May 31, 2016

Murray and Wawrinka Reach French Open Fourth Round in Straight Sets

(May 27, 2016) Andy Murray did not need five sets to win on Friday at the French Open as he did in his first two matches. The No. 2 seed after playing five-set marathons in his first two rounds, beat big-serving Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) Friday. Murray will play American John Isner for a place in the final eight. The 15th seed Isner beat 79th-ranked Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6(7), 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The biggest news came off the court at Roland Garros, when nine-time champion Rafael Nadal held a news conference to withdraw from the tournament with a left wrist injury.

Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the round of 16.

No. 6 ranked Kei Nishikori needed five sets to survive Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4. Nishikori will play Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet straight-setted Nick Kyrgios.

 

No. 8 seed Milos Raonic overcame and painful hip to beat No. 133 ranked lucky loser Andrej Martin 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3.

 

No. 23-seeded Jack Sock fell 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to No. 55 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a 4 hour, 11-minute marathon.

 

In women’s action, the last woman to reach the main draw by ranking cutoff, No. 108 Shelby Rogers upset No. 10 seed and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0 to make the fourth round. For Rogers reaching the round of 16 is her best results at a major.

 

Seeds Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Samantha Stosur all advanced. Halep had to rally to beat the 101st-ranked Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Last year’s finalist is out. Lucie Safarova lost to former French Open finalist Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-7 (0), 7-5.

 

No. 19 seed Sloane Stephens was dismissed by Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1.

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Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

 

Nadal at changeover

(May 27, 2016) Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament with an injured left wrist.  The 14-time major champion called a news conference to make the announcement.

“I have to retire from the tournament because of problem in my wrist that I have had for a couple of weeks,” Nadal said.

“Yesterday I played with injection on the wrist. I could play, but yesterday night I start to feel more and more pain,” said the world No. 5.

“I did MRI. The results are not positive and the thing is it’s not 100 percent. If I keep playing it’s going to be broken the next couple of days. We took some risks with the injections. It is the tendon, and if I continue to play I would not be able to play the rest of the tournament.”

“If I go on playing, it’s going to break and that would mean months off the circuit.”

“Now is a tough moment but it’s not the end. I feel the right motivation and energy to be back at Roland Garros next couple of years.”

“We’re gonna work hard to be ready for Wimbledon. We expect to recover quick, to be ready for Wimbledon.”

He was scheduled to play his third round match on Saturday against Marcel Granollers, who will receive a walkover into the fourth round.

Nadal holds a 72-2 record in Paris.

 

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Roland Garros – Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Dominate in Opening Wins; Murray Survives in Five

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2016) Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had easy opening victories at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion going for her fourth Paris title destroyed No. 77 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-0 in 42 minutes. The 21-time major champion hit 25 winners and made only five unforced errrors.

Sister Venus also advanced in straight sets. The ninth seed defeated No. 82 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

Djokovic is seeking to win his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. The Serb defeated No. 95 Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Also reaching the second round easily was nine-time champion Rafael Nadal who blasted past Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 seed completed his first round match which was held over due to darkness, surviving qualifier and former Top 10 player 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

“It’s unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He had an extremely bad injury last year and was our for eight or nine months. At 37 years old and coming out and fighting like that, playing that way, is unbelievable. I don’t expect to be doing that myself at that age! I’m just glad I managed to get through.”
Australian Open champion and third seed Angelique Kerber was the biggest upset on the day. The German suffering from a left shoulder injury lost to No. 58 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Bertens is fresh off winning a title over the weekend in Nürnberg, where she was a qualifier.

Another major surprise on the women’s side saw No. 5 Victoria Azarenka lose to No. 118-ranked Karin Knapp when she was forced to retire with a knee injury down 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.

2010 French Open champion, unseeded Francesca Schiavone lost to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4. It was announced on court that Schiavone was retiring, but she set the record straight during her news conference.

“Roland Garros announced my retirement but I didn’t.”

“So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that. I will announce when I will want to stop.”

 

More to follow…

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Novak Djokovic Could Face Rafael Nadal in the Semifinals of Roland Garros

 

(May 20, 2016) The French Open men’s and women’s singles draws were made in Paris on Friday and No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed, nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal could be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. Nadal moved into the No. 4 seed position when No. 3 Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Djokovic comes into Roland Garros seeking the only major tournament he has not won. He’s looking to become the eight man to have a “career slam,” winning each of the four major title at least once. Should the Serb win the French Open, he would hold all four major championships at the same time.

Djokovic has lost in the final of the French Open three out of the past four years. He will begin his quest for the Roland Garros crown against No. 100 in the world Lu Yen-hsun in, while Nadal will play big serving Australian, Sam Groth.

On the other side of the men’s draw, a pair of two-time major champions could meet in the other semifinal – No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Murray will play a qualifier in the first round, while Wawrinka will face-off against

The top seed in the women’s draw, Serena Williams is going after her 22nd career major, which would tie her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list, the most in the Open Era. She’s coming off her first tournament win in nine months, winning the Italian Open trophy last weekend on the clay courts of Rome.

A hurdle for the American could come in the quarterfinals, where she is projected to meet No. 5 seed and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. Williams may also have play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round and reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the final four. Williams lost to the German in the Melbourne final.

Williams will open against No. 76 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Williams is the defending champion and is going after her fourth Roland Garros trophy.

In the bottom half of the women’s draw, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska could play fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

Play begins on Sunday, May 22.

Men’s draw

Women’s draw

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Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid for Record 29th Masters Title

 

(May 8, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his second Madrid Open title on Sunday beating Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for a record 29th Masters title and 64th career ATP World Tour title. The world No. 1 is now tied with Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg for sixth place for titles won in the Open Era.

This win raises the Serb’s record against the Brit to 23-9, victorious in 12 of the last 13 matches.

“This came at the right time,” Djokovic said. “I had an amazing opening four months of the season. Then an early exit in Monte-Carlo, but it happened for a reason, because I needed some time to really recharge my batteries. Three weeks was more than enough to get some freshness and new breath and get ready for Madrid. I came here early, got used to the conditions, and played a really fantastic tournament that will definitely serve as a great confidence boost before Rome and the French Open.”

“I started very well,” Djokovic explained. “Played terrific tennis in the first set. Couple of close games in the second, beginning of the second set, and then I made some unforced errors and double faults in the game when I dropped my serve in the second set. I couldn’t get back.

“He started serving very well, especially down the T and deuce side. Very precise and very strong, and he was backing that serve up with aggressive first shots, and then just about an hour it was split sets.

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third. Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

“I obviously fought hard today,” Murray said. “Yeah, disappointed because from like two games, like 2-All to 4-2, 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set.

“I just think I’m definitely moving better. That’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. Like I said, on the other surfaces it’s a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn’t move well on the clay. It was a hindrance, and that makes you uncomfortable. If you took Ivo Karlovic’s serve away he would feel uncomfortable going on the court. For me, take my movement away.

“When I was having the problems with my back it was difficult for me when stepping on the court; whereas now my body feels great. I feel like I’m moving a lot better. So I’m not going on the court sort of a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now.

“There was a period there – if you watch it back – the game I got broken [in the third set], I made three unforced errors in that game. That was disappointing. Then obviously the last game I don’t know how many break point chances I had, but must have been six or seven.

“Both of us were pretty clinical on the break points up until the last game for me. That’s why he’s No. 1 just now. He fought very hard in that game and served well when he was a bit nervous. At the end he came up with some big serves and got himself some free points and did well.”

 

“Then the match really could have gone either way, but we exchanged some breaks of serves early in the third,” noted the world No. 1. “Then when it seemed like I was closing out the match and having a match point at 5-2, he came up with some big serves again. The last game obviously got myself out of some trouble with some good serves, with some good forehands, but was very, very close. Very close.”

“I’m very pleased that I have developed a great rivalry with somebody that I’ve known since very long time and somebody that I have a very good and friendly relationship with on and off the court,” Djokovic said.

 

Since Murray did not defend his Madrid title from last year, he will slip to No. 3 in the world on Monday. Roger Federer will move up to No. 2.

In the men’s doubles final Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first Masters 1000 title as a team, beating defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 7-6(5). It was their 12th trophy overall.

“They are a great team, and also friends,” Rojer said. “It’s never easy to play these matches and it’s difficult for all four guys.”

