Archive for the '(A LIST OF THE WTA PLAYERS.)' Category

14
May
12

Schiavonne’s slump continues in Rome.

Francesca Schiavone was an early casualty in the Rome Masters today after losing her opening round match to Ekaterina Makarova. The out-of-form Schiavone, the 10th seed here and 2010 French Open champion, was beaten 6-3 6-4 by her Russian opponent as she slumped to a 10th defeat in her last 12 matches.

Number 12 Angelique Kerber of Germany was also made to battle hard before she progressed through to the second round with a 4-6 7-5 6-2 win Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova. “It was very tough conditions because some of the court had shadows, some was sunny, and it was windy,” Kerber said on http://www.wtatennis.com. “And Anastasia played very well – I was just thinking to fight and play point by point, and I’m very happy I won.”

Serbian Ana Ivanovic, the 13th seed, had no such concerns though in her 6-4 6-3 win over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in a battle between two other former Roland Garros winners. Other players making it through their opening matches today were Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Christina McHale, Chanelle Scheepers, Iveta Benesova, Shahar Peer, Vania King and Sofia Arvidsson.

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13
May
12

Serena leaves no doubt about who’s the best!

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As if Williams’ 61 63 quarterfinal victory over World No.2 Maria Sharapova wasn’t impressive enough, her dismantling of Azarenka in the final was her 13th career win over a World No.1, tying Venus Williams for most victories over a World No.1 among active players; she also ties Kim Clijsters for second-most WTA titles among active players with 41 (Venus Williams has 43). Perhaps the biggest message: Williams is now 13-0 on clay this year, having gone 5-0 to win Charleston, 2-0 to help the US back into the World Group of Fed Cup, and now 6-0 to win Madrid. And along the way she has only lost one set, to Caroline Wozniacki in the third round this week (winning that, 16 63 62).

“I absolutely love clay. I grew up on clay – I played on hardcourt until I was 11, then until I turned 16 I only played on clay courts,” Williams said. “I actually love the clay but my results haven’t been stellar. I have won the French Open and lots of clay court tournaments, though. It’s really a myth about me not liking clay. I like it more than grass, which is weird. Hopefully I can start doing better.” Williams is now 7-1 in her head-to-head series with Azarenka. With the title run, the former No.1 keeps her climb back up the rankings going, No.9 to No.6.

“I don’t play to be No.2. I don’t think Victoria plays to be No.2, nor does Maria,” Williams said. “We all play to be the best. We’re all out here to do the best we can do, and if that’s No.1, that’s my ultimate goal. A lot of people feel that way.”

 

11
May
12

Love her or hate her, but respect her for being the best player in the world, maybe the best ever!

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Serena Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid Open. The American triumphed 6-1 6-3 to claim her 11th successive victory on clay. Sharapova a recent winner in Stuttgart, was again beset by problems with her serve. She produced eight double faults and was shown no mercy by Williams. The new blue clay on show in the Spanish capital is playing fast, something which would appear to aid Williams’ power game. She has already won on clay in Charleston this season – another venue known for its court speed – but whether Williams will be able to continue her impressive form on the slower courts of Rome and Roland Garros remains to be seen.

Earlier in the day Victoria Azarenka fought back from a set down to reach the last four. The world number one found herself in trouble against reigning French Open champion Li Na but recovered to post a 3-6 6-3 6-3 success. Li started like a train and when she broke serve in the opening game of the second set, a shock looked on the cards. However, Azarenka retrieved the break immediately and pushed on in the second set to level the match. The momentum was well and truly with the Belarusian entering the decider and she duly raced 4-0 in front. Li found a second wind though, recovering to 4-3 and then threatened to break Azarenka again to level the set. However, Azarenka held her nerve, her serve and closed the match out in the following game. The top seed will next face Agnieszka Radwanska, a player she has beaten five times already this season.

Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka continued her shock run through the Mutua Madrid Open, following up her second round upset over reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a 76(8) 76(6) quarterfinal stunner over reigning US Open champion Sam Stosur, firing 19 aces in the process. Though she came into Madrid ranked No.105, Hradecka has seen much higher heights, having gone as high as No.41 in the world last summer. She brought out her best in her upset of World No.4 Kvitova earlier in the week, and she did it all over again against World No.5 Stosur, keeping the pressure on in a tight first set tie-break and closing it out on her fourth set point, then saving a set point in the second set tie-break. Neither player was broken in 24 service games. Hradecka’s wins against Kvitova and Stosur are her first two Top 10 wins, and the 26-year-old was already competing in her first ever Premier quarterfinal. Next up is Serena Williams.

