July 29, 2015

Notes and Quotes From Day One at the 2013 French Open


(May 26, 2013) A few of the quotes from the news conferences from Day 1 at the French Open.

Venus Williams

Asked about her preparation for Roland Garros:

“Extremely unideal.

“Definitely, you know ‑‑ definitely been struggling.  Just wanted to come here and try to ‑‑ you know, try to play.  I mean, I think my movement is awesome, but I just haven’t played any matches and just haven’t hit any serves, and it’s just hard to be perfect in the first match.

“I think there were periods where, you know, I found some rhythm and there were periods where I didn’t.  I tried very hard, but my opponent just played a little better.”


Venus admitted that problems with her back prevented her from serving with more speed:

“I can’t really serve very hard.  It’s painful when I do that.  But I’m getting better.  I just, you know, ran out of time to get better for this tournament.

“My strategy was more or less to put the ball in, and that’s very difficult for me, too, because that’s not who I am.  But that’s all I had.  So that was challenging to, you know, be conservative on the serve and then go to be aggressive during the point.  It’s like, you know, you have to, you know, suddenly change your mindset.  That’s a little challenging.

“So I’m just, you know, obviously going to try to, you know ‑‑ I want my serve back.  I’m going to try to get it back for Wimbledon.”

“Sometimes you can just play yourself into the tournaments, and maybe if I was able to win that match maybe I could have continued to play better off the ground.  I’m not sure how much better I could play off the serve.

“That’s sometimes how it works in tennis, but it’s just been a very challenging injury for me.”

Serena Williams


Asked about her rivalry with Martina Hingis and if her role as coach is a good thing for women’s tennis.

“I don’t know if it’s good for women’s tennis, but it’s exciting to see Martina around and see her wisdom going to another player.  And Pavlyuchenkova, I know she had a really good win today.  Tough win.  It was good for her.

“I have seen improvements already.  I think they make a great team.  They get along well.  They seem to have so much fun.  I think it’s really nice.



Pablo Carreno Busta

After his loss to Roger Federer, Carreno Busta was asked about the difference between playing the futures and challenger events versus the ATP Tour.

“Yeah, in futures the players plays good, but maybe the level was really different.  Roger is No. 2 of the world and was maybe the best in the history, so I think that it’s impossible compare the level in futures with the level of Roger.

“I think I play eight futures this year and I play really good.  I won seven, and it was very, very good for my confidence and for my level in tennis.

“But I think now for me the best time to be better is playing these matches and with these opponents.”


Roger Federer


Federer shared his opinion about the Sunday starts at the French Open:

“Well, I mean, yeah, I mean, I remember they sort of forced me to play on Sunday years back to promote their Sunday thing.  I was against it just because I felt like the way they got the Sunday, you know, first was maybe, oh, let’s try it out.  Next thing you know like they have it for a lifetime or what?  Is that how it works?

“So I didn’t agree with how things went along.  From that standpoint today, you know, it is what it is, but it is the only Grand Slam that has it.  Wimbledon does it in 13 days and the French does it in 15.

“So it doesn’t make sense, but I do understand that a weekend for tennis is very important for the people who can show up instead of ‑‑ it anyway is very odd that we do start the tournament week on a Monday where everybody goes back to work.  Doesn’t really work.

“But, anyway, it’s how we are.  So I get the Sunday start, but it’s always something that’s a debate, you know, within the ATP and the French Open.

“But I’m happy this time around.  I told them if they wanted me to play Sunday, whatever, I’m fine with it.  They took that opportunity right away, so… (He said smiling)”

Sara Errani

Last year’s losing finalist gave her thoughts about returning to the finals this year:

” I’m not thinking about that.  It’s a new tournament for me.  Also last year was unbelievable tournament, best tournament of my life, how you say.

“I don’t want to think about that.  I just want to come here and play another tournament, a new tournament like I do other week, try to think that it’s important tournament, but is only one more tournament.

“So I try to be like that, try to concentrate on my tennis, not too much about last year or what I defend and these things.”


Xavier Malisse


After his loss to Milos Raonic,Malise gave his houghts on playing Roland Garros next year:

“Perhaps I will come back, but not necessarily in the top ranks.  I don’t know.  It’s difficult really to say.  After last year I felt as though I was really done so I don’t know if I could have come back, but of course here I am.  Who knows what’s going to happen now.

“But I would like to play one more year.  It’s nice playing here because it’s all very special here because everybody is here and the Belgians are here.

“But you never know.  You never know what the future will hold.”


Mallory Burdette

Asked about how comfortable she felt playing 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.


Stanford grad Burdette was asked what advice would she give high school seniors deciding whether or not to go to college.

“I think one of the biggest things is to realize that everybody is different.  So your path may be very different from someone else’s.

“When it comes to assessing your game, I would say get a lot of opinions from other coaches, hear what they have to say.

“Also, what are you comfortable with right now?  Do you feel like you’re in a position mentally and emotionally where you can grow and develop while you’re on your own on the tour?  Then go for it.  You have a good support system, financially everything is in line.

“If you feel like you can’t do that, then school is a great option.  It’s a place where you can grow and develop and go through some tough times.  You have a team there to support you and coaches with you at all times; whereas on the tour you’re a little bit more on your own.

“So it depends on the individual.  You really just have to lok at what will work for you.”


Milos Raonic


Raonic who is now working with former pro Ivan Ljubicic commented on the difference between working with his old coach and now Ljubicic.


“I don’t think there is really too much difference.  I think just since it’s a new start with something, you just sort of go forward with it, with the game plan, and you sort of just lay that trust there.

“And just part of it is to be a bit more aggressive, to be quite a bit more aggressive and try to make the opponent more and more comfortable and not really settle for rally shots, trying to have more purpose on every shot, trying to sort of get that rather than waiting for my opponent to give it to me.  Sort of reaching out there and trying to take it for myself.

“Ivan is helping me out as a friend at the moment.”


Gilles Simon

What was going on in Simon’s mind when Hewitt evened the fifth set at 5-5:

“Well, I knew in the game I had to play against him, but unfortunately I just didn’t manage to do it at the beginning.  That’s the least I can say.

“I was feeling bad.  I didn’t have a good rhythm on the court.  It takes me a long time to find it.  Then it was better, a lot better.  I was in control.

“But unfortunately at the end he played one more time great tennis.  And it’s never easy to finish when you see the guy coming back 5‑1, 5‑2, 5‑3 after a few match points.

“So I’m just happy that I managed to win this one.  I think it was a very difficult match today for me, and I just hope I’m going to be better on the next round.”


Lleyton Hewitt

“It was more just blisters on my toe.  You know, it was uncomfortable but you can play through it.  He obviously stepped up his game from the start of the third set.  I was able to hang in there.  I had small opportunities.

“Broke back and got on serve at 3‑All and couldn’t quite ‑‑ if I could have kept in front in the third set and put a bit more pressure on him towards the end of the set I might have had a bit of a chance.”

“You know, would have liked to have been on the other end of it.  Yeah, disappointing, but, yeah, I didn’t obviously come here with massive expectations.”

Sam Querrey

On only his second win at Roland Garros:

“Yeah, feels great to get a win.  My other win was on this court, too, so that’s the only court I can win on here.

“The clay season has been a little rough.  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.”

Shelby Rogers


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.  She’s a good player and has got a lot of power.  Great serve.

“So I was ready for a battle; things turned out in my favor today.”


Michael Llodra


On whether or not he’ll retire after this year:

“I made my decision.  Because it’s still great pleasure.  So it’s going to be another year where I’ll have to play on the tournaments on which I feel good.

“But I made that decision.  I have too much fun on the court.  I’m in good shape.  And it’s always pleasant to have people supporting you, saying, Well, you’re one of the last ones playing with the kind of game you have.

“So I will probably have a lighter schedule.  But there are tournaments I like playing on, and I will continue.”


David Ferrer

Ferrer on his admiration of Lleyton Hewitt:

“Well, I saw what he did during his match, Hewitt, yeah.  He’s a player whom I admire.  He was like a benchmark for me from the very first day when I started playing tennis, because he’s such an excellent player.

“But, you know, at the end of the day everybody does their best, and experience counts a lot.  But the most important thing is that you have to love tennis.  Lleyton was No. 1.  Well, today he’s not got his best ranking, but he’s still fighting.

“And we, the younger generations ‑‑ or, rather, when we were young and for younger players, it’s a reference.  He should be considered as a reference.  They should look at him and see that he always reacts in a positive way.  Even though sometimes you’re down, your scores are awful, you do your best.  And this is something I admire from Lleyton.”


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


Americans in Paris – Day One at Roland Garros




(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


Sharapova wins easily, Admits Break-up with Vujacic

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova who is looking to capture her second US Open title, advanced to the fourth round with an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over NCAA runner-up Mallory Burdette.

The match lasted only 58 minutes.

During her post-match news conference she confirmed the rumors that her engagement to former Los Angeles Lakers player Sasha Vujacic is no more. They were originally supposed to be married in November in Turkey.

Sharapova said that the engagement had ended in the spring. “I was waiting for someone to actually ask me that question, but nobody did directly,” said Sharapova.

“I have never really been the person to announce things,” she said. “I never announced when we were together or never announced that we were engaged. I never have in any of my previous relationships, as well.

“It’s not really the type of person that I am or the way I like to go about things. I’m not an announcer, you know. I don’t go and do interviews about it or photo ops.”

“It was obviously a challenging decision, you know, from both of our ends.  Yeah, it was a really nice period of time for both of us, but, you know, our career schedules just made it extremely difficult to see each other with the traveling, and especially his career move to Turkey.  You know, the playing there was a little bit different in terms of he wasn’t able to travel much.  He wasn’t home one time during the ten months that he was in Turkey, so that made it extremely difficult.  Yeah, but we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other.  Still would love to call him as a friend.  Yeah, we spent really great years together.

Sharapova will play Russian countrywoman Nadia Petrova in the round of 16.

“I’ve had some tough matches against her” Sharpaova said.  “Although I have a good record, they have always been really tough and have gone to some three-setters.”

“She has a big game, great serve, a difficult opponent, but I’m looking forward to that challenge.”


Notes and Quotes from Day 3 of the 2012 US Open


Li Na

Q.  Her weapon seemed to be the slice backhand.  What did you do to counter that?VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I practiced yesterday.  (Laughter.)

I practiced yesterday for that.  She has a really, you know, deep slice and it’s a little bit tricky.  It took me first few shots to kind of adjust and feel her ball, but, you know, I had to stay aggressive and not to let her try to command me with that shot.


Q.  Jie Zheng in the next round.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Okay.  I didn’t know that.


Q.  Would you describe shopping as your hobby?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  No.  Not hobby.  I think it’s something that every girl enjoys to do when they’re in a good mood, but mostly when they’re in a bad mood, I would say.  (Laughter.)

It’s just something ‑‑ for me, it’s when I have free time, which I don’t have a lot, I can do something.  You know, I like to shop.  I like to look at things around.  I like to buy gifts most of the times.
Q.  Now, are you going back to school or are you done?

MALLORY BURDETTE:  Yes, as of now, I am going back in the fall.


Q.  This doesn’t change?

MALLORY BURDETTE:  No, not as of right now.



Q.  Even the money?  Even leaving the money on the table?

MALLORY BURDETTE:  I have already checked the amateur box, so if I know correctly, you can’t go back once the tournament starts.  So it’s done.


Q.  You aren’t even going to look at what you could have won today?



Q.  Even without Andrew Luck you’re actually going to go back to Stanford?



Q.  You have had great results in the other three Grand Slams.  Does that give you confidence here at the US Open?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I think for me it’s always the worst Grand Slam here.  I will try to improve my result from, I don’t know, 2009 or what was it.  I know I played well in the Grand Slams, and I hope I can play well.

Who knows?


Q.  What is the reason you think this has not been the easiest for you?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Yeah, I think so.  I mean, for me, it’s tough to breathe here and to moving and be really ready.  It’s really not very help me.


Q.  You were saying the other day you’re feeling more comfortable this year than you have in the past on American hard courts.  Is that feeling continuing?

NA LI:  I mean, like you say, today is another story.

Yeah, I mean, I was feeling like first set was okay, like normal.  But after first set, I was follow the rhythm of her.  I was follow her, what she does on the court.

Suddenly 4‑Love down, I was feeling, What happened?  One second, 4‑Love down already.  (Snapping fingers.)

I was like, Okay, don’t think about how is score.  Just try to keep going.  If I lose second set, it’s still like one set all.  I still have chance.


Q.  You’re happy with the way you were able to get out of trouble?

NA LI:  I mean, I sure happy I still in the tournament.  I didn’t play best tennis today.  At least I can stay in New York.  I don’t need fly back to China, yeah.



After you were on the court after you won the French Open not playing well, were you actually thinking about things off the court, getting your picture taken, or I have to go do a commercial?  Why did it distract you so much?

NA LI:  I’m not movie star.  I’m athlete.  I have to do good job on the tennis court.

So I was feeling if I can’t doing well, why the sponsor should come for me?  They can come for another athlete.  I really wanted to do well, but sometimes didn’t work.

I think I was make a lot ‑ how you say ‑ pressure for myself.  I was feeling after I win a Grand Slam, against some player, face to face, they are feeling they nothing to lose.  They come to court, boom, boom.  Suddenly I’m losing match so easily.

It’s not still strong in mind.


Q.  Will you drink if you win the next round?

NA LI:  Fortunately I not do the same.  Maybe a couple of the beer, but not all the time.  But for me I was feeling it was very tough match.  I think it’s tough ever.  If Kim’s win today, I mean, she’s very like good player, a tough player, a very good athlete.

It’s really tough to play her.  I know, because this is her last professional tournament.  I mean, I really want to beat her.  But if I beat her she has to left, so, you know, is really tough to find balance.


Q.  Feels a little strange?

NA LI:  Yeah.  Why should she retire this one?


Q.  You would feel bad if you beat her because you would be the bad girl who beat Kim Clijsters in her last professional tournament?

NA LI:  I mean, if I can beat her, I would like to beat her.  I mean, if I didn’t beat her, I have to go home.  So is very tough.  But for sure it’s good match.


Q.  Plus two Australian Opens you were very close to beating her, no?

NA LI:  Yes.  So I didn’t want to replay again from Australian Open.  So I will try my best.


Q.  We’re playing here in New York.  There’s so much media.  Could you step back and say the one or two things we Americans don’t understand about your country, what would that be?

NA LI:  Why Chinese still use chopsticks?  Why Chinese have to put the family name first, right?  I think lot American people couldn’t understand, yeah.  Two thing already.  I couldn’t find a third one.


Q.  Do you feel like the girl that shot Bambi?

LAURA ROBSON:  I wouldn’t go that far.  I would say that was Becker beating Agassi here a few years ago.

Q.  When you were playing, were you reading press?  Did you realize that the press was most of the time very positive about you, which doesn’t happen with most players?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  I don’t know.

Q.  Thinking about that, would you like to become a journalist?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, not at all.  (Smiling.)  Sorry.

No, I definitely read the press in my first few years that I was on tour, and then I completely ignored the press.  Also because positive, negative, I didn’t want it to get to me.  It did when I was younger whether there was negative press, positive press.

Q.  You had more positive than anybody else.

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Oh, I don’t know.

I’ve always been a sensitive person.  I always took things very personally, so after a while I completely not just ignored, but I had a habit the not even reading.

I followed results on tour and I watched the news, but whenever I saw my face somewhere I either skipped through the page or kind of changed the channel quickly.

Q.  So you don’t want to be a TV commentator?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, no.  It’s too easy to comment on players on court.  You know what I mean?  No.

Q.  Are you able to talk a little bit about what happened at the ending with the shuffle?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, LMFAO was sitting in the box.  I met him before my match.  I figured, well, there’s only going to be maybe one chance you can do that at the US Open with him there.

Q.  How did you meet him?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, he loves tennis.  He’s friends with one of the WTA staff.  She was showing him around the center here.  Yeah, came by the table, said hi.  Yeah, worked out that he’s a mad tennis fan, loves playing, is going to be here for a fair while.  It was pretty cool.

Q.  Was it a spontaneous thing?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I thought maybe I would, but then I thought I would chicken out.  Then I thought, I got to do it.  I got it out there.

Q.  Did you nail it?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I don’t know.  I’m sure I looked like a goose.  I’m waiting for someone to tell me if it was all right or not.

Q.  You’ve said that you feel like the game owes you a few years because of all the time you’ve been out.  How do you feel physically?

TOMMY HAAS:  I guess the disappointing thing is when you lose a match you’re always disappointed, no matter what.  But obviously at this stage it really hurts.  You know, I’ve had some great last four months.  The position I’m in right now, I don’t think I would have ever thought to get back for it.  Just kind of hoped for it and tried to do everything to make that happen.

To be seeded here and be in this position is fantastic.  You know, to go out in the first round is frustrating.  But the sad thing is really, too, even Wimbledon, if it’s a best‑of‑three sets I win the match, even like today.  I end up losing it in five.

Sure, it’s tough when you are getting a little bit older, the recovery, even when you are quite fit.  Maybe one half step or just a half step might be missing.  You know, it’s just not enough against these young, fit guys sometimes.

You start playing tennis that you’re not supposed to play, go for too many shots and you’re not really playing percentage tennis, and that’s how you can end up losing.

Q.  I remember when you were one of the young guys here.  It’s hard to believe this is your 15th US Open.  More than any other man in the draw, how many more of these do you see yourself playing?

TOMMY HAAS:  You know what, I love this game.  Even days like today, this is part of the sport, even though I’m obviously very, very frustrated.  I’m going to be in a shitty mood for a couple days, that’s for sure.

You know, you look back, you look at some of the wins that you had and the feelings that it gives you, the positives, the negatives, and it’s always a rollercoaster ride when you’re in sports or competing.

That’s what you get to love about it, but it can also be brutal.  That’s certainly one moment right now.

But I’ve put myself in a position to pretty much have a full calendar year next year.  And why not?


Q.  Max Eisenbud is outside signing autographs.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  (Laughing.)  He deserves a little attention once in a while.

Q.  What would you say is the best fashion statement you ever made on the tennis court, in your mind?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think the successful ones are always the ones that are unexpected and different.  I think for me it was during the time when my dresses weren’t for sale yet.  They were quite expensive to produce, so you could do a little bit more.

You could, you know, use materials which are just too expensive to go into the mass market or details that are just too hard to perfect when you’re doing many dresses.

I mean, the dress that I won in here was pretty special.  It would be extremely expensive to have at retail.  That’s probably why you can’t replicate something like that.  If you ever do, it will never have that special feel to it.

I’ve had a few.  I mean, I’ve wore this corset top that was part of the Nike dance collection in Miami one year which zipped up the front which was different for the tennis court.  A few here and there.

Q.  Was there ever one that inhibited you from playing properly?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, because I usually wear‑test all the dresses that we design.

Q.  Do you prefer sometimes being the bad guy, not being cheered?  Does that drive you at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It’s a different type of emotion.  I’m usually in my own little bubble when I play.  You can certainly hear the crowd, the emotion, the energy from the crowd.

But I try to stay pretty levelheaded about the energy swings.  Or if you’re up so much, you’re winning games, your opponent wins a game, the crowd goes crazy.  I try not to focus too much on that and let that affect me.


Stanford Standout Mallory Burdette Claims US Open Wild Card

The USTA announced that Stanford University standout Mallory Burdette has earned a main draw wild card into the 2012 US Open. This year, the USTA awarded one women’s singles main draw wild card into the US Open to the American who earned the most WTA Tour Ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events—$50,000 events in Yakima, Wash., and Lexington, Ky., and a $100,000 event in Vancouver. Burdette earned a combined 158 points with her best two results, winning the title in Vancouver and reaching the second round in Lexington.


Burdette, 21, of Jackson, Ga., secured the wild card by defeating Jessica Pegula in the Vancouver final this weekend. The victory in Vancouver comes after Burdette’s first career pro tournament title in July at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Evansville, Ind. She has climbed up the rankings to a career-high No. 245 in the world after starting the summer unranked and is competing this summer as a member of the USTA Collegiate Team, an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players. The USTA Collegiate Team is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment.


Last month, Burdette won her first WTA match at the Bank of the West Classic, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford, and lost to No. 10 seed Marion Bartoli in the second round.


At Stanford, the rising senior captured the 2012 NCAA doubles title with Nicole Gibbs and the 2011 NCAA doubles title with Hilary Barte. Burdette and Gibbs also faced off in the 2012 NCAA singles final, where Burdette had the chance to win the NCAA title and a US Open wild card, but Gibbs prevailed in three sets. It was the first all-Stanford final since 2001 and the first time in NCAA men’s or women’s tennis history that teammates squared off in the singles final before later pairing up in the doubles title match.


The USTA first used this tournament-based wild card format for its 2012 Roland Garros wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker, rather than a traditional wild card playoff tournament. By using USTA Pro Circuit results, players competed in more matches to develop their games and were also given the opportunity to earn valuable ranking points, whereas the previous playoffs were invitational single-elimination tournaments that did not offer ranking points.  This format also allowed all Americans a chance of earning the wild card, rather than a limited field/draw.

2010 US Open boys’ finalist and former world junior No. 3 Denis Kudla is atop the standings for the US Open men’s wild card after winning the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Lexington last month. The USTA will award one men’s singles main draw wild card into the 2012 US Open to the American man who finishes with the best combined results in two of the following four USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events—$50,000 Challengers in Binghamton, N.Y., and Lexington and $100,000 Challengers in Vancouver and Aptos, Calif., which concludes this week. Michael Yani is in second place.





Player Name

Yakima $50K





Best Two Results

1. Mallory Burdette





2. Jessica Pegula





3. Shelby Rogers






*The women’s wild card was awarded from the best combined results in two of the three events above.