2005 Miami (Key Biscayne) WTA Singles Results     Kim Clijsters, Champion


  WTA: Mar 21-Apr 3 2005

NASDAQ-100 Open, Miami, FL (with ATP)

Tier I $3,060,000
96 players -- outdoor: hard

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# 2 Amelie Mauresmo
# 3 Maria Sharapova
# 4 Serena Williams
# 5 Elena Dementieva
Tourney pages: Miami (Key Biscayne): 2006 - 2004
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#3 Maria Sharapova
6' 0", 130 lbs, RH, 2H-BH
    #133 Kim Clijsters
5' 8½", 150 lbs, RH, 2H-BH

    On Saturday in the final of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, 21-year-old unseeded # 133 (on the drawsheet, # 38 this week after winning the title last week at Indian Wells) Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, defeated 17-year-old (18 next month) 2nd-seeded # 3 Maria Sharapova from Nyagan (Siberia), Russia (with residence near the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA) 6-3, 7-5 (Maria is shown congratulating Kim after match point). The win (325 "round points"), combined with defeating # 2, # 3, # 5, # 6, # 14, # 27 and #152 along the way (286 "quality points"), will put Kim back in the top 20 (about # 17) when the rankings come out on Monday.

    Kim served first, and though Maria broke her serve immediately, Kim broke right back, Maria netting a volley on break point. They then held serve until Kim broke Maria again to take a 4-2 lead, Maria at the net again, sending a smash wide on break point. That break was all Kim needed to take the 1st set 6-3.

    The 2nd set began with Maria serving, and both players again exchanged breaks of serve. Maria appeared dazed, she tried questionable tactics at times, including drop shots against the highly mobile Clisters, who loves to run (only one of Maria's drop shots scored). At times when Maria had an open court to hit into, she hit the ball right back to Kim (something Maria does not usually do), and Kim then took the opportunity and scored the point.
    Maria broke Kim's serve 3 times in the 2nd set, but Kim broke Maria's serve 4 times, while Maria scored on only 49% of her 1st serve points.
    On serve at 5-5 in the 2nd set, Maria took a 40-15 lead on solid backhand and forehand winners. Then errors crept back into Maria's play, and though she fended off one break point with her only ace of the day, Kim broke her again, then served for the set, and won. Although Kim hit only 10 winners to Maria's 18 for the day, she hit 4 fewer errors (30 to Maria's 34), and that, with her more conservative and consistent play, gave her the title. match stats

    High winds and persistent light rain made play difficult, particularly for Maria's aggressive style of tennis. Kim said: "I think what I did really well today was be patient. Because in these conditions, it's very hard to play your own tennis and to play aggressively because with the wind, it's very hard. And on each side of the court you sort of have to produce different tactics, and you have to adjust your game a little bit. I think I did that really well today. I think I adjusted pretty good to the conditions and then I think I was maybe a little more patient today than [Maria] was." interview

    Maria said: "[Serving at 5-5, 40-15 in the 2nd set] I didn't take that chance of holding my serve. That would have put some pressure on her, and she would be serving to stay in the second set. But those are the chances that I still have to learn to take in my future matches. [Kim] managed to play a little bit better in those points, and I was a little bit sloppy and didn't have that extra boost... she's got very powerful shots and you know if you don't make your first serve, then on the second serve you know that you're going to be attacked either way. So it puts a lot more pressure to make your first serve go in...
    "[The wind] was swirling... It wasn't just going one way. When it was a slow ball, you'd see the ball move. You'd have to adjust really, really quick with your feet...
    "[Kim] has a great personality, so it's always good to have someone around like that. But also a great competitor on the court, which this game needs...
    "I'm not really disappointed. I think I've had a great week. After having such a terrible match at Indian Wells [losing to Lindsay Davenport in the semis, 6-0, 6-0], I think I bounced back really well and I performed well and I fought out there, and I gave it all I got for this match. Unfortunately, you can't win every single match, and I hope that people respect that." interview

    Kim, who defeated # 1 Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the Indian Wells final 2 weeks ago, has now won 14 matches in a row.

    21-year-old Kim Clijsters has now won 23 WTA singles titles in 36 finals. Kim reached the # 1 ranking in WTA singles in August 2003, and although she was displaced by her compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne, retained a solid # 2 position. Then Kim seriously injured her left wrist in her 2nd round match at Indian Wells in March 2004, and when she returned to play in October, she incurred another, separate left wrist injury, which required surgery. This is only Kim's 3rd tourney since returning to play, and she playing very, very well again.
    In her interview after the final Kim recited the entire story of her wrist injury. Kim said: "I got injured in Indian Wells last year. Then I was in a brace for about two months. And then I tried to play Fed Cup. I played with a brace. Then I was still sore.
    "Then I tried to play Berlin. I played one match with a brace and then the next day it just flared up again. And then I went to the hospital. They put me in a sort of like a cast for like a month, just to see how it was recovering. Then every two, three weeks I needed to have an MRI just to see if it was getting better. For two weeks, like the first two MRIs, it was getting better, but then it just stopped. Like, it didn't go back completely.
    "So then on the 12th of June I had surgery. I had a tear in my tendon. They sort of fixed that. Then while my wrist was open, they saw that I had a cyst under the tendon and they shaved off the bone. Every time I would hit a backhand, like they could see that it was too long. That's what sort of caused the tear in the tendon.
    "Then I was in a plaster for two months, which was very annoying because it was like a plaster up to here. I was walking around like that all the time.     "And then you start rehab. That was probably the toughest time because once you come out of the plaster, you think, 'How the hell am I ever going to play tennis again?' You come out and you have no more muscles there. You can't even move your fingers anymore. The first two weeks, you're doing rehab maybe three hours a day and it's not improving a lot...
    "Then I went to America for six weeks. Started to hit. My first week that I got there, started doing some movements with the racquet, backhand movements... Each week gradually built up my training and started to hit with some softballs, then some mini tennis, with a hard ball.
    "I started training a little bit at the US Open. But I always had the feeling that something wasn't right, but I didn't know if it was surgery pains or if something was wrong. So then I had an MRI in Belgium. The doctors sort of gave me the 'all-clear'.
    "So I played Hasselt [Belgiuim]. I was very happy. You know, I played well for two matches and won those two matches. But then against Bovina... in the first set, I hit this backhand return and I felt something snap. That's when the capsule around the tendon snapped, not completely, but it was sort of like half off.
    "So they put me in a cast again for two months. And then everything started to get better [laughing]. So from then on, everything started to get more positive, and then on the 3rd of January I hit my first backhands. And I'm here so..."
    Kim swings an axe called a Babolat "Pure Drive Team", a terrifically popular 11.2 oz (strung) 27" bat balanced head-light with a 100 sq." string area & stiffness 70. Kim wears Fila togs, and is coached by Marc Dehous.
Clijsters career record - Kim Clijsters Wallpaper - Kim's official website

    17-year-old Maria Sharapova has won 9 WTA singles titles in 11 finals, including last year's Wimbledon and WTA Championships. Maria serves very well (with an unusually strong 2nd serve), hits the ball great on the run, and she can topspin lob. One thing Maria does not do is make very many trips to the net, although she is working on it.
    Maria wears Nike and chops with a Prince axe. Maria is currently using the Prince "Turbo Shark MP", a mid-size (100 sq." head) mid-weight (11.1 oz strung) evenly-balanced bat.
    Born in Nyagan, in the Siberian region of Russia, Maria started at the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida at age 7, and still has a residence near there. Maria spends time in California also, where she is coached by Robert Lansdorp, who helped Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras perfect their strokes. And Mary Joe (that's Maria Jose) Fernandez has reported that Maria also has spent time getting extra clay court training at the Equélite-Juan Carlos Ferrero Tennis Academy near Villena, Spain, which should help her in the coming weeks.
Sharapova career record - Maria Sharapova Wallpaper - MariaWorld (many photos)

    The NASDAQ-100 Open, at the Miami suburb of Key Biscayne, is a 2-week "mini-major", much like the tourney held just before it at Indian Wells, California.

    The 96-player main draw for Miami has 32 seeds, with all 32 receiving 1st-round byes. There are 12 qualifiers and 8 wild cards in the main draw.

    Miami time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) -5 hours (=US Eastern Time, PT +3). Early round play begins at 10am on the outer courts, 11am on the Stadium and Grandstand courts. Miami has live scoring by points. TV coverage is on ESPN and ESPN2 (click for schedule), with the finals on April 2nd (WTA) & 3rd (ATP) on CBS.

WTA SCOREBOARD: Miami (Key Biscayne)

s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?

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On Tuesday night, March 22, in Miami, the WTA & ATP held the 1st "Stars for Stars Awards Gala," where the "2004 Pro Tennis Choice" awards were distributed. Many good girls were there, looking very, very pretty. 17-year-old # 3 Maria Sharapova (top left photo) received 3 awards: (1) as Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player of the Year, (2) as WTATour.com users Fans' Favorite, and (3) as the players & media selection as Most Improved Player of 2004. And 17-year-old # 25 Tatiana Golovin was named Newcomer of the Year (top right photo). Read the WTA story to find out what other players won awards, and see the WTA photo gallery for 11 more photos of the good girls looking so nice, including Daniela Hantuchova (top center), Meghann Shaughnessy (bottom left), Elena Likhovtseva, Anastasia Myskina, & Svetlana Kuznetsova (bottom center), and Nicole Vaidisova (bottom right).

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Earlier on Tuesday in Miami, Anglela Haynes, Jelena Jankovic, Anastasia Myskina, & Elena Likhovtseva
visited the Miami Seaquarium, met a friendly dolphin, and took a walk with him.

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Serena and Venus Williams were amongst the players contemplating
reporter's questions during the press "all-access hour" on Wednesday, March 23.

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Aussie Bryanne Stewart, who is playing doubles teamed with compatriot Samantha Stosur, was one of several ladies
who attended the Miami Zoo on Thursday, March 24, and got acquainted with a 110-lb. 15-foot python.

Miami, 1st Rnd, Wed-Thu 11am
loser's prize: $4,300 US; points: 1
#40 Vera Douchevina RUS d #56 Emilie Loit FRA 6-3, 6-3 Wed
#41 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #115 q Julia Schruff GER 6-4, 6-2 Wed
#42 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #70 Marlene Weingartner GER 6-1, 4-3 retired-- low back strain Wed
#44 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS d #58 Martina Sucha SVK 6-1, 6-4 Thu
#45 Lisa Raymond USA d #57 Mashona Washington USA 6-4, 6-2 Thu
*#60 Denisa Chladkova CZE d #46 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-4, 4-6, 5-2 retired Wed
*#80 Abigail Spears USA d #47 Samantha Stosur AUS 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1 Wed
#48 Dally Randriantefy MAD d #238 q Jewel Peterson USA 6-4, 6-3 Thu
#49 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN d #73 Claudine Schaul LUX 6-3, 6-1 Thu
#50 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #87 q Laura Granville USA 6-3, 7-5 Thu
#51 Alina Jidkova RUS d #88 q Alyona Bondarenko UKR 6-2, 6-0 Wed
*#63 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #52 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 7-5, 6-1 Thu

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Nicole after losing a point

#53 Meghann Shaughnessy USA d #86 q Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-3, 6-0 Wed
*#79 Jill Craybas USA d #55 Virginie Razzano FRA 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Wed
#59 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #65 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 Wed
*#94 LL Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA d #61 Barbora Strycova CZE 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Thu
*#84 Tatiana Perebiynis UKR d #62 Marta Marrero ESP 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 Thu

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Tatiana Perebiynis

#64 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP d #473 wc Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 6-3, 7-5 Thu
#66 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #72 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 7-5, 6-3 Thu

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Maria after winning a point

*#91 Nicole Pratt AUS d #67 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-3, 6-2 Wed
*#130 q Shahar Peer ISR d #69 Marta Domachowska POL 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 Wed
#71 Marissa Irvin USA d #119 q Magui Serna ESP 6-3, 7-5 Wed
#74 Akiko Morigami JPN d #196 wc Jessica Kirkland USA 6-2, 6-2 Thu
#75 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #102 Lindsay Lee-Waters USA 6-2, 6-0 Wed
#76 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP v NR wc Anna Tatishvili GEO 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 Thu

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Arantxa Parra Santonja

*#90 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP d #77 wc Sania Mirza IND 6-2, 7-5 Thu
#78 Kristina Brandi PUR v #125 wc Jamea Jackson USA 6-3, 6-2 Wed
#83 Kveta Peschke CZE d #89 Sesil Karatantcheva BUL 6-3, 6-1 Wed
*#105 wc Angela Haynes USA d #93 q Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-3, 7-6(5) Thu
*#110 q Catalina Castano COL d #96 q Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-1, 6-3 Wed
#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #152 q Sandra Kloesel GER 6-0, 6-1 Thu

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Kim Clijsters

Kim said: "It's nice to have these kind of matches and these circumstances. It was not easy out there. The conditions were a lot different than what it was last week, and just you have to get used to that a little bit. I could see the guys the match before, battling... there was a little bit of wind and they were hitting a few frame shots. But I'm happy. It's good to have a short match like this to get used to it again." interview

#138 q Galina Voskoboeva RUS d #299 wc Neha Uberoi USA 6-4, 6-2 Thu

Miami, 2nd Rnd, Fri-Sat 11am
loser's prize: $8,200 US; points: 16
#2 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #66 Maria Kirilenko RUS 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 Sat

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Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie said: "[Maria] played really well, that first set especially. I thought I was giving her too many free points and I wasn't really into my rhythm. It took me a little time today, and I finally got my game together, put that ball back in, a lot of variation as well. Was able to come back pretty strong in that second set, and then I think she got probably tired a little bit in the third set. Tough one. Maybe at the end of the match I was physically a little stronger so that I was capable of coming back on court after the break and really being able to give 100%. Maybe it wasn't really the case for her. And especially when you lose a second set, it's tougher also mentally to come back and play strong." interview

#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #59 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6-0, 6-4 Fri

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Maria Sharapova

#4 s3 Serena Williams USA d #40 Vera Douchevina RUS 6-3, 6-0 Fri

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Serena Williams

#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #44 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 Sat

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Elena Dementieva

#6 s5 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #49 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-2, 6-1 Sat

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Anastasia Myskina

    Anastasia said: "I've been playing really well today, and I'm hopefully going to continue to play like this. I know the beginning of the year wasn't good for me. I gave a lot of energy last year and I did a lot of things last year. Kind of an excuse, but I still need to work hard to find my game again." interview

#7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #138 q Galina Voskoboeva RUS 6-1, 6-3 Sat
#8 s7 Alicia Molik AUS d #91 Nicole Pratt AUS 6-2, 6-3 Fri

    Alicia said: "I felt like Nicole didn't make quite as many mistakes as last time, but there's no doubt she stepped up on her front foot and tried to play me a little bit more aggressively from her side. She tried to attack a few returns a little bit earlier. I felt like she was trying to be a little bit more aggressive than last time, so try and give me a little less time."

    About her 3rd round match against Gisela Dulko, Alicia said: "Gisela likes to play from the back of the court. So I will not change what I'm going to do. I'm still going to use my serve, my kick serve a hell of a lot, and try to get into the net a bit. I'm going to play my style, my aggressive tennis. So I think we've only played--I don't even know if we've played before. Against the style of play that Gisela plays, I think it's very important that I move up in the court, I stay aggressive and I keep going after my shots." interview

#9 s8 Venus Williams USA d #41 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-2, 6-0 Fri

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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "That was probably one of my best matches of the year. I was saying earlier the other day, this week, that I'm definitely getting a better rhythm with my whole game, so that's what counts... I'm definitely leaning on the ball, have better racquet speed, just better." interview

*#75 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #11 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 Fri
*#50 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #12 s10 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-4, 7-5 Sat
#13 s11 Patty Schnyder SUI d #83 Kveta Peschke CZE 6-4, 6-1 Fri

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Patty Schnyder

#14 s12 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #45 Lisa Raymond USA 6-2, 6-4 Sat
#15 s13 Elena Bovina RUS d #84 Tatiana Perebiynis UKR 6-3, 6-2 Sat

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Elena Bovina

#16 s14 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #53 Meg. Shaughnessy USA 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(2) Fri
#17 s15 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #60 Denisa Chladkova CZE 7-6(4), 6-2 Fri
#18 s16 Karolina Sprem CRO d #76 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 Sat
*#110 q Catalina Castano COL d #19 s17 Paola Suarez ARG 7-5, 6-3 Fri c7 m2
*#63 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #20 s18 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-2, 7-6(6) Sat

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Nicole tried to keep cool between games

#21 s19 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #80 Abigail Spears USA 6-4, 6-3 Fri

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Justine Henin-Hardenne

    Former # 1 Justine missed much of the 2004 season due to illness, and a small broken bone in her right knee delayed the start of her 2005 season until this tourney.

    Justine said: "It feels very good [to play again], even if it's still hard at the beginning to find the rhythm and everything. But just the fact that I'm back on the courts, it's great. That's the only thing that's really important for myself today after seven months that I've been off the court. Just today I had the experience to have these feelings again before the match, during the match, the night before. So I was pretty nervous, but actually it's very normal. And even if everything was not perfect--far from that--but I enjoy my tennis and I know I need to be patient, everything will come back with just the competition and playing a lot of matches. So that's very good. Very happy." interview

*#94 LL Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA d #22 s20 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 7-6(3), 6-2 Sat
#24 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN v #79 Jill Craybas USA 7-5, 6-4 Fri
#25 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #105 wc Angela Haynes USA 6-0, 6(8)-7, 6-3 Sat

    Tatiana said: "It was really, really hot. I think it was 6‑Love in the first, but it didn't really feel like it was 6‑Love because I think our games were pretty tight and the set was pretty long. [Angela] made a lot of errors. And I was feeling all right, but I think at the end of the second set I was just way too hot. I had to call the physio. I was starting to get goosebumps. It's like 40 degrees out so I think it was a major issue. I think for everybody, all the matches, you can say that it was just really, really hot. It's just great to get through a match like this..." interview

#26 s23 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #51 Alina Jidkova RUS 6(5)-7, 6-4, 7-6(4) Fri

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Shinobu Asagoe

*#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #27 s24 Amy Frazier USA 6-2, 6-3 Sat

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Kim Clijsters

    Kim said: "I'm playing well. But like I said in my previous press conference, it can go ‑‑ it can turn the other way very quickly as well, the situation that I'm in. But I'm working hard. I've worked very hard in the off‑season. I had a lot of time to work on a lot of other things and I feel very fit out there. But like I said, I need to keep working on everything because you never know what can happen next." interview

#28 s25 Fabiola Zuluaga COL d #42 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 7-5, 6-1 Fri
#29 s26 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #90 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-3, 6-3 Sat
#30 s27 Magdalena Maleeva BUL d #64 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Sat
*#130 q Shahar Peer ISR d #32 s28 Marion Bartoli FRA 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 Fri
#34 s29 Gisela Dulko ARG d #78 Kristina Brandi PUR 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 Fri

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Gisela Dulko

#35 s30 Anna Smashnova ISR d #74 Akiko Morigami JPN 7-5, 6-4 Sat
*#71 Marissa Irvin USA d #37 s31 Dinara Safina RUS 7-6(4), 0-6, 6-4 Fri
*#48 Dally Randriantefy MAD d #38 s32 Klara Koukalova CZE 6-2, 6-1 Sat

Miami, 3rd Rnd, Sun 11am
loser's prize: $15,650 US; points: 28
#2 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #35 s30 Anna Smashnova ISR 6-2, 6-1
#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #71 Marissa Irvin USA 6-2, 6-0

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Maria Sharapova

#4 s3 Serena Williams USA d #130 q Shahar Peer ISR 6-3, 6-3

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Serena Williams

    Serena said: "I thought [Shahar] was really gutsy. I just wasn't used to playing a person like that. I hadn't played someone like that in a long time. So it was a totally different game for me... she got a lot of balls back. I thought I got a lot of balls back, but she gets a lot of balls back. She doesn't hit with a lot of pace, but then she will at points hit with a lot of pace. But most of the time she doesn't hit with too much pace. I'm used to playing people that hit really hard all the time, so it was different. Took some getting used to." interview

#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #30 s27 Magdalena Maleeva BUL 6-3, 6-4
#6 s5 Anastasia Myskina RUS d #29 s26 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-4, 6-0
#7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #48 Dally Randriantefy MAD 6-1, 6-3
#8 s7 Alicia Molik AUS d #34 s29 Gisela Dulko ARG 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

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Alicia Molik

    Breaks of service were exchanged in the 1st set. Alicia said: "'It's not a break until you hold', is how the old saying goes. But I was a little bit relieved to get such an early break. Gisela can get on a roll with her returns. Especially she's got a pretty good backhand return. In saying that, it was a lazy game, just a couple of errors. She gained a little bit of confidence and momentum from that. So I lost the first set 6-3. But nevertheless, I knew what I had to do to get back in it and consolidate and then get through that third set. [It was] a scratchy match. It wasn't the best. But still to get through, I'm pretty happy... there was no reason to be concerned or worried. I made a lot of errors in that first set so I didn't really feel like she won the set; I felt like more or less I made the majority of the errors, which gave her the set. So it was a matter of understanding what I needed to do in the second and third sets, which pretty much I did. It was hard out there with the blustery conditions. I did find it a little bit difficult out there. But there were no panic stations after losing the first set."

    About playing Justine Henin-Hardenne in the next round, Alicia said: "It's going to be a good match. I think she hasn't played a lot of tennis in the last couple of months, so it's a very good opportunity for me. She's beaten me the last couple of times. I'll be going out there and taking it to her, being aggressive, hitting some big serves. I like the conditions here... the balls in the courts are taking my kick quite well, so I'll try and do a lot of that tomorrow." interview

#9 s8 Venus Williams USA d #28 s25 Fabiola Zuluaga COL 6-2, 6-0

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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "My return is one of my best shots. That's the shot my dad's always emphasized since we were little kids. Just you need a great return game, hold serve, be able to break. And I'm of course getting a better rhythm, better and better this year... all last year I had a hard time keeping my balls in, because I never really was able to play my game, because I never was able to get a good amount of practice, because I was usually pretty injured. So this year I've had a much better chance to hit, and so I can hit it with a better velocity and keep it in, so I don't have to take so much off my shots. Now I'm just striking it... today I did get to hit a lot of balls - high balls, short balls, low balls, lots of returns - so that was good. The score line didn't show the intensity in which I had to play in order to get that score line. [Fabiola] played very well, and she's a great player" interview

*#110 q Catalina Castano COL d #13 s11 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
*#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #14 s12 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-0, 6-2

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Kim, with hat in hand, after match point

*#25 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #15 s13 Elena Bovina RUS 6-3, 7-6(4)
*#26 s23 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #16 s14 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-0, 6-3

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Shinobu Asagoe

#17 s15 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #24 s21 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
#18 s16 Karolina Sprem CRO d #94 LL Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-2, 6-2
#21 s19 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #75 N Llagostera Vives ESP 6-3, 6-2

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Justine Henin-Hardenne

    Justine said: "I think that tennis, the women's tennis right now, is very strong. There is a lot of competition. I think it's very hard to say which player is the biggest favorite in any tournament. It's very hard, because we all play very good tennis, and I think it's mentally that there is difference at the end. But I think we can see new faces, young players. That's very good for tennis, and I love that." interview

#50 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #63 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-2, 7-6(4)

Miami, 4th Rnd, Mon 11am
loser's prize: $29,950 US; points: 45

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Fraulein Forehand Steffi Graf was in attendance on Monday,
but she was watching some ATP guy...

#2 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #18 s16 Karolina Sprem CRO 6-1, 7-5

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Amelie Mauresmo

#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #26 s23 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-1, 6-2

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Maria after winning a point

#4 s3 Serena Williams USA d #17 s15 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

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Serena after match point

    Serena said: "I was so frustrated. I mean, just so frustrated... From my game. The conditions [high winds] weren't all that bad. I was just so frustrated with the way I was playing. [Elena] was just really treeing. I'm just kind of tired people treeing on me, you know what I mean? It's a fight every day... she's beaten me once. That was 2000 Australian Open maybe. So I always seem to have a tough match with her." interview

#5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #25 s22 Tatiana Golovin FRA 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
*#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #6 s5 Anastasia Myskina RUS 6-3, 6-4

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Kim Clijsters

    Kim was down a break in the 2nd set to French Open champ Anastasia, then recovered for the straight-set victory. Kim said: "I just tried to just keep the errors down... I was tired out there in the second set, and I was starting to feel it a little bit. But just tried to-- if she was gonna win that second set, let her play. Don't give it to her, and make her play. Then she started to make some mistakes, a double fault here, a double fault there, and then it can change pretty quickly... She was hitting the ball a few games really good, and then a few games she was making a few mistakes. Even when I was down in that second set, I told myself, "Try to make her make the mistakes," and try to move her around... make her make mistakes. I tried that and then it worked-- luckily." interview

