2014/07/28

Tennis – Schedules of Play for Monday, July 28, 2014

atp wta

 

ATP World Tour 250 Kitzbühel, Austria

SCHEDULE – MONDAY, 28 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
[WC] G Melzer (AUT) vs A Haider-Maurer (AUT)
D Brown (GER) vs P Riba (ESP)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[5] D Thiem (AUT) vs [Q] J Souza (BRA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA) vs D Bracciali (ITA) / A Golubev (KAZ)
[Q] M Gonzalez (ARG) vs [8] P Carreno Busta (ESP)

Not Before 2:30 pm
J Struff (GER) vs J Vesely (CZE)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[WC] G Melzer (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) vs T Bednarek (POL) / T Gabashvili (RUS)

KUCHENMEISTER start 1:00 pm
[Q] A Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [Q] V Galovic (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[3] M Emmrich (GER) / L Rosol (CZE) vs [WC] T Pichl (AUT) / A Seppi (ITA)

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC – STANFORD, USA
$ 710,000.00
26 July – Aug 3, 2014

ORDER OF PLAY – MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014
STADIUM start 11:00 am
K Date-Krumm (JPN) vs K Pliskova (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
S Stosur (AUS) vs [Q] N Osaka (JPN)
C Garcia (FRA) vs V Lepchenko (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
A Tomljanovic (CRO) vs [8] A Petkovic (GER)
C Vandeweghe (USA) vs [WC] K Ahn (USA)
COURT 6 start 12:00 noon
E Hrdinova (CZE) / A Klepac (SLO) vs [3] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[Q] S Vickery (USA) vs S Zhang (CHN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) / K Pliskova (CZE) vs D Jurak (CRO) / M Moulton-Levy (USA)

ATP and WTA – Washington, DC,  Citi Open
SCHEDULE – MONDAY, 28 JULY 2014

STADIUM COURT start 1:45 pm
WTA – [6] S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs P Hercog (SLO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R Ginepri (USA) vs A Falla (COL)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – A Gonzalez (COL) vs B Tomic (AUS)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [WC] F Tiafoe (USA) vs E Donskoy (RUS)
WTA – K Nara (JPN) vs [7] M Keys (USA)

GRANDSTAND 1 start 2:00 pm
WTA – V King (USA) vs [WC] F Abanda (CAN)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – T Smyczek (USA) vs [Q] A Kuznetsov (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [Q] Y Sugita (JPN) vs D Young (USA)
WTA – J Goerges (GER) vs [Q] T Townsend (USA)
WTA – [Q] T Black (USA) vs Z Diyas (KAZ)

GRANDSTAND 2 start 4:00 pm
ATP – F Dancevic (CAN) vs B Paire (FRA)
ATP – [Q] R Ram (USA) vs [Q] J Donaldson (USA)
WTA – [3] A Cornet (FRA) vs [WC] S Rogers (USA)
WTA – K Bertens (NED) vs [8] S Cirstea (ROU)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
WTA – L Chirico (USA) / S Marand (USA) vs [4] A Rodionova (AUS) / O Rogowska (AUS)
WTA – A Riske (USA) vs [Q] H Kuwata (JPN)
ATP – L Lacko (SVK) vs [WC] F Peliwo (CAN)

COURT 2 start 4:00 pm
ATP – M Jaziri (TUN) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR)
ATP – M Matosevic (AUS) vs [Q] I Marchenko (UKR)

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Washington Kastles Four-Peat at WTT Champions

Photo of 2014 Mylan WTT Champion Washington Kastles attached – photo credit Camerawork USA. (front row – Anastasia Rodionova, Martina Hingis, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds; back row – Mylan WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, Kastles coach Murphy Jensen and Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King).

Photo of 2014 Mylan WTT Champion Washington Kastles attached – photo credit Camerawork USA. (front row – Anastasia Rodionova, Martina Hingis, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds; back row – Mylan WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, Kastles coach Murphy Jensen and Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King).

