Robson backs out

Caroline Wozniacki, Laura Robson, WTA Players

laurarobsonEB2012Laura Robson has surprisingly withdrawn from the Ladies Doubles event at the 2013 French Open due to a back injury.

However, the British no1 is very likely to still compete in the 2013 AEGON International in her bid to warm-up for a shot at Wimbledon – where she won the Junior Championship aged 14 in 2006.

Robson was blown away by former Eastbourne champion Caroline Wozniacki in the opening round 6-3 6-2 reversal at the French Open, who then was shocked by in the second round by Serbian Bojana Jovanovski.

Robson was due to compete in Doubles with ex-world no1 Doubles ace Lisa Raymond of the United States.

But the 21-year-old Brit was advised to rest her back and is due to immediately return to London to prepare for the grass court season in England.

Robson has pencilled in to compete in the AEGON Classic at Birmingham before returning to Devonshire Park for the AEGON International ahead of The Championships at SW19.

However, following her poor performance in Paris, Robson will be fully focused on returning to her best at Wimbledon so if her back injury up she may be cautious about playing in back-to-back events at Birmingham and Eastbourne – although much will depend on her progress at the AEGON Classic before deciding whether to give the AEGON International a miss.

Wimbledon winners return

2013 AEGON International, Legends

eastbournetenniscourtsLindsay Davenport and Rennae Stubbs, both former world no1s at Ladies Doubles and each victorious at the Wimbledon Championships, are set to treat the Devonshire Park crowd to their grass skills this year.

The pair, who have both claimed the crowns at Eastbourne, have signed up to compete in the Legends Exhibition Mixed Doubles matches at Eastbourne on Sunday June 16.

American Davenport, a former world no1 at Singles on the WTA Tour, had a wondrous 1999 at SW19 by beating German Steffi Graf for the Singles crown then added the Ladies Doubles title with fellow American Corina Morariu. She also took the Eastbourne title in 2001, one of her 55 WTA Tour triumphs over a 15-year period.

Australian Stubbs is a Doubles specialist who teamed up with compatriot Lisa Raymond to win the 2001 Ladies Doubles at Wimbledon and three years later added her second crown with South African Cara Black.

The two aces will be facing-off on opposite sides of the court with big-serving grass court specialists Mark Philippoussis and Greg Rusedski, both former US Open runners-up. The Australian star will take on Rusedski at Singles before the Mixed Doubles contest.

Rusedski, the ex-British no1, explained: “I’ve had some tough matches against Mark and I enjoy playing on grass, so I’m looking forward to dusting down my racquet.”

Phillipoussis (1998) and Rusedski (1997) were both unseeded and each fell in four sets to Australian Patrick Rafter in tense US Open finals, but never reached the dizzy heights they achieved at the New York Grand Slam event.

Rennae Stubbs

Grass court specialist Stubbs

However, Philippoussis finished 2003 Wimbledon runner-up to Swiss star Roger Federer and collected 11 ATP Tour titles, including on grass at Queen’s in London in 1997. His last success was at Newport in the United States seven years ago, when he dethroned reigning champion Rusedski.

For Rusedski, Newport proved to be a happy hunting ground as he took the title three times and won the first (1993) and last (2005) of his 15 ATP Tour crowns on the grass courts.

Stubbs boasts an impressive record at Devonshire Park, having captured the Ladies Doubles title with American Lisa Raymond four times and finishing runner-up on four other occasions.

She revealed: “Eastbourne holds a special place in my heart because it was my last victory, my 60th title, in 2010. If you asked me to play in any tournament again, apart from Grand Slams, I would have always picked Eastbourne so I can’t wait to get back.”

 

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

1998 Direct Line International Championships

Results, WTA Players

janaNovotna1998winner1998 Direct Line International Championships | 15-20 June

A repeat of the previous year’s scheduled final managed to take place, with Czech Republic’s Jana Novotna breezing to comfortable success against Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.

Novotna had been in formidable form throughout the event, demolishing Russian Natasha Zvereva for the loss of just three games in their one-sided semi-final showdown.

The surprise package was another Russian, blonde youngster Anna Kournikova. She amazed even herself by pulling off the shock victory of the Championships with a thrilling triumph over German ace Steffi Graf.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF KOURNIKOVA VS GRAF

The other fresh talent on show was American Serena Williams, who took to the Devonshire Park courts a year after attending to watch big sister Venus compete. However, a combination of naivety and the grittiness of Sanchez-Vicario saw her Williams fall at the quarter-final hurdle despite a gutsy showing.

Final  Jana Novotna defeated Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6 – 1 7 – 5

 

Semi Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Anna Kournikova walkover

Semi  Jana Novotna defeated Natasha Zvereva 6 – 2 6 – 1

 

Quarter  Anna Kournikova defeated Steffi Graf 6 – 7(4) 6 – 3 6 – 4

Quarter  Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Serena Williams 4 – 6 6 – 4 6 – 4

Quarter  Natasha Zvereva defeated Magui Serna 7 – 6 (5) 6 – 2

Quarter  Jana Novotna defeated Irina Spirlea 6 – 4 7 – 5

Rnd 16  Steffi Graf defeated Samantha Smith 6 – 1 6 – 2

Rnd 16  Anna Kournikova defeated Mariaan De Swardt 6 – 4 6 – 1

Rnd 16  Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn 6 – 2 7 – 5

Rnd 16  Serena Williams defeated Ai Sugiyama 6 – 2 7 – 5

Rnd 16  Magui Serna defeated Elena Likhovtseva 6 – 2 4 – 6 8 – 6

Rnd 16  Natasha Zvereva defeated Venus Williams 6 – 2 6 – 1

Rnd 16  Irina Spirlea defeated Kerry-Anne Guse 6 – 0 7 – 5

Rnd 16  Jana Novotna defeated Nathalie Dechy 6 – 2 6 – 2

Rnd 32  Samantha Smith defeated Yayuk Basuki 6 – 4 3 – 3 retired

Rnd 32  Mariaan De Swardt defeated Lisa Raymond 6 – 0 7 – 6 (6)

Rnd 32  Anna Kournikova defeated Alexandra Fusai 2 – 6 6 – 1 6 – 3

Rnd 32  Tamarine Tanasugarn defeated Anna-Maria Miller 6 – 4 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Serena Williams defeated Naoko Sawamatsu 6 – 4 7 – 5

Rnd 32  Ai Sugiyama defeated Magdalena Grzybowska 6 – 4 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Elena Likhovtseva defeated Nathalie Tauziat 6 – 2 4 – 6 8 – 6

Rnd 32  Magui Serna defeated Tatiana Panova 6 – 7(2) 6 – 3 6 – 1

Rnd 32  Natasha Zvereva defeated Maria Vento-Kabchi 7 – 5 6 – 3

Rnd 32  Irina Spirlea defeated Rita Grande 6 – 3 4 – 6 6 – 4

Rnd 32  Kerry-Anne Guse defeated Sarah Pitkowski-Malcor 7 – 5 6 – 3

Rnd 32  Nathalie Dechy defeated Fang Li 6 – 4 6 – 4

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

CLICK HERE FOR PDF OF QUALIFYING & MAIN DRAW