Tag Archive | "Indian Wells"

Sharapova and Radwanska to Decide Sony Ericsson Open Title on Saturday

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Sharapova and Radwanska to Decide Sony Ericsson Open Title on Saturday



The ladies Sony Ericsson Open final will be contested between the world number two and four. Maria Sharapova will have to fend off Agnieszka Radwanska in order to claim her first title at this tournament.

Radwanska, a maiden finalist in Miami, has been in great form the last twelve months. The Pole has already pocketed a big title in Dubai and is at a career high in the rankings.

Previously, Sharapova had reached three finals at Sony Ericsson Open in 2005, 2006 and 2011. Moreover, Sharapova is seeking her initial title of the year after being stopped by world number one Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.
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Sharapova Hangs on to Reach Fourth Sony Ericsson Open Final

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Sharapova Hangs on to Reach Fourth Sony Ericsson Open Final



Maria Sharapova out dueled Caroline Wozniacki 4-6,6-2,6-4 to advance to her second successive final at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Sharapova saw a 4-1, double break lead disappear in the first set as her serve collapsed. Wozniacki captured five consecutive games to steal the opening set.

Still Sharapova was able to turn the match around. Subsequent to breaking the initial game and holding, Sharapova struck a forehand winner to again build a double break advantage.

This time around by racing ahead 5-1, Sharapova was able to ultimately close out the second set.

The third set after failing to convert on a bevy of break points, Sharapova finally banked the break for 3-2. Then, the Russian seized another break for 5-2.

Despite Wozniacki resisting, salvaging a match point and narrowing the deficit to 4-5, the second time of asking, Sharapova put the match to bed.

A three time finalist at the Sony Ericsson Open including last year, Sharapova will attempt to grab her initial title in South Florida. Sharapova is also striving for her first trophy of 2012 after being second best to Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

Sharapova’s opponent will be either Marion Bartoli or Agnieszka Radwanska, their match will take place tonight. Sharapova has a winning record against both ladies despite not competing against Bartoli since 2010.

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Djokovic Edges Nadal in Sony Ericsson Open Final

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Djokovic Edges Nadal in Sony Ericsson Open Final



Novak Djokovic kept his winning streak and perfect season alive today. Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 to win his second title in Miami and his fourth consecutive of the season.

It was the second week in a row that Nadal and Djokovic, world number one and two respectively, were meeting in a Masters 1000 final. The last time the top two players clashed for the title at this tournament in1995, number two Andre Agassi beat number one Pete Sampras in a third set tiebreaker.

With a backhand up the line pass for a winner on his second break point opportunity, Nadal obtained a 2-1 advantage. It was the first time, Djokovic had dropped serve this tournament.

After going down double break point, Nadal found the equalizer. The Spaniard survived another break point before consolidating for 3-1.

Then, Nadal captured a second break for 4-1. The Spaniard salvaged another break point before widening his lead to 5-1. Nadal dropped serve trying to close out the set the first time around. But, despite difficulties, on his second attempt Nadal banked the set.

After wasting multiple break points in the initial set, Djokovic aided by errors from Nadal seized the break for 2-0 in the second. Subsequent to wiping out a break point, Djokovic consolidated for 3-0 when Nadal’s slice backhand found the net.

Djokovic pressured Nadal on serve while having an easier time himself. At 40-0, Djokovic sent a beautiful lob for a winner to stretch his gap to 4-1. Ultimately, with an ace on triple set point, Djokovic threw the gauntlet for a deciding set.

The opening game of the third, Nadal overcame love-30 to hold. Serving at 1-2, Djokovic battled a similar predicament and got to 2 all. As the set progressed, despite a few 15-30 or 0-30 games, neither manufactured a break point. Fittingly, the championship was settled by a tiebreaker.

The first four points of the tiebreaker, neither competitor maintained serve. When Nadal double faulted, Djokovic had a mini-break at 3-2. With Nadal’s next two strokes sailing wide, Djokovic had a 5-2 cushion.

Following, Djokovic struck a forehand winner down the line for 6-2 and four championship points. Although Nadal won the next two points, on his third opportunity, Djokovic connected on forehand winner to pocket the trophy.