*#50 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #7 s6 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

    Ana said: "I think third set I played quite well. I think it was a good match. [Svetlana] played also very well. On the end I really pushed to the maximum, I gave my best, and I was really little bit lucky... I started quite well the first set. I think I was serving quite well also first set, and on her serve putting her under pressure, returning quite well. In the second set I went little bit down. I think my serve also didn't work that well. Just didn't move. But I'm really happy that I pulled through this match..." interview

*#21 s19 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #8 s7 Alicia Molik AUS 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

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Justine after winning a point

    Justine said: "It was very good, very good level today. Good match. That give a lot of confidence because she served so good, [Alicia] played unbelievable. It was good fight. So I lost a little bit my concentration in the second set, but this kind of thing can happen when you come back after seven months. So I knew it could happen. I was ready for it. So I'm very happy that I could come back in the third and play the way I played. It was very good tennis. I'm very happy about that...
    "Today... I play the way I have to play tennis-- very aggressive, I went a lot to the net... if I was returning in slice, no way I could break her. She was serving unbelievable on every breakpoint that I had during the match, I think maybe once she had to serve a second serve. So it was pretty amazing. But it was a very good match. I was a little bit surprised the way I could play because it's been long, you know, seven months. And today I really enjoyed coming back on the court, playing my first Top 10 since long time, and that's very good for my confidence...
    "What I'm doing here this week is very good. I found my game again. That's very good for the future. I came here in Miami to play few matches and that's what I have. It's going to be my fourth match tomorrow, and I will have nothing to lose. Sharapova is for sure going to be the favorite. We all know what she did in the last few months. We all know that she's very good player. We want the same thing, winning tomorrow. I will try to do my best, try to enjoy my game on the court like I did today. We will see what is going to happen." interview

    Alicia said: "In the third set was my service percentage really dropped. Justine is a girl that always returns well. She put a few at my feet. I was slightly slow on a couple of those, and she broke me pretty early in that third set. The second service game that I lost in the third set, same thing. My percentage dropped. I knew she was returning well so probably went for a little bit more, when I probably should have kicked a few more in... She was returning well, on her backhand side especially. But my first serve percentage really did drop off. I'm very much in control when I get those first serves in, probably served a few too many second serves. Gave her a look in...
    "In the third set, I had a point to break. I'd wished I'd gone for a little bit more instead of just putting the ball back deep on her backhand corner. I probably should have stepped up and gone for something big. It's not often you get an opportunity to break. It could have been 2-Love in the third. I think that was the critical moment in the match... [Justine is] obviously in great form... she's playing damn good tennis." interview

#9 s8 Venus Williams USA d #110 q Catalina Castano COL 6-4, 2-6, 6-1

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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "I definitely imagined that the score line would be definitely not three sets. I had a lot of errors out there, but I was pretty much able to pull it together a lot better in the third set... I had just a weak game, just a couple of weak games there, and let her get into the match." interview

Miami, QFs, Tue-Wed 11am
loser's prize: $57,300 US; points: 81
#2 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #50 Ana Ivanovic SCG 6-1, 6-4 career matches: Amelie leads 3-0

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Amelie during the match, Ana after the match

    17-year-old Ana will move into the top 40 for the first time in her career next week. Amelie said: "[Ana] surprised me a little bit at, 3-Love [in the 2nd set]. She started really to hit pretty hard and everything was in. I was a little bit surprised about that. I probably should have reacted more quickly to this situation than having to close it off at 5-4 in the second, which is always a tough situation... Obviously, a little bit of experience at the end paid off probably... I was playing some good tennis. Since the tournament started I'm playing better and better. Probably the first set and a half that I played today were the best ones. But also I thought she was giving me a lot of free points as well. Wasn't moving pretty well. I was pretty happy about that. I thought it was gonna keep going like this. That's why I got a little surprised when she came back a little stronger... She's hitting the ball very well. She's powerful. She's able to serve very well as well. She's proved in these last few months that she's really capable of playing some great tennis." interview

    Ana's movement was hampered by a ankle she twisted in her first practice after arriving in Miami, and by a pulled hamstring she incurred in her 1st round match, which she had heavily wrapped. Ana said: "When I came here, first practice, I twisted my ankle so it was already like three, four days I couldn't practice. So I'm pretty happy with the way I played all tournament... [Amelie] was just playing constantly good. So in the first set I think I make some unforced errors. She was also serving quite well and returning well on my serve. I had some double faults. Like first game I had two double faults. So in the second set I tried to come back, but she was just on every ball. And even if I would have chance to finish the point, I miss on deciding shots so... I think it was good effort for her. She just kept positive." interview

#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #21 s19 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL 6-1, 6(6)-7, 6-2 career matches: Maria leads 1-0

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Maria and Justine during the 1st set, and Maria after match point

    Play in the first ever match between Maria and Justine was intense, though sloppy at points. After Maria held to win the first game, she broke Justine in the second, but Justine immediately broke back in the third. It was the only game Justine won in the 1st set. She was plagued by an amazing number of mishits, and by errors on drop shots, usually one of her strengths.
    Maria took a 4-1 lead in the 2nd set, and it looked as if Justine might be headed for a career-worst loss (Justine has never won fewer than 3 games in a match). Justine then got back one break from Maria to make it 6-1, 4-2 Sharapova, after which they held to 5-4, Maria's serve. Maria went immediately to 40-0, triple match point, on a service winner and 2 errors by Justine. But Justine won the next five points, and Maria was broken on a double fault. They held serve to the tiebreak, which Justine won 8 to 6. Maria made 83% of her first serves good in the 1st set, but only 55% in the 2nd. Justine hit only 3 winners in the 1st set, but 10 in the 2nd.
    The WTA trainer worked on Maria a bit to relieve low back tightness, which has troubled her a bit lately. Maria looked frustrated at the opening of the 3rd set, but soon settled down, and broke Justine in the second game of the set and held to a 4-1 lead. Play in the 3rd set was more competitive than the score would suggest, but Justine had no break point opportunities, and Maria broke her a second time with a backhand crosscourt winner on match point to make the score 6-1, 6(6)-7, 6-2. match stats

    Maria said: "[Justine is] a top player. She's been a top player... I was expecting a really tough match. It came out to be really tough... She's a great all-around player. She hits a lot of balls back, you know you have to hit one extra shot. That's one thing that I wanted to make sure, I was ready for every ball.
    "My back has been sore for a little bit. Today there were a lot of long points and a lot of moving going on, so it was getting tighter as the match went on. I couldn't serve. When I landed, I felt it more on the serve while I was landing... I got some treatment, and I just try to forget about it." interview

    Justine said: "I think it's been great fight. I mean, it was good match. It's true that the beginning of the match-- it's long time I didn't play this level so I needed a little bit of time to get used to this rhythm and everything. [Maria] was playing great in the first but I wasn't aggressive enough. Then I saved three match points, played unbelievable tennis at the end of the second set. In the third set, both of us were pretty tired. But what I did after seven months off, it's good. I mean, it's very good for the future. I showed that I'm back. I'm so happy to be back on the courts. I know I need matches, I need more competition, but it's very good for the next tournaments." interview

*#9 s8 Venus Williams USA d #4 s3 Serena Williams USA 6-1, 7-6(8) career matches: Serena leads 7-6

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Serena Williams
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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "I kept my errors down. I think the first set for me was fantastic. The second set I feel like I definitely lost some opportunities... of course credit to Serena. It's not like she gave me that many points. Especially when she got down, big first serve, great approach shot. I definitely had my hands full."
    Serena broke another racket, as she frequently does. About her sister's racket-smashing habit, Venus said: "Well, her racquet is actually fragile. It's powerful but fragile. Mine is not fragile, so I can tap mine a bit harder. But hers goes no matter what. She is definitely a little bit more fiery than I am. I kind of keep an even keel. It's just the way I am." interview

    About the close 2nd set, Serena said: "I made some errors at the wrong time. I had chances in the second to go up like 3-1. If I would have won-- it's some just points here and there. I mean, I could have had the second, and who knows what would have happened in the third; I can't tell you that. But I had my opportunities. I didn't take them today. It's been a while since I had opportunities and didn't take them." interview

*#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #5 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-1 career matches: Kim leads 7-1

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Kim's backhand, Elena at the start of a slice backhand, and Kim after match point

    Because Elena hits the ball consistently with a lot of pace on it, Kim said: "You have to be really sharp out there. You have to be seeing the ball really well, and that's what I did today. I think I was moving really well brought back those extra few shots, which made [Elena] sort of think a little bit. She made a few mistakes at some key situations, and it felt pretty good... she's a very steady player. She doesn't make a lot of mistakes. She likes the pace and she likes to keep going crosscourt, crosscourt. It's good to know that you can win those rallies against her, because that's probably her strength. Being able to break through that is a good feeling to have when you're out on that court." interview

Miami, SFs, Thu 1pm
loser's prize: $110,000 US; points: 146
*#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #2 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 6-1, 6-0 career matches: Kim leads 8-2

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Kim's backhand, Amelia's topspin forehand, and Kim after match point

    Kim has played her last 2 matches with tape on her left wrist to avoid reinjuring it. Kim said: "After those three three days where I had to play every day, I felt it was getting a little bit stiff. I spoke to the WTA physio, just like for prevention they wanted me to tape it, to just take all the pressure off that tendon... I didn't have any problems hitting backhands. Just like when I go into full rotation I feel it sort of pulling against, you know, just the tendon is getting a bit tired. I think it's pretty normal at the moment.
    "I played a really good match against [Amelie]. At the start of the match I just had to look a little bit for the rhythm because it was a completely different opponent that I've been playing so far. I played a few Russian girls here. They all were hitting the ball really fast and low over the net. Sort of in a rhythm. Against Amelie at the start, you have to look a little bit for your footwork and position on the court. She can slice, pull you in forward. You can be on the back foot a little bit. So just a matter in the first few games to work your way through there and just to adjust a little bit.
    "I think today I did everything pretty well. I think the most important thing is that I made her do things that maybe took her a little bit out of the comfort zone, that she was trying maybe stuff that she normally doesn't try. And she made some more unforced errors than she usually does." interview - match stats

