2014/10/02

Roger Federer Easily Advances at Wimbledon

(June 24, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer ran off a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win on Tuesday over Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 on Court No. 1.

“I got the break I think in all three sets in the first return game,” the Swiss said.  “So from that standpoint I was alw..ays up in the score and could always, you know, was always in the lead.  It’s easier to play that way.  Then many times was able to break again.

“You know, it was a solid match overall.  I served well, returned well, also tried to come forward a bit.  I could really do everything out there, so I’m very pleased with the first round.”

The only true drama in the match came when the Italians was serving at 2-5 and saved five match points. Federer held his serve next and completed the win with an ace.

Fellow Swiss, reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is also through to the second round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal. Wawrinka served 18 aces over his challenger on Tuesday.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga completed his match on Monday which was suspended by rain and then darkness. He was on court for three minutes and won all four points closing out Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

“It was quick,” said Tsonga.  “I played only four points.”

“But was not easy to come back after yesterday night.  I played a good four points and finally I won.  It’s good.  And tomorrow I have a new match.”

 

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon

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Stan Wawrinka Tops Roger Federer for Monte Carlo Masters Title

Wawrinka in press

(April 20, 2014) World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka stopped Swiss countryman Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6(5). 6-2 to win the Monte Carlo title, his first ever Master Series title. It was just Wawrinka’s second win over Federer in 15 meetings, the first came in the third round of Monte Carlo in 2009.

“It’s always special to play Roger,” Wawrinka said. “We know it’s always a strange match, especially being in the final here. He’s my best friend on the tour. We respect each other so much. I’m just trying on the court to win the match. Before and after, we are still very good friends. During the match, we just try everything to win. Today I’m really happy to take that one.

“I can see that when mentally I’m there and I’m fighting, I can play tennis, I can beat all the players. I did an amazing job. I’m really happy after winning my first Grand Slam to win a Masters 1000 so quick. I didn’t expect to. When I came here, for me it was more like a test. I knew I was playing good tennis, but I didn’t expect to win because the draw was so strong.

“I did see I was playing good tennis. It was few little changes to take the advantage. I started to play more aggressive, trying to push him more. When you win a match like this, it’s only one or two points, especially in the tie-break. But I think I did a great tie-break. I was serving big and being really aggressive. Then I took the advantage at the beginning of the third set. I saw that he was a little bit tired. Me, I was playing better and better, especially moving better.”

 

“I think it’s one of the those finals that I could have won,” Federer said. “But Stan was tougher at the end. I think he deserved it just a little bit more. Clearly it would have been nice to win that second set tie-break. I didn’t necessarily play a bad one, but also at the same time I didn’t quite ever get into the lead where things went my way.

“Of course, I’m very happy for Stan. It’s a huge win for him after winning his first Grand Slam this year, also to win his first Masters 1000. To take the opportunities when they’re there, that’s key in a tennis player’s career. So I’m very happy for him.

“I would have loved to have won a second title [this season] because I’ve come close a few times. That’s my next objective, that I get to the very end more frequently. But clearly I’m happy that the clay court season started so well for me.”

On Monday, Wawrinka will rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, which is based solely on results this season.

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Swiss Countrymen Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to Meet in Monte Carlo Final

Federer sets

(April 19, 2014) It will be an all-Swiss battle for the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters crown on Sunday as Roger Federer beat an injured defending champion Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka stopped David Ferrer to set up the final.

Federer who came in as a wild card defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-2. Djokovic was dealing with a wrist injury since the beginning of the tournament and it was heavily bandaged for his match on Saturday. The world No. 2 Djokovic was toe-to-toe with Federer until the end of the first set, after that Djokovic appeared to be in pain.

Wawrinka dominated David Ferrer in first set and held steady at the end of the second set for a 6-1, 7-6(3). Ferrer played an aggressive game hitting 31 winners past Ferrer.

Sunday’s final will be the first all-Swiss final since 2000 when Marc Rosset beat Federer in Marseille. It will be No. 3 Wawrinka versus No. 4 Federer as the pair meet in a final for the first time. Federer leads their head-to-head 13-1 overall, with his only loss coming in Monte Carlo in 2009.

