Nadal Wins First Clay-court Match of Year in Rio, Isner Ousted in Delray Beach

Rafael_Nadal 11 3 2011

(February 17, 2015) Nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal is back on his beloved clay for the first time in 2015. The world No 3 defeated Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the Rio Open on Tuesday 6-4, 6-1.

The first set was full of breaks of serve by both players, with Nadal turning the momentum of the match fully his way taking six straight games from 4-4 in the first set to take a 6-4, 4-0 lead.

“The important thing is play a tough match like this in the first round and win,” Nadal said after the match. “And always beating someone in their home country, where he has a lot of support, is tough. I always have a good feeling playing on clay and I’m into the second round. That’s that matters.”

Nadal’s Spanish countryman David Ferrer stopped Daniel Gimeno-Traver, also of Spain 6-4, 6-3. No. 4 seed Fabio Fognini saved 3 match points to beat Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 1-6, 7-6(7), 6-1to reach the second round.

In Delray Beach, second seed John Isner fell in the first round to Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 6-4 while Isner’s US countryman Sam Querrey was forced to retire from his match with a back injury. Querrey was leading Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-3, 1-2.

“It was just one sudden movement and I jerked my back,” Querrey said. He said he will have an MRI before deciding whether he can play Davis Cup for the U.S. versus Great Britain in Glasgow, Scotland, the weekend of March 6-8.

It wasn’t a bad day for all players from the U. S. – three Americans did move into the second round. Tim Smyczek, Donald Young, and seventh-seeded Steve Johnson advanced.

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

Rio Open presented by Claro


ATP Singles – First Round
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 64 61
[2] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 64 63
[4] F. Fognini (ITA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 16 76(7) 61 – saved 3 M.P.
B. Rola (SLO) d [5] L. Mayer (ARG) 46 76(3) 41 ret. (dehydration)
[6] P. Cuevas (URU) d N. Almagro (ESP) 46 63 64
J. Monaco (ARG) d [7] S. Giraldo (COL) 63 30 ret. (dehydration)
[8] M. Klizan (SVK) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 64 06 64
P. Carreno Busta (ESP) d C. Berlocq (ARG) 63 67(3) 60
A. Montanes (ESP) d Ma. Gonzalez (ARG) 46 64 60
P. Andujar (ESP) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 36 60 63
F. Delbonis (ARG) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 67(8) 76(6) 21 ret. (cramping)
[WC] J. Souza (BRA) d [Q] F. Arguello (ARG) 62 61

ATP Doubles – First Round
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA) 76(4) 64

WTA Singles – First Round
[1] S. Errani (ITA) d T. Pereira (BRA) 63 63
[3] R. Vinci (ITA) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 76(4) 63
[WC] B. Haddad Maia (BRA) d [Q] M. Irigoyen (ARG) 61 61
D. Pfizenmaier (GER) d [Q] E. Cabeza Candela (ESP) 67(5) 64 64
P. Ormaechea (ARG) d [Q] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 64 64
[Q] V. Cepede Royg (PAR) d [WC] P. Goncalves (BRA) 62 75
J. Glushko (ISR) d A. Mitu (ROU) 67(5) 63 64
B. Mattek-Sands (USA) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 64 63

WTA Doubles – First Round
[1] I Begu (ROU) / M Irigoyen (ARG) d D Pfizenmaier (GER) / A Schmiedlova (SVK) 61 61
[3] J Rae (GBR) / A Smith (GBR) d [Alt] E Cabeza Candela (ESP) / G Sanesi (ITA) 67(4) 64 12-10
D Kovinic (MNE) / L Pigossi (BRA) d [4] F Molinero (ARG) / S Vogt (LIE) 75 63
Y Bonaventure (BEL) / R Peterson (SWE) d G Ce (BRA) / P Goncalves (BRA) 64 57 10-8



CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] G. Ce (BRA) vs [5] J. Larsson (SWE)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – A. Haider-Maurer (AUT) vs [3] T. Robredo (ESP)
ATP – J. Monaco (ARG) vs J. Nieminen (FIN)
Not Before 4:45 pm
ATP – [3] J Knowle (AUT) / M Melo (BRA) vs P Andujar (ESP) / O Marach (AUT)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – B. Rola (SLO) vs [WC] J. Souza (BRA)
ATP – [Q] T. de Bakker (NED) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – B. Mattek-Sands (USA) vs [2] I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – [4] M. Brengle (USA) vs D. Pfizenmaier (GER)
WTA – B Haddad Maia (BRA) / T Pereira (BRA) vs [2] C Chan (TPE) / I Olaru (ROU)
ATP – S Giraldo (COL) / A Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [2] J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] A. Schmiedlova (SVK) vs A. Van Uytvanck (BEL)
Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [3] J Rae (GBR) / A Smith (GBR) vs C Hsu (TPE) / E Kostova (BUL)
WTA – TBA – Y Bonaventure (BEL) / R Peterson (SWE) vs D Kovinic (MNE) / L Pigossi (BRA)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Mestach (BEL) vs [7] P. Hercog (SLO)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – F Cermak (CZE) / J Vesely (CZE) vs [4] P Cuevas (URU) / D Marrero (ESP)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – P Carreno Busta (ESP) / F Delbonis (ARG) vs P Lorenzi (ITA) / D Schwartzman (ARG)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
WTA – G. Min (USA) vs J. Glushko (ISR)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – TBA After Rest – J Glushko (ISR) / O Rogowska (AUS) vs V Cepede Royg (PAR) / B García Vidagany (ESP)


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


Singles – First Round
[1] K. Anderson (RSA) d [Q] J. Smith (AUS) 63 63
M. Matosevic (AUS) d [2] J. Isner (USA) 64 64
[5] A. Mannarino (FRA) d [Q] E. Quigley (USA) 64 64
A. Gonzalez (COL) d [6] S. Querrey (USA) 36 21 ret. (back)
[7] S. Johnson (USA) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 41 ret. (illness)
[8] V. Troicki (SRB) d [PR] S. Robert (FRA) 67(3) 75 61
Y. Lu (TPE) d S. Groth (AUS) 67(6) 76(5) 64
[Q] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) d F. Krajinovic (SRB) 62 63
[WC] A. Rublev (RUS) d D. Sela (ISR) 64 16 63
D. Young (USA) d I. Dodig (CRO) 75 75
T. Smyczek (USA) d [WC] S. Kozlov (USA) 75 62
B. Tomic (AUS) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 63 63
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d I. Sijsling (NED) 75 61

Doubles – First Round
A Bedene (SLO) / A Gonzalez (COL) d S Bangoura (USA) / V Mirzadeh (USA) 64 36 11-9
T Huey (PHI) / S Lipsky (USA) d S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) w/o (Querrey – back) 


STADIUM start 11:00 am
[WC] D. Kudla (USA) vs [5] A. Mannarino (FRA)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[4] I. Karlovic (CRO) vs [Q] T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
Not Before 2:30 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs D Brown (GER) / A Mannarino (FRA)
6:00 pm
[WC] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [7] S. Johnson (USA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] K. Anderson (RSA) vs Y. Lu (TPE)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
A Bedene (SLO) / A Gonzalez (COL) vs B Tomic (AUS) / V Troicki (SRB)
J Cerretani (USA) / T Gabashvili (RUS) vs J Smith (AUS) / M Venus (NZL)
Not Before 6:00 pm
[3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / S Gonzalez (MEX)




$ 2,513,000.00
15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Second Round

[1] S. Halep (ROU) d [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) 62 60
[2] P. Kvitova (CZE) d E. Svitolina (UKR) 26 63 62
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d S. Stosur (AUS) 46 61 75
[4] A. Ivanovic (SRB) d S. Lisicki (GER) 60 63
[5] A. Radwanska (POL) d C. Garcia (FRA) 63 26 63
[6] E. Makarova (RUS) d [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) 63 63
[7] A. Kerber (GER) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 76(9) 64
Z. Diyas (KAZ) d [9] A. Petkovic (GER) 75 63
[10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [Q] Q. Wang (CHN) 63 75
[11] L. Safarova (CZE) d [WC] C. Dellacqua (AUS) 67(6) 76(4) 75
G. Muguruza (ESP) d [12] J. Jankovic (SRB) 63 61
[13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 63 64
[15] A. Cornet (FRA) d [WC] C. Buyukakcay (TUR) 62 64
T. Pironkova (BUL) d [16] S. Peng (CHN) 36 64 76(5)
[17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 64 62

Doubles – First Round

[6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP) d R Voracova (CZE) / Y Xu (CHN) 62 64
[7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) d Ka. Pliskova (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE) 76(4) 16 10-3
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) d D Jurak (CRO) / O Kalashnikova (GEO) 76(2) 62
J Jankovic (SRB) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) d [Alt] A Naydenova (BUL) / E Rodina (RUS) 63 62
M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS) d M Krajicek (NED) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 46 63 10-7
M Erakovic (NZL) / H Watson (GBR) d H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) 64 26 13-11
K Koukalova (CZE) / K Siniakova (CZE) d M Minella (LUX) / A Petkovic (GER) 67(4) 62 10-4

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[5] A. Radwanska (POL) vs G. Muguruza (ESP)
[8] V. Williams (USA) vs [11] L. Safarova (CZE)
[17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs [4] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] S. Halep (ROU) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [15] A. Cornet (FRA)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
Z. Diyas (KAZ) vs [6] E. Makarova (RUS)
[10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [7] A. Kerber (GER)
[13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] P. Kvitova (CZE)
[3] M Hingis (SUI) / F Pennetta (ITA) vs A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Mirza (IND) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) vs [WC] F Al Nabhani (OMA) / M Barthel (GER)

Not Before 4:00 pm
After suitable rest – J Jankovic (SRB) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP)

COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
C Dellacqua (AUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER)
M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS) vs [4] S Peng (CHN) / K Peschke (CZE)
K Koukalova (CZE) / K Siniakova (CZE) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS)
[7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs M Erakovic (NZL) / H Watson (GBR)


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


Singles – First Round
[7] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA) d [Q] A. Zverev (GER) 61 76(12)
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) d A. Golubev (KAZ) 36 64 62
V. Pospisil (CAN) d R. Haase (NED) 46 63 64
D. Thiem (AUT) d J. Sousa (POR) 76(6) 64
J. Chardy (FRA) d [Q] D. Guez (FRA) 46 63 62
J. Struff (GER) d [Q] N. Mahut (FRA) 61 67(6) 76(1)
[WC] B. Paire (FRA) d P. Mathieu (FRA) 64 00 ret. (illness)

Doubles – First Round
[1] P Herbert (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) d S Bolelli (ITA) / J Struff (GER) 63 76(4)
L Rosol (CZE) / D Thiem (AUT) d G Kretschmer (GER) / A Satschko (GER) 67(3) 76(3) 10-6
K Skupski (GBR) / N Skupski (GBR) d J Erlich (ISR) / M Pavic (CRO) 64 63 


COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
J. Janowicz (POL) vs [6] D. Goffin (BEL)
Not Before 2:00 pm
L. Vanni (ITA) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
[5] G. Simon (FRA) vs [Q] P. Herbert (FRA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [7] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 8:30 pm
[4] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[3] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs A Golubev (KAZ) / D Istomin (UZB)
M Emmrich (GER) / A Siljestrom (SWE) vs M Daniell (NZL) / A Sitak (NZL)
Not Before 3:00 pm
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs J. Struff (GER)
Not Before 4:00 pm
R Junaid (AUS) / A Shamasdin (CAN) vs [4] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED)
[WC] A Zverev (GER) / M Zverev (GER) vs [2] M Draganja (CRO) / H Kontinen (FIN)


Venus Williams Dominates Swiss Teen Bencic at Dubai Tennis Championships

Venus Williams

(February 16, 2015) Thirty-four-year-old Venus Williams gave 17-year-old Belinda Bencic a tennis lesson on Monday at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Williams dominated the up-and-coming Swiss teenager 6-1, 6-2 to open up her title defense.

Williams, a three-time champion of the event, extended her streak in Dubai to 16 straight with the win over an opponent half her age.

