Tag Archive | "Wimbledon"

Sweet Retribution Serena Relishes Stanford Title

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Sweet Retribution Serena Relishes Stanford Title


Last June in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli stared down Serena Williams for her initial victory over the defending champion. Despite Williams’ twelve month absence from competition and only her second tournament back, Bartoli’s triumph was classified as a major upset.

Whether one calls it revenge or redemption, Williams was looking to make a statement in the final against Bartoli. After a tough first set, Williams vanquished Bartoli 7-5,6-1 at the Bank of the West Classic to claim her premier title since 2010 Wimbledon.

Due to Dominika Cibulkova withdrawing from their semifinal match because of an abdominal strain, Bartoli had an extra day of rest. Yet, unlike Wimbledon, fitness has not been an issue for Williams this week.

A noticeably more in shape Williams required just 69 minutes to dismiss 2011 Wimbledon finalist Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. The following night in the semifinals, Williams dispatched 2011 Wimbledon semifinalist Sabine Lisicki in 59 minutes.

However, knowing that she won their ultimate meeting gave Bartoli a lot of confidence. Early on, the 2009 Bank of the West Classic champion gave Williams plenty to ponder.

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Djokovic Bewilders Nadal for First Wimbledon Crown

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Djokovic Bewilders Nadal for First Wimbledon Crown


Today, Rafael Nadal went in search of his third consecutive Wimbledon title. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, someone got in his way. Novak Djokovic downed Nadal 6-4,6-1,1-6,6-3 to bank his initial trophy at the All England Club.

With a record of 47-1 this season and four victories over Nadal, the Serb realized he had “a mental advantage”. Yet, the finals of Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Madrid were three set affairs. Consequently, in a five set major final against Nadal, Djokovic knew it would be a bear of a task.

Nine games into the initial set, neither player had problem holding serve. Then, at 4-5, Nadal misjudged a forehand to give Djokovic set point. When the Spaniard sent another forehand wide, Djokovic took the first set.

After Djokovic recovered from 0-30 in the opening game of the second set, Nadal netted a backhand crosscourt to hand his rival double break point. Great anticipation by Djokovic off the forehand dropshot by Nadal resulted in a backhand volley winner for the break and a 2-0 lead.

Next, Djokovic consolidated with another comfortable hold. Later ahead 4-1, Djokovic manufactured another break chance. When Nadal pushed a backhand wide, Djokovic had a 5-1 advantage in the second set.

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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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Federer on Track for Seventh Title at Wimbledon

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Federer on Track for Seventh Title at Wimbledon


For the second year in a row, Roger Federer is on course to equalize Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles. Defending champion Rafael Nadal is also through to the second week as he goes for his third French Open-Wimbledon duo. While Novak Djokovic, the hottest player this season, is in great form through three matches.

The world’s top three players are still the ones to beat heading into the round of 16 while world number four and hometown pick Andy Murray is also alive with an outside chance. Here’s a review of the past few days and a look at the rest of the tournament.

Federer has looked superb through the first three rounds of play. The Swiss dominated his third round match against a less than 100% David Nalbandian who’s had his number previously.

In the fourth round, Federer takes on Mikhail Youzhny. Federer has won all ten of their prior meetings and the Russian has never been beyond the round of 16 at this event.

David Ferrer tied his best showing at the All England Club by reaching the round of 16 and will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who was a quarterfinalist last year. The winner of that contest will probably battle Federer in the quarterfinals.

After straight sets triumphs his initial two matches, Djokovic had to bear down against Marcos Baghdatis to move on in four in the third round. On Monday, Djokovic meets Michael Llodra in the fourth round. Although Llodra is sensational on grass, he should be no match for Djokovic.

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Venus and Serena Williams Maneuver Their Way into the Second Week at Wimbledon

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Venus and Serena Williams Maneuver Their Way into the Second Week at Wimbledon


A definite truism which applies to Serena Williams is that she’s always hungry for another major. The two time defending champion demonstrated that despite some first week cobwebs, she is prepared to fight for a “three-peat” at the All England Club.

Venus Williams, a five time champion at Wimbledon, is still in contention for another title on her most successful surface. Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, is almost playing to the standards expected of her. Sharapova is trying to get pass the fourth round for the first time since 2006 at this venue.

The most stunning early departure was 2010 runner-up Vera Zvonareva. Here’s a mid-tournament summary and a preview of the interesting match-ups to come.

After going the distance her first two rounds, Serena Williams cruised in the third round against Maria Kirilenko. The next round, Serena will have to bring her best stuff against Marion Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon finalist. Bartoli is playing with great confidence since winning her maiden grass court title in Eastbourne.

Subsequent to a comfortable opening match, Venus Williams clawed past 40 year old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round. However, in the third round, Venus coasted to victory. Next up for Venus is Tsvestana Pironkova.

