June 29, 2016

Djokovic, Federer Advance, Muguruza Extended, Ivanovic Beaten on First Day of 2016 Wimbledon

(June 27, 2016) Top seed Novak Djokovic, going for his fifth major tournament win in a row and the third leg of the “Grand Slam” opened his defense at Wimbledon with a 6-0, 7-6(3) win over No. 177 British wild card James Ward. The Serb was halfway to a “triple bagel” (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) before Ward got on the board.

“I honestly didn’t expect myself to start that well,” said Djokovic. “Nine games in a row, 6 0, 3 0. I thought it was just a matter of time when James would win his first game. I knew that the reaction of the crowd, and his own reaction, will be the way it was.

“As a home player, he enjoyed a lot of support today, especially when he won his first game. That’s when the energy kind of shifted on his side. He felt huge relief obviously winning the first game. On the other hand, I maybe dropped the concentration a little bit. The second set was quite close. Credit to him for serving well.

“The first part of the match was almost flawless, so I’m very pleased with the way I started Wimbledon.”

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was pushed by No. 52 Guido Pella 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3. The Swiss broke the Argentine’s serve once – in the second-to-last game of the match.
Pella is now 0-4 in tour grass court matches.

“I was very happy with the way I played. If I would have used my chances earlier in the first and second set, maybe things would have been a bit easier.” Federer said. “I’m happy I made it in three straight sets.”

Federer’s win sets up a contest with the “Cinderella” of the tournament in the second round. No. 772 Marcus Willis, a British qualifier, advanced with a straight set win over Ricardas Berankis. Willis, a teaching pro came through both pre-qualifying and qualifying to reach the main draw.

World No. 772 Marcus Willis Reaches Wimbledon Second Round and Will Face Roger Federer

 

New French Open and last year’s Wimbledon finalist, Garbine Muguruza was pushed to a third set before advancing over Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Five-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-6(3), 6-4 in her opening match. This is Williams’ 19th time competing at the All England Club.

Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic was an upset victim on Monday, losing to a qualifier ranked 223rd making her major tournament debut. The Serb seeded 23rd lost to Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 7-5. Also exiting on the women’s side was 25th seed Irina-Camelia losing 6-1, 6-4 to Germany’s Carina Witthoeft.

Ivanovic told media that her injury caused her many miss hits.

Upsets on the men’s side of the draw on day one were twentieth seed Kevin Anderson and 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In the comeback of the day, 28th seed Sam Querrey, rallied from two sets down to beat Lukas Rosol 6-7 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2, 12-10. back in 2012 Rosol stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon.

Related articles:

2016 Wimbledon Day 1 Men’s Results

2016 Wimbledon Day 1 Women’s Results

2016 Wimbledon – Day 2 Men’s Preview

 

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On The Call with Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(June 15, 2016) New York, NY – Venus Williams held a media conference call on Wednesday to discuss summer plans and her participation in the Bank of the West Classic tournament, part of the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series. Also on the call were Vickie Gunnarsson, Tournament Director, Bank of the West Classic and J. Wayne Richmond, General Manager, Emirates Airline US Open Series.

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION MEDIA CONFERENCE

BRENDAN McINTYRE: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today on the call. A special thank you to Venus Williams, who is joining us today after recently committing to play in the 2016 Bank of the West Classic, marking her 13th appearance in Stanford, which includes an impressive seven appearances in the singles final, capturing two titles.

The Bank of the West Classic, a WTA Tour event, will launch the Emirates Airline US Open Series again this year, beginning on July 18th.

I’d also like to welcome to the call Bank of the West Classic tournament director, Vickie Gunnarsson; and Emirates Airline US Open Series manager, J. Wayne Richmond.

At this time I’m going to turn it over to J. Wayne for a few remarks.

J. WAYNE RICHMOND: I’ll make this very brief.

As we kick off year 13, I wanted to thank the Bank of the West and the WTA Tour for doing this call with us, but more importantly Venus, to you, for taking the time to do this call. We know you have a lot on your schedule getting ready for Wimbledon.

It hit me this morning looking at this that, Venus, you were the very first final we ever broadcast in 2004 on the series from Stanford. It’s kind of a perfect fit to have you on this call. Thank you for being part of it.

I’ll turn it over to Vickie Gunnarsson from Bank of the West.

VICKIE GUNNARSSON: Hello, everybody. Great to have everyone on the call. We appreciate your support. Thanks to the media for attending. A special thank you to Venus for taking the time to participate.

We are excited to once again be the starting event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. We have a great player field at the Bank of the West Classic this year, highlighted by Venus, of course, and Aga Radwanska. But overall 13 out of 20 players on our acceptance list have won at least one career WTA title, and many will represent their countries at the Olympics. We expect this year’s tournament to be highly competitive.

This is the 46th year of the tournament. But more importantly, this is Bank of the West’s 25th year as our title sponsor. They are an amazing partner and a great supporter of women’s tennis.

So thank you to everyone for participating on the call. Hopefully we’ll see you in Stanford.

BRENDAN McINTYRE: At this time we’ll open up the call for questions.

Q. Venus, I’m wondering if there’s any sort of additional challenge when it comes to figuring out the right way to schedule your summer during an Olympic year.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Additional challenges? Absolutely because the Olympics is such a highlight, but at the same time it’s important to play tournaments so you can continue with success on the tour.

Also for me it’s making sure I have a little bit of a break. This year I’ve been very successful. I will be starting out with Stanford, Bank of the West, then playing one more event, then heading off to Rio is my plan.

Q. Venus, I would like your comment on the young American players who are coming up, possibly their chances at Wimbledon. You and Serena are going to be clearly leading the American charge, but we have CoCo Vandeweghe who played some very good tennis lately, and Madison Keys. Are you encouraged by the fact there might be some young players, Sloane Stephens in the mix, too, to follow in your steps as a great Wimbledon player?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. The surface at Wimbledon has changed a lot since I first started. It’s a lot more forgiving, so it gives a lot of players more opportunity to be able to adjust quicker to the grass. Hopefully we’ll be able to see that with the young Americans.

But they’ve been playing really well, especially this year. That’s great news for obviously the Olympic team and Fed Cup and all of the above. It’s pretty exciting prospects.

Q. Venus, you’ve gone through different ways of prepping for the Olympics. Back in 2004 you played some tournaments before. The last couple you’ve kind of gone in straight from Wimbledon. Talk about what it meant to play tournaments leading into the Olympics, and then did you feel like it has any effect not playing events before the last couple Olympics?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it’s kind of hard to remember because it happens every four years. So I don’t really remember how I felt or what tournaments I played four years ago.

But I do know that, no matter what, at the Olympics you got to figure out a way to play your best, no matter what the circumstances, because it only happens every four years.

Thankfully for me, I have a lot of experience. That will help me out in the long run.

Q. Venus, since your diagnosis several years back, you’ve played a lot of tennis, and recently some very good tennis. Has it gotten a lot easier for you to manage it? Have you found some new ways to manage it? Is there a way that you can keep yourself healthy more easily than you were at first?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, of course the first couple years are really tough because there’s no road map. There’s no one who says, This is how you do it, this is how you manage it. It’s challenging.

But I’ve always wanted to rise to the challenge and the occasion. That’s not how I see it, as a disadvantage, but a challenge I’ve had to overcome.

I’m always looking for different ways that I can be at my best, whether it’s eating, resting, different training regimens, whatever it may be.

It’s definitely a constant search. I never give up.

Q. Venus, this part of the season, playing on the North American hard courts, what is your favorite thing about it? Also, as a player, what does it mean to have a series of tournaments like this package for you to play?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s great to play at home in front of the home crowd. That’s the highlight. Being at home, being able to just play in the U.S., and there’s not as many opportunities as there was when I first started to play in the U.S., so it’s become really special at this point. It really becomes the last opportunity to do so until March. I really cherish that.

I love hard courts. A lot of people think my favorite surface is grass, but actually I grew up on hard courts, so I prefer that. I feel right at home on it.

Q. Venus, can you talk about how important it is for you to have the series as a preparation for the US Open.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. Coming in, of course, you want to come in strong, playing a lot of matches, hopefully winning titles. It gives you confidence going into such a big event as the US Open.

But even if you don’t win, you’re able to hone your game, work through mistakes or chinks in your armor.

Unfortunately, as much as you train, there’s always something to work on. It gives you the opportunity to figure out, What do I need to perfect at this moment in time?

Q. We saw your dress that you’re going to be wearing in Rio. I wanted to ask a little bit about that in terms of the inspiration. Aside from needing the red, white and blue, what else inspired you? Also, what tips do you have for the newbies going into the Olympics about trading pins?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the dress, my dress at the Olympics is always inspired by Wonder Woman. Each and every Olympics it’s Wonder Woman as the inspiration. It never changes.

Second, trading pins, you know, it’s definitely about trading pins, but once you start trading pins, you find out it’s about meeting people. That experience of meeting somebody you’ll maybe never see again, but the connection you have with them, the joy you have from meeting them, that is the best part of it all. It’s an interesting byproduct that you don’t expect. Then you have your pins for memories when you look back to remember those times at the Olympics. That’s awesome as well.

Q. With the Wonder Woman inspiration, are you going to have gold wristbands or is that too much?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I should. I’ll probably do a special Olympic hair, though. Maybe I’ll come back with colored hair. I haven’t done that in a while.

BRENDAN McINTYRE: Thanks, everyone, again for getting on the call. A special thank you to Venus. We look forward to the start of the Emirates Airline US Open Series at the Bank of the West Classic starting on July 18th.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska Headline Bank of the West Player Field

Venus Williams bnppo16

(June 8, 2016) STANFORD, Calif. – The official player field for the Bank of the West Classic has been announced, headlined by seven-time major champion and four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Venus Williams as well as current World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Overall 13 countries are represented in the field, and of the 20 players on the WTA official acceptance list, 13 have won at least one career WTA singles title. The 2016 player field has combined to win 94 career WTA singles titles.

Williams will be returning to Stanford for the 13th time and is looking to win her third Bank of the West Classic title having previously won in 2000 and 2002. The seven-time Grand Slam champion, and future Hall of Famer, has had tremendous success at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium reaching the final in seven of her previous 12 visits to the event.

Currently ranked No. 9 in the world, Williams opened the 2016 campaign with a win at Kaohsiung marking her 49th career WTA singles title.

Radwanska, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, has been one of the hottest players on tour to start the 2016 season. She has reached the semifinals or better in five of the eight events she has entered this year including a win in Shenzhen. She advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the second time of her career which also marked her fourth career Grand Slam semifinal appearance.

This will mark Radwanska’s seventh trip to Stanford. A finalist at the event in 2012, Radwanska reached the quarterfinals last year before falling to eventual champion Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in what many considered to be the best women’s match of 2015.

The player field also includes 2013 Bank of the West Classic champion and former World No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova, World No. 18 and 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Johanna Konta, 2012 Bank of the West Classic finalist Coco Vandeweghe, Japanese No. 1 Misaki Doi and two-time NCAA singles champion at Stanford Nicole Gibbs.

2016 Bank of the West Classic Acceptance List
(Name, Country, Rank)
Agnieszka Radwanska, POL, 3
Venus Williams, USA, 9
Johanna Konta, GBR, 18
Dominika Cibulkova, SVK, 21
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS, 23
Daria Kasatkina, RUS, 31
Jelena Ostapenko, LAT, 39
Coco Vandeweghe, USA, 43
Lesia Tsurenko, UKR, 44
Timea Babos, HUN, 45
Misaki Doi, JPN, 48
Alize Cornet, FRA, 59
Kateryna Bondarenko, 64
Varvara Lepchenko, USA, 65
Nao Hibino, JPN, 69
Su-Wei Hsieh, TPE, 72
Nicole Gibbs, USA, 75
Mariana Duque-Mariño, COL, 79
Magda Linette, POL, 85
Saisai Zheng, CHN, 86

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Roland Garros – Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Dominate in Opening Wins; Murray Survives in Five

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2016) Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had easy opening victories at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion going for her fourth Paris title destroyed No. 77 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-0 in 42 minutes. The 21-time major champion hit 25 winners and made only five unforced errrors.

Sister Venus also advanced in straight sets. The ninth seed defeated No. 82 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

Djokovic is seeking to win his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. The Serb defeated No. 95 Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Also reaching the second round easily was nine-time champion Rafael Nadal who blasted past Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 seed completed his first round match which was held over due to darkness, surviving qualifier and former Top 10 player 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

“It’s unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He had an extremely bad injury last year and was our for eight or nine months. At 37 years old and coming out and fighting like that, playing that way, is unbelievable. I don’t expect to be doing that myself at that age! I’m just glad I managed to get through.”
Australian Open champion and third seed Angelique Kerber was the biggest upset on the day. The German suffering from a left shoulder injury lost to No. 58 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Bertens is fresh off winning a title over the weekend in Nürnberg, where she was a qualifier.

Another major surprise on the women’s side saw No. 5 Victoria Azarenka lose to No. 118-ranked Karin Knapp when she was forced to retire with a knee injury down 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.

2010 French Open champion, unseeded Francesca Schiavone lost to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4. It was announced on court that Schiavone was retiring, but she set the record straight during her news conference.

“Roland Garros announced my retirement but I didn’t.”

“So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that. I will announce when I will want to stop.”

 

More to follow…

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Venus Williams Along with Eight Other Women’s Seeds Lose at Miami Open

(March 25, 2016) Nine women’s seeds on Friday at the Miami Open including 10th seed Venus Williams. Williams fell to qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2.

“It’s always an honor to play against Venus.,” said Vesnina, a former No. 21 ranked player, in an on-court post-match interview. “We played many times against each other and it’s always been a pleasure to play her and it’s always been a tough match-up.

“I’m really happy that I won today.”

“It was definitely a physical match,” Williams said. “She played amazing tennis. All credit to her today.

“I couldn’t afford any errors because she was on,” (in the third set) Williams noted. “She didn’t make many errors. She came out with nothing to lose and just everything worked for her today.

“Bad luck for me; great luck for her. As the match continued I think I started to find more and more rhythm. She is coming off qualifying and playing doubles matches every week. It’s a little bit challenging to play your best tennis without — you know, against an opponent who is just so inspired.

“You don’t have a moment to try and figure out how to get into the match.”

The other losses by women’s seeds included: No. 6 seed Carla Suárez Navarro knocked out by American CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 7 Belinda Bencic who retired from her match, No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 17 seed Karolina Pliskova, No. 18 Jelena Jankovic by retirement, No. 25 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 29 seed Sabine Lisicki, who lost a 5-0 third set lead to Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(2), and No. 27 seed Kristina Mladenovic.

Djokovic on court 321-001

No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic also made a catch that would make former tennis player Mansour Barahmi proud. The Serb caught a ball in his pocket, much to the delight of the fans. Djokovic who advanced to the third round, is seeking a four Indian Wells – Miami double.

 

Roger Federer was forced to with draw from the tournament with a stomach virus. The No. 3 ranked Swiss was making a comeback from knee surgery in early February. His replacement in the draw, lucky loser Horacio Zeballos was a winner over fellow Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-4.

Del Potro is back from another wrist surgery, seemed to have some issues with his wrist during the loss. “I was suffering a little bit,” he said. “It was worse than my first match, but I hope nothing dangerous. I mean, I will see what’s going on after today and see if I can practice tomorrow, if I can hit again like a little backhand.

“They said before this is a long road to get better. Not to play well or to win matches, just to get better and to play tennis again. I’m looking forward for that. For me it’s like surprise when I win a match in this moment because I’m not 100% yet.

“But I’m here. Of course I’m suffering in moments, but I’m playing tennis. Bad or really bad, but I’m playing. That’s good for me.”

 

The men’s side of the draw saw two seeded Spanish casualties: No. 21 Feliciano Lopez who lost to qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez seeded 32.

In the match of the day of the day for the men Viktor Trocki saved four match points to win his contest against Inigo Cervantes 6-7(6), 7-6(9), 7-6(3).

 

 

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 25, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) 61 61
[4] G. Muguruza (ESP) d D. Cibulkova (SVK) 67(3) 63 75
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 62
[Q] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] B. Bencic (SUI) 41 Retired
[9] R. Vinci (ITA) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 16 64 76(5)
[Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) d [10] V. Williams (USA) 60 67(5) 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d M. Puig (PUR) 62 64
[WC] N. Osaka (JPN) d [14] S. Errani (ITA) 61 63
T. Babos (HUN) d [17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 57 62 76(0)
[Q] M. Linette (POL) d [18] J. Jankovic (SRB) 10 Retired
[22] M. Keys (USA) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 64 62
[24] J. Konta (GBR) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 64 62
[Q] K. Bertens (NED) d [25] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 46 61
[WC] N. Gibbs (USA) d [27] K. Mladenovic (FRA) 62 64
I. Begu (ROU) d [29] S. Lisicki (GER) 64 16 76(2)
[32] M. Niculescu (ROU) d S. Peng (CHN) 61 36 60

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[PR] A. Rodionova (AUS) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ) d [7] A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 63 67(4) 10-2
[8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 26 63 12-10
V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 46 63 10-8
C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 36 76(5) 10-7
A. Rosolska (POL) / L. Siegemund (GER) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / L. Kichenok (UKR) 62 75

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d K. Edmund (GBR) 63 63
[7] T. Berdych (CZE) d R. Ram (USA) w/o (illness)
[8] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 76(6) 61
[10] R. Gasquet (FRA) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 64 64
[11] M. Cilic (CRO) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 64 61
[14] D. Thiem (AUT) d S. Groth (AUS) 75 62
[15] D. Goffin (BEL) d [Q] M. Granollers (ESP) 64 64
[18] G. Simon (FRA) d J. Monaco (ARG) 75 61
[19] V. Troicki (SRB) d I. Cervantes (ESP) 67(6) 76(9) 76(3) – saved 4 m.p.
[20] B. Paire (FRA) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 64
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d [21] F. Lopez (ESP) 64 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [28] J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[31] S. Johnson (USA) d A. Zverev (GER) 76(9) 76(3)
L. Pouille (FRA) d [32] G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 64
[33] J. Sousa (POR) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 67(1) 76(5) 62
[LL] H. Zeballos (ARG) d [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) 64 64

Doubles – First Round
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 63 67(1) 10-6
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / D. Thiem (AUT) 76(3) 64
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [WC] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) 75 63

 

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2016
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [Q] P. Herbert (FRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A. Radwanska (POL) vs M. Brengle (USA)
ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)

Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ)

8:00 pm
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [23] C. Wozniacki (DEN)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
WTA – [30] E. Makarova (RUS) vs [8] P. Kvitova (CZE)
ATP – An. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
ATP – [26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)
ATP – [13] J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] T. Smyczek (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs [9] J. Tsonga (FRA)

COURT 1 start 10:55 am
ATP – D. Kudla (USA) vs [12] M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP – [22] J. Sock (USA) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)
ATP – M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)
WTA – [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [16] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – C. Garcia (FRA) vs [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
ATP – [16] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] T. Ito (JPN)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [30] T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs I. Cervantes (ESP) / D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – [29] S. Querrey (USA) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Seppi (ITA) vs [27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
WTA – Y. Wickmayer (BEL) vs [WC] H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – J. Millman (AUS) vs [23] P. Cuevas (URU)
ATP – [17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs A. Bedene (GBR)
ATP-After Suitable Rest – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) / F. Delbonis (ARG)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) vs [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [WC] M. Keys (USA) / S. Stephens (USA) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)
ATP – [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA)
ATP – A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [Alt] B. Bencic (SUI) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

COURT 10 start 1:00 pm
ATP – D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs [Alt] L. Mayer (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR)
WTA – D. Kasatkina (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN)
WTA – K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) vs [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

 

 

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BNP Paribas Open Photo Gallery from Friday, March 11, 2016

(March 11, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Photo gallery from around the grounds of the BNP Paribas Open. All photos by Curt Janka.

 

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Serena Williams with an Easy Win to Open Indian Wells

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(March 11, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Serena Williams opened her BNP Paribas Open with an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory over German qualifier Laura Siegemund in a second round match on Friday night. The No. 1 player in the world needed only 63 minutes to complete her match. This was Williams’s first match since losing the Australian Open final.

“My intensity was the key,” Williams said in her on court post-match interview. “(Siegemund) actually started out really strong in that first game when I was serving, she was close to breaking me.

“I knew right then and there if I wasn’t going to come out at 100% it would be a long match.”

Williams hit 21 winners with 11 unforced errors.

Earlier in the day, sister Venus made her return to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001, losing to Kurumi Nara. Serena did not watch the match.

“I watched a little bit the scores, but not so much her match,” Serena said. Serena admitted to being nervous. “Yeah. And I was playing right after. I thought I was playing after, but I didn’t realize there was a match in between. So I was in focus mode and I was like, oh, there is a match in between.”

Asked about how the 34-year-old thought she and her sister “navigated” the incident in 2001 and coming back last year, Serena said: “I hope so. We always try to be an example, positive role model, and a positive example to our colleagues as well as people that are outside of tennis and everyone of all walks of life.”

“Well, it was a lot less stressful tonight. I was really kind of stressed out last year. It was a lot of emotions last year. This year it was a lot easier.

“I mean, obviously there is still something there, but it’s a lot easier to just deal with everything.”

“I think it wasn’t about winning. When I come here, even to this day it’s not about winning. It’s just about closing that chapter in my life and her life and our lives and try to move on with our heads up, as we always had our heads up. But just continue to do that.”

In addition to No. 10 seed Venus Williams losing, other seeds also fell including No.11 Lucie Safarova, No.16 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No.15 Sara Errani, No. 22 Andrea Petkovic No.23 Madison Keys, No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No.27 Kristina Mladenovic. No. 5 seed and defending champion Simona Halep won her match against Vania King 6-1, 6-1.

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Venus Williams’ Return to Indian Wells Ends in a Loss to Qualifier Kurumi Nara

 

All photos by Curt Janka.

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Venus Williams’ Return to Indian Wells Ends in a Loss to Qualifier Kurumi Nara

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(March 11, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – After a 15-year absence, Venus Williams returned to Indian Wells on Friday to face Kurumi Nara. The qualifier from Japan ranked 89th in the world spoiled Williams’ return winning 6-4, 6-3 on Center Court to get her first win over the world No. 12.

Williams last played the event in 2001 when she and her father were booed and jeered at by fans in the stands after Venus withdrew from her semifinal against Serena with an injury as both were watching the final. Serena won the tournament. Venus Williams wrote about why she returned in the Player’s Tribune.

Walking on the court to thunderous applause in a half-filled stadium, the seven-time major champion acknowledged the crowd before she sat down, waving to fans in all directions and putting her hand over her heart.

“I did get emotional,” Williams said. “When we were doing the coin toss I got a little watery eyed. Your opponent, you don’t want to give them any more encouragement. It was wonderful. I think I smiled the whole warmup. I had to get my game face on. It was tough to do.”

“The crowd rooted me on because it was a tough day and tough conditions and brutal out there,” she said. “It was wonderful to feel the love. You know, I would love to come on back.”

Williams’ sister Serena made her return to the desert last year which influenced the older sister to return.

“I hadn’t really thought a lot about Indian Wells, playing here, until Serena thought she was going to come back,” she said. “That’s when I thought about it, obviously, after she played.

“So before that I hadn’t really — it’s not something I focused on, you know. In your life, especially when you try to accomplish things, you’re focusing on what you can accomplish, not on what happened ages ago.”

“I think what I felt was I want to be able to play well for everyone I think more than anything,” said Williams when asked about how she felt about the match coming into the tournament. “Obviously I saw Serena’s warm welcome. I just wanted to come out and play well and try to win that match.

“So I think that’s more than anything what I felt. But like I said, I was able to come and focus on the tennis. You know, I’m a person that’s not into the spotlight so much, so I guess such a warm welcome I actually felt a little shy.

“So, you know, it’s been a wonderful moment. You know, 15 years later to have such a joyous return is more than I could have ever. It’s such a blessing.”

A rare rain delay in Indian Wells came at 3-3 in the first set and the winds continued to be blustery throughout the match.

The wind played havoc on the 35-year-old’s game making 43 errors and hitting only 21 winners. Williams was only 4 for 12 on break points.

Kurumi Nara

Kurumi Nara

For Nara, it was her first victory over the seven-time major champion in three tries. The Japanese woman called it the “No. 1 win” of her career.

Asked about  the very hot topic about Maria Sharapova’s situation, Williams explained:

“Well, any time I have spoken up on issues is because I know the facts. In this case I don’t. I guess they are finding the facts now. That’s, I guess, a discovery period.

“So what can you say? What I do know is that in the past she’s been very competitive. I think she has been a role model for a lot of people. She has a ton of fans, and I think she’s affected a lot of lives in a positive way. Hopefully that will won’t be the end of that.”

“I really don’t know any — nobody called me and told me what the facts are so how can I comment? I don’t know anything at all. I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t know.”

“It was hard, rough out there,” said Williams about her contest with Nara. “She played really well. You know, everything was going for her. She’s very competitive. Everything seemed to be comfortable for her. Even the shank shots kept going in.

“I kept saying, How are these balls going in? Lord, how do I get some of mine in? And the conditions were really brutal. Just serving, it was tough. Not ideal.

“Thankfully it looks like it at least calmed down so when Serena gets out there it will be a tad bit easier. It was still a great day.”

 

More to follow….

 

 

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Venus Williams Wins Taiwan Open for 49th Career Title

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(February 14, 2016) Top seed Venus Williams dominated Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Taiwan Open for her 49th career WTA title. The American won the title without dropping a set during the tournament.

“The last five days were so exciting, just to feel the enthusiasm and to play great tennis every day. It was perfect week for me,” Williams said.

“I’ve had so much success in Asia,” said Williams, who claimed her last two tournament wins in China. “I feel like it’s very lucky to play here.”

Her win in Taiwan keeps her ranking at No. 11.

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USA Defeats Poland in Fed Cup World Group II

 

(February 7, 2016) The United States is now one step closer to competing in the World Group next year by sweeping Poland, 4-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, today.

 

In Sunday’s first match of the day in windy conditions, world No. 12 Venus Williams cruised past world No. 96 Magda Linette, 6-1, 6-2, in one hour and one minute to clinch the victory for the United States. Williams and Linette had never faced each other on the WTA Tour. Williams is now 19-2 in Fed Cup singles play, while Linette is 1-5. The Sloane Stephens-Paula Kania match was not played.

“This has been the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve ever played in front of, for Fed Cup, or even at home,” Williams said. “The enthusiasm, exciting. When they announced they were going to play the doubles, the crowd was so excited. You can hear them right now.

“It’s just been a pleasure to play for that.

“I love playing. I love looking forward to playing the next ties, seeing who we’re going to play when the draw comes out. I love all of that.

“I think I had a little bit of an advantage today because Sloane had a chance to play against Magda, so had a nice scouting report. I was able to really get started quickly. I think she did a little of the work beforehand for me. I kind of like had the heads-up.”

In the dead doubles rubber, CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands faced playing captain Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Paula Kania, who substituted for Alicja Rosolska. In the end, Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands won their match, 6-1, 7-5, in one hour and 15 minutes. Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands were playing together for the first time and Vandeweghe had beat Mattek-Sands in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open mixed doubles tournament last month. Vandeweghe is now 2-0 in Fed Cup doubles play, also playing in a dead doubles rubber last year with Taylor Townsend in the World Group II First Round in Argentina, while Mattek-Sands is 4-0 in doubles, last playing Fed Cup doubles in the 2010 World Group Semifinal against Russia. Jans-Ignacik is now 20-10 in Fed Cup doubles play, while Kania is 1-2.

“We just played our game,” said Mattek-Sands. “We kept playing aggressive, closing the net. That’s how we won the first set. We’re prepared for our opponents to step up and play better. Maybe have a little less pressure on them in the second and go for a few shots.

“I think it’s business as usual. We had our game plan and we stuck to it.”

“There’s ebbs and flows to every match,” said Vandeweghe. “It’s how you weather the storm for their good play and also adjusting to your own play. At times Bethanie and I were playing in sync, and at times we weren’t. This is the first time we ever played together. I think we have to take that into account as well.

“But I think we adjusted well right after the break, showing our dominance and presence again, basically dominating their serves right back.”

The U.S. is now 21-0 when leading 2-0 after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995), 38-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home, and holds an overall 145-36 record.

 

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

 

ORDER OF PLAY AND RESULTS

 

DAY/LOCAL TIME      MATCH             PAIRING

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

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

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.         Singles C:             Venus Williams (USA) def. Magda Linette (POL) 6-1, 6-2

Singles D:             Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL)  not played

Doubles:               Bethanie Mattek-Sands/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

def. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Paula Kania (POL) 6-1, 7-5

 

The United States advances to the World Group Playoffs, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. Poland will play in the World Group II Playoffs in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

The draw for the World Group Playoffs will be held this Tuesday, February 9. The U.S. will face one of the losers of World Group I – Romania, Germany, Italy, and Russia. Below are the home-away scenarios.

– Romania (coin toss)

– Germany (home tie)

– Italy (home tie)

– Russia (away tie)

 

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