You Are Viewing All Posts In The WTA Category

Roger Federer knocks out defending champ Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

Roger Federer improved to 18-16 against Novak Djokovic. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

No. 4 Roger Federer ousted defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday to advance to his first final at the Monte Carlo Masters since 2008.

Federer, who accepted a last-minute wild card into the first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, took control after saving two set points at 4-5 in the first set. He broke in the next game before serving out the set. Backed by a solid serve and sustained aggression, he ran away with the second set, ultimately needing just 74 minutes to reach his fourth final of the season and improve to 2-1 against the second-ranked Djokovic this year.

“I’m very happy with the way I played,” Federer said. “I tried to stay aggressive, like I have all week.”

Federer will play his Davis Cup teammate and world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated David Ferrer 6-1, 7-6 (3), in Sunday’s final. It’s the first all-Swiss ATP final since 2000, when Marc Rosset beat Federer in Marseille. If Federer wins, he would move up to No. 3 in Monday’s rankings and replace Wawrinka as the No. 1 Swiss.

Read More…


  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Roundtable Part II: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Serena Williams won her seventh title at the Sony Open in Miami this year. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, Ricky Dimon of The GrandstandLindsay Gibbs of The ChangeoverErik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times joined Courtney Nguyen for a roundtable to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. The roundtable took place on Wednesday, April 16 before Rafael Nadal’s loss to David Ferrer in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals, but edits have been made where necessary.

    Click here to read part one of the roundtable, and be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

    WTA: What to make of it?

    Nguyen: Am I wrong, or is the first part of the WTA season much more difficult to explain than the ATP’s?

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Roundtable Part I: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, I’ve asked Ricky Dimon of The Grandstand, Lindsay Gibbs of The Changeover, Erik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. 

    This roundtable has two parts — click here to read the second part. Be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

    What has been the most significant development, result or storyline so far?

    Erik Gudris: It’s been a busy first quarter that gave us Stanislas Wawrinka’s first ever major title, Novak Djokovic bouncing back to win the Indian Wells/Miami double, Serena Williams winning Miami though giving us a few unexpected losses and the recent surge of some young WTA players all with bright prospects moving ahead.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Best matches, best Tweeter, biggest bummer: Early-season offbeat awards

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Before the clay-court season heats up, Beyond The Baseline is taking stock of the year in tennis so far. We’ve already covered the winners and losers for the ATP and WTA. Here’s a look at more highlights and lowlights from the first three months of the season.

    Best ATP match: Stanislas Wawrinka d. Novak Djokovic, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open

    Once again at the Australian Open, these two played an unforgettable five-set match, and this year, Wawrinka earned his revenge. Will these guys end up playing the match of the year at the Australian Open for the second season in a row?

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Early-season WTA winners and losers

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

    Following her Australian title, Li Na earned career-best results in Indian Wells and Miami. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

    Before the clay-court season heats up, Beyond The Baseline is taking stock of the year in tennis so far. Here’s a look at the WTA Tour winners and losers from the first three months. Click here for the ATP breakdown.

    Winners

    Li Na: Li took advantage of a favorable draw — she didn’t face a top-20 player — to win the Australian Open. The most impressive and encouraging thing about her season, though, is that she hasn’t experienced a letdown like she did after winning her first major, the 2011 French Open. After a brief blip in the Middle East, the 32-year-old rebounded in North America by matching or surpassing her career-best results at two big tournaments, making the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open (where she lost to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta) and the final of the Sony Open (where she lost to No. 1 Serena Williams). That latter match, a 7-5, 6-1 defeat, may have shown that Li is a long way from No. 1, but her early-season performance leaves no doubt that she’s a solid No. 2.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Who should play Billie Jean King in the new Battle of the Sexes movie?

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

    The casting call is still out for someone to play Billie Jean King alongside Will Ferrell, who will play Bobby Riggs. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

    The news that Will Ferrell will play Bobby Riggs in a new movie about the 1973 Battle of the Sexes has left everyone pondering one obvious question: Who will play Billie Jean King?

    Holly Hunter played the tennis icon in the 2001 made-for-television movie When Billie Beat Bobby, and she did a fine job capturing King’s athleticism and youthful spunk. But the film wasn’t an outright comedy, and with Ferrell playing Riggs and his production company behind the new film, you have to think they’re going the comedy route, a la Ferrell’s other sports-themed movies like Semi-Pro, Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory.

    With that in mind, here are our suggestions for the Billie Jean King casting call:

    Kate McKinnon

    The obvious heiress-apparent to Kristen Wiig at Saturday Night Live (more on her later), and hands-down the funniest current cast memberer on SNL, McKinnon already has her BJK audition tape ready to go. She did a wonderful impression of King during a recent Weekend Update segment before the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Just listen to her say “Trouble? I come from trouble, Seth.” That is such a Billie Jean King way to say a very Billie Jean King line.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 04, 2014
  • Venus Williams battles through to face Eugenie Bouchard at Family Circle Cup

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Venus Williams is the only American to make it to the third round at the Family Circle Cup. (J Pat Carter/AP)

    Venus Williams is the only American to make it to the third round at the Family Circle Cup. (J Pat Carter/AP)

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Venus Williams battled through illness and a foot blister on Wednesday, rallying from a break down in the first and second sets to beat Chanelle Scheepers 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the Family Circle Cup.

    Williams, who arrived here with what she described as “a bug,” hasn’t had an easy pass through the early rounds. She edged Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 in her opener, Williams’ third consecutive three-set match.

    “I’m still dealing with the bug, but my goal is just to hang in there until it hopefully goes away and then I can just continue to play my way into the tournament and play stronger,” Williams said. “But it’s definitely a challenge.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • Elina Svitolina surprises No. 5 seed Sloane Stephens at Family Circle Cup

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    (Mic Smith/AP)

    Elina Svitolina won 78 of 140 total points played against Sloane Stephens. (Mic Smith/AP)

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Elina Svitolina celebrated her first week as the highest-ranked WTA teenager by upsetting No. 18 Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Family Circle Cup on Wednesday.

    Ranked No. 35 and gradually improving, Svitolina fended off two comeback attempts from the fifth-seeded Stephens — who was down 1-5 in the first set and an early break in the second — to earn her fourth victory over a top-20 player this season. The 19-year-old from Ukraine avenged a straight-set loss to Stephens at the Australian Open and continued to build on her promising play from the BNP Paribas Open (where she lost a third-set tiebreaker to No. 11 Ana Ivanovic in the second round) and Sony Open (where she pushed No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska to three sets in the fourth round) over the last month.

    Get to know Elina Svitolina, the WTA’s highest-ranked teenager

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • Q&A with Elina Svitolina, 19, the WTA’s highest-ranked teenager

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Elina Svitolina

    Elina Svitolina has climbed to No. 35 since ending the 2012 season at No. 156. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    While the English-speaking media has focused on Sloane Stephens, Eugenie Bouchard, Laura Robson and Madison Keys as the top prospects of the WTA’s Generation Next, Elina Svitolina has quietly compiled a résumé worth recognizing.

    The 19-year-old Ukrainian won a 125K Series title in India in 2012 and the Baku Cup in 2013, making her the only teen with a title in the last two years. (She’s also won six ITF titles.) The 2010 junior French Open champion improved her ranking by 116 spots last season to finish at No. 40, and this week she supplanted Keys, 19, as the top-ranked teenager after making the fourth round of the Sony Open.

    Before the Miami tournament, Svitolina lost to No. 11 Ana Ivanovic in a third-set tiebreaker in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. Here are highlights of that match (via TheMsharapova2):

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 01, 2014
  • WTA rankings: Maria Sharapova falls to three-year low of No. 9

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova is ranked as low as ninth for the first time since 2011. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova slipped to No. 9 in this week’s WTA Tour rankings, her lowest position in three years.

    Sharapova’s two-spot dip came after she lost to Serena Williams in the semifinals of the Sony Open, where the Russian was a finalist the previous three years. Petra Kvitova (No. 6) and Angelique Kerber (No. 7) both passed Sharapova, who has yet to make a final in five tournaments this year in her return from a shoulder injury that ended her 2013 season in August.

    Read More…


  • Published On Mar 31, 2014


  •