July 31, 2016

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

 

Raonic and Monfils

 

(July 29, 2016) TORONTO – All photos by Nida Alibhai from Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

Rogers Cup
Toronto, Canada

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 29 JULY 2016

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(6) 64
[2] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d K. Anderson (RSA) 61 63
[3] K. Nishikori (JPN) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 63 36 62
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) d [4] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU) d [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 63 63
[2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d [7] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 36 75 10-4
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d [8] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 36 64 10-8
[6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) d T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) 63 76(6)

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 30 JULY 2016

CENTRE COURT start 12:20 pm
[5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[3] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

Not Before 5:50 pm
[6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [10] G. Monfils (FRA)

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Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

(July 28, 2016) TORONTO – All photos by Nida Alibhai from Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

Rogers Cup
Toronto, Canada

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 28 JULY 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) 62 64
[2] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [16] J. Sock (USA) 76(3) 62
[3] K. Nishikori (JPN) d R. Ram (USA) 63 64
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] J. Donaldson (USA) 62 63
[5] T. Berdych (CZE) d [Q] R. Harrison (USA) 64 67(2) 64
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) d [7] D. Goffin (BEL) 76(5) 26 64
K. Anderson (RSA) d [12] B. Tomic (AUS) 46 63 64
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 63 75

Doubles – Second Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Matkowski (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 64
[2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d B. Tomic (AUS) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 62
[6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) 76(4) 01 Ret. (Sock arm)
[7] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d [WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 64 76(4)
[8] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) / S. Wawrinka (SUI) 76(4) 62

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 29 JULY 2016

CENTRE COURT start 12:30 pm
K. Anderson (RSA) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [10] G. Monfils (FRA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU)
[7] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [8] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)

Not Before 7:30 pm
After Suitable Rest – [6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) vs T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE)

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Hometown Bouchard Flawless in 6-2 6-0 Win over Cibulkova

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

Hometown Bouchard Flawless in 6-2 6-0 Win over Cibulkova

by By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin
(July 27, 2016)MONTREAL – Following her spectacular win in a third set tiebreak against Lucie Safarova on Tuesday, Eugenie Bouchard was facing another difficult test on WEdnesday in 11th seed Dominika Cibulkova. In arguably one of the best performance of her career, the hometown favorite was nearly flawless and handed her opponent a mere two games to reach her maiden third round at the Rogers Cup.
Cibulkova and Bouchard had some history; they were facing for the 4th time in the past year, with Bouchard winning two tight three-setters at the US Open and Hobart, while Cibulkova was superior a few weeks ago in Wimbledon. Right from the get-go, you could see Bouchard wanted to avenge that loss: ‘The match in Wimbledon was a disappointment for me. She was dominating then, and I knew I had to change that’. And she did: the Canadian came out firing, moving as well as ever, answering back to all of Cibulkova’s trademark power off the ground. She managed to turn defense into offense, and use the crowd’s energy in her favor. Bouchard broke on a Cibulkova double fault in the first game and never looked back, reeling off the last nine games to win with a surprisingly easy 6-2 6-0 scoreline.

Bouchard will face another Slovakian player in the third round, as surprising qualifier Kristina Kucova defeated 8th seed Carla Suarez-Navarro in three tough sets. While Bouchard mentioned she barely knew anything about her opponent, die-hard tennis fans will remember their infamous Fed Cup encounter in 2014, where Eugenie Bouchard refused to participate in the usual pre-tie picture of opponents shaking hands, describing the routine as ‘lame’. This was repeated in a subsequent tie against Romania and has been the cause of many critics on the Canadian’s media etiquette.
Bouchard will be the last Canadian standing, as her fellow Montreal native Françoise Abanda couldn’t follow on her impressive first round win. Facing 17th seed Elina Svitolina, the local player led 6-5 in both sets, but couldn’t conclude in a 7-6(2) 7-6(3) loss.
Other winners of the day included Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, in-form Johanna Konta and Roberta Vinci.

