June 25, 2011
Defending champ Rafael Nadal resumed and finished off the serving threat of Gilles Muller at Wimbledon on Saturday, defeating the Luxemburg native 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 6-0.
Having their match postponed on Friday because of rain, Nadal returned to Court 1 with the focus to pull out another tiebreak win over his opponent. Appearing hungry to reach the second week of the event, Nadal blitzed Muller in the third set by offering him a bagel.
Overcoming 17 aces during the two hour and 24 minute match, Nadal struck seven aces of his own, while winning 83 percent of his first serve points. Avenging a loss to Muller at the event in 2005, Nadal won his 17th straight match at Wimbledon, and will next face Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the quarterfinals.
In impressive fashion, del Potro took out No. 15 seed Gilles Simon in straight sets to reach his first round-of-16 at SW 19.
Trailing Nadal 5-3 in head-to-head meetings, del Potro won over 60 percent of both his first and second serve points, while breaking his French opponent on two occasions. Returning to the Tour in February after missing most of last year with a wrist injury, del Potro is currently ranked No. 21 in the world.
Elsewhere, Lukasz Kubot continued his improbable run by defeating No. 9 seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Reaching the fourth-round of the 2010 Australian Open, Kubot will next face Feliciano Lopez for a place in the final eight. Kubot ousted Ivo Karlovic in the previous round.
Last year’s finalist Tomas Berdych won his ninth straight set at the tournament, dismissing Alexander Bogomolov Jr. 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. The barreling Czech will next face Mardy Fish, who advanced to his first fourth-round at Wimbledon by defeating Robin Haase 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2, 1-1 (ret). Fish remains the lone American man left in the draw.
David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also set up a fourth-round showdown after taking out Karol Beck and Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets, respectively. Ferrer disposed of Beck, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and Tsonga brushed aside Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Later in the day, No. 3 seed Roger Federer needed one hour and 46 minutes to pick up his 11th victory against David Nalbandian in 19 meetings, ousting the Argentine 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
June 10, 2011
AEGON Championships—London, Great Britain
No. 5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1; No. 3 seed Andy Roddick defeats No. 7 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 seed Andy Murray defeats No. 8 seed Marin Cilic (walkover).
Gerry Weber Open—Halle, Germany
Philipp Kohlschreiber defeats Lleyton Hewitt 7-6(4), 6-3; P Petzschner defeats No. 8 seed Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3; No. 3 seed Gael Monfils defeats No. 6 seed Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-4; No. 2 seed Tomas Berdych defeats No. 5 seed Viktor Troicki 7-6(3), 6-1.
May 10, 2011
Internazionali BNL d’Italia—Roma
No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych breezed into the third-round of the Roma Masters on Tuesday, dismissing Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-2.
Playing for the second time in as many weeks, Berdych scored his second straight victory over the Argentine by winning 70 percent of his first serve points and breaking serve on five of six occasions.
Improving to 4-0 against Monaco in lifetime meetings, Berdych will next face either Sergiy Stakhovsky or Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the quarterfinals.
Elsewhere, clay-court wizard Nicolas Almagro needed one hour and 15 minutes to advance past Simone Bolelli 6-0, 7-5. In a match that featured four aces by the ninth seed, Almagro took advantage of Bolelli’s lack of confidence in the first set to set the tone for the remainder of the match. With the second set being slightly more competitive than the first, Almagro grabbed a crucial break of serve in the 11th game, before serving out his 26th victory of the season.
The hard-hitting Spaniard will next face Sam Querrey, who benefited from an a retirement by Kevin Anderson after winning the first set 7-6 (1), and leading 1-0 in set two.
Frenchman Richard Gasquet continued his fine form in the eternal city, dismissing Igor Andreev 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third-round.
No. 14 seed Stanislas Wawrinka got out of his recent slump by dismissing Fabio Fognini 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4; Ivan Ljubicic eased past Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 6-3; Paolo Lorenzi took out Madrid semifinalist Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(5), 6-3, and will next face top seed Rafael Nadal; Marin Cilic moved past Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 1-0 ret.; Juan Ignacio Chela dismissed John Isner 6-4, 6-1, and Feliciano Lopez continued his best clay season to date by rolling past Michael Llodra 7-6(2), 6-1.
April 19, 2011
No. 2 seed Andy Murray and No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych were both forced to pull out of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, an ATP World Tour 500 event this week.
Reaching the semifinals for the second time in his career in Monte Carlo on the weekend, Murray withdrew from the event because of an elbow injury. Losing to eventual champ Rafael Nadal in a thrilling three-set match, Murray is slated to make his return to action at the Madrid Masters in early May.
Wimbledon finalist Berdych also withdrew from the event because of a stomach virus. The lanky Czech reached the third-round in Monte Carlo before losing to Ivan Ljubicic.
