2014/08/01

Seeds Stephens and Stosur Fall in Wimbledon First Round

 

(June 23, 2014) WIMBLEDON – American Sloane Stephens’ streak of reaching the second week at a major was halted at six on Monday at Wimbledon when No. 109 Maria Kirilenko held back her opponent 6-2, 7-6(6) on her sixth match point.

Seventeenth seed Sam Stosur also fell victim to an opening day upset losing to Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-4.

 

After an easy first set, where the Russian played an aggressive game, in the second set Stephens fought off five match points serving a 5-6.  The 18th seed held to take the set to a tiebreak and took a 6-4 lead. Stephens blew two set points as Kirilenko won the next four straight points to take the tiebreak and the match.

Last year Stephens reached quarterfinals at Wimbledon where she lost to the eventual champion Marion Bartoli.

“Obviously Maria is a great player,” Stephens said.  “She’s done well here in the past.  I knew it was going to be tricky, but that’s like every other Grand Slam first round match.”

“She just played really consistent,” Stephens added.  “She’s a good grass court player, so she knows what she’s doing.  Obviously, I mean, she just played pretty solid and she went for all of her shots.

“It was a tough day for me.”

“It wasn’t a very good start for sure,” Stosur said.  “But I actually didn’t feel like, apart from trying to play that little catch up with the break behind, I felt like I was playing quite well.

“I served very well.  Yeah, again, having that break of serve right at the start, for her to get that lead obviously frees her up a little bit.  I thought she played very, very well.

“Yeah, early in that second set I had a chance to break serve; didn’t get it.  Then it was service games, service games, service games.  She gets a let cord at 30-All to get a break; down a break.

“Look, I don’t feel like I played that bad a match, to be honest with you.”

“I think this was one of the best matches I’ve played this year,” said the Belgian who was supported in the stands by former No. 1 Kim Clijsters who is   also working with Wickmayer.  “I felt really confident out there, and tried to really focus on being aggressive from the first point when she served.  I tried to be aggressive on the second serves, and when I had the chance I tried to move in and move forward and serve well myself.

“Open the court up, make her run, work for the points.  So I’m really happy about the way I played today.”

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon

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Sam Stosur Opens with Decisive Win in Birmingham

Chalkdust Chronicles – Breaking news – Sunshine in Birmingham, as they keep to the schedule.

 

Sam Stosur photoby Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

Sam Stosur photo by Christopher Levy @tennis_shots

(June 11, 2014) BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – With the tournament well underway, the top seeds were in good form, despite the varying descriptions you get from players about the grass.

 

On Tuesday, Ana Ivanovic described it as feeling as though your legs were stuck to the ground and in the opening match on a gloomy Centre Court, it did appear as though third seed Sloane Stephens was still a little wary of her footwork, taking her time to move back into position, as she rounded out a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win over former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

 

It was a less good outing for her fellow Americans in the draw, as Timea Babos halted top WTA teenager Madison Keys, and Sam Stosur made light work of Christina McHale.

 

The Aussie wasted no time in coming into press for her usual technical analysis of the game:

 

“Things can change very quickly in grass court tennis. When she had that break point, I tried to play good kind of percentage point; won that one, and then obviously very happy to get through that service game and ultimately all the pressure is back on her.”

 

Joining Stephens in the next round was her next opponent and compatriot Alison Riske, who has twice been a semi-finalist at this event.

 

“I’m always happy to be back in Birmingham. Obviously I’m playing on grass, which I love, so it’s a very comfortable place.”

 

She will meet Stephens for the first time in the third round:

 

“Obviously she’s an amazing player. She’s been top 15 in the world for some time now. She has a lot of experience behind her. I’m just going to look to kind of play my game and do the best that I can really, so we’ll see how it goes.”

 

Such is the way with the British grass court tennis season, there always has to be some kind of contingency to get back on track, although in a brief chat in passing with Tournament Director Patrick Hughesman, his relief that the slight drizzle of Tuesday was nothing, and that the tournament is still on schedule.

 

A relief as many players who slip up early on the slick surface here will be desperate to pick up a chance to play in Eastbourne for one more week. Of course next year with an additional week of grass court preparation before Wimbledon, the turnaround may not be quite as frantic, although some players are still quite sanguine about it.

