domingo, 31 de agosto de 2014


Sara Errani doesn’t mind running around a tennis court all day. She also doesn’t mind playing the spoiler role – for the second consecutive match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The No. 13 seed made a return to the US Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 win over 32-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Sunday just two days after she had beaten another 30-something by the name of Venus Williams on the same court.
The loss of Williams from the tournament was an obvious point of “Aw, too bad” for American tennis fans, but the Lucic-Baroni exit summoned a similar response as the former teen prodigy made the second week of a major for the first time since 1999, coming through qualifying and shocking world No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania in the third round.
It was a contrast of styles from the start, with the big-hitting Lucic-Baroni trying to produce her patented go-for-broke tennis against the loopy, spin-laden game of the Italian, a semifinalist here in 2012.
Errani, 27, captured the first set in 33 minutes, but it was a nearly five-minute medical timeout between sets that seemed to right the ship for Lucic-Baroni. After playing the next game with the tape on her right knee, she promptly removed the tape and suddenly was playing her best, blasting winners from both sides of the court to grab the middle set.
In the final set, Lucic-Baroni’s tennis abandoned her as fast as she had found it, Errani running – literally – into the quarterfinals when the Croatian blasted an eye-popping 69th unforced error for the match, at the one-hour 36-minute mark.
“I like to run. I love running,” Errani said on court after the win. “I try to be consistent to run and be in every point. I want to fight. The other [players] have bigger strokes than me, but I try to stay in the match that way.”
Lucic-Baroni had 46 winners to go along with her unforced error stat, but the cleaner, sturdier Errani won out on this day, hitting only four winners and nine unforced errors.
“It was a tough match, I felt good mentally,” said Errani.

sábado, 30 de agosto de 2014

Dominika Cibulkova in PHOTO OF THE DAY.

Just landed..tired but happy because home is home kiss


Victoria Azarenka stormed into the US Open fourth round with a 6-1, 6-1 drubbing of Russian doubles specialist Elena Vesnina on Saturday.

In a few minutes shy of one hour of play in the Grandstand, Azarenka made a mere eight unforced errors and never lost serve. The 27-year-old Belarus native jumped all over second serve returns and whipped groundstrokes from feet inside of the baseline. Azarenka also had seven aces. Vesnina, No. 57 in the world and No. 8 in the world in doubles, could not match her consistency, committing a whopping 26 unforced errors.
Vesnina was down 0-5 in the second set before getting on the scoreboard. 
WHAT IT MEANS: In their now six meetings, Azarenka has never lost a set. Today’s match, however, was their most lopsided of encounters. Azarenka now plays Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, who earlier today knocked off  2014 Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4.


Flavia Pennetta stormed back to end the US Open hopes of American wild card Nicole Gibbs for the second consecutive year with a 6-4, 6-0 third-round victory in Arthur Ashe stadium on Saturday.

Last year Pennetta, 32, yielded just two games in a first round win over the former two-time NCAA singles champion that jump-started the Italian's run all the way to the semifinals. 
Gibbs, 21, started the contest with authority, breaking Pennetta in the opening game and taking early command with a 3-1 lead. But the Italian reeled off three consecutive games as she cut down on her errors to take a 4-3 lead. Gibbs produced a shaky final service game of the set before gifting the Italian a one-set lead with a double fault.
By the second set, all Pennetta had to do was remain consistent, as the errors flew off the American's racquet. Gibbs committed 34 unforced errors, the last one on match point. 
WHAT IT MEANS: Pennetta’s next hurdle will be the winner between No. 29 seed Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic. In addition to singles, Pennetta will have to focus on her efforts in the women’s doubles draw, in which she is playing with Martina Hingis on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the loss, Gibbs can walk away from the US Open knowing that she has posted personal-best results in the past month. Five of her best six career wins happened in the month of August, two of which happened at the Open over No. 41 Caroline Garcia and No. 25 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. 


Aleksandra Krunic made her way out of qualifying and went on to defeat Katarzyna Piter of Poland in the first round, knock out No. 27 seed American Madison Keys in the second round and upset No. 3 seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Get to know more about Krunic, who is only in her second main draw appearance at the US Open as she has now reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time:
  • Krunic, age 21, was born in Moscow. While her immediate family still lives there, she resides in Belgrade and represents Serbia.
  • Krunic turned pro in 2009 and made her debut on the WTA Tour in Budapest in 2011.
  • She is currently ranked No. 145 on the WTA tour and reached her highest ranking of No. 126 on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Her title wins thus far have come on the ITF Circuit, with eight singles titles and six doubles titles.
  • She’s the fifth-ranked Serbian female tennis player behind Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Bojana Jovanovski and Jovana Jaksic.
  • Growing up her tennis idols were three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters and 2005 US Open finalist Mary Pierce.
  • Her interests include psychology and criminology while her hobbies include bowling, shopping and driving her car.
  • She is in her fourth year at Singidunum University in Serbia with hopes of graduating at the end of 2014 with a degree in economics.

viernes, 29 de agosto de 2014

Serena Williams: Enough said. PHOTO OF THE DAY.

