Tag Archives: sisters

Australian Open 2013: Laura Robson into second round

Robson beats American Oudin to deliver first win and join Watson in round two

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

05:33 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

06:16 GMT, 15 January 2013

Laura Robson spent the first year of her life in this charming city and, just short of her 19th birthday, she has now won a grand slam match there.

The British No 2 convincingly overcame America’s Melanie Oudin 6-2 6-3 after 75 minutes of highly efficient combat, played out in warm conditions to reach the second round of the Australian Open, where she will join Heather Watson.

Robson now has the tough task of facing former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, a left hander to whom she is not entirely dissimilar in their natural ball-striking abilities. The Czech will not hugely relish the task, given what her younger opponent did to some illustrious names in the US Open.

Double trouble: Laura Robson joined Heather Watson in the second round of the Australian Open

Double trouble: Laura Robson joined Heather Watson in the second round of the Australian Open

Double trouble: Laura Robson joined Heather Watson in the second round of the Australian Open

There was also evidence in this first round match that the hard work Robson has put in during a long training stint in Florida before Christmas with Croatian coach Zeljko Krajan has already paid a dividend.

She looked in good shape, is gradually moving better and there seems to be some extra ‘pop’ on her groundstrokes and, especially, her serve. That yielded eleven aces on a medium paced hard court and readily got her out of trouble on the few occasions she was threatened.

Oudin is a cautionary tale, a rising star at 17 who reached the US Open quarter finals and Wimbledon fourth round but has subsequently struggled to handle the pressures thrust upon her in a country anxiously looking for successors to the Williams sisters.

Blue skies: Robson impressed the healthy crowd in attendance in Melbourne

Blue skies: Robson impressed the healthy crowd in attendance in Melbourne

Robson’s rise has been more gradual due mainly to growth-related injuries, and that may not be a bad thing. Having lost here in the first round a year ago she should now move back into the top 50 having slipped this week to 53, and she looks worth that position.

Supported by a decent British contingent in the crowd Robson, who arrived in the UK aged six via a long stint in Singapore, was even treated to a version of the national anthem as she pulled ahead in the first set.

Oudin, ranked 30 places below her, was behind from the start as the Wimbledon-based southpaw repeatedly tucked into her serve and forced her onto the backfoot. When Robson came to serve she was hardly threatened, regularly able to crunch away a winner from a short return as the American struggled to cope with the swing, spin and speed of her left-handed delivery.

Eyes on the prize: Robson will now take on former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the second round

Eyes on the prize: Robson will now take on former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the second round

The British No 2 was up around the 110 mph mark on plenty of occasions and the diminutive Oudin was left flailing around in despair, not helped by her misfiring forehand in the case of rallies getting started. Such was the accuracy of Robson’s drives into the corners that most of the time she was not in a comfortable postion to play the shot.

Robson got ahead for 3-2 in the second but then played her worst service game to get broken for the only time. She broke again immediately afterwards and this time had no problem consolidating, clinching a second match point when Oudin sent another forehand wide and long.

After losing to her near contemporary Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Hobart WTA event last week this was just what was needed, and she now has very little to lose against Kvitova in what could be steaming hot conditions.

US Open 2012: Angelique Kerber beats Venus Williams

Kerber keeps it up against the Williams sisters with battling win over Venus

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UPDATED:

06:13 GMT, 31 August 2012

Sixth seed Angelique Kerber continued her winning streak against the Williams sisters with a dramatic victory over Venus on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

With Venus unseeded after a tough year following her revelation in New York 12 months ago that she was suffering from the auto-immune disease Sjogren's Syndrome, there was always the possibility of a big match early on.

Last year's tournament held different memories for German Kerber, who has not looked back since her surprise run to the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, and she battled to a 6-2 5-7 7-5 win after two hours and 45 minutes.

Through: Angelique Kerber celebrates her win

Through: Angelique Kerber celebrates her win

Kerber has now beaten Venus three times this season while she is also the only woman to have beaten title favourite Serena since the French Open in May.

Venus has shown signs of better form recently but a tally of 60 unforced errors, including a mammoth 16 double faults, eventually proved her undoing.

The 32-year-old American showed terrific spirit in the second set, three times fighting back from a break down, including when Kerber served for the match at 5-4.

And it was Venus who made the first move in the decider to lead 4-2 before Kerber hit straight back.

She was two points from defeat at 4-5 30-30 but nailed a forehand down the line and Venus would probably rather forget the last two games.

Kerber said: 'It's unbelievable. It started one year ago and I have great memories. This match was so tough and so close. Venus is such a great player and I'm very happy to beat her here.

Errors: Venus Williams played an erratic match

Errors: Venus Williams played an erratic match

'Everybody was against me but it doesn't matter, it was such great support. I just tried to focus on me and fight for every point until the last one. I'm very happy to be in the third round.'

The Williams sisters have had a complicated relationship at times with US crowds but there was no doubt who the noisy fans were cheering tonight.

Venus said: 'This is the first time I've ever played here that the crowd has been behind me like that. Today I felt American for the first time at the US Open. I've waited my whole career to have this moment and here it is.

'It was awesome. It felt like winning gold. It really meant something. I'm looking forward to having that support in doubles and next year as well.'

Venus looked understandably disconsolate as she left the court, adding: 'Being on the losing end of a match like this isn't a lot of fun but that's sport.

Not fun: Williams, unsurprisingly, did not enjoy her defeat

Not fun: Williams, unsurprisingly, did not enjoy her defeat

'Today all I had was fight because I didn't play well. I made 60 errors so it's very difficult to win a match like that.

'I was fighting her and me. But I know one day I'm going to play her and make less errors. Unfortunately it wasn't today.'

Childhood friend Andy Roddick announced today that he would be retiring from the sport after the tournament but Venus still feels she has unfinished business with tennis.

She said: 'If I could have made two more shots, I probably could have won that match. I think there's a big difference for me because I'm beating myself.

'If I was out there and people were killing me, maybe it's time to hang it up. But right now I have to find the answer inside myself.'

Serena and Venus Williams win doubles title

Mine's a double! Serena bags her second Wimbledon title of the year as Williams sisters edge tight final

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 7 July 2012

Serena Williams made it two titles in a day as she followed up victory over Agnieszka Radwanska by partnering sister Venus to doubles glory at Wimbledon tonight.

The American siblings, 30-year-old Serena and 32-year-old Venus, beat Czech sixth seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5 6-4.

Venus sealed victory with a searing ace. Almost five hours after clinching her 14th grand slam singles title, and fifth at Wimbledon, with victory over Radwanska in three sets, Serena was back out on Centre Court after a five-set men's doubles final.

Champions again: Serena and Venus (right) Williams with their doubles trophies

Champions again: Serena and Venus (right) Williams with their doubles trophies

She and Venus, who will also team up for the United States when the Olympics comes to Wimbledon later this month, gave a typically forceful performance to earn their fifth Wimbledon doubles title together, and 13th slam in tandem.

Venus had suffered a tough first-round exit from the singles, losing to Russian Elena Vesnina, and her career has been hit by Sjogren's syndrome, the autoimmune disease, which has left her lacking in energy.

Leaving it late: Serena and Venus Williams took their time to win

Leaving it late: Serena and Venus Williams took their time to win

She gave as good as Serena today and the Williamses were just too strong for their opponents, breaking through in the 11th game of the opening set and the fifth game of the second.

There was a scare when Serena slipped awkwardly in the seventh game but she climbed gingerly to her feet, and in the next game it was Venus taking centre stage, her volleying at the net quite remarkable as three times in rapid succession she intercepted attempted passing shots, the third volley winning the point.

The Williams sisters' previous titles together at Wimbledon came in 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2009.

Doing it for themselves: The Williams sisters in action

Doing it for themselves: The Williams sisters in action

Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker warning to Arsenal

We're not afraid! Tottenham midfielder Parker issues warning to rivals Arsenal

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UPDATED:

09:27 GMT, 14 March 2012

Scott Parker claims Tottenham have nothing to fear from resurgent Arsenal in the battle for a top-four finish.

Three-placed Spurs have seen their
advantage over their north London rivals cut from 10 points to a single
point after three successive defeats in the Barclays Premier League.

Focused: Scott Parker has backed Spurs to claim a top-four finish

Focused: Scott Parker has backed Spurs to claim a top-four finish

The wobble sparked taunts from Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny and team-mate Theo Walcott, who said his side are coming to get their rivals from down the Seven Sisters Road.

But Spurs midfielder Parker told the Daily Mirror: 'I wouldn’t say we’re worried one bit.

'We’re focused. We need to win football matches. That’s it.

'We’re in such a good league. Every week
you’re looking. There’s Arsenal. There’s Chelsea. Ultimately all we can
do is keep performing and keep picking up results.

Parker was sent off in the 5-2 defeat against Arsenal

Tough time: Parker was sent off in the 5-2 defeat against Arsenal

'We’ve got some good senior players here. William Gallas has been in this position before – he’s won championships.

'We know what we need to do. We need to all pull together and see through the last remaining part of the season.'

Since their glittering 5-0 win over
Newcastle, Spurs have been held to a goalless draw in the FA Cup by
League One side Stevenage, put in a poor performance at Arsenal, been
mugged 3-1 by Manchester United and lost 1-0 at Everton on Saturday.

Even in their 3-1 replay win over Stevenage, they conceded the first goal.

Parker
says his side must add a keener cutting edge to the industry which was
back on display against Sir Alex Ferguson’s champions.

He said: 'The second-half performance against Arsenal was nowhere near our standard.

'Then against United the performance we got the performance, but we all know this is a results business.

'Hopefully we can go on a run now. We’ve got some difficult fixtures coming up.'