May 25, 2016

Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Djokovic, Nadal Rally for Wins in Rome; Federer Loses

Novak Djokovic

(May 12, 2016) Novak Djokovic had to rally from a bagel set down to stop No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 while an ailing Roger Federer lost to 15th seed Dominc Thiem 7-6 (2), 6-4 in Rome on Thursday.

For No. 1 Djokovic, it was the first time he was at the losing end of a “bagel” set since the 2012 Cincinnati final when he lost to Federer.

The third seeded Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open last week with a back injury said that wasn’t concerned about losing, but was happy to get to get in two matches on clay at the Italian Open. The French open begins on May 22nd and the Swiss said that despite the pain from the injury he hopes to be able to play the year’s second major.

Seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal fought off Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals and second seed Andy Murray held off a second set charge to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4.

Besides Federer losing, a couple other upsets on the men’s side included 12th seed David Goffin, destroying 8th seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes, defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and lucky loser Lucas Pouille knocked out ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

On the ladies’ side of the tournament, Serena Williams rebounded from 3-5 down in the first set best U.S. countrywoman qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (7), 6-1.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 12, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] C. McHale (USA) 76(7) 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 61 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 75 62
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 26 63
I. Begu (ROU) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 61 64
M. Doi (JPN) d J. Konta (GBR) 46 75 62
M. Keys (USA) d T. Babos (HUN) 76(2) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 61 60

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 63 64
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA) 63 62
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) 64 61
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(4) 16 10-7
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 26 76(1) 10-8
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 64 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 06 63 62
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 76(2) 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(5) 63 64
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 67(3) 62 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d [8] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 60
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 36 76(3) 14-12
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 16 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Juan Martin del Potro to Miss French Open to Concentrate on Grass-Court Season

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(May 12, 2016)Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, will skip  Roland Garros to focus on the grass-court season. The currently ranked 229th player on the ATP World Tour made his announcement on Twitter on Thursday.

The Argentine who has been on an off the tour due to wrist surgeries has not played at Roland Garros since 2012. His most recent return to the tour came in February, after almost a year. He last played in Paris in 2012.

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Former Touring Pros Ros Nideffer and Nathalie Herreman-Bagby to Face-Off in Final of USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships

LJBTC

La Jolla, Calif. – (May 12, 2016) – Ros Nideffer and Nathalie Herreman-Bagby, two former touring tennis professionals, won semifinal matches in the 50s singles division and will face each other in the finals of the USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (PDT) at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

On a cool, overcast morning, Nideffer, the top-seed and two-time defending champion, needed only 61 minutes to breeze past fourth-seeded Anna Zimmermann of Indianapolis 6-0, 6-1 on Court No. 2. Nideffer got off to a fast start, losing only six points in the first set, which took 23 minutes.

Nideffer, a resident of the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, was ranked as high as No. 15 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings in 1990. She is a former French Open doubles champion and two-time Wimbledon singles quarterfinalist.

On Saturday, Nideffer will attempt to win her third straight USTA 50s Hard Court title and fourth overall. She won her first 50s title in 2012 (she did not enter in 2013).

Herreman-Bagby of Pacific Palisades, Calif., who is seeded second, advanced to the final after winning her semifinal match, but it wasn’t easy as she needed two hours and 32 minutes to overcome third-seeded Judy Newman of Scotts Valley, Calif., 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

After splitting the first two sets, Herreman-Bagby and Newman were deadlocked at 3-3 in the third set, when Herreman-Bagby went on an impressive run, winning 12 of the final 14 points and breaking Newman’s serve twice, to capture the final set and the match.

“It was a tough match. I’m really happy that I won. I wasn’t very confident during the match. She is a tough player to play,” Herreman-Bagby said. “The courts are a little bit slow for me. With the weather, the balls are a little heavy. In the third set, it made a difference coming to the net.”

The 50-year-old Herreman-Bagby was ranked as high as No. 42 in the WTA singles rankings in 1986. A former member of the French Fed Cup team, Herreman-Bagby reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 1990 and has one career WTA singles title and two doubles crowns.

The women’s 80s singles final will highlight Friday’s tournament schedule. Top-seeded Dori Devries of Rancho Mirage, Calif., will play second-seeded Dorothy Matthiessen of Pasadena, Calif., at 9:30 a.m. (PDT).

In the women’s 60s singles division, top-seed and defending champion Tina Karwasky of Glendale, Calif., got past fourth-seeded Leslie Airola Murveit of Portola Valley, Calif., 6-2, 6-2 to advance to Saturday’s final, which is scheduled at noon (PDT). Karwasky will face second-seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., who blanked third-seeded Sherri Bronson of Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-0, 6-0.

Last month, Nichols defeated Karwasky 6-1, 6-1 in the singles final of the USTA National Women’s 60 Clay Court Championships in Baton Rouge, La. In last year’s USTA National 60 Hard Court Championships at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Karwasky scored a thrilling 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over Nichols in the final.

Full draws for each division are available at:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=170897

Live audio play-by-play of tournament action on Saturday, May14 and Sunday, May 15 will be available on RadioTennis.com.  Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the web cast commentary.

USTA National Women’s 50–90 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

La Jolla, Calif.
Thursday’s ResultsWomen’s 50 Singles
Semifinals
Ros Nideffer (1), San Diego, def. Anna Zimmermann (4), Indianapolis, 6-0, 6-1
Nathalie Herreman Bagby (2), Pacific Palisades, Calif., def. Judy Newman (3), Scotts Valley, Calif., 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

Women’s 60 Singles
Semifinals
Tina Karwasky (1), Glendale, Calif., def. Leslie Airola Murveit (4), Portola Valley, Calif., 6-2, 6-2
Carolyn Nichols (2), Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., def. Sherri Bronson (3), Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-0, 6-0
Women’s 70 Singles
Semifinals
Brenda Carter (1), Charleston, S.C., def. Charleen Hillebrand (4), Harbor City, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Betty Wachob (2), Panama City, Fla., def. Catherine Anderson (3), Del Mar, Calif., 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

Women’s 80 Singles
Semifinals
Dori Devries (1), Rancho Mirage, Calif., def. Carol Wood (3), Rockville, Md., 6-0, 6-2
Dorothy Matthiessen (2), Pasadena, Calif., def. Mary Lynch (4), Rockport, Texas, 6-1, 6-2

Women’s 90 Singles
Round Robin
Rita Price, Aurora, Colo., def.  Helene Salvetat, Hossegor, France, 6-0, 6-0
Catherine Hall, Newport Beach, Calif., def.  Joyce Vanderpol, Blaine, Wash., 6 2, 6 3

For complete scores and results, go to:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=170897#&&s=8Results0

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Tennis Channel to Air All 21 of Serena Williams’ Major Title Victories Back-to-Back

tennis_channel_logo

(May 12, 2016) LOS ANGELES – Just ahead of the French Open, Tennis Channel will air each one of Serena Williams’ 21 Grand Slam singles titles back-to-back during a marathon that begins on May 15, at 1 p.m. ET. With Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) approaching, Williams will have the opportunity to win her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf for the most major singles titles in the Open Era. This marks the first time the network has aired this many Grand Slam singles title victories back-to-back for a single player.

On the eve of its Roland Garros coverage, Tennis Channel will showcase Serena’s dominance across three days, wrapping up on Tuesday, May 17 (full lineup below). Tennis Channel will take viewers from her very first singles title at age 17 to her most recent major championship at Wimbledon last year at the age of 33.

All 21 finals matches will also be available on Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus. Williams’ US Open championships will be available for free on the network’s app, Tennis Channel Everywhere.

“Serena is one of the most popular athletes in sports, and we wanted to offer our viewers a reminder of how she got here as she closes in on history,” said Jeremy Langer, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel.

Over the course of the marathon viewers will see many classic matches from Williams’ decorated career. These include:
Williams’ first Grand Slam victory over Martina Hingis at the 1999 US Open
Her five-straight finals wins over older sister Venus Williams
Her most recent stretch of dominance, winning a second “Serena Slam” starting with the 2014 US Open and culminating with her win at Wimbledon in 2015
During Williams’ historic career she has accumulated numerous accomplishments and records:
She is the only player to win three Grand Slam titles after saving match point during the tournament (2003 Australian Open, 2005 Australian Open and 2009 Wimbledon)
She has won 14 of her 21 Grand Slams in straight sets
She defeated her sister Venus five-straight times in finals and six overall in the majors
She has defeated her opponents in Grand Slam finals by a combined margin of 292-189 games
During her most recent “Serena Slam” she became the oldest player, at age 33, to hold all four titles concurrently
Tennis Channel’s Serena Williams Grand Slam Championship Marathon Lineup.
Matches begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Full schedule:
tennischannel.com/tv-schedule/daily-view/

