2014/11/01

Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic Advance at BNP Paribas Open

Djokovic thumbs up to fans while leaving

(March 11, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – Novak Djokovic was tested in the middle set against Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, but the Serbian pulled out a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win to move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

Other men advancing were 24th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who defeated 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3; 30th-seeded Fernando Verdasco  who beat No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (5), 6-1 24th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6- and Roberto Bautista Agut stopped  Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6).

On the women’s side. 2010 champion Jelena Jankovic defeated 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 in the battle of former No. 1s. Also Advancing on the women’s side were No. 6 seed Simona Halep who stopped Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Casey Dellacqua of Australia moved on due to Lauren Davis pulling out of the tournament due to gastrointestinal illness and Maria Sharapova conqueror Camilia Giorgi was dismissed by her Italian countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in 56 minutes 6-2, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.

Two-time Indian Wells champion Djokovic had 28 winners in the match against Gonzalez. The Colombian before this week had never won an ATP Tour level match until Indian Wells.

“I honestly haven’t seen him play ever before that,” Djokovic said of his opponent.  “I got information from some other players, and my coach did preparations also for the match.  You know, asked also a few players what his weaknesses and strengths are in the game.

“It took me a little bit to get used to it, you know, but I thought I played really well from the start.  6‑1, and then his opening few games, service games, I had break points, and then suddenly I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason.

“Bounced back better in the third, but I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level ‑ especially in the next match when I’m playing Cilic, you know, a guy who is in really good form and I think has gotten better in last couple of months working with Ivanisevic.

“So I’m going to have to be on top of my game throughout the whole match in order to win it.”

Djokovic plays Mari Cilic next.

“I’ve played him (Cilic) several times on different surfaces,” Djokovic said.  “We haven’t played each other for quite a long time.

“He started working with Goran, and as I said before, you can feel and you can notice the improvement in his game.  He’s more aggressive.  He comes to the net.  He’s a big guy, and that’s what you expect from him is to serve big and to come to the net.

“He’s using his serve as a big advantage nowadays, and also I feel like he’s moving better on the court.  He did before ‑‑ obviously he had this injury and then was absent from the tour for several months, but since he came back he’s a stronger player.

“I have been watching him playing some big matches.  He won against Murray in Rotterdam in straight sets.  He can definitely can play.  And not just play, I mean, he can win against top players.  That’s why I do not even for a second underestimate him.

“I’m coming into the match knowing that I’m going to have to be playing on top of my game in order to win that match.  I’m going to get myself ready for it.”

Jankovic fh volley

Djokovic’s countrywoman Jelena Jankovic routed Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1. Depending on how other players perform, Wozniacki’s ranking could fall to No. 15 in the world.

“I lost to her the last I don’t know how many times, but I think right now I am playing some pretty good tennis,” Jankovic said of finally ending a five-match losing streak against the Dane.  “I went on court, you know, trying to wait for my chances.

“Against her, if you go sometimes for too much you just make so many errors and you beat yourself.  A lot of times it happened in the past.

“So I try to play solid and aggressive at the same time, wait for the right shots, and then execute.  I did that pretty well.  3‑1 I kind of found my way, found my rhythm, and I was striking the ball very well out there and took control of the points.

“You know, I just did not let her play what she plays.  That was very important.  So I was pretty pleased with the way I played and how composed I stayed throughout the whole match.

“I kind of surprised myself, especially because of my back.  Two nights ago I hurt my back, and yesterday did not hit at all.  Had a lot of treatment.  Could not put my shoes on and all these kind of things.

“So I went on court today not knowing how I was going to feel.  You know, if I was going to be limited with my movement or if I was going to play my game.

“But I did, and I was surprised.  I was so happy and pleased with how everything went.”

Jankovic will play second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.

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Doubles Team of Kohlschreiber and Haas send Germany to the Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Germany wins-001

By Florian Heer

(February 1, 2014) FRANFURT, GERMANY – Saturday in Frankfurt and in the morning it must have looked like climbing Mount Everest for the Spanish team to come back into this tie. In this competition the Iberians have never been able to recover from being 0-2 down after the first day and so Carlos Moya’s squad was forced to win the doubles rubber when David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who replaced Daniel Brands, and Tommy Haas.

It was the first time that the Spanish ATP World Tour Final Champions played as a team at Davis Cup. For the Germans it was also a new doubles team situation as doubles partners. For Kohlschreiber and Haas the longer the match took, the better both players found their rhythm as a team. In the first set, however, the Germans had a quite difficult start. Haas had to save set points in his service game to put the first set into a tie-break. Two magnificent shots from Marrero saved set points for the Spaniards but two double faults handed the Germans the opening set.

There were no break points in the second set and so again the tie breaker had to decide. Spain has already lost four tie-breaks during this weekend but were finally freed from a curse by winning this one 11-9 after one hour and 52 minutes.

Verdasco took more and more command on Spanish side, hitting baseline shots as hard as he could and eventually played another unavoidable tie-break in the third set almost alone. Before, the Spaniards were not able to capitalize on break points in the third game and consequently lost another close breaker 7-9.

So it became more and more difficult for the Spanish team to get back into this tie. The atmosphere at the Fraport Arena, filled with 5.000 spectators, was great for the home team, were the lucky ones to finally gain the first break of the match in the fourth game of the fourth set after three hours and eight minutes of play. It should become the decisive one.

Twenty-six minutes later, Haas served the match out in the ninth game giving Germany the victory by winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. “The team presented themselves how it should be at a home game,” Carsten Arriens said.

Kohlschreiber & Haas-001

“It was hard work today but in the end it worked out for Tommy and Philipp today. I also had a lot of fun during the last two days on the bench,” the German team captain added. “It was great to be back playing Davis Cup,” Haas stated.

 “Carsten’s vision of having a doubles team with Kohlschreiber and Haas became reality today. It was a difficult match against two experienced players but I think that we harmonized quite well on the court today,” the German veteran said. “It also have to be mentioned that Tommy and I do not have a problem with each other,”

Kohlschreiber explained his relation to Haas. “I think sometimes it’s just the media, which needs something to write about,” Kohlschreiber said. “My match on Friday wasn’t that long, so I felt good to play the doubles today as well,” he added. The German team already celebrated their victory during the press conference by drinking champagne and announced that this will become a long night for them.

 

On the other hand, the Spanish team was disappointed. “It was very close today. There was only one break of serve in the entire match,” Moya said. “Similar to Feliciano yesterday, we had our chances but in the end we couldn’t capitalize on it. Nonetheless my team can be proud of themselves how they played today and hopefully next time the luck will be on our side,” the Spanish team captain added.

 

Germany will face an away tie against France in the quarterfinals and Spain has to play a second time in a row the Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Berlocq Upsets Verdasco in Sweden for First ATP Title

 

(July 14, 2013) Carlos Berlocq won his first ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open to become the ninth over 30 winner this year by stunning Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-1.

 

“I’m really excited with my achievement this week,” said the Argentine. “I’ve been working hard to fulfill this dream and today I made it. You have to be patient to get a title. I think the key was the mind-set I had from the first to the last match. Mental toughness was the key. I went through hard times, but I kept working hard and finally I did it. You have to never give up. It was my dream week.”

 

Berlocq pocketed €78,300 in prize money and earned 250 ATP ranking points. He also finished as a finalist in the doubles.

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Murray Rallies From Two Sets Down; Janowicz wins Battle of Polish Power at Wimbledon

Murray at Olympics

(July 3, 2013) Scotland’s Andy Murray came back from being down two sets to none to stop Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 3-6,6-1, 6-4, 7-5 to move into the semifinals of Wimbledon. In the quarterfinal between two Polish players, No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz defeated Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Polish male semifinalist at Wimbledon.

Murray will face Janowicz in the semifinals on Friday.

What looked like a straightforward match on paper against No. 54 Verdasco was a struggle on Centre Court for the No. 2 Murray who is trying to be the first man from Great Britain since Fred Perry in 1936 to win The Championships.

Verdasco’s steady and powerful serving kept Murray off his game in the first two sets. Murray made his was back into the match, easily capturing the third set 6-1. In the sixth game of the fourth set, Murray survived two breakpoints and broke Verdasco three games later and served out the fourth set 6-4.

This was Murray’s second time rallying from two sets down at Wimbledon. He did it back in 2008 against Richard Gasquet.

“Like I was playing there, the more times you’re in those positions and the more times you can come back, you understand the way you need to think and the way you need to sort of negotiate your way through the last few sets,” Murray told media.

