Archive for February, 2012

29
Feb
12

7 out of 8 top seeds advance to the quarters in Dubai……Mardy Fish doesn’t!

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Novak Djokovic took 90 minutes to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on a day when seven of the eight top seeds all successfully advanced. Djokovic recovered from a break down in the second set to beat Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 and seal a last-eight showdown against his friend and fellow Serbian Janko Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic, seeded seven, shrugged off a below-par first set to beat Italy’s world number 86 Flavio Cipolla 6-7 (7-2) 6-1 6-1, and Djokovic expects a much tougher match against his Davis Cup team-mate. Djokovic told atptour.com: “[Janko] is very dangerous from the baseline. When he has time and steps into the court, he is very dangerous. I need to try to be aggressive and stay close to the line.”

The only top eight seed to fail to reach the quarter-finals was American sixth seed Mardy Fish, whose disappointing recent form continued as he was beaten 6-2 7-6 (7-0) by Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny. Next up for Youzhny is second seed Roger Federer, who swept past Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-5 6-3 and said: “I stayed calm and found a way to come through. These are the kinds of matches you need at this stage in a tournament.”

Third seed Andy Murray had few problems dispatching Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli 6-3 6-4. Murray did not face a single break point in the match and broke his opponent twice to ensure a routine progression. Murray’s next opponent, Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych, enjoyed an even more comfortable run to the last eight with a 6-1 6-2 win over Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in just 69 minutes.

The final quarter-final will be between in-form Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-2, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was a 6-3 6-4 winner over Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.

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26
Feb
12

Del Potro wins his 10th ATP title in Marseille.

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Juan Martin Del Potro won his 10th career ATP title  with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Frenchman Michael Llodra in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille. The fourth seed conceded only 13 points on serve as he swept aside the home crowd’s favourite, firing down 11 aces against the 2010 champion. Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion and now rebuilding his career afrer injury, broke once in each set and did not face a break point on his way to victory in just 82 minutes. Del Potro briefly wobbled at 0-30 down when serving for the match, but closed out the victory when Llodra netted a forehand. The world number 10 is now looking further up the rankings.

“When you win a title, it’s special,” he said. “You really have to celebrate it. I think I am getting closer to the best players in the world. I’m in the top 10 now. I beat (Tomas) Berdych last week and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga this week. “If I keep working, staying at this level, step by step, I’ll get closer to the top players.” The beaten Llodra, who had not dropped his serve in the previous two rounds, said: “Juan Martin played a great match and didn’t give me any opportunities on his serve. “He was impresive on his serve. I was a bit less strong with the most important parts of my game like my serve and my volley. He served well and we know the quality of his ground strokes so there wasn’t much I could do. Therefore, I don’t have any regrets. He was just better than me.”

26
Feb
12

Raonic fires his way into today’s Memphis final.

Milos Raonic serves to Benjamin Becker in their semifinal match at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships tennis tournament in Memphis on Saturday.

Milos Raonic needed only 75 minutes to beat Benjamin Becker of Germany 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and reach his second final in as many weeks. The hard-serving player from Thornhill, Ont., won at San Jose last week and is 15-1 in match play this year. Ranked 35th in the world, the ATP World Tour’s first multiple winner this season will try to win his third title Sunday against Austrian Jurgen Melzer, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner over No. 3 seed Radek Stepanek. “It’s a big thing, especially after the way I’ve been playing,” said Raonic, who lost a three-set final here last year to American Andy Roddick. “I think I’m a much better player, and I’ve matured a lot so I’ve given myself the opportunity a lot better. “I felt last year I was more so squeezing through the matches and just riding the confidence from San Jose. . . . This year I feel like I’ve been coming out of the matches the better player. And also I have improved. I’m a better player than I was a year ago.”

Raonic has won nine straight matches in straight sets with 66 aces here in Memphis. He has held serve in 40 of his 41 games at the event and was so dominant and efficient that Becker scored only five points off Raonic’s serve in each set. Raonic won 29 of his 31 points off his first serve. Becker, playing in his first semifinal since Bangkok in October 2010, had not dropped a set here after being sidelined for six months last year because of an injured left elbow. He felt Raonic’s strength in the eighth game of the second set when the Canadian held serve with a 224 kilometre-an-hour ace that hit Becker in the back. “It just happens when you move toward the T,” Becker said. “He serves so fast it’s tough to react.”

25
Feb
12

Radwanska wins her 8th WTA title in Dubai.

Agnieszka Radwanska claimed her eighth WTA Tour title by beating Julia Goerges of Germany 7-5 6-4 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 22-year-old’s extra experience told as she won the first set in just over an hour before claiming two breaks in the second to move into a 4-1 lead. Goerges, 23, dug deep and broke Radwanska’s serve in the sixth game and failed with a break-point chance at 5-4 on the Radwanska serve which could have turned the match around. The Pole recovered from that scare to seal the match at the second time of asking to triumph in one hour and 44 minutes. The Dubai triumph added to previous career titles won in Carlsbad, Tokyo, Beijing, Pattaya City, Istanbul, Eastbourne and Stockholm.

The victory also elevates Radwanska to number five in the world. Radwanska broke in the first game of the match and led 4-2, but Goerges broke back to level the first set at 5-5. Radwanska broke again in a five-deuce game to edge ahead again to gain the upper hand. “I was pretty close to losing in the first round (having been 5-3 down in the third set to Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak), so I’m extremely happy right now,” Radwanska. “Tonight I think I was just better in a couple of points, to be honest. In the important moments I was more consistent. The conditions were a little bit difficult during the match, but I stayed calm until the end. “Julia’s forehand is a very big weapon. It’s just going so fast, and sometimes I’d be moving to it right away and the ball was already behind me.” Goerges added: “Agnieszka’s a tough player and I was close to winning both sets. “There were a few balls I missed, but it was still the way I should play it. You need to dictate the game by yourself and that’s what I did. It wasn’t enough today but it was still the right direction for my game. “She doesn’t give you anything. She doesn’t make any mistakes at all. And when she does a few, it’s at 15-all or 15-0, not in the important moments.”

25
Feb
12

The last 2 Americans fall in Memphis while Raonic marches on…..

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John Isner missed out on the men’s semi-finals in Memphis after a straight-sets defeat by Austria’s Jurgen Melzer on Friday. The 26-year-old’s serve let him down in the first set as he was broken twice, and Melzer took the second on a tie-break to complete a 6-3 7-6 (8/6) win. Third seed Radek Stepanek awaits in the last four after dumping out Sam Querrey in straight sets to end American interest in the tournament. The Czech required a tie-break to take the opening set but swept through the second to win 7-6 (7/5) 6-0.

Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, seeded fourth, took his place with a straight-sets win over Olivier Rochus. The diminutive Belgian, giving away 11 inches in height to his young opponent, did well to hang in the match in the face of a barrage of 26 aces – to his three – but was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7/3). Germany’s Benjamin Becker is next in Raonic’s cross-hairs after a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 (7/5) win over Lukasz Kubot which lasted over two hours.

24
Feb
12

Wozniacki’s slump continues as she is ousted by Julia Goerges.

Julia Goerges from Germany reacts after winning a point against Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark during their semifinal match at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Caroline Wozniacki lost in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, falling to Julia Goerges 7-6 (3), 7-5 Friday. The former-top-ranked Dane led 4-2 in the second set, but Goerges rallied to advance in straight sets. Goerges will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in Saturday’s final. Radwanska defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.

The fifth-seeded Radwanska took an early 4-1 lead and won the first set in 33 minutes. The Polish player faltered in the second when Jankovic broke twice. Radwanska regrouped and wrapped up the match without losing another game. She said she regained her confidence by breaking early in the third set. “She just start to play much better in the second set. I was really in trouble,” Radwanska said. “But in the third set, I was just trying to be focused on my game and just fight until the end. “I really get more confident after that, and I think she get a bit angry.”

24
Feb
12

Mardy Fish loses in Marseille to the #388 player!