COUPE ROGERS PRÉSENTÉE PAR BANQUE NATIONALE – MONTREAL, CAN
$2,714,413
25 / 31 JULY / JUILLET 2016

RESULTS – JULY 27, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[2] A. Kerber (GER) d M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 63 46 63
[4] A. Radwanska (POL) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 61 75
[6] V. Williams (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 60
[7] R. Vinci (ITA) d [Q] C. Giorgi (ITA) 26 63 64
[Q] K. Kucova (SVK) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 36 64 64
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [Q] A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 75 60
[10] M. Keys (USA) d M. Brengle (USA) 64 63
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [11] D. Cibulkova (SVK) 62 60
[12] P. Kvitova (CZE) d A. Petkovic (GER) 62 64
D. Kasatkina (RUS) d [13] S. Stosur (AUS) 76(1) 63
[14] K. Pliskova (CZE) d S. Errani (ITA) walkover
[15] J. Konta (GBR) d [Q] V. King (USA) 75 61
[16] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d [LL] C. Mchale (USA) 62 75
[17] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [WC] F. Abanda (CAN) 76(2) 76(3)

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

[WC] S. Halep (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 61 63
First Round
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d [6] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) 64 63
N. Broady (GBR) / S. Rogers (USA) d E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Irigoyen (ARG) 63 62
N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) / E. Svitolina (UKR) 46 75 10-6
[WC] D. Gavrilova (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) d C. Chuang (TPE) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 46 63 10-8
A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d [Alt] M. Brengle (USA) / T. Moore (GBR) 60 64

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2016
CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[14] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[4] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [16] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[10] M. Keys (USA) vs [6] V. Williams (USA)
E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [Q] K. Kucova (SVK)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
[7] R. Vinci (ITA) vs D. Kasatkina (RUS)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [12] P. Kvitova (CZE)

Not Before 4:30 pm
[17] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[LL] V. Lepchenko (USA) vs [15] J. Konta (GBR)
B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / H. Watson (GBR) vs [3] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 9 start 12:30 pm
C. Mchale (USA) / A. Muhammad (USA) vs [7] R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs N. Broady (GBR) / S. Rogers (USA)
After suitable rest – [WC] D. Gavrilova (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE) / B. Strycova (CZE)
A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs [2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

COURT 5 start 3:00 pm
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
After suitable rest – [4] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL)

 

Rogers Cup
Toronto, Canada

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 27 JULY 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d G. Muller (LUX) 75 76(3)
[3] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [Q] D. Novikov (USA) 64 75
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) d Y. Lu (TPE) 63 63
K. Anderson (RSA) d [6] D. Thiem (AUT) 41 ret. (hip pain)
[7] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Querrey (USA) 64 21 ret. (low back)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d [8] M. Cilic (CRO) 64 76(3)
[Q] R. Harrison (USA) d [9] J. Isner (USA) 76(3) 67(4) 64
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 76(6) 60
[12] B. Tomic (AUS) d [WC] S. Diez (CAN) 63 76(4)
R. Ram (USA) d [13] L. Pouille (FRA) 64 76(5)
[16] J. Sock (USA) d D. Young (USA) 64 63
[Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) d [WC] P. Polansky (CAN) 76(5) 64
[Q] J. Donaldson (USA) d F. Fognini (ITA) 63 36 63
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d [WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN) 64 63

Doubles – Second Round
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO) 76(3) 67(4) 10-5
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) d [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / J. Rojer (NED) 61 64
[5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU) d J. Isner (USA) / A. Zverev (GER) 76(1) 60

Doubles – First Round
M. Matkowski (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d L. Kubot (POL) / A. Peya (AUT) 63 76(5)

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 28 JULY 2016

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
R. Ram (USA) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
[16] J. Sock (USA) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs M. Matkowski (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [Q] J. Donaldson (USA)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
K. Anderson (RSA) vs [12] B. Tomic (AUS)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [7] D. Goffin (BEL)
I. Karlovic (CRO) vs G. Dimitrov (BUL)
[Q] R. Harrison (USA) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)
[6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA)

COURT 1 start Not Before 2:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – B. Tomic (AUS) / V. Troicki (SRB) vs [2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
[7] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) / S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs [8] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)

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Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

(July 26, 2016) TORONTO – All photos by Nida Alibhai.

