Tag Archive | "Almagro"

Nadal, Wawrinka remain on Sony Open semifinal collision course

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Nadal, Wawrinka remain on Sony Open semifinal collision course


IMG_7164_NadalA rematch of this year’s Australian Open title match in the semifinals of the Sony Open Tennis tournament is looking more and more likely with each passing round. Rafael Nadal took care of Denis Istomin in round-of-32 action on Monday and Stanislas Wawrinka beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also in straight sets.

Nadal was especially ruthless. The world No. 1, whose Aussie Open final setback against Wawrinka was one of just two losses for him this season compared to 19 wins, destroyed Istomin 6-1, 6-0 in just 59 minutes. Nadal struck three aces without double-faulting, served at 77 percent, and saved all three of the break points he faced.

“I played a very complete match,” Miami’s top seed assured. “No mistakes, serving with good percentage, and playing a lot of winners. My movements were better than what I did (in the) last events.”

Wawrinka, whose last event also saw him tumble out of Indian Wells–like Nadal–prior to the quarterfinals, scored a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Roger-Vasselin. The third-ranked Swiss broke serve at 6-5 in the first and 5-4 in the second to wrap up both of the sets in style.

“[Roger-Vasselin] beat me last year in Basel; I won this year in final of Chennai,” Wawrinka reflected. “He’s always tough to play. I’m happy the way I was fighting, the way I was positive even if I wasn’t playing so well at the beginning.”

John Isner, the United States’ last hope even before the third round started, had little trouble from start to finish against Nicolas Almagro. Isner fought off two break points in the opening set but for the most part held serve comfortably the entire way in a 7-5, 6-3 win. The world No. 10 blasted 17 aces, put in 70 percent of his first deliveries, and lost only five points in five second-set service games.

Isner will face Tomas Berdych during a terrific fourth-round lineup on Tuesday. Other matches include Nadal vs. Fabio Fognini and Wawrinka vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for tenngrand.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Nadal rolls at Sony Open, Isner lone advancing American

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Nadal rolls at Sony Open, Isner lone advancing American


IMG_6785_NadalMiami Ricky Dimon
Almost nothing has come easy for Rafael Nadal in 2014. But that is exactly how he made it look on Saturday night at the Sony Open Tennis tournament.

Nadal began his week in convincing fashion as he rolled over Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and nine minutes. The world No. 1 converted four of five break points and faced none on his own serve during the second-round blowout.

Hewitt, the Brisbane champion from earlier this season, lost the first four games of the match before finally holding serve. The 33-year-old Australian eventually had a game point at 3-4 in the second only to lose three straight points and get broken. Nadal dropped only eight points in eight service games and he wrapped up the proceedings with one last routine hold at 5-3.

The Australian Open runner-up, who lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Indian Wells third round, will go up against Denis Istomin on Monday. Istomin reeled off nine games in a row from the start of the second set to 3-0 in the third during a 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-0 win over Dmitry Tursunov. Istomin crushed 19 aces and benefited from 14 double-faults by his opponent, against whom the Uzbek is already 3-1 this year.

In what is becoming old habit for John Isner, the 6’10” American is his country’s last hope on the men’s side. Isner is the only player flying the USA flag in the third round after he battled past compatriot Donald Young 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes.

A back-and-forth match saw the world No. 10 lose the opening tiebreaker before seizing a break early in the second. Isner gave it back at 4-2, but Young dropped serve again at 3-4 to let Isner close it out one game later. A quick break in the third ultimately decided the outcome in Isner’s favor.

“I thought I played pretty well,” said the 10th seed, who fired 16 aces. “A lot of times it comes down to a one-set situation for the match and having my serve on my side, it helps. I had a lot of adrenaline going through me, especially when I was up a break. It was one of those things where I go out there and serve my hardest, serve my biggest and win the match.”

Next up for Isner is Nicolas Almagro, who eliminated another American in Sam Querrey via a 6-4, 6-4 scoreline.

