2014/07/29

Around the Grounds of the BNP Paribas Open in photos for March 8

(March 8, 2014) Photographer David Sweet (@DavidSweetPhoto) snapped photos all around the grounds  and n the interview room of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday for Tennis Panorama News.

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Del Potro Upset by Bautista Agut, Murray Rolls On at Australian Open

Juan Martin Del Potro

(January 16, 2014) World No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro became the first major upset victim of the 2014 Australian Open on Thursday when he fell to Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in second round action.

The match which lasted 3 hours and 53 minutes and ended at 1:20 a.m. Friday was the Spaniard’s first win over a Top Ten player in seven tries.

“I think he play a great match during the four hours,” Del Potro said.  “It’s tough when you play very high level during four hours.  Tough to beat the opponent.  I was close.

“But in every moment what I have, he play unbelievable shot.  In breakpoint down, he serves well.  He made winners with forehands, backhands, and he play always to the line very often during the match.

“When you don’t have that little lucky on your side, it’s another thing negative to play.  And I think he did really well.

“I’m so happy for the victory today,” Bautista Agut, the no. 62nd ranked said.  “It was one of my best wins in my career.  I’m so happy for win Del Potro.  I play a good tennis today.

“He’s a great player, one of the best in the world, and I could beat him.  I’m so happy because of that.”

“The season has just started,” the world No. 5 said. “I will try to be positive for the rest of the year.

“I mean, just lost match.  He play really well.  That’s it.

“I need to keep working.  I already won the tournament last week, and that give me confidence to improve my game.

But this kind of match also help me to learn something, and I will try to take my positive things about this match and change the negative to improve my game.”

 

In other action three-time Australian finalist Andy Murray won the last 23 straight points  coming form 1-5 down to dismantle French qualifier No. 267 ranked Vincent Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5

Commenting on his 23 point feat, No. 4 player Murray said: “it’s not easy to do either.”  “Good way to finish the match.

“I think, you know, he was obviously almost going for broke on a lot of shots.  I mean, he was hitting the ball so early, and flat and low.  It was very humid today, so the ball really wasn’t flying much.

“You know, he came up with some great shots in the third set.  Then when he didn’t get his set point, I put a good point on his set point.  Then, yeah, I mean, I guess it’s normal he got a little bit nervous, which helped.  He started missing a few balls and I adjusted my tactics a little bit.

“Then that obviously made a difference as well.  So it’s a good way to finish.

In another upset on the day, the once promising American Donald Young took out 24 seed Andreas Seppi 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. The 24-year-old who once reached No. 38 in the world, turned pro as a teenager has recently been picking up ATP points by playing Challenger events

“I happen to be back playing well and hopefully I can keep improving and stay here at this level,” he said to media. “This is where I want to be.”

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Teams Named for 2014 Hopman Cup

 

(October 8, 2013) The official draw, teams and provisional schedule have been set for the mixed teams event,  the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. The event will be held from December 28, 2013 through January 4, 2014.

 

     

 

   
  Schedule Time Matches
  Saturday 28 December 10:00 am Poland v Italy
    5:30 pm Canada v Australia
  Sunday 29 December 10:00 am Czech Republic v Spain
    5:30 pm Poland v Canada
  Monday 30 December 10:00 am USA v Spain
    5:30 pm France v Czech Republic
  Tuesday 31 December 10:00 am Italy v Australia
  Wednesday 1 January 5:30 pm USA v France
  Thursday 2 January 10:00 am Italy v Canada
    5:30 pm Poland v Australia
  Friday 3 January 10:00 am France v Spain
    5:30 pm Czech Republic v USA
  Saturday 4 January 5:30 pm Winner Group A v Winner Group B

 

 

Poland                                [15] Jerzy Janowicz and [4] Agnieszka Radwanska

USA                                     [13] John Isner and [12] Sloane Stephens

France                                [9] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and [27] Alize Cornet

Canada                               [11] Milos Raonic and [35] Eugenie Bouchard

Czech Republic                [39] Radek Stepanek and [7] Petra Kvitova

Italy                                     [22] Andreas Seppi and [31] Flavia Pennetta

Australia                             [51] Bernard Tomic and [20] Sam Stosur

Spain                                   [19] Tommy Robredo and [98] Anabel Medina Garrigues

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Top Seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Ease into Wimbledon Round of 16

Novak Djokovic3

(June 29, 2013) Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams showed their dominance on the Centre Court of Wimbledon on Saturday, each with straight set victories to advance to the round of 16.

