Pospisil Spoils Del Potro’s Return

88 Del Potro 3

(March 26, 2015) Returning to the court for the first time since January 15, Juan Martin del Potro‘s recent attempt at comeback from wrist surgery ended in a first round loss at the Miami Open on Thursday.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated the Argentine, who is currently ranked No 616, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

For Pospisil, it’s his first-ever win at the Miami tournament.

Del Potro’s rustiness showed in the second set when he failed to serve it out up 5-4 and then squandered set points in the tiebreaker, double-faulting twice, which led to match point against him.

“Obviously down there I wanted to win the match, and I had few chances in the first set; then in the second set I know I have set points, but I couldn’t close the set because I had easy efforts and easy mistakes,” del Potro said.

“I didn’t serve well in the special moments, which is tough for me with all of these things.

“But now I’m okay. I don’t have any physical problem after the match, and I will be recovering soon for the future.”


“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said the Canadian in regard to taking on del Potro.

“That was a little bit added stress maybe before. But at the same time, I was just trying to focus on serving well and playing my game and trying to put pressure and coming to the net.”

“Whether he had pain or not, you know, it’s obviously not the same backhand that he normally plays,” Pospisil added. “I tried to take advantage of that by coming in and putting pressure on that side.

“But, you know, he’s still serving well and hitting his forehand huge, which made it tough. I just hung in there, you know, maybe got a little bit fortunate at the end. He was serving; had set point on his serve; but then the rest of the way I played well.”

The 2009 US Open Champion admitted that he still is not at 100 percent: “I’m not confident 100% to hit my best backhands yet.

“And I also need time to improve my backhand again. I already been hitting backhands the last 10 days in one year, which is very ‑‑ it’s very bad to play in this level.

“But I am working hard. I am working hard every day little more on my backhand. I think it’s the only way to get to pass through all of the things and get well for the future.”

“It’s just a wrist problem. Of course mentally you must be strongest enough to deal with the problem and get up every morning to do your treatments and rehab and stay calm, looking forward for the future.

“I’m not hurried to be in the top 10 very soon. I want to play tennis. It doesn’t matter how long it’s take me to be in the top again. Just wanted to play tennis and without pain.”

“It’s only 2 months after my second surgery and my left wrist. I feel better week by week, but it’s still very early to feel 100%.”

“It was like a Davis Cup atmosphere,”  said the 24-year-old Pospisil of the lively crowd cheering for his opponent. “I felt like I was playing away somewhere.

“It was a great atmosphere. Whether everyone is cheering for me or against me or if it’s equal, you know, when there is a big crowd and when they are into it, it’s always more enjoyable for everybody. I was enjoying it more, and actually might have helped me a little bit in the end, to be honest.”

The Canadian will take on No. 9 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

As for the 26-year-old del Potro, he’s taking his comeback one day at a time: “I think it’s the most important be patient and stay calm, and also try to be positive.

“I got depressive for a while in the past. I have been talking with (Janko) Tipsarevic, as well, at the locker rooms. He knows a lot about the injuries, about comebacks, and doesn’t make it.

“But in the end, I want to play tennis. If I have to learn a different backhand to keep playing, I will do it.

“But now I’m trying to do all my things to fix the problem and hitting my backhand as I did in the whole ‑‑ all my career. I am still positive.

“I think is the biggest goal for me trying to keep trying and stay mentally strong enough to go through all of the injuries.”


Miami Open – Wednesday Results, Thursday Schedule


USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015

ATP Results

Singles – First Round
C. Berlocq (ARG) d [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) 64 36 62
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d J. Sousa (POR) 62 62
J. Sock (USA) d G. Soeda (JPN) 63 64
D. Thiem (AUT) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 76(0) 75
S. Querrey (USA) d V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) 64 63
J. Nieminen (FIN) d M. Matosevic (AUS) 63 63
[Q] R. Haase (NED) d [WC] K. Edmund (GBR) 62 62
D. Young (USA) d Y. Lu (TPE) 51 ret (neck)
[WC] H. Chung (KOR) d M. Granollers (ESP) 60 46 64
[Q] A. Krajicek (USA) d D. Istomin (UZB) 64 64
[Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 26 76(5) 42 ret (right arm)
T. Smyczek (USA) d [Q] A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 46 63 64
J. Monaco (ARG) d [Q] R. Bemelmans (BEL) 75 67(4) 64
J. Struff (GER) d B. Becker (GER) 36 76(10) 64 – saved 3 M.P.
[Q] J. Duckworth (AUS) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 36 63
[PR] N. Almagro (ESP) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 67(3) 64


