May 28, 2016

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.

Related articles:

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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Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens Give USA 2-0 Lead Over Poland in Fed Cup

usfedcup2

(February 6, 2016) After the first day of play, the United States leads Poland, 2-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round played on outdoor hard court at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village.

 

The U.S. is 20-0 when leading 2-0 after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. is 37-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home.

 

In the first singles match of the day, Sloane Stephens, the United States’ No. 2 singles player, defeated Poland’s No. 1 player Magda Linette, 6-2, 6-4, in one hour and 13 minutes. Stephens trailed, 0-4, in the second set before making a comeback and winning the set.

“I definitely had a little fart there at the beginning of the second set, but I regrouped well and I was happy that I was able to play some solid tennis towards the end,” Stephens said.

“It happens, so all I can really take from that is that I tried my butt off and never gave up. That’s all that really counts.

“I kind of just ran out of gas. Needed some sugar. I had some caffeine and a little taste of a bar and I felt better. I got my energy back up and I was kind of bouncing around again and I felt good. So I think that definitely helped a little bit.

Stephens and Linette had met once on the WTA Tour last year in Washington D.C., where Stephens went on to win her first career WTA title. Stephens is now 2-2 in singles in Fed Cup, while Linette is 1-4.

In the second singles match, former world No. 1 Venus Williams defeated world No. 153 Paula Kania, 7-5, 6-2, in one hour and 12 minutes. Williams and Kania had previously met once on the WTA Tour in 2014 in Stanford, where Williams won 6-3, 6-2. Williams is now 18-2 in singles in Fed Cup. Kania was making her Fed Cup singles debut.

“She had some good shots; she played well; I had a few errors,” Williams said.

“I think I at 5-4 I was actually very relaxed. I think her strengths is playing from behind. I think when she was in front it wasn’t as comfortable for her.

“So just that game, I put some balls in, she missed a few, and at 5-All I probably had more experience than she did.”

“It’s never easy to play Fed Cup because you’re playing for more than yourself. I just get pumped,” said Williams. “The whole crowd is here for you and there’s no other feeling like it in tennis.”

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) vs. Magda Linette (POL)

Singles D:             Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL)

Doubles:               Bethanie Mattek-Sands/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL)

 

Each country’s top singles players will meet on Sunday – Venus Williams (USA) vs. Magda Linette (POL) and Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL) – as well as a doubles match pitting CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) against Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska (POL).

 

In Sunday’s first match of the day, Williams will face off against Linette. World No. 12 Williams and world No. 96 Linette have never met on the WTA Tour. The second singles match on Sunday will feature Sloane Stephens and Paula Kania. World No. 25 Stephens and world No. 153 Kania have also never met in WTA competition.

 

Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands are scheduled to take on Rosolska and Jans-Ignacik, who is serving as Poland’s playing captain. Vandeweghe reached the mixed doubles final at this year’s Australian Open and is ranked No. 46 in the world in doubles. Mattek-Sands, ranked No. 6 in the world in doubles, won the 2015 Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova and has won 17 career WTA doubles titles overall. Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands have never paired up for a doubles match before. Rosolska and Jans-Ignacik have played doubles together 16 times, the last coming in Fed Cup last year. Rosolska is ranked No. 46 in doubles and has won four WTA doubles titles, while Jans-Ignacik is ranked No. 50 in doubles and has won three WTA doubles titles.

 

The winner of this match advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

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. The U.S. holds an overall 144-36 record.

 

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Fed Cup Preview: USA vs Poland in Hawaii

usfedcup2

(February 5, 2016) Fed Cup is taking place in Hawaii for the first time, as Kailua-Kona hosts the United States and Poland in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round on an outdoor hard court at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village, February 6-7.

“I think it’s important to grow tennis in countries that don’t see it very often, in communities that don’t see it very often,” said US Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.

“It’s nice to be here playing Fed Cup for the first time and get new fans, hopefully encourage new children, new players to get involved in the game. This is one way of doing that.”

 

The United States brings a strong team to Hawaii, led by world No. 12 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and world No. 25 Sloane Stephens. CoCo Vandeweghe, who is ranked No. 46 in singles and also reached the mixed doubles final at the 2016 Australian Open, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is ranked in the Top 10 in the world in doubles, also anchor the team.

 

In Saturday’s first singles match of the day, Sloane Stephens, the United States’ No. 2 singles player, will face off against Poland’s No. 1 player Magda Linette, ranked No. 96 in the world. Stephens and Linette have met once on the WTA Tour last year in Washington D.C., where Stephens went on to win her first career WTA title. In Washington D.C., Stephens defeated Linette, 6-2, 6-1. Stephens and Linette also met as junior players in 2008 at the Eddie Herr, which Stephens also won. Stephens is coming off her second WTA title, winning Auckland prior to the 2016 Australian Open.

