Davis Cup Semi-Final and World Group Schedule

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

FRANCE v ARGENTINA

Venue: Palais des Sports de Gerland, Lyon, France (hard – indoors)

Michael Llodra (FRA) v Juan Monaco (ARG)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v David Nalbandian (ARG)

Arnaud Clement/Michael Llodra (FRA) v Eduardo Schwank/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Juan Monaco (ARG)

Michael Llodra (FRA) v David Nalbandian (ARG)

SERBIA v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, Serbia (hard – indoors)

Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Viktor Troicki/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) v Jan Hajek/Ivo Minar (CZE)

Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

Janko Tiparevic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

COLOMBIA v USA

Venue: Plaza de Toros La Santamaria, Bogota, Colombia (clay – outdoors)

Alejandro Falla (COL) v Mardy Fish (USA)

Santiago Giraldo (COL) v Sam Querrey (USA)

Robert Farah/Carlos Salamanca (COL) v Ryan Harrison/John Isner (USA)

Santiago Giraldo (COL) v Mardy Fish (USA)

Alejandro Falla (COL) v Sam Querrey (USA)

ISRAEL level with AUSTRIA* 1-1

Venue: Nokia Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel (hard – indoors)

Dudi Sela (ISR) d. Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 64 61 63

Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Harel Levy (ISR) 64 63 63

Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram (ISR) v Jurgen Melzer/Alexander Peya (AUT)

Dudi Sela (ISR) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)

Harel Levy (ISR) v v Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT)

* being played 16, 17, 19 September

GERMANY v SOUTH AFRICA

Venue: TC Weissenhof Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (clay – outdoors)

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Rik de Voest (RSA)

Florian Mayer (GER) v Izak van der Merwe (RSA)

Andreas Beck/Christopher Kas (GER) v Jeff Coetzee/Wesley Moodie (RSA)

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v Izak van der Merwe (RSA)

Florian Mayer (GER) v Rik de Voest (RSA)

SWEDEN v ITALY

Venue: Sparbanken Lidkoping Arena, Lidkoping, Sweden (hard – indoors)

Andreas Vinciguerra (SWE) d Potito Starace (ITA)

Robin Soderling (SWE) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)

Simon Aspelin/Robert Lindstedt (SWE) v Simone Bolelli/Daniele Bracciali (ITA)

Robin Soderling (SWE) v Potito Starace (ITA)

Andreas Vinciguerra (SWE) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)

INDIA v BRAZIL

Venue: SDAT Tennis Stadium, Chennai, India (hard – outdoors)

Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Ricardo Mello (BRA)

Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes (IND) v Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA)

Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Ricardo Mello (BRA)

AUSTRALIA v BELGIUM

Venue: Cairns Regional Tennis Centre, Cairns, Australia (hard – outdoors)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Steve Darcis (BEL)

Carsten Ball (AUS) v Olivier Rochus (BEL)

Paul Hanley/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Steve Darcis/Olivier Rochus (BEL)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Olivier Rochus (BEL)

Carsten Ball (AUS) v Steve Darcis (BEL)

KAZAKHSTAN v SWITZERLAND

Venue: The National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan (hard – indoors)

Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)

Evgeny Korolev/Yuriy Schukin (KAZ) v Yves Allegro/Michael Lammer (SUI)

Andrey Golubev (KAZ) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

ROMANIA v ECUADOR

Venue: Centrul National de Tenis, Bucharest, Romania (clay – outdoors)

Victor Hanescu (ROU) v Ivan Endara (ECU)

Adrian Ungur (ROU) v Giovanni Lapentti (ECU)

Victor Hanescu/Horia Tecau (ROU) v Giovanni Lapentti/Nicolas Lapentti (ECU)

Victor Hanescu (ROU) v Giovanni Lapentti (ECU)

Adrian Ungur (ROU) v Ivan Endara (ECU)

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFFS

BELARUS v SLOVAK REPUBLIC

Venue: Republic Olympic Training Center for Tennis, Minsk, Belarus (hard – outdoors)

Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR) v Martin Klizan (SVK)

Siarhei Betau (BLR) v Lukas Lacko (SVK)

Uladzimir Ignatik/Max Mirnyi (BLR) v Michael Mertinak/Filip Polasek (SVK)

Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR) v Lukas Lacko (SVK)

