February 13, 2016

Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens Give USA 2-0 Lead Over Poland in Fed Cup

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(February 6, 2016) After the first day of play, the United States leads Poland, 2-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round played on outdoor hard court at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village.

 

The U.S. is 20-0 when leading 2-0 after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. is 37-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home.

 

In the first singles match of the day, Sloane Stephens, the United States’ No. 2 singles player, defeated Poland’s No. 1 player Magda Linette, 6-2, 6-4, in one hour and 13 minutes. Stephens trailed, 0-4, in the second set before making a comeback and winning the set.

“I definitely had a little fart there at the beginning of the second set, but I regrouped well and I was happy that I was able to play some solid tennis towards the end,” Stephens said.

“It happens, so all I can really take from that is that I tried my butt off and never gave up. That’s all that really counts.

“I kind of just ran out of gas. Needed some sugar. I had some caffeine and a little taste of a bar and I felt better. I got my energy back up and I was kind of bouncing around again and I felt good. So I think that definitely helped a little bit.

Stephens and Linette had met once on the WTA Tour last year in Washington D.C., where Stephens went on to win her first career WTA title. Stephens is now 2-2 in singles in Fed Cup, while Linette is 1-4.

In the second singles match, former world No. 1 Venus Williams defeated world No. 153 Paula Kania, 7-5, 6-2, in one hour and 12 minutes. Williams and Kania had previously met once on the WTA Tour in 2014 in Stanford, where Williams won 6-3, 6-2. Williams is now 18-2 in singles in Fed Cup. Kania was making her Fed Cup singles debut.

“She had some good shots; she played well; I had a few errors,” Williams said.

“I think I at 5-4 I was actually very relaxed. I think her strengths is playing from behind. I think when she was in front it wasn’t as comfortable for her.

“So just that game, I put some balls in, she missed a few, and at 5-All I probably had more experience than she did.”

“It’s never easy to play Fed Cup because you’re playing for more than yourself. I just get pumped,” said Williams. “The whole crowd is here for you and there’s no other feeling like it in tennis.”

ORDER OF PLAY AND RESULTS

 

DAY/LOCAL TIME      MATCH             PAIRING

Saturday, 11:00 a.m.       Singles A:              Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Magda Linette (POL), 6-2, 6-4

Singles B:             Venus Williams (USA) def. Paula Kania (POL), 7-5, 6-2

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.         Singles C:             Venus Williams (USA) vs. Magda Linette (POL)

Singles D:             Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL)

Doubles:               Bethanie Mattek-Sands/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL)

 

Each country’s top singles players will meet on Sunday – Venus Williams (USA) vs. Magda Linette (POL) and Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL) – as well as a doubles match pitting CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) against Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska (POL).

 

In Sunday’s first match of the day, Williams will face off against Linette. World No. 12 Williams and world No. 96 Linette have never met on the WTA Tour. The second singles match on Sunday will feature Sloane Stephens and Paula Kania. World No. 25 Stephens and world No. 153 Kania have also never met in WTA competition.

 

Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands are scheduled to take on Rosolska and Jans-Ignacik, who is serving as Poland’s playing captain. Vandeweghe reached the mixed doubles final at this year’s Australian Open and is ranked No. 46 in the world in doubles. Mattek-Sands, ranked No. 6 in the world in doubles, won the 2015 Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova and has won 17 career WTA doubles titles overall. Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands have never paired up for a doubles match before. Rosolska and Jans-Ignacik have played doubles together 16 times, the last coming in Fed Cup last year. Rosolska is ranked No. 46 in doubles and has won four WTA doubles titles, while Jans-Ignacik is ranked No. 50 in doubles and has won three WTA doubles titles.

 

The winner of this match advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000. The U.S. holds an overall 144-36 record.

 

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Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Wozniak does it again

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By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 6, 2016) QUEBEC CITY – Canada and Belarus will head into Day 2 of their Fed Cup World Group II first round match-up in Quebec City deadlocked at  1-1. After Aliaksandra Sasnovich defeated François Abanda 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, Olga Govortsova failed to followed suit, losing to a resurgent Aleksandra Wozniak 6-2, 6-2.

On paper, a lot separated Abanda, ranked 343rd in the world, to Sasnovich 99th . The Canadian, who had seen her ranking drop dramatically in the past year, had struggled with consistency in 2015. Her game, which is based on power and athletic abilities, can often derail into series of unforced errors due to intensity gaps. Nevertheless, she often played inspired tennis in Fed Cup in the past, seemingly inspired by the exuberant crowds and patriotic aspect of the competition.

Not much separated both players at the start of the first set. As expected, Abanda slipped into the role of the aggressor, moving Sasnovich around with heavy hitting from both sides. The Belarusian, who has had a lot of success in the past on indoor fast surfaces, went for a more conservative approach. After both players traded multiple breaks at the start of the match, Abanda got her first opening when, up 4-3, she was up 15-30 on Sasnovich’s serve. After three loose errors from the Canadian, the Belarussian held for 4-all and never looked back, wrapping up the set 6-4 in 41 minutes.

Abanda’s game seemed to settle in the second set, as she took an early 3-0 lead with more control on her aggressive tennis. On the other side of the net, the Belarusian struggled to move past her passive game style, giving the Canadian time to whip up multiple winners. The story continued until, after 35 minutes, the local player reeled off the last four points on two return winners and two double faults to level the match at one set apiece, winning the second 6-2.

The start of the third set saw both players finding their range simultaneously, giving the crowd higher quality tennis. While Abanda continued to put a lot of pressure on Sasnovich, the Belarusian decided to step up the aggression and move the Canadian around. Both players traded blows until 2-all, when Abanda took at 40-15 lead. Similarly to the first set, the Canadian couldn’t convert multiple game points and gave away a crucial break. This sent the momentum Belarus’ way, and after breaking again at 5-3, Sasnovich gave Belarus a 1-0 lead, concluding the 2-hour affair 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Asked on what made the difference in such a close match, Sasnovich replied: ”I played for my country, I played for my parents, I played with my heart”. For Abanda, she tried to see the positive in a close defeat to a top 100 player: “It was only a few key pressure points that made the difference. I want to play aggressive and I did. I have plenty more matches to go this year and some high objectives for myself, starting with tomorrow”.

The level of pressure on Abanda’s shoulders was relieved a bit by Aleksandra Wozniak, who leveled the tie by playing like her former top 30 self in a 6-2 6-2 win over Olga Govortsova. Flawless from the get-go, the Canadian confirmed her spot as the best Canadian player in the history of Fed Cup competition as she dismissed the highest ranked player of the weekend convincingly. Wozniak, now ranked outside of the top 800 in the world following one year away from the courts due to a major shoulder injury, controlled the match from the baseline in an impressive showing of aggressive-but-clean tennis.

“I’m so excited to be back playing Fed Cup, in front of the best fans in the world!”, she claimed in her post-match interview. ‘We had a great week of preparation and playing at home, it gives you that extra energy that is so important.’

Asked on what made Fed Cup special, she replied: “I never say no to Fed Cup and to represent my country. It’s a privilege. Tennis is such an individual sport, when you have the chance to play as a team, as a family, it’s special.” This may be seen as a comment directed to top Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who has decided to skip Fed Cup this weekend to focus on her singles career. Wozniak, earlier this week, had mentioned that “everyone has a busy schedule, it then only becomes a personal choice.”

All with therefore be decided in the second and final day of the tie. Abanda is set to play first against Govortsova, while Wozniak will follow against Sasnovich. A doubles match will be played; teams would most likely be decided last minute, but Canadian players Dabrowski and Zhao, winners of the most recent PanAm games, were seen practicing on site following the singles matches. Play will start at 12pm EST at the Peps in Laval University, Quebec City.

 

 

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Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Out of sight, in everyone’s mind

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Aleksandra Wozniak

Fed Cup Canada vs Belarus: Out of sight, in everyone’s mind.

by Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 5, 2016) QUEBEC CITY It seems  as though year after year, the biggest story of the Canadian Fed Cup events in Quebec City lies more in who doesn’t show up than who does. Last year, it was Eugenie Bouchard, who was yo-yoing between presence and absence for weeks before deciding to skip the World Group I encounter against the Czechs (Canada lost 0-4). This week, all eyes were on Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and former No. 1, who had originally confirmed her intentions to show up in Canada but went MIA for most of the week. After a lot of uncertainty from the Belarus team captain over the week, it was confirmed at the draw ceremony held earlier today that Azarenka would not play this weekend in the World Group II first round between Canada and Belarus.

No official reasons were given for Azarenka’s absence, but a tweet from the Belarussian earlier this week was often brought back to the table: two simple emoji, one with an apparent fever and the other with a sad face. Both the press and public showed disappointment at Azarenka’s absence, and one may expect a lower crowd turnout at the Peps at Laval University.

While the Canadian team publicly stated that Azarenka’s absence doesn’t change anything for their preparation, they must be quite elated that their chances, which were very slim, got a bit better. Indeed, when highest-ranked Canadian Bouchard announced that she would skip the event to focus on playing tournaments to qualify for the Olympics (Bouchard later withdrew from her planned event in Rio played in two weeks), Canada had lost their only player ranked in the WTA top 300 singles rankings. With Belarus coming in with three players in the top 100 with Azarenka (14th), Olga Govortsova (74th) and Aliaksandra Sasnovich (99th), the hill seemed pretty steep.

All isn’t lost for Canada, as both Francoise Abanda and Aleksandra Wozniak, who are scheduled to play singles this weekend, have had inspired performances in Fed Cup in the past. At the same time last year, Abanda, who turned 19 on Friday, was on the rise and seen as one of the most promising junior players in the world. In Fed Cup, she played inspired tennis against Romania, beating top 50 player Begu and losing closely against Dulgheru. But a series of injuries and disappointing loses has seen the young Canadian drop more than 200 places in the ranking in the past 12 months. Nevertheless, she is talented, hits with a ton of power, and is passionate about playing for her country.

This is something Aleksandra Wozniak can relate to. The former top 25 player is trying yet another comeback from injury, as she was derailed off the courts for almost a year between September 2014 and August 2015. Through the past ten years, Wozniak has been a staple of the Canadian team: she is the player with the most ties played (34), most singles wins (31) and most overall wins (38) in the history of the country. A player who is usually pretty stoic and composed on court, she has always expressed more emotion when playing for her country, including in an emotional three set win against Slovakia on the same courts in April 2014. Canadian Captain Sylvain Bruneau will be hoping his players recapture some of that patriotic magic over the weekend.

Singles matches will start on Saturday with both Wozniak and Abanda looking to put their careers back on track, while Govortsova and Sasnovich, who both have had good success on indoor and fast surfaces, will be the clear favorites. Reverse singles and a possibly decisive doubles match will be played on Sunday and matches will start both days at noon Eastern Time.

 

Schedule: World Group II 1st Round – Canada vs Belarus.

 

Saturday February 6th, 12pm EST.

Françoise Abanda (CAN) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova (BLR)

 

Sunday February 7th, 12pm EST

Françoise Abanda (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Gabriela Dabrowski/Carol Zhao (CAN) vs Olga Govortsova/Vera Lapko (BLR)

 

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Fed Cup Preview: USA vs Poland in Hawaii

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(February 5, 2016) Fed Cup is taking place in Hawaii for the first time, as Kailua-Kona hosts the United States and Poland in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round on an outdoor hard court at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village, February 6-7.

“I think it’s important to grow tennis in countries that don’t see it very often, in communities that don’t see it very often,” said US Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.

“It’s nice to be here playing Fed Cup for the first time and get new fans, hopefully encourage new children, new players to get involved in the game. This is one way of doing that.”

 

The United States brings a strong team to Hawaii, led by world No. 12 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and world No. 25 Sloane Stephens. CoCo Vandeweghe, who is ranked No. 46 in singles and also reached the mixed doubles final at the 2016 Australian Open, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is ranked in the Top 10 in the world in doubles, also anchor the team.

 

In Saturday’s first singles match of the day, Sloane Stephens, the United States’ No. 2 singles player, will face off against Poland’s No. 1 player Magda Linette, ranked No. 96 in the world. Stephens and Linette have met once on the WTA Tour last year in Washington D.C., where Stephens went on to win her first career WTA title. In Washington D.C., Stephens defeated Linette, 6-2, 6-1. Stephens and Linette also met as junior players in 2008 at the Eddie Herr, which Stephens also won. Stephens is coming off her second WTA title, winning Auckland prior to the 2016 Australian Open.

” It’s the greatest honor play for your country and be on a team when every week you’re by yourself, Stephens said. “It makes it really fun. Of course, with girls you actually do like and enjoy being around makes it a good week and makes it a lot of fun.”

“I played before in Israel, in Eilat, which is also next to the sea,” Linette said. “But it’s obviously not this beautiful. I’m really enjoying. I believe my team also.

“We are very happy we can be here. We’re just enjoying and we try just to practice as good as we can on the tennis court, and then we just try to enjoy everything else out of the court. We really like it.”

The second singles match on Saturday will feature the United States’ top player Venus Williams versus world No. 153 Paula Kania. Williams and Kania have met once on the WTA Tour in 2014 in Stanford, where Williams won 6-3, 6-2.

“I enjoy being on the team,” said Williams. “I have a really good time on the team. It’s just a fun time. You don’t usually get to do this in tennis. It’s a different experience that you don’t get to have when you grow up as a tennis player, and you’re always solo from beginning to the end. It’s a moment where it’s a break from that.”

Hawaii becomes the 16th state to host Fed Cup. Hawaii hosted Davis Cup, the men’s equivalent to Fed Cup, in Kohala Coast at the Mauna Lani Racquet Club in the 1992 World Group First Round, where the U.S. team of Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras swept Argentina, 5-0. Hawaii also hosted the SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challenger, in mid-January in Maui and was joined by a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event that same week for the first time this year.

 

The United States holds a 3-0 record over Poland in Fed Cup. The U.S. last faced Poland in the 1990 World Group First Round in Atlanta, sweeping the tie, 3-0. The U.S., who also faced Poland in 1974 and 1980, has never lost a point in Fed Cup to Poland. This will be the United States’ first home tie since 2014 in St. Louis, as the team competed on the road against Argentina and Italy last year.

 

The winner of this match advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000. The U.S. is 37-6 in ties played at home and holds an overall 144-36 record.

 

Weekend Line-up

USA v POLAND

Venue: Holua Tennis Center, Kailua Kona, USA (hard – outdoor)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL)

 

Tennis Channel To Air U.S. Versus Poland Fed Cup Tie

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Fed Cup Draws for World Group and World Group II ties and Zone Group 1 Results

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(February 5, 2016) The ITF has announced the draws for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties taking place on 6-7 February.

 

Three Zone Group I events are also taking place on 3-6 February: Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Eilat, Israel; Americas Zone Group I in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in Hua Hin, Thailand.

 

All nations contesting the Zone Group I events are bidding to qualify for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs on 16-17 April, with two teams qualifying from the Europe/Africa Zone, and one team from both the Americas and Asia/Oceania Zones.

 

WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND

 

ROMANIA v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (hard – indoor)

Simona Halep (ROU) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Monica Niculescu (ROU) v Petra Kvitova (CZE)

Simona Halep (ROU) v Petra Kvitova (CZE)

Monica Niculescu (ROU) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Andreea Mitu/Raluca Olaru (ROU) v Denisa Allertova/Barbora Strycova (CZE)

 

GERMANY v SWITZERLAND

Venue: Leipziger Messe, Leipzig, GER (hard – indoor)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)

Angelique Kerber (GER) v Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)

Angelique Kerber (GER) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) v Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)

Annika Beck/Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) v Viktorija Golubic/Martina Hingis (SUI)

 

FRANCE v ITALY

Venue: Palais des Sports de Marseille, Marseille, FRA (hard – indoor)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Camila Giorgi (ITA)

Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Sara Errani (ITA)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Sara Errani (ITA)

Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Camila Giorgi (ITA)

Oceane Dodin/Pauline Parmentier (FRA) v Martina Caregaro/Sara Errani (ITA)

 

RUSSIA v NETHERLANDS

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoor)

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v Kiki Bertens (NED)

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) v Kiki Bertens (NED)

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Darya Kasatkina/Maria Sharapova (RUS) v Cindy Burger/Arantxa Rus (NED)

 

WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

SLOVAKIA v AUSTRALIA

Venue: Aegon Arena, National Tennis Centre, Bratislava, SVK (hard – indoor)

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Arina Rodionova (AUS)

Jana Cepelova (SVK) v Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Jana Cepelova (SVK) v Arina Rodionova (AUS)

Jana Cepelova/Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur (AUS)

 

CANADA v BELARUS

Venue: PEPS, Québec City, CAN (hard – indoor)

Francoise Abanda (CAN) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v Olga Govortsova (BLR)

Francoise Abanda (CAN) v Olga Govortsova (BLR)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Gabriela Dabrowski/Carol Zhao (CAN) v Olga Govortsova/Vera Lapko (BLR)

 

USA v POLAND

Venue: Holua Tennis Center, Kailua Kona, USA (hard – outdoor)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL)

 

SERBIA v SPAIN

Venue: Kraljevo Sports Centre, Kraljevo, SRB (hard – indoor)

Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)

Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)

Ivana Jorovic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) v Lara Arruabarrena/Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)

 

The ITF has announced the latest results for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group I events taking place on 3-6 February: Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Eilat, Israel; Americas Zone Group I in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in Hua Hin, Thailand.

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Municipal Tennis Centre, Eilat, Israel (hard – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

POOL A

 

UKRAINE defeated SWEDEN 3-0

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Susanne Celik (SWE) 61 63

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 16 62 60

Olga Savchuk/Anastasiya Vasylyeva (UKR) d. Jacqueline Cabaj Awad/Cornelia Lister (SWE) 62 64

 

POOL B

 

GREAT BRITAIN defeated GEORGIA 2-1

Katie Swan (GBR) d. Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) 63 63

Heather Watson (GBR) d. Sofia Shapatava (GEO) 62 60

Oksana Kalashnikova/Sofia Shapatava (GEO) d. Jocelyn Rae/Anna Smith (GBR) 62 64

 

POOL C

 

ESTONIA defeated TURKEY 2-1

Basak Eraydin (TUR) d. Valeria Gorlats (EST) 62 63

Anett Kontaveit (EST) d. Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) 76(6) 64

Anett Kontaveit/Maileen Nuudi (EST) d. Cagla Buyukakcay/Ipek Soylu (TUR) 64 62

 

ISRAEL defeated CROATIA 2-1

Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Tena Lukas (CRO) 36 61 62

Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Julia Glushko (ISR) 76(4) 61

Julia Glushko/Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Darija Jurak/Ana Konjuh (CRO) 64 76(2)

 

POOL D

 

BELGIUM defeated BULGARIA 3-0

Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) d. Elitsa Kostova (BUL) 63 36 63

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 64 62

Marie Benoit/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) d. Dia Evtimova/Isabella Shinikova (BUL) 67(4) 62 64

 

LATVIA defeated HUNGARY 2-1

Anna Bondar (HUN) d. Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) 64 64

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d. Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) 63 62

Diana Marcinkevica/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d. Dalma Galfi/Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) 76(2) 63

 

 

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Country Club Las Palmas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (clay – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

POOL A

 

PARAGUAY defeated COLOMBIA 2-1

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) d. Camila Giangreco Campiz (PAR) 64 63

Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) d. Maria Paulina Perez-Garcia (COL) 60 62

Camila Giangreco Campiz/Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) d. Emiliana Arango/Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 63 63

 

MEXICO defeated BOLIVIA 2-1

Ana Sofia Sanchez (MEX) d. Noelia Zeballos (BOL) 63 57 75

Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran (BOL) d. Victoria Rodriguez (MEX) 63 62

Ana Sofia Sanchez/Renata Zarazua (MEX) d. Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran/Noelia Zeballos (BOL) 64 16 76(3)

 

POOL B

 

ARGENTINA defeated BRAZIL 2-1

Nadia Podoroska (ARG) d. Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 75 63

Teliana Pereira (BRA) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 60 60

Maria Irigoyen/Catalina Pella (ARG) d. Paula Cristina Goncalves/Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 63 63

 

ECUADOR defeated PERU 2-1

Rafaella Baquerizo (ECU) d. Anastasia Iamachkine (PER) 63 61

Dominique Schaefer (PER) d. Charlotte Roemer (ECU) 61 46 76(3)

Rafaella Baquerizo/Camila Romero (ECU) d. Bianca Botto/Anastasia Iamachkine (PER) 64 60

 

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: True Arena Hua Hin, Hua Hin, Thailand (hard – outdoors)

Dates: 3-6 February

 

POOL A

 

JAPAN defeated THAILAND 2-1

Bunyawi Thamchaiwat (THA) d. Eri Hozumi (JPN) 46 75 64

Nao Hibino (JPN) d. Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 06 75 61

Shuko Aoyama/Eri Hozumi (JPN) d. Kamonwan Buayam/Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) 75 60

 

INDIA defeated UZBEKISTAN 3-0

Prerna Bhambri (IND) d. Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 61 61

Ankita Raina (IND) d. Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) 61 60

Sania Mirza/Ankita Raina (IND) d. Akgul Amanmuradova/Arina Folts (UZB) 62 60

 

POOL B

 

CHINA, P.R. defeated KAZAKHSTAN 3-0

Wang Qiang (CHN) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 62 62

Zheng Saisai (CHN) d. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 63 63

Liang Chen/Wang Yafan (CHN) d. Yaroslava Shvedova/Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 62 60 ret.

 

CHINESE TAIPEI defeated KOREA, REP. 2-1

Han Na-Lae (KOR) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 76(1) 64

Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) d. Jang Su Jeong (KOR) 76(5) 62

Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. Han Na-Lae/Jang Su Jeong (KOR) 63 75

 

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Tennis Channel To Air U.S. Versus Poland Fed Cup Tie

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LOS ANGELES, (February 4, 2016)Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s competition against Poland in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, this weekend, with telecasts Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 4 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 7, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. This year the United States is battling to return to the main field of contenders for next year’s Fed Cup competition, and must defeat Poland to keep its hopes alive for the 2017 tournament. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will lead Sloane Stephens, Coco Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands as they fight for a spot in next year’s competition.
In addition to televising United States-Poland this weekend, Tennis Channel will cover Fed Cup first-round competition between 2016 Fed Cup contenders Germany and Switzerland live, in Leipzig, Germany, beginning at 7 a.m. ET Saturday, Feb. 6, and beginning at 6 a.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 7. Australian Open champion and World No. 2 Angelique Kerber will lead the German charge against Switzerland and World No. 11 Belinda Bencic.
Sportscaster Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) and Hall of Famer and former U.S. Fed Cup player Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), will be in Kailua Kona covering the United States-Poland match for Tennis Channel this weekend. During Davenport’s Fed Cup career, she contributed to U.S. team championships in 1996, 1999 and 2000. Broadcaster Russ Thaler (@RussThaler) will call the action during the Germany-Switzerland tie this weekend, with Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and former player Paul Annacone (Paul_Annacone).
Tennis Channel’s live Fed Cup coverage is as follows (all time ET):
Saturday, Feb. 6:
7 a.m. –Singles Germany v. Switzerland
4p.m. –Singles #1 USA v. Poland
6p.m. –Singles #2USA v. Poland
 
Sunday, Feb. 7:
6a.m. – Doubles Germany v. Switzerland
3p.m. –Singles #3 USA v. Poland
5p.m. –Singles #4 USA v. Poland
7p.m. – Doubles USA v. Poland
The United States hopes to uphold its unbeaten record against Poland (3-0), with victories coming in 1990, 1980 and 1974. The most recent competition was during the 1990Fed Cup first round, when the U.S. team beat Poland 3-0 in Atlanta, Georgia. The American squad must defeat Poland and then win another head-to-head Fed Cup competition in April in order to qualify for the 2017 tournament. The United States leads all nations with 17Fed Cup championships, the most recent in 2000.
The U.S. Fed Cup team is captained by retired American tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, who as a player helped her Fed Cup team win the championship in 1996. Venus Williams captured the 48th WTA title of her career at the WTA Elite Open in Zhuhai, China in November. She also holds 13 doubles titles, two mixed doubles titles and four Olympic gold medals, including one in singles and three in doubles with her sister Serena. Stephens recently defeated Julia Goerges at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, to win her second WTA title. Vandeweghe achieved her career-best result in 2015, after advancing to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. In 2015, Mattek-Sands won the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova and the French Open mixed doubles title with Mike Bryan.
If Poland wins this weekend it will qualify for a chance to play for the 2017 Fed Cup. The team is captained by Klaudia Jans-Ignacikand features Magda Linette, Paula Kania and Alicja Rosolska.
In addition to daylong Fed Cup coverage this weekend, Tennis Channel will also periodically look in at the men’s tournaments in Montpellier, France, and Quito, Ecuador, as part of its world-whipraound telecast.
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Novak Djokovic Wins 6th Australian Open Title for 11th Major Title

(January 31, 2016) Novak Djokovic captured his sixth Australian Open title on Saturday night defeating No. 2 Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3) in 2 hours and 53 minutes. For Djokovic this is his 11th major title placing him in a tie for fifth place on the all-time list with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. His sixth title in Melbourne equals Roy Emerson’s record.

Djokovic is a perfect 6-0 in Australian Open finals, while Murray is now 0-5, four of them to No. 1 Djokovic.

Djokovic has now captured the last three major titles, going back to Wimbledon, and four of the last five.

“I don’t take anything for granted, even though I won last four out of five Grand Slams, played five finals, it’s phenomenal,” said Djokovic. “No doubt that I’m playing the best tennis of my life in the last 15 months.”

“The fact that I managed to make history tonight and equal Roy Emerson’s six Australian Open titles. Very honored to be mentioned alongside legends of our sport by Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, win as many Grand Slams as they did.

“You know, I can’t lie and say I didn’t think about it. Of course it was in back of my mind. Coming into the court I knew that I have a chance to make the history. Of course it served as a great motivation, as a great imperative to play my best.

“I tried not to think about it too much, but it was there as an encouragement, as a positive feedback, and a goal.”

As for the runner-up Murray, his next challenge will be fatherhood. The Scot’s wife is expecting their first child in the next two weeks, so he was on his way back home after the festivities.

During the trophy presentation he tearfully addressed his wife Kim: “You’ve been a legend the last two weeks. Thank you so much for all your support. “I’ll be on the next flight home.”

“I’m proud I got into this position – just quite looking forward to get home now.”

“I saw some of the stats just at the end of the match,” Murray said. “He won 25 more points than me, 26 more points. I had 25 or 26 more unforced errors.

“You know, I think I didn’t hit my forehand particularly well at the beginning of the match. I started to hit it better in the third set. But, yeah, that was it.”

Djokovic’s next mountain to climb is to win the French Open, the only major he has never captured.

“Very hungry” (to win Roland Garros). But wolf needs to eat a lot of different meals to get to Paris. Paris is a dessert.”

 

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Tale of the Tape: Novak Djokovic Versus Andy Murray

(January 30, 2016) Defending champion and No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on No. 2 Andy Murray for the Australian Open title on Sunday. This will be the fourth time both men have met in the Melbourne final, with Djokovic winning all three of the previous times. here is a look at the head-to-head records and statistics of both men. Statistics provided by Grand Slam Media and the Australian Open Men’s information team.

1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v NO. 2 ANDY MURRAY (GBR)

At stake for the finalists, in addition to the prestige of the Australian Open title, is the following:

 

 
AUD$
ATP Ranking Points
Champion 3,400,000 2000
Finalist 1,700,000 1200

 

Who has the advantage?
For 5 out of the past 8 years, the man who played his semifinal second has been the one who won the final, so recent history would suggest that Murray has the slight advantage in winning the 2016 Australian Open title.

 

No. 1 v No. 2
This is first time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met in the Australian Open final since No. 1 Djokovic defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal in 2012. It is the 9th time the Top 2 seeds have met in the Australian Open final in the Open Era, with the No. 1 seed holding a 5-4 win-loss record against the No. 2 seed in finals here. Andre Agassi was the last No. 2 seed to defeat the No. 1 seed in the Australian Open final, defeating Pete Sampras in 1995.

The is the 3rd consecutive meeting between the Top 2 seeds at a Grand Slam. The last time the No. 2 seed defeated the No. 1 seed in a Grand Slam final was at the 2013 US Open, when Nadal defeated Djokovic.

Hard court heroes
Djokovic will equal Agassi in 2nd place on the list for most Open Era hard court titles if he wins the title here. Murray, meanwhile, is looking to take sole ownership of 5th place ahead of his former coach Ivan Lendl.
Hard court title leaders (Open Era)

Player

Hard court titles

Roger Federer 60
Andre Agassi 46
Novak Djokovic

Pete Sampras

45

36

Ivan Lendl 26
Andy Murray 26

ATP Rankings update…

Regardless of the outcome of the final, Djokovic and Murray will still occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the ATP Rankings when they are published on Monday 1 February.

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 21-9

2006     AMS Madrid                  Hard (I)            R16      Djokovic           16 75 63

2007     AMS Indian Wells         Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           62 63

2007     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 60

2008     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)           R16      Djokovic           60 64

2008     AMS Toronto                Hard (O)           QF       Murray             63 76(3)

2008     AMS Cincinnati             Hard (O)           FR        Murray             76(4) 76(5)

2009     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Murray             62 75

2011     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          64 62 63

2011     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 36 76(2)

2011     Cincinnati-1000             Hard (O)           FR        Murray             64 3-0 ret. (right shoulder injury)

2012     Australian Open          Hard (O)          SF        Djokovic          63 36 67(4) 61 75

2012     Dubai                           Hard (O)           SF        Murray             62 75

2012     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           61 76(4)

2012     Olympic Tennis Event    Grass (O)         SF        Murray             75 75

2012     US Open                      Hard (O)          FR        Murray             76(10) 75 26 36 62

2012     Shanghai-1000              Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           57 76(11) 63

2012     ATP World Tour Finals  Hard (I)            RR       Djokovic           46 63 75

2013     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          67(2) 76(3) 63 62

2013     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         FR        Murray             64 75 64

2014     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           QF       Djokovic           75 63

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)          QF       Djokovic          76(1) 67(1) 62 64

2014     Beijing                          Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           63 64

2014     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)            QF       Djokovic           75 62

2015     Australian Open          Hard (O)          FR        Djokovic          76(5) 67(4) 63 60

2015     Indian Wells-1000         Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           62 63

2015     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           FR        Djokovic           76(3) 46 60

2015     Roland Garros             Clay (O)           SF        Djokovic          63 63 57 57 61

2015     Montreal-1000               Hard (O)           FR        Murray             64 46 63

2015     Shanghai-1000              Hard (O)           SF        Djokovic           61 63

2015     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)            FR        Djokovic           62 64

 

Djokovic has won 10 of his last 11 matches against Murray. His only loss in that time came in the final at 2015 Montreal-1000. Djokovic has a 7-6 win-loss record against Murray in Tour-level finals.

 

Djokovic has a 6-2 win-loss record against Murray at the Grand Slams, and a 3-2 win-loss record against Murray in Grand Slam finals. The only player Djokovic has beaten on more occasions than Murray at a Grand Slam is Roger Federer (defeated 9 times).

 

It will be the 6th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which puts them in 3rd position on the all-time leaderboard for most match-ups in a Grand Slam final.

 

                                                Most head-to-heads in Grand Slam finals (Open Era)

Head-to-head Grand Slam final meetings
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 8
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal 7
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray 6
Andre Agassi v Pete Sampras

Ivan Lendl v Mats Wilander

5

5

 

This is the 4th Australian Open final to feature Djokovic and Murray – the joint-most head-to-heads in any one Grand Slam final in the Open Era after Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal, who played each other in the final at Roland Garros 4 times in 2006-08 and 2011. There has only been multiple match-ups in the Australian Open final here on 2 other occasions – Jim Courier v Stefan Edberg (1992-93) and Johan Kriek v Steve Denton (1981-82).

 

Murray and Djokovic both feature on the list for most Australian Open finals reached in the Open Era. By reaching the final here, Djokovic has set a new record for the most finals reached here in the Open Era.

 

Player No. of AO finals (Open Era)
Novak Djokovic

Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer

Andy Murray

6

5

5

5

Murray and Djokovic are the closest Grand Slam finalists by age. Murray is just 7 days older than Djokovic. The previous closest Grand Slam finalists in terms of age were Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors who met at the 1977 US Open when Vilas was 16 days older than Connors.

 

Djokovic has an 18-7 win-loss record against Murray on a hard court.

 

Djokovic leads each of the members of the big 5 – Federer (23-22), Murray (21-9), Nadal (24-23) and Stan Wawrinka (20-4) in their previous meetings.

Road to the Final

DJOKOVIC Time   Time MURRAY
d. Hyeon Chung 63 62 64 1:55 1st round 2:07 d. Alexander Zverev 61 62 63
d. (WC) Quentin Halys 61 62 76(3) 1:40 2nd round 1:31 d. Sam Groth 60 64 61
d. No. 2 Andreas Seppi 61 75 76(6) 2:21 3rd round 2:38 d. No. 32 Joao Sousa 62 36 62 62
d. No. 14 Gilles Simon 63 67(1) 64 46 63

d. No. 7 Kei Nishikori 63 62 64

d. No. 3 Roger Federer 61 62 36 63

4:32

2:07

2:19

Round of 16
Quarterfinals

Semifinals

2:30

3:20

4:03

d. No. 16 Bernard Tomic 64 64 76(4)

d. No. 8 David Ferrer 64 64 75

d. No. 13 Milos Raonic 46 75 67(4) 64 62

         
total time on court 14:54 (IBM time) 16:09 total time on court

 

DJOKOVIC                                      v                                       MURRAY

 

28                                          Age                                          28

6’2”/1.88m                                  Height                                  6’3”/1.91m

1                                    ATP Ranking                                    2

94,251,218                     Career Earnings (US$)                     42,435,316

60                                         Titles                                         35

213-34                     Career Grand Slam Record                     159-37

10 titles                       Best Grand Slam Result                       2 titles

56-6                         Australian Open Record                        45-10

697-146                              Career Record                              558-165

460-86                         Career Record – Hard                        380-107

11-0                                  2016 Record                                   6-0

11-0                             2016 Record – Hard                              6-0

26-8                          Career Five-Set Record                          19-7

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         8

191-111                      Career Tiebreak Record                      158-100

3-1                            2016 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

                                                                                

  • 5-time champion DJOKOVIC is looking to win his 6th Australian Open title and equal Roy Emerson’s record for most Australian titles.

Australian Open title leaders (all-time)

Player
Titles won
Years
Roy Emerson 6 1961, 1963-67
Novak Djokovic 5 2008, 2011-13, 2015
Andre Agassi 4 1995, 2000-01, 2003
Jack Crawford 4 1931-33, 1935
Roger Federer 4 2004, 2006-07, 2010
Ken Rosewall 4 1953, 1955, 1971-72

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 10th man in history to win 6 titles at any Grand Slam event. Nadal tops the table with 9 Roland Garros titles.

                                               Most titles at the same Grand Slam tournament

Player Grand Slam Titles Years
Rafael Nadal Roland Garros 9 2005-08, 2010-2014
Richard Sears US Championships 7 1881-87**
William Renshaw Wimbledon 7 1881-86, 1889
Bill Larned US Championships 7 1901-02, 1907-11**
Bill Tilden US Championships 7 1920-25, 1929
Pete Sampras Wimbledon 7 1993-95, 1997-2000
Roger Federer Wimbledon 7 2003-07, 2009, 2012
Roy Emerson Australian Championships 6 1961, 1963-67
Bjorn Borg Roland Garros 6 1974-75, 1978-81
Novak Djokovic Australian Open 6?? 2008, 2011-13, 2015, 2016??

                                               ** Challenge round played through 1911 at US Championships

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the first man to win 3 consecutive Grand Slam titles since he achieved the feat when he won 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 11th Grand Slam title and move into equal 5th place with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver on the all-time list for most major titles. He has won titles at the Australian Open in 2008 (d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), 2011
    (d. Andy Murray), 2012 (d. Nadal), 2013 (d. Murray) and 2015 (d. Murray); at Wimbledon in 2011 (d. Nadal), 2014
    (d. Federer) and 2015 (d. Federer); and at the US Open in 2011 (d. Nadal) and 2015 (d. Federer).

 

All-time Grand Slam men’s singles titles

1. 17 Roger Federer
2= 14 Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
4. 12 Roy Emerson
5= 11 Bjorn Borg

Rod Laver

7= 10 Novak Djokovic

Bill Tilden

9= 8 Andre Agassi

Jimmy Connors

Ivan Lendl

Fred Perry

Ken Rosewall

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 7th consecutive Tour-level title. He won the titles at the 2015 US Open, 2015 Beijing, 2015 Shanghai-1000, 2015 Paris-1000, the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals and 2016 Doha.
  • Djokovic is bidding to become the first player to successfully defend the Australian Open title since he achieved the feat in 2013 having won the event here in 2012.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 18th 1 seed to win the Australian Open title in the Open Era. The last Top seed to win the title here was Djokovic himself in 2015. The Top seed has won the title here in 7 of the last 10 years.

 

  • Djokovic is the only male Serbian Grand Slam champion and also the only Serbian man to appear in a Grand Slam final.

 

  • Djokovic has an 10-8 win-loss record in his 18 previous Grand Slam finals and a 5-0 win-loss record in Australian Open finals.

                                             Djokovic’s record in Grand Slam finals

Grand Slam Final Result
2007 US Open l. Roger Federer 76(4) 76(2) 64
2008 Australian Open d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76(2)
2010 US Open l. Rafael Nadal 64 57 64 62
2011 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 64 62 63
2011 Wimbledon d. Rafael Nadal 64 61 16 63
2011 US Open d. Rafael Nadal 62 64 67(3) 61
2012 Australian Open d. Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67(5) 75
2012 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 64 63 26 75
2012 US Open l. Andy Murray 76(10) 75 26 36 62
2013 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
2013 Wimbledon l. Andy Murray 64 75 64
2013 US Open l. Rafael Nadal 62 36 64 61
2014 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 36 75 62 64
2014 Wimbledon d. Roger Federer 67(7) 64 76(4) 57 64
2015 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60
2015 Roland Garros l. Stan Wawrinka 46 64 63 64
2015 Wimbledon d. Roger Federer 76(1) 67(10) 64 63
2015 US Open d. Roger Federer 64 57 74 74
2016 Australian Open v Andy Murray???

 

  • Djokovic is on a 14-match winning streak in Tour-level matches. He hasn’t lost a match since he was defeated by Roger Federer in the round-robin at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals. He still went on to win the title there as well as at Doha. His longest winning streak came in 2011, when he won 43 matches in a row.

 

  • Djokovic is on a 20-match Grand Slam winning streak. He has not lost a Grand Slam match since he was defeated by Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final. His longest Grand Slam match-winning streak is 27, which took in the titles at 2011 Wimbledon, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open, and a runner-up finish at 2012 Roland Garros.

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 5th consecutive Grand Slam final and moved into joint-3rd place on the list for the most consecutive major finals reached in the Open Era. Just 2 different men in the Open Era have reached 5 or more consecutive Grand Slam finals.

 

  Player Consecutive Grand Slam finals
1 Roger Federer 10 – 2005 Wimbledon – 2007 US Open
2 Roger Federer 8 – 2008 Roland Garros – 2010 Australian Open
3= Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

5 – 2015 Australian Open – 2016 Australian Open

5 – 2011 Roland Garros – 2012 Roland Garros

 

  • Djokovic has reached his 19th Grand Slam final and moved into equal-3rd place with Ivan Lendl on the all-time list of most appearances in Grand Slam finals.

 

1 Roger Federer 27
2 Rafael Nadal 20
3= Novak Djokovic

Ivan Lendl

19

19

5 Pete Sampras 18
6 Rod Laver 17
7= Bjorn Borg 16
  Ken Rosewall 16

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to record his 57th match-win at the Australian Open and take sole ownership of 2nd place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins in the Open Era.

 

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic

Stefan Edberg

80-13
56-6

56-10

Andre Agassi 48-5
Ivan Lendl 48-10

                                                            

  • Djokovic’s victory over Simon in the round of 16 here extended his 5-set match-winning streak to 6-matches. He hasn’t lost a 5-set match since he was defeated by Wawrinka in the quarterfinals here in 2014. He has a 26-8 five-set win-loss record and a 5-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Djokovic has won 16 of his last 17 Tour-level matches against Top 10 opposition. His only defeat in that time came to No. 3 Roger Federer in the round-robin at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals. He has won 13 of his last 14 matches against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams, with his only defeat in that time coming against No. 9 Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final.

 

  • Last year here Djokovic won his 5th Australian Open title, defeating Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60 in the final. This is his 12th Australian Open and his 45th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2015, Djokovic won the titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, defeating Federer on both occasions to take his major total to 10. He also reached the final at Roland Garros, losing to Wawrinka. He became the 3rd player in the Open Era to reach all 4 Grand Slam finals in a calendar year after Rod Laver (1969) and Federer (2006-07, 2009).

 

  • Djokovic won 11 titles in 15 finals in 2015 and in so doing finished the year with a prize money haul of $21,592,125. He finished the year ranked No. 1 for the 4th time after winning his 4th consecutive ATP World Tour Finals crown.
  • Djokovic warmed up for the 2016 Australian Open by winning his 60th career singles title at Doha (d. Nadal).

 

  • Djokovic started working with 2-time Australian Open champion Boris Becker in 2014. He has also been coached by Marian Vajda since June 2006. His wider team includes physios Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

 

  • 4-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 4 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to today’s opponent in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Federer and Ivan Lendl are the only players to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title in the Open Era.

No. of final appearances at one Grand Slam event before winning first title (Open Era)

Player
No. of appearances in the final at any one Grand Slam before winning the title
Years
Andy Murray 5 Australian Open finals?? Lost 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
Roger Federer 4 Roland Garros finals Lost 2006, 2007, 2008. Won 2009
Ivan Lendl 4 US Open finals Lost 1982, 1983, 1984. Won 1985

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open title after losing 4 finals. Marat Safin is the only player to lose multiple finals at the Australian Open before winning the title, having lost the final in 2002 and 2004 before winning the title in 2005.

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid becoming only the 2nd man in the Open Era to lose 5 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl is the only man in the Open Era who has lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – falling in 1982-84 and 1988-89. He won the US Open in 1985-87.

 

  • If Murray wins the title for the first time on his 11th Australian Open appearance, he will set a record for most Australian Open appearances before winning the title.

 

                    Number of Australian Open appearances before winning the title (Open Era)

Andy Murray??

Petr Korda

Stan Wawrinka

Thomas Johansson

Ivan Lendl

Marat Safin

11??

9

9

8

7

7

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the first British man to win the Australian Open since Fred Perry defeated Jack Crawford in 1934.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the 21st man in the Open Era to win 3 or more Grand Slam titles. He is also looking to become the 16th man in the Open Era to win at least 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles.

 

  • Murray is bidding to defeat a No. 1 ranked player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time in his career. His only wins over No. 1 players at the majors came against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at the 2008 US Open and against today’s opponent in the 2013 Wimbledon final. He has 0-4 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at Melbourne Park and a 2-10 win-loss record against players ranked No. 1 at the Grand Slams overall.

 

  • Murray has lost 11 of his last 12 matches against players ranked No. 1. His only victory in that time came against today’s opponent in the final at 2015 Montreal-1000.

 

  • Murray is bidding to become the 5th reigning Davis Cup champion to win the subsequent Australian Open men’s singles title in the Open Era. Djokovic was the last player to achieve the feat, winning the 2010 Davis Cup with Serbia followed by the 2011 Australian Open. The feat has been achieved on 4 occasions in the Open Era:

 

Davis Cup Champion Australian Open men’s singles champion*
Serbia – 2010

USA – 1992

Sweden – 1987

USA – 1969

Novak Djokovic – 2011

Jim Courier – 1993

Mats Wilander – 1988

Arthur Ashe – 1970

*Each won at least one live singles rubber in winning the previous year’s Davis Cup Final

 

  • Murray won 11 rubbers in Davis Cup last year to help Great Britain win Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. He was the first man to win 8 live singles rubbers in one year since the introduction of the World Group in 1982. Great Britain defeated Belgium 3-1 in the Final in Ghent.

 

  • Murray is a 2-time Grand Slam champion, defeating today’s opponent for each of his major victories. He won the 2012 US Open title and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013. He is contesting his 11th straight Australian Open and 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the final here, Murray has closed the gap on Fred Perry for the most appearances in a Grand Slam final by a British man (since the Challenge Round was abolished at Wimbledon in 1922):

 

Player Appearances in a Grand Slam final
Fred Perry 10 – US Championships 1933-34, 1936, Australian Championships 1934-35, French Championships 1935-36, Wimbledon 1934-36
Andy Murray 9   – US Open 2008, 2012, Australian Open 2010-11, 2013, 2015-16, Wimbledon 2012-13

 

  • By reaching the final here, Murray has taken sole ownership of 13th place on the list for the most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era with 9. Only 3 active players have reached more Grand Slam finals than Murray – Roger Federer (27), Rafael Nadal (20) and Novak Djokovic (19).

 

  • Murray is looking to win his 46th match at Melbourne Park and take sole ownership of 6th place on the Open Era list for most Australian Open match-wins. He is currently level with Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal on 45 wins at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Murray and brother Jamie are the first brothers to reach the finals in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events at a Grand Slam since Reggie and Laurie Doherty at 1906 Wimbledon. Laurie Doherty won the singles Challenge Round that year while Reggie and Laurie Doherty finished runners-up in the men’s doubles final. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares will play Daniel Nestor/Radek Stepanek in the doubles final on Saturday.

 

  • By defeating Raonic in 5-sets in the semifinals here, Murray improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open to 2-3. The only other 5-set match he has won here came in 2013 when he defeated Federer in the semifinals. He has won 7 of his last 8 five-set matches, with his only defeat in that time coming to Djokovic in the semifinals at 2015 Roland Garros. He has a 19-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Murray has come from 0-2 down to win a 5-set match on 8 occasions. The last time he came back from 0-2 down to win a match was against Adrian Mannarino in the 2nd round at the 2015 US Open.

