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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Jan 5th, 2008 11:45 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Williams battles through to final

1 day ago
World number eight Venus Williams played down any injury concerns ahead of the Australian Open after receiving treatment during her hard-fought 6-3 6-3 victory over Elena Dementieva at the JB Group Classic in Hong Kong on Friday.
After winning the first set of the semi-final at the annual exhibition event in 41 minutes, the Wimbledon champion received treatment on her left leg and lower back from a tournament physiotherapist for several minutes.
But the six-time grand slam winner returned to complete the 75-minute victory over Dementieva to set up a final meeting with Maria Sharapova after the Russian world number five earlier eased to a 6-4 6-2 triumph over compatriot Anna Chakvetadze.
With mother Oracene looking concerned in the players' box at Victoria Park, Williams appeared to loosen up as the second set progressed and was able to rain down several trademark serves and unleash a solid groundstroke attack to end a mid-set Dementieva revival.
"It was a hamstring injury but the physio thought it was maybe coming from my back, but out there on the court there is only a few minutes to treat it and also the fact that it is cold I wanted to stay warm," said Williams, who is aiming for a third Hong Kong title in her only event before the first grand slam of the year in Australia.
"I am going to go to the physio and take it from there. I am playing against a very good player tomorrow so I am going to do what I can tonight to have my best game ready.
"Not playing tomorrow is not a concern at the moment I am just happy with the win because it always feels good. I was able to get through the match even though I wasn't playing very well.
"I have not really had hamstring trouble before so I don't know what it is right now. The only thing I worry about long term is my left wrist, but it has felt pretty good for a few months now so anything else is second. As long as my left wrist is okay I can be pretty happy."
Williams grabbed the crucial break in the eighth game of the match and then served out the next game to take the first set before receiving treatment.
She returned to open up the second set with back-to-back breaks of the Dementieva serve to open up a 3-0 lead before the Russian hit back with a break of her own to move within a game of the American after holding her own serve. But after the next three games went with serve, Williams broke Dementieva for the fifth time to wrap up the victory and set up a meeting with Sharapova, who lost last year's final to Kim Clijsters.
http://ukpress.google.com/article/AL...LmFeDL2SQzRAQQ
Jan 5th, 2008 11:44 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational


Williams fires Aus Open warning

Posted Sat Jan 5, 2008 8:46pm AEDT

American superstar Venus Williams fired a warning shot ahead of the Australian Open, crushing one of her main rivals Maria Sharapova in Hong Kong with a ruthless display of power tennis on Saturday.
Williams was unremitting in her onslaught against the Russian world number four, clinching a straight sets victory 6-4, 6-3 in just 80 minutes.
Despite occasionally reaching for the hamstring she twinged in Friday's victory over Russian Elena Dementieva, the Wimbledon champion smashed a string of aces and her speed round the court proved it was no serious hindrance.
An attritional first set hinged on just two points, after the first nine games had gone with serve.
Williams clinched the break on a unusually long rally in the 10th game, forcing Sharapova to hit a backhand into the net. She then forced another mistake on break point to take the set.
Sharapova seemed unable to cope with the depth of Williams's ground strokes and despite several attempts to smash her way back into the game had to submit after losing her serve in the sixth game of the second set.
The Russian saved two championship points when 5-2 down, but Williams rapped up the game appropriately enough with a heavy serve, setting up an easy forehand winner.
"Venus must be one of the few who can arrive the day before the tournament and end up winning," said Sharapova after the game.
The four-day Hong Kong invitational featured five of the world's top 10 players and is used as a warm up for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, which starts on January 14.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...?section=sport
Jan 5th, 2008 11:32 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Venus Williams overpowers Sharapova in Hong Kong tennis tournament

13 hours ago
HONG KONG (AFP) — American superstar Venus Williams fired a warning shot ahead of the Australian Open, crushing one of her main rivals Maria Sharapova in Hong Kong with a ruthless display of power tennis on Saturday.
Williams was unremitting in her onslaught against the Russian world number four, clinching a straight sets victory in the final of the JB Group Classic 6-4, 6-3 in just 80 minutes.
Despite occasionally reaching for the hamstring she twinged in Friday's victory over Russian Elena Dementieva, the Wimbledon champion smashed a string of aces and her speed round the court proved it was no serious hindrance.
Williams said the game had given her a real boost ahead of the first Grand Slam event later this month.
"Obviously, she is a very good opponent, so I definitely had to bring my best game," the 27-year-old told reporters.
"So it is very exciting, especially going into the Australian, playing so well against someone of her calibre."
"I knew I was playing well in practice, but a match is different ... to have that competition makes a huge difference," said the world number eight, who has not played a competitive game since October, graduating from design college in the interim.
An attritional first set hinged on just two points, after the first nine games had gone with serve.
Williams clinched the break on a unusually long rally in the 10th game, forcing Sharapova to hit a backhand into the net. She then forced another mistake on break point to take the set.
Sharapova seemed unable to cope with the depth of Williams's ground strokes and despite several attempts to smash her way back into the game had to submit after losing her serve in the sixth game of the second set.
The Russian saved two championship points when 5-2 down, but Williams rapped up the game appropriately enough with a heavy serve, setting up an easy forehand winner.
"Venus must be one of the few who can arrive the day before the tournament and end up winning," said Sharapova after the game.
"When your opponent is serving big and consistently well, you need to take the opportunities on second serve and I think I did a poor job of that," she told reporters after the game.
"It felt like a matter of three or four points here and there which would have easily changed this, but that is what tennis is about," she added.
The four-day Hong Kong annual invitational featured five of the world's top 10 players and is used as a warm up for the Open in Melbourne.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...SdCZs4byj4obKg
Jan 5th, 2008 11:27 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Venus Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Hong Kong exhibition

7 hours ago
HONG KONG - Venus Williams beat Russia's Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 Saturday to win the JB Group Classic exhibition in Hong Kong - a warmup for the Australian Open.
Both players were holding serve comfortably in the early games, but the Russian faltered first. Serving at 4-5 in the first set, Sharapova sent a backhand into the net after a long rally and then missed another backhand to give the American a one-set lead.
Sharapova, who has won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, was erratic in the second set.
Down 3-2, she double-faulted and missed a forehand to give the reigning Wimbledon champ the crucial break.
Sharapova did save two match points in her final service game, but Williams held to love to take the match, closing out the game with a forehand winner.
"It's very exciting, especially going into the Australian, having played very well against someone of her (Sharapova's) caliber," Williams said. The Australian Open will run from Jan. 14-27.
Williams, a six-time Grand Slam winner, complained Friday of an unspecified injury but appeared unaffected Saturday.
She said the nature of the injury still wasn't clear but she felt better after treatment. Williams also said she fell on her left wrist while practising in Hong Kong but that the wrist felt 100 per cent Saturday.
"I just had the opportunity to get my racket on the ball and play it deep. I guess I served well. I returned OK. So I guess it was about doing everything good," she said.
Sharapova said she took some chances because she was playing against an opponent that was playing well.
"When your opponent is serving big and serving consistently, you've really got to take your chances on opportunities, on second serves, which I did a poor job of," she said.
The eight-woman field at the JB Group Classic also featured Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, Russia's Elena Dementieva, China's Peng Shuai, Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.

http://canadianpress.google.com/arti...zZYmZaTF-dwYgg
Jan 4th, 2008 01:38 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Williams routs Peng in Australian Open warm-up

23 hours ago
HONG KONG (AFP) — Wimbledon champion Venus Williams crushed her Chinese opponent Peng Shuai in straight sets here Thursday, showing she is in prime form ahead of the Australian Open.
Despite not having played a competitive game since October, the American world number eight was able to outmanoeuvre Peng at every turn in her opening game at the JB Group Classic tournament, triumphing 6-1, 6-2.
Peng, ranked 45 in the world, was unable to match Williams' athleticism and power with any consistency, crumbling to a 64-minute defeat.
Williams said she was delighted with her performance, despite the self-imposed long lay-off, during which time she graduated from design college.
"I haven't been out there in a long time, and I had to fight for every point," she told reporters after the match.
"But I felt like all the things I have practised really paid off," she added.
The fifth and sixth games of the match proved crucial, as the six-time Grand Slam singles champion started to crank up her powerful serve and lethal backhand.
Peng was up 40-15 in the fifth on her own serve, but was unable to make the lead pay as Williams, 27, ran her round the court with some line-hugging backhands, forcing an error on the last point to take a 4-1 lead.
In the next game, Peng fought back from a 40-0 deficit to take it to deuce, but Williams was able to up her game again, piling pressure on the Chinese 21-year-old and forcing her to push a backhand long.
Williams will now face either Elena Dementieva, after the Russian outfought Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the closest game of the tournament so far.
Dementieva's persistence saw her triumph over the world number four 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Ivanovic showed only glimpses of the sparkling forehand that helped her to a stellar 2007.
Five of world's top 10 players, including Russian Maria Sharapova, have gathered in Hong Kong for the invitational four-day tournament, which is a warm up for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne in two weeks time.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...NCHhgaryeKPauA
Jan 4th, 2008 01:35 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Venus Williams beats China's Peng Shuai at Hong Kong exhibition

21 hours ago
HONG KONG - Venus Williams beat China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-2 Thursday in her first match of the year at the JB Group Classic exhibition tournament, a warmup for the Australian Open.
Peng, a powerful double-handed hitter on both sides, out-hit Williams occasionally but never posed a serious threat to the more consistent American.
The six-time Grand Slam winner believes she and her sister Serena can dominate women's tennis again if they avoid injuries, noting they won two of the four Grand Slams last year. The Williams sisters have fallen out of the world's top five, with Serena ranked seventh and Venus ranked eighth.
"If we can just stay healthy and keep practising and get the work done off the court before we come to the tournaments, it makes a world of a difference," Williams said.
The Williams sisters have 14 Grand Slams between them.
In Hong Kong, Venus Williams advanced to a semifinal against the winner of the match later Wednesday between Serbia's Ana Ivanovic and Russia's Elena Dementieva. The other semifinal pits Russians Maria Sharapova and Anna Chakvetadze.
Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, ranked ninth in the world, pulled out of the doubles competition in Hong Kong with abdominal pains. It wasn't immediately clear whether it would affect her plans for the Australian Open, scheduled for Jan. 14-27.

http://canadianpress.google.com/arti...3h98s-sOQe_RFw
Jan 4th, 2008 01:34 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Dementieva sets up Venus tie

17 hours ago
World number 11 Elena Dementieva set up a JB Group Classic semi-final meeting with Wimbledon champion Venus Williams by beating Ana Ivanovic 6-4 1-6 6-3 on Thursday.
In the most entertaining match of the tournament, Dementieva grabbed the solitary break in the first set and, despite letting the French Open finalist back into the contest, she finally sealed victory in one hour and 44 minutes.
Williams earlier began her preparations for the Australian Open with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 victory over China's number two Peng Shuai.
"I am pleased," Kremlin Cup champion Dementieva said. "It was a tough first match of the year as we both played well.
"It was a physical game with lots of long rallies and I am satisfied with the way that I played.
"I haven't seen Venus play yet but I am sure she will be in good shape and it will be a tough match."
Dementieva crucially claimed the first break of the match in the third game to open up a 2-1 lead before wrapping up the first set in 39 minutes against an out of sorts world number four Ivanovic.
But in the second set the Wimbledon semi-finalist improved and was able to dispatch several unstoppable groundstrokes on both sides of her Russian opponent.
The duo traded breaks in the opening four games of the third set, but a break of the Ivanovic serve in the sixth game proved crucial as Dementieva sealed the semi-final berth by holding serve.
"It was a tough match," said Ivanovic. "I had my chances in the third set and I didn't take them but it was the first match of the year."

http://ukpress.google.com/article/AL...k0KrPJu46eDacQ
Jan 4th, 2008 01:30 PM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Briefs | Venus Williams wins first match of year

