2014/07/25

Djokovic Starts Australian Open Defense with Strong Win

Novak Djokovic

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 14, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – World No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic on Monday got his Australian Open 2013 campaign off to a confident start, defeating former top 20 player Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes on centre court.

 

Djokovic will be hoping to win his fourth Australian Open title and is also vying to be the first man in the open era to win three consecutive Norman Brookes Challenge Cups.

 

Djokovic broke Mathieu in his opening service game heading to a 2-0 lead. He managed a second break with a crosscourt backhand winner while Mathieu was serving down 1-3 to take a 4-1 lead. Both players held their remaining service games, Djokovic claiming the first set 6-2.

 

The second set started in a similar vein as the first as Djokovic again broke Mathieu in the opening service game to take an early lead. It proved to be the only break he needed as the Serb sealed the second set 6-4

 

Mathieu managed to hold serve at the beginning of the third set as Djokovic relaxed his play. It proved to be a more evenly matched affair with Mathieu finding rhythm and producing some excellent forehand and backhand winners.

 

It wasn’t enough to stave off the top seed however as Djokovic was gifted a break point when Mathieu made an unforced error while service at 5-5, Djokovic taking a 6-5 leading then holding his next service game to claim victory 6-2 6-4 7-5.

 

On his assessment of the match Djokovic says “It was a good performance for a first round. You know, I felt I was in control of the match in the opening two sets. Then, you know, he started playing better, striking the ball quite well from both sides on the baseline. I thought he was serving really precisely and really well. It was tough to break. But in the end, that 11th game, I made some good shots, good points, you know, managed to go through straight sets.”

 

In the second round, Djokovic will play American Ryan Harrison who today defeated Colombian Santiago Giraldo in four sets 2-6 6-4 7-5 6-4.

 

“He’s one of these up-and-coming young talents who has been playing well on the tour for last few years. He likes playing on hard courts. I think he had lots of success in U.S. hard court tournaments. He has a big serve which he likes to use and big forehand. I played him few times before on different surfaces. I know what it takes to win that match.”

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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Isner Falls to Mathieu in Marathon Match, Nadal, Murray Advance at French Open

In another marathon match at a major against a Frenchman, American John Isner, the 10th seed, fell to Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16 in the second round of the French Open.

The match which lasted 5 hours, 41 minutes is the second longest match in Roland Garros history.  The longest was six hours and 33 minutes.

At 2012 Wimbledon, Isner was part of the longest match in  tennis history when he defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set.

Rafael Nadal

Defending Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal improved his record at the French Open to 47-1 by destroying Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 ti gain a spot  in the third round.

Despite his  record in Paris, Nadal seeks even more perfection and spoke to media about what he needs to improve. “The serve is the first one. I think I improved the level of my serve during the match, but I started the match serving bad,” said Nadal “For the rest, more or less I have to be happy.”

 

Andy Murray came close to retiring in his match against Jarkko Nieminen but hung on to gut out a1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory to reach the third round.

Murray said:” I was a few points probably from stopping. I just didn’t really want to stop the match. Then at the end of the second set I started standing up at the change of ends, and my back started to loosen up a little bit.”

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Scoreboard – Week Ending January 9, 2011

15-0

Walking on air water – the 2011 tennis season has begun!


15-15

Back on the bottom

Fresh off of serving a shortened suspension for HGH possession,  Wayne Odesnik  will compete this week in a USTA Pro Circuit Futures event, the $10,000 Plantation Open in Plantation, Florida.


30-15

Planning Ahead

The WTA has announced the 2012 and 2013 calendars 2012_WTA_Calendar 2013_WTA_Calendar


30-30

Marital Mishaps

Stan Wawrinka announced his separation from his wife on twitter this week : “I would like to announce my separation with my wife Ilham Vuilloud. Our main concern now is to look after the best interests and….. education of our daughter Alexia.”

During Thursday’s loss to Andrea Petkovic in Brisbane, Jarmila Groth and her husband Sam were heard cursing at each other during an on -court coaching session. Mrs. Groth’s coach was absent so her husband filled in.  Mrs. Groth was later apologetic and blamed the outburst on the intensity of the match.


30-40

Break point- flu in the desert

Rafael Nadal was battling the flu last week in Doha Qatar and was ousted in the semifinals by Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal intends to delay his travel to Melbourne until he gets over his illness. Despite the flu, he and his partner Marc Lopez won the doubles title at the Qatar Open.


Deuce

In the News this week

Racquet swapping – Maria Sharapova is now with Head, Caroline Wozniacki with Yonex and Ernests Gulbis with Wilson.

Kei Nishkori has signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with a leading Japanese apparel retailer – UNIQLO.

Andy Murray is negotiations for renewing deals with Highland Spring water and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo has been named joint director of the WTA Paris Open.

Wilson Racquet Sports Rolls Out Social Media for the Australian Open.

Fed Cup Nominations for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and II, and Americas Zone Group I announced

2011-12 USTA Board of Directors Takes Office

Expanded and Re-Formatted Champions Series Tennis Circuit to Debut in the Fall


Advantage

Ma-hoot!

With all the injures during Hopman Cup which forced retirements and team withdrawals, a special exhibition match was held with US team Bethanie Mattek -Sands and John Isner facing off against French team Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic. Highlight of the quickly organized match – Nicolas Mahut wearing his partner’s dress and Mattek Sands’ socks.

The Hopman Cup was also the scene for a rematch of the combatants in the  longest match in tennis history- John Isner needed just 90 minutes to defeat Nicholas Mahut 6-3, 7-6.


Deuce

“Tweeners” of the Week

Laura Robson

Nicolas Mahut

Another week another between-the-legs shot, this week there were at least three of them – Roger Federer in Doha, Laura Robson and Nicolas Mahut at Hopman Cup.


Disadvantage

Injuries

Out of the Australian Open: Juan Carlos Ferrero, Laura Robson, Paul-Henri Mathieu.


Deuce

A double pleasure is waiting for you….

In a spoof of the old Doublemint Gum spots, the Bryan Brothers are featured in a new ESPN “It’s Not Crazy It’s Sports” promotional campaign.


Advantage

Outfits of the week


From Hopman Cup this week-Bethanie Mattek-Sands wearing what appear to be  pajama pants and Nicolas Mahut in a Lacoste tennis dress.


Game, Set, Match and Champions This Week:

John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands took home the Hopman Cup for the USA.

Greta Arn of  Hungary took Auckland by storm, leveling Maria Sharapova along the way.

Petra Kvitova Czeched out the trophy in Brisbane.

Roger Federer captured the Qatar crown.

Another Swiss in the winner’s circle this week as Stanislas Wawrinka wins his second Chennai title.

Not only was Robin Soderling victorious in Brisbane, but his tournament win has moved him to No. 4 in the rankings leapfrogging Andy Murray.

[Read more...]

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