2014/04/17

Rafael Nadal Fights Off Grigor Dimitrov to move into Melbourne Semis

Nadal waves and smiles

By Alana Mitchelson

(January 22, 2014) MELBOURNE – The world No. 1 Rafael Nadal rose to a 10-match winning streak after dismantling Grigor Dimitrov in a gritty four setter on Wednesday, 3-6, 7-6(7-3), 7-6(9-7), 6-2, however not without being somewhat shaken by the unrelenting 22-year-old Bulgarian in the first set.

 

In his quarterfinal debut, Dimitrov rose to the occasion and leapt to an early 3-0 lead. Shockingly, Nadal found it increasingly difficult to gain a good swing on Dimitrov’s 200 plus kph (124 mph) (and at times, 210 plus (130 mph)) serves rocketing down from the other side of the net and he tried to compensate for the speed by returning serve from a fair distance back from the baseline.

 

Dimitrov had no trouble holding service throughout the opening set and served it out 6-3, going for big winners and not so much as hesitating to attempt the odd ace during his second serves.

 

It was not really until a fair way into the second set when Nadal began to gain his usual momentum.

 

While Dimitrov produced 54 winners throughout the match, his ‘no fear’ game mentality did not always work in his favor as his first serves suffered significantly, his unforced error count skyrocketing to a costly 61 errors for the match on the whole.

 

The men dueled through tough, exciting rally sequences whereby the men kept the ball in play and showcased some fantastic lobs and drop shot volleys, making for truly entertaining quality tennis.

 

Dimitrov’s new racquet at 4-4 in the second did not seem to offer much to his game as he found himself in tricky situations where he opened up the court for Nadal to work much spin and depth onto his groundstrokes. He also had difficulty recovering after a couple of disheartening set point opportunities lost in the third set, which will surely improve in time with more experience on the big stage.

 

The Bulgarian commendably saved three match points in the last set, but on the fourth opportunity the world No. 1 finally prevailed to clinch the match.

 

Nadal had, all the while, been battling with some serious blisters on his left, dominant hand.

 

“With the forehand it’s not a big issue but with the serve, a little bit,” Nadal admitted.

 

“I feel that with the tape I can lose the racquet when I serving. That’s a terrible feeling for a serve because then when you have this feeling you are not able to accelerate at the right moment, you lose a little bit of coordination. That’s a big deal. I served slower.

 

“When you lose confidence with one shot, one important shot, then you are not able to play calm for the rest of the shots. So I’m going to try to improve on that for after tomorrow… if not, I’m not going to have the chance to be in the final.

 

“I was able to win a match against a very difficult opponent, so that has much more value than when everything is great. And because of these victories, sometimes it happens that the next day you are able to play much better and that these victories, at the end of the day, are more important than the days that you are playing great.”

Dimitrov grew quite emotional when reflecting upon his efforts during the match and how close he had come to a chance at dethroning the world No. 1.

 

​”There’s a lot of mixed feelings right now. I’m a bit shattered. It’s tough losing that match, my first quarterfinal. I came out expecting nothing less than to win,” Dimitrov said.

 

“All credit to Rafa. He’s been a tremendous competitor, a great guy off the court. We’ve had great battles over the past year, and now again, and hopefully more in the future.”

 

Nadal is bidding to win each of the four majors twice in his career by securing this year’s Australian Open title. He is now just two matches away from making that dream a reality.

 

Alana Mitchelson is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on Twitter @TennisNewsTPN and read her personal website.

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Dimitrov Recovers form to best Klahn at Australian Open

 

By Alana Mitchelson

 

dimitrov

(January 14, 2014) MELBOURNE, Australia – Grigor Dimitrov recovered after being dominated by a fiery unseeded Bradley Klahn in a huge first set tie-break to finally pull through in four sets, 6-7(7) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

 

In what was his debut appearance at the Australian Open, Klahn wore the colors of the American flag with pride. He was very focused on pumping himself up, feeding off the supportive American accented cheers audible at scattered points among the crowd. He was going to ensure he gave them a show.

 

And what an incredible first set it was. The lefty used his reliable two-handed backhand to pressure Dimitrov’s unusually slice-weakened backhand which forced the Bulgarian into panicked do or die moments early on in the match.

 

Dimitrov returned to court refocused and with heightened aggression after his disappointing first set, establishing an early break in the second. He continued this refreshed form (as refreshed as one could be in such heat), lifting his service game to new impressive heights as he delivered three consecutive aces in the fourth game.

 

Playing best when he did not hesitate to go for winners, the American often found his rhythm during points but mostly failed to lift his game when his efforts would have been reflected on the scoreboard. Nine double faults on the whole did not help his confidence.

 

Despite this apparent change of pace, Dimitrov was still inconsistent and, much to his frustration, he double faulted on his next serve.

 

Again, the world No. 22 made up for the momentary loss of focus by serving out a further 11 aces throughout the match, loading groundstrokes with top spin, making for more powerful hitting during rallies. He skidded along the baseline deflecting the sweeping drives posed by the left-handed ambitious American.

 

Dimitrov was relieved to have protected the match from progressing to five sets, taking an ice bath to recover from the devastating heat.

 

“Felt strong towards the end of the match but I still think I deserve this! Ice bath never felt better!” Dimitrov tweeted after the match.

 

The temperature reached its expected high of 42ºC (approx. 106ºF) on Tuesday, peaking late in the day at about 5.30pm.

 

Alana Mitchelson is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on Twitter @TennisNewsTPN and read her personal website.

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Third Time Not a Charm as Dimitrov Loses Again to Nadal

grigor-dimitrov-2

By Kevin Ware

(August 15, 2013) MASON, Ohio – Grigor Dimitrov lost a tightly-contested match to Rafael Nadal  6-2, 5-7, 6-2 Thursday night  at the Western and Southern Open. The loss was his third straight to Nadal after losses in Monte Carlo (’13) and Rotterdam (’09). It would be great if we could say that he’s getting closer to solving the Nadal puzzle, but there’s still a ways to go before that happens.

All three previous matches have gone the distance (three sets), and all have followed the same pattern of Dimitrov mounting a second set comeback only to lose in the third. This latest loss in Cincinnati even included two breaks of serve in each of the sets he lost; this on a night when he was serving at a respectable 73% overall on the night.

What will it take for Dimitrov to overcome the man of steel from Mallorca?

I had a chance to chat with Dimitrov  immediately following the match, and was able to ask him about his physical condition (after a couple of injury scares during the match), his strategy going into this match, and what he thinks is needed in order to turn this pattern of defeats into a first win.

How are you feeling physically? You were grabbing at your chest sometimes during the match.

I thought I pulled a muscle in the second set on one return. So I was just struggling a little bit. But I went through the pain and had a good second set which was actually pretty good. Yeah, physically I’m not too bad anymore and I’m happy for that. It’s a positive thing.

Is it hard on your body running from side to side, covering as much court as Nadal makes you defend?

You know where he’s going to play, but the ball comes really fast. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, you just gotta go to the ball and get it back in the court. I think he has one of the best forehands. I mean, obviously it was just an unbelievable first set from him. Not much I can say about that. Definitely congrats and well, life goes on. Work even harder, and look forward to playing him again.

It looked like your game plan was to slice to Nadal’s forehand to keep the ball low, and attack his backhand. Did you feel you were successful in doing so?

I tried I think a lot of things in the first set but obviously it didn’t really work. He was making absolutely every single shot. I was just trying to find/see where I could find the gap, and there you go. I found the gap in the second set and had this momentum that I grabbed it. And he came out of the block pretty good in the third set so I couldn’t really do much. And even if I was serving 74% it wasn’t enough. I definitely will sit down with my coach and discuss that.

Was the effort that it took out of you to take the second set the difference in the third set? Was it hard to maintain that same level?

He started putting even more balls into the court. He was waiting for me to attack him. And here and there, I missed a few shots and that was the breaks. Even though the score was 6-2 almost every game was 30-40 or deuce or something like that. So the margin was pretty small. And at that level it just takes one or two points.

Given the loss, were you happy with how you played?

I wouldn’t say happy. One thing I’m happy physically. I feel quite alright and I’m still feeling good which is very positive to me. Last time I played him for two hours I was cramping a little bit. So that’s a positive thing. But other than that, of course. Playing against a guy like him, a Top 10 player in general, is always a pleasure. I always enjoy the battles. But I’m looking forward to really starting to give them even a harder time.

What do you think is the difference, that small delta you need to take a match like this?

I’ve done it once, I just need to find the same formula in the same way I’ve been preparing for consistency on and off the court and throughout all the weeks. It’s never easy to travel and come to the week playing then next week playing again. So if you have that good level, and after you raise up your low level, then when matches like this come you will definitely be more ready.

Are you going to take a few days off?

I say maybe one day is gonna be enough, and then looking forward to getting to the (US) Open.

Kevin Ware is covering the Western & Southern Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Djokovic Gets Through Rain Delays to Demolish Pella

Novak Djokovi

(May 30, 2013) Through the rain delays, Novak Djokovic made quick work of Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 to move into the third round of the French Open on Thursday.

The win sets up a clash with rising star Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Djokovic lost to Dimitrov in the second round of the Madrid Open.

The 26th seed  Dimitrov defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to to get to No. 1 Djokovic.

“I think he’s got more confident as he’s getting big wins in the last few months, and so he’s a tough player now to beat,” Djokovic said. “Even though maybe his style of game could be better on the hard court or faster surfaces, he’s showing that he can play equally well on clay.

“It’s going to be a tough one for both of us, definitely.  I need to be on top of my game.

“But here it’s best of five.  It’s going to be very physical and all the hard work that I put into in preparations for this tournament hopefully will play into my advantage and will pay off on the court.”

“It’s like deja vu from two days ago, you know, coming in and out and warming up five times, but it is the way it is,” Djokovic said about the rain delays. “I’m just glad that I finished the match today.”

Only 18 of 32 scheduled singles matches were completed with 8 postponed entirely including seven-time champion Rafael Nadal who was scheduled to play Martin Klizan

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Madrid Open – Wednesday Results, Thursday Schedule

 

 

madrid logo

MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 4-12, 2013
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Women’s Singles – Third Round
(6) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 36 64 75
(16) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Laura Robson (GBR) 57 62 76(5)
(WC) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) w/o (right arm injury)

Women’s Singles – Second Round
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (3) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 16 62 63
(WC) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (8) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 26 62 63
(13) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 67(5) 61 64
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Julia Goerges (GER) w/o (GI illness)
Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 61

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
Kuznetsova/Pennetta (RUS/ITA) d. (1) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 62 64
Husarova/Lisicki (SVK/GER) d. (2) Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 75 57 106 (Match TB)
(3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. Chan/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) 63 63
Pavlyuchenkova/Safarova (RUS/CZE) d. (5) Mattek-Sands/Mirza (USA/IND) 75 61
(WC) Soler-Espinosa/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. Dekmeijere/Kalashnikova (LAT/GEO) 76(2) 64

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) d D Istomin (UZB) 75 62
[5] R Nadal (ESP) d B Paire (FRA) 63 64
[6] T Berdych (CZE) d J Janowicz (POL) 67(3) 63 62
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) d [Q] R Haase (NED) 76(5) 76(2)
M Youzhny (RUS) d [11] N Almagro (ESP) 76(4) 46 62
[13] T Haas (GER) d [WC] T Robredo (ESP) 63 75
[14] K Nishikori (JPN) d V Troicki (SRB) 75 62
[15] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] S Giraldo (COL) 63 63
K Anderson (RSA) d J Monaco (ARG) 76(5) 36 64

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
[3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) d M Cilic (CRO) / L Dlouhy (CZE) 76(3) 76(3)
J Chardy (FRA) / L Kubot (POL) d [4] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 62 76(4)
[5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d J Knowle (AUT) / F Polasek (SVK) 36 64 11-9

Men’s Doubles – First Round
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) d J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 62 64
T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE) d G Dimitrov (BUL) / M Raonic (CAN) 64 64
[Alt] J Monaco (ARG) / H Zeballos (ARG) d M Llodra (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 62 26 11-9
Order Of Play – Thursday, May 9, 2013

MANOLO SANTANA start 10:50 am
S Lisicki (GER) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [13] M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 3:15 PM
[5] R Nadal (ESP) vs M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
[14] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
Not Before 8:00 PM
V Lepchenko (USA) vs [7] S Errani (ITA) – WTA
Not Before 9:30 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [16] G Simon (FRA) – ATP

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 2:00 pm
K Anderson (RSA) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
F Verdasco (ESP) vs [7] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
[13] T Haas (GER) vs [4] D Ferrer (ESP) – ATP
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [15] S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

STADIUM 3 start 12:00 noon
Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [WC] A Medina Garrigues (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) vs [WC] P Andujar (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
[WC] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs K Kanepi (EST) – WTA
E Makarova (RUS) vs [14] M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) vs [3] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA – TBA After Rest

PISTA 4 start 12:00 noon
[4] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs [WC] S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / C Suarez Navarro (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
S Kuznetsova (RUS) / F Pennetta (ITA) vs C Black (ZIM) / M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) vs J Husarova (SVK) / S Lisicki (GER) – WTA – After Suitable Rest
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP- After Suitable Rest
T Haas (GER) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs [8] J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) – ATP – After Suitable Rest

PISTA 5 start 12:00 noon
[7] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) – ATP
[Alt] J Monaco (ARG) / H Zeballos (ARG) vs [6] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) – ATP

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Djokovic Falls to Dimitrov in Second Round of Madrid

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov

By Tumaini Carayol

(May 7, 2013) MADRID – Under the burning lights and brash crowd of the Manolo Santana court, Grigor Dimitrov finally justified his “showtime” moniker, stealing the show by capturing the greatest victory of his career in a mammoth 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-3 victory over the world No. 1, Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open on Tuesday evening.

From the beginning, the Bulgarian made his presence known as he complemented strong, assured serving with a steady flow of typically silky forehand winners. The first set would showcase a struggle for the upper-hand as the contest remained on serve though the underdog held the upper hand.

A set point presented itself for Djokovic at 4-5, but the opportunity quickly escaped. Once again, Djokovic found himself up 6-4 in the tiebreak, before some majestic play flipped the script and left the world No. 1 reeling as a young pretender stole the set.

The second act was defined by two incidents. At 7-6, *4-2, 30-40, Djokovic slipped and hurt his injured right ankle.  A medical timeout followed as the crowd booed mercilessly. As he returned and ran freely, the boos and whistles rose as the crowd began to chant Dimitrov’s name.

The second incident occurred at 5-5 deuce Dimitrov predictably began to cramp. The Bulgarian hobbled into the tiebreak, and as his mobility returned, he pressed furiously for a straight sets victory, but failed.

In stark contrast to the prior two sets, the third set fell flat as Dimitrov broke in the opening game before marching on to victory.

Though undeniably angry, Djokovic was quick to praise his opponent afterwards.

“Well, he was the better player. The better player won the match, no question about it. You know, I could have played better. You know, I had my chances. I was fighting until the end, so that’s a positive thing. I always try to give my best in these moments, and he was the better player. I congratulate him. He played great tennis and he deserved to win.

The world No. 1 was, however, quick to mention the ankle injury he sustained during Davis Cup and left him without proper preparation.

“Well, for 12 days after Monte‑Carlo I haven’t touched the racquet. I didn’t know up to Saturday if I’m going to come here or not because of the ankle.

“But in the end, you know, I made the decision to come because I like to play in this tournament. You know, maybe could have been different; maybe not. Now it’s too late to think about what I decided.

Meanwhile, Dimitrov was ecstatic in victory.

“Of course it’s always great to win a match like that. Of course he’s the No. 1. Of course it’s a great feeling.”

“But it’s just the beginning of the tournament. It was just second round if you think about it, so just got to get ready for the next matches and make sure that you can do that again.”

Tumaini Carayol is in Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his tournament updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @TumCarayol.

 

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Djokovic Win Streak up to 20: Faces Last Man to Beat Him – Querrey Next

Novak Djokovic at BNP Paribas Open players' party

 

(March 12, 2013) Novak Djokovic‘s win streak has hit 20 dating back to October 2012 with his 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday in Indian Wells, California.

The World No. 1 was forced to come back from a 2-5 deficit in the first set when Dimitrov’s serve began to fail. The Bulgarian hit 6 double faults including 4 in one game.

Djokovic moves on to play Sam Querrey, the last man to beat him back on October 31. Querrey beat Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 7-5.

“It’s been a long time, Djokovic said. “It’s been a few months and I played a few tournaments since then.  So, you know, I don’t think it’s going to affect me negatively in a psychological way.

“I won four, five times against him.  Yes, he has won the last encounter indoors.  Different circumstances and conditions.  So we’ll see, you know.

“I mean, we’ll play in front of his crowd and he has a big serve and big game and he can come up with the goods when needed.  He loves to play also on a big stage.  We’ll see, you know.

“I don’t know if we’re going to play day or night match, and that’s going to also make a little difference.

“During the night it’s a bit slower, so we’ll see how that goes.  I will need to definitely start better than I have done today, and try to step into the court a little bit more.”

Sam-Querrey-backhand2

“It was tough,” Querrey said of the match versus Matosevic.  “Last couple of weeks those are the matches that I lost.  It feels great to get through it.

“You know, there was four breaks to start the third set there, and, you know, I was glad I just battled through it.  I didn’t feel I played unbelievable, but I just stuck around, stuck around, got a break at 5‑All, and then closed it out with some good serves.

“So I was really happy, and I feel like I can only play better than that in my next round.”

Querrey spoke about playing Djokovic next; “I’m just going to hopefully play well, hopefully be aggressive, hopefully on those break points, deuce points, you know, have some balls go my way.

“I’m going to try and just enjoy it out there.”

“He does everything really well:  Unbelievable forehand; unbelievable backhand; moves around the court great; returns great.  It’s tough to pick on something.

“I might have to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit and do things I don’t like to do, and hopefully it will pay off for me.

With John Isner’s early loss, Querrey will become the top-ranked American man when the next rankings come out.

“It means a lot,” Querrey said.  It’s a great feeling.  I feel like I have worked hard to earn it.  Everyone seems like they’ve got their shot with Andy and Mardy and James and John, and so I feel like it’s my turn now.

“But, you know, those guys are right on my heels and we will keep pushing each other.  I know they want it, too.  Hopefully we will just keep pushing each other and we can all keep moving up the rankings.”

Djokovic has a 4-1 record against Querrey.

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Venus Williams, Sharapova, Tipsarevic and Others in Notes and Quotes From Down Under – Day One

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(January 14, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day one of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

 Maria Sharapova

Q.  You have now gotten a double bagel win at every slam.  It completes your double bagel slam or calendar slam.  Is that something you’re proud of? (Editor’s note – Sharapova needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete “the double bagel” slam.)

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don’t think that’s very relative to anything.  (Laughter.)

You know, when you’re out there and playing, you’re just focusing on every point and every game and trying to win as many as you can, and today was just a good scoreline.

 

Q. You aren’t aware that you may have to face [Venus Williams] in the third round?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have seen the draw, yes. Thank you.

 

It is speculated that Maria Sharapova is dating fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitova who lost on Monday. ESPN’s Chris Fowler told Sharapova during an interniew that Dimitrov lost. She laughed and said “Come on. I’m not saying anything.”

In his post-match news conference, Dimitrov was asked about the rumors to which he answered:

“I don’t think (the rumors) are a distraction. I just believe I go on the court and I’m not here to speak about my private life.

“Of course, people love gossip, who doesn’t? But I think it’s a private invasion and I don’t think that’s right, not because we’re different, but it’s not right towards the athletes in general. I think it needs to be even forbidden to be asked.”

 

Li Na

Q.  Do you feel more confident with him (new coach Carlos Rodriguez) this year?

LI NA:  I mean, I was working with him start of last August, so I was feeling pretty good.

I don’t know how is he feeling, but looks okay.

Yeah, he was, how you say, he’s not only teacher about tennis.  Not only about technique.  Also about like my mind more stronger on the court.

 

 

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur on her preparation for the Australian Open: “Well, I didn’t read any papers or watch any news.”

Q.  Do you feel like a fridge has been lifted off your shoulders?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, obviously I feel very happy, a little bit relieved, and, yeah, just nice to get through that first round finally.  You know, from here hopefully I can loosen up a little bit and keep playing better and better.

 

 

Venus Williams

Q.  Are you still trying to maintain that kind of vegan whatever diet?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Yeah I think it’s pretty well known I’m a cheagan.

 

Q.  What do you get to cheat with when you get to cheat?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  If it’s on your plate I might get to cheat.  If you’re sitting next to me, good luck.  You turn your head once and your food might be gone. (Laughing.)

I’m not perfect, but I try.

 

Q.  You have been coming down here for a long time.  How has this tournament changed in your eyes?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I feel like this tournament definitely has the best facilities out of any of the majors.  Constantly improving.  I think it’s unbelievable what they have done at the National Tennis Center over there in just improving the player facilities.

So that’s fantastic, you know, reinvesting back into the tournament.

 

 

Q.  A couple of Miami tournament questions.  They made a few improvements last year, temporary, but they have pretty much been okayed to revamp the site and everything.  You have been going there.  It’s your home tournament.  How important do you think it is for them to kind of upgrade that facility?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, obviously you have to update.  Don’t be late.  That’s one of my mottos.  You don’t want to keep wearing the mullet when it’s not the ’80s anymore.  (Laughter.)

You know, it’s maybe a strange comparison, but it’s important to update the facilities, because after a while they get old and undesirable.

I think it’s wonderful for the tournament they are updating.  I know they had to fight really hard for that, so I’m glad it’s happening.

 

Tomas Berdych

Q.  Do you ever sort of go into a Grand Slam thinking, Something really strange has to happen for me to have a chance to win, or is it just about how well you can play yourself?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, I wouldn’t say ‘strange,’ but if you look at the draw, if you want to win the slam, you have to beat at least three of them, then it’s really tough, so…  Maybe you were finding for this word ‘strange.’

That’s how it is.  Today’s tennis is really, really strong.  I think we were in the best era of our sport ever.  That’s how it is.

I mean, it’s the same for everybody.  I think we all try our best to, you know, break that huge barrier in front of us.  You know, let’s see.

I mean, if this happened once at least, then it would be I would say like at least 10 times better than it was before.  You know, let’s see.

 

 

Novak Djokovic

Q.  What did you write on the camera lens?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I tried to write, Aussie, Aussie.  The people either didn’t see it or understand my writing.  Maybe I misspelled it (laughter).

 

 Janko Tipsarevic

Q.  What is the meaning of the tattoo on your right arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What does it mean?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It means that beauty will save the world.

 

Q.  Chinese or Japanese?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It’s Japanese.

 

Q.  What time did you make it?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What time?  I don’t know the time of the day that I made it (smiling), but I believe I was 21 or 22.

 

Q.  How many tattoos on your arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Six.  Do you have any tattoos?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Good.  That’s good.  That’s great stuff.

 

Q.  Do you have any regret?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  So far no.  I am currently on an embargo from my wife not allowing me to do any more.

 

Jelena Jankovic

 

Asked if she’s thinking about a possible 3rd round match against Ana Ivanovic:

“No, to be honest I’m not thinking too far ahead. I just want to go one match at a time.

“We both have to go there, you know, to reach third round. So one match at a time and we see how it goes.

“I really don’t want to focus like who is in my third round or semifinal first. Let’s see how it goes.”

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Week in Review

 

(January 7, 2013) NEW YORK, NY –  Kourtin’ Karen’s brief review of the previous week in the world of tennis, on and off-court.

0-15

British Player Hutchins Has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

15-15
Murray Dedicates win to Hutchins

 

15- 30

Walking wounded?

Maria Sharapova withdrew from Brisbane nursing a right collarbone injury

John Isner withdrew from Hopman Cup with a knee injury.

Andrea Petkovic underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her right knee the result of an injury in her first Hopman Cup match.

 

30-30

Gangnam Style

40-30

Swear I don’t swear

Andy Murray commented that he did not promise not to swear:

 

“I was doing an interview over the phone. I got asked about swearing on the court. I said ‘obviously I don’t mean to do it. I don’t want to do it. Sometimes you get frustrated and you do and obviously I will try to stop.’

“I didn’t make any promises or guarantees that I was going to.

“Then it came out that I’ve said this year I will stop swearing. What I also said was that a lot of players swear on the court and a lot of people say a lot worse things than me – in other languages. It doesn’t get picked up the same.

“So where I would obviously love to stop doing it, I try not to. But I can’t guarantee it.”

40-40

I’m relly boring now

 

Advantage

iPhone

Serena and Venus Williams in an iPhone commercial
Ad -out

Beware of Pedicures

No.  1 Victoria Azarenka blamed “a bad pedicure experience” forced her to pull out before her semifinal match in Brisbane against Serena Williams. Thirty minutes before the match Azarenka said she had undergone a small procedure to correct an ingrown toenail of her right big toe.

 

Deuce

Walking with “Sunshine”

Caro-Rory-Tower8-640x426

Caroline Wozniacki and boyfriend golfer Rory McIlroy took to Sydney’s Skywalk

 

Advantage Time?

The ATP is cracking down on the time taken by players between points this year. Players including Andy Murray  say they agree with the concept but 25 seconds between points is not enough.

 

Deuce

On the market, back off the market?

Recently, ESPN’s Darren Rovell “confirmed” that 25 year-old Maria Sharapova is indeed dating 21-year-old Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov dubbed “Baby Fed” for his similar playing style to Roger Federer. At the end of last year tennis journalist Colette Lewis reported this on her twitter account. Sharapova had  split up with her fiancé to basketball player Sasha Vujacic back in the spring.

 

Advantage

Australain Open Wildcards

Men Women
Wu Di (CHN) Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off Yuxuan Zhang (CHN) Asia Pacific WildcardPlay-off
Benjamin Mitchell AO Play-off winner Bojana Bobusic AO Play-off winner
Rhyne Williams US Open Reciprocal Madison Keyes US Open Reciprocal
Josselin Ouanna French Open Reciprocal Caroline Garcia French Open Reciprocal
Luke Saville Discretionary Olivia Rogowska Discretionary

 

Deuce

Court Coverage

During a a match versus Dustin Brown in Doha, top seed David Ferrer made a hole in the court. Play had to be stopped to fix the court.

 

Advantage

Tennis Queen becomes bowling queen

Billie Jean King now the celebrity owner o of the New York City WTT KingPins, joining Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and former NFL stars Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens as celebrity owners in the Professional Bowlers Association’s inaugural PBA League.

 

Game, Set, Match and Champions

Serena Williams captures her 47th WTA title by defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 to win the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia.

Andy Murray defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(0), 6-4 to win the Brisbane International for his 25th ATP World Tour title.

Richard Gasquet rallied from a set and a break down to beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 to win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

Li Na beat Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 to win the inaugural Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open in Shenzhen, China.

Janko Tipsarevic over surprise finalist Roberto Bautista-Agut 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to win the Aircel Chennai Open in Chennai, India, his 4th career title.

Agnieszka Radwanska over Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-4 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand

Spain upsets Serbia 2-1 to win the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

 

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Murray Defends Brisbane Title

Andy Murray 12 26 Abu Dhabi

(January 6, 2013) Top seed and World No.3 Andy Murray began 2013 by defending the Brisbane International title with a 7-6(0), 6-4 victory over unseeded 48th ranked Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.

“I thought the standard of tennis was good today,” Murray said. “There were a lot of high quality rallies and I had to change a few things. He started the match off very well and was extremely aggressive. I managed to start dictating a lot of points and used my forehand well.”

For the Scot it’s his 25th career ATP World Tour title, but it wasn’t easy. Murray rallied from 1-4 in the first set, saved a set point and shut out Dimitov in the first set tiebreak.

“I was up a break and I was actually not playing bad tennis at all I thought,” Dimitrov said. “He’s one of the best returners in the game by far. He picked up couple of my serves on big points, so that gave him extra confidence. Then he stepped up with his serve.

Murray complimented his opponent’s performance: “I thought he has a lot of variety. He seems a bit stronger than when I [last] played him. He seemed to enjoy the occasion, which is also important. It’s his first final, and he came out and started the match extremely well, which is obviously a good sign. It will be interesting to see how the year goes for him.”

“I think it was a great final,“ Dimitrov said. “It was an amazing feeling to go out there today and be able to play tennis like that. I’m not a 100% satisfied, of course, but I have to say, ‘Well done to Andy’. He played some really, really good tennis when he had to. It was actually a lot of fun going out there today. I think we both did a great game.

“I didn’t feel nervous actually at all. I just felt actually quite good. I slept pretty good last night, so I was like, ‘Wow, you’re not that nervous before finals anymore’, even though it was my first at ATP[-level].”

Murray dedicated the victory to an unnamed absent friend. “He’s back home watching … you’re going to get through,” said Murray after the match.

“It’s been a good start to the year, obviously. I trained hard to get ready for this period of the year. I hope that the Australian Open goes a bit better for me than it did last year.”

RESULTS – SUNDAY, 6 JANUARY, 2013

Singles – Final
[1] A Murray (GBR) d G Dimitrov (BUL) 76(0) 64

Doubles – Final
M Melo (BRA) / T Robredo (ESP) d [1] E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) 46 61 10-5

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