April 27, 2017

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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Strycova, Garcia, Svitolina and Errani Reach Dubai Semifinals

(February 18, 2016) DUBAI – In a topsy-turvy tournament which saw the top 8 seeds knocked out of the tournament before the quarterfinals, Elina Svitolina will face Sara Errani and Caroline Garcia will play Barbora Strycova in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

No. 47 Barbora Strycova came back from a 3-5 deficit in the first set tiebreak to defeat former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 7-6(5), 6-3.

What made the difference for the Czech, who came in 0-3 against the Serb?

“I believed myself,” said Strycova. “And I changed a little bit some things before I went on court, because I lost the previous matches against Ana, so I had to change a little bit the return.

“I was trying to be aggressive because the conditions on this court is really fast, so you have to also play a little bit quick not to spin all the time the balls.

“So that was working well, and I think I was returning also very well.”

“I was 5-3 down (in the first set tiebreak). “I was playing very good four balls in a row. I told myself when I was 5-3 down I was playing a little bit like didn’t believe that I can do it, so I changed that. I played very well the last four balls. That gave me so much confidence for the second set.”

No. 21 Svitolina defeated CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

“Good start. Then I was struggling a bit,” said Svitolina. “I think it was just something in my head. I was just somewhere not on the court. Was really happy that I could find a way to start third set well. Okay, 2-0 down but still I felt that I’m getting there.”

This is the first tournament with a new member of her coaching team – former No. 1 champion Justine Henin.

“I met her first time in her academy in Belgium after winning Roland Garros juniors,” said the Ukrainian. “And then, you know, she’s seven times a Grand Slam champion, so she was always on my mind and I was — you know, she had amazing game.

“She was not that tall, so, you know, there was always some things which I was trying to take from her. Yeah, it’s just amazing that she accepted.”

Sara Errani rallied to win in two hours 22 minutes to beat Madison Brengle 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Errani led the first set 4-1 and lost the next five games.

“Really strange match, yes,” said the Italian said. “I don’t know. I mean, she had a game that she did not miss a ball sometime. She’s more aggressive. Sometimes she just wait more. So is not easy to play against her. I could have lost easily, so I don’t know why I won the match. There is no explanation to this. Just keep fighting.”

Caroline Garcia reached her first Premier-level semifinal beating Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4.

“You always have to fight very hard and work hard against Andrea,” said Garcia. “She is big fighter, always trying to come back in the match. It was very difficult conditions, very windy, sometimes more than yesterday. So always have to be ready for the ball. Yeah, sometimes was not very nice tennis, not very rhythmic, but you have to stay focused and, yeah, just keep your tactics on.”

 

All photos by Nida Alibhai

218 ddtc

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Garcia 1 ddtc 218

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Madison Brengle 1 ddtc 218

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Petkovic Garcia handshake

Svitolina 2 ddtc 218

Svitolina 3 ddtc 218

Svitolina ddtc 218

Vandeweghe ddtc 218

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Top Seed Halep Falls Along with Three Other Seeds in Dubai

Ana Ivanovic in press in Dubai-001

(February 17, 2016) Ana Ivanovic defeated top seed and defending champion Simona Halep 7-6 (2), 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

 

Second seed Garbine Muguruza also was upset 7-6(3), 6-3 by Elina Svitolina, who has former No. 1 and four-time Dubai champion Justine Henin as part of her coaching team. Caroline Garcia defeated third seed Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, and fourth seed and former Dubai champion Petra Kvitova was beaten 0-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 by Madison Brengle.

 

“I think it was one of the highest quality matches I have had in maybe the last year,” said Ivanovic. “I was very happy to get through, especially that I was down in that first set. I started a little bit anxious. I was rushing too much.

 

“But I was really happy I managed to calm down and sort of raise my level and win. I was really impressed with my movement. I lost a lot of close matches in the past, so it was nice to get this one done. I knew I had it in me, so I really believed throughout.”

 

Halep has suffered from injuries this year. “Yeah, was close,” said Halep. “First set I had set ball. I couldn’t finish, and then I lost a little bit of confidence and it was over. I think I was doing okay. I was aggressive. She played really well. She came back well. I served okay, returned okay.

 

“I’m disappointed that I lost but it’s okay. I feel good. Physically I’m okay. I have no pain anywhere. It’s good, and the most important thing is that I’m healthy.”

 

“I’m not really finding my game, so I think I have to rest a little bit and concentrate again and work hard and eventually come back to the tournament to play again,” said Muguruza. “I think I’m not really ready to compete. I need to work a little bit more. My shots, my fitness. So we’ll see. I think I just need to start from zero again and kind of forget these couple of tournaments, I guess.”

 

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RESULTS – FEBRUARY 17, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
A. Ivanovic (SRB) d [1] [WC] S. Halep (ROU) 76(2) 62
E. Svitolina (UKR) d [2] G. Muguruza (ESP) 76(3) 63
C. Garcia (FRA) d [3] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 46 64 63
M. Brengle (USA) d [4] [WC] P. Kvitova (CZE) 06 76(1) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d J. Goerges (GER) 26 63 61
A. Petkovic (GER) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 63 62
S. Errani (ITA) d [Q] Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 63 60
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 75 36 64

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 61 46 12-10
First Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / J. Goerges (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) / R. Vinci (ITA) 63 36 11-9

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
C. Garcia (FRA) vs A. Petkovic (GER)
S. Errani (ITA) vs M. Brengle (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs E. Svitolina (UKR)
A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
[PR] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / J. Goerges (GER)
after suitable rest – S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)
after suitable rest – A. Groenefeld (GER) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

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Jankovic Surprises Bencic in Dubai; Rio Open Results

Jankovic smiles in press

(February 16, 2016) Veteran Jelena Jankovic stunned fifth seed and new member of the WTA Top Ten Belinda Bencic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 of in the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

The former No. 1, now ranked 20th in the world took 2 hours and 31 minutes to defeat the new No. 9 player.

“Yeah, it was really difficult match,” said Jankovic. “Belinda is playing very well, and she’s in form and she’s coming from a final in St. Petersburg. Of course she was coming with confidence here. I just fought hard. I was hanging in there every point. So overall it was ups and downs. There was some good tennis but there was also tough times for me during the match. But the most important thing is that I won at the end.”

Another former No. 1 from Serbia, now 17th ranked Ana Ivanovic dismissed Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-0, and No. 21 Elina Svitolina advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over qualifier Jana Cepelova.

Ivanovic will face No. 2 in the world Simona Halep in the second round.

“I expected a very tough match because of the battle we had in Rome on clay,” said Ivanovic. “I really tried to step it up today and be aggressive. Especially here in desert I feel that the ball sometimes flies little bit through the air quicker, so I tried to use that in my advantage. So very pleased overall.

 

“I know I have done the work, and now it’s just about executing and also enjoying competition. Next match is going to be a tough one for me. Simona is a very tough, consistent player. She strikes the ball well, she moves well, so it’s going to be a good challenge.”

For Svitolina, it was her match with her new coaching consultant, seven-time major winner Justine Henin. “It’s great to have Justine in my team, and I worked with her in offseason for a little bit, and now she’s going to join us for some tournaments,” Svitolina said. “I’m looking forward to hard work. We are trying to do something new (to) refresh my game.”

 

Seventh seed Roberta Vinci who beat Bencic in Sunday’s St. Petersburg final, fell 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 to qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova.

 

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RESULTS – FEBRUARY 16, 2016
Women’s Singles – First Round
J. Jankovic (SRB) d [5] B. Bencic (SUI) 46 75 64
[Q] Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [7] R. Vinci (ITA) 60 46 63
A. Ivanovic (SRB) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 61 60
B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] T. Pironkova (BUL) 64 63
S. Errani (ITA) d [Q] S. Zheng (CHN) 75 63
E. Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] J. Cepelova (SVK) 63 61

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 62 63
A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [3] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) 57 76(3) 10-8
C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) d C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) 46 62 10-4
[PR] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d [PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / K. Siniakova (CZE) 75 63
A. Groenefeld (GER) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [WC] P. Kvitova (CZE) / A. Rosolska (POL) 63 60

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[3] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
M. Brengle (USA) vs [4] [WC] P. Kvitova (CZE)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] [WC] S. Halep (ROU) vs A. Ivanovic (SRB)
E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [2] G. Muguruza (ESP)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
B. Strycova (CZE) vs J. Goerges (GER)
[Q] Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs S. Errani (ITA)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
A. Petkovic (GER) vs J. Jankovic (SRB)

COURT 3 start 2:00 pm
A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
B. Strycova (CZE) / R. Vinci (ITA) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / J. Goerges (GER)
S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)

 

 

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RESULTS – FEBRUARY 16, 2016
Women’s
Singles – First Round

P. Martic (CRO) d [1] T. Pereira (BRA) 63 75
[2] J. Larsson (SWE) d L. Domínguez Lino (ESP) 75 64
[6] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) d R. Peterson (SWE) 60 63
M. Erakovic (NZL) d M. Torró-Flor (ESP) 76(8) 67(5) 62
S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d R. Oprandi (SUI) 61 62
[Q] P. Goncalves (BRA) d J. Glushko (ISR) 63 61

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[WC] A. Lim (FRA) / F. Schiavone (ITA) d [3] D. Kovinic (MNE) / C. Mitu (ROU) 64 61
[4] V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Irigoyen (ARG) d L. Pous-Tio (ESP) / S. Shapatava (GEO) 63 67(4) 10-6
M. Duque-Mariño (COL) / T. Maria (GER) d E. Bogdan (ROU) / M. Buzarnescu (ROU) 46 63 12-10
C. Mchale (USA) / A. Tatishvili (USA) d G. Ce (BRA) / E. Kostova (BUL) 64 75
T. Moore (GBR) / C. Perrin (SUI) d C. Burger (NED) / L. Pigossi (BRA) 62 61

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2016
QUADRA GUGA KUERTEN start 2:15 pm
ATP – [3] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [WC] T. Monteiro (BRA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [5] D. Thiem (AUT) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)

Not Before 6:30 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs G. Pella (ARG)

QUADRA 1 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs F. Schiavone (ITA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [7] F. Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
ATP – [1] M. Melo (BRA) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [WC] F. De Paula (BRA) / O. Luz (BRA)
ATP – After suitable rest – A. Bedene (GBR) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs T. Bellucci (BRA) / M. Demoliner (BRA)

QUADRA 2 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [5] P. Hercog (SLO) vs [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – S. Rogers (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR)
ATP – P. Mathieu (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [4] N. Monroe (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP – After suitable rest – D. Lajovic (SRB) / D. Thiem (AUT) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR) / D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP)

QUADRA 4 start 2:30 pm
ATP – F. Delbonis (ARG) / P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs M. Gonzalez (ARG) / A. Sa (BRA)
WTA – To be finished – [1] A. Rodionova (AUS) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs B. Haddad Maia (BRA) / T. Pereira (BRA) 76(5) 00
WTA – T. Moore (GBR) / C. Perrin (SUI) vs [2] M. Erakovic (NZL) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
ATP – After suitable rest – [3] P. Cuevas (URU) / F. Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] R. Dutra Silva (BRA) / J. Souza (BRA)

QUADRA 5 start 2:30 pm
ATP – M. Daniell (NZL) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs [2] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – [Q] C. Burger (NED) vs [Q] E. Kostova (BUL)
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [Q] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / D. Marrero (ESP)

Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – After suitable rest – [4] V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Irigoyen (ARG) vs P. Goncalves (BRA) / S. Marand (USA)

 

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Vandeweghe Takes Down Sixth Seed Pliskova in Dubai for First Win of the Year

CoCo Vandeweghe

CoCo Vandeweghe

(February 15, 2016) CoCo Vandeweghe notched her first win of 2016 by defeating last year’s finalist Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday. The American who ended last season with an ankle injury, lost in first round of all of her previous events this year – Auckland, Sydney and the Australian Open.

 

Wolrd No. 46 Vandeweghe, who knocked out the 14th-ranked Pliskova in the second round of Wimbledon last year reflected on her upset victory. “I went out there not banking on because I won at Wimbledon that I’m going to win today,” said Vandeweghe “When someone is serving as well and playing as well off of their serve you have to really focus on taking care of your service games.

 

“That was my main focus. And then in the tiebreaker, I mean, every point matters. So when I had my opportunity, I was going to take it. Then the second set, getting that early break was really key.”

 

“It’s tough to play against her,” Pliskova said. “Obviously my game is a little bit better from the baseline, but there was no chance to show it because there was no rallies. So it was just tough.”

Julia Goerges Tennis Panorama News Carlsbad

In another upset Julia Goerges defeated three-time Dubai finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0, 6-1.

“Well, I would say it was, yeah, a very solid performance but at the same time being aggressive and didn’t make that many mistakes,” said Goerges. “I just didn’t give her any chance to get into the match and get into her rhythm, because if she has time she creates good balls and deep balls, and that’s what I tried to take away from her. That worked pretty well today.”

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RESULTS – FEBRUARY 15, 2016
Women’s Singles – First Round
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [6] [WC] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 76(5) 61
J. Goerges (GER) d [8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 60 61
C. Garcia (FRA) d A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 64 61
A. Petkovic (GER) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 62 61
M. Brengle (USA) d E. Makarova (RUS) 64 75
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 62 76(1)

Women’s Doubles – First Round
S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [1] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 60 46 10-6
Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d [WC] F. Al Nabhani (OMA) / T. Pironkova (BUL) 46 62 10-8

Women’s Qualifying Singles – Final Round
[6] S. Zheng (CHN) d [1] V. Lepchenko (USA) 75 61
T. Pironkova (BUL) d [2] A. Friedsam (GER) 57 75 63
Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [4] D. Allertova (CZE) 64 46 76(6)
J. Cepelova (SVK) d B. Mattek-Sands (USA) 64 16 63

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [Q] J. Cepelova (SVK)
A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
J. Jankovic (SRB) vs [5] B. Bencic (SUI)
[7] R. Vinci (ITA) vs [Q] Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
B. Strycova (CZE) vs [Q] T. Pironkova (BUL)
[WC] P. Kvitova (CZE) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs A. Groenefeld (GER) / C. Vandeweghe (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[Q] S. Zheng (CHN) vs S. Errani (ITA)
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

COURT 3 start 2:00 pm
[PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs [PR] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP)
[3] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) vs C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN)

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Draws Announced for 2016 Fed Cup Play-offs

fed cup colours

(February 6, 2016)The ITF has announced the draws for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II play-offs on 16-17 April:

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

Russia [s] [c] [*] v Belarus
Spain [c] v Italy [s]
Romania [c] [*] v Germany [s]
Australia [s] [c] [*] v USA

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

Serbia [s] [c] v Belgium
Slovakia [c] v Canada [s]
Poland [s] [c] [*] v Chinese Taipei
Ukraine [c] v Argentina [s]

[s] = seed

[c] = choice of ground

[*] = choice of ground decided by lot

 

The seeds were based on the new ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 8 February.

 

The 2016 World Group and World Group II play-offs will take place alongside the World Group semifinals on 16-17 April. In the semifinals, Switzerland will be at home to Czech Republic, and France will be at home to Netherlands.

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Fed Cup Results

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(February 7, 2016) Sunday’s results for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties taking place on 6-7 February.

 

In the World Group semifinals, on 16-17 April, Switzerland will be at home to Czech Republic, while France will host Netherlands.

 

Australia, Belarus, Spain and USA, the four winners in World Group II, have qualified for the World Group play-offs on 16-17 April, where they will be joined by the four World Group first round losers, Italy, Germany, Romania and Russia.

 

Argentina, Belgium, Chinese Taipei and Ukraine, who all qualified from their respective Zone Group I events on Saturday, will contest the World Group II play-offs on 16-17 April, where they will be joined by the four World Group II losers, Canada, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.

 

The draw for the World Group play-offs and World Group II play-offs will be held at the ITF offices in London on Tuesday 9 February at 12:00 GMT. The seeds will be based on the new Fed Cup Nations Ranking of Monday 8 February.

 

WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated ROMANIA 3-2

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

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 67(4) 64 62

Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 64

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 64 36 63

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 64 46 63

Karolina Pliskova/Barbora Strycova (CZE) d. Andreea Mitu/Raluca Olaru (ROU) 62 63

 

SWITZERLAND defeated GERMANY 3-2

Venue: Leipziger Messe, Leipzig, GER (hard – indoor)

Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 63 64

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 61 63

Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 76(4) 63

Annika Beck (GER) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 64

Martina Hingis/Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Andrea Petkovic (GER) 63 62

 

FRANCE defeated ITALY 4-1

Venue: Palais des Sports de Marseille, Marseille, FRA (hard – indoor)

Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 16 64 61

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 63 75

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 76(4) 61

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA) 63 64

Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Martina Caregaro/Sara Errani (ITA) 60 61

 

NETHERLANDS defeated RUSSIA 3-1

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, RUS (hard – indoor)

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 63 64

Richel Hogenkamp (NED) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 76(4) 57 108

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 61 64

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED) – not played

Darya Kasatkina/Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Cindy Burger/Arantxa Rus (NED) 60 62

 

WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

AUSTRALIA defeated SLOVAKIA 3-2

Venue: Aegon Arena, National Tennis Centre, Bratislava, SVK (hard – indoor)

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Arina Rodionova (AUS) 57 75 60

Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 63 64

Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 76(5) 75

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 63 61

Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Jana Cepelova/Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 57 61 62

 

BELARUS defeated CANADA 3-2

Venue: PEPS, Québec City, CAN (hard – indoor)

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Francoise Abanda (CAN) 64 26 63

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 62 62

Francoise Abanda (CAN) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 64 64

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 64

Olga Govortsova/Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Gabriela Dabrowski/Carol Zhao (CAN) 62 64

 

USA defeated POLAND 4-0

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

Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Magda Linette (POL) 62 64

Venus Williams (USA) d. Paula Kania (POL) 75 62

Venus Williams (USA) d. Magda Linette (POL) 61 62

Sloane Stephens (USA) v Paula Kania (POL) – not played

Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Paula Kania (POL) 61 75

 

SPAIN defeated SERBIA 4-0

Venue: Kraljevo Sports Centre, Kraljevo, SRB (hard – indoor)

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 63 61

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 64 62

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 63 64

Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) – not played

Lara Arruabarrena/Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) d. Ivana Jorovic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 46 76(6) [10-7]

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USA Defeats Poland in Fed Cup World Group II

 

(February 7, 2016) The United States is now one step closer to competing in the World Group next year by sweeping Poland, 4-0, in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round at the Holua Tennis Center at Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, today.

