Philip Kohlschreiber

Federer wants Hingis Partnership, Roddick Outburst in Cincy and Serena Wins Two Titles out of Two

Federer Wants Hingis Partnership:

Despite her best efforts to quash talk of a comeback and another assault at the Olympic Games next summer it seems that Martina Hingis’ fellow pros aren’t so willing to let the issue lie. Roger Federer has been talking this week of the possibility of the pair linking up for a dream mixed doubles partnership at the All England Club next summer to compete in the London Games. “Might as well just see if she is available,” he said on Monday. “If I played mixed with anybody it would be with Hingis just because she’s been an amazing player and I had my first kind of success at the Hopman Cup with her and practised and played with her before. Even if she is retired, she might think about it at least. I’ve approached her already a long time ago, and I guess she just mentioned something to the press and it took a life of its own. But I haven’t spoken to her myself yet. We’ll see where it goes. I know it’s a lot on your plate to play singles, doubles, and mixed. I need to decide if I want to do that in the first place, and then see if she will come out of retirement. Still have a lot of things to go through, but haven’t spoken yet. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Roddick Outburst Compounds Cincy Defeat:

Andy Roddick crashed out of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati yesterday to Philip Kohlschreiber in an outburst-riddled match which landed the American star in hot water. After taking the first set in a tie-breaker, Roddick began to fall apart on court and secured only one game in the final set of a 7-6(7-5), 5-7, 1-6 loss. Having already been warned for smashing one racket to pieces, Roddick was docked a point in the third set to give the German Kohlschreiber a 2-0 lead for hitting a ball in to the crowd in frustration. “Obviously it’s a split second thing, as soon as I did it I wanted it [the ball] back,” he said after the match. “It was a judgment call for the umpire. I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. I understand where the umpire is coming from but at a certain point, you know, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and it pretty much ruins the match from there. Seems counterproductive.”

Serena makes it Back To Back Titles:

Serena Williams made it back-to-back tournament wins on her return from injury as she lifted the Rogers Cup in Toronto over the weekend. She broke Aussie Sam Stosur to move 5-4 ahead in the first set and then served it out, before breaking the 2010 French Open finalist twice more in the second set on her way to victory. “I’m so excited. I never expected to do this well,” she said in her on-court interview in Toronto. “I’m just so happy to be playing again, let alone winning. It’s cool.”

Djokovic Continues Unrivalled Year:

In Montreal, Novak Djokovic continued his unbelievable 2011 with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over America’s Mardy Fish in the final. The 24-year-old took just 38 minutes to win the first set and although he suffered a blip as Fish broke him to go 3-2 up in the second and held on to take it, Djokovic recovered and saw out the decider with now-unsurprising ease. “I am human, I can definitely assure you of that,” Djokovic joked afterwards. “I’ve been playing incredible tennis this year. I’m aware of the fantastic year that I’ve had and a great streak but I’m not thinking how many matches will I lose? I’m thinking how many matches will I win?” Fish was quick to pay homage to his all-conquering adversary: “Every knock he’s answered 10-fold this year,” he said. “It’s been incredibly impressive.” The Serb has only lost one match this year to Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open and he becomes the first player in ATP history to lift five Masters events in the same season; Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and now Montreal.

Federer Enjoys DelPo “Revenge”:

Roger Federer overcame Juan Martin del Potro in the second round at Cincinnati this week in what was a revenge match for the 2009 US Open final, where Del Potro won through in five sets in what R-Fed describes as one of the “biggest losses” of his career. This time the Swiss star won through 6-3, 7-5 with relative ease and he will progress to face James Blake, the man who painfully ended his run at the 2008 Olympics quarterfinals. “That was obviously a pretty big match for me to lose as well,” said Federer. “May be getting a chance for some revenge. I’m looking forward to it. Seems like he’s playing well. Definitely going to be ready for it.  Had a great final here years ago, and hope we can make something similar happen.” Del Potro, however, will now take a week off before making his first return to Flushing Meadows since that famous win after his long-running injury problems. “I will try to train hard to be 100 per cent for the Open,” he said. “I love this tournament. I want to be there. I want to just play the US Open this year, and then I will have time to take a rest, to think about this season, and to fix all my physical problems.”

