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2018 U.S. OPEN: Venus Williams Defeats Fellow U.S. Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova In Opening Round

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

American Venus Williams and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova took to the courts for round one of the 2018 U.S. Open wherein the two went toe-to-toe with Venus eventually prevailing.

In all, it was a high-quality affair from both competitors, Venus striking 48 winners to 45 unforced errors while Kuznetsova struck 40 winners to 38 unforced errors.

"I'm most pleased I won the match. I think I stayed pretty aggressive throughout the match, and that's how I want to play the tournament" Venus stated post match.

"It's wonderful when the crowd is behind you. I experienced that much later in my career than I guess is typical. But I guess it's wonderful to have people on your side. You have to do it for yourself as well, but if the crowd is with you, it's wonderful to do it for them, too."

 Up next for the seven-time Grand Slam champion is Wimbledon quarterfinalist Camila Giorgi.

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2012 OLYMPICS: NEXT! Serena Frustrates Zvonareva As She Blazes Past Her Into Quarterfinals

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

American Serena quickly dispatches Russian Vera Zvonareva on Day 5 of 2012 Olympics

LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Serena Williams needed just 51 minutes to crush Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0 in the opening match on Centre Court and march on to the Olympic quarterfinals.

The five-time Wimbledon champion, who is seeking her first Olympic singles gold medal, totally dominated the match, breaking Zvonareva three times in both sets. Zvonareva, the Beijing bronze medallist, only managed to win seven points on Williams’s serve.

The match was a repeat of the pair’s 2010 Wimbledon final, but the result was even more devastating for Zvonareva. Then, Williams won 6-3, 6-2; today the Russian failed to get on the scoreboard after the third game. The Russian’s three-set defeat of Williams on grass at Eastbourne last year must have given her hope, but the nature of the American’s victory here proves again how much she saves her best for the big stage.

Williams broke Zvonareva’s serve in the opening game of the match and that set the tone for what followed. The Russian won her solitary game to get to 1-2, but after that it was all one-way traffic. Williams was too powerful, too consistent, and too accurate while her opponent struggled with her first serve. The American sealed the set with a forehand winner after just 25 minutes.

Zvonareva had chances in the second set but just couldn’t capitalise. She had two break points in the opening game but Williams held firm, winning the game with an ace. After that there were no more chances for the hapless Russian as her opponent raced away with the match.

Trailing 0-3, Zvonareva threw her racket to the ground in frustration, and even the non-Russian fans in the crowd did what they could to encourage her. Down 0-30 on her serve again in the last game, they gave her a spontaneous round of applause, but it failed to lift her and Williams got her first match point with a stunning service return. Zvonareva’s backhand found the net a point later and the American had won the match and handed her opponent the ignominy of a second set ‘bagel’.

Williams has yet to lose a set in three matches played in her quest to become Olympic champion and she looks in ominous form. She will meet either Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki or Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals.

source: itf.com

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2012 OLYMPICS: British No. 1 Heather Watson Begins Olympic Quest With A First Round Win

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

British No. 1 Heather Watson in her 2012 Olympics first round match.

Britain's Heather Watson
After becoming the first British woman for a decade to reach the third round of the Wimbledon Championshps, on Monday British No. 1 Heather Watson continued her confidence and form at the 2012 Olympics with an impressive straight-sets first round win over Spaniard Silvia Espinosa-Soler, 6-2, 6-2.

"I'm very pleased with that win, I knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Watson.

"I've never played her before but I knew she is a great player and wasn't going to give me any free points. I played well today."

Of her upcoming meeting with Wimbledon quarter-finalist Maria Kirilenko of Russia, Watson stated, "She's been a top player for a long time. "I know she hits the ball hard. Typical Russian girl, tries to overpower and blast the ball. So I'm just going to play my game."

source:  BBC

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THE FIRST TIME'S A CHARM: 15-Year-Old American Taylor Townsend Takes 2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Singles And Doubles Titles

Saturday, January 28, 2012

15-year-old American Taylor Townsend takes 2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Singles and Doubles Titles

It’s not often you get to drop to the ground on Rod Laver Arena and shed tears of joy. It’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities.

But after 117 minutes in scorching heat on Rod Laver Arena, American Taylor Townsend shed those tears after becoming the 2012 junior Australian Open champion.

Townsend, just 15 years old, put a poor second set behind her to come away a 6-1 3-6 6-3 winner over fiery Russian Yulia Putintseva.

17-year-old Putintseva was clearly devastated by the loss and took her frustration out on her racquet, returning to her chair with a tangled frame and frazzled strings.

She also offered no words during the post-match presentation.

It has been a remarkable tournament for the 14th-seeded Townsend, who took home not only the girls’ singles title but also the girls’ doubles title in her first visit to Melbourne Park.

“It’s really exciting. I mean, it's a dream come true for me,” Townsend said.

“A lot of people were supporting me, and my family and everything are just so proud. It was just a proud moment for me and ... the feelings kind of rushed in.”

Townsend remained the more level-headed player throughout the match, a stark contrast to her feisty – and often vocal – opponent who was not afraid to express her emotions.

“I just kinda tried to focus on myself and just make sure [I] just keep playing one point at a time. That's what I kept telling myself: one point at a time, one point at a time.”

Putintseva trains at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris under the watchful eye of former world No.1 Martina Hingis, who joined the academy in 2011.

It was a dream start for the American who raced to a 3-0 lead registering seven winners from her first 12 points won.

Townsend’s mix of powerful groundstrokes from the baseline coupled with pressure created from pushing forward to the net proved too much for Putintseva.

Townsend said her constant willingness to approach the net was all part of an effort for the American to stick to the game she is most comfortable with.

“My expectation was to just go out and play my game and play within myself every match and not really [conform] to the game styles of these other girls by playing at the baseline but, you know, moving forward and being aggressive, how I play.”

Putintseva finally got off the board after holding serve at 3-1 but it was a short-lived spell, as Townsend surged through 12 of the next 15 points to take the opener 6-1.

But the 17-year-old Russian wasn’t about to lie down.

Putintseva stormed through the opening games of the second set and raced to a 4-0 lead, offering herself plenty of verbal encouragement with fist-pumps and comments to her box.

Townsend’s once-flawless play from the baseline started to crumble with shots spraying wide or into the net, and it was the fourth seed’s turn to dictate the play and crunch winners.

Putintseva closed out the second set 6-3.

The deciding set began tightly, but at four-three up and on serve, the American claimed a crucial break of serve and never looked back, closing out the decider 6-3.

And so, after a junior Grand Slam singles and doubles title under her belt, young Townsend said she discovered a lot about herself in the past week.

“Well, I've learned that ... if you just compete and work really hard, anything is possible,” she said.

“You know, the family support and the support of people that are around you is key.”

But that’s not all she’s discovered.

“I also learned that I need to keep myself calm on the court, because that's when I play the best,” she offered with a laugh.

source: australianopen.org
Photo by: Ben Solomon/ Tennis Australia

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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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Sloane Stephens Brought Down By Bratchikova in Wimbledon Qualifying

Thursday, June 16, 2011

American Sloane Stephens plays Wimbledon qualifying rounds.

American Sloane Stephens will not number among those in the 2011 Wimbledon Championships main draw. Stephens was knocked out by Nina Bratchikova of Russia.

Stephens has successfully come through several Tour level qualifying rounds this year, but unfortunately has not been able to make much headway during the tournaments.

Photo by Getty Images

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Venus Vs. Maria And Serena Vs. Samantha: Quarterfinal Friday At The Bank Of The West Classic

Friday, July 31, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams 2009 Bank Of The West Classic Round of 16Americans Venus and Serena Williams
(Photos by Getty Images/AP)

At the Bank Of The West Classic in Stanford, California on Thursday, American sisters Venus and Serena Williams set up their quarterfinal matches with wins over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva and Hungary's Melinda Czink respectively.

Serena started the day with a 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over Melinda Czink. After looking strong in the first set, Williams trailed the entire second set until prevailing in the tiebreaker.

Subsequently, Venus cruised to a 6-1 win in the first set and looked to be in complete control midway through the second frame with a 5-3 lead. But Alla Kudryavtseva won back-to-back games to tie the set at 5-5 before Williams swiped the next two games for a 6-1, 7-5 triumph.

In Friday's quarterfinal matches Venus will go up against Russian Maria Sharapova, and Serena against Australian Samantha Stosur. I think the Serena/Samantha match will be the one to watch.

Black Tennis Pro's Alla Kudryavtseva 2009 Bank Of The West Classic Round of 16Russian Alla Kudryavtseva

Black Tennis Pro's Melinda Czink Bank Of The West Classic Round of 16Hungary's Melinda Czink

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Gratuitous Tummy Shot: My Fav Russian Working It Out

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Marat Safin L.A. Tennis OpenRussian Marat Safin
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Marat Safin, playing for the fourth time in three days, summoned enough energy to beat Ernests Gulbis 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the L.A. Tennis Open on Wednesday.

Safin, who played an exhibition match against Pete Sampras on Monday and beat Robby Ginepri the following night, also teamed with Igor Kunitsyn to win a first-round doubles match on Monday.

The win over Gulbis put the two-time Grand Slam champion into his first quarterfinal of the year and earned him at least a day off from singles play.

He will meet the winner of Wednesday night's match between Tommy Haas, the top seed and two-time event champion, and Jesse Levine on Friday.

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I'll Miss This Russian

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm probably late on finding this out, but my favorite Russian dish of tennis player is currently playing his last season on the ATP Tour. Twenty-eight year old Marat Safin says that he's had enough stress.

I've always enjoyed watching Safin play, you never quite knew what to expect. When he's on, he's on, and vice versa. A lot of players I probably wouldn't even notice if they left, but Safin...this guy I'll miss.

Here's some of what Safin had to say regarding his impending retirement:

"I don't want to get stressed, I don't want to plan anything," he said.

"I want to play and be relaxed, no stress. Whatever comes, comes.

"It's great for me. Just try to be in shape, be able to run around the court. Like this it's much easier to play tennis.

"At least I want to enjoy it. I don't want to suffer anymore, I don't want to get stressed, I don't want to feel bad on the court anymore."

"It's not easy because you're under continuous tennis pressure, which is traveling around the world, practising every day, be in shape, try to be a little bit more responsible what you're doing outside the court," he said.

"It's getting tougher and tougher with the age, especially with the injuries I've had throughout the years.

"It's not an easy game, let's put it this way, especially if half of the time you've been injured."

"When you are young, 20 years old, 19 years old, you're coming, everything is new, it's exciting to come and play the big matches," he said.

"With the years, you start to feel the pressure.

"A little bit you start to be unsure in certain moments of the match, hit it down the line or play a little bit cross-court.

"So you start to feel a little bit uncomfortable on the court, and this is what makes you have doubts.

"Eventually it comes to the errors. The young boys are not scared anymore. They will eventually be scared with the years, but it's tough to play against them in such conditions."

But when asked about when he would eventually walk away, as he has previously indicated, Safin would not be drawn.

"No, I'm enjoying it, it's just a different way of enjoying myself," he said.

"(But) you need to keep yourself fully committed to the tennis -- it's getting tougher and tougher."

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The Truth Will Set You Free! Just Ask Nikolay Davydenko

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I have NEVER seen Russian Nikolay Davydenko this emotion filled at the end of winning any match that I've ever seen him play. You know Davydenko, he's pretty low key. When he wins he's pleased, and when he loses he pleased...comme si, comme ca, it's all good, right on.

Well, at least that's how he was before he was so brutally saddled with being the face of illegal betting inside of tennis. COME ON! Davydenko? I know that looks can be deceiving, but Davydenko?

In the wake of that pitiful investigation, Davydenko's game went south quick, fast and in a hurry. He had become one of my favorites on the tour, especially for being so nonchalant in scraping the court with his opponents behinds so unsuspectingly. The guy was just masterful at maintaining the most even temperament I'd ever seen on court.

Now that he's been cleared, looks like Davydenko has his groove back and this time with a passion! After defeating Britain's Andy Murray in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 in the semifinal of the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai yesterday, Davydenko got his tennis yell on. I for one am glad to see it. I am glad that he's recovering his game, and this time putting some feeling into it... in yo face!

Photo By Getty Images

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Kremlin Cup Over For Venus

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Kremlin CupAmerican Venus Williams will be leaving Moscow, Russia almost as swiftly as she arrived. The Kremlin Cup will not be hers to celebrate as she was knocked out of contention by Italy's Flavia Pennetta. Pennetta defeated Venus 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

"I totally came here because I love winning. I have never won this title, but I just had a day where I could not control my game. She played well."

Well, at least she seems, as usual, to have a good head about it. Life goes on.

Photo Getty Images

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