Monday, August 06, 2018

Weekend Tennis Roundup


Martin Klizan celebrated his easy win over Denis Istomin in the final of the Generali Open on Sunday by RIPPING HIS SHIRT OFF. It was only the second ever all-qualifier final on the ATP World Tour, with the Slovak dominating from the start against the helpless Uzbek, winning the title 6-2, 6-2.


(Klizan also beat top seed Dominic Thiem along the way.)


It was the 29-year-old's fourth title on clay. 


Alexander Zverev’s second Citi Open title in a row is merely the latest sign that he is separating himself from the other up-and-coming youngsters in tennis, writes The Washington Post. That doesn’t mean he is sure that guys such as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal are worrying just yet. “You’ve got to ask them. I don’t think Roger’s too concerned about it,” Zverev said with a smile. “He’s somewhere in Switzerland right now, enjoying ... his milk from his cow.” Zverev became the first man in nearly a decade to win consecutive titles at Washington’s hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open, overpowering Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in the final Sunday.


The tournament's semifinals were noteworthy for their youth, which is increasingly rare in the 30-something world of men's tennis.


Washington was also noteworthy for featuring the first-ever pro meeting between the Zverev brothers. I was rooting for the big brother, natch! 


Fabio Fognini and his idiotic hair upset top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday night in the Mifel Open final. Fognini, the 31-year-old Italian ranked 15th in the world, won his first-ever hard-court event for his third victory of the year. (Didn't see the match but have to think the Argentine wasn't awake yet.)


Mihaela Buzarnescu carved out a ruthless 6-1, 6-0 victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari in San Jose, for her first main-tour title. The tournament featured several bizarre results -- a resurgent Johanna Konta handed Serena her worst loss to date, only to lose to clay-court specialist Elise Mertens, and Venus lost to Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets.


And finally, the women's event in Washington was a bittersweet affair. I'm thrilled that Svetlana Kuznetsova -- a Hall of Fame sure thing -- is back in form under the tutelage of Argentine Guillermo Cañas, defeating Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 on Sunday for her second title in the nation’s capital. But at the same time it was heartbreaking to see the young(er) Croatian lose after playing so well, even holding four match points.  


Vekic's new partnership with ex-Kerber coach Torben Beltz seems to be paying dividends -- and at least she had Stan to go home to ...

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