Monday, August 23, 2010

Federer Defends Title; Wozniacki Wins

With the US Open set to begin in a week's time, the top men and women (at least those not injured) took to the courts of Cincinnati and Montreal for the last big tournament before the last Grand Slam of the year.

The men were on deck in Cincinnati which saw the top four men reach the quarterfinals. Unlike last year though when the top four made it to the semifinals, only third seed Roger Federer made it this year. Joining him were Marcos Baghdatis, Andy Roddick, and Mardy Fish. The latter two contested an all-American semifinal match that saw Fish overcoming being down a set and a break with Roddick serving for the match.

Meeting Fish in the finals was defending champion Federer. Both men split the first two sets which went to tiebreaks with both players not being broken once. The third set remained just as tight until Federer converted the one and only break point of the match during the ninth game. Federer them served out the match capturing only his second title of the year, 63rd overall tying him in fifth place with Bjorn Borg in the all-time list.

The women were in Montreal, but with the withdrawal of Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova and the early losses of top seeds Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva, the star wattage seemed muted for this premier event. Even so, Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova as well as second seed Caroline Wozniacki made it through the quarterfinals. The latter two made it through the semifinals along with Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva.

Then the rain came. And came. And came. The semifinal matches, scheduled for Saturday, were delayed until Monday morning with Wozniacki and Zvonareva eventually reaching the finals. Wozniacki overpowered Zvonareva for a quick 6-3 6-2 victory for her third title of the year. She is only the second player to win three titles this year, the second being Clijsters. Interestingly enough, both met each other at last year's US Open finals and will be seeded 1 and 2 at this year's event.

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