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US OPEN SERIES ROGERS CUP: Tsonga Chalks Up Quarterfinal Win, Awaits Djokovic In Semis

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after his win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro

(L-R) Nicolas Almagro and Tsonga
A day after knocking out two-time Rogers Cup champion Roger Federer, Tsonga delivered another strong performance, dismissing the eighth-seeded Almagro in one hour and 28 minutes.

The Frenchman won 70 per cent of his service points, and saved three break points in the final game to lock up the quarter-final win. The victory increased Tsonga’s undefeated record against Almagro to a 5-0 mark. "I was a bit tired today. I lacked energy. The match yesterday took a lot of stamina, and today my energy level was low," admitted Tsonga. "Therefore, I decided to focus on only a number of return games and try to focus on holding my serve. It was a way for me to save the energy I had left, not playing hard every game."

Tsonga is into the semi-finals for the second time at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Canada, after reaching the final four in Montreal two years ago. The 26 year old is looking to win his first title in 2011, having finished runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and the AEGON Championships in London (l. to Murray). Tsonga's biggest title to date came on home soil, when he claimed the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris three years ago (d. Nalbandian).

The World No. 16 and Djokovic have met eight times, and Tsonga holds a 5-3 edge. Djokovic won their most recent meeting, defeating the Frenchman in four sets in the Wimbledon semi-finals. "The last match was very close, very intense, very important for both of us," Djokovic said. "He's been playing better in last couple of months. I think he increased his level. He's and all around player. He can play pretty well on all surfaces. He has a big serve. If he serves well, he can beat anybody. He showed that in previous couple of tournaments.

"So it's going to be tough one. It's a fast surface. I need to return well and hope that I can get some chances."

Photos by Getty Images


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WIMBLEDON DAY 7: Tsonga Shines As He Advances To Quarterfinals... His Reward?... Roger Federer

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues his exuberant celebration, and as well he should after winning on Day 7 of the 2001 Wimbledon Championships.

Spaniard David Ferrer
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga let his tennis do the talking when he sailed into the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year running with a masterful destruction of seventh seeded David Ferrer. The Frenchman was relentless in his assault on the Spaniard, blasting him off the court 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(1) in two hours and three minutes.

Tsonga made headlines recently when he posed nude in a bid to raise awareness about cancer but on court all eyes were fixed on his sparkling play that left Ferrer seeking solutions but unable to find them.

While Ferrer had comfortably beaten Tsonga on their only previous meeting on the clay of Rome last year, it was the Frenchman who began the duel in top gear. Blistering backhands and ferocious forehands were the bread and butter of his game, along with scintillating serves that regularly clocked the 135mph mark. Then there were the lucrative forays to the net. This was Tsonga at his very best and the man, quite simply, could not put a foot wrong.

 Not that Ferrer wasn't trying. In the beginning, he was matching the 26-year-old shot for shot until the fifth game of the opening set when he missed a backhand to give Tsonga the break. Just when you thought it impossible for Tsonga to hit the ball any harder, he did, coming up trumps with another winner.

The Spaniard was soon serving to stay in the set but a number of errors, including a double fault on the opening point, handed the Frenchman three set points. He only needed the one and closed out the set on a winning volley.

Tsonga's dazzling form continued in the second set and Ferrer began to crumble. The Frenchman broke and when the Spaniard netted a ball on the second set point there was a sense this was the beginning of the end for Ferrer. But the 29-year-old refused to bow out easily and upped the ante in the third.

By the sixth game, the rallies were hitting the 15-shot mark, much to the delight of the No.3 Court spectators and the set was forced to a tie-break. It was the Frenchman who reigned supreme when he raced to a 6-1 lead and converted the first match point with a breathtaking cross-court winner.

Tsonga may have won five hard court titles in his career but in this tournament he is demonstrating he is a strong contender on the SW19 lawns. He just has the small matter of six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to negotiate in the quarter finals...

Source: Wimbledon.org
Photos by Getty Images

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FRENCH OPEN: Go Gael!!! Monfils Prevails In 5 Sets, Into Quarterfinals

Monday, May 30, 2011

Frenchman Gael Monfils celebrates 5-set win over Spaniard David Ferrer.

ROLAND GARROS - Gael Monfils has a flair for the dramatic, and the last French contender in the men's singles certainly provided plenty of excitement in a charged-up 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6 win over Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer on Monday.

Monfils needed four match points to close the match out, but even though the Spaniard is known as one of the toughest men on tour, the 24-year-old out-gutted him when it mattered most.

He fought off a break point in the 13th game of the final set and after flubbing his first two match points with nervous ground strokes and watching Ferrer nail a flying down-the-line forehand winner on the third, Monfils played a brilliant final game and took the match with sliding forehand winner. The Parisian went wild, as did the sell-out crowd on Suzanne Lenglen.

"It's one of my best matches of my career," Monfils said. "Every time I have a tough fight here and I play five-setters here."

Rocky Road

The match was suspended for darkness after three hours on Sunday with Monfils leading 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 0-2. He had twisted his ankle in the final game but, after a rocky fourth set where he was not moving comfortably at all, he recovered nicely in the fifth.

Ferrer, who was attempting to reach his first Roland Garros semi-final, said that failing to convert the break point at 6-6 in the decider was crucial in the outcome of the match. "Maybe a bit of a stress and anxiety," said Ferrer. "I had three forehands that were off the court and also I was not perhaps focusing enough. I had this break point which unfortunately I couldn't control. I wanted to win this point, but I didn't do it."

Monfils had spent two months battling a wrist injury in the winter and early spring, but has been a force at Roland Garros almost regardless of his condition. He seems to have set up residence at Suzanne Lenglen court where he has pulled off some monumental victories.

"I don't know if it's my favourite court - I like them both - Chatrier and Lenglen," he said. "But whatever the time, whatever the court, whenever I'm in Roland, I love playing."

Big Test To Come

Monfils will face no.3 Roger Federer in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, to whom he lost in the semi-finals in 2008 and in the quarter-finals in 2009. While he knows that he has a huge task ahead, Monfils did score a win over the Swiss great last autumn in Bercy.

"It's a different match altogether," he said. "People don't talk about Roger a lot, but he's had very easy wins against all his opponents since the beginning of this tournament. So it's going to be a very difficult match, even more difficult than the ones I played in the past.

"It does matter for me, knowing I managed to beat him here in [Bercy]. It's going to be favourable because it's going to help me relax more. This is something I knew in the past, but I also thought he played better than I did. I was also younger in my head, so it's going to be a bit different this time."

Photos ©FFT

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Ailing Monfils Upset In Johannesburg

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils vs. Feliciano Lopez South African Open SemifinalGael Monfils, France

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils vs. Feliciano Lopez South African Open SemifinalJOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Feliciano Lopez of Spain and Stephane Robert of France advanced to the final of the SA Open on Saturday after eliminating the two highest-seeded players in the tournament.

Lopez upset top-seeded Gael Monfils of France 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), while Robert ousted No. 2 David Ferrer of Spain 7-5, 6-4.

Monfils struggled in the second set after hurting his knee and was broken twice, winning just eight points on his serve.

"Gael outclassed me in the first set, and after he hurt his knee I was nervous because I wasn't sure to expect," Lopez said. "But I hung in well and played some good serve and volley tennis to take the second set. In the decider he looked to be back to 100 per cent on his feet and it was a close match until the tiebreaker where I just seemed to do everything right."

The 29-year-old Robert reached the first ATP Tour final of his career, having changed his style of play after returning to the game six months ago following a long bout of hepatitis that sidelined him for the previous 15 months.

"I had been all my life playing what I call casino tennis, hitting crazy shots, gambling with big shots and closing my eyes just hoping the ball would go in," the 100th-ranked Robert said. "I never got any better than about 160th in the world rankings with that approach and last August, when I came back to tennis after the illness, I had a long chat with my coach, Ronan Lafaix, who persuaded me to do things differently. He urged me to start focusing on one thing at a time, to concentrate harder than ever before and develop a precision game instead of my unreliable casino tennis."

"It just shows you that because I'm nearly 30 years old doesn't mean I'm over the hill," he said.

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Frenchman Josselin Ouanna Advances In French Open

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Josselin Ouanna 2009 French OpenTummy check!
Frenchman Josselin Ouanna puts his abs on display at Roland Garros.
(Photos by ©FFT)

Advancing to the second round of Roland Garros today, Frenchman Josselin Ouanna put his fighting spirit on display.

After winning the first set against Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, Granollers took the next two sets 6-2 and 6-3. Ouanna fought back through a fourth set tiebreak 77-62 to finally take the fifth set and the match 6-1.

Way to go Ouanna!

Black Tennis Pro's Josselin Ouanna 2009 French Open

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Serena's Andalusian Experience Gets Cultural

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, SpainSerena Williams, USA

American Serena Williams may have left the Andalucia Tennis Experience tournament, but not Marbella, Spain. According to the tournament website, she is fully taking advantage of her days in Marbella to get to know the Andalusian culture first hand. In a day dominated by sun and great climate, Serena did not want to miss the chance to follow a performance by horses from the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and enjoyed the dance of these thoroughbreds on the beach. Serena was delighted by their beautiful dance and didn't hesitate posing for a pictures with them.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, SpainBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, SpainBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, SpainBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, SpainBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, Spain
In the evening, flamenco was a central part of the official party of the AndalucĂ­a Tennis Experience first edition. During the performance, Serena was thrilled with how the dancers moved and accompanied them with hand clapping. Other famous faces to attend the show were Serbian, Jelena Jankovic, the Spanish medal winners in Peking, Virginia Ruano and Anabel Medina.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Marbella, Spain
Black Tennis Pro's Jelena Jankovic Marbella, SpainJelena Jankovic, Serbia (far right)

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Loss In Spain Leaves Serena At No. 2

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Andalucia Tennis Experience

Serena Williams, USA

Not only did American Serena Williams lose in the first round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, Spain on Wednesday, she will also fall out of the World No. 1 spot come Monday, April 20; Russian Dinara Safina will take over. Serena lost to Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Serena's left leg remained taped as it was in the Sony Ericsson Open Championship match on Saturday. Her movement appeared to be the same, and I can't imagine that the change of surface with very little practice helped. Although, had Serena been one hundred percent, she still would have had to contend with a very well prepared Zakopalova who was not having any trouble with the clay surface. Zakopalova's shots were nowhere near as powerful as Serena's, but her movement was better, and shot placement more accurate.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Andalucia Tennis ExperienceAfterwards Serena said, “I am very sad about my defeat, in every moment I wanted to play my best tennis, but due to my injury I could not perform better”.

Serena also stated that at no point had she regretted coming to the tournament and she profoundly regretted saying goodbye to her numerous fans in Spain.

Serena Williams Shopping In Marbella

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Shopping In MarbellaBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Shopping In MarbellaBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Shopping In Marbella

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On Court Candids From Spain With Serena Williams And Danielle Mills

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great shots directly from Marbella, Spain

American Serena Williams getting practice in on Tuesday prior to her first round match on Wednesday at the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, Spain.

American Danielle Mills with coach Alex Kodacs during qualifying.

American Madison Brengle defeated Mills in the second round of qualifying.

Photos by AnDrele From Spain

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It's Right Back To Work For James Blake And Serena Williams

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Andalucia Tennis ExperienceSerena Williams, USA

Americans Serena Williams and James Blake are right back into competition for the week of April 6.

World No. 1 Serena is shown above arriving at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella, Spain for the clay court Andalucia Tennis Experience that will run April 6-12.

Officials say that Serena showed visible signs of being tired and has drawn back to rest after her long distance flight from Miami. Everything points towards her first appearance at the tournament which will be on Wednesday.

World No. 17 Blake will be in action at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston Texas April 6-12. Blake has a 16-8 record at this tournament and has reached the quarterfinal round or better in six of his eight appearances.

This morning Americans Donald Young and Scoville Jenkins played one another in an attempt to qualify for the main draw. Jenkins came out on top with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Young.

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