Archive Page 2

09
May
12

Defending champion Petra Kvitova beaten by Czech team mate.

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Petra Kvitova’s title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open did not last long. The Wimbledon champion was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Czech compatriot Lucie Hradecka in the Spanish captial on Wednesday. Kvitova, seeded third, was broken five times by her opponent, who needed to qualify for the main draw. Hradecka said knowing Kvitova’s game had helped her claim what was the biggest win of her career. She told the WTA’s official website: “I knew if I played strong and concentrated on my serve I had a chance to win. “We played at the end of last year in some club matches and I won, and also we’ve played a lot of sparring games from Fed Cup. We know each other’s games pretty well.”

In other second-round matches, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska faced no such problems on her way to a 6-0 6-1 rout of Sara Errani, while Roberta Vinci looked equally ruthless in despatching Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-2. Maria Kirilenko, the 16th seed, was upset though, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Ekaterina Makarova. In the pick of the day’s third-round action, world number one Victoria Azarenka saw off one of her predecessors, Ana Ivanovic, 6-4 6-4. Eighth seed Na Li, the reigning French Open champion, saw off Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-4 while Samantha Stosur, seeded fifth, was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Petra Cetkovska.

08
May
12

Raonic downs Nalbandian 6-4, 6-4…..Federer is next!

Milos Raonic From Canada Serves

Milos Raonic dominated former grand slam finalist David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday in the first round of the Madrid Open. The 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., defeated the Argentine in just 74 minutes with his 16th ace of the match. Nalbandian played in the Wimbledon final a decade ago and won the Madrid tournament when it was played indoors back in 2007. Raonic, ranked No. 23 in the world, will face Swiss ace Roger Federer in Wednesday’s second round, having lost to the world No. 3 in the third round at Indian Wells in March. “I hope I can do much of the same stuff (as I did) in March. I need to serve better than I did then,” Raonic said. “I’m playing well and confident and I’m serving well, so that should be a big help.” Raonic says playing a star like Federer is a big challenge, but tennis a simple game once the players step between the lines. “He’s achieved a lot of great things, but when we step out onto the court he’s just another tennis player who wants the same thing that I do,” Raonic said of Federer. “You respect him, but you don’t respect him too much. “He’s set a new level for others to aim for. But on court he’s trying to take away from you something that you want.” Raonic ended his win over Nalbandian with 28 winners and just 13 unforced errors in a controlled display of his serving power on clay. He broke twice from three opportunities while never facing a break point on his own serve. The hard-serving Raonic started the match with a break and added another in the eighth game of the opening set. The second set was more one-way traffic for Raonic, with a break of his opponent yielding a 5-4 lead. He completed the win on the first of three match points. The match marked Raonic’s first appearance on the controversial blue clay in Madrid. Several players, including Raonic, were critical of the surface in the leadup to the tournament but it didn’t seem to affect the Canadian on Tuesday. “I got her early and have been training for almost a week on it. I like the conditions (but) the only tricky thing is the movement,” Raonic said. “It’s not a natural clay so it bundles up after some time. You get a few bad bounces, but other than that it’s not so different. “It’s slippery and hard to change direction, but that benefits me in a way. “

 

08
May
12

Venus is ousted from Madrid by Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-1.

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Making the round of sixteen were No.8 seed Li Na and No.12 seed Angelique Kerber. Kerber was the first to advance, outsteadying former World No.1 Venus Williams, 64 61; Li beat Spanish wildcard Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 63 61. “I’m very happy I could beat Venus. She’s a great player, a great champion and has won so many Grand Slams,” Kerber said. “I played very well from the first point, so I’m very happy about it. It means a lot to me to win against her.” Kerber has had her breakthrough results on hardcourts, including her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open and her first two WTA titles at Paris and Copenhagen, but she feels comfortable on clay as well. “It doesn’t matter to me where I play – blue clay, red clay, hardcourts,” she said. “The blue clay is a little bit different though. It’s very slippery and the balls bounce a little bit higher, but I feel good on it, and I’m in the third round now. I hope to continue like this.”

Li leads Kerber in their head-to-head series, 3-1, although Kerber’s win did come in their last meeting, their only 2012 meeting, at Indian Wells.

