Archive for April, 2011


Djokovic gets a walkover into the Serbian Open final.

Novak Djokovic goes into the final with a perfect 26-0 match record on the season and will look to capture his fifth title when he faces Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. He has cruised through the draw this week, with straight-sets victories over Adrian Ungur and Blaz Kavcic. In the first three months of the season, Djokovic claimed the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami titles and is unbeaten since the semi-finals (l. to Federer) of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. Djokovic takes a 3-0 career lead into the clash with the No. 37-ranked Lopez, although the left-hander did win a set off Djokovic in their most recent meeting at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February.

Lopez earned his place in the final with 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Italian Filippo Volandri, who was contesting his first ATP World Tour semi-final in more than three years. The Madrid native converted all four break point chances he created and saved nine of Volandri’s 11 break point chances to prevail in one hour and 35 minutes. He has not dropped a set on his run through this week, including victories against Fernando Gonzalez and Albert Montanes. The 29-year-old Lopez is through to his sixth ATP World Tour final and his first since clinching his second title in Johannesburg (d. Robert) last year. In his only previous clay-court final, Lopez finished runner-up to Richard Gasquet in Gstaad in 2006.



Del Potro defeats Soderling to advance to the semi final in Estoril.

Juan Martin Del Potro battled back after a rain delay to dump out top seed Robin Soderling and book a semi-final berth at the Estoril Open in Portugal today. The former US Open champion, on the comeback trail after missing most of the 2010 season due to injury, took the first set 6-4 but trailed 1-4 in the second when the match was disrupted. Del Potro returned after the delay to reel off six of the next seven games and wrap up a 6-4 7-5 success in just under two hours. Del Potro will meet Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas in the semi-finals after Cuevas produced a strong performance to defeat Thomasz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4 6-2 in their 79-minute match.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson won a first set tie-break 7-6 (7-2) over Fernando Verdasco when their match was suspended due to darkness. Gilles Simon of France led Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-5.

In the women’s event, Germany’s Kristina Barrois reached the second WTA Tour final of her career with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win over Johanna Larsson of Sweden. In the final Barrois will meet Spanish clay-court expert Anabel Medina Garrigues, who needed just 89 minutes to defeat Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1 6-3.



Both Williams’ sisters remain on the sidelines thru May!

Venus Williams has pulled out the upcoming WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments in Madrid and Rome. The seven-times Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since injuring her abdominal muscle at the Australian Open, where she was forced to retire against Andrea Petkovic in the third round. Before that, the 30-year-old had only played one tournament since 2010 Wimbledon, the 2010 US Open, due to knee problems. Venus has vowed not to return until she is completely healthy which she admittedly wasn’t in Australia when she injured herself. Venus said in a statement that she is back training again and hopes to play in a pre-Roland Garros tournament in Brussels.

As expected, Venus’ sister Serena also pulled out of both events. Serena is still recovering from the pulmonary embolism and hematoma she suffered in February. Her return date is unknown.

Venus fell in the Madrid final last year to Aravane Rezai and reached the quarterfinals of Rome. Currently ranked No. 16, it appears she will fall out of the top 30 after Rome. No. 10 Serena reached the semis of Rome and the second round of Madrid and could fall out of the top 20 after Rome.

Matthew Cronin /




Djokovic makes it 25-0 with an easy victory in Serbia.

Novak Djokovic extended his perfect run this season to 25 matches as he brushed aside Romanian qualifier Adrian Ungur 6-2 6-3 in front of his home fans at the Serbia Open in Belgrade. The top-seeded Djokovic was always likely to prove too strong for the world number 175th and so it proved as he wrapped up victory in one hour and eight minutes to take his place in the quarter-finals. In the last eight Djokovic will come up against Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic, who needed one hour and 54 minutes to dispose of Brazil’s Ricardo Mello 7-5 6-3 and reach his second tour-level quarter-final of the year.

Fernando Gonzalez’s fine comeback in his first tournament after eight months out with a hip injury came to an end as he was dispatched 6-4 7-6 (7/4) by unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Lopez set up an all-Spanish quarter-final against fourth seed Albert Montanes after Montanes rallied from losing the first set to defeat Germany’s Michael Berrer 3-6 6-2 6-2.



Soderling will meet Argentina’s eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the last eight.

Third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was a surprise second round casualty as he fell 6-2 7-6 (7-0) to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. Next up for Cuevas is Brazil’s Thomasz Bellucci, who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-3 5-7 7-5.

Top seed Robin Soderling continued to shrug off some recent patchy form as he produced a big-serving performance to beat Jeremy Chardy and advance to the quarter-finals of the Estoril Open. Despite a struggle in the second set, Swede Soderling – who has already bagged three ATP Tour titles this year, regrouped and lost just two points on serve in the final set of a 6-1 6-7 (7-4) 6-1 win. Soderling will meet Argentina’s eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the last eight. Del Potro continued his recovery from his season out through injury by beating Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 6-2 6-1.




Gonzo starts along the long road back to top 10 form.

Fernando Gonzalez won his first match in 11 months Tuesday evening, defeating Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Serbia Open. Gonzalez had been sidelined since last October after having right hip surgery, and last tasted victory in a first round win at the 2010 French Open. “I haven’t played for a long time but my shots are already in my game,” said the former World No. 5 after the match. “I’m moving better every day but I need to play more matches, more points and I need to compete. Maybe the conditions today weren’t really good for a great match but it was good for tough competition.”

Though he was pleased with the win, the outcome was not the Chilean’s primary focus in today’s match. “Obviously I’m really happy for that, but I was scared at what was going to happen, and I felt good [out there]. The conditions were tough and you have to move really quickly and that’s the thing needed most in the past. That’s why I lost a lot of my power, I couldn’t move very well before the surgery.”



Verdasco will try to get back in form at Estoril Open.

Frederico Gil overcame Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla 6-3 6-2 on home soil to set up a second round match against second seed Fernando Verdasco at the Estoril Open.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic also eased into the second round with a relatively comfortable 6-4 6-4 win against Igor Andreev of Russia. He will also be joined by Brazilian sixth seed Thomaz Bellucci and eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro who overcame qualifiers Frederik Nielsen 7-5 6-1 and Pedro Sousa 6-2 3-6 6-3 respectively.

French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin did manage to reach the second round, overcoming Marcos Daniel 6-3 6-1. There were also straight-set victories for Pablo Cuevas and Carlos Berlocq as they saw off Spaniards Pere Riba 6-2 6-4 and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4 6-3. Alejandro Falla advanced after a back injury forced his opponent Pablo Andujar to retire in the third set with the match tied 4-6 6-1 4-4.



Julia Goerges wins the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final on Sunday.

With a barrage of big serves and massive forehands, the No.32-ranked German beat all the odds, outdoing Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets for her second and biggest career title by a 76(3) 63 scoreline.

The two players put on a strong serving display in the first set, neither one letting a break slip through – in fact, there was only one break point the entire set (saved by Wozniacki). Goerges came through in the breaker though, winning five points in a row from 1-2 and closing it out, 7-3. Goerges grabbed the first and only break of the match in the second game of the second set and hung onto it, dropping to the clay of the Porsche Arena after converting on her second match point off a Wozniacki mis-hit.

The final was a classic match-up of different styles, Goerges compiling by far the bigger numbers (38 winners to 29 errors) and Wozniacki with more conservative stats (9 winners to 10 errors). But Goerges also showed some impressive net play (she was 15/22 up there – Wozniacki was 7/8). When all was said and done, Goerges became the second German ever to win the oldest European indoor tournament (Anke Huber won in 1991 and 1994). It was her second WTA title, following another clay court triumph in Bad Gastein last summer. She is now 2-1 in her career in WTA finals.

Wozniacki fell to 15-10 in WTA finals. She was seeking her first career title on red clay. “Julia played really well. She was very aggressive and everything was going in. I tried everything but it wasn’t enough. I’ll go back to the practice court and try to be better next time. I also want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me, even though I was playing against Julia! Hopefully next year I’ll come away with this Porsche.”



Rafa again, and again, and again…….

Rafael Nadal picked up his sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-2 6-4 victory over his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. In a repeat of last week’s Monte Carlos Masters final, Nadal looked a class apart as he raced through the opener. Ferrer established a 4-2 lead in the second set but Nadal hit back with four straight games to take the match. Nadal, 24, is now unbeaten on clay in 34 matches and looks primed for a sixth French Open title next month.

Nadal won the Barcelona Open five years in a row – beating Ferrer in the 2008 and 2009 finals – before skipping the tournament in 2010 because of a knee injury.



Novak Djokovic is the number one seed at the Serbia Open 2011. He should break Ivan Lendl’s 25-0 win streak.

The 2009 champion has been given a BYE in the first round and will start his campaign against either world no.97 Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo or a qualifier. No.5 seed and last year’s finalist, American John Isner, is in Novak’s quarter and the two players could meet in the quarter-finals. Nole’s potential semi-final opponents are Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP,3) and Janko Tipsarevic (SRB,7).

Viktor Troicki (SRB,2), Albert Montanes (ESP,4) Ernests Gulbis (LAT,WC,6), Juan Monaco (ARG,8), Feliciano Lopez (ESP), Fernando Gonzalez (CHI,WC) are in the bottom half of the draw and Djokovic can’t meet them before the finals. Serbia Open is an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. The prize fund is € 373,200. The winner will get € 66,500 and 250 ATP points.


[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) – BYE

Qualifier vs. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)

Tobias Kamke (GER) vs. Blaz Kavcic (SLO)

Ricardo Mello (BRA) vs. [5] John Isner (USA)

[3] Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) – BYE

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. Somdev Devvarman (IND)

Mischa Zverev (GER) vs. Dudi Sela (ISR)

Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. [7] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)

[8] Juan Monaco (ARG) vs. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

[WC] Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) vs. Qualifier

Qualifier vs. Michael Berrer (GER)

[4] Albert Montanes (ESP) – BYE

[WC, 6] Ernests Gulbis (LAT) vs. Iliya Marchenko (UKR)

Filippo Volandri (ITA) vs. [WC] Dusan Lajovic (SRB)

Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs. Qualifier

[2] Viktor Troicki (SRB) – BYE

Novak has won every tournament he’s entered in 2011: the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. He is currently on a 24-0 winning streak for the season, and increased his overall winning streak to 26 wins in a row, dating back to last December’s Davis Cup final when Serbia lifted the trophy for the first time in it’s history.

Djokovic is only one match short of equalling Ivan Lendl’s 25-0 start in 1986.



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