August 29, 2016

Milos Raonic Rallies Past Roger Federer; Will Play Andy Murray for Wimbledon Title

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

(July 8, 2016) No. 6 Milos Raonic became the first Canadian to reach the Wimbledon final when he rallied past seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in his semifinal on Friday.

Federer, who seemed to be in control of his service games in the fourth set, making headway into Raonic’s service games, but on the cusp of reaching a tiebreak, blew a 40-0 lead, hit toe double faults in a row, to be broken for the set and the momentum switched to Raonic, who never let it go.

“This one clearly hurts, because I felt I could have had it. So close,” said Federer. “It was really so, so close.”

Federer fell flat on his face, literally and figuratively in the fifth set and Raonic sprinted to a 4-1 lead and never looked back.

“I was able to finish,” Federer said, commenting about the fall. “But I don’t slip a lot. I don’t ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I’ve ever had.”

He admitted in press that after slipping on the grass that he did not feel the same afterwards.

As for the 25-year-old Raonic, he survives and advances. “I sort of persevered,” he said.  “I was sort of plugging away.”

Two years ago, The Swiss beat the Canadian in the semifinals.

“Two years ago, I bottled up all the difficulties I had on court and never got it out,” Raonic said. “I was quite more vocal and a lot more positive on court.”

“I was struggling through many parts of the match,” he continued. “He gave me a little opening towards the end of the fourth. I made the most of it.”

“You’re playing who Roger is today,” Raonic added, “not who he’s been the past few years.”

 

Raonic will be joined in the final by 2013 champion and second seed Andy Murray. The Scot reached his third Wimbledon final and third major final of the year easily passing 10th seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. This will be the 11th major final of Murray’s career.

It will be the first major final where he won’t face either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. Murray is 2-8 in major finals.

“Obviously, first time I’ll play a Slam final against someone that isn’t Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that’s different,” Murray said to media. “But you never know how anyone’s going to deal with the pressures of a Slam final. So just have to go out there and concentrate on my side. Do what I can to prepare well for it and see what happens.”

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Cibulkova Wins Eastbourne for First Grass Court Title

Dominika Cibulkova

(June 25, 2016) Dominika Cibulkova won her second title of the year and her first career title on grass when she beat Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-3 Saturday for the Eastbourne International title.
“It was extremely tough match today,” said the winner. “With the conditions and with the wind it was really, really, really tough to play and focus. That’s why I was really strong about today that I was — in the beginning I was a little bit nervous about the wind, so my serve wasn’t really working really well.

“Then when my coach came, he said, you know, Just focus on your serve. Don’t focus too much on the wind. Do the same things when there is no wind.

“So, yeah, I was in the rallies and I found my rhythm after a while. You know, I was just feeling really good on the court. I knew what I had to do. I was going for my forehands and was really solid on the backhand.

“I was also returning pretty well. So all these things came together, and that’s why I won today.”
“This one is really special one,” the Slovak said about taking home her sixth career tournament trophy. “You know, this is a special title. It’s second title of the year. I was never able to win two titles in one year. We’re in the half of the season and this is my second one. So it feels just great. It’s my first one on the grass.

“This tournament, I would say it’s the toughest one before the Grand Slam, because, you know, everybody want to play on grass and this is a big one. So, you know, the competition here was really strong. I was able to beat the top players on the grass, so it gives me a lot of confidence.”
Pliskova, who was seeking to add a second grass court title in three weeks fell a little short on Saturday.
“She was playing some good tennis,” Pliskova said. “Me, I was playing so-so, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But she didn’t let me to play my game. She was playing aggressive and going to my serves.

“Like I said, she was just a little bit better. I think I had a lot of chances. I didn’t play that bad in those chances what I had some break points.”

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Cibulkova Wins Twice To Reach Eastbourne Final Against Pliskova

Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova

(June 24, 2016) Dominika Cibulkova needed to win twice on Friday to reach the final of the Eastbourne International. The Slovak toppled the No. 1 seed and former champion Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a quarterfinal which was completed over two days due to the weather.
In her semifinal, the former Australian Open finalist dominated qualifier Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 6-1.

Dominika Cibulkova reached the Eastbourne International final after dispatching Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.

