trophy watch: paris & pattaya + dc rubbers



Mona Barthel wins the 2013 Open GDF Suez in Paris over Sara Errani

Paris: German Mona Barthel took out top seed Sara Errani 7-5, 7-6(4) to win her second career title — and first at a Premier-level event. She is now 2-1 in finals, with her other title coming at Hobart in 2012. Russian Elena Vesnina stopped Barthel from taking the title this year, knocking out the defending champion in the final.

“When I came here [to Paris] I wasn’t expecting to win the title at all,” said Barthel, who is the second German to win the title in the past two years (Kerber chose not to defend). “I was just taking it round by round, hoping to win the first round, then hoping to win the second round, and so on. When I got to the final I knew it would be tough, because Sara had such an amazing year last year and is playing so well – she just doesn’t give anything away.”

Errani did not leave empty-handed, teaming with Roberta Vinci to take the doubles trophy over the team of Hlavackova and Huber. The 6-1, 6-1 victory gave the Italian duo their 15th career title as a team.

More: Kirilenko wins Pattaya and Davis Cup rubbers — after the cut…

sa watch, roland garros edition



The Brazilian doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — seeded 10th at this year’s French Open — lost in the first round to an unseeded pair, Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov. The Russian team fell in the quarters to top seeds Zimonjic and Nestor. And in the finals, Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes will face Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman.

trophy watch: winners at Pilot Pen



Caroline Wozniacki defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the women’s singles final at Pilot Pen. The 18-year-old is currently the only Dane in the Top 400 of the SEWTA Tour.

Meanwhile, Brazilians Andre Sa and Marcelo Melo won their doubles final over Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 7-5, 6-2.

And Croat Marin Cilic downed Mardy Fish 6–4, 4–6, 6–2 to win his first ever ATP singles title. Congrats to him.

(photos by Getty Images)

trophy watch: i call him “melo yellow”; a japanese phenom; mama murray must be happy, etc.



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This one’s for you, Mikey: Our Sa Watch 2008 begins with the duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — locals — winning the Brazil Open doubles trophy over Albert Montanez and Santiago Ventura. Leave it to Andre to wear yellow socks on the court. Cute.

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Meanwhile, it was a battle of the lankies as British fourth seed Andy Murray took out Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4, at the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.

In Delray Beach, Kei Nishikori surprised everyone (including finalist James Blake) with this impressive 6-3, 1-6 and 4-6 upset. Our buddy Ichizo took this video of Kei while playing against Zack Fleishman in Japan last October.

By the way, look out for Ichizo to launch his japanese language tennis blog sometime soon. This is one of the few times I’m sad that I don’t know Japanese. That, and everytime I can’t read anything in Men’s Non-No aka the best magazine in the world.

And we are sure that Mama Murray is proud of her other son, Jamie, who teamed with Max Mirnyi to upset the top seeded Bryan Brothers. (Watch: See Jamie use finger code to communicate with Max.)

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A beaut! The Proximus Diamond Games tops itself with a racquet encrusted with 2008 diamonds (get it?) totalling more than $1.5 million. 1,611 of those diamonds are on the ball itself. Unfortunately for Justine Henin, who beat Italy’s Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-3 in the final match, she has to win the tournament three times in five years before she takes home that puppy. It’s not an impossible feat, though; Amelie Mauresmo did the same last year and took home the first diamond trophy.

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Singles: Sorry, guys. I was too crushed by the early loss of Guga Kuerten in singles (and doubles, actually) at the Brasil Open to care about who won. Props to Nicolas Almagro for besting mainstay Carlos Moya 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5.

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Lastly, Flavia Pennetta wore her multi-collared Sergio Tacchini all the way to a title at the Vina del Mar tourney in Vina del Mar, Chile. Her opponent: Klara Zakopalova.

(Mirnyi/Murray video via ATP; photos by Getty Images)

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sa watch: harshin' my melo



Bah. Marcelo Melo received a two-month doping ban after the ITF determined he tested positive for isometheptene at Queen’s Club earlier this spring.

The ban is usually two years long, but was reduced because Melo didn’t take the substance to enhance his sporting performance.

He’ll forfeit prize money and rankings points. Which is sad, since he and partner Andre Sa had a decent run, making the doubles semis at Wimbledon and the quarters at the U.S. Open.

(AP via ESPN)