November 30, 2015

Serena Williams Survives Heather Watson, Will Face Sister Venus in Wimbledon Fourth Round

(July 3, 2015) Serena Williams was just two points away from ending a bid for her fourth straight major title and the third leg of the Grand Slam. Britain’s No. 1 player and world No. 59, Heather Watson almost stood in the way of halting potential history on Friday at Wimbledon.

This was Williams’ 24th straight match-win at a major.

Williams recovered from two breaks down in the third set to stop Watson 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 to advance to the round of 16, where her sister Venus will be waiting.

The older Williams defeated Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 6-2. This will be the 26th time the sisters have played each other – Serena leads Venus 14-11. “We’ve been facing each other a long time,” Venus said.

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to win,” said the 20-time major champion. “How I pulled through, I really don’t know.”

“She just did everything so well. I wasn’t able to keep up. You know, sometimes you just don’t have your day,” Serena said about her opponent, who served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. “I thought maybe today just wasn’t my day.”

“I was two points away from winning that match, so I’m pretty disappointed,” Watson said to media. “But, I mean, the atmosphere on that court was amazing. I think it really helped me and pushed me. I just wish I could have closed it out at the end.

“I wouldn’t call losing the greatest day of my career. It’s very positive that I put myself in this position. I mean, I could have been out first round in this tournament.  I was match points down. I gave myself the opportunity to play against the best player in the world.

“I also gave myself the opportunity to beat her. I didn’t take it this time. But I’m really glad I was in that situation because I can learn from it and do better next time.”

Serena told the BBC: “I’ve had some tough losses here, but that was probably my toughest match here, playing Heather in front of her home crowd. She played unbelievable. I think she should have won the match at this point. She was up two breaks, she really gave it her all.”


Ladies’ Singles – Third Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 62 46 75
(4) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (29) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 64 63
(6) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 36 63 61
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. (14) Andrea Petkovic (GER) 75 64
(16) Venus Williams (USA) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)  63 62
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (22) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 60
(23) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
(30) Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 75 75


Gentlemen’s Singles – Third Round
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. [27] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 63 63 63
[4] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 64 63 64
[26] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. [7] Milos Raonic (CAN) 57 75 76(3) 63
[21] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. [11] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 63 64 64
[14] Kevin Anderson (RSA) d. [24] Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 64 76(6) 63
[16] David Goffin (BEL) d. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 63 64 62


Bouchard Retires from Eastbourne Match with Injury, Says will Play Wimbledon

Bouchard fh


By Ros Satar

(June 24, 2015) EASTBOURNE, England – Genie Bouchard’s trials and tribulations continued when she looked out of sorts at the hand of Swiss teen Belinda Bencic. The youngest player in the draw went toe-to-toe with Bouchard before getting a decisive break and comfortably consolidating it by serving out the set at 6-4.


That momentum stayed with her as she leapt out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set, before Bouchard called out the trainer and subsequently retired.


The Canadian explained: “During the first set, you know, I was serving at a much slower pace than even just yesterday, and I kept trying and trying. I mean, at the end it was hard for me to put a serve in just because I felt that pain a little bit. I thought it would be better to stop.


“I’m going to play [Wimbledon] no matter what, even if I’m on one leg (smiling). I will take a few days off from serving and give it a little break and see how it goes.”


There has, of course, been intense media scrutiny around Bouchard since her run to her maiden Grand Slam final, but by her own admission she has felt lost on court. Even despite bringing on a new coaching team (and allowing for the fact that results are not going to be immediate), it has been frustrating for the Canadian.


She said: “I think something I realised maybe around Paris was that I think I was just thinking too much on the court. Tennis, you have to react so quickly and you don’t have time to think.


“So for me, I was thinking about where I was going to hit, how I was going to hit. It just slowed me down so much, and I was hesitating. And my game is so instinctive and just naturally reacting without thinking and playing that that really kind of slowed me up a little bit. I feel like that was a part of it, where I’m now just trying to go out on the court and tell myself, Just don’t think.”


After a flat end to the first match, the crowd were ready for a show, and Johanna Konta proved to be the one to provide it, as she faced Garbine Muguruza in her continuing fine form at Eastbourne.


She started solidly against the Spaniard, and when the WTA Rising Star started to pick up the pace, Konta found the resolve to hang on, not to panic having been broken serving for the match, and closed out a great victory.


In press this week she has been measured, refusing to get caught up in the gathering sense of euphoria in the media centre, but for the first time, we saw Konta light up the press room with her smile as the emotion of another solid Top 100 win with her parents on hand to witness it settled in.


That being said, she was still pragmatic when it came to assessing that final set. Konta said: “To be honest, you know, she played a pretty tough last three games. It wasn’t easy for me to finish it. I felt that I handled each situation to the best of my ability, and I’m just happy that there was some reward to show for that.


“For me, it’s been a lot of work on being more relaxed and being more stress‑free, and obviously that has an effect on how my muscles react. I’m not as tense, and obviously the more fluid you are, the looser you are, the less likely you’re going to get injuries from stress‑related things.


“You know, I’m just really happy with the place I’m in and I’m just enjoying every situation, good or bad. Out there it wasn’t all roses. I mean, there was a lot of ups and downs. I feel that I’m doing a really good job with enjoying every situation I’m in.”


She earns a quarter-final match-up with Bencic, but sadly there was to be no double British triumph as Heather Watson bowed out to an in-form Sloane Stephens.


Watson said: “I wasn’t happy with my performance today. I just felt that I never got going at all. I felt quite slow to the ball and slow reacting and just slow with my mind.


“I still felt I had chances to get in the match. I had a lot of games, especially on my serve, where I was up and I had points to close the game and I just let it slip away. Sloane was very solid. She played great. She didn’t allow me to get back in, and I felt from the first ball she was pushing me on the back foot.”


The quarter-finals will start on Thursday at 11am BST.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


$ 731,000.00
21 – 27 JUNE 2015

RESULTS – JUNE 24, 2015
Singles – Third Round

[2] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 67(3) 63 61
B. Bencic (SUI) d [7] E. Bouchard (CAN) 64 30 Retired ( Abdominal Muscle Injury )
[9] A. Radwanska (POL) d [8] K. Pliskova (CZE) 62 61
[10] A. Petkovic (GER) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 63 64
[LL] D. Gavrilova (RUS) d [13] S. Errani (ITA) 61 57 62
[WC] J. Konta (GBR) d [14] G. Muguruza (ESP) 64 46 63
S. Stephens (USA) d H. Watson (GBR) 62 63
T. Pironkova (BUL) d D. Cibulkova (SVK) 67(4) 64 61

Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d H. Chan (TPE) / F. Pennetta (ITA) 46 63 10-6
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [WC] J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) 61 00 Retired ( J. Rae – Tonsillitis )
First Round
[2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d [Alt] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / I. Begu (ROU) 64 60
J. Goerges (GER) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(2) 61
C. Black (ZIM) / L. Raymond (USA) d [Alt] M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Rodionova (AUS) 36 63 10-8

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
T. Pironkova (BUL) vs [9] A. Radwanska (POL)
B. Bencic (SUI) vs [WC] J. Konta (GBR)
[LL] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs S. Stephens (USA)
[10] A. Petkovic (GER) vs [2] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
C. Black (ZIM) / L. Raymond (USA) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
J. Goerges (GER) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs Y. Chan (TPE) / J. Zheng (CHN)


Bouchard Gets First Win of Grass-Court Season at Eastbourne; Cibulkova Returns

By Ros Satar

(June 23, 2015) EASTBOURNE, England – Hot on the heels of Petra Kvitova’s withdrawal, Birmingham champion Angelique Kerber withdrew also citing a viral illness. There was a lot of this going about as Eastbourne’s defending champion had to withdraw from Birmingham with the flu, and as she bowed out in her opener to Belinda Bencic, she lamented the timing, especially with the inclusion of an extra grass court week.


She said: “I had the flu [for] almost a week. Yeah, it was lots of laying there thinking I was dying. Then eventually I started feeling a little bit better and was able to start practicing again. Luckily I didn’t actually die. You know, just trying to get back to 100% now.”


She continued: “It was kind of nice because it was a perfect schedule. You can get some practice, have two full weeks of grass before going into Wimbledon, and then getting sick and having to pull out of that one week and kind of having to try to jam everything into this week is not ideal, so fingers crossed it doesn’t happen again next year.”


There was better news though for Genie Bouchard who turned in her first win on grass this season, and her first win since Rome last month, a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over Alison Riske.


Bouchard said: “I felt good with my game today, happy with the way I fought. I just want to keep going, take another step tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, I just want to do the right thing tomorrow.”


Another good win was the returning Dominika Cibulkova, who has been off the tour since February, after requiring Achilles surgery. To consider her return on one of the toughest surfaces, but that was just how the dates fell, and her return has been great with a run to the third round already.


There was plenty to keep the Brits occupied on Tuesday, as Johanna Konta got another great win, this time over a Top 10 player, and her best win to date, although she still preferred to try and keep her feet on the ground.


She said: “I’m going to work on not adjusting my mindset, because the way I’m working and the thought process I’m going along with, that is what has given me my best opportunity to play well and that’s why I think I did well today.”


Heather Watson was once more the closing act on Centre Court, and she put on a show for the late-staying crowds. Trading breaks at the start of the match, Svitolina battled to convert on a fourth break point to take the advantage in the first, taking the first set.


With the second set starting in the same way, this time it was Watson who battled away to finally get a crucial break late in the second, to level things up. The momentum stayed with her at the start of the decider, much to the crowd’s enjoyment, as Watson built up a 4-2 lead. But the nerves hit as Svitolina crept back into the match, breaking straight back. Watson really had to hold her nerve breaking the Ukrainian to pick up her second Top 20 win of the year.


It was an emotional Watson who spoke on court straight after the match, thanking the crowd for getting her over the line, and afterwards she explained:


“This week was kind of like a new start for me and I just really, I don’t know, I’ve got a lot of emotion in me right now. I think on the court it shows. I’m kind of getting mad at myself sometimes, but I’m also very positive when I win the point.


“I think also the crowd today was louder than I think I have ever heard them here at Eastbourne for one of my matches. I just loved every minute of it.”


She will face Sloane Stephens next, in what has been a great day for the British women, and Watson comments about Konta:


“I have always known Jo can play brilliant. I think it’s now finally coming out now. She played amazing and just throughout the whole match, and I’m just really proud of her.”


Play continues in the third round at 11am BST.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

$ 731,000.00
21 – 27 JUNE 2015

RESULTS – JUNE 23, 2015
Singles – Second Round

[2] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [Q] J. Gajdosova (AUS) 76(4) 62
D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [3] L. Safarova (CZE) 76(7) 64
[WC] J. Konta (GBR) d [4] E. Makarova (RUS) 62 64
S. Stephens (USA) d [5] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 61 75
[7] E. Bouchard (CAN) d A. Riske (USA) 76(5) 63
[8] K. Pliskova (CZE) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) 64 75
[9] A. Radwanska (POL) d [Q] I. Falconi (USA) 60 62
[10] A. Petkovic (GER) d C. Garcia (FRA) 62 64
H. Watson (GBR) d [11] E. Svitolina (UKR) 36 75 64
B. Bencic (SUI) d [12] M. Keys (USA) 62 62
[13] S. Errani (ITA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 62 67(1) 76(7) (saved 2mp)
[14] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [Q] P. Hercog (SLO) 57 63 60
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [15] F. Pennetta (ITA) 63 64
T. Pironkova (BUL) d [16] S. Stosur (AUS) 75 76(0)
[LL] D. Gavrilova (RUS) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 36 76(6) 63 (saved 1mp)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [LL] M. Niculescu (ROU) 75 26 61

Doubles – First Round

[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d M. Krajicek (NED) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 60 62
Y. Chan (TPE) / J. Zheng (CHN) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 76(5) 63
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO) 63 64

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[7] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs B. Bencic (SUI)
[14] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [WC] J. Konta (GBR)
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [2] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
H. Watson (GBR) vs S. Stephens (USA)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs H. Chan (TPE) / F. Pennetta (ITA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
[9] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [10] A. Petkovic (GER)
[LL] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs [13] S. Errani (ITA)
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [WC] J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs J. Goerges (GER) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
C. Black (ZIM) / L. Raymond (USA) vs [Alt] M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Rodionova (AUS)
After Suitable Rest – [WC] E. Bouchard (CAN) / M. Erakovic (NZL) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)


Kvitova withdraws from Eastbourne as weather wreaks havoc

Kvitova 2-001

By Ros Satar

(June 22, 2015) EASTBOURNE, England – Top seed Petra Kvitova opted to protect her Wimbledon defence chances by withdrawing from Eastbourne at Monday’s WTA All Access interviews, despite wanting to play doubles with Caroline Wozniacki.


The Dane admitted that Kvitova had not felt 100% these past few days and she confirmed that she had felt unwell for a while.


Kvitova said: “I started to feel not well when I come here. Maybe from plane. I’m not really sure. I didn’t really feel the best. Like two days ago I really feel sore throat, and I was waiting what gonna happen. It’s not really much better. I didn’t need antibiotics so that’s a good sign. But I have to be in the bed and drink hot tea, I don’t know, just lying and resting.”


She confirmed that she would remain in Eastbourne for a few days before heading up to London.


“I know that a lot of players don’t play the tournament before. I’m not the only one. I practiced on it, and I still hope that I will have a few days in London, as well. I know I can play well on the grass. I have to still think positively, and I hope I gonna be ready for Wimbledon. I’m playing Tuesday, so it’s still time for it.”


It was a frustrating day for the players, being led into the media centre armed with an array of umbrellas as play continued to be put back until the afternoon, when finally the dark clouds cleared for a decent spell of play. There were hints of further disruption from time to time, with the doubles matches and a hefty chunk of singles being cancelled.


The day saw the return of the 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, returning after a four month absence, after being sidelined with an Achilles injury. She faced British wildcard Harriet Dart, who put up quite a fight in the second set as the pair traded five breaks of serve n the second set before the Slovakian edged ahead.


With defending champion Madison Keys being one of the matches bumped to Tuesday, it was left to Heather Watson to lift spirits of fans on Centre Court, as matches were chopped and changed around the courts after the torrential downpours of the afternoon.


Heather Watson brought the proceedings on Centre Court to a close with a win over Varvara Lepchenko, as there was barely a hint of the disruption that the schedule is in now.


After the match she said: “It definitely wasn’t easy. Varvara’s a great player, so I knew it was going to be tough today. I just had to hang in there. I think we both made quite a few more unforced errors than we would like. But I thought I just stayed tough. Thanks to the crowd for their support and for keeping me going.


“I absolutely love playing here on Centre Court. I love it here at Eastbourne. At times I was finding it quite hard with the sun. We had half the court in the sun and half in the shade, but I won’t use that as an excuse.”


She plays Elina Svitolina as the last match on Centre Court on Tuesday.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


Birmingham Day 4 – Weeding Out the Field


By Ros Satar

(June 18, 2015) BIRMINGHAM, England – With seeds and home favourites having stumbled over the past few days in the Midlands, the championship is now largely on Simona Halep’s racquet to lose. Having come through a good brace of results now, she is putting what was ultimately a disappointing clay court season behind her and pushing on impressively on the grass.


After dashing British hopes in the second round, beating Naomi Broady 6-4, 6-2, she eased into the quarter-finals with a 50 minute workout over Klara Koukalova, 6-1, 6-3.


Having been usurped over the clay court season, where she was expected to shine, Halep was taking nothing for granted.


She said, after the match: “I expected a tough match because she plays very hard on grass with her type of game. It’s difficult to play her on this surface but I didn’t really want to think about that – I just came out here and played my game, played my style, stayed aggressive and especially served very well in the match.”


She later joined British No. 1 Heather Watson, who was edged out in her opening round in straight sets, and looking for some wins under her belt – but it certainly was not looking likely as the pair were swiftly battling against a 0-5 deficit in the opening set.


The first time pairing got themselves together in the second set, breaking for the advantage, and although they were pegged back, another break to the scratch twosome meant they could serve out for the set.


It was nip and tuck throughout the match tie-break until Watson and Halep close out a 1-6, 6-3, 10-7 win.


She said: “It was difficult at the beginning because, [it] was my first match on grass, doubles on grass. It’s not easy. The ball was coming very fast and I didn’t know where to hit because I saw both of them there. So it was really difficult, and I’m really happy we could win this match. It’s really important. It’s good we played first time together, so it’s a nice game.”


She continued: “I have no expectation from me this grass season, so I just want to go on court and play what I know. On clay I had pressure and I couldn’t handle it. I played bad and I couldn’t feel like relaxed on court. So that was the bad thing.


“So I just took some days off home and I said that I have to relax my mind and just going on court to play.”


With third seed Carla Suarez Navarro also posting a solid win today, the field looks set for a high quality finale, as the pair were joined by Angelique Kerber who got the better of former champion Jelena Jankovic, and fresh from her record breaking ace haul, Sabine Lisicki looks to be returning to the kind of grass form that put her in her maiden Grand Slam final.


The quarterfinals start on Friday at 11am.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


Heather Watson Wins Hobart for Second WTA Crown

Happy Heather Watson Hobart

(January 17, 2015) Great Britain’s Heather Watson defeated American qualifier Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Hobart International title, her second WTA Tour career title. She won the Japan Open title in 2012. She won this week’s event without dropping a set.

It was Brengle’s first WTA final of her career.

The unseeded 22-year-old became the first British woman in more than 30 years to win two titles, the last was Anne Hobbs who won Auckland in 1985 and Indianapolis in 1983.

En route to the final, Watson dismissed No.5 seed Sloane Stephens, No.9 seed Roberta Vinci and No.8 seed Alison Riske.

The Australian Open begins on Monday and Watson will open against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova while Brengle will face 13th seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany.


More to follow.


Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part Two




(September 18, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – During the US Open, Great Britain’s Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray, mother of ATP players Andy Murray and Jamie Murray, sat down to do an interview with Tennis Panorama News.

In part two of our Q & A, the former top Scottish women’s tennis player spoke about the current women’s tour and some of her proudest moments.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News: What are your thoughts on the women’s tour? Do you think there is more depth or is it just Serena(Williams) and everyone else?

Judy Murray: When Serena is at the top of her game is very, very tough to beat because she’s just so strong and she’s just fabulous to watch when she’s playing well and I love watching her when she’s on top of her game. And just behind her is obviously (Victoria) Azarenka and (Maria) Sharapova. So the top three are very much power players – there’s not a huge amount of variety there. You don’t see too much, not too many drops shots or changes of pace, it’s really all about the power.

Then there’s sort of a pack of players behind that that are all very solid. The players that I miss are the (Amelie) Mauresmo’s and the (Justine) Henin’s. I like watching (Sara) Errani and (Flavia) Pennetta. I like watching the Italian’s creativity and variety.

I think you know, you need personalities. I think that’s the thing you kind of feel that tennis, is just to try and create more personalities out of the players so fans can start to identify with them as people. And I think that I think Serena is a huge personality and I think Sharapova probably is as well, but we need try and get that with more of them. I guess it’s up to the WTA tour to find a way to be able to do that so that fans can really identify them and want to come out and watch and support.

It’s tough on the women’s tour – this year I’ve noticed it’s more difficult getting into a lot of the tournaments. A lot a tournaments that have been lost and maybe the sponsors withdrawing, so they’re not so many options open to the girls on the calendar. I think that the last three weeks on the women’s tour (during the summer) from New Haven, Toronto and Cincinnati. I think cutoffs of the main draw were 40? It’s very, very tough. The girls are having to pay out a lot of money every week to travel.

KP: No secondary tournaments going on.

JM: That’s right. There used to be a lot more so. It’s not just at that time of the year, it’s just very noticeable just lately. There’s not so much choice now.

If the women’s tour calendar is losing tournaments because it’s harder to get sponsors, then you have to look at why is that. Why are sponsors not coming forward, are they not getting crowds? Why are they not getting crowds? Not getting TV showing it. Why are they not getting TV showing it? You need to ask those questions and find out what people want and the tour. The WTA has to find ways to help players to market themselves better so that people do want to come and watch women in the same way they want to watch the men. I think the events that are mixed, where they have both at the same time, have been fantastic. There is huge, huge buzz about those tournaments. May be they need to have more of those if that’s possible, but if it isn’t….

I have this theory that if it’s more women who come and watch women’s sports, so you need to create an army of tennis fans from women to come along and support women’s sport.  It’s like I went to watch the British Women’s Open golf a few weeks ago and I had the same feeling there. You know, that there were not a lot of young people, girls watching that. There were a lot of older people that and I was thinking, golf was one of those sports that women are more likely to take up when they’re older than when they’re younger. That’s a challenge to golf.

I do think that tennis needs to ask itself questions about why, and I’m sure they are, asking questions about why they’ve lost so many tournaments and how they can make the calendar more busy. But also it needs to be a bit smarter, I think in terms of where tournaments are placed so that you could have a run of three tournaments without having to travel from one side of the world to the other. I think that makes a lot of sense because the expenses for the players are getting bigger and bigger all the time and especially if you’ve got someone travelling with you and you probably need two rooms and two flights, food every week.

Or maybe finding ways where they can help the girls to supplement their income. I don’t necessarily mean the top ones ‘cause they don’t need it. The other girls you know, some more pro-ams or little exho matches before tournaments start and things where sponsor might need to have some of the girls play with their clients. You see things like that at Indian Wells. I always think, you know that’s one of few venues that do that sort of thing really well.

And for the doubles guys, because of Jamie, it’s a great help to go off and do a few of them. It helps to pay for your hotel bill for a week, but they probably need some help in trying to encourage people to put more of that on for the women’s side.


KP: What have been your proudest moments in tennis?

JM: There’s been absolutely loads.

I think when I first started coaching, I was just a volunteer coach at the club, I had been doing it for a few years. Our high school team at Dunblane High School won the Scottish schools championship, the boys team and that was my first success in coaching and I can remember being very emotional when they won that because it was just great. It’s your local town, just something that you helped out and these kids have managed to win this big thing.

But anytime when the boys (Andy and Jamie) have played together, on Davis Cup teams for Great Britain, watching them play together and that’s a huge thing, seeing both of your children, side by side. Any time they play together – I think the Olympics and Davis cup are very special. In 2008 here (US Open) Andy was in the singles final and Jamie was in the mixed doubles final, that was a great time. And obviously the two Wimbledon wins – Andy winning the singles and Jamie winning his mixed doubles. They were huge. The Olympics, US Open last year.

I have proud moments that have nothing to do with the tennis – they’re good kids. They do good things. They’re good with people and they’re still very normal through everything that’s happened.


In the part three, the final part of the interview, Murray discusses tennis and twitter, and her sweet tooth.

Related articles:

Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part One


Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part One



(September 17, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – During the US Open, Great Britain’s Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray, mother of ATP players Andy Murray and Jamie Murray sat down to do an interview with Tennis Panorama News.

In part one of our Q & A, the former top Scottish women’s tennis player spoke about her introduction to tennis and coaching, Fed Cup, women coaches and those women coming up the ranks of British tennis.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News: How did you get involved in tennis?

Judy Murray: I started playing tennis when I was about 10. Back in those days, when racquets were wooden and balls were heavy, the courts were all just one size. It was actually quite tough to start tennis younger than that unless you were quite big because the equipment was heavy.

My Mom and Dad both played, they played for the county, played a lot down at the local club. When I was big enough, I started to join in. I just learned from playing with my parents.


KP: With your sons, did they naturally want to play because you played?

JM: Probably, we lived about 300 meters from the tennis courts and when they were very small, we didn’t have much money and I didn’t have a car. I went round to our local club and did some work just as a volunteer and started working with some of the older juniors because I was still playing at a good level. I was the Scottish No. 1 for quite a number of years.

I started working as a volunteer coach when they were very small and some of the kids that I started working with, they started to get quite good and that is when I realized that my initial coaching qualification that I had done when I was a student wasn’t really helping me to help them particularly, so I was just teaching them from a tactical base, which was based on my own playing experience. In my day you didn’t have coaches. You learned how to play the game by playing the game.

I upgraded my qualification when Jamie and Andy were six and seven and then a couple of years later I upgraded it again, because I realized  that a lot of the kids I was working with, were becoming pretty good at the Scottish level and I wanted to help them to be the best that they could be. And I realized that my knowledge of playing the game was all about playing the game, it wasn’t too much about teaching them from a technical base, so I wanted to learn about that. I haven’t up graded my qualification since then. That was the highest level of coaching qualification at the time in Britain. It was a year-long course that was a big thing for me to take on when the boys were quite young, the workshops were all down south.

Also what I remember about that course is that there was a lot of information but not enough about how to actually use the information. And what I have learned in my 20 years or so of coaching is that it doesn’t matter how much information you’ve got if you are not able to communicate it effectively and in the right way with the kids or the adults in front of you, you are not going to get the job done. I think a lot of it comes down to how well you communicate, how much you can enthuse the kids by the way you behave with them. I keep saying kids because I’m so used to working with juniors but now I’ve started working more on the women’s side, but it’s the same thing – you need to have a good rapport. You need to have some fun. You need to get your point across. The other thing is that the better you know your player as a person, the more chance you have at doing a good job with them because understand what makes them tick and what makes them react badly and you’ve started at the best way to get them to do things.

KP: Speaking of working with different players, how challenging is it to be the Fed Cup Captain?

JM: That’s quite a challenge. It’s certainly was a challenge the first year because I had never worked on the women’s side before. I’d worked with juniors and obviously on the men’s side. But working with girls is quite different than working with boys and working with women is quite different from working with girls. Had to learn a lot about that but like throughout my coaching career, I speak to people. I speak to people who have been there and done it before and have lots of experience and then you form your own opinion. You form you own view or philosophy. So I picked a lot of people’s brains. It’s mostly men on the women’s tour, mostly male coaches.


KP: Why do you think there are so few female coaches?

JM: I think there is not a great career pathway for female coaches. I think it doesn’t matter whether you work in clubs or whether you are working with better level players. I think it’s you know, that natural thing is for women to get married probably in their twenties and have their kids and then the life of a coach is actually very difficult because if you are coaching in a club for example or a domestic program, your busiest times are going to be after four o’clock and on weekends. So you’re working in the evenings and on weekends, if you’ve got family it’s very difficult. I think if you get to the stage where you want to work with a full-time player then you need to be prepared to be on the road for probably about 30 weeks of the year and that’s very tough as well.

But I think there are one or two things which come into play too. It’s tough to make a living in the game unless you are probably 70, ranked 70 and above. And really anyone ranked below that, it’s tough to have to pay for a coach and a coach’s expenses on the road with you and your own expenses too. Most girls, I think will try to pick a coach who can also work as a sparring partner, and that tends to lend itself more to males who play at a decent level and who can fill that kind of dual role. I think that has something to do with it as well.

Of course there is nothing wrong with having male coaches, but I think we could do with having more females because I do think that female coaches understand the needs and feelings of girls a lot better than guys do and I’ve been saying this for some time now. In our country we need to get more little girls playing tennis and taking up tennis. Tennis has become very attractive now since Wimbledon and since the success of Laura (Robson) and Heather (Watson), very young and exciting prospects and they’re great role models for young girls and for women’s tennis. But once we get little girls into tennis, we need to make sure they are having a lot of fun, doing what they are doing. We need to have a lot more female coaches working with little girls, for exactly the same reasons – to ensure we can retain them in the sport because little girls tend to generally be not as competitive, not as boisterous as boys and can be put off by being in a mixed group or being with a male coach who finds it easier to deal with the boys, because the boys kind of do all the competitive things because they enjoy doing that sort of thing. Building a stronger female coaching workforce in our country is important to us to retain more girls in the game.

KP: Beyond Heather and Laura, who are the women coming up behind then in Great Britain?

JM: Some of the girls have started to do quite well pushing themselves up the rankings. Johanna Konta was at a career-best ranking at 112 before the US Open, I think she’ll drop a little bit. She won a 25 and a 100K back-to-back during the summer which was very good progress for her. So she’s moving in the tight direction. She’s 22 now.

Tara Moore is the same age as Heather Watson and she is very, very talented and she has started to show some good signs of progress. She still needs to work at being able to put good performances in on a consistent basis, and so much of that being able to perform consistently well is down to how emotionally stable you can be for longer periods of time and that always doesn’t come quickly to every player. I think sometimes you have to let them grow into themselves a bit. But she has a huge amount of potential – a very, very skillful player. I think that if she can get herself together I think she can go places over the next couple of years.

And we have Sam(antha) Murray who was playing in the qualies here (US Open). She was at a US college on a scholarship and she has started to push herself up the rankings. Very hard worker, good all-court game, plays good doubles as well, big first serve.

Elena Baltacha had a surgery on her foot in the off season last year, so she’s just playing again full-time, but she has produced good performances as well. It won’t be long before she’s back at her best. Beyond that we are starting to look at the juniors.

We have three very good juniors born in 1998.  Maia Lumsden who won the 14s Orange Bowl in December, Gabby (Gabriella) Taylor who trains in Spain and Jazzy Plews who also trains in Spain. All have been ranked within the top ten at the end of last year in the 14s. So they are all in a good place as well.

But certainly, from my point of view we need to use this opportunity now where tennis is the kind of buzz word among sports in Britain just now. We need to use the opportunity to get more girls playing and to develop a stronger female coaching workforce to retain more of them in the early stages, and then to educate more coaches to be able to do a better job through all the development stages. There’s quite a big job to be done but there’s a huge opportunity at the moment. I will always argue that more better coaches, produce more better players. We need to, in my opinion, to invest in our coaching workforce.


In part two of our interview, Murray talks about the women’s tour and some of her proudest moments.


Serena Williams Dominates in Opening Match at Wimbledon

SerenaWilliamsFaceoff11 - Copy

(June 25, 2013) Serena Williams began the defense of her Wimbledon crown in dominating style by conquering Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella 6-1, 6-3 in a first round match on Tuesday on Centre Court.

Williams did not lose a point on her serve in the first set which captured in 19 minutes. The 92nd ranked Minella took a 2-0 lead to open the second set when Williams double faulted on a break point.

Williams stormed back by winning the next four games and broke serve to seal the match. Williams has extended her career-best winning streak to 32

She’s now 68-8 at Wimbledon.

The world No. 1 assessed her play:

“I feel like I was a little rusty for some reason today.  I don’t feel like I played my best.  I felt really upset when I lost my serve in the second set.

“With that being said, I think Mandy played really well.  I thought she was really mixing up her shots, mixing up her game.  It wasn’t an easy match for me.  I’m a little excited I was able to play a tough match and to get through it.”

Kimiko Date-Krumm ©Tennis Panorama

Kimiko Date-Krumm ©Tennis Panorama

The 42-year-old veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm demolished 18-year-old German qualifier Carina Witthoeft 6-0, 6-2.

Date-Krumm retired at 25 but made a comeback at 37 in 2008

“When I come back, I’m enjoying very much, even I’m losing,” said the Japanese tennis player.  “Of course, after losing, always very disappointed.  But still I’m enjoying very much.

“I have a lot of passion.  I like challenge because not easy for my age.”

Date-Krumm is the second oldest player to win a match at Wimbledon. Martina Navratilova was 47 when she won a first round match in 2004.

Sixth seed Li Na had an easy time with Michaella Krajicek winning 6-1, 6-1.

In a battle of young up and comers, USA’s Madison Keys defeated Great Britain’s Heather Watson 6-3, 7-5.

For Keys it was her first win at the All England Club.

“I was definitely pretty nervous at the beginning,” Keys said.  “Once I started playing the match a little bit, getting into it, felt a lot better.

“After winning my first one, feel really good about it.”



Vesnina Stuns Ivanovic in Eastbourne

Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina

By Ros Satar


(June 17, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –


Elena Vesnina def. Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Elena Vesnina overcame the seventh seed Ana Ivanovic in the first match on Centre Court as the women had to regroup and restart when rain halted the beginning of their match.


Ivanovic certainly started well, racing to the first set, but soon after she started to struggle with key aspects of her game – the ball toss and also crucially her first serve deserted her long enough to give Vesnina an all important break.


The loss of the second set seemed to deflate the Serb, as she handed over a break at the start of the deciding set on a double fault.


The wind was occasionally gusting, sometimes perhaps guiding the odd ball on its way out, and it certainly seemed for a while that the South Stand side was the problem side for both.


For a while it looked like Vesnina would defeat herself after delivering a shocker of a game with three double-faults and a lot of frazzled yelling.


Somehow, the Russian regrouped, edging ahead before a long, tortuous Ivanovic service game where even the umpire lost where she was.


Three match points later – Ivanovic was left to consider what she would need to do ahead of the start of Wimbledon next week.


“I think on grass it’s very hard to get rhythm,” she said.

“It’s something that I want to build towards and now hopefully have another few good days of practice before Wimbledon.”



Heather Watson

Heather Watson

Heather Watson def. Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 6-4


British No. 2 Heather Watson delivered some home cheer in the sunshine, defeating Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 6-4.


Watson gave the crowd a few reasons to utter a collective sigh while serving out the match, having to claw her way back to match point after being a break point down.


It just needed the one match point to set Heather on her way in this tournament, putting aside the disappointment of an early exit at the French Open, and only a couple of rounds in Birmingham.


“I felt very motivated this week,” she said.

“I was mentally up for this match.”


There is still some room, she feels, for improvement saying that she had felt she had not made a lot of returns and could have a higher first serve percentage.


Watson, who had to take time out to recover from glandular fever, confessed to sometimes still feeling a little tired, but is looking forward to the grass season.


“People don’t think grass matches my game,” she said, “but it’s one of my favourite surfaces.”


Kyle Edmund def. Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-4


There was more British celebration when the junior sensation from Queens, Kyle Edmund, won his first round match against big serving qualifier Kenny De Schepper.


There are 360 places between him and his opponent today and he was very happy with his win.


“It’s nice to be able to know that I can play at that level,” he said, “but my goal is to play at that level and also have a ranking out of it.”


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 ( Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.


Eastbourne, England
June 17-22, 2013

Results – Monday, June 17, 2013
WTA Singles – First Round
(6) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 76(5) 61
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (7) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 26 64 63
Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 62
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64
Heather Watson (GBR) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 63 64

WTA Doubles – First Round
(1) Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) d. Raymond/Robson (USA/GBR) 46 64 105 (Match TB)
Hsieh/Lucic-Baroni (TPE/CRO) d. (WC) Kvitova/Wickmayer (CZE/BEL) 61 64
Niculescu/Zakopalova (ROU/CZE) d. Babos/Minella (HUN/LUX) 64 63

WTA Singles Qualifying – Final Round
(1) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) 62 61
Yulia Beygelzimer (UKR) d. (3) Jana Cepelova (SVK) 61 76(4)
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) d. (7) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 76(5) 36 63
Olga Puchkova (RUS) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 75 36 64

ATP Singles – First Round
F Verdasco (ESP) d [6] A Dolgopolov (UKR) 16 63 62
[7] A Seppi (ITA) d [Q] G Rufin (FRA) 36 63 64
[8] F Fognini (ITA) d G Zemlja (SLO) 67(6) 62 64
A Ramos (ESP) d [Q] J Blake (USA) 62 64
[Q] R Harrison (USA) d P Mathieu (FRA) 64 26 76(4)
[WC] K Edmund (GBR) d [Q] K De Schepper (FRA) 64 64

ATP Doubles – First Round

M Matkowski (POL) / F Nielsen (DEN) d [2] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) 62 63
[3] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) d I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) 57 76(5) 10-6
M Klizan (SVK) / M Matosevic (AUS) d D Istomin (UZB) / J Monaco (ARG) 36 76(6) 10-2
P Hanley (AUS) / K Skupski (GBR) d T Bednarek (POL) / P Marx (GER) 26 64 10-8    

Order Of Play – Tuesday, June 18, 2013
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
B Tomic (AUS) vs [WC] J Ward (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
A Cornet (FRA) vs [2] [WC] N Li (CHN) – WTA
[Q] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) vs L Robson (GBR) – WTA
Not Before 4:00 PM
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) – ATP
[WC] J Delgado (GBR) / J Ward (GBR) vs [4] C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) – ATP

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
T Paszek (AUT) vs [5] C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
J Nieminen (FIN) vs F Lopez (ESP) – ATP
V Troicki (SRB) vs M Klizan (SVK) – ATP
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs [Q] J Hampton (USA) – WTA

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[3] A Kerber (GER) vs S Cirstea (ROU) – WTA
M Niculescu (ROU) vs [4] P Kvitova (CZE) – WTA
[WC] S Stosur (AUS) vs [8] N Petrova (RUS) – WTA
J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs F Fognini (ITA) / A Seppi (ITA) – ATP

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[WC] J Konta (GBR) vs S Hsieh (TPE) – WTA
[WC] E Baltacha (GBR) vs [Q] K Pliskova (CZE) – WTA
D Istomin (UZB) vs I Dodig (CRO) – ATP
R Stepanek (CZE) vs M Matosevic (AUS) – ATP

COURT4 start 11:00 am
K Zakopalova (CZE) vs L Safarova (CZE) – WTA
D Jurak (CRO) / H Watson (GBR) vs [2] L Huber (USA) / S Mirza (IND) – WTA
[Q] O Puchkova (RUS) vs E Makarova (RUS) – WTA
[4] F Pennetta (ITA) / E Vesnina (RUS) vs C Black (ZIM) / M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA
N Grandin (RSA) / V Uhlirova (CZE) vs O Kalashnikova (GEO) / A Rosolska (POL) – WTA

COURT 5 start 12:00 noon
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) – ATP
[WC] K Edmund (GBR) / S Thornley (GBR) vs [PR] E Butorac (USA) / A Ram (ISR) – ATP
H Chan (TPE) / L Safarova (CZE) vs J Husarova (SVK) / V Lepchenko (USA) – WTA