2015/01/27

Federer Needs Four Sets to Advance to Australian Open Third Round

Federer fistpump

(January 21, 2015) No. 2 Roger Federer rebounded from dropping his first-ever set to Simone Bolelli, and medical time out for a on his sore right pinky finger, before winning his second round match in Melbourne 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

“It felt like a bee stung me” said the Swiss. “I was like `This can’t be possible – I never had this pain before.’ It was disturbing me. I knew that to tape it wasn’t an option.”

Bolelli came out swinging, jumping out to a 4-1 lead over the 4-time Australian Open champion. The Italian captured his first-ever set against Federer.

“Well, I thought he played two really good sets against me in Davis Cup, so I felt like he was really, you know, imposing his strength at the baseline,” said in regard to playing the world No. 48. I could sense there that he had a good forehand; committed, you know, on the return; solid backhand with the option to hit the slice. I wasn’t that surprised, to be honest, you know. I was just surprised how well, how consistently he was doing that, and especially how well he was serving actually. But then again, conditions were fast, which made it easier to serve well and harder to return. Maybe the break, I shouldn’t be broken, but he was really playing very well from the baseline. I guess in these conditions sometimes a break can be a set. That’s when I was under pressure for a while in the second set, but I’m happy I fought my way out of it.

Federer his 36 winners to 23 unforced errors, winning a total of 115 points in the match which lasted two hours and nine minutes.

“It’s always a good feeling fighting your way out of a match,” said the 33-year-old, “like now, and winning the last three sets convincingly and actually playing really positive tennis. I served very well. So, you know, important is that you play the right way early because it’s not always that easy. Today I had to do some adjustments because he was doing things very well. By figuring things out, it’s a great feeling to have once you’ve got it. Then you’re able to play consistently well, because actually he didn’t have many opportunities on my serve. You always expect yourself to create opportunities, which I was finally able to do. Conditions were playing fast, and it’s not so easy if you serve well to break.”
Federer will get another Italian in the third round –  Andreas Seppi. Federer has upped his career match win total to 1002.

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Murray in a Hurry Quickly Advances to Australian Open Third Round

(January 21, 2014) Andy Murray extended his record against Australians to 10-0 by taking down Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

“I think he fought hard up until the end,” Murray said. Obviously after a tough start for him, he definitely hung in, you know, went a couple of breaks up in the second set. He came back, you know, made it tight sort of end of the second set. You know, there was a lot of long, close games. Even the third set, as well. I just said to him that he fought well. Yeah, he wished me luck. There’s not loads you say at the net straight after a match. There’s only a few seconds.

Murray, who is friends with Matosevic, commented about playing in front of the partisan Australian crowd.

“It was a fun atmosphere to play today. Even if not everyone was supporting me.”

Commenting on her perfect record against Australians, Murray said “I’m sure I won’t be able to hold on to the record with the fantastic players you’ve coming through”

“I played well today,” the Scot said. “The conditions change the way the court plays significantly. It bounces a lot higher. Using variety, using higher balls, you get a lot of success with that; whereas when it’s very cold you don’t get so much success with it. So when the temperature’s like this, I quite like it.”

The three-time Australian Open finalist won the match in 102 minutes with 21 winners and only 12 unforced errors.

The World No. 6 will play Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the third round. Sousa led 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 1-0 when No. 32 seed Martin Klizan retired from the match.

More to follow

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Maria Sharapova Survives Two Match Points to Advance at Australian Open

(January 21, 2015) Maria Sharapova escaped two match points in a win over against No. 150 qualifier Alexandra Panova in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, The world No 2 survived to advance 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

Sharapova rallied in the final set, trailing 1-4, down two service breaks and two match points. Panova served for the match at 5-4 in the third.

“I was one point away twice today from going out of the tournament,” the Russian said on court after the match. “She played a pretty inspired match.”

“I wasn’t playing my best but it was good enough to get through.”

Playing high-risk tennis Sharapova hit 51 unforced errors to just 38 winners but won 104 total points to Panova’s 83. The 2008 Australian Open winner won 67% of her first serve points.

“I thought my thought process through the match to that point was pretty negative, ” Sharapova said. “I think I was dwelling too much on my mistakes, what I was doing wrong, not really being in the present, something that I’m really usually good at. At that point when you’re behind and you feel like you’re making a lot of errors, you don’t feel like you have a good rhythm out there, I just really tried to take it a point at a time, think positively, and change my thought process a little bit. When other things aren’t working, maybe the mental side of things will help you out. I think in the end maybe that’s what did.”

“I just had to win just another point or something,” Panova said. “She came up with a good shots, with the winners. What could I do? I should played even better or something to keep the momentum. She’s a great fighter. She’s a great champion. To take it from her, you really need some extra.”

“I was down two breaks in the third,” Sharapova added. “I mean, the only belief I had was just try to get into the rallies. She served some really good games out there where I didn’t have much chances. When I did, I thought I could put a little more thought into her mind, get those first serves back. I think that was really important. You know, I think she became a little bit more tentative in that last game. Of course, based on experience, you lift yourself up both mentally and physically.”