Event/Opponent

1999 US Open/Martina Hingis
2002 French Open/Venus Williams
2002 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2002 US Open/Venus Williams
2003 Australian Open/Venus Williams
2003 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2005 Australian Open/Lindsay Davenport
2007 Australian Open/Maria Sharapova
2008 US Open/Jelena Jankovic
2009 Australian Open/Dinara Safina
2009 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2010 Australian Open/Justine Henin
2010 Wimbledon/Vera Zvonareva
2012 Wimbledon/Agnieszka Radwanska
2012 US Open/Victoria Azarenka
2013 French Open/Maria Sharapova
2013 US Open/Victoria Azarenka
2014 US Open/Caroline Wozniacki
2015 Australian Open/Maria Sharapova
2015 French Open/Lucie Safarova
2015 Wimbledon/Garbine Muguruza

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Internazionali BNL d’Italia Results and Schedules

Roma

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 11, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [2] A. Kerber (GER) 61 57 75
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d E. Makarova (RUS) 61 60
I. Begu (ROU) d [4] V. Azarenka (BLR) 63 62
M. Keys (USA) d [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) 63 64
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d [6] S. Halep (ROU) 63 46 63
J. Konta (GBR) d [7] R. Vinci (ITA) 60 64
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d S. Stosur (AUS) 64 64
M. Doi (JPN) d [10] L. Safarova (CZE) 63 75
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 62 64
T. Babos (HUN) d [12] V. Williams (USA) 67(5) 75 64
[Q] C. McHale (USA) d [13] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 67(3) 64 61
D. Kasatkina (RUS) d [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) 62 62
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d [Q] M. Puig (PUR) 61 61
B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] H. Watson (GBR) 64 62

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d S. Hsieh (TPE) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) 63 63
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 76(5) 67(5) 12-10
First Round
[8] J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) d [WC] K. Knapp (ITA) / F. Schiavone (ITA) 62 61
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) 62 63

 

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] S. Robert (FRA) 75 75
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 63
[3] R. Federer (SUI) d A. Zverev (GER) 63 75
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 63
[9] D. Ferrer (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 64 63
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [10] M. Raonic (CAN) 76(5) 63
[11] R. Gasquet (FRA) d A. Seppi (ITA) 63 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d J. Sousa (POR) 63 62
J. Chardy (FRA) d [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 76(6) 64
T. Bellucci (BRA) d N. Mahut (FRA) 64 63

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d [3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 76(7)
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d D. Thiem (AUT) / A. Zverev (GER) 61 76(8)
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) 46 63 13-11
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d B. Paire (FRA) / J. Sousa (POR) 67(5) 64 10-8
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 76(6) 64
O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [Alt] D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Martin (FRA) 76(2) 63

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
ATP – [3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT)
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [Q] C. McHale (USA)

Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – B. Strycova (CZE) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)

Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs T. Babos (HUN)
ATP – [8] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [12] D. Goffin (BEL)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)
ATP – [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs D. Kasatkina (RUS)
WTA – L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – M. Doi (JPN) vs J. Konta (GBR)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
ATP – P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER)

Not Before 6:00 pm
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA)

COURT 4 start 2:00 pm
WTA – A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)

 

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Top Seeds Advance at USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships

Ros Nideffer

Ros Nideffer

La Jolla, Calif. – (May 10, 2016) – When Ros Nideffer competed on the women’s professional tennis tour, she played at the highest level, achieving a career-high No. 15 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings in 1990 and twice reaching the singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

This week, the 55-year-old Nideffer, who lives in the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, is playing in the USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and is attempting to win the 50s singles title for the third consecutive year and fourth-time overall.

On a cool and overcast Tuesday morning, Nideffer, who won her first 50s title in 2012, advanced to the quarterfinals with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 second-round victory over unseeded Nancy Abler-Sanchez of San Diego. The two-time defending champion will face sixth-seeded Kristin Fudalla of Portland, Ore. on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Nideffer, who did not play the event in 2013, credits her experience on the women’s professional tour and an all-court game for her success in the 50s National Hard Court Championships. “I’m strong and I’m fast compared to other people my age,” Nideffer said. “I can stay back and I can come in. I have a variety of shots to draw from and I can mix it up. I’m just excited to play. I’m just challenging myself.”

