2014/11/01

Radwanska Ends Defending Champ Azarenka’s run at Australian Open

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(January 22, 2014) Agnieszka Radwanska ended Victoria Azarenka‘s run at a third straight Australian Open title on Wednesday when the fifth seed knocked out the defending champ 6-1, 5-7, 6-0. The victory for Radwanska moves her into her first Australian Open semifinal.

With defending champion Novak Djokovic knocked out of the tournament by Stanislas Wawrinka with both he and Victoria Azarenka losing in the quarterfinals it is the first time both the defending champions have lost in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

The last time the two defending champions lost in the quarterfinals at any Grand Slam in the Open Era was at 1997 Roland Garros when 1996 champions Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Steffi Graf lost in the last eight.

The win snapped Azarenka’s 18-match win streak in Melbourne. It also ended Radwanska’s 7 match losing streak to the Belarusian dating back to 2011 and her three consecutive quarterfinal losses at the Australian Open. It was just the Polish women’s fourth win against Azarenka in 16 attempts.

“I think it’s hard to play someone I lost so many times before,” Radwanska said.  “I knew she’s great player.  Especially here, she’s playing amazing tennis.

“On the other hand, I really have nothing to lose.  She was defending the title, not me.  I was really trying to play my best tennis, go for every shot I could.

“You know, I’m just very happy because I really was playing great tennis.”

Radwanska used an all-court game – at times scrambling for every shot to playing finesse tennis to confuse and dismantle a usually hard-hitting Azarenka.

“I think it’s hard to talk about the game plan against someone that can do everything on court,” said the Pole.  “Pretty much everything is going back.  Not really much mistakes.  So I think I was just trying to play aggressive, not in the middle.  I think focus on the serves as well.

“I think you really have to do everything to beat those kind of players like Vika.”

“A lot of good rallies definitely,” she continued, “amazing points, and running forward, backwards, side to side for so many times.

“Well, I was really feeling good on court today.  I think, you know, I was feeling I could really do everything, trying and fighting for every point, every ball.”

“The first set and the third set, I think there was just too many mistakes and too many easy mistakes on important moments,” said Azarenka.  “Like from the dropshot to the dropshot, or just I had the full court.  Of course, she was passing amazing today and getting to every ball.

“But I just didn’t have the focus on finishing the point so accurate.  That definitely changed the momentum.  She really took advantage of that.  It was hard to come back.

“But, I don’t know, my game wasn’t there today as I wanted it to.  But she definitely played really well.”

“She was aggressive,” the world No. 2 said.  “She was making everything.  She was guessing right.  I was just playing a little bit too predictive, you know.

“In the second set I managed to fight back.  Third set, you know, the first game was important.  I let it go, like easily let it go.  From there just couldn’t get back to it.  It was tough.”

In an upset-ridden Australian Open in which the top three women’s seeds – Serena Williams, Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, have all been ousted by the quarterfinals, there will be a first-time winner in Melbourne among the remaining women. The semifinal line-up: Radwanska against No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 4 Li Na against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

“I’m so happy and pleased, especially that I beat one of the best players in the world, Radwanska said.  “Was not easy draw, not easy quarterfinal.

“I’m very happy that I made my first semifinal here.

I think every semifinal, every final is a huge experience with tennis.  Those experience I just had from Wimbledon.  Of course, I’m just very happy, you know, to reach the semifinal at other Grand Slam.

“So I think this is the level everybody playing great tennis.  Well, it’s a bit more pressure.  This is the semifinal of a Grand Slam.  Especially here, first time for me.

“Hopefully I will play the same tennis as today.”

Radwanska said that her match-up against Cibulkova next,  will be a challenging one, since she been playing against since she was 9 or ten:

“I think it’s always tricky to play someone that you know for so long, play so many times, as well.  Like I’m saying, every match is a different story, especially when it’s a semifinal of a Grand Slam, the first semis for me and for her as well.  Well, we’ll see.”

 

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Murray Advances Easily, Seed Killers From Wednesday Fall on Friday

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(June 28, 2013) No. 2 seed and 2012 London Olympic champion Andy Murray continued his straight sets streak by defeating Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the fourth round under a closed roof at Wimbledon on Friday.

Meanwhile, two days ago several former No. 1 players fell, and most of the conquerors could not back up their dramatic upsets.

Murray is aiming to become the first man from Great Britain to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. He spoke about the pressure on him with so many top seeds out including  Roger Federer who was in his half of the draw.

“I think there’s a lot more pressure on me now with them being out,” Murray said.  “I mean, I don’t read the papers and stuff.  But there are papers in the locker room, so you see some of the headlines and stuff.  It’s not that helpful,” Murray said smiling.

“But, yeah, you need to be professional enough to not let that stuff bother you and just concentrate on each match.  I think I did a good job of that today.  I played well, my best match of the tournament so far. “

As for those players who contributed to all of the upsets on Wimbledon’s Wild Wednesday:

No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky who took out seven-time champion Roger Federer lost to No. 37 Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“If someone would ask me, Would you rather beat Roger and lose in next round, I would always take it, obviously, “ Stakhovsky said.

“I’m just a little disappointed that I got so blinded by the game I produced with Roger that I kept going with the same game I played against Jurgen, which was just not right.  If I would be just a bit more smarter on that court, I could have been a winner today, I think.”

“I would say I could possibly be not prepared only mentally, because everybody expects or you expect yourself to play better after you beat Roger.  And the only thing you don’t want to happen is to lose next round.  It’s actually what happened, because you’re trying to avoid it, it always come to you.”

Michelle Larcher de Brito who took out Maria Sharapova, was taken down by No. 104 Karin Knapp.

“It was a fantastic win, obviously,” Larcher de Brito said. “It gave me an incredible amount of confidence and it proved to myself that, yeah, I can be there.”

Reigning Junior champion Eugenie Bouchard who dismissed Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday, was shown the door by 19th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-2.

“Well, for sure it went differently than I hoped,” said the young Canadian.  “She definitely played really well, I thought.  She was very consistent.  She was being aggressive ‑ more aggressive than me ‑ so she was controlling the points.  I think I could have ‑ should have ‑ done more to try to control the points.  Instead she did.”

Bouchard spoke about the difficulty coming off the high from her victory Ivanovic. “I think that was in the back of my mind, yeah.  It’s a totally different situation:  Not on Centre Court, not against a big, big player.

But I knew that ahead of time.  I tried to prepare like it was just another match, which it was.  It was still on a nice court.

“But, yeah, I just think I didn’t play as well as I know I can.”

Dustin Brown who stunned Lleyton Hewitt, los to Adrin Mannarino 6‑4, 6‑2, 7‑5.

“I go out there and try to play my tennis as best as possible,” Brown said.

“Today didn’t work out as well as I would have liked it to.  I played Adrian a month ago.  It was a little similar match.  A little faster.  Both of us held serves.  Especially on the outside it’s really difficult to return a serve.  Most of the time you’re guessing, which also gives him no pressure on the deuce side, because even if he loses a point there, I find it very difficult to return the serve especially on the ad side.

“So he’s playing free.  He came up with a lot of good returns right in front of my feet.  Couldn’t pick them up.”

“Of course, I’m sad that I lost,” Brown said “On the other side, it’s been a great week also.  I shouldn’t forget that.  When I came here, I was in the quallies, I thought, I lost two rounds in qualifying in Nottingham, what am I expecting to do here?  If someone would have told me from the beginning, Sign here, you get the third‑round prize money and points and you are going to win five matches, I would have taken the deal.”

According to the International Tennis Federation this fortnight at Wimbledon had the worst performance by the men’s and women’s top 10 seeds. A total of only 10 of the top seeds – 6 men and 4 women had reached the third round of The Championships.

It is the joint-worst performance by Top 10 seeds at any Grand Slam event in the Open Era. The previous fewest women’s Top 10 seeds to reach the third round at a major was 5 seeds at 2001 Roland Garros. The previous fewest women’s Top 10 seeds to reach the third round at Wimbledon was 6 seeds in 1996 and 2000.

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Serena Williams Gives a Response to Maria Sharapova’s Comments

 

Serena Williams

(June 23, 2013)

Serena Williams was inundated with questions in her Wimbledon pre-tournament news conference on Sunday about Maria Sharapova’s razor-sharp comments in reaction to Williams’ quotes in a recent Rolling Stone magazine.

On Saturday Maria Sharapova took aim at Serena Williams in regard to a recent Rolling Stone article where the author Stephen Rodrick did an extensive interview with the world No. 1.  Rodrick made an assumption that certain comments made by Williams about an unnamed player were about Sharapova.

When asked about the article Sharapova said: “Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she’s achieved on the court.  You can never take anything away from that.

“I was definitely sad to hear what she had to say about the whole case.

“As for myself, or whether it was about somebody else, nothing personal, you know.  We’ve talked to Serena many times, and I know everyone tries to create rivalries between us here and there.

“At the end of the day, we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court.  I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that’s just getting attention and controversy.

“If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids.  Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things.  She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”

Maria Sharapova Takes Verbal Shot at Serena Williams in Regard to Recent Rolling Stone Article

Williams told media that she approached Sharapova at the Wimbledon players’ party to apology.

“I personally talked to Maria at the player party, incidentally,” said the world No. 1.

“I said, Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation.  I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I’m very sorry for this whole situation.”

Asked to give a reaction to Sharapova’s comments made on Saturday, Williams said: “I definitely was told of the comments.  I definitely like to keep my personal life personal.  I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it.

“But, yeah, I’ve always, in the past ‑ you guys have known ‑ I’ve kept my personal and professional life very private.  I’m going to continue to do that.”

Defending champion Williams is coming into London with a 74-3 record since 2012 Wimbledon when she began to work with French coach Patrick Mouratoglou to whom she has been rumored to be linked with romantically.

Williams begins defense of her title on Tuesday when she takes on Mandy Minella.

Related article:

UPDATE – Serena Williams Comments on Steubenville Rape Case in Rolling Stone Interview; Apologizes, Issues Statement

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Serena Williams Makes It Sweet 16

Serena Williams Day 2 Press Conference

By Ros Satar

 

(June 8, 2013) PARIS – How does Maria Sharapova solve a problem like Serena?

 

The answer is she doesn’t, at least not today as the head-to-head between them grew to 14-2, when Serena Williams regained the title she won back in 2002 6-4, 6-4.

 

It perhaps feels uncharitable to say that there was an air of inevitability around this final.

 

After all, the numbers do not lie and at best people wanted the match to be competitive at least, especially those who remember the London 2012 Olympic Final.

 

It is always a challenge to defend a title and Maria Sharapova certainly made her intentions clear at the start of the match, gritting her way to defending four breakpoints, before breaking Williams in the next game.

 

But of course, the world No. 1 was not standing for that – with the first set a bizarre see-saw of breaks and clutch points and “come-on’s” from them both.

 

If Sharapova was going to make her claim to defend her crown, it really had to be here to put Williams under pressure from the start.

 

You just had the feeling, though, that it was taking every ounce of effort from Sharapova to stay in contention, so it was no surprise when Williams served out for the first set, having nudged ahead again.

 

The second set started in much the same way, with a long protracted hold and the saving of many break points (again) from Sharapova.

 

Even though it came down to a single break at the start of the second set, Sharapova never stopped fighting, but Williams stepped up a gear, firing down three aces to start and finish the last game, and with it gaining her second Roland-Garros title, and her 16th Grand Slam title.

 

She now holds the most slam titles of any active player, and the sixth of all time, as well as becoming the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam in the Open Era – it may be impolite to refer to a lady’s age but just for the record, it’s 31 years, 256 days by the tournament end date.

 

Having nothing to defend here after her first round loss was a key for Williams today.

 

“I played so well leading up to the French Open last year ‑ and same thing happened again this year ‑ but I didn’t put any pressure on myself,” Wiliams said.

 

Sharapova had pointed out that Williams was serving harder that tomorrow’s finalist David Ferrer.

 

“I think growing up with Venus, you know, she’s serving so big, I was like, I want to serve big, too,” she said.

 

“So I think this definitely really helped me a lot.  Again, I am not the tallest girl on tour, but I definitely think I use my height in a very effective way, and I use it to the fullest of my ability.”

 

Seated alongside the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, Williams admitted her had been very nervous in serving for the match.

 

“I thought, I’m not going to be able to hit groundstrokes.  (Laughter.)

“No joke.  As you see the one groundstroke I did hit went like 100 feet out.

 

“I thought to myself, Look, Serena, you’ve just got to hit aces.  That’s your only choice.”

 

Of course having been on the receiving end of those, it was an obviously reflective Sharapova who faced the press later.

 

“I think getting to the Roland-Garros final is not too shabby, so I’d say that’s a positive.  Coming back as a defending champion, I know it’s never easy to come back with that title, so I’m happy that I was able to produce good tennis within these last two weeks and come to that stage.”

 

To reverse a trend of losses against Williams dating back to 2004 is obviously a work in progress (to put it mildly), but today showed that Sharapova could go toe-to-toe with her.

 

“Some of the results against her last year were not so good.  But the match in Miami and the match here, I think I’m doing a few more right things than maybe I have done in the past, yet obviously not consistent enough.”

 

We are only half way through the season, with Wimbledon coming up, so Sharapova could at least look ahead.

 

“It’s always the one that I always want to perform well at and the one that I always look forward to.

 

“It’s not like I really need someone to give me motivation towards that.”

 

If age is just a number now to Serena, and a new number was reached today (16 Grand Slam titles), then does she have her eye on the next prize?

 

“If it means I stop at 16 or if it means I have more, I definitely want to continue my journey to get a few more.”

 

Roll on Wimbledon and the US Open.

 

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Sharapova Completes Rain-Delayed Victory over Bouchard

Maria Sharapova

By Ros Satar

 

(May 31, 2013) PARIS – Fans who braved the constant downpour were unlucky not enough to see the completion of No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova’s match against Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard at Roland Garros on Friday.

 

Bouchard held her opening serve, but from then on it was one-way traffic in the first set, before rain stopped play with Sharapova leading 4-1.

 

With a restart under diminishing light, around 8pm CET, Sharapova found herself defending break points in both her games, before finally taking the first set.

 

The second set saw Bouchard get the first break, only for there to be two more in succession.

 

As the rain started to fall yet again on the late evening crowd, Sharapova showed absolutely no signs of wanting to come off, as Bouchard appealed to the umpire to come down from his sheltered canopy and see the conditions for himself.

 

With the Canadian serving at 2-4 Adv-40, the play was finally suspended for the day – with Sharapova looking none too happy.

 

The restart today was quick with Bouchard holding the game left in the balance, the night before.

 

However, Sharapova delivered the final coup-de-grace, breaking the teenager to advance into the third round 6-2, 6-4, where she will meet Zheng Jie.

 

Sharapova had to admit that despite wanting to stay out last night to finish the remaining games, it really was not an option.

 

“Well, at 8:45, I think when it was still raining, it was pretty tough to continue.

 

“Overall I was just happy that I finished the match and on to the next round.”

 

 

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Sharapova Defends Stuttgart Title with Victory Over Li Na

Sharapova Porsche

By Tumaini Carayol

(April 28, 2013) STUTTGART – Maria Sharapova arrived in Stuttgart as merely the defeNding champion. One Porsche mega-deal later, the Russian had almost assumed home-crowd support as fans and staff alike cheered the Russian on passionately throughout the week.

 

After her perilous struggles in the rounds before, Sharapova saved her most impressive victory for last, showcasing a performance of the highest quality to refuse Li Na her title 6-4, 6-3. The Russian struck the ball cleanly and with precision, while her movement improved dramatically overnight as she closed out the match in two impressive sets.

 

“I definitely thought it would be the toughest match of the tournament because, you know, she’s the second seed and someone I lost to last time I played against her,” she said.

 

“Probably because I knew she’d be the freshest of both of us. I tried to do the right things from the beginning and not have a let-down like I did in the other matches. I’m extremely happy that I pulled through.”

 

Sharapova’s afternoon was most succinctly summed up by a break point in set two. Chasing from side to side, the Russian found herself on the back foot as Li attempted to dominate. Eventually she stretched for a last-ditch left-handed forehand which barely trickled over, but as the Chinese number one attempted to put away the weak reply, Sharapova had already begun sprinting back to her forehand side, into the open court. A stunning on-the-run forehand down the line passing shot followed as she wrestled the break from her opponent’s grasp and hammered the final nail into the coffin that held Li Na’s title hopes.

 

“I think the main thing (in the earlier rounds) is the way that I fought,” said Sharapova later. “The way I came back from being down from, you know winning the first set.

 

“Losing the second could have been tough and easy to let the third set go but I kept fighting to give myself a chance to get into the next round. And then I played my best tennis today. So no matter how difficult those matches were, no matter how tired I was.”

 

On the question of pressure after recording a breathtaking 20th straight victory on red clay, Sharapova showcased a relaxed outlook to her outstanding previous 12 months on the red dirt.

 

“It’s more exciting. I really feel like I deserve to be in that position where I’m considered one of favorites because I needed to work to be in this position for many years. I’ve worked on getting stronger. I’ve worked on getting patient. I’ve worked on getting my game to adapt a little more on clay. There’s a reason why I’ve got myself there. It didn’t take a day, it didn’t take months, it took many years.

 

It remains difficult to name the players who will figure as the top favorites for Roland Garros as the second Grand Slam draws ever-nearer, but if one thing is for sure, it’s that Sharapova will top them all.

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Sharapova Makes Second Straight Indian Wells Final

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(March 15, 2013) Maria Sharapova reached her second straight BNP Paribas Open final by beating long-time friend and fellow Russian No. 13 seed Maria Kirlenko 6-4, 6-3. Sharapova will play Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday for the title. Each woman has won the championship once – Wozniacki in 2011 and Sharapova in 2006. This will be Sharapova’s first final of 2013.

With Friday’s win, Sharapova will move up to the No. 2 ranking, moving past Victoria Azarenka. Serena Williams is No.1.

“I think I made the first set a bit more difficult than it should have been.  You know, I felt like it could have been up 4‑0,” Sharapova said.

“And she’s someone who has had a few comebacks in this tournament and really good results.  I think this is her best tournament yet.

“So, yeah, I stepped it up in the second set, you know.  First set was a little shady; second set was much better.”

“Still she had some double faults, like few in a row, and still I wasn’t able to break her, Kirilenko said.

“Well, I think the game was quite solid today, you know, from both of us.  Just, you know, she was maybe get a little bit more lucky today somewhere.”

Kirilenko is expected to move up to No. 13 in the world as of Monday, a spot away from her career high of No. 12. “I can say only the positive stuff for this tournament, she said. “ I’m happy the way I’m playing, and so it’s mean that I’m moving to the right direction.”

On Wozniacki, her opponent in the final Sharapova said: “She’s always a tough opponent.  You know, she’s a grinder.  She makes you work really hard on the court and gets a lot of balls back, you know, and has a lot of different variety.

“You know, I certainly don’t want to give her that time or those opportunities, because she’s a really good player.”

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Sharapova and Kuznetsova in Notes and Quotes at the BNP Paribas Open

Maria Sharapova

 

(March 8, 2013) World No. 3 Maria Sharapova had no problems taking out Francesca Schiavone at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday 6-2, 6-1 while 2-time major champ Svetlana Kuznetsova have to overcome a first set bagel to top  18th seed Jelena Jankovic 0-6, 6-2, 7-5.

During Sharapova’s post-match news conference, the media asked more questions about her candy “Sugarpova,”  than about the match.

Asked about her experience in this business venture:

“I think learning, you know.  One of the things that I have really picked up over the many years I have worked with different brands and people is that I never really had a solid education in my career, but I have always liked to listen and I have liked to learn.

“That was my way of learning, is through being in so many different types of meetings, whether they were creative ones, whether they were with advertisement agencies, it was just ‑‑ but at the end of it all, I was just a small part of all those big brands.

“I knew that one day ‑‑ I certainly didn’t really think that it was going to be a couple of years ago ‑‑ I would start my own business.

“Usually you would start something a lot quicker than two years, but it took two years, and I don’t regret any ‑‑ you know, launching it earlier than I did, because it took that much to get it all together and make it into a quality product and something that I really believed in.

“I wanted to do something that was different, that was very unexpected.  You know, I have been part of, you know, clothes collaboration and done things with accessories from Japanese brands to Cole Haan to working on my own collection and Nike. I  even had a perfume back many years ago.

“So I wanted this to be something unique.  And when the name came about right away, I knew that it was going to be candy, yeah.”

On possible expansion and extension of her candy line into other forms of sweets:

“Not at this point.  I see it expanding more into different businesses, whether it’s fashion or cosmetics down the line.

“But I want to get ‑‑ I mean, even though it’s been, you know, beyond my expectations, there are still so many things and so many markets that we need to get, you know.  Where now we have 12 SKUs, and we’re adding three more in a few weeks.  There are so many things to be done.

“Right now we are trying to get around the world, and that takes ‑‑ to get into one country takes at least three to four months before their own food and drug organization, you know, approves everything and ingredients.  Certain countries you have to change certain ingredients for it to be sold there, the labels in different countries have to be changed.  So many things you don’t even think about.”

Svetlana Kuznetsova

A big topic of conversation in Kuznetsova’s news conference was her on-court attire. Her match turned around by changing her outfits:

“Well, for me it’s very difficult to play in cold weather because even I tried to play in the long tight pants first set, I cannot.  I think I can do it every time I go and try, and I know I cannot play in anything ‑‑ wearing anything, because it’s just not comfortable.

“I can practice in it without problem, but when I have matches I always start to lose and I have to take it off and then all the things changes.  I don’t think I started to win because of my pants, but still, I was not moving.  (Smiling.)

“I just had to change things.”

“You know, I thought it was ‑‑ they are very tight (the pants), so they were kind of pushing my stomach so I was not so much comfortable.  It was not bothering me like so much, but after I took it off I was feeling a little bit looser.  So it’s a little bit funny.  Yeah, it’s just the pants, but I don’t blame them.  I mean, it’s all because of me.”

On playing at Indian Wells  and other tournaments during her career:

“You know, other day I was on the radio and they ask, What do you like and what do you not like in Indian Wells?  When I was younger it was too boring for me, this place.  Now I enjoy actually the tranquility of here.  Just everything is fine.

“For me, whole my career is so much ups and downs and I am just used to it, so just going along with it.  Just try to do my best this year wherever I can.”

” I believe I can play good anywhere, and I can play bad actually in the same way.  (Laughter.)

“Not actually in the same way, but I still keep it there.  Bad loses not maybe many people remember, but the wins, it always counts.”

“I mean, of course everybody comes to press, I love this.  You know, you’re tired to listening, I love this.  I mean, for sure you don’t love every week.  This is pretty clear.

“There are smaller ones which are not well organized, and it’s very difficult to go play them.  It’s not like I hate them.  There is always some good things and some bad things.

“But there is events like small you’ve got to take a train, a flight, then a ride, and then this, and then the food is not great.  These events really like I better not go play.

“But big events, I think they’re all quite good.  I mean, there are some things you don’t like about it, yeah, or you like more or less, but big events always pretty well organized.”

Follow Tennis Panorama News‘ coverage of the BNP Paribas Open here and on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

 

 

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Clinical Sharapova Continues Her Mission, Li Na Advances

Maria Sharapova 10062012 China Open Sharapova in press with pocket book part 2

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 20, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Kirsten Flipkens became the next victim in Maria Sharapova’s mission for a second Australian Open title on Sunday, the second seed demolishing her Belgian opponent in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 to progress to a quarterfinal clash with fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

 

Sharapova was clinical in disposing of Flipkens, smashing away 25 winners and succeeding on 81% of first serves in play.

 

The second set was a 25 minute thumping and the fifth bageled set of Sharapova’s tournament.

 

She was understandably pleased following the easy victory, and said the key to continuing in the winning manner is to remain focused and to stick to your game.

 

“All of a sudden, especially in women’s tennis, things can change really quickly. It’s really about, you know, sticking to your game plan, being consistent, but playing your game.”

 

“You know, I didn’t start the match really great. I was facing a different type of opponent today and I was making a few more mistakes than I would have liked in the beginning.”

 

“But after, you know, I held at 2-1, you know, I really started making her play a little bit more.    Started really getting under the ball and being aggressive and just had a little bit more energy which really helped me and I carried that throughout the match.”

 

Sharapova plays Makarova in the quarterfinals who today defeated fifth seed Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-4 to progress into her second consecutive quarterfinal. Makarova is relishing the opportunity to play the second seed in a rematch of their 2012 Australian Open quarterfinal in which Sharapova won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.

 

“I really want to play against Maria because I lost against her last year. I’m feeling really confident in my game.”

 

Elsewhere in day seven action, China’s Li Na defeated eighteenth seed Julia Goerges in straight sets. The first set was a tight encounter that lasted almost one hour with the sixth seed closing it out in a tie-break 7-6(6). The second set was was easier for 2011 Australian Open finalist as she won it 6-1 and progressed through to a quarterfinal appearance against fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

 

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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Notes and Quotes from Day 7 of the 2012 French Open

Maria Sharapova

About her new candy line “SugarPova”

I’m really looking forward to the candy launch, which I think was the most exciting project that I’ve ever done before, because it’s my own business, my own investment, my own money.  It’s like a baby kind of where everything you put in, every single dollar, every minute is going into something that you’re really passionate about.

Yeah, we’re pretty much just finished all the packaging and we worked out all the creative.  Going to do the shoot for it soon.  It’s going to launch at the US Open.  We just got some really good buyers, so I’m really excited.

 

On her Father’s whereabouts:

He’s in Florida.  Yes.  He’s with my dog.

Oh, he can’t text.  It’s useless.  Yeah, the text  he writes half Russian, half English.  The words are all mixed up.  Misspelled.  I mean, it’s I just ask him to call me.  And I try to Skype with him, and that’s a nightmare because he doesn’t know like how to answer.  It’s horrible.

But I talked with him every day.  Mainly just to find out if my dog is still alive.  (Laughter).

 

 

On having her Mother around during the French Open

I have someone to fold my laundry.

I am so spoiled.  She is the best mom I could oh, if I was only 1% of the mom that she is.  But, yeah, I’m really lucky.

She’s just such a nice influence in my life, just a calm, so calm, could care less  I mean, of course she cares how I do in tennis and life, but her perspective on things and just in general is really nice to have.

 

Rafael Nadal

 

250 matches (match wins)?  Well, okay, that’s a figure.  I don’t have the impression it’s a huge number, because more and more  or, rather, you know, in 2005 I played many matches on clay.  And there was Buenos Aires, Acapulco, another one, then Valencia, Monte‑Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Roland Garros, Stuttgart.  That’s ten, I think, ten tournaments on clay, and after this I think five or four more.

So, you see, I don’t have that many opportunities of winning that many matches.  There aren’t that many tournaments.  But maybe in the future there’s going to be more matches on clay.  Maybe the timetable will be more favorable so that I can win more titles.

Because, you see, I only play against the best players in the world, so it’s always very complicated to win titles.

Anyway, I’m very satisfied with my results on clay, and I must admit that my results on clay are quite special.

 

How he’s celebrating his birthday:

Well, nothing special, you know.  I’m here at Roland Garros.  The time has not yet come for me to celebrate.  I’d like to focus for the round of 16, and I’ll practice, as usual.

I will have my treatment, as usual.  I don’t know if there’s going to be something special, which is always the case here at Roland Garros.

I’m always very happy, because something has always been prepared for me, a cake or a very quick celebration.  If this is the case, I’ll be very happy.  But if there is nothing whatsoever, I will not really care.  I will do as I usually do.  Tomorrow is going to be a day like any other day.

 

On his new Babolat racquet:

Well, that’s not a racquet to play with but to practice.  Maybe in the future I’ll use it to play with on the courts.  But, for the time being, the only thing it can do is help the coaches in the future.

For me, there’s not much I could do in addition to what I’ve done for a number of years.  You know, well, of course I always try and improve, but, you know, at my age, at my level, it’s always more difficult to use these types of gimmicks or gadgets.

Of course, had this racquet been available two or ten or fifteen years ago, this would have helped me considerably, because it’s going to give you data, you know exactly where to hit the balls.  It’s interesting data that these things provide you with.

I think this is an interesting development.  I’d like to congratulate Babolat for this.

 

Caroline Wozniacki

 

On her “McEnroe” moment when she argued a line call at 1-1 in the second set during her loss to Kaia Kanepi:

Well, when the ball is clearly out, I don’t think there should be anything to argue about.  You know, if they cannot see, they should have other umpires on the lines or invent Hawk‑Eye on these courts.

It’s a disgrace that, you know, mistakes like this are made.  It wasn’t even like, you know, could have been in, could have been out.  It was clearly out.

You know, also, when a ball travels 5 miles an hour in the third set at 1 All, you know, I think either the linesman or the main umpire should be able to see the ball, as well.

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