galina voskoboeva

WTA Nürnberg Gallery: Petkovic Ousts Goerges; Jankovic and Beck Thru to QFs

(June 12, 2013) World No. 18 and the top seed this week at WTA Nürnberg, Jelena Jankovic reached the quarterfinals without much resistance. She finished her darkness-delayed first round match against Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-2, and followed it up with another breezy 6-2, 6-0 win over Johanna Larsson.

The Serb will next take on No. 6 seed Lourdes Dominguez Lino who ousted Mandy Minella, and the winner will face either Andrea Petkovic or Annika Beck in the semifinals.

In the bottom half of the draw only two seeds remained, No. 5 Lucie Safarova and No. 7 Simona Halep. Galina  Voskoboeva defeated No. 3 seed Alize Cornet and Polona Hercog rounded out the quarterfinals.

Doubles – First Round Results
(1) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. Beygelzimer/Bratchikova (UKR/RUS) 61 62
Krunic/Piter (SRB/POL) d. (2) Goerges/Minella (GER/LUX) 61 62
(3) Panova/Thorpe (RUS/FRA) d. Pegula/Plipuech (USA/THA) 63 63
Olaru/Solovyeva (ROU/RUS) d. (4) Birnerova/Buryachok (CZE/UKR) 62 62
Duque-Mariño/Pereira (COL/BRA) d. Craybas/Savchuk (USA/UKR) 60 46 108 (Match TB)
Klemenschits/Klepac (AUT/SLO) d. Muhammed/Will (USA/USA) 62 76(4)
(WC) Barrois/Friedsam (GER/GER) d. Kichenok/Linette (UKR/POL) 75 62

Wednesday match play gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Rick Gleijm.

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Serena Williams takes hard fought victory, Radwanska wins versus Petkovic while Stosur edges Vinci – A Rogers Cup quarterfinals wrap up

With both the men’s and women’s tournaments running simultaneously in Canada this year, members of the media had to make some big decisions about how to cover this virtually combined event for the first time.

I had planned ahead of time to do the first half in Montreal watching the men and then to transition to Toronto to catch the women finish things off and also take-in the Legends tournament with Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier and John McEnroe. I just arrived in Toronto today in time to see the four quarter-final matches and it took a few matches before the level of play picked-up.

Sam Stosur took out surprise quarter-finalist Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-4, 6-1 in the opening match of the day. It was the end of a good run by Vinci who knocked off some serious competition in Yanina Wickmayer, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic one after another. Vinci’s loss brings an end to the blog she was keeping while here in Toronto.

In the second match of the day, fourth seeded Victoria Azarenka had no trouble in dispatching qualifier Galina Voskoboeva with ease by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Azarenka was doing her best impression as the tournament favorite. She raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back. Whatever Voskoboeva had going for her they day before against Maria Sharapova was no longer in effect. She looked like a shell of what she brought on court Thursday.

In a mid-afternoon match, 11th seed Andrea Petkovic took on 13th seed Agnieska Radwanska. The pair played a semi-final match last week in Carlsbad where Radwanska prevailed in three sets. Despite bringing more fire-power onto the court, Petkovic made a few too many unforced errors while Radwanska played a very consistent and balanced game. The lack of power in her game did nothing to prevent her from prolonging the rallies and waiting forPetkovic to make a mistake. Radwanksa would win by a routine 6-3, 6-4 final score. She has now won 9 consecutive matches and joked on court after the match that she was trying to emulate Novak Djokovic’s streak from earlier in the year.

Petkovic seemed pretty relaxed after the match and was upbeat with the media in her press conference. Despite the fact that she is now 0-4 against Radwanska in her career she had the following to say:

“Well, actually, I really enjoy playing her, because I always think it’s a good match to watch for the audience.”

In assessing her strategy Petkovic said that, “…today I just felt like, I don’t know, I needed to overpower her, which was the wrong approach.”

Radwanska meanwhile just seems content to approach the top ten but doesn’t strike me as having the killer-instinct necessary to actually contend for a Grand Slam championship.

In the evening match Serena Williams was up against Lucie Safarova. Tennis fans were finally treated to some drama in this one as the match would go the distance. From the get-go it was apparent that Safarova was not simply going to roll-over or submit to nerves as some other Serena opponents have done this week. See Bondarenko, Alona for evidence of the above. Safarova played with tons of confidence and would break to go up 4-3. Later, she easily held her final service game of the first set at love to take it 6-4.

Serena refused to quit, which should come as no surprise. Her game began to find the mark and she started to find some incredible angles on the court. Safarova was still giving it her all and both players applauded each other on more than one occasion. The display of sportsmanship was appreciated by the Toronto crowd.

Serena would break to go up 3-1 and never looked back. She would take the second set as well as the third to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

You gotta hand it to the American, she has the drive of a true champion. When asked if she was exceeding her expectations so far during her come-back she did not hesitate to respond, “I was hoping to win Wimbledon, so no, I’m not exceeding my expectations.”

She was in a pretty positive mood overall and joked with the media on several topics including her fitness level: “I’m still not super fit, because I always have cream sodas at night.” And also her thoughts on turning 30 in September: “No, Baby, I’m 26. I’m turning 27 this year.”

The semi-finals are now set for Saturday. Sam Stosur will first take-on Agnieska Radwanska in the daytime match. At night, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will meet. The winner of the late match won’t have as much time to recover for Sunday, but which ever player wins between those two will certainly be considered the favorite.

Legends Michael Chang and John McEnroe will meet before the first semi and Andre Agassi will face Jim Courier after the second one. A great day of tennis is on deck. Stay tuned for more coverage here at Tennis Grandstand.

Photos credit by © Bob McIntyre

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Estoril Open: A doubles report

By Luís Santos

Early Sunday afternoon at the Estoril Open final day and it was time for the men’s doubles’ final.

Defending champions and fourth seeds David Marrero and Marc Lopez were up against Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer, the third seeds this week.

Butorac is a former Estoril Open champion, having won the event in 2009 alongside Scott Lipsky. This week, Butorac and Rojer powered their way through the draw, never dropping more than six games in each match. In the semifinals they took out top seeds Bopanna/Qureshi in just 63 minutes.

The Spanish tandem of Marrero/Lopez had early struggles in the earlier rounds being taken to match tiebreaks twice.

It was no surprise when Butorac/Rojer claimed the match in straight sets, a break on each of them being enough to secure the win.

Rojer was grateful for the welcoming at the tournament and complimented his opponents: “I would like to thank all of you for coming out here, this is all me and Eric do for a living, so thank you. Our opponents today are always tough on every surface, so I’m happy for the win. I would also like to thank the sponsors, Banco Espírito Santo and Turismo de Portugal, without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Eric Butorac mainly agreed with his partner saying: “Jean-Julien said it all. I’m very thankful for the sponsors and tournament organizers, they were fantastic all week. It’s always good to come to Portugal, it’s a very nice country and I hope more people can come here and enjoy it.”

Yesterday afternoon Alisa Kleybanova and Galina Voskoboeva also took home the women’s doubles crown after they defeated Greek Eleni Daniilidou and Dutch Michaella Krajicek 6-4 6-2.

“Alisa and I enjoy each other’s company. We’ve known each other for a long time,” Voskoboeva said. “Every time we play well together, but we’ve never won before – here our game was solid and we really knew each other on the court.”

“I’m really happy because I didn’t do so well in the singles,” Kleybanova said. “It was important for me to play some more matches and have some good wins in doubles. It instills confidence. Another title can never be bad, always good!”