ANDUJAR SETS ALL-SPANISH CASABLANCA FINAL WITH RAMOS
Albert Ramos of Spain returns to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 16 January 2012. EPA/DAVID CROSLING EPA/DAVID CROSLING AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT |
The Spaniard saved eight of nine break points against his serve to claim victory in one hour and 53 minutes, improving to 3-0 against the Russian.
“It was a difficult and very close match today,” said Ramos. “I had to run a lot and he was hitting the ball so hard.”
Ramos, ranked a career-high No. 52 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings this week, is bidding to become the first player this season to lift his first career title.
“It is my first ATP World Tour Final. I’m very happy and excited about the match tomorrow,” Ramos said.
On Sunday, the 24 year old will face defending champion Pablo Andujar. The No. 3 seed beat Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 55 minutes to increase his undefeated record at the ATP World Tour 250 event to an 8-0 mark.
Andujar is through to his fifth final, all coming on clay. He is 2-0 against his countryman, winning their most recent meeting in the third round of theBNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March.
Tennis New Zealand is putting a large chunk of developmental money into juniors and is now shying away from paying veteran pros. According to the New Zealand Herald, since 2007, Tennis New Zealand has invested more than $2 million in 40 to 50 players of all ages.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley is very high on teenagers Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, saying that have elite potential. . . .Roger Federer won’t say how much Rod Laver will be involved at his charity event on Laver Arena prior to the Australian Open.
The V-Grid Tennis Fest Featuring the Bryan Bros. just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year as the popular Ventura County fundraiser presented by Alexander Cadillac once again raised more than $100,000 for both the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons, as well as other local causes and regional charities supported by the Bryan Bros. Foundation.
Jelena Dokic will take a pause to ponder the viability of her tennis career at age 30 as she joins the commentary team for the Hopman Cup in Perth starting December 28. Dokic has not played a professional match since late 2012 due to her continuing run of injuries, bad luck and illness.
Former ATP Players Council president Ivan Ljubicic put a tremendous amount of time into politicking for the betterment of his sport during his long playing career, but he retired in April of 2013 and is now coaching world No. 11 Milos Raonic.