As Novak Djokovic celebrates his 100th week atop the ATP World Tour rankings, the guys launch their 2013 Asian swing. Richard Gasquet looks to defend his title in Thailand, while David Ferrer and Stan Wawrinka headline the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lampur. Andy Murray should miss the rest of the 2013 season, electing to undergo minor surgery for a nagging back-injury. Andy says he’ll be ready for the ATP World Tour Finals in November, but most expect him to continue rehabbing through December to prepare for the Australian Open come January.
Last week in Metz, just 13-days after the birth of his second son, Gilles Simon won an all-French final 6-4, 6-3 over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It was Simon’s 11th career title and second at the Moselle Open. Swede Johan Brunstrom and South African Raven Klaasen defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Mahut in the in the doubles final 6-4, 7-6(5).
In St. Petersburg, Russia, Latvian Ernests Gulbis won 11 consecutive games to take the title over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 (He was down 3-6, 1-4). Gulbis’ reaction post-match: “I feel great, it’s my second title of the season – the fourth one of the my career. I’ve been very consistent especially in finals; I’ve never lost in a final. I’m proud of that record.” In doubles, Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took-out Denis Istomin and Dominic Inglot in the final 7-6(6), 6-3. With their 5th career title, Marrero and Verdasco are now ranked in the top-8, boosting their chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
This week, the ladies continue play in Asia with tournaments in Tokyo, Japan and Ningbo, China. Meanwhile, the year-end WTA Championships are just a month away in Istanbul. The top-8 singles players and top-4 doubles teams will compete for $6-million in prize money. It was annoounced Monday that Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and the team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the first to qualify for this year’s event.
Last week, Springfield Laser Vania King reached both the singles and doubles final of the Guangzhou Open in China. She was defeated in the singles final by Shuai Zhang 6-7(1), 1-6; then lost a tough battle in the doubles final with partner Galina Voskoboeva 3-6, 6-4, 10-12 to Shuai Peng and Su-Wei Hseih.
In Korea, Agnieszka Radwanska earned her 3rd title of the year and 13th of her career defeating Anastasia Pavyluchenkova in the Korea Open final 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4. She then threw-out the first pitch at the LG Twins game in Seoul. In doubles, Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears reached the final, but lost to Chin-Wei Chan and Yi-Fan Xu in straight-sets 5-7, 3-6.