Tag Archives: stosur

Australian Open 2013 LIVE: Laura Robson takes on Melanie Oudin

Australian Open 2013 LIVE: Follow all the action as Laura Robson kicks off her campaign against Melanie Oudin

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

03:53 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:06 GMT, 15 January 2013

Join Sportsmail for the very best live coverage of the 2013 Australian Open.

Tonight Laura Robson takes on Melanie Oudin as she seeks a second round spot in Melbourne. If she can beat the American it will be the first time that Robson has made it past the first round at this tournament, and she could face either Francesca Schiavone or Petra Kvitova in the next round.

Don't forget you can send your comments to me at [email protected] and follow our tennis correspondent Mike Dickson on Twitter @Mike_Dickson_DM

03.59: Robson
has made it past the first round of a Grand Slam before. The
18-year-old went all the way to the fourth at last year’s US Open,
overcoming Kim Clijsters and Li Na on the way.

She was eventually knocked out by Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-4.

 The British No 2 made broke into the top 50 earlier this month

On the way up: The British No 2 made broke into the top 50 earlier this month

03.41am: Heather
Watson fought through illness to overcome Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu
in her first round match yesterday, and now British No 2 Robson will be
doing her best to join her.

These two actually met during the qualifying rounds of last year's Australian Open. Robson took the victory in straight sets but since then the American has climbed from 166 in the world to 84th.

Robson has also risen in the rankings over the last year, breaking into the top 50 for the first time only this month.

Australian Open 2013: Venus Williams wins first round

Venus powers through to continue fine form after recovering from illness

and improved her
ranking to No 24 by year's end.

Easy does it: Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a comfortable win

Easy does it: Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a comfortable win

Williams could meet Maria Sharapova in the third round at Melbourne Park and was pleased to have negotiated the first hurdle with the minimum of fuss.

The American said: 'It's nice to spend less time on court and not be in long sets.

'A win is a win no matter what it is, but it's nice when it's more routine.'

Good game: Williams shakes hands with Galina Voskoboeva and was watched by sister Serena (below)

Good game: Williams shakes hands with Galina Voskoboeva and was watched by sister Serena (below)

Serena Williams

There were also wins for in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, sixth seed Li Na and home favourite Sam Stosur.

Radwanska, the winner of the warm-up events in Auckland and Sydney, looked in danger of dropping her first set of 2013 when Australian wild card Bojana Bobusic served for the opener at 5-4 but the Pole upped her level and rattled off the next nine games to go through 7-5 6-0.

Nervy moments: Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a sluggish start to beat Bojana Bobusic in straight sets

Nervy moments: Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a sluggish start to beat Bojana Bobusic in straight sets

Li, the runner-up here in 2011, eased past Kazakhstan's Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1 6-3 but Stosur was made to work harder by Chang Kai-Chen of Chinese Taipei.

Ninth seed Stosur has only managed to reach the fourth round of her home grand slam and had her nervy moments once again before securing a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 triumph.

Rory McIlroy"s girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki arrives in Australia with diamond encrusted ring

Woz that an engagement ring McIlroy's tennis star girlfriend Wozniacki arrives in Australia with a sparkling diamond encrusted ring

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UPDATED:

11:31 GMT, 28 December 2012

Caroline Wozniacki touched down in Brisbane to begin her preparation for the Australian Open sporting an eye-catching diamond encrusted ring on her left hand, presumably from boyfriend Rory McIlroy.

The northern Irish golfer was by his girlfriend’s side as she practiced at the Queensland Tennis Centre ahead of the Brisbane International, which begins on Sunday.

Wozniacki said of boyfriend McIlroy at the airport: ‘He leaves me alone to just let me do my thing.’

Bling: Wozniacki shows off her ring

Bling: Wozniacki shows off her ring

Happy: The Dane was in a good mood as she arrived Down Under

Happy: The Dane was in a good mood as she arrived Down Under

McIlroy has had a year to remember as he won his second major title at the PGA Championship in August as well as claiming the world No 1 spot.

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Aussie Sam Stosur are also taking part in the Brisbane tournament with the first major of the year in Melbourne just weeks away.

Belarusian Victoria Azarenka is the reigning Australian Open champion after she thrashed Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in the final last year.

Spectator: McIlroy watches his girlfriend train

Spectator: McIlroy watches his girlfriend train

Going for glory: Wozniacki is preparing for the Brisbane International on Sunday in the lead up to the Australian Open

Going for glory: Wozniacki is preparing for the Brisbane International on Sunday in the lead up to the Australian Open

Victoria Azarenka stays world No 1 with win in Istanbul

Queen Victoria: Azarenka stays world No 1 after win over Na in Istanbul

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 26 October 2012

Victoria Azarenka ensured herself the No 1 spot until the end of the year with a straight-sets win over Li Na in the WTA Championship in Istanbul.

The Belarus player and No 1 seed defeated her eighth-seeded Chinese opponent after being pushed hard in the opening set.

Azarenka went to take it on the tie-break before dominating the second set to win 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.

On top of the world: Victoria Azarenka kept her No 1 spot after beating Li Na in Istanbul

On top of the world: Victoria Azarenka kept her No 1 spot after beating Li Na in Istanbul

On course for victory: Azarenka on her way to victory over Na

On course for victory: Azarenka on her way to victory over Na

Maria Sharapova swept past Sam Stosur 6-0 6-3 but that was not good enough to take the No 1 ranking after Azarenka's win.

The Russian second seed made it three wins but was already qualified for the semi-finals before she faced Australian Stosur, who had replaced defending champion Petra Kvitova after the Czech Republic player withdrew with illness.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland reached the
semi-finals when she edged Sara Errani of Italy 6-7 (6/8) 7-5 6-4 in a
match that lasted three-and-a-half hours.

Fighting hard: Li Na can't prevent being beaten by Azarenka

Fighting hard: Li Na can't prevent being beaten by Azarenka

Job done: Azarenka is congratulated by Na at the end of the match

Job done: Azarenka is congratulated by Na at the end of the match

The fourth-ranked Radwanska will now play Serena Williams on Saturday after the American finished her three group matches undefeated.

Azarenka was thrilled with her achievement in securing the year-end world number one spot.

'It's a dream come true and I feel great,' she said.

'Now I just want to play my last matches
of the year and then after that I can relax and enjoy this moment more.
Right now I'm in competition and trying to focus on every single day –
there's still a lot of challenge in this tournament.'

Not quite enough: Maria Sharapova beat Samantha Stosur but could not claim top spot in the rankings

Not quite enough: Maria Sharapova beat Samantha Stosur but could not claim top spot in the rankings

The 23-year-old will face world No 2 Sharapova in the last four. She leads the Russian 7-4 in head-to-head meetings and has won their last six hardcourt encounters.

On the victory, Azarenka reflected: 'I felt like the first set was a bit of a rollercoaster – she was playing well at some points and I was playing well at some points, and we're both big shot-makers, so it all depended on who was getting control at what time.

'The momentum was going back and forth, but I'm glad I stayed through it and fought hard, even though I didn't feel I was executing well.'

Caroline Wozniacki beats Samantha Stosur

Wozniacki battles to 20th career title with hard-fought win over Stosur in Moscow

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UPDATED:

14:57 GMT, 21 October 2012

Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki defeated top seed Sam Stosur to claim the Kremlin Cup title in a tough three-set match lasting two and a quarter hours in Moscow.

Both women had come through testing three-set battles on Saturday and entered the final with the Australian slightly holding the upper hand in past meetings, having won three of five.

However, it was the Dane who prevailed, winning 6-2 4-6 7-5 to add to the title she won in Seoul last month.

Happy days: Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Samantha Stosur

Happy days: Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Samantha Stosur

Stosur has not won a title since she was crowned US Open champion more than a year ago and was inconsistent, her four aces accompanied by seven double faults.

Neither did she have any success with her second serve making her reliant on her first and only six of 15 break points were converted.

In contrast Wozniacki was consistent if not spectacular with greater success on her serve as well as taking greater advantage of her break point opportunities.

On her way: Wozniacki won her 20th title in Moscow

On her way: Wozniacki won her 20th title in Moscow

Wozniacki said on Twitter: 'Won in Moscow today! 20th tournament title:) #excited.'

Boyfriend and world No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy Tweeted: '20th WTA title for @CaroWozniacki!!!! So happy and proud of her!!!'

The outcome of the men's final between Thomaz Bellucci and Andreas Seppi was similarly unpredictable before the latter finally prevailed 3-6 7-6 (7/3) 6-3.

The Italian second seed had lost only four games in his semi-final victory against Malek Jaziri while Bellucci, seeded four, had come through a tough three-set encounter with Ivo Karlovic.

Sealed with a kiss: Andreas Seppi won the men's event in Moscow

Sealed with a kiss: Andreas Seppi won the men's event in Moscow

The fact he had expended far less energy was always going to favour Seppi and so it proved as he came through in two hours and 12 minutes.

Bellucci served 13 aces, 11 more than Seppi and achieved far more success all-round on his serve.

While the Brazilian took far more advantage of his break point opportunities – converting all three – it was Seppi's all-round game that led to victory.

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.

Serena Williams beats Victoria Azarenka in US Open final

Serena keeps her cool to hold off world No 1 Azarenka and claim fourth US Open title

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UPDATED:

23:42 GMT, 9 September 2012

Serena Williams staged a brilliant
fightback to win her 15th grand slam singles title at the US Open in a
thrilling final against world No 1 Victoria Azarenka.

The fourth seed dominated the first
set but Azarenka fought back superbly and served for the match in the
decider only for Williams to reel off four games in a row to win 6-2 2-6
7-5.

Star and stripes: Serena Williams

Star and stripes: Serena Williams

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Victoria Azarenka

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Victoria Azarenka

Jumping for joy: Serena celebrates (above) before being floored (below)

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Victoria Azarenka

It was a fourth Flushing Meadows crown for the 30-year-old American, who looked amazed as she lay flat on her back on Arthur Ashe Stadium before going to celebrate with her friends and family.

'I honestly can't believe I won,' she said at the post-match ceremony. 'I really was preparing my runners-up speech. She's playing so great. I'm really shocked and so happy to have gotten so far.'

Azarenka was gracious in defeat, and said she would leave Flushing Meadows with no regrets.

'At the moment it's tough, but Serena deserved to win,' the 23-year-old said. 'She showed how true a champion she is. I'm just honoured standing with such a champion here.

'I definitely gave it all today and stepping out of this court today I will have no regrets.'

For Williams it was also redemption of a kind after last year's final defeat by Sam Stosur, which was marred by an altercation between Williams and umpire Eva Asderaki over a hindrance call, for which she was later fined.

High point: Serena Williams

High point: Serena Williams

Shock and roar: Victoria Azarenka produced a spirited fightback

Shock and roar: Victoria Azarenka produced a spirited fightback

Williams is only the world No 4
but she was a clear favourite going into the match after a stellar
summer that included her fifth Wimbledon title and two Olympic gold
medals.

The 30-year-old, meanwhile, had beaten Azarenka in nine of their 10
previous meetings and had dropped only 19 games on her way to the final.

Williams had not had the toughest path, playing only one player in the
top 10, while Azarenka had had to battle her way past Stosur and Maria
Sharapova, but the American looked in supreme form as she blasted her
way through the first set.

But the tables turned completely in the second set as Williams began to
make errors and Azarenka, who won her first grand slam title at the
Australian Open as part of a brilliant opening to the season,
capitalised.

Not since Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles in 1995 had there been a
three-set women's final, and this one was now very much in the balance.

The intensity from both women was there for all to see and Azarenka, one
of the sport's great fighters, did very well to stave off two break
points in the second game.

On the slide: Williams struggled after impressive start

On the slide: Williams struggled after impressive start

Colourful: US singer Redfoo of the group LMFAO in the stands

Colourful: US singer Redfoo of the group LMFAO in the stands

She got her reward in the next game when Williams hooked a backhand just
wide to hand the lead to her opponent for the first time in the match.

Azarenka had not lost a three-set match all year and she looked a lot
more solid than Williams, whose unforced error count was well into the
30s.

