that’s a wrap! – week of December 31st
Women’s Singles – (3) Serena Williams d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 61 62
Serena Williams needed just 51 minutes to dispatch Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win her first title of 2013 and her 47th overall WTA title. She extended her winning streak to 16 matches and has now won 52 of her last 54 matches, having lost only to Angelique Kerber and Virginie Razzano.
“Today was really good,” Williams said. “I kind of zoned, where I’m in a really calm place and not panicking, I’m not overthinking it and not just blasting every ball. I get really calm and kind of serene…It was a really good week in Brisbane, for sure. I definitely worked hard for this week, and I’m going to do a little more work so I can be ready in eight days.”
The pair exchanged pairs of service holds before Williams ran off seven straight games to lead 62 *30. Pavlyuchenkova, to her credit, is looking to rebound from a tough 2012 campaign, and defeated both Petra Kvitova and Kerber to reach her first Premier-level final. She fell to 3-2 in her career in WTA finals.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza took home the doubles title, defeating Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke, 46 64 [10-7].
Men’s Singles – (1) Andy Murray d. Grigor Dimitrov 76(0) 64
Andy Murray took home the title at the Brisbane International for the second straight year, defeating first-time finalist Grigor Dimitrov in the final. However, Dimitrov didn’t come up completely empty; the 21-year-old Bulgarian cracked the world’s top 40 for the first time in this week’s rankings.
“He plays a lot of different shots, which is tough to play against because you’re kept off balance a lot of the time,” he said. ”I hope that the Australian Open goes a bit better for me than it did last year…I do feel more relaxed one week out from slam than I have done previously, that’s for sure, so I hope that’s a good sign.”
Dimitrov, who was up a break in both sets, led *41 in the first set and served for the opener at *53 but was broken. Murray saved a set point down *56 and played a perfect tiebreak, punctuated with an ace on set point. Dimitrov also broke Murray’s serve to lead *43 in the second, but Murray won three games in a row to close out the match.
First-time partners Marcelo Melo and Tommy Robredo upset top seeds Eric Butorac and Paul Hanley to win the doubles title, 46 61 [10-5].
Men’s Singles – (2) Janko Tipsarevic d. Roberto Bautista-Agut 36 61 63
Janko Tipsarevic finally took home the title in his sixth trip to Chennai over the weekend, claiming his first title of 2013. Tipsarevic was runner-up to Milos Raonic at this event last season, and was determined to go one better this year.
“I was mentally stable and was not worried when I was one set down,” said Tipsarevic. “I didn’t play my best tennis in every match this week, but I am happy to win the title. I really wanted to win this tournament as it is my sixth time here.”
The Spaniard won the first three games and never faced a break point en route to the victory in the opening set; however, it was Tipsarevic who dominated from there to take home the title in just under two hours. The run to the final capped a stunning week for Bautista-Agut, who defeated top seed Tomas Berdych and fifth seed Benoit Paire in back-to-back three setters; it was his first ATP final while Tipsarevic improved to 4-7 in ATP finals.
Benoit Paire and Stanislas Wawrinka beat Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich 62 61 to claim their first title as a team.
Women’s Singles – (1) Agnieszka Radwanska d. (3) Yanina Wickmayer 64 64
Agnieszka Radwanska did not drop a set en route to her 11th career WTA title, recording her third career win over Yanina Wickmayer in Auckland. Wickmayer was looking to win the event for a second time, having triumphed in 2010; the Belgian was playing in her third final, having also finished runner-up in 2011.
“It was a tough final but I’m glad I made it,” Radwanska said afterwards. “Yesterday was so windy and then today was so hot, so the conditions were difficult this week, but I had a really good week anyway. I played five good matches without dropping a set so I think I’m ready for the Australian Open - I hope I can play some good tennis over the next few weeks, in Sydney as well as in Melbourne.
Radwanska won 11 points in a row in the early stages of the opening set, but Wickmayer managed to make it competitive from there. It took Radwanska six match points to close out the match, and Wickmayer had multiple break points in the last game to get back on serve. Wickmayer fell to 3-6 in WTA finals.
Cara Black and Anastasia Rodionova defeated top seeds Julia Goerges and Yaroslava Shvedova, 26 62 [10-5]. It was Black’s first WTA title since returning to professional tennis is later 2011 after having a son.
Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open
Women’s Singles – (1) Na Li d. Klara Zakopalova 63 16 75
Li Na took home her second title in her home country in Shenzhen, having previously triumphed in Guangzhou in 2005. Li won her seventh WTA title, while Zakopalova dropped to a dismal 2-10 in WTA finals; however, the 30-year-old Czech set a new career high ranking of #22, besting her previous mark of #26.
“Klara played well and I managed my mood swings well, and I’m glad I made it,” Li said. “Winning the title certainly helps boost my confidence for the coming weeks, but it also depends on how I’m playing on the courts. Confidence itself won’t guarantee a win. But I’m very happy to win and the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open was a great tournament – I believe it will get even better in future years.
After winning six of seven games to take the second set and secure a break to open the third, the veteran Czech faltered; Li lead 52* in the final set before Zakopalova rallied to even proceedings, but Li would take the final two games to seal the win.
Sister act Yung-Jan Chan and Hao-Ching Chan won their first WTA title together, defeating Irina Buryachok and Valeria Solovieva, 60 75.
Men’s Singles – (2) Ricard Gasquet d. Nikolay Davydenko 36 76(4) 63
Ricard Gasquet rallied to win his eighth career title in Doha on Sunday, dispatching 2010 champion Nikolay Davydenko. Davydenko lead 63 42* and held two break points to serve for the match, but Gasquet fought back for the victory.
“I’m really happy with the way I played and fought,” said Gasquet. “He was playing fast in the first set. I just try to keep focused and to fight a lot, and I did it. I’m really happy with the way I won. It’s important for me to win the final.”
Davydenko, who had a medical timeout for a hip problem early in the third set, was looking to win his first title since 2011; the Russian was broken three times in the final set, and fell to a still-impressive 21-7 in ATP finals.
Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber captured the doubles title. The unseeded Germans, who were finalists last year, defeated second seeded Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek, 75 64.
Filed under: Agnieszka Radwanska, Andy Murray, ATP, Grigor Dimitrov, Janko Tipsarevic, Klara Zakopalova, Na Li, Nikolay Davydenko, Richard Gasquet, Serena Williams, Trophy Case, WTA, Yanina Wickmayer | 1 Comment