Archive for the 'Porsche Grand Prix' Category

24
Apr
11

Julia Goerges wins the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final on Sunday.

With a barrage of big serves and massive forehands, the No.32-ranked German beat all the odds, outdoing Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets for her second and biggest career title by a 76(3) 63 scoreline.

The two players put on a strong serving display in the first set, neither one letting a break slip through – in fact, there was only one break point the entire set (saved by Wozniacki). Goerges came through in the breaker though, winning five points in a row from 1-2 and closing it out, 7-3. Goerges grabbed the first and only break of the match in the second game of the second set and hung onto it, dropping to the clay of the Porsche Arena after converting on her second match point off a Wozniacki mis-hit.

The final was a classic match-up of different styles, Goerges compiling by far the bigger numbers (38 winners to 29 errors) and Wozniacki with more conservative stats (9 winners to 10 errors). But Goerges also showed some impressive net play (she was 15/22 up there – Wozniacki was 7/8). When all was said and done, Goerges became the second German ever to win the oldest European indoor tournament (Anke Huber won in 1991 and 1994). It was her second WTA title, following another clay court triumph in Bad Gastein last summer. She is now 2-1 in her career in WTA finals.

Wozniacki fell to 15-10 in WTA finals. She was seeking her first career title on red clay. “Julia played really well. She was very aggressive and everything was going in. I tried everything but it wasn’t enough. I’ll go back to the practice court and try to be better next time. I also want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me, even though I was playing against Julia! Hopefully next year I’ll come away with this Porsche.”

 

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02
May
10

It’s deja vu all over again for Justine Henin.

Justine Henin defeated Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix to capture her first title since coming out of retirement in January.

The former No. 1’s victory on clay Sunday will give her a boost three weeks before the start of the French Open.

Henin was in her third final since resuming her career after a hiatus of 18 months. The Belgian player was runner-up in Brisbane and at the Australian Open.

Stosur, the seventh-seeded Australian, came into the final with an 11-match winning streak on clay.

“It means a lot to me on clay,” Henin said.

Four of Henin’s seven Grand Slam titles have come on the Roland Garros clay and seeing Roger Federer win the men’s title there last year inspired her to end her retirement.

“It brought back the fire,” she said Sunday at the victory ceremony, after taking a brief ride in the Porsche sports car that goes to the winner.

Henin was in her third final since resuming her career after a hiatus of 18 months. The Belgian player was runner-up in Brisbane and at the Australian Open.

Stosur, the seventh-seeded Australian, came into the final with an 11-match winning streak on clay. Henin also won in Stuttgart in 2007.

Henin had a lapse in the second set but otherwise controlled all the big points against Stosur, who was a semifinalist last year at the French Open and since then has compiled a 16-2 record on clay.

“It’s very emotional to be back here because one year ago at this time I never expected to be back,” Henin said.

“It’s been a fantastic week, everything was just perfect.”

A wild-card entry, Henin will return to the top 20 when the latest rankings come out next week and go perhaps as high as No. 18. Stosur is projected to move up two places to No. 8.

“Getting to the final was really good, it’s been a great week,” Stosur said. “I enjoyed playing here.

“She just got very aggressive in the third set, she put me under a lot of pressure and broke my serve three straight times.”

01
May
10

Could tomorrows Stuttgart final be a preview of the French Open?

In the first semifinal of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Justine Henin (Belgium) needed just two sets and 74 minutes to beat Shahar Peer (Israel) 6-3, 6-2. After being given a wild card, the 27-year-old seven-time Grand Slam winner has now reached the final of the long-running tournament, which she won in 2007, for the fourth time. She is also therefore the first player ever to get to the final of the 700,000 dollar tournament with a wild card. Her opponent in the final will be Aussie Samantha Stosur, who after a slow start came alive to defeat qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova  7-5, 6-3.

“It’s great being back in the Stuttgart final. And it has been a great performance,” said an obviously pleased Justine Henin. “I feel really comfortable at the moment and am enjoying being on the court. Especially at one of my favourite tournaments. My coach will nevertheless tell me first about the mistakes I made. But he’ll also say that I was good enough today. And that I’m better when I’m playing aggressively and going to the net.”

Looking ahead to the final on Sunday she said, “My quarterfinal match was long and intense. I was a little tired today especially as I didn’t sleep that well. But physically I was fine. Now however I can rest a little and that’s good because tomorrow will be a big day for me.”

30
Apr
10

Stosur’s streak continues…..Peer ousts Safina.

Samantha Stosur (Australia) was the first player to reach the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Friday. The 26-year-old world No. 10 defeated Na Li from China 6-3, 6-3 in the opening quarterfinal and the win has put her in the last four at the long-established tournament in Stuttgart for the first time. Her victory today has stretched her undefeated run on clay in 2010 to 10 matches.

En route to the semis, Samantha Stosur first beat Marion Bartoli (France) before defeating Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) in the second round.

“Everything’s falling into place at the moment,” said Samantha Stosur after her win. “I feel comfortable on clay now. I’m on a roll. Perhaps it’s all down to my youngest fan – my coach’s six month old baby.”

In the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Saturday, Samantha Stosur will face the winner of the match between Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic), who knocked out top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, and the qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova (Russia), who beat Victoria Azarenka.

Shahar Peer will spend her 23rd birthday on Saturday on the tennis court at the Porsche Grand Prix semi-finals after beating Dinara Safina yet again, 6-3, 6-2.

The unseeded Israeli took 1 hour 16 minutes for the quarter-final win on Friday against the second seed Safina. Peer has won the last four matches against the Russian for an overall 4-3 series lead.

Safina was playing only her second match in a return from a three- month layoff due to a lower back injury.

29
Apr
10

A rusty Safina makes a successful return to the WTA tour.

Dinara Safina made a winning return after three months out with victory over Hungary’s Agnes Szavay at the Stuttgart Grand Prix.

The Russian, who turned 24 on Tuesday, won 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-0 in her first tournament since pulling out of the Australian open with a back injury.

Safina said earlier this week that the injury could yet threaten her career.

After a shaky start she settled down into her usual rhythm in the third set. The outcome of the match was of little importance compared to the fact that she was able to complate the match and move on injury free.

29
Apr
10

Azarenka and Wozniacki lose in Stuttgart.

 Caroline Wozniacki was eliminated in the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix on Thursday, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, Wozniacki showed signs of still being bothered by a right ankle injury, which she sustained at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, 10 days ago. The Danish player was forced to retire during her semifinal match there.

“I didn’t feel like I could move 100 percent,” said Wozniacki, a U.S. Open runner-up last year. “And when you can’t move, it’s difficult to win.”

Wozniacki had a bye in the first round.

Qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova of Russia produced another upset by ousting sixth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, the 2008 Stuttgart champion, eased past Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, 6-2, 6-2.

“I am happy to get through,” said Jankovic, who has a slight cold. She is seeking her second title of the year, following a win at Indian Wells.

Seventh-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia rallied to beat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 for a place in the last eight, extending her winning streak on clay to nine.

Safarova, ranked No. 38, made her second quarterfinal of the year and said she could notice Wozniacki was struggling with the injury.

“I tried to make her run and to push her around,” Safarova said. “I always need time to get used to clay but now I am playing better.”

Safarova, whose first-round opponent—Selima Sfar of Tunisia—retired with an ankle injury, also served well, putting in 83 percent of her first serve and hitting five aces.

“She was making me run and that’s why she won. I hate to lose but now it’s important to get fit,” Wozniacki said.

Stosur struggled against Dulgheru in the first set but was able to bounce back.

“She played a decent game, well enough,” Stosur said. “I was frustrated but I tried to stay calm.”

28
Apr
10

Hennin will need her ‘A’ game to defeat Wickmayer in round two.

Justine Henin ignored a broken finger to win her opening match at the Porsche Grand Prix, 7-6 (3), 6-1 over Julia Goerges of Germany on Wednesday.

Playing as a wild card, Henin saved three set points against Georges to set up a second-round match with Belgian teammate Yanina Wickmayer.

Eighth-seeded Wickmayer beat Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-3, 6-3.

No. 4 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Gisela Dulko of Argentina, and seventh-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia beat Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 6-1 to remain unbeaten in seven matches on clay this year.

Jankovic succeeded Henin in 2008 as Stuttgart champion. She improved to 4-1 against Dulko in her bid for a second title this year.

“It was good for the first match. Dulko is tough to play on clay,” Jankovic said. “I played a good first set but had a few ups and downs in the second.”

Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland fell to Shahar Peer, the 20th-ranked Israeli, who wasted a match point before the tiebreaker in the second set of her 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2 win.

Peer was a break up in the second set and then blew a match point on her serve at 6-5 in the second set against Radwanska. She recovered from the loss of the set to roll through the third.

“It was tough to come back,” said Peer, who is 3-1 against the higher ranked Pole. “I had a match point, but I am happy that I came back.”

Lucie Safarova also advanced when Selima Sfar of Tunisia retired with an ankle injury in the second set. Safarova lost the first set 6-2 and was 3-0 in the second when Sfar quit.

27
Apr
10

Ivanovic shows some distinct improvement.

Ana succumbed to a 7-6, 6-4 loss against world No.8 Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The 22-year-old, playing her first clay court match in 11 months, played well in patches but lacked the overall consistency needed to defeat a top 10-ranked player.

“It was a tough loss but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have to be positive,” said Ana.

“I’m trying to make every shot perfect and it’s just not coming every time. I just need to relax more.

“A few mistakes here and there are costing me matches. I just have to be patient.”

Ana began the match confidently. She was striking the ball well, particularly on her forehand side, and with purpose. However, Radwanska absorbed the pressure and capitalised on several of Ana’s errors to break early and lead 3-1.

Promisingly, Ana’s confidence appeared to be unaffected by the negative scoreline and she clung on throughout the opening set, eventually breaking back in spectacular fashion in the 10th game, which she won to love thanks largely to two huge forehand winners.

A lucky net cord gave Ana a 3-2 advantage in the tiebreak, with a mini-break, but then three consecutive unforced errors undid her, and she lost the opening set on a tiebreak.

26
Apr
10

“I have no expectations…it’s a test for my back!

Dinara Safina, the world No. 3, sat down with the journalists to answer a variety of questions at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix’s All Access Hour.

“The injury to my lower back was the most serious I’ve ever had. You need the lower back for everything you do. These kind of injuries can put you out of the game for ever. After a month I tried playing again but had to stop after four days. I cried. I just had to accept it was going to take time to recover. Progress was going to be slow but you have to take as much time as you need. I started practicing again on 3 April and it was great finally being back on court. I’m full of energy and desire and I just love tennis. I need the adrenalin, the practice, the competition. Sitting around at home is not for me.”

“I really like the court as it is now. It’s perfect and I feel realIy comfortable on it.”

“I’ve got no expectations for the tournament. It’s going to be a test for my back. At the moment I’m not afraid of my back and I’ll be going for my shots. I missed going out on court so I just want to come here and enjoy it. It’s a great tournament and I just hope to play some matches.”

25
Apr
10

Dinara Safina to make her return in Stuttgart.

The draw for the Porshe Tennis Grand Prix was made yesterday in Stuttgart, and includes Dinara Safina as the second seed behind Caroline Wozniacki, both of whom received byes in the first round.

Ana Ivanovic who kicks of her clay court season in what she hopes will be a return to form has a tough first round match with Agnieszka Radwanska. Two other tough first round competitions will be Flavia Pennetta versus Victoria Azarenka, and Francesca Schiovone against Yanina Wickmayer, the winner here will meet Justine Henin in round two.

This will be first time back from serious back injury for Safina in almost 4 months, and even though she has retained her ranking it must be doubtful that she can reproduce her form after such a long lay off.

For Ana Ivanovic, who declined an invitation to play for Serbia in the Fed Cup and failed to even show up to support her team, a first round loss to Radwanska  in Stuttgart may be enough to send her further down the rankings into oblivion.




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