September 3, 2015

Tennis – Western & Southern Open Results and Schedule

cincinnati-tennis-open-logo
RESULTS – Saturday, August 15
ATP Qualifying – First Round
[1] Benoit Paire (France) d. Marco Cecchinato (Italy) 61 61
[2] Steve Johnson (USA) d. James Duckworth (Australia) 75 64
[3] Vasek Pospisil (Canada) d. Tatsuma Ito (Japan) 63 62
Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) def. [4] Mikhail Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) 06 64 75
[6] Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) d. Tim Smyzek (USA) 64 64
Alexander Zverev (Germany) d. [7] Benjamin Becker (Germany) 64 62
[8] Nicolas Mahut (France) d. [WC] Frances Tiafoe (USA) 63 62
[9] Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) d. James Ward (Great Britain) 64 64
[10] Dennis Istomin (Uzbekistan) d. [Alt] Blaz Rola (Slovakia) 16 76(7) 64
[11] Hyeon Chung (Korea) d. Ivan Dodig (Croatia) 36 64 61
[12] Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) d. Ryan Harrison (USA) 75 36 76(2)
[13] Denis Kudla (USA) d. [WC] Tommy Paul (USA) 62 06 60
[14] Yen-Hsun Lu (Taipei) d. Stefan Kozlov (USA) 64 63
[15] Marsel Ilhan (Turkey) d. Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) 46 64 76(2)
WTA Qualifying – First Round
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) d. [1] Monica Niculescu (Romania) 36 76(7) 76
[2] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia) d. Taylor Townsend (USA) 16 60 62
Ana Konjuh (Croatia) d. [3] Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 60 76(2)
Sesil Karatantcheva (Bulgaria) d. [4] Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) 57 64 63
Jana Cepelova (Romania) d. [5] Alexandra Dulgheru (Slovakia) 67(5) 61 63
[6] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) d. Su-Wei Hsieh (Taipei) 76(7) 63
[7] Yulia Putintseva (Russia) d. [WC] Louisa Chirico (USA) 60 64
[WC] Nicole Gibbs (USA) d. [8] Andreas Beck (Germany) 62 64
Mariana Duque-Marino (Colombia) d. [9] Carina Witthoeft (Germany) 64 64
[10] Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) d. Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) 64 64
[11] Christina McHale (USA) d. Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic) 67(5) 64 61
[12] Mona Barthel (Germany) d. Elena Vesnina (Russia) 61 62
[13] Julia Georges (Germany) d. Urszula Radwanska (Poland) 64 46 75
[14] Casey Dellacqua (Australia) d. [WC] Alexa Glatch (USA) 76(4) 62
Misaki Doi (Japan) d. [15] Aleksandra Krunic (Serbia) 62 60
[16] Tatjana Maria (Germany) d. Evgeniya Rodina (Russia) 64 62
Timea Babos (Hungary) d. [17] Heather Watson (Great Britain) 62 16 63
[18] Polona Hercog (Slovenia) d. Tamira Paszek (Austria) 63 63
Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine) d. [19] Lara Arruabarrena (Spain) 61 64
[20] Kurumi Nara (Japan) d. Marina Erakovic (New Zealand) 64 63
Lauren Davis (USA) d. [21] Andreea Mitu (Romania) 57 62 63
[22] Irina Falconi (USA) d. [WC] Jennifer Brady (USA) 61 63
Yaroslava Shvedova (Russia) d. [23] Jarmila Gajdosova (Slovakia) 64 75
[24] Olga Govortsova (Belarus) d. [WC] Sachia Vickery (USA) 76(3) 76(0)


ORDER OF PLAY – Sunday, August 16
CENTER COURT – 10:00am start
WTA Qualifying – [12] Mona Barthel (Germany) vs [22] Irina Falconi (USA)
WTA Qualifying – [11] Christina Mchale (USA) vs [18] Polona Hercog (Slovakia)
Not Before 2:00pm:00 pm
ATP – Dominic Thiem (Austria) vs Martin Klizan (Slovakia)
Not Before 7:00pmm
ATP – [16] Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) vs L. Rosol (Czech Republic)
ATP – P. Cuevas (Ukraine) / D. Marrero (Spain) vs F. Lopez (Spain) / M. Mirnyi (Belarus)
GRANDSTAND – 11:30am start 11:30 am
ATP Qualifying – [1] Benoit Paire (France) vs [13] Denis Kudla (USA)
Not Before 1:00pm
WTA Qualifying – Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) vs Timea Babos (Hungary)
ATP – Qualifying – [2] Steve Johnson (USA) vs [8] Nicolas Mahut (France)
STADIUM 3 – 10:00am start 10:00 am
WTA – Qualifying – [6] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) vs [14] Casey Dellacqua (Australia)
ATP – Qualifying – Alexander Zverev (Germany) vs [10] Dennis Istomin (Uzbekistan)
WTA – Qualifying – Sesil Karatantcheva (Bulgaria) vs [13] Julia Goerges (Germany)
ATP – Qualifying – [15] Marsel Ilhan (Turkey) vs [12] Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia)
COURT 9 – 10:00am start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – [6] Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) vs [9] Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine)
WTA – Qualifying – [2] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia) vs [24] Olga Govortsova (Belarus)
ATP – Qualifying – Mikail Youzhny (Russia) vs [14] Yen-Hsun Lu (Taipei)
WTA – Qualifying – [WC] Nicole Gibbs (USA) vs Lauren Davis (USA)
COURT 4 – 10:00am start 10:00 am
WTA – Qualifying – [10] Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) vs [16] Tatjana Maria (Germany)
WTA – Qualifying – Ana Konjuh (Croatia) vs Misaki Doi (Japan)
ATP – Qualifying – [3] Vasek Pospisil (Canada) vs [11] Hyeon Chung (Korea)
WTA – Qualifying – Mariana Duque-Mariño (Colombia) vs Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan)
COURT 6 – 11:30am start 11:30 am
WTA – Qualifying – [25] Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) vs [20] Kurumi Nara (Japan)
WTA – Qualifying – Jana Cepelova (Slovakia) vs Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine)
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Rogers Cup Day 5 – Djokovic, Chardy Save Match Points to Set Semifinal Clash

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

Rogers Cup Day 05: Djokovic, Chardy Save Match Points to Set Semifinal Clash

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(August 14, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – Both Novak Djokovic and surprising Frenchman Jeremy Chardy had to manage Houdini-esque escapes on Friday to reach the semifinals. While the world No. 1 saved two match points against former-top-10-player-now-qualifier Ernest Gulbis, Chardy saved an astonishing seven match points against big serving John Isner.

 

Isner and Chardy were the first on court, about two hours late due to afternoon rain. It was clear from the start that not much was separating the two: Isner is having a spectacular summer with a title in Atlanta and a final in Washington, while Chardy boasted a surprising 3-0 record against the American. Without much of a surprise, both players held serve until the tiebreak, where Isner was the first to draw blood. Chardy fought well to save a few set points, had one of his own, but Isner scraped through a spectacular 11-9 tiebreak.

 

When Isner broke early in the second, it seemed like things were in control. But Mother Nature decided to play a role in the match and interrupted play for about an hour. Chardy made the best of the switch in rhythm, as he won the first three games after the return. Both players then served their way to the tiebreak, which turned out to be the longest, and arguably the most exciting, of the tournament. Isner once again took the lead and get to match point, only to see Chardy stay toe-to-toe with him and get set points of his own. The American was the first one to get the chance to have a closing point on his serve, only to see Chardy drive a backhand return winner. This back-and-forth went on until 13-13 in the tiebreak, and seven match points saved later, Chardy ended the set on a service winner.

 

Isner, who has played a lot of tennis in the past three weeks, looked physically drained at the start of the third set. Nevertheless, he concentrated his energy on his main asset, his serve, which helped him keep points short and get to yet another tiebreak. This time, Chardy was the first to get a mini-break at 5-4, kept it until the end, and completed one of the best wins of his career.

 

With this win, Chardy reaches his first ever Masters 1000 semifinal. ‘It is a very important moment in a career when you are able to play well in major tournaments’, Chardy discussed. ‘Tennis is all about the Grand Slams and the Masters. If you have good results in those tournaments, it’s a good reward because that’s why you’re practicing.’ Asked about the crowd, who was cheering for him for most of the match, he replied: ‘I believe the Canadians love French players, and we love them, too. Now there are no longer any Canadian players anymore in this tournament, we are their favorite now.’

 

In the second quarterfinal of the day, Novak Djokovic was a clear favorite against qualifier Ernest Gulbis, who saw his ranking drop from the top 10 in 2014 to 87 at the start of the tournament. Nevertheless, the Latvian is known for his shotmaking and undeniable talent, and the five wins he had so far this week have been a proof of that.

 

From the get go, you could tell Djokovic was in an off-day: the Serb, a three time champion was missing early in rallies and looked a bit out of sorts. Gulbis took advantage, playing aggressive tennis to get the first set 7-5. The Latvian even got up a break in the second set, only to see the Number One fight back to force a tiebreak. Gulbis took an early 3-0 lead and looked to be creating the biggest surprise of the tournament when he got to match points at 6-4. But he got a bit tense, lost the next four points and the set. Gulbis never managed to get back in the match and Djokovic strearolled through the third set 6-1. When signing the camera after his win, Djokovic wrote the following two words: ‘Very Lucky’.

 

This was Djokovic’s 29th straight match win in Masters 1000, an incredibly feat. He will be looking to get to 30 against Chardy; it will be the tenth match between the two, with Djokovic never losing a set. ‘I will go on court and I have to try something new, Chardy said. Anyway, if I didn’t succeed, it will be just one more loss (laughter).’

 

In the other half, 4th seed Kei Nishikori played a near flawless match to beat 7th seed Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4. He will face 2nd seed Andy Murray, who defeated 2014 winner Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 6-4, 6-4 in a very, very late match in Montreal. Murray leads the head-to-head 4-1, but Nishikori has won their last encounter earlier this year in Madrid.

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 14 AUGUST 2015

Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) 57 76(7) 61 – saved 2 M.P.
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [10] J. Tsonga (FRA) 64 64
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [7] R. Nadal (ESP) 62 64
J. Chardy (FRA) d [16] J. Isner (USA) 67(9) 76(13) 76(4) – saved 7 M.P.

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 67(5) 10-8
[6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) d [3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 64
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 62
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 63 67(5) 10-7

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 15 AUGUST 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 3:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Chardy (FRA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

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Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4 – KyrgiosGate

Kyrgios

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4: KyrgiosGate

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(August 13, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – There are days when the actual tennis results become secondary, and today was one of them. While multiple matches were going on all around the grounds of the Montreal Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, only one person was on everyone’s mind: Nick Kyrgios.

 

The Australian rarely leaves anyone indifferent. For example, he came to Montreal with a new hairdo, a Mohawk that’s bleached on one side and bright pink on the other. Some like his showmanship, some believe that he should let his tennis do the talking. But on Wednesday night, everyone agreed that he stepped over the line in his match against Stan Wawrinka.

 

Right after finishing the first set, Kyrgios and Wawrinka got in a small argument over the Australian’s serving rhythm: Wawrinka felt like Kyrgios would not let him have enough time between serves. Up 30-0, Kyrgios hit an unreturnable serve, got back to the wall, and under his breath, monologued on the intimate past of Wawrinka alleged girlfriend, WTA player Donna Vekic. The comment was picked up by the television microphone, and uproar exploded right away on social media.

 

Asked about the comment by local television in his post-match interview, Kyrgios justified himself on the ‘heat of the moment’. Later on, Wawrinka deemed the comments as ‘inexcusable’, said he confronted Kyrgios in the locker room and hoped that the ATP would sanction his opponent. And they did.

 

Indeed, on Thursday, the ATP announced that they fined Kyrgios for the on-site maximum of 10,000$ for insulting comments, as well as an additional fine of 2,500$ for unsportsmanlike conduct related to a comment made to a ballkid during the match. They also gave Kyrgios a ‘Notice of Investigation’, which opens up the possibility of further penalties such as monetary fines and/or suspension from ATP events.

 

Many wondered how the Rogers Cup fans would react to this situation. When Kyrgios stepped on Court Banque Nationale late on Thursday afternoon for his third round, he was welcomed with insistent booing from the crowd. On the other hand, his opponent John Isner, was strongly applauded. Isner, who had defeated Canadian player Vasek Pospisil the night before, went from the bad guy to the good guy in a matter of hours. And, as the saying goes, the good guy always wins, as Isner got through 7-5 6-3.

 

Except for a release on his Facebook page, which screamed PR crisis management, Kyrgios had not commented on the situation before his match. Everyone was therefore waiting for the post-match interview to get his side of things. But they didn’t get much, as Kyrgios was obviously closed and not talkative. ‘I just lost’, he said to explain his lack of answers. ‘Is that the only reason? Is the drama over for you?’ a journalist replied. ‘Yeah, yeah’.

