April 27, 2017

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

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

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

Maria Sharapova’s Ban Reduced to 15 Months

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharapova will face countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova next.

 

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

Related Articles:

Maria Sharapova Set to Return From Doping Ban at Stuttgart Tourney

ITF Statement Regarding the Case of Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

 

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

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

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

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

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

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

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

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

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

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Schiavone, Coric, Vondrousova and Johnson win Tennis Titles This Week

Borna Coric

(April 16, 2017) Francesca Schiavone, Borna Coric, Marketa Vondrousova and Steve Johnson claimed titles on the tennis tour this week.

Francesca Schiavone

In her final season on tour, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won her eighth career title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fourth seed Lara Arruabarrena at the Claro Open Colsanitas on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Italian veteran had not won a main tour match all season.

Winning on Bogota ups this former world No. 4 to 168th in the world as she tries to gain direct entry into the French Open.

“I’m not thinking about retirement,” she said. “I’m enjoying tennis.”

 

Borna Coric

Croatia’s Borna Coric saved five match points to win his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday beating German Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the Grand Prix Hassan II final. Last year’s finalist became this year’s winner in 2 hours, 38 minutes – the longest final this year according to the ATP.
The 20-year-old Coric is the third first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Gilles Muller who won Sydney and Ryan Harrison who claimed the Memphis title.

“I would say that’s my biggest comeback, I’ve never saved five match points,” noted Coric. “Especially in such an important match, I served very well in the big points. It’s an awesome feeling. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here and I wasn’t in the best shape. But I’ve been working very hard the past three or four months and now it’s paying off.”

“It’s one of those days where you have many good opportunities,” explained Kohlschreiber. “It was a big fight and great drama in the end. Losing a match with match points and to be so close to the title is always very difficult. But it was a very good week for me. I played great tennis this week and I’m looking forward to more clay-court matches.”

Steve Johnson survived late cramps to win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, besting Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Sunday at River Oaks Country Club. For the 27-year-old Johnson, this is his second ATP Tour title, he won Nottingham last year.

“A lot goes into cramping. For me today, it was the nerves of trying to close out the title. I haven’t been there enough to feel very comfortable.”

“To win on U.S. soil and win when you’re not feeling great is a testament to my willpower and competitiveness,” Johnson said.”
“My body has just physically run out of gas after this week… I was very fortunate to get out of that.”

“He was playing unbelievably… I’m a little bit sad because I think I could have won, but I’m happy to make another final, Bellucci said”

Johnson beat two former champions on the way to the title, Fernando Verdasco (2014) in the quarterfinals and American Davis Cup teammate Jack Sock (2015) in the semifinals, to reach his third career final.

“Both players were very tired in the third set and we were missing more shots than before,” Bellucci said. “I’m happy for my week but today I am disappointed. I (thought) I could win because I was a little better than him physically. He deserved it more than me.”

Seventeen-year-old Marketa Vondrousova won her first WTA Tour title on Sunday, surprising Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Biel Ladies Open final.

Rankled at 233rd in the world, the Czech captured the first edition of the Swiss indoor hard-court tournament.
The southpaw will be part of the Czech Fed Cup team next weekend as they take on the United States in Tampa, Florida.

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

Victoria Azarenka

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Volvo Car Open Partners with SunTrust to Offer Juniors 15 and Under Free Tickets

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – The Volvo Car Open tennis tournament has continued its mission to grow the game of tennis. For the third year in a row, the WTA Premier event has partnered with SunTrust to offer juniors, 15 and under, free admission all week into the Volvo Car Open, April 1 – 9, 2017, in Charleston, SC on Daniel Island.

 

“We want the name Volvo Car Open to be synonymous with growing the game of tennis,” said Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open Tournament Director. “We value our partnership with SunTrust to offer juniors unparalleled and complimentary access to our tournament. We hope to touch the lives of thousands of youth and inspire the next generation of tennis players and fans. This is possible because of SunTrust’s commitment to our tournament. Through this program, together we’ve already provided nearly 20,000 youth access to an international, world-renowned tennis tournament.”

 

“This is our 10th year supporting the community through our partnership with this world-class event, and we are incredibly proud to be able to inspire the next generation to reach for their dreams,” said Mark Lattanzio, SunTrust Region President. “It’s how we live our purpose to Light the Way to Financial Well-being for our clients and communities. And it helps us share the onUp movement to start a conversation about how financial confidence can put them on the right track to achieve their dreams.”

 

SunTrust will also sponsor the City of Charleston’s Tennis in the City event, an annual one-day inner-city youth tennis clinic held at the Jack Adams Tennis Center in downtown Charleston during the Volvo Car Open. Since its inception in 2003, this event has made a profound impact on thousands of local, Charleston children.  This occasion brings WTA tennis players, tennis pros, as well as high school and college teams together to introduce the game of tennis to local children, in turn helping them learn basics of the game in an exciting environment.

 

Complimentary junior tickets can be redeemed via www.VolvoCarOpen.com, by calling 800.677.2293 or via the Box Office, located at 161 Seven Farms Drive Charleston, SC 29492.

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Tennis – Acapulco and Sao Paulo Results

 

Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Acapulco, Mexico

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2016

Singles – Quarterfinals
[6] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [1] [WC] N. Djokovic (SRB) 76(9) 75
[2] R. Nadal (ESP) d [Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) 76(2) 63
[3] M. Cilic (CRO) d S. Johnson (USA) walkover (Right Foot)
S. Querrey (USA) d [4] D. Thiem (AUT) 61 75

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d S. Lipsky (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) 61 63
J. Isner (USA) / F. Lopez (ESP) d [2] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 62 75
[PR] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Qureshi (PAK) d [WC] S. Gonzalez (MEX) / D. Marrero (ESP) 64 62
O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) d [Q] R. Albot (MDA) / M. Zverev (GER) 75 67(1) 11-9

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 2016

CANCHA CENTRAL start 4:00 pm
WTA – [5] C. McHale (USA) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)

Not Before 6:00pm
ATP – [3] M. Cilic (CRO) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 8:00pm
WTA – [1] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs [7] L. Tsurenko (UKR)

Not Before 10:00 pm
ATP – [6] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs S. Querrey (USA)

GRAND STAND CALIENTE start 4:00 pm
WTA – [3] D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs D. Schuurs (NED) / R. Voracova (CZE)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) vs J. Isner (USA) / F. Lopez (ESP)
WTA – A. Muhammad (USA) / T. Townsend (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Duque-Marino (COL)
ATP – TBA – [1] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [PR] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Qureshi (PAK)

 

 

 

Brasil Open
Sao Paulo, Brasil

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2017

Singles – Second Round
[1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) d [WC] J. Souza (BRA) 64 62
[3] P. Cuevas (URU) d F. Bagnis (ARG) 62 62
[5] F. Fognini (ITA) d [Q] A. Giannessi (ITA) 76(1) 76(3)
[6] D. Schwartzman (ARG) d G. Melzer (AUT) 62 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[PR] S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) d [1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / P. Cuevas (URU) 60 67(3) 12-10
R. Dutra Silva (BRA) / A. Sa (BRA) d [3] N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) 76(4) 26 10-6

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 2017

QUADRA CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[7] F. Delbonis (ARG) vs [4] J. Sousa (POR)
G. Pella (ARG) vs [2] A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

Not Before 5:00 pm
S. Galdos (PER) / H. Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) vs. [4] M. Daniell (NZL) / M. Demoliner (BRA)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [5] F. Fognini (ITA)
[3] P. Cuevas (URU) vs [6] D. Schwartzman (ARG)

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Tennis – Acapulco and Sao Paulo Results

Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Acapulco, Mexico

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] N. Djokovic (SRB) d J. del Potro (ARG) 46 64 64
[2] R. Nadal (ESP) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 61 61
[3] M. Cilic (CRO) d B. Coric (CRO) 63 26 63
[4] D. Thiem (AUT) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 75 63
S. Querrey (USA) d [5] D. Goffin (BEL) 62 63
[6] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d D. Young (USA) 62 64
S. Johnson (USA) d [WC] E. Escobedo (USA) 76(5) 63
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d [LL] J. Thompson (AUS) 64 36 60

Doubles – First Round
[2] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Venus (NZL) 63 64
[WC] S. Gonzalez (MEX) / D. Marrero (ESP) d [3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) 76(3) 63
O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) d [4] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 61 16 11-9
S. Lipsky (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) d [WC] H. Hach Verdugo (MEX) / C. Ramirez (MEX) 63 64
[PR] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Qureshi (PAK) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 75 76(3)
[Q] R. Albot (MDA) / M. Zverev (GER) d **[LL] M. Arevalo (ESA) / L. Patino (MEX) 46 62 10-3

**[LL] M. Arevalo (ESA) / L. Patino (MEX) replaced [LL] A. Mannarino (FRA) / J. Thompson (AUS) – (Thompson – right hand)
[LL] A. Mannarino (FRA) / J. Thompson (AUS) had previously replaced N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) – (Sock – right shoulder)

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2016

CANCHA CENTRAL start 4:00 pm
ATP – S. Johnson (USA) vs [3] M. Cilic (CRO)
ATP – [Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)
ATP – [4] D. Thiem (AUT) vs S. Querrey (USA)

Not Before 10:00 pm
ATP – [1] [WC] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] N. Kyrgios (AUS)

GRAND STAND CALIENTE start 4:00 pm
WTA – [5] C. Mchale (USA) vs [4] M. Puig (PUR)
WTA – K. Flipkens (BEL) vs [2] K. Mladenovic (FRA)
WTA – [3] J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs [7] L. Tsurenko (UKR)
WTA – [1] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs P. Parmentier (FRA)

CANCHA 2 start 4:00 pm
WTA – M. Brengle (USA) / N. Gibbs (USA) vs [3] D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS)
WTA – D. Kovinic (MNE) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs A. Muhammad (USA) / T. Townsend (USA)
WTA – [4] C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Mchale (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Duque-Mariño (COL)

CANCHA 4 start 4:00 pm
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / F. Lopez (ESP) vs [2] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [WC] S. Gonzalez (MEX) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs [PR] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Qureshi (PAK)
ATP – [Q] R. Albot (MDA) / M. Zverev (GER) vs O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA)
ATP -After Suitable Rest – [1] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs S. Lipsky (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

Brasil Open
Sao Paulo, Brasil

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2017

Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d G. Elias (POR) 64 76(5)
[4] J. Sousa (POR) d R. Olivo (ARG) 62 64
[7] F. Delbonis (ARG) d C. Ruud (NOR) 75 63
G. Pella (ARG) d [8] C. Berlocq (ARG) 75 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals
F. Bagnis (ARG) / G. Duran (ARG) d [2] J. Peralta (CHI) / H. Zeballos (ARG) 76(4) 75

First Round
[1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / P. Cuevas (URU) d J. Brunstrom (SWE) / A. Siljestrom (SWE) 64 36 10-7
[4] M. Daniell (NZL) / M. Demoliner (BRA) d [WC] D. Lajovic (SRB) / E. Russi Assumpcao (BRA) 63 61

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2017

QUADRA CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[3] N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs R. Dutra Silva (BRA) / A. Sa (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[Q] A. Giannessi (ITA) vs [5] F. Fognini (ITA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [WC] J. Souza (BRA)

Not Before 6:30 pm
G. Melzer (AUT) vs [6] D. Schwartzman (ARG)
[1] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / P. Cuevas (URU) vs [PR] S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA)

QUADRA 1 start 4:00 pm
[3] P. Cuevas (URU) vs F. Bagnis (ARG)

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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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