Tag Archive | "Wimbledon"

WTA Aussie Open Mid Tournament Recap

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WTA Aussie Open Mid Tournament Recap


img_3627_jhAfter eight days, the Australian Open field has been narrowed.  Here’s a synopsis of the early round stumbles, near misses and a crack at determining a champion.

Maria Kirilenko rocked Rod Laver Arena with a first day, first round, first match upset of 14th seed Maria Sharapova.  With a suspect serve, will and grit could not pull Sharapova through her first competitive match of the season.  Not resting on her laurels, Kirilenko progressed to the round of 16 where she received an early Easter gift from Dinara Safina.  Nine games into the first set, Safina threw in the towel because of a back injury.  As a result, Kirilenko reaches her initial major quarterfinal and will play Jie Zheng, the 2008 Wimbledon semifinalist.  Zheng ousted 11th seed Marion Bartoli in the third round, then took care of Alona Bondarenko. Now, one of these women has the opportunity to advance to her first Aussie Open semifinal.

Waiting in the wing for Kirilenko and Zheng is perhaps Justine Henin.  The 2004 Australian champion had to work tirelessly to book a quarterfinal spot.  Henin’s second round meeting with Elena Dementieva lived up to the hype with top-notch groundstrokes by both players.  Upon surviving that encounter, Henin came close to saying cheerio in the third round.  Alisa Kleybenova demanded  Henin’s best before going down in three sets.  A similar performance was required by Henin in the round of 16 with U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer proving a tough kill.  Again, Henin needed to go the distance to seal the win and a date with Nadia Petrova in the quarters.

Petrova was probably regarded as the Russian least likely to succeed at the start of the Open.  However, after dismantling U.S. Open champ Kim Clijsters in the third round and ushering out French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova in round four, Petrova is no doubt a formidable adversary. Therefore, if Petrova continues along the same lines, Henin may be in for a colossal surprise.

Defending champion Serena Williams has been impressive in marching to the round of 16.  Serena has yet to drop serve nor a set.  Her toughest test will be Aussie hopeful Sam Stosur in the upcoming round.  With a big serve and a win over Serena in Stanford last year, Stosur has the tools to upstage the world number one.

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ATP’s Rollercoaster Ride in 2009

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ATP’s Rollercoaster Ride in 2009


img_2928From Rafael Nadal winning his first hardcourt major in Australia, to Roger Federer completing the career grand slam, to the emergence of a new major star Juan Martin Del Potro at the U.S. Open, 2009 was a year replete with ups and downs on the men’s tour.  Here’s a flashback.

At the Australian Open final, despite a marathon semifinal match, Nadal had adequate reserves to stare down Federer in another five setter.  With that victory, Nadal seemed well positioned to achieve the calendar grand slam.  After sweeping every clay court tournament, Nadal was halted at the Madrid Masters by Federer days prior to the French Open. For many analysts, fatigue may have been deserving of an assist as Federer defeated Nadal in straight sets to capture his initial title of 2009. As such, Nadal was still considered the outright favorite for a fifth consecutive French trophy.

While everyone may have discounted Robin Soderling in the fourth round at the French Open, the Swede who played a contentious match with Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007 had visions of victory dancing in his head.  Soderling upstaged the best clay player in circulation, handing Nadal his first defeat at Roland Garros.  Soderling rode this euphoric wave all the way to his first final at a major where he was ultimately stopped by Federer. In addition, Soderling was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open.  At his initial ATP World Tour Finals, Soderling was a semifinalist and with that result jumped to a career best ranking of 8th after commencing 2008 at 17.

Melbourne was the site where Fernando Verdasco at last  lived up to his talent.  After surprising Andy Murray the hottest player on tour in the fourth round, Verdasco was involved in a dogfight in the semifinals with countryman Nadal.  Hands down, the best match of the tournament and one of the most scintillating of the year, the two Spaniards went toe to toe for over five hours.  Although Nadal was triumphant, Verdasco’s run in Australia galvanized him the rest of the year.  Verdasco reached the quarters at the U.S. Open and was instrumental in Davis Cup play. Verdasco participated in his first ATP World Tour Finals and ended 2009 at number 9.

After an horrendous start to the season, Federer’s year turned around after beating Nadal in Madrid in May. After avoiding a sleuth of pitfalls to get to the French Open final, Federer grabbed the elusive brass ring and tied Pete Sampras’ record of 14 majors.  With a knee injury placing Wimbledon defending champ Nadal out of action, the impossibility of a Federer-Nadal duel could have been deflating for the championships.  To the contrary, Andy Roddick stepped up to the plate and in facing Federer, the two had a final to rival last year’s epic.  Federer had to out ace Roddick, required 95 minutes and 30 games in the fifth set before coming away with the victory and a record setting 15 majors.  In July, Federer supplanted Nadal at the top of the ATP’s ranking list.  Brimming with confidence, Federer appeared unstoppable and was a shoe-in for a sixth consecutive  title in New York.

At the U.S. Open, Federer battled Del Potro in the final.  With this being the latter’s maiden major final, jitters were more likely than not to play a pivotal role.  In spite of his youth, Del Potro demonstrated that he is a quick study.  After a devastating lost to Federer in the French semifinals, down two sets to one, Del Potro carried a tiebreaker and showed up Federer in the fifth set to capture his initial major. Del Potro closed 2009 as the world’s fifth best player and is a definite threat to take over the top spot in 2010.

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Reflections on WTA 2009

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Reflections on WTA 2009


img_1710It’s that time of year when we look back at what transpired on the women’s tour over the past season and view ahead at the upcoming year.  Here’s a recap of the great, the good and the down right ugly moments from 2009.

Last year, in many respects, can be characterized as bizarre. The majors commenced with a meltdown by Dinara Safina as Serena Williams thrashed her in the Australian Open final.  Months later after sensational results at lead up tournaments, Safina, newly crowned world number one, had another breakdown in the French Open final vis-à-vis Svetlana Kuznetsova.  As such, Kuznetsova grabbed the second major of her career.

At the All England Club, after Serena survived a riveting semifinal match against Elena Dementieva, she faced Venus in the finals for the second consecutive year.  However, this go around, Serena bested big sister to capture 2009′s third major.  Also a favorite to step to the finals at the U.S. Open, Serena encountered two stumbling blocks, her emotions and  Kim Clijsters.

After fulfilling her desire to procreate, Clijsters discovered that her retreat from tennis had left a void.  Thus, following a two year absence, Clijsters once again embraced the game. Subsequent to some impressive triumphs, Clijsters took on Serena in the semifinals. The weather may have been in part culpable, more likely though, it was Clijsters’ superb touch that got under Serena’s skin as a foot fault by a line judge roused Serena’s anger.  Unsavory words by Serena caused a point penalty with Clijsters having match point.  A day later, Clijsters went on to rope the U.S. Open trophy, the second major of her career.

Leading the pack of names that captivated the tour in 2009 is Dane Caroline Wozniacki.  The teenager became her country’s first competitor to reach a major final. Although downed by Clijsters, after starting the year in the top 20, Wozniacki closed 2009 at number 4.  Belarusian Victoria Azarenka continued her march in the right direction.  Azarenka demolished Serena at the Sony Ericsson Open to catch the biggest title of her career.

On the other hand, for the Serbs, it was  a year of sliding backward. Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion and former world number one, had trouble directing her forehand and serve. With neither stroke on the money, Ivanovic did not get pass the fourth round at any of the majors. Ivanovic reached one final, Indian Wells, but failed to hoist the trophy. Fed up, Ivanovic put a punctuation to her season in October and her ranking tumbled to 21st.  Number one at the start of the year, Jelena Jankovic, fared a little better than Ivanovic by collecting two titles.  However, Jankovic was equally a disappointment at the majors with only a round of 16 appearance in Paris and Melbourne.

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Del Potro Rides Out Roddick In D.C. Final

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Del Potro Rides Out Roddick In D.C. Final


img_9960On the hottest day this week at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, upgraded to ATP 500, world number 6 and defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro took on top seed and world number 5 Andy Roddick in the finals.  In a captivating three set battle, Del Potro prevailed 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, becoming the first man since Andre Agassi in 1998-1999 to seize back to back trophies.

Despite Del Potro being in the top ten since June 2008, this was only their second meeting.  After Roddick sent a forehand into the net to give Del Potro a break point, with clutch serving, Andy held. Although Del Potro carried his first service game easily, at 1-2, great defense by Roddick contributed to Del Potro’s lob going long  which put the score at deuce. Even though Del Potro protected serve, Roddick appeared to be making headways.  After three successive aces pulled Andy ahead 3-2, Del Potro netted a forehand to hand Roddick double break point. Then,  Juan Martin gift wrapped the game with a double fault.  With a 4-2 edge, two decent service games was all Roddick required to secure the first set.

At the start of the second set, Del Potro recovered from 15-30 down to seal his game with a backhand volley winner. After a strong first game, serving at 1-2, Roddick double faulted and with a forehand winner Del Potro had a chance at 0-30.  But, Roddick responded with superb serves and forehand winners. However, serving at 3-4, a forehand crosscourt winner and excellent defense by Del Potro provoked two backhand volley errors, so Roddick faced triple break point.  Del Potro converted when Roddick’s backhand traveled out of bounds.  Yet, serving for the set, Del Potro misjudged a return which dropped in for a winner. Then, with an overhead winner, Roddick had break point.  Andy was back in the set when Juan Martin double faulted. But, after equalizing and Del Potro held for 6-5, Roddick committed three backhand miscues to send the match into a third set.

After each guy guarded serve the first two games, Del Potro muffed an easy overhead giving Roddick a break chance. Juan Martin then donated another double fault for Andy’s 2-1 lead.  After Roddick consolidated and Del Potro had no trouble on serve, the Argentine made two deep returns which resulted in backhand errors from Roddick and connected on a forehand down the line for triple break point.  When Roddick double faulted, the set was squared at 3 all. Hence forth, the two cruised on serve with the exception of Roddick’s small window at 15-30 and 4 all.  The set went to a tiebreaker.  Del Potro went ahead a mini-break 2-1 when Roddick sliced a backhand long.  They stayed on serve and with an ace for 6-3, Del Potro had three match points.  After Roddick held serve for 6-5, Del Potro misfired on a forehand after a sensational return by Roddick for 6 all.  But, an ace out wide earned Del Potro another match point.  On a second serve, Del Potro thumped a forehand crosscourt winner. Once Hawkeye technology confirmed the umpire’s ruling, Del Potro collected his second title of 2009.

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Gonzo Guns For Second Legg Mason Final

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Gonzo Guns For Second Legg Mason Final


lmtc_logo_mediumAt the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Fernando Gonzalez used his big forehand to harass Tommy Haas giving him a 7-5, 6-4 victory.  Now, Gonzalez is one match away from making his second final appearance at a tournament where he  made his ATP debut a decade ago.   After the match, Gonzalez sat down to answer questions and MiamiTennisNews had a few it wanted addressed.

You were so close to getting to the final of another major in Paris.   Is there any part of your game you feel you need to work on that will help you get there as you did a couple of years ago?
“I don’t think that there’s anything really I have to change about my game which was demonstrated by the fact that I was so close in Paris. For sure I have to keep improving things. I don’t know, perhaps working more on my serve and net play, but all this gives me peace of mind”.

Your most successful year was 2007, in that you reached the Australian Open final with coach Larry Stefanki, why did the two of you part ways?
“[First of all ] Larry is a great coach and I was with him many years . [However], Larry and I had a major problem, he lives in California and I in Chile….So, I am very grateful for all that he thought me and I have a great respect for him.”

Turning to the semifinals where Juan Martin Del Potro will be his opponent, the last time the two met was the 2007 Australian Open.   As far as Gonzalez is concerned, Del Potro is a “different player”. Regardless, there is a level of comfort in knowing “[one] has a winning record” against the other guy.

Commenting on the atmosphere to be expected with his being Chilean and Del Potro Argentinean, would there be any tension?  Gonzalez cited “there may be a rivalry between countries, [but not between us players].  Juan Martin and I are really good friends. It should be a good match and should be fun”.

After Wimbledon, Gonzalez took four weeks off due to tendonitis in his right knee. Gonzalez said that the lesion is not as severe as Rafael Nadal’s. With rest and treatment, he has been lucky that the knee has been responding.  Thus, he hopes his good run will continue through the remainder of season.

Concerning his forehand, Gonzalez was asked the secret to that stroke being “such a weapon”.   Gonzalez answered “I don’t have fear if I miss. If you don’t take a risk, you don’t miss.”  In other words, one has to be willing to gamble.

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Roddick Meets The Press In D.C.

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Roddick Meets The Press In D.C.


img_9890After a prolong absence due to injury, Andy Roddick returns to competitive play at the Legg Mason Classic.  The three time champion at this ATP 500 event held a news conference this afternoon.  As expected, there were a flurry of questions regarding his disappointing lost at Wimbledon.  But the feeling was that Roddick is ready to move to a new chapter and that is his U.S. Open  campaign.

First off, Roddick made it clear that he has recuperated from the hip injury and does not view it as an issue in the upcoming weeks. Roddick cited that with his being off the court for a few weeks that he ” doesn’t expect to pick up where [he] left off a month ago”.  For him, it will be a step by step process with the intention of peaking at the last major of the year.  Regardless, Andy would like to get into the winning column again and to take it from there.

Turning to Wimbledon, for Roddick, it’s difficult to compartmentalize Wimbledon from the rest of year, in part because the media have been fixated on that.  However, Andy iterated that Wimbledon in essence was the reaping of the hard work that he put in all year.   This has been evident with the results he has posted since January. With Wimbledon, “I don’t know if I gained confidence from that [final].. Although it does help”, Andy emphasized that it has been “building all year”.

Contrary to what people might think, Roddick does not focus on the backhand volley that he missed since it was a lot harder than it appeared:  “I thought it was going long, and reacted late.. It wasn’t like I was trying to hit a ball to the ocean from the beach and missed.  To be honest, I have not thought about it that much. . .  [The defeat was]  yep heartbreaking, at the same time, not a lot of people get to play for that title. . . That part is never lost on me.  Ten seconds after the final I still realized that it’s pretty special thing”. Although Andy admits ” it hurts losing after two weeks of hard work, knowing that your defeat came at the hand of a player that will probably go down as the best ever, it does help”.  When asked if he would like to face Federer again, Roddick responded in the affirmative since it would mean that he is deep into the draw. Yet,  Roddick’s approach is not to look too far ahead.

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Keep Plugging Away Andy, You’ll Get There

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Keep Plugging Away Andy, You’ll Get There


img_3407After Roger Federer’s gut wrenching loss in the Wimbledon final last year, I felt obligated to impart on him some words of wisdom. This year, Andy Roddick was the one to draw the short straw in one of the most mesmerizing major matches ever.  Deluded as it may seem, I would like to believe that my advice has contributed in some minute form to the success that Federer has been basking in of late.  Considering that Roddick is a compatriot, I feel bound to take a crack at pushing him in the right direction.

Andy,

I hope you don’t regard it as disrespectful the liberty that I am taking in referring to you on a first name basis.   After all, I have followed your career for many years and for that reason I feel a kinship on some level. I must confess though that through your nine years on the ATP, our relationship has been tepid.  After making a big splash at U.S. Open in 2003, your results at the majors have been spastic. Disappointments after disappointments have caused me with time to consider you, as the Spanish maxim goes, ‘as a zero to the left’. From my viewpoint, a revolving door of coaches indicated that  you were unwilling to listen to the counsel of others.  As such, this left me doubting as to your capability of ever becoming champion at a major. Your performance a couple of weeks back at Wimbledon demonstrated your desire to succeed is still great and it not only reenergized your fans but gained you some new ones.

Effort has never been one of your faults.   Although in the past, your game has lacked focus.  In hiring Larry Stefanki and heeding his advice, you have retooled your game and developed other weapons to back up your powerful serve. Your forehand has always been solid and your play at net adequate.  However, by strengthening and reinventing your backhand  crosscourt and down the line, some of your strokes were purely sublime, you showed that your game can still evolve.  More importantly, you revealed in the finals that you are a thinker on the court in choosing the most intelligent shots.  You took risks when the situation warranted it, while restraining yourself. In the past panic may have ambushed your decision making.  Federer may have gained his record 15th major, but you gave him a fight to remember.

Complements at this time may appear hollow and shallow since you don’t have the Wimbledon trophy on your mantle. Whilst, it may be healthy to reflect on what could have been, the worse thing you can do is dwell.  For many seasons, you have walked through the draw with others expecting very little from you.  I would like to think that in the long run, this match will leave a positive influence.  As such, perhaps, the sanest approach is to regard this year as one of rehabilitation.  So keep working at it Andy, your major will come.

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A Tribute To Federer

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A Tribute To Federer


July 2009

This month’s video provides a tribute to Roger Federer’s sixth Wimbledon title. Federer captured his 15th Major Title making him the most successful male player in the Open Era.

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Tennis Eminence:  Federer Regains Wimbledon With Record 15th Major

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Tennis Eminence: Federer Regains Wimbledon With Record 15th Major


img_0461The Wimbledon championship was the scene for round 21 of world number two, Swiss Roger Federer, versus world number six, American Andy Roddick. For the second consecutive year, the men’s final had one exhausting superlatives as Federer vanquished Roddick in a five set marathon 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 for his sixth Wimbledon prize and a record setting fifteen majors.

Roddick baptized the match by blasting away on serve and holding for 1-0. Federer, no slouch himself, kept up on serve. After neither neared the other’s serve, at 5 all, Roddick appeared on the verge of cracking. With two inexplicable errors, Roddick faced 0-30. But with two explosive serves, Andy forced Roger to miss. Yet, in the first long rally of the match, 18 strokes, Federer dipped a forehand so low that Roddick made a forehand error giving the Swiss his first break point. Still, with his star stroke, the serve, Roddick escaped. Federer got three more chances; however, Roddick came up with the answers each time and took the lead 6-5. Now, it became conspicuous to Federer that there was a new nuance to Roddick’s game. Although the serves were still coming at ungodly speed, Federer’s customary tactic of blocking them back was futile because of variety and placement. Furthermore, Roddick’s weaker stroke, the backhand, was producing winners either down the line or crosscourt, a novelty to Federer. These developments contributed to Federer slicing a backhand and forehand up the line long to give Roddick break point and subsequently the set.

In the second set, Roddick continued his brilliant play, volleying well from both wings. But, Federer’s shot making ability was also on display as he tracked down a Roddick dropshot and flicked it crosscourt for a backhand winner in a  23 stroke rally to hold for 5 all. No break point on sale by either man, the set went to a tiebreaker. A forehand error by Federer handed Roddick a mini-break for 2-0. Andy got a second mini-break and a 5-1 edge when Federer pushed a backhand down the line long. The Swiss appeared on his way to a two set deficit. Federer saved the first set point with a backhand crosscourt winner on Roddick’s serve. After Federer protected his serve, Roddick missed a backhand volley which leveled the tiebreaker at 6 all. Then, Federer provoked a volley error from Roddick with a low backhand to earn set point which the Swiss converted when the American’s backhand sailed long.

After the previous set’s disappointment, Roddick could have wilted away. To the contrary, with a forehand down the line winner, Roddick salvaged his first service game and carried his second at love. Serving at 2-3, Roddick sliced a backhand long donating to Federer a break point. Yet, with a great body serve, Andy got back on track and eventually rescued the game. With each player’s tactical acumen spot on, the proprietor of the set was settled by a tiebreaker. With a low backhand slice, Federer forced a backhand error from Roddick to go up a mini-break at 2-1. Subsequently, with Roddick netting a forehand, Federer extended his lead by two mini-breaks at 5-2. Roddick got one back with a forehand crosscourt winner and held serve for 5-6. However, Andy could not steal the set as Roger had done the second as Federer spoiled Roddick’s plan with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Again, there was cause to believe that Roddick’s 19th lost to Federer, his third at Wimbledon, was at hand. Yet, Andy’s body language did not waver. After each man was slightly tested on serve, holding at 40-30, Roddick held at love for 2-1. As Federer sliced backhand found the net and with Roddick converting a backhand volley winner, the American had double break point. When Federer misfired on volley off a sensational backhand pass, Andy had the break and a 3-1 lead. Despite a tough game, Roddick consolidated for 4-1. Although Federer pressured Roddick’s serve, he never achieved a deuce point. With a service unreturnable, Roddick pushed Federer to a fifth set.

After Federer held serve to start, with a backhand crosscourt pass, the Swiss had his first break point in a while. With a stellar first serve, Roddick induced a forehand return error and later equalized the set at 1 all. The subsequent seven games were an exhibition of masterful shots with winners and intelligent serving from both competitors. At 4-5, Roddick produced a forehand winner and an ace for the tie. Then at 5-6, the American squared things off with a down the line backhand pass. With no tiebreaker in the deciding set, the two played on. After Federer miscalculated a forehand crosscourt and a net court dropped for a winner for Roddick, at 30 all, the American seemed to have an opening. However, with a forehand up the line winner and a tremendous serve, Federer pulled ahead 7-6. With games at a premium, both players cruised on serve. At 8 apiece, Roddick blasted a forehand crosscourt winner. Then, with fabulous defense and another backhand down the line winner, Andy attained double break point. But, Federer came up with some dandy shots to ward off Roddick. As the set progressed, neither player retreated. Serving at 12-13 and 40-15, Roddick made a backhand error while Federer converted a forehand crosscourt for deuce. With two bombastic serves, Roddick protected serve. After Federer forged ahead 15-14 with a love game, Roddick committed two errors on deep returns by Federer. But once again, Roddick got to game point because of his dynamic serve. Although Roddick’s backhand crosscourt mistake led to deuce, with a backhand error, Federer gave Roddick a second chance to hold. However, when Roddick made a forehand up the line error on a mishit return by Federer, the American faced championship point. Considering Federer was 0 for 6 on break point conversion, the odds seemed in Roddick’s corner. Despite a good serve, Roddick had a forehand mid-court go long dashing his dream of a first Wimbledon title.

To count Andy out, Roger needed 4 hours and 16 minutes, 95 minutes for the fifth alone, the most number of games in any major final by far, 50 aces, more than 100 winners and as Federer himself admitted “ a little luck at the end”. As Pete Sampras looked on, Roddick did his best to “hold [Federer] off” and stop Roger from surpassing Sampras at 14 majors. With this win, Federer reclaims the number one ranking. However, he acknowledges there’s a footnote since Rafael Nadal could not defend his title. Federer achieved another rarity in tennis as Nadal did last year, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back.

After last year’s thrilling five set final between Nadal and Federer, no tennis fan could have dreamt that a similar spectacle would be repeated today. Once again, with this kind of unforgettable and mesmerizing performance, it almost makes one wish that the winner’s trophy could be severed in half.

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Nestor and Zimonjic Defend Wimbledon Title By Toppling Bryan Brothers While Williams Sisters Also Repeat

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Nestor and Zimonjic Defend Wimbledon Title By Toppling Bryan Brothers While Williams Sisters Also Repeat


img_9036As the top men doubles team squared off in the Wimbledon final, second seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic defeated number one seeds Mike and Bob Bryan 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 to maintain their title. Moreover, after Serena Williams secured her eleventh major, she partnered with sister Venus to defeat Australians Rennae Stubbs and Samantha Stosur 7-6, 6-4 for their fourth Wimbledon doubles title.

After Bob Bryan put away a volley to hold at love, Zimonjic made short work on his serve to equalize things at 1 all. This was the pattern in the first set, with neither team getting close to deuce. Thus, the tiebreaker was called upon. With Mike double faulting, the opposition got up a mini-break for 3-1. However, when Zimonjic’s backhand volley sailed long, the teams were leveled at 5 all. After Zimonjic put away an overhead for set point, Mike’s volley found the bottom of the net giving the second seeds the lead.

Second set was a duplicate of the first as neither team could dent the other’s service game. The tiebreaker was required anew. This time with excellent volleying for winners, the Bryan brothers carried the set.

In the third set with Mike serving, a Bryan missed volley gave their rival their first break point of the match. Still, with a couple of service return errors, the Bryans held. Despite hairier games from both sides, neither team buckled. Another tiebreaker was in order. After Zimonjic and Nestor jumped ahead on the first point with a mini-break, the Bryans were unable to recover. The defending champions took a two set to one advantage. After Zimonjic held to start the fourth, his forehand return winner denied Bob game point. Subsequently, with two errors by the Bryans, the opposition edged in front 2-0. The next game with Nestor serving, a forehand down the line winner by Mike gave the Bryans double break point. But with three successive aces, Nestor scratched out any opportunity the Bryans had of closing the gap. With Zimonjic serving for the championship at 5-3, a couple of double faults gave the Bryans hope. However, with a couple of aces, Zimonjic clamped the door giving the second seed their second consecutive title.

A similar story was replayed as Serena and Venus took on the Australians. After break point chances were wasted, the first set was settled by a tiebreaker. With a topspin lob winner by Serena, the Williams built a substantial lead at 4-1. Then, with a volley winner, Venus sealed the set.

To open the second set, Stosur double faulted and with a backhand crosscourt winner from Venus, the Aussies faced love-30. Still, by forcing volleying errors, Stosur pulled out the game. With Stubbs serving at 1 all, with a forehand volley winner from Venus and a Stosur overhead going wide, the Americans erased double game point. Subsequently, Venus and Serena earned three break points which were erased by superb volleying from their counterparts. Nevertheless, there was a sense that the Americans were getting the upper hand. In the seventh game, Venus cranked with a forehand volley winner for 0-15. Afterwards, some crucial errors by the Aussies and a double fault gave the Americans break point. Serena capitalized by converting a backhand volley winner. Then, Venus consolidated by holding serve for 5-3. With Stosur saving match point, Serena was called upon to wrap up the championship. On the third match point, Serena produced an ace. This was the culmination of a fortnight dominated by the Williams’ whereby they even eliminated the top doubles team of Liezel Huber and Cara Black in the semifinals.

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