August 31, 2016

Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Azarenka Wins Third Miami Open to Complete Indian Wells – Key Biscayne Double

Azarenka with trophy

(April 2, 2016) Victoria Azarenka added her name to the list of women to complete the Indian Wells- Key Biscayne double when the 13th beat 2006 Miami Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on Saturday 6-3, 6-2 for the title in 77 minutes. The Belarusian joins Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters as the only women to achieve this feat.

“It’s an honor to stand next to those amazing champions,” Azarenka said during the trophy ceremony.  “This just gives me even more inspiration and motivation to keep working harder, because this feels great.”

Azarenka, once ranked No. 1 in the world and was sidelined with injuries on and off over the past few years.

“The most difficult thing would hold me back was my body wasn’t responding well to training, to matches, and I was unhealthy, I wasn’t fit enough. So that was holding me back. And after I think the point when you reach your goals and (indiscernible) that tip of mentality where you kind of drop your motivation a little bit, if you don’t put the work in it can sway you away.

“I definitely had some difficulties mentally to get back with my motivation, but I never doubted my abilities.”

Despite setbacks, the soon-to-be back into the top five player says she’s back.

“I felt that I played really well,” Azarenka said. “I really took a lot of time away from her and her shots. I didn’t see the statistics, but I think I had a pretty high number of winners today.”
“I think I have played pretty well last year. With my injury I had some pretty good results despite that. So I’m looking forward to putting necessary work in and then go after it.”

Azarenka, a two-time major champion is now 22-1 on the year, her only loss coming to Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the final 8 of Melbourne.

No. 15 seed Kuznetsova upset 8-time Miami Open champion Serena Williams in the fourth round. “It’s quite open, but you have to see how Serena will play,” Kuznetsova said. “If she’s in a good mood, not good mood, good feet, not good feet – you never know.”

“I’d like to congratulate Victoria for doing such a good job this year and in these four weeks,” Kuznetsova said in her runner-up speech both speaking in Spanish and English.

“I want congratulate Sveta for the great result,” Azarenka said. “I know you’ve had a lot of ups and downs in your career and I’m so happy to see you again in top form producing some great tennis.”

Azarenka dedicated her 20th career title to her family, especially her parents.

Azarenka said that she’s celebrating her title by eating pizza.

The tennis season switches from the hardcourts of the Unites States to the clay courts of mostly Europe next week and Azarenka says she’s ready.

“Definitely very motivated for clay season. I always been a high favorite of proving people wrong, and that’s what also motivates me a lot.

“Going into clay season, people say it’s not my favorite surface and whatever, I’m going to work pretty hard to make sure it’s going to be my favorite surface. I’m going to put in the work that’s needed and the adjustments that’s needed.”

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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 Advances, Bacsinszky Surprises Halep at Miami Open

(March 29, 2016) In a match closer that the score indicated, Novak Djokovic advanced to the Miami Open quarterfinals on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 14th seed Dominic Thiem of Austria.

Djokovic who is now 25-1 on the year is seeking his fifth Miami title in six years and three in a row.

The Serb fought off a game youngster in Thiem, fighting off 14 of 15 break points.

“He came out with a good game plan,” Djokovic said. “He’s young. He had not much to lose. He was confident obviously winning a lot of matches this year. He was motivated to win. I could see that. It was a straight-set win, but far from easy. It was a tough match.”

“It is exciting, because tennis definitely needs the next generation of young players who are playing the way Dominic does and challenging the best players in the world,” Djokovic continued.

“It’s normal evolution in life that sooner or later we’ll — the time will come for all of us, and we need some new faces and players that are able to follow and lead the tennis world in the future.

“So Dominic is one of the leaders of this generation, no question doubt about it. He’s already established himself as a top 20 player last couple years. He’s getting stronger and more confident.

“It’s a process for every young player to really develop and understand what it takes mentally, physically, emotionally, to get to the top of the world and win major titles. It’s a long road ahead for him and for everybody else, but definitely they are on the right track.”

