Thursday, April 28, 2016

Roger Federer to play Madrid Open

Roger Federer has confirmed that he will take part in the Mutua Madrid Open, which starts on 1 May. Federer, No.3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is a three-time champion at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event (2006, 2009 and 2012).

Madrid was not on Federer’s schedule at the beginning of the year, but the Swiss’ agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed today that he will play. Last year, Federer lost in the second round to Nick Kyrgios, 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 7-6(12).

The 34 year old comes into the event with a 10-3 record in 2016. Madrid will be Federer’s second clay-court tournament of the season and his fourth of the year. He reached the final of Brisbane (l. to Raonic) and the semi-finals of the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) before missing three months due to knee surgery. In his comeback event, he reached the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza fall short at Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart

Stuttgart: Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were beaten in the women's doubles final of the Stuttgart Open tennis tournament by second seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, 6-2, 1-6, 6-10.

The Indo-Swiss pair went down in one hour and 21 minutes on Sunday night.

Sania-Martina were eyeing their 14th title together. They were aiming for their first title since February but were undone by a stunning turnaround by the French pair.

Sania-Martina began the match brightly, winning the first set comfortably 6-2.

But the French duo recovered from a set down to clinch the match in the tie-breaker. They were the more aggressive team, hitting 25 winners to 16 by Sania-Martina.

It was the second title of the season for the French pair.

Sania and Martina have stumbled in their recent tournaments, exiting in the second-round at the Miami Masters and the first at the Indian Wells.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza reach Porsche Grand Prix final in Stuttgart

The top-ranked women’s doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis rebounded from their recent inconsistent performances to reach the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Stuttgart on Saturday. They beat the unseeded Czech-German combine of Lucie Safarova and Sabine Lisicki, 6-4, 7-5 in the semi-finals.

It was not an easy affair, though. Safarova is an accomplished doubles exponent and won two Grand Slam titles last year one of which is the French Open. For Lisicki, this is a happy hunting ground in doubles as she had won the title twice before.

The first set witnessed as many as seven breaks of serve out of which the Indo-Swiss pair managed to make in-roads into their opponents’ games four times.

The trend continued in the second set too which also saw the two pairs trading a total of five breaks. Hingis and Mirza got a chance to serve out the match at 5-3 but the German-Czech duo saved three match points with some excellent returns.

The top seeds then succeeded in securing another crucial break which presented them the win.

In the final of their first clay court event this season, Hingis and Mirza will meet the winner of the semi-final contest between second seeds Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic and Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Kveta Peschke.

This is the first final for the three-time Grand Slam champions since winning the St. Petersburg title in February. They had suffered early exits at each of their last three tournaments at Doha, Indian Wells and Miami.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza back on track at Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart

Top-seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis clinched a facile win in their opening match to enter the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart WTA indoor tournament on Wednesday. The Indo-Swiss duo defeated the Japanese pair of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes to advance to the last-8.

After early exits in the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open, Australian Open champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis returned to winning ways on Wednesday after securing an easy win in the 2016 Stuttgart tennis tournament. Mirza and Hingis, who had crashed out in the opening round in the last edition, eased past the Japanese pair of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato in a one-sided game.

The Indo-Swiss duo won 68% of their first service points and broke the Japanese pair twice in the opening set to pocket the set 6-1. Although, Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato broke the top seeds in the second set, Sania and Hingis bounced back by breaking the Japanese duo four times and by winning 70% of their first services in the set, to register an easy opening victory.

The Indo-Swiss duo will next face Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková of the Czech Republic in the quarters on Thursday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Martina Hingis on Belinda Bencic, and playing Stuttgart Madrid & Rome with Mirza

Martina Hingis was recently interviewed by Tages Anzeiger. During the interview, the Swiss player talked about her compatriot Belinda Bencic as well as her doubles partner Sania Mirza. Hingis gave her thoughts on Bencic's recent injury, before suggesting that the youngster needs to take more care of her body. Hingis also denied that herself and Mirza are parting ways, after a Twitter post by Mirza sparked a lot of speculation.

