June 22, 2017

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Mona Barthel Net Titles

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Mona Barthel Net Titles

(May 6, 2017) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Mona Barthel won singles titles on the WTA Tour this week.

Pavlyuchenkova won the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem beating 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 7-5, 7-5. It was the Russian’s 10th career title.

“We’ve had tough matches before in the past on clay, so I knew it was going to be tough,” the said the winner during the trophy ceremony. “I’m so happy and relieved I won. It’s always nice to win a title, any match – a win is a win, I always say. I love to win, so I’m happy and enjoying this moment now.”

 

German qualifier Mona Barthel won the Prague Open on Saturday, defeating unseeded Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. For the German it was her fourth career title on the WTA Tour, her first since three years ago.

The 82nd ranked player in the world, Barthel saved three match points during her second round of qualifying.

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Hometown Girl Laura Siegemund Nets Stuttgart Title

Laura Siegemund

(April 30, 2017) Stuttgart resident Laura Siegemund defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (5) to win the Porsche Grand Prix on Sunday. Last year’s finalist was given a wildcard into this year’s event.

“It’s unbelievable,” said the German after the win.” I’m a bit perplexed now. I think tonight will be the party of the year,”
“It was an unbelievable match. I don’t know how I did it.”

“You played an insane level this week,” Mladenovic said to Siegemund during the trophy presentation. “You showed really entertaining tennis a big fight today you also deserve that win. I know it could go both ways, but I really want to congratulate you and your team for such a great title.”

“It was very hard for you to play against this kind of spectators,” Siegemund said to her opponent on court. “It was a great tournament week for you and you also would have deserved to win. And I was just a little more lucky in the end, good job.“

The Frenchwoman Mladenovic, ended Maria Sharapova’s return from her 15-month doping ban in the semifinals and stopped two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber.

This is Siegemund’s second career WTA title. Her ranking will move up into the Top 30 as of Monday. She is currently ranked at No. 49.

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Mladenovic Stops Sharapova’s Stuttgart Run, Siegemund Returns to Final with Win Over Halep

(April 29, 2017) France’s Kristina Mladenovic ended Maria Sharapova’s run in Stuttgart on Saturday. In her fourth match back on the WTA tour since returning from a 15-month doping suspension, the Russian let a set and a break lead slip to the Frenchwoman 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a two-hour and 38-minute contest.

 

“I would have loved to have used more opportunities when I was up a set and a break,” said Sharapova. And I think I lost 12 out of the next 14 points. So, I definitely had a bit of a letdown and I think that allowed her to get back in the match and gain confidence and start competing again and I just didn’t keep putting the pressure and I think when you are able to give that to a player, that’s played very well this year it can become very dangerous.”

 

The 19th ranked Mladenovic ousted two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber on Thursday. She’ll take on last year’s finalist German Laura Siegemund in the Porsche Grand Prix final. Siegemund beat world No. 5 Simona Halep 6-4, 7-5.

Laura Siegemund

After her quarterfinal win on Friday, the 23-year-old Frenchwoman, who was not in favor of Sharapova receiving a wildcard into the tournament commented: “In sport nowadays it is also about the media and business. Maria is a big name, who makes people come to watch her.”
“On one hand, I totally understand the tournaments want her in the draw, because she is very famous and they want more attention, which is part of the business.”
“Of course, she is authorized to play tennis again, but why would she get that extra help compared to other players?”

 

Sharapova who came into the tournament with no ranking due to her suspension for using meldonium, will be in need of a wildcard to get into Roland Garros. She will be ranked around No. 260 on Monday.

 

Next stops for the 30-year-old five-time major winner will be Rome and Madrid, where she received wildcards. All of this in preparation for the French Open, if she is able to play the event.
“I’m moving in Europe in the next couple of months and this is what I want to go through,” she said. “I want to go through the matches. I want to see how my body responds, how I feel. I want to feel that match play, I want to feel the tiredness of match play.”
“That’s what I asked for. That’s what I wanted and I’m doing it.”

World No. 49 Siegemund has a 1-0 record against Mladenovic, there only meeting came last year in St. Petersburg.