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (July 27, 2014) – The Washington Kastles defeated the Springfield Lasers 25-13 at the Mylan World TeamTennis Finals in Springfield, Mo., on Sunday afternoon to become only the second team in the league’s 39-year history to win four consecutive titles. The Kastles were led by Hall of Famer Martina Hingis who posted a pivotal 5-2 singles win over Olga Govortsova and was named Mylan WTT Finals MVP.
The Kastles tie the mark of four consecutive titles set by Sacramento between 1997-2000. This is also Washington’s fifth title in the past six years. For the second year in a row, the Kastles became the first franchise to win all five sets in the Mylan WTT Finals since the league switched to a first to five games format in 1999. In their win over Springfield, the Kastles claimed the majority of the critical 3-all points, winning seven of 10.
It was the Lasers’ fifth trip to the Finals and probably the most unexpected after a season that started with three consecutive losses and season-ending injuries to three of their four starters.
The Kastles were in charge from the opening set when Bobby Reynolds, in his last professional singles match, edged Springfield’s Michael Russell 5-4. Reynolds and Russell traded service breaks early on but held serve through the rest of the set to take it to a 9-point tiebreaker. Reynolds closed out the tiebreaker 5-3 for the 5-4 set win and an important early lead.
“We knew Springfield was solid. I had some trouble with Mike the first two times we played,” said Reynolds. “I knew I needed to get to five. That was my goal today. I got down a break but I was able to fight back. One thing about Mylan WTT is that you have to win those 3-all points and if you do, it’s in your favor in the end.”
Two of Mylan WTT’s best faced off for the first time in women’s singles. Springfield’s Olga Govortsova jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after breaking serve on a Hingis double fault. Surprisingly, Govortsova returned the favor in the next game with a double fault to give Hingis a service break. Hingis got back on track serving an ace to even up the set at 2-2. She reeled off five straight games and converted four 3-all game points for a 5-2 victory that set the course for the afternoon.
“It was a great day here in Springfield for me, obviously with getting the Finals MVP,” Hingis said. “I don’t know if I have been as nervous before in my career with playing in the Finals for my team, because you have no time to miss anything. Everything is quick. You have to keep it sweet!”
Reynolds final time on court was a fitting end to a shining Mylan WTT career as he teamed with Leander Paes to shut down Russell and Ross Hutchins 5-2. Washington broke Springfield’s service game twice and wrapped up the set with a Reynolds volley winner to give the Kastles a commanding 15-8 halftime lead.
Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova added to the Kastles lead in women’s doubles, running past Govortsova and Liga Dekmeijere-Thomas 5-1. Hingis then paired up with Paes to bring home the victory and the Kastles fifth King Trophy with a 5-4 win in mixed doubles over Govortsova and Hutchins.

Mylan World TeamTennis Finals – Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo.

WASHINGTON KASTLES def. Springfield Lasers 25-13

MEN’S SINGLES: Bobby Reynolds (Washington Kastles) def. Michael Russell (Springfield Lasers) 5-4
WOMEN’S SINGLES: Martina Hingis (Washington Kastles) def. Olga Govortsova (Springfield Lasers) 5-2
MEN’S DOUBLES: Bobby Reynolds/Leander Paes (Washington Kastles) def. Michael Russell / Ross Hutchins (Springfield Lasers) 5-2
WOMEN’S DOUBLES: Martina Hingis / Anastasia Rodionova (Washington Kastles) def. Olga Govortsova/ Liga Dekmeijere-Thomas (Springfield Lasers) 5-1
MIXED DOUBLES: Martina Hingis / Leander Paes (Washington Kastles) def. Ross Hutchins / Olga Govortsova (Springfield Lasers) 5-4

MYLAN WTT FINALS MVP: Martina Hingis (Washington Kastles)

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Qualifier Cuevas Wins Umag

 

(July 27, 2014) Pablo Cuevas won his second ATP World Tour title in three weeks, taking the Umag title as a qualifier with a 6-3, 6-4 over second seed Tommy Robredo. Cuevas claimed his singles title in Bastad earlier in the month.

Cuvas had to play the semis and the finals in the same day. In the semifinals, he defeated top seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4.

“I’m really happy,” said the Uruguayan. “I never expected to win two tournaments in a row. This week was more difficult because I had to play [qualifying] and I played against very good players. During the two years I was out, I thought I would never be able to play again and especially at that level.”

“I had a great tournament, but today Pablo was better than me,” Robredo said. “I would like to congratulate Pablo. He [played] a great match and he didn’t miss a lot of balls. It’s good to have him back to that level.”

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Svitolina and Peng Grab WTA Titles This Week

 

(July 27, 2014) Elina Svitolina defended her title at the Baku Cup in Azerbaijan beating 2012 champion Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 7-6 (2). It’s the first time the tournament’s history that a player has defended her title.

