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Fish Steamrolls Ferrer to Reach the Semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Fish Steamrolls Ferrer to Reach the Semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open



With a 7-5, 6-2 win over world number six David Ferrer, Mardy Fish booked a spot in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open for the first time in his career.

Ferrer and Fish’s record was knotted at 3-3 coming into today. Their last meeting was at the ATP Masters in Paris in 2007. Therefore, Ferrer had yet to play the new trimmed up version of the American. With Ferrer being such a good retriever and defender, Fish’s fitness at least would not be a factor in the outcome.

The first few games of the opening set, the players seemed to be getting reacquainted with one another. Soon though, Ferrer saved a break point to get to 3-2. Subsequently, Fish salvaged two break points to equalize at 3 all.

Down the road, serving at 5 all, Ferrer double faulted to donate break point to his opponent. Ferrer produced a second double fault to hand Fish a 6-5 lead. Despite Ferrer’s resistance, Fish won the next game and captured the initial set.

The second set, Ferrer committed a spate of backhand errors to give Fish double break point. When Ferrer’s forehand found the net, Fish had the break for 2-1.

After consolidating at love, Fish was gifted another break point from a Ferrer miscue and capitalized to widen his advantage by a double break. Once again, at love, Fish captured the following game to move ahead 5-1.

Despite an open court, with Fish at triple match point, Ferrer sent a backhand wide to finish the day.
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Del Potro Falls to Fish at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Falls to Fish at the Sony Ericsson Open



Mardy Fish avenged his Delray semifinal loss today. Fish toppled Juan Martin Del Potro in 7-5, 7-6 to qualify for his first quarterfinal at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Following steady play from both competitors, Fish was the first to get a break point in the eighth game of the initial set. Del Potro blotted that out to level the set at 4 all.

In the subsequent game, Del Potro had five break points but failed to capitalize. Perhaps a tad disappointed, Del Potro found himself in a love-40 hole. However, the Argentine dug himself out and drew even with Fish.

Yet, serving to extend the first set to a tiebreaker, Del Potro got down double break point and could not recover. As such, Fish banked the first set.

In the second set, Fish seized a break to go up 3-2. But, Del Potro rebounded quickly and erased the deficit. With neither man surrendering another service game, the second set went to a tiebreaker.

Fish sprinted to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker. Although Del Potro narrowed the gap to 6-5. On his third attempt at match point, Fish converted.

Fish was content with his play “it was one of those matches that a couple points here and there and you lose the match. . . He had a ton of break points. I had a few and converted on two of them; he got me on one. . . It was high quality tennis for the better part of it, I think. I’m sure he came off thinking he played pretty well and I played great”.

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open




With each passing match, Juan Martin Del Potro looks one step closer to the form which made him the 2009 U.S. Open champion and a world number four. In the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open, Del Potro knocked out current world number four Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-2.

With three titles already this season and a 20-2 record, Soderling should have felt pretty good going into this contest. However, a recent ailment and an earlier than expected exit at Indian Wells allowed just enough room for Soderling to doubt his chances.

As a result of a net court winner, Del Potro obtained his fourth break point opportunity in the fourth game of the first set. The Argentine capitalized when Soderling’s backhand down the line sailed wide. Then, with an ace on game point, Del Potro consolidated for 4-1.

Because of sensational serving, Del Potro guarded the one break advantage and carried the first set.

After Del Potro broke the first game of the second set, Soderling came alive with two winners to go up 0-30. Yet, Del Potro’s serve came to the rescue. The Argentine saved the game for a 2-0 lead.

Later, Del Potro captured an insurance break. Then with a strong game closed out the match.

When Del Potro won the title in Delray, he felt that the true measure of the state of his game would be prevailing over a top ten player. Having accomplished this objective, Del Potro was asked to evaluate his progress “when you play against these kinds of players and [win it gives you a little bit of confidence]. Today, my serve, my forehand, my backhand, everything worked incredibly well. He’s a really good player. He had chances, too, but I took my opportunities. . .that was very important for my confidence”.

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Del Potro Advances to Second Round at Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Advances to Second Round at Sony Ericsson Open



Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro’s impressive return to the ATP tour continued today at the Sony Ericsson Open. In first round action, Del Potro defeated Ricardo Mello of Brazil in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

In his post match interview Del Potro was asked if he thought his comeback was on track and if he was back to where [he] needed to be. Del Potro responded that he “didn’t think so” however he added that “I’m improving faster than what I expected.” Del Potro acknowledged that there is a difference in the level of his game versus Nadal and other top 10 players, but he stated that he “is getting closer”.

Del Potro is now on a collision course with Robin Soderling in the third round. Del Potro faces Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, while Soderling begins his Miami campaign against Ivan Dodig.

In other first round action 2008 Sony Ericsson Open Champion Nikolay Davydenko was upset by Kevin Anderson. This is the second time that Anderson has eliminated a past champion in the opening rounds in Miami. In 2008, Anderson bounced defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round.

James Blake also advanced in Miami after staging a come from behind win over fellow American Michael Russell. Blake closed out Russell in a third set tie break and will face Thomaz Bellucci in the next round.

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray



Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Tennis International Championships Thursday night with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

After the match Del Potro commented that he “had a good night” adding that he is “getting better match by match” and that he “played better than [his opening match on] Tuesday”.

Looking ahead to BNP Paribas and Sony Ericsson Open, MiamiTennisNews asked Del Potro the following :

Q : Do the matches that you have won last week in Memphis and here in Delray give you confidence heading into Indian Wells and Miami?

Del Potro : Yes, I need to get more confidence and rhythm in matches. [I need] to get on the courts and feel the sensations of playing a match – nerves, being in a stadium with crowds – it is something that I lost while being out for a year. I need to recover [these experiences] as they are what lets one win matches.

Del Potro will face fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson advanced in straight sets by defeating Florent Serra 6-1, 6-4 in the final match of the night session.

In the afternoon session second-seeded Mardy Fish advanced in straight sets over Ricardo Mello 6-2, 6-1. Fish is attempting to return to the Delray final after winning the title in 2009.

In another second round match, qualifier Alejandro Falla advanced in straight sets over Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2. Falla faces Fish in the first match of Friday’s night session.

The first quarterfinal match of Friday features qualifier Ryan Sweeting taking on 2008 Delray champion Kei Nishikori. Ivan Dodig faces sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the second quarterfinal match.

Here is the order of play for Friday, February 25 :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[1] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) vs A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS)

Not Before 12:30 PM
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) vs K Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 PM
I Dodig (CRO) vs [6] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

5:30 PM
F Ferreiro (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) vs M Ebden (AUS) / S Groth (AUS)

Not Before 7:15 PM
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs [2] M Fish (USA)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs J Del Potro (ARG) 

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Kuznetsova Bends But Doesn’t Break, Venus Moves On in Miami

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Kuznetsova Bends But Doesn’t Break, Venus Moves On in Miami


In the second round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Svetlana Kuznetsova was pushed to three sets by China’s Shuai Peng.  But, Kuznetsova, the top seed, averted an upset with a 6-2,3-6,6-4 win.

After dominating in the opening set, Kuznetsova was broken early in the second.  Despite numerous chances to get back on serve, Kuznetsova’s failed to capitalize because of an inconsistent forehand.  In the decisive third set, Kuznetsova obtained the early edge for a 3-1 lead.  However, with a strong forehand stroke causing the error by Kuznetsova then a superb return, Peng erased the break deficit.  Later on in the set, Kuznetsova captured the crucial break allowing her to seal the victory.

Subsequent to the match, MiamiTennisNews asked:
Q.  Seems like your forehand has been off lately.  What’s going on there?
Kuznetsova:  Actually, it’s good.  But just getting a little bit–I’m frustrated  because I’m not making, but I feel it good.

Q.  Do you fell more pressure after winning the French.  Are you putting more pressure on yourself?
Kuznetsova:  I don’t put pressure.  I just get disappointed when I’m not playing good enough.  That’s it.

Peng’s compatriot, Li Na, 2010 Australian semifinalist and 8th seed, was equally unlucky as Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky after multiple opportunities to win in straight sets, prevailed in a third set tiebreaker 6-4,4-6,7-6.  In other matches, Marion Bartoli, the 11th seed, had no problem with Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2,6-4 .  After losing the first set, Sabine Lisicki retired due to injury against Yaroslava Shvedova.

Andrea Petkovic bested 10th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-3,3-6,6-0 .  Although her serve is still problematic, Ana Ivanovic came through in her match against Pauline Parmentier 6-4,6-3.  After a tricky initial set, 6th seed Agnieszka Radwanska cruised in the second set for a 7-5,6-0 victory over Ekaterina Makarova.  Surprisingly, Agnes Szavay squashed Alicia Molik 6-0, 6-0.

Once more this year, Gisela Dulko ousted a seeded player, this time she victimized Alona Bondarenko 7-5,6-2.  Up and coming Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai had her tournament cut short as the 18th seed went down to 19 year old wildcard Petra Martic.  30th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues and 31st seed Aleksandra Wozniak fell to Roberta Vinci and Polona Hercog respectively. Yanina Wickmayer, Nadia Petrova, Daniela Hantuchova, and Roberta Vinci are through to the third round.

In the night session, meeting for the first time, Venus Williams battled Sorana Cirstea.  Down love-40, Venus double faulted at 2 all to give Cirstea the break.  Serving at 4-3, Cirstea netted a backhand hand digging herself a triple break point hole.  Venus converted when Cirstea committed another backhand mistake.  Then, Williams broke a second time at love to carry the first set.

Again in the second set, Cirstea drew first blood.  With a blazing return, Cirstea set up triple break point and capitalized by forcing Venus to push her forehand long.  However, the next game, Venus leveled the set at 2 a piece.  Later, after erasing break point, Williams obtained a third break point with a backhand miscue by Cirstea.  Venus secured the break for 5-3 when Sorana dumped a forehand into the net.  With an easy hold, Venus closed out the match 6-4, 6-3.

Yesterday, the ATP first round matches were also completed with lucky loser Nicolas Lapentti reaching the second round joined by Juan Ignacio Chela, Dudi Sela, Thiemo De Bakker, Michael Berrer, Philipp Petzschner and Kevin Anderson.  Mardy Fish was the only male American to advance yesterday as Ryan Sweeting, Rajeev Ram were both eliminated.

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2010 Sony Ericsson Open Preview for Thursday March 25

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2010 Sony Ericsson Open Preview for Thursday March 25


The women take center stage on Day 2 at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open.  Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova headlines the day session.  Other notable names in action include Ana Ivanovic, Nadia Petrova, Flavia Pennetta, Na Li, Sabine Lisicki and Marion Bartoli.  Kim Clijsters will take to the court in doubles partnering with fellow countrywoman Kirsten Flipkens.  The night session will be headlined by Venus Williams who will face Sorana Cirstea.

On the men’s side, Andreas Seppi, Juan Ignacio Chela, Nicolas Massu, Kevin Anderson and Americans Ryan Sweeting and Rajeev Ram will be in action. In the night session, Mardy Fish will take on Leonardo Mayer.

Here is the complete order of play for Thursday :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
E Makarova (RUS) vs [6] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[25] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs [Q] P Parmentier (FRA) – WTA
[LL] N Lapentti (ECU) vs P Starace (ITA) – ATP
[1] S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA

Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] V Williams (USA) vs S Cirstea (ROU) – WTA
M Fish (USA) vs L Mayer (ARG) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
H Zeballos (ARG) vs A Seppi (ITA) – ATP
P Lorenzi (ITA) vs J Chela (ARG) – ATP
P Petzschner (GER) vs [Q] R Sweeting (USA) – ATP
[Q] M Ilhan (TUR) vs P Cuevas (URU) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[Q] S Giraldo (COL) vs [LL] M Daniel (BRA) – ATP

COURT 1 start 10:00 am
[WC] P Martic (CRO) vs [18] A Rezai (FRA) – WTA
K Date Krumm (JPN) vs [16] N Petrova (RUS) – WTA
[19] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs P Schnyder (SUI) – WTA
[10] F Pennetta (ITA) vs A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
[3] N Petrova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs S Errani (ITA) / S Peer (ISR) – WTA

