Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2013 Contents NEW HAVEN---Simona
Halep upset defending
champion Petra Kvitova
6-2, 6-2, yesterday to
win the New Haven
Open, the final WTA
tuneup for next week s
US Open in Connecti-
Romanian broke the 2011
Wimbledon champion in
four consecutive service
games. The first break
gave her a 3-2 lead in the
first set. The fourth put
her up 3-0 in the second
as she took control of the
"I played very beau-
tiful tennis today (yes-
terday)," Halep said. "I
was enjoying every
Kvitova had a chance
to take charge early in
match, up 2-1 and 15-40
on Halep s serve. But
Halep won the next three
points to save that game.
She was down 40-30 in
the next game before
getting her first service
break when Kvitova sent
a cross-court forehand
just wide. The Czech star
Halep didn t give her
a chance, committing
just four unforced errors
in the first set and one
in the second set. She
put in 74 per cent of her
first serves and won 78
per cent of them.
She converted four of
her five break points. The
was 0-for-4 on her
She closed the match
by holding Kvitova with-
out a point in the final
game, serving an ace and
pumping her fists into
"Everything is perfect
here," she said.
Halep earned her
fourth career win and all
have come since June.
The 23rd-ranked player
improved to 29-5 in her
last 34 matches (31-5
matches). Two of her
previous wins had come
on clay and the other on
grass, but she said she
actually plays better on
the hard courts.
The victory will mover
her in the top 20 when
the rankings are released
tomorrow. Her run
through New Haven also
included victories over
Carla Suarez Navarro,
Ekaterina Makarova and
four-time New Haven
champion Caroline Woz-
She took home
$117,000 along with the
Kvitova, who earned
$62,300, was trying to
win the same tourna-
ment in consecutive
years for the first time
in her career. (AP)
Jurgen Melzer won the Winston-
Salem Open title yesterday after
Frenchman Gael Monfils retired
because of an injury in North
Melzer led 6-3, 2-1, after
breaking Monfils serve in the
second set. During the
changeover, Monfils received
treatment on his left abdominal
muscle and hip before opting to
retire at the Wake Forest Tennis
On Friday, Monfils was both-
ered by a pulled muscle in his left
side during his semifinal win
against Fernando Verdasco. In the
second set Saturday against Melz-
er, he bent over several times and
struggled for velocity on his first
Melzer earned his fifth career
ATP tournament title and first
this season. His ranking will
improve five spots to No. 27 on
Monday, when the US Open
begins in New York.
Monfils, once ranked seventh
in 2011, will improve from No. 43
to No. 38 after making his second
tournament final this season. (AP)
after Monfils retires
VILANOVA DE AROUSA---Vincenzo Nibali s
Astana team won the Spanish Vuelta s opening
team time trial yesterday, giving the Giro d Italia
winner a good start as he shoots for a double
of grand tours this year.
Astana completed the 27.4-kilometre (17-
mile) ride from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo
along Spain s northwestern coast in 29 minutes,
"I don t know if I m the favourite, but I m
happy to have taken some time from my rivals,"
Nibali, who won the 2010 Vuelta, said. "Tomor-
row (today) is the first stage with a summit
finish. The goal is to stay among the overall
RadioShack-Leopard was second, ten seconds
off Astana s pace, followed by Omega Pharma-
Quickstep and then Sky.
Alejandro Valverde, the 2009 winner, came
in 29 seconds back with his Movistar team.
Joaquim Rodriguez s Katusha team could only
manage the 12th fastest time, leaving the other
leading favorite 59 seconds back.
"Unfortunately, today was a bad day,"
Rodriguez said. "We lost some riders too early
and that affected our performance because in
the final part we had to be fast. Never mind.
Tomorrow is another day."
Astana s Janez Brajkovic will wear the leader s
red jersey for Sunday s second stage, a 178-kilo-
metre (110-mile) ride starting in Pontevedra and
finishing at the Alto Do Monte Da Groba summit.
That s the first of 13 mountain stages in this
68th edition designed to favour strong climbers.
opening team trial
SPA---Lewis Hamilton surprised even himself
after beating both Red Bulls to secure his fourth
consecutive pole position in a rain-soaked
qualifying session at the Belgian Grand Prix
The Mercedes driver is the first Briton since
Damon Hill in 1995 to get four straight poles
and has set himself up perfectly to keep the
pressure on championship leader Sebastian Vettel,
who starts Sunday s race from second ahead of
teammate Mark Webber.
"I dropped to five, six seconds back, so I didn t
know what was going on," Hamilton said. "But
I kept pushing ... I feel so fortunate to get pole.
"When I started the lap, I looked at the screen
and I was seventh or eighth and it was raining
more and more," Hamilton said. "I feel quite
comfortable in changing conditions and I feel
I am able to find my limits."
Many observers predicted Hamilton s offseason
transition from McLaren to Mercedes would be
difficult, and while he took until last month s
Hungarian GP to get his first win, Hamilton has
been remarkably consistent in qualifying. Hamil-
ton starts on the front row for the seventh con-
secutive race and eight from nine.
"I feel I have been driving well for some time
now," said the 2008 F1 champion, who is fourth
overall and needs to make up 48 points on Vettel
in nine races.
Teammate Nico Rosberg starts from fourth
on the grid. The German has three poles this
season---all consecutive---giving Mercedes eight
from 11 altogether.
Vettel has the other three, but the last was
when he won from the front at the Canadian
GP in June. (AP)
4th straight pole
at Belgian GP
Simona Halep, of Romania, celebrates after her 6-2,
6-2, victory over Petra Kvitova, of the Czech
Republic, in the final of the New Haven Open tennis
tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, yesterday.
trophy as he
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