May 27, 2017

Elena Vesnina and Roger Federer Win BNP Paribas Open Singles Titles

(March 19, 2017) Roger Federer and Elena Vesnina took home the BNP Paribas Open singles trophies on Sunday in Indian Wells California. In an all-Swiss affair, Federer defeated Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win his fifth Indian Wells crown, 90th career tournament and 25th Masters Series 1000 title. He is now tied with Novak Djokovic for most Indian Wells titles.

At 35-years and seven months old, the 18-time major champion became the oldest BNP Paribas Open champion. Federer is third in Open Era in number of titles behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

The women’s final was an all-Russian contest which saw Elena Vesnina rally from a set and 1-4 down in the second s set and 2-4 down in the third set to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 in just over three hours in the first match of the day.

“For me, the dream run continues,” Federer said during the trophy ceremony.

“This was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells. The goal was to be top 8 by after Wimbledon, so I’m there much, much faster.”

“I will make the plan for the remainder of the season, especially for the clay, after Miami, and then see also what the goals are because the goals are clearly changing after this dream start.”

“The way he’s playing is just so beautiful,” said finalist Wawrinka. “Everything looks perfect. He’s moving amazingly well. He has amazing touch. He’s doing everything you can do on the tennis court.”

“I think Stan can be very proud of his efforts here and the start to the year,” Federer said to media. “And the tournament he played here was great for him. He’s always struggled in the past in the desert. And then, for me, the dream run continues. The fairytale of the comeback that I have already shown in Australia.

“Again, I’m not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. I mean, couldn’t be more happy.

“It’s an absolute, huge start to the year for me. Yeah, last year didn’t win any titles. I don’t think I was in any finals except maybe Brisbane last year.

“The change is dramatic, and it feels great.”

Federer’s ranking will move up to No. 6 as of Monday.

Last February, 14th seed Vesnina was ranked No. 122 in the world and lost in qualifying at Indian Wells. Talk about a turnaround. She’ll be No. 13 in the world when the rankings come out on Monday.

Like her last year on tour, she had to battle back and Sunday was no different. The 30-year-old, who defeated No. 2 seed Angela Kerber and No. 12 seed Venus Williams on the road to making the final, talked about how she was mentally able to rebound from a set and 1-4 down:

“I was down the whole match except the first set. I was up with a break twice and I had set point. I didn’t use my chances there, and then she won the set and was 4-1-up.

“I was kind of fighting to just stay longer on the court, you know, just don’t give it so easy. I was telling to myself, You’re 4-1 down. Nothing to lose. Just fight for each game, you know, try to win every point, you know, try to deserve every point, because she will not give you anything.

“When I was down 4-2 in the third set, I know these kind of feelings when you’re having so much chances and you’re not using them, then your opponent will have one chance and she will use it.

“So I think that’s the situation what happened with Svetlana and me today, because she was up the whole match. She was up set 4-1, then 4-2 in the third. She had so many break points on my serve. She was 30-Love up couple of times on her serves.

“And I always keep coming back. I stick there, you know. I was just not giving anything, you know, that moment. I was just — I didn’t thought about, like, the end of the match. I was just thinking about how to kind of get back into the game. You know, I was just thinking about that.

“And when I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind. You know, I was, like, I’m not gonna give it. I went to serve, and I was, like, I never gonna lose this game.

“I don’t know how I have it in my mind, you know, serving for the championship point, championship game, you know, and don’t be so nervous, you know. I was really — that game, I was really calm. I was not thinking that if I’m going to lose this game it’s going to be 5-All. I was not afraid to lose, you know, maybe for the whole match. I was just trying to play.

“And I think Svetlana, end of the match, she was afraid to lose the match, and this is the difference maybe.”

The 31-year-old, two-time major champion and eighth seed Kuznetsova said: “I didn’t feel good today, because she was very aggressive, and I was a little bit out of my game. I was too far from the court, and I was running all the way, way behind, so the only thing I could defend. And I didn’t serve well.

“So I think that was overall the key points. Even I made it 7-6, 4-1 and was one break, and she kept being aggressive, and, yeah, I was too passive. I think that’s why I lost.”

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Vesnina Stops Venus Williams to Reach BNP Paribas Open Semifinals

Venus Williams

 

(March 16, 2017) Elena Vesnina fought off six break points in the final game to defeat 12th seed Venus Williams 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday in Indian Wells.

“I’m in the semifinal of BNP Indian Wells tournament, one of the biggest Masters Series tournament.,” noted Vesnina. “I guess I’m on fire. I’m enjoying myself on the court, and I’m really happy with my wins here.

“This win today against Venus really means a lot for me. It’s never easy to play against her. She’s a great champion and always fighting till the end.

“I’m really happy that I pulled this win.”

Vesnina came into the match after having beaten No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.

Vesnina talked about Venus Williams’ impact on the sport of tennis: “She’s a great example of how you can love tennis. You know, for so many years, she brings so much passion and love to this game.

“She’s coming and giving everything, you know. She’s always fighting, always enjoying, smiling. You know, you can see she’s, like, little girl on the court, actually, enjoying more than half of the WTA Tour. And we have to learn from her, you know, how she’s appreciating what she’s doing.

“I think maybe it came to her maybe kind of few years ago. Maybe when she was young she was a bit different, but now she’s totally enjoying herself and she’s, like, inspiring everybody around her, you know, her and Serena, as well. Because really what they bring to the tennis, to the woman’s tennis, is just amazing.”

“It’s never fun to fall short. But, you know, I gave my all, ” said Williams.

“I chose to be here. That was my choice. I gave it my best today, and I’m looking forward to playing her again, hopefully healthy and 100%, and will have an opportunity to really show what I can do in these kind of matches.”

“Work is important and, you know, satisfying work is a big part of life, and it is satisfying. Days like today are frustrating when I want to do more and can’t do more or didn’t do more.

“But it’s wonderful to be able to live my dream and work is — you know, I try to separate it from my regular life, but it’s sort of one and the same. Of course I look at the bigger picture and realize there is more important things than the yellow ball, but it’s pretty up there.”

The Russian, seeded 14th will play the Frenchwoman, No. 28 seed Kristina Mladenovic for a place in the final. Mladenovic beat Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

“Kiki is having a great season,” said Vesnina. “She’s on fire. She won her first maiden title in St. Petersburg and then she made final in Acapulco. I think now she beat two top 10 players on the way to the semifinal.

“So definitely she’s having a great season. It’s going to be tough match. She’s upcoming player. We played couple of times, but two, three years ago, and totally different story now.

“So we will see. I need to think how I need to play against her, because I have couple of thoughts on my mind. She’s a great doubles player, as well. You know, so she’s kind of player on all the court, you know. She can come into the net. She’s using the dropshots, slices.

“So it’s going to be difficult match, but on the other hand, it’s very exciting to play the semifinal match here in Indian Wells.”

 

Mladenovic, who will move into the Top 20 next week discussed the match in her news conference: “Caroline is a top player, former World No. 1. She’s also in very great shape. I mean, she had a very good start of the season, as well, won lots of matches.

“We played three times before today, and I always lost, especially that final in Hong Kong at the end of last year was very painful for me, like, very frustrating. I thought I was playing well that entire week and, in the final, I was just kind of exhausted and injured. And still, it was, like, a very long battle there. If I’m not wrong, it was almost three hours.

“Today I was just, like, okay, today I’m feeling good. When I woke up, I’m like, nothing is hurting. I’m good. I’m not injured. I was happy about that. I was, like, I want to give a fight there and have no regrets.

“I wanted to take my revenge, of course. It was not easy. Again, it was a tough battle and tough conditions. We played, yeah, two hours and a half. I didn’t start well at all the match.

“I thought, you know, when you lost three times against a player, it means that something is wrong and that you, like, don’t really like her game.

“But I was not playing good, but still I felt like I needed adjustments, actually. It’s first time for me playing on that huge stadium and conditions and everything. I just stayed actually very positive and composed, because I was out there battling with myself first, I think, because I wanted kind of too much, you know. That was all about.

“Then, yeah, I was just fighting mentally to find adjustment and to be close with her at the scoreboard, and eventually I got my chances. And I think I played really well the tiebreak.

“Yeah, I went for my game. I went for some variation. I think I played differently at some point, you know, trying to use more the court to make her run, as well. Because she was doing that pretty well to me. And also put some slices in my game, dropshots.

“And something new I put today was the serve and volley on such important points (smiling). I impress myself kind of (smiling). I was, Okay, great. What I’m gonna do now?

“Because every time I would serve good on the backhand, she would go, like, very deep and return well. I was, like, Okay, let’s just be creative here.

“And it paid off, and it gave me a chance to fight a third set. I think the third set was the best game of today for me.”

There were 11 breaks of serve in this match and Wozniacki regretted missing chances.

“I didn’t take some of my opportunities in the third set. I didn’t break her when I had the opportunity. I didn’t hold when I had the opportunity and, all of sudden, those games kind of slipped away.

“And she had some big forehands when she needed to and then, all of a sudden, I see myself down 5-2, and it could maybe have been different.”

Mladenovic will be the No. 1 French women player when the next rankings come out.

The other women’s semifinal will feature No. 3 Karolina Pliskova and No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In men’s action, a pair of “Pablos” squared off for a place in the final four.

No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta from Spain saved two match points to beat 27th seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4).

“It’s my first time in the semifinal in a Masters 1000, but here in Indian Wells is — you know, for me, this tournament is one of the best, not just the Masters 1000, one of the best tournaments in the year and maybe one of the tougher, because all the people is playing here, all the top 20,” said the Spaniard.

“So I think it’s a really great result for me.”

“Always with Cuevas– with Pablo is I need to be very focused on my game, very aggressive, because his second serve or his kick, you know, the ball is bounce a lot. So I need to be aggressive and I need to dominate the points, because he’s really dangerous with his forehand.”

Stan Wawrinka

Carreno Busta will play No. 3 Stan Wawrinka who defeated No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the semifinals 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2).

“I’m really happy,” said Wawrinka. “Again, tiebreak. The level was really high tonight. I’m really happy the way I was playing, the way I find a way to win it. He’s a strong player, really tough to play. I think in general we play both really high level, and the match was only one, two points.

“I think in the third set tiebreak I served really well. I was really focused to not give him anything. And, again, it’s a great win for me.”

“I think it’s a little bit experience, a little bit the confidence, a little bit thinking about what you want to do and just do it without thinking if you’re gonna miss or no.

“I think in those moments you need to trust your game and that’s what I did well. I was playing well. I could have lose the match, for sure. But, in general, I try to stay focused with my game, with my game plan, and don’t give in anything.

“I know also that’s when I play good tennis. I can beat anybody. So that’s give me a lot of confidence.”

 

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Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber to Face-Off for Wimbledon Title

(July 7, 2016) It will be a rematch of the Australian Open final in the Wimbledon Ladies’ final on Saturday, as 21-time major champion, No. 1 Serena Williams will take on reigning Australian Open winner No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber. Kerber beat Williams for her first major in Melbourne.

Serena Williams took less than an hour to dismiss 50th-ranked Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-0 to move into the final. Kerber prevented an all-Williams final beating Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Serena will be attempting to win her 22nd major, which would equal the Open Era record set by Steffi Graf.

Serena has now reached the finals of the first three majors of 2016 but is 0-2 in finals. “For anyone else in this whole planet, it would be a wonderful accomplishment,” Serena said in reaction to this fact. “For me, it’s about, obviously, holding the trophy and winning, which would make it a better accomplishment for me. For me, it’s not enough. But I think that’s what makes me different. That’s what makes me Serena.”

Serena nailed 11 aces in the 48-minute match, 28 winners and just seven unforced errors.

“I couldn’t do anything today,” Vesnina said. I felt I had no chance today.

Vesnina went 0-2 against Serena on Thursday. She lost in doubles to the Williams sisters with her partner Ekaterina Makarova 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2.

Angelique Kerber goes into the final having not lost a set in the tournament.

“It’s just amazing to beat Venus in the semis. It’s always a tough match against her,” Kerber said after the match. “I’m just so happy about my game and to make my first final at Wimbledon.”

Serena Williams holds a 5-2 record against Kerber.

Venus’ Wimbledon is not over, the Williams sisters are in the doubles semifinals and have won five Wimbledon doubles title together, 13 total major doubles titles as a team.

More to follow…

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Serena and Venus Williams Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

(July 5, 2016) Serena and Venus Williams could be on a path to another family final. No. 1 Serena Williams had a 6-4, 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while sister Venus joined select company beating 96th-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6(5), 6-2 to reach the semifinals at 36-years-old. Venus joins Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King as the only players to reach a major semifinal after turning 36.

 

“The good part is I always felt like I had the game,” said the eighth seeded Venus after the match. “This is always a plus, when you know you have the game. So you just have to keep working until things fall into place.”

 

This is the first time since 2009, that both sisters have reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in the same year.  Both went on to reach the final where Serena won.

 

“I love playing the game, I always have,” Venus said. “When you’re winning matches it makes it that much sweeter. I can’t lie about that.”

 

“The wins and the losses they all lead to these big moments,” Venus said to media. “You can’t always have this big moment. If you’re Serena Williams, I guess that happens a lot. As Venus Williams, this is an awesome day.”

Venus will take on Australian Open champion and No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber who beat No. 5 Simona Halep 7-5, 7-6 (2). Kerber has a 3-2 career edge in head-to-head meetings against Venus.

 

Serena will play 50th-ranked Elena Vesnina who beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2. Vesnina’s victory makes her the first unseeded woman in the final four of Wimbledon since 2010.

“It would be great,” Serena said about the chance to play her sister in the final on Saturday. “Obviously, she’s such a tough opponent. But I want her to win so bad – obviously not in the final if I’m there. But, if I’m not there, I desperately want her to win.”

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Sloane Stephens Captures Charleston Crown

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

(April 10, 2016) Seventh seed Sloane Stephens captured her third tournament title of the year on the WTA tour, defeating qualifier Elena Vesnina 7-6(4), 6-2 to win the Volvo Car Open in Charleston. Before this past week, the 23-year-old American only won one match on Charleston’s green clay during the five times she played in the main draw.

Stephens moved out to a 5-2 lead in the first set, when the 29-year-old Russian won the the next four straight games to serve for the set at 6-5. Stephens broke back, saving a set point in the process, and took the tiebreak from the 2011 Charleston finalist.

“Obviously coming into here I have a lot of anxiety coming into this tournament because I’ve never done well here,” Stephens said. “I just thought, you know, I’m just going to go have fun. I have nothing to lose. I’ve only won one match here ever, and just go out and play and have fun because I mean it’s just another week, and after this I’ll have a nice little break. I’m going to go to Europe.

“I don’t have anything to lose. My life is great. It’s tennis. And this is what I do every week. So I kind of just changed my mindset, and that worked. So I should just do that every week.”

“All the way from the qualies. I can’t believe I’m standing here in the finals,” Vesnina said during the trophy ceremony. “I love Charleston.”

Stephens now adds Charleston to her Acapulco and Auckland titles from earlier in the year. She now has four career titles.

Only Stephens and Victoria Azarenka have won three tittles so far this year on the WTA tour.

VOLVO CAR OPEN – CHARLESTON, USA
$753,000
4 – 10 APRIL, 2016
RESULTS – APRIL 10, 2016
Women’s Singles – Final
[7] S. Stephens (USA) d [Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) 76(4) 62
Women’s Doubles – Final
[3] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [1] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 62 75

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Venus Williams Along with Eight Other Women’s Seeds Lose at Miami Open

(March 25, 2016) Nine women’s seeds on Friday at the Miami Open including 10th seed Venus Williams. Williams fell to qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2.

“It’s always an honor to play against Venus.,” said Vesnina, a former No. 21 ranked player, in an on-court post-match interview. “We played many times against each other and it’s always been a pleasure to play her and it’s always been a tough match-up.

“I’m really happy that I won today.”

“It was definitely a physical match,” Williams said. “She played amazing tennis. All credit to her today.

“I couldn’t afford any errors because she was on,” (in the third set) Williams noted. “She didn’t make many errors. She came out with nothing to lose and just everything worked for her today.

“Bad luck for me; great luck for her. As the match continued I think I started to find more and more rhythm. She is coming off qualifying and playing doubles matches every week. It’s a little bit challenging to play your best tennis without — you know, against an opponent who is just so inspired.

“You don’t have a moment to try and figure out how to get into the match.”

The other losses by women’s seeds included: No. 6 seed Carla Suárez Navarro knocked out by American CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 7 Belinda Bencic who retired from her match, No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 17 seed Karolina Pliskova, No. 18 Jelena Jankovic by retirement, No. 25 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 29 seed Sabine Lisicki, who lost a 5-0 third set lead to Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(2), and No. 27 seed Kristina Mladenovic.

Djokovic on court 321-001

No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic also made a catch that would make former tennis player Mansour Barahmi proud. The Serb caught a ball in his pocket, much to the delight of the fans. Djokovic who advanced to the third round, is seeking a four Indian Wells – Miami double.

 

Roger Federer was forced to with draw from the tournament with a stomach virus. The No. 3 ranked Swiss was making a comeback from knee surgery in early February. His replacement in the draw, lucky loser Horacio Zeballos was a winner over fellow Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-4.

Del Potro is back from another wrist surgery, seemed to have some issues with his wrist during the loss. “I was suffering a little bit,” he said. “It was worse than my first match, but I hope nothing dangerous. I mean, I will see what’s going on after today and see if I can practice tomorrow, if I can hit again like a little backhand.

“They said before this is a long road to get better. Not to play well or to win matches, just to get better and to play tennis again. I’m looking forward for that. For me it’s like surprise when I win a match in this moment because I’m not 100% yet.

“But I’m here. Of course I’m suffering in moments, but I’m playing tennis. Bad or really bad, but I’m playing. That’s good for me.”

 

The men’s side of the draw saw two seeded Spanish casualties: No. 21 Feliciano Lopez who lost to qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez seeded 32.

In the match of the day of the day for the men Viktor Trocki saved four match points to win his contest against Inigo Cervantes 6-7(6), 7-6(9), 7-6(3).

 

 

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 25, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) 61 61
[4] G. Muguruza (ESP) d D. Cibulkova (SVK) 67(3) 63 75
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 62
[Q] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] B. Bencic (SUI) 41 Retired
[9] R. Vinci (ITA) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 16 64 76(5)
[Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) d [10] V. Williams (USA) 60 67(5) 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d M. Puig (PUR) 62 64
[WC] N. Osaka (JPN) d [14] S. Errani (ITA) 61 63
T. Babos (HUN) d [17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 57 62 76(0)
[Q] M. Linette (POL) d [18] J. Jankovic (SRB) 10 Retired
[22] M. Keys (USA) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 64 62
[24] J. Konta (GBR) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 64 62
[Q] K. Bertens (NED) d [25] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 46 61
[WC] N. Gibbs (USA) d [27] K. Mladenovic (FRA) 62 64
I. Begu (ROU) d [29] S. Lisicki (GER) 64 16 76(2)
[32] M. Niculescu (ROU) d S. Peng (CHN) 61 36 60

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[PR] A. Rodionova (AUS) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ) d [7] A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 63 67(4) 10-2
[8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 26 63 12-10
V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 46 63 10-8
C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 36 76(5) 10-7
A. Rosolska (POL) / L. Siegemund (GER) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / L. Kichenok (UKR) 62 75

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d K. Edmund (GBR) 63 63
[7] T. Berdych (CZE) d R. Ram (USA) w/o (illness)
[8] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 76(6) 61
[10] R. Gasquet (FRA) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 64 64
[11] M. Cilic (CRO) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 64 61
[14] D. Thiem (AUT) d S. Groth (AUS) 75 62
[15] D. Goffin (BEL) d [Q] M. Granollers (ESP) 64 64
[18] G. Simon (FRA) d J. Monaco (ARG) 75 61
[19] V. Troicki (SRB) d I. Cervantes (ESP) 67(6) 76(9) 76(3) – saved 4 m.p.
[20] B. Paire (FRA) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 64
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d [21] F. Lopez (ESP) 64 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [28] J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[31] S. Johnson (USA) d A. Zverev (GER) 76(9) 76(3)
L. Pouille (FRA) d [32] G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 64
[33] J. Sousa (POR) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 67(1) 76(5) 62
[LL] H. Zeballos (ARG) d [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) 64 64

Doubles – First Round
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 63 67(1) 10-6
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / D. Thiem (AUT) 76(3) 64
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [WC] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) 75 63

 

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2016
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [Q] P. Herbert (FRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A. Radwanska (POL) vs M. Brengle (USA)
ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)

Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ)

8:00 pm
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [23] C. Wozniacki (DEN)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
WTA – [30] E. Makarova (RUS) vs [8] P. Kvitova (CZE)
ATP – An. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
ATP – [26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)
ATP – [13] J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] T. Smyczek (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs [9] J. Tsonga (FRA)

COURT 1 start 10:55 am
ATP – D. Kudla (USA) vs [12] M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP – [22] J. Sock (USA) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)
ATP – M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)
WTA – [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [16] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – C. Garcia (FRA) vs [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
ATP – [16] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] T. Ito (JPN)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [30] T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs I. Cervantes (ESP) / D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – [29] S. Querrey (USA) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Seppi (ITA) vs [27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
WTA – Y. Wickmayer (BEL) vs [WC] H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – J. Millman (AUS) vs [23] P. Cuevas (URU)
ATP – [17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs A. Bedene (GBR)
ATP-After Suitable Rest – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) / F. Delbonis (ARG)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) vs [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [WC] M. Keys (USA) / S. Stephens (USA) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)
ATP – [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA)
ATP – A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [Alt] B. Bencic (SUI) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

COURT 10 start 1:00 pm
ATP – D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs [Alt] L. Mayer (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR)
WTA – D. Kasatkina (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN)
WTA – K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) vs [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

 

 

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Venus Williams Dominates in First Round Victory in Dubai

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(February 17, 2014) DUBAI – Wild Card entry and two-time former champion Venus Williams was off to a winning start at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships besting Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-2 hitting 10 aces along the way.

“The last couple matches I played against her, at Wimbledon she played so well and it wasn’t my day, and Cincy as well – I had some chances there but she was clearly more on her game,” Williams said after the win.

“These days I’m a little more on mine, so I was glad to get a win.”

Venus Williams dubai

“I definitely don’t take for granted any win anymore,” said Williams. “Not that I used to. But now it’s even more special, every win. My serve keeps improving pretty much every tournament. That always helps me.

“I think the more matches I’ll play, the better I will feel. You know, in moments where I’m controlling the match, the better I will feel in moments where things are close.”

The 2009 and 2010 champion’s win will set up a second round meeting with the winner of sixth seed Angelique Kerber and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dubai, UAE
February 17-February 22, 2014
$2,000,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Monday, February 17, 2014
Singles – First Round
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. (WC) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 63 62
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 64 67(3) 64
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 64 63
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 63 75
(WC) Venus Williams (USA) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 63 62

Doubles – First Round
Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Chan/Huber (TPE/USA) 63 76(4)
Groenefeld/Rosolska (GER/POL) d. Dushevina/Parra Santonja (RUS/ESP) 64 63
Raymond/Zhang (USA/CHN) d. (WC) Flipkens/Kvitova (BEL/CZE) 06 64 107 (Match TB)

Singles Qualifying – Final Round
Annika Beck (GER) d. (1) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 61 64
(3) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (5) Yvonne Meusburger (AUT) 61 63
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA) 75 62
Maryna Zanevska (UKR) d. Mona Barthel (GER) 76(8) 64

Order Of Play – Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Centre Court (from 14.00hrs)
1. Alizé Cornet vs. Simona Halep
2. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sabine Lisicki
3. Angelique Kerber vs. Ana Ivanovic (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Serena Williams vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Court 1 (from 14.00hrs)
1. Maryna Zanevska vs. Jelena Jankovic
2. Samantha Stosur vs. Annika Beck
3. Kaia Kanepi vs. Flavia Pennetta
4. Kirsten Flipkens vs. Karolina Pliskova

Court 3 (from 14.00hrs)
1. Hlavackova/Safarova vs. Black/Mirza
2. Errani/Vinci vs. Pavlyuchenkova/Petrova (NB 16.00hrs)
3. Jankovic/Kleybanova vs. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova

 

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Vesnina Claims Second Title of 2013 in Eastbourne

Elena Vesnina

By Ros Satar

(June 22, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –

Elena Vesnina def. Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1

Elena Vesnina followed up her maiden WTA title in Hobart with a convincing win over Jamie Hampton.

Playing in extremely blustery conditions, Vesnina seemed to handle the conditions better when it counted.

The crowd was treated to some epic games, and in truth the score line feels a little harsh for the American qualifier, who was playing her eighth match and had played through almost every type of weather conceivable.

Vesnina did have to contend with a warning for time violation as the wind played havoc first with her ball-toss and then with her outfit.

The first break, when it came, was more down to a rash of errors from Hampton, but she then failed to take three break point opportunities to break straight back.

Her concentration and confidence seemed to take a dive as another string of errors handed Vesnina the first set.

Despite calling for her coach before the second set, Hampton struggled to hold her serve, saving two break points and brought her coach out again before finally getting a game on the board.

But it really was one-way traffic after that point, as Vesnina was able to play the bigger points better.

There is a lot for Hampton to take from this week, playing matches in some really adverse conditions, including a haze so heavy it was hard to see the scoreboard at the other end of the court.

“I have given myself like a two hour time limit to sulk, basically the journey up to Wimbledon, maybe have a little chocolate (smiling) and then move on and get on with Wimbledon, start thinking about the match a little bit,” she said before going on to praise her opponent.

“I was surprised honestly how she was even hitting the ball in the court, and on top of that she was playing very good tennis. She was very deserving of the title today.”

Hampton moves up from 41 to 25 in the world rankings on Monday and will be the No. 3 American behind Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams.

Hampton will face Sloane Stephens in the first round of Wimbledon – perhaps a little unfortunate as both had good runs at the French Open.

Before the start of this year, Vesnina was 0-6 in both singles and doubles finals.

Now she has two tour titles, and a Grand Slam title, winning the doubles with Ekaterina Makarova at Roland Garros.

Battling similar conditions to her maiden title in Hobart, she described the experience after the match.

“At the beginning of the match, I was like, Oh, my God, I just need to stay in the match, just try to play every single point. Don’t think about wind and just fight.

“It was just about fighting spirit.

“If you’re able to handle this, if you’re able to play under the pressure with this kind of wind, you will do well.”

Winning a grand slam title at Roland Garros has given Vesnina a degree of confidence, but it could have also been destiny.

“Yevgeny Kafelnikov, he’s from Sochi, he’s from my home city, and when he won Roland Garros many years ago I was coached by his dad.

“I came to his house, and his dad showed me the trophy.
“He told me that it’s going to be your first Grand Slam title, believe me.

“And it happened.”

Not that boost of confidence has gone to her head.

“Everybody is joking right now about me, Oh, like you’re a Grand Slam, you can say whatever you want, like you can do whatever you want.

“It gave me that confidence, gave myself belief even more.
“But I didn’t change as a person. I’m same.”

Vesnina has been as far as the Round of 16 at Wimbledon but in recent years has struggled to get past the first two rounds.

She will face Andrea Hlavackova in the first round, and Wimbledon starts on Monday, June 24th.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist – an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She was covering the AEGON International this week as media for Tennis Panorama News.   Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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Hampton in the Hunt for Maiden Title in Eastbourne

By Ros Satar

(June 21, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –

Jamie Hampton def. Caroline Wozniacki 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3
Qualifier, Jamie Hampton is hunting for her maiden WTA tour title, after scoring another good win in the Aegon International, Eastbourne.

Hampton started strongly, taking the initiative early, but Wozniacki dragged the first set into a tiebreak.

Momentum again looked to be with the American, but set points went begging partly down to two outlandishly missed volleys.

Suddenly the Dane was in the driver’s seat, rounding out the first set 10-8 in the tiebreak.

It was all looking like a formality, as Wozniacki’s experience seemed to serve her better in the blustery conditions.

But Hampton fought back to break as Wozniacki was serving for the match at 5-4.

Hampton had her tail up and broke again to take the match into a decider.

Wozniacki broke early in the third set, only to lose the advantage immediately, and in a match that had seen swings of momentum throughout, it was Hampton who nudged ahead.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Wozniacki saved one match point, but there were no mistakes on the second as Hampton put a volley slap bang in the corner of the court.

Wozniacki could only wryly smile as the American qualifier reaches her first tour final.

It seemed less like a sleepy seaside town and more like playing in the middle of a tornado at times.

Hampton joked about the conditions in her post match press conference:
“Conditions are a little rougher than everywhere else, but you guys make up for it with the nice courts.”

Although mindful that she has a shot at her maiden title tomorrow, Hampton could not resist a peek at the Wimbledon draw, where she will face fellow American Sloane Stephens.

“It’s a bit of a bummer that two Americans have to play first round considering we both had great French Opens, but I’m going to treat it just like every other match.”

 

Elena Vesnina def. Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-0
Hampton will face Russia’s Elena Vesnina, who overcame Yanina Wickmayer rather easily than she anticipated.

Wickmayer handed over two breaks of serve, and called down her coach after losing the first set.

However, it seemed to do her no good at all as she did not register another game for the rest of the match.

“I was expecting it’s going to be very long and difficult match for both of us.
“I think after first set she kind of lose her concentration, and it looks like she didn’t know what to do,” said Vesnina after the match.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s final, the Russian had been playing some attention to Hampton’s progress through the tournament this week.

“It’s going to be very interesting match, I think. Jamie is a very talented player. It’s her first final.

“I’m pretty sure she’s very excited about that.”

Wickmayer had taken out two top ten players this week, first dispatching Petra Kvitova and then Maria Kirilenko, both in three-setters.

But there was none of that fight left in her today, leaving Vesnina looking to follow up her own maiden title from Hobart this year.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist – an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She’s covering the AEGON International this week as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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Thursday’s Roundup at Eastbourne

By Ros Satar

(June 20, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England – The playing conditions on Thursday started in the murk of a mist coming in off the sea, a complete contrast to the hot sunny conditions the day before.

 

No sooner had the first players made their way out and finished knocking up, a persistent bout of rain saw play suspended for over an hour.

 

When play did resume, it was in a backdrop of mist or, as we learned, a sea-fret [a wet mist or haze coming inland from the sea].

 

Either way, visibility was poor for the first set or so, causing issues in the early matches.

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Feliciano Lopez def. Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6(6)

Verdasco had not been happy about the restart even before the match started, complaining to ATP tour supervisor Tom Barnes.

 

The conditions better suited Lopez, who dialed into his serve well today, taking advantage of the muggier conditions to put his slice to effective use.

 

Verdasco was less than pleased with the decisions made after the match, claiming: “(If) I was Rafael Nadal, I can say, I don’t play, and I’m pretty sure that the ATP will say, Okay, we wait till the court is good.

 

“But because I’m not Nadal or Federer or any of these guys, I need to do what the ATP wants, because if I said, I go, the tournament will not say, we wait.

 

“Then I will get a fine from the ATP because I didn’t want to play in the bad conditions.”

 

Verdasco went on to describe the close friendship that he shares with Lopez, and how he was able to joke about hating him (not to mention a description that would send the elderly of Eastbourne to an early grave).

 

Lopez agreed that conditions today had been difficult with the humidity but took Verdasco’s comments at the end in good humor.

 

Lopez will face Ivan Dodig in the semifinals.

 

Jamie Hampton def. Lucie Safarova 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-4

Another player who had to contend with the unusual weather was Jamie Hampton who took a couple of tumbles on her way to winning a taut three-setter against Safarova.

 

The haze over Court 1 was quite considerable when they resumed play, as Hampton explained.

 

“We were basically playing in a cloud.  There was so much moisture in the air, and the court was slick so I was having a hard time with my footing and my movements.”

 

Hampton will become the No. 3 American on Monday when the new rankings come out, behind Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.

 

Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina def. Li Na 7-6(4), 6-3

Another top seed was heading up to SW19 early, as Li Na headed out of Eastbourne, care of Vesnina.

 

By her own admission, the match had been a little in and out for her: “Sometimes I can play well, but sometimes I think I lose concentration on the court.

 

“Of course I would like to do more matches [and] still looking forward for Wimbledon.”

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki def. Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-0, 6-3

Caroline Wozniacki made sure a lines-judge felt her wrath after being called on a foot fault in the second set.

 

First arguing with the umpire, then demonstrating to the judge in question how her heel bone was connected to the anklebone, or at the very least explaining the rules.

 

Finally the umpire had to intervene and redirect Wozniacki’s focus back to playing the match.

 

Whatever the issue was, it irked here enough to rip through the second set without dropping a game, leaving Makarova looking stunned at the changeover before losing the deciding the set.

 

Wozniacki was unrepentant in her press conference about perhaps the lines judge wanting to feel “important”:

 

“I don’t see a reason other than that why you wanted to call a foot fault on a second serve that isn’t a foot fault.”

 

Wozniacki is the sole surviving seed, and faces Jamie Hampton in the semi final.

GilliesSimonTasteofTennis

Gilles Simon def. Bernard Tomic 7-6(8), 6-3

The last match of the day saw France’s Gilles Simon advance to the semifinals over Bernard Tomic.

 

Tomic seemed to have lost heart after losing a tight tie-break, down 1-4 after a brief rain shower but managed to regroup a little.

 

Rounding out the singles action, Yanina Wickmayer knocked out the sixth seed Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.

 

Ros Satar is a British Journalist – an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She’s covering the AEGON International this week as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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