2014/04/20

No. 1 Serena Williams Set to Begin WTA Championships Defense on Tuesday

Serena Williams Beijing

By Andrew Jones

(October 21, 2013) In a perfect world, the tournament would be named “The Serena Williams Year End Coronation Exhibition.” But out of respect to the seven other ladies in attendance, the WTA Championships will conclude its lovely three year relationship with the city of Istanbul starting Tuesday.

The famous Turkish city has been a terrific host for the WTA Championships, a major upgrade from past hosts like Los Angeles, Berlin, and Madrid after the tour decided to leave New York City’s Madison Square Garden a decade ago. But with the Chairman and  CEO Stacey Allaster moving its championships to Asia (and virtually every other tournament it seems nowadays) to Singapore for next year, it will be a bittersweet tournament for the locals who have given the year end finale a great temporary home.

And it was clearly the home for the world No. 1 last year with her dominance to win her second year-end championships without dropping a set, and Williams the younger is projected by most to do the same. However, with Victoria Azarenka back after an ugly Asia swing for her with ailments and illness all over, the always solid Agniezska Radwanska, and the reemerging force that is Petra Kvitova still here to give it their all in the last tournament of the year, Williams will still have to play well enough to close a banner 2013.

Three of those four players mentioned there are in the same group, with it fittingly called the red group as an in-form Angelique Kerber rounds out their formidable foursome. Like Kvitova, Kerber has had a good fall campaign after a mostly terrible season and has done well to surge into the last spot ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens, who are alternatives. And she beat Radwanska, who was flat after winning Seoul the week prior, in the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo) before Radwanska returned the favor on her friend at the China Open (Beijing) in the instant rematch. Kerber also played Kvitova in Tokyo in the final, and the quality all-lefty battle went to the Czech, as both women have located needed momentum for 2014.

Still, all three women are playing for second place in the group, as an even fogged challenge, easily frustrated, and slightly ailed Williams was still good enough to win the China Open going away. With her loving indoors too, like her old red group members, taking a set off Serena in the group stages and the whole week in general is going to be a difficult task.

It’s a scenario that the four members in the white group thankfully don’t have to deal with for their own relief, as Azarenka headlines a quartet not as formidable as their red counterparts. The world number two’s own problems since that dramatic US Open final with Serena will either be vanished or still apparent when she plays the championships’ opening match against the always game Sara Errani, who has done quite well  to make the last eight for a second consecutive year. The former doubles and best friend duo of Li Na and Jelena Jankovic complete the group and will feel they have a strong chance to make the semifinals in Istanbul.

Not to be forgotten are the final four teams in doubles, with the aforementioned Errani and Roberta Vinci set to close out their latest No. 1 year in style. But they will face stern challenges from the superb Asian duo of Peng Shuai and Su-Wei Hsieh, who have grown into a world class team, the accomplished veteran pair of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, and the talented, eclectic Russian combination of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

In a perfect world, this tournament would be called “The Serena Williams Year End Coronation Exhibition.” But that would be boring and thankfully we don’t live in a perfect world. But the year-end championships giving Istanbul and the 2013 season the perfect sendoff would be a perfect week, regardless of whoever wins.

 

RED GROUP (seed in parentheses)

(1) Serena Williams (USA)

(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE)

(8) Angelique Kerber (GER)

 

WHITE GROUP

(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

(4) Li Na (CHN)

(6) Sara Errani (ITA)

(7) Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

 

Predictions from Andrew Jones:

Red Group Top 2: Serena Williams and Aga Radwanska

White Group Top 2: Victoria Azarenka and Li Na

 

Final: Serena Williams defeats Aga Radwanska 

 

Doubles winner: Peng Shuai and Su-Wei Hsieh

 

Andrew Jones is a freelance sports, political, and music journalist. He is also the founder and publisher of The Whole Delivery (twd4u.com). Follow him on twitter @sluggahjells.

 

TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS – ISTANBUL
Istanbul, Turkey
October 22-October 27, 2013
$6,000,000/Season-Ending Championships
Hard/Indoors

Order Of Play – Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Center Court (from 17.00hrs)
1. Victoria Azarenka vs. Sara Errani
2. Serena Williams vs. Angelique Kerber
3. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Petra Kvitova

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Draws Made for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul

 

(L-R) Sara Errani of Italy, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, Serena Williams of USA, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Li Na of China, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, and Angelique Kerber of Germany pose with the Billie Jean King trophy for the official photo of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for WTA).

(L-R) Sara Errani of Italy, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, Serena Williams of USA, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Li Na of China, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, and Angelique Kerber of Germany pose with the Billie Jean King trophy for the official photo of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for WTA).

(October 20, 2013) The WTA Championships begin on Tuesday in Istanbul. The singles draws where made on Sunday and are as follows:

RED GROUP (seed in parentheses)

(1) Serena Williams (USA)

(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE)

(8) Angelique Kerber (GER)

 

WHITE GROUP

(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

(4) Li Na (CHN)

(6) Sara Errani (ITA)

(7) Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

 

2012  champion Serena Williams is trying to become the first player to defend the year-end championships since Justine Henin did it in 2007.

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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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Maria Sharapova Withdraws from WTA Year-End Championships, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic Qualify

teb_bnp_paribas_wta_champs_istanbul

(October 7, 2013) – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova, Italy’s Sara Errani and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic have qualified for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be held at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013. Kvitova, Errani and Jankovic join a singles line-up that already includes Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na.

 

World No.3 Maria Sharapova announced her withdrawal from the Championships due to a continuing right shoulder injury..

 

“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships this year. The fans in Istanbul have welcomed us each year with such intense passion and warmth, I will sincerely miss the energy and excitement they brought to the year-end tournament. I want to thank Istanbul for being a tremendous host and hope to play in Turkey sometime in the future,” said Sharapova.

 

The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams to compete for $6 million in prize money. Istanbul is hosting the season-ending event for a third and final year.

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Petra Kvitova Wins Title in Tokyo

 

Kvitova Dubai winner

(September 28, 2013) In an all-lefty final, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Angelique Kerber 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 in the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo on Saturday for her second title of the year.

“I’m very happy I could win this final today,” Kvitova sais. “For me the whole tournament was great – I felt good all week on the court. I really enjoyed my week here and it’s even better to come away with the title.”

“Petra was playing very well in the first set – in the second set I started to play my game, and I tried to do the same thing in the third set, but she started playing tougher again and moved better,” said the losing finalist. “I was trying to give my best but she was better at the end, so all credit to her.”

The win will move Kvitova up to No. 7 in the world from No. 11 when the rankings come out on Monday, putting her in contention for a place in the WTA Year-End Championships in Istanbul.

For the Czech it’s her 11th the career title. Back in February, Kvitova won a title in Dubai.

 

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American Wild Card Alison Riske Upsets Seventh Seed Petra Kvitova at US Open

 

Alison Riske photo by Steve Fogleman

Alison Riske photo by Steve Fogleman

 

(August 31, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – American wild card, Pittsburgh native Alison Riske demolished 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-0 to reach the round of 16 at a major for the first time.

The world No. 81 Riske, who is 23, won the last eight games against the seventh-seeded Kvitova for her first win over a top ten player.

“It was really emotional for me,” said Riske of the win.  “It’s just really cool because I feel like I’m playing within myself.  I’m not doing anything crazy.  It just feels really comfortable.  It’s exciting.”

“It was just really cool to see hard work kind of be put together, you know, to kind of happen,” Riske continued.  “It was really cool for me.  I have such a great support team behind me.  They’re kind of like my family.  So for them to be there with me was really special.”

Kvitova had seven double faults and 27 unforced errors to Riske’s mere 7 errors.

“I beat her last week in New Haven,” Kvitova said.  “Unfortunately, I couldn’t play really long rallies, like more than three shots in the rallies.  So I try to play my aggressive game, first or second shots, to have a winner.

“But she moved quite well.  She pushed me to the back.  So, I mean, that was tough for me.”

Kvitova admitted that she was ill during the match: “My body didn’t help me today to move little bit.  So unfortunately I tried to play, tried to fight.  But, yeah, my body wouldn’t let me to fight.”

The Czech thinks that she suffering from the same virus she had during Wimbledon.

“Is unlucky on the Grand Slam” said Kvitova.  I will take it for this year and next year will be better.”

Asked about who is the best player ever from Pittburgh is Riske said: “I’d like to think I’m up there.  I mean, I know Bjorn Fratangelo, a junior, doing great.  Gretchen Rush I believe had a pretty good career.  Yeah, hopefully I’m working my way up.”

Riske will meet Daniela Hantuchova for a spot in the quarterfinals.

