March 17, 2013 |
On a hot summer-like Sunday afternoon, in a stadium that rises out of the Southern California desert like a huge misplaced castle, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal slid onto his back and into the bright lights of his sport once again. It was match point of the men's final in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The clock showed that he had been out there 21/2 hours. A crowd of 16,741 squeezed into this 16,100-seat spectator mansion had waited for this moment. Winning this tournament is always a huge deal, but they all knew that, for Nadal, this would be even bigger.
March 14, 2013 |
On a long day of tennis in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, fifth-seeded former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic was among the casualties in matches that finished during daylight hours. She lost in a three-set battle, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, to Maria Kirilenko of Russia. Kirilenko, seeded 15th and getting closer to a top-10 ranking, defeated No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in her previous match and said afterward, "I can compete, and as you can see, I can beat them.
March 5, 2013 |
Maria Sharapova considers the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells a hometown tournament. The Russian tennis pro has a home in Manhattan Beach, her parents have a home in Topanga Canyon and she even has a favorite Italian restaurant in Southern California, La Sosta Enoteca in Hermosa Beach. And so it makes Sharapova happy that she will be seeded second to Victoria Azarenka when the women's tournament begins Wednesday. Men's main draw play begins Friday. "I like this tournament because the people come to watch the tennis," Sharapova said.
February 16, 2013 |
Serena Williams, who will take over No. 1 in the world tennis rankings Monday, defeated Maria Sharapova on Saturday to advance to the finals of the Qatar Open. Williams, who will become the oldest woman to hold the top ranking, will now play the woman she's replacing atop those rankings, Victoria Azarenka, in the championship match Sunday. Sharapova didn't put up much opposition on Saturday, with Williams defeating the Russian, 6-3, 6-2. Azarenka, who has beaten Williams only once in 11 meetings, defeated Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3, 6-3, in the other semifinal.
January 18, 2013 |
Maria Sharapova turned a third-round match against Venus Williams at the Australian Open on Friday into a straight-set rout. The 6-1, 6-3 victory for the lanky Russian ended with an ace at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. “I think when we both looked at the draw, it was a matchup we were both looking forward to,” Sharapova said afterward. “I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she's capable of producing and playing. She's a tremendous athlete and a great champion.” Sharapova, who won her first two matches of the tournament without dropping a game, will play unseeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the fourth round.
January 11, 2013 |
Maria Sharapova is scheduled to play in the Australian Open, which begins Monday. But she was already turning heads in Melbourne on Friday, at what she's calling the international launch of her Sugarpova candy line. She was sporty and flirty at the same time in an orange and white David Koma dress and Jimmy Choo's Lance sandals. And note, when you're a tennis star/business mogul, you can accessorize with two guys holding umbrellas to shade you from the Australian summer sun. Although Friday's event at Melbourne's Crown Entertainment Complex is considered the official global launch, the candy -- which includes gummies, gum balls and sour candies -- is already available online and at select stores in the U.S., London and Paris.
September 8, 2012 |
In less time than it took Victoria Azarenka to win a third set over Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams pounded her way to a 6-1, 6-2 U.S. Open semifinal victory over defenseless Italian Sara Errani on Friday. The 30-year-old Williams, who is seeded fourth, will play top-seeded and top-ranked Azarenka in Saturday's final. Azarenka conquered Sharapova, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, winning a 2-hour 42-minute semifinal in which the third set lasted 1:14. Williams won her match against Errani in 64 minutes.
September 7, 2012 |
NEW YORK -- Victoria Azarenka reached her first U.S. Open final Friday with a powerful display of tennis that left her dancing on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Azarenka, ranked No. 1 in the world and top-seeded here, beat No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, in a semifinal that lasted 2 hours 42 minutes. Azarenka will face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between fourth-seeded Serena Williams and 10th-seeded Sara Errani at 4 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. Azarenka's only previous Grand Slam win came earlier this year at the Australian Open.
September 5, 2012 |
NEW YORK -- Third-seeded Maria Sharapova, who trailed 11th-seeded Marion Bartoli 4-0 Tuesday when rain stopped their match, came back Wednesday firing aces and deep, deep groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand sides, and advanced to the U.S Open semifinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Sharapova will now play first-seeded and top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in Friday's semifinals. "That rain break gave me a few hours to think," Sharapova said. "I came out flat yesterday.
September 2, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Maria Sharapova was dominating Nadia Petrova. Then she wasn't. Then it rained at the U.S. Open. And, boy, did that make a difference. Sharapova, seeded third at the U.S. Open and a one-time champion here, overcame a third-set deficit and held on to beat 19th-seeded Nadia Petrova. A 75-minute weather break in the third set, when she was behind already, 2-0, seemed to reinvigorate Sharapova. Petrova blasted a 116 mile-per-hour ace as her first point after the rain delay, but Sharapova withstood that big shot from the 30-year-old Russian veteran and earned a decisive win in the seventh game of the final set by pounding her service returns harder and harder.