Magical Makarova in seventh heaven

Agnieszka Radwanska, Ekaterina Makarova, News, Players, Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, WTA Players

Makarova wins 2010 Eastbourne Tennis final2010 AEGON International final

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Ice-cool Ekaterina Makarova became the first qualifier to ever claim the Eastbourne event, after winning seven matches on the trot.

The Russian world no100 stormed to her maiden career title without dropping a set all week, and sealed success with a battling 7-6 (5)  6-4 victory over Victoria Azarenka in 112 minutes.

But in the opening exchanges candyfloss pink-kitted Belarussian ace Azarenka looked to end the giant-killer’s emphatic run by racing to an opening set 3-0 lead.

The 22-year-old, playing in traditional Wimbledon white, then got some advice from her coach after the stuttering start to bounce back in style and edge the tiebreak against the world no15.

After high-pitched shrieker Azarenka sped into an early 2-1 lead in the next set, the 20-year-old part-based in Arizona and Paris, seemed to be struggling with a knee injury so called for her coach.

After the enforced break, Makarova immediately broke Azarenka’s serve to level matters at 2-2 and then went for broke to seal the set and the title to become the first unseeded Devonshire Park winner since Chanda Rubin’s 2002 triumph.

And Makarova will climb up the world rankings after her run of wins on grass, especially as prior to Eastbourne she had not registered back-to-back main draw matches this season.

The rising Russian star steamrolled to the final, including stunning victories over twice grand slam winner and compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova and recent French Open runner-up Sam Stosur of Australia.

Makarova wins 2010 EastbourneMakarova, playing in her third career final, said:

“I started very good today and made no mistakes, but then I got a bit nervous and she came back, but I threw this from my mind and played point by point.

“I’m in shock right now, especially that I didn’t lose a set. This is just unbelievable to me, I cannot believe that I did it.

“I can’t understand yet that I’ve won. There was no secret to the success, my secret has been my great coach – the best!

“I was eating every day pasta in the same restaurant, so maybe that’s the reason! But I also like the grass and I’ve really enjoyed the week.”

Azarenka, who saw off two former Eastbourne champions – Kim Clijsters and Agnieszka Radwanska – to reach the final, would not expand on her injury and explained:

“It’s my problem, I’ll keep it to myself. I still have to treat it and I don’t want to put it out there but it’s not a big thing.”

 

2001 Britannic Asset Management International Championships

News, Players, WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Lindsay Davenport 2001Lindsay Davenport demolished struggling Spaniard Magui Serna 6-2 6-0 in a disappointing 43 minute final to take the Eastbourne title with aplomb.

The top seed, competing in her first tournament following a three-month absence from the WTA Tour because of a knee injury, simply swept aside her hapless opponent.

Davenport did not drop a point on her opening two service games but in contrast unseeded Serna started nervously with a double fault and failed to recover.

The American ace began the second set with a break despite requiring treatment on her heavily bandaged right knee, and superbly dominated the one-sided contest from start to finish.

Former Wimbledon champion Davenport won at SW19 in 1999 and finished runner-up last year, so was always the most likely champion at Devonshire Park.

Davenport said: “The knee’s given me no problems at all this week, and it hasn’t bothered me for about a month.”

Teenage beauty Anna Kournikova, still seeking her maiden WTA Tour title, is a previous winner of the U21 crown at Eastbourne but was absent from Devonshire Park.

The Russian bombshell shot to fame when she reached the 1997 Wimbledon semi-finals as a 16-year-old, but missed both Eastbourne and a return to SW19 due to a stress fracture in her left foot that she sustained in March.

Kournikova explained: “I always enjoy playing at Eastbourne. so I am really sorry that my foot has not healed quickly enough to allow me to play there again this year.”

 

Final

1

 Lindsay Davenport

6

6

 Magüi Serna

2

0

 

First Round

Second Round

Quarter-finals

Semi-finals

1

 L Davenport

6

6

 D Bedáňová

2

5

 A-G Sidot

3

2

 A-G Sidot

6

7

1

 L Davenport

3

6

6

Q

 A Molik

6

77

6

 S Farina Elia

6

2

1

WC

 L Ahl

1

64

Q

 A Molik
 L Osterloh

1

4

6

 S Farina Elia

w/o

6

 S Farina Elia

6

6

1

 L Davenport

6

6

 C Rubin

1

1

3

 A Coetzer

5

6

3

 L Raymond

6

6

 L Raymond

7

3

6

 C Black

3

4

 L Raymond

4

4

 C Rubin

6

4

6

 C Rubin

6

6

 A Sugiyama

2

6

4

 C Rubin

64

7

6

Q

 E Baltacha

3

3

8

 C Martínez

77

5

0

8

 C Martínez

6

6

 

First Round

Second Round

Quarter-finals

Semi-finals

7

 M Shaughnessy

77

62

6

Q

 S Sfar

62

77

4

7

 M Shaughnessy

77

1

7

 F Schiavone

4

6

4

Q

 E Dominikovic

64

6

5

Q

 E Dominikovic

6

3

6

7

 M Shaughnessy

0

63

 M Serna

6

6

 M Serna

6

77

 A Frazier

1

2

 M Serna

7

6

4

 M Maleeva

5

2

 M Serna

5

6

7

5

 S Testud

5

2

 E Likhovtseva

7

1

5

 A Kremer

7

6

 A Kremer

1

65

WC

 L Latimer

5

3

 E Likhovtseva

6

77

 E Likhovtseva

7

6

 E Likhovtseva

6

6

 T Tanasugarn

6

6

 T Tanasugarn

3

1

 J Hopkins

1

2

 T Tanasugarn

61

78

6

2

 N Tauziat

77

66

3

2000 Direct Line International Championships

News, Players, WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

juliehalarddecugisJulie Halard-Decugis kept her nerve and concentration in a fiercely fought rain interrupted final to see off Belgian Dominique van Roost 7-5 6-4 to claim the Eastbourne crown.

The French ace was a last-gasp entrant in order to get as much grass court practice ahead of Wimbledon, so winning the tournament was a massive bonus for the world no17.

It proved unlucky 13 for the packed Centre Court fans as 13 minutes into the contest heavy rain caused play to be suspended. Yet no6 seed Halard-Decugis had already got the upper hand with a break of serve to lead 2-1.

There was a three hour delay before the final resumed, and the patient supporters – who had already waited for the final to start following a 30 minute delay – were rewarded with aggressive play.

The Versailles-based French no4 tested the mettle of Van Roost by deliberately standing close to receiving serve in order to try to pressure her opponent into being accurate.

Harlard-Decugis, serving for the title at 5-3 up in the second set, lost her way with faltering play. But the 30-year-old sealed success by breaking serve immediately to notch her 11th WTA Tour title.

Harlard-Decugis said: “Along with the title I won in Paris in 1996 this is probably the most important in my career.

“It was getting dark near the end and after we lost so much time to the rain earlier I was afraid we would have to come back tomorrow and miss a day’s rest before Wimbledon.

“But I was determined not to rush and although I was not happy to lose a game when 5-3 up in the second, I was able to take her next service game for the title.”

Defending champion Natasha Zvereva stuttered in her first match at Devonshire Park, falling to Russian compatriot Anna Kournikova who lost to American Chanda Rubin in the quarter-finals.

 

Final

5

  Dominique van Roost

64

4

6/WC

  Julie Halard-Decugis

7

6

 

First Round Second Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
1   L Davenport 6 3 6
  A-G Sidot 2 2 Q   J Kandarr 3 6 4
Q   J Kandarr 6 6 1   L Davenport 6 4 4
WC   J Pullin 63 5 5   D Van Roost 4 6 6
  E Likhovtseva 7 7   E Likhovtseva 2 4
LL   T Pisnik 4 66 5   D Van Roost 6 6
5   D Van Roost 6 7 5   D Van Roost 4 7 6
  A Kremer 6 5 1
3   A Coetzer 6 6
  A Smashnova 6 6   A Smashnova 2 0
WC   L Latimer 1 3 3   A Coetzer 6 0 4
  A Stevenson 7 1 4   A Kremer 3 6 6
  A Kremer 63 6 6   A Kremer 6 6
  S Talaja 6 6   S Talaja 2 2
7   A Sugiyama 3 2

 

1999 Direct Line International Championships

Results

NatashaZverevaEastbourne991999 Direct Line International Championships | 14-19 June

Natasha Zvereva really had to pull out the stops and battle through two tricky matches before being crowned champion.

The Russian star seemed to suffer from nerves in the final against no3 seed Nathalie Tauziat of France, who reeled off the first nine games in the final.

But Zvereva bounced back in style to register a compelling 0-6 7-5 6-3 triumph against all the odds.

Although the no6 seed could have cited exhaustion following her semi-final slog of three hours 20 minutes to dismiss South African Amanda Coetzer 6-7(5), 7-6 (4), 10-8, Tauziat was also involved in a last four lengthy thriller.

Tauziat defied the odds, and the Centre Court supporters, to record victory despite trailing 5-1 deficit in the third and final set to Russian ace Anna Kournikova.

Tauziat held her nerve to win 6-4 4-6 8-6 and deliver Kournikova her first defeat at Devonshire Park. The Russian, twice an Eastbourne U21 champion, withdrew injured from the 1998 Direct Line International Championships semi-finals having earlier in the tournament stunned German Steffi Graf with an array of delicate shots, deft touches and power tennis.

Final  Natasha Zvereva defeated Nathalie Tauziat 0 – 6 7 – 5  6 – 3

Semi  Nathalie Tauziat defeated Anna Kournikova 6 – 4  4 – 6  8 – 6

Semi  Natasha Zvereva defeated Amanda Coetzer 6 – 7(5) 7 – 6 (4) 10 – 8

Quarter  Anna Kournikova defeated Nathalie Dechy 6 – 3 7 – 6 (5)

Quarter  Nathalie Tauziat defeated Elena Likhovtseva 0 – 6 6 – 2 6 – 1

Quarter  Amanda Coetzer defeated Mariaan De Swardt 7 – 6 (3) 6 – 3

Quarter  Natasha Zvereva defeated Anne Kremer 6 – 0 6 – 1

Rnd 16  Nathalie Dechy defeated Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 7 – 5 6 – 2

Rnd 16  Anna Kournikova defeated Lisa Raymond 7 – 6 (4) 6 – 4

Rnd 16  Nathalie Tauziat defeated Sylvia Plischke 6 – 3 6 – 3

Rnd 16  Elena Likhovtseva defeated Ai Sugiyama 6 – 3 6 – 4

Rnd 16  Mariaan De Swardt defeated Irina Spirlea 6 – 3 6 – 4

Rnd 16  Amanda Coetzer defeated Elena Tatarkova 6 – 3 6 – 4

Rnd 16  Natasha Zvereva defeated Mirjana Lucic 7 – 5 6 – 1

Rnd 16  Anne Kremer defeated Monica Seles 6 – 4 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Nathalie Dechy defeated Amy Frazier 4 – 6 6 – 2 6 – 1

Rnd 32  Lisa Raymond defeated Magui Serna 3 – 6 7 – 6 (6) 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Anna Kournikova defeated Chanda Rubin 6 – 2 4 – 6 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Sylvia Plischke defeated Karen Cross  6 – 2 3 – 6 6 – 1

Rnd 32  Ai Sugiyama defeated Maureen Drake 7 – 5 6 – 1

Rnd 32  Elena Likhovtseva defeated Corina Morariu 2 – 6 6 – 4 6 – 0

Rnd 32  Irina Spirlea defeated Anna Smashnova 6 – 2 3 – 6 6 – 2

Rnd 32  Mariaan De Swardt defeated Anne-Gaelle Sidot 7 – 6 (5) 6 – 2

Rnd 32  Elena Tatarkova defeated Louise Latimer 6 – 4 7 – 6 (2)

Rnd 32  Natasha Zvereva defeated Tara Snyder 6 – 3 6 – 3

Rnd 32  Mirjana Lucic defeated Alexandra Fusai 7 – 5 6 – 3

Rnd 32  Anne Kremer defeated Samantha Smith 6 – 4 6 – 1

1997 Direct Line International Championships

Results, WTA Players

williamssistersateb19971997 Direct Line International Championships | 17-22 June

With rain ruining what looked like being a mouthwatering final between Czech Republic’s Jana Novotna and Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, the organisers sensibly made the pair joint winners.

But there were some interesting developments during the tournament. Monica Seles was a late entrant in a bid to try to defend her crown, but surprisingly stuttered at the hands of Brenda Schultz-McCarthy to crash in the quarter-finals.

And the willowy Venus Williams looked like a star in the making but was heavily distracted by her dreadlock beads falling to the grass, so it was not a shock to see her taste defeat.

Final Cancelled due to rain | Join winners Jana Novotna and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario

Semi  Jana Novotna defeated Natasha Zvereva 6 (7) – 7 6 – 0 7 – 5

Semi  Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 7 – 5 6 – 1

Quarter Jana Novotna defeated Ai Sugiyama 6 – 2 6 (6) – 7 6 – 4

Quarter  Natasha Zvereva defeated Nathalie Tauziat 6 – 4 5 – 7 6 – 4

Quarter  Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Irina Spirlea 6 – 4 6 – 4

Quarter  Brenda Schultz-McCarthy defeated Monica Seles 7 – 5 7 – 5

Rnd 16 Jana Novotna defeated Yayuk Basuki 7 – 5 6 – 4

Rnd 16 Ai Sugiyama defeated Kimberly Po-Messerli 6 – 3 6 – 1

Rnd 16  Natasha Zvereva defeated Iva Majoli 6 – 2 7 – 5

Rnd 16  Nathalie Tauziat defeated Venus Williams 6 – 3 5 – 7 6 – 4

Rnd 16  Irina Spirlea defeated Anne-Gaelle Sidot 6 – 4 6 – 3

Rnd 16  Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Kerry-Anne Guse 7 – 5 6 – 0

Rnd 16  Brenda Schultz-McCarthy defeated Silvia Farina Elia 4 – 6 6 – 1 6 – 2

Rnd 16  Monica Seles defeated Naoko Sawamatsu 6 – 2 7 – 5

Rnd 32 Yayuk Basuki defeated Elena Likhovtseva 6 – 3 6 – 0

Rnd 32 Ai Sugiyama defeated Shirli-Ann Siddall 6 – 2 5 – 7 8 – 6

Rnd 32 Kimberly Po-Messerli defeated Katarina Studenikova 0 – 6 7 – 6 (5) 6 – 2

Rnd 32 Natasha Zvereva defeated Amy Frazier 7 – 6 (1) 6 – 0

Rnd 32 Venus Williams defeated Chanda Rubin 6 – 4 6 – 4

Rnd 32 Nathalie Tauziat defeated Mary Joe Fernandez 7 – 6 (5) 7 – 5

Rnd 32 Irina Spirlea defeated Ines Gorrochategui 6 – 0 3 – 6 6 – 4

Rnd 32 Anne-Gaelle Sidot defeated Lucie Ahl 6 – 3 6 – 4

Rnd 32 Kerry-Anne Guse defeated Shi-Ting Wang 6 – 3 5 – 7 6 – 4

Rnd 32 Brenda Schultz-McCarthy defeated Helena Sukova 6 – 3 7 – 6 (3)

Rnd 32 Silvia Farina Elia defeated Lisa Raymond 7 – 5 6 – 4

Rnd 32 Naoko Sawamatsu defeated Jo Ward 6 – 2 7 – 5

1996 Direct Line International Championships

Results, WTA Players

monicaseles19961996 Direct Line International Championships | 18-22 June

It had been almost four years since Monica Seles competed at Wimbledon, yet she completed her preparation for SW19 with a demolition job over American Mary Joe Fernandez with an emphatic 45-lesson finishing class to take the crown 6-0 6-2.

Seles never looked back after she won the opening 11 points and 20 of the first 22 despite an ailing shoulder and not quite being match fit.

But she was in tip-top form all week, rewarding the vocal Centre Court crowd with her sublime skills and finishing to complete the week on the sleep seaside town of Eastbourne without dropping a set.

Seles had taken just over an hour to see off defending champion Nathalie Tauziat of France 6-4 6-4 in an entertaining semi-final clash, but Seles impressed in her first grass court tournament since she lost in the 1992 Wimbledon final to German ace Steffi Graf.

Final      Monica Seles defeated Mary Joe Fernandez 6 -0 6 – 2

Semi      Mary Joe Fernandez defeated Jana Novotna 6 – 1 2 – 6 8 – 6

Semi      Monica Seles defeated Nathalie Tauziat 6 – 4 6 – 4

Quarter Mary Joe Fernandez defeated Conchita Martinez 2 -6 6 – 4 6 – 4

Quarter Jana Novotna defeated Yayuk Basuki 7 -6 6 – 1

Quarter Nathalie Tauziat defeated Lisa Raymond 6 – 2 6 – 0

Quarter Monica Seles defeated Ines Gorrochategui 6 – 3 6 – 1

Rnd 16 Conchita Martinez defeated Natasha Zvereva 7 – 6 (6) 6 – 3

Rnd 16 Mary Joe Fernandez defeated Ai Sugiyama 6 – 3 6 – 3

Rd 16 Jana Novotna defeated Nicole Arendt 6 – 4 4 – 6 6 – 3

Rnd 16 Yayuk Basuki defeated Lindsay Davenport 6 -2 6 – 3

Rnd 16 Nathalie Tauziat defeated Irina Spirlea 6 – 2 6 – 3

Rnd 16 Lisa Raymond defeated Chanda Rubin 6 – 3 retired

Rnd 16 Ines Gorrochategui defeated Lori McNeil 6 – 2 6 – 3

Rnd 16 Monica Seles defeated Meredith McGrath 6 – 2 6 – 4

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