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andrewbroad
Jan 13th, 2008, 11:31 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/

This is a Nicole-filtered subset of my Australian Open preview. You can follow my full reports at any of the following:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=328704
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharapova_vaidisova_hantuchova/

--------
Contents
--------

1. UK TV-alert
2. First-round draw
3. Nicole Vaidišová preview
4. Order of Play for Monday

--------------
1. UK TV-alert
--------------

The evening-sessions of the Australian Open will be televised on BBCi from 08:25 GMT each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel - it always tended to be 302 last year, but it could be 301).

My understanding is that this coverage will consist of the women's match on the evening-session of the Rod Laver Arena (Kanepi v Molik on Monday), followed by the men's match, followed by recorded coverage of any Andy Murray match (or perhaps even Jamie Baker) that will have taken place during the day-session, or the "best" match of the day on a continuous loop.

But don't set your hopes too high - last year, only 7% of BBCi's Australian Open coverage was of the women! :mad: There isn't a women's match on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session every day, and it's well within the BBC's past behaviour to show recorded Murray instead of live women.

Other Australian Open coverage on BBC television:
* Sunday 20th January on BBC 2 (12:30 to 14:00 GMT);
* Saturday 26th January: Women's Singles final on BBC 1 (from 02:20 GMT);
* Saturday 26th January: repeat of WS final on BBCi (from 07:00 GMT);
* Saturday 26th January: highlights of WS final on BBC 2 (13:00 to 14:00 GMT);
* Sunday 27th January: Men's Singles final on BBC 2 (from 08:30 GMT);
* Sunday 27th January: repeat of MS final on BBCi (from 10:00 GMT).

-------------------
2. First-round draw
-------------------
2.1 Top quarter: Maria Sharapova
--------------------------------

* Aiko Nakamura [s] v JUSTINE HENIN [1] (ganbatte Aiko!)
* Olga Poutchkova v Monique Adamczak [WC] (davai Olga!)
* Maret Ani v Angelique Kerber (go Maret!)
* Emilie Loit v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [25]

* SYBILLE BAMMER [19] v Tamarine Tanasugarn [Q]
* Hsieh,Su-Wei [Q,S] v Klára Koukalová (my Reason says Su-Wei, but my Passion says Klára)
* Aravane Rezaď v Kateryna Bondarenko (allez Aravane!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [13,DF] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro (allez Tatiana!)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [11] v Tzipora Obziler (davai Elena!)
* Anabel Medina Garrigues v Petra Cetkovská
* Jessica Moore [WC] v Julie Ditty
* SHAHAR PE'ER [17] v Renata Voráčová

* Elena Vesnina v JULIA VAKULENKO [32] (my loyalty is to Elena)
* Jill Craybas v Chan,Yung-Jan
* Lindsay Davenport v Sara Errani
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] v Jelena Kostanić Tošić (DAVAI MARIA!!)


2.2 Second quarter: Vaidišová, Zvonarëva
----------------------------------------

* Tamira Paszek v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [3] (gemma Tamira!)
* Stéphanie Dubois v Edina Gallovits
* Flavia Pennetta [DF] v Dominika Cibulková (I really wish I could root for pretty little Domi, but my loyalty is to Flavia)
* Ashley Harkleroad v VIRGINIE RAZZANO [30] (go Ashley!)

* Tatiana Poutchek v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [18] (anyone but Mauresmo)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Tatjana Malek (my loyalty is to Yaroslava)
* Casey Dell'Acqua v Karin Knapp
* Lilia Osterloh v PATTY SCHNYDER [15] (go Lilia!)

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Ioana Raluca Olaru (POJĎME NICOLE!!)
* Alicia Molik v Kaia Kanepi (go Alicia!)
* Tatiana Perebiynis v Madison Brengle [WC] (davai Tatiana!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [23,EF] v Ai Sugiyama (DAVAI VERA!!)

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [26] v Akgul Amanmuradova
* Sandra Klösel [Q] v Julia Schruff [Q]
* Ekaterina Ivanova [Q] v Yuan,Meng [Q]
* Jarmila Gajdošová [WC] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7]


2.3 Third quarter: Iroda Tulyaganova
------------------------------------

* Yan,Zi [s] v VENUS WILLIAMS [8] (jia you Zi!)
* Camille Pin v Monica Niculescu [Q]
* Timea Bacsinszky [Q] v Sophie Ferguson [WC] (hopp Timea!)
* Iroda Tulyaganova [WC,EF] v SANIA MIRZA [31,DF] (I like Sania a lot, but DAVAI IRODA!!)

* Séverine Brémond v LI,NA [24] (allez Séverine!)
* Maria Elena Camerin v Christina Wheeler [WC] (forza Maria Elena!)
* Marta Domachowska [Q] v Mathilde Johansson [WC] (my loyalty is to Marta)
* MARION BARTOLI [10,DF,S] v Sofia Arvidsson (allez Marion!)

* Sabine Lisicki [Q] v DINARA SAFINA [16] (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* María Emilia Salerni v Mariya Koryttseva (Ąvamos María Emilia!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Caroline Wozniacki (my loyalty is to Gisela)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [21] v Alla Kudryavtseva (davai Alyona!)

* KATARINA SREBOTNIK [28] v Lourdes Domínguez Lino (dajmo Katarina!)
* Angelika Bachmann v Anastasia Rodionova
* Tathiana Garbin v Eleni Daniilidou
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [4,DF] v Sorana Cirstea (my loyalty is to Ana)


2.4 Bottom quarter: Chakvetadze, Šafářová, Hantuchová
-----------------------------------------------------

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [6,EF] v Andrea Petkovic (DAVAI ANNA!!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v Alisa Kleybanova [Q] (jia you Shuai!)
* Michaëlla Krajíček [DF] v Akiko Morigami [s] (my loyalty is to Michaëlla)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] v Meilen Tu (davai Maria!)

* LUCIE ŠAFÁŘOVÁ [22,EF] v Catalina Castańo (POJĎME LUCIE!!)
* Roberta Vinci v Virginia Ruano Pascual (may the better win)
* Alizé Cornet v Clarisa Fernández (allez Alizé!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [9,EF] v Vania King (POĎME DANIELA!!)

* NADIA PETROVA [14] v Nicole Pratt
* Anne Kremer v Evgenia Linetskaya (dajee Anne!)
* Laura Granville v Yvonne Meusburger
* ÁGNES SZÁVAY [20] v Ekaterina Makarova (I did a Google Image search for "Ekaterina Makarova" and found an absolute stunner, but unfortunately she wasn't the tennis-player)

* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [29] v Olga Savchuk
* Martina Müller v Pauline Parmentier
* Tsvetana Pironkova v Olga Govortsova (my loyalty is to Tsvetana)
* Nathalie Dechy v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [2] (allez Nathalie!)

---------------------------
3. Nicole Vaidišová preview
---------------------------

Nicole endured an injury-restricted year in 2007, failing to reach a final and dropping out of the top ten. But she did excel at the Grand Slams, with a semi-final and two quarter-finals.

Nicole started 2008 poorly with a near-loss to Casey Dell'Acqua in the first round of Gold Coast, and an actual loss to eventual champion Li,Na in the quarter-finals.

But Nicole's form can improve dramatically once she gets on a roll, and she definitely improved it in Sydney, beating world #9 Daniela Hantuchová 6-4 6-2 and world #3 Jelena Janković 6-4 4-6 6-4 before losing yet another tight match to her old nemesis Svetlana Kuznetsova.

If Nicole improves as much again at the Australian Open, it's not out of the question that she could defend her semi-final from last year, though she does have defending champion Serena Williams lurking in her eighth.


3.1 Pretournament-quotes from Nicole
------------------------------------

"I have beaten the top girls. It's a case of being able to perform two weeks in a row, and that's what I'm learning." (quoted on 8th December 2007)


3.2 First round
---------------

Nicole has never played her fellow 18-year-old Ioana Raluca Olaru before, but she should be much too strong for Olaru, just as Vera Zvonarëva was at Hobart (6-3 6-2).

Olaru compiled an impressive 41:16 record for 2007, albeit mainly in minor tournaments: she won ITF Torrent as well as making a couple of WTA Tier III/IV semi-finals. She hasn't beaten anyone ranked higher than #33 except by retirement.


3.3 Second round
----------------

I expect I'll get to see the match that determines Nicole's second opponent on BBCi tomorrow: voluptuous serve-volleyer Alicia Molik or Clijsters-clone Kaia Kanepi, who play in the Rod Laver Arena evening-session (they also played each other in 1r Australian Open 2007: Molik won 1-6 6-3 6-2). Nicole hasn't played either girl before.

Molik was as high as world #8 in February 2005 before her career was scuppered by an inner-ear infection that affected her balance. She won Zürich 2004 over an injured Maria Sharapova, won Luxembourg the following week, won Sydney 2005, and beat Venus Williams to reach the Australian Open 2005 quarter-finals. She also has two wins over Amélie Mauresmo to her name.

Last year, Molik just about managed to break even with a 25:24 record. She started this year with a win over Lucie Šafářová in Hopman Cup, but Lucie got her revenge in the first round of Sydney, and Nicole should double that for Czechia.

The highlight of Kanepi's career so far has been reaching the final of Hasselt 2006 as a qualifier, losing 6-3 3-6 6-4 to Kim Clijsters. I saw a few points of that final on Transworld Sport and couldn't tell them apart.

Kanepi followed that up with a poor 2007 (20:23), the highlight of which was beating world #13 Patty Schnyder at Miami. This week, she came through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals of Sydney, only to get crushed 6-2 6-0 by Justine Henin.


3.4 Third round
---------------

The draw promises a mouthwatering third-round match with Vera Zvonarëva. It's a real shame that they have to meet so soon, because they both deserve better: Vera reached the fourth round here last year, Nicole the semi-finals.

It's even more of a shame that Vera went over on her ankle after dropping just 17 games in four matches to reach the Hobart final, which she couldn't therefore play. It remains to be seen whether she'll be able to play here, let alone overcome Ai Sugiyama in a tough first-round match.

They've only met once before: Vera beat 16-year-old Nicole 6-3 6-2 in the first round of Eastbourne 2005. But Nicole was so inexperienced then, especially on grass, and Vera handled the windy conditions much better.

But Vera has come so far herself since mid-2005, when she was in quite a slump. In those days, she was struggling with an energy-sapping virus, and would regularly go on four-match losing-streaks. These days, she's much more consistent at beating the journeywomen, and she reached two semi-finals after a four-month lay-off with a wrist-injury last summer.

So far this year, Vera has enjoyed six easy wins over lesser players, despite struggling with injuries, although she did have a surprising loss to Marina Eraković in the quarter-finals of Auckland, where she reached the final in 2006 and 2007. And then the ankle-injury.

Ai Sugiyama is quite a Vera-like player herself: a solid counterpuncher who gets a lot of balls back, can also move her opponent around with spreading rallies, and has excellent volleys, though she rarely chooses to use them in singles.

When I think of Sugiyama, I think of her Wimbledon-matches: in 2002, Monica Seles beat her 4-6 6-1 6-4, and it was like pulling teeth. In 2004, Maria Sharapova beat her 5-7 7-5 6-1 and went on to win the title. In 2006, she upset former champion Martina Hingis in the third round.

Sugiyama may be 32, but she took a set off Maria Sharapova as recently as February 2007, and looked like she could have troubled her again at Wimbledon if Maria hadn't played such a brilliant match.

But 2007 wasn't a good year for Sugiyama, as she finished it with a 22:25 record. This year, she lost in the first round of Gold Coast, and in the first /qualifying/ round at Sydney: 6-2 7-5 to #143-ranked Jarmila Gajdošová.

Nicole lost to Sugiyama the only time they played: 6-4 1-6 6-3 at Beijing 2006.

Or perhaps Tatiana Perebiynis could take advantage of Vera's injury and Sugiyama's lack of form. She had a good 30:18 record in 2007, winning ITF Saint Gaudens, but her 2008 has started with failures to qualify for Gold Coast and Sydney. Nicole beat her 3-6 7-5 6-4 in their only meeting: Hobart 2005.

The other possibility would be Madison Brengle, who was runner-up in the Girls' Singles at Wimbledon 2007, and in a couple of ITF Women's Circuit tournaments. I doubt she has the experience to come through here.


3.5 Fourth round
----------------

A fourth-round showdown with defending champion Serena Williams [7] is a distinct possibility. It would be a repeat of the Australian Open 2007 semi-final, in which Williams beat Nicole 7-6 (7/5) 6-4. Williams went on to beat Nicole two more times in 2007 for a 3:0 head to head.

Williams went on to win the Australian Open 2007 despite her ranking of #81, but she hasn't won a title since Miami, having struggled with injuries and Justine Henin. She finished 2007 with two consecutive retirements - the latter to her left knee, on which she had surgery in 2003. One wonders how long her body will allow her to continue in tennis.

Williams started 2008 by winning the Hopman Cup with Mardy Fish, though she only played two singles-rubbers: she struggled past Lucie Šafářová 6-0 2-6 7-5 (Lucie led 4-2 in the third) and Alicia Molik 6-2 7-6.

Apparently Serena's much leaner this year, though she hasn't showed any scary results since beating Nicole and Svetlana Kuznetsova back to back to reach the Moscow final, where she lost to Elena Dementieva. It won't be easy for Nicole to overturn that 0:3 head to head.

---------------------------
4. Order of Play for Monday
---------------------------

Show-Court 2 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: Mischa Zverev v TOMMY ROBREDO [11]
WS 1r: AMÉLIE MAURESMO [18] v Tatiana Poutchek
MS 1r: MIKHAIL YOUZHNY [14] v Mathieu Montcourt
WS 1r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Ioana Raluca Olaru

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharapova_vaidisova_hantuchova/

andrewbroad
Jan 15th, 2008, 11:04 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First round: Vaidišová v Olaru scoreboard-report
3. Second-round draw
4. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
5. Order of Play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Nicole Vaidišová (and cute Ioana Raluca Olaru):
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova
search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Many players:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery?pg=1&cap=1

---------------------------------------------------
2. First round: Vaidišová v Olaru scoreboard-report (Monday 14th January)
---------------------------------------------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] d. Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-3 6-0

Nicole broke early, got a bit complacent, had to save a break-point, then won every game left in the match.

