June 25, 2016

Fed Cup Preview: USA vs Poland in Hawaii


(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


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


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.


Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens To Lead U.S. Fed Cup Team Against Poland

Venus fistpump

From the USTA: (January 27, 2016) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., – The USTA and United States Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez today announced that former world No. 1 and current world No. 10 Venus Williams, No. 26 Sloane Stephens, No. 42 CoCo Vandeweghe and world No. 3 doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands will represent the U.S. in the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round against Poland.


The best-of-five match series will be played at the Holua Tennis Center at the Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Feb. 6-7. This will be the first Fed Cup tie held in Hawaii.


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


Poland’s Fed Cup Captain Klaudia Jans-Ignacik named No. 93 Magda Linette, No. 159 Paula Kania, and Alicja Rosolska, ranked No. 44 in the world in doubles, to face Team USA. Jans-Ignacik, who is ranked No. 40 in doubles, is also part of the four-team roster as a playing captain.


“We have great variety and depth on our team for Hawaii,” said Fernandez. “I am thrilled to have Venus, one of tennis’ greatest champions, competing for us. Sloane had a strong start to the season, winning Auckland for her second tour singles title, and CoCo and Bethanie are both playing really well in singles and doubles. Poland brings a skilled team and we look forward to competing. We are very excited to bring Fed Cup tennis to Hawaii for the first time and for the fans to come cheer us on.”


Play begins on Saturday, Feb. 6, with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Sunday’s schedule features two “reverse singles” matches, where the No. 1 players square off and then the No. 2 players meet, followed by the doubles match. Play on Saturday begins at 11 a.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) and on Sunday at 10 a.m. local time (3 p.m. ET). Tennis Channel will present daily coverage.


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 an individual match in Fed Cup to Poland. This will be the U.S.’s first home tie since 2014 in St. Louis, as the team competed on the road in Argentina and Italy in 2015.


Hawaii becomes the 16th state to host Fed Cup. Local sponsors of the event include Hawaii Tourism Authority, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village, KTA Super Stores, and Kona Coffee & Tea.


World No. 10 Williams, 35, posted her first Top 10 season since 2010 last year, winning three WTA titles and reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and US Open. In 2013, she re-entered the Top 20 for the first time since revealing that she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, following the 2011 US Open. Williams holds a 21-4 overall record in Fed Cup competition, including 17-2 in singles. In 2015, she joined sister Serena on the team that defeated Argentina in Buenos Aires in the Fed Cup World Group II First Round; her second singles win clinched the tie. She was also a member of the title-winning team in 1999. Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and has won 48 career WTA singles titles. She has been ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles. In Olympic play, she has won three gold medals in doubles (with Serena) in 2000, 2008 and 2012, and she captured the singles gold medal in 2000.


World No. 26 Stephens, 22, is coming off a tournament title, the second of her career, at the 2016 Australian Open tune-up event in Auckland, New Zealand. She won her first WTA title in 2015 in Washington D.C. Stephens’ breakout came at the 2013 Australian Open, where she defeated Serena Williams en route to the semifinals. At 19 years, 10 months, 3 days old, Stephens was the youngest American to reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal since Williams reached the 2000 Wimbledon semifinals at 18 years, 9 months, 8 days old. Stephens also advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2013 to peak at No. 11 in the world that October. Stephens has played in three Fed Cup ties for the U.S., the last coming in 2014, and holds a 1-2 record in singles and 1-1 record in doubles. She is the daughter of the late New England Patriots running back John Stephens.


World No. 42 Vandeweghe, 24, advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2015 for her career-best result; she also advanced to the third round of the 2015 Australian Open to peak at No. 32 in the world in February 2015.Vandeweghe won her first WTA title in 2014 in ‘S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, and reached her first pro final in 2012 at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford as a qualifier, losing to Serena Williams in the title match. Vandeweghe has also had success in doubles, advancing to the semifinals at the 2015 US Open and the quarterfinals at the 2016 Australian Open. She was named to the U.S. Fed Cup team for the 2010 final versus Italy and for the 2015 World Group II First Round in Argentina, where she played singles and doubles. As a junior player, Vandeweghe won the 2008 US Open girls’ singles title. Vandeweghe’s mother, Tauna, was a member of the U.S. national team in both swimming and volleyball, and her uncle is former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe.


