Clijsters Re-Injures Wrist, Murray Beats Uninterested Federer



Posted on August 17, 2006


Murray Shocks Federer, Roddick Wins at MS-Cincy

MASON -- August 16, 2006 -- Andy Murray recorded the biggest win of his young career when he ousted World No.1 and defending champion Roger Federer 7-5, 6-4 at the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters on Wednesday. The loss snaps Federer's 55-match win streak in North America and marks only his second loss this season on hard courts.

Murray forced an astounding 14 break points, capitalizing on half of them, against the Swiss star. The 19-year-old Brit continued his impressive form as of late, collecting his 19th win in 24 matches.

Federer, who couldn't seem to find a groove on the Cincinnati courts, was coming off his seventh title of the year and his 11th ATP Masters Series shield in Toronto.

"I knew that my expectations were not to win the tournament here; they were to survive a few rounds," said the top-seeded Federer. "So that's why I'm not disappointed after this loss. I'm actually pretty happy I won a match here. Winning back-to-back Masters Series, 12 matches in 13 days, it's just basically something of the impossible."

Murray, who is ranked a career-high No.21, moves into the Round of 16 where he'll face the winner of Dmitry Tursunov and No.15 seed Robby Ginepri, in action later this evening.

Fan favorite and No.6 seed James Blake also crashed out of the tournament on Wednesday. Former World No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero downed the top American 6-2, 6-4 in just over an hour. Ferrero broke Blake three times on eight chances and has now won two rounds at a tournament for the first time since April.

"I think it felt really good in the court," said Ferrero, a Cincinnati semifinalist in 2002. "I did everything in the court?played solid, played strong. I tried to take first advantage in the point, and I think that was the key."

Second seed Rafael Nadal won 88 percent of his first service points and faced no break points as he defeated qualifier Hyung-Taik Lee 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 19 minutes. Nadal evened his record in Cincinnati at 2-2 and won his 20th ATP Masters Series match of the season. The Spaniard advances to the Round of 16 for the first time where he will face No.14 seed Tommy Haas.

Haas, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 winner over Gilles Simon, fired 13 aces and saved four of seven break points during the 1-hour, 48-minute match. The German is making his eighth appearance in Cincinnati and posts a tournament record of 11-7.

Other Wednesday winners include No.4 seed Ivan Ljubicic and No.6 seed Marcos Baghdatis. Ljubicic took out Russian Mikhail Youzhny, while Baghdatis outlasted French phenom Gael Monfils 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-1 in 2 hours, 18 minutes. Monfils held a 6-1 lead in the first-set tie-break before the Cypriot countered to win five consecutive points.

Tenth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer also advanced when 20-year-old compatriot Nicolas Almagro crumbled under pressure, 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-0, while youngter Novak Djokovic also failed to maintain a 4-1 first-set lead, falling to Florent Serra in straight sets.

Of the eight Americans who entered the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters draw, only two -- Andy Roddick and Robby Ginepri -- are left standing after two rounds of action. Roddick defeated Belgian Kristof Vliegen 6-4, 6-4, while Ginepri dismissed Dmitry Tursunov of Russia 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday evening.

Roddick broke Vliegen early in the first set and never looked back. Roddick improves his career record in Cincinnati to an impressive 20-5, which includes a championship in 2003 and a runner-up finish last year to Federer.

"I hit the ball well tonight," said Roddick, the No.9 seed. "I felt like the match was played on my terms, which was good. I felt like I was forcing the issue. So I'm happy, and I hope I can keep that going."

Ginepri seemed to find the form that brought him much success last summer, as he cruised past Tursunov in just over an hour. Ginepri, the No.15 seed, fired eight aces and never faced a break point.

"Before the match I felt really good, like it was going to be a really progressive match for me," said Ginepri. "I felt confident before I even went into it. That's how I was feeling last summer. I think it just helps when I get matches under my belt."

"I like seeing all my boys do well. It's a shame James (Blake) and Mardy (Fish) went down today, but hopefully Andy (Roddick) and I can prevail throughout the tournament."

Ginepri will next face 19-year-old Andy Murray, who took down defending champion and World No.1 Roger Federer earlier in the day.

Seeds Tommy Robredo and Fernando Gonzalez also scored victories on Wednesday. Seventh seeded Robredo, the ATP Masters Series Hamburg champion, ousted Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-4, and Gonzalez, the No.13 seed edged American wild card Mardy Fish 7-5, 7-5. Robredo's Round of 16 opponent will be Frenchman Florent Serra, while Gonzalez takes on wild card Stanislas Wawrinka, an upset winner over No.3 seed David Nalbandian.
-- ATP

McEnroe, Rios Win Wednesday at Seniors Graz

John McEnroe came back from a set down to keep alive another potential meeting in a final with Marcelo Rios, on Wednesday defeating Carl-Uwe Steeb from a set down 2-6, 7-6(2), 10-5 (tiebreak) to win his opener at the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions stop in Graz.

Steeb served for the win at 5-4 in the second set but McEnroe, wearing black Rafael Nadal-like pirate pants, won the second-set tiebreak and prevailed in the final-set breaker.

"I was in big trouble," McEnroe said. "(Steeb) was serving for it but I felt like if I could find my game there was always a chance. I picked it up at the right moment just before it was too late. I was lucky to win. Larsson (his next opponent who he has never faced) is big and dangerous. I haven't seen him a lot. I practiced with him today for the first time. It looks like he is playing well."

Marcelo Rios continued his unbeaten run in 2006 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Alex Antonitsch, and will next face Goran Ivanisevic for a place in his fourth final of the year.

"I really want to see how I can perform against him," said Ivanisevic, who Wednesday beat Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4. "Marcelo is playing well so maybe I'm the only guy that can beat him at the moment. He's 30 years old. If he wants to practice he can still beat 70 percent of the players on the ATP circuit. He could come back very easily. He is one of my favorite players ever, he is such a talented guy."

On Thursday in Graz are Henri Leconte vs. Antonitch, Thomas Muster vs. Steeb, and McEnroe vs. Larsson.

WORLD SENIOR RANKINGS presented by Tennis-X.com
(Top 10 through Aug. 13, 2006)

1. Marcelo Rios (1200 pts.)
2. John McEnroe (885)
3. Sergi Bruguera (730)
4. Cedric Pioline (650)
5. Pat Cash (610)
6. Jim Courier (600)
7. Thomas Muster (500)
8T. Renzo Furlan (400)
8T. Richard Krajicek (400)
8T. Todd Martin (400)

The World Senior Rankings presented by Tennis-X.com is a cumulative ranking for senior tour players combining results from the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions in Europe, and the Outback Champions Series in the U.S.

Kuzy Wins, Clijsters Out, Hingis On Tonight at WTA Montreal

MONTREAL, Canada -- Several major upsets highlighted the third day of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, as second round action continued on the hardcourts of Uniprix Stadium.

Five Top 10 seeds, including top seed Kim Clijsters and No.3 Nadia Petrova, were eliminated Wednesday from the Tier I event. No.6 Anastasia Myskina, No.8 Francesca Schiavone, No.10 Anna-Lena Groenefeld and No.12 Flavia Pennetta were also sent packing. No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No.9 Dinara Safina, however, won their second round matches in straight sets.

Kuznetsova made a successful return to Sony Ericsson WTA Tour competition, by defeating Marta Domachowska, 61 63. After her third round exit at Wimbledon, the 21-year-old Russian withdrew from San Diego and Los Angeles due to a left abdominal muscle strain. In her first match in about two months, Kuznetsova didn't seem bothered by sore muscles, as she hammered four aces and didn't allow her opponent a single chance to break. Kuznetsova's next opponent will be Ai Sugiyama.

"It was a pretty good match, especially the first set," Kuznetsova said. "Of course, I'm kind of a perfectionist. I'm trying all the time to make it more perfect today. My serve helped me out in the second set a lot. I missed a couple of forehands, so I'll make sure it won't happen next match, hopefully."

Defending champion Clijsters led Canadian wild card Stephanie Dubois 61 but trailed 3-2 in the second set before a left wrist sprain forced her to retire. Clijsters, who had her wrist taped earlier in the match, fell on it and aggravated it even more.

"Halfway through the first set I just started feeling my backhand, I couldn't get down with my racquet," Clijsters said. "I couldn't produce the spin that I normally do. It was fine because she's not a hard hitter, it didn't have that big of an impact. But then I started slicing and just trying to protect, it kind of got worse and just stiffened up and then I called the trainer out. Obviously with the history that I have with my wrist, it's something that really worries me. These next few weeks are really important for me. Falling on it definitely didn't help, either. I'm going to have some more tests done tomorrow, too, and I'll get to know more."

Clijsters has suffered from left wrist injuries in the past. In 2004, she underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon and remove a cyst, which forced her to miss most of the second half of the year. But she managed a terrific comeback in 2005 by winning a Tour-leading nine titles, including her first Grand Slam, the US Open.

Dubois became the first Quebecer in history to get to the third round of the Rogers Cup. She will play No.14 seed Katarina Srebotnik on Thursday. Her countrywoman, Marie-Eve Pelletier, almost joined Dubois in the third round but let a 4-2 third set lead slip away to lose, 36 64 64, to Nicole Pratt.

In a match marred by dozens of unforced errors, Petrova lost to countrywoman Anna Chakvetadze for the second time in two weeks. Petrova is on a four-match losing streak and her last Tour singles win was three months ago at Berlin. After dropping the first set 61, Petrova jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second but couldn't capitalize on the break and won only one more game. After hitting a down-the-line forehand wide, she lost 61 64, in just over an hour. Chakvetadze, who also beat Petrova two weeks ago at San Diego, will next face Nathalie Dechy.

"I try to stay positive even though it takes a lot of energy and it takes lots of motivation," said Petrova. "It can be frustrating. But a lot of things happening in life are much worse than just losing a tennis match. It's really hard for me to hold my concentration from the beginning to the end. I started making some unforced errors, which is very unusual for me and I'm getting quite disappointed about it. I started thinking 'what's happening' and that takes so much energy away from me and also it takes my focus from the match."

Myskina lost a tough 76(6) 57 64 battle to rising Israeli star Shahar Peer. The Russian reached the Stockholm final last week but has not won a match on American summer hardcourts yet. In Cincinnati, she was ousted by Serena Williams in straight sets. Peer will next play Marion Bartoli, who advanced when No.12 seed Flavia Pennetta retired with left wrist inflammation.

Other Wednesday winners were No.11 Daniela Hantuchova, No.13 Ana Ivanovic, Srebotnik, Jelena Jankovic, Dechy and Sugiyama.

On Thursday, No.5 Nicole Vaidisvoa will play Pratt before two-time champion Martina Hingis takes on Hantuchova in the night session.
-- WTA

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TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
From Missy Stoddard writing for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Three years of tax returns for Richard Williams show he made almost $2 million managing his tennis phenom daughters, Venus and Serena, according to lawyers suing the family for damages in a contract dispute over a 2001 Battle of the Sexes tournament. Attorneys for Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, principals in a company known as CCKR, say the 1998, 1999 and 2000 tax returns were public documents found in the divorce file of Richard and Oracene Williams. The lawyers claim Richard Williams held himself out as his daughters' manager and committed his girls to play in the tournament, slated to raise $45 million, with 80 percent of the profit going to Richard Williams' company. The Williamses later reneged on the promise, Clarke and Rhodes said."...From Matt Cronin at TennisReporters.net: "I'm not one to crow in public (but I often open my beak and sing in private), but after Jane Stratton and Raquel Giscafre announced that they had sold their Tier I tournament to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on Tuesday, I feel like climbing up my roof top and letting loose louder than Peter Pan did when he met Wendy. The truth be told...That's not because I broke the story two days before the tournament began (some 20 days ago), but because of the amount of hand slapping I had to endure during the tournament. Part of that was because of the spotty follow-up reporting done by some of the local papers after I broke the story (I don't know who is doing the hiring at the North County Times, but the next time they decide to hire a reporter, maybe they should tell him that merely printing denials and not doing his own investigation is not considered to be real reporting), and part of that was because sheer venting from some officials because they didn't want the story out. Nonetheless, after next year, the tournament is gone from La Costa, which didn't want it anymore because it's too busy selling time-shares."...From SMH.com: "Paris Hilton's vow of celibacy is just to win a bet. The hotel heiress recently announced she was giving up sex for a year to concentrate on her new singing career and to make herself a stronger person. But it has now been revealed that Paris has formed a "single girls club" with her friends and they have a bet to see who can last the longest without sex. Paris said: "I'm not doing it with anyone. I want to concentrate on work. I'll kiss but nothing else. Another member of the 'club' is tennis ace Serena Willams, and the idea is that the bet will encourage them to put their work first."...That was a pretty poor tank job from Roger "I Need a Vacation! I've Played Two Whole Events Since Wimbledon!" Federer at the MS-Cincinnati: "The streaks? I don't care about those now that they're over," said Federer, who hadn't lost in straight sets in his last 194 matches. "It's going to be a relief for everybody, and now we can move on...Two Masters series back-to-back -- 12 matches in 13 days -- it's something of the impossible." -- From Turkish Press: "Cyril Suk quit as captain of the Czech Republic Davis Cup team in protest at the planned return of world number eight Radek Stepanek. Stepanek revealed earlier in the day that after talks with Czech tennis federation boss Ivo Kaderka he intended to return for the September 22-24 World Group play-off tie against the Netherlands. I don't want to be an obstacle and I want our team to have the best players," said Suk who has clashed with Stepanek in the past. Stepanek added: "We (with Kaderka) had a frank discussion and shook hands to put the past behind us." In the absence of Stepanek the Czech Republic last year fell out of the World Group for the first time. The player had said that he wanted to concentrate on his individual career but his differences with Suk were blamed."...From AnaIvanovic.com: "Ana decided against appointing David Taylor as an authorised on-court coach during her first round match against Tatiana Golovin on Monday, which she won 6-4, 6-2. Both players were entitled to nominate someone to come onto court to coach them during the match, as part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's two-week experiment with on-court coaching, which began at the Rogers Cup yesterday. Like many players, Ana and David are both opposed to the concept and decided against the Australian coaching during the match. David explained: "I would like Ana to be able to process what is happening intrinsically, and be able to follow through with the plan alone. I believe this leads to greater belief in one's abilities." Ana concurred. "I think it is important to be independent on the court," she said. "David and I decided not to do it. I was fully focused on my game and was very pleased with how I played." Golovin is without a coach in Montreal and she too did not nominate anyone to coach her during the match. "The players are ambivalent about it, but I think tennis is an individual sport," she said."...From the Cincinnati Enquirer: "The only person who didn't appear surprised by the result was Federer. He said a day prior he had considered skipping the Cincinnati event because he had played all last week in Toronto, where he won the Tennis Masters Series event, and today said it was unreasonable for anyone to expect him to win both tournaments." -- Nice tank-job Rog, next time just pull out physically too instead of just mentally...From Richard Jago of The Guardian: "Many players feel that the only way to stop the brilliant Swiss player employing his multiple attacking options is to deny him as many chances by attacking him first. Murray did not do that. Although the 19-year-old Scot applied orthodox pressure to the Federer second serve, he was otherwise prepared to rally it out with the tired champion, who had made no secret of the fact that he had almost pulled out of the physical and mental challenge of trying to win two big titles in two weeks." -- Uh huh. Tank...From Mark Hodgkinson of The Telegraph: "Put simply, Murray's defeat of Federer last night was the shock of the year." -- Or tank of the year?...From The London Free Press (Canadian): "If a fan bought tickets for a Toronto Maple Leafs game and the American Hockey League Marlies showed up, there would be screams for refunds. When the Toronto Blue Jays are on the playbill, would Paul Godfrey give you a Syracuse Excuse? Not if he wants to get a vault-full instead of an earful. But, year after year, Canadian tennis fans pay to see Andre Agassi or Maria Sharapova and get a bunch of players whose names look like a word jumble, and all it results in are platitudes from the bozos who run this circus. The major men's and women's tennis tours promise each year it will never happen again. They promise the advertised players will show up. It's always the same: "Just trust us." It's what tour officials said last year when Sharapova and the Williams sisters bailed on Toronto. What happens? They show up in Montreal this week with Shabar Peer and Sybille Bammer." -- Don't put down the box-office pull of The Bammer...Bad news for Kim Clijsters after coming off major wrist surgery a couple years ago, injuring it Wednesday in Montreal: "I'm going to have an MRI tomorrow and we'll see what the doctors say. From the beginning I could feel that my backhand wasn't right. I couldn't get the speed and power that I usually produce in my backhand swing. My wrist felt really tight. I was slicing more to protect it. It was hurting, and then I slipped and landed on it in the worst position possible."...Jimmy Connors on righting the Andy Roddick ship: "Let's not get out of control and think his game is not there," Connors told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "But like all athletes I think you find success and then you also fall upon some hard times and you lose a little confidence. It's just a matter of him getting that confidence back and once he gets that back he's off and running again."...Marcelo Rios speaking with the BBC: "My back was troubling me a lot and I had a lot of back surgeries. That was one of the reasons for retiring. I would love to play professional (ATP tournaments) but I'm not fit enough to do it."...Andy Murray says he's special after beating Roger Federer: "There comes a time when it's meant to be. Federer won against Sampras at Wimbledon [five years ago] and that was a moment when you looked at him and said 'This guy's special.'"...Maria Sharapova was fined $150K for pulling out of Montreal.

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