August 5, 2015

Andy Murray Beats Rafael Nadal to Earn Madrid Masters Title

Andy Murray with Madrid trophy

(May 10, 2015) Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time in his career on Sunday, 6-3, 6-2 to win his second Madrid Open. Just six days ago Murray claimed his first career clay tournament in Munich.

For Murray it was his 10th Masters Series title, first on clay and 33rd overall career tennis title.

Murray is undefeated since getting married on April 11 to his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears.

After his victory, Murray signed the TV camera glass with the words “Marriage Works.”

“Obviously the tennis has gone well (since the marriage),” Murray said. “You’re happy and that helps your performances on the court.”

“Today I was just more consistent, Murray said of the match. “In the second set Rafa was starting to play better at the beginning and the middle part. But I stayed strong in that period of the match and he started to make some mistakes at the end that he wouldn’t normally make. That obviously helped me finish the match.

“I wasn’t expecting this a couple of weeks ago, so when things are unexpected, it feels nicer. I didn’t feel like I put too much pressure on myself the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing. But obviously to win a Masters 1000 on clay is a step in the right direction. It’s something I had never done before. So that’s good progress there.”

“For me it was obviously a very tough match, you know winning against Rafa on clay is extremely difficult, one of the hardest things in tennis,” Murray added. “From my side it was a very good performance. I’m sure Rafa feels he could have played much better. But from my side, I couldn’t have done much more.”

“This wasn’t the game I wanted to play, but I tried to the very end,” Nadal explained. “Still, it was a very important and positive week for me, I recovered sensations that I hadn’t felt in a long time.”

“I’ve pushed Rafa on the clay a few times,” Murray said. “This (win) obviously gives me confidence.”

“I’ve played a couple good matches [this week], especially yesterday’s match,” Nadal said. “It’s one of the best matches I have played in a long time. So I cannot leave Madrid not happy. I have to leave happy and just delete what happened today. I will just stay with the good things that happened this week, and there are a lot of them, more good than bad. I will try to recover the good feelings in Rome. I think I’ve made a step forward and I’m playing better. My game is better.”

With the loss, Nadal’s ranking will fall to No 7 as of Monday. Murray’s ranking remains at No. 3. Both men will play the Rome Masters this week.

Petra Kvitova won the women’s title on Saturday beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2. The world No. 4 ended the 27-match unbeaten of Serena Williams on Friday.

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Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova Upset in Madrid Open Semis

Serena shrugs

(May 8, 2015) Top seed Serena Williams lost her first match of 2015, falling to two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Friday 6-2, 6-3. Earlier in the day, defending champion Maria Sharapova was ousted by Russian countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4.

For the Czech Kvitova, it was her first win over the 19-time major champion. “For sure I’m happy I won today,” Kvitova said in her on-court interview. “I had never beaten her, so it’s a really special moment for me.”

“I think she just played well today,” Williams said. “I mean, she went for broke on every serve, every return. I hit some second serves, 170, 175, and she just hit them for winners. I was very slow off the mark. After my serve I wasn’t moving as well as I should have. You know, I wasn’t in it.

“I wasn’t Serena today. I think that was the main thing.”

The loss ended her 27-match unbeaten streak dating back to 2014. “I’m just exhausted today,” Williams said.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

For Kuznetsova it’s the first time in seven years that she beat Sharapova. “I’m just happy to be in the final,” said Kuznetsova,

“Today she had much more pop on her ball than I did, while I felt my shots were a bit too flat,” Sharapova said. ”

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori reached the men’s semifinals

Defending Madrid Open champion Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4. Berdych defeated John Isner, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (1).

“It’s great news to be in the semifinals, it’s a very positive result for me,” Nadal said. “I am pleased with the way I played this afternoon, very happy.”

“Very happy about the way things have worked out. I passed a test that was really important for me.”

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 8 MAY 2015


WTA Singles – Semifinals

[4] P. Kvitova (CZE) d [1] S. Williams (USA) 62 63
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [3] M. Sharapova (RUS) 62 64


WTA Doubles – Semifinals

[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 61 36 10-6
C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [7] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 75 36 10-7

ATP Singles – Quarter-Finals
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [5] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 75
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d [10] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 63 64
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [7] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 62
[6] T. Berdych (CZE) d [16] J. Isner (USA) 36 76(7) 76(1) – saved 1 M.P.

