Tag Archive | "Benesova"

Midway Through Australian Open 2011:Clijsters and Wozniacki In, Henin Out

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Midway Through Australian Open 2011:Clijsters and Wozniacki In, Henin Out

The halfway mark has been reached at the Australian Open.  While Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki are still in line to collect their first major Down Under, the dream is at an end for Justine Henin and Samantha Stosur.  Here’s a look at the tournament’s past seven days.

In the top half of the draw, world number one Wozniacki coasted into the round of 16.   Despite difficult challenges from Gisela Dulko and Dominika Cibulkova, the Dane has yet to drop a set.  Wozniacki will battle Latvian talent 20 year old Anastasija Sevastova  who stunned Yanina Wickmayer in the second round.

On the other hand, Henin, a finalist last year, was dismissed in the third round by Svetlana Kuznetsova.  The 2009 French Open champion who appears to be fitter than ever will face reigning French Open victor Francesca Schiavone in the fourth round.  The latter needed three sets in each of her first two rounds.

There will be no Williams hoisting the prize this year.  Venus was forced to retire one game into her third round match with Andrea Petkovic due to a pelvic muscle injury.  Consequently, Petkovic will clash with Maria Sharapova in the round of 16. Sharapova scraped by Julia Goerges in the previous round.  With Sharapova’s serve a continual sore spot, Petkovic has a golden opportunity to reach her first quarterfinal at a major.

Both Li Na and Victoria Azarenka have been unforgiving thus far with straight sets victories to get to the round of 16.  These two will now collide for a place in the quarterfinals.

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Petra Kvitova: A Promising Prospect

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Petra Kvitova: A Promising Prospect

The following article was authored by MiamiTennisNews.com and appeared on the pages of OnTheBaseline.com as part of their “2010 Players to Watch” series.  It is being republished on MiamiTennisNews.com with permission from OnTheBaseline.com.

players_to_watch_480x250-10Whilst the two consonants comprising the introduction of her surname may be a source of consternation as to its pronunciation, in Petra Kvitova‘s case, this will shortly be an aberration. In light of this teenager’s memorable accomplishments in 2009, it is safe to assume that her name will be fluidly rolling off tennis fans’ tongues for the foreseeable future.

Hailing from the Czech Republic, earlier this year, at the age of 18, Kvitova bagged her maiden Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title in Hobart by defeating compatriot and seasoned rival Iveta Benesova. With that victory, Kvitova cracked the top 40 for the first time. Weeks later though at the Australian Open, Kvitova had the misfortune of drawing 14th ranked phenom Victoria Azarenka in the opening round and made a prompt departure.

Still, Kvitova redeemed herself at the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. Facing the 2008 finalist Spain, Kvitova got her team off to a magnificent start by beating Carla Suarez Navarro, a recent quarterfinalist in Australia. Then, with a euphoric stadium cheering her on, the youngster bested Nuria Llagostera Vives to secure the Czech Republic’s semifinal berth. However, in April, after winning the initial rubber versus American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kvitova ran into a glitch. Alexa Glatch routed her in two sets. Ultimately, the U.S advanced to the finals.

Mid year, Kvitova struggled with an ankle injury which kept her out of Roland Garros and contributed to a series of early losses including Wimbledon. Kvitova’s ranking dipped to 69. Attempting to get match fit, Kvitova played an ITF tournament in August only to be ousted in the first round by a lesser opponent. Days following though at the U.S Open, Kvitova showed that she indeed possesses the tools that will make her a prime contender.

With time constraints moving play from Ashe to Armstrong stadium, Kvitova ranked 72nd had the night of her burgeoning career. Using her six foot frame to serve effectively and her most potent stroke, her forehand, Kvitova saved three match points against Dinara Safina. Kvitova prevailed in a compelling third set tiebreaker, shocking the world number one in the third round. Fernando Gonzalez, the 2007 Australian Open finalist, was once asked the secret to his potent forehand, he replied in essence fearlessness. At the Open, Petra demonstrated that her forehand will be feared by her adversaries for some time to come.

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Thirst Quencher: Federer Nabs First Title In 2008; Estoril Open Recap

Finally, after five attempts, Roger Federer reached the finals of a tournament this year and collected the top prize at the Estroril Open in Portugal. Curiously, Federer’s first title of 2008 occurred on clay after Russian Nikolay Davydenko, the second seed, retired due to a leg injury in the second set 7-6, 1-2.

To jump start his clay season, Federer added this competition to his schedule with the objective of getting additional practice as he contemplates Roland Garros, the premier clay court premium. Federer had some difficulties during the tournament, needing three sets on a couple of occasions to advance thru to the next round. Although Federer has an 11-0 record against Davydenko, a good match was anticipated for various reasons. Firstly, Davydenko has always competed well on clay and was on familiar grounds having won this tournament in 2003. Secondly, Federer has not been in classic form this year. Considering that Davydenko was fresh off his victory at the Sony Ericsson Open where he beat Andy Roddick in the semifinals, a player against whom he has a wretched record. Then in the finals, Davydenko crushed Rafael Nadal to earn his second ATP Masters’ title. As such, it was fitting to set aside Davydenko’s poor record against Federer and assume that momentum was in the Russian’s corner. Therefore, it is lamentable that his run in Estoril finished on a sour note after a competitive first set and after Nikolay was able to break Roger early in the second.

Despite the asterisk, this result may be a favorable omen for Federer on many fronts. Amongst its former champions, this event counts Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Sergi Brugera, just to name a few, who are also French Open champions. Another positive development to emerge from the Federer’s camp is the hiring of Jose Higueras as a coach on a trial basis. Higueras has an extensive clay court resume both as a player and tutor. He guided Jim Courier and Michael Chang to their French Open Championships and had a hand in shaping the game of clay court aces such as Moya and Bruegera. Perhaps, Higueras will be the key to Federer’s unlocking of the French Open mystery. In the doubles final, t he South African team of Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie needed a third set tiebreak to vanquish Jamie Murray of Scotland and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe.

The women were also in action in Portugal, a tier IV event. The spoils belonged to Russian Maria Kirilenko as she claimed both the singles and doubles titles. In the singles final, Kirilenko, the second seed, took on Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic and defeated her in two sets 6-4, 6-2. The day prior, Kirilenko teamed up with Italian Flavia Pennetta to capture the doubles trophy.

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