Monday Net Post

Monday, February 23, 2009 /by

RoddickBy TW Contributing Editor, Ed McGrogan

Last Week's Tournaments

Copa Telmex (ATP - Clay - Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Singles Bracket: Tommy Robredo def. Juan Monaco
Doubles Bracket: Marcel Granollers/Alberto Martin def. Nicolas Almagro/Santiago Ventura

Open 13 (ATP - Indoor Hard - Marseille, France)

Singles Bracket: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Michael Llodra
Doubles Bracket: Arnaud Clement/Michael Llodra def. Julian Knowle/Andy Ram

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (ATP - Indoor Hard - Memphis, United States)

Singles Bracket: Andy Roddick def. Radek Stepanek
Doubles Bracket: Mardy Fish/Mark Knowles def. Travis Parrott/Filip Polasek

Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (WTA - Hard - Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Singles & Doubles Brackets
- Venus Williams def. Virginie Razzano
- Cara Black/Liezel Huber def. Maria Kirilenko/Agnieszka Radwanska

Copa Sony Ericsson Colsanitas (WTA - Clay - Bogota, Colombia)

Singles & Doubles Brackets
- Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez def. Gisela Dulko
- Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez def. Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (WTA - Indoor Hard - Memphis, United States)

Singles & Doubles Brackets
- Victoria Azarenka def. Caroline Wozniacki
- Victoria Azarenka/Caroline Wozniacki def. Yuliana Fedak/Michaella Krajicek

McGrogan's Heroes

ATP - Andy Roddick

Age clearly means nothing to Radek Stepanek. He's dating Nicole Vaidisova, 11 years his junior, and is playing the best tennis of his career at age 30, when most players are on the decline.

While Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tommy Robredo were winning their second titles of the 2009 season Sunday, Stepanek was going for his third tournament win of the year in Memphis. (The Czech previously won Brisbane and San Jose.) The last player "The Worm" needed to burrow past in order to achieve this hat trick was Andy Roddick, whom Stepanek defeated just a week earlier in San Jose. As it turned out, Stepanek will remain level with Tsonga and Robredo at two titles each - Roddick won the final, 7-5, 7-5, earning his first winner's trophy of 2009.

The title is overdue for Roddick, who has played some spectacular tennis so far this year. Besides his run to the Australian Open semifinals, Roddick reached the semis of San Jose, and the final of Doha, back in January. His record for the season is now 17-3, including quality wins in Memphis over Steve Darcis, Robby Ginepri, Sam Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, and finally Stepanek. That's a good week's work, and Roddick should certainly be considered a serious threat at Indian Wells and Miami, especially with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer suffering from injuries.

I also want to commend Roddick for his decision to withdraw from this week's Dubai tournament. In case you missed it, Roddick was disappointed with how the UAE handled Shahar Peer's request to compete in the WTA event, and subsequently pulled out of this week's ATP event. This was not a factor in him receiving the Hero award - but in an era where words, and not actions, are given far too much credence in sports, Roddick's decision was refreshing, regardless of where you stand on the issue.

WTA - Venus Williams

If you count their doubles victories, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez each won nine times (and two titles) last week. Venus Williams won just five matches, but she gets the Hero nod this week because of the quality of her wins. To make a comparison to tennis racquets, Williams' wins in Dubai were the freshly-strung Babolat at the pro shop; Azarenka's and Martinez Sanchez's were the over-sized Wilson at Wal-Mart.

While that may sound harsh, Williams faced elite competition throughout the week, not just in the tournament's final. And Williams, even considering all her abilities, handled these opponents with surprising ease. After dusting Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-1, she defeated both Alize Cornet and Elena Dementieva (the 10th and fourth seeds, respectively) in straight sets. She then outlasted sister Serena in a third-set tiebreaker, taking a 10-9 lead in their career matches (Venus has now won three of the last four) and advancing to the Dubai final.

You know how when people sometimes refer to a semifinal match between two big names as "the de facto final"? I really dislike that term, because often, the winner suffers a letdown when she ends up playing her so-called lesser opponent. Virginie Razzano, ranked No. 58 heading into Dubai, was waiting in the actual final after having upset Dinara Safina, Daniela Hantuchova, Vera Zvonareva, and Kaia Kanepi in consecutive matches. But Williams would not make the same mistakes as those four did against Razzano. The sixth-ranked American put in another solid performance, beating Razzano 6-4, 6-2 to win her 40th career singles title.

It doesn't seem right to call Williams' fantastic play - along with Razzano's unforeseen run to the final - a silver lining to an event marred by the decision to deny Shahar Peer a travel visa. But it was one of the only good things to come out of the WTA's Dubai Tennis Championship last week.

Next Week's Tournaments

(TV Schedule)

Abierto Mexicano Telcel (ATP - Clay - Acapulco, Mexico)

Singles Bracket
Doubles Bracket

Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (ATP - Hard - Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Singles Bracket
Doubles Bracket

Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ATP - Hard - Delray Beach, United States)

Singles Bracket
Doubles Bracket

Abierto Mexicano Telcel (WTA - Clay - Acapulco, Mexico)

Singles & Doubles Bracket

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