2014/10/23

Serena Williams Steamrolls into Quarterfinals in Melbourne

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By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 21, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia - Serena Williams destroyed Maria Kirilenko in their fourth round match at the Australian Open, Williams with 87% of first serves in and creating 22 winners on her way to the 57 minute, 6-2, 6-0 thumping.

 

“No, I definitely have never hit that high of a percentage because I take a lot of chances with my serve.”

 

“It was good. But I really want to be able to keep it up.”

 

Williams progressed into the quarterfinals and extended her current winning streak of matches to 20. She has also increased her chance of regaining the world number one title with the win, Azarenka and Sharapova both needing to make the final if they are to have any chance of claiming top spot ahead of Williams.

 

The winner of five Australian Open titles experienced little resistance from her opponent tonight and was understandably pleased with her performance after the match.

 

“I was surprised. I felt like Maria played really well. I was just trying to play well, just to keep up.”

 

Williams plays compatriot Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinal and has played a mentor role for  the young American. She believes she has what it takes to make it to the top in the sport.

 

“No. I took a lot from that match. She plays well. Like I said after the match, she can be the greatest player.”

 

“I feel like for me it will be another good match and a good opportunity for both of us.”

 

“Definitely one of us will be in the semifinals, which I think is awesome. So it’s going to be good.”

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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Serena Williams Moves Past Morita into Round of 16 at Australian Open

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(January 19, 2013) Serena Williams won the last six games of her match to stop Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the Australian Open.

 

The veteran 31-year-old American, who is looking for a sixth title at Melbourne Park and a third consecutive major title, was 3-0 down in the second set  to No. 72 Morita after suffering her first service break of the tournament before surging to win six games in a row.

 

Williams almost set a record by hitting a 129 mph serve. Williams hit 9 aces and 29 winners.

 

“I tried to hit it really hard,” said Williams talking about her serve. “ I hit 207 (kph) the other day and I thought it was luck. But I did it again and I was like whew! I’m going to try to go for 210. We’ll see.

 

“I thought she played really well, “Williams said of her opponent. “She played at a level higher than I expected so it took me off guard.  She was just consistent, really consistent.”

 

Williams discussed how she fells going into the second week of the tournament:

“I feel today was actually a really good match for me.  I was involved in a lot of longer points, something I definitely wanted.

I feel good.  I hope I can keep this level up and go higher.

 

She’ll play her fourth-round match against Maria Kirilenko, who beat Yanina Wickmeyer earlier Saturday.

 

“My job is to do the best I can, “Williams said of the match-up.   “Maria is playing consistent tennis, especially the past 16, 18 months, she’s been so consistent.  So my goal is just to be really focused against such a player that’s doing so well.”

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Kirilenko Win Sets Up Fourth Round Match Against Serena Williams

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By Jaclyn Stacey

( January 19, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Fourteenth seed Maria Kirilenko triumphed in a tight encounter against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(4), 6-3 on Super Saturday at the Australian Open and progressed into the round of 16 where she will play Serena Williams.

 

It was a bizarre start to the morning as Kirilenko was asked to remove her visor because it featured two brands on it. The visor had both the Adidas and Stella McCartney logos featured. She obliged and switched to a headband she had handy in her bag.

 

The twentieth seed Wickmayer lead 2-0 in the first set before the Russian was able to figure out her opponent’s tricky groundstrokes and break immediately back to level. The set then remained on serve, forcing a tie-break situation which Kirilenko edged out 7-6(4) to claim the first set.

 

The two swapped breaks early on in the second set until Kirilenko managed to hold serve in the fifth game. From there she dominated the match, breaking Wickmayer again and closing out the match 7-6(4) 6-3.

 

The statistics showed just how close the encounter was, Wickmayer actually creating more winners with 28 compared to 21 from Kirilenko, but also committing more errors than her Russian opponent.

 

Kirilenko was happy after the match and flashed the engagement ring from her NHL star fiancé Alex Ovechkin for the crowd.

 

She will face Serena Williams in the fourth round on Monday. The American goes into the match with a 5-0 head-to-head over the fourteenth seed. Kirilenko was in good humor when asked what she needs to do to beat Williams.

 

“Play over the net, everything done on the lines, every time serve aces and return winners and then I’m going to win this match.”

 

And more seriously she said, “I’m going to have a rest day tomorrow and I’m going to practice and concentrate on the things I need. It’s going to be good fun for me.”

 

“It’s gonna be of course a difficult match for hopefully for both of us and she is on fire now, she is winning everything and it’s tough to say with this kind of match. I’m playing well as well so we’ll see.”

 

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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Serena Williams Answers Questions About Her Ankle with Easy Second Round Victory

Bank of the West semifinals (Serena Williams)

(January 17, 2013) Serena Williams answered the questions about her ankle with a 6-2, 6-0 rout of No. 112 Garbine Muguruza of Spain on Thursday at the Australian Open.The American rolled over on her right ankle falling on the court during her first round 6-0, 6-0 win over Edina Gallovits-Hall.

 

“I didn’t feel anything today,” in terms of the ankle injury said Williams.  “Obviously when you go out to play you’re heavy on adrenaline and you’re really pumped up.

 

“Usually I feel injuries after the match, but so far, so good.  I felt pretty, much better than I ever dreamed of expecting to feel.

 

“There was definitely a discomfort, said Williams about her practice on Wednesday.  “So I woke up this morning and I was really shocked that I didn’t have as much.

 

“So I think the hit helped, though, but it was definitely not comfortable at all.”

 

During Thursday’s match, Williams had another scare – she hit her mouth on a forehand follow through with her racquet during the first set.

 

“I don’t know why my racquet was even in my face, Williams said. “I mean, it’s like I have been playing tennis far too long to hit myself.  I think I was hitting a forehand, Williams said demonstrating her follow through.

 

“I’m like, come on.  Like, Serena, pull yourself together here.”

 

“One day I twist my ankle, one day I hit my mouth. I don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday,” Serena said after the match.

 

The most competitive game of the match came in the first game in the second set which had 10 deuces over 17 minutes which ended in a break for Williams.

 

Serena was dominant on her serve hitting 10 aces winning 84 percent of her first serve points. She ended the match on a 128 mph ace.

Williams next plays Japan’s Ayumi Morita on Saturday for a place in the Round of 16.

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Serena Williams Rolls Ankle and Opponent in 6-0 6-0 Rout

Serena Day 2 Press Conference

(January 15, 2013) Despite five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams destroying Edina Gallovits-Hall 6-0, 6-0 in her first round match at the Australian Open, the real story of the match will be the state of the American’s right ankle after a first set fall.

Nineteen minutes into the match, with Williams up 4-0 in the first set with Gallovits-Hall serving at  15-0, Williams fell on the court grabbing her right ankle. The 15-time major champion was helped up from the court and walked on her own to her chair and her right ankle was taped by a trainer.

“It was definitely a lot of pain,” said Williams. “Also a little bit of the memory, as well.  So it was definitely a little bit of both.

“But also at the same time trying to gather myself together and trying to make sure that I can continue.”

“I think I was really, really close to panicking because a very similar thing happened to me last year, almost on the same side, the same shot,” Williams added.

“So I almost panicked, and I thought, I can’t do that.  I just have to really remain calm and think things through.”

Williams came back from being taped to win the next four point for a 5-0 lead and held serve to close the first set 6-0 before getting her ankle taped again.

Williams lost a mere 6 points in the second set not allowing her opponent any games.

Williams hit 18 winners, five aces and won %94 of her first serve points in the match.

“Obviously there’s pain,” said Williams about the injury.  “Obviously there’s swelling.  So it’s going to be really important to see how the next few hours unfold.”

“I’ve been injured before.  I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top.  So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day.”

Williams will play  Garbine Murguruza in her next  match.

“Oh, I’ll be out there, ” said Williams. “I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing.

“I’m alive.  My heart’s beating.  I’ll be fine.”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

 

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