 

 

Rogers Cup
Toronto, Canada

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 26 JULY 2016

Singles – Second Round
[2] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 76(3) 76(8)
[5] T. Berdych (CZE) d B. Coric (CRO) 46 61 64

First Round
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) d J. Sousa (POR) 63 63
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] E. Gomez (ECU) 67(8) 64 75
[Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) d [14] B. Paire (FRA) 61 63
F. Fognini (ITA) d [15] S. Johnson (USA) 64 64
Y. Lu (TPE) d A. Zverev (GER) 75 63
[Q] J. Donaldson (USA) d J. Millman (AUS) 64 43 ret. (left wrist)
V. Pospisil (CAN) d J. Chardy (FRA) 76(3) 00 ret. (right foot)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d T. Fritz (USA) 67(9) 76(5) 62
R. Ram (USA) d E. Gulbis (LAT) 64 62
[Q] D. Novikov (USA) d F. Delbonis (ARG) 64 63
D. Young (USA) d A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 76(6) 64

Doubles – First Round
J. Isner (USA) / A. Zverev (GER) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / S. Querrey (USA) 76(4) 63
[PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO) d J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 63 64
N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) d G. Muller (LUX) / B. Paire (FRA) 64 62
[WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) d N. Djokovic (SRB) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 75 46 10-2
B. Tomic (AUS) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [WC] F. Auger Aliassime (CAN) / D. Shapovalov (CAN) 64 63

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 27 JULY 2016

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Novikov (USA) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs G. Muller (LUX)
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / J. Rojer (NED)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[9] J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] R. Harrison (USA)
[6] D. Thiem (AUT) vs K. Anderson (RSA)
[8] M. Cilic (CRO) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[WC] P. Polansky (CAN) vs [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE)
[WC] S. Diez (CAN) vs [12] B. Tomic (AUS)
[16] J. Sock (USA) vs D. Young (USA)
M. Matkowski (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs L. Kubot (POL) / A. Peya (AUT)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) vs R. Ram (USA)
S. Querrey (USA) vs [7] D. Goffin (BEL)
[Q] J. Donaldson (USA) vs F. Fognini (ITA)
J. Isner (USA) / A. Zverev (GER) vs [5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU)

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Wildcard Denis Shapovalov Knocks Out 11th Seed Nick Kyrgios in First Round of Toronto Masters

Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov

(July 25, 2016) Coming off the Junior Boys’ singles title at Wimbledon, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov received a wildcard into the Rogers Cup in Toronto, his home tournament. The youngest player in the tournament made good use of his entry by upsetting 11th seed Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 in the first round on Monday night.

The winner could hardly believe that he won the match when he spoke to media.

“Nick is an incredible tennis player,” he said. “He’s top 20 in the world. Maybe even future No. 1 in the world.

“So obviously I didn’t expect to win. But like I said before, I’m just going to go fight for every point. That’s what I did. The outcome was very good today.”

“My whole family was there, my whole team, my sponsor, my physio. Couple of very close friends to me were there.”

“On the on-court interview, this girl, she was interviewing me and she asked me, Do you want me to pinch you?”

“I said, Yeah. Frankly I actually didn’t feel the pinch. I might be dreaming still. Yeah, it’s still hitting me. It’s going to be crazy, but there’s a next match and I have got to get ready for tomorrow.”

“I just didn’t play great,” Kyrgios said.

“He played well. You know, obviously he was excited playing in front of his home crowd. I know what it feels like obviously to come off one of your biggest junior results and then play in one of your home tournaments. I know that feeling. It’s great. I hope he enjoys it and rests up and does well.

“Yeah, I’m not going to tell you what I did or didn’t do to prepare for this match,” the eleventh seed said to reporters. “I just played pretty bad, but he played great and he earned it.”

Shapovalov said that he made the request to play on Centre Court.

“I thought it would be fun with all the fans,” he said. “I love playing on a big stage. I love, you know, impressing people. So, yeah, it was very fun for me.”

“So, you know, they really helped me a lot. And I think just the atmosphere really carried me forward today.”

Shapovalov will face former Top Ten player Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the second round. “Tournament is not over,” Shapovalov commented. “I could celebrate my win from Nick after the tournament but now I’m going to focus for Dimitrov.”