In a rematch of last year’s semifinal, Pironkova avenged her lost to Zvonareva in the third round. In 2010, Pironkova reached the semifinals by upending Venus in the quarterfinals. Pironkova also ousted Venus at the Australian Open in 2006. With Pironkova’s 2-1 against Venus, this tussle could be another doozy.

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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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Serena and Venus Are Back: Wimbledon Is Anyone’s Trophy

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Serena and Venus Are Back: Wimbledon Is Anyone’s Trophy


The Williams sisters made their long awaited return to competitive tennis this week. Despite being rusty, with nine of the last eleven championships at the All England Club, Venus and Serena are among the favorites. Moreover, the Wimbledon draw sets up the potential for a fifth all Williams final. Here’s a more detailed analysis.

World number one Caroline Wozniacki hopes to validate her ranking with a first major. However, Wozniacki will need to do some heavy lifting to achieve that feat.

In the quarterfinals, Wozniacki may have to go through 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova. In addition, for the Dane, a semifinal encounter with defending and four time winner Serena or reigning French Open champion Na Li may be in the cards. Needless to say, Wozniacki will have to work hard to earn her maiden major.

Serena will begin her title defense by facing the talented Aravane Rezai in the first round. In the fourth round, Serena could see another sizeable French hurdle in 2007 finalist Marion Bartoli.

Later, in the quarterfinals, Serena may clash against Li who is no push over. In Li’s case, Sabine Lisicki may present difficulties in the second round. Lisicki has been regaining her form and confidence as is evident with her recent title in Birmingham.

Sharapova is again in the mix at another major. While a first round match with countrywoman Anna Chakvetadze could be testy, Sharapova should come through. Sharapova is likely to have a tougher time in the fourth round if Samantha Stosur is the opponent.

Serena had been out of commission nearly a year. For the seventh seed to claim her fifth Wimbledon crown, she will have to come up with the type of performance which resulted in her surprise victory at the Australian Open in 2007. With Serena’s track record, it’s certainly hard to bet against her. Yet, with Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko, Flavia Pennetta and Julia Goerges in the top half of the draw, there is an endless list of players capable of pulling off an upset.

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Nadal Balks Federer for Record Sixth French Open Title

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Nadal Balks Federer for Record Sixth French Open Title



For the second consecutive day, the French Open became a part of history as Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5,7-6,5-7,6-1 to equal Bjorn Borg with six French Open titles. Nadal also became the seventh man in the exclusive club of those with 10 or more major trophies.

The last time the two clashed in a final at a major was the 2009 Australian Open. This was the twenty-fifth meeting between Nadal and Federer, their fifth at Roland Garros and their fourth final.

In 2008, Nadal blew Federer off the court 6-1,6-3,6-0. After ending Novak Djokovic’s 2011 unbeaten run at 41 matches, Federer came in rejuvenated and relaxed, it was evident in the first set.

Subsequent to guarding serve, on a backhand error by Nadal, Federer had double break point. Despite Nadal getting to deuce, on his fourth opportunity, Federer seized the break and consolidated for 3-0.

After constructing a 5-2 advantage, as Nadal’s forehand sailed long, Federer had set point. However, with the dropshot missing its mark, Nadal was at deuce and later captured the game.

Serving for the initial set, Federer’s first serve which was instrumental in building his lead deserted him. Federer netted a backhand to hand Nadal break point. When the Swiss misfired on a volley after a passing shot, the players were back on serve.

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Roger Federer Holds Press Conference at Sony Ericsson Open

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Roger Federer Holds Press Conference at Sony Ericsson Open



Two-time Sony Ericsson Open champion Roger Federer held his first press conference today at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open. Here is what he had to say to the media.
 
​Q.  What is it that you love about playing tennis?  Simple question.

​ROGER FEDERER:  I guess, you know, it’s myself to blame if I win or lose, which I kind of like, and that it’s one on one, or if you like, in doubles two or two. ​But there’s a distance, so there is always a lot of fair play.  There’s no ugly plays in that way.  Good sport to watch on TV; good sport to watch live.  It’s atheltical and has a bit of everything.  I think it’s really nice.
 
​Q.  How are you finding the transition from one court to the next?

​ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it’s still hard court, so should be all right.  It’s a bit more humid here.  It hasn’t been brutal, so it’s been all right.  It was nice and warm as well in Indian Wells, so it’s been okay. Obviously I’ve played a lot of tennis, so maybe just I’m a touch tired, but I’m happy I still have a few more days.  So there’s no issue there. ​I practiced yesterday and today here and I feel fine, you know.  There’s not much to say really yet.  Conditions are obviously slightly different, adjusting, you know, string tensions, just understanding how far the ball flies, how it bounces, and all those things. ​That’s why I just need a couple more practice sessions and I’ll be okay.
 
