Roddick out of Paris.
Andy Roddick’s knee injury is either more serious than he’s letting on or he’s just playing it safe for 2010. Either way, he’s withdrawn from the Paris Masters next week according to ESPN.com. He’s still officially playing the Barclays ATP Masters in London but I doubt he’ll be a factor.
Oudin Leads the U.S. Fed Cup Team.
Remember when Serena Williams said she would play the penultimate Federation Cup tie against Italy even if she had “to play in a wheelchair”. Well Serena backed out of that promise last week and so now it’s to American phenom Melanie Oudin to lead the charge this weekend. In an earlier post, I didn’t think it was fair to let Serena in the final due to her lack of commitment for U.S. Fed Cup all year. Despite playing on red clay, I still give the Americans a chance as they’ve been underdogs all year.
Gasquet, Wickmayer and Agassi Playing Defensive.
In what seems a tidal wave of stories about drug use and doping, this past week saw the withdrawal of rising Belgian star Yanina Wickmayer out of the WTA Bali event after she was given a one-year suspension for failing to show up for three drug tests in a row though she plans to appeal. Xavier Malisse was handed a similar ban and in his press conference he cried through tears that this could be the end of his career. Richard Gasquet is set to defend himself before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland for his alleged “cocaine kiss” incident. The ITF and WADA still seek a one or two year ban for Gasquet though an independent bureau cleared him for play in August. And of course, Andre Agassi is set to defend himself and his book “Open” on 60 Minutes this weekend. Not exactly the best way to end the year for the sport.
Verdasco on the Verge.
And yes the ATP Masters points race still has some drama left as Fernando Verdasco and Nikolay Davydenko appear to be in good shape to secure the final two remaining spots as both have reached the semifinals of the Valencia event.
Filed under ATP, Tennis, WTA
Nikolay Davydenko proved he is back as an elite player in the ATP tour by taking out top seed Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final 7-6 (3), 6-3. Davydenko’s 36 winners to Nadal’s 9 for the match overall illustrated the Russian’s game plan for attacking Nadal on all corners.
In the first set, after jumping out to a 4-2 lead, Davydenko missed three down the line forehand break point chances to allow Nadal back in at 3-4. Nadal broke back at 4-4 and appeared to be grinding his way back into the match. Nadal had a set point on Davydenko’s serve at 4-5 but an ill-timed lob put away by the Russian squandered that lone chance for the Russian. Nadal’s tactic of staying far behind the baseline did not deter Davydenko who again found his favorite down the line shot again in the tiebreaker which he eventually won.
The second set stayed on course until at 3-2, Davydenko again hit several return winners at extreme angles allowing him to break to go up 4-2. Nadal tried to put pressure on the Russian when he served for the match at 5-3, but it was a little too late as a Nadal forehand sailed just over the baseline sealing the win and third Masters title for the Russian.
Davydenko’s win puts him in seventh place in the ATP Finals Race and with him likely playing every other event until the end of the year, his place in London is all but assured.
In WTA finals action, Samantha Stosur finally won her first singles title after five tries by defeating Francesca Schiavone at Osaka 7-5, 6-1. Yanina Wickymayer of Belgium proved her U.S. Open run was no fluke by winning the Generali Ladies Linz event over Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4. The win also puts “Wicky” into the WTA top 20 for the first time in her career.
Filed under ATP, Tennis, WTA
And you thought Safina’s mind was the most cloudy part of women’s tennis.
According to the AP, the WTA has changed it’s mind again on when and if Serena Williams will become number one again. Now they are saying that if Serena repeats as U.S. Open champion, she will again regain the top ranking a week after the tournament ends.
Only a few days ago the WTA said that Serena just had to get to the final to resume her top spot.
Of course this will all be a mute point if somehow Clijsters, Wozniacki, or Wickmayer stop what appears to be an inevitable third major of the year for Serena.
Filed under U.S. Open, WTA