Tennis News Net Notes for November 26, 2012

(November 26, 2012) – A brief look at recent tennis news.

  • Both Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy had to deny engagement rumors on Monday.  Serena Williams’ hitting partner Sascha Bajin tweeted congratulations on the couple’s engagement which were not true.

See twitter conversation below:

Wow! Just heard that @CaroWozniacki got engaged… Congratulations. Show us the ring. When is the big day planned for?


Can’t believe you started rumors like that! @BigSascha .. Not engaged yet, but you’ll be the first to know if we do!;) hehe


  •  Robin Soderling tells ESPN’s Ravi Ubha that he hopes to return to the tour and that he hasn’t given up yet.

“I don’t want my career to be finished yet,” he said. “I feel I have at least five more years in me. But I still have a lot of things to be thankful for. The [mono] could have happened when I was 18 or 20. I was 27. Up to now, I’ve had a good career.”


  • According to Gossip Extra Jennifer Capriati says that she has not been stalking her ex-boyfriend, former Florida State golfer Ivan Brannan.

Brannan allegedly filed 10 police complaints against Capriati tin 2012

“He’s a real bad person, very dishonest,” Capriati said to Gossip Extra. “One day I’m his girlfriend, the next we’re engaged and then it’s like I never existed. It took him eight months of our relationship to admit to me he had a child. Imagine that… I was just trying to talk to him because he wasn’t returning my calls. There’s no way police should’ve been called. I can’t believe I even have to discuss this! People like me are always the targets of men like him.”


  • Nathalie Tauziat will be asked to resign from the French tennis federation’s management committee after she testified in favor of former coach Regis de Camaret who was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping young female players.



  •  Carsten Arriens was named  Germany’s Davis Cup captain after Patrik Kuehnen quit late last month.


  • LSU’s former women’s tennis coach for 20 years Tony Minnis, has filed a  racial discrimination lawsuit in regard to his recent firing reports  NOLA.com.

Minnis claims that white coaches’ annual  compensation was up to more than $30,000 than him. In addition,  he lists unjust evaluations, false letters of reprimand, unfound write-ups and race-based discrimination in the workplace in the lawsuit.

“I was accused of some really petty things,” Minnis said in a phone interview with NOLA.com Wednesday evening. In one instance, Minnis describes where he was accused of violating NCAA policy when he was used department funds to purchase meals for kids in the tennis program, which had previously not been a violation, Minnis said.

  • Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov announced on his website that he has left the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy and is now with Good to Great Tennis Academy in Sweden, which is run by former pros including Magnus Norman and Nicklas Kulti.



  • The inaugural Miami Tennis Cup will take place November 30th through December 2nd, 2012 at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida.

The event will feature appearances by US Open Champion and British Olympic Gold Medalist, Andy Murray, French Open Champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 203 US Open Champion Andy Roddick, John Isner, Nicolás Almagro, and  Alejandro Falla.

The tournament will see all six players competing in a double-elimination tournament format within two round robin groups. Each match will be the best of three sets. The number one seed (Andy Murray) and number two seed (Andy Roddick) will receive an automatic bye in to the semi-final. The remaining four players will be drawn against each other for a place in the semi-final, with the initial matches starting on stadium court at 7:00pm on Friday, November 30th.

A look at Novak Djokovic’s new HEAD racquet ad.


Tennis News Net Notes for May 21, 2012



  • The Boston Globe reported early on Monday that the International Tennis Hall of Fame has dropped its investigation of Bob Hewitt.  Almost a dozen women have accused the South African doubles specialist of sexual abuse between the 1970s and the early 1990s when he was their coach and they were underage.


  • Two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling told media that he’ll be missing the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics as he is still recovering from mononucleosis.
  • Other withdrawals from Roland Garros include the USA’s  Mardy Fish, Spaniard Pere Riba, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, German Andrea Petkovic, Slovak Daniela Hantuchova, Hungarian Agnes Szavay, and Swiss Timea  Bacsinszky. They are replaced by Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic, Italy’s Simon Bolelli, Canada’s Frank Dancevic,  France’s Mathilde Johansson, Ukraine’s Lesai Tsurenko, Spain’s Laura Pous-Tio, and Argentina’s Paula Ormaechea.


  • The French Open Qualifying tournament begins on Tuesday.