 

In Sunday’s first match of the day in windy conditions, world No. 12 Venus Williams cruised past world No. 96 Magda Linette, 6-1, 6-2, in one hour and one minute to clinch the victory for the United States. Williams and Linette had never faced each other on the WTA Tour. Williams is now 19-2 in Fed Cup singles play, while Linette is 1-5. The Sloane Stephens-Paula Kania match was not played.

“This has been the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve ever played in front of, for Fed Cup, or even at home,” Williams said. “The enthusiasm, exciting. When they announced they were going to play the doubles, the crowd was so excited. You can hear them right now.

“It’s just been a pleasure to play for that.

“I love playing. I love looking forward to playing the next ties, seeing who we’re going to play when the draw comes out. I love all of that.

“I think I had a little bit of an advantage today because Sloane had a chance to play against Magda, so had a nice scouting report. I was able to really get started quickly. I think she did a little of the work beforehand for me. I kind of like had the heads-up.”

In the dead doubles rubber, CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands faced playing captain Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Paula Kania, who substituted for Alicja Rosolska. In the end, Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands won their match, 6-1, 7-5, in one hour and 15 minutes. Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands were playing together for the first time and Vandeweghe had beat Mattek-Sands in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open mixed doubles tournament last month. Vandeweghe is now 2-0 in Fed Cup doubles play, also playing in a dead doubles rubber last year with Taylor Townsend in the World Group II First Round in Argentina, while Mattek-Sands is 4-0 in doubles, last playing Fed Cup doubles in the 2010 World Group Semifinal against Russia. Jans-Ignacik is now 20-10 in Fed Cup doubles play, while Kania is 1-2.

“We just played our game,” said Mattek-Sands. “We kept playing aggressive, closing the net. That’s how we won the first set. We’re prepared for our opponents to step up and play better. Maybe have a little less pressure on them in the second and go for a few shots.

“I think it’s business as usual. We had our game plan and we stuck to it.”

“There’s ebbs and flows to every match,” said Vandeweghe. “It’s how you weather the storm for their good play and also adjusting to your own play. At times Bethanie and I were playing in sync, and at times we weren’t. This is the first time we ever played together. I think we have to take that into account as well.

“But I think we adjusted well right after the break, showing our dominance and presence again, basically dominating their serves right back.”

The U.S. is now 21-0 when leading 2-0 after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995), 38-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home, and holds an overall 145-36 record.

 

Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000.

 

ORDER OF PLAY AND RESULTS

 

DAY/LOCAL TIME      MATCH             PAIRING

Saturday, 11:00 a.m.       Singles A:              Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Magda Linette (POL), 6-2, 6-4

Singles B:             Venus Williams (USA) def. Paula Kania (POL), 7-5, 6-2

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.         Singles C:             Venus Williams (USA) def. Magda Linette (POL) 6-1, 6-2

Singles D:             Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Paula Kania (POL)  not played

Doubles:               Bethanie Mattek-Sands/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

def. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Paula Kania (POL) 6-1, 7-5

 

The United States advances to the World Group Playoffs, held April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group. Poland will play in the World Group II Playoffs in April to remain in World Group II in 2017.

 

The draw for the World Group Playoffs will be held this Tuesday, February 9. The U.S. will face one of the losers of World Group I – Romania, Germany, Italy, and Russia. Below are the home-away scenarios.

– Romania (coin toss)

– Germany (home tie)

– Italy (home tie)

– Russia (away tie)

 

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

usfedcup2

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ORDER OF PLAY AND RESULTS

 

DAY/LOCAL TIME      MATCH             PAIRING

Saturday, 11:00 a.m.       Singles A:              Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Magda Linette (POL), 6-2, 6-4

Singles B:             Venus Williams (USA) def. Paula Kania (POL), 7-5, 6-2

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.         Singles C:             Venus Williams (USA) vs. Magda Linette (POL)

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000. The U.S. holds an overall 144-36 record.

 

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