2014/12/20

Stosur, Tomic, Radwanska and Janowicz to Play Hopman Cup

Janowicz 88

Jerzy Janowicz

(August 19, 2013) Australia’s top ranked players Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic  have confirmed they will play at Hyundai Hopman Cup 2014.

 

Current world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska and Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz are also set to team up as Poland makes its debut at the event.

 

World No.13 Stosur is excited to return to Western Australia for the first time since 2010.

 

“I just wanted to get back to Perth. I thought this year I’d try something different again,” said Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion.

 

“It will be nice to be able to play. You know that you’re going to get three matches … and maybe that’s going to be good for me going into the Aussie Open.

 

“Hopefully that’s going to be the secret formula to me doing well,” added Stosur.

 

Tomic, 20, and the youngest player currently in the top 100, will pair with Stosur as he looks to continue his unbeaten record at Perth Arena.

 

“I had some success there earlier this year so hopefully I can do well again in 2014,” said the world No.42, who recently reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

 

“The event always attracts strong teams so you know you’re going to get some tough matches against high quality players.

 

“The local crowds love their tennis and it’s always exciting to play in front of them,” added the Queenslander, who won his first ATP singles title in Sydney in January.

 

Radwanska and Janowicz will be looking to make their mark when Team Poland makes its first ever appearance at the event.

 

“I’m really excited to play the Hopman Cup for the first time,” said Radwanska, who holds 12 WTA singles titles at just 24 years of age.

 

“I’ve never played mixed doubles with him [Jerzy] before.  Actually my last mixed doubles match was I think five years ago so that will be fun for sure.”

 

Twenty-two-year-old Janowicz has climbed up the rankings by 73 places to be just outside the top 10 in the past 12 months.

 

“We decided it might be a lot of fun to play together at Hopman Cup,” said Janowicz.

 

Hyundai Hopman Cup Event Director Steve Ayles is delighted with the signing of the top Australian and Polish pairs.

 

“Sam and Bernie, Australia’s highest ranked players, have committed to play this event, which shows the strength and value of the Hyundai Hopman Cup. The players look at the event as a solid starting point for the new season.

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Stosur Earns First Win Over Azarenka and Fourth Career Title

Stosur sliding in the pool

By Curt Janka

(August 4, 2013) CARLSBAD, California – Samantha Stosur wasn’t even scheduled to play this week, but made the best of her wild card entry, defeating the top seed, Victoria Azarenka in the final 6-2, 6-3. The match was perhaps less competitive than the score indicates as Azarenka never seemed to find the right length to her shots.

Without finding a feel for her shots, Azarenka never adjusted her game plan. In fact, her game plan may have got in the way of her settling into a rhythm. From the very beginning, it was clear Azarenka wanted to avoid the Stosur forehand at all costs. She continued to over hit at the Stosur’s backhand even when an easier shot was available in the other direction. Azarenka seemed to recognize this after the match saying, “I just have to be a little bit more aware of what I‘m doing on the court, what I can do on that particular day.  I kept doing the same kind of thing, so that wasn’t very smart for me to do.”

Azarenka did not put all the blame on her game, however, adding,“ have to give her credit. She played a great match today for sure. There is no doubt about that.”

The statistics for Stosur certainly concur. While Azarenka was one of 12 on break points, Stosur was an impressive four of five. Azarenka is known as a great returner, but it was Stosur that got a remarkable 80% of returns in play. Returning so well kept Azarenka’s serve in jeopardy throughout the match. Of the eight times Stosur came to net, she won seven of those points. She also hit 13 more winners than her opponent.

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One other statistic stood out even before the match started, their head-to-head record. Azarenka was previously 8-0 against Stosur. It’s not easy to overcome that kind of history, but Stosur pointed out it’s not a first for her. “I guess I went through something similar when I played Maria Sharapova a bunch of times,” said Stosur.  “I think it took ten times for me to be able to beat her.  I knew it was possible one day against Vika, but the last two matches that we played have been very, very close.  I felt like I was almost in winning positions with those two as well. So I think going into today there was no reason to believe that I wasn’t going to be able to turn that result around and win today.”

That mentality came through in Stosur’s positive body language from the start of the match to the end when she closed out the win on her first opportunity. This is her fourth career title and a much needed confidence builder heading into the final slam of the season.

