Federer Wants Hingis Partnership:
Despite her best efforts to quash talk of a comeback and another assault at the Olympic Games next summer it seems that Martina Hingis’ fellow pros aren’t so willing to let the issue lie. Roger Federer has been talking this week of the possibility of the pair linking up for a dream mixed doubles partnership at the All England Club next summer to compete in the London Games. “Might as well just see if she is available,” he said on Monday. “If I played mixed with anybody it would be with Hingis just because she’s been an amazing player and I had my first kind of success at the Hopman Cup with her and practised and played with her before. Even if she is retired, she might think about it at least. I’ve approached her already a long time ago, and I guess she just mentioned something to the press and it took a life of its own. But I haven’t spoken to her myself yet. We’ll see where it goes. I know it’s a lot on your plate to play singles, doubles, and mixed. I need to decide if I want to do that in the first place, and then see if she will come out of retirement. Still have a lot of things to go through, but haven’t spoken yet. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Roddick Outburst Compounds Cincy Defeat:
Andy Roddick crashed out of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati yesterday to Philip Kohlschreiber in an outburst-riddled match which landed the American star in hot water. After taking the first set in a tie-breaker, Roddick began to fall apart on court and secured only one game in the final set of a 7-6(7-5), 5-7, 1-6 loss. Having already been warned for smashing one racket to pieces, Roddick was docked a point in the third set to give the German Kohlschreiber a 2-0 lead for hitting a ball in to the crowd in frustration. “Obviously it’s a split second thing, as soon as I did it I wanted it [the ball] back,” he said after the match. “It was a judgment call for the umpire. I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. I understand where the umpire is coming from but at a certain point, you know, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and it pretty much ruins the match from there. Seems counterproductive.”
Serena makes it Back To Back Titles:
Serena Williams made it back-to-back tournament wins on her return from injury as she lifted the Rogers Cup in Toronto over the weekend. She broke Aussie Sam Stosur to move 5-4 ahead in the first set and then served it out, before breaking the 2010 French Open finalist twice more in the second set on her way to victory. “I’m so excited. I never expected to do this well,” she said in her on-court interview in Toronto. “I’m just so happy to be playing again, let alone winning. It’s cool.”
Djokovic Continues Unrivalled Year:
In Montreal, Novak Djokovic continued his unbelievable 2011 with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over America’s Mardy Fish in the final. The 24-year-old took just 38 minutes to win the first set and although he suffered a blip as Fish broke him to go 3-2 up in the second and held on to take it, Djokovic recovered and saw out the decider with now-unsurprising ease. “I am human, I can definitely assure you of that,” Djokovic joked afterwards. “I’ve been playing incredible tennis this year. I’m aware of the fantastic year that I’ve had and a great streak but I’m not thinking how many matches will I lose? I’m thinking how many matches will I win?” Fish was quick to pay homage to his all-conquering adversary: “Every knock he’s answered 10-fold this year,” he said. “It’s been incredibly impressive.” The Serb has only lost one match this year to Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open and he becomes the first player in ATP history to lift five Masters events in the same season; Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and now Montreal.
Federer Enjoys DelPo “Revenge”:
Roger Federer overcame Juan Martin del Potro in the second round at Cincinnati this week in what was a revenge match for the 2009 US Open final, where Del Potro won through in five sets in what R-Fed describes as one of the “biggest losses” of his career. This time the Swiss star won through 6-3, 7-5 with relative ease and he will progress to face James Blake, the man who painfully ended his run at the 2008 Olympics quarterfinals. “That was obviously a pretty big match for me to lose as well,” said Federer. “May be getting a chance for some revenge. I’m looking forward to it. Seems like he’s playing well. Definitely going to be ready for it. Had a great final here years ago, and hope we can make something similar happen.” Del Potro, however, will now take a week off before making his first return to Flushing Meadows since that famous win after his long-running injury problems. “I will try to train hard to be 100 per cent for the Open,” he said. “I love this tournament. I want to be there. I want to just play the US Open this year, and then I will have time to take a rest, to think about this season, and to fix all my physical problems.”
Stepanek Hits Milestone:
Radek Stepanek’s 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4) win over big American John Isner at Cincy this week was the 300th ATP level win of his professional career.
There are a couple of injuries to report ahead of the US Open. As well as the well-documented struggles of Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters, Agnieszka Radwanska pulled out of this week’s Cincinnati event with a right shoulder injury sustained during her Toronto semi-final loss to Sam Stosur. It is unclear as yet how much it will hamper her Open preparations. There were also painful scenes for 52-year-old John McEnroe in the Rogers Legends Cup event in Montreal last week. He went down late in the second set clutching his leg and lay prone for 10 minutes while opponent Michael Chang and medical staff assisted him before helping him off-court.
Nishikori Heading to Malaysia:
Japanese star Kei Nishikori has confirmed that he will compete in this year’s Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, which takes place from September 24 to October 2. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to welcome a player from Asia to the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, and especially one who has shown such great maturity and determination,” said Nick Freyer, of organisers IMG. “Kei has incredible talent and it is tremendous for tennis in Asia to be able to see him playing the standard of tennis he has always been capable of.”
Britain’s Katie O’Brien has retired from professional tennis at the age of 25. She reached a career-high ranking of No.84 in September 2010 but has since slipped all the way down to No.281 in the world. “There are so many bits about tennis that I love, but the day-in day-out grind got to me a little bit,” she said. “A lot of people see the end product, when you’re on the big stage at the Grand Slams, and it all looks so luxurious. But the path to get there takes years and years of dedication. I did really well to break into the Top 100, that was my lifelong ambition, but I sacrificed everything to get there. The Challenger circuit can be a pretty depressing place at times, especially when you’re travelling many weeks on your own, which is what I have been doing.”
Fish at Record High in Rankings Watch:
American Mardy Fish has benefitted from his final appearance at Montreal last week by climbing to a record-high No.7 in this week’s South African Airways ATP World Rankings. Jo Wilfried-Tsonga’s impressive showing at the event also sees him jump six places to enter the Top 10. Janko Tipsarevic climbs four in to the Top 20, while Ernests Gulbis, Pablo Cuevas and Alex Bogomolov Jr. are all in to the Top 50. Belgium’s Steve Darcis climbs in to the Top 100, as does Chilean Paul Capdeville, who leaps 18 places to No.98 in the world. There were further 2011 Chinese records in the Sony Ericsson WTA World Rankings this week as Peng Shuai climbed to a career-high No.15 in the world to make it two Chinese players in the Top 15 in the same week for the first time ever. Vera Zvonareva is back up to No.2 in the world this week, while Petra Kvitova’s amazing couple of months continue as she is at a new career-high No.6 in the world. Italy’s Roberta Vinci made her Top 20 debut at No.19, whilst Serena Williams climbed 49 places to No.31 in the world on the back of her title in Toronto. Mona Barthel also climbed a place to enter the Top 100 for the first time in her career.
Low GOAT Race Points Totals after Shock Montreal Losses:
Both Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal saw shock losses in last week’s Montreal Masters, severely limiting their points total increases this week. Nadal crashed out in round two as Ivan Dodig secured the biggest win of his career, 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) against the world No.2. Federer followed in round three, missing out on a place in the quarterfinals thanks to Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga’s 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 win. As a result, neither man built on their 10 points for entering. They both, however, gain another 10 points each for entering Cincinnati this week.
Roger: 975 Rafa: 1685