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Azarenka drops Sharapova in Sony Ericsson title match
Swapping shrieks along with their shots, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka made rallies sound like a car alarm. Azarenka’s skills ultimately won out in a 6-1, 6-4 victory Saturday in the women’s championship match of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.
The final pitted two of the most notorious grunters in tennis, and while both were noisy, the eighth-seeded Azarenka’s shots had more bang as she won nine straight games at one point. Sharapova, seeded 16th, committed 43 unforced errors, held serve only once and came up short with a late comeback bid.
But Sharapova, a three-time Grand Slam champion, is healthy again after battling a series of injuries, and the results are starting to show. She’s projected to climb next week to No. 9, the highest she has been ranked since early 2009.
While the women’s tournament was full of surprises, the men’s draw is down to the game’s top-ranked players. No. 1 Rafael Nadal will play for the championship today against No. 2 Novak Djokovic, 23-0 this year.
UNLV baseball team succumbs to late comeback by Utah, 8-4
The UNLV baseball team lost to Utah 8-4 in the second game of a three-game Mountain West Conference series in Salt Lake City.
The Rebels (19-10, 2-6 MWC) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Travis Feiner’s RBI double and run-scoring singles from Cash Thomas and Trevor Kirk. But UNLV managed just one run the rest of the way — on a Rance Roundy RBI groundout in the fifth — and the Utes scored seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Kirk finished 3-for-5 and also scored a run.
Also: The UNLV softball team split two games in its Pre-Conference Round-Up, losing to Seattle 16-8 and beating Loyola Marymount 6-2 at Eller Media Stadium.
In the opener, Seattle sped to a 13-0 lead, scoring two runs in the first inning, seven in the second and four in the third. UNLV (18-13) lost on the run rule after five innings.
Against Loyola Marymount, Amanda Oliveto threw a complete game, allowing seven hits and four walks while striking out seven. Kylie Wagner had a three-run homer in the fifth inning, and Tayler Aleman went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The UNLV women’s tennis team routed Colorado State 7-0 at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
UNLV (13-4, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) swept the three doubles matches for the first point, then took all six singles matches in straight sets. Lucia Batta led the way with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Caitlin Fluegge at No. 1 singles.
The College of Southern Nevada baseball team swept Utah State-College of Eastern Utah 11-1 and 7-5 in Scenic West Athletic Conference action at Morse Stadium.
In the opener, Tyler Blair went 2-for-3 with two doubles and five RBIs for CSN (20-16, 9-11), and Colby Croft went 2-for-2 with a homer. Sam Wolff pitched four innings to get the win, allowing four hits and one walk, with five strikeouts.
Ray Daniels was 2-for-3 with a homer in the second game for CSN, and Duncan Satherlie had a two-run shot as the Coyotes won their eighth straight.
The CSN softball team (25-21, 18-14 SWAC) dropped a doubleheader to North Idaho College, losing 9-7 and 18-10 at the Russell Road Recreation Complex.
Larry Finch, who starred for the Memphis basketball team when it lost to Bill Walton-led UCLA in the 1973 NCAA title game and who went on to coach his alma mater for 11 years, died at age 60.
Memphis spokesman Lamar Chance said Finch died at Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Finch suffered a debilitating stroke in 2002 at age 51. In October 2010, he was hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia.
Wlodarczyk beats Palacios, retains WBC cruiserweight belt
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland retained his WBC cruiserweight title with a split decision over Francisco Palacios of Puerto Rico in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Two judges scored it 114-113 and 118-112 for Wlodarczyk, and the third had it 115-113 for Palacios.
Also: Marco Huck retained his WBO cruiserweight title for the sixth time with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Ran Nakash of Israel in Halle, Germany.
Huck won with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 118-110. The German champion improved to 32-1, and Nakash lost for the first time in 26 professional fights.
Hassan N’Dam successfully defended his interim WBA middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Giovanni Lorenzo in Le Cannet, France. The judges’ scores were 119-110, 119-109 and 116-110.
Rumors that Kimi Raikkonen was headed to NASCAR became reality when the former Formula One world champion signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
The Finn will make his NASCAR debut May 20 driving a KBM Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Trucks Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
England beat the U.S. women’s soccer team for the first time since 1988, handing the top-ranked Americans a 2-1 exhibition defeat in London.