“It was not easy emotionally because, you know, I was really happy when I beat her on the grass,” Cibulkova said of her win over the top seed. “We played — this was third really, really close match against Radwanska this year and on different surface, first time on grass. For me it was toughest to play her on grass because what I take advantage of her second serve — because she’s playing weak second serve, and I always go for it on the shot, and here on the grass it’s a little bit tougher. It’s really low and you cannot go for it so much.

“But in the rallies I felt really good. I was just — you know, I felt every shot I knew I was going for my forehand, and I was really strong on my backhand.

“And then to come back against a completely different player, against aggressive player, and I knew she doesn’t want to play long rallies with me. She was really going after my serve and everything. So I had to change tactic in my game a little bit.

“I was able to do it. It was great.”

Well, it’s always a good match, but I don’t think I was playing good enough today,” Radwanska said. “I think she was playing really aggressive, good tennis. I think I step backwards a little bit too much. That wasn’t helping today.”

“I don’t think I was playing good enough today,” Radwanska said. “She was playing really aggressive, good tennis.”

Radwanska led 6-4, 2-0 before the rains came on Thursday.

“Never know how it’s gonna happen if we finished that match yesterday,” she said. “But definitely different conditions today. The mornings are a bit different. It was pretty sunny and windy. Yesterday a bit different. Well, but conditions are same for the both of us.”

Cibulkova will take on Karolina Pliskova for the crown. The Czech bested Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals and Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-3.
Pliskova will be attempting to win her second grass court titles in three weeks. She won the Nottingham two weekends ago.

“Definitely I had great results this year on grass except the one in Birmingham, but it was after a tough week in Nottingham,” she said. “But I still was able to win the doubles there. So at least something.

“And so far I’m happy with the tennis the way I’m playing here this week. This was the toughest match this week but happy to be through. Looking forward to the final.”
“She had also some good wins this week, and I think she’s also improving with every match. It’s going to be tough, a little bit different game than today. She’s also playing faster from the baseline but not serving that good.

“Yeah, but for me still the same. I have to keep my game plan to serve well and to play aggressive. There is no other way for me how to play, and especially on grass. Just looking forward to the final.

“We played once few years ago on hard court. She won. Was close match. Happy to play someone who I didn’t play for such a long time.”

 

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 24, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Semifinals

[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d [11] J. Konta (GBR) 67(5) 63 63
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [Q] M. Puig (PUR) 62 61
Quarterfinals
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [1] A. Radwanska (POL) 46 76(2) 63
[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d E. Vesnina (RUS) 61 63
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d E. Makarova (RUS) 76(5) 64

Women’s
Doubles – Semifinals

[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 61 16 10-6
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) 62 61
Quarterfinals
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) walkover ( Left Calf Injury )

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
J. Bates (GBR) / R. Stubbs (AUS) vs P. Cash (AUS) / J. Novotna (CZE)

Not Before 1:30 pm
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

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Radwanska Advances as Konta Takes Down Kvitova in Eastbourne

Agniezska Radwanska

Agniezska Radwanska

 

(June 22, 2016) No. 1 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved into the quarterfinals of the Eastbourne International with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Eugenie Bouchard on Wednesday.

The Polish woman was happy with her performance. “I think that was much better match than yesterday,” she said. “Well, I think good match from the beginning till the end.

“Couple of breaks on the way, but I think my serve was also the key in that match. Very happy I could come back in that second set in the end and winning in two sets.”

2009 champion, Caroline Wozniacki did not fare as well, beated by qualifier Monica Puig 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Wozniacki, trying to get back on track from a foot injury said “I mean, you don’t climb Mount Everest in one day.

“No, I played really well. I’m really happy with that. Yeah, the foot, the body’s feeling good. I’m pleased with that.”

“I served quite well for a while there, and then just for a couple of games in the end of the second set, yeah, I think I didn’t get the first serves in or she just went for the returns and it went in.

“But, you know, it’s the small margins today, really. To be honest, I think I played really well yesterday and I think I played even better today.

“So it’s a lot of positives to take with you. At the end of the day on grass sometimes it can be that little thing that can just make a difference.

“Yeah, I think I can just look up from here and just bring that confidence with me to Wimbledon and just hope for a good draw.”

“I thought I was in trouble quite a few times just when the match started getting very even,” Puig said. “She’s a great player and she makes you work for every single point, so it was really up to me to stay very focused in my game plan and what I wanted to accomplish out there in the court.

“All in all it was a really tight match. Like the score I think doesn’t really reflect just how tight it was. I’m just really happy I got through.”

Fifth seed Petra Kvitova lost to Britain’s Johanna Konta 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.

“There was a match in it definitely at the beginning, and I was happy with how I was able to carry but also create more momentum going into that third,” said Konta who lost the first set after having a 5-2 lead.

“Overall I thought the match was played at a very good level for both of us. I think it just, yeah, was about being able to string together a few more points. I thought I maybe may have done that a bit better than her today.”

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 22, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 63 63
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) 57 64 60
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) 76(3) 63
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Friedsam (GER) 64 76(4)
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d C. Wozniacki (DEN) 46 63 64
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [Q] M. Brengle (USA) 76(2) 64

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) 63 63
[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 46 62 10-8
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) 76(6) 63
First Round
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) 61 26 10-4
[2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) 62 62
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 36 63 10-6
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) 75 00 Retired ( Left Abdominal Injury )

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [12] D. Cibulkova (SVK)
M. Doi (JPN) or [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
[11] J. Konta (GBR) vs A. Petkovic (GER) or E. Makarova (RUS)
After suitable rest – [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE)

COURT 1 start 11:30 am
M. Doi (JPN) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 26 34

Not Before 12:00 noon
A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Makarova (RUS) 10

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Vesnina Defeats Defending Champ Bencic in Eastbourne

Elena Vesnina photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Elena Vesnina photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

(June 21, 2016) Third seed and defending champion Belinda Bencic lost to 2013 winner Elena Vesnina 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) on Tuesday in the second round of the Eastbourne International.

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved on when her opponent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni retired with gastrointestinal illness with the Polish woman leading Radwanska led 6-4, 2-1.

“She was still playing great tennis, very powerful game, very consistent,” said Radwanska. “So I was surprised that something happened to her.”

“Well, very tough conditions today,” Radwanska said. “I think the first day that it was really windy. And with her powerful game, sometimes it’s hard to find a right rhythm from the beginning.

“But, well, is not easy match for the first round as well here. But, well, still happy that I could win that one-and-a-half sets and ready for the next one.”

Second seed Roberta Vinci lost to 2010 champion Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. A total of ten seeded players lost on Tuesday including fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky, sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Fifth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova advanced with a straight sets win over Timea Babos.

“I think that I’m kind of feeling that I am playing well, even though I kind of lost some of the matches in a couple of months,” Kvitova said. “But I think it’s pretty good.

“The main thing is to stay healthy, for sure. Otherwise I feel good. I think that the mental side should be a little bit, you know, stronger.”

Caroline Wozniacki is into the third round by dominating seventh seed Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-1.

“I feel good, said the Dane. “The ankle is feeling good. As long as I’m stable and moving well, it feels good.

“I’m pleased with the way I have been playing. You know, the first match I played quite well, but today I feel I played even better. Hopefully there is more tennis to come.”

 

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
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JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 21, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) d [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 21 Retired (Gastrointestinal Illness)
E. Makarova (RUS) d [2] R. Vinci (ITA) 46 64 63
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [3] B. Bencic (SUI) 76(4) 76(5)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [4] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 61 75
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) d T. Babos (HUN) 64 76(5)
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d [6] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 26 64 75
C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [7] S. Stosur (AUS) 62 61
M. Doi (JPN) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 36 64 61
[10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 62
[11] J. Konta (GBR) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 76(4) 61
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 63 63
A. Petkovic (GER) d [13] S. Errani (ITA) 61 36 64
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) d [14] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 63
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [15] I. Begu (ROU) 63 61
A. Friedsam (GER) d [16] L. Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 64
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d [Q] A. Konjuh (CRO) 61 53 Retired  ( Neck Injury )
First Round
[Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) d [LL] D. Allertova (CZE) 64 62
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 62 46 64
A. Friedsam (GER) d [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST) 67(3) 64 64
M. Doi (JPN) d [Q] P. Hercog (SLO) 64 64
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 61 75
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) d [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 67(4) 76(4) 62
L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [LL] S. Zhang (CHN) 61 76(3)

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 61 62
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / D. Kasatkina (RUS) 64 16 10-6
Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) 26 63 10-6

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) vs C. Wozniacki (DEN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [11] J. Konta (GBR)
A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Makarova (RUS)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) or [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs A. Friedsam (GER)
[Q] M. Brengle (USA) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
M. Doi (JPN) vs [10] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)
After suitable rest – [3] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) or A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

COURT 2 start Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS)
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 36 20  To finish
Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) or R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) or [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 57 00  To finish

Not Before 1:00 pm
S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) 00  To finish

 

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Former Champs Makarova, Vesnina Advance in Eastbourne; Watson Loses

Ekaterina Makarova

Ekaterina Makarova

(June 20, 2016) Former Eastbourne champions, Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina advanced to second round on Monday beating British players. 2010 winner Makarova survived five set points in the first set to beat Tara Moore 7-5, 6-4, while 2013 title holder Vesnina defeated Heather Wartson 6-2, 6-3.