Hingis Says Bencic Needs To Put Her Body Before Tennis

Bencic had to withdraw from the Swiss Fed Cup team and announced that she will be out for at least four weeks, due to a back injury. During the interview with Tages Anzeiger, Hingis gave her opinion on Bencic's injury and talked about what her young compatriot should do in the future to make sure she is as healthy as possible. Hingis said that Bencic needs to start putting her body first. "At some point your body says: "Ok, you have to put me before tennis," she said.

Hingis told the interviewer that Bencic made the wrong decision to play as many tournaments as she has so far this year. The 35-year-old said, "Instead of always playing tournaments, she should have practiced." Hingis ended by saying that as a tennis player you have to know that you do not "only have to play well or in a smart way."

Mirza And Hingis Not Parting Ways

During the interview, Hingis denied speculation that she and her doubles partner are parting ways. The Swiss was questioned about her partnership with Mirza, following a tweet by Mirza which many assumed was suggesting a split. Talking about Mirza's tweet Hingis told the interview that Mirza is very poetic and philosophical. Hingis continued to say that, "I do not know anything," which for now dispels any rumors regarding the team.

Hingis said that the pair played a lot of tennis so they had to take a break. The 35-year-old and Mirza went on a 41 match winning streak before a couple of disappointing results occurred. They will play the upcoming tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, hoping to get back to their winning ways. Hingis added that herself and Mirza "have to find ourselves" during these tournaments and that even though they do not believe that clay is their best surface they are "looking forward."

Monday, April 18, 2016

Roger Federer feels good about his chances at Roland Garros

Roger Federer opened up about his chances against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray when they hit the second Grand Slam Event of the year in Paris.

Federer likes his chances in winning the French Open this year despite concerns over his surgically repaired knee, which the Swiss Maestro had tested at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Federer believes he will be one of the handful favorites to win Roland Garros, but also acknowledged the presence of the other members of the Big Four at the event, as well as Stan Wawrinka's bid to defend his French Open title.

"I think and believe that I can be in the group of the favourites when the moment to play Roland Garros comes," Federer said, reports Tennis World USA.

"For their characters and qualities Rafa and Novak are the main opponents just like Wawrinka who is the defending champion. It will be interesting, also because Murray played good last year on clay, I hope he can raise his level. It's always interesting the period that brings us at the Roland Garros."

Federer won his only Roland Garros title in 2009 and lost four finals appearances against Nadal, who conquered the French Open for an unprecedented nine major titles, thus earning the moniker King of Clay. With Nadal's form dipping this season, Federer may have a shot at winning Roland Garros and extend his all-time Grand Slam records.

Another concern for Federer heading into Paris is Djokovic, who has been in remarkable form despite the Serb's early exit at the Monte Carlo Masters. Federer has yet to top Djokovic in big events since 2012, when the Swiss defeated Nole in the semifinal round of Wimbledon en route to his 17th career major title victory.

Djokovic will have plenty of rest and competitive matches leading up to Roland Garros, which should keep him sharp just in time for the clay-court finale.

As for Murray and Wawrinka, the two have yet to muster victories in major and ATP 1000 Masters tournaments this season.

After a promising performance early in the season, reaching the final round of the Australian Open and helping Great Britain advance into the next round of the Davis Cup, Murray has not been able to maintain his form.

The Scot suffered early round losses in Indian Wells and Miami Open, and just when it seems he would finally score his first title of the season at the Monte Carlo Masters, Nadal stopped him in the semifinal round.

There should be plenty of factors that could affect Federer's bid at the French Open this season, including his health and knee that forced him to be sidelined for more than two months. But the 34-year-old is positive about his game and expects to be in top shape ahead by the time he arrives in Paris.

"I'm returning a lot better. It's better than other beginnings of the clay-court season," Federer said, reports the ATP's official website. "I don't know if it's because of the new racquet. I'll have to keep that and my serve will come as I play more matches."