Tag Archive | "Kvitova"

Sharapova to face Serena in the Sony Open Semifinal

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Sharapova to face Serena in the Sony Open Semifinal


IMG_7216_SharapovaIt will be a Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova semifinal at the Sony Open and both women defeated quarterfinal opponents in straight sets.

No. 1 Serena Williams made quick work of No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2 in the first match of the night session on Tuesday.

“I’m playing a little better,” Williams said. “I had to play better. As the tournament progresses you can’t get worse, you have to get better.

“I’m happy to be doing a little better.”

No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova came back from a break down in the first set in a rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon final to top Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-1.

“I started getting more chances as we played more games in the first set,” Sharapova said.

“Little by little I started seeing more opportunities and started getting myself back in the points and playing my game, playing well, going inside the baseline.

“You never are sure until you finish the match and you win the last point, but I really felt like I started doing the right things.”

It will be Williams against Sharapova for a place in the Key Biscayne final. Williams holds an overwhelming lead against the Russian 15-2. The last time Sharapova beat Williams was back in 2004.

“I love playing her,” said the six-time Sony Open winner

Williams about playing Sharapova. “I really do. Doesn’t matter what surface or anything. She’s one of my favorite people to play.”

“It’s no secret that she’s been a big challenge of mine, an opponent that obviously I would love to beat,” Sharapova said. “There are certainly, you know, ways that I need to step up in certain situations that I haven’t been able to do in the past against her.”

Karen Pestaina is a contributor in Miami. She writes for various tennis and news outlets and is the Editor-in-Chief of Tennis Panorama News. Follow her on Twittter @TennisNewsTPN.

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Serena, Sharapova advance to quarterfinals of Sony Open

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Serena, Sharapova advance to quarterfinals of Sony Open


IMG_7084_SerenaIn a tale of two different matches, expected results as No. 1 Serena Williams and fourth seed Maria Sharapova reached the quarterfinals of the Sony Open on Monday.

Williams dismissed American countrywoman qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-1 to reach the elite 8 in Miami for the 13th time in 14 appearances.

After her first two matches in the tournament she showed some rust, Williams cleaned up her game hitting 17 winners to only 11 unforced errors and stopping all six break points she faced.

“I was definitely happier today,” Williams said. “I was really struggling my first two matches, so I just wanted to have a better performance today.”

Next up for Williams will be the No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

“It will be good to play a different opponent,” Williams said. “I feel like I have played the same person three times in a row. It will be nice to play a lefty, someone that just plays different.

“Angelique has been able to beat me in the past, so I have to be really focused and be ready in that match.”

Maris Sharapova had to reset from a first set drubbing to beat Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The Belgium jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and Sharapova could only win five points during those four games. In the second set Sharapova jumped out to a 4-0 lead, then Flipkens won 4 out of 5 games, but Sharapova broke serve to take the set 6-4.

“I usually like playing the first match, but I didn’t start off the way I wanted to,” Sharapova said. “Nothing was working.”

Sharapova’s momentum carried over into the final set where she kept her errors low and her aggression high, dropping only one more game.

Final stats for Sharapova- 36 unforced errors, 13 winners and 10 double-faults.

Sharapova will play the woman she lost to in the 2011 Wimbledon finals, No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals. Kvitova regrouped to stop Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

“We haven’t played for a long time, but we have always had interesting, tough matches against each other,” Sharapova said.

Second seed Li Na took apart Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-0, 6-2.

Caroline Wozniacki continued her dominance over US players. For the second match in a row she gives up only 1 game in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Vavara Lepchenko.

In the night session, Dominika Cibulkova held back a fighting Venus Williams 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. In a rematch of the recent Australian Open semi Cibulkova will play Agniezska Radwanska.

Karen Pestaina is a contributor in Miami. She writes for various tennis and news outlets and is the Editor-in-Chief of Tennis Panorama News. Follow her on Twittter @TennisNewsTPN.

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Bartoli Joins the Majors Club by Winning Wimbledon

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Bartoli Joins the Majors Club by Winning Wimbledon



Without questions, this denouement to the ladies’ draw was not foreseen as the fortnight commenced. Regardless, Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki found themselves contesting for the big prize at Wimbledon. Bartoli made the most of her second trip to the final at the All-England Club, crushing the German 6-1, 6-4 to lift her inaugural majors’ trophy.

