Tag Archive | "Chang"

Electrifying Men Semis: Nadal vs. Roddick and Berdych vs. Soderling

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Electrifying Men Semis: Nadal vs. Roddick and Berdych vs. Soderling

The men play today at the Sony Ericsson Open for a spot in the finals. Moreover, both the afternoon and evening sessions have doubles semifinals.

In the first semifinal of the day, Andy Roddick battles Rafael Nadal.  Although Nadal has a 5-2 lead in their series, on hardcourt their record is tied. Tonight in the second semifinal, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych play for a berth in the finals.  Soderling leads that match-up 4-2.

The ultimate ATP doubles space will be filled by either the 8th seed, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, or the 4th seed, Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi.  In women’s doubles, 3rd seed Nadia Petrova and Samantha Stosur take on Jie Zheng and Yung-Jan
Chang.  The last match of the day features 4th seed Rennae Stubbs and Lisa Raymond versus Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.

Here is today’s complete schedule :


STADIUM start 1:00 PM

[4] R Nadal (ESP) vs [6] A Roddick (USA) – ATP
Y Chan (TPE) / J Zheng (CHN) vs [3] N Petrova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs [8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[16] T Berdych (CZE) vs [13] M Youzhny (RUS) or [5] R Soderling (SWE) – ATP
[4] L Raymond (USA) / R Stubbs (AUS) vs G Dulko (ARG) / F Pennetta (ITA) – WTA

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Ljubicic Trumps Roddick in Indian Wells Final

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Ljubicic Trumps Roddick in Indian Wells Final

The last time Ivan Ljubicic played in the finals of an ATP Masters’ series event, the year was 2006.  Back then, Ljubicic, the 6th best player in the world, lost to Roger Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Today, 31 year old Ljubicic clashed with world number eight, Andy Roddick, for the trophy at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.  The Croat, ranked 26th, validated the axiom that age is just a number in defeating his younger counterpart 7-6, 7-6 to earn the biggest title of his career and his first Masters’ shield.

With a backhand down the line error by Roddick, Ljubicic had triple break point to open the match.  However, Roddick used his serve to wipe out these opportunities.  After the two men held serve the next two games, Roddick enticed Ljubicic into three consecutive mistakes for triple break point.  The Croat returned the favor by blotting out the deficits with a few big serves of his own.  Serving at 4-5, Ljubicic wasted game point with a couple of untimely mistakes.  Then, with an overhead winner by Roddick, Ljubicic faced break/set point.  But, packing plenty of heat on his serves, Ljubicic held.  Ultimately, the set moved to a tiebreaker.  Ljubicic jumped ahead by a mini-break as Roddick surrendered the first point.  Next, with a backhand down the line winner and by coming up with the response to Roddick’s great defensive moves, Ljubicic extended his lead to 3-0.  Later, when Roddick misfired on a forehand crosscourt pass, Ljubicic had double set point.  With a forehand crosscourt pass winner, Ljubicic locked up the initial set.

Ljubicic picked up where he left off with a comfortable hold to start the second set.  Roddick duplicated with an easy game himself.  The key for each man was connecting on first serves.  In the rallies, Ljubicic did his best to expose Roddick’s weaker wing, the backhand, while Andy tried to force a bunch of forehand blunders from Ivan.  Still, when it mattered, each competitor always found the answer to the question asked.  For instance, with Ljubicic serving at 4 all, a forehand error and his first double fault put him in a 0-30 pickle.  However, with a backhand down the line winner and an unreturnable serve, Ivan leveled the game at 30 all.  Subsequently, with two big serves, Ljubicic procured game point.  Although Ivan had to erase two break points, by reaching a top speed of 141 mph with his serve, he secured the game for 5-4.  With each person cruising on serve the last three games, a tiebreaker was again played.

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Michael Chang Responds

In the lead up to this year’s French Open, the readers of USA Today were asked to submit questions to Michael Chang, the 1989 French Open Singles Champion. 

Six questions were selected including one which was submitted by MiamiTennisBlog.com.

Below is the question along with Chang’s response which can also be found in today’s sports section of USAToday.com.  

Q: What exactly makes the French Open the great equalizer of the 4 Grand Slams? Over the years we have seen this title elude some of the sport’s greatest players (McEnroe, Sampras, Edberg, Becker, Federer to name a few). Please provide us with a champion’s perspective on what makes it so difficult to conquer the red clay at Roland Garros.


A:  The French Open is without question the most grueling grand slam of the four. It’s not uncommon for matches to last over 4 hours. With varying conditions, slower courts, longer matches and higher bouncing balls, it creates a different type of tennis that many of the greatest players have yet to figure out. Most try to just take their regular fast court style of tennis and play with a little more patience. The problem is that what would normally be a winner on any other surface, comes back at you with a kind of ‘is that the best shot you can hit’ attitude. And it’s only natural for the best players to try and go for more rather than have a mentality of hitting 3, 4, 5 or even 10 shots just to win one point. The best clay courters have this mentality and go into each match with a great deal of patience, working the ball and working the ball until you get the right opening or until your opponent is so far off the court they can’t recover. Granted, matches can be won with a go for broke type of style and game but over 2 weeks and having to win 7 tough matches each being 3 out of 5 sets is a tall order for pure attacking players to accomplish. In order for them to break through, they need just the right amount of fire power coupled with patience and a great strategy which includes just as much defensive play as offensive play. And to be honest, it’s tough for attacking power players to do that. They only really know how to be aggressive.

The smart players know that one of the best ways to beat the aggressive, attacking players is to either put them on the defensive somehow so they can’t play their best game or invite them to play on clay! 

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