Monday, October 26, 2015

Tursunov wins Moscow doubles after long layoff

Dmitry Tursunov practices his serve during
the 2014 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Photo by Paul Bauman
    It didn't take long for Dmitry Tursunov to regain his doubles form after his latest injury layoff.
   Singles is another matter.
   Playing his first tournament in more than a year, the Northern California-based Tursunov teamed with Andrey Rublev to win the Kremlin Cup on the ATP World Tour in their native Moscow.
   Wild cards Tursunov and Rublev, the world's top junior last year, beat unseeded Radu Albot of Moldova and Frantisek Cermak of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-1 [10-6] on Sunday to split $38,600.
   Tursunov, who will turn 33 in December, and Rublev, 18, were playing their first tournament together.
   "It's a very good start for my first tournament back," Tursunov, who trains in Granite Bay in the Sacramento area, said on "I'm very happy. It's going to be a long way back in singles, but it's definitely good to get a few matches under my belt -- especially matches where there's a lot of seesaw action. It gives you a good taste of that nervousness. That's going to translate into the singles matches as well."
   It was Tursunov's seventh ATP doubles title overall and third in Moscow. He triumphed with Marat Safin, also a Moscow native, in 2007 and Igor Kunitsyn, from Vladivostok, Russia, in 2010. Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open and 2005 Australian Open singles champion, was nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday.
Andrey Rublev, 18, hits a return during his first-round loss to
Tommy Haas in Aptos, Calif., in August. Photo by Paul Bauman
   "Dmitry can do everything well," said Rublev, who played in his first ATP World Tour final. "He returned and served perfectly. If I play a bad point, I know he will make a good shot. This is what it's all about. In the important moments, he plays so good."
    Tursunov, though, lost in the second round of singles qualifying in Moscow to top-seeded Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.
   Tursunov, who reached a career-high No. 20 in singles in 2006, was playing in his first tournament since falling in the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia and only his second since bowing out of Wimbledon last year in the opening round to Denis Istomin.
   Tursunov sat out with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and pain in his left ankle, which was operated on twice in 2009 (to remove bone spurs and then a chip).
   Rublev lost to former world No. 2 Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif., in August.
   After the match, the 37-year-old Haas said of Rublev, 6-foot-2 (1.88 meters) and only 144 pounds (65 kilograms): "I feel like he could be the next big Russian they're waiting for after (Yevgeny) Kafelnikov and Safin. It's nice to see. He has some similarities to those guys -- his forehand and backhand.
   "He has a bright future. He's not afraid of really cracking the ball. If he keeps going like that, finds confidence and gets stronger, watch out."


  1. Paul, I apologize if my comments are repeating. Not sure why that is happening. My question for you is this: do most pro tennis players go from challenger to challenger around the globe in an attempt to get their rankings up in order to qualify for the bigger tournaments such as the ATP 500, 1000's and grand slams? I don't understand how this all works.

    1. That's exactly how it works. The Grand Slams and ATP World Tour are the major leagues of men's professional tennis. Unfortunately, only about 100 men (and women) can play full-time at that level, making pro tennis one of the toughest ways to earn a living on the planet. Challenger players make so little money that they stay with local families during tournaments rather than at hotels.

  2. wonder so many players get testy with the umps and line crews..their very lively hood is partly dependent on their accuracy.