2015/04/22

BNP Paribas Open – Tuesday Results, Wednesday Schedule

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BNP PARIBAS OPEN – INDIAN WELLS, USA
USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
9-22 MARCH 2015

RESULTS – MARCH 17, 2015
Men’s
Singles – Third Round
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [30] A. Seppi (ITA) 63 64
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d D. Young (USA) 64 62
[6] M. Raonic (CAN) d A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 76(2) 64
[9] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Johnson (USA) 64 62
[17] T. Robredo (ESP) d [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 16 75
[13] G. Simon (FRA) d [Q] M. Berrer (GER) 62 75
J. Sock (USA) d [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 36 63 62
[27] L. Rosol (CZE) d R. Haase (NED) 64 67(4) 76(3)

Men’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Ferrer (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 75 36 10-7
Second Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Draganja (CRO) / J. Peers (AUS) 67(8) 64 10-7
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) 76(4) 62
M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) / A. Murray (GBR) 61 64

Women’s
Singles – Fourth Round
[1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) d S. Stephens (USA) 67(3) 62 62
[15] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [2] M. Sharapova (RUS) 36 63 62
[3] S. Halep (ROU) d [14] K. Pliskova (CZE) 64 64
[Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) 67(5) 75 64
[12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d H. Watson (GBR) 76(5) 36 61
[18] J. Jankovic (SRB) d [31] B. Bencic (SUI) 63 36 63
[27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [23] E. Svitolina (UKR) 46 61 61
[24] S. Lisicki (GER) d [25] C. Garcia (FRA) 64 64

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA) 64 62
L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS) d [PR] S. Peer (ISR) / V. Zvonareva (RUS) 62 61

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2015
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [12] F. Lopez (ESP) vs [5] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
ATP – [13] G. Simon (FRA) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) vs [27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [18] J. Isner (USA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [4] A. Murray (GBR) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)
ATP – [27] L. Rosol (CZE) vs [9] T. Berdych (CZE)
ATP – [6] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [17] T. Robredo (ESP)
ATP – [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) vs [32] B. Tomic (AUS)
ATP – P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP) vs S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU)

STADIUM 3 start 3:00 pm
WTA – S. Lisicki (GER) / A. Petkovic (GER) vs K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO)
WTA – [7] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Advance at Indian Wells

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

(March 17, 2015) World No. 2 and four-time Indian Wells champion Roger Federer avenged his Australian Open third round loss to Italy’s Andreas Seppi with a 6-3, 6-4 victory on Tuesday night. Rafael Nadal also advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 win over American Donald Young. Both men have moved on to the round of 16.

“It absolutely was an opportunity right away to play him again and sort of erase it to some extent from the memory as the season moves forward,” Federer said of the 82-minute match “It’s one of those matches you’re happy you’re through, and I was happy it was over.”

In the all-lefty match-up, Nadal said: “I feel confident that I am playing much better than one month and a half ago.”

“I feel closer to be what I am, what I want to be, and it’s a positive victory for me, and it’s a positive victory for me, another victory. Every victory is important victory for me. Already six matches in a row winning, and that’s a good number.”

The No 3 player will face Gilles Simon in the fourth round.

“He is playing well. He had a good beginning of the season,” The Spaniard said of his future French challenger. “Is true he had some problem in his neck last couple of years, no? He had some injuries there.

“So he’s playing with injuries, with pain, with no continuity is very difficult for everybody. He’s healthy now. He’s playing well. He’s a very dangerous player.”

Federer will play American Jack Sock next.

“Never played him,” said Sock. “I mean, we are friendly. Friendly guy. Talk in the locker room some. Yeah, I’m more excited than anything if I do play him. Obviously Seppi got him in Melbourne.

“But, yeah, if I get a chance to play him ‑‑ I haven’t played one of those, as some people say, those top 4 guys. I haven’t been able to play one in a match. Yeah, I look forward to it, and especially here in the States it would be fun.”

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Maria Sharapova Falls to Defending Champ Flavia Pennetta at Indian Wells

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

(March 17, 2015) Former BNP Paribas Open champion Maria Sharapova lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to defending champion Flavia Pennetta on Tuesday evening. For the emotional Italian Pennetta it was her ninth straight win in Indian Wells, California.

Pennetta left the court during the first set and cried.

“Sometimes you just need to take everything out,” said Pennetta. “I mean, in the court it’s not easy to do that. I was just trying to keep calm and playing every point.

“But then when I finish the first set I was feeling, Okay, I have to go out.”

“For the first two or three games I was OK,” Pennetta continued “Then it’s coming. Like I never expect. I never do something like that. Normally you go away and you don’t want to stay on the court. But for me was important to just keep calm and try to play. In the end I just play really well.”