The Ukrainian 19-year-old is the first teenager to win multiple WTA titles since Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won three titles before turning 20.

Shuai Peng

Shuai Peng

At the 125K event in Nanchang, China, Peng Shuai captured her first WTA 125K Series tournament, defeating Liu Fangzhou 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Liu was the last player with direct entry into the draw.

“I’m very glad to become a WTA 125K champion for the first time. There were so many people staying with me right until the end and I’m really thankful for the passion they all showed today. I think it’s been a good week for Chinese tennis and I really hope that it will help more and more people to take up tennis.”

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Andújar Claims Gstaad Crown

Gstaad winner

By Florian Heer

(July 27, 2014) GSTAAD – Sunday’s final of Switzerland’s only ATP tournament played on clay took place in front of an almost fully packed Roy Emerson Arena in Gstaad when Pablo Andújar faced Juan Mónaco for the first time. It took eight minutes for the Spaniard to get through the opening game, which could have been considered as a sign for the rest of the match at this early stage but the world No. 71 was in a good shape on Sunday. Andújar converted on his second break point with a precise return long line to take the decisive 5-3 lead. A very faulty performance by Mónaco helped the Cuenca native to close the opening set out after 45 minutes.

The Argentine, who underwent a special experience earlier this week by visiting “Gstaad’s cheese cathedral” of the local dairy factory, raised his level of play only in the beginning of the second frame when he capitalized on his second break point of the match to take a 2-0 lead. Three consecutive service losses later, Andújar shortened Mónaco’s lead to 5-4 and evened score in the following. When the world number 105 from Tandil whiffed on a forehand drive volley, the Spaniard was wide awake to gain the break in the eleventh game. Andújar served the match out by an ace winning 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 32 minutes to clinch his third ATP career title.

“I am very happy to gain the trophy,” said a very happy winner. “It was a very tough match. I knew that it would physically become a hard fight. I took the opening set by winning the two crucial points of the frame. Juan got the advantage in the second set but finally I played aggressively and the important points well and I made it.”

“I am feeling comfortable with the altitude here. I played well in Madrid last year, which is about 700 m over sea level. I knew that I haven’t got the power like other players and through the altitude here the ball gets a little bit faster and I also knew that I had options, as I had a good last week in Hamburg,” the Spaniard added about winning in Gstaad at 1.050 m over sea level.

He also explained his emotions after converting the match point when he fell on the ground of the centre court. “I saw my parents, my girl-friend and my brother, who were here to support me. It was an amazing moment to finish the match with an ace, which was the only one I made in the entire match,” Andújar laughed.

I have the feeling I wasted too many opportunities,” Monaco said afterwards. Maybe I was playing a little bit more nervous than usual because it was a final. It’s been a while since I played my last one and I need to get used again to play these matches at the defining instances. But overall I want to stress that this has been a great week for me. I won four matches and I proved myself I can still continue to grow and by working harder I am sure I will accommodate my game again and I hope I can start winning more matches.”

“I am a little bit sad because I lost a final and the truth is that it is something it’s going to be there forever. When you retire you are going to remember all the tournaments you won during your career, nobody remembers the finals. That is why I have this bitter feeling right now. But otherwise I have to recall all the things I achieved this week, after lots of injuries and lot of training, coming back to play a final means my game is coming back little by little. Then I need to follow this path and start recovering now for my first match in Kitzbühel next week,” the Argentine added.

Earlier the day the final news conference of the tournament’s 99th edition took place. “It was a very good week with high-class tennis and exciting matches. Unfortunately, we had not the best weather but with about 35.000 spectators, there were a lot of people coming out to watch the tennis. Of course, it is a pity that Stan Wawrinka couldn’t play but the other Swiss players achieved some good results and the people here just love the tennis, even without a top-ten player,” tournament director Jeff Collet told the media. The tournament also received the ATP Heritage Award for being part of the circuit since 1990. “Next year we will try to present something special for our 100th anniversary. I do not think that the shift in the ATP calendar will be a disadvantage for us. We are used to compete with other tournaments, so being in the same week with the ATP 500 in Hamburg next year will not make any difference to us. There are a lot of players on the tour,” Collet added.

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Isner to Meet Sela in Atlanta Open Final

John Isner

John Isner

By Herman Wood

(July 26, 2014) ATLANTA – Young American Jack Sock took on veteran John Isner on Saturday at the BB&T Open in the first singles semifinal.  Hotlanta certainly was up to the nickname.  Conditions were compared to this year’s Australian Open, when players were understandably concerned.  The difference?  In Atlanta, the humidity combined with the heat makes it more difficult for the body to cool itself.  Despite the conditions, both men came out in dark colored tops.  Isner said, “It’s not easy conditions at all playing, doing anything.  Heat like that is tough.  I don’t know how the fans endure it.”  Despite conditions, Isner started off on the right foot, unlike yesterday.  He was striking winners off his forehand and backhand, though his first serve was off and he only had three aces for the first set while serving 48% on that delivery.  Sock looked better able to handle the conditions early in the match, moving better with his head up and working for points while Isner was content to let some balls go.  Isner has been accused of playing “possum” a bit in matches, but the two men train together, so that was not in the cards today.  (In the southeastern United States, possum refers to a marsupial whose primary method of defense is to play dead until an opportune moment, at which time they either wander off or show impressive teeth and a willingness to fight.)

 

As expected, rallies were mostly short, one or two strokes after a return.  The first deuce point occurred at four games apiece, with Isner serving.  On Isner’s very next service game, Sock seemed to fully get his teeth into Isner’s deliveries and forced him to rally.  With an untimely double fault, Isner handed Sock his first break point opportunity.  With a second serve coming, Sock got the return back into play and correctly anticipated Isner’s inside out forehand and just missed a pass off the tape that might have made all the difference and he clearly knew it.  Isner took full advantage and held with a blistering forehand and 128 MPH ace.  Serving at 5-6, perhaps Sock wasn’t able to clear the thoughts of the missed opportunity and missed his next three serves, the first two a double fault.  His fourth serve was punished by Isner for an easy winner.  Isner was certainly feeling it, as he challenged on the third point of the game on a ball that was solidly on the line.  The challenge may have given Sock some time to settle himself, as he took that point and the next two to get to 40-30.  Isner toughened and Sock got a bit loose.  Combined, that let to nine deuces before the matter of the twelfth game and ultimately the first set could be settled.  Sock chose the more difficult down the line forehand on a short ball and clipped the tape.  Isner sealed the first set on his third try with a Sock backhand error, 7-5, on a ball that did not seem that difficult.

 

Sock settled in despite early pressure from Isner in the first few games of the second set.  Certainly, he showed maturity beyond his young age, keeping his wits about him and continuing with good fight through two games all.  On Sock’s serve, at 2-3, Isner made a challenge on a ball called out right in front of Sock.  It turned out to be a wise challenge, as review showed the ball good.  The chair awarded the point to Isner.  Sock argued that the call by the linesman affected his play on the ball and that the point should be replayed.  It was very tough to tell when the call came, though it did appear that Sock had a play and chose not to play the ball and the linesman made the call late.  Sock struggled with himself throughout the game.  He told the chair umpire “You ruin matches, you know that.”  To his credit, Sock worked through the game and held to get to three all.

 

Perhaps the game energized Isner, as he showed no signs of playing possum or “lollygagging around” as he kept the pressure on Sock, with extremely high kicking second serves that Sock had lots of trouble returning mixed in with a few more aces on first serve deliveries.  On Sock’s service games, Isner was clearly trying to attack with frequent approaches and crushed forehands.  The strategy led to some impressive shots as well as shanks, one of which may have stopped traffic on nearby Interstate 75.  The crushed forehands from Isner looked to do damage to anything they hit.  Isner stepped up his serve to hold to get to 5-4.  The game went for three straight service winners, only to be interrupted by an Isner miss on the only ball Sock got in play in the whole game.  Isner closed the game with an ace.  Sock stepped in to serve, down 4-5, to stay in the match.  After more impressive shanks by Isner, Sock let a thirty love lead evaporate on a poor attempt at a slice back hand and floating forehand winner by Isner.  Isner stepped up again and committed to the rally and Sock missed to give Isner a match point.  Sock saved it with aggressive play, leading to an overhead to get back to deuce.  Unfortunately for Sock, he double faulted immediately to give Isner another match point.  Sock played bravely, nailing a ball onto the left baseline that Isner challenged unsuccessfully.  If out, it would have ended the match.  Sock could not manage to rally on the subsequent deuce, missing a forehand to give Isner a match point. Sock finally donated a double fault to hand the match to Isner, 7-5, 6-4.  He will either face Dudi Sela or Benjamin Becker in the finals on Sunday.

