ZhenyaSupporters' Blog

Zagreb, Croatia

After a promising debut of season in Australia, Evgeny is finally (he withdrew from the Heilbronn challenger last week) back on the European courts. He will play in Zagreb, thanks to some last minute changes of plans from other players he left the alternates list to enter the main draw.

The draw is available : here

Zhenya will face [5]J.MELZER (AUT) in the first round.

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E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [5]J.MELZER (AUT) 6/4 6/0

Zhenya played a pretty solid match, and got himself, in less than an hour, a ticket for the second round where he will face the croatian wild-card A.VEIC who defeated Guillermo Cañas in three sets.

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[WC]A.VEIC (CRO) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 3/6 7/6(5) 6/4

After a quick and solid first set, Zhenya started to have trouble serving, he was led 4/1 in the second set before coming back to 4/4 but missed a couple of chances, and found himself playing a tie break he had the opportunity to win, but Veic stayed focus and scored it. Then in the third set after losing his serve once, and being close to a bad end with Veic leading 5/4, Evgeny had 3 break points to get back in the game… but again, he didn’t make it, and Veic now rolls into quaterfinals.

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January 24, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | 1 Comment

Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia (cont’d)

[2]R.FEDERER (SUI) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/2 6/3 6/1

TENNIS-OPEN-AUS-KOROLEV

As expected Evgeny wasn’t able to accomplish any miracle today ! But he showed some great things… and some really bad too…

Let’s focus on the good ones, he finishes the match with one more winner than Roger, and some of those were just stunning to watch. He managed to break once, and on his first break point, he considerably reduced the number of double faults he used to make, and he tried a lot, coming to the net, volleying…

On the bad side, the 44 unforced errors are just way too much to overcome. Patience and concentration are all he needs to improve that statistic… And as he showed in the second set, when the first serve is there, he can become a threat to any opponent, no matter if his name is Roger Federer !

This match had its ups and downs, but in the end of the day Zhenya showed he does have a lot of potential, and since he seems to be completely hernia free – and also free from playing with the fear of getting hurt – we can have great hopes for this season !

January 21, 2009 Posted by | Grand Slam Tournaments, Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia

For the third time Evgeny is participating in the Australian Open. Two years ago he was defeated in the first round by F.Gonzalez, and last year had to retire during his second round match.
He will try again this year, starting by playing the qualifications, chasing a spot for the main draw.

The qualies draw is available : here

Zhenya is the #10 seed of the qualifications.

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[10]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def F.NIELSEN (DEN) 6/4 6/1

His next opponent will be frenchman A.SIDORENKO.

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And that’s a second win for Zhenya…

[10]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def A.SIDORENKO (FRA) 3/6 6/4 6/0

Although the loss of the first set is kinda surprinsing, it seems Evgeny then managed to level up his game and go straight to victory. In the third round of qualifications he will face [27]D.UDOMCHOKE (THA).

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[10]E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [27]D.UDOMCHOKE (THA) 6/3 7/5

In a bit more than an hour, Zhenya earned his qualification to the main draw.

Korolev cruises into main draw

– By Helen Gilbert for http://www.australianopen.com

Evgeny Korolev has advanced to the main draw of Australian Open 2009 with a comfortable straight-sets win over Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke in men’s qualifying action at Melbourne Park on Saturday.

The Russian No.10 seed, a cousin of retired player Anna Kournikova, eased past his Thai opponent 6-3 7-5 in a whisker over an hour.

There appeared to be no sign of the hernia problem that forced Korolev to retire against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round of last year’s Australian Open.

The 20-year-old powered his way through the first set in just 27 minutes, hitting the ball ferociously.

Korolev changed his game in the second set, when he began charging the net and raced to a 5-2 lead. While Udomchoke upped his play to level the match at 5-5, the Russian held serve and had soon earned three match points thanks to a deft drop shot, a blistering groundstroke and a mistake by the Thai.

With the match in his grasp, controversy ensued as Korolev left a ball that looked to be wide but wasn’t called. He questioned the decision, but the umpire did not overrule and he lost the point. The second match point also slipped through his fingers, but he sealed the match on the third.

Afterwards, Korolev said he hoped he would remain fit for the current season and would have no repeat of the hernia problems that haunted him in 2008.

“I had four surgeries on the same spot,” he said. “I hope everything will be fine.” Reflecting on the match, he added: “It was pretty comfortable at the beginning. I had some really good shots and deciding points.”


Tomorrow is a day off for him, he will have time to rest before things start to get serious with the first round coming up. He will face C.MOYA (ESP).

January 14, 2009 Posted by | Grand Slam Tournaments, Hard Court Season | 1 Comment

Sydney, Australia

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Starting on Saturday, Evgeny will play the Medibank International’s qualifications in Sydney.

The draw is available : here

For his first match he will face the #1 seed of the qualies, frenchman J.BENNETEAU, at 9 a.m on court 5.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE : It seems [1]J.BENNETEAU (FRA) withdrew right before the match, he is being replaced by A.GOLUBEV (KAZ) who became seed #9 of the qualifications.

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E.KOROLEV (RUS) def [9]A.GOLUBEV (KAZ) 7/6(6) 3/6 6/4

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*picture by Kristen

Golubev broke right at the beginning of the first set, and kept his advantage until leading 5/4, Zhenya came back to 5/5 and finally managed to win that set after a really tight tie break. He had a bit of a down, mostly with his serve in the second set, and quickly ended up losing it 6/3. Then in a really determined way Zhenya went to lead 4/2, probably a little impatient he gave some points away and Golubev came back to 5/4, but Evgeny managed to pull himself together to end the match 6/4.

Next round he will be opposed to F.DANCEVIC (CAN)

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F.DANCEVIC (CAN) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/3 6/2

It seems Evgeny lost focus during this second round of qualies. Making a lot of unforced errors, he’s been overpowered by Dancevic in an hour only. And it’s a very frustrated-and-angry-at-himself Zhenya who left the court.

January 9, 2009 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Brisbane, Australia

After participating in the exhibition tournament of Anton, Zhenya is now lined up to play the qualifications of the Brisbane International, first step of the Australian Open Series.

The draw is available : here

He will face M.FISHER (AUT) for the first round, which has been postponed to Sunday due to rain delay today. The match will start at 10 a.m on court 10.

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Evgeny ousted M.Fisher 6/2 6/1 in a bit more than an hour.

Although the score is pretty raw, it seems there’s still some work to do on the serve, but what follows it is strong. The stats on return are good, except maybe for the break points ratio which could be better.

But all in all it’s a great result, considering the toughness of that qualies’ draw it’s a good thing he didn’t give up too much energy in this first round.

Next he will play [8] K.ANDERSON (RSA).

If he goes through, Evgeny will have to play a second match few hours later. Because of the rain delay of saturday, the last round of qualifications will take place the same day, so all the morning winners will have to play two matches today.

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Opposed to a really strong server, Zhenya’s returning skills weren’t good enough today to manage a win.

K.ANDERSON (RSA) def E.KOROLEV (RUS) 6/4 6/4

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

TMS Miami

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This week Evgeny ends his US tour in Miami, at the Sony Ericsson Open.

He’ll play the qualies, as seed #2.

The qualifications draw is available : here

His first opponent will be the american S.WARBURG.

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A straight win for Evgeny on this first match, he defeated S.WARBURG (USA) 6/2 6/2.

His next opponent will be R.SLUITER (NED).

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A HUUUUGE SORRY !!

Due to technical issues I wasn’t able to update the blog…

Everything’s OK now !

I’ll be right on time to give you the latest news, just as it has always been !

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So, let’ sum up what happened in Miami :

Qualy 2nd round : Evgeny lost to R.SLUITER (NED) 6/3 6/4

But he came back in the competition, lucky loser once again.

1st round : Evgeny defeated M.GICQUEL (FRA) with a straight 6/4 6/2

2nd round : Evgeny lost to J.NIEMINEN (FIN) 6/0 6/0

He also played in the double draw associated with LF.MANRIQUE (ECU), they lost in the first round to Bob and Mike Bryan 6/1 6/2.

March 19, 2007 Posted by | Hard Court Season, TMS | Leave a comment

TMS Indian Wells

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This week Evgeny plays the TMS Indian Wells, also named the Pacific Life Open.

This event being both an ATP and a WTA event will start in the middle of this week and end on the second sunday. The first day of the men main draw will be Wenesday, March 7th.

The draw is available : here

Evgeny directly enters the main draw, he will play S.GREUL (GER) for his first match.

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Evgeny defeated S.GREUL (GER) (6)6/7 7/5 6/1

Kind of a strange match it was ! Zhenya was leading 2/0 in the first set before things started to get a little bit complicated for him, they reached a tie-break and even though he also starting it leading, he lost the first set.

Then it seemed nothing was really working for Evgeny, even making double faults on real important points, and he’s been rapidly leaded 4/2. But he found the keys to raise up his level and stay alive in that set ’till he finally took the advantage and win it 7/5.

The last one has been close to perfection on his side, 90% of first serve, 74% of points won on it, 100% of second serve, 8 aces and 82% of return points won. What more can we say about it !?

His next opponent will be countrymate Dmitry Tursunov.

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Evgeny def [20]D.TURSUNOV 6/4 (3)6/7 6/3

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That was a tricky match , and it effectively happened to be tough and tight ; but Zhenya did fight, as he always does, and finally won !

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It’s over for Zhenya !

He’s been defeated by [12]N.DJOKOVIC (SER) 6/2 6/1

March 6, 2007 Posted by | Hard Court Season, TMS | Leave a comment

Las Vegas (Nevada), USA

AND ZHENYA’S BACK IN AGAIN !

I won’t make long statement about how absurd this all situation has been.
I’ll just put the official apology from Mr. President.

Here is what Etienne De Villiers said :
“I was contacted late at night my time and did not fully understand the issues being discussed and I made a judgment call on what seemed fair.”
“However, I understand that judgment calls are not part of the rule book and I must abide by the rules, as must everybody else in the circumstance.”
“I apologise to James for giving false hope and to Evgeny for the confusion. I regret that I got involved, that I overruled a supervisor, and I regret this storm in a teacup.”

>> source : bbc.co.uk

I won’t comment this statement which seems ridiculous to me considering the damage
Mr. President caused to both of the players, the fans, the tournament, and the Tennis
credibility !

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Let’s go back to the game right now !

Zhenya will face in few hours, S.QUERREY (USA) into the quarterfinals of the tournament.

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ZHENYA IS IN THE SEMIFINALS !!!

He defeated S.QUERREY (USA) 6/4 6/4 !

copie-de-vegas-querrey2

He played a solid match even though once again his statistics, specially on first serve, were not as good as they can be.

Despite a little moment of doubts during the second set, he resisted and finally won his way to the semies !

During his post match interview he mentioned he was not aware he will play till this morning. And he added he felt really sorry for J.Blake and the all confusion that happened.

Here are some other comments made by Zhenya about what happened in the 24H before he played :

“I was a little angry but you have to understand, it’s a really difficult situation.”
“James is a nice guy and I hope he’s not angry with me. The thing is you cannot change the rules in the middle of a tournament.”
“I am actually glad this happened because a lot of players do not agree with the round-robin system.”
“I was happy to play but I was also thinking how James would feel. I felt a little guilty.”

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This time it’s over for Zhenya, the regular way !

He’s been defeated by J.MELZER (AUT) : (4)6/7 6/2 7/6(4)

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But it hasn’t been that easy, Evgeny did fight, with the last strenghts he kept after this exhausting week, after winning the first set he had a really hard time being led 5/1 but he tried to get back in the mach, he fought till they reached a final tie-break, he kept trying when he had to face 4 match points saving 2 of them, before J.Melzer finally found the way to end the match.

From this tournament we’ll mostly remind the tennis Zhenya played to achieve this amazing win over J.Blake, we’ll also remember how much maturity, calm and humility he showed having to deal with the apocalyptic situation Mr. De Villier created, and obviously the way he managed to pull himself together and get focus on what he had to do to reach a semifinal which is definitly the sign the rest of the season is open to hopes and victories.

March 2, 2007 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Las Vegas (Nevada), USA

vegasopen07

Apparently Evgeny still has problems with his wirst, that would be the main reason explaining his loss last week.

But that didn’t discourage him from playing this week in Las Vegas, the Tennis Channel Open.

Once again this is a tournament using the Round Robin system, Zhenya is in the Main Draw Elimination meaning he has to play one match to enter one of the different groups.

His first match will be against A.DELIC (USA).

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Evgeny defeated A.DELIC (USA) 7/5 4/6 6/3.

He enters the Round Robin part of the tournament, in group #1 composed by [1]J.BLAKE (USA) and JM.DEL POTRO (ARG).

It seems fate is giving a rough time to Zhenya those weeks, let’s hope his pain in the wirst won’t be too big of a handicap.

The draw is available : here

His first oponent will be JM.DEL POTRO (ARG).

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Unfortunately what we feared finally happened, Evgeny really far from his usual level has been largely defeated by JM.DEL POTRO (ARG) 6/3 6/2.

But he’s not out of the tournament yet, he’ll play against the #1 seed J.BLAKE (USA) in his second Round Robin match.

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SIMPLY AMAZING !!

Evgeny def [1]J.BLAKE (USA) 6/2 6/4 !

vegasblake

Despite really bad statistics on first serve in the first set, he managed to keep his serve and convert his two break points being agressive on each point in return.

In the second set it went the other way around, he kept the pressure in return but was less successful than in the first set, and it’s a relative raise in his level in the serving area permited him to kill the match !

Unfortunately this win as beautiful as it is won’t allow him to stay in the tournament.

The rules of Round Robin system, and specially here the “game average” already gives JM.Del Potro as the most plausible winner of this round.

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THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENED !

Evgeny is qualified for the quaterfinals !

As a result of the retirement of JM.DEL POTRO (ARG) during his match against [1]J.BLAKE (USA) who didn’t score enough games to pass Zhenya in the game average.

He will face S.QUERREY (USA) in the QF.

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OUTRAGEOUS !!!!

Zhenya is out of the tournament !!

Mr. De Villiers, President of the ATP, contacted the Direction of the tournament immediatly after J.BLAKE’s win and ordered them to have the American playing next round !

ATP’ CEO firstly said his decision was “based on what the result would have been if it had gone ’till the end”.

Then he detailed his thoughts and stated : “James Blake will be awarded the group win on the basis that the rules were not sufficiently explained. James was within just a few games of winning this match comfortably to advance. Juan Martin has stated that he would have completed the match had he been fully aware of the implications of his retirement.”

I usually try to moderate myself on writing my own opinions about ATP changes issues, but right now I can’t stay quiet.

This decision is outrageous, disgusting and totally unfair. If Mr President can make a call and change rules in the middle of a tournament everytime he wants just to adjust the results and the draw in the purpose of selling more tickets and making tv channels happy preserving Big Names from an early elimination, this is basically the end of Tennis.

Same configuration happened last week in Buenos Aires with JC.FERRERO and they applied the retirement rule (wich states that in the case of a retirement if the two other players have 1 win each then it’s the winner of their head to head in the group who advances to the next round), and the former world #1 was out.

J.BLAKE is one of the players who said they were in favor of the RR system, and now it’s working against him he claims he wasn’t aware of all the rules it implies, we can’t blame him for the intervention of Mr De Villiers, but it seems to me a little easy to put that on the rules’ back when they all assured those rules were great and well settled !

It’s clearly a matter of who’s who here… and that’s shameful for our beautiful sport !

How would Mr De Villiers do to make amend in front of Jhenya about how he despoil him ?!

