2014/04/23

Tennis News & Net Notes

Rafael Nadal

Tennis News & Net Notes for January 29, 2014

Rafael Nadal is scheduled for a medical exam on Monday.

Roger Federer to play Davis Cup against Serbia this weekend

Andy Murray held a media conference call about his participation in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

Andy Murray took to twitter to hold an impromptu Q & A session with fans.

Update on Juan Martin del Potro‘s visit to the Mayo Clinic. He has been prescribed a physical therapy program.

A Danish website says that Caroline Wozniacki has parted ways with her coach Thomas Hogstedt after just 2 tourneys working with him.

World No. 11 Milos Raonic, has pulled out of this weekend’s World Group tie against Japan due to an ankle injury he suffered at the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately I am pulling out of Davis Cup this week. I came to Tokyo believing my ankle would recover but it is not at a level where I feel I can compete or help my team,” said Raonic. “This decision was very difficult to make but I believe in the players on our team and that they can get us the win. With a team scenario the most important part this week is to come out with a team win and I believe this is the best way to do it.”

 

US Names Keys, Riske, McHale and Davis to Fed Cup Team

Ivan Lendl Holds Court with the Media on Powershares Series Tennis Conference Call

The U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships announced today that 2013 Champion, Kei Nishikori, will return to Memphis to defend his 2013 title.

Syracuse University announced on Wednesday that former pro and women’s tennis coach Luke Jensen has stepped down to pursue other opportunities. Jensen was hired back in August 2006.

Nominations announced for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II ties

On Tuesday two-time champion Vera Zvonareva advanced at Pattaya Open with her the first win of her comeback after an 18-month absence due to injury. She lost on Wednesday.

Har-Tru Sports will be a domestic sponsor of the U.S. vs. Great Britain Davis Cup by BNP Paribas First Round tie this weekend.

The ITF announced that Steve Ayles will become ITF Executive Commercial Consultant for Asia-Pacific. Ayles has held senior positions in sport for over 17 years, including his most recent position as Director of Commercial for Tennis Australia.

College Matchday to Highlight 22 NCAA Division I Matches in 2014

Results and Schedules:

OPEN GDF SUEZ
Paris, France
January 27-February 2, 2014
$710,000/Premier
Hard/Indoors

Results – Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Singles – Second Round

(1) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 60 61
(4) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 62 75
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (7) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 62 36 63

Singles – First Round
(WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. (5) Simona Halep (ROU) 76(1) 64
Elina Svitolina (UKR) d. (6) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 63 06 75
(8) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Mona Barthel (GER) 63 46 62
(Q) Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 57 75 76(3)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (WC) Cornet/Garcia (FRA/FRA) 36 64 105 (Match TB)

Doubles – First Round
(3) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. Hradecka/Krajicek (CZE/NED) 46 61 119 (Match TB)
Husarova/Rosolska (SVK/POL) d. Voracova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) 06 62 108 (Match TB)

Order Of Play – Thursday, January 30, 2014
Court Central (from 11.00hrs)

1. Elina Svitolina vs. Galina Voskoboeva
2. Yvonne Meusburger vs. Kirsten Flipkens (NB 13.00hrs)
3. Kristina Mladenovic vs. Andrea Petkovic
4. Karin Knapp vs. Sara Errani
5. Babos/Mladenovic vs. Husarova/Rosolska (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Alizé Cornet vs. Petra Kvitova (NB 21.00hrs)

Court 1 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Dushevina/Parra Santonja vs. Niculescu/Zakopalova
2. Jans-Ignacik/Olaru vs. Groenefeld/Peschke

PTT PATTAYA OPEN
Pattaya City, Thailand
January 27-February 2, 2014
$250,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Singles – Second Round
(3) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Alison Riske (USA) 63 64
(4) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (WC) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 60 62
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. (Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 46 63 64

Doubles – First Round
(3) Kudryavtseva/Rodionova (RUS/AUS) d. Kania/Solovyeva (POL/RUS) 75 64
(4) Peng/Zhang (CHN/CHN) d. Aoyama/Dulgheru (JPN/ROU) 63 63
Daniilidou/Krunic (GRE/SRB) d. Lertpitaksinchai/Plipuech (THA/THA) 46 62 119 (Match TB)
Chuang/Kumkhum (TPE/THA) d. (WC) Wongteanchai/Wongteanchai (THA/THA) 61 63
Savchuk/Tanasugarn (UKR/THA) d. Chan/Xu (TPE/CHN) 76(5) 75

Order Of Play - Thursday, January 30, 2014
Court 1 (from 15.00hrs)
1. Tadeja Majeric vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
2. Elena Vesnina vs. Nicha Lertpitaksinchai
3. Alexandra Dulgheru vs. Peng Shuai

Court 2 (from 15.00hrs)
1. Lertcheewakarn/Zvonareva vs. Daniilidou/Krunic
2. Chuang/Kumkhum vs. Hlavackova/Medina Garrigues
3. Date-Krumm/Tomljanovic vs. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova

 

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Tennis News Net Notes

 

(December 1, 2013) A quick look at the recent news in the world of tennis.

Nadal 89m1

After skipping last year’s Sony Open, the tournament announced that Rafael Nadal would be returning in 2014.

“I was very disappointed that I was not able to attend last year’s tournament and am looking forward to returning in 2014,” said Nadal. “I love to play in Miami because of its beautiful location and tremendous fans support. Miami is an international city, and the diverse crowds that attend the tournament create an unbelievable atmosphere. I am excited to see all my fans in Miami this year.”

The world No. 1 has never won this Masters 1000 event. The Sony Open, which is a combined event, runs from March 17-30 at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami.

 

 

News out of Berlin - Peter Graf, the father of 22-time major champion and former No. 1 Steffi Graf died on Sunday in Mannheim, Germany from cancer. The former coach and manager of his daughter was 75.

The elder Graf was sentenced to three years in jail for tax evasion. He served only one.

 

Serena

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will play an exhibition later this month in Thailand.

The event which was announced by the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand, will be part of the regular invitational event in Hua Hin.

 

Richard Gasquet

According to sports daily L’Equipe, France’s No. 1 Richard Gasquet has a new coach – former double French Open winner Sergi Bruguera of Spain.

Gasquet and his former coach Riccardo Piatti split during the ATP World Tour finals. Gasquet, told the paper that Bruguera, would begin his coaching duties in February.

Gasquet reached the ATP World Tour finals this year for the first time since 2007.

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

ATP top ten Milos Raonic has been named Sportsnet’s 2013 Canadian Athlete of the Year. Sportsnet’s 11th annual Athlete of the Year award was voted on by a panel of contributors from Sportsnet’s TV, radio, web and magazine platforms. Past winners include soccer star Christine Sinclair (2012), figure skater Patrick Chan (2011), and three-time winner UFC champ Georges St-Pierre. In honor of the award, Sportsnet is donating $10,000 to Raonic’s charity of choice.

“It’s a great feeling. There’s an aura around Canadian athletes,” said Raonic. “Whether it’s in the NBA, college sports, figure skating or hockey, there’s a bit more of a spotlight, and I think it’s special to be part of that and to receive this award for 2013 is an honor.”

Raonic is the first Canadian male to crack the top 10 of the world rankings and helping his country’s Davis Cup team to its first tournament semifinal in the Open Era.

 

Murray BNP paribas

The Financial Times was announced as the first global sponsor of World Tennis Day on March 3, 2014. The arrangement calls for the Financial Times to be presenting sponsor of the World Tennis Day Showdown at Earls Court in London that will feature Andre Agassi vs Pete Sampras and Pat Cash vs Ivan Lendl. The Financial Times will also be the official business publication of the other three World Tennis Day events, including the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden as well as events in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

 

 

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

Former world No.1 and three-time Australian Open champion Martina Hingis will play a special exhibition at Hobart International 2014.

The 33-year-old will play fellow Swiss and current world No.1 junior Belinda Bencic on January 5, 2014.

The Hobart International will take place at the Domain Tennis Centre from January 5-11 2014.

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Teams Named for 2014 Hopman Cup

 

(October 8, 2013) The official draw, teams and provisional schedule have been set for the mixed teams event,  the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. The event will be held from December 28, 2013 through January 4, 2014.

