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…

pennetta’s peak



Two snaps to Italian Flavia Pennetta for making the record books this week: she began play at the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament as the top Italian woman — and the first one to crack the SEWTA tour’s top 10.

“I’m lucky to be [in New Haven] right now” instead of Italy, where the country has gone wild with excitement and pride over her achievement (she even got a text message from Italian tennis legend Adriano Panatta).

Flavia is still in the Pilot Pen draw, facing Caro Wozniacki in the semis and then either Mauresmo or Vesnina in the finals.

And she heads immediately to New York City, where she’s entered in the 2009 US Open as the tourney’s tenth seed. She is in the same quarter of the draw as second seed Serena Williams and the same half as Venus. “If they are fit and ready to play,” referring to the sisters, “no one can beat them.” After years on the tour, though, Flavia has learned to turn her confidence into an asset; she goes into these matches thinking that she can win. (Flavia is 0-1 against Serena — they played a three-setter — and is 4-3 against Venus, winning their most recent match in Cincinnati earlier this month.)

Even with just nine ladies higher than her in the rankings, Flavia has no plans to alter her tennis. For instance, she’ll continue to play doubles — mixed with Dusan Vemic and women’s with Fed Cup partner Sara Errani. She and Sara are trying to get as much experience together as they head to the Fed Cup finals (to be played on November 7 and 8, 2009, in Italy).

(photo by Karen Flax-Jardine/Global Village Tennis News)