2014/09/02

Italy Rallies Past US to Move into Fed Cup Semis

errani-vinci

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci

(February 10, 2013) Italy came back from 1-2 down to defeat the United States in Fed Cup 3-2 on Sunday in the first round of the World Group in Rimini, Italy.

 

World No. 1 doubles team Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci sealed the win for Italy in the fifth rubber with a victory over Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2.

 

“Errani and Vinci are the weapon,” said Huber. They are like sisters. They are like best friends. They can almost see each other’s body language and predict something before it has happened. They have a different style than what we are used to and stick to their style. They are great singles players and don’t discount doubles. I enjoy watching them play, just not against me!”

 

The United States led 2-1 after Lepchenko beat world No, 7 Errani 7-5, 6-2 in the first of reverse singles on Sunday.

 

“In the first set, I had to get my body started,“ said Lepchenko. “I had a long match yesterday, so I was a bit up and down in the beginning. Once my body warmed up, I was playing better and better in the second set and got pumped and got going.”

 

Vinci rallied for Italy topping Jamie Hampton 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to send the tie into a fifth rubber.

“I had a tough match yesterday, so I had to regroup and do my best for the team,” Hampton. ”First set, I made a lot of errors and started off like yesterday. I got back together in the second set and thought I had a hold of the match, but I made a lot of errors.”

 

 

Italy will next host defending champion Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semifinals, a rematch of last year’s semifinal. The other semifinal has Slovakia at Russia.

 

Next the United States will play in the World Group Playoff, April 20-21, to remain in contention for the Fed Cup World Group l in 2014 and to try and stave off relegation to World Group II next year. The United States’ opponent will be drawn on Wednesday, February 13, at 10 a.m. GMT at the ITF offices in London.

 

The U.S., who will be seeded will play one of the four winners of the World Group II First Round (Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, or Germany). The host site for Switzerland or Sweden will be determined by a coin toss on Wednesday. The U.S. would host Spain or Germany.

Share

Azarenka Survives Injured Hampton to Move into Round of 16

 

Azarenka 10 5 2012

Victoria Azarenka

(January 19, 2013) No. 1 Victoria Azarenka survived a major challenge from American Jamie Hampton to move into the Round of 16 of the Australian Open 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Saturday.

 

Azarenka cruised to a 5-1 first set lead which Hampton narrowed to 5-4 only to be broken to give Azarenka the first set 6-4.

 

The second set began with three straight breaks of serve to give Hampton a 2-1 lead. Hampton squandered set points on Azarenka’s serve at 5-3.

 

At 5-4 and serving for the set Hampton had to call for the trainer for treatment on her lower back. Hampton served out the set 6-4.

 

In the third set both women held their opening serves and then exchanged breaks for 2-2.

 

The 63rd ranked Hampton appeared to be in pain a number of times after the medical time out. During the third set she had tears in her eyes.

 

“Going into the match I was fine,” said Hampton.  “About 4‑2, 4‑3, my back started hurting.  I had back problems.  Hurt my back last year at the French Open pretty badly.

 

“It’s something I deal with day‑to‑day, and, yeah, it was hurting.  Normally when my back starts hurting I start cramping.”

 

Hampton revealed after he match that she has two herniated disks in her lower back.

 

The Belarusian held serve and broke Hampton for 4-2 and gets out a 0-40 jam on her serve to hold for 5-2. Azarenka broke serve again to clinch the set and the match 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes.

 

“It was definitely tough. “ Azarenka said of the three-set match.  It’s always good to know, you know, you battle through not playing well, not feeling great.  It’s important, you know, to be alive in the tournament.

“Towards the end things were going better for me.  I’m glad about that, but definitely she played an outstanding match.”

Jamie-HamptonBNPPO

Jamie Hampton

“I was pretty confident,” Hampton said about going up against the top player in the world. “I didn’t go into the match thinking that I was going to lose.  I went in with a lot of belief.

 

“And even though in the first set she won it 6‑4 and was up at one point I think 5‑1, we had some good exchanges.  There was just a point here or there that was costing me the games, so…”

“I put in a lot of hard work during the off‑season, so I was not surprised,” Hampton added.

 

“I think she surprised everybody a little bit today,” Azarenka said of Hampton’s play.

 

“I didn’t really see her play before, but my coach watched and he said she didn’t play like that other matches that he saw.

 

“But she definitely, you know, went for everything there was today.  And I know the same feeling when you go and you have nothing to lose.  You’re so loose, you’re free, and you feel like you can’t miss it.

“I felt like it was her day today.”

 

Azarenka will play Russia’s Elena Vesnina next.

Share

Dushevina beats Qualifier Hampton, Hampton teams up with Oudin for Doubles Win in Memphis

Vera Dushevina beats Qualifier Jamie Hampton.  Hampton later teams with Melanie Oudin for a Doubles Win in Memphis

By Brad Hunter

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (February 21, 2012) – Twenty-two year old American qualifier Jamie Hampton, who defeated defending 2011 Memphis champion Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round Sunday evening, lost her second round match on Tuesday on the Grandstand court at The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships.

Hampton, ranked 104, started strongly against 25-year old Russian Vera Dushevina by hitting powerful, aggressive groundstrokes and building herself a 4-2 first set lead.  At this point in the match Dushevina, ranked 89, used her defense and higher percentage topspin shots to force the Hampton power game to start missing.  Many rallies saw Hampton gain the court positioning advantage and then miss her put-away shots.

When Hampton started missing she became audibly and visibly agitated and Dushevina’s ability to prolong points ultimately proved too much for Hampton.  She was able to push back against Vera when she was down 1-5 in the second set, but Dushevina closed the win out at 6-4, 6-3.  The last point of the match saw a Dushevina passing shot angle bounce near the line – surely a call Hampton would’ve asked for a shot spot on had that been available.  Hampton angry, laughed and let out an exasperated plea to the chair, to no avail, as the chair was already saying “Game, Set, Match, Dushevina”.  Even with the loss, Hampton showed a powerful and aggressive baseline game which should carry her far in the WTA .

Dushevina showed impressive mental fortitude, getting agitated herself many times during the match but reeling it back in, and looks to be a strong threat for a title in Memphis (she’s also in the doubles draw with Olga Govortsova).  Later in the afternoon, Hampton teamed with Melanie Oudin (who lost today to spectacled Stephanie Foretz Gacon) for a 6-1, 6-0 doubles win against the team of Stefanie Mikesz and Mariya Slupska.

Brad Hunter is covering the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Memphis International as media for Tennis Panorama News this week. Follow his reports here and live on our twitter account @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal twitter account @BradHunter.

Share