“I want to thank my partner for having another great week,” said Tecau. “We were struggling for a few weeks, couldn’t win a lot of matches… It feels great to play well together and get another title.

“We’ve been chasing this one for almost three years. We’re really excited to get this one because it comes after having a few early exits in Masters 1000 events this year. So it means a lot to us.”

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Halep wins Madrid Open; Murray Beats Nadal and Will Meet Djokovic in the Final

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

(May 7, 2016) Calling her win “the best day in my life,” Romania’s Simona Halep won her second career WTA Premier Mandatory event when she beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 to claim the Madrid Open title.

“I saw always that it’s a special tournament because of Mr. (Ion) Tiriac, because of many Romanians that are coming here. I feel like home,” Halep said. Tiriac, also a Romanian, is a member of the tennis Hall of Fame is the Tournament Director of Madrid and gave Halep a wildcard into the tournament three years ago.

The victory for Halep marks her 12th career WTA tournament title. She will now move up to No. 5 in the rankings. Cibulkova will rise to No. 26.

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Novak Djokovic will meet defending champion Andy Murray in the Madrid Open final on Sunday. No. 2 Murray saved 11 break points in holding off four-time Madrid winner No. 5 Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4, snapping the Spaniard’s 13-match winning streak. Murray beat Nadal in last year’s Madrid final.

“Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career,” Murray said. “To beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big, big challenge for any player. Very pleased to have beaten him this year.”

“Murray was not unbeatable today,” Nadal said in press. “It was an open match, an even match,”

“I didn’t play my best level, but I didn’t play badly. I played a medium level, which was not enough to beat Murray.”

Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) in the other men’s semifinal. The Serbian had some trouble serving out the match leading 6-4, 5-4 40-0. The man from Japan came back and held off four match points against him to even the set at 5-5. Both men held and went to a tiebreak, which Djokovic won 7-3.

“It wasn’t easy to play in these very windy conditions, but overall I’m very pleased,” Djokovic said.”

Going into the final Djokovic leads Murray 22-9, winning 11 of the last 12 matches, winning all four matches on clay. Murray needs to win on Sunday to keep his No. 2 ranking ahead of the French Open or Roger Federer will move up to the second spot.

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Murray and Nadal Advance in Madrid

Andy Murray fh

(May 3, 2016) Defending Madrid Open champion Andy Murray and four-time titlist Rafael Nadal moved into the third round on Tuesday. Fifth seed Nadal easily beat Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-3, while Murray passed a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 test over veteran qualifier 37-year-old Radek Stepanek.

“I’m happy with the way I started the clay-court season,” Monte- Carlo and Barcelona winner Nadal said. “Today, another victory, so that’s great news. I’m excited about this tournament.”

“I served well both in Monte Carlo and in Barcelona. And it’s going to be vital to serve well here as well to have a good tournament.”

“He played very well, it was not easy,” Murray said of his two-hour and 16-minute match against the former world No. 8. “He was hitting the ball big up the lines. There was nothing I could do.”

2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, currently ranked 274th after returning from injuries and surgery, beat 14th seed Dominic Thiem 7-6 (5), 6-3.

“I have just played my best match since I came back to tennis after my surgeries,” Del Potro said. “I’ve had a great test against a very high-level player.”

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 3 MAY 2016

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) 76(3) 36 61
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d A. Kuznetsov (RUS) 63 63
[10] R. Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) 64 36 61
[11] M. Raonic (CAN) d A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 67(3) 62
First Round
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d K. Anderson (RSA) 64 61
[PR] J. del Potro (ARG) d [14] D. Thiem (AUT) 76(5) 63
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] S. Giraldo (COL) 63 75
B. Coric (CRO) d [WC] N. Almagro (ESP) 62 62
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d J. Chardy (FRA) 63 64
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d G. Pella (ARG) 76(7) 64
P. Cuevas (URU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 36 76(5)
F. Fognini (ITA) d B. Tomic (AUS) 62 64
J. Sock (USA) d B. Paire (FRA) 26 62 76(5)
[Q] D. Kudla (USA) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 67(7) 76(5) 76(4)
[WC] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 76(3) 63

