2014/04/21

Andy Roddick and James Blake Join 2014 Powershares Series

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(October 15, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment announced the dates, venues and fields for the 2014 PowerShares Series tennis circuit, highlighted by the debuts of Andy Roddick and James Blake, who will join the 12-city tour and play alongside tennis legends such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

The PowerShares Series will kick off on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Kansas
City and will conclude March 21 in Surprise, Arizona. Players competing on the
2014 circuit are Roddick, Blake, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Connors, Ivan Lendl,
Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Todd Martin and Mark Philippoussis.
Each event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a one-set
championship match.

An exclusive USTA member pre-sale offering a 15% discount for USTA members
begins today. Tickets and unique VIP fan experience packages will go on sale to
the general public next Tuesday, October 22. Tickets start at $25 and all ticket
and VIP information is available at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

““We are excited to welcome Andy Roddick and James Blake as they
join our eighth year of Champions Series tennis and look forward to seeing them,
along with the other legendary players, compete and entertain crowds around the
United States this season,” “ said Jon Venison, Partner at InsideOut Sports &
Entertainment.

“I am looking forward to playing on the PowerShares circuit,” said Roddick.
“Having a chance to stay connected with tennis and compete on a limited basis
through events like these fits perfectly with my life these days.”

““It’s going to be exciting to start a new chapter of my tennis life playing on
the PowerShares Series circuit,”” said Blake. ““Having just retired from the ATP
tour, you’d think I have an advantage over some of the guys, but players like
Andy, Andre and Pete are so talented and competitive that is going to be a great
challenge for me to win some titles. I look forward to the challenge.””

The full 2014 PowerShares Series schedule with field of players are as follows:

Wednesday, February 5, Kansas City, Missouri, Sprint Centre – Ivan Lendl, John
McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang

Thursday, February 6, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Arena – Ivan
Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang

Thursday, February 13, Birmingham, Alabama, BJCC – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick,
Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Friday, February 14, Indianapolis, Indiana, Bankers Life Fieldhouse – John
McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, February 19, Denver, Colorado, Pepsi Center – Andy Roddick, James
Blake, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Thursday, February 20, Houston, Texas, Toyota Center – Andre Agassi, Jim
Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake

Tuesday, February 25, Salt Lake City, Utah, Energy Solutions Arena – Pete
Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, February 26, Sacramento, California, Sleep Train Arena – Pete
Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, February 27, Portland, Oregon, Moda Center – Andre Agassi, John
McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, March 12, Nashville, Tennessee, Bridgestone Arena – John McEnroe,
Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander

Thursday, March 13, Charlotte, North Carolina, Time Warner Arena – John McEnroe,
Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander

Friday, March 21, Surprise, Arizona, Surprise Stadium – Pete Sampras, Jim
Courier, Todd Martin, Michael Chang

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Players React to James Blake’s Retirement

James Blake

James Blake

(August 26, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -  On Monday some players were asked in press about James Blake’s announcement about his retirement after the US Open. Here are a few reactions:

 

VENUS WILLIAMS:  You know, James, obviously the US Open was a special place for him.  I understand how he would want to end here.  You know, I think he still has, you know, a lot of great tennis in him, but he’s decided that now is the time for him.

He has a family now, so those are important priorities from what I hear.  He’s ready, so all we can do is support him.  Hopefully he will be able to contribute to tennis outside of the game, outside of playing pro tennis, in whichever way he chooses.

What I admired period about him was how he gave back, you know, obviously using his tennis career and celebrity to give back, especially to cancer because his dad passed.

And also the excitement he brought to the game.  I think he brought a lot of people into tennis.  It’s always great and also sad to lose someone who helps grow the game.  People are always interested in James, so that’s what I’m going to miss.

 

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, just pure heart.  I mean, the guy has been really just a great person with a great heart.  He’s been through so much.  Being even able to be a professional player with his back, and then doing so well.  We won together at Hopman Cup.  He was such a great partner and a great friend.

It’s just sad to see.  Sad to see another good friend of mine that I’m not going

 

RAFAEL NADAL:  Well, James was one of the more charismatic players on tour.  His style of game was spectacular a lot of days.  He was able to play winners on the return with great first serves, and his forehand was one of the best on tour, no?  Without no one doubt, he was able to hit very hard.  His image was great.

He’s a good example for the kids and a good example for the tour.  He’s a really good person.

 

RYAN HARRISON:  James has been a good friend in the locker room to everybody.  I mean, it’s funny.  Whenever you ask anyone about James, he’s left a great impression and just a great impact on everybody that he’s known in the game.

His career is one thing.  He obviously has his results.  I think something far more important that he’s leaving behind is the fact he left a really positive impact on tennis and the people he was around, which is what you are ultimately looking forward to doing after having a long, successful career like he’s had.

He’s one of the greatest guys out here on tour.  He’s into the next stage of his life, which is being the family man, having the baby, having his wife and kid, just going that route.

I’m extremely happy for him.  I congratulated him when I saw him.  You know, I look forward to keeping in touch with him throughout his life after tennis.

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James Blake to Retire After US Open

 

James Blake

(August 26, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – James Blake announced in a Monday morning news conference at the US Open that he is retiring from the tennis tour. The US Open will be his final tournament.

”No real surprise here,” said the former No. 4. “This is my last tournament.  I have had 14 pretty darn good years on tour, loved every minute of it, and I definitely couldn’t have asked for a better career.”

Blake who was tearful at points in his news conference, said now his focus will be on his family.

“The competition is something else I will miss,” said the 33-year-old American.  “I will miss pressure‑packed moments, break points, set points, match points, crowd getting into it.  But I’m so, so fortunate to have a life after this that I’m looking forward to with my wife, with my family.

“You know, there are so many athletes that say they can never replace that feeling of having that adrenaline rush, but I get more of an adrenaline rush now seeing my daughter wake up in the morning.  That’s something that I’m truly looking forward to, being able to spend more time with my wife and daughter.”

Blake, who left Harvard before becoming a pro in 1999 reached his career high No. in the world in 2006.

“I don’t kid myself. I know I have had a great career in my eyes, but it’s not one that’s going to go down in the history books,” Blake said. “It’s not one that’s going to end in Newport (home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame) but it’s one that I’m proud of.”

Blake survived two major health scares – breaking vertebrae in his neck and suffering from an illness which affected his sight and temporarily paralyzed a portion of his face.

He also raised money for cancer in honor of his father who died from stomach cancer.

“I know I’m lucky enough to have spent 24 years with a guy I couldn’t have asked for a better father and someone to treat me ‑‑ to raise me the way he did and for me to learn how to be a man from no better role model.”

Blake lists his proudest moment as being a member of the 2007 US team along with Andy Roddick and the Bryan Brothers, which won the Davis Cup title.

“I don’t want to be dragged out of this game”, said Blake. “I don’t want someone telling me I need to leave.  I want to leave on my own terms.  I’m happy doing that right now.”

Blake, who is ranked No. 100 in the world, will face Ivo Karlovic in the first round.

 

 Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

 

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Taste of Tennis Brings Tennis Stars and Culinary Celebrities Together for Pre-US Open Soirée

 

Serena Williams photo by Josh Meiseles

Serena Williams photo by Josh Meiseles

By  Vito Ellison  and Josh Meiseles Special to Tennis Panorama News

(August 22, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – There are few tennis events that reveal players’ personalities and exhibit their creativity outside the court quite like the Taste of Tennis. An annual pre-US Open event in midtown Manhattan, the Taste of Tennis serves as an amalgam of tennis, fashion and a premier culinary showcase from some of New York’s finest restaurants.

Venus

The 14th annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis was held Thursday evening with proceeds benefitting the James Beard Foundation, an organization that helps develop the culinary arts. Serena Williams hosted a star-studded event, featuring former ATP Top-10 talents James Blake and Janko Tipsarevic, as well as WTA stars Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams.

 

 

ESPN analyst and former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert made an appearance, along with doubles legend Mark Woodforde. Two-time Winter Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan also took part in the festivities.

“I had two or three different sushis, the little slider was good. Very good food,” the always animated Gilbert exclaimed. “This event I think I’ve gone every single year for 15 years and the lady behind it Judy Lerner is good people right there.”

Among the chefs that participated, Top Chef Masters champion Marcus Samuelsson joined fellow alums Harold Dieterle, Dale Talde, Jesse Schenker and Jonathan Waxman. World-renowned chef David Burke was also on hand.

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There was plenty of tennis discussion on the red carpet, with Tipsarevic discussing the grind of the ATP Tour and the current state of his game. “You really need to be focused every single day of your life, because you have other younger and better guys who are working to take your spot. I kind of lost my focus a bit and you can see the results. But I’m feeling good now, I’m playing good, it’s not the end of the world and I hope I’ll be back in the Top-10.”

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Blake also commented on whether the J-Block will be out in full force at the US Open. “I think they’ll be here. They might not be as big as they used to be, because my friends had to go out and actually get real jobs, so some of them can’t make it out to the day matches. If there’s a night match, there’ll be plenty of J-Blockers.”

The evening also included some breaking news as 39-year-old Jill Craybas, who reached a career-high singles ranking of 39 in 2006, revealed that she will be retiring from professional tennis following the US Open.

“It’s a really tough decision to make because it’s been part of your life for so long,” Craybas said. “But I feel like lately my priorities have been starting to change, I’ve been starting to want other things in my life. I really struggled this past year with my tennis and how I was doing. I started pursuing some other things and started getting interested in other things, but it’s never an easy decision. You never know when you want to stop, but you kind of come to terms with it sooner or later.”

The BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis benefited the James Beard Foundation. The event was produced by AYS Sports Marketing.

 

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James Blake Leads List of Wild Cards for Cincinnati

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CINCINNATI (August 8, 2013) — Seven of the eight men’s wild cards for the 2013 Western & Southern Open have been awarded to American players, with four US players being added to the main draw and three entered into qualifying.

 

James Blake, Brian BakerRyan Harrison and Jack Sock have been granted wild cards in to the main draw.

 

In qualifying, Australian Bernard Tomic joins a trio of Americans who each reached a career high ranking last month – Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla and Rhyne Williams - in the field.

 

“We’re happy to welcome a familiar face like James back to a tournament where he has had a tremendous amount of success in his career,” said Tournament Director Vince Cicero. “At the same time, it’s exciting to offer these younger players a chance to participate in a tournament of this caliber. We look forward to having all eight of these players in Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open.”

 

Blake, the 2007 Western & Southern Open finalist, will be making his 12th apperance at the tournament, third among active players behind Tommy Haas (14) and Roger Federer (13). He also ranks sixth among active players for wins in Cincinnati with a 15-10 record.

 

Baker, from Nashville, returned to tennis in 2012 after a series of injuries kept him sidelined for nearly six seasons. He climbed to almost No. 50 in the rankings before suffering a knee injury at the Australian Open in January that has kept him out of action until this week’s Aptos Challenger.

 

Harrison, a 21-year-old who now calls Austin, Texas, home, reached the semifinals last month at the ATP event in Atlanta. He also claimed the title at the Savannah Challenger this season. It will be his third Western & Southern Open main draw appearance.

 

Sock, a 20-year-old from Lincoln, Neb., won the title at the Challenger event in Winnetka, Ill., last month. He reached his second career ATP quarterfinal in February at Memphis. In 2010, Sock won the US Open Juniors title.

 

The four wild card entrants to the qualifying field will compete in a two-round tournament over this coming weekend for one of seven spots in the main draw.

 

Tomic, 20, is the top-ranked player from Australia. He recently reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and early this season claimed his first career title with a win in Sydney.

 

Kudla, a 20-year-old who grew up in Virginia, reached the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club in London in June.

 

Johnson, 23, won back-to-back NCAA singles champions in 2011-12 while playing for the University of Southern California. He won the Nottingham Challenger in June.

 

Williams, 22, turned pro after his sophomore year at the University of Tennessee, and was the NCAA singles finalist in 2011. He reached his first career ATP semifinal at Houston in April.

 

In addition, the following players have been added to the main draw – Radek Stepanek , Thomaz Bellucci and Denis Istomin. These three were entered following the withdrawals of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (knee), Viktor Troicki (suspension) and Marin Cilic (personal).

 

The draws for both the main draw and qualifying will be made on Friday. Qualifying begins Saturday, which is also AdvancePierre Foods Kids Day, and tickets start as low as $5. WTA main draw play begins Monday. All matches will take place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

 

The Western & Southern Open hosted 176,000 fans in 2012, recording a record 10 sellouts over the 16 total sessions spanning nine days. The event drew fans from all 50 states and 19 countries. Cincinnati is one of the last stops on the Emirates Airline US Open Series leading up to the US Open, and often critical points and bonus money are on the line adding drama to the week.

 

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NY Sportimes Defeat Philadelphia Freedoms, 22-17 in World TeamTennis

James Blake

By Jerry Milani

ALBANY, N.Y, July 15, 2013 – The NY Sportimes won four of five events as they topped the Philadelphia Freedoms, 22-17, in Mylan World TeamTennis action at SEFCU Arena at the University of Albany on Monday.

Jesse Witten and James Blake opened the evening for the Sportimes (3-3) with a men’s doubles triumph over Samuel Groth and Jordan Kerr, 5-2. Anna-Lena Groenefeld followed with a 5-2 women’s singles victory over Victoria Duval to double the Sportimes’ advantage to 10-4. Groth then turned the tables on Blake, topping the Sportimes’ marquee player by the same 5-2 count in men’s singles to shave the Freedoms’ (1-5) deficit to 12-9 at halftime.

Kveta Peschke and Blake then teamed to upend the Freedoms’ mixed doubles tandem of Liezel Huber and Groth, 5-4, for a four-game NY advantage heading into the final event. Groenefeld and Peschke then closed out the match by edging Duval and Huber, 5-4, for the final margin.

The Sportimes next host the Boston Lobsters on Tuesday SEFCU Arena, beginning at 7:30.  Team captain John McEnroe will then lead the Sportimes in their final match of the Albany portion of the Mylan WTT home season, set for Thursday at 7:30 vs. the Orange County Breakers.
Philadelphia hosts Washington at The Pavilion at Villanova University on Tuesday in its next action.

Mylan World TeamTennis
NY Sportimes 22, Philadelphia Freedoms 17
At SEFCU Arena, Albany, N.Y.
Men’s doubles, Jesse Witten/James Blake (Sportimes) d. Samuel Groth/Jordan Kerr, 5-2
Women’s singles, Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Sportimes) d. Victoria Duval, 5-2
Men’s singles, Groth (Freedoms) d. Blake, 5-2
Mixed doubles, Witten/Kveta Peschke (Sportimes) d. Liezel Huber/Groth, 5-4
Women’s doubles,  Groenefeld/Peshke (Sportimes) d. Duval/Huber, 5-4

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James Blake Ends Wimbledon Losing Streak

JamesBlakeLeggMason

(June 25, 2013) USA’s James Blake snapped a five-match losing streak at Wimbledon over five years when he beat No. 93 Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to move into the second round. Blake had lost his opening matches the last four years.

Former world No. 4, currently ranked 87th in the world Blake spoke about the “streak.”

“I definitely wasn’t thinking about my record here that often,” Blake told media.  “I was just going out, getting a scouting report, and worrying about the guy in front of me.

“That’s all I can do.  I can’t change what happened in the last few years.  Today felt good.  Trying to appreciate this kind of a day.  We don’t get this kind of weather here that often.

“Go out and make the best of it.  You know, played pretty well I felt like, and, you know, took advantage of opportunities.  Got a little lucky here and there.  Just one of those days where all of those things are going together and it worked out well.”

The 33-year-old’s best results at the All England Club came in 2006 and 2007 when he reached the third round.

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James Blake Commits to Play Newport

JamesBlakeTasteofTennis-600x450

NEWPORT, R.I., May 30, 2013 – James Blake, a former world top-5 player on the ATP World Tour has joined the player field for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, to be held July 8 – 14 in Newport, Rhode Island. The tournament, which is hosted directly after Wimbledon, is the first stop of the summer swing for professional tennis in the United States and the only ATP World Tour tournament hosted in the Northeast.

 

“It will be great to have James back in Newport this summer. He always delivers exciting tennis and we know his New England fans will appreciate the opportunity to see him back in action in this area,” said Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning. “Putting James in the mix with players like John Isner, Sam Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, and Ryan Harrison sets us up for a great week to kick off the pro tennis summer season in the United States.”

 

Blake has won 10 singles titles and 7 doubles titles. He reached a career high ranking of world No. 4 in 2006, and was the No. 1 American player. In 2007, he was a member of the championship United States Davis Cup team.

 

Earlier this year, Blake and fellow American Jack Sock won the doubles title at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. The pair also advanced to the finals at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis.

 

Blake is an addition to a player field headlined by top American players. Two-time defending champion John Isner and No. 1 American Sam Querrey are both scheduled to compete in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, along with Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock.

 

Other notable Americans in the field include 2009 champion Rajeev Ram, ATP World Tour veterans Michael Russell and Brian Baker, and rising stars Dennis Kudla, Tim Smyczek, and Rhyne Williams.

 

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt has committed to return to Newport this summer, following a successful run at last year’s event that brought him into the finals. Marinko Matosevic of Australia, Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands, all of whom are ranked among the world top-65 will also compete. Three additional wild card entries for the tournament are yet to be named.

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Americans in Paris – Day One at Roland Garros

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(May 26, 2013) Twenty-five players from the United States are competing in the singles draws of Paris this fortnight at Roland Garros – 15 women and 10 men. Americans went 4-4 in Paris on the first day of the French Open.

Here is a look at how they all fared:

First Round: Serena Williams (1) (USA) def. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 6-0, 6-1

In 2012 Serena Williams lost for the only time in the first round of a major when she fell to Virginie Razzano in Paris. Williams did not let that happen on Sunday. Her demolition of Tashvilli saw Williams win 56 of 78 points in the match and hit 8 aces.

Serena was questioned about about the surge of women from the U. S.  in the main draw of Roland Garros – a total of 15.

“I think the quality over the past year has jumped tremendously with the U.S. players,” Williams said.  “On the female, female U.S. players.  I think last year here, outside of me, all the U.S. girls did really, really well, and I think we started to see then just so many players just popping up left and right.

“That’s 15 in the main draw?  That’s pretty awesome.  Yeah.  So it is a lot of players, but they’re all really young.  So there is still an opportunity to grow.”

Williams gets a French wild card, promising teenager Caroline Garcia next. Back in 2011, Garcia led Maria Sharapova in Paris 6-3, 4-1 before the Russian came back to win in three sets.

 

First round: Sam Querrey (18) (USA) def. Lukas Lacko (POL) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

The No. 1 U. S. male who is 20th in the world, has equaled his best performance at the French Open by reaching the second round. In fact, the California native won Sunday’s match on the same court where he was victorious back in 2011 – on Court 7. Querrey is 1-3 on clay coming into Paris this season.

“The clay season has been a little rough,” Querrey said to media.  “Pulled out of Houston, and the Masters Series, I played well in both of them, but took two losses.  And then Nice was a little disappointing.

“I just focused on my attitude out here today and played the best match I’ve played all year on any surface.”

Querrey gets Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic next in the second round. Hajek defeated American Dennis Kudla

 

First round: Urszula Radwanska (POL) def. Venus Williams (USA) 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4

The three hour and 19 minute match on Sunday was Williams‘ first loss in the opening round of the French Open since 2001.  She’s now lost in the first round of 2 of the last four majors. she also lost at Wimbledon. Despite the heart-breaking loss, she is not discouraged and will continue to play.

“I think that obviously it’s disappointing to lose,” Venus told media in her post-match news conference.  “It’s not what anyone is going for out here.  Coming out to win.  I’m coming out to win my matches.

“And, you know, with what I’ve gone through, it’s not easy.  But I’m strong and I’m a fighter.  You know, I don’t think I’m just playing for me now.  I think I’m playing for a lot of people who haven’t felt well.

“I think for me today it’s a positive to be able to play three hours.  I’m constantly finding ways to get better and to feel better.

“For me, I would never give up because, you know, obviously at some point everyone has to retire.  You know, that’s an asterisk, but I feel like I have to give myself a chance to continue working on feeling better.  I wouldn’t just give up just because it was difficult.

“That’s not me.  So my thing is that I’m going to keep ‑‑ continue trying.  And, you know, I had a very challenging year last year, but I had many successes, as well.

“So I’m continuing to look forward to more successes.”

Williams is still playing in the French Open, she’s competing in doubles with her sister Serena.

 

First round: Viktor Trocki (SRB) def. James Blake (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

Thirty-three year-old veteran James Blake, playing for the ninth time at Roland Garros could do nothing against Troicki. The highlight of the match for Blake was a between-the-legs shot.

Blake who came into Paris with no clay court ATP tournaments under his belt, spoke about play.

“The difference between my best and now is consistency,” said Blake to media. “I’m still trying to work on it. There are days it is good. Today wasn’t one of my best days. Off days are exposed very quickly out here.”

 

First round: Mallory Burdette (USA) def. Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4

Stanford Alum Mallory Burdette was making her debut on the clay of Paris. She has seen her ranking rise from No. 142 at the beginning of 2013 to No. 80.

Burdette spoke to media about her challenges in learning to play on clay.

“It’s definitely a bit of a different game, but it’s nothing that we can’t adjust to.  I can’t really speak for the other players, but it’s a bit of a challenge.  You have to change up your strategy a little bit, especially if you’re a big hitter.

“It takes a little bit of effort, but it’s fun and it’s a good challenge.”

 

First round: Shelby Rogers (USA) def. 6-3, 6-4 Irena Pavlovic (FRA)

Playing in just her second major, Shelby Rogers made her Paris debut a winning one. Beginning the year on tour at 0-6, she earned a wild card into Roland Garros.

Rogers who turned pro in 2009, reflected on the win:

“Feels really good.  My first Grand Slam main draw win.  And especially against a French player.  I was expecting the crowd to be against me.  I was ready for a battle.”

“It was really tough for a while,” said the 188th ranked player. “I wasn’t a very happy person. But I kept grinding it out every day, and I knew something had to turn around eventually. Here I am – pretty much the highest point of my career.”

 

Jan Hajek(CZE) def. Denis Kudla (USA) 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4

Kudla, once the No. 3 Junior made it into the main draw as a qualifier.

 

Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) def. Grace Min (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

The 2011 U.S. Open Girls’ champion Grace Min made it to the main draw of Roland Garros as a qualifier.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Djokovic and Sharapova Cruise, Del Potro Ousted, Azarenka Withdraws in Miami

Novak Djokovic at BNP Paribas Open players' party

(March 22, 2013) No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Maria Sharapova cruised, while Juan Martin Del Potro and Victoria Azarenka exited the Sony Open on Friday.

Azarenka withdrew from Miami citing an ankle injury she sustained playing the BNP Paribas Open last week.

“I’m very disappointed … But I have to take my health into consideration,” said Azarenka. “I tried everything I could but couldn’t make it. It’s an unfortunate part of our job.”

Azarenka’s withdrawal gave American “lucky loser” Lauren Davis a spot in the draw which she took advantage of when saved three match points in beating countrywoman Madison Keys 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(7).

“I just hoped and I wished and I prayed that I would get in,” said Davis to media. “I was just so happy. I didn’t care if I won or lost. I just was so grateful for the opportunity to play.”

Del Potro had a shocking loss to Germany’s Tobias Kamke 7-6, 6-1.

“I mean, we had some long and tough rallies, but I expected him to play like a little bit faster and that he puts more pressure on me and he gave me a little time, so it helped me a lot in the beginning, “ noted Kamke.

“And, yeah, I saved two set points on 5‑2, and somehow I came back in that set and had the chance to win it.  Second set after the break I felt even better.  Then he missed in the beginning some easy forehands, I think, and he was a little bit frustrated, I think.

“He didn’t play obviously his best tennis, but still I think I did a good job and pretty satisfied with that.”

“Just a bad day and he play really well,” Del Potro told media after the match.  “He took the chance to beat me tonight, and I think that’s it.”

“I never played against him until today.  But he’s a good player, of course.”

The match was interrupted by a rain delay.

Sharapova strolled 6-2 6-0 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard. The only thing that slowed down the Russian was the half hour power outage during the night session which. There was also a three hour rain delay earlier which pushed the match schedule back.

“I have been on the tour for many years and I have been part of a few delays” Sharapova said.  “Maybe not a power outage, but you treat it as maybe a rain delay and you go in, and as soon as you have to get out and just be ready, do a quick warmup, and be ready for the match.”

Djokovic’s game certainly had no power shortage. The two-time defending Sony Open champion dismantled Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-0 raising his Miami win streak to 13 matches in a row. The match followed the Sharapova win on Stadium court.

“It is a great start,” said Djokovic. “After Indian Wells, I tried to rest. There are different conditions here, but tonight was perfect for tennis. I enjoyed every moment of it and I love this court.”

“I probably had a seven-hour delay in Indian Wells before the fourth round, so this was a mild delay,” laughed a jovial Djokovic. “The hotel where we are staying is nearby, so it’s convenient to rest and prepare.”

David Ferrer, the third seed advanced to the next round when his opponent when Dmitry Tursunov pulled out with acute gastroenteritis.

I’m happy to still be out here playing,  said  the 33-yeat-old world No. 95 James Blake who took out No. 27 Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-3. “Every year it seems like there is new challenges and stuff and now at this age it’s the challenge of still trying to get better and still trying to improve is not as easy as when I was 22 and 23 still learning a ton of stuff.”

“It’s just a matter of still enjoying it so much that it makes it worth it, “  the American wildcard added.  Days like today make it absolutely worth it.  Makes it a lot of fun.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

Friday, March 22 2013

WTA Singles – Second Round
*[LL] L Davis (USA) d. [WC] M Keys (USA) 61 57 76(7) – saved 3 M.P.
[3] M Sharapova (RUS) d. [WC] E Bouchard (CAN) 62 60
[6] A Kerber (GER) d. F Schiavone (ITA) 67(5) 63 62
[8] S Errani (ITA) d. D Hantuchova (SVK) 63 61
[11] N Petrova (RUS) d. J Zheng (CHN) 63 61
[12] A Ivanovic (SRB) d. U Radwanska (POL) 62 61
[14] M Kirilenko (RUS) d. [Q] B Mattek-Sands (USA) 61 64
[15] R Vinci (ITA) d. C Mchale (USA) 67(2) 61 63
S Kuznetsova (RUS) d. [18] E Makarova (RUS) 64 64
[20] C Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. J Hampton (USA) 57 75 76(3) – saved 1 M.P.
[21] K Zakopalova (CZE) d. A Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 76(3)
[22] J Jankovic (SRB) d. [WC] V Duval (USA) 63 75
S Halep (ROU) d. [26] T Paszek (AUT) 61 67(4) 75
[28] S Cirstea (ROU) d. [Q] S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 26 75 62
[29] E Vesnina (RUS) d. [Q] D Vekic (CRO) 64 62
[32] A Cornet (FRA) d. L Robson (GBR) 57 75 61

*[LL] L Davis (USA) replaced [2] V Azarenka (BLR) – right ankle

WTA Doubles – First Round
[WC] S Kuznetsova (RUS) / F Pennetta (ITA) vs [2] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) – cancelled
[4] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) d. N Grandin (RSA) / V Uhlirova (CZE) 67(5) 63 10-6
[5] L Huber (USA) / M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) – cancelled
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) vs [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / F Schiavone (ITA) – cancelled
I Begu (ROU) / A Rosolska (POL) vs *[Alt] T Malek (GER) / T Tanasugarn (THA) 55 – postponed

*[Alt] T Malek (GER) / T Tanasugarn (THA) replaced M Erakovic (NZL) / H Watson (GBR) – Watson (left adductor)
ATP Singles – Second Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d L Rosol (CZE) 61 60
[3] D Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] D Tursunov (RUS) w/o (acute gastroenteritis)
T Kamke (GER) d [5] J Del Potro (ARG) 76(5) 61
[7] J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [Q] D Sela (ISR) 62 64
[11] G Simon (FRA) d [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) 63 63
A Ramos (ESP) d [12] J Monaco (ARG) 62 46 63
[13] K Nishikori (JPN) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 63
[15] T Haas (GER) d I Sijsling (NED) 60 57 63
[19] A Dolgopolov (UKR) d N Davydenko (RUS) 62 63
X Malisse (BEL) d [22] J Chardy (FRA) 63 62
G Zemlja (SLO) d [23] F Mayer (GER) 63 76(3)
[WC] J Blake (USA) d [24] J Benneteau (FRA) 62 63
[26] K Anderson (RSA) d H Zeballos (ARG) 63 76(4)
J Melzer (AUT) d [31] M Granollers (ESP) 63 64
[32] F Fognini (ITA) d M Llodra (FRA) 64 61
S Devvarman (IND) d [LL] E Roger-Vasselin* (FRA) 46 64 75

*[LL] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) replaced [30] F Lopez (ESP) (left wrist injury)

ATP Doubles – First Round
M Mirnyi (BLR) / M Youzhny (RUS) d [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) 64 26 10-5
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) d R Gasquet (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 76(3) 63
[4] R Lindstedt (SWE) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d M Klizan (SVK) / A Seppi (ITA) 76(7) 64
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [6] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) 75 64
M Cilic (CRO) / L Dlouhy (CZE) d D Bracciali (ITA) / J Knowle (AUT) 76(10) 62

 

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 23 MARCH, 2013

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[25] V Lepchenko (USA) vs [5] N Li (CHN) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) vs V Troicki (SRB) – ATP
B Tomic (AUS) vs [2] A Murray (GBR) – ATP

Not Before 4:30 PM
[19] V Williams (USA) vs [16] S Stephens (USA) – WTA

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) vs A Morita (JPN) – WTA

Not Before 9:30 PM
[25] F Verdasco (ESP) vs A Falla (COL) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[8] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [Q] O Rochus (BEL) – ATP

Not Before 1:00 PM
[4] A Radwanska (POL) vs M Rybarikova (SVK) – WTA
[20] J Isner (USA) vs I Dodig (CRO) – ATP
[14] M Raonic (CAN) vs [Q] G Rufin (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) vs [4] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
L Kubot (POL) vs [17] S Querrey (USA) – ATP
T Bellucci (BRA) vs [21] J Janowicz (POL) – ATP
[WC] G Pella (ARG) vs [10] N Almagro (ESP) – ATP
S Giraldo (COL) vs [9] M Cilic (CRO) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
R Oprandi (SUI) vs [13] D Cibulkova (SVK) – WTA

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[WC] A Petkovic (GER) vs [WC] A Tomljanovic (CRO) – WTA
[9] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) – WTA
[30] K Flipkens (BEL) vs [7] P Kvitova (CZE) – WTA
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) vs L Kubot (POL) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) / B Tomic (AUS) – ATP-After Suitable Rest

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[18] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs D Goffin (BEL) – ATP
J Nieminen (FIN) vs [27] M Klizan (SVK) – ATP
[29] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs S Bolelli (ITA) – ATP
T Bellucci (BRA) / H Zeballos (ARG) vs [8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
V Dushevina (RUS) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs M Moulton-Levy (USA) / S Zhang (CHN) – WTA
E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) vs R Bopanna (IND) / R Ram (USA) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs K Date-Krumm (JPN) / C Dellacqua (AUS) – WTA
[5] L Huber (USA) / M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) – WTA
I Begu (ROU) / A Rosolska (POL) vs [Alt] T Malek (GER) / T Tanasugarn (THA) 55 – WTA

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
[16] A Seppi (ITA) vs A Bedene (SLO) – ATP
T Haas (GER) / X Malisse (BEL) vs J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
Y Lu (TPE) vs [28] M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
G Simon (FRA) / V Troicki (SRB) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[WC] C Harrison (USA) / R Harrison (USA) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) / F Nielsen (DEN) – ATP-After Suitable Rest

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
C Black (ZIM) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Lisicki (GER) – WTA
[WC] S Kuznetsova (RUS) / F Pennetta (ITA) vs [2] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) – WTA
H Chan (TPE) / J Husarova (SVK) vs [3] N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) – WTA
E Birnerova (CZE) / V Lepchenko (USA) vs [7] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / S Mirza (IND) – WTA
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) vs [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / F Schiavone (ITA) – WTA

 

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