Mar 242018

Jelena Ostapenko proved to be once again the source of delightful moments on the tennis court. The Roland Garros champion revealed deft piece of footwork at Miami Open during the match against Timea Babos whom she defeated 6-4, 6-4.

jelena ostapenko

Jelena Ostapeno (pic: wikimedia commons)

When her opponent served, Ostapenko moved like she was following some dance rhythms, fact which was also noticed by her new coach, David Taylor, who tried to make some suggestions during an on-court coaching.

Taylor: “When returning stay calm”
Ostapenko: “But I wanna do this (“making dancing moves”)

In the end the coach had to get used to the idea that she likes to dance and there’s nothing he can do about.

Photo credit: By Carine06 from UK (Jelena Ostapenko) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sep 112016

What a moment for Angelique Kerber who just became the Queen of New York by winning the US Open 2016 shortly before taking over the WTA leadership next Monday.

angelique kerber

Angelique Kerber (wikimedia commons)

Angelique Kerber, 2nd favorite, claimed the US Open tennis title after defeating Czech opponent Karolina Pliskova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The German lady who will become the WTA no. 1 over two days, has earned her second Grand Slam title and 10th career trophy.

Kerber received a check worth 3.5 million dollars and 2000 WTA points for winning the US Open and Plishkova was given 1,75 million dollars and 1,300 WTA points for being a runner-up.

In New York, Kerber needed two hours and seven minutes to win her second Slam this year as she had already triumphed at the Australian Open where she beat Serena Williams in the final.

However, besides winning two GS, Kerber lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams but also the Olympic Games title in Rio de Janeiro to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

As for Pliskova, it was her career’s first Grand Slam final after stunningly kicking out both Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, along her route to the last match. 24-year-old Pliskova had won two trophies in 2016: Nottingham and Cincinnati.

“I played my best tennis against world’s best players. Congratulations to Angie who showed that she deserves to be world number 1 and it was an honor for me to play against her. I met Angie a few times before and I knew it would be difficult, I found the strength to win the second set and send the match into the decider. Though I did not win, I’m proud of myself, of the way I played in the last week and I hope for many other finals to come for me”, said Karolina Pliskova, after the end of the US Open tournament.
Photo credits: By NAPARAZZI [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Video: US OPEN 2016: Angelique Kerber, enjoying her Slam victory

Angelique Kerber vs Karolina Pliskova: Match Statistics
Aces: 1-5
Double faults: 2-4
First service points won: 69% -75%
The second service points won: 53% -39%
Points won at the net: 3/6 (50%) – 28/38 (74%)
Break points won: 4/5 (80%) – 2/7 (29%)
Winning kicks: 21-40
Unforced errors: 17-47
Total points won: 97-90.

Finalists evolution at US Open 2016:
Angelique Kerber:
1st round: Angelique Kerber – Polona Hercog, 6-0, 1-0 (abandon Hercog)
2nd round: Angelique Kerber – Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (WTA 57) 6-2, 7-6
3rd round: Angelique Kerber – Catherine Bellis (158 WTA), 6-1, 6-1
4rd round: Angelique Kerber – Petra Kvitova (WTA 16) 6-3, 7-5
Quarters: Angelique Kerber – Roberta Vinci (8 WTA), score 7-5, 6-0
Semifinals: Angelique Kerber – Caroline Wozniacki (WTA 74) 6-4, 6-3.

Karolina Pliskova:
1st round: Karolina Pliskova – Sofia Kenin (243 WTA) 6-4 6-3
2nd round: Karolina Pliskova – Montserrat Gonzalez (WTA 192) 6-1, 7-5
3rd round: Karolina Pliskova – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (WTA 18) 6-2, 6-4
4th round: Karolina Pliskova – Venus Williams (6 WTA), score 4-6, 6-4, 7-6
Quarters: Karolina Pliskova – Ana Konjuh (WTA 92) 6-2, 6-2
Semifinals: Karolina Pliskova – Serena Williams (1 WTA) 6-2 7-6
Video: Angie Kerber – Post match interview US Open Championships

Kerber and Pliskova have met 8 times so far (including this US Open), and the result is 5-3 in the favor of German athlete. Their previous confrontation was in the final at Cincinnati where Karolina won thus preventing Angie to climb to first place in the WTA rankings.

Direct meetings Kerber vs. Pliskova 5-3:
2011 Copenhagen 6-2, 6-2 Angelique Kerber
2014 Doha: 7-6 6-4 Angelique Kerber
2014 Nuremberg: 7-6 6-4 Karolina Pliskova
2015 Sydney 6-3, 6-3 Karolina Pliskova
2015 Birmingham: 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 to Angelique Kerber
2015 Stanford: 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 Angelique Kerber
2016 Cincinnati: 6-3, 6-1 Karolina Pliskova
2016 US Open: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 Angelique Kerber

WTA tournaments claimed by Kerber across her career:
2016 – Australian Open, Stuttgart, US Open
2015 – Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham, Stanford
2013 – Linz
2012 – Paris (indoor), Copenhagen.

WTA tournaments claimed by Pliskova in her career:
2016 – Cincinnati, Nottingham
2015 – Prague
2014 – Linz, Seoul
2013 – Kuala Lumpur

Mar 082016

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, a WTA former world number one, announced during a press brief on Monday in Los Angeles, that she was found positive after a doping test carried out at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, in January.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova (Wikimedia/UNDP)

“A few days ago I received a letter from the International Tennis Federation in which I was informed that I came out positive at the doping check at the Australian Open,” Sharapova said, visibly emotional.

“For ten years I have been taking a drug prescription from my GP (…) and this product was not on the prohibited drug list of the World Anti-Doping Agency, but the rules changed as of 1 January and this drug has been banned, fact which I did not know”, continued the Russian.
The drug in question, meldonium, is intended to treat diabetes issues, said Sharapova.

Mainly used to prevent heart attacks, it was ranked among hormones and metabolic modulators (group S4) from 1 January 2016.

“I made a huge mistake, I disappointed my fans and I failed the sport. I know that I exposed myself to some consequences, but do not want to end my career in this way and I hope to have again the chance to play”, said Maria Sharapova.

28-year-old Sharapova said that she has not been heard yet by the International Tennis Federation and has not been subjected to suspention so far.
Photo credit: By Maria_Sharapova_UNDP.jpg: United Nations Development Programmederivative work: César [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oct 252014

Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska are set to clash on court in the second semifinal of the WTA Tour Championships in Singapore on Saturday at 12:00 CET.

Simona Halep Agnieszka Radwanska

Halep and Radwanska to dispute semifinal of WTA Championships in Singapore

The first semifinal which sees Caroline Wozniacki confronting Serena Williams is scheduled earlier in the day at 8:00 CET.

Of Polish tennis star Agnieszka Radwanska, Halep said that she knows her very well as they already disputed two matches this year.

“It will be a very difficult match. I know her well, we played twice against each other in 2014. so far, the aggregate is 1-1, but we will see tomorrow what happens in the semifinals,” said Simona Halep.

The Romanian rising star who demolished World’s nr. 1 Serena Williams in two straight sets 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday, has prepared also a tactical plan against Radwanska.

“She runs all over the court, so as I have to do as well. I have to be aggressive, very aggressive , because she is a smart player. She knows how to find the angles, but I will try everything to dominate the game. I believe in my chances, it was my dream to play here, so I will do everything to qualify to the final,” said Simona Halep before the match with Agnieszka Radwanska.

Update: Simona Halep beats Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2 in Singapore to fight again Serena Williams at WTA Finals 2014

Below you can watch recording of the Singapore Open semifinal between Halep and Radwanska as well as highlights from one of their previous matches.

Video: Simona Halep – Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2, Singapore Semifinals 2014

Video: Simona Halep V Agnieszka Radwanska, Rome 2013