 

  • Murray is the leading British man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins with a 159-37 win-loss record. He sits in 11th place on the list for the most Open Era Grand Slam match-wins behind Boris Becker (163-40).
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2015, Murray reached the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. today’s opponent) and Wimbledon (l. Federer). He fell to Kevin Anderson in the round of 16 at the US Open – the first time he had lost before the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the 2010 US Open.

 

  • Also in 2015, Murray won 4 titles including his first titles on clay at Munich (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber), where he became the first British player to win a Tour-level clay court title since Buster Mottram at 1976 Palma, and Madrid-1000 (d. Nadal). He also won the title at Queen’s (d. Anderson) and Montreal-1000 (d. today’s opponent).

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup. He won 2 of his 3 singles matches in Perth, defeating Kenny de Schepper and Alexander Zverev, but losing to Nick Kyrgios.

 

  • Murray is coached by 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

 

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Angelique Kerber Upsets Serena Williams to Win Australian Open Title

Kerber

(January 30, 2016) A point away from being knocked out in the first round 13 days ago, No. 7 seed Angelique Kerber came back to win her match against  Misaki Doi and on Saturday surprised No. 1 seed and six-time champion Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to claim her first major title, the 2016 Australian Open.

The last Australian Open Champion to save a match point on the way to the title was 2014 champion Li Na.

Williams came into the final as an overwhelming favorite to win her 22nd major and equal Steffi Graf for the most in the Open Era. Williams had not lost an Australian final before Saturday.

Conversely, with the victory, Kerber became the first German to win a major since Graf. Coming into Melbourne, Kerber was the only member of the Top Ten yet to reach a major final. The win gave Kerber her first win over a No. 1 player. She was 0-8 previously.

Kerber is the first lefthander to win the Australina Open since Monica Seles in 1996.

“I had goosebumps. My whole life I’ve worked hard. To say ‘I am a Grand Slam champion’ is crazy,” Kerber said during the trophy ceremony. “My dream has come true tonight”

A gracious Williams crossed over the net to congratulate Kerber at the end of the match, giving her a big hug. “Congratulations Angie,” Williams said. “You were the best player this tournament. I really hope you enjoy this moment. You truly deserve it.”

Kerber was consistent through the match hitting 25 winners to 13 errors. She made Williams run from corner to corner. Williams had 46 errors and 47 winners but her powerful serve was broken five times by the 28-year-old. This was only Kerber’s second victory over Williams, with the first one coming in Cincinnati in 2012. Williams leads the head-to-head record at 5-2.

“I was actually really happy for her,” Williams said in her post-match news conference. “She’s been around a really long time. We’ve had a number of matches. I’ve beaten her a lot.

“She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from: just to always stay positive and to never give up.

“I was really inspired by that. So, honestly, she’s a really good girl. If I couldn’t win, I’m happy she did.”

“I was missing a lot off the ground, coming to the net,” said the 34-year-old. “She kept hitting some great shots actually every time I came in. I think I kept picking the wrong shots coming into it.

“But, honestly, it’s something to learn from, just to try to get better.”

“I had really crazy two weeks,” kerber said to media. “I mean, with the first round where I was match point down, and then with the win over (Victoria) Azarenka in the quarters. I never beat her.

“And now to play against Serena, what was a really honor to play against her in a Grand Slam final. It was my first final. You know, I was really looking forward. I was really excited.

“I knew before that I beat her once in Cincinnati, that I really must go out there to try to beat her again because she will not give it to me. It was a really great match from both of us.

“Yeah, really it’s a special moment for me.”

 

“I was trying to stay relaxed until the last point,” Kerber said. “The first set I played very well. The second set she was serving much better. The third set every game was really close.

“I mean, the game to 3-2, it was like 10 minutes, I think. You know, I was trying really to focusing on myself because when I was up 5-2, I was sure the match is not over yet, you know.

“Then like 5-3, 5-4, and she was serving, so I was just telling myself, Okay, you breaked her before few times, so you can do it again. Just play point by point.

“When I hit the match point, I was just try to hoping to return the ball over the net. Just hoping, yeah, that I can make the ball and just going for it if I have the chance.

“Yeah, when the ball was out from her, I was just, yeah, so happy. I mean, it’s amazing.”

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Andy Murray Rallies to Reach Fifth Australian Open Final

(January 29, 2016) No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from two sets to one down to beat No. 13 Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 to reach his fifth Australian Open final. He’ll play defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday. Murray has lost to No. 1 Djokovic in three previous finals.

The Canadian Raonic began the match by breaking Murray’s serve at love. Raonic made the hold stand to win the first set 6-4. In the second set Murray broke serve in the 12th game to capture the second set 7-5. The third set saw both men stand toe-to-toe into the tiebreak. Raonic jumped to a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak and closed it out 7-4.  In the fourth set Murray took Raonic’s serve in the seventh game and saved four break points in the next few games to prevent Raonic from getting back into the set.

Raonic took a medical time out in the fourth set for an upper right leg injury and was visibly hampered in his movement on the court after that.

Raonic was broken to open the fifth set and broke his racquet in anger and frustration. Murray ran up a 4-0 score and did not have to look back.

Raonic made 78 unforced errors in the four-hour and three-minute match.

Murray goes into the final against 10-time major winner Djokovic with a 9-21 record, having lost 3 finals to the No. player. The will be the Scotsman’s ninth major final.

In his on-court interview he talked about what he needs to do to beat the world No. 1: “I need to keep my game plan very well, not have any lapses in concentration and just play the best I can.” 

“He loves playing on this court, we’ve played a bunch of times here. Hopefully it can be a different result.”

Asked about his injury, Raonic said: “Just a difficulty to push off my leg with my adductor midway through the third set. That’s what it was.

“It’s unfortunate. Probably the most heartbroken I felt on court, but that’s what it is.”

“Five finals is a great achievement,” Murray said. “You can’t take that away from me. I should be happy about that. There’s very few players that will have made five Australian Open finals, so I have to be proud of that achievement.

“Obviously when you get to the final you’re disappointed if you don’t win. But, I mean, I’ve obviously played very good tennis here. I’ve given myself many opportunities to reach the finals. Seven straight quarterfinals, as well.

“I have a very good shot on Sunday if I play my best tennis, like I said. I need to do it for long enough to have a chance. I’m aware of that. I don’t think many people are expecting me to win on Sunday. I have to just believe in myself, have a solid game plan, and hopefully execute it and play well.

“But, you know, the previous disappointments, it’s one tennis match. Doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past really. It’s about what happens on Sunday. People like to read into what’s happened in the past, but Stan beat Rafa in the final here. I don’t know, I don’t think he’d ever won against him in like 13 attempts. When he beat Novak here, the same thing, as well.

“There’s no reason it’s not possible for me to win.”

Earlier in the day,  No. 1 seeds  Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 to win the women’s doubles crown. The team has now won three straight majors and 36 consecutive matches.

 

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