Archive for September, 2011

26
Sep
11

Sharapova, Bartoli and Jankovic advance in Tokyo.

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Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round of the Pan Pacific Open today with a straight-sets defeat of Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn. The world number two, who lost in the third round of the US Open earlier this month, ran through the first set before struggling to close it out in the second. After relinquishing an early break she regained the upper hand to complete a 6-2 7-5 win in one hour and 31 minutes.

“I served really well today. I had a good percentage and a few aces. It is definitely important for me to serve well because she reads the ball very well,” said Sharapova, the winner of this event in 2005 and 2009. “I played a good match. I had a little bit of a letdown in the second set and she started playing very well. It was much tougher in the second set.”

Seventh seed Marion Bartoli overcame stubborn resistance from Ayumi Morita and a partisan Tokyo crowd to advance 6-3 0-6 6-3. “It was exactly the same as our match in Miami earlier this year, with almost exactly the same scoreline,” said Bartoli, who was alluding to a 6-3 2-6 6-1 win. “Remembering that match helped me keep fighting until the end, even after losing that second set. She played very well though and really deserved that set. “We have the same game – she’s obviously very young but I think she’s improving all the time. Playing in your home country can be a lot of pressure.”

Jelena Jankovic, seeded eight, is also through following a 6-4 6-2 victory over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

 

 

26
Sep
11

Ivanovic makes a strong start in Tokyo.

Ana eases into round two

Ana Ivanovic beat Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. The match began with the main stadium’ roof open but rain began to fall with Ana leading 5-3, and was finished under cover. Ana began the match sharply and led 3-0 after just eight minutes. She was far the superior player against an opponent who had trouble controlling both her shots and her emotions: Rodionova would frequently berate herself after unforced errors. However, it was Rodionova who coped best with the half-hour stoppage in play, as she broke Ana as the 23-year-old served for the set. Undeterred, Ana broke in the following game to seal the set. In the second set Ana started to enjoy herself. She played some attractive, free flowing tennis, making use of the angles as much as her power. “I’m happy with how I started the tournament,” said Ana. “I was lucky that we have a roof here, so that we could finish the match. “The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the site a few days ago was the speed of the courts: the surface is much slower and I like that. It’s the same surface as the US Open, so it feels familiar and takes less time to adapt.”

Ana takes on British wild card Laura Robson, who is ranked 146th, in round two. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but rain in Tokyo may cause a delay.

 

25
Sep
11

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 to claim the Moselle Open title in Metz.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga from France holds his trophy after defeating Ivan Ljubicic from Croatia in the final of the ATP "Open de Moselle" tennis tournament in Metz, eastern France, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Mathieu Cugnot)

World number 10 Tsonga, playing in his homeland, has returned to form this year after overcoming injury problems and this was his first ATP title since winning in Tokyo nearly two years ago. Croatian Ljubicic, ranked 29 in the world, had enjoyed a 3-2 advantage over Tsonga in their previous five career meetings ahead of the final. Tsonga’s victory improved his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour finals in London in November. He is currently lying seventh in the singles rankings with four qualification spots available. Tsonga hit seven aces and broke Ljubicic’s serve in the first and seventh games in a 38-minute first set. He could have opened up a 5-1 lead in the second set but Ljubicic staged a revival and from 4-2 down Ljubicic won three of the next four games as the set headed for a tie-break. Tsonga took a 4-2 lead in the tie-break but Ljubicic won five straight points to take the set and the level the match. Tsonga regained his composure to break Ljubicic’s serve in the third and ninth games of the deciding set to take the title.

 

25
Sep
11

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez wins her 2nd WTA title of the year in Korea.

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez became the first Spanish woman since 2006 to win a hardcourt event as she triumphed at the Hansol Korea Open today. The 29-year-old left-hander from Barcelona landed her second title of 2011 – the first came on clay at Bad Gastein in July – by beating Russian Galina Voskoboeva 7-6 (7/0) 7-6 (7/2). Unseeded 26-year-old Voskoboeva coped well with her first career WTA tour final, aside from in the tie-breaks where she was overwhelmed by sixth seed Martinez Sanchez. The last Spanish player to land a WTA title on hardcourt had been Anabel Medina Garrigues in Canberra, in 2006. Champion Martinez Sanchez pointed to composure at key moments in the match as key to her success. She said, according to tour website wtatennis.com: “I felt very calm in the tie-breaks. That was the key for me. “I felt I played well the whole match. I like coming to net and I think it also makes my opponents uncomfortable, so it works well. But Galina played well – this was my toughest match of the week. I had to fight until the end.”

24
Sep
11

Ljubicic will face Tsonga in the final of the Moselle Open.

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Ivan Ljubicic blasted down 26 aces on his way to a 7-6 7-6 victory over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the semi-finals of the Moselle Open in Metz, France. World number 29 Muller set the tone by sending down four aces in the opening game, but Ljubicic quickly overhauled him and the 32-year-old veteran rallied from 3-2 down in the tiebreaker to win the next five points and take the first set 7-3. It was a similar story in the second set as the service dominated Muller finished the match with 18 aces, but he could not handle Ljubicic’s delivery. The end came when Muller sent a backhand volley wide to give Ljubicic a match point at 5-5 in the second breaker, which the fourth seed converted with yet another ace. Ljubicic will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday’s final after the top seed beat Ukrainian third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-4 in the second semi-final. World number 10 Tsonga has returned to form this year after battles against injury but remains without an ATP title since winning in Tokyo nearly two years ago, and will be hopeful of breaking that sequence on Sunday after coming through his last-four clash in one hour and 17 minutes. The Frenchman managed two breaks to Dolgopolov’s one to take the opening set, while a lone break in the second was sufficient to wrap up the victory with Tsonga’s own service game looking rock solid. Tsonga’s hopes of landing his first ATP crown since October 2009 will be firmly tested on Sunday, with Ljubicic enjoying a 3-2 advantage in five career meetings. World number 29 Ljubicic will be bidding for his 11th career title but his first of the year.

 

 

24
Sep
11

Chanelle Scheepers wins her first WTA title.

Chanelle Scheepers

Chanelle Scheepers won her first WTA title on Saturday morning, beating Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets to take the WANLIMA Guangzhou International Women’s Open crown. Scheepers, the No.7 seed, recorded three set victories against Anastasija Sevastova, Hsieh Su-Wei, Urszula Radwanska and No.1 seed Maria Kirilenko to reach her first WTA final. The last few weren’t routine three-setters either – she was down a match point against Hsieh, two points from losing against Radwanska and down 4-1 in the third set against an in-form Kirilenko. “I don’t remember much about the match point. I was so in the moment. I know it was a long point, but it seemed so long ago,” the 27-year-old Scheepers said. “I was fighting every match – all of them were difficult in their own way.” Passing those tests may have energized her – her groundstrokes in full flight against No.8 seed Rybarikova, she cracked open the final with a love break for 3-2 and never looked back, cruising to a 62 62 win in an hour and 29 minutes. “All of my other matches were tough, but today was the day it all clicked,” Scheepers said. “I thought I was hitting my groundstrokes well. I was really consistent and tried to move her around. I didn’t give her a lot of mistakes.” Scheepers is the first South African to win a WTA title since Amanda Coetzer won in Acapulco in 2003 – the year Scheepers played her first WTA main draw. “The title means a lot to me because I’ve worked so hard, to finally win one is really rewarding. Being the first since Amanda is the cherry on the cake.”

 

23
Sep
11

Federer & Soderling have pulled out of the Shanghai Masters, Djokovic expected to join them on the sidelines.

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World number three Roger Federer has pulled out of the Shanghai Masters to “rest and recuperate” after the north American swing of the ATP Tour. Federer, 30, reached the semi-finals at the recent US Open, where he squandered two match points before losing to Novak Djokovic, and then flew straight to Sydney to play for Switzerland in their Davis Cup tie with Australia. The 16-time grand slam champion said: “After consultation with my team, I’ve unfortunately decided to pull out of the Shanghai Masters in order to take some necessary time to rest and recuperate after a long summer. “I have some nagging injuries that I need to address and I look forward to returning to the ATP World Tour as soon as possible. “I have very fond memories of Shanghai so I will miss this amazing tournament and all my loyal Chinese fans, but I look forward to returning to China next fall.” Robin Soderling joins Roger Federer on the sidelines for the mandatory Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament, which begins October 9. Federer says he is tired after a long summer and Soderling is not over his case of mono. Novak Djokovic is also questionable.

Federer is scheduled to return to action at the end of October at his hometown tournament in Basle.

23
Sep
11

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez maintained her perfect record against Julia Goerges by knocking the third seed out of the Korea Open on Friday.

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Goerges, the highest-ranked player left in the event entering the quarter-finals, was beaten 7-6 (8/6) 6-1. Martinez Sanchez, seeded six, also beat the German in their only previous meeting, in New Haven in 2008. The match featured nine breaks of serve with the opening set breaker proving crucial. After it went the way of the Spaniard, Goerges’ challenge wilted and Martinez Sanchez wrapped up the win in one hour and 50 minutes.

Fifth seed Polona Hercog defeated fourth seed Dominika Cibulkova for the loss of just four games and will now play Galina Voskoboeva – 6-2 6-3 winner against Vera Dushevina. The semi-final line-up was completed when Klara Zakopalova beat Vania King 6-2 4-6 6-1. She will play Martinez Sanchez in the last four.

23
Sep
11

Final eight decided in Guangzhou Open.

Defending champion Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia advanced to the quarter-finals of the Guangzhou Open by beating Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 4-6 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday. Top-seeded Maria Kirilenko also advanced, defeating Iryna Bremond of France 6-3 6-1. Zheng Jie, the last Chinese player in the tournament, moved into the next round by beating Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand 6-3 7-5, while Zhao Yijing of China lost to Tetiana Luzhanska of Ukraine 6-4 2-6 7-5.

22
Sep
11

Sharapova and Zvonareva will host a tennis clinic for students and an exhibition match against each other.

Photos: Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva attend a press conference in Taipei

Photos: Maria Sharapova arrives to Taipei for tennis exhibition

Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva are in Taipei where they will host a tennis clinic for students and an exhibition match against each other.

Maria was mobbed by her fans at the airport….she’s hard to disguise at blond, beautiful and 6’2″!

 

 




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