Kvitova Clocks Clijsters; Hantuchova Wins; WTA Dubai, Memphis Previews
Just the WTA’s luck. Two days after Kim Clijsters clinched her return to the No. 1 spot Monday, she couldn’t follow through with the title. Earlier today the Belgian was shut down by the rapidly improving Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-3 in the Paris final.
Clijsters came into the match riding a 12-match win streak and 41 career titles, but it wasn’t enough against the lefty Kvitova.
“My opponent was just better today,” Clijsters said. “I couldn’t play my best because she put so much pressure on me. I had to go for it because if I put it in her hitting zone, she was dominating. If she continues to play like that, she will be Top 10 before long. She is so much fitter and moves better than last year.”
Said Kvitova, “I’m very happy to win my second title of the year, and it doesn’t get much better than beating the new No.1 in the final. I thought I played very well. I played my game, fast and aggressive, as I couldn’t let her dominate. It’s very special to defeat Kim in the final. I’d like to thank my team and I would like to dedicate this victory to my grandfather, who passed away last week.”
At 20, Kvitova has three career titles and she’s already hit the quarterfinals at all four Majors (SF at Wimbledon). We talk a lot about future men’s stars but Petra’s among the next gen of women’s players.
While Kvitova has been playing just a few years, Daniela Hantuchova has been around for what seems like forever. Yet the wiry Slovak only has four career titles after winning the Pattaya City crown today. In the final Daniela beat Sara Errani 6-2, 6-0 to win her first WTA title in almost four years.
“I was really hungry to get another title,” Hantuchova said. “I was focused and aggressive from the start. I won the whole tournament in straight sets, which is a good sign. After the injury at the start of the year, this feels great. I had a good pre-season and now it’s paying off. I just never doubted myself.”
DUBAI: The 48-draw Dubai event may be without the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters, but with $2 million plus in prize money there’s still plenty of star power. Top seed and new No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki leads the way followed by Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone, Li Na, Sam Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka.
Wozniacki and Li Na are seeded to meet in the quarterfinals.
MEMPHIS: Some those who couldn’t make the entry into Dubai – or didn’t want to make the flight – are in Memphis for the 10 times smaller Regions Keegan. The top seed is Barbora Strycova Zahlavova followed by Sofia Arvidsson and Melanie Oudin. Americans Alexa Glatch, CoCo Vandeweghe and young Brit Heather Watson also won first round matches today.
BOGOTA: On Colombian clay, Julia Georges is the top seed with Polona Hercog, Simona Halep and Arantxa Parra Santonja.
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