Venus Bagels Kvitova; Federer v Harrison, Djokovic, Roddick, Serena Today In Miami
by Sean Randall | March 24th, 2012, 10:18 am
  • 68 Comments

When you miss six months of tennis to recover from an illness you are not suppose to bagel Top 3 players upon your return. But that’s just what Venus Williams did last night, impressively blanking reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final set to cruise to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win in the second round in Miami.

“It’s a big step forward,” Williams said afterward. “I know she’s playing well, so I just wanted to be focused on my game. I was trying to stay tough and make the points. I actually didn’t really realize the third set was 6-0… I was just trying to win the match, trying to get to six. It’s great to have a win like this.

“I think I’m a pretty good clutch player, so that third set is a good place for me to be. It’s where I try to bring my best tennis out.”

Venus had been of the tennis tour since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome during the US Open last year. After several tournament withdrawals some wondered if she would ever return to tennis. But after whipping Kimiko Date-Krumm and now the No. 3 ranked player in the world, the 31-year-old who ranks No. 134 this week appears to be headed back to the top of the sport.

“I have come a long way physically,” Venus said. “I know a lot better how to recover now. I have to cut out a lot of extracurricular activities. I’m not going to be the one having fun dinners – I’m going to be the one stuck in the room. But the price to pay is worth it.”

Kvitova, who not long ago was fighting for the No. 1 ranking, was also impressed.

“She looks very ready, very fit,” the Kvitova said. “She’s back.”

The win was also Venus’ 600th career match victory. In her next round she’ll meet Canadian Alexandra Wozniack.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, JW Tsonga and Tomas Berdych also posted easy wins. Indian Wells finalist John Isner needed three sets to beat Nikolay Davydenko. Milos Raonic was also a victor, he’ll next face Murray on Sunday.

Today’s incredible line-up features no fewer than five No. 1s consecutively on Stadium court, headlined by Roger Federer’s clash with American teen Ryan Harrison.

Harrison’s mentor, Andy Roddick, precedes him in a tough test against the big-serving Gilles Muller. Novak Djokovic is under the lights against former Top 10 Marcos Baghdatis and there are a slew of intriguing matchups on the outer courts including David Ferrer-Bernard Tomic and Juan Martin Del Potro-Ivo Karlovic.

For the women, Serena Williams opens play at 11am. Maria Sharapova, who’ll face young American hope Sloane Stephens, and Sam Stosur follow later.

After three days of darkness TV coverage finally begins on Tennis Channel at 11am ET.

SATURDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[21] R Vinci (ITA) vs [10] S Williams (USA) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
G Muller (LUX) vs [31] A Roddick (USA) – ATP
[3] R Federer (SUI) vs [WC] R Harrison (USA) – ATP
[Q] S Stephens (USA) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA

Starting at 8:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) – ATP
[6] S Stosur (AUS) vs C Scheepers (RSA) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
B Tomic (AUS) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP) – ATP
[Q] S Bubka (UKR) vs [14] G Monfils (FRA) – ATP
K Clijsters (BEL) vs [23] Y Wickmayer (BEL) – WTA
[Q] F Dancevic (CAN) vs [8] M Fish (USA) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[11] J Del Potro (ARG) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP


Also Check Out:
Venus, Clijsters Make Winning Returns In Miami; Serena, Sharapova, Harrison, Nadal Today
Kvitova Bagels Bouchard for 2nd Wimbledon Title
Serena v Lefty, Crying Game v Slicy in Wimbledon Women’s Semis
‘Brand Williams’ to Buy Miami Dolphins
Andy Roddick Says “Ask The Boss Lady” Serena About Playing Olympic Mixed Doubles

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68 Comments for Venus Bagels Kvitova; Federer v Harrison, Djokovic, Roddick, Serena Today In Miami

Ajet Says:

That’s why i love venus, she’s amazing champion as well as humble and devastating player!


alison hodge Says:

i have to say i always prefered venus to her sister,although she won less slams,i always thought she was the more talent,is a nicer person,is focused determined,and does not look like shes ready to kill her oponents,jmo.


Jeanius Says:

Watching the Roddick-Muller snooZefest. I think one Roger is gone there won’t be much to watch. Unless Dimitrov gets his act together. Very exciting


Jeanius Says:

If Roddick looks impressive……..LOL


van orten Says:

fed rolling first 3 games !!!


van orten Says:

“how on earth federer kept that point alive i have no idea ” hahahhah great commentator


Eric Says:

Hot damn, Ryan Harrison knows how to play tennis.


andrea Says:

harrison getting schooled…


andrea Says:

great news for venus. how these sisters manage to keep coming back from long layoffs with success is very unique. especially a bagel set against kvitova.


jane Says:

andrea that’s what I said on the bracket challenge. lol. But Harrison has a good game overall methinks.


van orten Says:

breakdown in tecnique from federer hahahha that commentator is really funny


van orten Says:

federer was already in the shower…he was absolutly fooling harrison around and 3 unforced errors ..and we have a match


jane Says:

Well, Ryan is a fighter indeed.


dari Says:

Glad Venus has gotten a couple good wins in so far!
Fed got schloppy. Maybe he wants some tiebreak practice?!

Love the color of feds shorts and Ryan’s shirt


van orten Says:

what a bad call by the line judge…come on????


Eric Says:

Is being able to see not some kind of requisite qualification for judging lines in tennis?


van orten Says:

ok fed 3 mps ,..put him to sleep


Sienna Says:

The first time in months we have seen a moment of loss of concentration.
He got it in the end.

After Miami nice holidays and his next training block to attack Nadal at garros. Of course by winning Madrid first……


jane Says:

Ryan managed to delay the inevitable, and I think the last time they played he pushed it to a tiebreak as well.


Tennis Fan Says:

… that match would never have gone to a second set tiebreak except for some horrible and rather questionable officiating …
… only Fed could have kept his cool through that maelstrom … any other player in the world would have blown up …


Sienna Says:

Yes that was terrible linejudguing. But Fed was a litle rattled a few games. Didnot like that at all. Well always nioce that he plays Roddick. Although he needs his focus and he probably goes trough to the 4th round.


mat4 Says:

Djoko is angry. Break, and finally some great play.


Duro Says:

Hey, Mat.

Angry and hungry…


mat4 Says:

Hi, Duro.

Long time no see. Glad you’re here.


racquet Says:

I just read in the twitterverse that Raonic retired with an ankle injury from his doubles match. Wonder what that means for tomorrow?


Duro Says:

I’m resting when Nole’s resting… :-)
Time for work now.


jane Says:

Nole played a great first set hey Duro and mat4? Good serving, clean hitting, few errors, sharp focus. And what a great rally they had for Nole to get the break.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Yes, it’s about the best he played this year. Backhand not at his best, but the rest works fine.

Interesting how Marcos is able to take those long balls on the rise.


Duro Says:

Hi, Jane. You’re never resting…

Nole’s just fine. His best is yet to come.

His second set against Isner was perfect for example…


jane Says:

Marcos has definitely been playing pretty well too, defensively and offensively, but his first serve percentage is on the low side. Other than that, he is just facing Nole on song tonight. Baggy faded in the last game though.

It seems so long since I have seen Nole play at night.


mat4 Says:

I always liked Marcos’ game and I am a bit disappointed he didn’t make more with all his talent. But he seems his new coach has done a good work with him.

Nole is still not at his best. But he looks sharp, and he definitely plays better. His serve looks quite deceptive.


Duro Says:

If Novak strait-sets Baggy (which looks very probable) it will be a very good sign. He only did it once before regardless of the h2h which suggests something else. Marcos is always hard to beat.

In the meanwhile Nole’s flying…


Duro Says:

Interestingly, It took Baggy seven matches against each to beat Fed and Rafa for the first time…

It’s 6-0 for Novak at the moment. Seventh match…

Is it gonna happen?

Naaah…


jane Says:

Well if Nole could close out this game and stop putting forehands into the net – what happened? Someone turn the burner back on please?


mat4 Says:

yes, indeed. I think he made more UE in that game that in the whole match.


Duro Says:

Yes, Jane. Nole was fighting his forehand more than Bagdatis.

Serving for the match…


jane Says:

Good match in the end. Duro I didn’t know that this is only the second time Nole has straight-setted Baggy, and Marcos was playing well. Is his new coach MacLaglin (sp)? Murray’s former coach?


mat4 Says:

We should not forget that Baghy played exceptional defence, and an excellent match overall. He has improved a lot in the last few months.


Duro Says:

And it’s Baggy’s birthday! Nole sang him a song!


mat4 Says:

Yes, Jane, it is Maclagan. And from all I have heard about him, it is an excellent coach.


Wog boy Says:

Jane, mat4, Duro:

Thanks, I have a pretty good picture how Nole played thanks to all of you. I am out and about. I will see the match tonight, myself.
Duro, is it time for bed or short black and “loza”?
It is 3am overthere:)


jane Says:

That’s what I thought mat4. Well, good. I hope he continues to help Marcos to get back up to where he should be. Happy b.day to him.

Wog boy, what are you doing up at 3:00 am!?

Signing off, contentedly. Next for Nole is Victor.


Wog boy Says:

Jane, here is 1pm but “overthere” is 3am:)


Duro Says:

Yes, It’s former Murray’s coach and yes, up to this moment it was 6-0 for Novak and only one time Nole won in two sets. It says a lot.

I liked Nole’s second kick serves the most tonight. His backhand was good too. Forehand good except in the 8th game of the set 2, serving with lots of variations with angles and speed…

Nice win overall, but unnecessarily tensioned in the end for Novak. It tells that he wants to gain his old form as soon as possible and he feels a little bit of pressure.


Duro Says:

Hey, Wog Boy! Yes, it’s 3 am in the Noleland and time for bed definitely. What Nole fans do at 3 am? Watching Nole of course. Are we fans or not?

It’s actually 4 am. Time was switched to summer one just an hour ago.


mat4 Says:

I thought you were watching the match… otherwise, I would have posted more often.

So, a brief summary.

Nole played with much more motivation. He was very aggressive, and excepted this long game in the second set, his forehand looked great, his serve was varied and effective. For stretches, he looked at his absolute peak, against an opponent that gives him a lot of troubles usually.

But he still lacks the regularity he displayed last year, when he didn’t miss easy strokes. He tends to play to much crosscourt, from both sides, though his inside out FH worked well.

So, he has improved from last week, but it could be better.

On the other side, Baghy played great. He looked fast, he defended well, and Novak had to throw some variation to make him made mistakes. He served fast at the beginning (over 130mph). He works with Maclagan almost a year now, and the progress is visible. He overdid sometimes, but Nole played some great defence so it was understandable.


mat4 Says:

Hi, WB. Are all Nole fans here, tonight?


Duro Says:

Mat, good analysis. The most important thing for me is that he’s fresh and fit. All other aspects will fall to place easily and in right time. It’s not recommendable to peak in form too early. Season is long and the most important events are just to come. I don’t want to see him burnt out like last year towards the end of the year. Everything is just fine. FO, Wimby, Olympics, that’s what matters the most.


Humble Rafa Says:

only Fed could have kept his cool through that maelstrom

Thank God The Arrogant One is there for us. Otherwise Tuesday will be followed by a Friday.


Wog boy Says:

Duro, “Noleland” I have to put that one in my books:)
Good night or good morning, whatever suits you.

mat4, that is real thing, thanks. I couldn’t watch, I am at work, but I will watch it tonight with “meze” and something stronger! Btw, there is more Nole fans around but not all of them are posting:)


contemperory Says:

How is the court? Is it faster this year as per Brad G?


Danica Says:

Right, I am a Nole fan but rarely post :)). But, I must say, I was happy with what I saw today. He is getting his old form back.


Ajet Says:

djoker was playing amazing even though he lost to isner by a whisker, so dunno why is the concern going on about djoker’s form! he’s fine!


trufan Says:

Nadal’s amazing luck in draws continues – Giraldo, Stepanek (33 years old!), then perhaps nishikori – his first 3 matches. Pretty much rolls into quarters….

None of the other top 4 players have such easy matches. Isn’t it STRANGE?

Am looking forward to either Tsonga in the quarters or Murray in the semis giving Nadal some true competition. Of course, his whipping will perhaps only happen in the final if he gets that, and if its Nole across the net!!

I hope DelPo wins Miami…

Roddick should retire. Come on, if he can’t even get a seeding at slams, what chance does he have to do anything in any tournament?

Good to see Dimitrov finally beat a top 10 player – Berdych…


trufan Says:

Its amazing to see Federer play so well at this age! He has won 830 matches – that’s a very large number! Sampras never got there, Agassi and Mcenroe were washed out by the time they hit that number… Fed is number 3, within hitting range of No 2, with 6 titles in the last 6 months, including 2 masters and the YEC!


skeezerweezer Says:

“Isn’t it STRANGE?”

Yes. Its been like this for awhile now. Last time I can remember was FO last year, and Isner wasn’t considered a threat to the top 4 then.

And he hasn’t won a title since?? It’s not like he has had rough draws either.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Usually we don’t have time – or enough data – to gather pertinent stats about the draw. What happen last year with the discovering that in the first round, qualifiers almost always played top seeds at the USO, was the top of the iceberg, nothing more.

There were much more troubling things. I will mention here some random observations I recall right now.

1. When Sod was the 4th seed, he almost always played Murray, the 5th seed, in the quarter. I FORETOLD IT HERE FOR AT LEAST ONE TOURNAMENT.

2. Indian Wells and Miami have the opposite draw for two years in a row at least (about 12% chances), but last year the draw for the semi was reversed. The pattern is clear.

3. We don’t need to mention here that Roger and Rafa had always the player that suited them better in the semi of GS for years, Rafa avoiding Djoko on hard and Roger avoiding Murray. On clay, in France, where Djokovic was a danger for Roger, the draw was Rafa-Novak in the semi for years.

4. On hard, in GS, Rafa plays (it is just an impression, but it certainly deserves to be checked) a lot against other Spanish players. His draws on hard, especially in the slams, were a peace of cake, with almost always a Spanish player in the quarter, D. Ferrer, or F. Verdasco.

5. DelPotro’s draw in GSs was a bit strange, last year, but I agree it could have been fortuitously.

6. Is it just an impression, but isn’t Murray always playing some Frenchies in the GS? RG excepted, where the best French players are always in Roger’s quarter?

OK, I wrote this without checking, those are just my impressions. But the pattern, for me, is quite clear.


trufan Says:

As expected, Nadal is hammering down on a 33 year old stepanek! But its still a long match, given his delay tactics and time violations on almost every single point, come on……..


Leon Says:

The 33yo played a dozen of beautiful points. But age is age.


Wog boy Says:

Leon, i did explain myself on the other thread. Just to make sure that you read it, rest is up to you.


Leon Says:

Wog boy, I’ve read it. No problem, and my remark was made by inertia, there was no special need of it. Cheers.


Wog boy Says:

Leon, thanks.


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4,

I know your a skeptic of the “fair random draws” in the past. I do have some questions myself. Its basic knowledge that 1 and 3 are split, top and bottom. But like why does the #3 seed always end up 99% of the time in one side of the draw. Its suppose to be at random(either top half or bottom). Lately, they seemed to address it but the last couple of years??


skeezerweezer Says:

“Duro Says:
And it’s Baggy’s birthday! Nole sang him a song!”

Now that is cool..anyone have a link to that?

Tom Gainey?


Wog boy Says:

Actually, it was Vajda’s birthday, I think Duro mixed it up, don’t blame him it was 4am where Duro is:)


Steve 27 Says:

Giraldo is right now better player than Harrison, check rankings. Then who is better at this stage Stepanek or Roddick?, is hard to say, both are in decline. Nishikori or clown Monfils, is hard to say too, the french is better but he has chicken head,so the japanese is more difficult. Fish or Tsonga? the response is obvious. Finally, the serbian or the scottish, bah, in this sittuation is more or less, Djokovic, but Murray in three sets format is always dangerous. So, who is talking easy draw now? If you complaint all the time, you dont deserve be a champion. Federer fans are pathetic, I suspect Federer laughs what rivals coming next.


trufan Says:

On US soil, Harrison is more of a threat than Giraldo. Between Stepanek and Roddick? Come on, you’ve gotto be kidding. Roddick is 29, stepanek is 33. Roddick has been No 1, so many slam finals, and a USO winner. And remember, this is almost his home ground!!

Monfils is any day so much stronger than Nishikori.

What do you smoke, Steve 27? Seems pretty effective…

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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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