Hampton Shines on a day when most Americans fall at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON – Jamie Lee Hampton in her first match at the All England Club upset 27th seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-6 (1) on Monday evening.

“I’m kind of liking it right now,” noted Hampton about playing on grass.

The 22-year-old who had to retire from her opening match at the French Open last month because of two herniated discs was worried that her injury would return.

“In the back of my mind I’m sure I was worried about whether my back was going to hold up or not, Hampton said It’s a little stiff but it’s all right. It sounds worse than it is.”

On a day when seven Americans lost including Venus Williams, John Isner, Melanie Oudin, Donald Young, James Blake and Vania King, the young woman ranked 100th in the world was one of only five Americans to be victorious on Wimbledon’s opening day. The other winning US players -Sloane Stephens, Ryan Harrison, Michael Russell and Ryan Sweeting.


As for her match against Hantuchova , “I’m just trying to play my game, dictate, push her around a little bit and make her play defense,” Hampton said.

The American hit 27 winners past Hantuchova with four aces and winning most of the longer rallies.
Hampton’s Wimbledon adventure continues on Wednesday as she’ll play Great Britain’s Heather Watson, ranked 103rd in the world.


Hampton Upsets Jankovic at the BNP Paribas Open

New Haven Open Approach Shots with Great Britain’s Heather Watson


US Women go 10 for 10 in First Two Days of French Open

Who says Americans can’t play on clay? In the first two days of the French Open, the ladies from the United States are a perfect 10 for 10 in wins. It’s the first time since 2003 that so many US women have gained a berth in the second round in Paris. In 2003 11 US women made the second round.

The US women can still add to their total in the second round, as two more women Serena Williams and Jamie Hampton take the court on Tuesday for their first round matches.

Monday, May 28th results

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (12) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 64 63
(Q) Lauren Davis (USA) d. (30) Mona Barthel (GER) 61 61
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Kiki Bertens (NED) 26 64 64
Vania King (USA) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 64 62
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 62 67(6) 64
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 76(6)

Sunday, May 27th results

Venus Williams (USA) d Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 46 61 63
Irina Falconi (USA) d Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) 36 63 61
(Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) d Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 63 57 64
(WC) Melanie Oudin (USA) d Johanna Larsson (SWE) 63 63

In five of the past seven years, a mere four American ladies made it out of the first round in Paris.

“A couple years ago everyone was asking me the opposite questions on why American tennis was so bad, said Bethanie Mattek-Sands who upset 12th seed Sabine Lisicki on Monday.  “I told them, I think we have some great young players coming up.  It’s just the WTA right now has a lot of depth.

“It really shows that some of the Americans are coming through playing tough, grinding it out here on the clay, and it’s awesome, I think.”

“It’s exciting.” Sloane Stephens said about all of the American women coming through. “I was just talking to Christina (McHale) in the locker room.  I’m like, Who do you play?  She’s like, I play Lauren Davis.  I’m like, Oh, my God.  I play Bethanie.

“So all the Americans are playing Americans, but it’s good that we’ll have people in the third round.  So that’s always nice.”

In terms of American women on clay”I don’t think anything’s changed,” Stephens continued.  “It’s always been the same.  Maybe people got tough draws before.  I don’t know what methods people are using or what’s been different, but we’re winning.”

“Maybe it’s a little bit extra firepower or some extra come ons or some heart.  I’m not sure.

“But to everyone that got a win, that is really exciting, because everyone always says that we’re not good on clay.

“That’ll prove ‘em wrong.”


As for the US men, although Andy Roddick and Ryan Harrison crashed out in the first round, John Isner, Jessie Levine, and comeback player Bryan Baker are through to the second round. Sam Querrey, James Blake, Donald Young will face huge challenges to advance to the second round when they play their first round matches on Tuesday.


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

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

By Brad Hunter

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

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

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

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

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


Notes and Quotes on USA’s Loss to Germany in Fed Cup


For the first time in since the group format was instituted in 1995, the United States will not be able to compete for the Fed Cup next year. Germany crushed the United States, 5-0, in the 2011 Fed Cup World Group Playoff in Stuttgart this weekend. Germany will advance to the 2012 Fed Cup World Group.  The loss relegates the United States is to Fed Cup World Group II in 2012.

The draw for Fed Cup’s World group 2 will be made during the summer. The 2012 Fed Cup World Group II features the four nations that lost in the 2011 World Group Playoffs and the four winners from the 2012 World Group II Playoffs.  Seeding will be determined by the Fed Cup Nations Ranking.


GERMANY defeated USA 5-0

Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (clay – indoors)


Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64

Julia Goerges (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 76(5)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 64

Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64

Julia Goerges / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. Liezel Huber/Vania King


U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

When asked about reflecting on the weekend: “Tough weekend. We got to give a lot of credit to the entire German team. They really played great throughout the weekend from start to finish. They were tough and played extremely well with a lot of confidence. We’re disappointed because we go into every tie with high expectations, even when we’re the underdog. We did the best we could, and fought for every point.


On possible turning points:  “You look back and think if whether there was a turning point. But there were a couple of openings here and there that could have turned the tie a little bit. But they were the better team. ”


When positives can be taken away: “I think the positive thing is that every time you go out there, you learn. It’s a learning experience, and it really doesn’t matter how old you are. This is a very young team. But they’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time. There’s still a lot to prove and a lot to learn, and get better. I think that’s the most important thing. Overall, they all fought and gave it their all. This team made the United States and me as captain very proud.”


On the pressures of staying in the World Group: “You approach every match positively, no matter where you’re playing it. Obviously its tough since the United States is out of the World Group for the first time in history. But at the same time, this young team has been to the Fed Cup finals which is unbelievable. So it makes you appreciate that kind of success, and also makes you realize that there’s still a lot of work to be done. It wasn’t the pressure of the tie and trying to stay in the world group, we just came up against a better team.”


On next steps: “Continue to improve and work hard. Get stronger and better. You just keep building. That’s really all you have to do at every age and every level. This team has improved every single year, and they’re going to continue to improving.


On going into World Group II next year: “We want to win every time we play no matter what group we’re in. We go out there, we win together, we lose together. But we give it our all. It would be nice to get a home tie. Its back to doing our best, and hopefully getting back into the World Group.


On Venus’s role: “Venus came here to support the team and obviously injured so she couldn’t participate. She made herself to come and then got hurt in Australia, So unfortunately she was unable to play but was a great team member.”



Melanie Oudin

On playing Petkovic: “I definitely started off well and after I lost my serve at two-all, she took her game to another level and got really confident. She started going for better serves. I don’t think she served that big in her match yesterday. Today it looked like she could go for even more, by stepping in more and controlling the points. She’s playing well, and has been playing well. And when you play that well, it can be hard to beat opponents like that. ”


On losing the World Group: “I knew if I loss this match then our team would go down to World Group II, and that was a little weight on my shoulders knowing that. But I try not to think about it.”



Christina McHale

When asked about her experience in competing in her second Fed Cup: “I learned a lot from these matches, and I have a lot to take away from it. I was disappointed that I couldn’t do more, but I’m going to take the positive side from this experience and keep going.”



Liezel Huber

When asked about the turning point in the doubles match: “For me it was when I was hit by the ball by accident. Although we lost the tie, like Mary Joe said, everybody tried their best and it didn’t matter what the score was going into doubles because Vania and I tried our hardest. This is a team that played their best.

On strategy going into doubles: “Our strategy was to play aggressive and to move and to cross. Maybe this is the surface where you don’t do that, and just stay in the back. But this is also the beginning of clay court season for us, so this match was a great learning experience for me going into my next match. I will approach some things a little different.”



USA and Germany Face Off in Fed Cup World Group Playoff

The United States will try to stay in the Fed Cup World Group for 2012 as they compete against face Germany this weekend in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff in Stuttgart.

Order of Play

Saturday, 7:00 a.m. ET

Singles A: Christina McHale (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles B: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)


Sunday, 5:30 a.m. ET

Singles C: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles D: Christina McHale (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

Doubles:  Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) vs. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Sibine Lisicki (GER)

U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

On the singles lineup: “It is great that we have a very versatile team. Both Melanie and Christina have been playing on the clay and doing well and everyone was a possibility. So we will start with this lineup but it can always change. But this is the lineup we are going to start with.”
Melanie Oudin

On playing Petkovic: “Whenever you lose to someone, if you play them again a few weeks later, you want to get revenge on them. She is going to bring some good tennis so I have to be ready.”


When asked about this weekend’s tie against Germany: “I feel good. I feel like we have been practicing really well and we are ready for tough matches this weekend. Everyone is going to give it their all and hopefully we can come out with the win.”
Christina McHale

When asked about playing first: “I think it will be good to start. There won’t be any results yet so I can just go play and see what happens.”


On the team playing on clay: “I think each day all of us are getting more used to the surface and conditions. I think we will just give it our all and see how it goes.”
Vania King

When asked about adjusting since being asked to come back on the U.S. Fed Cup team: “I feel like I have adjusted really well. Wednesday I was really tired but I felt like I had a good practice. Yesterday I felt really good and today I feel great again.”


On playing on clay: “I am really having fun on the clay, I feel like I have improved a lot on it. Liezel and I are going to tough it out in doubles no matter what, but our first priority is the team. So I want us to win really fast.”


Liezel Huber

On the tie coming down to the deciding doubles match: “If it comes to the deciding doubles match, it means we would have lost two matches by then so I am really not hoping for any losses. It is just something you say you hope it comes down to the doubles but in fact, we hope to finish it before then.”



Bagels and Breadsticks – Belgium Bounces US out of Fed Cup First Round

Kim Clijsters celebrates with teammates (Getty Images)

In only the third time in the history of Fed Cup competition, the United States has been beaten in the first round of Fed Cup. Current Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters led the charge as Belgium took the tie 4-1 in the Quarterfinals of the World Group. Both Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer won both of their singles rubbers. Bethanie Mattek-Sands put up some opposition in both of her singles matches, taking the first set from Clijsters and extending Wickmayer to 7-6 in the second set.  American Melanie Oudin won a total of six games in two singles losses.

Belgium will host the Czech Republic in one of the Fed Cup semifinals during the weekend of April 16-17. Italy and Russia will face off in the other semifinal.

The US will join the other World Group first round losers, Australia, France, Slovak Republic and the four World Group II first round winners, Germany, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine in the World Group Play-offs April 16-17. Team match-ups will be determined by draw on Wednesday.

Final Results: Belgium defeated United States of America 4-1

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 61 76(6)

Kim Clijsters (BEL) defeated Melanie Oudin (USA) 60 64

Kim Clijsters (BEL) defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 67(10) 62 61

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 60

Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) defeated Kirsten Flipkens/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 63 75

Fed Cup World Group and World Group II Results


Fed Cup:U.S. vs. Belgium – Notes and Quotes and Day 1 Preview

Kim Clijsters and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Getty Images)

United States vs. Belgium

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas 2011 World Group Quarterfinal

Sportpaleis * Antwerp, Belgium * February 5-6

The United States’ quest to reach the Fed Cup final for the third straight year begins at the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Quarterfinal at Belgium. Play begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. ET) on an indoor hard court at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium. This is the seventh meeting between these two nations in Fed Cup, with the U.S. owning a 5-1 advantage. Belgium’s only victory came at the 2006 World Group Semifinal in Ostend, Belgium, which is also the only meeting between these two nations contested in Belgium.

The U.S. has won the Fed Cup a record 17 times and is seeking its first title since 2000. Belgium’s sole Fed Cup title came in 2001. The U.S. reached its second consecutive final last year, where they lost to Italy in San Diego and also faced Italy in the 2009 final in Italy. The U.S. has only lost a first round tie twice (1997 in the Netherlands and 2002 in Raleigh, N.C. versus Austria) and both occurrences came in the team’s first match after winning the title (the U.S. did not compete in the 2001 semifinals after winning the title in 2000), meaning the U.S. Fed Cup has never lost two consecutive ties in the history of the competition.

This is Belgium’ s first appearance in World Group I since a 5-0 loss to the U.S. in the 2007 first round in Delray Beach, Fla. The hosts have won 10 of its last 12 home ties. The U.S. is a modest 7-8 in away matches since Fed Cup adopted the home-away format in 1995, but has only lost once on the road in the first round in five matches.


The opening day of play in the best-of-five match series features each country’s No. 1 singles player against the No. 2 player from the opposing country. The exact order of play (which country’s No. 1 plays first) was determined at the Draw Ceremony on Friday. The second day of competition begins on Sunday with the “reverse singles,” starting with each country’s No. 1 player squaring off followed by the No. 2 players and then the doubles match. Each match is best-of-three-sets.


Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Singles A: Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Singles B: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Singles C: Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Clijsters (BEL)

Singles D: Oudin (USA) vs. Wickmayer (BEL)

Doubles: Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) vs. Kirsten Flipkens/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL)

Captains: Mary Joe Fernandez (USA), Sabine Appleman (BEL)


U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

On the outcome of today’s draw ceremony: “It really doesn’t matter who plays first. Both Melanie and Bethanie have had that opportunity of leading the team with the first match. It’s a matter of playing your best whenever you play and approaching it the right way.”

On the anticipated daily crowds of 10,000+: “This will be the biggest crowd we have played against the last couple of years. Loudest was for sure was the Czech Republic (2009 semifinals in Brno). This (anticipated 10,000+ daily) is about double the size of what we have had. We expected a battle. It is great for Fed Cup. It is great for both teams. We are gonna pretend they are rooting for us the whole time.”

On doubles: “We have always been real fortunate with our doubles. Liezel (Huber) has been a great supporter (of Fed Cup) and been there every time and has played some critical matches for us. I have always said I want it to come down to the doubles. That’s always my goal. If we win before that it is a bonus, but we like our chances if we get down to the doubles.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

On the transition from Australia to Belgium for her and Kim Clijsters: “I was there pretty much there til the end, playing in the mixed doubles in Australia (she reached the semis), so I was home (in Arizona) for literally 30 hours and I had to fly here. It’s a lot of traveling, but I have had a couple of days to get adjusted. She (Kim) has probably taken some time off as well. I think on the tour you are used to playing week to week. I think we’re both in shape, so we’ll be good.”

Melanie Oudin

On playing Kim Clijsters in the second match on Saturday:“ I am really excited that I get to play her. It should be a really good match. I’m gonna give it everything I have. I am a little bit happy that Bethanie is going first. It gives me more time to prepare tomorrow. It should be a really good match and I’m looking forward to it.”

On being the underdog: “Our team has come through before when we’ve been the underdog. Hopefully we can do it again. Belgium is a really tough team.”

From  United States Tennis Association Public Relations