2014/12/19

Bank of the West Preview/Picks for Wednesday July 24, 2013

By Kevin Ware

Bank of the West Preview/Picks for Wednesday July 24, 2013

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek v Varvara Lepchenko [6]

Head-to-Head: Tied at 2-All

The most relevant matches in their head-to-head are the last two matches played on carpet (’11) and outdoor hard (’12). Paszek won the first in a 3-set match that lasted 3 hours. Lepchenko won the second in a 3-set match that last nearly 3 hours. If the pattern holds true, get set for another long one!

2013’s been a tough year for both players. Lepchenko has struggled to maintain the level she achieved in ’12, while Paszek struggled to even get past the first round at any tournament through most of ’13. The lack of confidence might show in the quality of shot-making, but their prior history should provide for a fairly competitive match. I’ll stick my neck out on this one for Lepchenko in three sets.

Coco Vandeweghe

Coco Vandeweghe

Sorana Cirstea v [Q] Coco Vandeweghe

Head-to-Head: Tied at 1-All

Vandeweghe won the first time they played in ’11 in a 3-set match lasting almost 2.5 hours. Their next meeting at this year’s Australian Open was pretty much a whitewash for Cirstea in straight sets. Given the status of both in their respective seasons, it’s unclear whether this match will look like either of those previous two.

Cirstea ‘s had a tough year, making it past the R16 at only one hard court tournament. Though she always has potential to be dangerous, her 19-17 record coming into Stanford can’t provide her with an excess of confidence.

Vandeweghe’s status as a qualifier pretty much says it all, since she’s spent much of the season qualifying for main draws in WTA events. But even though she’s a qualifier, she’s also one of last year’s finalists: which probably helped immensely in coming through the qualifying rounds. She’s on comfortable ground, and on a roll in terms of match wins.

I’ll give the edge to Vandeweghe in this one. If her shots are landing cleanly, it goes two sets. If she’s making a ton of unforced errors, it goes three.

Francesca Schiavone

Francesca Schiavone

Agnieszka Radwanska [1] v Francesca Schiavone (Featured Match)

Head-to-Head: Schiavone leads 4-3

This match, which could easily be titled “I Can Be Craftier than You”, features two of the best thinkers/strategists on the pro tour, and has the potential to be one of the most entertaining of the week.

Radwanska doesn’t have the power of Serena or Maria, but reads the ball well and defends with the best of them. She has an uncanny ability to use her opponent’s power to her own advantage, which helped her to overcome Maria in the ’12 Sony Open final, and take Serena to three sets in the ’12 Wimbledon final.

I’m not sure that skill will help Radwanska against Schiavone, a player who specializes in spin over power. She can hit with an extreme amount of spin from both her forehand and single-handed backhand wings. And her slice is one of the most formidable on tour. It’s no surprise that Schiavone’s biggest title came on clay at the ’10 French Open.

Schiavone needs a fair amount of racquet prep for her shots, especially her forehand.  This can get her into trouble on faster hard courts with the big hitters.  Radwanska’s shots don’t have the same pace, so Schiavone’s 4-1 record on hard courts show’s that she’s not nearly as troubled by Radwanska’s game on this surface.

The problem for Schiavone in this match-up is that she’s on the backside of her career, while Radwanska is on the upside of hers.  Radwanska’s game has improved, and dramatically so since ’10. Schiavone’s game has plateaued and declined since her peak moments in Paris. It’s no coincidence that Radwanska has won their last three matches: one each on hard court, clay, and grass.

Though it’s been two years since they last played, I don’t see Schiavone overcoming this new and improved Radwanska; and I’m not talking about the blonde hair. Radwanska has pushed herself to be more aggressive to win points outright instead of waiting for errors. Schiavone will throw the kitchen sink at her, but it won’t be enough to stop Radwanska from winning in two sets.

Kevin Ware is covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site kevware.com/tennis/.

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 22-28, 2013
$795,707/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Singles – Second Round

Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (2) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 64

Singles – First Round
(6) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (Q) Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) 62 64
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Christina McHale (USA) 61 63
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 62 46 60
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. (Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 67(4) 30 ret. (heat illness)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 62 61
(Q) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 60 63

Doubles – First Round
(4) Chan/Dushevina (TPE/RUS) d. Dabrowski/Fichman (CAN/CAN) 64 60
Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) d. Lepchenko/Tomljanovic (USA/CRO) 46 75 106 (Match TB)
Muhammed/Will (USA/USA) d. (WC) Gibbs/Vandeweghe (USA/USA) 75 63
Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) d. Llagostera Vives/Schiavone (ESP/ITA) w/o (Schiavone: viral illness)

Order Of Play – Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Stadium (from 11.00hrs)
1. Cibulkova/Niculescu vs. Goerges/Jurak
2. Tamira Paszek vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 12.00hrs)
3. Sorana Cirstea vs. Coco Vandeweghe
4. Kops-Jones/Spears vs. McHale/Paszek
5. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Francesca Schiavone (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Burdette/Cirstea

Court 6 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Miyamura/Puchkova

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Promising American Teen Madison Keys Moves into Third Round of Australian Open

Madison Keys (Photo by Erik Gudris) ©Tennis Panorama New

Madison Keys (Photo by Erik Gudris) ©Tennis Panorama News

(January 16, 2013) Seventeen year-old American Madison Keys will be making her first appearance in the third round of major on Friday. Keys dismantled No. 30 Tamira Paszek 6-2, 6-1, closing the match with an ace.

