Jelena Dokic has split with her coach Glenn Schaap just days ahead of the Australian Open. Schaap has returned to Europe but has previously worked with players such as Nadia Petrova, Dinara Safina and Anna Chakvetadze and has only worked with Dokic for about 6 months. Read more
Elena Dementieva, who struggled with a calf injury in the third round, has bolted into the quarterfinals in Paris after defeating Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-3. A second serve that was out by well over a meter gave Dementieva the first set in just 30 minutes.
Scheepers put up more of a battle in the second set but was eventually surpassed by the Russian in just 74 minutes.
Dementieva’s calf will have a tough test in the quarterfinals against either Venus Williams or Nadia Petrova.
Just days after winning the longest match of her career, Serena Williams has bombed out of the Madrid Masters tournament. Nadia Petrova took advantage of a sub-par Williams, winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. While her 41 errors was significantly better than her efforts on Tuesday, Williams expressed her hostility directly at the tournament in her post match interview.
“I wasn’t moving my fastest but all I could do was try and do the best. I don’t know. I definitely wasn’t at my best. This isn’t a player—favourite tournament, just to be honest. None of the players are really gung—ho about playing here.”
Madrid was originally an October hard court tournament but was jammed into the clay court schedule last year.
The controversy comes just days after Williams said “I’m not Justine” after raising her hand against Jelena Jankovic in Rome to signal she wasn’t ready for play – referring to an incident a few years ago at Roland Garros that occurred between Justine and Serena.
In what, I have to be honest, was a bit of a surprise, Ana Ivanovic has defeated Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals in Rome. Admittedly Petrova wasn’t the player who thrash Kim Clijsters in the Australian Open but Ivanovic was also not herself. It has been a while since Ana was able to rely on her serve and string a few wins together.
Ana’s ball toss was not as readable as it has been in the past. The Serbian secured the win 6-2, 7-5 in 76 minutes. Read more
First Ana Ivanovic defeated her first top ten player in 20 months when she beat Victoria Azarenka. Overnight she has followed the win up with another scalp, that of Elena Dementieva for the first time. The Serbian won 6-1, 7-6. Ivanovic looked strong on serve, something which I don’t think I’ve ever said before. The win secured Ivanovic a spot in the quarterfinals where she will play Petrova.
Ivanovic played aggressively in the first set and then lost her way slightly in the second set. After falling behind in the tie break, Ivanovic fought back, taking the match in one hour and 39 minutes. It seems Ivanovic has remembered how to win. Read more
Kim Clijsters has successfully moved into the 4th round of the Miami tournament after defeating Israel’s Shahar Peer 6-0, 6-1. Clijsters looked to have regained her form from late last year, which abandoned her at the Australian Open in a shock defeat to Nadia Petrova. Clijsters was so dominant on serve that she only lost 2 points on her first serve.
Clijsters freely discussed her happiness at re-finding her form, or as she puts it, the connection between arm and brain. It’s nice to have a feeling that your brain and your arm are kind of connecting. In Indian Wells it was a completely different story. Gradually, throughout the two weeks that I’ve been preparing myself, after I lost to Kleybanova, I’ve been really trying to focus on getting my swing back and the feeling where you can play freely, have a loose arm. That’s the feeling when I’m out there playing. It’s a nice feeling to have. But, you know, I know from the past and I’ve learned from the past that it can change very quickly, as well. I just want to try to maintain this feeling and keep focusing, practice on just moving well and taking small steps.”
Kimmy next faces Victoria Azarenka who is trying to defend the title she won last year.
With the women’s action starting at Indian Wells today (Wednesday), much attention has been on Kim Clijsters and assessing her form since being sent packing in the third round of the Australian Open by Nadia Petrova. Clijsters didn’t duck her head and run from Australia after the loss, staying an extra two days for some fun with her family. “I didn’t want to leave with unhappy memories. I wanted to return to Melbourne next year and think of good things.”
The other thing people are talking about, beside Clijsters’ ability to balance playing with family life, is a potential show down with Justine Henin, which would only occur if both ladies made the finals. It’s a mouth watering, and possibly prospect with both Williams sisters boycotting the event. Henin, as she did in Australia, is a dangerous floating wild card on the opposite side of the draw to Clijsters. Henin will most likely face Gisela Dulko in the second round. She should easily dismiss Dulko who has a nasty habit of getting nervous when in front or serving for matches against big players.
Henin will also participate in the WTA Hit for Haiti.
“Things are totally different now. Before, everything was based around me. Now, when I come home from practice I have to make sure I’m home for lunch, pick up food from the supermarket, spend time with Jada.” - Kim Clijsters
>Justine Henin found herself shaking hands with Nadia Petrova today, having beaten the woman who annihilated Kim Clijsters, booking herself a place in the semi finals of the Australian Open. Henin, who took the first set in a tie break, fought her way back from a 0-3 deficit in the second to seal a straight sets victory 7-6, 7-5.
Henin looked dominant and in form when it mattered most, ending point quickly at the net, maintaining her focus and intensity on the important points, taking control of the match. She admitted that she was somewhat low on energy, this being only her second tournament back on the professional circuit, her focus and will to fight is as strong as ever.
“The last few days, that took me a lot of energy. It was important today I wasn’t that long on the court. Even if it was two sets close, it wasn’t that physical. So I’m glad about that.
First the bad thing was to play at 11, but now it’s a good thing because I can recover”
Henin has now won 13 of the pairs 15 meetings and next faces Jie Zheng of China for a spot in the finals.
>- Police continued searching for the man who sexually assaulted a 10 year old girl at the AO yesterday.
- Ball kids went to Melbourne Park early this morning to practice rolling the ball to each other (very cute).
- Even the St Johns Ambulance girls flock to center court to watch Rafa Nadal play. The stadium was quite a bit emptier for Andy Murray.
- Andy Murray hit a personal best of 15 million drop shots in his match against John Isner. To be fair though, it worked everytime. Isner looked lazy and lethargic around the court. He was always 2 steps short of where he should have been.
- Rafa Nadal and Murray are now set for a quaterfinal showdown on Tuesday.
- Justine Henin made it through by the skin of her teeth with an increasing amount of tape on her inner thigh. She now faces the destroyer of seed, Nadia Petrova.
- At the time of writing Fernando Gonzalez was leading against Andy Roddick 2 sets to 1.
- After kicking Rafa Nadal off the practice courts when his practice ran overtime, Marin Cilic took down Juan Martin Del Potro 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
>I arrived in Melbourne this evening with tickets to all the weekend sessions of the AO. I was hoping to see Carla Suarez Navarro, Rafael Nadal, Marcos Baghdatis, Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters (WTA rank 15). As soon as I got to my hotel I turned on the TV. To my dismay Nadia Petrova (WTA rank 19) had match point against Kim Clijsters, and not match point after an epic battle. Kim had been slaughtered 6-0, 6-1 in just 52 minutes.
The first set was over in just 18 minutes with Kim winning just 5 points.
The stocky Russian stunned tournament favourite Clijsters who had won all 4 of their previous meetings.
Q. Did you expect such an easy win?
NADIA PETROVA: Of course not. I was preparing myself already a long day, a long match. Might have been a three‑setter. Just really wanted to give everything I could today. Very happy.
Q. What was it like on court? When did you sense that she was vulnerable, beatable?
NADIA PETROVA: You know what, I really tried to focus win every single point. I really tried to run, win every single point. I start collect my game.
When I broke her again in the second set, then I realized, you know, this is like a two‑set match for me, and I just start cruising through it.