But the American is also a natural-born battler and she broke back in a
lengthy fourth game with two huge forehands, letting out a scream that
was as long as it was loud.

Williams sent down one ace at 125mph but she always seemed liable to
falter at any moment and it was Azarenka screaming when four errors from
her opponent gave her the lead back at 4-3.

Williams smacked her racquet on the ground in frustration as an Azarenka
shot hit the baseline to prevent the fourth seed breaking back and
suddenly the Belarusian had a 5-3 lead.

High point: Azarenka hits a return

High point: Azarenka hits a return

Pure delight: Serena celebrates victory

Pure delight: Serena celebrates victory

But she could not serve it out, Williams breaking back to the delight of
the American crowd and in particular her sister Venus watching in the
stands.

The 30-year-old was moving her feet much better and the next time Azarenka served it was to stay in the match.

Williams was a woman on a mission and, although Azarenka came up with a
superb volley to keep her at bay, it was only temporary, and she took
her second match point when the world number one fired a backhand long.

US Open 2012: Serena Williams beats Sara Errani

Williams hammers Errani to set up US Open final clash with world No 1 Azarenka

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UPDATED:

00:17 GMT, 8 September 2012

Serena Williams will face world No 1 Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final on Saturday after the American ended the run of Sara Errani in a one-sided semi-final.

Williams triumphed 6-1 6-2 in one hour and four minutes in a match that could not have been more different to the earlier contest between Azarenka and Maria Sharapova which was a far closer affair.

Williams is looking for her fourth title at Flushing Meadows in her sixth final after losing to Sam Stosur last year, and she has lost only one of 10 previous meetings with Azarenka.

Easy does it: Serena Williams hammered Sara Errani in her semi-final match

Easy does it: Serena Williams hammered Sara Errani in her semi-final match

The clash against Errani always looked like a mismatch, and so it proved. At only 5ft 4 1/2in and slight, Errani was giving away a huge amount of power to her opponent, and it told.

Williams won the first five games before the Italian finally got on the board, and that was only a minor delay before the fourth seed clinched the opening set after half an hour with a backhand winner.

It was her 18th winner in seven games compared to three from her opponent, and the pattern continued at the start of the second set.

Errani has had a brilliant season, reaching her first grand slam final at the French Open and establishing herself in the top 10, and she certainly was not about to give up.

Powerhouse: Williams set up a final with Victoria Azarenka at Flushing Meadows

Powerhouse: Williams set up a final with Victoria Azarenka at Flushing Meadows

Not quite there: Sara Errani threw everything at Williams but it wasn't enough

Not quite there: Sara Errani threw everything at Williams but it wasn't enough

She won the third game of the second set to at least give herself hope, but that was fading fast as Williams extended her lead to 4-1.

Errani simply could do nothing to take the American out of her comfort zone and Williams set up match point with a crunching backhand winner down the line.

She missed that one and Errani doggedly held serve but the Italian had got nowhere near Williams' serve all match and the 30-year-old clinched victory with a second-serve ace, letting out a scream of delight.

Williams was the hot favourite to win the title before the tournament after her Wimbledon and Olympic success, and that has certainly not changed.

She has dropped only 19 games in six matches, and blasted 38 winners compared to only six from Errani.

Williams said: 'It's really awesome. This is what I wanted and what I dreamed of all year. I'm really happy, I'm in the final again, and I'm excited.'

Errani still has a chance of winning US Open silverware when she and fellow Italian Roberta Vinci take on Czech pair Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova in the women's doubles final.

Stars on show: The likes of Eva Longoria and WIll Ferrell attended the thrilling match

Stars on show: The likes of Eva Longoria and WIll Ferrell attended the thrilling match

Stars on show: The likes of Eva Longoria and WIll Ferrell attended the thrilling match

US Open 2012: Laura Robson spotted by Jo Durie at age 10

Robson a big hit with Durie! Former British star saw Laura's potential at age 10

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 3 September 2012

Jo Durie well recalls first encountering a 10-year-old Laura Robson and the immediate impression she made when they got on a practice court together.

Brought along by her mother, Kathy, for a try-out with former world No 5 Durie and her long-time coaching partner Alan Jones, something stood out from the other girls they were working with.

‘Straightaway you could tell she hit the ball really well. A lot of the time it went into the back fence but there was an unusual sense of timing,’ said Durie, who helped guide her for two years.

Bright future: Laura Robson enjoyed a fine run to the US Open fourth round

Bright future: Laura Robson enjoyed a fine run to the US Open fourth round

‘I remember her losing in the first round of the national Under 12 championships. We asked her and Kathy afterwards if she wanted to win Under 12 titles just by making fewer mistakes than her opponent or end up being good at 18 by learning to hit the ball properly and hard and lose a few more matches than might be expected.’

Sensible words, as by taking the latter course Robson is comfortably the best 18-year-old in the world. After reaching the fourth round of the US Open she is the best equipped home-produced player to emulate Durie, who in the mid-Eighties was the last British woman to reach the quarter and semi-finals of Grand Slams.

Robson was really not far off beating Samantha Stosur before losing 6-4, 6-4 late on Sunday. With a little more composure at junctures such as two break points at 4-4 in the first set, she could have been in the last eight.

Power games: Robson already has formidable weapons in her arsenal

Power games: Robson already has formidable weapons in her arsenal

Durie, who is still working to produce the next generation at her academy in Northwood, Middlesex, knows there is more to come from Robson.

‘It is exciting because there is still a lot of improving to do,’ said Durie. ‘The best thing about her in New York has been her willingness to run and chase. Ultimately it has to come from the player. It’s obvious how well she hits the ball.

‘She has also got to improve the consistency on her serve, which can be a big weapon but a bit horrible at other times.

Blast from the past: Brit favourite Jo Durie

Blast from the past: Brit favourite Jo Durie

‘When you look at some of the players who have got into the top 10, you would ask why shouldn’t she Providing she works hard, she will make the top 20, but after that it is not easy to tell. Some things can only come from the player.’

Robson, who has clothing and equipment contracts with adidas and Wilson respectively, is quite a potential commodity when you consider what the likes of Jessica Ennis have earned this year. While London 2012 was a one-off springboard for Ennis, tennis is an almost year-round showcase that includes Britain’s biggest annual sports event.

It is conceivable Robson will do extremely well at Wimbledon in the coming years as her game is perfectly suited to grass. She loves the ball coming at her relatively low and at pace while a left-handed serve that is already clocking 112mph should develop into a considerable asset. Those are attributes which caused Murray to pick her as his Olympic mixed doubles partner.

Murray collects about 2million a year for his clothing deal alone so it is not hard to see how Robson, blessed with looks and intelligence, will fare in the market if she continues to deliver on the promise of the Wimbledon junior title she won at 14.

After food poisoning interrupted her promised retail therapy in Manhattan on Monday she will head home before going to Asia for a series of WTA Tour events before the season rounds off in Europe.

US OPEN 2012: Laura Robson beaten by Samantha Stosur

Robson's run comes to an end as Brit is defeated by defending champion Stosur

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 2 September 2012

Laura Robson's valiant US Open campaign was brought to an end on Sunday night by defending champion Samantha Stosur.

The Brit, who beat Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Li Na en route to the fourth round, could not capitalise on a number of opportunities as she went down 6-4, 6-4 to the Australian.

Robson broke Stosur early in the match but was then broken twice herself as she lost a tight first set. Several break points then came and went in the second set as the 18-year-old was eventually overpowered by her more experienced opponent.

More to follow…

Beaten: Robson's valiant run came to an end on Sunday night

Beaten: Robson's valiant run came to an end on Sunday night

Defending champion: Stosur advances to the last eight

Defending champion: Stosur advances to the last eight

Brave effort: Robson saved eight match points

Brave effort: Robson saved eight match points

Brave effort: Robson saved eight match points

More to follow…

Job done: Stosur is defending the US Open crown she won last year

Job done: Stosur is defending the US Open crown she won last year

Heading home: But Robson has enjoyed a tremendous run

Heading home: But Robson has enjoyed a tremendous run

Heading home: But Robson has enjoyed a tremendous run