Tag Archive | "Raonic"

Nadal overcomes Raonic, joins Berdych in Sony Open semifinals

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Nadal overcomes Raonic, joins Berdych in Sony Open semifinals



IMG_8089_NadalMiami, Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal passed his first real test of the Sony Open Tennis tournament with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Milos Raonic during semifinal action on Thursday night. Nadal held his last nine service games and won 20 of 24 service points in the third set before advancing in two hours and 35 minutes.

Raonic had never taken a set off Nadal in four previous meetings and the underdog was going up against an opponent who had dropped a mere nine games in his first three Miami matches. Still, Raonic showed plenty of belief. The 6’5” Canadian saved all three of the break points he faced in the opening frame of play and clinched it when Nadal double-faulted down set point at 4-5.

From there, however, it was all Nadal. The top-ranked Spaniard surged to a 4-0 lead in the second set and earned the decisive break at 3-3 in the third.

“I was lucky at the beginning of the second set,” Nadal explained. “I started with a break and (that) was very important for me. I felt that I finished the match playing better. I think I started the match playing okay, playing well but not playing well (on) the break points.”

Next up for the No. 1 seed is Tomas Berdych, who got the best of Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6(3). Berdych fired 11 aces and battled back from a break down in each of the two sets as he prevailed in one hour and 45 minutes. Dolgopolov, an Indian Wells semifinalist, was doomed by 48 percent serving and just 35 percent of his second-serve points won.

Berdych is now 4-0 lifetime against Dolgopolov, but the story is a much different one against Nadal. The Czech trails the head-to-head series 17-3 and has lost 16 consecutive matches.

“I don’t even know the number, Berdych said, referring to his streak of futility with Nadal on the other side of the net “I stopped counting.”

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for tenngrand.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Nadal Cements Berth in Fourth Round at Sony Ericsson Open

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Nadal Cements Berth in Fourth Round at Sony Ericsson Open



In a day session which progressed into the evening, Rafael Nadal prevailed over Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2 and improved his mark to 6-0 versus the Czech.

Despite the score, Stepanek was not a comfortable put away for Nadal using everything in his bag of tricks to disrupt the Spaniard. At one all in the first set, Stepanek forced Nadal to overcome break point in order to hold.

After failing to build on a 15-30 advantage on his rival’s serve, Stepanek was broken when Nadal connected on a forehand crosscourt pass for a winner. Next, Nadal consolidated for 5-2. Then, Nadal broke Stepanek a second time to bed the opening set.

Following a hold where he wiped out break point, Nadal converted to secure the break. In spite of Stepanek fighting, Nadal went on to stretch his lead to 3-0.
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Sunday’s Matchups at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open

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Sunday’s Matchups at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open



Tomas Berdych and Grigor Dimitrov open up play on Stadium Court on Sunday at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open. Following that matchup, Venus Williams hopes to build off her upset of Petra Kvitova and move on to the fourth round when she takes on Aleksandra Wozniak.

Other notable day session matches include Rafael Nadal versus Radek Stepanek on Stadium Court and Andy Murray versus Milos Raonic on the Grandstand.

In the night session, defending Sony Ericsson Open champion Victoria Azarenka is looking to extend her 25 match winning streak in 2012 when she faces off with Heather Watson. John Isner versus Florian Mayer will close out the evening session.

Here is today’s complete order of play :

Sunday, March 25, 2012

STADIUM Start 11:00 am

[7] Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) ATP

Not Before 1:00 PM
[WC] Venus Williams (USA) v [WC] Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) WTA

Not Before 3:00 PM
[20] Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v [15] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) WTA
[25] Radek Stepanek (CZE) v [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) ATP

Starting at 7:30 PM
[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v [WC] Heather Watson (GBR) WTA

Not Before 9:30 PM
[19] Florian Mayer (GER) v [10] John Isner (USA) ATP

GRANDSTAND Start 11:00 am

[18] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) v [9] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) ATP
[13] Gilles Simon (FRA) v [22] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) ATP
[26] Milos Raonic (CAN) v [4] Andy Murray (GBR) ATP
Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) v [5] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) WTA

Not Before 5:00 PM
[1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) v
Marcelo Melo (BRA)/Juan Monaco (ARG) ATP

COURT 1 Start 11:00 am

Simona Halep (ROU) v [7] Marion Bartoli (FRA) WTA
[WC] Garbine Muguruza Blanco (ESP) v [24] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) WTA
[6] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v [32] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) ATP
[16] Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Lukas Rosol (CZE) ATP

Not Before 6:00 PM
Oliver Marach (AUT)/Alexander Peya (AUT) v
[2] Max Mirnyi (BLR)/Daniel Nestor (CAN) ATP

COURT 2 Start 11:00 am

Jie Zheng (CHN) v [16] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) WTA
David Marrero (ESP)/Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v
Feliciano Lopez (ESP)/Marc Lopez (ESP) ATP
Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) v [22] Maria Kirilenko (RUS) WTA
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)/Jie Zheng (CHN) v
Eva Birnerova (CZE)/Klaudia Jans-Ignacik (POL) WTA
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) v
Daniele Bracciali (ITA)/Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) ATP

COURT 3 Start 12:00 noon

[6] Sara Errani (ITA)/Roberta Vinci (ITA) v
[WC] Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)/Petra Martic (CRO) WTA

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No Easy Task for Djokovic to Repeat at 2012 Sony Ericsson Open

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No Easy Task for Djokovic to Repeat at 2012 Sony Ericsson Open



For fans hopeful of a rematch between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the Sony Ericsson Open final, neither man will have a comfortable trip in getting there.

Djokovic could contend with Marcos Baghdatis in his opening match, countryman Viktor Troicki in the third round or Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. Also, in the quarterfinals, Juan Martin Del Potro or the relentless David Ferrer may stump the world number one.

Moreover, besides Nikolay Davydenko who was unable to defend his 2008 title due to injury, since 2006 no prior year’s champion has advanced beyond the round of 16.

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Wimbledon Draw 2011: Nadal and Djokovic Steer the Field

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Wimbledon Draw 2011: Nadal and Djokovic Steer the Field


For the first time at the All England Club, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the top two seeds. Defending champion Nadal will fight to collect his third hardware at this venue and his third French Open-Wimbledon combo. Djokovic who registered his maiden loss of the year at the previous major after a forty-one match unbeaten run will attempt to reach his first final at SW 19.

Two other competitors are also hoping to make history. Third seed Roger Federer tries to equalize Pete Sampras’ all time record of seven titles while fourth seed Andy Murray carries the aspirations of an isle on his shoulders. This fortnight, Murray aims to terminate his nation’s 75 year drought at its home major. Here’s the breakdown of the 2011 Wimbledon draw.

For world number one Nadal, it should be smooth sailing until the third round. In that session, the defending champion could be bothered by phenom Milos Raonic. Again in the round of 16, Nadal will be on crash alert with Juan Martin Del Potro his likely opponent. Consequently, there are various rocks along the road early on for the top seed.

In the quarterfinals, Nadal could face a rematch of last year’s final with Tomas Berdych. Considering Berdych’s average performance this season, the Spaniard should have the advantage. However, a semifinal against either Andy Roddick, a three time finalist, or Murray will be a harder challenge.

Having won the Queen’s Club trophy for the second time, Murray has once more found his mojo. Murray’s potential third round counterpart is Marin Cilic and either Stanislas Wawrinka or Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. While these are all worthy adversaries, Murray should have the upper hand.

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Battle for Number One Set:  Men’s French Open Draw Disclosed

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Battle for Number One Set: Men’s French Open Draw Disclosed



With world number two Novak Djokovic prevailing over world number one Rafael Nadal at the last two Masters tournaments, the clay universe’s order of the past six seasons has been thrown into chaos. Djokovic could upstage Nadal on his home turf and yank away the number one ranking from the Spaniard.

The French Open draw has been released and by far, the top two players are the favorites. However, with seven rounds to be disputed prior to someone being awarded the trophy, any number of persons can trip Nadal or Djokovic. Here’s a more detailed look at the draw.

Although his performance has been patchy this year, Nikolay Davydenko has a 6-4 record against Nadal. With ten titles on clay including one recently in Munich, Davydenko, the twice semifinalist at Roland Garros, is a formidable potential challenger for Nadal in the round of 16.

Despite a downward slide the last two months, Robin Soderling can at any time regain the form which brought him three consecutive titles early this year. As such, the two time French Open finalist, the only person to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros, could be a serious obstacle in the quarterfinals.

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Sony Ericsson Open Wildcards Announced

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Sony Ericsson Open Wildcards Announced


The Sony Ericsson Open has announced the wildcard entrants for this year’s tournament. American James Blake and Russian Dinara Safina highlight the list of wildcard players that will be playing at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami. On the men’s side of the draw the other wildcards include Americans Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison, Canadian Milos Raonic, and Bernard Tomic from Australia. Joining Safina on the women’s side of the draw are Heather Watson, Sorana Cirstea, Sabine Lisicki, Madison Keys, and Coco Vandeweghe. Here is the official press release from the Sony Ericsson Open tournament : BLAKE AND SAFINA HIGHLIGHT SONY ERICSSON OPEN WILDCARDS Current and rising stars are granted this year’s wildcards MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – The 2011 Sony Ericsson Open announced its wildcard entries and this year it features former World No. 4 James Blake and former World No. 1 Dinara Safina. A total of five wildcard slots were granted to the men’s draw and also include Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Milos Raonic, and Bernard Tomic. While six were given on the women’s side which feature Heather Watson, Sorana Cirstea, Sabine Lisicki, Madison Keys, and Coco Vandeweghe. Women’s main draw begins on Tuesday, March 22, while the men’s main draw kicks off the following day on Wednesday, March 23. The qualifying rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 21 and 22. Tickets to the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com. An electrifying two weeks of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, April 2 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 3.
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Andy Roddick Pulls Out of Delray Beach ITC

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Andy Roddick Pulls Out of Delray Beach ITC



Citing flu-like symptoms, Andy Roddick has pulled out of the the 2011 Delray Beach International Championships.

Roddick held a press conference this afternoon where he expressed his disappointment at having to pull out of the event given that he has not played the tournament since 2003. On his condition, Roddick stated that ” I woke up yesterday and felt like I got hit by a bus”. Tuesday’s night session will now feature Juan Martin Del Potro taking on Richard Berankis.

Here is the official press release from ITC tournament following Roddick’s press conference :

Delray Beach, FL – Top seed Andy Roddick has pulled out of the Delray Beach International Championships because of illness.

Roddick said during a press conference late Monday afternoon that he began experiencing flu-like symptoms prior to his Memphis final and has been prescribed antibiotics.

“I’m very disappointed. I’ve waited too long to come back and play this tournament,” said Roddick, who is a former resident of nearby Boca Raton where he played in high school. “It’s just unfortunate timing. I was looking forward to coming back. I honestly don’t feel I can go out there and give my best.”

Roddick won his 30th ATP World Tour title Sunday when he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only active tennis players to win at least 30 ATP titles. Roddick, ranked No. 8 in world, notched the victory with a remarkable diving forehand shot down the line on match point.

Roddick’s spot atop the bracket has been filled by qualifier Marinko Matosevic.

Tournament director Mark Baron announced that Tuesday’s evening session would begin at 5:30 pm with a Ashley Fisher/Stephen Huss vs. Jack Sock/Donald Young doubles match, followed by a 7:15 pm Juan Martin del Potro vs Richard Berankis ATP World Tour first round match, followed by the ATP Champions Tour Final.

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open




Seven days of competition have passed at the Australian Open.  While Rafael Nadal has breezed through his matches to get to the round of 16, defending champion Roger Federer had a hiccup in the second round.  As usual, there were a few unexpected departures in the first week.  Here’s a summary of what has taken place this initial week.

It’s been smooth sailing for Nadal in getting through to the round of 16.  The world number one’s excellent form will come in handy as he faces 2010 semifinalist Marin Cilic.  After two easy matches, Cilic edged out John Isner 9-7 in the fifth to earn a crack at Nadal.

After a thrilling first round five setter against Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian called it quit in the second round, four games away from being handed a straight set loss.  Mikhail Youzhny also departed earlier than expected.  The tenth seed was sent packing in the third round by Milos Raonic.  The 20 year old Canadian qualifier with the humongous serve also ousted Michael Llodra, the 22nd seed in the second round.  Next up for Raonic will be David Ferrer who is a relentless competitor.  Ferrer’s experience may prove too much for the youngster.  Thus, a Ferrer-Nadal quarterfinal showdown is the likely scenario.

Without much fuss, both Robyn Soderling and Andy Murray have been taking care of business.  Soderling’s fourth round match will be against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The Ukrainian upset 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.  Following an impressive second round match versus Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis was forced to retire down two sets to one with a hand injury in his third round match against Jurgen Melzer.  As such, Murray will battle Melzer for a quarterfinal berth.

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