May 28, 2016

Murray and Wawrinka Reach French Open Fourth Round in Straight Sets

(May 27, 2016) Andy Murray did not need five sets to win on Friday at the French Open as he did in his first two matches. The No. 2 seed after playing five-set marathons in his first two rounds, beat big-serving Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) Friday. Murray will play American John Isner for a place in the final eight. The 15th seed Isner beat 79th-ranked Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6(7), 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The biggest news came off the court at Roland Garros, when nine-time champion Rafael Nadal held a news conference to withdraw from the tournament with a left wrist injury.

Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the round of 16.

No. 6 ranked Kei Nishikori needed five sets to survive Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4. Nishikori will play Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet straight-setted Nick Kyrgios.

 

No. 8 seed Milos Raonic overcame and painful hip to beat No. 133 ranked lucky loser Andrej Martin 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3.

 

No. 23-seeded Jack Sock fell 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to No. 55 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a 4 hour, 11-minute marathon.

 

In women’s action, the last woman to reach the main draw by ranking cutoff, No. 108 Shelby Rogers upset No. 10 seed and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0 to make the fourth round. For Rogers reaching the round of 16 is her best results at a major.

 

Seeds Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Samantha Stosur all advanced. Halep had to rally to beat the 101st-ranked Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Last year’s finalist is out. Lucie Safarova lost to former French Open finalist Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-7 (0), 7-5.

 

No. 19 seed Sloane Stephens was dismissed by Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1.

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Andy Murray Survives in Five to Reach French Open Third Round

 

Murray fh

 

(May 25, 2016) It was déjà vu all over again for No. 2 Andy Murray surviving another five-set match to win 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in three hours and 34 minutes over Mathias Bourgue on Wednesday to reach the third round of Roland Garros.  The wild card Frenchman Bourgue, playing just his second tour-level match of his career, actually requested a can of coke and a Mars candy bar on center court – Court Philippe Chatrier to gain some energy. He did get the drink but received a Twix bar instead.
Murray said that he lost his way during the match, said that he needs to go and rest having been on the court for more than seven hours in his two matches over 10 sets.

On Tuesday he completed a match suspended by darkness against 37-year-old qualifier Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

The 22-year-old Frenchman had tremendous support on court. “Thanks to all the crowd for encouraging me the whole match,” Bourgue said after the match. “It was really an emotional moment for me, and I will never forget it.”

Murray’s next opponent will be playing another 37-year-old – the big-serving No. 27 Ivo Karlovic, who hit 41 aces to beat wild card Jordan Thompson 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 12-10 Karlovic is now the oldest man to reach the third round of a major since Jimmy Connors did it at the 1991 U.S. Open. Murray has a perfect 6-0 record against the Croatian.

“Physically, the average rally length will only be a few shots – maybe three, four shots max. So that’s a positive there,” Murray said to media. “At least I get a day’s rest now. But you can’t continue playing matches like that and then expect to win the tournament.”

On both the men’s and women’s side of the tournament almost all of the seeds advanced, the lone exceptions – on the women’s side was 27th seed Ekaterina Makarova and on the men’s side 29th seed Lucas Pouille.

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Roland Garros – Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Dominate in Opening Wins; Murray Survives in Five

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2016) Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had easy opening victories at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion going for her fourth Paris title destroyed No. 77 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-0 in 42 minutes. The 21-time major champion hit 25 winners and made only five unforced errrors.

Sister Venus also advanced in straight sets. The ninth seed defeated No. 82 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

Djokovic is seeking to win his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. The Serb defeated No. 95 Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Also reaching the second round easily was nine-time champion Rafael Nadal who blasted past Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 seed completed his first round match which was held over due to darkness, surviving qualifier and former Top 10 player 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

“It’s unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He had an extremely bad injury last year and was our for eight or nine months. At 37 years old and coming out and fighting like that, playing that way, is unbelievable. I don’t expect to be doing that myself at that age! I’m just glad I managed to get through.”
Australian Open champion and third seed Angelique Kerber was the biggest upset on the day. The German suffering from a left shoulder injury lost to No. 58 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Bertens is fresh off winning a title over the weekend in Nürnberg, where she was a qualifier.

Another major surprise on the women’s side saw No. 5 Victoria Azarenka lose to No. 118-ranked Karin Knapp when she was forced to retire with a knee injury down 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.

2010 French Open champion, unseeded Francesca Schiavone lost to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4. It was announced on court that Schiavone was retiring, but she set the record straight during her news conference.

“Roland Garros announced my retirement but I didn’t.”

“So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that. I will announce when I will want to stop.”

 

More to follow…

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Defending Roland Garros Champion Stan Wawrinka Survives Five-Set Test from Lukas Rosol

Wawrinka in press

(May 23, 2016) Stan Wawrinka avoided being the first defending Roland Garros champion to lose in the first round on Monday, surviving Czech Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Back in 2012, Rosol shocked Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon.

“He kept me under pressure permanently, said the No. 3 of his opponent’s game. “I kept running after the score. You can’t really relax.”

No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori completed his rain postponed match over Simone Bolelli in straight sets for his 50th match-win at t a major, while 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, seeded 10th lost 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.

In a match postponed until Tuesday due to darkness No. 2 seed Andy Murray, dropped the first two sets to Radek Stepanek, and was in the process of coming back when the match was called. The 37-year-old qualifier led the two-time major champion 6-3, 6-3, 0-6, 2-4.

Last year’s Wimbledon finalist escaped an upset as Garbine Muguruza, the fourth seed pushed past Anna Karoline Schmiedlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

There were a few upsets on the women’s side as seventh seed and former French Open finalist Roberta Vinci was routed by Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 6-3. Other seeds which lost on Monday included 16th seed Roberta Vinci, 17th seed Karolina Pliskova and 32nd seed Jelena Ostapenko.

 

Roland Garros
Day 3 Order of play
May 24, 2016

Philippe-Chatrier Court
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Angelique Kerber (GER) [3]
vs.Kiki Bertens (NED)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Radek Stepanek (CZE)
vs Andy Murray (GBR) [2]
To Finish 6-3 6-3 0-6 2-4
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1]
vs.Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
vs.Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [6]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Serena Williams (USA) [1]
vs.Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
Suzanne-Lenglen Court
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) [26]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Rafael Nadal (ESP) [4]
vs.Sam Groth (AUS)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Oceane Dodin (FRA)
vs.Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [14]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
David Ferrer (ESP) [11]
vs. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)
Court 1
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Lucas Pouille (FRA) [29]
vsJulien Benneteau (FRA)
To Finish 6-3 4-6 6-4
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Venus Williams (USA) [9]
vs.Anett Kontaveit (EST)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Karin Knapp (ITA)
vs.  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [5]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
David Goffin (BEL) [12]
vs.Gregoire Barrere (FRA)
Court 2
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Alize Cornet (FRA)
vs. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Inigo Cervantes (ESP)
vs. Dominic Thiem (AUT) [13]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
vs. Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Andrea Petkovic (GER) [28]
vs. Laura Robson (GBR)
Court 3
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Bernard Tomic (AUS) [20]
vs.Brian Baker (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
John Isner (USA) [15]
vs. John Millman (AUS)
To Finish 6-7(4) 7-6(12)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Ipek Soylu (TUR)
vs.Virginie Razzano (FRA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
vs. Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Monica Niculescu (ROU) [31]
vs.Pauline Parmentier (FRA)
Court 4
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Tatjana Maria (GER)
vs. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) [23]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Pablo Cuevas (URU) [25]
vs.Tobias Kamke (GER)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Marcel Granollers (ESP)
vs.Fabio Fognini (ITA) [32]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Elina Svitolina (UKR) [18]
vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
Court 5
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Samantha Crawford (USA)
vs.Timea Babos (HUN)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
vs.Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) [8]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Joao Sousa (POR) [26]
vs.Damir Dzumhur (BIH)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
vs.Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Court 6
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [12]
vs.Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Hyeon Chung (KOR)
vs.Quentin Halys (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Donna Vekic (CRO)
vs.Madison Keys (USA) [15]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Kevin Anderson (RSA) [18]
vs.Stephane Robert (FRA)
Court 8
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Saisai Zheng (CHN)
vs.Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [22]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)
vs.Feliciano Lopez (ESP) [21]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
vs.Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) [14]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Monica Puig (PUR)
vs.Olga Govortsova (BLR)
Court 10
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Borna Coric (CRO)
vs.Taylor Fritz (USA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Louisa Chirico (USA)
vs.Lauren Davis (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Rajeev Ram (USA)
vs.Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
vs.Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)
Court 13
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)
vs.Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Thiemo De Bakker (NED)
vs.Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Kurumi Nara (JPN)
vs.Denisa Allertova (CZE)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Irina Falconi (USA)
vs.Mona Barthel (GER)
Court 14
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Gerald Melzer (AUT)
vs.Aljaz Bedene (GBR)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Alize Lim (FRA)
vs.Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
vs.Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [24]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Johanna Konta (GBR) [20]
vs.Julia Goerges (GER)
Court 15
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Malek Jaziri (TUN)
vs.Florian Mayer (GER)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) [27]
vsVarvara Lepchenko (USA)
To Finish 5-7 6-4 4-1
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER)
vs.Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [29]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)
vs.Sachia Vickery (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Denis Istomin (UZB)
vs.Juan Monaco (ARG)
Court 16
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Laura Siegemund (GER)
vs.Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Marsel Ilhan (TUR)
vs.Steve Darcis (BEL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Gilles Muller (LUX)
vs.Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Taylor Townsend (USA)
vs.Amandine Hesse (FRA)
Court 17
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Qiang Wang (CHN)
vs.Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Samantha Stosur (AUS) [21]
vsMisaki Doi (JPN)
To Finish 6-2 1-3
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Facundo Bagnis (ARG)
vs.Kenny De Schepper (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Daria Gavrilova (AUS)
vs.Mariana Duque-Marino (COL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Alexander Zverev (GER)
vs.Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA)
Court 18
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Arina Rodionova (AUS)
vs.Ana Konjuh (CRO)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Shuai Zhang (CHN)
vs Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)
To Finish 5-5
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
vs.Federico Delbonis (ARG) [31]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Andreas Seppi (ITA)
vs.Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Teliana Pereira (BRA)
vs.Kristyna Pliskova (CZE)

T.B.A 1
6:00 PM
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Chris Guccione (AUS)
Andre Sa (BRA)
vs.Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) [13]
Robert Farah (COL) [13]
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Wesley Koolhof (NED)
Matwe Middelkoop (NED)
vs.Tristan Lamasine (FRA)
Albano Olivetti (FRA)
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Mate Pavic (CRO)
Michael Venus (NZL)
vs. Eric Butorac (USA)
Scott Lipsky (USA)

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Novak Djokovic Could Face Rafael Nadal in the Semifinals of Roland Garros

 

(May 20, 2016) The French Open men’s and women’s singles draws were made in Paris on Friday and No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed, nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal could be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. Nadal moved into the No. 4 seed position when No. 3 Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Djokovic comes into Roland Garros seeking the only major tournament he has not won. He’s looking to become the eight man to have a “career slam,” winning each of the four major title at least once. Should the Serb win the French Open, he would hold all four major championships at the same time.

Djokovic has lost in the final of the French Open three out of the past four years. He will begin his quest for the Roland Garros crown against No. 100 in the world Lu Yen-hsun in, while Nadal will play big serving Australian, Sam Groth.

On the other side of the men’s draw, a pair of two-time major champions could meet in the other semifinal – No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Murray will play a qualifier in the first round, while Wawrinka will face-off against

The top seed in the women’s draw, Serena Williams is going after her 22nd career major, which would tie her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list, the most in the Open Era. She’s coming off her first tournament win in nine months, winning the Italian Open trophy last weekend on the clay courts of Rome.

A hurdle for the American could come in the quarterfinals, where she is projected to meet No. 5 seed and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. Williams may also have play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round and reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the final four. Williams lost to the German in the Melbourne final.

Williams will open against No. 76 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Williams is the defending champion and is going after her fourth Roland Garros trophy.

In the bottom half of the women’s draw, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska could play fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

Play begins on Sunday, May 22.

Men’s draw

Women’s draw

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Andy Murray Gives Himself a Birthday Present While Serena Williams Wins Fourth Rome Title

Andy Murray fh

(May 15, 2016) Andy Murray gave himself a gift for his 29th birthday – a Rome Masters Series 1000 title. The Scotsman beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 for his 12 Masters title on Sunday.

Joining Murray in the winners circle was No. 1 Serena Williams who won the women’s singles title over Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first All-American women’s clay court final since Serena beat her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open final.

This was Williams’ fourth Rome title, first tournament win of 2016 and first championship title since she won the Cincinnati event last August.

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

“It feels great,” Williams said. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”

Murray’s victory makes him the first British male player since 1931 to win the Italian Open. He has also secured the No. 2 seed at the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 22.

The Scotsman now is 22-5 in 2016, ending the Serb’s 17-match winning streak against Top 10 opponents.
“”It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” Djokovic said. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Serena Williams spoke to the crowd in Italian during the trophy presentation. This was her 70th career title.

The Bryan Brothers won their fourth Rome title and 36th Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

“We’re sharing a room this week,,” said Bob Bryan. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore.”

“The rain delay definitely helped us,” Mike Bryan said. “Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way.”

This was the Bryan Brothers 112 tournament victory together as a team.

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Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Djokovic, Nadal Rally for Wins in Rome; Federer Loses

Novak Djokovic

(May 12, 2016) Novak Djokovic had to rally from a bagel set down to stop No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 while an ailing Roger Federer lost to 15th seed Dominc Thiem 7-6 (2), 6-4 in Rome on Thursday.

For No. 1 Djokovic, it was the first time he was at the losing end of a “bagel” set since the 2012 Cincinnati final when he lost to Federer.

The third seeded Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open last week with a back injury said that wasn’t concerned about losing, but was happy to get to get in two matches on clay at the Italian Open. The French open begins on May 22nd and the Swiss said that despite the pain from the injury he hopes to be able to play the year’s second major.

Seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal fought off Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals and second seed Andy Murray held off a second set charge to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4.

Besides Federer losing, a couple other upsets on the men’s side included 12th seed David Goffin, destroying 8th seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes, defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and lucky loser Lucas Pouille knocked out ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

On the ladies’ side of the tournament, Serena Williams rebounded from 3-5 down in the first set best U.S. countrywoman qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (7), 6-1.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 12, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] C. McHale (USA) 76(7) 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 61 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 75 62
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 26 63
I. Begu (ROU) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 61 64
M. Doi (JPN) d J. Konta (GBR) 46 75 62
M. Keys (USA) d T. Babos (HUN) 76(2) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 61 60

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 63 64
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA) 63 62
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) 64 61
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(4) 16 10-7
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 26 76(1) 10-8
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 64 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 06 63 62
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 76(2) 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(5) 63 64
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 67(3) 62 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d [8] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 60
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 36 76(3) 14-12
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 16 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid for Record 29th Masters Title

 

(May 8, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his second Madrid Open title on Sunday beating Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for a record 29th Masters title and 64th career ATP World Tour title. The world No. 1 is now tied with Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg for sixth place for titles won in the Open Era.

This win raises the Serb’s record against the Brit to 23-9, victorious in 12 of the last 13 matches.

“This came at the right time,” Djokovic said. “I had an amazing opening four months of the season. Then an early exit in Monte-Carlo, but it happened for a reason, because I needed some time to really recharge my batteries. Three weeks was more than enough to get some freshness and new breath and get ready for Madrid. I came here early, got used to the conditions, and played a really fantastic tournament that will definitely serve as a great confidence boost before Rome and the French Open.”

“I started very well,” Djokovic explained. “Played terrific tennis in the first set. Couple of close games in the second, beginning of the second set, and then I made some unforced errors and double faults in the game when I dropped my serve in the second set. I couldn’t get back.

“He started serving very well, especially down the T and deuce side. Very precise and very strong, and he was backing that serve up with aggressive first shots, and then just about an hour it was split sets.

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third. Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

“I obviously fought hard today,” Murray said. “Yeah, disappointed because from like two games, like 2-All to 4-2, 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set.

“I just think I’m definitely moving better. That’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. Like I said, on the other surfaces it’s a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn’t move well on the clay. It was a hindrance, and that makes you uncomfortable. If you took Ivo Karlovic’s serve away he would feel uncomfortable going on the court. For me, take my movement away.

“When I was having the problems with my back it was difficult for me when stepping on the court; whereas now my body feels great. I feel like I’m moving a lot better. So I’m not going on the court sort of a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now.

“There was a period there – if you watch it back – the game I got broken [in the third set], I made three unforced errors in that game. That was disappointing. Then obviously the last game I don’t know how many break point chances I had, but must have been six or seven.

“Both of us were pretty clinical on the break points up until the last game for me. That’s why he’s No. 1 just now. He fought very hard in that game and served well when he was a bit nervous. At the end he came up with some big serves and got himself some free points and did well.”

 

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third,” noted the world No. 1. “Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

“I’m very pleased that I have developed a great rivalry with somebody that I’ve known since very long time and somebody that I have a very good and friendly relationship with on and off the court,” Djokovic said.

 

Since Murray did not defend his Madrid title from last year, he will slip to No. 3 in the world on Monday. Roger Federer will move up to No. 2.

In the men’s doubles final Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first Masters 1000 title as a team, beating defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 7-6(5). It was their 12th trophy overall.

“They are a great team, and also friends,” Rojer said. “It’s never easy to play these matches and it’s difficult for all four guys.”

“I want to thank my partner for having another great week,” said Tecau. “We were struggling for a few weeks, couldn’t win a lot of matches… It feels great to play well together and get another title.

“We’ve been chasing this one for almost three years. We’re really excited to get this one because it comes after having a few early exits in Masters 1000 events this year. So it means a lot to us.”

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Halep wins Madrid Open; Murray Beats Nadal and Will Meet Djokovic in the Final

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

(May 7, 2016) Calling her win “the best day in my life,” Romania’s Simona Halep won her second career WTA Premier Mandatory event when she beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 to claim the Madrid Open title.

“I saw always that it’s a special tournament because of Mr. (Ion) Tiriac, because of many Romanians that are coming here. I feel like home,” Halep said. Tiriac, also a Romanian, is a member of the tennis Hall of Fame is the Tournament Director of Madrid and gave Halep a wildcard into the tournament three years ago.

The victory for Halep marks her 12th career WTA tournament title. She will now move up to No. 5 in the rankings. Cibulkova will rise to No. 26.

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Novak Djokovic will meet defending champion Andy Murray in the Madrid Open final on Sunday. No. 2 Murray saved 11 break points in holding off four-time Madrid winner No. 5 Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4, snapping the Spaniard’s 13-match winning streak. Murray beat Nadal in last year’s Madrid final.

“Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career,” Murray said. “To beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big, big challenge for any player. Very pleased to have beaten him this year.”

“Murray was not unbeatable today,” Nadal said in press. “It was an open match, an even match,”

“I didn’t play my best level, but I didn’t play badly. I played a medium level, which was not enough to beat Murray.”

Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) in the other men’s semifinal. The Serbian had some trouble serving out the match leading 6-4, 5-4 40-0. The man from Japan came back and held off four match points against him to even the set at 5-5. Both men held and went to a tiebreak, which Djokovic won 7-3.

“It wasn’t easy to play in these very windy conditions, but overall I’m very pleased,” Djokovic said.”

Going into the final Djokovic leads Murray 22-9, winning 11 of the last 12 matches, winning all four matches on clay. Murray needs to win on Sunday to keep his No. 2 ranking ahead of the French Open or Roger Federer will move up to the second spot.

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