Top-Seeded Rodionova Sisters Win Las Vegas Event
Kops-Jones Sweeps WTA Titles in Seoul, Tokyo
The Washington Kastles' sister act of Anastasia and Arina Rodionova captured their biggest title as a team on Sunday at the Party Rock Open, a $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Las Vegas that was sponsored by Redfoo of the band LMFAO.
The sisters did not drop a set on their way to the final, where they ran into fellow Kastle Edina Gallovits-Hall and her partner Elena Bovina.
Gallovits-Hall substituted for Anastasia Rodionova during the last four matches of the 2012 WTT regular season while the Australian was training in London for The Olympic Games.
Their paths crossed again in Las Vegas, where the Rodionovas got the better of Gallovits-Hall and Bovina 6-2, 2-6, [10-6] in Sunday's final.
The 24th-ranked Anastasia and 123rd-ranked Arina have now combined to win 30 ITF doubles titles, but only two have come as a team. In April 2006, a 16-year-old Arina captured the first doubles title of her career alongside her sister at a $25,000 tournament in Putignano, Italy.
It was also a strong week for the Rodionovas in singles, as Arina qualified with three victories and won her first-round match in the main draw to set up a second-round showdown the her sister.
Anastasia, the No. 4 seed in singles, led Arina 5-2 in the first set when the younger Rodionova retired -- a disappointing end to the first professional match between the sisters.
Anastasia followed up with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over No. 8 seed Heidi El Tabakh in a three-hour battle amid the brutal desert heat. She then saved a pair of match points in the second set of her semifinal with No. 2 seed Lauren Davis, before falling 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4.
The Rodionovas weren't the only Kastles to enjoy success on the doubles court over the weekend.
Raquel Kops-Jones went 4-0 in mixed with Treat Huey for the Kastles.
(Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)
Washington wild card Raquel Kops-Jones
is up to a career-high doubles ranking of No. 16 in the world after she and Abigail Spears
captured titles in Seoul and Tokyo.
The Americans have played together exclusively since the start of the 2011 season, and their efforts have been rewarded during the WTA's Asian swing. Kops-Jones and Spears are on a nine-match winning streak, including a pair of 10-8 match tiebreak victories en route to the KDB Korean Open championship.
From there, Kops-Jones and Spears won all eight of their sets at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, clinching their second straight title on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Anna-Lena Groenefeld
of the Orange County Breakers and Kveta Peschke
of the New York Sportimes.
Kops-Jones has now captured five of her seven career WTA doubles titles with Spears, herself a Sportimes' substitute. The World TeamTennis veterans won their first title of the season in July at the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, Calif.
Kops-Jones and Spears are now only 112 ranking points behind Maria Kirilenko
and Nadia Petrova
of Russia in the race for the fourth and final doubles spot at the WTA season-ending championships in Istanbul.
Both teams are in Beijing for the China Open this week, where 1,000 ranking points will be awarded to the champions. The Americans and Russians could meet in the semifinals.Leander Paes
and Treat Huey
of the Kastles were also in action last week, with Paes reaching the doubles semifinals in Bangkok and Huey losing in the first round of doubles in Kuala Lumpur.
This week, both Washington men are in the draw at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Tokyo, where Paes and Radek Stepanek
are the No. 1 seeds and Huey made his team debut on Tuesday with Wimbledon champion Jonathan Marray
. The new pair lost to Philipp Petzschner
and Janko Tipsarevic
Reigning WTT Male MVP Bobby Reynolds
returns to the tour this week in singles and doubles at the $100,000 RelyAid Natomas Challenger in Sacramento, Calif., while Arina Rodionova
remains on the USTA Pro Circuit as the No. 1 seed of the $10,000 Gainesville Tennis Classic.WashingtonKastles.com
has set up a brand-new, year-round Kastle Tracker to keep you updated on a daily basis with results, schedules and live scoring and streaming details for all of your favorite Kastles. Bookmark the Kastle Tracker today!
Bobby Reynolds & Leander Paes are in action this week.
(Photo by Eric Mendelson)