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Archive for the ‘venus williams’ Category

Serbian Semi-finals in Rome

Posted by gauloises1 on May 7, 2010

Yes, it’s still happening. Ana Ivanovic won a fourth consecutive match against a high-quality opponent, defeating Nadia Petrova 62 75. I didn’t see the match, but the result speaks for itself. And if it didn’t, C Note would.

Yep, we’re back to this.

Ana has a winnable match against tricky but unpredictable Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez next, and could be in the final of her first WTA event since Indian Wells in 2009. It’s happening.

But I want to talk about the match I did see, which was JJ defeating Venus, 60 61. That’s Venus’ worst defeat in her career, and – as the result suggests – a huge, huge performance from JJ.

I’m familiar with the ‘Venus is not what she was’ arguments, and the second set was certainly fairly woeful from her. But she played well in the first set, and it simply didn’ t make a difference. This JJ, and the one that beat Wickmayer, didn’t wear her opponent down or outlast her or rely on unforced errors. She overwhelmed Venus, and rendered what she was doing more or less irrelevant. I’m not saying she’s going to be able to sustain this form; I’m just saying it was a reminder of what she can do, and a revelation too. If she can bring this kind of game to Roland Garros …

Tough times tomorrow, though, as she’s playing Serena Williams, who overwhelmed Maria Kirilenko today and isn’t going to want to lose to JJ.

Excellent tournament for Maria Kirilenko though, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dominika Cibulkova on her way to this quarterfinal. Solid work.

Still, no disrespect intended to anyone else left in the draw, but I really want JJ to win tomorrow. Not to get to the final; just to see more of the way she’s been playing. It’s been, simply, the sex.

Posted in ana ivanovic, jelena jankovic, maria kirilenko, rome, serena williams, venus williams | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Miami: “Kimpressive”, To Quote Brad Gilbert

Posted by gauloises1 on April 5, 2010

Kim Clijsters d. Venus Williams, 62 61

This match took 58 minutes. That’s probably all you need to know. It was also the only match I got to see in the latter stages on either side, so you can guess it was kind of a letdown. Kim was very impressive; Venus was terrible, although it’s hard to tell how much her knee injury played into that, especially as she was her usual communicative self in her presser:

Q.  Your power is a great asset.  With the clay coming up there’s a premium on consistency.  Is that a concern with your groundstrokes at this stage?
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Should it be a concern of mine?

 Q.  Well, that’s up to you to answer.  Depends how well you felt you were hitting it.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  I was just wondering what you thought.

 Q.  Well, overall.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Overall, I believe in me and my game.  So no matter what the surface, I’m ready to play.

Thanks for that. So Kim nabs her second and biggest title of the year and goes some way to regaining the momentum lost after her Australian Open defeat, Venus is fine or possibly not, we’ll never know, and still nobody’s sure what the narrative really is this season. Business as usual in the WTA. And congratulations to Kim.

Posted in kim clijsters, miami, titlists, venus williams | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Poor Dani

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

You have to feel for Daniela Hantuchova. Well, I don’t know if you have to, but I do. She came into yesterday’s match 0-9 down against Venus, played probably some of the best (and toughest) tennis I’ve ever seen her play against a patchy and inconsistent opponent … and still lost, 64 in the third.

It’s harsh, but there were some really encouraging signs that working with the Adidas Player Development Programme and Darren Cahill in particular might really pay off for her. I’ve always felt like she had much more to give.

As for Venus, she’s up against Agnieszka Radwanska next, who’s stealthily been on good form of late. One suspects, however, not good enough …

Posted in daniela hantuchova, miami, venus williams | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Like the Oscars, But More Meaningful

Posted by gauloises1 on March 25, 2010

The 2010 Sony Ericsson WTA Player Awards were given out yesterday in Miami, with Serena picking up Player of the Year; Serena and Venus jointly taking Doubles Team/Fan Favourite Doubles Team of the Year; Kim Clijsters nabbing Comeback and Sportsmanship, Yanina Wickmayer taking Most Improved, Melanie Oudin Newcomer of the Year, and Elena Dementieva winning Fan Favourite Singles Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Horacio Zeballos picked up the ATP award for Breakthrough of the Year, or something along those lines. I don’t know, I just like looking at his gentle eyes.

I feel like he would gently stroke your hair. For hours. Without being asked.

Posted in elena dementieva, kim clijsters, melanie oudin, miami, serena williams, venus williams, WTA, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Venus Wins Shiny Thing, Much Cash

Posted by gauloises1 on March 2, 2010

So that made-up exo thingy I was talking about was last night – sorry, the BNP Paribas Showdown of Champions in Madison Square Garden for the Billie Jean King Cup – and Venus won it. Well done. She beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 64 before facing Kim Clijsters, who defeated Ana Ivanovic 76(2), and beating her 64 36 75.

Venus just wears winning so well. What a great month for her. Of course, she couldn’t have done it without the help of her supporting cast who each reportedly showcased their special talents.

Sveta emoted.

And Ana … well, you know.

And a good time was had by all. Or possibly not. I hear that the event was fairly sparsely attended but that the tennis was good. Linz, are you out there? What did you think?

Posted in ana ivanovic, exhibitions, kim clijsters, svetlana kuznetsova, venus williams | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Acapulchitrude.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 1, 2010

Well, my semi-final lineup of sex went a bit wrong after Juan Monaco was forced to retire a set down to Boss on Friday night. But we still got an awesome bromance final featuring David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero. The Buenos Aires match-up ended differently with Ferru triumphing 63 36 61, ending Boss’ streak of fourteen straight wins.

Still pretty.

Unfortunately, Boss hurt his knee during the final and has been forced to withdraw from next weekend’s Davis Cup tie. He’ll be replaced by Almagro. Boo.

But that said … David Ferrer, ladies and gentlemen. It feels like ages since my second-favourite Spaniard (granted, not a huge accolade, but still) won a title – Valencia in 2008 – and it was really nice to see him lift a trophy.

Even if it is a giant pear thing.

Also enjoying the kitsch fruits of her labour in Acapulco? Venus Williams, who albeit with some bizarre lapses, beat Polona Hercog 26 62 63 to defend her title.

It’s so random that Venus plays this tournament, but it’s well worth it for these photos.

Posted in acapulco, david ferrer, juan carlos ferrero, titlists, venus williams | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

This Is How I Like My Semis Served

Posted by gauloises1 on February 26, 2010

… Drenched in hotness.

Juan Monaco. Juan Carlos Ferrero. Fernando Gonzalez. David Ferrer. And all on filthy red clay. Acapulco, frankly, has proved to be the sex.

Special props to Boss, notching up his thirteenth straight win and defeating Nicolas Almagro, the two-time champion; and to Juan Monaco, who took out top seed Fernando Verdasco in his biggest win since the same opponent was forced to retire against him in Bastad last year. Semi-finals to come later tonight, and it’s worth nothing that all four semi-finalists will be featuring prominently in Davis Cup ties this time next week.

On the women’s side, Carla Suarez Navarro upset Gisela Dulko but is currently a set down to Polona Hercog, while Venus Williams came *this* close to losing to Laura Pous Tios, ranked over three hundred points below her, but survived to face Edina Gallovits later tonight.

Full Results

Singles – Quarter-finals
[7] J Monaco (ARG) d [1] [WC] F Verdasco (ESP) 75 63
[2] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [Q] E Schwank (ARG) 36 63 75
[3] D Ferrer (ESP) d P Cuevas (URU) 75 64
[4] J Ferrero (ESP) d [6] N Almagro (ESP) 61 57 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d P Cuevas (URU) / F Gonzalez (CHI) 64 62
F Fognini (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d [2] M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA) 62 36 10-7
J Monaco (ARG) / H Zeballos (ARG) d [WC] S Gonzalez (MEX) / N Massu (CHI) 75 61

Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Venus Williams (USA) d. (Q) Laura Pous Tio (ESP) 46 63 75
(8) Polona Hercog (SLO) d. (2) Agnes Szavay (HUN) 64 01 ret. (left adductor strain)
(5) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. (3) Gisela Dulko (ARG) 61 76(4)
Edina Gallovits (ROU) d. Sharon Fichman (CAN) 75 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) d. (WC) Cirstea/Cornet (ROU/FRA) 57 75 106
(2) Uhlirova/Voracova (CZE/CZE) d. Fichman/Washington (CAN/USA) 75 61
(4) Hercog/Zahlavova Strycova (SLO/CZE) d. Osterloh/Tatishvili (USA/GEO) 75 62

Order of Play

Central Court (from 15.00hrs)
1. Carla Suárez Navarro vs. Polona Hercog
2. ATP: Monaco vs. Ferrero (NB 17.00hrs)
3. Venus Williams vs. Edina Gallovits (NB 19.00hrs)
4. ATP: Ferrer vs. González (NB 21.00hrs)

Cancha 2 (from 15.00hrs)
1. Hlavackova/Hradecka vs. Errani/Vinci
2. ATP: Kubot/Marach vs. Damm/Polasek (NB 17.00hrs)
3. Hercog/Zahlavova Strycova vs. Uhlirova/Voracova
4. ATP: Monaco/Zeballos vs. Fognini/Starace

Posted in acapulco, fernando gonzalez, juan carlos ferrero, juan monaco, venus williams | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

WTA Week Ahead: Acapulco, Kuala Lumpur

Posted by gauloises1 on February 22, 2010

Two Internationals for the women this week …

Acapulco

Draw here.

Top Seeds: Venus Williams, Agnes Szavay, Gisela Dulko, Sorana Cirstea. If Venus doesn’t defend here, too … Christ on a bike.

Kuala Lumpur

A new tournament, this. Draw here.

Top Seeds: Elena Dementieva, Li Na, Zheng Jie, Alisa Kleybanova 

Posted in acapulco, kuala lumpur, venus williams, wta week ahead | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Dubai: Venus Victorious

Posted by gauloises1 on February 21, 2010

Blooming in the desert once again, Venus Williams defeated Victoria Azarenka 63 75 to take the Dubai title for the second year in a row.

I have to say that was one impressive performance from Venus. It’s been almost a year since her last title (Acapulco) and that’s almost as long as it’s been since I’ve seen her play that well. She was sharp, focussed, serving great, and her concentration didn’t lapse. She’s nearly 30 and she’s still showing up and winning big titles when she wants to. I call that impressive.

That said … poor Vika. She clearly really wanted this title and played, I thought, really well. Venus was just too good. It’s dispiriting in the extreme, but on the plus side, does provide some classic Azarenka reaction shots:

Not funny.

There better have been a group hug on Twitter.

Congratulations, Venus.

Posted in dubai, titlists, venus williams, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Your Tennis News Round-Up: Who’s In …

Posted by gauloises1 on February 19, 2010

Shahar Peer, mainly.

She’s now beaten Yanina Wickmayer, top seed Caroline Wozniacki, and now Li Na after the latter was forced to retire with a back injury trailing 75 30. She may be surrounded by a small fleet of bodyguards and yet to play on the main court, there may be bizarre Twitter assassination nonsense going on, but Shahar is doing her job and doing it incredibly well under difficult circumstances. Good girl.

Victoria Azarenka had an impressive 61 63 over Vera Zvonareva, a titlist last week in Pattaya City and the conqueror of Jelena Jankovic one round earlier. Before today, Azarenka was 1 for 4 against Zvonareva. Nice to see her making inroads in the head-to-head.

Agnieszka Radwanska is also having a quietly impressive tournament, bagelling Flavia Pennetta and then earning a three-set win over Regina Kulikova, who took out Svetlana Kuznetsova. And props to Venus Williams for overcoming temporary nemesis Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to progress to the semi-finals.

 In Memphis, Maria Sharapova is into the quarterfinals, which means she’s won her first matches of 2010. She’ll be hoping to join Anne Keothavong, playing her first proper tournament since her extended lay-off with that knee injury, who beat Karolina Sprem in straights to progress to the semifinals. But another Brit, Elena Baltacha, stands in her way …

On the men’s side, Andy Roddick is the only top seed left after he defeated James Blake. He’ll be facing Lu later for a place in the semifinals.

Jo and Gael will be facing off in Marseilles after they both had tough wins today over Ouanna and Seppi respectively.

And I have no idea what’s going on in Bogota or Buenos Aires. But the latter seems to have involved wins for Boss and Ferru, so I’m in favour, in general.

 

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, andy roddick, buonos aires, david ferrer, dubai, gael monfils, juan carlos ferrero, maria sharapova, marseilles, memphis, shahar peer, venus williams, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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