In the final eight Djokovic will play No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych who beat 10th seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

The women’s upsets continued at the Miami Open on Tuesday when No. 5 seed Romanian Simona Halep lost to No. 19 seed Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

The Swiss player backed up her defeat of the No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round for her second straight win over top five players.

It marked the first time that Bacsinszky had even taken a set off of Halep.

For the Swiss, it’s been five years since she last made an appearance at Key Biscayne and this year, making the semifinals is by far the longest run she’s made in the tournament.

After Halep took a tight first set, Bacsinszky jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set to take control. The Swiss notched two breaks early in the third set to go up 3-0 and never had to look back.

After her first service break in the second set, rain halted play for 10 minutes.

Between Bacsinszky’s effective use of the slice, movement and varied game, put her opponent off guard throughout most of the almost two-and-a-half-hour match.

“Well, in the second set I think I was pushing her to play long rallies,” she said. “I was like probably trying to hide where I was playing; then she was like — she couldn’t be able to guess if it was on the backhand or the forehand.

“Well, even though I felt that she raised her level and her intensity at the end the second set, I stayed — I’m happy that I stayed really strong. I felt that she was like going up, pushing, pushing, but I showed that, Okay, I’m here. I know you’re pushing, but I can keep the level.

“Then it helped me a lot for the third set. I raised then probably my intensity at the beginning of the third set and it made a big gap between us.”

With Halep out, the only top ten seed left in the women’s draw is No. 2 Angelique Kerber.

“The ranking is only a number,” said the Swiss in reference to beating two top five players, “so sometimes you can play very good, better than your ranking, and sometimes less good than your ranking is.

“So for the next match, I mean, obviously for sure it gives me a big confidence to have those two wins, but it doesn’t change that I’m going to have a fierce opponent and it’s going to be tough.

“I just hope I’m going to be able to play well — I mean, not especially well, but be efficient in the next match. Hopefully I win the last point. If not, then it’s okay. I’ll try for the next tournament.”

 

Bascinszky will next play Russian No. 15 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the finals.  In a topsy-turvy match, Kuznetsova defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.

In the first set Kuznetsova lead 5-2, 40-0 and also served for the set at 5-4 but could not close the set when errors crept into her game, especially on her powerful forehand side. Makarova took advantage and won the set in a tiebreak 7-6(3).

Kuznetsova was broken serving for the second set at 5-3, but broke Makarova right back for the third break in the set to even the match at one-set all.

The two-time major winner started off the third set, digging out of a break point to hold then break for a 2-0 lead. Makarova got the break back in the seventh game drawing closer to her countrywoman at 3-4. Kuznetsova battles for the break back and served for the match at 5-3. This time the 15th seed held to close out the match in two-hours and forty-five minutes.

For Kuznetsova, who won the Miami Open in 2006, this will be her first trip to the semifinals since 2009.

Only one of the top 12 seeds remain on the women’s side of the draw and that’s No. Angelique Kerber.

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

RESULTS – MARCH 29, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [5] S. Halep (ROU) 46 63 62
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [30] E. Makarova (RUS) 67(3) 64 63

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 76(3)
Second Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) 75 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016
STADIUM start 10:45 am
WTA – [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [24] J. Konta (GBR) vs [13] V. Azarenka (BLR)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [15] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [18] G. Simon (FRA)
ATP-Possible Court Change – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [22] M. Keys (USA) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] T. Berdych (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs [5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
WTA – [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE)

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Svetlana Kuznetsova Upsets Serena Williams at Miami Open; Andy Murray Also Ousted

(March 28, 2016) Serena Williams’ twenty match winning streak at the Miami Open was snapped by Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round on Monday.

It’s the first time since 2000 that the American has not reached the quarterfinals of the Miami event. The world No. 1 was trying to win her fourth straight and ninth title in Key Biscayne.

