Tag Archive | "Legg Mason Tennis Classic"

Berdych and Roddick Lead a Stupendous Field at Legg Mason Classic

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Berdych and Roddick Lead a Stupendous Field at Legg Mason Classic

The Olympus U.S. Open series is on its D.C. stop this week.  Although Juan Martin Del Potro, the reigning U.S. Open and two time defending Legg Mason Classic champion, is sidelined by injury this year, numerous big names have made the trip to the nation’s capital to contest this coveted trophy.

This year’s superstar lineup is topped by Tomas Berdych, the new world number eight and 2010 Wimbledon finalist.  Berdych is making his third appearance in Washington, but his first as the number one seed.  The Czech will be aiming to improving on his semifinal result from 2005.

On the opposite side of the draw is perennial favorite Andy Roddick, the second seed.  Roddick, a three time champion and finalist in 2009, is hoping to rebound from a curtailed Wimbledon campaign.  Being on grounds which brought him tremendous success previously could be the remedy for the American’s blues.

Fernando Verdasco, the world number 10 and 2009 Australian Open semifinalist, is the third seed.  It’s Verdasco’s  maiden showing at the tournament.  With three titles already this year, Verdasco will be a certain threat.  Returning for the second straight year is Marin Cilic who is positioned as the fourth seed and a potential semifinal rival for Roddick.

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Del Potro Rides Out Roddick In D.C. Final

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Del Potro Rides Out Roddick In D.C. Final

img_9960On the hottest day this week at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, upgraded to ATP 500, world number 6 and defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro took on top seed and world number 5 Andy Roddick in the finals.  In a captivating three set battle, Del Potro prevailed 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, becoming the first man since Andre Agassi in 1998-1999 to seize back to back trophies.

Despite Del Potro being in the top ten since June 2008, this was only their second meeting.  After Roddick sent a forehand into the net to give Del Potro a break point, with clutch serving, Andy held. Although Del Potro carried his first service game easily, at 1-2, great defense by Roddick contributed to Del Potro’s lob going long  which put the score at deuce. Even though Del Potro protected serve, Roddick appeared to be making headways.  After three successive aces pulled Andy ahead 3-2, Del Potro netted a forehand to hand Roddick double break point. Then,  Juan Martin gift wrapped the game with a double fault.  With a 4-2 edge, two decent service games was all Roddick required to secure the first set.

At the start of the second set, Del Potro recovered from 15-30 down to seal his game with a backhand volley winner. After a strong first game, serving at 1-2, Roddick double faulted and with a forehand winner Del Potro had a chance at 0-30.  But, Roddick responded with superb serves and forehand winners. However, serving at 3-4, a forehand crosscourt winner and excellent defense by Del Potro provoked two backhand volley errors, so Roddick faced triple break point.  Del Potro converted when Roddick’s backhand traveled out of bounds.  Yet, serving for the set, Del Potro misjudged a return which dropped in for a winner. Then, with an overhead winner, Roddick had break point.  Andy was back in the set when Juan Martin double faulted. But, after equalizing and Del Potro held for 6-5, Roddick committed three backhand miscues to send the match into a third set.

After each guy guarded serve the first two games, Del Potro muffed an easy overhead giving Roddick a break chance. Juan Martin then donated another double fault for Andy’s 2-1 lead.  After Roddick consolidated and Del Potro had no trouble on serve, the Argentine made two deep returns which resulted in backhand errors from Roddick and connected on a forehand down the line for triple break point.  When Roddick double faulted, the set was squared at 3 all. Hence forth, the two cruised on serve with the exception of Roddick’s small window at 15-30 and 4 all.  The set went to a tiebreaker.  Del Potro went ahead a mini-break 2-1 when Roddick sliced a backhand long.  They stayed on serve and with an ace for 6-3, Del Potro had three match points.  After Roddick held serve for 6-5, Del Potro misfired on a forehand after a sensational return by Roddick for 6 all.  But, an ace out wide earned Del Potro another match point.  On a second serve, Del Potro thumped a forehand crosscourt winner. Once Hawkeye technology confirmed the umpire’s ruling, Del Potro collected his second title of 2009.

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Gonzo Guns For Second Legg Mason Final

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Gonzo Guns For Second Legg Mason Final

lmtc_logo_mediumAt the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Fernando Gonzalez used his big forehand to harass Tommy Haas giving him a 7-5, 6-4 victory.  Now, Gonzalez is one match away from making his second final appearance at a tournament where he  made his ATP debut a decade ago.   After the match, Gonzalez sat down to answer questions and MiamiTennisNews had a few it wanted addressed.

You were so close to getting to the final of another major in Paris.   Is there any part of your game you feel you need to work on that will help you get there as you did a couple of years ago?
“I don’t think that there’s anything really I have to change about my game which was demonstrated by the fact that I was so close in Paris. For sure I have to keep improving things. I don’t know, perhaps working more on my serve and net play, but all this gives me peace of mind”.

Your most successful year was 2007, in that you reached the Australian Open final with coach Larry Stefanki, why did the two of you part ways?
“[First of all ] Larry is a great coach and I was with him many years . [However], Larry and I had a major problem, he lives in California and I in Chile….So, I am very grateful for all that he thought me and I have a great respect for him.”

Turning to the semifinals where Juan Martin Del Potro will be his opponent, the last time the two met was the 2007 Australian Open.   As far as Gonzalez is concerned, Del Potro is a “different player”. Regardless, there is a level of comfort in knowing “[one] has a winning record” against the other guy.

Commenting on the atmosphere to be expected with his being Chilean and Del Potro Argentinean, would there be any tension?  Gonzalez cited “there may be a rivalry between countries, [but not between us players].  Juan Martin and I are really good friends. It should be a good match and should be fun”.

After Wimbledon, Gonzalez took four weeks off due to tendonitis in his right knee. Gonzalez said that the lesion is not as severe as Rafael Nadal’s. With rest and treatment, he has been lucky that the knee has been responding.  Thus, he hopes his good run will continue through the remainder of season.

Concerning his forehand, Gonzalez was asked the secret to that stroke being “such a weapon”.   Gonzalez answered “I don’t have fear if I miss. If you don’t take a risk, you don’t miss.”  In other words, one has to be willing to gamble.

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MiamiTennis News Live From Legg Mason Classic

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MiamiTennis News Live From Legg Mason Classic

img_0942MiamiTennisNews.com is expanding its live tennis coverage by providing coverage from this year’s Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C.

From August 1st through 9th, we will be on site at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park providing live updates from this ATP 500 tournament.   Headliners include defending champion and world number 6  Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, former champion and world number 5  Andy Roddick as well as 2008 Australian finalist and world number 7  Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Other key names scheduled are this year’s French Open finalist Swede Robin Soderling,  top 20 players such as Frenchman Gael Monfils, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, Czech Radek Stepanek and Croatian Marin Cilic.  A host of top 50 men will also be fighting for this title such as former winner German Tommy Haas, big serving Croat Ivo Karlovic and former major champion Australian Lleyton Hewitt.  Besides Roddick,  Americans James Blake, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and John Isner will be present.

Stay tuned to MiamiTennisNews.com thru the coming weeks for all your U.S. Open series needs. For additional info on the Legg Mason tournament click here or go to www.leggmasontennisclassic.com

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