Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Juan Martin del Potro, who is finally back in the Top 20, defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2 to win Stockholm for the second year in a row.

It was still a good week for Dimitrov, whose win over Fabio Fognini in the previous round ended with an extended moment at the net. As a friend put it, "even though it looked like a pleasantly happy chat [the unstable Italian] could have been threatening him for some slight through that smile and wink. congratulating him or threatening him." (Yes.)

Jo-Willie Tsonga was the winner in Antwerp, beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 7-5.

The win put the Frenchman in contention to still qualify for the year-end championships in London, and capped one of the most erratic years in tennis history.

Damir Dzumhur, who made tennis history last month in Russia by becoming the first Bosnian-Herzegovinian to win an ATP World Tour title, captured title No. 2 on Sunday, defeating Ricardas Berankis, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, to win the VTB Kremlin Cup. "I really don't know, but there is something special here in Russia. Maybe the crowd, I don't know," said Dzumhur after the match.

Good for him. But I was kind of rooting for Berankis, who like my paternal grandfather's father hails from Lithuania ...

has my old bangs -- and some of the best gams on the men's tour.

Meanwhile, Julia Görges of Germany claimed her first singles title of 2017 at the VTB Kremlin Cup on Saturday, defeating Daria Kasatkina of Russia, 6-1, 6-2. Goerges captured the third singles title of her career, and her first in over six years. Worth noting that Maria Sharapova, fresh off her win last week in China, lost in straight sets in the first round to Magadalena Rybarikova, who then retired in her next match.

And finally, Carina Witthoeft of Germany defeated Monica Puig 6-3, 7-5 to win the title in Luxembourg. It was a solid performance for the Puerto Rican who has been on quite a losing streak since winning the Olympic gold medal in Rio. She dedicated her week to her people back home, who are still struggling from the effects of Hurricanes Maria and Donald.

The women are now in Singapore for the WTA Championships, but the tour already gave out its year-end awards -- perhaps undercutting the importance its own tour title. Happy to see that Garbine Muguruza was named player of the year -- there's a good chance she will not end up No. 1 in the rankings, playing Petra Kvitova to Simona Halep or god forbid Elina Svitolina's Caroline Wozniacki circa 2011.  Hingis/Chan were named doubles team of the year; French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko got most improved; CiCi Bellis was best newcomer and U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens was named comeback player of the year. 

All we can do now is hope Halep goes down in flames -- she's won just ONE title this year! -- and that Muguruza plays like we know she's capable of. We really don't need another Slamless year-end number one.

They are women, hear them roar!

I'd watch your back, Rico!

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