Archive for the '2011 Medibank International' Category

15
Jan
11

Will Simon climb back into the top 10!

Gilles Simon has become the fourth Frenchman in the Open era to win the men’s singles event at the Medibank International Sydney following a 7-5 7-6(4) win over No.4 seed Viktor Troicki at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. Former world No.6 Simon, currently ranked No.41 and on the comeback trail after a debilitating knee injury last year, didn’t drop a set all week as he joined compatriots Henri Leconte (1985), Yannick Noah (1990) and Guy Forget (1991) as Sydney champions. In front of an enthusiastic crowd on Ken Rosewall Arena, the men traded breaks early in the first set but each held serve through to 6-5 for Simon, though Troicki had to save set point in the 10th game. The Frenchman managed to break through on Troicki’s next service game, breaking to win the opener 7-5 after 57 minutes, leading the Serbian to smash his racquet to the ground twice as he headed to his chair. The outburst may have helped Troicki as he broke Simon’s serve twice to lead 3-0, hitting some blazing forehand winners in the process. However Simon recovered both breaks as Troicki’s frustration began to surface, so when he broke for 6-5 it was somewhat of a surprise. Simon got himself to 0-40 on Troicki’s next service game but the No.4-seeded Serbian got back to deuce, firing a second-serve ace at 30-40. Nonetheless Simon broke back and sent the set to a tie-break. Simon rode the momentum through the breaker and despite a spirited challenge from Troicki, 26-year-old Simon held on to improve to 5-0 against his Serbian opponent, triumphing after one hour, 58 minutes.

The victory was Simon’s eighth ATP singles title and means he has now won at least one title in each of the past five seasons.

14
Jan
11

China’s Li Na upstaged favourite Kim Clijsters to claim the Sydney International title in straight sets.

It was an impressive display from the eighth seed, who trailed 5-0 in the first set before steadying to secure a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 victory in blustery conditions on Ken Rosewall Arena. Li, who had previously beaten Clijsters once in five meetings, out-gunned the out-of-sorts world number three from the back of the court to post her fourth career title. It was an uncharacteristic performance from the Belgian, producing 27 unforced errors and seven double faults to squander a blistering start to the match. Li was staring down the barrel at 5-0 down after 18 minutes, but last year’s Australian Open semi finalist made the most of her reprieve to draw level at 5-5. Both players held their next service games to send the bizarre opening set into a tie-break. Clijsters took an early 3-1 lead but her game again deserted her as she lost six consecutive points to surrender the set.

The US Open champion struggled to cope with the windy conditions, dropping her first service game of the second set after producing her sixth double fault of the match. In a rare show of frustration, Clijsters slammed the ball into the court after conceding the break. She was able to get back on serve immediately, only to concede another break to trail 4-1. Li survived a scare in the seventh game as Clijsters made one desperate bid to get back in the match, but the 28-year-old held firm to seal the biggest victory of her career in just under 90 minutes.

13
Jan
11

“In the past few months I’ve played pretty good against the French guys,” Troicki said.

Viktor Troicki continued to be a nemesis for French players when he knocked out last year’s finalist Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International on Thursday. The Serbian fourth seed was too strong for Gasquet, winning 6-4, 6-4 in 77 minutes to set up a Friday semi-final with Germany’s Florian Mayer. Troicki became a national hero when he swept Serbia to an historic first Davis Cup title in easing past Michael Llodra in straight sets in the fifth and deciding rubber in Belgrade last month.

“In the past few months I’ve played pretty good against the French guys,” Troicki said. “Surprisingly I beat them in straight sets. “It’s going good and hopefully I can continue. It’s not easy to play against them, but for me, I guess it suits me.”

In Friday’s other semifinal Frenchman Gilles Simon will play Ernests Gulbis, the Latvian third seed. “I thought I had the match under control and I had a break in the second set,” Troicki said. “Richard started playing better and started playing some really great shots. “Luckily, at the end I broke him and served it out. So it was a tough one. I mean, he’s an ex-top 10 player.” Mayer cruised to a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 victory over Italian Potito Starace.

Simon, who was hindered by a persistent right knee injury for the first half of last year, wore down Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-3 to set up a last-four shot at Gulbis. Simon, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open, continued his fine tournament after ousting Taiwan’s eighth seed Lu Yen-Hsun and Portugal’s Frederico Gil to line up against Gulbis. The former world number six said he was now trussing his right knee after suffering chronic inflammation which forced him out of last year’s French Open. “I’m really happy to play without any pain, because a lot of time I had something,” Simon said. “It’s now two months that I can work on it normally without thinking about it. I’m not thinking any more about where I’m going to put my feet or anything. Just run.”