 

     

 

   
  Schedule Time Matches
  Saturday 28 December 10:00 am Poland v Italy
    5:30 pm Canada v Australia
  Sunday 29 December 10:00 am Czech Republic v Spain
    5:30 pm Poland v Canada
  Monday 30 December 10:00 am USA v Spain
    5:30 pm France v Czech Republic
  Tuesday 31 December 10:00 am Italy v Australia
  Wednesday 1 January 5:30 pm USA v France
  Thursday 2 January 10:00 am Italy v Canada
    5:30 pm Poland v Australia
  Friday 3 January 10:00 am France v Spain
    5:30 pm Czech Republic v USA
  Saturday 4 January 5:30 pm Winner Group A v Winner Group B

 

 

Poland                                [15] Jerzy Janowicz and [4] Agnieszka Radwanska

USA                                     [13] John Isner and [12] Sloane Stephens

France                                [9] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and [27] Alize Cornet

Canada                               [11] Milos Raonic and [35] Eugenie Bouchard

Czech Republic                [39] Radek Stepanek and [7] Petra Kvitova

Italy                                     [22] Andreas Seppi and [31] Flavia Pennetta

Australia                             [51] Bernard Tomic and [20] Sam Stosur

Spain                                   [19] Tommy Robredo and [98] Anabel Medina Garrigues

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Juan Martin Del Potro Wins Japan Open over Milos Raonic

 

88 Del Potro 3

(October 6, 2013) A late entry into the event, No.1 seed Juan Martin del Potro won the Japan Open Tennis Championships title for the first time taking out Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 7-5 for his third title of the year, 16th in his career.

There was only one break of serve in the match coming at 5-5 in the second set for Del Potro to go up 6-5 and served out the match.

“I played really well in the last two games of the match, returning all of his first serves,” said Del Potro. “It was a fantastic week for me as I played better and better with each match.”

Del Potro said that it was not easy returning Raonic’s powerful serve: “You have to be focused and wait for the chance. I took his serve in the last game to break. In the tie-break, he hit a double fault in the most important part of the match and then my chance came, which I knew I had to take.

“I did what I could to win. When he serves well and hits aces, it means I have to be aggressive on serve. I threw in drop shots and came to the net to mix up my game.”

“There is not really much to be down about,” Raonic said of the match. “I created opportunities and barring a double fault and a few points I could not have done much better.

“I think I am doing a lot of things better week in, week out. I can play a good level, but I just need to improve on a consistent basis. There is work to be done.”

 

“I decided to come here because I lost early in the U.S. Open and had several weeks off,” said Del Potro who took a wild card into the tournament. “I’m glad I decided to come here.”

For his efforts the Argentine will move up to No. 5 in the Race to London for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals. The Canadian Raonic will move up to No. 10 in the Race to London.

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Milos Raonic Stops Tomas Berdych for Thailand Open Crown

Raonic trophy (1 of 3)

(September 29, 2013) Milos Raonic won his fifth career ATP World Tour title and second of the year at the Thailand Open. The Canadian beat Czech player and world No. 6 Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 6-3 in the final.

Raonic dominated on his serve nailing 18 aces and winning 95 percent of his first serve.

“I think I struggled a lot more than him at the beginning, he was finding his rhythm better,” the Canadian said. In the tie-break, it just came down to one return and playing pretty sold after that… I started being more aggressive.”

“I think I’m playing great tennis, I’m serving really well, I’m doing a lot of good things. If I keep that up I think I’ll have opportunities and will put myself in a good position, no matter who [I play].”

Berdych praised his opponent: “He was exceptional. He was serving really well and didn’t give me many chances. I served quite well. Basically, the match was about two points. Both of them Milos handled better and so he deserved to win.”

The win puts Raonic 180 points behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who is in tenth place, in the Race to London for a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals.

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Richard Gasquet Saves a Match Point En Route to Five-Set win over Milos Raonic

Richard Gasquet

 

(September 2, 2013) Frenchman Richard Gasquet came back from a match point down to stop Canadian Milos Raonic 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (9), 7-5 in the fourth round of the US Open on Sunday night on Court 17. The match lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes.

World No. 8 Gasquet is now 2-15 in major fourth round matches. The win means he’ll be playing the fourth seed Spaniard David Ferrer for a place in the semifinals.

Gasquet last made a major quarterfinal at Wimbledon in 2007.

Milos Raonic’s 39 aces during the match is third all-time at the US Open. The US Open record of 49 aces was set by Richard Krajicek in his 1999 five-set quarterfinal loss to Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Ivo Karlovic hit the second-most aces with 42 in his 2008 second-round straight-sets win over Florent Serra.

 

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Milos Raonic Launches New Balance Line at Ping-Pong Club

(August 21, 2013) NEW YORK, NY. World No. 10 Milos Raonic took on all comers in a game of ping-pong as New Balance launched their new NB Tennis line at SPiN, a Ping-Pong club in Manhattan. One of the Canadian’s opponents was Jim Courier.

Video by Josh Meiseles.

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Raonic Wins Cincy Opener against Sock, Faces Tipsarevic in Next Round

Milos Raonic Cincy-001

By Kevin Ware

(August 13, 2013) MASON,  Ohio – Canadian Milos Raonic defeated American Jack Sock 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in his opening match at the Western and Southern Open. But it wasn’t easy, or pretty.

Their only previous meeting on tour was earlier this year in Memphis, with Sock beating the newly-crowned three-time San Jose champ in three hard-fought sets, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

“I came into that match having just won a title (San Jose). He came out really without much to lose, playing well and playing aggressive, and never let me get into a rhythm.”

Using the same game plan as Memphis, Sock came out in the first set firing big with his serve and forehand. And though Sock is listed at 180 lbs., he scrambled effectively in defense of Raonic’s own equally big forehand and serve, at one point retrieving 3 overheads before hitting a winner past the frustrated Canadian.

Fresh on the heels of his runner-up finish in Montreal, Raonic was clearly out of sorts with his game. He often looked in exasperation at his easy misses, and often gestured to his coach, Ivan Lubjcic. It speaks volumes that one of the best servers on tour gave up the only break in that set.

“Today I was trying to find that (rhythm) again. And he was serving really well in the beginning so I couldn’t find any openings. But I sort of stuck through it. And here the conditions were slower, so it gave me a better chance.”

Raonic admitted that he started slower than he would have liked, needing time to “get used to the environment” after his quick turnaround between Sunday’s final and today’s opener. In the end, he managed the win with a critical break of Sock’s serve in the in the sixth game. From there, it was just a matter of holding serve to close out the match.

The serve stats bear out Raonic’s troubles on the night, with a 58% serving percentage for the match. It wasn’t quite as bad as his percentage against Nadal in the Montreal final, but nowhere near what it will need to be in order to have a chance against this field. Still, it was good enough to get by on an off night.

When asked what helped him turn around this match, Raonic credited the confidence gained during his week in Montreal. “It makes it easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel knowing that hopefully I can play better the next set. I just got to keep working through it.”

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

The subject of confidence also came up the other day in his pre-tournament press conference. After mentioning the confidence gained during his week in Montreal, Raonic was asked to compare it to the confidence he exuded after winning the SAP Open for a third straight year.

“I think it feels a little bit more significant just because of maybe how harsh I was on myself after Wimbledon, how disappointed I was… Because it just sort of helps you get that step forward and get everything going in the right way.  I think it just sort of stands out a little bit more.”

Raonic’s second-round opponent is Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. He owns a 2-0 head-to-head record against Tipsarevic, but had to go the distance in both. In fact, 5 of their 6 sets were decided by a tiebreaker. He expects another difficult encounter when they meet here in Cincinnati.

“It’s going to be a tough match. I‘ve got to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and be a little bit cleaner on my service games. And when I get ahead in games I need to be better about closing them out.”

Did this match against Sock work out the kinks and help him adjust to the conditions, or will he need to hit the practice courts hard in order to be better prepared against Tipsarevic?

“The match made the difference. It’s going to give me a lot more comfort coming out tomorrow. And I also think during the daytime the conditions will be quicker. So it’s going to be a little bit better.”

Kevin Ware is covering the Western & Southern Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
Cincinnati, OH, USA
August 12-18, 2013
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Vania King (USA) 61 76(6)
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 26 76(5) 63

WTA Singles – First Round
(10) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 61 61
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (13) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 36 61 63
(14) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 76(5) 57 62
Alizé Cornet (FRA) d. (15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 26 76(8) 64 (saved 5mp)
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Annika Beck (GER) 63 62
Jamie Hampton (USA) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 75 46 63
Mona Barthel (GER) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 63 64
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 62 46 64
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 62 26 62
(Q) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (WC) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 26 64 61
(Q) Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 64
(LL) Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 61 62

WTA Doubles – First Round
(6) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. Husarova/Niculescu (SVK/ROU) 62 63
(7) Chan/Srebotnik (TPE/SLO) d. Aoyama/Scheepers (JPN/RSA) 63 62
Huber/Llagostera Vives (USA/ESP) d. Mladenovic/Voskoboeva (FRA/KAZ) 76(3) 63
Pavlyuchenkova/Safarova (RUS/CZE) d. Lepchenko/Zheng (USA/CHN) 64 63
(WC) Kerber/Petkovic (GER/GER) d. Black/Erakovic (ZIM/NZL) 76(5) 76(6)
(WC) King/Kleybanova (USA/RUS) d. Grandin/Jurak (RSA/CRO) 64 75

ATP Singles – Second Round
[3] D Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(5) 36 64
[5] R Federer (SUI) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 76(7)
G Dimitrov (BUL) d [WC] B Baker (USA) 63 62
J Benneteau (FRA) d R Stepanek (CZE) 62 57 76(4)

ATP Singles – First Round
[9] S Wawrinka (SUI) d A Seppi (ITA) 63 64
F Lopez (ESP) d [10] K Nishikori (JPN) 64 76(4)
[11] T Haas (GER) d K Anderson (RSA) 64 64
[12] M Raonic (CAN) d [WC] J Sock (USA) 36 64 63
V Pospisil (CAN) d [15] G Simon (FRA) 63 11 ret. (hip flexor strain)
J Isner (USA) d F Mayer (GER) 63 64
N Davydenko (RUS) d B Paire (FRA) 76(8) 63
[Q] B Becker (GER) d [Q] P Andujar (ESP) 61 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 63 64
T Robredo (ESP) d T Bellucci (BRA) 67(6) 76(7) 62
M Youzhny (RUS) d E Gulbis (LAT) 75 63

Doubles – First Round

J Chardy (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] B Baker (USA) / R Ram (USA) 64 64
[WC] J Blake (USA) / S Johnson (USA) d I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) 62 75
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d F Fognini (ITA) / J Monaco (ARG) 64 63

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 14 AUGUST, 2013

CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
M Youzhny (RUS) vs [2] A Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [Q] E Bouchard (CAN) – WTA
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Monaco (ARG) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[Q] B Becker (GER) vs [4] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
[WC] L Davis (USA) vs [5] N Li (CHN) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[11] S Stosur (AUS) vs J Hampton (USA) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
J Isner (USA) vs [8] R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP
[12] M Raonic (CAN) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs [6] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) – ATP

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
M Granollers (ESP) vs [11] T Haas (GER) – ATP
N Davydenko (RUS) vs [7] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
V Williams (USA) vs E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA
[4] A Radwanska (POL) vs V Lepchenko (USA) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs J Nieminen (FIN) – ATP

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
[6] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] P Hercog (SLO) – WTA
[7] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [Q] M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA
[Q] D Tursunov (RUS) vs [WC] J Blake (USA) – ATP
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs [WC] D Hantuchova (SVK) / M Hingis (SUI) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
T Robredo (ESP) vs [9] S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
[Q] A Petkovic (GER) vs [12] R Vinci (ITA) – WTA
[9] A Kerber (GER) vs A Kleybanova (RUS) – WTA
[LL] M Niculescu (ROU) vs [10] C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
[PR] M Fish (USA) / J Melzer (AUT) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP
P Kohlschreiber (GER) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs J Janowicz (POL) / L Kubot (POL) – ATP-After Suitable Rest

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
[Q] D Goffin (BEL) vs V Pospisil (CAN) – ATP
M Barthel (GER) vs [16] M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
[14] J Jankovic (SRB) vs E Makarova (RUS) – WTA
[8] R Bopanna (IND) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs A Seppi (ITA) / M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
[7] H Chan (TPE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) – WTA

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
K Date-Krumm (JPN) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs L Huber (USA) / N Llagostera Vives (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs J Chardy (FRA) – ATP
A Cornet (FRA) vs M Rybarikova (SVK) – WTA
[4] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Raymond (USA) vs [WC] A Kerber (GER) / A Petkovic (GER) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) vs [6] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) – WTA

COURT 10 start 11:00 am

M Llodra (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP
[3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
V Dushevina (RUS) / S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs [3] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) – WTA
[WC] K Flipkens (BEL) / P Kvitova (CZE) vs J Goerges (GER) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
[WC] V King (USA) / A Kleybanova (RUS) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA-After Suitable Rest

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Montreal Recap – A Tournament Filled With Emotions

Nadal 88

By Dominique Cambron-Goulet

(August 11, 2013) MONTREAL – The last week was full of emotions at Montreal ATP Masters 1000. The great performances of Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic made of this year’s tournament one of the most memorable here in Montreal.

The final might not have been as exciting as the semifinals tennis-wise, it will be remembered for sure by both players. “It’s always special for me to play in Montreal, because I won my first tournament on hard here in 2005”, said Rafael Nadal right after the match.

Raonic will also remember what he qualified as a “stepping stone” of his young career. “The standing ovation I received when I entered the court was the best moment of my career”, he said with a trembling tone in news conference. It’s also with the runner-up points that he’ll become the first Canadian to ever figure in the singles top-10.

The fans, will never forget the emotions provided by the matches of six Canadians in the main draw, the Andy Murray’s upset on his first appearance after Wimbledon and the two third set tiebreakers semifinals, including an all-Canadian one.

The 2013 Montreal Masters had lots of world premieres, upsets and crowned a winner that wasn’t expected at the beginning of the American hard court season. We’ll see if Cincinnati and the US Open will bring us their share of records and milestones as well.

Some Milestsones

-          John Isner’s loss against Vasek Pospisil knocked the Americans out of the top-20 for the first in history of rankings.

-          Due to his presence in final, Milos Raonic is the first Canadian to get in the top-10 in history of rankings.

-          Vasek Pospisil climbed up 31 ranks with his presence in semifinal to reach 40th place.

-          Rafael Nadal wins four Masters in a year for the second time of his career. He has three tournaments left to even Novak Djokovic’s record of five titles in a year.

“To win here, I have to be playing my top level. Very happy the way that I played almost every match in this tournament,” Nadal said. “Is very important for me, this title. Just very happy for everything.”

“I feel I have an advantage, but not enough to say that I am the favorite, Nadal said of his his lead in the ATP race for the year-end top ranking. “On this kind of surface, Novak is really good. [There] remains three Masters 1000s, one Grand Slam, [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] – more favorable surfaces for him than for me. So we are talking about 6,500 points.

“We have to realize how many points I have to win to be No. 1. I think I will not be No. 1 if I have less than 10,000 points at the end of the season. Today I have 8,000. I need to win minimum 2,000 more. That’s very difficult in this part of the season, but I’m going to try.”

Dominique Cambron-Goulet has been teaching tennis for ten years and is now a journalist in Montreal.

Photos by Marc-André Gauthier

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Perfect Scenario for Rogers Cup Final Weekend in Montreal

Nadal wins

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(August 10, 2013) MONTREAL – The Montreal fans are particularly fond of two things, tennis-wise: big charismatic stars exuding passion and local players battling it out like there is no tomorrow. Therefore, no one could have set up a better scenario than the semifinals played in Montreal on Saturday. And the matches delivered, both ending in third set tie-breaks.

While the Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic showdown wasn’t a surprise and was actually expected and hoped for when the draw came out, the Milos Raonic-Vasek Pospisil match revived the patriotic flame of many: it was the first time since 1969 that a Canadian reached this stage and the winner would be the first Canadian finalist since 1958!

The two Davis Cup teammates were the first to hit the court in the afternoon, under perfect weather for tennis: sunny, breezy and a touch chilly. The atmosphere was just as perfect, with a packed crowd of over 12,000 anxious fans, hesitant about for whom to cheer for as if they were asked to choose between their (tennis) children.

Milos Raonic was the favorite on paper, but was also the one with all the pressure and it showed in his on-court manners: while he was stone-faced and focused, Pospisil was vocal and animated and clearly had nothing to lose in this encounter.

As it often happens when two players that know each other well face off, the level of play wasn’t spectacular. Both players seemed nervous from the get-go, and most points were decided either on unreturned serves or unforced errors. Raonic was the first one to draw blood and break, and he rode the way until finishing up the forgettable 6-4 set on an ace.

Raonic 88

The second set followed a totally different route: Pospisil started receiving better and being more aggressive, and Raonic seemed lost in his defensive role. While the underdog was getting pumped up, the 11th seed seemed frustrated and about to give up the set. Breaking twice, Pospisil leveled things off, wining the second set 6-1.

Raonic then retreated to the locker rooms, in the hopes of breaking the rhythm and changing the momentum. He later admitted in his post-match interview that he ‘yelled at [himself] to let the anger out, but not too loud as there was someone else in the bathroom’.

The third set saw some better play and built up quite the drama. While Pospisil got closer in more of Raonic’s serve game, the favorite never got broken and led in the score all set, as he was serving first. Vasek was solid serving under pressure, bringing the set to a tiebreak. Raonic stormed to an early lead with two mini-breaks, but Pospisil immediately erased them with inspired play. Clearly nervous, the serve speeds started dropping, especially on Raonic’s side, but he remained more solid off the ground and closed out the set, reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final and entering the top 10 for the first time of his career. He becomes the first ever Canadian male player to achieve that feat, a fact that made him quite emotional after the match.

His final opponent was also decided in a nail-biter under the lights. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had played 35 times in the past, and their match-up always leads to spectacular rallies and intense battles. While Nadal was coming into this match undefeated on hardcourts in 2013, Djokovic had won all their encounters on this surface since 2010.

Nadal stormed off to a two break lead, as his consistency was too much for the Serb. Djokovic started finding his range late in the set, erasing one of the breaks, but it was too little too late as the 4th seed won the first 6-4.

The second set started with close games and intense rallies, and the drama peaked with an umpiring mistake. With Djokovic serving at 5-3, when Nadal challenged a call and was right, the score was announced wrong. While both players and the umpire agreed that it was 30-all, the scoreboard mentioned 40-15, and the crowd was raucous towards the mistake. The chair umpire, remaining silent, lost control over the crowd, which seemed to affect Djokovic who lost the following (very important) point. But when he saved it and then leveled off the match, we knew we would be treated to a dramatic third set.

Following a similar pattern than the first semifinal, both players, who had been broken two times each until then, managed to hold until a third set tiebreak. The stand-out moment happened in the middle of the set when Nadal hit a backhand pass directly at Novak in a heated net exchange: when the Spaniard tried to apologize, Novak looked away in frustration, adding to the already high tension.

The tiebreak proved to be quite an anticlimactic end to a fantastic match. Despite losing the last game to love, the Spaniard played inspired tennis, enjoyed a few loose points from the first seed, and rapidly built a huge 6-0 lead. While Djokovic saved the first two on impressive winners, he hit a ball just long on the third match point, handing Nadal his 21st win against the Serb.

Nadal will be looking to win his third Rogers Cup in Sunday’s final against Raonic. The crowd is expected to be strongly behind the Canadian, especially as, for the first time, fans will be able to get in the Uniprix Stadium grounds to watch the final on a big-screen, Henman Hill-style. It will be a fitting end to one of the best ever editions of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Charles David Mathieu-Poulin blogs for WtaQuebec www.wtaquebec.com, a website promoting local Quebec players. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Montreal for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @earthstroke, follow his Montreal coverage on @TennnisNewsTPN.
RESULTS – SATURDAY, 10 AUGUST 2013

Singles – Semi-finals
[4] R Nadal (ESP) d [1] N Djokovic (SRB) 64 36 76(2)
[11] M Raonic (CAN) d [WC] V Pospisil (CAN) 64 16 76(4)

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 62 76(3)
C Fleming (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) d [6] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) 63 60

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 11 AUGUST 2013

CENTRAL start 12:30
C Fleming (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) vs [3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)

Not Before 15:00
[4] R Nadal (ESP) vs [11] M Raonic (CAN)

 

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