Stepanek Hits Milestone:

Radek Stepanek’s 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4) win over big American John Isner at Cincy this week was the 300th ATP level win of his professional career.

Pre-Open Injuries:

There are a couple of injuries to report ahead of the US Open. As well as the well-documented struggles of Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters, Agnieszka Radwanska pulled out of this week’s Cincinnati event with a right shoulder injury sustained during her Toronto semi-final loss to Sam Stosur. It is unclear as yet how much it will hamper her Open preparations. There were also painful scenes for 52-year-old John McEnroe in the Rogers Legends Cup event in Montreal last week. He went down late in the second set clutching his leg and lay prone for 10 minutes while opponent Michael Chang and medical staff assisted him before helping him off-court.

Nishikori Heading to Malaysia:

Japanese star Kei Nishikori has confirmed that he will compete in this year’s Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, which takes place from September 24 to October 2. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to welcome a player from Asia to the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, and especially one who has shown such great maturity and determination,” said Nick Freyer, of organisers IMG. “Kei has incredible talent and it is tremendous for tennis in Asia to be able to see him playing the standard of tennis he has always been capable of.”

O’Brien Retires:

Britain’s Katie O’Brien has retired from professional tennis at the age of 25. She reached a career-high ranking of No.84 in September 2010 but has since slipped all the way down to No.281 in the world. “There are so many bits about tennis that I love, but the day-in day-out grind got to me a little bit,” she said. “A lot of people see the end product, when you’re on the big stage at the Grand Slams, and it all looks so luxurious. But the path to get there takes years and years of dedication. I did really well to break into the Top 100, that was my lifelong ambition, but I sacrificed everything to get there. The Challenger circuit can be a pretty depressing place at times, especially when you’re travelling many weeks on your own, which is what I have been doing.”

Fish at Record High in Rankings Watch:

American Mardy Fish has benefitted from his final appearance at Montreal last week by climbing to a record-high No.7 in this week’s South African Airways ATP World Rankings. Jo Wilfried-Tsonga’s impressive showing at the event also sees him jump six places to enter the Top 10. Janko Tipsarevic climbs four in to the Top 20, while Ernests Gulbis, Pablo Cuevas and Alex Bogomolov Jr. are all in to the Top 50. Belgium’s Steve Darcis climbs in to the Top 100, as does Chilean Paul Capdeville, who leaps 18 places to No.98 in the world. There were further 2011 Chinese records in the Sony Ericsson WTA World Rankings this week as Peng Shuai climbed to a career-high No.15 in the world to make it two Chinese players in the Top 15 in the same week for the first time ever. Vera Zvonareva is back up to No.2 in the world this week, while Petra Kvitova’s amazing couple of months continue as she is at a new career-high No.6 in the world. Italy’s Roberta Vinci made her Top 20 debut at No.19, whilst Serena Williams climbed 49 places to No.31 in the world on the back of her title in Toronto. Mona Barthel also climbed a place to enter the Top 100 for the first time in her career.

Low GOAT Race Points Totals after Shock Montreal Losses:

Both Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal saw shock losses in last week’s Montreal Masters, severely limiting their points total increases this week. Nadal crashed out in round two as Ivan Dodig secured the biggest win of his career, 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) against the world No.2. Federer followed in round three, missing out on a place in the quarterfinals thanks to Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga’s 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 win. As a result, neither man built on their 10 points for entering. They both, however, gain another 10 points each for entering Cincinnati this week.

Roger: 975 Rafa: 1685

2nd Round Results From Sydney and Auckland

SYDNEY

Novak Djokovic has won first match of the season, and he did it in the impressive style in just 54 minutes.

“I was more or less happy with my consistency throughout the match,” he said. “I wasn’t really having a lot of ups and downs.” Djokovic explained also that his defeat in the 1st round of tournament in Brisbane was partly connected with using a new racquet – Djokovic at the beginning of the season replaced “Wilson” by “Head”. The other tournament favorites, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Nalbandian (first appearance in Sydney) also needed around one hour to finish their matches.

Former No. 1 but currently 74th player in the world, Lleyton Hewitt was 2:5 down in the first set against Janko Tipsarevic but cheered enthusiastically by the local fans managed to win the match in straight sets. Hewitt has improved his record in Sydney to the impressive 28-4 (87 %).

“We haven’t played for a while,” said Hewitt about his next opponent, Nalbandian.”It’s another step up in class, though. He got through with ease today against Llodra who is a dangerous opponent as well, so he’s obviously playing pretty well at the moment. [I’m] going to have to step it up another notch.”

AUCKLAND

In the battle of the 20-year-olds, Juan Martin del Potro survived the attack of  rising star Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. Despite a high percentage of  first serves, there were 5 breaks of serve in the first set. Gulbis led 4:3 in the second set but characteristically for himself, lost concentration and 9 out of the last 10 games of the match.

American-giant John Isner as a first qualifier this year advanced to the quarterfinal of an ATP tournament. Isner (No. 144) finished with 17th ace dramatic match with compatriot Robby Ginperi. After winning first set, Isner led 4:2 in the second but later found himself being 3:4 (0-30) down on retun in the third… Isner who has been playing third season as a professional, will play a quarterfinal for the first time in career outside the United States.

“I was kicking myself in the butt for not finishing it in two sets. I have played 14 sets in five days now I must eat a lot, drink a lot and get a lot of rest” said Isner, who won all his matches in the qualifying in three sets.

Also third-set tie-break decided the match between last year’s finalists. Juan Carlos Ferrero led 4:1 in the final set against defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber before the German broke back. Kohlschreiber led 4:1 in the tie-break only to lose 4 straight points. Ferrero leading 5:4 in the TB, played a shaky return and moment later lost the match at the first match point for the German.

Sydney – First Round

(1)(WC)Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-1 6-2
Mario Ancic (CRO) d. (7)Tommy Robredo (ESP) 6-2 6-1
(3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-4 6-1
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. (WC)Chris Gucccione (AUS) 7-6(8) 6-3
(WC)Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 7-5 6-4
(4)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. Michael Llodra (FRA) 6-1 6-3
(q)Jeremy Chardy (FRA) d. (5)Igor Andreev (RUS) 6-4 4-6 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. (2)Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-4 6-4

Auckland – First Round

(1)Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 4-6 6-4 6-1
Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. (8)Juan Monaco (ARG) 3-6 6-4 6-2
(3)Robin Soderling (SWE)  d. (q)Bobby Reynolds (USA) 6-3 4-6 6-2
(q)John Isner (USA) d. Robby Ginepri (USA) 6-4 6-7(1) 7-6(5)
(6)Samuel Querrey (USA) d. (q)Gilles Muller (LUX) 3-6 6-3 6-4
(4)Nicolas Almagro (ESP) d. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2
(5)Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) d. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 6-4 4-6 7-6(5)
(2)David Ferrer (ESP) d. Marc Gicquel (FRA) 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4

Federer Ties Nastase; Soderling and Murray Also Win Tourney Titles

BASEL

Roger Federer drew level with Ilie Nastase on 57 career titles after beating 6-3 6-4 David Nalbandian in the final between the Top two seeded players. Federer never faced a break point and won in Basel third straight year. “It feels great to win at home. Once you had it you want more of it and you want to do it over and over again.” said Federer who improved 10-8 against Nalbandian and 29-6 lifetime record in his hometown.

LYON

Robin Soderling has finally won his 3rd ATP tournament. The Swede has been waiting more than three years for another title, losing meanwhile 4 consecutive finals, three this year (Rotterdam, Memphis, Stockholm). Soderling is one of the biggest indoor specialist, he has played 9 finals in career, all of them indoor. On Sunday needed three sets to upset Julien Benneteau and his home-crowd 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1. Soderling broke the Frenchman’s serve in the 7th game of the second set but lost his own serve in the following game – it was the only game of the match with break points for Benneteau who lost his second ATP final. “As a player you always have the goal to reach the Top 100,” said Soderling who next week will be for the first time in career a Top 20 player. “Once you get there, you want to get to the Top 50. Reaching the Top 20 feels great. It has been my goal for two or three years already.” Thanks to this triumph Soderling creates theoretical chances to play in Masters Cup. He needs to win in Paris next week on the assumption that Gilles Simon and David Ferrer don’t make QF, and anyone else behind Simon and Ferrer doesn’t make the final.

St. PETERSBURG

The Russian-born but Kazhstan representative, Andrei Goloubev was able to win only two games in his first ATP final against defending champion Andy Murray. The British No. 1 converted five of 8 break points and saved two break points in the match which lasted just 58 minutes. It was the shortest final on the ATP circuit this year, and the second shortest final in terms of games (14) after Mikhail Youzhny defeated Rafael Nadal 6-0 6-1 in Chennai. Murray won 8th title in career (5th in European indoor) and became the first British player to win back-to-back titles since Mark Cox in March 1975. “I’m happy to defend my title in St Petersburg,” said Murray. “I like to play indoors. I reached my first ATP final indoors in Bangkok and then won my first ATP title in San Jose.”

Basel – Final

(1)Roger Federer (SUI) d. (2)David Nalbandian (ARG) 6-3 6-4

Lyon – Final

(7)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1

St. Petersburg – Final

(1)Andy Murray (GBR) d. (q)Andrei Goloubev (KAZ) 6-1 6-1

Andy Murray Cruises Into Second Straight Final

BASEL

Roger Federer for the fifth time (third in a row) advanced to the final of his home-event in Basel after convincing 6-3 6-2 over in-form Feliciano Lopez. “It’s great to play back-to-back semifinals and reach the final,” said Federer. “I have some points to defend but that is not what my life is about anymore, I hope to win titles. My game has really come along this week and I’m serving well this week.”

In the second semifinal between two Argentinians, David Nalbandian outplayed Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4. Nalbandian is also a Basel specialist. He has played three finals there, won one of them, six years ago, in his first attempt (beating Gonzalez in straight sets in the final).

LYON

Gilles Simon has finally lost a three-setter. He was beaten by the hands of the indoor specialist Robin Soderling. Simon was losing 4:5 (15-30) in the first set but won 10 points in a row and the first set 7-5. The next two sets Soderling won 6-3 and reached third indoor final this year (after Rotterdam and Memphis).

Julien Benneteau defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 7-5 despite 2:5 down in the first set. Benneteau later saved set point at 5:6 with subtle volley. In the similar style he won his first set point in the tie-break as well.

St. PETERSBURG

Andy Murray has won 17 of his last 18 matches. In the Satursday’s semifinal British No. 1 demolished Fernando Verdasco 6-0 6-3. Last year in the final Murray playing against Verdasco lost only two games more. “I played a solid match and he got off to a slow start, making some mistakes and I was able take advantage of that,” said Murray.

“I was very happy with my level of play today and it was a perfect match,” said Golubev, who won the final 10 games of his semifinal match against Victor Hanescu. “This will be my first ATP final and I will never forget this match and this tournament.”

Basel – Semifinals

(1)Roger Federer (SUI) d. Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-2

(2)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (3)Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 6-4 6-4

Lyon – Semifinals

(7)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. (4)Gilles Simon 5-7 6-3 6-3

Julien Benneteau (FRA) d. (3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5) 7-5

St. Petersburg – Semifinals

(1)Andy Murray (GBR) d. (3)Fernando Verdasco 6-0 6-3

(q)Andrei Goloubev (KAZ) d. Victor Hanescu 6-3 6-0

Voo’s ATP Round-Up From Basel, Lyon and St. Pete

BASEL

Roger Federer after two difficult matches in early rounds, won easily his quarterfinal match against Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-2 6-3. “I’m very satisfied by how it went,” Federer said. “I tried to step up the pressure and so far that’s worked well.”

In the semifinal Federer will face Feliciano Lopez who knocked out James Blake 6-4 7-6(7). Blake had double setpoint at 6:5 in the 2nd set but Lopez saved it with second serve ace and forehand winner. In the tie-break Lopez led 6:3, then saved another set point (6:7) with service winner to convert finally 4th match point with excellent cross-court backhand passing-shot. “This one hurt,” Blake said. “I had a set point in the tiebreaker. If I expect to beat a lot of the guys out there I need to play well on those points and I didn’t do it today.” Lopez has won 10th tie-break in a row!

In the other semifinal will meet the two best Argentinians (Del Potro and Nalbandian) who played a match last week in Madrid – Del Potro won 6-4 6-2 in the last 16. “Last week I beat him (Nalbandian) in a great match, and tomorrow I’ve got to be in good shape if I want to do it again,” Del Potro said.

LYON

Two former champions Andy Roddick (2005) and Robin Soderling (2004) played a hard-service battle with no breaks of serve and two tie-breaks. Both tie-breaks had the same pattern – Roddick was leading 3:1 but Soderling won twice 7-5 thanks to unforced errors of American player. Roddick was better (22-20) in aces. Roddick doesn’t add points to Champions Race (he should have reached the final to do it) in contrary to Gilles Simon who has won for the first time in two weeks time a match in straight sets (6-3 7-5 against compatriot Ouanna). Simon could move within three points of sixth-placed Roddick if he wins the title.

In the bottom half of the draw, two Frenchmen (Tsonga and Benneteau) will fight against each other to reach the final. Benneteau advanced to the last four in impressive style – hasn’t lost 4 games in a set in three matches this week.

ST. PETERSBURG

Defending champion Andy Murray has won 10th consecutive match beating Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(5) 7-5 in two hours and 10 minutes. Murray sets up semifinal clash with Fernando Verdasco who qualified to St. Petersburg semifinal third straight year. Murray beat Verdasco 6-2 6-3 in last year’s final.

Andrey Golubev as a first player from Kazakhstan reached the ATP semifinal. Golubev in a duel of two qualifiers was better than Misha Zverev 6-7 6-4 7-6. 21 year-old Kazakh won match point after a successful challenge. He now face Victor Hanescu. The Romanian hadn’t any problems against 27 year-old Michail Elgin who won this week his 1st ATP match.

Basel – Quarterfinals

(1)Roger Federer (SUI) d. Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-2 6-3

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) d. (4)James Blake (USA) 6-4 7-6(7)

(3)Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. (6)Igor Andreev (RUS) 6-4 7-5

(2)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (q)Benjamin Becker (GER) 7-6(4) 6-4

Lyon – Quarterfinals

(7)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. (1)Andy Roddick (USA) 7-6(5) 7-6(5)

(4)Gilles Simon (FRA) d. (WC)Josselyn Ouanna (FRA) 6-3 7-5

(3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 7-6(5) 6-1

Julien Benneteau (FRA) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-3 6-2

St. Petersburg – Quarterfinals

(1)Andy Murray (GBR) d. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 7-6(5) 7-5

(3)Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. Rainer Schuettler (GER) 7-5 6-2

(q)Andrey Golubev (KAZ) d. (q)Michael Zverev (GER) 6-7(3) 6-4 7-6(4)

Victor Hanescu (ROU) d. (WC)Michail Elgin (RUS) 6-1 6-4

Second Round Round-Up – Basel, Lyon, St. Pete!

BASEL

Roger Federer hasn’t lost a set in 10 meetings against Jarkko Nieminen. The Finn was very close to win a set against former No. 1 this time. Nieminen had two set points at 5:3 in the first set, led 30-0 on serve in the next game and was 5:4 up on serve in the tie-break. Federer finally won the match in two tie-breaks.

Nieminen can’t win a set against federer, Philipp Kohlschreiber can’t win a match against Igor Andreev. The German has lost 7 match in a row to Andreev but for the first time in career was relatively close of victory. Andreev won 7-6 6-7 7-5 breaking Kohlschreiber’s serve for the first time in the last game of the match. Kohlschreiber lost tight matches in his last three indoor events (all of them 6-7 or 5-7 in the third set).

James Blake builds up chances to play in Shanghai after beating Oscar Hernandez. Blake surprisingly lost first set in a tie-break but won the next two sets comfortably 6-2 6-4, facing just one break point in the whole match. “I was serving well and that got me out of a lot of trouble,” Blake said who served 17 aces.

Kristof Vliegen saved with stunning backhand passing-shot a match point against David Nalbandian in the 12th game of the final set and was leading 4:3 in the tie-break but experienced in tight matches Nalbandian won the last four points of the match.

LYON

Marathon-man Gilles Simon still wins his matches in three-sets. In the second round he beat Andreas Seppi 7-6(5) 5-7 6-4. It has been 7th three-set win for Simon in the last two weeks and each of those matches lasted more than 2 hours (against Nadal more than 3 hours)!

Tennis Masters Cup qualification contender Andy Roddick needed two tie-breaks and 26 aces to overcome his compatriot Robby Ginepri. Roddick has to reach the final to add the points in Champions Race. He will now face Robin Soderling who served 20 aces in just 8 service games against one of the shortest player on the tour Christophe Rochus. Rochus received also 20 aces from Gilles Muller one round earlier.

ST. PETERSBURG

For the first time in history two players from Kazakhstan and Latvia reached second round of an ATP Tournament. From those foursome only Andrey Golubev won his match, easily surpassing Marat Safin 6-2 6-4. Unexpectedly Russia won’t have a seeded player in the quarterfinals (four seeded players at the start of tournament). The best Russian tennis player Nikolay Davydenko withdrew due to injuried left wrist. “In one of the games when I was receiving his serve I just snapped my wrist,” said Davydenko about his first-round match against Guccione. “I was able finish the match but today I felt a lot of pain and I just can’t play”.

Basel – Second Round

(1)Roger Federer (SUI) d. Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 7-6(6) 7-6(1)

Simone Bolelli (ITA) d. Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-4 6-2

(4)James Blake (USA) d. Oscar Hernandez (ESP) 6-7(4) 6-2 6-4

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) d. (8)Mardy Fish (USA) 7-6(9) 6-4

(6)Igor Andreev (RUS) d. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 7-6(6) 6-7(0) 7-5

(3)Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. (WC)Stephane Bohli (SUI) 6-3 6-3

(q)Benjamin Becker (GER) d. (LL)Andreas Beck (GER) 3-6 6-3 6-4

(2)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (q)Kristof Vliegen (BEL) 6-4 5-7 7-6(4)

Lyon – Second Round

(1)Andy Roddick (USA) d. Robby Ginepri (USA) 7-6(5) 7-6(3)

(7)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. (q)Christophe Rochus (BEL) 6-1 6-2

(4)Gilles Simon (FRA) d. Andreas Seppi (ITA) 7-6(5) 5-7 6-4

(WC)Josselyn Ouanna (FRA) d. Nicolas Lapentti (ECU) 6-3 1-6 6-3

Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) d. (8)Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-4 6-1

(3)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Fabrice Santoro (FRA) 6-2 5-7 6-3

Julien Benneteau (FRA) d. (5)Tommy Robredo (ESP) 6-2 6-2

Steve Darcis (BEL) vs (2)Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-4 3-6 7-6(5)

St. Petersburg – Second Round

(1)Andy Murray (GBR) d. Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-4 6-2

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) d. Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4 7-6(3)

(3)Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. (WC)Karlis Lejnieks (LAT) 6-1 6-3

Rainer Schuettler (GER) d. Dominik Hrbaty (SVK) 6-3 6-3

(q)Andrey Golubev (KAZ) d. (8)Marat Safin (RUS) 6-4 6-2

(q)Michael Zverev (GER) d. (4)Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 7-5 6-4

Victor Hanescu (ROU) d. (q)Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3 7-6(7)

(WC)Michail Elgin (RUS) d. (2)Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) w/o

Surprising Win For Igor Kunitsyn At Kremlin Cup

MOSCOW

Igor Kunitsyn won his first ATP tournament overcoming his compatriot Marat Safin 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 6-3. There were no breaks of serve in the first set. Safin was leading 3:0 in the tie-break but the next 4 points won Kunitsyn who had setpoint on his own serve at 6:5. Safin managed to save first set point after long rally but wasn’t able to save another one on his own serve albeit the umpire Carlos Bernardes had announced “7 all” before Kunitsyn took the challenge which overruled the umpire’s decision. In the second set Kunitsyn broke Safin’s serve to lead 3:2 but lost his own serve in the following game. The set went to another tie-break which was comfortable won by Safin. At the beginning of the deciding set Kunitsyn had cramps but after an intervention of a trainer broke Safin’s serve in the 6th game and held his serve to the very end finishing the tournament with an ace. Kunitsyn looked like a surprsining man after that and his statement after the final proves it:  “I was hoping to win a couple of games and that’s it. I still don’t know how I was able to outplay Marat, but I guess it happens. I still don’t understand how I won.” Safin hasn’t won a tournament since Australian Open 2005.

STOCKHOLM

Robin Soderling didn’t lose a service game on route to final but Nalbandian broke him in the opening game of the final after controversial desicion of the umpire Pascal Maria. Soderling lost his confidence and the match was going to easy win for the Argentinian. Nalbandian was leading 6-2 3:1 (30-15) but Soderling who had been supporting by the local fans leveled up in the 8th game and won the second set at first set point with stunning forehand passing-shot. The Swede was leading 3:2 in the decider but Nalbandian since then won 4 consecutive games to capture 9th title in 17 career finals. Soderling  has lost three finals this year, all of them indoors. “It was great,” Nalbandian said. “The conditions are perfect to play indoors. It could be faster or slower. I adapt my game to play here and I really like it.” Nalbandian leads 5-1 against Soderling.

VIENNA

Playing 16th ATP tournament in career, Philipp Petzschner won maiden ATP title with convincing 6-4 6-4 over Gael Monfils. The German has been the 3rd qualifier this year (after Nishikori and Simon) who won an ATP title. Monfils has lost 5 finals in a row, three of them indoors.

Kunitsyn and Petzschner join to the body of 10 first-time title winners in 2008.

Moscow – Final

Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) d. (7)Marat Safin (RUS) 7-6(6) 6-7(4) 6-3

Stockholm – Final

(1)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (4)Robin Soderling (SWE) 6-2 5-7 6-3

Vienna – Final

(q)Philipp Petzschner (GER) d. (8)Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4

Marat Safin Reaches Finals With a Walk Over

MOSCOW

Marat Safin advanced to the final of Kremlin Cup without the entrance on the court. Mischa Zverve gave him a walkover due to illness.

Fellow Russian Igor Kunitsyn won a semifinal match in his 6th attempt beating 6-4 6-3 semi-retired Fabrice Santoro. Kunitsyn 3 out of 5 previous semifinalas played in Russia, two of them in Moscow (2005 and 2006).

A Russian champion at the ATP Kremlin Cup is guaranteed for the 13th time in the tournament’s 19-year history.

STOCKHOLM

In Stockholm’s final will meet two favourites to the crown: David Nalbandian and Robin Soderling. Nalbandian extended leading in head to head against Jarkko Nieminen to 6-4 with easy 6-2 6-1 win.

Soderling needed just 44 minutes to destroy Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-0. It was one of the shortest matches this year. The Swede as in his the quarterfinal, served 13 aces.”I’ve played better and better in every match,” Soderling said. “I held my serves easily and always had chances when he served.”

VIENNA

Monfils and Kohlschreiber played very dramatic, almost 3-hour match in their first encounter against each other. Monfils broke Kohlschreiber’s serve in the 3rd game of the final set after 10 deuces on 7th break point chance. Three games later the German broke back and was two points away from the final at 5:4 (30-30). Monfils broke again to lead 6:5 and was 40-0 up in the following game. Kohlschreiber with attacking game managed to save triple match point and the match went to decisive tie-break. Monfils held his nerves and won the match 6-4 5-7 7-6(2) converting 5th match point with excellent backhand cross passing-shot.

In tomorrow’s final the Frenchman will meet the sensation of the tournament 24 year-old Philipp Petzschner of Germany. Petzschner beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-4 6-3 to become 4th qualifier this year (after Kei Nishikori, Kevin Anderson and Gilles Simon) who reaches final of an ATP tournament.

Moscow – Semifinals

(7)Marat Safin (RUS) d. Michael Zverev (GER) w/o

Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) d. Fabrice Santoro (FRA) 6-4 6-3

Stockholm – Semifinals

(1)David Nalbandian (ARG) d. (3)Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 6-2 6-1

(4)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. (WC)Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-1 6-0

Vienna – Semifinals

(q)Philipp Petzschner (GER) d. Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-3 6-3

(8)Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-4 5-7 7-6(2)