Archive for March, 2010


Henin defeats Wozniacki to set up a semi final match with fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters..

Justine Henin outlasted current world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to reach the semifinals at the $4.5 million Sony Ericsson Open.

An unseeded Henin, who is projected to move inside the Top 30 next week, came from behind to beat a second-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 on the hardcourts at Crandon Park. The Belgian star needed 2 hours, 45 minutes to prevail.

Wozniacki snuck out the first set against Henin, which she did on her fourth set point when the Belgian netted a sloppy backhand.

In the second set, Henin cruised, but she did require a trainer to attend to her back while leading 3-2 in the stanza.

And the third set was controlled by the Belgian stalwart, who sent her Danish counterpart home by converting on her first match point with a backhand winner into an open court.

Henin is now a solid 16-3 in her comeback season and seeking a trip into a third final in four events.

The Australian Open runner-up Henin will meet Kim Clijsters on Thursday after Clijsters defeated Sam Stosur in two set 6-3, 7-5.


Serena could return to action at the Italian Open as a wild card entry.

Top-ranked Serena Williams has not entered the Italian Open, although she could still play as a wild card.

Tournament director Sergio Palmieri told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he recently spoke with Williams in Miami, and she asked him to hold a wild-card spot open.

Williams has been sidelined with a knee injury since her Australian Open title in January.

Williams won in 2002 in Rome, a key clay-court warmup for the French Open, en route to her only title at Roland Garros.

The rest of the top 10 players — including sister Venus — are entered, Palmieri said.

He added that Justine Henin, who recently came out of retirement, would “probably not” play in Rome.

The tournament begins May 3, with the men’s event being held the week before.

Palmieri said all of the top men’s players are expected, with the exception of sixth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who is out for a month with a broken left wrist.

A new 10,500-seat stadium will be used for the first time at the Rome tournament this year.


Venus and Marion are tied 1-1 in previous matches.

Venus Williams and 13th-seeded Marion Bartoli were each straight-set quarterfinal winners Tuesday at the $4.5 million Sony Ericsson Open.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Williams blitzed sixth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 on the hardcourts at Crandon Park. Radwanska is now a dismal 4-18 lifetime against top-five performers.

The red-hot Williams has now won her last 14 matches, including recent titles in Dubai and Acapulco.

The 29-year-old Williams, who titled here in 1998, 1999 and 2001, will meet Bartoli of France in Thursday’s semifinals. Bartoli snuck past 12th-seeded Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-4, 7-5 in just under two hours.

Williams and Bartoli have split two prior meetings on the tennis court. The American beat the 25-year-old Bartoli in the 2007 Wimbledon finale, but Bartoli got the best of Williams in last year’s title match at Stanford.

Two other quarterfinals will be staged here on Wednesday, as second-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki will meet Aussie Open runner-up and former top-ranked star Justine Henin and ninth-seeded Aussie Samantha Stosur will battle 14th-seeded U.S. Open champ Kim Clijsters. The former world No. 1 Clijsters captured this Miami event in 2005. The seven-time major titlist Henin was the runner-up at this so-called “Fifth Slam” in 2007.


Sania Mirza will try again….

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is to marry Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, the family of India’s most successful woman tennis player confirmed.

Mirza’s father said Malik, the former cricket captain of Pakistan, and his daughter would move to Dubai after the marriage, expected next month.

He added that she planned to continue playing tennis once she had recovered fully from a wrist injury.

Reports say the wedding celebrations will be held in both countries.

Receptions are expected in the Indian city of Hyderabad, where Mirza lives, and the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Mirza, 23, said she hoped to be fully fit to represent India in the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

In a career often hit by injuries, Mirza touched a high of 34 in world rankings and is currently placed at 92.


Berdych ousts Federer in an error ridden match.

Roger Federer crashed out at the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami as Tomas Berdych triumphed 6-4 6-7(3/7) 7-6 (8/6) in a gruelling battle.

The world number one committed 62 unforced errors and was broken three times as Berdych of the Czech Republic fought through in just under three hours, ending an eight-match losing streak against the Swiss star.

The 16th seed saved eight of 10 break points – with seven of those coming in a tense second set – on his way to the quarter-finals and a clash with Fernando Verdasco.

Rafael Nadal was made to suffer before triumphing 7-6(7/5) 6-4 over compatriot David Ferrer in a gritty affair dominated by unforced errors.

The former World number one edged a tight tie break and raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set but Ferrer rallied, winning the following three games before Nadal broke once again to seal a two-hour victory.

The Spaniard will face eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after he dismantled former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2 6-2.

Tsonga turned in a fantastic performance as the Frenchman dropped just four points on his first serve.

Andy Roddick recovered from an awful start to eventually book his place in the final eight.

The American, seeded sixth, trailed 1-4 and 0-40 to Germany’s Benjamin Becker in the first set as he struggled with his accuracy early on.

But the three-time Wimbledon finalist showed his tenacity to respond superbly and take the set to a tie-break, which he won 7-4.