COURT 2 start 10:00 am
V Hanescu (ROU) vs A Falla (COL) – ATP
E Korolev (KAZ) vs D Sela (ISR) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
[12] Y Wickmayer (BEL) vs I Benesova (CZE) or [Q] E Baltacha (GBR) – WTA
R Ram (USA) vs T de Bakker (NED) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[WC] Y Wickmayer (BEL) / V Zvonareva (RUS) vs M Niculescu (ROU) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA

COURT 3 start 10:00 am
Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [23] S Lisicki (GER) – WTA
M Rybarikova (SVK) vs [13] M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
[WC] K Clijsters (BEL) / K Flipkens (BEL) vs S Borwell (GBR) / R Kops-Jones (USA) – WTA
T Bacsinszky (SUI) or [Q] B Mattek-Sands (USA) vs [8] N Li (CHN) – WTA
A Amanmuradova (UZB) / D Kustova (BLR) vs Y Chan (TPE) / J Zheng (CHN) – WTA

COURT 6 start 10:00 am
L Lacko (SVK) vs M Berrer (GER) – ATP
F Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] Y Lu (TPE) – ATP
[Q] N Massu (CHI) vs F Serra (FRA) – ATP
R Vinci (ITA) vs [30] A Medina Garrigues (ESP) – WTA

COURT 7 start 10:00 am
O Govortsova (BLR) / A Kudryavtseva (RUS) vs T Poutchek (BLR) / A Rosolska (POL) – WTA
[31] A Wozniak (CAN) vs P Hercog (SLO) – WTA
[WC] A Molik (AUS) vs [27] A Szavay (HUN) – WTA
[21] A Bondarenko (UKR) vs G Dulko (ARG) – WTA
[5] A Kleybanova (RUS) / F Schiavone (ITA) vs I Benesova (CZE) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) – WTA

COURT 8 start 10:00 am
P Luczak (AUS) vs O Hernandez (ESP) – ATP
[Q] K Anderson (RSA) vs [Q] R Mello (BRA) – ATP
S Robert (FRA) vs A Beck (GER) – ATP
A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) vs [2] N Llagostera Vives (ESP) / M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) – WTA
K Jans (POL) / V Uhlirova (CZE) vs [7] C Chuang (TPE) / S Hsieh (TPE) – WTA

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A Gem In The Magic City: Miami’s Sony Ericsson Open

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A Gem In The Magic City: Miami’s Sony Ericsson Open


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Written on May 2, 2008

Since 2000, schedule permitting, I have been a faithful and fervent attendee at my hometown tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida. Yet, as a devout tennis fanatic, my wish has always been to make a pilgrimage to one of the shrines of the sport, a major.

In my mind, there has always been the perception that I was being deprived of an ecclesiastical experience by not going to New York, London, Paris or Melbourne. As luck would have it, in 2006 and 2007, I ascended from the category of lowly television viewer to that of obscured spectator when I was finally able to drink in the atmosphere at the U.S Open. After spending five days at the opening round matches in New York the last couple of years and a week at this year’s Sony Ericsson, I began to view the latter through a new lens. As I surveyed the familiar vista at Crandon Park, the prism through which I evaluated the tournament was suddenly lifted. Moreover, I arrived at the realization that the Sony Ericsson Open is truly a jewel in my own backyard.

Manhattan’s bright lights and vibrant streets are comparable to an impish, unruly child with the magnetic powers to draw one in with a cunning smile. A similar attraction lures one in at the U.S. Open. On the subway, I was overcome by a wave of exhilaration from the chatter of the passengers whose destination, just as mine, was the major’s site. As the train approached the tennis center and the Arthur Ashe stadium came into view, a touch of awe and anxiety intermingled as I became conscious of the magnitude of the place. These sentiments were further accentuated as the grounds crew greeted me with their megaphones shouting instructions such as, “no backpacks allowed into the stadium”. Or as I filed through the long security lines that stretch for miles and saw my precious can of juice seized since opaque containers were prohibited entry. The shear volume of people, over 700,000 attended the tournament in 2007, and the additional security measures implemented after the catastrophic incident at the Twin Towers signify that one has to be willing to tolerate these inconveniences in order to experience the U.S. Open.

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