 

It was also obvious that journalists would use other post-match interviews to get the players’ opinion on the subject. Novak Djokovic showed some signs of wisdom: ‘I’ve been here for about a decade, and it’s important to have respect between the players and towards the sport. He has to learn how to deal with that.’ Andy Murray linked the comments to Kyrgios’ age: ‘He’s a young guy who is growing up in the spotlight. There’s been a lot of negativity towards him over the last few months, that isn’t easy to deal with. People need to give him a little break; he’ll learn from it and become a better person.’ Rafael Nadal was a lot less apologetic: ‘Age is not an excuse. Most of the players started the tour very early, it is just about respect. The world of tennis, I think we should be an example for a new generation of kids, obviously yesterday was not one of these moments.’

 

This story filled up a day which was, tennis-wise, pretty uneventful, as all the favorites got through somewhat comfortably. The quarterfinals will feature number one player Novak Djokovic, who only dropped three games against Jack Sock, against qualified Ernest Gulbis. Isner will face surprising Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, while two blockbuster matches will happen in the bottom half, with 7th seed Rafal Nadal facing 4th seed Kei Nishikori and 2nd seed Andy Murray facing 10th seed and defending champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015

Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d J. Sock (USA) 62 61
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Muller (LUX) 63 62
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Goffin (BEL) 64 64
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) d [Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 63
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d B. Tomic (AUS) 76(7) 63
[16] J. Isner (USA) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 75 63
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d [Q] D. Young (USA) 64 64
J. Chardy (FRA) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 46 76(1) 64

Doubles – Second Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 75 64
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 64 62
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) 76(4) 63
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) 75 75
[7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) d A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND) 64 76(9)

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 14 AUGUST 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[16] J. Isner (USA) vs J. Chardy (FRA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 2:30 pm
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB)
After Suitable Rest – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP)

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Montreal Rogers Cup Day 3 – Seeds Fall, But Favorites Remain

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 03: Seeds fall, but favorites remain

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(August 12, 2015)  MONTREAL, Canada – It was a tough day for seeds in Montreal, but the main favorites for the title managed to get through to the third round. While Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal and defending champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga all survived some spirited fights from their opponents, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils were sent packing in the second round.

 

Nishikori, who entered the top 4 for the first time this week, had the most impressive win of the day. Except for a small hiccup in the start of the match, the Washington winner was flawless in his 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Pablo Andujar. Asked on the key aspects of his progression, Nishikori replied: ‘I think I’m little more patient than last year. I’ve been playing little more aggressive, but same time I have less unforced errors and I get more free points from my serve.’ Next up for Nishikori is Belgian 13th seed David Goffin, who has had a stellar year. Both players are on the small-side for the modern top players, but Nishikori did think it also has its advantages: ‘I feel like I have a good return, and I am faster than taller guys. Players like Ferrer, Goffin and I are doing well nevertheless, and it’s great to see all the different match-ups.’

 

While Nishikori is on the upswing of his career, Rafael Nadal has been having a difficult year by his standards. The Spanish champion did not win a French Open preparation tournament for the first time in more than a decade and his ranking has dropped down to number 9. A recent title on clay in Hamburg showed some signs of revival and Nadal, who has great memories in Montreal and is a crowd favorite, is looking to find his hardcourt game back in Canada. Despite getting broken in both sets when trying to close things off against Stakhovsky, Nadal showed signs of his old self and looked very happy with the 7-6, 6-3 win. ‘It was a good match overall. Only bad game I had was at 5-4 (in the first set), the rest was all positive. Important thing is winning; it gives you an opportunity tomorrow’. Next up for Nadal is resurgent qualifier Mikhail Youzhny, a former top 10 player now ranked at 107, who defeated 9th seed Gilles Simon in straight sets.

 

Youznhy wasn’t the only surprising winner today: fellow qualifier Donald Young, who just last week in Washington won his first main draw match since Miami, played inspired tennis to upset 5th seed Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-3. He will face Ernest Gulbis, another qualifier, for a spot in the quarterfinals. Bernard Tomic, a 6-3 6-4 winner over US Open reigning champion and 6th seed Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios,who got through after a retirement by 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka who had a lower-back injury. Kyrgios made some inappropriate comments during his match against Wawrinka.

Also advancing were Gilles Muller (a winner over Gael Monfils in a third set tiebreak) and Jack Sock (who saved a match point in a grueling 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 win over Grigor Dimitrov) were also all surprising winners.

 

Other winners of the day included Andy Murray over Robredo, John Isner, who crushed the hopes of local player Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (who worked hard to defeat Bautista Agut 5-7, 7-6, 7-5) and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who saved a match point in the second set against Leonardo Mayer.

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2015

Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d T. Robredo (ESP) 64 75
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(8) 63 40 ret. (back)
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 63
[Q] D. Young (USA) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(5) 63
B. Tomic (AUS) d [6] M. Cilic (CRO) 63 64
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 76(4) 63
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d [9] G. Simon (FRA) 61 64
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 57 76(6) 75
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Querrey (USA) 64 64
J. Sock (USA) d [14] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 57 76(5) 75 – saved 1 M.P.
G. Muller (LUX) d [15] G. Monfils (FRA) 63 36 76(4)
[16] J. Isner (USA) d [WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) 76(1) 46 63
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d L. Rosol (CZE) 62 57 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d L. Mayer (ARG) 46 76(4) 62 – saved 2 M.P.

Doubles – Second Round
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 63 57 10-3
[6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) d M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) 75 64
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 76(8) 67(2) 10-4

Doubles – First Round
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT) 63 16 10-8
F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 62 75
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) 63 57 10-5

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Sock (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
G. Muller (LUX) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 6:30 pm
Possible Time Change – [7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] M. Youzhny (RUS)
Possible Time Change – [13] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) vs [Q] D. Young (USA)
N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
B. Tomic (AUS) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

COURT 9 start 4:00 pm
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

COURT 5 start Not Before 5:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND)
After Suitable Rest – [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA)

 

 

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Montreal Rogers Cup Day 2 – Bursting Montreal’s Bubble

 

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 02: Bursting Montreal’s Bubble

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(August 11, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – The crowd in Montreal is notorious for its emotional and vocal cheering of the local players. In the past few years, players like Frank Dancevic, Stephanie Dubois, Aleksandra Wozniak and Vasek Pospisil have used that energy to cause upsets and reach latter stages of the tournament. But with this attention also comes pressure: many will remember Eugenie Bouchard’s surprising loss in her opening match last year, and in a year’s time, one might reflect similarly on Milos Raonic’s early exit to Ivo Karlovic in this year’s edition.

 

Raonic, seeded 8th, wasn’t coming to the tournament in optimal shape: the top-ranked Canadian had been sidelined for most of the past few months by a nasty foot injury, which even required surgery to repair a pinched nerve. He had skipped the French Open and Davis Cup and admitted to playing through pain in Wimbledon. His rust was apparent Tuesday night, while his opponent, Ivo Karlovic, gave a serving masterclass in his 7-6(1) 7-6(1) win.

 

The Croat, No. 2 in player in career number of aces, never faced a break point and served 22 aces. During the match, he became only the second player in history to reach the 10,000 aces mark, and is well on his way to surpass his countryman Goran Ivanisevic. “Of course it is my goal, Karlovic admitted. I would hope that it happens this year, if not it will be next year. Hopefully I will be healthy enough to do it soon.”

 

Despite being 0 for 12 in break points throughout the match, Karlovic was flawless in the two tiebreaks, only conceding one point to Raonic. The Canadian, who usually thrives in these situations, was spraying uncharacteristic unforced errors. On the other hand, Karlovic, who stands tall at 6-foot-11, was covering the court surprisingly well for his size: “I was moving unbelievably well this evening, everything was going my way. This win means a lot to me.” It was Karlovic third top 10 win of 2015.

Milos Raonic 1

Asked whether his foot injury was a factor, Raonic replied with a smirk: “No, it wasn’t. I’ve been feeling something sort of in my back. I think I’m subconsciously protecting my foot. So, therefore, compensating, just finding different injuries at different times of the day.” Optimistic, he concluded: “A poor week this week doesn’t mean a poor week next week. I’ll just try to turn that around.”

 

This loss by Raonic means that Vasek Pospisil is the last Canadian standing. In his first round, Pospisil handled Yen-Hsun Lu for the second week in a row, this time in two sets. And, like last week, big-serving John Isner is next, as the American won a tight three setter against Benjamin Becker. “We’ve played four times already, five times including Hopman Cup, Pospisil said. I know what to expect, and so does he. I’d say it’s a pretty open match.”

 

While Raonic’s loss was a sure disappointment for the crowd, it wasn’t the only bubble that burst today.

 

While play started about one hour late due to rain on all outside courts, fans had to wait an extra hour to see Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco step out on Center Court. The reason? Some air bubbles popped up under the surface, most likely from water infiltration from the torrential rain, and made the court unplayable. The technical crew had to carefully remove the air in order to keep a smooth surface and consistent bounce.

 

Other winners of the day included first seed Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (10), David Goffin (13), Grigor Dimitrov (14), while 12th seed Kevin Anderson was upset by Lukas Rosol. Andy Murray’s match against Tommy Robredo, which started way past 10pm, had to be suspended due to rain with the Scot serving at 4-all. Match will be postponed until Wednesday.

 

MONTREAL RESULTS, TUESDAY AUGUST 11, 2015 /

Singles Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 63 76(4)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d [8] M. Raonic (CAN) 76(1) 76(1)

Singles First Round
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d B. Coric (CRO) 64 64
L. Rosol (CZE) d [12] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(2) 76(4)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Johnson (USA) 62 62
[14] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d [Q] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 75
[16] J. Isner (USA) d B. Becker (GER) 64 67(6) 63
J. Sock (USA) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 62 26 76(5)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d D. Thiem (AUT) 36 76(8) 61
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 46 64
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] Y. Lu (TPE) 64 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d [LL] N. Mahut (FRA) 61 75
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d V. Troicki (SRB) 63 75
P. Andujar (ESP) d [WC] F. Dancevic (CAN) 62 64
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [PR] J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 63 64

Doubles First Round
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d [WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 63 64
G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Hewitt (AUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS) 75 64

MONTREAL ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12, 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
P. Andujar (ESP) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
T. Robredo (ESP) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR) 44

Not Before 6:30 pm
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) vs [9] G. Simon (FRA)
[15] G. Monfils (FRA) vs G. Muller (LUX)
[Q] D. Young (USA) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

COURT 9 start 12:30 pm
J. Sock (USA) vs [14] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
[6] M. Cilic (CRO) vs B. Tomic (AUS)
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 5 start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs L. Mayer (ARG)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) vs S. Querrey (USA)
L. Rosol (CZE) vs [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT)
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT)

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Montreal Rogers Cup Day 1 – A Walk in the Park

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 01: A Walk in the Park

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(August 10, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – There you are, in the park. Jogging, walking your dog, having a picnic. You are looking at the clouds, daydreaming. But then you hear a regular series of thumps, followed by roars, clapping, yelling. You drop your workout, your Yorkie or your sandwich and head towards the noise. You walk up a few stairs, sit down on a not-so-comfortable metal bench and it hits you: you are watching Andy Murray. Then it’s Rafael Nadal. And now Novak Djokovic. Back-to-back-to-back.

 

The concept is, they believe, unique. The organizers of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal were looking for ways to make the tournament more accessible and reach a new public, one that may not naturally be drawn to tennis. They started by making the Qualifying weekend free. They then added an extra day of free practices on the Friday before the tournament. And a few years ago, in the middle of Jarry Park, one of the biggest public parks in Montreal and where the Uniprix Stadium complex is situated, they built a large set of bleachers overlooking Court 9.

 

The bleachers sat about a thousand curious onlookers, who can just take a seat and enjoy the show; as the setting actually is outside of the tournament grounds, it is free. On the opening day of this year’s event, the Rogers Cup went all out in their scheduling: after a somewhat unremarkable singles first round match on that court, they switched to doubles with matches featuring Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic. Opportunities to see four of the biggest stars of the sport in front of your own eyes in the same day are rare to start with. But seeing them live without spending a penny? Probably a once-a-lifetime chance.

 

All afternoon, Court 9 was packed, both on the free and paying sides. A few smart ticket holders actually got away from the never-ending lines by getting off the ground and up in the free seats. Everyone was treated to some pretty good doubles, though it was somewhat singles-oriented. And there might be more of Novak, Andy and Nadal on Court 9 for the rest of the week, as the three of them got through their first rounds.

 

On the singles side, it was also a walk in the park for most of the favorites. Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, the only two seeds to complete their first round match, didn’t spend much time on court against their tricky Italian opponents (Seppi and Fognini, respectively). In an all-Spanish affair, Tommy Robredo fought through Feliciano Lopez in three sets, while Ivo Karlovic prevailed in a big-serving battle against Jerry Janowicz, only to face another big server in the second round in home favorite Milos Raonic. Other first round winners included Bernard Tomic, Thomaz Bellucci, Donald Young, Leonardo Mayer, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Sam Querrey and Gilles Muller.

 

RESULTS – MONDAY, 10 AUGUST 2015

Singles – First Round
[9] G. Simon (FRA) d A. Seppi (ITA) 62 64
[15] G. Monfils (FRA) d F. Fognini (ITA) 63 61
T. Bellucci (BRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) 76(4) 46 76(4)
[Q] D. Young (USA) d [Q] D. Kudla (USA) 63 64
L. Mayer (ARG) d [Q] H. Chung (KOR) 63 64
I. Karlovic (CRO) d J. Janowicz (POL) 64 76(6)
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d [WC] F. Peliwo (CAN) 61 57 62
S. Querrey (USA) d M. Klizan (SVK) 63 63
B. Tomic (AUS) d J. Sousa (POR) 63 63
G. Muller (LUX) d [WC] P. Bester (CAN) 62 63
T. Robredo (ESP) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 36 63

Doubles – First Round
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d T. Berdych (CZE) / J. Sock (USA) 63 57 10-6
A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND) d K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Chardy (FRA) 63 61
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d A. Seppi (ITA) / V. Troicki (SRB) 64 63

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Kei Nishikori and Sloane Stephens Take Citi Open Singles Titles

Sloane Stephens close upKei Nishikori

(August 9, 2015) On Sunday, 2014 U.S. Open finalist, second seed Kei Nishikori rallied to stop hard-serving John Isner 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to claim his first Citi Open title. Sloane Stephens captured the women’s title in Washington, DC with a 6-1, 6-2 dismissal of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match between unseeded players.

For the 25-year-old Japanese player, this was his 10th career title, while for the American, it was her first trophy on the WTA Tour.

“I didn’t make enough inroads on his first serve,” said three-time Washington finalist Isner of his battle against Nishikori. “If you put a decent amount of first serves in the court, he’s arguably the best in the best in the world from the baseline. It’s tough. I thought he served better in the second and third sets. He’s a great player and a great champion.”

“I’m very happy to win after losing the first set,” said Nishikori. “I came back really well so I’m very happy to win today.

“I fought through (after losing the first set for the third time this week). In the first match I was down 7-6 and came back. It’s not easy but mentally I tried to fight every time and I’m happy to win in the final today.”

Nishikori who is 43-9 on the year will move up to No. 4 in the world with the victory, matching his career high.

“I’ll try to keep going,” Nishikori said. “I’ve been playing well.”

Nishikori will move up from No. 5 to No. 4 in Monday’s rankings, equaling his career best.

In the men’s doubles final, Americans Bob and Mike Bryan won their fourth Citi Open title beating Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 for their 108th career doubles title.

“I think this tournament is really valuable for our confidence, our momentum going into this hard-court summer,” Bob Bryan said. It was nice to get some revenge on a couple of teams we lost to over in Europe. That will help us going into these next three big tournaments and crescendos at the US Open in New York.”

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

The 22-year-old Stephens, jumped off to a 3-0 lead winning 15 of the first 21 points and never had to look back. This was the first final for the American.

“I just went out there and tried to play the best I could,” Stephens said to media.

“I think I executed my game very well today – it was just a really good day for me.”

“Nothing was given to me. I had to work for everything. It was just nice that all of the hard work and everything I’ve put into it – now I can say that I have a tournament title,”

“It’s great to win this first title – I haven’t even thought about my next goal yet.”

“Last year I was going through a learning process. I learned a lot about myself. And there’s still a lot of room to grow. Sometimes you have to go through the process. To get to this place, to get to this beautiful trophy, I had to go through a lot, but at the end of the day it was definitely worth it.”

Stephens, who was once ranked as high as No. 11 in the world, will move up from No. 35 into the top 30 when the rankings come out on Monday.

The doubles title went to the fourth seeds Belinda Bencic and Kristina Mladenovic over third seeds Lara Arruabarrena and Andreja Klepac, 7-5, 7-6(7).

 

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Rafael Nadal Stops Fabio Fognini for Hamburg Crown

Nadal in Beijing

(August 2, 2015) Top seed Rafael Nadal won his second title in Germany this year stopping Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-5 in Hamburg in just over two-and-a-half hours on Sunday.

The win, which give Nadal his 47th clay court title, puts him just two trophies behind Guillermo Vilas at 49. Nadal has 67 career crowns.

The Spaniard who was serving for a 4-1 lead in the second set, eventually had to save two set points.

“It was a great match, many great points, many breaks, we fought hard,” Nadal said. “I had many ups and downs.”

“I lost the last two times against him, so I knew it was going to be a tough one. I think I had a great attitude the whole match, very positive, fighting for every ball. I had some tough moments on court, lost opportunities, but every time I came back and I kept fighting with the right mentality. I’m very happy for the victory. It is an important victory for me.”

The title this week will move Nadal’s ranking up to No. 9.

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Dominic Thiem Wins Swiss Open Title

 

(August 2, 2015) Austria’s Dominic Thiem added another trophy to his trophy case on Sunday, claiming his second straight title in two weeks, this time winning the Swiss Open title on the clay courts of Gstaad 7-5, 6-2 over top seed and world No. 14 David Goffin of Belgium.

The 21–year-old, currently ranked No. 24, won the Croatia Open last weekend. He also won a clay event in April in Nice, France.

“I returned and served well, which is very important against such a great return player,” Thiem said.

“Each title is very special. I’m extremely happy that my family was here this week. It’s such a great event here and a beautiful place.”
“Today it was very difficult, the conditions were very different from the other days,” said the Belgian. “Dominic’s strokes are very heavy and powerful. It was very tough during the whole match. He played some unbelievable points. After losing the first set it was very tough for me physically. It was still a great week for me even if I lost.”

With the win, he became the fourth player born in the 1990s to win three or more ATP World Tour titles, joining Milos Raonic (6), Grigor Dimitrov (4) and Bernard Tomic (3).
Thiem’s clay season is not over yet- he is the top seed in next week’s Kitzbuehel tournament in his home country.

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Paire, Stosur, Thiem, Tsurenko and Tomic Win Tennis Titles This Week

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur

(July 26, 2015) Benoit Paire, Samantha StosurDominik Thiem, Lesia Tsurenko and Bernard Tomic were the singles winners on the tennis tour this weekend.

France’s Paire joined the winner’s circle for the first time, claiming the ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad when he turned back Spain’s Tommy Robredo 7-6(7), 6-3. Paire is the sixth first-time winner on the men’s tour this year.

“It’s a perfect week,” Paire said. “The conditions today were not easy, but I’m really happy to win against Tommy. He’s a very good player. To play against him in the final and to beat him is a dream, so I’m very happy.

“It was a lot of pressure…  I hope it’s not the last one for me.”

Samantha Stosur rallied to win her second WTA title of the year and eighth overall after defeating Karin Knapp of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the final of the Gastein Ladies on Sunday. The Australian and former US Open champion also won the Strasbourg event back in May.

In a final which featured two unseeded players, Lesia Tsurenko won her first WTA title, besting Urszula Radwanska 7-5, 6-1 to win the Istanbul Cup.

“I’m so happy I could win here and show good tennis,” said the Ukrainian.

“That’s my goal, getting good results and showing good tennis.”

Austria’s Dominik Thiem won his second career ATP World Tour title, besting Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-1 to win the Croatia Open

“Today was very special day,” Thiem said. “We were watched by world’s number one Novak Djokovic,” Thiem said. “Usually he is the one who entertains us with great tennis and today we turned it around.”

“It is really special to win here after playing juniors matches in this stadium,” said Thiem who became the first Austrian to win this title since Thomas Muster did it twenty years ago. “I will have a nice dinner with my friends tonight to celebrate. It won’t be a big party for me as I have to drive eight hours to go to Gstaad tomorrow.”

Second seed Bernard Tomic defended his Claro Open Colombia title in Bogota, beating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

“It’s been a very good year,” Tomic said. “I started at No. 70 and am now close to No. 20. It’s been a good seven months. I’ll try to play well the next three months and have the chance to be in the Top 15.

“Every title you remember. I’m very happy to have won my third title and to defend it here was amazing. I’m really happy with myself… This is my most consistent year.”

The 22-year-old Australian, ranked 29th,  is now 9-0 at the tournament.

 

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