Looking for Tennis and Racket Sports International News?

The RacketSTAR Tennis News Blog and Article Feed gives you up to the minute news and information about the Players and Sports Updates.

Bouchard Continues to Win, Wozniacki Loses in Sydney

Both players were treated for foot injuries during a grueling second set on Ken Rosewall Arena. Wozniacki came back from 5-2 down in that set, and then 5-0 in the tiebreaker, to win it and force a third set.

”It was brutal out there … but you just try and think like you’re on a beach drinking pina coladas,” Wozniacki said. ”That’s basically your train of thought. You know that it’s the same for both players, so I was just trying to mentally just try and keep cool.”

Strycova will meet the winner of the night match between second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and qualifier Duan Yingying.

Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard continued her strong start to the year with a 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Bouchard had a breakout season in 2014, reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and French Open before making the final at Wimbledon. But she has only gone past the fourth round at a major once since then and slipped to No. 46 at the end of last year.

Continue reading
  990 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

990 Hits

Aussie Open Qualies: 5 Men To Watch

[Watch ATP & WTA Australian Open Qualifying Matches LIVE on Tennis Channel Plus!]

Here are five of the men to keep an eye on throughout the qualifying week:

Radek Stepanek (CZE)

[Ranking No.102, Seed No.1]

Stepanek has already shown he’s come to play in 2017, coming out of qualifying to reach the quarterfinals of the tune-up event in Doha, where he was only stopped by eventual champion Novak Djokovic. And few in action this week have more credentials than the Czech veteran – 24 career Top 10 wins, a career-high ranking of No.8 himself, and he’s reached the second week of majors four times before (including a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon in 2006).

170110-frances-tiafoe
170110-vasek-pospisil
170110-brian-baker
170110-jurgen-melzer
Continue reading
  983 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

983 Hits

Sharapova to Return from Ban in April at Stuttgart Event

MOSCOW (AP) Maria Sharapova will return from her 15-month doping ban at a tournament in Germany in April.

Maria Sharapova speaks to members of the media prior to a World Team Tennis exhibition Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Car manufacturer Porsche, which sponsors both Sharapova and the event in Stuttgart, says Sharapova has been given a wild-card entry into the tournament. It will be her first official competition since she tested positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian Open.

Sharapova, who won the Stuttgart tournament from 2012-14, says ”I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favorite tournaments.”

Sharapova was originally banned for two years but that was reduced on appeal in October. She said she had used meldonium for years and was not aware it had been banned for 2016.

Original linkOriginal author: Ashley Ndebele
  962 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

962 Hits

Top-Ranked Kerber Upset by Kasatkina in Opening Match in Sydney

Kerber, who won last year’s Australian and U.S. Open for her first major titles, has opened the new season with one win in two tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney. The Australian Open starts Monday in Melbourne.

Eugenie Bouchard continued her resurgent run, meanwhile, with a 6-4, 6-3 win over WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova to reach the quarterfinals in Sydney.

Bouchard improved her career record to 4-1 against Cibulkova, who was ranked No. 5 and was voted the WTA’s comeback player of the year in 2016 after her title win at the season-ending championship.

“Any time you play one of the best players in the world it’s like a standard of where you’re at,” said Bouchard, who had a wild-card entry in Sydney. “Every time I have played a match with Domi, we have had the toughest battles.

“I have won, I guess, more often than not, but everyone is a really tough battle.”

Continue reading
  1019 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

1019 Hits

Top-Ranked Kerber Loses Her Opening Match in Sydney

Kerber, who won last year’s Australian and U.S. Open for her first major titles, has opened the new season with one win in two tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney. The Australian Open starts Monday in Melbourne.

Eugenie Bouchard continued her resurgent run, meanwhile, with a 6-4, 6-3 win over WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova to reach the quarterfinals in Sydney.

Bouchard improved her career record to 4-1 against Cibulkova, who was ranked No. 5 and was voted the WTA’s comeback player of the year in 2016 after her title win at the season-ending championship.

“Any time you play one of the best players in the world it’s like a standard of where you’re at,” said Bouchard, who had a wild-card entry in Sydney. “Every time I have played a match with Domi, we have had the toughest battles.

“I have won, I guess, more often than not, but everyone is a really tough battle.”

Continue reading
  1019 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

1019 Hits

It’s only the 1st week of the 2017 season, and already these pros are throwing haymakers all over the world!

Your browser sent an invalid request.Original linkOriginal author: Andy Zodin
  1001 Hits

Copyright

© KickServe Radio

1001 Hits

Djokovic and Murray Open 2017 Spectacularly

The two greatest players in the game fittingly commenced the new year with a riveting and significant hard court meeting that could have added value with the upcoming Australian Open right around the corner. Murray had upended Djokovic in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Championships at London back in November when the highly coveted No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings was on the line for both competitors. Never before had the two top players competed in a monumental match at the end of a year in a title round contest with such a prestigious prize at stake.

Murray thus headed into 2017 on a remarkable roll. Not only had he surpassed Djokovic at the very top of the tennis mountain, but he was celebrating the biggest winning streak of his career. By the time he took the court to confront Djokovic in Qatar, the British warrior had won no less than 28 matches in a row. He was in full pursuit of a sixth consecutive ATP World Tour title. For the first time in a long while, he was the favorite in this matchup of the titans. And yet, Murray would not necessarily have benefitted from carrying his big winning streak into the Australian Open. He was due for another loss, and better to have it happen in Doha rather than Melbourne.

The view here is that Djokovic had more to play for on this occasion, and perhaps that was one of the chief reasons he came through in what became a spellbinding encounter. After capturing six singles titles across the first half of 2016, he won only one more crown the rest of the way. He lost a large chunk of his confidence, suffered some injuries and fell somewhat into disarray.

His agonizing slump nearly continued this past week. In the penultimate round at Doha, the Serbian was down match point five times before escaping against the flamboyant, mercurial, left-handed Fernando Verdasco of Spain. Surviving that gut-wrenching skirmish enabled Djokovic to set up his appointment with Murray. From the outset, it was apparent

that Djokovic had rediscovered much of the inner fire, rhythmic beauty from the backcourt and emotional stability that had been missing at the tail end of 2016. He was striking the ball cleanly, precisely and often majestically. He was bearing down hard and relentlessly. He looked a whole lot more like the Djokovic who dominated the game from the beginning of 2015 through the middle of the following season.

170109-djokovic1
170109-murray1
170109-djokovic
Continue reading
  978 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

978 Hits

Former No. 1 Wozniacki Beats Olympic Champion Puig in Sydney

Wozniacki, who finished back-to-back years at No. 1 in the rankings in 2010 and `11, has never won a major and is determined to make up for a first-round exit at the Australian Open last year.

Puig fought back to win the second set and force a decider but the Rio champion eventually succumbed after 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, last year’s WTA Finals champion and a finalist at the Australian Open in 2014, opened in Sydney with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Laura Siegemund, advancing along with No. 6-seeded Johanna Konta and No. 9 Roberta Vinci.

Americans Christina McHale and CoCo Vandeweghe had wins over seeded players, with McHale beating No. 4 Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 and Vandeweghe leading 6-2, 4-0 when No. 8 Elena Vesnina retired from their match.

Australian hope Sam Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, had another first-round defeat, losing 6-3, 6-1 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 63 minutes.

Continue reading
  978 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

978 Hits

Dimitrov Beats Nishikori in Brisbane for First Title Since 2014

Dimitrov, dubbed `Baby Fed’ earlier in his career for his style similarities with Roger Federer, lost the Brisbane International final to Andy Murray in 2013. He won three titles in 2014, and reached the Wimbledon semifinals as he rose to a career-high ranking of No. 8.

But his form faded and he slipped down the rankings to No. 40 in the middle of last year before starting a career resurgence and entering the season-opening Brisbane event ranked No. 17 and seeded seventh.

”It’s been pretty emotional,” Dimitrov said. ”This trophy means a lot.”

He beat defending champion Milos Raonic in the semifinals. Against Nishikori, who reached his first Brisbane final after losing three previous semifinals, he fended off two breakpoints in the first game and another in the third to hold, absorbing all the early pressure before going on the attack and racing through the set.

The second set was almost a reverse of the first, with Dimitrov missing a breakpoint chance early before Nishikori rallied to win it in 33 minutes and level at 1-set apiece.

Continue reading
  987 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

987 Hits

Djokovic Sets the Record Straight Against Murray in Doha Final

If the Doha final was a taste of what’s to come in the 2017 tennis season then it is going to be one hell of a year. Djokovic got his revenge over Murray 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in maybe their best match yet.

Djokovic appeared nervous at the beginning which was understandable after what happened in London but he soon found his rhythm from the ground and he went through a stretch where he won 16 consecutive points on serve which put pressure on Murray’s serve.

The pressure eventually got to Murray as Djokovic broke in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Djokovic continued to exert pressure on Murray in the second set with that incredible baseline consistency and broke serve again at 3-3 after a Murray double fault.

At 5-4 he was serving for the match which looked like it would be a masterclass win but Murray saved three match points in the game and broke back. I didn’t feel like Djokovic choked but he wasn’t quite convincing in putting Murray away either.

#Djokovic pic.twitter.com/P7qezi5rBp



Continue reading
  1000 Hits

Copyright

© Ultimate Tennis Blog

1000 Hits

Siniakova Breaks Through to Win First Title at Shenzhen Open

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Katerina Siniakova captured her first career title at the Shenzhen Open on Saturday, defeating Alison Riske 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

(Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old Czech player enjoyed her best week on tour, defeating two top-10 players to reach the final: No. 4 Simona Halep and No. 10 Johanna Konta.

Siniakova had little trouble against Riske in the final, breaking the American twice in each set to close it out in just under 80 minutes.

The eighth-seeded Riske lost the title match in Shenzhen for the second year in a row. She lost to top seed Agnieszka Radwanska last year.

Original linkOriginal author: AP
  957 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

957 Hits

Djokovic Defeats Murray in Qatar Open Final

The dramatic match showcased the best of men’s tennis for 2 hours, 54 minutes. Djokovic needed four match points – three in the second set and one in the third – to prevail. He was also fortunate not to be defaulted for accidentally hitting a woman in the stands with a ball hit in anger.

“Best scenario I could ask for for beginning of the season,” Djokovic said.

“Playing all five matches in this tournament and then three hours against No. 1 of the world, (my) biggest rival, and winning in a thrilling marathon match is something that definitely can serve as a positive incentive for what’s coming up in Australia.

“It’s only the beginning of the season, so we had a little laugh at the net actually about it. We both felt like if every match we’re going to play against each other is going to be this way this season, we’re going to have a fun time.”

Murray’s loss ended his 28-match winning streak that dated to Sept. 18.

Continue reading
  984 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

984 Hits

France Wins Hopman Cup

Richard Gasquet gave France a lead when he defeated Jack Sock 6-3 5-7 7-6 (8-6) in the men’s match.

Coco Vandeweghe’s 6-4 7-5 win over Kristina Mladenovic gave United States a fighting chance, but France took the deciding doubles match 4-1 4-3 (5-0).

This is France’s second Hopman Cup win, while the U.S. has won the Hopman Cup a record six times in the tournament’s 28-year history.

 

Original linkOriginal author: Ashley Ndebele
  933 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

933 Hits

Ruthless Pliskova Wins Brisbane Title

The U.S. Open finalist will return to a career-high No. 5 ranking for the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 16, after winning her first Brisbane title and seventh on the WTA tour.

The first set lasted less than 20 minutes, with third-seeded Pliskova not dropping a point on serve until the last game. Cornet, who was unseeded and ranked No. 41, didn’t get on the scoreboard until she held to open the second set.

The 24-year-old Pliskova had a breakout season in 2016, reaching her first Grand Slam final – beating both Venus and Serena Williams before losing to Angelique Kerber at the U.S. Open – and helping the Czech Republic win the Fed Cup.

On the men’s side, Milos Raonic’s title defense ended in a semifinal loss to Grigor Dimitrov, a day after his come-from-behind win over Rafael Nadal.

Top-seeded Raonic beat Roger Federer for the title here last year, avenging a loss to the Swiss star in the 2015 final, and appeared to be on course for a third straight Brisbane final when he had set point in the first-set tiebreaker against Dimitrov.

Continue reading
  926 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

926 Hits

Dimitrov Stuns Raonic in Brisbane Semifinals

The 25-year-old Bulgarian saved a set point in the first-set tiebreak before taking the opener 9-7.

In the second set, Dimitrov broke the Canadian twice to take the match 7-6(7), 6-2.

Earlier, Nishikori upset 2016 U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the other semifinal match.

More to come…

Original linkOriginal author: Ashley Ndebele
  978 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

978 Hits

Nishikori Takes out Wawrinka in Brisbane Semifinals

Wawrinka, who won the Chennai tournament in India in the first week of the season for the three previous years, had treatment on his lower left leg at the end of the first set tiebreaker and twice again in the second set.

Third-seeded Nishikori took full advantage, converting his first break point in the second set to take a 3-1 lead when Wawrinka missed consecutive backhands. The No. 2-seeded Wawrinka broke back immediately, but dropped his serve again in the next game.

Wawrinka beat Nishikori in the semifinals of the U.S. Open last year; his only win in their last four matches. With his win Saturday, Nishikori has leveled up his career head-to-head record against the three-time major winner at 4-4.

Nishikori was making his seventh trip to Brisbane, and playing a semifinal for the fourth time. The Japanese star is still chasing his first Grand Slam title, with his best run at a major remaining his appearance in the 2014 U.S. Open final.

Defending champion and No.1-seeded Milos Raonic was to play seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov for the other spot in the final. Raonic, who beat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, finished 2016 ranked at No. 3 but hasn’t added another title since winning in Brisbane for the first time.

Continue reading
  1022 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

1022 Hits

Lauren Davis Wins Maiden Title in Auckland

The 23-year-old Ohio-born resident of Boca Raton ousted the tournament’s last surviving seed when she swept past the eighth-seeded Konjuh in 71 minutes.

Davis beat fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens, fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova and seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko on her way to the final while Konjuh beat former champion Yanina Wickmayer and last year’s runner-up Julia Goerges.

“It’s definitely an incredible feeling winning my first WTA title,” Davis said. “It’s definitely surreal.

“I’ve been waiting for this one for quite a few years. I had two finals last year and it was definitely discouraging and frustrating but third time’s a charm.”

The tournament which began with the most star-studded field in its history ended with a final between players ranked 47th and 61st in the world.

Continue reading
  1032 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

1032 Hits

Djokovic Will Have His Chance for Revenge Against Murray in Doha Final

So we got the final I’m sure most people have been hoping for after Djokovic saved five match points in his 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3 win over Verdasco and Murray defeated Berdych 6-3, 6-4.

I couldn’t watch the Djokovic match due to my poor Internet quality but on the highlights, I saw Djokovic was 2-6 and 6-7 down in the tiebreak. He was also up 4-2 in the first set after which he slumped badly to lose the first set and go down 0-2 in the second set.

It’s not every day that you see Djokovic get broken three consecutive times. It must have been a bad day at the office but what matters is that he won with the help of his characteristic mental strength.

Losing to Verdasco would have been a pretty big setback at this point and I am still not sure how first of all he got into that situation and second of all found a way out. But it is not the first time we see Djokovic save match points.

His mental strength is up there with the best of all time. The match with Verdasco may boost his confidence as well before playing Murray, knowing how close he was to exiting the tournament.




Continue reading
  1035 Hits

Copyright

© Ultimate Tennis Blog

1035 Hits

Murray, Djokovic to Battle in Qatar Open Final

Top seed Murray defeated Berdych 6-3, 6-4 to set up a final clash with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

In the first set, the Scot broke Berdych to lead 4-1 and took the set on his third set point.

After a break in the second, Murray took it 6-4, earning his spot in the final.

Earlier on Friday, Djokovic survived five match points against Fernando Verdasco to win the match 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3.

Djokovic will be seeking to revenge his loss to Murray last November at the ATP Finals, where the newly minted No. 1 Murray won 6-3, 6-4. The Serb leads their head-to-head 24-11.

Original linkOriginal author: Ashley Ndebele
  963 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

963 Hits

Konjuh, Davis to Meet in Auckland Final

Davis reached the final when her semifinal opponent, seventh-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, retired while trailing 4-1 in the third set. Ostapenko won the first set 6-4 and Davis took the second 6-4.

The tournament has steadily shed seeded players. Top seed and world No. 2 Serena Williams was knocked out in the second round by American compatriot Madison Brengle, and second-seeded Venus Williams withdrew with an arm injury after winning her first-round match.

Fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens went out in the first round, and fourth-seeded Barbora Strycova lost to Davis in straight sets in the quarterfinals.

Konjuh reversed a recent poor run of form by beating Goerges to reach her first final since 2015.

”Coming here, I wasn’t playing that well and my serve wasn’t going so good but I managed to win,” the Croatian said.

Continue reading
  933 Hits

Copyright

© Tennis Channel

933 Hits