Monday, September 26, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza battle for #1 ranking in Wuhan

Mirza's No.1 Ranking Under Siege By Swiss Miss: In the high-profile split between former co-No.1s Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, it was Mirza who retained custody of the No.1 ranking after she and new partner Barbora Strycova ousted Hingis and CoCo Vandeweghe in the final of the Western & Southern Open.

Mirza and Strycova have lost just once since pairing up in Cincinnati, reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open and taking home a second title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. Adding 470 points to their Road to Singapore leaderboard total, the pair could yet qualify for Singapore in their own right, giving Mirza the opportunity to pick between Hingis and Strycova should both teams finish inside the Top 8.

Heading into Wuhan, Mirza has enjoyed an uninterrupted reign atop the WTA doubles rankings since April 13, 2015 (77 consecutive weeks, including week of Sept 26th).

But Hingis has another chance to take back the top spot, which she shared with Mirza for 31 weeks between January and August. In opposite halves of the draw, Hingis - seeded No.6 with Vandeweghe - will have to at least the final to have a chance, and could have another battle royale for the No.1 ranking should she and Vandeweghe meet Mirza and Strycova (seeded No.3) in the championship match.

Both teams received byes into the second round; Hingis and Vandeweghe will begin their tournament against Aleksandra Krunic and Katerina Siniakova, the latter of whom previously paired with Barbora Krejcikova to end Hingis and Mirza's bid for the Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam at the French Open. Mirza and Strycova will play wither Arantxa Parra-Santonja and Anastasia Rodionova, or Gabriela Dabrowski and María José Martínez Sánchez in their opening round.

French Reunite In Asia: Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic anchor Hingis and Vandeweghe's section of the draw as top seeds in Wuhan, and are playing for the first time since narrowly losing the US Open final to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.

Garcia and Mladenovic have already qualified for Singapore, but will be likely looking to retain match rhythm not only for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, but also the Fed Cup final, which the pair were cleared to play after an issue with the FFT. Their first opponents will be either Irina-Camelia Begu and US Open mixed doubles champion Laura Siegemund or Christina McHale and Peng Shuai.

No.7 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka are the French pair's first possible seeds and projected quarterfinal opponents; the Czechs are coming off their first title together in 2016 at theCoupe Banque Nationale, which helped them reach No.5 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.

Bucie In Hingis' Quarter: Speaking of Mattek-Sands and Safarova, the pair's US Open title helped launch them into the Top 8 on the RTS leaderboard at No.7, and could shore up a second straight Singapore appearance with solid performances in Asia.

Seeded No.5 in Wuhan, the two open against the unlikely wildcard pair of Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko, and could play the all-Chinese duo of Han Xinyun and Zhu Lin before facing projected opponents Hingis and Vandeweghe.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Martina Hingis to play in WTA Guangzhou Open

World No.8 Roberta Vinci of Italy and multiple Grand Slam winner Martina Hingis will be the star attractions in the Guangzhou International Women's tennis tournament which will be held here on September 17-24.

Defending champion Jelena Jankovic will come to the tournament for the fourth time, and aims to be the first player to retain her title in the history of the Guangzhou open, reports Xinhua.

Sara Errani, who jointly with Vinci holds the women's tennis doubles Grand Slam title, will also attend the event for the second consecutive year.

Also in the doubles, 'Swiss princess' Hingis is set to play again this year.

The Guangzhou Open, one of the oldest international professional women's tennis tournaments in China, was founded as a WTA International tournament in 2004.

A total of $225,000 in prize money, in addition to 280 points in the world rankings, are up for grabs at the tournament.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stan "The Man" Wawrinka U.S. Open Champion!

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Three Grand Slam finals. Three Grand Slam titles. Stan Wawrinka etched his name in the record books with his first US Open crown, stopping top seed and two-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday.

Wawrinka has risen to the occasion in big matches in recent years, moving to 3-0 in major finals and extending his staggering win streak in tour-level finals to 11 straight. All three Grand Slam title runs have included wins over the World No. 1 in the final, having previously defeated Rafael Nadal for the 2014 Australian Open crown and Djokovic in the Roland Garros final last year.

"This is amazing," said Wawrinka during the trophy presentation. "I came here without expecting to win it. When I stepped on the court, I tried to win every match. I did everything today against Novak. The crowd and atmosphere was something I've never had before. It's an amazing night."

