Archive for the '(TOURNAMENTS ARCHIVES.)' Category

30
Apr
12

New Blue clay surface in Madrid?….how about new Pink clay in Paris!!

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It will be interesting to see how things unfold in Madrid, particularly given it is such a major tournament – one of the Masters 1000 events on the ATP World Tour and a Premier Mandatory week for the WTA. Players are also desperate to find good form on the surface ahead of the French Open which is just four weeks away. Whatever the future holds for the blue stuff, the decision to use it has already had an effect on other tournaments.

Organisers at Roland Garros have already announced they will have a pink claycourt during the French Open, although significantly it will not be used for main tournament matches. It is instead being used as more of a publicity stunt – promoting the tournament’s ladies’ day which comes on June 7 when the women’s singles semi-finals are due to take place. Court One will be turned pink and will play host to two women’s legends matches.

Critics say Madrid’s move to blue is also nothing but a PR gimmick, although if that is the case it has certainly worked. We await the verdict of the players with bated breath.

09
Apr
12

Breaking news in the NHL!!

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Maybe this is not tennis, but it is major sports news……….The NHL will expand in the 2014-15 season with two new Canadian teams. One will return to play in Quebec City while a new team will be situated in Markham Ontario. A new arena is already under construction in the Warden Ave/Hwy 407 area which will house the new team. A compensation amount of $150 million is to be paid to the Toronto Maple Leaf organisation. The new team is backed by the Bauer Sporting Goods Co.

Speculation about the location of a new team in the Toronto area has been discussed for years with places like Hamilton, London and Kitchener often being mentioned, but now the speculation ends as the new team will be just 20 miles Notheast of Toronto in Markham Township.

A public competition for a name for the new team will be announced soon. How about the Markham Marauders? or the Markham Misfits? Markham has a large Chinese population so The Markham Ming Dynasty might take on a new meaning!

08
Apr
12

Bob and Mike Bryan gave the United States a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup tie with France in Monte Carlo.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had given France the lead on Friday before John Isner levelled and the Bryan twins gave the Americans the advantage with two rubbers left with a 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/4) victory. The first two sets were close with the Bryans edging their opponents thanks to a break of serve in each set. In the third, there were no breaks with both pairs playing tight, controlled tennis with minimal unforced errors and they tied at 6-6 to force a tie-break. The Bryan brothers moved to 6-4 and match point and they prompted a driven forehand error to seal victory in two hours seven minutes. On Monday Tsonga will take on Isner with Gilles Simon facing teenager Ryan Harrison in what could be the deciding rubber.

The Czech Republic took a 2-1 lead against Serbia after Janko Tipsarevic and Radek Stepanek held off spirited opponents who came back in the third set to win 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7/4). Tipsarevic had come out on top in a five-hour five-setter with Stepanek to bring Serbia, without world number one Novak Djokovic, level at 1-1 with the Czech Republic in Prague. Berdych joined forces with Stepanek and they edged the first set against Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic with two breaks of serve before dominating the second. The Serbian pair broke at the start of the third and then held for 3-0, although their opponents managed to bring it back to 6-6, taking the set to a tie-break. Tipsarevic and Berdych eased into a 3-0 lead before their rivals levelled. It was nip and tuck but the Czech pair moved to 6-4 on their serve which they converted for victory.

Austria enjoyed a four-set victory over Spain who could have qualified for the semi-finals with a win as they led 2-0 going into today’s rubber. However, Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya overcame the loss of the first set to beat Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 3-6 6-4 6-4 7-6 (14-12). The Spanish had been in complete control of their tie with Austria from the outset with Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer both easing to straight-sets victories yesterday. Granollers and Lopez broke twice in the first set as well as capitalising on their opponents’ numerous unforced errors, to win 6-3. However, Austrian pair Marach and Peya hit back in the second, breaking once and minimising their unforced errors count. They continued to surprise in the third, which they also won 6-4, to move to within a set of halving the deficit with the current title holders. With no breaks in the fourth, the set moved to a tie-break which swung this way and that with Austria eventually prevailing 14-12.

Argentina will take a 2-1 lead over Croatia into the final day of their tie in Buenos Aires after edging an epic doubles rubber. David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank beat Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 8-6 in a match lasting one minute short of five hours.

 

 

12
Mar
12

Indian Wells has been hard hit by a stomach virus epidemic.

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Frenchman Gael Monfils was the highest-profile victim of the illness – which tournament officials were quick to say had nothing to do with their food service. Monfils was one of six players who have either pulled out or quit a match in the past several days due to the illness. WTA players Vera Zvonareva and Vania Kind were forced to withdraw from their third round matches. Other players have complained of ‘not feeling so good’ including Petra Kvitova. Don’t be surprised to see more withdrawls from competition this week!