” It’s the greatest honor play for your country and be on a team when every week you’re by yourself, Stephens said. “It makes it really fun. Of course, with girls you actually do like and enjoy being around makes it a good week and makes it a lot of fun.”

“I played before in Israel, in Eilat, which is also next to the sea,” Linette said. “But it’s obviously not this beautiful. I’m really enjoying. I believe my team also.

“We are very happy we can be here. We’re just enjoying and we try just to practice as good as we can on the tennis court, and then we just try to enjoy everything else out of the court. We really like it.”

The second singles match on Saturday will feature the United States’ top player Venus Williams versus world No. 153 Paula Kania. Williams and Kania have met once on the WTA Tour in 2014 in Stanford, where Williams won 6-3, 6-2.

“I enjoy being on the team,” said Williams. “I have a really good time on the team. It’s just a fun time. You don’t usually get to do this in tennis. It’s a different experience that you don’t get to have when you grow up as a tennis player, and you’re always solo from beginning to the end. It’s a moment where it’s a break from that.”

Hawaii becomes the 16th state to host Fed Cup. Hawaii hosted Davis Cup, the men’s equivalent to Fed Cup, in Kohala Coast at the Mauna Lani Racquet Club in the 1992 World Group First Round, where the U.S. team of Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras swept Argentina, 5-0. Hawaii also hosted the SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challenger, in mid-January in Maui and was joined by a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event that same week for the first time this year.

 

The United States holds a 3-0 record over Poland in Fed Cup. The U.S. last faced Poland in the 1990 World Group First Round in Atlanta, sweeping the tie, 3-0. The U.S., who also faced Poland in 1974 and 1980, has never lost a point in Fed Cup to Poland. This will be the United States’ first home tie since 2014 in St. Louis, as the team competed on the road against Argentina and Italy last year.

 

The winner of this match advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

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. The U.S. is 37-6 in ties played at home and holds an overall 144-36 record.

 

Weekend Line-up

USA v POLAND

Venue: Holua Tennis Center, Kailua Kona, USA (hard – outdoor)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Venus Williams (USA) v Magda Linette (POL)

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Paula Kania (POL)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL)

 

Tennis Channel To Air U.S. Versus Poland Fed Cup Tie

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Venus Williams Returns to BNP Paribas Open

VENUS Williams 700 TPN Wuhan Open

(January 27, 2016) Indian Wells, Calif., Jan. 27, 2016 – The BNP Paribas Open to be held March 7-20, 2016 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, has released its entry lists, which are highlighted by 10 former BNP Paribas Open and 14 Grand Slam Singles Champions, it was announced today by Chief Executive Officer Raymond Moore.

On the women’s side, the entry list is led by World No. 1, 21-time Grand Slam Champion and two-time BNP Paribas Open winner Serena Williams (1999, 2001). This year she is joined by her sister, World No. 10 and nine-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, in the field.

“We are thrilled that Venus Williams, one of the greatest women’s players in the history of the game, is returning to play in the BNP Paribas Open,” said Moore. “Our fans embraced Serena last year, and we expect nothing less for Venus when she returns to compete at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.”

They are accompanied by a number of former BNP Paribas Open Champions including Defending Champion and World No. 2 Simona Halep, five-time Grand Slam Champion and World No. 5 Maria Sharapova (2006, 2013), and a quartet of former World No. 1 ranked players including two-time Grand Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka (2012), 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic (2008), Jelena Jankovic (2010), and Caroline Wozniacki (2011). Top 10 ranked tennis players and Grand Slam Singles Champions also on the entry list include Garbine Muguruza (3), 2014 BNP Paribas Open finalist Agnieszka Radwanska (4), Angelique Kerber (6), two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova (7), Lucie Safarova (9), two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2011 US Open Champion Sam Stosur.

The men’s entry list is led by World No. 1, 10-time Grand Slam Champion, and four-time and Defending BNP Paribas Open Champion Novak Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015); World No. 3, 17-time Grand Slam Champion, and four-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Roger Federer (2004-2006, 2012); and World No. 5, 14-time Grand Slam Champion and three-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Rafael Nadal (2007, 2009, 2013). In addition, all of the remaining top 10 ranked men’s players are entered, including two-time Grand Slam Champion Andy Murray (2), 2015 French Open Champion Stan Wawrinka (4), Tomas Berdych (6), Kei Nishikori (7), David Ferrer (8), Richard Gasquet (9), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10). The 2014 US Open Champion, Marin Cilic (13), is also entered in the field.

“Looking at this list of incredible players – Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray, the Williams sisters, Halep, Sharapova, Kvitova and so many other talented players – will provide two weeks of great tennis,” said Moore. “Our fans will once again be treated to watching players in Indian Wells, a location that truly makes the event one of the most unique and best venues to watch professional tennis – this is tennis paradise.”

The remaining spots in the draws will be filled by winners of the Qualifying tournament (WTA – March 7 & 8, ATP – March 8 & 9) and Wildcards, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

View the full player entry list.

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