Samantha Stosur survived another midnight encounter to reach the third round of the Madrid Masters with a tough three-set win over American teenager Christina McHale. The Australian fifth seed struggled with her serve in the first two sets and was broken twice in each, but found her range in the decider to claim a 2-6 6-4 6-0 victory in just under two hours. The fifth-seeded Stosur, accustomed to late finishes after her series of midnight epics at last year’s US Open, came alive when she really needed it, reeling off eight straight games to finish McHale off. “I knew it was going to be a late day, but I certainly didn’t think we would start at 10 o’clock and finish up at midnight,” Stosur said.

 

06
May
12

Kaia Kanepi saves 2 match points on her way to win in Estoril.

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Kaia Kanepi fought back from a set and a break down and saved two match points on her way to a dramatic victory over Carla Suarez Navarro in the final of the Estoril Open. Spaniard Suarez Navarro will feel she should have broken her duck in her third WTA Tour final after leading by a set and 5-3, holding two match points in the second-set tie-break and even leading 4-2 in the decider. But sixth seed Kanepi’s power game eventually proved too much, and she ran out a 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 winner in Portugal. It was a sweet moment for the 26-year-old world number 34, who has struggled with a shoulder injury this season and recently split from coach Silver Karjus. Kanepi told http://www.wtatennis.com: “I’ve won a few matches from match points down but I’ve never won a final like this. I’ll remember this final in a good way for a long time. “This title means a lot. I was injured and it was tough to come back. And though my fitness trainer was with me here, I quit with my coach recently, so it means a lot I did this on my own. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a coach now.”

The men’s final on Sunday will see the top two seeds go head to head after victories for Juan Martin Del Potro and Richard Gasquet. Defending champion and number one seed Del Potro had a tricky looking assignment against in-form Stanislas Wawrinka but the Argentinian did not face a break point in a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 victory. Frenchman Gasquet, meanwhile, made a slow start against Albert Ramos and spent more then three hours on court before eventually prevailing 2-6 7-6 (7/1) 7-5.

04
May
12

Bernard Tomic and Marinko Matosevic broke a 16-year Australian drought to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP Tour event in Munich.

Both dominated their opening sets, lost the second in tiebreakers and recovered in the third to record fighting second-round victories. The fifth-seeded Tomic beat Potito Starace of Italy 6-1 6-7(4) 6-3 to make his first career quarterfinal on clay, while Matosevic defeated fellow qualifier Robert Farah of Colombia 6-1 6-7(2) 6-2 in his maiden event on the surface. The duo’s progress marks the first time in 16 years two Australians have made the quarterfinals of an ATP claycourt tournament. Back in 1996, Jason Stoltenberg won the Coral Springs title in Florida, while fellow Australians Sandon Stolle and Michael Tebbutt also made the last eight.

Tomic was down a break of serve at the start of the final set before peeling off six of the last seven games to prevail over Starace in just over two hours. “I played very well in the first set and had chances to be up early in that second set,” said Tomic. “I think that could have made a difference to not play three sets. He started playing good in the third and I was down a break, so it was good for me to get back and I played well in the end. “My claycourt game has struggled in the past few years. Now, to win back-to-back matches at the same tournament is huge for me so I’m going to keep going and hopefully next round I can win too.” Tomic next goes against Feliciano Lopez, the second-seeded Spaniard who beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-4 7-6(4). Matosevic plays German fourth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-5 6-3. Kohlschreiber and Lopez had byes into the second round.

In the other quarter-finals, third-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia plays sixth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia and eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus meets Tommy Haas of Germany.

 

04
May
12

Andy Roddick has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open and is doubtful for Roland Garros.

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Tournament organisers have announced that the former world number one has a hamstring injury and has also pulled out for the Rome Masters later this month. Given the Italian tournament starts less than a fortnight before the French Open is due to get under way, the American is facing a race against time to be fit enough to compete in Paris. The three-time Wimbledon runner-up is likely to be more concerned about regaining full fitness in time for the grasscourt season as he has rarely impressed on the clay, his big serve being nullified by the slow surface. Roddick’s compatriot Mardy Fish has also withdrawn from the Madrid event. The pair will be replaced by Dutchman Robin Haase and Olivier Rochus, of Belgium, in the main draw which starts on Sunday.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Briton Andy Murray are all due to compete on the new blue clay surface at the Caja Magica.

02
May
12

Veteran Tommy Haas stunned top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the BMW Open on home soil in Munich today.

