Sharapova, Azarenka, Serena Survive Wild Day At WTA Championships; Victoria Tries To Clinch No. 1 Ranking Thursday
by Staff | October 24th, 2012, 10:51 pm

In one of the crazier days ever at the WTA Championships, the three tournament favorites – Serena Williams Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova – all survived spirited upset bids in Instanbul Wednesday.

Serena began day two of the round robin getting in a 4-1 hole to the hard-hitting Li Na. Williams managed to regroup just in time to snatch the first set in a breaker then take the second for a 7-6, 6-3 win.

“I started out really strong in the first game but then started making errors, and Li started playing her game and playing it well – that’s all,” Williams said. “I was a little tight and my serve wasn’t working at all today, maybe towards the end – but that’s not how I usually play. The good thing is I can only play better.”

Serena is now 2-0 in the round robin and she has qualified for a semifinal berth. Serena’s also won 28 of her last 29 matches including Wimbledon, the US Open and Olympic gold.

After Serena, it was World No. 1 Azarenka’s turn to take the court but the Belarussian found her self down 3-1 to Angelique Kerber. Azarenka fought back to force an epic tiebreak eventually won by the German 13-11.

Azarenka got the early break in the second for 4-2 before Kerber roared back for 5-4 where she held two matchpoints, but it wasn’t to be. Azarenka got the second in a breaker then took the decider to win it 6-7(11), 7-6(2), 6-4 in three hours, six minutes.

“On the match points I just thought I had to go for it – she wasn’t going to miss, and I didn’t want to wait for her to make a mistake,” Azarenka said. “I was so determined to make it happen. I wanted to take destiny into my hands – if I missed those shots, it was going to be up to me, not up to my opponent.”

In the finale, Sharapova needed all of three hours, 12 minutes to put away the steady Agenieszka Radwanska 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 in a match that finished at 2:12am local time in Istanbul.

“It was a very physical match with so many ups and downs. I wasn’t playing my best tennis, but I kept fighting,” said Sharapova who belted 66 winners to Radwanska’s 18. “And when you win when you’re not at your best, it gives you extra motivation to do better in the next one.”

By winning Sharapova also qualified for the semifinals and kept her slim No. 1 hopes alive.

“I’m happy to get to that stage – the goal is always to get out of your group,” Maria said. “I was injured last year and didn’t play very well, so to be in the semifinals this year makes me very proud, and especially given the way I fought tonight.”

Tomorrow, Kerber meets Li Na in an elimination match. Sam Stosur, who took the place of defending champion Petra Kvitova when the Czech withdrew with a virus, faces Sara Errani and in the main event it’s Azarenka and Serena in a US Open rematch. If Azarenka wins she clinches the No. 1 ranking.


Stadium (from 17.00hrs)
1. Angelique Kerber vs. Li Na
2. Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams
3. Samantha Stosur vs. Sara Errani

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14 Comments for Sharapova, Azarenka, Serena Survive Wild Day At WTA Championships; Victoria Tries To Clinch No. 1 Ranking Thursday

The Great Davy Says:

The craziest things about this day was that Federer, my eternalist tormentor, the GOAT (who will still be rank #1 when I am 102 years old), lost a set.

The only craziest thing about the woman tennis is that someone has watch it.

The Great Davy Says:

Seeing whats I mean? When only comments is made by a invisible man, you have know the woman tennis is boring. They should be a pay much less than the ATP!!

RZ Says:

Too bad Aga didn’t pull off the win against Shriekapova. I would have loved to see her get that victory and go on to the semis. She still has a chance and hopefully will pull it off.

Humble Rafa Says:

Hanging up the shoes for the season. See you all in January. Behave yourself.

Alok Says:

Serena has come out on top of her group winning all of her matches in straight sets. It’s very likely though, that she’ll again have to play Azarenka in the SFs.

RZ Says:

Alok, since Serena and Vika are in the same group, they’d be in opposite halves in the semis. They could (and probably would) meet in the finals.

Kimmi Says:

Serena cannot play azarenka in the semi because they are in the same group. Semi will be as follows:
Semofinal no.1 -winner white group plays runner up red group
Semifinal no.2 – winner red group plays runner up white group

Kimmi Says:

Azarenka beats everybody else except Serena. She gets nervous playing Serena it seems. Lots of double faults to be broken at the end of first set and at the end of match in the second set. She just handed Serena the win.

Alok Says:

RZ, My mistake, and thanks for pointing it out. I meant finals.

Serena will play the runner-up in white group,to be determined, and Azarenka will most probably play Sharapova. That will be a match of the screechers. he he

Watching Stosur and errani, I couldn’t help noticing their muscle mass. Kerber also.

alison Says:

I think Serena and Vika will play each other again in the final IMO.

alison Says:

Alok they all look muscley to me,but tennis is a physical game anyway.

Alok Says:

Alison, when I look at Seles and Errani, Kerber, Lisick, etc., I don’t see the same muscle mass.Azarenka is not as muscled as some of the other players. She looks toned.

alison Says:

Alok well maybe not all then,alot though.

Polo Says:

Serena is making it a habit of making a number one player look ridiculous. She has been doing that to all the women ranked number one after Henin retired.

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