Kei Nishikori Repeats as Memphis Champion


nishikori memphis

(February 16, 2014) Kei Nishikori repeated as the champion at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis, stopping Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (0) on Sunday. For the No. 16 ranked player, this was his first career title defense. He is the first repeat winner since Tommy Haas won in 2006 and 2007.

“It’s amazing to defend a title for the first time, especially here,” Nishikori said. “I had a great memory from last year and I’m playing great.”

“I get a lot of confidence from keeping my ranking in the Top 20. It’s going to take some time to get to Top 10, Top 5, but I think I’m getting close.”

“He’s really fast,” Karlovic said. “He hits winners from any position on the court. That’s his game. He returned really well.”

“It was a good week for me. I’m really happy with the way I played. I hope I will continue like this and by the end of the year get into the Top 40.”

Nishikori was given a wild-card into this tournament, which this year was downgraded to 250 event, it was a 500 point event a year ago when he won.

This is Nishikori’s sixth ATP title.


Tennis – Results Round-Up for February 13, 2014

atp wta

Buenos Aires


Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d S Giraldo (COL) 64 76(1)
[4] N Almagro (ESP) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 16 75 64
[8] J Chardy (FRA) d A Dolgopolov (UKR) 63 36 76(3)
A Ramos (ESP) d F Volandri (ITA) 62 61

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[4] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) 64 75
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / P Starace (ITA) d P Andujar (ESP) / D Bracciali (ITA) 57 63 10-8
[WC] M Gonzalez (ARG) / E Schwank (ARG) d J Chardy (FRA) / L Dlouhy (CZE) 26 64 10-5

Doubles – First Round
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d [WC] F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) 75 62
N Monroe (USA) / S Stadler (GER) d R Haase (NED) / C Kas (GER) 64 76(3)


[6] R Haase (NED) vs [3] T Robredo (ESP)
P Andujar (ESP) vs [2] F Fognini (ITA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs A Ramos (ESP)
[4] N Almagro (ESP) vs [8] J Chardy (FRA)

ESTADIO 2 start 2:00 pm
[1] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) vs N Monroe (USA) / S Stadler (GER)
Not Before 5:00 pm
[4] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG) vs [WC] M Gonzalez (ARG) / E Schwank (ARG)

Doha, Qatar
February 10-February 16, 2014

Results – Thursday, February 13, 2014
Singles – Third Round
(Q) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. (1) Li Na (CHN) 76(2) 26 64
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 01 ret. (lower back injury)
(3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(2) 57 62
(4) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 26 75 61
(5) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (WC) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 61 62
(6) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 62 63
(7) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Annika Beck (GER) 64 61
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 16 62 60

Doubles – Second Round
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Raymond/Zhang (USA/CHN) 64 76(6)
(2) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Buryachok/Diatchenko (UKR/RUS) 62 64
(3) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Garcia/Kalashnikova (FRA/GEO) 76(1) 76(6)
(4) Black/Mirza (ZIM/IND) d. Pliskova/Pliskova (CZE/CZE) 46 62 104 (Match TB)
(WC) Jankovic/Kleybanova (SRB/RUS) d. (6) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) 64 64
(7) Pavlyuchenkova/Petrova (RUS/RUS) d. Groenefeld/Lucic-Baroni (GER/CRO) w/o (Lucic-Baroni: lower back injury)
Kudryavtseva/Rodionova (RUS/AUS) d. Jurak/Klepac (CRO/SLO) 63 64
Niculescu/Zakopalova (ROU/CZE) d. Chan/Huber (TPE/USA) 63 63

Order Of Play – Friday, February 14, 2014
Centre Court (from 15.30hrs)
1. Petra Cetkovska vs. Angelique Kerber
2. Petra Kvitova vs. Jelena Jankovic
3. Simona Halep vs. Sara Errani
4. Yanina Wickmayer vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (NB 20.00hrs)

