Archive for the '2009 China Open' Category


Kuznetsova takes her 12th. WTA title.

China Open Tennis

Svetlana Kuznetsova spoilt Agnieszka Radwanska’s perfect finals record on Sunday with a 62 64 win in the title match of the China Open, the French Open champion’s third Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of the year and the 12th of her career.

Kuznetsova, the No.6 seed at the $4.5-million, Premier-level tournament, broke serve in the opening game and would end up cruising through the first set in just 31 minutes. The second set was tougher but again she broke the No.12 seed in the opening game before the pair held on tightly to their service games the rest of the set until the Russian completed the one-hour, 19-minute victory.

Kuznetsova’s first two titles of the year came at Stuttgart and Roland Garros during the spring. She went 8-7 in her seven tournaments since the Parisian triumph, including an opening round loss to a qualifier at Tokyo last week – but in Beijing, where she had never lost before the final in three previous tries, she came to life again, eventually blemishing Radwanska’s 4-0 record in finals and beating her nemesis for the third time in their last six meetings.

By virtue of reaching the final, Radwanska assured herself of a return to the Top 10. She spent 35 weeks inside the Top 10 between July 7, 2008 and March 22, 2009 (dropping out for the 2008 US Open fortnight but spending all other weeks inside that period inside the elite). She had been hovering between No.11 and No.14 ever since dropping out on March 23 this year (after Indian Wells).


Djokovic wins the China Open and the #3 position.

novak 3

Novak Djokovic captured his third ATP title of the year at the China Open on Sunday, outlasting giant killer Marin Cilic of Croatia in a blistering baseline battle, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4). The win establishes Djokovic firmly into the #3 position in the rankings ahead of the injured Andy Murray.

The Serbian second seed took advantage of a 90-minute rain delay, which came at 2-2 in the first set, coming back on centre court at the Beijing Olympics tennis venue with sharper ground strokes and well-placed serves.

The big-hitting Cilic — who beat fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko and top seed Rafael Nadal en route to the final — kept up a barrage of huge shots from the backcourt but Djokovic mixed up the pace to throw him off, forcing errors.

After holding serve to go up 3-2 in the first, Djokovic broke Cilic straight away and then a second time to take the set, with the 21-year-old Croatian the victim of two unlucky net cords in the final game.

In the second, Cilic — a wild card entry here — and the 22-year-old Serb traded breaks three times to force a tiebreak, with the Croatian failing to serve out the set twice.

Djokovic took control mid-tiebreak, winning a rally that left Cilic sitting on the court to go up 4-2. The Serb closed it out on his second match point when the Croatian sent an inside-out forehand sailing wide.

Djokovic, by reaching the final, is assured of taking over the world number three ranking on October 19, surpassing injured Scot Andy Murray. He has already qualified for the season-ending championship in London in November.

Both men will head straight to Shanghai for the next leg of the ATP Tour’s swing through Asia.

Also on Sunday, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan won the men’s doubles final, defeating Andy Roddick and doubles specialist Mark Knowles in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, for their sixth title of the year.


Kuznetsova v. Radwanska in China Open final.

radkuz 3

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova (No. 6 seed) cruised to victory against Nadia Petrova (No. 13 seed), also Russian, 6-1, 6-3, Saturday in the semifinals of the 2009 China Open on Saturday.

  Petrova, 27, who defeated Serena Williams (No. 1) in the third round, fell quickly to Kuznetsova, 24, in the first set. Petrova’s left leg appeared weak, preventing her from chasing the ball, and Kuznetsova easily won the set 6-1.

  Before the start of the second set, a trainer was called to stretch Petrova’s leg, and she appeared more mobile throughout the rest of the match. But Petrova’s play was still sometimes sluggish, and she fell to Kuznetsova 6-3.

  Kuznetsova advances to the finals where she will face Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded 12th, who defeated Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi final.


Shuai Peng, on an ‘Oudin-like’ run, defeats Sharapova!

China Tennis OpenShuai Peng is 5’8″ according to the stats on her home page, but on court against the 6’2″ Maria Sharapova she looked a lot smaller when they stood at the net for the coin toss. But as their 3rd round match progressed it was Peng who grew in stature while Sharapova looked for a place to hide.

In her opening match Peng easily defeated Shnedova 6-2, 6-3. She followed up that win with an impressive come from behind win over Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, and suddenly this young Chinese player was the talk of the town. Just as Melanie Oudin did in New York, the local crowd was hopeful that Peng could emulate her American compatriot and pull off a miracle against Maria Sharapova.

Their match was not close, Peng winning in straight sets 6-2,6-4. “I was having trouble with a few things,” Sharapova said in her post-match press conference. “It was not my day I guess. Usually I’m able to, when things are not going well, to fight and get myself going, and I was not able to do that today for some reason. I’m not sure why, but sometimes you have those days.”

 Peng now moves on to face the winner of the Petrova/Williams contest in the next round, where a victory over either one would be another crowd pleaser.


Maria and Serena on a collision course!

serena 22masha 22

The ‘new’ world #1 player Serena Williams is on course to meet Maria Sharapova at the 2009 China Open. Maria has to get by Shuai Peng, while Serena’s path to their showdown is blocked by Nadia Petrova.

Between the two they have combined prize money earnings of  just a shade under $40 million! And it’s anyone’s guess as to how much their total worths are.

