Tag Archive | "U.S. Open"

Del Potro Toughs It Out against Tipsarevic to Reap Delray Beach Title

Tags: , , , , ,

Del Potro Toughs It Out against Tipsarevic to Reap Delray Beach Title



Juan Martin Del Potro returned to the winner circle today.  Del Potro fought off Janko Tipsarevic in the final of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships with a 6-4,6-4 victory to earn his first tour title since the 2009 U.S. Open.

At the conclusion of his semifinal match last evening, Del Potro emphasized that despite being exhausted he would give it his all in the final.  Early on, Del Potro looked conspicuously fatigued.  Although the Argentine held easily his first service game, it was more a consequence of Tipsarevic making too many errors.  After getting ahead 2-1, Tipsarevic lined up a backhand down the line winner beautifully to secure double break point.  As a result of a Tipsarevic errant forehand and a questionable second serve ace, Del Potro got to deuce.  After giving the umpire a piece of his mind, Tipsarevic connected on a forehand crosscourt winner for a third break point.  That time when Del Potro misfired with the backhand down the line, Tipsarevic had the break for a 3-1 edge and later consolidated.  Despite difficulties, Del Potro guarded serve the subsequent game.  Next, showing a burst of energy for the first time, Del Potro sprinted to track down a Tipsarevic dropshot and put it away for a winner.  With that Del Potro had break point.  He converted when Tipsarevic’s forehand up the line landed long.  After quickly getting to 4 all, Del Potro provoked a forehand miscue from Tipsarevic on game point for deuce.  With two additional mistakes by Tipsarevic, Del Potro obtained the break and a 5-4 advantage.  Serving for the set, Del Potro had two shots go off course and double faulted to hand Tipsarevic triple break point.  By hanging tough and serving well, Del Potro arrived at deuce.  The Argentine wiped out two more break points and ultimately on his third chance secured the opening set.

Despite outplaying Del Potro in the previous set, Tipsarevic found himself behind in the scoreboard.  Nevertheless, the Serb attempted to soldier on.  The initial game of the second set, thanks to his long wing span, Del Potro caught up with a backhand volley from Tipsarevic and struck a backhand pass for a winner for break point.  With great defense, Tipsarevic denied Del Potro the game.  Five game points later, Tipsarevic captured the first game.  Following a couple of comfortable service games, at 2 all, Tipsarevic fumbled a backhand down the line to give Del Potro double break point.  The Serb then double faulted to gift Del Potro a 3-2 lead.  Later, with a forehand volley winner, Tipsarevic manufactured double break point of his own.  Yet, on both occasions, he was turned away.  Tipsarevic had two more opportunities to break in that game, but Del Potro shut him out.  After salvaging his eleventh out of twelve break points, Del Potro consolidated for 4-2. Although Tipsarevic continued to press, Del Potro aided by a vocal Argentine public held on for a 5-3 lead.  Serving for the match, Del Potro revved up the mph on the serve to get to triple championship point.  When Tipsarevic’s forehand crosscourt sailed long, Del Potro captured the title.

In analyzing the match, Tipsarevic iterated that it boiled down to “not executing well. . . .and not taking my chances”.  For Tipsarevic, the first set was pivotal because “I was disappointed that I lost it even though Del Potro was not playing his game”.

Del Potro was frank in saying “I think [Janko] deserved to win the first set. . . I was trying to focus on my serve [the first set] because I knew it was only one break. . . I knew I would have the opportunity to comeback. . . When I had it, I took it.  I had a little bit of luck granted. . . My forehand began to work which helped me in closing out the first set”.

Read the full story

Posted in Local News, NewsComments (0)

Del Potro Punches His Ticket into the Delray Beach Final

Tags: , , , , ,

Del Potro Punches His Ticket into the Delray Beach Final



Derailed by a wrist injury in 2010, Juan Martin Del Potro’s last final was the 2009 U.S. Open.  Tonight, the Argentine took care of American Mardy Fish 6-1,7-5 in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships to advance to his eleventh career final.

Following a comfortable opening game, Del Potro obtained a break point when Fish pushed a forehand up the line wide.  With a forehand crosscourt winner, Del Potro broke.  This was the first time Fish had surrendered his serve the entire tournament.  When Del Potro’s forehand crosscourt landed wide, Fish had a break point of his own.  However, after scrambling beautifully to defend, Fish misfired on a neutral backhand down the line to let Del Potro off the hook.  With two good serves, Del Potro consolidated for a 3-0 edge.  Subsequent to both players holding without difficulty, Fish committed three straight errors to hand Del Potro triple break point.  By bludgeoning a forehand crosscourt for a winner, Del Potro broke again for 5-1.  Promptly with another unadventurous game, Del Potro pocketed the set.

Throughout the initial set, Del Potro was crushing the ball and Fish played right into the Argentine’s hand by camping out on the baseline.  The second set, Fish altered his strategy and decided to take his chances at net.  Subsequent to a difficult hold, Fish provoked three forehand flubs from Del Potro for double break point.  When Del Potro’s backhand failed to go over the net, Fish had a 2-0 lead.  But, by connecting on a backhand down the line for a winner, Del Potro got to break point.  When Fish’s forehand bounced wide, the players were back on serve.  Nevertheless, Fish continued to press and again with three miscues in a row from Del Potro, he arrived at triple break point.  On that occasion, Del Potro double faulted to gift the American the break.  Despite facing a break point, Fish ultimately consolidated for a 4-1 advantage.  Although his service games got harder, Del Potro kept up with Fish to limit the deficit to one break.  Serving at 4-2, Fish made three mistakes to donate double break point to his adversary.  Del Potro gladly accepted by ripping a forehand down the line which lead to Fish’s response going wide.  Then at love, Del Potro leveled the set at 4 all.  With a quick hold, Fish inched ahead 5-4.  Yet, Del Potro had no problem squaring the set.  Later, off a booming backhand down the line by Del Potro, Fish watched his backhand land into the net to give the Argentine break point.  Del Potro converted by overpowering a forehand which resulted in a mistake by Fish.  After falling behind 0-30 while serving for the match, Del Potro produced two sensational winners to get to 30 all.  When Fish’s forehand did not clear the net, Del Potro had match point.  Del Potro sealed the victory when Fish misfired with the backhand.

Read the full story

Posted in Local News, NewsComments (0)

Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final

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

Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final



As usual, Delray Beach will be the ATP’s first stop in South Florida.  This year, the field is more spectacular than ever with 2003 U.S. Open title holder Andy Roddick and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro gracing fans with their appearance.  Moreover, former champions Marty Fish, Kei Nishikori, Xavier Malisse and Ricardo Mello will also take part in the festivities.  The draw has been announced, here’ a closer look as to how this thrilling week may unfold.

Roddick, the top seed, may have to face Janko Tipsarevic for the second consecutive week.  This time, Roddick would battle Tipsarevic or 2010 finalist Ivo Karlovic for a spot in the semifinals.

Third seed and wildcard entry Sam Querrey may be another threat to Roddick’s quest to the final.  However, prior to a potential date with Roddick, Querrey may have to overcome either Nishikori, Russian Igor Andreev or the always dangerous Benjamin Becker in the quarterfinals.

In the bottom section, 2009 titlist Fish is the second seed.  Veteran Rainer Schuettler could present a grave challenge for Fish in the second round.  Then, in the quarterfinals, Fish could contend with Radek Stepanek.

Also, in Fish’s part of the draw are John Isner and Del Potro.  These latter two just clashed in Memphis and could see each other again in the second round.  American teenager Ryan Harrison has a terrific opportunity to get to the quarterfinals.  But, in that round, Isner or Del Potro may await him.  Consequently, Fish, Del Potro, Stepanek and Isner appear the ones with the truest chance to advance to the final.

While the likelihood of an all American final exist, Roddick vs. Isner or Roddick vs. Fish, there are plenty of potential spoilers.  Since returning from his wrist injury, Memphis seems to be a turning point for Del Potro.  The Argentine looks to have regained some of the form and confidence which propelled him to the top ten.  As a result, it would not be surprising to see two former U.S. Open champions Del Potro and Roddick duke it out for the ITC title.

