2014/09/01

Coco Vandeweghe Vanquishes Serena Williams’ Conqueror at French Open at Wimbledon

(June 23, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Fourth time was the charm for American Coco Vandeweghe at Wimbledon on Monday. In her fourth singles appearance at The Championships, she needed 13 match points get her first win in London. The 22-year-old beat the woman who upset Serena Williams in the second round of the French Open last month, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, the 27th seed 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Vandeweghe who is now on an eighth-match winning streak on grass courts, won her first WTA tournament two days ago at the Top Shelf Open in the Netherlands as a qualifier and beat the 20-year-old Spaniard on the way to the title.

“It was a tough match and it was crazy at the end,” said Vandeweghe. “The toughest part for me was that I played her the week before. I knew she would come out even more fired up because of the recent memory of her loss.”

“There was too many (match points) too count,” said Vandeweghe, whose ranking has risen to No. 51 as of Monday – a career high

The Californian will play Tereza Smithkova of the Czech Republic in the second round.

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS – WIMBLEDON, GREAT BRITAIN
$ 18,575,979
JUNE 23-JULY 5, 2014

RESULTS – JUNE 23, 2014
Women’s
Singles – First Round
(2) Li Na (CHN) d. (Q) Paula Kania (POL) 75 62
(6) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 63 60
(8) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 63 75
(10) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (Q) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 61 62
(12) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 62 63
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (17) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 63 64
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (18) Sloane Stephens (USA) 62 76(6)
(22) Ekaterina Makarova  (RUS) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm  (JPN) 36 64 75
(23) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 76(3) 76(3)
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (27) Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 63 36 75
(30) Venus Williams (USA) d. María-Teresa Torró-Flor (ESP) 64 46 62
(32) Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 60 64
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d. (Q) Anett Kontaveit (EST) 36 76(4) 63
Yvonne Meusburger (AUT) d. Vania King (USA) 75 63
Kurumi Nara (JPN) d. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 64 64
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d. (Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 62 62
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 76(2) 60
Lauren Davis (USA) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 61 62
Mona Barthel  (GER) d. Romina Oprandi (SUI) 75 60
Peng Shuai  (CHN) d. Johanna Konta (GBR) 64 36 64
Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 64 64
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 75 63
Misaki Doi (JPN) d. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 64 61
(Q) Tereza Smitkova (CZE) d. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 63 63
(Q) Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 63 46 60
(WC) Naomi Broady (GBR) d. Timea Babos (HUN) 26 76(7) 60
(WC) Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 76(6)

Suspended due to darkness
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) leads (Q) Andreea Mitu  (ROU) 42
(14) Sara Errani (ITA) is tied with Caroline Garcia (FRA) 62 67(3)
(16) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) leads Shahar Peer (ISR) 63 20
(Q) Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) leads (28) Svetlana Kuznetsova  (RUS) 21
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) leads Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 76(6) 02

Share

Coco Vandeweghe wins First WTA Title

Coco Vandeweghe

Coco Vandeweghe

(June 21, 2014) Qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe of the United States beat China’s Zheng Jie 6-2, 6-4 Saturday in the final of the grass-court Topshelf Open for her first WTA title.

In the men’s tournament, third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

“I usually take tournaments one match at a time, so early in the week I was just focused on being prepared for my first match in the qualification,” said the 22-year-old American. “Once I took care of that first match I just went from there, and I got more and more comfortable on the courts. I played a ton of points and games, and a lot of long matches and three-setters as well. I was trying not to think about it being a final today. I got the first set and I thought to myself, ‘One set to the good, one more to go, try and get the early break now and keep the pressure on her.’ I was really just thinking about it step by step, just like how I would play in any match.”

Share

Serena Williams Crushes, Maria Sharapova Rebounds to Advance at Sony Open

(March 24, 2014) In a tale of two different matches, expected results as No. 1 Serena Williams and fourth seed Maria Sharapova reached the quarterfinals of the Sony Open on Monday.

Williams dismissed American countrywoman qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-1 to reach the elite 8 in Miami for the 13th time in 14 appearances.

After her first two matches in the tournament she showed some rust, Williams cleaned up her game hitting 17 winners to only 11 unforced errors and stopping all six break points she faced.

“I was definitely happier today,” Williams said.  “I was really struggling my first two matches, so I just wanted to have a better performance today.”

“She’s improved a great deal,” Williams said of her opponent’s game.  “Her focus is so much better.  Her movement is good.  Her attitude is great.  She’s a nice girl.

“You know, it’s always fun to play with young Americans, I think, and just enjoy it.  It’s so good to see another American doing really well.”

Williams was so impressed with the young American that she spoke to her about possible playing doubles.

“She said, `Listen, you played so well. We’ve got to play doubles. We’d do so well,’” Vandeweghe said.

Next up for Williams will be the No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

“It will be good to play a different opponent,” Williams said.  “I feel like I have played the same person three times in a row.  It will be nice to play a lefty, someone that just plays different.

“Angelique has been able to beat me in the past, so I have to be really focused and be ready in that match.”

 

Maris Sharapova had to reset from a first set drubbing to beat Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The Belgium jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and Sharapova could only win five points during those four games. In the second set Sharapova jumped out to a 4-0 lead, then Flipkens won 4 out of 5 games, but Sharapova broke serve to take the set 6-4.

“I usually like playing the first match, but I didn’t start off the way I wanted to,” Sharapova said. “Nothing was working.”

“Nothing was working in the first set,” Sharapova said. “Yeah, that’s just the way it went in the beginning.

“She’s a different type of opponent. There aren’t too many girls that hit a slice backhand 90% of the time in the rallies. You expect that because she’s been around for a long time, and it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, but I wasn’t doing too much from my end and made a lot of mistakes from the first ball, which gives your opponent that confidence and the time they need to do whatever they want.

“It was about finding that combination of getting something in to give her something to play with.”

Sharapova’s momentum carried over into the final set where she kept her errors low and her aggression high, dropping only one more game.

Final stats for Sharapova- 36 unforced errors, 13 winners and 10 double-faults.

Sharapova will play the woman she lost to in the 2011 Wimbledon finals, No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals. Kvitova regrouped to stop Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

“We haven’t played for a long time, but we have always had interesting, tough matches against each other,” Sharapova said about her next opponent.  “I think we know what to expect from one another.  She’s always tricky because she is a lefty.  You don’t play so many out there.  I already had one in this tournament, so maybe that was good practice for it.

“She has a different game than someone like Safarova.  She has a powerful game and goes for her shots, and when she’s on it’s tricky to play against her.”

Share

Bank of the West Preview/Picks for Wednesday July 24, 2013

By Kevin Ware

Bank of the West Preview/Picks for Wednesday July 24, 2013

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek v Varvara Lepchenko [6]

Head-to-Head: Tied at 2-All

The most relevant matches in their head-to-head are the last two matches played on carpet (’11) and outdoor hard (’12). Paszek won the first in a 3-set match that lasted 3 hours. Lepchenko won the second in a 3-set match that last nearly 3 hours. If the pattern holds true, get set for another long one!

2013′s been a tough year for both players. Lepchenko has struggled to maintain the level she achieved in ’12, while Paszek struggled to even get past the first round at any tournament through most of ’13. The lack of confidence might show in the quality of shot-making, but their prior history should provide for a fairly competitive match. I’ll stick my neck out on this one for Lepchenko in three sets.

Coco Vandeweghe

Coco Vandeweghe

Sorana Cirstea v [Q] Coco Vandeweghe

Head-to-Head: Tied at 1-All

Vandeweghe won the first time they played in ’11 in a 3-set match lasting almost 2.5 hours. Their next meeting at this year’s Australian Open was pretty much a whitewash for Cirstea in straight sets. Given the status of both in their respective seasons, it’s unclear whether this match will look like either of those previous two.

Cirstea ‘s had a tough year, making it past the R16 at only one hard court tournament. Though she always has potential to be dangerous, her 19-17 record coming into Stanford can’t provide her with an excess of confidence.

Vandeweghe’s status as a qualifier pretty much says it all, since she’s spent much of the season qualifying for main draws in WTA events. But even though she’s a qualifier, she’s also one of last year’s finalists: which probably helped immensely in coming through the qualifying rounds. She’s on comfortable ground, and on a roll in terms of match wins.

I’ll give the edge to Vandeweghe in this one. If her shots are landing cleanly, it goes two sets. If she’s making a ton of unforced errors, it goes three.

Francesca Schiavone

Francesca Schiavone

Agnieszka Radwanska [1] v Francesca Schiavone (Featured Match)

Head-to-Head: Schiavone leads 4-3

This match, which could easily be titled “I Can Be Craftier than You”, features two of the best thinkers/strategists on the pro tour, and has the potential to be one of the most entertaining of the week.

Radwanska doesn’t have the power of Serena or Maria, but reads the ball well and defends with the best of them. She has an uncanny ability to use her opponent’s power to her own advantage, which helped her to overcome Maria in the ’12 Sony Open final, and take Serena to three sets in the ’12 Wimbledon final.

I’m not sure that skill will help Radwanska against Schiavone, a player who specializes in spin over power. She can hit with an extreme amount of spin from both her forehand and single-handed backhand wings. And her slice is one of the most formidable on tour. It’s no surprise that Schiavone’s biggest title came on clay at the ’10 French Open.

Schiavone needs a fair amount of racquet prep for her shots, especially her forehand.  This can get her into trouble on faster hard courts with the big hitters.  Radwanska’s shots don’t have the same pace, so Schiavone’s 4-1 record on hard courts show’s that she’s not nearly as troubled by Radwanska’s game on this surface.

The problem for Schiavone in this match-up is that she’s on the backside of her career, while Radwanska is on the upside of hers.  Radwanska’s game has improved, and dramatically so since ’10. Schiavone’s game has plateaued and declined since her peak moments in Paris. It’s no coincidence that Radwanska has won their last three matches: one each on hard court, clay, and grass.

Though it’s been two years since they last played, I don’t see Schiavone overcoming this new and improved Radwanska; and I’m not talking about the blonde hair. Radwanska has pushed herself to be more aggressive to win points outright instead of waiting for errors. Schiavone will throw the kitchen sink at her, but it won’t be enough to stop Radwanska from winning in two sets.

Kevin Ware is covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site kevware.com/tennis/.

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 22-28, 2013
$795,707/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Singles – Second Round

Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (2) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 64

Singles – First Round
(6) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (Q) Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) 62 64
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Christina McHale (USA) 61 63
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 62 46 60
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. (Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 67(4) 30 ret. (heat illness)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 62 61
(Q) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 60 63

Doubles – First Round
(4) Chan/Dushevina (TPE/RUS) d. Dabrowski/Fichman (CAN/CAN) 64 60
Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) d. Lepchenko/Tomljanovic (USA/CRO) 46 75 106 (Match TB)
Muhammed/Will (USA/USA) d. (WC) Gibbs/Vandeweghe (USA/USA) 75 63
Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) d. Llagostera Vives/Schiavone (ESP/ITA) w/o (Schiavone: viral illness)

Order Of Play – Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Stadium (from 11.00hrs)
1. Cibulkova/Niculescu vs. Goerges/Jurak
2. Tamira Paszek vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 12.00hrs)
3. Sorana Cirstea vs. Coco Vandeweghe
4. Kops-Jones/Spears vs. McHale/Paszek
5. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Francesca Schiavone (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Burdette/Cirstea

Court 6 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Miyamura/Puchkova

[nggallery id=87]

Share

Americans in Paris – Day Three at Roland Garros

USdcfclogo

(May 28, 2013) . Americans went 1-3 in Paris on the day 2 of the French Open. Here is a look at how they all fared:
(27) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 60 36 62
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Lauren Davis (USA) 60 75
[Q] J Sock (USA) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 62 75
[WC] L Pouille (FRA) d [WC] Alex Kuznetsov (USA) 61 76(2) 62

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

World No. 118 Jack Sock was the only U.S. player in the win column on Day three of the French Open.

During his post- match news conference Sock, who made it into the main draw as a qualifier, shared the story on why he has two sets on initials on his sneakers.

“I grew up playing junior tennis with one of the kids named Alex Rovello, played a bunch of junior tournaments with him.

“His family came out to the US Open last couple of years and watched, and gave them tickets and everything.  They were just good family friends.  He was a good friend from juniors.  He passed away in a tragic car accident a couple weeks ago.

“And then a guy I played high school tennis with, Brian Boyd, also passed away in a car accident in the last couple of weeks.  And, yeah, spent a year or two playing high school tennis with him.  I mean, team parties, team dinners, all that, I mean, we were friends.  Just sucks to see someone go that soon.  They were both 21, I think, sophomores, juniors in college.

“So, yeah, it’s definitely been ‑‑ kind of hits you out of nowhere.  So I put the initials on my shoes and definitely thinking of them out there.”

As for the match, Sock was very excited about playing on the clay in Europe.

“First time competing over here in Europe, so, I mean, I was definitely excited coming over here to play, “ said Sock.  I love playing on clay, so I was even more excited coming out here and competing on the clay.

“And to come through quallies and have some momentum and confidence definitely and come in the main draw and then playing him, playing Garcia‑Lopez, who I played in Bordeaux last week or the week before, it was nice to have a little insight on his game, and was able to play well today and get the win.”

Sock made his debut in a major just last August at the US Open where he made the third round.

Share

Serena Williams and Djokovic Destroy Opponents; Wozniacki Upset

 

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic rolled past opponents easily on Ashe Stadium on Tuesday night, while eight seed Caroline Wozniacki battling a knee issue was upset.

Between Williams’ and Djokovic’s matches, they gave up a grand total of 4 games. Williams defeated Coco Vandeweghe of the US 6-1, 6-1, preceded by Djokovic’s destruction of Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.

“The match was so weird, the conditions were so tough,” Williams said noting the windy conditions. “I couldn’t really play my game.  She couldn’t really play her game.”

“Well, I’ll take the performance that I had,” Djokovic said of his 73 minute first round match.  “You know, it’s hard to say anything from Lorenzi’s perspective.  Obviously, I tried to analyze my game, and my game was great from the start to the end.

“It’s also important for me to try to be as economical with the time I spend on the court as possible, but obviously not underestimating any opponent.  I played really focused, tried to get to the net also.  It was great all in all.”

Eighth seed Wozniacki battled a knee issue in her loss to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-2, 6-2.

“You always want to go in and do your best no matter what’s happening out there.” Wozniacki told reporters. “I tried.  I didn’t succeed to play well.  I didn’t play particularly well, made too many errors.

“You know, it’s unfortunate because it’s a huge tournament, a tournament you want to play well in.”

Wozniacki said of her knee issue: “I think it’s a temporary issue.  Hopefully it will get better quickly.  It’s frustrating to have some injuries, but it happens to everyone.  It’s just about moving on.”

“The year’s not done yet,” said the Dane.  Obviously definitely the Grand Slams this year hasn’t been great.  You know, after the year’s finished you can evaluate you can see what was good and wasn’t so good, yeah, work from there.

“I still have plenty of years in me.  Hopefully I can just turn it around and play even better.”

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

Share

Serena Williams Defends Stanford Title

Eight days after winning her fifth Wimbledon title, Serena Williams came back from a set point down in the opening set to topple lucky loser Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday to claim a second consecutive Bank of the West title at Stanford.

 


“I think I played well enough to win today. I think I can do a lot better,” said a jet-lagged Williams, “but there are a lot of positives from today. I was fighting out there. I wanted it.
“I think Coco played really well today. She has a really strong, solid game.”

 


“The thing that impressed me the most about Serena was just how great of a person she is, as far as all the nice things she said about me at the ceremony, and the things she said afterwards,” said Vandeweghe.”To have someone you grew up watching say those things to you, it’s just a really nice feeling. ”
“There’s a lot of things going through my mind right now – happiness I was in the final and disappointment I lost today – but I’m just going to put all that on the backburner for now and start focusing on my next tournament in San Diego.”

 


For Williams it’s her 43rd career title, tying her with her sister Venus for first among active players and with Venus, Martina Hingis and Justine Henin for 10th-most of the Open Era.
Next tournament for Serena will be the Olympic Games and she believes she’s ready.
“I’ve never felt this fit, this strong, this happy to play – and I think I can be even better. I want to sustain this momentum and build on what I did at Wimbledon. I’m going to get back on the grass now for the Olympics – I’m not sure when I’m heading back to London, but I’ll do it as soon as I can.”
Serena has never won a singles gold medal at the Olympics, but she and sister Venus will be going for their third doubles gold.
“It would mean a lot to me, but I can’t lay all my hopes and dreams on just that,” Serena said. “But it would mean a lot. I would like to try to get one.”
Williams credits last year’s win at Stanford with putting her back on the comeback trail after blood clots in her lungs and foot surgeries kept her off the tour.
The last time two American women met in a final was back in Los Angeles in 2004 when Serena Williams lost to Lindsay Davenport.

[nggallery id=57]

 

 

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 9-15, 2012
$740,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Sunday, July 15, 2012
Singles – Final
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (LL) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 75 63
Doubles – Final
Erakovic/Watson (NZL/GBR) d. (1) Gajdosova/King (AUS/USA) 75 76(7)

Share

15-year-old Duval Has First Pro Win at Dow Corning Tennis Classic

MIDLAND, Mich., February 9, 2011 – After leaving Florida and landing in Michigan earlier this week, 15-year-old Victoria Duval said that she couldn’t wait to play in the snow.

On Wednesday, she turned Stadium Court at the Dow Corning Tennis Classic into her own personal playground, falling to the surface and waving her arms in the shape of a snow angel after defeating Mashona Washington 6-3, 6-3 in a first-round match.

The wild card Duval delivered on her very first professional victory in a main draw, dictating play with her forehand against the 34-year-old qualifier.

“In the first three games I was tight,” said Duval, who does not have a WTA Tour ranking. “But I said: ‘You know what. I have nothing to lose right now. Just go for it.’ I was so free and I hit so loose, which helped me a lot. Next round, I’m going to be even looser.”

Washington entered the match with 16 years of professional experience, cracking the Top 50 in 2004 and reaching the Dow Corning Tennis Classic final in 2002.

But while Washington scolded herself as she struggled to find the range on her shots, Duval appeared as if she were simply playing a practice match back at IMG Academies in Bradenton.

“You don’t see very many pros get emotional like the juniors,” said Duval. “I just said, ‘I belong here and I have to do what everyone else does.’ I stayed calm and it worked.”

Leading 6-3, 4-3, Duval earned two break points by running Washington ragged behind the baseline before bringing the veteran to the net with a short slice. Though Washington reached that ball, she was helpless when Duval passed her with an inside-out backhand winner.

Duval clinched the break, and then the match, by pushing Washington deep into the court and forcing forehand errors. Unable to contain the emotions she’d been bottling up for 76 minutes, Duval squealed as she raced to grab her towel, and then collapsed to the center of the indoor court.

The snow was outside, but Duval didn’t care: She spread her arms wide as if she could penetrate the hard court and permanently leave an imprint of her body.

“I’m going down in five, four, three, two, one,” Duval said she told herself. “I’m beyond excited. I can’t even believe it.”

After a quick call to her mother, Duval was handed another cell phone by a smiling Sabine Lisicki, who also trains at IMG. The man on the other line was Nick Bollettieri, who congratulated Duval on the first of many professional wins.

Drawn to play a qualifier, Duval could have been matched against big-hitters Alexandra Stevenson, Ahsha Rolle or Alexa Glatch. She was happy to have faced Washington, a counterpuncher whom she believed could not overpower her. ’Turns out, she was right.

“I like the way she plays,” said Duval, the No. 1-rated sophomore in the nation according to TennisRecruiting.net. “She doesn’t have too many weapons, but also makes you earn every point. I like a good challenge and I was ready for anyone in the qualies. But she seemed to suit my game the best.”

Duval said that she plans to play the French Open and Wimbledon junior tournaments this season after compiling a 32-11 singles record on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2010.

She is making her eighth appearance at a professional event, having lost her pro debut 6-0, 6-1 to Rebecca Marino one year ago in Memphis.

Who should await Duval in the Midland second round but the 6-foot-tall Marino, who overpowered Glatch in a 24-minute first-set before surviving 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(5).
“It wasn’t my best day of tennis, but I’m glad I was able to pull through and tough it out,” said Marino, “especially after losing the second set quite easily and being down a break in the third… I was able to come back and fight through that very scrappily – if that is a word (laughs).”

Marino didn’t make it to the Midland Community Tennis Center until Tuesday night, having played Fed Cup in Serbia over the weekend. On Monday, she rode with her teammates from Novi Sad to Belgrade, and then flew from Belgrade to Munich and Munich to Chicago before a cancelation forced her to stay overnight in the Windy City.

But the Vancouver-native showed no signs of jetlag at the start against Glatch. She followed a knifing slice backhand winner with a devastating down-the-line forehand winner on consecutive points, proving that there’s more to her than a serve.

Glatch stayed steady in spite of the barrage of shots coming off her opponent’s racquet. The American served for the match at 5-4 in the final set, and again at 5-4 in the deciding tiebreaker.

With the win on her racquet, Glatch made the mistake of pitting her strength (the serve) against Marino’s (the forehand). Marino read Glatch’s first serve and pummeled a deep forehand return to force an error and even the tiebreak at 5-5. She proceeded to bash back-to-back inside-out forehand winners to finish Glatch off.

“It’s these matches that make you realize how much you want to play and what it takes to stay in matches,” said Marino, who finished with 11 aces in just 13 service games.

Like Marino, Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz-Gacon needed a third-set tiebreak to advance to the second round. She and Heather Watson of Great Britain pushed each other physically over the course of two hours and 54 minutes, but they saved their best shots for last.

Foretz-Gacon took a 5-3 third-set lead by retrieving two straight overhead smashes from Watson, blocking the second one back at the Brit’s feet to draw a half-volley error.

Watson broke back for 4-5 by winning one of the longest rallies of the match, throwing up a backhand lob that nearly hit the ceiling before Foretz-Gacon finally let loose on a forehand long.

Watson’s ranking has jumped from No. 556 to No. 142 since she played in Midland last season, and she showed why as she served to stay in the match at 4-5.

Moments after she couldn’t put Foretz-Gacon away with her overhead, Watson was faced with déjà vu. On game point, the Brit hit two swinging volleys and another smash, but could not get the ball past the Frenchwoman. On her fourth shot from the net, Watson took the pace off her forehand volley and dropped it short for a winner.

“It was always close – like 30-all every game,” said Foretz-Gacon. “I knew she could come back, so I was prepared for that. I fought until the end.”

After each player held, Foretz-Gacon earned two match points by taking a 6-4 lead in the tiebreaker. Watson saved the first in a scintillating 16-shot rally and the second with a daring inside-out forehand return winner.

Foretz-Gacon rebounded to earn a third match point at 7-6, and this time she took the pace off one of her shots, slicing a short backhand cross-court that caused Watson to lose control and miss her own backhand wide.

“I was really happy to win the final-set tiebreak like this,” said Foretz-Gacon after her 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(6) win. “Thanks to my backhand slice – I didn’t hit too many today. But it was perfect, I hit it low on the court and it was a hard shot for her to get.”

Also advancing on Wednesday were qualifiers Stevenson and Rolle, who have both won four matches in as many days. Stevenson, the 1998 Midland champion, flummoxed No. 8 seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-2. Rolle had an even easier time with No. 3 seed Evgeniya Rodina, running roughshod through the Russian 6-1, 6-1 in 51 minutes.

Stevenson and Foretz-Gacon will meet in the second round on Thursday, while Rolle takes on Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.

Now in her fourth full season on the WTA Tour, the 18-year-old Larcher de Brito got a monkey off her back on Sunday by winning her first professional title at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

After winning matches at the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in 2009, Larcher de Brito dropped out of the Top 200 last season.

“I lost a lot of motivation,” said Larcher de Brito. “I used to have a lot of fight in me, but this past year I haven’t been fighting at all. I don’t know what happened, but I’m getting over it now.”

Larcher de Brito was the last player accepted into the Midland main draw, making the cut on Saturday when Stephanie Dubois of Canada withdrew.

She nearly made the trip to Michigan in vain, arguing with the chair umpire about line calls as she fell behind 3-0 in the third set against Julie Coin of France.

Just like that, something clicked inside Larcher de Brito. She won 20 of the next 25 points to take a 5-3 lead, reversing her negative emotions by yelling: “Come on,” “Vamos,” and “Davai”. Though Coin held for 4-5, Larcher de Brito served out a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win at love.

“When I was 3-love down, I thought I was going to go home,” said Larcher de Brito, who made her pro debut at the 2007 Dow Corning Tennis Classic. “But I got myself together and started getting more balls in, because I had been trying to hit winners all the time.”

All eight second-round singles matches will be played on Thursday, highlighted by a 7 p.m. encounter between two of the quickest players on tour: No. 4 seed Anne Keothavong of Great Britain and American upstart Irina Falconi. After missing six months with a knee injury, Keothavong has worked her way back into the Top 100, while Falconi has flown up to No. 156 in just seven months as a professional.

Following that contest, Rolle and Washington will team up to take on Rodina and Liga Dekmeijere in the feature doubles match. Already in 2011, Rolle and Washington have won a pair of doubles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Rolle vs. Larcher de Brito, Marino vs. Duval and Stevenson vs. Foretz-Gacon are among the singles matches scheduled during the day session. Lucie Hradecka, the 2009 champion and 2010 runner-up in Midland, will play Anna Tatishvili at noon on Court 3.

By Joshua Rey

Admission to the Dow Corning Tennis Classic is free until the 7 p.m. feature session. General admission tickets to see Keothavong vs. Falconi and Rolle/Washington vs. Rodina/Dekmeijere cost $12 for adults and $8 for children.

Dow Corning Tennis Classic

Midland Community Tennis Center

Midland, Mich.

Purse: $100,000

Surface: Hard-Indoor

Wednesday, February 9 – RESULTS


Singles – First round

[6] Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) def. Aleksandra Wozniak (Canada) 6-4, 6-1

[Q] Ahsha Rolle (United States) def. [3] Evgeniya Rodina (Russia) 6-1, 6-1

Michelle Larcher de Brito (Portugal) def. Julie Coin (France) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

[7] Ksenia Pervak (Russia) def. Alison Riske (United States) 6-3, 6-3

[5] Sorana Cirstea (Romania) def. [WC] Jessica Pegula 7-6(6), 6-3

Madison Brengle (United States) def. Olga Savchuk (Ukraine) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

[4] Anne Keothavong (Great Britain) def. [WC] Brittany Augustine (United States) 6-0, 6-2

[Q] Alexandra Stevenson (United States) def. [8] CoCo Vandeweghe (United States) 6-3, 6-2

Stephanie Foretz-Gacon (France) def. Heather Watson (Great Britain) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(6)

[WC] Victoria Duval (United States) def. [Q] Mashona Washington (United States) 6-3, 6-3

[2] Rebecca Marino (Canada) def. [Q] Alexa Glatch (United States) 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(5)

Doubles – First round

Beatrice Capra and CoCo Vandeweghe (United States) def. [1] Marina Erakovic (New Zealand) and Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) 0-6, 6-4, [10-6]

Jamie Hampton (United States) and Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) def. Rebecca Marino and Marie-Eve Pelletier (Canada) 6-3, 7-5

Thursday, February 10 – SCHEDULE

Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.

Sabine Lisicki (Germany) vs. [6] Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia)

[WC] Victoria Duval (United States) vs. [2] Rebecca Marino (Canada)

[Q] Ahsha Rolle (United States) vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito (Portugal)

Jamie Hampton (United States) and Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) vs. [3] Ksenia Pervak (Russia) and Ipek Senoglu (Turkey)

Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.

Irina Falconi (United States) vs. [4] Anne Keothavong (Great Britain)

Liga Dekmeijere (Latvia) and Evgeniya Rodina (Russia) vs. Ahsha Rolle and Mashona Washington (United States)

Court 5 – starting at 10 a.m.

Sorana Cirstea (Romania) vs. Madison Brengle (United States)

Anastasia Pivovarova (Russia) vs. [7] Ksenia Pervak (Russia)

[4] Sorana Cirstea (Romania) and Anastasia Pivovarova (Russia) vs. Amanda Fink and Lena Litvak (United States)

Court 3 – starting at 10 a.m.

[Q] Alexandra Stevenson (United States) vs. Stephanie Foretz-Gacon (France)

Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) vs. Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic)

Beatrice Capra and CoCo Vandeweghe (United States) vs. Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) and Whitney Jones (United States)

ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT:

With more than 90 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 32 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering more than $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Among those who have played at the Dow Corning Tennis Classic are seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin, former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and 2011 Australian Open runner-up Na Li.

Share

Pennetta Upsets Stosur While Kuznetsova Makes First Semi of the Year in San Diego by Erik Gudris

Pennetta Upsets Stosur While Kuznetsova Makes First Semi of the Year in San Diego
by Erik Gudris

The Mercury Insurance Open down in San Diego has certainly not gone
according to form, at least by the draw which has now seen the top two seeds bow
out early while some veteran and young players have made themselves heard. And
while an arm injury is a new cause for concern for Sam Stosur, it’s the return
of Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to a semifinal for the first time this year
that’s made the biggest news so far today.

Flavia Pennetta continued her now 3-0 winning streak against Stosur with a
convincing 6-3, 6-4 quarterfinal victory. Pennetta never looked rushed by
Stosur’s massive forehand or when the Australian would serve and volley. Instead
it was Stosur who looked frustrated the whole match at not being able to find a
way into the Pennetta service games along with her now trademark kick serve that
didn’t seem to bother Penetta at all.

In her media conference, Stosur was asked about her shoulder that’s been lightly
taped in several matches now. Stosur answered that she’s not dealing with a
shoulder injury but instead a lower arm issue that she’s still not sure what the
cause is. “It’s like a strong ache once it starts and I can’t get rid of it
until once I get off of the court. We’ve haven’t been totally been able to
figure it out yet.” Stosur, who’s had one MRI already and plans to have another
before leaving San Diego, said the pain doesn’t affect any particular shot and
that it’s “definitely not a muscle tear”.

Pennetta will now take on veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova who took out the American
sensation 18-year-old Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-2. Vandeweghe, who took an early
break, jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but seemed to let nerves and the fact that she
was a bit tired from her previous win last night against Vera Zvonareva to allow
Kuznetsova to claw back into the match. Vandeweghe, who held a set point against
Kuznetsova’s serve at 3-5, lost that game and then hit four double faults to let
Kuznetsova back in at 5-4. The Russian held serve for 5-5 and by then it was
Kuznetsova who was winning most of the rallies while Vandeweghe’s backhand broke
down.

After Kuznetsova took the first set 7-5, she started directing more shots to
Vandeweghe’s backhand. Kuznetsova jumped out to a 4-1 lead after breaking
Vandeweghe twice and by then it was the Russian’s match to lose. She didn’t
though as she served it out after another Vandeweghe backhand went long on the
second match point.

Afterward Kuznetsova said that watching Vandeweghe’s match against Zvonareva
helped her since she didn’t know much about the American’s game and at first she
was concerned about the pace of Vandeweghe’s shot. “(It helped) a little bit.
Because if I had not and then I would get bombs, I would be like ‘whoa’ what
should I do here?”

On making her first tour semifinal this year, Kuznetsova took a moment to smile
before answering. “Finally. Thank God I made it to the semis. How many months
has it been eight or nine months? It’s weird for me but I’m very happy to be
here.”

Erik Gudris is reporting for Global Village Tennis News this weekend at the Mercury Insurance Open.
In addition to his articles he’ll be tweeting live updates, photos and commentary from our twitter
account @GVTennisNews. He is the editor of Adjusting The Net. Find him on twitter @AdjustingTheNet.

Share