Posts Tagged ‘Aussie Open

11
Jan
10

Sharapova returns to Melbourne after 2 years.

Maria Sharapova took her first steps onto Rod Laver Arena in two years on Monday to begin her preparations for what she hopes will be a return to form at the Australian Open.

It cannot have escaped her notice that women’s tennis has entered a new and exciting era, one which the three-time grand slam champion is determined to be part of. The quality of tennis that Henin and Clijsters produced in the memorable final of the Brisbane International at the weekend suggests that the Belgians have pushed raised the bar a few notches.

“I think it’s great that Kim and Justine are back,” said Sharapova, last week, after completing a win over Caroline Wozniacki at an exhibition event in Hong Kong. “Women’s tennis needs them. I love to play against the best, and I’m really thrilled of the possibility to meet them at the court.

Sharapova was forced to miss last year’s Australian Open while she recovered from shoulder surgery. Since then she has not quite hit the heights that saw her win Wimbledon in 2004, the 2006 US Open and the 2008 Australian Open, though she says her desire to keep trying to get back to her former level has not dimmed. “I just love to compete. It makes me keep working to improve my play and to try to become a better performer,” said Sharapova.

The Russian is currently ranked 14 but could climb sharply with a strong showing at the Australian Open because she has no points to defend on the WTA Tour’s rolling 12-month system for the corresponding period this time last year.

01
Feb
09

An emotional end to the 2009 aussie open.

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During the presentation ceremony, with Rod Laver present, the emotional Federer could not get his words out and stepped away from the microphone. Once Nadal had received the trophy, he consoled the Swiss and encouraged him to return to the microphone to share his thoughts with the crowd – before later doing so himself.

 

“I love this game. It means the world to me, so it hurts when you lose,” said Federer. “This is one of the matches in my career where I feel like I could have or should have won.

“But you can’t go through your whole life as a tennis player taking every victory that’s out there. But they hurt even more if you’re that close, like at Wimbledon or like here at the Australian Open. So that’s what’s tough about it. But I have no regrets.

“In the first moment [afterwards] you’re disappointed, you’re shocked, you’re sad then all of a sudden it overwhelms you. The problem is you can’t go in the locker room and just take it easy and take a cold shower. You can’t. You’re stuck out there. It’s the worst feeling.”

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01
Feb
09

Nadal proves he’s #1 as he wins the Aussie Open.

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In an incredible display of stamina, strength and agility, Rafael Nadal left no doubt as to who is the best tennis player in the world. After enduring a 51/4 hour semi final match with Verdasco he managed to recuperate and beat Federer on the hard courts of the Aussie Open. Roger Federer had no answer to Nadal’s game, he tried everything he knew but nothing worked against the shot making and the pressure applied by Nadal.

Rafael Nadal thwarted Roger Federer’s quest to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles after defeating the Swiss 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2 in a breathtaking final of Australian Open 2009.

The match-up was the 19th between the pair and their seventh Grand Slam final, with Nadal now enjoying a 13-6 win-loss against his Swiss rival, including winning their last five meetings. Nadal is now 6-3 in Grand Slam finals, while Federer falls to 13-5, all five of those losses coming to the Spaniard.

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31
Jan
09

Junior champions at the 2009 aussie open.

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Indian youngster Yuki Bhambri turned in a dominating performance to beat Germany’s Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas 6-3 6-1 and take home the junior boys’ singles championship at Australian Open 2009.

It took only 57 minutes for 16-year-old Bhambri to make his official mark in the tennis world, overpowering his opponent with his trademark forehand and volley tactics.

He joins a long list of former Australian Open junior champions including Andy Roddick, Marcos Baghdatis and Gael Monfils.

 

Ksenia Pervak has scooped the Australian Open girls’ singles title for the first time in her career with a no-nonsense 6-3 6-1 win over Laura Robson on Saturday.

The Russian No.3 seed spent much of last season successfully playing satellite ITF tour events, and now holds a women’s world ranking of 154. The experience certainly stood her in good stead for today’s encounter with the young Brit.

Pervak dominated the game from the outset, driving balls deeps into the angles of the court while showing no sign of the leg problems that troubled her earlier in the week.

In contrast, Robson – who attracted column inches galore after winning the 2008 Wimbledon girls’ singles title – appeared flat. While rallies were plentiful, the No.5 seed rarely appeared in control of them.

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31
Jan
09

Serena wins a ‘no contest’ 4th. Aussie title!

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Serena Williams has won her fourth Australian Open title following an utterly masterful mauling of Russian Dinara Safina.

The American blitzed the No. 3 seed 6-0 6-3 in under an hour, smacking 23 winners and four aces while committing just seven unforced errors.

From the first point, Williams looked amazingly sharp, her groundstrokes grooved, serve dominant and return devastating.

Safina had no answer to Williams’ all-court power, and could only watch as 12 winners whistled by her in the first set.

Williams had already raced ahead 5-0 within 18 minutes when the Russian No. 3 seed decided to change her approach, attacking the net in the sixth game in a bid to disrupt the American’s momentum.

It was a tactic that failed to pay dividends – she only one won point in that game as Williams took the opening stanza in 22 minutes.

Safina was thankfully more competitive in the second set, clinching an unlikely break to move ahead 1-0 – her first lead of any kind during the match.

Her advantage was dishearteningly short-lived, however, as Williams broke back immediately and went on to hold for a 2-1 lead.

Safina was completely shell-shocked, and her game responded accordingly – she committed further double faults and errors to hand the American a 4-1 lead, and in just 44 minutes, the match was rapidly nearing a close.

To her credit, the Russian held firm in her subsequent service game, holding after a battle in the eighth game to force Williams to serve for the title.

As expected, the American wasted little time, serving out the final game to love and clinching the tournament after Safina attempted a drop shot on match point that landed just wide of the sideline.

It was a performance reminiscent of Williams’ annihilation of Maria Sharapova in the 2007 Melbourne Park final, and she joyously headed over to her player’s box to celebrate with her tight-knit entourage.

Williams now ascends to world No. 1 following the win.

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30
Jan
09

Men’s Doubles final set…….go knowlee!

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Second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan will contest their fifth straight Australian Open final against third seeds Mark Knowles and Mahesh Bhupathi, who will be appearing in their first Grand Slam championship title-match, on Saturday.

The Bryan twins defeated fourth seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6-3, 6-3 in 54 minutes on the Hisense Arena, in what was a repeat of the 2008 US Open final. Dlouhy and Paes committed nine unforced errors, as the Bryans converted five of eight break point opportunities.

The 30-year-old Californians finished runner-up in 2004 (l. to Llodra-Santoro) and 2005 (l. to Black-Ullyett) and won back-to-back titles in 2006 (d. Damm-Paes) and 2007 (d. Bjorkman-Mirnyi).

They are currently fourth in the all-time doubles Grand Slam title leaders of the Open Era behind Australians John Newcombe and Tony Roche (7), Americans Peter Fleming and John McEnroe (7) and Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (11). 

The Bryans opened their 2009 ATP World Tour season by capturing their 50th ATP World Tour title at the Medibank International in Sydney (d. Nestor-Zimonjic). They are only the fourth team in the Open Era to win at least 50 titles, joining Woodbridge-Woodforde (61), Fleming-McEnroe (57), and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan (57).

Knowles and Bhupathi earned a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win against the unseeded Polish-Austrian duo of Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach. They raced out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set, and then capitalised on three of their four break point chances in the second set to secure the victory in 58 minutes.

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29
Jan
09

Junior girls final four features laura robson.

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Tennis fans in the UK have been starved for someone to root for since before I was born. Andy Murray has lifted their spirits and their dreams of finally having a champion, and some day he might win a ‘big’ one. But Laura Robson could fulfill the British void before Murray does. She will play today in the semi final of the junior girls event against the #1 ranked junior Noppawan Lertcheewakam from Thailand, in a match that will draw a lot of attention from the loyal British fans and the British press. The talented Miss Robson just turned 15 on January 21st, 3 years younger than her opponent, but at 14 she became the youngest girl to win the Junior Wimbledon title. An injury forced her to retire from the Orange Bowl in December, and eliminated any chance she might of had of being ranked as #1. She already has an ITF title to her credit, and she seems destined to become a future star of the women’s circuit. The other semi final will be played between the #2 and #3 seeds, Ana Bogdan of Romania and Ksenia Pervak of Russia.

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28
Jan
09

Djokovic retires again!

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Andy has earned a ticket into the Australian Open semifinals as he was the one to survive the 142 degree F on-court temperatures, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 2-1 (retired). There must be something in the air in Melbourne that effects Serbian tennis players. #1 and #5 women and now the defending champion all sent home with their collective tails between their legs.

Roddick didn’t bring out the horns until after he lost the first set in a tie breaker, when he immediately put the pressure on Nole. Andy earned the break and the lead with his big serving and aggressive tactics to seal the set, 6-4.

Djokovic really started showing signs of the heat affecting him when he called for a trainer at 2-1 in the third set, then stepped back on the court only to be broken on his next serve, 3-2. Andy secured the lead at 4-2, and then repeated the pattern to break the Serb again, 5-2. With the doctor back on court, Andy kept on his feet and in the shade to not cramp or cool down. Once the defending champ stepped up the baseline, it was apparent he was completely out of steam and Andy easily served him a bagel game to take the third set, 6-2.

Andy’s movement and shot-making showed his eagerness to compete, though Djokovic was merely able to hold for the last time in the match. Andy’s chancing down every shot and firing serves up to 139 mph helped him hold and then go on to break ahead, 2-1, thanks to a fabulous backhand pass and a few unforced errors from him opponent. And then that’s all she wrote… the 2008 defending champ was no longer competing to be the same in 2009.

Next up is another rematch with Roger Federer who has an 11-2 record against Andy. But win or lose Andy will move up to #6, and not too far behind the injured Davydenko.

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26
Jan
09

the final 8 men.

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Rafael Nadal ESP (1)               
v
   
 
Gilles Simon FRA (6)               

Fernando Verdasco ESP (14)               
v
   
 
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga FRA (5)               

Andy Roddick USA (7)               
v
   
 
Novak Djokovic SRB (3)               

Juan Martin Del Potro ARG                
v
   
 
Roger Federer SUI (2)               

Rafa is playing as well as he ever has and should win over Giles Simon.

This is a tough one to pick, but I’m going with Tsonga.

Djokovic is not playing his best yet with his new racquet, and Andy is the freshess of any of the men, so I’m picking Roddick in an upset.

Del Potro has never beaten Federer, so I have to go with Roger.

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22
Jan
09

day 4 surprises!

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Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d [6] Venus Williams (USA) 2-6 6-3 7-5

This wasn’t in the script. Many considered Venus championship worthy, but Suarez Navarro managed to sneak in under her guard. The Spaniard has career prizemoney of $353,875, Williams has $21,940,096. An upset indeed.

92. The number of times Chris Guccione approached the net in his four-set loss to No.6 seed Gilles Simon. Who said serve and volley was dead?

Despite his back giving him grief, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga prevailed over tricky Croatian Ivan Ljubicic. In the second and third set tiebreaks, Tsonga played the crowd as well as his opponent to give himself the edge he needed.

[11] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v Jelena Dokic (AUS) will have every pair of Aussie eyes focussed on this one tonight.

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