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World number 388 Albano Olivetti pulled off a stunning upset to defeat world number eight and second seed Mardy Fish and reach the quarter-finals of the Open 13 in Marseille. The Frenchman, who won three qualifying matches and then beat the top 100-ranked Matthias Bachinger to reach round two, claimed a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over the American in one hour and 48 minutes. Fish had been handed a first-round bye on account of his seeding, but was left reeling by the big-serving Olivetti, who delighted the home fans by breezing through the first set without a single break point going against him. Fish rallied to force a decider, but Olivetti refused to be affected by nerves, saving both the break points on his serve and constantly threatening the Fish serve before grabbing the crucial break he needed for a famous win. Olivetti will play fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra in the last eight after Llodra, winner here in 2010, scored a minor shock of his own with a 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-5) win over Ukrainian sixth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov Jr.

Fifth seed Richard Gasquet made it a great day for France by beating Igor Kunitsyn 6-3 6-2, while fourth seed Juan Martin Del Potro was level 6-7 (8-6) 6-4 with Nikolay Davydenko when the Russian was forced to retire injured.

23
Feb
12

The time has come for Andy Roddick to retire before he loses his past glory.

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Andy Roddick was unceremoniously dumped out of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in the first round by Xavier Malisse. The Belgian upset the second seed as he prevailed 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 to set up a second-round clash with Benjamin Becker. The German beat Dudi Sela 6-4 6-1. Alex Bogomolov Jr was another seed eliminated in Memphis when he was beaten 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) by Malisse’s fellow Belgian Olivier Rochus, while sixth-seed Julian Benneteau was beaten in successive tie-breaks by Philipp Petzschner. But there were straight-sets wins for Radek Stepanek, Milos Raonic and Kevin Anderson – the third, fourth and seventh seeds – against Bobby Reynolds, Ernests Gulbis and Robby Ginepri respectively. Jurgen Melzer won a hard-fought match against Denis Istomin 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) and Pole Lukasz Kubot beat Jesse Levine 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

22
Feb
12

Victoria Azarenka has been forced to withdraw from the Dubai Duty Free Championships.

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The Belarusian is still nursing an ankle injury sustained in last week’s semi-final victory over Agnieszka Radwanska in Doha. Azarenka recovered from that to win the title in Qatar and stretch her unbeaten start to the season to 17 matches, but with big tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami coming up, she has taken the decision to rest this week. Lucky loser Casey Dellacqua replaces the top seed in the draw. The Australian will play Julia Goerges in the second round on Wednesday.

With Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova having also withdrawn due to a virus, the event is now without its top two seeds. Third seed Caroline Wozniacki is now the highest-ranked player competing in Dubai.

Azarenka is due to return to action in Indian Wells. The Californian tournament starts on March 7.

21
Feb
12

Ivanovic advances with a win over Schiavone.

Ana Ivanovic defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5 Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Ivanovic breezed through the first set, holding her Italian opponent to just one game in 33 minutes. Schiavone made it competitive in the second set, but was no match for the 24-year-old Serb.

Also, fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced after defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-7 (6), 7-5. Radwanska cruised through the first set in 27 minutes, but she needed another 2 hours to win her opening match. After losing the second set on a tiebreaker, Radwanska struggled with her concentration in the third. She rallied from 5-3 down to win 7-5. On Tuesday, two more players joined the list of withdrawals. Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia retired with a hamstring injury while trailing Iveta Benesova 3-1, and Maria Kirilenko withdrew from a doubles match with Sabine Lisicki against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alicja Rosolska. Kirilenko has a neck injury but is scheduled to play Ivanovic in the second round on Wednesday, organizers said.

Later Tuesday, sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France will meet Shuai Peng of China in her opening match. The winner will play Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round. Hantuchova advanced after defeating Polona Hercog of Slovenia 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4). Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki will open the defense of her title on Wednesday when she meets Simona Halep of Romania. Halep advanced Tuesday after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2. Also, Lucie Safarova defeated Petra Martic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Safarova will meet U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in the second round. Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top-seeded player in Dubai. The top-ranked Belarusian will meet Julia Goerges of Germany in her opening match on Wednesday.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva withdrew because of illness or injury on Monday.

 




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