2014/10/23

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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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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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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