The 34-year-old, 21-time major champion has not won a tournament since winning the event in Cincinnati last August.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but I’ve won here a lot, so it’s okay,” Williams said in her news conference.

“I did the best that I could. My fans, you know, I did the best I could do. I can’t win every match. The players come out and play me like they’ve never played before in their lives.

“You know, the best that I could do today. I have to be 300% every day, so…”

Russian Kuznetsova made only 15 unforced errors to Williams’ 50.  Kuznetsova broke serve 6 times. The 15th seed won Miami back in 2006.

“I’m too old,” Kuznetsova said in her on-court interview. “I’ve been many times on this court. I love being back here, and I’m really happy with my performance.”

“Physically I’m fine,” Williams said. “I don’t know, I guess I didn’t move today. Maybe that was one of the things that didn’t work out for me.”

Asked about if there are too many expectations placed on her, Williams said: “I don’t think there is expectations. I mean, there obviously is expectations, but I think overall I put a lot of expectations on myself more than anything.

“So that’s pretty hard to live up to, is the expectations I put on myself.

“I have so many people saying congratulations I feel like I won the title already,” Kuznetsova told media. “Not real.

“Now these days the tennis is extremely tough and each opponent is really difficult to play. I’m just focusing for tomorrow’s match. I don’t have too much time to rest.

“Really looking forward to give my best another day tomorrow.”

“I knew I had to go for my serves. I think I barely did double fault. I knew I had to go aggressive. If I would give some easy second serves I would get my ass kicked, you know, out there.”

Asked if she thought Williams was struggling, she said: “I mean, you say drama when somebody, No. 1, which is probably one of the greatest in the history of athletes didn’t win four slams. This is drama. For me this would be miracle of the year. For us it’s drama that she didn’t win the fourth Grand Slam of the year.

“She struggled a little bit probably because she lost Australian Open, but, I mean, she is still No. 1 and she still plays great. I don’t see much to be depressed about.”

“I mean, going into today’s match I knew she is not on her top game, but neither was I. I didn’t feel good. I knew I was hang in there and I will fight for each ball.

“It’s her game, as I said, mentioned earlier. She goes for her shots, and I have to move her as more I can and make her do more unforced errors. This is my goal, how I have to win, because I’m not going to overhit her or do more winners than Serena, or do more aces. This is not my game.

“If I put myself and Serena on the paper, that’s what I fight for: for her to make unforced errors, to bring more returns back, to serve better, and I think it worked really well for me today.”

In addition to the top seed falling, the No. 2 on the women’s side also lost. 2012 champion Agnieszka Radwanska,  lost to No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

A major upset took place on the men’s side as well when No. 2 Andy Murray lost to No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-3. Dmitrov won the last five games to close the match.

Murray made 55 unforced errors and had his serve broken six times in the match.

“I got myself up 3-1 in the third set, which is a good position to be in, and then the mistakes started creeping in,” Murray said. “That’s nothing to do with adjustments. A lot were unforced errors and just poor mistakes.”

“I made many more mistakes than usual, especially in the third set, so that was surprising for me.

“But, again, I got myself in a winning position, so it’s not like I came out and played like awful stuff the whole match. Just when you get in winning positions you need to put your foot down. The last two tournaments I certainly haven’t done that.”

“In then the third set managed to get up a break and then a lot of unforced errors. Credit to him. He was more solid than me.”

“I’m happy,” Dimitrov said. “Of course I’m happy with that victory. Every time you beat a top player you know you must have done something good.

“As I said, I’m just very happy with the win and just focusing on the next round. I’m not trying to rank anything right now. I’m still in the tournament. Looking for my next opponent. It’s a good win. Still in a way it’s the beginning of the year. Clay is coming after.

“So just focusing on what I have to do.”

There is only one of the top five men’s seeds left – No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES

21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 28, 2016
Women’s Singles – Fourth Round
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [1] S. Williams (USA) 67(3) 61 62
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d T. Babos (HUN) 62 36 64
[19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [3] A. Radwanska (POL) 26 64 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [4] G. Muguruza (ESP) 76(6) 76(4)
[5] S. Halep (ROU) d [WC] H. Watson (GBR) 63 64
[30] E. Makarova (RUS) d [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) 61 64
[22] M. Keys (USA) d I. Begu (ROU) 63 61
[24] J. Konta (GBR) d [32] M. Niculescu (ROU) 62 62

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) 64 62
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) 62 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d [2] A. Murray (GBR) 67(1) 64 63
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 62 62
[17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [9] J. Tsonga (FRA) 26 63 76(3)
[12] M. Raonic (CAN) d [22] J. Sock (USA) 76(3) 64
[16] G. Monfils (FRA) d [23] P. Cuevas (URU) 63 64
[24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) 64 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 46 61 62
An. Kuznetsov (RUS) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 26 75 60

Doubles – Second Round
[4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / V. Troicki (SRB) walkover
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) 62 63
[WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) d D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) 63 64
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO) 76(10) 60

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2016
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [10] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [7] T. Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [14] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [16] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [26] G. Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [30] E. Makarova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – [LL] H. Zeballos (ARG) vs [15] D. Goffin (BEL)
ATP – [18] G. Simon (FRA) vs L. Pouille (FRA)
ATP – [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs An. Kuznetsov (RUS)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [12] M. Raonic (CAN)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS)

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Serena Williams Avoids Early Exit, Rafael Nadal Cruises at French Open

(May 28, 2015) Serena Williams survived a possible upset on Thursday when she came beat German Anna-Lena Friedsam ranked 105th in the world 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the French Open.

“Probably more frustrated than relieved, but I know I’m capable of playing great tennis, just haven’t seen it yet,” Williams said.

“I feel like one thing Venus always tells me: A win is a win, and as long as you live to survive the next day, you can always improve. I know my level is literally a hundred times better than I played today, so I think I take more solace in the fact I can play better as opposed to the fact that that’s the best I could play. Then I would be in trouble.”

Next for Williams in the third round will be two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka who defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-2 6-3.
“It will be a tough match, obviously,” Williams said. “We had a really tough match in Madrid. So I do know if I play the way I did today, I probably won’t be winning my match. So I’m going to have to step it up a level. Probably just get out, start up better and be more relaxed and go from there. But it’s definitely not going to be easy, but, you know, at the end of the day it is what it is. I’m ready.”

“I think out of all the top players she’s, for whatever reason, has given me particularly some troubles. But, you know, she’s great at what she does. She fights hard and never gives up, and she’s really feisty. And I think that’s obviously why she’s been able to be a Grand Slam champion, not just on one occasion. So, I mean, yeah, those players aren’t always the easiest to play, but they also get you excited to play those matches and to be ready for that.”

“Facing somebody who is, you know, No. 1 in the world is never easy,” Azarenka said. “But I just want to try to focus, you know, on my game, on my energy, and try to play the best as possible. But there is no question you have to come up with your A game and play well.”

No drama for 9-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal who dismissed Spanish countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

“I think I played a good match against an opponent I think he didn’t play bad through a lot of very hard games, long games,” Nadal said. “The score is easier than what the match was like. Very happy, I think I did a few things very well.”

2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone saved a match point in a 3 hour 50 minute marathon against 18th-seeded and 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-7 (11), 7-5, 10-8 to move into the third round. Kuznetsova served for the match four times.

Both women played the longest women’s match in Grand Slam history at the 2011 Australian Open, 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 which lasted 4 hours, 44 minutes. Schiavone won that match as well.

“She went for it,” Kusnetsova said. “She played unbelievable shot. She played the deeper ball on high bounce to my backhand. I played good angle. For one-handed backhand to play it like that down the line, she totally went for it and all credit to her. She played unbelievable point. It’s nothing I can do, you know. It’s many more other opportunities I have to think about on my serve, which I didn’t serve well. I was not too sharp today for me.”

“Today was the key that long line with backhand,” Schiavone said. “I had to, otherwise backhand against backhand she was much better than me. So I had to play over there or in or out, and I play very good long line. Long match, yeah. With Svetlana I think we can play hours and hours and hours because we know each other exactly like I said before to play. Was great for me. I don’t know. She is amazing, and every time I play against her I say, Oh, my God, now what can happen? And it’s happen a long match again.”

Another upset victim, Caroline Wozniacki, the fifth seed, fell to 72nd ranked Julia Goerges in 6-4, 7-6 (4).

“I think I don’t play the typical women’s game on clay court,” said the German. “I play a little bit more spin, a little bit higher the ball over the net than some of the other girls. Well, she gets the ball in her striking zone she doesn’t miss any ball, but if you give her different balls, then it’s tougher for her to manage to bring the ball back with good quality, what she usually does when she has it in her striking zone. You have to mix up a lot. That’s what I did in all the matches I’ve played her. It’s never a guarantee you’re going to win the match, but you have to execute well, as well, and that’s what I did mainly today very well.”

Americans Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Jack Sock also advanced to the third round.

The 16th seeded Keys defeated Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 6-0, 6-3.

“Belinda is also a great player,” Keys said. “So I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have to be playing well and kind of in my best form in order to get past them. Just really happy with kind of how I managed to fight through the first one. I thought I played really well today.”
“I thought I came out and was aggressive and tried to play the best I could,” Stephens said about beating Watson 6-2, 6-4. “Obviously executed really well my shots and I stayed pretty consistent throughout, so that was good.”
Watson, who had never lost to Stephens before, was wearing tape on her arm. “I’ve had this with my arm for a week and a bit now, but it wasn’t the reason I lost today,” Watson said. “I felt fine. I had it all taped up and I took some painkillers before the match. But it was just me really. I was just pretty sluggish and slow out there. Finally after like a set and a bit I finally got into it, but at that point it was kind of a little bit too late.”

Jack Sock continues to win on American men’s least successful surface in recent times, but his favorite. The American defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in four sets to advance.

“I thought he played a really good match,” Sock said. “I’ve seen him play a few times, not a whole lot. Yeah, I thought he was kind of on top of his game today. It was a match I had to win. He wasn’t going to be given to me, by any means. I finally found my serve three hours in, which was nice. It was letting me down there for a while, but I was able to find a little bit and the rhythm there at the end.”

May 28, 2015 Results French Open

Men’s Singles – Third Round

[5] Kei Nishikori (JPN) d. Benjamin Becker (GER) W/O (right shoulder)

Men’s Singles – Second Round

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Gilles Muller (LUX) 61 64 64
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. Joao Sousa (POR) 62 46 64 61
[6] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 64 63 61
[7] David Ferrer (ESP) d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 62 63 61
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Andrea Arnaboldi (ITA) 76(3) 61 61
[15] Kevin Anderson (RSA) d. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 57 64 64 64
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) d. [16] John Isner (USA) 64 46 63 63
[17] David Goffin (BEL) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 63 46 75 62
Pablo Andujar (ESP) d. [22] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 61 76(5) 36 36 64
[23] Leonardo Mayer (ARG) d. Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 64 64 67(1) 61
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d. [27] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 36 36 63 64 86 – saved 3 M.P.
[29] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. Kyle Edmund (GBR) W/O (stomach)
Simone Bolelli (ITA) d. [31] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 62 64 63
Jack Sock (USA) d. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 67(2) 76(4) 61 76(4)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) d. Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 61 57 76(0) 75

 

Women’s Singles – Second Round
(1) Serena Williams d. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 57 63 63
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 67(4) 64 62
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 76(4)
(10) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 46 64 64
Andreea Mitu (ROU) d. (12) Karolina Pliskova 26 76(5) 64
(16) Madison Keys (USA) d. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 60 63
(17) Sara Errani d. Carina Witthoeft (GER) 63 46 62
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. (18) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 67(11) 75 108 (saved 1mp)
(23) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Tereza Smitkova (CZE) 62 60
(27) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 62 63
(30) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Ana Konjuh (CRO) 62 60
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. (32) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 06 61 64
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Danka Kovinic (MNE) 63 75
Irina Falconi (USA) d. (Q) Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) 36 61 62
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 62 64
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. Denisa Allertova (CZE) 63 76(2)

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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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Venus and Serena Williams Reach Miami Quarters

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(March 30, 2015) Venus Williams kept her record perfect against No. 4 seed Caroline Wozniacki on Monday at the Miami Open defeating the Dane 6-3, 7-6(1).

Venus, a three-time Miami winner joined her sister seven-time winner Serena in the quarterfinals. Serena bested two-time major champ Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3.

Venus and Serena could meet in the final of the tournament.

Venus did not return to Indian Wells as her sister did two weeks ago but spoke about her sister’s return.

“It was wonderful to see,” Venus said. “I definitely watched every moment, and it was great to see her and my family there. Next year will be a big year for us being an Olympic year.

“I can’t exactly say what my schedule will be, but it was wonderful to see her reception.”

“I have heard so much about how much the tournament has just improved in general in terms of the fans and the players.

“So it will be something to see for me.”

“She’s playing really well,” Serena said of her sister’s play. “She’s playing really aggressive. I have always said what Venus has gone through has really motivated me.

“I think a lot of the things happened to help me become a better player in the past few years. You know, that’s another thing. I was really motivated by her and her spirit and her fight.

“I thought that I was doing really well, that I could ‑‑ I thought since she was doing really well, I could, as well.”

Another American reaching the quarterfinals is Sloane Stephens who stopped 18-year-old Belinda Bencic 6-4, 7-6 (5). Other women reaching the final eight include Carla Suarez-Navarro, Sabine Lisicki, Karolina Pliskova and Andrea Petkovic.

Four-time champion and No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat qualifier Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5 to reach the final 16 where he will meet Alexandr Dolgopolov.

“I saw a couple of matches he played here, and he’s feeling good,” Djokovic said of his next opponent. He likes this surface. Generally likes a bit slower court with a higher bounce.

“Very quick dynamic motion on the serve and can serve very big for somebody of his height. And moves around very well around the court.

“So I know his game pretty well. I know what to expect. Hopefully I’ll be able to start as well as I did in the first two matches, but then end it in a bit different way. Keep the concentration going, you know, all the way through.”

Also advancing were No. 4 Kei Nishikori, No. 5 Milos Raonic while No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov fell to John Isner in straight sets.

More to follow.

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Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens Win to Set Up Fourth Round Clash at Indian Wells

315Serenain press-001

Serena Williams

 

(March 15, 2015) Since Sloane Stephens beat Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open, there has not been much love between the world No. 1, 19-time major champion and the woman turning 22 on Friday, who is No. 42 in the world. The two women will face off for the first time since the 2013 US Open for a spot in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

 

Both women had completely different matches on Sunday to reach the fourth round of Indian Wells.

 

Williams, returning to play Indian Wells for the first time since 2001, dominated first-time Indian Wells participant Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-0 in just 53 minutes.

 

For Williams, she’s on a 13-match win streak since claiming the Australian Open.

 

Stephens survived a topsyturvy contest against two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-4. Stephens had a 4-0 lead in the final set.

 

Williams on her potential match up against Stephens: “I have had some tough matches with Sloane. She’s had an interesting year, but I have noticed that she’s been really playing well. She moves well and she tries to do her best for everything. That would be an interesting, good matchup for me.”

 

 

Asked about what she expects in her match against Williams, Stephens said: “The same thing I do every day: just go out and play my game. Stay focused and fight hard and just get out there and compete.”