World No. 63 Mattek-Sands, 30, is being named to her first Fed Cup team since 2011. In 2015, Mattek-Sands won the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles (with Lucie Safarova) and the French Open mixed doubles title (with Mike Bryan). At the 2012 Australian Open, Mattek-Sands teamed with Horia Tecau to win her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles. She is currently ranked a career-high No. 3 in the world in doubles.Mattek-Sands has been one of the U.S.’s most consistent performers over the past decade, playing in 14 US Opens and reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2008 and the French Open in 2013 for her career-best Grand Slam results. Overall, she holds 17 WTA doubles titles and five USTA Pro Circuit singles titles. In 2011, she was ranked a career-high No. 30 in the world in singles before being sidelined by a rotator cuff injury. Mattek-Sands holds a 3-0 record in Fed Cup doubles and a 2-6 record in singles. In the 2010 Fed Cup semifinal, with the U.S. trailing Russia 2-1, Mattek-Sands won the fourth singles match to force the decisive doubles rubber and then partnered with Liezel Huber to win the doubles match and clinch a spot in the final for the U.S. Mattek-Sands then went on to face Italy in the 2010 final—the United States’ last appearance in a Fed Cup final.


The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000. The U.S. is 37-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home and holds an overall 144-36 record. Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 101 nations taking part in 2016. For more information, including access to player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/fedcup or www.fedcup.com. Follow the U.S. Fed Cup Team on Twitter @USFedCupTeam.


Konta Becomes First British Woman to Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals in 32 Years: Keys Loses


(January 25, 2016) Johanna Konta’s Australian Open run continued on Monday, when the world No. 47 came back to knock out 21st seed Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 to reach the quarterfinals. Konta became the first British woman to reach the elite 8 of a major since Jo Durie did it in 1983.

Konta, making her Australian Open debut this year, upset No. 8 Venus Williams in the first round.

The Sydney-born Konta served for the match twice – she was broken at 5-4, but held her nerve and her serve to win 8-6 in the final set.

Konta came into Melbourne ranked 47th in the world.

Konta hit 37 winners in the match.

“Mentally, emotionally, physically…. I left it all out there, ” Konta said in her on-court interview.

“I’m going to eat and sleep, eat and sleep and repeat,” Konta said of her next match.

“I really enjoyed the match for what it was,” Konta told media. “It was a very high-level match against a very, very good player. I took it as such.

“I didn’t put any more on it. It was definitely one of the more spectacular matches I’ve played. There have been a few. I still remember a junior match I played and I lost 12-10 in the third. That’s definitely still in my mind.

“In my adult career it was, yeah, one of the memorable ones.”

Konta will play Shaui Zhang in her quarterfinal.

“I played Zhang a couple of times,” Konta said. “Actually both times were very good matches. I’ve never played Madison before.

“I mean, we’re talking about a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, so whoever I’m going to play it’s going to be an incredibly good player. Right now I’m just looking forward to just recovering well and having a good night’s rest.

“Whoever I’m playing, prepare to the best of my ability.”

“This journey started when I was about eight years old, so we’re coming up to 18 years now,” said the British woman.

“I’ve always said I do not believe in kind of a light switch moment. Everything happens for a reason. My journey has been the way it has been for a reason. That’s to accumulate the experiences that I’ve had.

“I cannot give you a moment where I said, Oh, yeah, that’s where it started, because it’s been ongoing ever since I started playing.”

Shuai Zhang continued her run in Melbourne which began in the qualifying tournament. Zhang defeated a hobbled Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final eighth.

Keys had to take a medical time out in the second set for an upper leg injury which had to be heavily taped. After that, the American’s movement was hampered.

The 133rd-ranked Zhang came into this year’s Australian Open 0-14 in majors.

“It’s so tough to play against someone injury because, yeah, when I’m saw her like feel more pain,” Zhang said. “You know, so tough. Maybe two point you feeling like cannot play, and then next three balls, pong, pong, pong, make two ace, one winner. So, so tough. You don’t know what’s happen.

“And also last year this happen many times. I’m almost win the match. I lost. I lost the concentrate. But this time I think I try to concentrate. So I’m happy I win the match, yeah.”



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Qualifier Zhang Shuai Topples Second Seed Simona Halep at Australian Open

Johanna Konta Upsets No. 8 Venus Williams in First Round of the Australian Open



Johanna Konta Upsets No. 8 Venus Williams in First Round of the Australian Open

Johanna Konta_270915

(January 19, 2016) Venus Williams became the highest seed knocked out of the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. The American, who was the eighth seed, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Great Britain’s Johanna Konta ranked 47th in the world. Williams reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne last year.

“I’m very satisfied with how I dealt with the situation,” the 23-year-old Konta said of her Australian Open main draw debut. “It was hot out there. I was playing an incredibly great player. That’s no secret.

“Yeah, no, and I definitely played a good level and obviously it’s always nerve-wracking to be able to continue that and, you know, there is ebbs and flows in a match. Yeah, no, I’m happy with the whole match in general.”

Konta lost to the 34-year-old Williams in three sets in the Wuhan quarterfinals in the fall.

The former No. 1 Williams had her upper left thigh wrapped and seemed to move around the court as well as she normally does.

Williams was broken in the third game of the first set and Konta won the first set in 41 minutes.

The British woman, born in Australia, raced out to a 5-0 lead in the second set and served for the match. Williams won the next two games.

Konta was asked about getting nervous at the point of trying to close out the seven-time major champion.Tensing, I wouldn’t say so, but obviously there are nerves, and also the nerves of the many thousand people around you, which is impossible not to feel either,” she said.

“So just really focusing on my breathing and just trying to stay very present. Just very much staying with the work at hand, because it’s never is over until you’re shaking hands.

“Yeah, with that mindset, I just try to keep fighting and keep running down every ball.”

“I think it would be silly to look at Venus’ age and somehow consider that as a reflection of her level,” Konta said. “I think it’s irrelevant how old she is because she’s such a champion with so much experience and so much knowledge about the game.

“Even if she’s playing with one leg out there, you’ve got to really take care of things on your own, because, yeah, no, she’s an incredible player. I have all the respect for her in the world. Yeah, I was just very, really enjoying my time out there.”

Konta surged in the rankings last year, where she was 147th in the world at this time last year. She’s now 4-2 against Top Ten players.

Konta advances to the second round where she will play the winner of the Carina Witthoeft versus Saisai Zhang match.


Defending Auckland Champ Venus Williams Falls in Opener

(January 5, 2016) Defending Auckland champion and top seed Venus Williams fell 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2 to Russian teenage wild card Daria Kasatkina in the first round of the ASB Classic.
No. 7 Williams made 73 unforced errors during the match.

The event was dealt another blow when Ana Ivanovic, the 2014 champion lost to Naomi  Broady 7-5, 6-4.
USD 250, 000
4-9 JANUARY, 2016

Results – Tuesday, Jan 5

Women’s Singles
First Round
D. Kasatkina (RUS) d [1] V. Williams (USA) 67(4) 63 63
[Q] N. Broady (GBR) d [2] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 75 64
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 64 64
[7] B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] K. Bertens (NED) 62 64
J. Goerges (GER) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 60 63
[Q] T. Paszek (AUT) d [WC] F. Schiavone (ITA) 76(3) 46 63
[Q] K. Flipkens (BEL) d B. Mattek-Sands (USA) 36 64 63
[WC] M. Erakovic (NZL) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 76(2) 76(3)
C. Mchale (USA) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 64

Women’s Doubles
First Round
[3] A. Groenefeld (GER) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) d J. Larsson (SWE) / A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 75 61
L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) d J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) 63 63
D. Kovinic (MNE) / B. Strycova (CZE) d T. Maria (GER) / L. Siegemund (GER) 76(4) 62

Schedule – Wednesday, Jan 6

CENTRE COURT start 12:15 pm
[4] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [Q] T. Paszek (AUT)
[WC] J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs [Q] N. Broady (GBR)
A. Dulgheru (ROU) vs [WC] M. Erakovic (NZL)
Not Before 6:30 pm
C. Mchale (USA) vs [3] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
M. Erakovic (NZL) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs [2] J. Goerges (GER) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

GRANDSTAND start 12:15 pm
[5] S. Stephens (USA) vs C. Witthoeft (GER)
[Q] K. Flipkens (BEL) vs I. Falconi (USA)
J. Goerges (GER) vs [7] B. Strycova (CZE)
Not Before 4:30 pm After suitable rest
[WC] K. Flipkens (BEL) / A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs E. Mertens (BEL) / A. Mestach (BEL)
M. Irigoyen (ARG) / B. Krejcikova (CZE) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
D. Kasatkina (RUS) vs N. Hibino (JPN)


With Title Win in Zhuhai, Venus Williams Returns to the WTA Top Ten


(November 8, 2015) Venus Williams ended her 2015 season by reaching the Top Ten for the first time in four years, when the 35-year-old top seed defeated Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-6 (6) to win the WTA Elite Trophy on Sunday in Zhuhai.

Williams held off a set point against the Czech in the second set tiebreak and secured the win. For Williams it’s her third WTA trophy of the year, also taking titles in Wuhan and Auckland.

“I’m so excited to win the first trophy in Zhuhai,” Williams said on court after the match. “All the players felt so welcome here and we appreciated all of the enthusiasm. To see every seat filled for every match, that’s all the players and tournament hope for.”

“I was really lucky to win at the end.”

The Zhuhai event had 11 of the top players who did not qualify for last week’s WTA Finals tournament in Singapore which hosted 8 of the top ten players.


Venus Williams Wins Wuhan Open After Muguruza Retires


Venus wins Auckland

(October 3, 2015) Venus Williams won the Wuhan Open on Saturday when her opponent Garbine Muguruza retired with a left ankle injury while trailing 6-3, 3-0. For the 35-year-old American, this was her 47th career WTA singles trophy.

“I had pain the ankle since yesterday,” said the fifth-seeded Spaniard. “I’ve played a lot of matches and today my body had pain everywhere. I didn’t have much time to recover from yesterday. There is nothing you can do when it’s like this. I guess I didn’t recover.

“I was feeling very tired but I said that I am going to the court even if my leg is, like broken. I woke up saying, “come on, I’m going to play,” but during the match I was like, ‘oh shit, I’m getting tired, my leg is hurting, my ankle is hurting.’ In the first set I had my chances but with Venus it’s hard. If you’re not 100% percent fit you can’t find a way to play against her. “

For the unseeded Williams, this WTA Premier 5 event is her biggest title in five years, since Dubai 2010 and her second tournament victory in 2015. She also won the event in Auckland.

“I feel like everyone else on tour, I work hard, I do my best and as long as you continue to work hard and believe in yourself then you can have the results you want,: Williams said. “That’s exactly what I’ve done and it hasn’t been the easiest road but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a road worth traveling.

“I didn’t think of quitting but it’s definitely a lot of stress to play when you’re in pain. But for me I focus on everything that I can accomplish and not on what’s bothering me. My opponent wasn’t so lucky today. The pain was just too much for her and I was really sorry to hear that.

“Today, we both play really similar. Maybe experience helped me today. I know today she couldn’t do everything that she wanted to do. She couldn’t feel free and comfortable on the court. Of course it’s not always as exciting playing an opponent who doesn’t feel their best so I hope that she gets better.”

Williams, who is ranked 24th in the world will move up to 14 when the rankings come out on Monday. Muguruza will move to a career high ranking of No. 5.

Next stop for both women will be Beijing.


After Battling Past Vinci, Venus Williams to Face Muguruza in Wuhan Open Final

Venus Williams

(October 2, 2015) Venus Williams saved a match point to defeat Roberta Vinci to reach Saturday’s Wuhan Open final. Williams’ 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4) win set up the WTA Premier 5 title against Garbine Muguruza after the Spaniard survived a late foot injury scare to defeat Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-6(5).

“It had a lot of ups and downs, said Williams, who saved a match point when Vinci served for the match at 6-5. “I hope that on a day when I’m playing how I’d like, it’s a more straightforward match. She’s definitely tricky.  She finds a way to hang in there.”

Williams came back from 3-5 down against Johanna Konta in the previous round. “It’s the semifinals. It’s not time to get down.  It’s time to figure it out,” said the seven-time grand slam champion.  “Even down match point, I don’t remember what happened on that point.  I do know she had a match point.  It’s not over.  Just like when I was up and she didn’t give up, I felt the same way.”

