Friday, September 30, 2011

You get a bye, you get a bye, everybody gets a bye.

Alas, we are now at the semi final stage to the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, and not only the four semi finalists vying for the title, but they have all also earned a bye for next weeks China Open in Beijing. In true WTA style the quarter finals weren't with out drama.

In the Wimbledon final rematch between Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova, we looked as if we were going to have a great match on our hands. With only one break point seen in the match and Sharapova seemingly found her serve. Thing went on serve and continued that way until Kvitova led 4-3 15-40 which is when Sharapova unfortunately landed awkwardly on her ankle. After a medical time out Sharapova was forced to retire, with what is believed to be a slight ankle sprain. The russian is now likely to withdraw from Beijing, and to be honest the injury could not have come at worse time for the three time Slam champ as she was on the verge of reclaiming the number 1 rank. Unless Maria gets a quick turn around, wins Beijing and does incredibly well at the Year End Championships, it would appear her bid for year end number one is seemingly over. If you missed here are some highlights, including the injury.

In the semi's Kvitova will meet with Vera Zvonareva. The world number four won her match with fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, who as been in fine form starting from the US Open. Zvonareva prevailed with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Kirilenko and improved her lifetime head to head against her compatriot to 6-0.

In the top half of the draw Victoria Azarenka recoverd from a minor first set choke to prevail 7-5 6-0 against Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-2 7-6. Kanepi has defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the previous round.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The week that was - L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N

the time has come, we begin the final dash to the YEC's with the big Asian swing beginning with Tokyo today. And is may come as a surpirse to some, me being one, that yes tennis has been played since the US Open. So what have I missed you say? Well that's what I am here for, to tell you just that.
And that's about it for now. Thank you and goodnight. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Underdog from Down Under claims first slam title.

The Australian's have been waiting a while for a woman to step up - 31 years in fact - and boy did we get that. it undoubtedly the best match of her life Sam Stosur brushed aside huge tournament favourite Serena Williams 6-2  6-3 in and hour and 17 minutes. The last Australian to win a slam was Evonne Goolagong Cawley when she triumphed at Wimbledon.

Having not been past round three at a slam this year and struggling to dispatch of Nadia Petrova, Maria Kirilenko and even shock semi finalist Angelique Kurber in previous rounds, Srotsur was very much the underdog, however it seemed as if Stosur was playing for her 14th slam title not her first. In the first set Samantha took advantage of an off song Serena to break the great champion twice.

In the first game of the second set Serena, who embarrassed the world number in the semifinals, was down a break point and got called for hindrance. Williams hit a blistering forehand and almost simultaneously screamed "Come on" as the ball tip the frame of Stosur's out stretched raquet. Umpire Eva Asderaki awarded the point to Stosur and Serena was not impressed. As she began to rip into the umpire, "Aren't you the one who screwed me over last time? Yeah you are. You have it out for me and that is not cool" Serena responded by breaking back the next game and continued her 'chat' with the umpire "“If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way, because you’re out of control,” Williams said. “You’re out of control. You’re totally out of control. You’re a hater. You’re unattractive...inside. Who would do such a thing? And I never complain. Wow," and finally "Am I not allowed to express my self? Last time I checked we were in America" On Monday Williams will find out the punishment of her behaviour under her probation.

Nothing can be used to take away from Stosur's huge achievement which saw her over power tennis Goliath. Hopefully with Samantha's success the old saying Success breads success will ring truer than ever.

Returning at 5-3 Stosur powered to a 40-15 lead but Serena, being Serena, showed her fight to some degree pushing deuce, however only prolonging the inevitable as Stosur powered a forehand return of serve past Serena to claim the title.

In the on court post match ceremony Stosur praised Williams for being such a great champion and thanking her for all the amazing things she had done for the sport.

APOLOGIES - Pictures are not loading at this stage but will get them up ASAP.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Serena and Samantha set for emotional final.

On the ten year anniversary of the horrific 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Virginia, 28th seed Serena Williams and 9th seed Samantha Stosur will set battle for the 2011 US Open title.

Stosur was the first of the pair to make the final winning her match against surprise semi finalist Angelique Kerber on the Grandstand. The German world number 92 put up more resistance that what most had expected pushing the Australian all the way in a 6-3 2-6 6-2 victory for the Aussie. This will be Stosur's first final at the pinnacle level since finishing runner up to Francesca Schiavone at last years French Open. Kerber showed her fight in the final set coming from 0-5 down to have points for 3-5 but Stosur's experience won out on the day.

Stosur's opponent in the final will be American Serena Williams, who defeat World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4 to advance to her fifth US Open final and seventeenth overall slam final. By defeating Wozniacki, Serena won her 18th consecutive match - after winning US Open series title in Stanford and Toronto - and if she wins tomorrow she will collect the biggest pay day in tennis history. $1,800,000 prize money plus her one million dollar bonus for winning the US Open Series. Williams return to the US Open final is an insperatinol feet after she missed almost a year due to a series of injuries which saw her basically on her death bed, and it is only Williams' sixth tournament back.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stosur edges Petrova in three set marathon.

In warm conditions during the evening match on Louis Armstrong Stadium, the hard-hitting duo exchanged breaks to start the match before Stosur held to love in the third game, setting the tone for what would turn out to be the best women's match of the tournament to date and the longest recorded women's match at the US Open in the open era.

Serving for the first set at 5-3, the Queenslander gave away three set points and was eventually broken by Petrova, who had won 4 of their 5 previous encounters.
The resultant tiebreak was won by the Australian despite a moment of frustration when a successful hawk-eye challenge on a late call gave the Russian the point.

The 27 year-old, who landed 48 winners to her opponent's 37, served for the match at 5-4 in and despite turning two break points into two match points, again found herself broken by the powerful Russian 24th seed.

Petrova broke in the third game of the final set to take the lead for the first time but put a forehand into the net, allowing the Australian to level it at 4-4.

Stosur gave away her third match point with a long forehand before an electrifying rally on her fourth match point went Petrova's way.
Putting immense pressure on the Russian, Stosur created a fifth match point which she claimed as Petrova's return sailed into the net.

The upset of the day goes to Flavia Pennetta for dispatching of Russian third seed Maria Sharapova 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Friday, September 2, 2011

History in the making.

Five. That's the number of American girls who are into the third round of the US Open. Lead by 28th seed and title favourite Serena Williams, a wave of young American tennis players are all buying to leave their mark on the US Open.

Irina Falconi, Christina McHale, Sloane Stepehens and Vania King all dispatched of their seeded second round opponents to advance to the third round, all of them making it their best slam result to date. 16-year-old Madison Keys was unfortunate not to join then, narrowly going down in a tough three setter.

Serena Williams may have been ruthless in her second round encounter with Michaella Krajicek, but her years on the tour are numbed as she approaches 30 this September. The refreshing, new found success of the young stars is a pleasant surprise to see after years of searching for "The Next Williams Sister" and well, they may not have found her yet, and we shouldn't get carried away but its pretty hard not to love this.

McHale and Falconi won their respective matches yesterday while today Stephens played her match on grandstand. The big serving American broke her 23rd seeded opponent three times in the opening set where she demolished Sharhar Peer 6-1. The Israeli then bounced back to get an advantage in the second set and served for it at 5-3, Stephens showed great resistance and persistence to force a second set tie breaker where she found the edge winning it 7-4. Stephens will play 16th seed Ana Ivanovic on Saturday for a spot in the 4th round.

Fellow American Vania King played against 29th seeded Australian Jarmila Gajdasova. Jarmila has been struggling for form since her loss to Caroline Wozniacki at Wimbledon and was not able to turn things around in New York. Edged on by her home crowed on court 17, doubles specialist Vania King was far too good for Gajdasova posting an impressive 6-2 6-0 victory. King had been to the third round at the US Open once before, in 2009 where she also defeated an Australian in the second round. Thing only get tougher for King now as she faces world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.

Belarusian fourth seed Victoria Azarenka won her 2nd round match against Gisela Dulko to set up the most highly anticipated 3rd round match I can ever remember, as she now gets ready to take on Serena Williams.

Tomorrow night, Christina McHale takes on 25th seed Maria Kirilenko in the first night match on Ashe. Hope she doesn't get stage fright.