Murray-Roddick mix-up, Federer's title headline busy tennis weeekend
Between Saturday's big Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, the Kentucky Derby, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, you could be forgiven if you opted for sleep instead of waking before the crack of dawn to catch this weekend's tennis action. Luckily, we have you covered. Here are the five things you missed over an equally busy tennis weekend.
1. Roger Federer wins his first clay title since 2012: Federer captured his 85th overall title and third of the season by defeating Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6 (11) in the final to win the inaugural Istanbul Open. It wasn't an easy week for Federer. Despite the weak field he needed back-to-back three-set matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals to beat No. 62 Daniel Gimeno-Traver and No. 63 Diego Schwartzman.
"It's been a tough week; four tough matches," Federer said. "I thought the final was my best one. I'm very happy. I'm very proud to be the first champion here at the first-time tournament here in Istanbul."
2. Andy Murray's strange Saturday: Get into a verbal spat with an opponent, play three matches in one day, and engage in one of the best Twitter exchanges of the year? All in a day's work for Murray.
With rain washing out the quarterfinals at the Munich Open on Friday, top-seeded Murray had to play his singles quarterfinals, semifinals, and doubles semifinals in one day. In his quarterfinal against the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol, Murray came back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. During the match, Rosol bumped into Murray during a changeover after winning the first set and Murray believed it to be intentional. When play resumed he didn't bite his tongue. "No one likes you on the tour," Murray said. "Everyone hates you."
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Watch the whole exchange below:
The two have since made nice after talking it out in the locker room after the match, but Murray doesn't apologize for standing up for himself.
"He basically walked straight into me for no reason," Murray said. "He walked into me and then ran down the other end of the court. He did it intentionally. I shouldn't have said what I said but if someone does that to you and you don't respond you're letting him dictate how the match goes. I was always taught by my Dad if someone pushes you or threatens you, that you stick up for yourself."
Murray went on to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 a few hours later to earn a chance to win his first career clay court title. Unfortunately the rain continued in Munich on Sunday and the final against Philipp Kohlschreiber was moved to Monday.
Murray's Saturday wasn't just about tennis and trash-talk. His day ended with some levity after a magazine reported he was expecting his first child with ... Brooklyn Decker:
3. Serena and Sharapova advance in Madrid, Halep and Bouchard tumble out: The women's tournament at the Madrid Open had a jam-packed Sunday schedule, with No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 3 Maria Sharapova clearing potentially tricky opening hurdles to advance. Williams lost just one game to Madison Brengle, winning 6-0, 6-1, while Sharapova defeated Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-3. No. 4 Petra Kvitova also advanced, coming back from a set down to beat Olga Govortsova 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The big upset of the day involved last year's finalist Simona Halep. The No. 2 seed lost to No. 28 Alize Cornet 7-6(6), 6-3. Cornet saved two set points in a tight first set. Check out the incredibly backhand hit to save set point in the tiebreaker. Halep would double-fault down set point two points later:
Other notable upsets: Victoria Azarenka earned her second win over Venus Williams this season, beating the 16th-ranked American 6-3, 7-5. Sam Stosur hit 14 aces to end Angelique Kerber's 11-match win streak, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard's losing streak extended to six matches after blowing 6-0, 3-1 lead to lose to Barbora Strycova 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
4. Richard Gasquest denies Nick Kyrgios his first ATP title: In his first tournament since retiring in Indian Wells due a back injury, Richard Gasquet beat Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-2 to win the Estoril Open. Even better news from the Frenchman: He says he felt no pain after a very physical week.
5. Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina add to their title hauls: They may not have had the big splashes at the majors like Bouchard, Sloane Stephens, or Madison Keys, but Pliskova and Svitolina now have seven WTA titles between them. By comparison, Bouchard, Stephens and Keys have a combined two. No. 14 Pliskova won the inaugural Prague Open, beating Lucie Hradecka 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, to win her fourth career title. Svitolina beat Timea Babos 7-5, 7-6 (3) to win the Marrakech Open, her third WTA title. After winning their titles on Saturday, both flew to Madrid and won their first round matches on Sunday, dropping a combined six games.