AUSTRALIAN – MELBOURNE, AUS
$15,561,973.00
19-31 JANUARY, 2015

Results – Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Singles – Second Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (Q) Alexandra Panova (RUS) 61 46 75
(3) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 62 62
(7) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Kiki Bertens (NED) 60 63
(10) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 64
(14) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 76(3) 63
(21) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 61
(22) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. (WC) Océane Dodin (FRA) 75 57 64
(31) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) 36 62 86
Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 64
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 75 64
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Monica Puig (PUR) 62 76(6)
Julia Goerges (GER) d. Klara Koukalova (CZE) 63 46 62
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 64 46 64
Carina Witthoeft (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 60
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 76(3) 76(6)
(Q) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 46 63 62

Doubles – First Round
(2) Hsieh/Mirza (TPE/IND) d. Irigoyen/Oprandi (ARG/SUI) 62 60
(3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. Keys/Riske (USA/USA) 75 61
(4) Hingis/Pennetta (SUI/ITA) d. Bencic/Siniakova (SUI/CZE) 76(3) 62
(6) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. Lepchenko/Tatishvili (USA/USA) 63 62
Kuznetsova/Stosur (RUS/AUS) d. (8) Chan/Peschke (TPE/CZE) 63 62
(11) Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) d. Falconi/Martic (USA/CRO) 63 63
(12) Kudryavtseva/Pavlyuchenkova (RUS/RUS) d. Aoyama/Voracova (JPN/CZE) 62 76(5)
(13) Krajicek/Zahlavova Strycova (NED/CZE) d. Erakovic/Puig (NZL/PUR) 67(9) 76(6) 63
(15) Date-Krumm/Dellacqua (JPN/AUS) d. Peng/Xu (CHN/CHN) 46 75 76(5)
Barthel/Minella (GER/LUX) d. Kalashnikova/Nara (GEO/JPN) 63 75
Diatchenko/Niculescu (RUS/ROU) d. Davis/McHale (USA/USA) 62 46 63
Rodionova/Rodionova (AUS/AUS) d. (WC) Bains/Tomic (AUS/AUS) 62 62
Dabrowski/Rosolska (CAN/POL) d. Black/Zheng (ZIM/CHN) 61 64
Jans-Ignacik/Klepac (POL/SLO) d. Jankovic/Parra Santonja (SRB/ESP) 76(5) 57 76(2)
Rogers/Vekic (USA/CRO) d. Cornet/Parmentier (FRA/FRA) 46 62 64
(WC) Adamczak/Rogowska (AUS/AUS) d. (WC) Gavrilova/Sanders (AUS/AUS) 26 63 64

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Juan Martin del Potro Undergoes Minor Surgery

(January 20, 2015) A media release from Juan Martin del Potro’s communications team, reports that the Argentine underwent minor surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic.

 

Juan Martin del Potro has undergone a minor surgery on his left wrist today at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to solve the problem of the pain caused by hitting the two-handed backhand.

The surgery, conducted by the team led by Richard Berger, was successful and Juan Martin is expected to begin rehabilitation in two weeks.

Del Potro also made an announcement on his Facebook page:
Juan Del Potro in Mayo Clinic

Hace unas horas estaba en Australia, hoy en la Clínica Mayo. Por recomendación de mi médico, me sometí a una pequeña cirugía para solucionar el problema que me causaba dolor en la muñeca. Hoy estoy con más ganas que nunca para volver a la cancha más temprano que tarde, jugar al tenis sin molestias y disfrutar del cariño de ustedes. Comenzaré la rehabilitación en dos semanas. Gracias por todo!!

/////

A few hours ago I was in Australia, today at the Mayo Clinic. As recommended by my doctor, I underwent a minor surgery to fix the problem that caused me pain in the wrist. I feel more determined than ever to return to the courts sooner than later, to play tennis without feeling pain and to enjoy the love that you give me. I will begin rehabilitation in two weeks. Thanks!!

 

 

Juan Martin del Potro decided to come back to the ATP tour and play in Sydney and reached the semifinals, but withdrew from the Australian Open.

Del Potro played his last singles match before his first surgery on his left wrist on February 25th, 2014, when he was forced to retire against Somdev Devvarman in Dubai. He had surgery on March 24, 2014.

 

Related articles:

Juan Martin Del Potro to Have Surgery on His Left Wrist

Del Potro Gives Update on His Left Wrist Surgery Recovery 

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Katrina Adams Among Inductees into the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame

USTA Eastern Logo (150)

(January 20, 2015) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Junior Tennis Foundation (JTF) will recognize four integral members of the tennis community on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. during the 28th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

The four individuals who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame are: Katrina Adams, USTA president and a former WTA professional player who ranked as high as No. 67 in singles and No. 8 in doubles, Mel DiGiacomo, a professional photographer who has had photographs published in Sports Illustrated and Tennis Week, among others, and has photographed at the US Open for several years, Bob Ingersole, tennis director at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. and president of JTF and Victoria Rogers McEvoy, a former Eastern junior player who was nationally ranked in the women’s top ten for two years and is a recent gold ball winner.

