Getty Images

Radwanska beats Svitolina to take Connecticut Open title

Leave a comment

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska completed a dominating week at the Connecticut Open on Sunday, beating Elina Svitolina 6-1, 7-6 (3) in the final then spraying her coaches and friends with champagne.

The Polish star didn’t drop a set during the tournament, her 19th WTA championship. She took control of the final from the start, winning 20 of the first 27 points, jumping out to a 5-0 lead.

She ran the 21-year-old Ukrainian all over the court, chasing down shots and placing her own with pinpoint accuracy. Svitolina held off two set points in the sixth game, but Radwanska was able to serve out the set in 29 minutes.

“I was really feeling good this week,” Radwanska said. “Everything was working. I was feeling very confident on that court.”

The second set was much closer. It included three service breaks for each player and a 37-shot rally in the ninth game. Radwanska broke serve in that game to go up 5-4 and seemed to be in control, especially after Svitolina turned her ankle chasing a lob shot.

But the 10th seed rallied, breaking back and going up 6-5. Radwanska saved two set points to force the tiebreaker, and took five of the last six points to win it.

Svitolina committed 36 unforced errors, including a backhand into the net to end the match.

“Set points, they come and go in five seconds,” Svitolina said. “She served two big serves. She placed it really well.”

Radwanska had never before made it past the quarterfinals in New Haven, but had a relatively easy trip this year that included a first round bye and straight set wins over Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, lucky loser Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and a 6-1, 6-1 semifinal victory over two-time champion Petra Kvitova.

She becomes the first top seed to win since Caroline Wozniacki did it in 2011. The title is Radwanska’s second this season after taking the Shenzhen Open in China in January.

She takes home just over $130,000 for winning in Connecticut, but also earned enough points to clinch the U.S. Open Series bonus challenge. That means a chance for up to an extra $1 million, depending on her finish in New York next week, where she will be the No. 4 seed.

“So now it’s everything in my power to do good in the U.S. Open,” she said with a big grin. “It will be worth it, right?”

Svitolina, who beat Serena Williams in the third round at the Olympics, is now 4-1 in WTA finals, but this was her first at a Premier level event. She was playing this tournament for the fourth time and had never before made it out of the first round.

She said it was a disappointing first set, but an otherwise encouraging week.

“There is no time to be sad because U.S. Open is just on Monday,” she said.

World Cup of Tennis put on hold for at least a year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON–The International Tennis Federation is putting off its proposal for a World Cup of Tennis Finals for another year.

The ITF said last month it wanted to combine next year’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event to raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But on Thursday, the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Vietnam.

Other proposals, such as reducing the men’s matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, will still go before member nations for ratification at the Aug. 4 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation to the AGM.”

Last month, the ITF said it wanted to start staging the World Cup of Tennis in November 2018 in Geneva. The Swiss city was to host the event for three years at its 18,000-seat Palexpo.

The ITF said then that it had made the announcement of the host city well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.

But that has now been put on hold as the governing body tries to sell its idea to its voting members.

“This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally,” Haggerty said, “and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.”

Haggerty also announced the creation of a World Cup of Tennis Finals task force. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed as co-chairs.

“The World Cup of Tennis Finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF’s member nations,” Haggerty said. “Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.”

U.S. Open singles champions to earn record $3.7 million

AP Photo
Leave a comment

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Total player compensation at the U.S. Open will top $50 million for the first time this year, with a record $3.7 million going to each of the singles champions.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that the total purse for the tournament will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year. The previous winners of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season – Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber – earned $3.5 million.

Runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million.

Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the highest in U.S. Open history. A player who loses in the first round of singles at Queens’ Flushing Meadows will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.

The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 28.