Doubles – First Round
T. Bellucci (BRA) / L. Mayer (ARG) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 67(3) 76(3) 10-7
[WC] M. Bhupathi (IND) / F. Martin (FRA) d G. Pella (ARG) / G. Simon (FRA) 67(3) 75 10-7
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 64 67(6) 10-5
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) 64 62

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 4 MAY 2016

MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
ATP – F. Lopez (ESP) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [6] S. Halep (ROU) vs [10] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs B. Coric (CRO)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [7] J. Tsonga (FRA)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:00 noon
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [5] P. Kvitova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [Q] D. Kudla (USA) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [PR] J. del Potro (ARG) vs J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [Q] P. Tig (ROU) vs M. Keys (USA)

ESTADIO 3 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [8] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] D. Istomin (UZB)
ATP – [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)
WTA – [4] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [Q] L. Chirico (USA)
WTA – D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

PISTA 4 start 12:00 noon
WTA – C. Mchale (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – S. Querrey (USA) vs [Q] L. Pouille (FRA)
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
WTA – [Q] L. Siegemund (GER) vs [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – TBA after rest – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

PISTA 5 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs M. Gasparyan (RUS) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [16] G. Simon (FRA) vs [WC] P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
ATP – T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [4] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
ATP – TBA after rest – F. Fognini (ITA) / V. Troicki (SRB) vs L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL)

PISTA 6 start 12:00 noon
WTA – L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) vs [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
WTA – [8] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
ATP – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR) / B. Tomic (AUS)

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Rafael Nadal Sues Former French Health and Sport Minister Roselyne Bachelot for Doping Accusations

Nadal

(April 25, 2016) Rafael Nadal‘s lawyers filed a lawsuit on Monday in Paris against former French Health and Sport minister  Roselyne Bachelot due to her “offensive remarks” on French television.

Bachelot said on TV show Le Grand 8 that Nadal’s seven-month absence due to injury in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”

Via a press release (posted below), Nadal said:

“Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an
athlete but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any
public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the
media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.

“Should the tribunal consider there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence
recognises the right to damages, any compensation will be paid back in full to an
NGO or foundation in France.

“On the other hand, I ask for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started
and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system who will be
judging the legal case.”

 

 

 

Rafael Nadal Press Release

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Rafael Nadal Wins 9th Barcelona Crown to Equal Guillermo Vilas’ Clay Court Titles Record at 49

(April 24, 2016) Rafael Nadal beat two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 to win the Barcelona Open for the ninth time on Sunday. The Spaniard has now equaled Guillermo Vilas record of 49 career clay court crowns.

It’s two straight weeks of titles for the 14-time major champion, who claimed his 69th career tournament victory.

Nadal now has won nine titles at three different tournaments – Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Roland Garros.

“I was playing against the No. 6 player in the world, and if you don’t play at your best you aren’t going to win,” Nadal said after the match.

“I served well and that allowed me to play better. In the second set I missed several chances, and at the end it was very close, but I stayed mentally strong.”

“It was a very close match, Nadal said. “There were a lot of chances for both of us but I think I have been solid.
“When you play against players with this very, very high level, the match is often decided by a few moments. So I feel happy that I handled all these important moments well mentally.
“I have been working so hard to enjoy moments like this. The fact that I’m playing at home is always even more special. I’m very happy and I feel lucky to enjoy this again.”

Kei Nishikori

“It’s a great start to the clay court season,” Nishikori said. Even though I lost today I gained some confidence.
“He’s playing another good level of tennis. But also I gave away too many opportunities. And if I could get a couple more points on those important points, maybe the game changes a little bit.
He also gives me a lot of pressure. Every point, he gets every ball, so it’s not easy to win points against him.”

 

Angelique Kerber defended her title in Stuttgart, beating German countrywoman, qualifier Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0. The Australian Open champion battled back from 0-3 in the first set to win 12 out of the next 13 games. For Kerber this was her ninth career title.

 

It was a career week for the 71st ranked Siegemund, who will see her ranking move to 42 in the world as of Monday. The 28-year-old upset two Top Ten players to reach the final – No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 6 Simona Halep.

Unseeded Cagla Buyukakcay, ranked 118 in the world had a career week in her hometown as she won the TEP BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup over No.5 seed Danka Kovinic, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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