Tag Archive | "Internazionali BNL d’Italia"

Sharapova Survives Li to Retain Rome Title

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Sharapova Survives Li to Retain Rome Title



Despite a persistent drizzle, spectators stayed glued to their seats at the Foro Italico. In the final of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia defending champion Maria Sharapova roared back from a 4-6, 0-4 hole to vanquish Na Li 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the first set, Sharapova got the initial break to go up 2-1. However, Li quickly captured the next game to get back on serve.

With Sharapova serving at 4-5, some critical service miscues allowed Li to bag the first set.
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Djokovic Sandbags Nadal for Seventh Title of the Season

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Djokovic Sandbags Nadal for Seventh Title of the Season



Since 2005, Rafael Nadal has been the undisputed proprietor of the red dirt. Anyone intending to set up camp on his estate would have to muscle him out. This year, Novak Djokovic has come with eviction notice in hand. Djokovic stunned Nadal 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia to collect his second straight clay ATP Masters 1000 championship trophy.

Last week, when Djokovic defeated Nadal in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open, it could have been dismissed as a fluke. Moreover, after being four points from kissing his perfect season goodbye and needing over three hours to get by Andy Murray in the semifinals, Djokovic appeared at a distinct disadvantage against Nadal. Yet this season, Djokovic, the 2008 champion in Rome, knows no limit.

After the first seven game of the match went to the server, Djokovic manufactured double break point when Nadal’s forehand sailed long. When the Spaniard flubbed the backhand, Djokovic captured the break for a 5-3 lead in the first set.

However, with Djokovic serving for the set, Nadal forced the Serb into a forehand mistake to arrive at double break point. When Djokovic dumped the forehand into the net, Nadal banked the break.

Unfazed by his prior miscue, Djokovic pressured Nadal and fabricated another break point. With a backhand crosscourt winner, Djokovic sealed the initial set.

Subsequent to easily holding serve, Djokovic obtained a break point in a game where Nadal was in control 40-0. After Nadal salvaged the first break point, Djokovic produced a second by inciting Nadal into a mistake. With Nadal slicing a backhand wide, Djokovic jumped to a 2-0 lead.

Although Nadal quickly broke to get back on serve, Djokovic kept the Spaniard on his back foot. Nadal had to erase double break point before squaring the set at 2 all.

It’s a strange sight witnessing Nadal being pushed around on clay, Djokovic had an answer to every shot. The angles the Serb generated were surreal, even the net courts were partisan with the majority favoring Djokovic.

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Sharapova Razes Stosur to Carry Title in Rome

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Sharapova Razes Stosur to Carry Title in Rome



Maria Sharapova has been candid in admitting that clay is not her strong suit. Yet, in today’s final at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia, one would have thought that the Russian was a court specialist. Sharapova bullied 2010 French Open finalist Samantha Stosur around to claim her first premier clay court trophy with a 6-2,6-4 victory.

Sharapova and Stosur last collided in the round of 16 at the Sony Ericsson Open with the Russian triumphing in straight sets. With a 7-0 record against the Australian, Sharapova came in oozing confidence.

From the initial strike, Sharapova used her powerful forehand to assert her will and broke in the opening game. Then, with a brilliant volley winner, Sharapova consolidated at love. Later, with Stosur slicing a backhand long, Sharapova took a double break lead for 3-0.

After Sharapova went ahead 4-0, Stosur broke to narrow the gap to 2-4. However, with another forehand from Stosur traveling out of play, Sharapova had triple break point and converted. Next, Sharapova overcame a 0-30 deficit and closed out the set.

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Nadal Dusts Off Ferrer For Fifth Masters Title In Rome

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Nadal Dusts Off Ferrer For Fifth Masters Title In Rome


Despite giving it the old college try, neither the rain nor David Ferrer could alter Rafael Nadal’s destiny.  In the finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia ATP Masters 1000, Nadal bested Ferrer 7-5,6-2 to grab his fifth trophy in Rome. In addition to garnering his 27th clay court title, Nadal tied Andre Agassi’s record of 17 Masters shields.

Following two easy service holds, Ferrer sent a forehand crosscourt long to face double break point.  With two un-returnable serves, Ferrer got to deuce. After dismissing five break points, with a forehand crosscourt winner, Ferrer held for 3-2.  The subsequent game, Ferrer had 15-30 with a crosscourt backhand pass for a winner.  However, Nadal connected on a few forehand winners to guard serve.  Then, by double faulting and netting a forehand, Ferrer was behind 0-30.  Still, by serving well and being aggressive at the right time, Ferrer maintain serve for 4-3.  Upon the heels of an uncomplicated game by Nadal, with Ferrer at play and 40-15, sprinkles turned into heavy rain causing the match to be suspended.

After nearly an hour intermission, Ferrer double faulted when play resumed.  Yet, with a return error by Nadal, Ferrer stayed ahead 5-4.  Next, with two consecutive miscues by Nadal, Ferrer had a 0-30 opening.  Unfortunately, Ferrer misfired on a second serve return. With three additional errors, Nadal equalized the set.  Subsequent to committing a double fault to allow a third game point to evaporate, Ferrer’s mistakes on two forehands gave Nadal the break and a 6-5 edge. Later, Ferrer crushed a backhand crosscourt return resulting in an error by Nadal on the next stroke and Ferrer’s first break point.  However, that break point was quickly wiped off when Ferrer sent a return long.  With a forehand volley winner, Nadal arrived at set point.  Nadal converted when Ferrer’s return missed its destination.

Ferrer started out the second set with mistakes leading to 15-40.  But, with well struck serves, Ferrer got to deuce.  Then, with a volley winner off a dropshot, Ferrer carried the game for 1-0.  After a comfortable hold, Nadal terminated a long rally with a volley winner for 0-15.  Perhaps feeling the effect of the prior point, Ferrer committed two miscues to hand Nadal triple break point.  Although Ferrer got to deuce, because a few more errors, Nadal eventually captured the break.  Again, there was a prolonged pause due to rain.  Upon returning, with backhand down the line winner, Nadal consolidated at love for a 3-1 lead.  Following an easy game, Ferrer placed pressure on Nadal at 30 all. Once more, let down by his forehand, Ferrer failed to progress further as Nadal maintained serve for 4-2.  Then, with back to back double faults, Ferrer eyed double break point.  As another of Ferrer’s forehand landed long, Nadal widened his advantage to 5-2.  Next, with a forehand volley winner, Nadal had double championship point.  When Ferrer’s returned sailed out of play, Nadal secured for the fifth time consecutive Masters shields in Rome and Monte-Carlo.

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Safina Pays Kuznetsova Back In Rome Final

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Safina Pays Kuznetsova Back In Rome Final


img_1119For the second successive week, Russians Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova meet in the finals of a premier clay court tournament. At the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Safina, world number one, got the better of her compatriot 6-3, 6-2 to capture her first title of 2009.

Ahead 40-15 after Safina comfortably held serve, Kuznetsova double faulted and made a backhand down the line error for deuce. Then, with two more backhand errors, Safina had the break and a 2-0 lead. But, with a couple of forehands crosscourt long by Dinara, Svetlana obtained her first game. However, with another backhand down the line error by Kuznetsova, Safina was back on top 3-1. Multiple misses by Kuznetsova permitted Safina to consolidate for 4-1. After easily guarding serve for 2-4, Kuznetsova had triple break points after pressuring errors from Safina. Svetlana converted with a forehand crosscourt winner for 3-4. Following, an ill-advised dropshot on a deep service return, Kuznetsova faced break point. After Safina let her off the hook with a backhand error, Kuznetsova made a bunch of forehand errors to give Safina the break and a 5-3 advantage. Safina pulled the curtain on the first set with forehand volley winner.

What a difference a few days make! Unlike the finals in Stuttgart, Safina could do no wrong, connecting on over 80% of her first serves, while Kuznetsova suffered from unforced error syndrome. Serving at 1 all, despite having three game points, Kuznetsova pulled the trigger too early as a consequence of Safina’s heavy shots and was broken. After Safina held serve for 3-1, Kuznetsova committed four straight errors allowing Safina to widen her margin by a double break. Then, at 1-5, after leading 40-15, Kuznetsova’s errors resulted in Safina getting to deuce. Subsequently, with a backhand up the line winner, Safina attained match point. With a courageous winner off a dropshot by Dinara, Svetlana was at deuce and later held serve for 2-5. With Safina serving for the championship, Kuznetsova had double break point. But, Kuznetsova, unable to rein in the errors, let one more opportunity get away. With another errant forehand by Kuznetsova, Safina sealed the championship putting an end to her rival’s nine match winning streak.

This was an amazing performance by the world number one coming on the heels of a semifinal win over Venus Williams in a three set thriller that took over three hours in which Safina was down a set and a break. With Venus’ great run in Rome, she will ascend to number three, her highest ranking since 2003. Serena Williams, world number two, lost in the second round to Swiss Patty Schynder. With the goal of rewarding good play, for the first time, only the semifinalists in Rome will have a first round bye in Madrid this upcoming week. Victoria Azarenka will be one of the lucky four after falling to Kuznetsova.

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