dominic inglot

Citi Open Saturday Gallery: Isner and Del Potro to Meet in Final

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Super Saturday at the Citi Open saw John Isner and Juan Martin del Potro defeat their respective opponents, Dmitry Tursunov and Tommy Haas to reach the men’s singles final. Andrea Petkovic also defeated Alize Cornet and will meet Magdalena Rybarikova in the women’s final.

Gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Christopher Levy.

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Roland Garros Day 9: Links Roundup with Wawrinka, Li, Youzhny, Djokovic and more

Roland Garros Roundup takes you through the Slam’s hot stories of the day, both on and off the court.

Shot of the Day: Fans who couldn’t make it out to Roland Garros still got their taste of tennis in front of the Hôtel de Ville in the center of Paris, where participants could try out the red clay or catch the action on the big screen.

Mikhail Youzhny loses it: Many tennis fans were likely experiencing a bout of déjà vu when Russian Mikhail Youzhny absolutely obliterated his racket after falling down a set and 3-0 to Tommy Haas in their fourth round match. This was not the first time the fiery Russian has exhibited such anger on the court, as Nick Zaccardi of Sports Illustrated points out. In 2008, in a match against Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, Youzhny banged his racket against his head several times and in the process drew blood. Both videos can be seen in Zaccardi’s article.

Week one French Open takeaways: The first half of the French Open has come and gone but not without an abundance of drama and questions. Jonathan Overend of the BBC discusses some of the biggest storylines surrounding Roland Garros including Rafa’s form, the restoration of single-handed backhands, Laura Robson’s struggles and more.

Li Na’s press conference raises questions: Sports Illustrated reports that after her second round exit to Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Li Na has been heavily criticized for comments she made to the Chinese media. Asked if she had an explanation for her loss Li replied, “Do I need to explain?” She carried on saying, “It’s strange. I lost a game and that’s it. Do I need to get on my knees and kowtow to them? Apologize to them.” Chinese Journalists Zhang Rongfeng believes this response is indicative of Li Na’s lack of professionalism.

Dominic Inglot grateful for professional career: Dominic Inglot, as Simon Briggs of The Telegraph points out, was the final player hailing from the United Kingdom to be playing in the 2013 French Open. Inglot, along with college teammate and current doubles partner, Treat Huey, crashed out to Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut in the third round of the doubles competition. In his conversation with Briggs, Inglot talks about how he made it into professional tennis and how lucky he is to be able to make a living on tour.

“I get to play tennis for a living—that is the ultimate dream. When I was a little kid I remember cutting the cake on my birthday and blowing the candles out and saying every single time, ‘I want to be a professional tennis player.’”

Road to Roland Garros- Bethanie Mattek-Sands: In this edition of Road to Roland Garros, Bethanie Mattek-Sands reveals her inspiration in tennis, talks about her perpetual lateness, and how her diet is her biggest sacrifice.

Novak Djokovic playing for Jelena Gencic: Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the French Open after a four set win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber. Djokovic, as Reem Abulleil of Sport360 reports, is hoping to claim his first Roland Garros title in memory of his childhood coach, Jelena Gencic, who passed away Saturday.

“She’s one of the most incredible people I ever knew. So it’s quite emotional. I feel even more responsible now to go all the way in this tournament. Now I feel in her honor that I need to go all the way,”

27 pictures of Rafael Nadal on his 27th birthday: In his first three matches, Rafael Nadal looked like a shadow of himself and was consequentially tested by Daniel Brands, Martin Klizan, and Fabio Fognini, three players Nadal probably expected to dispose of quicker than he did. In his fourth round match with Kei Nishikori, Nadal quickly erased the memories of his lackluster play in the opening three rounds.  Nadal’s 27th birthday was today and he definitely made sure he had enough time to celebrate crushing Nishikori 6-4 6-1 6-3. DNA India takes a look back at Nadal’s career in 27 pictures.

Victoria Azarenka prepares for Maria Kirilenko: 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is set to square off against longtime doubles partner, Maria Kirilenko, after beating Francesca Schiavone in a match that she said was her “most composed and most consistent match thus far.” As Chris Wright of Yahoo Sports points out, “Azarenka is 3-2 against Kirilenko but has not lost to the Russian since 2007.” Azrenka said in regards to Kirilenko “She’s definitely improved a lot over the last couple years since she’s a very motivated player (and a) good friend of mine.”

Stanislas Wawrinka topples Richard Gasquet: Coming back from two sets to love down, Stanislas Wawrinka defeated French hopeful Richard Gasquet in a five set match that featured some of the most jaw-dropping infusions of pace, exquisite shot making, and masterful racket work of the entire tournament. The ATP called the match a “vintage display of shotmaking with 149 winners struck during the match.” Wawrinka’s play was so exemplary that the Swiss went as far as to say, “I played the best level I ever played at.” One of the comments on the ATP article even offered a new nickname for Stan—“WOWrinka.”

Alexandr Dolgopolov overcomes Tommy Haas challenge to win Citi Open title

By Romi Cvitkovic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a three-set marathon match that included two rain delays, young Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov pulled out the win over former world No. 2 Tommy Haas, 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1.

Dolgopolov has struggled with injuries since January and is just now returning to his good form of last year when he broke through into the top 15. With the title in Washington, Dolgopolov moves solidly back into the top 20 and is guaranteed a seeding at the U.S. Open.

Dolgopolov’s road to the win tonight, however, looked uncertain as he lost the first set, even when playing much cleaner tennis than his opponent. He served eight aces and no double faults, while Haas struggled to find his rhythm, double-faulting three times alone in the seventh game to get broken.

An extended rain delay occurred at 6-5 with Dolgopolov serving to stay in the set. After nearly two hours, both men returned highly emotional, with the self-talk and frustrations beginning to surface. Dolgopolov stuck to his game plan of hitting to the weaker Haas backhand, but it backfired as Haas was able to strike some smart plays and convert on his second set point due to a Dolgopolov error.

The second set started much like the first but the frustrations escalated as the often composed Dolgopolov began slapping his thigh while Haas kept yelling at himself. Neither player made a move until the very last game of the set when Dolgopolov broke a visibly irritated Haas.
“Whether I won or lost the second set there, I cracked a little bit mentally,” Haas admitted, and it was the beginning of the end for the German.

Sensing that Haas was “giving away more free points than in the first set,” Dolgopolov started the third set with an ace and never looked back, reeling off three games instantly to take command. Haas succumbed to his emotional outbursts, and after sending a ball long, went into full self-destruction mode, yelling in German, scolding the chair umpire for not getting the ball kids to clean a wet spot, and eve threw his racquet repeatedly.

Although he was able to recollect himself somewhat, Haas was down 1-4 and double-faulted for his last time, giving Dolgopolov the chance to serve out the match. Facing his first match point, Dolgopolov won on an unreturnable second serve that Haas shanked wide.

It had been almost exactly a year since Dolgopolov’s sole title in Umag last year, so there was a sense of urgency to do well this week giving the upcoming U.S. Open.

“I think a small part of me [knew that] I had to play better when I needed. I dropped some points from Umag and I understood that I needed to get some points to get back into the top 20. Because once you are there, you don’t really want to get out of there. That was additional motivation for me.”

After the match, the two players put aside their emotions and enjoyed each other’s company at the podium with their glass trophies. Haas, followed by Dolgopolov, stopped to sign endless autographs for the diehard fans that had stuck out through the rain delays. Dolgopolov even took the shirt off his back and gave it to a young fan who requested it. Now, that’s a player who loves what he does and gives respect to his fans.

Former UVA players Huey and Inglot win the Citi Open doubles title over favorites Querrey and Anderson

In doubles action, two unseeded teams battled for the Citi Open title as Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson took on Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot. While Querrey and Anderson may be household names, it was Huey and Inglot that brought out the cheering crowds. Both are former University of Virginia tennis players, with Huey graduating high school locally in the District.

The young upstart team of Huey and Inglot didn’t succumb to pressure as they got out to an early start, breaking to go up 3-0. A little tightness set in and the first set was forced into a tiebreaker. With Inglot’s deft hands at net and Huey’s ability to stand ground at the baseline against his much more experienced opponents, the duo took the tiebreak 9-7 when Anderson double-faulted.

The second set was a battle for both teams as neither gave up serve. In the fifth game of the set, Inglot served four aces in a row against Querrey and Anderson, who are notably two of the tallest and most difficult guys to pass on tour. When asked to comment on this serving dominance, Inglot replied that he “actually know that until you just told me, but, it feels fantastic. Serve has always been the strongest part of my game. I know there were some games that got a little sticky, so to be able to come with a game like that is really helpful.”

Querrey and Anderson came back strong, not allowing the former Cavaliers much wiggle room, and forced a second set tiebreak when Huey hit the final approach volley into the net.

The deciding ten point match tiebreak saw both teams fight mightily, but Huey and Inglot broke through at 5-4 and never looked back. They reeled off the next five-of-six points, winning on a Querrey error.

This is the pair’s second ATP doubles final and first title together. They previously met Querrey when they lost to him and Blake in Houston, and Treat acknowledged that “we didn’t want to lose to [Querrey] again in the finals of another tournament. So it was good we got the win in the end.”

Huey continued: “I didn’t think I’d really win a title [so soon after college]. Last year was my first final where Somdev Devvarman and I lost, but I was thinking, “I just got to an ATP final, how cool is that?!” But winning one is obviously cooler, and it’s a lot more fun to be on the winning end of the match.”