Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why Just the Spaniards?

by Savannah

David Ferrer

The above picture was taken just after David Ferrer went on a mini rampage after his loss to Robin Soderling. Ferrer has quite a temper and a mouth to match but could his anger have come due to nothing that took place on the terre battue?
Craig Hickman has been covering the growing controversy over all of the Spanish men still in contention - David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal, being hauled out of bed for drug testing at 7a Paris time. Ferrer, who had just completed a long match and gotten to bed about 2a could not give a sample until two hours after being awakened.

Has drug testing become a political issue in men's tennis? That could only be the case if there are interests who prefer that certain matches take place as opposed to others. Of course that's just so much idle speculation on my part.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seen and Heard Around

by Savannah

It's rare that someone's story touches people to the point that you want to be able to will them to do well in life. When that person is an athlete and their personal tragedy has been played out on the world's stage the dynamic is only slightly changed.
There is no need to go into the story ofJelena Dokic for anyone who has followed tennis for the last few years. After a spectacular reemergence in this years Australian Open she kind of faded into the background again. She reemerged in Paris and stood across the net from Elena Dementieva someone she pretty much owned during her heyday and for awhile it looked as if the old balance of power was unchanged as Jelena absorbed and returned all the power of Elena's groundstrokes putting Dementieva in the now unaccustomed position of a possible early exit from a major.

But where the spirit was willing the flesh proved to be weak. It's very rare that the almost exact moment of an injury is captured but this picture comes close. There isn't much more to report. Jelena tried but she could barely bend her knees to serve and in the end she had to retire handing Elena the victory.
There were no hands raised in victory. Instead Elena went over to comfort a distraught Dokic, something that was also captured by a photographer.

The Men of France

Paul Henri Mathieu

Marc Gicquel

Gael Monfils

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

They seem an inspired lot don't they?

By the way can anyone identify this guy?

Rumor is he's an American but that can't be right can it?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The End?

by Savannah

It ended with a respectful handshake at the net four plus hours after Marat Safin and Josselin Ouanna walked onto center court, Phillip Chatrier, at Roland Garros. Marat, who says this is his last year, and Ouanna, in the tournament by virtue of a wild card from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) appear to be on different career tracks.

I first saw Josselin Ouanna play last year and liked his smooth as silk stylish game. He's been playing mostly off the radar so far this year. Marat is supposed to be on his farewell tour.

So why is it that along the way to the handshake at the net fans saw Marat in the above pose?

Ouanna's joy is totally understandable. After all he beat one of the great names of men's tennis. Will he continue to play well? Today's match was his second five setter and after today there's no way his next opponent, Fernando Gonzalez, will be caught unawares.

How do Marat's fans feel about his performance today? She's been away a long time but Haruka was moved to put her thoughts into words about what she saw today. Enjoy.

The Clay Court Season and American Men

James Blake and Mardy Fish commented on the poor showing of American men in Paris.

PARIS (AP)—There are plenty of theories about why U.S. men have so much trouble at the French Open, and James Blake offered his thoughts on the matter after losing in the first round Tuesday.

“For the Americans, a lot of times, this isn’t our main goal of the year. Ours is generally Wimbledon and the U.S. Open,” Blake said.

“I think if we were to try to prepare completely for the French Open, we would be giving away some of our advantage at the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. That’s where we excel. We’d rather, I think, prepare best for what our strengths are.”

Mardy Fish had this to say.

“We’re trying as hard as we can,” Fish said. “Once these two weeks are over, the clay talk is over, and we’ll be looking to my most fun part of the year: Wimbledon, grass courts. That’s where we play our best.”

In 2007, the country’s men went 0-9 at the French Open. No American has won the title since Andre Agassi in 1999, and none even has reached the quarterfinals since he did in 2003.

Great. It's bad enough most of the tennis world felt Americans had nothing but contempt for clay court play. Blake and Fish have opened their mouths and proved it. It's really nice to know how you guys really feel. I bet Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Venus Willams feel the same way as they fight to make it to the second week of the French Open.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Heart of a Champion

by Savannah

Tennis is life. That's what we tennisheads love to say about our sport. As in life the best players on the tennis court will come face to face with a person across the net who is playing above their level. With that realization the questions start.Is it because that person has nothing to lose that I'm in this situation? Is it because they've found some unknown weakness in our psyche that we're not aware of? Have I lost the will to win? Does it matter what I've accomplished in the past if I lose to this person?

