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Archive for the ‘francesca schiavone’ Category

Women’s R16 Set At Indian Wells

Posted by gauloises1 on March 15, 2011

Since I missed yesterday due to having to do some actual work, let’s take a quick look at the fourth-round match-ups for the women at Indian Wells, now that the third round’s been completed.

(1) Caroline Wozniacki v. (22) Alisa Kleybanova

H2H: 2-0

The world no. 1 is cruising so far in this tournament, taking out former bugbear Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in straight sets on her fourth attempt so far. Kleybanova has had a slightly tougher road but has been equally unruffled, with straight sets victories over Agnes Szavay and, last night, thirteenth seed Flavia Pennetta. Looking at the draw, if Wozniacki is going to be beaten before the semi-finals, it’s going to be here. Best of luck with that, Kleybs.

(9) Agnieszka Radwanska v. (8) Victoria Azarenka

H2H: 2 – 4

Christ on a bike, I love this match-up. Two of my favourite players with plenty of history – two great and very different games – two of the more enigmatic and spiky personalities on tour. Which just makes it all the more frustrating that it’s on court 7 for reasons unknown and therefore won’t be streamed. But OK. Radwanska toiled in her last match against Maria Kirilenko, finally winning 75 in the third after the Russian recovered from a first-set bagel, while Azarenka posted a straight sets victory over Urszula Radwanska, her opponent’s little sis. Game. On.

Dinara Safina v. (16) Maria Sharapova

H2H: 3-3

Seriously, someone is doing this on purpose. Two contemporaries who have been playing each other since 2004, the only two Russians who have ever been ranked no. 1, and both struggling back from injuries that have decimated their careers (to different extents, I grant you, but still). Sharapova had a good win over Rezai yesterday, but who really thought Dinara would be here?! She beat the fourth seed Stosur last night in straight sets, a match that I didn’t watch but C Note did, and apparently while Stosur was fairly woeful, Dinara was brilliant. Remember when she was good? I mean, really good? That might be happening again. I’m so excited.

Not to worry though, she’s still Dinara.

(18) Nadia Petrova v. Peng Shuai

H2H: 2-1

I keep telling people how much Peng Shuai has improved (OK, it might be Shuai Peng), but will anyone listen? She backed up her defeat of Li Na by beating Lucie Hradecka, who took out Alexandra Dulgheru in the previous round. It did take her three sets, but then it took Nadia three sets to beat American wildcard Christina McHale. I think Peng’s going to win this one.

(5) Francesca Schiavone v. (10) Shahar Peer

H2H: 1-3

Another really great match-up. Schiavone has definitely had an easier time of it so far, beating Zuzana Ondraskova and Alize Cornet in straight sets, but from what I’ve seen her performances have been a bit erratic. Peer has had to go three sets with two tough opponents, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but she’s beaten Schiavone every time they’ve played on hard courts. Fun times.

(23) Yanina Wickmayer v. (25) Dominika Cibulkova

H2H: 1-2

Sorry for the pictures, for some reason these ladies haven’t been photographed much. Anyway. Cibulkova of course has scored arguably the biggest upset of the tournament so far, defeating third seed Vera Zvonareva 46 76(4) 64, and has consequently been rewarded with angry mama and personal fave of mine Yanina Wickmayer, who put paid to the hopes of whipping girl Melanie Oudin and then took out fourteenth seed Kaia Kanepi. Happy days.

(6) Jelena Jankovic v. (19) Ana Ivanovic

H2H: 3-6

Whichever tennis god is doing this, I’m converting. No love lost between these Serbian former no. 1s who are both engaged in struggling out of prolonged and intermittent slumps. JJ has had a smooth ride so far against Coco Vanderweghe and Julia Goerges, and while I haven’t watched Ana’s matches, straight set wins over Date-Krumm and Zahlalova Strycova are a bit more impressive. So evidence would suggest she’s the form player so far – but then, as anyone who remembers the absolutely hilarious horror show that was their last match in Madrid will attest, reason and logic doesn’t always come into it with these girls.

(15) Marion Bartoli v. (2) Kim Clijsters

H2H: 0-3

 

Rather a tough ask for Marion, you might think, given that Kim has beaten her all three times they played. But then Kim looked pretty dreadful in her match against Sara Errani, taking three sets to subdue the Italian with a serve and forehand misfiring all over the place, while Bartoli beat a tough opponent in Andrea Petkovic in straight sets last round. So maybe it’s the Frenchwoman’s moment. Allez, I say.

And that is your WTA round of sixteen at Indian Wells. Put bluntly, if you’re not having fun with this, then you’re not paying attention.

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, alisa kleybanova, ana ivanovic, caroline wozniacki, dinara safina, dominika cibulkova, francesca schiavone, indian wells, jelena jankovic, kim clijsters, maria sharapova, marion bartoli, nadia petrova, shahar peer, shuai peng, victoria azarenka, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three Times For The Ladies, Show Me Some Love

Posted by gauloises1 on February 7, 2011

I just love Fed Cup photos.

Good luck getting the champagne out of your knickers, Kim.

Adorable Pavs.

Joyful Jarmila.

Quintessential Flavia.

Justine Henin: still retiring.

Boom boom pow.

Fed Cup faces.

It must be love.

Always have to do a double-take when I see Yanina smiling.

I could literally post pictures of Alize all day.

But I won’t.

And Sveta has the last word.

Posted in anastasia pavlyuchenkova, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, jarmila groth, justine henin, kim clijsters, lucie safarova, petra kvitova, samantha stosur, svetlana kuznetsova, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fed Cup Results: Italy, Russia, Czech Republic & Belgium Kick Ass

Posted by gauloises1 on February 7, 2011

Italy 4 – Australia 1

Jarmila Groth d. Francesca Schiavone, 67(4) 63 63
Flavia Pennetta d. Samantha Stosur, 76(5) 67(5) 64
Francesca Schiavone d. Samantha Stosur, 76(1) 36 75
Flavia Pennetta d. Jarmila Groth, 63 62
Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci d. Anastasia Rodionova / Rennae Stubbs, 26 76(1) 64

Woe for the home side in Hobart as Italy, once again, are just Too Good. Do you really think they’ll lose at all this year? After Jarka Groth’s surprise win over Francesca Schiavone in the first rubber, it was all downhill from there; Sam Stosur’s career writ large as she allowed winnable matches over first Pennetta and then Schiavone to slip away in a series of poor tiebreaks and timidity at crucial moments.

As for the Italians, Pennetta kept the tie rolling and was the backbone of the team, while Schiavone – visibly still suffering the after-effects of her Australian Open run – came up with some inspired play  to see off Stosur in the crucial third rubber.

Warriors. Then Rennae Stubbs bade farewell to Fed Cup. There were tears and a plastic kangaroo.

See you in the commentary box.

Russia 3 – France 2

Alize Cornet d. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 36 63 64
Virginie Razzano d. Maria Sharapova, 63 64
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. Alize Cornet, 36 63 62
Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Virginie Razzano, 64 64
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Julie Coin / Alize Cornet, 76(4) 60

Oh, Alize Cornet. What a rollercoaster you are. After slumping horrifically following some agonizing Fed Cup losses, you finally win your first ever live rubber – against Kuznetsova, no less – and go a set up against Pavlyuchenkova, on the brink of victory for your country. Then …

Pavlyuchenkova, subbed in for a possibly-injured, definitely-quite-useless Maria Sharapova, comes back and wins the match, letting Kuznetsova tie it up over Razzano. And then to add insult to insult, they pair up to win the tie in the doubles against … Alize Cornet.

Conclusion: never count on Alize Cornet, Pavs kicks Fed Cup ass, Sharapova’s still on the rocks, and Sveta is god.

Slovak Republic 2 – Czech Republic 3

Quite the performance from team dead-eyed lefty weapons of mass destruction, as I like to think of them. Between them, Safarova and Kvitova demolished Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova (twice) to take an unassailable 3-0 lead with more than a touch of WHAM! SPLAT! KABLAMMO! about it – and I mean that as the highest of compliments. Both were brilliant, so we can forgive them for letting the dead rubbers slide. Slovakia were simply outgunned.

 

 

 

Also, their kits are dead pretty.

Belgium 4 – USA 1

Yanina Wickmayer d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 61 76(6)
Kim Clijsters d. Melanie Oudin, 60 64
Kim Clijsters d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 67(10) 62 61
Yanina Wickmayer d. Melanie Oudin, 62 60
Liezel Huber / Vania King d. Kirsten Flipkens / An-Sophie Mestach, 63 75

We don’t really need to go into it, do we?

Posted in alicia molik, alize cornet, anastasia pavlyuchenkova, dinara safina, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, jarmila groth, kim clijsters, lucie safarova, maria sharapova, petra kvitova, rennae stubbs, samantha stosur, svetlana kuznetsova, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Business End of Slams Can Be a Bit Dull.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 25, 2011

Too good.

Too focussed on tennis.

Too …. fond of sleeping?

Too outclassed.

Too fucking epic for this Slam.

That concludes your pictorial round-up of a slightly boring day nine at the Australian Open.

Posted in andrea petkovic, australian open, caroline wozniacki, francesca schiavone, li na, novak djokovic, roger federer, stanislas wawrinka, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wimbledon Daze: Upsets

Posted by gauloises1 on June 23, 2010

Stick with me while I attempt to catch up on everything that I missed at Wimbledon while I was there. (And yes, I know I may be stretching the definition of ‘upset’ somewhat with some of these …) This is who we’ve lost so far that we wouldn’t have expected to …

Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone crashed out to Kaia Kanepi and Vera Dushevina respectively. That’s an entire French Open final gone right there. You’d almost think it was played on a different surface or something.

Verdasco lost to Fognini in five. And still needs a haircut.

Damn Croatians. You’re supposed to be the reliable one, Marin! Although why anyone thinks that, I don’t know. Anyway, I watched this match. It made me sad.

Oh, Boss.

Please don’t let that be your last Wimbledon, OK?

Grass is not Shahar’s best ever surface, it must be said. She lost to Angelique Kerber in three. Still, I’ve been vaguely touting Kerber as a thing-in-waiting, so there’s that.

Big win for bronzed god Daniel Brands, who took out Kolya in straights. Kolya is another one who doesn’t thrive on the grass at all, though. Plus that whole fractured wrist thing.

If a result doesn’t upset anyone, is it still an upset? I’ve decided that this qualifies on the basis that Robin Haase did the upsetting, which means he actually won a match. Shock face.

Not sure what’s the bigger not-really-a surprise, Mel losing in the second round or the fact that she made it.

And how about a big hand for our upsetters …

What depth.

Posted in angelique kerber, daniel brands, fabio fognini, fernando verdasco, florian mayer, francesca schiavone, james blake, jarmila groth, juan carlos ferrero, kaia kanepi, marin cilic, nikolay davydenko, robin haase, samantha stosur, vera dushevina, wimbledon, xavier malisse | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Eastbourne: Love is a Battlefield

Posted by gauloises1 on June 15, 2010

Some interesting results from a tournament so loaded it is traditionally total carnage. First up, Aravane Rezai beat Caroline Wozniacki in the Battle of the New Outfits:

Wozniacki’s loss, as defending champion, will put JJ up to no. 3 next week, I hear.

Things did not go a lot better for the almost identically-named Aleksandra Wozniak, who lost in straight sets to plucky young thing Heather Watson in the Battle of Being Nearly the Sole Hope of Your Nation:

C’mon Tim!

The Battle of the Belgians was won by Kim Clijsters in emphatic style, downing the somewhat floundering Yanina Wickmayer 61 61 after returning from her foot injury:

Francesca Schiavone followed in the footsteps of last year’s French Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in losing in the first round, bundled out by Sorana Cirstea in the Battle of Career Highs at Roland Garros:

Sveta herself, meanwhile, survived the Battle of the Russians, beating Alisa Kleybanova 46 75 62. Then she announced she was playing doubles with Rezai at Wimbledon via twitter. That whacky Sveta.

In younger generation news, Victoria Azarenka took out Agnieszka Radwanska in the Battle of Can I Get Past the Wimbledon Quarters This Year? No:

But she does have amazing hair.

And in the Battle of the Careers Plagued By Injury, Elena Baltacha was left standing for once as Li Na, probably exhausted from her efforts in Edgbaston last week, retired after winning the first set, 76(6):

And that was your WTA wackiness for the day.

Meanwhile, on the ATP side, James Ward and Feliciano Lopez duked it out fiercely to see who could confound expectations the most. Ward looked to have an unassailable lead on that front, as he stunned everyone by not only winning the first set but going up a break in the second. Not to be outdone, however, Lopez abruptly retired at 4-5 down, denying Ward the chance to explode spectactularly when serving for it. A Pyrrhic victory at best, one feels.

ATP – Tuesday’s Results

Singles – Second Round
[5] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d F Fognini (ITA) 62 62
I Marchenko (UKR) d [6] H Zeballos (ARG) 76(2) 63

Singles – First Round
[1] N Almagro (ESP) d L Kubot (POL) 75 76(3)
[WC] J Ward (GBR) d [2] F Lopez (ESP) 63 54 ret. (shoulder)
Y Lu (TPE) d K Beck (SVK) 64 64
R Schuettler (GER) d A Golubev (KAZ) 62 63

Doubles – First Round
[2] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d L Friedl (CZE) / D Vemic (SRB) 76(4) 62
[4] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d R Hutchins (GBR) / J Kerr (AUS) 63 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) d [WC] J Delgado (GBR) / D Inglot (GBR) 62 62
L Mayer (ARG) / H Zeballos (ARG) d M Emmrich (GER) / A Siljestrom (SWE) 76(4) 62

WTA – Tuesday’s Results

Singles – First Round
Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 16 63
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (2) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 75 63
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 76(2) 61
(5) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 61 61
(Q) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (6) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 76(5) 61
(WC) Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. (7) Li Na (CHN) 67(6) ret. (left thigh injury)
Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (Q) Karolina Sprem (CRO) 26 75 76(4)
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 16 61 63
(Q) Heather Watson (GBR) d. (Q) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 63 62
(WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 46 75 62

Doubles – First Round
(1) Huber/Martínez Sánchez (USA/ESP) d. Gallovits/Petrova (ROU/RUS) 62 64
Ruano Pascual/Shaughnessy (ESP/USA) d. (WC) Keothavong/South (GBR/GBR) 64 36 107
Black/Hantuchova (ZIM/SVK) d. Amanmuradova/Voracova (UZB/CZE) 63 63
Chan/Zheng (TPE/CHN) d. Dushevina/Makarova (RUS/RUS) 75 06 108
Grandin/Spears (RSA/USA) d. Chuang/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) 76(1) 60

Posted in aravane rezai, caroline wozniacki, eastbourne, elena baltacha, feliciano lopez, francesca schiavone, heather watson, james ward, kim clijsters, sorana cirstea, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RG Day 14: Now With My Words

Posted by gauloises1 on June 8, 2010

Sorry, I couldn’t resist turning things over to the eloquent Ms. Schiavone in my previous post. Who could? She fistpumped the end of her own national anthem. Fried gold.

Anyway. Tough day for Sam Stosur. She played such a great tournament, absolutely demolished JJ in the semis, looked to be rolling … and then came up short.

I feel for her. In fact, I started off the final rooting for her. And I don’t think she played her absolute best, with her big weapon just MIA one too many times, even when she had the chance to really unleash on it as she did with such success throughout the tournament. But I don’t know how much difference it really would have made, because at the end of the day, she came up against an opponent playing the match of her life.

What a performance by Francesca Schiavone. Hard to believe that she’s only five foot five – or that she’s almost 30 – because she played like a giant and with absolute fearlessness. It wasn’t quite Stosur’s day and it was 100% Schiavone’s. How does that happen?

My enduring memories of this match: the one-handed backhand returns Schiavone hit off Stosur’s phenomenal kick serve, and her reaction in the tiebreak, two points from the end of the match, when she celebrated like someone who wasn’t going to be denied. Oh, and of course her actual celebration when Sam framed on match point.

I honestly think Schiavone said it better than I could have, but really … pure heart. Pure passion. Pure will. And a women’s final that was purely fantastic sport.

Thank you, ladies.

Grazie mille, Francesca.

Posted in francesca schiavone, french open, samantha stosur, titlists | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

RG Day Fourteen: Roman a Clay

Posted by gauloises1 on June 8, 2010

Francesca Schiavone d. Samantha Stosur, 64 76(2)

Q. Had you ever dreamed of winning Roland Garros? Did you believe that you could do it?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I always dream, yes. I always believe in myself. Not about the trophy or tournament, but just on myself I think was the key for everything. I’m so happy. I’m really so happy.

Q. What does it mean that this little girl who started playing is now the champion of this incredible tennis tournament?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: This is mean that everybody have the chance to be who really you want to be, and to do everything in your life. This is what’s happen to me.

Q. Newspapers across the world, television stations, there are going to be big headlines taller than you are saying, Upset; unbelievable; couldn’t happen. What do you call what you did today?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Um, to go over. Oltre? (Through translation.) Over the limits. Si, over the limits. [...] Over the limits, and be really everything that you can be in one hour, 20 minutes, two hours.

Q. I guess you are national hero now in Italy. How does that feel? What do you expect? In Italy, are they going to celebrate you like for weeks? Are there gonna be 50,000 people in Rome? I don’t know. What do you expect?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No. Who care?
No, I want to go home to mommy and daddy. This is my goal for the moment, because usually we do good dinner or good lunch, ten people, usually. Now I think I have to buy a new house, bigger, for 50 people.
No, I don’t know really because now I am here and I can’t feel what’s happen in Italy. But for sure, for me is an honor to be champion and to be a person that maybe someone can take like example.

Q. If you think back to the tiebreak, you came closer and closer with every point. So how was the feeling inside? Because you looked going crazy in a positive way. So how did it feel?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I was feeling much more energy and more and more and more. I couldn’t stop it. I really felt that that one was my moment. I took it. I didn’t lose the chance.
I didn’t care about nothing. I want to take that point and play my tennis. It was the moment.

Q. I know you feel no matter where you play you are going to win the match, but was there something inside you when you came to Paris that told you you were going to do this?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: The true, in the true, maybe not. But inside, yes. I really always dreamed this tournament. It’s strange to say it, but when I call my daddy, he say to me, I remember you that you always dream this one. Every morning that you wake up, you work to do something like this.
So maybe it was far away in the reality, but here never far away.

Posted in francesca schiavone, french open | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Your 2010 Roland Garros Champions

Posted by gauloises1 on June 7, 2010

Working on dredging up some thoughts from my World Cup-wearied brain … any second now.

Posted in francesca schiavone, french open, rafael nadal | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

RG Day 10: Paris o Morte!

Posted by gauloises1 on June 2, 2010

Today was indeed a heartwarming day, wasn’t it? In addition to Soderling and Berdych on the men’s side, on the women’s side we had Elena Dementieva once again flying under the radar to outlast younger and more hyped players to reach her gazillionth Slam semi-final after defeating Nadia Petrova.

I have to admit that probably the worst WTA match I’ve ever watched was between these two ladies, and from the look of things, I’m not sorry I missed this one.

Commiserations to Nadia, who was obviously physically hampered (she pulled out of her doubles match last night) and pulled off two great wins in this tournament, beating Aravane Rezai and Venus Williams to make Roland Garros 2010 at least 50% more boring fashionwise. But equally huge congratulations to Elena, who didn’t come to Paris in the greatest form or physical shape and has looked to be on her way out at least once, only to regroup and find herself with an excellent chance of making the finals.

Elena will face Francesca Schiavone, who asked not what her country could do for her when she beat Caroline Wozniacki 62 63 to become the first Italian woman to make the semi-finals of a Slam. That is huge, and it was a huge performance from her; crafty, aggressive, throwing the full range of her talents at Wozniacki and making her look decidedly one-dimensional.

And Schiavone is almost 30. And she gave an awesome press conference:

Q. Your moment of triumph of was so special. Your face was filled with joy. I know it’s difficult, but can you try and talk about emotion, the role of emotion and your play, your feeling at that moment?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Heart attack.

Q. Hard to put in words, is what I meant to say.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: Maybe I can tell you in Italian; is more easy.

Q. In Italian is fine.
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: No, that’s okay.
I think in that moment you remember many things from when you are when you were young. Is special because is your space, is your time, is your opportunity.
I felt alone, but with all the love around me is bo. (I don’t know.) It’s like if I ask you, How did you feel when you married? You say, It’s not easy to explain.
Is not enough?

Q. More than enough.

More than enough indeed.

Posted in caroline wozniacki, elena dementieva, francesca schiavone, french open, nadia petrova | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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