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for tenngrand.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Roddick Beats Murray to Reach Final at the Miami Tennis Cup

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Roddick Beats Murray to Reach Final at the Miami Tennis Cup



The inaugural semifinal at the Miami Tennis Cup featured Andy Roddick, who bowed out of the game this year, against reigning U.S. Open champion Andy Murray. Roddick, 2003 U.S. Open winner, prevailed 6-3, 6-2 over Murray to book his spot in tomorrow’s final.

Murray has had the upper hand in this rivalry with an 8-3 record. Consequently, Roddick was hungry for a victory although this is an exhibition tournament.

After converting on an early break point, Roddick built a 4-1 cushion. Down the road, on his third break point opportunity, courtesy of a Murray backhand crosscourt miscue, Roddick bagged the set 6-2 when Murray committed a second consecutive backhand crosscourt mistake.

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Andy Murray Headlines Inaugural Miami Tennis Cup

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Andy Murray Headlines Inaugural Miami Tennis Cup



The inaugural Miami Tennis Cup will take place November 30th through December 2nd at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida. The Crandon Park Tennis Center also plays host to one of the most popular tennis events on the ATP and WTA calendar, the Sony Open Tennis.

The Miami Tennis Cup will feature a “Super Six” format of current and former top ranked players from the ATP tour. Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open champion and Olympic gold medalist, will headline the event. Murray will be joined by Andy Roddick, John Isner, Nicolás Almagro, Alejandro Falla and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Here is the official press release for the event that includes the tournament schedule and ticket information :

FIRST ANNUAL MIAMI TENNIS CUP HONORS US OPEN CHAMPION AND OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, ANDY MURRAY, AND PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE CAREER OF LEGENDARY SPORTS ICON, ANDY RODDICK

Inaugural U.S. tournament features “Super Six” of the world’s top ranked players

Stadium Court at Crandon Park Tennis Center to receive unique color transformation

Miami, FL – Argentina’s Group NOS, one of South America’s leading producers of brand-immersive experiences in the sports and entertainment industry, has announced the first annual Miami Tennis Cup, taking place November 30th through December 2nd, 2012, at the prestigious Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida.

The highly anticipated competition is the first of its kind to launch in the U.S. and receives its inauguration in South Florida, featuring six of today’s top ranked ATP professionals, including an exclusive appearance by U.S. Open Champion and British Olympic Gold Medalist, Andy Murray, and French Open Champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, the former world number one player from Spain. The tournament will also be a tribute to the iconic career of Florida resident, Andy Roddick, who will also be participating as part of his homecoming farewell tour. The “Super Six” clash of the titans will play in a double-elimination, round robin tournament format that will also feature ATP heavyweights Nicolás Almagro (ESP), Alejandro Falla (COL) and top ranked American, John Isner. All matches played throughout the three-day tournament will take place on the stadium court at Crandon Park and will be broadcast LIVE by ESPN3. More than 7,000 spectators are expected to attend each day.

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Djokovic Makes the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Djokovic Makes the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open



Although defending champion Novak Djokovic won in straight sets, he had to work for it. Fellow compatriot Viktor Troicki gave the world number one a decent test. Still, Djokovic carried the match 6-3, 6-4 to earn a place in the round of 16.

Once Djokovic obtained the quick break for 2-0, there was a feeling that this session would be brief. Yet, Troicki wasted five break points which permitted his rival to consolidate for 3-0 in the initial set.

The one break deficit proved to be Troicki’s undoing in the first set.

In the second set, Djokovic again got up to an early break for 2-0. However, this time, Troicki capitalized on break point and went on to square the set at 2 all.
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Battle for Number One Set:  Men’s French Open Draw Disclosed

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Battle for Number One Set: Men’s French Open Draw Disclosed



With world number two Novak Djokovic prevailing over world number one Rafael Nadal at the last two Masters tournaments, the clay universe’s order of the past six seasons has been thrown into chaos. Djokovic could upstage Nadal on his home turf and yank away the number one ranking from the Spaniard.

