Cornet wins in Strasbourg
Alize Cornet won the Strasbourg International by beating Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 in the final on Saturday. Hradecka saved two set points in the 10th game to force a tiebreaker, but she doubled-faulted at 5-4 and Cornet took the set when the Czech netted a forehand volley. Cornet, the third-seeded Frenchwoman who was runner-up last year, gave Hradecka little chance in the second set and clinched her third singles title when her opponent made a backhand error. “She’s a risk-taker,” Cornet said of Hradecka. “She hit balls that were in or on the line in the first set, but most of them were out in the second.” Cornet paid tribute to her coach Georges Govern. “I am where I am today thanks to him because he has made me improve a lot. He took me out of a hole I couldn’t get out of,” Cornet said. “I sometimes pick on him and that’s our way of working together, but he’s not unhappy, because I’m a nice girl off the court. It’s just that I feed off my anger and my bad temper when I play, but don’t worry, it’s only on the court — I don’t bite.” Hradecka has now lost all six finals she has played.
Kanepi triumphs in Brussels
Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi beat Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 7-5 to win the Brussels Open on Saturday. Kanepi won the fourth tournament in her WTA Tour career by racing out to build a big lead, before surviving some late jitters and clinching a big boost ahead of the French Open. “This win gives me confidence and I feel good going to Roland Garros,” 27-year-old Kanepi said. The sun finally broke out over the Heysel courts on Saturday after a week filled with frustration over the unusually cold and wet conditions. “It has been a really tough week because [of the] wind and weather and cold,” she said. The long delays forced the players to finish both semi-finals and the final on the same day. In Saturday morning’s semis, eighth seed Peng defeated Romina Oprandi of Switzerland in a tough three-setter 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Kanepi moved into the final by edging Jamie Hampton of the US 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. The players were given a few hours rest before the final later on Saturday. Peng previously reached the final in 2011. Kanepi reached the semi-finals in Brussels last year.
Monaco wins in Duesseldorf
Juan Monaco beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-3 to win the inaugural Power Horse Cup for his first ATP Tour title of the year on Saturday. The victory for the third-seeded Argentine gave him a boost ahead of the French Open. Monaco won back-to-back matches at only three tournaments coming into Duesseldorf, but he did not drop a set in winning the eighth title of his career. Monaco broke serve for a 5-4 lead and served out the set. He went up a break early in the second and broke his Finnish opponent again in the final game.
Montanes triumphs in Nice
Spain’s Albert Montanes clinched his sixth ATP Tour title by defeating French wild-card entry Gael Monfils 6-0, 7-6 (7/3) in the Open de Nice final on Saturday. The match was interrupted by rain at 4-0 in the first set, but that did not seem to bother Montanes, who broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set and looked set to cruise toward victory. However, Monfils, a former top 10 player who was hampered by a right-knee injury last season, fought back and leveled at 4-4. Montanes took a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker and sealed the win when a backhand from Monfils sailed long.