Easy answer : “The ATP will be awarding Evgeny Korolev the amount of $11,375, the average sum of the prize money for the quarter-finals and semi-finals at this event.”

It’s seems it’s all about the money for Mr President !

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Blake reaction to the decision : “It seems to me the right decision, maybe that’s biased but it is a fair decision.”

“There are rules, but the people that are there to change the rules did so, they made a decision and I’m very happy with it.

“He was ready to go. He was pretty much ready to leave. I think it’s tough. He’ll be out on tour for a long time so I don’t think one match or one tournament s going to change anyone’s career.

How would he have felt if the situation was reversed?

“I’ll be 100% completely honest. If I was in the opposite situation – I had already rented a car, was ready to get in the car to go to Indian Wells like Korolev was, I’d be able to come prepared and say let the person who deserves to go through, go through.

Top players Safin and Hewitt also playing in the tournament expressed their support to Korolev and their ununderstanding of the decision.

Safin said : “I want to say that the way it has been handled is just a disgrace,
I feel very bad for Korolev because he had nothing to do with it. He’s a young guy, only on the tour a year and all of a sudden he got screwed by the organisation.”
“For a serious organisation like the ATP, you can’t make these kind of decisions in the middle of the week, by the phone, without being there, and not to talk to the guy that’s in the situation.

“And the CEO (Etienne de Villiers) disappointed me a lot. In this situation he should have handled it in a different way. It’s ridiculous what they did. They have no explanation and it doesn’t really fit in my brain.

It will be a big thing in the coming weeks when everybody finds out what happened Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Hewitt was here also, he said it was ridiculous. There’s going to be serious talking.”

Hewitt said : “If it had been the other way around, nobody would care about it and it just would be no discussion at all.”
Hewitt said he was ‘mystified’ by the decision.
“To change a rule mid-tournament – that’s just not right, we all start a tournament in the same boat, in the same situation. I feel sorry for the bloke that misses out, that’s for sure.”
This is a kid on the rise. He’s beaten Blake (6-2 6-4) two nights ago. A little bit of prize money’s not going to mean a whole lot to him. (I’d be) pissed off.”
“It would have been unlucky for James, he was only three games away from getting through but rules are rules.”
Me and a few other guys were sitting in the players lounge watching the match. We said, ‘is there any way that Korolev gets through?’ And they said, ‘if del Potro withdraws’. Even on TV they were saying it, so everyone was aware of the rule.”
“The rules are in place — you can’t do anything about that.
So that’s why I’m a little bit gobsmacked. It really is amazing.”

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Here is the link to a PETITION initiated on the mtf (biggest tennis community on the web), to get rid of the RR system and which will be sent soon to the relevant authority, please sign it.
>> http://www.petitiononline.com/nomorerr/petition.html

February 26, 2007 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment

Memphis (Tenessee), USA

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To make his come back Evgeny did choose Memphis and the Regions Morgan Keegan Tennis Championships, consequently to a late signing up he’ll have to go through the qualifications, where he’s the #2 seed.

The draw is available : here

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Evgeny won his first round defeating H.Armando (USA) 7/6(7) 6/3.

He will next play seed #6, P.CAPDEVILLE (CHI).

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Zhenya joins the main draw, he defeated [6]P.CAPDEVILLE (CHI) 6/4 6/4.

His first opponent will be the American, seed #8, Robby GINEPRI.

A feeling of déjà vu though, their first meeting few weeks ago in Australia issued on a win for Evgeny, let’s hope it will end the same way here, on monday.

The draw is available : here

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WELL DONE !

Same opponents, same winner. For the second time in a row, and in less than two months [8]R.GINEPRI falls to Zhenya, the score : 76(4) 46 63.

Evgeny will face S.KOUBEK (AUT) to reach the quaterfinals.

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Unfortunately Evgeny won’t go further in the tournament, he’s been defeated by S.KOUBEK (AUT) 7/5(4) 6/2.

February 18, 2007 Posted by | Hard Court Season | Leave a comment