Posted by Staff on May 15th, 2018 @ 9:52 pm
The top names take the court on a big day Wednesday in Rome. Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal opens play against Damir Dzhumur. Nadal comes in on a loss to Dominic Thiem last week in Madrid, but hopes to get back on track and back to No. 1 with a title this week.
Juan Martin del Potro will meet rising youngster Stefanos Tsisipas on Court 3. That match follows Novak Djokovic taking …
Posted by Tom Gainey on May 15th, 2018 @ 10:29 am
Serena Williams is on notice, courtesy of her longtime coach Patrick Mouratoglou. In an interview with wtatennis.com, Mouratoglou said despite her recent withdrawals and not having played a Slam since her 2017 Australian Open triumph, Serena will play the French Open and will play with the intent on winning a 24th major.
“Serena will play the French Open to win it. Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything – after …
Posted by Tom Gainey on May 15th, 2018 @ 10:16 am
Juan Martin del Potro admitted that he chooses other surfaces over clay because he simply doesn’t like to chase balls and play long rallies.
“I don’t like to run too much,” he laughed Sunday in Rome. “And you must play long rallies here on clay.”
“But, I mean, if you play aggressive on this surface also you can be dangerous. But, you need to be 100% physically, mentally, free of pains in …
Posted by Tom Gainey on May 15th, 2018 @ 10:03 am
Rafael Nadal plays every tournament like it’s the biggest event in the world. Slams, Masters, 500s and 250s, they are all the same to Rafa, and that includes the Rome event this week.
With the French Open just around the corner, Nadal isn’t looking ahead. His sole focus is winning in the moment.
“I never consider no one of these events like preparation for another one,” Nadal said of Rome. “Never approach …
Posted by Tom Gainey on May 15th, 2018 @ 9:50 am
It doesn’t happen much out of Grand Slams, but in Rome on Monday an ATP player practiced with a WTA player. In this pairing, for a few minutes Maria Sharapova got a taste of what it’s like to hit with the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
During their brief hit, Sharapova cracked a backhand crosser which forced a Nadal error off the forehand. So Maria won the point!…
Posted by Staff on May 14th, 2018 @ 11:01 pm
The match of the day in the Rome women’s draw Monday went one way, and that was the way of young star Naomi Osaka who destroyed Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-3 for her first European clay win of the season.
“I feel like if I had more matches and I kind of understood the clay better, then probably [I could play well on it],” Osaka said.
“I feel like everyone has had a …
Posted by Staff on May 14th, 2018 @ 10:27 pm
Novak Djokovic got back to playing his brand of tennis Monday in his Rome opener, crushing Alexander Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3.
Though the Ukraine has been limited by injury this year, Djokovic was sharp all around, especially with his serve losing just 11 points total on his delivery.
“It was a great start. I always feel very comfortable in Rome. I think the conditions are quite suitable to my game,” Djokovic said. “I …
Posted by Tom Gainey on May 14th, 2018 @ 11:03 am
For the first time since 2008, home favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will miss the French Open. The 2-time semifinalist at Roland Garros has withdrawn due to his left knee.
The 33-year-old Tsonga underwent surgery on that left knee on April 3 and hasn’t played since retiring in the semifinals of Marseille in February.
“I’m obviously very disappointed, but I still want to come to Lyon as an ambassador and to Roland Garros as …
Posted by Staff on May 14th, 2018 @ 9:29 am
Alexander Zverev threw himself into the French Open favorites mix Sunday, defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match of the Madrid Open.
The 21-year-old lifted the Madrid title for the first time.
“All in all, I’m just really happy with how I played, that I could win my third Masters,” said Zverev. “So far it’s been pretty good for me on clay this year. Hopefully I can continue this kind …
Posted by Staff on May 13th, 2018 @ 11:30 am
Petra Kvitova, the Queen of Clay?
The two-time Wimbledon champion expresses no love for the red dirt, but the results have proven different of late. On Saturday the No. 10 seed beat unseeded Kiki Bertens 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 for the Madrid Open title, her second straight clay title after Prague.
“It feels sweet and weird as well,” said Kvitova who was playing her 11th match in 13 days. “I didn’t really expect …
Posted by Staff on May 12th, 2018 @ 9:38 pm
Dominic Thiem returned to the Madrid final for a second straight year, and this time in search of his first Masters title, he won’t have to face Rafael Nadal. Instead, it will be the German wunderkind Alexander Zverev.
Zverev worked his way past Denis Shapovalov in a what could be a future rivalary. But so far, it’s Zverev with two wins over the Canadian in Masters semifinals, and on Saturday it …
Posted by Staff on May 12th, 2018 @ 5:59 pm
Will Rafael Nadal face Dominic Thiem for the second week in a row leading into the French Open?
The Italian Open will be the last stop for most of the top players before Paris, and seeds Tomas Berdych, Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, Jack Sock and Novak Djokovic are among those with opening-round challenges.
INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
ROME, Italy; Surface: clay
Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro, Dominic Thiem, …
Posted by Staff on May 12th, 2018 @ 4:52 pm
It’s a loaded field at the Italian Open, where unseeded floaters Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Naomi Osaka and Svetlana Kuznetsova are among the players making it difficult for the seed in early-round meetings.
INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
ROME, Italy; surface: clay
Seeds: Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Garcia, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Keys, Daria Kasatkina, Anastasija Sevastova, Ashleigh Barty
Posted by Staff on May 11th, 2018 @ 9:28 pm
Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova will clash Saturday for the biggest clay title so far in 2018.
Bertens kept her incredible run going crushing Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-2.
“I’m really happy with the way I played. I think it was maybe not great tennis, what people want to see with a lot of winners,” Bertens said.
“Caroline is a great player, so I was just trying to play as many different balls as …
Posted by Staff on May 11th, 2018 @ 9:18 pm
The last man to beat Rafael Nadal did it again Friday in Madrid as Dominic Thiem stunned Rafa in front of his home fans in emphatic fashion 7-5, 6-3.
Nadal entered the affair having won 21 straight matches on clay with 50 sets in a row. But Thiem, who beat Nadal in Rome last year, was able to stick around in the first then capitalized on two Nadal doubles faults to …