 

Stosur said: “If it was there, fine. If it wasn’t, I would still be fine. So I guess I’ll adapt my schedule and plan accordingly.”

The top three seeds will head up an action packed day, and already the turf is looking battle-scarred so we expect to see no tentative tippy-toes back and forth as the players seem to have their grass legs firmly underneath them.

 

 

AEGON CLASSIC – BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
$ 710,000.00
9-15 JUNE 2014

RESULTS – JUNE 11, 2014
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[2] S Stosur (AUS) d C McHale (USA) 61 63
[3] S Stephens (USA) d F Schiavone (ITA) 62 64
[4] K Flipkens (BEL) d C Giorgi (ITA) 63 62
B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d [5] L Safarova (CZE) 63 36 75
[6] K Koukalova (CZE) d V Razzano (FRA) 57 76(5) 76(0)
P Cetkovska (CZE) d [8] M Rybarikova (SVK) 64 75
[9] S Zhang (CHN) d S Peer (ISR) 63 36 62
[LL] T Babos (HUN) d [11] M Keys (USA) 62 61
K Date-Krumm (JPN) d [12] M Puig (PUR) 26 64 76(7)(saved 1mp)
[15] A Riske (USA) d [Q] N Kichenok (UKR) 76(4) 61
[16] C Dellacqua (AUS) d V Lepchenko (USA) 64 63
[Q] A Wozniak (CAN) d [WC] J Konta (GBR) 64 62

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

K Date-Krumm (JPN) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d [4] A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) 75 62
H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) d D Hantuchova (SVK) / M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 75 46 10-7
C Garcia (FRA) / S Zhang (CHN) d [WC] N Broady (GBR) / H Watson (GBR) 46 63 10-5
L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) d M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) 64 76(0)

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014
ANN JONES CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[3] S Stephens (USA) vs [15] A Riske (USA)
[7] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs K Date-Krumm (JPN)
[1] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs L Davis (USA)
[16] C Dellacqua (AUS) vs [2] S Stosur (AUS)

Not Before 5:00 pm
C Garcia (FRA) / S Zhang (CHN) vs K Date-Krumm (JPN) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs [LL] T Babos (HUN)
[9] S Zhang (CHN) vs P Cetkovska (CZE)
C Vandeweghe (USA) vs [6] K Koukalova (CZE)
[Q] A Wozniak (CAN) vs [4] K Flipkens (BEL)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE)

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Maria Sharapova Rallies Past Sam Stosur at French Open

 

(June 1, 2014) Maria Sharapova rebounded from losing the first set to move into the French Open quarterfinals on Saturday 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 over Sam Stosur. Sharpaova won the last nine games to close out the match.

After losing the first set, Sharapova who trailed 4-3 in the second won 22 of 25 points to take command of the match over the 19th seed.

“It was so difficult in the beginning, Samantha was playing so well, but I got energy from the crowd,” Sharapova said about her comeback.

“I’m so happy to be back in the quarter-finals, it’s such a special tournament for me. “It’s a big step but when you get there it will get more difficult. Hopefully I will raise my level.”

No. 7 Sharapova is looking for her second Roland Garro title. She won back in 2012 and last year was a losing finalist to Serena Williams.

With Serena Williams ousted from the tournament in the second round, Sharapova will face the woman who beat her in the quarterfinals, Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Garbine Muguruza defeated French woman Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-2.

 

ROLAND GARROS

Women’s Results – Sunday, June 1, 2014
Singles – Fourth Round
(7) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (19) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 64 60
(18) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (8) Angelique Kerber (GER) 61 62
(14) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 63 63
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) d. (WC) Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 62

More to follow…

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Third Seed Agnieszka Radwanska Stunned by Ajla Tomljanovic

 

(May 30, 2014) The top two women’s seeds at the French Open Serena Williams and Li Na fell earlier on the week, joining them on the sidelines on Friday was third seed Agnieszka Radwanska who lost to unseeded Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-4.

For the 25-year-old woman from Poland, this was her earliest exit from a major.

“After seeing the two first seeds go out, you kind of feel like `I can do this, too,’”said the 72nd ranked Tomljanovic “I grew up with these girls that are beating them.”

The loss means that No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania is the highest seed left in the women’s draw.

For the 21-year-old Croatian, this was her first top 5 win. Before Friday she had only one win against a top 30 player and had never been past the second round of a major, now she’s in the round of 16.

In another upset on the women’s side, 2010 French Open finalist Sam Stosur, the 19th seed defeated 9th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-4. It will be Stosur’s first round of 16 at a major since the 2012 US Open.

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Showdown in Hong Kong for World Tennis Day Sees Aussies Win

 

 

By Natalie Ho

(March 3, 2014) HONG KONG – The second annual BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong, part of ITF’s World Tennis Day initiative, was concluded in lighthearted fashion with the participation of four star players – Li Na, Sam Stosur, Tomas Berdych and Lleyton Hewitt. The evening turned out to be a good one for the Aussies as Former US Open winner Sam Stosur beat reigning Australian Open champion Li Na 6-4, 6-3 in the opening match, while former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 in the second match of the evening.

This year the event was moved to the newly opened Hong Kong Velodrome where a tennis court and bleacher seats were built especially for this showdown. Those lucky fans with tickets to the temporary bleachers were literally court-side. They were treated to an intimate setting with the only disadvantage being the chance to get hit by serves. However, spectators in the upper section were separated from the action by a cycling track which was quite a distraction and might explain the lack of atmosphere especially at the beginning.

Missing Li last year due to injury, the crowd was happy to see her finally but Stosur also had very vocal support. The ladies traded service breaks multiple times but in the end it was Stosur, the more solid player in the match, who prevailed. The men’s match was, in contrast, more exhibition-like. Berdych was quite a crowd pleaser while Hewitt’s competitive drive was visible even in an exhibition. The crowd really got into the match towards the end and was shouting “third set, third set”. However, it was not to be as after some tussling Hewitt was able to close out the match.

Earlier in the day the players participated in a news conference to kick off the event.

Lleyton Hewitt, asked about the International Premier Tennis League, said Asia is a massive growth area for tennis so being an Aussie he’s excited to take part.

Tomas Berdych was asked about hiring a star coach. He feels this is not a must and that a star coach may not work well within a team.

Sam Stosur is happy to be working on different things with her new coach Miles Maclagan and plans to play more doubles this year.

Li Na naturally received the most questions. Between more GS & #1 she wants both. #1 is a goal as she’s now on her career high ranking. She also revealed a funny team dynamic: her husband would tell Carlos his ideas so Carlos would say them. Otherwise she wouldn’t listen.

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Dubai Draw Provides Competitive Opening Round Clashes

 

IMG_5879 dubai draw

(February 15, 2014) DUBAI, UAEFormer world No. 1, 2011 champion and No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki will face 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

That is just one of the opening round clashes that were revealed when the draw was made at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Saturday in the presence of Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur, Sorana Cirstea and Lucie Safarova.

 

Another first round match will pit former No. 1 and the 2008 French Open champion, Ana Ivanovic, against six seed Angelique Kerber, who ended last season by beating Ivanovic to win Linz and then last month warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the Sydney final.

 

Former two-time champion Venus Williams needed a wild card to compete, and she will tackle Elena Vesnina in the first round for the right to meet either Kerber or Ivanovic.

 

Top seed Serena Williams has a bye into the second round, where she could face recent Pattaya winner Ekaterina Makarova, and second seed and 2012 champion Agnieszka Radwanska will face either a qualifier or 2009 Dubai semi-finalist Kaia Kanepi. Third seed and defending champion Petra Kvitova will face either former world number three Nadia Petrova or Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

 

Fourth seed Sara Errani, who finished as runner-up to Petra Kvitova in 2013, also receives a bye and then could face either Sorana Cirstea or her doubles partner and the player she beat in last year’s semi-finals, Roberta Vinci. Former world No. 1 and fifth seeded Jelena Jankovic will play a qualifier in the first round, and seventh seed and WTA Most Improved Player of 2013 Simona Halep faces Alize Cornet.

 

Main draw play begins on 17th February and continues until 22nd February, followed by the ATP tournament which takes place from February 24 to March 1.

 

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dubai, UAE
February 17-February 22, 2014
$2,000,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Order Of Play – Monday, February 17, 2014
Centre Court (from 14.00hrs)
1. Sloane Stephens vs. Lucie Safarova
2. Carla Suárez Navarro vs. Nadia Petrova
3. Venus Williams vs. Elena Vesnina (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Sorana Cirstea vs. Roberta Vinci

Court 1 (from 14.00hrs)
1. Alisa Kleybanova vs. Ekaterina Makarova
2. Chan/Huber vs. Kops-Jones/Spears
3. Raymond/Zhang vs. Pliskova/Pliskova
4. Dushevina/Parra Santonja vs. Groenefeld/Rosolska

Court 2 (from 12.30hrs)
1. Camila Giorgi vs. Karolina Pliskova (Singles Q Final)
2. Maryna Zanevska vs. Mona Barthel (Singles Q Final)

Court 3 (from 12.30hrs)
1. Eugenie Bouchard vs. Annika Beck (Singles Q Final)
2. Flavia Pennetta vs. Yvonne Meusburger (Singles Q Final)

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Halep and Stosur to Meet in WTA Tournament of Champions Final

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur

(November 2, 2013) For the second time in three weeks Sam Stosur and Simona Halep will square off in a final, the WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday. Halep bested Stosur in last month’s Kremlin Cup.

No. 1 seed Halep rallioed in three sets to stop Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-1, 6-3,  with Halep winning the last six games, while No. 4 seed Stosur stopped Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

GARANTI KOZA WTA TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Sofia, Bulgaria
October 29-Nov 3, 2013
$750,000/Season-Ending Championships
Hard/Indoors

Results – Saturday, November 2, 2013
Semifinals
(1) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (2) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 26 61 63
(4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (6) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 16 63

Order Of Play – Sunday, November 3, 2013
Armeec Arena (from 17.20hrs)
1. Final: Simona Halep vs. Samantha Stosur

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Teams Named for 2014 Hopman Cup

 

(October 8, 2013) The official draw, teams and provisional schedule have been set for the mixed teams event,  the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. The event will be held from December 28, 2013 through January 4, 2014.

 

     

 

   
  Schedule Time Matches
  Saturday 28 December 10:00 am Poland v Italy
    5:30 pm Canada v Australia
  Sunday 29 December 10:00 am Czech Republic v Spain
    5:30 pm Poland v Canada
  Monday 30 December 10:00 am USA v Spain
    5:30 pm France v Czech Republic
  Tuesday 31 December 10:00 am Italy v Australia
  Wednesday 1 January 5:30 pm USA v France
  Thursday 2 January 10:00 am Italy v Canada
    5:30 pm Poland v Australia
  Friday 3 January 10:00 am France v Spain
    5:30 pm Czech Republic v USA
  Saturday 4 January 5:30 pm Winner Group A v Winner Group B

 

 

Poland                                [15] Jerzy Janowicz and [4] Agnieszka Radwanska

USA                                     [13] John Isner and [12] Sloane Stephens

France                                [9] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and [27] Alize Cornet

Canada                               [11] Milos Raonic and [35] Eugenie Bouchard

Czech Republic                [39] Radek Stepanek and [7] Petra Kvitova

Italy                                     [22] Andreas Seppi and [31] Flavia Pennetta

Australia                             [51] Bernard Tomic and [20] Sam Stosur

Spain                                   [19] Tommy Robredo and [98] Anabel Medina Garrigues

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296th Ranked Qualifier Victoria Duval Upends 2011 US Open Champ Sam Stosur in First Round of US Open

Victoria Duval

(August 27, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Last year at the US Open, Victoria Duval gained a wild card into the US Open when she won the US Junior Girls’ National 18 and under championship. This year she had to win three matches in the qualifying tournament to make the main draw. She made good use of extra practice on the courts during qualifying to upset No. 11 seed and 2011 US Open Champion Sam Stosur 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to move into the second round at Flushing Meadows.

Originally, the 296th ranked Duval who is just 17-years-old  said she wanted to be a ballerina but she took after her brothers’ interest in tennis.

“Actually, my brothers played,” she said.  “So I was a ballerina before tennis.  I would just run around and hit the ball.  I could never hit the strings.  My brother would go to this tournament in Santo Domingo every year.  The tournament director said, your daughter comes and sits on your lap.  Why don’t you have her play in the tournament?

“I was seven.  I had no idea how to keep score, nothing.  It was a 10‑and‑under tournament, I think, and I won it.  I had no idea where to stand on the court or anything.  After that, my mom was, Okay, you have to choose now.  Tennis seemed to be appropriate.”

The effervescent teen born in Florida but grew up in Haiti, with a high pitched voice that could pass for an animated character, did not have an easy road to tennis.

“It was definitely financially difficult, especially after the earthquake.  My dad wasn’t able to work anymore.

“I’ve been very fortunate.  A couple family members have helped me.  Hopefully with this win today, that will change a little bit.”

At one point as a child she and her cousin were held hostage by robbers.

“We were held hostage,” said Duval.  “It’s not a good memory, so I try to forget as much as I could about it.  I don’t remember too much of it anymore, which is great.”

Also in 2010 an earthquake hit Haiti and her father, a doctor, was underneath rubble for nearly 12 hours. He survived with the aid of an American friend who found a helicopter to get him out. However, now her father is unable to work.

“But he’s improving so much,” said Duval.  “Emotionally it was hard at first.  But he’s as happy as he’s ever been.  He had a couple surgeries that helped take the pain away.  We’re just so happy that, you know, he’s in a good state of mind right now.  He’s just here with us.  So it’s incredible.”

In her post-match on-court interview she reflected on how fortunate she really is: “I don’t take anything for granted. You never know what can happen any day. My dad’s fortunate to be here. … I thank God every day for everything that’s happened. Life is short.”

Duvall made much better memories on Tuesday in Louis Armstrong Stadium with her victory.

“Obviously it’s a great feeling to beat a past champion,” Duval said.  “And Sam is amazing.  Although she didn’t play nearly her best today, I played amazing, so I’ll take it,” she said with a smile.

“But, yeah, I mean, I have to worry about the next match, so I can’t celebrate too much.”

The tale of the tape showed that Stosur hit 56 unforced errors to Duval’s 35.

“I think she played from the ground pretty decent,” Stosur said.  “You know, she went for her forehand a lot more than maybe what I was expecting, from what I could kind of find out beforehand.  She hit that well.  She hit that cross‑court forehand well.  Moved relatively well, all that.

“I again, she played a pretty good match.  It was certainly a match where I feel like I could have played a lot better than what I did.  At the end of the day, that’s what happened today.  She did well.”

Asked if she was going to become a tennis star, Duval said: That’s what I’m working for.  If God will let it, then let’s go.”

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

 

Related articles:

A New “Sunshine” – Victoria Duval

Q & A with Victoria Duval at the Sony Open

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Sam Stosur Says That it was Time to Get a New Coach

 

Sam Stosur interview

(August 24, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – For Sam Stosur the US Open is the scene of her greatest tennis triumph as she won the title in 2011 over Serena Williams.

“It’s fantastic coming back here,” Stosur said to media.  “I guess it’s the second year coming back to the site of where I have had my best tennis moment.”

“So I think no matter, you know, what leadup you’ve had, however you feel, you can walk in here and think this is pretty cool and relive all those great memories and hopefully make them all happen again.”

Stosur has recently split with her coach of six years David Taylor.

“I think Dave and I, we had been together for a long time, “ the Australian said.  “It was almost six years.  We had some great moments in that period of time.

“Yeah, you know, as these little periods have gone on, I think we both were kind of feeling that we’d almost come to the end.  Unfortunately, it happened to be last week.  I don’t think, neither of us, I’m sure, would have wanted it to happen right then, and obviously with winning that tournament almost makes it seem a little bit strange.

“But I think we both felt that it was time, and, you know, if something’s time is up, then you’ve kind of got to call it a day.”

Stosur is currently working with Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik until she finds a permanent replacement.

She will help me here, and after this tournament I will kind of assess what I want to do, who maybe it can be, and go from there.” Stosur said.  “But there is no one in particular at the moment.”

The 11th seed’s first round opponent will be young American qualifier Victoria Duval on Tuesday.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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