ZhenyaSupporters' Blog

St Petersburg, Russia

Starting on the 25th of October, Evgeny plays at the St Petersburg Open.

Thanks to his really good results of the past couple of months, he is the #6 seed there.

In the first round he will be opposed to qualifier S.STAKHOVSKY (UKR).

The complete main draw is available : here

But before that he will make his debuts in the tournament by playing associated with F.MOSER (GER) in doubles. They will face J.CERRETANI (USA)/D.SKOCH (CZE) in the first round.

The doubles draw is available : here

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J.CERRETANI (USA)/D.SKOCH (CZE) def E.KOROLEV (RUS)/F.MOSER (GER) 7/6(5) 6/3

StPetersburg-1

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S.STAKHOVSKY (UKR) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/4 6/3

Unfortunately Zhenya hasn’t been able to do better in single than he did in doubles ; tiredness got the best of him, he never seemed comfortable during the match, and was far from his usual level. Better luck next week…

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Moscow, Russia

This  week, Zhenya is playing the Kremlin Cup in his hometown, Moscow.

The main draw is available : here

In the first round Evgeny will be opposed to last year’s winner, countrymate I.KUNYTSIN.

He also plays in doubles, associated with A.GOLUBEV (KAZ), in the first round which will be played tomorrow (Monday) they will face [4]R.HUTCHINS (GBR)/H.TECAU (ROU).

The complete doubles draw is available : here

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A.GOLUBEV (KAZ)/ E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [4]R.HUTCHINS (GBR)/H.TECAU (ROU) 7/6(4) 2/6 10-8

Next round they will be opposed to R.BOPANNA (IND)/ J.TIPSAREVIC (SER).

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In the first round Zhenya defeated the defending champion, countrymate I.KUNITSYN 7/6(6) 6/3

Although he was a little tensed, he managed to win the important points, and then reach the second round where he will be faced to a big challenge, playing Marat Safin in front of a crowed totally devoted to the latter.

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E.KOROLEV (RUS) def M.SAFIN (RUS) 6/4 7/6(4)

In an electric atmosphere, Zhenya played a very good match, he’s been strong and solid, showing his full power with a lot of impressive winners. Both players reached a very high level of tennis, but Zhenya has overall shown more realism than Marat, even though he missed a couple of shots towards the end surrendering a bit to the excitement of the upcoming victory.

Read Evgeny’s post match interview (first round), watch higlights of the quaterfinal and get the rest of his results, after the jump…

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Continue reading

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Mons, Belgique

Evgeny is back in Europe, more precisely in Belgium, to play at the Ethias Trophy, awarded “Best Challenger in the World” by the ATP and the ITF at the beginning of this season.

Zhenya is the #3 seed of the tournament, he will face B.PHAU (GER) in the first round.

The complete main draw is available : here

He will also play doubles, associated with D.ISTOMIN (UZB), they will first be opposed to the french pair M.GICQUEL/N.MAHUT.

The doubles draw is available : here

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[3]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def B.PHAU (GER) 6/3 6/2

After a pretty bad start, with 2 double faults, Zhenya broke his opponent to get back to 1/1, he then broke again with a love game to take the lead 3/1, after that the german didn’t score another point on Zhenya’s games, and Evgeny took the set 6/3.

In the second set, just as in the first one, Zhenya got broken right away, but he managed to come back once again, to 2/1 after a very tight game. His serve was very fluctuant along the set, but he managed to break two times, and then ended the match by winning the second set 6/2.

Next, he will face qualifier J.HAEHNEL (FRA) who went through to the second round after his opponent S.BOHLI (SWI) retired at 6/4 2/1.

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E.KOROLEV (RUS)/D.ISTOMIN (UZB) def M.GICQUEL (FRA)/N.MAHUT (FRA) 6/3 5/7 10-8

In the second round they will be opposed to [2]L. FRIEDL (CZE)/D. SKOCH (CZE).

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[3]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def J.HAEHNEL (FRA) 7/6(5) 6/3

In the quaterfinals he will face S. STAKHOVSKY (UKR) who defeated #7 seed F.SERRA.

E.KOROLEV (RUS)/D.ISTOMIN (UZB) def [2]L. FRIEDL (CZE)/D. SKOCH (CZE) 7/5 6/1

And that’s another quaterfinal for Zhenya, he and Istomin will be opposed to the #4 seed, P.MARX (GER)/I.ZELENAY (SVK).

