July 25, 2016

Cibulkova Wins Eastbourne for First Grass Court Title

Dominika Cibulkova

(June 25, 2016) Dominika Cibulkova won her second title of the year and her first career title on grass when she beat Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-3 Saturday for the Eastbourne International title.
“It was extremely tough match today,” said the winner. “With the conditions and with the wind it was really, really, really tough to play and focus. That’s why I was really strong about today that I was — in the beginning I was a little bit nervous about the wind, so my serve wasn’t really working really well.

“Then when my coach came, he said, you know, Just focus on your serve. Don’t focus too much on the wind. Do the same things when there is no wind.

“So, yeah, I was in the rallies and I found my rhythm after a while. You know, I was just feeling really good on the court. I knew what I had to do. I was going for my forehands and was really solid on the backhand.

“I was also returning pretty well. So all these things came together, and that’s why I won today.”
“This one is really special one,” the Slovak said about taking home her sixth career tournament trophy. “You know, this is a special title. It’s second title of the year. I was never able to win two titles in one year. We’re in the half of the season and this is my second one. So it feels just great. It’s my first one on the grass.

“This tournament, I would say it’s the toughest one before the Grand Slam, because, you know, everybody want to play on grass and this is a big one. So, you know, the competition here was really strong. I was able to beat the top players on the grass, so it gives me a lot of confidence.”
Pliskova, who was seeking to add a second grass court title in three weeks fell a little short on Saturday.
“She was playing some good tennis,” Pliskova said. “Me, I was playing so-so, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But she didn’t let me to play my game. She was playing aggressive and going to my serves.

“Like I said, she was just a little bit better. I think I had a lot of chances. I didn’t play that bad in those chances what I had some break points.”

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Cibulkova Wins Twice To Reach Eastbourne Final Against Pliskova

Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova

(June 24, 2016) Dominika Cibulkova needed to win twice on Friday to reach the final of the Eastbourne International. The Slovak toppled the No. 1 seed and former champion Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a quarterfinal which was completed over two days due to the weather.
In her semifinal, the former Australian Open finalist dominated qualifier Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 6-1.

Dominika Cibulkova reached the Eastbourne International final after dispatching Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.

“It was not easy emotionally because, you know, I was really happy when I beat her on the grass,” Cibulkova said of her win over the top seed. “We played — this was third really, really close match against Radwanska this year and on different surface, first time on grass. For me it was toughest to play her on grass because what I take advantage of her second serve — because she’s playing weak second serve, and I always go for it on the shot, and here on the grass it’s a little bit tougher. It’s really low and you cannot go for it so much.

“But in the rallies I felt really good. I was just — you know, I felt every shot I knew I was going for my forehand, and I was really strong on my backhand.

“And then to come back against a completely different player, against aggressive player, and I knew she doesn’t want to play long rallies with me. She was really going after my serve and everything. So I had to change tactic in my game a little bit.

“I was able to do it. It was great.”

Well, it’s always a good match, but I don’t think I was playing good enough today,” Radwanska said. “I think she was playing really aggressive, good tennis. I think I step backwards a little bit too much. That wasn’t helping today.”

“I don’t think I was playing good enough today,” Radwanska said. “She was playing really aggressive, good tennis.”

Radwanska led 6-4, 2-0 before the rains came on Thursday.

“Never know how it’s gonna happen if we finished that match yesterday,” she said. “But definitely different conditions today. The mornings are a bit different. It was pretty sunny and windy. Yesterday a bit different. Well, but conditions are same for the both of us.”

Cibulkova will take on Karolina Pliskova for the crown. The Czech bested Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals and Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-3.
Pliskova will be attempting to win her second grass court titles in three weeks. She won the Nottingham two weekends ago.

“Definitely I had great results this year on grass except the one in Birmingham, but it was after a tough week in Nottingham,” she said. “But I still was able to win the doubles there. So at least something.

“And so far I’m happy with the tennis the way I’m playing here this week. This was the toughest match this week but happy to be through. Looking forward to the final.”
“She had also some good wins this week, and I think she’s also improving with every match. It’s going to be tough, a little bit different game than today. She’s also playing faster from the baseline but not serving that good.

“Yeah, but for me still the same. I have to keep my game plan to serve well and to play aggressive. There is no other way for me how to play, and especially on grass. Just looking forward to the final.

“We played once few years ago on hard court. She won. Was close match. Happy to play someone who I didn’t play for such a long time.”

 

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 24, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Semifinals

[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d [11] J. Konta (GBR) 67(5) 63 63
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [Q] M. Puig (PUR) 62 61
Quarterfinals
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [1] A. Radwanska (POL) 46 76(2) 63
[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d E. Vesnina (RUS) 61 63
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d E. Makarova (RUS) 76(5) 64

Women’s
Doubles – Semifinals

[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 61 16 10-6
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) 62 61
Quarterfinals
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) walkover ( Left Calf Injury )

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
J. Bates (GBR) / R. Stubbs (AUS) vs P. Cash (AUS) / J. Novotna (CZE)

Not Before 1:30 pm
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

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Radwanska Advances as Konta Takes Down Kvitova in Eastbourne

Agniezska Radwanska

Agniezska Radwanska

 

(June 22, 2016) No. 1 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved into the quarterfinals of the Eastbourne International with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Eugenie Bouchard on Wednesday.

The Polish woman was happy with her performance. “I think that was much better match than yesterday,” she said. “Well, I think good match from the beginning till the end.

“Couple of breaks on the way, but I think my serve was also the key in that match. Very happy I could come back in that second set in the end and winning in two sets.”

2009 champion, Caroline Wozniacki did not fare as well, beated by qualifier Monica Puig 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Wozniacki, trying to get back on track from a foot injury said “I mean, you don’t climb Mount Everest in one day.

“No, I played really well. I’m really happy with that. Yeah, the foot, the body’s feeling good. I’m pleased with that.”

“I served quite well for a while there, and then just for a couple of games in the end of the second set, yeah, I think I didn’t get the first serves in or she just went for the returns and it went in.

“But, you know, it’s the small margins today, really. To be honest, I think I played really well yesterday and I think I played even better today.

“So it’s a lot of positives to take with you. At the end of the day on grass sometimes it can be that little thing that can just make a difference.

“Yeah, I think I can just look up from here and just bring that confidence with me to Wimbledon and just hope for a good draw.”

“I thought I was in trouble quite a few times just when the match started getting very even,” Puig said. “She’s a great player and she makes you work for every single point, so it was really up to me to stay very focused in my game plan and what I wanted to accomplish out there in the court.

“All in all it was a really tight match. Like the score I think doesn’t really reflect just how tight it was. I’m just really happy I got through.”

Fifth seed Petra Kvitova lost to Britain’s Johanna Konta 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.

“There was a match in it definitely at the beginning, and I was happy with how I was able to carry but also create more momentum going into that third,” said Konta who lost the first set after having a 5-2 lead.

“Overall I thought the match was played at a very good level for both of us. I think it just, yeah, was about being able to string together a few more points. I thought I maybe may have done that a bit better than her today.”

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 22, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 63 63
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) 57 64 60
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) 76(3) 63
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Friedsam (GER) 64 76(4)
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d C. Wozniacki (DEN) 46 63 64
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [Q] M. Brengle (USA) 76(2) 64

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) 63 63
[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 46 62 10-8
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) 76(6) 63
First Round
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) 61 26 10-4
[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) 62 62
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 36 63 10-6
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) 75 00 Retired ( Left Abdominal Injury )

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [12] D. Cibulkova (SVK)
M. Doi (JPN) or [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
[11] J. Konta (GBR) vs A. Petkovic (GER) or E. Makarova (RUS)
After suitable rest – [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE)

COURT 1 start 11:30 am
M. Doi (JPN) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 26 34

Not Before 12:00 noon
A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Makarova (RUS) 10

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Vesnina Defeats Defending Champ Bencic in Eastbourne

Elena Vesnina photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Elena Vesnina photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

(June 21, 2016) Third seed and defending champion Belinda Bencic lost to 2013 winner Elena Vesnina 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) on Tuesday in the second round of the Eastbourne International.

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved on when her opponent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni retired with gastrointestinal illness with the Polish woman leading Radwanska led 6-4, 2-1.

“She was still playing great tennis, very powerful game, very consistent,” said Radwanska. “So I was surprised that something happened to her.”

“Well, very tough conditions today,” Radwanska said. “I think the first day that it was really windy. And with her powerful game, sometimes it’s hard to find a right rhythm from the beginning.

“But, well, is not easy match for the first round as well here. But, well, still happy that I could win that one-and-a-half sets and ready for the next one.”

Second seed Roberta Vinci lost to 2010 champion Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. A total of ten seeded players lost on Tuesday including fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky, sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Fifth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova advanced with a straight sets win over Timea Babos.

“I think that I’m kind of feeling that I am playing well, even though I kind of lost some of the matches in a couple of months,” Kvitova said. “But I think it’s pretty good.

“The main thing is to stay healthy, for sure. Otherwise I feel good. I think that the mental side should be a little bit, you know, stronger.”

Caroline Wozniacki is into the third round by dominating seventh seed Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-1.

“I feel good, said the Dane. “The ankle is feeling good. As long as I’m stable and moving well, it feels good.

“I’m pleased with the way I have been playing. You know, the first match I played quite well, but today I feel I played even better. Hopefully there is more tennis to come.”

 

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 21, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) d [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 21 Retired (Gastrointestinal Illness)
E. Makarova (RUS) d [2] R. Vinci (ITA) 46 64 63
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [3] B. Bencic (SUI) 76(4) 76(5)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [4] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 61 75
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) d T. Babos (HUN) 64 76(5)
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d [6] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 26 64 75
C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [7] S. Stosur (AUS) 62 61
M. Doi (JPN) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 36 64 61
[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 62
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 76(4) 61
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 63 63
A. Petkovic (GER) d [13] S. Errani (ITA) 61 36 64
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) d [14] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 63
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [15] I. Begu (ROU) 63 61
A. Friedsam (GER) d [16] L. Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 64
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d [Q] A. Konjuh (CRO) 61 53 Retired  ( Neck Injury )
First Round
[Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) d [LL] D. Allertova (CZE) 64 62
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 62 46 64
A. Friedsam (GER) d [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST) 67(3) 64 64
M. Doi (JPN) d [Q] P. Hercog (SLO) 64 64
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 61 75
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) d [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 67(4) 76(4) 62
L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [LL] S. Zhang (CHN) 61 76(3)

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 61 62
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / D. Kasatkina (RUS) 64 16 10-6
Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) 26 63 10-6

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) vs C. Wozniacki (DEN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [11] J. Konta (GBR)
A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Makarova (RUS)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) or [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs A. Friedsam (GER)
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
M. Doi (JPN) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)
After suitable rest – [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) or A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

COURT 2 start Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS)
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 36 20  To finish
Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) or R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) or [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 57 00  To finish

Not Before 1:00 pm
S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) 00  To finish

 

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Former Champs Makarova, Vesnina Advance in Eastbourne; Watson Loses

Ekaterina Makarova

Ekaterina Makarova

(June 20, 2016) Former Eastbourne champions, Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina advanced to second round on Monday beating British players. 2010 winner Makarova survived five set points in the first set to beat Tara Moore 7-5, 6-4, while 2013 title holder Vesnina defeated Heather Wartson 6-2, 6-3.

“I definitely didn’t play well today,” Watson said. “I felt really out of timing and slow to the ball.

“But I’m not taking anything away from Elena. She played very well. And when I had my chances to come back and get into the match, she hit an ace or always made her first serve and played well.”

Vesnina will take on defending champion Belinda Bencic next. Bencic had to withdraw from Birmingham during her first round match last week. The Swiss says she’s ready to go.

“I have been doing the physio treatment all day,” she said. “Yesterday I was practicing, so I should be fine. I still tape it a lot, so it’s a little bit hurting but it’s okay.”

Asked about feeling pressure in defending her title, Bencic said: “No. I mean, why would I feel pressure? Of course it’s points, but every time someone is defending points somewhere. So I guess it’s just a normal situation. And I don’t feel any pressure and no expectation because I haven’t played a lot of matches lately.

“I’m just trying to, you know, get the matches in and just keep going. Yeah, just have fun and obviously I’m so glad to be back on the courts, so that’s the most important.”

 

 

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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 20, 2016
Women’s Singles – First Round
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [Q] V. Lepchenko (USA) 61 62
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d [WC] N. Broady (GBR) 61 61
E. Vesnina (RUS) d H. Watson (GBR) 62 63
A. Petkovic (GER) d [LL] S. Zheng (CHN) 57 62 64
E. Makarova (RUS) d [WC] T. Moore (GBR) 75 64

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs T. Babos (HUN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [7] S. Stosur (AUS)
After suitable rest – [1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [LL] D. Allertova (CZE) or [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
L. Tsurenko (UKR) or [LL] S. Zhang (CHN) vs [11] J. Konta (GBR)
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[4] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
To finish 0/3 – A. Schmiedlova (SVK) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)
E. Makarova (RUS) vs [2] R. Vinci (ITA)
[13] S. Errani (ITA) vs A. Petkovic (GER)
E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [3] B. Bencic (SUI)
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) vs Y. Putintseva (KAZ)

Not Before 12:30 pm
E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [15] I. Begu (ROU)
After suitable rest – [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) or Y. Putintseva (KAZ) vs [6] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
A. Friedsam (GER) or [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [16] L. Safarova (CZE)
S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[LL] D. Allertova (CZE) vs [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
M. Doi (JPN) vs [Q] P. Hercog (SLO)
[Q] A. Konjuh (CRO) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)
[8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs M. Doi (JPN) or [Q] P. Hercog (SLO)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / D. Kasatkina (RUS)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [LL] S. Zhang (CHN)
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) or D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [10] K. Pliskova (CZE)
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
[Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [Q] M. Brengle (USA)
A. Friedsam (GER) vs [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST)
After suitable rest – [14] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) or [Q] M. Brengle (USA)
C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
TO BE ARRANGED – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS)

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Defending Roland Garros Champion Stan Wawrinka Survives Five-Set Test from Lukas Rosol

Wawrinka in press

(May 23, 2016) Stan Wawrinka avoided being the first defending Roland Garros champion to lose in the first round on Monday, surviving Czech Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Back in 2012, Rosol shocked Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon.

“He kept me under pressure permanently, said the No. 3 of his opponent’s game. “I kept running after the score. You can’t really relax.”

No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori completed his rain postponed match over Simone Bolelli in straight sets for his 50th match-win at t a major, while 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, seeded 10th lost 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.

In a match postponed until Tuesday due to darkness No. 2 seed Andy Murray, dropped the first two sets to Radek Stepanek, and was in the process of coming back when the match was called. The 37-year-old qualifier led the two-time major champion 6-3, 6-3, 0-6, 2-4.

Last year’s Wimbledon finalist escaped an upset as Garbine Muguruza, the fourth seed pushed past Anna Karoline Schmiedlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

There were a few upsets on the women’s side as seventh seed and former French Open finalist Roberta Vinci was routed by Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 6-3. Other seeds which lost on Monday included 16th seed Roberta Vinci, 17th seed Karolina Pliskova and 32nd seed Jelena Ostapenko.

 

Roland Garros
Day 3 Order of play
May 24, 2016

Philippe-Chatrier Court
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Angelique Kerber (GER) [3]
vs.Kiki Bertens (NED)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Radek Stepanek (CZE)
vs Andy Murray (GBR) [2]
To Finish 6-3 6-3 0-6 2-4
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1]
vs.Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
vs.Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [6]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Serena Williams (USA) [1]
vs.Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
Suzanne-Lenglen Court
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) [26]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Rafael Nadal (ESP) [4]
vs.Sam Groth (AUS)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Oceane Dodin (FRA)
vs.Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [14]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
David Ferrer (ESP) [11]
vs. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)
Court 1
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Lucas Pouille (FRA) [29]
vsJulien Benneteau (FRA)
To Finish 6-3 4-6 6-4
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Venus Williams (USA) [9]
vs.Anett Kontaveit (EST)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Karin Knapp (ITA)
vs.  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [5]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
David Goffin (BEL) [12]
vs.Gregoire Barrere (FRA)
Court 2
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Alize Cornet (FRA)
vs. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Inigo Cervantes (ESP)
vs. Dominic Thiem (AUT) [13]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
vs. Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Andrea Petkovic (GER) [28]
vs. Laura Robson (GBR)
Court 3
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Bernard Tomic (AUS) [20]
vs.Brian Baker (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
John Isner (USA) [15]
vs. John Millman (AUS)
To Finish 6-7(4) 7-6(12)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Ipek Soylu (TUR)
vs.Virginie Razzano (FRA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
vs. Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Monica Niculescu (ROU) [31]
vs.Pauline Parmentier (FRA)
Court 4
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Tatjana Maria (GER)
vs. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) [23]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Pablo Cuevas (URU) [25]
vs.Tobias Kamke (GER)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Marcel Granollers (ESP)
vs.Fabio Fognini (ITA) [32]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Elina Svitolina (UKR) [18]
vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
Court 5
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Samantha Crawford (USA)
vs.Timea Babos (HUN)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
vs.Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) [8]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Joao Sousa (POR) [26]
vs.Damir Dzumhur (BIH)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)
vs.Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Court 6
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [12]
vs.Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Hyeon Chung (KOR)
vs.Quentin Halys (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Donna Vekic (CRO)
vs.Madison Keys (USA) [15]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Kevin Anderson (RSA) [18]
vs.Stephane Robert (FRA)
Court 8
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Saisai Zheng (CHN)
vs.Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [22]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)
vs.Feliciano Lopez (ESP) [21]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
vs.Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) [14]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Monica Puig (PUR)
vs.Olga Govortsova (BLR)
Court 10
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Borna Coric (CRO)
vs.Taylor Fritz (USA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Louisa Chirico (USA)
vs.Lauren Davis (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Rajeev Ram (USA)
vs.Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
vs.Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)
Court 13
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)
vs.Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Thiemo De Bakker (NED)
vs.Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Kurumi Nara (JPN)
vs.Denisa Allertova (CZE)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Irina Falconi (USA)
vs.Mona Barthel (GER)
Court 14
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Gerald Melzer (AUT)
vs.Aljaz Bedene (GBR)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Alize Lim (FRA)
vs.Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
vs.Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [24]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Johanna Konta (GBR) [20]
vs.Julia Goerges (GER)
Court 15
11:00 AM
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Malek Jaziri (TUN)
vs.Florian Mayer (GER)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) [27]
vsVarvara Lepchenko (USA)
To Finish 5-7 6-4 4-1
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER)
vs.Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [29]
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)
vs.Sachia Vickery (USA)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Denis Istomin (UZB)
vs.Juan Monaco (ARG)
Court 16
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Laura Siegemund (GER)
vs.Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Marsel Ilhan (TUR)
vs.Steve Darcis (BEL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Gilles Muller (LUX)
vs.Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Taylor Townsend (USA)
vs.Amandine Hesse (FRA)
Court 17
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Qiang Wang (CHN)
vs.Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Samantha Stosur (AUS) [21]
vsMisaki Doi (JPN)
To Finish 6-2 1-3
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Facundo Bagnis (ARG)
vs.Kenny De Schepper (FRA)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Daria Gavrilova (AUS)
vs.Mariana Duque-Marino (COL)
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Alexander Zverev (GER)
vs.Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA)
Court 18
11:00 AM
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Arina Rodionova (AUS)
vs.Ana Konjuh (CRO)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Shuai Zhang (CHN)
vs Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)
To Finish 5-5
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
vs.Federico Delbonis (ARG) [31]
Men’s Singles – Round 1
Andreas Seppi (ITA)
vs.Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
Women’s Singles – Round 1
Teliana Pereira (BRA)
vs.Kristyna Pliskova (CZE)

T.B.A 1
6:00 PM
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Chris Guccione (AUS)
Andre Sa (BRA)
vs.Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) [13]
Robert Farah (COL) [13]
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Wesley Koolhof (NED)
Matwe Middelkoop (NED)
vs.Tristan Lamasine (FRA)
Albano Olivetti (FRA)
Not Before: 6:00 PM
Men’s Doubles – Round 1
Mate Pavic (CRO)
Michael Venus (NZL)
vs. Eric Butorac (USA)
Scott Lipsky (USA)

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Rain Disrupts Play on Day 1 of Roland Garros

(May 22, 2016) Only 10 out of 32 matches were completed on the first day of Roland Garros on Sunday. Rain delayed and then washed out most of the on-court action. A jam-packed schedule for Monday will push back the opening matches for the top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.

 

Nick Kyrgios, the 17th seed, who beat No. 124th ranked 7-6, (6), 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over Marco Cecchinato, received a code violation warning from the chair umpire for yelling at a ball person for a towel. The warning prompted a curse-laden tirade from the Australian.

 

Last year’s women’s finalist, No. 11 seed Lucie Safarova began her Paris quest with an easy 6-0. 6-2 win over No. 223 Vitalia Diatchenko, escaping the rain. The Czech is overcoming health problems with surfaced at the end of 2015.

 

Safarova’s countrywoman, No. 10 seed Petra Kvitova avoided an upset, getting past Danka Kovinic 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

 

Play was canceled for the day at 6:30pm and will resume on Monday at 11am. Rain is also in the weather forecast for Monday.

Roland Garros Day 2

Order of Play for May 23, 2016

Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Lukas Rosol (CZE) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [3]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Kei Nishikori (JPN) [5] vs Simone Bolelli (ITA)
To Finish 6-1 7-5 2-1
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [2]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs. Andy Murray (GBR) [2]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Alize Cornet (FRA) vs. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)

Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [4]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Gilles Simon (FRA) [16] vs. Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA) [9]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Oceane Dodin (FRA) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [14]

Court 1 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) [30] vs. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [13] vs Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
To Finish 4-6 6-1 3-1
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) vs. Caroline Garcia (FRA)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Julien Benneteau (FRA) vs. Lucas Pouille (FRA) [29]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Elina Svitolina (UKR) [18] vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)

Court 2 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Milos Raonic (CAN) [8] vs. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Jack Sock (USA) [23] vs. Robin Haase (NED)
To Finish 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-7(3)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Simona Halep (ROU) [6] vs. Nao Hibino (JPN)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Marco Trungelliti (ARG) vs. Marin Cilic (CRO) [10]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [12] vs. Katerina Siniakova (CZE)

Court 3 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. Viktor Troicki (SRB) [22]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Nicole Gibbs (USA) vs Heather Watson (GBR)
To Finish 7-5 2-6 2-1
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Roberta Vinci (ITA) [7] vs. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
John Isner (USA) [15] vs. John Millman (AUS)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Tatjana Maria (GER) vs. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) [23]

Court 4 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Martin Klizan (SVK) vs. Taro Daniel (JPN)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Annika Beck (GER) vs. Maryna Zanevska (UKR)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Naomi Broady (GBR)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Andrej Martin (SVK) vs. Daniel Munoz De La Nava (ESP)

Court 5 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) vs. Adam Pavlasek (CZE)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Elena Vesnina (RUS) vs. Madison Brengle (USA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) [25]
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Arina Rodionova (AUS) vs. Ana Konjuh (CRO)

Court 6 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [17] vs. Shelby Rogers (USA)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) vs. Kyle Edmund (GBR)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Samantha Stosur (AUS) [21] vs. Misaki Doi (JPN)

Court 8 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [32]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Laslo Djere (SRB) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs. Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Saisai Zheng (CHN) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [22]

Court 10 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) vs. Denis Kudla (USA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Sara Errani (ITA) [16] vs. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Pablo Cuevas (URU) [25] vs. Tobias Kamke (GER)

Court 14 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) vs. Sloane Stephens (USA) [19]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Dustin Brown (GER) vs Dudi Sela (ISR)
To Finish 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(5) 1-1
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs. Steve Johnson (USA) [33]
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Taylor Townsend (USA) vs. Amandine Hesse (FRA)

Court 15 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Ivan Dodig (CRO) vs. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) [27] vs. Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Kurumi Nara (JPN) vs. Denisa Allertova (CZE)

Court 16 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Barbora Strycova (CZE) [30] vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) [27] vs. Albert Montanes (ESP)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Mathias Bourgue (FRA) vs. Jordi Samper-Montana (ESP)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Qiang Wang (CHN) vs. Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA)

Court 17 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Myrtille Georges (FRA) vs. Christina McHale (USA)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) vs. Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR)
To Finish 7-5 6-7(2) 2-1
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) vs. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Johanna Larsson (SWE) vs. Magda Linette (POL)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Hyeon Chung (KOR) vs. Quentin Halys (FRA)

Court 18 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Polona Hercog (SLO) vs. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)
MEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Diego Schwartzman (ARG) vs. Guido Pella (ARG)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) vs. Carina Witthoeft (GER)
WOMEN’S SINGLES – ROUND 1
Shuai Zhang (CHN) vs. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)

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Novak Djokovic to Meet Kei Nishikori in Miami Open Final

(April 1, 2016) On Friday Novak Djokovic defeated David Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach his seventh final at the Miami Open. The world No. 1 will be going for his third straight title in Key Biscayne and sixth overall on Sunday when he faces No. 6 Kei Nishikori.  Djokovic is on a 15-match winning streak in Key Biscayne.  In the other semifinal, Nishikori stopped 24th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5.

Djokovic survived a tight first set against his Belgian opponent. A missed overhead smash by Goffin in tiebreak put the momentum in the Serb’s favor.

“Of course I was a bit fortunate in the tiebreak, but I made him play always an extra shot,” said Djokovic. “Second set was even better.”

“I was aware of the level that he raised his game in last couple of months. And the fact that he has played the first semifinals of a Masters 1000 event in his career in Indian Wells gave him obviously confidence coming into today’s match, and I knew he’s going to try to take his chances, going to try to be aggressive.

“He plays very clean, a tennis that is beautiful for the eye, you know, to watch, and the way he moves. Also, I think he improved his serve, first serve, especially in the first set. I had difficulty to kind of read it. It’s not as powerful and strong as maybe some other guys’, but it’s very precise and efficient. Also, he backs it up with a very efficient and good quality first shot after the serve.”

“There was a lot of big points in the first set,” Goffin said. “I had the break also earlier in the set, and at 4-3 I didn’t play good service game to do 5-3. Yeah, with new balls he was really aggressive with his return.

“Yeah, against Djokovic you have to make every point. You have to go for the shot in every point. He doesn’t give anything, so you have to win every point. It’s tough, because if you are not there for a few seconds, you lose the game.

“So, yeah. It’s always tough against Novak. But, yeah, at the end it was a really good first set with a lot of intensity, and, yeah, there was some — when we start the tiebreak it was, yeah, few second serves that I missed the return. I served well, but it was not enough, yeah, with the smash.”

Goffin who reached two straight Masters Series semifinals, Indian Wells and Miami, will see his ranking rise to 13.

“Of course my confidence is really high,” Goffin said of his recent results. “But of course I did two good weeks, two good tournaments, but I was not on fire. It was like really solid game, and I played my level. I really happy that mentally I was really competitive and I won a lot of good matches against many great players.

“So, yeah, I worked a lot during practice, so maybe that’s why it pays off during the match. But for the next tournaments and the rest of this season, of course the confidence is really high.”

Nishikori held back the hard-hitting Kyrgios in the night session. The man from Japan, survived five match points against Gael Monfils in his quarterfinal contest.

“It’s going to be tough, for sure,” Nishikori said about playing Djokovic in the final. “He has been playing well. I hope I can play another good match.”

Djokovic will be going for a record 28th Masters Series 1000 title, while Nishikori will be trying to win his very first. Should Djokovic win on Sunday he would tie tennis Hall of Famer Andre Agassi for the most number Miami titles with six and win his fourth Indian Wells-Miami double.

Djokovic leads in his career head-to-head against Nishikori at 6-2.

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Victoria Azarenka to Play Svetlana Kuznetsova in Miami Open Final

(March 31, 2016) A pair of former Miami Open winners and two-time major champions have reached the women’s final. Svetlana Kuznetsova, a 2006 winner of the Miami Open held off Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3. 2009 and 2011 Key Biscayne winner, 13th seed Victoria Azarenka gained a little revenge from the Australian Open by beating No. 2 Angelique Kerber. Kerber beat Azarenka in the quarterfinals of Melbourne and went on to beat Serena Williams in the final to capture her first major title.

Kuznetsova knocked out eight-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round of Miami and survived four straight three-set wins to reach the semifinal.

The 30-year-old Russian at No. 19 in the world has become the lowest ranked finalist since 2005, when No. 38 Kim Clijsters won the Miami title.

Should Kuznetsova win the title, she would return to the top ten. She talked about her tournament so far.

“I just take match by match and I just go,” she said. “It’s one more match. I’ll play with another amazing opponent. I had great wins this week, but one match, it’s a lot. It’s almost like everything. It’s great, you know.

“I start really well playing in Sydney, and then Australian Open didn’t happen to me to play good there. But I still felt I was in good level. Then I kind of mess up with Fed Cup and all that results. It was not good for me.

“I didn’t feel going in that good shape going to the U.S. swing. I was not feeling confident at all. After I had a loss in Indian Wells I tried to work a lot and training every morning a lot just to get confidence back, get my fitness.

“I’m doing better. I’m appreciate, I am blessed I have my body to play so many years and to win against good players, top players. It’s great when things come together. Either way, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a great week. I’m really pleased and happy the way I fight through all these tournaments and weeks and players.”

On-court after the match, the former French Open and U.S. Open champion said she was happy wrapping up the match in straight sets.

“I am happy that I could hang in there and never let my hands down,” said Kuznetsova.

“I’m happy I’m still able to play against the best in the world. I was praying to finish it in two sets so I would have a little more time to rest.”

 

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka advanced during the Thursday night session, improving her record this year to 21-1, not dropping a set during the tournament. Should the Belarusian win, she’d become only the third woman player to win the Indian Wells – Miami double in the same year.

Both Azarenka and Kerber produced hard-hitting shots with very exciting rallies. Azarenka had her serve broken, serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but won the next two games to close it.

Azarenka broke the German’s serve seven time during the match, hitting 29 winners and only making 16 unforced errors.

“Vika, she is doing amazing,” Kuznetsova said about potentially playing her in the final. “She is extremely prepared. Playing really confident taking all her chances.”

Azarenka is 4-4 against Kuznetsova in head-to-head competition. The last time they faced each other was in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open. Azarenka won the match and went on to win her second straight Melbourne crown.

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 6 Kei Nishikori survived five match points to beat No. 16 Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) to advance to the semifinals on Thursday. He’ll face No. 24 seed Nick Kyrgios who surprised No. 12 Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4).

Nishikori was down 4-5, 0-40 before fighting off the Frenchman.

“I was up a break and I had many chances to break again, you know, second time,” said the top player from Japan.

“You know, I just try to focus when I lost the game for 4-All. Actually, I knew something like that was going to be happen, so I was kind of ready and like 50/50.

“But when I was down 4-5, Love-40, I thought, All right, that’s it. Especially the last couple games I wasn’t serving well, so that was — I thought it’s going to be tough to come back. I tried to play one point at time. Yeah, I thought I have to hit the ball to win the points, and I did.

“The tiebreak I was try to be focus again. I saw he was down a little bit, so try to be focus again. Yeah, did pretty good in tiebreak.”

“Then I think at 3-4 I really raise my level,” Monfils said. “I think I start to be very aggressive, start to go for it, and still had the strong feeling that I can make it.

“At the end, I think I push very hard. Then definitely I have opportunity it close it out, but actually Kei played strong. He fought well.

“Actually, I think in the breaker he was just better than me.”

Kyrgios talked about playing Nishikori next: “Obviously Kei is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment. He has an unbelievable return of serve, moves unbelievably fast, hits big from the baseline, doesn’t have many weaknesses.

“When I played him in Shanghai I didn’t really do too much wrong. I played a great match the whole time and he just played a really well in the big moments. I definitely had chances.

“I know what my game plan is going to be. It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s a great guy.”

For his efforts in Miami, the young Australian’s ranking will move into the top 20.

MIAMI OPEN RESULTS – MARCH 31, 2016
Women’s Singles – Semifinals
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [2] A. Kerber (GER) 62 75
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 63

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [16] G. Monfils (FRA) 46 63 76(3) – saved 5 m.p.
[24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [12] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 76(4)

Men’s Doubles – Semifinals
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 63 63
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 62

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [15] D. Goffin (BEL)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

7:00 pm
ATP – [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
WTA – [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

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Djokovic and Azarenka Two Wins Away From an Indian Wells – Miami Double

(March 30, 2016) No. 1 Novak Djokovic is a match closer to claiming his sixth Miami Open title and third in a row. The Serb, dealing with back spasms on Wednesday night stopped No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. His opponent will be No. 15 David Goffin of Belgium. Goffin, reaching his second straight Masters 1000 semifinal rallied past Frenchman and No. 18 seed Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Djokovic is now 26-1 on the year. He stand two wins away from pulling off a fourth career Indian Wells – Miami double.

David Goffin

David Goffin

“Yeah, the first set it was tough because it was a good set with a good level,” Goffin said. “Gilles was really solid on his baseline, but I didn’t serve really well in the first set. I didn’t have any free points with my serve, so it was tough.

