Tag Archive | "Youzhny"

ATP Australian Open Early Round Rewind

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ATP Australian Open Early Round Rewind


img_0642_mcAfter one week of play, the cream of the ATP has risen to the top at the Australian Open.   Although some had a tougher road than others, eight of the top seeds are still in the hunt.  Here’s a look back at the tournament’s key moments to date.

In the first round, Igor Andreev’s forehand gave world number one Roger Federer all sorts of headache.  After stealing the first set, Andreev was just one forehand winner away from serving for a two set to one lead.  When Andreev’s shot sailed long, so did his opportunity at an upset.  Thereafter, Federer cruised through his matches.

Another difficult challenge lays ahead for Federer in the fourth round in Aussie Lleyton Hewitt who will have the support of the crowd.  Still, Federer is favored in that match.  Should Federer advance, his tasks gets more complicated since he could face Nikolay Davydenko in the quarters, a man who has beaten him their last two meetings.

While Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist last year, struggled through his first round match then benefited from a retirement his last round;  Davydenko, his fourth round opponent, has been in peak form through three rounds.  If Davydenko moves on to the quarterfinals, Federer’s streak of 22 consecutive majors semifinal will be in serious jeopardy.

An astounding fatality in the first round was French Open finalist, Robin Soderling. Playing Marcel Granollers ranked 113, Soderling let a two set to none advantage evaporate.  Current U.S. Open champ Juan Martin Del Potro who has been dealing with a wrist injury also made an early exit. After defeating James Blake in a thrilling second round match, in the fourth round, Del Potro fought hard but came up short against Marin Cilic in another five setter.  Cilic who has now gotten to the quarterfinals in the last two majors will battle Andy Roddick.

Although Roddick has been pushed with each passing round, he’s had the answers.  After straight sets wins in rounds one and two, Roddick required four sets against Feliciano Lopez, then five versus Fernando Gonzalez, the Australian Open 2007 finalist and his coach’s former pupil. If Roddick aces the Cilic exam, it will be either Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray his next nemesis.

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Tsonga Ends Youzhny’s Great Run by Taking Japan Open Title

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Tsonga Ends Youzhny’s Great Run by Taking Japan Open Title


img_0514The finals of Japan Open, an ATP 500 event, pinned Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the second seed, against Russian Mikhail Youzhny, a surprising finalist.  Both men were trying to win their fifth career title and become the first conqueror of this tournament from their country.  Tsonga came out on top 6-3, 6-3 over Youzhny to claim his third title of 2009.

With U.S. Open reigning champion Juan Martin Del Potro ousted in the first round, Tsonga as the highest remaining seed had a load on his shoulders.  In addition, the Frenchman had his work cut out for him considering how well Youzhny had been playing.  The Russian defeated third seed Gilles Simon, fifth seed and defending champion Tomas Berdych and eight seed Lleyton Hewitt. Moreover, Youzhny was parched for a trophy with his last being in January 2008.  After each person held his opening service game, Youzhny had the initial opportunity to break when Tsonga sent a forehand wide. Yet, despite difficulties, Tsonga pulled off the game with expertly located serves and a forehand volley winner for 2-1.  By steadying his backhand, up to that juncture, Youzhny kept his opponent on his heel.  But, after Tsonga captured a service game at love for 4-3, Youzhny failed to connect on first serves and with a couple of backhand unforced errors was in a double break point hole.  When the Russian misfired on the forehand up the line, the Frenchman had a 5-3 lead.  Then at 40-0, Tsonga threw in an ace to wrap up the set.

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Sunrise About To Rise And Shine For The BMW Tennis Championship

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Sunrise About To Rise And Shine For The BMW Tennis Championship


bmw_tennis_champ_logoFor the sixth year in a row, the Sunrise Tennis Club will be the setting for the BMW Tennis Championship, an ATP challenger tour event. The competition will run from March 15 thru 22. Some of the world’s best players will be on hand displaying their skills on the hardcourt.

The 32 men singles field will consist of 22 direct acceptances, 4 wildcard spots, yet to be determined, and 6 disputed qualifying slots. Spaniard Feliciano Lopez ranked 34th , who aided his country this past year to a Davis Cup title, will be in attendance as well as 2008 Wimbledon quarterfinalist and world number 30, Germany’s Rainer Schuettler. Israeli Dudi Sela, who was instrumental last week in helping his nation advance to the quarterfinals in Davis Cup by defeating Sweden, will also appear. Other recognizable names scheduled to take the court include Jeremy Chardy and Marc Gicquel of France, Russian Mikhail Youzhny, Italian Simone Bolelli, Serb JankoTipsarevic and American Bobby Reynolds. Moreover, 16 doubles team will be vying to claim the tournament’s top prize.

The BMW Tennis Championship boasts a distinguished list of former winners: Frenchman Gael Monfils in 2007 and Russian Dmitry Tursunov in 2006 to signal a couple. For the first year,  MiamiTennisBlog.com will be on the grounds bringing you live coverage.

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USA Cleans Switzerland’s Clock In The First Round Of The Davis Cup


In Davis Cup play, Andy Roddick has been unflappable. Today, America’s ace in the hole hammered Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth rubber 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to book his team’s place in the quarterfinals. Moreover, Roddick becomes second only to John McEnroe on the U.S. all-time Davis Cup winning list.

With Swiss cowbells ringing, Wawrinka won the first game with a forehand volley. Thereafter, things got sticky pretty fast for the Swiss. In two subsequent service games, Wawrinka went down love-30 and also faced a break point. Still, with a few unforced errors by Roddick, Wawrinka held serve. However, it was just a matter of time before Stanislas had to pay the piper. The debt came due in the seventh game. When Wawrinka missed a crosscourt backhand, Roddick got his second break point. Then, with a little luck, Roddick’s stroke skidded off the line, leading to a backhand error from Wawrinka and the break advantage. With his overpowering serve, Roddick grabbed the set.

The initial game of the second set was a replay of the first. Again, Wawrinka held serve for 1-0 with a forehand crosscourt volley winner. But, after Roddick cruised through his service game, Wawrinka was in dire straights afresh. With a backhand down the line winner and a volley error by his adversary, Andy had double break point. When Stanislas misconnected on an overhead, Roddick jumped ahead 2-1. The Swiss was irate, slamming his racket to the ground because he felt that the ball bounced twice on the American’s previous stroke. Except, there was no conclusive evidence that this was the case. In fact, Andy appeared to have trapped the ball. Thus, Wawrinka’s and the Swiss team’s protest fell on deaf ears. With Roddick able to neutralize Wawrinka’s masterful stroke, the backhand, and with the Swiss forced to sure up his least comfortable shot, the forehand; one break was enough for Roddick to capture the second set.

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So Nice to Be On Grass: Federer Claims Fifth Title in Halle


After the fiasco in the finals of the French Open last week, Roger Federer was probably relieved to be back on grass. The world number one extended his winning streak on that surface to 59 by beating hometown boy, Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-3, 6-4 at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.

With the crowd in his corner, Kohlschreiber was inspired and played well. In the first set, the German kept up with Federer and actually had the opportunity to go up a break in the third game. Unfortunately for him, Federer served his way out of trouble. Federer’s variety, his most potent asset, proved overwhelming for Kohlschreiber. Eventually, Roger got the upper hand in the first set with a break 5-3. With a strong service game, Roger closed out the set.

Early on in the second set, Federer had a few chances to break. Yet, the German found a way to pull through. While serving at 3-3, Kohlschreiber once again lost his way which allowed Federer to take the lead 4-3. Nevertheless, with the spectators urging him on after a double fault, the German extended the match to 4-5. In the end, with a powerful service game, Federer closed out the match to secure the championship.

With his atrocious record against top ten competitors 8-18, Kohlschreiber beating James Blake, the second seed, in the semifinals was a surprise. Federer appeared in tip-top shape throughout the tournament with straight sets victories over every opponent he faced. Hopefully, this title will heal some of Federer’s latest wounds and help him regain the confidence he has been lacking the last few months. With Nadal’s first title on grass in Artois coming also today, the gauntlet has been thrown. Should these two meet in the finals at Wimbledon, Nadal may have the psychological edge and that may be the deciding factor in the match.

On the doubles side, after Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, the number one seed, lost in the second round, the draw opened up. The finals came down to the number four seeds, Leander Paes /Lukas Dhouly and the unseeded team of Mikhail Youzhny /Mischa Zverev. The latter prevailed in the three sets.

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The Mighty Have Fallen: Federer, Nadal Ousted


For the first time since the 2005 Australian Open, where Marat Safin was victorious, a major’s trophy will be engraved with a name other than that of Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. The projected clash between these two in the Australian final was unceremoniously interrupted by two of the game’s young tikes, Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

If Federer is not one with the tennis gods, he is certainly their favorite son. He has been a constant at the last ten major’s final. From the opening rounds, Federer, the world’s number one, appeared a little out of sort and off his game. In the third round, he needed five sets, since he converted only 5 of 21 break point chances, to fight off a stubborn opponent, Janko Tipsarevic 6-7,7-6,5-7,6-1,10-8. In the Round of 16, Thomas Berdych also proved to be a tough competitor even though Federer escaped with a straights set win 6-4,7-6,6-3. Against James Blake in the quarterfinals, again Federer advanced in straight sets, but it was obvious that Blake had the answers to some of Federer’s shots that were troublesome in the past. Blake broke Federer’s serve a few times, resulting in a far closer match 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 than the latter would have preferred.

Where his colleagues had failed, Djokovic succeeded, beating Federer in the semifinals. The two played in the finals at last year’s U.S Open where Djokovic lost in straight sets; clearly, the moment was overwhelming for the young player. But in Australia, after being initially irritated by his poor play and unsatisfied with his racket tension, (Djokovic switched his gear several times), Novak settled down and broke Federer as he served to secure the first set. From that point on, the dynamics of the match changed as Djokovic continually applied pressure on Roger’s serve and guarded his own. Djokovic, ranked third, was on fire the entire tournament. In fact, up to then, he had won all his matches in straight sets including against Lleyton Hewitt ranked 19 and David Ferrer ranked 5. Overall, Djokovic just looked a few steps faster than Federer, even “borrowing” shots from his opponent’s arsenal. In short, Djokovic made the normally extraordinary play of the world’s number one appear ordinary with a straights set win 7-5,6-3, 7-6. Thus, Djokovic will be making his second consecutive major final appearance.


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