Soderling Wins Second Swedish Open

ATP World Tour 250
BÃ¥stad, Sweden
11-17 July, 2011     Surface: Clay


Singles – Final
[1] R Soderling (SWE) d [2] D Ferrer (ESP) 62 62

Doubles – Final
[1] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) d S Aspelin (SWE) / A Siljestrom (SWE) 63 63


Robin Soderling: “It has been a great week for me. I am really satisfied with the way I played, from the first point to the last point in this tournament. I played really good tennis and played my best tennis at the most important moments. It has been a dream week.

“I feel really good. Now finally, my body feels good. I struggled a little bit with some injuries the past couple of months. My confidence is really good. I am going to work hard now and hopefully I can do well in the [United] States.

[On his first title with coach Fredrik Rosengren:] “I’ve won at least one title with all of my coaches. It seems like I could pick anyone. We’ve had some good results since we started working together, but it’s not until now that everything has come together.”

David Ferrer: “Robin played a really good match. I didn’t really have a chance. He is better than me and he was too good today. Sometimes I can play better, other times worse.

“I have played well the past two weeks in Davis Cup and reaching the final here. I am not thinking of breaking into the Top 5. I just want to keep enjoying my tennis.”


Net Notes for June 9, 2011

In The News:

Wimbledon Withdrawals


The Championships, Wimbledon announced the current list of withdrawals and their replacements:

Richard Berankis with a hip/thigh injury to be replaced by Florent Serra.

Paul-Henri Mathieu with a kneee injury to be repaced by James Blake.

Thiemo De Bakker to be replaced by Denis Gremelmayr.

Timea Bacsinszky with ankle injury to be replaced by Vesna Dolonts

Patty Schnyder due to retirement to be replaced by  Anastasiya Yakimova

Dinara Safina with lower back injury to be replaced by Pauline Parmentier

Gisela Dulko with left adductor injury to be replaced by Olga Govortsova.

Agnes Szavay with spine injury to be replaced by Patricia Mayr –Achleitner.

Alisa Kleybanova with an illness to be replaced by Kateryna Bondarenko.


No Davis Cup in July for Soderling

Sweden’s Robin Soderling says he won’t take part in the Davis Cup quarterfinal between Sweden and Serbia in July to avoid injuries. “The intensive match schedule, my sore foot and the overall physical and mental effort makes it impossible to participate,” said Soderling.



Clijsters Rehires Maes

Kim Clijsters announced on the Dutch portion her web site that her former coach Carl Maes has been added to her team and will work with her current coach and former hitting partner, Wim Fissette.

“I’m glad that Carl is back,” said Clijsters “Our collaboration stopped when I was then at No. 3 in the world“

Maes previously coached Clijsters from 1995-2002.


US Open To Take Over Times Square on June 13

Monday, June 13 marks the day in which US Open tickets go on sale to the public. New York City’s Time Square will be come a “US Open Experience” courtesy of the USTA, will feature a skills and target competition on a miniature US Open-style tennis court constructed in Times Square, with participants competing for free US Open tickets, merchandise, and other prizes. Fans can have their photo taken with the US Open trophy and test their video game tennis skills on Nintendo’s Wii console.


Fish in LA

Mardy Fish has committed to play the Farmers Classic.

Upsets of the Day


Marina Erakovic (NZL) d. (7) Sara Errani (ITA) 57 64 63
Alison Riske (USA) d. (8) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 75 67(6) 62


A Mannarino (FRA) d [12] J Del Potro (ARG) 76(3) 76(7)

WTA – Birmingham and Copenhagen June 9 Results, June 10 Orders of Play
ATP World Tour – Halle and London June 9 Results, June 10 Orders of Play



Djokovic Already in Semis, Nadal Questions His Confidence in Victory on Day Nine of French Open

Fabio Fognini of Italy reacts after winning his match against Albert Montanes of Spain during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 29, 2011. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
























Novak Djokovic has already advanced to the Roland Garros semifinals without having to hit a ball. Djokovic’s quarterfinal opponent, who was to be Italy’s Fabio Fognini withdrew from the tournament due to a leg tear suffered in his marathon match on Sunday against  Alberto Montanes. Fognini held a news conference and said, “I have a little problem on my left leg, so we decided to retire..I’m not really happy now for sure, because it is one of the best tournaments of my career. But it is better like this. The team, the doctor says if I play tomorrow (Tuesday) it may be dangerous, so I decided to retire.” The Fognini walkover will not count in the Serbian’s winning streaks – his consecutive match streak and his 2011 win streak. Djokovic would not be able to equal Guillermo Vilas’ open era consecutive match record of 46 if he wins Roland Garros but he would be able to break John McEnroe 42-0 to start a season. Next match for Djokovic will be on Friday when he will battle in a semifinal match against the winner of the Roger Federer-Gael Monfils contest.

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his match against Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 30, 2011. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT TENNIS HEADSHOT)













The first two rounds of the French Open were not the easiest for the World No. 1 but on Sunday at the French Open, Rafael Nadal moved past Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday at roland Garros

Nadal on his match and his form on Monday versus his earlier matches in the oturnament, “ the result was very positive for me, winning three sets without many problems. Was a fantastic result be in quarterfinals last three matches without losing a set. So that’s positive. I think I still playing a little bit with too anxious for moments, so it happened today, no? Because the conditions were very difficult, I think. The court was a lot of windy.

But with the 3-2 of the first set, I think I played very, very bad game with my serve– or 4-3, I don’t remember, no? So that’s the thing, no? I think for moments I am playing well, but for moments I am still having few mistakes in a row. So that’s what cannot happen in next round.”

Nadal also questioned his own confidence: “no, seriously, I am not confident. I am not playing enough well to win this tournament at the day of today. That’s the true. The thing is you have to be realist, and today I’m not playing enough well to win this tournament. We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level. I going to try.

But I won four times already here, five times already here. I don’t have an obligation to win six. I going to try for sure..”

In his post-match news conference Nadal fielded a question in regard to the media asking him questions about why he is not playing at his top level: “ for me that’s something fantastic. That’s true, no? All the day we are talking about I am playing very bad, but I am in quarterfinals. I play six finals in a row this year. I am having a very good year. One player is doing better than me. That’s all. But I’m in good position to finish the year in a very high position of the ranking.

For me, it’s not an obligation play well every day. For me, I am No. 1 for one more week. The No. 1 not always play at the No. 1 level, no? You can be No. 1, but some days you can play level of No. 30 or level of No. 10, and the No. 10 can play at the level of No. 1.

But you are No. 1 because most of the days during the season your level is regular. And even if you are not playing that well, you keep winning. It’s true I am not playing that well. But I am in quarterfinals another time, and I going to fight to play a better match next time.

Sometimes it’s much more important win when you are not playing that well than win when you were playing well, because win when you are playing well probably is easier. Win when you are not playing that well is the more difficult thing. Only the top players can do that.”

Rafael Nadal will face Robin Soderling for a place in the Roland Garros Semifinal. For me it will be a tough match,” said Nadal. “He’s one of the best players. He’s played two finals here at Roland Garros, so he knows what this means. He’s got to play his best tennis. Against him last time he defeated me. But. Anyway, there’s nothing to talk about. I won the finals last year. I didn’t want to win against him as a person, but I wanted to win the tournament. I have to play my best tennis; I have to have more consistency.

He’s an incredible, all-round player. It’s going to be a hard match. I will have to play really good. I think that I’ll have to be more demanding. I will have to live up to my own expectations. I’ve managed to play good tennis, so I’ll have to be optimistic. I think I can do the same again.”


Gael Monfils of France reacts after winning his match against David Ferrer of Spain during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 30, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)














Frenchman Gael Monfils completed the last two sets of a match suspended due to darkness on Sunday with a five-set thriller over Spain’s David Ferrer 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6. It took Monfils multiple match points to knock out Ferrer. Monfils jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third set but wasted two match points at 5-3 as Ferrer broke back. The Frenchman finally ended the contest on his fourth match point. “It’s one of my best matches, I think, in my career….the best maybe not, but one of the best,” Monfils commented. Monfils will play Roger Federer for a place in the French Open semifinals,”You know, people don’t talk about Roger a lot, but he’s had very easy wins against all his opponents since the beginning of this tournament. It’s going to be a very difficult match, even more difficult than the ones I played in the past,” Monfils told media. “I’m a bit stiff,” Monfils said. “I need to relax. But I’ll be on court, and I’ll fight.”

Robin Soderling of Sweden reacts after winning his match against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 28, 2011. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
























It was not all good news for the French on Monday. Monfils’ compatriot Gilles Simon did not fare as well. Two-time defending French Open finalist Robin Soderling defeated Simon 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(5). Soderling will play Rafal Nadal next in a highly anticipated showdown.

Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina reacts after winning his match against Alejandro Falla of Colombia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 30, 2011. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)












Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela knocked out Colombia’s Alejandro Falla with a 4-6, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 win. “I was sure I’d never get to this stage again because of my age…now I feel younger,” said the 31-year-old  veteran Chela. Chela last made the French Open quarterfinals back in 2004.

Chela will face the winner of the Andy Murray- Viktor Troicki contest  suspended due to darkness at two sets apiece – 4-6,  4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

French Open Monday Results
Day Ten French Open Schedule of Play


Sony Ericsson Open – The Excitement Starts Here and Now

By Craig Hickman

Tours, draw ceremonies, and qualifying matches filled up most of the day at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

At 10:00 am, I toured the 34-acre site guided by tournament director Adam Barrett and Media and Public Relations Director Sam Henderson. Tracking down minor facilities issues (“Why is the Head Tent Closed?”) while walking a small group of media around the exquisitely designed and built set of facilities, it was clear that the Sony Ericsson Open has its eye on a bigger future. Adding another television court, hardwiring expanded workrooms for faster connectivity, and including a high-end VIP restaurant which will feature four celebrity chefs over the next week, the event will remain the premiere event outside of the Grand Slams.

At approximately 11:45, the women’s draw was unveiled. Samantha Stosur chose the chips with the 32 seeded players whose names were taped on a giant draw board threatening to blow off the easel. “Right now, it’s all just a bunch of names,” she said of her place in the 128-line draw. The No. 4 seed and Roland Garros finalist will face the winner of Zheng Jie and Xperia Hot Shot Sorana Cirstea in the second round.


The men’s draw followed with Jurgen Melzer doing the choosing. “The first thing I look at is where is Juan Martín del Potro in the draw,” said the No. 10 seed. “He’s in Robin Soderling‘s section so that’s going to be a nice little section. I think everybody says you play one match at a time, but we’re human so sometimes we do look ahead. If you’re confident you don’t care who you play, but if you’re not, you want to know what’s coming.” What’s coming for Melzer is his doubles partner Philipp Petzschner of Germany or Florent Serra of France.

Next, I jumped around and the grounds and darted in and out of several qualifying matches.

American wildcard and birthday girl Sloane Stephens had to rally from a set down to advance to the second round of qualifying. She beat the No. 4 seed Evgeniya Rodina of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. For a place in the main draw she’ll face Aussie Sophie Ferguson who upset No. 13 Alberta Brianti of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

The No. 4 seed in the men’s qualifying draw fared no better. Milwaukee native Tim Smyczek picked about Israel’s Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-4. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said after the match. Had me fooled. Though only 5′ 9″, the 23-year-old hits a big serve, has no weakness on either wing, and plays the net with aplomb. Perhaps his best asset on the court is his positive attitude. He played every point as though it were the last and never let an error cost more than one point. Smyczek will have a tough match against Olivier Rochus of Belgium who beat Flavio Cipola of Italy 6-3, 6-2.


American Ryan Sweeting also advanced in straight sets. Even though he yelled out to his box that his backhand was the worst it’s ever been, you wouldn’t have known it. Not the way he dismantled Juan Sebastian Cabal 7-6(4), 6-2. The Colombian became so frustrated he double faulted twice to lose the match. Sweeting will play Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic for a spot in the main draw.

Coming off the biggest win of his career with an upset of Andy Murray at the BNP Paribas Open, Donald Young was back to the business of qualifying for another major event. Against the wily veteran in Arnaud Clement, Young was out of sorts out the gate, dropping the first 10 points of the match with a listless performance and cantankerous disposition. But the young American who has seemed burdened by big expectations shook off a lopsided first set and turned the match around. “I didn’t play my game in the first set. I started to keep more balls in play and kept fighting,” said Young. He took pace off his shots, forcing Clement to create his own pace, and that change in tactics forced the Frenchman to make more errors. “If I keep playing my game, the way I played in the last two sets, I can get through.” He’ll have to fight past Frank Dancevic of Canada who can produce good tennis on North American hardcourts.


Americans Lauren Davis, Irina Falconi, Jamie Hampton, Christina McHale, Robert Kendrick, Michael Russell also advanced.

Tomorrow, matches from the women’s main draw begin on the Grandstand, Court 1 and Court 2. Find the full schedule here.

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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BNP Paribas Open Day Six: “No Ruffling” for Wozniacki, Nadal, Sharapova

Photo courtesy of Tennis Served Fresh

Hardly a ruffle for Wozniacki

One can argue about the much talked about Caroline Wozniacki’s latest designer tennis dress,  but there was no dispute about her play on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open. Despite a career 0-3 record against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, the World No. 1 took apart the Spaniard 6-1, 6-3.

Keys to victory said Wozniacki,“It was important to move my feet, try to get as many returns back, and it helped me a little bit that she didn’t get too many first serves in so I could go in and dictate the game.”


More cupcakes for Nadal

Rafael Nadal continues his smooth sailing in the desert by dispatching qualifier American Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1. Nadal won 95 percent of his first serve points.

“I didn’t play nothing really impressive, but I played solid. I didn’t have big mistakes,”  said Nadal. “The more positive thing is I finished much better than the beginning of the match. So improve during the match always very good news, no?”

His benevolent draw will continue as he‘ll face his third qualifier in a row in the fourth round – Somdev Devvarman who stopped Xavier Malisse.


Winning Ugly

Sixteen double faults does not a pretty match make, but Dinara Safina will take it. The determined Russian toppled fourth seeded Samantha Stosur 7-6, 6-4. The slumping Safina notched her first win over a top five player in almost two years.


Birthday bad luck, Concern for Japan

Maria Sharapova gave no gifts to Aravane Rezai celebrating her 24th birthday.  The Russian pushing aside the Frenchwoman 6-2, 6-2. Sharapova appeared to be trying to adjust to a new service stance.  Sharapova on Rezai –” She had a lot of errors. I returned a lot better, and served a lot better in the second set.”

During her news conference, Sharapova wore a T-shirt commemorating Chernobyl’s 25th anniversary. She’s a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development  Fund and contributed money  to aid victims of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Her family left the area that was part of Russia a year before she was born.

She spoke about the recent natural disasters in Japan, “It opens your eyes, and obviously puts a lot of perspective in your life. It’s a country where I have very great memories from. I started playing there when I was very young and I always loved my experiences there.”


Upset Special

World No. 4 Robin Soderling said he should have never taken court against Philipp Kohlschrieber due to a left foot injury, but did so anyway. “I lost the match when I decided to go on court,” Soderling said. He had been in bed for five days before the tournament with a fever.  The Swede paid the price and was stopped by the German 7-6 (8), 6-4.


Dangerous Floater Moves on

Juan Martin Del Portro was in a first set dog fight with the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov but finally took control in the second set surviving for 7-6, 6-3 victory. He’ll face Philip Kohlschreiber next. He could be on a semifinal collision course with Rafael Nadal.


Back to Earth

It happens so many times, a player gets a “career” win and then fails to back it up in the very next match. Latest victim Donald Young, who took out No. 5 Andy Murray on Saturday, but was destroyed on Monday by veteran Tommy Robredo 6-0, 6-4.


Twitter Curse?

Eleventh -seeded Nicolas Almagro just joined the world of twitter on Sunday (@NicoAlmagro) and was taken out of the tournament on Monday by Spanish compatriot Alberto Montanes 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.


Surviving ruffles and wearing ruffles

A woman known for wearing a ruffle or two or three or more, Russia’s Nadia Petrova found herself in a battle with young American Christina McHale. Petrova held off McHale 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.


Getting a groove back?

Sam Querrey has strung a couple of good wins together this week at the BNP Paribas Open.  He was victorious over Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday and Monday night he outgunned ninth seeded Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-4.  The American advances to the fourth round and will  face Verdasco’s countryman Tommy Robredo.



Soderling Wins Third Tournament of the Year

ATP World Tour 250
Marseille, France  (+1 hour GMT)
14-20 February, 2011
Surface: Indoor Hard

Robin Soderling (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Singles – Final
[1] R Soderling (SWE) d M Cilic (CRO) 67(8) 63 63

Doubles – Final
R Haase (NED) / K Skupski (GBR) d J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) 63 67(4) 13-11

Soderling on winning: “It’s of course a very nice feeling. Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before. It’s the best possible start. I’ve won many matches and only lost one, unfortunately in the fourth round in Melbourne. It’s a great start and I really hope it can continue this way.

“It was tough. I was a little bit unlucky that he broke me in the first game and then he played really well. I wasn’t aggressive enough and really let him dictate the rallies in the first set. I told myself I needed to be on top of things a little bit more and be more aggressive and it really worked; the second set was really good for me. I’m really proud the way I turned things around.”

Cilic: “For a set and a half I was playing really well and in a high level; I was able to stay with him physically and dictating the game. I was extremely happy with the performance I played. In the seventh game of the second set, when I lost serve, that changed the momentum a bit. He got a step in front of me and I was all the time behind, looking to make changes to get back in the game. He was really playing good in the second part of the match.

“I’m really pleased with this week and also the past two or three weeks, starting with the Australian Open. That shows me I’m a little bit more in the game and playing better. It’s, of course, a little bit of a relief to come to the final after almost a year. I think I played well all week. There is no reason why I should stop here.”

Soderling is 17-1 for the season.


Soderling Defends Rotterdam Title

ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament

Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ATP World Tour 500

Robin Soderling (AP Photo)

Singles - Final
[1] Robin Soderling (SWE) d [8] J0-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Doubles – Final
[2] J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) d [4] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 6-4, 3-6, 10-5

With his eighth ATP title win, Robin Soderling became only the fourth player to successfully defend his crown in Rotterdam among the likes of Arthur Ashe, Stefan Edberg and Nicolas Escude.

Soderling: “I’ve had two wins and one final, it’s very good, I like it here a lot. It suits my game and when you come to a place where you’ve played well before it brings out good feelings. Of course it’s tough trying to defend the title, it adds some extra pressure, but I felt good and had only positive feelings. I’ve had a very good start to this season. I’ve already won two titles and only lost one match in three tournaments.

“I had many tough matches this week. I had to fight a lot for every match. I was lucky; I had the margins on my side. I think to win tournaments like this, you need to of course play well, but you need a little bit of luck as well.”


Kourtin’ Karen’s Scoreboard for the Australian Open – Day 8


Beatdown of the Day

Murray masters Melzer. Andy Murray destroyed Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals where he’ll face newcomer Alexandr Dolgopolov.


No Wozniacki Media Pranks Today


The Clock has Struck Midnight for Raonic

David Ferrer ended the Cinderella story of 20 year-old  Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic with a tight  4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win. Ferrer will meet fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.


Routine Win of the Day

Rafael Nadal (©Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia)

Rafael Nadal took it to 2010 Australian Open semifinalist Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4, 6-. Nadal prevented Cilic from ever getting into the match.

News Conference of the day:

Q. Do you find it distracting when everybody is calling out, I love you, Rafa?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I feel fantastic (laughter).

Q. Are you able to block it out?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I heard everything. But is nice (smiling).

Q. What about when the girls whistle at you and take pictures of you when you’re changing your shirt?

RAFAEL NADAL: That’s a very good feeling (smiling).

Q. Could you tell us more about this Armani campaign? Was it a good experience? What do you think of the pictures?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was a long experience, but very good experience, no? Is always nice to know different worlds. The fashion world is something that I didn’t know before.

Yeah, was a good session of photos, long one. But hopefully the result are satisfactory, so… I worked very hard, seriously (laughter). So, yeah, was nice. A different experience and I enjoyed.

Q. Do you find you sexy on the picture?

RAFAEL NADAL: I’m not the right person to say. I always watch myself so so. But what do you think? Do you like it?

Q. Yeah, I do.

RAFAEL NADAL: I happy if I like it (smiling).

Q. You say it was long. How long were you one next to the other?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was different shootings. We talked enough about that in the past.


What Surgery Aga?

Agnieszka Radwanska (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Agnieska Radwanska looked to be out of the Australian Open back in late 2010 when she had surgery on the foot for a stress fracture. She decided to play Malbourne and now she’s on her way tot he quarterfinals. Radwanska saved two match popint before  disposing of Shuai Peng 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.


Hey Makarova

Kim Clijsters (Getty Images)

Kim Clijsters was not stellar but took care of business with a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Makarova.


Zvonareva Kvitova

Vera Zvonareva (Getty Images)

(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6-4, 6-1

Petra Kvitova (Getty Images)

(25) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (22) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Game, Set, Match and Upset of the Day

Alexandr Dolgopolov (Getty Images)

It was a Dolgo Day Afternoon for No. 4 in the world Robin Soderling. Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated No. 4 seed Robin Soderling 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Soderling appeared to have lost control of his serve and groundstrokes in the middle sets while his opponent’s movement and forehand took over. Next up for the Ukrainian in the quarterfinals – Andy Murray.