News & Press

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Paes-Dlouhy in quarters at Rome

Rome, April 30 (IANS) India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy swept aside Croat Ivo Karlovic and Serbian Dusan Vemic to enter the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia tennis here Thursday.
The third-seeded Indo-Czech pair, who received a bye in the first round, beat Karlovic and Vemic 6-1, 6-1.

Paes and Dlouhy next play Brazilian Bruno Soares and Kevin Ullyett who dispatched Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa 6-2, 6-4.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Renaissance Fed Cup Ladies

we at Renaissance Tennis are very proud of are girls at the Fed Cup. here are a few pictures of them at work and celebrating.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Italy's Pennetta, Schiavone prevail

CASTELLANETA MARINA, Italy -- Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone won their singles matches Saturday to give Italy a 2-0 lead against Russia in the Fed Cup semifinals.

Pennetta beat Anna Chakvetadze 6-4, 6-0, and Schiavone rallied to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 on the clay courts at Nova Yardinia tennis club.

Pennetta broke twice in the opening set, and lost only nine points in the second to close out the match in 67 minutes.

"I didn't expect that result," Pennetta said. "The last time we lost 3-0 and the matches with Anna are always hard. It is good we have won, but they are a stronger squad and still favorites for the Fed Cup."

Schiavone put Italy in a great position to reach its third final in four years with her win.

"In the first set, I couldn't really feel the ball and was hitting it long," she said. "But I kept my head and am really happy with the result."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flavia Pennetta Fed Cup interview

Flavia Pennetta talks to about her countries chances against champions Russia in the upcoming Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal.

Peng replaces Li in Chinese team

The China Tennis Association announced that Peng Shuai has replaced compatriot Li Na in the Chinese team to face Germany in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Play-off tie in Frankfurt. China is looking to maintain its place in the World Group for a fourth successive year, while Germany bids to return to the top division after a year’s absence.

Twenty-three-year-old Peng, currently ranked No. 35, returns to the team after missing China’s 5-0 first round defeat by Russia in Moscow. She has played eight previous Fed Cup ties, boasting a 7-3 win-loss singles record.

Peng joins world No. 16 Zheng Jie, Sun Tian-Tian and Lu Jing-Jing in the Chinese team against a strong German squad led by the in-form Sabine Lisicki, winner of last week’s WTA event in Charleston. Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Kristina Barrois and Tatjana Malek complete the German line-up.

Although Germany leads the overall head-to-head record 2-1, China won their last meeting 4-1 in the 2006 World Group Play-offs in Beijing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Champs collide at Midland

MIDLAND The last two winners of the Racquet Club Invitational will face off for the 2009 championship at 1 p.m. today at the Midland Racquet Club.

Germany's Benedikt Dorsch, the exhibition tournament's defending champion who is ranked No. 137 in the world, advanced Saturday by beating Alexandru Carpen 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and Tomas Jecminek 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals.

On the other half of the draw, 2007 champ Lester Cook of California beat Edward Seator 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals and topped Alexis Krugo 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals.

The championship match will be preceded by the pro-am doubles final at 10 a.m.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Becker takes Price LeBlanc title

Beats Ram in three sets at Lamar Tennis Center
It was a story of two break points.

On one, Benjamin Becker avoided the break with a powerful serve and, with the help of a net chord, held serve.

On the other, Rajeev Ram saw Becker make the shot he couldn’t, a passing shot winner that lifted Becker to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over Ram in the final of the Price LeBlanc Lexus Pro Tennis Classic on Saturday at the Lamar Tennis Center.

Becker, a German ranked No. 131 in the world, survived the break point at 4-4 in the third set. Ram was up 40-15 in the next game before Becker rallied to win the match’s final four points against what had been a dominant service game of Ram.

“You win tennis matches, especially in a final with a lot at stake, when you just make those few points,” said Becker, who picked up his second Challenger win of the year. The first came in Heilbronn, Germany, in January. “Today, I got lucky. I saved my break point, and when I had match point, I just went for it and it went my way.

