2014/04/18

2014 Australian Open Men’s Contender Profiles

 

(January 11, 2014) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2014 Australian Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

Nadal waves and smiles

Rafael Nadal

2013 Record: 75-7

Grand Slam Record: 171-23

Australian Open Record: 35-7

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2009)

Fast Fact: If Nadal wins the Australian Open title, he will be the first men’s player in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice, with at least two Men’s Singles titles at each Slam event.

Djokovic wins 89

Novak Djokovic

2013 Record: 74-9

Grand Slam Record: 158-30

Australian Open Record: 39-5

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2007, ’11-’13)

Fast Fact: Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to win five Australian Open Men’s Singles titles in the Open Era.

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

2013 Record: 60-24

Grand Slam Record: 111-44

Australian Open Record: 28-11

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Ferrer’s 2013 match winning percentage dropped 14% in the second half of the year, from 37-10 (78.7%) to 24-13 (64.9%).

Andy Murray smiling

Andy Murray

2013 Record: 43-8

Grand Slam Record: 117-29

Australian Open Record: 29-8

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2010, ’11, ’13)

Fast Fact: Murray is the only player in the Open Era to have appeared in at least three Australian Open finals without winning the title.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

2013 Record: 51-16

Grand Slam Record: 62-25

Australian Open Record: 16-7

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2009, ’12)

Fast Fact: Del Potro has lost his last six 5-set matches, dating back to the 2R of the 2010 Australian Open (d. Blake, 2R)

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

2013 Record: 45-17

Grand Slam Record: 260-41

Australian Open Record: 68-10

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2004, ’06, ’07, ’10)

Fast Fact: With his appearance in the Australian Open, Federer passes Wayne Ferreira for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances in the Open Era (57).

Berdych 9 228

Tomas Berdych

2013 Record: 54-25

Grand Slam Record: 88-41

Australian Open Record: 24-10

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2011-’13)

Fast Fact: Berdych is the only men’s player of the Top 16 Australian Open seeds that failed to win a title in 2013.

Stan Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka

2013 Record: 51-23

Grand Slam Record: 69-35

Australian Open Record: 17-8

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka has lost to current or former No. 1 players in the last five Grand Slam events.

Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet

2013 Record: 50-23

Grand Slam Record: 67-36

Australian Open Record: 16-10

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2007, ’08, ’12, ’13)

Fast Fact: In the opening round of the Australian Open, Gasquet is attempting to win the 200th hardcourt match of his career.

JWT Tsonga China-Open-Tsonga-smiles-in-press

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2013 Record: 39-16

Grand Slam Record: 72-24

Australian Open Record: 24-7

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2008)

Fast Fact: Tsonga has reached at least one Grand Slam Semifinal in each of the last four years.

88 Raonic

Milos Raonic

2013 Record: 45-21

Grand Slam Record: 21-12

Australian Open Record: 8-3

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Raonic’s record against Top 25 opponents at Grand Slam events is 3-6, with all three wins coming at the Australian Open.

 

Tommy Haas photo by Maria Noble

Tommy Haas photo by Maria Noble

Tommy Haas

2013 Record: 47-21

Grand Slam Record: 104-53

Australian Open Record: 26-12

Australian Open Best Result: SF (1999, ’02, ’07)

Fast Fact: At 35, Haas becomes the oldest men’s player to earn a Top 16 seed at the Australian Open.

John Isner-2

John Isner

2013 Record: 39-24

Grand Slam Record: 30-22

Australian Open Record: 7-5

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2010)

Fast Fact: Isner has played 61 tiebreaks in 52 Grand Slam matches, with a 70% winning percentage (43- 18).

Youzhny

Mikhail Youzhny

2013 Record: 39-24

Grand Slam Record: 92-49

Australian Open Record: 19-12

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2008)

Fast Fact: Four of Youzhny’s last five Australian Open matches have gone to 5 sets.

 

 

 

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2014 Australian Open Women’s Contender Profiles

 

(January 11, 2014) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2014 Australian Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

Serena Williams Beijing

Serena Williams

2013 Record: 78-4

Grand Slam Record: 246-36

Australian Open Record: 58-8

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2003, ’05, ’07. ’09)

Fast Fact: Last year marked the first time Serena lost in consecutive Australian Open events since 2000-2001.

Victoria Azarenka Miami Players Party

Victoria Azarenka

2013 Record: 43-9

Grand Slam Record: 92-30

Australian Open Record: 28-6

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2012, ’13)

Fast Fact: An Australian Open title would make Azarenka only the second woman in the Open Era to win her first three Slam titles at the same venue (Clijsters, US Open in 2005, ’09, ’10).

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

2013 Record: 37-7

Grand Slam Record: 149-37

Australian Open Record: 39-9

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2008)

Fast Fact: Sharapova’s best winning percentage at a Grand Slam event is in Melbourne, 39-9 (81.25%).

10062012 China Open Li Na in press 2

Na Li

2013 Record: 44-14

Grand Slam Record: 81-29

Australian Open Record: 27-8

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Li has reached at least the QF of every event she has played after the 2013 French Open.

 

Agniezska Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska

2013 Record: 56-20

Grand Slam Record: 79-30

Australian Open Record: 19-7

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2008, ’11, ’12, ’13)

Fast Fact: If Radwanska is ranked in the Top 5 at the conclusion of the Australian Open, it will mark 100 consecutive weeks of a Top 5 WTA ranking.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

2013 Record: 51-23

Grand Slam Record: 54-21

Australian Open Record: 11-5

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Kvitova hasn’t defeated a higher ranked opponent at a Grand Slam since defeating Sharapova to win the 2011 Wimbledon title.

Errani

Sara Errani

2013 Record: 49-24

Grand Slam Record: 38-25

Australian Open Record: 8-6

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2012)

Fast Fact: Errani has lost in the first or second round in 15 of her 25 Grand Slam appearances.

Jelena-Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

2013 Record: 46-21

Grand Slam Record: 96-41

Australian Open Record: 23-11

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2008)

Fast Fact: Jankovic hasn’t defeated a higher ranked opponent at the Australian Open since 2004 (Dementieva, 1R).

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

2013 Record: 46-23

Grand Slam Record: 36-24

Australian Open Record: 8-6

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: Kerber has never lost to an unseeded player at the Australian Open.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

2013 Record: 39-22

Grand Slam Record:  68-27

Australian Open Record: 20-6

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2011)

Fast Fact: Over the last two years, Wozniacki has won more matches at the Australian Open (7) than at the other Slam events combined (6).

Simona+Halep+2013+French+Open+Day+2+dKE0Rx5vx4lx

Simona Halep

2013 Record: 50-22

Grand Slam Record: 10-14

Australian Open Record: 2-3

Australian Open Best Result: 3R (2011)

Fast Fact: Halep is the only player in the WTA Top 20 who has never reached a Grand Slam Quarterfinal.

Roberta-Vinci1

Roberta Vinci

2013 Record: 50-24

Grand Slam Record:  38-36

Australian Open Record: 7-8

Australian Open Best Result: 3R (2006, ’10, ’13)

Fast Fact: Vinci has lost four of her last five matches at WTA tour events.

SloaneStephens

Sloane Stephens

2013 Record: 40-23

Grand Slam Record: 25-10

Australian Open Record: 6-2

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Stephens won 2/3rds of her career prize money in 2013 ($1.43M of $2.16M).

Ana Ivanovic 2

Ana Ivanovic

2013 Record: 40-23

Grand Slam Record: 89-35

Australian Open Record: 20-9

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2008)

Fast Fact: Ivanovic has lost to a Top 4 seed in 6 of her last 8 Grand Slam events.

 

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2013 US Open Women’s Contender Profiles

Serena Williams in Cincinnatti 2013

(August 25, 2013) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2013 U.S. Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1. Serena Williams

2013 Record:  60-4

Grand Slam Record:  239-36

U.S. Open Record:  65-9

U. S. Open Best Result:  W (1999, 2002, ’08, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Since April of 2012, Serena has a 40-3 record vs. Top Twenty players, with her only losses coming to Azarenka (2013 Doha, 2013 Cincinnati) and Kerber (2012 Cincinnati).

 

2. Victoria Azarenka

2013 Record:  36-4

Grand Slam Record:  86-28

U.S. Open Record:  18-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2012)

Fast Fact:  Azarenka is the only active WTA player who has won a Grand Slam Singles title as a junior and professional. (Bartoli had joined the list for a few weeks until her retirement.)

 

3. Agnieszka Radwanska

2013 Record:  42-13

Grand Slam Record:  76-29

U.S. Open Record:  13-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2007, ’08, ’12)

Fast Fact: Radwanska is the only woman who has reached at least the QFs in all Grand Slam events for 2013.

 

4. Sara Errani

2013 Record:  43-19

Grand Slam Record:  37-24

U.S. Open Record:  11-6

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Five of Errani’s six U.S. Open losses have been to Grand Slam champions (S. Williams, Kuznetsova, Stosur, Li, Bartoli).

 

5. Na Li

2013 Record:  32-11

Grand Slam Record:  76-28

U.S. Open Record:  12-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2009)

Fast Fact:  Li has 13 wins over Top Ten opponents at Grand Slams, but none have come at the U.S. Open.

 

6. Caroline Wozniacki

2013 Record:  27-19

Grand Slam Record:  66-26

U.S. Open Record:  20-6

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2009)

Fast Fact:  Of the competitors entered in the Women’s main draw, Wozniacki has the best U.S. Open winning percentage among players who haven’t won the title.

 

7. Petra Kvitova

2013 Record:  39-19

Grand Slam Record:  52-20

U.S. Open Record:  8-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2008, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Kvitova is one of four players entered in the draw (S. Williams, V. Williams, Petrova) who has defeated a number one seed at the U.S. Open (def. Safina, 2009).

 

8. Angelique Kerber

2013 Record:  30-18

Grand Slam Record:  33-23

U.S. Open Record:  9-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2011)

Fast Fact:  Kerber hasn’t defeated a Top Ten player in 2013; her last Top Ten wins were in 2012 Cincinnati (S. Williams and Kvitova).

 

9. Jelena Jankovic

2013 Record:  36-15

Grand Slam Record: 93-40

U.S. Open Record:  25-9

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2008)

Fast Fact:  Seeded ninth, this is the best seeding Jankovic has earned at a Grand Slam in the past eleven events (No. 7 seed, 2011 Australian Open).

 

10. Roberta Vinci

2013 Record:  42-20

Grand Slam Record:  34-35

U.S. Open Record:  7-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Vinci is the only player in the Top Twenty with a losing record in Grand Slam events; she will need to reach the fourth round in order to achieve a winning record at Grand Slams.

 

11. Samantha Stosur

2013 Record:  28-17

Grand Slam Record:  64-40

U.S. Open Record:  17-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact:  Since earning her first victory over Azarenka earlier this summer, the highest ranked player that Stosur has never defeated is No. 27 Kanepi (0-1).

 

12. Kirsten Flipkens

2013 Record:  29-18

Grand Slam Record:  20-19

U.S. Open Record:  4-4

U.S. Open Best Result:  3R (2009)

Fast Fact:  Flipkens has played in 19 Grand Slam events, but half of her 20 wins have come in her last four appearances.

13. Ana Ivanovic

2013 Record:  27-16

Grand Slam Record:  86-34

U.S. Open Record:  17-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Prior to losing to Bouchard at Wimbledon, Ivanovic’s last five Grand Slam losses were to players currently ranked in the Top Five (S. Williams, Azarenka, Radwanska (twice), Errani).

 

14. Maria Kirilenko

2013 Record:  31-14

Grand Slam Record:  61-39

U.S. Open Record:  17-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2011)

Fast Fact:  Kirilenko’s 1R Wimbledon loss to Robson snapped a streak of sixteen straight 1R victories at Grand Slam events.

 

15. Sloane Stephens 

2013 Record:  29-18

Grand Slam Record:  22-9

U.S. Open Record:  4-2

U.S. Open Best Result:  3R (2011, 2012)

Fast Fact:  Stephens winning percentage in Grand Slam events (12-3, 80%) is more than 25 percentage points better than her winning percentage in tour events (17-15, 53%).

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2013 US Open Men’s Contender Profiles

Novak Djokovic3
(August 25, 2013) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2013 U.S. Open.  Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

1. Novak Djokovic

2013 Record: 44-8

Grand Slam Record: 152-29

U.S. Open Record: 39-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact: With Federer’s 2R loss at Wimbledon, Djokovic holds the active streaks for consecutive Grand Slam QFs (17) and SFs (13); both streaks rank 2nd all time behind Federer.

 

2. Rafael Nadal

2013 Record:  53-3

Grand Slam Record: 164-23

U.S. Open Record: 34-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2010)

Fast Fact:  Nadal on course for history?  In the Open era, the fewest losses in a season was three (McEnroe, 82-3 in 1984), two players have had four losses (Connors, 93-4 in 1974, Federer, 81-4 in 2005).

 

3. Andy Murray

2013 Record: 37-7

Grand Slam Record: 113-28

U.S. Open Record:  29-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2012)

Fast Fact: Murray has reached the finals in the last four Grand Slam events he has entered (Wimbledon 2012, U.S. Open 2012, Australian Open 2013, Wimbledon 2013).

 

4. David Ferrer

2013 Record: 42-14

Grand Slam Record:  107-43

U.S. Open Record:  23-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2007, ’12)

Fast Fact:   Ferrer has defeated only one Top Ten player in 2013 (Tsonga, French Open SF).

 

5.  Tomas Berdych

2013 Record:  40-16

Grand Slam Record:  85-40

U.S. Open Record:  21-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Berdych has more wins against the Big Four (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) than any other active player (17 wins).

 

6. Juan Martin Del Potro

2013 Record:  34-11

Grand Slam Record:  61-24

U.S. Open Record:  18-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2009)

Fast Fact: Del Potro’s semifinal at Wimbledon was his first Grand Slam semifinal since winning the U.S. Open title in 2009; he had gone 10 consecutive Grand Slams without reaching the semis.

 

7. Roger Federer

2013 Record: 32-11

Grand Slam Record: 257-40

U.S. Open Record:  64-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2004 – ’08)

Fast Fact: The U.S. Open will be the 56th consecutive Grand Slam for Federer, tying the record held by Wayne Ferreira.

 

8. Richard Gasquet

2013 Record:  34-14

Grand Slam Record:  62-35

U.S. Open Record:  14-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2005-’06, ’10, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Gasquet will be the highest seeded Frenchman at a Grand Slam event for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Open.

 

9. Stanislas Wawrinka

2013 Record:  36-15

Grand Slam Record: 64-34

U.S. Open Record:  18-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2010)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka has a 1-12 record vs. Top Five players at Grand Slams; his only Top Five win was at the U.S. Open (def. No. 4 Murray, 2010).

 

10. Milos Raonic 

2013 Record:  29-15

Grand Slam Record: 18-11

U.S. Open Record:  3-2

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2012)

Fast Fact:  Entering the 2013 U.S. Open, Raonic is one of only five players with a career high Top Ten ranking who has never rached the QFs of a Grand Slam event (Aguiliera, Carlsson, Massu, and Srichiphan).

 

11. Kei Nishikori

2013 Record:  27-4

Grand Slam Record:  25-16

U.S. Open Record:  7-4

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2009)

Fast Fact:  Nishikori’s last Grand Slam match, a 5-set loss to Andreas Seppi at Wimbledon, was his first 5-set loss in over five years (April 2008).

 

12. Tommy Haas

2013 Record:  39-17

Grand Slam Record:  102-52

U.S. Open Record:  32-15

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2004, ’06-’07)

Fast Fact:  This is Haas’ 16th U.S. Open appearance; he trails only Connors (22), Agassi (21), and Chang (17) in total appearances among men at the event.

 

13. John Isner

2013 Record:  32-19

Grand Slam Record:  28-21

U.S. Open Record:  13-6

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2011)

Fast Fact:  Isner has won 32 matches over the first 33 weeks of 2013, but half of those wins (16) have come in the last six weeks.

 

14. Jerry Janowicz

2013 Record:  23-16

Grand Slam Record:  11-5

U.S. Open Record:  0-1

U.S. Open Best Result:  1R (2012)

Fast Fact:  Janowicz’s only match at the U.S. Open was a loss to an 18-year-old American wild card, Dennis Novikov, with a four digit ranking.

 

15. Nicolas Almagro 

2013 Record:  32-17

Grand Slam Record:  56-30

U.S. Open Record:  12-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2012)

Fast Fact:  in the last four years, Almagro has compiled a 7-4 record at the U.S. Open, but it’s been a struggle; he’s 21-21 in sets won/lost over that span.

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Simona Halep Heads for New York on a Roll

By Jack Cunniff

(August 24, 2013) NEW HAVEN – For Simona Halep, it all came together in Rome. Ranked 64th at the time, she defeated three players ranked in the Top Twenty en route to the semifinals, where she lost to Serena Williams.  Her strong form continued with tournament victories in Nurnberg, s’Hertogenbosch, and Budapest. And on the eve of the U.S. Open, she has now won her fourth title of 2013, and largest of her career, taking the New Haven Open title over Petra Kvitova.

It is Halep’s first Premier title on the WTA Tour, and it will vault her into the world’s Top Twenty; she is expected to be No. 19 on Monday.  How will she feel as one of the top women’s players?  Based on an 11-4 record vs. the Top Twenty since Rome, she certainly belongs.

Four thousand fans arrived at Yale today to watch the New Haven Open final, probably expecting   the defending champion, Kvitova, to repeat. The 23-year-old is a former Wimbledon champion, a former world No. 2, and the third seed. But as the players warmed up, emcee Wayne Bryan listed the recent achievements of the unseeded Halep; she was deserving of her spot in the final.

In the first few games, Kvitova began the way she finished her semifinal match, when she crushed Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-1. She held serve easily, and had a 15-40 advantage in each of Halep’s first two service games. Halep successfully fought her way through her service games, then broke Kvitova’s service for a 3-2 lead. That lead to a flurry of unforced errors from Kvitova that continued for the remainder of the match.  The 21-year-old from Romania went on a streak of nine straight games, to lead 6-2, 4-0.  While Kvitova managed to salvage her final two service games, Halep sealed the title with an ace, 6-2, 6-2.

Halep becomes only the second unseeded player to win the title in New Haven; her semifinal victim, Caroline Wozniacki, was the first in 2008. She becomes the tenth different player to capture the title in New Haven since the event has been played at Yale University in 1998. Seven of the previous nine champions also have Grand Sam Singles titles on their résumé.

In Doubles action, Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie took the title in straight sets over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3, 6-4.  Mirza and Zheng were playing in their third hard court event this summer as a duo, and had struggled in their earlier events. Those struggles continued in the first two rounds in New Haven, as the pair had to battle through 10-8 third set scores in both of those matches to stay alive. But they’ve started to gel as a team, and won in straight sets in the semifinals and final to take the trophy. As Mirza noted afterwards, “I think that you got to win, so to say, a couple ugly matches.” They played their best today against the veteran duo of Srebotnik and Medina Garrigues, who are playing together for the first time in eight years.

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Quarterfinal Action – and Hurricanes, Fires, Cats and Dogs in New Haven

Caroline Wozniacki

By Jack Cunniff

(August 22, 2013) NEW HAVEN – The previous two New Haven Open champions, Caroline Wozniacki (2008-2011) and Petra Kvitova (2012) continued on course for a potential final round clash, each earning quarterfinal victories today.  But the similarities ended there. Kvitova once again battled through a three set match, her third here at New Haven, and sixth consecutive overall.  In contrast, Wozniacki looked sharp in dispatching a very dangerous Sloane Stephens in straight sets. Kvitova, the third seed here, had a scratchy start against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She served two double faults in her opening game, and managed to hold serve only once in the opening set. Her Russian opponent didn’t help the situation; Pavlyuchenkova played extremely well, striking 10 winners against only 4 unforced errors to take the opening set 6-2. Kvitova began to find her range in the second set, and waited out a rain delay to take the second set by the same 6-2 score. Kvitova suffered another bad patch early in the third set, dropping nine points in a row during one stretch. But she steadied herself, and capitalized on two Pavlyuchenkova double faults to break serve in the final game and take the match, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. Wozniacki fell behind early as well, but that was due to the fine play of Stephens during the evening match. As the number four seed said after the match, “Sloane just, bam, hammered winners right and left.” Stephens served for the opening set at 5-4, but Wozniacki stayed aggressive. She mixed her solid baseline play with several forays to net to break back and capture the opening set in a tiebreak, 8-6. The second set featured a very focused Wozniacki vs. an increasingly frustrated Stephens, who managed only seven points in the Dane’s four service games. Wozniacki advances to the semifinals, 7-6(6), 6-2.

Around the Grounds: Kvitova and Wozniacki have more work to do before potentially facing off in Saturday’s final. Their semifinal opponents will be Klara Zakopalova and Simona Halep, respectively. Zakopalova came from behind in her quarterfinal vs. 2009 New Haven finalist Elena Vesnina 4-6, 6-0, 6-4; while Halep eliminated Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets, 6-1 7-6(6). Both winners will be playing in their first New Haven Open semifinal… A fire alarm went off yesterday as a result of someone cooking food in the player’s lounge, which made for an eventful afternoon. “We were actually laughing because the outside was raining cats and dogs, and then was fire alarm,” Kvitova remarked, “I wasn’t cooking, so that’s good.”… Wozniacki, asked to look back over her years in New Haven: “Thank you for making me feel old.  I’m really not.” She reflected on the variety of matches she’s had to play at Yale. “I’ve played a lot of good matches, a lot of tough matches.  I’ve had rain delays.  I’ve played indoors [2009 semifinals], outdoors in the heat, night sessions.  I’ve played with some wind, with a hurricane coming in [2011 final]. You know, I played with a bit of everything.”
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New Haven Open Preview

wick02

By Jack Cunniff

(August 18, 2013) NEW HAVEN – A quick look at the leading contenders for the 2013 New Haven Open title, by Jack Cunniiff. Follow Jack on twitter (@jrcunniff) for tennis facts and trivia.

 

The New Haven Open at Yale had been owned by Caroline Wozniacki, as she swept to four straight titles in 2008-2011.  But a bad knee, and a tough opponent in Maria Kirilenko ended Wozniacki’s stretch of 20 straight matches won at New Haven in the 2012 semifinals.  Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, swept in last year to take the title in a straight set win over Kirilenko.

 

For the 2013 edition, both players have returned, and are looking to add to their New Haven success.  Wozniacki has had a difficult year by her standards, reaching only one final, in Indian Wells, where she lost to Maria Sharapova. In April she suffered a five match losing streak on clay.  But finally, in Cincinnati, the Dane seemed to get her groove back, defeating Kvitova in the third round, before losing a close battle to world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals.

 

Kvitova has also struggled recently, as she hasn’t passed the quarterfinals in an event since April.  She did score a victory over the 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in Toronto, so there are signs of life.  Compared to Kvitova’s U.S. Open Series success last summer, her recent play is a letdown.

 

Sara Errani, the 5’4″ Italian who reached the French Open finals last year, has surprised many by maintaining her Top Ten form in 2013.  She comes into New Haven as the top seed for the event, on the strength of her No. 6 ranking.  Semifinal results at the French Open, Madrid, and Rome, and a finals appearance in Palermo make her one of the more successful players in recent months, but all those results came on European clay.  The New Haven hard courts may prove a different challenge.

 

Sloane Stephens, the number two ranked American woman made a name for herself in 2013 by defeating Serena Williams at the Australian Open.  Last week, Stephens had her second biggest career win, eliminating Maria Sharapova from Cincinnati.  Seeded sixth in New Haven, Stephens is looking for success on U.S. soil, which has eluded her all season; her record in U.S. events stands at 3-6.

 

The No. 2 seed in the New Haven draw is Angelique Kerber. The German has had great success on U.S. hard courts in the past (2011 U.S. Open semifinalist, 2012 Cincinnati runner-up), but has a modest 4-3 record on hard courts this summer. Wozniacki recommended that Kerber make her first appearance in New Haven; perhaps she provided a few tips on how to succeed on these courts.

 

Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki was the first player to advance in New Haven, defeating Kristina Mladenovic in Sunday’s only first round match.  Lisicki, seeded eighth, has been short on match play after Wimbledon.  A wrist injury kept her out after Wimbledon, and she played only one hard court match, an opening round loss to Jelena Jankovic in Cincinnati.  If she can maintain her opening round New Haven form, Lisicki will be difficult to beat.

 

Other players vying for the New Haven title are Roberta Vinci, the world’s No. 1 doubles player along with Errani; Dominika Cibulkova, winner of the Stanford title over Agnieszka Radwanska; and Sorana Cirstea, the runner-up to Serena Williams in Toronto two weeks ago.

 

Around The Grounds

Much has been made recently of the diminishing number of teenaged players in Women’s tennis, but the final round of New Haven Qualifying featured two matches with both competitors in their teens.  Monica Puig, of Puerto Rico played fellow 19-year-old Caroline Garcia of France, while Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova, both 18, faced off.  Puig and Schmiedlova both won today, and Svitolina advanced as a lucky loser with the withdrawal of Magdalena Rybarikova with a lower back injury…

 

American Alison Riske continued her strong form of the summer with a straight set win over Yanina Wickmayer, putting Riske into the main draw, but the match had  some drama. With Riske serving 2-1 in the second set, a groudstroke exchange featured a Riske shot called long on the baseline which was overruled by the chair umpire. The umpire awarded the point to Riske, assessing that that Wickmayer couldn’t reach the ball, but Wickmayer disagreed. The Belgian refused to continue play until the referee was called to the court. She pleaded her case, but to no avail, and was out of sorts for the remainder of the match….

 

Stephanie Voegele advanced through qualifying when her opponent Yaroslava Shvedova retired with a forearm injury. Shvedova was playing her first event since Wimbledon as she struggles with the injury…

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Qualified Success in New Haven

garcia 08.17.2013

Caroline Garcia

By Jack Cunniff

(August 17, 2013) NEW HAVEN – The Women’s Singles Qualifying draw of the New Haven Open is always an interesting mix.  The strength of the Women’s Singles draw translates to several Top 50 players placed in qualifying to earn their way to the main draw.  And there are some more obscure players, ranked outside of the WTA Top 200.  But because qualifying for the U.S. Open is held the same week as New Haven, the bulk of players ranked between 100 and 200 are missing from action.

(Of course, an enterprising player could always attempt to play both U.S. Open qualifying and a tour event, as John Ross did in 1987. Ross, an American, alternated between the U.S. Open qualifying at The National Tennis Center, and the ATP stop in Rye, NY.  He was successful, too, defeating Thomas Muster and Jaime Yzaga en route to the finals at Rye, and qualifying for the U.S. Open.)

Most of the qualifying draw is comprised of players ranked in the 40-100 range, which means that qualifiers often find success in the New Haven main draw.  In 2011, Petra Cetkovska was ranked No. 40, successfully played her way to the main draw, then defeated three of the top five seeds (Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, and Li Na) en route to the finals.  Cetkovska wasn’t the first qualifier in recent memory to reach the finals; in 2007, Agnes Szavay qualified then reached the final as well.

So which 2013 qualifier might be destined for success?

The list of candidates featured a former Wimbledon semifinalist (Tsvetana Pironkova, 2010), a former U.S. Open semifinalist (Yanina Wickmayer, 2009), and a former top-ten player who reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals on three occasions (Flavia Pennetta, 2008-09, 2011).  But two of those players were ushered out in the second round of qualifying.

Pennetta, the 31-year-old Italian veteran still on the comeback trail from wrist surgery a year ago, was facing a player more than a decade younger, 19-year-old Annika Beck.  Pennetta showed her old form in taking the first set, but midway through the second set she called the trainer for a lower back injury.  Once Beck closed out the second set, Pennetta was forced to retire the match.

Pironkova is better known for her grass court success, but showed solid hard court play early in the match against her teenage opponent, Caroline Garcia from France.  But Pironkova could only convert one of twenty break points in the first two sets.  Strong serving from Garcia in the third set troubled Pironkova, and Garcia prevailed, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3.

Wickmayer had more success today, battling from a set down to eliminate Olga Puchkova.  Other players in the qualifying draw who hope to make an impression in the main draw of New Haven include Monica Puig, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last month; Elina Svitolina, an 18-year-old Ukranian who has won her last two events; Yaroslava Shvedova, the former Top Thirty player and Grand Slam Doubles champion best known for winning a “Golden Set” at 2012 Wimbledon; and Alison Riske, an American whose ranking has jumped from No. 171 in June to her current rank of No.98.

Jack Cunniff is covering the New Haven Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. His personal twitter is @JRCunniff.

NEW HAVEN OPEN AT YALE PRESENTED BY FIRST NIAGARA – NEW HAVEN, USA
$ 690,000.00
AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 24, 2013

RESULTS - AUGUST 17, 2013

Women’s
Qualifying Singles – Second Round

Qualifying – E Svitolina (UKR) d J Cepelova (SVK) 63 63
Qualifying – A Beck (GER) d F Pennetta (ITA) 36 62 00 Retired
Qualifying – S Voegele (SUI) d A Cadantu (ROU) 62 60
Qualifying – M Puig (PUR) d S Arvidsson (SWE) 62 52 Retired
Qualifying – A Morita (JPN) d A Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 62
Qualifying – Y Wickmayer (BEL) d O Puchkova (RUS) 36 61 63
Qualifying – K Knapp (ITA) d [WC] A Mueller (USA) 36 76(0) 62
Qualifying – C Garcia (FRA) d T Pironkova (BUL) 67(5) 76(2) 63
Qualifying – A Riske (USA) d I Begu (ROU) 26 76(2) 62
Qualifying – M Duque-Marino (COL) d A Hlavackova (CZE) 75 75
Qualifying – A Schmiedlova (SVK) d S Zhang (CHN) 64 63
Qualifying – Y Shvedova (KAZ) d Y Duan (CHN) 76(6) 64

USONP
Men’s
Singles
Championship – Quarterfinals

[1] J Dadamo (USA) d D Gooch (RSA) 62 64
M Pecotic (CRO) d [3] P Daciek (USA) 63 62
[4] C Boyce (USA) d E Orkin (USA) 63 62
T Larson (USA) d A Ball (USA) 62 63

USONP
Women’s
Singles
Championship – Quarterfinals

[1] M Hibi (JPN) d M Okruashvili (GEO) 62 61
[2] N Melichar (USA) d K Mckenna (USA) 64 63
L Graff (USA) d [3] N Kukharchuk (RUS) 67(3) 64 61
[4] P Porter (USA) d M Kelley (USA) 62 64

ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2013
STADIUM start 11:00 am
Qualifying – A Beck (GER) vs K Knapp (ITA) – WTA
Qualifying – M Puig (PUR) vs C Garcia (FRA) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
[7] S Lisicki (GER) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) – WTA
N Grandin (RSA) / D Jurak (CRO) vs [2] A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / K Srebotnik (SLO) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 12:30 pm
Qualifying – M Duque-Marino (COL) vs A Morita (JPN) – WTA
Qualifying – A Riske (USA) vs Y Wickmayer (BEL) – WTA
S Aoyama (JPN) / A Klepac (SLO) vs I Begu (ROU) / O Govortsova (BLR) – WTA

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
Qualifying – E Svitolina (UKR) vs A Schmiedlova (SVK) – WTA
Qualifying – S Voegele (SUI) vs Y Shvedova (KAZ) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
H Chan (TPE) / J Husarova (SVK) vs L Hradecka (CZE) / K Zakopalova (CZE) – WTA

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
L Graff (USA) vs [2] N Melichar (USA) – USONP
[4] C Boyce (USA) vs M Pecotic (CRO) – USONP
[1] M Hibi (JPN) vs [4] P Porter (USA) – USONP
[1] J Dadamo (USA) vs T Larson (USA) – USONP

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2013 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

Novak Djokovic

(June 23, 2013) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2013 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1. Novak Djokovic

2013 Record: 33-5

Grand Slam Record: 146-28

Wimbledon Record: 32-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact: Djokovic has defeated only two Top Ten players at Wimbledon: No. 8 Robredo (2006) and No.1 Nadal (2011).

 

2. Andy Murray

2013 Record: 27-5

Grand Slam Record: 106-28

Wimbledon Record:  30-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  RU (2012)

Fast Fact: Murray has the 3rd most grass court wins among active players, trailing only Federer and Hewitt.

 

3. Roger Federer

2013 Record: 26-7

Grand Slam Record: 256-39

Wimbledon Record:  66-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2003, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’09, ‘12)

Fast Fact: If he reaches the QF, Federer will tie Jimmy Connors for the most Grand Slam QF appearances in the Open era (41).

 

4. David Ferrer

2013 Record: 37-11

Grand Slam Record:  103-42

Wimbledon Record:  20-10

Wimbledon Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:   Ferrer is aiming to become the 10th ATP player to reach the SF in four consecutive Grand Slam events.

 

5. Rafael Nadal

2013 Record:  43-2

Grand Slam Record: 164-22

Wimbledon Record: 36-6

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2008, 2010)

Fast Fact:  While known for his clay court expertise, Nadal has the 4th best winning percentage at Wimbledon in the Open era, trailing only Borg, Sampras, and Federer.

 

6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2013 Record:  29-10

Grand Slam Record:  71-23

Wimbledon Record: 18-5

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2011, ‘12)

Fast Fact:  His SF match vs. Murray in the Wimbledon warm-up at Queens marked the first time in 2013 that Tsonga lost when winning the opening set.

 

7. Tomas Berdych

2013 Record:  31-12

Grand Slam Record:  81-39

Wimbledon Record:  23-9

Wimbledon Best Result:  RU (2010)

Fast Fact: Berdych is appearing in his 40th consecutive Grand Slam event, 10th best in the Open Era .

 

8. Juan Martin Del Potro

2013 Record:  20-8

Grand Slam Record:  56-23

Wimbledon Record:  9-5

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2011, ‘12)

Fast Fact: Del Potro has lost his last four 5-set matches, and hasn’t won a 5-set match since 2010 Australian Open.

 

9. Richard Gasquet

2013 Record:  30-10

Grand Slam Record:  60-34

Wimbledon Record:  17-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2007)

Fast Fact:  Gasquet’s only win in the 4R of a Grand Slam (1-15) was at 2007 Wimbledon (def. Tsonga).

 

10. Marin Cilic

2013 Record:  24-11

Grand Slam Record:  48-24

Wimbledon Record:  8-6

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2008, ‘12)

Fast Fact:  Cilic’s win over No. 6 Berdych in the Wimbledon warm-up at Queens was the highest ranked opponent he’s defeated since the 2010 Australian Open (def. No. 5 Del Potro)

 

11. Stanislas Wawrinka

2013 Record:  34-11

Grand Slam Record: 64-33

Wimbledon Record:  9-8

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2008, ‘09)

Fast Fact:  Wawrinka had never won a match in six ATP grass court events prior to winning four matches en route to last week’s final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

 

12. Kei Nishikori

2013 Record:  22-10

Grand Slam Record:  23-15

Wimbledon Record:  2-4

Wimbledon Best Result:  3R (2012)

Fast Fact:  By reaching the 4R of the French Open, Nishikori has reached the 4R in consecutive Grand Slams for the first time.

 

 

13. Tommy Haas

2013 Record:  27-11

Grand Slam Record:  99-51

Wimbledon Record:  20-12

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2009)

Fast Fact:  Haas’ last win at Wimbledon was over Djokovic in the 2009 QF; if he wins his opening round, it will be Haas’ 100th Grand Slam match win.

 

14. Janko Tipsarevic

2013 Record:  13-12

Grand Slam Record:  46-37

Wimbledon Record:  11-9

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2007, ‘08)

Fast Fact:  Tipsarevic won more matches in January 2013 (7 matches) than he’s won between February – June 2013 (6 matches).

 

 

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2013 Wimbledon Ladies’ Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

Serena Williams Bank of the West semifinals (20 of 1)

(June 23, 2013) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2013 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1. Serena Williams

2013 Record:  43-2

Grand Slam Record:  236-35

Wimbledon Record:  67-8

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2002, ’03, ’09, ’10, ‘12)

Fast Fact:  Serena has lost only twice on grass vs. the field entered in 2013 Wimbledon (Sharapova,  2004 Wimbledon; Bartoli, 2011Wimbledon ).

 

2. Victoria Azarenka

2013 Record:  27-3

Grand Slam Record:  85-28

Wimbledon Record:  20-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2011, ‘12)

Fast Fact:  With her French Open SF result, Azarenka becomes only the 4th active WTA player to have reached the SF in all four Grand Slam events (Serena, Venus, Sharapova).

 

3. Maria Sharapova

2013 Record:  36-5

Grand Slam Record:  148-36

Wimbledon Record:  37-9

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2004)

Fast Fact:  Sharapova has advanced past the 4R only once in her last six Wimbledon appearances.

 

4. Agnieszka Radwanska

2013 Record:  28-9

Grand Slam Record:  71-28

Wimbledon Record:  23-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  RU (2012)

Fast Fact: Radwanska’s only win in a Grand Slam QF (1-7) was at 2012 Wimbledon; she will be playing her 100th Grand Slam match in the opening round of Wimbledon.

 

5. Sara Errani

2013 Record:  36-14

Grand Slam Record:  37-23

Wimbledon Record:  6-5

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2010, ‘12)

Fast Fact:  By defeating No. 4 Radwanska in the QF of the French Open, Errani ended a 0-28 losing streak vs. Top Five players.

 

6. Na Li

2013 Record:  23-8

Grand Slam Record:  72-27

Wimbledon Record:  13-6

Wimbledon Best Result:  QF (2006, ‘10)

Fast Fact:  Li has lost to lower-ranked players in seven of her last eight Grand Slam events; she will be playing her 100th Grand Slam match in the opening round of Wimbledon.

 

 

7. Angelique Kerber

2013 Record:  25-13

Grand Slam Record:  32-22

Wimbledon Record:  7-5

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Kerber is one of only three players to reach the 4R in each of the last five Grand Slam events (Azarenka, Sharapova).

 

8. Petra Kvitova

2013 Record:  28-14

Grand Slam Record:  48-19

Wimbledon Record:  16-4

Wimbledon Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact:  Since 2010, Kvitova is 16-0 at Wimbledon against players other than Serena Williams.

 

9. Caroline Wozniacki

2013 Record:  20-15

Grand Slam Record:  65-25

Wimbledon Record:  12-6

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2009, ’10, ‘11)

Fast Fact:  Wozniacki has won only six matches in her last five grand Slam appearances, the worst record among the Top 16 Wimbledon seeds.

 

10. Maria Kirilenko

2013 Record:  29-11

Grand Slam Record:  61-38

Wimbledon Record:  10-9

Wimbledon Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Following the French Open, Kirilenko became the first player in the last 12 months to make her debut in the WTA Top Ten; she will be playing in her 100th Grand Slam match in the opening round of Wimbledon.

 

11. Roberta Vinci

2013 Record:  27-14

Grand Slam Record:  31-34

Wimbledon Record:  11-7

Wimbledon Best Result:  4R (2012)

Fast Fact:  If Vinci (ranked No. 11) cracks the Top Ten, she would be the 3rd player over the age of 30 to debut in the Top Ten (Stove, Tauziat).

 

12. Ana Ivanovic

2013 Record:  21-12

Grand Slam Record:  85-33

Wimbledon Record:  20-8

Wimbledon Best Result:  SF (2007)

Fast Fact: Ivanovic’s last Top Twenty win at a Grand Slam event was at 2009 Wimbledon (def. No. 19 Stosur).

 

 

 

13. Nadia Petrova

2013 Record:  9-11

Grand Slam Record: 109-52 

Wimbledon Record:  31-12

Wimbledon Best Result:  QF (2004, ’05, ‘07)

Fast Fact:  Petrova has lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam 10 times, but never at Wimbledon.

 

14. Samantha Stosur

2013 Record:  17-13

Grand Slam Record:  62-39

Wimbledon Record:  6-10

Wimbledon Best Result:  3R (2009)

Fast Fact:  Stosur is the only Top 16 seed with a losing record at Wimbledon.

 

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