2015/07/05

Keys and Halep withdraw, Radwanska falls in Sydney

By Dave Gertler
(January 13, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Madison Keys has withdrawn from the Apia International in Sydney, surrendering from a set up against defending champion Tsvetana Pironkova. The mid-match withdrawal came on a day when the women’s draw lost its top seed Simona Halep, who withdrew before playing her first match, suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.
“I just hit a serve weird and it just kind of impinged on my shoulder a little bit,” said Keys, who had taken the first set 6-4 on Court 3, yet was trailing in the second set 1-4 before she pulled out, “Just didn’t want to push it too hard and end up getting worse.” Keys also stressed that she would be fit for the Australian Open, starting next week, saying that she immediately called her coach Lindsay Davenport to reassure her and say, “Don’t freak out. It’s fine. She understands. She played. She gets it. Said, good call. Let’s get it better, and we’ll do whatever we can to get ready.”
For Pironkova, the dream run in Sydney continues, stretching out her unbeaten record over the last two years to 13 matches, and she will face in-form Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. The two most recently met on grass at Wimbledon in 2013, Pironkova winning on her way to the round of 16 that year.
Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki’s withdrawing during her first-round match on Monday, and Agnieszka Radwanska, third seed, who lost a tight battle against Garbine Muguruza on Tuesday, means the only seed to make it through to the quarter-finals by Tuesday evening was Petra Kvitova, No.2 seed, who beat Shuai Peng in straight sets.
Radwanska, playing her first tournament with coach Martina Navratilova courtside, found herself leading Muguruza before the Spaniard switched gears, taking the next two sets 7-6, 6-2. “I played her two times before and I lost,” said Muguruza after her win, “I was like, OK, this time I want to win. I want to see what happens. For me to win this match, I feel like I improve a lot. When I play against her, I really have to concentrate and do my game, because she makes me play different styles and dropshots and long balls.”
“I think the best chance for me was winning in two sets,” said Radwanska, “In the tie-break, I think I just didn’t really go for it. She made a couple of good shots and it was over. But, well, it’s always a good sign. I have a couple days still before the Australian Open, so going to rest and prepare for that.”
Also through to the women’s quarter-finals on Tuesday’s matches were Karolina Pliskova who beat Nicole Gibbs – in for Simona Halep – 6-0, 6-0 in 38 minutes. Pliskova will play Carla Suarez Navarro who beat Ekaterina Makarova in a three-set match lasting over two hours. Garbine Muguruza will play either Angelique Kerber in her first quarter-final in Sydney, while Petra Kvitova will play Jarmila Gajdosova in what will be her third quarter-final in five appearances in Sydney.
Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .
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Serena Williams, Roddick, Raonic and Radwanska Participate in Toronto Face-Off (Photo Gallery)

(November 16, 2012) TORONTO – A crowd of 6,558 came out to watch Milos Raonic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Agniezska Radwanska in the Sport Chek Face-Off exhibition match on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.

The recently retired American Roddick topped Canadian Raonic 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Roddick entertained the crown with his impressions of Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

When asked about if Roddick should consider a comeback, Raonic said “I hope not.”

“What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape,” Roddick joked. “I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I’ve met every aspect of it – a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally – I’ve been completely.

No. 3 and 15-time major champion Serena Williams lost to No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 in a rematch of the most recent Wimbledon final.

The evening began with a “hit and giggle” mixed doubles match between Team Canada represented by Raonic and Radwanska versus Team USA’s Roddick and Williams.

The players were joined by various Canadian celebrities including CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos, Adrian Grenier of the HBO show “Entourage,” “Bachelor” star Brad Smith and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.

All photos by Marc-André Gauthier

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Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanksa, Raonic and Roddick to Participate in “Face-Off”

Toronto, September 10, 2012 – Tennis Canada and Lagardere Unlimited announced Monday that “The Face-Off” will return to Canada in November with a new roster of superstar tennis players. Joining Canada’s No. 1 singles player Milos Raonic, will be former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, who recently retired from tournament play at the US Open, 15-time Grand Slam champion and recent US Open titlist Serena Williams and current world No. 3 and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanksa. The “Face-Off” will be held in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on November 16 at 7 p.m.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play this unique event again this year,” said Raonic. “Other than at Rogers Cup once a year and the occasional Davis Cup tie in Canada, I don’t get to play in front of the home crowd very often. This event gives me the chance to play in front of my Toronto fans, friends and family while showcasing some of the all-time great players like Pete Sampras last year and now Andy and Serena. It’s going to be great to give Toronto fans another chance to see world-class tennis again this year.”

“Milos, in a very short period of time, is already one of the big names in tennis,” said Roddick. “This event is a great showcase for him and for tennis and I’m really looking forward to being part of it. I always loved coming to Toronto throughout my career and I missed the chance this summer due to injury before I retired. It will be great to get back there in November for the chance to thank all the fans who supported me over the years.”

In addition to the marquee match-up between two of tennis’ biggest hitters, Raonic and Roddick, the evening will feature a re-match of this year’s Wimbledon final between Williams and Radwanska. The foursome will also pair up for a mixed doubles match, as well as with some special celebrity guests who will join in on the action.

“Milos reminds me so much of Andy and what he did for American tennis when he burst onto the tennis scene with such a huge serve and powerful game,” said Williams. “I am really excited to play in this event with him, Andy and Aga and help support the huge growth of tennis in Canada.”

“It is really an honor for me to play with Andy, Milos and Serena in this event,” said Radwanska.  “It was a dream come true playing in the Wimbledon finals against Serena and I am so glad I get a chance to play her again in Toronto.”

Tickets will go on-sale to the public on Monday, September 17 at Noon ET. For all events and games at Air Canada Centre, tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office located in the west end of the Galleria near Gate 1. Fans may also purchase tickets for an event coming to Air Canada Centre by calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000, visiting any Ticketmaster outlet or online at the Ticketmaster Canada (www.ticketmaster.ca) website.  Ticket prices (incl. HST) range from $35-$150 (plus FMF and service charges) with a family 4-pack available for as low as $25 per ticket. For more event information please visit www.faceofftennis.com.

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