The last time they met was at Charleston in 2008 on clay, Serena won in 3 sets. They have met 7 times before with Serena holding a 5-2 edge. Included in her victories are the two Australian Open titles she won over Maria in 2005, and 2007.

The winner in Beijing might go on to win the 2009 China Open title.


The Venus ‘magic’ is gone….maybe it’s time to say goodbye!

venuVenus Williams fell to Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the second time in a week with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss Monday in the second round of the China Open.

The American’s match against the Russian, who defeated her in the second round in Tokyo last week, seemed set to go in Williams’ favor after she took the first set 6-3. But she dropped the second and then scrambled to recover in the third to no avail.

Serving for the match, Pavlyuchenkova, who turned 18 in July, sent a decisive forehand winner past a reaching Williams to wrap up the final set after two hours, 13 minutes of play.

“She played really well. Sometimes I just made errors too soon in the point,” said Williams, who totaled 12 double faults in the match.

Asked if there was something about the Russian’s game that she found difficult to handle, Williams declined to analyze.

“She plays well against everyone she plays and I think I ususally do, too,” Williams said.


Jankovic unlikely to show for her match tomorrow.


Jelena Jankovic’s campaign for a berth at the season-ending WTA Championships suffered a serious setback after she retired with an arm injury in the final of the Pan Pacific Open.

The Serbian former world number one was forced to quit with severe pain in her right arm when trailing 2-5 against Russia’s Maria Sharapova in Tokyo Saturday, putting her bid to defend the China Open in jeopardy.

“My wrist and the whole arm this moment is in pain, it’s swollen,” she said before leaving for China.

“So I don’t know how it will recover, if it will recover by the time I begin over there (Beijing),” she said.

Jankovic earlier said her goal for this season was to earn her ticket to the 4.55-million-dollar championships to be held in Doha later this month, involving the eight top players in 2009.

“My goal is to make it to the championships,” said Jankovic, currently in ninth position. “That’s what I am trying this moment.”

For the China Open, which started Saturday, she received a first-round bye and will face the winner of the clash between Peng Shuai of China and Virginie Razzano of France.


Wozniacki ousted by serve and volleyer Martinez Sanchez.

sanchezMaria Jose Martinez Sanchez has Caroline Wozniacki’s number. She beat the teenager at the Swedish Open in the summer and today she defeated her again in the first round of the 2009 China Open in Beijing. The #5 player in the world had no answer for the Spaniard’s combination of volleys, drop shots, lobs, spins and serves. Sanchez is one of a very few players who is comfortable at the net, and her serve and volley style had Wozniacki out of rhythm and frustrated. The match was close for 2 sets, but the third was no contest. The final score was 6-7, 7-6, 6-0.

In other matches completed today, Serena Williams defeated Kaia Kenepi 7-5, 6-4, and Dinara Safina won her match against Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-4. Of the two winners the one who finishes highest in the tournament will be the #1 ranked player.


Masha gets a tough draw at the China Open.

masha 1The women’s singles main draw for the 2009 China Open was released Friday, setting up matches to be played from Oct. 3-11.

  The top four players in the world — Dinara Safina, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva — all landed in different quarters. But the Williams sisters are in the same half, so they could potentially meet in the semifinals.

  The No. 8 seed Jelena Jankovic received a bye in the first round, along with No. 12 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 16 seed Na Li and unseeded Maria Sharapova. Jankovic and Sharapova will meet in the final of the Tory Pan Pacific Open on Saturday.

  Though Sharapova won’t have to play a first round match, she still has a tough draw. She potentially faces No. 9 seed Victoria Azarenka in the second round, Jankovic once again in the third round, No. 2 Serena Williams in the quarterfinals and then No. 3 seed Venus William in the semifinals.

  That quarter of the bracket is definitely the most intriguing. Another potential quarterfinal match to look forward to would put this year’s French Open champion and No. 6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova against last year’s French Open champion and No. 11 seed Ana Ivanovic.

  Kuznetsova has won two tournaments this year and is trying to secure a spot in the WTA year-end championships tournament in Doha, Qatar. Ivanovic, meanwhile, has slipped in the rankings as of late and is still looking for her first tournament title in 2009.

  With many of the top women’s players coming to Beijing for the 2009 China Open, the tournament features quality matches that would be expected in the second week of a Grand Slam tournament.


Melanie Oudin fails to qualify at China Open.

alexa glatchMelanie Oudin, the recent darling of American tennis, failed to qualify for the main draw of the 2009 China Open on Friday.

  Oudin, 18, fell in three sets (6-2, 5-7, 3-6) to fellow American Alexa Glatch. This was the first time since May that Oudin failed to qualify for an event in which she was participating. She fell in the qualifying rounds of the French Open.

  Oudin came into the 2009 China Open at No. 42. She rose in the ranks after her dream breakthrough at the U.S. Open in August where she toppled Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova and Maria Sharapova.

  At the Beijing tournament on Friday, she dropped two games in the first set before hitting her stride and taking the set 6-2. Glatch, No. 115, was only able to break Oudin once in the first set, but combined for seven more breaks in the following two sets.

  Midway through the second set, Oudin seemed frustrated with her playing, often shouting “Come on!” to pump herself up. Glatch, in comparison, appeared calm and patient, never showing much emotion on the court.

  Glatch closed the match before a crowd that spilled out into the promenade, standing along the sides of the court, watching the upset. Glatch progresses to the second round of the qualifiers on Saturday.

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