Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Azarenka

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.

 

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.

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).

27
Apr
12

Semi finals set in Stuttgart.

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Maria Sharapova came through a three-hour epic against Sam Stosur to reach the semi-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The world number two claimed her 10th win in 11 career meetings with the Australian but she had to do it the hard way, coming from a set down after two tie-breaks and a hard-fought deciding set. Both players’ serves held firm throughout the first set, won by Stosur on a tie-break before Sharapova responded in kind after a second set featuring one break  apiece. One more was enough for the Russian to win the decider and wrap up a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 victory. She will face Petra Kvitova, her conqueror in last year’s Wimbledon final, after the Czech left-hander cruised past Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4. Kvitova broke three times in a scrappy first set before taking the second with a solitary break.

Top seed Victoria Azarenka was also made to battle hard before downing Germany’s Mona Barthel in three sets. The Belarusian prevailed 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 in two hours 49 minutes, taking seven of a huge 22 break points en route, but will almost certainly have to improve on that conversion rate if she is to get past Agnieska Radwanska to reach the final. Polish fourth seed Radwanska came from a set down to beat China’s Li Na 3-6 6-2 6-3 in exactly two hours.

29
Mar
12

Victoria Azarenka’s winning start to the year finally came to an end as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Marion Bartoli.

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Bartoli was on top for nearly the whole match, but Azarenka had a chance to assert herself when she led 3-1 in the second set. That was as good as it got for her though and, with her early-season exertions perhaps catching up with her, she surrendered five games in a row, losing 14 of the last 16 games. It meant Azarenka’s winning run was snapped at 26 matches, but she told the tournament’s official website: “What I’ve done in the last couple of months, I have to be really proud of myself. “I could have maybe played better today, that’s for sure, but I gave it all I had. But Marion played really well today, and she deserves the win.”

Venus Williams’ revival came to a crashing halt at the hands of Polish fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who needed just 80 minutes to polish off the American 6-4 6-1. Williams had no answer to her younger, in-form opponent who broke her three times in the opening set and proved even more dominant in the next, blazing into a last-four showdown with Bartoli.

27
Mar
12

The too long absent Williams sisters are making the 2012 Sony Ericsson much more interesting.

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Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka lost 10 of the first 11 games, then rallied to remain unbeaten this year by overcoming Dominika Cibulkova 1-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 Monday in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open. Azarenka won her 26th consecutive match, a streak that began at the start of this year. Her start is the best on the women’s tour since Martina Hingis went 37-0 to begin 1997. In the second set, Azarenka fell behind 4-love. She found herself two points from defeat five times but swept the last three games and converted the first match point when Cibulkova sailed a passing shot long. Azarenka has won her four previous tournaments this year, including the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title. She seeks her third Key Biscayne title.

Serena Williams matched a career high with 20 aces to beat Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals. “My serve was hot,” Williams said. “I was like, `That’s pretty cool.”’ Williams avenged a loss to Stosur when they last met in the U.S. Open final in September. “That wasn’t in my mind,” Williams said. “I just thought, `This is a new game.”’

Venus Williams rallied from a set down to defeat Ana Ivanovic, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2, and roar into the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals for the 10th time.

26
Mar
12

Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic snapped up the last three berths in the round of 16, all looking impressive with straight set victories.

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The No.15-seeded Ivanovic was the first to win, racing through the first set then sneaking a 68-minute second set to get by No.20 seed Daniela Hantuchova, 62 76(2). With a handful of errors from her opponent Ivanovic built a 6-2 lead in the breaker, then fired a forehand winner on her very first match point. “Daniela and I have played a lot of times in the past. Even in practice it’s always tight,” Ivanovic said. “I played really well in the first set. I think I started to rush a little more in the second – I started wanting to close out the match and wanted to rush and rush. I was focused more on the end than staying in the moment. But I’m really happy I managed to keep composed and then win the tie-breaker. “It was a very, very important win for me today.” Ivanovic and Hantuchova were wearing the same adidas tennis dress on the court. “It’s pretty funny – we were joking, at least one was blonde and one was brunette. It would be a problem if I played Sorana,” Ivanovic said. “But seriously, it is a little bit strange. You look up and see yourself. It’s like, ‘Is that a mirror?'” Ivanovic is going to pass Jelena Jankovic on the next rankings, her first time being the Serbian No.1 since the 2008 US Open fortnight (during those two weeks, Ivanovic was ranked No.1 in the world and Jankovic was No.2). Next up for Ivanovic is Venus Williams, who saved match point to win earlier in the day. Williams has won seven of eight meetings against Ivanovic, but they are a much closer 1-1 when playing on outdoor hardcourts.

Six minutes after Ivanovic’s win, No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska completed a 66-minute, 61 62 rout of Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, winning almost twice as many points as the tenacious Spaniard during the match (58 to 30). Later at night, top-ranked, top-seeded defending champion Victoria Azarenka improved to 25-0 on the season with a 60 62 rout of Heather Watson. Azarenka won the first nine games to go up 60 30; Watson started closing in towards the end, winning two of the last five games, but it was just too late for the Brit.

 

24
Mar
12

Venus ousts Kvitova as Azarenka goes to 24-0.

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Azarenka stretched her unbeaten run to 24 matches this year with another easy win in her first appearance in Miami. Her latest victim was Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, who fought hard but was no match for Azarenka as the Belarusian cruised to a 6-3 7-5 win. Azarenka is off to the hottest start to a season since Martina Hingis won her first 37 matches in 1997. Her wins this year include the Australian Open and Indian Wells last week, but she realizes she now has a target on her back. “I felt that she had nothing to lose, so she went for her shots, she was really aggressive,” Azarenka said. “I think I could have been more aggressive and play more my game, but I found the right shot selection and the right opportunities when I needed.”

Venus Williams ousted Wimbledon champion and third seed Petra Kvitova 6-4 4-6 6-0 in an evening match. Former world number one Williams, playing in her first WTA event since last year’s U.S. Open, broke Czech Kvitova three times in the final set. “The third set was very cruel for me,” left-hander Kvitova said. “The first two games I had game points and break points, but I didn’t make it. “Then it was tough to still focus on my plan for the rest of the match. I knew what I had to do today but, if I wasn’t returning very well, it’s tough to play against her. “She looks very ready, very fit. She’s back,” the Czech said of Williams, who revealed at the US Open she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

Elsewhere, ninth seed Vera Zvonareva crashed out of the tournament, beaten 6-4 6-3 by Spanish wildcard Garbine Muguruza while Ana Ivanovic eased past Vania King 6-4 7-5.




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