TENNIS / Paes and Bhupathi falter at the final hurdle
‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands): Thai qualifier Tamarine Tanasugarn defeated French Open finalist and World No. 9 Dinara Safina 7-5, 6-3 in the final to win the Ordina Open here on Saturday.
Tanasugarn, ranked 85, won her first title on grass after surviving a break in the first set and winning a hard-fought second set in which she saved eight break points.
“One day you play really good, the next day — I just was not myself on the court,” Safina, who reached the final with an easy victory over fellow-Russian and top seed Elena Dementieva, told a packed centre court.
In the men’s event, Spanish top seed David Ferrer disposed of unseeded Marc Gicquel of France 6-4, 6-2.
World No. 5 Ferrer, who has not dropped a set all week, won his first title on grass and also became the first Spaniard to win the Ordina Open title.
“I never would have imagined winning a title on grass, but I played really good this week,” Ferrer said before receiving his trophy.
Meanwhile in the men’s doubles final, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi frittered away chances galore before being handed a stunning straight-set defeat by the unseeded Croatian-Austrian pair of Mario Ancic and Jurgen Melzer.
The second seeded Indians, who were aiming for their first ATP title together in four years, went down 6-7(5), 3-6 in little over an hour’s time.
A win today would have given the former World number ones their 24th title together and a 23-9 lifetime record in ATP finals.
Off the blocks aggressively, Bhupathi and Paes broke Ancic and Merzel in the second game before racing to a 4-1 lead less than 15 minutes into the match.
The Indians earned a couple of break points in the sixth game as well but frittered away both, which perhaps marked the turning point of the match.
The second seeds paid for the lapse with Ancic and Merzel breaking them in the very next game to make it 4-4 before eventually taking the set into a tiebreaker.
And Ancic and Melzer held their nerves, leading 5-2 before sealing the tie-breaker 7-5.
The Indians were on the back-foot in the second set as well losing their serve in the fourth game. Ancic and Merzel were simply unstoppable thereafter and took a little more than 20 minutes to wrap up the set in their favour and clinch the title.
This was the first of the two ATP events that Bhupathi and Paes will play together as build-up to the Olympics.
At Eastbourne, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska heads to Wimbledon with three season titles in her pocket after defeating Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-7(11), 6-4 to win the WTA Eastbourne International Open. The 19-year-old ranked 14th joins elite company with Maria Sharapova and Sernea Williams, all with 2007 trophy hat-tricks.
At ‘s-Hertogenbosch: Ordina Open: Men: Singles final: David Ferrer bt Marc Gicquel 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles Final: Mario Ancic and Jurgen Melzer bt Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi 7-6(5), 6-3.
Women: Final: Tamarine Tanasugarn bt Dinara Safina 7-5, 6-3.
At Eastbourne: WTA Eastbourne International Open: Final: Agnieszka Radwanska bt Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-7(11), 6-4. Semifinal: Radwanska bt Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-3. — Agencies