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Maria Sharapova Wins First Match After Serving 15-Month Doping Ban

(April 26, 2017)Maria Sharapova returned to the court on Wednesday after a 15-month absence due to a doping ban. The five-time major winner defeated No. 34 Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 to advance at the Porsche Grand Prix WTA event in Stuttgart.

Sharapova was suspended from the tour for testing positive for the drug meldonium. She had been taking the drug for many years. Her ban was reduced from two year to 15-months.

Maria Sharapova’s Ban Reduced to 15 Months

The 30-year-old was not allowed to set foot on the grounds of the tournament until Wednesday morning for practice, as her suspension ended at midnight.

This was the Russian’s first match since the 2016 quarterfinals of the Australian Open where she lost to Serena Williams.

Sharapova who was given a wildcard into Stuttgart, has also been given wildcards into Rome and Madrid.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Sharapova said on court after her “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.”

“It’s a journey, and it starts today and I’m looking forward to playing as many matches as I can.”

As for the match itself, Sharapova hit 11 aces, 39 winners and made 21 unforced errors. In her post-match news conference, Sharapova was asked about other people’s comments about her returning to the tour.

“It’s not my job” to think about other people’s comments, she said.

“Words and quotes and articles is not what matters in life, I have learned that very well over the past year.”

“Articles, they go away, that is not life. What matters is what happens on the court.”

“I’m not getting a wild card to receive a trophy. I still have to win the matches and that’s my job.”

Sharapova will face countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova next.

 

Maria Sharapova news conference, begins at the 7-minute mark:

Related Articles:

Maria Sharapova Set to Return From Doping Ban at Stuttgart Tourney

ITF Statement Regarding the Case of Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

 

PORSCHE TENNIS GRAND PRIX – STUTTGART, GER
$776,000
24 – 30 APRIL 2017

RESULTS – APRIL 26, 2017
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[4] S. Halep (ROU) d B. Strycova (CZE) 62 63
[Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) d [5] G. Muguruza (ESP) 26 76(1) 61
First Round
[6] [WC] J. Konta (GBR) d [Q] N. Osaka (JPN) 76(5) 36 61
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 62
E. Vesnina (RUS) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 76(2) 62
C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [Q] T. Korpatsch (GER) 62 64
[WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) d R. Vinci (ITA) 75 63
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) 76(3) 76(3)

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[1] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d E. Rodina (RUS) / A. Sevastova (LAT) 62 61
L. Kichenok (UKR) / L. Tsurenko (UKR) d R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 26 64 12-10

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [WC] L. Siegemund (GER)
[6] [WC] J. Konta (GBR) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
[WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) vs E. Makarova (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] A. Kerber (GER) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)
N. Broady (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) vs [3] R. Atawo (USA) / J. Ostapenko (LAT)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
E. Vesnina (RUS) vs C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs S. Halep (ROU) / A. Rosolska (POL)
After suitable rest – [1] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs A. Muhammad (USA) / L. Siegemund (GER)

TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL CUP – ISTANBUL, TUR
$250,000
24 – 30 APRIL 2017

RESULTS – APRIL 26, 2017
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[3] I. Begu (ROU) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 61 16 63
[5] S. Cirstea (ROU) d M. Sakkari (GRE) 64 62
[WC] D. Yastremska (UKR) d [LL] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) 61 64
First Round
[1] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] V. Kamenskaya (RUS) 64 06 61
[2] T. Babos (HUN) d [Q] C. Perrin (SUI) 63 62
[6] E. Mertens (BEL) d K. Kozlova (UKR) 64 61
[Q] A. Cadantu (ROU) d N. Hibino (JPN) 26 60 63
[WC] A. Aksu (TUR) d [Q] E. Kulichkova (RUS) 75 61
C. Buyukakcay (TUR) d M. Zanevska (BEL) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

D. Jakupovic (SLO) / N. Kichenok (UKR) d [1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / I. Soylu (TUR) 76(5) 62
E. Bouchard (CAN) / K. Flipkens (BEL) d A. Kalinskaya (RUS) / L. Marozava (BLR) 61 63
N. Dzalamidze (RUS) / V. Kudermetova (RUS) d A. Omae (JPN) / R. Voracova (CZE) 62 67(5) 10-6

