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CONGRATULATIONS!! The Inimitable Roger Federer Wins 100th Title In Dubai

Saturday, March 2, 2019

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2019 DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Gael Monfils Into Thursday's Semi Finals

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday's 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi finals include No. 2 seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 6 Borna Coric and Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Monfils defeated Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3. Up next for Monfils is Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

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TWITTER FILES: Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina Just Want To Bring Greetings From Dubai.. Then The Best Video Bomb Ever Occurs

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015: Peerless and fearless: Serena and Venus Williams Chase a New Landmark

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The amazing sister act are still inspiring each other as they head for another improbable grand slam semi-final meeting at the Australian Open

Venus Williams ackowledges the fans after defeating Camila Giorgi of Italy in their third round match at the Australian Open.

(The Guardian) - Sisters, friends, survivors: all the strengths and virtues that Serena and Venus Williams have shown in adversity over the years arrived for them on day six of the 2015 Australian Open. However, after good wins from a set down against Elina Svitolina and Camila Giorgi respectively, there are a couple of formidable challenges immediately ahead for them if they are to collide in the semi-finals, which last happened in a slam at Wimbledon 15 years ago.

The day after Roger Federer left an unfillable space in the men’s draw following defeat to Andreas Seppi in the third round, there were some anxious moments on Saturday as Serena, the women’s favourite, had to fight from a set down to beat the tough young Ukrainian 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 on another hot, still day on Rod Laver Arena. A final withering forehand left Svitolina flailing at air to bring 96 minutes of struggle to an end. The scoreline told the story of a slow start, recovery and finishing flourish; a familiar pattern for Williams.

“She played really well, one to watch,” Williams said. “She made me work very hard. She kept hitting winners in the first set and there wasn’t much I could do. Then I heard so many people say: ‘Serena, Serena,’ and I thought you guys are really here for me. I looked up at the screen and saw Venus was 1-4 down and I thought: ‘Come on, we can do this.’ We really inspire each other.”

What an enigma the younger Williams sister is. Last year she failed to make even the quarters of three majors then won the US Open to take her career slams to 18 – one ahead of Federer, but, more pertinently, four behind Steffi Graf, who heads the women’s list in the Open era.

On Monday she plays the talented Spaniard GarbiΓ±e Muguruza, who put her out of the French Open last year and here beat the Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. “She’s had a really good win and I have nothing to lose,” Williams said. “I’ll do my best.”If that seemed false modesty on a grand scale, Serena has suffered enough shock defeats in recent years to be wary, although the tennis she produced in the third set resembled her awesome best.

Venus’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 win over the promising Giorgi continued her run of decent form and she seems to be in good health, which is always her priority since the auto-immune disease SjΓΆgren’s syndrome struck her three years ago. Her next opponent provides tougher opposition than Muguruza: the sixth seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, who impressed while beating Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-5 in an hour and a half, although the Uzbeki-American put up stern resistance in the second set, which lasted nearly an hour.

If Serena and Venus, who is seeded 18th, do meet in the semi-finals, they will resume the game’s greatest friendly rivalry. Since they first played each other on the tour in 1998, in the second round of the Australian Open (Venus won in two sets), they have met 25 times. Serena leads 14-11 overall and 6-2 in slams. This is the 29th time the sisters have made the fourth round of the same slam.

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova hold the all-time record for Open era slam matches with 14. It is unlikely, given their ages and career patterns, that the Williams sisters will get close to that number but the girls who hit their way out of a ghetto with their tennis rackets have reignited interest in one of the game’s remarkable stories. Venus, at 34 a year older than Serena, said later: “The years go by so fast. It’s definitely been a lot of work and a lot of learning and a lot of perseverance. It will continue to be that for me. Just have to come to terms with it.

“We talk about all the players we see that aren’t playing any more. We just can’t figure out how we’re still here. When you walk on that court, there is no such thing as age, height, any of that stuff. It’s really an even playing field. It’s a matter of can you get the ball in? Can you win the point or not? It doesn’t matter, any of these variables. That’s what they are: variables.

