2015/03/05

David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky Win Acapulco Titles

Ferrer wins Qatar

(February 28, 2015) David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky took home Abierto Mexicano Telcel titles on Saturday in Acapulco.

 

Ferrer won an ATP best third tournament this year with the title and lifted his record to 18-1 with the 6-3, 7-5 win over top seed Kei Nishikori. For the 32-year-old Spaniard, it was his fourth title in Acapulco and his 24th career ATP crown. He won the previous three Acapulco titles on clay, this year’s event was played on hardcourt.

“Tonight I played my best match this week,” said Ferrer. I played very aggressive, without mistakes. I’m very happy. To win here a fourth time is a dream.

“I tried to play my forehand to his forehand and with more energy. In important moments, he made more mistakes and I took my chances. I feel very confident with my tennis now. I’ve won three tournaments this year and we’ve only began the season.”

“There were too many unforced errors,” said Nishikori. I tried to be aggressive but I was missing too much. Especially with this slower surface, he gets everything. I knew I had to step in a little more, but it wasn’t my day.

“I fought hard from 0-3 (in the second set) and tried to come back, but he was too good. It was definitely a great week, I had some tough matches and it’s always a great feeling coming through to a final.”

Just six days ago he captured the title in Rio de Janeiro and in January won the crown in Doha. The world No. 9 took home $343,000 in prize money.

 

Despite the loss, Nishikori, will reach career-high World No. 4 ranking on Monday.

Almost out of tennis, fifth seeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland won her second WTA Tour title, beating third seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-0. Dealing with multiple injuries from 2011-2013, she fell as low as 578 in the world. She said that she almost stopped playing the sport in 2013.

“I almost stopped playing in 2013,” said the Swiss. “When I decided to play again, at the French Open in 2013, I got a new team around me – a new coach, new fitness coach, I’ve been working a lot with Swiss tennis. The road was long, and it’ll still be long, but I’ve been working hard. I wasn’t just expecting the results to come right away, I was patient. I knew I needed time to build everything up. I’m really proud. And knowing what I’ve been through, I’m even prouder.”

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Lucie Safarova Claims First Win over Victoria Azarenka to win Doha Title

Safarova

(February 28, 2015) Lucie Safarova beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open on Saturday for her first Premier-level championship and sixth career WTA title, her first since Quebec City in 2013.

The victory snapped Azarenka’s 14-match winning streak in Doha, which included two titles. I was also the Czech’s first win against the Belarusian.

“I’m really excited and happy about it, because it took me quite a few years to get to this point,“ Safarova said. “I hope it’s not a finish point and I can still improve. I’m playing more consistently. My game improved a lot throughout the last couple of years. I think we did the great job together with my coach, Rob, on my game and it’s just hard work and also maturing a little bit.  I think it’s everything together.”

“There’s a lot of progress this week, a lot of good things happened. I played a lot of great matches, and that’s especially what I was looking for,“ Azarenka said. “Obviously I’m disappointed for today, but I just have to move on quickly. There is going to be another tournament in a week, so I have to prepare for that.  But I can be satisfied with the progress that I made.”

Safarova will move up to a career-high ranking of No.11 in the new rankings, while Azarenka is projected to return to the Top 40.

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Venus Williams, Azarenka, Suarez Navarro and Safarova Reach Doha Semis

 

(February 26, 2015) Venus Williams stopped Agnieszka Radwanska for the second time this year 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the Qatar Open semifinals. Williams knocked out the Pole in the round of 16 at the Australian Open last month.

Williams will face two-time Qatar champion, wild card Victoria Azarenka who defeated third seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 in her semifinal. Williams is a perfect 4-0 against Azarenka.

No 1 Petra Kvitova fell to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, for the second time in two weeks.The Spaniard also defeated the Czech in Dubai last week.

Lucie Safarova will challenge Suarez Navarro for a place in the final, after dispatching sixth seed Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-1.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN 2015 – DOHA, QATAR
$ 731,000.00
23-28 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 26, 2015
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[9] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [1] P. Kvitova (CZE) 36 60 63
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [3] [WC] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 63 61
[7] V. Williams (USA) d [4] A. Radwanska (POL) 64 16 63
L. Safarova (CZE) d [6] A. Petkovic (GER) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Mirza (IND) d M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 60 61
[4] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) / K. Flipkens (BEL) walkover
H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Erakovic (NZL) 63 62

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 4:30 pm
[9] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs L. Safarova (CZE)
[7] V. Williams (USA) vs [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR)
[1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Mirza (IND) vs H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS)

COURT 1 start 5:30 pm
[4] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

 

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Azarenka and Venus Williams Advance in Doha

Venus Williams

QATAR TOTAL OPEN 2015 – DOHA, QATAR
$ 731,000.00
23-28 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 23, 2015
Women’s
Singles – First Round

[7] V. Williams (USA) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) 36 62 61
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [8] A. Kerber (GER) 60 63
L. Safarova (CZE) d S. Stosur (AUS) 76(3) 64
B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d S. Lisicki (GER) 75 64
F. Pennetta (ITA) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 36 64 62

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[4] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d A. Klepac (SLO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) 76(2) 64

Women’s
Qualifying Singles – Third Round

Qualifying – [6] [WC] K. Flipkens (BEL) d K. Kozlova (UKR) 63 64
Qualifying – S. Voegele (SUI) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 63 36 64
Qualifying – A. Dulgheru (ROU) d S. Zheng (CHN) 61 60
Qualifying – D. Gavrilova (RUS) d S. Hsieh (TPE) 16 63 64

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 3:30 pm
[Q] K. Flipkens (BEL) vs [6] A. Petkovic (GER)
G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [9] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
[Q] A. Dulgheru (ROU) vs A. Cornet (FRA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[7] V. Williams (USA) vs B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 3:30 pm
[LL] S. Zheng (CHN) vs J. Jankovic (SRB)
Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs [Q] S. Voegele (SUI)
[3] M. Hingis (SUI) / F. Pennetta (ITA) vs H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS)
Ka. Pliskova (CZE) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Erakovic (NZL)

COURT 2 start 3:30 pm
[Q] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs E. Svitolina (UKR)
[1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Mirza (IND) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) / K. Flipkens (BEL) vs [WC] F. Al Nabhani (OMA) / S. Zheng (CHN)

COURT 3 start 3:30 pm
[WC] O. Jabeur (TUN) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ)
[Alt] D. Jurak (CRO) / K. Koukalova (CZE) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
After Suitable Rest – G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)

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Nadal Knocked Out of Rio by Fognini

Nadal at changeover

(February 21, 2015) Fabio Fognini stunned world No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Rio Open on 1-6, 6-2, 7-5. The fourth seeded Italian will face David Ferrer in the final on Sunday. Ferrer beat Andreas Haider-Maurer in the other semifinal 7-5, 6-1.

Fognini snapped Nadal’s 52-match win streak in tournament semifinals on clay with the win.

“Everybody knows he is the best on this surface,” Fognini said. “I don’t have words to describe this moment. I am super happy. It’s the best match I have won so far in my career.”

Near the end of the match, Nadal appeared to be cramping. He is scheduled to participate in next week’s tournament in Buenos Aires.

Nadal said he was happy with the way he played in the first set, but he “got tired too early.” The Spaniard was on the court until 3:18 on Saturday morning before defeating Pablo Cuevas, returning to the court less than 17 hours later.

Fognini will be attempting to win his fourth ATP title on Sunday, while Ferrer is going after tournament trophy number 23.

The loss for Nadal means his ranking will fall to No. 4 behind Andy Murray when next week’s rankings are released.

