Tag: Venus Williams

Dubai: Venus, Ivanovic and Kvitova out but Wozniacki through

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova and fourth-seeded Ana Ivanovic followed defending champion Venus Williams to an early exit at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

In all, five of the top eight seeded players failed to reach Thursday’s quarter-finals: Kvitova, Ivanovic, No.5 Agnieszka Radwanska, No.7 Angelique Kerber and No.8 Williams.

Kvitova, the reigning Wimbledon champion, went down 6-3 4-6 6-3 to 13th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro, while Ivanovic fell to 17th-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2 4-6 6-4.

Suarez Navarro pulled out of the Antwerp final last Sunday with a neck injury, but appears in fine form this week. Top-seeded Simona Halep and third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki will be in third-round action later.

Williams, with three career titles in Dubai, lost 6-4 6-2 to 11th-seeded Lucie Safarova. The eighth-seeded Williams looked listless in the humid 93 degree temperatures.

“I think she played awesome,” Williams said. “There were a couple of games there that I didn’t even get my racket on the ball. What can I say to that?”

Williams offered Safarova six opportunities to break serve and the Czech player took advantage four times, twice in each set.

“I was firing the ball, serving really well,” Safarova said. “I put the pressure [on] right away from the first point. My lefty serve into her body and mixing the lefty serve with the really flat and fast serves, that seems [to] give her a little trouble.”

Joining Williams on the sidelines was fifth-seeded Radwanska, who lost to unseeded Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-2. Radwanska was broken five times.

“I think when you’re not playing your best tennis then it’s hard to compete with those kind of players,” Radwanska said. “I think I didn’t serve well enough to win that.”

By contrast, top-seed Simona Halep and third-seed Caroline Wozniacki scored straight set victories to advance.

Halep ousted Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-3, while Wozniacki beat 15th-seed Alize Cornet, last year’s finalist, 6-4 6-0. Halep, who lost her serve on double-faults in the first game of both sets, said she was unaware of all the seeded players that lost ahead of her on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter sometimes who wins or who loses, because tennis, it’s like you never know what is happening on court,” Halep said. “So, I take every match like a tough one and I expect everything.”

Wozniacki knew of the upsets. Nevertheless, she wasn’t concerned she might suffer the same fate.

“I think the players that won, it’s not like they come out of nowhere,” Wozniacki said. “Most of these girls have had a good year or are very high in the rankings. It happens at big tournaments like this.”

Elsewhere, seventh-seed Angelique Kerber was ousted by 10th-seeded Flavia Pennetta 6-2 3-6 6-1 and sixth-seed Ekaterina Makarova defeated Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3 6-4.

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Madison Keys to play Serena Williams in semi-finals

Madison Keys beat Venus Williams to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final and end the possibility of an all-Williams contest at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The unseeded 19-year-old came through 6-3 4-6 6-4 in one hour and 54 minutes.

The American goes on to face top seed Serena Williams, who swept past 11th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-2.

sereena-williams-beats-dominika-cibulkova

Keys overcame a recurrence of the upper leg injury that hampered her at Wimbledon last year, requiring a medical timeout off court during the second set.

“It was definitely kind of a flashback to Wimbledon for me,” she said. “I have had some problems with that part of my leg, so it was kind of an overwhelming moment.

“It was kind of scary but luckily I was able to catch it before I did any real damage to it.”

Serena Williams fired down 15 aces in a comprehensive 65-minute win over last year’s finalist Cibulkova.

The 33-year-old American has won the title on all five occasions she has made it past the quarter-finals.

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Venus Williams into quarter-finals

Venus, affected by an energy-sapping illness, hadn’t advanced past the third round of any grand slam tournament since Wimbledon in 2011.

Now a quarter-final win could put the seven-time major winner into a potential semi-final against her younger sister.

After she recovered an early break in the third, Venus Williams dominated the rest of the match and clinched it with an ace to set up a match against fellow American Madison Keys.

Her inspiration? “Definitely my sister Serena, she’s just the ultimate champion,” Venus said. “And definitely a lot of inspiration from all my fans who have stayed behind me through thick and thin.”

The No.10-ranked Cibulkova pounded 44 winners and broke former world No.1 Azarenka’s serve seven times to reach a grand slam quarter-final for the sixth time. She lost the final here last year to the now-retired Li Na, and is back in that kind of form.

“I just walked onto the court and all great memories came to my mind,” she said, reflecting on how her run last year is inspiring her at the Australian Open, “I thought ‘I’m a great player and I can do it.”

“As you can see, I’m not the tallest player on tour, I need to have something extra if I want to beat these top players,” she said of her heavy ground strokes. “This is my energy on the court, this is how I play.”

Keys advanced to her first grand slam quarter-final with a 6-2 6-4 win over good friend Madison Brengle. It was the first time since Jennifer Capriati played Amy Frazier at the 2002 US Open that two Americans besides the Williams sisters played each other this late in a grand slam.
Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Serena Williams & Novak Djokovic into third round

Serena Williams reached the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Russia’s Vera Zvonareva.

The American top seed, 33, came through a tight first set to win 7-5 6-0 as the temperature reached 33C in Melbourne.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka defeated eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic thrashed Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4 and defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Marius Copil 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

djokovic-through-to-3rd-round

Battle of the former number ones

Victoria Azarenka was back to form after an injury-blighted season as she beat eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

After overcoming her fellow former world number one, the Belarusian will play Czech 26th seed Barbora Zahlavova in the third round.

There was no missing Azarenka, in bright yellow, as she dictated play from the baseline and wrapped up victory in 98 minutes.

The 2012 and 2013 champion broke the Dane twice in the second set and clobbered 31 winners in the match.

Williams sisters roll back the years

Serena and Venus Williams are back in round three of the Australian Open, 17 years after their first visit to Melbourne.

Venus, 34, beat Lauren Davis 6-2 6-3 to ensure both sisters will be involved in the last 32 on Saturday.

The pair first played at Melbourne Park in 1998, with Venus beating Serena in the second round.

“I just remember what a tough match [it was],” Venus said. “It was just relentless. I think it finally ended with a break in the third. That’s all I can remember.

“It was very tough I think for both of us. Neither one of us could get the upper edge. It was just a marathon.”

Watson progress in doubles

Heather Watson was back on court – the same court – 48 hours after losing in the singles, and requiring treatment from the doctor.

The British number one said on Tuesday she had struggled for energy but that she expected the issue to pass quickly, and so it appeared on Thursday.

Watson and her Russian partner Alexandra Panova, who held two match points against Maria Sharapova on Wednesday, fought through to round two of the doubles.

With the temperature nudging 34C, the pair led Shahar Peer and Annika Beck 2-6 7-5 3-1 on court 10 when the Israeli-German team retired.

Read more at BBC Sport

Tennis: Wozniacki and Venus Cruise in Auckland

Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams made very impressive starts to the 2015 season with straight set victories at the ASB Classic

Former No.1s Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams made fantastic starts to their 2015 seasons on Tuesday, winning their ASB Classic openers handily in straight sets.

The No.3-seeded Williams was the first of the pair to move through, blasting 10 aces and needing just 52 minutes to get a little bit of family revenge on Jana Cepelova, 6-1, 6-0. Cepelova had beaten Serena Williams at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston last year – this one was no contest though.

This is Williams’ second time playing the ASB Classic, going all the way to the final here a year ago before falling in three grueling sets to Ana Ivanovic. It would propel the American to her best season since 2010, winning the Dubai title and reaching another two finals in Montréal and Québec City.

“I felt very welcome when I came back on the court today – it was like I picked up where I left off last year,” Williams said afterwards. “The fans appreciate every point here. They’re very appreciative of all the effort the players give. And that feels good when you don’t hit the best shot out there!

“But it went well for me today. To get to the final I’ll have to play five days in a row, so I definitely don’t want to play super long matches. It’s much easier on me to play shorter matches like this.”

Wozniacki, the No.1 seed, had a slightly tougher challenge in the feature evening match but still managed to move through relatively unscathed, outdoing Israeli qualifier Julia Glushko, 6-3, 6-2.

“Maybe it wasn’t the prettiest match, but I got through and I won it,” Wozniacki commented. “The first match is always tough. I served well, but I want to keep playing better as the week goes on.

“I love the crowd here, though. They made me feel very welcome. I love everybody here.”

This is Wozniacki’s second time playing the ASB Classic too – she was a quarterfinalist in 2009 – and during a pre-tournament shopping trip the Dane talked about how glad she is to be back here.

“I love it here,” Wozniacki commented. “I haven’t been back to Auckland for many years, but it’s such a great place to start the season, and I’m excited to play and get the 2015 season going here.”

There were mixed results for the other two seeds in action, with No.5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova falling to Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka in a two-hour-and-25-minute grinder, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, but No.7 seed CoCo Vandeweghe dropping 11 aces en route to a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Roberta Vinci.

Read more at WTA

Tennis: Agnieszka Radwanska beats Venus Williams in Toronto

Agnieszka Radwanska swept aside Venus Williams to win the women’s singles title at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

The Pole won 6-4 6-2 in 82 minutes to clinch her 14th WTA title.

“I really had an amazing week,” said Radwanska, 25, who defeated Victoria Azarenka and Ekaterina Makarova on her run to the final.

The win gives Radwanska her first tournament victory of 2014 and will be a boost for the world number five ahead of the US Open later this month.

Radwanska took control of the match early on against an erratic Williams, racing into a 4-1 lead and holding her nerve to close out the first set.

And Williams, who defeated her sister Serena in a three-set semi-final on Saturday, was no match for the energetic Pole in a one-sided second set.

Read More on BBC Sport

Despite the defeat, Williams, who is expected to return to the top 20 in the world rankings, refused to be downbeat about her performance.