2014/07/28

Serena Williams Withdraws from Swedish Open

Serena in press 2

(July 10, 2014) World No.1 Serena Williams has pulled out from next week’s Swedish Open.

She withdrew from her doubles match with her sister Venus at Wimbledon last week with a virus.

“I want to be in perfect condition to go back on court, but unfortunately it’s not the case,” she said. “I really hope to be able to get back to training from next week.

“I want to thank all my fans and the event organizers, for their support and comprehension.

“Bastad was my favorite tournament I played in last year, thus I am very disappointed not to come back there. But there is still next, year, so I can’t wait to go back there.”

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Serena Williams Upset by Alize Cornet at Wimbledon

 

(June 28, 2014) Serena Williams, the world No. 1 lost to Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a third round match on Court No. 1 at Wimbledon. Through three majors in 2014, Williams has failed to reach the quarterfinals of any of them.

It;s the second straight defeat for Williams against Cornet, she also lost to her in the semifinals in Dubai earlier in the year.

This was Serena Williams’ earliest Wimbledon exit since 2005.

The match had been suspended due to rain at 1-1, deuce in the first set and resumed some 4 1/2 hours later.

“A few years ago I couldn’t even play on grass and now I’ve beaten Serena Williams. I cannot believe it, ” said the 25th seed Cornet  on court after the match.

Cornet hit 29 winners in the match and was 14 for 16 in net points won in the two-hour and four minute match.

“If I’m not playing a great, great match, these girls, when they play me, they play as if they’re on the ATP Tour, and then they play other girls completely different,” Williams said. “It’s never easy being in my shoes.”

“So I just have to always, every time I step on the court, be a hundred times better.  If I’m not, then I’m in trouble.”

“I’m just calming down now because I was very excited for an hour,” Cornet said as she came into do her news conference with the press.  “I couldn’t believe it.  I still cannot believe it, actually.

“If somebody would have told me a couple years ago that I would be in second week here in Wimbledon, beating Serena, I wouldn’t have believed it.

“It feels great.  It shows that really improved these last years.  Of course, what a victory.  It’s the best way to get the second week.”

“Even this morning I watched some images from this match in Dubai because this match was one of the best match of my season,” Cornet said.  “I was playing very, very good tactically and I really tried to take all these things out of this match to help me today.

“You know, I just knew that I could do it because I did it once in Dubai, which is a big tournament in Dubai.  I thought, Okay, maybe it’s on grass, so it’s less easy.  Definitely it helped me today, especially when I had to serve at 5‑4 in the third, because I had to do it already in Dubai at 5‑4 in the second set.  I tried to stay calm as I did in Dubai and just to remain focused, focused on the simple things.

“Well, it’s amazing because beating Serena two times in a row, it doesn’t happen very often, so I’m glad.”

Cornet will play Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 16. Bouchard defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4.

 

 

 

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Venus Williams Advances at Wimbledon: Talks ESPN Body Issue and Hunger to Win

 

(June 23, 2014) WMBLEDON – Venus Williams posted a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain on the first day of Wimbledon. For the five-time champion it was her first singles match win at Wimbledon since 2011. Williams lost in the first round in 2012 and missed 2013 due to a back injury.

The 30th seed said it was great to be back at Wimbledon after a missing last year.

“I think my opponent played amazing.  She just was playing so well, going for everything.  So it was definitely a challenge today against someone who is just playing such inspired tennis.

“It’s definitely a nice start.”

Williams closed out the match winning the last five games.

Williams will be one of the tennis players featured in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue. She was asked about the shoot.

“I just kept cracking jokes and that definitely made it fun,” she said.  “It was interesting, though.

“I think I’m in better shape now.  Hope we can do a reshoot,” she said with a big smile.

So what made her take part in this, “I think I did it because Serena did it, so…  I don’t know,” Venus said with a roar of laughter in the room.  “I think she was a big influence on me.”

On court after her win, Venus talked about the need to stay hungry.“I’m not looking for anyone to believe in me or anything like that.  You have to believe in yourself these days.”

“I have nothing to prove, nothing to hide, nothing to lose,” she continued. “So for me it’s about continually playing better and getting back up every single time when things might not go my way.  It’s not going to go the way of 127 people in this draw.  It’s going to go the way of one person.  So you just keep going.”

In the second round for Williams will be 41st-ranked Kurumi Nara of Japan.

 

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon

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Quotes of the Day from the Pre-Wimbledon News Conferences

Serena in press 3

(June 21, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Players met the media on Saturday for pre-Wimbledon news conferences, days ahead of the The Championships, 2014.

 

Who says I was over it (smiling)?

-No. 1 seed Serena Williams  asked about how long it took for her to get over her stunning second round loss at the French Open to Garbine Muguruza.

 

-Simona Halep on her new found fame in her homeland of Romania

It was amazing feeling when I arrived home, because they stopped the plane just on the red carpet at the airport and everybody was waiting for me, about 300 fans.  I went to them and I said hello, many things there.  They ask me many things.

Yeah, was incredible.  For me was the best moment of my life.  Was incredible.  I will never forget that moment.

 

The big change is that everybody knows me now and a lot of people are speaking about me and are watching me.  In Romania all the press, every day they are watching me.  I don’t know why.

It’s a little bit difficult, but I want just to stay very far of this and just to keep focus my mental for the tennis.  I just want to think about tennis now and nothing else.

 

On looking at her ranking years ago:

A few years ago I was looking at the rankings on Internet, and I saw I was fourth page.  I said my dream is to be on first page.

So now I am there, and I am really happy.  I cannot be sad that I lose some matches.  I want just to enjoy this moment and to try to improve more in my game and to be maybe second or first.

 

Roger Federer on his second round loss at Wimbledon last year:

That was done a week after Wimbledon.  After that, I didn’t need to think about it a whole lot anymore.  It was just one of the big goals I set for myself.  I failed.  Back to work.  Get yourself in shape.

Rafael Nadal on Wimbledon:

I say before:  Is really the most dangerous tournament of the year.  When I arrive to Roland Garros I already played for one month on clay.  I played a lot of matches.  So more or less I can imagine how I am going to play.

 

 

 

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ITF to Honor Woodies, Williams, Djokovic and Others

Novak Djokovic

(June 2, 2014) Australian doubles legends Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde will be presented with the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the 2014 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 3 June in Paris at the Pavillon d’Armenonville.

 

The World Champions Dinner will celebrate the achievements of the 2013 ITF World Champions. This year’s recipients are singles champions Novak Djokovic (SRB)and Serena Williams (USA); doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan (USA), and Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (ITA); junior champions Alexander Zverev (GER) and Belinda Bencic (SUI); and wheelchair champions Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Aniek van Koot (NED). The Bryans win the men’s doubles trophy for the 10th time.

 

The evening will also see the presentation of the second ITF Seniors Award to Heide Orth of Germany. The 71-year-old is the most decorated senior women’s player in history and has won ten ITF Seniors and Super-Seniors World Individual Singles titles, ten World Individual Doubles titles and ten World Team Championships representing Germany.

 

Former British Davis Cup player and current television broadcaster Andrew Castle hosts the evening, with ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti presenting the awards to the World Champions, and the distinctive trophies once again being designed by internationally-recognised sculptor Laurence Broderick.

 

Woodbridge and Woodforde receive the Philippe Chatrier Award both for their achievements on court, and their dedication in their varied roles as coaches, commentators, administrators and mentors.

 

Known as the ‘Woodies’, the pair enjoyed outstanding results together between 1990 and 2000, winning 11 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and a total of 61 tournaments. Their greatest success came at Wimbledon, where they are the only men’s partnership in the Open era to win five straight titles (1993-97), and hold the Open era record of six championships.

 

The Woodies won the Olympic gold medal at Atlanta 1996, and four years later took silver in Sydney. In Davis Cup, they compiled a 14-2 record together, scoring the vital doubles point that helped Australia defeat France for the title in 1999. The pair completed their set of Grand Slam titles when they won the elusive Roland Garros crown in 2000, shortly before adding their sixth Wimbledon title. By Woodforde’s retirement after the 2000 Olympics they had a 508-137 career record.

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde were unbeatable in their prime, in a nine-year span winning 11 Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold and silver medals, and helping Australia to Davis Cup glory. They continue their commitments to tennis in a variety of capacities and are being honoured for their outstanding – and ongoing – contributions to the game.”

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Serena and Venus Williams Upset at French Open

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 28, 2014) For the first time since Wimbledon 2011, Serena and Venus Williams have been beaten in a major on the same day. At Roland Garros on Wednesday in the second round, defending champion Serena Williams was upset by world No. 35 Garbine Muguruza from Spain 6-2, 6-2, while 29th seed Venus Williams fell to Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Serena’s 64 minute loss marks her worst defeat at a major, winning only four games total. It’s also only the third time the 17-time major champion has lost before the third round of a major.

Coming into Paris, Muguruza, never had a top 5 win.

“It was one of those days. You can’t be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam,” Serena told media. “It happens, you know. It’s not the end of the world. It is what it is.”

“I was focused,” Muguruza said. “I knew what I had to do.”

“I have actually never seen her play like this,” Williams said. “Hopefully she can keep it up.”

“I haven’t gotten past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year,” Serena continued. “I have a couple words to describe it, but I think that would be really inappropriate so I’m going to leave it at that.”

Venus Williams let a set and a break lead slip to the 19-year-old Schmiedlova. This is the eighth time in her last nine major tournaments played that sthe 29th seed has not won more than one match.

Had both sisters won, they would have been facing each other in the third round.

With second seed Li Na’s elimination on Tuesday, it marks the first time in the Open Era of tennis that the top two women’s seeds have been eliminated before the third round.

 

More to follow.

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“Kimye” and Mrs. Doubtfire in Notes and Quotes for Day 1 of the French Open

 

(May 25, 2014) Taking a quick look at some of the off-beat stories on Day 1 at Roland Garros.

Serena – Friend of Kimye

Serena Williams, a friend of reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian and recording artist Kanye West participated in in the pre-wedding celebration of the newly married couple.

Serena said, “went to a few of the festivities” in France including “dinner in Versailles and stuff,” which led up to the “Kimye” wedding.

“Always fun with Kim,” Serena said about the festivities.

The nuptials took place in a fortress in Florence, Italy on Saturday.

 

 

Tomas Berdych and his Hawaiian Shirt

World No. 6 Tomas Berdych is sporting an H&M floral shirt this fortnight in Paris. It rather resembles a Hawaiian shirt. When asked about it in press, Berdych said, “Everyone wears the same and everyone looks the same. So this is something different, which I like.”

Agnieszka Radwanska and Mrs. Doubtfire Separated-at-birth?

Radwanka won the first match at Roland Garros on Sunday, but her outfit garnered mixed reviews. Her floral dress drew comparisons to an outfit worn by Robin Williams in the movie ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’.

 

Hat tip to Matt Fitzgerald.  

“Selfie” of the Day

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Serena and Venus Williams Open with Straight Set Wins in Paris

 

 

(May 25, 2014) Defending champion Serena Williams and her older sister, No. 29 Venus, opened Roland Garros on Sunday with straight sets wins with possibility of a third-round meeting.

Despite the 6-2, 6-1 score over her opponent, friend and training partner at the Mouratoglou Academy in Paris, Alize Lim, Serena played an error-filled match against the wild card entrant from France ranked 130 in the world and the match was much closed than the score indicated. For Lim, she was making her debut at a major.
“In the beginning, a lot of the games went to 30-all, so I think we were pretty even,” Serena said in press. “It was an interesting start. I was a little nervous, like I always am in my first round. It’s kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves and go from there.

