Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Winners

by Savannah

The tennis world was quite busy this past week. For the men of the ATP there were three tournaments. Two were on real clay in Portugal at Estoril and in Valencia, Spain. There was one played on whatever that stuff is that's used as "clay" in the United States in Houston, Texas. The WTA played a Tier 1 event in Charleston on that same stuff.It's green in Charleston and red in Houston. Just keep in mind it's not really clay when you hear people raving about players winning their first titles on "clay". At least the winner in Houston admitted why he played there and not Valencia. Seems he made the right bet.

Next week the ATP will stage it's third Masters Series event in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The women will be playing Fed Cup. Meanwhile here are the men and women who won titles this weekend.

ATP Winners

Roger Federer won his first title this year thanks to Nikolay Davydenko's left leg injury at Estoril. Was Nikolay grateful for the vocal support Roger gave him during his tribulations?

David Ferrer overcame Nicolas Almagro to win Valencia. Here's a picture of David holding his trophy.

Marcel Granollers-Pujol gave me whiplash. I checked the scores at Houston and saw that James Blake was up 3-0 in the third set. When I came back to finish assembling the pictures for this post imagine my surprise to see Marcel hoisting the trophy. I guess that answers the questions as to why American men don't play on the real stuff in Europe until they have to.

Coetzee and Moodie won the doubles championship at Estoril.

WTA Winners

Maria Kirilenko won the WTA trophy at Estoril. Maybe this will be the beginning of a turnaround in fortune for her this year.

And guess what? Ms Kirilenko turned right around and along with Flavia Pennetta won the women's doubles championship at Estoril.
Congratulations Makiri.

Sugiyama Ai and Katerina Srebotnik 2008 Family Circle Cup Doubles Champions 2008

Recognize this woman? She won again this week. Do you think she has designs on winning that event they hold every year in the spring in Paris?


Helen W said...

Congrats to all the winners, and a special shout out to Serena.

I think we will now see how important Roger's win in Estoril is, and how Rafa will fare in defending his pile of points. If Rafa plays well in MC (and I believe he will), I think he will go all the way to winning RG.

oddman said...

Me too, helen w. A lot of people have been predicting this as Fed's year to get his FO title, but I have a feeling Rafa's going to have some say in that. Looking at Fed's recent form, I wonder if he'll even make the final this year.
Despite the compressed schedule and Rafa grumbling about it, these kinds of setbacks do seem to bring out the 'beast' in him.
Vamos, Superman, you can do it all again!

Helen W said...

oddman the pundits have been saying that Roger should have gotten a real confidence boost from the win at Estoril. I just don't see it. Until the final his opponents were far down in the rankings, and Kolya retired in the final -- how will such a win boost his confidence?

I note that Steve Tignor is predicting Rafa over Nole in the MC final.

We don't know for sure how Rafa's form is, although he seemed to play very well in DC. That is why I am soooo interested in MC.

I will be getting out of bed around 5:00 am to watch Rafa's match on Tennis Masters TV -- one of the downsides of living on the west coast :) (I'll make a huge pot of coffee ....)

oddman said...

Good on ya, helen w. I'm not as dedicated as you to get up that early, but just found out Rafa won easily over Ancic, and from reports on various boards, he looks great and is back to the clay monster he normally is. Yes!
How the heck would Roger get a 'confidence boost' from a retirement win when he was struggling that whole first set, and down a break in the second? Methinks the pundits got the boost, not Rogelio. I haven't seen Roger play recently, but from the sounds of things, he's struggling every match.
My biggest worry is hoping Rafa can stay healthy and not injure himself. He loves this surface and comments that it IS easier on his body. Vamos, Rafito, would love to see a fourth Roland Garros title for you!

Helen W said...

oddman I have watched Roger a bit and he seems to be really struggling against players that one would expect him to handle easily. Today was no exception, and if Ramirez Hidalgo hadn't come unglued by his nerves in the 3rd set, Roger would now be history at MC. I have to say that it is quite distressing to see him playing at this level -- one has to wonder about his health and whether he should be taking a break.

Of course, those pundits who have so quickly given up on Roger are now offering up Nole as the next great thing who they expect to leapfrog over Rafa to become #1.

I think that if Roger continues to slump, and Rafa continues to play well, that Rafa could take over the #1 ranking during this year's clay season. Don't forget that although Rafa has a bundle of points to defend, Roger has a lot too.

It looks like I'm fated to get up even earlier tomorrow morning :) so I'll need an humongous pot of coffee tomorrow. (There are some benefits to working from home, although money isn't always one of them :))