November 26, 2015

Novak Dokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Win Sixth China Open Title

Novak Djokovic

(October 11, 2015) No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept his record at the China Open perfect at 29-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal to claim his sixth Beijing title, his eighth title overall on the year. It’s his 56th career title.

“The scoreline, especially in the first set, doesn’t indicate the real battle that we had on the court,” Djokovic said.

“Had a couple of opportunities, especially on the 3‑2 game, Love‑30, 15‑40. Missed the volley. It was a bit unfortunate with some shots at that stage of the match.

“But, again, I managed to stay calm and still stick with the game plan to be aggressive and to make him move. It worked very well.”

“It was a very good first set, in my opinion,” Nadal said. “The result in the first set, 6‑2, I think is too much. I think for the moment I had a lot of chances. Love‑30, 15‑40, 40‑Love, and I lost all those games. That’s the real game. Then 6‑2. Should be much closer, that first set.

“In the second set, well, happened little bit what happened with the foot. I lost little bit the concentration. But at the end I finished playing well again. (Nadal hurt his foot early in the second set.)

“Very happy the way that I played the week, especially because I was able to improve every single match during the week, and especially in quarterfinals after that first set against Sock, I changed that dynamic. I played closer to the baseline. Yesterday I played a good match. Today I played a good match.

“Obviously the dynamic of him is different than my one. Especially in a very positive place for him, place where he won already six times, five times before that final. It’s obvious that is perfect place for him.

“I was competing very well in the first set. So seriously I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I am improving. As I said, when I arrived here, every match is important for me. All improvements are important, even if are the small ones. I felt during this week I improved a lot of things. I take a lot of positive things from the week. That’s very important for me, no?”

“I thought he did well from the backhand side,” the Serb continued. “He was more aggressive. I was looking for my kind of room for maneuver on his forehand side. He usually opens up that side. I tried to make the angles with the backhand cross.

“But I did well. I think I maintained that level of aggressivity and strength and power in my shots, and eventually I knew that he’s going to make mistakes and he’s going to give me shorter balls so I can dominate the rallies, which happened.

“I think the serve helped me a lot tonight, over 80% of first serves in, the aces, finishing off with an ace. That’s an element in my game that has worked very well throughout the entire week that has helped me to win many free points, obviously.”

Nadal still leads in the overall head-to-head against Djokoivic at 23-22. However, Nadal has lost 15 of his past 22 matches against Djokovic.

Djokovic will be the top seed for the Shanghai Masters this week. “Next week’s tournament is going to be even stronger because obviously all the best players in the world are there,” Djokovic said.

“This positive week definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence for Shanghai.”

Djokovic, who has won three out of the four majors this year, has a 68-5 record this season.


Garbine Muguruza Moves into Top Four with Beijing Title

(October 11,2015) Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza won the China Open with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Timea Bacsinszky for her second career WTA title, first Premier Mandatory.

Muguruza rallied from 5-2 down in the first set and a break down in the second set to claim the title.

“It was a very tough start of the match,” said the winner. “I was nervous. I was really nervous because I came from the final of Wuhan thinking, C’mon, I want to win this one so much. Sometimes it doesn’t help to think like this, but you cannot say no.

“I think, yeah, it was tough. But I could turn it around at some point during the set. I think also Timea started really believing she could do it, and she was playing great.”

The title will vault the Spaniard to No. 4 in the rankings, a career high.

“Well, definitely it’s a big achievement,” said Muguruza. “I think, you know, to see you are improving, also on the tennis side, but in the rankings, it’s that moment when there’s only three more in front of me. It feels good. It feels that you’re doing in a right way your things. “

Muguruza, has playing well in Asia, last week a finalist in Wuhan falling to Venus Williams, when she had to retire in the second set with an ankle injury.

Bacsinszky, almost out of the game of tennis two years ago will reach the top ten on Monday.

“I think I’ve never imagined ever in my whole life to be one day top 10. Right now I’m top 10. Yesterday I didn’t talk about it so much because probably I was only focusing on the tournament.

“But just looking back with what I’ve achieved right now, yeah, just have goosebumps right now because the road was long. It’s just so great, yeah, and special.”

“It was already not a goal to be top 10, to be honest,” said the Swiss. “I talked about it many, many times. Maybe it’s crazy for some people to understand that I have no goals, no special goals.

“My only goal is to give 100% wherever I am, if it’s in Europe, if it’s in Asia, if it’s in South America, if it’s sunny, if it’s rainy, if it’s snowy, if it’s wind, no wind, whatever. I try to give my best every day. I try to push myself.

“It got me where I am right now. I had big faith in my project. When someone was talking to me about top 10, I was like, Yeah, yeah, top 10 is over there, it’s far. Right now I am one of it.

“It just shows if you don’t set yourself limits, you can go anywhere. You can just push, push, push yourself every day. That’s what I’m doing.”

Muguruza has withdrawn from this week’s Hong Kong Open, citing that her ankle needs to recover.


Top Two Seeds Halep and Kvitova Out of China Open

Halep 2182015-001

(October 4, 2015) Top seed Simona Halep of Romania retired from her match with a left Achilles injury while No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova lost to Sara Errani at the China Open on Sunday in Beijing.

No. 2 Halep retired against Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena at 4-5 in the first set. There were three other retirements in women’s matches on the day.

“I have pain in my Achilles,” the Romanian said. “It’s getting worse. I thought that it’s getting better and I can play. But no. I don’t want to force (it).

“It’s a tough injury because always is dangerous to continue with the tendon. So, yeah, I hope just to recover and to be healthy soon.” She had the same injury in 2011.

“My first thought is just to be healthy,” Halep said when asked about competing at the WTA Finals in Singapore. “Of course, every tournament is important. But the most important thing is to be okay, to feel no pain, and then I will see.

“I hope I can play in Singapore. Was my goal for this year. I will see. I need treatment and I need break, for sure.”

“I think all the players in the end of the year are a little bit tired. It’s tough to manage these situations,” she said.

“If you want to be in the top, you have to work hard and to be getting better year by year, you know, as soon as you can.”

No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved on when Coco Vandeweghe retired after the first set.

“Well, I knew she retired last week,” Radwanska said. “But, you know, every week it’s different story, different tournament.

“I was prepared for whole match. We played couple times before that. So I knew what to do on court.

“But maybe still going on something with her health. I think we have to ask her.”

“I think this is the end of the year. Not everybody is fresh at the moment,” the Pole responding to a questions about the day’s retirements. “I think really that’s the main reason.

“Well, I think that’s what happen in Asia pretty much.”

Sara Errani of Italy had the upset of the day knocking out second-seeded Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-4.

“I never beat her, so I know was a really tough match,” Errani. “Of course, she’s a really good player.”

and Sloane Stephens of the United States defeated ninth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.

Errani said that the difference in the match was just a few points. “I just tried to stay there every point, solid, without too many mistakes. It’s my game.

“She hit the ball really strong, so I just tried to make her play one shot more.”

Kvitova who was a finalist at the China Open last year felt that she was not ready.

“Of course the loss is always disappointing,” Kvitova said. “I really wanted to win and kind of qualify for Singapore here. But I just wasn’t really able to.

“You know, it was kind of game which I really had to be ready physically and mentally and everything, and I just wasn’t.

“I just think it was kind of the case, I couldn’t really serve in the second set as well. I didn’t really help with anything. She (was) going for the chance. It was kind of difficult.”

“I’m kind of sleepy all day long. It’s just weird,” Kvitova said.

Singles – First Round

[Q] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) d [1] S. Halep (ROU) 54 Retired (Left ankle injury)
S. Errani (ITA) d [2] P. Kvitova (CZE) 75 64
[3] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [WC] X. Han (CHN) 75 46 64
[4] A. Radwanska (POL) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 63 00 Retired (Left ankle injury)
[7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 63 00 Retired (Right elbow injury)
[8] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [Q] B. Jovanovski (SRB) 62 64
S. Stephens (USA) d [9] K. Pliskova (CZE) 63 62
[16] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 75 62
[Q] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) d A. Cornet (FRA) 63 63
A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 62 64
[Q] I. Falconi (USA) d D. Gavrilova (RUS) 75 26 64
M. Barthel (GER) d [WC] S. Zhang (CHN) 63 62
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 62
D. Cibulkova (SVK) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 61 16 63
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) 62 64
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d Z. Diyas (KAZ) 64 00 Retired (Left lower leg injury)
[Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) d T. Pironkova (BUL) 63 63
C. Garcia (FRA) d [WC] S. Zheng (CHN) 62 62

Doubles – First Round

J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 76(5) 36 10-6
[WC] C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) d B. Bencic (SUI) / B. Strycova (CZE) 46 61 11-9
L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) 64 26 10-8
G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 63 46 10-8

ATP – [8] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Haider-Maurer (AUT)

Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – [13] A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
WTA – [11] B. Bencic (SUI) vs M. Brengle (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S. Stephens (USA)

LOTUS COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [15] R. Vinci (ITA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [7] D. Goffin (BEL) vs A. Seppi (ITA)
ATP – [Q] D. Istomin (UZB) vs [WC] Ze. Zhang (CHN)

Not Before 6:30 pm
WTA – [4] A. Radwanska (POL) vs M. Barthel (GER)

MOON COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – S. Stosur (AUS) vs M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) vs [14] M. Keys (USA)
WTA – [7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)
WTA – [16] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

COURT 3 start 12:30 pm
WTA – M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
ATP – [Q] A. Bedene (GBR) vs L. Rosol (CZE)
ATP – I. Karlovic (CRO) / L. Kubot (POL) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE)

COURT 4 start 12:30 pm
ATP – [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA)
WTA – Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Klepac (SLO)
WTA – After suitable rest – [8] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – After suitable rest – K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
ATP – [Q] J. Knowle (AUT) / O. Marach (AUT) vs [2] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

COURT 8 start 12:30 pm
WTA – C. Chuang (TPE) / S. Hsieh (TPE) vs [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [6] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs [WC] A. Cornet (FRA) / M. Linette (POL)
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)




Serena Williams Withdraws from China Open and WTA Finals

Serena Williams

(October 1, 2015) After a season which saw her win the first three majors of the year, falling two wins short of completing a Grand Slam, Serena Williams has called it quits on the season.

Williams says she is withdrawing from the WTA Finals and the China Open to heal after playing through various injuries during the year.

“This is a very difficult decision, but one ultimately made because of the love of the game. I plan to return to practicing and participating in exhibition matches later this year,” Williams said in an article on the China Open website. “And when I do, I will focus and focus and focus so I can continue my journey in this beautiful game.”

Williams said that she is “taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal.”

The 21-time major champion won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon, but lost in the semifinals of the US Open, missing out on a chance to win the Grand Slam, which would have been the first since 1988.

Williams sealed the year at No. 1 just after the US Open. Williams holds 69 tournament titles and has been No. 1 a total of 260 weeks, tying Chris Evert for third place all-time a few days ago. She’s behind Steffi Graf at 377 weeks and Martina Navratilova at 332 weeks.


Djokovic and Sharapova Win China Open Titles

Novak Djokovic

(October 5, 2014) Novak Djokovic won his 24th straight match in Bejing to caoture his 5th china Open on Sunday, dismantling Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in the final.

The Serb was a point away from a “double bagel,” 6-0, 6-0 win over the Czech, who fought off match point and broke Djokovic’s serve.

“This has been, in the circumstances, probably the best performance of any final in my career,” said the world No. 1 who captured his 5th tournament win of the year, 46th in his career. “It was incredible. Incredible. Especially against Tomas, who has a big game and is already an experienced player. It was 6-0, 5-0 in under an hour. Everything I tried worked. To be proud of the performance is the least I can say of how I played tonight.

“I have played some great finals, had some convincing wins, some straight-set wins against top rivals. But with this kind of performance and with this domination result-wise, I mean it’s never happened.”

Berdych was in stunned disbelief: “I met somebody in the final who I’ve never seen before. The way that he performed today was really outstanding. There is really not much I can add to that because, really, I was just swept off the court.

“I just said to my coach now that I probably played over 700 matches in my career, and I met guys like Andre (Agassi), Roger (Federer), all those probably in their best times. But I have never, ever experienced anything like that.”



On the women’s side, in a re-match of the 2011 Wimbledon final, Maria Sharapova moved into the No. 2 spot in the rankings when she beat Petra Kvitova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to win the China Open.

At this time last year the Russian was off the tour with a shoulder injury.

“It’s definitely great to be a year later in a situation where this is my fourth title of the year, you know, a Grand Slam this year,” she said. “A lot to put in perspective. You look back and think about how you kind of struggled, but you kept going.”

“I knew she’d been on a roll in the last couple of weeks,” Sharapova said. “It’s probably the toughest opponent you can face in a final, that’s had that success, yet you just want to focus on your side, what you do best.

“She became the more aggressive player in the second set. I think I took a few too many steps back and let her play that way. But I was able to lift my game again in the third and come out with a win.”
“Yeah, I was tired,” said the Czech Kvitova bidding to win tournaments in two straight weeks, playing 9 matches in 13 days. “But it was a final, and every time I’m playing a final, I’m giving everything I have inside. What I did today was a great battle. It was small things and small points that made the difference in the end. I had some chances, but Maria just didn’t let them go.”

For Sharapova it was her fourth title of the season, tying her with Ana Ivanovic for second on the year behind No. 1 Serena Williams who has six titles.

The China Open was Sharapova’s 33rd career title, putting her in a tie for 15th place in the Open Era with Conchita Martinez.


Djokovic Reaches 5th Beijing Final After 23rd Straight Win

Novak Djokovic

(October 4, 2014) No. 1 Novak Djokovic improved his perfect record to 23-0 in Beijing on Saturday when he defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4 to reach his fifth China Open final.

Despite the straight set score, Djokovic felt as though he worked a lot harder.

“It was a two‑set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points,” the Serbian said. “There was a lot of rally exchanges. He had a lot of chances to come back. He was 4‑3 up. Just in important moments I managed to play the best tennis.”

“I just wasn’t myself on the court,” Djokokic commented about his lackluster performances since winning Wimbledon. “I wasn’t really prepared emotionally to go back and compete again after Wimbledon and a very exhausting summer, everything that happened in my professional and private life.

“I’m glad that I’m back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven’t lost ever since I played this tournament.”

Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych for the China Open title on Sunday. Berdych defeated Martin Klizan, who upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-1.

“It’s a final and it’s against Novak,” Berdych said. “It’s really special day for me. Every Sunday that we have to go on court and play, it means a lot because it’s a final. Playing with No. 1 player in the world is always a bit special.

“But Novak is playing in incredible form, back again. Really, he’s having a great record playing here in China Open. There is a new challenge, a new day, a new opportunity for me. I’m going to try to go there, try to take my chance and, again, try to play my tennis. Let’s see what I can do with that.”


On the ladies side, it will be a rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon title, with the added bonus for the winner to move to No. 2 in the world with Petra Kvitova facing Maria Sharapova on Sunday.

Kvitova was pushed by Samantha Stosur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, while Sharapova dominated Ana Ivanovic 6-0, 6-4.

Kvitova is going for her second title in China in as many weeks. She captured the inaugural Wuhan Open last week.

He chance to move up to No. 2 is not that important to the Czech.

“I was No. 2 already, so I’m not really excited about,” she said. “But, no, I’m kidding.”

“I’m not really focusing on the number. I mean, it’s just number before my name. More important for me are results on the big tournaments and on the Grand Slams, as well.

“So tomorrow I will play for the title, not for be No. 2.”


Nadal Upset by Qualifier Klizan at China Open



(October 3, 2014) Less than a week ago Slovakia’s Martin Klizan was down a set and 1-5 in the qualifying tournament for the China Open to a player ranked No. 927th in the world. On Friday, Klizan bounced back to beat 14-time major champion and No. 2 seed Rafal Nadal 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of Beijing.

For Nadal, in his third match back from a tight wrist injury, it was his first loss to a qualifier since 2004, when he fell to Julien Benneteau in Lyon.

Nadal was up a set and a break, before the flat, hard-hitting Klizan became more consistent with his strokes. Nadal hit 37 errors with just 21 winners.

Nadal said her was not playing well – “when one player plays bad, plays without rhythm, no confidence on the shots, having more mistakes than usual, being not confident how to play the points and how to win the points, that happens, no?, Nadal said.

“I was not playing well. But I had 7‑6, 4‑2, breakpoint for 5‑2, then he play more aggressive, and I play bad mistakes. That’s it.

“When you are playing bad, the opponent is able to push you in some moment of the match like he did, is normal that he has a better chance than me to win the match. That’s it, no?

“I say it the other day. I coming back from an injury. As I say the other day, is not the perfect conditions for me to come back. Probably is the most difficult part of the season because different facts that I spoke about the other day.”

For Klizan, it was the win of his career.

“Before we played two times, one time in Roland Garros and one time in Wimbledon,” Klizan said. “Both matches we played in four sets. I lost. This one was also, you know, very close match. The previous ones was also very close.

“You know, I don’t know, Rafa is a big star, he’s a big player. He was still up. He was set up and break. You know, I had nothing to do, but I was just fighting.

“I’m just so proud of myself that I could win today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to play semifinal. It’s my first semifinal in ATP 500 tournament.”

“I think my tennis is now great,” Klizan continued. “I think I can beat anyone on tour. For me this victory, that was the best night in my life. I’m just very happy that I beat Rafa. He’s a legend. I’m just very happy that I beat a legend.”

“I came here to two tournaments knowing that normal things that happen like today are going to happen, Nadal said of his return to the tour. “Accept that. Is practice here. Shanghai, even if it’s a Masters 1000, today I cannot think about big things. I have to think about day by day, trying to do the best as possible to do again quick. But I need time.”

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych advanced to the semifinals. The top-seeded Djokovic defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4, Murray beat U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-4 and Berdych knocked out his Beijing doubles partner John Isner 6-1, 6-4.



Serena Williams Pulls Out of China Open with Left Knee Injury, Puts Singapore Participation in Doubt

Serena Williams

(October 3, 2014) BEIJING, CHINA – Serena Williams has pulled out of her quarterfinal match against Sam Stosur at the China Open Friday, with a left knee injury.


Williams said she started to feel the pain in her knee this week and almost didn’t take the court Thursday, in her match against Lucie Safarova.  She had her left knee taped but eventually won in three sets, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.  “Well, it throbs just sitting, standing,” according to Williams.  “I felt it mostly serving because I’m landing on my left knee.  That was really killer for me.”  She feels she probably made it worse playing on but is still to have her knee checked.


Williams now plans to go to Europe to see her doctor and have all the tests done there.  Asked whether her participation at the season-ending BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore is in doubt, Serena replied, “I can’t answer that.  If I feel this way for Singapore, I don’t think it’s smart for me to play.  Other than that, I’m just going to see how it goes.”

Abigail Hinto and Natalie Ho are in Beijing, China covering the China Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow their twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

Photos by Natalie Ho.


Nadal Criticizes Balls in Beijing


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(October 2, 2014) Back on the court for his first tournament since recovering from a right wrist injury, Rafael Nadal is in his first quarterfinal since winning his ninth French Open in June, beating German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk at the China Open on Thursday 6-3, 6-4.

After the win, the No. 2 seed criticized the balls being used in Beijing.

Critical of some of the balls used on tour in the past, the 14-time major champion was asked about what was wrong with them.

“I don’t know what’s good,” Nadal said with a smile.

“Seriously, no, I think the bounces are not the same all the time. If you throw the ball on the floor, the bounces goes everywhere. Is not a question of winning or losing. I won in Rio with this ball. I won tournaments with this ball.

“It’s just that we’re competing at the top level of our sport, tennis, and the ball is an important thing. There is a lot of good balls around the world. The brand of this ball is a strong brand. So if they have a contract with the ATP, they need to find a solution, change the ball, find another solution, because this ball is not working well.

“I am not talking for me only. That’s the feeling of the players out there on the locker room. Lot of players comes to me and tell me that.

“But is not question of this tournament. I say it in the past. Is more than a year that we are playing with this ball, and the ball is bad.

“Is not ATP Tour world‑class ball.”

“Changing balls every tournament create problems because the feeling of the ball…,” Nadal continued.

“I understand for people who really are not players, probably persons who will read that, sounds strange. But the ball is a big difference. Is a big difference between one ball and another ball.

“This week we are playing with one ball. Next week we are playing with a different ball. At the same time is a different ball and you need to adapt to the new ball in just two days.

“That’s dangerous for the shoulder, dangerous for the elbow. At the end that’s the thing we are talking for a long time on the tour, since I arrived here, and probably before. Seems very difficult to fix that almost ‑ as everything.”

Andy Murray who defeated Pablo Cuevas  6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals, was also asked about Nadal’s comments about the tennis balls, He said:

“I haven’t spoken to him about the ball. I think it’s something that players throughout the year tend to complain about because we have to change balls almost weekly really. That’s hard. If you want to see consistently high‑level tennis, it’s very difficult when you’re changing balls from week to week because they all react differently.

“For example, I had one day to get used to the conditions here. It’s tough. I’m sure if you gave golfers a different ball to play with each week, it would take them time to adjust to that, as well. It’s the same for the tennis players.

“But, yeah, the balls feel different to last week. I don’t have a problem with the balls. It’s just they feel different to last week.”

Nadal will face another qualifier in the next round in Martin Klizan. Klizan advanced when Ernest Gulbis retired from the match with a shoulder injury, trailing 6-2, 3-0.


All photos by Natalie Ho.


Petra Kvitova win sets up Third Round Clash with Venus Williams in Beijing


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By Abigail Hinto

(October 1, 2014) BEIJING, CHINA – A confident and in-form Petra Kvitova raced to an easy 6-4, 6-2 victory on Wednesday at the China Open over China’s new No. 1 player Peng Shuai.


Following her title run in Wuhan the last week, the third seed Kvitova acknowledges she’s more confident now after suffering an early loss at the US Open.  Working hard following that US Open defeat and knowing she has to fight for her spot at the season-ending Singapore event Kvitova is back to playing the type of tennis that brought her a second Wimbledon title.  “I feel well on the court.  I know that I can play good tennis because of last week, [in] Wuhan.  I think my confidence is a little bit higher than after US Open,” acknowledged Kvitova.  And now that she has secured her spot, she’s feeling more relaxed on court.


And a relaxed and confident Kvitova is trouble for everyone.  How will Venus Williams, Kvitova’s next opponent, who has also been playing well this season, handle Kvitova this time around?  Admittedly one of the best matches of the year was their third round clash at Wimbledon where Kvitova was two points away from losing the match. She went on to win the match and her second Wimbledon title.

Will we see a repeat of that match in another third round meeting here at the China Open?  It’s always been a tight battle between these two players who seemingly match up well against each other.  “I’m looking forward to it,” says Kvitova.  “I think that she’s serving still very well.  She’s moving well, as well.  She’s playing fast.  We’ll see.”


“I think that every match what we played with Venus was really great fight until the end. I played her in Doha, 7‑6 in the third. Wimbledon 7‑5 in the third. It’s always great. I’m looking forward for it.”


Abigail Hinto and Natalie Ho are in Beijing, China covering the China Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow their twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

Photos by Natalie Ho.