Siarhei Betau (BLR) v Martin Klizan (SVK)

LATVIA v POLAND

Venue: Olympic Sports Centre, Riga, Latvia (carpet – indoors)

Andis Juska (LAT) v Michal Przysiezny (POL)

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)

Karlis Lejnieks/Deniss Pavlovs (LAT) v Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski (POL)

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Michael Przysieszny (POL)

Andis Juska (LAT) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

CANADA v DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Venue: Rexall Centre – Grandstand Court, Toronto, Canada (hard – outdoors)

Peter Polansky (CAN) v Jhonson Garcia (DOM)

Milos Raonic (CAN) v Victor Estrella (DOM)

Frank Dancevic/Daniel Nestor (CAN) v Luis Delgado/Jose Hernandez (DOM)

Peter Polansky (CAN) v Victor Estrella (DOM)

Milos Raonic (CAN) v Jhonson Garcia (DOM)

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

KOREA, REP. v PHILIPPINES

Venue: Chanwon Municipal Tennis Courts, Changwon, Korea, Rep. (hard – outdoors)

Yong-Kyu Lim (KOR) v Treat Huey (PHI)

Suk-Young Jeong (KOR) v Cecil Mamiit (PHI)

Hyun-Joon Kim/Jae-Min Seol (KOR) v Vicente Elberto Anasta/Johnny Arcilla (PHI)

Yong-Kyu Lim (KOR) v Cecil Mamiit (PHI)

Suk-Young Jeong (KOR) v Treat Huey (PHI)

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II THIRD ROUND

LITHUANIA v SLOVENIA

Venue: SEB Arena, Vilnius, Lithuania (hard – indoors)

Richard Berankis (LTU) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO)

Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) v Grega Zemlja (SLO)

Laurynas Grigelis/Dovydas Sakinis (LTU) v Grega Zemla/Luka Gregorc (SLO)

Richard Berankis (LTU) v Grega Zemlja (SLO)

Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO)

PORTUGAL v BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Venue: Centro de Tenis Do Jamor, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal (clay – outdoors)

Frederico Gil (POR) v Amer Delic (BIH)

Rui Machado (POR) v Aldin Setkic (BIH)

Frederico Gil/Leonardo Tavares (POR) v Amer Delic/Ismar Gorcic (BIH)

Frederico Gil (POR) v Aldin Setkic (BIH)

Rui Machado (POR) v Amer Delic (BIH)

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP II FINAL

MEXICO v VENEZUELA

Venue: Rafael El Pelon Osuna, Delg. Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico (clay – outdoors)

Mexico

Daniel Garza

Bruno Rodriguez

Cesar Ramirez

Luis Diaz-Barriga

Captain: Jorge Lozano

Venezuela

Jose De Armas

Piero Luisi

Roman Recarte

Luis David Martinez

Captain: William Campos

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II FINAL

THAILAND v NEW ZEALAND

Venue: National Tennis Development Centre (LTAT), Nontheburi, Thailand (hard – outdoors)

Weerapat Doakmaiklee (THA) v Michael Venus (NZL)

Kittiphong Wachiramanowong (THA) v Jose Statham (NZL)

Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) v Daniel King-Turner/Michael Venus (THA)

Kittiphong Wachiramanowong (THA) v Michael Venus (NZL)

Weerapat Doakmaiklee (THA) v Jose Statham (NZL)

ATP Top 20 Rankings

1 Rafael Nadal (Spa) 11225.00pts

2 Novak Djokovic (Ser) 7145.00

3 Roger Federer (Swi) 6735.00

4 Andy Murray (Gbr) 5035.00

5 Robin Soderling (Swe) 4910.00

6 Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 4150.00

7 Tomas Berdych (Cze) 3780.00

8 Fernando Verdasco (Spa) 3330.00

9 Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) 3295.00

10 David Ferrer (Spa) 3200.00

11 Andy Roddick (USA) 3180.00

12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) 2905.00

13 Jurgen Melzer (Aut) 2605.00

14 Marin Cilic (Cro) 2540.00

15 Gael Monfils (Fra) 2250.00

16 Nicolas Almagro (Spa) 2150.00

17 Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) 2120.00

18 Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) 2030.00

19 Mardy Fish (USA) 1931.00

20 Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) 1860.00

All-Star Matchup In The Semis As Federer Takes On Djokovic

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In a match where timely shotmaking turned the tide time after time, Roger Federer fittingly rocked the court-side clock with one final authoritative ace to cap a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 sweep of Robin Soderling and fly into the US Open final four for the seventh straight year. Continuing his quest to regain the US Open title he lost to Juan Martin del Potro last September, Federer will square off against Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semifinals in their fourth consecutive Flushing Meadows clash.

