BNP Paribas Open (7)

Coverage from the combined ATP/WTA Tournament in Indian Wells, California, USA, March 9-22, 2009.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009 04:00

Jill Craybas Just Keeps Competing

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Jill Craybas at the 2009 BNP Paribas OpenShe came into the tournament on a four-match losing streak and hadn’t beaten a player ranked in the top 100 this year. But at the BNP Paribas Open, Jill Craybas racked up wins over former top-tenners Jelena Dokic and Nicole Vaidisova, as well as 16th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues. She now faces top seed Dinara Safina in the fourth round.

Craybas attributes this run to, “working really hard the last couple of months in the off-season. [i] worked on a lot of different things that my coach wanted me to experiment with a little bit. I think it’s starting to come together. I just keep fighting. I’ve been competing hard, and I think it’s been a big difference.

“Mentally, the last few weeks I’ve been a little bit stronger than I was at the beginning of the year,” said Craybas. “Instead of worrying about what I’m doing well or what’s not going well, I’ve just taken an approach of, even if things aren’t feeling quite the way I’d like them to, just going out and competing my hardest. The competing has really helped me, focusing on that a little bit more.”
Sunday, 15 March 2009 04:00

Pavlyuchenkova Pulls off Upset

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the 2009 BNP Paribas OpenSeventeen-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia made everyone at the 2009 BNP Paribas Open take notice, as she overpowered No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory in the second round. Displaying the fearlessness and forehand that carried her to three junior Grand Slam singles titles, Pavlyuchenkova cracked 31 winners against one of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s best defenders.

The young Russian wavered only once, dropping serve at love immediately after breaking Jankovic for a 4-3 lead in the second set. But Pavlyuchenkova recovered quickly, breaking for the second consecutive time and then serving out the match at love.

“I just tried to be very aggressive, and I think maybe she doesn’t know me that well,” said Pavlyuchenkova. “So she didn’t expect the way I was playing, since I was being quite aggressive from the beginning.”
Sunday, 15 March 2009 04:00

Father Federer

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Roger Federer at the 2009 BNP Paribas OpenIn just his third tournament of 2009, Roger Federer shook off a bit of rust in his 7-6(4), 6-4 defeat of Marc Gicquel in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. Federer withstood eight aces and several serves topping 120 mph from the Frenchman. After finally breaking Gicquel mid-way through the second set, Federer visibly relaxed and finished off the match in impressive fashion.

The Swiss player and world No. 2 won 92% of his first serve points, and hit 40 winners, including 16 on his forehand. He also ventured to net 21 times in the match, 18 times successfully. The majority of his 21 unforced errors came in the first set.

Federer described his form as, “a bit rusty maybe, you know, coming back from not having played. But it was okay. I’m happy I’ve won. That’s always most important.”

Although light on match play so far this year, the three-time champion here in Indian Wells is thankful for the time he has taken off to rest and rehab a back injury.
Sunday, 15 March 2009 04:00

A Pro and Con-fidence: Ana Ivanovic

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Ana Ivanovic at the 2009 BNP Paribas OpenAna Ivanovic opened the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Anastasiya Yakimova in the second round, seeking to defend her 2008 title in Indian Wells. After falling behind quickly to 0-3 in the first set, Ivanovic won six of the next seven games to ‘right the ship.’

The Serb noted that early in the match, she “just wasn’t so aggressive. I had a couple [of] mishits. I didn’t think I played too bad, just not committing enough. I felt content about my game, and I was happy that I managed to step up a little bit more later on.”

“Condition-wise, I think I’m the fittest that I have been. I’m really feeling good about my body and the way I move on the court. I’ve been working also a little bit more on some explosive things to improve more.”

Ivanovic’s season highlights so far include two quarterfinals and a third round showing at the Australian Open.