2014/07/25

Defending champion Nicolas Mahut, and Wild Cards Marcos Baghdatis and Nick Kyrgios to play Hall of Fame Tennis Championships

HOF championships

NEWPORT, R.I., May 23, 2014 -  Defending champion Nicolas Mahut of France has committed to the player field for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., where he captured both the singles and doubles titles last year. In addition, two wild cards have been awarded to Marcos Baghdatis, an exciting player formerly ranked in the world top-10, and Nick Kyrgios of Australia who achieved the world No. 1 ITF Juniors ranking in 2013. The three new entries to the field will join No. 1 American John Isner and Australian great Lleyton Hewitt in the tournament, which will be played at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., July 5 – 13. The tournament, which is held directly after Wimbledon, is the only event played on grass courts in North or South America, and the only ATP World Tour event in New England.
“Tennis season has finally arrived in New England and we are gearing up for a great tournament this summer at the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” commented Tournament Director Mark Stenning. “Nico Mahut was unstoppable in Newport last summer and we are glad to welcome him back as defending champion. Marcos Baghdatis and Nick Kyrgios are exciting players to watch, and we know the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships fans will enjoy seeing them compete.”

Nicolas Mahut won both the singles and doubles titles at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships last year, following an epic couple of days of competition in which inclement weather forced him to play four matches in 24 hours. Mahut entered the Newport tournament last year ranked world No. 127. Since winning in Newport, he has consistently climbed the ATP World Tour rankings and is currently world No. 38, having reached a career high of world No. 37 earlier this month. Mahut’s victory in Newport last year was his second career title, having won his first just weeks prior at the Topshelf Open at s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands. With countryman Michael Llodra, Mahut was a finalist at the French Open in doubles last year. Inclusive of his 2013 Newport titles, he has won two singles titles and eight doubles titles.

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus has been a staple of the ATP World Tour since the early 2000s. He has achieved notable wins against some of the world’s best players including Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, and Andy Murray, and has been involved in many long, exciting matches. He is recognized for the energy that he brings to each match, and for his ability to draw fans in. In 2006, Baghdatis reached a career high of world No. 8 and won his first career title with a victory at the China Open. He has finished the season ranked in the world top-50 six times in the past eight years, and has won four ATP World Tour titles. Baghdatis made his Davis Cup debut for the Cyprus Davis Cup team in 2000 as a 14-year-old. He has been a dedicated and successful player for his country ever since, and has been instrumental in advancing the team from the lowest division of Davis Cup to move up two levels into the Euro/Africa Group II. With 43 straight wins, he is one of the most successful Davis Cup players of all time.

Nineteen-year old Australian Nick Kyrgios had a break through season just about this time last year, and has been going strong ever since. Kyrgios was given a wild card into the 2013 French Open, at which he won his first career ATP level match, defeating then world No. 52 Radek Stepanek in three tiebreak sets. Also last year, Kyrgios won the Australian Open junior title and the Wimbledon junior doubles title. He achieved the world No. 1 ITF Juniors ranking. This season, Krygios won back-to-back Challenger Tour titles in April. Earlier this year he represented Australia in Davis Cup competition. Next week, he is set to play in the French Open again, and has been training with Roger Federer in advance of the tournament. He is currently ranked world No. 161.

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Ferrer Wears Down Baghdatis in Straight Sets

Ferrer

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 18, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – David Ferrer won through to a fourth round match-up with Japan’s Kei Nishikori after running down Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets 6-4 6-2 6-3 on Friday night at the Australian Open.

 

With the win, Ferrer will have enough points to overtake his countryman Rafael Nadal as the world No. 4 at the end of the tournament.

 

Ferrer has been in the best form of his career and won his fourth Auckland title coming into the Australian Open. He also finished 2012 with seven trophies, more than anyone else on the tour, and won his biggest career title at the Masters-1000 event in Paris.

 

The number four seed dominated the rallies in the match, moving his opponent all over the court and producing some spectacular winning groundstrokes from the back of the court.

