Tag Archive | "Porsche Tennis Grand Prix"

Just Like Old Times: Henin Pockets First Title Since Return

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Just Like Old Times: Henin Pockets First Title Since Return


After runner placements in Brisbane and the Australian Open, Justine Henin captured her first title since rejoining the tour.  At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, a premier indoor clay tournament, Henin prevailed over Samantha Stosur 6-4,2-6,6-1 in the finals.

Both Stosur and Henin entered as wildcards.  While the latter was unseeded, the former was seeded 7th and won 11 successive matches including a clay title in Charleston.  The first four games, each player readily held serve.  At 2 all, with a backhand down the line winner, Stosur had game point.  By connecting on a backhand down the line return, Henin leveled things at deuce.  After provoking an error from Stosur on a second game point, because of a double fault, Henin had break point.  With a strong forehand return, Henin forced another mistake from Stosur to seize the break.  As Henin served at 4-3, Stosur effaced a game point for deuce by forcing a forehand miscue.  Subsequently, Stosur manufactured a break point.  Henin got out of jail with a good serve and eventually held for 5-3.  Later, on her second set point, Henin bagged the first set.

As a result of a flubbed forehand volley, Stosur faced double break point in the second set.  However, Stosur rebounded with a myriad of good serves to hold for 2-1.  Next, serving at 2 all, by netting a backhand, Stosur stared at her third break point this set.  Again with a couple of huge serves, Stosur remained on track at 3-2.  Then, after Henin netted a forehand, Stosur had her initial break point.  Henin escaped with a decent serve. Next, with a forehand crosscourt pass winner, Stosur fabricated her second break point which she converted when Henin erred with a forehand up the line.  After consolidating for 5-2, with a forehand up the line winner, Stosur broke to take the set.

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Kuznetsova Cuts Off Safina For First Trophy In Two Years

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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.

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Jankovic Pelts Petrova In Germany To Ascent Back To Number One


At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final, a tier II contest, Serbian Jelena Jankovic clashed with Russian Nadia Petrova currently ranked 18 but formerly as high as number 3. Jankovic’s steadiness from the backcourt unnerved Petrova who ultimately fell 6-4, 6-3.

Jankovic began the match by breaking when Petrova missed a backhand volley. Then, the Serb fought off a couple of break points by getting the Russian to make some unforced errors for a 2-0 lead. With her big serve, Petrova kept the first serve within reach. But her primary nemesis continued to be the unforced errors; this cost Petrova a break point in the fourth game. On the other hand, Jankovic whose weakest stroke is undisputedly the serve, delivered a couple of aces to stretch her advantage to 4-2 and connected on another to lock away the first set.

Nadia started the second set behind the curve by missing a swinging volley and a backhand shot to give Jelena the early break. Petrova attempted to get back by stringing together a couple of winners for love-30, eventually getting a break point. Yet again, with successive unforced errors, Nadia lost the game. After a strong service game at 2-3, with an outright service return winner, Petrova got another break point which she converted when Jankovic at last made an unforced error. However, Nadia’s elation was brief; a miscue on the forehand and a backhand down the line winner by her opponent gave Jelena double break point. Subsequently, Jankovic kept herself in a long rally with a splendid defensive shot resulting in the error from Petrova. Thus, Jankovic was back on top 4-3. Serving at 3-5 to prolong the match, Petrova faced triple match point after she misstruck a forehand volley, made a crosscourt forehand error and Jankovic produced another backhand down the line winner. Then, Petrova netted a forehand to allow Jankovic to claim the set.

For Jankovic, Christmas came early. By Serena Williams losing in the second round to China’s Na Li, Jankovic reclaimed the number one ranking which she had held for just a week a few months ago despite not having a major trophy to her name. Another perk was that Jelena had her choice of a red Porsche convertible versus a $100,000 paycheck.

Turning to the doubles final, wildcard entrant and nascent team of German Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Swiss Patty Schynder defeated top seed Australian Rennae Stubbs and Czech Kveta Peschke 6-2, 6-4.

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