“I definitely didn’t play well today,” Watson said. “I felt really out of timing and slow to the ball.

“But I’m not taking anything away from Elena. She played very well. And when I had my chances to come back and get into the match, she hit an ace or always made her first serve and played well.”

Vesnina will take on defending champion Belinda Bencic next. Bencic had to withdraw from Birmingham during her first round match last week. The Swiss says she’s ready to go.

“I have been doing the physio treatment all day,” she said. “Yesterday I was practicing, so I should be fine. I still tape it a lot, so it’s a little bit hurting but it’s okay.”

Asked about feeling pressure in defending her title, Bencic said: “No. I mean, why would I feel pressure? Of course it’s points, but every time someone is defending points somewhere. So I guess it’s just a normal situation. And I don’t feel any pressure and no expectation because I haven’t played a lot of matches lately.

“I’m just trying to, you know, get the matches in and just keep going. Yeah, just have fun and obviously I’m so glad to be back on the courts, so that’s the most important.”

 

 

AEGON INTERNATIONAL – EASTBOURNE, GREAT BRITAIN
$776,878
JUNE 19 – 25, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 20, 2016
Women’s Singles – First Round
E. Bouchard (CAN) d [Q] V. Lepchenko (USA) 61 62
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d [WC] N. Broady (GBR) 61 61
E. Vesnina (RUS) d H. Watson (GBR) 62 63
A. Petkovic (GER) d [LL] S. Zheng (CHN) 57 62 64
E. Makarova (RUS) d [WC] T. Moore (GBR) 75 64

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs T. Babos (HUN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [7] S. Stosur (AUS)
After suitable rest – [1] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [LL] D. Allertova (CZE) or [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
L. Tsurenko (UKR) or [LL] S. Zhang (CHN) vs [11] J. Konta (GBR)
[WC] N. Broady (GBR) / H. Watson (GBR) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[4] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
To finish 0/3 – A. Schmiedlova (SVK) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)
E. Makarova (RUS) vs [2] R. Vinci (ITA)
[13] S. Errani (ITA) vs A. Petkovic (GER)
E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [3] B. Bencic (SUI)
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) vs Y. Putintseva (KAZ)

Not Before 12:30 pm
E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [15] I. Begu (ROU)
After suitable rest – [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) or Y. Putintseva (KAZ) vs [6] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
A. Friedsam (GER) or [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [16] L. Safarova (CZE)
S. Errani (ITA) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[LL] D. Allertova (CZE) vs [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
M. Doi (JPN) vs [Q] P. Hercog (SLO)
[Q] A. Konjuh (CRO) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)
[8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs M. Doi (JPN) or [Q] P. Hercog (SLO)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / D. Kasatkina (RUS)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [LL] S. Zhang (CHN)
[12] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) or D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [10] K. Pliskova (CZE)
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
[Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [Q] M. Brengle (USA)
A. Friedsam (GER) vs [LL] A. Kontaveit (EST)
After suitable rest – [14] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) or [Q] M. Brengle (USA)
C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
TO BE ARRANGED – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS)

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Garbine Muguruza Defeats Serena Williams to Win Roland Garros for First Major Title

(June 4, 2016) Garbine Muguruza joined the list of first-time major winners when she defeated 21-time major champion and world No. 1 Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 to capture the Roland Garros title on Saturday in Paris. Muguruza denied history for Williams as the American was trying to win her 22nd major, which would have equaled Steffi Graf for most in Open Era. The Spanish woman reversed the result of last year’s Wimbledon final where she lost to Williams.

For the woman born in Venezuela, it was just the sixth tournament title of her career and first on clay.