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Azarenka Overpowers Sharapova for Second Trophy at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Azarenka Overpowers Sharapova for Second Trophy at the Sony Ericsson Open



Victoria Azarenka placed her name among the elites at the Sony Ericsson Open. Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 to claim her second title at this tournament becoming the eighth woman to have won the title a minimum of two times.

Participating in Miami for the first time since 2007, Sharapova cruised to the quarterfinals. However, the Russian fought off Alexandra Dulgheru and Andrea Petkovic to reach her third final in Miami.

After difficult three setters to advance to the quarterfinals, Azarenka dominated defending champion and world number two Kim Clijsters and coasted to victory in the semifinals versus world number three Vera Zvonareva.

Azarenka was in the zone early on. In the initial game, after Sharapova had double game point, Azarenka connected on a forehand up the winner for break point. Despite Sharapova surviving that one, on her third break point chance, Azarenka converted.

With a few miscues by Azarenka, Sharapova broke back quickly to level the set at 1 all. Still, as a result of two consecutive double faults, Sharapova went down 0-30. Later, when Sharapova sent a forehand wide, Azarenka had the break for 2-0.

With Sharapova spraying forehands and backhands all over the place and ineffective on the return of serve, Azarenka rolled five consecutive games which included two additional breaks to take the first set.

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Nadal Toasts Federer to Book His Spot in the Sony Ericsson Open Final

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Nadal Toasts Federer to Book His Spot in the Sony Ericsson Open Final



The much anticipated semifinal bout between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open failed to live up to expectation. In a one sided contest, Nadal destroyed Federer 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the final.

Nadal drew first blood in the first set. With Federer’s forehand up the line going wide, the Spaniard had double break point. Then, when Federer pushed a backhand into the net, Nadal had the break for 2-1.

Nadal consolidated easily for 3-1. Later, with Federer serving at 3-5, a litany of errors resulted in Nadal breaking for the second time to seal the opening set.

In the second set, with Nadal netting a backhand, Federer had his first break point of the night. However, with a net court winner off an overhead, Nadal was at deuce. Nadal went on to capture the game.

Subsequently, with a backhand down the line pass for a winner, Nadal had break point. He capitalized when Federer’s forehand found the net. With a prompt game, Nadal moved ahead 3-0.

The remainder of the set, Federer was just trying to tread water. The Swiss’ only window came at 1-3 and 0-30, but Nadal quickly shut it.

With Federer serving to prolong the match, miscues after miscues gave Nadal his first match point. As a result of Federer misfiring, Nadal booked his place into the final.

Federer committed 31 unforced errors while hitting 18 winners. Federer said in analyzing the match “I think it’s always a bit of an adjustment coming out and playing Rafa, any lefty, but him in particular. . . I warmed up with a lefty, Bob Bryan, and tried to get acclimatized as [much as] I could against him. It’s just hard”.

Federer went on “in the first couple games I got a break down, the conditions weren’t really favoring me. [It’s] slow [and] just makes it so hard to hit through him on a surface like this. Maybe you try to over hit a bit. Then, I started to make the wrong decisions on big points. . .and it’s not easy to come back. He played tough and he played well when he had to and I didn’t do that tonight. So it’s disappointing for me”.

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Nadal Moves On to the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Nadal Moves On to the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open



In the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Rafael Nadal faced fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Nadal eased his way into the fourth round with a solid 6-3, 6-3 triumph.

After a few comfortable holds by Lopez, Nadal got the critical break to go ahead 4-3. Subsequent to promptly consolidating, Nadal arrived at triple break point. Although Lopez fought back to deuce, Nadal eventually secured the break to claim the first set.

In the second set, with a forehand down the line winner, Nadal manufactured double break point. Nadal then won the next point to take a 4-2 advantage.

Again, Nadal quickly consolidated for 5-2. Despite Lopez guarding serve the next game, with a volley that threaded the needle, Nadal had double match point. With a forehand winner, Nadal progressed to the fourth round.

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Petkovic Pulls the Plug on Wozniacki at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Petkovic Pulls the Plug on Wozniacki at the Sony Ericsson Open



The first time Andrea Petkovic battled a world number one it was in Rome in 2010. On that occasion, the German came out on the losing end. This time around, the 23 year old also ranked 23rd was not intimidated by her opponent’s ranking. Petkovic stunned Caroline Wozniacki to clinch her first quarterfinal berth at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Wozniacki’s intent was to advance to her third straight quarterfinal at this tournament. Also, the Dane was trying to become the third player to win back to back titles in Indian Wells and Miami; an accomplishment posted only by Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters.

