engagesuperleague.co.uk tennis betting news / Mon, 15 Feb 2016 05:25:40 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.1 (obRSS 1.8.11) en-GB Djokovic seeks big four supremacy in semifinal with Federer /tennis-betting-news/7830-djokovic-seeks-big-four-supremacy-in-semifinal-with-federer.html Djokovic seeks big four supremacy in semifinal with Federer

Novak Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer for the 45th time at the Australian Open on Thursday, said that the 34-year-old Swiss hasn’t dropped off at all.

However, the 28-year-old Djokovic has gotten the better of Federer in recent Grand Slams. Djokovic beat Federer in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals last year, and in the 2014 Wimbledon final. The 17-time Grand Slam champion did overcome Djokovic in the 2012 Wimbledon semifinal before beating Andy Murray for the title. That is the last time that Federer won a major.

Djokovic, a 10-time Grand Slam champion, reiterated that Federer is an incredibly complete player.

“He's trying lately to come to the net more, kind of shorten up the rallies,” Djokovic said. “He definitely has the game for that. He's got a great variation from the backhand side with the slice, short slice. He's got great defense, amazing offense. He's very complete. He puts constant pressure on the opponent. You have to be aware at all times. You got to be tough. You got to be concentrated.”

The two squared off eight times in 2015. In addition to the victories at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Djokovic won in Indian Wells, Rome, and at the ATP World Tour Finals, in the final. Federer bested Djokovic in Dubai, Cincinnati and at the ATP World Tour Finals (Round Robin Stage).

At the 2007 Australian Open, Federer beat Djokovic in the fourth round when the latter was only 19 years old. The next year, Djokovic upset Federer in the semis and went on to win his first Slam title. In 2011, the two faced off in the Aussie Open semifinals again, and Djokovic won in straight sets.

“You have to be on the top of your game,” Djokovic said, “because he hasn't really dropped the level at all, I think, in the last seven, eight years that I've been playing against him on the top level. He's been playing always consistently well. I think his backhand is better than it was maybe five, six years ago. So he's playing some terrific tennis on the hard court. This is going to be a big challenge for both of us.”

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2016-01-28T00:46:29+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/7830-djokovic-seeks-big-four-supremacy-in-semifinal-with-federer.html
Djokovic to face Federer in Rome final /tennis-betting-news/7228-djokovic-to-face-federer-in-rome-final.html Djokovic to face Federer in Rome final

Defending champion Novak Djokovic will take on Roger Federer in the final of the Internazionali d'Italia after both players recorded impressive straight-sets semi-final victories on Saturday.

Djokovic - who is chasing a fourth tournament win on the clay in Rome having lifted the crown in 2008, 2011 and 2014 - overcame a typically tenacious David Ferrer 6-4 6-4.

Later in the day, Federer got the better of Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-2.

Djokovic made it nine consecutive victories over Ferrer and extended his phenomenal ongoing unbeaten run to 21 matches - marking him out as a strong favourite to collect a first French Open title next month as Rafael Nadal continues to struggle for form on his favoured surface.

In a punishing battle played largely from the back of the court, Djokovic broke for the first time in the third game with a routine forehand, but he was forced to dig deep when - serving for the set at 5-4 - Ferrer engineered a chance at 30-40.

The Spaniard could not convert, though, as he overhit his forehand and Djokovic took the opener.

His accurate groundstrokes continued in the second and, with Ferrer unable to convert another break-point chance in the sixth game, Djokovic soon broke his opponent to love to set up victory.

The Serb, though, was preoccupied with the condition of the court during the match, drawing the attention of the umpire to two visible dips in the playing surface.

"People need to understand that at this level every single thing matters to us, especially the court, which is the most important: the condition of play," Djokovic was quoted as saying.

"And it's obvious that the court is not where it's supposed to be, condition-wise. Last year was better. This year, as I understand it, they started making the court too late, only three weeks ago. That's not enough for a professional tournament of a Masters 1000 event.

"I just hope that for this tournament, which I like very much, that they will make sure next year that they take more time preparing the court.”

Irrespective of conditions underfoot, the prospect of a Djokovic versus Federer remains a mouthwatering one, and the Swiss former world number was in irresistible form as he dispatched of countryman Wawrinka.

Nadal was dumped out by Wawrinka in the previous round but the 2014 Australian Open champion was unable to offer up a repeat performance, despite establishing an early 3-0 lead.

Federer proceeded to rattle through six of the next seven games to claim the first set and raced to a 5-1 second-set advantage before closing out victory inside an hour.

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2015-05-17T11:46:01+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/7228-djokovic-to-face-federer-in-rome-final.html
Halep recovery sets up Pliskova final /tennis-betting-news/6967-halep-recovery-sets-up-pliskova-final.html Simona Halep

Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep will contest the Dubai Tennis Championships final after winning their respective semi-finals on Friday.

Simona Halep will be Karolina Pliskova's opponent in the Czech's first WTA Premier 5 final after both won final-four clashes at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.

Halep and Pliskova have never previously met, but will contest this weekend's final, with the former fighting from a set down to see off Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-1 6-1.

Pliskova, responsible for the exits of Ana Ivanovic and Lucie Safarova, came through a lengthy encounter with Spaniard Garbine Muguruza with the help of a crucial break in the final set, eventually winning 6-4 5-7 7-5.

In a contest that saw the pair share 22 aces, the third break of serve was the one to make the difference as 17th seed Pliskova gained the upper hand in the penultimate game.

Muguruza still battled back, moving 40-0 ahead in the final game, but Pliskova was not to be denied as she recovered to deuce before making the most of her second match point to progress.

"I feel amazing, I really didn't expect to get to the final here," Pliskova is quoted as telling the WTA website.

"We both have great serves, so it's always going to be tough to break, even if you have 0-30 or 0-40, it doesn't mean anything until you get that final point.

"I put everything into my serve to get that final game."

In the second of the semis, Wozniacki initially looked well on course to meet Pliskova in the final as she raced through the opening set in just half an hour.

However, top seed Halep - facing Wozniacki for the first time since 2013 - recovered to move into a four-game lead in the second before seeing out the set.

Halep, who saw off Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-final, was similarly convincing in the final set with the help of some solid returning and two saved break points.

The Romanian will now target a second WTA success of 2015, having already secured the Shenzhen Open title last month.

 

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2015-02-21T14:25:47+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6967-halep-recovery-sets-up-pliskova-final.html
Murray plays down Vallverdu impact /tennis-betting-news/6892-murray-plays-down-vallverdu-impact.html Andy Murray

His former coach may be with Tomas Berdych, but Andy Murray played down the impact that would have in the Australian Open semi-finals.

Andy Murray is unfazed by facing Tomas Berdych, despite the Czech being led by former member of his coaching staff, Dani Vallverdu.

Berdych was full of praise for the Venezuelan after ending a 17-match losing run against Rafael Nadal to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

Murray advanced later on Tuesday with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory over Nick Kyrgios on Rod Laver Arena.

The wins set up a blockbuster last-four clash between the two, with Murray's former coach in Berdych's corner.

Asked if it would change his preparation at all, Murray is not convinced it will only be to his opponent's benefit.

"I've always said to people that, you know, watching is one thing and seeing someone's game, but when you actually get on the court with them things are actually a lot different," he said.

"It seems like you might be able to attack certain areas of someone's game or something that they do might look really good, but what matters is when you're on the court can you exploit those things, that weakness.

"That weakness, is it as weak as you think?

"It's completely different when you're out there on the court, in my opinion. We'll see how the match plays out and what the tactics are and stuff.

"But I also know what Dani thinks of Berdych's game because he's told me, so it works both ways."

Murray outclassed Kyrgios in their quarter-final, proving far too good for the 19-year-old Australian.

The two-time grand slam winner mixed up his game with plenty of slices, but said that was down to the wind on court.

"It was a tricky one to judge, to say how well I played, because I found the conditions difficult tonight," Murray said.

"So I tried to use the conditions to my advantage and played a slightly different style than what I had been in the other matches.

"I would say the match against [Grigor] Dimitrov was a very high level. It was a clean match. Both of us were striking the ball well.

"But then tonight, you know, I just tried to play the best with what the conditions were allowing you to do, and I think I did that quite well."

 

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2015-01-27T22:39:14+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6892-murray-plays-down-vallverdu-impact.html
Serena Williams ´feeling better every day´ /tennis-betting-news/6875-serena-williams-feeling-better-every-day.html Serena Williams

Off to a fast start in 2015, Serena Williams is all smiles and completely healthy.

Serena Williams is in good health, which is noteworthy following her second half of 2014.

The world number one and top seed very publicly broke down with a virus while playing doubles with sister Venus at Wimbledon in June, and the problems did not stop there.

The younger Williams sister was forced to retire injured out of tournaments thereafter, including in Wuhan (virus) and Beijing (knee), but it did not stop her coasting to a US Open title in between.

However, the 33-year-old - speaking after her 7-5 6-0 victory over Vera Zvonareva at the Australian Open on Thursday - said she is healthy after two wins in Melbourne.

"I'm feeling better every day. I think in the beginning of the tournament every player feels a little sluggish; at least I do," the 18-time major winner said.

"Now I'm feeling like I'm starting to hopefully feel better."

On facing former world number two Zvonareva in the round of 64, Williams said that was all part of the challenge of grand slam tennis.

Zvonareva, due to inactivity caused by injury and illness, is ranked 203rd in the world.

"That's one thing about the grand Slams. you have to be ready for anyone at any stage," Williams said.

"Playing Vera is like, I had to get my mind like, 'Serena, this girl has been ranked as high as number two in the world, she's been on the tour and she's a very quality player, she knows what to do. She knows how to win'. 

"I had to kind of snap into that."

 

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2015-01-22T20:28:41+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6875-serena-williams-feeling-better-every-day.html
Murray to face Djokovic in Abu Dhabi final /tennis-betting-news/6820-murray-to-face-djokovic-in-abu-dhabi-final.html Murray to face Djokovic in Abu Dhabi final

Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship final after beating the fit-again Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-0.

Spaniard Nadal warned his fans that he was prepared to suffer ahead of his long-awaited return from injury at the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi and was rusty as Murray coasted to a straight-sets victory in Friday's semi-final.

British number one Murray's triumph came just a day after beginning the year with a more testing success over Feliciano Lopez in an encounter that lasted two and a half hours.

Nadal had been sidelined since October after cutting short last season to have his appendix removed and Murray took advantage as the world number three struggled in his first appearance of 2015.

Murray, ranked fifth, suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands of Roger Federer at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, but produced an encouraging display at the Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium.

He broke twice to race into a 3-0 lead after saving three break points to thwart Nadal and then broke again to wrap up the first set.

Nadal gifted Murray an immediate advantage in the second set when he double-faulted and the Briton never looked back, digging deep to save a further five break points en route to victory.

"It was closer than the score suggests," Murray is quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "While he had a lot of break points I won the important ones.

"You never know how you will get on until it comes to match conditions, but it seems that all the pre-season hard work is paying off."

World number one Djokovic continued where he left off last year by easing to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Stanislas Wawrinka to reach yet another final.

The Serb reeled off nine games in a row after to seal the first set and take the upper hand in the second, with Wawrinka unable to fight back.

Nicolas Almagro beat fellow Spaniard Lopez 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the first match to be played on Friday to ensure he will finish fifth. 

 

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2015-01-03T14:48:37+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6820-murray-to-face-djokovic-in-abu-dhabi-final.html
Djokovic confident ahead of Paris final /tennis-betting-news/6626-djokovic-confident-ahead-of-paris-final.html Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is confident about his chances of retaining the Paris Masters after performing in key moments in the semi-final on Saturday.

Defending champion Djokovic was too strong for Japan's Kei Nishikori, winning 6-2 6-3 in the French capital to set-up a meeting with Canadian Milos Raonic.

Djokovic - the world number one - accepted Nishikori may have been suffering from fatigue after his quarter-final showdown with David Ferrer that lasted almost three hours on Friday but the Serbian was still pleased by his own performance.

"Well it was obvious that Kei [Nishikori] because of fatigue maybe - finishing late last night - or a little injury that he didn't serve as well as he can as well as he wanted," Djokovic said afterwards.

"But other than that I thought he played very well from the back of the court. I served exceptionally well when it was important; both first and second set. That allowed me to have a lot of free points, it allowed me to put more pressure on his service games. All in all it was a very good performance."

Standing in the way of Djokovic and back-to-back titles is Raonic, who survived to beat Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 3-6 7-5.

While Djokovic is wary of the Canadian's serve, he is confident in his own ability.

"I do rely on my return and it's one of the elements in my game that has served me well in my entire career. That will probably be a key shot tomorrow," said Djokovic, who has never lost to Raonic in three previous meetings.

"Trying to get as many returns back in play and get into the rallies with Milos.

"Again, it is easier said than done. I also don't think it is a very pleasurable experience playing against someone that serves 220-230km per hour regularly.

"I played against him twice this year on clay though in different conditions. Indoor now, on hard court I think serves are more suitable to his style of the game rather than clay.

"But I haven't dropped a set and I feel confident about my game as much as he does about his game. It's definitely going to be a good final."

 

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2014-11-02T11:43:02+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6626-djokovic-confident-ahead-of-paris-final.html
Nishikori, Cilic seek glory in unlikely final /tennis-betting-news/6409-nishikori-cilic-seek-glory-in-unlikely-final.html Kei Nishikori vs Marin Cilic

History, redemption and glory will be on the line when Japan's Kei Nishikori and Croatia's Marin Cilic battle for the US Open men's title on Monday.

It will be the first time since the Australian Open final in 2005 that a men's Grand Slam final will not feature at least one of tennis's top three - Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer.

Tenth seed Nishikori is the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final while Cilic is into his first final, less than 12 months after returning from a four-month suspension for what he said was inadvertently taking a banned supplement.

Before this year's US Open, Nishikori and Cilic boasted just one Grand Slam semi-final appearance between them, the Croat having made it to the last four at the Australian Open in 2010.

Nishikori leads their head-to-head meetings 5-2, including both their meetings this year, in Brisbane and Barcelona, while they split their two previous US Open clashes.

But having beaten Djokovic and Federer respectively to reach their first Grand Slam final, they will be desperate to take chances on Monday.

"I hope there will be a lot of people watching (in Japan)," said Nishikori, who also beat third seed Stan Wawrinka and fifth seed Milos Raonic.

"I am a little bit surprised to make the final but am very happy to make another (piece) of history, the first time an Asian man is in the final. I hope I can win and make (more) history."

Coached by former Grand Slam champion Michael Chang, Nishikori has added steel and physical strength to a game that always possessed flair but lacked endurance.

"He's been really helpful," Nishikori said. "He's been helping me a lot from the end of last year, (especially) mentally.

"I feel my tennis is changing (to be a) little more aggressive and playing with more confidence. He's tough, but I needed someone to push me."

Cilic, whose victory over Federer in the semi-finals was described by his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, as "perfection", is aiming for glory, 11 months after returning from a drugs ban that left him questioning his future.

Originally banned for nine months, Cilic's suspension was cut to four months on appeal and the 25-year-old always maintained that he had taken the banned substance without knowing, through a tainted supplement.

The road back to the top was hard but with the help of former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic, he has emerged a more aggressive player, using his serve and groundstrokes to stunning effect.

"For the guys that are top, (reaching the final) feels normal," he said. "But for some guys that are making it for the first time it's the achievement of their career.

"When I'm playing now these bigger matches I feel like if I'm going to play well I have a good chance.

"That's a different mind-set than I used to have because before I felt that I should (try to do) more than I'm able to and then your game breaks."

Cilic said he was looking forward to one more great battle with Nishikori.

"It's going to be a special day for both of us, an opportunity for both of us to win a Grand Slam, to be a part of history," he said.

"There are going to be definitely huge emotions on the court. We have different game styles. I think it's going to be a good tactical match-up."

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2014-09-08T13:18:59+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6409-nishikori-cilic-seek-glory-in-unlikely-final.html
Sloane Stephens loses to Johanna Larsson in U.S. Open /tennis-betting-news/6359-sloane-stephens-loses-to-johanna-larsson-in-u-s-open.html

American Sloane Stephens lost (5-7, 6-4, 6-2) to No. 96 Johanna Larsson on Wednesday in the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open. Stephens was the tournament's No. 21 seed. During the match, Stephens had more than 60 unforced errors.

Last year, Stephens made it to the fourth round of the U.S. Open, but lost in straight sets to the eventual tournament champion, Serena Williams.

 

That fourth-round exit was the best finish of Stephens' U.S. Open career.

 

Since turning pro in 2009, Stephens' best finish came during the 2013 Australian Open. She reached the semifinals as the No. 29 seed, but lost to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in straight sets. Stephens had to beat Serena Williams in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis.

 

Prior to losing to Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon, Stephens had made it to the fourth round or better at six straight majors.

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2014-08-28T00:38:25+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6359-sloane-stephens-loses-to-johanna-larsson-in-u-s-open.html
Sharapova humbles Halep, Williams wins /tennis-betting-news/6291-sharapova-humbles-halep-williams-wins.html Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova won her French Open final rematch with Simona Halep at the Western and Southern Open, while Serena Williams advanced.

The Russian fifth seed was facing Halep for the first time since edging her in a three-set classic at Roland Garros, and the second clash was similarly thrilling with Sharapova prevailing 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Cincinnati.

Halep, the Romanian second seed, won a break-riddled opening set, with only one hold of serve in nine games.

Sharapova was on the canvas when Halep leapt to a 2-0 lead, however the diminutive baseliner would lose her own serve three times in succession as the four-time major winner squared the match at one-set all.

Similarly in the deciding set, Halep assumed the ascendancy with an early break, but Sharapova broke straight back in the third game.

Serving at 4-4, Halep was broken to 15 before Sharapova served it out successfully to end the contest after two hours 32 minutes.

Sharapova will face ninth-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the last four, after Ivanovic disposed of Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-3 at the WTA Premier event.

Ivanovic broke the Svitolina serve four times in the opening set, before requiring the lone break in the second to wrap up victory in just under an hour.

Top seed Williams will go head-to-head with former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the other semi-final, for the pair's second meeting in as many tournaments.

American Williams, the incumbent world number one, thrashed Serbia's ninth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-3.

Williams won 23 of 25 points on her first serve, and cantered to the finish line in 58 minutes.

Danish 12th seed Wozniacki preserved her formline, downing Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Williams is the only player to beat Wozniacki in the latter's past 13 matches.

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2014-08-16T16:41:10+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6291-sharapova-humbles-halep-williams-wins.html
Nadal ready for Djokovic challenge /tennis-betting-news/6068-nadal-ready-for-djokovic-challenge.html Nadal ready for Djokovic challenge

The battle for the Roland Garros title and also for the top position in the ATP rankings will fight first and second player in the world, N. Djokovic and defending champion R. Nadal.

Djokovic qualified for the final after he defeated Gulbis by 3-1, while Nadal outplayed Murray without much problem.

N. Djokovic is on the 2nd place in ATP rankings and has won 44 titles in his career, out of which three this season, at tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Rome. He played this season as the title defender at the Australian Open and Dubai but he didn’t defend the titles, losing to Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and to Federer in the semi-final of Dubai.  He also didn’t manage to defend the title in Monte Carlo, as he was stopped in the semi-final by R. Federer.

Last year’s Masters in Madrid and Rome ended for him in the second round and the quarterfinals after loses to Dimitrov and Berdych, respectively. He lost dramatic and marathon match of the Roland Garros’ semi-final to Nadal, while at the Wimbledon he reached the finals but lost that match to Murray. The Masters in Montreal ended in the semifinal after a defeat by Nadal, and was defeated in Cincinnati early in the quarterfinals by Isner. The US Open ended for him in the final with another defeat to Nadal.

R. Nadal is the first player in the ATP rankings and he has won 63 titles in his career. He won three titles this season; in Doha where he defeated Monfils in the final 2-1, and in Rio de Janeiro where he outplayed Dolgopolov also by 2-1. The third title was won in Madrid after Nishikori surrendered the final match in the third set. At the Australian Open he lost the final to Wawrinka, while Dolgopolov outplayed him in the third round of the Indian Wells. He made a good result in Miami, where he played in the finals but lost to Djokovic, while he suffered surprising defeats in Monte Carlo and Barcelona by Ferrer and Almagro, respectively.

Regarding other results from the last season we will say that he lost only six matches; at the first comeback tournament in Vina del Mar to Zeballos, then in the final of the Monte Carlo to Djokovic while the biggest disappointment was certainly the defeat in the first round of Wimbledon by Darcis 3-0. In Beijing he lost the final to Djokovic 6-3, 6-4, while in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters he was defeated by Del Potro.

Head-to-head score between these two players is 22-19 in Nadal’s favour. They have played two finals this season; in Mimai 6-3, 6-3 and Rome 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Djokovic won both those matches. Last year’s Roland Garros semi-final ended with Nadal’s victory 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7. Nadal is always regarded at the Roland Garros and this type of surface as a favourite, but Djokovic has more motivation and will do everything to win Nadal whom he had already won twice this season.

 

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2014-06-08T11:31:08+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6068-nadal-ready-for-djokovic-challenge.html
Halep makes maiden French Open quarter-final /tennis-betting-news/6054-halep-makes-maiden-french-open-quarter-final.html Simona Halep

Simona Halep reached her first French Open quarter-final with a straight-sets victory over Sloane Stephens on Monday.

The Romanian is the highest seed left in the women's draw at Roland Garros this year after early setbacks for Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska.

And she continued her march through the tournament with a 6-4 6-3 win over the 15th-seeded American.

Both players are tipped for bright futures on the WTA Tour but it was Halep who prevailed on this occasion, needing just 78 minutes to book her spot in the last eight.

Breaks of serve were common in the first set but Halep's agility around the court proved crucial, with her accurate forehand helping her to 11 winners in the opener.

She took the first set with a third break of Stephens' serve and then served to take a 1-0 lead in the second before a run of five breaks in as many games.

Halep eventually broke the run of breaks when she held for a 5-2 advantage, as she closed out victory with another hold shortly after.

The world number four, who has stormed up the rankings after an outstanding 2013 that saw her win six titles, finished with 19 winners and six breaks.

Halep will play 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova or Lucie Safarova in her quarter-final.

 

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2014-06-02T21:10:02+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/6054-halep-makes-maiden-french-open-quarter-final.html
Sharapova, Halep to meet in Madrid final /tennis-betting-news/5981-sharapova-halep-to-meet-in-madrid-final.html Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova sailed into the final of the Madrid Open with a 6-1 6-4 victory over third seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Saturday.

The Russian world number nine is rediscovering her best form as she continues her recovery from a shoulder problem that kept her out for four months last year, and will now meet Romania's Simona Halep for the WTA Premier clay-court event crown on Sunday.

Sharapova claimed her third consecutive Stuttgart Grand Prix title last month and is on course to lay her hands on the trophy in the Spanish capital following her victory over the higher-ranked Pole Radwanska.

Radwanska made a dismal start to the encounter and failed win a single game on her own serve in the opening set.

Despite breaking her opponent in the fourth game, Radwanska was posing little threat to Sharapova and was a set down in less than 25 minutes.

The second set was a more even affair and, despite going a break up, Sharapova's lead looked to be slipping away as she lost two games on her own serve.

However, the four-time grand slam champion bounced back to claim the last three games and book her place in the final.

Halep - the highest-ranked Romanian in WTA history - had to come from behind to beat Petra Kvitova 6-7 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 and earn her right to compete for the trophy.

Kvitova, who received a bye in the quarter-finals due to Serena Williams' withdrawal through injury, edged the tie-break following a tight first set, before Halep bounced back from losing the opening game of the second set by registering two breaks of her own to level matters.

Fifth seed Kvitova failed to produce a similar recovery when she lost the first game of the final set, as Halep successfully clung on for a final berth.

 

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2014-05-11T12:55:01+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5981-sharapova-halep-to-meet-in-madrid-final.html
Nadal: I outplayed Almagro /tennis-betting-news/5927-nadal-i-outplayed-almagro.html Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal said he felt he outplayed Nicolas Almagro, before going down to his compatriot at the Barcelona Open.

The world number one Nadal lost in Barcelona for the first time in 42 matches, a record extending back to 2003, when the Mallorcan was just 16 years old.

Nadal said he felt he was on top of Almagro in their 11th career meeting, especially since the 13-time major winner held four break points throughout the second set without converting.

He also had a 3-1 lead in the deciding set, before uncharacteristically getting broken three times in succession to fold to a shock 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 loss.

"For two sets I was playing better than him, much more chances than him," Nadal said.

"I was in advantage (in the third set), in control, and I missed a lot of opportunities during the match.

"And playing against a good opponent like him, the normal thing is lose in the end and that's what happened."

Nadal said he was not too down on himself, despite the defeat a hindrance to his plans of winning a record ninth French Open, which starts in May.

"I felt I did a lot of things well to win, but at the end, (there) remained a little bit (missing)," Nadal said.

"(I have to) just accept the situation and keep fighting."

 

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2014-04-26T11:28:28+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5927-nadal-i-outplayed-almagro.html
Wawrinka fights back to seal maiden Masters title /tennis-betting-news/5905-wawrinka-fights-back-to-seal-maiden-masters-title.html Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka came from a set down to beat compatriot Roger Federer and claim victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

The Australian Open champion produced a fine comeback to win the first ATP 1000 Masters title of his career with a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 success.

Federer had crushed world number two Novak Djokovic in the semi-final and looked to have carried that momentum into the tournament showpiece as he struck the first blow in the fifth game of the first set.

World number three Wawrinka flashed a cross-court backhand wide to give Federer the advantage and it was one that the 17-time grand slam champion did not waste as he stood firm to break serve and move into the lead.

Wawrinka made a flying start to the second set by winning the first two games, only for Federer to display excellent resiliency and break back.

Both players then remained strong on serve to force a tie-break that was dominated by Wawrinka as he displayed the kind of form that led him to a maiden grand slam victory in Melbourne in January.

From there Federer's challenge completely fell away, Wawrinka controlling proceedings in the decider to move 4-0 ahead.

Federer was able to register on the scoreboard in the third, but never looked like troubling the serve of Wawrinka, who demonstrated superb firepower from the back of the court in an excellent third-set showing.

And the 29-year-old duly wrapped up a marvellous victory in consummate fashion, winning his final service game and ensuring his seventh career title with a fantastic cross-court forehand.

"It's been an amazing week, to win for this first Masters is something very special," Wawrinka said.

"It's incredible to play a final against you (Federer) and to win is even more special."

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2014-04-20T23:50:10+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5905-wawrinka-fights-back-to-seal-maiden-masters-title.html
Nadal vs Djokovic Meet In The Miami Final /tennis-betting-news/5825-nadal-vs-djokovic-meet-in-the-miami-final.html Nadal vs Djokovic

The two best tennis players in the world – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – collide Sunday in the men’s final at the Miami Tennis Masters.

It’s the 40th edition of their great rivalry and it’s a fitting conclusion to a wild first three months of the tennis season.

Nadal has the edge here in the series leading 22-17, however Djokovic has gotten the better of Rafa of late. Djokovic has won two straight post-US Open and since the start of 2011 he’s 10-6 against the Spaniard, a run that includes an incredible Miami title over Rafa in 2011.

“My thoughts are always the same,” Nadal said about Novak. “The only chance to win against Novak is to play to the limit, play my best. I will see. I know I have to be solid with my serve. I need to play aggressive, no doubt about that.”

And after a shaky start to the season, Djokovic seems to have found his game after winning Indian Wells over Roger Federer. And without new coach Boris Becker – who Djokovic keeps defending every chance he gets! – the Serb has run off 31 straight match wins since the US Open.

Nadal began the year in excellent form taking Doha, but then his season got derailed by a back injury in the Australian Open final. He fought through a Rio title in his return but then got bitten by the dog, Alexandr Dolgopolov, at Indian Wells. He’s playing better now, though.

“In general, I think I played more solid than what I did in Indian Wells and Rio and I played with better movement too,” said Nadal. “I lost my serve only one time during the whole tournament and that’s very important for me on this surface.”

With the back issue in the rearview, Nadal looks downright nasty on these slow, heavy courts in Miami. But it’s a place he’s surprisingly never won at while his opposition has been crowned champion three times.

“Miami is a very important tournament that I never had the chance to win in the past,” said Nadal. “It is my fourth final, by the way. Positive results. To be able to play four finals in one tournament is because you did well, and I’m going to try to be ready for Sunday.”

At the start of the event I had Djokovic winning here. And even though I think Nadal is playing better now than Novak, I just think Djokovic somehow wins this. But it will start with Novak’s serve and then with his backhand down-the-line. If neither of those are clicking Nadal will win this easily. He’ll need both to be online if he’s to take a fourth Miami title.

“I have seen a couple matches of Rafa’s [this week],” said Djokovic. “He’s hitting the ball really well, feeling confident on this court. He’s never won this tournament, so I think that is extra motivation for him.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to be very well rested and physically prepared for Sunday.”

And the rest part is somewhat worrisome. Djokovic has played just three matches in Miami after two his guys withdrew. And he now hasn’t played since the Andy Murray win on Wednesday. So there is some concern there – we remember when Fognini withdrew from the French in 2011 and I still think that hurt Novak’s rhythm!

But Nadal also had a withdrawal yesterday so maybe they offset, it’s hard to say though I think both would rather have played and won than to have advanced via a walkover.

That said, I think this is a huge statement match for both players. It’s their first meeting of the season and for my money this single match will ultimately determine who takes the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year. It will either validate Novak’s return to form or it will validate Nadal is still the best player as we head into the clay.

And here I think it goes Novak’s way for the simple reason that he’s the better player on the hardcourts. But he’s going to absolutely have to play well, because we know Nadal will.

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2014-03-30T12:58:54+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5825-nadal-vs-djokovic-meet-in-the-miami-final.html
Wawrinka wins Australian Open /tennis-betting-news/5582-wawrinka-wins-australian-open.html Stanislas Wawrinka has won his maiden grand slam title with a four-set victory over an injury-hit Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

The eighth seed overcame world number one Nadal, who twice required treatment on a back problem, 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in Melbourne.

Wawrinka - who had previously lost all 12 of his matches against Nadal without winning a set - showed no sign of nerves early in his first grand slam final, and was the better of the two players in the opener.

Nadal, chasing his second Australian Open crown and 14th major title overall, required medical attention early in the second set, and looked certain to retire with his movement severely restricted as he fell 2-0 down.

However, the Spaniard showed typical grit and fighting qualities to take the third set in remarkable fashion, but Wawrinka regrouped to seal victory in two hours and 21 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

The win takes Wawrinka, who becomes the first man to beat both Novak Djokovic and Nadal in the same grand slam, up to number three in the ATP world rankings.

The Swiss bossed the top seed with some extraordinary hitting from the baseline and was on top even before Nadal struggled with his back.

Indeed, Wawrinka's dominance was shown in the fact he hit 53 winners to Nadal's 19 throughout the contest.

Wawrinka set his stall out by breaking early in the match before holding his nerve from 0-40 to serve it out.

He then carried that momentum forward into the second set, before Nadal took a medical timeout at 2-1 behind.

The Spaniard was clearly struggling upon his return, quickly slipping 4-1 down and it appeared he would have to give up.

But despite Wawrinka taking a two-set lead, Nadal battled back strongly in the third and moved 3-0 up as the Swiss looked to have lost his way.

Nadal duly won the third, but Wawrinka rediscovered his mojo in the fourth and took control by breaking in the sixth game with an incredible forehand winner from the baseline.

Nevertheless, Nadal once again showed his resilience and spirit to break to love in the next game, but Wawrinka regained his composure to break back and then serve out for the title.

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2014-01-26T20:02:16+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5582-wawrinka-wins-australian-open.html
Nadal through to Melbourne final /tennis-betting-news/5577-nadal-through-to-melbourne-final.html Rafael Nadal is through to the Australian Open final after a comprehensive straight-sets victory over Roger Federer today.

The world number one and top seed was in imperious form throughout the match, reaching his third final in Melbourne with a score of 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-3.

Nadal, aiming for his second Australian Open title and 14th grand slam crown overall, will face Federer's fellow Swiss and 10th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday's final.

Despite playing with a painful blister on his left hand that required treatment early in the second set, the Spaniard played with typical aggression and 17-time slam champion Federer simply could not cope with his old rival's intensity.

Sixth seed Federer did match Nadal stride-for-stride in the opening set, which went to a tie-break.

However, the Swiss - a four-time winner in Melbourne - was made to pay for an error that saw him send a simple forehand into the net to hand Nadal a 3-1 lead in the breaker.

Nadal duly took the first set, and then moved through the gears with a sublime display in the second that saw him break to move into a 4-2 lead before closing it out with ease.

By that stage, the 27-year-old appeared unstoppable and, although Federer managed to break back to make it 2-2 in the third set, he was soon down 3-5 and serving to stay in the match.

The Swiss battled superbly to take the final game to deuce, but a wonderful Nadal forehand brought up match point before another unforced error from Federer settled matters.

Nadal has now beaten Federer in 23 of their 33 ATP Tour meetings, and will become just the third man in history to win all four grand slams at least twice - after Rod Laver and Roy Emerson - if he extends his flawless 12-0 record over Wawrinka on Sunday.

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2014-01-24T20:51:23+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5577-nadal-through-to-melbourne-final.html
Hewitt triumphs over Federer in Brisbane /tennis-betting-news/5516-hewitt-triumphs-over-federer-in-brisbane.html
Lleyton Hewitt pulled off an upset 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory over Roger Federer to win the Brisbane International on Sunday.

The Australian made Federer pay for what was an unusually sloppy performance, with the Swiss committing 22 unforced errors in the first set alone, as he won the 29th ATP title of his illustrious career.

Hewitt took the first set in just 27 minutes thanks largely to Federer's consistent errors before the 17-time grand slam champion showed his class in the second set.

Despite missing the chance to go up a break midway through the set after Hewitt produced an athletic lunging volley, Federer didn't let him off the hook when a second opportunity presented itself after Hewitt missed an easy forehand winner in the ninth game.

Had Hewitt made the shot he would have gone up 5-4 in the set but instead Federer broke the Australian and then served out the set to love, levelling the match at one set apiece and setting up a grandstand finish.

Hewitt produced a typically committed performance in the deciding set, saving four break points to hold his serve before breaking Federer to go up 3-1 and put the Roy Emerson Trophy firmly in his grasp.

The 32-year-old kept his composure for the rest of the set to serve it out and ensure he lifted his seventh title on Australian soil and his first since winning the 2005 Sydney International.

The win sees Hewitt move above Bernard Tomic in the rankings to once again become Australia's number one male player, although Tomic could take the place back when he attempts to defend his Sydney International title this week.

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2014-01-06T14:08:52+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5516-hewitt-triumphs-over-federer-in-brisbane.html
Djokovic warms up for Australian Open with win /tennis-betting-news/5495-djokovic-warms-up-for-australian-open-with-win.html

Novak Djokovic saw off David Ferrer 7-5 6-2 in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and wasted no time looking forward to the season ahead with his new coach Boris Becker.

The world number two was just too strong for the Spaniard and stormed to victory in the exhibition title for the third time in a row.

It was also his fifth straight title since losing the US Open final to Rafael Nadal -- and nothing looks likely to stop him going into next month's Australian Open, where he is aiming for a fourth consecutive title.

He also has his sights set on wresting back the world number one slot from Nadal.

The 26-year-old Serbian hired former Wimbledon champion Becker to improve his game after a disappointing 2013 by his own high standards.

Becker has said he will spend around 20 weeks per year on the ATP Tour with Djokovic.

With Becker courtside, Djokovic overcame an early deficit and said: "I have to say I'm really glad to have Boris on the team.

"It's great that it started with winning this trophy right here. Hopefully, we can win more."

 

 

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2013-12-29T13:26:32+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5495-djokovic-warms-up-for-australian-open-with-win.html
Nadal - Djokovic in showdown /tennis-betting-news/5328-nadal-djokovic-in-showdown.html

It is rather fitting that the two best players in the world will compete in the last match of 2013 for the right to become this year's ATP World Tour Finals champion.

Rafael Nadal has been the player of the year after his explosive return to the tour in February - winning two grand slams, five Masters 1000 crowns and three other titles after being out with a career-ending knee injury for more than seven months.

Novak Djokovic is determined to show that he is still the king, and since losing in the final of the US Open has played the best tennis of his season. The Serb is currently on a 21-match winning streak, and will be desperate to defend his trophy at the O2 and stop Nadal from capping off his phenomenal year with a maiden tournament win.

Nadal will end the year as the world No. 1, which was a position held by Djokovic for the past two seasons and right up until October. Rafa was his opponent in the US Open final, and it was only a matter of time before Nadal would leapfrog Djokovic in the rankings.

But Djokovic is not frustrated at not being the top-ranked player for 2013. What will mean more to him is to successfully defend his crown, becoming the eighth player to do so, and to win a fourth trophy in as many events to add to his wins in Beijing, Shanghai and Paris.

"We both want to crown this season in the best possible way and end it with the title. It doesn't matter where we play each other, there is a lot on the line," Djokovic said after his victory over Stanislas Wawrinka - his first match of this year's event where he has not been required to go into a final set.

And when he was told that Nadal labelled him the favourite, he added: "It's everyone's choice to pick who the favourite is. Of course I'm not going to say I'm the favourite because we are trying to switch the roles of the favourites wherever we go. This is probably the best possible final we have here in London."

Much has been made about Nadal not having the World Tour Finals listed on his roll of honour, and so has the fact he has downplayed his chances of winning the event this week in London.

But after he chalked up another victory over his great rival Roger Federer in the semi-finals, the Spaniard's dream is just one match away from being fulfilled.

"For me, every match means a lot, and so does every tournament. It's true that this tournament is special and I've never had the chance to win here," Nadal expressed after contemplating what being crowned World Tour Finals champion would mean to him.

"It will be a great year if I have the chance to finish with a victory, but there is a lot of hard work remaining, and it's probably the most difficult [match]. If I don't play my best, I won't have any chances."

Nadal has been close to his best on a surface and surroundings he least favours, but at the beginning of the week when he joked that he prefers outdoors because "he likes the sunshine", the Spaniard has lit up the O2 over the past week with displays that audiences were cruelly deprived of 12 months ago when he was absent from the circuit.

"I was able to play a little bit better and better every day during the tournament, so we'll see in the final if I have the chance to play better than what I did," he added.

The pair have met on 38 previous occasions with Nadal leading 22-16, and they have already clocked up the most meetings in the Open Era, so to say they know each other inside out by now would be something of an understatement.

"It all ends here" is the tournament slogan, and Nadal and Djokovic will bring the curtain down on what has been a fiercely competitive campaign.

 

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2013-11-11T13:45:58+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5328-nadal-djokovic-in-showdown.html
Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Ferrer In SF Action /tennis-betting-news/5301-nadal-djokovic-federer-ferrer-in-sf-action.html

It’s Super Saturday at the BNP Paribas Masters with the top three players in the Emirates ATP Rankings and all-time Grand Slam champion in the semi-finals.

Three of the semi-finalists are former champions in Bercy and the other is a runner-up. This is the first time since 1989 here the top three seeds are in the semi-finals.

That year, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe were in semis. It is also the first time the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are in a SF together since last year at Roland Garros. 

The trio have combined to finish No. 1 the past nine years and Nadal or Djokovic will finish No. 1 this season, making it 10 years in a row.

In the first singles match, No. 5 seed Federer and No. 2 Djokovic meet for the 30th time with the Swiss holding a 16-13 head-to-head advantage (12-10 on hard). This is their first meeting since the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London last year with the Serb winning 76 75.

This will extend their rivalry with at least one meeting for the eighth year in a row. This is also the eighth different ATP Masters 1000 tournament they are meeting in (except for Madrid).

Federer won the title here two years ago and he is appearing in his seventh semi-final of the season (3-3 in SF). He is trying to reach his fourth final, the second in as many weeks. He was runner-up last Sunday in his hometown Basel (l. to del Potro).

Djokovic won the title here in 2009 and he brings a 15-match winning streak into his 11th semi-final of the season (7-3 in SF). His last loss came in the US Open final to Nadal on Sept. 9. He only has been broken once this week in 34 service games, saving eight of nine break points.

In the next match on, World No. 1 l Nadal brings a 20-4 head-to-head record (tied 3-3 on hard) against No. 3 and last year’s champion David Ferrer.

Nadal is looking to reach his 14th final in 16th tournament this year (10-3 in finals) and his first indoor final since the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in 2010 (l. to Federer) He has won 15 in a row vs.

his fellow countrymen since losing to Verdasco in Madrid in May 2012. Nadal is getting closer to clinching year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

The 27-year-old Spaniard will finish No. 1 for the first time since 2010 if he has any result that is equal or better than Djokovic OR the Serb loses in the final OR Nadal wins the title.

Ferrer has reached eight finals this year, including back-to-back the past two weeks in Stockholm (l. to Dimitrov) and Valencia (l. to Youzhny). Ferrer is 20-21 lifetime in finals. 

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2013-11-02T14:38:57+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5301-nadal-djokovic-federer-ferrer-in-sf-action.html
Rafael Nadal won the U.S. Open for the second time /tennis-betting-news/5126-rafael-nadal-won-the-u-s-open-for-the-second-time.html rafael nadal won US Open

U.S. Open 2013 ended with the victory of Rafael Nadal, number 2, to defeating Serb Novak Djokovic, the world leader ATP. Game stats show that Nadal stood better than Djokovic at many chapters.

Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic with the score 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at U.S. Open final 2013 with a duration of three hours and 21 minutes.

Rafael Nadal has quantified his second victory at the U.S. Open, after that achieved in 2010, while Novak Djokovic remained with one victory at Flushing Meadows, in 2010.

Final statistics show Djokovic committed no less than 53 unforced errors compared to Nadal's only 20, which it is one of the main cause of setback to the Serbian player. Neither Djokovic's first service did not work properly. Serb gained only 58 percent of the points played by the first service, as opposed to Nadal, whose percentage was 65 percent.

Nadal had a higher yield in terms of points earned after the second service, where Djokovic stayed, again, very weak. Nadal has harnessed 56 percent of the points, while Djokovic has obtained only 48 percent of them.

Finally, another important chapter of the final U.S. Open 2013 Nadal focused much better in key moments of the game, managing to turn the in break 7 of the 12 balls in which he had to win the game on the opponent's service , which means a proportion of 58 percent. Djokovic, however, had a rate of only 27 percent, only 3 of the 11 break points being successful by Serb.

At U.S. Open final in 2013 Djokovic served a total of six aces compared to Nadal's only one,  but that did not help to Serb.

Nadal reached 13 Grand Slam titles, with the success of the U.S. Open 2013.

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2013-09-10T14:05:30+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5126-rafael-nadal-won-the-u-s-open-for-the-second-time.html
Serena Williams won again the tournament at the U.S. Open! /tennis-betting-news/5123-serena-williams-won-again-the-tournament-at-the-u-s-open.html Serena Williams won again

Occupying the world ranking, Serena Williams (31 years) succeeded for the first time in his career to defend the trophy won the previous year at Flushing Meadows.

The opponent in the final act of the U.S. Open in 2013 was Victoria Azarenka (favorite 2), the one defeated in 12 months ago. The match was extremely intense, and the quality of the game has suffered greatly because of atmospheric conditions. The wind was unleashed on Arthur Ashe arena and prevented Serena to assert her powerful hits. The final score was 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1.

At the start of the game, American has committed a lot of unforced errors and was about to slip away inaugural set. Williams recovered in time equaled 5 after a game that lasted nearly a quarter of an hour, and then she won the game.

Azarenka did wrong in the next two games more than the whole set up had then helped  her opponent to win the act 7-5. Full of trust, Serena started the second set as the rifle, put themselves at 2-0 and then 4-1. At 5-3 she relaxed and allowed Azarenka the break, just when served for the game: 5-5 and everything was relaunched.

Azarenka dominated the tiebreak

Victoria has lost the service again (to 30) and Serena have met a simple formality in the 24 games (6-5 and service)! Belarus miraculously pushed tiebreak game where prevailed, 8-6, after the third fructified ball set considered.

Final set had but one meaning - Serena made the first break for 3-1 and there did not allow rival comeback. Despite the wind she complained and affected many hits, Williams never lost a game to the end and quickly calmed the fans in the stands.

The victory 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1, that the U.S. sportivewon is second Grand Slam trophy of the year after the one at Roland Garros. On the other side, Victoria Azarenka (No. 2 WTA) lost for the second consecutive year in the finals of the U.S. Open and reached equality in terms of games played with the trophy on the tabl: of all four Grand Slam finals, she won two - Australian Open 2012 and 2013 - and she gave the last two form New York.

With success at Flushing Meadows, Serena Williams made five trophies conquered the U.S. Open. Also she was imposed in 2012 after victories in 1999, 2002 and 2008. It was the 16th meeting between Williams and Azarenka directly and overall score is 13-3 in favor of the American sportive.


ROAD TO THE FINAL

Serena Williams
vs Na Li 6-0, 6-3
vs Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-0
vs Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-1
vs Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 6-1
vs Galina Voskoboeva 6-3, 6-0
vs Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-1

Victoria Azarenka
vs. Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-2
vs Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-3
vs Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
vs Alize Cornet 6-7 (2) 6-3, 6-2
vs Alexandra Wozniak 6-3, 6-1
vs Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-0, 6-0

17 Grand Slam trophies won Serena Williams in her career.

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2013-09-09T14:40:09+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5123-serena-williams-won-again-the-tournament-at-the-u-s-open.html
Djokovic and Murray in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open /tennis-betting-news/5110-djokovic-and-murray-in-the-quarterfinals-of-the-u-s-open.html Djokovic and Murray

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray continues to fight for the trophy at the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, the U.S. Open.

The two tennis players have access to the quarterfinals after victories in eight in front of Marcel Granollers, respectively Denis Istomin. In another match, Mikhail Youzhny did show Lleyton Hewitt, the Russian managed to impose five sets and qualify to the next round. In women's competition, American Serena Williams goes in the semifinals after winning two sets to zero against Carla Suarez Navarro.

World leader, Novak Djokovic had an easy match in company Spaniard Marcel Granollers. Serb won in three sets, score 6-3, 6-0, 6-0.

In the quarterfinals, Djokovic will face Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who needed four hours and two minutes to defeat Lleyton Hewitt. After the Australian led 2-1 in sets and 5-2 in the fourth, Youzhny returned spectacular and obtained in extremis the qualification in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, score 6-3, 3-6, 6 - 7, 6-4, 7-5.

Champion en-titre at the U.S. Open, Andy Murray is closer to conquer the second consecutive trophy in this tournament. Murray lost a set in front of the tennis player from Uzbekistan, Denis Istomin, the tie-break, but he won the next three, score 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. In the next round, the Briton will play against Stanislas Wawrinka.

On the woman panel, Serena Williams looks unstoppable. Leader in the WTA ranking, American shattered it in just 54 minutes on Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain. Williams did not give any game to the Iberian and has imposed absolutely, score 6-0, 6-0.

In the semifinals, Williams will play against China's Li Na. She has imposed in the game with Ekaterina Makarova in three sets 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.

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2013-09-04T18:15:58+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5110-djokovic-and-murray-in-the-quarterfinals-of-the-u-s-open.html
The nightmare continues for Federer /tennis-betting-news/5104-the-nightmare-continues-for-federer-he-was-eliminated-in-the-knockout-round-at-u-s-open.html federer eliminated

Although it gave the impression that he returned to the highest level after extraordinary Quarterfinal from Cincinnati, played in front of Rafael Nadal, the former world leader, Roger Federer, broke down again.

Not to give any set in the first three matches of the U.S. Open, the Swiss was seen as a big favorite against Tommy Robredo. The more so as the Iberian Federer had defeated in all 10 previous direct meetings.

Robredo started up, had 2-0, but Roger came back like a steamroller. A back to 4-3 and 5-3 had the ball, but he didn’t took the opportunity. After a series of break-ins in the games 9 and 10, the two players have reached the tiebreak, but there prevailed seeded 22.
Spaniard has won in overtime set - 6-7, but few people are able to see it also won the other two.

This is not intimidated by Robredo, who still saw the game, never gave any break, even if Federer had 6 opportunities in acts 2 and 3.

Robredo won with 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reached for the first time in his career in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. There he will meet Rafael Nadal, who also beat not ever before, just as it was with Federer duel.

Curse's U.S. Open for the biggest rivals
Although dominated tennis in the last decade together, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have not met even once in cement at Flushing Meadows. Although there have been several times in a single match away from further confrontation, always one of the two lost.

In comparison, Nadal and Federer have played finals in all other Grand Slam tournaments.

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2013-09-03T17:33:38+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5104-the-nightmare-continues-for-federer-he-was-eliminated-in-the-knockout-round-at-u-s-open.html
Winning matters - Serena Williams /tennis-betting-news/5082-winning-matters-serena-williams.html Serena Williams

With the US Open starting this week, the winner of four singles titles in New York tells Sport how the drama of the past two years has left her wanting more “I’m enjoying every moment I step out on court. I just want to do the best I can now. And, if I lose... well, two years ago I was in hospital almost dead, so it can’t be that bad.”

Two years ago I was in the hospital, almost dead,” says Serena Williams, fixing us with her intense gaze. Williams is no stranger to tragedy, but even for her the statement is dripping with soap-opera-style sensation.

Except that it’s not sensationalist at all, because when the world number one was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital in February 2011 with a pulmonary embolism (in this case, blood clots on her lungs) and a haematoma, it turned out that the trip had been made in the nick of time. “If it had been left a few days later, it could have ended my career, or even worse,” she reflects now. “They said I had several blood clots in both lungs – a lot of people die from that.

One of the most dramatic chapters in Williams’ life began in July 2010 when, just four days after winning her fourth Wimbledon singles title, she stepped on broken glass when leaving a Munich restaurant with only a pair of sandals protecting her feet. Williams looked down to see a pool of blood emerging from a multitude of cuts and, most worryingly, from a lacerated tendon in her right foot.

She needed two bouts of surgery, followed by 10 weeks in a cast and a further 10 in a protective boot, to recover. Before she could, however, the pulmonary  embolism forced her back into the operating room. The winner of 16 Grand Slams was facing one of the toughest fights of her 18-year career.

 “It was a really big nightmare for me,” she tells Sport when we meet ahead of the year’s final Grand Slam – the US Open, where she’ll be looking to win her fifth singles title. “But I feel like what happened to me – everything that I went through – released a lot of pressure. I feel a lot lighter now, like I don’t have anything to prove. I don’t feel any pressure to do anything.”

Love game

Something Williams has felt since her return, though, is the pull of the sport to which the 31-year-old has devoted her life. In the documentary Venus and Serena, a film that follows the sisters throughout the 2011 season and was released just before this year’s Wimbledon, there are two particularly telling scenes.

In one, Serena is holding on to a walking frame for balance while throwing punches and kicks in the direction of a TV – one presumably screening the latest Davina McCall fitness DVD, or similar. In the other, she can be seen hitting volleys on a tennis court from the confines of a wheelchair, her lower right leg encased in a huge boot. Williams’ obstinate refusal to accept being a sofa-bound patient is clear.

I just couldn’t take it any more” she says, recalling the point at which her patience snapped. “I had to get out there. And I thought I would come back faster if I could just get back on the court. So I thought: ‘Okay, I’ll work on my volleys – I’ll do something.’ That [coming back faster] wasn’t to be, but it showed me how much love I have for the sport, which surprised me. I didn’t expect that.

She won’t be alone. Not many people will have expected such strength of feeling from an athlete who has endured a famously stormy relationship with her sport. But Ben Rothenberg, contributing writer to The New York Times, tells Sport that Williams’ feelings are not such a contradiction. “She’s obviously someone who, even if she’s not obsessed with tennis, has still made it her life’s work to try and perfect her craft,” he says. “And that takes a fair amount of passion, drive and commitment, all the same. And I know that she watches tennis when she’s not playing – Venus does too. They watch the Tennis Channel quite a bit when they’re at home in Florida.”

 Slow return

The summer of 2011 marked Williams’ return to competition. She signed up to play at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park as a warm-up for Wimbledon, raising excitement levels among the local blue-rinse brigade to new heights.

“This has given me a whole new perspective on life and my career,” an emotional Williams told the gathered press. “I’m just taking one day at a time. I’m not preparing for today, or for Wimbledon. I’m preparing for the rest of my career.

While her health was clearly back on track, her tennis was understandably below the Williams standard. Her trip to the south coast ended with defeat to top seed Vera Zvonareva in the second round. And not long afterwards, as the defending Wimbledon champion, she would go on to lose in the round of 16 at SW19, sending her world ranking plummeting to 175 – her lowest in 14 years.

It wasn’t until the following summer that Williams got herself back to Grand Slam-winning ways. Little more than a month after being ousted in the first round of the French Open – a defeat she says made her more miserable than any other, and which led her into the arms of French coach Patrick Mouratoglou – she won her fifth Wimbledon singles title. Olympic gold in London quickly followed, and then it was on to the US Open – a tournament that brought her the unbridled joy of winning her first Grand Slam, way back in 1999, and which provided the stage for the moments of madness that marred her performances in 2009 and 2011.

Last year, it simply brought her a fourth US Open title. “It felt really, really good,” she says, recalling her three-set win over Victoria Azarenka in the final. “It felt like it was just time for me to win that title again, after some tough years there. To stand there and hold that winner’s trophy (above) after everything – after winning Wimbledon and after winning the Olympics – was almost unbelievable. Going into it, I honestly didn’t think I’d win the Open – I was just going through the motions, and the next thing I knew I was holding the trophy.

One year on, and Williams has added a second French Open title to her CV. “It was the only one I hadn’t been able to win twice, so I was really excited,” she says. “I know that could come off
a little weird...

Victory in Paris represented her 16th in a Grand Slam, and made her only the fourth woman in the Open era to win every Slam twice or more.

I knew that everyone thought I should have won it twice already, so it was like: why haven’t I been able to raise my level on the clay and get that title?” she says. “In all the Slams I’ve won, I’d probably put it in the top three.”

Speaking in fluent-sounding French for part of her victory speech in Paris, it was clear that Williams has developed a strong bond with the city where she owns a modest apartment and can easily indulge her taste for miniature chocolate pastries, among other things. “I love the city,” she adds. “Have you ever noticed how even it is? They have a code that you can’t go past a certain height with the buildings on one side of Paris. You can see the sky, the trees – in spring and summer it’s really beautiful.

 On the defensive

It is perhaps a little disconcerting to hear Serena Williams – the most powerful, dominating force in women’s tennis – waxing lyrical about nature. In the past, she has been guilty of being as combative off the court as she is on it, never fearful of aiming a verbal smash in the direction of any interviewer she feels is deserving.

But Rothenberg says her experiences over the past few years have changed her approach: “She’s more engaging now, more friendly and she just seems to be enjoying the whole process more. Before, it seemed like it was a chore for her sometimes. But she’s lightened up significantly and now seems to be treating the whole thing more as fun than a burden.”

That theory was put to the test at Wimbledon this year when, having gone into the tournament as the overwhelming favourite to notch a sixth singles title at SW19, Williams was beaten at her own power game by Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round. It was a defeat that she admits was tough to swallow, but in the immediate aftermath she was measured, informing the press it was not the ‘shock’ result many were labelling it “I mean, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but  she’s a great grass-court player,” she said at the time. “C’mon, guys, let’s get with it. She’s excellent. She’s not a pushover. She’s a great player.”

Going into Grand Slams as defending champion – as Williams will be in New York – is a situation with which she is by now familiar, but it has no less of an effect on her for that.

I always feel under pressure when it comes to Slams,” she says. “But I  definitely feel more nervous when I’m going in as defending champion. No matter what people say, I never feel unbeatable – because the moment you start to feel invincible, that’s when you fall and you fail.”

In the weeks leading up to the Slams, Williams admits she goes through the same mental processes season after season. “I’m always more intense in the week leading up to one,” she says. “And I get more focused, too – on and off court.

There is one aspect of her approach that has changed over the years, though. “I train more now,” she says simply. “When I was younger, I didn’t actually have to train as much. When you’re young, you can go on court for a week and you feel like you’ve trained for two months.”

 Rothenberg agrees that Williams is “practising more intently now”, adding: “She is also being more consistent in her approach to matches and tournaments. She doesn’t show up for the small tournaments and give a less-than-full effort any more, which she occasionally used to do. Since she has started working with Patrick (Mouratoglou), she’s had a lot of success at smaller tournaments, and that’s something she didn’t do as much before. She was always good at the big events, but she’s now a more consistent player.”

Williams’ record in 2013 supports this theory. Outside her French Open win, and discounting her Miami title (a tournament that would be outraged at being labelled small) she has won six titles in 2013 – not a bad haul for a woman who has been playing at the top level for more than a decade. “I’m playing some of the best tennis of my career,” she smiles. “And I’m having fun. I’m enjoying every moment I step out on court. I just want  to do the best I can now and, if I lose... well, two years ago I was in the hospital almost dead, so it can’t be that bad.

Home comforts?

The world number one will take that mentality to Flushing Meadows next week, when she returns to an arena that at one stage threatened to hold as many bad  memories for her as good. “It’s almost intimidating sometimes,” says Williams of New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I’m playing in my home country and in the biggest stadium in tennis, but it’s a special feeling to step out there as an American.

Special feelings aside, it was to the relief of every US tennis fan when her victory at last year’s Open was achieved without the controversy that has landed her  with some hefty fines from the Grand Slam Committee.

Rothenberg believes Williams still has work to do before the New York crowds take her to their heart as wholly as they have done previous American champions. “They’re not 100 per cent behind her,” he says. “I don’t think she’s a niversally beloved figure in New York, in the way that someone like Andre Agassi was, but I do think she has more support now than she used to. People saw what the lows were like for her with the hospitalisation, and she has gained a lot of respect for how she’s come back. I think that will keep on growing the more she continues to mature – and the more it becomes clear that she’s one of the all-time greats in the sport.”

Williams herself admits that she won’t look back on her career as a whole until she is regarded as one of the greats. “I don’t like to look at it right now, while I’m still playing, because I still feel like I want to play,” she insists. “If I start to think about it, then I might be like: ‘Okay, why am I still playing? I could be relaxing at home with my two dogs.’ I definitely want to go out when I’m at the top, or somewhere close to the top. But when? I don’t know.”

Williams laughs. “Venus says she wants to play until she’s 40. I told her she’s crazy. But then, when I was 21, I said that I’d never play when I’m 30. Anyway, I’m gonna say it right now: I’m not gonna play when I’m 40. So, we’ll see.”

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2013-08-27T17:42:50+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/5082-winning-matters-serena-williams.html
Viktor Troicki banned for doping violation /tennis-betting-news/4990-viktor-troicki-banned-for-doping-violation.html ViktorITF announced Thursday night that the player Serb Viktor Troicki, 53rd world this week, has been suspended from international competitions for a period of 18 months after violated anti-doping rules by refusing to give a blood sample to tournament in Monte Carlo.

An independent tribunal decided that Troicki, aged 27, had violated Article 2.3 of the Anti-Doping Rules (unjustified refusal or inability to give a sample when it is required). But the circumstances of this case are relatively unclear, or leave the place of potential interpretations. Troicki was notified on April 15 that it was selected to give a urine sample and another of blood. Serb gave the first, but not the sample. In his defense, Troicki said he felt bad at the time, that he communicated this to anti-doping officer came to harvest samples, and he would have said to him that it's okay not to give blood if not feeling well.

The court, however, the officer in question, a woman took a different position. She denied that she would ensure the player that is allowed an exception, simply because there is no way to verify the correctness of his words."Mr Troicki provided a urine sample, but did not provide a blood sample. He asserted to an independent tribunal that he was assured by the Doping Control Officer (DCO) that it would be acceptable not to provide a sample on account of him feeling unwell that day". In turn, the ITF claims that the officer had no authority to allow an exception to Troicki. As such, the court framed Troicki's action as a violation of the regulation, ruling his suspension for a year and a half and withdrawal of points respectively the prize received at the Monte Carlo Masters. Troicki's ban will expire on January 24, 2015.

Troicki told a news conference on Thursday "this is the toughest moment of my career and of my life. I am innocent," he said. "I have never ever taken any prohibited substance or ever thought of doing so. I did not lie and this really hurts."

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2013-07-29T19:10:28+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/4990-viktor-troicki-banned-for-doping-violation.html
French Open: Serena Williams Vs Sara Errani /tennis-betting-news/4852-french-open-serena-williams-vs-sara-errani.html Errani-SerenaIt's raw power and 15 Grand Slam titles against consistency and one Grand Slam final defeat in the French Open semi-finals on Thursday when Serena Williams goes up against Sara Errani.

On the face of it there should be only one winner - which would put the 31-year-old American into Saturday's championship match, with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka looming in the other half of the draw.

Williams has been on a mission in Paris - determined and fully focussed for once on vanquishing the demons that have bedevilled her at Roland Garros for the last 11 years since her first, and to date, only French Open title.

Four rounds for the loss of just 10 games, under the watchful eye of new French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, brought her career best winning streak to 28 and she opened her quarter-final against Svetlana Kuznetsova in similar fashion with a 6-1 first set romp.

But, out of the blue, Williams got the Paris blues again as she surrendered the second set and looked in a panic as she faced break points on her serve to fall 0-3 down in the third.

But this time she rallied to see off the Russian by winning six out of the next seven games to set up a semi-final against a player she has opposed five times for the loss of just one set.

Straight-forward enough on the face of it, but Williams is wary of a player who rarely, if ever, disappoints on the claycourts, having reached the final in Paris last year before losing to Sharapova.

"It's going to be a really good match," the top seed said.

"You've got to appreciate how consistent she is. We had a pretty tough match in Madrid (7-5, 6-2 last month). I'm going to be ready.

"I'm glad I played her in Madrid because I know she's here to play and she's here to compete. She's so serious. I can be ready for that."

Errani, at 1.64 metres and 60 kilograms, an Italian lightweight in a world of towering young women, will rely on her work ethic, claycourt expertise and mental fortitude to try to make a match out if it.

She showed all those qualities in defeating fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the quarter-finals and she is fully prepared for a David against Goliath showdown on Thursday.

"For sure it will be very difficult because she's very strong," she said.

"Physically she's an incredible athlete, so is not easy to play against her because of this because she has a lot of power.

"So it will be tough, but maybe on clay is a bit better(for me) than the other surfaces. But very tough."

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2013-06-05T19:40:45+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/4852-french-open-serena-williams-vs-sara-errani.html
Sharapova and Azarenka enter quarterfinals /tennis-betting-news/4845-sharapova-and-azarenka-enter-quarterfinals.html Maria-SharapovaParis: Defending champion Maria Sharapova cantered into the quarterfinals at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over American 17th seed Sloane Stephens.

Second seeded Sharapova triumphed in 1hr 29min and now faces either Serbian 18th seed Jelena Jankovic or US hope Jamie Hampton.

Sharapova, who in beating Sara Errani in last year's final became the sixth player in the Open era to complete a full collection of Grand Slams, overcame early resistance from a rival she had beaten twice in as many previous meetings as a crunching pair of forehands saw her take the opening set in 37min.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the second set before Stephens dug in to hold for a 2-1 lead. But Sharapova stepped through the gears to see off the Australian Open semifinalist as Floridian Stephens, 20, gifted her a final break by hitting long on match point.

"I knew this was going to be a really hard match so I'm delighted to be in the quarter-final," said Sharapova, who now has an extra day to relax.

"Am I pleased to have finished my match a day before my next opponent? We don't choose the scheduling, it just depends how it goes. I'm just pleased to be through to the next round."

Third seed Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open quarterfinals for the third time yesterday with a 6-3, 6-0 win over 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone.

The double Australian Open champion will now face Russian 12th seed Maria Kirilenko for a semifinal place.

The protagonists know each other well, not least as erstwhile doubles partners — they were notably runners-up at the 2011 Australian Open while Azarenka saw off Kirilenko in the London Olympics bronze medal match last summer.

In her fourth round match, Kirilenko, despite needing treatment for a sore shoulder, saw off unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 7-5, 6-4 to reach the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time after recovering from losing the opening three games.

The 26-year-old from Moscow, who broke in the sixth and eighth games to make up for her slow start and then overcame an opening service loss at the start of the second set, has now equalled her best ever Grand Slam showing of runs to the quarters at Wimbledon 2012 and the Australian Open three seasons ago.

Schiavone, the world number 50, matched the 23-year-old Azarenka shot for shot and scream for scream in a first set which featured six breaks of serve.

But the pair's nine-year age difference told in the second set, which Azarenka swept through in just 26 minutes, having reeled off nine straight games.

"The beginning was back and forth. I feel like I didn't take all of the opportunities but there was kind of a build - up to later on that I was doing the right thing."

The French Open is the only Grand Slam where Azarenka has failed to get beyond the quarterfinals. She was beaten at the last-eight stage by Dinara Safina in 2009 and by Li Na, two years later.

Azarenka has a 3-2 winning record against close friend Kirilenko — who won the first two matches of their series although her last triumph was back in 2007.

"Maria, I played her a lot of times. I think the last time we played was the Olympics. She's definitely improved a lot over the last couple years," said Azarenka.

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2013-06-04T12:39:15+00:00 /tennis-betting-news/4845-sharapova-and-azarenka-enter-quarterfinals.html