With the win, Wawrinka secured qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, joining Djokovic and Andy Murray at The O2 in London. He will be making his fourth consecutive appearance at the season finale, having reached the semi-finals in each of the past three years.

Wawrinka, who fired 46 winners, including three aces, while saving an impressive 14 of 17 break points, prevailed after three hours and 55 minutes. After Djokovic took the first set in a tie-break, the Swiss showed his true mettle, breaking the defending champion early in the second, third and fourth sets. His steely resolve was on full display as he maintained his composure throughout the encounter, eventually triumphing on his second match point. Wawrinka is now 15-6 at the US Open when dropping the opening set.

"Today I was trying to stay with him," Wawrinka told the assembled media following the match. "I was trying to be tough with myself, trying not to show anything, not to show any pain, not to show any cramps, not to show anything. I was suffering on the court, but I'm happy and proud with what I have achieved today.

"There is no secret. If you want to beat the No. 1 player in the world, you have to give everything. You have to accept to suffer and you have almost to enjoy to suffer. Because I think this Grand Slam was the most painful, physically and mentally that I ever played."

Won First Three Major Finals (Open Era)


Stan Wawrinka
2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open

Roger Federer
2003 Wimbledon, 2004 Australian Open, 2004 Wimbledon

Gustavo Kuerten
1997 Roland Garros, 2000 Roland Garros, 2001 Roland Garros

Stefan Edberg
1985 Australian Open, 1987 Australian Open, 1988 Wimbledon

Bjorn Borg
1974 Roland Garros, 1975 Roland Garros, 1976 Wimbledon

Jimmy Connors
1973 Australian Open, 1974 Wimbledon, 1974 US Open

Wawrinka became the fifth man in the Open Era to win multiple major singles crowns after turning 30, joining Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors. The 31-year-old is the oldest Grand Slam champion since Agassi at the 2003 Australian Open and also became the first man to win his first three majors at different events since Agassi.

Moreover, Wawrinka is the first US Open champion to save a match point en route to the title since Djokovic in 2011. He turned aside one against Daniel Evans in a five-set third round victory.

Djokovic was bidding for his third US Open title and 13th at the major level. The Serbian's 21st Grand Slam final is second-most in history, only behind Roger Federer (27). He still owns a sizeable 19-5 lead in their growing FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.

"He definitely deserves to be mentioned in the mix of top players," Djokovic said about Wawrinka. "He's been around for so many years and he plays best in the big matches.

"I lost my nerves in the important moments. He kept his cool. I think that's what decided the match. I just didn't capitalise at all on my opportunities. I had plenty of them. It was a terrible conversion of the break points. Just terrible from my side.

"In matches like these, if you don't use the opportunities, the other guy comes and takes it. And that's what he did. That's why I said he was more courageous, because he stepped in and played aggressive where I was waiting for things to happen."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Martina Hingis & Coco Vandeweghe fall short of final at U.S. Open

NEW YORK, NY, USA - Top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic eased into the US Open final with an impressive straight set win over Martina Hingis and CoCo Vandeweghe on Thursday afternoon.

Entering the tournament on the back of a disappointing summer, Garcia and Mladenovic have improved with each contest, raising the bar again to sweep aside Hingis and Vandeweghe, 6-3, 6-4, on Grandstand.

Garcia and Mladenovic received an early wake-up call when they were broken to love in the third game. However, their response was as swift as it was emphatic; a run of four straight games took them to the brink of the set, which they duly closed out with an ace.

Twelve months ago, Hingis won the title in New York alongside then-partner Sania Mirza. Yet neither her guile nor Vandeweghe's vaunted power was able to derail the flying Frenchwomen in the second set.

Earlier this year at Roland Garros Garcia and Mladenovic rode a wave of public support all the way to a maiden Grand Slam title, and for a period in the second set they scaled even greater heights, surging 5-2 ahead. A late wobble held up their progress momentarily, before serving out victory at the second time of asking.

The disappointment for Hingis was twofold: defeat denied her the chance to usurp Mirza at the top of the rankings. Garcia and Mladenovic, meanwhile, move on to a final against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova after they upset No.5 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-2, 7-6(4), in the first semifinal.