Leave it to JJ and Fat Dave to save what otherwise would have been a really nutty Sunday.
As I said yesterday, there was no way that Bepa was going to get between The Glitter Train and her third straight trophy. I know she beat Dinara but after I watched that match last night, it was clear that Bepa won because Dinara was making UFE after UFE. Well, the one person you can generally count on not to give you UFEs is JJ. Especially nowadays where, if the USO final taught us anything, you have to beat JJ. She won't give you a darn thing.
So all credit to The Glitter Train, who is even closer now to locking up the year end #1 ranking and has made a solid case in the past month and a half that she indeed "deserves" that #1 ranking. At least the haters will have to shut up for a little while.
Incidentally, you remember that incident at the French Open semifinal where Carillo & Co. made a big deal about some dude in the stands who looked like Nole's dad rooting fervently for JJ? I've always maintained that he wasn't Nole's dad and the whole controversy was lame. Well, the guy was at the Kremlin Cup, and as you can see, it ain't Srdjan (and no, that's not her Dad).
Oh, Marat. It was a hard fought match, for sure, but in the end, Igor Kunitsyn refused to be distracted by the hotness, winning 76(6) 67(4) 63, for his first tournament win. The win even shocked Igor:
"I was hoping to win a couple of games and that's it," Kunitsyn said. "I still don't know how I was able to outplay Marat, but I guess it happens. I still don't understand how I won."
So in what could have been an amazing homecoming, celebrating the resurgence of the Safin family as a tennis powerhouse, ended in a bit of a wimper in front of the home crowd.
Over in Stockholm, Nalby took home the Stockholm title, holding off the Evil One, 62 57 63. This has got to give him some confidence going into Madrid, where he will try to defend his title. If Nalby gets hot the next month could be interesting. Doubt it though. Nice win for the Headband though.
And let's not forget the awesome run by German qualifier Phillip Petzschner (seriously, there are only two vowels in that name), who upset LaMonf in Vienna, 64 64, for his first title. Petzschner entered the tournament ranked 125. He'll enter the top 100 on Monday.
On to Madrid and Zurich!