Wawrinka hopes to win his first Masters Series title and third title overall for 2014. Federer is looking for his first title in Monte Carlo, he lost three straight finals to Rafael Nadal from 2006-2008.

 

 

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Stanislas Wawrinka Back to Winning Ways at the Sony Open

Stanislas Wawrinka

(March 22, 2014) Stanislas Wawrinka improved his record to 14-1 on the year defeating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in his opening match on Stadium Court at the Sony Open.

The match was a bit of a test for the No. 1 Swiss player who is participating in the Key Biscayne event for the first time since 2011.

“I start well really first set.  It wasn’t going that well, but I was positive, ready.

“Problem is I still have some up and down mentally.  I was negative in the second set a little bit stupidly, but then I’m really happy the way I start the third set.

“Was important to come back strong, to move well again, to play aggressive, to push him, and was important to get the break early.

“I think then was okay.  I’m happy to win.  That’s the most important.  First one here, it’s never easy.  The condition was really slow today, really humid.  You need to get through.  That’s it.  That’s the most important, just winning matches.”

The Australian Open Champion is very happy with his reception in Key Biscayne.

“It’s been great,” Wawrinka said.  “I have been here since one week.  I was practicing since Monday here.  A lot of fan(s), a lot of people from South America, they always come to watch the practice.

“It’s normally a really good crowd.  They make a lot of noise.  They are really happy to be here.  The reception was great for me.

“I didn’t come last two year, so it was even bigger.

Now that Wawrinka has won a major, he was asked about his additional goals.

“Well, there is one goal that I have since many years,” Wawrinka said.  “It’s the Davis Cup.  Now Roger (Federer) is playing, so we know that we are a strong team to do something.  Well need to be careful, but we have a good chance to make a big result this year, and that’s so far the most important.”

Wawrinka and team Swirzerland will play host to Kazakhstan April 4-6 in the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals.

“I need to focus on what I did before to win the Australian Open,” Wawrinka continued.  “That means I need to focus with my coach, try to improve my game, try to be 100% every day on the court, try to always fight, always try to be at my best in every matches.

“And if I do that, I know I’m going to have some great results this year.”

Wawrinka will face Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the third round.

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Kevin Anderson Upsets Aussie Champ Stan Wawrinka At The BNP Paribas Open

anderson-wawrinka-shake-water

By Kevin Ware

(March 12, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – With a strong first-round win over Ivo Karlovic, and the loss of just two games to Andreas Seppi, it was a foregone conclusion that Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka would stretch his win streak to 14 matches for a spot in the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals.

His opponent, Kevin Anderson of South Africa, had other plans; knocking out the World No. 3 in three sets 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-1. Anderson had previously lost to Wawrinka in their three previous meetings, but felt good about his chances in today’s R16 match because they were all closely-contested. This was particularly true of their last meeting at the 2013 Shanghai Masters.

Wawrinka won that tough three-setter by the slimmest of margins in a third-set tiebreak, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5).  One of the lessons that Anderson learned from that match was the need to be more aggressive. This was evident from the start with an early break of the Wawrinka serve.

“That was my game plan coming out.  I had played Stan a few times before, most recently in Shanghai last year, and just being quite aggressive and not giving him too much rhythm from the back.”

That aggressive play was almost his undoing as his error count rose in the second set. It didn’t help that Wawrinka, appearing injured and on the brink of retirement at the end of the first set, came back from the brink to win the second set.

An awkward lunge at a backhand initially led to some tense moments as Wawrinka armed serves and swatted at backhands with limited range of movement. Wawrinka said, “It’s just tightness. And I was a little bit nervous and tight and tired.”

When asked if he’d thought of retiring, he brushed aside the injury talk. “No, never.  As I said, the injury was not big problem at all.  Not at all.  Because I won the second set after.”

“I think I was negative all the match.  I was complaining a lot about my serve, about the way I was playing, and with that, I don’t deserve to win matches. I think I should have been more positive with myself, just trying to find solution, because it was still a close match.”

Anderson got back on track in the third set, but can’t be happy with the stats sheet. He served 11 aces against 8 double faults, and a whopping 40 unforced errors against 34 winners. Still, he continues a run of good form that has seen him play some of the best tennis of his career.