“When I was 17, I didn’t think about what the age was of someone across the net,” Williams noted. “All you think of is I want to beat them.”

“At 34, I mean, I’m hitting a little bit harder than most people and playing some offense on the run and hitting the ball just as hard.”


15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Second Round
[8] V. Williams (USA) d B. Bencic (SUI) 61 62

First Round
[11] L. Safarova (CZE) d M. Puig (PUR) 61 64
[16] S. Peng (CHN) d [LL] E. Vesnina (RUS) 75 61
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) d A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 62 64
[WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) d M. Barthel (GER) 76(5) 36 63
[Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) d H. Watson (GBR) 64 75
[WC] C. Buyukakcay (TUR) d [Q] G. Dabrowski (CAN) 62 67(7) 64
[Q] Q. Wang (CHN) d K. Nara (JPN) 57 61 75
B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d [Q] Y. Beygelzimer (UKR) 64 62
G. Muguruza (ESP) d [Q] J. Gajdosova (AUS) 36 61 62
C. Giorgi (ITA) d V. Zvonareva (RUS) 64 62
E. Svitolina (UKR) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 31 ret. (right shoulder injury)

Doubles – First Round
J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) d [5] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) 76(1) 62
C Dellacqua (AUS) / S Stosur (AUS) d J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Lisicki (GER) 63 64
A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d K Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A Klepac (SLO) 62 61

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 pm
[5] A. Radwanska (POL) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
S. Lisicki (GER) vs [4] A. Ivanovic (SRB)
[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs S. Stosur (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [2] P. Kvitova (CZE)
[1] S. Halep (ROU) vs [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK)

COURT 1 start 12:00 pm
G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [12] J. Jankovic (SRB)
[9] A. Petkovic (GER) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ)
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [7] A. Kerber (GER)
[10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [Q] Q. Wang (CHN)

COURT 2 start 12:00 pm
[13] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs C. Giorgi (ITA)
[WC] C. Dellacqua (AUS) vs [11] L. Safarova (CZE)
[Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) vs [6] E. Makarova (RUS)
R Voracova (CZE) / Y Xu (CHN) vs [6] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suárez Navarro (ESP)

COURT 3 start 12:00 pm
[WC] C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs [15] A. Cornet (FRA)
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
T. Pironkova (BUL) vs [16] S. Peng (CHN)
[7] C Garcia (FRA) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs K Pliskova (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE)

COURT 7 start 12:00 pm
[8] T Babos (HUN) / K Mladenovic (FRA) vs D Jurak (CRO) / O Kalashnikova (GEO)
H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) vs M Erakovic (NZL) / H Watson (GBR)
J Jankovic (SRB) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs Alternate / Unknown
M Krajicek (NED) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs M Niculescu (ROU) / A Panova (RUS)
K Koukalova (CZE) / K Siniakova (CZE) vs M Minella (LUX) / A Petkovic (GER)



Tennis Schedules for Delray Beach, Dubai, Marseille and Rio De Janeiro

atp wta

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


STADIUM start 11:00 am
M Jaziri (TUN) / M Matosevic (AUS) vs [2] R Klaasen (RSA) / L Paes (IND)
Not Before 12:30 pm
L. Lacko (SVK) vs [WC] D. Kudla (USA)
Not Before 2:30 pm
T. Gabashvili (RUS) vs [3] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
6:00 pm
B Tomic (AUS) / V Troicki (SRB) vs [4] S Groth (AUS) / C Guccione (AUS)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[4] I. Karlovic (CRO) vs D. Brown (GER)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
Final Round Qualifying – Qualifying – [2] V. Hanescu (ROU) vs E. Quigley (USA)
Not Before 12:30 pm
E Butorac (USA) / R Ram (USA) vs M Kukushkin (KAZ) / Y Lu (TPE)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
Final Round Qualifying – Qualifying – [4] Y. Nishioka (JPN) vs S. Bangoura (USA)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
Final Round Qualifying – Qualifying – R. Ginepri (USA) vs J. Smith (AUS)
Final Round Qualifying – Qualifying – [3] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) vs [7] A. Kuznetsov (USA) 


15-21 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – First Round
[10] [WC] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [LL] J. Goerges (GER) 26 76(3) 64 (saved 4mp)
[12] J. Jankovic (SRB) d [Q] T. Babos (HUN) 63 46 61
[15] A. Cornet (FRA) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 60 67(6) 63
T. Pironkova (BUL) d K. Koukalova (CZE) 63 46 63
Z. Diyas (KAZ) d A. Beck (GER) 62 62
S. Stosur (AUS) d [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 63 61
S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d K. Kanepi (EST) 41 ret. (lower back injury)
B. Bencic (SUI) d K. Knapp (ITA) 64 64
[WC] C. Dellacqua (AUS) d [LL] K. Siniakova (CZE) 63 64
S. Lisicki (GER) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 63 64
C. Garcia (FRA) d [Q] Ar. Rodionova (AUS) 63 62

Doubles – First Round
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d G Dabrowski (CAN) / A Rosolska (POL) 64 75
[WC] F Al Nabhani (OMA) / M Barthel (GER) d Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / K Kozlova (UKR) 62 57 10-6

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 pm
[LL] E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [16] S. Peng (CHN)
H. Watson (GBR) vs [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR)
[17] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
M. Barthel (GER) vs [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK)
[8] V. Williams (USA) vs B. Bencic (SUI)

COURT 1 start 12:00 pm
[Q] J. Gajdosova (AUS) vs G. Muguruza (ESP)
V. Zvonareva (RUS) vs C. Giorgi (ITA)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs E. Svitolina (UKR)
M. Puig (PUR) vs [11] L. Safarova (CZE)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) vs [5] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA)
K Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A Klepac (SLO) vs A Rodionova (AUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)
C Dellacqua (AUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Lisicki (GER)

COURT 3 start 12:00 pm
[Q] Q. Wang (CHN) vs K. Nara (JPN)
[Q] G. Dabrowski (CAN) vs [WC] C. Buyukakcay (TUR)
B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs [Q] Y. Beygelzimer (UKR)




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


COURT CENTRAL start 12:00 noon
Qualifying – [4] N. Mahut (FRA) vs R. Boutillier (FRA)
Qualifying – J. Milton (GBR) vs [5] P. Herbert (FRA)

Not Before 4:30 pm
Qualifying – [2] M. Ilhan (TUR) vs [7] A. Zverev (GER)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[8] L. Rosol (CZE) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[WC] B. Coric (CRO) vs D. Istomin (UZB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
Qualifying – [3] K. De Schepper (FRA) vs D. Guez (FRA)
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) vs [WC] C Hsieh (TPE) / H Lee (TPE) 


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

Rio Open presented by Claro


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
WTA – O. Rogowska (AUS) vs [2] I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs A. Haider-Maurer (AUT)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [Q] M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs J. Nieminen (FIN)

Not Before 4:45 pm
WTA – P. Parmentier (FRA) vs [WC] G. Ce (BRA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [WC] E. Ymer (SWE) vs [3] T. Robredo (ESP)
ATP – [Q] T. de Bakker (NED) vs [WC] G. Clezar (BRA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – M. Torró-Flor (ESP) vs [5] J. Larsson (SWE)

Not Before 12:30 pm
ATP – C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) vs N Almagro (ESP) / F Fognini (ITA)
ATP – [WC] A Sa (BRA) / J Souza (BRA) vs M Gonzalez (ARG) / J Monaco (ARG)
WTA – [4] M. Brengle (USA) vs [Q] A. Bogdan (ROU)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
WTA – [8] C. Scheepers (RSA) vs G. Min (USA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [WC] F De Paula (BRA) / M Demoliner (BRA) vs M Klizan (SVK) / P Oswald (AUT)

COURT 5 start 11:00 am
WTA – C Alves (BRA) / I Gamarra Martins (BRA) vs C Hsu (TPE) / E Kostova (BUL)
WTA – T Bua (ARG) / A Gamiz (VEN) vs E Bogdan (ROU) / N Melichar (USA)
WTA – [Q] Mo. Gonzalez (PAR) vs L. Domínguez Lino (ESP)



Petkovic Wins Antwerp Crown with Walkover Against Suarez Navarro


(February 15, 2015) Third-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany won her sixth career WTA title when fifth-seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain withdrew from Sunday’s final of the Diamond Games in Antwerp with a neck injury.

“Right before we went on court I was warming up and they told me the news,” Petkovic said. “At first I was very shocked because I didn’t know anything about her physical pain and the blockage. But secondly I was sad. I really like Carla – she’s a great person and always friendly and positive, and she has a tremendous amount of talent. Also, you can never really enjoy the win when you don’t fight for it. So I’m happy I had a great week and I’m leaving as the champion, but definitely mixed emotions.”

“I woke up in the morning and just felt this pain in my neck,” Suarez Navarro said. “I went to the physio to get treatment and tried to play at 11:30, then had physio again and tried to play again at 2:15, and I just couldn’t serve. I couldn’t play like I wanted. So I had to pull out of this final. I’m really sorry. I love this tournament and I had a great week. I really tried today.”

Petkovic played an exhibition match against four-time major champion and tournament director Kim Clijsters.

“I hope you don’t take any offense Kim, but I’m glad you are done playing on tour,” Petkovic said after losing the exhibition.

For her efforts this week, the 27-year-old Petkovic will move back into the top 10 in the rankings on Monday



Pennetta Survives Four Match Points to Advance in Dubai

Flavia Pennetta

(February 15, 2015) Italian wildcard and 10th seed Flavia Pennetta saved four match points in the second set before coming back to win 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 over lucky loser Julia Goerges of Germany in the Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday.

It appeared certain that Goerges was going to have the first upset of the tournament as she led by a set and 5-2 and held match points at 5-3. But Pennetta fought back held off a late charge from Goerges to win in two hours 15 minutes.

“I was just playing until the last point and believing until the last point,” Pennetta said of her win.

“I was almost crying on the court because I was feeling so bad, but sometimes you don’t feel really good in the beginning of the year. Last year I was really good in the beginning, and this year I’ve been trying to find my good tennis, but it’s not coming. But I have to play with what I have now.

“But I like to fight. When you fight and win matches like this, you get closer to a good level.”

Former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki has set up clash with fourth seed and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic as she defeated Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-4, hitting 16 aces during the match. Rising star Belinda Bencic, who beat Karin Knapp will have a second round meeting with defending champion Venus Williams.

Tsvetana Pironkova overcame Klara Koukalova 6-3 4-6 6-3, but Svetlana Kuznetsova into the second round when Kaia Kanepi retired with a back injury as Kuznetsova was leading 4-1.


Hantuchova Wins Third Thailand Open

D Hantuchova

(February 15, 2015) Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova rallied form a set down to beat Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 for her third Thailand Open title on Sunday. The two hour and seven minute match gave her a seventh career WTA tournament crown.
“Today was very tough because Ajla was playing some great tennis,” the 31-year-old Hantuchova said. “I had to really fight for it – at the end I felt maybe I was a little fresher and sharper, and that decided the match.”But Ajla has a great future ahead of her. She’s also a very nice girl. It’s nice to have somebody like her in the game. And like I said on the court, I’m sure she’ll have many more finals to come.”

“It means so much to me to win this tournament three times. I’ve never done that in my career and never thought I’d be able to. It’s always a special feeling playing in Pattaya. I’ve felt great here since the first match, and I’m very proud I kept it up all week.”

“There are too many positives from the week, ” said Tomljanovic. I’m going to try not to dwell on this too much. I’ll just try to learn from it. There are things I can learn from this match and the week. Overall I think this was a really big step forward for me in Pattaya.”

For Tomljanovic, this was her first tour-level final.


Troicki Wins Historic Sydney Final


By Dave Gertler

(January 17, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Going into the 2015 Apia International final, Serbian Viktor Troicki looked a steady favorite. His opponent Mikhail Kukushkin, who like Troicki had started in qualifying rounds in Sydney – albeit as a seeded qualifier, unlike Troicki – had also won seven matches straight to reach the first all-qualifier final in ATP history, and also looked solid. The Kazakh had not dropped a set before Saturday’s final, while the Serb had required three sets to decide three of his seven wins in previous rounds.


While Kukushkin and Troicki – Nos. 51 and 54 in the world respectively – both beat a series of players ranked higher than them once reaching the main draw, Kukushkin had ousted defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals on Ken Rosewall Arena. Yet it was Troicki’s lower-profile come-from-behind quarter-final win on over Simone Bolelli that positioned him well for the semi-final and final. With Bolelli serving for the match in the final set, Troicki had needed to – and did – come up with something special to win the next three games, and the match. Perhaps the Serbian former world No. 12 carried some of the confidence from this win into his next two matches on Ken Rosewall Arena.


Initially, during Saturday night’s final, Kukushkin and Troicki were trading holds of serve comfortably until Troicki serving at 2-2 went down 0-30 and, instead of being broken, played and won the longest rally of the set to stop the bleeding in his service game, eventually holding serve convincingly for 3-2. Troicki would not lose another game that set, breaking Kukushkin for 4-2, then 6-2.


Serving at 1-2 in the second set – and after a game where Troicki had served three of his 13 total aces – Kukushkin started to grimace and look like he was experience difficulty moving, Troicki breaking Kukushkin’s serve, which had significantly slowed and kept getting slower towards the end of the match. 127km/h second serves were being consistently punished by the Serb, and were a stark contrast to the serving form Kukushkin had shown on Ken Rosewall Arena the previous two evenings to beat Del Potro and Gilles Muller.


“He was really defending well,” said Kukushkin of his opponent, “He was as well pushing a lot and he was playing really good today. He was serving amazing.”


Troicki broke and consolidated for a 4-1 lead, and the match looked like it would be over in less than an hour, then Kukushkin called for a medical timeout. “He broke my rhythm a little bit at 4-1 in the second set,” said Troicki, “He took a medical timeout, and I felt I was close, you know, close to finishing the match. He started hitting the ball pretty sweet and fast. Didn’t want to rally too much. He played few good shots; I missed some. Yeah, that was when he broke me.”


Troicki ended up giving the break back to Kukushkin, but that would be the last game Kukushkin would win, Troicki taking the match, and his first title since 2010, 6-2, 6-3.


“Very happy. Yeah, a lot of emotions actually,” said Troicki, whose only other title came in Moscow in 2010, and who has now been back on tour for six months from a year-long doping suspension, “It’s been a tough road, a lot of work, and it paid off with a nice title. If I look back where I was like five, six months ago it’s amazing to have a title already.  So it’s really nice moment for me and for all my team. I really, it’s very emotional. Yeah, that’s all I can say.”


In an even stranger twist of fate, Troicki’s first-round opponent at the Australian Open on Monday will be Czech Jiri Vesely who also won a tournament from qualifying in Auckland, this week.

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .


Heather Watson Wins Hobart for Second WTA Crown

Happy Heather Watson Hobart

(January 17, 2015) Great Britain’s Heather Watson defeated American qualifier Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Hobart International title, her second WTA Tour career title. She won the Japan Open title in 2012. She won this week’s event without dropping a set.

It was Brengle’s first WTA final of her career.

The unseeded 22-year-old became the first British woman in more than 30 years to win two titles, the last was Anne Hobbs who won Auckland in 1985 and Indianapolis in 1983.

En route to the final, Watson dismissed No.5 seed Sloane Stephens, No.9 seed Roberta Vinci and No.8 seed Alison Riske.

The Australian Open begins on Monday and Watson will open against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova while Brengle will face 13th seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany.


More to follow.


Kvitova wins all-Czech Sydney Final


Petra with trophy

By Dave Gertler

(January 16, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Czech world No. 4 Petra Kvitova has defeated emerging world No.22 Karolina Pliskova in the first all-Czech final at the Apia International on Friday night. It was the first time Kvitova had appeared in a final in Sydney, having lost to the eventual winner Tsvetana Pironkova in the semi-final last year, which was her fourth appearance at the event.