Gulbis worked his way into the semi-finals after beating Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 6-4. Gulbis said he pulled up badly from his previous day’s win over Russian Igor Andreev. “Yesterday’s match killed me physically,” he said. “It was really humid and I lost a lot of fluids, so I went straight to the hotel and I went to sleep. I didn’t feel good. “This morning I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play, but at the start of the match I felt really good.

“I will do some treatment. I will go to have a bath, ice massage, whatever it takes. I’m going to be okay tomorrow. “I just can’t go really long matches (but) don’t tell Simon.” Gulbis is the top-ranked seed left in the Sydney draw, after Wednesday’s exit of US top seed Sam Querrey and the injury-enforced withdrawal of defending champion and second seed Marcos Baghdatis.

13
Jan
11

“I have nothing to lose. I just want to show my best on the tennis court.” says Li Na.

Kim Clijsters is on track for her third Medibank International Sydney title but will have to overcome world No.11 Li Na from China in Friday night’s final. The world No.3, who was crowned champion in 2003 and 2007, battled from a set down to defeat Russian Alisa Kleybanova in today’s semi final 4-6 6-3 7-6(1) in two hours and 38 minutes. Eighth seed Li won the first semi final earlier in the day, defeating Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski 7-6(5) 6-3.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Clijsters said she was pleased to make it through a tough three-set match ahead of the Australian Open. “It was fun to play a match like this, because my first matches were all two sets. So it was nice to have a match like that,” Clijsters said. “Another Medibank International Sydney title would be great. I’ve always enjoyed playing here and hopefully I can repeat it one more time tomorrow.” Li, a semifinalist at last year’s Australian Open and the first Chinese player to reach a final in Sydney, said she was happy to have started the year well. “I have played well in Australia before and always enjoy playing here,” Li said.

“Kim is a great player and I have played her many times so I have nothing to lose. I just want to show my best on the tennis court.”

12
Jan
11

Li Na is through to the semi final in Sydney.

Li Na of China booked her place in the Sydney International semi-finals after a gruelling marathon win over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Li returned to the Sydney semi-finals for the first time since 2007 after out-lasting the two-time Grand Slam champion with a 3-6 7-6 6-3 success coming after almost two-and-a-half hours. Number 11 seed Li will now play Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski, who beat Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-1, in Thursday’s semi-finals. The Chinese number one beat the former US and French Open champion for just the fourth time in 11 matches to make the last four in Sydney.

Li made the Australian Open semis last year as she became the first Chinese player to make the world’s top 10, and she is hoping for another good showing at Melbourne after challenging for the Sydney title. “It was a tough match because the conditions were hot today,” Li said. “It is always tough when we play each other. We have played many times. “We didn’t want to play a long match, but every time we play it’s long. We know each other pretty well and sometimes we practice together, so we know how each other plays on the court.” Li is chasing a fourth career singles title, but was not yet thinking about lifting the trophy in Sydney just yet. “You never know what will happen in the next round against your next opponent,” she said.

11
Jan
11

Wozniacki, Zvonareva & Stosur all lose in Sydney!

World number one Caroline Wozniacki’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered another big blow as she was dumped out of the Medibank International in Sydney by Dominika Cibulkova. Danish star Wozniacki was given a bye into the second round of the Sydney event, but she only lasted one match in the tournament as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Cibulkova. Her defeat in an hour and 40 minutes of a rain-interrupted contest saw Wozniacki become the first top seed since American Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to lose her opening match in Sydney. Pressure is mounting on Wozniacki, who became world number one in October but is still without a Grand Slam to her name as she heads into next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne. After losing exhibition matches to world number two Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters, Wozniacki lost her first competitive match of 2011 to continue her poor record in Sydney, but she insists she will be on form next week in Melbourne despite her lack of match practice. “I just want to get everything together, all the puzzles together that I’ve been working on, and to make everything function,” Wozniacki said. “I want everything to just click. At the start of the new season you always need to get into the match play. I didn’t feel that I was playing great tennis out there. “So I definitely now just need to get some sets going and some training matches, head to Melbourne and get ready. Last year I had the same start, so hopefully slow start, good finish. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You need to learn from the losses. There were a few positive things in there that I can take out of it, and then I just need to work on the rest. “But I’m confident that for Melbourne I’ll be OK.”