WTA Results

Singles – First Round
A. Riske (USA) d M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 60
H. Watson (GBR) d [Q] E. Rodina (RUS) 36 61 75
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d V. Zvonareva (RUS) 62 36 75
[Q] S. Karatantcheva (BUL) d L. Davis (USA) 63 76(5)
J. Goerges (GER) d J. Cepelova (SVK) 61 60
[Q] I. Falconi (USA) d M. Puig (PUR) 76(9) 76(3)
[WC] N. Vaidisova (CZE) d [Q] T. Babos (HUN) 61 76(4)
[Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d M. Rybarikova (SVK) 75 26 60
V. Azarenka (BLR) d S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 61 63
T. Pironkova (BUL) d [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) 64 63
S. Stephens (USA) d Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 61 63
B. Bencic (SUI) d D. Hantuchova (SVK) 61 76(5)
[Q] T. Maria (GER) d R. Vinci (ITA) 76(9) 63
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [Q] A. Dulgheru (ROU) 64 62
[Q] S. Voegele (SUI) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 62 62
[Q] U. Radwanska (POL) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 64 67(2) 63
[Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) d K. Bertens (NED) 46 62 63
C. McHale (USA) d [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) 75 64
Ann. Beck (GER) d S. Zhang (CHN) 64 46 64
[WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS) d [Q] M. Erakovic (NZL) 51 ret. (left ankle injury)


STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – [7] A. Radwanska (POL) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)
ATP – M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)
ATP – V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [16] V. Williams (USA) vs [Q] U. Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – L. Hewitt (AUS) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – A. Golubev (KAZ) vs M. Youzhny (RUS)
ATP – A. Haider-Maurer (AUT) vs B. Coric (CRO)
WTA – M. Brengle (USA) vs [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – R. Berankis (LTU) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [WC] R. Harrison (USA) vs J. Melzer (AUT)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs S. Johnson (USA)
WTA – C. Mchale (USA) vs [9] A. Petkovic (GER)
ATP – J. Janowicz (POL) vs [Q] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – M. Draganja (CRO) / H. Kontinen (FIN) vs G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA)
ATP – J. Vesely (CZE) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] M. Berrer (GER) vs [Q] A. Falla (COL)
WTA – [28] V. Lepchenko (USA) vs K. Kanepi (EST)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) vs [8] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
WTA – [Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) vs [23] S. Stosur (AUS)
ATP – [WC] A. Rublev (RUS) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
ATP – [PR] N. Almagro (ESP) / G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs A. Mannarino (FRA) / G. Simon (FRA)
ATP – K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Chardy (FRA) vs [6] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) / A. Groenefeld (GER) vs A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
ATP – A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) vs [18] S. Peng (CHN)
WTA – [Q] S. Voegele (SUI) vs [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – [22] A. Cornet (FRA) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [8] E. Makarova (RUS) vs K. Knapp (ITA)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – T. Smitkova (CZE) vs [31] I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – [19] B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
ATP – L. Rosol (CZE) / D. Thiem (AUT) vs J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS)
ATP – M. Jaziri (TUN) vs [Q] S. Darcis (BEL)
WTA – [3] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
WTA – [14] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs Ann. Beck (GER)
WTA – K. Koukalova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
WTA – B. Jovanovski (SRB) vs [26] E. Svitolina (UKR)

COURT 10 start 11:00 am
ATP – P. Andujar (ESP) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)
ATP – S. Groth (AUS) vs [Q] A. Zverev (GER)
WTA – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / D. Jurak (CRO) vs A. Rodionova (AUS) / A. Rodionova (AUS)
WTA – [25] C. Garcia (FRA) vs K. Nara (JPN)


Qualifiers McDonald and Bangoura Upset Seeded Players On Day 2 at USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas

USTA pro circuit logo

(March 25, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif., – Five unseeded Americans took vastly different routes into the second round of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas on Wednesday during first round play at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.


Mico Santiago, Francis Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo, Mackenzie McDonald and Sekou Bangoura each posted victories on a gorgeous sunny day at the USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 Futures tournament.


The qualifier Santiago had the easiest time with his opponent, former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador, posting a 6-3, 6-0 victory. “He seemed tired and I was feeling good and just seemed to take advantage of it,” said Santiago, a 21-year-old from Corvallis, Ore., who trained as a teenager at the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C. “After losing last week early (to Walker Duncan in Bakersfield), I just got re-committed and stayed focused.”


Tiafoe was playing his first match since winning the Bakersfield ITF title, his first as a professional, last Sunday. He beat No. 4-seeded Darian King of Barbados in a match that had an unusual finish. After dropping the first set, 6-7 (5), Tiafoe battled back to win the second set 7-5 and was leading 2-0 when King became agitated by what he thought were continuous bad calls by the chair umpire, and simply walked off the court and quitting the match.


“He just kind of lost it and sadly had to quit, because he couldn’t handle it,” Tiafoe said. “”That’s never happened to me. I don’t really know what to say.”


In a battle of big-serving 18-year-old Southern Californians, West Covina’s Ernesto Escobedo got past a hard-charging Deiton Baughman of Carson, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to advance to the second round where he will meet No. 8-seeded Mitchell Krueger on Thursday.


Qualifiers Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA sophomore, and former University of Florida star Sekou Bangoura both posted victories against seeded players with Bangoura taking out former collegiate rival and No. 5-seeded Daniel Nguyen in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.


“We’ve played in college and at the Irvine Futures,” Bangoura said of Nguyen, who led the USC Trojans to four NCAA team titles, two of which ended with Nguyen clinching the final match, prompting Bangoura to call him the “clutchest player in college tennis history.”


Defending champion Marcos Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, appeared on the grounds of the tournament but was forced to withdraw because of injury.


EVENTS: A USPTA Coaches workshop with one or two of the Pro Circuit players and their coach will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Adult Pro-Am drill is Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Community Tennis Association & USTA League appreciation night is Friday, March 27, starting at 6 p.m. A VIP sponsor dinner reception is also on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A USTA Junior Team Tennis Kid’s Day with a Tennis Carnival is Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m.


Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Scores

Fabiano De Paula, Brazil (1), def. Damon Gooch, South Africa, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5

Jason Jung, U.S., (6) def. Maxime Tabatruong, France, 6-3, 6-2

Mackenzie McDonald, U.S. (q), def. Connor Smith, U.S., (7) 6-2, 7-5

Sekou Bangoura, U.S., (q) def. Daniel Nguyen, U.S., (5) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Marek Michalicka, Czech Republic, def. Raymond Sarmiento, U.S., (q) 6-4, 6-4

Mitchell Krueger, U.S., (8) def. Nicolas Meister, U.S., 6-4, 6-2

Francis Tiafoe, U.S., def. Darian King, Barbados, (4), 6-7 (5), 7-5, 2-0, ret.

Ernesto Escobedo, U.S., def. Deiton Baughman, U.S., (q) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

Fritz Wolmarans, U.S., def. Boris Bakalov, Bulgaria, (q) 7-5, 6-3

Mico Santiago, U.S., def. Emilio Gomez, Ecuador, 6-3, 6-0

Giovanni Lapentti, Eucador, def. Michael Shabaz, U.S., (q) 6-4, 6-4

Alexander Ward, Great Britain, def. Walker Duncan, U.S., (ll) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3


Wednesday’s First-Round Doubles Score

Jason Jung, U.S. / Raymond Sarmiento, U.S., def. Keanu Ellen, U.S. / Jan-Michael Gambill, U.S., (wc) 6-2, 7-6 (6).

By Steve Pratt


Victoria Azarenka is Looking Forward to Building Momentum in Miami


MIAMI, FL. (March 25, 2015) Playing for the first time since 2012, two-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka moved into the the second round Wednesday, besting Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-3.

The Belarusian missed playing the last two years with ankle and foot injuries. The injuries over the years have seen the two-time Australian Open champion’s ranking fall. She ended the 2014 season ranked No. 32.

“It’s been unfortunate the last couple of years for me, but I love this tournament,” said the currently ranked world No. 36. “I think, you know, the field is very strong all the time for me.

“I’m just happy to play anywhere I can,” she said smiling. “Obviously coming back to a place where I have a lot of great memories, it’s always nice.

“So I’m just looking forward to build my momentum here again and try to play as many matches as possible, but really to improve my level.”

As for evaluating her match on Wednesday, she said: “I think it was a pretty good first set. You know, second set there was a little bit too many mistakes in the beginning. I felt like I lost my momentum, and she led the way a little bit.

“But I’m glad I could turn it around and play well when I needed to. But I just would like to see a little bit more consistency from my game.”

Nick Bollettieri  and Victoria Azarenka at Miami Open Kids Day

Nick Bollettieri and Victoria Azarenka at Miami Open Kids Day

“I remember when I came here and I won my first two matches how excited I was. It was like, Oh, my God, I made it to third round in Miami and I played Anastasia Myskina.

“For me, it felt like I won a Grand Slam. I was that happy. But obviously being here at 25, it feels a little bit different. Definitely I think you evolve. Every year I came here, now it feels so much different than when I was here at 19.”

Next up for Azarenka will be 20th seed Jelena Jankovic, just coming off her finalist appearance at Indian Wells this past Sunday.

“It’s tough match,” Azarenka noted. “Being an unseeded player, I’m going to have really difficult, you know, first couple of rounds.

“I’m looking forward to that. I just need to, you know, keep working on my game and trying to do my best every match.

“But, yeah, Jelena had such a great week in the past, so she’s playing with a lot of confidence. She’s always a dangerous player, so I just need to focus on myself and try to play my best.”

Azarenka leads in the head-to-head record against Jankovic 6-4.


Serena Williams Hopes to be Ready to Take the Court on Friday at Miami Open


(March 25, 2015) MIAMI, FL – Just days after withdrawing from her Indian Wells semifinal against Simona Halep with a knee injury, Serena Williams, now at the Miami Open, the two-time defending champion, hopes that she’ll be ready to play her first match on Friday.

“I’m okay,” said Williams giving an update on her health. “I’m just managing where I am right now. Just trying to stay out of as much pain as possible and see what happens.”

“I know I’m going to have to manage the pain. I think if I’m in that mental state, okay, you might be in a little pain. You just have to figure out the best way around it.”

Why not, skip the tournament all together? Williams just lives practically down the road from the event in Palm Beach County. On top of this, she’s won the event a record seven times.

“I didn’t think I would be doing this interview today,” Williams said. “I stepped on the court (to practice on Wednesday) and I was just like, I love this place. You know, I love playing at home. I live just down the road.

“So, yeah, it takes a lot. It takes a tremendous amount for me to stop. Yeah, so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or that’s a bad thing, but I think I will be okay.”

The real test for the 19-time major champion will be when she takes the court on Friday against second round opponent Monica Niculescu of Romania.

“Probably on my first match, if I get that far,” the world No. 1  said. “So, yeah, I don’t want to put too much pressure on it before.

“I’m just here in Miami, so I’m just going to go for it and see what happens.”

Williams just defeated Niculescu in the second round at Indian Wells just last week and won the match 7-5, 7-5.

“Well, I definitely don’t have low expectations,” said the American. “I just definitely expect to do the best that I can. Whether that’s winning or just stepping out on the court, that’s what I’m going to have to do.

“Again, I don’t feel any pressure because I have won this title a few times, so I feel good about being here. When I hit on the court today, just something about Miami, you know. I just feel so good out here.

“So I was like, Oh, this is fun. I’m just looking forward to just enjoying myself this year more than anything.”

“I think every player has pain. I said this before. I don’t know any player that goes out there without pain. Every match I play, I mean, I could be 10% in pain or I could be 80% in pain. It just kind of depends how you feel and how can you manage that.

“Knowing ahead of time the problems that you’re dealing with, usually you have a good way. Okay, we’re dealing with this problem and this is how you treat it, so you can be able to play at a high level.