Wayne Rooney’s hat trick kept Manchester United on track to win the English Premier League with a 4-2 comeback victory over West Ham in London, while the title hopes of Arsenal and defending champion Chelsea were hurt by draws.
Second-place Arsenal drew 0-0 with visiting Blackburn, and Chelsea, in third, needed a 33rd-minute header by Didier Drogba to escape with a 1-1 draw against Stoke.
The Minnesota Wild said defenseman Nick Schultz will miss the rest of the season with post-concussion symptoms.
India won cricket’s World Cup for the first time in 28 years with a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.
Japan Vs Argentina Federation Cup Match Postponed
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 at 12:56 pm , filed under Tennis News by Kevin Jones
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The Federation Cup match between Japan and Argentina has been postponed, due to the recent disaster in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami which allowed more then 1000’s of people losing their life.
The Federation Cup between the two countries, which is scheduled to be on April 16-17 in Tokyo in a World Group II playoff, has been postponed due to the earthquake and tsunami. And as per the International Tennis Federation, the two teams will be playing the best-of-five series on July 16-17th. However, the venue for this match has not yet confirmed by the ITF (International Tennis Federation).
As per the sources, The President of ITF, Francesco Ricci Bitti said that, they are considering to give the opportunity to Japan (Japan Tennis Association), to conduct and host the Fed Cup in order to recover from tsunami and earthquake effect which occurred earlier this month.
Fed cup is the largest annual International team competition in Women’s tennis with 90 nations participating in 2011. Argentina is looking to win a fourth consecutive tie against Japan.
In their earlier match-ups, the two nations have won three times each and have leveled the competitions.
Both nations generated their place in the World Group II play-offs following successful zonal campaigns. Argentina is looking to bounce straight back into World Group II after being relegated by Canada at the same stage of the competition last year.
Japan dropped out of World Group II in 2009 and failed to earn immediate promotion after losing to Slovenia in last year’s World Group II play-offs.
Tags: Argentina, Federation Cup, International Tennis Federation, ITF, Japan, Japan Tennis Association, Japan Vs Argentina
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Love-match made on tennis court
8:40am Saturday 26th February 2011
IT will be love-all for a diamond couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next week.
Muriel and Arthur Clough will reach the marital milestone on Thursday with a relationship bonded to last over a love of tennis.
The couple, of Holford Avenue, Bewsey, met at a dance at Eagle Sports Club, where Arthur used to play tennis. And love soon blossomed as Muriel joined him on the court.
She said: “It was tennis that started it. He played tennis before me and then I started with him at Eagle Sports Club. I carried on playing until I was 78.”
The couple married at Bold Street Methodist Church eight years after meeting and went on to have children, Susan and Terry.
There are extra celebrations in the Clough household this week too with birthdays for them both as Muriel turned 91 on Tuesday and Arthur reaches 89 on Monday.
“He does as he’s told because I’m older than him,” added Muriel.
Arthur worked at Electrohydrolics before retiring and Muriel spent 10 years on Warrington Market’s carpet stall. The couple will celebrate with friends and family, including three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Lara Dutta cheers hubby Mahesh Bhupathi at Dubai tennis match 2011-02-24 16:30:00
Newlywed Bollywood actress Lara Dutta was seen cheering her husband Mahesh Bhupathi during a tennis match in Dubai.
Bhupathi, 36, was paired with fellow Indian tennis player Leander Paes, 37, against the Djokovic brothers, Novak and Marko, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Gulf News reported.
Dutta, 32, who has just returned from her wedding reception in Goa, dressed casually in a light, summery, floral top with her hair tied back in a short ponytail.
The couple got engaged in September last year and were married at a civil ceremony in Bandra on February 12. (ANI)
All About: Dubai
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In a classy, yet surprising gesture, Sam Querrey literally “let” Ryan Sweeting beat him in a bizarre ending to their highly competitive second-round match Wednesday afternoon at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.
Sweeting, a Fort Lauderdale resident since 2000, won the first-set tiebreaker and was working on his second match point at 5-4, when he uncorked a bullet serve into the ad corner that appeared to be a match-ending ace.
However, as the friends approached the net to shake hands, chair umpire Magdi Somat called a let cord and held up the electronic beeping device that receives a signal from the net.
As Sweeting began arguing, the third-seeded Querrey quickly conceded the point and match, 7-6 (5), 6-4, joining three of the top four seeds — all Americans — on the sidelines.
