Monday, October 02, 2017

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Little David Goffin defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 to win in Shenzhen, his third career title and first since 2014.

The match that caught my eye was Goffin versus Henri Laaksonen, a surprise semifinalist. The 113th ranked Finland-born Swissman looked very poised for a journeyman, and very fit in his red shirt and black shorts.

Denis Istomin won his second ATP career title at the 2017 Chengdu Open after Marcos Baghdatis was agonizingly forced to retire in the final with a back injury.

Worth noting that Guido Pella had a great week. Before losing to Baghdatis in the semis, the Argentine beat three of the hottest men on tour -- Borna Coric, top-seeded Dominic Thiem and surprise quarterfinalist Taylor Fritz -- all in straight sets.

Meanwhile on the women's tour, Caroline Garcia captured the biggest title of her career in Wuhan, beating Ashleigh Barty 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-2 in two hours and 44 minutes. French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko made the semis -- defeating Wimbledon champ GarbiƱe Muguruza in three sets -- before getting creamed by Barty.) It should be noted that U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and runner-up Madison Keys were both knocked out of the Wuhan Open in the first round on Monday. In their first matches since the final at Flushing Meadows, the 17th-ranked Stephens lost to Wang Qiang of China 6-2, 6-2, while the 12th-ranked Keys was beaten by fellow American Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 7-6 (4). (Way to go, gals!) The last time Grand Slam finalists lost their next match was after 2005 Wimbledon, where Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport. (Keys is reportedly suffering from wrist pain again.)

Meanwhile, a little history was made in Tashkent. Kateryna Bondarenko, playing her first WTA singles final in NINE years, finally won her second title, defeating Timea Babos of Hungry, 6-4, 6-4 to win Tashkent. Bondarenko became the first mom to win a title since Kim Clijsters captured the 2011 U.S. Open -- although I think it's likely to happen again soon. (P.S. Fun to see Vera Zvonareva back in the mix, reaching the semis before being forced to retire. She's been in a few qualifiers and seems to be making progress.) 

Now that Serena Williams has broken Steffi Graf's open-era record for most majors, I want her to blast past Margaret Court's (quasi-bullshit) all-time record. (Don't forget that many of those Aussie Opens were tiny local events at the time.) Court has proven herself to be a hateful human being, and I would love to see Serena rob her of her most treasured claim to fame.

The men and women are in Beijing this week, including living dolls Mischa and Alexander Zverev! 

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