2006 Miami WTA Singles Results     Svetlana Kuznetsova, Champion

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  WTA: Mar 20-Apr 2 2006

NASDAQ-100 Open, Key Biscayne (Miami), FL Tier I (+ ATP)
$3,450,000 - 96 players - outdoor: hard

Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne- click for interactive satellite photo
Tennis Center at Crandon Park - click for interactive sat pic - map: 132KB .pdf

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.html: draws - order of play - results - tourney schedule

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# 1 Amelie Mauresmo, # 2 Kim Clijsters
# 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne, # 4 Maria Sharapova
Tourney pages: Miami: 2007 - 2005 - 2004
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Key Biscayne:
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#4 Maria Sharapova
6' 1˝", 130lbs, RH, 2H-BH
Key Biscayne:
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#14 Svetlana Kuznetsova
5' 8˝", 161lbs, RH, 2H-BH

    On Saturday, in the final of the NASDAQ-100 Open on Key Biscayne, the 2004 US Open Champ, 20-year-old 12th-seeded # 14 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia, defeated her compatriot, the 2004 Wimbledon Champ, 18-year-old 4th-seeded # 4 Maria Sharapova (who resides near the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida), 6-4, 6-3 (Maria is shown during the match; Svetlana with the glassware afterward).

    Svetlana won by serving as well as, and possibly even a little better than Maria, and, as usual for Svetlana, by hitting forehand winners. Svetlana, who hit 24 winners with 25 unforced errors (Maria: 19 and 26) won 62% of her 2nd serve points. Maria, who before her right shoulder began to trouble her last year had one of the best 2nd serves in the game, won only 38% of her 2nd serve points. match stats

    Svetlana attributed her recent success to not trying to kill the ball. Svetlana said: "[Until recently] I think I was trying to hit the ball overhard. Now I'm just playing like half of my power and the ball seems to go pretty fast, so I am pretty excited about that... I just put less pressure on me, and I put the ball back, and it's pretty hard to opponent to play. I give lots of spin to the ball so it's bounce pretty high, and it's hard to hit it back to me. For sure it's very hard to give Maria shots back. When I see she miss, it gives me more motivation to put more balls back. I can defend well, and I can hit my forehand pretty hard enough...
    "She cannot make me winners because I move pretty well and I put the ball pretty long back. So I was happy with that... I could make my return pretty long enough so she cannot attack me, and then I can attack her. This is what definitely she doesn't like. So I was concerned about making my game out of hers...
    "For me, it's a bit unusual, you play Maria and you have crowd behind you... I felt amazing that crowd goes with me." interview

    Maria said: "Physically it was very difficult to keep up with Svetlana today. She was able to come back from tough points and play a few more. I was just not able to keep up with that pace, and that was the key...
    "When I hit great shots, she picked up the ball on the rise pretty early and was able to hit a bigger shot. And my feet didn't quite move to the second balls that she hit deep and hard... It was just too good from her." interview

    Svetlana, who finished the match with an ace, ended Maria's eleven match winning streak, and now leads Maria 3-2 in career matches. It was Svetlana's 6th WTA singles title (in 10 finals), and her first since Bali in 2004 (shortly after her US Open win). Svetlana's WTA singles ranking will move up, from # 14 to # 10, on Monday.


    Miami, like Indian Wells which precedes it, is a 2-week tournament. Unlike most tourneys, qualifying rounds are held on Monday & Tuesday of the first week, and main draw play does not begin until Wednesday. And with a 96 player draw, the 32 seeded players all have 1st round byes.

    For 2006, the NASDAQ-100 Open has been made a mandatory tourney for those players who are ranked high enough to enter, and are fit to play (apparently even those unfit to play are being fined; this is rather odd). This should not trouble anyone too much (except for those unfit to play), as the prize money for 2006 (at what was already the 5th richest tourney on the Tour) has been raised by $390,000 over 2005.

WTA SCOREBOARD: The NASDAQ-100 Open at Key Biscayne
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?


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At the WTA (and ATP) annual awards banquet on Monday night, March 21, Ana Ivanovic was honored as the most improved player, Sania Mirza as the
best newcomer, Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur as the best doubles team, and Jean Harlow-- no, that's Kim Clijsters-- as the player of the year for 2005

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Ai Sugiyama & Daniela Hantuchova were the favorite doubles team of 2005-- Among the good girls looking very nice when arriving were
Anna Kournikova (not playing on the Tour due to low back trouble), Elena Dementieva, Venus Williams, & Justine Henin-Hardenne

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More arrival photos: Maria Kirilenko, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Anna Chakvetadze, and Anna Kournikova again, flanked by Elena Likhovtseva, who was one of Anna's doubles partners when she was still on the Tour, and Anastasia Myskina, who was taught at Moscow's Spartak Academy alongside Anna-- until Anna left for Bollettieri's in Florida at the ripe old age of 9

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Anastasia Myskina practiced her serve on Saturday, March 18, in the Starbucks booth at the Key Biscayne Art Festival... (Anastasia is apparently unsure whether a patron wants a slice, a cannonball, or an American Twist)... Gaucha Gisela Dulko displayed her riding skills on Tuesday at the Miami Seaquarium (there is a dolphin down there somewhere)... and Daniela Hantuchova did that player rep thing at the draw ceremony on Monday...