“I heard a let,” Querrey admitted. “It was a good serve. I had three other calls go my way that I probably didn’t agree with. I said, ‘You’re good, good serve.’
“Ryan’s a really good friend of mine so, hopefully, he can win his next match and try to keep going.”
The only place Querrey is going is Santiago, Chile, to join the American contingent in a first-round Davis Cup match next week.
After a breakthrough 2010 in which he won four ATP titles and finished at a career-high No. 18, Querrey, who is dealing with a sore serving shoulder, is off to a lackluster 3-5 start and down to No. 22nd.
Still, he’s the highest-ranked victim for No. 118 Sweeting, whose previous best win came against 34th-ranked Michael Llodra last year in Washington.
Sweeting, 23, reached his first ATP quarterfinal. He will play No. 66 Kei Nishikori of Japan, who dispatched fading American star James Blake, 6-3, 6-4, in a similar result as their 2008 ITC final.
“He’s a real class guy and truly didn’t have to give me that point,” Sweeting said. “I was down 0-40, so obviously it was a tough game to try to close out the match.
“I didn’t hear it. I didn’t see it.”
Blake, 31, now ranked 144th, said he hopes to get a wild card at Indian Wells in two weeks.
By KarenWalker (TennisEarth.com),
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Cypriot star Marcos Baghdatis takes on Kazakh Andrey Golubev for a place in the pre-quarterfinals of the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 event being played here in Dubai, UAE.
Marcos Baghdatis made waves last year with his high profile wins over players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Apart from his title win in Sydney, Baghdatis reached the finals in Washington and Moscow to finish the season in top 20. The Cypriot is known for his fighting spirit in matches and his all court game that is at it’s best when Baghdatis is down in the clashes.
Baghdatis’ opponent, Kazakh star Andrey Golubev won his maiden ATP World Tour singles title in Hamburg last year and ended the season in top 50. Golubev also made it to the finals in Kuala Lumpur and reached the career high ranking of No.33 in October. Golubev’s strongest ally is his forehand, which he utilises to it’s maximum potential in all the matches.
This is a first meeting between both players and is likely to end in Baghdatis’ favour despite Golubev’s strong improved game. Baghdatis, however might have to struggle for three sets to register the win.
TennisEarth.com’s Pick – Marcos Baghdatis in three sets.
Feb. 10, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s tennis team hosts two weekend matches for the fifth time in as many weeks as it faces Marquette on Friday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., and Notre Dame on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.
Scouting the Spartans
The Spartans capped off another impressive weekend last week as they defeated the University of Toledo, 6-1, and upset then-ranked No. 21 Wake Forest, also by a score of 6-1. With the victories, MSU moves to a perfect 8-0 on the season and has earned a No. 56 ranking in the ITA weekly rankings for the first time this season. Leading the way for the Spartans was sophomore Denis Bogatov, who defeated the Demon Deacons’ John Wolff, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 1 singles spot, staying unbeaten in singles at 5-0. Junior Ron Hulewicz has also been a model of consistency for MSU in the No. 2 spot, recording a 5-0 mark in singles play and a 3-0 record in doubles matches. Hulewicz earned an impressive 6-0, 6-1 win over Iain Atkinson of Wake Forest last weekend. Senior leadership has also played a significant role in the Spartans success, as John Stratton, Jason Norville and Clark Richardson have a combined for a 13-2 record in singles play.
The Golden Eagles of Marquette bring a 4-1 record to East Lansing, earning victories over IUPUI, Chicago State, Northern Illinois and UIC, while only falling to then-No. 27 Minnesota. Leading the way for Marquette at No. 1 singles is Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley, who has tallied four victories on the season. Gutierrez Crowley earned two wins in last weekends competition, taking down Alexander Raa of UIC, 6-2, 6-4, and beating NIU’s Maksym Bartiuk, 6-3, 6-2. In the No. 2 singles spot, freshman Dan Mamalat has been impressive for the Eagles, earning a 5-0 record on the spring.
Notre Dame Scouting
No. 25 Notre Dame has faced tough opponents early and often this season, tallying a 4-3 record with losses to No. 1 Virginia, No. 14 Duke and No. 16 Illinois, while earning victories over No. 39 Wisconsin, No. 24 Oklahoma and No. 68 William and Mary. Leading the way for the Irish at No. 1 singles has been Casey Watt, and Stephen Havens at the No. 2 position. Havens defeated Wisconsin’s Ricardo Martin in last weeks action, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Watt earned an impressive victory earlier in the season over Oklahoma’s Ionut Beleleu, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3. Look for Senior Captain Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens to compete at No. 1 doubles. The Irish are set to face Marquette on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility before facing the Spartans in the afternoon.