“My serving definitely helped me today,” Keys noted. “In the first set when I got down Love‑40 when I was up 4‑2, I think being able to hold and come back definitely helped me out.”

On top of her serving performance which produced 6 aces, she hit 23 winners in the 56 minute match.

The 105th ranked Keys first picked up a racquet a four,  trained at the Chris Evert Academy  in Boca Raton, Florida and has switched to the local  USTA training center. Keys  gained a place in the Australian  Open main draw when she won the USTA wildcard playoff tournament in December.

The promising Keys who won a pro match at 14 against a top 100 player in 2009, took No. 7 Li Na to three sets last week at the Sydney tournament in the quarterfinals.

“Really, really liked watching Kim Clijsters,” Keys lists as her tennis idol.  “I thought she was very passionate, and I thought her movement was incredible.”

She admits what drew her to the sport,  “the outfits,” she said to media with a smile. She fell in love with Venus Williams’ dress seeing her play on TV.

“Really wanted a tennis dress.  My parents told me that if I played, they would buy me one.  I was like, Hey, I’ll try it.”

Keys who has played in previous Grand Slam events feels composed for this one.  “I feel more prepared for this one,” said Keys. “My first US Open main draw, it was a big stadium and wasn’t really used to it.  But I feel good about this one so far.

Keys will take on fifth seed Angelique Kerber in the third round on Friday.

“I think just really have to focus on playing my game and just worrying about me, “ Keys said about the match-up.  “She’s obviously a good player.  She’s been around and she’s done well the last couple years.

“I think if I just focus on what I’m doing, then it doesn’t really matter.”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Chef Pierrick Boyer Serving Taste of Tennis Down Under

Pierrick Boyer

(January 4, 2013) The Australian Open is less than two weeks away and with the anticipation of an upcoming major, Melbourne will play host many pre-tournament soirees. One of the very special events will be the Swisse Taste of Tennis – where the culinary world meets the tennis world to raise funds for charity. This is the sister event to the Taste of Tennis in New York which has kicked off the US Open for the past 13 years.

Some of the tennis players scheduled to participate in the event include Lleyton Hewitt, Max Myrni, Tamira Paszek, Ivan Lendl, Lucia Safarova, Casey Dellacqua, Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Yaraslava Shvedova and Chanelle Scheepers.

Tennis Panorama News caught up with award-winning international pastry chef, Melbourne resident Pierrick Boyer, who will be one of the featured chefs at Taste of Tennis. Boyer has 21 years in the field working with some of the industry’s most internationally renowned chefs.

Boyer has participated in the event four times. “Let’s not forget it’s a charity event and it is one of my favorite events of the year,” Boyer emphasized. “It is fun, there is beautiful food, we talk about sports and there are great people who want to make a difference. I love giving my time for charities, tennis, food and promoting Melbourne.” Boyer is the Head Pastry Chef of Le Petit Gâteau in Melbourne.

“Yes, I am a big (tennis) fan,” Boyer said. “I’ve been to the Indian Wells Tournament, because I lived nearby for five years and, of course, the Australian Open where, luckily, I did some cooking classes for the tennis players. I had the pleasure to meet Aleksandra Wozniak, Arina and Anastasia Rodionova, Gael Monfils and Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, who are fantastic to see on the court. And I used to play years ago,” Boyer said with a smile.

I asked Boyer if he thought there was a similarity between chefs and tennis players, since both have intense training and travel all over the globe. Also many of players seem to be “foodies.”

“I agree,” said Boyer.” We have this in common with some chefs who travel the world and I am lucky I can do this as well, several countries are already scheduled for my desserts making workshops overseas. But the life of a tennis player is hard as well, loads of traveling and that’s a lot of time away from home.”

As far as which tennis players he thinks would be good pastry chefs, he tips Arina Rodionova and Aleksandra Wozniak. “With a bit of practice Arina Rodionova could be because I know she enjoys my pear and almond tart. She had this for her birthday.”

“Aleksandra Wozniak really enjoyed my signature cake, the brownie passion chocolate crunch, at a previous Taste of Tennis event,” Boyer added.

So what inspired him to launch a career in the world of pastry? “At four or five years old, we were living next to a pastry shop at Croissy Sur Seine, near Saint Germain en Laye! And every time my parents were looking for me, I was next door sampling ice creams, cakes, croissants… hahaha.”

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As far as what special dish he will be preparing for Taste of Tennis, he saidIt’s a gluten free, dairy free, very healthy dessert.”

It’s a Coconut Quinoa organic blueberry, raspberry, coconut crumble. Boyer told me to enjoy it with Gold Label 2011 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

The Swisse Taste of Tennis takes place on January 10, 2013 at Grand Hyatt Melbourne from 7pm-10pm with an after party at Silk Road Melbourne. Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://www.swisseactivetasteoftennis.com.au

The event benefits the charities Diabetes Australia-Victoria and National Institute of Integrated Medicine (NIIM), which will receive 100% of the proceeds raised.

Follow @tasteoftennisau for more information and follow Pierrick Boyer on twitter @PierrickBoyer or his website http://www.pierrickboyer.com/.

 

Karen Pestaina is the woman behind Tennis Panorama News

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

 

INDIAN WELLS, California (March 8, 2012) – The BNP Paribas Open held their players’ party at the IW club on Thursday night. Driving up to the “Green Carpet” in classic cars included the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Agnieszka Radwanska, Jelena Jankovic, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and a host of others.

Photos by Curt Janka and Jennifer Knapp.  Follow Tennis Panorama News’ BNP Paribas Open coverage here an on our twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

 

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