 

“She’s the No. 1 player in the world and I expect her to play really well.”

 

“I felt like every match I played against her I have played well. I mean, it’s always an honor to play No. 1 player in the world. Obviously someone of her stature who has won so many titles and the great player she is, I just have to just go out there and play my game and do all I can and just compete.”

 

Asked about her relationship with Williams, which was damaged when Stephens did a revealing interview with ESPN The Magazine, Stephens said: “She’s the No. 1 player in the world and she’s a competitor, and that’s it.

 

Asked if she had “mended fences with Williams,” – “No. She’s a competitor; she’s the No. 1 player in the world. She’s ‑‑ what do you call it? She’s a ‑‑you know, when you work with someone?

 

“A colleague. There you go. She’s a colleague.”

 

SloaneStephens

In an exchange with a reporter in the post-match news conference, Stephens discussed the hate she received on twitter from Serena Williams fans:

Every time I have mentioned you on Twitter, which I know you think is a lot…

SLOANE STEPHENS: It is a lot.

Anyway, any time I’ve mentioned you I have all these Serena fans immediately criticizing you out of nowhere.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, they hate me.

Why do you think that is?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I don’t know, but they are the first people to get blocked on my Twitter. I am the queen of blocking. Okay? You say one bad thing, block. I ‑‑ block.

No. There is no room for negativity. I understand that they are die‑hard fans and I appreciate that. I’m sure she does, too. But some of the comments and some of the things are know so unnecessary.

It comes to the point where you’re on Twitter saying mean things about someone else. Like what do you actually doing with your life? Like is this your day job or how does that work? I’m just like ‑‑ I don’t understand it. But die‑hard fans are die‑hard fans, so…

Just taking some getting used to. It’s jarring. You get it more and more directly.

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah. I mean, some of the things are crazy and outrageous. Like I said, I have gotten really friendly with the block button. One bad thing, block. Block, block, block. So…

If you were to estimate, how many people have you blocked?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, God, it’s not even funny. It’s too many.

More than a thousand?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Oh, I don’t know. But I just don’t like negativity. And I think if you have something negative to say, think it. You don’t have to, you know, express it to me, at me, whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. Like I said, a die‑hard fan is a die‑hard fan.

Are you more protective of yourself on Twitter? You obviously, early on on Twitter, were much more expressive, and now it’s maybe a little more stringent.

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think Twitter has changed like since I started tweeting and it was fun. It’s definitely become ‑‑ it’s become a source for people to attack other people, and I am ‑‑ I’m not really into that. Like if I was a nobody, I wouldn’t attack a celebrity and say, Hey, you suck or whatever.

That’s not just me. I feel like a lot of that ‑‑ there is a lot of abuse like that, and I try to stay away from it. I only tweet positive things and retweet positive things and that’s all I can do from my end.

Any idea how this happens? Seems like you get the brunt of it worse than a lot of people?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I don’t know. I don’t really care. I don’t live my life for Twitter. I have a lot of other things going on. It’s okay that people don’t like me on Twitter. I will live.

Did you ever get to the point where you would just get off Twitter? What keeps you coming back when there is all this ‑‑ and I haven’t seen them. I’m just learning about them.

SLOANE STEPHENS: It’s fun. It’s something you can just express yourself and not really have to worry about what other people are saying. I think it’s a good tool. I mean, I love Twitter. I have always loved Twitter.

I’m not going to let people who say bad things or negative things about me scare me away from doing what I like to do. At the end of the day, people are saying something bad about me and negative, and they are not people I care about, they’re not in my life, they’re not people I love, so it doesn’t really matter to me.

 

In their career head-to-head record, Williams leads 2-1.

Related Articles:

Serena Williams Beats Sloane Stephens to Gain Quarterfinal Berth at US Open

Sloane Stephens Criticizes Serena Williams in ESPN The Magazine Interview

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