Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix : First Round Result

Here are the results of the 1st round of WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Women's Single) held at Stuttgart, Germany:

Carla Suarez - Navarro vs. (4) Victoria Azarenka



(7) Caroline Wozniacki vs Iveta Benesova



(1) Dinara Safina vs Sara Errani



Agnes Szavay vs Ai Sugiyanna




Aleksandra Wozniak vs (8) Agnieszka Radwanska

Anna-Lena Groenefeld vs (2) Elena Dementieva

Marion Bartoli vs Karolina Sprem

Alberta Brianti vs Tzvetana Pironkoa


Maria Sharapova Recovering From Shoulder Surgery

ROME -- Maria Sharapova will miss next week's Italian Open and the Madrid Open the following week as she recovers from right shoulder surgery, the WTA Tour announced Tuesday.Sharapova played her first match in seven months on March 12 when she lost in doubles in Indian Wells, Calif.

She was forced off the WTA Tour last August by a torn rotator cuff and underwent surgery on her right shoulder two months later.

The French Open starts May 25.

The former top-ranked Russian has slipped to 64th in the WTA rankings.


Monday, April 27, 2009

6 Tennis Tips For Beginners

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Sometimes only one tennis tip for a beginner can make a big difference. You'll find great ones here but don't forget to check other sections of tennis tips too.

Here are the usual problems beginners face:
  • too much information
  • not realistic about tennis demands
  • not knowing what is the most important part of good tennis – the feel!
  • they are too much concerned with technique and »proper« form (mostly influenced by coaches)
  • they beat themselves up because they have unrealistic expectations – which slows their learning
  • impatience…
Take your time and absorb each and every tennis tip for a beginner and apply the slight change of thinking to your game. It will help you learn at the fastest possible rate.

  1. Don't try too hard – whatever you do. Even when your coach tells you to do something it's not an order. What they are really saying is give it all your best and we'll see what happens. Even when you miss you get feedback as to what happened. How did that feel, how does my racquet face determine where the ball goes, … We are so used to trying harder when things don't go our way. In tennis it usually doesn’t work. When things don't work, try less. Soften your grip and your muscles and hit average shots for a while. Do not try to hid good all the time (while learning new technique!)
  2. Do your best to have no expectations. You are improving as fast as you are. The only problem that can arise is in your mind; if you believe that you are not improving fast enough. Nothing changes in reality except you start suffering – and your shots suffer as a consequence of that even more.
  3. Focus on your feel and how this affects the outcome. Of course – listen to your coach and do your best to do the correct stroke. But this is not the most important part of a good shot. Feeling for the ball and racquet is. Start looking for that. Many good drills for beginners are in the Inner Game for beginners section.
  4. There are no mistakes only feedback. If you hit into the net, hit higher next time. It is that simple. You don't have to complicate things with knees, going under the ball and follow through. It will all happen by itself.
  5. Keep moving, dance, jog, make small hops, whatever you do just keep moving. Standing statically on the spot makes your moves even tighter than they already are.
  6. My favourite tennis tip for a beginner that you can apply is to wait. Yes, wait, because it takes time for your brain to start making adjustments from all that information coming in. So when a coach instructs you hit in a certain way or aim for certain area of the court, do your best to hit that. And then wait until your body adapts. Don't look for results after 10-20 shots. Wait. The results will come, be patient.
Subscribe to my blog to receive more tips for beginners.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tennis Tips : The Rare Shortcuts In The Tennis Game

a pictureThere are two major ways of improving your game: tennis tips and lots of repetition. A lot of practice grooves your strokes and establishes a solid foundation from where you can move on.

But before, during and after this learning process you can apply various "tennis tips" which help you find a more effective, effortless ways of improvement.

You can make various little mistakes when learning or competing and at first you don't even notice the problem.

It's like a ship that changes its course for 1 degree. It doesn't show immediately but after a couple of hours of sailing there is a big difference where you end up.

So tennis tips are actually those little but very important course modifiers. That's why they are called tips and not encyclopedias.

But remember – there is a great value hidden in these tips especially if you apply them for a longer period of time until they become subconscious.

Another very important issue that needs mentioning is the learning process. MOST of the learning and improvement takes time, effort, commitment and many repetitions. Our brain and body need many recurring informational packets before they fluidly adapt.

But – there are other ways. In some specific situations repetitions are not needed. What is needed is just a slight change of course and you will sail to your desired treasure island. These are the tennis tips.

There are many different tips – physical, technical, tactical and mental. Since is dedicated to everything related to mental aspect of tennis and everything related to making your mind your best ally, all the tips on this site will be mostly mental ones.

I have collected my best mental tennis tips over the years and they will help you deal with 29 critical situations that happen in a tennis match:
  • pre-match anxiety – off and on court
  • bad line call (this situation can be very dangerous as your reaction to it can keep you emotional for a very long time - you'll learn how to get rid of it quickly and effortlessly)
  • exceptionally good day for your opponent (and how you can turn this apparently bad situation to your advantage)
  • and many more...
For every situation you'll learn the correct winning mentality, how to adjust your emotions and approach the game with a positive attitude and focus on the task at hand.

and subscribe to be updated with tennis tips and WTA updates!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Safina Makes Sibling History As No. 1

a pictureLONDON -- Dinara Safina officially took over the top ranking on the WTA Tour on Monday, making her and older sibling Marat Safin the only brother-sister duo to have been No. 1 in professional tennis.

Safina, who has yet to win a Grand Slam title but twice reached a major final, is the 19th woman to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1975. She is also only the second Russian woman after Maria Sharapova to reach No. 1.

Safina replaced Serena Williams at the top, even though the American beat her in the Australian Open final this year. Last year, Safina lost to Ana Ivanovic in the French Open final.

Marat Safin was ranked No. 1 on the men's tour in 2000, the same year he won the first of two Grand Slam singles titles.

"He has two Grand Slams," Safina said of her brother in a video posted on the WTA's Web site. "He's still much better than me, so I have to catch him."

Safina won four titles last year.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sabine Lisicki Wins Family Circle Cup For First WTA Title

A pictureCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Sabine Lisicki jumped in the air, then fell on her back on the green clay to celebrate winning her first tour title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday in the Family Circle Cup.

As she did to opponents all week, the 19-year-old Lisicki overpowered Wozniacki with her serve, often launching serves of over 120 mph as she scattered nine aces during the match. The last came on a 122 mph serve that gave her the advantage in the final game.

Lisicki, the 16th seed who beat second-seed Venus Williams in the third round, began her celebration after the next point when Wozniacki couldn't get a backhand on a ball at the baseline.

"I couldn't believe that I won, because I didn't use my match points," Lisicki said. "Then I finally won. I don't know which match point it was -- seventh, eighth -- it felt like 30th. But I was just so happy I won."

"I knew that she was going to be a little bit nervous. I knew that she was maybe going to have some trouble closing it out," Wozniacki said. "She came up with some good serves."

In reality, Wozniacki, of Denmark, fought off five match points in that final game before Lisicki prevailed.

During that final game, which went to deuce five times, Lisicki had two serves of 122 mph as well as a 120-mph serve.

"She's a player that can play really well, hit the ball really hard and, yeah, if it goes in, it's really tough," Wozniacki said.

Lisicki won $188,000 and a crystal cup for her first tour victory. She also becomes the first player to win the Family Circle Cup who has never won a tournament title previously. Ranked No. 63, she is expected to climb to No. 43 with the victory.

"I told my mom before the tournament that I really want to play Venus and that I think I have the game to beat her," Lisicki said. "So when I got into the match against Venus, I really thought I could win and then I just kept rolling."

Wozniacki, 18, ranked No. 12 and seeded fifth, was looking for her second straight tour victory after winning last week on clay at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. She eliminated top seed Elena Dementieva in a semifinal match that lasted almost three hours on Saturday and said she felt tired going into the finals.

"I don't think it was from yesterday. I just think it's in general, you know, from playing a lot of matches," she said. "I started feeling it a little bit today but she also didn't give me a chance to come back in the match."

But Wozniacki was pleased after winning at Ponte Vedra Beach and making the Charleston final.

"I thought clay was the surface I liked the least. But after these two weeks I really proved myself wrong," she said.

The players are 1-1 in two meetings. Wozniacki won in three sets at last year's Australian Open.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Caroline Woznizcki Defeated Elena Dementieva In Family Circle Semifinal

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the finals of the Family Circle Cup on Saturday, fighting off a furious rally by Elena Dementieva to defeat the tournament's top seed 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

Wozniacki now meets 16th-seeded Sabine Lisicki, who, after ousting Venus Williams earlier in the week, easily defeated sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-1 in the other semifinal.

Dementieva, ranked No. 3, saved three match points in the second set to force a third in a match that lasted almost three hours on the green clay.

Wozniacki, seeded fifth, was up 5-2 in the second set, serving for the match, when Dementieva broke her at love.

Dementieva then won her next service game, fighting off three match points, and the following three games to force the third set. When she evened the set at 5-5, Wozniacki threw her racket on the court in disgust.

But Wozniacki, an 18-year-old Dane ranked No. 12, prevailed on her fifth match point. Wozniacki is looking for her second straight tour victory after winning last week on clay at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Wozniacki said she was thinking too much about a victory when Dementieva staged her second-set rally.

"I knew I had to close it out and, you know, I was a little bit nervous," she said. "She started to play some really good tennis, aggressive and doesn't make so many errors, and, you know, she wins the set and I'm not so happy about that."

She said she hoped she would not be tired going into the final.

"It hasn't been a factor until now, and I've played quite a lot of matches, so I hope I can pull the last one through," she said.

But it could be a factor in Sunday's final, as Lisicki, the No. 63-ranked German with the blazing serve -- she had one of 125 mph Saturday -- needed only about an hour to defeat Bartoli.

"I don't really care about that. It's a final and, you know, I'm sure everybody wants to win, so we'll both go out there and fight," said Lisicki, who is looking for her first tour title.

The only meeting between Lisicki and Wozniacki was last year at the Australian Open, when Wozniacki won in three sets.

"It was more than a year ago that we played, and I think we have both gotten much better," Lisicki said.

Dementieva said she couldn't overcome a slow start against Wozniacki after she fell behind 5-2 in the first set.

"I just saw too many mistakes in the beginning of the match," she said. "So for me to come back just took a lot of energy, and I wish I had a better start and so it would have been a different game.

"Dementieva has appeared seven times in Charleston but never won. It was the second straight year she was in the semifinals. She made the finals four years ago.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Circle Cup Women's Singles Results

April 16 - Family Circle Cup women's singles third round results from South Carolina, U.S. on Thursday (prefix denotes seeding, * denotes new result) * 13-Virginie Razzano (France) beat 3-Vera Zvonareva (Russia) 1-1 (Zvonareva retired)

Elena Vesnina (Russia) beat Viktoriya Kutuzova (Ukraine) 7-6(4) 7-5

Melinda Czink (Hungary) beat 4-Nadia Petrova (Russia) 3-6 6-4 7-5 1-Elena Dementieva (Russia) beat Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) 6-1 6-1 5-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) beat 10-Peng Shuai (China) 6-3 6-4 16-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) beat 2-Venus Williams (U.S.) 6-4 7-6(5) 7-Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) beat Anastasia Rodionova (Russia) 6-7(6) 6-2 6-3 6-Marion Bartoli (France) beat Melanie Oudin (U.S.) 6-4 6-1


Sabine Lisicki beats Venus Williams In Family Circle Cup

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Second-seeded Venus Williams was upset in the third round of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday, falling to 63rd-ranked Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 7-6 (5) in a startling early exit that took even Williams by surprise.

"I wasn't expecting that and, you know, I'll try to come back next year and win," she said. "I made a few errors at the wrong time and she played some great shots."

It was the first time Williams had faced Lisicki, the German with the big serve seeded 16th this week. Lisicki consistently sent serves of over 110 mph toward Williams on the green clay of stadium court at Family Circle Tennis Center. Her serve of 123.1 mph at the Australian Open is the second-fastest on the women's tour this year.

"I'm confident with my serve," Lisicki said. "Sometimes I'm struggling, but you know, in the important points I could really count on my serve, which was very good."

At the end of the match, Lisicki buried her face in her towel and was asked later whether she was laughing, crying or simply wiping her face.

"Everything together. It was just pure emotions," she said, calling it one of the biggest wins of her career.

A day earlier, it took Williams almost 2½ hours to eliminate Sania Mirza, ranked No. 100. But Williams said she didn't feel tired going into the third round.

"It was a long match, but that's tennis. You come back and play the next day. So I am prepared to do that," she said.
Another American also fell in the third round. Qualifier Melanie Oudin gamely battled third-seeded Marion Bartoli, ranked No. 13, before falling 6-4, 6-1. The 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., led 4-2 in the first set but could win only one more game in the match.

"I had a lead and then the whole thing was 'Oh my gosh, I'm actually beating someone who's 13 in the world,' and that got in my head a little bit," said Oudin, ranked No. 172. "It was a good match. I fought hard and I made her work for it and that was my goal out there."

Top-seed Elena Dementieva, ranked No. 3, defeated Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-1 and faces seventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, a 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-3 winner Thursday over Anastasia Rodionova, in Friday's quarterfinals.

Dementieva was asked later about Williams' loss.

"What can I say? The competition is pretty rough," she said. "You have to be ready from the first round because it's not going to be easy now, especially playing on clay court."

Fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated Shuai Peng 6-3, 6-4 and meets Virginie Razzano.

The 13th-seeded Razzano advanced when No. 3 seed Vera Zvonareva retired after injuring her ankle in their evening match. It was 1-1 in the first set when Zvonareva, ranked No. 6 in the world, tumbled while chasing down a ball along the baseline.

She cried in pain and lay on the court for about five minutes while clutching her right ankle. She was helped to her seat on court where the ankle was wrapped and ice applied. A golf cart then took her out of the stadium.

On the other side of the draw, Lisicki faces Elena Vesnina, a 7-6 (4), 7-5 winner over Viktoriya Kutuzova, in Friday's quarterfinals. Bartoli plays unseeded Melinda Czink, who upset fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Federer Marries Longtime Girlfriend

A PictureBASEL, Switzerland -- Roger Federer married longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec in a small ceremony in his hometown Saturday.

The second-ranked tennis player announced the wedding on his Web site, saying the couple got married "surrounded by a small group of close friends and family."

"It was a beautiful spring day and an incredibly joyous occasion," he said.

The couple announced last month they are expecting their first child.

Federer is set to play in next week's Monte Carlo Masters after accepting a last-minute wild-card invitation Thursday. Federer is a three-time finalist at the clay-court tournament but has never won.

After struggling with his form last year and losing his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, Federer is aiming for his sixth Wimbledon title this summer. He lost to Nadal in the Australian Open final, the year's first major.


Jankovic Drops Suarez Navarro For Title

MARBELLA, Spain -- Jelena Jankovic beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 Sunday to win her first title of the season at the Andalucia Tennis Experience.

The fourth-ranked Serb broke Suarez Navarro six times on the outdoor clay to improve to 3-0 against the Spaniard.

Suarez Navarro, playing in her first final, used one of her five break points to take the second set but was broken early in the third. Jankovic raced out to a 5-1 lead before holding on for her first victory since Moscow in October.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Injured Williams Upset by Zakopalova In Marbella

Williams slips to second straight loss!

World number one hampered by thigh injury!

BARCELONA, April 8 - An injury-hampered world number one Serena Williams suffered a shock 6-4 3-6 6-1 defeat to Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the Andalucia Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

The top seed had clearly not recovered from a thigh problem that affected her performance in Miami last week and was broken seven times by Zakopalova, ranked 95 in the world.

Williams lost to Belarussian teenager Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday and said she was sad to have failed in her opening match on the clay in Marbella in southern Spain.

"I was trying to play my best tennis but the injury prevented me from reaching my top level," the American, who wore heavy strapping on her left thigh, said at a news conference.

World number four and second seed Jelena Jankovic thrashed Italy's Francesca Schiavone 6-2 6-1 in their first-round clash in Marbella on Tuesday.


Safina To Replace Serena As Number One In WTA Rankings

A pictureMIAMI, April 8 - Russia's Dinara Safina will replace Serena Williams as world number one in the WTA's next official rankings, the organisation said on Wednesday.

Safina, who has yet to win a Grand Slam event, has risen up the rankings thanks to four WTA singles titles in the past year -- at Montreal, Los Angeles, Berlin and Tokyo.

The full rankings will be officially released on April 20.

The Russian, whose brother Marat was previously a men's number one, was also runner-up in five competitions including the 2009 Australian Open, where she was beaten by Williams, and the 2008 French Open.

"It's a great honour to reach the number one ranking and it is a dream that every girl who has ever wanted to play professional tennis shares," said Dinara in a statement released by the WTA.

"It is even extra special for me since my brother Marat was able to reach number one and I am happy to share this achievement with him."

The rankings system was questioned last week by Williams, who in the past 12 months has won the Australian Open and the U.S Open and was beaten finalist at Wimbledon.

"There's no question that while I am very proud of my results over the past year, I would have liked to reach this achievement in a different manner," said Safina.

"I hope to prove to everyone over the coming months that I merit the honour of being World number one," she said.

An injury-hampered Williams suffered a 6-4 3-6 6-1 defeat to Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the Andalucia Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

Williams is still struggling due to a thigh problem that affected her performance in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami on Saturday when she lost to teenager Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kim Clijsters Returns!

A PictureThe much-loved Clijsters revealed the worst-kept secret in tennis Thursday, announcing her decision to return during the U.S. Open Series after a lengthy hiatus. . By that time it would have been more than two years since the hustling, elastic and oh-so-nice former world No. 1 contested a meaningful match. An impending marriage, desire to start a family -- realized with the birth of daughter Jada in February 2008 -- and injuries sent Clijsters into retirement initially.

"Her return is good news because Clijsters put on a show," said coaching guru Nick Bollettieri. "She was one of the few girls that could slide on a hard court. She's a scrapper, she's a Grand Slammer, and we need a little bit more excitement on the tour right now."

Clijsters has been practicing in a manner disassociated with playing an exhibition to test Wimbledon's new roof in May, another grass-court exhibition at June's Ordina Open in the Netherlands and a few encounters for the St. Louis Aces in World Team Tennis in July. Clijsters indeed adores competing in North America. Apart from winning at Flushing Meadows in 2005, she spends significant time in the U.S. given her hubby is American Brian Lynch, a basketball pro in Belgium.

According to reports, Clijsters's training regime recently grew to six days a week. Three were devoted to tennis, while the remainder focused on fitness.

Davenport, married herself and probably off the tour for good now that she's expecting for a second time, disclosed last week Clijsters asked her about the logistics of life on the road with a young child.

"It all started with preparing for the gala match at Wimbledon," Clijsters told reporters in her hometown of Bree. "All pretty laid back. I liked it that much I was onto my training schedule from my pro days, and then the hunger for more comes automatically."

Clijsters has time on her side, turning 26 in June. Davenport was 31 when she resurfaced in September 2007 following an 11-month absence precipitated by motherhood, and Hingis re-emerged as a 25-year-old in 2006, gone the best part of four years recovering from injuries. A positive test for cocaine sent Hingis into permanent retirement late in 2007.

News of Clijsters's return was greeted with joy by a former doubles partner.

"When Kim quit, I thought she was too good to quit," said Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama, who won two Grand Slam titles with Clijsters. "I wasn't really surprised she decided to come back because she's still young. She's such a nice girl to be with; there are very few players you can have fun with. I'm looking forward to seeing her again. I'd love to see her baby as well."

Just how much success Clijsters is in for remains to be seen.

At first glance, though, it looks like a sizable hole exists behind the Williams sisters.

Jelena Jankovic, a great mover, too, is admittedly struggling, and fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic hasn't exactly blossomed since winning the French Open in June. Elena Dementieva can't seem to win a big one in the majors, and Russian compatriot Dinara Safina continues to wrestle with her emotions at crunch time.

Maria Sharapova sadly remains sidelined due to a shoulder injury, with more than a few suggesting her career is in jeopardy.

Henin, of course, is out of the picture entirely.

Clijsters lost six of her last eight meetings against Henin. Two came in Grand Slam finals -- Clijsters was 0-for-4 in major finals prior to 2005 -- and two more in semis.

"It's really only the Williams sisters I see that can be her two big opponents," Dewulf said. "All the other players, with all due respect, they were there when Kim was playing. There are a few youngsters, but I think Kim has a lot more game than them. If the Williams sisters are healthy and playing well then no one can beat them, but behind them there's some anarchy and chaos."

Clijsters's mental toughness is ample, Bollettieri suggests. He worries slightly about the physical component.

"Lindsay didn't get in long rallies," he said. "She's going to come up and hit the ball, and she always put the pressure on you. Clijsters hits with a bit more spin, which allows the opponent more chance to get the ball. Probably the longer the rallies go early on, unless she's in superb condition, that certainly won't be a plus for her."

Whatever happens on court, her "second career," as Clijsters called it, is a plus for the tennis world.

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