Weekly Roundup: Challenger/ITFResults

ATP Challenger Tour

Vancouver (Hard)

Dutchman Igor Sijsling earned his third challenger tour title of the year with a straight sets win over Sergei Bubka 6-1 7-5. Sijsling was very strong on serve for much of the game and dominated the Ukranian in the first set dropping just one game. Bubka did manage to break through in the second set and led 4-2 before being pegged back. After saving championship points at 5-4 down in the second, Bubka was not so unfortunate as he could not hold on for the tiebreak and dropped his serve at 6-5.

Neighbouring Belgium also were successful here as the pairing of Ruben Bemelmans and Maxime Authom took the title in the Doubles defeating Aussie pairing of John Peers and John-Patrick Smith in straight sets 6-4 6-2. The pair had been fairly dominant throughout and only dropped one set on the way to the title.

Beijing (Hard)

The Slovenian domination of the Chinese challenger events continued as Grega Zemjla made it three in a row with a dominant performance over the Chinese Wu Di. The unseeded Di had took advantage of Aljaz Bedene’s retirement earlier in the tournament to make the final but could not do much against Zemjla, holding just twice in a 6-3 6-0 victory. Zemjla’s title adds to the one he took in An-Ning earlier in July and Aljaz Bedene’s title in Wuhan last week.

Thai brothers Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana followed the Slovenians lead in their domination of the Chinese tournaments by making it three titles in a row in the Doubles. This time, the unlucky pairing in the final were the Indians Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan. The Ratiwatana’s won a final set tiebreaker to earn a 7-6(3) 2-6 10-6 victory.

Manta (Hard)

No.2 seed Guido Pella dropped just one set (the first of the tournament) on his way to victory in Ecuador. Pella broke fellow Argentinian Maximiliano Estevez five times in a 6-4 7-5 victory for the second title of the year, in his first hard court event this year. Peruvian Dulio Beretta and Argentinian Renzo Olivo comprehensively defeated the top seeds Victor Estrella and Joao Souza to win the doubles title in 6-3 6-0 win.

ITF Mens Pro Circuit

USA F22 Futures Ryan ROWE (USA)     6-4 3-6 6-4     Sanam SINGH (IND) [3]

Austria F4 Futures Nicolas REISSIG (AUT)     6-4 7-6(5)     Jose STATHAM (NZL) [2]

Belgium F6 Futures Yannik REUTER (BEL) [7]     6-3 6-1     Kimmer COPPEJANS (BEL)

Turkey F30 Futures Marin BRADARIC (CRO) [4]     6-3 6-4     Alessandro PETRONE (ITA)

Spain F22 Futures Ivan NAVARRO (ESP) [1]     6-3 6-3     Taro DANIEL (JPN) [2]

Slovakia F1 Futures Andrej MARTIN (SVK) [1]     1-6 7-6(5) 6-1     Miloslav MECIR (SVK) [6]

Germany F12 Futures Steven MONEKE (GER) [4]     6-0 6-2     Pablo GALDON (ARG) [1]

Italy F20 Futures Michael LINZER (AUT) [4]     0-6 6-4 6-2     Leonardo KIRCHE (BRA) [7]

Great Britain F12 Futures Josh GOODALL (GBR) [1]     6-3 6-3     Mathieu RODRIGUES (FRA) [2]

Serbia F7 Futures Aldin SETKIC (BIH) [4]     6-2 6-1     Ivan BJELICA (SRB) [2]

Brazil F19 Futures Tiago LOPES (BRA) [4]     7-5 7-6(2)     Thales TURINI (BRA) [1]

Russia F10 Futures Boy WESTERHOF (NED) [1]     7-5 6-1     Anton ZAITSEV (RUS)

India F12 Futures Saketh MYNENI (IND) [3]     6-3 6-2     Antoine ESCOFFIER (FRA) [4]