Last Year vs. Opponents
Michigan State fell to the Irish of Notre Dame, 6-1, in last years competition, as senior John Stratton earned the only victory for the Spartans when he defeated Blas Moros, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, in the No. 5 spot. MSU did not face Marquette last season.
The Spartans hit the road for the first time this season next weekend as they travel to Muncie, Ind., to face the Cardinals of Ball State at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 19.
It’s been a long time coming for the former fourth-ranked tennis player in the world, American James Blake, who defeated qualifier Jesse Levine in straight sets of the first round of the 2011 SAP Open. 7-5 and 6-4 was the score for Blake, and that 7-5 was a hard-fought set if there ever was one.
Blake met Levine with several early break opportunities, but squandered the break points and fell behind 5-4 in the first set. The two exchanged breaks though, as Levine took the lead as Blake failed to hold serve, but was broken right back as Blake went on to take nine games out of the last ten in the set.
One poor forehand later, and they were on to the second set where Blake dominated thoroughly. It was Blake’s first win in over four months, a stretch of time that had to be unbearable for the former world number four. He’s now ranked 170 in the world, and starting either the second or third “comeback” of his career. His four month absence from competition was due to shoulder and knee injuries he experienced in Vienna in October of 2010.
It’s a long way back to the top for Blake, who previously had experienced a broken neck in 2004. However, his road to the aforementioned top five came two years following the very serious injury.
In the highlight exhibition matchup of Monday, Gael Monfils (number 12 in the world) beat 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras in straight sets. It was a fun matchup that say Sampras play very technically sound tennis, but he was unable to keep up with the raw speed and power of Monfils, a player who often beats others in their prime with such a skillset.
It was the first match at the SAP Open for Monfils, who will play local Stanford University product Bradley Klahn on Wednesday after defending champion Fernando Verdasco takes on his opponent earlier in the day.
All good things must come to end, but the men’s tennis team did not expect its win streak to come to such a screeching halt. The 29th-ranked Owls could not pull off the upset over fifth-ranked University of Texas (5-0), falling 4-0. Texas’ doubles’ squads overwhelmed Rice, as the Owls lost all three doubles matches and thus the first point of the overall match. The fifth-ranked doubles team of Ed Corrie and Jean Andersen took out juniors Christian Saravia and Michael Nuesslein, 8-3, and continued to falter for Rice. With Texas’ Andersen, Kellen Damico and Vasko Mladenov all scoring quick victories over sophomore Peter Frank, freshman Phillip Seifert and junior Sam Garforth-Bles, respectively, three of the six singles matches went unfinished due to the fact that the Longhorns had already clinched a match victory over Rice.
The loss means that Rice will not be advancing to the round of 16 to play in the ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held in Seattle, Wash. from Feb. 18-21. The loss was the first of the spring season for the Owls, whose record is now 4-1 after starting off well in non-conference play.
Assistant Coach Efe Ustundag (Baker ’99) said that, although the score did not reflect the true nature of the match, the Owls committed too many errors and did not take advantage of their chances.
“When you have the chance to close out sets and close out matches, you have to do it and put pressure on the higher-ranked team,” Ustundag said.
Even though Ustundag felt that Rice put forth a great effort in Austin, he felt the team could not derive any real satisfaction from its loss.
“In our opinion, there is no such thing as a moral victory,” Ustundang said. “We don’t go anywhere to play anybody close; the whole point is to beat them.”
The weekend was not all lost for Rice, as the Owls soared to a 4-1 victory on Friday against the University of Alabama (1-1). Rice won the doubles point, thanks to Garforth- Bles and Frank winning the third of three doubles matches, 8-5. Garforth-Bles and Frank also recorded singles victories in three and two sets, respectively. Saravia had little trouble with Ian Chadwell, winning 6-4, 6-3, while senior Oscar Podlewski won his sets 6-3, 5-4. Ricky Doverspike was the only Crimson Tide player to take a singles match, dominating over sophomore Harry Fowler 6-3, 6-1.
Jan. 23, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Result: #8 Michigan 7, Western Michigan 0
Records: U-M (1-0), WMU (0-2)
Next U-M Match: Saturday, Jan. 29 — vs. Auburn in ITA Kick-Off (Varsity Tennis Center), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women’s tennis team won all nine matches in a 7-0 shutout win over Western Michigan in its dual-match season-opener Sunday afternoon (Jan. 22) at the Varsity Tennis Center.
U-M started the afternoon with wins on all three doubles courts to enter singles play with the 1-0 advantage. Senior Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) and junior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall School) teamed up for an 8-2 decision at the No. 3 slot after sprinting out to a 6-0 advantage. Freshman Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) and senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) clinched the doubles point for the Wolverines with an 8-1 victory at the No. 2 position just a few minutes later.
The Wolverines stayed perfect in doubles play when freshman Sam Critser (Mountainview, Calif./Mountainview) and sophomore Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) scored an 8-5 decision at the No. 1 position. The Michigan duo broke WMU to go up 7-5 and served out the match on the ensuing game.
The momentum carried over into singles, with Nguyen making quick work of Mila Shustova at the No. 3 position (6-0, 6-0) as the first Wolverine off court. Bolender surrendered just three sets in a 6-0, 6-3 win over Rachel Denny at No. 4, and Sulahian clinched the match for the Wolverines at No. 6 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over April Kerr.
Muresan survived a break on her serve to start the match, eventually finding her rhythm in a 6-3, 6-0 win over WMU’s Maggie Remynse at the top of the lineup. Tatsuno followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5, and Critser rounded out the Wolverine victories, breaking serve on the final game for a 7-5, 6-3 win over Maria Nivia at No. 2.
The Wolverines continue their homestand to begin the 2011 season next weekend (Jan. 29-30), hosting Auburn, North Carolina State and Southern California in the ITA Kick-Off with a berth to the ITA Indoor Championships on the line. On Saturday (Jan. 29), N.C. State and USC will square off at 10 a.m., followed by Michigan and Auburn at 2 p.m. The winners will play on Sunday (Jan. 30) at 2 p.m., with the consolation match scheduled for 10 a.m.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 — No. 11 Denise Muresan (U-M) d. Maggie Remynse (WMU), 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 — No. 105 Sam Critser (U-M) vs. Maria Nivia (WMU), 7-5, 6-3
No. 3 — Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Mila Shustova (WMU), 6-0, 6-0
No. 4 — Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Rachel Denny (WMU), 6-0, 6-3
No. 5 — Rika Tatsuno (U-M) d. Jill Pastunink (WMU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 — Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. April Kerr (WMU), 6-2, 6-2
No. 1 — Critser/Nguyen (U-M) d. Nivia/Pastunink (WMU), 8-5
No. 2 — Bolender/Muresan (U-M) d. Moccia/Kerr (WMU), 8-1
No. 3 — Sulahian/Tatsuno (U-M) d. Remynse/Shustova (WMU), 8-2
Order of completion: Singles 3-4-6-1-5-2; Doubles 3-2-1
N O T E S
• Michigan has won 23 in a row over Western Michigan.
• The Wolverines won their third consecutive season opener.
• Sam Critser has won eight matches in a row, and Denise Muresan picked up her fourth consecutive victory.
• It is the 26th shutout win for coach Ronni Bernstein during her tenure at Michigan (2008-present).
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On opening the season with a win … “We are happy. It is always great to get that first match out of the way and get a win. With our freshmen, Sam (Critser) and Brooke (Bolender), it was their first match. It is good way to get them involved, to get a taste of what the season is about. We played really well and took care of business, which is what we needed to do. Western always comes in here and fights. I was just really happy with Sam and Brooke today. They are going to do some great things at Michigan.”
On doubles play today … “Our doubles play was good, and I am happy with that. Denise (Muresan) and Brooke (Bolender) played really well there at No. 2. We had to shuffle the lineup a bit today, but we are able to do with the style of play we have. We work a lot in practice on how we want to play doubles, so we are pretty interchangeable. Michelle (Sulahian) did a great job with Rika (Tatsuno). We still need to work on energy in the doubles. We need to pick that up, but that is something we can control.”
On hosting the ITA Kick-Off next weekend … “We are excited and looking forward to next weekend. The girls are excited to get to play in front of our own fans. We are hoping to pack the house and feed off the energy of our fans. The girls had a great year last year, so it is nice to get rewarded with the opportunity to host this event. We have three quality teams coming in, and hopefully we can play well against Auburn in that opening match.”
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423
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