Archive for the 'Flavia Pennetta' Category


Sara Errani wins singles and doubles titles in Acapulco.

Sara Errani

Sara Errani became the first player in almost two years to sweep both the singles and doubles titles at a WTA tournament, doing so at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL in picturesque Acapulco on Saturday. In a week Italian tennis could be extremely proud of – three Italians reaching the semifinals of a WTA tournament for the first time since 2009, then the first all-Italian WTA final since 2010 – it was the No.3-seeded Errani who rose above them all, beating No.1-seeded Roberta Vinci in Friday’s semifinals, 64 61, then No.2 seed Flavia Pennetta in Saturday evening’s final, 57 76(2) 60.

The first two sets of the final were particularly close – both 57 minutes, they showcased the Italian pair’s impressive speed and tenacity, as well as their big forehands. But Errani rolled off the first five points of the tie-break and her confidence only grew – once she closed that breaker out she won the third set in just 32 minutes, losing only three points in her three service games. “It was such a tough final against Flavia,” Errani said. “I had to run a lot and try to play my game and be aggressive in the important moments. It’s never easy playing an Italian but I played really well, especially in the third set. I can take a lot of confidence from this going into Indian Wells, but I always want more.”

Errani collected her third WTA title, having won her first two in the summer of 2008, at back-to-back events in Palermo (clay) and Portoroz (hardcourt).


Flavia Pennetta wins poorly attended Singapore Exhibition.


Flavia Pennetta got her new season off to a fine start by winning the Singapore Women’s Tennis Exhbition event on Sunday. The Italian, ranked 20th in the world, beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 7-5 in the final, coming from 5-2 down in the second set to secure a straight-sets win.

In the third-place play-off, US Open champion Sam Stosur beat China’s Peng Shuai 2-6 6-4 6-4.

Organisers want to turn the exhibition event into a full WTA tournament, possibly as early as next year. However, their hopes of doing so have not been helped by a poor attendance over the past three days.


“It was a great win for me,” said Pennetta. “I think in the third set I was a little bit nervous when I started to think too much about closing the match, so I’m really proud of my game today.”

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Italy’s Flavia Pennetta sent third seed and former champion Maria Sharapova tumbling out of the US Open with a shock third-round win. Pennetta, the 26th seed, came through 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a dramatic match on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Sharapova had been among the favourites for the title after winning the build-up tournament in Cincinnati last month.

Second seed Vera Zvonareva beat Anabel Medina Garrigues, conqueror of Britain’s Laura Robson, 6-4 7-5.

Romania’s Monica Niculescu thrashed Czech 27th seed Lucie Safarova 6-0 6-1 to set up a surprise last-16 match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3 6-1. Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, the 22nd seed and Wimbledon semi-finalist, defeated American Irina Falconi 6-0 6-1, while 13th seed Peng Shuai of China beat German 19th seed Julia Goerges 6-4 7-6 (7-1). In the night session, Russian 25th seed Maria Kirilenko ended the run of American hope Christina McHale 6-2 6-3.



Rogers Cup doubles champions win a close battle 10-6 in the decider.


Defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta squeak by after splitting the first two sets against Marina Erakovic and Julia Goerges, Dulko and Pennetta trailed 6-5 in the match tie-break, but then reeled off five straight points to secure a 46 62 106 triumph. “Nice win today,” Dulko tweeted. “Was a really tough match against Erakovic and Goerges. Tough conditions as well, very windy!” Next up for the No.2 seeds are Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska, whom they just beat last week in the first round of Carlsbad. Dulko and Pennetta will be looking to put a disappointing trend behind them, as they have lost in the quarterfinals of five straight events.

The other seeded team in action Thursday, fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko, were up, 4-1, in the first set on Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic when the Serb-German duo had to retire because of a left wrist injury suffered by Ivanovic. Azarenka and Kirilenko, who have now won 16 of their past 17 matches, will take on Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova in the quarters.


Flavia Pennetta ousted by Barbora Strycova at Swedish Open.

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova fought back from the brink of defeat to knock out second-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta and reach the semi-finals of the Swedish Open in Bastad. The Czech 25-year-old, ranked 39 places below her opponent at 60 in the world, was a break down in the deciding set before battling back to win 6-4 5-7 6-3 and book her place in the semi-finals.