Anderson struggled mightily with injury issues (and surgeries) just a few years ago. Now that the worst is behind him, he attributes much of his current success to having a few relatively healthy years to work on his game. “I have really put as much emphasis as I can on giving myself the right amount of breaks and, really fortunately, being in the position where I can pick and choose my tournaments has helped a lot.”

“Staying healthy is such an important thing.  It sounds obvious, but if you’re not at 100% it’s really tough to compete. ”

Anderson will have his hands full with his next opponent, Roger Federer. But he feels more than up to the challenge.

“I have to come out and focus on my game and just do what I have been doing.  I feel like I have been playing good tennis, and I’m going to definitely continue that tomorrow.”

Kevin Ware is in Indian Wells covering theBNP Paribas Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Nadal and Murray Tested as Federer and Wawrinka Also advance at the BNP Paribas Open

DSC_34450547rafa friday photo

(March 8, 2014) Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Stanislas Wawrinka all advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

Both Murray and Nadal were forced to rally for their victories. No. 1 Rafael Nadal was extended by Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 on Stadium 1 to lead off the night session.
“Happy to be through, because the start of the match, even if I felt at the beginning I didn’t play that bad, was very quick 4 1, and I felt I was not playing that bad, no?,” Nadal said.
“He is not the right player to play against in the first round. He’s not the right player because what you want to find in the first round is rhythm and against him every point is different. He goes quick to the net. They don’t give you that few games to find your rhythm, to find a way that you want to play.”
Nadal, who injured his back during the Australian Open final spoke about his concern for the past injury and how his serve was affected during the match. “With my serve I was doing nothing. When that happens, the opponent is able to play more aggressive, play more confident and in the end, eight double faults, I give him an opportunity to win a lot of free points,” Nadal said.
“You know, a little bit scared for the back, Nadal continued. “I am not feeling yet 100% confident with my serve. Even if my back is better than Rio in Rio I was feeling the back not very well.

“I am feeling the back better, but probably that match gonna help me to understand that I really can start to serve normal again, because I was serving with limitations, with, you know, no confidence, because I was scared to feel again the back, no?

“I think I can try to serve again at 100%, because I am feeling better. That match show me that I can try.”
Playing for the first time since the Australian Open Murray came back to beat Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“Here I have always kind of struggled at the beginning of the tournament with, you know, I don’t know if it’s the conditions or, you know, whatever reason it is, but I have never really started this tournament that well,” Murray said.

“I have always struggled, especially in the first round. So, yeah, just have to try to find a way to get through.”
“I was a set and a break down,” Murray said. “I got broken three times in a row the end of the first set, beginning of the second. I just kind of kept going and found a way to win, which is always the most important thing.”

Seventh seed Federer defeated French qualifier Pail-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 7-6(5).

After his win over Ivo Karlovic, Wawrinka spoke about where he keeps his Australian Open trophy.

“The trophy is in Switzerland in a safe place,” Wawrinka said.

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Ailing Victoria Azarenka Falls at the BNP Paribas Open

 

 

Azarenka

(March 7, 2014) INDIAN WELLS, California –

Nursing a left foot injury, third-seeded Victoria Azarenka fell out of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night in her first match in more than a month. American Lauren Davis winning 6-0, 7-6 (2).

Azarenka had been off the tour since the Australian Open due to some never damage between her toes. She had to wear a boot on her foot for three weeks.

“Basically, all I had was my fighting spirit,” Azarenka said. “When I’m on the court I try to give as much as I can, even on one leg. I try to do my best in tough situations. That’s part of our job.”

Azarenka is uncertain if she’ll participate in the Sony Open in Miami in 10 days.

“I want to be pain-free because it’s not to the most fun to be out there like that,” Azarenka said.

“It means so much to me,” Davis said.  “My first top 10 win, and just being in the third round of Indian Wells really boosts my confidence.

“I just tried to focus on myself, and, I mean, at times blocked them (the crowd) out.  Because like when you’re up and you’re about to beat the No. 3 girl in the world is kind of a high and you kind of look towards the end of the match.

“So I just really just tried to focus on myself and just block them out.”

