March 25, 2017

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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Draw Made for 2017 Fed Cup

fed cup colours

(June 20, 2016) The Draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas was held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday. First round ties will take place on 11-12 February 2017. The 2016 finalists were automatically the top two seeds in the 2017 World Group, while the remaining seeds were based on the latest ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 18 April 2016.

 

2017 World Group

 

First round (11-12 February)

 

Czech Republic [s] [c] v Spain
USA [c] v Germany [s]
Belarus [c] [*] v Netherlands [s]
Switzerland [c] v France [s]

2017 World Group II

 

First round (11-12 February)
Russia [s] [c] [*] v Chinese Taipei
Romania [s] [c] [*] v Belgium
Ukraine [c] v Australia [s]
Italy [s] [c] [*] v Slovakia

Key

[s] = seeded nation

[c] = choice of ground

[*] = choice of ground decided by lot

 

2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas dates

 

World Group and World Group II first round: 11-12 February

World Group semifinals, World Group/World Group II play-offs: 22-23 April

World Group Final: 11-12 November

 

The 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final between France and Czech Republic will take place in Strasbourg, France on 12-13 November.

 

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April 17 Fed Cup Results

fed cup colours

(April 17, 2016) The final results for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, and World Group and World Group II play-offs taking place on 16-17 April.

France will host Czech Republic in the Fed Cup Final on 12-13 November. In the semifinals, France defeated Netherlands 3-2 in Trelaze, while Czech Republic overcame Switzerland by the same scoreline in Lucerne.

Belarus, Germany, Spain and USA all won their World Group play-offs and will join Czech Republic, France, Netherlands and Switzerland in the 2017 World Group.

Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Slovakia and Ukraine all won their World Group II play-offs, and will join the four World Group play-off losing nations, Australia, Italy, Romania and Russia, in 2017 World Group II. The four World Group II play-off losing nations, Argentina, Canada, Poland and Serbia, will contest their respective Zone Group I events in 2017.

The draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas will be held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 20 June. The top two seeds in the 2017 World Group will be the 2016 finalists, while the remaining seeds will be based on the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 18 April.

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated SWITZERLAND 3-2

Venue: Messe Luzern, Lucerne, SUI (hard – indoor)

Barbora Strycova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 60 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 36 64 64

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 64 62

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Barbora Strycova (CZE) 36 76(6) 61

Lucie Hradecka/Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Viktorija Golubic/Martina Hingis (SUI) 62 62

FRANCE defeated NETHERLANDS 3-2

Venue: Arena Loire, Trélazé, FRA (clay – indoor)

 

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 62

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 62 64

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 75 64

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 63 64

Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Kiki Bertens/Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 46 63 63

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

BELARUS defeated RUSSIA 3-2

Venue: Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki”, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)

 

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 63 36 61

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 62 63

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 62 57 63

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 46 61 75

Darya Kasatkina/Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Olga Govortsova/Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 64 62

 

SPAIN defeated ITALY 4-0

Venue: Club de Tennis Lleida, Lleida, ESP (clay – outdoor)

 

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(4) 60

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 61

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 62

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA) – not played

Anabel Medina Garrigues/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 11  ret.

 

GERMANY defeated ROMANIA 4-1

Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (clay – indoor)

 

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 62 63

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 64 67(5) 64

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 62 62

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 06 76(1) 63

Annika Beck/Julia Goerges (GER) d. Irina-Camelia Begu/Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 67(5) 76(4) [10-7]

 

USA defeated AUSTRALIA 4-0

Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (clay – outdoor)

 

Madison Keys (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 64 62

Christina McHale (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 61 75

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 26 75 64

Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA) – not played

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Daria Gavrilova/Arina Rodionova (AUS) 61 64

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

BELGIUM defeated SERBIA 3-2

Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)

 

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 64 76(8)

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Jovana Jaksic (SRB) 75 60

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 16 75 86

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 76(8) 64

Jovana Jaksic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) d. Ysaline Bonaventure/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 46 60 [10-5]

 

SLOVAKIA defeated CANADA 3-2

Venue: AEGON Arena, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)

 

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Francoise Abanda (CAN) 46 63 61

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 46 64

Francoise Abanda (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 75 62

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 62 60

Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova/Tereza Mihalikova (SVK) 63 06 [10-8]

 

CHINESE TAIPEI defeated POLAND 4-1

Venue: OSiR Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Inowroclaw, POL (hard – indoor)

 

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 63 64

Magdalena Frech (POL) d. Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) 46 60 62

Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) d. Paula Kania (POL) 26 63 97

Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE) d. Magdalena Frech (POL) 62 46 63

Chan Chin-Wei/Chuang Chia-Jung (TPE) d. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 62 76(1)

 

UKRAINE defeated ARGENTINA 4-0

Venue: Campa Tennis Club, Bucha, Kiev, UKR (hard – outdoor)

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 61 61

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 61 64

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 60 63

Kateryna Bondaren

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Fed Cup: U.S. defeats Australia 4-0 to Advance to World Group in 2017

usfedcup2

(April 17, 2016) The U.S. now moves back to competing in the World Group next year by beating Australia, 4-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff on an outdoor clay court in Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

In the first match of the day, world No. 36 CoCo Vandeweghe came from a set down to beat world No. 26 Samantha Stosur, 26, 75, 64, in two hours and 18 minutes to clinch the victory for the United States. The win was also the first in her Fed Cup singles career for Vandeweghe who now moves to 1-3. Vandeweghe also moved her lifetime record to 4-1 against Stosur.   The U.S. team is now 3-1 when Coco takes the court.  The Christina McHale-Daria Gavrilova match was not played.

“Well, I mean Sam’s a phenomenal player and I actually really enjoy playing against her because she is that phenomenal player,” said Vandeweghe.  “This is the first time we ever played on clay, so I mean, all the other surfaces were quicker, hardcourts or grass.  So I knew this would be more well suited for her game, she’d be more comfortable than I would be.  But you know, I still stuck to my game plan of trying to implement my game to her before she could definitely get me off balance and that’s pretty much what I try to do against her most of the time when we play.”

 

“Well that was the first Fed Cup singles win that I’ve ever had,” she said.  “The first time I ever played was in a final and I really didn’t rise to the occasion too well, I was – I think I was like 18 or something the first time I played and, you know, that was really disappointing for me as a player and also as a player representing the United States.  So, I mean I think it’s such a privilege to play for the United States and I think it’s always been my No.1 goal to play for my country and to make the Olympic team eventually more so than Grand Slams and stuff like that.  It was just the way I was raised.

 

In the dead doubles rubber, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe faced Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova.  Daria and Arina were substituted for Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur.  In the end, Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe won the match, 61, 64, in one hour and 17 minutes.  With the victory Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe remain undefeated as a doubles team.  In Fed Cup, Mattek-Sands moved her doubles record to 5-0 record while Vandeweghe moved to 3-0.

 

“No the whole team is MVP, they all did their part, they all contributed,” said United Stated Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  “I always say the first match kind of gives you the momentum, I always say the first match is critical.  So Madison got us off to such a great start.  Hooray. And then Christina picked it up and played really, really well and fought so hard towards the end of the match, and then Coco today came back, a set and 2-love down, and you know, fought as well.  So it was an amazing effort to turn that match around and the doubles went great too.  So I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them.”

The U.S. remains undefeated at 22-0 when leading after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. also improves to 10-12 all-time in Fed Cup ties played on the road, and holds an overall 146-36 record.  The victory also moves the Fed Cup teams record to 11-3 in matches played in Australia/New Zealand.

With the victory, the U.S. advances to the World Group in 2017. The 2017 Fed Cup draw will be made in mid-November after the World Group Finals.

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Sara Errani Routs Barbora Strycova to Win Dubai Title

Sara Errani

Sara Errani

(February 20, 2016) DUBAI – Sara Errani routed Barbora Strycova 6-0, 6-2 to win her ninth career WTA title at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday. Three years ago the Italian lost in the Dubai final to Petra Kvitova. Errani became the first Italian to win the Dubai crown.

Errani almost did not go to Dubai after a lackluster beginning to the year.  “It’s unexpected title for me,” said Errani “We was thinking, oh, maybe to not come here, just stay home and recover and try to make it good. It was tough moment, tough year. So to win here is amazing.

 

“But we came here, and every day was really tough. Every match, from the beginning, from the 5-1 down in first round against Zheng, and even in the quarterfinal with Brengle, a lot of tough moment. But of course if we won a tournament, you have to pass a lot of also bad moments.”

 

“Maybe was not her best day. But of course I was just trying to be really focused and not miss balls, prepare that she will serve good, she will come to the net, she will try to change her game. Just try to be focused. I was trying to not think too much about it is a final, about it is tough match, but just try to play my game, stay there every point, even in the 5-1, 5-2, a lot of match point. Really happy in the end.”

 

“Everything (went wrong)” said Strycova. “I mean, this is one of the days where you try everything and then nothing is working.” “The funny thing is that I went on court and I didn’t feel really nervous about the match or something different. But I tried everything and I couldn’t put one ball in. I don’t know why, what happened, but it’s just sometimes how it is in tennis.”

 

“It’s been a great week, and I don’t want to like look at the final now that it was so bad,” the Czech said. “I mean, okay, that can happen and it’s a final, unfortunately, but it was a great week and I beat such great players, so I have to be happy about it and just to take the positive things from it.”

 

“I took so many things (from this week)” Strycova said. “I mean, that I can believe in myself and in my game even if it’s not such — if I’m not playing fast or I’m playing like tricky game, that I can beat anybody. To believe that you can do it, it’s good feeling. I beat Ana, which I never beat before. This gave me so much confidence.

“I also took from this week that I enjoy tennis again. It’s nice to play the sport.”

 

In a tournament where all of the top 8 seeds were dismissed before the quarterfinals, the doubles title went to the unseeded pair of Chia-Jung Chuang and Darija Jurak, who saved five match points in Friday’s semifinals, before winning 6-4, 6-4 over the second seeded team of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.

All photos by Nida Alibhai

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Errani and Strycova to Vie for Dubai Title

Sara Errani

Sara Errani

(February 19, 2016) DUBAI – Sara Errani defeated Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 to reach her second final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The Italian will face Barbora Strycova on Saturday, who defeated Caroline Garcia 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

 

 

“It’s tough today, Errani said. “Elina hardly missed a ball at first so I just tried to stay focused every point. I think the condition of the court is good for me. The ball bounce a lot. This is important for my game. Of course really happy to be in the final again.”

 

Errani lost in the doubles semifinal with Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-7 to Chia-Jung Chuang and Darija Jurak. Errani and her partner had five match points.

 

Barbora Strycova

Barbora Strycova

“It feels great,” said Strycova of her win. “I can’t believe it actually, because it wasn’t easy match for me today. I wasn’t feeling so well. Actually, the first set I was playing without any mistakes and I felt the ball, but then 2-0 in the second I was a little bit down physically and I couldn’t like pump it up again. So I’m happy that I pulled it through at the end.”

 

“It’s going to be tough one,” the Czech said of her final against Errani. “I lost to Sara in Eastbourne. It’s on grass. But I lost from two match points down. So revenge.”

 

Errani will now be trying to win her ninth career singles title and while Strycova will be bidding for her second.

Errani leads in their head-to-head record 5-1.

 

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DUBAI, UAE
$ 2,000,000
15-20 FEBRUARY 2016

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 19, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Semifinals

B. Strycova (CZE) d C. Garcia (FRA) 62 36 63
S. Errani (ITA) d E. Svitolina (UKR) 64 64

Women’s
Doubles – Semifinals

[2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [4] T. Babos (HUN) / J. Goerges (GER) 63 64
C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) d S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 76(5) 10-7

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) vs [2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
B. Strycova (CZE) vs S. Errani (ITA)

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