“I had so many opportunities to come back in the set. I didn’t take, yeah, any occasions to come back. I knew that the level was there and I had to keep going like this, just to stay more focus on some shots just to finish the points, some volleys, some smash, maybe some easy forehands. Maybe just be more precise, because I knew that I was feeling really good.

“Then game after game I was feeling much better. The serve was there in the third set. Yeah, I think with the serve it was the key to win the third.”

Goffin talked about his good run over the past few weeks: “I had a good level all this year during practice. I just had to reproduce my level during a match.

“I think match after match — you know, the first one against Frances Tiafoe in Indian Wells was not the best, but I won that one. Match after match was feeling much better.

“After the Davis Cup of course when I won against Marin Cilic, then match after match I was feeling much better. I won many matches in Indian Wells and here in Miami continued to win, so, yeah, I think the level is here. I have just to keep going like this. Stay aggressive.

“I worked a lot when I practiced with my coach, my two coaches. I think it’s already pays off.”

As for playing Djokovic in semifinals: “I have nothing to lose,” Goffin said. He won almost everything this year. He’s playing unbelievable tennis at the moment. But I played a great match against him last year in Cincinnati, and it could be interesting to watch the match.”

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka stands two wins away from achieving the rare Indian Wells- Miami double. The 13th seed and two-time major winner defeated Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Only two women have won Indian Wells and Miami in the same year and they are Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Steffi Graf in 1994 and 1996.

“If I’m able to make it, it’s great,” Azarenka said after the match. “It seems so close, but it’s really far. I want to stay in the present. I want to continue to fight and keep getting better.”

“Great player,” Azarenka said of Konta. “I was very impressed with her improvement taking from last year and seeing how well she’s handling the pressure and going in big stages and playing really well. That’s impressive. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more of her in the future.

“I think especially for England not having women player stand out, she’s going to be the one, I think.”

I think it’s exciting to watch her journey and see happens. She’s definitely playing top 10 level right now.”

The Belarusian who has struggled with injuries the last few years said that she always believed in herself but she still hasn’t reached her peak. “I never doubt my abilities,” said the 2009 and 2011 Miami Open winner. “What came to my mind is definitely after being for so long injured, the doubt was to get healthy. So always been a little bit on my mind.

“But I still feel that I’m far from my best, and that’s what’s really exciting for me, to be motivated, to keep improving. Everybody has doubts. We’re human beings. I always trust my ability and I believe in myself.”

Azarenka will face-off against No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber who defeated No. 22 Madison Keys 6-3, 6-2 in the evening session.

For the reigning Australian Open champion, Kerber this will be her first semifinal in Miami.

Kerber dominated her American opponent, Keys made 39 unforced errors during the match. Kerber rushed need just a little over an hour to complete the victory.

“It’s nice to play a match like this,” Kerber said. “I was feeling good. Madison is always a tough opponent. I know this because we had a lot of tough battles in the past.

“I knew that I must play very good to beat her because she played very well here in the last few matches. So it’s good. It’s good.”

She continued: “I was really trying to stay focus(ed) and stay really concentrate point by point and actually trying to really only focusing on points, on point by point.

“Because I know the tennis game, and sometimes one ball can change and turn around the match. That was my goal: to be focus(ed) and playing my game until the last point.”

Kerber notched her first win over Azarenka in the most recent quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Coming into that match, the Belarusian had a 6-0 advantage over the German.

“I went out there and trying to be really aggressive from the first point, trying to really believe in myself, because until this time I never won the match against her,” Kerber said. “It was 0-6; now it’s 1-6. I will try to go out there again like in Australia and try to believe in my game and myself and, yeah, trying to challenge her.

“It will be not easy. It will be tough match. But this is for what I am practicing, for the big matches out there, to really show what, yeah, we can do and playing the best tennis.

“So I’m really looking forward to play against her again this year.”

As for playing Azarenka in the next round, Kerber said: “She had a great start of the year, of course. She is like, yeah, on fire I think right now. I will just trying to play my game go out and try to beat her. I mean, we played two times already this year and that’s the third time.

“Yeah, I will try to enjoy it. I know that I must play really my best tennis to beat her because she won Indian Wells; she’s here now in the semis.

“Yeah, I will try to take this challenge against her.”

The other semifinal which will take place on Thursday will pit No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated No. 1 Serena Williams in the third round, against No. 19 seed Timea Bacsinszky who knocked out two straight top 5 seeds to reach the final four.

 

 

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 30, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d [22] M. Keys (USA) 63 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [24] J. Konta (GBR) 64 62

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) 75 63
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 62 64
[8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) 62 62

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [7] T. Berdych (CZE) 63 63
[15] D. Goffin (BEL) d [18] G. Simon (FRA) 36 62 61

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) 76(5) 63
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) 67(5) 76(5) 10-7
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) 76(5) 57 10-7
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) 61 75

 

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2016
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
WTA – [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [16] G. Monfils (FRA)

7:00 pm
ATP – [12] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [13] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
ATP – [5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

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