Tuesday, August 11, 2015

TUESDAY TENNIS: Stephens Wins 1st Title; Venus Bageled In TO; Kei Gets Revenge; Kerber Streak Continues

Sloane Breaks Through With Maiden Title At D.C. Hard Court Tournament
American Sloane Stephens was the only player in the WTA Top 40 (currently ranked #29) not to have reached a tour final. That is no longer true because not only did Stephens reach her first WTA final at the Citi Open in Washington, DC by defeating Samantha Stosur in the semifinal, she was cool and calm in a straightforward 6-1 6-2 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final the next day.

Kerber Continues Streak With 4th Title Of The Year By Winning in Stanford
Angelique Kerber began 2015 with more losses than wins until March but since winning in Charleston on (green) clay she has won 30 of her 35 matches, and notched up three more titles, on three different surfaces (Stuttgart on red clay, Birmingham on grass and Stanford on outdoor hard courts). Kerber played one of the best matches of the year in the Bank of the West quarterfinals by outlasting Aggie Radwanska 6-4 4-6 6-4 and K3rb3r won the title match over Karolina Pliskova in another 3-set match. The German has now won all 4 finals she has reached in 2015 after going 0-4 in finals last year.

Venus Plays First Set Since Wimbledon, Gets Bageled And Loses
Since losing to her sister Serena Williams in the 3rd round of Wimbledon, Venus Williams has not played a WTA tour-level match. She returned to the court after 10pm in Toronto on Monday to face Sabine Lisicki following a near 9-hour rain delay and promptly lost the first 6 games in 24 minutes. Things got a little better after that but Venus still lost 6-0 6-3 to the hard-hitting German. Since she had reached the final at the Canadian tournament last year (beating Serena in the semifinals) her ranking will plummet to the mid-20s and if she doesn't do well in Cincinnati she might not be seeded for the 2015 U.S. Open.

Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic Face Each Other On U.S. Hard Court With Different Result
Last year Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic played the first grand slam final in over a decade that did not include a former Grand Slam champion at the 2014 U.S. Open. Cilic won that match but in Washington, D.C. the two met in the semifinals of the Citi Open but this time Nishikori was the victor 3-6 6-1 6-4. The Japanese player went on to defeat John Isner 4-6 6-4 6-4 to win the title.

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