Proceeds from the celebration will benefit JTF, which provides scholarships and grants for junior and adaptive tennis players throughout the Eastern Section. At the event, two junior players will receive David N. Dinkins Scholarship Awards for their accomplishments both athletically and academically.

“This year we have four incredibly accomplished, deserving inductees who have made significant contributions to Eastern tennis,” Dick Scheer, Eastern Hall of Fame selection committee chairman said. “They will join an impressive group of prior inductees who have also made lasting contributions to the game of tennis.”

Since its inception in 1979, JTF has provided more than $2 million for programs and scholarships in the Eastern Section.

“The Junior Tennis Foundation has been an important supporter of USTA’s Eastern junior players and programs,”

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Notes and Quotes from Day 2 of the 2015 Australian Open

Serena Williams

(January 20, 2015) A few of the more off-beat questions and answers from Day 2 news conferences at the Australian Open.

You’ve been well-known to have a lot of off-court activities in your career. Do you think all of that has helped you with your success in tennis or is that a whole other part of your life?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely a different part of my life. I’ve always been different and I’ve always liked to plan for my future. I’ve always enjoyed different things. Even when I was younger, I just did so many different things. Inevitably it helps me appreciate what I love to do most, which is play tennis.

 

Your outfit today was pretty awesome.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

 

Did you want to do something more adventurous compared to when you were a teenager? Sort of a bold look?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been more focused on different parts of the body. Throughout the years we went for a more conservative look. This year we really wanted to bring out a powerful woman and a strong woman, like I said. You can be beautiful and powerful at the same time. So what we at Nike wanted to do was to focus on beautiful back. So kind of a lot of my outfits this year are really based on the beauty of and the shape of the back, which a lot of people don’t think about. But it’s so beautiful and powerful on ladies, so we just wanted to focus on that.

 

Do you feel different when you wear something on court more revealing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel really different. First of all, I feel like I don’t want to eat too much (smiling). One peanut and I’m going to break the dress, so I try not to eat that much. Other than that, yeah, it depends. Sometimes I’m a little nervous. Yeah, but this one I think is really good. It’s really trendy and young, but at the same time it also has a great message and it’s also really nice. It goes really well. So, yeah.

 

Q. After having ordered the coffee, what are you allowed to order on court and what would you like to order beyond espresso?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Depends. If I’m down, I might want to call my buddy Jack. Maybe that wouldn’t be good (smiling). Yeah, no, I don’t know what’s allowed. A hamburger, French fries.

 

Q. Pizza?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I love eating pizza. I can’t have it this fortnight. I don’t want to break my dress (smiling).

 

Q. Do they ever instruct the players that these are the things you can do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That’s why I asked. I want to be completely honest. Is it okay? I have no idea. I think that might be a new rule in the rule book. We’ll see.

 

Q. Did you watch any of the Kyrgios or Kokkinakis match yesterday?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s great opening matches that they both had, five-setters. The crowd. Could not ask for anything better. I was saying before that they both are very talented. Obviously they have a lot of reasons why they want to perform their best in Australian Open, their home soil. They have a huge support. They have a huge motivation to play their best. I congratulate them both. It’s not easy as an 18-year-old to overcome the challenges and pressure and expectations. Especially Kyrgios, with the amount of attention he got this week, prior to the beginning of the Australian Open. To be able to face that and win the way they both did, it shows the character. So I wish them both well in the rest of the tournament.

 

Q. What do you think of their flair on court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that’s what you need to have as a youngster, as a challenger, to all the players basically in the professional world coming up. It seems like, you know, sometimes you’re playing tennis without pressure or without really caring too much for what other people say or who is across the net. That’s what I felt like at that stage of my career. But, you know, there comes a time obviously when people start talking about you more, as they start talking about them. Obviously playing in Australia for them represents something more than playing anywhere else. Nick had a lot of attention in the media. Australia wants to have another big star, top player. I thought Kokkinakis did very well psychologically to win yesterday’s match, facing some match points and so forth. They both have the potential, no doubt about that. It’s still long road ahead of them. I’m sure they’re aware of it.

 

Q. Becoming a parent is a happy time for anybody. Can you share with us your best daddy story you can come up with?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I can say definitely that it’s the best, most joyful thing that ever has happened to me and my wife. We are so blessed and grateful to have a child. He’s a little angel. They’re not here with me, so I’m trying to stay in touch with them. The technology nowadays helps me to stay connected and see them and watch them on a daily basis. I can’t wait to be with them. Everything that you do as a father is very special. Everything that you see, all the facial expressions, changes on a weekly basis, daily basis, as a matter of fact, is quite remarkable. It’s inexplicable for somebody that hasn’t experienced it before. That is what people were telling me before I became a father. They said, When it happens, you will understand the feeling. I do now. I’m completely fulfilled in every aspect of my life. That gives a whole ‘nother meaning and purpose to my tennis as well. I’m trying to draw that energy and motivation and love that I have for my family and for my boy into the tennis court as well.