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
GARANTI KOZA ARENA start 12:30 pm
[6] E. Mertens (BEL) vs S. Errani (ITA)
[Q] B. Eraydin (TUR) vs [WC] A. Aksu (TUR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs [2] T. Babos (HUN)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [Q] A. Cadantu (ROU)
After Due Rest – T. Babos (HUN) / C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs M. Duque-Mariño (COL) / A. Mitu (ROU)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
J. Cepelova (SVK) vs S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
After Due Rest – [WC] A. Aksu (TUR) / D. Yastremska (UKR) vs [4] N. Melichar (USA) / E. Mertens (BEL)

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Victoria Azarenka To Make Her Return To Tennis at The Bank of the West Classic

Victoria Azarenka

(April 9, 2017) STANFORD, Calif. (www.BankOfTheWestClassic.com) – 2017 Bank of the West Classic will feature two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka who has announced she will make her return to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) at Stanford.

Azarenka, a former World No.1 and two-time Australian Open singles champion, will make her return to the WTA tour following the birth of her son Leo in December.  Azarenka will be making her fifth appearance at Stanford where she won the singles title in 2010 and the doubles title in 2011.

“I am very excited to be returning to the WTA at the Bank of the West Classic,” said Azarenka. “Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me and really puts things in perspective. I am looking forward to beginning this new stage of my career.”

The Bank of the West Classic has also received a commitment from World No. 11 Madison Keys. The young American had a breakthrough 2016 season, winning her second WTA title, breaking into the World Top 10 and qualifying for the prestigious year-end WTA Championships for the first time in her career.  She ended the year ranked a career-high World No.8.

 

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women’s event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Past champions of the event include some of the biggest names in women’s tennis, such as Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.

Log on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com for more information.

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Andy Murray Wins His First Dubai Title

Andy Murray

 

(March 4, 2017) DUBAI, UAE – Andy Murray won his 45th ATP World Tour crown on Saturday when he defeated former Top Ten player Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2 to claim his first title of the year as well as his first Dubai title.

The Scot, Murray battled back from 1-3 down in the first set.

“It’s nice to win and I played much better as the match went on,” said the world’s top player. I started a little bit slow, but I was solid. I wasn’t afraid to attack his forehand side. He’s got one of the best forehands, but I tried to move him around the court as much as I could.

“I defended pretty well and moved well. I served a lot better as the match went on. It was obviously good to win the first tournament here.”

 

“I think that obviously I had, if not the toughest opponent I can have in the final, then one of them, for sure,” noted the Spaniard. He’s No. 1 in the world right now. It was obviously a really difficult final to win, but I came trying everything and giving everything.

“I said that yesterday that being in the final of a 500 after five years is a great week for me and I have to take the positive things.”
“It was obviously a really difficult final to win, but I came trying everything and giving everything. Just, of course, he doesn’t put the things easy to you. He push you. And at the same time, I didn’t really feel as comfortable or hitting the ball as clean as days before. Also, he’s used to it, to play matches like this more than me. I think physically I was not that fresh. I felt that kind of like in the balls that I needed to stretch so much, or he opened the court so much. And obviously even when I had a little bit of advantage in the first set with the breaks up, I couldn’t really find my rhythm. Of course it’s disappointing. Even if he is number one in the world, I want to win.”

 

Murray became the fourth man this year to come back and win a tournament after saving match point. Murray saved match points in his quarterfinal against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Murray is now 19-0 in his last four 500-level tournaments entered having triumphed at London/Queen’s Club, Beijing, Vienna.
Fernando Verdasco will return to the top 30 in the rankings on Monday for the first time since April of 2015.

 

In the doubles, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau lifted the champions trophy with a 4-6 6-3 10-3 win over Rohan Bopanna and Marcin Matkowski. It is their 13th title together, which includes both Wimbledon and the ATP World Tour Finals in 2015. It is Rojer’s 22nd doubles title and Tecau’s thirtieth. Bopanna was seeking his fourth Dubai title after winning in 2012, 2014 and 2015, all with different partners.

 

All photos by Nida Alibhai.

 

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Roger Federer Loses to Qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai

Evgeny Donskoy

(March 1, 2017) DUBAI, UAE:  Seven-time champion Roger Federer lost to 116th– ranked  qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6 (5) on Wednesday. It is his earliest defeat in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships since he was beaten by Andy Murray in the first round in 2008. It is also only the third time since 2007 that he has lost to a qualifier. Federer led 5-2 in the final set and lost four straight games. Federer led 5-1 in the third set tiebreak and lost the next six straight points.

 

“Maybe it wasn’t really committed enough, I think,” said Federer. “Commitment in tennis is a big thing. In the first round I was. Today I wasn’t, really. That sort of is a feeling you get and it trickles in an entire game. I thought I returned way better in the first round. Today I really struggled on the return. I didn’t quite really time it well. Yeah, timing I thought was off for me today. Legs also felt slower out here tonight. I felt tired all day. I tried to get myself in shape, and, you know, like warm up properly, do all the things I always do, regardless if it’s a first round or a final.

 

“There’s no excuses there. I just think it’s still the beginning of the comeback and gotta take the positives out of, you know, playing again a tournament where I feel I’m quite healthy and I’m happy I got over the (groin) injury I sustained at the Australian Open. Maybe didn’t allow me to practice as much as I was hoping to in Switzerland, but at the same time also needed the rest. (But) there was also no problem there, really. I came early. I was perfectly prepared. It’s just a tough loss tonight. So many chances. It was crazy.”

 

Donskoy revealed that with his coach absent this week he is being helped by former two-time Dubai finalist Mikhail Youzhny, and said, “It was really tough in the beginning, because it was too much pressure. I mean, I felt it on myself, because it’s Roger, and I never even practice with him. So it was tough. And that many people. I’m used to playing on centre court and many people, but Roger is different moment. And then, like, when you winning some games then you start to think, like, okay. I was saying to myself, like, do your legs lower, because if I stand up I getting so much mistake. That’s what I said to myself.”

 

World No. 1 Andy Murray reached the quarterfinals with an easy win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 ,6-0. But fifth seed and two-time finalist Tomas Berdych and sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut lost. Berdych lost3-6, 6-3,6-4 against Robin Haase, and Bautista Agut lost a two hour 25-minute battle with Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

“When I got the early break, pretty much was almost 30 minutes in and we’d only played four games. Mentally, that was important for me, you know, to be up at that stage,” said Murray. “It could have gone either way, obviously, first few games. But being up at that stage helped, and then I loosened up a bit after that and played really well.

 

“It was way better than how I played at the beginning of the year, that’s for sure. You know, playing aggressive, feeling more solid, and when I’m in position to dictate the points I’m doing it, moving forward. I hit my forehand very well last couple of matches. I served better today. It’s been a good start. Obviously matches will get tougher, but I’m much happier with how I’m playing.”

 

Fourth seed Gael Monfils was also stretched by Daniel Evans but won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, and recent Marseille finalist and number seven seed Lucas Pouille eased past qualifier Marius Copil 6-1, 6-4. Damir Dzumhur followed up his defeat of defending champion Stan Wawrinka by beating Marcel Granollers, recovering from 1-4 in the second set to take the next five games and claim a 6-3, 6-4 victory, and Philipp Kohlschreiber earned a single break in each set to defeat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Dubai, U.A.E.

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 60
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 76(7) 76(5) – saved 3 m.p.
[4] G. Monfils (FRA) d D. Evans (GBR) 64 36 61
R. Haase (NED) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 36 63 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [6] [WC] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 36 75
[7] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] M. Copil (ROU) 61 64
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d D. Medvedev (RUS) 64 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d M. Granollers (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d D. Evans (GBR) / G. Muller (LUX) 76(1) 64
R. Bopanna (IND) / M. Matkowski (POL) d F. Mergea (ROU) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64

Doubles – First Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER) d L. Pouille (FRA) / F. Verdasco (ESP) w/o (Pouille: bicep strain)
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) d [Q] J. Cerretani (USA) / P. Oswald (AUT) 62 64

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2016

CENTRE COURT start 3:00 pm
R. Haase (NED) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [4] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] A. Murray (GBR) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) vs [7] L. Pouille (FRA)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) vs [3] D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [4] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER)

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WTA – Kuala Lumpur Results

ALYA WTA MALAYSIAN OPEN – KUALA LUMPUR, MAS
$250,000
FEB 25-MAR 5, 2017

RESULTS – MARCH 01, 2017
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

N. Hibino (JPN) d [1] E. Svitolina (UKR) walkover
[Q] L. Kerkhove (NED) d [Q] S. Sharipova (UZB) 64 64
K. Zhang (CHN) d R. Ozaki (JPN) 62 64

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

A. Barty (AUS) / C. Dellacqua (AUS) d [3] M. Irigoyen (ARG) / P. Kania (POL) 64 61
[4] N. Melichar (USA) / M. Ninomiya (JPN) d A. Krunic (SRB) / N. Stojanovic (SRB) 61 64

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, MARCH 02, 2017
CENTRE COURT start 3:00 pm
[Q] A. Barty (AUS) vs [Q] M. Kato (JPN)
S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs [5] Y. Duan (CHN) 00
[4] S. Peng (CHN) vs M. Linette (POL)
After Reasonable Rest – [4] N. Melichar (USA) / M. Ninomiya (JPN) vs Y. Duan (CHN) / X. Han (CHN)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
X. Han (CHN) vs [Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS)
[6] Q. Wang (CHN) vs [WC] S. Zheng (CHN)
M. Kato (JPN) / K. Zhang (CHN) vs O. Kalashnikova (GEO) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ) 00

COURT 2 start 3:00 pm
E. Mertens (BEL) / I. Soylu (TUR) vs [2] S. Aoyama (JPN) / Z. Yang (CHN)
After Suitable Rest – N. Hibino (JPN) / V. Wongteanchai (THA) vs A. Barty (AUS) / C. Dellacqua (AUS)

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Elina Svitolina Reaches Top Ten with Dubai Title Win

(February 25, 2017) DUBAI – Elina Svitolina won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title with 6-4 6-2 win over former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. This is the biggest title in the Ukrainian’s career, which will place her in the top ten on the WTA Tour when next rankings come out on Monday. She’ll be the first woman from her country to ever reach the top ten since the rankings were introduced in 1975. This is her sixth career title.

 

This was Svitolina’s second title in a month, who also won in Taipei, and a second final in two weeks for Wozniacki after she also finished as runner-up in Doha.

 

“I’ve dreamed for all my life to be in the Top 10,” said the 22-year-old Svitolina. “It’s a very amazing feeling and to do it by winning the tournament – I’m very excited for the season and very excited I could win this tournament.”

“It’s big relief that I could win this match, because I knew that if I gonna win this match, I’m gonna be top 10. There was extra pressure. When I was warming up, added even more pressure because they announce it. It didn’t help! I’m really happy the way I played the match. It was the way I was working on, and I’m really happy that I could play my game today.”

 

 

“She gets a lot of balls back. She mixed up the pace well. She did what she had to do today,” said Wozniacki. “I think I started off really well. I feel like I was inside the court a lot. You know, I was dictating and playing well. Then I kind of felt like I ran out of steam a little bit and she took advantage of that. She stepped it up a little bit.  She played really well, got a lot of balls back. She mixed up the pace when she needed to. She was serving better than me today. I really tried hard. Obviously it’s frustrating when you see what you want to do out there and you just can’t do it. You know, that’s the most frustrating feeling. I feel like if I had gotten, you know, maybe to 5-All or, you know, gotten a little bit closer in that first set, it could have been different.”

 

 

The tournament continues between 27th February and 4th March with the 25th staging of the ATP World Tour event which includes Wimbledon, Olympic and ATP World Tour Finals champion and world No. 1 Andy Murray, seven-time Dubai winner and Australian Open champion Roger Federer, defending Dubai champion Stan Wawrinka, two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and the Gael Monfils.

 

All photos by Nida Alibhai.

 

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Former Champ Wozniacki and Gold Medalist Puig Advance, While Vandeweghe Loses To Riske in Dubai

Caroline Wozniacki, courtesy of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

(February 20, 2017) Former champion Caroline Wozniacki began the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winning 6-2, 7-5 over teenager Daria Kasatkina. Although Wozniacki is just off reaching the final of Doha.

 

“Well, obviously seeing the draw, it’s like, well, could have had an easier first round,” said Wozniacki, who won the title in 2011 and has reached the semifinals in her last four apperances in Dubai. “She’s a good young player. She mixes up the pace a lot. She kind of tries to bring you out of your rhythm and she has great hands. I was really pleased with how I was able to just stay focused out there from the beginning. I didn’t really know how I was going to play to start off with. Generally, I was pleased with my game.”

 

Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig who is nursing a sore back, beat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Puig had a medical time out after the second set.

 

“It’s just some lower back soreness,” Puig said. “I came from Doha two days ago, so the balls are a bit different. The court is definitely much different than in Doha. It’s just something that I have to go and get treatment with, but it’s really no big deal.”

 

Eleventh seed CoCo Vandeweghe lost 6-4, 6-4 to Fed cup teammate Alison Riske, and 13th seed Kiki Bertens was also upset, losing 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 to Christine McHale. Peng Shuai took full advantage of her wild card, overwhelming Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1 in just 55 minutes, and Elise Mertens became the third qualifier to reach the second round when she defeated Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3 6-2.

 

The top eight seeds received first round byes and will be in action from Tuesday. They include US Open champion and world number two Angelique Kerber, 2017 Brisbane and Doha champion Karolina Pliskova, WTA Finals winner Dominika Cibulkova, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, and former Dubai winner Agnieszka Radwanska.

 

“There are so many top players competing on Tuesday that not all can be scheduled on Centre Court,” said tournament director Salah Tahlak. “That means spectators will be able to see stars such as Caroline Wozniacki, Olympic gold medal winner Monica Puig and Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur free of charge on the outside courts. As an added bonus, they will also be able to catch one of the greatest players of all time, Martina Hingis, in doubles action.”

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DUBAI, UAE
$2,666,000
17-25 FEBRUARY, 2017

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 20, 2017
Women’s
Singles – First Round

[10] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 62 75
A. Riske (USA) d [11] C. Vandeweghe (USA) 64 64
C. Mchale (USA) d [13] K. Bertens (NED) 67(5) 63 64
C. Bellis (USA) d [17] Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 61 75
M. Puig (PUR) d Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 63 46 64
A. Konjuh (CRO) d S. Zhang (CHN) 60 61
M. Doi (JPN) d M. Brengle (USA) 62 67(4) 63
L. Davis (USA) d [LL] M. Minella (LUX) 26 62 61
K. Bondarenko (UKR) d [Q] A. Sabalenka (BLR) 46 64 63
[Q] E. Mertens (BEL) d T. Pironkova (BUL) 63 62
[WC] S. Peng (CHN) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 61 61
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d K. Siniakova (CZE) 63 63

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Peng (CHN) d C. Liang (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN) 75 62
V. Golubic (SUI) / Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d R. Atawo (USA) / Y. Xu (CHN) 64 62
A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d [WC] F. Al Nabhani (OMA) / M. Barthel (GER) 46 61 11-9
R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) d N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL) 46 76(4) 10-4
A. Klepac (SLO) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d J. Jankovic (SRB) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 64

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[3] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs E. Makarova (RUS)
[Q] E. Mertens (BEL) vs [4] A. Radwanska (POL)
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR)
K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [2] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] A. Kerber (GER) vs [WC] M. Barthel (GER)
[Q] S. Zheng (CHN) vs [7] E. Svitolina (UKR)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
M. Puig (PUR) vs [15] C. Garcia (FRA)
[12] S. Stosur (AUS) vs A. Konjuh (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
V. Golubic (SUI) vs [10] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
[9] B. Strycova (CZE) vs [WC] S. Peng (CHN)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
C. Bellis (USA) vs L. Siegemund (GER)
L. Davis (USA) vs Kr. Pliskova (CZE)

Not Before 4:00 pm
A. Sevastova (LAT) vs A. Riske (USA)

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
M. Doi (JPN) vs [8] E. Vesnina (RUS)
[Q] O. Jabeur (TUN) vs Q. Wang (CHN)
C. Mchale (USA) vs N. Osaka (JPN)
[4] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI) vs A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE)

COURT 7 start 12:00 noon
[7] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / J. Ostapenko (LAT)
A. Klepac (SLO) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)
E. Mertens (BEL) / A. Naydenova (BUL) vs [5] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

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