Miami, 1st Rd, Wed-Thu 10&11am
loser's prize: $5,560 US; points: 1

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3 of Thursday's matches were postponed to Friday due to rain

#36 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #77 Karolina Sprem CRO 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 Thu
*#52 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP d #37 Anna Smashnova ISR 5-3 retired-- r wrist Thu
*#66 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo ESP d #38 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 Wed

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Maria Antonia's service toss, and her backhand

#39 Marta Domachowska POL d #100 q Meng Yuan CHN 6-4, 6-4 rain-ppd-Fri
*#67 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS d #40 Catalina Castano COL 6-4, 6-1 Thu
*#1144 wc Anna Tatishvili GEO d #41 Sania Mirza IND 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-6(8) Thu

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Anna getting some elevation while twisting a serve at Sania, Sania's forehand, and Anna after match point

    16-year-old wild card Anna, from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, has trained since age 13 at the Chris Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Florida. She was playing in only her 9th WTA or ITF adult match. Anna said: "I just really wanted to win. I was nervous, I never played in such a big court and in front of a lot of people. Before the match, [Chris Evert] told me 'Just forget about it... just you, the ball and the opponent, and that's it.'" interview - WTA story

    Sania said: "[Anna] hung in there and she was playing some great tennis. I guess it's a bit tough when you're not really playing the best tennis and the other girl is just playing some unbelievable shots. She's young and she's a great player. I'm sure we're going to see a lot more of her." interview

*#87 Meghann Shaughnessy USA d #42 Mara Santangelo ITA 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 Wed

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Meghann following a forehand

#43 Iveta Benesova CZE d #314 wc Sanja Ancic CRO 6(2)-7, 6-1, 7-6(2) Wed
*#54 Jill Craybas USA d #44 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 Thu
*#53 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #45 N Llagostera Vives ESP 7-6(2), 2-3 retired-- r wrist strain Thu

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Shinobu's forehand

#46 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #48 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-4, 6-2 Wed
#47 Virginie Razzano FRA d #233 wc Alisa Kleybanova RUS 7-5, 6-2 Thu
*#73 Elena Vesnina RUS d #50 Emilie Loit FRA 6-3, 7-6(4) Thu
*#62 Shuai Peng CHN d #51 Amy Frazier USA 6-4, 6-2 Wed

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Shuai serving

*#79 q Maria Elena Camerin ITA d #55 Emma Laine FIN 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 Thu
#56 Michaella Krajicek NED d #76 Zi Yan CHN 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 Thu
*#101 wc Vania King USA d #57 Sybille Bammer AUT 0-6, 6-1, 7-5 Thu

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Vania's backhand

#58 Samantha Stosur AUS d #862 wc Brenda Schultz-McCarthy NED 6-3, 6-3 Wed

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Samantha's backhand

#92 q Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #59 Aiko Nakamura JPN 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 Wed
#60 Na Li CHN d #64 Akiko Morigami JPN 6-1, 6-2 rain-ppd-Fri
#63 Julia Schruff GER d #90 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA 6-1, 6-3 Wed
#65 Jie Zheng CHN d #132 q Varvara Lepchenko UZB 7-5, 6-3 rain-ppd-Fri
#69 q Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #83 wc Shenay Perry 6-3, 7-5 Wed
*#89 LL Mashona Washington USA d #71 Lisa Raymond USA 6-1, 6-4 Wed
*#95 q Alona Bondarenko UKR d #72 LL Tszvetana Pironkova BUL 6-2, 6-2 Wed
#74 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG d #85 Kristina Brandi PUR 6-4, 6-0 Wed
#78 q Stephanie Foretz FRA d #130 q Milagros Sequera VEN 6-4, 6-3 Wed
*#94 wc Jamea Jackson USA d #75 wc Ashley Harkelroad USA 7-5, 6(3)-7, 7-5 Wed

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Ashley, left, and Jamea, right, are shown during the match, during which the "Hawkeye" computerized instant-replay call checking system was used for the first time in any WTA or ATP sanctioned tourney. The center photo shows chair umpire Alison Lang, with the stadium screen in the background displaying the Hawkeye replay of a shot by Jamea that Ashley had challenged.

    Jamea had already called for the first instant replay call check in Tour history, on an earlier shot by Ashley. Jamea said: "I loved it, I thought it was great. It takes a lot of pressure off. You don't get angry. You just play and don't worry about the line calls." Reuters story - Jackson interview - Harkleroad interview - WTA VP Angie Cunningham interview
Players are allowed to make challenges until they have been wrong twice in each set. All remaining 2006 tourneys in North America will use Hawkeye. Hawkeye was first tested in real play in January during the ITF Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, a non-Tour event.

#80 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE d #81 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 Wed

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Zuzana keeping cool during a changeover

*#128 q Victoria Azarenka BLR d #84 q Laura Pous Tio ESP 7-6(6), 6-3 Thu
#86 q Tathiana Garbin ITA d #93 LL Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-4 Thu
#124 q Tiantian Sun CHN d #177 wc Angela Haynes 6-2, 6-4 Wed
Miami, 2nd Rd, Fri-Sat 10&11am
loser's prize: $10,350 US; points: 16
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #58 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-0, 6-0 Fri

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Amelie's forehand

#54 Jill Craybas USA d #2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 Sat

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Jill and Kim launching backhands, and Jill after match point

    Jill said: "I actually had a lot of fun out there. In the beginning I was trying to go for too much. Once I got over, that I got into a groove." AP story

    Kim had not played in over a month, and had played in only one tourney since tearing a right ankle ligament in the Australian Open semifinals. Kim said: "I'm a player who likes to play a lot of matches. That's something I'll have to build up again. The past few months, that has been a disadvantage. That's what I'm missing right now...
    "It was sort of in my hands. I was the one making the mistakes. I was just trying to do a little too much."

*#87 Meghann Shaughnessy USA d #3 s3 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL 7-5, 6-4

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Meghann launching a twist serve, Justine running for a forehand, and Justine congratulating Meghann after match point

    Meghann, who was ranked # 11 in 2001, was only 4-7 for the year before this match, and had not defeated a top-10 player in over two years. Meghann put 67% of her 1st serves in, and won 77% of her 1st serve points (Justine: 50% and 73%). Meghann had only 14 unforced errors with 19 winners, while Justine hit 27 errors with 24 winners. Justine did not hold a break point against Meghann in the entire match. match stats

    Meghann said: "[Justine is] a player that I have so much respect for. I think she's 3 in the world right now. So I'm feeling very excited right now...
    "I feel like I served really well. I don't think [Justine] had one breakpoint the whole match, which is a very good stat for me. An also, I felt like I was hitting my backhand down the line very well, which was opening up the points, and coming into the net to finish the points quite a bit." interview
    Meghann defeated Venus Williams at Key Biscayne in 2003. Meghann said: "They were both pretty special matches. This one is very special because I've been struggling lately, and haven't been playing my best tennis. So to go out and play a match like that against Justine, it means a lot to me." AP story

    Justine said: "[Meghann] played really well, and I wasn't at my best. I missed a little bit of confidence, so you play more neutral, more in the middle than going for the winners." interview

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #60 Na Li CHN 6-2, 6-4 Sat

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Maria and Na firing forehands, Maria's backhand, and Maria after match point

    After Maria won the 1st set, Na took a lead in the 2nd while Maria had some service problems. Maria said: "{After breaking Na's serve to open the 2nd set] I played a really sloppy game on my serve... I was serving great in the first set and all of a sudden just didn't make any first serves. She took advantage of that, gained confidence from that, and started hitting winners left and right. Credit to her, she played good and I got a little bit sloppy. I just kind of told myself I needed to step in a little bit, put a little bit more pressure on her... She started making a little bit more unforced errors. She was hitting winners left and right when she was getting up to 4-1. [Then] she was going for it and missed a few." interview

#7 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #66 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-2, 6-1 Fri

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Nadia's backhand volley, and Nadia listening to Vic Braden recordings
on her wrist mp3 player, in lieu of a coach-- or possibly wiping away some perspiration

#8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS d #1144 wc Anna Tatishvili GEO 6-3, 6-1 Sat

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Elena's forehand

#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #74 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-3, 6-2 Fri
*#73 Elena Vesnina RUS d #11 s9 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-2, 6-3 Sat
#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #67 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 7-6(2), 6-1 Sat

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Anastasia following her backhand, and launching another

#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #46 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-2, 6-2 Fri

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Svetlana laughing before the match (that Vera is such a card), and Vera (in new, non-adidas togs) and Svetlana launching backhands

#15 s13 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #80 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 Fri
#16 s14 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #43 Iveta Benesova CZE 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 Fri
#17 s15 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #62 Shuai Peng CHN 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Fri
#18 s16 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #53 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 Sat
*#69 q Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #20 s18 Dinara Safina RUS 6-4, 6-4 Fri
*#65 Jie Zheng CHN d #21 s19 Nathalie Dechy FRA 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 Sat

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Jie's backhand, and Nathalie reaching for a forehand

#22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #101 wc Vania King USA 6-2, 6-1 Sat
#23 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #63 Julia Schruff GER 6-1, 6-1 Fri

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Ai following her backhand

#24 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #52 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 7-5, 6-0 Sat
*#95 q Alona Bondarenko UKR d #25 s23 A Medina Garrigues ESP 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 Fri
#26 s24 wc Martina Hingis SUI d #124 q Tiantian Sun 6-3, 6-2 Fri

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Martina's forehand, Tiantian lining up a backhand, Martina's backhand,
and Martina looking at the Hawkeye instant replay display, seeing that she has won her challenge of an incorrect call

*#128 q Victoria Azarenka BLR d #27 s25 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-3, 6-1 Sat
*#94 wc Jamea Jackson USA d #28 s26 Gisela Dulko ARG 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 Fri
#29 s27 Klara Koukalova CZE d #86 q Tathiana Garbin ITA 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 Sat
#30 s28 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #89 LL Mashona Washington USA 6-3, 6-0 Fri
*#56 Michaella Krajicek NED d #31 s29 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-3, 6-4 Sat
#32 s30 Marion Bartoli FRA d #92 q Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-1, 6-2 Fri
*#36 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #33 s31 Shahar Peer ISR 6-1, 6-2 Sat
#34 s32 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #78 q Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-4, 7-5 Fri
*#79 q Maria Elena Camerin ITA d #35 s33 Kveta Peschke CZE 6-2, 7-5 Sat
*#98 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR d #39 Marta Domachowska POL 6-3, 6-2 Sat
#47 Virginie Razzano FRA d #91 LL Martina Sucha SVK 6-3, 6-3 Sat
Miami, 3rd Rd, Sun 10&11am
loser's prize: $19,730 US; points: 28
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #32 s30 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-4, 6-0

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Marion and Amelie serving

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #79 q Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-2, 7-6(2)

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Maria's forehand, Maria Elena chasing one down, Maria Elena's backhand on the run, and Maria serving to Maria Elena

    Maria and Maria Elena had played once before, and surprisingly, the winner was Maria Elena, 7-6(4), 6-2. The match was the final of an ITF tourney in Pittsburgh in November, 2002, when Sharapova was 15 years old, and Camerin 18. Maria S was then ranked # 231 (Maria Elena was # 143), and had gone through qualifying, winning seven straight matches to reach the final.

    Maria said: "I didn't really feel great out there today. I started off well, and things were going my way, and all of a sudden just made a lot of unforced errors, especially with the wind. All my balls were floating out.
    "Couldn't quite get the feel out there or the rhythm, so moving was difficult for some reason. Maybe because I went to sleep a little bit late so was a little bit lousy on the court.
    "[Maria Elena] hit some great shots. She hit the ball very deep and hard and she played like she had nothing to lose. It's kind of dangerous when you play those opponents that don't have anything to lose and go for their shots.
    "I fought for it. I did a good job of fighting at the end. When the day's not great, when you feel like you're not playing your best tennis, I still know that I can fight it out, and that's how I win a lot of my matches." interview

#7 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #94 wc Jamea Jackson USA 4-6, 6-0, 6-0

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Nadia watching her forehand fly, and Jamea lining one up

#8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS d #56 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-0, 6-1
#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #30 s28 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 7-6(3), 6-3

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Patty's backhand, and Katarina fetching a forehand

#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #128 q Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 7-5

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Anastasia's forehand

#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #26 s24 wc Martina Hingis SUI 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(9)

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Martina's backhand, and Svetlana fetching a forehand

*#69 q Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #15 s13 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

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Eleni following a forehand, Daniela delivering one, and Eleni, who hasn't had this big a win for a while, after match point

#16 s14 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #95 q Alona Bondarenko UKR 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

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Ana's forehand, and Alona fielding one near the net

*#23 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #17 s15 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 3-6, 7-5, 6-0

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Elena and Ai firing forehands

*#65 Jie Zheng CHN d #18 s16 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-4, 7-5

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Anna-Lena's backhand, and Jie serving to Anna-Lena

#22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #98 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 6-1, 6-4

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Maria following a backhand, a close-up of the same, and Viktoriya likewise

#24 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #73 Elena Vesnina RUS 6-2, 6-3
*#54 Jill Craybas USA d #29 s27 Klara Koukalova CZE 6-1, 6-2
#34 s32 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #87 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5)

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Sofia's forehand, Meghann lining one up, Sofia's backhand, and Sofia after match point

#36 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #47 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-4, 6-0
Miami, 4th Rd, Mon 11am
loser's prize: $37,400 US; points: 45
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #16 s14 Ana Ivanovic SCG 7-5, 6-2

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Amelie and Ana launching backhands

    About the Hawkeye instant replay system, Amelie said: "I have mixed feelings about this machine... I think the procedure is a little bit too long, the umpire saying 'Miss whatever is challenging this line...' I have the feeling it's a little bit too long... If it happens at last point of a set or of a match, like it happened last night, it cuts a little bit of the emotion sometimes, I think." interview

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #22 s20 Maria Kirilenko RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

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MariaS serving, MariaK after an error, MariaS chasing a forehand, and after winning a point

    Maria Sharapova said: "I definitely did not play my best tennis in the first two sets, but I was playing a lot of defense out there, and [Maria K] was stepping in the court. She was hitting very deep and hard, and especially against the wind, I was just pushing everything back.
    "In the second set I think it was just one or two balls that made the difference, and then in the third I stepped it up. I could see that she was physically getting a little bit tired, wasn't getting to as many balls. I started to pick up my game." interview

#7 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #69 q Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6-2, 6-0

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Eleni and Nadia launching backhands

*#24 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-1

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Elena's backhand volley, and Tatiana's backhand drive

    Tatiana was born in Moscow. Her parents moved to Paris when she was very small, and when Tatiana showed skill at tennis she was shipped out to the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida. After finishing with Bollettieri's, Tatiana moved back to Paris, but after Wimbledon in 2005 she moved to Florida again, where she now resides on Brickell Key, Miami.
    It's the bat: Tatiana traded in her Volkl bat for a Wilson nVision 103" model this year, and has been doing very well with it.

    Elena defeated Tatiana in the 4th round on Key Biscayne last year. Tatiana said: "[Elena] beat me also at Indian Wells last year, so it's our fourth time playing against each other. We're actually pretty good friends, so we know each other pretty well.
    "I knew how she was going to play. I knew that I had to be really tough out there. I think just playing at home really helps. And I've been playing pretty well the last couple weeks. I'm feeling confident...
    "I think her serve has gotten a lot better since previous years. I think it still bothers a lot of players. I think I did put a lot of pressure on her, she started to double fault. I think she played really well last night.
    "I think I was just really solid out there. I knew my game plan, I really stuck to it, I think that's really what made the difference. There were a few points that were really important that I played, that I got through. I think that really kind of got her down afterwards.
    "It's tough [to attack Elena's 2nd serve] because it's a slice serve to the forehand. It's a lot tougher than it looks. You know, the slower it goes, the harder it is.
    "I kind of knew she goes down the line when she wants to hit a winner, and crosscourt when she's at the baseline... I was moving well and played the important points right. That's kind of what made the difference.
    "You can kind of see with her toss where she's going to serve. But it's always tricky. No wonder she's top 10. It's because even with that serve, it really does bother a lot of players." interview

#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI walkover-- right ankle impingement

click for WTA photo gallery
Although injured, Patty was looking very nice in this photo taken on Tuesday

    Patty said: "I made a bad step during yesterday's match, and it aggravated during the night. I cannot really run without pain. It's going to be four, five days, they hope, and with good rest and treatment they think it's going to be all right." WTA story

#12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #36 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-3, 6-2

click to find out more about Natasha Fatale
File photo of Anastasia-- oops, that's Natasha, not 'Nastia...
I have yet to locate a photo of Anastasia from this match,
and there has not been an oncourt pic of Anna anywhere for the entire tourney. Ridiculous.
Also, no interview transcripts for Anastasia, Nadia Petrova or Ai Sugiyama were posted
during the entire tourney, which is rather unkind to such prominent players.

#23 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #34 s32 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6(4)-7, 6-3, 6-2

click for Sugiyama news photo search   click for Arvidsson news photo search
Ai and Sofia launching backhands

*#65 Jie Zheng CHN d #54 Jill Craybas USA 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

click for Craybas news photo search   click for Zheng news photo search   click for Zheng news photo search
Jill's forehand on the run, Jie following a forehand, and Jie after match point

    Jill said: "I think both of us were a little bit nervous in the beginning. Then [Jie] stepped it up and started hitting the ball harder and deeper and got more consistent as the match went on. I didn't really have a lot of depth in my balls today. I think that hurt me a lot...
    "I was struggling with my percentage today, first serve percentage. I think she really stepped up and took advantage of my second serve. Credit goes to her. She competed well. She played well." interview

Miami, QFs, Tue-Wed 11am
loser's prize: $70,930 US; points: 81
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #7 #7 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-3, 6-1 Tue 7pm+ career matches: Amelie leads 4-2

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Petrova news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie serving, Nadia about to slice a backhand, and Amelie after match point

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #12 s10 Anastasia Myskina RUS 6-3, 6-3 Wed 7pm+
   career matches: Anastasia leads 3-2

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Myskina news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Myskina news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria serving, Anastasia's flying forehand, Maria's forehand, Anastasia during a changeover, and Maria after match point

    Maria said: "I knew I had to be consistent against [Anastasia]. That's her biggest strength, being consistent. She's not going to overpower me on the court. She's just going to try to make me hit another ball. I thought I did that really well. I took my opportunities, took my chances, and that was important.
    "I'm very pleased. I definitely stepped it up in this match, and I knew I had to. I had some letdowns in my first three matches, and I knew that wouldn't be able to get away with it today. So it was very important that I did step it up." interview
    About the Hawkeye instant replay system, Maria said: "You can tell that the umpires are not making as many overrules as they were before. They just let the calls kind of go into our own hands. They want us to challenge it if we feel like the call is wrong. We have to challenge it...
    "I feel like if they really saw it clearly, then I'd rather them overrule it than having me challenge it. Then the girl can challenge it if she feels that was the wrong overrule."

this nice photo came from Lansdorp.com-- unfortunately, I cannot find it there any more
Anastasia, Robert Lansdorp, Maria
         Anastasia trained with Maria, for a while (photo shown), under premiere stroke coach Robert Lansdorp, who also coached Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, and Lindsay Davenport-- and is now considering retiring. Anastasia has said that training together gave her a familiarity with Maria's game that was useful in defeating her.

    Some reporters claimed last year that a sort of feud existed between Maria and Anastasia, but both have said there is no tension between them.

    Anastasia had casually remarked, meaning no offense, that Maria seemed more American than Russian. A few interviews later, Anastasia was tired of hearing about it ("She's Russian, she's Russian..." ).

    Anastasia does find Maria's father Yuri Sharapov irritating, because he is very vocal in the stands, and reportedly taunts Maria's opponents with foul language in Russian.

#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #23 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-0, 7-6(4) Tue m2 career matches: Svetlana leads 3-1

click for Sugiyama news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Ai following a backhand, and Svetlana lining up a forehand

    Svetlana said: "I still hope to get much better than this [smiling]. But definitely I am very happy. I worked very hard preseason, and I been working a lot on myself and on my game like last tournaments. I am pretty happy with my improvement. It seems like black line in my life for the moment, it's over. It looks much lighter, everything. I am more happy on the court. I am very excited about my match, my game, and I really enjoy the game on the court. I never enjoyed that much before. Now it looks to me like I am under control of situation.
    "I have much more confidence... I want to just keep improving and keep playing much better and just really looking forward to play my next match...
    "My best match [of the year I think was] against Martina [Hingis in the 3rd round]. She played very smart against me. She's very smart player. She play me so very uncomfortable, but I still was there, I was still playing all the match." interview

#24 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #54 Jie Zheng CHN 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Wed noon career matches: Tatiana leads 1-0

click for Golovin news photo search   click for Zheng news photo search   click for Golovin news photo search   click for Golovin news photo search
Tatiana's service toss, Jie happily watching her forehand fly, Tatiana digging a backhand, and after match point

    Tatiana said: "[Jie] kind of surprised me by the way she played. She was really taking the ball early and really going for her shots. You could see she had no pressure, and she just kind of wanted to go out there and win.
    "I was a little bit nervous. I wasn't really hitting through the balls in the first set. But then I think mentally I was really tough out there and I kept fighting all through the end, and that's kind of what got me through it." interview

    Partially through a translator, Jie said Tatiana won because of her superior serving, and that when she goes back to China now to train for the clay court season, she will be working on her own serve. Jie also named the other player she most enjoys watching play: Martina Hingis. interview

Miami, SFs, Thu 1pm
loser's prize: $134,400 US; points: 146
*#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 6-1, 6-4 1pm career matches: Amelie leads 4-2

click for Kuznetsova news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Svetlana serving-- she was not broken during the match, Amelie & Svetlana launching backhands, and after match point

    Svetlana said: "I'm pretty excited with the way I played... dictating the match almost all the time. I could have done better, as always, you know, but I mean, I am pretty excited with the way I played.
    "I played very well first set. Second set was pretty close, but I knew I have to hang there. Otherwise, if I let Amelie play a little bit, I wouldn't get it back, I wouldn't have another chance. And I think I did pretty well...
    "I think I was pretty well playing the shots, the selection of the shots, I was doing it pretty well. Because sometimes I can see balls easy and I know I can do so much, so many things with the ball, that I like want to break it, you know.
    "Today I was just playing the space I have to play. I was choosing the right shots and I was pretty calm with myself. I just was staying there, playing the match." interview

    Amelie said: "[Svetlana] played really well... She hit very hard on both sides and very long. When you hit hard, sometimes it's not enough. But I think today she played really well, so I started in the second set to change a little bit, started to serve and volley, started coming a little bit earlier in the points. I couldn't play deep enough for her to really be annoyed. So all the credit to her...
    "She's one of the two or three players that is hitting the ball the hardest. So when she's hundred percent like today and when she gets every time 50 centimeters to the lines, it's pretty difficult to go and play deep again." interview

click for WTA photo gallery
Jennifer Capriati, left, visited Mary Joe Fernandez, Mary Carillo,
and Cliff Drysdale (out of photo) in the broadcast booth after the first semi on Thursday.

    Former WTA # 1 Jennifer Capriati has not played since having injuring her right shoulder (a torn labrum) in Philadelphia in Nov, 2004. She has had surgery four times since then, twice on the shoulder and twice on her right wrist, and recovery has been slow. Jennifer, who turned 30 on March 29th, would still like to return to the WTA Tour.
    Jennifer reached the 4th round at Key Biscayne in March, 1990, when she was not quite yet 14. She had reached the final earlier that month at Boca Raton, the first tourney of her pro career (losing to Gabriela Sabatini).

    Jennifer said: "I'm not playing at all right now. I can't. The rehab is not going as I'd like, and this is harder than anything else I've been through because it's not in my hands. It would be unfortunate if I go out this way. But if I do, I'll have to just look back at my career as one big accomplishment. I'm not retired yet, though. This is just another test, another avenue to go down...
    "At first, I thought, 'OK, I'll take a little break and come back rejuvenated,' but this has been a little too long. I guess the answer will just come. For now, I have to use positive thinking and try to still believe I can come back someday." Miami Herald story

#4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #24 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA eve2 6-3, 6-7(5), 4-3 retired--
   left ankle sprain
career matches: Maria leads 3-0

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Golovin news photo search   click for Golovin news photo search   click for Golovin news photo search
Maria's forehand, Tatiana's backhand, the trainer oncourt examining Tatiana's twisted left ankle,
and helping Tatiana offcourt after she could not continue

    A trip to a hospital revealed that Tatiana had torn two ankle ligaments; she will be in a cast for ten days, and be kept offcourt for about six weeks-- and miss the 1st round of the Fed Cup. Reuters story

    After dropping the 1st set, Tatiana trailed 1-5 in the 2nd. Tatiana then started winning. She saved four match points when trailing 4-5 and then took the set to a tiebreaker, which she won.
    Maria was up a break, leading 4-3 in the 3rd set, when Tatiana twisted her ankle.

    Maria has know Tatiana for many years; they both were trained primarily at the Bollettieri Academy, and were playing in juniors tourneys at the same time.
Maria said: "[Tatiana] played unbelievable tennis, the best I've seen her play - ever. I didn't take my opportunities in the second set, and she came out. She played basically out of her mind in the second set, didn't miss a ball.
    "It was so close in the third set. And I hit a shot, I turned away, and the next thing I know, the crowd kind of went silent and I turned and she's on the ground.
    "I looked at the screen to see the replay of what happened. Nothing happened. I thought she was cramping. It was so strange. I hit the shot and I turned around, getting ready for the next ball. All of a sudden, she's on the ground. It was just very, very bizarre... it's very unfortunate. I feel terrible for her...
    "I did not know what happened until the ankle was being taped. I honestly thought it was cramps, that's why I was kind of getting ready, trying to get myself going, because I know after three- or four-minute layoff, you can get down and very sloppy. I wanted to make sure that didn't happen.
    "When the ankle was becoming taped, I didn't know how serious it was until the first point, she just went for it and couldn't really walk. That's when I realized it was pretty bad. But I didn't know for the first three minutes when she was down on the ground. I had no idea what happened...
    "Of course to her 'I'm sorry' probably doesn't mean a lot, unfortunately. But I really am. I saw her in the locker room, the trainer's room, I told her 'anything she needs...' It's very unfortunate. I feel awful for her. I understand it's sport, but I've known her and I've seen her over the years, growing up together. It's just difficult." interview

    Miami-based Tatiana appreciated the support she received from the crowd throughout the match. Tatiana said: "I've been playing better in my last three or four tournaments, especially going to three sets against top players such as Amélie [Mauresmo] and Kim [Clijsters] at previous events. Against Maria, I felt like I had another good opportunity. I played solid tennis during this tournament. I had a great win against Dementieva here and tonight, the crowd was amazing." WTA story

    The statistics, like the score, show Maria with only a slight edge over Tatiana when match was ended by the injury. match stats

click for WTA photo gallery
On April 6, a week after the match, Maria and Tatiana
attended the Heat v Pistons basketball game together in Miami

Miami, Final, Final, Sat, noon, CBS-TV
loser's prize: $266,675 US; points: 228
winner's prize: $533,350 US; points: 325
*#14 s12 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #4 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-4, 6-3

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search   click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Maria serving, Svetlana & Maria launching backhands, Svetlana watching her forehand fly, and after match point

Miami, Doubles Final, Sun
losers' prize: $72,000 US
winners' prize: $137,700 US
cdr3 s1 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur d cdr35 s7 Martina Navratilova & Liezel Huber 6-4, 7-5

Miami, Qualifying Finals, Tue Mar 21 10am
loser's prize: $2,500 US
#69 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #109 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 7-6(3), 6-3
*#128 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #72 Tszvetana Pironkova BUL 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
#78 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #113 Camille Pin FRA 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
#79 Maria Elena Camerin ITA d #98 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(5)
#84 Laura Pous Tio ESP d #106 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 7-5, 6-1
#86 Tathiana Garbin ITA v #120 Sandra Kloesel GER 6-2, 6-2
*#100 Meng Yuan CHN d #89 Mashona Washington USA 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
*#130 Milagros Sequera VEN d #91 Martina Sucha SVK 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
#92 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #112 Yvonne Meusburger AUT 6-1, 6-4
*#132 Varvara Lepchenko UZB d #93 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
#95 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #114 Hana Sromova CZE 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
#124 Tiantian Sun CHN d #225 Carly Gullickson USA 6-3, 6-1

Miami, Withdrawals
#5 Lindsay Davenport USA bulging disc
#6 Mary Pierce FRA r foot
#10 s8 Venus Williams USA r elbow lig. sprain
#13 s11 Nicole Vaidisova CZE r shoulder
#19 s17 Flavia Pennetta ITA r ankle sprain
#49 Laura Granville USA r ankle sprain
#61 Serena Williams USA knee & ankle
#82 Elena Bovina RUS r shoulder
# Dally Randriantefy MAD foot
#111 Yoon Jeong Cho KOR low back
#298 Paola Suarez ARG r calf


click for Key Biscayne news photo search


    (Mar 25, 2005) 17th-seeded # 19 Flavia Pennetta of Italy withdrew from her 2nd round match at the NASDAQ-100 Open due to a right ankle sprain. Flavia was replaced by Lucky Loser # 98 Viktoriya Kutuzova of the Ukraine.

    (Mar 23-29, 2005) Russkis Beware: Oncourt, former doubles # 1 (when teamed with Ai Sugiyama) Kim Clijsters has played doubles only twice since injuring her left wrist in 2004. Once was in Els Callens last tourney before she retired, the other was in Fed Cup play (also with Els). Kim is playing doubles in Miami, teamed with fellow Belgian Caroline Maes. On Tuesday, March 28, Kim told the press that she will play in the Russia at Belgium Fed Cup tie April 22-23. Justine Henin-Hardenne is expected to play as well.

    (Mar 23, 2005) # 10 Venus Williams and # 49 Laura Granville have both withdrawn from the NASDAQ-100 in Miami. Venus, whose sister Serena withdrew last week, has a right elbow ligament sprain; Laura has a sprained right ankle. They have been replaced in the draw by "Lucky Losers" (the highest-ranked players available who lost in the qualifying finals) # 91 Martina Sucha (who gets Venus' 1st round bye) and # 93 Virginia Ruano Pascual.

    (Mar 22, 2005) # 13 Nicole Vaidisova, who did not play in the previous tourney at Indian Wells, has unfortunately withdrawn from Miami as well, due to a right shoulder problem. The draw has thus been reshuffled a bit.

    (Mar 21, 2006) # 5 Lindsay Davenport, who has been troubled by a bulging disc in her back ("I think L4. Does that sound right?") has withdrawn from the NASDAQ-100 Open. Lindsay had previously indicated that she might skip the clay court season due to the injury, so if it doesn't heal quickly, she might not be seen oncourt again until June. Hopefully Lindsay will feel better, and play on the clay.

    (Mar 17, 2006) # 1 Kim Clijsters, who injured her ankle at the Australian Open, has begun training again, and will fly from Belgium to Miami on Saturday, March 18, for next weeks NASDAQ-100 Open.

    Former # 1 Serena Williams on the other hand, a three-time champion in Miami, has withdrawn from the tourney. Serena said: "I need more time before I am able to compete at the highest level." Although she has cited a lingering knee injury and associated ankle problems, Serena has reportedly been fined by the WTA for withdrawing from several tourneys this year.



Kim Clijsters, undergoing ankle treatment while calling to confirm she will defend her title in Key Biscayne
--okay, so actually it's Jean Harlow in Platinum Blonde (1931)
.
  Jean Harlow in Platinum Blonde, 1931

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