October 13, 2015

Novak Dokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Win Sixth China Open Title

Novak Djokovic

(October 11, 2015) No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept his record at the China Open perfect at 29-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal to claim his sixth Beijing title, his eighth title overall on the year. It’s his 56th career title.

“The scoreline, especially in the first set, doesn’t indicate the real battle that we had on the court,” Djokovic said.

“Had a couple of opportunities, especially on the 3‑2 game, Love‑30, 15‑40. Missed the volley. It was a bit unfortunate with some shots at that stage of the match.

“But, again, I managed to stay calm and still stick with the game plan to be aggressive and to make him move. It worked very well.”

“It was a very good first set, in my opinion,” Nadal said. “The result in the first set, 6‑2, I think is too much. I think for the moment I had a lot of chances. Love‑30, 15‑40, 40‑Love, and I lost all those games. That’s the real game. Then 6‑2. Should be much closer, that first set.

“In the second set, well, happened little bit what happened with the foot. I lost little bit the concentration. But at the end I finished playing well again. (Nadal hurt his foot early in the second set.)

“Very happy the way that I played the week, especially because I was able to improve every single match during the week, and especially in quarterfinals after that first set against Sock, I changed that dynamic. I played closer to the baseline. Yesterday I played a good match. Today I played a good match.

“Obviously the dynamic of him is different than my one. Especially in a very positive place for him, place where he won already six times, five times before that final. It’s obvious that is perfect place for him.

“I was competing very well in the first set. So seriously I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I am improving. As I said, when I arrived here, every match is important for me. All improvements are important, even if are the small ones. I felt during this week I improved a lot of things. I take a lot of positive things from the week. That’s very important for me, no?”

“I thought he did well from the backhand side,” the Serb continued. “He was more aggressive. I was looking for my kind of room for maneuver on his forehand side. He usually opens up that side. I tried to make the angles with the backhand cross.

“But I did well. I think I maintained that level of aggressivity and strength and power in my shots, and eventually I knew that he’s going to make mistakes and he’s going to give me shorter balls so I can dominate the rallies, which happened.

“I think the serve helped me a lot tonight, over 80% of first serves in, the aces, finishing off with an ace. That’s an element in my game that has worked very well throughout the entire week that has helped me to win many free points, obviously.”

Nadal still leads in the overall head-to-head against Djokoivic at 23-22. However, Nadal has lost 15 of his past 22 matches against Djokovic.

Djokovic will be the top seed for the Shanghai Masters this week. “Next week’s tournament is going to be even stronger because obviously all the best players in the world are there,” Djokovic said.

“This positive week definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence for Shanghai.”

Djokovic, who has won three out of the four majors this year, has a 68-5 record this season.


Garbine Muguruza Moves into Top Four with Beijing Title

(October 11,2015) Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza won the China Open with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Timea Bacsinszky for her second career WTA title, first Premier Mandatory.

Muguruza rallied from 5-2 down in the first set and a break down in the second set to claim the title.

“It was a very tough start of the match,” said the winner. “I was nervous. I was really nervous because I came from the final of Wuhan thinking, C’mon, I want to win this one so much. Sometimes it doesn’t help to think like this, but you cannot say no.

“I think, yeah, it was tough. But I could turn it around at some point during the set. I think also Timea started really believing she could do it, and she was playing great.”

The title will vault the Spaniard to No. 4 in the rankings, a career high.

“Well, definitely it’s a big achievement,” said Muguruza. “I think, you know, to see you are improving, also on the tennis side, but in the rankings, it’s that moment when there’s only three more in front of me. It feels good. It feels that you’re doing in a right way your things. “

Muguruza, has playing well in Asia, last week a finalist in Wuhan falling to Venus Williams, when she had to retire in the second set with an ankle injury.

Bacsinszky, almost out of the game of tennis two years ago will reach the top ten on Monday.

“I think I’ve never imagined ever in my whole life to be one day top 10. Right now I’m top 10. Yesterday I didn’t talk about it so much because probably I was only focusing on the tournament.

“But just looking back with what I’ve achieved right now, yeah, just have goosebumps right now because the road was long. It’s just so great, yeah, and special.”

“It was already not a goal to be top 10, to be honest,” said the Swiss. “I talked about it many, many times. Maybe it’s crazy for some people to understand that I have no goals, no special goals.

“My only goal is to give 100% wherever I am, if it’s in Europe, if it’s in Asia, if it’s in South America, if it’s sunny, if it’s rainy, if it’s snowy, if it’s wind, no wind, whatever. I try to give my best every day. I try to push myself.

“It got me where I am right now. I had big faith in my project. When someone was talking to me about top 10, I was like, Yeah, yeah, top 10 is over there, it’s far. Right now I am one of it.

“It just shows if you don’t set yourself limits, you can go anywhere. You can just push, push, push yourself every day. That’s what I’m doing.”

Muguruza has withdrawn from this week’s Hong Kong Open, citing that her ankle needs to recover.


Stan Wawrinka Claims Japan Open for Career-Best Fourth Title of the Year

(October 11, 2015) French Open champion Stan Wawrinka beat Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4 to win the Japan Open for his fourth title of the year. The top seed won the match in 65 minutes to secure a personal best in number of singles titles in a season.

“I feel great, it’s been a really good week for me to win a title again, something always special. You don’t win a title every week,” said the Swiss.

“It’s always difficult when I play a good friend like Benoit. I knew before the match he was struggling a bit physically, but I saw the doctor who told me Benoit was ready to play.

“I played my best game today. I felt the ball well and was aggressive. I am very happy to have the trophy tonight.”
“It was not easy, when I woke up this morning as I could not walk,” said the Frenchman who was nursing a foot injury. “I was not sure if I could play today. One hour before the match it was very painful, so I asked: ‘What can we do?’ I spoke with the doctor and physiotherapist and we made something for my left foot.

“I couldn’t feel anything in my foot, but I tried to do all I could to play the match and win. Stan played a very good match and congratulations to him. It’s back luck for me.”

In addition to Roland Garros, Wawrinka’s other titles this year have come at Chennai and Rotterdam.

Third seeds Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo teamed up for the first time this week to win the doubles title.
Wawrinka took home a check for $306,200 dollars for the ATP World Tour 500 event. The last playing from Switzerland to win the Tokyo title was Roger Federer in 2006.


BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director and COO Steve Simon New CEO of the WTA

Volunteers are celebrated before the start of the Women's Singles Final in Indian Wells, California on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo by Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open)

(October 5, 2015) On Monday, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Tennis Association announced a unanimous decision naming Steve Simon, the Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, as the new CEO of the women’s tour. Simon will begin his new position immediately and leave his current post at the end of November.

Simon joined the tournament in 1989 in a sponsorship sales role after working with adidas for six years. He became Tournament Director and COO in 2004. At the end of the 2013 tournament, he and the CEO oversaw the vast expansion of Indian Wells.

“I am exceptionally grateful to both Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore for the opportunity they gave me more than 25 years ago to work at the BNP Paribas Open,” said Simon through a news release. “I have cherished my time here, and everyone involved with the event – staff, volunteers, players, officials and many more – who have made this event into the exceptional tournament it has become. I am humbled and excited about the opportunity, and leave the tournament knowing that the team in place, under the guidance of Moore and owner Larry Ellison, will continue to excel and keep the BNP Paribas Open as one of the best events in the world.”

“Steve Simon, with his successful career leading one of tennis’ most prestigious tournaments, is the perfect person to run the WTA,” the WTA Board said in a statement. “Steve produced results, pursued excellence and he kept innovating, making the fan experience even better. He has a very clear vision for the sport and is held in high regard by all.”

Simon replaces Stacey Allaster who announced her resignation on September 22.


David Ferrer Wins Malaysian Open, Huey and Kontinen Take Doubles Title


(October 4, 2015) In an all-Spanish final, No. 1 seed David Ferrer won the Malaysian Open defeating Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday in a little over 90 minutes.

“I feel very happy, because I have never played so well at this tournament,” said the 34-year-old. “I played my best match of the week in this final, and my sensations after my elbow injury are now very good. Feliciano is a good tennis player, but an even better person. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

“I think I did what I needed to do in order to beat David, which is to play aggressively,” Lopez said. “After I got the break in the first set, I got broken right away serving with the new balls, which was unusual. David played a lot more consistent after that, and made it difficult for me to win points, to shorten the points.”
With the win which gave him his 25 career ATP World Tour title, Ferrer became the first man from Spain win the Malaysian Open.

In the doubles, second seed Treat Huey and Henri Kontinen won the doubles title over top seed Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen  7-6(4), 6-2.

“Despite the score, the match was very close,” Huey said. “Henri hit an unbelievable return for us to come back in the first set. It came down to one or two points and we played well on points that mattered in the end. At some point we will lose a match, but it’d be pretty cool to go undefeated forever.”

For the Filipino-Finnish team, it’s their eighth consecutive win and second title in as many weeks. They captured the title in Saint Petersburg.
“It’s definitely not what we expected when we teamed up two weeks ago,” Kontinen said. “We have been playing well and it’s very important to get along on and off the court.”

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Venus Williams Wins Wuhan Open After Muguruza Retires


Venus wins Auckland

(October 3, 2015) Venus Williams won the Wuhan Open on Saturday when her opponent Garbine Muguruza retired with a left ankle injury while trailing 6-3, 3-0. For the 35-year-old American, this was her 47th career WTA singles trophy.

“I had pain the ankle since yesterday,” said the fifth-seeded Spaniard. “I’ve played a lot of matches and today my body had pain everywhere. I didn’t have much time to recover from yesterday. There is nothing you can do when it’s like this. I guess I didn’t recover.

“I was feeling very tired but I said that I am going to the court even if my leg is, like broken. I woke up saying, “come on, I’m going to play,” but during the match I was like, ‘oh shit, I’m getting tired, my leg is hurting, my ankle is hurting.’ In the first set I had my chances but with Venus it’s hard. If you’re not 100% percent fit you can’t find a way to play against her. “

For the unseeded Williams, this WTA Premier 5 event is her biggest title in five years, since Dubai 2010 and her second tournament victory in 2015. She also won the event in Auckland.

“I feel like everyone else on tour, I work hard, I do my best and as long as you continue to work hard and believe in yourself then you can have the results you want,: Williams said. “That’s exactly what I’ve done and it hasn’t been the easiest road but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a road worth traveling.

“I didn’t think of quitting but it’s definitely a lot of stress to play when you’re in pain. But for me I focus on everything that I can accomplish and not on what’s bothering me. My opponent wasn’t so lucky today. The pain was just too much for her and I was really sorry to hear that.

“Today, we both play really similar. Maybe experience helped me today. I know today she couldn’t do everything that she wanted to do. She couldn’t feel free and comfortable on the court. Of course it’s not always as exciting playing an opponent who doesn’t feel their best so I hope that she gets better.”

Williams, who is ranked 24th in the world will move up to 14 when the rankings come out on Monday. Muguruza will move to a career high ranking of No. 5.

Next stop for both women will be Beijing.


Serena Williams Withdraws from China Open and WTA Finals

Serena Williams

(October 1, 2015) After a season which saw her win the first three majors of the year, falling two wins short of completing a Grand Slam, Serena Williams has called it quits on the season.

Williams says she is withdrawing from the WTA Finals and the China Open to heal after playing through various injuries during the year.

“This is a very difficult decision, but one ultimately made because of the love of the game. I plan to return to practicing and participating in exhibition matches later this year,” Williams said in an article on the China Open website. “And when I do, I will focus and focus and focus so I can continue my journey in this beautiful game.”

Williams said that she is “taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal.”

The 21-time major champion won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon, but lost in the semifinals of the US Open, missing out on a chance to win the Grand Slam, which would have been the first since 1988.

Williams sealed the year at No. 1 just after the US Open. Williams holds 69 tournament titles and has been No. 1 a total of 260 weeks, tying Chris Evert for third place all-time a few days ago. She’s behind Steffi Graf at 377 weeks and Martina Navratilova at 332 weeks.


Venus Williams Joins 700 (Win) Club

VENUS Williams 700 TPN Wuhan Open

(September 29, 2015) Venus Williams reached another milestone on Tuesday at the Wuhan Open. She won her 700th career WTA Tour match with a 6-4, 6-3 second round victory defeating Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Williams received roses shaped into the number 700 from tournament directors Yi Guoqing and Fabrice Chouquet. She confessed that she was not aware of the upcoming milestone. “I didn’t know.  I’m glad nobody told me before.  I would have been a little bit nervous,” said the 35-year-old American. “Who doesn’t like winning?  You know, that never gets old.”

“I was thinking, ‘How long would it take me to get to 800 now?’ Maybe that was my first thought!

“But it’s been a great 700 wins along the way.”

Venus’ sister, world No. 1 Serena praised her sister on Twitter:

The seven-time major champion won her last Grand Slam event at Wimbledon in 2008. She is the WTA ninth player in the Open Era to reach 700 match wins.


Wuhan Open – Sharapova Retires From Match with Arm Injury; Bouchard Pulls Out of Tournament

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

(September 28, 2015) Maria Sharapova’s comeback after being off the tour since Wimbledon, was derailed when the Russian retired with an arm injury in the third set of her first match at the Wuhan Open. The world No. 3 had not played for three months due to a leg injury.

Sharapova was leading Czech Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1), 6-7 (4), 2-1 when she withdrew from the match.

“I’ve had my share of serious injuries, and I know this is far from it, something I just have to take care of,” she said.

“I was really happy to be back on the court,” said Sharapova. “I’ve gone through the injury and not playing and missing a Grand Slam, going through the rehab, going through training, this is really the moment that you work for. I enjoyed that feeling again.

“That’s why it’s unfortunate to have to stop from that because you always build and you get the rust out and you hope you grow as the tournament goes along, but not in my case this tournament. Of course, it’s not the best way to end for my fans.  But I know that this tournament is here for many years and I will still have the opportunity to come back.”

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard withdrew from the tournament due to the concussion she suffered during the U.S. Open.

In other injury-related news – No. 28 Sabine Lisicki will be taking the rest of the year off to heal her knee.

The German said on social media: “unfortunately my knee is not ready and I will not compete at tournaments this season.”


ATP and WTA Tennis Results Round-Up: Titles for Begu, Radwanska, Raonic and Tsonga

JWTsonga wins Toronto

(September 27, 2015)In a rematch of the 2013 Moselle Open final, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reversed the loss to win his third Metz title and 12th career ATP 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-2 over countryman Gilles Simon. The match lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

It was Tsonga’s fourth Metz final appearance in five years. Tsonga is now tied with Richard Gasquet for second on the list of French titlists in the Open Era.
“I’m really happy to win again here in Metz,” the champion said. “I like the welcome I get here and to win this year is great. It’s my first of the year and I hope it will continue. It’s a good achievement for me.

“Gilles is very difficult to play against. You need energy with each ball you play against him. He’s a good defender and is always ready to play passing shots. When I play against him it’s always tough.”


Singles – Final
[3] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [2] G. Simon (FRA) 76(5) 16 62

Doubles – Final
[2] L. Kubot (POL) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [1] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 26 63 10-7


Milos Raonic

Canadian Milos Raonic won his first title in 14 months, defeating Joao Sousa for the St. Petersburg Open crown.

“It’s such a great feeling to come to St. Petersburg and to be able to win this event,” Raonic said. “It was a great experience overall with the event, the city and the people. This tournament is only going to get better. Word is going to spread about how much the players enjoyed it.

“It would be special [to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals again], especially with the health issues I’ve had. It is something that will require a lot of winning the rest of this year, but I believe I can do it.”

“I think I played my best,” Sousa said. “Of course I feel sad that I couldn’t have the title here. I was really confident that I could beat him today, but he played and served very well in the important moments. I just have to congratulate him for the match.

“This year has been a tough one. It has been my best year, but a tough one as I lost three finals. It’s really, really tough to accept it. But I think I can improve. I’m going to work for it and hopefully I can win the next one.”


Singles – Final
[2] M. Raonic (CAN) d [7] J. Sousa (POR) 63 36 63

Doubles – Final
[1] T. Huey (PHI) / H. Kontinen (FIN) d [2] J. Knowle (AUT) / A. Peya (AUT) 75 63


$ 500,000.00
SEPT 19 – 27, 2015

Singles – Finals

[1] I. Begu (ROU) d [Q] A. Sasnovich (BLR) 63 61

Doubles – Finals

[1] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Klepac (SLO) d [2] K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 26 63 10-6

Top seed Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania won 6-3, 6-1  over unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus to win the Korea Open. Her last WTA title came in Tashkent three years ago.



$ 1,000,000.00
19-27 SEPTEMBER 2015

Singles – Finals

[7] A. Radwanska (POL) d [8] B. Bencic (SUI) 62 62

Agnieszka Radwanska won the Pan-Pacific Open title for the second time with a  6-2, 6-2 victory over Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. Radwanska exacted  some revenge on Sunday – she lost to Bencic in the Eastbourne final earlier this year.

For the winner, it’s her first tournament victory since last year’s Roger’s Cup.


$ 2,513,000.00

Singles – First Round
[12] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) 64 64
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) d [13] A. Petkovic (GER) 64 75
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 60 61
V. Azarenka (BLR) d [Q] L. Davis (USA) 62 76(4)
[Q] J. Goerges (GER) d A. Cornet (FRA) 63 63
M. Niculescu (ROU) d [WC] F. Liu (CHN) 61 61
D. Gavrilova (RUS) d T. Pereira (BRA) 62 76(7)
V. Lepchenko (USA) d [WC] S. Zheng (CHN) 64 60
M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) d S. Stosur (AUS) 62 61
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 62 26 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] T. Babos (HUN) 76(9) 62
Doubles – First Round
[5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d S. Errani (ITA) / F. Schiavone (ITA) 75 64
A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / O. Savchuk (UKR) d [WC] C. Liu (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN) 61 64


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
A. Dulgheru (ROU) vs [9] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

Not Before 1:00 pm
J. Jankovic (SRB) vs [Q] H. Watson (GBR)
[16] S. Errani (ITA) vs C. Garcia (FRA)

Not Before 6:30 pm
B. Strycova (CZE) vs [2] [WC] M. Sharapova (RUS)
[10] A. Radwanska (POL) vs V. Williams (USA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Kovinic (MNE) vs [15] R. Vinci (ITA)
A. Riske (USA) vs S. Stephens (USA)
M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE)

Not Before 3:30 pm
E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [11] B. Bencic (SUI)

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
M. Brengle (USA) vs D. Cibulkova (SVK)
[Q] P. Tig (ROU) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
[14] M. Keys (USA) vs M. Rybarikova (SVK)

Not Before 3:30 pm
Z. Diyas (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN)
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [8] C. Chuang (TPE) / S. Hsieh (TPE)
G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs A. Groenefeld (GER) / C. Vandeweghe (USA)
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs C. Dellacqua (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO)

COURT 5 start 12:00 noon
[7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs J. Husarova (SVK) / I. Olaru (ROU)
[Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)
T. Pironkova (BUL) vs C. Giorgi (ITA)