 

Q. How would you rate your eye-hand coordination when it comes to diaper changing?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: My wife says I’m pretty good. I can’t say more than that.

 

Q. It was several years ago here you played Roger, you were a young guy. You expressed an opinion you had a good chance to win. What do you think about that younger Novak Djokovic?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, I understand young players like Kyrgios and Kokkinakis that we’re talking about here, they have this I think necessary flair and energy that I think is directed in a positive way for them to get the crowd on their side, to get themselves rid of any kind of over-respect for the opponent and just be able to perform the best tennis, and then eventually get a big win, as they did, as Kokkinakis did against Gulbis, that is a top 15 player. So it’s a big part of the game and just an approach of a youngster, having that positive drive on the court. This is an ideal place for them to draw that energy and to explore that flair on the court.

 

Q. Serena got a lot of attention for ordering coffee on the court. What can you order on the court? Take-out Chinese? Could you order a beer?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wasn’t thinking about that, honestly about the Chinese and a beer and the coffee, because I’m not a fan of those three things. But I guess, judging by what she did, it opens up a new chapter of rules I guess on the tennis court. Maybe we need to explore more and see what you’re able and what you’re not able to order. Maybe you can order some delivery service, as you mentioned. I don’t know. Something that comes to your mind. But it’s understandable. Some people can’t live without coffee in the morning. It keeps them going. I guess that helped her in that match. It wouldn’t help me because I’m not a fan of coffee.

 

Q. You would order something gluten free?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Gluten free coffee maybe (smiling).

 

Q. Nadal say he doesn’t feel ready to win. Do you think he’s trying to reduce the pressure on him by saying so?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t know what his intentions are, how he feels. But he is definitely always one of the top favorites in every tournament that he plays. There is no question about it. We always talk prior to the big tournaments, during the first days of the Grand Slams, about who the potential players are for winning the trophy. You know, more or less the same names have been going around for the last seven or eight years. So I don’t think there is any difference in terms of main favorites for this tournament even this year in the Australian Open. There are a few other players that are able to challenge the best.

 

 

Q. Busy with EleVen stuff?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was busy with EleVen and V Starr and I was in school, so it was a lot, yeah. I’m glad that’s over.

 

Q. Is that something that has sort of continued to drive you, your off-court interests? Does that help you in your tennis to have those other things in your life?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Does it help me with my tennis? I don’t know. I think it maybe makes me more appreciative of tennis because I’ve had to start at the bottom with both of those. Obviously people know your name, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a given. You have to work hard. So I work really hard at both of those businesses. I’m in school because I guess I’m a geek. And other than that, yeah, I love tennis, so it’s always number one.

 

Q. You said a while ago that accounting kind of drove you crazy. What was so hard about accounting?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s hard because when you go to school on distance education, you have a ton of tools, but you have to be very disciplined and you have a ton more work. I literally mean an actual ton. It’s very challenging. I don’t like bad grades, so I have to have really good grades. So I put a lot of pressure on myself. It is so much work. It’s a lot of work. So I’m through accounting now, so I feel anything else is going to be a breeze.

 

Q. How are you at school? Is it tougher than tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I love the information. I don’t like to do the work, so… I don’t know. I guess that’s the same thing. Yes, I like matches. Does anyone love practice? Probably not. So it’s probably the same concept.

 

Q. It’s been well-documented you’ve had a few health issues the last couple of years. You seem to have got back into the higher echelons of the game a bit under the radar. Are you feeling very healthy, very good in yourself right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I got issues, but so do a lot of people. Everyone has different kind of issues. I deal with my own the best way that I can. I’m creeping closer. I did enter the top 20. But I had some issues. Now I’m back again. I’d like to think that moving forward I have a lot of good days ahead of me in terms of health. I think also learning to manage things, because it’s a mental challenge when you don’t feel well and I think I’m learning to manage that a lot better.

 

Q. Li Na announced her pregnancy. I’m wondering if motherhood is something that you ever think of?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, that’s so sweet. I didn’t know that. Maybe there will be twins and a doubles team. I hope I’m still not playing when they’re out (laughter). In any case, I don’t know, I’m still a big kid. I’m still growing up. She’s definitely made the right decision, I think, starting a family. I hope that one day I can get to that level. We’ll see. It’s a big job. It’s like the biggest job in the world. As much responsibility as I’ve taken on in my life, that still seems daunting.

 

Q. 19 Australian Opens now. It’s unprecedented. Are you still having fun? Is it still the same?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the motivation, the buzz is still there, absolutely. You know, I love walking through the corridors, the practice sessions on Rod Laver Arena, the week leading up to the slam. The start of the Australian Open, there’s always a real buzz around anyway. But this is one of the things I really miss when I do eventually retire.