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The 34-year-old German, a wild card entrant, had not reached the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour event on clay for three years but he needed less than an hour to dump out world number five Tsonga 6-1 6-4. In the last eight Haas will meet eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis, who was given a torrid time by German qualifier Dustin Brown in the first set before recovering to win 1-6 6-4 6-4. Sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny also had to come from a set down against Colombian Santiago Giraldo, the Russian eventually prevailing 6-7 (2/7) 6-4 6-4 to set up a meeting with Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who was a comfortable 6-3 6-2 winner over Matthias Bachinger today.

Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet wasted little time in reaching the quarter-finals of the Estoril Open in Portugal today. Second seed Gasquet was particularly impressive, losing only two games in his 6-1 6-1 victory over Paolo Lorenzi, while third seed Wawrinka had a trickier time in the first set against qualifier Ivan Navarro before coming through 7-6 (7/5) 6-1. In the last eight Wawrinka will face Dutch sixth seed Robin Haase, who dropped the opening set to another qualifier, Inigo Cervantes, but recovered to win 5-7 6-4 6-2. Awaiting Frenchman Gasquet is Spanish qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava following his 6-4 6-4 victory over eighth seed Flavio Cipolla, while in the final first-round match America’s Bobby Reynolds beat Attila Balazs of Hungary 6-3 6-4.

02
May
12

No big upsets in Estoril…..Heather Watson advances.

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There were no seeded casualties in the women’s event with second seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko leading the way into round two with a straight-forward 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 win over Briton Elena Baltacha. Third seed Anabel Medina Garrigues beat German qualifier Kristina Barrois 6-4 6-1, fourth seed Petra Cetkovska beat Alexandra Panova 6-2 6-1, and fifth seed Jie Zheng was an easy 6-3 6-1 winner over Ekaterina Makarova. Sixth seed Kaia Kanepi and ninth seed Polona Hercog also advanced, while there were wins for Jarmila Gajdosova, Maria Joao Koehler, Galina Voskoboeva, Karin Knapp and British qualifier Heather Watson, who beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-4.

Spain’s Albert Montanes and Flavio Cipolla of Italy each justified their seedings by reaching the second round of the Estoril Open in Portugal with straight sets wins on Tuesday. Seventh seed Montanes was a 6-2 6-3 winner over Australia’s Matthew Ebden while Cipolla, seeded eight, eased past Argentina’s Diego Junqueira 6-1 6-4 in exactly 80 minutes. Rui Machado and Joao Sousa won all-Portuguese match-ups against Pedro Sousa and Gastao Elias respectively, but Frederico Gil failed to join them as he fell 6-4 6-2 to Germany’s Bjorn Phau. Three Spanish qualifiers also progressed, with Ivan Navarro, Inigo Cervantes and Daniel Munoz-De La Nava overcoming Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Igor Andreev and Javier Marti respectively.

30
Apr
12

New Blue clay surface in Madrid?….how about new Pink clay in Paris!!

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It will be interesting to see how things unfold in Madrid, particularly given it is such a major tournament – one of the Masters 1000 events on the ATP World Tour and a Premier Mandatory week for the WTA. Players are also desperate to find good form on the surface ahead of the French Open which is just four weeks away. Whatever the future holds for the blue stuff, the decision to use it has already had an effect on other tournaments.

Organisers at Roland Garros have already announced they will have a pink claycourt during the French Open, although significantly it will not be used for main tournament matches. It is instead being used as more of a publicity stunt – promoting the tournament’s ladies’ day which comes on June 7 when the women’s singles semi-finals are due to take place. Court One will be turned pink and will play host to two women’s legends matches.

Critics say Madrid’s move to blue is also nothing but a PR gimmick, although if that is the case it has certainly worked. We await the verdict of the players with bated breath.

29
Apr
12

Masha finally wins her first title of 2012.

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Maria Sharapova came out on top in the battle between the world’s top two after convincingly defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The Russian won her first title of the year, while denying world number one Azarenka her fifth, with a 6-1 6-4 victory in one hour, 24 minutes. Belarusian Azarenka, who had won 29 of her 30 matches in 2012 coming into the final, managed to fashion just one break point, which she failed to take, while Sharapova won three of the 11 she had.

The victory saw second seed Sharapova gain a measure of revenge for her defeats to Azarenka in the finals of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami this year.




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