Posts Tagged ‘Serena Williams


Serena leaves no doubt about who’s the best!

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As if Williams’ 61 63 quarterfinal victory over World No.2 Maria Sharapova wasn’t impressive enough, her dismantling of Azarenka in the final was her 13th career win over a World No.1, tying Venus Williams for most victories over a World No.1 among active players; she also ties Kim Clijsters for second-most WTA titles among active players with 41 (Venus Williams has 43). Perhaps the biggest message: Williams is now 13-0 on clay this year, having gone 5-0 to win Charleston, 2-0 to help the US back into the World Group of Fed Cup, and now 6-0 to win Madrid. And along the way she has only lost one set, to Caroline Wozniacki in the third round this week (winning that, 16 63 62).

“I absolutely love clay. I grew up on clay – I played on hardcourt until I was 11, then until I turned 16 I only played on clay courts,” Williams said. “I actually love the clay but my results haven’t been stellar. I have won the French Open and lots of clay court tournaments, though. It’s really a myth about me not liking clay. I like it more than grass, which is weird. Hopefully I can start doing better.” Williams is now 7-1 in her head-to-head series with Azarenka. With the title run, the former No.1 keeps her climb back up the rankings going, No.9 to No.6.

“I don’t play to be No.2. I don’t think Victoria plays to be No.2, nor does Maria,” Williams said. “We all play to be the best. We’re all out here to do the best we can do, and if that’s No.1, that’s my ultimate goal. A lot of people feel that way.”



Love her or hate her, but respect her for being the best player in the world, maybe the best ever!

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Serena Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid Open. The American triumphed 6-1 6-3 to claim her 11th successive victory on clay. Sharapova a recent winner in Stuttgart, was again beset by problems with her serve. She produced eight double faults and was shown no mercy by Williams. The new blue clay on show in the Spanish capital is playing fast, something which would appear to aid Williams’ power game. She has already won on clay in Charleston this season – another venue known for its court speed – but whether Williams will be able to continue her impressive form on the slower courts of Rome and Roland Garros remains to be seen.

Earlier in the day Victoria Azarenka fought back from a set down to reach the last four. The world number one found herself in trouble against reigning French Open champion Li Na but recovered to post a 3-6 6-3 6-3 success. Li started like a train and when she broke serve in the opening game of the second set, a shock looked on the cards. However, Azarenka retrieved the break immediately and pushed on in the second set to level the match. The momentum was well and truly with the Belarusian entering the decider and she duly raced 4-0 in front. Li found a second wind though, recovering to 4-3 and then threatened to break Azarenka again to level the set. However, Azarenka held her nerve, her serve and closed the match out in the following game. The top seed will next face Agnieszka Radwanska, a player she has beaten five times already this season.

Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka continued her shock run through the Mutua Madrid Open, following up her second round upset over reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a 76(8) 76(6) quarterfinal stunner over reigning US Open champion Sam Stosur, firing 19 aces in the process. Though she came into Madrid ranked No.105, Hradecka has seen much higher heights, having gone as high as No.41 in the world last summer. She brought out her best in her upset of World No.4 Kvitova earlier in the week, and she did it all over again against World No.5 Stosur, keeping the pressure on in a tight first set tie-break and closing it out on her fourth set point, then saving a set point in the second set tie-break. Neither player was broken in 24 service games. Hradecka’s wins against Kvitova and Stosur are her first two Top 10 wins, and the 26-year-old was already competing in her first ever Premier quarterfinal. Next up is Serena Williams.



Serena Williams staged an impressive comeback against Caroline Wozniacki to claim a place in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.


The ninth-seeded American was comprehensively outplayed in the opening set of their third-round tie on Thursday, but hit back to wrap up a 1-6 6-3 6-2 victory in one hour and 42 minutes. Williams was broken three times in the first set by her Danish opponent, seeded sixth, but turned the tables on Wozniacki with four breaks of her own over the next two sets. “I had a slow start today, I don’t know why,” said the 30-year-old. “I was sluggish and mentally maybe fighting some demons. “I started trying to play better, the first set was not me at all. I knew I had to get better. I just tried to play my game.” Williams has now won 10 straight matches on clay, a run which took in the title in Charleston last month. The reward for her latest win is a last-eight clash with second seed Maria Sharapova. The Russian, a recent winner in Stuttgart, advanced after opponent Lucie Safarova withdrew before their clash through illness.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska also progressed to the next round, beating Roberta Vinci, of Italy, 7-6 (7/1) 6-4. Qualifier Lucie Hradecka, who accounted for third seed Petra Kvitova on Wednesday, continued her run with a 6-2 7-6 (7/5) success over Ekaterina Makarova to reach the quarter-finals.


“I definitely want to continue this. I’ve never played consistently at such a high level with low errors like this, and the scary thing is I could have served so much better.”

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Serena Williams won the 40th WTA title of her career by crushing Lucie Safarova 6-0 6-1 in the final of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. The fifth seed overwhelmed the ninth-seeded Czech in just 58 minutes as she continued the impressive form which did for Sam Stosur in an equally one-sided semi-final. The American won the first nine games of the final to move into a 6-0 3-0 lead and, although Safarova did at least get on the board, Williams quickly wrapped up the title. The 13-time major winner, who beat second seed Stosur 6-1 6-1 yesterday, does not want the form she has shown in her last two matches to come to an end.

“I hope I can make it three and four and five and six and more and more and more,” the 30-year-old said on the WTA website. The victory moved Williams up a place in the world rankings to ninth and she feels she can climb further over the grasscourt season. “I do have nothing to defend,” she added: “Wimbledon I didn’t do anything and Eastbourne I won one match, so that doesn’t count. I did pretty well in the summer, but then I dropped off again until this tournament. So I really am like a floating bird. “It’s motivating for me to go home and work harder, because I know Lucie and Sam and everyone else is going to work hard, too. Now they know what to expect even more when they play me. So this is just a battle, and I want to continue to win.”


Both Williams sisters breeze into the next round in Charleston.

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There were victories for both Williams sisters at the Family Circle Cup as Venus followed up her successful comeback in Miami last week by cruising into the second round in Charleston. Venus, who spent seven months out before returning at the Sony Ericsson Open last week, cruised past Iveta Benesova 6-4 6-3 as she lost serve only once in the match. “My serve felt great,” Williams told the WTA website. “I was still adjusting to the surface. Every clay court plays differently, the stadium can play different from the grandstand, I hadn’t played on stadium yet, and you don’t really slide a lot on that court anyway, so I was just getting the feel of the footing. But it was a good start.” However, Venus will now face a tough test in the second round where seventh seed Jelena Jankovic awaits.

Sister Serena was already in second-round action today, and made light work of Russian Elena Vesnina as she won 6-3 6-4. Also in the second round, second seed Samantha Stosur saw off wild-card Jamie Hampton 6-0 7-5 while Russian Vera Zvonareva had an even easier time in seeing off Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1 6-1. Eighth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had to come from behind to beat Eleni Daniilidou 3-6 6-4 6-4 but there was no way back for number 10 Anabel Medina Garrigues, who exited with a 7-5 6-3 loss to Anastasia Rodionova.

The remaining first round matches saw number 12 Yanina Wickmayer, 13th seed Nadia Petrova, and number 17 Marina Erakovic, advance along with Varvara Lepchenko, Anna Tatishvili, Jill Craybas, Anna Tatishvili and Yaroslava Shvedova



The too long absent Williams sisters are making the 2012 Sony Ericsson much more interesting.

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Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka lost 10 of the first 11 games, then rallied to remain unbeaten this year by overcoming Dominika Cibulkova 1-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 Monday in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open. Azarenka won her 26th consecutive match, a streak that began at the start of this year. Her start is the best on the women’s tour since Martina Hingis went 37-0 to begin 1997. In the second set, Azarenka fell behind 4-love. She found herself two points from defeat five times but swept the last three games and converted the first match point when Cibulkova sailed a passing shot long. Azarenka has won her four previous tournaments this year, including the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title. She seeks her third Key Biscayne title.

Serena Williams matched a career high with 20 aces to beat Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals. “My serve was hot,” Williams said. “I was like, `That’s pretty cool.”’ Williams avenged a loss to Stosur when they last met in the U.S. Open final in September. “That wasn’t in my mind,” Williams said. “I just thought, `This is a new game.”’

Venus Williams rallied from a set down to defeat Ana Ivanovic, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2, and roar into the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals for the 10th time.


Makarova ousts Serena and will face face Sharapova in the quarter final.

Serena_Williams at the Australian_Open

Serena Williams became the most high-profile casualty at the Australian Open so far after suffering a shock last-16 defeat by unseeded Ekaterina Makarova. he 13-time major champion – a five-time winner at Melbourne Park – made 37 unforced errors as 56th-ranked Makarova won 6-2 6-3 in 82 minutes. “I don’t know what to say. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Makarova. In her first Grand Slam quarter-final, the Russian will play compatriot Maria Sharapova, who beat Sabine Lisicki. Sharapova came from behind to beat her German opponent 6-3 2-6 3-6. The 2008 champion, 24, won the opening three games before Lisicki reeled off the next six games to secure the first set. But Sharapova fought back in the second set and then scrapped tooth and nail in the third game of the third set to hold serve before breaking 14th seed Lisicki in the sixth. “I had lots of ups and downs so I was fortunate to finish on a high note,” said the number four seed. “I’m happy that although I didn’t play my best tennis I hung in there.” The result means Sharapova retains a chance of finishing the Australian Open as world number one. Current incumbent Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka, who are also all in the last eight, can also claim the number one spot.

For Williams though, her 17-match Australian Open winning streak was brought to an abrupt end. The American, seeded 12th after an injury-hit 18 months, and absent from last year’s tournament, had not lost in Melbourne since a defeat by Jelena Jankovic in 2008. It was was her first loss to a player ranked outside the world’s top 50 in three years and only the third time since 2006 she had lost before the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. A lack of match fitness seemed to catch up with Williams in the blistering heat and she was second best throughout as Makarova claimed a richly deserved victory. She broke for a 3-2 lead in the opening set and then again for 5-2 as Williams’s usually dominant serve faltered badly. Williams improved at the start of the second set as she claimed a 2-0 advantage, but Makarova broke back immediately and then moved 3-2 ahead when her opponent double-faulted a remarkable four times. The momentum remained with Makarova and despite squandering three match points, she came through on a fourth when Williams sent a tame backhand into the tramlines. “She is an unbelievable player and it is very tough to play her,” the Russian added. “It was tough – it is a big stadium and an unbelievable feeling. I am just happy.”



Even with a little ‘rust’ Serena looks to be on track for another Grand Slam.

Serena Williams was so dominant in her 6-1, 6-1 third-round win over Greta Arn at the Australian Open that even at 5-0 and a point from winning the first set, when she lined up in the ideal position for an overhead but then completely shanked it, spraying the ball wide, it didn’t bother her. She just screamed and put a hand over her face. The 92nd-ranked Arn saved another set point before holding serve for the first time. Williams responded by winning the next five games before Arn held again. The match ended in 59 minutes Saturday, on consecutive double-faults by the Hungarian.

“I’m nowhere near where I want to be,” said Williams, who has won her last 17 matches at Melbourne Park. “I’m just trying to play through it. A little rusty — just trying to play through my rust.” Williams has won the Australian Open five times, including back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. She didn’t get to defend her title last year due to injury. She badly sprained her left ankle in a warmup tournament at Brisbane two weeks ago, casting doubt again on her participation at Melbourne, but the 13-time major winner has shown no signs of being restricted in her first three matches — she has only conceded 11 games.

Next up she faces Ekaterina Makarova, who beat fellow Russian and seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva earlier Saturday. Williams is the only American left in the singles at the Australian Open after Vania King lost earlier to former French Open winner Ana Ivanovic — the last U.S. man exited the tournament Friday when John Isner lost in five sets to Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.



Top ladies all advance to the next round with little trouble.

Serena Williams

Five-time champion Serena outclassed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0 6-4 to set up a meeting Greta Arn. Sharapova was even more convincing in a 6-0 6-1 thrashing of Jamie Hampton and she will next play Angelique Kerber. Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic also went through on Thursday.

Wimbledon champion Kvitova was out of sorts and needed one hour and 47 minutes to complete a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over Spain’s Suarez Navarro. “It was okay at the beginning but then I made many, many mistakes,” said the second seed, who fell behind in the third set before bouncing back.

Seventh seed Zvonareva, a semi-finalist in 2009 and 2011, beat Lucie Hradecka 6-1 7-6 (7-3) and faces compatriot Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the last 16 after Makarova upset 25th seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2 7-5.

Sharapova opened play on Rod Laver Arena but needed only 64 minutes to dispatch her American opponent. “I didn’t know too much about my opponent so I just focused on myself and tried to improve on my first round,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion. She takes on Kerber on Saturday after the 30th seed from Germany overcame Canada’s Stephanie Dubois 7-5 6-1. Sharapova was followed on court by Serena and the 12th seed snapped up the first set against a forlorn Strycova in 22 minutes. The Czech gave a better account of herself in the second, breaking Serena’s serve in game nine to make it 4-5. But the US number one hit straight back to secure a 68-minute triumph, the 500th win of her career. Serena, who pulled out of the recent Brisbane International after rolling her ankle on court, fell awkwardly in the final game against Strycova but later said: “It’s fine, I just have really wobbly ankles. I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina.”

Meanwhile, a resurgent Ivanovic – now coached by former British Fed Cup captain Nigel Sears – made serene progress. The 21st seed beat Michaella Krajicek 6-2 6-3 and next up is Vania King, who beat 15th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5 3-6 4-6.

Marion Bartoli was another seed to comfortably progress, the 9th seed beating Jelena Dokic 6-3 6-2, while 14th seed Sabine Lisickie saw off Shahar Peer 6-1 6-2.



Federer and Clijsters join Serena on the injured list of top players.


Kim Clijsters retired from her semifinal match against Daniela Hantuchova at the Brisbane International on Friday one game after taking a medical time out for a left hip injury. Clijsters won the opening set 7-6 (4), but surrendered a break at the start of the second set and needed treatment after the third game. She came back on court for one game before walking to the net and telling Hantuchova she couldn’t continue after falling behind 3-1. Hantuchova has had a truncated run into Saturday’s final, getting a walkover in the quarterfinals when 13-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament after injuring her left ankle while winning a second-round match. Hantuchova will next play Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-3, 6-0.

Roger Federer has pulled out of his semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Qatar Open because of a back injury. The 16-time Grand Slam champion says his back has not improved since beating Andreas Seppi in three sets on Thursday. Rafael Nadal will meet Gael Monfils in the other semifinal match.

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