It was a superlative serving performance from Federer, who ripped 18 aces and saved five of six break points in subduing Soderling. The fifth-seeded Swede had four break point chances at the outset of the match but could not convert and Federer picked up his serve considerably from that point forward.

“I think the serve was today the biggest key, because obviously he’s very famous for serving extremely accurate, extremely hard, over a long period of time,” Federer said. “That’s what makes him so hard to beat really. That wasn’t the case today.  He struggled to get the pace, the accuracy going, until midway through the third set when I think he started to hit it a bit better.  Then it was almost too late, really.”

The third-seeded Djokovic came to court with a dragon on his back, fire in his eyes and after an early mis-step found the swagger in his step in scorching a flat and floundering Gael Monfils, 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-2, to storm into the semifinals.

Hard court is Djokovic’s best surface. He can use his expansive reach to rip returns down the lines off both sides, he covers the court quickly and the speed of the Deco Turf adds some sting to his serve. Federer has won eight of his 12 meetings on hard court with Djokovic, but believes Djokovic is at his best on hard court.

“I think this kind of favors his play the most, kind of a faster hard court, because he can pick up some incredible balls, you know, half volley them, redirect them,” Federer said. “It helps maybe serve a bit more, and on the return he can, you know, zone in a bit, and all of a sudden he’s really tough to pass, you know, when he’s returning. That’s what makes him one of the best players in the game right now, and especially on this surface he’s obviously in the top 3 or 4.  That’s why he’s been able to play consistent here at the Open.  He’s obviously waiting for a breakthrough where he can win this title.”

Djokovic fell to Federer in the 2007 final and was victimized by Federer’s stupefying between-the-legs passing shot in last September’s semifinal. Djokovic said stylistically, the rivalry has not changed; he’s just hoping to reverse the result on Saturday.

“We do have more or less same game, you know.  Just maybe experience wise in my case I feel better now,” Djokovic said. “Physically I feel better than I did last year.  I feel stronger, faster on the court.  The conditions are quite different, so let’s see, you know.  Let’s see how this Saturday is gonna come out, you know, if we gonna have normal conditions or not.”

The second-seeded Swiss is 10-5 lifetime vs. Djokovic, including a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win in Toronto last month.

“Here we go again,” Federer said in anticipation of the latest installment of his rivalry with Djokovic. “He’s a great player. I got really lucky to get through there in Toronto and he’s obviously looking for the big break through here at the Open, so it’s gonna be a tough one.”

Though Federer has won nine of the 10 sets he’s played vs. Djokovic at the Open, the matches have typically been tightly-contested affairs, including the Swiss stylist’s 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-4 triumph in the 2007 final in which Federer fended off five set points in the first set and two set points in the second set, relying on his edge in experience, expertise in playing the the right shots on pivotal points, exceptional anticipation and a first serve that was sharpest in crucial stages to subdue the first Serbian man to contest major final.

Since his five-set win over Serbian Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki in the first round, the Djoker has won 12 consecutive sets and will enter the semifinals playing his best tennis of the tournament.

Opening the season by capturing his 16th career major championship in Melbourne in Australia, Federer suffered successive Grand Slam quarterfinal setbacks at Roland Garros and Wimbledon ending his reign in Paris and London and increasing speculation that Federer was more vulnerable in majors than ever.

On a drizzly day in June,  Soderling reigned a series of resounding winners across the red clay in overwhelming Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the French Open quarterfinals to snap the World No. 1’s record streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals. It was Federer’s first loss before a Grand Slam semifinal in seven years, ending one of the most hallowed record streaks in tennis history.

Soderling could not reproduced that form tonight, in part because the wind wreaked havoc with his high ball toss and because he has little margin for error on his flat strokes.

“I didn’t put so many first serves in as I needed to because of the wind,” Soderling said. “It was tough for me. So I could have needed some more first serves. Maybe I would have played better then.”

The lanky Swede did not hit an ace until the third set. To his credit, Soderling did not give up the fight as Monfils did in today’s first quarterfinal against Djokovic. He began to center his shots more and when Federer missed the mark on an inside-out forehand, Soderling broke for 5-3 in the third set.

The two-time French Open finalist could not capitalize on the break, putting a forehand into net as Federer broke back for 4-5.

Down 15-30 Federer benefited from a Soderling error to draw even then lured the big man forward with a drop shot followed by a forehand volley that rattled Soderling’s Head racquet. For all his prodigious power from the backcourt, Soderling is almost clueless at times at net and he screamed in frustration at himself as Federer eventually worked out a hold for 5-all.

Summer started with a struggle for Federer, who followed his French Open demise with a Wimbledon quarterfinal loss to Tomas Berdych. But he’s crafted another late-summer resurgence in picking up his play after Labor Day and working toward a potential blockbuster final against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

“I think he’s playing great. Because he lost in the quarters of the French and in Wimbledon, some people think he’s more vulnerable than ever.  But I think he’s actually playing really well,” Djokovic said of Federer. “He played great in Toronto and Cincinnati, and he’s just loves this surface.  He loves this tournament.  He has won so many times. Obviously he’s a favorite.  But, you know, we played so many times, and mostly we played on this surface.  It’s no secret in each other’s game.  Just I will try to hold on, you know.  He always tries to put pressure on his opponent.  He’s very aggressive.”

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

The Djoker Goes To The Semis

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Novak Djokovic came to court with a dragon on his back, fire in his eyes and after an early mis-step found the swagger in his step in scorching a flat and floundering Gael Monfils, 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-2, to storm into the US Open semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.

The highly anticipated battle of the Djoker vs. Slider Man was about as absorbing as a two-page, color-less comic book.

Wearing the distinctive dragon design on the back of his Sergio Tacchini shirt, Djokovic, aka The Djoker, turned Slider Man Monfils into his own personal punch line after coming back from a break down in the first set to dispense a thorough thrashing of the flamboyant Frenchman who showed no fight after the first set.

The third-seeded Serbian powered into his fourth straight US Open semifinal where he will face either five-time champion Roger Federer or No. 5 seed Robin Soderling for a spot in Sunday’s final.

Federer has served as a personal road block for Djokovic in ending the 2008 Australian Open champion’s Flushing Meadows runs in each of the past three years, including a victory in the 2007 final and his famous between-the-legs passing shot winner that haunted Djokovic in the 2009 semifinals.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is 10-5 lifetime vs. Djokovic, but the Serbian showman will enjoy more rest than any other semifinalist. The question is: can Djokovic show the necessary mental strength and tactical acumen necessary to finally clear the Swiss hurdle in New York? Or is Djokovic destined for another final four failure?

A positive sign for Djokovic is the composed demeanor he’s shown both on court and in his post-match press conferences. This appears to be a more focused and determined Djokovic, but both Federer and Nadal have a habit of causing that familiar haunted expression in the normally smiling Serbian.

If Djokovic is to master another major he must step up and beat Federer in the latter stages of a major. He believes time is on his side.

“I have two days (to rest) so I will try to use them as best as I can to recover physically and get ready mentally for this next challenge,” said Djokovic, who has been all business in this tournament.

Since his five-set win over Serbian Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki in the first round, the Djoker has won 12 consecutive sets

Meanwhile, Monfils reinforced his reputation as an ultra-talented, but extremely flaky Frenchman, who is apparently unable or unwilling or unable to accept that bobbing and weaving just won’t get it down against top four players.

Squandering the break lead in the opening set, Monfils played tentative, frightened tennis for the final two sets. Ducking and running rather than engaging Djokovic in committed baseline exchanges.

How bad did it get for Monfils?

His coach, Roger Rasheed, essentially called out Monfils as a passionless pusher who looked resigned to suffering his fifth consecutive loss to Djokovic.

“I’ve been disappointed to be perfectly honest,” Rasheed told ESPN’s Darren Cahill after an absymal second-set effort from his charge. “You gotta have some authority on the game and the person that gets after it is gonna get the job done in these conditions.”

Sliderman To Take on the Djoker

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Gael Monfils was so far back behind the baseline he could have leaned on it and left his silhouette of sweat against the blue back wall like a chalk outline of a corpse. But when it mattered most, an exuberant Monfils elevated his competitive spirit leaving Richard Gasquet looking emotionally dead on arrival.

In a match of friends and former doubles partners who ooze French flair with each swing of the racquet, Monfils broke Gasquet’s serve, nerve and mind in an entertaining 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 victory. Monfils saved a set point in the second set and roared back from a 3-5 deficit in the third set to become the first Frenchman to reach the US Open quarterfinals since Arnaud Clement in 2000.

“I tried to be very tough and hard with him, showing him that I’m the man and I’m the leader,” Monfils said of Gasquet. “So I think I try also to get him a bit in the head, to show him like I will be strong and he might hit a good shot, but it’s okay. For me it’s nothing. I will try to reach every ball and show him…if he come in I will be everywhere.”

The quarterfinal match between Monfils and Novak Djokovic, who dismissed Mardy Fish, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to reach his sixth straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, should be a shot-making spectacle between two players who cover the court as quickly as if playing on roller blades.

It sounds like a battle of the super heroes pitting the Djoker against Slider Man, Monfils’ nickname for his sliding, skidding retrievals across the court.

“He’s physically one of the most prepared and strongest guys on the tour,” Djokovic said. “We have a lot of respect for each other. We grew up together….He’s kind of flashy. If he starts playing well, he can beat anyone because he’s so fast and so athletic and so strong that he can get a lot of balls back. I just have to be patient and wait for my chances.”

When he’s on his game and playing with confidence Gasquet is one of the most spectacular shotmakers in the sport. Winners can stream from his racquet like all the right answers on a test, but the Frenchman has a fragile psyche at times and must add some grit to accompany his glamorous stroke production in order to return to the top 20.

Gasquet’s brilliant one-handed backhand is one of the most beautiful strokes in the sport, but when he missed a challenging backhand pass up the line on set point, Monfils knew he could break Gasquet mentally.

“I got lucky in the first set point he had in the second set because he could like pass me easy,” Monfils said. “But he showed me at the time he was not that good mentally. He show me he was, I won’t say weak, but it was like shaky a bit. Then I knew he missed and I knew if I closed this game then (I) will break for sure if I put pressure on him and I was right.”

Monfils, who is not exactly a pillar of mental strength himself, exchanged a French kiss with Gasquet after the match and said the fact Gasquet doesn’t embrace pressure or loud crowds played to his advantage.

“Richard, he doesn’t really like pressure. He love like good play not (tough) play,” Monfils said. “He don’t like a lot of crowd around, the crowd involved. He doesn’t like to see the opponent like show emotions. (I) just played with that, play with his mind and that was it.”

Seeing Gasquet crumble across the net, Monfils did what he does best: stirred the crowd up with both his eye-popping speed and sprinting shots and by exhorting the fans with the wave of his arms.

“They helped me for sure in the second set.  After I served the set point, I think I ask a bit the crowd to get involved, and they did,” Monfils said. “Then was great.  That’s why, you know, I broke him straightaway, because I had like positive energy.  I love when it’s intense.  I love it.  It make me feel like I’m stronger again. So for sure when the crowd get involved I play my best tennis.”

Seeking his fourth consecutive trip to the US Open semifinals, Djokovic is a decided favorite against quarterfinal opponent Gael Monfils.

In an all-French fourth round meeting, the 17th-seeded Monfils broke Richard Gasquet mentally in scoring an entertaining 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 victory. Monfils saved a set point in the second set and roared back from a 3-5 deficit in the third set to send the fragile fellow Frenchman packing and become the first French quarterfinalist since Arnaud Clement in 2000.

“I tried to be very tough and hard with him, showing him that I’m the man and I’m the leader,” Monfils said of Gasquet. “So I think I try also to get him a bit in the head, to show him like I will be strong and he might hit a good shot, but it’s okay. For me it’s nothing. I will try to reach every ball and show him…if he come in I will be everywhere.”

The Djokovic-Monfils match pits two of the fastest, most charismatic, flamboyant and sometimes flakiest players in men’s tennis. They are two men who play as if empowered by the belief that no ball is beyond their reach which should create a highly entertaining match.