“I’m just glad how I played today,” said Kvitova after her 7-6(5), 7-6(6) win that took just shy of two hours to complete on Ken Rosewall Arena, “I mean, it was very a tough match to really handle it everything. Two tiebreakers, it’s always very difficult. Karolina played really well and she served very well.”


The 22-year-old Pliskova, playing her sixth WTA-level final in the past year – but her first ever final at Premier level – held a break over Kvitova for most of the first set until, while attempting to serve it out at 5-4, her opponent’s return game clicked into gear, and Kvitova was able to break back and force the first set to a tie-break, throughout which she continued to elevate her game and separate herself from her opponent, taking the tie-break 7-5.


“I feel today I must say a little bit tired,” said Pliskova, whose strong serving and follow-up attack game had seen her through to the final only losing one set along the way, “Also in the match I wasn’t that I don’t want to say fast, because I’m not that fast normally, but I felt a little bit tired, not that much power in my serve.”


Throughout the match, Kvitova hit 38 winners, almost doubling her opponent’s figures, and in the second set, it was the dual Wimbledon champ who held an early break before her opponent broke back for 3-3 and held on for a second-set tie-break. A series of double faults and errors by Pliskova gave Kvitova a 5-1 advantage which all but sealed the championship, and although Pliskova then managed to level the score, it was Kvitova who eventually came through an entertaining tie-break, taking it 8-6.


“You know, it was quite weird tiebreak,” said Kvitova, “Because she was serving so well all the match then she did two double faults, so I was a little bit like relaxed and it was fine. I mean, I was still holding my serve pretty well. It’s tiebreak tennis, and you never know what’s going to be there.”


Both the Czech women are seeded, and will play qualifiers in the first round of the Australian Open next week. “I come to Melbourne tomorrow,” said Kvitova, “And I need to forget about the Sydney trophy to be ready and focused for the Melbourne. It’s just really crazy world sometimes in tennis. You really can’t enjoy the title because the next week it’s something different and you have to be prepared already.”


Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .


Defending Champion Del Potro out of the Apia International


By Dave Gertler

(January 15, 2015) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – After ousting former world No. 5 and defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro on Thursday, Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin will play another Argentinian – currently the highest ranked South American – Leonardo Mayer, for a place in the Apia International final against either Gilles Muller or Viktor Troicki.


Kukushkin needed two hours and two tie-breaks to beat Del Potro on Ken Rosewall Arena. Neither Del Potro nor Kukushkin was able to muster a break point against the other, and while the 2009 US Open champion briefly held the upper hand in the first tie-break, leading 4-2 at the change of sides, Kukushkin – who will contest his first ATP-level semi-final not on an indoor hard court in Russia – proved consistent at the right moments in both tie-breaks.


“It was a tough match,” I think he deserve to win because he played better than me in the tiebreak.” Del Potro – feeling more wrist pain than in his previous matches – was unable to fire off the backhand side, opting for a slice backhand most of the time, which allowed his opponent to dictate and be the aggressor. “I served well,” said Del Potro, “But my wrist hurts a little bit more than yesterday, and I couldn’t hit harder than my last match. He played very smart. He was all the time playing to my backhand and playing slices.”


“He’s a top player,” said Kukushkin about his opponent, “But I think everyone saw today that he cannot yet hit full power his backhand. He did a lot of slices. For sure this is affect his game. Still he serve good. His forehand was working OK today.” Kukushkin admitted exploiting current gaps in Del Potro’s arsenal was part of his game plan, saying, “I knew that right now his backhand not so good. Of course I tried to use it. Unfortunately, but I have to.”


Del Potro is excited to be returning to Melbourne for the Australian Open next week, his first grand slam appearance in 12 months. He is managing expectations on court, but doesn’t hide his enthusiasm to be rubbing shoulders with friends and other grand slam winners. “It’s not easy, but everybody has to know I’m 338th player in the world at the moment,” said Del Potro, “I just beat the top 20 player here, top 50, it’s great for these kind of players, so I’m happy for that. But I want to meet also Federer, Djokovic, these guys, because I miss them when I was at home. I only speak with WhatsApp or by phone. Now I will meet the biggest players of this sport again.”


Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney and is covering the Australian summer of tennis for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .