Tennis News

From around the world

Kuznetsova, Suárez Navarro: All Or Nothing In Moscow

Kuznetsova, Suárez Navarro: All Or Nothing In Moscow

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

MOSCOW, Russia – As the last Premier-level event of the year and the last tournament before the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the Kremlin Cup has been witness to many last-minute qualification campaigns from hopefuls looking to claim the final spots into the WTA’s season-ending event.

This year is no different, with a three-way battle royale set to play out over the eighth spot.

“We all know that VTB Kremlin Cup is the last chance to get into WTA Finals in Singapore,” Carla Suárez Navarro admitted during her WTA All Access Hour.

Defending champion and top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and No.2 seed Suárez Navarro are on a collision course in Moscow, and the stage looks set for a finals day showdown with more than just the title at stake. If Kuznetsova or Suárez Navarro walk away with the Kremlin Cup crown, they’ll qualify for the WTA Finals.

However, Johanna Konta looms in background; if Kuznetsova and Suárez Navarro fail to claim the title then Konta – who is not competing this week – takes the eighth Singapore spot by default.

But if they’re feeling any pressure, both players are quick to shrug it off and focus on the task at hand.

“If I win the tournament, it would be amazing and that’s what I am expecting,” Kuznetsova said during her All Access Hour. “But I don’t want to go that far ahead. My goal is to concentrate for tomorrow. I know I will to my best and to fight in every match.”

Svetlana Kuznetsova

“There are a lot of good players [here in the draw],” Suárez Navarro shrugged. “Every match will be tough for sure, I don’t think too much about Singapore.”

Kuznetsova took a last-minute wildcard in order to defend her title – and make a last-minute push for Singapore – though she explained that it was due to a scheduling error, and not a late change of heart.

“There’s a lot of talks around, but I am concentrated on my schedule and if I feel I can do it and want to play here. I really wanted to be here. I just didn’t choose the right time to sign in,” the Russian explained with a rueful smile.

“I am a tennis player and want to concentrate on every match and to show a good level of the game,” she added. “If I get in, it’s good. But I am more concentrated on my performance here.”

For Suárez Navarro, the situation is all too familiar. Last year, she made the trip from Beijing to Moscow and fell just short of qualifying for the Finals.

This time, the Spaniard is keen to change the outcome, especially since her fortunes rest completely on her racquet.

“Some players do follow the results of others, but it is not my case, it all depends on me,” she explained. “Probably because it is the end of the year, I don’t think about other tournaments. I should play match after match and it won’t be easy for me.”

“But I feel better this year, I have more experience.”

Official WTA Finals Mobile App, Created by SAP

Source link

Team Bucie Go Big On Film

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

CHARLESTON, SC, USA – Top seeds at the Volvo Car Open, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova were in the midst of relaunching their Grand Slam-winning partnership after capturing the Miami Open title. Though they finished runner-up to Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, team “Bucie” nonetheless had a great week in Charleston, dropping just one set en route to the final.

The team also collaborated with Safarova’s coach, Rob Steckley, to produce another action-packed video that takes viewers on a frantic tour of Daniel Island, the site of the Family Circle Tennis Center.

Check out the full video above, and stay tuned for more high-octane content from the reigning French Open champions.

Source link

Singapore Comes Full Circle For Cibulkova

Singapore Comes Full Circle For Cibulkova

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

Earning her spot thanks to a title run at the Generali Ladies Linz – her third of the season – Dominika Cibulkova heads to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global to finish what she started two seasons ago.

“In 2014 I was very close [to Singapore], and that’s what made me very intense and want it too much,” she told WTA Insider after winning in Eastbourne. “I was over-motivated and it didn’t happen.”

Cibulkova had long been among the toughest outs in tennis when a run to the 2014 Australian Open final – in which she ousted Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska en route – boosted the boisterous veteran into a new stratosphere. She who thrived as a chaser suddenly became the chased.

“Playing in the finals of a Grand Slam is a big thing. I think the other players always respected me, but when you earn a big result play a consistently high level of tennis, you become one of the best in the world.”

Adjusting to Elite Eight levels of expectation proved a slow process, as the specter of a WTA Finals debut weighed the typically fleet of foot Slovak down throughout the second half of that season.

“If you get in your head, I don’t think you can do well,” she mused at the Western & Southern Open’s All-Access Hour in August. “Whenever I really, really want to win, I never do.”

Eager to shake off the letdown, she gamely backed up her Melbourne run to start 2015, dismissing former No.1 Victoria Azarenka in one of the best matches of the year en route to the quarterfinals.

Dominika Cibulkova

All the while, Cibulkova soldiered on with a chronic Achilles injury; initially planning to postpone the surgery until autumn, the Slovak was suddenly off the circuit after Antwerp, returning after a four month stretch that ultimately set her back a year.

“It wasn’t easy to come back. I was around No.60 or No.70 in the world, and facing top players in the first round because you’re not seeded. You really have to play well to get back to where you were before, and I think that’s the hardest part.

“If you can manage that, then I think it shows you’re a good player.”

Cibulkova steadied herself at smaller events, reaching the semifinals in Hobart and the final of Acapulco. But the headline-grabbing upsets for which she’d become famous eluded her through the spring, failing to convert a match point against Agnieszka Radwanska at the BNP Paribas Open, and losing in similar style to Garbiñe Muguruza at the Miami Open.

“I was waiting for something at the big tournaments because at Indian Wells and Miami, I lost really close matches,” she said at the Mutua Madrid Open. “Playing in Katowice helped me quite a lot; I actually didn’t want to go there, but when I lost in the second round of Miami, I sat down with my coach and we said, ‘I’m playing well; I just want to go there and play matches.'”

Five wins and a first title in two years at the Katowice Open was the kickstart Cibulkova craved; she avenged the Indian Wells loss to Radwanska to reach the finals in Madrid, and arrives in Singapore having won her last three matches against the reigning WTA Finals winner, including a Wimbledon thriller that will likely be another match-of-the-year candidate.

“I was able to play well because I could enjoy my tennis without stressing too much,” she said in Stanford, attributing the shift to sessions with a mental coach.

Dominika Cibulkova

“It’s something that’s helped a lot,” she explained to WTA Insider in Eastbourne. “Now I realize everything I’m doing on the court, and I’m doing it with purpose. I don’t lose my emotions so much.

“I’m not saying it’ll be like this all the time because nothing is perfect, but I hope to keep it like this as long as I can.”

Tied with Radwanska at 49 match wins (second behind World No.1 Angelique Kerber), the Slovak newlywed leads the tour in three-set wins and is 5-3 against the Top 10, a group she rejoined for the first time since the her surgery after reaching the final of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

“I played really well during the whole year on all surfaces,” she noted in press that week. “It’s just something, where maybe I’m more mature and just doing things better. That’s what helps make me be a more consistent player, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”

Up to a career-high of No.8, the sky’s the limit for Cibulkova, who’ll aim to be better than her best in the last tournament of the season.

“I’m not the tallest player on tour. I always say I need to have something extra to beat these players or even be on the same level. Fitness is one of my things. I need to be more than hundred percent. My physical preparation is really, really hard and tough because I need to be ready more than the other girls who can serve aces and things like that.

“Right now, I’m just playing good tennis, and that’s what keeps me going.”

Official WTA Finals Mobile App, Created by SAP

Source link

News | WTA Tennis English

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

DOHA, Qatar – Caroline Wozniacki won her second match of the day in emphatic style, overcoming Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig, 6-1, 6-2, to reach the final of the Qatar Total Open.

“It sounds amazing, but also makes me feel a little old!” she said during her on-court interview, when reminded of her last appearance in the Doha final, back in 2011.

“It’s been a great week, really tough conditions with all the waiting, but I managed to keep focus and play some of my best tennis out there.”

The former World No.1 was the last of field to advance into the semifinals after finishing off Lauren Davis, 7-5, 6-1, while Puig kicked off play on Friday by defeating Daria Kasatkina in a one-set shootout.

Still rolling from her win over Davis, Wozniacki started the quicker of the two despite the late start, roaring out to a 5-1 lead in the first set and never looking back, hitting 12 winners to just four unforced errors and converting five of seven break point opportunities to advance after an hour and 10 minutes.

Up next for the two-time US Open finalist is Karolina Pliskova, the No.2 seed and last year’s runner-up in Flushing. Wozniacki’s never lost to the Czech powerhouse, but their last meeting came in 2014, before Pliskova became a Top 10 player.

“She’s playing really well, serving really well. It’s going to be a great final and I’m excited for it.”

Standing between both of them would be the unpredictable forecast, which forced both of them into playing multiple matches on Friday. Wozniacki was cautiously optimistic of starting Saturday’s championship match on time.

“I don’t want to jinx anything, so let’s just hope there’ll be good weather. I’m just excited to be on the court, and if I have to wait a little bit, I’m used to it by now and I’m feeling good!”

Source link