Tag Archives: cruises

Australian Open 2013: Serena Williams beats Maria Kirilenko to face Sloane Stephens

Williams cruises past Kirlenko to set up mouthwatering clash against the youngster billed as the next Serena

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:42 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 21 January 2013

Serena Williams was in fine fettle as she beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The American will face her compatriot Sloane Stephens who is competing in her first grand slam quarter-final after beating Bojana Jovanovski.

Serena landed close to 90 per cent of her first serves and knew herself how strong her performance was.

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

'I thought I played really well,' Williams told The Australian. 'I didn't expect to come out and play so well tonight.

'I
was like 'wow'. I saw I had like 95 per cent of first serves in the
first set and I thought: “Who is this girl” It's not me normally.'

Stephens
is the 'next big thing' in American tennis and the clash against Serena
will be intriguing. The 19-year-old beat Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 to
set up the clash against her childhood hero.

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Although she doesn't like being compared to Serena, there are similarities between the two.

Both have powerful serves and like playing from the baseline, for instance.

They get along well off of the court too, often texting each other. 'We just keep it goofy,' Stephens said. 'She’s like the goofiest person I know.'

Serena said of Sloane: 'I think she's playing great. We played just two weeks ago in Brisbane, she played unbelievably well.

'I think she is an incredible talent and I admire her too. It will be a tough match for me but I feel like I have nothing to lose.'

Tale of the tape

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

Age

31

19

Weight

155lbs

135lbs

Height

5'9″

5'7″

Birthplace

Saginaw, MI, USA

Plantation, FL, USA

World seeding

3

25

Serena v Sloane

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

WTA Singles titles

47

0

WTA Doubles titles

22

0

ITF Circuits singles titles

0

1

ITF Doubles titles

0

1

Prize money

$41,960,896

$694,995

Won/Lost Singles

558-108

108-77

Won/Lost Doubles

166-21

29-32

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Andy Murray beats Paul-Henri Mathieu at Paris Masters

Murray cruises past home star Mathieu on return to action at Paris Masters

PUBLISHED:

20:25 GMT, 31 October 2012

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 31 October 2012

Andy Murray showed no sign of the back injury that has troubled him recently as he advanced past Paul-Henri Mathieu at the BNP Paribas Open in Paris.

Murray returned to the court for the first time since he cited a back problem as the reason for pulling out on the eve of last week's event in Basle.

The US Open champion moved freely in his second-round match as he was at times made to sweat before eventually overpowering his 30-year-old French rival 7-5 6-3 in one hour 33 minutes.

Ready: Murray

He's back: Murray on court…

Serving: Murray

… serving to the ball to Mathieu…

Focused: Murray

… and looking focused in Paris

Mathieu, a wildcard entrant, pushed
Murray throughout the opening set, but succumbed thereafter before
conceding the match with a double fault.

'I felt okay. I served pretty well,
but I struggled a bit on the return especially at the beginning of the
match,' Murray told Sky Sports 2.

'It's hard to say (how long it will
take to return to full match sharpness). I've been playing very well in
practice and felt confident today, but when the match started it's
different conditions.

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

'I struggled with my timing. I've never played my best tennis at this tournament, but I'd like to change that.

'You'd hope after three or four matches you are starting to play better.'

Murray will next meet qualifier Jerzy
Janowicz, who he beat in the Davis Cup a couple of years ago, after the
Pole upset 13th seed Marin Cilic.

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

That will come as a relief to Murray
who was solid rather than spectacular in his first match since losing
the final in Shanghai to Novak Djokovic at the start of the month.

He was forced to battle in a competitive opening set that lasted just shy of an hour.

The Scot was frustrated in the opening
exchanges as Mathieu looked the more comfortable in reaching 5-5. But
with the set on the line Murray found an extra gear at the right time.

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

After breaking Mathieu to love to make
it 6-5, he was still made to sweat for the set as the Frenchman grabbed
a couple of break-back points.

Murray coolly averted the danger,
however, firing down and ace before Mathieu bunted a second serve long,
to allow the world number three to close the set out soon afterwards.

After keeping pace with Murray for the
best part of an hour Mathieu started to lose his way as he was
immediately broken in the second set.

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Murray's passing shot was initially
called long but, after asking for a replay, he was handed the opening
game before a second break made it 4-1.

Mathieu briefly threatened a comeback when he pulled back a break but Murray stepped it up again to go through.

Heather Watson through but Laura Robson out in Osaka

Watson cruises through in Japan but Robson crashes out at quarter-final stage

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 12 October 2012

There were mixed fortunes for Britain's two quarter-finalists as Heather Watson was left to fly the flag in the HP Open in Osaka.

Watson needed only two sets but almost two hours to overcome France's Pauline Parmentier – ranked two places below her at 73rd in the world.

But Laura Robson, seeded eighth for the tournament, was beaten in a third-set tie-break by Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei.

Lone hope: Heather Watson reached the semi-finals in Osaka

Lone hope: Heather Watson reached the semi-finals in Osaka

Watson's match featured 12 breaks of serve in 21 games, with the Guernsey player grabbing her fourth late in the first set to win it 7-5.

Three more followed for the 20-year-old in the second set as she wrapped up a 7-5 6-3 win.

Robson dropped her serve twice as she lost her first set to the world No 134, but battled back to win the second and level the match.

The third set went with serve all the way, with not even a break point for either player, but Chang took the deciding tie-break to complete a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/4) win.

There was another upset as Misaki Doi ensured a Japanese presence in the semi-finals with a 2-6 6-1 6-3 win over seventh seed Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa. Doi will face Watson in the last four.

Top seed Sam Stosur will provide Chang's semi-final opposition after cruising past American Jamie Hampton 6-2 6-4.

The Australian, ranked ninth in the world, broke twice in the first set and once more in the second, never facing a break point on her own serve as she sealed victory in an hour and four minutes.

Us Open 2012: Sara Errani beats Roberta Vinci

Errani cruises into US Open semi-finals after beating best friend and doubles partner Vinci

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 5 September 2012

Sara Errani continued her remarkable season by beating best friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

Before this season, Errani had never been beyond the third round in singles at a grand slam in 17 attempts, a feat she has now managed three times.

Cruising: Sara Errani was in fantastic form at Flushing Meadows

Cruising: Sara Errani was in fantastic form at Flushing Meadows

Congratulations: Sara Errani (left) is embraced by her friend Roberta Vinci

Congratulations: Sara Errani (left) is embraced by her friend Roberta Vinci

A quarter-final at the Australian Open was followed by a brilliant run to the final of the French Open, and she is now likely to face Serena Williams for a place in another major final.

Vinci has also been having a great season and was playing in her first singles grand slam quarter-final, but she could not match Errani and went down 6-2 6-4.

Unstoppable Errani's wonderful season looks set to continue

Unstoppable Errani's wonderful season looks set to continue

The 10th seed, who has also won four titles on the WTA Tour this season, did not celebrate her win and instead exchanged a long hug with her friend at the net.

The Italian pair have also had a brilliant season together, and their quarter-final victory in women's doubles yesterday ensured Errani will be the new world number one in doubles, with Vinci just behind her.

They won their first grand slam title at the French Open and also reached the final in Australia.

Big hitter: Errani is through to the semi-final of the US Open

Big hitter: Errani is through to the semi-final of the US Open

French Open 2012: Roger Federer sets another record as he eases through first round

Federer equals record as he cruises into second round at Roland Garros

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UPDATED:

13:16 GMT, 28 May 2012

Roger Federer equalled Jimmy Connors' record of 233 grand slam match victories by easing into the second round of the French Open.

The Swiss was not at his best in his Roland Garros opener but still proved too strong for Germany's Tobias Kamke, winning 6-2 7-5 6-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Easy: Roger Federer eased past Tobias Kamke in the French Open

Easy: Roger Federer eased past Tobias Kamke in the French Open

Having cruised through the first set, Federer found himself a break down in the second but he upped his game to break back and then break once more to establish a commanding advantage.

Not today: Tobias Kamke could do nothing to stem Federer's flow

Not today: Tobias Kamke could do nothing to stem Federer's flow

The third set was routine as Federer advanced to a second-round clash with either veteran Argentinian David Nalbandian or Romania's Adrian Ungur.

World number three Federer won the last of his 16 grand slam crowns at the 2010 Australian Open.

He won at Roland Garros in 2009 and was the runner-up last year to Rafael Nadal.

Australian Open 2012: Roger Federer straight sets victory over Alexander Kudryavtsev

Federer cruises to straight sets victory over opponent he had to look up on the internet


Easy: Roger Federer strolled to victory

Easy: Roger Federer strolled to victory

Roger Federer cruised through to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne with a straight-sets win over Russian Alexander Kudryavtsev.

The third seed admitted after the match he knew little of his opponent, having to check the internet at the weekend to ensure he was the player he thought he was.

But his lack of knowledge meant little on court, as Federer breezed to a 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory in little over an hour and half.

It was a welcome result for Federer who pulled out of the Qatar Open 10 days ago with a back injury.

'It's no problem, I'm happy to be 100 per cent fit,' he said in his post-match court-side interview. 'I've been this way for three or four days. It's a good thing.'

An energetic Kudryavtsev almost took Federer to a tie-break in the opening set, but the Swiss broke at 6-5 and never really let up from that point on.

A moment of complacency saw him allow Kudryavtsev to level at 30-30 in the first game of the second set, but any hopes the Russian had that maybe the heat had got to Federer were dashed when the Swiss powered an ace down the centre to set up the game-winning point.

He broke twice to take the set and a tricky shot through his legs, on a dead ball, garnered as much applause as anything else as he eased to victory.