 

The 2006 Australian Open finalist was no match for the  Spaniard, preferring to try and let Ferrer make an unforced error rather than coming in and playing a more aggressive game. Baghdatis produced moments of brilliance, but it was not enough to sustain any lead against the defensive brilliance of Ferrer.

 

Ferrer lead early in the first set before Baghdatis was able to break back in the seventh game and hold to level at 4-4. Ferrer than held for 5-4 and managed to generate two set point opportunities with Baghdatis serving in the next game. Baghdatis saved the first with a spectacular backhand down the line but was unable to save the second, putting a forehand into the net and gifting the Spaniard the set 6-4.

 

The second set went the way of the Spaniard in 41 minutes, Ferrer continuing to wear Baghdatis down and dropping just two games on his way to the 6-2 set.

 

The world number five holds and then breaks Baghdatis immediately in the third set to lead 2-0. Baghdatis stays in it though, and following some errors from Ferrer’s racquet, gets the break back to put the set back on serve 2-1 to Ferrer. It’s a short lived success for Baghdatis, Ferrer regaining the break in the next game. From there the two held serve and Ferrer serves out the match with an ace.

 

“I played my best match this week because to beat Marcos I had to play my best tennis and I did.”

 

Ferrer spoke with Jim Courier on court about his stellar 2012 season and the difficulty in maintaining the form into this season.

 

“It’s difficult no? I am tired but I enjoy a lot playing this sport. Of course the last year was the best of my career and to redo it again this new season is very difficult no? I am trying to be focused every match and every game and what’s important is that I don’t get any important injury.”

 

When asked about his compatriot Nadal, Ferrer said he doesn’t feel any added pressure flying the flag as the number one Spaniard, preferring to focus on himself and tennis.

 

“I talked two weeks ago when he had a virus. But when I finish this tournament, of course I will talk with him. And I know good news because he’s going to be soon, no, in Chile and Brazil.”

 

Ferrer plays Kei Nishikori in the fourth round with the pair’s most recent meeting coming at the London Olympic Games where Nishikori triumphed in three sets.

 

“Well, it’s a very difficult match. I will have to play very good for to beat him. I will have to play similar like tonight: consistent, solid. It’s going to be a very physic match, no? Because he has a very good shots, very powered on all his shots. So I will be fast in my legs, no?”

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

 

 

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Hewitt Tops Raonic at Kooyong Classic

AAMI_Classic_logo

(January 9, 2013) Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt gave his home country a thrill when the Australian overcame the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4) at the Kooyong Classic on Wednesday, which sets up a semifinal clash against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

“It’s really tough, you know, with the wind,” said Hewitt, “so a lot of it’s sort of playing percentage tennis out there, but also yes, you’ve got to hit your shots and good movement and mental toughness, I guess, as well. For me mentally there’s no stress or extra pressure about my body at the moment which just leaves me with a clear mind.”

Kooyong is an invitational warm-up event for the Australian Open, the first major of the season.

Berdych won over Croatia’s Ivan Dodig 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Dodig was a late replacement for the injured Kei Nishikori.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3)and will play his semifinal against Marcos Baghdatis, who was leading Janko Tipsarevic 6-1, 1-0 when the Serbian retired with a right wrist tendon injury.

Schedule of Play for January 10, 203

Thursday, January 10, 2013

11:00am
MIILOS RAONIC (CAN) v IVAN DODIG (CRO)

Followed by:
LLEYTON HEWITT (AUS) v TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE)

Followed by:
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU (FRA) v SIMONE BOLLELLI (ITA) replacement for Janko Tipsarevic

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Azarenka Withdraws, Murray Moves Into Brisbane Semis

Victoria Azarenka sits China Open

(January 4, 2013) No. 1 Victoria Azarenka withdrew from her Brisbane International semifinal match-up with Serena Williams with an infected right big toe on Friday.  The defending Australian Open champion pulled out about 30 minutes before the match began.

“I tried everything. We tried medication with taping, and I was playing through the pain for quite a while,” said Azarenka. “It’s just something that I had to do to make sure that I can be fully recovered and ready for Australian Open. It’s that sort kind of compromise I had to take.

“It’s just very unfortunate timing, because I was really looking forward to playing and excited.”

Williams can totally relate since she recent had surgery on her toe. “I had that toe problem just a couple weeks ago and it’s painful … it’s so painful,” noted the 15-time major champion. “Doesn’t sound painful, but it is. You can’t walk with that. I hope she gets better fast.”

Williams will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final.

Top seed Andy Murray advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.

Murray dusted off some of the rust from his three-set opening match and adjusted well to Istomin’s game.

“For the most part it was pretty good quality,” said Murray of his quarterfinal contest. “He served well for the majority of the first set, and especially well at the beginning the second. So I didn’t really have that many chances on returns, so I needed to serve well today. That helped.”

He’ll play fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan who took out former Brisbane finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 (3).

The other semifinal will showcase  2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, who beat third seed Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 6-4 versus Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who topped Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3, 6-2.

 
Results – Friday, January 4, 2013
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(3) Serena Williams (USA) d. (1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) w/o (right toe injury)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (LL) Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 46 61 62

WTA Doubles – Semifinals
(4) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. (1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) 64 61

ATP Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] A Murray (GBR) d D Istomin (UZB) 64 76(3)
M Baghdatis (CYP) d [3] G Simon (FRA) 63 64
[5] K Nishikori (JPN) d [4] A Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 76(3)
G Dimitrov (BUL) d [7] J Melzer (AUT) 63 62

ATP Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) d M Baghdatis (CYP) / J Nieminen (FIN) 62 63

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 5 JANUARY, 2013

PAT RAFTER ARENA start 12:00 noon
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP
[1] A Murray (GBR) vs [5] K Nishikori (JPN) – ATP

after suitable rest
G Dimitrov (BUL) / K Nishikori (JPN) vs M Melo (BRA) / T Robredo (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] S Williams (USA) vs A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – WTA
[4] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) vs B Mattek-Sands (USA) / S Mirza (IND) – WTA

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Del Potro, Hewitt, Nishikori, Baghdatis to Play AAMI Classic

(October 17, 2012) Next January, the Kooyong tennis event now known as the AAMI Classic celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Tournament Director, Colin Stubs, today announced the first four of his eight-man field:

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO  – 2009 US Open winner

LLEYTON HEWITTformer World No. 1 and 2011 AAMI Classic winner

KEI NISHIKORI – recent Japan Open winner

MARCOS BAGHDATIS  – 2006 Australian Open finalist.

 

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO has a career high ranking of 4 and 11 titles to his name, two achieved earlier this year in Estoril and Marseille. He also won Olympic Bronze in London and was a finalist in Rotterdam, semi-finalist in Dubai, Cincinnati Masters, Madrid Masters and quarter-finalist in Sydney and Indian Wells Masters, as well as Australian, French and US Opens. The 24 year old is no stranger to adversity, having returned from a right wrist operation in May 2010 to win the ATP “Comeback Player of the Year” award in 2011, when he rose from a ranking of 485 to 11. That grit and determination saw him break back into the top ten again in May this year, after a brief stint at no. 9 in March. He appeared at Kooyong in 2010, but withdrew after his first match because of the wrist injury.

 

LLEYTON HEWITT returns to Kooyong after winning the event in 2011. The father of 3 won his first tournament in 1998 in home-town Adelaide and went on to amass 28 career titles, including Wimbledon and the US Open. This year he got to the final in Newport, losing to American No. 1 John Isner. He is feared, fearless and thought to be one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen. His Australian Davis Cup performances are legendary.

 

KEI NISHIKORI, who at 22 is the highest-ranked Japanese male in the Open era, reached a best ever ranking of 15 earlier this month when he clinched his second title by winning his home event in Tokyo. The tee-totaller amused his adoring fans at the trophy presentation (which included a sponsor’s bonus) by saying “I don’t know what I’m going to do with a year’s worth of Corona beer – I don’t even like beer”. He made the semis in Kuala Lumpur and quarters at the Australian Open, Newport, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and the London Olympics this year. The quietly spoken Japanese, who shows great determination and tenacity on the court, used those qualities to help his country raise $100,000 in aid after the 2011 tsunami.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS, Australia’s favourite Cypriot, obviously enjoys his Kooyong preparation as he is returning for the fourth time. The 27 year old, who recently married WTA player, Karolina Sprem, won Australian hearts when he unexpectedly reached the 2006 Australian Open final. He has had a recent surge of form, having got to the semi-finals in Tokyo, where he lost to eventual winner Nishikori. He showed great fighting spirit to make the third round in Shanghai last week, after a sensational three set tie-break win over Canadian Milos Raonic in the second round. Other 2012 results include semi-finals in Sydney, Zagreb and Tokyo, as well as quarter-finals in Brisbane and Munich. Kooyong fans will be hoping for a Baghdatis v Hewitt re-match after their epic encounter during the 2008 Australian Open which ended at 4.34 am, becoming the latest match on record.

 

Stubs is pleased with his first four signings: “We are delighted with our player commitments thus far and look forward to celebrating our 25th Anniversary by staging a sensational event, jam-packed with great tennis, great entertainment and initiatives such as ‘Kids Day’ on the Friday” he said.

 

More announcements will be made shortly regarding player signings and movements.

 

Tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster – 136100 or www.ticketmaster.com.au.

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Raonic Stuns Murray and Will Face Nishikori in Japan Open Final

Canadian Milos Raonic  saved two match points in a 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) upset over world No. 3 Andy Murray to reach his fourth final of 2012 on Saturday at the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

Roanic was within two points of winning the match in straight sets but could not close it out. Murray took a 4-1 lead in the final set, but Raonic came saving match points 5-6, benefiting from two Murray double faults. This forced the final set into a final set to a tiebreak.

Kei Nishikori

Raonic will play Japan’s Kei Nishikori for the title on Sunday. Nishikori defeated Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis for the first time 6-2, 6-2. Nishikori will be chasing history – should he defeat Raonic, he’ll become the first Japanese man to win the Japan Open. He’s already the first Japanese man to reach the final.

 

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 6 OCTOBER, 2012

Singles – Semi-finals
[6] M Raonic (CAN) d [1] A Murray (GBR) 63 67(5) 76(4) – Saved 2 M.P.
[8] K Nishikori (JPN) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 62 62

Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) d D Bracciali (ITA) / F Cermak (CZE) 63 61
[4] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d T Berdych (CZE) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 64 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 7 OCTOBER, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[1] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs [4] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 PM
[6] M Raonic (CAN) vs [8] K Nishikori (JPN)

 

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‘Oz and Ends’ – Bugs and Broken Racquets

MELBOURNE PARK,  Australia – Marcos Baghdatis was fined 800 dollars for purposely breaking 4 racquets during his match against Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday night. Take a look at the video above.

Questions regarding racquet breaking became all the rage in t post match news conferences on Thursday. Here a few excerpts:

Q.  Marcos Baghdatis smashed four racquets last night in one minute.  When is the last time you smashed a racquet, and have you ever smashed that many?
ANA IVANOVIC:  You might be surprised, but I do smash racquets sometimes.  Last time I smashed not as many, but I smashed three racquets.  That was US Open I think ’09.  I lost match after being a match point up.  I was quite upset.
It didn’t really make me better, so I decided, What’s the point?

Q.  After the events of last night, Baghdatis breaking his racquet, how do you feel about breaking your racquet on court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I didn’t know he broke a racquet, but I’m not surprised that he broke a racquet.  Personally I haven’t broken too many in my career.  Don’t recall breaking one during a match.  Have broken a couple at practice.
Um, but must be a good feeling.  I mean, yeah, just let it all go, I guess.

Q.  Any thoughts about players breaking their racquets on the court?  Do you think that helps out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That’s an interesting question, and different.  Thank you.
I actually used to break a lot of racquets on the court.  I sometimes break them in practice, just not in a match anymore.
I think when you’re young it kind of maybe lets out a little frustration.  It just is a way to express yourself.  I think those players are super, super intense.  So I can’t necessarily go and say you shouldn’t do that when I was actually someone that did it a lot.
I got to a place where I could see how many places I could crack in a racquet.  I got five.  This is great.
But it’s definitely not the best way to release your anger.  I think the older you get, you realize there’s more different ways.

Q.  Baghdatis broke four racquets in one minute last night.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I’ve never done that.  That’s impressive, wow.

Q.  Last night Marcos Baghdatis broke four racquets in one minute.  What do you think about breaking racquets, and have you done that sort of thing?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  You know, sometimes you get angry and it’s difficult to control yourself.  But, I mean, one, it can happen.  Four, it’s a lot (smiling).

Q.  Have you ever broken a racquet when it’s been in the plastic still?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  Never.  Never.  But, anyway, my father told me all the time, If you broke the racquet, I broke you.  (Laughter.)
So I go easy with the racquet.  Sometimes I prefer hit myself than my racquet.

 

Bug banter

Back on Tuesday night Serena Williams complained about the bugs during her late night match.

Her original quote:

“Bugs fell on my back twice.  I hate bugs more than you can imagine.  I hate bugs.  Like, they kept jumping on me.  I just, Yuck!  So I’m going to request not to play at night anymore because I hate bugs, except for the final.  I heard it’s at night, though.  I’ll try to get used to them.”

This led to more bug questions from the media on Thursday:

Q.  Serena Williams was afraid of the bugs out on center court.  Just wondering, are you afraid of insects or anything like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don’t know.  Are you?  You look like someone that could be afraid of bugs.

Q.  I am actually a little bit.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah?  Okay.

Q.  Do you have any phobias like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I mean, I don’t like spiders and all that stuff.  But I think they’re staying away from center court, so I think I’ll be okay.

Q.  Serena Williams was worried about the insects on center court.  She was afraid of them.  Are you afraid of bugs or anything similar?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  No.  I mean, that’s okay.  If it’s not dangerous, that’s fine.
But, yeah, I play with some ‑ how you call it ‑ bugs.  I played last night with bugs against Istomin.  It was okay.  Good neighbors (laughter).

Q.  Serena got a bit scared of the insects out on court.  Are you afraid of bugs at all?
ANA IVANOVIC:  No, no.  More snakes.  Or sharks.  (Laughter.)

Q.  So you played on a court with snakes?
ANA IVANOVIC:  No.  Luckily growing up in Serbia we don’t have too many.  Not the dangerous ones.  Although my dad found really poisonous snake on golf course when he was playing, the black one.  I don’t know the name.

Q.  Here in Australia?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, here in Australia.  Actually in Perth.  He was actually quite scared.

Q.  You swim in Australia, but you’re still afraid of sharks?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, I am.  But did you ever see me swim (laughter)?  I swim in the water back and forth.  I need to have someone further than me, then I feel safe.

 

No William Tell trick shot for Serena

Q.  There’s a YouTube video of you attempting the Roger Federer trick shot.  The guy has the bottle on his head.  You went quite low.  What happened there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t have the same aim Roger Federer has.  He’s like the greatest player ever.  I thought that I was at least somewhat close.  But clearly I am not even close, so…

Karen Pestaina is the founder and editor of Tennis Panorama News. She is in Melbourne, Australia covering the Australian Open as a member of the media.  Follow her throughout the Australian Open on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. She freelances for various media outlets and has worked for many a broadcast news entity. She witnessed her first live tennis match as a young child at Forest Hills when Guillermo Vilas upset Jimmy Connors to win the 1977 US Open. This branded her as a Vilas fan for life.

 

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Tipsarevic Wins Malaysian Open for First ATP World Tour Title

 

Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic captured his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur stopping Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 7-5 for the Malaysian Open crown. Fifth time was the charm as this was the Serbian fifth career ATP World Tour final. Tipsarevic becomes the tenth first-time winner on the men’s tour this year.

“It feels great,” Tipsarevic said.  “I think I deserved it. I’m so happy that it came in a good place, at a tournament that is really, really nice, and against a good player. Marcos Baghdatis has played in 11 finals and was a former Top 10 player, a Grand Slam finalist. So I feel happy that I won against a great player in a final that I hope kept the fans on the edge of their seats until the very end. I could not be happier.

“I knew I had to play overall good. In two of my previous four finals I was overly aggressive and in two of them I was too defensive, and this is not the way to win an ATP World Tour title. You need to feel the game; you need to know what to do in certain moments. At 5-5 I stayed calm, I didn’t panic; I didn’t choke. I managed to find my game and close out the match in two sets.

“It wasn’t my day today,” Baghdatis said.  “Janko played great. He deserved to win, he was more aggressive. You just have to say ‘well done’ to Janko for a great week and a great year overall. I played some great tennis this week and I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the season.”

Tipsarevic is currently in 13th place in the race to London to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals. “I know that it’s a really long way off,” noted Tipsarevic. “I have a certain amount of points and another eight guys have like 700 or 800 points more than me, which means I need to perform really good at the Masters 1000 events in Shanghai and Paris in order to have the chance to overtake Tsonga or Fish. But I’m not thinking about that. Since I’m going to stay Top 20 or Top 15 for the rest of the year, I would be overwhelmed if I had the chance to finish Top 10.”

 

RESULTS – SUNDAY, 2 OCTOBER, 2011

Singles – Final
[3] J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) 64 75

Doubles – Final
[2] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) d [3] F Cermak (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) 61 63

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Sony Ericsson Open Week 1

 

15-0

Welcome to Miami

Tennis Panorama News was in Miami this week covering the Sony Ericsson Open. Craig Hickman of Craig Hickman on Tennis and JD Blom were on site covering all the on-court and off-court action.

30-0

Breaking News at WTA All Access

Due to Craig Hickman’s and JD Blom’s skills with the Flemish language they broke the “Clijsters won’t play in Asia” story on twitter first and with a complete translation later in the day.  Heads up to Chris Chase for recognizing this in Yahoo’s tennis blog Busted Racquet. It was interesting to see media outlets report the story without verification or source attribution.

Of  War and Radiation: Kim Clijsters Speaks

 

30-15

Soccer/Football Jinx

Photo courtesy of Onthegotennis.com

Has anyone noticed that most of those players who participated in the charity soccer match for Japan earlier in the week have already lost in Miami?  The list so far includes Andy Murray, Fernando Verdasco, Marcos Baghdatis, Stanislas Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori.

30-30

Look out for Falling Seeds

On Saturday alone 10 seeds including Andy Roddick lost in Miami – 6 men  and 4 women.

40-30

Serena Sighting

From Serena Williams‘ twitter account, Williams and Caroline Wozniacki took in a Miami Heat game earlier in the week.

 

Deuce

Losing Streak

Andy Murray (Photo of Onthegotennis.com)

Andy Murray is officially in a slump. He was a second round victim to Alex Bogomolov Jr. This marks his fourth consecutive loss beginning with the final of the Australian Open. Despite the loss, Murray will climb to No. 4 in the world due to Robin Soderling’s third round exit at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Advantage

Doubles Point of the Week!

 

 

Deuce

Swimming with the Fish(es)


Mardy Fish has a sense of humor to volunteer to participate in two photo-ops this week – swimming with the dolphins..

Mardy Fish and Dolphins Cheerleaders (Getty Images)

and posing with the  Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. Good news for Fish – not official yet but a Fish win in the next round, paired with Andy Roddick’s early loss will make Fish the top ranked US male.

 

Advantage

Dance of the Week

Video and photo courtesy of Forty Deuce

Ana Ivanovic has paired up with Andrea Petkovic in doubles this week at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Needless to say Petkovic has shown her how to do the victory dance.

Deuce

Photo-Op of the Week

NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat perfomed the coin toss at Saturday evening’s Rafael Nadal-Kei Nishikori match at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Deuce

Do you wanna ride in my Mercedes boy?

Photo courtesy of Onthegotennis.com

Kudos to Onthegotennis.com who caught Roger Federer driving to the Sony Ericsson Open in a Mercedes.  Mercedes is one of Federer’s sponsors.

Advantage

Parties and Events of the Week

Tennis Family Unites To Raise Funds for Japan Disaster Relief




Sony Ericsson Open Players Party – Welcome to the Oscars

New Experience with Sharapova and the Hot Shots

GR8 Friends For Japan Fundraiser with Novak Djokovic

Slideshow: GR8 Friends For Japan Fundraiser


Game, Set, Match, Videos and Photo Galleries!


JD Blom and Craig Hickman were all over the Sony Ericsson Open  from the matches to the “Party Patrol” events this past week. Here are links to videos and photo galleries. Also check out the live tweeting of the red carpet events they covered thorughout the week– here

Articles with Videos:

Videos – GR8 Friends For Japan Fundraiser with Novak Djokovic

Video – Roger Federer Practice Session at the Sony Ericsson Open

Video – Andy Roddick Practice Session at the Sony Ericsson Open


 

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Saturday’s Player Wisdom By Megan Fernandez


©Enrique Fernandez for Global Village Tennis News

Roger Federer chauffeurs himself, Mardy Fish showers on rain delays, and Marcos Baghdatis takes loses pretty hard—those are among the insights we learned Saturday at the Western & Southern Financial Series Masters in Cincinnati. (Add them to this assertion by several experienced members of the media: David Ferrer smokes two packs a day!)

Federer and Fish advanced to the final, and both have been there before (Federer won in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and Fish lost to Andy Roddick in 2003). But this time, it was as if they were playing different tournaments.

Fish, a wild card entry, barely survived this long. (Federer was barely tested.) Fish started his tournament on Monday, playing his first-round doubles match. (Federer started Wednesday.) He played 18 sets of tennis between the singles and doubles draws before Sunday, including roller-coaster three-set wins in the quarters and semis. (Federer completed only four business-as-usual sets en route to the championship match, thanks to one opponent’s retirement and another’s walkover.) The American was on the brink of defeat Saturday against Andy Roddick, trailing 4-6, 2-5 when rain caused a second stop in the match. Afterward, he won 11 of the next 13 games to complete a stunning comeback and win 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-1. (Federer has yet to drop serve or play a tiebreak this week.)

©Enrique Fernandez for Global Village Tennis News

Baghdatis, a nervous 4-6, 4-6 loser to an impeccable Federer today, uncharacteristically hurried past fans without signing autographs as he left the grounds.

Fresh Federer versus a fighting Fish isn’t the final that anyone had penciled in, but it’s far from disappointing, especially given their history. Though Federer leads the head-to-head 5-1, Fish won their last meeting—on hard court in a Masters even, no less (Indian Wells 2009). They even came to their press conferences looking like the same man, both dressed in an orange shirt and black hat.

More player wisdom from Saturday:

©Enrique Fernandez for Global Village Tennis News

Federer on losses: You analyze those matches much more than I would analyze this Baghdatis match.  This one is here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes also you can walk away from a loss thinking it wasn’t all that bad. It’s [worse] what people write than what it was. Then you get sometimes brainwashed by it.

Federer on Mason: I like to get away from it all. That’s why I like to return to Switzerland, I like to return to tournaments like here, or other tournaments between huge events. It’s less stressful; I drive my own car here, go to coffee shops, go hang out, read some books, spend time with friends, go to the movies.

Fish on grooming: The beard? It’s not much of a beard, is it? It’s just kind of scruff. I don’t save much.

©Enrique Fernandez for Global Village Tennis News

Roddick on the US Open field: You’re gonna have the normal cast of characters as the favorites, and then that next kind of tier of four or five guys—Mardy has played himself into that discussion, and I think with this week I’ve put myself back in that discussion. You’ve got to favor the guys that have been there and done it before. A Slam is a different animal. Del Potro pulling out, I don’t think that has much emphasis. It would have been a pretty tall ask for him to come back and his first tournament be a major player.

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