2014/07/28

Maria Sharapova Leads Russian Athletes in Olympic Torch Lighting

 

(February 7, 2014) Tennis star and former Sochi native Maria Sharapova led a group of six decorated Russian athletes for the torch lighting at Friday’s Opening Ceremony at the Sochi Olympics.

Sharapova brought the flame into the stadium to hand it off to pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. Also involved in the torch relay, former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, wrestling star Alexander Karelin, with figure-skating legend Irina Rodnina, and former hockey goaltender Vladislav Tretiak lighting the Olympic caldron.

 

Sharapova will serve as Olympics correspondent for NBC.

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Maria Sharapova Returns to Court Where Tennis Career Began

 

Sharapova Sochi 2

(February 6, 2014) While the world knows Maria Sharapova’s story as champion tennis player, not many know how her career as a tennis star started… or where. Sharapova came back to her hometown back to visit her first court in Sochi where she will tell the story of her early years in tennis and what it means to play. Maria reopened the court for kids Tennis academy after refurbishment that includes a tennis wall telling the story of Sharapova’s career.

Nike recently refurbished the court for the Evgeniy Kafelnikov Tennis Academy and added a mural that illustrates Sharapova’s rise from a young star to one of the world’s elite tennis athletes.

“It’s incredible to travel back to my roots and still see so much joy and passion from kids for the game today,” Sharapova said. “I’m honored to officially re-open the court for play and I hope that these young stars will continue to develop and enhance their technique and see that with dedication and motivation, you can rise to the top.”

On the mural is an message:

This is more than a line on a wall. It’s where a little girl hit her first thousand tennis balls. It’s daring to go further. It’s defying the doubters. It’s deciding what you want. Then doing something about it. This is not just a line on a wall. It’s where legends are made.

As part of a court dedication ceremony in her honor, Sharapova, along with the help of local girls from the academy, reopened the court for play and spoke passionately about her early career, the court’s significance in her life and what it means to be back home.

“I lived here as a girl for five years so my tennis memories all come back to this court and this wall,” said Sharapova.  “It’s such a special occasion to be back here. Both as a part of this global moment and to be able to come back to where it all started for me.”

Sharapova is excited for the competition to start on her own turf, as she has experienced first-hand how incredible it is to compete on a global stage.

Sharapova is serving as an Olympic correspondent for NBC in Sochi.

Photos courtesy of Nike

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Maria Sharapova to Serve as an NBC Correspondent for Winter Olympics in Sochi

Maria Sharapova

(November 13, 2013) World No. 4 Maria Sharapova will put down her tennis racquet for a microphone during the upcoming NBC coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Russian who lived in the town until she was six will work as a correspondent for the games offering both insight and commentary when the games begin on February 7, 2014.

The four-time major winner and former No. 1 Sharapova was the flag bearer for Russia for 2012 Olympic games in London, where she earned a silver medal in Women’s singles, crushed by Serena Williams in the gold medal match.

Sharapova posted the news on her twitter account:

 

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Italy wins Fed Cup for Fourth Time

(November 3, 2013) Italy has won its fourth Fed Cup title after defeating Russia 4-0 in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final in Cagliari, Sardinia on 2-3 November.

This is Italy’s fourth title in eight years, following previous victories in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Corrado Barazzutti, who has captained Italy to all four victories, was presented with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence on Saturday by the ITF and International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 97 nations entered in 2013. The event is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2013 in the ITF’s centenary year. WORLD GROUP FINAL

ITALY defeated RUSSIA 4-0

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 57 75 86 (saved 4 mp)

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 61 64

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 61 61

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) not played

Karin Knapp/Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Margarita Gasparyan/Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 46 62 [10-4]

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Italy Takes 2-0 Lead over Russia in Fed Cup Final

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(November 2, 2013) Roberta Vinci rallied from 4 match points down and Sara Errani won easily to give Italy a 2-0 lead over Russia going into Day 2 of the Fed Cup final.

Russia is without its top tier players, some are out with injuries while others chose to play the WTA Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria.

Vinci defeated Alexandra Panova coming from 5-7, 2-5 down to win 5-7, 7-5, 8-6 in 3 hours, 13 minutes.

Errani beat Fed Cup rookie Irina Khromacheva 6-1, 6-4.

Italy is a win away from claiming it’s fourth Fed Cup title.

WORLD GROUP FINAL

ITALY leads RUSSIA 2-0

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 57 75 86 (saved 4 mp)

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 61 64

Sara Errani (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Flavia Pennetta/Karin Knapp (ITA) v Alisa Kleybanova/Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)

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Sara Errani wins Fed Cup Heart Award

Errani

(November 1, 2013) The ITF today announced that Italy’s Sara Errani has won the final Fed Cup Heart Award of 2013 in recognition of her performance during Italy’s semifinal victory against Czech Republic in Palermo in April.

 

Errani has been an integral part of the Italian Fed Cup team since making her debut for her country in 2008. This year she has given Italy a winning start in their victories over USA and Czech Republic, and also partnered Roberta Vinci to a deciding doubles victory over the Americans in the first round in February. The Italian will contest her 14th Fed Cup tie this weekend, and boasts a 16-8 overall Fed Cup win-loss record.

 

Errani was presented with a cheque for US$10,000, which will be donated to her chosen charity, Care and Share, to benefit children in a village in India called Vijayawada. The presentation was made by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti after the draw ceremony for the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final at the Palazzo dell’Unione Sarda in Cagliari.

 

Errani said: “I’m very happy to receive this prestigious recognition from the ITF. It is a prize that I have wanted because it recognises the courage and dedication to your national team. For me and my teammates, it has always been very important to defend our colours, and we feel part of a winning project.”

 

Errani was shortlisted for the award alongside Roberta Vinci (ITA), Maria Kirilenko (RUS) and Ekaterina Makarova (RUS). All four players competed in the World Group semifinals in April and helped their nation reach the Final, which is taking place at the Tennis Club Cagliari in Cagliari, Sardinia on 2-3 November.

 

The players were shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel, consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the international media. A public vote, which ran on 7-28 October, was held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winner.

 

A total of five Heart Awards have been presented in 2013. Errani follows in the footsteps of Daniela Hantuchova (SVK), Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA), Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) and Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), who were honoured earlier this year.

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sara for her outstanding performances for her country for many years. She has played a key role in her team’s success, helping Italy win the title in 2009 and 2010. I am sure that she will once again show her fighting qualities this weekend.”

 

The Fed Cup Heart Award is an ITF initiative that was first presented to USA’s Melanie Oudin at the 2009 Fed Cup Final. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.

 

The judging panel was composed of Francesco Ricci Bitti (ITA), ITF President, Sabine Appelmans (BEL), former Fed Cup player/captain, Mercedes Paz (ARG), former Fed Cup player, Craig Gabriel (AUS), international journalist, Sandra Harwitt (USA), international journalist, Corinne Dubreuil (FRA), international photographer and Ray Giubilo (ITA), international photographer

 

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2013 Fed Cup Final Draw Announced

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(November 1, 2013) The ITF has announced the draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, Sardinia November 2-3.

WORLD GROUP FINAL

ITALY v RUSSIA

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Sara Errani (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Sara Errani (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Flavia Pennetta/Karin Knapp (ITA) v Alisa Kleybanova/Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)

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Fed Cup Final to be Moved Back a Week in 2014

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(October 31, 2013) The International Tennis Federation has revised the dates for next year’s Fed Cup final. It will be moved to a week later to November 8-9, 2014.

 

The decision made by the Fed Cup Committee was ratified by the ITF board of directors.

 

In 2014 there will be an extra week between the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and the Fed Cup Final will now be held in this week. The event will no longer conflict with the WTA Tournament of Champions, which the WTA continues to schedule in the same week in its published 2014 calendar.

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Fed Cup is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, and has enjoyed an illustrious history. By changing the date we believe we have shown flexibility and concern for the players in helping them to continue to represent their country in this prestigious competition.”

 

Italy takes on Russia this weekend in the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final at the Tennis Club Cagliari in Cagliari, Sardinia November 2-3.

 

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Italy and Russia Teams Named for Fed Cup Final

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(October 23, 2013) The ITF has announced the official team nominations for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, Sardinia on November 2-3.

 

WORLD GROUP FINAL

 

ITALY v RUSSIA

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

 

Italy

Sara Errani

Roberta Vinci

Flavia Pennetta

Karin Knapp

Captain: Corrado Barazzutti

 

Russia

Alexandra Panova

Alisa Kleybanova

Irina Khromacheva

Margarita Gasparyan

Captain: Shamil Tarpischev

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Tennis Results and Schedules for September 21, 2013

atp wta

GUANGZHOU OPEN
Guangzhou, China P.R.
September 16-21, 2013
$500,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Saturday, September 21, 2013
Singles –  Final
(WC) Zhang Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Vania King (USA) 76(1) 61

Doubles –  Final
(1) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. (3) King/Voskoboeva (USA/KAZ) 63 46 1210 (Match TB)

 

ATP World Tour 250
Metz, France  (+2 hours GMT)
16-22 September 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER, 2013

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] J Tsonga (FRA) d [8] F Mayer (GER) 46 62 63
[2] [WC] G Simon (FRA) d N Mahut (FRA) 63 76(2)

Doubles – Semi-finals

N Mahut (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d P Hanley (AUS) / A Sa (BRA) 62 67(2) 10-4

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER, 2013

CENTRAL start 2:30 pm
[1] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [2] [WC] G Simon (FRA)
N Mahut (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) vs J Brunstrom (SWE) / R Klaasen (RSA)
YINZHOU BANK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S TENNIS OPEN
Ningbo, China
September 22-27, 2013
$125,000/WTA 125K Series
Hard/Outdoors

Order Of Play – Sunday, September 22, 2013
Centre Court (from 10.00hrs)
1. Julia Glushko vs. Katarzyna Piter (Singles Q Final)
2. Zhang Yuxuan vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues
3. Bojana Jovanovski vs. Virginie Razzano

Court 7 (from 10.00hrs)
1. Vera Dushevina vs. Petra Cetkovska (Singles Q Final)
2. Johanna Larsson vs. Petra Martic
3. Shahar Peer vs. Sharon Fichman

Court 8 (from 10.00hrs)
1. Richel Hogenkamp vs. Oksana Kalashnikova (Singles Q Final)
2. Anna Schmiedlova vs. Karolina Pliskova
3. Han/Miyamura vs. Babos/Rosolska

Court 6 (from 10.00hrs)
1. Luksika Kumkhum vs. Wang Yafan (Singles Q Final)
2. Olga Govortsova vs. Vesna Dolonc

 

ATP World Tour 250
St. Petersburg, Russia  (+4 hours GMT)
16-22 September 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2013

Singles – Semi-finals
[6] E Gulbis (LAT) d M Przysiezny (POL) 63 63
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d J Sousa (POR) 61 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
D Inglot (GBR) / D Istomin (UZB) d A Karatsev (RUS) / D Tursunov (RUS) 64 57 11-9

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2013

CENTER COURT start 1:45 PM
[1] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) vs D Inglot (GBR) / D Istomin (UZB)

Not Before 4:00 PM
E Gulbis (LAT) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

 

KDB KOREA OPEN
Seoul, Korea
September 16-22, 2013
$500,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Saturday, September 21, 2013
Singles – Semifinals
(1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 60 62
(3) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(11) 76(6)

Doubles – Semifinals
Chan/Xu (TPE/CHN) d. (3) Aoyama/Moulton-Levy (JPN/USA) 75 61

Order Of Play – Sunday, September 22, 2013
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Singles Final: Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2. Doubles Final: Kops-Jones/Spears vs. Chan/Xu

 

TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN
Tokyo, Japan
September 22-28, 2013
$2,369,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Order Of Play – Sunday, September 22, 2013
Center Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Julia Goerges vs. Sorana Cirstea
2. Elina Svitolina vs. Kurumi Nara
3. Mona Barthel vs. Venus Williams
4. Dominika Cibulkova vs. Urszula Radwanska
5. Alizé Cornet vs. Samantha Stosur

Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Belinda Bencic vs. Daria Gavrilova
2. Polona Hercog vs. Lucie Safarova
3. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Paula Ormaechea
4. Sloane Stephens vs. Stefanie Voegele

Court 3 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Mladenovic/Pennetta vs. Black/Mirza
2. Minella/Vesnina vs. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova
3. María-Teresa Torró-Flor vs. Klara Zakopalova
4. Kirsten Flipkens vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

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