On both the men’s and women’s side, HEAD professionals delivered strong performances in Tokyo and Beijing. Novak Djokovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova won the titles in Beijing while Mikhail Youzhny reached the final of Tokyo.
HEAD player Novak Djokovic will move up one spot in ATP World rankings to No. 3 after claiming the China Open title in Beijing, his third ATP title in 2009. Djokovic challenged fellow HEAD player Marin Cilic to win 6-2, 7-6(4) on Sunday.
"It was a great win,” said Djokovic. “I have had a lot of success in China in the past but Cilic tested me throughout the entire match. This is a solid win to take to my next tournament and the Barclays.”
Cilic defeated World No. 2 and top seed Rafael Nadal and World. No. 8 Nikolay Davydenko in two successive matches to reach the finals. Djokovic and Cilic play with a YOUTEK Speed Pro and YOUTEK Radical MP respectively.
In all, HEAD players represented five out of eight players in the quarterfinals, including Marat Safin, Robin Soderling and Ivan Ljubicic. Safin showed a fantastic performance against No. 7 seed Fernando Gonzalez in round 16 to advance to the quarters.
Prior to the China Open, both Djokovic and fellow HEAD player Andy Murray had secured berths to the ATP World Tour Finals in London, where Djokovic is the defending champion. Gilles Simon, Soderling and Cilic are still vying for the last open spots. Cilic’s performance in Beijing and Simon’s first title win in 2009, the PTT Thailand Open, in Bangkok last week will help their chances.
In the women’s competition, Agnieszka Radwanska's perfect finals record was ended by HEAD player Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals match of the China Open in Beijing. Kuznetsova, who plays with a MicroGel Extreme Pro with Teflon cruised through the first set in just 31 minutes then broke Radwanska to win 6-2, 6-4 and claimed her third Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title - the 12th of her career.
Rising star and hometown favorite Peng Shuai also reached the quarterfinals where she faced Nadja Petrova. Shuai took the early lead, winning the first set tiebreaker, but clutch shots by Petrova were too tough to overcome in sets two and three, losing 7-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Success did come to Shuai on the doubles court with her partner Hsieh Su-Wei. The team won their fourth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title 6-3, 6-1 over Russian duo Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova. This is Peng’s has sixth doubles title.
HEAD player Mikhail Youzhny faced World Tour No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the finals match of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. On his way to the final, Youzhny defeated three seeded players in succession.