RESULTS – MONDAY, 25 JULY 2016

Singles – First Round
[9] J. Isner (USA) d D. Sela (ISR) 46 63 62
[WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN) d [11] N. Kyrgios (AUS) 76(2) 36 63
[12] B. Tomic (AUS) d [Q] A. Gonzalez (COL) 64 76(1)
[16] J. Sock (USA) d D. Kudla (USA) 62 62
G. Muller (LUX) d [PR] D. Tursunov (RUS) 76(5) 61
[WC] P. Polansky (CAN) d [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) 46 63 60
[Q] R. Harrison (USA) d A. Kuznetsov (RUS) 63 61
B. Coric (CRO) d I. Dodig (CRO) 57 64 62
S. Querrey (USA) d [WC] F. Dancevic (CAN) 76(5) 64
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d Y. Sugita (JPN) 57 76(5) 64
K. Anderson (RSA) d V. Troicki (SRB) 76(4) 63
[WC] S. Diez (CAN) d K. Edmund (GBR) 36 63 62
M. Youzhny (RUS) d S. Robert (FRA) 63 76(6)

Doubles – First Round
G. Dimitrov (BUL) / S. Wawrinka (SUI) d L. Pouille (FRA) / D. Thiem (AUT) 46 76(2) 12-10
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) d F. Martin (FRA) / J. Sousa (POR) 61 36 11-9

All photos by Nida Alibhai

 

 

 

 

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Just Breathe: Johanna Konta Wins Maiden WTA Title at Bank of the West Classic

Williams and Konta

By Curt Janka

(July 24, 2016) STANFORD, California –  British No. 1 Johanna Konta earned her first WTA title by battling past top seed Venus Williams 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. This match was Konta’s first final while Williams was playing her 80th final. That said, Konta played with poise and control. She hit her spots and capitalized on opportunities.

 

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Williams put up a valiant fight. Despite going down a set and two breaks in the second set, she never gave up. “Just because it’s 4-1 doesn’t mean the match is over” Williams said. She couldn’t quite come back in the third set, however, and gave lots of credit to her opponent. “She had a lot of great shots. She came up with a lot of winners. She just played a great match.”

Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta

After her semifinal, Konta said controlling her breathing helped her win. She was asked if it helped again today. “Breathing! Revolutionary, guys” she laughed, then explained further, “It helps with my train of thought. The more simple you keep things, the more clarity you have and the less dumb you play.“

So, how was her breathing near the end of the second set when Venus came back from two breaks? More laughs, “Yeah I probably did forget to breath there.”

In the third set, Konta said she went back to keeping things simple. “Coming into that third set it was about just putting things behind you and really breaking it down. Every single point was a battle and you try to win as many battles as possible.”

Along the way, Konta said she found herself wanting to learn from Williams.  “I was thinking a lot in that third set,” she explained “about how many times Venus has been in this position. And just really appreciating that and understanding the magnitude of that. How lucky am I to play against one of the best players in the sport that I’m a part of. Just being grateful of that just makes things lighter and puts things in perspective. Hopefully one day I’ll be as experienced as she is.”

She is indeed learning from one of the best and climbing up the rankings along the way.  Both Konta and Williams will be moving up – as of Monday Konta will be No. 14 in the world with Williams up a notch to No. 6.

 

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Johanna Konta Serves Her Way Into Her First WTA Final

Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta

By Curt Janka

(July 23, 2016) STANFORD, California – Johanna Konta lost just six points on her serve as she toppled Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-2 in the first semifinal of the Bank of the West Classic. The win earns Konta her first WTA final and it’s the first time a British player has played for the trophy here since Virginia Wade in 1981.

The third seed Konta served a total of nine games and held at love for six of them. Cibulkova, the second seed and 2013 champion, is arguably one of the better returners on tour, so what made Konta’s serve so tough today? “She was placing the serve so well and it was hard for me to do something with it,” the Slovak Cibulkova answered. “She was changing the directions of the serve, so that was the main thing. Today she was just serving too well.“

The 25-year-old British woman, currently ranked No. 18,  backed up her serve with solid ground strokes and returns, breaking her higher-seeded opponent three times. After the match, she was pleased with her performance. “I’m really happy to have come through that and to be into my first final,” Konta said. “I thought I served well and did a good job in the end of staying in the present. She [Cibulkova] is an incredible competitor, so I knew going into the match that I was going to have to be there for every single point. I achieved that, so I’m feeling very grateful and looking forward to my next match tomorrow.”

Konta was also playing in the doubles semifinal with her partner, Maria Sanchez, against Darija Jurak and Anastasia Rodionova. Konta will play Venus Williams in the final. The two-time Stanford winner beat Alison Riske in the night session.

“I’m really happy to have come through that and to be into my first final,” Konta said after her win.

 

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Venus Williams Playing Like The Top Seed She Is At The Bank Of The West Classic

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

By Curt Janka

(July 22, 2016) STANFORD, California –  A relaxed Venus Williams played composed tennis as she breezed to a 6-4, 6-1 win over 17-year-old wildcard Catherine Bellis at the Bank of the West Classic on Friday night. While it may have taken three sets for Williams to get by her previous opponent, there was no sign of tension in her play on Friday night. Experience may have been the key against her younger opponent.

When asked why she looked so at ease on the court she said, “I just felt like I had a lot of experience and as a young person she has to go for a lot more than I ever have to go for because I understand the game more. So I felt just comfortable that I could control the match.”

“After Wimbledon I was really pumped,” the 36-year-old Williams said. “I was like, ‘I can’t wait to play.’ That felt good. It felt good to be eager.”

When asked what else she is looking forward to this summer, the two-time Stanford winner replied, “There’s so much to look forward to! The semifinals tomorrow is like my main focus. The Olympics I’ve been waiting for four years. As soon as the last one was over I was ready to go again. It’s getting closer and it feels surreal but when I get there it’s gonna be real. And after that you just turn right back around and play the Open.”

CiCi Bellis

CiCi Bellis

Despite a quick second set, Bellis did make the first set very competitive. “I learned a lot,” she said. “I think mainly I just have to focus on the key points. There are a couple points in the first set that I think if I played a little bit more aggressive I could have won them. But, you know, she’s obviously the number one seed here, so it’s unbelievable to be on the court with someone like her.“

Asked about her short-term goals, Bellis smiled and said, “Yesterday, actually, I committed to Stanford. I’m just going to see how the next year goes in my pro career.” She explained that after another year on tour, she would start her college career at Stanford.

Top seed Williams will face Alison Riske in the semifinals on Saturday. Riske advanced when her quarterfinal opponent fourth seed Coco Vandeweghe suffered an ankle injury and had to retire.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Dominika Cibulkova came back from two early breaks to win 7-5, 6-0 over Misaki Doi. Cibulkova will next face third seed Johanna Konta, who beat her quarterfinal opponent, Zheng Saiai 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

 

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Djokovic Advances, Bacsinszky Surprises Halep at Miami Open

(March 29, 2016) In a match closer that the score indicated, Novak Djokovic advanced to the Miami Open quarterfinals on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 14th seed Dominic Thiem of Austria.

Djokovic who is now 25-1 on the year is seeking his fifth Miami title in six years and three in a row.

The Serb fought off a game youngster in Thiem, fighting off 14 of 15 break points.

“He came out with a good game plan,” Djokovic said. “He’s young. He had not much to lose. He was confident obviously winning a lot of matches this year. He was motivated to win. I could see that. It was a straight-set win, but far from easy. It was a tough match.”

“It is exciting, because tennis definitely needs the next generation of young players who are playing the way Dominic does and challenging the best players in the world,” Djokovic continued.

“It’s normal evolution in life that sooner or later we’ll — the time will come for all of us, and we need some new faces and players that are able to follow and lead the tennis world in the future.

“So Dominic is one of the leaders of this generation, no question doubt about it. He’s already established himself as a top 20 player last couple years. He’s getting stronger and more confident.

“It’s a process for every young player to really develop and understand what it takes mentally, physically, emotionally, to get to the top of the world and win major titles. It’s a long road ahead for him and for everybody else, but definitely they are on the right track.”

In the final eight Djokovic will play No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych who beat 10th seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

The women’s upsets continued at the Miami Open on Tuesday when No. 5 seed Romanian Simona Halep lost to No. 19 seed Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

The Swiss player backed up her defeat of the No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round for her second straight win over top five players.

