2014/07/28

Canada Dominates Serbia to Win Fed Cup Tie

Bouchard 2 9 3

By Brodie Elgin

(February 9, 2014) On Saturday, Canada took a commanding lead in their Davis Cup tie as Aleksandra Wozniak toughed out an emotional win over Vesna Dolonc, and Eugenie Bouchard routed Jovana Jaksic in front of an ecstatic Canadian crowd in Montreal. Sunday featured the reverse singles, meaning both team’s top ranked players would face off to start the day, giving Bouchard the opportunity to sweep the Serbians as she took on Dolonc at the Claude Robillard Sports Complex.

 

The Canadian stormed out of the gate once again, taking the first set emphatically, 6-0, and in just 18 minutes. Despite some better serving from the Serbian and needing to save break points early in the second set, Bouchard stayed composed and went on to win 6-0, 6-3 in just 50 minutes. “I played two solid matches this weekend and I am happy that I was able to help the team win,” the 19th ranked Canadian said after her victory. “I love playing for my country, I am very patriotic.”

 

The win for Canada sees them advance to the World Group playoffs in April, where a win would see them advance to the 2015 Fed Cup World Group which consists of only eight elite teams from across the world. The win represents another massive victory for tennis in Canada after the men advanced to the Davis Cup semifinals in 2013.

 

“We are doing good things in Fed Cup because everyone is working together,” said Canadian Fed Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau. “We are very motivated to get to World Group I with the eight best countries in the world. That’s where we want to be, that’s our goal.”

The growing success of Canadian tennis was a common theme of the weekend, as the entire tie was broadcast nationally on the country’s largest television sports channel, Sportsnet. “I hope the popularity of tennis gets bigger in Canada, and if I’m part of that, well that makes me happy,” Bouchard said.

 

The draw for the World Group I and World Group II Fed Cup playoffs will be held Tuesday, February 11th in London.

 

Share

Favorite Canada Lead by Bouchard Take 2-0 Advantage over Serbia in Fed Cup World Group 2 Play

 

Aleksandra Wozniack

Aleksandra Wozniack

By Brodie Elgin

(February 8, 2014) It has been an exciting time for Canada in the past several years. From the break out of Milos Raonic as the first Canadian to win an ATP title and reach the top 10, to the Canadian team’s success in Davis Cup and the emergence of Vasek Pospisil all the way to Eugenie Bouchard‘s semifinal run in the Australian Open – the first Canadian women to advance to the final four of a major tournament in 30 years. After the Canadian team failed to advance past the first round of Davis Cup in Tokyo, the women took center stage as they got under way against Serbia in Fed Cup at in Montreal.

 

The Canadian team looked to be heavy favorites to advance out of the World Group II as Serbia’s top three ranked players, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Bojana Jovanovski were all absent. Serbia called upon Vesna Dolonc in the first rubber to take on the previously top ranked Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in front of a large crowd at the Claud Robillard Sports Complex.

 

Before the match, the crowd appeared ready to cheer on the Canadians, but were quickly stifled as the Serbian raced out to a 5-1 lead. Wozniak, who is still returning from a series of serious injuries, looked a step slow and failed to properly impose herself in the match.

 

However, things quickly changed as the Canadian found her feet and started to find more consistent depth that caused problems for Dolonc. The Serbian did not make matters easier for herself, as she double faulted four times in two service games, including once on break point, and Wozniak fought all the way back, winning six straight games and taking the first set 7-5.

 

A disheveled Dolonc left the court with her coach’s arm around her in an attempt to regain her composure, and it worked as she broke in her first return game, and took the second set decisively, 6-2.

 

The beginning of the third set featured some of the best tennis of the match, as both players raised their level and fought out several long games on serve. But it would eventually be Wozniak who would break in the middle of the set and hold on, taking her first match point and the match, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

 

“It was an emotional win for me. I wanted so badly to get back on the Fed Cup team,” said Wozniak, who was brought to tears after her hard fought win. “It was a tough match with a lot of long points, so I had to stay focused. The crowd was amazing and really helped me get through. It’s special to play at home.”

 

Eugenie Bouchard'

Eugenie Bouchard’

Next up was young star Eugenie Bouchard, now ranked at a career high number 19, versus 20 year-old  Jovana Jaksic, ranked 149. Clad in red and featuring a fake Canadian flag tattoo on her right cheek, Bouchard turned the match into an exhibition as she routed the Serbian 6-1, 6-0.

 

The 19 year-old showed off not only why she managed to make the Australian Open semifinals, but why so many are hyping her game for the future. She mixed in plenty of effective net play and her forehand was particularly dominant as she hit 16 winners and won 85% of points behind her first serve en route to a 50 minute victory that puts Canada in a commanding position.

 

Sunday’s matches will include the reverse singles at 11am EST time as Wozniak will now take on Jaksic and Bouchard against Dolonc. If necessary, the doubles will feature Gabriela Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman for Canada against Aleksandra Krunic and Nina Stojanovic for Serbia.

 

All photos by Marc-André Gauthier

Share

Qualifier and Top Seed Bojana Jovanovski Wins Tashkent

 

Bojana JovanovskiCarlsbad

(September 14, 2013) Top-seeded Bojana Jovanovski, who came into the event as a qualifier, won her second career WTA title on Saturday by coming back to stop Olga Govortsova 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the final of the Tashkent Open.

The Serb came through qualifying after missing the cut-off date for entry while waiting for a wrist injury to heal.

“Anybody could have won this match today,” Jovanovski said. “It was a close match and all credit to Olga for an incredible battle. I’m so happy, and I didn’t really believe I could do it today. I’ve had a tough year. I haven’t had too many matches, so it was good that I had to play the qualies. It’s great to finish this week on a good note. This title means a lot to me. I’ll be back next year.”

The 21-year-old Jovanovski’s first tournament win came in Baku last year.

Share

Stephens Sets Up Master and Apprentice Quarterfinal Clash With Williams

SloaneStephens

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 21, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Sloane Stephens continued her dream run at the Australian Open, defeating young Serbian Bojana Jovanovski in a tough three set match 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 on Monday to set up a quarterfinal clash with Serena Williams on Wednesday.

 

Stephens is a part of the next generation of American tennis players and will compete in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal against her idol Williams. The two played recently in Brisbane, Williams winning that match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

 

Stephens served superbly with 80% of first serves in during the match. She also managed 90% of returns into play and created 11 break point opportunities in the match, converting 7 of them.

 

The young American required only 25 minutes to win the first set, allowing Jovanovski just one game before claiming the set 6-1.

 

The Serbian came back firing in the second set however, picking up her game considerably and playing more aggressively to level the match at one set a piece.

 

The third set was very evenly matched as the two struggled to hold serve early on. With the set level at 5-5 Stephens put her foot down and broke Jovanovski to love with a forehand winner. From there she closed out the match on serve 6-1 3-6 7-5 to progress to the quarterfinals.

 

“No, I obviously didn’t feel like I had to go for more because I was hitting the ball in the service line every time.  At one point I was just like, Okay, I didn’t want to stay out there all day, you got to hit the ball or go home.”

 

“First set I came out, I was playing good, not missing much.  She was making a few errors.”

 

“Then she brought it full force second, third set. I just had to find a way. I think mentally it was pretty tough. I was thinking, Oh, my God, this is for the quarters of a Grand Slam and I’m completely just like not here right now. I was like, I need to refocus. I was playing my own self, I guess you could say. But I managed to get through, so that was good.”

 

Stephens will play her mentor Serena Williams in the quarterfinal after the top American crushed her Russian opponent Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 in 57 minutes.

 

Stephens said that having already played Williams in the past will take away the intimidation factor coming into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

 

“Yeah, I mean, it will be tough obviously. Its quarters of a Grand Slam. There won’t be that like first time, Oh, my God, I’m playing Serena. That’s kind of out of the window now. So that’s good. And then it will feel more of like a regular match instead of all the other like things to think about.”

 

“She’s obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game.  Without all that, it’s still a tennis match.  You have to go out and play your game, no matter what.  Without the titles, with the titles, it’s still a tennis match.  The court’s the same size.  You’re still playing a regular person across the net.  You’ve just got to go out and play.”

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

Share

Jovanovski Wins First WTA Title

Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski won her first WTA in her first final, as she dispatched American Julia Cohen 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the Baku Cup, her first-ever final.

The 91st ranked Jovanovski became the first Serbian to win a WTA title since Ana Ivanovic won an event in Bali last year.

Cohen, who also playing in her first WTA final was playing in just her third main tour tournament.

Jovanovski is the just the sixth player outside the Top 100 to win a WTA title in 2012. She collected $37,000 for her victory.

Share

Jovanovski Talent Apparent, Not Sustained Enough to Beat Vinci

By Curt Janka

CARLSBAD, California – Bojana Jovanovski played brilliant streaks of tennis throughout her first round encounter with Roberta Vinci, but couldn’t keep it going long enough to pull out the win.  In the end, Vinci looked like the calm veteran as she finished off the frustrated, but talented Jovanovski 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

At 19 years of age, Jovanovski put her fiercely athletic ground strokes to work early, going up a set and a break. She did, however, struggle throughout the match with her second serves, particularly to the ad side of the court. It’s unfortunate, as her service motion is quite good. Whether it’s a lack of confidence in her second serve or a twinge of nerves in big points, a notable deceleration seemed to be the crux of her service woes. The upside is that she’s young and has plenty of time to make the easy correction.

Vinci, for her part, may not have played her best match of the year but did well to hang around and capitalize when Jovanovski took her foot off the gas pedal.

Jovanovski was rewarded for her effort with a swarm of young fans seeking autographs while Vinci was able to discreetly leave the court.

After the match, it was revealed that due to a series of travel planning mishaps, Jovanovski barely made it to San Diego in time for her match, which certainly could have been a factor in her fatigue in the final set.

Curt Janka is covering the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad this week. for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on twitter at @GVTennisNews. Follow his personal twitter @CurtJanka.

no images were found

Share

Jovanovski, Azarenka, Botto and Morita Win Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Awards

The ITF has announced the first four winners of the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award. Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia has been recognised in the World Group and World Group II first round category, while the Zone Group I winners are Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka, Peru’s Bianca Botto and Japan’s Ayumi Morita. The ties took place in February.


Jovanovski played a key role in Serbia’s narrow 3-2 victory over Canada in the World Group II first round in Novi Sad. In the absence of Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, she stepped up to be the team’s No. 1 player and completed a dream weekend by winning all three of her rubbers without losing a set.

 

The teenager, competing in just her second Fed Cup tie, defeated former world No. 21 Aleksandra Wozniak and current Canadian No. 1 Rebecca Marino. She then partnered Aleksandra Krunic to win the deciding doubles against Sharon Fichman and Marie-Eve Pelletier.

 

Azarenka did not drop a set during the week-long Europe/Africa event. She cruised through the round-robin stage, with Belarus finishing first in Pool C, and went on to record an impressive triumph against fellow Top 10 player Agnieszka Radwanska. The result sealed a 2-0 victory for Belarus over Poland and a place in the World Group II play-offs.

 

Botto showed exceptional fight and spirit to help Peru finish second in Pool A at the Americas event. She won three out of four singles rubbers, with her only loss coming against the experienced Gisela Dulko, who went on to lead Argentina to victory in the play-off for promotion.

 

Morita remained unbeaten throughout the Asia/Oceania event as Japan topped Pool B and then beat Uzbekistan 3-0 to seal a World Group II play-offs spot. She did not drop a set in singles or doubles and captured the decisive point against Uzbekistan.

 

The four Heart Award recipients were decided by a public vote on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es after ten players were shortlisted by a judging panel consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, former players Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Mercedes Paz, and four members of the international media. All the winners receive a Baccarat bracelet and a cheque to be donated to a chosen charity.

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “There were some very strong candidates from the ties in February so I’d like to congratulate Bojana, Victoria, Bianca and Ayumi for coming out on top after the public vote. The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award continues to provide recognition for the outstanding contributions made by players towards their team and the competition as a whole. I’m sure the four winners will now take great pride in making donations to the charity of their choice.”

 

The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between the ITF and BNP Paribas. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team. A total of six players will be recognised in 2011.

Share

BNP Paribas Open Day Two: Del Potro – Don’t You Forget About Me.

By Erik Gudris

Trying to cover an event like the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells is a little bit like going on vacation. Although you try to enjoy the first day, your head is still stressing over getting there, getting settled, making sure you have everything, making sure your room at the hotel is actually there, and so on. So the second day is really when you can finally take a breath and gets a sense of what’s going on.

 

And down here at Indian Wells there’s a lot going on. Even though most of the big names weren’t in action today, plenty of intriguing matches were on deck to get fans excited or at least more acquainted with some players they could be hearing a lot more of in the future. My first match of the morning was with rising Serbian star Bojana Jovanovski taking on Urszula Radwanksa (Agnieska’s younger sister) in a see-saw battle that pitted Jovanovski’s power against Radwanska’s defense and better touch. Some fans who had never seen the young Serb play commented that if she could reign in her power, she could be formidable and I agree. I really liked how she attacked Radwanksa’s serve, standing well into the baseline like the Williams Sisters do.  But neither her power nor clawing back from being down three match points was enough for Jovanovski as she lost in three tough sets 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6).

The rest of the afternoon had me bouncing from a Roger Federer media conference where the three-time champion of the Indian Wells event expressed in his silky smooth yet very confident way that he really wants to be the top man of the ATP Tour again to another intriguing match between young Dutch star Robin Haase, who was sporting his own Fed-like headband versus the German veteran Rainer Schuettler whose experience and ability to handle Haase’s big forehand saw him through with a 7-6(4), 7-5 win.

 

But if there was a marquee match today, it had to be the return of Juan Martin Del Potro to the main stadium where he faced off against the always tricky Radek Stepanek, a man Del Potro had never beaten. Despite some poor serving in the first set, Del Potro found the range on his atomic forehand and some stellar touch at net to give him a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win.

 

In his media conference afterwards, it was Del Potro’s memories of his last match against Stepanek at the 2009 Paris Masters where the Argentine retired with an abdominal strain down 0-4 in the first set that Del Potro said was the first instance of him feeling any problems with his wrist. “I felt it at that moment (Paris) and then I took a rest before London and then I had a very good rest before Australian Open and came to Australia. And then I feel the pain on my wrist so then I play that tournament and then I tell them I need to see a doctor.” When asked about his form now, Del Potro expressed a cautious yet optimistic outlook. “I know I am playing better than two months ago. But I need time to play better and better and especially to beat top ten players. I still feel sometimes sensation on my wrist especially in humid weather so I have many things to fight but I am glad so far.”

 

Delpo then credited his coaches and family with helping him to keep positive during his time away. “It was important. For the life, the real life and now I am back to playing every match, every tournament in the stadiums with the crowds and the other players. I like this life.”

 

With his win today and the overwhelming reaction it got worldwide from fans, it’s obvious tennis likes having Del Potro back in “the life”. And even though he may not consider himself a favorite to win Indian Wells, who knows what might happen in the next ten days? Which is why his theme song this week could just be David Cook’s remake of the classic 80’s hit “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

 

We certainly haven’t Delpo. Welcome back.

 

Erik Gudris, writer and moderator of Adjustingthenet.com is covering the BNP Paribas Open this week for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on Twitter @gvtennisnews

Share