“There is currently a Coachella Valley-wide virus, which is resulting in symptoms of nausea and vomiting, fever and subsequent diarrhoea,” the local Eisenhower Medical Centre said. “It is self-limited and lasts between 24 and 48 hours. It is transmitted by air and direct contact and not passed via food.” Hospitals across the area had seen a surge of patients with such symptoms. “At Eisenhower Medical Centre, which provides medical support for the BNP Paribas Open, we have seen increases in overall visits to the emergency department by about 15 per cent over the past week, mostly adults and children with these symptoms,” the statement said. “We have seen fans and players at the tournament experience these symptoms as well.”

10
Mar
12

” It was a bad day for me,” admits Jelena Jankovic as she is ousted at Indian Wells.

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While Azarenka survived, Jelena Jankovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both suffered surprise defeats in Indian Wells. Serbian 12th seed Jankovic was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Jamie Hampton while another American, Vania King, saw off 13th-seeded Russian Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-4. Jankovic, champion in Indian Wells in 2010, had reached the semi-finals in her last two tournaments but her exertions in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur seemed to catch up with her. She was broken five times in total by Hampton, who had already caused something of an upset by getting past Polona Hercog in the opening round. “It was a bad day of tennis for me,” the Serb said afterwards. “I just did not feel the ball. My legs felt so heavy on the court, so I was moving very badly out there.”

Victoria Azarenka’s return to action proved a tough one on Friday but she managed to scrape into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open. The world number one, playing for the first time since an ankle problem forced her to miss last month’s tournament in Dubai, was pushed all the way by Germany’s Mona Barthel before winning 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (8/6). Azarenka squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set and then had to come from 4-1 and 5-3 down in the decider, eventually taking it 8-6 in a tense tie-break. In winning, the Australian Open champion moved to 18-0 for the season and afterwards claimed the victory had been one of her more pleasing. “It’s a good feeling to come out from a match like this with a win,” she said. “I could be beating myself up somewhere in my house after losing, but I got through and I’m here. That’s a good sign. To win when you’re not playing your best, it’s more joyful.”

Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova and Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer were also ousted, Czech Klara Zakopalova defeating 19th seed Hantuchova 6-3 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 and Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova overcoming 22nd seed Wickmayer 2-6 6-2 6-4. However, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova eased past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1 6-3, and fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was a comfortable 6-2 6-4 winner over Sorana Cirstea. Ninth seed Vera Zvonareva and 25th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova were also victorious on Friday, while there were wins for Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Jie Zheng and Christina McHale.

13
Feb
12

Remembering a historic day in Tennis at the opening of Arthur Ashe stadium.

11
Feb
12

Now we know why Federer never plays in the Davis Cup!…..he’s just not a team player.

One of the biggest shocks in recent Davis Cup history was completed on Saturday afternoon when the US doubles team of Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish beat Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets to see the Americans through to April’s quarterfinals. The reverberations from John Isner’s stunning win over Federer on Friday night carried through to the doubles, which followed a very similar pattern to the Isner-Federer singles. The Swiss won the opening set and looked reasonably comfortable for a set and a half, but once the Americans had broken, the balance of power shifted, and Federer in particular fell away at the end as the US pair won 46 63 63 63 in 2 hours 18 minutes. Because so much was made of Federer’s return to the Davis Cup first round for the first time in eight years, it’s easy to see this result as a disaster for the Swiss. A disappointment it certainly is, but to view it as a disaster would be to take too much credit away from an American team that seems finally to have lost its fear of away clay.

11
Feb
12

Canada and France are tied at 1-1, today’s doubles are critical for both teams.

Thornhill's Milos Raonic prepares to serve in his Davis Cup match against France on Friday night in Vancouver.

Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau has to at the very least consider putting Raonic in the dubs as well instead of Pospisil on Saturday. For starters, Pospisil was obviously demoralized by his very forgettable performance against the powerful Tsonga. He wondered aloud in post-match interviews whether he’d be chosen to play doubles. More to the point, he’s just not playing very well at the moment, and hasn’t delivered a great deal of elite tennis since his magical Davis Cup performance for Canada in Israel last September. So the smart move for Laurendeau might be to wheel out Raonic, a strong doubles player himself, and that awesome serve. Beat the French in doubles, and Canada still has a shot at the huge upset.

The final choices don’t have to be announced until noonish on Saturday, with the match set for 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. in Toronto). But after a day on which the pro-Canada crowd at Thunderbird Arena on the grounds of UBC started to get the feel of what’s permissable in Davis Cup and the kind of difference they might be able to make this weekend, expect Saturday and Sunday to be filled with raw emotion along with pounding drums, bugles, thundersticks and manner of things not usually associated with this sport. While Pospisil wilted, Raonic had the crowd in full roar by the end of his triumph over Benneateau, with his powerful serve hammering out 24 aces and frustrating the overmatched Frenchman every time he got a sniff. What Raonic didn’t deliver against Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open – a dominant performance — he most surely did deliver against Benneteau. Hard to say what the lineups will look like on Saturday. But what we can say is two exciting days for Canadian tennis await.