Williams won 600th career match by demolishing 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2, 6-0 under the lights of the closed roof of Centre Court.  Williams has become the 15th WTA player 600 career tour match wins. Date-Krumm is the oldest woman to make the third round of The Championships.

Williams was utterly dominant against her Japanese opponent hitting 28 winners. Williams hit 8 aces and broke serve 5 times.

“I honestly never thought I would play until my 30s, to be honest,” said the 31-year-old Williams.  “I don’t see my stopping any time soon.

“However, I don’t see myself playing into my 40s.  That’s why I have so much respect for Kimiko Date.  She’s playing so well and she’s so fit and she’s so good.”

SWilliams will play 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday.  Lisicki defeated 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, the 14th seed 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic blew his opponent off court, beating Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“It was a fantastic match,” said the world No. 1.  “I felt great from the start till the end.  I had that super focus, you know, and tried to, you know, be out there every point and not allow him to come back to the match or to have any chance.

“I saw the stats that I won 100% of first serves and I served over 80% of serves in in the whole match.  That was incredible for me.  I enjoyed every moment of it, especially at the end.  I managed to read his serve.  Everything went well.  So when you play that well, obviously you feel great, you feel confident.

“This kind of performance came in the right time for me.”

Djokovic was almost perfect as he committed only three unforced errors, winning 93% of first serve points.

Djokovic will play Tommy Haas in the fourth. The 35-year-old 13th seed Haas stopped Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

“I’m looking at my next opponent, that I’m playing Djokovic again, which I’m really looking forward to,” Haas said.

No. 4 David Ferrer survived a five-set clash with Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (6), 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 6 seed Li Na escaped Klara Zakopalova 4-6, 6-0, 8-6.  Zakopalova actually served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, only to see Li win the next three games.

“Is pretty tough match,” said Li.  “I mean, she has to serve for the match.

“But I was really happy I didn’t give up.  Still hang in there, yeah.  Fight like crazy, but still at least I will be in the second week of Wimbledon”

Bernard Tomic who made history back in 2011 by becoming the youngest quarterfinalist  at 18 since Boris Becker in 1985 defeated 9th seed Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the third round.

Tomic’s father and coach John is prohibited from attending The Championships and other tennis tournaments. John Tomic is accused of assaulting his son’s practice partner during the Madrid Open.

Despite his father’s absence from being courtside, Tomic is still getting advice from his father.

“When I leave the site, I’m with my dad.  He’s helping me at this tournament.  We’re doing the right things.

“This is why the results are showing off now.  I’m not doing it on my own.  My dad is still involved.  That’s why I’ve gotten to where I am in this tournament and the results have shown.”

Tomic will face Tomas Berdych in the round of 16. The former Wimbledon finalist defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

No. 8 seed Juan Martin Del Potro survived a fall on the court to beat Grega Zemlja 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-0.

“I was going for the dropshot and I twist my ankle,” Del Potro said describing his fall.  “I did like hyperextended my knee, as well.  It was really painful.  I was a little scared at that moment.

“I finish the match very quick.  Now I start to feel something in my knee and my ankle, as well.  I will check with the doctor very soon.”

Del Potro will take on Andreas Seppi who defeated 12th seeded Kei Nishikori 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4.

 

No. 4 seed and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska, withstood  the challenge from promising American teenager Madison Keys to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Keys fired 15 aces in the loss. “I was kind of impressed with my serving today,” Keys said with a smile.

“I think (the momentum changed) in the third set when she broke me, that really just kind of, you know, changed the momentum up a little bit,” Keys commented.

“She was really playing great tennis,” Radwanska said.  “Especially she was serving unbelievable.  Even when I have some breakpoints and couple times couldn’t do anything.”

2011 champion Petra Kvitova came back from a break down in the final set to stop Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in a resumption of a match halted by darkness on Friday with Makarova up 2-1 in the third set.

“It was another day for me,” Kvitova said.  “Yesterday when we start to play was quite close every game, and we were keeping our serves with 3‑All.  Then after suspended, I play so well, I came back to the court.  I was really on fire.”

“I should go for every point and play my game, Kvitova said.  “So I played quite aggressively.  That was the key.”

Laura Robson made the home folks happy for the second day in a row when the Briton came back from a set and a break down to erase Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. Robson broke Erakovic’s serve as the New Zealander was serving for the match in the second set.

A controversial call came in the second set when Robson challenged a call which was called out and overturned. The point was replayed and Erakovic double faulted to give Robson the set 7-5.

Robson explained the turnaround to press: “In the beginning she was just playing really, really well.  And, you know, her serve was firing, so I wasn’t getting a chance on her service games.

“Then, you know, wasn’t quite, uhm, hitting the ball well enough in my service games as well.  So she was just on top of things.

Y”eah, that’s the way it goes sometimes.  But you just have to hang in and wait for them to start making a few errors.”

With the win Robson becomes the first British woman since 1991 to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon. She will also be the first woman to reach the WTA top 30 since 1987.

“It’s now my second time in the second week of a Slam, so that’s pretty cool. Except at the U.S. Open, I played on the Sunday, so it didn’t quite feel like a `second week,’” Robson said to media, “and my brother said it didn’t count.”

Sloane Stephens the 17th seed completed a darkness-delayed match by stopping 196th ranked qualifier Petra Cetkovska 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-4.

It’s been good fortnight for the over-30 set at Wimbledon. Nine players 30-and-over have reached the round of 16 at 2013 Wimbledon -Tommy Haas, Jurgen Melzer, David Ferrer, Lukasz Kubot,  Mikhail Youzhny, Serena Williams, Li Na, Flavia Pennetta, and Roberta Vinci. It’s a record for the most combined 30-somethings into the fourth round at Wimbledon in the Open Era, equaling the feat also done in1975.

On Monday both the men and women will play in the round of 16, here are the match-ups:

Men

Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Haas

Bernard Tomic vs. Tomas Berdych

David Ferrer vs. Ivan Dodig

Andreas Seppi  vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

Lukasz Kubot vs. Adrin Mannarino

Fernando Verdasco vs. Kenny De Schepper

Mikhail Youzhny vs. Andy Murray

 

Women

Serena Williams vs. Sabine Lisicki

Laura Robson vs. Kaia Kanepi

Agnieszka Radwanska vs.  Tsvetana Pironkova

Roberta Vinci vs Li Na

Sloane Stephens vs. Monica Puig

Marion Bartoli vs. Karin Knapp

Petra Kvitova vs. Carla Suarez Navarro

Kirsten Filpkens vs. Flavia Pennetta

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Fila at Wimbledon

 

(June 2103) Fila sponsored athletes on the WTA Tour will debut Collezione and wear the Sentinel, Fila’s new performance tennis shoe on-court at The Championships, Wimbledon. Fila’s Collezione pays honor to the elegant sophistication of grass court tennis with beautiful detailing and accents.

 

Fila’s design team was inspired by the 1920’s in this classically styled collection with an updated twist and a white and charcoal color palette. The Collezione pleated racerback tank features illusion mesh around the neck and side seam trim. The back of the top features a subtle single ruffle and mini pleats down the back for a flirty and fun twist on a classic racerback top. The mini pleats are tacked down with seaming across the back. Collezione includes a sleeveless tank with overlay binding, a racerback tank and cap sleeve v-neck top with ruching on the back. There are two different skort styles in the collection, a pleated skort and a flirty skort. The Collezione pleated skort was designed with mini-pleats, which is a new take on the traditional pleated skirt. Combining fashion and function, a contrast binding overlay secures the mini-pleats flat around the hips. The flirty skort is a drop waist a-line silhouette with two lines of contrast taping on the hem and an inch above the hem.

 

The Collezione white pleated dress which features an athletic cut racerback top with thin straps and back keyhole cutout with ruching detail. This drop waist dress has mini-pleats on the skirt. The Collezione ribbon dress has an a-line silhouette with empire waist, scoop neck and full coverage back. The pleated detailing continues with knife pleats above the empire waist. The design team added contrast taping similar to the flirty skort at the bottom hem, at the neckline and arms.

 

To complement the on-court look, Fila’s design team added a long sleeve white and charcoal heather cable sweater to the collection. A hooded jacket, available in white or charcoal heater, has an inverted pleat that opens up to the contrast color. The jacket has ruching at the pockets and the seam of the raglan sleeve and contrast taping on either side of the zipper. Collezione is available on fila.com & tennis specialty retailers nationwide at an MSRP from $65 – $90.

Apparel worn by Julia Goerges:

Julia Georges Collezione Pleated Back tank $75

Collezione Pleated Back tank $75

Julia G Collezione Skort $70

Collezione Skort $70

JG Collezione Sweater $85

Collezione Sweater $85

JG Collezione Hooded Jacket $90

Collezione Hooded Jacket $90

Worn by Jelena Jankovic:

JJ Collezione White Pleated Dress $90

Collezione White Pleated Dress $90

JG Collezione Hooded Jacket $90

Collezione Hooded Jacket $90

Worn by Nadia Petrova:

NP Collezione Sleeveless tank $60Collezione Sleeveless tank $60

NP Essenza Long skort $50

Essenza Long skort $50

 

Fila Sentinel tennis shoe

 

Fila Sentinel tennis shoe

Fila Sentinel:  Performance Tennis Footwear

The Sentinel tennis shoe was designed in a modern silhouette with comfort, durability and traction in mind and engineered to endure the rigors professional match play.  From tennis professionals, to top juniors, and retailers, the response has been overwhelming about the performance and comfort of the Sentinel. Fila’s design team took extra care to ensure the Sentinel had the right combination of cushioning and stability to meet the needs of tennis players of all levels. The glove-like fit of the Sentinel lets the wearer focus on the game, and not his or her feet. The modified herringbone outsole provides traction on a variety of surfaces. Fila extended a 6 month guarantee on the Sentinel’s Evergrind™ outsole.   Available in four color combinations for men and three for women, the Sentinel is available on fila.com & tennis specialty retailers nationwide at an MSRP of $100.

 

Features

Upper:

-          The Sentinel features added mesh for better breathability

-          Memory foam lined heel collar provides form-fitting comfort

-          Tongue includes an internal support elasticated strap, which holds it in place

Midsole:

-          Super Action midsole material features enhanced cushioning and durability

-          The Sentinel includes a Blown Polyurethane molded sock-liner for lightweight comfort while maximizing cushioning. This material was selected for its long lasting stability

-          Fila added welded TPR  toe protection for high durability in wear zones

Outsole:

-          Full-length Evergrind™ outsole  features a modified herringbone pattern for durability and traction and flex grooves for added comfort

-          6 month guarantee on Evergrind™ outsole

-          The TPU shank provides midfoot support

-          Designed with additional support & durability on the medial side of the shoe

Weight:

-          Men’s size 10.5 – 14.6 ounces

-          Women’s size 8.5 – 12.3 ounces

 

 

Colors:

Men

-          Black/ white/ metallic silver

-          Black/black/ neon green

-          White/peacoat/ red

-          White/ prince blue/ monument

Women

-          White/white/ metallic silver

-          White/ Hawaiian ocean/ black

-          White/ highrise/ shocking pink/ black

 

Mark Eggert – Vice President Footwear Design & Advanced Concepts

“We started designing the Sentinel with a completely blank slate and built it from the ground up.  The Sentinel is designed on a new last to ensure proper fit.  Underfoot, the all-new midsole and outsole is made to provide great traction, giving the player flexibility, structure and great cushioning, while maintaining a great feel for the court without adding too much weight.  The upper is designed to take advantage of the new last, for a great fit and excellent durability.”

