Tag Archive | "Kuznetsova"

2009 French Open Draw Released

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2009 French Open Draw Released


french_open_logoThis Monday, the most talented men and women in tennis will initiate the process of deciding who will walk away with the year’s second major. While Rafael Nadal is unequivocally the favorite on the men’s side, the women’s potential champion is much harder to predict.

Although Nadal going down to Roger Federer in Madrid added spice to the contest, the Spaniard remains the one with the target on his back. Fellow countrymen David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco, possible fourth round and quarterfinal opponents respectively, could provide further intrigue to the plot. But, Nadal has had no trouble dealing with either man during his spectacular clay court run. The most anticipated semifinal match up could be Nadal versus Brit Andy Murray. Murray showed moments of brilliance in their semifinal meeting in Monte Carlo which he lost. Murray may need to go through Spaniard Albert Montanes, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, pesky Czech Radek Stepanek or Marat Safin, a semifinalist in 2008. So Murray’s will have a mount to climb before getting to Nadal.

On paper, Federer should reach the quarterfinals without difficulties. However, lurking in Roger’s section are James Blake, Tomas Berdych and a couple Spaniards, any of them could serve as spoilers. In the quarters, Federer could face Andy Roddick. Yet, Roddick could have a rough time getting past his rivals since clay is not his best surface. Serb Novak Djokovic and Federer could meet in the semifinals. Having come back from a set and a break down to prevail their last two encounters, Novak will have confidence squarely in his corner. However, standing in Djokovic’s way in the preliminary rounds may be former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, top ten players Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro and Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments Off

Safina Overwhelms Wozniacki For Second Straight Clay Court Title

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Safina Overwhelms Wozniacki For Second Straight Clay Court Title


dsc_5877Madrid was the scene for the WTA’s last premier clay court tournament where world number one, Russian Dinara Safina, battled ninth seed, Dane Caroline Wozniacki. Safina destroyed Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 in the finals of the Mutua Madrilena Open for her eleventh career trophy.

After both players saved break points in their opening service games, with two unforced errors by Wozniacki, Safina had double break point. Dinara converted with a forehand crosscourt winner and took a 2-1 lead. By gorging on backhand down the line winners, Dinara was able to consolidate. Afterwards, Safina broke again for a 4-1 advantage. As Wozniacki’s error tally mounted, Safina cemented the first set at 6-2.

In the second set, with a forehand up the line mistake by Wozniacki, Safina arrived at break point. The Russian captured the lead with another forehand error by the Dane. Then, with a backhand down the line winner, Safina pulled in front 2-0. Serving at 2-1, Safina made an unforced error causing her to face break point. But, Dinara chased down a volley by Caroline to produce a winner for deuce. Subsequently, with a few more faults from Wozniacki, Safina held for 3-1. Henceforth, neither competitor had a miscue on serve until the eighth game. Leading 40-0, Safina committed three straight errors and with a well-concealed forehand dropshot winner, Wozniacki had break point. However, a backhand crosscourt grazing the tape denied Caroline the opportunity to equalize the set. The tenacious Dane got another break point with a superb backhand volley winner. Still, Safina turned Wozniacki away with a winner. After Caroline failed to capitalize on a third break chance, Dinara secured this seven-deuce game and a 5-3 lead. After being unsuccessful on a match on her opponent’s serve, Safina benefited from a multitude of errors by Wozniacki to secure the championship.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments Off

Safina Pays Kuznetsova Back In Rome Final

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Posted in NewsComments Off

Kuznetsova Cuts Off Safina For First Trophy In Two Years

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Kuznetsova Cuts Off Safina For First Trophy In Two Years


img_1153-version-2In the finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, a clay court premier tournament, Svetlana Kuznetsova vanquished fellow Russian and world number one, Dinara Safina, 6-4, 6-3 to claim her tenth career title.

After each player readily held serve, Kuznetsova faced two break points but dismissed them with forehand up the line winners for 2-1. Serving at 2-3, Safina had a backhand go long after a rocket forehand return by Kuznetsova giving the latter a 15-30 edge. Nevertheless, with a backhand volley winner and an ace, Dinara preserved the game. Then, after Svetlana had no trouble with her service game, Dinara double faulted and made an unforced error giving her rival break point. In spite of that, Safina wiggled out of that predicament with another ace and unforced errors by Kuznetsova to square the set at 4. After securing a 5-4 advantage with a forehand up the line winner, Kuznetsova overpowered Safina with forehand winners to get double break point. With Safina’s backhand finding the net, Kuznetsova rested the set.

The difference in the first set was Kuznetsova’s accuracy not only with her forehand, but her consistency from the backhand side. However with the score 1-1, Kuznetsova had a backhand travel long to hand Safina double break point. Still, with powerful forehand winners, Svetlana kept her slim edge for 2-1. Although theoretically Dinara was holding serve, in reality, she was relying too much on her second serve. That flaw came back to haunt her at 2-3 when Kuznetsova, with double break point, fired a backhand return deep which resulted in a weak reply by Safina. Subsequently, Kuznetsova put away an easy forehand volley for a 4-2 lead. After consolidating with a love service game, Kuznetsova had an initial match point because of a Safina double fault. Dinara managed a backhand return error for deuce. Afterwards, with a forehand crosscourt winner and backhand misfired by her rival, Dinara prolonged the match. Then, with a strong service game, Kuznetsova on her third championship point smashed an overhead for a winner to end the set.

Having lost eight straight finals and with Safina winning seven of their eleven meetings, including the last four, Kuznetsova didn’t seem to have a pray. So, this week, Kuznetsova got a big monkey off her back. In addition to Kuznetsova’s last title being in 2007, it had been a while since she prevailed over a top five opponent. In the semifinals, Kuznetsova banished world number three Elena Dementieva in straight sets. From number nine, Svetlana’s ranking will bump up to number eight. Importantly, Jelena Jankovic struggles persist. Italy’s Flavia Pennetta ousted the second seed and world number four in the quarterfinals. Also, Argentina’s Gisela Dulko stopped recent Sony Open champion Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

Posted in NewsComments Off

A Breakdown Of Week 1 At Sony 2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Breakdown Of Week 1 At Sony 2009


img_0942Fittingly, as the Sony Ericsson Open turns twenty-five this year, the first week of competition has already provided tons of fireworks on the courts. Here are just a few of the most memorable occurrences.

The initial two days were taken up by the qualifying rounds. Despite receiving wildcard entries, former major champions Swede Thomas Johansson and Argentine Gaston Gaudio did not move on to the main draw. In addition, the Americans teenager Donald Young and veteran Vincent Spadea failed to advance. On the other hand, Taylor Dent, whose career has had fits and starts due to niggling injuries, progressed into the primary field along with Michael Russell, Amer Delic and thirty-something Jill Craybas.

As the action got underway for real on Thursday, Dent’s hot hand continued.  The American beat two top twenty players in the second and third rounds, Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Robredo respectively.  In the round of 16, Dent will face Roger Federer; this will be their first encounter. Albeit the world number two has had multiple kinks in his game, Dent will need to pull off the performance of a lifetime in order to vanquish Federer. Surprisingly, the 14th seed Argentine David Nalbandian made a second round exit while James Blake, the 13th seed, was halted in the third round by Czech Thomas Berdych.

The sole top ten male to scent any whiff of difficulties in the third round was Frenchman Gael Monfils. The 9th seed clawed back from a double break deficit and saved two match points against Marat Safin, the 22nd seed and former major champion, before prevailing in a third set tiebreaker. Top seed Rafael Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro, Gilles Simon, Fernando Verdasco and Jo- Wilfried Tsonga are also into the second week.

Much of the ruckus appeared to be on the women’s side. The rain was not the only nuisance at Crandon Park on Sunday as a ragging storm decimated through the elite ten. Actually, the turbulence commenced Saturday evening with the last match of the day featuring world number three, Serb Jelena Jankovic. The usually steady Serb was ushered out by Argentine Gisela Dulko.  Jankovic’s game has been stagnating; for the second consecutive tournament, she has made a second round exit. After the euphoria of the previous night and the quick turnaround, Dulko lost the next afternoon in straight sets to Czech Iveta Besenova. Another Serb Ana Ivanovic, the world number 7, was also excused in the third round by gifted Hungarian youngster Agnes Szavay in three sets.

Read the full story

Posted in Local News, NewsComments Off

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Serena Supersizes Her Majors’ Collection By Taking The Australian Open


 

For the second time, Serena Williams, world number two, unmercifully disposed of a Russian in the Australian Open final. On this occasion, the hapless victim of Williams’ wrath was third rank Dinara Safina. Serena required just 58 minutes to defeat Dinara 6-0, 6-3, adding a fourth Australian singles title to her majors’ trophy case for a total of ten.

Williams started the match by hitting a backhand winner up the line and holding comfortably. On the other hand, Safina’s nightmare began with her first service game. After an ace for 15 all, Dinara threw in a double fault for 15-30. After a couple of forehand winners gave her the upper hand, Safina produced a second double fault for deuce. Subsequently, Williams crushed a forehand for a crosscourt service winner to get her first break point which she converted when Safina committed her third double fault. Then, Serena consolidated the break with a love game. Williams maintained the pressure and with a forehand winner up the line had double break point; she capitalized by putting away a short ball. Up 4-0, Serena again held at love and with four consecutive unforced errors by Dinara took the set 6-0.

Serena briefly loosen her chokehold on the match in the second set. After Williams sent a backhand into the net and missed another down the line, Safina had her initial break point. With a sweet crosscourt backhand winner, Safina took the lead for the first time. The last few months, Dinara had demonstrated that she could deal with adversity. Thus, this seemed perhaps a turning point in the match. Yet, after Dinara missed the mark on two backhands, Serena arrived at double break point and leveled the set when another of her rival’s backhand sailed long. The serve was the story for Safina and it did not improve as the night progressed. Serving at 1-2, Dinara opened with a double fault. After a backhand crosscourt winner gave her game point, another found the net for deuce. Thereafter, Serena punished a crosscourt forehand return winner for break point and cashed it in when Dinara made another double fault. With a love game, Williams raced to a 4-1 lead. Frustrated, on the verge of bursting into tears and despite difficulties, Safina won her service games. Yet, this was to no avail as Serena continued to force the errors from her competitor with her brutal serves. With her fifth love game, Serena put Dinara out of her agony and claimed the title.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Just The Cure For Her Ailing Game: Ivanovic Captures Title In Linz


After final appearances at the Australian and French Opens, ultimately breaking through and hoisting the latter trophy, Ana Ivanovic’s game hit the skids. Last week, the Serbian youngster got back on course with a semifinal showing in Zurich and this week took it one step further by reaching the finals at the tier II Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, her first since the French. Ivanovic, the top seed and world number four, thrashed Russian Vera Zvonareva, the second seed and world number nine, 6-2, 6-1.

After Zvonareva’s flawless performance in the semifinals where she crushed Marion Bartoli 6-1, 6-0, a highly competitive final was anticipated. Moreover, Ivanovic struggled in the semifinals vanquishing crafty teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Unfortunately, the final was a one sided affair. Zvonareva opened the proceedings with three straight unforced errors and with a backhand drop shot, Ivanovic took the lead 1-0. The Serbian whose serve was problematic in the prior round, connecting on a dismal 37% of first serves in the initial set, won her first service game at love. In three games, Zvonareva made nine unforced errors from both wings and won only two points to go down two breaks. Briefly, Vera seemed to overcome her erratic play and with a forehand crosscourt winner arrived at her first break point. Zvonareva converted when Ivanovic committed a rare forehand error. However, this was the highlight for Zvonareva as the Russian’s game continued its meltdown. After leading 40-0, Vera committed two backhand errors and three double faults to give Ivanovic another break for 4-1. With a flurry of unforced errors, Zvonareva conceded the set to Ivanovic.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Tags: , , ,

Jankovic Edges Closer To Number One By Winning China Open


For the second consecutive week, Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova got to the finals of a tournament only to see someone else walk away with the trophy. At the China Open, a tier II event, Serbian Jelena Jankovic clobbered Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 avenging her lost the previous week to the Russian.

Both women have atrocious records in finals with Jankovic winning one of her last six, while Kuznetsova only one of her last ten. Luckily they were facing each other, which meant that someone would improve on that dismal statistic. Despite making more unforced errors than her opponent starting out the first set, Kuznetsova held serve. The Russian even salvaged triple break point by pressuring the Serbian to come up with volleys which the latter missed. Then, with a couple of big serves, Kuznetsova secured the game for 3-2. Subsequently, Svetlana produced a beautiful backhand down the line winner for break point of her own which was then erased by a good serve from Jelena. When Jankovic double faulted, Kuznetsova landed another break point opportunity but was betrayed by another forehand error. Jankovic pulled off the game to level things at 3-3. Immediately, after a few careless forehands, Kuznetsova found herself down triple break point, Jankovic attacked the second serve for a winner 4-3. After holding serve, Jankovic for the third consecutive game arrived at triple break point which she converted to take the first set 6-3.

To open the second set, Jankovic held at love 1-0. After being down 15-40, Kuznetsova tossed in some good serves and minimized her unforced errors to keep within striking distance 1-1. But after Jankovic had no problem holding serve, Kuznetsova reverted to her old pattern and with a myriad of unforced errors was down 15-40. Jankovic not wanting to offend her opponent converted the break point for a 3-1 advantage. In the fifth game, with a forehand down the line winner and a double fault from Jelena, Svetlana had three chances to get back on serve. Unable to shake the unforced errors, Kuznetsova let Jankovic off the hook. Thereafter, Jankovic pressured her opponent’s service game and was rewarded with another break 5-1. Yet, as Jankovic served for the match, Kuznetsova showed signs of resuscitation, coming up with a nice backhand volley winner and some deep returns of serve to break and extend the match 2-5. But trouble was looming on Svetlana’s own serve. Kuznetsova made three consecutive unforced errors to hand her rival triple match point; Jelena sealed the deal with her most potent shot, the backhand down the line for a winner.

The China Open is Jelena’s second title this season; her last was in May on clay in Rome. With it, the Serbian earns valuable ranking points, positioning herself to take back the number one spot next week should top ranked Serena Williams falter.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Tags: , , ,

Safina Overpowers Kuznetsova To Capture Toray Pan Pacific Open


Russian Dinara Safina crushed fellow countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, a tier I tournament, to claim her fourth title this season 6-1, 6-4.

After going down love-30 in her opening service game, Safina recovered with a couple of crosscourt winners to hold serve. Because of an unforced error by Kuznetsova, Safina arrived at her first break point chance which she converted 3-1. Then, with another forehand crosscourt winner and another unforced error from her opponent, Safina took a double break lead in the first set 5-1. Subsequently, Safina served an ace to acquire the first set.

Instead of relying on the strength of her all around game, particularly her superior net play, Kuznetsova attempted to overpower her opponent from the baseline which resulted in multiple errors flying from both her forehand and backhand sides. After commencing the second set with a 40-0 game, Kuznetsova made a series of unforced errors to give Safina an advantage point then double faulted to go down a break. Down 0-2, Kuznetsova produced a great drop shot and down the line backhand winner to keep within striking distance at 1-2. The pay off came the very next game when Safina’s serve deserted her and with a double fault, the second set was tied at 2-2. But, Safina bounced right back with a handful of down the line and crosscourt forehand winners to regain the lead. Then, with a couple of aces, Safina consolidated the break 4-2. In the eight game, Kuznetsova tried to answer and got to break point with a forehand volley for a winner. Yet again, with an unforced error Svetlana threw away her chance, so now Dinara led 5-3. After getting ahead 40-15 in the critical ninth game, Kuznetsova was again bitten by the error bug. An ill advised drop shot by Svetlana while down match point sailed long giving Dinara her third tier I title of the year.

Currently, Safina and Serena Williams are the leading titleholders on the WTA tour for 2008 with four each. Safina’s climb up the rankings continues. On Monday, she will be ranked at number 3, the highest spot of her career.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

Russia Sinks Spanish Armada To Claim Second Straight Federation Cup


Russia torpedoed Spain’s hope for a Federation Cup trophy by convincingly winning all four matches in the finals to defend its title in Madrid, Spain.

Saturday’s first rubber featured Russian Vera Zvonareva against Anabel Medina Garrigues, Spain’s top ranked singles player. After putting Garrigues on the defensive and making some spectacular forehand passes, Zvonareva built a 3-0 lead. But, the Russian committed several unforced errors, inviting Garrigues back in the match 3-2. Yet, after leading in her service game 40-15, Garrigues produced two miscues on the forehand and crosscourt backhand to let Russia gain the upper hand 4-2. Then, with a forehand down the line, Zvonareva secured the first set 6-3.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the second set, Zvonareva played two back-to-back poor service games and relinquished a break to Spain 2-4. Nevertheless, aided by Garrigues’ own misfiring, Zvonareva connected on a crosscourt forehand winner to get back on serve 3-4. Subsequently, Zvonareva pressured her opponent resulting in unforced errors to regain the break advantage. Ultimately, Zvonareva easily closed out the first rubber with a forehand crosscourt winner 6-4.

The second rubber between Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova gave the home team even less to cheer. The first game set the tone with Navarro broken at love. Navarro attempted to mix things up by coming to net, but her backhand repeatedly failed her resulting in Russia building a 4-0 advantage. With a forehand crosscourt winner, Kuznetsova took the first set 6-3. Using her weighty groundstrokes and versatility, Kuznetsova bullied Navarro to effortlessly win the second set 6-1 and give Russia a two match lead going into Sunday.

On Sunday, Garrigues faced Kuznetsova in the initial match. After racing to a 4-0 lead in the first set, Kuznetsova’s game went on a walkabout allowing Garrigues to comeback. Garrigues fought off five set points against her serve before prevailing 7-5. But, the home team’s elation was short-lived as Kuznetsova produced a forehand down the line winner to break 5-3 in the second set then served two aces to seal the set 6-3. In the third set, Russia got a prompt break thanks to multiple unforced errors from Spain. However, Spanish hope was rekindled when Garrigues forced an error from Kuznetsova to level things at 3-3. Yet, with a sensational drop shot Kuznetsova got the break right back 4-3. Eventually, Kuznetsova hung on to serve out the match with a strong game and clinched another Federation trophy for Russia 6-4.

The fourth rubber featuring doubles play was a technicality. Once again, the Russian team mowed over its Spanish counterpart, who looked out of sorts, with crisp volleys and strong groundstrokes 6-2, 6-1. This represents Russia’s fourth title in five years.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Facebook

Twitter

Archives