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Last Act of 2010 Sony Ericsson Open Today: Roddick and Berdych in Men’s Final

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Last Act of 2010 Sony Ericsson Open Today: Roddick and Berdych in Men’s Final

The recipient of the Sony Ericsson Open men’s trophy will be decided this afternoon as Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych clash in the finals.  That will be followed by the WTA doubles final.

The winner in Brisbane, this is Roddick’s fourth final of the year.  However, in his first ATP 1000 Masters’  final in Indian Wells, Roddick was disappointed by Ivan Ljubicic.  The victor in Miami in 2004, Roddick will attempt to capture his second championship in South Florida.  If Roddick succeeds, it will be his first Masters’  title since 2006 in Cincinnati and the 29th of his career.

After prevailing over Roger Federer, Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling to advance to the finals, Berdych tries to put the cherry on this spectacular run with his first title of the year.  Moreover, Berdych is in his first ATP Masters 1000  final since 2005 in Paris where he was triumphant.  In contrast to Roddick, not only is this Berdych’s first final of the year,  he is trying to collect  his 6th career title.  The Czech is 2-5 lifetime versus Roddick and has already lost twice to him in 2010.  While Berdych has a record of  5-4 in finals, Roddick is 28-19.  With the prior wins and the vast differential in experience, Roddick is the clear favorite.

The tournament ends with the women’s doubles with the new team of Samantha Stosur and Nadia Petrova, seeded 3rd, taking on the duo of Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.  For Stosur and Petrova, this is their second consecutive final, they were defeated two weeks ago in Indian Wells.  In 2006-07, Stosur won the championship with Lisa Raymond and in 2004 Petrova carried it with partner Megan Shaughnessy.  Petrova and Stosur have a combined 40 doubles titles. For Dulko and Pennetta, this is their initial final at the Sony Ericsson Open.  In addition, that tandem possesses a total of 15 trophies.  Again, because of their wealth of experience,  the 3rd seed have a distinct advantage.

Here is the order of play :

STADIUM start 1:00 PM
[16] T Berdych (CZE) vs [6] A Roddick (USA) – ATP SINGLES FINAL
[3] N Petrova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs G Dulko (ARG) / F Pennetta (ITA) – WTA DOUBLES FINAL

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Electrifying Men Semis: Nadal vs. Roddick and Berdych vs. Soderling

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Electrifying Men Semis: Nadal vs. Roddick and Berdych vs. Soderling

The men play today at the Sony Ericsson Open for a spot in the finals. Moreover, both the afternoon and evening sessions have doubles semifinals.

In the first semifinal of the day, Andy Roddick battles Rafael Nadal.  Although Nadal has a 5-2 lead in their series, on hardcourt their record is tied. Tonight in the second semifinal, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych play for a berth in the finals.  Soderling leads that match-up 4-2.

The ultimate ATP doubles space will be filled by either the 8th seed, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, or the 4th seed, Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi.  In women’s doubles, 3rd seed Nadia Petrova and Samantha Stosur take on Jie Zheng and Yung-Jan
Chang.  The last match of the day features 4th seed Rennae Stubbs and Lisa Raymond versus Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.

Here is today’s complete schedule :


STADIUM start 1:00 PM

[4] R Nadal (ESP) vs [6] A Roddick (USA) – ATP
Y Chan (TPE) / J Zheng (CHN) vs [3] N Petrova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs [8] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[16] T Berdych (CZE) vs [13] M Youzhny (RUS) or [5] R Soderling (SWE) – ATP
[4] L Raymond (USA) / R Stubbs (AUS) vs G Dulko (ARG) / F Pennetta (ITA) – WTA

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Back to Back Doubles Titles For Serena & Venus In Melbourne

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Back to Back Doubles Titles For Serena & Venus In Melbourne

australian_open_logoFor the second successive year at the Australian Open, Venus and Serena Williams toppled top doubles seed Liezel Huber and Cara Black in the finals.  With a 6-4,6-3 victory the siblings earned their fourth Aussie title.

After the Williams failed to capitalize on Serena’s forehand crosscourt winner for break point in the opening game, Black came up with two clutch volleys in a multiple deuce game to break Serena for a 3-1 lead. However, for Huber and Black, the elation was brief. Disgusted with her prior play, Serena redeemed herself with a forehand crosscourt winner and mid-court volley winner.  When Huber double faulted and committed a miscue on forehand volley, the match was back on serve.  After Venus easily held for 3 all, aided by two double faults by Black, Venus and Serena broke for 4-3. As Serena struggled with her serve, Huber and Black had three break chances to level the set.  But, as a result of service return errors, Black and Huber wasted their opportunities. After holding serve, Huber and Black resisted surrendering the set.  But, on the third set point, Black dumped a forehand into the net, bringing Serena and Venus one set away from defending their title.

With a terrific top spin lob, Serena gave her team break point to start the second set.  When Huber’s backhand volley stayed on her side of the net, team Williams secured a 1-0 edge.  Once Serena steadied her serve, the pair easily consolidated for 2-0.  Although Huber and Black remained close the rest of the way, they were unable to make any progress on the Williams’ games.  While serving to prolong the match, ahead 30-0, Huber again double faulted for 30 all. Then, Serena thumped a forehand return.  With Huber unable to dig out the volley, the Williams had break/match point.  Subsequently, with a great backhand reflex volley winner, Serena sealed the championship.  This triumph gave the Williams their 11th doubles majors trophy.

That afternoon, in the mixed doubles semifinal, Ekaterina Makarova and Jaroslav Levinsky prevailed over Flavia Pennetta and Marcelo Melo while top seed Leander Paes and Cara Black beat Lisa Raymond and Wesley Moodie. The winners will face off  in the finals Sunday.

In the men’s semifinal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was a virtual spectator as Roger Federer assumed total control of the proceedings.  Federer defeated Tsonga 6-2,6-3,6-2 to set up a mouth watering encounter with Andy Murray.  Since Murray is one of the selected members of the exclusive club of those with a winning record versus the world’s number one, this should be a fiercely contested final.

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At The Summit Once Again: Serena Williams Victorious At The U.S. Open

The U.S. Open women’s final was a rematch of the 2008 Sony Ericsson final with Serbian Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams as the two protagonists. This time, both a majors’ trophy and the number one ranking were at stake. Once more, Williams triumphed defeating Jankovic 6-4, 7-5.

One of the best women’s final played on Ashe in many years was made more intriguing by the players’ contrasting personalities, Jelena jovial as always while Serena focused and intense. Moreover, this match was a case of hustle versus muscle with Jelena attempting to counter Serena’s overpowering groundstrokes with her superb defensive skills.

Although this was Jankovic’s first appearance in a majors’ final, the butterflies appeared to rest on her seasoned opponent’s corner. Williams’ opening service game, which initially looked routine at 40-15, got more complicated. But, Serena held after three deuces. On Williams’ subsequent service game, three consecutive unforced errors resulted in Jankovic taking a 2-1 lead. Shortly after though, Serena returned the favor, equalizing things at 2-2 in a game where Jelena had 40-love advantage. Then, a double fault presented Serena with another break point opportunity and with a forehand winner, Williams went ahead 4-2. Yet, as Serena served for the set, a rash of unforced errors gave Jankovic triple break point and with Williams’ sliced forehand finding the net, the players were back on serve. Nonetheless, the very next game Williams earned triple break point and wrapped up the first set.

After comfortably holding serve to start the second set, Serena’s double break chance evaporated courtesy of unforced errors in a series of eternal rallies. Jelena’s money shot, the backhand down the line, rescued her on multiple occasions while Serena’s ace in the hole throughout was her serve. In the sixth game, Serena had another opportunity to creep ahead with double break point. Again, Jelena erased that possibility 3-3. Serving at 40-15, Williams played a ball she believed the line judge should have called long. Serena voiced her objection to the umpire. The chair used video to review which proved the line judge was indeed right. Rattled a bit, Williams ended up losing her serve. Serving at 3-5, despite making three poor shot selections and facing triple break point, Serena managed to hold putting the pressure on Jelena to serve out the set. Perhaps still ruminating over missed opportunities, Jelena misjudged an overhead, double faulted and with a forehand winner from Serena stared herself at triple break point. Eventually, Serena connected to level the set at 5 all. With her net play on cue, Williams made a stab volley to win the game and then celebrated with a roar in response to Jelena’s gripe that she took too long between points. Pumped up, Serena attacked Jankovic’s serve which paid off. Gifted match point number two with a double fault, Williams converted to obtain her third U.S Open title.

Williams, in supreme form, did not drop a set the entire tournament. Serena regains the number one ranking, a post she last held between July 2002 and August 2003 for 57 consecutive weeks.  Earlier that day, top ranked doubles team Cara Black and Liezel Huber captured their first U.S Open title by defeating Samantha Stosur and Lisa Raymond in straight sets 6-3, 7-6

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Double Spoil: Venus Captures Wimbledon Singles Title, Serena Settles For Consolation Prize

The stars were perfectly aligned at Wimbledon this fortnight for Venus Williams. Despite trying her best, sister Serena could not impede the defending champion from taking the trophy with which she shares a first name. Venus eliminated Serena in the women’s final 7-5, 6-4.

When the Williams siblings play, the quality of the match is a toss up. Serena seems to have no qualms about beating her older sister. In fact, Serena has won 7 of their last 10 matches, their most recent meeting was in Bangolore this March. In the Wimbledon final, Venus started with a case of the jitters; she readily lost her opening service game. Moreover, on multiple occasions, Venus fended off break points and despite a bevy of unforced errors; she prohibited Serena from extending her lead. As the match progressed, Venus settled down by coming to the net, perhaps the most reliable part of her game, with tremendous success. Her first opportunity to break came in the eight game courtesy of an awful service game by Serena, Venus won a long rally to get back on serve 4-4. Subsequently, Serena had the chance to edge ahead, but Venus managed to hold on to her serve for 6-5. Dismayed at her erratic performance after going down 0-30, Serena tried to rev herself up with a few fist pumps. Eventually though, Venus arrived at set point and prevailed after an error by Serena.

Serena attempted to get an early lead in the second set and had several break point chances in the initial game, but failed to convert. Finally in the third game, after many long rallies, seven break chances and two falls by her opponent, Serena obtained a 2-1 advantage. Yet, this lead was brief with Venus breaking back with ease for 2-2. From then on, Serena was in trouble, saving break point prior to getting the ad for 3-3. On serve, Venus’ habitually shaky forehand was solid, besting Serena in two long rallies. Afterwards, Serena glanced at her mother as if to say: “why are things not going my way”, but Oracene’s stoic expression never wavered, Venus went up 5-4. After a great volley, Venus had double match point. Serena saved one with an excellent serve. But on the second, a deep return by Venus produced the error by Serena, giving her big sister the championship. The keys to the match were Venus’ service, particularly her second, and her strong performance at net. With this second straight Wimbledon trophy and her fifth overall, Venus has distinguished herself as an elite grass court player.

That evening, the Williams’ went back on court for the women’s doubles final against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur. Venus and Serena were all smiles. Crushing their opponents 6-2, 6-2 in order to win their third Wimbledon doubles title.

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