A quiet week in the tennis world saw four small tournaments take place around the world, three of them on the red clay of spring.
Juan Monaco followed up his excellent showing in Miami with a wildcard victory over American John Isner to take the Houston title in three sets. “This is a great moment in my career. I’ve worked very hard to be here,” Monaco said. “I have the clay-court season in Europe now, which is very important for me. This tournament is going to bring me a lot of confidence.” Monaco will hope to build on his success in the country that shares his name sake, this week in Monte Carlo.
Spanish journeyman Pablo Andujar successfully defended his Casablanca title defeating fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos 6-1, 7-6. This was the second title of the 26 year old’s career. Andujar only dropped one set on route to defending 250 ranking points.
The only hard court tournament of the week saw hometown favourite Caroline Wozniacki upset in the final to Angelique Kerber. The German is flying high this season and continues to rise up the rankings after taking her second title of the year. She has won four of her five last matches against top 10 opponents and is now leading the charge of a strong German contingent in the women’s game. She needed to save two match points against fellow German Mona Barthel in the quarterfinals. “It has been a fantastic week for me here,” Kerber said. “I love playing here and today I played a really good match against Caroline. I’m happy I was able to raise my level for the last few matches here and I’ve gained a lot of confidence.”
Finally, Sara Errani cruised to the International level clay title in Barcelona without dropping a set. She defeated Dominika Cibulkova in the final. After a tricky first round match, Errani did not lose more than five games per match, and only four in the final, 6-2, 6-2. It was the fourth straight year an Italian has won the title. Errani also took the doubles title with Roberta Vinci in a final that featured four Italians. Errani will look to build on the momentum, a career clay specialist.