​Q.  A few weeks ago Andre Agassi said of Andy Roddick, if it weren’t for you, that he would have had a tremendous career.  Do you take a little bit of joy in knowing you’ve knocked Andy out of sort of that major block?  What do you see in him down the road?

​ROGER FEDERER:  No, I’m not happy at all.  I think he’s done actually really well.  I mean, he achieved all his dreams basically  you know, except maybe winning Wimbledon  but he was in many great matches in finals there, which he can always look back on. ​I think that was very nice, as well.  Clearly he’d like to win those, but not everybody can say they’ve been in multiple Wimbledon finals, you know.  He’s won the US Open, was world No. 1, won Davis Cup. ​How much more do you really need to be happy as a tennis player?  So I think he’s actually  considering that everybody always is so negative around him, you know, especially in terms of the press, I think he knows what he achieved.  The players know it, too, and that’s why he’s so respected. ​His career is not over yet.  There are still things to achieve out there.  I’ve always enjoyed my matches with him. And, no, I don’t feel happy that I did any  I had a part in maybe making his career worse or better or whatever, you know.  Who knows, if I wasn’t around maybe somebody else would have been around, you know.  So you never know.
 
​Q.  As you know, there was earthquake disaster in Japan.  If you don’t mind, could you leave a message for the Japanese people.

​ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it’s been very sad news, of course.  I’ve followed, you know, what happened in Japan, and it was devastating, you know, to say the least. ​It’s always one of those natural disasters, that really, you know, touch everybody, to see those terrible pictures.  And then obviously thinking of my good times in Tokyo when I was there and good times I had, which I really enjoyed, you know, obviously the fans I have in that part of the world  or in Japan in particular, you know. ​I can only tell them that I’m thinking of them as well and that I wish them only the best and that they can rebuild and get stronger out of how it was before, because it’s not an easy situation right now.
 
​Q.  Kim Clijsters said yesterday that she wouldn’t go to Asia because of the radiation; she wouldn’t take her kids, et cetera.  Does that sound like anything that you would consider?

​ROGER FEDERER:  Um, I haven’t even thought about it yet because I’m not going to Asia, you know, in the next couple weeks.
 
​Q.  She said Shanghai.  She said no China.  No Japan.

​ROGER FEDERER:  Really?  No, it hasn’t even crossed my mind yet.  I will only think about that when the situation is right in front of me.  But we’ll get the green light or not from someone else, you know. ​At the end of the day you always have to take your own decision, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem by then, to be honest.
 
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Clijsters Withstands Li Na to Clench First Australian Open Title

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Clijsters Withstands Li Na to Clench First Australian Open Title




Coming into this year’s Australian Open championships, most analysts tagged Kim Clijsters as the outright favorite.  Today, the Belgian demonstrated that they were correct in pegging her as the one to beat.  Clijsters fought off China’s Li Na 3-6,6-3,6-3 to claim her first major in Melbourne, the fourth of her career.

Subsequent to a love hold, Clijsters broke Li at love thanks to a net court winner and took a 2-0 lead in the opening set.  However, with Clijsters donating four straight errors after having game point, Li erased the advantage.  Later, serving at 2-3, Li overcame a 15-40 deficit to reach deuce.  Despite resistance from Clijsters, Li equalized the set at 3 all.  With Clijsters flubbing a forehand volley, Li arrived at double break point.  She capitalized and obtained a 4-3 edge when Clijsters dumped a backhand crosscourt into the  net.  After staving off a break point, Li consolidated for 5-3 and with a forehand crosscourt pass winner broke Clijsters for the third time to secure the set.

Clijsters was acutely aware that Li would not be an easy put away.  In the semifinals, Li salvaged a match point before upsetting world number one Caroline Wozniacki to become the first Chinese female to book a spot in the final at a major.  Moreover, just two weeks ago in Sydney, Li defeated Clijsters in the final.   More importantly, although this was Li’s initial major final, she was doing a great job at bottling her nerves.

In spite of two game points at the start of the second set, Li failed to maintain serve, double faulting to hand Clijsters the first game.  Yet, like in the previous set, on her second break point opportunity, Li provoked a backhand mistake from Clijsters to get back on serve.  Still, the very next game, with a crosscourt winner, Clijsters broke for a 2-1 lead.  Relentless, on her fourth break point, Li struck a forehand crosscourt winner to level the set at 2 all.  Then, Li obliterated double break point to hold serve for 3-2.  But Clijsters would not be denied.  Following a tough service game, Clijsters again was at double break point.  This time with a backhand down the line winner, the Belgian broke for 4-3 and ultimately consolidated.  Next, with Li gifting a few errors, Clijsters closed the set with another break of serve.

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