2014/12/20

Maria Sharapova Reaches Third Straight French Open Final

Sharapova fh

(June 5, 2014) Maria Sharapova is into her third straight French Open final, defeating young Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday in Paris.

Sharapova, the seventh seed dropped the first set in her third straight match in Paris now owns a 8-4 record in majors when she loses the first set. The Russian is on a 19-match win streak in three set matches.

Sharapova won the French Open in 2012 and lost in last year’s final to Serena Williams.

The 18th seed Bouchard who will move to No. 12 when the new rankings come out next week. Bouchard is the only player this year to reach the semifinals of both the Australian and French Opens..

“I think it was a tough battle, which is what I expected, Bouchard said in press.  I mean, I felt the whole match I didn’t play as well as I have played earlier in the tournament.

“You know, it’s always disappointing to be a little bit off.  I felt like I was trying to do what I wanted to do, which was be aggressive, go for my shots.  But often I constructed the point well and then didn’t finish it as well as I could.”

“It’s not how you finish a first set, it’s how you finish the last set,” Sharapova said.

“I didn’t feel that I was playing my best,” Sharapova said. “I fought, I scrambled, and I found a way to win.”

Sharapova will play fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania who defeated 28th-seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-2, 7-5(5).

“I played really well here, a few good matches,” Halep said. “But next round will be very tough. I know Maria. She’s a great champion.”

Sharapova has never lost to Halep, she’s 3-0.

By reaching the final, Sharapova will be ranked No. 6 next week and Halep will move up to No. 3.

 

Share

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray Beat the Darkness to Move into Roland Garros Semifinal

Rafael Nadal

(June 4, 2014) Rafael Nadal  and Andy Murray booked their spots in the French Open semifinals on Wednesday.

Nadal rebounded from a first set loss to dismantle fellow Spaniard Davis Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1, wining 13 out of the last 14 games for the win.

No. 7 Andy Murray beat not only 23rd seed Gael Monfils of France and the French crowd, but the sunset in a topsy-turvy match 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 in three hours and 15 minutes, which ended in almost complete darkness.

For Murray this will be his second time in the final four of the French Open when He plays Nadal on Friday. Murray lost to Nadal in the semis in 2011.

Murray dominated the first two sets and then the tide turned on in this cast the wind blew.

“I could see that the wind was not blowing as hard as it used to in the two first sets,” Monfils said of his comeback. “In the second set I was thinking, ‘Well, I hope the wind is gonna calm down.’ This is what happened.”

Monfils’ confidence grew as well as his crown support in the third and fourth sets. The 27-year-old Scot Murray totally dominated the fifth set, keep his opponent to a mere 6 points won in the final set.

“I didn’t win the first game when I was in a position to win it, and then I rushed it,” admitted the Frenchman to media. “I tried my forehand and my shots were out, and then it went very fast.”

For Rafael Nadal, his road to the final 8 was an easy one, not facing one seeded player. Ferrer started out playing aggressively, but came up short on drive and shot execution.

After dropping the first set, the 8-time French Open winner’s game went into overdrive, winning 18 of the next 23 games on the second show court, Suzanne Lenglen before darkness could fall.

“I am rather happy to have been able to turn the situation around,” said Nadal in his post-match interview. “I managed to pull through. Even though it was complicated, I managed to find solutions during the second set.”

“Today I was not good enough for this match,” said Ferrer. “I lost my focus. I was too slow, and I think I didn’t play the game of a Top 10. This is why I’m sad. It’s my attitude, my behavior on the court.”

Nadal will play Andy Murray for a place in the final. Nadal holds a 14-5 head-to-head record against the Scot.

“He can play very well on all the surfaces,” said Nadal in press. “It’s nothing new that he plays very well on clay. It’s not the first time he’s in semi-finals of Roland Garros. He’s a candidate to win Roland Garros.”

 

Share

Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic Reach French Open Semis

 

 

 

(June 4, 2014) Andrea Petkovic and Simona Halep have both moved into their first-ever Grand Slam semifinal, both advancing with 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal victories at the French Open on Wednesday. The matches on the show courts had their starts delayed by rain.

The 28th seeded Petkovic from Germany defeated 10th seed Sara Errani, the losing finalist at the French Open in 2012. Halep, the fourth seed beat 2009 Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova the 27th seed.

“I have to say, today I was in a real zone. I didn’t think at all,” said an excited Petkovic. “I was just focused on what I had to do.”

“I had a very good game plan from my coach. It didn’t work in the beginning, so I was getting a little, not panicked, but when you have a certain game plan and you lose the first two games and it’s not working, so I was kind of getting a little worried,” Petkovic said. “I was lucky that I started playing better and that I was putting more balls into play.”

At one point last year when Petkovic lost in the French Open qualification tournament, she considered quitting tennis, now she’s in her first major semifinal.

The highest seed remaining in the women’s draw, No. 4 seed Halep held back Kuznetsova who had an injured left thigh and had to take a medical time out after the first set.

 

“I felt very good on court. It was a perfect day for me. I played really well and stuck to my gameplan,” Halep said to press. “I was very aggressive. I played very fast.
“So it was a good match, and I’m really happy that now I can play in the semifinals in Paris.”

Petkovic and Halep will face off for a spot in the French Open final, the winner playing the winner of the Maria Sharapova versus Eugenie Bouchard.

Share

Novak Djokovic to Play Ernests Gulbis in the Semis of Paris

 

Djokovic on court 321-001

(June 3, 2014) Novak Djokovic will play Ernests Gulbis for a place in the French Open. Both men had straight set wins on Tuesday to advance to the semis.

No. 2 Djokovic stopped No. 8 Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4. Djokovic stands two winning matches away from claiming his first French Open title completing a career grand slam and returning to the No. 1 spot.

Ernests Gulbis broke the “curse” with his win over Tomas Berdych – the last eight players to beat Roger Federer at a major tournament lost the very next match. The 25-year-old Latvian reaches his first major semifinal and extends his current winning streak to 13.

“It’s very special,” Gulbis said in an on-court after the match. “Today was the best match of the tournament. I did everything well.”

 

Share

Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard to Meet in French Open Semifinals

Maria-Sharapova-with-Media-Rogers-Cup-Montreal-20122-600x400

(June 3, 2014) No. 7 Maria Sharapova and 18th seeded Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the semifinals of the French Open on Tuesday. Sharapova beat the woman who knocked Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. Bouchard defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6, 2-6, 7-5

 

For Sharapova it’s her fourth straight French Open semi and for Bouchard it’s her second straight grand slam semi.

Sharapova has won 25 of last 26 clay-court three-set matches, including 18 straight.

“It was so tough losing in the final last year, being the defending champion,” Sharapova said. “This year, to come back, I have the extra motivation to go further, and to be back on (this) stage is a really nice feeling.”

 

More to follow…

Share

Rafael Nadal Sails into Quarterfinals

 

(June 2, 2014) World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will face Spanish countryman David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Nadal had an easy 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 win over Dusan Lajovic. The last time Nadal and Ferrer played each other, Ferrer upset Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters.

“I think that I am playing a little bit better than when I was playing against him in Monte-Carlo, but I think he’s playing great, too,” said Nadal to press. “He played three weeks in a row at a very high level. In Madrid he played great, in Rome he played great, and he’s playing great here.

“He’s coming to the match with confidence and with confidence that he beat me the last time. It will be a tough one.  I know how to play against him and to have chances to win I need to play very well. That’s what I’m going to try. If not, it will be impossible.”

Ferrer said, “Rafael (Nadal) is always the favorite.”

“Tactically, I will have to be perfect,” Ferrer said to have a chance. “I hope that I will instill some doubts in Rafa’s mind, but if we play at our best level, both of us, he will be a better player.”

Nadal’s win on Monday gave him his 696th victory of his career and it also gave Nadal his 32nd straight match at Roland Garros, breaking his own record.
The other quarterfinals will feature No. 7 Andy Murray against Gael Monfils. Ernests Gulbis versus Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic faces Milos Raonic.

Share

French Open Women’s Quarterfinals Set

(June 2, 2014) The quarterfinals of the French Open were set on Monday, with Simona Halep, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic completing the final 8.

The highest seed left in the tournament, No.4 Simona Halep outclassed No. 15 Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 6-3. Halep will play No.27 seed and 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat No.23 seed Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-4.

2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani defeated Jelena Jankovic7-6(5), 6-2.

Errani will meet No. 28 Andrea Petkovic in the final 8. Petkovic beat Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Share

Maria Sharapova Rallies Past Sam Stosur at French Open

 

(June 1, 2014) Maria Sharapova rebounded from losing the first set to move into the French Open quarterfinals on Saturday 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 over Sam Stosur. Sharpaova won the last nine games to close out the match.

After losing the first set, Sharapova who trailed 4-3 in the second won 22 of 25 points to take command of the match over the 19th seed.

“It was so difficult in the beginning, Samantha was playing so well, but I got energy from the crowd,” Sharapova said about her comeback.

“I’m so happy to be back in the quarter-finals, it’s such a special tournament for me. “It’s a big step but when you get there it will get more difficult. Hopefully I will raise my level.”

No. 7 Sharapova is looking for her second Roland Garro title. She won back in 2012 and last year was a losing finalist to Serena Williams.

With Serena Williams ousted from the tournament in the second round, Sharapova will face the woman who beat her in the quarterfinals, Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Garbine Muguruza defeated French woman Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-2.

 

ROLAND GARROS

Women’s Results – Sunday, June 1, 2014
Singles – Fourth Round
(7) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (19) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 64 60
(18) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (8) Angelique Kerber (GER) 61 62
(14) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 63 63
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) d. (WC) Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 62

More to follow…

Share

Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic Reach Roland Garros Quarterfinals

88 Raonic

(June 1, 2014) For the first time in history, there will be two Canadians in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam after Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic had dominating fourth round wins on Sunday at Roland Garros.

Raonic became the first Canadian man in the Open Era to reach the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Spaniard Marcel Granollers. The 23-year-old Canadian broke serve on four occasions and saved both break points that he faced. He hit 54 winners compared to just 14 from his opponent. Raonic advances to his first major quarterfinal in his fourth attempt. He will face world No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Tuesday. Djokovic dominated Jor-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday.

“I think I played the important moments well,” said Raonic of his win on Saunday. “There were a few moments where I’d be up quite handily on my serve, and I’d sort of drift away for a little bit, but when it came down to the wire I was playing those moments well.”

“I’m very eager and I’m looking forward to that,” Raonic said of facing Djokovic. “Especially after two weeks ago, to be putting myself in that situation to get to play him again.”

 

Bouchard

Bouchard dominated Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes over world No. 9. It is her third Top 10 victory of the year and ninth win a row. She hit 30 winners with 11 unforced errors.

“I really believe in my skills. I believe I can play with the best girls out there,” Bouchard said in press. “I was really mentally prepared for anything, for a battle. I think that mindset kind of helped me.”

Bouchard will try to reach her second major semifinal when she plays No. 14, Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro. Suarez Navarro beat Bouchard in the third round of Wimbledon last summer. Bouchard is the first Canadian since Helen Kelesi in 1989 to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Share

Novak Djokovic Dominates Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Paris

 

 

(June 1, 2014) No. 2 Novak Djokovic thoroughly dominated 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in only 90 minutes on Sunday at the French Open to reach the quarterfinals for his 20th straight major tournament in a row.

Djokovic broke Tsonga seven times as Tsonga hit 38 unforced errors.

“I didn’t go through happy moments today,” Tsonga told press. “It was not fun for me. It was tough. I didn’t have time to go for my shots. I didn’t get off to a good start. Then against this type of player, things started to deteriorate. He played better and better.”

Djokovic raised his record over Tsonga to 12-5 overall, winning the last 10 encounters.

The Serb will face No. 8 Milos Raonic of Canada in the quarterfinals. The Canadian beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Share