2015/04/19

Venus Williams Loses to Carla Suarez Navarro in Miami Open Quarterfinal

Carla Suarez Navarro

Carla Suarez Navarro

(March 31, 2015) In a very topsy-turvy match, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro recovered from losing the first set 6-0 to recover to defeat three-time champion Venus Williams at the Miami Open on Tuesday 0-6, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the semifinals.

Williams needed just 27 minutes to blow out Suarez Navarro in the first set, nailing 14 winners.

The second set saw a reversal of fortune for the Spaniard, as she moved 16th seeded Williams from corner to corner, dominating with her forehand.

Both women broke each other’s serve, the 12th seed Suarez Navarro coming back from twice from being a break down.

Williams made 41 unforced errors.

The victory for the Spaniard moves her into the most important semifinal of her career- a Premier Mandatory. A win in the semifinal will move her into the top ten for the first time.

“It was a crazy match, crazy first two sets,” said the winner. “Venus was unbelievable at the beginning.

“I start a little bit nervous, but, you know, in tennis, even if you lost the first set, you’re still in competition. I’m happy with the way I come back after the first set.”

“Just a little too many errors and I was going for it the whole match,” Williams said. “Towards the end just never found the happy medium between being aggressive and putting the ball in the court.”

“Of course I want to play well every match as much as I can,” the seven-time major champion said, “I feel like I have the ability to win this match.

“Unfortunately it was a loss, but I learned a lot from them, and they always make me better. “

The Spaniard will play No. 9 seed Andrea Petkovic for a place in the final. The German ousted No. 14 Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2, earlier in the day.

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Petkovic Wins Antwerp Crown with Walkover Against Suarez Navarro

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(February 15, 2015) Third-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany won her sixth career WTA title when fifth-seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain withdrew from Sunday’s final of the Diamond Games in Antwerp with a neck injury.

“Right before we went on court I was warming up and they told me the news,” Petkovic said. “At first I was very shocked because I didn’t know anything about her physical pain and the blockage. But secondly I was sad. I really like Carla – she’s a great person and always friendly and positive, and she has a tremendous amount of talent. Also, you can never really enjoy the win when you don’t fight for it. So I’m happy I had a great week and I’m leaving as the champion, but definitely mixed emotions.”

“I woke up in the morning and just felt this pain in my neck,” Suarez Navarro said. “I went to the physio to get treatment and tried to play at 11:30, then had physio again and tried to play again at 2:15, and I just couldn’t serve. I couldn’t play like I wanted. So I had to pull out of this final. I’m really sorry. I love this tournament and I had a great week. I really tried today.”

Petkovic played an exhibition match against four-time major champion and tournament director Kim Clijsters.

“I hope you don’t take any offense Kim, but I’m glad you are done playing on tour,” Petkovic said after losing the exhibition.

For her efforts this week, the 27-year-old Petkovic will move back into the top 10 in the rankings on Monday

 

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2015 Australian Open Women’s Contender Profiles

(January 17, 2015) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2015 Australian Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

2014 Record: 52-8

Grand Slam Record: 259-39

Australian Open Record: 61-9

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2003, ’05, ’07. ’09, ‘10)

Fast Fact: At the Australian Open, Serena has only lost twice to a Top Ten player (2001 to Hingis, 2008 to Jankovic).

 

Maria Sharapova

2014 Record: 49-13

Grand Slam Record: 165-40

Australian Open Record: 42-10

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2008)

Fast Fact: With her win last week in Brisbane, Sharapova has won a title in each of the last 13 years, placing her 4th in the Open Era behind Navratilova (21), Evert (18), and Graf (14).

 

Simona Halep

2014 Record: 46-16

Grand Slam Record: 27-18

Australian Open Record: 6-4

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2014)

Fast Fact: Halep celebrated 50 consecutive weeks in the Top Ten, and will mark her one year anniversary during the Australian Open (reached No. 10 on Jan 27, 2014).

 

Petra Kvitova

2014 Record: 43-16

Grand Slam Record: 64-24

Australian Open Record: 11-6

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Kvitova will play her 500th career match in the first round of the Australian Open.

 

Ana Ivanovic

2014 Record: 58-17

Grand Slam Record: 97-39

Australian Open Record: 24-10

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2008)

Fast Fact: Despite having her best season since 2008, Ivanovic lost to lower-ranked players at all of the Grand Slams in 2014.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

2014 Record: 47-22

Grand Slam Record: 90-34

Australian Open Record: 24-8

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: Since beating Venus Williams to win 2014 Canadian Open (Montreal), Radwanska has a losing record, 8-9.

 

Eugenie Bouchard

2014 Record: 43-22

Grand Slam Record: 23-7

Australian Open Record: 5-1

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2014)

Fast Fact: Bouchard won more Grand Slam matches in 2014 than any other woman (19).

 

Caroline Wozniacki

2014 Record: 49-19

Grand Slam Record: 79-31

Australian Open Record: 22-7

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2011)

Fast Fact: Wozniacki has a 7-0 record in opening round matches at the Australian Open, the only Grand Slam event that she has not lost in the first round.

 

Angelique Kerber

2014 Record: 47-24

Grand Slam Record: 48-28

Australian Open Record: 11-7

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2013, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Kerber has a 1-7 record against Top 50 players at the Australian Open.

 

Ekaterina Makarova

2014 Record: 41-21

Grand Slam Record: 48-29

Australian Open Record: 18-7

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2012, ‘13)

Fast Fact: In her last four Australian Open appearances, Makarova has defeated four Grand Slam champions (Ivanovic, S. Williams, Bartoli, V. Williams).

 

Dominika Cibulkova

2014 Record: 32-24

Grand Slam Record: 53-29

Australian Open Record: 13-7

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2014)

Fast Fact: Cibulkova has won only six matches since Wimbledon, as many matches as she won en route to the Australian Open final in 2014.

 

Flavia Pennetta

2014 Record: 33-20

Grand Slam Record: 69-45

Australian Open Record: 13-11

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2014)

Fast Fact: Pennetta had a losing record at the Australian Open until reaching the QF in 2014.

 

Andrea Petkovic

2014 Record: 41-23

Grand Slam Record: 31-20

Australian Open Record: 6-5

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: Petkovic hasn’t won a match at the Australian Open since 2011 (def. Sharapova 4R).

 

Venus Williams

2014 Record: 32-14

Grand Slam Record: 221-57

Australian Open Record: 41-14

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2003)

Fast Fact: With her 2014 Australian Open appearance, Venus moves into 3rd place in the Open Era with 65 Slam appearances, trailing only Frazier (71) and Navratilova (67).

 

Victoria Azarenka

2014 Record: 15-9

Grand Slam Record: 101-32

Australian Open Record: 32-7

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2012, ’13)

Fast Fact: Azarenka enters a Grand Slam event unseeded for the first time since 2007 U.S. Open, after 27 Slams where she was seeded.

 

 

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Andrea Petkovic Wins WTA Tournament of Champions

Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petkovic

(November 2, 2014) Andrea Petkovic came back to beat Flavia Pennetta of Italy 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win the WTA Tournament of Champions is Sofia, Bulgaria. For Petkovic, it’s her third title of the year, fifth of her career.

“I am very happy to win the title at the end of this long season,” the German said. “I dedicate my victory to my dad,” who also is her coach Zoran Petkovic.

“I love watching Flavia play, but I hate playing her because she’s so difficult to play! I’m happy could gather enough energy in the end and play well enough to win it in the end.”

Petkovic’s performance this week will move her ranking up to No. 14 on Monday.

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WTA Event Enters Its Fourth Year at Citi Open

Alison Riske at  Kid's clinic at Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Alison Riske at Kid’s clinic at Citi Open. Photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

By Dave Gertler

 

(July 28, 2014) Now in its fourth year, the WTA Citi Open event in Washington is hosting one of its most impressive fields to date, even with the withdrawal of tournament favorite Eugenie Bouchard. Now seeded at No.1, Lucie Safarova leads an exciting field of 32 women including some top European hard-courters as well as American up-and-comers.

 

For the last two years running, it has been Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova who has capitalized on a line-up that has been improving from scratch since Washington began hosting the WTA International event in 2011. The world No. 37 is undefeated across ten straight matches at the tournament, and has defeated the top seed both years – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2012, and Angelique Kerber in 2013. Russian Pavlyuchenkova was ranked 28 at the time, while this year all eight top seeds are within the WTA’s top 29. Rybarikova did not play the Citi Open’s inaugural tournament in 2011, when world No.24 at the time, Shahar Peer, reached the final as No.1 seed, losing to second-seeded Nadia Petrova.

 

While Rybarikova is back in 2014 to attempt to prolong her dynasty at the Citi Open, Bouchard, Peer, Petrova, Kerber and her opponent in the 2013 final, Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, are prominent names missing from this year’s player field. The impact of their absences on the tournament, however, will be heavily reduced by the fact of the players that ARE attending.

 

Sloane Stephens leads the camp of exciting ‘new-wave’ of WTA players that will be in attendance this year. The world No. 22 – known for being much more solid at majors than she is across the WTA Premier and International calendar year – first entered the Citi Open in 2011, when she was 18 years old and ranked outside the top 120, losing in the first round. The following year, ranked just inside the top 50, she would reach the Washington semi-finals, losing to the eventual champ Rybarikova. In 2013, as a top 20 player, she would lose in the first round once again. It would seem apparent, therefore, that she’s due for another enduring showing at the Citi Open this year.

 

Although Bouchard has withdrawn from the 2014 tournament as the top seed, citing a knee injury, her results have been mixed since the Citi Open initiated their relationship with the Canadian in 2011 when they offered her a wildcard into her first main draw of a WTA event. In 2012 she lost a quarterfinal to Stephens, while last year – ranked No.62 in the world – she lost in the first round. Having reached at least the semi-finals of all three grand slams since then, Bouchard’s ranking has shot up to No.7 at the start of the Emirates Airlines US Open Series.

 

While the tournament has secured the first-time attendance of its high-profile Czech top seed Lucie Safarova, this only serves to augment the returned appearance of Romanian Sorana Cirstea, France’s Alize Cornet and American Madison Keys.

 

Cornet last year reached semi-finals on her first appearance at Citi Open. While the third seed will be vying for her fifth career WTA title, many Washingtonian tennis enthusiasts will have their eye on rising American talent, Madison Keys, who will be taking her career-high No.27 ranking into the Citi Open draw for her second appearance there. Despite retiring injured from her most recent match, a third-rounder at Wimbledon, Keys has been one of the big movers since clay season ended, going 8-2 on grass, and taking her first WTA title at Eastbourne along the way. Keys’ big serving game is a force to be reckoned with on hard courts, and has already ushered her to two WTA Tour semi-final appearances over the past year.

 

While unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova has managed to upset the field for the past two years straight, this year she faces a much tougher task if she’s to three-peat, considering the elevated level of play that will be coming off the racquets of top seeds with whom the Citi Open has been developing strong relationships over the past few years.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Citi Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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Andrea Petkovic Beats Shelby Rogers for Bad Gastein Crown

 

AndreaPetkovicCalrsbad3

(July 13, 2014) Andrea Petkovic won her second title of the year at the Gastein Ladies on Sunday. The 20th ranked German defeated Shelby Rogers of the United States 6-3, 6-3 to add to her Charleston title in April which was also on clay.

Surprise finalist 21-year-old Rogers, ranked at 147th had to come through qualifying, had precious never reached the second round of a WTA event before this week. She knovked out her first ever top 50 players this week in No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 40 Camila Giorgi and No. 14 Sara Errani en route to the final.

“It’s a super feeling, I am totally happy,” said Petkovic, who making strides to get back in the top 10 again, a feat she accomplished 3 years ago. “I want back into the top 10 and I am just playing good tennis. My serve and my footwork can still improve but I am playing well.”

Shelby Rogers photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Shelby Rogers photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

“I wanted this victory so badly,” Petkovic said. “I am very relieved. Shelby played very aggressive tennis. I didn’t know her game but I’ve done some research on YouTube.”

“Playing in a final there are always some nerves, but I was expecting that and expecting a tough opponent. I’ve never won two two tournaments in a year before and I’m obviously very happy to achieve this.”

“I had an incredible time,” said Rogers, who has won four tournaments on the ITF circuit. “This has definitely been a week I will never forget.”

“I’m definitely feeling the matches, I’ve played a lot this week,  but she played incredible and is always a tough competitor,” Rogers continued. “I’m still so happy with my whole week, though. I had such a great time here. The fans were amazing too. I had an incredible time here on and off the court.

“It was just an incredible experience this year in Bad Gastein.”

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Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic Reach French Open Semis

 

 

 

(June 4, 2014) Andrea Petkovic and Simona Halep have both moved into their first-ever Grand Slam semifinal, both advancing with 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal victories at the French Open on Wednesday. The matches on the show courts had their starts delayed by rain.

The 28th seeded Petkovic from Germany defeated 10th seed Sara Errani, the losing finalist at the French Open in 2012. Halep, the fourth seed beat 2009 Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova the 27th seed.

“I have to say, today I was in a real zone. I didn’t think at all,” said an excited Petkovic. “I was just focused on what I had to do.”

“I had a very good game plan from my coach. It didn’t work in the beginning, so I was getting a little, not panicked, but when you have a certain game plan and you lose the first two games and it’s not working, so I was kind of getting a little worried,” Petkovic said. “I was lucky that I started playing better and that I was putting more balls into play.”

At one point last year when Petkovic lost in the French Open qualification tournament, she considered quitting tennis, now she’s in her first major semifinal.

The highest seed remaining in the women’s draw, No. 4 seed Halep held back Kuznetsova who had an injured left thigh and had to take a medical time out after the first set.

 

“I felt very good on court. It was a perfect day for me. I played really well and stuck to my gameplan,” Halep said to press. “I was very aggressive. I played very fast.
“So it was a good match, and I’m really happy that now I can play in the semifinals in Paris.”

Petkovic and Halep will face off for a spot in the French Open final, the winner playing the winner of the Maria Sharapova versus Eugenie Bouchard.

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Andrea Petkovic Wins Family Circle Cup

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(April 6, 2014) In a week full of surprises in Charleston, 14th seed Andrea Petkovic won the Family Circle Cup for her first WTA Premier level tournament title with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Jana Cepelova of Slovakia on Sunday. This is her third WTA tournament crown, first in three years since she won the Strasbourg title in 2011.

Petkkovic knocked out three top ten seeds on the road to the title – No. 4 Sabine Lisicki, No. 9 Lucie Safarova and No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard.

The German who was once No. 9 in the world before being beset by injuries, is currently at No. 40 in the world will move into the top thirty with the victory.

No. 78 Cepelova beat No. 1 Serena Williams in the second round of the tournament. She’ll see her ranking rise into the top 50 for the first time.

At the end of the match Petkovic dropped on the ground in celebrations before she came to the net and hugged her opponent.

“I don’t know why but I just sort of broke down,” Petkovic said. “I was happy. Normally I don’t cry when I’m sad – I cry when I’m happy, strangely, so it’s weird, but I don’t know. I was just so relieved and proud that I’ve come back from all these injuries, and I never thought I would play in the finals of the big tournaments again, and so I was just proud and happy and everything just sort of came together.”

Petkovic takes home $120,000 for the win.

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Defending China Open Champ Victoria Azarenka Done in by Double Faults and Andrea Petkovic

VictoriaAzarenka10042012

(September 30, 2013) BEIJING – Double faults and erratic play were the undoing of defending China Open champion and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka on Monday. She lost to Andrea Petkovic 6-4 2-6 6-4 in first round play in Beijing.

To go along with 15 double faults, Azarenka hit 44 unforced errors and appeared to still be suffering from the effects of an illness she had during last week’s Tokyo event where she lost in the second round.

“I don’t take the last week even as a tournament,” she continued.

“If I’m going to be doing it again, I probably should have taken a longer break and just prepare myself.  I don’t feel like I was ready to play ‑‑ there is no excuse ‑‑ to be 100%, but the preparation wasn’t there enough, so I cannot deny that.

“It’s just my mistakes for not paying much attention after the US Open how I managed my time and how I managed my health.  I mean, today’s match is today’s match.  I felt good.  I didn’t have any issues, but overall, that comes maybe.  There is no excuses.”

“It was an awful match and very bad performance from me, so not much to say,” Azarenka said.

“It happens once, twice a year to every player, and happened to me today.”

Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petkovic

Petkovic appeared ill in the second set when she had to take a medical time out. She lost seven games on the trot and the Belarusian evened up the match at a set all.

In the third set both women traded breaks but it was Azarenka’s 15th double fault coming on break point as she was serving in the ninth game which cost her the game. The German served out the match after that.

“I’m going to come back, reevaluate, practice more,” Azarenka said in response to the loss.  “I just needed more preparation, and that’s what I’m going to get now before the last tournament.”

 

 

CHINA OPEN
Beijing, China
September 28-October 6, 2013
Hard/Outdoors


Results – Monday, September 30, 2013
WTA Singles – Second Round
(5) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (Q) Misaki Doi (JPN) 63 62
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Kaia Kanepi (EST) 63 63

WTA Singles – First Round
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 64 26 64
(8) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 16 64 60
(14) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 76(9) 61
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 61 61
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 63 62
(Q) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 64 61
(Q) Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Monica Puig (PUR) 61 64
(Q) Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. (Q) Sharon Fichman (CAN) 64 63
(WC) Zhang Shuai (CHN) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 63 63

WTA Doubles – First Round
Lisicki/Medina Garrigues (GER/ESP) d. (5) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) 64 16 103 (Match TB)
(8) Black/Mirza (ZIM/IND) d. Date-Krumm/Scheepers (JPN/RSA) 63 63
Chan/Huber (TPE/USA) d. (WC) Williams/Williams (USA/USA) 67(3) 64 119 (Match TB)
Soler-Espinosa/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. (WC) Sun/Zhang (CHN/CHN) 76(4) 60
Chan/Zheng (TPE/CHN) d. (WC) Shvedova/Zhang (KAZ/CHN) 63 36 105 (Match TB)
Hantuchova/Raymond (SVK/USA) d. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova (RUS/AUS) 75 63
Dushevina/Parra Santonja (RUS/ESP) d. Husarova/Kalashnikova (SVK/GEO) 62 63

ATP Singles – First Round
[WC] L Hewitt (AUS) d [7] T Haas (GER) 76(6) 63
B Tomic (AUS) d [WC] Z Zhang (CHN) 76(4) 64
[Q] R Bautista Agut (ESP) d G Dimitrov (BUL) 64 62
F Fognini (ITA) d T Robredo (ESP) 75 46 63
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d A Montanes (ESP) 75 16 76(4)

ATP Doubles – First Round
[3] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) d [WC] Y Lu (TPE) / D Wu (CHN) 64 63

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Ivanovic and Petkovic Duel in Stuttgart

Ana Ivanovic

 

By Tumaini Carayol

 

(April 23, 2013) STUTGART – Despite what the order of play suggested, Monday evening marked the true beginning of the Porsche Grand Prix. As Andrea Petkovic and Ana Ivanovic marched the court, it was the first time the spectators filled the stadium to the absolute brim. The first time the sharp intake of one person’s breath was simultaneously mirrored by the rest of the grand stadium. And the first time that even the quietest mutter was met with a flurry of angry shushing noises.

 

It was understandably a highly-anticipated affair. On one side stood Andrea Petkovic who, despite her current ranking, has charmed the German crowds beyond repute since she rose to prominence during 2010 and 2011. Accompanying her was her Serbian friend who herself had enamored the entire tennis world and beyond five nostalgic springs ago.

 

Still, the result was never in doubt. In spite of a two-game interlude which saw Petkovic immediately seize a break to lead 2-1, suffocating the Ivanovic backhand with uncompromising depth before knelling the finishing blow off both sides, any positive play from Petkovic was merely a footnote in a match that was closer epitomized by the four errors in succession committed by the German from the very first point.

 

A smiling but disappointed Petkovic was quick to agree.

“I got a little overexcited and I was too aggressive,” she said. “I was going for the lines and I was missing everything a little. I didn’t really build up the points and Ana was consistent.”

 

Ivanovic once again dealt with her opponent superbly. In addition to serving at 73% and shutting the door on every possible entry back into the match for Petkovic, she was acutely aware of Petkovic’s struggles on high forehand and adjusted by ensuring that, whenever on the defensive, she simply looped the ball up to the German’s forehand and awaited the almost inevitable error.

 

The most noteworthy moment came at 6-3 4-1 to Ivanovic as Petkovic attempted to throw a spanner into the works with a successful net foray followed by an exquisite dropshot to force 15-30 on the Ivanovic serve. Two well-placed service winners and an ace later, Ivanovic had confidently held for 5-1, uncharacteristically dousing out the remaining fire in Petkovic with minimum hassle. That was to be Petkovic’s final stand. Five minutes afterwards, Ivanovic had closed her friend out and moved seamlessly into the second round.

 

For Petkovic, the loss brought immense frustration, but even in defeat she was still able to showcase her trademark sense of humor.

 

“I’m hopeful that everything will come together in the future and I’ll be as good as I was before. And if not, I’m going to shoot myself..I’m joking!”

 

Tumaini Carayol is in Stuttgart covering the Stuttgart tournament for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault.

 

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