The French Open draw has been released and by far, the top two players are the favorites. However, with seven rounds to be disputed prior to someone being awarded the trophy, any number of persons can trip Nadal or Djokovic. Here’s a more detailed look at the draw.

Although his performance has been patchy this year, Nikolay Davydenko has a 6-4 record against Nadal. With ten titles on clay including one recently in Munich, Davydenko, the twice semifinalist at Roland Garros, is a formidable potential challenger for Nadal in the round of 16.

Despite a downward slide the last two months, Robin Soderling can at any time regain the form which brought him three consecutive titles early this year. As such, the two time French Open finalist, the only person to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros, could be a serious obstacle in the quarterfinals.

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Federer Progresses into the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Federer Progresses into the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open



The last encounter that Roger Federer had with Juan Monaco was three years ago at the Masters Series in Hamburg whereby he was victorious. Although the Argentine is known to excel on clay, he gave Federer a good fight on hardcourt today. Federer pulled away with a 7-6, 6-4 win to pen his name into the fourth round.

As a result of a double fault, Federer gave Monaco break point in the opening game. However, Federer managed to hold. By misfiring on a forehand, Monaco gifted Federer a break point and threw in a double fault for the break.

At this point, it seemed Federer would make short work of world number 35. But with a couple of mistakes of his own, Federer surrendered the next game allowing Monaco to get back on serve.

At 2-1, Federer had a couple more chances to break. Still, Monaco was unflappable and guarded serve.

With Monaco saving six out of seven break points, the first set went to a tiebreaker which Federer claimed.

In the second set, Monaco dominated on serve while Federer had a few tight games. Consequently, it seemed that the match could go to a third set. As usual though, Federer stepped it up at the right time.

After an ace for game point, Monaco double faulted for deuce. Then, with a forehand winner, Federer had his second break point opportunity of the game. When Monaco’s forehand landed long, Federer went up 5-4.

With Federer serving for the match, Monaco continued to resist. Finally, with a forehand up the line winner, Federer arrived at 40-30. With Monaco’s stroke going out of play, Federer penned his name into the next round.

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open




Seven days of competition have passed at the Australian Open.  While Rafael Nadal has breezed through his matches to get to the round of 16, defending champion Roger Federer had a hiccup in the second round.  As usual, there were a few unexpected departures in the first week.  Here’s a summary of what has taken place this initial week.

It’s been smooth sailing for Nadal in getting through to the round of 16.  The world number one’s excellent form will come in handy as he faces 2010 semifinalist Marin Cilic.  After two easy matches, Cilic edged out John Isner 9-7 in the fifth to earn a crack at Nadal.

After a thrilling first round five setter against Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian called it quit in the second round, four games away from being handed a straight set loss.  Mikhail Youzhny also departed earlier than expected.  The tenth seed was sent packing in the third round by Milos Raonic.  The 20 year old Canadian qualifier with the humongous serve also ousted Michael Llodra, the 22nd seed in the second round.  Next up for Raonic will be David Ferrer who is a relentless competitor.  Ferrer’s experience may prove too much for the youngster.  Thus, a Ferrer-Nadal quarterfinal showdown is the likely scenario.

Without much fuss, both Robyn Soderling and Andy Murray have been taking care of business.  Soderling’s fourth round match will be against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The Ukrainian upset 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.  Following an impressive second round match versus Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis was forced to retire down two sets to one with a hand injury in his third round match against Jurgen Melzer.  As such, Murray will battle Melzer for a quarterfinal berth.

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Federer and Nadal on Track for Showdown in the Finals

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Federer and Nadal on Track for Showdown in the Finals


The first week of play has come to a conclusion at the French Open.  While Andy Murray, the fourth seed, going out in the fourth round to Tomas Berdych was a shock.  The biggest eye popper was David Ferrer, the ninth seed, a definite threat to Rafael Nadal in the bottom half, being ousted in the third round in three sets by Jurgen Melzer.  With both Roger Federer and Nadal methodically working through their sections, the possibility of a final between these two is very much alive.

Despite stumbling at times, Federer, the defending champion, has pulled through all four matches in straight sets.  Robyn Soderling, the 2009 finalist, has played steady ball.  Soderling had no difficulty with Albert Montanes in the third round nor Marin Cilic in the fourth round.  Now, Soderling faces Federer in the quarterfinals and will get the opportunity to seek revenge for last year’s defeat.  Although Federer has an ATP 12-0 record against him, Soderling prevailed in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi this January.  Therefore, Soderling will not be intimidated.

The French will have to wait for their homegrown champion yet another year.  In the first round, Richard Gasquet went down to Murray in a thrilling five setter. Then, in the second round, Gael Monfils was sent packing in a marathon two day drama.  Lastly, in the fourth round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was compelled to retire against Mikhail Youzhny due to a back injury.  Youzhny battles Berdych as the other quarterfinalist in the top half of the draw.

In the bottom half, after outlasting Mardy Fish in a five set brawl, Ivan Ljubicic could not withstand another assault from 22 year old Thomaz Bellucci.  Yet, in reaching the fourth round for the first time at a major, Bellucci’s prize is Nadal.

At the start of the tournament, Americans with authentic possibilities were likely Andy Roddick, John Isner and Sam Querrey.  The greatest hope was for Isner and Querrey, the latter had prevailed over the former in the finals in Serbia.  With no prior clay court competition, for Roddick, it was going to be an uphill battle to make it deep into the draw.  In the third round, Roddick was outplayed by qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili and went out in straight sets.  Similarly, in the third round, Berdych expedited Isner.  Still, there is a Stars and Stripes bearer into the second week, he is Bobby Ginepri ranked 98th.  After beating Querrey in the first round, Ginepri outfoxed former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero in the third round.  In the fourth round, Ginepri battles Novak Djokovic.  Djokovic has not been performing at his peak, needing four sets in the first round against Evgeny Korolev, had a tough second round match versus Kei Nishikori and another four setter against Victor Hanescu.  If that pattern continues, Ginepri has a good shot at an upset.

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Preview of the Men’s French Open Draw 2010

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Preview of the Men’s French Open Draw 2010


On Sunday, the 2010 French Open gets underway.  Before the first ball is struck at Roland Garros, here’s a taste of how the proceedings may unravel on the gentlemen’s side.

Since 2006, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer had made it a habit of contesting for the trophy on the final Sunday. Last year, Robin Soderling interrupted that cycle by ousting Nadal in the fourth round.  After descending a wee bit in the rankings, with a record three Masters clay court titles, Nadal returned to his familiar spot at number two this week.  Therefore, this sets up the possibility of a final featuring defending champion Federer and his old nemesis Nadal.

By far, Nadal has been the best clay court player this season.  As such, it’s almost a given penciling his name as a finalist.  In examining the draw, Nadal, the top seed in the bottom section, appears to have a green line through the round of 16.  In the quarterfinals, the Spaniard could see slight resistance from fellow countrymen Fernando Versdasco and Nicolas Almagro.  The latter in particular competed well against Nadal in Madrid.  Still, Nadal should pull through.

Also in the bottom half are Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic, potential semifinal adversaries for Nadal.  Last year, Roddick had a career best showing in Paris by reaching the round of 16.  In the first round, Roddick takes on veteran Jarkko Nieminen, then, a possible third round match with Juan Monaco.  Hence, the American may say his goodbyes to Paris early. Assuming Roddick advances to the quarters, he could face the second best performer on clay this year, David Ferrer.  Considering that Roddick has not competed since the Sony Ericsson Open and with clay being his least successful surface, it hard to imagine Roddick progressing to the second week.

Despite a clay title and two other finals, Djokovic went down in the third round in 2009.  This year, Djokovic withdrew early in Serbia and his best result was the semifinals in Monte-Carlo. Consequently, for Djokovic, resting may be a blessing.  On the other hand, it could be a curse, not allowing the Serb to be clay fit.  With former French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero potentially as a third round opponent and Ferrer in the quarterfinals, the third seed could have his hands full before getting a crack at Nadal.

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