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Simona Halep Heads for New York on a Roll

By Jack Cunniff

(August 24, 2013) NEW HAVEN – For Simona Halep, it all came together in Rome. Ranked 64th at the time, she defeated three players ranked in the Top Twenty en route to the semifinals, where she lost to Serena Williams.  Her strong form continued with tournament victories in Nurnberg, s’Hertogenbosch, and Budapest. And on the eve of the U.S. Open, she has now won her fourth title of 2013, and largest of her career, taking the New Haven Open title over Petra Kvitova.

It is Halep’s first Premier title on the WTA Tour, and it will vault her into the world’s Top Twenty; she is expected to be No. 19 on Monday.  How will she feel as one of the top women’s players?  Based on an 11-4 record vs. the Top Twenty since Rome, she certainly belongs.

Four thousand fans arrived at Yale today to watch the New Haven Open final, probably expecting   the defending champion, Kvitova, to repeat. The 23-year-old is a former Wimbledon champion, a former world No. 2, and the third seed. But as the players warmed up, emcee Wayne Bryan listed the recent achievements of the unseeded Halep; she was deserving of her spot in the final.

In the first few games, Kvitova began the way she finished her semifinal match, when she crushed Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-1. She held serve easily, and had a 15-40 advantage in each of Halep’s first two service games. Halep successfully fought her way through her service games, then broke Kvitova’s service for a 3-2 lead. That lead to a flurry of unforced errors from Kvitova that continued for the remainder of the match.  The 21-year-old from Romania went on a streak of nine straight games, to lead 6-2, 4-0.  While Kvitova managed to salvage her final two service games, Halep sealed the title with an ace, 6-2, 6-2.

Halep becomes only the second unseeded player to win the title in New Haven; her semifinal victim, Caroline Wozniacki, was the first in 2008. She becomes the tenth different player to capture the title in New Haven since the event has been played at Yale University in 1998. Seven of the previous nine champions also have Grand Sam Singles titles on their résumé.

In Doubles action, Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie took the title in straight sets over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3, 6-4.  Mirza and Zheng were playing in their third hard court event this summer as a duo, and had struggled in their earlier events. Those struggles continued in the first two rounds in New Haven, as the pair had to battle through 10-8 third set scores in both of those matches to stay alive. But they’ve started to gel as a team, and won in straight sets in the semifinals and final to take the trophy. As Mirza noted afterwards, “I think that you got to win, so to say, a couple ugly matches.” They played their best today against the veteran duo of Srebotnik and Medina Garrigues, who are playing together for the first time in eight years.

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Reversal of Fortune in New Haven

Wozniacki frustrated

By Jack Cunniff

(August 23, 2013) Yesterday,  Caroline Wozniacki was asked about her high quality play in the quarterfinals of the New Haven Open against Sloane Stephens. “You never know,” she replied, “Every match is different.  Sometimes you feel really great out there.  Sometimes it’s a struggle, but you need to find a way to win.  Sometimes it’s a little up and down.”  Sure enough, today’s semifinal action at Yale proved to be a complete reversal from the form the competitors displayed in their quarterfinals.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova entered the semifinals today having been extended to three sets in each of her last six matches, including all three matches she played in New Haven.  In fact, 12 of her last 15 matches, dating back to the Eastbourne event in June, have gone the distance.  Kvitova had played a WTA Tour-leading 30 three set  matches.  But today she cruised through her semifinal against Klara Zakopalova.  Kvitova was a model of efficiency against her friend and Czech countrywoman Zakopalova.  Despite serving three double faults in the match, Kvitova’s serve was a huge weapon; she won 23 of 26 first serve points, and never faced a break point in the match.  The crowd cheered enthusiastically for Zakopalova when she finally held serve in the twelfth game, but the end result was no longer in doubt, and Kvitova advanced 6-0, 6-1.
The evening match saw 4-time New Haven champion Caroline Wozniacki square off against Simona Halep, the 21-year-old Romanian who has won three events over the summer.  Wozniacki, so sharp in the quarterfinals against Stephens, could not recapture that form today.  She made too many errors and seemed easily flustered in the first set.  Halep, with the experience she’s gained this year, took advantage.  After Wozniacki lost the opening set 6-2, she tried to change tactics. She hit a higher ball with little pace, and mixed in some drop shots. The strategy partially worked, as it forced Halep into more errors, but Halep still had full control of the match. She broke Wozniacki at 5-5 in the second set, and held her nerve to serve out the match, 6-2, 7-5.
Halep will face Kvitova for the first time in her career in tomorrow’s Championship match.
Around the Grounds… Kvitova is hoping to defend a title successfully for the first time tomorrow. “I have one more new motivation then,” she said when reminded she’s never defended a title…. Wozniacki was asked about Halep’s sudden improvement, and spoke of how quickly intangibles like confidence can turn around someone’s game. “You know, the thing is, it can switch so quickly.  It can be one match that changes completely.  All of a sudden you feel like you’re playing great, you’re on a roll. Yeah, it’s so little, and it can do so much to your game.”… Defending doubles champion Liezel Huber and partner Nuria Llagostera Vives were eliminated in the Doubles semifinals by Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik.  Huber won the 2012 New Haven Open title with Lisa Raymond; Huber/Llagostera Vives had elimanted Raymond and current partner Flavia Pennetta in the opening round. Medina Garrigues and Srebotnik, the second seeds, take on The No. 3 seeds Sania Mirza and Jie Zheng in Sunday’s championship match.
Jack Cunniff is covering the New Haven Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. His personal twitter is @JRCunniff.
 NEW HAVEN OPEN AT YALE
New Haven, CT, USA
August 18-24, 2013
$690,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Friday, August 23, 2013
Singles – Semifinals
(3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 60 61
Simona Halep (ROU) d. (4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 75

Doubles – Semifinals
(2) Medina Garrigues/Srebotnik (ESP/SLO) d. (4) Huber/Llagostera Vives (USA/ESP) 46 75 101 (Match TB)

Order Of Play – Saturday, August 24, 2013
Stadium (from 12.25hrs)
1. Doubles Final: Mirza/Zheng vs. Medina Garrigues/Srebotnik
2. Singles Final: Simona Halep vs. Petra Kvitova (NB 15.00hrs)

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Cirstea Continues Her Run in Toronto Beating Kvitova to Reach Semis

Sorana Cirstea Presser 002-001

By Brodie Elgin

(August 9, 2013) TORONTO – Down two match points late Wednesday night to Caroline Wozniacki, one more lost point would have made for a respectable, closely fought second round loss for Sorana Cirstea. They were impressively saved, the second with a blistering down the line backhand winner, and Cirstea quickly reeled off 15 straight points and eventually won the match in three sets. She did not face another match point all match.

 

It was the sort of odd break that can give a player a new found life in a tournament. The Romanian defeated Jankovic in straight sets less than 24 hours later, and was faced with the tough task of playing Czech Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals. It was also the first time Cirstea had played on the Toronto centre court.

 

An admitted slow starter, it was more of the same from Cirstea who fought back from 0-3 to tie the match at 3-3, but was less than impressive later in the set as she was broken to love to drop the set, 6-4. Having played Cirstea four times prior, Kvitova was ready for the challenge in the second set. “Well, I knew that she can come back, for sure.  I mean, when we played in Rome she came back too and in the second set, and I was ready for it. ”

 

Cirstea did indeed play well, quickly winning the first four games of the second set. Things quickly got away from her, and she called her coach down after losing three straight games. “he came at 4‑3 in the second set, and he pointed at the little girl in the stand and said, Where does she want to be?  I said, Here in my place playing.  So he said, Okay, so that’s why you are here for.  That’s why you have been doing all the work.  That’s why you have been sacrificing everything for these moments.  There is no other place in the world where you’d rather be. That speech had nothing to do with tennis.  It was just motivational.”

 

Eventually forced to serve to stay in the set, Cirstea did so convincingly and eventually took the set 7-5. It was a similar story to start the third as Cirstea took the first four games yet again. There was no let up this time, as the Romanian won the set and the match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

 

Having previously won a WTA title in Tashkent as well as making the Roland Garros quarterfinals at age 19, this is one of the greatest weeks of Cirstea’s career, still only 23 years old. “It’s probably the best tournament in a long, long time.  As I said, it might come as a surprise, you know, to many people. I don’t think for me and my team it’s such a big surprise, because we have been working consistently  on things. From week to week I got better.  So it’s come kind of like a natural step.” Her continued calmness on court and new sense of self belief helped her win her tenth match this season after dropping the first set. “Maybe before in the important moments I didn’t really have that belief in me which now, you know, I know that any moment I can turn it around.”

 

In particular, Cirstea is becoming more comfortable in reeling in her aggression when things aren’t going her way, and developing a plan B in difficult situations. “When I have a great day, you know, everything, it’s going my way, I hit winners left and right.  But when I don’t really have a good day, I don’t really have much to rely on, which now we have been working to have that base now, to have that solid game that no matter what happens, know that sort of game, it’s day in, day out. So of course now I have that base. I can play long rallies, you know, and then just accelerate whenever I feel is the right moment.”

 

Overall, it was a disappointing loss for Kvitova as the defending champion from the 2012 Montreal version of the Rogers Cup. She admitted to feeling tired after not being able to sleep well following her Thursday night victory over Samanth Stosur. “At the beginning of the second set I [started] to feel a little bit low on energy. The serve was really bad after this, and I didn’t find energy from my legs,” said the Czech. “Unfortunately, when I finished so late here, I didn’t sleep well after.”

 

Next up for Sorana Cirstea is Li Na, a player she has played five times but beaten only once – 2012 Wimbledon. “She’s always a very solid player.She’s quite aggressive. It’s gonna be a very, very good match.”

 

Brodie Elgin is the writer of mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.

 

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WTA Players Meet the Press in Toronto at All Access Hour

All Access Hour Bartoli

By Brodie Elgin

(August 5, 2013) TORONTO – Toronto represents the first time many top WTA players return to action after Wimbledon, and is one of the largest tournaments in the US Open Series leading up to the final major tournament of the year, the US Open. The overall theme of the All Access Hour at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank was a sense of a fresh start after the long clay and grass swings.

 

The most recent Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli has had a long month of press and attention, but has thoroughly enjoyed it. “I had the opportunity to do so many things outside of the court, meeting some of the soccer players that I love, from Marseille. [But] it was time to practice, and for hard work.”

 

She will continue to work with Amelie Mauresmo through the summer and into the US Open, though won’t be able to hire her as a full time coach due to her captaining the French Fed Cup team. “She’s more like my mental coach and someone I can speak to. She really helped me throughout the Championships to release the stress when I was not playing. After that I don’t really need a coach, to be honest with you.” Bartoli also noted that Mauresmo’s talks helped her energy levels and didn’t feel tired even after two weeks of playing at Wimbledon. Marion now has her sights set on the US Open, where she made the quarterfinals in 2012.

All Access Hour Kerber

It wasn’t just the most recently successful champion who took some time to relax and see some sunshine. Angelique Kerber took a break from tennis, and may have found her new favorite vacation spot. “I went to Mallorca. It was my first time, and it’s not so far from Germany.” She didn’t find the time to hit with Rafael Nadal, however. “No, because it was a vacation without tennis,” she said, laughing. After a successful summer last year, Kerber now finds herself in the top 10, and is the seventh seed in Toronto. “Now I feel the pressure. Last year I had nothing to lose, I just played.”

 

While some players took the time between tournaments to relax, others were hard at work and making adjustments. Petra Kvitova has made a new commitment to fitness, hiring a new fitness coach in Marek Vseticek. He holds an impressive track record, including working with former Czech and 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Kodra. “We decided after Wimbledon we would like to find a new fitness coach,” said Kvitova. “I think I have a lot of space to improve in my fitness – to try to be quicker.”

 

The Czech may already be feeling the difference. She played the longest match of her career this past Thursday in Carlsbad, eventually losing in a three and a half hour heartbreaker to Virginie Razznano “I didn’t feel very tired during the match, but the next day when I woke up, it wasn’t too different. [Laughing].” Petra claimed to be feeling back up to full health, and is the defending champion from last year’s version in Montreal. “It’s a great, tough draw every year. It’s always a tough challenge to defend some points here.”

All Access Hour Serena Williams

Serena Williams, the top ranked player in the world, took a new approach to her post-Wimbledon schedule. She took to the clay courts of Sweden, and won the WTA International level Collector Swedish Open in Stockholm. “It was a first. I had never done that before. I had never been to Sweden. And after 10 or 15 years you’re like, ‘maybe I’ll try something different’. It felt really good.”

 

Despite winning Roland Garros, the top ranked American still isn’t thrilled with how the season has gone for her. “I’m not very happy with the way my year has been going. But that’s me.” Williams was upset in the fourth round of Wimbledon by Sabine Lisicki, which followed a trend of surprising big name upsets over the fortnight. Williams was unsure if the trend might continue into the hard court swing. “The one thing about tennis is you never know what can happen. You have to be on every day.” Serena will open her Rogers Cup campaign Wednesday against the first round winner of Chanelle Scheepers and Francesca Schiavone.

 

Brodie Elgin is the writer of mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.

 

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