2014/11/21

Indian Wells Tennis Garden Celebrates Topping Out Stadium 2

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner's Representative.

Mary Roche, Mayor, City of Indian Wells; Steve Simon, Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open; Raymond Moore, CEO, BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO, Watkins Landmark Construction; Dick Oliphant, Owner’s Representative.

Indian Wells, Calif., August 6, 2013 – The final structural beam was placed atop the new Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) on Tuesday in a “topping out” celebration presented by Watkins Landmark Construction. The new stadium is on schedule to be completed in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open to be held March 3-16, 2014.

Construction workers, IWTG Staff, members of the design and engineering teams, Watkins Landmark Employees and other dignitaries in attendance signed the 15-foot beam to recognize the hard work and dedication of everyone involved to help this new structure come to fruition. The beam was then hoisted to its final resting place on the top of an elevator shaft on the northeast corner of the stadium. On hand to speak at the ceremony were Raymond Moore, CEO of the BNP Paribas Open and IWTG; Jody James Watkins, President and CEO of Watkins Landmark Construction; and Mary Roche, Mayor of the City of Indian Wells.

“This BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden ‘Topping Out’ ceremony is a celebration of the hard work that has been put into getting the structure where it is today,” said Moore. “However, this ceremony is also a landmark in the construction process, signifying that the home stretch is quickly approaching. The new Stadium 2 will be an outstanding facility for our fans come next March, when the tennis stars and fans from around the world descend upon Indian Wells.”

The new Stadium 2 officially broke ground in March during the 2013 BNP Paribas Open, which is currently home to the second-largest tennis stadium in the world. The facility will feature 8,000 seats and space for three restaurants.

This is part of an overall site expansion that also includes a marquee site entrance on Washington Street with a new box office, a new 19,000 square foot shade structure identical to the one built in 2012, four additional practice courts, expansion of the current Miles Street entrance, an upgraded accessible parking area on the north side, an additional grass parking space for up to 2,000 cars and expansion and relocation of the TV Production compound.

“We are so honored to be such a big part of this site expansion,” said Watkins. “This new Stadium 2 is going to add to the already-impressive Indian Wells Tennis Garden and be yet another jewel in the desert.”

Construction of the site expansion is set to finish in time for the 2014 BNP Paribas Open.

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Third Time’s the Charm: Bryan Brothers Capture First Doubles Championship in the Desert

By Jennifer Knapp

Bryan Brothers

(March 17, 2013) – Top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the U.S. won their first BNP Paribas Open title on Saturday, defeating the first time pairing of Treat Huey (PHI) and Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 in 69 minutes in yet another thriller under the lights at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

 

Competing in the desert for the 15th time, the 34-year old twins, needed a super tiebreak to close out the match as Huey and Janowicz proved to be formidable opponents. Each team was only broken one time but in the end, the cohesiveness, experience and advanced skill level of the journeymen Americans proved to be the deciding factor.

 

After celebrating their 86th title together with a trademark chest bump, the brothers embraced.  Despite all of their success over the years, it was clear to see how much this championship meant to them.

 

The Bryans, who previously lost the 2003 and 2006 finals, praised Huey and Janowicz, who were playing in their first tournament together as a team,   “We’ve played 3,000 tournaments,” Bob Bryan joked, “and we barely clipped you guys.”

 

With this latest win, the brothers secured their 22nd Masters Series 1000s and have increased their championship match winning percentage to 66% (86 of 130 finals).

How sweet it is.

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Del Potro Upsets Djokovic and Will Meet Nadal in BNP Paribas Open Final

 

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(March 16, 2013) Juan Martin Del Potro rallied from 0-3 down in the third set to end the 22 match win streak of  No. 1 Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to move into his first BNP Paribas Open final on Saturday.

Serving for the match, Del Potro clinched the victory with an ace to defeat the Serb for only his third time in 11 career meetings in two-hours-and-49-minutes – the longest match of the tennis  tournament. The win also ended a 4 match losing streak to Djokovic.

The last Argentine to reach the Indian Wells final, was Guillermo Vilas in 1977.

Del Potro will be playing No. 5 Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday at Indian Wells. Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-4 earlier in the day.

Del Potro credited his third set comeback to the fans. “I think the crowd help me to keep fighting and to come back in the 3rd set,” Del Potro said on court after the match.

“I was doing a very good match until the third set, but Novak had the chance to beat me when I was 3‑Love, Del Potro said later in a post-match news conference.

“But I come back soon, and that give me a little confidence to come back in that set.

“Then also the crowd want to watch more tennis and help me to play my best tennis in the end, and I think it was my best match in this tournament, for sure.”

 

“His fighting spirit and my lack of concentration,” Djokovic told media were the reasons for the turnaround after leading 3-0 in the final set.  “I just ‑‑ I didn’t deserve to win today.  You know, whenever I had chances, second, third set, I throw them away with some unforced errors.  My movement was poor, and I congratulate to my opponent.”

“I never think about my yesterday match, Del Potro said about his win over Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.  Djokovic is completely different player.  He’s the No. 1 and always is a big challenge against him.

“I was so close to lose because he got the chance to beat me, but I think I got lucky in very important moments, very important points when I made a fantastic winners on my forehands.

“Also good aces, and that’s help me to go through.

Djokovic on Del Potro’s game:”He has a big serve; he moves around the court very well for his height; he uses that forehand as a great weapon, you know.  Great running forehand, so he’s opening that side.

“I didn’t use my backhand along the line as I usually do.  It’s one of my best shots.  Today I just wasn’t there.  My backhand generally wasn’t there.  It’s okay, you know.  It happens.  It’s sport, and I just didn’t make it this time.”

Del Potro’s use of the slice proved to be very effective in this match and in the tournament. “I use it a lot, because that help me to play more aggressive with my forehand and trying to do different things, Del Potro said.  “That help me to beat Murray yesterday; today Nole.

“I don’t know if I’m going to use tomorrow against Rafa because he’s lefty and he move really, really fast in the baseline.

“But what I know about him is playing more aggressive than today, trying to make a few winners with my forehands, coming a lot to the net, and I need to serve well also.”

Nadal in press 3 11

Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 to gain his fourth berth in the BNP Paribas Open final. Nadal is now 16-1 in his comeback from a left knee injury since taking a seven month hiatus off the tennis tour, including a current 13 match win streak.

“It’s very, very difficult to imagine something like this. But here we are today, and very happy about all what happened the last month, especially last three weeks,” said Nadal, who took out No. 2 Roger Federer in straight sets in the quarterfinals.

“So coming back is certainly something amazing for me, totally unexpected, and I received more support than ever from the crowd every place that I played.  That’s always a very, very special feeling.  Thank you very much, all the people.

“I am enjoying, sure.  Every match means a lot to me.  Every time I am able to come back on court and play these kind of matches makes me very happy.”

“I don’t have nothing to lose after seven months. I did much more than what I dreamed.”

Nadal will be seeking his third Indian Wells title.

“He looks strong again,” Berdych said. “He still play very aggressive, and what he was missing in his first matches when he come back after the injury was maybe a bit of confidence in his game, but definitely not today and not anymore.”

“When it was 5-3 ( in the second set) since that time I serve only one first serve and he serve only one second serve,” Berdych said. “Actually, that was the difference.”

“I was very nervous at the end of the match to close the match and was lucky that my serve worked amazing in the last game in important moments,” Nadal  said. “Victories like today, like the other day, helps you a lot for the confidence and to remember all the things that you have to do in every moment.”

Nadal holds a 7-3 head-to-head record versus the Argentine.

In order for Del Potro to win Sunday’s final, Del Potro explained that everything has to be “perfect.” “ It’s the final against Rafa.  For sure I need to play better and better every day.  All finals are special to play.

“Also when you play the top guys, they are the favorites, but I will try to do my game like just like today and then see if Rafa give me a little chance to win.”

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Djokovic Win Streak Up to 22 with Win Over Tsonga

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(March 15, 2013) No. 1 Novak Djokovic extended his win streak to 22 on Friday with a defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for 8th straight time, 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The last time Djokovic lost was back on October 31 to American Sam Querrey at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. The Serb is 17-0 this year with two titles including the Australian Open.

Djokovic broke Tsonga’s serve four times during the 54 minutes match. The Frenchman is now 0-11 against the world’s top 5 since November 2011.

“I served really well and used the shots around the court well, and that’s what matters for me,” Djokovic said.

“Things went well from the start.  You know, it was quite different conditions from that previous match when I played at night and was much slower.  Today was a hotter day obviously, and the ball’s going through the air much faster.  That required a big focus and adjustment steps before every point and every shot.

“I thought I did well.  I was in the balance.  I returned well when I needed to.  He made a lot of unforced errors, which obviously helped me to get in front.

“When it was important, I didn’t allow him to come back to the match.  I didn’t allow him to have an opportunity to believe that he can maybe have a break back and get back into the match.

“So that was very important for me to stay mentally, you know, committed throughout the whole match.

“Was tough for me to keep the ball in the court, said Tsonga.  “Not because he put me a lot of pressure.

“I don’t know.  Just because it was ‑‑ I don’t know.  I don’t know how to explain that, but it was a day for me without sensation.  Everything I tried to do, I missed it, and not about a point like this.  In the match you have many, many points.”

Djokovic will play the winner of Andy Murray versus Juan Martin Del Potro match.

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Berdych Moves into BNP Paribas Open Semifinal with Win over Anderson

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(March 14, 2013) Czech Tomas Berdych continued his run at the BNP Paribas Open without dropping a set with his defeat of South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to move into the semifinals of Indian Wells on Thursday.

For Berdych, it’s the first time he’s reached this stage at the BNP Paribas Open.

Berdych says he’s making his way towards the top 4.  “Well, I think I’m getting closer, but those guys are still running away, Berdych told media. “I don’t know how they do it, but it’s really, really tough, you know.

“If you look at the guys who are there, it’s really, you know, very tough time.  But, you know, it doesn’t change anything for me.  I mean, I just trying to focus myself, trying to go one by one, either if it’s weeks or the matches.

“So, really, go day by day and, you know, also trying to be patient in that as well.  You know, hopefully one day I can sit and say, Yeah, all that hard work has been, you know, paying off, you know, that I was able to move, even improve the ranking or make a really big results, Grand Slam or some other, and so that’s my actually key and motivation.

Berdych will face the winner of Thursday nights’ Roger FedererRafael Nadal match.

“Well, my position is great, “ said the Czech.  “I’m in the semifinal and I can, you know, just lie in my bed, turn on the TV, and just watching the guys that they’re gonna play.

“So I cannot be in better position than that.  Well, my thoughts on that match, I mean, I think everybody knows who I would prefer to play.

But this is a sport, this is tennis, they will go there, and they will try to fight for the win.  The better is gonna wait for me next day.

“Yeah, need to get ready if it’s Roger or Rafa and try to bring my best game again.”

Berdych spoke about his recent success against Federer.

“Well, I think it’s quite simple,” Berdych said.  “It’s the way what I play.  With my style I can do a bit more damage to Roger, you know, because I can take, you know, his I’d say comfort on the court away and he starts to be more under pressure.

“And then, you know, that’s the way when he doesn’t feel, you know, that optimum and that good on court.  I’m not saying that I’m expert to beat him, but I’m trying to do my best to win the matches with him.  You know, in the past at least it’s been working.

“With Rafa, it’s way different, you know.  With his, you know, lefty hand and heavy spins, it’s very tough, you know, especially in these conditions.  If it’s going to be hot like this, yeah, it’s could be very, very tough one.

“But, you know, one day I hope that I’m going to find the way how to beat him again, and why not here?”

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Nadal Rallies fo Win Against a Resurgent Gulbis

Rafael Nadal

(March 13, 2013) No. 5 Rafael Nadal ended the run of  qualifier Ernests Gulbis on Wednesday 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 at the BNP Paribas Open to snap the Latvian’s 13 match win streak and to extend a streak of his own to 11.

The Spaniard leapt into the air, took off his headband and pumped his left arm in victory after sealing the win.

The win for Nadal sets up a quarterfinal clash with Roger Federer. The Swiss defeated countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 earlier in the evening in a day session which ended at almost 10 pm at night

Nadal, back on the tennis tour since last month, after being out for seven months due to a left knee injury, spoke to media about his level of play.

“I said before the tournament my knee some days good, some days not that good,“ Nadal answered.  “Today so‑so.”

Nadal said that he fought for every ball:”I tried my best in every moment.  I know I cannot go to some balls that in the past I went today, but I will do it in the future.

“So win matches in days like today are more important than ever for me, and very happy about what I did on court.  Happy about the attitude.  With all the problems I was able to keep being focused and keep winning.

Today every victory is very important to me, and I really appreciate every moment and every victory.”

Gulbis said, “I feel bad.  I wanted to win, of course.”

“Okay, if you want my match analysis,” Gulbis continued, “honestly, I think that I played better tennis.  I was more aggressive.  I went for my shots much more than he.  But he did really incredibly well, as he always does, on important points.  Just it’s really tough to beat the guy, you know.”

“I think that I’m closing in, ” Gulbis added.  “I just need to continue in this way, and sooner or later I’m going to beat him.”

Nadal gained some inspiration from the crowd: “All the support of the crowd since I am coming back every place, you know, around every tournament that I played was amazing, and today was not an exception.

“I just can say thank you very much all the fans.  You know, in the tough moments like I had, they are very important.  And, you know, in my coming back having matches like today and having matches that I am with some troubles like I had in Chile and Brazil and lot of days and the support, the feeling that you have a lot of people with you around is very important.

That’s, you know, give to me a lot of energy.”

Nadal who holds an 18-10 record against Federer, says it will be a challenge.

“Well, tomorrow will be a nice match,” the Spaniard said.  Always play against Roger is a pleasure.  This match arrives early for me, too early to, you know, to go to the match with the feeling that I can play equal conditions than him.

“I think I am not that level today, but I gonna try, as I do always.  I gonna try to enjoy the match.  I’m going to try to play well and, you know, make the match positive for me with any result.

“I am here in Indian Wells in quarterfinals.  Two weeks ago I didn’t know if I would be able to be here.  Being in quarterfinals is a fantastic result for me, and we’ll see.

“It will be very difficult tomorrow for me.”

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Federer Escapes Wawrinka to Gain Indian Wells Quarters

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(March 13, 2013) Roger Federer needed three sets to escape Swiss countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5 on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open.

Federer took the first set comfortably and served for the match at 5-4 in the second when Wawrinka broke Federer at love.

Wawrinka said he felt better in the second set.  “After he broke me I was starting to play much more aggressive, much more better.  My game was better.

“I had few chance(s) before on the same side, and I was just trying to be focused, to make him play a lot, and try to fight like always I do in every match and against every player.

I did great passing, and, you know, I know that when it’s Love‑15, when I can get into the point, I have some chance to do something.

That’s it.

The set went to a tiebreak which ended when Federer double faulted.

At 1-1 in the third set Federer wanted to challenge one of his own serves, but was denied by the chair umpire because he had hit a second shot. He appealed to an ATP tournament supervisor but was denied.

Federer was broken, but broke right back. It remained on serve until Wawrinka was broken at 5-6 to give Federer the match.

“Today it was extremely close again,’ Federer said.  “Okay, I should maybe close it out in the second set, but he did well to stay in it.

“At the end, I don’t know what gets me through.  Maybe it’s the experience or maybe a bit more calm in those moments.  I’m not sure.  Today I think I was a little lucky to come through it in the end.”

Federer who is the defending Indian Wells champion will play the winner of the Ernest Gulbis-Rafael Nadal match in the quarterfinals.

“I have played Gulbis on a few occasions, Federer said.  “He’s always been tough for me to play against.  It’s not always on your racquet clearly when a guy serves this big, but that’s always the case with those guys.

So it’s a matter of staying calm and waiting for your opportunity and making him work as hard on his serve as much as you can try and have an impact on that.

“So he’s obviously on a good winning streak.  That makes him tough to play, clearly.  Yeah, I’m happy to see Ernests playing good again, because he went through a bit of a rough patch.  He’s been injured from time to time, as well.  It’s nice seeing him turn the corner again, because it’s not the first time he’s doing something good.  I hope he can keep it up for the year.

Obviously playing Rafa, it’s a classic.  We have played, you know, so many times.  We know each other really well on and off the court.  We know what to expect, both of us.  I mean, we are both a bit suspect going into our match, I guess, you know, so it’s an interesting matchup, especially ‑‑ I mean, it’s not early in the tournament.  It’s still my fourth match here.

It’s not like a first round, but it still is early in the tournament.  In the past this match used to be a final, now it’s a quarterfinal, so obviously it’s a bit of bad luck of the draw for both of us.

“At the same time, it’s very exciting always playing each other.  Doesn’t matter what stage of the tournament.”

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BNP Paribas Open – Tuesday Results, Wednesday Schedule

big bnp paribas open logo

BNP PARIBAS OPEN
Indian Wells, CA, USA
March 6-17, 2013
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, March 12, 2013
WTA Singles – Fourth Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 63 61
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 75 60
(13) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 61 46 75
(4) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (Q) Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 64 75
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (19) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 62 63
(6) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (9) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 63 62
(7) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (24) Mona Barthel (GER) 46 62 63
(8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (10) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 76(3) 63

WTA Doubles – Quarterfinals
(4) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. Chan/Husarova (TPE/SVK) 76(3) 46 107 (Match TB)
Date-Krumm/Dellacqua (JPN/AUS) d. Dushevina/Panova (RUS/RUS) 62 64

ATP Singles – Third Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d [31] G Dimitrov (BUL) 76(4) 61
[3] A Murray (GBR) d Y Lu (TPE) 63 62
[7] J Del Potro (ARG) d B Phau (GER) 62 75
[8] J Tsonga (FRA) d [32] M Fish (USA) 76(4) 76(0)
[19] T Haas (GER) d [11] N Almagro (ESP) 63 67(2) 76(2) – Saved 1 M.P.
[17] M Raonic (CAN) d [12] M Cilic (CRO) 36 64 63
C Berlocq (ARG) d [16] K Nishikori (JPN) 62 62
[23] S Querrey (USA) d M Matosevic (AUS) 76(5) 67(7) 75

ATP Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d L Kubot (POL) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) 67(4) 64 10-7

ATP Doubles – Second Round
A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 63 62
I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d G Dimitrov (BUL) / F Nielsen (DEN) 67(1) 61 10-8
C Fleming (GBR) / P Hanley (AUS) d [Alt] P Andujar (ESP) / D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 63 62

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 13 MARCH, 2013

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[13] G Simon (FRA) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
[5] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [13] M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
[18] S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
[5] R Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] E Gulbis (LAT) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[6] S Errani (ITA) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA

Not Before 8:30 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [23] S Querrey (USA) – ATP

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
T Huey (PHI) / J Janowicz (POL) vs [WC] J Blake (USA) / M Fish (USA) – ATP
[17] M Raonic (CAN) vs [8] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs [10] R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs C Berlocq (ARG) – ATP
[19] T Haas (GER) vs [7] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP

STADIUM 3 start 2:00 pm
[3] N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs [6] N Llagostera Vives (ESP) / J Zheng (CHN) – WTA

Not Before 4:00 PM
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) – ATP
S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) vs D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Medina Garrigues (ESP) – WTA
C Fleming (GBR) / P Hanley (AUS) vs A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) – ATP

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Djokovic Win Streak up to 20: Faces Last Man to Beat Him – Querrey Next

Novak Djokovic at BNP Paribas Open players' party

 

(March 12, 2013) Novak Djokovic‘s win streak has hit 20 dating back to October 2012 with his 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday in Indian Wells, California.

The World No. 1 was forced to come back from a 2-5 deficit in the first set when Dimitrov’s serve began to fail. The Bulgarian hit 6 double faults including 4 in one game.

Djokovic moves on to play Sam Querrey, the last man to beat him back on October 31. Querrey beat Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 7-5.

“It’s been a long time, Djokovic said. “It’s been a few months and I played a few tournaments since then.  So, you know, I don’t think it’s going to affect me negatively in a psychological way.

“I won four, five times against him.  Yes, he has won the last encounter indoors.  Different circumstances and conditions.  So we’ll see, you know.

“I mean, we’ll play in front of his crowd and he has a big serve and big game and he can come up with the goods when needed.  He loves to play also on a big stage.  We’ll see, you know.

“I don’t know if we’re going to play day or night match, and that’s going to also make a little difference.

“During the night it’s a bit slower, so we’ll see how that goes.  I will need to definitely start better than I have done today, and try to step into the court a little bit more.”

Sam-Querrey-backhand2

“It was tough,” Querrey said of the match versus Matosevic.  “Last couple of weeks those are the matches that I lost.  It feels great to get through it.

“You know, there was four breaks to start the third set there, and, you know, I was glad I just battled through it.  I didn’t feel I played unbelievable, but I just stuck around, stuck around, got a break at 5‑All, and then closed it out with some good serves.

“So I was really happy, and I feel like I can only play better than that in my next round.”

Querrey spoke about playing Djokovic next; “I’m just going to hopefully play well, hopefully be aggressive, hopefully on those break points, deuce points, you know, have some balls go my way.

“I’m going to try and just enjoy it out there.”

“He does everything really well:  Unbelievable forehand; unbelievable backhand; moves around the court great; returns great.  It’s tough to pick on something.

“I might have to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit and do things I don’t like to do, and hopefully it will pay off for me.

With John Isner’s early loss, Querrey will become the top-ranked American man when the next rankings come out.

“It means a lot,” Querrey said.  It’s a great feeling.  I feel like I have worked hard to earn it.  Everyone seems like they’ve got their shot with Andy and Mardy and James and John, and so I feel like it’s my turn now.

“But, you know, those guys are right on my heels and we will keep pushing each other.  I know they want it, too.  Hopefully we will just keep pushing each other and we can all keep moving up the rankings.”

Djokovic has a 4-1 record against Querrey.

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Stosur Building Confidence, Comes Back to Beat Peng

Sam Stosur interview

By Curt Janka

(March 11, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – Sam Stosur had to dig deep and come from behind in the third set to beat Shuai Peng 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Peng may have been a familiar opponent, but the match was much more tightly contested than their lopsided head-to-head record would suggest. Stosur has now beaten Peng all 5 times they have met.

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur

Asked if her previous record against Peng helped when the match was close, Stosur responded “Not necessarily, but I guess knowing that in the back of your head it does give you a little bit of comfort knowing that, ok, I’ve had success against her. There’s something about my game she doesn’t like and if I can get back to that then I’m in with a good shot.” However, she also added “You’ve got to stay focused on the match at hand. Having won those four doesn’t mean you’re going to win five.”

That was certainly true today when Peng upped her level of play in the second set, grabbing an early lead. Stosur fought her way close to breaking back, but couldn’t convert against her determined opponent.

Shuai Peng

Shuai Peng

Again in the third set, Stosur found herself down an early break. “When I lost serve early in that third, I knew that I really had to step it up,” she said. “I wasn’t playing bad, but I probably wasn’t doing enough. Then I played two really good games to get back on track, and then those last four, which I was really happy with.”

Stosur next faces the winner of a later match between Ana Ivanovic and Mona Barthel. Asked who she would prefer to play, Stosur said, “I’ve played Ana quite a few times—had some success, had some close matches—but I’ve never played Mona. I know Ana very well, I don’t know Mona so much, so I’ll take a little bit of a look at that one.”

Over Stosur’s career, her wins seem to come in patches when her confidence is elevated. This year got off to a rocky start, but it appears that she is starting to accrue confidence, reaching the quarterfinals in Doha and Dubai. The setting here in Indian Wells also seems to add to her comfort level.

“I do feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment. I feel like the conditions here suit my game. I’ve made it to the semis here one time. I do feel like I’ve played really good matches here and I’ve won the doubles as well. I think getting through a mach like today is really important for me.”

On the topic of doubles, Stosur was in that draw as well this year, playing with Lisa Raymond, until they ran into her countrywoman Casey Dellacqua. Asked what it was like losing to another Aussie, Stosur smiled wide and said, “I’m disappointed to lose not matter who I’m playing, but I guess if it’s Case, and she can go through, hopefully they can do very well.”

Stosur didn’t have a steady doubles partner lined up at the beginning of the year, but  she said, “Lisa’s partner that she was signed up with pulled out after Australia, so I said that I would play the Middle East, here and Miami. Now actually we’re going to go through and play the Slams together and a few other events. We’ll play a little bit more and hopefully we can do well.”

More wins in doubles could only add to her growing confidence in singles and bodes well for the rest of the season.

While it was a little cooler here earlier in the week, today was hot and sunny, which seems to be Stosur’s preference. Since spring is almost underway here and summer is just ending back in her Australian home, does she ever get to experience the winter season?

“I don’t typically like the cold too much,” Stosur laughed. “Tennis players follow the summer around the world. This is a really nice part of the year at home in Australia that I’m never home to experience, but this isn’t too bad either.”

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