The hosts are guaranteed a finalist after both Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson battled through tough three-setters. Arvidsson beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/3) while Larsson was a 6-4 3-6 7-5 winner over another Spaniard, Lourdes Dominguez Lino. Eighth seed Polona Hercog of Slovakia completed the semi-final line-up after a straightforward 6-2 6-4 win over Russia’s Vesna Dolonts.


Wozniacki battles past Cornet 6-4, 6-4, at the Swedish Open.


Caroline Wozniacki shrugged off the disappointment of her early Wimbledon exit by battling into the second round of the Swedish Open in Bastad. Wozniacki did not have it all her own way against the world number 69 Alize Cornet of France, requiring one hour and 35 minutes to see off her opponent 6-4 6-4 in a keenly contested encounter.

Second seed Flavia Pennetta beat Australian qualifier Olivia Rogowska 6-2 7-5 and other victorious seeds included fifth seed Vera Dushevina and eighth seed Polona Hercog.

Sixth seed Iveta Benesova suffered a crushing 6-2 6-0 defeat to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain. Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson beat Andrea Hlavackova 6-1 5-7 6-4 and will next meet Wozniacki.


Shahar Peer and Flavia Pennetta both ousted in Miami.

All of the top names moved through, including Samantha Stosur, who put on a 62 61 clinic of former Top 15 player Zheng Jie. Stosur, the No.4 seed here, was ruthless during the 58-minute rout, breaking away from 2-all in the first set with nine straight games to lead 62 50, then even holding match points in that game; she closed it out in the next game. “I played quite well. I don’t think I hit the ball out of this world fantastic, but I did what I had to do,” Stosur said. “Against a player like Zheng, you want to be able to do that from start to finish. She competes hard for every single point..” Stosur, a quarterfinalist here the last two years, will next play No.30 seed Lucie Safarova, who beat Patty Schnyder earlier, 62 64. “We’ve had some tough matches in the past,” Stosur said. “Lucie is a good player who can pretty much beat anyone on her day. I haven’t played a lefty for a while. That’s something I’ll have to adjust to, especially on the return. Hopefully I’ll have a good match.” Safarova leads Stosur in their head-to-head series, 3-0.

Stosur’s fellow top seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic also had wins under sunny skies. No.6 seed Jankovic rolled past Monica Niculescu, 63 61, while No.1 seed Wozniacki held off a late charge from Bethanie Mattek-Sands, letting a 5-3 second set lead go but eventually moving ahead, 62 75.

The first upsets of the week took place as well and they were surprisingly lopsided. No.10 seed Shahar Peer suffered a 62 62 setback to former Top 20 player Anabel Medina Garrigues, while No.13 seed Flavia Pennetta lost the last seven games of the match to fall to Czech lefty Iveta Benesova, 63 60.



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.


Surprising results as WTA players battle into the quarter finals in Dubai.

Italy’s Flavia Pennetta came back from 4-1 down in the third set to beat seventh-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Pennetta seemed on her way to a relatively straightforward victory but she blew a 5-1 lead in the second to allow the ninth-ranked Azarenka to level the match.

Wozniacki moved within one victory of regaining the No. 1 ranking after beating Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships Thursday. The 20-year-old Dane, who lost the top spot to Kim Clijsters on Monday, was never seriously challenged by the 57th-ranked Japanese qualifier. She now must beat Shahar Peer of Israel to return to No. 1. Wozniacki lost to Peer in the third round last year.

In earlier matches, U.S. Open finalist Vera Zvonareva and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone were both eliminated in the third round. Alisa Kleybanova beat Russian teammate Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2, while Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Schiavone 1-6, 6-0, 7-5.

Samantha Stosur of Australia also reached the quarterfinals, beating Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-4, while Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Marion Bartoli of France 6-3, 6-2 and Peer overcame a sluggish start to beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The highly anticipated match between Schiavone and Kuznetsova lacked the drama of their Australian Open encounter in Melbourne which lasted nearly five hours and was the longest women’s Grand Slam singles match in the Open era. Schiavone won that fourth-round match. After two quick sets that went opposite ways, Kuznetsova needed seven match points to win. “I said to myself, ‘Look, you still have it. You’re good enough. It’s just matter of closing the deal,”’ Kuznetsova said. “I just cannot close it. It’s just one point, a stupid point, but it’s only one. I win like 101 during the match, and I can’t win just final one. It’s funny.”

