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Monday, August 31, 2009

US OPEN FLASHING Meadows


Serena gets off to winning start

Defending champion Serena Williams cruised into round two of the US Open with a 6-4 6-1 win over Alexa Glatch.
The second seed raced 5-1 ahead but allowed her 19-year-old opponent to close the gap to 5-4 before serving out the first set.
Serena, 27, rallied in the second and came through to set up a meeting with Maria Elena Camerin or Melinda Czink.
Earlier, Kim Clijsters marked her Grand Slam return with a 6-1 6-1 thumping of Ukraine's Viktoriya Kutusova.
Former world number one Clijsters retired in 2007 and is making her first appearance in New York since winning the 2005 title.
After a two-year break, during which she got married and had her first child, she has dropped to 9999 in the rankings and gained entry to Flushing Meadows via a wildcard.
But she produced a devastating display of movement, timing and power to destroy Kutusova and looked no less dominant than in her last US Open appearance - a 6-3 6-1 victory over Mary Pierce in the 2005 final.
With five breaks of serve, the 26-year-old Belgian stormed to victory in just 54 minutes and will now play 14th seed Marion Bartoli, who thrashed Rossana De Los Rios 6-1 6-0.
"It was nice to come out here on centre court (Arthur Ashe Stadium) and open the tournament, as I didn't get to do so as defending champion a few years ago," said Clijsters.
606: DEBATE
Lovely to see Kim back and playing so well!
yummymummyfridays
"I'm glad I won in two sets without wasting too much energy. I had a few butterflies, more than I normally do because it was centre court and my first match back at a Grand Slam.
"My serve hasn't been going the way I wanted it to but today it was really good.
Bidding for her third Grand Slam title of 2009, a 12th in total and her fourth US Open, Serena survived a lapse in concentration midway through the first set to advance in just over an hour.
She began strongly but was broken when serving for the set at 5-2 as world number 103 Glatch settled after a nervous start.
Serena made no mistake at the second time of asking, however, and then powered through the second set.
Elsewhere, seventh seed Vera Zvonareva beat Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-0 6-4 and eighth seed Victoria Azarenka made light work of Alexandra Dulgheru.
Azarenka has been tipped by many as an outsider for the title and the Belarusian won 6-1 6-1 to set up a second round meeting with Poland's Marta Domachowska or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
Agnieszka Radwanska, the number 12 seed from Poland, saw off Patricia Mayr 6-1 6-2 and she will now play Maria Kirilenko after the unseeded Russian beat Mariya Koryttseva 6-2 6-1.
Another comfortable victor was Italy's Francesca Schiavone, the 26th seed easing to 6-1 6-2 win against Yvonne Meusburger.
But things were far tougher for 15th seed Samantha Stosur, who battled to a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Ai Sugiyama of Japan.
Stosur converted seven of 13 break points and Sugiyama six of 16, but it was the Australian who prevailed to set up a second-round meeting with unseeded American Vania King.
King's passage was secured by the withdrawal of Anastasiya Yakimova when trailing 2-1 in the opening set.
"I am very happy to go through and winning was the main thing," said Stosur. "There were so many momentum changes and I got the last one.
"I will have to play better in the next round. I just don't know why this tournament has never been good to me."
Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 champion and 14th seed, overcame Tatjana Malek 6-3 6-4 and now plays Aleksandra Wozniak, a 6-1 7-6 (9-7) victor over Laura Granville.

US OPEN FLASHING Meadows


Federer eases through in New York


Federer



World number one Roger Federer began the defence of his US Open title with a 6-1 6-3 7-5 victory over American teenager Devin Britton.
Federer &Nadal
Federer started magnificently and broke his 18-year-old opponent twice before taking the opening set in 18 minutes.

The 28-year-old Swiss was broken once in the second and third sets but came through in 88 minutes and will play Germany's Simon Greul in round two.

Devin Britton
Home favourite Andy Roddick, the 2003 champion, plays later on Monday.

Eight seed Nikolay Davydenko eased through with a 6-3 6-4 7-5 win against Dieter Kindlmann and he now faces the Czech Republic's Jan Hernych, who beat 2003 Australian Open finalist Rainer Schuettler in five sets.

"It's very important to find your game here for the next round," said Davydenko, who reached the last four in 2006 and 2007.

"Being in the semi-finals here twice has been great for me."

Robin Soderling, the French Open champion an 12th seed, was a 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-4 winner against Albert Montanes and number 14 seed Tommy Robredo overcame Donald Young 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Paul-Henri Mathieu, seeded 26th, got off to a fine start against Mikhail Youzhny but fell apart to lose 2-6 7-5 6-0 6-2 and now trails the Russian 4-1 in their head-to-head record.

If my career was to end today, I'd be a happy man - but if I enjoy playing tennis, why should I stop just because I've beaten the all-time Grand Slam record? That's not what tennis is all about

Roger Federer
The next opponent for Federer is the unseeded Gruel, who came through a marathon to beat Giovanni Lapentti 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 7-6 (11-9).

Federer is bidding to become the first man to win six straight US Open titles since Bill Tinden from 1920 to 1925.

"It was a good start," Federer said. "It was a tricky match for me - I'm here as a five-time defending champion, playing a guy who's got absolutely nothing to lose. He played really well.

"He had some very good spells and I had to make sure I stayed with him and came back because I was down a break in the second and third sets.

"It was good to still get through in three sets."

Britton, ranked 1,370 in the world and a wildcard entry into the tournament, looked completely out of his depth early on.

The 2008 junior US Open runner-up won only one point in the first three games but put his name on the scoreboard in the fourth with three scorching aces.

Federer barely broke sweat in taking the first set but it looked as though he might have been in trouble at the start of the second.

Britton engineered three break points in game four and the promising right-hander broke to love with a rasping cross-court return.

But 15-time Grand Slam champion Federer upped the intensity and rattled off a five-game winning streak to go two sets up.

606: DEBATE
Federer looked rusty... which is surprising because he only played recently in Cincinnati - but I think he was trying different things after he got the cushion of the first set

AlphaDraconis99
"I was thinking, 'I'm up a break. This is exciting.' That lasted about 30 seconds," said Britton. "I lost 14 straight points after that. I think the nerves came back a little bit.

"It was fun for that 10 or 15 seconds until he broke me at love. It was probably the best seconds of my life."

With the third set a more even affair, it seemed Britton's break at 3-3 offered the American a route back into the match.

But he was immediately overpowered by the top seed, losing his serve and then falling 5-4 behind as Federer held comfortably.

Britton was again serving to save the match at 6-5 and, after squandering three game points to force a tie-break, he saw a Federer cross-court winner set up match point, which was converted with a fizzing cross-court forehand.

Federer remains in the hunt for a fifth Wimbledon-US Open double - no other man in the open era has achieved that feat more than twice - and he also hopes to win three Grand slam tournaments in a year for the fourth time.

"If my career was to end today, I'd be a happy man," said Federer. "I achieved everything I could ever ask for, really.

"But if I enjoy playing tennis, why should I stop just because I've beaten the all-time Grand Slam record? That's not what tennis is all about."

US Open

Venus Williams
Serena Williams

Tatjana Malek


Alexandra Wozniak








2202: Tommy Haas's match with Alejandro Falla is still in the balance - Falla served for the third set at 5-4 but failed miserably...now he is serving to stay in it at 5-6. It also appears that Haas might need a trainer next too - not sure whether he is also suffering from blisters but we will find out soon enough.
BBC Radio 5 live's Steve Rudge tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Andy Murray v Ernests Gulbis on 5 live in the early hours of wednesday AM - approx 0230 BST. Right now, 'New York, New York' on the stadium speakers. Original!"
2153: Er, that 'comeback' by Nuria Llagostera Vives didn't last long. From 3-3 in the second set, she won only one more game and went out 6-0 6-4 to seventh seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia. The seventh seed plays either Yurika Sema or Anna Chakvetadze of Russia next - Sema took the first set of that match 6-4.
BBC Radio 5 live's Jonathan Overend tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Out on Court six for a landmark moment in Turkish tennis - qualifier Marsel Ilhan beats Christophe Rochus - the first ever Grand Slam singles win for a Turkish player."
2145: Problems for Alejandro Falla, who came through three qualifying matches to make the first round. He is still a break up in the third set against Tommy Hass, leading 4-3 but is having a medical time-out while he has a problem with a blister on his hand sorted out. This whole thing reminds me of previous matches I've had against a certain Caroline Cheese, who is known to show off a few 'blisters' on her hand, usually when she's lost...
2136: Amelie Mauresmo is through! She served for the match against Tatjana Malek at 5-4 and came back from 15-40 to see it out 6-3 6-4, with a characteristic wobble along the way. The 17th seed will play Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak next. Wozniak beat Laura Granville 6-1 7-6 (9-7) in her first-round match.
2132: After losing the first set 6-0, Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives is making more of a game of it against Vera Zvonareva in the second set, which is currently with serve at 3-3. And, on Court 11, Alejandro Falla is back from his extended toilet break and is a break up at 3-1 in the third set against 20th seed Tommy Haas.
2126: It's not all bad news for the Rochus family tonight though. Christophe's younger brother Olivier looks set to make it to the second round as he leads Russia's Igor Kunitsyn 6-3 6-0 3-2. Amelie Mauresmo is almost through too - she leads Tatjana Malek 6-3 5-3.
2122: I'm still waiting for more news on tomorrow's order of play - the only thing I know at the moment is that Andy Murray will follow Maria Sharapova as the second night match, meaning he will play Ernests Gulbis in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Here's another result for you too - the world number 221, Marsel Ilhan of Turkey, who is playing in the main draw of the US Open for the first time, has battled past Belgium's Christope Rochus 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5.
2115: It's game-on over on Court 11, where Alejandro Falla has taken the second set 6-4 against 20th seed Tommy Haas to level the match at a set-all. The Colombian has just disappeared through the crowd for a toilet break, and nobody seems to know where the nearest toilet actually is. He could be a while then.
2113: Defending champion Roger Federer after starting his bid for a sixth-successive US Open title with a 6-1 6-3 7-5 win over Devin Britton, the world number 1,370: "It was difficult. I didn't know anything of my opponent, or what his technique was. I played well in the beginning but I struggled after that. I was down a break in the second and third. It was tricky but I'm just glad I got through."
2107: It's bagel-time on Grandstand Court, where Vera Zvonareva has taken the first set 6-0 against Nuria Llagostera Vives in just 17 minutes. There is some good news for the Spaniard though - she held serve to take the first game of the second set... is a comeback on the cards?
2101: There's no way back for Glatch now. Some more punishing groundstrokes take Serena Williams to match-point and a big forehand down the line is enough to put the defending champion into the second round with a 6-4 6-1 win. Easy-peasy for the three-time champion.
2058: Serena Williams seems to have put some of her earlier inconsistency behind her and is closing in on victory over Alexa Glatch. The defending champion puts away a potentially tricky backhand from close to the net and leads 6-4 5-1. She has won the last five games and a place in round two looks very close now.
2052: Blimey, I look away for two minutes and Mauresmo wins three games in a row to take the first set 6-3. Meanwhile, seventh seed Vera Zvonareva has started like a train against Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives, breaking twice to open up a 3-0 lead.
2046: Serena is a break up at the start of the second set too, leading 3-1. Meanwhile, over on Louis Armstrong Court, Amelie Mauresmo has just started her first-round match with Tatjana Malek, which is going with serve in the first set. Mauresmo has lost in the last eight at Flushing Meadows four times and has been beaten in the semi-finals twice so she certainly has a decent record in New York. More worryingly for the veteran French star, she hasn't been past the fourth round at a Grand Slam since she reached the last four here in 2006. Can she put that right this year?
2042: Just a reminder of tonight's late matches, that begin at 0000 BST. Venus Williams, the 1999 women's champion, takes on Russia's Vera Dushevina before Andy Roddick, who clinched the men's title in 2003, takes on Germany's Bjorn Phau.
2037: Tommy Haas, three times a quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon earlier this year, is out on Court 11 against Colombia's Alejandro Falla. Haas, the 20th seed, has made a good start too - taking the first set 7-5, and he is already a break up in the second set, leading 2-0.
2031: Back to the Arthur Ashe Court, where Serena Williams is back on track against Alexa Glatch. Serving for the first set for the second time, she moves 40-0 up and clinches it 6-4 with an ace, her fourth of the match.
2028: We've just found out when Andy Murray will start his US Open campaign... his match against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis is Tuesday's second night match, following Maria Sharapova's clash with Tsvetana Pironkova. Shara won't start her match until midnight British time so, if we're talking BST, Murray will be playing in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Worth staying up for though...
2024: Oooh. I told you earlier that Serena Williams was making mistakes and, erm, she still is. Leading 5-2 and serving for the first set, she loses a bit of focus and finds herself facing two break-points. Serena saves one, but Glatch attacks a weak(ish) second serve on the next point and cleans up - she's still a break down, mind, but at least she is alive and kicking.
2021: More Fed news. The defending champion will play Simon Greul in round two after the German, the world number 65, beat Ecuador's Giovanni Lapentti 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 7-6 (11-9). A bit of a marathon, that one.
2018: Another men's seed has tumbled out, with John Isner beating Romania's Victor Hanescu, seeded 28th, in straight sets - including that marathon tie-break. The American won 6-1 7-6 (16-14) 7-6 (7-5) and will play Christophe Rochus or Marsel Ilhan in round two - that one has just gone into a fifth set.
2015: Serena breaks again, with a huge backhand winner, and she is now 4-1 - and two breaks up - on the world number 103.
2010: Back on the Arthur Ashe Court and Alexa Glatch is off the mark against Serena, but the defending champion is still a break up in the first set, leading 3-1. Both players are making plenty of mistakes right now, and they are both wearing 'hot pink' outfits too. Those two things are probably not connected to be honest.
2005: It was a bit of a struggle at times but Spain's Tommy Robredo has come through his first-round match with America's Donald Young. The 14th seed won 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-3.
2002: Not a great start for Alexa Glatch against Serena Williams on the Arthur Ashe Court. Her first double fault sees her broken in the very first game.
From BulletMonkey on 606: "A good opening win for Roger Federer, but Devin Britton looks like he could be pretty handy in a few years. Keep an eye on him..."
1956: Sounds like an extraordinary second set tie-break over on Louis Armstrong Court, where America's John Isner triumphed 16-14 to move two sets up against 28th seed Victor Hanescu - it's just a shame I didn't see a single point of it. They are just about to have another tie-break in the third set so I'll get back to you in an hour or so when they've finished and let you know how they got on.
1952: We've just seen the defending men's champion strut his stuff - now it's Serena Williams' turn. Like Federer, she is up against an American wildcard - Alexa Glatch, who has not won a match on hard-courts this season. Doesn't bode too well, does it?
< class="inlineText" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A56553564" __eventidglow505264579="127">From clairefedererfan on 606: "Federer is cruising through in first or second gear, nowhere near top gear. Pops himself into third to get back on serve every so often."
Federer 6-1 6-3 6-5* BrittonOnly one hiccup here for Federer - a drop-shot attempt that falls just the wrong side of the net. Four big serves mean he still holds with comfortably, and the pressure switches back to Britton.
Federer *6-1 6-3 5-5 BrittonA couple more booming serves, both to the Federer forehand, and a precise backhand winner into the corner put Britton 40-0 up and make you feel as though he is a champion in the making. As we've seen in the last hour-and-a-half or so, it doesn't last. Fed perseveres and claws his way back to deuce and it takes some brave serve-volleying from Britton to hold. For a moment there, it looked like we were near the end.
Federer 6-1 6-3 5-4* BrittonA double-fault by Federer, his third of the match, gets him off to a bad start but Britton seems to have lost the plot a bit, and at such a crucial time too. His forehand is now wild rather than inspired and more mistakes mean Fed does not have to work hard to hold - Britton will serve to stay in the match next, he needs to pull himself together and fast.
Federer *6-1 6-3 4-4 BrittonErm, no. At 30-all, Britton is actually looking good but a sloppy forehand volley flies long and, on the next point, he mis-hits a forehand that loops horribly out. That was a chance, but he wasted it - will he get another one? We're back with serve in this third set.
Federer 6-1 6-3 3-4* BrittonCrikey, I didn't see that coming! Britton again attacks the Fed serve and it pays off, forcing the Swiss star on the back foot and into a series of mistakes - culminating in a backhand into the net that means Britton is a break up in this third set. Now, can he hold himself this time?
Federer *6-1 6-3 3-3 BrittonBritton is not just a one-trick serving pony - he can mix them up to good effect, and when Fed appears to get the measure of things on his forehand, he switches to a kick-serve to the champion's backhand. It works, and he holds to love. Impressive stuff from last year's junior US Open runner-up.
Federer 6-1 6-3 3-2* BrittonAnother solid service game from Federer, who backs up some big deliveries with some strong shots from the back of the court. Too good for Britton.
Federer *6-1 6-3 2-2 BrittonCredit to Britton - he is still serving, and volleying, well too. He holds and is still level in this third set. For now.
Tommy Robredo, seeded 14th, has just lost the second set 6-4 to America's Donald Young - that match is level at one-set apiece. And eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko has broken back against Dieter Kindlmann to ensure the third set is now going with serve at 4-4. Over on Court 11, Robin Soderling looks on course for victory over Albert Montanes after going a break up in the fourth set - he leads 6-1 3-6 6-1 5-3.
Federer 6-1 6-3 2-1* BrittonThe top seed is still serving like a dream and Britton can do nothing to stop it. The American is still trying those big returns, but they stopped working around the middle of the second set.
Federer *6-1 6-3 1-1 BrittonBritton occasionally looks unbeatable at the net but throw in a couple of low shots and you can see why he still has a lot of improving to do - if he has to stoop for anything he invariably makes an error. Having said all that, he keeps coming in and gets his reward - he is off the mark in the third set and that darned bagel graphic has still not got an outing.
News of a first defeat for a men's seed. Paul-Henri Mathieu, seeded 26th, has lost 2-6 7-5 6-0 6-2 to Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.
Federer 6-1 6-3 1-0 Britton*Federer's serve has been smooth as you like today - the one game he has dropped was more to do with Britton's superb returning than any drop in standard by the champion - and he is untroubled again here, bossing things from the back of the court.
SECOND SETFederer *6-1 6-3 BrittonBritton is fighting on (the battle of Britton?) but a double fault when he is advantage up does not help his cause. Two stinging returns by Federer are too hot for the American to handle and the Swiss star is quickly two sets up - that second set took him 29 minutes.
Federer 6-1 5-3* BrittonOn the plus side for Britton, he did at least win a point following a run of 12 in a row for Federer. He didn't manage a sniff of a break, though, and the champ will fancy his chances of closing this set out in the next game.
Federer *6-1 4-3 BrittonHmmm, Britton (or Little Britton as some of you have christened him on 606 despite him being 6ft 3in) is still going backwards and he cannot win a point, let alone a game, at the moment. He is broken to love and Fed is in control of this second set.
By the way, Slammin' Sam came good in the end - Sam Stosur, seeded 15th, battled her way into round two with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Ai Sugiyama of Japan. Lots of mistakes from both players, especially on serve - Stosur converted seven of 13 break points and Sugiyama six of 16. But it was Stosur who prevailed to set up a second-round meeting with unseeded American Vania King.
Federer 6-1 3-3* BrittonNo repeat from Britton of the heroics he produced on Federer's last service game. He tries to find more of those big forehands but they have dried up just as quickly as they appeared. Instead, those unforced errors are back - not good when you are facing the five-time champion...
More news from around the courts. We could be about to see our first seed to fall on the men's side of the draw. Paul-Henri Mathieu, trailing by two sets to one against Mikhail Youzhny, is a break down in the fourth set and trails 2-3. Elsewhere, Spanish 14th seed Tommy Robredo has taken the first set against unseeded American Donald Young and Nikolay Davydenko is now two sets up against Dieter Kindlmann but 3-0 down in the third set.
Federer *6-1 2-3 BrittonAh, that didn't last long did it? Britton follows up the best game of his life (probably) with one of his worst, capped by a lame half-volley that clips the net and flies into a tramline. We're back with serve in the second set.
Federer 6-1 1-3* BrittonEr, did I mention Britton's forehand was a weak link!? It seems to have turned into something of a weapon in the space of a few minutes - two huge cross-court winners off the Fed serve help the American break to love. Brilliant stuff.
Federer *6-1 1-2 BrittonIt's fair to say Britton's forehand is his weakest shot but he can still pull out the odd cracker on that flank, and slams down a big winner to seal another impressive service game. Not sure how many points he has won from the back of the court - it hasn't been many - but maybe this is a sign of things to come?
Federer 6-1 1-1 *BrittonBreaking Federer is not quite so easy though - and the champion again holds to love. He has won 89% of points off his first serve, and 80% on his second. Compare that to Britton (50% and 44%) and you can see why this game is going in only one direction.
Federer *6-1 0-1 BrittonIt would be easy for Britton to fold here but he is showing no signs of that and is rewarded for a spirited start to the second set by another hold. As long as he keeps serving well, he can hold Fed up - it's a big ask though...
Elsewhere in the men's first round, French Open finalist Robin Soderling, seeded 12th, has just seen unseeded Spaniard Albert Montanes level their match at one-set all. Mikhail Youzhny has continued his comeback against Paul-Henri Mathieu to lead 2-6 7-5 6-0 3-1 and John Isner took the first set 6-1 against 28th seed Victor Hanescu.
FIRST SET
Federer 6-1 *BrittonA sloppy bit of serve-volley from Federer sees him waste his first set point at 40-0 but it doesn't really matter as Britton's forehand is making more mistakes than I did in my GCSE maths exam - he sees his next return fly out and Fed is a set up in just 18 minutes.
Federer *5-1 BrittonOh dear. At 30-all, Britton is in with a sniff of another hold but he goes downhill fast from there. A wild volley sails long before another poor forehand flies a mile out. Fed will serve for the first set next.
From sean2mush on 606: "Come on Britton, do it for the Queen!"
Federer 4-1 *BrittonBetter by Britton - well, he wins a point on the Federer serve anyway - but Fed ups the ante and some swinging serves out wide see him through. He's still looking very comfortable. Very comfortable indeed...
Federer *3-1 BrittonA couple of crashing serves by Britton give him a fighting chance at 30-love and it is clear he needs to put Fed on the back foot with that kind of delivery if he is to stand a chance here - Fed reaches his next three serves and wins every point. It's not looking good for the teenager but two more aces dig him out of a hole and suddenly he is on the scoreboard against the five-time champion. Well done.
BBC Radio 5 live's Alistair Eykyn's tweeting from Flushing Meadows: "Viktoriya Kutusova walloped by Kim Clijsters then not even given an interview room afterwards... left in a corridor looking lonely for the press."
Federer 3-0 *BrittonPoor Devin just cannot compete from the back of the court - Federer is able to move him around at will and either find a winner or force the mistake and he holds to love, again. Just one point dropped by the champion in the first three games.
Federer *2-0 BrittonBritton, who loves to serve and volley, gets off the mark by doing just that with the first point but that is as good as it gets for the American. Federer quickly realises that he can boss this from the back of the court and draws errors out of his opponent to take the next four points with relative ease. This looks ominous, and I fear that bagel graphic might be appearing quite soon.
Federer 1-0 *BrittonUm, not a bad start for the defending champ. Fed kicks off with an ace and does not drop a point as he holds to love.* denotes NEXT server

Top 10 Tennis ranking

Rank---- Last --Name------------ -Country -------Rankling pts.
1 ------1 ---------Roger Fedrer------ -Switzerland ---------12040
2 ------2 --------Andy Murray-------- Great Britain --------9610
3 ------3 --------Rafael Nadal- --------Spain ----------------9025
4 ------4 --------Novak Djokovic------ Serbia ---------------7660
5 ------5-------- Andy Roddick------- United States --------5720
6------ 6-------- Jaun Martin ---------Argentina -----------5325
7 ------7-------- Jo Wilfried -----------France --------------3920
8------ 8-------- Nikolay Davydenk- --Russia --------------3655
9 ------9 --------Gilles Simon ---------France --------------3410
10---- 10-------- Fernando Verdasco --Spain ---------------3220

Clijsters wins on US Open return




US OPEN Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 13 SeptemberBBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live, tennis special on 5 live (3 September, 2000-2100 BST







Former world number one Kim Clijsters marked her Grand Slam return with a 6-1 6-1 thumping of Ukraine's Viktoriya Kutusova in round one of the US Open.
Clijsters, 26, retired in 2007 and is making her first appearance in New York since winning the


2005 title.
The Belgian dominated Kutusova from the outset and, with five breaks of serve, stormed through in 54 minutes to meet Marion Bartoli or Rossana De Los Rios.
Defending champion Serena Williams and sister Venus also play on Monday.
Elsewhere, eighth seed Victoria Azarenka made light work of Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru to progress.
Azarenka has been tipped by many as an outsider for the title and the Belarusian won 6-1 6-1 to set up a second round meeting with Poland's Marta Domachowska or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
Agnieszka Radwanska, the number 12 seed from Poland, saw off Patricia Mayr 6-1 6-2 and she will now play Maria Kirilenko after the unseeded Russian beat Mariya Koryttseva 6-2 6-1.
Another comfortable victor was Italy's Francesca Schiavone, the 26th seed easing to 6-1 6-2 win against Yvonne Meusburger.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Advantage to the Men With Federer on His Game


Roger Federer’s focus in a summer that has been full of distractions for him has given the men’s game a center that the women’s game has lacked

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Federer secures Cincinnati title











World number one Roger Federer took the Cincinnati Masters title for the third time with a straight-sets win over fourth seed Novak Djokovic.
Federer followed up Saturday's semi-final defeat of Andy Murray with a 6-1 7-5 win against Djokovic.
After dominating the first set, Federer had to battle back from a break down in the second to seal victory.
The Swiss will now head to New York ahead of the US Open, which gets under way on 31 August.
He is the five-time defending champion at Flushing Meadows and will be confident of claiming a sixth title after his performances against Murray and Djokovic.
"Overall, it's been a great week for me," he said. "I got a lot of matches in before the US Open, so I'm satisfied.
Unfortunately I was born in the wrong era
Novak Djokovic
"I started quite slow but then the quarter-finals was a little bit better, and then the semi-final was a great match."
Federer also won Cincinnati in 2005 and 2007, and Sunday's victory gives him a 61st career title and 16th at the elite Masters 1000 level.
"I had twin girls a month ago, it's been an unbelievable summer for me - in my personal life and on the tennis court," said Federer, who also won a record 15th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July.
"I couldn't be more happy right now. I didn't know if I'd be able to play here because of Myla and Charlene.
"Thanks to them coming earlier - it was good timing! I look forward to coming back here next year."
Djokovic had to suffer defeat in a Masters 1000 final for the fourth time this year, and he joked: "Unfortunately I was born in the wrong era.
"I was very close in most of those finals, but I don't think this is some kind of curse or something.
"Everybody is playing great tennis. Those two guys, (Rafael) Nadal and Federer, and of course Murray, they're all playing fantastic tennis.
"Roger and Rafa are maybe two of the best players that ever played this game. Roger for sure is."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Federer ends Murray run in semis











World number one Roger Federer brought Andy Murray's unbeaten run to an end with a superb display in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters.
In a battle between the world's top two ranked players, Murray saw his eight-match winning streak finish as Federer came through 6-2 7-6 (10-8).
It was only Federer's third win in nine meetings with Murray, stopping a run of four straight losses to the Scot.
Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in the second semi-final.
"If you let Roger play well, then he's very, very difficult to beat," said Murray, who improved in the second set but could not convert two set points in the tie-break.
"The first set I was leaving the ball short and giving him a lot of second serves to look at and not making a whole a lot of returns, so I couldn't to put any pressure on him.
I deserved it and went after my shots. I was not scare or worried to go after them and so I am very happy
Roger Federer
"He was going for his shots because I was leaving the ball in the middle of the court.
"I was happy that I managed to up my game in the second set."
Federer, 28, was delighted to have got back to winning ways against the man closing fastest on his world number one ranking.
"Matches against Andy have been similar when I win the first set and then lose my edge in the second set and it is hard to get back into the match," said the Swiss.
"Today I was able to close him out even though it was very tight to the end. I deserved it and went after my shots. I was not scare or worried to go after them and so I am very happy. It all paid off.
606: DEBATE
Will Federer win the title now?
"I was able to raise my game and I hope I can go all the way tomorrow. It is great to have Rafa back from injury.
"He is such a wonderful character for the game. It is nice to see him back and healthy.
"Whoever I play in the final it will be tough."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tennsi:Elena Dementieva beats Wozniacki in Cincinnati


Elena Dementieva is into the semis in Cincinnati after she defeated #8 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2 6-1. In the semis to be played on Saturday, Elena will play #5 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. They have played 9 times before and Jankovic leads the series 6-3.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tennis:Clijsters battles past Kuznetsova


Kim Clijsters continued her remarkable return to competitive tennis with victory over French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in Cincinnati.
The Belgian, 26, is playing her first event after a two-year break during which she gave birth to a daughter.
And Clijsters looked like she had never been away as she beat the sixth seed 6-4 4-6 6-2 in sweltering conditions.
Flavia Pennetta's superb run continued as she beat third seed Venus Williams for her 14th consecutive victory.
Venus made 38 unforced errors as 14th seed Pennetta outplayed the American to clinch her fourth victory in their seven meetings.
The Italian will next face Daniela Hantuchova, who defeated Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (8-6) 0-6 7-6 (7-5).
Clijsters goes on to face the winner of the late match between world number one Dinara Safina and China's Peng Shuai.
The Belgian was magnificent from the baseline in the opening stages against Kuznetsova and looked set for a comfortable win at a set and 3-0 up.
But Kuznetsova pegged her back and saved two break points at 4-3 down, the second with a Hawkeye challenge, before getting a break of her own in the following game with another desperately close challenge.
The Russian served out the set before the players took a 10-minute break ahead of the final set as the heat rule was invoked.
And the brief rest allowed Clijsters to regroup and wrestle the momentum away from the French Open champion with an early break in the decider as she powered to a stunning win.

Tennis:Clijsters battles past Kuznetsova



Kim Clijsters continued her remarkable return to competitive tennis with victory over French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in Cincinnati.
The Belgian, 26, is playing her first event after a two-year break during which she gave birth to a daughter.
And Clijsters looked like she had never been away as she beat the sixth seed 6-4 4-6 6-2 in sweltering conditions.
Flavia Pennetta's superb run continued as she beat third seed Venus Williams for her 14th consecutive victory.
Venus made 38 unforced errors as 14th seed Pennetta outplayed the American to clinch her fourth victory in their seven meetings.
The Italian will next face Daniela Hantuchova, who defeated Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (8-6) 0-6 7-6 (7-5).
Clijsters goes on to face the winner of the late match between world number one Dinara Safina and China's Peng Shuai.
The Belgian was magnificent from the baseline in the opening stages against Kuznetsova and looked set for a comfortable win at a set and 3-0 up.
But Kuznetsova pegged her back and saved two break points at 4-3 down, the second with a Hawkeye challenge, before getting a break of her own in the following game with another desperately close challenge.
The Russian served out the set before the players took a 10-minute break ahead of the final set as the heat rule was invoked.
And the brief rest allowed Clijsters to regroup and wrestle the momentum away from the French Open champion with an early break in the decider as she powered to a stunning win.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Badminton team quits after threat


The England team has withdrawn from the World Badminton Championships in India because of "a specific terrorist threat" made by extremists.
The eight-strong squad pulled out of the tournament, which starts on Monday in Hyderabad, after reports of threats by Muslim extremists Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Badminton England said it was "an incredibly tough decision".
Badminton Scotland said its players will stay, and Welsh Badminton have three players at the tournament.
The England squad arrived home on Sunday night ahead of a news conference by players and officials at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes on Monday.
Anne Smillie, chief executive of Badminton Scotland, said that Badminton England had "perhaps overreacted".
She said: "I don't necessarily think they've made the right decision.
"Certainly our Scottish players and our team manager who are in Hyderabad feel confident that the security is at its best. They have been well looked after and they have no intention of coming home."
Volatile environment
Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy said: "After the Olympic Games, this is the most prestigious championships in the world but we were not prepared to risk the safety of our players, coaches and staff in what we felt could have been a very volatile environment."
He said the team, which included Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson, had "carefully considered" information from local police authorities.
Our athletes were extremely well prepared for these championships but, at the end of the day, personal safety must take priority over performance
Ian MossBadminton England
And after taking advice from the Foreign Office and British High Commission, the conclusion made by Badminton England was "that safety is of paramount importance," he added.
Performance director Ian Moss said: "It is a disappointing outcome, especially after we had enjoyed a very good preparation at our holding camp in Doha, Qatar, last week.
"Our athletes were extremely well prepared for these championships but, at the end of the day, personal safety must take priority over performance.

Rahul Tandon, BBC News, Calcutta
The decision by the England badminton team to pull out of the World Championships came as a surprise to many here. But it does raise questions about India's ability to host major sporting events.
There are plenty of them coming up. The first ever Cricket Champions League featuring teams from England, South Africa and New Zealand takes place in October. It was cancelled last year because of the attacks in Mumbai. Whilst India's largest ever sporting event the Commonwealth Games will be held in Delhi next year.
Security is a sensitive issue with the sporting authorities here. They say there was no specific threat against the championships in Hyderabad but they know that following the Mumbai attacks some sports stars are worried about coming to India. Those fears grew when the world's most lucrative cricket tournament, the IPL, was shifted from India to South Africa earlier this year.
The men who run Indian sport are now going to have to work hard to counter the growing perception that the world's biggest democracy is not a safe place for international sports stars.
"This was a unanimous squad decision and is not reflective of the efforts made by the organising committee to create the safest environment possible for all athletes."
Terror attacks
Lashkar-e-Taiba is Urdu for Soldiers of the Pure, and is a Pakistan-based organisation fighting against Indian control in Kashmir.
It has been blamed for several terrorist incidents in India including the October 2005 bomb attacks in Delhi, which saw 60 people killed, and is alleged to have played a part in the armed raid on the Indian parliament in December 2001.
It was also linked with the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, which killed at least 188 people.
Gerry Sutcliffe, the sport minister, insisted the decision had been that of Badminton England alone.
He added: "It's a decision that's not taken lightly, but you have to support them, because the players' security has to come first."
Ms Smillie said she understood that England was the only team to pull out of the tournament.
The Scots have two singles players in the tournament - Susan Hughes and Alistair Casey.
Welsh Badminton said its three Welsh players are still at the championships, but that the situation is being closely monitored.
The Foreign Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport had earlier issued a statement saying: "The British High Commission had been in close contact with the Indian authorities which gave assurances that the highest level of security was in place around the Badminton World Championships."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tennis:Roddick reaches Washington semis


Top seed Andy Roddick continued his fine form with a straight-sets win over fellow big server Ivo Karlovic to reach the semi-finals in Washington.
The American came through 7-6 (7-4) 7-6(7-5) to set up a clash with compatriot John Isner at the Legg Mason Classic.
Isner, another huge server, defeated eighth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-7 (10-12) 6-2.
Second seed and defending champion Juan Martin del Potro will face fourth seed Fernando Gonzalez in the second semi.
Argentine Del Potro progressed without hitting a ball after fifth seed Robin Soderling was forced to withdraw because of a right elbow problem.
Being down an early break against Karlovic is a recipe for disaster
Andy Roddick
Gonzalez enjoyed a fine 7-5 6-4 win over Wimbledon semi-finalist Tommy Haas, and the Chilean said: "Both of us played really good tennis in the beginning.
"I only had one break point and I did it. That gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the match."
It was no great surprise that Roddick needed two tie-breaks to see off Karlovic, but there were breaks of serve in the match.
The American netted a volley to go down 1-3 in the first set but broke back in game seven and took control of the ensuing tie-break from the outset.
Karlovic then broke again in the opening game of the second set, with Roddick hitting a ball out of the stadium in frustration before regaining his composure to quickly get back on level terms.
Roddick got the crucial mini-break at 4-3 in the second tie-break and saw it out, saying afterwards: "Being down an early break against Karlovic is a recipe for disaster.
"I consider myself fortunate to get out it of it one time, much less two times.
"If you would have told me I would have broken twice I would have thought I would have been a lot more comfortable than that."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tennis:Sharapova eases past Groth in LA


Maria Sharapova continued her comeback from injury with victory over Jarmila Groth in round one of the LA Women's Tennis Championships in Los Angeles.
The 22-year-old Russian, who returned in May after nine months out because of shoulder surgery, won 6-0 6-4.
Sharapova will meet third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in round two.
France's Marion Bartoli, who beat Venus Williams to win in Stanford on Sunday, has pulled out with a calf injury.
Sharapova was joined in the second round by 10th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy, a 6-2 5-7 6-0 winner against American Varvara Lepchenko but the number 11 seed Virginie Razzano of France lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to Russia's Anna Chakvetadze.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova completely outclassed Slovakia's Groth in the opening set but failed to find the same level of consistency in the second.
Breaks were exchanged before Groth erred on a forehand and then fought off three break points to hold a 4-3 lead.

But Sharapova then levelled, broke Groth to love and served out to win the match with a vicious forehand return down the line.
"Her game plan was to attack from every single angle she could," said Sharapova, who is still working to strengthen her serve following surgery in 2008 and lost in the quarter-finals of the Stanford Classic last week to Venus Williams.
"But she wasn't able to do that consistently because I was able to retrieve and make her hit more balls."
Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic overcame 15th seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3 7-6 (7-4) while American qualifier Jill Craybas was a 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 winner against Italian 16th seed Francesca Schiavone.
In qualifying for the tournament, British number two Elena Baltacha was beaten 4-6 6-4 7-5 in round one by American wildcard Lindsey Nelson, and British number four Melanie South lost 6-3 3-6 6-3 to 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin in round two.

Tennis:Hewitt returns to action with win

Lleyton Hewitt began his summer hard-court campaign with victory over US wildcard Donald Young at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington DC.
Hewitt, contesting his first tournament since losing to Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, reached round two with a 7-5 6-2 win.
Russia's Mikhail Youzhny required three sets to overcome Robert Kendrick, eventually prevailing 7-5 3-6 6-1.
Philipp Petzschner came from behind to beat Teimuraz Gabashvili 4-6 6-3 6-4.
Former world number one Hewitt, 28, the 2004 champion in Washington, said: "It's always hard after a few weeks off, so it's nice to get through in straight sets."
Top seed Andy Roddick, a three-times winner of the event, will play either fellow American Robby Ginepri or Benjamin Becker of Germany in his first match on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, British number two Alex Bogdanovic enjoyed a morale-boosting win in round one of the Odlum Brown Van Open in Vancouver.
The 25-year-old left-hander beat Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-2 5-7 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with American Scoville Jenkins.
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