2014/09/21

Seeds Stephens and Stosur Fall in Wimbledon First Round

 

(June 23, 2014) WIMBLEDON – American Sloane Stephens’ streak of reaching the second week at a major was halted at six on Monday at Wimbledon when No. 109 Maria Kirilenko held back her opponent 6-2, 7-6(6) on her sixth match point.

Seventeenth seed Sam Stosur also fell victim to an opening day upset losing to Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-4.

 

After an easy first set, where the Russian played an aggressive game, in the second set Stephens fought off five match points serving a 5-6.  The 18th seed held to take the set to a tiebreak and took a 6-4 lead. Stephens blew two set points as Kirilenko won the next four straight points to take the tiebreak and the match.

Last year Stephens reached quarterfinals at Wimbledon where she lost to the eventual champion Marion Bartoli.

“Obviously Maria is a great player,” Stephens said.  “She’s done well here in the past.  I knew it was going to be tricky, but that’s like every other Grand Slam first round match.”

“She just played really consistent,” Stephens added.  “She’s a good grass court player, so she knows what she’s doing.  Obviously, I mean, she just played pretty solid and she went for all of her shots.

“It was a tough day for me.”

“It wasn’t a very good start for sure,” Stosur said.  “But I actually didn’t feel like, apart from trying to play that little catch up with the break behind, I felt like I was playing quite well.

“I served very well.  Yeah, again, having that break of serve right at the start, for her to get that lead obviously frees her up a little bit.  I thought she played very, very well.

“Yeah, early in that second set I had a chance to break serve; didn’t get it.  Then it was service games, service games, service games.  She gets a let cord at 30-All to get a break; down a break.

“Look, I don’t feel like I played that bad a match, to be honest with you.”

“I think this was one of the best matches I’ve played this year,” said the Belgian who was supported in the stands by former No. 1 Kim Clijsters who is   also working with Wickmayer.  “I felt really confident out there, and tried to really focus on being aggressive from the first point when she served.  I tried to be aggressive on the second serves, and when I had the chance I tried to move in and move forward and serve well myself.

“Open the court up, make her run, work for the points.  So I’m really happy about the way I played today.”

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon

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Hampton in the Hunt for Maiden Title in Eastbourne

By Ros Satar

(June 21, 2013) EASTBOURNE, England –

Jamie Hampton def. Caroline Wozniacki 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3
Qualifier, Jamie Hampton is hunting for her maiden WTA tour title, after scoring another good win in the Aegon International, Eastbourne.

Hampton started strongly, taking the initiative early, but Wozniacki dragged the first set into a tiebreak.

Momentum again looked to be with the American, but set points went begging partly down to two outlandishly missed volleys.

Suddenly the Dane was in the driver’s seat, rounding out the first set 10-8 in the tiebreak.

It was all looking like a formality, as Wozniacki’s experience seemed to serve her better in the blustery conditions.

But Hampton fought back to break as Wozniacki was serving for the match at 5-4.

Hampton had her tail up and broke again to take the match into a decider.

Wozniacki broke early in the third set, only to lose the advantage immediately, and in a match that had seen swings of momentum throughout, it was Hampton who nudged ahead.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Wozniacki saved one match point, but there were no mistakes on the second as Hampton put a volley slap bang in the corner of the court.

Wozniacki could only wryly smile as the American qualifier reaches her first tour final.

It seemed less like a sleepy seaside town and more like playing in the middle of a tornado at times.

Hampton joked about the conditions in her post match press conference:
“Conditions are a little rougher than everywhere else, but you guys make up for it with the nice courts.”

Although mindful that she has a shot at her maiden title tomorrow, Hampton could not resist a peek at the Wimbledon draw, where she will face fellow American Sloane Stephens.

“It’s a bit of a bummer that two Americans have to play first round considering we both had great French Opens, but I’m going to treat it just like every other match.”

 

Elena Vesnina def. Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-0
Hampton will face Russia’s Elena Vesnina, who overcame Yanina Wickmayer rather easily than she anticipated.

Wickmayer handed over two breaks of serve, and called down her coach after losing the first set.

However, it seemed to do her no good at all as she did not register another game for the rest of the match.

“I was expecting it’s going to be very long and difficult match for both of us.
“I think after first set she kind of lose her concentration, and it looks like she didn’t know what to do,” said Vesnina after the match.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s final, the Russian had been playing some attention to Hampton’s progress through the tournament this week.

“It’s going to be very interesting match, I think. Jamie is a very talented player. It’s her first final.

“I’m pretty sure she’s very excited about that.”

Wickmayer had taken out two top ten players this week, first dispatching Petra Kvitova and then Maria Kirilenko, both in three-setters.

But there was none of that fight left in her today, leaving Vesnina looking to follow up her own maiden title from Hobart this year.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist – an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. She’s covering the AEGON International this week as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her tournament updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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Kirilenko Win Sets Up Fourth Round Match Against Serena Williams

Mirror Court Adidas Event2

By Jaclyn Stacey

( January 19, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Fourteenth seed Maria Kirilenko triumphed in a tight encounter against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(4), 6-3 on Super Saturday at the Australian Open and progressed into the round of 16 where she will play Serena Williams.

 

It was a bizarre start to the morning as Kirilenko was asked to remove her visor because it featured two brands on it. The visor had both the Adidas and Stella McCartney logos featured. She obliged and switched to a headband she had handy in her bag.

 

The twentieth seed Wickmayer lead 2-0 in the first set before the Russian was able to figure out her opponent’s tricky groundstrokes and break immediately back to level. The set then remained on serve, forcing a tie-break situation which Kirilenko edged out 7-6(4) to claim the first set.

 

The two swapped breaks early on in the second set until Kirilenko managed to hold serve in the fifth game. From there she dominated the match, breaking Wickmayer again and closing out the match 7-6(4) 6-3.

 

The statistics showed just how close the encounter was, Wickmayer actually creating more winners with 28 compared to 21 from Kirilenko, but also committing more errors than her Russian opponent.

 

Kirilenko was happy after the match and flashed the engagement ring from her NHL star fiancé Alex Ovechkin for the crowd.

 

She will face Serena Williams in the fourth round on Monday. The American goes into the match with a 5-0 head-to-head over the fourteenth seed. Kirilenko was in good humor when asked what she needs to do to beat Williams.

 

“Play over the net, everything done on the lines, every time serve aces and return winners and then I’m going to win this match.”

 

And more seriously she said, “I’m going to have a rest day tomorrow and I’m going to practice and concentrate on the things I need. It’s going to be good fun for me.”

 

“It’s gonna be of course a difficult match for hopefully for both of us and she is on fire now, she is winning everything and it’s tough to say with this kind of match. I’m playing well as well so we’ll see.”

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

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Photos from WTA All-Access Hour at Family Circle Cup in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC – Rachel Vinson of  Onthegotennis is  at the Family Circle Cup tournament in Charleston this week reporting for Tennis Panorama News. Here is a gallery of Monday’s photos taken by her which include Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Shahar Peer, Marion Bartoli, Yanina Wickmayer in addition to photos from around the grounds and practice courts. Follow her twitter coverage on @GVTennisNews and her twitter account @Onthegotennis.

 

[nggallery id=13]

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Bagels and Breadsticks – Belgium Bounces US out of Fed Cup First Round

Kim Clijsters celebrates with teammates (Getty Images)

In only the third time in the history of Fed Cup competition, the United States has been beaten in the first round of Fed Cup. Current Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters led the charge as Belgium took the tie 4-1 in the Quarterfinals of the World Group. Both Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer won both of their singles rubbers. Bethanie Mattek-Sands put up some opposition in both of her singles matches, taking the first set from Clijsters and extending Wickmayer to 7-6 in the second set.  American Melanie Oudin won a total of six games in two singles losses.

Belgium will host the Czech Republic in one of the Fed Cup semifinals during the weekend of April 16-17. Italy and Russia will face off in the other semifinal.

The US will join the other World Group first round losers, Australia, France, Slovak Republic and the four World Group II first round winners, Germany, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine in the World Group Play-offs April 16-17. Team match-ups will be determined by draw on Wednesday.

Final Results: Belgium defeated United States of America 4-1

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 61 76(6)

Kim Clijsters (BEL) defeated Melanie Oudin (USA) 60 64

Kim Clijsters (BEL) defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 67(10) 62 61

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 60

Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) defeated Kirsten Flipkens/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) 63 75

Fed Cup World Group and World Group II Results


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Fed Cup:U.S. vs. Belgium – Notes and Quotes and Day 1 Preview

Kim Clijsters and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Getty Images)

United States vs. Belgium

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas 2011 World Group Quarterfinal

Sportpaleis * Antwerp, Belgium * February 5-6

The United States’ quest to reach the Fed Cup final for the third straight year begins at the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Quarterfinal at Belgium. Play begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. ET) on an indoor hard court at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium. This is the seventh meeting between these two nations in Fed Cup, with the U.S. owning a 5-1 advantage. Belgium’s only victory came at the 2006 World Group Semifinal in Ostend, Belgium, which is also the only meeting between these two nations contested in Belgium.

The U.S. has won the Fed Cup a record 17 times and is seeking its first title since 2000. Belgium’s sole Fed Cup title came in 2001. The U.S. reached its second consecutive final last year, where they lost to Italy in San Diego and also faced Italy in the 2009 final in Italy. The U.S. has only lost a first round tie twice (1997 in the Netherlands and 2002 in Raleigh, N.C. versus Austria) and both occurrences came in the team’s first match after winning the title (the U.S. did not compete in the 2001 semifinals after winning the title in 2000), meaning the U.S. Fed Cup has never lost two consecutive ties in the history of the competition.

This is Belgium’ s first appearance in World Group I since a 5-0 loss to the U.S. in the 2007 first round in Delray Beach, Fla. The hosts have won 10 of its last 12 home ties. The U.S. is a modest 7-8 in away matches since Fed Cup adopted the home-away format in 1995, but has only lost once on the road in the first round in five matches.

ORDER OF PLAY

The opening day of play in the best-of-five match series features each country’s No. 1 singles player against the No. 2 player from the opposing country. The exact order of play (which country’s No. 1 plays first) was determined at the Draw Ceremony on Friday. The second day of competition begins on Sunday with the “reverse singles,” starting with each country’s No. 1 player squaring off followed by the No. 2 players and then the doubles match. Each match is best-of-three-sets.

DAY/LOCAL TIME MATCH PAIRING

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Singles A: Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Singles B: Melanie Oudin (USA) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Singles C: Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Clijsters (BEL)

Singles D: Oudin (USA) vs. Wickmayer (BEL)

Doubles: Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA) vs. Kirsten Flipkens/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL)

Captains: Mary Joe Fernandez (USA), Sabine Appleman (BEL)

QUOTES FROM FRIDAY’S PRESS CONFERNECE

U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez

On the outcome of today’s draw ceremony: “It really doesn’t matter who plays first. Both Melanie and Bethanie have had that opportunity of leading the team with the first match. It’s a matter of playing your best whenever you play and approaching it the right way.”

On the anticipated daily crowds of 10,000+: “This will be the biggest crowd we have played against the last couple of years. Loudest was for sure was the Czech Republic (2009 semifinals in Brno). This (anticipated 10,000+ daily) is about double the size of what we have had. We expected a battle. It is great for Fed Cup. It is great for both teams. We are gonna pretend they are rooting for us the whole time.”

On doubles: “We have always been real fortunate with our doubles. Liezel (Huber) has been a great supporter (of Fed Cup) and been there every time and has played some critical matches for us. I have always said I want it to come down to the doubles. That’s always my goal. If we win before that it is a bonus, but we like our chances if we get down to the doubles.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

On the transition from Australia to Belgium for her and Kim Clijsters: “I was there pretty much there til the end, playing in the mixed doubles in Australia (she reached the semis), so I was home (in Arizona) for literally 30 hours and I had to fly here. It’s a lot of traveling, but I have had a couple of days to get adjusted. She (Kim) has probably taken some time off as well. I think on the tour you are used to playing week to week. I think we’re both in shape, so we’ll be good.”

Melanie Oudin

On playing Kim Clijsters in the second match on Saturday:“ I am really excited that I get to play her. It should be a really good match. I’m gonna give it everything I have. I am a little bit happy that Bethanie is going first. It gives me more time to prepare tomorrow. It should be a really good match and I’m looking forward to it.”

On being the underdog: “Our team has come through before when we’ve been the underdog. Hopefully we can do it again. Belgium is a really tough team.”

From  United States Tennis Association Public Relations

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