Posts Tagged ‘Venus Williams


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.



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



Victoria Azarenka’s winning start to the year finally came to an end as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Marion Bartoli.

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Bartoli was on top for nearly the whole match, but Azarenka had a chance to assert herself when she led 3-1 in the second set. That was as good as it got for her though and, with her early-season exertions perhaps catching up with her, she surrendered five games in a row, losing 14 of the last 16 games. It meant Azarenka’s winning run was snapped at 26 matches, but she told the tournament’s official website: “What I’ve done in the last couple of months, I have to be really proud of myself. “I could have maybe played better today, that’s for sure, but I gave it all I had. But Marion played really well today, and she deserves the win.”

Venus Williams’ revival came to a crashing halt at the hands of Polish fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who needed just 80 minutes to polish off the American 6-4 6-1. Williams had no answer to her younger, in-form opponent who broke her three times in the opening set and proved even more dominant in the next, blazing into a last-four showdown with Bartoli.


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.


Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic snapped up the last three berths in the round of 16, all looking impressive with straight set victories.

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The No.15-seeded Ivanovic was the first to win, racing through the first set then sneaking a 68-minute second set to get by No.20 seed Daniela Hantuchova, 62 76(2). With a handful of errors from her opponent Ivanovic built a 6-2 lead in the breaker, then fired a forehand winner on her very first match point. “Daniela and I have played a lot of times in the past. Even in practice it’s always tight,” Ivanovic said. “I played really well in the first set. I think I started to rush a little more in the second – I started wanting to close out the match and wanted to rush and rush. I was focused more on the end than staying in the moment. But I’m really happy I managed to keep composed and then win the tie-breaker. “It was a very, very important win for me today.” Ivanovic and Hantuchova were wearing the same adidas tennis dress on the court. “It’s pretty funny – we were joking, at least one was blonde and one was brunette. It would be a problem if I played Sorana,” Ivanovic said. “But seriously, it is a little bit strange. You look up and see yourself. It’s like, ‘Is that a mirror?'” Ivanovic is going to pass Jelena Jankovic on the next rankings, her first time being the Serbian No.1 since the 2008 US Open fortnight (during those two weeks, Ivanovic was ranked No.1 in the world and Jankovic was No.2). Next up for Ivanovic is Venus Williams, who saved match point to win earlier in the day. Williams has won seven of eight meetings against Ivanovic, but they are a much closer 1-1 when playing on outdoor hardcourts.

Six minutes after Ivanovic’s win, No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska completed a 66-minute, 61 62 rout of Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, winning almost twice as many points as the tenacious Spaniard during the match (58 to 30). Later at night, top-ranked, top-seeded defending champion Victoria Azarenka improved to 25-0 on the season with a 60 62 rout of Heather Watson. Azarenka won the first nine games to go up 60 30; Watson started closing in towards the end, winning two of the last five games, but it was just too late for the Brit.



Venus ousts Kvitova as Azarenka goes to 24-0.

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Azarenka stretched her unbeaten run to 24 matches this year with another easy win in her first appearance in Miami. Her latest victim was Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, who fought hard but was no match for Azarenka as the Belarusian cruised to a 6-3 7-5 win. Azarenka is off to the hottest start to a season since Martina Hingis won her first 37 matches in 1997. Her wins this year include the Australian Open and Indian Wells last week, but she realizes she now has a target on her back. “I felt that she had nothing to lose, so she went for her shots, she was really aggressive,” Azarenka said. “I think I could have been more aggressive and play more my game, but I found the right shot selection and the right opportunities when I needed.”

Venus Williams ousted Wimbledon champion and third seed Petra Kvitova 6-4 4-6 6-0 in an evening match. Former world number one Williams, playing in her first WTA event since last year’s U.S. Open, broke Czech Kvitova three times in the final set. “The third set was very cruel for me,” left-hander Kvitova said. “The first two games I had game points and break points, but I didn’t make it. “Then it was tough to still focus on my plan for the rest of the match. I knew what I had to do today but, if I wasn’t returning very well, it’s tough to play against her. “She looks very ready, very fit. She’s back,” the Czech said of Williams, who revealed at the US Open she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

Elsewhere, ninth seed Vera Zvonareva crashed out of the tournament, beaten 6-4 6-3 by Spanish wildcard Garbine Muguruza while Ana Ivanovic eased past Vania King 6-4 7-5.


Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams marked their returns to the WTA Tour with victories in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

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Clijsters, playing for the first time since her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Victoria Azarenka, had skipped last week’s Indian Wells tournament to rest her injured ankle and was forced to dig deep for a 4-6 6-1 6-0 win over Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova to reach the second round . And the 28-year-old, a winner of the Miami event in 2005 and 2010, overcame a sluggish start to book her place in round two, where she will next play 14th seed Julia Goerges for the first time in her career. It’s always tough to get that first match rhythm under your belt,” Clijsters told the WTA website. “When it comes down to my game I felt I wasn’t quite going through my shots as I should have. I was just trying to find that rhythm, but on the other hand forgetting to still play aggressive tennis. “But as I started to feel more comfortable with the conditions and being in a match situation again I was hitting better, and that showed in the second and third sets.” Clijsters also said the ankle that kept her out since Australia is 95 per cent good now. “It had been a while since I played a match,” she added. “My last tournament was in Melbourne, a good month and a half or two months ago, or even longer. I was home rehabbing my ankle and had a really good practice and physical schedule. But it’s just a matter of getting those matches again. “One thing I can count on is I have the experience, though. It doesn’t take me that long to get used to it again. But it has become tougher.”

Venus Williams also made a winning return to action as she beat Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0 6-3. The seven-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played a WTA event since pulling out of last year’s US Open, cruised to victory in 77 minutes. The American fired down five aces and landed 56 per cent of her first serves while surrendering only one service break. She will now take on Czech third seed Petra Kvitova, who had a first-round bye, in the second round. Williams announced at the 2011 US Open she had been diagnosed with the auto-immune disorder Sjogren Syndrome, an illness which saps energy and causes joint pains.




Venus will make her debut in Miami, and Gonzo will bid farewell.

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Venus Williams plans to make her 2012 debut in Miami, hoping to regain the form that saw her claim three Sony Ericsson Open titles (2001, 1999, 1998). The seven-time Grand Slam champion last appeared on the purple courts in 2010 where she played her way into the final. She has battled through injuries and illnesses this past year, and has not played since the US Open in August. “I am looking forward to my return to competitive tennis at the Sony Ericsson Open,” said Williams. “I have spent most of my life in Southern Florida and view the Sony Ericsson Open as a hometown event. I have had many great experiences playing there and look forward to returning in the coming weeks.”

Gonzalez, a winner of 11 career ATP World Tour Titles, made his professional debut in 1999. In 2007, Gonzalez attained a career high No. 5 ranking after reaching the Australian Open final, in which he posted wins over Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal. He has also had success on the Olympic stage, receiving a bronze medal in singles and gold in doubles with Nicolas Massu at the 2004 Athens games, and a silver medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Gonzalez has announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of this year’s Sony Ericsson Open.


Venus pulls out of the Aussie Open with continued bad health problems.


Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2012 which is due to get under way next week in Melbourne. The 31-year-old American made the announcement on Twitter and her website on Monday evening. She has not played competitively since pulling out of the US Open on August 31 after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain.

“I regret to announce that I am withdrawing from the 2012 Australian Open,” said the seven-time Grand Slam title winner. “After several months of training and treatment, I am making steady progress to top competitive form. “My diet and fitness regimen have allowed me to make great strides in terms of my health and I am very close to being ready to return to WTA competition. I have every intention to return to the circuit in February.”  

Although Williams, who is currently 100th in the rankings, has not played competitively since August, she did play some exhibition matches at the end of last year.


Venus Williams has withdrawn from the ASB Classic in Auckland next month because of ongoing health issues.


The former world number one has been receiving treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome which can cause fatigue and joint pain. According to the tournament’s official website, after playing a number of recent exhibition matches Williams told her agent Carlos Fleming she was not ready to play in Auckland. ASB Classic tournament director Richard Palmer said: “We are disappointed to have lost a player of her calibre. While withdrawals of this nature are part and parcel of sport, we sincerely feel for the fans who will also be disappointed by the news of Venus’ withdrawal. “Next month’s ASB Classic field is one of the strongest in the tournament’s history with four players in the top 20, the eight seeds in the top 30 and all 24 direct entries in the top 70 in the world. “This is still an exceptional field despite the withdrawal of Venus Williams.” Palmer added: “Only last month she was reported saying she was looking forward to her first tournament of the year in Auckland and had heard great things about the ASB Classic. Her goal was to play a full schedule next year.”

With the Australian Open due to start on January 16, it is looking increasingly unlikely the American will participate.

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