If Nideffer advances to the 50s singles final, she could face second-seeded Nathalie Herreman-Bagby, a former touring tennis professional, who was ranked as high as No. 42 in the WTA singles rankings in 1986. She reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 1990.

In the women’s 60s singles division , top-seed and defending champion Tina Karwasky of Glendale, Calif., and second-seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., cruised into the quarterfinals after scoring impressive second-round victories. Karwasky blanked San Diego’s Sue Sprague 6-0, 6-0, while Nichols eliminated Ginny Beneke of San Diego 6-1, 6-0.

Tournament officials announced the schedule of singles finals for each division. The women’s 80s singles final will be played on Friday, May 13 at 10:30 a.m. The women’s 70s singles final will take place on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m., followed by the women’s 50s singles final at 10:30 a.m. and the women’s 60s singles final at noon. The women’s 90s singles division, which is using a round-robin format, will complete the final round on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. (All times are PDT). The schedule on Sunday, May 15 will feature consolation finals.

The start times for each day of the championships are as follows: Wednesday, May 11 through Friday, May 13 – 8 a.m.; Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 – 9 a.m. (All times are PDT).

Full draws for each division are available at:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=170897

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s 44th Annual Men’s Senior Championships is also taking place in conjunction with the women’s events, and include both singles and doubles for 60 and over, 65 and over, 70 and over, 75 and over, and 80 and over age groups. Although the men’s events are not national championships, they will feature many senior players who regularly compete in national tournaments. Total participation for both the men’s and women’s tournaments is expected to be 300-plus players.

Live audio play-by-play of tournament action on Saturday, May14 and Sunday, May 15 will be available on RadioTennis.com. Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the web cast commentary.

 

USTA National Women’s 50–90 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
La Jolla, Calif.
Tuesday’s Results

Women’s 50 Singles
Second Round
Ros Nideffer (1), San Diego, def. Nancy Abler-Sanchez, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Nathalie Herreman Bagby (2), Pacific Palisades, Calif., def. Dorian Sailer, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Judy Newman (3), Scotts Valley, Calif., def. Sheila Walker, Washington, D.C., 6-0, 6-0
Anna Zimmermann (4), Indianapolis, Ind., def. Tai Sisson, San Dimas, Calif., 6-0, 6-2
Eleanor Hammargren (5), San Clemente, Calif., def. Kerry Rickert, Middleton, Wis., 6-0, 6-0
Kristin Fudalla (6), Portland, Ore., def. Fiona Taylor, La Jolla, WO (injury)
Christina Kaus (7), San Diego, def. Maria Nunez, San Diego, 6-2, 6-2
Colleen Clery Ferrell (8), San Diego, def. Michelle Martinez, Kilauea, Hawaii, 6-2, 6-2

Women’s 60 Singles
Second Round
Deborah Burgess, Franklin, Wis., def. Carol Gay (7), San Diego, WO (Ill)
Tina Karwasky (1), Glendale, Calif., def. Sue Sprague, San Diego, 6-0, 6-0
Leslie Airola Murveit (4), Portola Valley, Calif., def. Yolanda Therrien, Elkton, Ore., 6-1, 6-0
Andrea Barnes (5), Palo Alto, Calif., def. Mary Firek, Redlands, Calif., 6-2, 6-4
Donna Drosner (8), Whitefish Bay, Wis., def. Ellen Furman, San Diego, 6-3, 6-0
Sherri Bronson (3), Scottsdale, Ariz., def. B’Ann Gabelt, Madison, Wis., 6-2, 6-1
Yoko Anderson, San Diego, def. Chieko Holt (6), Klamath Falls, Ore., WO (Ill)
Carolyn Nichols (2), Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., def. Ginny Beneke, San Diego, 6-1, 6-0

Women’s 70 Singles
Second Round
Brenda Carter (1), Charleston, S.C., def. Diane Link, Pacific Palisades, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Betty Wachob (2), Panama City, Fla., def. Kathie Meyering, Fredericksburg, Texas, 6-0, 6-0
Catherine Anderson (3), Del Mar, def. Susan Frieder, Wailuku, Hawaii, 6-0, 6-0
Charleen Hillebrand (4), Harbor City, Calif., def. Brookes Byrd, Davis, Calif., 6-2, 6-1
Carolann Castell (5), Kirkland, Wash., def. Lyn Tietz, Oak Brook, Ill, 6-1, 6-0
Ann Hunt (6), Hilton Head Island, S.C., def. Judy Nichols, Port Hueneme, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Mary Alice Pisani (7), Reno, Nev., def. Heather Fiscalini, Modesto, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Patti Boyer (8), Lotus, Calif., def. Ann Loose, Sandia Park, N.M., 6-1, 6-4

Women’s 80 Singles
First Round
Betty Hill, Burr Ridge, Ill., def. Ann Schwartz, Poway, Calif., 6-0, 6-0

Women’s 90 Singles
Round Robin
Rita Price, Aurora, Colo., def. Catherine Hall, Newport Beach, Calif., 6-1, 6-3

 

Written by Fred Sidhu

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Serena Williams Begins her Clay Season with Win in Rome

(May 10, 2016) Serena Williams played her first clay court match of the season beating Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4, 6-3 to reach the round of 16 at the Italian Open on Tuesday. The world No. 1 played her first match since losing at the Miami Open in the round of 16 in March.

Williams hit 27 winners during the 75-minute match.

Williams said after the match that she was happy with her level of play. “I think I was really consistent,” she said. “I think I was mentally consistent.”

“I was really concerned how it would be just running and moving and recovering,” said the three-time Rome winner. “But it was fun.”

Williams is 14-3 on the year.

Flavia Pennetta photo courtesy of the WTA and Getty Images

Flavia Pennetta photo courtesy of the WTA and Getty Images

 

Flavia Pennetta, who won the last year’s U.S. Open and retired at the end of the year, was honored on Pietrangeli court.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 10, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d A. Friedsam (GER) 64 63
[8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d T. Pereira (BRA) 61 75
First Round
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 75 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 62 62
[Q] C. McHale (USA) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) 61 26 62
S. Stosur (AUS) d [Q] A. Riske (USA) 46 76(5) 61
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d S. Lisicki (GER) 61 76(3)
[Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 64 61
J. Konta (GBR) d [Q] J. Larsson (SWE) 61 62
L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [Q] J. Goerges (GER) 16 76(5) 63
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 63 61
T. Babos (HUN) d [Q] K. Bertens (NED) 61 64
E. Bouchard (CAN) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 64 26 63

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Strycova (CZE) 61 06 11-9
[6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) d C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) 62 61
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d L. Kichenok (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 64 63
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 46 63 10-7
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 62 46 10-5

 

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d B. Paire (FRA) 57 62 61
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d V. Troicki (SRB) 57 62 63
[8] T. Berdych (CZE) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 63 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d J. Sock (USA) 64 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [16] K. Anderson (RSA) 36 63 62
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) 36 64 75
Men’s Singles – First Round
[9] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] F. Volandri (ITA) 46 75 61
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [WC] P. Lorenzi (ITA) 63 61
[Q] S. Robert (FRA) d [Q] A. Bedene (GBR) 76(3) 76(8)
N. Mahut (FRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) 76(6) 26 75
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d [Q] I. Cervantes (ESP) 64 62
J. Chardy (FRA) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 26 64 62

Men’s Doubles – First Round
O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [WC] F. Fognini (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 46 75 10-6
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 60
D. Thiem (AUT) / A. Zverev (GER) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 63 36 10-6
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 63 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
ATP – [3] R. Federer (SUI) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] S. Robert (FRA)
WTA – J. Konta (GBR) vs [7] R. Vinci (ITA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs M. Keys (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)
ATP – [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs A. Seppi (ITA)
ATP – [10] M. Raonic (CAN) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
WTA – T. Babos (HUN) vs [12] V. Williams (USA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] H. Watson (GBR) vs B. Strycova (CZE)
WTA – [Q] C. Mchale (USA) vs [13] A. Ivanovic (SRB)
WTA – [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
WTA – [10] L. Safarova (CZE) vs M. Doi (JPN)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] M. Puig (PUR) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
ATP – N. Mahut (FRA) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
ATP – [Alt] D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Martin (FRA) vs O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs D. Kasatkina (RUS)
ATP – S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs D. Thiem (AUT) / A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs [3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
WTA – R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN)
WTA – [WC] K. Knapp (ITA) / F. Schiavone (ITA) vs [8] J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs B. Paire (FRA) / J. Sousa (POR)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs S. Hsieh (TPE) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO)

 

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Defending 50s Champion Ros Nideffer Plays Tuesday at USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships

 

LJBTC

La Jolla, Calif. – (May 9, 2016) – After a first-round bye, top-seed and defending two-time 50s champion, Ros Nideffer will play her opening round singles match of the USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Court Championships on Tuesday at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Nideffer, who is attempting to win her third straight 50s singles title and fourth overall, will face San Diego’s Nancy Abler-Sanchez at 11:30 a.m. (PDT). Abler-Sanchez, who is unseeded, defeated Jill Sickle of Chicago 6-3, 7-6 (2) in Monday’s first-round action.

The 55-year-old Nideffer, who lives in the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo, is a former touring tennis professional. In 1990 she reached a career-high No. 15 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings. Nideffer is also a two-time Wimbledon singles quarterfinalist and a former French Open doubles champion.

In other first-round action on Monday, Brenda Carter of Charleston, S.C., the top-seed in the 70s singles division, cruised into the second round with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 victory over Emina Minka Kulenovic of La Jolla, Calif.

Carter, who turns 70 next month, has been playing tennis for over 50 years and has earned 48 gold USTA balls for winning national championships in various singles and doubles divisions.

Following her first-round victory, Carter was asked about how she felt coming into the tournament as the No. 1 seed and her chances of winning the tournament. “In our division, you feel very fortunate to be seeded No. 1 because we’re pretty deep. Anything can happen on any day. It puts some pressure on you, but having some pressure makes you a little bit more focused,” she said. “I take it one day at a time and I don’t look any further than that.”

After receiving first-round byes, the top seeds in the 60s singles division will play their second-round matches on Tuesday. Top-seed and defending champion Tina Karwasky of Glendale, Calif., faces San Diego’s Sue Sprague and second-seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., will play Ginny Beneke of San Diego. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (PDT)

The women’s national championships include both singles and doubles in the 50 and over, 60 and over, 70 and over, 80 and over, and 90 and over age groups. These events are national championships and have attracted the best players from all over the country in each age group, making this field of competitors the strongest in the country in each age division.

The start times for each day of the championships are as follows: Tuesday, May 10 through Friday, May 13 – 8 a.m.; Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 – 9 a.m. (All times are PDT).

Full draws for each division are available at:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=170897

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s 44th Annual Men’s Senior Championships are also taking place the same week in conjunction with the women’s events, and will include both singles and doubles for 60 and over, 65 and over, 70 and over, 75 and over and 80 and over age groups. Although the men’s events are not national championships, they will feature many senior players who regularly compete in national tournaments. Total participation for both the men’s and women’s tournaments is expected to be 300-plus players.

Live audio play-by-play of tournament action on Saturday, May14 and Sunday, May 15 will be available on RadioTennis.com. Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the web cast commentary.

 

USTA National Women’s 50–90 Hard Court Championships
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
La Jolla, Calif.
Monday’s Results

Women’s 50 Singles
First Round
Maria Nunez, San Diego, def. Christine Roth, Telluride, Colo., 6-1, 6-0
Michelle Martinez, Kilauea, Hawaii, def. Diane Ghiron, Encinitas, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
Kerry Rickert, Middleton, Wis., def. Janene Christopher, San Diego, 6-1, 6-0
Tai Sisson, San Dimas, Calif., def. Lisa Otten, Carlsbad, 6-3, 6-0
Fiona Taylor, La Jolla, def. Kathryn Bieker, Lihue, Hawaii, 6-4, 6-2
Nancy Abler Sanchez, San Diego, def. Jill Sickle, Chicago, 6-3, 7 6 (2)

Women’s 60 Singles
First Round
Sue Sprague, San Diego, def. Lori Fischer, Aptos, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Deborah Burgess, Franklin, Wis., def. Gail Murayama, Half Moon Bay, Calif., 6-2, 6-3
Yolanda Therrien, Elkton, Ore., def. Robin Dierenfield, Santa Barbara, Calif., 6-1, 6-1
Ellen Furman, San Diego, def. Anna Greer, Boca Raton, Fla., 6-2, 6-2
Mary Firek, Redlands, Calif., def. Rebecca Wheeler, Mountain View, Calif., 6-0, 6-1
Yoko Anderson, San Diego, def. Carolyn Boardman, Mercer Island, Wash., 6-0, 6-1
B’Ann Gabelt, Madison, Wis., def. Pamela Morrow, Palm Springs, Calif., 6-2, 6-3
Donna Drosner (8), Whitefish Bay, Wis., def. Becky Bock, Encinitas, 6-0, 6-0