Some look inward and decide it does matter, that it means just as much to them to win the match they're playing as it does to win the Wimbledon, US Open or Australian final. Others are unable to find the will power and fire or shy away from it in fear.

Listening to Serena at her presser admit she was feeling pressure and admitting that nothing else mattered but winning the match was enlightening to say the least. How many Slams does she have? How many matches has she won? And all she cared about was winning today's match.

She is American and like American players of her generation clay is not and will never be her surface. But none of that mattered. She managed to slide into the shot today. Despite the brace on her lower thigh she ran and got to shots she could've let go.

That is why she, her sister Venus Williams and Andy Roddick are the only Americans that can be said to have a chance in Paris. No one is picking any of those three to win. But they will try. Roddick has gone as far as to change his game to try and keep himself in the conversation on the men's side. I listened to the talking heads on ESPN this afternoon and was surprised that they're so surprised that modern players continuously tinker with their game to try and make it better. As in life, one must adapt or be left by the wayside. It's a life lesson some learn better than others.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Time To Get Down and Dirty

by Savannah

They come from all over. The elite and the wannabe's, the pretenders and the real deals. They have all converged on the City of Lights, Paris, France, to play in the tennis worlds second Grand Slam of the calendar year. They come like overgrown children to play the sport they love on the crushed brick surface known to all as the terre battue.

It doesn't matter if you are injured.

You come and get the red dirt in your hair, eyes and lungs. You slide around on it because you know the reward is tennis immortality.

You come to prove that there is still greatness in your body and mind.

You don't care that the world will see what you are deep down inside.

It doesn't matter if everyone sees you turn yourself inside out. You're here to win, and to do whatever it takes.

Does it matter if commentators call you out of your name? Nope. Your fans, and fans of the sport know exactly who you are.

Do you care whether people like the dress you've chosen for this momentous occasion?

Does the dress play or you?

What does it matter that you answer questions no one was asking?

You may know what they're asking and continue to do what you want because you can.

You may show unexpected grace under fire.

Or find yourself in a match that will ensure your name is mentioned in those "were you there when" conversations of the future.

So what if what your part in the magnum opus takes place miles away from home?

You've arrived and the world has taken notice of you and your talent even if some of the home folk don't appreciate it.

The sun has set on Day 2 of the French Open. It's been called the Artistic Slam. I call it the Heart, Mind and Guts Slam. You need all three to stand triumphant on it's dirt.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Day of Firsts

by Savannah

With all eyes on tomorrow's First Round play in "La Ville Lumiere" usually translated into English as the "City of Lights" let's not forget the players who won this weeks tournaments.

The ARAG Team Championship was won by Serbia. From left, Nenad Zimonjic, Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki and Arsenije Zlatanovic.

Aravane Rezai of France won her first WTA title at Strasbourg, France

Guillermo Garcia Lopez of Spain also won his first ever ATP title at Kitzbuhel in Austria.

In what was probably the most stunning win of all Qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania played her way into the winners circle at Warsaw. The win takes her from #283 in the world to #81.

Doubles Results

Nathalie Dechy
and Mara Santangelo won the doubles crown at Strasbourg.

Racquel Kops-Jones and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the doubles championship in Warsaw.

The German team of Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev won the ARAG doubles.

Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa took home the doubles trophy at Kutzbuhel.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Roland Garros - The Draws - And Some Other News

by Savannah

The French Open Main Draws are the big news but a little tennis news first.

Damir Dokic has been indicted for endangering the security of the Australian ambassador in Belgrade. He was also charged with weapons possession. He could face up to eight years in prison.


22 May 2009


The ITF’s Davis Cup Committee, in a meeting held by conference call today 22 May 2009, decided that Australia would not be suspended from the 2010 competition or relegated from Asia/Oceania Zone Group I. Australia will lose choice of ground for their next home tie regardless of the opponent and will pay a fine of US$10,000. Australia will also be liable for costs to both the ITF and to the All India Tennis Association to be determined at a later date.

