2012 Ladies Singles – Wednesday’s Results

Angelique Kerber, Ekaterina Makarova, Laura Robson, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

2nd Round

Heather Watson lost 6-7 1-6 to Lucie Safarova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won 7-5 3-6 6-4 v Christina McHale

Angelique Kerber won 6-3 6-2 v Chanelle Scheepers

Laura Robson lost 4-6 5-7 to Ekaterina Makarova

Tsvetana Pironkova won 6-0 4-6 6-4 v Stephanie Dubois

Marion Bartoli won 6-2 6-2 v Aleksandra Wozniak

Tamira Paszek won 6-4 3-6 6-1 v Daniela Hantuchova

Petra Cetkovska lost 1-6 6-1 2-6 to Klara Zakopalova

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Paszek sends Hantuchova packing

Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

Daniela Hantuchova ExitTamira Paszek completed the quarter-final draw with a stellar performance to defeat Slovak Daniela Hantuchova in three sets.

The 21-year-old Austrian sent the star crashing 6-4 3-6 6-1, leaving Hantuchova to pack her bags and set off to SW19 with just one win in two grass tournaments.

2012 Ladies Singles – Monday’s Results

Elena Vesnina, Laura Robson, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

1st Round

Aleksandra Wozniak won 6-3 4-6 7-6 v Galina Voskoboeva

Anne Keothavong lost 2-6 3-6 to Daniela Hantuchova

Tamira Paszek won 7-5 6-1 v Marina Erakovic

Mona Barthel lost 1-6 6-4 1-6 to Chanelle Scheepers

Qualifying

Stephanie Dubois won 7-6 7-5 v Andrea Hlavackova

Bojana Jovanovski lost 2-6 3-6 to Laura Robson

Elena Vesnina won by walkover v Mirjana Lucic

Jade Windley lost 2-6 0-6 to Greta Arn

Hotshot Hantuchova

WTA Players

Daniela Hantuchovaeb2012Daniela Hantuchova breezed past Brit Anne Keothavong in their 1st Round clash, with the Slovak soaring to a 6-2 6-3 success in 73 minutes.

In the opener Hantuchova served strongly, winning 87% of points off her first service. In the second set the world No.24 carried on in the same vain to take the match 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 12 minutes.

It was a one-sided affair the vocal crowd trying to encourage Keothavong, who was out of her depth against the former top 10 ace.

The pair had only ever met on one previous occasion, at the AEGON International in 2010, which saw Hantuchova sealing victory with ease 6-4, 6-2.

CLICK HERE for video of Daniela Hantuchova

Wozniacki served up dangerous draw

Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Ekaterina Makarova, Klara Zakopalova, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, News, Players, Sorana Cirstea, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International draw | By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Caroline WozniackiCaroline Wozniacki, the former world no1 and ex-Eastbourne champion, has been set a stiff task at the AEGON International – her first return to Devonshire Park since triumphing in 2009.

The no3 seed has been drawn against tenacious teenager Christina McHale, widely regarded as the next best thing on the WTA Tour and expected to soon fill the big shoes of ailing veterans Serena and Venus Williams as the American no1.

The winner of this highly anticipated contest is pitched in the same quarter as another ex-world no1 in the shape of Ana Ivanovic, who is on the comeback trail under recently appointed British coach Nigel Sears. But the Serbian star, seeded no4, has a game that is suited to grass despite having never made much of an impact at Wimbledon.

However, Ivanovic faces a qualifier in the 1st Round then, if successful, the winner of China’s in-form Jie Zheng and the stunning Czech Republic ace Klara Zakopalova.

Petra Kvitova2012EBWhoever comes out of that quarter potentially faces Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the Czech Republic star who finished runner-up at last year’s Eastbourne final.

Kvitova was ousted by new world no1 Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros, so will be keen to obtain some grass court practice ahead of defending her title at SW19.

But Kvitova has been handed a nightmare opening round opponent in the form of Ekaterina Makarova, as the Russian is a former Eastbourne champion courtesy of a thrilling two set victory over Belarussian Victoria Azarenka in 2010.

In the same quarter there could be a 2nd Round clash between two talented young Germans, seeded Angelique Kerber and Mona Barthel. Both are deemed dark horses in the race to win the AEGON International, although South African Chanelle Scheepers will be planning a possible quarter-final showdown with Kvitova if she can see off Barthel in the opening round.

Marion BartoliMarion Bartoli, the defending Eastbourne champion, is set to face Romanian beauty Sorana Cirstea in the 1st Round.

The French ace, if she wins, would face the winner of Aleksandra Wozniak and Galina Voskoboeva. Bartoli is seeded for a quarter-final clash with Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the world no3 and top seed, leads a tough looking top quarter. The Pole, a former Eastbourne champion, is drawn against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova – who is known on the WTA Tour for causing upsets. The winner faces either Petra Cetkovska or Carla Suarez Navarro in the 2nd Round.

Daniela Hantuchova, who surprisingly slipped up in her 1st Round match on grass at Birmingham, has been handed an opening round showdown against Brit Anne Keothavong. And the Slovakian will already be eying up her potential 2nd Round opponent out of New Zealand no1 Marina Erakovic and Austrian ace Tamira Paszek, who for the tournament is based at her Godparents who live in Eastbourne.

 

Hantuchova rocked by horror show

News, Players, WTA Players

Daniela-Hantuchova Birmingham 2012Daniela Hantuchova’s grass court season got off to a torrid start as she stalled at Birmingham’s AEGON Classic ahead of Eastbourne.

The Slovak star fell in straight sets to world no102 Melinda Czink, bowing out in a tense tight contest.

Hantuchova, who finished runner-up at last year’s AEGON Classic stuttered to a 7-5 7-6 defeat in the final Centre Court match on Wednesday.

Yet Hantuchova, who officially opened the new Indoor Tennis Centre at the Edgbaston Priory Club before the tournament, seemed in charge but slipped up when it mattered to concede the opening set.

Hungarian Czink rallied point for point throughout the second set with a resilient display. But 29-year-old Hantuchova bounced back to give herself a chance for forcing a third set, only to fall victim in a nail-biting tiebreaker – and have no answer for Czink’s 10 aces throughout the contest.

However, having withdrawn from the 2012 French Open for ‘personal reasons’, Hantuchova didn’t seem to have her heart in the clash overall and will arrive at Devonshire Park aiming to practice before the 2012 AEGON International gets underway a week before Wimbledon.

 

Hantuchova’s health concerns

News, Players, WTA Players

Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

daniela hantuchova doubtful for EastbourneDaniela Hantuchova, who has skipped singles events on the WTA Tour since April, is a major doubt for Eastbourne and Birmingham — the two traditional Wimbledon warm-up events.

The popular Slovakian ace, whose form has dipped dreadfully after a promising start to the season, even withdrew from the 2012 French Open for “personal reasons”.

The world no18 is set be the no2 seed at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham (11-17 June) behind top seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany — who Hantuchova lost to in last year’s final.

And if Hantuchova prepares for the back-to-back majors of Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympics at Devonshire Park (16-23 June), then she will be aiming to go further than last season when she was forced out of the AEGON International by injury on Court No1.

Hantuchova, informed Roland Garros officials that she was not ready to compete in Grand Slam event due to personal reasons. However, the 29-year-old is prone to niggling injuries and may simply be just resting ahead of the looming grass court season.

She was in formidable form at the start of the year, finishing runner-up at the season opening tournament in Brisbane but was destroyed by former Eastbourne champion Kim Clijsters in the 3rd Round of the Australian Open.

The Slovakian star shone with a pair of terrific triumphs to oust France in the Fed Cup tie and then retained her Pattaya Open title. But after poor performances in Doha and Dubai, Hantuchova was hammered in Indian Wells and Miami.

Lacking her usual confidence, she lost at singles and then bounced back to claim a win in Slovakia’s narrow Fed Cup success over Spain. Yet she has skipped the clay court season — including the French Open, the Italian Open as well as high-profile events in Madrid and Barcelona.

Since receiving the coveted 2001 Newcomer of the Year award from the WTA Tour, she remains in the world’s top 20 at singles. Only time will tell whether she returns to compete at Eastbourne this year.

 

 

2012 Ladies Entrants

Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, EXCLUSIVE, Klara Zakopalova, Laura Robson, Lucie Safarova, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Sorana Cirstea, Su-Wei Hsieh, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Provisional players for Eastbourne, not all in the main draw, are:

  1. Greta Arn 
  2. Mona Barthel
  3. Marion Bartoli
  4. Petra Cetkovska
  5. Sorana Cirstea
  6. Stephanie Dubois
  7. Marina Erakovic
  8. Daniela Hantuchova
  9. Andrea Hlavackova
  10. Su-Wei Hsieh
  11. Anne Keothavong
  12. Angelique Kerber
  13. Petra Kvitova
  14. Ekaterina Makarova
  15. Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez
  16. Christina McHale
  17. Li Na
  18. Tamira Paszek
  19. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
  20. Tsvetana Pironkova
  21. Agnieszka Radwanska
  22. Laura Robson
  23. Lucie Safarova
  24. Chanelle Scheepers
  25. Carla Suarez Navarro
  26. Elena Vesnina
  27. Galina Voskoboeva
  28. Heather Watson
  29. Aleksandra Wozniak
  30. Caroline Wozniacki
  31. Klara Zakopalova
  32. Jie Zheng 

Ladies – Saturday 18 June 2011

Marion Bartoli, Petra Kvitova, Results, WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2011 AEGON International at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

bartoli2011championBattler Bartoli takes Eastbourne title

Unorthodox Marion Bartoli captured her first Eastbourne title, having never got pass the semi-finals before in four previous attempts, with a hard-fought 6-1 4-6 7-5 success over Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova impressed on her Eastbourne debut with a two tremendous fightbacks in a day but bowed out in an enthralling final to Bartoli. Battling Bartoli got off to a cracking start to thunder past traditional slow-starter Kvitova, breaking serve on the fourth game for a comfortable 3-1 lead.

The French ace, who impressed with a swift semi-final triumph over gutsy Australian Sam Stosur, played consistently and Kvitova made numerous unforced errors to surrender the opening set with just one game to her credit.

However, the second set was a different ball game with the world no8 starting to measure up to Bartoli’s powerful drives. But Bartoli broke Kvitova and held her serve for another 3-1 lead.

Rise from the dead

The Czech star looked dead and buried on Centre Court, finding the transition from this morning’s semi-final victory over injured Daniela Hantuchova on Court 1 too tricky initially.

Then Kvitova, the no5 seed, moved up a few gears to take the game to Bartoli with a string of impressive groundstrokes to outwit the clever two-hander and break back to level matters at 3-3. With Kvitova suddenly find her confidence to hit winners from all over the court, and no longer scared to dictate at the net, she broke in the 10th game to level matters with a 6-4 advantage.

The decisive set was neck and neck with neither player keen to relinquish the chance to claim a confidence-boasting title going into 2011 Wimbledon.

Games went with serve in a cagey affair, with Bartoli fending of! f break point to survive the scare and keep the result in the balance at 3-3. Kvitova let out a trademark joyous shriek after her neat dropshot gave her a 4-3 advantage.

With games going with serve at 5-5 it appeared that a tie-break would have to divide the pair of seeded players until Bartoli broke to lead 6-5 and served out for the title.

Kvitova kills off injured Hantuchova

Petra Kvitova bounced back from a stuttering start to overcome in-form Daniela Hantuchova (pictured) 7-6 4-2 when the Slovak star retired with a left abdominal injury.

The Czech ace was outplayed initially, losing the opening three games against rejuvenated Hantuchova, but gathered her nerves to work her way back into an intriguing tie.

With Hantuchova’s overpowering serve working to her advantage and a string of solid groundstrokes, Kvitova played a cagey game and fought back to trail 4-3 before the Slovak ace required a treatment break for an injury flare-up.

On her return the world no8 bounced back and did well to force a tie-break, but the pair were well matched and it took a marathon 11-9 result to hand Kvitova the opening set.

With Hantuchova’s movement fast deteriorating it came as no surprise that the no5 seed dominated play and dictated! from the baseline with occasion forays to the net to put away volleys and smashes.

Much to the disappointment of the enthusiastic Court 1 crowd, Hantuchova, playing her first back-to-back semi-finals for many years, had little choice but to wave the white flag and bow out graciously with her injury. Kvitova, the highest ranked player in the final four, will need to start well in this afternoon’s final if she is claim the Eastbourne title on her Devonshire Park debut.

Bartoi blasts past stuttering Stosur

Marion Bartoli reached her maiden Eastbourne final after a convincing 6-3 6-1 success over out-of-sorts Sam Stosur on a very blustery Centre Court, which affected the serving ability of the pair of seeds.

Bartoli bounced all over the court from the beginning and behaved like a prize-fighter throughout, swinging her racquet to practice shots at every opportunity. The unorthodox two-handed French ace was in formidable form to run away with the opening set,

Stosur uncharacteristically playing a defensive game and staying on the baseline. Bartoli moved through the gears in the second set, following a three minute break for a short shower to pass, and thundered drives from all corners to leave Stosur looking lost and unable to cope.

Although the crowd were desperate for a third set and very supportive of Stosur, the Australian simply could not find her rhythmn and appears lost to suffer a heavy defeat.

“Marion was hitting the ball very hard out there, and the conditions were worse than the other day – but it was just one of those things. I’ve had a great week overall and got some competitive matches on grass behind me to take to Wimbledon.

“I didn’t see Serena (Williams) play here but I think she came back too soon, she had a year out so we’ll see how she gets on next week”

– Sam Stosur

Finals Day preview: What to expect at Eastbourne

World no8 Petra Kvitova faces Slovak ace Daniela Hantuchova in the first semi-final showdown.

2010 Wimbledon semi-finalist Kvitova, the highest ranked player left, has impressed on her Devonshire Park debut and the Czech star possesses natural grass skills despite having never won a match on the surface prior to last year’s heroics at SW19.

The 21-year-old left-hander has a battle on her hands against world no25 Hantuchova, who is a rejuvenated player on her seventh visit to Eastbourne.

The 2004 Devonshire Park runner-up has registered impressive wins over French Open champion Li Na and American superstar Venus Williams to reach back-to-back singles semi-finals on the WTA Tour for the first time in four seasons.

Eastbourne regulars Sam Stosur and Marion Bartoli will battle it out for a place in the final for the first time on, and have high top form this season. World no10 Stosur stormed into her third semi-final this season, and saw off top seed Vera Zvonareva in the quarter-finals.

Unorthodox Bartoli is in her fifth successive semi-final at Devonshire Park, having bowed out graciously in the past four encounters. The French ace plays two-handed on both sides and arrived at Devonshire Park on a career-high ranking of world no9 following her heroics at Roland Garros.

An interview with Daniela Hantuchova

WTA Players

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2011 AEGON International Finals Day at Eastbourne

Q. How bad is it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It’s not great; that’s for sure. It happened at 3 Love in the first set. I was running for a wide backhand and kind of felt a sharp pain and just was getting worse and worse from then.

Q. What are your plans between now and maybe your first match?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I don’t know. Hope for some magic and get as much treatment as I can. Seeing the doctor now, and as soon as I come to Wimbledon I will try to work with the physios and try to do something to be able to be ready for Monday.

Q. What do you feel the odds are to be able to play?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I don’t know. It’s hard to say right now. I’m hoping every day, every hour will help. But unfortunately it’s quite frustrating knowing the way I played. Yeah, just have to take it one day at a time. We will see.

Q. Would you say the windy conditions would have had anything to do with it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, for sure. Because I was kind of like reaching for the backhand, and then the wind took it even farther away. That’s where it happened. But probably I irritated it already before, trying to, you know, find the ball on my serve, not with the shoulder being great. So I’m sure I was kind of overcompensating and trying to figure out how to hit the shots without any pain with my shoulder, and probably that’s why the abdominal happened.

Q. It makes it extra frustrating, because you were playing so well.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, it is. I mean, I feel like I have been having such a great two weeks. Yeah, even today I mean, the conditions were just, I think, 10 times worse than with Venus. Obviously already that was quite frustrating; plus with the injury. Yeah, it was not an easy day in the office. But I still got a lot of positives to take with me, and I feel so confident for Wimbledon. I just somehow have to take care of this, and I will give it every single effort I’ve got to be able to play and hopefully do well.

Q. It’s hard because of the mental I mean, the physical side you can hopefully get right, but it’s the mental effects of it.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I’m trying kind of to forget it now and really already be looking forward to Wimbledon. Obviously that’s the highlight of my year, and, you know, in whatever shape I will be, I will take that and give it my best shot, whatever happens.

Q. Do you feel you made it worse by playing on after it happened?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Probably, yeah. But I’m the kind of player, I will not give up until I know it’s impossible. Yeah, probably was not the smartest thing, but I just kept trying, kept fighting, because I felt like I was playing so well and really wanted to win another title here.

Q. Is it an injury you’ve had before?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, first time.