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S. STAKHOVSKY (UKR) def [3]E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/3 6/4

E.KOROLEV (RUS)/D.ISTOMIN (UZB) def [4]P.MARX (GER)/I.ZELENAY (SVK) 3/6 6/3 12-10

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Zhenya wins the tournament… in doubles !

E.KOROLEV (RUS)/D.ISTOMIN (UZB) def A.FALLA (COL)/T.GABASHVILI (RUS) (4)6/7 7/6(4) 11-9


October 3, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | 1 Comment

Bangkok, Thailand

Zhenya left Europe for Asia, where he will play in the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok.

In the first round he will be opposed to frenchman and #7 seed F.SANTORO.

The complete draw is available : here

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E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [7]F.SANTORO (FRA) 4/6 7/6(4) 7/6(7)

r1_santoro4

Despite being broken right in the beginning, Zhenya played great up until 4/4 breaking back, then at 40/0 his game suddenly desintegrated he got broken again and lost the first set. The second was tight, Zhenya was inconstant but somehow solid on the important points. Poor line judging led the players to trust eachother more than the umpire, and Santoro even went against a decision made, to give a point (that was clearly in and called out) to Evgeny. They ended up playing a tie break, Zhenya started badly but came back and played a great point to get an occasion to win the set that he converted.

He then broke Santoro right in the first game of the third set, but being unlucky with the net twice in a row, he lost his serve in the next game. At 4/4 Zhenya gets two break points 15/40, Santoro saves the first one, on the second one Santoro’s shot is called in although it seems out, Zhenya complains, says the mark is actually visible, but the umpire stands by his call. After the sides change Zhenya scores a love game, then started a never ending game, Zhenya has multiple advantages therefore break points, Santoro saves most of them, then at another 40/A Zhenya’s shot is called out while again it appears to be in, back to deuce, Santoro finally scores his game 6/5 … Zhenya pulls out another love game, which leads to a second tie break  which turned out to be a thriller.

Evgeny takes the first point on Santoro’s serve, stays strong leading 4/1. But unfortunately his left thigh starts cramping and he makes a double fault 4/2. At 5/4 he makes an unforced error which gives two match points to Santoro, Zhenya saves the first one, 6/5 Santoro to serve. With a huge forehand Evgeny is back to 6/6 saving the second match point. 7/6 and third match point for Santoro, Zhenya saves this one too with a good serve. He then takes the lead 8/7 scoring a massive forehand.

One match point and it’s done 9/7 Zhenya defeats Santoro and goes through to the next round where he will be opposed to R.GINEPRI (USA).

He’s been strong and patient, he has raised his level at crucial moments, this is a very good win, against a very tough opponent, which confirms he’s definitely back on the right track.

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Wednesday, aside from the competition, Evgeny took from his free time to share a moment on court with the kids of the PTT Open.

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Here is a link to all the pictures taken during the Clinic.

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E.KOROLEV (RUS) def R.GINEPRI (USA) 6/1 6/1

Well, somehow, and in a positive way, there’s actually not much to say about this match. Zhenya played strong, on each and every point. He didn’t give any chance to Ginepri, and the american has been nowhere near Zhenya’s level in the entire match. In 42 minutes Evgeny showed what he is really made of as everything in his game was there and effective.

He is now in quaterfinals, where he will face [2]G.SIMON (FRA) in a real big test match.

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[2]G.SIMON (FRA) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 4/6 6/3 6/4

With an early break in the first set, Zhenya was confident and his game was flawless, he won the set without any difficulty. He kept playing amazing tennis in the beginning of the second set, so much than an overly frustrated Simon actually ended up shouting at 1/0 “it’s impossible that he never misses like that !” Zhenya kept on rolling, constantly forcing Simon to stay far from his baseline and hitting major winners up to 4/3. But patience payed for Simon when Zhenya started to miss a few shots, which cost him the break 5/3, and then the set as he made another unforced error.

He seemed to be determined not to let the loss of the second set get him down, and started the third by breaking Simon with a beautiful drop shot, 2/0. But the frenchman came back, hitting great winners and Zhenya’s game started to slowly fell apart a little. Down 3/2, and less confident than in the beginning he wasn’t agressive enough to break back, and Simon took the lead 4/2. Zhenya scored a love game to stay in the match 4/3, but Simon hold on to his serve. And despite Zhenya’s efforts at 5/4 (leading 0/30) to try to come back, Simon stayed solid and ended the match 6/4.

