Archive for December, 2011

31
Dec
11

Djokovic completes his week of tennis lessons with a convincing win over Ferrer.

The world’s best player outplayed fifth-ranked David Ferrer 6-2, 6-1 on his debut at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in UAE. The Serbian showed why he is no. 1 at the moment and played some great tennis with remarkable shots. The message is clear. Nole is fresh and hungry to win as he has been throughout the 2011. The prestigious exhibition event which has attracted six of the world’s top 10 players, was a good warm-up for the new season. Nole began his preparations with victories over Gael Monfils (6-2, 4-6, 6-2) and Roger Federer (6-2, 6-1).

He will now head to Australia for the first Grand Slam of the 2012 season, the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, January 16. The 24-year-old Serbian star has had a dream run in 2011 with a 70-6 win-loss record and he finished the year with 10 titles, including 3 Grand Slams and a record five ATP World Tour Masters trophies.

Advertisements
31
Dec
11

Andy Murray has appointed former world number one Ivan Lendl as his full-time coach.

Picture

World number four Murray will begin working with Lendl immediately as they prepare for the Australian Open next month. “Ivan’s impact on the game is unquestionable and he brings experience and knowledge that few others have, particularly in major tournaments,” said the 24-year-old Scot. “It was important to me that any new person joining my team was able to add fresh insight. “I look forward to working with him going forward.”

Czech-born Lendl, 51, is one of the most decorated players of all time, a winner of eight grand slam tournaments. In a statement released through Murray’s management company, Lendl said: “I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Andy. “He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals.”

Murray has experienced a mixed 2011. Currently the world number four, he enjoyed a spell at number three before dropping back behind Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He reached the final of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the other three grand slams. And he enjoyed a rich run of form later in the year, lifting titles in Bangkok, Tokyo and at the Shanghai Masters before seeing his 17-match winning streak ended by Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters in early November. His season ended with disappointment, pulling out of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London with injury. But that ultimate grand slam prize continues to elude him, however, and it will be hoped Lendl’s presence will play dividends in 2012. And with the Olympics in London taking place in the summer, Murray has set his sights on a successful year. Simon Fuller, Murray’s manager and business partner, said: “Andy’s achievements in 2011 have demonstrated the quality of his game. “Having a champion like Lendl join his team will help him achieve his ultimate ambitions.”

 

 

31
Dec
11

France defeats China on day one of the Hopman Cup.

Li Na did her bit but it wasn’t enough to lift China to victory in their Hopman Cup teams tennis clash with France in Perth on Saturday. Li came from a set down to defeat world No.9 Marion Bartoli 2-6 6-2 6-4 in the women’s singles but was forced to watch on helplessly as compatriot Wu Di was crushed 6-1 6-3 by Richard Gasquet in the men’s singles. France then romped to victory in the deciding mixed doubles, with Bartoli and Gasquet needing just 42 minutes to sweep to the 6-1 6-1 triumph. Earlier, Bartoli appeared on track for a straight-sets win in the women’s singles after taking the first set in 44 minutes before setting up two break points early in the second set. But Li, who has struggled to recapture top form since winning the French Open earlier this year, showed far more urgency from that point on, winning the last four games of the second set before grinding down Bartoli in the decider.

“At the beginning of the match she was playing so fast. I was like ‘what’s going on’,” Li said. “But after three or four games I got used to it.” Li said her French Open success in May had changed her life in so many ways, but may have also adversely affected her performances. “If I go somewhere to play a tournament, more people know who I am. I lose concentration on the court. I’m only focusing on the photo shooting,” she said with a laugh. “It’s tough after winning a big title, (maintaining) the concentration.”

Australia’s unseeded pairing of Lleyton Hewitt and Jarmila Gajdosova kick off their campaign on Sunday against third-seeded Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues.

30
Dec
11

Djokovic and Ferrer are both easy winners as they move on to the final.

Picture

Novak Djokovic brushed aside Roger Federer in straight sets to book himself a place in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Djokovic had complained of feeling rusty heading into the event but showed little sign of lethargy as he routed Federer for the loss of just three games. Indeed, such was the Serb’s dominance he needed less than an hour to complete victory, wrapping up a 6-2 6-1 success in just 44 minutes. Djokovic broke Federer twice in the first set and, at one point, reeled off nine games on the trot as he raced through a one-sided second. The end came when a lacklustre Federer drilled a forehand long, one of a string of unforced errors from the Swiss. “It is the perfect start to season. I played great,” Djokovic said. “It’s something that makes me very happy.”

Rafeal Nadal showed his lack of motivation as he was easily beaten by fellow countryman David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2. Ferrer moves on to the final against Djokovic.

 

 

29
Dec
11

Milos Raonic is the one to watch in 2012…….a top ten player by the end of the season?

Image Detail

Raonic made one of the biggest splashes in recent tennis history, rising from World No. 156 at the start of 2011 to No. 37. In only his eighth ATP World Tour main draw appearance, Raonic claimed his first ATP World Tour singles title at the SAP Open in San Jose, then followed it up the next week with a runner-up showing at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis.

Raonic’s Memphis final versus Andy Roddick was arguably the most compelling ATP World Tour match of the year to date. After losing the first set in a tie-break, Raonic fought off three championship points in a second-set tie-break, at last winning it 13-11. Down 1-4 in the third, he rallied again to level the match. At 5-6, facing championship point number five, Raonic angled a volley – and Roddick struck one of the greatest shots of his career, a lunging forehand down-the-line winner.

• Raonic has compiled a 14-3 match record and has jumped from No. 156 at the end of last season to a career-high No. 37 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. He is the highest-ranked Canadian in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). At age 20, he is the youngest player in the current Top 50.