Roddick, who won this tournament in 2004, then broke for a 4-2 lead in the second set on his way to prevailing 6-3.

Roddick will now face Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the last eight after he defeated Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3).

Number five seed Robin Soderling is also through following a 6-0 6-7(3/7) 6-2 victory over Fernando Gonzalez.

However, in-form Croat Marin Cilic is out after Verdasco swept the seventh seed aside 6-4 7-6(7/3).

Andy Murray’s conqueror, Mardy Fish, is also out after the American was forced to retire while trailing 6-1 1-0 against 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny.


Venus just keeps getting better.

Venus Williams became the first woman to reach the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska.

Bidding for her fourth title in Key Biscayne, the 29-year-old hit eight aces and lost only five points on her first serve as she destoryed her Polish rival, who was broken five times in all.

The hottest player on the tour at present, the third seed has now won 14 straight matches and two more would give her a third successive title for the first time since 2002.

“When I’m executing and playing my best, it’s great,” Venus said. “It feels good, and I feel like I’m definitely dictating the points and that I don’t give my opponent as many chances to have a say.

“I play my best game when I’m more aggressive, because that’s my style. Others don’t play as well as aggressive, because that’s not their style.

“It just seems to be better when I move forward, and I try to do that.”


Sam Stosur gets her revenge over Jankovic.

Samantha Stosur has snapped Jelena Jankovic’s eight-match winning streak to advance to the quarter-finals of the lucrative Miami Open.

The 10th-ranked Stosur had never previously taken a set from Jankovic, but outclassed the Serb 6-1 7-6(9) in their fourth career meeting on Tuesday.

Stosur’s impressive fourth-round victory also reversed a 6-2 6-4 semifinal loss to the eighth-ranked Jankovic just last week at Indian Wells.

In a marquee match featuring two of the tour’s hottest players, Stosur broke Jankovic in the second and seventh games to race through the opening set in just 27 minutes.

Stosur, who also made the quarterfinals last year in Miami, next plays US Open champion Kim Clijsters for a place in the last four of the USD$4.5 million event.


Cilic will face Verdasco next…

Marin Cilic claimed his 20th match win of the year with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis on Monday at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Cilic next faces 10th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who rallied past Austrian Jurgen Melzer 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1. Melzer failed to capitalize on his five break point opportunities in the second set, allowing Verdasco to come back and claim the victory in just over two hours.

After accounting for defending champion Andy Murray in the second round, American Mardy Fish continued his progress at the Sony Ericsson Open by posting a 7-5, 6-3 win over 29th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Fish saved both break points he faced and has dropped serve just twice in three matches.

He will need to knock off his third seeded opponent, Russian Mikhail Youzhny, in order to reach the quarter-finals. The No. 13 seed recovered from a slow start to oust Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.

Fernando Gonzalez earned a chance to play Sweden’s Robin Soderling for the first time since their five-set tussle in the Roland Garros semi-finals. The ninth-seeded Chilean defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 21 minutes, improving to a perfect 6-0 record against last week’s Indian Wells quarter-finalist.

Meanwhile, Roland Garros finalist Soderling needed just 65 minutes to dismiss German Philipp Petzschner 6-1, 6-2 in his third-round match. The World No. 7 reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final last week in Indian Wells before falling to Andy Roddick.


Kim Clijsters has never looked better…

Venus Williams lost eight of the first nine games before beating Daniela Hantuchova 1-6 7-5 6-4.

But defending champion Victoria Azarenka is out after losing 6-4 6-0 to Kim Clijsters.

Williams found herself a set and 2-0 down to the Slovakian but rallied to set up a quarter-final meeting against sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki also advanced after beating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-2 and will next play former world number one Justine Henin.

Thirteenth seed Bartoli of France has won seven of her past 11 matches against top-five players and set up the win when she broke twice in the first set and converted all three of her break-point chances in the second.

Her next opponent will be 12th seed Yanina Wickmayer, who comfortably dismissed Timea Bacsinszky 6-0 6-1.


Federer, Fish and Berdych advance.

Roger Federer reached the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami on Monday, but was made to sweat by Frenchman Florent Serra.

The top seed won 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/3) in one hour 32 minutes to set up a meeting with Tomas Berdych

The Swiss star dropped his serve three times, but converted three of the eight break-point chances he had, including two in the second set, and held his serve when it counted.

Serra was let down by his first serve, making just 49 per cent of his deliveries, but Federer will also look to improve on his mark of 58 per cent in the next round.

Berdych, the 16th seed, was a 6-4 7-5 winner over Horacio Zeballos, of Argentina.

A single break gave Berdych the first set and two more followed in the second, Zeballos claiming one of his own.

American Mardy Fish, Andy Murray’s conqueror, claimed another scalp with a 7-5 6-3 win over 29th seed Feliciano Lopez.

Fish carved out 13 break points, converting just two, but saved the two he faced to claim victory.

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