Australian Open favourite Clijsters had few problems negotiating the second round in Sydney as she beat the Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1 6-4. Second seeded Russian Zvonareva followed Wozniacki out of the event as she lost a tough encounter with Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-5 7-5. Local hope Samantha Stosur lost a tough three-set encounter with Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova. Having surrendered the first set Kuznetsova rallied to topple the fourth seed 3-6 6-3 6-4 in just under two hours. Seventh seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus had no such worries, though, defeating Israel’s Shahar Peer 7-5 6-3. China’s Li Na, seeded eight, also progressed with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory over French qualifier Virginie Razzano and Alisa Kleybanova of Russia overcame Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-2 6-4.

10
Jan
11

“I’m very disappointed as I am the defending champion here,” the Cypriot said.

No. 2 seed Marcos Baghdatis has withdrawn from the Medibank International Sydney today due to a left groin injury. The title holder suffered the injury during a training session at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre over the weekend. “I’m very disappointed as I am the defending champion here,” the Cypriot said. “I have family here and I wanted to play in front of them and it is disappointing, but sometimes you have to take a decision that’s not easy.”

Tournament Director Craig Watson expressed his disappointment at the news. “You never want to lose any player from your draw and when it’s the defending champion, it is even more disappointing,” Watson said. “Marcos was very down when he came to see me and tell me he had injured his groin. He was really looking forward to defending his title in front of his family and friends. “We wish Marcos a speedy recovery in time for the Australian Open and we look forward to being able to welcome him back next year to the Medibank International Sydney.”

Baghdatis’ place in the men’s main draw will be taken by a lucky loser, Poland’s Lukasz Kubot.

10
Jan
11

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.

10
Jan
11

Del Potro begins his comeback with hard fought 3 hour victory.

Juan Martin del Potro claimed his first victory in a year with a hard-fought 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (9/7) 7-6 (7/3) win over Feliciano Lopez in the first round of the Medibank International in Sydney on Monday. The former world number four, who missed most of the 2010 season with a wrist injury for which he underwent surgery in May, ground out victory in three hours and two minutes against the sixth-seeded Spaniard. The Argentinian was made to fight all the way, saving seven of the eight break points he faced. The victory was Del Potro’s first since he beat Florian Mayer in the third round of the Australian Open last year, and he will face the German in the second round in Sydney after he swept aside James Ward 7-5 6-0. “I don’t expect this kind of match for the start, but we played a beautiful match, very close,” Del Potro said.

“Feliciano is a fantastic player on this kind of surface and I played good tennis again. I feel good all match and finally I won a match after one year.” Del Potro revealed he is determined to win back his top-10 place this year. “I worked very hard for two months in Argentina,” he added. “I’m ready again to play long matches. I am still lower with my level, I need time. “I need work to keep going on this road. It’s a long road to be in the top 10 again, but I’m ready to try. I need matches and matches, practice, and work. Maybe four, six months I’m ready to play again good tennis.”

09
Jan
11

The pressure is on for Wozniacki to prove herself worthy of the #1 ranking.

Caroline Wozniacki has arrived down on form but high on confidence as she sets about breaking her Grand Slam duck at Melbourne Park this month. Wozniacki opened the year with a straight-sets exhibition loss to Kim Clijsters in Thailand and then suffered a 6-1 6-0 hammering at the hands of world No.2 Vera Zvonareva in the Hong Kong Classic on Saturday. Hardly the sort of form to write home about a week before the Australian Open gets underway on January 17.

The Dane, though, cautioned her challengers against reading anything into her heavy loss to Zvonareva and vowed to prove a point when the stakes are raised at this week’s Sydney International. “She was playing well definitely yesterday,” Wozniacki said. “(But) you know, it was an exhibition match and I’m looking forward to playing in a real tournament this week and I’m definitely going to be better than I did yesterday.

“I feel prepared.” The 20-year-old is clearly relaxed heading into the new season and full of hope about what 2011 will bring. “Last year was my season and hopefully this year can be as great a season as well for me,” said the winner of a tour-best 79 matches and six tournaments in 2010. Alas, none of her titles was a grand slam and Wozniacki is aware of the growing pressure on her to deliver in the majors. “There’s only one winner and there’s 128 players playing in the main draw, so it’s not easy,” she said.




Top Posts

Categories


%d bloggers like this: