France’s Simon shines in the Brisbane sun



AGENCIES

Published — Thursday 3 January 2013

Last update 2 January 2013 11:53 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BRISBANE: France’s Gilles Simon began his fine-tuning for the Australian Open with a hard-fought win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Brisbane International yesterday.
In temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on one of the Queensland Tennis Center’s outside courts, Simon edged out Falla in two tiebreak sets 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).
The third-seeded Simon, a semifinalist in Brisbane last year, was unconcerned about being relegated to one of the minor show courts, albeit one with a roof.
“It was very hot, even with the roof, and it was very difficult playing today,” Simon said. “But that’s good, that’s why I came here. It’s such good preparation for Melbourne.”
Simon had a disappointing Australian Open campaign in 2012, suffering from an injury in the lead-up then falling in the second round to countryman Julien Benneteau.
“I couldn’t play for five days beforehand, then in the first round I went to five sets (against Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke), it just took too much out of me,” he said.
“This year I want to do my best to get my body ready for the Open. In the off season I didn’t work on my game at all because I know that’s in good shape.
“I just wanted to tune up physically.” Falla, the world number 54, took the game right up to the Frenchman, with Simon just edging two fiercely contested tiebreaks.
“Alejandro plays a nice game and he is very difficult to play against,” Simon said.
The Frenchman now plays crowd favorite Marcos Baghdatis, who upset sixth-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, joined Simon and Baghdatis in the quarterfinals with an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over Spaniard Tommy Robredo.
Fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine progressed when Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen retired with a migraine with Dolgopolov ahead 6-2, 4-1.
Top seed Andy Murray and second-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic both play their second-round matches today after being given first-round byes.
In the women’s section, ever-dissatisfied world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka began her build-up to the Australian Open with an imposing 6-3, 6-3 victory over big-serving Sabine Lisicki yesterday.
The defending Australian Open champion made light work of the German to set up a quarterfinal clash against qualifier Ksenia Pervak.
“I’m such a picky person that I probably never will be satisfied,” Azarenka told reporters.
“That’s a good thing because I have a lot more matches to play and I can always improve. But it was pretty good. I felt like the things that I’ve been working on are there. I’m getting into the competitive groove and I’m happy where I’m at right now.” Azarenka faces a challenge to her top ranking from world No. 2 Maria Sharapova and No. 3 Serena Williams when the Australian Open begins at Melbourne Park on Jan. 14.
“I actually don’t really look at defending anything — I’m just looking to win,” she said.
“I’m going to have the same mindset for as long as I’m playing. That’s what I’m looking forward to — improving my game as I always do and match those big challenges, the big players.
“At the beginning of the year, you’re obviously hungry to play. The atmosphere here in Australia brings out the best in me. The motivation is always extraordinary. I really like it here.” Williams will follow Azarenka on to Pat Rafter Arena today when she plays fellow countrywoman Sloane Stephens.
The powerful and athletic 19-year-old is regarded as the successor to Serena and Venus Williams as the face of American tennis.
“She’s so sweet,” Stephens said of Serena Williams.
“I love her. Obviously she’s been a really great influence on my tennis career. I’m excited to play her and get on the court with her tomorrow. I think it’ll be fun.” Men’s top seeds Andy Murray and Milos Raonic start their campaigns on Thursday against Australia’s John Millman and Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov respectively.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Huge projects change the faces of cities and great ambitions help create such projects. Madinah had its date with a quantum leap to usher in a new era of urban development. Such huge projects help achieve formidable civilization advancements and sign...
RIYADH: The Japanese ambassador to the Kingdom, Noriheiro Okoda, has held a meeting with Hashem Abdullah Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE), and discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of atom...
AL-BAHA: Forty three percent of Al-Baha cannot be developed easily because of the region’s mountainous terrain.This is the view of Khaled Al-Sayegh, undersecretary for construction at the municipality, who was speaking at an event held at the College...
JEDDAH: An official at the Council of Saudi Chambers said the council’s members are discussing a regulation to submit to the Ministry of Labor and other government agencies to deny a number of privileges to companies that force its labor to work unde...
ABHA: With many families wanting new furniture during Ramadan, furniture and interior decorating shops are raising prices to more than double what they were before the month.Homeowner Zaina Mohammed says she used to change her home furniture every Ra...
RIYADH: Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) President Prince Sultan bin Salman described the first visit by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to Madinah as “historic.”In his comments following the visit which saw th...
MADINAH: Economists expected the volume of investments in Madinah’s economies during the coming few years to reach SR500 billion.The forecasted growth in the population, to reach 2.6 million people after 25 years, and the number of visitors to 12.2 m...
JEDDAH: It seems that many Saudi families are gradually coming to terms with the new reality of living in apartments, as building villas is not possible due to shortage of appropriate land.With the increasing display of housing units by the Ministry...
RIYADH: Migrant rights advocacy group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) has lambasted their country’s leadership over the claim that the number of overseas Filipino workers are declining due to sustained economic growth in the Philippines.The group has cal...
RIYADH: A charitable foundation called “Smile” will be launched on Sunday night at the Al-Hokair Land in the Saudi capital to make people happy. “The foundation will be launched to make Saudi Arabia a center of smiles,” well-known television host and...
MAKKAH: The Kingdom has seen a sharp rise in the number of Umrah pilgrims to around 6 million from 1.5 million in the last 16 years. Moreover, the number of pilgrims overstaying their visas has come down to about 1 percent. The Ministry of Haj has be...
RIYADH: The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) said here recently that it has financed small enterprises (SMEs) run by 130 widows in some of the Kingdom’s provinces.KKF hosted an iftar party last week for local media at its headquarters in Riyadh at which...
JEDDAH: Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz bin Musaed, governor of the Northern Borders province, has died.He will be buried after Taraweeh prayers in Jeddah on Saturday, the Royal Court said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency. No other det...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...

Stay Connected

Facebook