Sunday, January 9, 2011

Players Win First Titles of the Tennis Season

Ahead of defending his only Grand Slam title of last year at the Australian Open, world no. 2 Roger Federer got off to the best possible start by winning his first title of the year in Doha defeating defending champion Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4. This was Federer's third Doha title and 67th overall. A feverish Rafael Nadal lost brutally to Davydenko in the semifinals, but valiantly played doubles with Marc Lopez resulting in a doubles title to begin the year. At the Australian Open, Nadal will look to be the first man since Rod Laver to win all four slam titles in a row.

In Chennai, another Swiss won a title over the weekend with last year's finalist Stan Wawrinka defeating Xavier Malisse 7-6 4-6 6-1 in this year's final. Wawrinka defeated Chennai Open top seed Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. Robin Soderling also began his year with a title, battling the wet weather as well as the defending champion Andy Roddick in straight sets with a score of 6-3 7-5. Petra Kvitova took the women's title in Brisbane winning against Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-3. In Auckland, Greta Arn also had a great week by first beating top seed Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals before winning the title against defending champion Yanina Wickmayer 6-3 6-3.

Finally, the US claimed yet another Hopman Cup title as the team of John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands went up against the Belgian team of Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans. The Belgians were alternates when the Serbian team of Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic had to withdraw due to an minor injury sustained by Ivanovic. Andy Murray, Francescha Schiavone, Lleyton Hewitt, and Nicolas Mahut also used Hopman Cup as their preparation for the Australian Open.

The first Grand Slam tournament will begin in earnest on January 17. Game on.

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