Muguruza broke Williams’ powerful serve twice in each set. The 22-year old fought off break points in the fourth game of the first set to stay even at 2-2 and broke serve for 3-2. Williams evened things up and broke in the eighth game for 4-4. They stayed even until the eleventh game when Muguruza broke serve and fended off break points to close the set 7-5.

The second set began with three straight service breaks. Muguruza held onto the break lead and missed out on four match points on Williams’ serve in ninth game. She closed out the match on her serve with a lob winner on the line which she did not realize landed in. Even Williams applauded the winning shot.

Muguruza became the first Spanish woman to win Paris since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.

There were reports that Williams was dealing a with adductor injury. Asked about it, she said: “It was OK. I’m not one to ever make excuses and say, like, ‘Oh, my adductor was hurting,’ or whatever. At the end of the day I didn’t play the game I needed to play to win and she did. Adductor or not, she played to win.”

Williams talked about how close the match was:”She won the first set by one point. I mean, that just goes to show you, you really have to play the big points well, and she played the big points really well.”

“She has a bright future, obviously.”

“She knows how to play on the big stage and … clearly, she knows how to win Grand Slams.”

“Garbine played unbelievable.” “The only thing I can do is just keep trying.”

“I can’t explain with words what this day means to me,” Muguruza said.

“I have grown up playing on clay,” Muguruza said during the trophy presentation, “so for Spain, and for me, this is amazing.”

Muguruza will see her ranking move up from No. 4 to No. 2 as of Monday.

 

More to follow…..

 

 

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Andy Murray Gives Himself a Birthday Present While Serena Williams Wins Fourth Rome Title

Andy Murray fh

(May 15, 2016) Andy Murray gave himself a gift for his 29th birthday – a Rome Masters Series 1000 title. The Scotsman beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 for his 12 Masters title on Sunday.

Joining Murray in the winners circle was No. 1 Serena Williams who won the women’s singles title over Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first All-American women’s clay court final since Serena beat her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open final.

This was Williams’ fourth Rome title, first tournament win of 2016 and first championship title since she won the Cincinnati event last August.

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

“It feels great,” Williams said. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”

Murray’s victory makes him the first British male player since 1931 to win the Italian Open. He has also secured the No. 2 seed at the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 22.

The Scotsman now is 22-5 in 2016, ending the Serb’s 17-match winning streak against Top 10 opponents.
“”It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” Djokovic said. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Serena Williams spoke to the crowd in Italian during the trophy presentation. This was her 70th career title.

The Bryan Brothers won their fourth Rome title and 36th Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

“We’re sharing a room this week,,” said Bob Bryan. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore.”

“The rain delay definitely helped us,” Mike Bryan said. “Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way.”

This was the Bryan Brothers 112 tournament victory together as a team.

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

Djokovic celebrates win-001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Djokovic, Nadal Rally for Wins in Rome; Federer Loses

Novak Djokovic

(May 12, 2016) Novak Djokovic had to rally from a bagel set down to stop No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 while an ailing Roger Federer lost to 15th seed Dominc Thiem 7-6 (2), 6-4 in Rome on Thursday.

For No. 1 Djokovic, it was the first time he was at the losing end of a “bagel” set since the 2012 Cincinnati final when he lost to Federer.

The third seeded Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open last week with a back injury said that wasn’t concerned about losing, but was happy to get to get in two matches on clay at the Italian Open. The French open begins on May 22nd and the Swiss said that despite the pain from the injury he hopes to be able to play the year’s second major.

Seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal fought off Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals and second seed Andy Murray held off a second set charge to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4.

Besides Federer losing, a couple other upsets on the men’s side included 12th seed David Goffin, destroying 8th seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes, defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and lucky loser Lucas Pouille knocked out ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

On the ladies’ side of the tournament, Serena Williams rebounded from 3-5 down in the first set best U.S. countrywoman qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (7), 6-1.

 

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

RESULTS – MAY 12, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] C. McHale (USA) 76(7) 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 61 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 75 62
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 26 63
I. Begu (ROU) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 61 64
M. Doi (JPN) d J. Konta (GBR) 46 75 62
M. Keys (USA) d T. Babos (HUN) 76(2) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 61 60

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 63 64
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA) 63 62
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) 64 61
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(4) 16 10-7
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 26 76(1) 10-8
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 64 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 06 63 62
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 76(2) 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(5) 63 64
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 67(3) 62 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d [8] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 60
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 36 76(3) 14-12
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 16 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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