Posts Tagged ‘Brisbane International


Maria Sharapova will start her 2012 tennis year in Queensland.

The World No. 5 and 2011 Wimbledon finalist confirmed her attendance today and said she is looking forward to starting her year in Brisbane. “I have never been to Brisbane before and coming into the Australian Open I felt like Brisbane would be a good place for me to start the year,” Sharapova said. “It is the first tournament of the year and it’s kind of where you see where your game is and how good your off-season has been and so you try and get in as many matches as you can before the Australian Open. “It [the Brisbane International] is going to have some great competition.”

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said he was delighted that the popular Russian has chosen to come to Brisbane in 2012. “This will be Maria’s first Brisbane International. The former world No. 1 is arguably one of the highest profile female athletes in the world, and I have no doubt she will be enormously popular with our fans who want to see her star power in person,” Pearson said “The current World No.5 has won three Grand Slam titles, 23 WTA singles titles, and has been a former No.1 on four separate occasions. “It is a great first signing for Brisbane International 2012 and with the new WTA upgrade to a Premier event, she will be just one of hopefully many top 10 women to play in Queensland next year.

“Maria’s attendance is another endorsement of the event, its facilities and the hospitality that Brisbane and Queensland offer to visitors. I look forward to welcoming her in 2012.” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh also welcomed the news, which follows strong support for the tournament from the Queensland Government through Events Queensland and the government’s investment in first-class tennis infrastructure like the Queensland Tennis Centre. “The Queensland Government has invested in this event because it sends a strong message that we are back in business and putting on must-see events for Queenslanders and visitors alike to enjoy,” Ms Bligh said.

“Having first-class talent like Maria Sharapova being a part of the tournament this year is fantastic news and I am sure she will get an unforgettable Queensland welcome. “Earlier this year the centre and surrounding community were impacted heavily by the floods – and what a great symbol of that fighting Queensland spirit for the tournament to be back bigger and better than ever only a year later.”


Pat Rafter arena in Brisbane just a few days after the WTA & ATP tournaments.


Verdasco will return to Brisbane in January 2011.

Fernando Verdasco, is the fourth top 10 player to start their Australian summer in Brisbane. Joining the current singles champion and world No. 8, Andy Roddick, world No.5 Robin Soderling and Queensland’s own Samantha Stosur, ranked No.6, Verdasco will return for his second attempt at a Brisbane International title after making the final of the event in its inaugural year. “Fernando was a finalist in the singles and doubles at the Brisbane International in 2009,” Tournament Director Steve Ayles said. “I remember in his post-match speech that he promised he would come back and go one step further. Now he is confirmed to contest the event, he can do just that. “The Spaniard has had a great year with two ATP title wins. One against Robin Soderling in a close three-set match at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell and the other against Andy Roddick at the SAP Open in San Jose, which ended the American’s chances of winning the title for the fourth year in a row. “As such I would imagine there will be quite a bit of rivalry between these three come January. “The 26 year old is a crowd favorite on and off the court and he is a great addition to the 2011 event. I look forward to welcoming him back,” Ayles said.

Verdasco is currently the third-highest ranked Spanish tennis player on the ATP circuit, behind world No.1 Rafael Nadal and No.7 Ferrer. The Spaniard has won five ATP titles and has been a finalist on a further eight occasions. He has also played a major part in winning two Davis Cup’s, playing the deciding match in both 2008 and 2009. Verdasco’s best result at a Grand Slam was in 2009, following the Brisbane International, where he made the semifinals of the Australian Open. Verdasco lost to compatriot Nadal, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-7(2) 7-6(1) 4-6, in an epic match that went for five hours and 10 minutes.


Roddick wins his first Aussie title in Brisbane.

Andy Roddick survived a second-set collapse to defeat defending champion Radek Stepanek and win the Brisbane International title in straight sets.

The American, who has been out for three months with a knee injury, won 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (9-7) after his Czech opponent double-faulted on match point.

Top seed Roddick led 4-0 in the second set and 6-1 in the tie-break, but Stepanek hit back to hold a set point.

Roddick won the next two points before Stepanek’s error gifted him victory.

“I don’t think I’ve ever squandered a lead where I’ve been putting in first serves and making approach shots,” said Roddick.

“The first time I served for it I had a double fault, but I don’t know that I missed a ball apart from that. The next one I actually made five out of six first serves and again was coming in.

“Once he got down he kind of loosened up and played more aggressively.

“I certainly don’t know if I expected to come and win my first tournament after a pretty extended lay-off.”

It is the 27-year-old’s first title in Australia in his first event back after recovering from the left knee injury he suffered in October.


Roddick will meet Stepanek in the Brisbane Int. final.

Andy Roddick defeated Thomas Berdych 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will face defending champion Radek Stepanek after the Czech veteran brushed past Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-1 in the other semi-final.

Roddick looked out of sorts early when he was broken for the first time in the tournament, ending a run of 30 straight service game holds.

The opening break was backed up with a second one and Berdych suddenly looked the stronger of the two, going up 5-0.

After Berdych took the opening set in 34 minutes it seemed to spur Roddick on as he bounced back immediately in the second.

Suddenly Berdych’s returns were not finding the line and the world No 7 ramped up his service games to take an early 3-0 lead, before eventually wrapping up the set in 47 minutes.

The deciding set went with serve before Roddick pounced on a weak Berdych service game to take a 5-4 lead.

The American duly served out the set and the match to move into the final.

“I didn’t feel that I hit the ball badly; he came out and played really well,” said Roddick,

“The biggest part of the match first was the couple of games in the second set – I didn’t want to let him keep rolling.

“I wanted to make sure I stopped the momentum early in the second.”


Clijsters wins a thriller in a 3rd set tie breaker.

Kim Clijsters denied Justine Henin a dream return to the WTA Tour with victory in Saturday’s final of the Brisbane International.

Clijsters, who made her own impressive comeback last summer when she captured the US Open title, eventually triumphed 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8/6) but only after a superb fightback from her Belgian compatriot, playing in her first WTA tournament in 20 months following a spell in retirement.

Henin trailed by a set and 3-0 but actually fought back to hold match points in the decider.

However, Clijsters forced the match into a final-set tie-break and finally looksed set for victory when she led it 5-1.

Still Henin was not done though and she hit back to square the breaker at 6-6 before losing the next two points, clinching victory courtesy of a double fault from the former world number one.

This final was representative of the highest level of Women’s tennis, and both players must be considered as the favourites to either win or make the finals of all the 2010 Grand Slams.


Gasquet will take on Andy Roddick in the quarter final.

Richard Gasquet continues to do all the right things as he booked his place in the quarterfinals at the Brisbane International today where he will meet top seed Andy Roddick.

Gasquet extinguished West Australian qualifier Matt Ebden’s hopes of a fairytale ATP debut when he defeated him in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 in just under 80 minutes.

Despite the humid conditions, Gasquet’s class shone through on an otherwise overcast day.

Gasquet said he was happy with the win, but felt he has some room for improvement going into his next match.

“I played better in the first round, but this match is not the same, it is not centre court, it is not the same player – he has nothing to lose,” said Gasquet.

“I had everything to lose against him today, he’s a great player [he] serves well and moves well.”

Gasquet said he was looking forward to not being the favourite in his next match – a quarterfinal appointment with No.1 seed Andy Roddick.

“I have a lot of respect for him, because he’s in the top 10 since a lot of times. He’s one of the best players in the world, so I have nothing at all to lose.”

Gasquet said his plan is to enjoy Friday’s match as much as possible and try to return the best he can against the man who is “the best server in the world”.


Kim has her eye on Henin….and so she should.

In her first WTA tournament since her surprise retirement, a shellshocked Molik was thrashed 6-0 6-3 in just 60 minutes by the merciless Kim Clijsters in their much-hyped second-round clash.

The 28-year-old Australian hope had been riding high following her gritty Brisbane International opening round win – her first WTA victory in two years since coming out of retirement.

In an organiser’s dream, Molik set up a quarterfinal qualifier with old chum Clijsters, another on the comeback trail.

But it quickly became a nightmare for former world No.8 Molik whose friendship with Clijsters clearly earned her no favours.

The world No.18 dominated from the outset, taking the first set in 25 minutes against her former doubles partner on her way to winning the first eight games.

Molik looked every bit the world No.198 alongside the 26-year-old, but did receive a roar from the crowd when she finally held her serve in the ninth game of the second set.

That sparked a mini-comeback by Molik who again held serve before breaking the Belgian she has known since the age of 14 in the sixth game to lock it up 3-3.

However, former world No.1 Clijsters was in no mood to tolerate a comeback, breaking back immediately – and for the fifth time overall – before finally closing out the match in an hour.


Top 2 seeds Roddick and Stepanek both win.

Andy Roddick’s troublesome knee was given a stern test but the big-serving American came through with flying colours in his return to the ATP tour on Monday night.

Australian Davis Cup regular Peter Luczak gave Roddick a worrying first-set scare before the top seed prevailed 7-6(5) 6-1 in his opening match at the Brisbane International.

Luczak, who has worked his way to No.77 in the rankings after an injury-hit 2009, was up 5-3 in the tense tiebreak but failed to close out the set by dropping clutch points on serve.

Roddick swiftly grabbed the opportunity given by two unforced Luczak errors and then quickly ran through the second set with his signature booming serve firing on all cylinders.

The world No.7 iced the first set with an ace, one of an amazing 15 for the match, with his weapon hitting speeds beyond 220 km/h.

Roddick finished 2009 early to rest his knee but after three months rest he moved as well as ever during his one hour and 23 minutes at Pat Rafter Arena.

Defending champion Radek Stepanek used all his smarts to work out and then work over local John Millman on Monday night to maintain his unbeaten record at the Brisbane International.

The crafty Czech took just over an hour to dispose of Millman 6-4 6-0 on Pat Rafter Arena to set up a possible second round clash with another Queenslander, Bernard Tomic.

Brisbane baseline slugger Millman was an instant crowd favourite and rose to the occasion in the opening set when he went shot for shot with the world No.12.

His first faltering step came in the eighth game as Stepanek broke to take a 5-3 lead and serve for the set.

But to Millman’s credit he immediately broke back to the delight of the parochial crowd, which regularly chanted for the 20 year old.

He was set to defy his world ranking of 307 and level at 5-all when 40-15 up on serve but consecutive double faults gave the Czech his chance.

Stepanek grabbed it with both hands to take the set and the wind went from the popular local’s sails as he lost the next seven games in his ATP tour debut.


Ivanovic defeats Dokic in 3 sets, Henin wins impressively in 2.

“Aussie Ana” emerged a 7-5 1-6 6-3 winner in her first-round match-up with Jelena Dokic at the Brisbane International on Monday.

Ana Ivanovic may officially be a third-seeded Serbian at the tournament but she has also become an adopted Australian since hooking up with local golfer Adam Scott.

And just like Kim Clijsters when she was adopted by Aussie crowds during her engagement to Lleyton Hewitt, Ivanovic received warm local support as she beat the Australian player in 99 minutes.

But the Brisbane crowd was clearly torn by the presence of Ivanovic with Queenslander Scott in attendance at Pat Rafter Arena for his partner’s first tournament in four months.

Unforced errors by Dokic helped Ivanovic close out the first set before the Australian came alive in the second.

Dokic hit winner after winner to race to a 5-0 lead before being broken, only to recover and win the second set in 25 minutes.

Ivanovic did not hold her serve in the second set.

Roles were reversed in the third as Ivanovic broke Dokic three times to win the set in 31 minutes.

Nadia Petrova,  was bundled out of the Brisbane International 7-5 7-5 by Justine Henin at Pat Rafter Arena on Monday.

It took Petrova, No.20 in the world, less than two hours to be convinced Henin has returned a better player to that which retired on top of the rankings 20 months ago.

In an ominous warning to their rivals, the Russian is certain the 27 year old can add to her seven Grand Slams and 41 WTA tournament titles in 2010.

“It’s a different Henin. To me, it looks like she is playing better tennis than when she retired,” Petrova said after the high-quality first-round clash.

“She really plays a completely different style. She tries to be very aggressive and taking her opportunities straight away.

“Before it was always like long rallies and more like a claycourt player and now she’s becoming a really aggressive player.”

Petrova went as far to say Clijsters, who crowned her own comeback with the US Open title last August, wouldn’t have the game in a potential “dream final” to hold out Henin.

“That would actually be fun to see that,” she said. “I would go for Justine.

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