Dominika Cibulkova, Roland Garros 2016

Dominika Cibulkova defeats Ana Konjuh 6-4 3-6 6-0

Back to Roland Garros today and I’m back on court 17 to watch a match that looks exciting … on paper.
A former junior number one, Ana Konjuh was touted as a future top ten player. Aged 18, she won her first WTA tournament in Nottingham last year. As for Dominika Cibulkova, semifinalist here in 2009, she had a good clay-court season, with a final in Madrid.

Lots of unforced errors from both players. Not a really enjoyable match.

Court 17

Cibulkova can’t stay still for a second. For her gruntings for first point on are really annoying.

Dominika Cibulkova

Ana Konjuh
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Nicolas Almagro, Estoril Open 2016

Former top 10 Nicolas Almagro defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in an all Spanish final in Estoril. It’s his first trophy since his victory in Nice in 2012. The match was indecise till the very last games: Almagro lost the first set on tiebreak, then served several times for the second set and finally went on winning 6-7 7-6 6-3.

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Estoril Open, 01.05.2016
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Djokovic and Wawrinka

Thanks to Peg, who covered the Cincinnati Masters for Tennis Buzz, a few pictures of players practicing:

Sam Stosur:

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Svetlana Kuznetsova:

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Lucie Safarova:

Lucie Safarova

Jelena Jankovic:

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic
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Cincinnati Open

Peg is covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Buzz. Enjoy her Friday evening recap (more to come!):

At the end of the stage presentation, the guests were directed to head outside toward the food court, where they could purchase drinks and listen to the SunBurners:

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At the champagne stand, customers who purchase a serving of Moet Imperial in a souvenir glass ($18) also receive a shiny tennis ball with a charm inside:

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There were other attractions beside the concert and the booze, though. Right outside the Grandstand tent, there was one of those human statues…

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….who later made his way closer to the beer:

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Other fans visited Grandstand — meandering around, sitting where they liked, and watching the children on the court:

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There were souvenirs for sale at the MidwestSports.com tent:

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I eventually headed toward Court 7…

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having seen this announcement:

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But wait. I know that player. That isn’t Mr. Falla, that’s Mr. Gulbis!

Ernests Gulbis

Ernests Gulbis

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On the other side of the court, Mr. Thiem:

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There were fans watching alone …

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… and with friends:

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(I owe these women thanks — not only did they help me identify Dominic Thiem, they were just great fun to chat with. You know you’re among kindred spirits when you’re reminiscing about tan lines from wicked hot tournaments [e.g., a couple of them attended Melbourne in January; I watched Isner-Anderson in Atlanta a few summers ago ]

And my evening in Mason ended with a last look at some of the 10,000 flowers planted by LaMond Design within the last week:

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The campus beautiful

Kei Nishikori

Maria Sharapova def Simona Halep 1-6 6-2 6-3
Rafael Nadal def Kei Nishikori 2-6 6-4 3-0
Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci def Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-3
Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic def Bob and Mike Bryan 6-4 6-2

Rafael Nadal

After two stunning quarterfinals losses in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Nadal captured his fourth Madrid title, his 27th Masters title overall. Led 2-6 2-4 he was totally outplayed by Nishikori in the final.

Kei Nishikori

Following his win in Barcelona, Nishikori beat Milos Raonic and David Ferrer en route to the first Masters final of his career. And he was just a few games away from a huge upset: beat Nadal, on clay, in front of his home crowd. For a set and a half he was totally in control of the match but had to retire in the third set.
He becomes the first male Japanese player to each the top 10.

Dominic Thiem

The 20-year old Austrian stunned Australian Open and Monte Carlo champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round of the Madrid Open. Thiem is the first 20-and-under player to defeat a top-five player in three years. Unfotunately he had to retire due to illness before his third round match against Feliciano Lopez.

Maria Sharapova

She beat Simona Halep to capture her first Madrid title. She remains undefeated on clay this season (11-0) and looks like a serious contender for the Roland Garros title.

Simona Halep

Quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, winner of the Qatar Open, she reached her first Premier Mandatory final in Madrid.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams withdrew from the Madrid Open before her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova because of a left thigh injury. She is doubtful for the Rome tournament this week.