BNP Paribas Open announces Wild Cards Which Include Americans Young, Sock, Harrison, Johnson, Duval and Townsend
Russiaâ€™s Vera Zvonareva has withdrawn from the French Open with a right shoulder injury prior to her Monday match.
“Unfortunately my shoulder injury has not healed so I have to withdraw. It’s not good enough to compete. I had to make this choice,” said the eleventh seed.
Sheâ€™ll be replaced in the draw by lucky loser Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan who will play Timea Babos.
Spainâ€™s Feliciano Lopez retired with a side muscle injury after losing the first five games to Franceâ€™s Florent Serra on Monday
â€œI pulled my oblique on Thursday when I came here, â€œLopez said. â€œ After my practice I was playing one game with my coach and Raonic and his coach, and I just pulled something here.â€
â€œIn the beginning I felt it was nothing really serious, but day after I couldn’t play almost.
â€œI tried to rest during the weekend just to try to play today, but it was impossible.â€
Lopez said that he has to rest and hopes to be ready for Wimbledon.
Per ESPN.com, Alex Bogomolov Jr. announced he has paid back the USTA the $75,000 it claimed the former U.S. player, who recently changed his nationality to Russian, owed the organization for past assistance according to a contract he signed in 2009.
Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic recently switched their clothing contracts to Fila.
Wilson Sports announced that Feliciano Lopez, who plays with Wilson racquets, will now be wearing Wilson apparel and shoes starting in 2012.
Babolat introduced a new Pure Drive Racquet that Andy Roddick will be playing with at the 2012 Australian Open.
The Year-End championships -TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from October 25-30, 2011. The singles field consists of Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Vera Zvonareva, Samantha Stosur and Agnieska Radwanska.Â Franceâ€™s Marion Bartoli and Germanyâ€™s Andrea Petkovic will serve as singles alternates.
The draw ceremony was held on Sunday night and the players have been divided into the following groups: Red Group – Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Agnieska Radwanska. White Group – Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Samantha Stosur.
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
- Third appearance at WTA Championships (5-4 record); best previous result was runner-up finish in 2010 (l. to Clijsters in final)
- 2011 Titles (6): Dubai, Indian Wells, Charleston, Brussels, Copenhagen, New Haven
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Australian Open SFs & US Open SFs
- Record since US Open: 4-2 (Tokyo 3r, Beijing QFs)
Petra Kvitova (CZE)
- First appearance at WTA Championships
- 2011 Titles (5): Brisbane, Paris [Indoors], Madrid, Wimbledon, Linz
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Won Wimbledon
- Record since US Open: 8-2 (Tokyo SFs, Beijing 2r, Won Linz)
(6) Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
- Fourth direct appearance at WTA Championships (7-6 record); best previous result was runner-up finish in 2008 (l. to V.Williams)
- 2011 Titles (2): Doha, Baku
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Australian Open SFs
- Record since US Open: 6-3 (Tokyo R-Up, Beijing 3r, Moscow QFs)
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
~ First direct appearance at WTA Championships (2-0 record… played and won one match as an alternate in both 2008 and 2009)
~ 2011 Titles (3): Carlsbad, Tokyo, Beijing
~ Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Australian Open QFs
~ Record since US Open: 11-1 (Won Tokyo, Won Beijing, Moscow 2r)
Maria Sharapova (RUS)
- Fifth appearance at WTA Championships (13-5 record); best previous result was winning title in 2004 (d. S.Williams in final)
- 2011 Titles (2): Rome, Cincinnati
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Wimbledon R-Up
- Record since US Open: 2-1 (Tokyo QFs)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
- Third appearance at WTA Championships (2-4 record); has never passed RR stage
- 2011 Titles (3): Miami, Marbella, Luxembourg
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Wimbledon SFs
- Record since US Open: 9-1 (Tokyo SFs, Beijing 3r, Won Luxembourg)
Li Na (CHN)
- First appearance at WTA Championships
- 2011 Titles (2): Sydney, French Open
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Won French Open
- Record since US Open: 0-1 (Beijing 1r)
Samantha Stosur (AUS)
- Second appearance at WTA Championships (2-2 record); best previous result was SFs in 2010 (l. to Clijsters)
- 2011 Titles (1): US Open
- Best Grand Slam result in 2011: Won US Open
- Record since US Open: 4-3 (Tokyo 2r, Beijing 2r, Osaka R-Up)
StatisticsÂ from WTAtennis.com
NEW YORK, New York (August 25, 2011) – The worldâ€™s top tennis players and chefs served without racquets and balls at the 12th Annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis on Thursday night at the W New York Hotel. Â The players teamed-up with guest chefs to create culinary delights for tasting. Among the players on the â€œgreenâ€ carpet â€“ Rafael Nadal, James Blake and Tommy Haas.
The BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis will benefit the New York Junior Tennis League. NYJTL is the largest tennis and education-themed community organization in the United States serving 100,000 children each year.
Some photos provided by Getty Images used with permission from Taste ofÂ Tennis
By Brad Hunter
MASON, Ohio – Monday the media was treated to two hours of question and answer sessions with the top eight womenâ€™s seeds at the Western & Southern Open as part of WTA All-Access Hour.
Marion Bartoli appears to be a great health, looks fit and trim and has a nice summer tan.Â She was dressed in a sporty, casual top and sweats.Â Â Bartoli was open and relaxed and smiled easily which impressed me for a couple of reasons: she was sitting at a table and was surrounded by 10-12 members of the media staring at her, and she was fairly shy and introverted not that long ago.Â When complimented by a reporter on her English,Â Bartoli made a joke about how she listened and studied English from when she was young, and that perhaps some of the other French players who didnâ€™t speak English well just didnâ€™t listen to English that much (as much as her).
Victoria Azarenka showed up towards the end of Bartoliâ€™s interview, and she slipped in quietly, sat down at another table and started signing autograph postcards.Â Just before she walked over to the table to speak with the media, she applied her super shiny lip gloss.Â Azarenkaâ€™s hair was swept to one side, around the front of one shoulder.Â She was dressed like she might be going shopping on Melrose after, with a graphic tee, bright tennis shoes, and casual Â¾ length pants.Â The first questions were about her injury, which she answered carefully and like all the gals, she was relaxed thru all questions. Listen to Victoria Azarenka.
Caroline Wozniacki also entered silently and went straight to the autograph signing table after which, when she was done, she went and sat at a different table.Â Â She was smiley and completely relaxed during the interview and even handled the potentially embarrassing Rory McIlroy questions without giving away too much info but maintaining her composure.Â She answered several questions about her game and the growth that her game needs in order to win a Grand Slam, and she didnâ€™t appear overly defensive about the topic.Â She defended herself and her game but acknowledged that she would continue working.Â She was dressed in her sporty casuals: a t-shirt type top, maybe a sweatshirt, and Â¾ length sweatpants.Â This outfit was worn by every woman except Azarenka.Â Listen to Caroline Wozniaki
One expects Petra Kvitova to be shy, especially after seeing her being interviewed by Martina Navratilova this year during Wimbledon.Â She was a bit reserved but she seemed much more at ease in this round table interview setting.Â Â She laughed several times, and tried earnestly to answer every question– at times her honesty made the media folks crack up as well.Â She says winning Wimbledon didnâ€™t change her as a person.Â ListenÂ to Petra Kvitova
Li Na slipped in right after, and was fun and hilarious and sweet from the first question on.Â Â She spoke easily and quickly joked about her new found wealth, her spike in popularity, growth of tennis in Asia, and her husband.Â I also noticed her tan lines where she wears her wrist bands. She answered every question thoughtfully, and seemed to get the most questions of all the players- so much that at some point Schiavone came into the room and started answering questions at another table in a different part of the room.Â About half of the interviewers exited quickly, but Li Na was not the least bit distracted and stayed focused until the last question asked of her. Listen to Li Na
Francesca Schiavone is fun and seems to love tennis, and people, and honesty, and passion, and everything: sheâ€™s mischievous in the â€œfun, slightly wild friendâ€ sort of way and she maintains a languid look in her eyes when she speaks.Â If I were going all night dancing in Milan, then Schiavone seems like the gal whoâ€™d (a) be up for it and (b) know exactly which places to go and who to see and what to do.Â She is that 2010 Roland Garros final personified.Â She joked about not really being very old, made comments about the roles of men and women and challenges for women, and gave her honest appraisal of Americanized Italian food and good places to visit in Italy. Listen to Francesca Schiavone
Maria Sharapova peeked her head in towards the end of Schiavoneâ€™s interview, waited a bit outside and then came into the room and sat in the same seat Schiavone had been sitting in.Â She made a quick joke about everyoneâ€™s devices being charged.Â Â She told some interesting anecdotes about wanting to be a rhythmic gymnast, and smoothly answered similar questions that all the gals answered about Wozniacki being No. 1 and â€œwas it deserved?â€ (Yes, she deserves it), and â€œare you surprised Serena (Williams) is back so strongly, so quickly?â€Â (Not surprised, Serena is a great champion).Â Sharapova speaks in well modulated manner, and being up close with her in this session revealed that she is also goofy and critical of herself. Listen to Maria Sharapova
Vera Zvonareva was the last interview.Â Zvonareva is a deep thinker: she processes her motivations and emotions, assesses situations in a balanced way, and puts her energy into answering every question with thoughtfulness.Â She was asked about her thoughts on the combined event and the benefits of this tournament, her favorite doubles partners, and did Wozniacki deserve the No. 1 ranking (Zvonareva says yes, she deserves it). She was the most serious/intense woman who came into the interview room and she smiled when asked about Elena Dementievaâ€™s wedding. Listen to Vera Zvonareva
Brad Hunter is covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News this weekend. Follow his reports here and live on our twitter account @GVTennisNews. Follow his personal twitter account @BradHunter.
By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ Agnieszka Radwanska played a pristine match in the final of the Mercury Insurance Open to beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4. Showing more variety and guile than power, Radwanska was still able to move her opponent around the court. This is the first title Radwanska has won in over three years. The last final she played was right here in San Diego last year.
Zvonareva didnâ€™t start the match as sharp as she had in her previous rounds, contributing errors to Radwanskaâ€™s cause. â€œShe played the way she usually plays,Â but didnâ€™t make any unforced errors,â€ Zvonareva said after the match. â€œWhen Agnieszkaâ€™s playing well, if you make mistakes, itâ€™s tough to win.â€
Zvonareva didnâ€™t hit the ball with as much sting as she did in her semifinal and even her good shots were tracked down by Radwanska.
â€œI played very well today,â€ said Radwanska. â€œI really wanted to win this tournament so I was really focused from the beginning.â€ The shoulder injury she has been nursing since the third round hardly seemed to be a factor in the match.
Not only was this Radwanskaâ€™s first win over Zvonareva, it also ended a nine-match winning streak by the Russian. This was Radwanskaâ€™s fifth career WTA title.
no images were found
By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ In the best match of the week, Vera Zvonareva came back to beat Ana Ivanovic in the second semifinal of The Mercury Insurance Open, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. In each set, Zvonareva went ahead early only to face pressure when serving for the set. Ivanovic banged forehands and Zvonareva crushed backhands throughout the high-quality encounter. The surprise of the match may have been how well Ivanovic played defense.
Asked what she did better to win the second and third sets, Zvonareva answered, â€œI think I started playing a little bit more aggressive overall. Weâ€™ve been working on a few things with my coach. I tried to implement them into the match today. Sometimes I was going for some crazy shots and making some wrong decisions. But I knew I had to keep trying them. They didnâ€™t work in the first set, but then they started slowly working. It helped me to win the match, I think.â€
In the second and third sets, Zvonareva handled the tough pressure from Ivanovic better when it was time to close it out. Zvonareva gave credit to Ivanovic for playing so well and fighting to the end saying â€œIf she keeps working hard and playing like this, Iâ€™m sure we will see her back in the top 10.â€
Zvonareva will face Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. The two have played each other only twice, with Zvonareva winning both matches.
no images were found
By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ It took five match points and three racquets, but Vera Zvonareva finally clinched a spot in the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open by beating Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. For two hours and 13 minutes, the two exchanged brutal ground strokes. Both players balanced defense and offense well in a battle of will power. Lisicki fought valiantly to the very end, but couldnâ€™t put enough first serves in to keep the upper hand.
While Lisicki has a bigger serve, Zvonareva returned remarkably well and placed her own serves even better. Once the point was in play, it was a heated chess match. Zvonareva seemed to have the edge on backhand to backhand exchanges while Lisicki was able to notch points in the forehand rallies. Ultimately, it came down to a few mental lapses by Lisicki in the middle of the third set that gave her opponent the lead.
The match marked Zvonarevaâ€™s 40th win in 2011 and advanced her to a 7th semifinal this season. It also extends her winning streak to eight, having won at Baku.
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ she laughed when asked what would cap off her already outstanding season. â€œIâ€™m enjoying the moment and I just want to do well every single match. I want to give 100% in every single match. As long as I do it, I will be happy with my season.â€
Zvonareva will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Ana Ivanovic and Peng Shuai.
no images were found
Top Seeds Meet the Media
By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ The top seeds for the 2011 Mercury Insurance Open sat down, answered questions and laughed with the media at the Lacosta ResortÂ just north of San Diego. The high seeds enjoy a later start at the event so the players were all very relaxed and candid with their answers. In addition to what their goals are for the summer, Tennis Panorama News asked each player if they were planning on entering mixed doubles at the 2012 Olympics.
The 2010 finalist is back with hopes to go one step further than she did last year. When asked how important the tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open are in preparing for the slam, she said, â€œI want to win every match. Itâ€™s not just to warm up for the Open. There are a lot of points to win between now and then.â€
Radwanska says sheâ€™s really looking forward to the Olympics and would love to play singles, doubles and mixed if possible, but hasnâ€™t lined up a mixed partner yet. Of course, sheâ€™d love to play doubles with her sister, Ursula â€œif their rankings allow for it at the time.â€
She had fun playing golf here last year but noted that because part of the course was under construction, she might not get the chance to swing a club this year.
Seeded fifth this week, Ivanovic is waiting to play the winner of the match between Jelena Dokic and Ayumi Morita. Morita beat Ivanovic in straight sets last week in Stanford. Asked whether sheâ€™d prefer to play Dokic or get another crack at Morita, Ivanovic said emphatically, â€œDefinitely Morita, to get some revenge. That was a hard loss last week.â€ However, losing early in Stanford did give Ivanovic the opportunity to come down to San Diego early and start training which she thinks will help her at this event. â€œThe conditions down here are very different. Itâ€™s hotter and very humid.â€
She doesnâ€™t have specific goals in mind for the summer, just to keep trying to execute the things she is working on in practice. â€œIf I do that, the results will come.â€
Ivanovic revealed she has also been trying to eliminate gluten from her diet, like compatriot Novak Djokovic. â€œI try to eat rice before matches and avoid pasta and bread.â€
She is excited to be playing with Nenad Zimonjic in mixed doubles at the next Olympics. Sheâ€™d love to play all three tennis events at the Olympics, but doesnâ€™t know yet whether sheâ€™ll play womenâ€™s doubles. She will, however, be playing doubles with her friend, Andrea Petkovic, next week.
The top seed says she feels â€œat homeâ€ here in San Diego. Sheâ€™s played this tournament many times and has some great memories. Asked about the marathon match she played here against Anastasia Myskina in 2004, she said â€œit seems like yesterday.â€
Zvonareva said that because she feels so comfortable here and because of the way the site is set up, she feels like she gets to watch more matches here than at other events. She couldnâ€™t say who sheâ€™d like to see play this week, but sheâ€™d just â€œsee how the week goes.â€
While the Olympics is something Zvonareva is looking forward to, she couldnâ€™t say who she would play mixed doubles with or if sheâ€™d even get to play mixed. â€œThatâ€™s up to the captain to decide.â€ She said sheâ€™ll do her best to prepare for singles and hopes to be selected to play doubles or mixed doubles when the time comes.
The second seed is enjoying a great year. Asked what she thinks about Serena Williams coming back from injury to win last week in Stanford, she said â€œThere are two kinds of confidence. Serena was born with it. In my case, I had to work to get the confidence.â€
She hasnâ€™t come to San Diego with any new dances. She said she â€œhas to wait for inspiration to hit her. It hasnâ€™t hit yet but it usually does just in time.â€
Fellow German, Julia Goerges is a potential quarterfinal opponent and friend. Petkovic says that, along with Sabina Lisicki, the three have a â€œhealthy competitivenessâ€ between them. When one does well, it inspires one of the others to do well. She says itâ€™s always a little awkward to play friends in tournaments, but that is part of being a professional.
Asked who she would like to play mixed doubles with at the Olympics, she smiled and said, â€œI donâ€™t know yet. Iâ€™d have to see all the photos and decide which one is cuter.â€
Playing in a nearby ProAm event, Martina Hingis stopped by. She was quickly hounded by questions about the reports that she would play mixed doubles with Roger Federer at the Olympics. â€œNo decisions have been made yetâ€ she said. â€œItâ€™s more up to Roger, but there are a lot of ifs.â€ She wouldnâ€™t rule it out, but insisted that it most likely wouldnâ€™t happen.
She said while she was encouraged by how well she played against Serena Williams recently in World Team Tennis, but was not making any comeback plans for singles. â€œDoubles is more on my mind,â€ she said only when pressed.
Hingis is currently touring the U.S. and Canada promoting clothing by Tonic. She said she approached them after wearing the clothes for yoga and fitness. She has been meeting with the designer at Tonic to provide input on a Martina Hingis branded line of tennis clothes by the company to launch in the Spring of 2012.
Asked if she could give any advice to Caroline Wozniacki, Hingis said â€œshe has to be more in chargeâ€ adding that the womenâ€™s tour is so deep now that you need a weapon to win the quarters, semis and a final at a Slam.
no images were found