Kleybanova had six aces against Zvonareva, an Australian Open semifinalist and runner-up at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. “Maybe the score looked easy, but the match wasn’t really easy today. We had a lot of fighting in many games,” said Kleybanova, who has beaten Zvonareva twice before, the last time in 2009 in Tokyo. Zvonareva, who reached the quarterfinals last year in Dubai, called the match one of her worst recent performances. “Definitely, it wasn’t my day today. I think I didn’t play too good,” she said. “Too many unforced errors. Probably one of the worse matches in a while from my part.”

Stosur, a 2010 French Open finalist who has started slowly this year, hasn’t really been tested yet in Dubai. She only dropped a game in her second round match victory over Sara Errani. Against the 32-year-old Schnyder, Stosur won the first set easily even though she only got 36 percent of her first serves in.

In the second set, Stosur let slip an early break of serve but two double faults from Schnyder helped the Australian player break again for a 5-4 lead before she served out the win with a love game.


Italy was just too good for the Aussies, as Stosur fails to win a point.

World No. 4 Francesca Schiavone defeated No. 5 Samantha Stosur 76(1) 36 75 in a rematch of the 2010 Roland Garros Final then Flavia Pennetta, who won the decisive point over USA in last year’s final, secured victory for Italy by defeating Fed Cup debutante Jarmila Groth 63 62 to give Italy an unassailable 3-1 lead and set up a semifinal encounter against either France or Russia in the 2011 Fed Cup.

In the doubles, Italy’s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci came back from one set down to defeat the Australians Anastasia Rodionova and Rennae Stubbs 26 76(1) 64. It was a historic doubles match for both team as Vinci won her 16th consecutive doubles without a loss, tying a Fed Cup record, while the veteran Stubbs completed her professional tennis career. It was the Australian’s 17th year in the competition and she was honoured in an emotional ceremony on the court.

Schiavone set up the victory by beating Stosur in two hours 44 minutes and then Pennetta took just 66 minutes to defeat Groth. Stosur had her fair share of chances in the match which would have put Australia in a very good position. In the first set, she had three break points in the ninth game which, if converted, would have seen her serving for the set. The Australian then played a terrible tiebreak which ended when she sent a forehand into the net. Pennetta opened up a 4-1 lead in the first set but then dropped serve and allowed Groth, who played her first Fed Cup for Australia on Saturday, a slight opening. The Australian closed to within one game but Pennetta then broke serve again to go up 5-3 and serving out the set. The Italian jumped to a quick lead in the second set and her greater experience in the competition paid huge dividends. Groth certainly tried to make inroads but to no avail as Pennetta stuck the ball so crisply.

“Yesterday we could have been 2-0 or 0-2, so we are happy to have won 3-1,” Pennetta said. “It was tough for everyone because both teams are so good. You have to be ready for everything. Everyone played really good tennis and there wasn’t much difference but you have to believe you can win.” The win is Pennetta’s 20th singles win in fourteen Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties and also her 10th consecutive singles win in the competition. The last time she lost a singles was in April, 2009 to Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 60 63 in the World Group semifinals.

As for Groth, it’s been a big weekend experiencing the highs and lows this competition brings. “Obviously I am disappointed I lost (to Pennetta) but all the matches this weekend were good,” Groth said. “I think against Flavia I tried to play too much of her style. I didn’t serve very well and she didn’t give me too many mistakes. She won the crucial points.” Earlier Schiavone was overwhelming in the first set tiebreak against Stosur. However, Stosur broke Schiavone in the fourth game of the second and maintained that advantage to level the match even after a rain interruption distracted the two women for about 15 minutes. The final set was the cruncher for Australia. Stosur had five break points in the third game and failed to capitalise. Schiavone said that was a crucial moment in the match.

“She played terrible those points,” Schiavone said. “I think then that I have the chance and the end of the match is not far away and I was able to push things some more. “I think the difference in the match was that I had more chances. I never played same shot too many times. I mix it up so much and I always offer something with my tennis.” Schiavone added that she has been playing more aggressively against Stosur of late. This is her second win from the last three matches against the Australian. Stosur meanwhile was disappointed with some of her play and said she “didn’t make it happen”. “It might have been different if I had an early break because I was holding my serve confidently,” Stosur said. “I was getting the opportunities and not being able to take them. I couldn’t quite get the edge.”

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