“I think it’s nice to have a little bit of nerves, because it means that you still have a passion for it. You still have this inside feeling that you want to do really well or else the nerves wouldn’t be there.”

The 32-year-old 17-time major champion is now 54-1 in first-round matches at majors. He only loss coming at the 2012 French Open to 11th ranked Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

Sister Venus Williams started off slowly but gathered herself to defeat 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1. The year Venus turned pro was two-and-a-half years before Bencic was born.

“I’m just trying to hopefully stay alive myself as an older player,” Venus said.

“It’s definitely good to get the first round out of the way and try to get some rhythm,” said the soon-to-be 34-year-old.  “I think I have started on Sunday before. In any case, we’re all ready to be called on Sunday and maybe this year it’s an opportunity, because I think the weather is not as good tomorrow. I was happy to play without any interruptions.”

Venus gave credit to Bencic who is the No. 1 junior player. “She’s played well,” Venus said. “I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.”

“She’s played well. I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.” – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Venus-Bests-Bencic-in-Roland-Garros-Opening-Round.aspx#sthash.k3AIkVQ0.dpuf
bviously I have to give some credit to her, as well,” Williams said about Bencic’s efforts. “She’s played well. I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.” – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Venus-Bests-Bencic-in-Roland-Garros-Opening-Round.aspx#sthash.k3AIkVQ0.dpuf
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Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Capture Rome Titles

 

 

(May 18, 2014) Novak Djokovic stretched his win streak over No. 1 Rafael Nadal to four in a row when he came back to beat the seven-time Rome champion 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to claim his third Italian Open on Sunday. Top women’s tennis player Serena Williams beat an injured Sara Errani in front of her home crowd 6-3, 6-0 to win her third Italian Open championship.

For No. 2 Djokovic who sat out last week’s Madrid Open due to a wrist injury, the Serbian had more than tennis on his mind during his battle with Nadal as dozens have died in the Balkans due to severe floods.

The 26-year-old, who drew a heart on the court in the clay with his racquet after his win, dedicated his victory to flood-hit Serbia.

“This heart on the court is for you,” Djokovic said on court. “It’s also a special dedication to my country, which is suffering a lot right now. My heart is with them.”

For Nadal who was pushed to three sets in all but one of his matches this week in Rome, he said: “It was a difficult week. Too many hours on the court.”

“I felt that Novak was pushing me and has a great talent to play inside the lines. I think this week is important for me. I have won 600 points. I was able to play in another final here. I was able to compete well against one of the best players of the moment. I arrive to Roland Garros now more encouraged that what I did a few weeks ago.”

The Spaniard hit 27 errors with only 15 winners against Djokovic. For the first time, 8-time Nadal enters Roland Garros, which begins next Sunday, with three losses on clay this season and just one European clay court title (Madrid). Nadal is 59-1 at the French Open.Djokovic is seeking his first French Open title. He was a finalist in 2012.

“It’s been a great week considering where I’ve been a few weeks ago with the wrist injury,” Djokovic said. Luckily for me, I played with no pain and increased the level of tennis as the week went on. I’ve had some tough matches. Four out of five matches were three-setters and I had to come back from one set down yesterday against Raonic and today again. That gives me a lot of confidence. Winning against Rafa in the final of a big tournament on clay, his preferred surface, is definitely a confidence booster.”

Djokovic takes home his 19th ATP Masters Series title.

Serena Williams Jumped out to a 3-0 lead and with a 5-3 lead, Errani sustained a left thigh injury and had to go off the court to get treatment. After Errani came back on the court, it was obvious that her movement was hampered. Williams who has been dealing a through injury herself last week when she pulled out of Madrid, reeled off the next 7 games for the title.

Speaking to the Rome crowd in Italian, Williams said, “I’m also sorry for Sara today. She really played great all week.”

“I’m sorry. You were unbelievable all week,” said Errani to the fans during the trophy presentation. “I tried to do my best and stayed on the court only for you.”

“It’s crazy for me that I got to the final this year,” Errani said through tears. “I never expected to manage to play such good tennis.”

“Sara played really well in the first set,” Williams added. “She was doing everything right and I could tell she had obviously improved since our last meeting in Paris last year,” Williams continued. It was unfortunate she got injured in the last game of the set, but overall I thought she was playing really well out there.”

For Williams it was her 60 title of the 32-year-old American veteran’s career. She now ranks 6th overall behind Martina Navratilova holds the record with 167 singles titles.

“My game gets better with age,” Williams said.

Williams will be going after her third French Open title when the Tournament begins next Sunday.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
Rome, Italy
May 12-18, 2014
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Sunday, May 18, 2014
WTA Singles – Final
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (10) Sara Errani (ITA) 63 60

WTA Doubles – Final
(4) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) 40 ret. (Errani: left hip muscle strain)

ATP Singles – Final
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [1] R Nadal (ESP) 46 63 63

ATP Doubles – Final

[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) 64 76(2)

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Rome: Nadal to Face Djokovic in Men’s Final: Serena Williams Plays Errani for Women’s Title

 

 

(May 17, 2014) The singles finals are set in Rome on Sunday for the Italian Open. On the men’s side No. 1 Rafael Nadal will play No. 2 Novak Djokovic while top women’s player Serena Williams will face off against Italian Sara Errani.

Nadal faced little competition in his semifinal clash defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2. It was the first match this week in which the Spaniard was not pushed to three sets.

“Today was a good confirmation that I really played better.  A lot of positive things,” Nadal said in press. “(Djokovic) is playing great and it’s going to be a really tough match.”

Djokovic was pushed to three set by the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3.

“I can’t recall the last time when I was feeling so helpless in the return games,” Djokovic said of Raonic’s powerful serves. “It was brutal.”

The Serbian made an appeal for help for his home country hit by severe floods. “This is a total catastrophe of biblical proportions,” he said. “Half the country is in danger of not having electricity.”

Foe those wishing to help with a contribution to the relief and rescue efforts: Novak Djokovic Foundation’s website.

Nadal leads his head-to-head record against Djokovic 22-18. Nadal is looking for his eight Italian Open title while Djokovic is seeking his third. Both men last played each other in late March in the Sony Open final where Djokovic won.

Serena Williams recovered from losing the second set to stop Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. The win for Williams avenged a loss to the Serbian in the round of 16 at this year’s Australian Open. Williams is seeking a third Italian Open title, but she’ll have to beat an Italian to get it.

“She’s just taken her game to a whole new level and she has so much confidence beating two really good top-10 players and two really great clay-court players,” Williams said about Errani. “So I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy. And she has nothing to lose and she has the crowd behind her. So it’s going to be a really tough match for me.”

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
Rome, Italy
May 12-18, 2014
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Saturday, May 17, 2014
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 61 36 61
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 63 75

WTA Doubles – Semifinals
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (8) Goerges/Groenefeld (GER/GER) 62 61
(4) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) 76(6) 64

 

ATP Singles – Semifinals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [12] G Dimitrov (BUL) 62 62
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [8] M Raonic (CAN) 67(5) 76(4) 63

ATP Doubles – Semifinals

[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) 76(3) 46 12-10
R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP) d G Dimitrov (BUL) / L Rosol (CZE) 62 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 18 MAY 2014

CENTRALE start 1:30 pm
WTA – [1] S Williams (USA) vs [10] S Errani (ITA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)

PIETRANGELI start 2:30 pm

[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs R Haase (NED) / F Lopez (ESP)
NB End of Men’s Singles Final – [4] K Peschke (CZE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)

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