trophy watch: hello to rafa, goodbye to san jose, and the ladies switch it up



Juan Martin del Potro defeats Julien Benneteau in 2013 Rotterdam tennis event

ABN AMRO: Juan Martin del Potro was last man standing at the ABN AMRO WTT, the stacked ATP 500-series event in Rotterdam led by tournament director Richard Krajicek which saw Roger Federer ousted by finalist Julien Benneteau and had semifinal runs by Gilles Simon and Grigor Dimitrov. Delpo earned his 14th career title by downing Benneteau 7-6(2), 6-3.

Qatar Total Open 2013 trophies: Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka

Vika wins two: The plot thickens in the battle at the top of the women’s game between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams. At this past week’s Qatar Total Open, contested in Doha, Serena regained the No. 1 ranking but Azarenka notched her second career win over Williams (in 13 tries) and defended her Doha title. The scoreline: 7-6(6) 2-6, 6-3. Azarenka is taking the week off to heal a foot injury, while Serena is playing in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Serena praised Victoria for her work in the final:

“I always respect Victoria. I think she’s a really good player. Obviously she’s so consistent and she plays well. She’s such a solid player. It’s nice to always play someone and go home and you’re like, ‘Okay, I didn’t do great, but let me work harder.’ I think that she inspires a lot of people to work harder, and definitely me.”

2013 SAP Open - San Jose - Trophy - Milos Raonic defeats Tommy Haas

Bon voyage: The final edition of the 125-year-old SAP Open, held in San Jose, Calif., featured a three-peat for top seed, and two-time defending champ Milos Raonic. He defeated fourth seed Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3. Raonic won all three titles without dropping a set.

Raonic, from Canada, wore a New Balance tee with a black-and-green print. “Today, I’m more of a complete player,” he said after winning the title. “I was able to put pressure on [Haas] in most of his service games. I was able to hold quite handily, which I’ve shown I can do in the past. I was able to create pressure every game. It wasn’t just one game. I was getting to a lot of deuce games.”

Rafael Nadal wins the 2013 Brasil Open

Chippin’ off the old block: The story of Rafael Nadal has finally come full circle. After disappearing from the circuit for about eight months after losing to Lukas Rosol in the early rounds of Wimbledon 2012, the Spaniard took home the Brasil Open (Sao Paolo) title last week. The 6-2, 6-3 victory over David Nalbandian was Nadal’s first since beating Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2012 French Open.

It’s all about the titles: “It’s very nice and important because at the end of your career what’s left are the titles,” Rafa reflected after his win, “and depending on certain moments there are some titles that you appreciate very much. This one I appreciate it the most because of all the struggles I went through during the week, with some problems with my knee some days.”

(Photo Credit: Rotterdam photo via ABN AMRO WTT Facebook; Nadal photo via Brasil Open; San Jose photo via SAP Open website; Vika/Serena photo via Qatar Tennis Federation)

trophy watch: there’s a hole in my trophy, dear liza!



Petra Kvitova slayed the biggest giant of all this weekend in Paris: new world no. 1 and Aussie Open winner Kim Clijsters, 6-4 6-3 in the final. Isn’t there something missing from her trophy though? Like… a big chunk of it??

Meanwhile, over in San Jose, Milos Raonic became the first Canadian man to win an ATP title in 16 years. His prize(s)? A Sharks jersey and bottle of maple syrup. I mean, jeez, don’t paint him as Canadian or anything…

Check out Daniela in Thailand, Soderling in Rotterdam and more of the isn’t-there-something-missing trophy of Kvitova’s.

[Read more...]

richard krajicek + tattoo watch: goran ivanisevic



Richard Krajicek will take a break from his duties as director of the Rotterdam tournament to play in the Gibson Guitar Champions Cup at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Tennis Served Fresh obtained the transcript from a recent interview. Here are some bits:

On the current state of grasscourt tennis: “I played in the days of Sampras, Rafter, and Ivanisevic, the great grass court players. Now it’s all baseliners. The grass has changed, players tell me. It’s slower, and therefore it is more difficult to play serve and volley. I believe it is a shame because I always liked watching contrasting players. Like Borg against McEnroe, Lendl against Edberg and Rafter against Agassi.”

On ending a Sampras winning streak at Wimbledon: “Beating Pete in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 1996 felt amazing, but I knew it would mean nothing if I would have lost in the next round. It wasn’t over yet. I wanted the whole Championship. Winning Wimbledon changed my life. I’m not a tattoo kind of guy, but I can understand why Goran has ‘Wimbledon Champion’ tattooed on his back. It’s just the highest high.”

ivanisevic-tattoo1.jpg

Tattoo Watch: Speaking of Goran’s tattoo, I don’t think he ended up getting that “Wimbledon Champion” tattoo on his back (or his front). He only has that cross/shark above.

Details: The Gibson Guitar Champions Cup, part of the Champions Tennis Series, will be held August 22-26, 2007 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Featured players in the round-robin tournament include John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Mats Wilander, Wayne Ferreira, Jim Courier, Richard Krajicek, Todd Martin, and Mal Washington. For more information, visit www.tennisfame.com.

RELATED POSTS
>> catching up with MaliVai Washington
>> Youzhny wins Rotterdam, poses with Krajicek