Archive for April, 2009

30
Apr
09

Jankovic, Dementieva and Bartoli thru to QF

_jankovic-3In a match that lived up to expectations, Jelen Jankovic overcame Sabine Lisicki 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in just over 21/4 hours. Jankovic showed that her court coverage was back to the way it used to be as she retrieved so many hard hit balls from the 19 year old Lisicki. She slid, she did the splits and even stood on her head, as she outlasted the game teenager. 

Second-seeded Elena Dementieva overcame a slow start to beat Agnes Szavay of Hungary 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Thursday and set up a quarterfinal match against Marion Bartoli at the Porsche Grand Prix.

Bartoli, a former Wimbledon runner-up from France, beat seventh-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Dementieva, a Russian who is the Olympic champion, fell behind 4-1 before battling back to win the first set. She cruised through the second, but then needed five match points to end it.

“I really had a slow start, it was tough to come back from 4-1 down,” Dementieva said. “I am still finding my feet on clay court. It is my first tournament of the year (on clay) and my footwork needs to improve. It is just important to improve match by match, and make sure I am ready for the French Open.”

The Stuttgart tournament, previously played on a hard surface, has become the first indoor clay event on the circuit and is a warmup for next month’s French Open.

30
Apr
09

World Team Tennis is set for a star studded season.

annaWorld Team Tennis gets underway soon, and the roster of players has been determined by an annual draft. Eleven teams will play in a series of matches between July 2nd and July 26th. To find out when the teams will be playing near you check the WTT website for the schedule.

There are some familiar faces on the 11 teams, and some newcomers worth a mention.

NY Sportimers include John McEnroe and Ashley Harkleroad.

Newport Beach Breakers have Maria Sharapova on their team.

Philadelphia Freedoms include Andre Agassi, Vevus Williams and Madison Keyes.

St. Louis Aces include both Kim Clijsters and Anna Kournikova.

Washington Kastles feature Serena Williams.

Boston Lobsters feature Martina Navritalova.

Kansa City Explorers include the popular Bryan Bros.

New York Buzz have a pair of great juniors Alex Domijan and Sloane Stephens.

Sacremento Capitals(defending champions) include Michael Chang and Mark Knowles.

Springfield Lasers include Liezel Huber and Vania King.

If you are a Tennis fan or just a people watcher, these matches will be the highlight of your summer fun. There are usually many unscheduled surprises included that add to the fun, and the players respond with their own antics.

The cause is good, the price is right and the entertainment is second to none. Don’t miss it!

30
Apr
09

Davydenko slips out of the top 10…

davydenkoNikolay Davydenko, who has played sparingly this year, dropped out of the Top 10 in the latest men’s world tennis rankings, released Monday by the ATP.

Davydenko had been in the Top 10 — ranking as high No. 3 in the world in June 2007 — since May 30, 2005. He advanced to the semifinals in last week’s tournament in Barcelona, Spain, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal but still fell three spots from eighth to 11th in the world.

Nadal, who won for the fifth consecutive year at Barcelona, continued his iron-grip on the world’s No. 1 ranking. He has 14,890 rating points, well ahead of second-ranked Roger Federer (10,060 points) with Novak Djokovic (9,160) rated third and Andy Murray (9,050) fourth. Even though Murray was defeated in Rome by Juan Monaco, he will move past Djokovic into the #3 spot unless the defending champion wins the title.

There is a large drop off in rating points after that with world No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro totaling 4,580 and No. 6 Andy Roddick with 4,490.

Gilles Simon improved two spots in Monday’s rankings to seventh while Fernando Verdasco slipped one spot to eighth and Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga each moved up one spot to ninth and 10th, respectively.

29
Apr
09

Lisicki v. Jankovic Thursday’s best match.

TENNIS-WTA-GER-LISICKISabine Lisicki only needed an hour and three minutes to reach the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. On Wednesday evening the German Fed Cup player faced Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) and continued the successful run she has been on over the past few weeks. The 19-year-old, who sensationally won the Charleston (USA) tournament, came out on top 6-4, 6-3. “The opening match was important for me,” said Lisicki after her win in front of 4,300 spectators in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena. “Now I’m hoping to carry on from my wins in Charleston and at the Fed Cup.”

For Sabine Lisicki, the current No. 42 in the WTA world rankings, the victory was especially satisfying as the Swiss women had beaten her in three tight sets in their last meeting in February. The new German hope will now meet title-holder Jelena Jankovic. “It’ll be a really tough match,” said Lisicki, “but at the moment I’m playing so well that I’ve definitely in with a chance against such a strong opponent.”

One player no longer in the tournament is Andrea Petkovic. The German lost the first set 6-4 against Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian world No. 9, before turning the tables to play strongly and take the second 7-5. In the third and final set, Kuznetsova then took advantage of her greater experience to close out the match 6-1.

Last year’s winner Jelena Jankovic however was an easy winner in her first round match. The 24-year-old only needed two sets against Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia). “I actually expected a difficult match,” said Jankovic after her 6-1, 6-1 win. “Dominika isn’t an easy opponent to play as she hardly makes any mistakes. But I played well, served well and really enjoyed my tennis. Now that we’re back on clay, I’m getting back slowly to my old form.”

29
Apr
09

Azarenka loses, Jankovic moves ahead.

Germany Porsche Tennis GP

In the unpredictable world of Women’s Tennis, where it seems that on any given day anyone can beat anyone, Gisela Dulko surprised rising star Victoria Azarenka with a second round win over the #8 player 6-4, 6-4. Azarenka entered the tournament as one of the hotest players of the year, and was expected to make a bid for her first win on the red clay in preparation for the French Open. But it was not to be.

Jelena Jankovic cruised through her match against Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1, and sent a message that she is back in her old form.

29
Apr
09

Monaco ousts Murray in Rome.

ITALY TENNIS ROME MASTERSJuan Monaco of Argentine defeated #4 Andy Murray at the Rome Masters 1-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the biggest win of his career. In perfect weather conditions, the Argentine qualifier served at 4-3 in the third set, but was broken and went down 5-4 to Murray. It appeared as if Murray would go on to win the match when at 5-5 he was broken for the 6th time, and Monaco served out the match.

Monaco defeated Niclos Kiefer in the first round, and is making his mark on the ATP tour. He has been touted as ‘the player to watch’ by several tennis experts.

Other seeded players going down to defeat today were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nicolay Davydenko and David Ferrer.

29
Apr
09

Djokovic must win to remain at #3.

_djokovic2

Defending champion Novak Djokovic became the first man to reach the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia when he beat Albert Montanes in Rome on Tuesday night.

The Serbian – who knows only a repeat victory will give him any chance of holding on to his world number three ranking ahead of Andy Murray – triumphed 7-6 (7/5) 6-0 in a match that finished at quarter past midnight local time.

The pair did not take to the court until 10.30pm after rain again played havoc with the schedule, and Djokovic had to fight hard to win a see-saw first set.

Having been a break down, the 21-year-old hit back and served for the set at 5-3 only for Spaniard Montanes to break again and force a tie-break.

Djokovic was a mini-break down in that, too, but took his first set point and then raced through the second set to seal victory.

29
Apr
09

Laura Robson is healthy and growing taller.

_robson-1Optimistic news to report on Laura Robson, who has fully recovered from an injury to her leg the severity of which varied from stress fracture to shin splints to a stress tear depending upon who you asked but, whatever it was, it has healed. The Robson family spent time recently in Munich, where the current Wimbledon junior champion was examined by the celebrated German doctor Hans Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfart so that everyone could understand the exact nature of her injuries and were comforted by his findings. Muller-Wohlfart has treated many of the world’s foremost footballers including Jürgen Klinsmann, Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, and there was no doubting their delight at the outcome.

Laura is presently in Barcelona practising on the clay where she is striking the ball better than she ever has, which augurs well for the upcoming few weeks. She will play in the junior competition at both the French Open (during which she is also supposed to take her English Oral exams) and Wimbledon. She has also sprouted to 5’10” – which could have contributed to an exacerbation of her leg injuries – and may well be another inch taller by the time the All England championships come around. We’ll all be looking up to her soon.

Coutesy The Times

28
Apr
09

Is this the end for Maria Sharapova?

_sharapova4Maria Sharapova has pulled out of next week’s Italian Open and the following Madrid Open as her shoulder continues to cause serious concerns.

The three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one has not played a singles match since last August after surgery on her right shoulder.

Sharapova played her first match in seven months on 12 March when she lost a doubles match in Indian Wells.

The Russian has slipped to number 64 in the world rankings.

The continuation of her injury problem, which has received more press coverage and more expert treatment than any other shoulder in history, may never be resolved. A rotator cuff injury can remain as a problem for a lifetime especially when it is a body part of a world class athlete. It may heal enough for it not to present an everyday problem for her, but may never heal to a point where she can once again subject it to the rigors of highly competitive tennis.

Sometime in the not so distant future I will not be surprised to hear that Maria Sharapova has decided, on her doctor’s advice, to retire from tennis.

28
Apr
09

Jelena has her sights on the French Open.

_jelenajankovic-a1024

Former world number one Jelena Jankovic is preparing to climb back up the rankings after a change in her fitness regime cost her the top spot, the Serbian world number four said on Tuesday.

Playing in Stuttgart in her first tournament since winning her first title of the season at the Andalucia Tennis Championships this month, Jankovic said she was on her way back after making early exits at Indian Wells and Miami.

She also lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open as she failed in yet another bid to win her first grand slam tournament.

“I feel I am coming back into form,” the 24-year-old told reporters. “For a while I could not find myself on the court. I did a lot of fitness work in the off-season and that was the problem.

“I was one of the fastest players on the tour but (after the fitness work) I started feeling very heavy. I felt so slow, my whole game broke down. Then the confidence falls.”

Jankovic said she had taken the advice to boost her strength from her entourage.

“You listen to your team and you think it will bring results. But my body just did not accept it,” said Jankovic, winner in Stuttgart last year.

“I am not doing any more experiments. My goal now is finding my game again and winning grand slams. This is what I said to myself.”

Jankovic, seeded third at the Stuttgart Grand Prix, plays Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in the first round.




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