Picket Fence Newsreel: Winners they are grinners.
‘Twas a week of redemption on the ATP and WTA tours as players set out with points to prove, monkeys on their backs and losing streaks to be ended.
1. In Costa do Sauipe, Ferrero baked Kubot for a 6-1 6-0 win in the Brazil Open. It was Ferrero’s 13th ATP title, just two days after turning the big three-oh.
And boy, did he need this win, after losing in the opening rounds in Auckland and the Australian Open.
For Kubot, it was a decent run to follow up his best slam result ever at the Australian Open 2 weeks ago. With this win, he moves deservingly into the top 50.
2. Also coming into this week with zero wins in 2010 was Robin Soderling, who took a wild card to Rotterdam in an effort to play himself into some form.
And he did just that.
It wasn’t a fantastic final, as the Headclobber retired with a leg injury, trailing 64 20.
It was Dimples’ fifth career title after failing to win a match since his victory over Roger Federer in Abu Dhabi. One week, he was losing to Granola Bar, the next, he’s on a 5 match winning streak with a top 10 victory to boot.
That’s tennis for ya.
“I came here without any confidence and didn’t play well in my first two matches. But my coach, Magnus Norman, has been great this week and telling me that even when I wasn’t playing great I still am tough to beat. The best medicine to regain confidence is winning matches and especially against good opponents.”
For a guy as reserved as Sod, he and Magnus Norman certainly have a great relationship.
3. Is it still considered news when Elena Dementieva wins a tournament? The girl’s nothing if not the “real No 1” of the non-slam tour.
In any case, it was redemption for Demmy after losing to Momo in the final last year, as she came from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4 in the final of the Open GDF Suez.
It was her second victory in 3 tournaments in 2010. If only the one she lost wasn’t the only one that mattered.
Whatever Nike’s trying to do these days with its designs – MAKE IT STOP.
4. In Thailand, Vera zvommed her way to a title at the Pattaya Open with a 6-4 6-4 win over local favourite Tamarine Tanasugarn. Nothing more to it – she’ll need all the points she can defend before Indian Wells I’m afraid.
5. Player of the week: Fernando Verdasco, who fought back from a set down to take out Randy 3-6 6-4 6-4 for the title in San José.
For Nando, the win came as a huge monkey off his back. Since his Australian Open blitz last year, he hasn’t had much success in the latter stages of tournaments, going 0-15 against Top 10 players and falling outside the top 10 after putting Dootsie through a miserable 5 setter against Davydenko at the Australian Open.
Perhaps Roddick was still feeling the numbness in his shoulder, his serve just did not have its usual pop.
And I have to get this off my chest – WHAT’S WITH THE PUSHING?
I geddit man. You’re comfortable rallying from the baseline now. You defend better. You’re not just a big serve anymore, if you ever were.
But that doesn’t mean you grind your way through matches without flattening out your forehand. There was a time when I considered the Roddick forehand to be one of the biggest in the game. It doesn’t even come close to that these days.
As for Nando, he’s closing in on a top 10 spot again, just 110 points behind Marin Cilic. But it’s a case of too little, too late for me. I want to like him, but after 15 losses to top 10 players, countless double faults, brain cramps and sets of utter lethargy, I was done with him by London 2009.
6. Good news Rafa fans. He’s moved up to No 3.