Lisa Raymond: US Open 2008
Black, Huber Clinch First US Open Title in Women's Doubles [USOpen.org]
Cara Black may have defeated her doubles partner Liezel Huber in the mixed doubles final just a few days ago, but when she took the same side of the court with Huber in the women’s doubles final Sunday, she did the best she could to make up for her previous defeat of her partner.
And Black came through with the victory, as both she and Huber won their first US Open title together, with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win over Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur.
“The mixed doubles final had to be one of my toughest matches, to have to play against Liezel, and I wanted to win this one just as much for her today,” Black said.
In 2007, native South African Huber, who currently resides in Houston, became an American citizen, a moment she considers the proudest of her life. And immediately after winning the doubles title with Black, she acknowledged that the victory is another of her most memorable moments.
“I am the proudest American right now, and this is my second proudest day for sure,” Huber said as the crowd erupted in cheers.
Their US Open win marked the fourth Grand Slam title the pair has won, as they teamed up for two Wimbledon titles (2005, 2007) and the Australian Open title in 2007.
Though the pair did not win a title at a Grand Slam this year, their success throughout the season, which included seven doubles titles together, helped propel them with the momentum they needed going into the season's final Grand Slam event.
"When I woke up this morning, I was thinking what a great year we've had," Huber said. "We haven't had the success at the Slams like we did last year. Last year, we won two Slams. I think we kind of put the expectation very high this year thinking maybe we could win all the Slams. Here, leading into the last one, we hadn't won any. So I don't think we put any pressure on ourselves going into the Slam. I think it's really great because I think we've had a very successful year. To end the Slams on this note, I think, you know, we're pretty pleased with ourselves."
Each team started off a bit shaky with a break of serve apiece to open the match, but it was Black and Huber who played with fewer unforced errors during the first set and defended the net exceptionally well.
Stosur and Raymond struggled early in rallies, often sending shots high and long or making errors on the return of serve.
One more break of serve for Black and Huber at 4-2 was all the Zimbabwean-American team needed to continue to hold serve and take the first set.
The second set featured a higher level of play from both teams, and each duo held serve all the way through to a tiebreaker. With Raymond and Stosur up 5-4, the American-Australian team was up 30-0 on Huber’s serve and were in position to earn a break.
But three service return errors from Raymond and Stosur and a solid volley from Black at the net saved Huber’s serve and leveled the set at 5-5.
The second-set tiebreak featured a number of dramatic rallies from both ends of the court. At 5-4, Raymond and Stosur earned their first set point, when Stosur hit a backhand volley winner up the middle between Black and Huber. But it was the last time Raymond and Stosur would win a point in the match, as Black and Huber claimed the final four points.
A Raymond forehand long and a volley hit wide off of Black’s service return tied it up at 6-6. Huber jumped in excitement after firing a cross-court forehand return winner off Raymond’s serve for 7-6, and a Stosur return that sailed long gave Black and Huber the championship.
Raymond-Stosur advance to women's doubles final [USOpen.org]
Samanth Stosur and Lisa Raymond’s comeback continued Thursday at the US Open as the No. 10 seeded doubles pair advanced to the final of the women’s doubles competition with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama.
The 2005 US Open champions and former No. 1 team in the world have only played a limited schedule this year, which included a runner-up finish at the Wimbledon final where they lost to the Williams sisters in the final, 6-2, 6-2.
One year ago, Stosur left the US Open and headed home to Australia where she checked into the emergency room the following day complaining of severe headaches. The first diagnosis was viral meningitis but after a month of not feeling better and more tests, Stosur was told she was suffering from Lyme Disease.
Stosur went from one of the fittest players on tour to being winded walking through her house at the young age of 24. She went through six weeks of antibiotic treatments administering her own IV and slowly got better, finally making her comeback in the spring.
Raymond and Stosur lost in the third round of the French Open and then had their great Wimbledon finals run where Stosur also teamed with Bob Bryan to win the mixed doubles title.
Stosur played at the the Olympics with Rennae Stubbs and lost in the second round to the Spanish pair Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Stosur and Raymond, who have not dropped a set in their five matches, may just meet the pair from Spain again in the Open final Saturday. The fifth-seeded team of Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascual play top-seeded Cara Black and Liezel Huber Friday in the other doubles semifinal.
“It feels great to be in the final at the Open,” said Raymond, 35, who grew up in Norristown, Penn. “It’s close to home so that’s nice. It’s up there with Wimbledon as far as my favorite tournaments.”
Accomplished Teams Make Up Doubles Semis [Wtatour.com]
NEW YORK, NY, USA - The quarterfinals of the doubles wrapped up on Wednesday and making up the semifinal line-up are four of the world's most accomplished teams, including the world's No.1 duo.
Cara Black and Liezel Huber, who have been co-ranked No.1 in the world in doubles since the season-ending rankings last November and are the top seeds this fortnight, had arguably the most difficult test in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, facing two-time Grand Slam champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie. But they were too much for the No.8 seeds from China, defeating them, 64 63.
Next up for three-time Grand Slam champions Black and Huber will be No.5 seeds and reigning French Open champions Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual, who rallied back from 5-3 down in the third set to beat Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in a third set tie-break, 26 63 76(2).
Squaring off in the other semifinal will be No.4 seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama and No.10 seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur, who won their quarterfinal matches on Tuesday. Srebotnik and Sugiyama are the only team in the semifinals not to have hoisted major hardware in the past, although they have been runners-up twice, at the French Open and Wimbledon last year; Raymond and Stosur have reached four major finals and won two of them, here in 2005 and at the French in 2006. One of their runner-up finishes came at Wimbledon two months ago, succumbing to the Williams sisters in the final.
Both women's doubles semifinals will take the court on Thursday.
Erakovic's run at US Open ends [tvnz.co.nz]
The run of Kiwi tennis No.1 Marina Erakovic has come to an end at the US Open in New York.
In a one hour and ten minute battle, Erakovic, 20, and Croatian doubles partner Jelena Kostanic Tosic were beaten 7-6 6-0 in the quarter-finals by tournament 10th seeds American Lisa Raymond and Australian Sam Stosur.
The first set was there for the taking, as Erakovic and Kostanic Tosic had two break points on Raymond's serve in the fourth game, however, the experienced Raymond was able to come back with an ace and hold serve.
The New Zealand and Croatian combination also had a set point at 6-5 ahead, again on Raymond's serve, but like a well oiled machine she came back to hold serve again and take the match to a tiebreak which the American, Australian pair won in relatively easy fashion.
The precise serving of the 35-year-old Raymond has previously won the doubles title, both in 2001 and 2005. The former world No.1 doubles player has five Grand Slam titles, while Stosur, 24 was ranked at No.1 two years ago and has two Grand Slam doubles titles. Their serving was something Erakovic said was hard to handle.
"They're a very good team. They are both great at the net and serve pretty well," she said.
"Looking at it in the first set we definitely had our chances on Raymond's serve. We had 15-40 at an early stage and then set point at 6-5."
Evakovic said she felt she and her partner had played well in the first set but had lost rhythm returning their opponents' serves in the second .
"We dropped our level a bit and it went really fast. It just shows what happens when you come up against a great doubles team like that what you have to do.
"They served a lot better than us throughout the whole match. We served well the first set but made poor decisions here and there. It was more a matter of experience, playing so long together, whereas us, we are a new team. That was the difference. It was tough to return as they both served and volleyed really well.
"It was a good match and I'm sure we're both going to get a lot out of this," said a positive Erakovic who returns to New Zealand on Thursday for the first time in seven months.
The pair might well play together in the future, however Kostanic Tosic is likely to take part in tournaments in Europe while Erakovic will be in Asia with her next WTA tournament in Seoul, followed by Tokyo.
She said being a regular competitor on the WTA circuit was a bonus.
"It helps scheduling wise and you can sit down and be creative with what you want to do."
Earlier in the tournament Erakovic was defeated in the first round of singles by Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier in straight sets.
The last New Zealander to make the semifinals of doubles at a Grand Slam was Brett Steven in 1995 where he teamed with American Tommy Ho to lose in the last four to the Dutch pair of Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis.
Stosur through to US Open semi finals [goldcoast.com.au]
GOLD Coast tennis star Sam Stosur is through to the US Open women's doubles semi-finals.
Stosur and her US partner Lisa Raymond won in straight sets 7-6(3) 6-0 to down Marina Erakovic (NZL) and Jelena Kostanic Tosic (CRO).
Stosur is on the coemback trail after almost year out of the game with a viral infection.
Today's win comes after her disappointment at the Beijing Olympics where she and partner Rennae Stubbs were bundled out early when viewed as medal prospect.
``I'm just absolutely gutted basically,'' a teary-eyed Stosur said after her Beijing loss 4-6 6-4 6-4 to Spanish fourth seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Pictures: (click to enlarge)