”Did a good job with that.  You know, sometimes it can be easy to get back to two sets all.  The fifth set, the final set, often the guy who won the first two comes back and wins that one.  It’s normally the toughest set of the three to win.

“I was expecting it to be tough and hung in well.”

After Janowicz beat his countryman, both men hugged each other and exchanged shirts as soccer players do.

“Right now I’m the most happy person in the world,” Janowicz said of making his first major semifinal.  “I made semifinal of Grand Slam, my best result ever.  Also I have in my mind last year Paris Bercy.  I was there in the final.”

Janowicz said of playing Andy Murray “I hope Andy will feel some kind of pressure. I’m sure he’ll feel some kind of pressure because Great Britain is waiting for the English champion in Wimbledon.”

“It will be a very tough match,” Murray said about his opponent his semifinal.  “He has a big serve.  He’s a big guy with a lot of power.  He also has pretty good touch.  He likes to hit dropshots.  He doesn’t just whack every single shot as hard as he can.

“It will be a very tough match.  He’s played extremely well here, I think.  He had a tough match in the last round against Melzer, but apart from that he’s been pretty convincing.  He’s a tough player.”

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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. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the 2013 BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

"Austin Powers" and Caroline Wozniacki

“Austin Powers” and Caroline Wozniacki

(March 7, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – The BNP Paribas Open held their players’ party at the IW club on Thursday night. The tennis players drove up to the “Green Carpet” in classic cars included  Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Redfoo, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sam Stosur, James Blake, David Ferrer,  and a host of others including Austin Powers.

Photos by Curt Janka and Maria Noble. Follow Tennis Panorama News’ BNP Paribas Open coverage here and on our twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

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Notes from the Front – SAP Open Day Two

 

Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison

By Kevin Ware

(February 12, 2013) SAN JOSE, California – One of the great things about watching live tennis in a tournament setting is that you get a better feel for the character of the match and the players.  Here are some courtside impressions from Day Two action at the SAP Open.

  • I arrived at just after Lleyton Hewitt’s dramatic 3-set victory over Blaz Kavcic to find that no one was surprised to see this match go the distance.  Even though he’s one of the older guys on tour, long grinding matches still seem to be Hewitt’s preferred method of advancing through the draw.  His next opponent is Sam Querrey, making his tournament debut after receiving a first-round bye. It will be interesting to see if Sam’s late tournament start against a cagey veteran who’s “into” the tournament has a factor on the match outcome.
  • Though he was suffering from low energy due to illness, Ryan Harrison lost a winnable 3-set match against German veteran, Benjamin Becker.  It wouldn’t have been a particularly spectacular win under the circumstances, but it was doable.  Unfortunately, Ryan couldn’t keep his focus on the important points in the second and third sets the way he had in the first set tiebreak. This was especially true when he got broken at the end of the second set.Illness aside, Ryan is a talented and thoughtful player who can sometimes makes things complicated for himself in his matches. He’s struggled in 2013, and his ranking has dropped from last year’s high of 43.  Because he’s defending a semifinal appearance in last year’s tournament, his ranking is going to take a pretty big hit. Hopefully he can turn things around in Memphis.
    (NOTE:  He’ll be playing doubles with his brother Christian)
  • As I was watching Jack Sock in his match against Marinko Matosevic, I tweeted, “While Ryan Harrison sometimes thinks too much on court, Jack Sock maybe needs to think a bit more…” That about sums up Sock’s match strategy, or lack thereof.  Sock is a big strong guy who hits a heavy ball, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Even when Sock broke Matosevic to serve for the first set, I had the feeling that the veteran Matosevic would find a way to out-think his younger opponent, and capitalize on the nerves of the moment.  That’s exactly how it played out, with Matosevic going on to take the first set tiebreaker before sweeping the second set 6-1.I don’t begrudge the big hitting, because the younger guys on tour definitely need big games in order to be competitive. But they also need to think clearly and give themselves options.  Sock’s not there yet, and I’m not sure that he sees the need for options and nuance.  I also look at Sock’s football player-like build and can’t help but think that maybe if his fitness were improved, it could pay dividends in the development of his game.  He’s young though, so he’s got time to pull those pieces together.  At least, I hope he does.
  • It was a rough day for young Americans, and Ryan Sweeting’s straight-sets loss against last year’s finalist, Denis Istomin, did little to stop the bleeding.  But then again, Sweeting was always going to have a tough time of it since he doesn’t have the weapons needed to trouble Istomin.
  • The world No. 1 Bryan brothers weren’t as dominant over their younger American opponents as one would expect. Jack Sock and Steve Johnson played well with no signs of intimidation at the Bryans credentials as one of the greatest doubles teams ever. But once again, experience and mental toughness won out over big hitting as the Bryans took the match in two tiebreak sets. I hope the young guys are paying attention to these lessons of strategy/mental fortitude!
  • Fernando Verdasco, with coach/dad by his side, seemed to have a decent on-court warm-up prior to the start of the doubles match.  But something must have happened to him between the warm-up and his match.  That would be the only explanation for his flat performance against an inspired Tim Smyczek.  Fernando played without purpose.  Smyczek, on the other hand, played as though his life depended on the win; and it showed.  The difference between the two couldn’t have been starker, with Smyczek looking much more like a higher-ranked player than Verdasco.There might have been an injury with Verdasco, who seemed to pull up on shots as the match progressed.  But it was still a disappointing match for a former Top 10 player who at one time, challenged for Slam titles against the top guys. Disappointing, that is, except for Smyczek.  At least one American young gun made it through!

That’s all for now.
More after Day Three action with Donald Young, John Isner, and Tommy Haas.

Kevin Ware is in San Jose covering the SAP Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Federer Rolls Past Verdasco at US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 1 Roger Federer continued his perfect record against  25th seed Fernando Verdasco on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win at the US Open.

Federer is vying to win his sixth US Open title which would be an Open Era record.

The Swiss moved into net frequently winning 26 of 27 points while earning 36 points from the baseline.

“I had no clue my stats were that good coming in, said Federer.

Fernando did have some good chances for good passing shots. Looking bacl, I don’t remember missing too many volleys and overheads, all that stuff. Probably half of the time I didn’t have to volley because it was hard to hit a good pass. It was windy. Usually when I do come in, it’s probably on one I can be offensive on.”

Federer was not really challenged on his serve, only having to save one break point.

Playing under the heat and humidity of New York City, does not bother Federer. “Wasn’t hot at all for me. Bit of a breeze,” Federer said.

“Had a great time out there. I was happy with my performance today.”

Federer will meet the winner of Mardy Fish- Gilles Simon match in the fourth round.

 

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Notes and Quotes from Day 1 of the 2012 French Open

 

Nicolas Mahut on his victory over Andy Roddick:

Yes, it was my 10th draw here, final draw here.  We all hope to play such a match on such a court here with the French.  And the French audience are waiting for this.  They want to support the French players.  They want us to beat seeded players.

This was the time for me.  I wanted to make the most of it.  I wanted to stay on the court.  And at the age of 30, there we are.  It happened.

So I played my match.  I was really with the match.  I had my focus.  When there was the Ola, I was there when the crowd was with me, supporting me.  I said, let’s seize this opportunity.

And, by the way, I’d like to thank Guy and those who organized everything.  I was on Suzanne Lenglen, the last match.  It was a gift given to me, and I seized this opportunity.  I’m really happy.

Well, you know, it’s Roland Garros, so on the Suzanne Lenglen Court, in addition to the rest, so it’s almost one of my best matches.

When I saw Roddick, I thought before he would always kill me.  You know, six or seven or eight times I played against him.  At the Queen’s final with the match point, you know what happened.  When I see him in the locker rooms, I’ll feel better.  I won’t feel like the image is a pigeon, that he was shooting at me like a pigeon.

Venus Williams on the challenge of having to learn how to deal with Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Biggest challenge?  I just learned how to live with this.  It’s different.  I have a lot to learn still.  I learned how to just ‑‑ just learning.  So I think that’s my biggest challenge.  I learn a lot every week, especially having to play a professional sport.  So that’s a challenge, just learning to live.

Yeah, a lot of it I have to figure it out.  It’s physical and emotional and all kinds of different things, mental.  So it’s just something that you can only get if you live it.  So I get it.  So I have to learn to laugh sometimes.  Yeah.

Yes, it’s a huge accomplishment.  I tell myself just to try to have fun.

Yeah, so it is.  It’s a big accomplishment for me to be here right now.

I just want to do my best and not be overwhelmed.  Yeah.  So I just ‑‑ I just try my best out there and see what happens.  I do try my best to be ready, and I just ‑‑ I guess the key word is just “try” my best.

When I retire, you’ll know after the last match.  I don’t believe in this stuff of, oh, I’m done, you know.  I’ll just hang it up.  That will be that.  I don’t see myself there for me.  I have this challenge ahead of me to see how far I can get, and see, you know, how much back, you know, I can get.

So that challenge is important for me to face and to have the courage to face it.  So that’s important for me.

I know I can play tennis, so I just need the opportunity.

 

Mathilde Johansson’s outfit on court was purchased in a store and she was questioned by media about it.

Well, ______ I don’t want any longer.  We couldn’t find ‑‑ well, you know, we couldn’t find an agreement which would be ‑‑ how can I say?  Which would be satisfactory for both parties.  So I thought, I’m going to play with no logo than what they had for me.

I thought, If I go through the first round in the Grand Slam I’m going to have them.  So I thought, No, okay, nothing at all.  I can wear what I want.  It’s a good thing.

It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to wear their clothes.  Of course, what I wear is not really a tennis outfit, but at least people see I’m not playing with old outfits.

I’m going to going to advertise this brand otherwise it’s like I’ve been playing for a brand.  Yes, I bought it in a shop.  That’s all.  I wanted this to be a bit shorter.  It was too long for tennis, and that’s all.

At least I can choose my colors.  I’m really okay with this.

 

Samantha Stosur on being back on red clay:

Yeah, it’s nice to be on a real clay court again and actually feel like you can play more clay court tennis.  I think that’s one of the things that’s probably annoyed a lot of people is that you’re on a clay court but you can’t play real clay court tennis.

Yeah, it’s good to be on these courts again.  I think it is obviously a beautiful court to play on.  The ball definitely gets up high.  You can use your kick serve and topspin groundstrokes.

Yeah, it’s always nice to play on these courts.

 

Fernando Verdasco on possibly playing Novak Djokovic in the fourth round:

Well, you’ve asked so many questions.  Well, you know, there are still two matches to play, very tough matches to play before I meet Djokovic.  I don’t know who the opponents will be.  They’re still playing.  One’s been qualified.  The other one I don’t know.

So we have to wait a little.  So I don’t know who I’m going to play against next time I play.

Then there’s the third round.  Whoever the opponent is, it’s going to be very difficult this third round.

If I play against Djokovic, he’s No. 1, world No. 1, and I’ll say I have nothing to lose in such a match.  I’ll have to enjoy these extraordinary moments.  I think that Rafa this year has more confidence than ever on clay, more than Djokovic.

If I were to bet on this, I think I’d bet on Rafa, not Djokovic.  But they’re the two best world players, so who knows?  Djokovic already defeated Rafa on clay, and in Rome, for instance, and I think it’s very much open.

 

 

Andy Roddick Photo by Beth Wilson for Tennis Panorama News

Andy Roddick on the talk about playing mixed doubles at the Olympics with Serena Williams:

Ask her.  I can’t get ahold of her.  If you see her, ask her for me.

Roddick questioned  again on his movement on court:

Yeah, it sucks just as much as it did three minutes ago, you know, when I said I wasn’t happy with it.  I think that’s a huge, huge part of it.  Just from the first ball to get set I just feel like I get exposed too easily out here.  I feel like I’m not set on most shots.

If you’re not set, it’s tough to get match of a flow going.  When you don’t have much of a flow going, it lends itself to sporadic play.  It all adds up.

You can’t fake it out here.  These are the best tournaments in the world.  It’s tough to lie out here.  My footwork on this stuff is really, really bad.

Jo- Wilfried Tsonga answering questions on his statement that he has nothing to lose at his home Grand Slam.

No, I have nothing to lose.  I have no points to lose.  Last time I lost in the third round.  If I was to lose in the first round, I would lose 90 points, so that’s peanuts.

And, for me, going further in this tournament, it’s wonderful because it’s at home.

But I have nothing to lose.  It’s not my favorite surface at the moment.  So far I haven’t scored many points here.  Trust me, I’ll have more pressure in Wimbledon than here.

 

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Top Seeds Advance, Roddick Falls, Venus Williams Rallies on Day One of French Open

 

Day one of the French Open saw most of the seeds advance in Pairs on Sunday including (6) Samantha Stosur, (5) Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, (9) Juan Martin Del Potro, (10) Angelique Kerber, (13) Ana Ivanovic, (18) Stanislas Wawrinka, (14) Fernando Verdasco, (20) Lucie Safarova, (21) Marin Cilic and (21) Sara Errani.

Sunday did have a few surprises. Twenty-sixth seed Andy Roddick fell in the first round of the French Open for the fifth time in his career losing to 88th-ranked Nicolas Mahut of France. Mahut, who is best known for being the loser in the longest match in tennis history back at Wimbledon 2010, out aced Roddick 13-8 and broke the American seven times.

“I moved just horrendously out here,” said Roddick. “My first step is just so bad on this stuff. I feel like I’m always shuffling or hopping or not stopping. Just from the first ball to get set, I feel like I’m really exposed too easily out there.

“When you don’t have much of a flow going, it lends itself to sporadic play. It all adds up. You can’t fake it out here. These are the best tournaments in the world. It’s tough to lie out here.”

Roddick’s overall record at Roland Garros now falls to 9-10.

“When I saw Roddick (in the past), I thought he would always kill me,” Mahut told media.

“You know, six or seven or eight times I played against him… at the Queen’s (Club tournament) final with the match point, you know what happened.

“When I see him in the locker rooms (from now on), I’ll feel better. I won’t feel like … he was shooting at me like a pigeon.”

Austria’s Jurgen Melzer blew a two sets to love lead, only to be ousted by Germany’s Michael Berrer 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur led off the day on Philippe Chatrier Court taking down Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha 6-4, 6-0.

Stosur spoke about leading off the day’s play on Court Philipe Chatrier. “Well, funnily enough I think I had first match on Sunday last year too here, so it wasn’t anything I guess foreign in that sense,” Stosur said.
“Yeah, obviously first match, it’s a bit of an early start, but always nice to get through it now.  You have the whole day and whatever else to recover and, yeah, enjoy.”

Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga came back from a poor start to knock out Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

No. 9 seed Juan Martin Del Potro had a hiccup in the second set and some problems with his left knee but moved past Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1.

“It’s a problem when you can’t find your balance like you’re used to, but I’ll use these few days of rest to get better,” Del Potro said. “If I go on the court, it’s because I feel good. I want to continue playing.”

Former Roland Garros finalist Venus Williams coming back from battling an autoimmune disease, had to rally past Argentine Paula Ormaechea 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to gain the second round.  Williams returned to the tennis in March after taking time off to deal with her Sjogren’s Syndrome.

“My main goal right now is to get to the Olympics,” Williams said,  “so it was, you know, put all my energy towards the singles.”

In a bit of a comeback story, American Melanie Oudin who reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 US Open at 17, won her first match at Roland Garros and tour level main draw match of the year by defeating Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-3. Oudin currently ranked 269th in the world who saw her ranking plummet into the 300’s, gained a spot in the draw due to winning a wildcard from the US Tennis Association due to her results in second tier events.

“I was putting so much pressure on myself,” noted Oudin. “Now I feel like I am the underdog.”

“I was a little bit nervous. I could tell. I mean, my feet weren’t really moving in the beginning. I definitely needed to just loosen up a little bit,” Oudin said of her match.

Oudin’s win also marks the end of her five-match losing streak at the majors which dates back to the 2009 US Open quarterfinal.

Seeds Advancing
Women
(6) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d Elena Baltacha (GBR) 64 60
(10) Angelique Kerber (GER) d (Q) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 63 64
(13) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d (Q) Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) 61 61
(20) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) 62 60
(21) Sara Errani (ITA) d Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 46 62 62
(26) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 61 63

Men
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) d A Kuznetsov (RUS) 16 63 62 64
[9] J del Potro (ARG) d A Montanes (ESP) 62 67(5) 62 61
[14] F Verdasco (ESP) d S Darcis (BEL) 63 62 76(4)
[18] S Wawrinka (SUI) d F Cipolla (ITA) 63 63 46 63 62
[21] M Cilic (CRO) d D Munoz-De La Nava (ESP) 64 64 75

Seeds Upset
N Mahut (FRA) d [26] A Roddick (USA) 63 63 46 62
M Berrer (GER) d [30] J Melzer (AUT) 67(5) 46 62 62 63

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