 

Q. This isn’t a farewell tour?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I get asked that every day, so…

 

 

Q. Is it weird being here and not being seeded? I think it’s the first time since ’07 or something like that.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it would be weird if I was playing the whole last year and I wasn’t seeded this year. But since I missed so much, I think it’s kind of what it is. As I said, you just accept that and you just try to do the best as possible. So, you know, if you play against seed or unseeded player, it’s going to be tough. The depth in women’s game I think is really strong right now. You could see from the results from yesterday that it doesn’t really matter. You got to be ready 100% every day no matter who you’re facing.

 

Q. Li Na just said you will definitely win a Master in your career. How encouraging is that to hear from her?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, that’s a good thing to hear from her. It was very sad to see she’s retiring, because I was — she was big, big leadership for especially Asian tennis. I think I’m getting close to — not really — but getting close to her. Hopefully I can win a Masters. For sure that’s going to be my next goal. Hopefully I can come back Grand Slam final again.

 

Q. How long had you been thinking about starting a family with Dennis? In interviews you often talked about wanting to be a housewife. That was on your mind for how long before retirement?

LI NA: I think for my dream is be a housewife. I think every child they learn from the family. I was learn from my mom, so I was feeling the woman has to be like housewife. But I guess I’m not bad to play tennis. So I was feeling, okay, because tennis was take care a lot. I think now is the time to turn back. Yeah.

 

Q. How are you feeling? Do you have any morning sickness or any food cravings?

LI NA: Yes, I do. Until now I still have morning sick. Yeah.

 

Q. Any particular cravings or things you don’t want to eat anymore?

LI NA: No, no. I think I was pretty fine. I was ask my mom what I should care about. She was like, Do whatever you want to do. Don’t care about. She’s strong. So I was, Okay, okay.

 

Q. She’s a she?

LI NA: She or him. I prefer she. (Laughter.)

 

Q. Are you going to teach your kids tennis?

LI NA: I will see if they are interested about tennis or not. Yeah, yeah.

 

Q. If you could have changed one thing in your career, what would that have been?

LI NA: I think I’m perfect for the life. I wouldn’t change anything.

 

Q. Have you heard from any other tennis moms, someone who has reached out to you to congratulate you or give you advice?

LI NA: I got a lot message yesterday, yeah. I got a lot of congrats. So thanks for them.

 

Q. Why did you decide to make the announcement on Rod Laver Arena?

LI NA: I think we decide end of November. Yeah, because I know this is — Melbourne for me is very special area. So I know after that this is big moment for me. So I want to speak to all my fans, my friend. Yeah.

 

Q. Of all the qualities in you that helped you reach and achieve everything you did, what do you want your child to take from you?

LI NA: I try don’t to tell them I was the tennis player, you know. It’s pretty simple. Just like I wish them happy and healthy. That’s it. Yeah.

 

Q. What’s it like to be retired? You once said that you had sort of a lot of beasts within you that you got out on the tennis court and you felt all this pressure to win. What has it been like to leave tennis behind? Are you a different person now?

LI NA: I’m still the same. (Smiling.) Only not with tennis racquet anymore. It’s for me I decide because I cannot play anymore. I still love tennis, so that’s why I always doing the job. Yeah, of course right now I don’t have to worry about win or lose every day. Yeah, it’s less pressure. Yeah.

 

Q. If you could choose, would you still choose tennis as your career?

LI NA: If I have next life, I will still choose tennis, I will still choose the famous Asian as well.

 

Q. Why will you not immediately tell your child that you were a tennis player?

LI NA: I think tennis is my job, it’s not their job, you know. I think everyone has personality. Yeah.

 

Q. You have been the top Asian player for a long time, and in the men’s side, Kei Nishikori got very close to win Grand Slam last year. After you announced your retirement, he said he got a lot of motivation or confidence from you. So you give him any advices like Asian player, what kind of advice would you give him?

LI NA: I saw him play final on TV, of course. I think he’s amazing player. It’s not easy to be in the top. I know how hard working he has. So I will believe he can win Grand Slam. Seriously. Yeah.

 

Q. Will Dennis be changing diapers with you?

LI NA: No, no. The guys, it’s strange, I know how is another guy, but he never change, you know. Yeah.

 

Q. Just your thoughts on the players from China in the draw at the moment. Obviously a few defeats today. What are your thoughts?

LI NA: I even didn’t saw the match. Sorry about that, because I was like make me super busy. Yeah.

 

 

Q. Do you have a special place for your trophy at home?

STAN WAWRINKA: I already said it’s in a safe. It’s not at home yet.

 

Q. So you can’t watch it?

STAN WAWRINKA: No, I’m traveling all the year, so I don’t have time for that. (Smiling.)

 

Q. I have a question about your favorite football team. Where do you stand on Liverpool letting Stevie Gerrard go?

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I’m obviously sad. I think Stevie has done so much for the team over the years. He’s a legend. I think if that’s what he thinks is the right time, I have to support that.

 

Q. But you want him to stay?

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah. But at the same time he had a talk with the manager and said that maybe he wasn’t going to be playing as much. Yeah, I’m a little sad. I don’t know. I’m going to have my Stevie G jerseys hanging somewhere. Unfortunately he won’t be playing there anymore. I’ll have to make a trip probably to L.A. to have a look again. But, yeah, 17 seasons, 17 years, it’s a long time.