The match started at 20:10 AEST, and I followed live scores at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com).


First set
---------
VAIDI _*@* * *@ 6
OLARU *___* *__ 3

Olaru serving 0-0: 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Nicole serving 0-1: Held to love.
Olaru serving 1-1: 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Nicole serving 2-1: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Olaru serving 1-3: Held to love.
Nicole serving 3-2: Held to love.
Olaru serving 2-4: 0/15. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Nicole serving 4-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/30. 40/40. Ad Olaru (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Nicole. Held.

I get the impression that this is one of Nicole's complacent starts that she sometimes does against lesser players. Perhaps she rested on her laurels after getting the break, and then out of nowhere found herself break-point down. But I think that has galvanised her to concentrate now.

Olaru serving 3-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (2 SPs). Nicole won the first set at 20:44 (34m).


Second set
----------
VAIDI *@*@*@ 6
OLARU ______ 0

Nicole serving 0-0: 0/15. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Olaru serving 0-1: 0/40 (3 BPs). Broken.

Galvanised her indeed! :-)

Nicole serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30. 40/40. Ad Nicole. Deuce #2. Ad Nicole. Held.
Olaru serving 0-3: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (2 BPs).
Nicole serving 4-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Olaru serving 0-5: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (2 MPs). 30/40. Nicole won 6-3 6-0 at 21:10 (second set 26m, match 60m).

--------------------
3. Second-round draw
--------------------
3.1 Top half
------------

* Olga Poutchkova v JUSTINE HENIN [1] (davai Olga!)
* Angelique Kerber v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [25]
* Hsieh,Su-Wei [Q,S] v SYBILLE BAMMER [19] (jia you Su-Wei!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [13,DF] v Aravane Rezaï (my loyalty is to Tatiana)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [11] v Anabel Medina Garrigues (davai Elena!)
* SHAHAR PE'ER [17] v Jessica Moore [WC] (kadima Shahar!)
* Elena Vesnina v Jill Craybas (davai Elena!)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] v Lindsay Davenport (DAVAI MARIA!!)

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [3] v Edina Gallovits
* Flavia Pennetta [DF] v VIRGINIE RAZZANO [30] (forza Flavia!)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [18] (davai Yaroslava!)
* Casey Dell'Acqua v PATTY SCHNYDER [15]

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Alicia Molik (POJĎME NICOLE!!)
* Tatiana Perebiynis v Ai Sugiyama (davai Tatiana!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [26] v Sandra Klösel [Q]
* Yuan,Meng [Q] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7]


3.2 Bottom half
---------------

* VENUS WILLIAMS [8] v Camille Pin
* SANIA MIRZA [31,DF] v Timea Bacsinszky [Q] (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Maria Elena Camerin v LI,NA [24] (forza Maria Elena!)
* Marta Domachowska [Q] v Sofia Arvidsson (dawaj Marta!)

* Sabine Lisicki [Q] Mariya Koryttseva (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [21] v Caroline Wozniacki (my loyalty is to Alyona)
* KATARINA SREBOTNIK [28] v Anastasia Rodionova (dajmo Katarina!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [4,DF] v Tathiana Garbin (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [6,EF] v Alisa Kleybanova [Q] (DAVAI ANNA!!)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] v Akiko Morigami [s] (my loyalty is to Maria)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v Catalina Castaño (¡vamos Virginia!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [9,EF] v Alizé Cornet (I like Alizé, but POĎME DANIELA!!)

* Anne Kremer v NADIA PETROVA [14] (dajee Anne!)
* Yvonne Meusburger v Ekaterina Makarova
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [29] v Pauline Parmentier
* Tsvetana Pironkova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [2] (aide Tsvetana!)


3.3 Preview of Nicole's second round
------------------------------------

+ Alicia Molik d. Kaia Kanepi, 7-6 (7/4) 7-5

I watched Molik v Kanepi on BBCi while I was following Nicole's live scores. I expected (or perhaps just hoped) Molik to serve-volley her way to victory, but the ball bounces high on Plexicushion, and Kanepi hit harder and heavier from the baseline. Kanepi has a big serve and a big forehand, although not as big as Nicole's!

That's what I wrote when Alicia was 0-3 down, but Kanepi went on to make numerous unforced errors in a match that neither player could take control of.

The commentators praised Molik for having a kick second-serve, which most of the women don't - they hit it flat, with much less margin for error.

------------------------------------
4. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v (LISA RAYMOND/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[9]

------------------------------
5. Order of Play for Wednesday
------------------------------

Rod Laver Arena: day-session (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 2r: Olga Poutchkova v JUSTINE HENIN [1]
MS 2r: Florent Serra v RAFAEL NADAL [2]
WS 2r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Alicia Molik
|
Rod Laver Arena: evening-session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 2r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] v Lindsay Davenport
MS 2r: ANDY RODDICK [6] v Michael Berrer

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharapova_vaidisova_hantuchova/

andrewbroad
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:58 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Second round: Vaidišová v Molik review
3. Third-round draw / previews
4. Women's Doubles
5. Order of Play for Friday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Nicole Vaidišová and Alicia Molik:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wta311911.html
search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Various players including Nicole:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/

Many players:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery?pg=1&cap=1

-----------------------------------------
2. Second round: Vaidišová v Molik review (Wednesday 16th January)
-----------------------------------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] d. Alicia Molik, 6-2 6-3

Another impressive performance by Nicole, who broke serve twice in the first set and once in the second without facing a single break-point herself. Good percentages on serve, a positive W:UE ratio of 25:18 - she ticks all the right boxes when I look at the statistics.

Nicole said: "I am definitely happy with my performance. Alicia is the hometown-hero here and had all the support, but I think I played really well."

Alicia said: "Nicole played great. She served out of a tree: not just first serves but second serves as well. I guess that's the best serve I've played against the last six to nine months."


2.1 Articles
------------

Vaidišová defeats home-hero Molik [CEEFAX 495]
>>>
Twelfth seed Nicole Vaidišová was an impressive winner over Melbourne-resident Alicia Molik: 6-2 6-3.

"Alicia is the hometown-hero here and had all the support, but I think I played really well," Vaidišová said.
<<<

Molik crashes out as Vaidišová dazzles
By Tom Kelly <www.australianopen.com>
>>>
Nicole Vaidišová has ended the hopes of golden girl Alicia Molik in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena: 6-2 6-3.

The No.12 seed was untroubled on serve throughout the match, Molik failing to earn a break-point on serve whilst surrendering her own serve three times.

Vaidišová was solid from the back of the court, and raced to an early 3-0 lead.

In contrast, the Australian committed 13 unforced errors for the set, and struggled to make an impact on the longer rallies.

The 18-year-old Czech broke Molik again to claim the set 6-2.

The second set started a bit tighter, with Molik using slice on her backhand wing and mixing her shots up.

However the Australian - a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in 2005 - conceded the break when down 4-3, leaving Vaidišová to serve out the set 6-3.
<<<

Vaidišová apologises to local fans
By Adam Lucius <www.australianopen.com>
>>>
Alicia Molik has fended off talk her best is behind her after making a hasty second-round exit from the Australian Open.

The local favourite was beaten 6-2 6-3 by the impressive Nicole Vaidišová in a one-sided match on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, raising questions about her ability to fight back to a career-high world ranking of eight.

Asked whether her career was now at the crossroads, the 26-year-old Molik backed herself to rise again as she continues her comeback from a long illness lay-off.

"I've had a lot of disappointing losses. It's the nature of sport," she said.

"I think I'm good enough to get over it, good enough to get through it.

"I want to get out on the practice-court, and want to work on the areas that I still need to work on.

"My career has never been do or die in the past, so I don't feel that way about it now.

"I'm always looking for new challenges. Despite today being disappointing, I look forward to the next time I play Vaidišová.

"Hopefully I can improve on today's performance or scoreline."

Molik will find little comfort in Vaidišová's post-match assessment, with the Czech angry she didn't kill the match off earlier.

"I think I had more opportunities in the second set to step it up and take a bigger lead and finish the match," she said.

But Molik praised the 12th seed's serve and overall game.

"Nicole played great. She served out of a tree: not just first serves but second serves as well," she said.

"I was playing catch-up basically from the first set.

"She's a quality-opponent, so you give someone a good scoreline to run away with and she's too good not to."

Vaidišová's win over Molik - the teenager apologised to the crowd for 'ruining' their day by beating an Australian - books her a third-round meeting with Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama.

And the 18-year-old is taking nothing for granted despite a brilliant start to the year's first Grand Slam.

"I'm not a person who looks at the draw [and] thinks how far they could go," Vaidišová said.

"[i] just take each opponent as it goes."
<<<

2.2 Nicole's press-conference
-----------------------------

Source: www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com)

Q. You seemed to be kind of frustrated or anxious to get the game moving or finished today. Is that correct?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: No, I just think I had more opportunities in the second set to really, you know, step it up, take a bigger lead, and finish the match. But couple good first serves, shots made it more difficult for me.

Q. Do you see this as a big year for you?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I haven't thought of a big year. I've just, you know, I said my main priority is going to be healthy.

That was definitely a good last year, and, you know, played good. Obviously I want to do better in the Slams than I did last year.

Q. Do you have goals, or just play it tournament by tournament?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Tournament by tournament, match by match probably. I'm not the person who looks at the draw, thinks how far they could go, and just take each opponent as it goes.

------------------------------
3. Third-round draw / previews
------------------------------

* JUSTINE HENIN [1] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [25]
* Aravane Rezaï v Hsieh,Su-Wei [Q,S] (my loyalty is to Aravane)
* SHAHAR PE'ER [17] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [11] (kadima Shahar!)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] v Elena Vesnina (I like Elena, but DAVAI MARIA!!)

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [3] v VIRGINIE RAZZANO [30] (I want Janković to win)
* Casey Dell'Acqua v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [18] (anyone but Mauresmo)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Ai Sugiyama (POJĎME NICOLE!!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [26] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7] (Azarenka may be growing on me, but I'd still prefer Nicole to have the honour of putting the defending champion out of my misery)

* SANIA MIRZA [31,DF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [8] (go Sania!)
* Marta Domachowska [Q] v LI,NA [24] (dawaj Marta!)
* Sabine Lisicki [Q] v Caroline Wozniacki (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [4,DF] v KATARINA SREBOTNIK [28] (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [6,EF] v MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] (mouthwatering match - my loyalty is to Anna)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [9,EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual (POJĎME DANIELA!!)
* NADIA PETROVA [14] v Ekaterina Makarova
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [29] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [2]


3.1 Preview of Nicole's third round
-----------------------------------

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF]:
1r + Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-3 6-0
2r + Alicia Molik, 6-2 6-3

Ai Sugiyama:
1r + VERA ZVONARËVA [23,EF], 6-3 *1-1 retired (left-ankle injury)
2r + Tatiana Perebiynis, 6-4 6-4

Sugiyama is a solid counterpuncher who gets a lot of balls back, can also move her opponent around with spreading rallies, and has excellent volleys, though she rarely chooses to use them in singles.

When I think of Sugiyama, I think of her Wimbledon-matches: in 2002, Monica Seles beat her 4-6 6-1 6-4, and it was like pulling teeth. In 2004, Maria Sharapova beat her 5-7 7-5 6-1 and went on to win the title. In 2006, she upset former champion Martina Hingis in the third round.

Sugiyama may be 32, but she took a set off Maria Sharapova as recently as February 2007, and looked like she could have troubled her again at Wimbledon if Maria hadn't played such a brilliant match.

But 2007 wasn't a good year for Sugiyama, as she finished it with a 22:25 record. This year, she lost in the first round of Gold Coast, and in the first /qualifying/ round at Sydney: 6-2 7-5 to #143-ranked Jarmila Gajdošová.

Nicole lost to Sugiyama the only time they played: 6-4 1-6 6-3 at Beijing 2006. But Nicole is on much better form than Sugiyama right now, and a strong favourite to avenge that defeat.

------------------
4. Women's Doubles
------------------
4.1 First-round result (Thursday 17th January)
----------------------

+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. (LISA RAYMOND/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[9], 2-6 6-4 6-2


4.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Hsieh,Su-Wei [s]/Alla Kudryavtseva

---------------------------
5. Order of Play for Friday
---------------------------

Margaret Court Arena: day-session (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 3r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v Ai Sugiyama
MS 3r: Guillermo García-López v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
WS 3r: SHAHAR PE'ER [17] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [11]
XD 1r: (NATHALIE DECHY/ANDY RAM)[8] v Sophie Ferguson/Adam Feeney
|
Margaret Court Arena: evening-session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
MS 3r: JARKKO NIEMINEN [24] v Mardy Fish

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharapova_vaidisova_hantuchova/

andrewbroad
Jan 19th, 2008, 11:41 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Third round: Vaidišová v Sugiyama review
3. Fourth-round draw / Preview
4. Women's Doubles
5. Order of Play for Sunday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Nicole Vaidišová:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/966/photos
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wta311911.html
search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Various players including Nicole:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7195284.stm

Many players:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery?pg=1&cap=1

-------------------------------------------
2. Third round: Vaidišová v Sugiyama review (Friday 18th January)
-------------------------------------------

+ NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] d. Ai Sugiyama, 6-3 6-4

This match was over before I went to sleep, and every time I checked the scoreboard, Nicole seemed to have set-point or match-point! When I checked in the first set, she had *5-3 (40/15), but it took her four more points to close it out. When I checked in the second set, the scoreboard was frozen at *5-4 (40/30).

Nicole's statistics aren't as impressive this time. She served 6 aces, but with 65% of first serves in, she won only 43% of points on her second. She had a negative W:UE ratio of 31:33 (Sugiyama 10:18 with 6 double faults). Sugiyama, who has some of the best volleys in women's tennis, won 15 of 20 points at the net while Nicole won only 2 of 8.

Nicole broke twice from 5 break-points, whilst saving all 7 break-points against her!


3.1 Articles
------------

Henin and Serena into round four [CEEFAX 494]
>>>
Top seed Justine Henin and defending champion Serena Williams reached the last 16 of the Australian Open with straight-sets wins on Friday.

