TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Sock & Pospisil in record books, Serena wins US Open Series, Federer reaches ATP Finals, Del Potro out of US Open and who’s playing where this week. Joshua Bosco
A new record for a new duo
After just eight weeks together, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock are already in the record books.
Their partnership got off to a fantastic start with 14 straight wins, shattering a 30-year-old record belonging to Paul Annacone and Christo van Rensburg, who won their first 12 matches as a doubles team.
In their incredible run Pospisil and Sock clinched titles at Wimbledon and the Citi Open in Washington before reaching the final in Cincinnati on Sunday. Here they played a rematch of their Wimbledon final against the Bryan Brothers: the Americans avenged their defeat winning 6-3 6-2 in just 53 minutes to claim their 99th title as a team.
2014 US Open Series
World No.1 Serena Williams became the first woman to win the US Open Series three times after defeating Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-2 6-4 in the semi-final of the Cincinnati Masters.
The American, who went on to win the tournament defeating Ana Ivanovic in the final, has now set her eyes on a whopping $4 million US Open prize: $3 million for the Grand Slam win plus $1 million for the US Open Series. Should she win in Flushing Meadows, it will be the biggest pay-out ever in tennis history.
On the men’s side, Milos Raonic has virtually clinched the US Open Series title: he is 110 points clear of Roger Federer, who won’t be competing in next week’s Winston-Salem Open. The only two players who can surpass him are John Isner and Kevin Anderson, but they both need the title in North Carolina this week to make it happen.
Federer makes the cut
With his semi-final win over Milos Raonic, Roger Federer became the third player after Nadal and Djokovic to make the cut for the ATP World Tour Finals.
It’s the thirteenth consecutive time that Federer qualifies for the season final showdown, a tournament he has already won a record six times.
Del Potro ruled out of US Open
Juan Martin del Potro has ruled himself out of the 2014 US Open, while he continues to recover from the wrist surgery he underwent in March. He’s still on course to make his comeback at the Malaysian Open, which takes place in September, as he had already announced in June.
Other players who have already announced their withdrawal are Alexandr Dolgopolov, Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Haas while last year’s winner Rafael Nadal is expected to make an announcement regarding his appearance in the next couple of days.
As of today, 2013 semi-finalist Li Na is the only woman to have officially withdrawn from the tournament.
Davis Cup relocates
The ITF has decided to move the Davis Cup tie between Israel and Argentina from Tel Aviv to Sunrise, Florida. The decision came after it was ruled that the match could not be played in Israel due to the situation in Gaza.
Who’s playing where
There are only two major tournaments this week in the lead up to the US Open.
The men will fly to North Carolina for the Winston-Salem Open, where defending champion Jurgen Melzer will be joined by John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Tommy Robredo, Guillermo Garcia Lopez, Lukas Rosol and Andreas Seppi. Ivan Dodig, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock are among the players who have withdrawn before the start of the tournament.
In New Haven eight of the Top 16 WTA players will take part in the 2014 Connecticut Open, where top seed Simona Halep will try to defend her 2013 title against the likes of Petra Kvitova, Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Dominika Cibulkova, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani and Carla Suarez Navarro. Wildcards for the tournament were given to Kirsten Flipkens, Andrea Petkovic and Sam Stosur.
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo.
Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.
Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown.
Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead.
Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2.
Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4.
Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.
“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117 Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5.
Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2.
Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.
Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco.
Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point.
Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance.
“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi.
Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open.
The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai.
Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006.
“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital.
The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October).
“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi.
During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.
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