Friday, May 6, 2011

Game Point: Wozniacki and Sweeting among winners on weekend

Game Point is Busted Racquet's roundup of facts, figures and links from around the web.

Love -- Charleston, S.C. always seems like an odd place to begin the Eurocentric clay court season but Caroline Wozniacki doesn't mind. She earned her first Family Circle Cup title on Sunday, defeating Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-2. The world No. 1 has come close to winning in Charleston before, losing in the finals in 2009 and making it to the 2010 semis before turning her ankle. This is her third tournament victory of the year and establishes her as the early favorite to win in Roland Garros. (Especially with Kim Clijsters' injury.)

15 -- If Wozniacki is hot, Victoria Azarenka may be a little hotter. The world No. 5 won her second straight title this weekend in Spain after cruising through the field at the Andalucia Tennis Experience. Azarenka followed up her win in Key Biscayne with a dominant performance, never dropping more than three games in a set at the tournament.

30 -- It was a win-win for American fans at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. Either Ryan Sweeting was to earn the first title of his career or Japan's Kie Nishikori would get his first win since 2008 and give fans back in his tsunami-ravaged country something to cheer about. Sweeting ended up prevailing, 6-4, 7-6 (3) and became the fifth first-time winner on the ATP tour this season. He celebrated by doing a canonball into the River Oaks Country Club pool. Both men will hit career highs in the rankings thanks to their performance in Houston; Sweeting is up to No. 71, while Nishikori is at No. 49, close to his goal of becoming No. 45 (which would be the highest rank ever for a Japanese man).

40 -- Though Novak Djokovic withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters, he still has his sights set on taking down Rafael Nadal during the upcoming clay court season.

On defeating Nadal on clay:

"[It's] important for me, mentally. I have this self-belief that I can win against him in finals, which I didn't do in the past couple of years. If I want to have a shot at No. 1, I will have to play consistently well in major tournaments because I know Roger and Rafa will do that if I don't."

Love -- Coming up: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters (ATP 1000), the WTA is off for the week.

Cinthia Moura Monica Potter Brittany Snow Lauren German Cindy Crawford

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