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Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Lead Charge into Australian Open Second Round

Djokovic melbourne

(January 20, 2015) World No. 1s Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic lead the charge on Tuesday in Melbourne, easily advancing to the second round of the Australian Open.

Serena Williams had an easy 6-0, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck in the night session. Despite a dominant win, the 18-time major winner admitted to nerves in the early rounds of majors.

“I just focus on holding serve in general, and I focus on breaking,” Williams said. “So I don’t focus on necessarily my nerves. I just think, Okay, I want to hold serve and I want to break. That’s all I do. That kind of helps me to get over it.”

She said the pressure is different in a final versus a first round. “Yeah, usually when you get to a final, you want to win. I just want to do the best I can. Yeah, I think it’s different because at least when you’re in a final, you have a little momentum. When you’re in a first round, you don’t have momentum. Usually the nerves aren’t as bad in general for me in a final. There’s been finals where I’ve been really, really tight.”

“If I could get to 19(th major) in Australia that would be amazing,” said the five –time Australian Open champion.

Meanwhile, four-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had an easy time with No. 116 Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in his first-round match. Djokovic had been under-the-weather over the past two weeks.

“Just glad to be back competing on the highest level in tennis,” said the Serb. “Australian Open has been very dear to me. My most successful Grand Slam. I’ve been playing some of my best tennis throughout career on these courts. Trying to soak up every joyful moment on the court. Obviously the start was a bit slower performance, weaker performance, from my side. He had a couple of breakpoints. The match could have gone a different way in the first set. Never played him. Watched him only once. He did surprise me. I had a difficult time to read his serve. The courts are playing a little bit faster than they were the last two years than they were in previous years. So if you have a big serve, know how to use it, it’s a big advantage on these courts. He’s a good player obviously. He qualified. Reached the finals in Chennai. Qualified again here. He felt confident. He had nothing to lose. On the other hand, I managed to stay tough, overcome some kind of challenges that I faced in the beginning of the match. I played much more comfortably in the rest of the match.”

Defending Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka began his quest to with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 100-ranked Marsel Ilhan, in less than 90 minutes.

“It’s great, bringing me a lot of memories from last year,” Wawrinka said of his return. “It was great to come back here feeling happy, happy with my game.”

“Happy. First Grand Slam never easy, but happy the way I played today. I feel great to come in the court. I play some good tennis and I have confidence with my game in general. That’s what I did today. It was not so hot. A little bit humid, a little bit windy. But, yeah, it was a good match.”

 

Other men advancing on Tuesday were No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 David Ferrer, No. 12 Feliciano Lopez saved 3 match points in defeating Denis Kudla 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8, while No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 18 Gilles Simon and No. 19 John Isner also advanced. Upsets on the day included No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 25 Julien Benneteau and No. 27 Pablo Cuevas.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka making a comeback after injuries sidelined her for most of 2014, defeated Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-2.

Seeded winners included No. 4 Petra Kvitova, No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 18 Venus Williams. Upsets on the day included No. 12 Flavia Pennetta, No. 13 Andrea Petkovic and No. 15 Jelena Jankovic. Monday saw 8 women’s seeds bite the dust.

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Notes and Quotes from Day 1 of the 2015 Australian Open

(January 19, 2015) A few of the more off-beat questions and answers from Day 1 news conferences at the Australian Open.

We’ve seen Milos Raonic debuted a new haircut. Nick Kyrgios has quite the interesting haircut himself. Have you ever thought of doing something like that with your own hair?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think I’ve past that phase. I’ve had a lot of haircuts, but I think it’s — visually it looks pretty good. Let’s see how the guys or the people would rate that. I like it. (Smiling.)

 

Gajdasova broke an 0-9 streak at her home major to get her first win.

Did you ever think this day would come?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be playing, would I? Yeah, I thought it would, I thought I been playing well, so one of these years it had to come. As I said on the court, I guess I was fortunate for the first time I actually had a draw that I didn’t have a seed in the first round. As much as it was difficult match and every match is hard to win, doesn’t matter if there is a seed or not, at least I had a big opportunity to get through. As I say, it was my ten-year anniversary, so there was going to be celebration or one for the sadness. I’m glad it’s a celebration.
Hradecka knocked off fifth seed Ana Ivanovic

Looks like you can’t wipe the smile off your face. Happy knocking off the fifth seed?

LUCIE HRADECKA: Yeah, definitely. I’m happy. I still don’t believe that I am true. So probably in a couple hours I will know that I am in second round in Australian and I beat Ana. Yeah, whole times, it’s two hours after match, and I’m still smiling.

What did you think after losing that first set where you hadn’t won any of your service games, serving at 40%, then you came out a completely different player?

