Tennis News

From around the world

Evaluating Rafael Nadal’s Chances for the Roland Garros 2015

Evaluating Rafael Nadal’s Chances for the Roland Garros 2015

  • Posted: Mar 09, 2015

 Rafael Nadal Roland Garros

Plenty of players finished the 2014 season on the injured list, but none of them was getting as much attention as Rafael Nadal, who’s now targeting a record-breaking tenth title from the French Open, a tournament in which he seems to do well all the time despite the circumstances not always being the best. It rarely matters what condition he’s in before the start of that tournament, everyone just considers him to be the favourite for the title – and, more often than not, that isn’t just wishful thinking.

However, the early months of 2015 seem to be pointing to the circumstances being worse than ever before for the Spaniard, who’s already accumulated a surprisingly high number of awkward performances, with the list including a defeat against Michael Berrer (from a set up!), a loss against Tomas Berdych (which broke Nadal’s record streak of victories against the Czech), and a defeat against Fognini (again from a set up). What’s that supposed to mean? Is that just a run of bad results or are there more struggles on the cards for the legend?

Well, those who saw at least some of his 2015 matches know that there is a difference between his 2013 comeback and this one. Back then, it took a massive performance from Horacio Zeballos to beat him in Vina del Mar and he then went on to win three tournaments in a row before finally losing against Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo. This time? Well, it certainly didn’t take an once- in-a-lifetime performance from Fognini to beat him from being a set and a break down, which is worrying indeed. And it needs to be emphasized that he hasn’t played against world-class opposition since the end of the Australian Open – once he starts playing against the higher-ranked players that didn’t take part in the Golden Swing, it might not be a pretty sight for his fans.

Perhaps even more importantly, a new crop of players that have a legitimate shot at winning a Grand Slam title seems to have risen up over the last twelve months. As far as the French Open is concerned, this group includes the names of Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and perhaps even the ever-present Tomas Berdych. Novak Djokovic will be there to make Rafa’s life hard in any case – and so will Roger Federer, who’s still capable of beating Nadal in an one-off match (although the Spaniard will have to cooperate somewhat).

Article Continues Below Ad

All in all, it seems that completing the La Décima, if you want to call it like that, could be rather tough for Nadal this year, especially if he gets a bad loss or two during the lead-up to the Grand Slam. It seems a given that he will complete the feat at some point, but, as things stand at the moment, Novak Djokovic is to be considered the main favourite for the title. But then again – it is Rafael Nadal who we are talking about.

Source link

Dominika Cibulkova Withdraws from Indian Wells to Undergo Surgery

Dominika Cibulkova Withdraws from Indian Wells to Undergo Surgery

  • Posted: Mar 09, 2015

Dominika Cibulkova

Former Australian Open champion Dominika Cibulkova announced that would withdraw from Indian Wells to undergo surgery on her left Achilles heel to repair an injury that had bothered her for several years.

“I have been having difficulties with my Achilles on and off for several years now,” Cibulkova said in a statement to the media. “As the inflammation in my Achilles hasn’t improved and after consulting my team and my doctor, I have decided to do a routine surgery.

“It is never an easy decision to make and I will be disappointed to miss a number of upcoming events but fixing my chronic injury is more important at this stage. The plan is to do the surgery on Monday and I am looking forward to making a full recovery in the near future with the goal of being 100% ready for the grass court season.”

After starting 2014 in fantastic fashion with a runner-up finish at a Grand Slam final, Dominika Cibulkova was unable to do much with the remainder of her season on the tour. She failed to win more than one title that year and finished the season with a 33-24 record. She also failed to go past the third round of any event since April 2014. She has a lot of points to defend over the next six weeks but very few past April.

Article Continues Below Ad

The world No. 23 has played four tournaments so far this season and compiled a 7-4 record over that time. She was unable to duplicate her efforts at the Aussie Open this season and was knocked out in the quarter-final stage by Serena Williams.

Source link

Davis Cup 2015 Results: France and Serbia Advance to Quarter-finals on Day 2

Davis Cup 2015 Results: France and Serbia Advance to Quarter-finals on Day 2

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2015

Gael Monfils

The second day of action at the opening round of the 2015 Davis Cup saw some entertaining action on several different continents, but only two nations advanced to the quarter-final rounds, while the remainder of the World Group will have a live rubber Sunday of action to the delight of paying fans.

Complete Day 2 results available below:

Germany 0 – 3 France
Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, GER (hard – indoor)

Great Britain 2 – 1 USA
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR (hard – indoor)

Article Continues Below Ad

Czech Republic 1 – 2 Australia
Venue: Cez Arena, Ostrava, CZE (hard – indoor)

Kazakhstan 1 – 2 Italy
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (hard – indoor)

Argentina 1 – 2 Brazil
Venue: Tecnopolis, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoor)

Serbia 3 – 0 Croatia
Venue: Kraljevo Sports Centre, Kraljevo, SRB (hard – indoor)

Canada 2 – 1 Japan
Venue: Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, CAN (hard – indoor)

Belgium 2 – 1 Switzerland
Venue: Country Hall du Sart Tilman, Liege, BEL (hard – indoor)

Source link

Caroline Wozniacki vs Alexandra Dulgheru Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 Final

Caroline Wozniacki vs Alexandra Dulgheru Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 Final

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2015

Caroline Wozniacki

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki is through to the final of the Malaysian Open and will look to maintain her dominant campaign in the tournament to lift the title on Sunday afternoon. Her opponent in the final will be Alexandra Dulgheru, whom she has already faced twice previously on the professional tour. Wozniacki leads the head-to-head series 2-0.

Follow the final match live here: Wozniacki vs Dulgheru Live Stream

The Dane faced minimal resistance in her semi-final match-up against Su-Wei Hsieh to reach her second final of the season. The contest lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes and save her break serve six times to secure the 6-2, 6-2 victory.

“Hsieh Su-Wei’s a tough opponent,” Wozniacki said afterwards. “She plays very unorthodox, she has some amazing shots – it’s tough to play someone like that because you don’t get much rhythm.

Article Continues Below Ad

“I just kept my head cool out there and fought until the end.”

Wozniacki will come up against Alexandra Dulgheru, who had a more difficult path to the final of the tournament. She defeated fourth seed Jarmila Gajdosova by rallying back from a set down to win 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(4) in three hours and 14 minutes.

“It’s always exciting to be in finals – that’s what we practice so hard for,” Wozniacki said. “It’s my second final this year, so hopefully I can go the whole way.”

This marks the third time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Wozniacki leading the series 2-0. While one was a dominant win, the other was came via retirement. However, this should not affect Wozniacki’s path to victory, as she stands as a major favourite in Sunday’s final.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Straight Sets

Source link

Davis Cup 2015 Results: Murray, Djokovic Lead After Day 1

Davis Cup 2015 Results: Murray, Djokovic Lead After Day 1

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2015

Novak Djokovic

As expected, the opening day of action in Round 1 of the 2015 Davis Cup brought with it some enthralling match-ups, riveting encounters, and surprising upsets which produced a fascinating 24 hours of competition on Friday.

In Glasgow, Andy Murray needed less than two hours to defeat Donald Young to give Great Britain the 1-0 lead as expected, but it was James Ward who was the hero to be remembered on the opening day, as he overcame a two set deficit and rallied back to beat American No. 1 John Isner in four hours and 56 minutes. The match went to 14-13 in the final set before Ward managed to break Isner to close out the affair.

In Serbia, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic gave his country a 1-0 lead with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Mate Delic. His nation would take a 2-0 lead when Viktor Troicki defeated rising star Borna Coric in five sets 4-6 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-1.

Complete Day 1 results available below:

Article Continues Below Ad

Germany 0 – 2 France
Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, GER (hard – indoor)

Great Britain 2 – 0 USA
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR (hard – indoor)

Czech Republic 0 – 2 Australia
Venue: Cez Arena, Ostrava, CZE (hard – indoor)

Kazakhstan 1 – 1 Italy
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (hard – indoor)

Argentina 1 – 1 Brazil
Venue: Tecnopolis, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoor)

Serbia 2 – 0 Croatia
Venue: Kraljevo Sports Centre, Kraljevo, SRB (hard – indoor)

Canada 1 – 1 Japan
Venue: Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, CAN (hard – indoor)

Belgium 1 – 1 Switzerland
Venue: Country Hall du Sart Tilman, Liege, BEL (hard – indoor)

Source link

Caroline Wozniacki vs Su-Wei Hsieh Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 SF

Caroline Wozniacki vs Su-Wei Hsieh Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 SF

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2015

Caroline Wozniacki

With little resistance all week, Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the semi-final stage of the Malaysian Open on Friday and will now come up against Su-Wei Hsieh for a spot in the tournament final. This marks the fourth time that these two competitors will come across each other on the tour, with Wozniacki leading the head to head series 3-0.

Follow the match live here: Wozniacki vs Hsieh Live Stream

The top seed in Kuala Lumpur beat Carina Witthoeft in the quarter-final stage on Friday to advance to the final four in the tournament. The Dane won the match 6-3, 6-1 , and did so in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Wozniacki hit 2 aces, won 80% of her first service points and saved both the break points she faced in the match.

“We had a lot of tight games early on, but I managed to play well in the important points, and that made the difference,” Wozniacki said afterwards. “I’m happy about the way I played out there today. I think that was my best match so far in the tournament, and I hope to just keep improving from here.”

Article Continues Below Ad

Wozniacki will next come up against Su-Wei Hsieh, who needed three sets to get past Russian qualifier Elizaveta Kulichkova, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-0. It was only during the final set that she truly picked up the pace and stormed to victory in 22 minutes. She will now be faced with her toughest match of the tournament in Wozniacki.

“Playing against top players is always tough, so I won’t be thinking about who I’m playing against,” Hsieh said. “I will concentrate on bringing my best game to the court and enjoying the semifinal.”

This marks the fourth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Wozniacki leading the series 3-0. One of those three meetings was a tough encounter – she nearly lost to Wei in Beijing when she was pushed to 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 6-0.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Straight Sets

http://www.stevegtennis.com/2015/03/caroline-wozniacki-vs-su-wei-hsieh-preview-wta-kuala-lumpur-2015-sf/

Caroline Wozniacki vs Lin Zhu Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 Round 2

Caroline Wozniacki vs Lin Zhu Preview – WTA Kuala Lumpur 2015 Round 2

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2015

Caroline Wozniacki

In her only previous appearance at the Malaysian Open two years ago, Caroline Wozniacki suffered a surprising upset in the opening round of the tournament. Over 700 days later, the Dane returned to Kuala Lumpur and kicked off her campaign in solid fashion. Through to the second round of the tournament, Wozniacki will come up against Lin Zhu, whom she has never faced previously on the professional tour.

Follow the match live here: Wozniacki v Zhu Live Stream

The tournament’s top seed commenced her week in Malaysia with a rapid-fire victory over a Chinese qualifier. She defeated Yafan Wang 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 14 minutes to advance to the following stage of the event. While she struck no aces, the Dane hit 73% of her first service points and saved 3 of 4 break points to earn the victory in a lopsided manner.

“I didn’t do so well when I was here last time, so I’m happy to get my first win in Malaysia. The first match of any tournament is always tough and I’m just happy to be through,” Wozniacki said.

Article Continues Below Ad

In a more difficult opening round match-up, Lin Zhu ousted Yuliya Beygeizimer in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to her second round meeting with Wozniacki. She struck 3 aces, won 67% of her first service points and converted seven breaks of serve to close out the match in 2 hours and 5 minutes.

This is just the first time that Wozniacki and Zhu will cross paths on the WTA tour. The Dane, who is positioned as the top seed of the tournament, will likely live up to her billing and will continue her dominant run through the draw. While first-time opponent and relative unknowns could always pose an unlikely threat to Top 10 players, Wozniacki should be able to advance in straight sets relatively unscathed.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Straight Sets

http://www.stevegtennis.com/2015/03/caroline-wozniacki-vs-lin-zhu-preview-wta-kuala-lumpur-2015-round-2/

Juan Martin del Potro to Play Doubles with Marin Cilic at Indian Wells

Juan Martin del Potro to Play Doubles with Marin Cilic at Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2015

Del Potro

After being forced to return to the sidelines after just one tournament back on the tour, Juan Martin del Potro is confident that he will return to professional competition in late March.

Speaking at a Davis Cup press conference ahead of the Argentina vs. Brazil tie, Del Potro explained that the recovery stage has gone by quicker than he anticipated, and that he motivated to regain his ranking.

“I’m in full recovery. It’s going faster than planned, and I’m excited. I’ll come back in the coming weeks. I really want to get back in the same conditions as the other players. I don’t want to give them any ‘advantage.’ I came here this week to add to the experience to my team. The first goal about ranking will be to come back in the top 100 and keep me there. Obviously, I want to get back into the top-10.”

The Argentine made his return to tennis for the first time since February 2014 last week in Sydney. While few expected much, he managed to reach the quarter-final round at the Apia Sydney International, where he was the defending champion. He defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky and followed up with a three-set win over Fabio Fognini before losing to Mikhail Kukushkin the following round. However, he withdrew from the Australian Open soon afterwards and was under the knife just a few days later.

Article Continues Below Ad

While Del Potro expects to compete in singles competition in Miami, he has signed up for doubles competition alongside fellow injured star Marin Cilic at Indian Wells. It was a low-key way to gauge their recovery.

“I talked with Marin Cilic, who is injured himself. We signed for the doubles tournament in Indian Wells, and we will see if we can go back. Even Novak Djokovic supported me. My realistic goal is to return at Miami. This is the beginning of the return. It’s very hard to live with injuries.”

http://www.stevegtennis.com/2015/03/juan-martin-del-potro-to-play-doubles-with-marin-cilic-at-indian-wells/

Davis Cup 2015 World Group Nominations: Djokovic, Murray Headline Weekend Action

Davis Cup 2015 World Group Nominations: Djokovic, Murray Headline Weekend Action

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2015

Davis-Cup7

The nominations for the first round of the 2015 Davis Cup tournament will be headlined by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and British No. 1 Andy Murray.

Djokovic will lead the charge for Serbia as they attempt to get past the depleted Croatian team without the injured reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic. The Croatian will now be lead by the youngest player in the ATP World Tour top 100 Borna Coric.

You will be able to follow the matches live here: Davis Cup 2015 Live Streaming

World No. 3 Andy Murray will be at the helm of the Great Britain team as they rematch the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup. The UK team defeated the US team last season and will look to duplicate their efforts this time around.

Article Continues Below Ad

Check out the full list of World Group nominations below:

Germany vs. France
Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, GER (hard – indoor)
Germany
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Benjamin Becker
Jan-Lennard Struff
Andre Begemann
Captain: Michael Kohlmann
France
Gilles Simon
Gael Monfils
Nicolas Mahut
Captain: Arnaud Clement

Great Britain vs. USA
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR (hard – indoor)
Great Britain
Andy Murray
James Ward
Dominic Inglot
Jamie Murray
Captain: Leon Smith
USA
John Isner
Donald Young
Mike Bryan
Bob Bryan
Captain: Jim Courier

Czech Republic vs. Australia
Venue: Cez Arena, Ostrava, CZE (hard – indoor)
Czech Republic
Lukas Rosol
Jiri Vesely
Jan Mertl
Adam Pavlasek
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil
Australia
Nick Kyrgios
Bernard Tomic
Samuel Groth
Lleyton Hewitt
Captain: Wally Masur

Kazakhstan vs. Italy
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Astana, KAZ (hard – indoor)
Kazakhstan
Mikhail Kukushkin
Andrey Golubev
Aleksandr Nedovyesov
Dmitry Popko
Captain: Dias Doskarayev
Italy
Fabio Fognini
Andreas Seppi
Simone Bolelli
Paolo Lorenzi
Captain: Corrado Barazzutti

Argentina vs. Brazil
Venue: Tecnopolis, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoor)
Argentina
Leonardo Mayer
Federico Delbonis
Diego Schwartzmann
Carlos Berlocq
Captain: Daniel Orsanic
Brazil
Thomaz Bellucci
Joao Souza
Marcelo Melo
Bruno Soares
Captain: Joao Zwetsch

Serbia vs. Croatia
Venue: Kraljevo Sports Centre, Kraljevo, SRB (hard – indoor)
Serbia
Novak Djokovic
Viktor Troicki
Filip Krajinovic
Nenad Zimonjic
Captain: Bogdan Obradovic
Croatia
Borna Coric
Mate Delic
Marin Draganja
Captain: Zeljko Krajan

Canada vs. Japan
Venue: Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, CAN (hard – indoor)
Canada
Milos Raonic
Vasek Pospisil
Frank Dancevic
Daniel Nestor
Captain: Martin Laurendeau
Japan
Kei Nishikori
Go Soeda
Tatsuma Ito
Yasutaka Uchiyama
Captain: Minoru Ueda

Belgium vs. Switzerland
Venue: Country Hall du Sart Tilman, Liege, BEL (hard – indoor)
Belgium
David Goffin
Steve Darcis
Ruben Bemelmans
Niels Desein
Captain: Johan van Herck
Switzerland
Yann Marti
Adrien Bossel
Henri Laaksonen
Michael Lammer
Captain: Severin Luthi

http://www.stevegtennis.com/2015/03/davis-cup-2015-world-group-nominations-djokovic-murray-headline-weekend-action/

What Next for Tomas Berdych?

What Next for Tomas Berdych?

  • Posted: Mar 03, 2015

Berdych

 

There’s a lot of talk going on about the prospects of many players, but one guy that’s not often talked about is Tomas Berdych. For some reason, he really seems to have fallen off the radar despite amassing a 19-4 record over the first two months of 2015. And we shouldn’t fail to mention that the coaching change he’s made, getting Daniel Vallverdu into his team, has been widely regarded as a really good one.

So why is he not talked about too much, even though he broke the seemingly never-ending streak of losses against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open? Well, as it turns out, it seems that he’s still stuck in the very same place as he was stuck before. Is he beating weaker players easily? Yes, he is. Is he capable of beating a top-notch player from time to time? Yes, he is. Has he moved closer to winning a major? Well, it seems that he hasn’t. For all the talk about how ready he is and everything, it seems that he still isn’t able to beat the top guys on a regular basis. All credit to him for beating Nadal, but the Spaniard wasn’t playing well on that day and Berdych failed to follow it up with a solid performance in the semi-finals. He had his chances – just like he had them later on against Wawrinka in Rotterdam and against Djokovic in Dubai – but he failed to convert them into victories.

So what’s next for Berdych? What chances does have have of getting that elusive Grand Slam title? Decent enough, it needs to be said – he just needs to learn how to react when players change something and have a real go at him. He can’t stay back whenever Djokovic pushes him into that position, because he’s not going to break out of that cage. And he can’t stay with his mechanical game whenever his opponents start to figure it out and play around it more, he needs to be able to change something as well in the heat of the battle. Not an easy task, but it seems that this could very well be the difference between him staying where he’s at – a stable top 10 player – for the years to come and him getting at least a few really deep Grand Slam runs.

Article Continues Below Ad

There are some good news for his fans though – during the loss he suffered against Novak Djokovic in February, Berdych was actually able to adjust his game between set one and set two. The Serb fell away slightly after securing an early break, but it was the Czech’s attitude that made the difference. If more of that is to come later on, chances are that we are going to see Berdych in a Grand Slam final again.

http://www.stevegtennis.com/2015/03/what-next-for-tomas-berdych/