Archive for the 'Auckland Classic' Category

06
Jan
11

Despite all the publicised training Sharapova looks just the same as usual.

Top seed Maria Sharapova crashed out with a 6-2 7-5 defeat to Greta Arn of Hungary. The world number 18 struggled to gain any rhythm in the swirling wind and was broken twice in the first set by the 31-year-old from Budapest. Numerous unforced errors in the second set saw the three-time Grand Slam winner slump to defeat in 91 minutes. “I started off really slow, got down two breaks and I think she gained a tremendous amount of confidence from that,” she said. “I had my chances in the second (set), but I didn’t play the same way I had played to get there. “Obviously I would have loved to play a few more here and be the winner. But that’s the way it goes. You look forward to the next one. “That’s the good thing about tennis.”

There were no such problems for second seed Yanina Wickmayer, who saw off Simona Halep on Romania 6-0 6-2 in just over an hour. She will next play Peng while the second semi-final will see Julia Goerges of Germany take on Arn after the fourth seed overcame the loss of the first set against Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in the final match, coming through 5-7 6-2 6-2.

Britain’s Heather Watson was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland by Shuai Peng of China on Thursday. Peng won 6-4 7-5 in one hour 53 minutes to advance to the last four. The 18-year-old from Guernsey had been playing her first WTA Tour quarter-final.

03
Jan
11

The Russians are coming…the Russians are coming..

Kuznetsova, the third seed but coming of her first non-Top 10 season in seven years, opened main draw proceedings on center court against Kiwi wildcard Sacha Jones. While 20-year-old Jones held her own against the two-time Grand Slam winner in the first set, Kuznetsova’s experience told, 64 62. “The circumstances were very hard for me, I hadn’t played a match for three months then I met a player who was motivated and had nothing to lose,” said Kuznetsova after what was just her second match win since last year’s US Open. “She had the home crowd, I had never played her before and had no idea what to expect. “For almost the whole first set I had to watch and adjust to how she was playing,” the current world No.27 added. “She was playing good and aggressive… but in the second set I was able to put more pressure on her.”

Top seed Sharapova was also tested at times by Italian lucky loser Alberta Brianti, who earlier in the day had been beaten by 18-year-old Brit Heather Watson in the final round of qualifying. Brianti gained her spot in the draw after fifth-seeded Anastasija Sevastova withdrew with illness, which saw Sharapova’s intended opponent, Carla Suárez Navarro, promoted to the No.9 seeding and moved in the draw. Brianti saved match points to break Sharapova when the Russian served for the match at 5-1 in the second set, and more still on her own serve, before the former world No.1 advanced with a 62 63 scoreline.

Other first round winners included Peng Shuai, who eased past Sweden’s Johanna Larsson to set up a meeting with Kuznetsova; Anne Keothavong, who stormed home to beat Edina Gallovits in three; and Renata Voracova, who also went the distance against Lourdes Domínguez Lino. But in the evening session No.6 seed Kimiko Date-Krumm was outplayed by wildcard Kateryna Bondarenko, 64 63. Sabine Lisicki, Florencia Molinero and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn won their final qualifying matches to join Watson in the main draw.

02
Nov
10

Sharapova commits to play The ASB Classic in New Zealand.

The signing of  Maria Sharapova has added glamour and grunt to New Zealand’s premier women’s tennis tournament. The three-time Grand Slam winner was yesterday confirmed for the ASB Classic, and tournament director Richard Palmer rates it as the biggest coup’s in the event’s 15-year history. “This one ranks right up there,” he said. “To get a player of her calibre and a person of her calibre … We’re rapt to get her.”

There have been several big names that have made it to the Classic, but few with the cachet of Sharapova. Anna Kournikova had the biggest profile, while Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport, Anastasia Myskina, Francesca Schiavone, Amelie Mauresmo and Conchita Martinez have all won Grand Slams. Sharapova arguably trumps them all. She has a massive profile, has won on the biggest stage and at 23 is still capable of winning the big ones.

Speaking on a conference call from Los Angeles, where she is taking a break from the tour after an injury-wracked 2010, the Russian said she had made a commitment to return to Hong Kong, before opting for the more tranquil surrounds of Stanley St. “I’d heard incredible things about New Zealand but had never been there, so I just wanted to change it up a little bit,” she said.

Before the call started the gathered were under strict instructions not to ask any questions about her recent engagement to LA Lakers basketball player Sasha Vujacic. The thorny issue of her decibel rating was broached, however, with the Russian showing a deft touch by managing to avoid answering any questions about her grunting. When asked if she was still hitting the high notes, she simply replied: “Have you seen any of my matches on TV lately … There’s your answer then.”

10
Jan
09

Dementieva wins her 12th. title in NZ.

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Elena Dementieva beat fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-1 in the ASB Classic on Saturday to win her 12th WTA singles title.

Dementieva, ranked No. 4 and the tournament’s top seed, cruised past 76th-ranked Vesnina in an 88-minute final, overcoming a slow start to dominate the match with consistent power and accuracy.

The match was the 17th all-Russian final in WTA tournaments since 2003, nine of which have featured Dementieva, who will go for her first Grand Slam title in this month’s Australian Open.

The first set lasted 50 minutes and featured five service breaks. Vesnina played aggressively early on, attacking Dementieva’s second serve and rushing to the net behind deep forehand approaches.

Dementieva worked her way into the match near the middle of the opening set, and broke Vesnina in the 10th game to close it out. Dementieva bolted to a 5-0 lead in the second set.

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04
Jan
09

asb classic underway in auckland.

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In her first ever appearance at the ASB Classic 2009, current Olympic Champion and  No4 in the world Elena Dementieva will meet Yung-Jan Chang from Taipei. Having not played each other and in Auckland before it will be a twofold debut for the Russian.

Without doubt the Kiwi-Hero Marina Erankovic will draw the attention of the crowd already from the beginning of this event. Her first round match will be against Nuria Llangostera Vives. The Spaniard currently holds position 68 in the world.

No 2 seeded Danish newcomer Caroline Wozniacki also starts her tennis year 2009 in Auckland. In her first appearance on court she will be waiting for a qualifier.

Singles Draw 2009

(1)Elena Dementieva(RUS) v Yung-Jan Chan(TPE),

Nuria Llagostera Vives(ESP) v Marina Erakovic(NZL),

Virginie Razzano(FRA) v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova(CZE),

Petra Cetkovska(CZE) v (5)Shahar Peer(ISR),

(3)Anabel Medina Garrigues(ESP) v Mara Santangelo(ITA),

Klara Zakopalova(CZE) v Edina Gallovits (ROU),

Aravane Rezai(FRA) v (WC)Eleni Daniilidou(GRE),

Qualifier v (7)Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova(RUS),

(8)Carla Suarez Navarro(ESP) v Nathalie Dechy(FRA),

Anne Keothavong(GBR) v (WC)Mirjana Lucic(CRO),

Qualifier v Marta Domachowska(POL),

Magdalena Rybarikova(SVK) v (4)Aleksandra Wozniak(CAN),

(6)Nicole Vaidisova(CZE) v Alla Kudryavtseva(RUS),

Elena Vesnina(RUS) v Qualifier,

(WC)Kimiko Date Krumm(JPN) v Jill Craybas(USA)

Qualifier v (2)Caroline Wozniacki(DEN)

 
 

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