LUCIE HRADECKA: In the first set I was so nervy. Of course, I have the feeling on the court that the court is so big. I couldn’t hit any balls in the court. When I went outside, I started the serve in second set, I think, Okay, it cannot be the worst. Let’s play every point and let’s see what will happen.

Your shorts seem a lot shorter this year than before. Is that a decision you’ve made or something that’s come from your sponsor?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. To make the shorts shorter is something that I like. I feel more comfortable this way. We make it shorter already last year, and this year a little bit more. I like. I feel more comfortable here, more fresh. Sometimes is good to have some changes, to try different things. But seriously, I prefer this way.

 

You had a bit of an exchange with some of your fans there.  Talk us through that. 

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, no, they kept saying, Australia’s No. 1.  But they got it wrong, you know.  I’m 2.  So I just told them, You know I’m 2 (smiling).

 

Does that mean you feel like there’s less pressure on you not being the No. 1 given there’s so many other Australians in the draw, as well… 

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I don’t think about those things.  It’s always different.  Obviously now it’s changed a bit.  Like I said, I probably don’t think about those things.  They don’t come across my head.  Today I played good.  I’m happy.  The Fanatics give good support.  I’m happy they came out there.  They’re really nice guys, those people.  They support me really well.  That’s the main thing.

Did you notice a difference in the crowd at Hisense, a general-admission crowd?

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, there is more energy.  It’s more louder.  Does it fit more or not?

Couldn’t tell you. 

BERNARD TOMIC:  I thought Hisense fits more than Rod Laver.  No?  Maybe upgraded seats or something.  Someone told me that a few years ago.  I don’t know.  But it’s a different court.  It’s a different surrounding, so it’s not easy.  Maybe I felt like I should have practiced on that before.  But, yeah, you know, it’s not a bad court.  I really enjoyed playing on it.  The crowd was huge today.  It was positive support.

 

You may remember that article from David Foster Wallace years ago in the New York Times where described you as a religious experience, and then I read, a human beings reconciliation with the fact of having a body. What do you think? Do you recognize yourself? An exaggeration?

ROGER FEDERER: Just a slight exaggeration (laughter). But I guess in sports we have a tendency to — there’s no end. You know, it’s just so unbelievable sometimes, like it’s never been seen before. So I’ve been through this entire phase where I got so many compliments, you just thought, Wow, this is the best feeling in the world. But very quickly you get the feeling as well that not everything’s so great sometimes when you don’t play very well. I’ve been on both sides. That’s why I have no problem accepting criticism, because I’ve gotten so many compliments over the years. It’s part of the game. But clearly some unbelievable pieces have been written about me, about tennis, about other players. It’s interesting to read them. Sometimes just slightly exaggerated, but everybody can judge that the way they want.

 

A lot has been made about Milos Raonic’s haircut. Have you seen it? Thoughts from you?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I have not seen it. I made fun of his hair last year. I don’t know how it’s different now. I just think he spends way too much time worrying about his hair.

 

More than you?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yes. Clearly (laughter).

 

Q. What do you make of Li Na’s announcement tonight that she’s expecting? What sort of mom do you think she might be?MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she’d be a great mom. Yeah, I think it’s a really exciting new chapter in her life. Yeah, it’s something that I believe she’s wanted for a really long time. It’s really nice to be able to settle down and focus on her family and her husband and her future child.Q. Is that something you eventually would like?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, definitely. I grew up being very close to — my mom had me when she was very young, but I grew up having her as my best friend. It’s a special — I wish that hopefully one day I’ll be able to have that type of relationship with my mom and with my parents, because I know when you’re younger you’re a bit more rebellious. But I’ve always enjoyed spending time with my parents, even though my dad was a coach of mine for many years. Still is when I’m home. I love having them around. I’m an only child, so they get to spoil me a little bit. But, yeah, it’s a special feeling.

 

Kokkinakis saved four match points in defeating No. 11 seed ERnests Gulbis in five sets.

Q. You had some flashy clothes to match the flashy plays today. Were you inspired at all by Andre Agassi with that outfit?

THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Nike. They gave me that package. They were like, We only give this to a few. If you’re up for it, wear it. I was like, Yeah, whatever, I’ll do it. I wore the stripes last year, but that was nothing compared to what I wore this year. So I was out there, and I was like surely in this outfit I’ve got to get the win.

 

Q. Were the shorts comfortable or not?

THANASI KOKKINAKIS: It was a bit annoying. I saw it dangling at the bottom there, so I tried to flick it over. No, that felt fine. I prefer shorter shorts. It makes me run easier.

 

Q. It will probably be on the front pages of the newspapers. Or you don’t care about it?

THANASI KOKKINAKIS: It was exciting. I know it was a good win. There’s more to come. I don’t want to win just one round. Obviously it was my best win yet. I’ll enjoy it for the rest of the night, but tomorrow I’ll need to get prepared for the next match two days away against Sam.

 

Q. Are you going to have a quiet word to Nick about trying to upstage your match?

THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I saw him in the changing rooms. We congratulated each other. It’s a good win for both of us. Hopefully we can go further in the draw.

 

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Sharapova and Bouchard Move into Australian Open Second Round

(January 19, 2015) Second seed Maria Sharapova followed up her recent title in Brisbane with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Petra Martic in the last match of the night session in Rod Laver Arena.

“I had a great start in Brisbane winning the title for the first time in my career – that was great to have those matches coming into such a big match in Melbourne,” she said.

“I played a few night matches in Brisbane with the roof. It was a little cooler out there. Overall the courts have been playing a little faster. Tonight was a little heavier. But I played an opponent that’s capable of playing very good tennis. She’s been injured a little bit I believe in the last year or so, but she can play. She’s got some, you know, big weapons. For a first round against someone that’s already played a few matches, I knew I had to be really strong from the beginning.”

 

Seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard began her campaign for her first major beating Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-2, 6-4 on Monday in the first round of the Australian Open.

“I think the first round is always tough, especially at the beginning of the season,” said Bouchard. “So I’m happy I was able to stay pretty solid. I think she played pretty well. That’s something I guess I have to expect. Now often players will kind of go for it and play a really good level against me. Yeah, I’m happy I stayed calm out there and pretty solid.”

“I was just kind of focused on every point,” Bouchard continued. “It was definitely kind of a tougher back-and-forth battle in the second. But I just stayed calm and I knew once I got a chance I would try to take it, and that’s what I did at the end of the second. I had to kind of weather the storm a little bit when she’d serve well or go for her shots. A couple times she could string together a couple good points.”

Monday saw eight seeded women’s players fall including No. 5 Ana Ivanovic.

AUSTRALIAN – MELBOURNE, AUS
$15,561,973.00
19-31 JANUARY, 2015

Results – Monday, January 19, 2015
Singles – First Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (Q) Petra Martic (CRO) 64 61
(3) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Karin Knapp (ITA) 63 62
(Q) Lucie Hradecka  (CZE) d. (5) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 16 63 62
(7) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 62 64
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. (9) Angelique Kerber (GER) 64 06 61
(10) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 62 62
(14) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Grace Min (USA) 61 60
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. (16) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 64 26 86
Carina Witthoeft (GER) d. (17) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)63 61
(21) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Tatjana Maria (GER) 64 75
(22) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. (Q) Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 75 61
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (23) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 46 63 63
Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. (27) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 64 62
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. (28) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 46 64 62
(31) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 36 64 62
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (32) Belinda Bencic (SUI) 62 61
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 75 61
Klara Koukalova (CZE) d. (WC) Storm Sanders (AUS) 75 64
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Ana Konjuh (CRO) 64 64
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Stéphanie Foretz (FRA) 64 16 1210
Monica Puig (PUR) d. (WC) Arina Rodionova (AUS) 60 63
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) d. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 63 64
Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d. Annika Beck (GER) 75 64
Kiki Bertens (NED) d. (WC) Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 76(8) 57 62
Anna Schmiedlova  (SVK) d. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 64 46 62
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 62 75
Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Wang Qiang (CHN) 36 63 62
Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) d. (Q) Renata Voracova (CZE) 61 62
Stefanie Voegele  (SUI d. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 61 36 62
Bethanie Mattek-Sands  (USA) d. (WC) Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) 64 36 63
(Q) Alexandra Panova (RUS) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 75 60
(WC) Oceane Dodin (FRA) d. Alison Riske (USA) 76(5) 36 63

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Federer Stops Lu to Advance in Melbourne

 

(January 19, 2015) In the first Night Session match in Rod Laver Arena, four–time Australian Open champion Roger Federer defeated Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 on Monday to reach the second round at the Australian Open.

Last winning in Melbourne in 2010, the 17-time major champion donning a neon yellow shirt captured a record 74th match in 85 starts at Melbourne Park.

Federer is looking to be the second man to claim five Australian Open titles. Roy Emerson has six.

“I thought I was playing very well through the first couple of sets,” said the Swiss. “I think I was serving very well. I was holding my service games very comfortably. Until probably 5-2 in the second set was the first time he had any play on my service game. I was very happy. I was returning and able to dominate the plays from the back. I think he started to serve better in the third. I think conditions slowed down a bit. Because of the coolness and the night coming in, I felt it was hard to generate stuff. It became a very interesting third set. Gave me, I think, a lot of information. Instead of sort of just steamrolling through him he really made it tough for me. I don’t want to say I got lucky to not be broken early on in the third, but he was playing some really good tennis. I started to mix it up and trying out things because I had to, I felt, towards the end of the third. Started to serve better myself again towards the end of the match. I adjusted to the conditions, because it did play different at 7:00 than it did at 8:30. A drastic change, in my opinion.”

His coach, Tennis Hall of Famer Stefan Edberg who has two Melbourne titles, was in attendance was celebrating his 49th birthday.

For the 33-year-old, it was his 1001st career match win. He claimed 100th, less than two weeks ago when he won the Brisbane International tournament.

Federer has reached the semifinals for the Australian Open for 11 straight years.

Next up for the No. 2 seed is Simone Bollelli who defeated Juan Monaco 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

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