Feb/16

1

The Joy of winning a USTA tourney in Tampa

12670099_10206913231642556_1809732611604775038_n“I want to thank my training team George Jack Ashoke who got me ready for this tournament. I want to thank Beverly Perez for the energy powder packets which allowed me to play four tough matches in two days. To beat the no 2 ranked player in the Florida USTA 4.5 division 60 40 in the quarterfinals was beyond expectations. Also had to play the semifinal at 8 am the next morning against a hard hitting player who I had lost both previous meetings with in USTA league matches a few years ago – both were split sets decided by super death breakers which he won both but this time I won 62 46 10-3 including winning the first six points of the super death breaker.

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By Jayita Belcourt
With his dominating performance over tennis great Roger Federer in the semi-finals at the Australian Open, it was no surprise World number one Novak Djokovic would come out firing for the decider in Melbourne Park.
Yes, in just under 3 hours [2 hours, 53 mins], the Serbian superstar demolished his Scot opponent, Andy Murray in what was a very one-sided affair 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) to win his sixth Australian Open title. Amazingly, Djokovic has won six of the last nine Australian Open crowns and it’s the fourth time he has knocked down Murray in the final clash at Rod Laver arena.

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By Louise Belcourt
Angelique Kerber has channelled her fellow countrywoman and the greatest grand slam winner of all time Steffi Graf, to deny the world number one Serena Williams her 22nd grand slam title. Winning her maiden grand slam 6-4 3-6 6-4.
No one could have believed the match that entailed.
The crowd was stunned after 28 year old Kerber took the first set of the Australian Open final 6-4 against world number one Serena Williams. An unusually emotionally and upset Williams had 20 unforced errors to Kerber’s 3 in the first set.

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Jan/16

29

Bettina Bunge sums up the Federer Djokovic Rivarly

12592745_10206883825707426_765858074746143009_nFormer WTA top ten player Bettina Bunge shares her view on the Federer vs Djokovic rivarly: “Actually, I think Roger wants it so badly, he gets much too desperate. He tightens up. Sometimes over ambition, coupled with disliking your opponent – who has owned him and taken from him what he wanted SO much, those GS Finals – can backfire on you.

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Jan/16

28

Djokovic scores another epic win over Federer

12592745_10206883825707426_765858074746143009_nThis showdown was different. This time Novak Djokovic looked like he was going to blast Roger Federer off the court and into seriously considering retirement later this year. For two sets Djokovic was near perfection making Federer look hopeless and helpless as he flashed to a sensational 61 62 lead in just 55 minutes. But then Federer found his groove and timing and managed to raise his level to avoid an embarrassing blowout loss to his arch rival.

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Jan/16

27

Facing Serena

12604831_10206883741065310_3371079584721567534_oSo what is it like to actually face Serena Williams on the tennis court? These players will tell you …

Amelie Mauresmo: “Sometimes it was the toughest thing, the toughest challenge on the Tour. Sometimes it was enjoyment because you find the weaknesses and you find the way out to beat her. But this doesn’t happen each time. But yeah, it was one of the biggest challenges in the womens’ game. (Best match against her?) I beat her twice so those were the best memories to me [smiles].”
Flavia Pennetta: “Serena is a player who never loses concentration, who has no fear.”
Marion Bartoli: “When I play against Serena Williams the first time, in Miami quarterfinal. I remember she served a second serve – she almost lobbed me. She put so much kick she almost lobbed me [smiles]. I was running backwards to play the ball. It was so funny. I was embarrassed.”
Kim Clijsters: “She has that face where she’s like, Okay, I’m here to do business…I remember the first time I played Serena at the US Open in 2000 or ’99. That’s where I first saw the type of player Serena is. I was kind of just bringing a lot of balls back and she was kind of missing them. But then at 5-2 in the third set where I was up, she just, bang, started going for aces, started hitting winners. Like something switched in her head. That’s something great players can do and she definitely has it.”

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0607-113437By Jayita Belcourt
It was business as usual for world number 3, Roger Federer, who secured a spot in the Australian Open semi-finals following his straight-set victory against Czech opponent, Thomas Berdych 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 at Melbourne Park. Having lost their previous two matchups at Grand Slam events, the 34 year simply outclassed his opponent and considered he “played well overall”.

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Jan/16

26

Australian Open Heating Up Now

12400838_153010625073467_5605775811010250707_nBy Louise Belcourt

The script had been written on the first quarter-final day at the Australian Open. It seemed all players had read it and played the part to perfection.
The day started with a routine 6-1 6-3 win for world number 4 Agnieszka Radwanska over 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Radwanska is now on a 12 match winning streak, winning the lead-up tournament in Shenzhen China. Of her form Radwanska said “Well, I think it’s good, especially that I did semi-finals here and I won the tournament before.”

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Jan/16

25

Australian Open Shocker: Zuang Shuai’s Sudden Rise

12565404_10206871092149095_2640537973679417595_nThe story of the Australian Open so far is Zuang Zhuai. The 27 year old Chinese veteran was winless in all fourteen of her previous major first round matches dating back to 2008. Late last year her ranking had dropped outside the top 200 and she admitted that she had forgot how to feel on the court and forgotten how to win a single point. Her confidence had crashed. At rock bottom and on the verge of quitting the sport (her parents traveled to watch her last possible pro tourney) Shuai entered the qualies of this Australian Open and eked into the main draw by narrowly edging Virginie Razzano in the last round of qualies.

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Jan/16

24

When Johan Kriek Came to America

Thirty six years ago I was flying from Zurich Switzerland to New York. It was my first time coming to America….little did I know about this blizzard in NY.
I was supposed to get an Eastern Airlines flight to Miami from JFK and then a Greyhound bus to Vero Beach to play my first WATCH Circuit tournament. I was supposed to play for only 6 weeks then head back to Austria.
I had decided to fly to America a week early because of playing on clay and I was playing indoors in Austria. I met Don and Joyce Cameron in the plane sitting next to me from Naples Florida ( I had no idea where Naples was and little did I know I would eventually live there from 1979 to 2007. They were returning from a ski vacation in Switzerland.

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