2014/09/02

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.

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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.

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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

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