Court 1 (from 15.30hrs)
1. Peschke/Srebotnik vs. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova
2. Niculescu/Zakopalova vs. Hsieh/Peng
3. Pavlyuchenkova/Petrova vs. Black/Mirza (NB 18.00hrs)
4. Errani/Vinci vs. Jankovic/Kleybanova (NB 19.00hrs; after suitable rest)


Singles – Second Round
I Karlovic (CRO) d [2] F Lopez (ESP) 76(2) 64
[3] L Hewitt (AUS) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) 16 62 60
[4] Y Lu (TPE) d [Q] D Kudla (USA) 36 63 63
[Q] A Kuznetsov (USA) d [8] M Kukushkin (KAZ) 26 63 76(1)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) d T Gabashvili (RUS) / M Kukushkin (KAZ) 62 63
[3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d R Junaid (AUS) / P Marx (GER) 60 76(4)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Elgin (RUS) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) / S Querrey (USA) 64 64


STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[1] [WC] K Nishikori (JPN) vs A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS)
Not Before 2:00 pm
[3] L Hewitt (AUS) vs M Russell (USA)
[Q] A Kuznetsov (USA) vs [4] Y Lu (TPE)
7:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS)
Not Before 9:00 pm
J Sock (USA) vs I Karlovic (CRO)



Singles – Second Round
[1] J del Potro (ARG) d [Q] P Mathieu (FRA) 62 76(2)
[2] [WC] A Murray (GBR) d [Q] D Thiem (AUT) 64 36 63
[3] T Berdych (CZE) d N Mahut (FRA) 64 63
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [4] R Gasquet (FRA) 75 75
J Janowicz (POL) d [6] T Haas (GER) 64 64
E Gulbis (LAT) d [8] G Dimitrov (BUL) 64 76(3)
[WC] I Sijsling (NED) d [Q] M Berrer (GER) 61 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d L Rosol (CZE) / A Seppi (ITA) 64 64
J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d J Knowle (AUT) / J Peers (AUS) 36 61 10-7


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) vs J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Nieminen (FIN)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[3] T Berdych (CZE) vs J Janowicz (POL)
[1] J del Potro (ARG) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
Not Before 7:30 pm
M Cilic (CRO) vs [2] [WC] A Murray (GBR)
[WC] I Sijsling (NED) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)

COURT 1 not before 3:00 pm
Possible Court Change – [3] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs M Llodra (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)


Russell Tops Smyczek in Memphis

Tim Smyczek

By Brad Hunter

MEMPHIS – The first Wednesday match on stadium court  was between two Americans playing for a spot in the quarterfinals, Tim Smyczek and Michael Russell.  In the previous round, Smyczek had defeated the up-and-coming Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3.  Kyrgios was coming off his splashy debut at the Australian Open this year, where he made the 2nd round and then lost an exciting 5-set match against Benoit Paire after being up 2 sets to love.  


Smyczek most recently had made the semi-finals in the Maui challenger event.  Michael Russell defeated the No. 7 seed Michal Pryzysiezny in the first round, 3-6, 6-3. 6-1.  

From the get go, Russell assumed dominance in the rallies and in the match and moved to a 4-1 lead in the first set.  Russell continually extended points with his defense and hit the ball with steady intensity.  Another thing I noticed about Russell was his habit of thanking the ballkids for giving him balls.  Smyczek looked out of sorts early, making several off balance groundstroke errors where the balls he hit flew many feet beyond the baseline.  It appeared that Smyczek was struggling to focus or struggling with his rhythm and he wasn’t able to keep up with Russell’s heavy hitting.  Russell won the first set 6-2, winning 86% of his first serve points and 2 of his 3 break points.  

The second set saw a refocused Smyczek, and he began finding success against Russell by attacking short balls and following them in to knock off volley winners.  Smyczek dug deep in the second set and looked like he was trying his hardest to focus: a couple of times during the second set, Smyczek spoke to the chair umpire about the noise coming from the stadium entry way, saying once “you can hear a pin drop”.  Smyczek and Russell had their longest baseline exchange of the match on break point against Smyczek’s serve at 5 games all, with Russell winning the point on a perfect topspin lob that left Smyczek staring (and the crowd cheering).

Russell lost his serve when he served for the match up 6-5, after losing his first 2 match points with forehand errors.  At this point in the match, in the tiebreak, things looked like they were starting to go Smyczek’s way, and he built a 4-1 lead.  Russell came back to to win 6 of the next 7 points and the match, final score 6-2. 7-6(5).  Michael Russell moves on to play the winner of Lleyton Hewitt (who was in attendance for most of the first set of this match) and Marcos Baghdatis in the quarterfinals.


Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] K Nishikori (JPN) d B Becker (GER) 64 64
A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) d R Harrison (USA) 63 26 62
M Russell (USA) d T Smyczek (USA) 62 76(5)
J Sock (USA) d J Vesely (CZE) 62 61

Singles – First Round
[Q] D Kudla (USA) d D Young (USA) 61 61

Doubles – First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [WC] D O’hare (IRL) / J Salisbury (GBR) 64 63
[3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d M Ebden (AUS) / R Ram (USA) 62 64
R Junaid (AUS) / P Marx (GER) d [Alt] A Mannarino (FRA) / M Russell (USA) 75 63
T Gabashvili (RUS) / M Kukushkin (KAZ) d M Matosevic (AUS) / F Moser (GER) 75 26 10-6


STADIUM start 11:00 am
[3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs R Junaid (AUS) / P Marx (GER)
[8] M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [Q] A Kuznetsov (USA)
[Q] D Kudla (USA) vs [4] Y Lu (TPE)
[WC] R Harrison (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs F Cermak (CZE) / M Elgin (RUS)
7:00 pm
[3] L Hewitt (AUS) vs [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP)
I Karlovic (CRO) vs [2] F Lopez (ESP)

GRANDSTAND start 5:00 pm
Not before 5:00 pm
Possible Court Change – T Gabashvili (RUS) / M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [2] E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA)


Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis, Ryan Harrison and a Scrappy Jack Sock Move into Memphis Second Round

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

By Brad Hunter

(February, 11, 2014) MEMPHIS – Tuesday at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships started with Matthew Ebden doing battle against Ivo Karlovic as the first match on stadium court.  When Ebden was his most effective against Karlovic, he was keeping his shots deep to Karlovic’s backhand and then following short balls in to knock off volley winners.  Unfortunately for Ebden, Karlovic played a similar game but did it more often and more effectively.  Of course it doesn’t hurt Karlovic that he has one of the biggest and most ace-producing serves on tour, and he struck 14 aces today to 3 double faults. One thing I find interesting about Karlovic’s serve: it doesn’t “look” like he’s hitting hard enough to produce a 134-mph serve, and then I would look at the radar gun reading on the scoreboard and sure enough, it would read in the 130’s.  Ebden reminds me a bit of Lleyton Hewitt, the way he stalks the baseline and rallies with controlled pace and depth and then looks to move in to the net on short balls (Hewitt was in attendance for the some of the first set).  In the first set Karlovic and Ebden were even at 5-all, but Ebden lost his serve with an ill-timed double fault which allowed Karlovic to serve out the set.  In the second set, Karlovic looked more comfortable and he began employing his forehand to stroke return winners and baseline winners and control most of the rallies.  He also used his slice backhand to extend points and approach the net, and he played the most aggressive tennis, taking the set 6-4 and the match.

The next match on stadium court was between last-minute wildcard Marcos Baghdatis and qualifier Rajeev Ram.  I had watched most of the last set of Ram’s match yesterday, and expected to see him attack the net as much as possible against Baghdatis because the tactic had helped him win that previous match.  For the most part today, every time Ram came to net, Baghdatis was able to come up with whatever passing shot was needed.  Baghdatis looked focused the entire match, racing out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, and playing his best version of creative and aggressive baseline tennis.  Ram’s baseline game plan was not rooted in trying to hit clean winners; he was hitting probing shots, mixing up spins and depth, working his way into rallies.  Baghdatis rarely looked uncomfortable, and he used his ability to end points to dominate the match. Baghdatis won the match 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes and next faces Hewitt.

Jack Sock and Adrian Mannarino both received direct entry into the Memphis draw, so this was the first singles match for either man.  Sock played doubles with Donald Young yesterday, and they lost to Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen in 2 tight sets.  Sock started well, using his forehand to dominate rallies and finish points and he earned a break which he held until he served for the first set up 5-4.  Mannarino took this opportunity to dig himself in and use his flat double handed backhand to run Sock around and he broke to make it 5-all.  At this point, with Sock muttering to himself, it looked like Mannarino would be able to seize the momentum, but he played a loose game and Sock broke him back to take a 6-5 lead.  Mannarino flung his racquet to the ground and broke it, then smirked and picked his racquet back up and then threw it to the ground again, this time bouncing it over the net and not too far from the ball kids.  Had he hit someone, I think we would’ve seen an immediate default a la Nalbandian in that Queen’s final… But, luckily he didn’t hit anyone.  (Later on in the match Sock received a code violation warning for language and he said to the chair “that guy almost killed somebody with his racquet!”) The crowd wasn’t having it, one lady yelling “watch the kids!”, and they got behind Sock much more as he served out the set 7-5.  I expected the 2nd set to fly by, but it did not fly the way I expected (I thought Mannarino would be emotionally spent and disappointed and phone it in.) Mannarino responded by playing his best creative tennis, a mix of deep backhand drives and sneak volley attacks, and he won the set 6-1 (he also won 11 of 11 first serve points). In the third set, Sock began using his forehand again to dominate rallies and finish points and he raced out to a 5-2 lead.  But Mannarino wasn’t done, and with a mix of good defensive tennis and Sock’s nerves, he was able to level the set at 5-all.  At this point in the match, both men we cheering themselves on, muttering to themselves and playing the best tennis of the match.  Sock yelled “come on” about a winner he hit, and when it appeared that Mannarino was protesting about him yelling,  Sock said “you weren’t anywhere near the ball dude.” Mannarino smiled in response.  The two men played until 5-all in the tiebreaker, and Sock took the last 2 points and the match to move on to play Jiri Vesely.  After the tension and emotion of the match, I was curious about the handshake Mannarino and Sock would exchange- it was quick.

The last day match on stadium court was Ryan Harrison versus Bjorn Phau. Phau was coming off his run to the semifinals in Zagreb last week, and a 135 place jump up in the world rankings. Harrison has recently been playing challengers with mixed results since his campaign in Australia.  Harrison played a solid, focused match and Phau never seemed to be able to find anything to continually hurt him.  Harrison used his speed and defense to extend points and dominated rallies with his heavy, spinny forehand. They had several fun points where both of them played that blend of dinky, carvy short court tennis most often associated with doubles or practice sessions and Harrison usually came out on top of those points too. It was an all around good day for Harrison: he saved all 3 break points held against him and won 86% of his first serves and 60% of his second serves.  He capitalized on 2 of his 5 break points, and won the match 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 7 minutes.

Brad Hunter is in Memphis covering the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal Twitter @BradHunter.


Singles – First Round
A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) d [6] S Querrey (USA) 26 64 76(7) – saved 1 M.P.
[8] M Kukushkin (KAZ) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 76(9) 75
B Becker (GER) d L Lacko (SVK) 63 62
R Harrison (USA) d B Phau (GER) 63 64
[WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) d [Q] R Ram (USA) 63 64
[Q] A Kuznetsov (USA) d [Q] D Goffin (BEL) 64 63
J Sock (USA) d A Mannarino (FRA) 75 16 76(5)
I Karlovic (CRO) d M Ebden (AUS) 75 64

Doubles – First Round
F Cermak (CZE) / M Elgin (RUS) d [4] S Groth (AUS) / M Mirnyi (BLR) 62 76(4)
C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS) d T Bednarek (POL) / I Karlovic (CRO) 67(2) 64 10-7


STADIUM start 11:00 am
T Smyczek (USA) vs M Russell (USA)
[Q] D Kudla (USA) vs D Young (USA)
J Vesely (CZE) vs J Sock (USA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
R Harrison (USA) vs A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS)
7:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [WC] D O’hare (IRL) / J Salisbury (GBR)
[1] [WC] K Nishikori (JPN) vs B Becker (GER)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
T Gabashvili (RUS) / M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs M Matosevic (AUS) / F Moser (GER)
[3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs M Ebden (AUS) / R Ram (USA)
[Alt] A Mannarino (FRA) / M Russell (USA) vs R Junaid (AUS) / P Marx (GER)


Jiri Vesely Knocks Out Seed Marinko Matosevic to Highlight Day 1 of Memphis Tournament



Marinko Matosevic

Marinko Matosevic

By Brad Hunter

(February 10, 2014) MEMPHIS – I have not been to the Memphis tournament since 2012, and the tournament has gone through some changes: it was an ATP 500 event combined with a WTA event, and now it’s an ATP 250 event without the WTA event. I do miss the ladies and love combined events, but Memphis has been able to create a more focused atmosphere utilizing these changes and the change in ATP points doesn’t appear to have affected the quality of the draw. The near-to-the-players intimacy of the event is huge: all stadium court and grandstand court seating feels like you’re 15-20 feet away from the action and usually you are but even when it’s further, it still feel closer. If you want to see professional players strolling halls, watching matches, practicing and doing other fun (and often charitable) things AND see world class tennis action, this is the tournament for you.  I am a fan of tennis as well as player, I play 5-6 times per week, so I love that I can study the way the players are moving, how they’re preparing for their shots, what their follow-throughs look like, how they construct points, what mistakes they’re making, etc.


First up on stadium court today was a final round of qualifying match between two players who have been playing mostly challengers this year, Denis Kudla and Gastao Elias.  I was curious to see where Kudla’s game was after his recent run through qualifying and into the main draw at the Australian Open.  Both players had loads of break point chances: Kudla went 2 for 12 and Elias went 1 for 7. Double handed backhand to double handed backhand, the two men appeared equal. Elias was hitting his forehand bigger with more depth and spin, but Kudla was able to extend baseline rallies enough to rattle Elias on important points.  Kudla also came up with 5 or 6 stunning passing shots from either way behind the baseline or in extremely defensive positions and flexibility and agility helped him win this match 7-6 (1), 6-4.

The next match I watched on stadium court was also the first main draw singles match of the tournament, between No. 5 seed Marinko Matosevic and Jiri Vesely.  From the get go, the lefty Vesely was ultra intense and loudly cheering himself on. Matosevic started well and stayed with Vesely early, but once he went down that first break his game unraveled. He began missing from everywhere: forehands, backhands, volleys.  By the time the 2nd set rolled around he was shooting lost looks and smirks and a “what’s the point?” at Mark Woodforde, who was sitting in his player’s box. To further illustrate how much today was not his day, towards the end of the match, on a changeover, Matosevic missed his mouth and squirted his red gel/liquid he was drinking on his bright yellow shirt… Vesely won the match 6-3, 6-2 and moves on to play the winner of Jack Sock and Adrian Mannarino.

Then I moved over to the grandstand court and caught the end of set 3 of another final round of qualifying match between Rajeev Ram and Victor Estrella Burgos.  I sat on the top row so I could also twist around and watch Sam Querrey hit on the adjacent court with the Memphis Grizzlies coach, David Joerger.  Joerger appears to be a solid 4.0 player and held his own with Sam and everyone involved looked like they were having fun.  The noise from that was pretty loud, but it didn’t seem to faze Ram who took the match with his usual mix of clean, aggressive tennis winning 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-4.  As Ram was leaving the court he said “thanks everyone” to the stands and then stopped to sign some autographs and pose for pics with some boys who asked him.

The next match on grandstand was Australian Open doubles finalists Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen versus Jack Sock and Donald Young. The teams were evenly matched throughout the first set with Klaasen and Butorac struggling a bit with the power coming off the Sock forehand. Sock and Young hit several clean winners from the baseline, but the doubles specialists kept pushing forward and the strategy worked when they needed it to.  Sock and Young found themselves up 4-1 in the first set tiebreaker and looking like they would run away with the set and then Butorac/Klaasen turned the momentum around and won 6 straight points and the set. Butorac and Klaasen closed out the final set 6-4 for the win. Butorac and Klaasen are the No.  2 seeds in the doubles draw, the top seeds are the Bryan brothers.  If they meet in the final it will be a rematch of their recent Australian Open match, where Butorac and Klassen upset the Bryans.

Brad Hunter is in Memphis covering the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal Twitter @BradHunter.


Singles – First Round
J Vesely (CZE) d [5] M Matosevic (AUS) 63 62
M Russell (USA) d [7] M Przysiezny (POL) 36 63 61
T Smyczek (USA) d [WC] N Kyrgios (AUS) 67(5) 64 63

Doubles – First Round
[2] E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) d J Sock (USA) / D Young (USA) 76(4) 64
[WC] R Harrison (USA) / S Querrey (USA) d B Becker (GER) / Y Lu (TPE) 75 16 10-4


STADIUM start 11:00 am
M Ebden (AUS) vs I Karlovic (CRO)
[WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [Q] R Ram (USA)
J Sock (USA) vs A Mannarino (FRA)
B Phau (GER) vs R Harrison (USA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
T Bednarek (POL) / I Karlovic (CRO) vs C Guccione (AUS) / L Hewitt (AUS)
A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) vs [6] S Querrey (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[8] M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
L Lacko (SVK) vs B Becker (GER)
[Q] A Kuznetsov (USA) vs [Q] D Goffin (BEL)
Not Before 5:00 pm
Possible Court Change – F Cermak (CZE) / M Elgin (RUS) vs [4] S Groth (AUS) / M Mirnyi (BLR)



Nishikori Captures Memphis Tournament

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

(February 24, 2013) Japan’s Kei Nishikori needed only 67 minutes to dispose of Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-2, 6-3 to win the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis.

Nishikori won his third career ATP tennis tournament without dropping a set all week.

“I’m very happy with the way I played today,” said Nishikori. “To win this title is an amazing feeling. I tried to concentrate on all the important points. I served really well this week. I was practicing a lot and it’s getting better. Hopefully I can win a couple more titles. It’s been a good start to the year.”

“I didn’t play a bad match,” Lopez explained. “He was very aggressive from the beginning. I think he probably played his best. I have no regrets. I tried everything I could and he was just the better player today. I hope to keep playing like I did this week.”

Bob and Mike Bryan won their 85th team title and third this season with the victory in Memphis.

“We played great tennis all week and were even better in the final, which is nice,” Bob Bryan said. “We got out of a couple sticky moments early in the match and the momentum shifted our way. We haven’t put up scores like this in a while. It was nice to get it done and not sweat through a match tie-break. It was fun playing against two of our friends, too.”



