ITF News Box: Wozniacki gets Danes off to winning start in Perth

ITF Press Release, Jan 03, 2012: Wozniacki gets Danes, Following the first round of matches in the Hyundai Hopman Cup after overcoming defending champions USA in the deciding doubles rubber. Mardy Fish gave the Americans the initial lead after he fought back from a set down to overcome Nielsen, who is ranked 228 places below him, 46 76 64 in the first rubber.

Wozniacki then levelled the tie with a straight sets victory against Mattek-Sands, who combined with John Isner to win the title in 2011. However, the reigning champions failed to cope with the Danes as Wozniacki and Nielsen ran out 75 63 winners to head Group A together with Czech Republic.

Title favourites Czech Republic overcame Bulgaria in the remaining first round match in Group A. Singles wins from world No. 2 Petra Kvitova and world No. 7 Tomas Berdych against Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov respectively gave the Czechs an insurmountable 2-0 lead. Bulgaria did earn themselves a consolation victory which could prove vital at the end of the round-robin matches, winning the mixed doubles in a third set tiebreak 26 63 [11-9].

In Group B, France and Spain currently share top spot after defeating both China, P.R. and Australia in their first two matches. The two European nations will meet on Thursday to see which team will progress to Saturday’s final.

Russia’s Elizaveta Kulichkova and Italy’s Stefano Napolitano became the inaugural winners of the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, the first Grade A event of the 2012 ITF Junior Circuit, which was held from 26 December 2011 to 1 January 2012 at the Club Deportivo Chapultepec in Mexico City, Mexico.

Kulichkova overcame compatriot Varvara Flink 62 76(7) in a hard fought final.

“It was hard playing against Varvara. She is much stronger physically and has a very good game so it was always going to be difficult, plus I felt something strange because it was someone from my country and had to overcome that,” explained the 15-year-old. “The key to winning was to keep attacking and to try and mix things up against her.” Napolitano earned his place in the tournament’s history by defeating Portugal’s Frederico

Ferreira Silva 64 64 in the final. The 16-year-old Italian also finished as runner-up in the boys’ doubles alongside compatriot Matteo Donati after they were beaten by Silva and his American partner Connor Farren on Saturday. “In the first set was a little nervous, but I settled down and I began to nullify his game. I was very focused on winning the match and I did so I am very happy,” said Napolitano. For more information visit

Wagner, Houdet & Walraven secure year-end No. 1 rankings

For the second year in succession David Wagner (USA), Stephane Houdet (FRA) and Sharon Walraven (NED) finished as the year-end world No. 1 wheelchair tennis players in the quad singles and doubles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles respectively. It is the fourth time Wagner had ended the year as quad singles No. 1 but the first time the American has achieved this feat in successive seasons.

Wagner won a total of nine quad singles titles on the 2011 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, including winning two Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and the US Open. He also won 12 quad doubles titles, four Super Series tournaments and the year-end Invacare Doubles Masters, to end 2011 as the year-end world No. 1 quad doubles player for the eighth successive season.

Houdet was the year-end men’s doubles No. 1 player for the third season in a row after winning eight doubles titles on the 2011 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, including the US Open Grand Slam title, the BNP Paribas French Open and Florida Open Super Series titles. Walraven was the year-end women’s doubles player for the second successive year after winning eight doubles titles in 2011.

She partnered fellow Dutchwoman Esther Vergeer to win all four women’s doubles Grand Slam titles in the same season for the first time, before the duo ended 2011 by winning the Invacare Doubles Masters title as a partnership for the first time.

The 2012 NEC Wheelchair Tennis gets underway this week at the Queensland Open in Brisbane, the first of three ITF 2 Series tournaments in the new-look Australian leg of the tour, which culminates in the Australian Open.

The Sydney International Open is a new Super Series tournament on the NEC Tour, bringing the total of Super Series tournaments to six in 2012, before the world’s top players head to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the year. For more information visit


1-18 Jan: ITF/OTF Pacific Oceania Junior Team to Australia

5-29 Jan: ITF/GSDF Asian 16&U team, India

6-15 Jan: ITF Asian 14&U Development Championship – Division 2, Vietnam

6-15 Jan: West Asian Team to Division 2 event (team from West Asian Championships)

8-14 Jan: ITF/CAT Southern African Junior Championships, Namibia

8-14 Jan: ITF/CAT East African Junior Championships, Burundi

ObituaryJulia Sampson Hayward Former Grand Slam champion Julia Sampson Hayward died at her home in Eastbluff, California on 27 December after a short illness. She was 77. Sampson Hayward was crowned Australian Open doubles champion alongside countrywoman Maureen Connolly in 1953. At the same event, she finished runner-up in the singles and won the mixed doubles with Rex Hartwig. She also won 21 national titles and was a finalist in many United States Tennis Association tournaments.

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