that’s a wrap! – week of October 1st
Women’s Singles- (1) Victoria Azarenka d. (2) Maria Sharapova 63 61
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka won her fifth title of 2012 in Beijing, and first since Indian Wells in March, with a straight sets triumph over Maria Sharapova on Sunday. Azarenka extended her dominance over Sharapova on hard courts – the Belarusian has not lost to her on the surface since 2009.
“I was doing the right things, making sure I didn’t let Maria play the game she likes, always being in control and dominating,” Azarenka said. “To win the China Open is a dream for me, because I’ve never been able to do so well here – so to overcome that and win such a big title at the end of the year is just incredible. I’m really happy I came and I conquered here.”
Azarenka dominated from the off, sprinting out to a 51* lead in the first set; while Sharapova offered late resistance, breaking back for 53* and holding game points for *54, unforced errors proved to be the Russian’s undoing. The second set offered much of the same as Azarenka broke for *20 and didn’t look back from there. She improved to 13-11 in WTA finals while Sharapova fell to 27-18.
The Russian team of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova won their first title as a pair, taking out Nuria Llagostera Vives and Sania Mirza 75 75.
Men’s Singles – (1) Novak Djokovic d. (3) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 76(4) 62
Novak Djokovic won his third title at the China Open with a straight sets defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday. Djokovic is now 14-0 lifetime at the ATP hard-court tournament in Beijing. It is the fifth tournament Djokovic has three-peated in, after the Australian Open, Dubai, Miami and Canada.
“I am planning to come back to the China Open next year,” said Djokovic. “It’s been one of my most successful tournaments. This is where I love to play. I love the conditions and, as I mentioned before, I have lots of support from the fans who are very loyal and very nice.”
Although Tsonga got the early break in the first set, it was Djokovic who took control late; the Serb amassed a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Djokovic converted the first of his break point opportunities in the second set and didn’t look back from there; he improved to 32-19 in ATP finals while Tsonga fell to 9-6. Djokovic still has a chance to end the year ranked #1, as he leads Roger Federer by 1,490 points in the year-to-date race.
Top seeded Bob and Mike Bryan took home the doubles title, defeating Denis Istomin and Carlos Berlocq 63 62.
Men’s Singles – (8) Kei Nishikori d. (6) Milos Raonic 76(5) 36 60
Kei Nishikori capped a historic week at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships as he became the first Japanese player to win the title at his home event. Nishikori won his second career title in the youngest final on the ATP World Tour this season.
“I have not been able to play well in Japan until now, so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so,” Nishikori said via translation. “But the match against Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this.”
Raonic had to dig deep just to reach the finals of the event, as he saved match points in back-to-back matches against Janko Tipsarevic and Andy Murray in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Although Nishikori failed to convert on two set points earlier in the first set, he held his nerve in the tiebreak. Raonic responded by breaking serve in the eighth game of the second to extend the match to a third. The Canadian appeared to run out of gas from there, as he one only nine points behind his big serve in the final set.
The fourth-seeded team of Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya defeated top seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 63 76(5) to take home their second ATP doubles title in as many weeks.
Filed under: ATP, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori, Maria Sharapova, Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic, Trophy Case, Victoria Azarenka, WTA | Leave a Comment