“Yeah, it’s great,” Stosur said with a relieved smile. “Obviously this is the lead-up to the US Open and that’s where everyone wants to peak.  I think this is a huge boost for me.  I haven’t had great results all year, so to be able to bounce back especially from last week’s first-round loss is really exciting.”

In addition to lifting the trophy, and taking the now traditional victor’s trip down the pool slide at the La Costa resort, Stosur is now also tied for the lead in the US Open Series points race.  If her confidence, and points race standings hold, she’ll be eligible for bonus prize money and likely a deep run in New York.

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Jankovic Slays Semifinal Demons in a Three-Set Thriller

JelenaJankovic

By Ros Satar

(June 1, 2013) PARIS -With so many competitive matches on the schedule on Saturday, the Roland-Garros site had hyped up the Jelena JankovicSam Stosur contest as their one to watch – and they were not wrong.

Three years ago, many thought Jankovic’s best chance at a major title run was right here, but the semi-final against Sam Stosur was a very one-sided affair.

Stosur effectively closed down all elements of Jankovic’s counter-punching style that day, and went through to the final for the loss of just three games.

For a small time, it looked as though history might repeat itself, as the first set went Stosur’s way quite rapidly.

The pair traded breaks in the second before Jankovic was able to make that decisive break at 4-3, serving it out convincingly.

Things remained close with breaks between them until Jankovic broke again to lead 5-4.

Three match points came and went for Jankovic, who then had to save a break point before finally converting on her fourth match point, finishing with an ace.

Jankovic will face USA’s Jamie Hampton, who beat Petra Kvitova earlier today in another tight 3-set match.

Stosur was very honest about the way things had gone today.

She said: “I think that I was pretty much in control of the match and then at 3-all I felt that I was setting the point up and then missed those shots to win the point.”

Although she had fought back from 0-3 down, it proved to be too big a hole to come back from.

She concluded: “I’m very disappointed and it’s kind of hard to take a little bit.

“I thought I played well enough for the majority of the match to be through. Obviously I didn’t do enough, and didn’t do it at the right time, or whatever and yeah – I find myself out of the tournament.”

Jankovic also shared some insight into how the first set had got away from her, in much the same way as the 2010 semi-final.

She said: “I had difficulty returning her serve and obviously when I don’t return well she starts controlling the point.

“She takes real advantage of that and she starts pushing me around then court and it’s difficult.

“She starts spinning that forehand and its very heavy and then I’m in trouble, so my goal was to return the serve as deep as I can and get back in the court.”

Mentally, Jankovic seems to have found herself, and gave a fairly brutal assessment of her form in the past year, given that her next opponent (Jamie Hampton) beat her in Indian Wells in 2012.

“I was losing to pretty much everyone at the time, at that stage and I was playing really badly and my level of tennis was not there.”

Hampton came through a tough 3-set match of her own, beating Petra Kvitova.

Jankovic said: “Obviously she’s playing very well, she’s beaten some top players.

“We’re now in the fourth round so you have to be playing very well to get there.”

“She has a tough game, she’s a tough opponent to play against, she has a big forehand.”

When Jankovic is up, she is very up, and given that she plays her next round of women’s doubles tomorrow, and has yet to kick off her mixed doubles campaign (partnering Leander Paes) – how will she find the time?

She joked: “I am a woman in demand, huh?

“It’s OK, I’ll play them all, and then I’ll die at the end.”

But all joking aside – Jankovic has started playing a lot more doubles this year, in order to add elements to her game, that have often been noted as lacking.

She concluded: “When I play doubles it helps me, improves my return, my transitions game, my volleys.

“Even in the singles I think I did very well when I was volleying today, when I was coming forward so I’m learning and improving that part which is great”

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Venus and EleVen Aim to Shine in Charleston

CNote and Venus EleVen Exo

By Stephanie Neppl

(April 1, 2013) CHARELSTON, SC – Venus Williams is ready to return to the place which was instrumental in her qualifying mission for last year’s London Olympics. A year ago, Williams hadn’t played much due to her Sjögren’s syndrome and she was ranked No. 87 when she stepped on the Har-Tru courts in Charleston.

 

She made the quarters in 2012, losing to Sam Stosur in a three-set battle. From then she successfully improved her ranking, made the Olympic team and walked away with her fourth gold medal, her third doubles gold with little sister Serena.

 

Venus recalled the battle and says revisiting each of the tournaments which helped her achieve Olympic Gold last year reminds her of her triumphs.

 

“I fought very hard to get back to where I was – back to the top 20,” she said. “For me last year the triumph wasn’t winning the tournament or anything like that, it was just any accomplishment was a triumph.”

 

Venus admits that battling back from being ranked No. 134 in the world to No. 24 “was one of the toughest and amazing and most exhilarating things I’ve ever done in my life.”

 

Despite withdrawing from her second round match in Miami last month due to a back injury, Venus says she is happy to be back and ready to play.

 

“I really wanted to be here,” Venus said. “I love this tournament and I have really great memories from here last year.”

 

Also appearing on the courts in Charleston is Venus’ clothing line EleVen.

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Monday night in Charleston, Venus and her EleVen brand were featured in an exhibition match on Althea Gibson Club Court. She was joined on court by her Washington Kastles teammate Arina Rodionova, Tennis Channel’s Danielle Dotzenrod and Sports Illustrated contributing writer Courtney Nguyen, all dressed in the EleVen attire. Several local Charleston women also got the chance to play doubles in a World Team Tennis style exhibition, also dressed in EleVen.

 

Venus said the EleVen line is going well. “We’re good. We’re small. But we’re growing and I think that’s the best way is to grow strategically and it’s great because more than anything people really like the clothes and that’s more than half the battle.”

 

Venus was all smiles during the relaxed exhibition and gets one more day off before playing Monica Puig of Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

 

Stephanie Neppl is in Charleston covering the Family Circle Cup for Tennis Panorama News. She spends all her spare funds traveling to tennis tournaments and has played since her teen years. She has worked as Social Media Manager for Tennis Auckland’s ATP and WTA tournaments. Follow her live updates on Twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal Twitter @stephintheus and her blog  http://ihaveatennisaddiction.blogspot.com.

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Serena Williams Returns to the Family Circle Cup

 Serena Day 2 Press Conference
By Stephanie Neppl

(April 1, 2013) CHARLESTON, SC – Two-time champ and defending champion Serena Williams leads a stellar field for the 2013 Family Circle Cup in Charleston this week. Coming off a record sixth title in Miami, there’s no time for the world No. 1 to rest as she kick starts her clay season on the green clay.

Last year’s Charleston win kick started a stellar 12 months for Williams, which saw her win two slams, two Olympics gold medals and the year-end championships plus retain the number one ranking.

Williams said her semis and final last year here were amazing. She dropped just two games against Sam Stosur in the semis before winning the final 6-0,  6-1 against Lucie Safarova. “I really don’t know if I’ve played better, ever. Hopefully I can kind of rekindle some of that fire,” she said.

When discussing her Miami win, Williams said she was happy she was able to solve problems on her own when she was down, and commented that on-court coaching is not for her.

“I don’t do it so much,” she said. “For me I like to solve problems and I think in Miami I solved a lot of problems. I was down in several matches and I was able to solve and figure it out on my own.”

Although Williams doesn’t use the on-court coaching, she says she definitely notices when other players do. “I do think about it and I think like ‘OK, ha I’m in now’ so it makes me feel good,” she said.

Williams will launch her 2013 Family Circle Cup against Camila Giorgi of Italy during Tuesday’s day session.

2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki and 2010 winner Sam Stosur are the 2nd and 3rd seeds, with Sloane Stephens as the 4th seed.

Stephanie Neppl is in Charleston covering the Family Circle Cup for Tennis Panorama News. She spends all her spare funds traveling to tennis tournaments and has played since her teen years. She has worked as Social Media Manager for Tennis Auckland’s ATP and WTA tournaments. Follow her live updates on Twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal Twitter @stephintheus and her blog  http://ihaveatennisaddiction.blogspot.com.

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Azarenka and Stosur Withdraw From Indian Wells with Injuries

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

(March 14, 2013) BNP Paribas Open top seed Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and seventh seed Australian Samantha Stosur withdrew from their quarterfinal matches on Thursday due to ankle and calf injuries respectively.

“On my warmup today.  I tested it out as much as possible,” Azarenka said.”  I tried absolutely everything I could to do, but I have been advised by the doctor, by my own team, that it’s just a very, very high risk already.

“Well, in medical term, it’s a right‑foot injury, and there is a big inflammation in both ‑‑ and tendinitis,” Azarenka continued.  Around tendinitis, there is a big inflammation which keeps bothering one part or another, I mean, it cannot get better with me playing on it, especially playing last three matches on it.

“It’s just worse.  I tried not to practice yesterday, and to see if it will settle down at least a little bit.  I felt yesterday was better, not walking in my tennis shoes.

“But today, once I started doing the exercise, that was it.”

 “I hurt my right calf muscle in the last game of my match against Mona Barthel when I was serving for the match, so I don’t know if you can get any more unlucky than that, “ Stosur said. “I think we only played another four points in that match. I felt something go in my calf and it was hurting a fair bit. Yesterday I took the day off practice and only did treatment, probably iced it about 10 times. This morning I thought I would give it a shot, and tried to go out and warm up, and after about five minutes I knew that there was no chance I could play unfortunately.”

“It’s really disappointing. I had a bit of a rough start to the year and I feel like now my tennis has really picked up, and I’ve been playing really quite well these last few days. I love the conditions here at the BNP Paribas Open and I love playing in front of this crowd, so to have to pull out without even being able to get on court is probably as bad as it gets. I think this is only the second time I’ve ever pulled out of a match in my career, and unfortunately there isn’t anything I can do about it.”

With the withdrawals Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki  advance and will face each other in the semifinals of the Indian Wells tennis event.

Should Maria Sharapova win her semifinal against Maria Kirilenko she’ll move up to No. 2 ranking pushing Azarenka down to No. 3..

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Stosur Building Confidence, Comes Back to Beat Peng

Sam Stosur interview

By Curt Janka

(March 11, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – Sam Stosur had to dig deep and come from behind in the third set to beat Shuai Peng 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Peng may have been a familiar opponent, but the match was much more tightly contested than their lopsided head-to-head record would suggest. Stosur has now beaten Peng all 5 times they have met.

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur

Asked if her previous record against Peng helped when the match was close, Stosur responded “Not necessarily, but I guess knowing that in the back of your head it does give you a little bit of comfort knowing that, ok, I’ve had success against her. There’s something about my game she doesn’t like and if I can get back to that then I’m in with a good shot.” However, she also added “You’ve got to stay focused on the match at hand. Having won those four doesn’t mean you’re going to win five.”

That was certainly true today when Peng upped her level of play in the second set, grabbing an early lead. Stosur fought her way close to breaking back, but couldn’t convert against her determined opponent.

Shuai Peng

Shuai Peng

Again in the third set, Stosur found herself down an early break. “When I lost serve early in that third, I knew that I really had to step it up,” she said. “I wasn’t playing bad, but I probably wasn’t doing enough. Then I played two really good games to get back on track, and then those last four, which I was really happy with.”

Stosur next faces the winner of a later match between Ana Ivanovic and Mona Barthel. Asked who she would prefer to play, Stosur said, “I’ve played Ana quite a few times—had some success, had some close matches—but I’ve never played Mona. I know Ana very well, I don’t know Mona so much, so I’ll take a little bit of a look at that one.”

Over Stosur’s career, her wins seem to come in patches when her confidence is elevated. This year got off to a rocky start, but it appears that she is starting to accrue confidence, reaching the quarterfinals in Doha and Dubai. The setting here in Indian Wells also seems to add to her comfort level.

“I do feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment. I feel like the conditions here suit my game. I’ve made it to the semis here one time. I do feel like I’ve played really good matches here and I’ve won the doubles as well. I think getting through a mach like today is really important for me.”

On the topic of doubles, Stosur was in that draw as well this year, playing with Lisa Raymond, until they ran into her countrywoman Casey Dellacqua. Asked what it was like losing to another Aussie, Stosur smiled wide and said, “I’m disappointed to lose not matter who I’m playing, but I guess if it’s Case, and she can go through, hopefully they can do very well.”

Stosur didn’t have a steady doubles partner lined up at the beginning of the year, but  she said, “Lisa’s partner that she was signed up with pulled out after Australia, so I said that I would play the Middle East, here and Miami. Now actually we’re going to go through and play the Slams together and a few other events. We’ll play a little bit more and hopefully we can do well.”

More wins in doubles could only add to her growing confidence in singles and bodes well for the rest of the season.

While it was a little cooler here earlier in the week, today was hot and sunny, which seems to be Stosur’s preference. Since spring is almost underway here and summer is just ending back in her Australian home, does she ever get to experience the winter season?

“I don’t typically like the cold too much,” Stosur laughed. “Tennis players follow the summer around the world. This is a really nice part of the year at home in Australia that I’m never home to experience, but this isn’t too bad either.”

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the 2013 BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

"Austin Powers" and Caroline Wozniacki

“Austin Powers” and Caroline Wozniacki

(March 7, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – The BNP Paribas Open held their players’ party at the IW club on Thursday night. The tennis players drove up to the “Green Carpet” in classic cars included  Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Redfoo, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sam Stosur, James Blake, David Ferrer,  and a host of others including Austin Powers.

Photos by Curt Janka and Maria Noble. Follow Tennis Panorama News’ BNP Paribas Open coverage here and on our twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

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Notes and Quotes from Down Under – Day 3

Sharapova10042012

(January 16, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day three of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Maria Sharapova

Q.  You obviously have a pretty big candy business now, but you’re also making a lot of bagels.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I didn’t offer candy today (laughter).  Trying to make a good question?

I was just really trying to be focused.  You know, I didn’t know too much about my opponent; just knew she was a few inches shorter than I was.

But it’s always tough, especially when you’re up a set and a couple of breaks to keep that momentum.  You know, I really forced myself to concentrate and just get the job done today.

Q.  Have you enjoyed your first 48 hours on Twitter?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I’m a rookie.  There are a lot of things I’m still learning about.  I’m just starting to follow things and people.  Now I’m learning how to, is it hashtag things, right?  That was a new one for me.

But it’s interesting.  I mean, I won’t be doing it like every single minute.  I won’t be telling people what I’m eating.  I think that’s very non‑interesting.

But when I do have things to say, I’m sure I will.  Last night I was watching this match I really wanted to say something about the commentating going on, but I really bit my tongue on that one.

I was like, Isn’t that what Twitter is for, to open up?  Itself like, No, no.

Q.  Andy Roddick has been doing that.  He’s been criticizing commentating since he retired also on Twitter.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, it’s not like he didn’t when he was playing, so…

Q.  Does it surprise you that you can just say hello on social media and get 200,000 followers just like that (snapping fingers)?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It does.  It’s very flattering.  But it just shows you the power of social media, how everyone is just online these days with devices.

I mean, sometimes you see me and I have my notebook here and my phone here.  It’s like I’m looking back and forth.  Sometimes my mom speaks to me and she says, I think I need to send you a text message to get your attention.  It’s pretty crazy.

But it shows you how powerful these things are.  I’m happy that I’m able to share some things with my fans that maybe they don’t get to see or hear me say.  Just a fun way to communicate with them.

Q.  We can see Venus on this TV screen here.  She has a bright‑colored dress on.  Tricky to make comments.  She wore the same dress in her last match.  Any comment on her fashion statement?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I haven’t seen the dress.  Maybe I’ll see it in the next round and can comment.

Q.  Are you happy with these two bagel matches?  This happened 28 years ago.  Are you happy with it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It’s not really the statistic I want to be known for.  I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6‑0, 6‑0.

You know, I’m just happy that I won the match and I get to go through and I’m in the next round.

Q.  Date was talking about relating to the other generation.  Clearly she is a lot older than you, but do you find yourself feeling like an older player, and can you relate to the 18‑year‑olds?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Maybe not as old as that, but I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle definitely.  I feel like I’ve seen an older generation when I was quite young and just getting on the tour be at the peak of their career and competing really well and learning so much from that.

Now I find myself in a moment where you see so many, you know, youngsters ‑ not young, but 17, 18, 19, 20 years old ‑ that are doing really well.  And I guess that is the newer generation.

Sometimes you think it’s quite crazy because it seems like last minute you were there, you were one of them.

 

 

 Venus Williams

Q.  Do you feel more embraced by the public and fans than at any time in your career?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  I don’t know.  I think people have always been pretty nice to me.  I try to be nice to people, yeah.

 

Q.  Have you gotten any compliments on your dress?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I get a lot of compliments on my dress.

 

Q.  What do people say?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  They love the color.  I love your dress.  It’s a nice style.  Women’s players, men’s players, people working around.  That’s been very satisfying because I work hard on the designs.  I’ll spend all day and all night on the designs.  I eat hot fries usually during the design sessions.