In 2007, Bartoli, the 18th seed, surprised Justine Henin in the semifinals to reach her maiden major final. Bartoli went down to Venus Williams, the 23rd seed and outright favorite.

Lisicki, another 23rd seed, was pegged as the oddsmaker’s choice because of booming serve and powerful forehand despite making her debut in a major final. On this occasion, Bartoli did not intend to stick to the script.

With Maria Sharapova ousted in the second round, Victoria Azarenka forced to forfeit her second round match due to injury and 2011 winner Petra Kvitova bounced in the quarterfinals, Bartoli was the vestige of a bottom half of the draw left in disarray.

Not only did the Frenchwoman win all her matches in two sets, the highest seed she battled was Sloane Stephens at 17. Prior to this tournament, Bartoli’s showings this season were three quarterfinals, all non-majors.

Moreover, Bartoli’s last title was in Osaka in 2011. That same year, Bartoli prevailed on grass in Eastbourne, stunned Serena Williams at Wimbledon in the fourth round only to be bounced in the quarterfinals by the woman she faced today.

The anxiety was palpable as each competitor double faulted on break point her first time serving. However, with her first ace, Bartoli subsequently held for a 2-1 lead.

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Serena Williams Dispatches Morita for a Fourth Round Berth at Sony Open

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Serena Williams Dispatches Morita for a Fourth Round Berth at Sony Open


IMG_1722_Serena
Despite being tested, five time Sony Open champion Serena Williams posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Ayumi Morita in the third round in Miami.

This was the second career meeting between these ladies. Earlier this year, in Australia, the two clashed in the third round with Williams comfortably prevailing 6-1, 6-3.

Double faults were Williams undoing her initial service game resulting in the donation of a break. Morita went on to consolidate for 3-0. Soon though, the world number one found her game and rolled off six games in a row to capture the opening set.

The second set, Morita ultimately found a bandage to stop the hemorrhage and terminated Williams’ run at seven consecutive games.

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Sharapova Picks Up French Open Title to Complete Career Slam

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Sharapova Picks Up French Open Title to Complete Career Slam


Eight years after clenching her first major quarterfinal, ironically at Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova can finally call herself French Open champion. Sharapova dispatched Sara Errani, a surprise finalist, 6-3, 6-2 to obtain the career grand slam. Twice a semifinalist in 2007 and 2011, Sharapova now had a golden shot at grabbing the ultimate prize. While this was the third consecutive year that an Italian woman was battling for the title in Paris, for Errani ranked 24th in the world, this was her maiden major final appearance. Experience was certainly key at the start of the match as Sharapova broke on a backhand miscue by Errani to race to a 2-0 advantage. Subsequent to consolidating, Sharapova struck a backhand winner for a double break edge. Aided by two double faults from her opponent, Errani secured her first game and held to narrow the deficit to 2-4. Yet promptly, with a love game, Sharapova extended her lead to 5-2. After Errani fought off double set point to guard serve, Sharapova connected on her third set point with backhand down the line winner. By carrying the opening set 6-3, Sharapova had one hand on the French Open trophy. The second set unfolded similarly to the initial one with Sharapova breaking Errani at love to capture the early break. But, Errani overcame the effect of being a first time finalist at a major and tried to claw her way back. Despite the Italian’s defiance, Sharapova went ahead 2-0. Subsequent to a difficult game, with Sharapova’s backhand sailing long, Errani had a break point. But, Sharapova would not be denied and maintained serve for 3-1.

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Venus Williams Weathers Wozniak to Reach Fourth Round

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Venus Williams Weathers Wozniak to Reach Fourth Round



Despite not playing up to the level which saw her defeat world number three Petra Kvitova in the previous round, Venus Williams battled past Aleksandra Wozniak 4-6,6-4,7-6 to move on to the fourth round at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Coming into the third round, these two had a great deal in common as wildcard entries. Wozniak is on the rebuilding path from a wrist and shoulder injury the last two years while Williams missed most of 2011 due to Sjogren’s disease.

Wozniak broke to open the match. Leading 2-1, the Canadian salvaged six break points to keep the lead. Although Williams did break later for 3 all, she again surrendered her serve which allowed Wozniak to eventually grab the first set.

After being down a break again early in the second set, Williams leveled things at 2 all. A sleuth of breaks followed with Williams ultimately getting the last one to send the match into a third set.

Subsequent to consolidating for 4-2, Wozniak had a 15-40 advantage. If the Canadian had converted, she would have had a double break edge. Williams kept close and the next game squared the set at 4 all.

However, Williams went down again 4-5 but with help from her rival saved match point. Fighting through an error prone game and match, Williams arrived at 6-5. In the end, the winner was settled by a tiebreaker and in spite of her struggles, Williams pulled through with a victory after two hours and fifty minutes.

It was the first meeting for these two competitors and a great disappointment for Wozniak who is working her way back up the ranking after plummeting from 35 to 126 at the end of 2011. For the second time this year, she failed to close out a well known opponent, before Agnieszka Radwanska in Dubai.

Serving for the match, Wozniak was candid in saying that “nerves played a part” and “not having the right strategy at the right time”. After the match, Wozniak took comfort in her father citing that the important thing is that she’s “healthy and on the right track”.
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Nadal, Murray, Azarenka and Venus in Action at Sony Ericsson Open

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Nadal, Murray, Azarenka and Venus in Action at Sony Ericsson Open



Action at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open gets under way today with Andy Murray taking on Alejandro Falla on Stadium Court. Murray is hoping for a repeat performance of 2009 where he was the champion in Miami. Top seed and world number one Victoria Azarenka begins her quest to defend her title in Miami when she faces off with Michaella Krajicek.

In the night session, three-time Sony Ericsson Open champion Venus Williams goes up against the reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. That match will be followed by Rafael Nadal versus Santiago Giraldo.
Nadal, a three-time runner-up in Miami is looking to secure his first Sony Ericsson Open title after losing in an epic third set tie breaker last year to Novak Djokovic.

Here is today’s complete order of play :

Friday, March 23, 2012

STADIUM Start 11:00 am

Alejandro Falla (COL) v [4] Andy Murray (GBR) ATP
Vania King (USA) v [15] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) WTA
[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v Michaella Krajicek (NED) WTA
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v [10] John Isner (USA) ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
[3] Petra Kvitova (CZE) v [WC] Venus Williams (USA) WTA
Santiago Giraldo (COL) v [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) ATP

GRANDSTAND Start 11:00 am

[13] Gilles Simon (FRA) v [Q] Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP) ATP
David Nalbandian (ARG) v [9] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) ATP
[Q] Madison Keys (USA) v [5] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) WTA
[11] Francesca Schiavone (ITA) v Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) WTA

Not Before 5:00 PM

[7] Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Nicolas Mahut (FRA) ATP
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)/Sam Querrey (USA) v
[7] Leander Paes (IND)/Radek Stepanek (CZE) ATP

COURT 1 Start 11:00 am

[9] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) v [WC] Garbine Muguruza Blanco (ESP) WTA
[6] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Xavier Malisse (BEL) ATP
[25] Radek Stepanek (CZE) v Tommy Haas (GER) ATP
[20] Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v [Q] Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) WTA

Not Before 5:00 PM
Polona Hercog (SLO) v [7] Marion Bartoli (FRA) WTA

COURT 2 Start 11:00 am

Anna Tatishvili (GEO) v [16] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) WTA
[WC] Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) v [22] Maria Kirilenko (RUS) WTA
[26] Milos Raonic (CAN) v [Q] Arnaud Clement (FRA) ATP
[16] Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Lukas Lacko (SVK) ATP
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) v [29] Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) ATP

COURT 3 Start 11:00 am

[18] Angelique Kerber (GER) v Jie Zheng (CHN) WTA
[18] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) v [Q] Antonio Veic (CRO) ATP
[WC] Heather Watson (GBR) v [27] Lucie Safarova (CZE) WTA
[1] Liezel Huber (USA)/Lisa Raymond (USA) v
Julia Goerges (GER)/Samantha Stosur (AUS) WTA
[WC] Gisela Dulko (ARG)/Paola Suarez (ARG) v
[2] Kveta Peschke (CZE)/Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) WTA

COURT 5 Start 11:00 am

Robin Haase (NED) v [22] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) ATP
[19] Florian Mayer (GER) v Ivan Dodig (CRO) ATP
Marcelo Melo (BRA)/Juan Monaco (ARG) v
[WC] James Blake (USA)/Ryan Harrison (USA) ATP

COURT 6 Start 11:00 am

[WC] Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v[28] Monica Niculescu (ROU) WTA
Frederico Gil (POR) v [32] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) ATP
Colin Fleming (GBR)/Ross Hutchins (GBR) v
Mardy Fish (USA)/Mark Knowles (BAH) ATP
Yung-Jan Chan (TPE)/Marina Erakovic (NZL) v
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)/Vera Zvonareva (RUS) WTA
Olga Govortsova (BLR)/Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) v
Vera Dushevina (RUS)/Shahar Peer (ISR) WTA

COURT 7 Start 11:00 am

[31] Kaia Kanepi (EST) v Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) WTA
Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) v [24] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) WTA
[32] Nadia Petrova (RUS) v Simona Halep (ROU) WTA
Lukas Rosol (CZE) v [24] Marcel Granollers (ESP) ATP
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)/Klara Zakopalova (CZE) v
Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP)/Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) WTA

COURT 8 Start 11:00 am

[4] Robert Lindstedt (SWE)/Horia Tecau (ROU) v
David Marrero (ESP)/Fernando Verdasco (ESP) ATP

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) v
Pablo Andujar (ESP)/Carlos Berlocq (ARG) ATP

[6] Sara Errani (ITA)/Roberta Vinci (ITA) v
Raquel Kops-Jones (USA)/Abigail Spears (USA) WTA

Iveta Benesova (CZE)/Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) v
[WC] Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)/Petra Martic (CRO) WTA

Feliciano Lopez (ESP)/Marc Lopez (ESP) v
Florian Mayer (GER)/Viktor Troicki (SRB) ATP

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The U.S. One Step Closer to Regaining World Group Status

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The U.S. One Step Closer to Regaining World Group Status


In today’s third rubber, Serena Williams validated the adage that “it’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts”. Williams overcame Belarus’ Anastasia Yakimova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to clinch a spot for the United States in the World Group II play-offs.

On Saturday, Australian Open reigning champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from World Group II competition due to a back injury. With the Worchester Massachusetts fans cheering them on, the Americans led by Serena and Christina McHale banked both ties in straight sets to take a 2-0 edge.

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Azarenka Basks in Australian Open Victory

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Azarenka Basks in Australian Open Victory


The 2012 Australian Open marks a bevy of milestones for Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian reached her first final at a major. Moreover, by defeating Maria Sharapova 6-3,6-0, Azarenka claims her maiden major and will ascend to the number one spot for the first time.

Although they were tied at three a piece in their head to head, Azarenka had prevailed over Sharapova in the two previous finals they played. Still, this was a major and with three such trophies under her mantle, Sharapova had a colossal edge in experience.

Azarenka had her “Oh my God! I can‘t believe I‘m here” moment common with first time finalist which often signals disaster. Sharapova took advantage by breaking and consolidating for a 2-0 lead in the opening set. Yet, Azarenka refocused quickly to get back in the match.

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Kvitova Turns Sharapova Away for Wimbledon Title

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Kvitova Turns Sharapova Away for Wimbledon Title


In 2004, at the age of 17, Maria Sharapova advanced to her first major final and stunned the overwhelming favorite Serena Williams at Wimbledon. Seven years hence, in her second final at the All England Club, Sharapova ran into an intrepid twenty-one year old copycat. Petra Kvitova, a lefty from the Czech Republic, shocked the Russian 6-3,6-4 to prevail in her maiden major final.

After Kvitova was broken to open the match, it seemed that nerves would be the deciding factor in the match. However, Kvitova manufactured triple break point and capitalized to get back on serve.

Her next service game, Kvitova wiped out break point to hold for 2-1. Later, subsequent to a forehand winner by Kvitova, Sharapova double faulted to hand her opponent break point. Sharapova produced a second double fault to give Kvitova a 4-2 edge.

With great serving, Kvitova consolidated for a 5-2 advantage. By relentlessly pressuring Sharapova’s serve, Kvitova came to her first set point when her counterpart dumped a forehand into the net.

Yet, with an ace, Sharapova cleared that hurdle. Ultimately, Sharapova guarded serve for 3-5. Still, at love, a serene Kvitova secured the first set.

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