Rafael Nadal, Robin Soderling, David Ferrer and Jurgen Melzer remain the top four seeds in the tournament. Nadal is chasing his six title on home soil, while attempting to add to his seventh-straight Monte Carlo crown.
March 15, 2011
BNP Paribas Open—Indian Wells, California
No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic improved to 14-0 on the season with a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing of Latvian Ernests Gulbis at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.
Needing 54 minutes to advance, Djokovic overcame a 0-40 deficit on his serve in the first game and never looked back. Improving to 4-1 against Gulbis is lifetime meetings, Djokovic will next face either Viktor Troicki or Michael Llodra.
Elsewhere, No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych was equally as efficient in defeating Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-2.
Winning 89 percent of his serve points, Berdych broke serve on three of eight occasions, while never losing his own delivery.
Reaching the quarterfinals of the event last year, Berdych will next face Stanislas Wawrinka or Marin Cilic.
Roger Federer and Andy Roddick will see action later in the day.
March 13, 2011
BNP Paribas Open—Indian Wells, California
Defending finalist Andy Roddick was forced to use his blistering serve to defeat countryman James Blake 6-3, 7-5 during the second-round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Winning 94 percent of his first serve points, Roddick blasted 13 aces by his Davis Cup teammate, while breaking his serve on 3 of 15 occasions. Improving to 8-3 against Blake in lifetime meetings, Roddick will next face John Isner for a place in the fourth-round. Isner pulled through a comfortable 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory over Richardo Mello earlier in the day. Roddick owns a 2-1 head-to-head series lead over Isner, but lost the pair’s most prolific encounter at the US Open in 2009.
Elsewhere, Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych needed one hour and 14 minutes to blow past Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-1. Entering the event with a 14-5 record, Berdych won 92 percent of his first serve points while providing eight aces to his victory. Reaching the quarterfinals in Palm Springs last year, Berdych will next face Benjamin Becker or Thomaz Bellucci.
Other winners on the day included Stan Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Viktor Troicki and Michael Llodra.
February 25, 2011
Following his 6-7 (5), 6-2, 4-2 win over Tomas Berdych at the Dubai Open on Friday, tournament No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic expressed his disgust to the media about his level of play. Advancing to his third straight final in Dubai after Berdych withdrew with a left quadriceps injury, Djokovic was very candid in describing his discomfort on court.
“I don’t know how to explain today’s match really. In one word: catastrophe,” said Djokovic. “I think the match overall and my game, it was the worst match this year for me, worst performance. But I managed to get a win, so I guess that’s what matters.”
Djokovic will next face top seed Roger Federer in the pair’s 21st career meeting on Saturday. Djokovic will be attempting to win his 20th career title against the Swiss star.
Quotes courtesy of ATP World Tour.
February 24, 2011
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships—Dubai, U.A.E
Top seed Roger Federer and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic remained on a collision course for Saturday’s final at the Dubai Open with quarterfinal victories on Thursday.
In a first-time meeting between the two players, Federer struck six aces and won 71 percent of his first serve points to get past Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-4.
Squandering three match points before closing out his Ukrainian opponent, Federer needed one hour and 12 minutes to capture his 11th match victory of the season.
The four-time former champ will next face the winner of the day’s last match between Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet.
Australian Open winner Djokovic poured in a workmanlike performance to defeat Florian Mayer of Germany 7-5, 6-1 earlier in the day.
Overcoming 3 aces by his opponent, Djokovic won 86 percent of his first serve points, while adding four breaks of serve to his victory.
Remaining undefeated at 11-0 this year, Djokovic will next face No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych, who defeated Philipp Petzschner 7-5, 6-4.
February 21, 2011
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships—Dubai, U.A.E.
No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych defeats Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-3; Sergei Bubka defeats No. 5 seed Ivan Ljubicic 6-1 0-1 ret. (right knee); No. 8 seed Ernests Gulbis defeats Michael Berrer 6-3, 6-4; Philipp Petzschner defeats Andreas Seppi 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2; Florian Mayer defeats Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-2; Richard Gasquet defeats Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4; Lukas Rosol defeats Karol Beck 7-6(3), 6-3.
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships—Delray Beach, U.S.A.
No. 3 seed Sam Querrey defeats Dustin Brown 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; Florent Serra defeats Ryan Harrison 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
February 17, 2011
Open 13—Marseille, France
No. 8 seed Michael Llodra defeats Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-4; No. 2 seed Tomas Berdych defeats Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4; Dmitry Tursunov defeats No.5 seed Ivan Ljubicic 7-6(4), 6-3; Marin Cilic defeats Philipp Petzschner 7-6(3), 6-3.