Then the one time that I didn’t, I couldn’t think of anything, so I ordered some hot fries.  I got there the next day, and, bam, I had the best ideas.

But since that time I’ve really had to discontinue that.  I can’t eat the hot fries.  I credit all these designs to hot fries.

 

Q.  Are they like spicy French fries?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Oh, they are so spicy, and I just keep eating ‘em and it hurts.  I just pop ‘em away.

It’s still vegan because it’s somewhat a potato.  It’s just very processed, extremely processed.  Probably poisonous (laughter).

Yeah, I don’t know why.  It’s just always been part of the design.  When I design, I eat hot fries

 

Madison Keys

Q.  So both your parents are lawyers, right?

MADISON KEYS:  Yes.

Q.  Both still working?

MADISON KEYS:  Both are still working, yes.

Q.  How did you get from lawyers’ kid, especially two working lawyers, to become a tennis player at this level?

MADISON KEYS:  Complete luck.  No one in my family plays tennis.  I just came upon it one day.  Just thought, Hey, I’ll try it.  You know, it’s worked out pretty well.

Q.  So you got addicted pretty quickly?

MADISON KEYS:  For sure.  Right away.

Q.  First time?

MADISON KEYS:  First time, fell in love.

Q.  Went home and said, I got to play tennis every day; get me lessons?

MADISON KEYS:  Every single day.  My parents fed me balls.  Eventually it turned into having a coach, and then it went to being at an academy.

Q.  Your parents don’t play?

MADISON KEYS:  Neither one can play tennis.

Q.  What initially attracted you when you saw tennis for the first time?

MADISON KEYS:  The outfits (smiling).

Really wanted a tennis dress.  My parents told me that if I played, they would buy me one.  I was like, Hey, I’ll try it.

Q.  Who were your tennis idols growing up?  Who did you like to watch?

MADISON KEYS:  Really, really liked watching Kim Clijsters.  I thought she was very passionate, and I thought her movement was incredible.

Q.  How old were you when you started, picked up the racquet for the first time?

MADISON KEYS:  I was four.

 

Jerzy Janowicz

Q.  What exactly frustrated you out there on court?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Mostly only first set because the umpires, they’re making so many mistakes.  One of the most important mistake was set point in this tiebreak, 9‑8.  Was shanked forehand from Devvarman.  The ball was really slow.  It was clean out.  I was already happy.  I was already shouting, C’mon.  But the referees didn’t say anything.

This was the moment when I went nuts.  Otherwise the rest of the match I was pretty calm.

Q.  Do you have any regrets about the things you did on the court in terms of when you went nuts?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Well, sometimes happens like this.  You can’t control your emotions all the time.  This was really big point for me.  We played this set for more than 1 hour, 10 minutes, so this was really important point for me.

Actually, I went nuts.  I calmed down little bit later on.  Sometimes I have problem to control my emotions, but I’m trying to work on this.

Q.  What exactly did you do to calm yourself down and come back to win that match?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I don’t really know.  I was all the time trying to be focused.  I was all the time telling myself to fight for every single ball.  And somehow I just relaxed.  I have no explanation why.

Q.  Have you gone as nuts as that in a match before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah (smiling).

Q.  Have you hit the umpire’s chair before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Maybe (smiling).

Q.  Do you expect to get in trouble for that?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, no.  I got warning only because I was shouting.  I didn’t say anything bad.  I was only shouting, so this was the problem.  Because umpire told me I got a warning because I was shouting.  They play some matches around us, so this was the problem.

I didn’t say anything bad, so I hope I not have to pay.

Q.  What about at the end?  You were very animated.  Somebody gave you flowers.  Has that ever happened before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yes, some girls, they gave me flowers.  This was first time.  Never, never happen to me before.

Q.  You haven’t played this tournament before.  Was it a question of not having the financial resources to get to Australia in the past?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah.  Actually I played 2010 quallies, qualifications.  So, I mean, last year I couldn’t come here because of money.  Now I think I have little bit better situation because I have already a sponsor.

So is much, much easier for me mentally to play this Australian Open because I didn’t have to worry about money anymore.

Q.  Where were you this time last year?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I played futures, 10,000, in England.

Q.  Quite a big change from last year to this.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Small one (smiling).

Q.  You said it was a money thing.  How much money did you make the previous year, or not make?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  How much money I make?