 

10
May
12

Serena Williams staged an impressive comeback against Caroline Wozniacki to claim a place in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.

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The ninth-seeded American was comprehensively outplayed in the opening set of their third-round tie on Thursday, but hit back to wrap up a 1-6 6-3 6-2 victory in one hour and 42 minutes. Williams was broken three times in the first set by her Danish opponent, seeded sixth, but turned the tables on Wozniacki with four breaks of her own over the next two sets. “I had a slow start today, I don’t know why,” said the 30-year-old. “I was sluggish and mentally maybe fighting some demons. “I started trying to play better, the first set was not me at all. I knew I had to get better. I just tried to play my game.” Williams has now won 10 straight matches on clay, a run which took in the title in Charleston last month. The reward for her latest win is a last-eight clash with second seed Maria Sharapova. The Russian, a recent winner in Stuttgart, advanced after opponent Lucie Safarova withdrew before their clash through illness.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska also progressed to the next round, beating Roberta Vinci, of Italy, 7-6 (7/1) 6-4. Qualifier Lucie Hradecka, who accounted for third seed Petra Kvitova on Wednesday, continued her run with a 6-2 7-6 (7/5) success over Ekaterina Makarova to reach the quarter-finals.

09
May
12

Defending champion Petra Kvitova beaten by Czech team mate.

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Petra Kvitova’s title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open did not last long. The Wimbledon champion was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Czech compatriot Lucie Hradecka in the Spanish captial on Wednesday. Kvitova, seeded third, was broken five times by her opponent, who needed to qualify for the main draw. Hradecka said knowing Kvitova’s game had helped her claim what was the biggest win of her career. She told the WTA’s official website: “I knew if I played strong and concentrated on my serve I had a chance to win. “We played at the end of last year in some club matches and I won, and also we’ve played a lot of sparring games from Fed Cup. We know each other’s games pretty well.”

In other second-round matches, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska faced no such problems on her way to a 6-0 6-1 rout of Sara Errani, while Roberta Vinci looked equally ruthless in despatching Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-2. Maria Kirilenko, the 16th seed, was upset though, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Ekaterina Makarova. In the pick of the day’s third-round action, world number one Victoria Azarenka saw off one of her predecessors, Ana Ivanovic, 6-4 6-4. Eighth seed Na Li, the reigning French Open champion, saw off Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-4 while Samantha Stosur, seeded fifth, was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Petra Cetkovska.

08
May
12

Venus is ousted from Madrid by Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-1.

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Making the round of sixteen were No.8 seed Li Na and No.12 seed Angelique Kerber. Kerber was the first to advance, outsteadying former World No.1 Venus Williams, 64 61; Li beat Spanish wildcard Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 63 61. “I’m very happy I could beat Venus. She’s a great player, a great champion and has won so many Grand Slams,” Kerber said. “I played very well from the first point, so I’m very happy about it. It means a lot to me to win against her.” Kerber has had her breakthrough results on hardcourts, including her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open and her first two WTA titles at Paris and Copenhagen, but she feels comfortable on clay as well. “It doesn’t matter to me where I play – blue clay, red clay, hardcourts,” she said. “The blue clay is a little bit different though. It’s very slippery and the balls bounce a little bit higher, but I feel good on it, and I’m in the third round now. I hope to continue like this.”

Li leads Kerber in their head-to-head series, 3-1, although Kerber’s win did come in their last meeting, their only 2012 meeting, at Indian Wells.

Samantha Stosur survived another midnight encounter to reach the third round of the Madrid Masters with a tough three-set win over American teenager Christina McHale. The Australian fifth seed struggled with her serve in the first two sets and was broken twice in each, but found her range in the decider to claim a 2-6 6-4 6-0 victory in just under two hours. The fifth-seeded Stosur, accustomed to late finishes after her series of midnight epics at last year’s US Open, came alive when she really needed it, reeling off eight straight games to finish McHale off. “I knew it was going to be a late day, but I certainly didn’t think we would start at 10 o’clock and finish up at midnight,” Stosur said.

 

06
May
12

Kaia Kanepi saves 2 match points on her way to win in Estoril.

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Kaia Kanepi fought back from a set and a break down and saved two match points on her way to a dramatic victory over Carla Suarez Navarro in the final of the Estoril Open. Spaniard Suarez Navarro will feel she should have broken her duck in her third WTA Tour final after leading by a set and 5-3, holding two match points in the second-set tie-break and even leading 4-2 in the decider. But sixth seed Kanepi’s power game eventually proved too much, and she ran out a 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 winner in Portugal. It was a sweet moment for the 26-year-old world number 34, who has struggled with a shoulder injury this season and recently split from coach Silver Karjus. Kanepi told http://www.wtatennis.com: “I’ve won a few matches from match points down but I’ve never won a final like this. I’ll remember this final in a good way for a long time. “This title means a lot. I was injured and it was tough to come back. And though my fitness trainer was with me here, I quit with my coach recently, so it means a lot I did this on my own. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a coach now.”

The men’s final on Sunday will see the top two seeds go head to head after victories for Juan Martin Del Potro and Richard Gasquet. Defending champion and number one seed Del Potro had a tricky looking assignment against in-form Stanislas Wawrinka but the Argentinian did not face a break point in a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 victory. Frenchman Gasquet, meanwhile, made a slow start against Albert Ramos and spent more then three hours on court before eventually prevailing 2-6 7-6 (7/1) 7-5.

02
May
12

No big upsets in Estoril…..Heather Watson advances.

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There were no seeded casualties in the women’s event with second seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko leading the way into round two with a straight-forward 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 win over Briton Elena Baltacha. Third seed Anabel Medina Garrigues beat German qualifier Kristina Barrois 6-4 6-1, fourth seed Petra Cetkovska beat Alexandra Panova 6-2 6-1, and fifth seed Jie Zheng was an easy 6-3 6-1 winner over Ekaterina Makarova. Sixth seed Kaia Kanepi and ninth seed Polona Hercog also advanced, while there were wins for Jarmila Gajdosova, Maria Joao Koehler, Galina Voskoboeva, Karin Knapp and British qualifier Heather Watson, who beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-4.

Spain’s Albert Montanes and Flavio Cipolla of Italy each justified their seedings by reaching the second round of the Estoril Open in Portugal with straight sets wins on Tuesday. Seventh seed Montanes was a 6-2 6-3 winner over Australia’s Matthew Ebden while Cipolla, seeded eight, eased past Argentina’s Diego Junqueira 6-1 6-4 in exactly 80 minutes. Rui Machado and Joao Sousa won all-Portuguese match-ups against Pedro Sousa and Gastao Elias respectively, but Frederico Gil failed to join them as he fell 6-4 6-2 to Germany’s Bjorn Phau. Three Spanish qualifiers also progressed, with Ivan Navarro, Inigo Cervantes and Daniel Munoz-De La Nava overcoming Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Igor Andreev and Javier Marti respectively.

29
Apr
12

Masha finally wins her first title of 2012.

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Maria Sharapova came out on top in the battle between the world’s top two after convincingly defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The Russian won her first title of the year, while denying world number one Azarenka her fifth, with a 6-1 6-4 victory in one hour, 24 minutes. Belarusian Azarenka, who had won 29 of her 30 matches in 2012 coming into the final, managed to fashion just one break point, which she failed to take, while Sharapova won three of the 11 she had.

The victory saw second seed Sharapova gain a measure of revenge for her defeats to Azarenka in the finals of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami this year.

29
Apr
12

Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will meet in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart on Sunday.

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Top two seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will meet in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart on Sunday after winning their respective semifinals. After all four of the world’s top ranked players made it through to the semis of a WTA event for the first time since 2009, it was the leading duo who progressed through as Azarenka knocked out Agnieszka Radwanska and Sharapova downed Petra Kvitova.

World number one Azarenka had an epic quarter-final against Mona Barthel that lasted almost three hours, but the Belarusian needed less than half that to defeat in-form Pole Radwanska 6-1 6-3 to claim a tour-high 29th win in 30 matches this year. Radwanska’s loss was only her fifth in 33 matches in 2012, with all five of those defeats coming at the hands of Azarenka.

Russian Sharapova also needed three hours to win her quarter-final against Sam Stosur and the world number two was made to work hard again by Petra Kvitova before beating the Czech third seed 6-4 7-6 (7/3).




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