The Davis Cup Committee is chaired by ITF Executive Vice President Juan Margets with Pierre Darmon (FRA), Enrique Morea (ARG), Neale Fraser (AUS) and Alan Schwartz (USA). Fraser recused himself from all votes.
- ENDS -



London, UK, Friday 22 May 2009. The All England Club, Wimbledon, today confirmed that it is to complete the planned work at the southern end of the Club grounds with the construction of a new 2000-seat Court 3.

The new court, containing enhanced spectator amenities, will be built on the site of old Court 2 (capacity of 2,192 + 770 standing). The work will start in July 2009 and be completed by May 2011.

Tim Phillips, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “With its unofficial name of the ‘Graveyard of the Champions’ old Court 2 has played its part in framing Wimbledon’s history. While acknowledging that contribution, we also have to consider Wimbledon’s future and the time is now right to build a court with all the excellent spectator comforts that people have come to expect at The Championships.”

- ENDS -

French Open Main Draws

The Ladies

The Top Half

Dinara Safina RUS (1) v Anne Keothavong GBR
(Q) v Mathilde Johansson FRA
Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP v Julie Coin FRA
Ioana Raluca Olaru ROU v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS (27)

Alisa Kleybanova RUS (23) v (Q)
Ai Sugiyama JPN v Aravane Rezai FRA
(Q) v Melanie South GBR
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA v Jie Zheng CHN (15)

Victoria Azarenka BLR (9) v Roberta Vinci ITA
Maria-Emilia Salerni ARG v Kristina Barrois GER
(Q) v Lucie Hradecka CZE
Edina Gallovits ROU v Carla Suarez Navarro ESP (22)

Iveta Benesova CZE (32)v Julia Goerges GER
Varvara Lepchenko USA v Alla Kudryavtseva RUS
Tamarine Tanasugarn THA v Camille Pin FRA
Sara Errani ITA v Ana Ivanovic SRB (8)

Venus Williams USA (3) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands USA
Lucie Safarova CZE v Sabine Lisicki GER
Elena Vesnina RUS v Severine Bremond Beltrame FRA
Unknown v Agnes Szavay HUN (29)

Dominika Cibulkova SVK (20) v Alona Bondarenko UKR
Stephanie Foretz FRA v Kirsten Flipkens BEL
Tamira Paszek AUT v Gisela Dulko ARG
Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER v Amelie Mauresmo FRA (16)

Nadia Petrova RUS (11) v Lauren Embree USA
Anastasiya Yakimova BLR v Maria Sharapova RUS
Olivia Sanchez FRA v (Q)
(Q) v Kaia Kanepi EST (19)

Na Li CHN (25) v Marta Domachowska POL
Emilie Loit FRA v Timea Bacsinszky SUI
Irena Pavlovic FRA v Akgul Amanmuradova UZB
Olga Govortsova BLR v Vera Zvonareva RUS (6)

The Bottom Half

(W) GROTH, Jarmila AUS v (W)LAISNE, Kinnie FRA
(Q) v [26] CHAKVETADZE, Anna RUS

[21] CORNET, Alize FRA v ANI, Maret EST
(Q) v CIRSTEA, Sorana ROU

[13] BARTOLI, Marion FRA v PARMENTIER, Pauline FRA
GARBIN, Tathiana ITA v MORITA, Ayumi JPN

[30] STOSUR, Samantha AUS v SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA
DOKIC, Jelena AUS v SPREM, Karolina CRO
(Q) v [4] DEMENTIEVA, Elena RUS

CZINK, Melinda HUN v (Q)
DECHY, Nathalie FRA v [28] BAMMER, Sybille AUT

DE LOS RIOS, Rossana PAR v [12] RADWANSKA, Agnieszka POL

[14] PENNETTA, Flavia ITA v GLATCH, Alexa USA
NICULESCU, Monica ROU v [24] WOZNIAK, Aleksandra CAN

KUTUZOVA, Viktoriya UKR v (Q)

The Gents

The Top Half

Rafael Nadal ESP (1) v (Q)
Igor Kunitsyn RUS v Teimuraz Gabashvili RUS
Denis Gremelmayr GER v Andrey Golubev KAZ
Lleyton Hewitt AUS v Ivo Karlovic CRO (26)

Robin Soderling SWE (23)v Kevin Kim USA
Denis Istomin UZB v (Q)
(Q) v Nicolas Kiefer GER
Frederico Gil POR v David Ferrer ESP (14)

Nikolay Davydenko RUS (10) v Stefan Koubek AUT
Diego Junqueira ARG v Paul Capdeville CHI
Nicolas Massu CHI v Daniel Koellerer AUT
Nicolas Devilder FRA v Stanislas Wawrinka SUI (17)

Nicolas Almagro ESP (31) v Agustin Calleri ARG
Ernests Gulbis LAT v Sam Querrey USA
(Q) v Philipp Petzschner GER
Florent Serra FRA v Fernando Verdasco ESP (8)

Andy Murray GBR (3) v Juan Ignacio Chela ARG
Mischa Zverev GER v Potito Starace ITA
Janko Tipsarevic SRB v Albert Montanes ESP
(Q)v Feliciano Lopez ESP (28)

Radek Stepanek CZE (18) v Gaston Gaudio ARG
Yen-Hsun Lu TPE v (Q)
Dudi Sela ISR v (Q)
Jan Hernych CZE v Marin Cilic CRO (13)

Fernando Gonzalez CHI (12) v (Q)
(Q) v Kristof Vliegen BEL
Marcel Granollers ESP v Josselin Ouanna FRA
Alexandre Sidorenko FRA v Marat Safin RUS (20)

Victor Hanescu ROU (30) v Steve Darcis BEL
Mikhail Youzhny RUS v Gilles Muller LUX
(Q)v Robert Kendrick USA
Wayne Odesnik USA v Gilles Simon FRA (7)

The Bottom Half

Juan Martin Del Potro ARG (5) v Michael Llodra FRA
Viktor Troicki SRB v (Q)
Thomaz Bellucci BRA v Martin Vassallo Arguello ARG
(Q) v Igor Andreev RUS (25)

Dmitry Tursunov RUS (21) v Arnaud Clement FRA
Fabrice Santoro FRA v Christophe Rochus BEL
Marcos Baghdatis CYP v Juan Monaco ARG
Julien Benneteau FRA v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga FRA (9)

Tommy Robredo ESP (16) v Adrian Mannarino FRA
Evgeny Korolev RUS v Daniel Gimeno-Traver ESP
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ESP v Andreas Seppi ITA
Maximo Gonzalez ARG v Mardy Fish USA (22)

Philipp Kohlschreiber GER (29) v Bernard Tomic AUS
Juan Carlos Ferrero ESP v Ivan Ljubicic CRO
Brian Dabul ARG v (Q)
Nicolas Lapentti ECU v Novak Djokovic SRB (4)

Andy Roddick USA (6) v Romain Jouan FRA
Oscar Hernandez ESP v Ivo Minar CZE
Ivan Navarro ESP v Andreas Beck GER
Marc Gicquel FRA v Rainer Schuettler GER (27)

Jurgen Melzer AUT (24) v Sergio Roitman ARG
Guillaume Rufin FRA v Eduardo Schwank ARG
(Q) v (Q)
Bobby Reynolds USA v Gael Monfils FRA (11)

James Blake USA (15) v (Q)
Andrei Pavel ROU v Tommy Haas GER
Bjorn Phau GER v Jeremy Chardy FRA
Simone Bolelli ITA v Tomas Berdych CZE (19)

Paul-Henri Mathieu FRA (32) v Laurent Recouderc FRA
Robby Ginepri USA v Pablo Andujar ESP
Jose Acasuso ARG v (Q)
Alberto Martin ESP v Roger Federer SUI (2)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What the What?!

by Savannah

Craig says it all. It's a sad state of affairs when your WC playoff winner can't be replaced by any American man in the Top 400.

To those afraid of the United States becoming a "clay court nation" what signal does this send to the rest of the tennis world? Are we saying that we're just a bunch of mindless ball bashers who can't be bothered learning how to play the game of tennis? Is that what you want to say about this country?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Peter Lundgren on Roger, Marat, Marcelo and Marcos

by Savannah

Fascinating discussion with Peter Lundgren on his famous charges. Enjoy, and of course, comment.

On Roger Federer

The Role of A Coach

On Marcos Baghdatis

Monday, May 18, 2009

College Tennis - A Sobering Look

by Savannah

Colette Lewis fingers must be raw as she keeps those of us who follow her on Twitter updated on the NCAA Championships taking place now at College Station, Texas.