ATP Doubles – Quarter-Finals

[6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d [3] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) 26 01 ret. (Pospisil – Ankle Sprain)
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d M. Cilic (CRO) / V. Troicki (SRB) 64 67(4) 13-11
R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d J. Cabal (COL) / A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 62
[WC] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 67(1) 10-4

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 9 MAY 2015

MANOLO SANTANA Start Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [6] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – Singles Final – [4] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA – Doubles Final – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)

ARANTXA SÁNCHEZ-VICARIO start 3:00 pm
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs [6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [WC] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

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Halep, Bouchard and Venus Williams Fall in Madrid

 

madrid logo

(May 3, 2015) Seeds (2) Simona Halep, (6) Eugenie Bouchard and (16) Venus Williams lost in the opening round matches of the Madrid Open on Sunday.

The Romanian Halep, the biggest casualty of the day failed to take advantage of two set points in the first set before falling 7-6 (6), 6-3 to Alize Cornet of France.

It was business as usually for No. 1 Serena Williams, who only dropped one game in her match against Madison Brengle while defending champion defending champion Maria Sharapova advanced after stopping Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-3.

Williams will take on Sloane Stephens, and Sharapova face qualifier Colombian Mariana Duque Marino.

“I don’t think I’ve played her on clay yet,” Williams said about Stephens. “We had a really tough three-set match the last time we played. She’s playing really well. She’s moving well and is having a better year this year. I think she’s kind of flying under the radar.”

Sister Venus Williams, lost Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5.

Venus Williams, seeded 16th, went up a break at 4-3 in the second set, only for Azarenka to win four of the next five games.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic rallied from a 6-0, 3-0 deficit against Bouchard, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3, while former US Open champion Samantha Stosur served 14 aces to upset 12th seed Angelique Kerber, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. It’s Bouchard’s sixth straight loss.

 

SCHEDULE – MONDAY, 4 MAY 2015

MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA – S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs G. Muguruza (ESP)
WTA – [5] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [Q] C. Mchale (USA)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP – B. Becker (GER) vs [11] F. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs S. Giraldo (COL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs S. Stephens (USA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – J. Vesely (CZE) vs [9] M. Cilic (CRO)

ARANTXA SÁNCHEZ-VICARIO start 11:00 am
WTA – C. Dellacqua (AUS) vs [9] A. Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – R. Vinci (ITA) vs A. Cornet (FRA)
WTA – [11] A. Petkovic (GER) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) vs [Q] T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – E. Gulbis (LAT) vs D. Goffin (BEL)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
WTA – [13] L. Safarova (CZE) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – S. Querrey (USA) vs [Q] T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
ATP – [Q] A. Gonzalez (COL) vs S. Johnson (USA)
ATP – J. Janowicz (POL) vs [LL] J. Sousa (POR)
ATP – B. Tomic (AUS) vs [Q] L. Vanni (ITA)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [WC] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP)
WTA – K. Kanepi (EST) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
WTA – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – After rest – A. Groenefeld (GER) / A. Panova (RUS) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs M. Draganja (CRO) / H. Kontinen (FIN)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
WTA – M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs [PR] J. Husarova (SVK) / I. Olaru (ROU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [WC] M. Keys (USA) / L. Raymond (USA) vs M. Erakovic (NZL) / J. Goerges (GER)
WTA – After rest – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – TBA – [8] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs . Alternate / Unknown

COURT 6 start 12:30 pm
WTA – [5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ) / S. Peng (CHN)
WTA – After rest – J. Gajdosova (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) vs [7] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)
WTA – A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / M. Torró-Flor (ESP)

 

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Spain Names First Female Davis Cup Captain

(September 21, 2014) The AFP is reporting that the Spanish tennis federation has named former No. 27 WTA player Gala Leon Garcia as the country’s Davis Cup captain, the first woman to hold this post.

She will replace Carlos Moya who resigned after Spain lost the Davis Cup World Group Play-off last weekend and are now relegated to Zonal Group 1 play for 2015, for the first time n 18 years.

The 40-year-old Leon Garcia southpaw played on the WTA tour between 1991 and 2004, reaching a career high ranking of 27 in 2000.

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Nadal to Face Nishikori in Madrid Open Final

madrid logo

MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014
Clay/Outdoors

 

Results – Saturday, May 10, 2014
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 61 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 67(4) 63 62

WTA Doubles – Final
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) 64 63

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d [5] D Ferrer (ESP) 76(5) 57 63

Doubles – Semi-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 76(3) 75
[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) 75 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2014

NOTE: Doubles Final will stream live at 2:00 pm CET/8:00 am ET

MANOLO SANTANA start 2:00 pm
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

4:30 pm
WTA – [4] S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)

7:15 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [10] K Nishikori (JPN)

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Tennis – Madrid Open Results and Schedule

madrid logo

MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014
Clay/Outdoors

 

Results – Friday, May 9, 2014
WTA Singles – Quarterfinals
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (1) Serena Williams (USA) w/o (left thigh injury)
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (2) Li Na (CHN) 26 76(5) 63
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 46 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 62 62

WTA Doubles – Semifinals
(WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. (1) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 57 63 108 (Match TB)
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) 76(7) 26 108 (Match TB)

ATP Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [6] T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) d E Gulbis (LAT) 76(3) 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d F Lopez (ESP) 64 64
R Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] S Giraldo (COL) 63 64

ATP Doubles – Quarter-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 76(4) 63
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [8] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 76(5) 76(6)

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 10 MAY 2014

MANOLO SANTANA start 11:30 am
WTA – [5] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [4] S Halep (ROU)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A Radwanska (POL) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [10] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – Doubles Final – [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)

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Serena Williams Pulls Out of Madrid Open

 

Serena in press 3

(May 9, 2014) Two-time defending Madrid Open champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the tourney with a left thigh injury. All week the world No. 1 has had her thigh heavily taped. With her withdrawal, Petra Kvitova advances to the semifinals.

“I have a left thigh injury and, unfortunately, have to withdraw from this year’s Mutua Madrid Open,” Williams said in a statement. “It happened during my first round match. It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover. It’s beyond words. It’s so frustrating. We couldn’t ask for a better tournament and I love it here in Madrid. I love being a champion here. Manolo Santana and his team put on a great tournament. This is not the way I wanted this week to end.”

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Kei Nishikori Wins Barcelona Open

(April 27, 2014) Kei Nishikori beat Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 to win the Barcelona Open for his first career title on clay, and fifth title of his career and second on the year.

“I was playing well. I felt I should be in the final and I’m very happy to win,” Nishikori said.

“This title and [my run in] Miami helped my confidence, especially this week on clay. There are three big tournaments coming up in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros so I hope I can do well and increase my [Emirates ATP Rankings] points. My next goal is to get to the Top 10.”

“I feel great about the week,” said Colombian player Giraldo. It was not an easy day for me. Kei played very good. I have good feelings about my play and my improvement.”

Nishikori’s title marks the first time the title was claimed by a non-Spaniard in Barcelona in 12 years, since Argentine Gaston Gaudio won in 2002.
Coached by former French Open winner Michael Chang and Dante Bottini, Nishikori talked about comfort on clay.

“I was good on clay when I was little,” Nishikori said. “I was winning all the European juniors events. Now it’s much tougher than hard courts and I was struggling a bit, but I’ve been playing well these past couple years so there’s no fear to play on clay.”

Nishkori, the top Japanese player, will move him up to No. 12 in the rankings on Monday, just shy of 11th, his career high.

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Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

_B4H1528-001

By Florian Heer

(February 2, 2014) FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Final day of the first round Davis Cup tie in Frankfurt and Team Germany ran out of players for the last two singles matches. Only Daniel Brands was nominated to take on Roberto Bautista-Agut for the single dead rubber on Sunday. It was officially announced by Team captain Carsten Arriens that Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber were injured. The spectators in the Fraport Arena answered with catcalls and the following match was played in a weird atmosphere.

Nonetheless the encounter between Brands and Bautista became an interesting affair with tennis on a very high level. In the end it was the German, who had the advantage in the decisive moments. Brands won the first set in the tie-break and gained the only break of the match in the tenth game of the second frame winning 7-6, 6-4 after 80 minutes.

 

“I tried to do my best and put some effort into winning one point for Spain,” Bautista-Agut said afterwards. “Nonetheless it was very difficult for me to go on court today. It was like having zero motivation, as we are still disappointed,” the Spaniard added. “All of our players gave their best but the German team was very strong throughout weekend,” Team Captain Carlos Moya said. “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted to win but there is still an opponent who also has a word to say and Germany played very well,” Moya stated.