“Gael is very charismatic and very athletic,” Djokovic said. “He slides a lot and so do I so I guess there’s going to he a lot of sliding between him and me.”

Djokovic is 4-0 lifetime vs. Monfils, including a controversial 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-6, 7-5 triumph in the 2005 US Open first round in which some spectators believed Djokovic resorted to gamesmanship in pulling a lengthy injury time out to rest and recover.

Their most recent encounter saw Djokovic outduel Monfils and silence the Parisian crowd in an explosively entertaining, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3), victory in the Paris Indoor final last November.

Master showman Monfils, who has entertained the New York City crowd with his electrifying shotmaking skills on the run, his expressiveness and even his impromptu post-match dance moves, is hoping he can work the crowd into a festive frenzy.

“I can get the crowd behind me,” Monfils said. “I know him perfectly. We had like always a tough match. And then, damn I had revenge to take it because he won against me at home in Bercy (Paris). So this time I hope to win.”

Richard Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

Monfils, Peer and Montanes Win in Metz, Tashkent and Bucharest Respectively

Bordentown, NJ, September 28, 2009 – This weekend proved to be another successful one for the Prince Tour Team as it dominated three of the events on the ATP and WTA calendar.  Gael Monfils, Shahar Peer and Albert Montanes, all took home titles on Sunday, winning in Metz, France; Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Bucharest, Romania respectively.  Aside from their on-court talent, Prince product was also on display in each championship.

Gael Monfils, using his Prince EXO3 Rebel 95 racquet, showcased his masterful blend of punishing offense and tactical defense to take out Phillip Kohlschreiber 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the Open de Moselle finals.  Monfils, one of the first players on tour to pick up a racquet from Prince’s highly-acclaimed EXO3 line (in fact, he made the switch from him former brand to Prince after hitting only two tennis balls with the new EXO3 frame at the end of last year), shot up to a career high ranking of #9 after doing so, reached the quarter-finals of Roland Garros and now captures his first title of the year.  With a cosmetic as colorful as Monfils himself, the EXO3 Rebel 95 not only suits his game-style, but has become one of the most welcomed additions to the player frame market this year.

Not to be outdone, Prince’s Shahar Peer showed that while the EXO3 Rebel 95 may be the right racquet for Monfils, the Prince EXO3 Red 105 is best suited for her game.  With her EXO3 Red in hand, Peer took home her second straight WTA title – winning the Guangzhou Open in China last week and capturing the Tashkent title yesterday.   The title is Peer’s fifth for her career and second since making the switch to the EXO3 Red earlier this year.

Rounding out the weekend, Spaniard Albert Montanes edged Juan Monaco 7-6, 7-6 in the finals of the BCR Open in Bucharest to win his second title of 2009 (Estoril) and his third ATP title overall.  The fifth seed, Montanes is one of the players on tour to not only wield a Prince racquet (Prince Ozone Tour), but rely on Prince apparel and footwear in competition as well.

“This weekend was a significant one for the brand – having three title winners and the opportunity to showcase our product, in multiple categories, at the game’s highest level,” said Linda Glassel, VP of Marketing at Prince.  “From Gael’s EXO3 Rebel 95, to Shahar’s EXO3 Red 105, to Albert’s Ozone Tour, Aerotech apparel and O-Series footwear, Prince was omnipresent.  Not only do these wins show the strength and depth of our Tour team, but these three all have very distinct playing styles and we are proud to develop, and make available, the best products for all playing styles and player-types.  From touring pro to club level to juniors, we have the right product to help you win.”

More information regarding Prince Tour Team members, products (including the EXO3 racquet line) and where to buy Prince products, log onto: www.princetennis.com.

About Prince Sports, Inc.

Prince Sports, Inc, based in New Jersey, is a company of racquet sports enthusiasts whose goal is to create cutting edge, functional and technically advanced products that deliver performance benefits for avid players.  The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis).   The Company has a history of innovation including inventing the first “oversize” and “longbody” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine.  Today, Prince markets leading technologies in racquets (EXO3), string (Recoil), footwear (Precision Tube Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).   It has operations on three continents with distribution in over 100 countries. For more information on players, products or programs please visit www.princesports.com.