Lithuania F1 Futures Hans PODLIPNIK-CASTILLO (CHI) [1]     6-1 6-1     Joss ESPASANDIN (SUI)

ITF Womens Pro Circuit

100k Vancouver Mallory BURDETTE (USA)     6-3 6-0     Jessica PEGULA (USA)

75k Beijing Qiang WANG (CHN)     6-2 6-4     Yung-Jan CHAN (TPE) [2]

50k Trnava Anastasija SEVASTOVA (LAT) [7]     w.o    Ana SAVIC (CRO)

25k Bad Saulgau Mervana JUGIC-SALKIC (BIH) [6]     6-2 6-4     Carina WITTHOEFT (GER) [8]

25k Rebecq Kirsten FLIPKENS (BEL) [1]     6-2 6-1     Myrtille GEORGES (FRA)

25k Moscow Yuliya KALABINA (RUS)     3-6 6-3 6-4     Mayya KATSITADZE (RUS)

10k Vienna Barbara HAAS (AUT)     6-1 6-4     Amandine HESSE (FRA) [1]

10k Wrexham Chiaki OKADAUE (JPN) [4]     2-6 7-6(6) 6-4     Jade WINDLEY (GBR) [6]

10k Ankara Laura-Ioana ANDREI (ROU) [3]     6-1 6-0     Sabina SHARIPOVA (UZB) [2]

10k Gardone Val Trompia Yuliana LIZARAZO (COL) [2]     7-5 3-6 6-4     Catalina PELLA (ARG) [1]

10k Fort Worth Elizabeth FERRIS (USA) [1]     6-1 6-1     Dianne HOLLANDS (NZL)

 10k Sao Paolo Roxane VAISEMBERG (BRA) [2]     6-4 4-6 7-6(3)     Ana-Clara DUARTE (BRA)

10k Savitaipale Piia SUOMALAINEN (FIN) [1]     3-6 6-3 6-3     Laetitia SARRAZIN (FRA)

10k Santa Cruz de la Sierra Camila SILVA (CHI) [6]     6-4 6-7(1) 6-3     Cecilia COSTA MELGAR (CHI) [3]

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Li Na Criticism

Since winning the French Open and in turn becoming the first Asian to win a Grand Slam title, Li Na has only won six matches on the WTA Tour.

Na Li

This has left her open to much criticism which this week intensified as she crashed out of her homecoming match at the China Open to world number 58 Monica Niculescu of Romania.

Still ranked in the top 10 and fifth in the WTA Championships Race thanks to a fine start to the season, which included an appearance in the Australian Open final and that Roland Garros success, the root of the criticism has materialised from the Chinese media.

That seems awfully harsh considering what she’s done for tennis in the country and continent as a whole. The argument is she’s concentrating on earning sponsorship off the court rather than practising on it.

The 29-year-old has signed seven endorsement deals with brands such as Mercedes, Rolex and Haagen-Dazs to be the face of those companies in China.

She’s now the second-highest earning female athlete after Maria Sharapova and all that has led to her own fans turning on her.

It’s no surprise that she’s been quoted as saying:

I’ve just lost all confidence now. I don’t know what I can do. Even winning one point is tough for me.

The pressure to perform in front of her adoring public and the need to win in order to please the sponsors is a head-spinning feeling and one which she can’t escape from as she’ll be demanded to play tournaments.

In a way, it’s her own undoing but you can’t blame her for taking the money and running. At 29, the chances are she won’t have another chance to become financially secure as Caroline Wozniacki pointed out in her defence of the player. Does that make Li Na a sell out though?

Certainly if she’s going to lose 6-4, 6-0 against a qualifier every match then something is up. The aggro she’s been receiving from her own support won’t help her.

The best thing for her to do now is avoid the internet, newspapers and TV and – no matter what the sponsors say – rest. Tennis is what got her where she is today and doing herself justice on the court has to be the priority.

When she’s had a break in the winter then she should come back fighting.

Li Na celebrating on her return to China in July. 

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