Archive for October, 2009


Ljubicic v. Llodra in the Lyon final.

Ivan-Ljubicic_9Ivan Ljubicic ensured there will not be an all-French final at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon after romping to a 6-2 6-4 win over Arnaud Clement. He will face  Michael Llodra who overcame Gilles Simon.

Croatian Ljubicic has been in exceptional form, facing only two break points in the whole tournament. He kept up that record as he served six aces and broke twice in a one-sided first set and, though the second was much more closely contested, he had enough in reserve to set up a meeting with Llodra.

The three sets in the later clash yielded just one break of serve as Simon, the second-seeded world number 12, also failed to force even a solitary break point.

He did manage to win the opening set, taking a tie-break 7-4, but Llodra hit back to level the match at 1-1.

And the unseeded wildcard hit 11 of his 24 aces in a final set which ended in a one-sided tie-break, Llodra wrapping up a 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/1) win.


Venus will try again against Serena in the Doha final.

venus 2serena 2

Venus Williams reached her second straight Sony Ericsson Championships final by defeating Jelena Jankovic 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.

The defending champion trailed 2-0 in the decisive set, but broke the former top-ranked Serb three times in a row en route to a 5-3 lead. Williams then saved a break point in the last game before sealing the win with a forehand that bounced off the net cord.

She will play her sister Serena, who played the multi-injured Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki in the second semifinal. After losing the first set and taking a couple of injury time outs Wozniacki took the advice of her trainer and called it quits.

The sisters will also play in the doubles later today.

“In the first set, I couldn’t feel the ball,” Williams said. “Just to come back … to play so well against such a consistent player is great.”

Jankovic had just two winners in the first set, but Williams was done in by her inconsistent forehand and 23 unforced errors. She cleaned up her game in the second, hitting a forehand winner to break for 4-2 and holding the next game at love before serving out the set with a 119-mph ace.

Both players finished with more unforced errors than winners—49 to 43 for Williams and 34 to 17 for Jankovic. Williams’ serve was equally inconsistent, mixing 10 aces with 11 double faults.

It was the ninth three-setter in 10 meetings between the two, with the head-to-head series now tied at 5-5. Their last meeting was also in the semifinal stage of the season-ending Doha tournament last year.


Vania King replaces Serena on Fed Cup team.

vania_34214Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Italy and USA, taking place in Reggio Calabria on 7-8 November.

Williams, who has been competing at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, will be replaced by Vania King.

King made her Fed Cup by BNP Paribas debut against Germany in 2006 and has played in five ties, compiling a win-loss record of 4-5. She currently holds world rankings of No. 78 in singles and No. 32 in doubles.

King, 20, has won seven career doubles titles, two of which coming this year in Brisbane and New York. On the singles court, her sole tournament victory came in Bangkok in 2006.

Captained by Mary Joe Fernandez, USA’s team will now be King, Melanie Oudin, Alexa Glatch and Liezel Huber, the world’s top doubles player.


Ana Ivanovic relaxing in Singapore with Adam Scott.

Singapore Barclays Open GolfThe Barclay’s Singapore Open is certainly not lacking in star power.  It  has Adam Scott, the World No.3 as recently as early 2007 and the Australian golf pin-up, whose girlfriends are as much news as his game. Scott, who briefly dated actress Kate Hudson in early 2008, is here with his current girlfriend Ana Ivanovic.

The gorgeous-looking Serbian star has been by Scott’s side for many of the year’s big golf events, just as Scott was at her side at Wimbledon.

Scott, hoping to find the winning number in Singapore, where he won in 2005 and 2006, has brought along Ivanovic to Singapore and the pair has been attending a series of social gatherings.

Belgrade-born Ivanovic, 21, who split with Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco in January this year, was world No.1 at Wimbledon last year but has since slipped and is now ranked No.22 in the world. As for Scott, he was No.3 in early 2007, but is now down to No.76 in the world.

But ask Scott if the romance has taken a toll on his golf, he shoots back: ‘A lot of people point out a lot of things when you are doing badly. But they didn’t point to them when I was playing well. That’s the way the game is.’


Marin Cilic looks set to take another title.

China Open TennisTwo of the top three seeds tumbled as the Bank Austria Tennis Trophy reached the quarter-final stage on Friday.

Second-seeded Radek Stepanek was brushed aside 6-2 6-2 by seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, and was followed out of the tournament by third-seeded Gael Monfils.

The Frenchman went out 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in a two-hour marathon.

Their exits keep the path clear for top seed Marin Cilic, with the Croatian making light work of Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, the sixth seed, in a 6-1 6-4 victory this afternoon.

Also through is fourth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber, who edged out another Spaniard, fifth-seeded Nicolas Almagro, 7-5 6-4.


The final four in Doha!

jelena_jankovic_GI99 (2)serena33venus 2 (2)carol

In the Maroon Group of the WTA Doha Championship, Elena Dementieva’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals were ended by the already eliminated Svetlana Kuznetsova – a result which sent Venus Williams through thanks to her superior percentage of sets won after all three players were tied with one victory each.

