Novak Djokovic - Dubai
Nole took full advantage of a draw decimated by injury, illness, and political posturing by capturing his first ATP World Tour title of the season and 12th of his career. The Serb scraped past Gilles Simon in the semifinals and defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 in the final. He served well and turned up the aggression when needed.
I give Nole full credit for capturing this title especially since many of the top ballers decided against the trip to Dubai or, in Andy Murray's case, were knocked out by illness. All the pressure was on him to win and he came through in grand style - which hasn't been the case of late. This win is a good sign and is very telling of the level of Nole's confidence at the moment. It will certainly boost his game as the ATP boys enter the first weekend of Davis Cup and March Madness.
Mardy Fish - Delray Beach
The American came back from a break down in the first set to beat Russian Evegeny Korolev 7-5, 6-3 and become the first top seed to win at Delray Beach in the tourney's 17-year history. Mardy ran through the draw without dropping a set and earned his first title of the season and third of his career.
Nicolas Almagro + Venus Williams - Acapulco
Nico defended his title in the Mexican city, upsetting Frenchie Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 for his fifth ATP World Tour title. He becomes the first baller to win back-to-back titles in Acapulco since Thomas Muster won four straight from 1993-96 when the tourney was in Mexico City. Nico is def someone to watch during the clay-court swing as he was last year.
V won her second title in as many weeks conquering recent nemesis Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-2 in a swift 62 minutes. The Italian had won the last three meetings with the 7-time Grand Slammer but an in-form V had too many answers, not to mention her devastating serve. The American earned her 41st career WTA title and has won 20 of her last 21 matches dating back to her winning run at Zurich last season.
I'd say V's playing more like the top lady baller than her sister these days. But I guess she'll have to prove her mettle at a Grand Slam to really earn that distinction. And as for THAT dress? Well, we won't be seeing it ever again if V's to be believed - one can only hope.
(images via ap + getty)