Tuesday, August 05, 2014

TENNIS TUESDAY: Serena,Sveta,Raonic Win Titles; Ivanovic Returns To Top 10

Serena Williams came back from 1-5 down in the first set of the final of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University against Angelique Kerber, saved two set points and won the match 7-6(1) 6-3 to win her 4th title of 2014. It was both competitors fourth final appearance of the year but Serena has not lost a final and Kerber is yet to win one. Serena, playing in her first tournament back after her disastrous French Open and Wimbledon results, confirmed her #1 ranking, which she has now held for an astonishing 200 weeks in her career. Only Steffi Graf (377), Martina Navratilova (332), Chris Evert (260) and Martina Hingis (209) have held the top spot longer. Serena now has 61 career titles, having won earlier this year in Rome (d. Errani), Miami (d. Na) and Brisbane (d. Azarenka).

Also wining titles this weekend were Sveta Kuznetova, who won her first title in four years by outlasting tough competitor Karumi Nara 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the final of the Citi Open in Washington, DC. It was vindication for the 2-time major champion, who led 3-0 in the second set. It was just Kuznetsova's 14th career title. Last year, I attended the men's final of the D.C. tournament, seeing John Isner lose to Juan Martin del Potro in three sets. This year it was an all-Canadian affair, with Milos Raonic defeating Vasek Pospisil 6-1 6-4.

Raonic is now at #6 in the world, just two slots above fellow "Young Gun" Grigor Dimitrov who moves up to World #8. The Top 5 was unchanged with injured del Potro making his way out of the Top10.

For the women, Ana Ivanovic returns to the Top 10 after a 4-year absence, while Serena celebrates her  200th week at #1. Next week, 2014 French Open finalist Simona Halep will rise to #2 because Li Na has withdrawn from the entire summer hard court season (Canada, Cincinnati and New York) with an injury.

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