As expected (read our Fed Cup final preview here), Italy successfully defended its Fed Cup title on Sunday by beating USA 3-1.
The only surprise of the week end was Mary Joe Fernandez decision to choose Coco Vandeweghe over Melanie Oudin to play singles on Saturday. A pretty bad coaching decision as Vandeweghe looked like a fish out of the water and lost her 2 matches against Schiavone and Pennetta in straight sets.
It is Italy’s third Fed Cup trophy in five years. Congrats to Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani.

The women’s season is definitely over: Ana Ivanovic captured the last tournament of the year in Bali. And she’s finally back in the top 20.
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Site: Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
Dates: Saturday, November 6 – Sunday, November 14
Surface: Hard
Prize Money: € 2,227,500
Visit official website

The BNP Paribas Masters is the ninth and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. It’s one of the only Masters neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal ever won. Rafa’s best result is a defeat in final in 2007 (beaten by Nalbandian), and Federer surprisingly never did better than the quarterfinals (in 2002, 2003 and 2008).
Although all the big names of tennis won the Paris Bercy Masters (Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi…), Bercy’s tournament has been pretty disappointing in recent years with late withdrawals and top players early exits, like last year’s Federer stunning first round defeat to Julien Benneteau.
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From now on, a new series of posts: Tennis Buzz, the week in review, with all the latest tennis news and a preview of next week action.

This week’s biggest news was of course Elena Dementieva‘s retirement.
She announced her retirement following a 6-4, 6-2 loss to French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at the WTA Championships in Doha.
The 29-year-old Russian reached two Grand Slam finals, won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 16 WTA singles titles.

An offensive baseline player with powerful groundstrokes, she was able to play well on any surface. Her biggest weaknesses were her serve and her inability to win big matches. She will now and forever be a candidate for the title of Best Player Never to Win a Major.
She will be truly missed for her class, her work ethic and also her smile. Thanks Elena and all the best for the future.
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Marat Safin

Read Best of Marat Safin – part 1

Part 2:
7 – Toronto 2004: Marat the hippo
6 – Hopman Cup 2009: Marat kisses the net cord lady
5 – Australian Open 2002: Marat and the Safinettes
4 – Davis Cup 2002: Davis Cup hero
3 – French Open 2004: the pants
2 – Australian Open 2005: the relief
1 – US Open 2000: the future of tennis?
Note: it’s not a ranking of Marat’s achievements, these are just 15 moments of Marat’s career which reflect “Marat being Marat”.
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Remember when Ivanisevic used to say every game he played, there were three players that could surface anytime: Good Goran, Bad Goran, Crazy Goran. The same could be said about Marat Safin.

A larger than life persona and one of the most charismatic tennis player ever, Marat is a man capable of blowing away any opponent or blowing up himself. A man capable of overwhelming the great Pete Sampras to win the US Open at only 20. A man capable of pulling down his shorts to celebrate a point. A man capable of showing up for a tournament with two black eyes.

Marat Safin

I’ve always been a big fan of Marat: sometimes I loved him, sometimes I hated him but now I really miss his game, his humor and his crazyness.

Part 1: 15 to 8
15 – Shanghai 2009: Just shut the fuck up and play
14 – US Open 2009: Everybody is an underachiever
13 – Hamburg 2000: a beer with Guga
12 – Hopman Cup 2009: black eyes
11 – US Open 2008: foot fault
10 – Wimbledon 2007: the spaghetti
9 – French Open 1998
8 – Wimbledon 2008: worst challenge ever?

Note: it’s not a ranking of Marat’s achievements, these are just 15 moments of Marat’s career which reflect “Marat being Marat”.
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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VODKxFQXyxE[/youtube]

Enough talk, Andy, it’s time to win!