Here’s a quick peek at what’s going on in the tennis world this weekend.
In Paris we have the WTA’s Open GDF Suez, a Premier-level event without the Williams sisters, Clijsters or Henin. It’s nice to see Melanie Oudin taking advantage of both the draw and the confidence she gained last weekend in Fed Cup; she’s through to the semis after beating Cirstea, Schnyder, and Szavay along the way. Next for Oudin is last year’s finalist and top seed Elena Dementieva, who she memorably shocked out of the second round of the 2009 US Open. It will be fun to see if the spunky American can repeat that feat, and even more entertaining to see Elena try to exact some revenge. Both women fought back from one-set deficits in their quarterfinals. The other semifinal in Paris is Lucie Safarova vs. Flavia Pennetta.
Three out of the four Paris semifinalists played on winning World Group teams last weekend. Kudos to all of them for putting together a great two weeks.
Also on the WTA side is the International-level PTT Pattaya Open in Thailand. Local gal Tamarine Tanasugarn, 32-years-old, is into the semifinals, where she’ll play former precocious/obnoxious/banned teenager, the now 20 year-old Sesil Karatantcheva. It will be interesting to see how Sesil (re)develops now that she’s a little older and hopefully wiser. Defending champ Vera Zvonareva faces Yaroslava Shvedova in the other semi.
The semis at the ATP 500 in Rotterdam are holding to form – almost. The No. 2 seed, Nikolay Davydenko, takes on revived third seed, Robin Soderling, and top-seeded Novak Djokovic plays No. 6 seed Mikhail Youzhny, who beat the tournament’s No. 4 seed, Gael Monfils, in a three-hour-long quarterfinal (Djokovic got a walkover from Florian Mayer.) Youzhny won the Rotterdam title in 2007, and it’s nice to see him back to playing on the weekends.
The tournament director of the ATP 250 SAP Open tournament in San Jose must be thrilled to have the all-American semi of Roddick vs. Querrey on Saturday night and the other big star, Fernando Verdasco, playing during the day. Fernando will be taking on unseeded unknown Denis Istomin, who is playing in his first ATP World Tour semifinal.
Both Querrey (with Fish) and Istomin (with Sela) are playing doubles semifinals on Saturday as well as their singles matches. If Querrey and Istomin both win all their matches on Saturday, they’ll play against each other in back-to-back finals on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile on clay. . . Juan Carlos Ferrero plays wild card Ricardo Mello and Igor Andreev plays Lukasz Kubot at the ATP 250 Brasil Open.