The only other seed to fall on Friday was former two-time champion Hantuchova, seeded 29th, losing to American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-3, 6-2.

Other seed to advance included second seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 6 Simona Halep, No. 7 Jelena Jankovic, No. 9 Sara Errani and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki.

On a packed Stadium court 2, 2008 Olympic Doubles Gold medalists Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka paired up for a 6-2, 6-7 (4), (10-6) win over Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.

“I don’t know if it was sold out, but it felt like very, very full,” said Federer. “You’re not probably going to achieve that on center court (which holds 16,100) for a doubles. But that was a perfect setup, a feeling, and we can thank the tournament and (owner) Larry Ellison for building such a court so quickly.”

“It’s nice to see the game grow and seeing people coming out and enjoying it. It’s great. I really had a great time out there with Stan today.”

“It took me time to realize really what I did in Australian Open,” said current champion and No. 3 seed Wawrinka.

“Still when I’m saying that I won a Grand Slam it’s still strange for me, but that’s why it was good to be home during three weeks. It was good to be with the family, to take more time for myself.

 

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Tennis Players and Celebrities Play Tennis for Charity at Desert Smash

 

(March 4, 2014) LA QUINTA, California – The 10th annual Desert Smash at the La Quinta Resort & Spa on Tuesday raised money for charity featured  actors Will Ferrell, Kevin Spacey and Rebel Wilson and tennis players Novak Djokovic, as well as the Bryan Brothers – Bob and Mike, Australian Open Champion Stanislas Wawrinka and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.

The two-day tennis and golf event will benefit Cancer for College, a 501c3, non-profit organization that provides college scholarships for cancer survivors. Since 1993, the charity has granted nearly $2 million to more than 1,000 cancer survivors.

Here are some photos from the event.

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Rafael Nadal to Miss Buenos Aires Tournament

Nadal

(February 6, 2014) Rafael Nadal will skip next week’s ATP tennis tournament in Buenos Aires after a stomach virus. He also nursing a back injury sustained from the Australian Open final where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka.

Nadal announced his withdrawal on Twitter and on video:

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Wawrinka Upsets an Injured Nadal to Claim First Major at Australian Open

Yonex photo of Stan Wawrinka

By Alana Mitchelson

(January 26, 2014) MELBOURNE – After playing the tournament of his career, Stanislas Wawrinka has earned himself his first ever Grand Slam title in his major final debut, prevailing over a struggling Rafael Nadal in four sets 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

 

His Australian Open success will see Wawrinka rise to a career-high ranking of world No. 3 on Monday and he will become the new Swiss No. 1, having outlasted Roger Federer in the tournament.

 

With three consecutive wins over top 10 players during the fortnight gone by, Wawrinka’s story is one of the underdog and is one which has garnered the respect from tennis aficionados far and wide.

 

The nervous energy surrounding his first Grand Slam final appearance was most noticeable during the Swiss’ first few service games. But he quickly shook them off, showing no fear in going for the big shots and did not so much as hesitate to rip winners down the line, even upon return of service.

 

Throughout the entirety of the first set, Wawrinka did well to disguise his nerves, appearing calm and confident on the exterior and backed this up with a solid execution of his game plan. The opening set saw him win each and every one of his first serve points kept in play, as well as all of the points whereby he approached the net.

 

He powered through his service games, Nadal having difficulty instilling much pressure on the Swiss, and at 5-3 Wawrinka saved three break points. He followed through to ace his way to snatching the first set over the world No. 1, 6-3.

 

​”I was surprised about how well I was playing,” Wawrinka said after winning the title.

 

“I was expecting to be a little bit nervous, not to move so well, especially at the beginning like I did against Djokovic. But tonight was just the perfect start.”

 

During his previous 12 tournament encounters with the Spaniard, Wawrinka had not once taken a set off the current world No. 1.

 

“He was playing amazing. It is very tough to stop him when he’s playing that way,” Nadal said.

 

“He’s playing better and better and he’s playing with amazing confidence, hitting every ball very, very hard and moving great.”

 

But the Swiss’ momentum did not follow on at this same level throughout the match as Nadal suddenly called a medical timeout early on in second set shortly after Wawrinka had established another early break lead. The crowd reacted in the most peculiar way by booing the usual, regular crowd favourite.