“Now that I kind of know what’s going on, I’m able to treat it and be able to play at a higher level than I would have been able to play a couple of weeks ago.”


Miami Open – Wednesday Schedule


USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015

STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) vs C. Berlocq (ARG)
ATP – G. Soeda (JPN) vs J. Sock (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
WTA – M. Puig (PUR) vs [Q] I. Falconi (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs S. Querrey (USA)
WTA – Y. Wickmayer (BEL) vs S. Stephens (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
ATP – D. Young (USA) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
WTA – H. Watson (GBR) vs [Q] E. Rodina (RUS)
ATP – S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [PR] N. Almagro (ESP)
ATP – D. Thiem (AUT) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Bemelmans (BEL) vs J. Monaco (ARG)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Hantuchova (SVK) vs B. Bencic (SUI)
ATP – M. Granollers (ESP) vs [WC] H. Chung (KOR)
ATP – [WC] K. Edmund (GBR) vs [Q] R. Haase (NED)
ATP – T. Smyczek (USA) vs [Q] A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP)
WTA – L. Davis (USA) vs [Q] S. Karatantcheva (BUL)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs C. Mchale (USA)
WTA – [Q] U. Radwanska (POL) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA)
ATP – J. Nieminen (FIN) vs M. Matosevic (AUS)
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs [Q] A. Krajicek (USA)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – J. Struff (GER) vs B. Becker (GER)
WTA – [Q] S. Voegele (SUI) vs K. Flipkens (BEL)
ATP – [Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) vs D. Lajovic (SRB)
WTA – A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs V. Zvonareva (RUS)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – Ann. Beck (GER) vs S. Zhang (CHN)
WTA – [Q] M. Erakovic (NZL) vs [WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS)
ATP – [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [Q] J. Duckworth (AUS)
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Riske (USA) vs M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
WTA – [Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) vs K. Bertens (NED)
WTA – R. Vinci (ITA) vs [Q] T. Maria (GER)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs J. Cepelova (SVK)

COURT 10 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
WTA – [Q] A. Dulgheru (ROU) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [Q] T. Babos (HUN) vs [WC] N. Vaidisova (CZE)
WTA – [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs M. Rybarikova (SVK)

RESULTS – MARCH 24, 2015

Singles – First Round

M. Niculescu (ROU) d S. Rogers (USA) 76(1) 61
[WC] C. Bellis (USA) d [WC] I. de Vroome (NED) 62 62
J. Larsson (SWE) d Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 64 76(4)
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d P. Hercog (SLO) 63 62
T. Smitkova (CZE) d [WC] N. Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 06 75 62
K. Kanepi (EST) d [WC] F. Abanda (CAN) 62 63
M. Brengle (USA) d A. Krunic (SRB) 60 62
K. Knapp (ITA) d K. Siniakova (CZE) 62 60
B. Jovanovski (SRB) d M. Barthel (GER) 36 63 62
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d K. Koukalova (CZE) 64 64
[WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) d P. Cetkovska (CZE) 61 61
K. Nara (JPN) d A. Tomljanovic (CRO) 64 63

Qualifying Singles – Second Round

Qualifying – [2] A. Dulgheru (ROU) d [WC] I. Soylu (TUR) 64 75
Qualifying – [20] K. Kozlova (UKR) d [3] S. Zheng (CHN) 61 63
Qualifying – [5] M. Erakovic (NZL) d L. Domínguez Lino (ESP) 62 76(1)
Qualifying – [8] T. Babos (HUN) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 62 63
Qualifying – [18] I. Falconi (USA) d [10] D. Allertova (CZE) 76(6) 16 75
Qualifying – [13] E. Rodina (RUS) d [11] C. Scheepers (RSA) 06 64 62
Qualifying – [12] P. Parmentier (FRA) d [14] G. Min (USA) 62 64
Qualifying – U. Radwanska (POL) d [15] A. Konjuh (CRO) 62 62
Qualifying – [17] S. Voegele (SUI) d L. Zhu (CHN) 61 61
Qualifying – [22] T. Maria (GER) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 62 64
Qualifying – A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d [WC] I. Neel (USA) 76(7) 64
Qualifying – S. Karatantcheva (BUL) d J. Glushko (ISR) 62 46 63


John Austin named Director of Tennis for the Hall of Fame Tennis Club in Newport, Rhode Island

John Austin

John Austin

NEWPORT, R.I., March 24, 2015 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced

that John Austin will be joining the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the Director of Tennis on April 1, 2015. His tennis background ranges from ATP Touring Professional to ATP Coach to Director of Tennis at some resorts on the West Coast.

“I am very excited to be a part of the legendary Hall of Fame Tennis Club. I have a deep passion for the game and a strong appreciation for the history of this great sport. I am looking forward to being part of the club’s future, especially with the renovations and programming which are sure to be an integral part of the club in the years to come,” said Austin.


Austin joins the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the  tennis facility is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion project. The project will result in an all-new indoor facility with three hard courts, and the addition of three new indoor/outdoor courts. The club also offers 13 grass courts and 1 clay court. The indoor facility will open in late Spring 2015, the grass courts will open for the season in late May, and the new indoor/outdoor courts will open by late Summer 2015 to complete the project.


In his new role, Austin will oversee all tennis programming at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club, a year-round facility that has a highly active membership of adult and junior players and is also open to the public for drop in play. The club offers an extensive tennis instruction program, social play, USTA leagues, and, in his new role, Austin will continue to build and grow the club’s tennis programming.


“We are thrilled to welcome John Austin to lead the tennis staff at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. “He has built successful and engaging tennis programs at some of the most popular clubs in the country, and we are eager to bring his expertise to our club to create a world-class experience for our members and guests.”


Austin competed on the ATP World Tour for six years, achieving a ranking of world No. 40. In 1980, he partnered with his sister, Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, to win a career-defining Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Championship. The pair also reached the Wimbledon mixed doubles final in 1981.


During his playing career, Austin achieved victories over then No. 1 John McEnroe, former French Open champion Yannick Noah, Andres Gomes, Wojtek Fibak, and Tim and Tom Gullikson. Prior to entering the professional ranks, Austin was a member of the victorious 1976 UCLA NCAA championship team and he was a 1978 NCAA doubles champion. He also reached the NCAA doubles final in 1977.


Upon his retirement from the professional tour, Austin became a coach for players including Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Grabb, Chuck Adams, Robbie Weiss, Alexandra Stevenson, and Amy Frazier to name a few. While pursuing his teaching career, Austin remained passionate about his own tennis, attaining two No. 1 USTA national rankings in the Men’s 40 Singles in 1997 and Men’s 35 Doubles in 2002.


Over the last 15 years, Austin has spent his time on court as the Director of Tennis at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Quinta Resort, City of Surprise, Arizona, and the Richmond County Country Club on Staten Island. He has skillfully developed unique adult and junior tennis programming, enhanced member experiences at the club level, and has inspired enthusiasm for the sport with tennis players at each facility.


The Hall of Fame Tennis Club facility dates back to 1880 and was the original site of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, the event that evolved to be today’s US Open. Over the past 130+ years, the courts have welcomed some of the world’s best players competing in ATP and WTA events, Davis Cups, and many other notable tennis events.


Feliciano Lopez to Play Aegon Open Nottingham ATP

Feliciano Lopez, the Spanish world No.12 has confirmed today that he will be playing this summer’s Aegon Open Nottingham in June.

Feliciano Lopez, the Spanish world No.12 has confirmed today that he will be playing this summer’s Aegon Open Nottingham in June.

(March 24, 2015) World No. 12 Feliciano Lopez will play at the Aegon Open Nottingham ATP event in June. The Spanish player, who made the final of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club last year and also won back-to-back Aegon International Eastbourne titles in 2013 and 2014, is the first international player to be announced for the tournament that sees world class grass court tennis returning to Nottingham. Following the announcement last week that Great Britain’s Davis Cup hero James Ward will also play the event, the confirmation of Lopez today is a signal of the strength of the player field that will contest the tournament in the week before The Championships, Wimbledon.

The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, the women’s WTA International event taking place from 6-14 June 2015, and the men’s ATP World Tour 250 event being staged from 20-27 June 2015. Both tournaments will be a part of the new British grass court season, which in 2015 will see a three week window between Roland Garros and Wimbledon for the first time.

Speaking on his announcement, Lopez said: “I’m really excited to be playing the Aegon Open Nottingham this summer. Winning the title in Eastbourne and making the Final at The Queen’s Club last year were two of the highlights of 2014 for me and I’m very focused on getting another title on grass this year. Having an extra week in the grass court season is great for the players as we now have more time to play on this unique surface before Wimbledon. The Nottingham tournament will be very important for me, the British fans always bring a fantastic atmosphere to their tournaments, and I hope we can put on a good show for them.”


Djokovic Does the Double

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 22, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, California – After the drawn out drama of the women’s final and over an hour later than planned, defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer took to the court for their final, and with the anticipation of perhaps another three set thriller on the cards.


First blood though went to the Djokovic, who closed out a ruthless break, for a 4-2 lead, and although Federer asked the question for him to serve it out, he snapped up the first set 6-3.


It was imperative for Federer to get off to a quick start, and it looked as though he would settle, but another loose game helped Djokovic take advantage for an early break at the start of the second.


Djokovic was making the difference in his return games, taking the time away from Federer in the distinctly cooler conditions today than for the majority of the tournament, but Federer needed to settle to try and at least stay in contention, before time ran out to make his move.


Suddenly the momentum shifted as Federer took advantage of a dip in Djokovic’s game to level at 4-4 with a break that got the crowd alive, roaring their approval and silencing the small enthusiastic group of Serbians in the nosebleeds.


Holding in perhaps his most commanding form since the very start of the match, the pressure was very firmly on Djokovic now as the errors started to stack up from the Serbian, as he served to stay in the set. A slightly more confident hold to love brought him into a second set tie-break.


With Djokovic taking the early momentum, Federer slowly got himself back into contention as the pressure got to the defending champion, double-faulting on his serve to bring Federer level at 5-5. A second double fault handed the advantage right back at the Swiss with two serves to come at 6-5. He needed just the one set point to send the final into an electric decider.


Perhaps it was inevitable that the defending champion would come out swinging maybe a little more freely, and quickly took a 2-0 advantage before the nerves seemed to grip him again, opening the door for Federer to charge back in to get the match back on serve.


It was Djokovic who surged to a lead once more, at 5-2, with Federer serving to stay in the championship.


For a match that could so easily have been settled in straight sets, Federer had done well to fight back, but a tired shank gave the Serbian the match points he needed, as he closed out the win 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2, a title defence, and draws level with Federer in terms of titles won here.


Coming first into press, Federer analyzed where the match was won (and in his case lost):


“For a long time I was always trailing. I was putting myself under pressure unnecessarily sometimes on my own serve. But that was, again, a credit to Novak’s great way of returning second serves.


“He’s always going to catch some first serves, especially here where it’s not as fast. I knew it was going to be tough. That was the most disappointing part I was telling myself throughout the match. It’s like where is that return on the first serve? “


He continued: “Midway through the second it started to get better and I got into more rallies, and that’s where I think it became close again. That was tougher for him, because all of a sudden I think I was playing better so he wasn’t getting as many free points. He had to pull back and play a bit more safe. So it was from my side a bit more up and down, and he was just more solid. That’s why he totally deserved to win today, in my opinion.”


Djokovic was presented with a cake celebrating his 50th title, which surpasses coach Boris Becker’s 49 titles, and the World No. 1 described how that felt along with his assessment of the match.


He said: “I thought set and a break and it was a break point for 5‑2 up. I thought I could have done the job earlier. Credit to Roger for fighting through. Showed again why he’s a competitor and champion, somebody that never gives up. When we got to the third set obviously it was anybody’s game.


“I managed to regroup [and] overcome that frustration of handing that tiebreak to him with three double faults in crucial moments. But that’s sport. Obviously under pressure sometimes these things happen and it’s important to regroup, bounce back, and focus on next one.”


He continued: “I’ve got to look forward to get to Miami and have a dinner with Boris. I think it’s on him this time. (Smiling.) I surpassed his 49th title, so that gives a little bit of special spice to this title.”


While Federer is skipping Miami this year, Djokovic will travel on to defend his title and attempt the double once more.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.


