Match Points – May 3, 2015

News from around the game today.

Abanda wins dubs in C’Ville

The singles didn’t pan out the way 18-year-old Françoise Abanda was hoping, with a loss to 17-year-old Katerina Stewart. But Abanda teamed up with American Maria Sanchez for the first time and hit paydirt.

The final, a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Irina Kromacheva and Oksana Ianchuk, was almost a formality; Abanda and Sanchez were superior on every level.

She moves on to a similar event in Indian Harbour Beach (just south of Cocoa Beach on the East Coast) this week, having gained about 13 spots in the singles rankings, to No. 257, after reaching the quarters of the singles.

The draw’s not out yet, but Abanda won’t be seeded in the singles; in fact, there’s an additional “wild-card” in the qualifying draw. Louisa Chirico, who is the second-ranked player in the tournament behind Taylor Townsend, is in the running for the USTA’s French Open wild card but had pulled out of this tournament, and so signed in for the qualies.

In doubles, Abanda had played just one match all season (plus one in Fed Cup).The win doubled her point total in the computer from 80 to 160, and will jump her ranking from No. 478 to about No. 330.

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Bouchard’s mom makes Oz Open’s Mother’s Day tribute

In honour of the upcoming day, The Australian Open is honouring various tennis moms for their good works.

Today, Genie Bouchard’s mother Julie Leclair got the props.

Julie Bouchard

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Robson to make her return – finally – in Nürnberg?

There have been quite a few teases in the return of former British No. 1 Laura Robson, who has been out since losing in the first round of the Australian Open in 2014 – going on a year and a half now.

Laura Robson at the Oz Open in 2014 - the last tournament she played.

Laura Robson at the Oz Open in 2014 – the last tournament she played.

She was entered in a $25,000 tournament in Arizona earlier in the year, and at Indian Wells, but pulled out of both of those and also declined a wild card at the Miami event, which owned by the agency that represents her, IMG.

Open Court is told that the former world No. 27, who was ranked No. 58 at the end of that last Oz match and thus will benefit from a good protected ranking when she does return, will be given a wild card into the French Open warmup event in Nürnberg, and will finally make her return there.

Between the two Grand Slam special entries she will be allotted as part of the protected ranking (and you know Wimbledon will give her one without her having to use that ranking), as well as wild cards in the grass-court warmups and the eight WTA Tour events she will be able to use it for, she will have plenty of opportunities at the top level to get back in the groove.

Robson had tendon surgery in her left wrist just over a year ago, in April 2014. If you follow the timeline of Juan Martin del Potro (at least with the first surgery, on his dominant wrist), it’s probably not that far out of line. But it probably seems like forever.

(Update – the Daily Mail reports she’s withdrawn from the French Open. So it could just be another false alarm. Indeed, her name is stricken from the acceptance list).

But the WTA hasn’t forgotten about her. She’s still in the rotation at the top of the tour website’s player profile page.

Player profiles

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Tweets from the Madrid player party

Petra Kvitova catches up with retired Russian player Dinara Safina (va-va-voom on the dress for the Czech):

Kvitova-Safina

Pospisock already working on their second career:

Pospisock

We already know they’re going to be good at this:

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Serena’s agent takes care of her peeps

In Madrid to see your girl Serena? Tickets bought for the wrong session?

No worries, Williams super-agent Jill Smoller will take care of things.

Serena fans

Très cool.

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Megan Moulton-Levy playing coach

This fabulous American, a pure serve-and-volley doubles specialist with a one-handed backhand, has been out of action since the Australian Open with that we’re told is a back injury.

In the meantime, she’s in Madrid.

Megan Moulton Levy Tweet

Who is she supporting? Well, she’s in Sloane Stephens’s corner in the absence of regular coach Nick Saviano who, as with former charge Genie Bouchard, doesn’t travel full time.

Moulton-Levy is a longtime friend of both Stephens and her mother Sybil.

She should be courtside – and perhaps on court for consults – when Stephens plays Serena Williams in the second round. It would be HILARIOUS if Stephens went out on court playing like Moulton-Levy (not that it’ll happen but it would shock the world 🙂 )

Popcorn time.

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