The first set could have been decided by the flip of a coin. However, it was Petkovic breaking for a 6-5 advantage and on her second set point producing the ace to wrap it up.

In the second set, Wozniacki capitalized on triple break point when Petkovic dumped a forehand into the net and moved in front 2-0.

Yet, when Wozniacki double faulted, Petkovic obtained triple break point. Despite getting to deuce, Wozniacki gave the German one more chance which she seized. Petkovic eventually consolidated for 2 all after wiping out triple break point.

Later on, with a backhand volley, Wozniacki arrived at double break point. She converted for 5-3 and with a love game sealed the second set.

In the deciding set, with a backhand crosscourt winner, Petkovic had break point. The German captured the game for a 2-0 lead. However, Wozniacki with a forehand volley winner promptly broke back.

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Nadal Weathers Nishikori, Defending Champ Roddick Ousted

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Nadal Weathers Nishikori, Defending Champ Roddick Ousted



Despite being tested by Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal managed to close out his second round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in straight sets. Nadal overcame the talented Japanese 6-4, 6-4 to get to the third round where he will face fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

After Nishikori wasted a couple of break points which have given him a 3-1 lead, Nadal manufactured double break point. Nadal converted when Nishikori buried a backhand into the net. Nadal subsequently consolidated at love for 4-2.

Later on, Nishikori had double break points with Nadal serving at 4-3. Once more, this was to no avail. Nadal maintained the one break advantage to seal the first set.

In the second set, Nadal seized the break in the first game and guarded the advantage despite Nishikori’s formidable resistance. With triple match point, Nadal aced his rival to punctuate the set.

Nadal was particularly hampered by the serve in the final of BNP Paribas Open last week. Consequently, MiamiTennisNews.com inquired as to the changes he made to fix this problem “I tried to remember what I did when I served well. I slowed down the speed a little bit. . . Because I served 117 to 124, 25 miles almost every time. That’s enough speed if you put the right percentage inside and. . .the balls close to the lines. I think that worked well.”

Furthermore, Nadal said “Nishikori is a good returner. His returns are fast, deep and difficult. . . I have to improve a little bit on the second serve. The speed was [at times] 85, 88, 89, 90, 92. . . But in general, I am very happy with the match of tonight”.

Never one to take his opponent for granted. Despite a 6-2 mark versus Lopez, Nadal’s assessment of the upcoming match when asked by MiamiTennisNews.com was “[it’s] important for me to play my best tennis. . . He has a very good serve, volleys well and he’s an aggressive player. Very dangerous, but if I play very well, I have my chances”.

In addition, Nadal stated “I have to play aggressively with my forehand, try to move him and get to the net when I have the chance. The match will be similar [to the past ones in some ways]. Still, every match is [also] different and always difficult”.

Pablo Cuevas came into the tournament with a record under 500 at 6-7. With defending Andy Roddick across the net, Cuevas must have thought that his week at its end in the second round. To the contrary, Cuevas surprised Roddick 6-4, 7-6.

Cuevas caught a break in finding Roddick not at 100%. After Roddick erased a break point, he manufactured double break point the very next game. However, Cuevas found a way to turn him away.

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Murray Falls, Soderling Fights Off Dodig

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Murray Falls, Soderling Fights Off Dodig



Andy Murray cannot seem to shake off the disappointment of his second straight loss in the Australian Open final.  For the second tournament in a row, Murray was defeated by a qualifier.  In the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Alex Bogomolov sent Murray packing 6-1,7-5.

The first set Bogomolov could do no wrong while Murray had trouble finding his rhythm.  Although Murray tried his best to snap out of his funk and battled in the second set, Bogomolov found the answers to vanquish the three time majors finalist.

After the match, Murray was asked whether “a confidence problem is plaguing you right now?  Murray answered:  “No, I think it’s more than that.  I mean, I played poorly last two weeks.  I was happier with the way that I competed this week than last.  But, yeah, confidence could have something to do with that.”

Further Murray stated “ the same thing happened around, the same time last year.  I have been practicing well, training well, and then [in] the matches can’t get anything going. That’s obviously disappointing. . . But I think when you’re not playing that well and you’re struggling a little bit, you start to miss balls by a few inches, then, net cords or whatever, challenges and stuff, they seem to go against you more”.

With all that has transpired the last few months, Murray appears in need of a good coach to place him back on the right path.  To a question along these lines, Murray responded “whether I get someone or not . . . it wouldn’t be down to the last two matches, because as a whole, you need to assess things properly.  It’s not anyone’s fault for giving me wrong tactics or practicing the wrong way.  That’s not the reason why I played like I did . . .  I’ll have to think about it and see what I want to do”.

Bogomolov has been playing well of late.  He attributes this victory to his previous results which have been great.  As such, Bogomolov feels it “ really [gives] you confidence and [permits] you to play the bigger points better.  Once you’re in that state, you believe you can do certain things that you weren’t able to do before”.

Robin Soderling got out of a tight spot.  After dropping the first set, Soderling rebounded to defeat Ivan Dodig 3-6,6-2,6-4.  In the third round, Soderling will meet either Juan Martin Del Potro or Philipp Kohlschreiber.  Kohlschreiber stunned Soderling in the third round at Indian Wells.

On the comeback trail, James Blake continues to make great strides.  Blake took out 27th seed Thomaz Bellucci 2-6,6-4,7-6.  Blake will face either sizzling Novak Djokovic or Denis Istomin in the third round.

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Flawless Djokovic Neutralizes Nadal in Indian Wells Final

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Flawless Djokovic Neutralizes Nadal in Indian Wells Final



Novak Djokovic’s perfect 2011 record was on the line in the final of the BNP Paribas Open today.  Yesterday, in the semifinals, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer for the third time this year to supplant Federer as the world number two.

This afternoon, Djokovic faced world number one Rafael Nadal for the title. The 2008 Indian Wells champion, Djokovic extended his winning streak to 18 in a row by downing Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Subsequent to comfortable holds by both players, Djokovic stared at triple break point.  Although Djokovic managed to salvage those, with a double fault, he handed Nadal a fifth break chance which the Spaniard converted for a 3-2 lead.

However, Djokovic promptly broke back.  Quickly though, Nadal dismissed a couple of game points and with Djokovic gifting him a few backhand errors Nadal stole the game.

After consolidating at love for 5-3, Nadal served another love game to close out the set.

Despite an absent first serve, Nadal held the first two games of the second set at love.  On the heels of squandering two game points, Nadal committed a backhand mistake to give Djokovic a second break point.  By sending a forehand long, Nadal surrendered the game.

Yet, at break point with a charitable double fault, Djokovic awarded the next game to Nadal.  Again though, Nadal’s inability to hit first serves came back to bite him as Djokovic capitalized after reaching triple break point for a 5-3 advantage.

Although he had to survive a break point and required six game points, in the end, Djokovic overcame Nadal’s charge and wrapped up the second set.

Two factors contributed to the shift in Djokovic’s fortunes in the second set.  One, he was finally able to make Nadal pay for a dismal first serve percentage of 25.  Secondly, Djokovic directed about 75% of  his shots to the Nadal backhand with great success in provoking errors.

By sticking with this winning formula, Djokovic pushed Nadal into misfiring enough times to rip off an opening break.  Subsequent to consolidating at love, on a forehand miscue from Nadal, Djokovic had another break point opportunity.  When Nadal’s backhand traveled out of play, Djokovic had a 3-0 double break edge.

After Djokovic easily got to 4-0, Nadal fought hard and avoided posting a bagel.  With his foot firmly on the pedal, Djokovic manhandled Nadal the rest of the way and comfortably took the set and the championship.

With victories also at the Australian Open and Dubai, Djokovic has been supreme on the hardcourt.  In their head to head, Nadal had a 16-7 mark over Djokovic and had prevailed in their previous five finals.

If Djokovic maintains this level of play, soon, he will be challenging Nadal for the number one spot.

Unequivocally, as the ATP tour journeys to Miami, Djokovic will be the man to beat at the Sony Ericsson Open.

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