 

Gary Wakley – Vice President Footwear

“The Sentinel was designed to create a shoe that could truly be the anchor for Fila in the tennis category and the base to grow our tennis footwear business.  We drew upon our rich tennis heritage and utilized the expertise from our Advanced Concepts Team to develop a shoe that has great style, but most importantly performs well on any court.”

 

Andreas Seppi

“I have been wearing the Sentinel since late last year and I really like the shoe because they are light, extremely durable and very comfortable on-court. The Sentinel is now my favorite Fila shoe that I have worn in all the years we have been together on tour!”

 

Janko Tipsarevic

“Tennis shoes are very important to professional players. It is important that the shoe is lightweight so we can be quick on our feet, yet stable so we do not slip or slide on court. The Sentinel feels low to the ground without sacrificing comfort and cushioning.  The traction is excellent and the shoe is very durable for the hours that I put in on the tennis court.  All in all, this is my favorite Fila tennis shoe in recent years.”

 

Julia Goerges

“The Sentinel is very light, but at the same time, the shoe is very stable which is important for your ankles! It is so comfortable wearing these shoes!”

 

Dmitry Tursunov

“I have been wearing this shoe during the clay court season and it’s an extremely lightweight shoe but this benefit does not come at the cost of comfort. The Sentinel is very stable and gives good feedback. It’s one of the best shoes Fila introduced in recent years.”

Marina Erakovic

“The Sentinel is very lightweight, supportive and has great cushioning, but my favorite thing about the Sentinel is the secure fit on my feet. I don’t think about slipping or rolling because the Sentinel is so stable on my feet.”

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Tomic Keeps Australia in Hunt for Hopman Cup

tomic

(January 3, 2012) Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty secured a 2-1 victory over Hopman Cup No.3 seeds Italy on Thursday night, keeping themselves in contention for a finals berth at the ITF’s official mixed teams competition.

Tomic began with a 6-3 7-5 win over Andreas Seppi.  He’s now a perfect 3-0 in singles play also upsetting Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas.

“It was very difficult to bounce back and focus on tonight’s match but I think I did it extremely well and woke up and did everything on time,” said Tomic after the match. “I feel like I played a very good match today. I’m improving and I couldn’t be more satisfied from the last three matches I’ve won here.

“The confidence I’ve got from this week is going to allow myself a big chance in Sydney and if I keep everything up, I can do well there as well as the summer in Melbourne.”

Australian teenager Barty claimed the biggest win of her career with a 6-0 6-3 demolition of 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in Thursday night’s second rubber.

“It’s amazing coming to Perth and I’ve been given this opportunity to play for Australia and it’s been unbelievable,” said Barty post-match. “I’ve had a great week with Bernie (Tomic), I’m happy I can contribute and get a win.

“Coming out here and paying in front of this many people is unbelievable. Last night was so much fun and to play as well as I did is just amazing.”

Barty’s win gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead over Italy heading into the mixed doubles rubber which was won by the Italians 2-6 6-4 [10-3].

Earlier in the day Spain was handed a walkover by the USA after John Isner withdrew from the tie with a right knee injury.

In the singles Fernando Verdasco defeated Isner’s replacement, 16-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(4) 6-3 before Venus Williams beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-4.

In the mixed, the Spanish duo were clearly too good for Kokkinakis and Williams who met for the first time just minutes before playing. The experienced Spaniards, who had won both of their previous mixed doubles matches this week, completed a hat trick of mixed wins, 6-1 6-3, over the scratch USA pairing.

The victory secured Spain’s place in Saturday’s final with Serbia and Australia both in contention for the second finals berth depending on the outcome of Serbia’s match against Germany on Friday night.

Should Germany upset top seed Serbia, Australia would reach the final.

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Wozniacki and Seppi Claim Moscow Titles

(October 20, 2012) Caroline Wozniacki won her 20th career title Sunday, while Andreas Seppi won his third in Moscow on Sunday.

No. 11 Wozniacki defeated Samantha Stosur 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 while Seppi  rallied past Thomaz Bellucci 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3  for the Kremlin Cup.

“I think both of us played very good tennis out there,” Wozniacki said after coming back from a break down in the final set.

“At the right times I managed to win the right points. I tried to stay aggressive and stay close to the line and just dictate. But she played well and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

“Sam has been playing well and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and it could have gone either way at the end, but I think at the right times I played the right shots. There were a lot of key moments, but they just went my way.”

“Even though I lost, making a final is still a good achievement, “Stosur said.” It’s disappointing not to walk away with a title this year, having done so the last couple of years, but I made it to two finals and had a lot of other good opportunities, so it’s still a good year, and I’ll use it to motivate myself in 2013.”

Seppi came back to win down a set and a break against the hard-serving Bellucci, despite the Brazilian hitting 13 aces against the Italian.

“It was tough today to come back from a set and a break down, said Seppi. “He was serving very well at the beginning. I kept trying and that put some pressure on him. He could not close it out when he served for the match twice and that gave me confidence. I started to play more relaxed and more aggressive.”

Bellucci served for the match twice in the second set at 5-4 and 6-5 but failed to close the match.

“I just did not play at the same level as I was before when I served for the match,” Bellucci. “Maybe I got too nervous. It was still a good effort from me this week, my first indoor final. It was a good match and he played well.”

“It is very special to win this title as I remember Yevgeny (Kafelnikov) winning so many times here and he was my idol growing up, Said Seppi.”I saw him a few times this week but I was too shy to ask him anything. It has been a great season for me. Winning titles is so special. Now I have won on all surfaces and that means a lot.”

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Tsonga Defends Metz Crown

Top seed and seventh ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France demolished Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-2 in 50 minutes on Sunday to defend his Moselle Open title at Metz, France.

“I had a complete match with no gaps, as opposed to yesterday, “Tsonga said. “Of course, it’s a lot easier when I can make a difference in two or three shots. If I had to define this week, I would simply say it was a perfect one.

“This is the first time I have been able to defend a title. So it’s even more special that it’s here at the Moselle Open, where I am the ambassador.”

“I want to congratulate Jo because he played too well today,” Seppi said..” His serve was impressive and there’s very little I could do. Unfortunately, this is the way it goes sometime indoors, matches go by really fast without being able to do anything. It was a great week for me and overall I am happy to have reached the final here.”

It was Tsonga’s second tournament victory in 2012, ninth career ATP title. He also won the Qatar Open in January.

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Gasquet Stuns Murray in Rome

Andy Murray

By Enrico Maria Riva

ROME – Matches usually tell two different stories: Andy Murray versus Richard Gasquet was no exception on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. While the Frenchman managed a great victory 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-2, helping him to gear up for the French Open, the Scot showed that he is still struggling on clay. Without coach Ivan Lendl anywhere in sight, Murray played a very confusing match, failing to hold his serve easily most of the time, and spending huge amount of energy battling Gasquet from the baseline.

 

Murray has an excuse, as his back seemed to bother him throughout the match an issue which he admits he has been dealing with since December, but most of all he has to blame himself for the attitude towards the whole match. He reportedly shouted “I hate this game, I hate it!” on one of the too many occasions where he had to deal with repeatedly having to save break points. Murray never found his inner peace during the match, failed to close the first set while up a break at 5-3. Somehow he won the tiebreak but didn’t manage to bring the momentum to his side and let Gasquet dictate the game.

 

Gasquet has been playing very well lately, reaching the final in Estoril and now this Murray victory confirms his progress. The fact that coach Riccardo Piatti is now traveling with him 100%, after Ivan Ljubicic’s retirement, it has given Gasquet more confidence and more stability. Friday he will have to play at his best considering that David Ferrer is in great shape. The early start at Noon doesn’t help either as Gasquet didn’t fail to mention his anger about the scheduling during his news conference”.

 

Big emotions in Rome with Italy’s Andreas Seppi who managed to win another epic match, this time against Stanislas Wawrinka, saving six match points and closing  the match 6-7(1), 7-6(6), 7-6(6) after three hours and 20 minutes. The Italian will now face Roger Federer who took out Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

 

Another surprise was avoided on Thursday when Novak Djokovic managed to come back from a set down against Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Argentinian showed that he has fully recovered from the Monte Carlo injury and he will be a serious threat in the Roland Garros. Rafael Nadal had no problem whatsoever in dismissing Marcel Granollers with a double 6-1 and David Ferrer prevented Gilles Simon from winning his first set ever on clay against him when he secured the second set tiebreak (6-0, 7-6). Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 7-6, 6-3. There was an incident during a match at the Australian Open where the Spaniard involuntarily hit the Czech while volleying at the net. Yet the funniest episode involved the man who watered the court at the end of the set and an unlucky linesman who was soaked during the process.

In the night session Juan Martin Del Potro didn’t put much effort in the match he lost 6-4, 6-1 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after having been up a break in the first set. Del Potro appeared to be dealing with knee pain.  The Argentinian didn’t appreciate the humidity and the match went quickly. Roger Federer struggled a bit to get rid of Juan Carlos Ferrrero but eventually won 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

 

In the women’s draw Petra Kvitova needed three sets to beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 although she looked relaxed during the vastly deserted news conference. Venus Williams made a giant leap towards the Olympics with her win against Stosur 6-4, 6-3 and Serena Williams secured a big match against Flavia Pennetta disposing of Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-1. The Italian is the last local woman remaining thanks to her stunning performance against Petra Cetkovska 6-0, 6-1. Roland Garros champion Na Li won against Chanelle Scheepers 7-6, 6-2 and will face Dominika Cibulkova who received a walkover on Wednesday  when Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the tournament with a  shoulder injury. A solid win for Maria Sharapova who trailed early during the match against Ana Ivanovic, saving set points yet still managed to prevail 7-6, 6-3.

 

Enrico Maria Riva is in Rome covering the Internazionali BNL D’Italia for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @EnricoMariaRiva.

Enrico Maria Riva is the tennis columnist for the Italian online newspaper Il Post and also writes for the Matchpoint magazine and for the websites Spaziotennis.com and Thetennisspace.com.

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Seppi Wins Serbia Open

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Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters/Fotoglif

Italy’s Andreas Seppi won the second title of his career eliminating France’s Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2 for the Serbia Open.

“I think my play was really solid this week,” noted Seppi. “Maybe yesterday, the first set was under my expectations, but the rest was very good, so I can be very happy about this victory.

“My goal is to be back into the Top 30. My highest ranking is 27. At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to try and get back there. I’m a little closer now. I’ll just try to do it match by match and see if I can manage it by the end of the year.”

 

As for the losing finalist, Paire had a career week. The Frenchman reached his first ATP World Tour final, defeating seeds Fabio Fognini and Jarkko Nieminen along the way.

“I was stressed and tired today,” said Paire. “It’s disappointing that I couldn’t win any easy games with my serve after leading 3-1 in the first set. My first serve percentage was very low and that’s why he was able to attack all the time. I only had hard matches against tough players this week. I’m not used to playing so many hard matches against great players in a row. It was a great week for me but of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t do better in my first final. I have my birthday in two days and this would have been the perfect gift.”

Paire will move into the 60’s when the rankings come out on Monday.  “I’m looking forward to the coming weeks,” Said the Frenchman. I have no points to defend in the next three months and that makes it very interesting. I saw this week that I can beat great players and I hope that I can continue like this.”

The Serbia Open is run by the Djokovic family. Noak Djokovic pulled out of the tournament due to the death of his grandfather.

RESULTS – SUNDAY, 6 MAY, 2012

Singles – Final
[2] A Seppi (ITA) d B Paire (FRA) 63 62

Doubles – Final
[3] J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) d M Emmrich (GER) / A Siljestrom (SWE) 46 62 10-6

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