    Amelie said: "What happened is very simple: [Kim] played a great game tonight, I think a great match, and making not many errors. I had few occasions in the first five games, and then that was it. I think I didn't really have any other occasions later on in that match, even in the second set. I felt like she's hitting the ball better than when she stopped, and harder, hitting harder. There's nothing much to say about the match. She just played unbelievable tennis. She's in huge confidence. So everything that she goes for is in. I tried to come in sometimes a little bit. She just made unbelievable passing shots. All the credit to her." interview

    About playing Maria Sharapova in the final, Kim said: "I have to be very aggressive. That's the thing against those kind of girls now, you have to play aggressive, you have keep your unforced errors down. You have to be there from the start as well, because once they start going, they get on a roll and they just start cruising. I saw that today [watching Maria play] against Venus. Once she gets into that rhythm, she hits the ball so clean and so flat and so hard. So you have to try to break that rhythm sometimes, like I did against Lindsay in the final of Indian Wells."

#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #9 s8 Venus Williams USA 6-4, 6-3 career matches: Maria leads 2-0

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Maria preparing to serve (both players made 74% of their 1st serves good),
Venus & Maria's backhands, and Venus congratulating Maria after match point

    The quality of play was very high in this match. Both ladies held serve in the first set until Maria broke Venus at 5-4. Maria then held to open the 2nd set, and broke Venus again immediately to go up 2-0, after which both ladies again held serve for the rest of the match. In the final game, Venus took a 40-0 lead, Maria won the next 3 points to reach deuce, then Venus was unable to convert 2 more break points before Maria scored on her third match point. Maria had only 11 winners to 22 for Venus, but Venus had 24 unforced errors to Maria's 12. match stats

    Maria said: "I thought I played really well. I was in control for most of the match, and I was serving really well, and I was getting a lot of advantage from them, and I was able to break [Venus] in the first set when she tried to hold her serve at 5-4. I think she was making a lot of errors from her forehand side, which gave me the confidence... I was able to hit the first ball. It's either you or her that's going to start dictating. She's not going to give back and she's not going to let you get in a game. I knew that from the first ball I had to take advantage of it. If I was going to hit down the middle of the court, an easy shot, she's not the kind of girl that's going to give it to me." interview

    Venus said: "I think the first problem for me was just I was so tired today... I think sometimes I went for a shot too quickly because my energy level was low. So sometimes I had some bad shot selections... I thought my return could have been better. Definitely missed a few returns... it was just a match that was all about the errors I made. When I was not making the errors, I felt things were going my way. I definitely had the speed to run down almost any ball that was going to come on my side... I think [Maria] played fairly consistent..." interview

Miami, Final, Sat, noon, CBS-TV
loser's prize: $210,000 US; points: 228
winner's prize: $400,000 US; points: 325
#133 Kim Clijsters BEL d #3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-3, 7-5 career matches: Kim leads 3-0

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Kim's backhand, Maria during the early rain delay while trailing 1-2, 30-40,
and Kim after match point and with the glassware

Miami, Doubles Final, Sun
loser's prize: $60,200 US
winner's prize: $115,000 US
cdr12 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Alicia Molik d cdr19 s5 Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs 7-5, 6(5)-7, 6-2

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Svetlana & Alicia won their 2nd title together
in the 3rd tourney they have teamed up at doubles

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  click for WTA Miami photo gallery
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  click for WTA Miami photo gallery
Anna Smashnova signing autographs, Nicole Vaidisova and Ana Ivanovic at the beach, and Serena Williams modeling
during the Key Biscayne tourney (unfortunately the WTA did not precisely date these photos).

Miami, Qual Finals, Tue Mar 22 10am
#86 Yuliana Fedak UKR d #109 Evie Dominikovic AUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
#87 Laura Granville USA d #108 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-0
#88 Alyona Bondarenko UKR d #136 Jennifer Hopkins USA 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
#93 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG d #123 Anastasia Yakimova BLR 6-3, 6(4)-7, 6-3
*#119 Magui Serna ESP d #94 Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-4, 6-3
#96 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #139 Katerina Bohmova CZE 6-2, 6-3
*#138 Galina Voskoboeva RUS d #99 Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-1, 6-3
*#130 Shahar Peer ISR d #102 Silvija Talaja CRO 6-1, 6-1
#110 Catalina Castano COL d #131 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE 6-4, 6-2
#115 Julia Schruff GER d #388 Alisa Kleybanova RUS 6-1, 6-3
*#152 Sandra Kloesel GER d #118 Elena Baltacha GBR 6-2, 6-0
*#238 Jewel Peterson USA d #165 Ma. Emilia Salerni ARG 6-4, 6-3

Miami, Withdrawals
#10 Jennifer Capriati USA shoulder surgery recovery
#31 Conchita Martinez ESP left heel
#36 Jelena Kostanic CRO wrist
#43 Shuai Peng CHN r ankle
#54 Maria Elena Camerin ITA
#85 Tatiana Panova RUS illness
#100 Petra Mandula HUN low back pain

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