Here’s this week’s Tennis Tuesday. Four titles were up for grabs this week and the winners now have 91 titles between them with Federer owning a whopping 81!
Roger Federer captured his 4th title of the year with a 7-6, 7-6 victory over Gilles Simon in the Shanghai Masters final. It’s his first Shanghai title and his 81st overall. Federer was incredibly rusty in his second round match against Leonardo Mayer but he managed to save 5 match points. However, he saved his best for his 6-4, 6-4 semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic. The win puts Federer back to No.2 in the world with a chance of finishing the year as No.1. “I am enjoying myself on the tennis court,” said Roger after his victory. “I’m playing the way I was hoping I could play again.”
Samantha Stosur successfully defended her Japan Open title, defeating Zarina Diyas 7-6, 6-3. The Australian was made to work hard by her young opponent, who had a 5-3 lead in the first set, before Stosur rallied back. The World No.18 hadn’t dropped a set all tournament and comfortably won the second set to seal the win. It is Stosur’s 1st title of the year and the 6th of her career.
Alison Riske claimed her maiden WTA title at the inaugural Tianjin Open in China with a straight sets victory over Belinda Bencic. The win puts Riske back into the top 50 at No.44, just 4 places off her career-high. It was the 17 year-old Bencic’s first WTA final and she was hoping to become the youngest winner on the Tour since 2006 when Tamira Paszek, then 15, won in Portoroz. It was also Riske’s first final.
Karolina Pliskova survived match point to win her 3rd WTA title in Linz, Austria. The Czech edged a very tight match against Camila Giorgi, winning 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, in nearly 2 and a half hours. Pliskova raced to a 5-1 lead in the final set before losing 5 straight games. Giorgi held match point in the 12th game but drove a backhand into the net. From there, Karolina managed to force the tie break and claim the Generali Ladies title. Camila has reached 2 finals this year and had at least one match point in each of them; she lost both.
ATP Tour Finals
Stanislas Wawrinka has become the 4th player to qualify for the year-end ATP Tour Finals. He joins Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in the tournament. It’s been an inconsistent year for Wawrinka. After the high of winning his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, he suffered early round losses, especially in the past few weeks. Stan reached the Finals last year where he reached the semi-finals.
Career Masters for Bryan Brothers
The Bryans lost just 1 set on their way to the Shanghai Masters title, completing a “Career Masters.” They defeated Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 7-6 to win their 5th Masters title of the season. The Bryans have won all the Masters doubles tournaments at least once and they don’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Fognini Strikes Again
Most players take a loss to an unseeded player on the chin and forget about it. Not Fabio Fognini! After losing to Wang Chuhan in Shanghai, Fognini elbowed his opponent after shaking hands with the umpire and flipped off the crowd as he walked off court. Charmer, eh? The ATP fined him $2,000 for the obscenity, which is not a lot in my opinion. Fognini has constantly displayed bad behaviour on court and has been repeatedly fined and cautioned. Will this latest fine make him change his attitude? Doubt it.
Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena.