Archive for the 'UNICEF Open' Category


Henin forced to dig deep to finally win on grass.

Justine Henin enjoyed the perfect peraration for Wimbledon when she beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the women’s title here on Saturday.

It was also a timely boost on grass for the Belgian as she heads to London in pursuit of the only Grand Slam to have eluded her. It was very evident that Henin is a clay court player at heart, and even though Petkovic played well she is not among the elite players who will oppose Henin at Wimbledon. Grass court tennis is a power game, and Henin has neither the serve nor the ground strokes to inflict any damage on the sod.

Henin, the top seed here, was forced to dig deep for this victory as she dropped the first set, then trailed 0-3 in the final set.

Her 22-year-old German opponent had only appeared in one final before when she won at Bad Gastein last year but she showed few nerves as she tested Henin in the opening set.

She kept her cool to bag the one break point that presented itself during the first set going on to take it 6-3.

Henin, however, bounced back to take the second as both players struggled on their own serve. Henin dropped her serve once but broke Petkovic twice to restore parity.

It was the German, though, who took a grip on the third set, breaking Henin’s first service game to open up a 3-0 lead. But Henin, who is ranked 17 for Wimbledon, hit back to break Petkovic twice and snatch the set and the title.

Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky took the men’s title, needing just 56 minutes to dispose of Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-0.

It was Stakhovsky’s third tour win having taken the Zagreb Indoor crown in 2008 and the St. Petersburg Open last year.

The 24-year-old from Kiev, ranked 71 in the world, did not drop a set all week and had his serve broken just three times in 46 games.

Tipsarevic, ranked 20 places higher, had a disastrous day, claiming just nine points in a second set that lasted a mere 22 minutes.


Henin will face Petkovic in the UNICEF Open final.

Justine Henin coasted into the final of the Unicef Open with a commanding 6-2 6-2 victory over fifth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania.

The 28-year-old former world number one is seeded 17th for Wimbledon next week and plays Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the opening round.

She will face Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in Saturday’s final in Den Bosch.

The seventh seed overcame Henin’s compatriot Kirsten Flipkens 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the Netherlands.

Former world number one Henin, champion at the Dutch event in 2001, is playing her first grasscourt tournament since cutting short her retirement earlier this year.

The seven-time Grand Slam winner, 28, has yet to take the ladies singles title at Wimbledon.

In the men’s semi-finals, Serbian seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic battled past defending champion Benjamin Becker.

The 25-year-old dropped a set before seeing off the eighth-seeded German 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 to set up a meeting with Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine.

Stakhovsky, 24, hit five aces and converted all four break point opportunities to beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-3 6-4 in their semi-final.

The 71st-ranked Ukrainian is bidding for his ATP third title after Zagreb in 2008, when he beat Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals, and St Petersburg in 2009.


Kirilenko retires, Ivanovic should consider the same alternative!

Maria Kirilenko retired with an abdominal injury against Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who was leading 6-3, 3-3. No word as to whether this injury will keep her out of Wimbledon.

Seventh-seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany knocked out Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1.

Once again Ivanovic looked completely bewildered on court. Her service problems continue, her ball toss is still erratic, and her feet are usually in the wrong place to make her shots. What the new coach is doing remains a mystery, for except for a brief improvement in Rome she has continued to look as though she should be looking for an alternate profession.


Ivanovic manages to win, but Safina is ousted in round one.

After a slow start Ana Ivanovic settled down to win comfortably 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 against Sofia Arvidsson. It was not a convincing dispay as she still had problems with her ball toss, and served numerous double faults. I have to wonder what the ‘new’ coach has been doing as she still lacks confidence, still rushes her shots, and still has major problems serving. 11 aces and 11 double faults is hardly a measure of consistency! Today she was better than her opponent, but that is hardly a compliment.

Second seed Dinara Safina was sent crashing out of the Unicef Open at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in Holland by Magdalena Rybarikova today.

The 21-year-old Slovakian, ranked 45th in the world, lost the first set on a tie-break but battled back to complete a three-set victory over the former world number one, now down at 20 following a recent injury.

Rybarikova served four double faults in the first set but was still able to secure a tie-break – in which Safina prevailed 7/4.

Having cut those errors out, though, she won the subsequent sets to complete a 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 win in two hours, 28 minutes.

Fellow Bratislava resident Dominika Cibulkova also had reason to celebrate after a 6-3 6-4 win over teenage British wildcard Laura Robson, while seventh-seeded German Andrea Petkovic saw off the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-6 (8/6).


With her favourable draw Ana Ivanovic could make it to the final against Justine Henin…..or not!

Ana Ivanovic has been drawn against Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden in the first round of the UNICEF Open, which begins in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands on Sunday.

Ana holds a 3-1 head-to-head advantage against the 26-year-old, with whom she practised this week in preparation for the tournament. Should Ana reach round two, she will face either seventh seed Andrea Petkovic of Germnany or Czech Petra Kvitova.

Second seed Dinara Safina is a possible quarter-final opponent, while third seed Maria Kirilenko could await in the last four.

The leading seeds in the top half of the draw, whom Ana cannot play until the final, are No.1 Justine Henin and No.4 Yaroslava Shvedova.


This is great news…..

The first edition of the UNICEF Open will take place from 13 until 19 June 2010. In Rosmalen many national and international players will prepare themselves for Wimbledon. The top-class appearance of the event remains as it is, just as the extensive facilities for visitors, sponsors and players.  

Starting in 2010 the international grass tennis tournament that takes place every year in the Autotron Rosmalen will be called UNICEF Open. This is the result of a unique cooperation between UNICEF Nederland and Libéma Events, the organiser of the event. UNICEF Open is the first tennis tournament in the world to cooperate so closely with a charitable institution like UNICEF.

Justin Henin, UNICEF ambassador:

“This is a fantastic initiative. It is great to see that my sport is used to build a better world for children.”

Roger Federer, President of the ATP Player Council:

“It is great news that the ‘s-Hertogenbosch tournament and UNICEF work together to raise awareness for improving the lives of children around the world. We all have to do our part to help, I am very proud of the work of my Foundation and it is fantastic that one of our ATP World Tour tournaments has taken such a pro-active role.”

Adam Helfant, ATP Executive Chairman and President:

“We at the ATP are delighted with the new partnership between the ‘s-Hertogenbosch tournament and UNICEF. This partnership is one of many instances where ATP players and tournaments lead by example and contribute to great causes like the United Nations Children’s Fund.”

Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO Sony Ericsson WTA Tour:

“The UNICEF Open represents a unique partnership of sport and social responsibility that will directly contribute to the mission of UNICEF to improve the lives of children around the world. Through the UNICEF Open event platform, the tournament and our athletes will be able to help raise awareness and funds in support of the basic human needs of children. I applaud the event organizers and UNICEF for their vision in creating this wonderful program.”

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