Verdasco’s parting shot

2013 AEGON International, Feliciano LOPEZ, Fernando VERDASCO, News, Players

Fernando Verdasco quarter-finalsFernando Verdasco, narrowly defeated by his Spanish team-mate Feliciano Lopez, has blasted the light drizzle and slippery conditions for bowing out of the 2013 AEGON International.

The Spanish star fumed: “I tried my best with the conditions how they were, but the conditions were not right to play even before the match.

“The ball was slippery and I played well, but the conditions were better for him. The court was dangerous for both of us, we had to be careful.

“I noticed that at the end of the first set there was soft rain there, but they just wanted me to play no matter what.

“If I had said that I don’t want to play then I would get fined. I wanted to go from the court because I didn’t feel good. I wasn’t in the situation to say that I’ll go, but I would have liked to have been in the semi-finals.

“His sliced backhand bounced even lower because of the conditions, making it very difficult to attack him.

“But if someone gets hurt then who is responsible? Not the ATP Tour for the conditions of the court. I just kept playing and trying.

“I thought to myself, if I win I win. But if I lose then I’ll just go to Wimbledon because I know I am playing well.”

 

Dark horse Lopez gallops past Monaco

2013 AEGON International, Feliciano LOPEZ, Fernando VERDASCO, Juan MONACO, Players
By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Feliciano LopezFeliciano Lopez, the obvious dark horse in the draw, dismantled Argentine Juan Monaco in straight sets on Court 1 on Wednesday courtesy of his trademark thunderous serves.
The Spanish star outshone the no4 seed in all departments to secure a quarter-final berth in 70 minutes courtesy of a 6-4 6-4 passage.
The tie was initially an attrition of powerful serves, with both dominating play with booming serves. But Lopez drew first blood match to snatch the opening set.
With the lead Lopez began to mix his tactics, racing to take control at the net and putting away some incredible volleys to unnerve the Argentinian. This worked out to his advantage with two breaks of serve sealing success, initially in the opening game.
But Monaco broke back in the sixth game, but was unable to match the sizzling Lopez who is surely a potential champion. Lopez also defeated Monaco on grass at the 2012 London Olympics.

Another Spaniard made the quarter-finals, Fernando Verdasco losing only four of his first service points in annihilating compatriot Albert Ramos in the straight sets on Wednesday.

The opening match on Court 2 proved to be a disappointment in terms of a contest, with a comprehensive 6-4 6-0 victory.

Klizan’s killer pace leaves Troicki for dead

2013 AEGON International, Feliciano LOPEZ, Jarkko NIEMINEN, Martin KLIZAN, News, Players, Radek STEPANEK, Viktor TROICKI

By Xavier Harley-Rudd

Martin KlizanMartin Klizan had no difficulty in overpowering left-hander Viktor Troicki on Court 3 with a straightforward 6-3 6-2 victory.

Left-hander Klizan, ranked nine places higher than the Serbian no3 in the rankings at world no35, was superior in every department.

His thunderous shots kept Troicki at bay and scampering from corner to corner along the baseline in vain attempts to get the ball back.

Klizan’s flat shots left the ball low to leave Troicki, who won their only previous encounter – last year’s Wimbledon – in a ding-dong five set thriller, chasing the game and unable to carve his way back after his serve was broken.

Feliciano Lopez relied on thundering down 16 aces to book a 2nd Round berth at the expense of tricky Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 7-6 7-6.

The Spaniard had to be on top of his game and never surrender to register a 7-3 success in the first tiebreak and polish off the left-hander with a 7-5 second tiebreak win on Court 1.

Radek Stephanek made short work of dispatching Australian world no39 Marinko Matosevic in straight sets on Court 3.

The veteran Czech ace was expected to be given the runaround by his tenacious nicknamed “Mad Dog”, but Matosevic simply had no bite to lose 6-3 6-2.

 

Simon snatches top billing

2013 AEGON International, Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV, Andreas Seppi, Bernard TOMIC, Denis Istomin, Fabio FOGNINI, Feliciano LOPEZ, Fernando VERDASCO, Gilles SIMON, Grega ZEMLJA, Ivan DODIG, Jarkko NIEMINEN, Juan MONACO, Julien BENNETEAU, Kevin ANDERSON, Martin KLIZAN, Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER, Players, Radek STEPANEK, Thomaz BELLUCCI, Viktor TROICKI

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2013 entrants and seeds

gilles simon top seed 2013Gilles Simon, the 28-year-old from Nice, is the top seed as the highest ranked of the trio from the world’s top 20 ATP players due compete at the 2103 AEGON International.

Simon, who reached the dizzy heights of world no6 is nicknamed “Gilou” with his most significant success over Rafael Nadal in Madrid five years ago.

Although British fans will probably remember the current world no17 bowing out to Olympic champion Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open.

German Phillip Kohlschreiber (world no18) missed out on being seeded no1 and has the perfect all round game that is suited to grass, so is the most probable champion.

Argentinian Juan Monaco (world no20) is the no3 seed but is a clay court expert so is likely to find the adjustment from a gruelling season on a slower surface difficult to adjust to.

In form Kevin Anderson has been given the no4 seeding and the 6 foot 8 inch South African star will be a force to be reckoned with courtesy of his thundering serve and game suited to fast surfaces.

Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, a Devonshire Park regular, takes the no5 slot with former Eastbourne champion Andreas Seppi of Italy a dangerous opponent as no6 seed.

Seppi’s compatriot Fabio Fognini takes the no7 berth with French ace Julien Benneteau completing the eight seeds.

But the player that the seeds will be aiming to avoid will be Monaco-based Australian Bernard Tomic, who in 2011 became the first teenager since Boris Becker to reach the Men’s Singles semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Tomic stuttered out of the 2012 AEGON International in three sets to Fognini despite being the no4 seed and was booed off the Wimbledon courts following his destruction of the grass with his racquet after tasting defeat.

Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek will be another difficult opponent, and if compatriot Tomas Berdych – a top 10 player – has a shortlived experience at Queen’s in London then he will listen to whether his coach Ivan Ljubicic wants him to warm-up Wimbledon as a Devonshire Park wildcard.

Thomaz Belluci has withdrawn from the tournament, which isn’t the first time that the Brazilian has opted to skip the event.

Men’s Provisional Seeds

Seed

Men

Nation

1

Gilles SIMON  France

2

Phillip KOHLSCHREIBER  Germany

3

Juan MONACO  Argentina

4

Kevin ANDERSON  South Africa

5

Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV  Ukraine

6

Andreas SEPPI  Italy

7

Fabio FOGNINI  Italy

8

Julien BENNETEAU  France

The entrants confirmed are:

  1. Gilles SIMON (France)
  2. Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER (Germany)
  3. Juan MONACO (Argentina)
  4. Kevin ANDERSON (South Africa)
  5. Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV (Ukraine)
  6. Andreas SEPPI (Italy)
  7. Fabio FOGNINI (Italy)
  8. Julien BENNETEAU (France)
  9. Martin KLIZAN (Slovakia)
  10. Jarkko NIEMINEN (Finland)
  11. Viktor TROICKI (Serbia)
  12. Feliciano LOPEZ (Spain)
  13. Denis ISTOMIN (Uzbekistan)
  14. Radek STEPANEK (Czech Republic)
  15. Ivan DODIG (Croatia)
  16. Grega ZEMLJA (Slovenia)
  17. Bernard TOMIC (Australia)
  18. Fernando VERDASCO (Spain)

FELICIANO LOPEZ

2013 AEGON International, Feliciano LOPEZ
Lopez, Feliciano Lopez, Feliciano 
Birthplace:
Toledo, España
Residence
Madrid, España
Height
6’2″ (188 cm)
Weight
187 lbs (85 kg)
Plays
Left-handed
Turned Pro
1997

Feliciano López was born in Toledo, Spain, on the 20th of September, 1981 and has been a professional since 1997.

He started playing tennis aged five and following thanks an exceptional junior career he joined the ATP circuit in 2000, although it wasn’t until 2004 that he got to his first singles final – in Dubai.

He also contributed to Spanish victory in the 2004 Davis Cup, playing in the first round of a tournament he had competed in a season before in the doubles category alongside Alex Corretja, losing in the final against Australia.

In 2005 he became the first Spaniard to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals since Manuel Orantes reached the semis back in 1992, but he was knocked out by Lleyton Hewitt.

In 2006 he reached the final of Gstaad and in 2007 he achieved his best result in the US Open, reaching the fourth round.

But it was in 2008 when his career took a real leap forward. He lifted the Davis Cup with Spain, defeating Argentina 3-1 and winning two points for his country; one in the singles competition against Juan Martín del Potro and another alongside Verdasco in the doubles.

That year he also reached the final in Dubai and the quarter finals at Wimbledon. In 2009 he added a second Davis Cup to his collection, contributing a point won in the doubles alongside Fernando Verdasco against the Czech Republic in the final.

In 2010 he bagged his second ATP title in Johannesburg.

In 2011 he contributed to another Spanish victory in the Davis Cup, again playing doubles against Argentina, but losing this time. He also reached the final in Belgrade, where he fell to world No.1 Novak Djokovic. He began 2012 at no19 in the ATP rankings.

Watson breaks duck

Caroline Wozniacki, Feliciano LOPEZ, Laura Robson, News, Results, Sorana Cirstea, WTA Players, Yanina Wickmayer

HeatherWatsonWINSEB2010Heather Watson registered her maiden WTA Tour triumph by overturning a top 50 player much to the delight of the supportive Centre Court crowd.

The 18-year-old Guernsey ace, who scythed through three qualifying rounds to reach the main draw, showed hunger and precision to tear apart Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak – the world no48 – 6-3 6-2.

Watson, ranked 344 going into the 2010 Aegon International, had been granted a wildcard to next week’s Wimbledon on the strength of her exceptional results at Devonshire Park.

And the US Open Junior champion impressed in only her third match in the main draw of a WTA Tour event despite the blustery conditions upsetting both players.

Watson admitted: “I’m so so happy, I was really glad to get through the qualifiers but I didn’t want to stop there.”

She saw off compatriot Anna Smith (world no265), Russian grass court specialist Tsvetana Pironkova (no81) and then Serbian Bojana Jovanovski (no108) in qualifying.

But Watson’s latest triumph eclipsed fellow Brit Laura Robson, the 2008 Wimbledon Junior champion, who has not won a main draw match on the WTA Tour but is only aged 16.

It was a day of shocks with world no3 and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki falling to France powerhouse Aravane Rezai in three sets. And the newly-crowned French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy succumbed in straight to Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

Former Eastbourne winner Kim Clijsters, the 2009 US Open champion, returned to winning ways in her first grass court tournament for four years away, by demolishing Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-1 with aplomb.

British stalwart Elena Baltacha progressed against China’s Li Na after the no7 seed retired hurt before the start of the second set of what was a dull contest.

James Ward, the son of a London taxi driver, also made the 2nd Round courtesy of his opponent retiring.

The 23-year-old pulled off a shock success to record his inaugural win in a main draw event. He was leading Feliciano Lopez 6-3 5-4 on Centre Court, but the Spaniard threw in the towel by retiring from the contest citing a shoulder injury to concede defeat to the Great Britain Davis Cup player.

Ward described his victory over no2 seed Lopez as the “biggest of my career”.

However, the world no342 turned down a wildcard into the Wimbledon qualifying competition in order to compete at Eastbourne. He explained: “I was offered the chance to play here and I decided it would be best for my ranking.”