“That’s how you win tournaments. It doesn’t always happen like that, but it happened today for me.”

Ram, who went on to team with Bobby Reynolds for the doubles championship later in the day, was frustrated by a rough first set where he lost his first two service games.

“He’s very accomplished,” said Ram, an Indiana native, of Becker. “When you don’t bring your best level, you are going to get beat. There are days when that happens, and there’s nothing you can do about it but try to right the ship as quickly as possible. And I thought I did that well, but came up a little bit short at the end.”

It looked like it was going to be Ram’s match to win.

After Ram struggled through a first set where the serve-and-volleyer missed more than half his first serves and lost seven of nine points on his second serve, he found his service game and took control of the match.

Ram won his last two service games of the first set and used his only break of Becker’s serve of the day to go up 4-2 in the second set that eventually became a 6-3 win to force the third set.

“He played really well in the second set,” Becker said. “I had to make tough passing shots and he starting serving a lot better, which made it harder for me to return and get easy looks on passing shots. It made a difference. He played a good game to break me, he hit two winners, and in the third set I just tried to hang in.”

And hang in, by a thread, he did.

First, he came back from a break point that would have allowed Ram a chance to serve for the tournament title up 5-4 had Ram converted. Then, down 40-15 on Ram’s serve, Becker kept plugging away, never giving a thought to what seemed like an inevitable 5-5 third set deadlock.

“When you start looking ahead, it’s 40-15 and you’re still in there. If you make two points, it’s deuce,” Becker said. “He has a lot of pressure. He has to hold the game, because if he doesn’t, the match is over. So I just wanted to stay in there, make my return and make him win the game. It worked out. He made a couple of errors and I made a couple of returns.”

At 40-15 and 40-30 Ram missed on volleys coming to the net. Then at deuce and championship point, Becker hit passing shot winners before turning toward the clubhouse, both hands balled into fists, in celebration of the win.

“Just a couple of things here and there,” Ram said. “But overall I was happy with the way I competed.”

Ram and fellow American Reynolds, the world’s No. 30-ranked doubles team, had to go into a third set to beat the team of Indian Harsh Mankad and American Scott Oudsema, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 10-3 in the doubles final.

In that match, Ram was able to finish off a championship he didn’t in singles after Mankad and Oudsema rallied from down 5-3 in the second set, with Reynolds serving.

“It looked like it was going to be pretty comfortable,” Ram said. “That’s the way doubles goes. They hit a shank return lob winner (at double championship point) and they play a couple of good points, and the next thing you know you’re in a tie-breaker.”

But the Reynolds-Ram team prevailed in the third set and are looking forward to bigger things as a doubles team.

Together, they’ve made the third round of three of the four Grand Slams, and they’ll team up again at the next Gram Slam, the French Open.

“We complement each other well,” Ram said.

Becker makes Price LeBlanc final

As the weather has warmed up this week, so has Benjamin Becker.

The German coasted to a second straight dominating win at the Price LeBlanc Lexus Pro Tennis Classic on Friday, beating Australian Marinko Matosevic, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to today’s noon championship match of the $50,000 USTA Challenger event.

Becker will take on unseeded Rajeev Ram of the United States, who beat hard-serving Australian Samuel Groth 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Ram will go for a sweep of the tournament’s two big prizes today. He reached the doubles final by teaming with Bobby Reynolds, last year’s Baton Rouge singles champion, for a 6-3, 2-6, 10-6 win over Somdev Devvarman and Treat Conrad Huey. They will play the team of American Scott Oudsema and Indian Harsh Mankad in the finals, about 30 minutes after the end of the singles final.

Oudsema and Mankad defeated Benedikt Dorsch and Matosevic 6-3, 7-6(10) in Friday’s other doubles semifinal.

Becker, the No. 4 seed ranked No. 131 in the world, struggled with cool, windy weather early in the tournament in relatively close matches with Michael Yani and Carston Ball, with both matches requiring tie-breakers in one of the sets.

The last two days have been a different story. Becker, who is not related to the more famous German Becker, Boris, rolled past Dorsch 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and continued to control things on Friday.

“I played a little bit better the last two days,” Becker said. “Obviously, the weather helped a little bit. It’s a little bit faster, and it’s still windy and we kind of all have adjusted to it.”

Friday’s weather was the warmest of the tournament, which has seen temperatures go from the 50s in part of the first round of the 32-player draw, to the mid-80s on Friday.

Ram also enjoyed the warmer weather, managing a break of serve on the powerful Groth in both sets while holding his own serve throughout the match.

“He’s got probably the biggest serve I’ve ever played against, especially the first serve,” said the 25-year-old Ram of Groth. “I just had to worry about holding my serve and as long as I could keep that, I could get to tie-breakers at worst. Luckily for me, I was able to break a couple of games.”

A Becker vs. Ram final matches a couple of players who have had their share of success in the pro circuit this year. Becker, who reached the fourth round of the 2006 U.S. Open in a run that included a win over Andre Agassi, won a Challenger event in Heilbronn, Germany, in January and beat Jesse Levine in the first round of the ATP World Tour Masters at Miami in March before losing the world No. 9 Fernando Verdasco.

“He’s another power player, but the difference is he won’t come to the net nearly as much as (Groth) did today,” Ram said. “He’s had a lot of success on the (ATP) tour level as well, so that’s going to make it very tough.”

Ram, ranked No. 191 in the world, has also had tour success, mostly in doubles. In singles, this has been his best tournament of the year. Before this week, the best he had done was reach a pair of Challenger semifinals at Khorat, Thailand, and in Dallas. Ram and fellow American Eric Butorac won an ATP doubles event in Chennai, India, in January, and he teamed with Reynolds to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Reynolds and Ram also reached the semifinals of an ATP event at Delray Beach, Fla.

Ram reached the final of the Dallas challenger while teamed with Indian Prakash Amritraj.

“I know he’s playing well. I know he’s a great player,” Becker said of Ram. “I’m going to have to bring my best game.”

Ram and Reynolds beat Becker and Mathias Bachinger 6-4, 6-2 in a doubles quarterfinal match on Thursday.

Both finalists also have championship collegiate histories. Ram was NCAA doubles champion in his only year at Illinois in 2003. In 2004, Becker won the NCAA singles title for Baylor.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

No. 4 seed Becker posts two-set win

Advocate sportswriter

Most of the tournament’s big names have already been eliminated, but that didn’t bother Germany’s Benjamin Becker on Wednesday.

The top remaining seed at the Price LeBlanc Lexus Pro Tennis Classic advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win over Australian Carsten Ball on the same day he teamed with countryman Matthias Bachinger to eliminate a team of former LSU players, Michael Venus and Colt Gaston, in doubles.

Bobby Reynolds, Vincent Spadea and Frank Dancevic, the top three seeds, had all lost in the first round of the $50,000 USTA Challenger, which has been plagued by cool and windy weather. Becker made sure the top-seeded curse didn’t continue on a Wednesday where the seeded performers went 4-0 combined in singles and doubles.

“We all know how tough it was the last few days,” said Becker, ranked No. 127 in the world, after he advanced on a warmer, but blustery, Wednesday at the Lamar Tennis Center. “The top three seeds lost in tough conditions and I’m the four seed. But it doesn’t matter because we are so close, anybody who plays this tournament can win this tournament.”

Becker, who advanced to play countryman Benedikt Dorsch in an 11 a.m. quarterfinal today, has taken over the favorite’s role in a tournament dominated by Germans. Dorsch advanced Wednesday by beating Lithuanian Ricardis Berankis, while Bachinger also reached the quarterfinals in singles with a three-set win over Latvian Andis Juska.

That made German players 8-0 in the tournament, including wins in doubles.