munchkin report: clement out of melbourne

To round out our munchkin reports (Janko? Check. Andre Sa? Check. Nono? Here we go!) —

French munchkin Arnaud Clement got bounced out early in both singles and doubles at this year’s Australian Open.

As expected, he played in solid-colored Lacoste performance polos.

Clement needed five sets to defeat Ukranian Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round (6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 — yikes!) and ran out of the fuel he needed to beat 14th seed Fernando Verdasco. He even got pesky in the latter match, getting called out by the chair ump for rudely grabbing his towel from the ballboy.

In doubles, with partner Marc Gicquel (what happened to Llodra?), Arnaud lost to Peya and Petzschner in two tiebreaks.

At least he had fun at the IMG Crown Players’ Party before the tourney started.

(1st round photo by FFT; 2nd round and party images by Getty Images)

trophy watch: youzhny salutes a fatigued rafa

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A fatigued Rafael Nadal fell to the always dangerous Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-1 in the singles final of the Chennai Open on Sunday.

Mikhail conceded that he won the match only because Rafa couldn’t move well (uhm, negative mental state for the Russian?) and Rafa agreed; the Spaniard brushed off any talks of his chronic injuries affecting play. Instead, Rafa chalked up the poor performance to the marathon semifinal he played against compatriot Carlos Moya; that 6-7 (3), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (1) match lasted almost four hours. Okay, so we’re not worrying about Nadal’s foot and knees. Now we’re just worried about his conditioning.

More: A rare sight (i.e., Rafa in a polo shirt!) plus the doubles winners after the cut…

trophy watch: basel, linz, lyon, st. petersburg

This past week the men played in three tournaments (Basel, Lyon, St. Petersburg) while the women made a showing in Linz, Austria. Lots of shiny things were handed out, save for a purple oddity in Lyon…

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At the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon, Sebastien Grosjean defeated fellow Frenchman Marc Gicquel 7-6 (5), 6-4 to capture his fourth career title (and first since Nottingham 2002). His trophy looks like it’s stuffed with tennis balls. What do you think?

In St. Petersburg, Andy Murray hoists a cup after winning his second title of the year. The runner-up in this 6-2, 6-3 match was Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. This title will keep Murray in the running for the final two spots in this year’s Masters Cup (Shanghai). FYI, St. Pete top seed Nikolay Davydenko got fined $2,000 for allegedly tanking in his 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 loss to Marin Cilic. Poor guy can’t catch a break! On the bright side, the Russian has already qualified for the Masters Cup. But on the other hand (call me a pessmist?), he likely won’t be able to defend his title at this week’s Paris Masters.

In Linz, Slovak Dani Hantuchova (still in Nike black) came out the winner in the final against Patty Schnyder at the Generali Ladies Open. The 6-4, 6-2 victory gave Hantuchova a spot at the WTA Championships in Madrid (starting Nov. 6). This is her second title of the year in four finals. Her other title this year is from Indian Wells.

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And in Basel, Roger Federer took out Jarkko Nieminen at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, thus defending his title (this one’s No. 52) and securing the year-end No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row. By the way, the runner-ups were awarded with watches. Classy.

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