the 90 degree range.

“I was a little bit tired, of course, but I didn’t lose for that,” said Pennetta, who will crack the Top 10 on Monday, becoming the first Italian to accomplish that feat.

Safina hit three aces and five double faults, while winning 23 of 29 first serve points. The Italian had a bad serving performance, hitting three doubles faults and winning just 10 of 22 first serve points and 4 of 21 second serve points. Safina broke Pennetta’s serve on six of seven opportunities, while Pennetta only broke serve once.

In a thrilling night session match that determined Safina’s opponent for the championship match, No. 5 seed Jelena Jankovic edged past No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(6), in two hours and 46 minutes.

The match was filled with drama throughout, as Jankovic pulled out the opening set by winning in a tiebreak before having a slight hiccup, as Dementieva won the set at love in convincing fashion.

“Second set I got so tired,” said Jankovic, who will be trying to win her second title of the year, having already won in Marbella, Spain.

The third set kept fans on the edge of their seats, as Jankovic jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. After Dementieva broke serve in the sixth game of the final set to level the match at 3-all, no player would hold their serve the rest of the match.

“There was so many ups and down throughout the match,” said Jankovic, who reached No. 1 in the rankings in 2008.

The Serbian held three match points on her serve at 5-4, 40-love, allowing Dementieva to even the match at 5-all. Dementieva immediately had her serve broken before she would break Jankovic’s serve for a second straight time, as the Serbian tried to win the match out on her serve.

Dementieva quickly got ahead 6-2 in the final set tiebreak but could not convert on any of the four match points. Jankovic tensely closed out the match on her serve and jumped up in excitement.

“I just gave everything I had,” said Jankovic, who improves to 7-3 lifetime against Dementieva.

Jankovic hit three aces and eight double faults compared to four aces and 17 double faults by Dementieva. Jankovic broke serve on six occasions, while Dementieva broke Jankovic’s serve nine times.

The championship match between Safina and Jankovic will begin at 4pm and will be televised on ESPN2. Safina leads the series 3-2, winning the last two times on hard courts last summer in Los Angeles and at the Beijing Olympics.