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Posts Tagged ‘petra kvitova’

The Week In WTA Winners: Kvitova Pounds Clijsters, Hantuchova Wins In Thailand

Posted by gauloises1 on February 13, 2011

Paris

Give it up for Petra Kvitova, taking her second WTA title of 2011 at the Premier Paris Open tournament, beating Kim Clijsters 64 63 in the final.  She had two exceptionally tough matches against Barbora Zahlalova Strycova and Yanina Wickmayer before cruising against Mattek-Sands, and Clijsters never looked like winning. The pace and depth of Petra’s shots – and serve – are so unbeatable when she’s on, and she’s had a stellar start to the year; if she can keep it up – or at least avoid a string of first round losses such as that which followed her semi-final appearance at Wimbledon last year – she’ll be in the top 10 soon, although clay isn’t her best surface.

And she’s so cute.

It wasn’t a particularly bad week for Clijsters either, as her run to the final puts her back at no. 1 from tomorrow, displacing Caroline Wozniacki. However, they’d better hold off on the trophy presentation for now, as Wozniacki could potentially take back the top spot in Dubai. Congratulations to Kim nevertheless, who did win the last two Slams and is at the top for the first time since 2006.

But we all know hanging about with Momo is the real prize.

Pattaya City

A big week for Daniela Hantuchova in Thailand, taking her fourth career title and her first since Linz in 2007. Ana Ivanovic – having split up with yet another coach, this time Antonio van Grichen – disappointed against Roberta Vinci and Kirilenko lost an absolute screamer in the second round against Galina Voskoboeva, but Hantuchova still had to contend with Kimiko Date-Krumm, who had beaten her in all three of their previous meetings, and queen of Pattaya Vera Zvonareva in the semi-finals before absolutely crushing Sara Errani in the final.

Plato invented the plate.

Posted in amelie mauresmo, daniela hantuchova, kim clijsters, paris, pattaya city, petra kvitova, sara errani, titlists | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

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 »

Fed Cup First Round Preview

Posted by gauloises1 on February 5, 2011

Italy v Australia

H2H: 0-5

Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart, Australia

Italy (defending champions): Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Corrado Barrazzutti (captain)

Australia: Samantha Stosur, Jarmila Groth, Anastasia Rodionova, Rennae Stubbs, David Taylor (captain)

Saturday OOP: Groth v Schiavone, Pennetta v Stosur

Russia v France

H2H: 5-3

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia

Russia: Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Dinara Safina, Shamil Tarpischev (captain)

France: Alize Cornet, Virginie Razzano, Pauline Parmentier, Julie Coin, Nicolas Escude (captain) 

Saturday OOP: Kuznetsova v Cornet, Sharapova v Razzano

Slovak Republic v Czech Republic

H2H: 0-3

Venue: Sibamac Arena, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic: Daniela Hantuchova, Dominika Cibulkova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Jana Cepelova, Matej Liptak (captain)

Czech Republic: Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Barbora Zahlalova Strycova, Kveta Peschke, Petr Pala (captain)

Saturday OOP: Hantuchova v Safarova, Cibulkova v Kvitova

Belgium v USA

H2H: 1-5

Venue: Sportpalais Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Belgium: Kim Clijsters, Yanina Wickmayer, Kirsten Flipkens, An-Sophie Mestach, Sabine Appelmans (captain)

U.S.A: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, Vania King, Liezel Huber, Mary Joe Fernandez (captain)

Saturday OOP: Wickmayer v Mattek-Sands, Clijsters v Oudin

It’s going to be a good weekend …

Posted in fed cup | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Mouthful of Steel.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011

So looking forward to the quarterfinal between Petra Kvitova and Vera Zvonareva.

I’m more enamoured of Kvitova’s game every time I watch her. That swinging lefty can-opener serve out wide. That dead-eyed stare. The shots that consistently land inches away from the baseline. She’s beaten Samantha Stosur and now Flavia Pennetta to make it into the quarters, making her one of very few women who’ve gone into the second week of every Slam at least once in their career.

The problem with Kvitova is her lack of consistency, and that stems from having almost no margin for error in her game. She hits so deep and plays so aggressively that it can often take her a set to find her range and start hitting the lines. Like many in the women’s game, she isn’t particularly comfortable moving forward and that was fully exploited by Pennetta in the first set, who sliced and dropshotted and yanked Kvitova around, giving her no time to settle. The flaw in that approach for the Italian is that she’s only going to get the opportunity to do that if Kvitova handed it to her, and once the Czech lady settled and started hitting out, Pennetta was constantly on the back foot. It was a tough third set, but Kvitova’s big cross-court shots were landing and she won, 36 63 63. The only concern going forward is that she often seemed to be favouring her right hip.

Next up for Kvitova in the quarters is world no. 2 Vera Zvonareva, one of the few women who defends better than Pennetta. If Kvitova makes another slow start, as is her wont, she may not get the chance to get back in the match. Zvonareva wasn’t looking imposing in her defeat of Lucie Safarova, but she beat Iveta Benesova 64 61 last night and is as usual dangerously under the radar. Personally, I’d like to see Kvitova go all the way in this Slam, with her insane intensity and incongruously cute braces. It’s one of those matches where either woman is liable to grind up and spit out the other. Can’t wait.

Keep a weather eye on her.

Posted in australian open, petra kvitova, vera zvonareva | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Wimbledon Day 8: The Unusual Suspects

Posted by gauloises1 on June 30, 2010

Feast your eyes on this semifinal lineup.

Then probably rub them a bit. OK, we expected Serena, despite the fact that Li Na Na Li (still can’t do it) has played her close and in fact beaten her in the past. But Serena has looked fearsome in these championships, with impenetrable serving (she served at an average of 111 mph today), and Na Li couldn’t really do too much about it. 75, 63, job done.

Curtsey still needs work though.

But what about her opponent, little Petra Kvitova? Well, not that little; she’s six foot. But she is quite young; 20. And you know how I know that? Because I am looking her up on the WTA website. It’s not that I didn’t know who she was – she’s had big wins in the past – I just never thought it would be that important. After all, when has a left-handed Czech ever done anything noteworthy?

Trailblazer.

And really, who thought that Vera Zvonareva would beat Kim Clijsters? Especially when Kim took the first set 63 and appeared perfectly comfortable, moving Zvonareva beautifully from side to side and finishing points off with a beautiful touch at net. She appeared totally relaxed; maybe a little too relaxed, as Vera really took it to her in the second and third sets and Kim had no response. Vera paid tribute to her own newfound maturity and emotional serenity on the court in her presser, which was perhaps fortunate, because probably nobody else was going to do it.

Fear her.

And now we come to the most surprising result of the day, Tsvetana Pironkova’s straightforward demolition of Venus Williams, 62 63. Except … was it? I watched it while it was happening, and then just to be sure I watched it again after work, and I still don’t know how it happened. I do think Pironkova played an excellent match and brought a high degree of guile to the court; knowing she couldn’t compete with Venus on raw pace and power, she concentrated on confounding Venus with no-pace balls and scrupulously accurate placement, working the five-time champion into a frustrated lather which resulted in enforced errors time and again. Most importantly, she brought a high degree of self-belief to the court, and not the manufactured sort which melts away under pressure; having beaten Venus once before, as she said to the BBC, “I actually thought I could win.” A praiseworthy attitude.

But Venus definitely contributed to beating herself. For one thing, she consistently failed to attack Pironkova’s serve, particularly her frankly nothing second serve. She simply made too many wild errors. And her choice of tactics was baffling, especially with regards to her stubborn insistence on serving and hitting to Pironkova’s backhand, which stung her time and again. I understand that a part of Venus’ ethos is a focus on her own game and a belief that the result rests largely if not exclusively on how well she executes that game. But when a relatively simple adjustment in tactics could have swung the match in her favour … Well, I suppose even five-time champions have their off-days.

Pictured: an off-day.

That sounds ungracious towards Pironkova, and I don’t necessarily mean it that way. It might just be my own annoyance that a player who I’ve never really thought of as a potentially big talent confounded my expectations so thoroughly. She did play a great match, she really did, and pulled off the upset of the tournament so far – which is a neat trick when Yen-Hsun Lu beat Andy Roddick in five sets. And she was sweet afterwards. So good on you, Tsvetana.

Nickname suggestions gratefully accepted.

Posted in petra kvitova, serena williams, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wimbledon Day 7: … And The Rest

Posted by gauloises1 on June 29, 2010

On the ladies’ side, three somewhat surprise packages join the usual suspects in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. First up, Petra Kvitova, who beat Caroline Wozniacki 62 60 to book her spot. Wozniacki won just five points in the second set.

Kvitova, who had never won a grass court match coming into this tournament, will meet Kaia Kanepi, who will insist on occasionally being a thing. She took out Klara Zakopalova in straights.

The third unpredictable entrant is Tsvetana Pironkova, who defied my prediction by taking out former finalist Marion Bartoli in straights. Her reward is a meeting with Venus Williams, who – despite a little trouble finding her court – beat a feisty Jarmila Groth to book her spot in the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere, it was a sad day for fans of Jelena Jankovic, as she was forced to retire with a back injury when trailing Vera Zvonareva 16 03. Wimbledon just isn’t her tournament, is it?

Rounding out the last eight is Li Na, who demolished Agnieszka Radwanska in a reversal of last year’s round of sixteen to face Serena Williams, and then offered some wise words for us all:

Q. What have you done well this week and last week and in Birmingham, do you think?

NA LI: After I win in Birmingham, I was feeling more confident, more positive thinking on the grass court. But because my coach didn’t come to Birmingham, so after I meet him, he was like, Just forget Birmingham. This much different tournament.

So every time, he always talk like. Every time he talk like, Forget, forget, forget that one. I was like, Okay. I couldn’t forget. I played five rounds of match, win tournament. How I can forget that? But he always like, Forget. This is much different game.

On the men’s side, guess who is in the quarterfinals! Yeah, you guessed it.

What depth. They will be joined by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who put out Benny in four, and Andy Murray, who was frankly sensational against limited opposition in his victory over Sam Querrey.

C’mon Andy.

Not a bad quarter-finals lineup on either side, is it?

Posted in andy murray, caroline wozniacki, jelena jankovic, kaia kanepi, petra kvitova, rafael nadal, roger federer, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Manic Monday Preview: Ladies

Posted by gauloises1 on June 28, 2010

And now for the distaff side.

Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova

H2H: 5-1

Strawberries-and-cream vs. upturned rose (apparently), one of these women has looked in devastatingly awesome form so far, and the other is Maria Sharapova. Admittedly Maria has won all her matches in straight sets, but the only one I’ve watched (against junior nemesis Barbora Zahlalova Strycova), she looked clumsy, sluggish and tentative. I’ve no doubt that she will get it up against Serena, but I still think this match might turn out to be a bit of a damp squib. Prediction: Serena in straights.

Winner to meet …

Na Li v Agnieszka Radwanska

 

H2H: 1-2

It’s been a quiet Wimbledon for both these ladies so far and I haven’t seen either of them play (although we all owe Na Li a vote of thanks for getting rid of Anastasia ‘toys so far out of the pram they have been adopted by other kind homes’ Rodionova). I’m going with Agnieszka, because her game works beautifully on grass and she’s a two-time quarterfinalist in SW19. Prediction: Radwanska in three.

Caroline Wozniacki v Petra Kvitova

H2H: 2-0

Kvitova has had one of the most eye-catching results at this tournament so far, coming back from a break down in the first to not just defeat but bagel Victoria Azarenka (oh, Vika). That will have given her a lot of confidence, but you can’t really bet against slow-and-steady Caroline, can you? Sadly. Prediction: Wozniacki in straights.

Winner to meet …

Klara Zakopalova v Kaia Kanepi

H2H: 0-1

There are some players that I just get irrationally annoyed when I see them win. These are two of them; Zakopalova because she’s got a sour expression on her face even when she’s winning, and Kanepi because you can never tell from tournament to tournament which one of her is going to turn up (and when it’s Good Kaia, she generally announces her presence by beating one or more of my favourites). However, both of them are on excellent mini-runs. Zakopalova has beaten Meusberger, Rezai and Pennetta; Kanepi, Sam Stosur, Edina Gallovits and Alexandra Dulgheru. On the basis that the former is a shade more impressive and I don’t really care, I’m going with Zakopalova. Prediction: Zakopalova in three. She won’t smile.

Kim Clijsters v Justine Henin

H2H: 12-12 (3-1 on grass)

The other match to look forward to, particularly if you’re one of those who bemoans the last few years in the WTA. Kim has cruised so far and looks in some ways ripe for an upset, while Justine has played as well as anyone in the tournament in her defeat of Nadia Petrova. Still, I think that Justine wants this too much and that, coupled with the changes she’s made to her game this year which still don’t seem to sit right, will cost her. Prediction: Kim in three.

Winner to meet …

Vera Zvonareva v Jelena Jankovic

H2H: 5-6

Vera has been quietly coming through in the bottom of the draw, largely unheeded with solid wins over unspectacular opponents until the third round when she demolished Yanina Wickmayer. The buzz is that she finally feels that she’s got her form back. JJ, meanwhile, after her win over Laura Robson, dropped a set to Aleksandra Wozniak and called the trainer after bagelling Alona Bondarenko. Not to mention that this court will be played on court 12, which JJ will need a helicopter or at least a team of Sherpas to find. Prediction: Zvonareva in two.

Tsvetana Pironkova v Marion Bartoli

H2H: 0-3

Every Slam I reckon there has to be one round-of-sixteen match-up which makes you go, “… how did this happen?”. This is mine. Er, Pironkova beat Dushevina who beat Schiavone, and Bartoli is a former finalist, so …. I don’t even know. Prediction: Bartoli in straights.

Winner to meet …

Jarmila Groth v Venus Williams

H2H: 0-0

It’s been a very nice tournament for the adorable Jarmila. Shame it’s over. Prediction: Venus in straights.

So that’s what I think. What do you reckon ..?

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, caroline wozniacki, jarmila groth, jelena jankovic, justine henin, kaia kanepi, kim clijsters, klara zakopalova, li na, maria sharapova, marion bartoli, petra kvitova, serena williams, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup Sunday: Um … The Czechs Won

Posted by gauloises1 on February 8, 2010

Czech Republic 3 – Germany 2

To be honest, I didn’t watch any of this one. I can tell you that Lucie Hradecka was subbed in today for Lucie Safarova, who failed to put up much of a fight on Saturday, and did herself proud by taking out Andrea Petkovic 61 76(5) to give the Czechs a slender lead.

Anna-Lena Groenefeld evened things up by taking out Petra Kvitova in three sets, and then Hradecka and Peschke teamed up to take out Groenefeld and a reportedly disappointing Tatjana Malek 61 63 to put the Czech Republic through into the next round.

So … well done there.

Posted in anna-lena groenefeld, fed cup, lucie hradecka, lucie safarova, petra kvitova | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup Saturday

Posted by gauloises1 on February 7, 2010

Early rounds of Fed Cup are just such a feast. I saw so much great tennis today.

Ukraine 1 – Italy 1

The Bondarenko girls, carrying the fate of the Ukraine on their shoulders, met with mixed fortunes today. Alona – a.k.a the Blondarenko – demolished a discombobulated Schiavone, 61 64, before Flavia Pennetta steadied the ship and took out the browner-enko in straights, evening up the tie heading into Sunday.

Czech Republic 1 – Germany 1

The intermittently-brilliant Anna-Lena Groenefeld demolished the fairly-invariably-awful Lucie Safarova, 62 62, before Petra Kvitova evened it up against Andrea Petkovic. Kvitova and Petkovic have had a couple of big wins each over the last year or so, but Kvitova was much the steadier against an inconsistent Petkovic. Good tie to keep an eye on tomorrow, I think.

Has a great twitter.

Has a great kit.

Serbia 1 – Russia 1

Woe for the hosts after a decidedly sub-par Ivanovic went down pretty tamely to a B-grade Kuznetsova, 61 64. Luckily for the home nation, foxy JJ in her red dress was up next; after getting in her own way for a set and a bit, she came within a point of going 1-5 down in the second before suddenly finding her feet and reeling off eleven straight games against a staggering Kleybanova to take the match 46 64 60 and leave the tie intriguingly poised (as Robbie and Jason would say).

France 0 – USA 2

Who here misses Alize Cornet? I mean the 2008 Alize Cornet, when emotional intensity was actually coupled to some sort of, you know, game. Now she’s like some psychological cloud of shrapnel, where her opponent’s best chance of beating her is to let her get ahead and then watch her implode, or failing that just turn up. Meaning no disrespect to Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who beat her in straight sets and hockey socks too.

Melanie Oudin gave the US a 2-0 lead by beating Pauline Parmentier, who is inexplicably La Belle France‘s no. 2 player. They’re almost as good as us at eating their own young. Almost.

In World Group II action … Estonia and the Slovak Republic are both 2-0 up over Argentina and China respectively. Poland are 1-1 with Belgium heading in to the Agnieszka Radwanska-Yanina Wickmayer rubber, which I for one am eagerly anticipating. And Australia are 1-1 with Spain after events which I feel can be best demonstrated by the following photos of Casey Dellacqua.

And a good time was had by all.

Posted in alicia molik, alize cornet, ana ivanovic, andrea petkovic, bethanie mattek-sands, casey dellacqua, fed cup, flavia pennetta, jelena jankovic, melanie oudin, petra kvitova | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »