US Women go 10 for 10 in First Two Days of French Open

Who says Americans can’t play on clay? In the first two days of the French Open, the ladies from the United States are a perfect 10 for 10 in wins. It’s the first time since 2003 that so many US women have gained a berth in the second round in Paris. In 2003 11 US women made the second round.

The US women can still add to their total in the second round, as two more women Serena Williams and Jamie Hampton take the court on Tuesday for their first round matches.

Monday, May 28th results

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (12) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 64 63
(Q) Lauren Davis (USA) d. (30) Mona Barthel (GER) 61 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Kiki Bertens (NED) 26 64 64
Vania King (USA) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 64 62
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 62 67(6) 64
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 76(6)

Sunday, May 27th results

Venus Williams (USA) d Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 46 61 63
Irina Falconi (USA) d Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) 36 63 61
(Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) d Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 63 57 64
(WC) Melanie Oudin (USA) d Johanna Larsson (SWE) 63 63

In five of the past seven years, a mere four American ladies made it out of the first round in Paris.

“A couple years ago everyone was asking me the opposite questions on why American tennis was so bad, said Bethanie Mattek-Sands who upset 12th seed Sabine Lisicki on Monday.  “I told them, I think we have some great young players coming up.  It’s just the WTA right now has a lot of depth.

“It really shows that some of the Americans are coming through playing tough, grinding it out here on the clay, and it’s awesome, I think.”

“It’s exciting.” Sloane Stephens said about all of the American women coming through. “I was just talking to Christina (McHale) in the locker room.  I’m like, Who do you play?  She’s like, I play Lauren Davis.  I’m like, Oh, my God.  I play Bethanie.

“So all the Americans are playing Americans, but it’s good that we’ll have people in the third round.  So that’s always nice.”

In terms of American women on clay”I don’t think anything’s changed,” Stephens continued.  “It’s always been the same.  Maybe people got tough draws before.  I don’t know what methods people are using or what’s been different, but we’re winning.”

“Maybe it’s a little bit extra firepower or some extra come ons or some heart.  I’m not sure.

“But to everyone that got a win, that is really exciting, because everyone always says that we’re not good on clay.

“That’ll prove ‘em wrong.”


As for the US men, although Andy Roddick and Ryan Harrison crashed out in the first round, John Isner, Jessie Levine, and comeback player Bryan Baker are through to the second round. Sam Querrey, James Blake, Donald Young will face huge challenges to advance to the second round when they play their first round matches on Tuesday.


Tennis Meets Fashion at WTA’s Pre-Wimbledon Party

Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams

The WTA and the British Fashion Council partnered to raise awareness between sports and fashion at the pre-Wimbledon party on Thursday night at the Kensington Rooftop Gardens in London.


Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Ana Ivanovic and Sania Mirza

The aim of the WTA-British Fashion Council collaboration was to feature British designers, raise the off-court profile of the stars of women’s tennis, and further extend the link between the sport and fashion.

Elena Vesnina, Tsvetana Pironkova and Mirjana Lucic

Designers created dresses for the players including Caroline Wozniacki (Stella McCartney); Serena Williams (Burberry); Maria Sharapova (Alexander McQueen); Li Na (Giles Deacon); Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (David Koma); Ana Ivanovic (Matthew Williamson); Jelena Jankovic (Vivienne Westwood); Andrea Petkovic (Richard Nicoll); Heather Watson (Mulberry); and Laura Robson (Temperley). All of the women wore shoes designed by Nicholas Kirkwood.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands wore the most unique dress of the evening, designed by one of singer Lady Gaga’s designers Alex Noble. The dress featured a neon green corset made from different parts of tennis balls, with matching shoulder pads.

Caroline Wozniacki


The dresses will be auctioned off during Wimbledon with the proceeds to be equally split between WTA charities and the British Fashion Council’s Princess of Wales Charitable Trust.

Most photos courtesy of WTATennis.com and Getty Images.


Wozniacki, Stosur and Schiavone Upset in Madrid

Second straight tournament, second straight win for Germany’s Julia Goerges over No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. This time it was 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the third round of the Madrid open on Thursday.

Goerges had to rally from 0-3 down in the first set while in the second set the momentum swung Wozniacki’s way as she broke the her opponent’s serve twice.

Goerges said, “the second set she started to be more aggressive and I started to get tired, so I said to myself keep yourself together for the third set and try to fight for every point.”

What made the difference in this match? Goerges was more aggressive with her shots hitting 36 winners to Wozniacki’s 11.

“I tried to get her (Wozniacki) out of her rhythm and not let her push me and be the first to push her,” she told a news conference. “I like to play high balls to her backhand and if she goes short I have a chance to go for the shots. The second set she started to be more aggressive and I started to get tired, so I said to myself keep yourself together for the third set and try to fight for every point.


Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stunned fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7-4),  6-3

Bethanie Mattek-Sands


Another day, another WTA “Hot Shot“ makes good. On Wednesday it was Dominika Cibulkova on Thursday it was Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Mattek-Sands had the win of her career forced out No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone 7-6(5), 6-3.

Mattek-Sands, “she was serving great today, but my return is one of my best shots and I think there was only one break in the match.” “I’m playing free, is the best way to put it. I’m playing aggressive and confident, even if I miss a couple here and there. I’m going for it and that makes the difference.”

“I’m really happy with my play on clay right now. I feel like a true dirtballer.”

“Francesca is probably one of the best competitors on the tour. We played her in doubles yesterday and she played a great match again. Today, every point from the beginning, it was on. She’s a great champion, obviously won the French Open last year, and this victory gives me a lot of confidence.”

This was only Mattek-Sands’ second career win over a top ten player.


Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka is quietly moving through the draw destroying opponents. On Thursday she ran over Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-0, 6-3. “I played a very solid game…..I was dominating the whole match, which gives me a good feeling and a lot of confidence,” said Azarenka.

WTA Results – Thursday, May 5, 2011
Singles – Third Round
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 16 63
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(5) 63
(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (WC) Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 60 63
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 76(4) 63
(6) Li Na (CHN) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 26 62 61
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 63 63

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(2) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Mirza/Vesnina (IND/RUS) 75 75
(3) King/Shvedova (USA/KAZ) d. (6) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) 75 57 108 (Match TB)
Dellacqua/Stubbs (AUS/AUS) d. Hsieh/Yan (TPE/CHN) 46 76(5) 119 (Match TB)

Madrid Open Results and Order of Play

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Madrid: Murray Declares Himself Fit, Almagro, Ivanovic Upset

World No. 4 Andy Murray is anxious to get back into competitive action at this week’s Mutua Madrid Open. Murray had been suffering from an elbow injury last month after the Monte Carlo tournament which led him to withdraw from the Barcelona Open.

He has declared himself ready. “It’s good, I’ve been practicing since last Sunday,” “I went over to Barcelona and tried to practice on the Tuesday after Monte Carlo and it was a bit sore still so I took five or six days off.

Darren Cahill at Cliff Drysdale charity event in March 2011

Murray confirmed that he has begun working with Darren Cahill a member of adidas’ staff of coaches. “Darren Cahill was on the court with me yesterday (Saturday) and he’ll be on the court today, so yesterday was the first day I’d done anything with him,” Murray said.

The Madrid Open is already underway and Sunday’s action provided some surprises. American Bethanie Mattek-Sands recovered from 0-6, 1-3 to defeat the 15th seed Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. “The first set wasn’t the worst set I’ve ever played, she just came out on fire and I was missing a couple of shots here and there,” Mattek-Sands stated. “I just needed to get my footing beneath me on the clay and hang in there. It was great tennis – both of us were playing well, it just came down to who was better at the end of the day. Obviously I’m an aggressive player too and it paid off.”

Other upsets on the ladies side included the rising Julia Goerges who toppled 14th seeded Kaia Kanepi 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4 and Vania King surprised Nadia Petrova.

Nicolas Almagro

First round action upsets among the men saw World No. 10 Nicolas Almagro lose to France’s Jo Wilfred Tsonga 6-1, 6-3 and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez stopped 14th seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

WTA Results – Sunday, May 1, 2011
Singles – First Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 62 63
(3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 75 76(2)
(7) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (WC) Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 62 60
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (WC) Arantxa Rus (NED) 26 63 62
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Simona Halep (ROU) 64 61
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (14) Kaia Kanepi (EST) 67(3) 61 64
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 06 64 64
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 63 63
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 76(6) 64
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 64
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (Q) Sania Mirza (IND) 64 63
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Greta Arn (HUN) 64 26 63
(Q) Vania King (USA) d. Nadia Petrova (RUS) 61 76(5)
(Q) Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 36 64
(Q) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. (Q) Monica Niculescu (ROU) 46 63 76(3)
(WC) Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 75

Doubles – First Round
(5) Azarenka/Kirilenko (BLR/RUS) d. Hantuchova/Radwanska (SVK/POL) 46 63 106 (Match TB)
Llagostera Vives/Parra Santonja (ESP/ESP) d. Cornet/Goerges (FRA/GER) 63 62
(WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) d. Chuang/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) 61 75

ATP World Tour Results – Sunday, May 1, 2011

Singles – First Round
J Tsonga (FRA) d [10] N Almagro (ESP) 61 63
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [14] S Wawrinka (SUI) 64 57 64
S Giraldo (COL) d A Dolgopolov (UKR) 61 75
J Monaco (ARG) d A Golubev (KAZ) 26 62 62

Doubles – First Round
M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA) d M Knowles (BAH) / A Roddick (USA) 76(2) 64

Order of Play – Monday, May 2, 2011

MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
[6] N Li (CHN) vs M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) – WTA
[8] M Sharapova (RUS) vs E Makarova (RUS) – WTA

Not Before 4:00 PM
[Q] T de Bakker (NED) vs [WC] J Ferrero (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[12] A Roddick (USA) vs [Q] F Cipolla (ITA) – ATP
[Q] N Llagostera Vives (ESP) vs [WC] D Safina (RUS) – WTA

A Kleybanova (RUS) vs [9] S Peer (ISR) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
I Karlovic (CRO) vs [9] G Monfils (FRA) – ATP
J Isner (USA) vs [11] M Fish (USA) – ATP
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) – ATP
R Gasquet (FRA) vs [Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) – ATP

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
[Q] O Govortsova (BLR) vs R Vinci (ITA) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
S Stakhovsky (UKR) vs A Montanes (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[WC] A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [13] A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
[4] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [Q] S Arvidsson (SWE) – WTA
E Vesnina (RUS) vs [2] V Zvonareva (RUS) – WTA

COURT 4 start 11:00 am

Not Before 12:30 PM
S Peng (CHN) / J Zheng (CHN) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / J Woehr (GER) – WTA
[WC] A Medina Garrigues (ESP) vs L Safarova (CZE) – WTA
[WC] F Schiavone (ITA) / S Stosur (AUS) vs S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) – WTA

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
[WC] S Halep (ROU) / P Hercog (SLO) vs C Dellacqua (AUS) / R Stubbs (AUS) – WTA
S Querrey (USA) vs M Llodra (FRA) – ATP
[WC] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [Q] P Riba (ESP) – ATP
M Cilic (CRO) vs P Starace (ITA) – ATP

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs I Benesova (CZE) – WTA
J Chela (ARG) vs [Q] A Mannarino (FRA) – ATP
[Q] V Hanescu (ROU) vs X Malisse (BEL) – ATP
R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs [WC] R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) / S Ventura (ESP) – ATP
T Bellucci (BRA) / A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP

COURT 7 start 2:00 pm
V Dushevina (RUS) / T Poutchek (BLR) vs N Petrova (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) – WTA
M Niculescu (ROU) / S Peer (ISR) vs S Hsieh (TPE) / Z Yan (CHN) – WTA
[WC] L Dominguez Lino (ESP) / L Pous-Tio (ESP) vs K Jans (POL) / A Rosolska (POL) – WTA

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USA and Germany Face Off in Fed Cup World Group Playoff

The United States will try to stay in the Fed Cup World Group for 2012 as they compete against face Germany this weekend in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff in Stuttgart.

Order of Play

Saturday, 7:00 a.m. ET

Singles A: Christina McHale (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles B: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)


Sunday, 5:30 a.m. ET

Singles C: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles D: Christina McHale (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

Doubles:  Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) vs. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Sibine Lisicki (GER)

U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

On the singles lineup: “It is great that we have a very versatile team. Both Melanie and Christina have been playing on the clay and doing well and everyone was a possibility. So we will start with this lineup but it can always change. But this is the lineup we are going to start with.”
Melanie Oudin

On playing Petkovic: “Whenever you lose to someone, if you play them again a few weeks later, you want to get revenge on them. She is going to bring some good tennis so I have to be ready.”


When asked about this weekend’s tie against Germany: “I feel good. I feel like we have been practicing really well and we are ready for tough matches this weekend. Everyone is going to give it their all and hopefully we can come out with the win.”
Christina McHale

When asked about playing first: “I think it will be good to start. There won’t be any results yet so I can just go play and see what happens.”


On the team playing on clay: “I think each day all of us are getting more used to the surface and conditions. I think we will just give it our all and see how it goes.”
Vania King

When asked about adjusting since being asked to come back on the U.S. Fed Cup team: “I feel like I have adjusted really well. Wednesday I was really tired but I felt like I had a good practice. Yesterday I felt really good and today I feel great again.”


On playing on clay: “I am really having fun on the clay, I feel like I have improved a lot on it. Liezel and I are going to tough it out in doubles no matter what, but our first priority is the team. So I want us to win really fast.”


Liezel Huber

On the tie coming down to the deciding doubles match: “If it comes to the deciding doubles match, it means we would have lost two matches by then so I am really not hoping for any losses. It is just something you say you hope it comes down to the doubles but in fact, we hope to finish it before then.”



Fed Cup: U.S. Notes and Quotes from Pre Draw News Conference

The U.S. Fed Cup team held a pre-draw news conference on Wednesday ahead of the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff versus Germany in Stuttgart this weekend. Here are the highlights:

U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

On Bethanie Mattek-Sands not able to join the team, and bringing in Vania King: “We’ve had Bethanie on our team pretty consistently over last couple of years, and she’s been very valuable to the team. However, Vania was able to come and support the team on very short notice. We’re happy that she’s here so quickly. This is a team that’s been together before and knows each other well, and it’s great.”


On the pressure of playing in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff: “We always feel pressure playing Fed Cup. When you are on a team representing your country it’s a feeling like no other. You really feel that more is riding on your shoulders every time. This is the third time [in U.S. Fed Cup history] that we’re in this position to stay in the World Group, and the fact that we are away definitely makes it more challenging. But we play every match and do our best. Hopefully we can come out with three victories.”


On players’ strengths and characteristics as a group: “This team has great chemistry and gets along really well. This is a young team, but its great having Liezel with the experience, and having played often on a big stage of an event. She knows when she gets out there what the moment means. For Melanie, Christina and Vania, they’ve played already in Fed Cup, and that’s important. Christina was able to play last year in France, Vania has been playing for a few years, and now Melanie for the past couple of years. The more you get to play under these conditions and under these pressure moments, especially when you’re away, it’s very different. When you have to deal with the crowd and the atmosphere, you need time to get used to that. All the players mesh well with different game styles, but it all works together very well.”

When asked about the pressures of being the “underdog”: “We are used to being the underdog. I think just about every time we’ve played we’ve been the underdog. Fed Cup is different. You can’t really go by the paper all the time and the rankings. You get out there and it’s a very different ball game sometimes. The favored gets very nervous, and the underdog feels like they can swing away a little more, and then again sometimes the underdog gets nervous. You just have to wait for the moment to come and see how you’re going to handle it.”

On Venus Williams playing: “Venus will be coming to support the team but she is not one hundred percent recovered from her injury, so she will not be playing.“



Melanie Oudin

On playing Julia Goerges recently in Miami, and playing on different surfaces: “I think I played a really good match against her in Miami, and it was in the states which was  better for me. The crowd was definitely for me there, and the crowd here is obviously going to be against me. If Christina plays against her, I’d get to give some good tips about [Julia]. And on the different surfaces, obviously playing on red clay is lot more different than hard court, so hopefully it will be good for this weekend.”

Christina McHale

When asked about the state of her game and playing against Andrea Petkovic: “I feel like I’m at a good point in my game right now. I’m just trying to get used to the conditions here. I haven’t played against any of the [German] players. I just need to keep practicing and playing hard this week.”



Vania King

When asked about getting the call from Mary Joe Fernandez: “I got the call out of the blue, and was on my way back to Miami that day. I made the decision in thirty minutes. I love playing Fed Cup and I’ve played with all of these players before so I know them well and we also get along very well. So I’m looking forward to a good match.”



Liezel Huber

When asked about not playing doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands: “When I found out that Bethanie was not coming, I wasn’t thinking about myself, or whoever I was going to be playing with. It’s about the team, and who are we going to find as the next best player. I think each one of these players bring so much to the table. We have a great group of American players coming up, and whoever Mary Joe picks will be great.


On playing with Vania: “When Vania said to Mary Joe she will call her back, I stayed and waited the whole time, so I’m very excited. Vania has been playing great in doubles. She and I had a good match the tie before [in Belgium], and we feel comfortable on the court. No pressure on the singles players, but we hope it comes down to the doubles for us.”


Tennis Channel will present daily coverage of the Fed Cup tie between the United States and  Germany beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. There will also be full coverage of the team on www.USTA.com this week and for a link to official live scoring this weekend


Net Notes for April 5, 2011

In the news:

Kim Clijsters announced on her website on Tuesday that she’ll be out for four weeks with right shoulder and wrist injuries which means she’ll miss playing Fed Cup.

From the statement on her website: “I think this is a great pity.” “The Fed Cup is something I was really looking forward to. But I felt that something was out of the ordinary: There were too many minor ailments, one after the other, which did not seem to disappear. Something like that gets into your head.”

“I don’t want to force anything, because I want to prevent it from becoming chronic by any means. I really want to be there at this year’s Roland Garros,” “Now there is no other option than to rest and I certainly can’t use a tennis racket for the first few weeks. We will continue with lots of physiotherapy and exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.”

Venus Williams will be traveling to Stuttgart, Germany to support the US Fed Cup team. She is not expected to play but she keep her eligibility to compete in the Olympics alive.

USTA Statement Regarding Serena Williams’ 2012 Olympic Eligibility Requirements

“Our primary concern is Serena’s health and supporting her needs to get better. We’ve been advised by Serena’s management that Serena needs to remain in the United States to receive daily medical treatment. In regards to the 2012 Olympic eligibility issue, the rules are written in such a way that they are open to interpretation. We are not focused on Serena’s Olympic eligibility right now. We are focused on beating Germany.”

Mattek-Sands, Oudin, Huber and McHale Named to US Fed Cup Team, Venus Williams to Attend

“On The Call” with U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez


John McEnroe

Associated Press reports that Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe are set to play each other on July 14 during the World TeamTennis season on Randall’s Island in New York City. Connors will play for the Philadelphia Freedoms against John McEnroe’s New York Sportimes.


US vs. Spain Davis Cup tickets went on sale Tuesday for USTA members only. According to Andy Roddick’s twitter  account ” Usta sold out member presale tix which is 80 percent of the venue for Davis cup vs spain in july in an hour and 45 minutes. Giddyup!”

The remaining tickets for the tie will go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Tickets For U.S. Versus Spain Davis Cup Tie Go on Sale April 8th

Tennis Panorama News is in Charleston, South Carolina this week covering the Family Circle Cup

Family Circle Cup: Sabine and Happy

Chatting with Wozniacki, Jankovic, Bartoli and Peer at the WTA All-Acess Hour at Family Circle Cup

Photos from WTA All-Access Hour at Family Circle Cup in Charleston


Upsets of the Day

In Spain

(WC) Estrella Cabeza Candela (ESP) d. (3) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 60


C Mchale (USA) d [8] A Kleybanova (RUS) 61 60


Tournament Results and Orders of Play

Marbella, Spain
April 4-10, 2011
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Singles – First Round
(2/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (Q) Mona Barthel (GER) 46 76(4) 64
(WC) Estrella Cabeza Candela (ESP) d. (3) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 60
(5) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. (WC) María-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) 62 62
Agnes Szavay (HUN) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 61 61
Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 64 36 63
Kristina Barrois (GER) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 63 75
(Q) Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 75 64
(Q) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Alberta Brianti (ITA) 64 61
(WC) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 36 62 64

Doubles – First Round
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Koryttseva/Olaru (UKR/ROU) 64 67(4) 107 (Match TB)
(4) Diatchenko/Niculescu (RUS/ROU) d. Dulgheru/Krajicek (ROU/NED) 67(4) 64 106 (Match TB)
Jugic-Salkic/Jurak (BIH/CRO) d. Senoglu/Zakopalova (TUR/CZE) 63 64

Order of Play – Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Pista Central (from 12.00hrs)
1. Iveta Benesova vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues
2. Victoria Azarenka vs. Arantxa Parra Santonja
3. Dinara Safina vs. Tsvetana Pironkova
4. Agnes Szavay vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

Pista 1 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Klara Zakopalova vs. Lourdes Domínguez Lino
2. Kristina Barrois vs. Sara Errani
3. Brianti/Védy vs. Camerin/Cirstea
4. Barrois/Woehr vs. Domínguez Lino/Pous-Tio


$ 721,000.00
APRIL 2 – APRIL 10, 2011

Singles – Second Round

[5] S Peer (ISR) d S Arvidsson (SWE) 61 63
[6] Y Wickmayer (BEL) d J Zheng (CHN) 64 60
C Mchale (USA) d [8] A Kleybanova (RUS) 61 60
[11] S Peng (CHN) d A Morita (JPN) 62 61
[12] J Goerges (GER) d [Q] E Birnerova (CZE) 16 75 20 Retired
C Scheepers (RSA) d J Craybas (USA) 63 62
[Q] S Mirza (IND) d V King (USA) 67(6) 64 62
First Round
[9] M Kirilenko (RUS) d V Lepchenko (USA) 64 60
[10] D Hantuchova (SVK) d A Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 76(3)
[15] B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d A Hlavackova (CZE) 62 26 76(6)
[Q] A Tatishvili (GEO) d J Dokic (AUS) 75 26 64
T Paszek (AUT) d M Oudin (USA) 61 75
E Gallovits-Hall (ROU) d [WC] J Hampton (USA) 76(1) 75
[WC] S Lisicki (GER) d R Voracova (CZE) 36 64 62
P Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) d S Zhang (CHN) 61 64

Doubles – First Round

[4] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) d N Grandin (RSA) / V Uhlirova (CZE) 46 75 10-0

STADIUM start 10:00 am
[7] N Petrova (RUS) vs E Gallovits-Hall (ROU)

Not Before 11:30 AM
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [Q] I Falconi (USA)
P Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) vs [2] S Stosur (AUS)
[3] J Jankovic (SRB) vs T Paszek (AUT)

Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] S Rogers (USA) / P Schnyder (SUI) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)
[WC] S Lisicki (GER) vs [4] M Bartoli (FRA)

ALTHEA GIBSON start 10:30 am
[10] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs E Rodina (RUS)
[9] M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [Q] A Tatishvili (GEO)

Not Before 2:00 PM
[14] B Mattek-Sands (USA) vs E Vesnina (RUS)
D Hantuchova (SVK) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs A Hlavackova (CZE) / R Voracova (CZE)
S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) vs [2] L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[1] K Peschke (CZE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs V Dushevina (RUS) / T Poutchek (BLR)

Not Before 1:00 PM
A Rodionova (AUS) vs [15] B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
M Kondratieva (RUS) / S Lefevre (FRA) vs R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA)

COURT 4 start :

Not Before 1:00 PM
A Kleybanova (RUS) / Z Yan (CHN) vs J Goerges (GER) / N Petrova (RUS)
S Peng (CHN) / J Zheng (CHN) vs [3] V King (USA) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) – After suitable rest

Grand Prix Hassan II (Casablanca, Morocco)


Singles – First Round
[5] P Starace (ITA) d D Brands (GER) 75 62
[7] F Fognini (ITA) d [Q] G Granollers-Pujol (ESP) 62 46 63
F Volandri (ITA) d J Benneteau (FRA) 75 63
B Kavcic (SLO) d [WC] R El Amrani (MAR) 34 ret.
R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) d R Machado (POR) 75 61
F Gil (POR) d S Bolelli (ITA) 63 61
M Berrer (GER) d [Q] N Devilder (FRA) 63 63
[Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS) d [Q] S Gutierrez-Ferrol (ESP) 61 76(5)

Doubles – First Round
[1] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) d M Elgin (RUS) / A Golubev (KAZ) 62 57 10-5
M Kukushkin (KAZ) / F Volandri (ITA) d [4] D Bracciali (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) 26 61 10-7
M Kohlmann (GER) / S Ventura (ESP) d P Andujar (ESP) / D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 75 62
C Fleming (GBR) / I Zelenay (SVK) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 76(4) 57 10-7


COURT CENTRAL start 11:00 am
P Andujar (ESP) vs [6] [WC] J Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 1:00 PM
[Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [2] [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP)
[8] V Hanescu (ROU) vs M Berrer (GER)
[1] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs M Kohlmann (GER) / S Ventura (ESP)

COURT 2 start 11:00am
[4] A Golubev (KAZ) vs P Riba (ESP)
C Kas (GER) / A Peya (AUT) vs [3] S Aspelin (SWE) / J Knowle (AUT)
L Friedl (CZE) / R Wassen (NED) vs [2] P Hanley (AUS) / B Soares (BRA)
F Fognini (ITA) / P Riba (ESP) vs [WC] R El Amrani (MAR) / A Fattar (MAR) – After Suitable Rest

Singles First Round
[Q] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d [5] Benjamin Becker (GER) 76(5) 64
[6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) d [Q] Franco Skugor (CRO) 63 62
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d [WC] Ryan Harrison (USA) 64 63
[WC] James Blake (USA) d Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 67(3) 63 64
Somdev Devvarman (IND) d Robert Kendrick (USA) 62 61
[WC] Ryan Sweeting (USA) d [Q] Tim Smyzcek (USA) 62 62
Albert Ramos (ESP) d Brian Dabul (ESP) 64 75
Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) d Mischa Zverev (GER) 76(1) 62
[Q] Paul Capdeville (CHI) d Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 64 76(4)

Doubles First Round
[1] Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) d James Cerretani (USA) / Adil Shamasdin (CAN) 60 62
[2] Eric Butorac (USA) / Jean-Julien Rojer (AHO) d Ashley Fisher (AUS) / Stephen Huss (AUS) 75 76(4)
Pablo Cuevas (URU) / Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [3] Scott Lipsky (USA) / Rajeev Ram (USA) 63 63
John Isner (USA) / Sam Querrey (USA) d Benjamin Becker (GER) / Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 61 76(2)
Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) / Ricardo Mello (BRA) d Jonathan Erlich (ISR) / Rainer Schuettler (GER) 76(4) 63
Travis Rettenmaier (USA) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d [WC] Ryan Harrison (USA) / Ryan Sweeting (USA) 61 61

STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[8] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS)
[Q] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) vs Igor Kunitsyn (RUS)
Not Before 4:00 PM
[1] Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) vs Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) / Ricardo Mello (BRA)
Not Before 6:00 PM
[WC] Ryan Sweeting (USA) vs [2] Sam Querrey (USA)
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs [4] John Isner (USA)

COURT 3 start 4:00 pm
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) / Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) vs [2] Eric Butorac (USA) / Jean-Julien Rojer (AHO)


“On The Call” with U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

The USTA held a media conference call on Tuesday with U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. She officially named the US Fed Cup team to take on Germany in Stuttgart April 16-17 in the World Group Playoff. Tennis Panorama News listened in on the call.

The questions were posed by Matt Cronin of Fox Sports, Erin Bruehl of USTA.com and Joe Fleming of USA Today. The following is the official transcript from the conference call:

An Interview With:



TIM CURRY: Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We have with us U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez, who will announce the U.S. team that will compete in Stuttgart,Germany, April 16th and 17th in the World Group Playoff. This is just the third time the U.S. has played in the World Group Playoff in Fed Cup, and it will be the first time the U.S. is actually playing on the road for a World Group Playoff tie. That being said, I will pass the call on to Mary Joe to tell us the roster.

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Thank you, Tim. Hello, everyone. I am pleased to announce the United States Fed Cup Team coming up in already a week’s time. We’ll be in Germany. The team is going to consist of  Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, Christina McHale, and Liezel Huber. I’ve had all of those members on my team the last couple of years, and I’m looking forward to having them again. It’s going to be obviously a tough match away on the red clay, a big challenge. The Germans have a very strong team. We look forward to challenges and doing our best. So I open it up to questions.

Q. I understand Venus Williams is going to be traveling with the team to Germany although you’re not expecting her to be able to play because of her injury that’s kept her out since January. Can you just explain the decision to have her go with the team and how this may or may not affect her Olympic eligibility?

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Sure. Tim can talk about the Olympics, but she is traveling to Germany to be with the team. She’s been rehabbing her injury from Australia. Hopefully, she’ll be able to practice. I don’t expect her to play, but, obviously, in the next ten days if she’s playing great and feeling fit, then there’s always that possibility.

TIM CURRY: And regarding the Olympic eligibility, I’ve got a statement from the USTA on Venus and her status. It’s as follows:

“The USTA’s position has been that if a player makes himself/herself available for Davis Cup or Fed Cup, and if the player is physically unable to compete, then the player can travel to the tie to support the team and will have fulfilled that portion of the player’s Olympic eligibility requirements. Venus made herself available for the USA vs. Germany tie but will be unable to compete due to injury. We’ve been advised by Venus’ management that Venus intends to make the trip to Stuttgart to support our U.S. Fed Cup team against Germany.”

**See statement regarding Serena Williams at the end of transcript (not read during call)

Q. I was hoping you could just talk about the matchup against Germany, how Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, or certainly even Christina McHale matched up against the German team. I know Bethanie’s had a couple of tough three-set matches against Andrea Petkovic the last few months.

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Both Melanie and Bethanie have played Petkovic. Both Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges. Sabine Lisicki is another member of the team that’s a potential she could play. The matches have been tough. They’ve been very tight. Obviously, playing on red clay adds a different dimension to it. All of the players are playing this weekend in Charleston. Some played a USTA Pro Circuit event last week, so they’re getting used to the clay court surface. We’re going to get there for practice on Monday to start getting used to the conditions and the surface. They’re all tough players. You saw Petkovic in Miami, her abilities. And she’ll probably be confident, having beaten Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic on the way to the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson. It’s going to be an uphill battle against Petkovic. Goerges is dangerous. She can play lights out tennis, big forehand, pretty big serve, but she can also mistakes.

We’re going to have to be solid. We’re going to have to mix it up and just see what the matches are, like, again, Lisicki could play. She’s playing today in Charleston. She’s another dangerous opponent with a big serve and powerful ground stroke. As it gets closer, we’ll break it down even more and look at matchups and look at past history and decide what the best strategy will be.

Q. Can you break down the decision as to whether or not you’re going to play maybe Christina McHale over Melanie Oudin, who’s been in somewhat of a slump, and Christina’s had a pretty good last couple of months. One yesterday was a tough tiebreaker against Watson.


Q. But her confidence seems to be up. She’s moving well, and it doesn’t seem like Melanie has been able to get much going in the last month or two.

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: That will definitely be a consideration, who’s more confident. And hopefully, Melanie will play well this week and build her confidence. But that’s something that will factor into my decision. Obviously, the clay and the movement and who’s training well and who’s feeling the best will also come to it. And the matchups. I have to take into consideration Melanie just beat Julia Goerges, if they decide to play. But Christina has had a good run here at Indian Wells, three sets against Nadia Petrova. Just won a few matches last week. She won yesterday and plays today again. So it’s good to have the options. Yes, I will definitely look at who’s more confident at the time. You’ve seen Melanie in Fed Cup. Even when she hasn’t been playing that well, she finds a way to rise to the occasion when she’s playing for her country and her teammates. I’ve got to take that into consideration as well. She’s been one of the most valuable players on my team throughout the last couple of years.

Q. Did you consider bringing Vania King possibly over Melanie Oudin? Because Vania actually won yesterday too, and I know she’s not a great clay court player, but she can be resourceful.

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Sure, I considered all the players, Vania King and Coco Vandeweghe. Vania’s not had that much success recently, and I didn’t feel she on clay was her best surface. I feel Melanie has had good results in the past on the clay court. Again, when Fed Cup comes around, Melanie for some reason really flies under those conditions. It was a tough, obviously, decision to make, but I went with the team that I thought would do best.

Q. I knew Venus was going to travel with the team. I haven’t heard from Serena’s camp at all on that. I know, it’s not a safe thing necessarily for her to fly. But did you talk to her at all? Did she actually think about just flying over to be with the team because of the whole Olympic eligibility thing?

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: I think prior to her embolism she did, but I think right now doctors advise against traveling. She has to, I think, be seen every day. We’re just hoping she can have a speedy recovery and get healthy. Tennis is really the last thing we’re concerned about. We’re just concerned that Serena gets better.

Q. Just thinking about the position we’re in with the World Group Playoff, which we aren’t in very often, does that add pressure to the players, to you, to everybody involved?

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Well, there’s always pressure when you’re playing for your country and your team. I was part of one of those ties where we had to play to stay in the World Group. It means so much to our country and our

team to stay in the World Group. Having said that, we’ve had a really good run, and we’ve had tough matches. We played Belgium in the first round. Being seeded second, it was tough to come against Kim Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer away. And we’re facing a tough draw again against Germany playing away. It’s a tough assignment, but we look forward to the challenge. We’re going to do our all and give our best as usual to get through and to win and to stay in the World Group. That’s the goal. We want to fight for the World Group trophy next year.

Q. Mary Joe, because you are an excellent clay court player and we haven’t had a great generation of clay courters in a while, is there anything you can do in your time with the girls to help them be better clay court


CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: I really emphasize consistency. We played France last year on the clay, and it’s a different mentality. You really have to be prepared to be out there all day to play high percentage tennis. It’s tough when our players have been better on the hard courts the last decade and more of a power mentality of going for your shots and hitting winners. And really on clay, I don’t know how fast — it’s indoor clay, which I think is a good thing.

I don’t know how fast the court will be or how slow the court will be. But it is a mentality of being patient and really working the point, playing very high percentage until you get your right opportunity.

You have to really drill that in early in the week and do a lot of drills related to that. So it is. It’s not easy. Melanie, I think, is a little bit more used to it because I think she’s played a little bit more clay than everyone else. But that’s all. In five days you just have to get that base of not missing and playing heavy balls but with a lot of margin.

Q. Mary Joe, just as you’re mentioning France last year, how much advantage does that give you guys that this was the exact same team Christina McHale ended up subbing in that played indoors on clay away against France? How much does that help to have that experience and not necessarily the slow clay outside in Italy of a year and a half ago?

CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: It definitely helps. You know, they’ve played indoor clay before, and it’s not the first time. So that’s always an advantage to have a little bit of experience. But it’s a different team that we’re playing up against and different circumstances.

It’s nice that we have done the surface. We’ve been there. But it’s a new experience. So how it goes.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports


USTA Statement Regarding Serena Williams’ 2012 Olympic Eligibility Requirements

“Our primary concern is Serena’s health and supporting her needs to get better. We’ve been advised by Serena’s management that Serena

needs to remain in the United States to receive daily medical treatment. In regards to the 2012 Olympic eligibility issue, the rules are written in

such a way that they are open to interpretation. We are not focused on Serena’s Olympic eligibility right now. We are focused on beating Germany.”


Tennis Panorama News participates in many tennis media conference calls. “On The Call” serves to give readers an inside view of tennis news.


Mattek-Sands, Oudin, Huber and McHale Named to US Fed Cup Team, Venus Williams to Attend

The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced the team on Tuesday. The team will consist of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, Liezel Huber and Christina McHale. They will represent the the U.S. against Germany in the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff in Stuttgart, Germany, April 16-17.


Venus Williams has committed to attend the tie and support the team, though she is not expected to play for the U.S. due to injury.


The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, April 16 with two singles matches and is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, April 17.  Tennis Channel will present daily coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.


“After a tough outing on the road at Belgium, I know this team is very eager to return to the court against Germany,” said U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  “The Germans are a strong young team made up of a very talented group of players. Playing on foreign soil is always a difficult task, but our team will be ready to play hard and try to ensure that we can compete for the Fed Cup title once again next year.”


The U.S. is 8-4 all-time against Germany in Fed Cup competition, which includes a 6-3 record against West Germany.  The U.S. defeated Germany 4-1 in the last meeting between the two countries in the 2008 World Group.


The U.S. has only competed in the World Group Playoffs on two occasions – both at home – most recently in 2002.  After losing the World Group first round tie to Austria, the U.S. hosted Israel in Springfield, Mo.  Lindsay Davenport and Monica Seles each won both of their singles matches en route to a 5-0 victory.


For more information, including access to player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to www.usta.com.



New Experience with Sharapova and the Hot Shots

Craig Hickman will be covering the Sony Ericsson Open for Tennis Panorama News. Before the tournament got underway, the action was already beginning in South Beach.

By Craig Hickman

Started the day at breakfast with Jarkko Nieminen and Andrea Petkovic, had a short hit with David Ferrer at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, then toughed through the spring-break traffic to Miami Beach for the Xperia Hot Shots unveiling over at the Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel on Collins Ave.

Well, okay. I saw Nieminen and Petkovic at breakfast, watched Ferrer’s practice session with Fernando Verdasco before the event on Miami Beach. A bit overexcited attending my first Sony Ericsson Open, just seeing the players up close and personal made me feel as though we were all companions.

Maria Sharapova‘s celebrity appearance gave the event some sparkle after DJ Jazzy Jeff’s set and before Dominika Cibulkova, Sorana Cirstea, Alizé Cornet, Sabine Lisicki, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Heather Watson,were introduced as the WTA’s future superstars. The event felt like a big old party. Free flowing liquor at the open bar. Jazzy Jeff’s louder than loud music. Party goers from all walks of life decked out in various stages of undress, the beach only steps away. Paparazzi everywhere.

The turquoise ocean beneath a clear sky beckoned, but I stayed put. Well, not exactly.

Before the event got underway, I stole some moments in the hotel lobby with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who were on the big flat screen next to the bar beating each other up in the BNP Paribas Open final. More folks than I would have imagined stopped to take in a few points en route to their rooms or the beach or the party out back or the bigger party along the entire thoroughfare out front. Miami Beach during spring break is no joke. Back in the lobby, one young woman waiting for the elevator pointed at the battle on the flat screen, looked at her toddler boy and said, “Look. Tennis.” Seems as though as many people stopped to check the tennis score as they did the basketball score before the nice bartender allowed me the remote to change the channel.

Shortly after the event, Sharapova was escorted by security to the black SUV that swept her away while the photographer’s shutters clicked, clicked, clicked.

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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