Women’s 70 Singles
First Round
Brenda Carter (1), Charleston, S.C., def. Emina Minka Kulenovic, La Jolla, 6-0, 6-0
Ann Hunt (6), Hilton Head Island, S.C., def. Jane Fetter, La Jolla, 6-0, 6-0
Ann Loose, Sandia Park, N.M., def. Sandra Herron, Carpinteria, Calif., 6-1, 6-0
Patti Boyer (8), Lotus, Calif., def. Gail Arem, Ventura, Calif., 6-1, 7-5
Charleen Hillebrand (4), Harbor City, Calif., def. Lynn Sanford, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-2, 6-1
Lyn Tietz, Oak Brook, Ill., def. M. Lanelle Titello, San Clemente, Calif., 6-1, 6-0
Carolann Castell (5), Kirkland, Wash., def. Sharon Ploor, Franklin, Wis., 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Diane Link, Pacific Palisades, Calif., def. Susan Keizer, Davis, Calif., 6-0, 6-0

For complete scores and results, go to:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=170897#&&s=8Results0


Written by J. Fred Sidhu

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Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid for Record 29th Masters Title

 

(May 8, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his second Madrid Open title on Sunday beating Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for a record 29th Masters title and 64th career ATP World Tour title. The world No. 1 is now tied with Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg for sixth place for titles won in the Open Era.

This win raises the Serb’s record against the Brit to 23-9, victorious in 12 of the last 13 matches.

“This came at the right time,” Djokovic said. “I had an amazing opening four months of the season. Then an early exit in Monte-Carlo, but it happened for a reason, because I needed some time to really recharge my batteries. Three weeks was more than enough to get some freshness and new breath and get ready for Madrid. I came here early, got used to the conditions, and played a really fantastic tournament that will definitely serve as a great confidence boost before Rome and the French Open.”

“I started very well,” Djokovic explained. “Played terrific tennis in the first set. Couple of close games in the second, beginning of the second set, and then I made some unforced errors and double faults in the game when I dropped my serve in the second set. I couldn’t get back.

“He started serving very well, especially down the T and deuce side. Very precise and very strong, and he was backing that serve up with aggressive first shots, and then just about an hour it was split sets.

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third. Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

“I obviously fought hard today,” Murray said. “Yeah, disappointed because from like two games, like 2-All to 4-2, 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set.

“I just think I’m definitely moving better. That’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. Like I said, on the other surfaces it’s a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn’t move well on the clay. It was a hindrance, and that makes you uncomfortable. If you took Ivo Karlovic’s serve away he would feel uncomfortable going on the court. For me, take my movement away.

“When I was having the problems with my back it was difficult for me when stepping on the court; whereas now my body feels great. I feel like I’m moving a lot better. So I’m not going on the court sort of a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now.

“There was a period there – if you watch it back – the game I got broken [in the third set], I made three unforced errors in that game. That was disappointing. Then obviously the last game I don’t know how many break point chances I had, but must have been six or seven.

“Both of us were pretty clinical on the break points up until the last game for me. That’s why he’s No. 1 just now. He fought very hard in that game and served well when he was a bit nervous. At the end he came up with some big serves and got himself some free points and did well.”

 

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third,” noted the world No. 1. “Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

“I’m very pleased that I have developed a great rivalry with somebody that I’ve known since very long time and somebody that I have a very good and friendly relationship with on and off the court,” Djokovic said.

 

Since Murray did not defend his Madrid title from last year, he will slip to No. 3 in the world on Monday. Roger Federer will move up to No. 2.

In the men’s doubles final Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first Masters 1000 title as a team, beating defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 7-6(5). It was their 12th trophy overall.

“They are a great team, and also friends,” Rojer said. “It’s never easy to play these matches and it’s difficult for all four guys.”

“I want to thank my partner for having another great week,” said Tecau. “We were struggling for a few weeks, couldn’t win a lot of matches… It feels great to play well together and get another title.

“We’ve been chasing this one for almost three years. We’re really excited to get this one because it comes after having a few early exits in Masters 1000 events this year. So it means a lot to us.”

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