Q.  In 2011.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I think you can check this.  During 2011, yeah?  I don’t know.  You have to check this on ATP page.

Q.  But not enough that you could afford to come here.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, of course not.  At that time I was ranked 220, so there’s not really ranking to make some money.  And in Poland we don’t have too many opportunities to get money from sponsors.

I was struggling a little bit, so that’s why I didn’t play last year.

Q.  All of a sudden you are making money and have sponsors.  Has this changed you, your life?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  This changed my life, but this not change me.  I’m all the time same crazy person, and I hope is going to be all the time the same.

But, I mean, yeah, in life you change a lot.  Now I don’t have to worry about my trips.  I can buy easily business class for me for that kind of trip like to Australia.  Now I don’t have to worry about money for my coach.

So it’s much easier for me to play tennis now.

Q.  Did you enjoy playing out there on court today?  What was your experience with the Australian crowd?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I would say Polish crowd mostly (smiling).

Yeah, it was really nice atmosphere today.  Polish people, they were helping me all the time.  Even when I was losing 2‑Love, they didn’t stop.  They were all the time cheering for me.

So it’s always helpful, and it’s nice to play like this.

Q.  Did you surprise yourself?  Given what happened at the end of the first set and then you lost the second quite easily, it looked like you were gone.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, I’m really strange person, and anyway always I’m fighting till the end.  Even when I’m going nuts sometimes, I’m always trying to win no matter what.

If I surprise myself?  Yeah, maybe, because it never happen to me before.  I was never losing two sets to love, so this is some kind of surprise for me.

Q.  Since Bercy, have you felt sometimes the media attention was too much around you?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah, especially in Poland.  First week after Bercy, I was going from TV show to some other TV show.  I didn’t have really free time for myself.

So this week was really not easy for me.  But, you know, you have to cooperate sometimes with media, yeah.  But always if there’s something too much, it’s not nice.

I was able to handle this.

Q.  What is the strangest thing you read about yourself since Bercy?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Honestly saying I’m not reading any articles about myself.  I cannot answer for this question.

 

 Sam Stosur

Q.  Do you think you choked?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I don’t know.  Whatever word you want to put on it.  At 5‑2 up in the third, double break probably is a bit of a choke, yeah.

Q.  What was going through your mind at 5‑2 in the third and your opponent getting those games back?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I mean, at 5‑2 I felt great obviously.  I’d broken again to get a double break.  Then went out to serve the game like I had been the last 10 service games, or whatever it was.  There was no kind of negative feeling, because I started playing really quite well.

Then, yeah, got a little bit tight.  You miss a return here, a shot there, then you do the right thing, and then you don’t do it.  It was, yeah, it was too in and out for those points in time.  You make a few more errors and you’re back even.

Q.  When you say crazy things come into your head, what do you think?  Like, It’s not happening again?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Not necessarily it’s happening again.  You don’t want it to go any further.  It’s 5‑2.  You don’t want it to go any further than 5‑3.  We’ve all seen it happen before to many players.  You know what it feels like.  You’re desperately trying not to make it happen.

It’s probably, yeah, part of not really doing what you should be doing to obviously get to that point.

 

 Ryan Harrison

Q.  Do you think it takes some draws that give you more of a head start into the tournament?  You hit a bunch of walls early here.

RYAN HARRISON:  I’m not concerned about the draws at all.  It doesn’t matter to me the draws or things that you can’t control.  Like I said before, my goal is to win these tournaments one day.

I’m not concerned about losing second, third, or fourth round.  I want to get to the point where I’m good enough to win these tournaments eventually.

And playing these guys and having the opportunity to play everybody ‑‑ I’ve played on every stadium except for Ashe at this point, which is pretty exciting for me to know that moving forward in my career that I’m not going to have anything that I haven’t seen before.

 

Q.  Has it been strange to have no Roddick around here?

RYAN HARRISON:  I mean, not really.  I talk to him pretty much every day since I’ve been here.  He’s been actively talking to me and helping me.

Any time I ask him how he’s doing, he’s always doing great.  He doesn’t seem like he’s depressed, to say the least.  He’s loving life.

It’s certainly strange that he’s not the top dog right now.  But as he would tell you guys, he’s still ranked ahead of me, so…

 

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Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013

 

Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.

 

Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]

 

Tweets of the day

 

 

Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.

 

Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.

 

Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic

 

Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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