Another very good week for Evgeny, another quaterfinals, which unlike the last one he came close to win. He showed great tennis, consistency and mental strentgh ; and on monday he will reach his highest ranking. All a sign of great things to come.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | 1 Comment

US Open (NYC), USA

montageuso

And here comes the last Grand Slam Tournament of the season.

And just like last year, in preparation Evgeny only played one match (in New Heaven) on the North American courts. Let’s hope he’s ready to battle in the big apple !

Apparently on Wednesday, he will be opposed to A.BECK (GER) to try to win a spot in the second round where he could face the one who defeated him in this same tournament last year, frenchman Gaël Monfils.

The complete draw is available : here

Zhenya is also lined up to play doubles associated to countrymate I.ANDREEV.

The doubles draw is available : here

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vs-Beck3

A.BECK (GER) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/3 6/3 2/6 2/6 6/4

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Apparently Zhenya and Igor withdrew from the doubles’ draw, it’s then the end of the USO for him this year.

He’ll head back to Europe during the week.

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Grand Slam Tournaments, Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Hamburg, Germany

After playing some Bundesliga matches last sunday in Amberg, Zhenya will be back on the ATP Tour in the Hamburg qualifications.

He is seed #4 of the qualies’ draw, and will face tomorrow, saturday, J.REISTER (GER) in his first match.

The draw is available : here

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[4]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def J.REISTER (GER) 6/3 7/6(6)

Copie de p1090560

*picture, courtesy of Truc

His next opponent will be [12]S.KOUBEK (AUT).

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[4]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [12]S.KOUBEK (AUT) 6/2 6/2

Zhenya ousted the #12 seed of qualifications in just an hour, in a pretty solid match. He therefore booked his ticket for the main draw, where he will be opposed to another qualifier, the spaniard P.RIBA.

The complete main draw is available : here

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[Q]P.RIBA (ESP) def [Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) 7/6(3) 6/2

After losing a chaotic (three rain delays) and tight first set, Zhenya made a good start in the second set leading 2/0 with the possibility of breaking Riba again. But after a few missed occasions Riba came back and took the lead scoring 3 games in a row… then 4, then 5, then the match got wrapped up by the spaniard.

With only 36% of points won on his first serve in the second set, we can safely state that Zhenya’s game was missing today.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Delray Beach (Florida), USA (cont’d)

THIS IS OUR BOY !!!!

[Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def G.GARCIA-LOPEZ (ESP) 6/2 6/2

That was clean, that was solid, that was the Evgeny we enjoy watching !

He broke right in the beginning of the match, was leading 2/0 before struggling a little, GGL came back 2/2… then it went really fast, Zhenya hit a lot of winners, and most importantly kept focus untill the end.  He is now in the semifinals, where he will be opposed to C.ROCHUS (BEL).

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And Zhenya reaches is first ATP final !!

He defeated C.ROCHUS (BEL) 6/1 7/5.

The first set went pretty fast, Evgeny completely overpowered Rochus, he scored a big number of beautiful winners. Then in the second set it seemed he was taking the same road, untill Rochus came back from 0/30 to finally win his game saving a few break points. They were then at 3/2 when the exact same thing happened and Zhenya couldn’t make two winners in a row, he just couldn’t keep the ball inside the court anymore, and Rochus held on 3/3. Evgeny then scored a love game to lead 5/3, but didn’t seem to be trying to end it on Rochus’s serve. He got caught up, when at 5/4 Rochus broke him to come back 5/5. But Zhenya finally put his head together, got his concentration back, broke and then ended the match 7/5.

He will play tomorrow against [1]M.FISH (USA).

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[1]M.FISH (USA) def [Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) 7/5 6/3

After strongly leading Fish in the first set, Zhenya started to struggle as he was just a game away from winning the first set, a few unforced errors, and he slowly lost confidence… and then the set. In the second he took too long to get back to the level he showed in the beginning of the match, and Fish was leading him by a break… although he managed to brillantly save 4 match points, it was too late and Fish ended it on the fifth one.