“I’ve been motivated by Serena since day one, since 1998 or 97 actually. She’s always been someone that anyone can learn from: the way she faces her life, the way she is fearless on the court. I probably take it a lot more to heart because she’s my sister and we’ve had the fortunate relationship, to be able to motivate each other and grow from each other. I don’t think I could have done the things I’ve done without her.”

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2013 U.S. Open Champion Rafa Nadal Hits Grand Slam Title No. 13

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 U.S. Open Champion Rafa Nadal chalks up his 13th Grand Slam Title

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal crowned his brilliant year by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the U.S. Open men's singles title at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

The number two ranked Spaniard added a second grand slam crown this season to his French Open triumph when the top-seeded Serb dumped a forehand into the net, sending Nadal down onto his back before rolling face down and sobbing in joy.

The triumph improved Nadal's career total to 13 grand slam wins, moving him one ahead of Australian Roy Emerson and into third on the all-time list behind Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

source: Yahoo Sports
Phots by: AP

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2012 US OPEN: Donald Young Suffers First Round Elimination

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

American Donald Young during 2012 US Open first round match again Switzerland's Roger Federer.

 American Donald Young did everything he could to stop the near-invincible, top-seed Roger Federer, but there was no stopping the world No. 1, who eased his way to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory in his opening round on Monday.

From the beginning, Young struggled with unforced errors and audibly voiced his frustration with everything from the windy conditions, to his inability to connect on the backhand wing, to the distracting stadium lights. But no matter what the problem was, an effortless Federer was just too good for a clearly dejected Young, who couldn't seem to solve the Federer puzzle.

The Olympic silver medalist dominated from the beginning, coming up with a winning answer for everything Young threw his way. Young, on the other hand, let his emotions get the better of him, constantly battling his own demons and allowing Federer to take control of the match.

With this loss, Young will drop from No. 81 in the rankings to around No. 120 when ATP rankings are released on Sept. 10.

Source: usopen.org
Photo by: Getty Images

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2011 U.S. OPEN DAY 8: Serena And Tsonga Into Quarterfinals, And Fortunately Beat The Rain

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

 Serena Williams, USA

Ana Ivanovic, Serbia
With good friend Spike Lee in attendance cheering her on, three-time US Open champion Serena Williams advanced to the quarterfinals on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 16 seed Ana Ivanovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I thought she played really well," Williams said of Ivanovic's performance. "I think we could have both played a little bit better 'cause of the conditions. But I think we were just both trying to do our best."

The 13-time major champion, yet to drop a set at the tournament, played a clean match in windy conditions. "It was crazy. I didn't even go for winners at any point," said Williams. "I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was like, Wow. It was definitely tough. But you just have to win in all kinds of situations."

Each player started the match off well, with the 28th seeded Williams firing an ace out wide to begin and Ivanovic crushing a cross-court return winner on the second point. But after Williams held, Ivanovic was shaky in her opening service game, hitting two double faults and floating a backhand long to hand the American the break.

The Serbian, however, showed signs of the form that saw her win the French Open and attain the No. 1 ranking in 2008. For a few games, she managed to control her nerves and broke back when trailing 3-1 on her second break point opportunity after Williams netted a backhand. At 30-30 in the following game, Ivanovic unleashed back-to-back first serves to even the set at 3-3.

From there though, Williams took full control of the match. A solid forehand put Williams up 4-3, and she broke the Serbian for a second time after Ivanovic tossed in a double fault. Leading 5-3, 40-15, Williams closed out the set with a strong forehand that the 23-year-old was unable to handle.

The 29-year-old American converted an early break in the second set and maintained her advantage the rest of the way through to notch her third victory in three meetings with the Serbian. Williams was solid in all areas of her game, finishing the match with nine aces, winning 83 percent of her first service points. She also had a positive winners-to-unforced errors ratio of 16 to 12 respectively. While Ivanovic struck 20 winners, she committed 29 unforced errors and also hit eight double faults in the 74-minute defeat.

Williams increased her 2011 undefeated hard-court record to a 16-0 mark, which includes titles at Stanford and Toronto, and advances to her ninth quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows. In the final eight, Williams will take on 17th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 20-year-old Russian, a former US Open junior champion, upended No. 7 seed Francesca Schiavone 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 41 minutes.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, USA

Mardy Fish, USA
Mardy Fish’s excellent summer is over.

In a match played in extremely complicated, swirling winds in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the top-ranked American surrendered a two-sets-to-one advantage to the athletic and charismatic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and finally ran out of steam in five long sets, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. The 3-hour, 45-minute match kept the massive night-session crowd at bay, shut out of Ashe and forced to congregate on the esplanade watching the big screen for more than an hour.

Through three sets, Fish appeared to have the advantage, using a focused and contained game, punctuated by frequent trips to the net to withstand that powerful artillery of the Frenchman. Yet Tsonga kept swinging freely and turned the match around in the fourth set with a crucial service break at 4-4.

Behind tremendous serves that routinely topped 130 mph and forehands that saw Tsonga lift off the ground to pummel the ball, the Frenchman hit through the windy conditions.

“The wind was really hard today,” Tsonga said. “You play against yourself, against your opponent. It’s really difficult.”

This was the first meeting between the two versatile veterans, who are still hoping for that elusive Grand Slam breakthrough. The Frenchman has more big-match experience, having been to the Australian Open final and the semis at Wimbledon.

Tsonga, 26, advanced to his first US Open quarterfinal by crunching 51 winners, including 12 aces. Although not known as a returner, the Frenchman crucially converted on four of six break-point opportunities.

The strong winds may have propelled both players – each of whom is known for his all-court game – toward the net even more than usual. It was an effective ploy for both Tsonga and Fish; together they attacked the net 121 times (with Tsonga winning 63 percent and Fish 69 percent of those points).

Fish began limping noticeably at the end of the fourth, and he was treated on court for a strained knee prior to the start of the final set. Tsonga immediately came out firing and seized the early break after a ricochet net rally that saw Fish push a backhand volley long, followed by a rifled forehand pass.

Tsonga has an excellent record in five-set matches, having now won seven of nine. He has been working with Andre Agassi's former trainer, Gil Reyes, who told him to “trust your legs and make it burn,” Tsonga said.
Appropriately enough on this Labor Day, he did. “Today I make it burn,” he said.

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U.S. OPEN SERIES WINSTON-SALEM OPEN: James Blake And Donald Young Advance Easily On Tournament Inaugural Day

Monday, August 22, 2011

James Blake, USA

The inaugural Winston-Salem Open, a new tournament on the ATP World Tour, got underway on Sunday with five matches on the schedule. Two of those first-round matches were played and won byAmericans James Blake and Donald Young.

Blake ran his record in the city to a perfect 7-0 on Sunday night as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-1 in his first-round match in the Winston-Salem Open. 

This came on Center Court at the new Wake Forest tennis complex, not across the street at Joel Coliseum, where Blake is unbeaten in six Davis Cup matches. But that didn’t seem to matter to the 31-year-old New Yorker.

"It’s great coming back here," Blake said. "Just across the street. It’s a little different being out in this heat and humidity, but it still feels great. The crowd obviously was incredibly supportive. A little different atmosphere than Davis Cup, but it’s still a lot of fun. I remember the area well and it’s good to be back and hopefully I’ll continue to play the way I did tonight, and maybe even better."

Blake won twice here in his Davis Cup debut in 2001 when the U.S. beat India in a relegation match. He tacked on two more wins in the U.S.’s quarterfinal win over Spain in 2007, then won two more in a quarterfinal win over France the following year.

"Winston-Salem has been good to me," he said. "It was such an emotional week that first time playing against India, right after 9-11, my first Davis Cup, with Andy Roddick. We had a blast. I still remember so much from that whole week, really. To be back here, it seems like not long ago, but it’s been over a decade, so that’s a little crazy. But it’s been a lot of fun from then to now, and hopefully I’ll get some more wins, too."

Blake started slowly against Kukushkin, who came into the match ranked No. 62 in the South African Airways ATP rankings.

"He has a second serve that I feel I can attack," Blake said. "One of my biggest weapons is my second serve return, being able to hurt guys with that and make them think about it a lot. I was able to do that today. I feel like the courts are pretty good for that. Hardcourts are always better for me, but these feel like they grab the ball a little bit and it gives me time to go after the second serve. Today it was effective. I feel like the only times I didn’t return it well were when I was just trying to get the ball in the court and was getting a little too tentative. Which is something I do less and less the more confident I am. But in the second set I was pretty confident going after him the whole time."

Confidence, Blake said, seems to be coming to him more and more as the summer goes on. He won two matches in Cincinnati last week before losing to Roger Federer in the third round.

"I’ve won a decent number of matches this summer and I’ve been playing pretty well and feeling like once you get into that routine, that rhythm of winning matches, it seems to snowball," Blake said. "You just feel when it’s 5-all you’re going to win that set. You just feel good out there on the court and you can go for your shots. That’s what happened at the end of the first set and then in the second."

 Donald Young, USA

Donald Young needed just 68 minutes to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win over German Michael Berrer.

Source: winstonsalemopen.com

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US OPEN SERIES W&S OPEN: Federer Says He's Ready For Good Friend Blake On Thursday

Thursday, August 18, 2011

James Blake consoles Roger Federer after the top seed's surprise 2008 Olympics exit.

In a post-match interview yesterday, Switzerland's Roger Federer reponded to an inquiry about his upcoming match against James Blake.

Q.  What do you think about playing James Blake next?

ROGER FEDERER: Fun.  I’m really looking forward to it.  He’s a good friend of mine, and it’s been hard seeing him go through challenges and surgeries and injuries and so forth.  He’s back on the big stage where he belongs, especially here in the States.  It’s going to be a tricky, tough match.

I don’t know if the last match we played against each other was the Olympic match, but that was obviously a pretty big match for me to lose as well.  May be getting a chance for some revenge.  I’m looking forward to it.

Seems like he’s playing well.  Definitely going to be ready for it.  Had a great finals here years ago, and hope we can make something similar happen.

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US OPEN SERIES ROGERS CUP: Right Arm Injury Forces Tsonga To Retire From Semifinals

Monday, August 15, 2011

 Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga waves to the crowd as he exits stadium after retiring.

On Saturday night, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia qualified for the final of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank after a match that never actually ended.

Djokovic was leading 6-4 and 3-0 when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who defeated Roger Federer on Thursday, retired due to a right arm injury.

There were some spectacular points in the two-sided first set. Until 4-4, things were running smoothly despite the three break points that went to Djokovic.

In the ninth game, the World No.1 broke Tsonga and ran away with the set.

As the second set got underway, it seemed that Djokovic had also broken Tsonga's spirit. At 2-0, the Frenchman asked the chair umpire to call the trainer, who came out at the next changeover and quickly saw that Tsonga couldn't go on.

Attack, defense

At the start of the match, Tsonga pulled out his best offensive arsenal, pushing Djokovic to the limit. Unfortunately for him, the world no.1 stood firm. All Tsonga could do was fold.

Slowed by pain in the second set, the Frenchman changed his game and rallied from the backcourt with the king of counter offensives to no avail.

Photos by Getty Images

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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 9: Five Sets Finishes Federer, Tsonga is ON A ROLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates after taking out Switzerland's Roger Federer in the 2011 Wimbledon Championships Men's Quarterfinals.

Roger Federer
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the first player ever to overturn a two-set deficit and beat Roger Federer in a Grand Slam match in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday. The Frenchman demonstrated all his flair and power as he rallied to defeat the six-time champion 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.

"For me it's just amazing," said Tsonga. "The feeling is like maybe beating
[Rafael] Nadal in Roland Garros, so it's just amazing. And for me it will be, for sure, one of the best memories in my career anyway."

"I felt so good on the court. I was quick. I was just perfect today. Every time I was feeling like a dream. Even at two sets down, because I was in the quarter-finals again Roger Federer. The stadium was full. I was not ridiculous. I was in my match. I'm the kind of player who likes these big moments. So I hope I will have some more."

Federer had commanded a 178-0 record when winning the first two sets in a Grand Slam match, and had only previously lost a two-set lead in five-set matches twice before in his career. The first instance came against Lleyton Hewitt in the 2003 Davis Cup semi-finals, before David Nalbandia repeated the feat in the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai final.

World No. 19 Tsonga is through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time, having fallen to Andy Murray in the 2010 quarter-finals at the All England Club. The Frenchman made his major breakthrough at the 2008 Australian Open, where he beat Rafael Nadal to reach his first final before finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic. Two years later he reached the semi-finals in Melbourne for the second time, when he was beaten by Federer in straight sets.

For a place in the final, Tsonga will face World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who ended Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic's dream run with a four-set win.

Tsonga takes a 5-2 career lead into his eighth clash with Djokovic. Their last meeting came in the 2010 Australian Open quarter-finals, when Tsonga prevailed in five sets.

The Le Mans native had advanced to the last eight for the loss of just one set, against Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, but suffered from nerves in the early stages against Federer and paid the price as too many unforced errors saw him surrender his serve in the second game. Federer did not relinquish the lead, saving one break point in the fifth game but was otherwise dominant on serve as he closed out the opener.

Both players settled into a high level in the 47-minute second set, in which neither player was able to break serve. In the subsequent tie-break, Federer seized the initiative, racing to a 5-0 advantage before closing out the seemingly commanding two-set lead with a forehand winner.

The coach-less Tsonga did not let his head go down, though. Instead, the Frenchman stepped in to attack Federer and broke the Swiss’ serve for the first time in the match in the third game after converting his third opportunity with a forehand winner on the run that caught the edge of the line. Federer looked to repair the damage in the latter stages of the set, twice holding a 0/30 advantage on the Tsonga serve in the eighth and 10th games. He was unable to build further, though, and Tsonga’s comeback began as he clinched his third set point with an unreturned serve.

The 12th-seeded Tsonga swiftly built on his momentum, going after a Federer second serve in the third game of the fourth set and breaking down the Swiss’ defences with a blistering forehand winner. Solid on serve, Tsonga coolly went on to level the match with a love service hold in the 10th game.

With Federer reeling, Tsonga took full advantage, bullying the 16-time Grand Slam champion with his booming forehand and drawing a crucial error in the first game of the fifth set to gain an early service break. Federer would earn no chances to regain the break, and Tsonga went on to close out victory in three hours and eight minutes.

"I served just unbelievable," assessed Tsonga. "I feel really confident on this shot. I hope it will continue. It is difficult to play against him because you don't know exactly what he's thinking, what's happening in his head. He has all the time the same behaviour, and it's difficult because he plays so fast. You don't know if he's scared or not, and it's really difficult. I didn't look at him. I was just focused on me, on my serve, and that's it."

Tsonga is the fifth Frenchman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in the Open Era, following Henri Leconte (1986), Cedric Pioline (1997), Sebastien Grosjean (2003-2004) and Richard Gasquet(2007). Pioline went on to become the only Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the final (l. to Sampras). The last Frenchman to win the title was Yvon Petra in 1946.

"It's always a tough match to lose today," said Federer, who also lost in the quarter-finals last year (l. to Berdych). "But I think Jo played great. Really from start to finish I don't remember seeing a break point after I broke him in the first game. But I was close. I had all my chances. He came up with some good stuff. So it was tough. I'm actually pretty pleased with my performance today. It's kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes."

The 29-year-old Swiss was looking to win his first major title since the 2010 Australian Open, and claim a record-tying seventh Wimbledon crown.

“It's the second year running that the talk has been about me equalling Pete's seven Wimbledons. I didn't feel that makes it particularly special. I love equalling any record Pete has made, but it's not the driving force behind my motivation really. I love Pete. It's always nice doing stuff that he did. But at the end of the day I'm trying to win a tournament.”

Photos by © AELTC/J.Buckle
Source: ATP World Tour

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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Serena Continues To Improve As She Eases Into 4th Round

Sunday, June 26, 2011

American Serena Williams reacts as she advances to the Round of 16 after win over Russian Maria Kirilenko

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams has been known to say she isn't satisfied with this or that aspect of her game, even after easily winning a match, say, 6-3, 6-2.

So it was somehow refreshing to hear Williams actually praise herself after a victory by that very score over 26th-seeded Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Yes, only five matches since returning to the tour after nearly a full year off because of a series of health scares, Williams produced a performance worthy of the 13-time Grand Slam champion that she is. And then Williams talked the talk of someone finally ready to concede that British bookmakers might very well have been right to make her the pre-tournament favorite.

Asked whether she was surprised by the odds, the seventh-seeded American smiled widely and said: "I wouldn't bet against me."

After hitting 10 aces and compiling a 32-9 edge in winners against Kirilenko, Williams termed the showing her "best I've played since I came back."

"I was a little more consistent, and I played mygame more," said Williams, trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles. "Wasn't as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more today."

She was part of a parade of past champions who breezed into the fourth round Saturday, joined by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, who all were straight-set winners, too. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, and two-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is now 44-1 in 2011, also moved on.

Serena explained she'd been playing tentatively until Saturday.

"You're always thinking, 'I can get hurt again.' You just kind of have to let those thoughts go or anything could happen," Williams said. "And I wasn't thinking that at all today. It was just a big difference."

On Monday, she'll face 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli. Other fourth-round women's matches include Williams' older sister Venus vs. No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset the five-time Wimbledon champion a year ago; Wozniacki vs. No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova; and Sharapova vs. No. 20 Peng Shuai.

After beating Kirilenko -- her first straight-set victory in five matches since returning -- Williams revealed another, if less serious, mishap from her annus horribilis: She scraped her right shoulder and face when she fell off her pink bicycle during a ride near her home in Florida in October.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh, nooooooo,"' Williams recounted, as though replaying her words in slow motion. "All I thought was, 'Don't fall on my face. Don't fall on my face.' When I fell on my face, I was like, 'No!"'
Since then, she's been sticking to stationary bikes.

Photos by Getty Images

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SERENA ON COURT TWO ASSIGNMENT: "I Don't Make It A Big Issue... I Think At Some Point, Maybe I Should"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams wonders why she and her older sister Venus have played once each on Court 2 at Wimbledon this year — instead of Centre Court or Court 1.

After winning her second-round match Thursday on Court 2, four-time Wimbledon champion Serena was asked about being put in that venue, where five-time champion Venus won Monday. Each also has played one match on Centre Court this week.

"They like to put us on Court 2 — me and Venus — for whatever reason," Serena said. "I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out."

Told of Serena's comments, tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins said there was no intentional snub, noting that several factors go into scheduling decisions, including TV broadcasting considerations, where players stand in the draw, and what ticket-buyers want to see.

"I don't think it's anything deliberate, clearly," Perkins said. "It's a hugely complex jigsaw puzzle. Everyone probably looks at it from their own point of view, so she's obviously quite entitled to."

The Williams sisters have combined to win nine of the past 11 Wimbledon singles championships, including Serena's titles in 2009 and 2010.

"I don't really think about it. I don't make it a big issue," Serena said about the scheduling. "I think at some point, maybe I should."

Stacey Allaster, the head of the women's professional tennis tour, said in a statement: "Serena Williams is a four-time Wimbledon singles champion, the defending champion of Wimbledon and a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion. I share her disappointment."

WTA CEO Allaster continued: "Scheduling decisions at Wimbledon are made by the All England Club and only they would be able to explain the rationale behind their decision for the scheduling of Serena's match today."

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick have had all of their matches scheduled for Centre Court or Court 1 so far this year.

"Yeah," Serena said, "they're never moved across."

The Court 2 she played in Thursday was built before the start of the 2009 tournament and holds about 4,063 spectators — 7,330 fewer than Court 1, and 10,916 fewer than Centre Court. For years before that, the name "Court 2" at the All England Club was assigned to a venue about half the size and a few minutes' walk away.

That old Court 2 was known as the "Graveyard of Champions" because of a series of surprise losses by top players — including Serena against Jill Craybas in the third round in 2005. That particular match actually originally was scheduled for Centre Court but was shifted when others there went long. Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras — in his final match at the All England Club — all lost on the old Court 2.

After watching his daughter defeat Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the new Court 2 on Thursday, Richard Williams downplayed the issue of court placement.

"I can't say where she should be," he said. "I don't do the scheduling."

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FRENCH OPEN: The Monfils Dazzle Dampened By Federer

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frenchman Gael Monfils walks off court after losing quarterfinal match to Roger Federer.

Just one day after the French Open's No. 9 seed, Frenchman Gael Monfils put on an incredible display of tennis in his defeat of  Spaniard David Ferrer, the beat was turned around and Monfils was made to dance... to the tune of Roger Federer. Switzerland's tennis wonder put on a clinic for which Monfils could not find a response.

Roger Federer celebrates QF win.
Monfils had chances in the match, but could never get enough distance between him and Federer in set or seize any type of real momentum in the match on a windy day on Philippe Chatrier. He did lead 3-1 in the first set and the crowd pulled for him with all their worth, but he was inconsistent with his serve and off the ground, barely winning over 51 % of his service points and committing a whopping 53 unforced errors while nailing only 24 winners.

"My biggest weak point was I couldn't serve at all. It was serious handicap," Monfils said. "With more serves I would have been more dangerous."
The 2009 Roland Garros champion had chances to steamroll through the third set, but Monfils hung tough and forced it into a tiebreaker. But there, Federer committed only one unforced error. He whacked two forehand winners to open sudden death and then closed Monfils out with a big serve and a forehand down the line.

"He changes the pace, and he changes the pace so quickly," Monfils said. "This hurts. He's the only one almost to hurt you that much, that quickly. All of a sudden he strikes the ball."

"Roger is always present and has a lot of ambitions still," Monfils said. "But Novak plays so well, it's going to be an incredible match. I'll be the first one to watch it."

Photos by AFP/©FFT

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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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Serena Joins Dinara and Maria Pulling Out Of The Sony Ericsson Open

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams has pulled out of next week's Sony Ericsson Open due to a knee injury, organizers said on Friday.

The American's withdrawal is another blow to the tournament after former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and world number two Dinara Safina had already pulled out.

Williams has won the Key Biscayne event five times.

Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova headline the women's field while the men's top three -- Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are joined by American Andy Roddick and defending champion Andy Murray.

The men's competition will be without fifth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina due to a wrist injury.

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Fellow Frenchman Benneteau Stops Tsonga's Title Defense In Marseille

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Julien Benneteau at Open 13

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
(Photos by AP)

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Julien Benneteau at Open 13MARSEILLE, France (AFP) — Frenchman Julien Benneteau will seek to win the first tournament of his career on Sunday after beating second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals of the Open 13 tournament here.

Eighth-seeded Benneteau beat his compatriot Tsonga 7-6 (13/11), 5-7, 7-6 (7/3) in a fiercely contested 2hr 57min match on Saturday.

He will now face compatriot Michael Llodra, who prevailed 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) over German Mischa Zverev.

Benneteau, who defeated world number one Roger Federer at the Paris Masters in November, will contest the fourth final of his career at the age of 28.

Defending champion Tsonga broke first in the opening set but Benneteau fought back to take it to a tie-break that he eventually won after a titanic tussle.

Tsonga levelled things up by winning the second set, battling back from 5-3 down to cancel out Benneteau's advantage, but the world number 39 refused to be cowed and sewed up victory in a tense deciding tie-break.

"Julien has really improved," said Tsonga, the world number nine.

"He makes fewer errors with his forehand. He deserves a first victory."

"It was a great match, an intense battle," enthused Benneteau. "I was afraid because I was leading 5-3 in the second set and I couldn't see it out.

"But I'm proud to have held on until the end. I'm not going to put crazy pressure on myself to win my first tournament though.

"I have to build on what I did here, where've I've gone after matches against players ranked higher than me."

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Tsonga's Advice For Murray: "Be Ready To Run"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Roger Federer Semifinal 2010 Australian OpenJo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Roger Federer Semifinal 2010 Australian OpenJo-Wilfried Tsonga provided little more than a sparring session for Roger Federer before the Swiss turns his guns on Andy Murray – and the exciting young Frenchman does not think much of the Scot's chances.

Federer was so totally in control after a brief tussle at the start that the scoreline of 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 disguised his dominance. He outserved Tsonga, he toyed with him from deep and at the net, he found little challenge in any but his few brief attacks in the first set and, generally, left feeling as good about his game as it is possible for the world No1 to feel.

If he played like that in the final, Tsonga was asked, was there anyone who could beat him? "I think ... nobody," he said.

What could Murray do to stop Federer? Longish pause, then: "I don't know, I don't know."

Did he have any advice for Murray, then? "Advice? Be ready to run."

If that is not a depressing report card for Murray as he works out a game plan for Sunday, nothing is. It reflected reality, too.

Federer was, as the Australians say, awesome. And he barely got out of third gear. From the moment he broke Tsonga in the first set the match turned from contest to punishment. Tsonga developed a stitch or some sort of stomach complaint when he found himself stuck deep in the trenches, but Federer was not concerned about the quality of his opponent or his hunger for the fight. This was a result, pure and simple.

"I didn't expect something even close to this kind of scoreline," Federer said. "The crowd was rather on the quiet side towards the end because they were also a bit surprised how fast it went."

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Roger Federer Semifinal 2010 Australian OpenThe great man was fed a couple of sycophantic lines, and bit. Yes, he agreed, that he might be at "Federer-plus" now. "I'm hitting the ball well. I'm not panicking. Jo is a talented player, with a lot of potential. I'm sure we're going to see much more of him in the future. This is probably the last easy match I have against him.

"[There was] no wasted energy, that's for sure. I was very surprised the way the match went. He's got great potential, but tonight maybe he let his head hang a bit."

What of his motivation, though? With a record 15 grand slam titles to his name, would it be an effort to get himself up for a 16th? "I spent three weeks here," he said, "and I don't want to just give away a match. So, I will make it as hard, as tough as possible, for my opponent. I'm really where I want to be. Being back in a grand slam final is always an amazing thrill for me."

En route, it provided a frisson for Tsonga, one that passed in the blinking of an eye as a genius blurred in front of him. Federer's is in phenomenal shape. He has struggled briefly earlier, but this semi-final fine-tuned his tennis to threatening levels of all-round competence. Murray has his work cut out.

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Roger Federer Semifinal 2010 Australian Open

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(PHOTOS) The Prince And The Grand Slam

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Prince William at the Australian OpenHis Royal Highness Prince William of Wales
(Photos by Getty Images)

While visiting Australia, the very dapper Prince William made an appearance at the Australian Open and took time to be photographed with various players.

Black Tennis Pro's Prince William and Serena Williams at the Australian OpenPrince William and American Serena Williams

Black Tennis Pro's Prince William and Roger Federer at the Australian OpenPrince Williams and Switzerland's Roger Federer

Black Tennis Pro's Prince William, Serena Williams and Oracene Price at the Australian Open(L-R) Serena's mom, Oracene Price, Prince William, and Serena

Black Tennis Pro's Prince William at the Australian Open

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