Tennis
Venus Williams triumphs: Venus Williams beat China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-2 Thursday in her first match of the year at the JB Group Classic exhibition in Hong Kong.
Williams next will play Russia's Elena Dementieva, who upset top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The other semifinal pits Russians Maria Sharapova and Anna Chakvetadze.
Serena Williams gets walkover win: The United States had a 1-0 lead in its Hopman Cup mixed-teams final against Serbia hours before the first match was scheduled to begin in Perth, Australia.
Jelena Jankovic, hobbled by strained buttock and hamstring muscles for three days, was not able to play her singles match against Serena Williams, giving the United States a walkover win and 1-0 lead. Mardy Fish played Novak Djokovic in men's singles.
Davenport reaches final: Lindsay Davenport reached her third final in four events since her return to the WTA Tour, beating Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-3 at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
Davenport's opponent Saturday will be Aravane Rezai of France, who beat New Zealand wild card Marina Erakovic 6-3, 7-5 in the other semifinal.
Davydenko, Murray win in Qatar: Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-3 in the Qatar Open in Doha and next faces Andy Murray in a repeat of last year's semifinal matchup. The third-seeded Murray advanced by defeating Thomas Johansson 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Nadal gains quarterfinals: Top-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal brushed aside American qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-1 to gain the Chennai Open quarterfinals in India.
Nadal next will play fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who rallied to upset seventh-seeded Austrian Werner Eschauer 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).
Hewitt into quarterfinals: Lleyton Hewitt won 16 of the first 19 points to take a 4-0 lead, setting up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jose Acasuso that put him into the quarterfinals of the Australian men's hardcourt championships in Adelaide.
Mauresmo, Vaidisova, Safina crash out: Amelie Mauresmo, top-seeded Nicole Vaidisova and defending champion Dinara Safina were among the big-name losers in the quarterfinals of the Australian women's hardcourt championships in Gold Coast.
Mauresmo — formerly the world's top-ranked player — was beaten by fourth-seeded Patty Schnyder 6-4, 6-4. China's Li Na beat Vaidisova 6-3, 6-3, and Shahar Peer of Israel beat Safina 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8).

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi...&date=20080104


Nov 5th, 2007 03:15 PM
space_gracie
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

6 players have been announced already but does anyone know if Elena Dementieva will be participating in this exhibition tournament? For the past 5 years, she has regularly attended this tournament and she was the champion here in 2005. Anyone knows if Elena's coming?
Nov 5th, 2007 12:55 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Sharapova, Venus to star in HK



Agence France-Presse
Last updated 01:59pm (Mla time) 10/31/2007


HONG KONG -- Russia's Maria Sharapova and American Venus Williams will head the bill of top ten female players at January's annual Hong Kong invitational, organizers said Wednesday.
Former US Open champion Sharapova, ranked five in the world, and current Wimbledon champion Williams will star at the renamed JB Group Classic here between January 2-5.
They will be joined by world number four Ana Ivanovic, from Serbia, and world number seven, Anna Chakvetadze, from Russia.
"We are very excited about our line-up of stars -- there will be some fantastic names here," said Ian Wade, President of the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and China's number two player Peng Shuai are also included, with two more players to complete the line-up in the next few weeks, Wade added.
Last year's final was won by now-retired Belgian Kim Clijsters, who beat Sharapova in the final.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakin...ticle_id=97929
Nov 5th, 2007 12:55 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Hong Kong Invitational

STARS CONFIRMED FOR HONG KONG EVENT

By Andrew Mullen, PA Sport, Hong Kong
Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and world number six Maria Sharapova will headline the field at the JB Group Classic in Hong Kong in January.
French Open finalist and world number four Ana Ivanovic from Croatia, Russian world number seven Anna Chakvetadze, rising Danish star Caroline Wozniacki and Chinese number two Peng Shuai will also feature at the annual hardcourt exhibition event, which takes place at Hong Kong's Victoria Park from January 2-5.
The eight-player line-up will be completed following the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, with another of the world's top 10 set to be confirmed.
Sharapova, who lost out to defending champion Kim Clijsters in last year's final, used the 2007 event as her only warm-up to the Australian Open.
The event offers players a chance to step up preparations for the first grand slam of the year, which begins in Melbourne on January 14.
"Our annual tournament is a highlight of Hong Kong's sporting calendar; over the last 30 years, the biggest names in tennis have chosen to play here," said Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association president Ian Wade.
"They include Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and a host of others."
http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/n...Hong_Kong.html
Nov 5th, 2007 12:53 AM
V.S.
2008 Hong Kong Invitational

Venus and Sharapova to star in HK

4 days ago
HONG KONG (AFP) — American Venus Williams and Russia's Maria Sharapova will head the bill of top ten female players at January's annual Hong Kong invitational, organisers said Wednesday.
Former US Open champion Sharapova, ranked five in the world, and current Wimbledon champion Williams will star at the renamed JB Group Classic here between January 2-5.
They will be joined by world number four Ana Ivanovic, from Serbia, and world number seven, Anna Chakvetadze, from Russia.
"We are very excited about our line-up of stars -- there will be some fantastic names here," said Ian Wade, President of the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and China's number two player Peng Shuai are also included, with two more players to complete the line-up in the next few weeks, Wade added.
Last year's final was won by now-retired Belgian Kim Clijsters, who beat Sharapova in the final.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...0MVAs07AKLe7Cg

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