October 28, 2016

Williams Sisters Give USA 2-0 Lead Over Argentina in Fed Cup



(February 7, 2015) The Williams sisters gave the United States an expected 2-0 lead over Argentina in their Fed Cup World Group II tie on Saturday in Buenos Aires.

Venus defeated Paula Ormaechea 6-3, 6-2, in the first match, and Serena, figured out her opponent and beat Maria Irigoyen 7-5, 6-0.

Venus, who is ranked No. 11 in the world, defeated No. 121 Ormaechea, 6-3, 6-2, in just one hour and 20 minutes,

“There were a lot of deuce games and Paula really competed well,” Venus said of the match. “She started coming back at 5-0 in the second set, so I had to find a way to put it away. I never thought she was going to give up. It was a good thing for our team to get that first point.”

“There were a couple of breaks in the beginning, but there were interesting circumstances to this match—you are playing for your country and it was my first time on clay. I was just trying to find my rhythm. Once I got broke, I was only thinking about breaking back and holding. By the fifth game, I felt good and it helped me a lot through the rest of the match.”


It was two completely different sets,“ Serena said when speaking about her match. “I was trying to find my rhythm. The ball bounced differently than in practice and my feet didn’t move as well in the beginning. The balls hit with more spin today and I needed to get used to that. It is also more humid here. The conditions were hot and the court got a few bad bounces. I was able to find my way there at the end and win.”

Serena can seal the first-round tie on Sunday, in the first of the reverse singles against Ormaechea.

Should the U.S. win, they will be in the playoffs in April, for the opportunity to reach World Group again in 2016.


Serena and Venus Williams Lead US Against Argentina in Fed Cup Tie

Argentina Colombia WCup Soccer

(February 6, 2015) The United States will face Argentina in the Fed Cup World Group II First Round on an outdoor red clay court at the Pilara Tennis Club in Buenos Aires. Play begins Saturday at 11:00 am local time (9:00 am ET).


Opening the tie will be world No. 11 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and world No. 121 Paula Ormaechea. Venus comes to Argentina after reaching the Australian Open quarterfinal, her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2010. She holds a 19-4 overall record in Fed Cup competition (15-2 in singles), last playing in the 2013 Fed Cup World Group Playoff against Sweden in Delray Beach, Fla. She was also a member of the Fed Cup title-winning team in 1999. She has been ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles.


“I love the game, competition and everything about tennis,” Venus said in Friday’s draw ceremony. “It is a pleasure to be here and represent the U.S.”


“Paula is a great girl and a great player. We have practiced a few times together. I have a lot of respect for her and it will be a good match between us.”



Ormaechaea has competed in 12 Fed Cup ties for Argentina, holding an 11-7 singles record. She peaked at No. 59 in the world in October 2013 and has reached the third round of the French Open twice (in 2013 and 2014). Venus and Ormaechea have faced each other once on the WTA Tour – in the 2013 French Open, where Venus won, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.


The second match on Saturday features world No. 1 and 2015 Australian Open champion Serena Williams and world No. 197 Maria Irigoyen. Serena holds a perfect 10-0 singles record in Fed Cup competition, last playing in the 2013 Fed Cup World Group Playoff against Sweden in Delray Beach to propel the U.S. back into the World Group last year. She also helped the U.S. capture the 1999 Fed Cup title. Williams has now won 19 Grand Slam titles along with the Olympic gold medal in singles and women’s doubles, with sister Venus, at the 2012 Games in London. Irigoyen has competed in 16 Fed Cup ties for Argentina, making her debut in 2008, and holds a 3-5 singles record in Fed Cup play. Irigoyen won her first WTA doubles title last year in Rio de Janeiro and has ranked as high as No. 155 in the world in singles and No. 83 in doubles. Serena and Irigoyen have never faced each other.


“It feels good to be in Argentina,” Serena said. “It is a change from Australia because we were on hard courts and now we are on clay. I love the clay. We are all trying to get our feet used to the surface, but the whole team feels really good. I am really excited to be playing here for my team.”


“I’ve played in some cozy, small stadiums around the world, including the Ukraine in Fed Cup. It’s a great chance for fans and people to come here to get up close to the tennis. I am excited to play for them.”


“I have been here with Venus before and we had a wonderful time. We had the opportunity to play with some kids with disabilities during our last visit and had fun playing with them. The city is really nice and we did a lot of shopping and touring and it was a wonderful experience. It is great to be back.”




This tie marks the first time that the U.S. Fed Cup Team has played in Argentina, as it has previously played them on home and neutral ground. This will mark the fifth matchup between the U.S. and Argentina in Fed Cup competition, where the United States holds a 3-1 record over Argentina. The U.S. is 8-11 in away ties since the World Group format was in instituted in 1995 and holds an overall 143-35 record.


“We are looking forward to this weekend,” said US Fed Cup captain MaryJoe Fernandez . We had a good week of practice, the club is fantastic, and the courts are in great shape. Obviously it is a big transition for Venus and Serena coming from Australia and changing the surface, but everyone is ready and looking good. We are ready to compete.”



The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 18-19, to compete for a spot in the 2016 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2016. The U.S. will compete in World Group II in 2015 for just the second time since the World Group format was instituted in 1995 (the U.S. competed in the World Group II in 2012).


Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 99 nations taking part in 2015. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000.


Czech Republic Wins Third Fed Cup in Four Years

(November 9, 2014) The Czech Republic won their third Fed Cup title in the last four years, after victories in 1975, 1983-85, 1988, 2011 and 2012.

Petra Kvitova held off a surging Angelique Kerber of Germany in reverse singles on Sunday 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 to clinch the best-of-five series in Prague’s O2 Arena 3-0.

Kvitova came back from a 4-1 deficit in the final set to secure the Fed cup for the Czech Republic.

“It was an amazing match from both of us,” Kvitova said after the match. “It was a very big fight. I’m just glad that I did it. It was really up and down from the beginning of the match. It was always a big fight about every single point.”





Venue: O2 Arena, Prague, CZE (hard – indoors)


Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 62 64

Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 64 64

Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 76(5) 46 64

Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Andrea Petkovic (GER) not played

Julia Goerges/Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 63


Wozniacki Captures Istanbul Title


(July 20, 2014) In a match-up between the top two seeds, Caroline Wozniacki destroyed second seed Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-1 in 67 minutes on Sunday to win the Istanbul Cup. The title gave the Dane her first tournament victory of 2014.

Wozniacki said:”I’m happy to have won my 22nd WTA title – it’s a great feeling! I’m happy how the final went today. I served well and pushed her around the court, and I really dictated the match.”

“I tried to play aggressively like always but made a lot of mistakes, Vinci said. “It’s tough to play like that against Caroline because she puts everything back in the court, and it was tough for me to stay in the rallies today. But I’m happy with my week and Caroline just played much better than me.”

World No. 15 Wozniacki has captured at least one title each year since 2008. She has 22 tournament wins in her career.

The 24-year-old Wozniacki has the fourth-most WTA titles among active players, trailing Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova.


Roger Federer wins Seventh Halle Title, 79th Career Crown

(June 15, 2014) Roger Federer won the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany for the seventh time on Sunday when he defeated Alejandro Falla 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) in the final. For the 17-time major Swiss champion, it was his 14th title on grass and 79th career title for the 32-year-old.

The world No. 4 Federer has a 46-5 record in Halle since making his debut in 2000.

“I’ve left a little bit of my heart here,” Federer said of his tennis at Halle. “I’m very pleased now to go to Wimbledon.”

“To win in a tiebreak is always a bit special, the euphoria, the emotion comes out,” Federer said. “I was able to deal with Falla’s strengths in the final and also (Kei) Nishikori’s in the semifinal. They were my second and third games on grass and I’m very satisfied with the level I could reach.”.

“He’s the king of kings of tiebreaks,” said the 69th-ranked Falla. “Overall I played very well throughout the whole week and I want to keep it up.”

Federer almost pulled off a singles and doubles double, but he and countryman Marco Chiudinelli cound not capitalize on fourth match points and were defeated 1-6, 7-5, 12-10 by Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria. Federer last won both the singles and doubles titles of the same tournament back in 2005 in Halle.

“I really enjoy winning titles,” Federer said. “It is what I play for, to play and receive a standing ovation at the end. I am very pleased with my performance. I work hard and travel the tour to win these titles and not lose in the quarters or semi-finals. With all the success I have had in the past, I need to aim for titles. I think I deserved the title this week.”
“It’s always tough losing a match, especially a final,” Falla said. “I wanted to win the title so badly. But when you play Roger in a final, it is always tough. It was a close match. I tried my best and fought for every point. This tournament gave me a lot of confidence, having won some tough matches.”

The Colombian was bidding to become the first from his country to win a grass-court title.


Ernests Gulbis Remains Perfect in Finals with Nice Victory


Ernests Gulbis by Maria Noble

(May 24, 2014) Ernests Gulbis his perfect record in ATP World Tour finals perfect at 6-0 as he defeated Federico Delbonis to win 6-1, 7-6 (5) the Open de Nice.

“I am really happy to win here, the Latvian said. “My next goal is to be Top 10, even Top 8. I think if I play well in the Grand Slams, I have a good chance. It’s tough to kick out somebody from the top as there are a lot of good players, but I am working on it.

“I really like the South of France. I think I will be coming here on vacation and I think you are going to see me a lot around this area.”

“He played well,” said the losing finalist Delbonis. “I didn’t start the best way and he broke me twice. In the second set, I gave my best [and] it was more equal. I had my chances, but [I] couldn’t take them because he served well. I’m happy for this week and although this match wasn’t the best, I’m happy for playing it.”

Both men will be making their way to Paris to play the French Open which begins on Sunday, Gulbis will play Lukasz Kubot in the first round, while Delbonis faces Dusan Lajovic.


Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Capture Rome Titles



(May 18, 2014) Novak Djokovic stretched his win streak over No. 1 Rafael Nadal to four in a row when he came back to beat the seven-time Rome champion 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to claim his third Italian Open on Sunday. Top women’s tennis player Serena Williams beat an injured Sara Errani in front of her home crowd 6-3, 6-0 to win her third Italian Open championship.

For No. 2 Djokovic who sat out last week’s Madrid Open due to a wrist injury, the Serbian had more than tennis on his mind during his battle with Nadal as dozens have died in the Balkans due to severe floods.

The 26-year-old, who drew a heart on the court in the clay with his racquet after his win, dedicated his victory to flood-hit Serbia.

“This heart on the court is for you,” Djokovic said on court. “It’s also a special dedication to my country, which is suffering a lot right now. My heart is with them.”

For Nadal who was pushed to three sets in all but one of his matches this week in Rome, he said: “It was a difficult week. Too many hours on the court.”

“I felt that Novak was pushing me and has a great talent to play inside the lines. I think this week is important for me. I have won 600 points. I was able to play in another final here. I was able to compete well against one of the best players of the moment. I arrive to Roland Garros now more encouraged that what I did a few weeks ago.”

The Spaniard hit 27 errors with only 15 winners against Djokovic. For the first time, 8-time Nadal enters Roland Garros, which begins next Sunday, with three losses on clay this season and just one European clay court title (Madrid). Nadal is 59-1 at the French Open.Djokovic is seeking his first French Open title. He was a finalist in 2012.

“It’s been a great week considering where I’ve been a few weeks ago with the wrist injury,” Djokovic said. Luckily for me, I played with no pain and increased the level of tennis as the week went on. I’ve had some tough matches. Four out of five matches were three-setters and I had to come back from one set down yesterday against Raonic and today again. That gives me a lot of confidence. Winning against Rafa in the final of a big tournament on clay, his preferred surface, is definitely a confidence booster.”

Djokovic takes home his 19th ATP Masters Series title.

Serena Williams Jumped out to a 3-0 lead and with a 5-3 lead, Errani sustained a left thigh injury and had to go off the court to get treatment. After Errani came back on the court, it was obvious that her movement was hampered. Williams who has been dealing a through injury herself last week when she pulled out of Madrid, reeled off the next 7 games for the title.

Speaking to the Rome crowd in Italian, Williams said, “I’m also sorry for Sara today. She really played great all week.”

“I’m sorry. You were unbelievable all week,” said Errani to the fans during the trophy presentation. “I tried to do my best and stayed on the court only for you.”

“It’s crazy for me that I got to the final this year,” Errani said through tears. “I never expected to manage to play such good tennis.”

“Sara played really well in the first set,” Williams added. “She was doing everything right and I could tell she had obviously improved since our last meeting in Paris last year,” Williams continued. It was unfortunate she got injured in the last game of the set, but overall I thought she was playing really well out there.”

For Williams it was her 60 title of the 32-year-old American veteran’s career. She now ranks 6th overall behind Martina Navratilova holds the record with 167 singles titles.

“My game gets better with age,” Williams said.

Williams will be going after her third French Open title when the Tournament begins next Sunday.


Rome, Italy
May 12-18, 2014
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Sunday, May 18, 2014
WTA Singles – Final
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (10) Sara Errani (ITA) 63 60

WTA Doubles – Final
(4) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) 40 ret. (Errani: left hip muscle strain)

ATP Singles – Final
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [1] R Nadal (ESP) 46 63 63

ATP Doubles – Final

[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) 64 76(2)


Sara Errani Stuns Li Na to Reach Rome Semis

Errani photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Errani photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

(May 15, 2014) Italy’s Sara Errani conquered Rome on Friday when she upset No. 2 Li Na Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to reach her second straight Italian Open semifinal, much to the delight of a supportive crowd. Coming into the match Errani was 0-6 versus Li.

The No. 10 seed is trying to become the first Italian woman since Raffaella Reggi in 1984 to win Rome.

Li committed 52 unforced errors to Errani’s 21. In her post-match news conference, Li said that she threw up before the match. She told press that her illness could have been caused by pasta or allergies.

Errani will face either Jelena Jankovic or third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals.


Roger Federer Falls in First Match Since Boys Birth

Roger Federer

(May 14, 2014) It’s back to paternity leave for Roger Federer who fell to No. 47 Jeremy Chardy in his opening match at the Italian Open 1-6, 6-3, 7-6. Federer lost despite holding a match point on her own serve in the third set tiebreak.

The 32-year-old Federer was playing his first match since his wife, Mirka, gave birth to their second set of twins, Lenny and Leo, last Tuesday.

No. 4 Federer came back from a 2-4 down in the final set to force a tiebreak and had a match point at 6-5 after Chardy double faulted. Chardy hit a stunning forehand passing shot at 6-6 and took the match on the next point when Federer hit a forehand long.

“I think we both struggled to win today and at the end a shot here or there may have decided the match,” Federer said to reporters in Rome. “He gave me a double fault to give me match point. I missed my first serve, which was crucial, but credit to him to give it a go. A passing shot is a tough one for me to take. Credit to him for fighting his way back into the match.”

For the 27-year-old Frenchman, he beat his first Top 10 player of 2014 and the eighth of his career.

“This one is totally OK if it doesn’t hurt,” Federer said of the shocking loss “I tried everything. I can’t do more than that on the court.”

“I still feel good, my body is good, my mind is good and it’s just unfortunate for one passing shot today I don’t get another opportunity to play this week.”


Canada Wins Historic World Group Playoff Tie Against the Slovak Republic

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(April 20, 2014) QUEBEC CITY – It wasn’t as easy as the final score looks to be, but Canada managed to sweep the first three singles rubbers in order to defeat higher ranked Slovak Republic On Sunday in the Fed Cup World Group playoff in Quebec City, Canada. After the two long three set battles of Saturday went Canada’s way, Eugenie Bouchard finished things off against Jana Cepelova not without saving a set point in the first set.

Indeed, it was Cepelova who was playing the best tennis early on, getting numerous break points in the first three Bouchard service games. While she wasn’t able to convert on her first five tries, she did do so on her sixth, getting a 5-3 lead with the first break of the set. But for the fourth time of this tie, she then failed to serve for a set, getting broken at love. It didn’t stop her from getting a set point in the next service game, but the Canadian erased it with a clear forehand winner. While both players held to force a tiebreak, it was then Bouchard who drew first blood, taking a quick 4-1 lead, then a 6-4 lead with an ace. But it was then her time to falter, as she double faulted on her first set point, then missed on the second. Somehow, she did manage to win the next two points and, once again, Canada came out on top of a set they probably shouldn’t have won.

The loss of this close first set seemed to affect Cepelova mentally, but also physically, as she seemed to get stiff in the neck area and was constantly rolling her shoulders to release tension. Her serve, which isn’t her biggest weapon to start with, suffered from it and became easy attackable for Bouchard, who then went on to win five straight games and what seemed like an insurmountable lead.  One game way from an historic win, Bouchard did start missing a touch more, while Cepelova started giving a last effort in order to get back. It did work, and after the Slovak won her serve for 5-1, then broke and held again, Genie saw her lead melt off to only one break. The crowd, which was getting quite excited at the prospect of a quick second set, started getting worried when Bouchard got down 15-30 in that 5-3 game. But strong serving and a few misses from Cepelova helped Genie sweep through the last three points, and send Canada into the World Group in 2015.

There was a lot of attention on Bouchard this weekend, as she has been rising up the ranks and is becoming quite the celebrity in her home country. But there was a small glitch in her armor, as she ruffled a lot of feathers with her Handshake-Gate on Friday at the draw ceremony. Indeed, she then refused to shake her opponent’s hand in front of the cameras, describing the photo-op as ‘’lame’’. Whether or not it affected her on court is tough to say, but her performance all weekend, and her overall body language throughout both matches, were off.

But Bouchard’s strong self-confidence is well-known, and she proved it again during this tie. Despite having issues finding her range with her groundstrokes and spirited opponents, she managed to raise her level when she needed to, a sign of greater things to come. She saved set points in both first sets of her matches, then closed them out in tiebreaks, and found ways to reel off series of games to close out the matches. Champions step it up on important points, and she proved again that she might be becoming one quicker than expected.

This win was remarkable from Canada, as they had been struggling to get out of the America Zone in the past years. Before this weekend, they had not reached the World Group since 1994, when the top 16 countries were present; it is therefore their first trip into the Elite 8. They have defeated Ukraine, Serbia and the Slovak Republic in the past 12 months, three countries with better Fed Cup résumés and will now be waiting to see who their first round opponent will be in 2015 out of Germany, the Czech Republic, Australia, Italy, Poland, Russia and France.

On a side note, the doubles match, a dead rubber, saw Slovakian team of Schmiedlova/Husarova beat Canadians Fichman/Dabrowski 6-4 5-7 11-9, leading to a final score of 3-1 for Canada.