Henin had to work hard before defeating Italy's Francesca Schiavone 7-5 6-4, while Williams showed good form to beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-4.

Williams next meets Nicole Vaidišová, who beat Ai Sugiyama 6-3 6-4.
<<<

Champion facing Vaidišová challenge [Teletext 495->497]
>>>
Williams to face Czech [Teletext 497]

Defending champion Serena Williams set up a fourth-round meeting with Nicole Vaidišová by seeing off the challenge of Victoria Azarenka in Melbourne.

Seventh seed Williams has had few alarms so far, and eased past the Belarusian, seeded 16th, 6-3 6-4.

Czech 12th seed Vaidišová, 18, who lost to Williams in the semi-finals last year, disposed of experienced Japanese competitor Ai Sugiyama 6-3 6-4.


Serena feeling confident [Teletext 497]

Serena Williams believes she is in good shape to challenge for a fourth Australian Open title next weekend.

The defending champion, who has not won any of the other Grand Slams since Wimbledon in 2003, faces Nicole Vaidišová in round four after seeing off Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-4.

Williams said: "I feel pretty good about where I am. Hopefully, I'll peak later in the tournament."


Vaidišová plans tactics [Teletext 497]

Nicole Vaidišová is plotting revenge against Serena Williams when the pair clash in the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The Czech reached the semi-finals as a 17-year-old last year, where she lost to eventual champion Williams.

Vaidišová said: "I think I will move her around more than I did last year. I have to have everything - my movement, my focus, my game - at my 'A' level." [I did my 'A' Levels when I was 18!]
<<<

Vaidišová sinks Sugiyama
By Adam Lucius <www.australianopen.com>
>>>
Czech teenager Nicole Vaidišová has continued her impressive Australian Open 2008 campaign with a straight-sets victory over Ai Sugiyama.

A year after matching her best Grand Slam result by reaching the last four at Melbourne Park, No.12 seed Vaidišová made short work of Japan's last remaining singles hope with a 6-3 6-4 win.

Beaten in the semi-finals by eventual champion Serena Williams in 2007, Vaidišová may get the chance for revenge with her fourth-round opponent to be either No.7 seed Williams or Belarussian No.26 seed Victoria Azarenka [it's Williams].

Having won her first two matches in straight sets, Vaidišová twice faced pressure on her serve in the opening set, but saved two break-points in the first game and another in the fifth before holding serve.

The decisive game of the first set was the sixth, when Sugiyama double-faulted when faced with two break-points, and while she wasn't able to convert her first two set-points at 40/15 in the ninth game, Vaidišová eventually served out the set.

Vaidišová's momentum continued when she broke in the first game of the second set, and despite some pressure on her serve in the sixth and eighth games, she maintained her advantage and sealed the 80-minute triumph with a forehand pass down the line.
<<<

Top Seeds Keep Moving
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1982
>>>
Elena Dementieva and Nicole Vaidišová, the No.11 and No.12 seeds respectively, attained their projected fourth-round berths as well, and next face Sharapova and Williams. In their third-round matches, Dementieva beat No.17 seed Shahar Pe'er, 6-2 6-0, while Vaidišová defeated unseeded veteran Ai Sugiyama 6-3 6-4.

"I think they are both sort of alike," said Williams when asked how Vaidišová compares to Azarenka. "Obviously Vaidišová has played more in her career, and done a little better, but I think they both have similar games. Vaidišová has a really big serve, and definitely uses that to her advantage."

Williams and Vaidišová played an extremely tight semi-final match here last year, in which Williams fought off a set-point in the first set and nearly let go of a 5-1 second set lead before prevailing 7-6(5) 6-4. It's a match Vaidišová keeps in the back of her mind as she prepares to fight for a quarter-final berth.

"Obviously, it doesn't get much tougher than this," the Czech teen said. "She is a great champion, a great fighter. She will definitely fight until the end. It's a Grand Slam, and everybody wants to do their best. I'll definitely have to have my 'A' game on. I need to move her around, more than I did last year. I have to take my chances too; I had chances last year, especially in the first set, and with those players you definitely have to use the first ones, because you're not going to get many more."
<<<

Fiery Vaidišová focuses on her emotions
By Ossian Shine (Reuters)
>>>
Her forehand is said to be her biggest weapon and her serve is no powder-puff, but statuesque Czech Nicole Vaidišová is working on developing another lethal weapon in her armoury.

"I am very emotional," the 12th seed told reporters after reaching the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

"Sometimes it's to my advantage. A lot of times to my disadvantage. So will just have to put it in a more of positive way, I guess," she smiled.

The 18-year-old blonde has long given up trying to control the emotional side of her nature, and is instead determined to channel it into her tennis.

"I can't be something I'm usually not," she said after beating Japan's Ai Sugiyama.

"So I just have to try to more put the emotions in a positive way. I mean, I'm always gonna be an emotional player. That's nothing that's gonna change ever. It's just the way I am."

She has a chance to channel those fiery feelings in her next round: a clash with intimidating defending champion Serena Williams for a place in the quarter-finals.
<<<

3.2 Nicole's third-round press-conference
-----------------------------------------

Source: www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com)

Q. How would you assess your performance today?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: A little shaky, I guess. A little nervous. Really wanted to do well, play well. But she played good. Definitely very steady player. Made a lot of opportunities for herself.

So just happy I got through.

Q. The age you are now, do you feel much different to how you did two or three years ago, being a little older, a little bit more experienced?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Yeah, I guess every match, every Grand Slam, every tough match, you get more experience. You know how to handle the situations a little better. I think it helps obviously, especially when you play a top girl who has many more matches and many more tournaments under her belt.

You can try to use that now a little bit also.

Q. You served with a great deal of strength today. Is that something you've been working on in the off‑season?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: No. Definitely this week I'm happy with the way I served, yeah. I've been working on that. Helped me out a lot of times these last couple matches, so happy with that.

Q. Can you talk about possibly playing Serena, whom you played here last year in the semis?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Obviously it doesn't get much tougher than that. She's a great champion, a great fighter. She definitely will fight till the end. You know, it's a Grand Slam; everybody wants to do their best.

I'll definitely have to have my 'A' game on.

Q. What do you have to do differently against her?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I think move her more around than I did last year. I also had my chances last year, especially in the first set. You know, with those players, you definitely have to use the first ones, because you're not going to get much more.

Q. Do you feel you're moving better than you did last year?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: We'll see. I mean, Sunday's definitely going to be a big test. She's a hard hitter. Like I said, I'll have to have everything 'A' level: my movement, my focus, my game; everything has to be together.

Q. You play the game with quite a lot of emotion. Serena is a player that can sometimes get under her opponent's skin. She can be quite intimidating. How do you deal with that?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Yeah, I think we're both emotional players, though. I think once Serena gets out there she also, you know, uses emotions to her advantage a little bit.

That's the player I am, the person definitely I am. Very emotional. Sometimes it's my advantage. A lot of times my disadvantage. So will just have to, you know, put it in a more of positive way, I guess.

