This weekend was all about home court advantage, at least on the ATP side, with Germany’s Tommy Haas winning in Halle and Andy Murray the victor on the Queen’s Club lawns in London.
Tommy Haas, ranked 41 in the world, came into the Gerry Weber Open with a wild card and scored a major upset over Novak Djokovic in the finals on Sunday: 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1. This was the first German singles victory in nine years in Halle, and Haas’s first singles title (and final appearance) since Memphis, 2007. Let’ s just say he’s very, very happy about it:
It’s a great feeling obviously. These are the moments. You go and train really hard, you never give up. After a few setbacks here and there, struggling a little bit, having ups and downs throughout this year even … It makes everything go away in some ways when you have this kind of moments. This is what you play for. God, it’s such an incredible nice feeling to hold up the trophy again and to be in Germany as well, in front of German fans is even more special. That it happened here on grass. Martin just told me right now that I’ve won on every surface at least once which is a great accomplishment for myself. It’s a great day.
Djokovic struggled with his serve during the match and admitted that he was lucky just to have pulled out the second set. He had a hard time earlier in the week, as well, needing to save 5 match points in his second round match against Florent Serra. Nole has yet to win a grass court title in his career, and – given his up and down performance this week – he admits he’s not a big favorite going into Wimbledon.
Meanwhile at the Queen’s Club, Andy Murray beat up James Blake in straight sets on his “home” turf of London: 7-5, 6-4. He becomes Great Britain’s first Queen’s Club singles champion in 71 years – since Bunny Austin beat Sin-Khie Kho of China in 1938. (And when was the last time a Chinese man reached a grass court final, I wonder?)
Here are some video highlights of the historical happening:
Hate to beat up on James, considering he did make it to the final, but I was really confused by his performance. The guy has the skills to challenge anyone on tour, but his body language and self-belief are sub-par. Is he destined for a long, slow fizzle, or is he on the cusp of a big rebound?
On the WTA side at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham, U.K., 58th ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia beat China’s Li Na: 6-0, 7-6(2) to take home her first WTA tour singles title. “It’s the best feeling in my career. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a dream.” she said. Li Na, seeded No. 4 at the tournament, admitted to feeling emotionally drained after scoring her first win in 6 attempts against Maria Sharapova in the semifinals on Saturday.