BNP Paribas Open announces Wild Cards Which Include Americans Young, Sock, Harrison, Johnson, Duval and Townsend
Melanie Oudin, Coco Vandeweghe, Victoria Duval and Taylor Townsend to Headline South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic
(October 31, 2013) CAPTIVA, FLORIDA – The South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic is thrilled to announce today that top rising American tennis stars are headlining the upcoming $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Event getting underway on November 3rd. The line-up of young American talent in the Singles Main Draw will include Melanie Oudin, Coco Vandeweghe, Maria Sachez, Madison Brengle, Sachia Vickery, Julia Cohen, Victoria Duval, Jessica Pegula, Nicole Gibbs, Allie Kiick, Taylor Townsend and Chieh-Yu Hsu.
In addition to this, recently announced Wild Card recipients including the Women’s Pro Classic Wild Card Tournament winner Nikki Kallenberg (who will receive a direct entry into the Singles Main Draw) along with the three Singles Main Draw Wild Cards awarded by the USTA to Julia Boserup, Ellie Halbauer and Alexandra Mueller. Receiving the Doubles Main Draw Wild Card is local Southwest Florida residents and doubles duo Kerry Kendricks and Angie Guillette. Additional Singles Qualifying Draw Wild Cards were also awarded to six players.
“The turnout of American players for our first USTA Pro Circuit Event in Captiva Island is tremendous,” said Tournament Director, Nick Blackwood. “We have such an incredible group of young talented women playing in our event that will make for a great week of competitive tennis at a beautiful facility for spectators to enjoy. I hope many of our locals will take advantage of the opportunity to see some of the best up-and-coming American tennis stars playing right in their backyard.”
Of those in the Main Draw, Melanie Oudin, who has been ranked as high as #31 in the WTA Tour Singles Rankings, is known for her thrilling run at the 2009 US Open where she defeated Maria Sharapova to advance to the Quarterfinals. Just this summer, Victoria Duval captured the hearts of Americans at the 2013 US Open after defeating Grand Slam Singles Champion Sam Stosur in the first round. In addition to this, local Florida residents Sachia Vickery and Taylor Townsend have had breakthrough junior accomplishments on their way to playing the USTA Pro Circuit events with Taylor Townsend the winning the Junior Australian Open Singles Championship in 2012 and finishing the year ranked number one in Girls Singles Junior ITF World rankings. In 2013, Sachia Vickery won the USTA National Junior Singles Championships that earned her a spot in the Singles Main Draw of the 2013 US Open.
The South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic will be held from November 3rd-10th at the award-winning South Seas Island Resort in beautiful Captiva, Florida. The Main Draw Singles and Doubles will begin on Tuesday, November 5th, with the Finals taking place on Sunday, November 10th. As the last USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event on the calendar in 2013 and opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points for the 2014 Australian Open, the Women’s Pro Classic will showcase world class tennis by bringing the game’s emerging and future tennis stars to the area while benefiting three local philanthropic causes – the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Madisen’s Match and Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Inc.
Throughout the week of the Women’s Pro Classic, there will be a line-up of festivities and fundraising events starting on Sunday, November 3rd, with the FREE Kids Day from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. along with high level competition and tennis action at the two Pro-Am fundraisers on Monday and Tuesday that will all benefit the local philanthropic causes.
This year’s Title Sponsor for the Women’s Pro Classic is the South Seas Island Resort with Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille as the Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Sofibella, NU Men’s Formal Tennis, Pro Graphx and PSAV.
The Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy was founded by top 15 ATP Tour player Andrei Pavel and successful junior development coach Nick Blackwood. The Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy provides premier opportunities for both junior and professional players as well as programming for adults of all abilities, including beginners. With a combination of physical training, mental development and an emphasis on education for junior players, the Academy creates an environment where each hard-working player is a winner.
The South Seas Island Resort’s tennis facilities include 11 recently resurfaced hard courts (four lighted courts for nighttime play) making it the finest tennis facility on Sanibel and Captiva that was recently recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the industry’s most outstanding resorts.
By Kevin Ware
Bank of the West Preview/Picks for Wednesday July 24, 2013
Tamira Paszek v Varvara Lepchenko 
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.
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.
Agnieszka Radwanska  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
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
(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
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.
By McCarton Ackerman
(February 8, 2013) MIDLAND, Mich.The hallmark 25th anniversary of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Friday with all quarterfinal singles matches and remaining quarterfinal doubles matches taking place. Two of the four semifinalists in the singles draw are Americans, with top seed Lauren Davis and 2012 NCAA singles finalist Mallory Burdette prevailing in tough matches on Stadium Court.
In the comeback of the tournament, top seed Davis rallied from behind on numerous occasions to defeat Alla Kudryatseva of Russia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5, after more than three hours of play. Kudryavtseva served for the match at 5-4 in the second set and led 4-0 in the tiebreaker. In the third set, the Russian led 5-2 and had a match point on her serve at 5-3, but was unable to convert. Davis converted on her first match point opportunity with a backhand winner down the line.
“I just never stopped believing in myself,” said Davis. “It seemed like it was almost impossible to come back at that point, so I just asked God to give me strength and help make the impossible to be possible.”
The 19-year-old Davis has come into her own over the last six months, breaking into the world’s top 100 on the back of strong results including quarterfinal finishes at WTA events in Quebec City, Canada and Hobart, Australia, as well winning two USTA Pro Circuit titles last fall at the $75,000 challenger in Albuquerque, N.M. and $50,000 event in Las Vegas.
Burdette and No. 7 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia engaged in a hard-hitting baseline match that took over two hours to complete, but Burdette utilized some markedly improved defense to hang in the rallies and prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. “Today was obviously about first strike tennis, but this is the best I’ve ever felt in terms of my movement and the ability to play defense,” said Burdette. “I’ve been doing a ton of fitness, especially during the off-season and pushing it as hard as I can in that regard.”
Burdette didn’t even have a WTA Tour ranking last July, but opted not to return for her senior year at Stanford University after a stellar summer that included winning the $10,000 futures event in Evansville, Ind., $100,000 challenger in Vancouver, Canada and reaching the third round of the US Open.
“I really wanted to give myself a shot at this and in order to do that, I had to put all of my time and energy into my tennis,” said Burdette. “It’s been great so far. There have definitely been some rough patches, but I’m just trying to do the best I can on a daily basis.”
In the final match of the day session, No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico defeated American teen Jessica Pegula 6-3, 7-5. Puig, ranked No. 116, is the only singles semifinalist who has yet to lose a set. In the evening session, Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia defeated American Maria Sanchez 6-2, 6-2. The 19-year-old, currently ranked No. 370, is enjoying the best tournament of her career after an injury-plagued 2012 limited her to just six events. The lone match to be completed as of press time is an all-American doubles quarterfinal between Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe against Chieh-Yu Hsu and Shelby Rogers.
All semifinal singles and doubles matches will take place during Saturday’s play, which begins at noon. The day session will see the American-Russian team of Julia Cohen and Alla Kudryavtseva take on the Brazilian-British team of Maria-Fernanda Alves and Samantha Murray, followed by Mallory Burdette against Ajla Tomljanovic. In the night session, Lauren Davis will square off against Monica Puig, followed by the Hungarian-Croatian team of Melinda Czink and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni against the American team of either Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe or Chieh-Yu Hsu and Shelby Rogers.
The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is in its 25th year on the USTA Pro Circuit, making it the longest-running women’s event on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Dow Corning Tennis Classic
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Friday, February 8
Midland Community Tennis Center
Friday, February 8 – RESULTS
Main Draw Singles – Quarterfinals
Lauren Davis, United States (1), def. Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5
Mallory Burdette, United States, def. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia (7), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), def. Jessica Pegula, United States, 6-3, 7-5
Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, def. Maria Sanchez, United States, 6-2, 6-2
Main Draw Doubles – Quarterfinals
Julia Cohen, United States, and Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia (3), def. Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl, United States 6-4, 6-2
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia, and Melinda Czink, Hungary, def. Alexa Glatch and Asia Muhammed, United States, 6-3, 6-3
Saturday’s February 9 – SCHEDULE
Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.
Julia Cohen/Alla Kudryavtseva vs. Maria-Fernanda Alves/Samantha Murray, followed by Mallory Burdette vs. Ajla Tomljanovic
Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Monica Puig, followed by Melinda Czink/Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Jill Craybas/CoCo Vandeweghe or Chieh-Yu Hsu/Shelby Rogers
MIDLAND, Mich., February 6, 2013 – The hallmark 25th anniversary of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Wednesday with all remaining first round singles match taking place. 17-year-old American Victoria Duval stunned No. 2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the day session, while qualifier Sachia Vickery prevailed in an evening session match between American teens.
Duval, who won the Girls’ 18s National Championship last August, was responsible for the upset of the day by taking out Vandeweghe 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Duval, who lost in the final round of qualifying yesterday, only moved into the main draw match as a “Lucky Loser” due to a player withdrawal.
“I was really lucky that I got that second chance and tried to make the most of it today,” said Duval. “Yesterday, I was rushing a lot because I really wanted to get into this main draw and was too nervous out there, but I played much smarter today.”
The win was also by far the biggest of her career and the first against a top 100 player on the WTA Tour.
“I’ve smelled those wins against top 100 players before, but to actually come through and pull it out is really nice,” she said.
In the evening session, 17-year-old Vickery used an aggressive baseline game to unseat 16-year-old wildcard Taylor Townsend 6-4, 6-3. Townsend was making her pro debut in Midland after finishing 2012 as the No. 1 ranked junior player in the world.
While Townsend used plenty of off-speed slices and spins to try and throw off Vickery, the 17-year-old had too much firepower for her opponent and won four consecutive games at one stage in the second set.
“This is my first win at the $100,000 level and I’ve had some really tough losses in the last few challengers I’ve played, so I’m thrilled to have gotten through this match,” said Vickery. “I just need to stay focused and keep doing the right things so I can hopefully keep playing better this week.”
Vickery, currently ranked No. 376 on the WTA Tour, has not lost a set in her four matches this week. She will play Monica Puig tomorrow for a place in the quarterfinals.
In other day session matches, Alexa Glatch prevailed against fellow American Julia Cohen in a nearly three-hour match 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Maria Sanchez of the US also moved into the second round by easing past Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil 6-4, 6-1.
Other players moving into the second round after today include No. 4 seed Melinda Czink of Hungary No. 5 seed Tatjana Malek of Germany, No. 6 seed Olga Puchkova of Russia, No. 7 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. The lone match to be completed as of press time was a first round doubles match between Americans Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl against the Dutch team of former top-10 player Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and her niece, Jainy Scheepens.
First round doubles: Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl, United States, def. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Jainy Scheepens, Netherlands (WC), 6-3, 6-1,
All second round singles matches and remaining first round doubles matches will take place during Thursday’s play, which begins at 10:00am. The feature match of the day session will see No. 1 seed Lauren Davis take on fellow American Alexa Glatch, while No. 7 seed and 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia will take on two-time Dow Corning Tennis Classic champion Jill Craybas of the US in the evening session.
The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is in its 25th year on the USTA Pro Circuit, making it the longest-running women’s event on the USTA Pro Circuit. Several former competitors at the event have gone on to win Grand Slam titles and reach the top 10 in the rankings. Past competitors include seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and Olympic gold medalist Justine Henin, three-time Grand Slam singles champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam singles champion Mary Pierce, 2011 French Open singles champion Na Li, 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova.
By McCarton Ackerman
Dow Corning Tennis Classic
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Wednesday, February 6
Midland Community Tennis Center
Wednesday, February 6 – RESULTS
Main Draw Singles – 1st Round
Victoria Duval, United States (LL), def. CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Melinda Czink, Hungary (4), def. Chieh-Yu Hsu, United States (Q) 6-3, 7-5
Tatjana Malek, Germany (5), def. Shelby Rogers, United States, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5)
Olga Puchkova, Russia (6), def. Asia Muhammed, United States (WC) 6-3, 6-2
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia (7), def. Alexandra Mueller, United States (Q), 6-1, 6-2
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), def. Alexandra Stevenson, United States, 7-5, 6-4
Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng, United States (WC), 6-4, 6-2
Sachia Vickery, United States (Q), d. Taylor Townsend, United States (WC), 6-4, 6-3
Main Draw Doubles – 1st Round
Maria-Fernanda Alves, Brazil, and Samantha Murray, Great Britain, def. Irina Falconi and Maria Sanchez, United States, 3-6, 6-1, 10-6
Mallory Burdette and Jessica Pegula, United States, def. Irena Pavlovic, France, and Olga Puchkova, Russia, 7-6 (3), 6-2
Thursday’s February 7 – SCHEDULE
Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Alexa Glatch, followed by Maria Sanchez vs. Victoria Duval, followed by Melinda Czink vs. Jessica Pegula, followed by Sachia Vickery/Victoria Duval vs. Julia Cohen/Alla Kudryavtseva
Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Jill Craybas, followed by Mallory Burdette/Jessica Pegula vs. Maria Fernanda-Alves/Samantha Murray
Court 5 – starting at 10 a.m.
Olga Puchkova vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, followed by Tatjana Malek vs. Alla Kudryavtseva, followed by Samantha Crawford vs. Mallory Burdette
Court 3 – starting at 10 a.m.
Jacqueline Cako/Natalie Pluskota vs. Chieh-Yu Hsu/Shelby Rogers, followed by Monica Puig vs. Sachia Vickery
(January 14, 2013) Looking at how American tennis players fared on day one of the 2013 Australian Open.
American tennis players went 6-3 on the first day of the Australian Open with Venus Williams leading the way with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Galina Voskoboeva.
“Obviously it’s nice to spend less time on the court, and not be in long sets,” Williams said after the match. She had a first-serve percentage of 70 percent and converted on 6 of 11 break point chances.
“I don’t think my opponent quite got the hang of – you know, it’s hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure.” Williams said of her opponent “I did my best to just close it out.”
Sam Querrey, who is the highest ranking American man, due to the withdrawal of 13rh ranked John Isner, came back from a set down to defeat Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Querrey will take on another American in the second round, Brian Baker, who defeated American turned Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (0), 3-6, 6-2.
Ryan Harrison came back from a set down to advance, defeating Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Bad news for Harrison – he’ll face top seed Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, the 1th0 men’s seed outlasted American qualifier Steve Johnson in a first round five-set marathon 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-2. Johnson was the first reigning NCAA champion to qualify for the Australian Open.
Tim Smyczek came into the tournament as lucky loser, and thanks to housemate John Isner’s withdrawal due to a right knee injury, made it into the main draw. Smyczek was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic.
Veteran Michael Russell fell to No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
Touted as “one to watch” seventeen year-old Madison Keys won her first match in Melbourne on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6 (0) victory against Casey Dellacqua of Australia.
Sorana Cirstea had no problems beating American Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 6-2 in first round action.
Americans scheduled for Tuesday play in Melbourne include No. 3 Serena Williams, 29 seed Sloane Stephens, Vania King, Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin, Vavara Lepchencko, Lauren Davis, Rajeev Ram, and Rhyne Williams.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News
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 Williamsâ€™ and Djokovicâ€™s matches, they gave up a grand total of 4 games. Williams defeated Coco Vandeweghe of the US 6-1, 6-1, preceded by Djokovicâ€™s destruction of Italyâ€™s Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
â€œThe match was so weird, the conditions were so tough,â€ Williams said noting the windy conditions. â€œI couldn’t really play my game.Â She couldn’t really play her game.â€
â€œWell, I’ll take the performance that I had,â€ Djokovic said of his 73 minute first round match.Â â€œYou know, it’s hard to say anything from Lorenzi’s perspective.Â Obviously, I tried to analyze my game, and my game was great from the start to the end.
â€œItâ€™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.Â I played really focused, tried to get to the net also.Â It was great all in all.â€
Eighth seed Wozniacki battled a knee issue in her loss to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-2, 6-2.
â€œYou always want to go in and do your best no matter what’s happening out there.â€ Wozniacki told reporters. â€œI tried.Â I didn’t succeed to play well.Â I didn’t play particularly well, made too many errors.
â€œYou know, it’s unfortunate because it’s a huge tournament, a tournament you want to play well in.â€
Wozniacki said of her knee issue: â€œI think it’s a temporary issue.Â Hopefully it will get better quickly.Â It’s frustrating to have some injuries, but it happens to everyone.Â It’s just about moving on.â€
â€œThe year’s not done yet,” said the Dane.Â Obviously definitely the Grand Slams this year hasn’t been great.Â 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.
â€œI still have plenty of years in me.Â Hopefully I can just turn it around and play even better.â€
Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.
By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ The Tuesday night session of the Mercury Insurance Open produced a number of surprises for the fans and players. The first coming before a ball was struck. Earlier in the day, Sorana Cirstea was forced to withdraw from her scheduled match with Sloane Stephens with a right abductor strain, granting lucky loser Melanie Oudin the chance to play in the main draw. That meant fans would get to see three Americans play under the lights.
Coco Vandeweghe and Chanelle Scheepers took the court first. Scheepers entered the match with one previous win over her opponent, but Vandeweghe came out swinging, holding at love. Early in the rallies it was clear that Vandeweghe would be hitting the bigger balls, but Scheepers seemed comfortable redirecting the power. Scheepers won the first set easily, 6-2, while a frustrated Vandeweghe continued to go for winners unsuccessfully.
The second set was much more competitive as the players stayed on serve until 5-5. They then traded breaks and headed into a tie-breaker. Vandewegheâ€™s all-or-nothing approach got the best of her in the end as Scheepers won the breaker 7-4.
Vandeweghe seems to consistently go for too much when under pressure. She can hit with great topspin and Scheepers struggled with the few off pace balls Vandeweghe hit. She has the strokes, the mentality seems to be lagging behind her talent.
The crowd was definitely buzzing about the all-American match up between Stephens and Oudin. While carrying a 2-0 record against Oudin into the match, Stephens was coming off a first round exit last week at Stanford.
Stephens started the match on fire, winning the first 4 games before letting her opponent on the board. Both players were hitting very aggressively, but Stephensâ€™ speed seemed to give her an extra edge as she slapped multiple on-the-run winners. She closed the set out at 6-1 without blinking. Stephens even got the early break in the second set, but just when she was looking unstoppable, double faults crept into her service game and she was broken. Stephens definitely had her chances in the second set going up 4-2 and even held two match points in the tie-breaker. But Oudin found her rhythm and began mixing up the pace of her shots. Once Oudin came back to with the second set breaker 8-6, all the fight seemed to leave Stephens. Oudin quickly won the third set 6-0 to surprise the crowd with a come-from-behind victory.
Asked how she turned the match around, Oudin said â€œMy plan going into the match was trying to stay with her the whole time. The first set didnâ€™t work that well. I felt like I was controlling a lot of the pointsâ€”I was just missing.â€ She said her â€œforehand started workingâ€ after being down 4-2 in the second set and then everything seemed to fall into place. In the end she said â€œI played one of the best sets Iâ€™ve played in a while.â€
It seems winning those eight matches in Birmingham to claim her maiden title helped her find her mojo again. She said, â€œThe biggest thing is confidence. When I walk on the court I really do think I can win these matches now. Iâ€™m finally finding my game again. I think I can be even better than when I was 30 in the world.â€
For now she has her sights set on peaking at the U.S. Open where she hopes to be awarded a wild card entry. A strong run here this week will certainly help her cause.
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,â€ said a jet-lagged Williams, â€œbut there are a lot of positives from today. I was fighting out there. I wanted it.
â€œI 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,â€ said Vandeweghe.â€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 itâ€™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 sheâ€™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 yearâ€™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.
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 9-15, 2012
Results â€“ Sunday, July 15, 2012
Singles â€“ Final
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (LL) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 75 63
Doubles â€“ Final
Erakovic/Watson (NZL/GBR) d. (1) Gajdosova/King (AUS/USA) 75 76(7)