 

​”The crowd wants to enjoy a great match. They paid tickets to watch the best match possible and I was not able to offer that to them. I wanted to try my best until the end but I can understand very well the reaction. They understood later that it was bad,” Nadal said.

 

A very different Nadal returned to court. His usual intensity had dropped dramatically, movement was at a bare minimum, serves were deficient in power, and his groundstrokes were lacking in depth and generated a greater clearance of the net. He was, at times, also merely chipping at returns.

 

The Spaniard had undergone an injury to his back and received treatment from a massage therapist after the second set.

 

​”That wasn’t easy,” Wawrinka said, reflecting on Nadal’s physical state during the remainder of the match.

 

“He wasn’t serving at all. He wasn’t moving during one set. Then it was a completely different match. I had to focus on myself, to try to find a way to just win it… I knew it was really, really difficult for him. I was unhappy for that because normally that’s not the way I want to win a match.

​”I had to keep myself calm and just try to stay aggressive because he was injured, but he was still trying. It was not easy. I started to be really nervous because I started to realize that I could win a Grand Slam. In the end I just went back to the game and focused on what I wanted to do.”

 

Nadal, who had an emotional year after facing serious injury setbacks which had forced him to miss last year’s Australian Open, found the back pains especially frustrating but nevertheless pushed on. For the 13-time Grand Slam champion, retirement was not an option.

 

“Since the beginning, I felt a little bit from the warmup… end of the first set, I started to feel worse. Then at the beginning of the second was the key moment that I felt very stiff during a serve,” Nadal said.

 

“​Last thing that I wanted to do was to retire. I hate to do that, especially in a final. Same time, it’s tough to see yourself working for a moment like this the whole year and when the moment arrives, you feel that you are not able to play at your best.

 

​”It was not an easy situation for me to be on the court like this but I tried hard until the end, trying to finish the match as good as I could for the crowd, for the opponent, for me.”

 

Nadal managed to break ahead in the third set but these opportunities were mostly presented as a result of his opponent’s mistakes rather than from the success of his own offensive play. His slow, and hence, very predictable serves gave Wawrinka more chances to be aggressive upon return and break ahead.

 

Wawrinka too began to deal with an internal battle of his own as he encountered a different kind of challenge on the court – one which was more psychological – and that was how to respectfully attack an injured opponent. This seemed to throw him off his game to an extent, his unforced errors accumulating, and a couple of untimely mistakes handed Nadal the third set.

 

Nadal recognized that his injury should not in any way take away from the resilient stand Wawrinka has made on behalf of the lower ranked players trying to breakthrough in this sport and that he should receive nothing but praise for the sensational, entertaining tennis he has dished out for fans throughout the tournament.

 

​”​It is a moment to congratulate Stan. He’s playing unbelievable. He really deserves to win the title. I’m very happy for him. He’s a great, great guy. He’s a good friend of mine. I am really happy for him… he had a great year last year and to start the new year winning two titles is just amazing.

 

“I’m obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened. But that’s life, that’s sport.”

 

Wawrinka is the first man in eight years to clinch the title after winning a pre-Australian Open tournament; in Wawrinka’s case, Chennai. He is also the first man in 11 years to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds at a Grand Slam; an incredible achievement that should not be overlooked in the tennis history books.

 

​”Before today, for me it wasn’t a dream. I never expected to play a final. I never expected to win a Grand Slam,” Wawrinka admitted with a smile.

 

“And right now I just did it. Especially with the way I was playing all tournament, it’s for me a big surprise to play that well. To beat Rafa today, even if he was injured, I think I played my best first set during the match. I was ready to play four hours or five to beat Novak in the quarter, to beat Berdych in semis. That shows me I’m doing the right thing… that if you practice well, if you work hard, you will always have a chance.

 

​”I will need time to realize what I did in these two weeks. In the end, even if Rafa was injured, I think I deserve that Grand Slam because I won against Djokovic, No. 2 and (now) I won against Rafa. I had an amazing two weeks and I was playing my best tennis ever.”

Alana Mitchelson is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist was covering the Australian Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on Twitter @TennisNewsTPN and read her personal website.

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