Due to the missing third rubber, the German fans were also disappointed and as a consequence the president of the German Tennis Federation, Karl Altenburg, announced that there will be show match in Frankfurt in summer as a compensation for today’s ticket holders.

 

“I really can understand that the fans are angry,” team captain Carsten Arriens told the press after he had been barracked by the fans inside the arena. “I’ll think about the things, which happened in the arena in the next couple of days. We were really surprised by the reactions from the spectators and maybe we also underestimated the situation. Nonetheless I hope that the positive aspects from Friday and Saturday will remain the dominant facts for the fans. I do not want to embellish the situation but Tommy, Flo and Philipp did a great job the last two days and that’s what I want to point out. Unfortunately all three are injured,” Arriens tried to explain. “We had two fantastic days here in Frankfurt and I really want to thank the spectators for creating a great atmosphere and their support, it was something special for me, too, having the tie played in my hometown” the captain said. A very successful weekend for the German team has come to an end but today’s occurrences will probably leave a bland aftertaste.

Germany will play France the first weekend in April for a chance to make the Davis Cup semifinals.

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Doubles Team of Kohlschreiber and Haas send Germany to the Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Germany wins-001

By Florian Heer

(February 1, 2014) FRANFURT, GERMANY – Saturday in Frankfurt and in the morning it must have looked like climbing Mount Everest for the Spanish team to come back into this tie. In this competition the Iberians have never been able to recover from being 0-2 down after the first day and so Carlos Moya’s squad was forced to win the doubles rubber when David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who replaced Daniel Brands, and Tommy Haas.

It was the first time that the Spanish ATP World Tour Final Champions played as a team at Davis Cup. For the Germans it was also a new doubles team situation as doubles partners. For Kohlschreiber and Haas the longer the match took, the better both players found their rhythm as a team. In the first set, however, the Germans had a quite difficult start. Haas had to save set points in his service game to put the first set into a tie-break. Two magnificent shots from Marrero saved set points for the Spaniards but two double faults handed the Germans the opening set.

There were no break points in the second set and so again the tie breaker had to decide. Spain has already lost four tie-breaks during this weekend but were finally freed from a curse by winning this one 11-9 after one hour and 52 minutes.

Verdasco took more and more command on Spanish side, hitting baseline shots as hard as he could and eventually played another unavoidable tie-break in the third set almost alone. Before, the Spaniards were not able to capitalize on break points in the third game and consequently lost another close breaker 7-9.

So it became more and more difficult for the Spanish team to get back into this tie. The atmosphere at the Fraport Arena, filled with 5.000 spectators, was great for the home team, were the lucky ones to finally gain the first break of the match in the fourth game of the fourth set after three hours and eight minutes of play. It should become the decisive one.

Twenty-six minutes later, Haas served the match out in the ninth game giving Germany the victory by winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. “The team presented themselves how it should be at a home game,” Carsten Arriens said.

Kohlschreiber & Haas-001

“It was hard work today but in the end it worked out for Tommy and Philipp today. I also had a lot of fun during the last two days on the bench,” the German team captain added. “It was great to be back playing Davis Cup,” Haas stated.

 “Carsten’s vision of having a doubles team with Kohlschreiber and Haas became reality today. It was a difficult match against two experienced players but I think that we harmonized quite well on the court today,” the German veteran said. “It also have to be mentioned that Tommy and I do not have a problem with each other,”

Kohlschreiber explained his relation to Haas. “I think sometimes it’s just the media, which needs something to write about,” Kohlschreiber said. “My match on Friday wasn’t that long, so I felt good to play the doubles today as well,” he added. The German team already celebrated their victory during the press conference by drinking champagne and announced that this will become a long night for them.

 

On the other hand, the Spanish team was disappointed. “It was very close today. There was only one break of serve in the entire match,” Moya said. “Similar to Feliciano yesterday, we had our chances but in the end we couldn’t capitalize on it. Nonetheless my team can be proud of themselves how they played today and hopefully next time the luck will be on our side,” the Spanish team captain added.

 

Germany will face an away tie against France in the quarterfinals and Spain has to play a second time in a row the Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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