It marked the first time that Bacsinszky had even taken a set off of Halep.

For the Swiss, it’s been five years since she last made an appearance at Key Biscayne and this year, making the semifinals is by far the longest run she’s made in the tournament.

After Halep took a tight first set, Bacsinszky jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set to take control. The Swiss notched two breaks early in the third set to go up 3-0 and never had to look back.

After her first service break in the second set, rain halted play for 10 minutes.

Between Bacsinszky’s effective use of the slice, movement and varied game, put her opponent off guard throughout most of the almost two-and-a-half-hour match.

“Well, in the second set I think I was pushing her to play long rallies,” she said. “I was like probably trying to hide where I was playing; then she was like — she couldn’t be able to guess if it was on the backhand or the forehand.

“Well, even though I felt that she raised her level and her intensity at the end the second set, I stayed — I’m happy that I stayed really strong. I felt that she was like going up, pushing, pushing, but I showed that, Okay, I’m here. I know you’re pushing, but I can keep the level.

“Then it helped me a lot for the third set. I raised then probably my intensity at the beginning of the third set and it made a big gap between us.”

With Halep out, the only top ten seed left in the women’s draw is No. 2 Angelique Kerber.

“The ranking is only a number,” said the Swiss in reference to beating two top five players, “so sometimes you can play very good, better than your ranking, and sometimes less good than your ranking is.

“So for the next match, I mean, obviously for sure it gives me a big confidence to have those two wins, but it doesn’t change that I’m going to have a fierce opponent and it’s going to be tough.

“I just hope I’m going to be able to play well — I mean, not especially well, but be efficient in the next match. Hopefully I win the last point. If not, then it’s okay. I’ll try for the next tournament.”

 

Bascinszky will next play Russian No. 15 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the finals.  In a topsy-turvy match, Kuznetsova defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.

In the first set Kuznetsova lead 5-2, 40-0 and also served for the set at 5-4 but could not close the set when errors crept into her game, especially on her powerful forehand side. Makarova took advantage and won the set in a tiebreak 7-6(3).

Kuznetsova was broken serving for the second set at 5-3, but broke Makarova right back for the third break in the set to even the match at one-set all.

The two-time major winner started off the third set, digging out of a break point to hold then break for a 2-0 lead. Makarova got the break back in the seventh game drawing closer to her countrywoman at 3-4. Kuznetsova battles for the break back and served for the match at 5-3. This time the 15th seed held to close out the match in two-hours and forty-five minutes.

For Kuznetsova, who won the Miami Open in 2006, this will be her first trip to the semifinals since 2009.

Only one of the top 12 seeds remain on the women’s side of the draw and that’s No. Angelique Kerber.

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 29, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [5] S. Halep (ROU) 46 63 62
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [30] E. Makarova (RUS) 67(3) 64 63

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 76(3)
Second Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) 75 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016
STADIUM start 10:45 am
WTA – [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [24] J. Konta (GBR) vs [13] V. Azarenka (BLR)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [15] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [18] G. Simon (FRA)
ATP-Possible Court Change – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [22] M. Keys (USA) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] T. Berdych (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs [5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
WTA – [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE)

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Novak Djokovic to Meet Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells Semifinals

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 18, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 1 Novak Djokovic will face off against No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

Djokovic held off No. 7 seed, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(2), 7-6(2) while Nadal stopped No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-3 in the earlier semifinal.

Djokovic served for the first set at 5-4, but Tsonga broke serve, but the Serb recovered to win the set in the tiebreak.

“Well, it was definitely very challenging to play in these kind of conditions with Jo that was in form this week,” Djokovic said.

“I thought, you know, being a break up and couple of break points for double break in the first set, you know, I felt playing well, very solid; had the match under control; serving 5-4, 30-Love.

“All of a sudden, not putting a first serve in. He started mixing up with a slice and decided to play a bit different tactically. That got me off a little bit, you know, the balance and the rhythm.

“He started playing better. He started swinging more freely from the forehand corner, especially. Yeah, it was very close.

“But, you know, I take positives out of today’s match, the fact that I have played somebody that was feeling good throughout the week, somebody that serves very, very big and plays very, you know, quick and efficient, precise forehands, you know, that gave me a lot of trouble today to win in straight sets and to win in two tiebreaks, I think it’s gonna help definitely my confidence and, you know, mentally I will take that.”

Djokovic, who earned his 20th win of the year, has only dropped one set during Indian Wells this year and that was to Bjorn Fratangelo.

In an era dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Tsonga was asked to compare them: “They all are really good. I mean, if you have to count Grand Slam, it’s maybe Federer. If you have to count number of title, it’s maybe Federer.

“And then you have two guys who are just amazing. Rafa was the best on clay for 10 years, and Novak, he’s now the actual best player, I think, because he’s No. 1 since a while now. So it’s tough to compare.

“Yeah. Anyway, they will be part of history, and for sure for a long time. Yeah, they’re good players.”

 

 

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

In Nadal’s quarterfinal match, the Spaniard, rallied from a 1-3 deficit in the first set, taking five out of the next six games to close it. Nadal took a break lead in the second set in which his Japanese opponent broke him right back, to make it 4-3 in Nadal’s favor. Nadal won the next two games to seal the match.
“I never thought impossible for Kei playing at this level,” Nadal said. “He’s an amazing player, one of the best players, and he’s able to play at highest level, no?

“He started so quick hitting all the balls very well, very aggressive, and serving great, no?

“Then I think he started to miss some first serves and I was returning very well the second set serve, returning very aggressive. That was so important, I think, in my opinion. The development of the game, no?

“So my return was so important, and at the same time I think I served — my serve was enough good for this match.”
“I think the beginning I was stepping in little more and was hitting using my forehand,” Nishikori said. “My serve was hitting really good serve, first serve, second serve, and maybe he start hitting more deep. I start backing up a little more.

“You know, I think everything changed after, between that first set. Yeah, thought I had couple chances first set and second set, too, but, yeah, some unforced errors. And, yeah, he played good tennis.”

Nadal is set to play Djokovic for a place in the Indian Wells final. He spoke about the potential match-up with the Serb. The last time they played in Doha, Nadal only won three games.

“I think the (Doha) result was so easy. The game was not that easy, no?

“But is obvious that Novak played unbelievable, and when he plays that way, so difficult to stop him. Nothing to say about that match than offer congratulations to him. Tomorrow is another day. He’s a clear favorite because he’s winning all the matches almost every time.

“So I am here to, as I said, enjoy the match of tomorrow, to enjoy the victory of today against a great player. That’s something important for me. Semifinals before the tournament start is a very positive result for me. Tomorrow is an opportunity to play against another top player and enjoy that fact.”

Djokovic talked about the Doha result: “Well, that’s definitely one of the best matches I have played against Rafa. I will try to take a close look at that match and what I have done right.

“But, again, you know, we have to consider the different — completely different conditions. We played in Doha on a bit quicker surface. The balls were not bouncing as high. It was night. It was colder than here.

“Tomorrow is going to be very warm. Ball bounces very high, which he, you know, prefers, because the spin, rotation that he generates with his shots is, you know, really big.

“The court is picking that rotation up here with the bounce. He likes the conditions, actually. We played against each other here several times and always close matches.

“Well, I’m hoping I can deliver my best game tomorrow.”

Djokovic on playing Nadal:

“Well, completely different matchup against most of the players that I play against this week. He’s a great competitor, a great fighter. He’s been getting himself out of trouble a few times this week and showing why he’s one of the best players in the history of the game.

“You know, he never gives up. He always makes you play an extra shot. Always makes you earn the win. You know, I’m going into tomorrow’s match knowing what’s expecting me and I know how to get ready.

“I won the last couple times we played against each other, so maybe that can give me a slight mental advantage coming into the court.”

“But, again, everything is open. It’s semifinals. We both have won multiple times titles here, and hopefully we can come up with some good tennis.”

Nadal goes into his semifinal match against Djokovic with a 23-24 record. The last time Nadal defeated Djokovic was int eh 2014 final of Roland Garros, the French Open.

Djokovic is looking to win a fifth BNP Paribas Open title, while Nadal is looking to get his fourth trophy there.

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