2014/07/29

Radwanska and Li Na Gain Toronto Semis

AgniezskaRadwanskaFaceoff2wearingraptorsshirt

By Brodie Elgin

(August 9, 2013) TORONTO – At 2-2 in the first set, Sara Errani winced. This wasn’t the first time she had played Agnieszka Radwanska. Last year the two battled to an eventual Radwanska victory in Istanbul at the Year End Championships, a match which lasted a staggering 3 hours and 29 minutes. She knew she was in for a strange match. As the sun beat down, the breaks came from all imaginable scenarios; great volleys at the net, bad errors, and winners after grueling points.”  I think we were playing a bit similar tennis.  That’s why a lot of running, a lot of long rallies, and that’s why I think our matches are always very long,” said Radwanska, prior to facing Errani.

 

With both players trading service holds to start the match, Radwanska and Errrani traded a nearly unbelievable 11 straight breaks before Radwanska finally held found herself up a commanding 7-6(1), 2-0 lead.

 

With neither player creating much pace, both players needed to find new ways to finish points or move players around. Errani was at her most effective when able to hit her forehand up the line or find extreme angles to spin the forehand cross court. However, Radwanska did an excellent job of trying to keep the ball to Errani’s backhand, particularly on her return, and getting to net to finish points when possible.

 

Unsurprisingly, the break lead didn’t last long and Errani and Rawanska battled to an even 5-5. With a couple of Errani errors, Radwanska broke yet again and finally put together a straight forward hold with four impressive winners, taking the match 7-6(1), 7-5 and advancing to the semifinals. She awaits Serena Williams.

 10062012 China Open Li Na in press 2

In the second semifinal of the day, Li Na had a straight forward win over Dominika Cibulkova, in 1 hour and 36 minutes. A streaky first set meant both players held and broke service three times each. But it was Li who would effectively raise her game in the tiebreak to win it 7-6(1).

 

 

Li insisted she wanted to continue to stick to her guns in the second set, and felt she was playing well. “I was thinking about, okay, one set.  Second set you should just continue to do what you should do.  You don’t have to be looking at what the opponent do.” From then on it was smooth sailing against Cibulkova, who recently won Stanford and is playing in her third straight week. Li saved both break points she faced in the second set and served at a cool 75% to take it easily, 6-2.

 

“I haven’t lost to her, but every time is tough.  I mean, never has [there been an] easy one,” said Li. “She was running pretty fast on the court, and she can hit everywhere on the court. So I have to ready for every second; otherwise I will lose the point.”

 

Li will take on Sorana Cirstea in the semifinals on Saturday. Li leads the head to head 5-1, including winning their two most recent matches, both on hard courts.

Brodie Elgin is the writer of mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.

 

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Cibulkova Beats Radwanska in Dramatic Fashion at Stanford

Cibulkova wins BOTWC

By Kevin Ware

(July 28, 2013) STANFORD, CA – The last time Dominika Cibulkova faced Agnieszka Radwanska on a tennis court, it ended in a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing in Sydney.  In today’s Bank of the West final, she erased that brutal memory with a dramatic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback victory for her third career title, and her first win over her Polish opponent.

But it wasn’t easy.

The first set went on serve until the fifth game, with Cibulkova broken at love in a game that ended emphatically with a jumping over-the-shoulder overhead by Radwanska. She had a chance to break back three games later but was unable to convert the one break point she managed to get against Radwanska’s impressive defense.

Having missed that lone opportunity for a break, she was broken again at love in the next game to hand Radwanska the set, along with a fair bit of momentum heading into the second set.

Cibulkova administered a measure of payback and broke Radwanska at love for 4-3 lead in the second set. That one break was all she needed to take the match into a decisive third.

After dropping the second set, Radwanska left court to regroup with a bathroom break. Cibulkova took this opportunity to call for a coach visit.  When asked afterward why she called him after winning the set, Cibulkova had this to say:

“(I called him) because I felt it’s the right time, you know, and he also wanted to tell me something. He told me to stick with my game, and he told me some extra things that I can do. And he calmed me down. He said everything was fine and I’m playing well. Just to keep it up and do a little small changes.”

The brief off-court break initially appeared to help Radwanska at the start of the third set. She began with a strong service hold, including two aces, and regained vital momentum as she raced to a 3-1 lead after another break of the Cibulkova serve.

Cibulkova, however, had other ideas and started working her way back into the match with fearless hitting. She plays with an aggressive “High risk, high reward” strategy, because she’s a big believer in putting fate into your own hands. After her semifinal match against Sorana Cirstea, she said: “I’d rather lose it myself than she hit the winner!”

At times it looked as if the risks were greater than rewards. But as the third set progressed and the breaks of serve from Radwanska’s side mounted (three total for the set), the payoff was evident.  A final break of serve for 5-4 gave Cibulkova a chance to serve for the match.

Closing a match is never easy, and this one was no exception. Nerves got the best of Cibulkova on her first three match points as she sent each of three nervous forehands beyond the baseline. The fourth match point featured a thrilling stab drop volley winner by Radwanska on a strong Cibulkova passing shot.

Cibulkova finally won on her fifth match point with a screaming backhand cross court winner that the exhausted Radwanska could only watch. She dropped to her back and savored the well-earned victory.

Radwanska had chances but wasn’t able to convert when it mattered. Her first serve percentage was lower than Cibulkova’s (52% vs. 56%), and was a major reason she faced 14 break points in the match.

Afterward, she talked about some of the issues she faced this week with the court conditions at Stanford, which she never really got used to, and how they affected her game. “I didn’t play my best tennis at all today. I think everything was a problem for me. I couldn’t feel the ball well – actually I couldn’t feel the ball the whole tournament.”

The dramatically different daytime conditions for the final were also problematic for Radwanska, who’d played all of her previous matches as the evening headliner.

“When I played at night it was much slower so I could try something else and mixing up and be in the match. Here it was different, the sun and the heat and everything.”

Apart from a precautionary wrapping of ice on her Achilles, Cibulkova was all smiles after the match.  She was jokingly asked about the Sydney final, and whether this was how she responds to a love-love loss.

“The difference between Sydney and today was that I made the first game. And after the first game I looked at my coach and was like, “Here we go. I’m here and it’s gonna be good today.”

It was a good day for Cibulkova, but it could also have been a good day for Radwanska. In a match with 205 total points, Cibulkova won 104 to Radwanska’s 101. Three points separated the two over the course of a 2:30 match. It doesn’t get much closer than that.

When asked if she was going to treat herself to anything special after such a big win, Cibulkova had to think long and hard for a reply. “I don’t know. I bought myself a new car (a Range Rover Sport) before the tournament, so I don’t know. I’ll save some money.”

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

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Seeds Cibulkova and Hampton Overcome Inspired Opponents

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By Kevin Ware

Dominika Cibulkova [3] defeats Stephanie Voegele 7-5 7-6(5)

(July 25, 2013) STANFORD, CA – Worries about fitness and the lingering effects of an Achilles injury fell by the wayside for Dominika Cibulkova after she overcame Stephanie Voegele of Switzerland 7-5 7-6(5) in the first match of the day on stadium court.

She showed no signs of slowness or hesitation, but did sport a layer of physio tape on her lower leg. “The tape is for prevention. My Achilles will always be tough to deal with because I have this problem with the bone. That’s why my physio has to take good care of it so that I can keep playing.”

Though her leg was fine, the rust in her game was another matter. She struggled to close out the first set after leading 5-2, only doing so after breaking the Voegele serve in the eleventh game to take it at 7-5.

With the first set under her belt, Cibulkova looked poised to close out the second in more direct fashion. Voegele had other ideas, once again working her way back into the match after Cibulkova had lead 5-2.

Fittingly, the second set ended in a tiebreaker that Cibulkova won with fearless hitting from her forehand at 5-all, before serving it out on her first match point.

When asked afterward if she’d expected such a tough match from her Swiss opponent, Cibulkova was very complimentary of her Voegele’s abilities.

“I expected a really tough match because she’s playing really well at this time. I played her long time ago but remember how she’s playing close to the lines.”

“I just made it tough for myself. In the end I made it, but it could be easier for me.”

Hampton wins

Jamie Hampton [4] defeats Nicole Gibbs 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3

Fourth-seed Jamie Hampton had her hands full overcoming her own “rust”, as well as the inspired play of Nicole Gibbs; who was making her professional debut at this tournament after a stellar career at Stanford.

Rust on Hampton’s part was understandable, since this was Hampton’s first match of the tournament after receiving a first round bye as one of the top 4 seeds. “I’ve been here for a week now and I haven’t played. And I’ve never done anything like that before.”

The lack of sharpness in Hampton’s game was less of an issue, however, than the dogged determination shown by Gibbs.

Hampton might hit a harder ball than Gibbs, but Gibbs showed no sign of intimidation as she moved her opponent from side-to-side to keep the ball out of Hampton’s wheel house, and to expose any footwork weaknesses.

The first set was tightly-contested until a loose game by Gibbs at 5-all gave Hampton the crucial break, and allowed her to serve it out at 7-5.

The second set, won by Gibbs in a tiebreak, was an equally tight affair; made more so because of Hampton’s mounting unforced error total as she mixed winners and unforced errors interchangeably throughout.

After the match, Hampton was asked specifically about her serving difficulties on the day when she offered this assessment of her overall play: “To be honest, I just felt like I was struggling in general today.”

In spite of the efforts of her Stanford football team cheering section, Gibbs game began to unravel. The third set saw Hampton draw upon her experience as pro to serve bigger and hit bigger on shots that finally started to find their mark. There was little Gibbs could do than just say “too good”.

Gibbs managed a brief comeback (after falling behind 0-4) to get back on serve at 3-4. But she couldn’t sustain the momentum, and gave up one final break for 3-5. Hampton quickly closed out the match for the win.

Gibbs was remarkably upbeat after the match, and happy with the fight she showed on court. “The biggest takeaway is that I can play at this level, and that’s really exciting for me!”

Madison runs for a forehand

Other Match Notes

Daniela Hantuchova lost two straight tiebreakers to hand Urszula Radwanska a 7-6(3) 7-6(3) victory, and her second straight appearance in the Bank of the West quarterfinals. This loss is sure to stick with Hantuchova for because of the seven straight points she lost in the second set tiebreaker after leading 3-0.

Vera Dushevina beat American Madison Keys in the evening match on stadium court. Keys was unable to get any aspect of her ground game on track during the match, and was also done in by Dushevina’s strong service returns.

Keys is widely touted as one of the top prospects for future US slam success. And while it’s true that she has an immense amount of talent, she also still has a long way to go in terms of developing a more complete game to compliment her strong serve and ground strokes.

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/.

All photography by David Sweet.

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

Results – Thursday, July 25, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(3) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 75 76(5)
(4) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. (WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) 75 67(5) 63
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(3) 76(3)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Madison Keys (USA) 76(0) 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) 63 62
(2) Goerges/Jurak (GER/CRO) d. Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) 06 62 105 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Friday, July 26, 2013
Stadium (from 12.00hrs)
1. Sorana Cirstea vs. Olga Govortsova
2. Urszula Radwanska vs. Dominika Cibulkova
3. Jamie Hampton vs. Vera Dushevina (NB 15.30hrs)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 20.00hrs)
5. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Muhammed/Will

Court 6 (NB 16.30hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Chan/Dushevina (after suitable rest)

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Serena Williams Survives Scare from Dominika Cibulkova

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By Amy Fetherolf

(March 25, 2013) MIAMI — For a set and half, it looked like the Sony Open was about to lose another high profile player to an upset, as World No. 14 Dominika Cibulkova cruised to a 6-2, 4-1 lead over Serena Williams. But Williams managed to find her game in time, rallying to beat Cibulkova, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“Mentally I was just fried and I was just thinking about everything but tennis,” Williams said about her slow start. “Then I just had to pull myself back together. I was too stressed out and not really calm out there for really no reason.”

In the first set, Cibulkova took advantage of Williams’ shockingly lackluster serving, winning 44% of points on the Williams first serve, and 82% on the second serve. Williams hit just one ace in the set, and got broken three times.

Cibulkova kept it up into the second set, earning an early break on Williams. But suddenly, Williams loosened up and found her game, rattling off five straight games to take the second set 6-4. Once she’d forced the decider, it was mostly one-way traffic. Cibulkova broke Williams back early in the third set, but Williams broke two more times and held serve for the rest of the match.

“I was not feeling my game today, you know, but for me it’s getting through those matches when you don’t feel great and then you’re still able to come through them and survive and play for another round,” Williams said. “This particular time I just thought to myself, Well, I’ve been down worse. It’s nothing new. Just keep fighting. I never give up. Doesn’t matter whether it’s in life or on the tennis court, I keep fighting. That’s what I kept doing today.”

Williams hit 14 aces, 40 winners, 41 unforced errors in the match to Cibulkova’s two aces, 12 winners, and 19 unforced errors.

Williams will face Li Na in the quarterfinals.

Pictures from the match:

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Amy Fetherolf‏ is covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN). She is a co-founder of The Changeover. Follow her on Twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

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Radwanska Extends Streak to Eight to Move into Sydney Final

Agniezska Radwanska

(January 10, 2013) World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska has moved into the Sydney International final, extending her 2013 winning streak to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-4 victory on Thursday over former French Open champion and No. 7  Li Na.

So is Radwanska feeling pressure to keep the streak alive? “Actually when I was going on court, of course if I win, great; if not, I mean, not that big deal because I really had a lot of matches here and in Auckland,” she said. “I’m really ready for the Australian Open. It’s always hard to say, but I think of course winning two tournaments in a row is a good thing.”

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia  will meet Radwanska in the final on Friday. Cibulkova stunned second seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Bernard Tomic of Australia advanced to the semifinals with a 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

“It’s really good to win a match like this. Physically I’m still pretty good. I’m getting ready for tomorrow right now,” said Tomic.

 

“This is a big chance for me to do well here. Hopefully I can keep going.”

 

APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY
Sydney, Australia
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, January 10, 2013
Singles – Semifinals
(1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (4) Li Na (CHN) 63 64
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (2) Angelique Kerber (GER) 62 46 63

Doubles – Semifinals
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Jurak/Marosi (CRO/HUN) 75 64
Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) d. (2) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 64 63

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY, 2013

Singles – Quarter-finals
[3] A Seppi (ITA) d [8] M Granollers (ESP) 64 75
J Benneteau (FRA) d [Q] R Harrison (USA) 64 62
K Anderson (RSA) d D Istomin (UZB) 64 63
B Tomic (AUS) d J Nieminen (FIN) 67(6) 64 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) 63 64
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 11 JANUARY, 2013

KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 11:00 am
[4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
J Benneteau (FRA) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[3] A Seppi (ITA) vs B Tomic (AUS) – ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs D Cibulkova (SVK) – WTA
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start TBA
Not before 4.00pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP

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Top Seed Isner Falls to Harrison in Sydney

Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison

(January 9, 2013) Top-seeded John Isner, who has been battling a knee problem since the beginning of the season lost 6-4, 6-4 to fellow American Ryan Harrison in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday.

Injuries have hit the tournament hard. Sydney has suffered withdrawals of the original top seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet pulled out before the tournament.  More injuries took out Giles Simon, suffering a neck injury and Radek Stepanek a back injury.

Isner withdrew from the Hopman Cup mixed-team competition in Perth last week with a right knee injury but still played Sydney.

On the ladies side, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland moved into the semifinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-2, 6-1.

Radwanska has a seven-match winning streak in 2013.

“So far I feel good and I’m very happy that I can play good matches, already seven in a row,” she said. “I think this year is the first time that I played two tournaments before (the Australian Open). I never did that before. So far it’s good and I’m going to keep going.”

Australian  Bernard Tomic is into the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 upset over German No.28 Florian Mayer..

 

“I’m serving really well and my groundstrokes are really good, too. I’m moving really well. There is nothing much more I can ask myself at this stage,” said Tomic.

 

“I think whereas before I got carried away; I started over-thinking. Now it’s just who I play on that day. I don’t look too much ahead now and just focus on who I have to play and play as best as I can. That’s what I’m doing.”

 

 

Fourth seed Li Na overcame in a hard-hitting quarterfinal against American qualifier Madison Keys  4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to open the night session on Ken Rosewall Arena. Second seed Angelique Kerber stopped Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-5.

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 9 JANUARY, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[Q] R Harrison (USA) d [1] J Isner (USA) 64 64
[3] A Seppi (ITA) d [WC] J Millman (AUS) 62 36 63
D Istomin (UZB) d [4] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 63
B Tomic (AUS) d [5] F Mayer (GER) 76(4) 62
J Benneteau (FRA) d [6] R Stepanek (CZE) 0-0 40/15 ret. (back)
[8] M Granollers (ESP) d F Fognini (ITA) 62 76(4)
K Anderson (RSA) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d *[LL] I Klec (SVK) 63 61

*[LL] I Klec (SVK) replaced [2] G Simon (FRA) – neck

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d J Benneteau (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) 63 62
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [2] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) W/O (Stepanek – back)
[3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d J Chardy (FRA) / L Kubot (POL) 36 64 13-11

Doubles – First Round
M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) d [WC] M Ebden (AUS) / M Matosevic (AUS) 36 76(2) 10-8

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY, 2013

KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 11:00 am
M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) vs [4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
[Q] R Harrison (USA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 2:30 PM
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs [4] N Li (CHN) or [Q] M Keys (USA) – WTA
D Cibulkova (SVK) vs [Q] S Kuznetsova (RUS) or [2] A Kerber (GER) – WTA

Not Before 7:30 PM
B Tomic (AUS) vs J Nieminen (FIN) – ATP
[8] M Granollers (ESP) vs [3] A Seppi (ITA) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 PM

Not Before 12:00 PM
D Istomin (UZB) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs D Jurak (CRO) / K Marosi (HUN) – WTA
N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) – WTA

 

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Cibulkova Nets Carlsbad Title

Dominika Cibulkova added a second winner’s trophy to her collection with her victory over friend Marion Bartoli 6-1, 7-5 in the final of the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California.

 

After a straight forward first set which saw the Slovak knock multiple winners past Bartoli, with the 6-1 set ending on a Bartoli double fault.  The second set proved to be much more of a contest. Cibulkova rallied past the Frenchwoman, coming back from two breaks down at 1-4 to win six out of the last seven games to clinch the match in 95 minutes.

 

“I was enjoying the final so much,” Cibulkova commented. ”I just played my game and in the first set everything was going my way. My forehand was working today 100% and also my service return. I’m also really happy that I turned it around in the second set and I didn’t give it up and I was still fighting for the set and I won.”

Bartoli came into the match having been on court four more hours than her opponent.

“She played extremely well and made me feel uncomfortable.” Bartoli said. I really fought extremely hard on the court, and being back in another final this year obviously means a lot to me and it’s good to have some wins before heading to Montréal and Cincinnati.”

“I lost, but Dominika played a great match,” said Bartoli.

“I wish her good luck at the Olympics.”

Bartoli will not be participating in the Olympic Games due to an ongoing dispute with the French Tennis Federation.

Cibulkova will rise to 13th in the world when the rankings come out on Monday. Her career high is 12th.

Cibulkova did not drop a set in her title run.

 http://youtu.be/yNY-uzaWe-Q

Results – Sunday, July 22, 2012
Singles – Final
(2) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (1) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 61 75

Doubles – Final
(3) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. (2) King/Petrova (USA/RUS) 62 64

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Cirstea upsets Cibulkova at Bank of the West Classic

 

By David Sweet

STANFORD, California- Sorana Cirstea won the final 10 games, including a third-set bagel, to beat Dominika Cibulkova in their quarterfinal match at the Bank of the West Classic.

Cirstea avenged her 6-1 6-1 trouncing by Cibulkova at this year’s Barcelona tournament.

Cirstea said in her news conference that she her solid serving was the key to her win.  Cirstea talked about the long road back from a 2009 back injury that compromised her game throughout the past few years.

Cirstea will take on  Serena Williams who defeated Chanelle Scheepers.

David Sweet is covering the Bank of the West Tennis Classic at Stanford University for Tennis Panorama News July 9 -15, 2012. Follow his live updates on @tennisnewsTPN and personal twitter account @davidsweetphoto, and ‘like’ his Facebook page “David Sweet Photography.” ‘Like’  the Tennis Panorama News Facebook page.

 

 

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Paszek tops Wozniacki, Cirstea upsets Li Na at Wimbledon

Tamira Paszek

WIMBLEDON – Add seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki and 11th seed Li Na to the list of seed casualties on the Ladies’ side of the Wimbledon draw. Austria’s Tamira Paszek eliminated Dane Wozniacki 5-7, 7-6(4),  6-4  while Romania’s Sorana Cirstea defeated China’s Li 6-3, 6-4 at the All England Club on Wednesday.

“It was a good match, good tennis, but that doesn’t really help me, Wozniacki said. “I lost in the first round.

“Tomorrow no one will remember how great a match it was, they’ll just remember who won.

“You know, obviously, yeah, it’s not a nice feeling.  Those are some of the matches that it’s really great when you win them, but also really sucks when you lose.  Especially after having two match points and not taking them.  It wasn’t because I played badly.  You know, she just went for it, and that’s it.”

The last time Wozniacki lost in the first round of a major tournament was the 2007 French Open.

“I didn’t think it was a bad match today,” Wozniacki said. “You’re going through periods where you’re lucky, the luck is turning your way, you’re not playing great, but you win the matches anyway.

“You go through periods where it’s just not going your way. You just need to get through this. Hopefully, sooner than later, it will start turning my way.”

A total of  five seeded women lost on Wednesday including (5) Sam Stosur, (7) Caroline Wozniacki, (11) Li Na, (13) Dominika Cibulkova and (23) Petra Cetkovska.

Stosur Stunned by Rus at Wimbledon

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Bartoli, Cibulkova, Lisicki and Jankovic Lead Carlsbad Field

World No. 8 Marion Bartoli, World No. 10 Angelique Kerber, World No. 13 Sabine Lisicki, World No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova and former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic lead the player field for the Mercury Insurance Open presented by Tri-City Medical Center, a Premier WTA tennis tournament which is also part of the summer’s Emirates Airline US Open Series to be held July 14 – 22, 2012 at La Costa Resort and Spa, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director.

“I’m extremely excited to play the Mercury Insurance Open again,” said Bartoli. “I’ve always loved Carlsbad and I want to see the new renovations at the resort. I heard it’s even more beautiful. The fans are always great there and I look forward to another exciting tournament this year.”

Bartoli will be joined by one of the hottest players in the WTA, Angelique Kerber, who was ranked just inside the top 70 at this time last year, but a surprise run to the 2011 US Open semifinals, two titles in 2012 and a quarterfinal appearance in the French Open this past week have catapulted the German to the top 10 for the first time in her career. Fellow German Sabine Lisicki will be returning to the Mercury Insurance Open after reaching last year’s quarterfinals. At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki became only the second wiIdcard in the history of the event to reach the semifinals.

Cibulkova is playing exceptionally well and recently defeated world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to reach the French Open quarterfinals. The Slovakian captured her first WTA title at Moscow last year. In addition, former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2008 prior to her run to the final of the US Open will also be a strong contender for the title and will look for strong local fan support. The Serbian is building a home in the San Diego area and is looking forward to playing her “home” event.

Joining these three WTA stars are two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, world No. 29 Nadia Petrova, who is only one of six active players to have won more than 100 Grand Slam matches, and Americans Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens, Varvara Lepchenko and Vania King.

Over the course of the last year McHale has defeated then-World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 Petra Kvitova, Bartoli and Kuznetsova, while rising inside the top 36 of the world rankings. Last year at the Mercury Insurance Open, Stephens reached the quarterfinals, while this past weekend she reached the fourth round of the French Open, the best Grand Slam finish of her young career. Also reaching the fourth round of the French Open was Lepchenko, who will climb to a career-high ranking next week. King, a Southern California native, excels on both the singles and doubles courts winning Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles in 2010.

“We are thrilled with the depth of the Mercury Insurance Open singles draw that will include top 10 players, a former Grand Slam champion, a former World No. 1 and a contingent of rising stars,” said Simon. “It is only appropriate that in an Olympic year, we have a diverse international field who will make the quality of tennis outstanding for fans in attendance.”

In addition, the La Costa Resort and Spa has just completed more than $40 million in upgrades throughout its world class property and the event has invested in enhancements to make the tournament site even more fan friendly. Seating will be upgraded on Stadium Court, and the north end of the stadium has been redesigned to feature the Terrace Club, a premier ticketed area featuring courtside seating, a shaded patio, private dining and restrooms. Four video walls will also be added to provide spectators an easier view of scores, match updates, and Hawkeye replays, while two video walls will be added to the reconfigured and updated Tournament Village. Finally, practice courts will become more accessible for fans, and inevitably become a favorite spot at the event.

A new amateur event, the Mercury Insurance Open Mixed Doubles Challenge, has been added to the special events calendar and will offer $5,000 in prize money. The 16-team tournament, which will take place alongside the WTA main draw (July 14-22), is open to teams consisting of tennis teaching professionals with at least one partner who teaches at a tennis club or public facility in San Diego County. In addition, the Pre-Qualifying tournament, a 16 player singles draw, will be held July 7-12 and award the winner a wildcard into the Mercury Insurance Open qualifying draw (July 14-15). Both the Pre-Qualifier and Qualifying tournaments will be free admission.

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