Serena upset with Dubai over Sveta snub

Serena Williams criticizes the tournament officials in Dubai for not handing former two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova a wild card. The tournament gave out wild cards to veteran Marion Bartoli, as well as teenagers Laura Robson and Yulia Putintseva. Kuznetsova was off the tour for six months due to a knee injury and just returned in Australia. A three-time finalist in Dubai, she is currently ranked No. 51. Kuznetsova owns a home in Dubai and when she found out she was not getting a wild card she tweeted:…

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Top-seeded Ferrer into Buenos Aires second round

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP)—Top-seeded David Ferrer of Spain began his defense of the Copa Claro title with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 victory over Argentine wild card Agustin Velotti on Wednesday. Ferrer, ranked No. 4, is a heavy favorite to win his second tournament of the season. He won in Auckland, New Zealand, last month. The first-round match was postponed Tuesday because of rain in the Argentine capital. Second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain played a second-round match later against Andrey Kuznetsov. Argentines David Nalbandian and Carlos Berlocq…

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Marseille: Berdych d. Gulbis | TENNIS.com

It doesn’t take much to make people hopeful about Ernests Gulbis again, does it? Coming into Rotterdam last week, everyone’s favorite lackadaisical Latvian was ranked firmly in the triple digits and had just one victory on the year. Brandishing a strange new forehand, though, Gulbis emerged from qualifying to reach the round of 16 and gave eventual champ Juan Martin del Potro a decent run for his money there. Even better, Gulbis claimed that he was going to cut back on the drinking and smoking. Fans wondered, not for the…

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Wozniacki, Kvitova to meet in Dubai semifinals

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova overpowered defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4 Thursday to set up a semifinal against Caroline Wozniacki in the Dubai Championships. Wozniacki, once ranked No. 1, defeated Marion Bartoli 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, capitalizing on 14 double-faults and 46 unforced errors by her opponent. Two double-faults cost Bartoli games in the second set. Doubles specialist Roberta Vinci of Italy surprised former U.S. Open champ Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in their quarterfinal. She will next face doubles partner Sara Errani,…

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Tursunov upsets Tipsarevic to reach Marseille quarterfinals

MARSEILLE, France (AP)—Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov upset fourth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (4), 6-2 to reach the Open 13 quarterfinals on Thursday. The 30-year-old Tursunov, a semifinalist at the tournament two years ago, saved the four break points he faced and broke serve twice. Sixth-seeded Gilles Simon of France advanced to his third straight quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Roberto Bautista-Agut, although Simon’s serve was again not at its best. Although he broke his Spanish opponent seven times, he conceded three breaks of his own. …

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Nalbandian won’t stress over ranking

Former world No. 3 David Nalbandian, who returned to singles play for the first time in six months last week in Sao Paulo (where reached the final), says he has changed his attitude about playing. “I feel whole,” the 31-year-old told reporters in Buenos Aires. “This year I’m going to be different. I want to go every week, choose which tournaments to play and enjoy them. I am not going to go crazy over rankings.” The former Wimbledon finalist is currently ranked No. 78.

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Kvitova calls Dubai a mini major

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has high praise for the depth of the Dubai field. The world’s top two of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka were in the draw before pulling out with injuries. Kvitova beat world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-4, today to reach the semifinals. “Well I mean, it’s like a small Grand Slam,” she told reporters. “Everybody is playing there, so I can’t say that I have any chance I will win. I play my best I can.”

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Maradona wants to coach del Potro

Former soccer star Diego Maradona, who is an ambassador for Dubai Sports Council and has been attending WTA matches in Dubai this week, jokes that he will take charge of a fellow Argentine next week, when the ATP begins its tournament there. “Next week I’ll be the one training [Juan Martin] del Potro myself,” he told Gulf News. “I will ask Franco Davin to step aside and Diego will train del Potro.”

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Del Potro saves match points to beat Baghdatis

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Juan Martin del Potro saved three match points Tuesday to get past Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) and reach the second round of the Dubai Championships, while Michael Llodra upset eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. Top ranked Novak Djokovic, looking for his fourth Dubai title, had a much easier time against good friend Viktor Troicki, beating him 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour. Del Potro, who reached the quarterfinals in Marseille and won his 14th title the week before…

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Mattek-Sands advances at Malaysian Open

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP)—Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States won her first main-draw singles this year, beating 16-year-old Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Tuesday in the rain-disrupted first round of the Malaysian Open. Mattek-Sands, a former top-30 player who has slipped to No. 197, is playing as a wild card. She eliminated the sixth-seeded Vekic in nearly two hours. The American has had more success in doubles of late, winning her second title of the year with Sania Mirza in Dubai last weekend. Also…

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