Q. What do you think you need to be like when you play her? Keep it in check or just be yourself?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I think more being myself. I can't be something I'm usually not. So I just have to try to more put the emotions in a positive way.

Q. You say you can't be something you're not. Is mental strength something you've been trying to work on?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I mean, I know I'm always gonna be an emotional player. That's nothing that's gonna change ever. I'm not gonna try to change that. It's just the way I am.

But, like I said, more in the positive way. That's something I still have to work on.

Q. Have you ever spoken to a sports-psychologist?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: No.

Q. Would you ever?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I don't feel I need to, so no.

Q. What are the parts of your game that you think will worry Serena?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I don't know. I can't tell her like that, so. <smiling> She has to figure out some things herself.

I think I just have to go and play my thing, and not think who's on the other side of the net. Just play my game, focus on that. Obviously, I'm going to expect the ball to be coming at me much faster than it was so far.

So I think being ready and catching the ball early is going to be a big thing for me.

Q. Do you consider her to be an intimidating player?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Have you ever seen her play? <smiling>

Q. Yes I have.

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Yeah, then obviously she is for a lot of players. But, like I said, you have to focus on yourself and just do your thing. I've played her a couple times. Obviously the first time, you know, I admit: I was intimidated.

But, you know, you get to play those players more and more times. I think that goes also at the age. You [know?] them more, you have more experience with them, so you do respect them. But the intimidation I think goes to the side.

Q. A lot of players will say, "I have to focus on my side of the net, not notice who is on the other side." When it's someone like Serena, got to be pretty difficult.

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: Oh, definitely. I mean, that's what makes her such a great player also, you know: the mental part of it. But I think, I mean, last year when we played here, I was able to do that. I was able to play my game, not look on the other side as much.

I think I just have to improve a little bit. I think I have a good chance.

Q. What's changed from then to now? Are you a different player? Do you have a different mindset now?

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ: I don't think I'm a different player. I think just a lot of things happened also off the court: illnesses, some injuries.

So it kind of gives you a better perspective on what you're doing, really appreciating what you're doing. But I think as a player, obviously you improve a little bit. But I think, in general, you develop more as a person.

--------------------
3. Fourth-round draw
--------------------

* Hsieh,Su-Wei [Q,S] v JUSTINE HENIN [1] (jia you Su-Wei!)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [11] (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [3] v Casey Dell'Acqua
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7] (POJĎME NICOLE!!)

* (3r: Marta Domachowska [Q] v LI,NA [24]) v VENUS WILLIAMS [8]
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [4,DF] v (3r: Sabine Lisicki [Q] v Caroline Wozniacki)
* (3r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [9,EF] v Virginia Ruano Pascual) v MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF]
* (3r: NADIA PETROVA [14] v Ekaterina Makarova) v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [29]


3.1 Preview of Nicole's fourth round
------------------------------------

NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF]:
1r + Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-3 6-0
2r + Alicia Molik, 6-2 6-3
3r + Ai Sugiyama, 6-3 6-4

SERENA WILLIAMS [7]:
1r + Jarmila Gajdošová [WC], 6-3 6-3
2r + Yuan,Meng [Q], 6-3 6-1
3r + VICTORIA AZARENKA [26], 6-3 6-4

This showdown is a repeat of the Australian Open 2007 semi-final, in which Williams beat Nicole 7-6 (7/5) 6-4. Williams went on to beat Nicole two more times in 2007 for a 3:0 head to head.

Williams went on to win the Australian Open 2007 despite her ranking of #81, but she hasn't won a title since Miami, having struggled with injuries and Justine Henin. She finished 2007 with two consecutive retirements - the latter to her left knee, on which she had surgery in 2003. One wonders how long her body will allow her to continue in tennis.

Williams started 2008 by winning the Hopman Cup with Mardy Fish, though she only played two singles-rubbers: she struggled past Lucie Šafářová 6-0 2-6 7-5 (Lucie led 4-2 in the third) and Alicia Molik 6-2 7-6.

Apparently Serena's much leaner this year, though she hasn't showed any scary results since beating Nicole and Svetlana Kuznetsova back to back to reach the Moscow final, where she lost to Elena Dementieva.

It won't be easy for Nicole to overturn that 0:3 head to head, especially after the third round, where Nicole's statistics weren't as impressive as before, and Williams beat a better opponent by the same scoreline.


Serena into Open fourth round at a canter (AFP)
>>>
Defending champion Serena Williams cruised past Victoria Azarenka of Belarus into the Australian Open fourth round Friday and warned she was ready to hit top gear in the tourmanent's latter stages.

The American seventh seed blasted down 15 aces to win 6-3 6-4, and said she had plenty in reserve.

"I'm feeling pretty good about where I am; I'm just enjoying every moment being here," she said.

"I'm moving well. I'm not even moving my fastest - you know I can move faster when I want to."

Azarenka, the 26th seed at Melbourne Park, did well to keep in touch with Williams throughout the match, with 25 unforced errors from the eight-time Grand Slam champion helping her opponent's cause.

"She played really well off the ground, and she moved well, which is always good to be able to hit hard," Williams said.

"I thought she had a lot of pace on her balls too."

But Williams, a three-time winner here, was able to ratchet up the power in the second set, and secured her fourth-round berth after one hour 17 minutes.

She was particularly pleased with her serve, which responded well to prematch shoulder-treatment.

"I definitely served well today," she said. "It was much better my other two rounds, so it's looking good. I like it."

Williams will meet Czech 12th seed Nicole Vaidišová next up, whom she beat in the semi-finals last year on the way to a title-win that stunned the tennis-world.

"It's another good match: she's playing really well," she said of the 18-year-old, who like Williams is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Vaidišová said she would have to take her chances against an opponent of Williams' stature.

"Obviously it doesn't get much tougher than that," she said.

"She's a great champion, a great fighter. She'll definitely fight until the end. It's a Grand Slam; everybody wants to do their best.

"I'll definitely have to have my 'A' game on."
<<<

Serena to face stern challenge from Vaidišová (Reuters)
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Pritha Sarkar
>>>
Champion Serena Williams will face her toughest challenge so far at this year's Australian Open when she faces Nicole Vaidišová in the fourth round on Sunday.

The pair met in last year's semi-finals at Melbourne Park, with Williams securing a hard-fought victory before she went on to thrash Maria Sharapova in the final.

"Vaidišová has a really big serve. She uses that to her advantage," Williams told reporters when asked about the 12th seed's game.

Last year's beaten finalist Sharapova will also be in action in an all-Russian affair against 11th seed Elena Dementieva, while world number one Justine Henin continues her bid for a second Australian Open title with her match against Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh,Su-wei.
<<<

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1987
>>>
(12) Nicole Vaidišová (CZE) vs. (7) Serena Williams (USA) - Williams leads 3:0

Sunday's first fourth-round match on Rod Laver will see a repeat of one of last year's semi-finals, as reigning champion Williams takes on talented teenager Vaidišová.

12 months ago, it was Williams who came out on top in a tight two-set contest, and the powerful American emerged victorious from the pair's other two meetings in 2007: on the hardcourts of Miami and Moscow.

After cruising through her opening two matches, the eight-time Major-winner was forced to extend herself slightly more on Friday, during a 6-3 6-4 win over No.26 seed Victoria Azarenka.

Vaidišová conquered her third-round foe, Ai Sugiyama, by the same scoreline, and although she will start the fourth-round encounter as clear underdog, she has already defeated one top-10 player this year - Janković in Sydney - and will believe she can repeat the feat against Williams.
<<<

------------------
4. Women's Doubles
------------------
4.1 Second-round results (Friday 18th January)
------------------------

+ Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. Hsieh,Su-Wei [s]/Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-3 6-4


4.2 Third-round draw
--------------------

* Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[7]

---------------------------
5. Order of Play for Sunday
---------------------------

Rod Laver Arena: day-session (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 3r: DAVID NALBANDIAN [10] v JUAN CARLOS FERRERO [22]
MS 4r: RICHARD GASQUET [8] v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
WS 4r: NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7]
|
Rod Laver Arena: evening-session (start 19:30 AEDT = 08:30 GMT)
WS 4r: JELENA JANKOVIĆ [3] v Casey Dell'Acqua
MS 4r: PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU [23] v RAFAEL NADAL [2]

This is the downside of Mauresmo having lost to an Australian: I'm sure Nicole v Williams would have been on the evening-session - and hence televised on BBCi - otherwise. There's still a tiny chance it could be on BBCi, if both the prior matches go to five sets and Nicole's still playing at 08:25 GMT! BBCi showed the end of Federer v Tipsarević under those conditions today.

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/vaidi/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nicole_Vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nicole-vaidisova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharapova_vaidisova_hantuchova/

andrewbroad
Jan 31st, 2008, 09:48 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Fourth round: Vaidišová v Williams review
3. Women's Doubles: Third-round result

Apologies for the delay.
This was due to Maria going all the way!

---------
1. Photos
---------

Nicole Vaidišová:
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/966/photos
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=vaidisova
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wta311911.html

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

Various players including Nicole:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7198528.stm
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/

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2. Fourth round: Vaidišová v Williams review (Sunday 20th January)
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- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [12,EF] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [7], 3-6 4-6

With Williams serving first, the first set went with serve until *3-4, and Nicole was playing slightly better, squandering break-points at 1-1* and 2-2*, but it was the defending champion who scored the only break of the first set to lead *5-3.

The second set went with serve till *2-2, then Nicole threw in a sloppy service-game to get broken to love for 2-3*. She broke back for *4-4, only to hand Williams another break for 4-5* on a double fault; Nicole threw her racket, and Williams served out to love.

Nicole's W:UE ratio was a negative 19:25, while Williams's was 23:11. Williams got only 48% of first serves in, winning 50% of her second-serve points, while Nicole got 66% of first serves in but won only 32% of her second-serve points.

They had 4 break-points each, but Williams converted 3 while Nicole only converted one.

For failing to defend her Australian Open 2007 semi-final, Nicole has dropped further down the rankings from #12 to #15, having been as high as #7 last year. It's so unfair that she drew Williams in the fourth round, because Nicole was definitely playing top-ten if not top-five tennis this tournament, judging by her statistics from earlier rounds. I wish her a much healthier season this year.

BBC Sport's game-by-game description is here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7198586.stm


2.1 Articles
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Serena gets past Vaidišová test [CEEFAX 490->493]
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Defending champion Serena Williams won a big-hitting encounter against 12th seed Nicole Vaidišová to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The American saved two break-points in the first set, and withstood a Vaidišová fightback in the second to win 6-3 6-4.

"I feel like my serve propels my game and I'm returning well," said Williams after hitting nine aces. "It helps my confidence even more."

Williams will meet Jelena Janković or Casey Dell'Acqua next.
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Serena too hot for Czech [Teletext 495->497]
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Williams eases past teen [Teletext 497]

Defending champion Serena Williams shrugged off the challenge of Nicole Vaidišová to reach the quarter-finals.

Czech teenager Vaidišová, who lost to Williams in the semi-finals last year, looked a tough opponent, but the seventh seed simply had too much power and ran out a comfortable 6-3 6-4 winner.

Williams said: "I feel like my serve is propelling my game right now; it definitely helps my confidence."
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Serena sails into final eight
By Bren O'Brien <www.australianopen.com>
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Defending champion Serena Williams has moved into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2008 with a 6-2 6-4 win over Czech Nicole Vaidišová.

Williams dominated the match, playing some brilliant tennis, and not letting Vaidišová - whom she defeated in last year's semi-final - into the match. She wrapped up the win 73 minutes, and now plays either Casey Dell'Acqua or Jelena Janković.

Both women were very strong on their serve early in the match, and very few opportunities for breaks arose in the first set. Vaidišová created two and couldn't capitalise, while Williams took her only chance and the first set in 31 minutes.

Williams found much more joy on the young Czech's serve in the second set, and got the early break to set sail for victory. But Vaidišová was not reading from that script, breaking back in the eighth game to stay in the contest. However, she coughed up another break in the very next game, and Williams then held to win the match.

The win maintains Williams' charge for a fourth title in Melbourne, but with Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova among the other players on her side of the draw, it won't be an easy task.
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Top women come through at Australian Open (AP)
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Defending champion Serena Williams, who went through periods of inconsistency in her first three matches, was sharper and more consistent in a 6-4 6-4 win over No. 12 Nicole Vaidišová.

Williams faltered only while serving up a break at 4-3, with Vaidišová breaking to even the set. But Williams broke right back. Vaidišová smashed her racket in anger, then netted a forehand on match-point as Williams held at love to finish off the match.
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Serena sees off stubborn Vaidišová (Reuters)
By Greg Stutchbury (editing by Ed Osmond)
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Champion Serena Williams applied the pressure when she need to, and withstood a tough fourth-round challenge from Nicole Vaidišová on Sunday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The American seventh seed won the match 6-3 6-4 after being forced to dig deep in the second set when her 12th-seeded Czech opponent attempted to force a decider.

However, just as the rangy Vaidišová looked to capitalise on a second-set break of serve, the American broke immediately back to go ahead 5-4, with the opportunity to serve for the match.

The 18-year-old Vaidišová, who smashed her racket on the court at the end of that game, was seen talking to herself constantly during the changeovers.

Williams then capitalised on the teenager's frustration, and served to love to seal victory.

"I think I had my chances, especially in the second set," Vaidišová told reporters. "Didn't choose the right shot, maybe went for too much. She pushes you to do that.

"That was the difference. [In] the points that were very important, she went out there and played a great point."

Williams, who beat Vaidišová in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year, said she believed her opponent had a big future.

"It's definitely interesting playing her," said Williams.

"She's so unpredictable. I think that's really a good thing.

"Last couple of times I played her, her serve has just been really, really, really good."

Williams will face either third-seeded Serbian Jelena Janković or Australia's Casey Dell'Acqua in the last eight.

"At the end of the day, I never really get upset at whoever I play, because I'm totally fine.

"As long as I'm not playing Venus in the quarters, it doesn't matter to me.

"Eventually you're going to have to play everyone else."
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Williams cruises into quarter-finals (PA SportsTicker)
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Serena Williams may be the only person who is not impressed with the way she is playing at the Australian Open.

The seventh-seeded Williams made short work of Nicole Vaidišová, eliminating the 12th-seeded Czech 6-3 6-4 in a fourth-round match at the $20.6 million Grand Slam on Sunday.

The defending champion Williams has not lost a set here, though she is not completely satisfied with her game.

"I felt like I didn't have a lot of rhythm out there. I felt like lazy, like I wasn't moving the way I wanted to," Williams said. "I just want to move better and just make a few less errors like I did. I think my second round, I didn't make that many unforced errors, so I want to do that again."

The 26-year-old Williams improved to 4:0 lifetime against Vaidišová, who reached the semi-finals here a year ago.

"It's definitely interesting playing her," Williams said. "She's so unpredictable. I think that's really a good thing. Last couple of times I played her, her serve has just been really, really, really good. She's just, you know, really a bright future."
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Sharapova and Henin set up dynamite clash (Reuters)
By Ossian Shine (editing by Ed Osmond)
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Serena Williams posted a solid 6-3 6-4 win over Czech Nicole Vaidišová, and next plays Janković.

"I felt like I didn't have a lot of rhythm out there. I felt like lazy, like I wasn't moving the way I wanted to. But overall, I think it boiled down to serves and returns," was the champion's no-nonsense analysis.
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Rafael Nadal advances to quarter-finals of Australian Open when Mathieu retires with injury
By John Pye: AP Sports Writer
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Defending champion Serena Williams, who went through periods of inconsistency in her first three matches, was sharper and more consistent in a 6-3 6-4 win over No. 12 Nicole Vaidišová.

Williams faltered only while serving up a break at 4-3, with Vaidišová breaking to even the set. But Williams broke right back. Vaidišová smashed her racket in anger, then netted a forehand on match-point as Williams held at love to finish off the match.

To go along with nine aces, Williams had 23 winners and only 11 unforced errors as she seems to be improving in every match.
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'Lazy' Serena gathers steam heading into Open quarters
by Neil Sands (AFP)
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Defending champion Serena Williams revived memories of last year's stunning Australian Open win on Sunday when she overpowered Czech 12th seed Nicole Vaidišová to reach the quarter-finals.

Yet the eight-time Grand Slam champion still chided herself for laziness after a comprehensive 6-3 6-4 win over an opponent she downed in the semi-finals last year on her way to lifting the trophy.

"I felt like I didn't have a lot of rhythm out there," Williams said.

"I felt like lazy, like I wasn't moving the way I wanted to."

Despite the American's misgivings, she looks fitter and stronger than last year as she heads into a quarter-final against third seed Jelena Janković of Serbia.

Just like last year, Williams has recovered from a shaky opening round to build momentum at Melbourne Park.

She said her game was again coming together, producing nine aces against Vaidišová.

"I feel like my serve propels my game, and I'm returning well," she said.

"It helps my confidence even more," she said, adding that she felt her movement could improve and she wanted to reduce her error-rate.

But Vaidišová committed 25 unforced errors, more than doubling Williams' tally, admitting her opponent's on-court dominance unsettled her.

"I had my chances - especially in the second set - but didn't choose the right shot, maybe went for too much," the 18-year-old said.

"She pushes you to do that. That was the difference."

Vaidišová believed Williams had a great chance of making it through a tough half of the draw that includes world number one and top seed Justine Henin, and fifth seed Maria Sharapova.

"She seems in good shape, playing well; she always has great chances; she's a great player," the lanky Czech said.

The match began tightly, with neither player conceding a point on their first service-game.

Vaidišová had two opportunities to break her opponent in the first set, but could not convert them, while Williams took all of her chances to pocket the first set 6-3.

She then edged ahead a break in the fifth game of the second set, before Vaidišová finally found her radar and broke back.

But Williams regained the advantage in the next game, leaving Vaidišová looking at her coaching-team and shrugging as the errors returned to her game and she struggled to match the American's power.

Williams fired down an ace to reach match-point before Vaidišová netted another return to seal the win after one hour, 13 minutes.
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Vaidišová's coach worried about fitness (Eurosport, Wednesday 23rd January)
Vašek Kadlec translated from Sport
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Aleš Kodat - stepfather and coach of Nicole Vaidišová - says that he is concerned about the Czech number one's fitness after her fourth-round loss at Melbourne.

Vaidišová lost her bid to return to the semi-finals at the Australian Open last week, falling to defending champion Serena Williams 6-3 6-4.

Q: How would you describe the period of time Nicole has been going through now in her career? She has not won any tournament in last two years.

KODAT: She takes part in the toughest tournaments: Grand Slams, Tier I and Tier II tournaments. It makes no difference that she has not won a tournament for some time. It is more important for her to reach 100% of her performance. There is no sense in speaking about figures now. It is necessary to make the work with maximum effort, about as possible as it can be. What that will bring, we will see.

Q: At what percentage has Nicole developed her potential, then?

KODAT: I will say 75%. She is capable of playing better in some aspects. She has to have a better movement and make fewer mistakes.

Q: Movement: that is the attribute she used to be better at in the past.

KODAT: On the other hand, she is now better in reading the game. That gets improved with increasing age and number of matches played. But yes, unambiguously I am aware that she moved better in Paris or Wimbledon last year.

Q: It is clear to see that Nicole has put on weight. That must limit her.

KODAT: It is definitely the reason for how she moves nowadays. She has reserves in it, I agree.

Q: When you remind her about this issue, how she reacts?

KODAT: I remind her such things, but she has her fitness-coach, so that is more his job.

Q: Tell me, how different is it to direct a young girl when 16 years old, and now when she is more of an adult?

KODAT: It is natural that a girl of this age wants to have her way, to have her own opinions on certain things. And I can understand that. Earlier, I used to give orders; nowadays, I rather give my recommendations and leave it to her to decide what is useful and what is not, so that she can try out if it works or not.

Q: So you feel that she puts up with you less?

KODAT: <sighs> I don't think so. She just wants to put through her opinion, although it is not a good one in my opinion and considering my experience. I have a heart for it; I told it to Nicole as well. At her age, a human behaves simply against everything.

Q: Revolts?

KODAT: Yes. Although in the extreme conditions of the professional tennis-world, he or she should not afford that. As I say, in 90% of cases, I am just recommending her what she should do, and am trying to convince her that it works.

Q: This is a very important year for Nicole. Aren't you afraid that her career can take a wrong course?

KODAT: Already in the last year, we were saying this would be an important year, and she was not so mature to achieve great results. And we are again at results... I will tell you this: I am convinced that Nicole just needs to work at 100% and show a fair amount of work. I cannot imagine that she could be going downwards in the rankings if she went according to my training-plan.

Q: Nicole is in love with another tennis-player: Radek Štěpánek. First loves are part of growing-process; aren't you afraid that it could make her no good?

KODAT: She creates her private life. If there is anything she wants to know or she has any problems, I am willing to recommend her some things. I wish her to be happy, because then you can work well. If she is unhappy in her private life, then it will affect her on the courts. I wish her only to be happy.
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3. Women's Doubles: Third-round result (Monday 21st January)
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- Nicole Vaidišová [EF]/Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová lt. (YAN,ZI [s]/ZHENG,JIE)[7], 4-6 1-6

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
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