The Russian fifth seed needed a victory to progress behind group winner Serena Williams at the expense of Venus but was completely overpowered by her rampant compatriot, who surged to a one-sided 6-3 6-2 triumph. Dementieva had beaten Venus earlier in the tournament but straight-sets defeats against Serena, who won all three of her matches, and Kuznetsova sees her bow out.

Venus joins her sister Serena, Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Woznicki. It has been a bizarre event so far, and with womens tennis anything can happen!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Centre Court (from 14.00hrs)

1. Cara Black/Liezel Huber vs. Samantha Stosur/Rennae Stubbs

2. Venus Williams vs. Jelena Jankovic

3. Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki


Jankovic sweeps by Wozniacki to gain the semi finals.

jelena 4Jelena Jankovic has moved through to the semi final of the WTA Doha Championship with a convincing win over Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2. She may have played the best tennis of the past few months when she needed it most. All aspects of her game were working, her service was by far the better of the two players, and Wozniacki had no answer for Jankovic’s penetrating groundstokes. Jankovic had the advantage of a gift game against Safina, and she looked fresh and fully concentrated. She now holds a perfect win record over Wozniacki.

Who will join Jankovic and Serena Williams in the semi finals will be determined in the balance of today’s matches.


Spectacular venue for new Valencia Open.


The official presentation of the Ágora building, the architectural jewel in the Valencia city crown and the venue for the Valencia 500 Open from October 31st till November 8th, took place this evening.

Valencia is getting ready to host one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world and as a taster today, the Ágora building was officially presented. The act was attended by a host of personalities who took the opportunity to see the magnificent building close up. The President of the Generalitat of Valencia Francisco Camps and the Mayoress of Valencia, Rita Barberá, officially opened the complex.

The first speeches were made by the Valencia players and owners of the tournament David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ferrer expressed his excitement at being a part of the tournament and explained how the new building had thrilled the players who are coming to the Tournament: “over the last few months every player who’s coming has been asking me about the building – when they come here they’ll be really impressed I’m sure”. Ferrer also stressed the quality of the players who’ll be at the Tournament: “the best players in the world are going to be at the Ágora and I’m sure the people who come to watch them are going to enjoy themselves so much”. For his part, Ferrero expressed his hopes that the Valencia Open 500 “will become one of the most important tournaments in the world”. Following the players’ remarks, the Valencia Mayoress Rita Barberá defined the Ágora as “a monument to the 21st century”, and expressed herself: “happy and impressed” by her first impression of the building. Finally, President Camps recalled: “in the past when I saw the best tennis players in the world playing in my country, I wondered if they would ever come to Valencia and now that dream has come true”.

With the completion of the Ágora, the last piece is in place for the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. The building, designed by the Valencia architect Santiago Calatrava, is a metal structure in the form of an ellipse, measuring 88 metres long and 66 wide has a diaphanous space of 5,000 square metres and a capacity for 5.500 spectators.


5 Frenchmen into the final 8 at Lyon.

tsonga 2 (2)Juan Monaco was a high-profile casualty in the second round of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon on a day which saw five Frenchmen book their places in the quarter-finals.

French wildcard Michael Llodra was on fine form as he beat the fourth-seeded Argentinean 6-3 6-4, joining the top two seeds in the last eight.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the top seed, beat Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 6-3 6-2, while Gilles Simon was a 6-1 6-2 winner over compatriot David Guez.

The sixth and seventh seeds did fall, however, in the shape of Paul-Henri Mathieu, who lost 6-4 6-0 to another Frenchman, Marc Gicquel, and Germany’s Benjamin Becker, who fell 6-4 6-3 at the hands of French wildcard Arnaud Clement.

Third seed Ivan Ljubicic beat Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-3 3-6 6-3.


Safina to play Brisbane?

58232734Dinara Safina is the latest player to join the Brisbane international line-up in January.

 Brisbane International Tournament Director Steve Ayles said he was happy to confirm the No.1’s appearance in Brisbane despite her recent injury. “Safina will be the fourth No.1 to be named for the Brisbane International women’s draw in 2010,” Ayles said. “She joins Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Ana Ivanovic in a very strong and competitive women’s field.

 “We have been in negotiations with Safina for some time and it is just a shame that when we are ready to announce her attendance she suffers an injury in Doha. “Safina is a fighter and I know she is really looking forward to returning to Queensland. “I have no doubt she will be here in January and I cannot wait to see all the action this summer. Safina will be a strong addition to the women’s draw.”

The 23-year-old Russian said she was excited to be returning to Queensland in 2010 and to play in the Brisbane International for the first time. “After playing on the Gold Coast from 2004 to 2008, I am pleased to return to Queensland to play in Brisbane and I am looking forward to seeing the new facilities,” Safina said.

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