Singles – Final
[5] K Nishikori (JPN) d F Lopez (ESP) 62 63

Doubles – Final
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [WC] J Blake (USA) / J Sock (USA) 61 62



Erakovic Wins First WTA Title


(February 23, 2013) Marina Erakovic of New Zealand won her first WTA title at the US National Indoor Tennis Championships on Saturday when the No.3 seed Sabine Lisicki had to retire due to gastrointestinal illness with Erakovic up 6-1.
“It’s very unfortunate I wasn’t able to finish the match,” Lisicki said. “I put all the energy I had left in my body into the match, but I just couldn’t keep going. I had been sick the last three days already. But Marina had a great tournament and I want to congratulate her for her first WTA title.”


Erakovic is the first New Zealander to win a WTA title since Belinda Cordwell at Kallang in 1989.


“I think it means quite a bit for New Zealand,” she said. “We’re a small place, we’ve got about four million people, and tennis isn’t the most popular sport – but whenever I’m somewhere else in the world and someone asks me where I’m from, and I say New Zealand, they always say they love New Zealand. And there are always a lot of Kiwis supporting me around the world. So this is great.


“I’ve just talked to home – everyone’s super excited. My dad was watching online – I had to tell him congratulations too, because he did so much when I was a kid. This really was teamwork.”


Erakovic was especially pleased with the guitar-shaped trophy, as she plays guitar and travels with one. “I really couldn’t have thought of a better moment in time than that,” she said.


Memphis – Wednesday Results, Thursday Schedule

February 17-23,

Results – Wednesday, February
20, 2013
Singles – Second
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 75 36 63
Marina Erakovic (NZL)
d. (2) Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 61 36 63
(3) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Melinda
Czink (HUN) 76(0) 46 62
(4) Heather Watson (GBR) d. Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 26 60 63
(8) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. (WC) Victoria Duval (USA) 61 36
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) d. (Q) Claire Feuerstein (FRA) 36 76(2)

Doubles -
(USA/USA) d. (3) Erakovic/Watson (NZL/GBR) 76(4) 62
Dekmeijere/Moulton-Levy (LAT/USA) d. Muguruza/Soler-Espinosa (ESP/ESP) 64 16 108
(Match TB)
Arvidsson/Larsson (SWE/SWE) d. Dabrowski/Kudryavtseva (CAN/RUS) 64
26 108 (Match TB)

Singles – First Round
[WC] J Sock (USA) d [2] M Raonic (CAN) 63 57 75
[6] T Haas (GER) d E Donskoy (RUS) 76(6) 64
[7] A Dolgopolov (UKR) d B Phau (GER) 63 64
[Q] D Young (USA) d X Malisse (BEL) 51 ret. (back)
M Matosevic (AUS) d G Soeda (JPN) 76(6) 64
L Hewitt (AUS) d Y Lu (TPE) 26 76(3) 64 – Saved 2 M.P.

Doubles – First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d R Farah (COL) / T Haas (GER) 61 61
[3] L Kubot (POL) / D Nestor (CAN) d [Alt] J Levinsky (CZE) / Y Lu (TPE) 64 61
[4] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d [WC] C Harrison (USA) / R Harrison (USA) 62 64



STADIUM start 10:00 am
[3] S Lisicki (GER) vs [8] K Mladenovic (FRA) – WTA
J Hampton (USA) vs M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA

Not Before 3:00 PM
[1] M Cilic (CRO) vs I Sijsling (NED) – ATP
[4] S Querrey (USA) vs M Matosevic (AUS) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] J Blake (USA) vs [WC] J Sock (USA) – ATP
[6] T Haas (GER) vs F Lopez (ESP) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 10:00 am
[1] K Flipkens (BEL) vs [7] M Rybarikova (SVK) – WTA
L Hewitt (AUS) vs D Istomin (UZB) – ATP
[Q] R Williams (USA) vs [7] A Dolgopolov (UKR) – ATP
[Q] D Young (USA) vs [5] K Nishikori (JPN) – ATP
[4] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) – ATP

COURT 1 start 10:00 am
[LL] M Russell (USA) vs L Kubot (POL) – ATP
S Voegele (SUI) vs [4] H Watson (GBR) – WTA
S Arvidsson (SWE) / J Larsson (SWE) vs [4] L Dekmeijere (LAT) / M Moulton-Levy (USA) – WTA
V Dolonc (SRB) / E Hrdinova (CZE) vs [2] K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) – WTA
J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) vs [3] L Kubot (POL) / D Nestor (CAN) – ATP


Memphis Sunday Schedule

memphis header

Memphis, USA
February 17-23, 2013

Order Of Play – Sunday, February 17, 2013
Stadium (from 10.00hrs)

1. Madison Keys vs. Alexa Glatch (Singles Q Final)
2. Galina Voskoboeva vs. Heather Watson (NB 11.00hrs)
3. ATP: Russell vs. Young
4. ATP: Williams vs. Muñoz-de la Nava
5. Chanelle Scheepers vs. Coco Vandeweghe

Grandstand (from 10.00hrs)
1. Irina Falconi vs. Maria Sanchez (Singles Q Final)
2. ATP: Karlovic vs. Bogomolov Jr. (NB 11.00hrs)
3. ATP: Ebden vs. Marchenko (NB 12.00hrs)
4. Stéphanie Foretz Gacon vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
5. Dekmeijere/Moulton-Levy vs. Mikesz/Wegner

Court 1 (from 10.00hrs)
1. Claire Feuerstein vs. Taylor Townsend (Singles Q Final)
2. Jana Cepelova vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Singles Q Final; NB 11.30hrs)
3. Melinda Czink vs. Olga Puchkova
4. Ksenia Pervak vs. Lauren Davis


Memphis Odds and Ends

By Brad Hunter

Jurgen Melzer photo courtesy of Memphis Tennis Facebook page

The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships

WTA  Report

“Hi Honey” and “yes ma’am”… The ladies (and men) who work in the Racquet Club were all so sweet, and mostly southern thus making this visit extra enjoyable

Like Monica… Lucie Hradecka hits huge and double-handed from both sides off the ground, but her most impressive shot was her accurate and offensive return of service which she used to good effect in winning the doubles with partner Hlavackova, for their seconddoubles title of the year

Home away from home… Repeat singles winner Sofia Arvidsson has her own Parking spot, and looks completely relaxed and at home playing in Memphis

Doubles surprise… Melanie Oudin fell early in singles, but when she teamed with Jamie Hampton in the doubles, the Grandstand court was packed

Getting some Momentum in Memphis… Vera Dushevina put together her 1st back-to-back main draw wins of 2012 in singles by reaching the semi-finals, and she and doubles partner Govortsova reached the final


Crazy forehands… Jack Sock’s forehand is really interesting and wristy and twisty—a windshield wiper forward motion which rivals Ryan Harrison’s forehand in the wristy and twisty department.

Not bad but bounced anyway… Andy Roddick is a great competitor so he probably did not pencil in a “W” before he stepped on court with Xavier Malisse, even though he had won their only/previous 9 meetings… and Andy played some aggressive, solid tennis… but Malisse returned like a doubles specialist and came up with the magic shots when it mattered—thus bouncing the biggest crowd draw of the tournament in the 1st round

Doubles out, singles in… 2011 US Open doubles champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschener were glares, missed shots and self-criticizing yelps in their 1st round loss in Memphis to Benneteau/Rochus but Jurgen played like it was Roland Garros 2010 in winning his 1st title in Memphis

A sensible argyle… Radek Stepanek wore a not crazy shirt… and no one talked about his wardrobe… until now

Gulbis gives good interview… Amanda Le May caught  up with Ernie before his Raonic match

Brad and Sam, Sam and John… Sam Querrey and his backhand (Brad’s influence already?) looked pretty good winning his first back-to-back singles matches of 2012 and reaching the doubles semis with Isner.


Brad Hunter was in Memphis last week covering the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Memphis International as media for Tennis Panorama  Follow his personal twitter account @BradHunter.