Citi Open Friday RundownWritten by Mariya Konovalova
Tommy Haas, healthy and in form at 34, delivered a 6-1, 6-2 defeat to countryman Tobias Kamke in the first of Friday’s matches at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Both players struggled with serve in the heat and sun, with only 44 percent of Haas’ first serves landing in. However, Haas never faced a break point and was not in danger at any point of the match. The 34-year-old said he believes the tough conditions hurt his countryman, who has “a whole lot of firepower” more. “He threw me a lot of unforced errors,” Haas said.
Friday’s Oldies but Goodies
Haas next meets American Mardy Fish, against whom he has a losing record of 1-3 (with the sole win coming in a retirement). But Haas has never faced the “new Mardy,” having last played him in 2007.
Fish, who says he and the German are good friends and practice a lot together when not on Tour, believes Haas is “almost” at the level of play that took him to No. 2 in the world in the last decade. “This is why we play,” added Fish, “Two good players. Winner goes to the Final; loser goes to Toronto.”
To reach the Semifinals, Fish defeated a despondent Xavier Malisse, 6-3, 6-4. Malisse, who remained uncharacteristically calm during the match, did not put up much resistance and seemed dejected. Later, Fish told the press he did not notice Malisse’s attitude because “he’s always looking like that,” but thought Malisse was a tad slower due to a possible leg injury.
Friday’s “The Russian Woman”
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has a lot of letters in her name. It does not even fit on the scoreboard – today, Vania King appeared to play ‘Pavlyuchenko.’ In fact, the Russian’s last name is apparently so difficult that it’s impossible to spell it even while looking at it. A spectator was trying to read Pavlyuchenkova’s name off the scoreboard, “P-a-v-l-y-u-c-k…” A tournament official even chose to avoid the issue, referring to a match between King and “the Russian woman.”
Friday’s Not So Cold War
Pavlyuchenkova, all 14 letters of her, was quite proud of her grueling, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over King. The Russian had to overcome both her opponent, who has beaten her in their last two meetings, and her body. Pavlyuchenkova waited until the middle of the second set to call for the trainer, but said she began to experience heat illness in her warm-up. She could not breathe well or focus, and she said the medical timeout and her recent maturity helped her pull through (“I would have lost this match to her last year.”). She described her condition during the match as “half-conscious” and suggested the tournament should be moved to a different date in the season because of the heat, which she claims is worse than the heat waves in Australia.
“I don’t know how people live here,” the Russian said.
Friday’s To Each His Own
Recovering from today’s match and physical issues will prevent Pavlyuchenkova from watching compatriots Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko contend for Olympics glory. “I do care,” she said, but stressed she has to focus on herself. “I’m not here to watch the Olympics.”
Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated a shaky James Blake, 7-6(3), 6-4 in a competitive, if messy, night match to reach the Semifinals, but has not realized his other goal in Washington, D.C. Dolgopolov would like to visit the famous Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, but the dream has evaded him. A minor foot injury earlier in the week meant Dolgopolov was not allowed to walk long distances, and he will not have any more days off this week.
Dolgopolov will face Sam Querrey in the Semifinals on Saturday. Querrey defeated Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 6-4 in singles, then paired with his opponent to beat French pairing of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and advance to the Men’s Doubles Final.
Friday’s Late Newcomer
Here is a name you may not have heard – Shuko Aoyama. The 24-year-old has previously reached the 2010 Osaka Final with Rika Fujiwara and, on Friday, paired with Taiwan’s Kai-chen Chang to go one better and to take the women’s doubles title, defeating Irina Falconi and Chanelle Scheepers, 7-5, 6-2.
- Photographer: Mariya Konovalova
Mariya Konovalova is the Editor-in-Chief of TalkAboutTennis.com content. When not watching, photographing, writing, and editing material about tennis, she enjoys buying books she won't have time to read and films she won't have time to watch, as well as not getting enough sleep. Mariya is a graduate of Columbia University and the London School of Economics. You can contact her by e-mail (mariya(at)TalkAboutTennis.com) and follow her on Twitter (@MariyaKTennis).