The names of the schools are familiar - University of Southern California (USC), Ohio State, (OSU), Duke, Notre Dame - but just like at the pro level Americans are increasingly few and far between on the teams representing the participating colleges.

It's an old argument but in the light of Patrick McEnroe's State of United States Tennis press conference last week the situation deserves to be discussed.

Matthew Futterman writes in the Wall Street Journal American college tennis is less and less about American kids.

Heading into the NCAA championships, which began Friday, foreign-born players accounted for nine of the top 20 women's singles players, including four of the top five. The top-ranked collegiate player is Northwestern's Maria Mosolova, a sophomore from Moscow. Other than third-ranked Julie Cohen of Philadelphia, who plays for the University of Miami, Ms. Mosolova's top competitors hail from Bulgaria, Croatia and Lithuania. On the men's singles side, foreign players claim 12 of the top 20 spots in the rankings, including the No. 1 ranked player, Spaniard Arnau Brugues of the University of Tulsa.
...the American college system offers foreign players something far more rare abroad -- a free college education and organized, high-level athletic competition for players who aren't going to be good enough to be a top pro.

John Isner of the United States and Somdev Devvarmanof India are two players who came out of the American college system. Both are trying to make the leap to success in the pro ranks. At this time Isner may have more name recognition among serious tennis fans but most have heard of Devvarman as well.

There is no immediate solution in sight as most athletically inclined kids in the States get fed into the football, baseball, basketball programs.

It's something to think about as the NCAA's head into the final rounds.

Seen and Heard Around

by Savannah

The Big Come Back

Wearing an egg yolk yellow skirt with a white top featuring an unfortunate ruffle around the waist Maria Sharapova shrieked her way back onto the WTA tour eking out a 6-1, (6)6-7, 6-3 win over Tathiana Garbin at the Warsaw Open. Sharapova had match points at 5-3 in the second set before Garbin, given confidence by double faults and errors off of Maria's racquet forced and won the second set tiebreak. After a visit from MIchael Joyce Maria took control of the third set and won going away.

I don't think anyone expected perfection in her first match back after a nine month layoff. Her luck just got better though since Caroline Wozniacki did the expected and pulled out of the tournament with a sore back. Maria's shoulder was taped. I'm assuming it was a precautionary move.

Meanwhile there is drama concerning the withdrawal of Agnieszka Radwanska from the tournament. Here is the report, in English, from the Polish Press

The official line from her trainer, the tennis star’s father Robert Radwanski, is that she will not play due to back injury.

“Agnieszka will not play because of her [back] injury, but there is another issue – that the organizers of the event are not treating us properly,” claims Radwanski. The coach claims that a sponsoring dispute has strained relations between the player and organizers of the event.

“We wanted to enter the parking lot with our car [on Saturday] but we were told that we could not,” maintains Radwanski adding that Agnieszka’s friend found out that one could only enter the car park with passes for those participating in the tournament.

Tournament director, Stefan Makarczyk, stated that because the Radwanski family drives a Mercedes, they were not allowed into that particular car park because only Suzuki vehicles the official sponsor of the Warsaw Cup, were allowed to park there.

“Maybe Agnieszka is injured, but from the fact that she highlighted her desire to play in matches in Warsaw so strongly in interviews, why would she not realize her dream,” added Makarczyk.

Neither side have bothered to hide the evident dislike between Radwanski and Makarczyk who have allegedly been arguing over financial compensation for appearing on Warsaw’s red clay courts – several tens of thousands of dollars are supposedly at stake.

“I do not know anything about financial negotiations. I came, I wanted to play, but I am injured and that’s all,” maintains the 20-year-old tennis star from Krakow. In 2008, Radwanska became the first female Polish tennis player to make over 1 million USD in career prize money.

I think this speaks for itself no?

Meanwhile Sabine Lisicki also withdrew from Warsaw. First reports stated it was because she was suffering from appendicitis which would throw her French Open participation out the window but that was later revised. The official cause is now a very bad stomach ache.