Rio Open

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-finals
[4] F. Fognini (ITA) d [1] R. Nadal (ESP) 16 62 75
[2] D. Ferrer (ESP) d A. Haider-Maurer (AUT) 75 61

Doubles – Final
M Klizan (SVK) / P Oswald (AUT) d P Andujar (ESP) / O Marach (AUT) 76(3) 64
SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 3:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Errani (ITA) vs [6] A. Schmiedlova (SVK)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [4] F. Fognini (ITA) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)

 

Delray Beach

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-finals
[4] I. Karlovic (CRO) d [5] A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 64
D. Young (USA) d B. Tomic (AUS) 46 64 62

Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d E Butorac (USA) / R Ram (USA) 46 63 10-4
[2] R Klaasen (RSA) / L Paes (IND) d B Tomic (AUS) / V Troicki (SRB) 64 64
SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2015

STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [2] R Klaasen (RSA) / L Paes (IND)
3:00 pm
[4] I. Karlovic (CRO) vs D. Young (USA)

 

Marseilles

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-finals
[7] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA) d [4] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 62
[5] G. Simon (FRA) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 36 63 62

Doubles – Semi-finals
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) d L Rosol (CZE) / D Thiem (AUT) 46 63 10-4

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 1:00 pm
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) vs [2] M Draganja (CRO) / H Kontinen (FIN)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[7] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [5] G. Simon (FRA)

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Simona Halep Wins Dubai Tennis Championships for Second Title of the Year

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 21, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – Simona Halep defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(4) on Saturday to win the Dubai Tennis Championships for her 10th WTA title of her career, second title of 2015 and her second Premier 5-level victory. Halep won a title in Shenzen, China in January.

Halep won the first set in 41 minutes breaking the Czech’s serve in the seventh game.

Pliskova got off to a 2-0 start in the second set, but Halep rebounded to get back on serve, then get ahead to serve for the match at 5-4. Halep failed to close out the match serving at both 5-4 and 6-5, reaching match points in both service games. The last six games in the set were breaks of serve.

“I was trying to turn it around, but even if I won the second set, I don’t know if I would have won the whole match,” Pliskova said. “It would still have been hard because she doesn’t give up on any point. She runs really, really well, and it’s hard to kill the ball against her. She really gets everything back.”

“She played very well, it’s hard to explain how I feel, it’s a big title for me,” Halep said on court.

“I knew she had a big serve, I believe I have a good return. I stayed focused on every point.”

Halep won the last four points of the tiebreak to claim the match.

“I did two double faults at 6‑5,” said Halep. “I cannot imagine how I could serve with 100 kilometers just to put the ball on court but I couldn’t. But in tiebreak I was strong and I stayed very focused and I was fighting till the end. That was the most important, I think.”

“She played very well….it’s hard to explain how I feel, it’s a big title for me,” Halep said.

“I’m very happy now, and I cannot explain words how I feel,” said Halep. “It’s just an amazing title for me. It’s very important for my career. I’m really happy, and I just want to enjoy this moment.”

“Of course I lost so I’m not really happy, but obviously I’m happy for the week and for the last two or three weeks,” said Pliskova.

For the 23-year-old Romanian, the win moves her ranking back up to No. 3 in the world. Pliskova is expected to rise to No. 12 when the rankings are released on Monday.

“At the beginning of the tournament some people asked me if I felt pressure because I was the No.1 seed,” Halep said. “I said no, because I wasn’t thinking about it, and I just wanted to go on court and play match by match, because everyone would play really well here. And I played with big players like Makarova, Pliskova, Wozniacki – she was No.1 two years. So it’s honestly just an amazing victory for me.”

The doubles title went to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, who beat Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2. It was their fourth final together, and their first title.

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Halep and Pliskova Reach Dubai Final

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 20, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – Top seed Simona Halep will play Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Halep rebounded after dropping the opening set to defeat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, while Pliskova came through an almost three hour match with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 win over Garbine Muguruza.

“I was trying everything,” Wozniacki said of the match. “I was just making so many errors, and I don’t really know where they came from. I think I was just tired. You know, it’s been a long week for me.””

“I started the match with a bad tactic,” Halep said. “I just wanted to hit every ball, and I did many mistakes. I couldn’t find the rhythm. So in the second set I said that I have to change it and just to play with a good length and to open the court more. I didn’t want to force too much like in first set. That worked very well for me.”

 

“It was a really long match,” said Pliskova. “There was so many close points and close games. I was losing. She had some break points in the third set, as well. There’s just few points which is deciding.”

“I think the key was her serve,” said Muguruza. “She served so good. I couldn’t break her serve. I mean, obviously when you cannot break the other one’s serve you feel a lot of pressure with your serve. But it was a very good week. I won incredible matches.”

Halep is looking to win her second title of the year, the Romanian won in Shenzen in January. Pliskova will be playing in her second final of the year, losing in the final at Sydney.

 

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DUBAI, UAE
$ 2,513,000.00
15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 20, 2015
Women’s
Singles – Semifinals

[1] S. Halep (ROU) d [3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 26 61 61
[17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d G. Muguruza (ESP) 64 57 75

Women’s
Doubles – Semifinals

[6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 62 63
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) d [7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) 36 61 10-5

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
DOUBLES FINAL – [6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL – [1] S. Halep (ROU) vs [17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE)

 

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Nadal Reaches Rio Quarters

Nadal 2 16 2013 Brasil Open William Lucas Inovafoto

(February 19, 2015) Rafael Nadal has reached the quarterfinals of the Rio Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory on Thursday night over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Naal was tested in the first set, needing five set points to claim it. In the second, Nadal broke serve in the eighth game and closed out the match on his serve in the ninth.

“Tough conditions, a difficult, young opponent and I’m just content to be in the quarterfinals,” Nadal said after the match. “For me every victory is important, and even more so on clay.”

Next up for Nadal will be No. 6 seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay on Friday.

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (-3 hours GMT)
16-22 February 2015   Surface: Clay

Rio Open presented by Claro

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Second Round
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 75 63
[4] F. Fognini (ITA) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 62
[6] P. Cuevas (URU) d A. Montanes (ESP) 62 62
F. Delbonis (ARG) d [8] M. Klizan (SVK) 62 61

Doubles – Quarter-Finals
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d P Lorenzi (ITA) / D Schwartzman (ARG) 75 61
[2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) d C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) 61 36 10-7
M Klizan (SVK) / P Oswald (AUT) d [4] P Cuevas (URU) / D Marrero (ESP) w/o (Marrero – illness)
P Andujar (ESP) / O Marach (AUT) d [WC] A Sa (BRA) / J Souza (BRA) 63 62
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Errani (ITA) vs [WC] B. Haddad Maia (BRA)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – J. Monaco (ARG) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – [WC] J. Souza (BRA) vs A. Haider-Maurer (AUT)
ATP – [4] F. Fognini (ITA) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)
ATP – [1] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [6] P. Cuevas (URU)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
WTA – J. Glushko (ISR) vs [2] I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – [6] A. Schmiedlova (SVK) vs [Q] V. Cepede Royg (PAR)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – After suitable rest – Y Bonaventure (BEL) / R Peterson (SWE) vs B Haddad Maia (BRA) / T Pereira (BRA)
ATP – M Klizan (SVK) / P Oswald (AUT) vs [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)
ATP – [1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs P Andujar (ESP) / O Marach (AUT)

COURT 3 start 1:00 pm
WTA – D. Pfizenmaier (GER) vs [5] J. Larsson (SWE)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – After suitable rest – [1] I Begu (ROU) / M Irigoyen (ARG) vs C Hsu (TPE) / E Kostova (BUL)

 

No. 1 seed Milos Raonic of Canada was knocked out of the Open 13 in his opening match on Thursday falling 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) to Simone Bolelli, For the Italian Bolelli, he survived 21 aces against him for the biggest win of his career, his first top ten win in 35 attempts.

ATP World Tour 250  €565,735 (€632,840 Total Financial Commitment)
Marseille, France (+1 hour GMT)
16-22 February 2015   Surface: Indoor Hard

Open 13

Marseille, France

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Second Round
S. Bolelli (ITA) d [1] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 36 76(3)
[2] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [WC] B. Paire (FRA) 62 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d [3] E. Gulbis (LAT) 63 64
[5] G. Simon (FRA) d [WC] B. Coric (CRO) 62 36 63
D. Thiem (AUT) d [6] D. Goffin (BEL) 51 ret. (back pain)

Doubles – Quarter-Finals
[2] M Draganja (CRO) / H Kontinen (FIN) d M Emmrich (GER) / A Siljestrom (SWE) 67(4) 63 10-7
L Rosol (CZE) / D Thiem (AUT) d A Golubev (KAZ) / D Istomin (UZB) 46 64 10-8
R Junaid (AUS) / A Shamasdin (CAN) d K Skupski (GBR) / N Skupski (GBR) 64 76(7)

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 12:00 noon
[1] P Herbert (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR)
Not Before 2:00 pm
[4] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs D. Thiem (AUT)
S. Bolelli (ITA) vs [7] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
Not Before 8:30 pm
[5] G. Simon (FRA) vs J. Chardy (FRA)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
R Junaid (AUS) / A Shamasdin (CAN) vs [2] M Draganja (CRO) / H Kontinen (FIN)

 

ATP World Tour 250  €565,735 (€632,840 Total Financial Commitment)
Delray Beach, U.S.A. (-5 hours GMT)
16-22 February 2015   Surface: Hard

Delray Beach presented by the Venetian Las Vegas

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Second Round
[3] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d T. Smyczek (USA) 62 64
B. Tomic (AUS) d [8] V. Troicki (SRB) 63 67(2) 64
D. Young (USA) d A. Gonzalez (COL) 63 62
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d M. Matosevic (AUS) 61 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] R Klaasen (RSA) / L Paes (IND) d T Huey (PHI) / S Lipsky (USA) 63 64
E Butorac (USA) / R Ram (USA) d [3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Mirnyi (BLR) 64 57 10-4
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2015

STADIUM start 11:00 am
D. Young (USA) vs [3] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Smith (AUS) / M Venus (NZL)
Not Before 2:30 pm
B. Tomic (AUS) vs [Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN)
6:00 pm
Y. Lu (TPE) vs [5] A. Mannarino (FRA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[4] I. Karlovic (CRO) vs [7] S. Johnson (USA)

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Halep and Wozniacki Reach Dubai Semifinals

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 19, 2015) Dubai UAETop seeded Simona Halep will play third seeded Caroline Wozniacki, and 17th seed Karolina Pliskova will play unseeded Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.

 

It took Halep two hours and seven minutes to beat Etkaterina Makarova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 and avenge her defeat by in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month. Wozniacki withstood a competitive first set to beat Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-0.

 

Pliskova needed two hours 26 minutes to rally past Lucie Safarova 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 and Muguruza took two hours 19 minutes to overcome Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3.

 

Halep failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and then needing five match points to clinch the win.

 

“I didn’t believe in my serve at that moment, and I just tried to finish very quickly and wasn’t good idea,” said Halep. “I was very nervous, and I wanted just to hit winners. It’s not possible at this level, and she’s a good player. I’m really happy that I could finish in the right way and to win, because it was a tough match.”

 

Wozniacki has been struggling with a sore throat this week.

 

“I knew that when I’m out there I need to focus 100% on each point,” said Wozniacki. “I can’t just give loose ones away, because that means longer time on court which means I have less of a chance of winning, so especially like now. I think that’s definitely helped me focus.”

 

Pliskova’s win was her second in two weeks over Safarova after she also won their quarter-final match in Antwerp, but she had to work hard to gain an advantage.

 

“I would say that she deserved to win as well. I’m a little bit sorry for her,” said Pliskova, “I called coach and he really helped me, and that’s probably the main thing why I won the second set, and then why I won the third set as well.”

 

Muguruza beat her friend, doubles partner and fellow Spaniard Suarez Navarro.

 

“I was sad because I lost the first set, but I said, ‘If I want to win this match I cannot play bad the second set’,” said Muguruza. “My only chance is to win the second set and try to have chances to win the match. So I said, Okay, the second set I’m going to give it all, and if I win I will have options to win the match.”

 

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DUBAI, UAE
$ 2,513,000.00
15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 19, 2015
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[1] S. Halep (ROU) d [6] E. Makarova (RUS) 63 16 75
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) 75 60
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [11] L. Safarova (CZE) 36 76(5) 61
G. Muguruza (ESP) d [13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 67(4) 63 63

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) 75 62
[6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) 75 64
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) d M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS) 76(6) 64
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) 75 76(1)

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) vs [7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] S. Halep (ROU) vs [3] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP)

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Venus Williams, Kvitova, Ivanovic and Radwanska suffer early exits in Dubai

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 18, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – Wednesday marked a day of upsets at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Defending champion Venus Williams was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Lucie Safarova in the third round along with No. 2 Petra Kvitova, fourth seed Ana Ivanovic, fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and seventh seed Angelique Kerber.

 

For three-time champion Williams, it snapped her 16-match win-streak, her first loss in Dubai since 2005.

 

“I think she played awesome,” said Williams of her conqueror Safarova. “There were a couple of games there that I didn’t even get my racquet on the ball. What can I say to that? I don’t think I played badly, but I couldn’t afford to make any errors today. The errors that I made were really costly, so, you know, credit to her. I wish her the best of luck the rest of the tournament.”

 

“I was firing the ball, serving really well,” Safarova said. “I put the pressure right away from the first point. My lefty serve into her body and mixing the lefty serve with the really flat and fast serves, that seems give her a little trouble.”

 

Second seed Kvitova fell to Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

 

“Yeah, everybody can beat everyone in the top,” The Czech said. “And, yeah, maybe it’s nice for the fans that they can see something new and some surprises, but not every time it’s nice for us.”

Radwanska was upset 6-4, 6-2 by Garbine Muguruza after arriving in Dubai struggling with her health.

 

“I think when you’re not playing your best tennis then it’s hard to compete with those kind of players,” said Radwanska. “I think I didn’t serve enough, you know, to win that. I think that was really important part in that match.”

 

Muguruza believes there is always a chance to upset the top players if you work hard and keep your concentration.

 

“I think that nowadays there are so many girls that play so good that the difference between the top players and the other ones are really small,” she said. “So I think that you have a chance if you work and play and be concentrate and do your game, I think you can beat them.”

 

The day was not all about upsets as top seed Simona Halep beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-3, third seed Caroline Wozniacki overcame 2014 Dubai finalist Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-0 and Ekaterina Makarova also advanced, beating Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-4.

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DUBAI, UAE
$ 2,513,000
15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 18, 2015
Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Halep (ROU) d T. Pironkova (BUL) 64 63
[13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [2] P. Kvitova (CZE) 63 46 63
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [15] A. Cornet (FRA) 64 60
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [4] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 62 46 64
G. Muguruza (ESP) d [5] A. Radwanska (POL) 64 62
[6] E. Makarova (RUS) d Z. Diyas (KAZ) 63 64
[10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [7] A. Kerber (GER) 62 36 61
[11] L. Safarova (CZE) d [8] V. Williams (USA) 64 62

Doubles – Second Round
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d [1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Mirza (IND) 64 46 10-7
[2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) d K Koukalova (CZE) / K Siniakova (CZE) 76(0) 64
A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d [3] M Hingis (SUI) / F Pennetta (ITA) 63 76(2)
M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS) d [4] S Peng (CHN) / K Peschke (CZE) 76(8) 76(7)
[6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP) d J Jankovic (SRB) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) 64 64
[7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) d M Erakovic (NZL) / H Watson (GBR) 63 64
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) d [WC] F Al Nabhani (OMA) / M Barthel (GER) 61 62
J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) d C Dellacqua (AUS) / S Stosur (AUS) 64 62

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[11] L. Safarova (CZE) vs [17] K. Pliskova (CZE)
G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] S. Halep (ROU) vs [6] E. Makarova (RUS)
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) vs M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS)
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER)

Not Before 6:00 pm
After suitable rest – A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs [6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP)
After suitable rest – [7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS)

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