HEAD racquet rebel Florian Mayer gave Germany the winning edge as the host nation lifted a record fifth World Team Cup title in Dusseldorf on the back of the German's opening rubber victory. The World No. 21 Mayer, who is knocking on the door of the ATP elite after a Rome last-eight appearance and a final on clay at Munich, defeated Argentina's Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 in 92 minutes.
"The first set was really tough. We had a good battle and only one or two close points decided the first set," said Mayer who uses a YouTek Prestige MP. "Maybe he got injured a little bit in the second set and it was a lot easier." Mayer heads to the French Open with a confidence boost when he starts against Russian Igor Kunitsyn.
There were two HEAD finalists as the ATP and WTA wound down to the Grand Slam start at Roland Garros. In Brussels, Peng Shuai stretched World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki to three sets in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 result which took nearly two and a half hours and left the Dane with a heavy thigh strapping just hours before the start of a major.
No. 31 Peng, who bounced back after first-round losses in Madrid and Rome, broke her opponent four times. "I'm really happy to have reached the final and to play so many good matches on the clay," said Peng. "I played really well in the first set today but then Caroline fought and came back. I'm really looking forward to Paris."
In Nice, Victor Hanescu went down fighting against Nicolas Almagro 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, with the Romanian winning the tough first set in a tiebreaker and breaking Almagro when the Spaniard first tried to serve for victory.