 

When asked about his possible opponent on Sunday, Isner expressed no preference.  He mentioned that “They said on TV I was 2-0 against Becker, though I can’t remember the two times I’ve played him.  He’s another college product.  He went four years at Baylor.  That would be kind of cool, two four year college guys.  Dudi, I remember I played him in Delray Beach this year.  I beat him 7-6 in the third.  Although he is slight of stature, he doesn’t mind playing guys with big serves.  He beat Querrey.  He beat Pospisil.  He’s just an extremely talented player that can do so much with the ball.  I don’t know who to favor.”

 

 

 

Before an appreciative packed house at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Israeli Dudi Sela took on German Benjamin Becker over three tough sets for a chance to play local favorite John Isner  With the first two sets virtual mirror images, with each man winning a set 6-3, the match came down to a tight third set.  With Becker giving him only one opportunity to break, Sela took full advantage to get to 4-2.  Becker had five opportunities to break at that time, but had not cashed in.    Both men could feel the pressure, but Becker stepped up with a forehand winner to finally break right back.  Sela was far from done, hitting his picture perfect backhand for winners at crucial times and breaking again to allow him to serve for the final, 5-3.  Sela went for his shots and earned his first match point with a nice forehand retrieve that Becker shanked.  On the very first match point, Sela seized the opportunity with a blistering forehand that was too much for Becker.  It will be only his second final.  He has experience playing big servers like Isner.  He eliminated Pospisil and Querrey earlier in the Atlanta tournament.  In Columbia, he played Ivo Karlovic and used a chair to shake his hand after the match.

Sela really appreciated the support.  “This atmosphere is great!  I love Atlanta.”  Somehow, even with a well educated Atlanta tennis crowd, I expect former Georgia Bulldog John Isner will be feeling a bit more love.  The last time they played, it took Isner a third set tiebreak to overcome Sela.  The local support may be all the edge Isner needs.

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Quarterfinal day at the BB&T Atlanta Open

 

 

John Isner

John Isner

By Herman Wood

(July 25, 2014) ATLANTA – Americans and best buddies Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey got things going on Friday.  Yes, they already played- each other.  On Friday, they took on Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky in doubles.  It was a tight match, with the American pair winning 7-6 (2), 7-5.  On an interesting strategic note, Querrey lined up in front of Johnson with Johnson serving and folded his 6 foot 6 inch frame downward in an attempt to… well, I’m not really sure, but that’s a lot of human being to squeeze under a serve.  In the other doubles quarterfinals, Chris Guccione and John-Patrick Smith broke a nine match win streak for Guccione in a loss to Nicholas Barrientos and Victor Estrella Burgos 7-5, 3-6, and 10-6 in the match tiebreak.  The rest of the quarterfinals were already completed.  Pospisil and Sock will take on the Barrientos -Burgos pair while Querrey and Johnson will take on King and Venus, all for a chance in the finals.  Those matches will be played Saturday.

In singles action, the No. 1 seed, John Isner surprisingly played at 4 PM rather than in the 7 PM featured time slot.  Isner said, “I preferred the 4 PM start.”  By the time he and Matosevic took the court, the stadium resembled an oven.  Matosevic said, “It was really hot.”  We do not call it Hotlanta without a reason.  Isner said “I knew he was struggling out there a little bit and he knew I was struggling out there a little bit.”  “A lot of people tell me I play possum out there.  Sometimes when I’m super tired I play my best tennis. I don’t have enough energy to run side to side.

There’s only one option for me and that’s to sort of play big and play aggressive and just go for it and sometimes it works out.”   Isner started the match on the wrong foot- a foot fault.  Of course that fired him up a little and the very next ball was an ace.  It was a slow start for Isner, as he was immediately broken, though it did not take long to get back on serve.  With a break to get to two all, the two traded holds until Matosevic was serving at 5-6.  Isner challenged him a bit, but it was time for a tiebreak.  Isner is not called “Johnny Tiebreak” without a reason.  He is experienced, calm, and collected in the big moment.

Sure enough, Matosevic handed the set to Isner with his second double fault of the tiebreak.  The other double fault occurred when Matosevic was up a mini break.  In the second set, the two traded service holds until three all, when Isner got a break and that was all he needed.  Up 4 – 3, he held easily, saved himself during Matosevic’s service game and then served it out 7-6 (8), 6-4.  Isner was happy for the early finish to his day.  “I’ll have a little more time.  I can walk the dog.  It kind of puts me at ease.”  He’ll play Jack Sock on Saturday in the semifinals.

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

In the evening match, American Jack Sock got the featured time slot.  He took on Slovakian, Lukas Lacko, in what could be a preview for the Chicago Davis Cup match in September if Sock were to be named to the American squad.  Unfortunately, like Isner, Sock got off on the wrong foot as he was broken on his first service game.  Lacko at one time had a 4-1 lead, but let it slip away.

Sock said “I had a pretty rough start.  He was playing the ball deep and keeping me off the baseline.”

A Lacko double fault at a critical time and an ill-advised strategy that did not include staying away from the Sock forehand let Sock get it back to 4-5 and serving.  The crowd was clearly behind sock, urging him on, but he could not manage another break and so the tie breaker was on.  Each man had his chances, but Sock pulled it out 8-6.

He kept the momentum early in the second, breaking to a 3-1 lead before he let down just a bit.  Lacko took the break back, only to see Sock immediately return the favor at love to get to 4-2.  It was clear that Sock wanted to run away with it, moving quickly, serving to 5-2, with Lacko serving to stay in the match.  Sock had his way in the decisive game, as Lacko’s first serve percentage had fallen off to only forty five percent.  Game, set, match to Sock, 7-6 (8), 6-2.

The Atlanta crowd was very appreciative of the effort and the win.  Sock will take on John Isner on Saturday for a chance at the the final.  They recently played in Newport where Sock beat Isner.  “Newport was pretty ugly for both of us.  We both played some shocking tennis there.  We practice almost everyday at Saddlebrook in Tampa.  I’ll have to use what I know from practice.  These courts suit him pretty well with a high bounce and when there is a seven foot guy serving down on you, it’s not going to be easy.  I’ll go out there and scrap out some points and see what happens.”

In late action on Friday, Sock’s doubles partner Vasek Pospisil was eliminated in a see saw match by Dudi Sela 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. It was a busy night for the trainer, as he was out three times for Pospisil and once for Sela. Pospisil was clearly injured, as the trainer really seemed to be working him over. Despite the injury, he was able to move very well.

Sela took a medical timeout of his own, though he did not appear in pain. Sela was quoted by another media member -Ricky Dimon of Tennis Grand,  as to why he took the timeout; “To do some thinking with myself about what I have to do. To relax.”

 

Sela will take on Benjamin Becker Saturday evening.  Becker ended the run of lucky loser Thiemo de Bakker 6-4, 6-2.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.

Results for July 25, 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] J Isner (USA) d [8] M Matosevic (AUS) 76(8) 64
D Sela (ISR) d [4] V Pospisil (CAN) 75 16 62
J Sock (USA) d L Lacko (SVK) 76(6) 62
B Becker (GER) d [LL] T de Bakker (NED) 64 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) d [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 76(2) 75
N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM) d [3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) 75 36 10-6

Schedule for July 26, 2014

STADIUM start 12:30 pm
K King (USA) / M Venus (NZL) vs S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[1] J Isner (USA) vs J Sock (USA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
D Sela (ISR) vs B Becker (GER)
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) vs N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM)

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Top Two Gstaad Seeds Mikhail Youzhny and Marcel Granollers Fall

 

Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco

By Florian Heer

(July 25, 2014) GSTAAD – Welcome to Gstaad – a town, which is considered by many people as the real Switzerland. Its local population is equal parts people and cows. Indeed, Gstaad’s direct vicinity has around 7,500 permanent residents alongside around 7,500 cows. Despite becoming an increasingly popular winter and summer tourism destination, farming is a major part of Gstaad’s identity and once a year, the ATP World Tour is making a stop amidst the impressive scenery of the Bernese Oberland for an event of the 250 category with total prize money of € 488.760,-.

The two top seeds of the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open, Mikhail Youzhny and Marcel Granollers, led the way on quarterfinal’s day 5. The Russian took on Robin Haase in a repeat of the 2013 Gstaad final, when Youzhny ran out a winner in straight sets. The world No. 19 from Moscow also had the better start today but the Dutch, who gained his first victory over the Russian in the last meeting between the two in Bucharest this year, stabilized his game and fought back winning 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 56 minutes, although it became really close in the end.

“Until 5-2 in the third set, I felt good,” said Haase. “But two net cord winners and one unbelievable backhand smash from Mikhail changed things. At 5-4 and a 40-0 lead, you think it is done. I double faulted and lost my rhythm but I knew I could beat him. Compared to last year’s match, it was very good.”