It’s kinda sad that Zhenya lost in this final because he showed he had the level of tennis to win the title, and probably many others. But overall it’s been a good week, and a good tournament, we’ve seen great things from him that were lost for a long time because of the many surgeries and how it stopped his progression throughout the past year and a half. Therefore he can be proud of what he accomplished in Delray Beach, and we’re sure he’ll do even better in the near future !

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Delray Beach (Florida), USA

This week Evgeny plays at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship.

He is the #2 seed of the qualifications’ draw.

On saturday, he will face J.HUTA-GALUNG (NED) in the first round.

The draw is available : here

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[2]E.KOROLEV def J.HUTA-GALUNG (NED) 4/6 6/3 6/2

He will be opposed to J.LEVINE (USA) in the second round.

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In a tight but solid match [2]E.KOROLEV def J.LEVINE (USA) 6/3 6/4

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Evgeny won his ticket for the main draw defeating P.POLANSKY (CAN) 6/4 6/2

The qualifiers have been spread in the draw, Zhenya will face countrymate [4]I.KUNITSYN in the first round of the tournament.

The draw is available : here

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[Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [4]I.KUNITSYN (RUS) 6/4 7/6(3)

That was kind of a roller coaster match for Zhenya, he took his opponent’s serve right in the beggining of the first set, leading 3/1, then started struggling and lost the 3 next games, but he managed to broke again to win the first set 6/4. In the second set the scenario was almost similar as he was leading with a break before Kunitsyn evened, they ended up playing a tie break from which Evgeny came out as the winner of the match.

He will next be opposed to R.KENDRICK (USA).

Evgeny is also taking part in the doubles competition, which he hasn’t been in a very long time. He is teamed up with P.CAPDEVILLE (CHI) and they will face R.BOPANNA (IND)/ J.NIEMINEN (FIN) in the first round.

The doubles draw is available : here

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[Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def R.KENDRICK (USA) 3/6 6/3 7/5

Zhenya is in quaterfinals !

He had a hard time in the first set, was bothered a lot by the wind, couldn’t really find his rythm, and seemed kind of out of it. Down 6/3 2/0 things started to get his way, he came back and managed to win the second set, pretty solidely. However, the third set was not as easy, a lot of ups and downs, just as in the entire match, but he kept his cool and finally came out victorious. He even greeted us with a genius point won with a between the legs shot. Impressive one !

>>> you can watch this shot and a few others from the match : here

To get a spot in semifinal he will be opposed to G.GARCIA-LOPEZ (ESP).

As far as the doubles draw is concerned, it’s over for Zhenya and his partner P.Capdeville, they lost 6/4 7/5.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Memphis (Tenessee), USA

memphis07

This week, Evgeny is playing the qualifications of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis.

He is the #8 seed of the qualies.

The draw is available : here

Evgeny will be opposed to A.DELIC (USA) in the first round.

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A.DELIC (USA) def [8]E.KOROLEV (RUS) 7/6(3) 7/5

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Rotterdam, Netherlands

This week Evgeny plays in Rotterdam, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

He is the #6 seed of the qualifications, and tomorrow, saturday, he will play his first round match opposed to [WC]I.COLL-RIUDAVETS (ESP).

The draw is available : here

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[6]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [WC]I.COLL-RIUDAVETS (ESP) 6/2 6/1

He will face [4]S.STAKHOVSKY (UKR) in the second round.

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[6]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [4]S.STAKHOVSKY (UKR) 6/3 4/6 7/6(6)

After a really tight match, Zhenya booked his ticket to the main draw, defeating Stakhovsky in a tie break full of suspens. Winning the tie break, and so the match, is a real satisfaction considering what a good server the ukrainian is, and the poor ratio of first serve Evgeny showed along the match. But he stayed focused untill the very end and it payed off. Good win.

He will play [8]R.SODERLING (SWE) in the first round of the main draw.

The draw is available : here

UPDATE : Soderling pulled out of the tournament, Evgeny will play Lucky Loser M.GICQUEL (FRA) in the first round.

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And it’s over for Zhenya !

[LL]M.GICQUEL (FRA) def [Q]E.KOROLEV (RUS) 3/6 6/3 6/2

After a really, very good first set, during which zhenya was up to a 78% ratio of first serve, scoring 89% of the points played on it ; his game just desintegrated !!

Gicquel broke once in the beginning of the second set, and a second time in the middle of the third one, and even though Evgeny had a few opportunities to come back, he just didn’t make it. There’s not much more to say about that match, let’s hope he does better next week.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment