Ferrer Wears Down Baghdatis in Straight Sets


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.




‘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.

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.



Kourtin’ Karen’s Sony Ericsson Open Week 1



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.


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



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.


Look out for Falling Seeds

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


Serena Sighting

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



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.


Doubles Point of the Week!




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.



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.


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.


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.


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


Photo Galleries












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.