Marcel Granollers took on compatriot Pablo Andújar for the fourth time with the latter leading 2-1 in head to head before Friday’s meeting. After a close opening set, Andújar was in control of the encounter in the following. Through a solid baseline game and good returns the 28-year-old from Cuenca closed the match out in 75 minutes winning 7-5, 6-3.

In an all-South-American-affair Argentine Juan Mónaco faced Tomaz Bellucci. The Brazilian was making his fifth appearance in Gstaad and lifted two of his three career titles in Switzerland winning in 2012 and as a qualifier in 2009 but today Mónaco emerged victorious winning 7-6, 6-1 in 90 minutes to reach his first semi-final of the season.

Viktor Troicki

Viktor Troicki

In the final match of the day Viktor Troicki, who has returned to competitive action this week for the first time in 12 months after he had failed to submit a sample during Monte Carlo event in April 2013, which resulted in a suspension due to anti-doping violation, took on Fernando Verdasco. Earlier the day, the Spaniard had to complete his yesterday suspended second round match through a three set victory over Jan-Lennard Struff. In the evening encounter, it was the Spaniard’s forehand, which made the difference against Troicki. The 28-year-old Serbian, who dropped down to 847th position in the ATP rankings, felt obviously uncomfortable with the leftie’s game. Verdasco took advantage serving the match out in two hours and four minutes winning 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.

“This morning against Jan-Lennard, I just tried to win and finish the match in a good way because he served really well and I only had few chances to break,” the 30-year-old from Madrid said after his second victory of the day.

“This afternoon I felt the ball better and I played a really good first set, almost my best level. Unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes in the second set. Then I had a 4-1 lead in the tie-break and I became very upset after losing the set. It was mentally pretty hard for me. So I went to the toilet and I started screaming all the time, which helps when you are in a stressful moment. After ten or fifteen big screams, I started from zero and I was calm again and played the level of the first set,” Verdasco explained the ups and down in his match. “With the altitude here it is not easy to play from the baseline because you have to hit the ball in a perfect way otherwise it will be a miss. Viktor, however, served really well today. I have a good relationship with him outside the courts, so I’m happy that he is back,” the Spaniard said about Troicki’s return to the tour.

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Earlier the day world No. 4, Stanislas Wawrinka, who represents the tournament’s ambassador, talked to the press. The 29-year-old from Lausanne should actually be Gstaad’s top-seed but after losing to Roger Federer in the quarterfinal of Wimbledon, he decided to take some time for recovery. “I took three weeks off, practiced and did some work with my fitness coach to become ready for the last four months of the year, which will be a tough one and a big challenge with the US-Open and the Davis Cup,” Wawrinka said. “It will be difficult to be better in in the second half of the season compared to the first but if I hold my level, I will achieve some good results,” the current Australian Open champion said and added that he will leave for Toronto in a few days.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit. He is in Gstaad this week.  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

Results

Singles – Quarterfinals
[7] R Haase (NED) d [1] M Youzhny (RUS) 36 61 64
P Andujar (ESP) d [2] M Granollers (ESP) 75 63
[4] F Verdasco (ESP) d [WC] V Troicki (SRB) 64 67(7) 61
J Monaco (ARG) d T Bellucci (BRA) 76(1) 61

Singles – Second Round
[4] F Verdasco (ESP) d J Struff (GER) 36 63 76(3)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) d P Marx (GER) / B Rola (SLO) 61 64
R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA) 76(5) 36 14-12

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 26 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am
[7] R Haase (NED) vs J Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[4] F Verdasco (ESP) vs P Andujar (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) vs [3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED)

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John Isner Saves Two Match Points in Win over Robby Ginepri

GSM Isner

By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2014) ATLANTA – It was a showdown of Americans with local ties tonight at the BB&T Atlanta Open.  Former University of Georgia standout, top ranked American, and number one seed John Isner took on local Robby Ginepri, from just up I-75 in Marietta, now Kennesaw.  It was their fourth meeting, with Isner holding the edge, 2-1.

Ginepri, currently ranked 281, though as high as 15, was in the tournament as a wild card.  As expected in any John Isner match, things started with an ace.  Ginepri returned the favor with his very first serve and had a very easy hold.  From that point forward, it was evident that Ginepri was dialed in on the Isner serve.  He made Isner work by getting balls back in play off huge serves.  Isner did not help his own cause by only getting forty six percent of his first serves in and it led to the inevitable break with a sizzling passing shot by Ginepri to get him to 3-2.  Ginepri consolidated the break with a hold and the match stayed on track until Ginepri served the first set out 6-4.

As with any John Tiebreak, rather, Isner match, the second set went exactly that way.  There were threats of service break, again with Ginepri seeming to have really timed Isner’s deliveries.  It certainly seemed to take its toll, as Ginepri was flexing his wrists after blocking back 140 MPH or so blasts.  Isner served 71% of his first serves into play, converting 73% of those points.  Ginepri had no break points against his serve, while Isner saved the two opportunities Ginepri had.  There were mini-breaks of serve in the tie breaker, but the master of the breaker prevailed in a tight one 7-5.  Of course, the last point was an ace.

In the deciding third set, Ginepri seemed struggled a bit more to hold his serve, facing 7 break points.  He even dug out of one 15-40 hole and punctuated the hold with a yell.  It was inspired Ginepri tennis.  Isner had the customary two break points and saved both.  In Ginepri’s final service game, he was trying to hold for 6-5 and it couldn’t quite hold on.  The whole state knew what was coming next, but Ginepri was game, going for a new racquet in his attempt to break Isner’s  serve.  He never needed it.  Ace, ace, ace, ace.  Game, set, match; Isner 4-6, 7-5 (5), 7-5.  Isner said “It’s not easy, coming in playing your first match.  Having a bye is nice, but at the same time you are playing someone that has played a match.”  Isner will play Matsovci on Friday, surprisingly at 4 PM.  The feature 7 PM slot will see Jack Sock take on Lukas Lacko.

The crowd was well entertained and solidly behind good play, getting loud for each player in appreciation.  Of course, there was barking for Isner and shouts of ROBBY in support of Ginepri.  Some would have been concerned about turnout if Ginepri had won, but the crowd support for both men made it clear that Atlantans appreciation of good tennis should not be underestimated.

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Lucky Loser Thiemo de Bakker Knocks Out Second Seed Kevin Anderson in Atlanta

Thiemo de Bakker

Thiemo de Bakker

By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2014) ATLANTA – Play began on Thursday at 4 PM in Atlanta, just ahead of the usually scheduled afternoon summer thunderstorms.  Thiemo de Bakker and Kevin Anderson were on court holding serve through 3-all until the stadium got a bit loud- thunder and distant lightning.  De Bakker took heed and stepped up his returns to get a break for 4-3.  With a quick hold, he was looking to close out the set on Anderson’s serve.  It wasn’t before the rains came, as it was Anderson 30-15 when play was suspended.

Two hours later, it did not seem to have mattered, as de Bakker finished off the set quickly 6-4.  The second set stayed on serve through 3-2 Anderson with de Bakker serving.  De Bakker could not find the service box and Anderson took advantage of the second serves for a break at 4-2.  De Bakker was far from done, as he returned the favor in similar fashion with a fist pump, though he consolidated with a quick hold to get the set to 4-all.  They finally got back on track through 5-all, when Anderson seemed to get a bit unsettled and sent a wild miss over the baseline to get broken.  De Bakker served it out and just like that, the No. 2 seed and last year’s runner up, Kevin Anderson was out.

Yen-Hsun Lu and Benjamin Becker were on grandstand court and also had to run for cover.  That match was completed with Becker the winner, 6-4, 6-3.

In an exciting singles match on grandstand, Marinko Matsovic took out Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-5.  The match was a battle of service breaks, with Matsovic managing two more.  Reportedly, he also chose not to play a ball judged on the line that was a match point.  That could have been a real learning experience.  Matsovic will play No. 1 seed John Isner in a surprising 4 PM start on Friday.  The feature 7 PM match will have Jack Sock playing Lukas Lacko.

The top seeded doubles team of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock were also in action over on the grandstand, taking on Benjamin Becker and Frank Moser.  The difference in the match was the inability of the German duo to convert their second serve points.  The Wimbledon champs were not broken, though did save three break points.  They closed the match out in under an hour 6-4, 6-1.

With the rain came a schedule adjustment.  The Chris Guccione and John-Patrick Smith vs Nicholas Barrientos and Victor Estrella Burgos doubles match was cancelled for the day.  It will go on at noon Friday.  The Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey vs Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky match also was postponed.  That match will follow the previously mentioned match on stadium court.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.

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