August 2, 2015

Kei Nishikori Wins Japan Open Crown

Kei Nishikori withdrawal

(October 5, 2014) Japan’s top player, fourth seed Kei Nishikori won his second Japan Open title on Sunday in Tokyo, taking out the third seed, Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4.

For Nishkori, it’s his fourth ATP World Tour title of the year and second in two week. He won last week in Kuala Lumput. for Raonic, it’s his third straight loss in the final of Tokyo.

Nishikori is fifth in the ATP Race to London with five berths up for grabs to compete in the ATP World Tour Finals.


“I hope to get to London,” Nishikori said. “I am getting close, but there are two more Masters 1000s and 500s left. These next few weeks will be really important for me.”

“He was serving really well, with a lot of aces. Luckily, I got the first tie-break and that helped my motivation for the match. If I had lost the tie-break, I might have screwed up the whole match. He started aggressively and I think it was one of my toughest games against Milos. I am really happy to win. He had a lot of chances in the third set; he almost broke my serve a couple of times.

“It’s the first time I have won a title two weeks in a row. After the US Open, it was hard to maintain my motivation. I had to stay strong and focused, especially this week when I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.”

“It is disappointing to lose in my third straight [Tokyo] final,” Raonis said. “To be honest with you, other than the first year [2012] I felt I created my opportunities. Against Kei, he just played better when it came down to the third set [in 2012]. I have felt I have always been in the thick of things the past two years, so I would say two years ago was more disappointing.

“It was a great match. We both played a high level of tennis. At the beginning, the match was passing by really quick, but in the second and third set it was really good. He has been playing with a lot of confidence, he went for his shots and it paid off.”

The 24 year-old, who was US Open finalist, has a 49-10 record on the year.



Ivanovic, Goffin, Pliskova and Niculescu Take Tennis Titles This week

Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic

(September 21, 2014) Ana Ivanovic, David Goffin, Monica Niculescu and Karolina Pliskova won tournaments this weekend on the WTA and ATP tennis tours.

In Tokyo in a battle between two former WTA number ones, third seed Ana Ivanovic won her fourth title of the year defeating recent US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki for the Pan Pacific Open.

The Serb was dominant the first set, at one point winning 17 straight points, she did not drop a set in the tournament.

“The key for me was coming forward to the net,” Ivanovic said.”She is a great offensive player and gets a lot of balls back so it was important for me to come forward and play well at the net.”

“Caroline played a great match today,” said the current world No. 8, who is set to move to No. 5 in the rankings and 6th in the Race to Singapore standings. “It was a really good battle out there – there were some very tough moments, especially in the second set. But I just tried to take it one point at a time, and I’m really happy to make it through. It’s just an amazing feeling to win this title.”

For Ivanovic, it’s her 15th career title. She is now 52-14 on the year, the most number of wins on the women’s tour this year.

Belgium’s David Goffin took his second career title, claiming the Moselle Open in Metz , France with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal on Sunday.

“This is very special because my family was here today,” Goffin said. “That’s the advantage of playing close to home. Winning my second title feels just as good as the first one. I’m very happy.

“I had to play aggressively today, dictate the game. The tactics worked out well and I served well. I was able to focus until the end.”
“This is very special because my family was here today. That’s the advantage of playing close to home,” Goffin said. “Winning my second title feels just as good as the first one.”

“I have to congratulate David on a fantastic week,” Sousa said. Even if I lost today, it was a great week for me as well, reaching the final. I hope that I can come back next year and hopefully go one step further.”

The 23-year-old Goffin, who began the year ranked at 100, will move to No. 35 in the world when the rankings come out on Monday.
Also winning the second title of her career was Monica Niculescu. The Romanian upset second seed Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-0 to win the Guangzhou International tournament.

“I was so happy to finish in the end because it was very hot and very humid, and I was very, very tired,” Niculescu said. “But to finish so strong was amazing for me. I have many emotions right now, but most of it is joy and confidence. It’s my second WTA title and that’s just an amazing feeling.”

Niculescu joins Romanians Virginia Ruzici, Irina Spirlea, Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie, Alexandra Dulgheru and Simona Halep to win multiple WTA titles.

Second seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic defeated Varvara Lepchenko of the United States, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to win the Korea Open. For the Czech, it’s her second WTA crown.

This was Pliskova’s fourth WTA final this year.


Tsonga, Almagro Move into Second Round of Tokyo


ATP World Tour 500
Tokyo, Japan  (+9 hours GMT)
30 September-6 October 2013     Surface: Hard


Singles – First Round
[2] J Tsonga (FRA) d G Monfils (FRA) 63 76(8)
[6] N Almagro (ESP) d [Q] B Becker (GER) 76(4) 76(3)
A Dolgopolov (UKR) d D Brands (GER) 63 61
J Nieminen (FIN) d J Monaco (ARG) 76(4) 61

Doubles – First Round
[3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d [WC] K Nishikori (JPN) / Y Uchiyama (JPN) 64 61
T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) d K Anderson (RSA) / P Hanley (AUS) 26 75 10-4


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
F Lopez (ESP) vs [WC] T Ito (JPN)
[1] [WC] J Del Potro (ARG) vs M Baghdatis (CYP)
[4] K Nishikori (JPN) vs J Melzer (AUT)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs [8] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[Q] R Harrison (USA) vs H Zeballos (ARG)
[WC] Y Sugita (JPN) vs I Dodig (CRO)
[5] G Simon (FRA) vs M Granollers (ESP)
[Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) vs J Chardy (FRA)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
C Berlocq (ARG) vs [PR] P Cuevas (URU)
[7] K Anderson (RSA) vs [LL] L Lacko (SVK)
[Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs D Tursunov (RUS)



Venus Williams Reaches Tokyo Quarterfinals with win over Simona Halep


(September 25, 2013) Venus Williams came back from a set down to upset Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Wednesday.

This is the American’s first time playing in Tokyo since 2009.

Williams said that it was a very tough match and did not know how she was able to win it.. On Tuesday Williams knocked out No. 2 and top seed Victoria Azarenka.

Williams’ next challenge will come from Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, whom she’ll play in the quarterfinals.

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-28, 2013

Results – Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Singles – Third Round
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (16) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 63 64
(4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 61
(5) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 64 62
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 75 62
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (12) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 64 64
Venus Williams (USA) d. (13) Simona Halep (ROU) 46 75 63

Suspended due to rain
(15) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) leads Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 41

Order Of Play – Thursday, September 26, 2013
Center Court (from 10.30hrs)
1. Madison Keys vs. Petra Kvitova
2. Venus Williams vs. Eugenie Bouchard (NB 13.00hrs)
3. Lucie Safarova vs. Caroline Wozniacki
4. [Svetlana Kuznetsova or Sorana Cirstea] vs. [Madison Keys or Petra Kvitova] (NB 17.00hrs)
5. Angelique Kerber vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Sorana Cirstea (tbc)
2. Hsieh/Peng vs. Goerges/Zahlavova Strycova
3. Groenefeld/Peschke vs. Black/Mirza
4. Chan/Huber vs. Jankovic/Srebotnik

Court TBA
Kudryavtseva/Rodionova vs. Flipkens/Kvitova (NB 13.00hrs; after suitable rest)


Venus Williams Upsets Victoria Azarenka in Tokyo

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(September 24, 2013) Venus Williams upset top seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 to move into the third round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“She didn’t seem like herself at all,” Williams said of her opponent to press after the match. “I could tell she wasn’t feeling her best. I am not sure what was bothering her but I hope she feels better.”

Azarenka said that she did not sleep last night and noted that she had not been well for a couple of days.

Williams will play No. 13 seed Simona Halep who beat Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the third round.

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-28, 2013

Results – Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Singles – Second Round
Venus Williams (USA) d. (1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 62 64
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 76(5) 60
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (3) Sara Errani (ITA) 64 64
(4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 62 63
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 64 61
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (9) Sloane Stephens (USA) 57 76(7) 63
(11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 63 60
(12) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 63 76(2)
(13) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 76(4) 63
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (14) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 62 63
(15) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (WC) Misaki Doi (JPN) 61 62
(16) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (Q) Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 75 63
Madison Keys (USA) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 75 62

Doubles – First Round
(1) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Hantuchova/Raymond (SVK/USA) 63 61
(WC) Flipkens/Kvitova (BEL/CZE) d. (2) Barty/Dellacqua (AUS/AUS) 76(3) 36 108 (Match TB)
(3) Jankovic/Srebotnik (SRB/SLO) d. Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) 46 63 102 (Match TB)
(4) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. Aoyama/Moulton-Levy (JPN/USA) 64 62
Chan/Huber (TPE/USA) d. (WC) Date-Krumm/Parra Santonja (JPN/ESP) 64 62

Order Of Play – Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Center Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Caroline Wozniacki
2. Eugenie Bouchard vs. Jelena Jankovic
3. Venus Williams vs. Simona Halep (NB 14.00hrs)
4. Dominika Cibulkova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (NB 17.00hrs)
5. Angelique Kerber vs. Ana Ivanovic


Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Sorana Cirstea
2. Madison Keys vs. Petra Kvitova (NB 13.00hrs)
3. Lucie Safarova vs. Samantha Stosur
4. Groenefeld/Peschke vs. Black/Mirza


Nishikori Wins Japan Open

Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo on Sunday when he stopped the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic for the title 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 for his second career ATP World Tour title. His first tournament win came at Delray Beach in 2008 as a qualifier.

Nishikori, from Shimane Prefecture in southern Japan, ranked No. 17 in the world and rising, delighted his home crowd with the win.

”To have won this tournament in Japan is a very happy occasion for me,” Nishikori said. ”I made an effort to approach today’s match as the challenger.”

”I wish I could have started off serving better,” Raonic said. ”He was reading my serve really well from the beginning and that usually doesn’t happen. I didn’t create the opportunities and go for it like the previous two days.’

“He just played too well. There’s not too much I could do. He played better than me and deserved to win. [In the third set], he started playing well, was reading me a bit more, and a few mistakes starting coming from me.”

“I have not been able to play well in Japan until now,” Nishikori said, “so I always thought perhaps I was not mentally strong enough to do so. But [after] the match against [Tomas] Berdych, something changed. I was able to play much better yesterday and today as well. On one side of my mind, I cannot believe I won the tournament, but at the same time, I feel that I’m happy I was able to do this.

“He (Milos) attacks on his returns and goes up to the net quickly. And he is willing to take risks. I watched him play [Andy] Murray. Despite the break in the first game, there were some dangerous moments in the first set. I tried to stay aggressive. I was able to continue doing so and was able to get the final set 6-0.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Kei Nishikori on becoming the first Japanese man to win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title in Tokyo,” ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett said. Kei is a terrific player who is already a star at home in Japan and among the Top 20 players in the world. I’m sure this historic win over a very difficult field in Tokyo will give him great confidence and we look forward to seeing all that he can do. Kei has a very bright future on the ATP World Tour and we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

This was the youngest ATP final of the year with 21-year-old Raonic playing 22-year-old Nishikori in their first encounter.


Petrova Defeats Radwanska to Earn Tokyo Title



Nadia Petrova captured her 12th career WTA title on Saturday by winning the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open over defending champion No. 3 Agniezska Radwanska in Tokyo.

“After running out of gas in the second set, I don’t know where I found the strength and willpower to fight in the third set, but I did and it feels amazing,” Petrova said. This is the biggest tournament I’ve ever won. It’s a great accomplishment. And at the beginning of the tournament I definitely didn’t expect to win the title, because of the back injury I’ve been struggling with. I’m so happy to be here right now.

“There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don’t want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same. I still find the will to wake up every morning and go on the court and try to improve with each day. If it’s meant to happen it will, but if it doesn’t, at the end of my career I’ll know I’ve done everything I could.”
Petrova knocked out three top ten players during the week -Radwanska, No. 7 Sara Errani and No. 9 Sam Stosur.

“I’m disappointed, ” Radwanska said. “I wanted to win this title so much, and when you’re so close and feel you can make it, it’s always emotional if you don’t. But she was playing really well. Her biggest weapon is her serve, for sure, but also her return was very good today, and I had to serve really well myself to hold my serve. But overall I think those two shots were working really well for her today.”

Petrova, currently ranked at 18 in the world, is expected to move up to No. 14 when the rankings come out on Monday.

Tokyo, Japan
September 23-29, 2012

Singles – Final
(17) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 60 16 63

Doubles – Final
Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. (4) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) 61 64