The 33-year-old Pennetta hit 34 unforced errors and 15 winners opposed to her Russian opponent with 42 unforced errors and 27 winners to along with 11 double faults.

“Last two times I beat her 2009 and 2011 I think, and every match we play I think was a third set,” said Pennetta. “Every match. Also the two before I lost: 2006 in Wimbledon and another one I don’t remember ‑‑ here.

“It was always really tough and close match. I think for sure, I mean, when you go on the court and you know you lose the last two times you think a little bit more.

“I just try to play in the way I always play against her. I mean, if you give her time you are dead, so you have to hit the ball, try to be aggressive the most you can, and try to go all the time for the good shot.”

I mean, it’s always the way I play, but sometimes when I play with not the big one I’m waiting a little bit more. But with this kind of player you have to take the chance you have, because it’s just coming once. If you wait, they are back.

Pennetta broke the world No 2’s serve twice in the deciding set.

“I don’t think the match starts in the third set,” said Sharapova. “I got off to a good start. Definitely had some chances in the beginning of the second set. Few Love‑40, Love‑30 games.

“Yeah, just didn’t, you know, commit enough. Didn’t take one of those. I think she gained a little bit of confidence after that. She started feeling a little bit kind of fresh breath of air. Started going a little bit more for her serve, for the lines.

“I just felt she got in a really good rhythm. Everything I gave her she was able to hit back solid with pace. She mixed it up. She was seeing the ball a lot better.”

“We haven’t played in a while so it’s tough to compare today’s match to the other ones,” noted the five-time major winner. “Today’s situation, I think it was ‑‑ when you let someone kind of back in, when you’re, you know, there in front of them and, you know, you’re doing the right things ‑‑ okay, maybe I wasn’t playing my best tennis in the first set, but I was competitive enough and solid enough and was doing the right things.

“Just wasn’t able to step up in the key moments in the second.”

Pennetta will play the winner of the Sabine Lisicki/Caroline Garcia match in the quarterfinals.

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Serena Williams Reaches Indian Wells Quarters with Three-set Win over Sloane Stephens

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(March 17, 2015) Serena Williams overcame 52 unforced errors and nine double faults to stop Sloane Stephens 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Stephens took a double break 3-0 lead in the opening set, and lost the advantage until the tiebreak, which she dominated 7-3.

“I think Sloane played really well in the first set,” Williams said. “Actually in the whole match. I just made a few errors, but I think she forced me to make those errors.”

The 19-time major champion rallied from dropping the first set in a tiebreak to dominate the final two sets.

From 1-2 down in the second set, Williams won 11 of the next 13 games.

The 33-year-old veteran Williams broke Stephens’ serve three times in the final set. The world No. 1 set up match point with a 128-mph ace and sealed the victory when Stephens netted a backhand.

“I thought I played a really solid first set,” said Stephens. “Obviously I was playing No. 1 player in the world so it was going to be a little tough. She played well in the second and third set.

“You know, you win some, you lose some. It was a good effort by me.”

“I had some chances and opportunities that I didn’t really capitalize on which I should have. Like I said, I was playing No. 1 player in the world. When you don’t take your chances, it could be a little tough.”

Despite only a 51 first serve percentage, Williams hit 14 aces during the match. Stephens hit 13 winners to 36 unforced errors with a 58 first serve percentage.

The two-time Indian Wells champion Williams has now raised her record against Stephens to 3-1, with her only loss coming in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open.

The world No 42, once as high as No 11 in the world, said she is building on her recent positive results: “definitely a good step in the right direction; looking forward to next week.

“I think I played really well my last three matches, and then today I felt I played really well. You know, I think it was just continuous flowing, and every day it’s getting better.

“So I’m happy with that.”

“I have always thought Sloane can be really great,” said Williams. “I think she’s on the right track. You know, she played really well. She had some very good wins here against two seeds.

“So, yeah, I thought it was a really positive result even today.”

Williams will play Timea Bacsinszky next.

Related article:

Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens Win to Set Up Fourth Round Clash at Indian Wells

 

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BNP Paribas Open – Monday Results, Tuesday Schedule

Photos by Curt Janka

 

BNP PARIBAS OPEN – INDIAN WELLS, USA
USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
9-22 MARCH 2015

RESULTS – MARCH 16, 2015
Men’s
Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 75 63
[4] A. Murray (GBR) d [26] P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 61 36 61
[5] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [28] F. Verdasco (ESP) 67(6) 61 64
[32] B. Tomic (AUS) d [8] D. Ferrer (ESP) 75 64
[12] F. Lopez (ESP) d [20] P. Cuevas (URU) 62 46 63
A. Mannarino (FRA) d [14] E. Gulbis (LAT) 64 64
[18] J. Isner (USA) d [16] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(6) 62
[WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) d J. Monaco (ARG) 62 57 76(5)

Men’s
Doubles – Second Round
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) 26 64 10-8
P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP) d [6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 64 64
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 63 64
S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND) 64 46 10-2

Women’s
Singles – Third Round
[2] M. Sharapova (RUS) d [32] V. Azarenka (BLR) 64 63
[31] B. Bencic (SUI) d [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 64 64
[25] C. Garcia (FRA) d [5] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 62 57 62
[6] E. Bouchard (CAN) d [30] C. Vandeweghe (USA) 63 62
[24] S. Lisicki (GER) d [11] S. Errani (ITA) 64 62
[15] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [21] S. Stosur (AUS) 64 62
[18] J. Jankovic (SRB) d [16] M. Keys (USA) 57 64 63
[Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [20] A. Cornet (FRA) 75 16 62

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round
K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) 62 63

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2015
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – S. Johnson (USA) vs [9] T. Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) vs S. Stephens (USA)
ATP – D. Young (USA) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)
WTA – [15] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [30] A. Seppi (ITA) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [25] C. Garcia (FRA) vs [24] S. Lisicki (GER)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Sock (USA)
ATP – [6] M. Raonic (CAN) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP – [17] T. Robredo (ESP) vs [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
WTA – [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs M. Draganja (CRO) / J. Peers (AUS)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – R. Haase (NED) vs [27] L. Rosol (CZE)
ATP – [13] G. Simon (FRA) vs [Q] M. Berrer (GER)
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [14] K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – [23] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
WTA – [18] J. Jankovic (SRB) vs [31] B. Bencic (SUI)

STADIUM 4 start 12:30 pm
ATP – [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) / A. Murray (GBR) vs M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA)
ATP – A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) vs [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA)

STADIUM 6 start 2:00 pm
ATP – D. Ferrer (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – [PR] S. Peer (ISR) / V. Zvonareva (RUS) vs L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS)

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Upstarts and Upsets in the second week at Indian Wells

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

(March 16, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – As the women’s draw started to fill the brackets for the last of the round of 16, we saw some of the old guard fall foul to the up-and-comers.

First in (and indeed out) was Caroline Wozniacki who met her end to Belinda Bencic. The last time the pair played was in Istanbul last year. Wozniacki was at the start of a tear through the tournaments after an upsetting summer with the collapse of her impending nuptials to Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, and it was the making of the latter half of her tennis year.

However in the way was Bencic who was battered off court that day 6-0, 6-0 in just 44 minutes. In fairness the Swiss had hardly been on a roll since the start of the year, winning just one match in Dubai but she could at least gleefully poke fun at her Istanbul outing.

“The difference was that I won a game!” Bencic joked. “No, I was really happy after the first game I won, obviously, but I think I played more solid today. In Istanbul I had maybe too much respect and I was afraid, nervous. Today I really had a good game plan. I did what I had to do out there. I served well and had some easy points on my serve because of that. It was a solid match.”

Wozniacki had to acknowledge that on the day she had just come across a better player, saying: “Honestly, it was two completely different matches,” Wozniacki told reporters. “She was steady, she took the ball early and she served well, but I just didn’t put three balls in play today. But hats off to her – she took advantage of that and she played well during the important points in the match today.”

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

There was almost another grand old lady of the tour on the ropes as Jelena Jankovic had to fight from a set down to get past the power hitting of Madison Keys 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. As always with Jankovic, humour got the better of her, and why not? She was feeling god, and quite possibly dealt a bloody nose to one of the WTA Rising Stars that felt this had been a winnable match.

Keys smacked Petra Kvitova off the court at the Australian Open, and Jankovic could certainly see why as she explained in her press conference.

“It was like bombs or bullets constantly coming at me for about two‑and‑a‑half hours. I mean, her ball is so strong. It’s such a heavy ball. I think she’s probably, I mean, maybe with Serena. Probably the hardest hitting player out there in this moment.”

At times Jankovic tried to slow the pace down by taking her time to get ready between points, and she joked: “But you would take your time too when those balls are coming at you. What else am I supposed to do?”

316Keys-001

Madison Keys

 

For Keys though, while it was a tough loss she was at least able to find some slight vein of amusement at her tactics against Jankovic who, on her day, can mix up and disrupt play with the best of them, as she assessed her failing backhand.

Ruefully smiling, she said: “Yeah, I’m that person, Oh, I didn’t make it? Let me try it again 37 times.”

She continued: “Because it’s one of those things that as soon as you hit it, That was so dumb; why did I do that? The crosscourt is completely open, yet I try to hit it an inch other the net and I missed it. Again. Let me try it again next point. It’s not smart, for sure. I really wish I could tell you, you know, it’s just because I’m stubborn and I just wanted to make one. If I ever figure it out, you’ll be the first one that I can tell.”

Another seed to fall by the wayside was Ana Ivanovic, who lost for the second time in a row, in as many weeks to Caroline Garcia 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. After a brisk start to the year, Ivanovic has had to deal with a broken toe (from slamming her foot against the shower door) and now an inflamed elbow.

She said: “I have to work because I haven’t been playing lots of matches and so on. I feel like I need to get back in shape. It’s getting better but I feel like there’s a lot of work to be done and then yet I have these niggles here and there that are stopping me.”

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

With Maria Sharapova restoring some sense of order, dispatching one of the trickier names in the draw, Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-3, we close out a day which more or less saw the honours split evenly between the old ladies of the tour and the chasing pack of Rising Stars.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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ESPN Tennis Conference Call with Chris Evert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver

(March 16, 2015) ESPN tennis analysts Chrissie Evert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver spoke with media on Monday. Currently, ESPN3 is providing live all-day coverage from the three main stadiums at the BNP Paribas Open, with ESPN television joining on Thursday, March 19, through Sunday’s women’s and men’s championships.

Soundbites:

How good is Madison Keys?

· “I saw her at age 12. I think that everybody that saw her at that point thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, there’s so much raw power, that if she could just control it and harness it, she’s going to be a great player.’ Very much like a Serena, she has the second best serve out there, which she’s going to win a lot of free points holding her serve…But she’s got it all. She has natural ease and power in her shots.” – Evert

· “The first time I really came out of a match with my jaw sort of dropping was a couple years ago at the Australian Open when she beat Paszek, beat her routinely. She beat her with two weapons: the serve and the forehand. In my mind, in women’s tennis especially, when you can come through with those two big weapons, it can set you apart….I can tell you from my courtside position a couple years ago, I came out feeling fantastic that the U.S. had a true prospect to get to the top spot.” – Shriver

The strong state of women’s tennis:

· “The women’s game is as healthy as it’s been in a long time, to have Serena obviously doing what she’s doing. You’re finally I think seeing some young players that got some gumption, that got some real attitude that they can compete with the best in Bouchard and Keys, Svitolina and others. I think Coco Vandeweghe deserves to be in that conversation, as well.” – McEnroe

· “The bottom half of the women’s draw — Bouchard, Keys, Jankovic, Bencic, Wozniacki, Ivanovic, Garcia, Lisicki, Errani, Azarenka, Sharapova. That’s the kind of quality draw that in the last six, seven years we haven’t been fortunate enough to have. The recession of women’s tennis that started with Justine Henin retiring is well and truly over.” – Shriver

Q. Madison Keys, she’s really at this point obviously a big-time player, top 20. I know how familiar all of you are with her. Can you tell me why of all of the young up-and-coming players you think she is the one?

CHRIS EVERT: I mean, for those of us who saw her at a young age, I saw her at age 12. I think that everybody that saw her at that point thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, there’s so much raw power, that if she could just control it and harness it, she’s going to be a great player.’ Very much like a Serena, she has the second best serve out there, which she’s going to win a lot of free points holding her serve. She has so much power, more so than any of the other top players, aside from Serena and Venus, her whole game, not counting Maria Sharapova obviously on the groundstrokes. But she’s got it all. She has natural ease and power in her shots. I feel like I think Lindsay and her husband are a great fit for her right now. At the same time, I think we all felt she would achieve greatness sooner or later when she was ready, when she was emotionally ready. I think the emotional and mental part came along a little bit later than the physical part.

PAM SHRIVER: Well, I think for me, I’m not as familiar as Patrick and Chrissie in the development part, I’m just familiar with Madison as I’ve observed her the last few years for my ESPN position. The first time I really came out of a match with my jaw sort of dropping was a couple years ago at the Australian Open when she beat Paszek, beat her routinely. She beat her with two weapons: the serve and the forehand. In my mind, in women’s tennis especially, when you can come through with those two big weapons, it can set you apart. Over two years ago she was really, really young in her professional career. Now I think we see the pathway a little more clearly with a great team around her, what she did at the Australian Open. No big surprises. I can tell you from my courtside position a couple years ago, I came out feeling fantastic that the U.S. had a true prospect to get to the top spot.

PATRICK McENROE: Not to pat all of us on the back, but I think it’s been a wonderful progression for Madison. I think the first people that deserve a pat on the back are her parents. She’s a great girl, a great person. She’s got a great head on her shoulders. And her first coaches. Then Chrissie and her brother John, through her formative years when she was 12 up until she was I guess 15 or 16.

Then I have to give a pat on the back to my team at the USTA for doing a great job with her and taking her as a very talented teenager and turning her into a top-40 player. As Chrissie said, I think this is a logical progression for her to get the great insight of a great champion like Lindsay, someone who really studies the game and understands the game well. Obviously they got along great when they did their trial period out at the USTA training center in Southern Cal, so well that along with her husband Jon, it turned into a full-time thing. To me, as the head of player development for the last seven years, this has been an ideal progression for a talented player coming through, and the USTA helping along the way, Chrissie and her team doing a great job, arguably the most important years of developing her technique and strokes. Now obviously passing her off to a great player and great champion, someone who I think can take her all the way to the next level. The next level is winning majors.

Whether she can do that this year is up in the air. But I certainly think within the next 24 months, two and a half to three years, absolutely she can win a major.

Q. Today at the tournament is Azarenka versus Sharapova, then Roger playing Seppi, then Serena Williams and Stephens. Can you comment on some those matches.

PAM SHRIVER: First off, I think the quality of both draws is phenomenal. I think we saw great balance at the Australian Open. I feel like we’re in for just a great year of tennis at all the majors and all the Masters Series and Premiere WTAs. The draws are loaded. We’re getting fantastic early-round matchups.

Stephens-Williams has a lot of history based on the quarterfinal upset a couple of Australian Opens ago, but it also tells a different story of two different pathways, where Serena has been a dominant player since that loss, but Sloane Stephens has gone the other way, but is showing signs. If Sloane Stephens can feel a little more relaxed with Madison Keys picking up a lot of attention from her generation, other American women playing really well, maybe this is Sloane’s true comeback year. I would expect Serena to win that match. Chrissie, you want to take Azarenka-Sharapova?

CHRIS EVERT: No. You take it.

PAM SHRIVER: One of the reasons women’s tennis is looking better this year is because of players like Azarenka being healthy again. She looked for a while like the best hard court player in women’s tennis when she was winning two Australian Opens, almost beating Serena in two US Open finals. She was pretty much a non-entity last year.

The way she played at the Australian, the way she’s playing here, playing the quality of tennis she played a couple years ago, are great for women’s tennis.

What isn’t great is for people who like a quiet match (laughter). But we’ll have to deal with it. It will only last a couple hours.

CHRIS EVERT: I just think that Sharapova-Azarenka is going to be really telling to see how far Azarenka has come along as far as taking time off. She seems to have had a resurgence and she seems to have reset her career and her inspiration, seems like 100%. I always think that taking breaks for players is such a good deal, such a good decision. It just refreshes you. You just get so flat and burned out playing year after year after year and not taking a good chunk of really four or five months off. I think she’s been better as a result. These two players could end up 2 and 3 at the end of the year. That’s how tough this third round is.

On the other hand, Sloane, I love the way she has played this tournament. I’m very happy that she’s with Nick Saviano. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach, seeing what he did with Genie Bouchard. If anybody can help her attitude and mental outlook on her tennis, it’s going to be Nick with Sloane. So good signs, showing good attitude out there, good body language. These are just two great showcase matches for women’s tennis.

PATRICK McENROE: Maybe one you forgot about, we haven’t mentioned her yet, is Coco Vandeweghe. She’s done a terrific job. She’s seeded, what, about 30 or 31 out there. She’s sort of quietly playing the best tennis of her career. Similar to Madison, we’ve known about her since she was a teenager from Southern Cal. Being a huge hitter of the ball and a good athlete. It’s taken her a little while, but she’s figured out how to get herself in really good condition. I love the way she’s playing. She’s still a little bit up and down. She played some great tennis in Australia, then didn’t play so well when she lost. Taking on Bouchard, who Chrissie and Pam talked about already, that’s the first match out there on the stadium court today. That’s a good one. Bouchard obviously with a new coach, as well. She’s got a lot to prove this year, a lot of pressure on her after an unbelievable year last year.

The women’s game is as healthy as it’s been in a long time, to have Serena obviously doing what she’s doing. You’re finally I think seeing some young players that got some gumption, that got some real attitude that they can compete with the best in Bouchard and Keys, Svitolina and others. I think Coco Vandeweghe deserves to be in that conversation, as well.

Obviously we’re certainly looking forward to seeing Roger take on Seppi. While we would all pencil this in as a routine Roger win based on overall his record against Seppi, losing for the first time at the Australian to him, which was a shocker obviously, I wouldn’t be quite that quick. Seppi is a really good player. He’s had an excellent last year and a half on the tour. I expect him to play well again. Obviously Roger’s antenna will be way up for this. Coming off a win in Dubai over Djokovic got him back on track with his confidence that he can have another great year. Just like the women’s draw, the men’s draw is loaded. It’s a nice early test for Roger to see where he’s at.

CHRIS EVERT: Is Bencic playing Wozniacki?

THE MODERATOR: That’s second on.

CHRIS EVERT: That’s another one to watch, 18-year-old Bencic. Patrick was talking about the young ones. She’s 18 years old, had a slow start, but had a great year last year.

PAM SHRIVER: The bottom half of the women’s draw, Bouchard, Keys, Jankovic, Bencic, Wozniacki, Ivanovic, Garcia, Lisicki, Errani, Azarenka, Sharapova. That’s the kind of quality draw that in the last six, seven years we haven’t been fortunate enough to have. The recession of women’s tennis that started with Justine Henin retiring is well and truly over.

CHRIS EVERT: Good point.

Q. I wanted to talk about the event you’re at. Obviously players want to win at every event. This has the aura of a fifth major. Do you see players and advertisers, media, putting this on a higher shelf than other events on the tour?

PAM SHRIVER: From a Southern California standpoint, to think this is the only professional tournament in one of the great tennis hotbeds in the history of the game is kind of a shame. But it also makes it, for this region, because living here, hearing the buildup the last month, you can feel this is a big-time Southern Cal event.

CHRIS EVERT: You look at next week, Miami, this week Indian Wells. You talked about hotbeds. California and Florida are the two biggest tennis dates, I feel, in the country, and have really come up with some great players, play all year round. There are a lot of tennis enthusiasts. It’s only apropos that these two big tournaments are held in these two states. You could say the fifth. I would like to say the Road to Singapore, the WTA Finals, in the players’ mind is the fifth one. But then you have this one and Miami right there with it. It’s probably the most popular with the players. What’s not to be great to come out here in this weather, in this atmosphere, this facility, this venue. I think it’s definitely one of the players’ favorites.

PATRICK McENROE: There’s no doubt that these Masters events in general have been elevated to another level. You might get the same argument from a Cincinnati or even some of the European clay court events, which are tremendous as well. The nice thing about these two events, obviously Indian Wells, the facilities are phenomenal with Larry Ellison, what he’s been able to do to take it to a whole other level by building a new stadium. The grounds are tremendous. I was out there this past weekend. The buzz around the grounds, it’s electric to be out there.

The weather doesn’t hurt out there, as well. I think the time of year. There’s really no major that it conflicts with. You get towards the end of the major clay court tune-up, people are thinking about the French. In the summer, people don’t want to tire themselves out too much leading into the US Open. These two are just great events. This one, where it’s located, what Larry Ellison has been able to do. Ray Moore and Charlie Pasarell starting out had an amazing vision of what this event could be. I think it’s turned into that and a lot more.

Q. Patrick, what do you think of this picture floating around of your brother sitting between Bill Gates and Larry Ellison?

PATRICK McENROE: I thought I was the one in the McEnroe family with a low net worth (laughter). A little reality check for him there, you know.

CHRIS EVERT: Patrick, he was a little intimidated.

PATRICK McENROE: Who wouldn’t be, I’ll tell you.

Q. I have this theory that they made McEnroe pick up the check that night.

PATRICK McENROE: That would be okay. He could afford it (laughter).

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BNP Paribas Open – Sunday Results, Monday Schedule

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BNP PARIBAS OPEN – INDIAN WELLS, USA
USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
9-22 MARCH 2015

RESULTS – MARCH 15, 2015
Men’s
Singles – Second Round
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 64 62
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d I. Sijsling (NED) 64 62
[6] M. Raonic (CAN) d S. Bolelli (ITA) 63 64
R. Haase (NED) d [7] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 63 36 63
[9] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 61 64
[11] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 76(2) 36 76(4)
[13] G. Simon (FRA) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 63 46 62
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d D. Istomin (UZB) 64 63
[17] T. Robredo (ESP) d A. Golubev (KAZ) 64 67(5) 64
S. Johnson (USA) d [21] I. Karlovic (CRO) 63 76(5)
[Q] M. Berrer (GER) d [22] R. Gasquet (FRA) 76(6) 46 31 Retired
[27] L. Rosol (CZE) d M. Klizan (SVK) 46 60 63
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [29] S. Giraldo (COL) 61 76(4)
[30] A. Seppi (ITA) d [Q] V. Hanescu (ROU) 64 64
D. Young (USA) d [31] J. Chardy (FRA) 64 62
J. Sock (USA) d [33] G. Muller (LUX) 36 63 76(7)

Men’s
Doubles – Second Round
D. Ferrer (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d [7] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) 64 76(3)
First Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Melzer (AUT) 63 63
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d S. Groth (AUS) / F. Lopez (ESP) 76(11) 61
M. Draganja (CRO) / J. Peers (AUS) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / S. Gonzalez (MEX) 46 62 10-6
A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) d [Alt] S. Giraldo (COL) / L. Rosol (CZE) 63 64

Women’s
Singles – Third Round
[1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) d [28] Z. Diyas (KAZ) 62 60
[3] S. Halep (ROU) d [26] V. Lepchenko (USA) 61 36 61
H. Watson (GBR) d [7] A. Radwanska (POL) 64 64
[27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] E. Makarova (RUS) 36 75 64
[23] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [10] L. Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 75
[12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 76(4) 67(5) 60
[14] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [19] G. Muguruza (ESP) 75 64
S. Stephens (USA) d [22] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 76(4) 16 64

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round
[7] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d I. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 60 64
S. Lisicki (GER) / A. Petkovic (GER) d [8] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) 63 64
[PR] S. Peer (ISR) / V. Zvonareva (RUS) d [WC] S. Stephens (USA) / T. Townsend (USA) walkover
L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS) d M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Panova (RUS) 63 62

ORDER OF PLAY – MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [30] C. Vandeweghe (USA)
ATP – [4] A. Murray (GBR) vs [26] P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
WTA – [16] M. Keys (USA) vs [18] J. Jankovic (SRB)
ATP – [6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [32] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [14] E. Gulbis (LAT)
ATP – [28] F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [5] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [18] J. Isner (USA) vs [16] K. Anderson (RSA)
WTA – [5] A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs [25] C. Garcia (FRA)
WTA – [15] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [21] S. Stosur (AUS)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [12] F. Lopez (ESP) vs [20] P. Cuevas (URU)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
WTA – [20] A. Cornet (FRA) vs [Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR)
WTA – [31] B. Bencic (SUI) vs [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – J. Monaco (ARG) vs [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
ATP – [32] B. Tomic (AUS) vs [8] D. Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – [24] S. Lisicki (GER) vs [11] S. Errani (ITA)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
ATP – D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND) vs S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO)

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Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens Win to Set Up Fourth Round Clash at Indian Wells

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Serena Williams

 

(March 15, 2015) Since Sloane Stephens beat Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open, there has not been much love between the world No. 1, 19-time major champion and the woman turning 22 on Friday, who is No. 42 in the world. The two women will face off for the first time since the 2013 US Open for a spot in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

 

Both women had completely different matches on Sunday to reach the fourth round of Indian Wells.

 

Williams, returning to play Indian Wells for the first time since 2001, dominated first-time Indian Wells participant Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-0 in just 53 minutes.

 

For Williams, she’s on a 13-match win streak since claiming the Australian Open.

 

Stephens survived a topsy-turvy contest against two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-4. Stephens had a 4-0 lead in the final set.

 

Williams on her potential match up against Stephens: “I have had some tough matches with Sloane. She’s had an interesting year, but I have noticed that she’s been really playing well. She moves well and she tries to do her best for everything. That would be an interesting, good matchup for me.”

 

 

Asked about what she expects in her match against Williams, Stephens said: “The same thing I do every day: just go out and play my game. Stay focused and fight hard and just get out there and compete.”

 

“She’s the No. 1 player in the world and I expect her to play really well.”

 

“I felt like every match I played against her I have played well. I mean, it’s always an honor to play No. 1 player in the world. Obviously someone of her stature who has won so many titles and the great player she is, I just have to just go out there and play my game and do all I can and just compete.”

 

Asked about her relationship with Williams, which was damaged when Stephens did a revealing interview with ESPN The Magazine, Stephens said: “She’s the No. 1 player in the world and she’s a competitor, and that’s it.

 

Asked if she had “mended fences with Williams,” – “No. She’s a competitor; she’s the No. 1 player in the world. She’s ‑‑ what do you call it? She’s a ‑‑you know, when you work with someone?

 

“A colleague. There you go. She’s a colleague.”

 

SloaneStephens

In an exchange with a reporter in the post-match news conference, Stephens discussed the hate she received on twitter from Serena Williams fans:

Every time I have mentioned you on Twitter, which I know you think is a lot…

SLOANE STEPHENS: It is a lot.

Anyway, any time I’ve mentioned you I have all these Serena fans immediately criticizing you out of nowhere.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, they hate me.

Why do you think that is?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I don’t know, but they are the first people to get blocked on my Twitter. I am the queen of blocking. Okay? You say one bad thing, block. I ‑‑ block.

No. There is no room for negativity. I understand that they are die‑hard fans and I appreciate that. I’m sure she does, too. But some of the comments and some of the things are know so unnecessary.

It comes to the point where you’re on Twitter saying mean things about someone else. Like what do you actually doing with your life? Like is this your day job or how does that work? I’m just like ‑‑ I don’t understand it. But die‑hard fans are die‑hard fans, so…

Just taking some getting used to. It’s jarring. You get it more and more directly.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I mean, some of the things are crazy and outrageous. Like I said, I have gotten really friendly with the block button. One bad thing, block. Block, block, block. So…

If you were to estimate, how many people have you blocked?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, God, it’s not even funny. It’s too many.

More than a thousand?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, I don’t know. But I just don’t like negativity. And I think if you have something negative to say, think it. You don’t have to, you know, express it to me, at me, whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. Like I said, a die‑hard fan is a die‑hard fan.

Are you more protective of yourself on Twitter? You obviously, early on on Twitter, were much more expressive, and now it’s maybe a little more stringent.

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think Twitter has changed like since I started tweeting and it was fun. It’s definitely become ‑‑ it’s become a source for people to attack other people, and I am ‑‑ I’m not really into that. Like if I was a nobody, I wouldn’t attack a celebrity and say, Hey, you suck or whatever.

That’s not just me. I feel like a lot of that ‑‑ there is a lot of abuse like that, and I try to stay away from it. I only tweet positive things and retweet positive things and that’s all I can do from my end.

Any idea how this happens? Seems like you get the brunt of it worse than a lot of people?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I don’t know. I don’t really care. I don’t live my life for Twitter. I have a lot of other things going on. It’s okay that people don’t like me on Twitter. I will live.

Did you ever get to the point where you would just get off Twitter? What keeps you coming back when there is all this ‑‑ and I haven’t seen them. I’m just learning about them.

SLOANE STEPHENS: It’s fun. It’s something you can just express yourself and not really have to worry about what other people are saying. I think it’s a good tool. I mean, I love Twitter. I have always loved Twitter.

I’m not going to let people who say bad things or negative things about me scare me away from doing what I like to do. At the end of the day, people are saying something bad about me and negative, and they are not people I care about, they’re not in my life, they’re not people I love, so it doesn’t really matter to me.

 

In their career head-to-head record, Williams leads 2-1.

Related Articles:

Serena Williams Beats Sloane Stephens to Gain Quarterfinal Berth at US Open

Sloane Stephens Criticizes Serena Williams in ESPN The Magazine Interview

Serena Williams Responds to Sloane Stephens’ Quotes: Stephens Takes Blame on Twitter

Sharapova Reacts to Stephens’ Comments About Serena Williams

Serena Williams Beaten by Rising Star Stephens in Australian Open Quarterfinals

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A Game of Inches and Miles

By Curt Janka

(March 15, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, California – The intrigue of tennis often relies on how well the opponents match up. When talent is comparable, the space between winning and losing can be a couple ticks on a ruler. So was the first-ever meeting between Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios. Looking at the stats alone, it would be difficult to tell who was the victor. Dimitrov won 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6(4), but a mini break here or an inch there could have easily tipped the match in Kyrgios’ favor.

With no breaks of serve in the first set and nearly identical stat sheets, the whole match came down to Dimitrov playing more levelheaded tiebreakers. The lively court and sometimes-tricky breeze may have made it tougher for either player to break serve. “I thought it was really bouncy today,” said Kyrgios. “I found it incredibly tough to return, and he obviously wasn’t comfortable at all returning my serve. It was just tough conditions. A bit windy at times.”

Dimitrov did, in fact, struggle to crack his opponent’s serve. “I think he’s tough to read, and especially when the court is very lively, like today,” Dimitrov explained. “, I think it was just a matter of a few points, and definitely my mental side was better I think in the end.”

Ultimately, an ankle roll immediately before Kyrgios served for the win in the third set may have decided the match. When asked if the unlucky injury contributed to his loss, Kyrgios said, “It obviously played a big part in me not serving out the match because I had not really been broken before that.”

In stark contrast, Serena Williams and Roger Federer outdistanced their overmatched opponents by huge margins. Williams appeared listless for most of the match, but did not expend much effort to brush off Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-0.

“It definitely felt back to normal out there,” Williams said. “Just trying to feel the rhythm and trying to focus on the ball more than anything else.”

Federer also appeared a bit off rhythm at times, but still coasted to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman.

“I’m moving well, which is key on this surface because the easy shots and easy points are not going to happen so easily here like they maybe do in Dubai or Australia or the indoor season,” Federer said.

Curt Janka is covering the BNP Paribas Open this week. Follow his updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal twitter @CurtJanka.

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