Wimbledon Center Court Ceremony and Matches

I tried to watch this last night. I really did. But from the ceremonial closing of the roof to the strains of "Amazing Grace" "sung" by Farel Smith and Katherine Jenkins where the tape went kablooey to the singles match between Kim Clijsters and Steffi Graf which Clijsters won I found myself, like Virginia Wade, dozing off.

I found it odd that Boris Becker, the epitome of the past Wimbledon champion, was sitting in the stands with his fiancee (who made sure all the bitches in the stadium and watching knew she was ENGAGED to Mr. Becker and to back off) while a nearly geriatric Andre Agassi was on the court. Boris let the LTA/AELTC know how he felt when he was invited down on court and made it plain he had not been invited to participate. That could account for the sardonic looks on both his and his fiancee's faces.

Andy Murray was there as well and while not a Murray fan wouldn't an exho between Murray and Becker have been kind of exciting? Where was five time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams? If you had to have Clijsters wouldn't a show match between those two been interesting? I doubt Virgina would've dozed off if those two had been on the court.

Still it was a great spectacle. The translucent roof is awesome and I'm glad that play on Centre Court will no longer be subject to the whims of British weather and no top player will have five days off while another has to play day after day after day.

Australian Open Financial Problems
Australian online newspaper The Age reports the world wide financial crisis has hit the Australian Open hard.

THE financial crisis has cost the Australian Open nearly $10 million in vital sponsorship after Garnier decided to abandon its deal with the grand slam tennis event.

As the sponsorship market continues to tighten locally and internationally, Garnier, part of the L'Oreal Group, yesterday became the second major backer to pull out.

The tournament's other associate sponsor, GE Money, recently decided against extending its three-year arrangement...

The Open's much smaller arrangement with MasterCard is also over, while a multi-faceted deal with Optus that extends to Australian national teams is under review.

The Australian Open's 2009 sponsorship portfolio was worth an estimated $35 million. It has been headed since 2001 by Korean car manufacturer Kia, which remains committed until at least 2013. Lacoste and Rolex both signed lucrative multi-year contracts last year.

A couple of years ago there was concern in Australian tennis circles about the Chinese purchasing the rights to the event and moving it to Shanghai. There is symbolism involved here as well.
The Grand Slam concept was conceived by the countries that dominated tennis back in the day - The United States, Britain, France and Australia. If the Australian Open is moved to another country that would make many traditionalists very upset to put it mildly.

End Note

I'm going to be scarce this week. With the French Open coming up fast and the start of the grass court season hard on it's heels it's going to be a busy few weeks. If something comes up that's deserves an airing I'll post.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It Wasn't To Be

by Savannah

Even as the dust settled on center court at the Caja Magica after yesterday's instant classic it was clear Rafael Nadal was going to need more than luck to win the Madrid Masters Final. People forget that after that marathon in Melbourne Rafa had a day to rest. That was enough time to get the lactic acid out of his muscles and for him to be relatively fresh for the Final. With less than twenty four hours to recuperate there was no doubt the mind would be willing but the flesh would be weak.

That said Roger Federer took the opportunity presented to him and ran with it. He kept the points short so that the long rallies you usually see on a clay court didn't take place and maybe assist his opponent in gaining a rhythm. The Madrid court played more like a hard court than a clay one despite the talk before the tournament that the clay was slow. The altitude, something Rafa had talked about before the tournament assisted the hard court feel of the Championship match.

Federer needed this win, and assisted by a draw that saw him play no one who threatened him except surprisingly Andy Roddick, did what he had to do and won in straight sets. Congratulations to him and his fans.

Dinara Safina also needed to win at Madrid and did so in pretty convincing fashion over Caroline Wozniacki beating the Danish teenager in straight sets as well. There were some ugly rumors floating around after Dinara's win in Rome over fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara had been soundly criticized for her over reliance on her coach. This win put all that talk to bed. I missed the first set but during the second set I saw the type of play from Dinara that got her a marvelous come from way behind win over Maria Sharapova a couple of years ago.
Some are calling her the favorite coming into Roland Garros. I wouldn't go that far. I still feel that the women's event is going to be wide open and that an unheralded player will hoist that trophy. Still this was a convincing win today. Dinara and her fans have to be pleased.

Doubles Winners

Liesel Huber and Cara Black won the women's Doubles trophy at Madrid.

Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic won the Men's Doubles crown sweeping the French Open clay court warm ups.