May 3, 2016

Seeds Cibulkova and Hampton Overcome Inspired Opponents


By Kevin Ware

Dominika Cibulkova [3] defeats Stephanie Voegele 7-5 7-6(5)

(July 25, 2013) STANFORD, CA – Worries about fitness and the lingering effects of an Achilles injury fell by the wayside for Dominika Cibulkova after she overcame Stephanie Voegele of Switzerland 7-5 7-6(5) in the first match of the day on stadium court.

She showed no signs of slowness or hesitation, but did sport a layer of physio tape on her lower leg. “The tape is for prevention. My Achilles will always be tough to deal with because I have this problem with the bone. That’s why my physio has to take good care of it so that I can keep playing.”

Though her leg was fine, the rust in her game was another matter. She struggled to close out the first set after leading 5-2, only doing so after breaking the Voegele serve in the eleventh game to take it at 7-5.

With the first set under her belt, Cibulkova looked poised to close out the second in more direct fashion. Voegele had other ideas, once again working her way back into the match after Cibulkova had lead 5-2.

Fittingly, the second set ended in a tiebreaker that Cibulkova won with fearless hitting from her forehand at 5-all, before serving it out on her first match point.

When asked afterward if she’d expected such a tough match from her Swiss opponent, Cibulkova was very complimentary of her Voegele’s abilities.

“I expected a really tough match because she’s playing really well at this time. I played her long time ago but remember how she’s playing close to the lines.”

“I just made it tough for myself. In the end I made it, but it could be easier for me.”

Hampton wins

Jamie Hampton [4] defeats Nicole Gibbs 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3

Fourth-seed Jamie Hampton had her hands full overcoming her own “rust”, as well as the inspired play of Nicole Gibbs; who was making her professional debut at this tournament after a stellar career at Stanford.

Rust on Hampton’s part was understandable, since this was Hampton’s first match of the tournament after receiving a first round bye as one of the top 4 seeds. “I’ve been here for a week now and I haven’t played. And I’ve never done anything like that before.”

The lack of sharpness in Hampton’s game was less of an issue, however, than the dogged determination shown by Gibbs.

Hampton might hit a harder ball than Gibbs, but Gibbs showed no sign of intimidation as she moved her opponent from side-to-side to keep the ball out of Hampton’s wheel house, and to expose any footwork weaknesses.

The first set was tightly-contested until a loose game by Gibbs at 5-all gave Hampton the crucial break, and allowed her to serve it out at 7-5.

The second set, won by Gibbs in a tiebreak, was an equally tight affair; made more so because of Hampton’s mounting unforced error total as she mixed winners and unforced errors interchangeably throughout.

After the match, Hampton was asked specifically about her serving difficulties on the day when she offered this assessment of her overall play: “To be honest, I just felt like I was struggling in general today.”

In spite of the efforts of her Stanford football team cheering section, Gibbs game began to unravel. The third set saw Hampton draw upon her experience as pro to serve bigger and hit bigger on shots that finally started to find their mark. There was little Gibbs could do than just say “too good”.

Gibbs managed a brief comeback (after falling behind 0-4) to get back on serve at 3-4. But she couldn’t sustain the momentum, and gave up one final break for 3-5. Hampton quickly closed out the match for the win.

Gibbs was remarkably upbeat after the match, and happy with the fight she showed on court. “The biggest takeaway is that I can play at this level, and that’s really exciting for me!”

Madison runs for a forehand

Other Match Notes

Daniela Hantuchova lost two straight tiebreakers to hand Urszula Radwanska a 7-6(3) 7-6(3) victory, and her second straight appearance in the Bank of the West quarterfinals. This loss is sure to stick with Hantuchova for because of the seven straight points she lost in the second set tiebreaker after leading 3-0.

Vera Dushevina beat American Madison Keys in the evening match on stadium court. Keys was unable to get any aspect of her ground game on track during the match, and was also done in by Dushevina’s strong service returns.

Keys is widely touted as one of the top prospects for future US slam success. And while it’s true that she has an immense amount of talent, she also still has a long way to go in terms of developing a more complete game to compliment her strong serve and ground strokes.

Kevin Ware is covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site

[nggallery id=87]

All photography by David Sweet.

Stanford, CA, USA
July 22-28, 2013

Results – Thursday, July 25, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(3) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 75 76(5)
(4) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. (WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) 75 67(5) 63
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(3) 76(3)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Madison Keys (USA) 76(0) 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) 63 62
(2) Goerges/Jurak (GER/CRO) d. Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) 06 62 105 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Friday, July 26, 2013
Stadium (from 12.00hrs)
1. Sorana Cirstea vs. Olga Govortsova
2. Urszula Radwanska vs. Dominika Cibulkova
3. Jamie Hampton vs. Vera Dushevina (NB 15.30hrs)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 20.00hrs)
5. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Muhammed/Will

Court 6 (NB 16.30hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Chan/Dushevina (after suitable rest)


Vesnina Claims Second Title of 2013 in Eastbourne

Elena Vesnina

By Ros Satar

(June 22, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –

Elena Vesnina def. Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1

Elena Vesnina followed up her maiden WTA title in Hobart with a convincing win over Jamie Hampton.

Playing in extremely blustery conditions, Vesnina seemed to handle the conditions better when it counted.

The crowd was treated to some epic games, and in truth the score line feels a little harsh for the American qualifier, who was playing her eighth match and had played through almost every type of weather conceivable.

Vesnina did have to contend with a warning for time violation as the wind played havoc first with her ball-toss and then with her outfit.

The first break, when it came, was more down to a rash of errors from Hampton, but she then failed to take three break point opportunities to break straight back.

Her concentration and confidence seemed to take a dive as another string of errors handed Vesnina the first set.

Despite calling for her coach before the second set, Hampton struggled to hold her serve, saving two break points and brought her coach out again before finally getting a game on the board.

But it really was one-way traffic after that point, as Vesnina was able to play the bigger points better.

There is a lot for Hampton to take from this week, playing matches in some really adverse conditions, including a haze so heavy it was hard to see the scoreboard at the other end of the court.

“I have given myself like a two hour time limit to sulk, basically the journey up to Wimbledon, maybe have a little chocolate (smiling) and then move on and get on with Wimbledon, start thinking about the match a little bit,” she said before going on to praise her opponent.

“I was surprised honestly how she was even hitting the ball in the court, and on top of that she was playing very good tennis. She was very deserving of the title today.”

Hampton moves up from 41 to 25 in the world rankings on Monday and will be the No. 3 American behind Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams.

Hampton will face Sloane Stephens in the first round of Wimbledon – perhaps a little unfortunate as both had good runs at the French Open.

Before the start of this year, Vesnina was 0-6 in both singles and doubles finals.

Now she has two tour titles, and a Grand Slam title, winning the doubles with Ekaterina Makarova at Roland Garros.

Battling similar conditions to her maiden title in Hobart, she described the experience after the match.

“At the beginning of the match, I was like, Oh, my God, I just need to stay in the match, just try to play every single point. Don’t think about wind and just fight.

“It was just about fighting spirit.

“If you’re able to handle this, if you’re able to play under the pressure with this kind of wind, you will do well.”

Winning a grand slam title at Roland Garros has given Vesnina a degree of confidence, but it could have also been destiny.

“Yevgeny Kafelnikov, he’s from Sochi, he’s from my home city, and when he won Roland Garros many years ago I was coached by his dad.

“I came to his house, and his dad showed me the trophy.
“He told me that it’s going to be your first Grand Slam title, believe me.

“And it happened.”

Not that boost of confidence has gone to her head.

“Everybody is joking right now about me, Oh, like you’re a Grand Slam, you can say whatever you want, like you can do whatever you want.

“It gave me that confidence, gave myself belief even more.
“But I didn’t change as a person. I’m same.”

Vesnina has been as far as the Round of 16 at Wimbledon but in recent years has struggled to get past the first two rounds.

She will face Andrea Hlavackova in the first round, and Wimbledon starts on Monday, June 24th.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist – an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She was covering the AEGON International this week as media for Tennis Panorama News.  She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports ( Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.


Hampton in the Hunt for Maiden Title in Eastbourne

By Ros Satar

(June 21, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –

Jamie Hampton def. Caroline Wozniacki 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3
Qualifier, Jamie Hampton is hunting for her maiden WTA tour title, after scoring another good win in the Aegon International, Eastbourne.

Hampton started strongly, taking the initiative early, but Wozniacki dragged the first set into a tiebreak.

Momentum again looked to be with the American, but set points went begging partly down to two outlandishly missed volleys.

Suddenly the Dane was in the driver’s seat, rounding out the first set 10-8 in the tiebreak.

It was all looking like a formality, as Wozniacki’s experience seemed to serve her better in the blustery conditions.

But Hampton fought back to break as Wozniacki was serving for the match at 5-4.

Hampton had her tail up and broke again to take the match into a decider.

Wozniacki broke early in the third set, only to lose the advantage immediately, and in a match that had seen swings of momentum throughout, it was Hampton who nudged ahead.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Wozniacki saved one match point, but there were no mistakes on the second as Hampton put a volley slap bang in the corner of the court.

Wozniacki could only wryly smile as the American qualifier reaches her first tour final.

It seemed less like a sleepy seaside town and more like playing in the middle of a tornado at times.

Hampton joked about the conditions in her post match press conference:
“Conditions are a little rougher than everywhere else, but you guys make up for it with the nice courts.”

Although mindful that she has a shot at her maiden title tomorrow, Hampton could not resist a peek at the Wimbledon draw, where she will face fellow American Sloane Stephens.

“It’s a bit of a bummer that two Americans have to play first round considering we both had great French Opens, but I’m going to treat it just like every other match.”


Elena Vesnina def. Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-0
Hampton will face Russia’s Elena Vesnina, who overcame Yanina Wickmayer rather easily than she anticipated.

Wickmayer handed over two breaks of serve, and called down her coach after losing the first set.

However, it seemed to do her no good at all as she did not register another game for the rest of the match.

“I was expecting it’s going to be very long and difficult match for both of us.
“I think after first set she kind of lose her concentration, and it looks like she didn’t know what to do,” said Vesnina after the match.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s final, the Russian had been playing some attention to Hampton’s progress through the tournament this week.

“It’s going to be very interesting match, I think. Jamie is a very talented player. It’s her first final.

“I’m pretty sure she’s very excited about that.”

Wickmayer had taken out two top ten players this week, first dispatching Petra Kvitova and then Maria Kirilenko, both in three-setters.

But there was none of that fight left in her today, leaving Vesnina looking to follow up her own maiden title from Hobart this year.

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.


Thursday’s Roundup at Eastbourne

By Ros Satar

(June 20, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England – The playing conditions on Thursday started in the murk of a mist coming in off the sea, a complete contrast to the hot sunny conditions the day before.


No sooner had the first players made their way out and finished knocking up, a persistent bout of rain saw play suspended for over an hour.


When play did resume, it was in a backdrop of mist or, as we learned, a sea-fret [a wet mist or haze coming inland from the sea].


Either way, visibility was poor for the first set or so, causing issues in the early matches.


Feliciano Lopez def. Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6(6)

Verdasco had not been happy about the restart even before the match started, complaining to ATP tour supervisor Tom Barnes.


The conditions better suited Lopez, who dialed into his serve well today, taking advantage of the muggier conditions to put his slice to effective use.


Verdasco was less than pleased with the decisions made after the match, claiming: “(If) I was Rafael Nadal, I can say, I don’t play, and I’m pretty sure that the ATP will say, Okay, we wait till the court is good.


“But because I’m not Nadal or Federer or any of these guys, I need to do what the ATP wants, because if I said, I go, the tournament will not say, we wait.


“Then I will get a fine from the ATP because I didn’t want to play in the bad conditions.”


Verdasco went on to describe the close friendship that he shares with Lopez, and how he was able to joke about hating him (not to mention a description that would send the elderly of Eastbourne to an early grave).


Lopez agreed that conditions today had been difficult with the humidity but took Verdasco’s comments at the end in good humor.


Lopez will face Ivan Dodig in the semifinals.


Jamie Hampton def. Lucie Safarova 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-4

Another player who had to contend with the unusual weather was Jamie Hampton who took a couple of tumbles on her way to winning a taut three-setter against Safarova.


The haze over Court 1 was quite considerable when they resumed play, as Hampton explained.


“We were basically playing in a cloud.  There was so much moisture in the air, and the court was slick so I was having a hard time with my footing and my movements.”


Hampton will become the No. 3 American on Monday when the new rankings come out, behind Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.


Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina

Elena Vesnina def. Li Na 7-6(4), 6-3

Another top seed was heading up to SW19 early, as Li Na headed out of Eastbourne, care of Vesnina.


By her own admission, the match had been a little in and out for her: “Sometimes I can play well, but sometimes I think I lose concentration on the court.


“Of course I would like to do more matches [and] still looking forward for Wimbledon.”

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki def. Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-0, 6-3

Caroline Wozniacki made sure a lines-judge felt her wrath after being called on a foot fault in the second set.


First arguing with the umpire, then demonstrating to the judge in question how her heel bone was connected to the anklebone, or at the very least explaining the rules.


Finally the umpire had to intervene and redirect Wozniacki’s focus back to playing the match.


Whatever the issue was, it irked here enough to rip through the second set without dropping a game, leaving Makarova looking stunned at the changeover before losing the deciding the set.


Wozniacki was unrepentant in her press conference about perhaps the lines judge wanting to feel “important”:


“I don’t see a reason other than that why you wanted to call a foot fault on a second serve that isn’t a foot fault.”


Wozniacki is the sole surviving seed, and faces Jamie Hampton in the semi final.


Gilles Simon def. Bernard Tomic 7-6(8), 6-3

The last match of the day saw France’s Gilles Simon advance to the semifinals over Bernard Tomic.


Tomic seemed to have lost heart after losing a tight tie-break, down 1-4 after a brief rain shower but managed to regroup a little.


Rounding out the singles action, Yanina Wickmayer knocked out the sixth seed Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.


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.


Jamie Hampton Takes Out Top Seed in Eastbourne

Jamie Hampton

(June 18, 2013) American qualifier Jamie Hampton knocked out Eastbourne top seed and world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6(2), 6-2 on Tuesday. Radwanska won the event back in 2008.

It’s the second straight year that Radwanska was taken down in the opening round.

“I think playing her in the first match on the grass was tough, and the fact that she played three matches before helped her a little bit,” Radwanska said to media. “Of course, I was practicing here a couple of days, but I think matches are a little bit different than practice. I think I wasn’t maybe quite match ready yet.

“Now I can just hope things turn out like last year! I lost first round here but still ended up playing great tennis at Wimbledon”



Eastbourne, England
June 17-22, 2013

Results – Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Singles – First Round
(Q) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. (1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 76(2) 62
(2/WC) Li Na (CHN) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 62 64
(3) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 64 64
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 64 61
(5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Tamira Paszek (AUT) 62 22 ret.
(WC) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (8) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 62 63
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Olga Puchkova (RUS) 63 60
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 64 76(3)
Laura Robson (GBR) d. (Q) Yuliya Beygelzimer (UKR) 63 62
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) d. (WC) Johanna Konta (GBR) 64 63
(WC) Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. (Q) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 75 76(3)

Doubles – First Round
(2) Huber/Mirza (USA/IND) d. Jurak/Watson (CRO/GBR) 76(4) 76(3)
(4) Pennetta/Vesnina (ITA/RUS) d. Black/Erakovic (ZIM/NZL) 62 75
Chan/Safarova (TPE/CZE) d. Husarova/Lepchenko (VK/USA) 26 62 107 (Match TB)
Kalashnikova/Rosolska (GEO/POL) d. Grandin/Uhlirova (RSA/CZE) 75 64



Singles – First Round
J Benneteau (FRA) d [5] K Anderson (RSA) 76(4) 62
I Dodig (CRO) d D Istomin (UZB) 63 64
M Klizan (SVK) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 62
F Lopez (ESP) d J Nieminen (FIN) 76(3) 76(5)
R Stepanek (CZE) d M Matosevic (AUS) 63 62
B Tomic (AUS) d [WC] J Ward (GBR) 63 64

Doubles – First Round

[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) 63 76(5)
[4] C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) d [WC] J Delgado (GBR) / J Ward (GBR) 76(3) 64
J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) d F Fognini (ITA) / A Seppi (ITA) 63 64
[PR] E Butorac (USA) / A Ram (ISR) d [WC] K Edmund (GBR) / S Thornley (GBR) 46 76(7) 10-6



CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] [WC] M Raonic (CAN) vs I Dodig (CRO) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
Y Wickmayer (BEL) vs [4] P Kvitova (CZE) – WTA
L Robson (GBR) vs [5] C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
Not Before 4:00 PM
[WC] K Edmund (GBR) vs [2] G Simon (FRA) – ATP
[PR] E Butorac (USA) / A Ram (ISR) vs [4] C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) – ATP

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
M Bartoli (FRA) vs [2] [WC] N Li (CHN) – WTA
[4] J Monaco (ARG) vs F Lopez (ESP) – ATP
R Stepanek (CZE) vs [3] P Kohlschreiber (GER) – ATP
E Vesnina (RUS) vs H Watson (GBR) – WTA
[3] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) – ATP

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
A Ramos (ESP) vs F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP
[6] M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [WC] E Baltacha (GBR) – WTA
[7] A Seppi (ITA) vs [Q] R Harrison (USA) – ATP
[3] A Kerber (GER) vs E Makarova (RUS) – WTA

COURT 3 start 11:00 am

L Safarova (CZE) vs [WC] S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
[Q] J Hampton (USA) vs S Hsieh (TPE) – WTA
J Benneteau (FRA) vs B Tomic (AUS) – ATP
[1] N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs S Hsieh (TPE) / M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) – WTA

COURT4 start 11:00 am

[WC] A Keothavong (GBR) / S Murray (GBR) vs [3] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) – WTA
M Klizan (SVK) vs [8] F Fognini (ITA) – ATP
P Hanley (AUS) / K Skupski (GBR) vs M Matkowski (POL) / F Nielsen (DEN) – ATP
M Niculescu (ROU) / K Zakopalova (CZE) vs [2] L Huber (USA) / S Mirza (IND) – WTA
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Klizan (SVK) / M Matosevic (AUS) – ATP


Sharapova and Jankovic Close Round of 16 Door on the Young Vanguard

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

By Ros Satar

(June 3, 2013) PARIS – Jelena Jankovic continued her good run of form with a systematic dismantling of Jamie Hampton 6-0, 6-2, as they took to the court after a thrilling five-setter between Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka.


In an embarrassingly empty stadium, Jankovic wasted no time at all, winning the first set to love, in just 25 minutes.


Hampton was left looking very frustrated with herself, as she rushed shots while Jankovic exhibited pinpoint accuracy, painting the lines, and moving Hampton all around the court.


The second set started better for Hampton with an immediate break of Jankovic’s serve, but was broken straight back.


Hampton gave up a break to love after the change of ends, and from then on, Jankovic was on a mission to get the job done, in the fading light.


Jankovic said: “I was hitting my shots, I didn’t really allow Jamie to play her tennis.


“I was hitting the ball very cleanly, and very solid and went after my shots. I’m pretty pleased with my performance.”


Knowing that the amount of available light was limited, the Serb focused purely on her execution, explaining: “If I start rushing, I might ruin it, I might lose that lead, so I just tried to stay focused in that moment, focused on what I was doing out there.”


Jankovic is coming on her way back up and believes a lot of it is down to regaining the self-belief she had lost with early round defeats last season,


She said: “I go now for my shots and I believe I can make it, especially that backhand which is the shot that pays my bills [laughing].”


But for Hampton, it was a time to reflect on what went wrong, and how to go forward.


After the match, she said: “Obviously you don’t want to lose 0 and 2 in the R16 at a grand slam.


“Today was just a tough day.”


But despite the loss, she can take a lot of positives from this year’s clay court appearances, and has a lot to look forward to.


Compared to last year, with a single win on clay, and a back injury, she has made the semifinals of a WTA Premier event, made it to the second week of a slam for the first time, and uninjured.


She said: “I’m really looking forward to the grass because it suits my game a bit more ad I really have nothing to defend until the US Open.


“It’s a good time for me.”


Jankovic will meet Maria Sharapova, who halted the progress of another promising young American, Sloane Stephens.


Sharapova defeated the twenty-year-old in Rome 6-2, 6-1 and Stephens certainly gave a better account of herself today, mostly going toe to toe with Sharapova.


Losing today, 6-4 6-3, Stephens gave this analysis of her performance.


“It was just kind of a couple points here and there, she broke me, and things like that.


“But I thought I stayed pretty tough and I played solid, so I was happy with it.”


Sharapova agreed that Stephens’ performance had improved from their match in Rome.


She said: “I think she has a tremendous amount of potential.


“I think she has a lot of things in her game that she can ‑‑ in which there is a lot of room for improvement.”


Looking ahead to the quarter-final against her old Bollettieri Academy alumni, she said: “I think the clay really suits her game.


“I think she’s a great retriever, gets, you know, a lot of balls back.


“She’s playing much more consistent I believe than maybe she’s done in the last couple of years, which is nice to see, because she was at that level, you know, and she maintained that level for quite a bit of time.


“But, yeah, she’s a tough opponent.”





Hampton Upsets Kvitova, Joins Countrywomen Williams, Stephens and Mattek-Sands in Round of 16

Jamie Hampton

(June 1, 2013) American Jamie Hampton upset 2011 Wimbledon champion and seventh seed Petra Kvitova 6-1, 7-6 (7) at the French Open on Saturday to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time.

“I think I caught her a little off guard,” said the 54th ranked player.  “I came up with some good shots when I needed to, and I don’t think she was on top of her game.”

“I think that she is quite talented girl, and she played quite fast,” Kvitova said.  “That was the problem for me, I think, because I tried to play fast, too.

“But I did some easy mistakes.  I mean, it was very tough match today for me.”

The 23 year-old Hampton has moved up in the rankings from 70th in the beginning of the year to No. 54 after making WTA Tour semifinals at Auckland and Brussels.

“I had some good results in Australia at the beginning of the year,“ said the 23 year-old. “I had some tough losses before here.  Clay is not my best surface, so to come on to the clay and have some good wins like this is really encouraging.”

“Clay is not my favorite surface, but it’s not like I hate it.  I don’t like it but I don’t hate it.

“To make my first round of 16 at a Grand Slam on a surface that I like the least is encouraging, to be honest.”

The Auburn, Alabama resident committed 15 errors to her Czech opponents’ 33.

Asked about the four U. S. women making the fourth round of Roland Garros, she replied: “Yeah, impressive, huh?  Got a unique group I think between Serena, obviously the best player in the world, and Bethanie, Sloane, and myself.

“Three different players with very unique games, it’s cool.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States has also reached the fourth round. This is just the second time she’s accomplished that feat at a major. She last did it at Wimbledon in 2008. She had to regroup to comeback against qualifier Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

“She had a lot of confidence coming through quallies,” Mattek-Sands said of her opponent. “She played three matches there, so she’s played a lot of matches, was feeling good.

“She was ripping the ball heavy today.  I know she’s had some good results on clay court.  She made the finals of an event earlier this year and lost to Jankovic in a tough match.

“I knew she was feeling confident and feeling good and came out here with nothing to lose.  I think she has a bright future.”

The 28 year-old beat sixth seed Li Na in the second round, the biggest upset so far at Roland Garros.

“I have won three matches here, and it’s great,” said the American.  I have been playing great.  You know, I think this whole year it’s been a good buildup for me.  I have had some tough losses and had some great wins so far this year.

“But the biggest thing I have been able to do is play week in and week out and build on my momentum.  That’s what I have been doing.”

Mattek-Sands joins countrywomen Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Jamie Hampton into the final 16. It’s the first time since the 2004 U.S. Open that four American women are in the fourth round when Venus and Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport did it.

“It’s awesome,“ the 67th-ranked Mattek–Sands said.  “I’m so happy that U.S. tennis is coming on strong.  I think there are a lot of girls playing great.  I played Jamie earlier this year in Indian Wells, and she’s playing awesome.  I know she just won the first set against Kvitova 6‑1.

“I think there are a lot of young guns coming up that will be dangerous.  To have 13 women in the main draw here at the French Open, more than any other country, is awesome.  I’m proud.”

“I think she’s got a good head on her shoulders,” Mattek-Sands said about Stephens.  “She’s enjoying the traveling, the road, enjoying the moment.  And that’s all I would really say to anyone coming up.  Because it can be long.  There can be setbacks, there will be losses, injuries.  There will be bad weather.

“There will be days where it’s not glamorous.  There’s going to be a lot of days where it’s not glamorous.  If you can enjoy it through the ups and downs, you’re going to have a lot more fun on tour.”


American Jamie Hampton Upsets Safarova at French Open

Jamie Hampton

(May 29, 2013) American Jamie Hampton stunned the 25th seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 3-6, 9-7 on Wednesday in the first round of the French Open.  Hampton rallied after Safarova served for the match at 7-6 in the third set.

For Hampton, it’s her first career French Open match win. Despite 50 unforced errors, she put seven aces past the Czech in the 2 1/2-hour match.

“Lucie is a very tough competitor and she stayed a really even keep throughout the match, I was kinda like this emotionally,” Hampton said.

“She’s a really great shot maker as well and I think everyone saw that, especially at the end.

“I’m just happy to come through with the win and have my first Roland-Garros main draw win.”

Hampton moves into the second round to join nine other U.S. women in advanced that far. Fifteen U.S. women began the tournament in the singles draw.

“I mean a couple of years ago, we weren’t even in the same there wasn’t even a group of us,” Hampton said about the strides American women are making in tennis these days.

“We’ve progressed, and I think the whole group will continue to progress, and we’ve all got really good games.

“We’re just trying to find our way on the clay right now.”

Hampton admits that she is still finding her way on clay.

“It’s tougher,” Hampton said.

“The American style is a little more powerful and a little less patience and it’s tough to translate that from hard to clay.

“It’s definitely doable – I just think it takes a lot of determination, a lot of patience in general.”

Hampton continued: “I think my game has more dimensions than other players so it gives me a few more options even clay is not my best surface, or it’s not my favorite, or you know if it’s annoying me, if I am not hitting one shot great I can go to a plan b.”

The 23 year-old Hampton has moved up in the rankings from 70th in the beginning of the year to No. 54 after making WTA Tour semifinals at Auckland and Brussels.

She severely tested Victoria Azarenka in the third round of this past Australian Open extending the eventual Australian Open Champion to three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.  Hampton injured her back during that match. She says that her injury has been better since Australia.

“The trainers have done a really good job of keeping me in one piece, “Hampton said.

She’ll face qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia for a place in the third round.


Ros Satar and Karen Pestaina contributed to this report.