The 35-year-old Williams, who notched up her 700th career WTA match win earlier in the week, should return to the WTA Top 20 in reaching the semi-finals, and could go as high as 15 should she win on Saturday. She shows no desire to retire just yet. “I always want to be in finals,” she said. “Even if it was the last tournament of my career, I would still want to be in that final,” she said. “I don’t think that ever changes.  It just never gets old and it’s never something that is a given.  You have to fight for it.  So I appreciate it.  It’s not over yet.  I still have matches to play.  Definitely not satisfied with just making the final.  I’d like to take the title and take it a step further.”

Muguruza’s win over Kerber also had plenty of drama, notably at 3-3 in the second set tiebreaker when the Spaniard took an injury time-out after feeling pain in her left foot earlier in the set. Despite this, she managed to  reach her first final since she was runner-up to Serena Williams at Wimbledon in July.

“I felt it at 4 something in the second set.  Then in the tiebreak I felt something stronger.  So I said, No, no, I cannot wait to get worse.  So I just called the trainer,” sheexplained . “At that moment I said, Okay, Garbine, play.  Be aggressive and see what happens. You know, I was very, like, kind of brave.  I was like, Okay, come on, let’s do it.  Let’s see these couple of points and see if you can close the match. I had a lot of chances to close the match before.  I’m like, no way I’m going to lose this set. I did it and it was good.”

Williams and Muguruza have played twice before, in Florianopolis in 2013 and in Auckland in 2014, both on hard courts. “I think it’s a good final,” said Muguruza. “I face her sister in the last final, so is it good to have her again. Williams sisters everywhere,” she said, smiling. “It’s good.  She’s playing good also.  She had a very tough match also today.  So I think it’s a good final.”


V. Williams (USA) d [15] R. Vinci (ITA) 57 62 76(4)
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [6] A Kerber (GER) 64 76(5)

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) / Monica Niculescu (ROM) d [6] Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) / Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 16 10-8 (MTB)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) 62 61


Not before 12.30pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) / Monica Niculescu (ROM)

Not Before 3:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL – V. Williams (USA) vs [5] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Venus Williams Joins 700 (Win) Club

Venus Williams Joins 700 (Win) Club



British Qualifier Johanna Konta Stuns No. 2 Simona Halep at Wuhan Open

Johanna Konta_270915

(September 30, 2015) British qualifier Johanna Konta earned herself a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over top seed and current World No.2 Simona Halep at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Wednesday.

Konta came from 1-5 down in the third set to tee up a quarter-final on Thursday against Venus Williams and said afterwards that playing the American would be “kind of a childhood dream”.

“She (Halep) is No. 2 for a reason, and that is an incredibly humbling experience for me, that I can compete with such a player,” said 24-year-old Konta. “But in terms of the result, I’m just really happy I get to come back tomorrow and play against someone like Venus. It’s actually a bit of childhood dream I guess. I grew up watching Venus.  So as a child, I’m like, Wow.  But as a competitor now, I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

Williams was too strong for Carla Suarez-Navarro in their third round encounter. “We’ve had some great matches, and when I play her I always have to stay concentrated because she’s a great competitor who’s always played well against me,” said Williams. “It’s not just her single handed backhand, she just hits it so well. I was lucky because she missed a few today and gave me some openings.”

Roberta Vinci is keep up her form which saw her reach the US Open final earlier this month. She knocked out Wuhan’s defending champion Petra Kvitova with a 76(3) 62 and takes on Karolina Pliskova in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza earned her quarter-final spot with a 46 61 60 comeback win against Ana Ivanovic and can now look forward to a last eight meeting with Anna Schmeidlova of Slovakia on Thursday.

Angelique Kerber wasted no time in dispatching Camila Giorgi and will be up against Coco Vandeweghe in the quarter-finals.

Singles – Third Round
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) d [1] S. Halep (ROU) 63 36 75
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) d [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) 76(3) 62
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [9] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 46 61 60
[6] A. Kerber (GER) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 62 64
V. Williams (USA) d [7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 64
[8] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) 26 64 64
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 62
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 36 62 76(3)

Doubles – Second Round
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 62
[5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d X. Han (CHN) / N. Melichar (USA) 46 61 10-7
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) walkover
[7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 76(3) 62

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE)
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) vs V. Williams (USA)
[6] A. Kerber (GER) or C. Giorgi (ITA) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA) or B. Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) 12
after suitable rest – J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
after suitable rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) or K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs [5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 4 start 1:00 pm
[4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) 54
after suitable rest – [7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
after suitable rest – [4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) or L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) vs J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) or A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)