Click here for a complete look at the draw as it appears on the ITC tournament website.

Posted in Local News, NewsComments (0)

Midway Through Australian Open 2011:Clijsters and Wozniacki In, Henin Out

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

Midway Through Australian Open 2011:Clijsters and Wozniacki In, Henin Out



The halfway mark has been reached at the Australian Open.  While Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki are still in line to collect their first major Down Under, the dream is at an end for Justine Henin and Samantha Stosur.  Here’s a look at the tournament’s past seven days.

In the top half of the draw, world number one Wozniacki coasted into the round of 16.   Despite difficult challenges from Gisela Dulko and Dominika Cibulkova, the Dane has yet to drop a set.  Wozniacki will battle Latvian talent 20 year old Anastasija Sevastova  who stunned Yanina Wickmayer in the second round.

On the other hand, Henin, a finalist last year, was dismissed in the third round by Svetlana Kuznetsova.  The 2009 French Open champion who appears to be fitter than ever will face reigning French Open victor Francesca Schiavone in the fourth round.  The latter needed three sets in each of her first two rounds.

There will be no Williams hoisting the prize this year.  Venus was forced to retire one game into her third round match with Andrea Petkovic due to a pelvic muscle injury.  Consequently, Petkovic will clash with Maria Sharapova in the round of 16. Sharapova scraped by Julia Goerges in the previous round.  With Sharapova’s serve a continual sore spot, Petkovic has a golden opportunity to reach her first quarterfinal at a major.

Both Li Na and Victoria Azarenka have been unforgiving thus far with straight sets victories to get to the round of 16.  These two will now collide for a place in the quarterfinals.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Another Serena-Less “Slam”:  Who Will Capitalize at the Australian Open?

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

Another Serena-Less “Slam”: Who Will Capitalize at the Australian Open?


For the second consecutive major, Serena Williams will be a no-show.  With the two time defending champion and former world number one still injured, current world number one Caroline Wozniacki should technically be “the” favorite.  While Wozniacki is a certain contender for the crown Down Under, it’s difficult to position her in the number one spot.  With her victories at the U.S. Open and the WTA championships to finish 2010, Kim Clijsters has to be viewed as the outright favorite.  The way the Australian Open draw stacks up, Clijsters has to relish her chances.  Let’s take a look how it breaks down.

Imagine needing to conquer Gisela Dulko in the first round, Dominika Cibulkova in the third round and either Justine Henin or Francesca Schiavone just to get to the quarterfinals.  This is the precise task which probably awaits Wozniacki.  Moreover, in the semifinals, the Dane could clash with either Venus, whom she has never beaten, Victoria Azarenka or Maria Sharapova.  In light of the treacherous road ahead, Wozniacki has her work cut out for her in trying to survive the first week and retain the number one ranking.

Since her 2010 Wimbledon injury, this will be Henin’s first major.  After months of noncompetitive play, Henin performed well at the Hopman Cup.  In Melbourne, a possible third round encounter with Svetlana Kuznetsova will be her first true challenge.  Last year, Henin battled her way to the final after an almost two year sabbatical. Consequently, if the Belgian successfully navigates the first week, she could duplicate her feat of a year ago.

If healthy, Venus should reach the round of 16 with ease.  At that stage, the 2003 Australian Open finalist could be tested, if the draw holds true to form, by the 2008 Australian Open champion, Sharapova. The Russian’s last major was in Melbourne.  Subsequent to shoulder surgery a couple of years ago, Sharapova appears finally at full steam.  That type of encounter could be a shot in the arm for Sharapova and push her back into the top ten.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Nothing but Nadal in 2010

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

Nothing but Nadal in 2010


No room for dispute, 2010 was a banner year for Rafael Nadal.  The Spaniard captured three majors, regained the world number one ranking and completed the career grand slam.  As such, Nadal’s domination left no ambiguity as to who was the most outstanding player in 2010.  With the year at a close, here’s a snapshot of the stories which caught the headlines this foregone season.

After a slow start, Nadal found his footing on clay with his first calendar title at the Monte-Carlo Masters.  Subsequent to banking titles at the Masters in Rome and Madrid, Nadal culminated his clay campaign with his fifth big prize at Roland Garros.  At Wimbledon, the Spaniard defended his 2008 title to seize his second major at the All England Club.  Finally, at U.S. Open, with troublesome obstacles removed from his half of the draw,  Nadal reached his first final in New York.  Nadal stared down a strong challenge from Novak Djokovic to hoist his first U.S. Open trophy.  With a total of seven titles, Nadal topped his peers in 2010.

For Roger Federer, this year was a mixed bag.  After grabbing his sixteenth major in Australia, Federer had a fourth round loss at the Sony Ericsson Open to Tomas Berdych which sent him into a tailspin.  As defending champion at the French Open, Federer was beaten in the quarterfinals by Robin Soderling which ended an unprecedented streak of twenty-three consecutive semifinals at the majors.  Furthermore, defending champ Federer was ousted in the quarterfinals by Berdych at Wimbledon.  In fact, Federer’s ranking dropped to number three, his lowest since November 2003.  Yet, with his second title of the season at the Cincinnati Masters, Federer seemed again on the right road.  However, Federer failed to take advantage of match points in the U.S. Open semifinals against Djokovic and went down in flames.  After the New York fiasco, Federer resurfaced with a fresh coach, Paul Annacone, and won three of four finals including the ATP World Tour finals where he toppled Nadal.

The Australian Open appeared a turning point for Andy Murray.  Easily handled in the final by Federer, Murray could do nothing right with the racket for a while. Eventually at Wimbledon, Murray advanced to the semifinals only to be disappointed by Nadal.  With the defense of his title at the Rogers Cup, Murray seemed to be back.  But, another setback occurred at the U.S. Open where Murray was stunned in the third round by Stanislas Wawrinka.  In besting Federer in the Shanghai Masters final, Murray looked to be heading for a strong finish.  Yet, at the ATP World Tour Finals, Murray took another  downturn.  This was emblematic of the Scot’s tumultuous year which included a rupture with coach Miles Maclagan, a brief ceding of the world number four spot to Soderling and only two titles.

With solely two titles and a U.S. Open final appearance, Djokovic had a so-so year.  The Serb even ascended to number two for a bit, but finished at number three.  While individual success was sparse, Djokovic led his country to its first Davis Cup title.  Along with countryman Viktor Troicki, Djokovic mounted a brilliant comeback to stop France from a tenth trophy.

Read the full story

Posted in Editorial, NewsComments (0)

A Tale of Two Seasons:  Serena Starts and Wozniacki Finishes

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

A Tale of Two Seasons: Serena Starts and Wozniacki Finishes


Although the familiar saying states “all good things must come to an end”, when it comes to tennis it’s not necessarily the case.  While the 2010 season is over, in the blink of an eye the new one will commence.  Before turning to a fresh chapter, it’s important to reminisce and ponder what made this past year noteworthy.

At her first tournament after rejoining the tour, Justine Henin was a finalist in Brisbane.  The Belgian followed that result with a run to the final at the Australian Open.  In a compelling match, Serena Williams edged out Henin to defend her title and claimed her twelfth career major.  Despite Williams’ conquest, the road to victory was far from routine.  Thus, early indications were Williams would be fighting tooth and nail to retain the number one ranking.  Yet, in the end, injury became Serena’s speed bump rather than her fellow competitors.

Following Australia, a knee injury caused Williams to put her feet up for a few months.  In May, a healthy Serena returned to competition.  Subsequent to being stunned in the French Open quarterfinals, Williams successfully defended her Wimbledon title.  However, days after her triumph, Serena suffered a freakish foot injury.  Initially, the damage seemed inconsequential.  But, as the weeks went by, Serena withdrew from tournament after tournament and underwent surgery.  Ultimately, Wimbledon proved to be Serena’s last event of 2010.

Ironically, Serena’s similar fate befell Henin.  After being booted in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, Henin turned her focus to Wimbledon the underlying reason for her comeback.  With a title at a warm-up tournament before Wimbledon, Henin was a serious contender to capture the sole major which has eluded her. But, after easily carrying the first set against Kim Clijsters, Henin fell on her elbow and eventually loss in the round of 16.  What at first seemed an innocuous tumble prematurely terminated Henin’s year.

After being upended in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open by Na Li, Venus Williams caught a full head of steam and defended back to back titles in Dubai and Acapulco.  Then, Venus made the finals at the Sony Ericsson Open and the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open.  Consequently, Venus’ ranking peaked at number two.  Days after celebrating her 30th birthday,  the five time Wimbledon champion stepped on the grass with high hopes for a sixth crown.  However, in the quarterfinals, Venus was sent packing by Tsvetana Pironkova.  Later at the U.S. Open, Williams watched an opportunity to advance to the final evaporate, going down to Clijsters.  Bothered by a knee issue, after New York, Venus sat out the remainder of the season.

No ifs and or buts, Clijsters is back.  After besting Henin in the Brisbane final, Clijsters rebounded from an early exit at the Australian Open by thrashing Venus in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open.  Although a foot injury prevented Clijsters from participating at the French Open, the following month the Belgian reached the semifinals at Wimbledon.  Subsequent to a sensational win in the final in Cincinnati, Clijsters repeated in New York and earned her third U.S. Open title.  Clijsters capped the year with the number three ranking and the WTA Championships trophy in Doha.

In placing one’s bet at the start of 2010, Maria Sharapova, Henin and Clijsters would have been regarded as the candidates likely to supplant Serena at number one.  Instead, Williams was toppled from that spot by a great Dane.  Last year, as a runner-up at the U.S. Open, Caroline Wozniacki demonstrated that she is a legitimate rival.  With Serena sidelined by injury, Wozniacki scaled up the ranking by winning six tour titles and making the finals in Indian Wells and Doha.

Despite being halted in the round of 16 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the quarterfinals at the French Open and the semifinals at the U.S. Open, consistency week in and week out was the key to Wozniacki taking over at number one.

Another individual who had a spring in her step in 2010 is Vera Zvonareva. The Russian followed her first major final at Wimbledon with another at the U.S. Open.  Although Zvonareva fell to Serena and Clijsters respectively, because of her phenomenal performance, Zvonareva shot up to the number two ranking.

Other names to come into the spotlight this season include twenty year old Petra Kvitova who stunned Victoria Azarenka and Wozniacki before being knocked out in the Wimbledon semifinals by Serena.  Along with Li, countrywoman Jie Zheng advanced to the semifinals at the Australian Open.  Perhaps the unlikeliest ones to rise above the fray were veterans Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur.

After beating Henin, Serena and Jelena Jankovic at the French Open, 26 year old Stosur booked her maiden major final spot.  With a victory over Wozniacki in the quarterfinals, Schiavone sauntered into the French Open final as a result of Elena Dementieva retiring in the semifinals with a calf injury.  First time major finalist Schiavone took full advantage of her good fortune.  Less than a month prior to her 30th birthday, Schiavone prevailed over Stosur becoming the first Italian woman to win a major.

In doubles, Serena and Venus triumphed in the finals at the Australian and French Opens while Wimbledon and the U.S. Open were claimed by the new pair of Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova.  The number one doubles team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber had an acrimonious divorce in April.  With the break up of Huber and Black and injuries affecting the Williams’, Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko with six titles and the WTA Championships trophy ended the year as the top doubles team.

For the second consecutive year, Italy dismissed the U.S. to take the Federation Cup. Former French Open champion and world number one Ana Ivanovic redeemed her season by pocketing the Tournament of Champions trophy in Bali and reintegrating herself in the top twenty.  Nothing but bad news for former world number one Dinara Safina.  Limited by a back problem, Safina hardly played and finished the year ranked 63rd.

At the WTA championships, Dementieva dropped a bomb announcing her retirement after her last round robin match.  The 2008 Olympic gold medalist and two time major finalist felt at 29 years of age the time had arrived to seal this phase of her life and move on to another.

It is impossible to dissociate 2010 from 2011 with injury already a factor in the year to come.  With her foot still on the mend, Serena proclaimed she will not defend her Australian Open title.  As such, the first major of the year will be up for grabs.  Will Clijsters seize her first major other than the U.S. Open?  Can Wozniacki silence all doubters and show she really belongs at the top spot?  Will Zvonareva draw on the positives from 2010 and take the final step to the major’s winner circle?  Will it be Sharapova or Henin reliving their past success down under?  In contemplating the outcome of the Australian Open, the permutations seem infinite.  With all these questions, the first major portends that the upcoming season will be a fascinating one to follow.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

History at Home:  Federer Retrieves Basel Title from Djokovic

Tags: , , ,

History at Home: Federer Retrieves Basel Title from Djokovic


Last year, a shocked public watched as Novak Djokovic stopped Roger Federer from taking his fourth consecutive trophy at the Swiss Indoors Basel.  With the U.S. Open debacle also fresh on his mind, Federer had no lack of incentives to want to payback Djokovic.  Federer avenged both losses, downing defending champion Djokovic 6-4,3-6,6-1 to become the first player to triumph four times at the 40 year old tournament.

After opening up the match with a forehand return winner, Federer manufactured double break point.  However, due to errors, Federer could not capitalize.  Then, with a backhand down the line pass, Djokovic fabricated break point.  With a good serve, Federer managed the situation.  Subsequent to dismissing another break point, Federer found the equalizer for 1 all.  By sending a backhand long, Djokovic allowed a game point to vanish.  Later, by misdirecting a backhand crosscourt, Djokovic gave Federer another chance to break.  On that occasion, Federer thumped a forehand thereby provoking the error from Djokovic for the break at 2-1.  Next, with a love game, Federer consolidated for 3-1. On the heels of a pressure service game, Federer connected with an ace for a love hold and extended his lead to 5-3.  Serving for the set at 5-4, Federer misfired with a forehand up the line to hand Djokovic a break point.  Fortunately for Federer, on a neutral ball after a second serve, Djokovic committed a forehand miscue for deuce.  Eventually by forcing a couple of mistakes, Federer bagged the first set.

Following a prompt hold by Djokovic, Federer made two straight flubs to give his opponent double break point.  With Federer’s backhand crosscourt landing wide, Djokovic secured the break.  Then, with his second love game of the set, Djokovic stretched his lead to 3-0.  Despite guarding serve easily the rest of the way, Federer produced too many mistakes.  As such, Djokovic had no trouble extending his advantage to 5-2.  Yet, in closing out the set, Djokovic pushed a forehand long, donating a break point to his rival.  But, Djokovic came up with a tremendous serve and got to deuce.  Ultimately, Djokovic wrapped up the game to drive the championship into a decisive set.

Read the full story

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Federer and Nadal in Awesome Form Going into the Second Week at the U.S. Open

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

Federer and Nadal in Awesome Form Going into the Second Week at the U.S. Open


The initial week at the U.S. Open is complete and the men’s field has been scaled down to sixteen players.  Two names missing from the roll call are Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.  These two touted favorites were upset early on. Here’s a summary of the past seven days and an analysis of what could unfold the next few rounds.

While Rafael Nadal barely passed his pre-tournament exams in Toronto and Cincinnati, in his first three matches at the Open, the Spaniard gets an A plus.  Despite being tested, with a beefed up first serve to the tune of 130 miles per hour at times, Nadal has dispatched each adversary in three sets.  In the fourth round, Nadal will face compatriot Feliciano Lopez.  With Nadal’s 5-2 record against his fellow citizen, Lopez is likely the subsequent sacrificial lamb.

After surviving a five set tussle in the first round against Fabio Fognini ranked 86th, Fernando Verdasco is in the round of 16 and will take on David Ferrer, the tenth seed.  Although Verdasco has a 6-4 edge in their encounters, Ferrer prevailed at their last meeting on clay and at their only battle on hardcourt in 2004.  David Nalbandian, one of the few players who could have troubled Nadal, was easily given his marching orders by Verdasco in the third round.

Also in the top section of the draw, seventh seed Tomas Berdych was surprised in the first round by Michael Llodra.  However, the jaw dropper came today with  Murray, the 2008 finalist and fourth seed, dismissed by Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round. The Swiss advanced for the third occasion to the fourth round in New York.   Wawrinka will meet Sam Querrey for a spot in the quarterfinals.  Consequently, for Querrey, this is the ideal scenario to book his maiden quarterfinal berth at a major.

The Spaniards have ruled and Tommy Robredo made sure to partake in the round of 16 festivities. With John Isner beaten by Mikhail Youzhny in the third round, Robredo and the Russian will fight for a place in the quarterfinals.

Another American  propelled into the limelight this week was eighteen year old Ryan Harrison.  After coming through three rounds of qualifying, Harrison stunned Ivan Ljubicic, the fifteenth seed, in the first round.  Furthermore, Harrison was one point from a win in a fifth set tiebreaker in the second round.  Harrison became the first American teen to vanquish a top twenty player at a major since Roddick in 2001 also at this event.

Read the full story

Posted in Editorial, NewsComments (0)

Week One at U.S. Open: Wozniacki Living Up to Seeding, Jankovic Makes Early Departure

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

Week One at U.S. Open: Wozniacki Living Up to Seeding, Jankovic Makes Early Departure


With Serena Williams out of the running, one established truism at this year’s U.S. Open was that the list of potential champions had expanded.  Yet, Caroline Wozniacki’s form the first three rounds is giving many room for pause as she is invariably validating her top billing.  With the initial week of competition concluded, here’s a recapitulation of the event thus far and a peak at what’s ahead.

Wozniacki has permitted her opponents only three games on her way to booking her spot into the round of 16.  Although Maria Sharapova needed three sets in the first round against Jarmila Groth, since then she has also been stingy. Sharapova allowed Beatrice Capra, the 18 year old American who upended 18th seed Aravane Rezai, just one game in their third round match.  As a result, the much anticipated  fourth round match between Sharapova and Wozniacki will take place on Monday.

After scraping by to reach the third round, Jelena Jankovic, the 4th seed, had her progress halted by Kaia Kanepi, the 31st seed.  Therefore, for Jankovic, the disappointment at the majors go on.  Kanepi will face Yanina Wickmayer, the 15th seed and 2009 U.S. Open semifinalist, in the round of 16.

Vera Zvonareva, the 7th seed, has been keeping a low profile while calmly taking care of business.  Without dropping a set, Zvonareva is now in the fourth round where she will battle Andrea Petkovic.  Zvonareva is clearly the favorite in that clash and with Jankovic ousted, she has a great chance to earn a berth in the semifinals.

Na Li, the 8th seed, and Agnieszka Radwanska, the 9th seed, were booted in the first and second round respectively.  With Li sent packing, Dominika Cibulkova was the beneficiary.  Cibulkova is alive for the first time in the fourth round at the U.S. Open and will face Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Since falling under the tutelage of Amelie Mauresmo’s former coach, Kuznetsova has rediscovered the road to success.  Kuznetsova should have no trouble punching her ticket to the quarterfinals for a date with either Sharapova or Wozniacki.

In the bottom half of the draw, Melanie Oudin, last year’s American darling, was bounced in the second round.  Franscesca Schiavone, the 6th seed  and reigning French Open champion, has finally found her game on hardcourt.  The Italian heads to the round of 16 having yet to surrender a set.  Schiavone’s next obstacle will be 19 year old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  The Russian’s third round showdown with one of the favorites for the title Victoria Azarenka never came to fruition.  In her second round match, Azarenka collapsed and was forced to retire.  Initially, the problem was ascribed to the scorching temperatures.  Later on, the news was released that Azarenka had suffered a mild concussion prior to taking the court which was the culprit for her abrupt egress.  With Pavlyuchenkova dominant on hardcourt this season, it will be fascinating to see whether teenage fearlessness or experience wins out.

Read the full story

Posted in Editorial, NewsComments (0)

Facebook

Archives