Enough said.


Q. What was going on with that fan in the upper deck?

Q. The one who was yelling and you told him to be quiet?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't tell anyone to be quiet. Which one?

Q. You told the umpire to tell him to be quiet, and then he said something again and he said he didn't hear you.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no, no. It was the people that were talking up there. There was no fan. It was just some people were being loud, and that's all.

Q. There was a fan who wanted a picture.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, there was a funny one who was like, Hey, turn around. I want a picture of you. I was walking. And then another time after a couple of games, he goes, again, Hey, turn around. I need a picture. That's basically it. But I didn't tell anyone to -- just people, some people were being loud up there and moving. So just to that's all.

Q. To get in a match like that in the beginning of the tournament in under an hour, how good do you feel about the match today and in general about the way you're playing in the early stages?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was nice actually to get out of the court quite fast. You know, it's quite hot out there. I woke up early. It's my first match at 11:00, so, you know, I wanted to get the job done as soon as possible. I was very focused from the beginning till the end. I played a solid match. I did not -- I was very patient. I did not go for too much. I waited for my chances to execute. That's what I did. I'm pretty pleased. You know, I'm in the fourth round and looking forward to playing.

Q. You didn't double fault at all today. A lot of the women in particular, the top women, are having trouble with double faults. Do you think there's a reason for that that you can think of?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I don't know. You know, it depends on your serve. There are days when I double fault, too. Today I did not, like you said. You know, it's quite windy out there. You have to be, you know, alert and kind of, you know, pay attention to where your ball is going and it's moving, you know, through the air. You've got to time it well. So I did not go for, you know, really big serves. Like maybe I go and I hit those flat ones. I put a little bit more spin, so it's a little bit more, you know, secure and try to get a lot of first serves in. That's today, you know. But when the conditions are a little bit different, then I do, you know, some other things with my serve. But I cannot comment on other people. It depends on the stroke. Some girls have great serves; some girls have, you know, some other strokes better than others. You know, that's part of the game. You cannot have every stroke in tennis.

Q. Is it psychological or physical, do you think?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's both. It's both. You have to believe in your shot anyway. No matter how good your shot is, you have to believe in it. If you don't, doesn't matter how well you hit it. If you believe it's going to go in it's going to help you on a big point, that you can go for it and believe that it's going to land on the line.

Q. You have been in a lot of Grand Slam tournaments. Do you like the way that you're positioned right now the way you're playing? I know you want to take one match at a time. You potentially have a very difficult one coming up.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm looking forward, you know, to playing and hopefully going far. You know, I'm going one match at a time. My next opponent will be tough. I feel hungry. I want to do well again. You know, I love playing the US Open. I had a lot of deep rounds here. It's my favorite Grand Slam. I love the energy that this tournament has. The surface suits my game. The weather. I enjoy it, you know. I love being here. I would love to do well. So we'll see. I'll try my best.


In one of the most unlikely of upsets, second-seeded Simona Halep was stunned by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a 32-year-old former teen phenom who has spent most of her career in virtual tennis exile from pro tennis. 
The 5-foot-11 Croat, a powerful ball striker, rebounded from a break down in the first set to win 11 of the next 15 games and send Halep home, 7-6, 6-2.

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014

María Sharapova: I'd like to celebrate Avon Luck with all my fans! PHOTO OF THE DAY

I'd like to celebrate Avon Luck with all my fans! 

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Q. You played so well in the first round. You were saying you were confident and at peace coming into this tournament. What happened out there today?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was very tough out there for me today. I really struggled to find my rhythm and made way too many unforced errors. Yeah, it was just really bad day. She served well, and she played good at important points, but I think I just did not play as well as I did.

Q. Considering how well you played the first round, what we talked about the other day, how disappointing is it for you to make an exit at this stage of the tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, it's very disappointing. It's never easy, you know, to finish, and especially this early. I was really, you know, hoping I can make a good run and push. But, you know, I'm definitely going to assess what went wrong and what I can work on. You know, still, I thought I had pretty good summer. You know, very disappoint today finish this early and in this manner, you know, because I really felt it wasn't my game out there today.

Q. What most impressed you about your opponent, and what are your thoughts on her capabilities?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, she served very well. I also thought she actually moved quite well considering her height. She had a good reach. She does hit the ball quite flat. You know, she played well in important points and made some good shots.

Q. Would you like to play best-of-five sets?
ANA IVANOVIC: No (laughter).

Q. Obviously a good summer you had and then another not good run at a slam, maybe like at the French, also. What do you think has been tough for you about translating the success you have had at these leadup events to slams the last couple of slams?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, this is exactly what I think I have to reassess. I had great leadups to every Grand Slam. I played a lot of matches and won lot of matches. And big matches, as well. At the Grand Slams I just haven't performed that well. It's something that I'm definitely going to work on and see where I can improve, because that's definitely, you know, big aim for me for next season.

Q. Have you felt different on court at the slams?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I do put a lot of expectations on myself. You know, I tried to, yeah, overanalyze and overthink instead of just playing the game. It's a work in process. But, you know, I really think I have potential to do well, and that's something I want to change for next year.

Q. How do you think can you deal with the situation of overanalyzing and overthinking?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I think there are lots of exercises to try and do this and to stop, you know, just going and playing the game. I think I have done really well. I changed a lot in that manner. But, you know, still sometimes when I want it too much, then I go back to those patterns. But it's really changing a lot. Like I said, you know, I really want to reassess how to approach the Grand Slams maybe differently and see what I did wrong in my preparation to them.


Ana Ivanovic lost in two close sets to the Karolina Pliskova, 7-5, 6-4, in an hour and a half. The victory gave the 22-year-old Czech her first berth in the third round of a Grand Slam. 

 Ivanovic had no trouble in her first-round match, when she defeated American Alison Riske 6-3, 6-0. But on Thursday she struggled to hit as many shots with depth or to dictate points easily. And after exchanging many breaks of serve, it was the hard-hitting Pliskova who moved the ball more and kept her errors to a minimum. The match got off to an odd start, with Pliskova broeaking two sets of strings toward the top of her racquet on two consecutive points. While she may appear unassuming in the way she moves and carries herself, Pliskova caught the former world No. 1 off guard when she hit soft on one shot and extremely hard on the next. In all, the Czech struck 25 winners including nine aces. “It’s definitely my best match this year,” said Pliskova, who cracked the Top 50 this summer and many forehand winners today. “I didn’t have that much strategy. I just played my game.” Ivanovic's forehand let her down when she was up in the first set as missed groundies she usually punishes. Yet never short of self-motivation, Ivanovic remained positive after losing that set and throughout the match but could not get under the ball as well as usual and netted many service returns and deep ground strokes into her body. Overall, she committed 29 unforced errors, 10 more than her steadier opponent. "I really struggled to find my rhythm and made way too many unforced errors," said a disappointed Ivanovic. "My rhythm was really off [and] my forehand wasn't working at all." The match saw many breaks, nine to be exact. And while there was a glimmer of hope for Ivanovic when she got up to a 3-2 lead in the second set, Pliskova played with resilience and did not let her feisty opponent push to a third set. Serving for the match at 5-4, Pliskova rolled to triple match point. On her second attempt to clinch her biggest victory of the year, she forced an error out of Ivanovic, and for the second time this year, defeated a Top 10 player (having earlier topped Angelique Kerber in Nuremberg).
 “I wanted to enjoy myself and I did it,” Pliskova said. The Czech up-and-comer won her lone WTA title in 2013 at Kuala Lumpur, where she beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in three sets.


Serena Williams wasted no time getting down to business in her second-round match against fellow American Vania King in Arthur Ashe Stadium, easily advancing with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. 

 The world No. 80 King is no stranger to success at the US Open, having won the women's doubles title here in 2010. But while she's at her best at the net, her steady baseline game often doesn't give her a dependable route to get there. The relative lack of power on King's shots in comparison to the No. 1 seed meant that Williams was in control of most of the rallies from the very beginning. Standing well inside the baseline to attack King's second serves, Williams immediately broke her opponent to begin the match and benefitted from a double fault from King on break point four games later to take a 4-1 lead. Another break in King's next service game allowed Williams to easily wrap up the set. 
 The second set was nearly identical to the first set, as King continued to struggle with the windy conditions inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, hitting five unforced errors to just 16 winners on the day. While the two-time defending US Open champion appeared frustrated with her play at times, she still hammered down 25 winners and wrapped up the match in under an hour. Williams will remain a heavy favorite to win her sixth US Open title if she can keep up this level of play.


Victoria Azarenka recovered from a slow start against American Christina McHale, nearly going down 0-4 in the opening set before cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the US Open second round on Thursday in Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

 “Christina started really well, not missing a ball, and I felt like I was always on my back foot,” Azarenka said in a post-match interview. “I tried to fight and got my momentum, and felt like I started to do what I should have been doing in the beginning.” They had split their previous two encounters, but this was also a match between two players on the comeback trail. The 25-year-old Belarusian, a two-time Australian Open champ and US Open runner-up the last two years (losing on both occasions to Serena Williams), is at her lowest seeding here following left foot and right knee injuries. The 22-year-old McHale, a New Jersey native, reached No. 24 in August 2012, but hasn’t enjoyed the same success since contracting mononucleosis. She was out of the Top 100 (at No. 115) a year later, before finishing the 2013 season at No. 68. Now at No. 44, McHale was steady though unspectacular in the first set – which was all she needed to take the early lead against one of the hardest hitters in the game. McHale continued to match her grunt for grunt (albeit at a far lower decibel), but Azarenka earned her first break back – and her way back into the match – after consecutive McHale errors, which she celebrated with a clenched fist and cries of “Come on!” After finally closing the door on the 64-minute first set in swirling conditions, it was back to business for Azarenka - who had taken the court wearing headphones covered by a long-sleeved, blue hoodie, despite temperatures already in the 80s when the match began shortly after 11 a.m. McHale pummeled a few of her trademark forehand winners in the second set, but couldn’t string enough of them together to make an impact. She double-faulted to go down 1-5, and despite denying Azarenka a match point in her next service game, succumbed to the last of her opponent’s 23 winners (compared to McHale's 10) in the 1 hour, 46-minute encounter. After a victory dance on court, Azarenka said she was just happy to be back playing on one of the greatest stages in the sport.

Ana Ivanovic: I don't eat deserts... PHOTO OF THE DAY

I don't eat deserts... I don't like deserts!


Jelena Jankovic of Serbia reached the US Open third round for the fifth consecutive year by beating Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-4 in a hard fought baseline battle on Wednesday.

 “I just tried to hang in there and fight hard,” Jankovic, 29, the 2008 US Open finalist. The matchup promised big serves and power forehands and it delivered throughout the 1 hour 36 minute duel. Jankovic went up 6-5 with the first service break of the match. Jankovic closed out the set with a backhand winner, her 15th winner of the set. In the final set, the pair continued to trade baseline blows, but Jankovic had just enough firepower and consistency to hold off her challenger.


Angelique Kerber earned a place in the third round of the US Open for the third consecutive year with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva. Kudryavtseva was no match for the No. 6 seed, committing 36 unforced errors in the match. 

The 27-year-old held off Kerber’s first break point but a missed volley gave the German her second break-point opportunity, which she converted for a 3-1 lead. Kerber used the momentum to win the following eight points, breaking Kudryavtseva again in the fifth game of the set. New balls were delivered in the last game, but it did not seem to impact Kerber’s stride, as she served out the first set, 6-2. The second set was less straightforward, with both women struggling to hold serve. Kudryavtseva earned the first break and a 2-0 lead, but Kerber returned the break in the following game with a big forehand down the line to force the match back on serve. The players traded breaks again in the next two games, until Kerber held her serve in the sixth game to level the set at 3-all. Each woman had seven break-point chances, but while Kerber converted five times, Kudryavtseva only managed to win two of seven, or 29 percent, of her chances. Kerber’s final break, in the ninth game of the set, seemed to extinguish the fight from her opponent, as the 26-year-old took advantage of her 5-4 lead to serve out the set and win the match.


Simona Halep needed less than an hour to cruise into the US Open third round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jana Cepelova in swealtering Louis Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday. 

 After struggling some in a three-set opening day win over NCAA champion Daniella Rose Collins, Halep got off to another shaky start in dropping the first two games against the 21-year-old Slovak. But, the 2014 French Open finalist soon found her baseline form and was soon in complete control of the match. “I was a bit nervous but then I started to be more aggressive and to leave the emotions,” said Halep, 22, of Romania. Dressed in vibrant pink colors, Halep adjusted to her opponent’s fast pace and started clocking winners off service returns and even hit a second-serve ace. Cepelova began to misfire making 14 unforced errors in the opening set. Halep rolled through the final set unleashing a full variety of swinging volleys, groundstroke winners and even three aces. WHAT IT MEANS: Halep advances to the US Open’s third round for the second consecutive year. Last year she reached the round of 16.

martes, 26 de agosto de 2014


Petra Kvitova barely broke a sweat in her first-round match against world No. 73 Kristina Mladenovic on Tuesday, putting in a short but successful day at the office in a 6-1, 6-0 win that lasted less than an hour in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The win extended the reigning Wimbledon champion’s summer success, which included a title at New Haven only a few days ago. Kvitova took a strong hold of the match from the start, surrendering only three points on her serve during the first set and an additional five in the second. Doubles specialist Mladenovic came out relatively flat against Kvitova, hitting only three winners on the day. WHAT IT MEANS: The US Open is the only major at which Kvitova has not advanced past the fourth round, but given her form lately, that may change this year. And if fate has it in the cards for the Czech star, she has a shot at securing the No. 1 ranking, if and only if she wins the title and Serena Williams falls before the quarterfinals.


Q. I think it was a good way to kick off the campaign.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. It was very tough first-round match. We had a tough one in Auckland. I knew that coming into today's match. She had a good run last week, so I really tried to start sharp and tried to play my game to put pressure on her. It took a little bit to adjust. The game was very heavy conditions out there today. I was very pleased, especially the way I finished the second set.

Q. How do you feel coming into the tournament? Obviously good result in Cincinnati; you've beaten Serena and beaten Maria and come in again in the top 10. Is there confidence there?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. The confidence is on a high level. I had a great season behind me. Still I work hard for each match, and I do that because I love it. It's the same. I don't want to take anything for granted. I really enjoy being here. You know, like in Paris, as well I had a great leadup and quite a disappointing loss. But, you know, it's a new tournament, new situation. I really want to enjoy each match.

Q. What are your thoughts on the speed of the courts and how they compare with past years that you have played here?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know what? Actually, I'm the wrong person to ask that question, because I forget how they felt last week. But, you know, they actually feel quite slow. They're not super fast. But, you know, I just try to adjust my game to that and try to sort of use first few games to feel the court, feel the opponent, and sort of adjust towards that.

Q. You said you love to play right now. Has there been a time in past years you didn't love it quite so much and that's why you weren't so successful?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. It's no secret I think with whatever job do you there are days you love and days where you don't. Especially when I put so much effort and then I was not getting the results I was expecting or wanting, it's hard to love it then, you know. But you have to find some way or goal to work towards. You know, last year has been amazing change for me. I learned a lot about myself, about my goals, you know, who I am as a person and who I want to be. Now I just want to go out there and show that, you know, and execute and not, you know, not only say, I want to achieve this and that but actually show it.

Q. How did you learn those things about yourself? What did you do?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I think you have to look for it, you know. And confidence, of course. Winning matches helps your confidence, but confidence is something you carry inside. You have to look for it inside and to understand, you know, what you want. It's very hard for me, because sometimes I put others in front of myself. I put others' expectations in front of my own, and then I realize, you know what? People will think that's good or bad and they go on living their life, but you have your own path to follow. This is what I had to discover, what was my goal and not so much be obsessed about what other people's vision of my life or career should be.

Q. You always seem so relaxed off court; you sign autographs; you smile all the time. Is that something that comes with age? Do you feel comfortable with the attention you get?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely something that comes with age. I feel more comfortable about myself. It's important part of our jobs because we are here because of our fans. It's nice to give them back something. Also within the team, you know, you can see a lot of teams they are just working and not so much joking and laughing. I think it's important to enjoy it, as well, because actually this is our life, you know. We spend so much time together. We go from one week to another. And if you take every week so serious you end up not liking it.

Q. What's your thing off court here to relax? What are your three things that you do to get your mind off tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I love to read. I like to watch movies, too. I find sometimes reading and spending too much time on my own, it's not good, because you start to overanalyzing everything. So, you know, I have, you know, lunch or dinner with my team. We talk about something else. Not about tennis, you know. Now, especially the Grand Slam, obviously main focus is to be ready and fit for each match. But, you know, hopefully there will be more time to go and see a show or... You know, New York is such great city with so many opportunities.

Q. You have been in the unique position of being top of the game; world No. 1 at quite a young age. Talk about maybe some of the burdens that come with that and maybe what you have learned from those and how you would handle things differently where you achieve that status again?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, it was greatest moment of my life achieving that, especially I was only 20 at the time. In a way I maybe took it a little bit for granted, because I was always improving, I was always having better and better results. That was kind of natural progression. And once I achieved that, it was very hard to handle all the attention because I was very shy at the time. Like I was speaking before, I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, you know. I was very introverted. I like to spend my time with the books. That's who I was. All of a sudden, there was so many requests and so many other things that came with it. No one prepared me for that. Obviously it took me some time to get used to that and to actually embrace it and enjoy it. That's why only since few years I started loving New York, because that's about that. It's about emotions, crowds, and embracing that moment.


Eugenie Bouchard of Canada has been struggling since reaching the Wimbledon final this summer, having gone 1-3 during the Emirates Airline US Open Series. 

However, she found her best form again in her US Open first-round match on Louis Armstrong Stadium against Olga Govortsova of Belarus and easily prevailed, 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday. Govortsova, a 26-year-old ranked No. 120 in the world, failed to convert three break points on Bouchard’s serve at 2-2 in the first set. From there the 20-year-old Canadian raised the level of her game considerably. Hitting her backhands with more height and waiting for her opportunities to attack, she broke Govortsova in the next game when the Belarusian sent a backhand long and easily won the next two games to wrap up the set. 

 The second set was all Bouchard. A forehand passing shot on the run raised gasps from the crowd as she broke Govortsova to earn a 2-0 lead. As Govortsova began to get frustrated by the level of play from Bouchard, her own game began to fall apart with several unforced errors. Even strokes of luck went the way of Bouchard, as she hit a netcord winner on break point to take a 5-1 lead. Bouchard converted on her first match point with a backhand error from Govortsova, wrapping up the match in just under an hour. She will be pleased with her overall stats in the match, hitting 19 winners overall and only committing four unforced errors in the second set. "I'm happy to get a match under my belt and want to keep it rolling this week," said Bouchard. "I love playing the Grand Slams and just want to raise my level at the biggest stages and the biggest matches."


In a sleek, black dress and mint sneakers, No. 8 seed Ana Ivanovic looked to be channeling Audrey Hepburn’s character from the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” as she began her first-round match Tuesday morning. 

The strong Serbian closed out a 6-3, 6-0 win over Alison Riske just in time for lunch. The sun was bright over Arthur Ashe Stadium with just one cloud in the first set, but nothing overshadowed Ivanovic’s experience and confidence coming into    this year’s tournament. Despite being broken in the first game by the 24-year-old American, who was frequently urged on by the crowd, the 2008 French Open champion broke back immediately and continuously motivated herself in Serbian, saying “ajde” and “idemo” after winning long rallies. Riske looked to fight back as she broke Ivanovic at love when she was serving for the first set, but it ultimately went the way of the Serb in 37 minutes. There continued to be diverse shot-making in the second set, but it went quickly, with Ivanovic not letting any games go to her opponent in just 27 minutes. A total of 19 winners in the match and her ability to create break-point opportunities ultimately helped Ivanovic move on to the second round. “Every first round is always nervous, but it’s about doing the things you practiced,” a pleased Ivanovic said on court after her win. “This is what we work for, and the crowd here is just the best crowd. I hope you guys enjoyed." WHAT IT MEANS: Ivanovic scored her first Grand Slam win, and 48th match win of 2014, with new coach Dejan Petrovic, whom she began working with after Wimbledon. Currently ranked No. 7 in the WTA’s Road to Singapore leaderboard as she attempts to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time since 2008, Ivanovic will face Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the second round. With the loss, Riske will not match her US Open performance from last year, in which she advanced to the fourth round, her best Grand Slam result. 

Agnieszka Radwanska in press conference. Us Open 2014

Q. Can you talk about the match? It was a pretty dominating performance and a good way to start a Grand Slam campaign, yeah?

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah. Well, we didn't play before so we didn't know what to expect. Actually, we know each other from the junior events and for a long time now, but then never played against each other. Well, first match is always tricky, but I think today everything was working my way. Pretty good start for me.

Q. Coming into the tournament with a win up in Montreal, talk about your thoughts coming in. Do you feel like you're in good form and ready to make a long run here?

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I hope so. Of course I had a lot of good matches on the way here. Especially in Montreal. A lot of good matches against top players and a couple of good wins. So of course that gives me more confident than before. Hopefully I will play in the same good level here.

Q. You have not gotten past the fourth round here before. Is there something about this that creates a little bit more challenge for you, or do you think you're maybe now more ready to get deeper into the tournament?

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course. I think like you're saying, this is the only Grand Slam I was in the quarterfinals, so I will do everything to do that. I hope even deeper, but let's focus on that first and then we will see.


Q. Is it hard the first round? It's kind of your first day out here, big stage. At any Grand Slam, really.

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's really difficult the first round of the tournament. Always it's hard to play, to start the tournament, and today was, you know, a big challenge for me because I played the first match of this tournament on center court. It's not easy to manage the situation, but I think after first set did I very well. I played better than first set. I started a little bit nervous, but it's normal. And she played really well, as well. She was hitting the balls really good. She was serving good. She will have, for sure, a good future.

Q. You talked about on court the size of the stadium, how big it is. How did you adjust to that? Also, how did you find your forehand? Because it looked like the first set it was flying a little bit.

