2014/11/26

Venus Williams Ekes Out Victory over Dellacqua

(March 23, 2014) Three-time Sony Open champion Venus Williams edged out wildcard Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the fourth round on Sunday.

The match which lasted two-and-a-half hours saw Williams commit 44 unforced errors but she hit 11 aces in the win.

Williams moved out quickly to a 5-1 lead in the opening set but could not serve out the first set and Dellacqua got back on serve at 4-5. Williams broke to win the first set.
In the second set, the Australia went up a break but Williams evened out the set at 4-4. Dellacqua broke against and closed out the set 7-5.
Williams had a 4-2 lead in the deciding set only to see the lead vanish to 4-4. After holding serve, Williams broke serve to win the match.

“She’s playing so well and mixing her shots up so I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but definitely looking forward to the next round,” Venus Williams said.

“I do try and compete.  I mean, being out here, even if it’s not your best day, no matter what the circumstances are, for me, I just try to walk off the court knowing at least even if I didn’t play my best I gave 100,000%.”

Williams will face No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova, who beat No. 22 Alice Cornet 7-6 (6), 6-1.

“I don’t even know the last time I played her, but I know every time she plays Serena she competes so well,” Venus said.  “I think they played here last year in the semifinals.  I was watching that match.  It may have been a three‑setter.  I just remember it was very tough.

“When I get out there, I just have to see how she’s hitting the ball.  I know she hits it hard and goes for it.  We’ll see.  I just haven’t played her in so long.”

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Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic Advance at BNP Paribas Open

Djokovic thumbs up to fans while leaving

(March 11, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – Novak Djokovic was tested in the middle set against Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, but the Serbian pulled out a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win to move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

Other men advancing were 24th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who defeated 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3; 30th-seeded Fernando Verdasco  who beat No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (5), 6-1 24th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6- and Roberto Bautista Agut stopped  Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6).

On the women’s side. 2010 champion Jelena Jankovic defeated 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 in the battle of former No. 1s. Also Advancing on the women’s side were No. 6 seed Simona Halep who stopped Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Casey Dellacqua of Australia moved on due to Lauren Davis pulling out of the tournament due to gastrointestinal illness and Maria Sharapova conqueror Camilia Giorgi was dismissed by her Italian countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in 56 minutes 6-2, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.

Two-time Indian Wells champion Djokovic had 28 winners in the match against Gonzalez. The Colombian before this week had never won an ATP Tour level match until Indian Wells.

“I honestly haven’t seen him play ever before that,” Djokovic said of his opponent.  “I got information from some other players, and my coach did preparations also for the match.  You know, asked also a few players what his weaknesses and strengths are in the game.

“It took me a little bit to get used to it, you know, but I thought I played really well from the start.  6‑1, and then his opening few games, service games, I had break points, and then suddenly I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason.

“Bounced back better in the third, but I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level ‑ especially in the next match when I’m playing Cilic, you know, a guy who is in really good form and I think has gotten better in last couple of months working with Ivanisevic.

“So I’m going to have to be on top of my game throughout the whole match in order to win it.”

Djokovic plays Mari Cilic next.

“I’ve played him (Cilic) several times on different surfaces,” Djokovic said.  “We haven’t played each other for quite a long time.

“He started working with Goran, and as I said before, you can feel and you can notice the improvement in his game.  He’s more aggressive.  He comes to the net.  He’s a big guy, and that’s what you expect from him is to serve big and to come to the net.

“He’s using his serve as a big advantage nowadays, and also I feel like he’s moving better on the court.  He did before ‑‑ obviously he had this injury and then was absent from the tour for several months, but since he came back he’s a stronger player.

“I have been watching him playing some big matches.  He won against Murray in Rotterdam in straight sets.  He can definitely can play.  And not just play, I mean, he can win against top players.  That’s why I do not even for a second underestimate him.

“I’m coming into the match knowing that I’m going to have to be playing on top of my game in order to win that match.  I’m going to get myself ready for it.”

Jankovic fh volley

Djokovic’s countrywoman Jelena Jankovic routed Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1. Depending on how other players perform, Wozniacki’s ranking could fall to No. 15 in the world.

“I lost to her the last I don’t know how many times, but I think right now I am playing some pretty good tennis,” Jankovic said of finally ending a five-match losing streak against the Dane.  “I went on court, you know, trying to wait for my chances.

“Against her, if you go sometimes for too much you just make so many errors and you beat yourself.  A lot of times it happened in the past.

“So I try to play solid and aggressive at the same time, wait for the right shots, and then execute.  I did that pretty well.  3‑1 I kind of found my way, found my rhythm, and I was striking the ball very well out there and took control of the points.

“You know, I just did not let her play what she plays.  That was very important.  So I was pretty pleased with the way I played and how composed I stayed throughout the whole match.

“I kind of surprised myself, especially because of my back.  Two nights ago I hurt my back, and yesterday did not hit at all.  Had a lot of treatment.  Could not put my shoes on and all these kind of things.

“So I went on court today not knowing how I was going to feel.  You know, if I was going to be limited with my movement or if I was going to play my game.

“But I did, and I was surprised.  I was so happy and pleased with how everything went.”

Jankovic will play second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.

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Casey Dellacqua leads Stanmore Wyverns to Asia-Pacific Tennis League Conference Finals

 

Casey Dellacqua

Casey Dellacqua

By Dave Gertler

(November 21, 2013) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA  – Round four of the Asia-Pacific  Tennis League’s New South Wales Conference was headlined by four-time Grand Slam doubles finalist Casey Dellacqua, who has  spent the off-season in Sydney gearing up for what will be  a  physically demanding 2014 season.

 

The Asia-Pacific Tennis League is the premier national team tennis competition in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. With five separate State conferences and four to six  separate men’s and women’s teams within each  conference,  the ATL brings rising stars from the ITF and Challenger  tours together with elite ATP and WTA players, both active  and retired.

 

The format of the ATL is similar to World Team Tennis,  teams  competing in fast-paced singles and doubles rubbers, whose  shortened format features first-to-four sets, super  tie-breaks and playing service lets. Spectators enjoy both elite-level tennis and other entertainment including courtside music and team mascots.

 

Australian household names like Pat Rafter (Sunshine Coast Breakers),  Wally Masur, Casey Dellacqua (Stanmore Wyverns) and Nick  Kyrgios (Canberra Velocity) have been involved in five  rounds leading to the Conference Finals. The League Finals will take place during the second week of the Australian Open, on the outside courts of Melbourne Park.

 

“I haven’t hit a ball for a few weeks,” said Dellacqua after the day of ATL matches at City Community Tennis Centre, Prince Alfred Park. “A lot of my focus has been  more about the physical side, so my body’s pretty sore  but  it was good to get out here today and pick up the racquet,  have some fun and get out there with a couple of the girls  and enjoy myself.”

 

Her team, the Stanmore Wyverns, relied on her to win her doubles in straight sets, after they were pushed hard in other rubbers by host club UTS City Lizards. The final match score was Wyverns 3-7-35 to Lizards 3-6-35, meaning the match was decided by one set.

 

While Dellacqua and Wyverns No.2 singles player Monique Adamzcak both won their singles convincingly, Stephanie Bengson and Lucie Kriegsmannova fought back for the Lizards in stand-out singles rubbers against Julia Moriarty and Angelique Svinos respectively, levelling match score at 2-2.

 

The rubber between Bengson and Moriarty was particularly crucial as it was the hard-fought set Moriarty won, in the only three-setter of the day, which would ultimately clinch the win for the Wyverns.

 

The doubles combination of Kriegsmannova and Bengson then went on to defeat Moriarty and big-hitting Deeon Mladin in a match full of reflex volleying exchanges and big serving.

Moriarty/Mladin only won two games in straight first-to-four sets, the 4-2, 4-0 score not indicative of the quality of the highly-entertaining points.

 

Doubles pair Dellacqua/Adamzcak needed to win their match  in  straight sets against UTS City Lizards’ Jess Engels and  Renee Beck, which is exactly what they did, sealing the  match for the Wyverns and confirming their place at the ATL  Conference Play-off, to be played next Friday 29 November  at  Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

 

Dellacqua, whose focus is on improving her singles ranking in 2014, said she’d also like to go one step further in doubles, having made it to the finals of all four Grand Slams – Roland Garros in 2008 with Francesca Schiavone, and the other three in 2013 with Ashleigh Barty. “Ash and I will continue to play,” said Dellacqua, ‘We’ve obviously had a great year but we’d like to go one step further and win a Grand Slam. We made three finals, so it’d be nice to win one.”

 

Earlier in the day, the men’s round 4 action saw a strong display of tennis between Stanmore Wyverns and Sydney Olympic Rebels. Seventeenth ranked Australian Adam Feeney had a solid win over 21-year-old Simon Ede, and Jonathon Cooper had a surprise win over his former coach and ATP 105-ranked player Todd Reid. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the Wyverns won the other two singles rubbers, and both doubles, to win the match 4-9-45 to 2-6-34.

 

The event was held at City Community Tennis, which has been nominated as a finalist for the 2013 Newcombe Medal for Most Outstanding Tennis Community in Australia.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama. Follow him on Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

 

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Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013

 

Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.

 

Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]

 

Tweets of the day

 

 

Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.

 

Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.

 

Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic

 

Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Chef Pierrick Boyer Serving Taste of Tennis Down Under

Pierrick Boyer

(January 4, 2013) The Australian Open is less than two weeks away and with the anticipation of an upcoming major, Melbourne will play host many pre-tournament soirees. One of the very special events will be the Swisse Taste of Tennis – where the culinary world meets the tennis world to raise funds for charity. This is the sister event to the Taste of Tennis in New York which has kicked off the US Open for the past 13 years.

Some of the tennis players scheduled to participate in the event include Lleyton Hewitt, Max Myrni, Tamira Paszek, Ivan Lendl, Lucia Safarova, Casey Dellacqua, Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Yaraslava Shvedova and Chanelle Scheepers.

Tennis Panorama News caught up with award-winning international pastry chef, Melbourne resident Pierrick Boyer, who will be one of the featured chefs at Taste of Tennis. Boyer has 21 years in the field working with some of the industry’s most internationally renowned chefs.

Boyer has participated in the event four times. “Let’s not forget it’s a charity event and it is one of my favorite events of the year,” Boyer emphasized. “It is fun, there is beautiful food, we talk about sports and there are great people who want to make a difference. I love giving my time for charities, tennis, food and promoting Melbourne.” Boyer is the Head Pastry Chef of Le Petit Gâteau in Melbourne.

“Yes, I am a big (tennis) fan,” Boyer said. “I’ve been to the Indian Wells Tournament, because I lived nearby for five years and, of course, the Australian Open where, luckily, I did some cooking classes for the tennis players. I had the pleasure to meet Aleksandra Wozniak, Arina and Anastasia Rodionova, Gael Monfils and Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, who are fantastic to see on the court. And I used to play years ago,” Boyer said with a smile.

I asked Boyer if he thought there was a similarity between chefs and tennis players, since both have intense training and travel all over the globe. Also many of players seem to be “foodies.”

“I agree,” said Boyer.” We have this in common with some chefs who travel the world and I am lucky I can do this as well, several countries are already scheduled for my desserts making workshops overseas. But the life of a tennis player is hard as well, loads of traveling and that’s a lot of time away from home.”

As far as which tennis players he thinks would be good pastry chefs, he tips Arina Rodionova and Aleksandra Wozniak. “With a bit of practice Arina Rodionova could be because I know she enjoys my pear and almond tart. She had this for her birthday.”

“Aleksandra Wozniak really enjoyed my signature cake, the brownie passion chocolate crunch, at a previous Taste of Tennis event,” Boyer added.

So what inspired him to launch a career in the world of pastry? “At four or five years old, we were living next to a pastry shop at Croissy Sur Seine, near Saint Germain en Laye! And every time my parents were looking for me, I was next door sampling ice creams, cakes, croissants… hahaha.”

photo(5)

As far as what special dish he will be preparing for Taste of Tennis, he saidIt’s a gluten free, dairy free, very healthy dessert.”

It’s a Coconut Quinoa organic blueberry, raspberry, coconut crumble. Boyer told me to enjoy it with Gold Label 2011 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

The Swisse Taste of Tennis takes place on January 10, 2013 at Grand Hyatt Melbourne from 7pm-10pm with an after party at Silk Road Melbourne. Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://www.swisseactivetasteoftennis.com.au

The event benefits the charities Diabetes Australia-Victoria and National Institute of Integrated Medicine (NIIM), which will receive 100% of the proceeds raised.

Follow @tasteoftennisau for more information and follow Pierrick Boyer on twitter @PierrickBoyer or his website http://www.pierrickboyer.com/.

 

Karen Pestaina is the woman behind Tennis Panorama News

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