 

10
Feb
12

Aussies too strong for China as they go ahead 2-0 with victories by Tomic and Hewitt.

Australia leads China 2-0 in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone One tie at Geelong, following a straight sets victory by Bernard Tomic over Wu Di today. The Aussie young gun was tested by world No.502 Wu, but pulled out a 6-4 7-6(3) 6-3 victory in windy conditions. “One day I hopefully can win the Davis Cup,” Tomic said, appreciative of the sell-out Geelong crowd, who at times referred to him as ‘Saint Bernard.’ In the first singles rubber, Lleyton Hewitt defeated China’s No.1 Zhang Ze representative 6-2 6-1 7-6, and will now hope to seal the tie when he steps out on Saturday with doubles partner Chris Guccione against Zhang Ze and Li Zhe. Following his victory over Zhang – which began easily and ended in a tussle – Hewitt warned that Wu Di was a far better player than his 500-ranking suggested. “Di Wu is the best 500 player I’ve ever seen,” Hewitt said. Added Australian Captain Patrick Rafter following Tomic’s victory: “They [the Chinese players] don’t get out of the country as much as they probably should. If they did that they’d be around the 200 mark at least.” Struggling with his returns, Tomic fell behind 3-0 in the second set of his match, but lifted his intensity enough to edge Wu with his deceptively low-angled slices, drop shots and deep ground strokes. How did Wu describe the experience of playing the young Wimbledon quarterfinalist? “He’s very cerebral player,” Wu said through an interpreter.

Tomic said the wind had messed with his rhythm, while Rafter believed the most difficult aspect of the rubber was for the world No.36 to mentally stay in a match he was expected to win easily. “Bernie more than anything struggled mentally,” said Rafter. “I know he’s hitting the ball well. It’s hard for him to get up sometimes for these sort of matches because he is playing someone he knows he should beat and he’s clearly a better player. To close that out he kept his mind together and that was the one thing I was proud of him, he probably didn’t play the prettiest tennis … but he found a way to win.” Rafter admitted the Australian side had been in several tight spots today, but were in no mood to drop a rubber. “He [Wu] put Bernie under a bit of pressure there for a while, if Bernie didn’t go with him he would have found himself in a tough four, five set match and I didn’t really want that, I wanted to be two nil up. That’s what we expected, that’s what we wanted on day one and we’ll try to close out tomorrow,” said Rafter.

A doubles victory for the home side on Saturday would propel them into a second zonal tie against either Chinese Taipei or Korea, with the winner progressing to a World Group play-off in September.

 

09
Feb
12

US Davis Cup team are definite underdogs against Switzerland on clay.

For the first time in eight years, Roger Federer has made himself available for the first round. The 16-time Grand Slam champion leads a Swiss team on indoor clay here in Fribourg, about 20 minutes by train from the Swiss capital, Bern, against an American team missing the injured Andy Roddick. Federer’s presence, alongside that of his Olympic gold medal doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka, makes Switzerland one of the leading nations in this year’s competition – always presuming Federer plays beyond this weekend. “It’s just another tie for me,” he said, “it doesn’t matter when and where it is, it’s all a matter of priorities. My team is a group of great friends, that’s what I enjoy about it, that I can spend some time with them, and hopefully try to win but if we don’t it doesn’t matter. It’s about trying your best and having a good time.” If nothing else, his approach helps keep the focus on this weekend, in which he and Wawrinka are nominated to play on all three days.

Realistically, for the US to win, Fish has to beat Wawrinka in the opening match. There is also a belief that Ryan Harrison’s nomination alongside Mike Bryan is a ploy to keep the Swiss guessing, and even the American captain Jim Courier says the length of matches Fish and Isner play on the opening day will influence his ultimate choice of doubles pair. That suggests Fish could well team up with Mike Bryan, the way he did in September 2008 when the two Americans beat Spain’s Lopez/Verdasco on the clay of Madrid. Any suggestion it might be asking too much of Fish to play on all three days is refuted by his performance in September 2010, when he played two singles five-setters and a four-set doubles on the clay of Bogota to help the USA beat Colombia. With Federer playing, the visitors are clearly the underdogs, but there is a good spirit in the American team. And Fish makes an interesting point: “We like our chances here. We have the most uncomfortable player on our team in Isner, and I’m certainly glad I’m not playing him.”

Friday

R1: Wawrinka (SUI) v Fish (USA)

R2: Federer (SUI) v Isner (USA)

Saturday

R3: Federer / Wawrinka (SUI) v M. Bryan / Harrison (USA)

Sunday

R4: Federer (SUI) v Fish (USA)

R5: Wawrinka (SUI) v Isner (USA)

 




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