Simona Halep Rallies Past Jelena Jankovic for Indian Wells Title

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

(March 22, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – It might not have been the final that people wanted, in amongst the hoopla surrounding Serena Williams return and subsequent withdrawal in the semi-final, but with 16 minutes gone and only two games on the board, there was no doubt the crowd were going to get their money’s worth, between former champion Jelena Jankovic and World No. 3 Simona Halep.


It was always going to be important for Jankovic to be able to move, and having struggle with injury ahead of the match, she kept the press core in stitches with her lack of preparation, but ultimately bringing in attacking play as well as defence would be the key.


There were early signs of nerves by Halep who struggled for eight minutes as Jankovic put in a pleasing display of aggressive drive volleys and her trademark backhand down the line to take the first game, but failed to consolidate as Halep settled back down quite quickly, as the first passage of play resolved on serve as Halep got the first hold of the day.


Jankovic took the initiative once more, this time managing to consolidate on a break of serve, nudging her into a commanding position at 4-2. With Halep venting her frustration on her racquet, it was clear to see that Jankovic’s aggression was perhaps throwing Halep off her game plan a little, as the Serbian broke again to come out and serve for the match.


With Halep receiving a medical timeout for her toe before the second set, it was important that she came out to hold her first service game, but her relief was short lived, as Jankovic kept the pressure on, in fact if anything starting to get a little frustrated at herself, which may have spurred her on to put the hammer down on the Romanian.


A loose game by the Serbian to get broken to love put Halep back in the driver’s seat and the second set back on serve at 3-3, and for the briefest moment it looked like we could be in for the three-setter that we wanted but the Romanian handed the break straight back and with it, her hopes for her biggest title in her career.


Halep had to dig out a further break, aided and abetted by some typical Jankovic drama which included three double faults, a time violation warning, and Jankovic trying to serve while a ball-kid was still scrambling off the court. It was an emotional rollercoaster for Halep, who once more found herself rapidly facing break points succumbing to the fourth straight break of serve this match, but more dangerously giving Jankovic serving for the title.


Admitting to her coach Chip Brooks that she was nervous she reverted to the defence we often see in her game, just giving Halep the opportunities to dig out winners, breaking her with the fifth consecutive time this set. With finally a hold to stop the run of breaks, Halep suddenly seemed the aggressor as Jankovic tightened up as the match went into a decider.


Again the initial advantage went to the volatile Serbian, but Halep was never far away from breaking back, as the pair treated the crowd to some great rallies, not to mention more drama as the chair umpire seemed to forget about the nuances of second serves.



With both struggling to keep hold of their serve in the final set, Jankovic called her coach back once more but her serve and resolve seemed to desert her once and for all as Halep broke for a 5-3 lead to serve for the title, but handed back the advantage straight away.


It took yet another break to love to seal the deal for the Romanian 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 after what started out as a difficult week for her, after a personal bereavement. It had been a great run for Jankovic who struggled to deal with the nerves of closing out, having won her last title in 2013.


After the match, Jankovic admitted that she had let her opportunities pass her by.


She said: “I let those nerves take the best out of me. That shouldn’t happen. I was full of emotions. I was just overwhelmed and excited that I’m in the final and I put myself into a position to win.


“So it’s been an amazing two weeks. Yes, of course I’m disappointed that I lost this final, because I really had a chance to win and hold that trophy. But I’m still proud of myself and my team how far I came into this tournament and what I have achieved.”


Halep admitted she knew she was being rushed into mistakes, especially in the first set, and finally the key had been to make her run over the three sets.


Talking to the press with the giant glass trophy at her side, she said: “She knew how to play me today to make more mistakes. It was difficult for me to take that balls very high and without power, so I did many mistakes with my forehand.


“My coach came on court and he said that I’m rushing at that balls. So I said, Okay, I understand, and I go now to play not very strong those balls.


“I just try to stay cool, to make her run a lot. I know that she’s running well, but still my backhand down the line was good today. Forehand so so. Everything went well, and, you know, I have no comments now. I have like, in my mind, it’s like ‑‑ I have another title, my biggest title now, so it’s amazing. I feel great.”


After attempting to lift it, she confirmed she intends to play Miami, as does Jankovic.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.