Archive for the 'Aravane Rezai' Category


Serena is playing her way into shape in week one.


Serena Williams overcame a spirited effort from Aravane Rezai to reach the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-3 3-6 6-1 win. The defending champion, who only recently returned to the court after almost a year on the sidelines, was not in top form but eventually overpowered her unseeded opponent. Williams took control early on in the match before Rezai surged back into contention with some brilliant strokes in the second set. However, the 13-time grand slam winner came through when it mattered before leaving in tears after being overcome by the emotion of her return to Centre Court.

Williams made a sluggish start in the opening game of the match, eventually being broken after a marathon battle that involved several deuces. Rezai consolidated the break in the next game, but Williams eventually got on the board before levelling matters by breaking to love. Williams then broke again in the sixth game as her power began to take its toll on the French player, although Rezai did halt a five-game losing slide by holding serve in the eighth game. The four-time champion served out the set at the first opportunity, however, and seemed set to go on and complete a routine win.

But Rezai stared the second set with renewed confidence, delivering her serves with greater authority and matching her opponent stroke-for-stroke. She had Williams in trouble on her serve in the fourth game after two quick points, but the American managed to dig herself out of trouble. The break game in the sixth game, however, with Williams double-faulting at a costly point to gift Rezai the advantage. A confident Rezai hardly put a foot wrong for the rest of the set, with the seventh seed fading away and making another error on set point to take the match into a decider. Rezai could not maintain her charge in the third set though, with Williams eventually pulling away to win with ease.



Rezai falls in Andalucia’s first round.

Third seed Aravane Rezai was the day’s biggest casualty as she crashed 6-3 6-0 to Spanish wild card Estrella Cabeza Candela, who at 258 is ranked more than 200 places below Rezai in the world rankings.

Former world number one Dinara Safina was made to work for her place in the second round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience tournament in Marbella. Safina fought back from losing the first set to triumph 3-6 6-2 6-4 and continue her recent improvement. Safina, now world number 81, recently made the last 16 in Indian Wells.

Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova beat German qualifier Mona Barthel 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and other winners included Tsvetana Pironkova, Kristina Barrois, Agnes Szavay and Lourdes Dominguez Lino.



Dinara Safina post a huge victory over Hantuchova. Is it a sign of better things ahead?

Dinara Safina won back-to-back matches for the first time this season as she knocked out two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Daniela Hantuchova 7-6(2), 6-4 on Saturday. After both players lost serve three times in the opening set, Safina secured the only break of the second set in the final game, claiming victory after one hour and 56 minutes. Safina, who had dropped to a No. 108 ranking coming into this year’s tournament, last won consecutive matches in September when she reached the Seoul quarter-finals. The 26th-seeded Hantuchova lost in her second-round opening match for the second straight year in Indian Wells. She won the title in 2002 (d. Hingis) and ’07 (d. Kuznetsova).

Two seeds advanced in early action Saturday, with No. 13 Flavia Pennetta of Italy defeating Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and No. 20 Aravane Rezai of France finishing strong against China’s Shuai Zhang 7-6(5), 6-0.


Aravane Rezai falls to a 6-2 6-1 defeat in the first round.

Third seed Aravane Rezai suffered an early exit from the the Monterrey Open as she slipped to a listless straight-sets loss at the hands of Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva. Frenchwoman Rezai was handed a wild card for the event but failed to live up to her billing as one of the favourites for the title as she fell to a 6-2 6-1 defeat in the first round.

Polona Hercog had no trouble booking her place in the second round after a straight-sets win on the opening day in Mexico. The eighth seed from Slovenia ran out a 6-3 6-3 winner over unseeded German Angelique Kerber, while Hungary’s Greta Arn also progressed from the only other first-round match played, defeating Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic 6-0 6-4.

Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic is the top seed at the hard court event and meets Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the first round


Aravane Rezai’s father banned from all WTA events.

The spectre of abusive relationships in women’s tennis has raised its head again with the WTA Tour banning a relative of France’s world No 22 Aravane Rezai from attending its events indefinitely. It is understood the person in question is her father Arsalan, who has a history of run-ins with French tennis authorities. Citing ‘a serious safety matter’, the women’s game’s authorities have imposed the ban and local police are also involved.

Aravane, 23, lost in the first round of the Australian Open and withdrew from the doubles without explanation. French media reported she had a row with her father on the morning of her match and that an altercation had taken place between her boyfriend and her father. In her post-match interview, Aravane said there had been distracting ‘concerns’ before her match, but said later that most of the claims were ‘without foundation’. The incident revives echoes of fathers whose ambitions for their daughters have spun out of control.

Extreme examples have been Mary Pierce’s father Jim and Jelena Dokic’s father Damir.


Daniela Hantuchova & Aravane Rezai both fall in round one!

 Daniela Hantuchova, became the first women’s seed to fall as she succumbed 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 9-7 to Russia’s Regina Kulikova in a match that lasted three hours 39 minutes.  After overcoming the 2008 semi-finalist, Kulikova will take on Chanelle Scheppers in the second round after the South African saw off Karolina Sprem of Croatia 4-6 6-4 6-2. France’s Aravane Rezai, seeded 17th, also bowed out after failing to recover from a sluggish start in her clash with the Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Caroline Wozniacki overcame a nervy performance to get her Australian Open campaign under way with victory over Argentina’s Gisela Dulko. The 20-year-old Dane, playing her first Grand Slam event as world number one, won 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 41 minutes.

Fourth seed Venus Williams was worked hard by Sara Errani before prevailing 6-3 6-2 and Maria Sharapova beat Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1 6-3. Williams finished with an worse first serve percentage and unforced error count than Errani, but hit two times as many winners as the Italian to advance. The 30-year-old, whose sister and defending champion Serena is absent through a foot injury, has not played a tournament since the US Open in September and initially seemed to be struggling for rhythm. “It’s only just a matter of believing that I can come out and play well even though I haven’t played as much as my opponents,” said Williams, who missed the last two months of the 2010 season with a knee injury.

“I worked as hard as I could in the off-season — I worked hard to be here.”

For Sharapova, who missed the 2009 event with a shoulder injury and lost to Maria Kirilenko in round one last year, it was a first victory at Melbourne Park since lifting the trophy in 2008. The former world number one dropped her opening service game to love, but then won seven straight games as she took the first set and broke at the start of the second. Tanasugarn, 33, recovered the break to lead 3-1 and had a game point on serve for a 4-1 advantage, but Sharapova broke back and regained the momentum, winning the next five games and sealing her win with a fine backhand winner.

Elsewhere, sixth seed Francesca Schiavone survived a scare to beat Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4. The reigning French Open champion was broken when serving for the match at 5-3 in the decider but hit straight book a meeting with Canada’s Rebecca Marino. Chinese ninth seed Li Na enjoyed a far more comfortable passage as she saw off Sofia Arvidsson 6-1 7-5, whole 15th seed Marion Bartoli of France demolished Tathiana Garbin 6-0 6-0. Eighth seed Victoria Azarena of Belarus polished off Kathrin Woerle 6-0 6-2 of Germany in little over an hour.

World number 63 Zahlavova Strycova made light of the 41 ranking places separating her from Rezai as she took the first set to love before battling through in the decider to win 6-0 3-6 7-5.


Seeded players exit in the first round of 2011 Medibank Int.

In the opening round of the 2011 Medibank International, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone crashed out, Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova seeing off the fifth-seeded Italian 6-7 (5/7) 6-1 6-2 in two hours and 12 minutes.

Sixth seed Jelena Jankovic also made an early exit as France’s Aravane Rezai beat the Serbian 7-5 2-6 6-3.

Australia’s Sam Stosur, the fourth seed, beat Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 7-5 6-4,

Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, seeded seven, came from a set down to see off Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 2-6 6-2 6-4 and eighth seed Li Na of China was a 6-1 6-2 winner over Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova.


Venus and friends getting fired up in Hong Kong!

One day before they take part in the Tennis Classic Exhibition, Venus Williams fired a noonday gun in Hong Kong. She was joined by Li Na, Aravane Rezai and Maria Kirilenko.


Bali line-up features some scrappy season winners, but no Masha.

The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions announced the list of eight players set to play in Bali next week. The tournament director, Kevin Livesey, released the final list of players who has won at least one international series tournament and is eligible to come to Bali.

1. Na Li (China) winner of AEGON Classic, Birmingham (in July)

2. Aravane Rezai (France) winner of Collector Swedish Open Women, Bastad (in July)

3. Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) winner of ASB Classic Auckland (in January)

4. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) winner of Monterrey Open (in March)

5. Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) winner of Generali Ladies in Linz (in October)

6. Alisa Kleybanova (Russia) winner of Golden Horses Health Sanctuary Malaysian Open (in February)

7. Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia)

8. Kimiko Date-Krumm (Japan)

Meanwhile, Kevin Livesey, the tournament director, also announced that Maria Sharapova has officially withdrawn from the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of champions 2010 so that she can rest and fully recover from her injury.  Maria says she has had a difficult year coming back from injury and has decided to rest and try and recover with a view of being ready for the 2011 season.” 

Maria will play at the ASB Classic tournament in Auckland next year. She was confirmed as a contender for the tournament, which runs from January 3-8 at the Tennis Centre in downtown Auckland. Sharapova decided to skip her regular Australian Open warm up, an exhibition in Hong Kong in favour of chasing ranking points in the first week of January.


Ivanovic keeps rolling along in Luxembourg.

Fourth seed Ana Ivanovic moved into the second round of the Luxembourg Open with a straightforward win against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. The Serbian encountered little resistance as she saw off Larsson’s challenge 6-3 6-0.

Elsewhere in the first round Patty Schnyder beat third seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-4 6-4, Barbora Zahlova Strycova of the Czech Republic beat sixth seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 7-5 6-1 while Ivana Lisjak pulled out with a left thigh strain against qualifier Polona Hercog. In the second round, Aravane Rezai of France was outclassed 6-0 6-1 by Kirsten Flipkens on the day, seventh seed Jarmila Groth fell 6-4 7-5 to Iveta Benesova and eighth seed Julia Goerges of Germany beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-1.

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