• His 11 tie-break wins is the most on the ATP World Tour.

• He has posted three Top 10 wins this season, two over No. 9 Fernando Verdasco and one over No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny. The three wins are second-most on the ATP World Tour, only behind World No. 3 Novak Djokovic (5).

• He became the first Canadian to capture an ATP World Tour singles title since Greg Rusedski in April 1995 (Seoul) by winning the SAP Open in San Jose (d. No. 9 Verdasco).

• He is among the Top 5 in five of the six RICOH ATP MatchFacts categories:

– Aces (303, 20.2 avg.) No. 1

– First Serve Pts. Won (81%) No. 1

– Service Games Won (91%) No. 2

– Break Pts. Saved (70%) No. 4

– Second Serve Pts. Won (57%) No. 5

 

 

 

 

29
Dec
11

Jelena Dokic has been awarded the first female wildcard into the International Sydney Tournament.

Sydney-raised Dokic will take her place in the main draw, beginning on Sunday 8 January, alongside nine of the world’s top 10 women, including Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Li Na and Sam Stosur. Dokic, the current world No.66, will be making her second consecutive appearance at the event and is looking forward to a warm reception from her hometown crowd at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

“I am very thankful to be awarded a wildcard into the Apia International Sydney,” Dokic said. “I played there earlier this year after a long absence so I am really excited to be returning once more. “It’s a terrific event with a great history and tradition and the women’s field in Sydney is always unbelievable. “Last year I lost a tough match to (Svetlana) Kuznetsova in the first round but I am happy with how I am hitting the ball heading into the Australian summer and hopefully I can produce a few good matches in my old home city.” 

Tournament Director Craig Watson said that Australia’s no. 3 ranked female thoroughly deserved a wildcard into the event after a consistent 2011 season. “We are delighted that Jelena will be returning to the Apia International Sydney again in 2012,” Watson said. “Jelena grew up playing tennis just a few suburbs away from Sydney Olympic Park so she will have the crowd right behind her throughout the event. “On her day she really can match it with the world’s best and I wouldn’t be surprised if she caused an upset or two when the Apia International Sydney gets underway in just a couple of weeks time.”

Dokic,28, has won six WTA Tour career titles, including Kuala Lumpur in February this year where she defeated Grand Slam champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round. Dokic also reached the final in s-Hertogenbosch in June and made a quarter final appearance in Paris in February.

 

28
Dec
11

Andrea Petkovic is tipping Serena Williams to quickly bounce back to her best ahead of next month’s Australian Open.

After a three month absence, Williams will make her return to the WTA tour next week at the Brisbane International where she’ll be seeded fourth behind Sam Stosur, Petkovic and Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.

Despite having US Open champion Stosur keen to kick off 2012 with a title at her home tournament and defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters looking to continue an unbeaten run in Brisbane, Petkovic believes Williams is the woman to beat. The American sits outside the top 10 at No.12 in the world rankings due to an injury interrupted year which finished abruptly after Stosur upset her in a dramatic US Open final in September. But the 10th-ranked Petkovic, who idolised Williams as a child, fully expects the 13-times grand slam winner to continue her knack of returning from a lengthy break in great form.

“I haven’t seen her now for the last three or four months because she’s been injured, but she is always a weapon,” the 24-year-old Petkovic said in Brisbane on Wednesday. “She always comes back and seems not to have been gone at all and it’s always very amazing and incredible. “I’m a very big, big Serena fan. She was my first idol when I was growing up after Steffi (Graf). “She’s a weapon in the field but also Kim – obviously she’s one of the greatest female athletes in the world and she can beat anybody. “And always Sam, as the home favourite, I think it’s going to be very exciting.”

28
Dec
11

Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters is fit and raring to go!

Picture

The Belgian star, who will open her new season at the Brisbane International on New Year’s Day, suggested earlier this year that the Olympics in London would be her swansong, saying London 2012 would “probably be the last big event that I will be a part of”. However, when quizzed on the subject ahead of her season-opener in Australia, the 28-year-old said: “At the moment, I’m not even thinking about the Olympics. “I don’t think like that. In tennis, the season is long and it’s tough and I just try to focus on one week at a time and my next focus is Brisbane and that’s what I’m training for. “That’s why I came here (before Christmas) to be ready to try and be the best Kim I can when I play my first match here.”

Clijsters, the winner in Brisbane in 2010, was speaking at a pre-tournament press event at a koala bear sanctuary on Wednesday, one she attended with daughter Jada. Clijsters added that a 2011 season heavily disrupted by injuries means she is raring to hit the ground running in 2012. “The motivation is there,” she said. “Because of the injuries maybe last year it was a little down and it was frustrating. “I push myself hard every practice now and that’s the motivation factor that’s there and to achieve that little bit extra that’s a detail you definitely need to have.”

24
Dec
11

24
Dec
11

Sharapova withdraws from the Brisbane Int. with an ankle injury.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova is confident of being fit for January’s Australian Open despite pulling out of the Brisbane International with an ankle injury. The Brisbane International is a warm-up event for the Australian Open, which begins on 16 January. The Russian former world number one said: “Unfortunately my ankle is not 100% and I won’t be able to make it.

“I do expect to be ready for the year’s first Grand Slam and I am really looking forward to competing on court.”

Sharapova, who has won Wimbledon and the US Open, clinched the last of her three Grand Slam singles titles at Melbourne Park in 2008. However, she was beaten in the fourth round of the 2011 tournament by Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

 




Top Posts

Categories


%d bloggers like this: