viernes, 31 de enero de 2014

News PTT Pattaya Open, 31 January 2014.

Karolina Pliskova came back from the brink to defeat No.3 seed Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals the PTT Pattaya Open on Friday. Watch live action from Pattaya City this weekend on WTA Live powered by TennisTV! Serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down in the second set, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Pliskova as she slipped 15-40 behind. Somehow, she served her way out of the cul-de-sac, saving both match points before going on to pinch the set on a tie-break. Having dominated much of the first hour on court, Cirstea began to unravel in the decider. And as the unforced errors began to mount, Pliskova ruthlessly capitalized to wrap up the final set in just 27 minutes.
 "I didn't expect to win," Pliskova said. "She was playing amazing in the first set and I didn't have any chance to play my game. She was playing fast and she was killing all my second serves. In the second set I was just trying to hold my serves and hoped that in the tie-break anything could happen." Pliskova's 16 76(3) 60 win sees her advance to her first semifinal of the year, where she will face another unseeded player, Julia Goerges. "I'm happy that I've won hard matches here," Pliskova said. "I played my last semifinal in Kuala Lumpur which is almost a year. So I'm happy that I'm not going to lose ranking points." Like Pliskova, Goerges' progress was far from straightforward, coming from a break down in the final set to knock out No.5 seed Elena Vesnina. Goerges had lost all three of her previous encounters with Vesnina and could have been forgiven for fearing the worst after dropping an opening set in which she had led 4-2. However, the German showed admirable resolve to turn the match around, eventually running out a 57 63 63 winner. "It was a pretty up and down match," Goerges said. "Elena is a great player and I knew it was going to be tough - I'd never beaten her before. "I think I should have won the first set but I just kept fighting and I was serving really well today, which I think was key.
I'm really glad I'm in the semifinals." On the other side of the draw Andrea Hlavackova will take on the last remaining seed, Ekaterina Makarova. Hlavackova, who benefitted from the withdrawal of No.1 seed Sabine Lisicki earlier in the week, made a flying start against No.8 seed Peng Shuai but in the end was forced to dig deep to close out a 62 75 victory. No.4 seed Makarova meanwhile battled for more than two hours before eventually seeing off the stubborn resistance of Kimiko Date-Krumm, 62 46 64.


PARIS, France 
Two of the hardest hitters out there will meet in the semifinals of the Open GDF SUEZ, after Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won two very different quarterfinals. Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Paris all week here on! Pavlyuchenkova was the first to advance, coming within points of winning the first set but losing it, but then grinding for almost two and a half hours to beat No.4 seed Angelique Kerber, 57 63 76(3). "I just tried to stay calm and keep playing my game," Pavlyuchenkova said. "After I lost the first set I was a bit more relaxed even, so it was easier to focus on my game and my technique, and on every point. I think I had too much emotion in the first set, but from the second set I felt much better. "Making the semis here in Paris is special. It's such a nice tournament and I love being here." Pavlyuchenkova says that one of the best moments of her career also came in Paris - reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2011 French Open (where she fell to Francesca Schiavone). "The quarterfinals of the French Open in 2011 was something very special for me, as well as doing it at the US Open that year too," she said. "I was only 19 and the Grand Slams are especially big for us. "I'm working hard and I look forward to hopefully having more of those results in the future." The former World No.13's win over World No.9 Kerber was the 14th Top 10 win of her career. She'll have to bring her best out again in the next round as she faces the No.1 seed, Maria Sharapova, who swatted aside the challenge of No.8 seed Kirsten Flipkens in just 69 minutes, 62 62. Sharapova beat Pavlyuchenkova in their only previous meeting, but it was a three set thriller in the semifinals of Cincinnati in 2010, with Sharapova originally leading by a set and a break, dropping the second set, then reeling off four games in a row from 2-all in the third set to close it out. The other two quarterfinal matches on the Friday schedule - No.3 seed Sara Errani against Elina Svitolina and Alizé Cornet against Andrea Petkovic - took place during the night session.  

jueves, 30 de enero de 2014


2011 Champion and Number 2 seed Kvitova has been forced to withdraw from this year´s tournament with respiratory problems.
"I really wanted to play today but unfortunately i spoke with de doctor and I am not feeling well, i have a sore throat and i tried to practise this morning, but after 10 minutes i realized i could not bretahe so  unfortunately will have to withdraw".


After a brilliant run at the Australian Open where she reached the Quarterfinals, Simona Halep begins her Open GDF Suez campaign against Kristina Mladenovic. 
With both upcoming players playing some hig quality tennis coming into this match, one can be assured of an exciting match! Awarded the Most Improved Player last year (truly deserved), Halep has been playing some inspiring tennis and that saw her catapult to more than 30 places last year to culminate at No.11 on the WTA Charts (47 to 11). In Melbourne, Halep continued with her impressive form as she managed reaching the Last 8. The Romanian is very quick on court and possesses some good ground strokes from the back, making things tougher for her opponents. Majorly a counter puncher as her physique does not allow her to overpower her opponents, Halep recently broke into the Top-10 of the World after her performance at the Australian Open and would be looking to keep her place intact. 
 Across the net, Mladenovic comes into this tournament after winning the Australian Open Mixed Doubles Title. The Frenchwoman is ranked just outside the Top-60 at No.62 and is yet to break through the Top-30 in the World (Personal best of No.36). She has won 1 WTA Tour Title in her young career and would be looking to add more in times to come. 
With the crowd by her side, the Frenchwoman would be aiming to cause an upset here by taking out the Third Seed. This is the first time the two players are squaring off with Halep coming into this match as a huge favorite.

WTA Live All Access Hour presented by Xerox. Sugarpova in Paris

PARIS, France - 

Maria Sharapova is in Paris for the Premier-level Open GDF SUEZ tournament, where she is the top seed with a bye in the first round. This year the Russian's famous candy brand Sugarpova is one of the sponsors of the indoor event, as you can see in the photo below, there is the Sugarpova logo on center court. 

 On Tuesday evening at the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, tennis welcomed back one of 2013's breakthrough acts: the WTA Live All Access Hour presented by Xerox. The first episode of the new season, presented by the voice of tennis Andrew Krasny, featured several of the game's biggest names talking about everything from pre-season training to prog rock. So, what did we learn from our first backstage pass of the year?
 1) Maria Sharapova is a busy lady If she's not winning matches and picking up trophies, Maria has her hands full tending to her burgeoning business empire, preparing for her role as a presenter at the upcoming Winter Olympics and honing her yoga skills.

 2) Unique prize In addition to a prestigious trophy and a sizeable cheque, the winner of this year's WTA Championships in Singapore will have an orchid named after them.
 3) Catching up with Marion Judging by the near-permanent smile she seems to be sporting nowadays, Marion Bartoli is rather enjoying life after tennis. She's even following in Maria's footsteps and tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit. 
 4) 你好 Andrew may need to work on his coin tossing skills, but he's none too shabby when it comes speaking Mandarin. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for most of his guests on Tuesday night. 
 5) Hidden talents Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci weren't exactly seeing eye to eye during their time on camera, although one thing they did agree on was who had the better voice. And Roberta proved it.


The last time they played, Sharapova barely scraped by Hantuchova at Stanford three years ago, rallying from 2-0 down in the third to win. This time was the total opposite as the No.1-seeded Sharapova won the first eight games of the match and barely looked back for a 60 61 victory. 

 "I had a tough first opponent who can play extremely good tennis," Sharapova said. "I wanted to start the match off well. It was extremely important to put that pressure on her from the beginning. "I think I did that really well today." Another thing she did really well was hit aces. Sharapova hit a whopping 10 in the match, including to close out her first three service games in the first set. She had just two double faults on the day. It was a far cry from the fourth round loss she suffered to another Slovak, Dominika Cibulkova, at the Australian Open just over a week ago. And the result wasn't the only thing that was different. 

 "It's quite an adjustment coming here," Sharapova commented. "I lost quite early in Australia, so it gave me a little bit more time to get ready for this event, to catch up on jet lag and get through that. I've had some good practices on center court here as well. It's a pretty small venue so you want to get as much center court time as you can, and take it a step at a time and focus on each and every match. "I like playing on all types of different surfaces though, and a smaller venue is a bit more intimate too. I have enjoyed playing on these types of courts in the past. For the fans it's a unique experience to see the players a little bit closer than they would see them on the bigger arenas, so it's really nice." In other second rounds, No.4 seed Angelique Kerber never faced a break point in a 62 75 win over Klara Zakopalova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova upset No.7 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, 62 36 63. 
 There were more surprises as the first round wrapped up earlier in the day, with French wildcard Kristina Mladenovic serving up 11 aces to beat No.5 seed Simona Halep, 76(1) 64, and Elina Svitolina regrouping after a disastrous second set to take out No.6 seed Roberta Vinci in three, 63 06 75. Mladenovic's win over the No.10-ranked Halep was the second Top 10 win of her career, her first coming at this same tournament a year ago against Petra Kvitova. And Svitolina's win over the No.14-ranked Vinci was her second Top 20 win, her first coming two weeks ago against Svetlana Kuznetsova. No.8 seed Kirsten Flipkens and Kazakhstani qualifier Galina Voskoboeva also won first rounds.

SCORES 30 JANUARY 2014, 22 OPEN GDF SUEZ, PTT Pattaya Open,

miércoles, 29 de enero de 2014

SCORES 29 JANUARY 2014. PTT Pattaya Open


PARIS, France 
Alizé Cornet produced an up-and-down performance to defeat Magdalena Rybarikova and reach the second round of the Open GDF SUEZ on Tuesday.
In contrast to her fortunes on the clay in Strasbourg, Cornet has struggled to find her best tennis in the French capital in recent years, suffering a string of premature exits at both the Stade Pierre de Coubertin and up the road at Roland Garros. Against Rybarikova, there were her usual flashes of brilliance, although this was accompanied by the odd moment of frustration. 
In the end a run of three straight games at the start of the deciding set proved the difference, Cornet wrapping up a 63 57 62 victory with a trademark drop shot, much to the delight of the home crowd. "Playing in front of a French crowd is always amazing," Cornet, who will meet No.2 seed Petra Kvitova next, said. "It doesn't happen so often during the year so I'm really happy to play with my friends and family watching. 
 "During the tournament, I'm just trying to stay focused and taking each match as it comes." Also clearing the first hurdle in Paris were No.7 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and Daniela Hantuchova. Despite favoring the slower surfaces on tour, Suárez Navarro was a quarterfinalist here 12 months ago and made a confident start this time around, easing past Johanna Larsson, 61 64. Hantuchova meanwhile looked to be heading for a similarly comfortable win only for her opponent, Marina Erakovic, to retire with a back injury midway through the second set. Hantuchova, who was leading 63 30 at the time, will now face No.1 seed Maria Sharapova in the second round. Joining them will be Andrea Petkovic, Karin Knapp and Yvonne Meusburger.

by wta official

martes, 28 de enero de 2014

Eugenie Bouchard during the Road To Singapore launch event

SINGAPORE - 28/01/2014

We caught up with Eugenie Bouchard during the Road To Singapore launch event on Monday. 
Here's what she said about her trip and her day, as well as tweets from the woman herself! On the trip over to Singapore... "It was really good. I was really excited on the plane - when we were landing we saw all the buildings and landscape of the city, and it's so beautiful. The buildings are amazing - the architechture and everything, it's really impressive how urbanized it is. It's one of the greatest cities in the world.
" On whether her run in Melbourne has sunken in yet... "Yeah, it has! I'm definitely happy with what I did at the Australian Open. But I'm never satisfied with losing. I always want to do better. I'm happy with what I did but I can also learn a lot from it, and I'm really looking forward to doing better at the next tournaments and the next Grand Slams.
" On whether qualifying for the WTA Championships is one of her goals for the year... "For sure. If you come here you're one of the eight best players in the world, which is a great accomplishment. So for sure it's my aim to be there one day. 
Hopefully I can earn my way there this year. It's really about working hard on the practice court and performing well at the tournaments." On her favorite moments from the Road To Singapore launch event on Monday...
 "My favorite was making the dessert - the Ice Kachang. I used corn and syrups on it. It's really an interesting concept. It looked cool - there were a bunch of colors - it was a really pretty dessert!" On whether she enjoyed spending the day with Chris Evert... 

"Yeah, for sure! I feel lucky to hang out with one of the greatest champions of all time. Listening to her talk and trying to absorb everything she says - she's amazing, and she's funnier than I expected!"


La tenista eslovaca muestra buenas sensaciones y está en la 2 ronda del torneo en pista cubierta parisino.
llegará lejos Daniela?
Lo veremos amigos..

SCORES 28 JANUARY 2014. PTT Pattaya Open, 22 OPEN GDF SUEZ,

lunes, 27 de enero de 2014


The 2014 PTT Pattaya Open, WTA tennis tournament features a strong line-up in the doubles competition with 4 of the world’s top 6 doubles players competing in the US$250,000 tournament, which is being played at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya from 26 January – 2 February. 
Top billing goes to the Asian pair of Peng Shuai from China and Hsieh Su-Wei from Taiwan. 
The pair are jointly ranked at No 3 in the world doubles rankings after a year in which they won the Grand Slam doubles at Wimbledon and the year-end WTA Championships as well as 3 other WTA titles in 2013. The beaten finalists in the WTA Championships last year, Elena Vesnina (ranked No 5) and Ekaterina Makarova (ranked No 6), both of whom hail from Russia will also competing in Pattaya. 
They also won a Grand Slam doubles title at Roland Garros and in addition triumphed in Indian Wells. Other leading doubles players featuring in Pattaya are world No 11 Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, Anastasia Rodionova of Australia (ranked No 22), Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia (ranked No 26) and Julia Goerges of Germany (ranked No 27). Thailand has 6 players ranked in the top 200 in doubles; Tamarine Tanasugarn at No 83, Nicha Lertpitaksinchai at 157, Peangtarn Plipuech at 157, Luksika Kumkhum at 161, Varatchaya Wongteanchai at 166 and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn at 176. Several of these players are expected to be in the doubles draw at the PTT Pattaya Open.

PTT Pattaya Open increases the prize money to US$250,000 .

The 2014 PTT Pattaya Open WTA tennis retains its date behind the Australian Open, increases the prize money to US$250,000 and features an exciting line-up of stars headed by Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki of Germany. 
The winner of the tournament, which will be played at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya from 26 January – 2 February there is a cheque for US$43,000 and 280 ranking points. 
 Sabine Lisicki is making her second appearance at Pattaya, currently ranked No 15 in the world, she reached the final in Pattaya last year, going down in a three set marathon to Russia’s Maria Kirilenko. Her outstanding achievement in 2013 was reaching the final at Wimbledon, beating Serena Williams on the way before falling to Marian Bartoli at the final hurdle. Making her comeback appearance in Pattaya is crowd favourite Vera Zvonareva of Russia, she missed the whole of the 2013 season after having surgery on a shoulder injury. 
She is now fully fit again and will be hoping to recover the form which led her to back-to-back wins in Pattaya in 2009/2010 and to the dizzy heights of No 2 in the world. Making her comeback appearance in Pattaya is crowd favourite Vera Zvonareva of Russia, she missed the whole of the 2013 season after having surgery on a shoulder injury. 
She is now fully fit again and will be hoping to recover the form which led her to back-to-back wins in Pattaya in 2009/2010 and to the dizzy heights of No 2 in the world. Another crowd favourite returning is Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, she has an excellent record at Pattaya reaching the semi-final in 2012 & 2013 and hoping to go one better this year. 
 A newcomer to Pattaya is Russian Ekaterina Makarova who along with fellow Russian and doubles partner Elena Vesnina won the French Open doubles title and were runners-up in the year-end WTA Championships.
 The pair are also accomplished singles players finishing the year at no’s 24 and 25 in the world respectively. Another new face to Pattaya is Germany’s Julia Goerges who after a relatively poor year in 2013 is looking to climb back up the rankings. The PTT Pattaya Open is celebrating its 23 rd anniversary in 2014, making it one of the longest running tournaments on the WTA calendar and the oldest women’s professional sporting event in South-East Asia. The 2014 PTT Pattaya Open will commence with the qualifying rounds on 26 – 27 January, with main draw matches starting on 27 January with play starting from 15.00 daily until Friday 31 January. 
 For the final 2 days of the tournament, Saturday 1 February and Sunday 2 February matches will start from 16.00


domingo, 26 de enero de 2014


 Tier: Premier
Prize Money: $710,000 
Surface: Hard 
Director: Mauresmo / Brunet 

The Open GDF SUEZ, the first indoor stop on the calendar, has become France's biggest women's tennis attraction other than Roland Garros. Held at Coubertin Stadium, an arena in the French capital that offers a unique sense of intimacy to spectators, the event's ringside seats make fans feel like part of the action. Several stars have had memorable triumphs at this tournament, which debuted in 1993. Most notably, France's own Amélie Mauresmo captured the last of her event record three titles and last of her 25 career titles here in 2009. Then in 2010 she came aboard as Co-Tournament Director. Serena Williams netted the first title of her career here in 1999, and Elena Dementieva's 16th and final title came here in 2010. Other Paris champions include WTA greats Kim Clijsters, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Petra Kvitova, Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce, Dinara Safina and Venus Williams. 

PTT Pattaya Open, Main Draw Singles. 27 JAN- 2 FEB

sábado, 25 de enero de 2014

PTT Pattaya Open, Pattaya City. THAILAND Jan 27 - Feb 02, 2014.

 Tier: International 
Prize Money: $250,000 
Surface: Hard
Director: Geoffrey Rowe 

The WTA's tour stop in the Thai beach resort town of Pattaya City has grown significantly in stature and status since its maiden staging at the Dusit Resort Pattaya in 1991, highlighted by being upgraded from Tier IV to International-level in 2009, when it became known as the PTT Pattaya Open. Previous Pattaya City champions include Spainiard Conchita Martínez, who netted the last of her 33 titles here in 2005, Russian Vera Zvonareva and Slovak Daniela Hantuchova - a two-time winner. "I play well under good conditions and surroundings," Hantuchova said. "I feel comfortable playing in Pattaya City. I love the weather, the courts are in the hotel and near the beach, and the people are so nice." The tournament not only focuses on attracting the world's top tennis stars, but also supports local Thai competitors by offering them wildcards into the qualifying and main draws. Pattaya City earned acclaim in 2010 when players voted it as the WTA's International Tournament Of The Year.

22 OPEN GDF SUEZ, Main Draw Singles.


Q.  Does it get the monkey off your back a little bit?LI NA:  I mean, at least, you know, I make it.  Not like last two times, you know, always feeling one more step.
But this time I really, so proud myself.

Q.  Were you very nervous at the beginning when you were missing all the forehands?LI NA:  I didn't miss all of the forehand, okay (smiling)?
Of course beginning of the match I think both of us was tight, nervous.  Also like I don't think I have very good first serve, as well.
But I really happy.  I try to do the best on the court, to try to hang in there to see all what I can do on the court.
But I think after I win the first set, start much better.  At least I tried to hit the ball on the court.

Q.  How important was the first set?  Did you feel like you broke her?LI NA:  No, it's not like a broke her.  It's like after if you win a very tight first set, you think, Okay, already one set in the pocket.  Like feeling one feet already touching in trophy.
So, yeah, of course if you have one set in pocket, second set you can play more aggressive, attack her.

Q.  In the last two finals you did win the first set, but lost in three.  Did you ever think about that at all?LI NA:  I think if I thinking maybe it's the same situation coming again, I didn't think about that.  This is my fourth time to play final.  I got more experience.  I have to think about what I should do on the court.  I don't have to think about what I do in the past.

Q.  What was going through your mind in the middle of the first set when things got a little bit tight?  You could see you were getting a bit nervous.  What were you thinking?LI NA:  I was feeling I didn't show up.  I was nervous, you know.  I tried to hang in there till end of the first set or end of the match because I really didn't want to show her or show myself.
You know, this is tennis.  If you show something to opponent maybe she will get the chance.  So I really tried to stay calm and to hit every point.

Q.  Was it hard to keep swinging on your forehand in that first set?LI NA:  No.  I mean, at least I can hit a lot of winner, you know, in the second set, so I was pretty happy.

Q.  You didn't really celebrate when you won.  Was it because you were relieved?  What was the feeling?LI NA:  When she serve, it was like 15 40.  I was think, Okay, after win match, what should I do?  It's amazing, I already thinking about that.
But after I lose the point, I like, Okay, don't think.  Just focus in this point.  How you say?  After I win the match, I really, really exciting.  I think I have drops still coming down, you know.  I try to have hug with the team, but is too high.  I cannot catch it (laughter).
So, yeah.

Q.  You are the oldest winner of this tournament.  How proud are you of that record?LI NA:  I'm not old (smiling).
Yeah, start of tournament everybody talking about the age.  I would like to say age is nothing.  Still can win the Grand Slam.  So pretty happy about my age.  I got more experience on the court.

Q.  Our sport had few top stars who are funny.  When did you realize that you were funny?  Talk about the joy of making jokes.  Does your husband ever say, That's enough?LI NA:  If he said, Enough, I think we will divorce (laughter).  You know, I will keep my way.
Yes, he used to do that.  Actually, I didn't feeling I was very funny when I was speak.  I was feeling this is normal, is the way I have to thank for the team.
But after finish they say, Oh, we love your speech.  I say, Okay, maybe I make the funny.

Q.  But you like to hear people laugh?LI NA:  You know, why not?  Everyone be happy for every day.  Of course, I think especially in this tournament I can feeling even more the crowd stay behind me to supporting me.  Yeah.

Q.  Dominika said you came out and dictated play.  Did you feel like your aggressive game plan was effective?LI NA:  Today?

Q.  Yes, today.LI NA:  Today in the beginning was little bit tough because more tight.  Before come to the court I was tell myself, Don't think about.  Just play your game.  Don't think about the final.
But the situation, you cannot thinking this is normal match.  Final is the final.  Beginning was little bit tough.  But I think I was start when the tiebreak start.
I was thinking about, Okay, now you have to go, otherwise it's very tough for you.

Q.  Compare this win with Roland Garros.  You always said that the French Open was maybe too fast, unexpected.  This one you've been chasing for three times now.LI NA:  I would like to say I prepare this one really.  How you say, I prepare this one for already two weeks.  You know, every round, every day I was think about what I should do.
I prepare if I play semis what I should do, if I play final what I should do, because I already have twice in the final up here.
Also in the French I was feeling I just go for it.  I didn't think about win or lose.  But this one, I really wish I can doing well.  And also maybe you guys didn't know how hard I was working for the mentally to make this one.

Q.  Not many people win Grand Slams after saving match points in a match.  Are you proud of that, as well?LI NA:  Yeah.  I think I should send email to Safarova.  Sorry about the (indiscernible) and send smile to her as well.

Q.  You made a lot of changes in your game.  You said it was because you wanted to be a better player, a great player.  Is this a great reward for that, that you made the right choices?LI NA:  Until now I would like to say yes.  The choice always right, because if I really want to prove myself, I have to change something, otherwise I will stay the same level forever.

Q.  You're only 11 points from Azarenka, No. 2 in the rankings.  Is that your next goal or do you have others?LI NA:  Yeah, why not?  Of course.  I will try to improve my ranking, yeah.

Q.  You've won two of the four Grand Slam titles.  Is it realistic for you to win all four in your career?LI NA:  That would be the best.

Q.  Is it a target for you now to win Wimbledon and the U.S.?LI NA:  Of course is very easy to say I want to win another one.  But I think if you are tennis athlete, you have to know how much working have to be done for only to win the Grand Slam.
So of course if I want to win another one or two, I have to go back to court hard working and also even more tough than before, otherwise no chance.

Q.  You said Max Eisenbud made you very rich.LI NA:  Yes.

Q.  How do you think he did it?LI NA:  At least I have over 10 sponsor, especially after French Open.  I think it's little bit tough for him as well.  China and American have jetlag.  China company didn't care about that.  They just call him middle of the night, so it's very tough.
But it's very good for him.  Try to lose the weight.  Sorry about that (laughter).

Q.  You had a bit of a tough time after winning the French Open.  Do you feel now you're much more ready to deal with this?LI NA:  Yeah, because, you know, first time to win the French Open I really didn't prepare for that.  I didn't know what I should do after the win.  Also nobody tell me what I should do.
I think now is different because I prepare to win the Grand Slam.  Also Carlos, he has a lot of experience because before he was coaching for Justine Henin.  How do you say, we will talk about what we should do, of course.
Because this time I was think about if I win or if I lose, what kind of life I have.  So for sure it's different than last time.

Q.  When you decided to hire Carlos, did you genuinely believe that you would be here, or did it take time to believe it actually?LI NA:  You know, when like last year I say I want to be top 3, nobody believe.  Beginning this year I say, I want to win another Grand Slam title.  Nobody believe.
More important is I believe, he believe, my team believe.  That's all.

Q.  You prepared everything very well.  Do you prepare also your speeches or do you just go there and they come as they come?LI NA:  I didn't prepare for the speech because I was come there, how you say, because we working a long time I really want to thanks for them.  So that's why.
I was thinking maybe I speak too much (smiling).  No?  That's good.  Maybe next time I should speak even more longer.

Q.  Carlos was here 10 years ago with the champion Justine.  Did he have any special advice for you today?LI NA:  Today?  Maybe no.  Maybe not.  I don't know, because this is my first time to win Australian Open title.
Yeah, I think he also busy, you know, after match.  So many journalists was catching him.
Yeah, when I saw him, he will say so proud for me.  Of course, he always believe me I can doing well.

Q.  You're making money for three or four generations for your family.  Where do you put all this money?LI NA:  Secret.

Q.  Where do you go from here?  Such a high.  Do you go back to China, back home for a couple days?LI NA:  You know, this year Chinese New Year's was 31st of January, year of the horse.  I go back to my home with my mom, with my family for a couple days.
Of course, have to go back to court for hard training, otherwise I will drop my ranking.  Then just continue for the schedule.

Q.  Does your mom watch the matches?LI NA:  No.  I don't think she can watch.  She say if I play, make her nervous, you know.  Even now she didn't send me text message, call me.  So I will try to call her after press conference.

Q.  What are the Chinese characters on your T shirt?LI NA:  My heart has no limits.

Q.  You talked about making the changes to your game.  Do you feel like you can still improve in your game, other changes you can make?LI NA:  Of course.  I think I can do.  So many people think about, Maybe she will stay the same way forever.  But I will change.
I was taste, was pretty good, so I will continue to try the new thing if they can help my game.

Q.  If you had to summarize the two weeks in one word or one phrase, what would that be?LI NA:  Tough.  No, it is.  If you see in end, Oh, she's got the title, but the people didn't see how tough working I have, how tough job I was do.
Also, you know, is very tough like if I play Safarova, 43 degrees, and we play three hours on the court.  It's very tough to hang in there and finally win the match.

Q.  Your toughest moment in the training, when was that?LI NA:  When first time I have the training with Carlos, I think, Okay, no more next year.  Last year I was working with him I was thinking about, Okay, no more next time.  If I was hang in there, try to use to.  If I saw the result right now, I think I improve a lot myself.


Seven months after giving retirement serious thought, Li Na made it third time lucky in an Australian Open final with a 7-6 (3), 6-0 win over Dominika Cibulkova to become the oldest women's champion here in the Open era. Li, who turns 32 next month, lost finals to Kim Clijsters in 2011 and to Victoria Azarenka last year. In between, she won the 2011 French Open in one of the many firsts she's established for Chinese tennis. Widely popular at Melbourne Park for her funny post-match interviews and wise cracks about her husband and his snoring, Li didn't disappoint the Rod Laver Crowd in her first victory speech. She first thanked her agent, Max, "for making me rich," her coach Carlos Rodriguez and then her husband, former coach and constant traveling companion, Shan Jiang.

She told him he was "even famous in China." "So thanks for him give up everything just traveling with me to be my hitting partner, fix the drinks, fix the racket. So thanks a lot, you are a nice guy," she said, pausing for the laughter. "Also you are so lucky, find me." In both her previous finals at Melbourne Park, Li won the first set but went down in three. Against Azarenka last year, she stumbled and twisted her ankle, and needed a medical timeout in the third set after hitting her head on the court. She had no such trouble against No. 20-seeded Cibulkova on Saturday night, racing through the second set in 27 minutes after taking the first in a tiebreaker. 
 Li's supporters were everywhere in the crowd, some with Chinese flags painted on their faces, others holding Chinese flags or giant signs painted with Chinese characters. Her fans got her through the nervous first set, chanting, "Li Na, Let's Go," in Mandarin during every changeover. Li opened the final by breaking Cibulkova, holding, then getting a breakpoint chance in the third game. But Cibulkova held, and then broke back in the sixth game thanks to Li's consecutive double-faults. Li broke in the 11th game and had a set point serving for the set in the 12th, but lost three straight points to ensure it went to the tiebreaker. As Li began her roll in the second set, someone yelled -- before Cibulkova served -- "C'mon Li Na, bagel her!"

She did. A half hour later she was holding up both thumbs to the crowd, and holding back tears as she hugged her Slovakian rival at the net. She went immediately to the side of the court to shake hands with her coach Rodriguez. The diminutive Cibulkova, one of the shortest players ever to reach a Grand Slam final at 1.61-meters (5-foot-3), had four wins over Top 20 players on her way to the final, including a fourth-round upset of third-seeded Maria Sharapova and a straight-sets semifinal trouncing of No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska. She had to pull the microphone down closer to her before her post-match speech. "These were just fantastic two weeks of my life," she said, pausing to laugh, and then cry. "Hello to everybody in Slovakia. This means a lot for our country and I'm happy I can be the one here for Slovakia." No. 4-ranked Li, who reportedly has four-times more followers on her Chinese social networking site than there are people in Slovakia, had a good run through the tournament as other star players like Serena Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka tumbled out by the quarterfinals. She opened with wins over the two youngest players in the tournament, then saved a match point in her third-round win over Lucie Safarova. In the semifinals, she held off 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, and never had to face a player ranked in the top 20 en route to the final. Li said it didn't matter how she got there, only that she'd finally broken through to win the title at her favorite major. 

 Rodriguez had to talk Li into playing Wimbledon after she told him she wanted to retire in the wake of the criticism that followed her early exit at the last French Open. He encouraged her to just to play and see how she went at the All England club before making such a big career decision. She responded by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, the semifinals at the U.S. Open and now breaking her drought in Australia. On Saturday, she paid tribute to his calm, composed approach and support. "Before the match he was telling me to relax, just think it's a match, don't think it's a final," she recounted, admitting that she'd even taken time out for a short afternoon sleep to help with nerves. "When he was coaching me, he always say `believe in yourself.' He always believed in me, I never believed in myself. That was my problem." Now she's already promising to come back and defend her Australian title. "Finally I got her," Li said as she put a hand on the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the first time. "Last two times was very close."

by Associated Press 2014.

viernes, 24 de enero de 2014


 Tier: Premier
Prize Money: $710,000 
Surface: Hard 
Director: Mauresmo / Brunet 

The Open GDF SUEZ, the first indoor stop on the calendar, has become France's biggest women's tennis attraction other than Roland Garros. Held at Coubertin Stadium, an arena in the French capital that offers a unique sense of intimacy to spectators, the event's ringside seats make fans feel like part of the action. Several stars have had memorable triumphs at this tournament, which debuted in 1993. Most notably, France's own Amélie Mauresmo captured the last of her event record three titles and last of her 25 career titles here in 2009. Then in 2010 she came aboard as Co-Tournament Director. Serena Williams netted the first title of her career here in 1999, and Elena Dementieva's 16th and final title came here in 2010. Other Paris champions include WTA greats Kim Clijsters, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Petra Kvitova, Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce, Dinara Safina and Venus Williams. 

Errani and Vinci retain Australian Open title. 24 January 2014.


Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci took a three-set win Friday over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and repeated as Australian Open women's doubles champions. Errani and Vinci rallied from a third-set deficit for a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory. 

The win marked the fourth Grand Slam doubles title for Errani and Vinci, who needed to win the title in Melbourne to retain the world No. 1 ranking in women's doubles. 

 Makarova and Vesnina, seeded No. 3, had beaten the Italian team the last two times they played and seemed in control when they won five straight games for a 5-2 lead in the third set. Errani and Vinci, however, answered with a five-game winning streak of their own and won the championship. 

 "It was very strange, very difficult," Errani said. "We went from 2-0 up in the third set to 5-2 down in the third set, and we weren't really playing very well at that time. But from there we knew we had to keep going and we were able to make it." Makarova and Vesnina defeated Errani and Vinci for the French Open women's doubles title last year.

 If the Russians had won Friday, Vesnina would have taken over the No. 1 ranking in women's doubles.


Q.  You've been in the final before.  Do you feel you've learnt different things in different finals over the past three years?
LI NA:  Of course.  If you got more chance come to the final, you got more experience, yeah.  So, you know, at least me and Dominika, 50/50.  Everyone have chance to win the title.
Just come to the court, just play, don't think too much.

Q.  Do you think it's helped you prepare, the last couple years?
LI NA:  You will see tomorrow (smiling).

Q.  Does it matter to you this is the first final where everyone expects you to win?  Do you feel more pressure?
LI NA:  I feel last year is the same, you know.  You never know what happen during the match, so yeah.

Q.  Doesn't change the way you prepare for the match?
LI NA:  I think I'm ready.  Same like her.  I think both should be ready.  After six matches, everyone has more confident to prepare for the final.

Q.  You beat her four times.  She has never passed the fourth round here.  All of a sudden she's beating all the big players.  Why do you think she improved so much?
LI NA:  Why?  She have press conference?

Q.  Yes.  But I'm asking you.  I was told that players study each other, follow each other, see the results.  Do you follow her?
LI NA:  I'm sorry, I'm not follow.  For my tournament, I even didn't see who I should play next round.  I only follow what I should do on court.

Q.  She's the smallest height in the top 100.  Does that present any different way you approach the game?
LI NA:  I think I will still try to play the same like what I'm used to play because, how do you say, I never change the program or change the plan to see who is the opponent against me, you know.
Tennis is the sport you have to play, how you say, not only against opponent, you have to see what you should do on the court.  More important is yourself.

Q.  It obviously gives hope to small players.  Doesn't mean you have to be big, strong and powerful to succeed in tennis.
LI NA:  No.  Tennis match is not care about how tall you are, how short you are.  This is the game.

Q.  It's her first Grand Slam final.  Do you remember how you felt before your first Grand Slam final?
LI NA:  I was so exciting, yeah.  I never think about like nervous, you know.  Just exciting to saw myself, yeah, first time in the final.

Q.  Do you think it's helpful to accept some of the excitement and nerves?  Do you think that helps to play better in the final?
LI NA:  I think everyone will be exciting, nervous every match.  It's not only about the final.  You have to face to do that.

Q.  Is it possible to put into words how much you want to win this title, what it would mean for you to win here?
LI NA:  Is a lot because I was doing well in here.  I really wish I can win the title in Australia Open.  How you say, I always looking forward to play back here.

Q.  I read some article which says you changed your grip when you are serving and hitting the backhand.  Is that true?
LI NA:  Yeah, yeah.  I was change a lot after season of last year.

Q.  Could you explain a little bit how it helps on your serve and backhand.
LI NA:  You can see now on the court (laughter).
Of course, beginning was tough because I have to forget like old thing maybe I used for 20 years.  Of course, first couple days or first week is terrible for me because I always think about the new one or old one.
I think now at least I try to change something.  Now I use on the court I think pretty good.

Q.  Many players as they get older maybe don't try and improve as much, don't make major changes to their game.  You have under Carlos.  At what point in your mind did you think, I can't keep playing the way I always play, I need to actually improve?
LI NA:  You on the tour so many years, everybody know what exactly you play on the court.  Of course, if I didn't change I can keep in the top 10, top 20, but I cannot be the best in the world.
So I really want to push myself to change a little bit, to see.  It's very tough to thinking first because if you change maybe you lose old thing.  How you say, I still trust myself, trust Carlos.  I believe after change is help for me.

Q.  You now look very natural at the net.  Is that a surprise to you?
LI NA:  No.  I think I have very good volley, yes (smiling).
When first time Carlos is telling me, You should come in more on the volley.  I was like, What this guy talking about?  In the beginning, I was thinking, Huh, why?  I will stay baseline for maybe 100 years, never try to come to the net.
But after he tried to say the good way for me.  I try.  I was feeling well.  Is not bad.  Especially in Wimbledon last year, I was feeling, if I lose the match, at least I try.  I find the new thing for myself.

Q.  Do you enjoy that style more now than you used to?
LI NA:  Yeah, I think now is much better than in the beginning.

Q.  You have quite an aggressive game style.  Do you anticipate any changes against Dominika tomorrow?
LI NA:  You'll see tomorrow on the court.

Q.  You're not giving away anything today?
LI NA:  Not now (smiling).

Q.  Are you surprised she made three upsets in four days in Rod Laver Arena where she never won a match before and with such an impressive score?
LI NA:  Everyone has first time, right?  You couldn't say, This player can never win three matches in Rod Laver Arena.  Everyone will be pass if you want to win the Grand Slam title.

Q.  What do you do tonight to help yourself relax?  Meal with your team, go to bed early, watch a movie?
LI NA:  I mean, I just normal person so I just do the normal way.  Not special for me.  Just one match, one more to go.

Q.  Do you believe in third time luck?
LI NA:  In China 6 and 8 is lucky.  I'm not sure.  I try to find the lucky way, yeah.

Q.  So no thoughts of retiring, win or lose tomorrow?
LI NA:  No.  If I lose, I just continue until 6 or 8.

jueves, 23 de enero de 2014

Order of play, 24 January 2014, Women's Doubles - Final. Australian Open.

Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova reach final of Australian. Press Conference, 23 January 2014

Q.  How was the match today?
LI NA:  How was the match?  Pretty good.  At least I win the match, so...
Yeah, I think beginning of the match I play very well.  Second set was a little bit tight because I was feeling, yeah, one set in target.  Is more like pretty feeling one feet already in the final.
But I think she play well today.  So, yeah.

Q.  12 years difference in age.  Do you think the experience helped you?
LI NA:  I think about maybe she can play another 12 years.  Of course she got more chance.  She's young.  She hit ball well.  I think for sure she can be very good player.

Q.  The second set could have gone either way.  A few tight service games for both of you.  What were you telling yourself?
LI NA:  I mean, I still has a lot of chance for every game.  I still have like breakpoint, game point, but I didn't catch that.
So, yeah, when she's broken my serve, I say, Okay, let me just try to play point by point because the match still have to continue.  Yeah.

Q.  You've had such good results over the past four years.  Does it feel easy at this point going out there for a Grand Slam semifinal?
LI NA:  No, is not easy.  Really is not easy.  If you want to be in the semis you have to win at least five matches.  Also especially in the Grand Slam never has an easy match.
Especially like today, match point, she was hit the ball in the net.  I was like, Okay, now, this one, this one, more important one.  Really tight end of the match.
But I was play I don't know how many times for semis, so I got more experience.

Q.  Less nervous than your first one?
LI NA:  Of course nervous.  Doesn't matter how many semis you play.  If you play semis, still nervous because is the semis.

Q.  How do you feel about going into another Australian Open final having been there before?  What do you learn from those times to this time?
LI NA:  I think is the third time, so pretty close to the trophy.  Yeah, at least I try to not falling down this time, because last year in the final I think I play well but I only can say unlucky because falling down twice.
At least I try enjoy and staying healthy.

Q.  Are you surprised, as some of us are, that Cibulkova is now winning 6 1, 4 0 versus Radwanska?
LI NA:  I'm not surprised.  I'm now in the press conference.  I didn't see the match.

Q.  This score, is this something you would expect or something astonishing?
LI NA:  You know, I'm not God.  I can't prepare everything.  For me, tennis score can be 6 1, can be 7 6.  If you win is win.  Doesn't matter how is the score.

Q.  If you play Cibulkova, how do you prepare?
LI NA:  I think she was pretty fast legs on the court.  Also she was hitter.  Yeah, we play pretty like similar.
So, yeah, tough match.  Yeah, another challenge.

Q.  When you were younger, you did something courageous.  To the Federation, you said you will set your own schedule, keep the prize money, travel.  Is that something you're proud of?  Would you be here now if you hadn't done that?
LI NA:  Is tough to say because if I didn't stay in national team maybe I didn't have chance to practice, you know.  I'm not going to say stay national team is right or wrong.
For your whole life you have to face to so many choice.  You have to pick up which one is better for you.

Q.  If you win here, will you send Safarova a note or give her a part of your prize money?
LI NA:  I will send her a smile, you know.  Is only I can do, yeah.

Q.  Do you think you're playing maybe calmer with that match being so close to maybe being at the airport?
LI NA:  Yeah, for sure.  I really feeling after the match I was getting second life in this tournament.
In China, we say if you have a tough time, you pass that, it means you be so lucky.  Or maybe they give me back from last year, I don't know.

Q.  So do you feel lucky here this year?
LI NA:  Until now, yes.

Q.  This will be your fourth Grand Slam final.  First time you probably go in as a favorite by the rankings.  How will that feel different for you?
LI NA:  You know, of course was first time come to the final, I didn't have any experience.  I just feel so exciting.  So when the problem is come to me, how you say, I cannot face to because nobody can help me.
But I was play more and more.  I got more experience.  So right now final is special, you know.  Final is final, but still just one match.
So I still have to hit the ball to try to do my best, yeah.  I cannot waiting for opponent make mistake, yeah.

Q.  You are already the most famous tennis player from Asia of all time.  Is that important for you?  Does it give you a lot of satisfaction?  Do you know that Michael Chang, Chinese background, he won only one slam, and you may have a chance to win two.
LI NA:  I think Michael Chang is born in America and grew up in America.

Q.  But the family background.
LI NA:  This for his family.  But he is born in America.
Of course.  Everyone want to be famous.  Doesn't matter which way, right (laughter)?  Right now in this world, so many people, they make wrong decision but they still come famous.
But at least I was happy I go the right way, so...  Yeah, I was really happy right now.  I really love my tennis life because tennis give me a lot, change my life as well.  So right now I understand more about the tennis and more love about the job and more enjoy about life.

Q.  If you weren't a tennis player, how would you be famous?
LI NA:  If I'm not tennis player, I didn't want to be famous.  Maybe everyone is different.  I always say after I retire, I want to be housewife (smiling).

Q.  The player you probably will play in the final is from Slovakia, four million people.  When things were tough and difficult and you did not feel love, did you ever think to yourself that maybe it would be better to come from a smaller country than China?
LI NA:  No, you know, I cannot choice.  I already born in China.  Of course I love my country.  You can see after I win the French Open how many people stay behind me.
I know when so many people ask where I from, I say Wuhan.  They say small town.  Not so many people.  Just like 10 million (laughter).
How you say, I really love the way I was grew up because I got even more experience until now.  Even have some problem or something, I can face to do that.  I can face to.  So I was tell myself, Oh, this is challenge, especially in the tennis, and also for the life.

Q.  Carlos was saying you've been visualizing, imagining, to stay calm and focused at this tournament.
LI NA:  Yeah.

Q.  What are you visualizing?
LI NA:  No, I think when I was talk to him last night, I think he saw something, so he was ask how I feel.  I say, Nervous.  He say, Congratulations.  At least you normal people.  If you cannot feel anything, I worry.  Let's talk right now.
Yeah, I was talk how was I'm feeling.  He said, This is normal.  Just don't think to too much.  Just try to play tennis.  You have to understand or know why you be here, what do you have to do.  I was like, Okay.
I was feeling like after I was talk, I was feeling open my mind.  Got feeling better.  I don't have to hold pressure only by myself.

Q.  How come a player as successful as you are only one year ago was thinking maybe to retire?  Before Wimbledon you said something like you would like to stop.  Is that true?
LI NA:  Is that true?  I think I talked last time already.  Yeah, it's true.

Q.  How do you explain it?
LI NA:  Just over that, and now I will play here, you know.  Just like what I say:  Life always have a challenge; you just have to face to.