SIMONA HALEP: I played few years ago here on Arthur Ashe against Jankovic. I lost that match, but was a good match I remember. It's not easy to play on this court because it's very big. It's the biggest you see. Wherever you look you see the people, so it's not easy. But, yeah, you are right. My forehand wasn't there first set. Then I just wanted to hit some balls to feel it again. Then I was more aggressive, I took the ball faster, and I think that helped me. So I'm happy that I could find my game to win this match, because was a tough one.

Q. Did you know anything about your opponent before you set foot on court? See any tape or anything?

SIMONA HALEP: I didn't know how she looks (laughter) because I never saw her on the tour. She's a great player. Of course she has good motivation. I saw her second ball. She was screaming, Come on. So it's a good thing for her. For sure she will be a good player in the future.

Q. How does it feel coming into a Grand Slam being No. 2 in the world?

SIMONA HALEP: It's not easy. It's a little bit of pressure. I can say more pressure because everyone is telling me that I have chance to win this title. But still I'm very far. I have to take match by match and to see if I can win more matches here. Every match like today was tough, and every match is tough here. I have just to try my best always and to do everything on court to win. We will see how far I can go in this tournament. Even if I'm second place, doesn't matter at all.

Q. But you do feel extra pressure?

SIMONA HALEP: I feel, yes. I feel, but I manage well till now. We'll see.


Q. If you could, just talk about the match today. It's good to get the first one underneath the belt?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it was a very close match. I start really good. In the first set I played really good tennis, but in the second set the first few games was very close. I think she came in her game and she was playing unbelievable tennis. I was just trying to, yeah, be tough, to try to get my rhythm back. At the end I think the key was just that I was fighting and believing in myself, and, yeah, hit the balls and just be aggressive and take that. I think, yeah, it was not easy match for sure.

Q. Is it sometimes better to have a challenge in that first round and then be able to overcome it rather than have a real easy walk-through?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think the first matches in the Grand Slams are not always easy, but I hope it will be better in the next one.

Q. How do you feel about the way you played? Do you feel like you're coming in in good form?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I'm feeling good. I'm healthy. I practiced very good in the last few weeks, and, yeah, I saw this also in the match. I mean, I was fit and I was fighting, you know, until the last one. I was still feeling good. So, yeah, I think I had great weeks in the past now.

Q. You enjoy the environment playing here?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course. It's one of my favorite tournaments. Everything starts for me here, so I really enjoy to coming back here.

Q. There were a couple other seeded players today who struggled a bit before they won their matches. Is there some solidarity in that, that you weren't the only one?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, actually it's the first round. They are always not easy. You are coming here and, yeah, you start the tournament, so it's tough. But, yeah, I actually don't know the scores from the other one. But, yeah, it's like a Grand Slam. You never know what's happen.

Q. It's not surprising then?

ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually not too much (smiling).


Venus Williams rebounded after a slow start to defeat 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. In the first set, Williams’ game began to disintegrate after failing to convert on five break points in Date-Krumm’s opening service game. 

Landing just 44 percent of her first serves in, the 34-year-old appeared to have trouble with the low-bouncing shots of the veteran Japanese player and frequently mistimed her shots on the backhand side. Meanwhile, Date-Krumm stood well inside the baseline to return serve and kept pressure on her opponent throughout, mixing up flat drives with delicate drop shots. Williams committed her 20th unforced error of the match on set point. However, there’s a reason that Williams is a former world No. 1 and two-time US Open champion. In the second set, the American began hitting her shots with more height over the net to give herself a chance to get into the rallies. Meanwhile, the previously steady Date-Krumm began to spray unforced errors, including a backhand sent well long to fall behind 4-0. She kept fighting, but couldn’t recover from her slow start, allowing Williams to level the match at one set each. The final set was one-way traffic for Williams, with the 2000-01 US Open champion showing more fear of a flying bee on court than her opponent's forehands. She continued to struggle with her first serve percentage, but did enough from the baseline to keep Date-Krumm from gaining any rhythm and raced to a 5-0 lead. Williams faltered briefly,failing to serve out the match twice, but converted on her first match point after just under two hours of play when Date-Krumm hit a backhand into the net. "The way she hits the ball is like no one else on tour," said Williams. "It's hard to get a rhythm with her and all of our matches have been so tough."


lunes, 25 de agosto de 2014

María Sharapova in Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign. PHOTO OF THE DAY

I’m so excited to be the face of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)'s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign, which was shot by Michael Beauplet, styled by Ketevan Gvaramadze, and art directed by RO NEW YORK.
PHOTO OF THE DAY, summer 2014



With reigning Australian Open champion Li Na withdrawing from the tournament due to a knee injury, the contenders and favorites in the women’s draw have a major threat cleared from their path before the first ball has been struck. 

 Top seed and two-time defending US Open champion Serena Williams remains the favorite to win again this year, but question marks have been raised after she exited at all three Grand Slam events this year in the opening week. Her draw will pose a few major challenges. There is a looming fourth-round encounter against No. 22 Samantha Stosur, who defeated her in the 2011 US Open final and pushed her two tiebreaks in Cincinnati, and a potential quarterfinal against No. 8 seed Ana Ivanovic. If she gets past that, either Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard likely awaits in the semis. Largely unknown a year ago, No. 2 seed Simona Halep enters this year's event as one of the favorites to win her first Grand Slam title, but a potential quarterfinal with No. 5 seed Maria Sharapova could spell trouble for the Romanian. She is winless against Sharapova in all five of their previous matches, three of which came in 2014. This year also offers an opportunity for players to cement their rise back up the rankings with a Grand Slam title, including former world No. 1s Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki. And while Kvitova has historically struggled at the US Open, she enters New York on a roll and has the game to beat anyone when she’s playing well. Throw in a rising group of young women, led by Bouchard and including such up-and-comers as Madison Keys and Garbine Muguruza, and Serena is hardly a lock for a record-tying sixth women's singles crown. Previewing the women’s field, here’s a look, broken down into favorites and challengers, at who might be lifting the women’s singles trophy in two weeks.


The story of the 2014 US Open will unfold in the sky as well as on the court. Every day of the US Open, muralist Josh Cochran will paint the events that have the tennis world talking on a billboard above New York City – and you are part of that story. 

Use the hashtag #StoryoftheOPEN to tell us your US Open tale, from your favorite US Open memories to the moments from this year's event that you think should be captured for the world to see. Your photos and stories will be the inspiration that brings our mural to life each day. To tell us what moment you’re looking forward to this year or your favorite moment from last year. 

sábado, 23 de agosto de 2014

Maria Sharapova: Jeff Koons 'A Retrospective' in NYC. PHOTO OF THE DAY

Jeff Koons 'A Retrospective' in NYC

NEWS US OPEN 2014: Arthur Ashe Kids' Day

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day continues to evolve just like the tournament that follows it. While the Arthur Ashe Stadium speakers boomed with music from chart-topping performers, the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center were host to a variety of entertainment options and tennis-related fun. Between youth tennis clinics and games for the younger players to an obstacle course and a beat-the-pro challenge, Kids’ Day had something for all attendees. 

 Now in its 19th year, the annual event reaped the benefits of phase one of the US Open’s transformation. Throughout the grounds, the stars were out in full force. On the newly remodeled Court 5, Nike Tennis invited budding American stars Madison Keys and Stefan Kozlov and international standouts Nick Kyrgios and Lucie Safarova to participate in boys vs. girls doubles. Fans had the chance to see their favorite players thanks to the new viewing area that lines the practice courts, while Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Granstand and Court 17 all held practices for the game’s top players. Peter Botler, a longtime tennis fan, brought his daughter, Kristen, to Kids’ Day, and they got the chance to see the likes of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Roger Federer within minutes of stepping onto the grounds. “It’s nice to see them up close,” Peter said. “The pros participate and goof off and you can see them in a different light, which is a nice thing. I think it brings people a little closer to them.” The Botlers made the trip from Connecticut to see the stadium show and catch the action on the grounds. Since Kristen is usually in school during the main draw, Kids’ Day her only opportunity to get a feel for the US Open.


Sabine Lisicki was presented with a certificate by Guinness World Records following her 131mph serve earlier this summer.

Sabine Lisicki's serve has brought her plenty of wins and plenty of accolades down the years. 

Earlier this summer, it also brought her a record, as she hit the fastest serve of all time, during her first round match at the Bank of the West Classic against Ana Ivanovic. The 131mph delivery saw her overtake the mark set by previous record holder Venus Williams, who hit a 129mph serve at the 2007 US Open. And to recognize the achievement, which has since been confirmed by both the WTA and SMT/IDS (SportsMEDIA Technology Information Display Systems), Lisicki was presented with a certificate by Guinness World Records' Kimberley Partrick on Friday. "It's an honor to achieve a Guinness World Records title for the fastest serve," Lisicki said. "I've worked very hard on my serve from a young age, and I consider it a weapon. It's great to be recognized for my hard work, and I will continue to focus on improving my serve."

viernes, 22 de agosto de 2014

Maria Sharapova Celebrates Fashion Targets Breast Cancer 20th Anniversary. PHOTO OF THE DAY,

(L-R) Veronica Miele Beard, Maria Sharapova and Veronica Swanson Beard attend the CFDA Celebrates Fashion Targets Breast Cancer 20th Anniversary event with Maria Sharapova, presented by Porsche at The New Museum.
August 2014. New York City.