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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Feb 22nd, 2014 08:17 PM
Sam L
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Great win!
Feb 22nd, 2014 03:36 PM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Benedetti Rules in Rio

Giuseppina Benedetti had dreamt of these words over and over again since 2012. Now here she was, standing on the red clay in Brazil, with a crowd cheering loudly as the announcer says, "Giuseppina Benedetti, your champion in Rio".

Only problem was, the dream came true about two years too early.

Benedetti won't complain, though. The Italian, who is best known for her clay court prowess, has been open about her desire to do win a Grandslam, the Fed Cup, and to do well at the Olympics. With the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Benedetti certainly will have experience winning on the clay in Rio to draw from, as she took home the small, international level Rio Open yesterday.

At the start of the week, Benedetti announced her excitement to play on the dirt in a press conference. Fast forward six days, and she proved that she can still be tough, especially on clay. The final match pitted her against rival, Vittoria Perez, whom she had never beaten. The two wasted no time engaging in a high level of play on the surface that typically isn't seen until late-April. Perez, a Spainard, used her booming groundstrokes to move Benedetti side to side, while Benedetti countered with a variety of spins and angles, keeping Perez from getting comfortable. A thrilling first set ended unfortunately, as Vittoria hit a forehand long, one of the few unforced errors in a high quality set.

The second set was lesser in quality, but not in drama, as the two exchanged breaks of serve twice, before Giusa got the final break of the match...a break which would be followed by an easy hold to end the match abruptly, 7-6(5) 7-5 in favor of the Italian.

While much was said about the poor relationship between the two, one would have never surmised as much from the post-match extravaganza. The champion let out a shriek, pranced around for a moment, and then composed herself and jogged to the net, where she met a smiling runner-up. The two gave a friendly handshake and had a conversation for a couple moments that ended in smiles from both players.

Later, Benedetti was asked what was said at the net, and she replied, "Nothing much, really. Vittoria congratulated me and I told her how great of a match she played. Then we shared a laugh making fun of the umpire's toupee."

"The first set was the key to match, I knew that coming in. She and I had both been starting well this week, so after a few games it became apparent to both of us whoever won the first set would win the match."

Benedetti later dismissed this title as being a huge deal, but wasn't ready to say it meant nothing for the impending clay season. "I think it was a nice confidence booster, and that is really the key. When I was winning everything on clay a few years back, it was because I was playing confidently, not nervously. I think winning here will help me with my experience the rest of the clay season, and I will be sure to remember it no matter how Indian Wells and Miami go."

For the Italian, known by commentators as the "lioness", she wins her 11th career singles title, moving her back to 21st on the all-time list.

Giuseppina later teamed up with countrywoman Regla Torres, to roll to a doubles title over Anna Kendall and Sofia Keddison. It was the first doubles title of the year for the Italian pairing, who teamed together all last year, but didn't win a title until hitting it big at the US Open.
Feb 22nd, 2014 08:30 AM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Congrats Guisa, great week for you, and you did the double as well

Vittoria and Anna/Sofia
Feb 22nd, 2014 04:19 AM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS


Congrats to you and Regla and good luck in future to finalists
Feb 22nd, 2014 12:14 AM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Congrats Giusa for your singles and doubles titles


Sofia and Anna
Feb 21st, 2014 11:33 PM
Sam L
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Yes Giusa! First title for the year!
Feb 21st, 2014 11:20 PM
Mateo Mathieu
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Congratulations, Giusa
Feb 21st, 2014 11:16 PM
VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Doubles Results, Finals
[1]Benedetti/Torres def. [2]Keddison/Kenndal 7/6(0), 6/3
Feb 21st, 2014 11:16 PM
VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Singles Results, Finals
[4]Giuseppina Benedetti def. [3]Vittoria Perez 7/6(5), 7/5
Feb 21st, 2014 12:28 PM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Clay is not my thing : Jodha after playing in Rio

Rio de janeiro, BRAZIL -
Jodha is upset, sick and jet lagged after a few weeks on tour and talks about sorting out things before she can start competing again. Here is an excerpt from her interview with Ben Rothenberg:

Ben: Hey Jodha, how are you doing?
Jodha: Not good. I have been sick with cold and fever for the last couple of days. I feel heavily jet lagged and out of sorts after coming to Brazil for the first time in my life.

Ben: Sad to hear that. Can you briefly tell us about how your tournament went here in Rio?
Jodha: Horrendous! I could only win one match and that was the only day i could feel fit on court. I was just kind of trying to survive in that situation but after that I just broke down mentally and physically.

Ben: How did you prepare in transforming your game from hard to clay courts?
Jodha: I wanted to rather play in Dubai but since my ranking sucks, I had to make this hard decision to come here. Anyways , it was a learning experience. We have Olympics here in 2 years time, so it was a nice experience to play here beforehand. Also, I have next few tournaments to play in North and South America- so probably it was the right decision.

Ben: You said that it was a learning experience. What did you learn?
Jodha: Clay is not my thing.

Ben: How is your doubles game going on with Yanina?
Jodha: I think she deserves a much better partner in my opinion. I have been proving to be the weaker link in our partnership over and over again but she is such a humble and positive person. I just hope I could prove myself wrong one day.

Ben: How do you see yourself in the upcoming tournaments?
Jodha: I don't want to think about it right now. I just want to get fit first. Think I need a break. Just too much of tennis and pressure all these past weeks taking a toll on me.

Ben: Thanks and good luck for quick recovery Jodha.
Jodha: Thanks for your best wishes.

Feb 21st, 2014 11:26 AM
Sam L
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Congrats and good luck in the final Giusa.
Feb 21st, 2014 07:02 AM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Guisa but Regla
Vittoria Winning Streak!!! Jane

Great doubles final as well!!!
Feb 21st, 2014 03:55 AM
Mateo Mathieu
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

And thanks for letting me know that she's close to top 10 I thought she's sitting outside the top 20
Feb 21st, 2014 03:53 AM
Mateo Mathieu
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Wow, I have no idea Giusa have never beaten Vittoria There's always a first for everything... preferably not tomorrow, though

Good luck!
Feb 21st, 2014 02:00 AM
Re: Rio de Janeiro Draws and Results [2014] -- CLAY SEND NEW POINTS

Benedetti, Perez to Meet in Finals of Surprisingly Exciting Rio

With many of the top players off playing in Dubai, International level tournament, the Rio Open, seemed like an after thought. As is commonplace on the FWTT tour, the majority of players dashed off to competed in this week's premier level tournament, leaving the international tournament hoping to simply break into the black.

But the initial opportunity to spend a week on clay left several of the tour's players to dash off to sunny Rio de Janeiro. Despite the small crowds and low key press coverage, the tournament directors could not have asked for better matches, which they hope will entice more fans into the stands at next year's tournament.

Four of the biggest names to travel to Brazil found themselves in the semifinals, setting up a great storyline. The Italian beauties battling in one semifinal pitting the tour's "Glamour Girl" Regla Torres versus her doubles partner the tour's Crybaby", Giuseppina Benedetti. The other semifinal pitted the tour's "Drama Queen", Victoria Perez, against the tour's "Original Nice Girl", veteran Jane Wong. Wong, Torres, and Benedetti are all known for their clay court prowess, so it wasn't shocking to see them there. Perez, who started her career known for causing trouble for other players off court, but not on court, has continued to make progress every year and looks to become a top 10 player this season.

In the first semifinal, good friends and double partners Benedetti and Torres renewed their rivalry for the 10th time. While Torres was hot off a big performance in Doha, it was Giusa with her patient clay court play who came out victorious, marking her 4th win against her Fed Cup teammate. While it is often uncomfortable and ugly to watch good friends play each other on the court, Benedetti and Torres both put on an excellent display, having their contrasting styles of play and contrasting personalities on exhibit. Benedetti was full of screeches, groans, laughs, and fist pumps as always, while Torres stayed steely cool and calm throughout. It was only after hitting a match winning backhand down the line at 6-5 40-30, that Giusa slowed her excitement, opting for a short glance to her box, a quick smile, and a reassuring hug for Torres.

Perez and Wong didn't disappoint in the follower, with the tour veteran looking as strong as she has since her comeback in the second set, but ran out of gas in the final set. Perez took advantage, but also hit some impressive shots that surprised even herself.

Perez and Benedetti will meet tomorrow afternoon in the finals. The two have been known to have a bit of a feud in the past, putting an extra spin on the match. Despite having experienced more success in her career than Vittoria, Giusa has never beaten her, sitting at 0-4 in their head to head, which includes a 7-5 third set lost in the memorable Bogota semifinals match last season, which was known for being one of the most dramatic matches/tournaments in the past year.

Benedetti and Torres, who are the top seeds in doubles, will also be playing for their first doubles title of the year tomorrow, facing the second seeds, Anna Kendall and Sofia Keddison. Kendall and Benedetti have had their differences as well, making tomorrow a potentially vindicating day for the Italian.
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