Berdych, Federer, Wawrinka and Gasquet land in London

Results: BNP Paribas Masters Paris Indoors

  • Novak Djokovic def. David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5
  • Bob and Mike Bryan def. Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-3, 6-3

Results: Fed Cup Final (Italy defeats Russia 4-0)

  • Roberta Vinci def. Alexandra Panova 5-7, 7-5, 8-6
  • Sara Errani def. Irina Khromacheva 6-1, 6-4
  • Sara Errani def. Alisa Kleybanova 6-1, 6-1 (Clinched Fed Cup Title)
  • Roberta Vinci vs. Irina Khromacheva (not played)
  • Karin Knapp and Flavia Pennetta def. Margarita Gasparyan and Irina Khromacheva 4-6, 6-2, 10-4

Results: WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria

  • Simona Halep def. Samantha Stosur 2-6, 6-2, 6-2

Results: Nanjing Ladies Open

  • Shuai Zhang def. Ayumi Morita 6-4, ret.
  • Yi-Fan Xu and Misaki Doi def. Yaroslava Shvedova and Shuai Zhang 6-1, 6-4

Tournaments this week:

  • ATP World Tour Finals in London
  • WTA: Taipei WTA Ladies Open ($125K event)

Last week was a nail-biter, with four remaining spots left in London’s ATP World Tour Finals. In Paris, the final of nine ATP World Tour Masters-1000 events, Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet each earned flights to London by making the quarterfinals. Roger Federer, less than a week after losing a final to Juan Martin del Potro at the Swiss Indoors, took down the big Argentine to advance to the semifinals…where he lost to Novak Djokovic. After a 6-3, 7-5 win over Rafael Nadal in the semis, David Ferrer advanced to his third final in three consecutive weeks. He then lost his third final in-a-row 7-5, 7-5 at the hands of Novak Djokovic. With the win, Nole became the 15th player in the Open era to earn 40 ATP World Tour titles.

The line-up is now set for the ATP World Tour Finals in London, without Andy Murray, who is recovering from back surgery. The year-end #1-ranking is still on the line between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic…

  1. Rafael Nadal
  2. Novak Djokovic
  3. David Ferrer
  4. Juan Martin del Potro
  5. Tomas Berdych
  6. Roger Federer
  7. Stanislas Wawrinka
  8. Richard Gasquet

In doubles, after a tough Supertiebreak loss to Peya and Soares last week in Valencia, Bob and Mike Bryan faced the Austrian and Brazilian again in Paris. While they lost 13-11 in Spain, the #1 doubles team in the world dominated in Paris, taking the match 6-3, 6-3.

The WTA spotlight shone on both Bulgaria and Italy last week. In the WTA Tournamment of Champions, Romania’s Simona Halep capped an amazing 2013 by winning her sixth tournament of the year. In a repeat of her Moscow title just two weeks prior, Halep defeated Australia’s Samantha Stosur after dropping the first set. On the way to the title, she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Alize Cornet, Elina Svitolina and Ana Ivanovic. Stosur made it to the final notching wins over Elena Vesnina, Tsvetana Pironkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; though she lost a tough 3-setter to Ana Ivanovic during round robin play. Needless to say, 2013 was a breakthrough year for Simona Halep. Expect big things from her when 2014 gets underway in Brisbane (Or Auckland…or Shenzhen).

In Cagliari, Italy, the Italians completely dominated a Russian team comprised of relatively unknowns…other than Alisa Kleybanova, who was a top-ranked player before Hodgkins Lymphoma sidelined her career. Roberta Vinci won a very close first rubber over Alexandra Panova, then Sara Errani took over. Winning the second rubber easily, Sara then clinched the Fed Cup title with the first match of day-two. It was a 6-1, 6-1 59-minute win over Kleybanova, capturing Italy’s fourth Fed Cup title since 2006.

Last week, the ladies also played in China at the Nanjing Ladies Open, one of three smaller Chinese tournaments introduced in 2013. China’s Shuai Zhang proved again that she’ll be a force in 2013, winning the singles final and making the doubles final with partner Yaroslava Shvedova. Zhang has won 19 of 23 matches since the U.S. Open. She also won titles in Beijing and Guangzhou this year.