Wozniacki Loses, Wraps Up No. 1; Sharapova Withdraws From WTA Champs
by Sean Randall | October 26th, 2011, 11:05 pm

In almost fitting fashion, Caroline Wozniacki lost but wrapped up the 2011 No. 1 ranking today after Maria Sharapova withdrew from the WTA Championships at Istanbul.

Wozniacki fell in three sets to Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 but secured the top spot on the women’s circuit for a second straight year when her main rival, Sharapova, had to pull out of the tournament after losing to Li Na 7-6, 6-4 because of continued problems with her left ankle.

“It’s amazing for me to finish the year as World No.1 once more,” said Wozniacki who didn’t even reach a Grand Slam final during the season. “Only very few players have finished a year as No. 1, and to do it two years in a row is very special. I’m only in the beginning of my career, and to have achieved so much already, it’s a dream come true.”

I don’t mean to be harsh, Caroline, but your “dream come true” should be winning a Slam, not another year-end No. 1!

Wozniacki now has as many year-end No. 1 finishes as Serena Williams and Monica Seles. But do we really put her in that class?

For Sharapova, it was a tough end to an encouraging season.

“It’s disappointing to end it this way, but I have no regrets,” Sharapova said. “I started the year barely in the Top 20, and I don’t know what I’ll be at the end of the year, but my game has stepped up. Going into next year there’s so many things I can improve to make me even better. It’s something I look forward to when I start training again soon.”

With Wozniacki’s No. 1 ranking secured and Sharapova, who has equal the number of Slams as the rest of the field combined, on a flight home, there’s little air left in the WTA’s season-ender.

On day three of the round robin competition tomorrow, Wozniacki returns against Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the marquee match. Sharapova will be replaced by Marion Bartoli in the round robin during which each win is worth $225K. Not bad.

Tennis Channel has all the action this week through Saturday.


Sinan Erdem Dome (from 17.00hrs)
1. Victoria Azarenka vs. Li Na
2. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Petra Kvitova
3. Vera Zvonareva vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

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18 Comments for Wozniacki Loses, Wraps Up No. 1; Sharapova Withdraws From WTA Champs

BT Says:

Poor Woz… if she could only just bag a slam and get the monkey off her back. We’ll see what 2012 brings…

Bartoli also gets 70 ranking points and $110K just for playing the match and losing (she gets 370 points if she gets the win along with the $225K mentioned above).

Somewhat interestingly the losing semifinalists don’t get another 70 points for playing a fourth match and losing but do get an extra $35K.

Andrea Petkovic meanwhile gets $50K for spectating.

Harry Says:

Woz is right. Water is wet, rocks are hard, and she won more for the whole year..playing all comers. Its an amazing achievment. And anyone who does it deserves the credit.

grendel Says:

Azarenka looked pretty good against Li Na – who was actually striking the ball well. Azarenka so often seemed to be in the right place, and she now has that ability which great players have, of hitting great shots even winners off very difficult balls. Hard to see anyone beating her unless Kvitova finds her form. Her match against Woz should be interesting. Have they met before?

Colin Says:

Apparently they met last year in Beijing and Woz won.
The medics were on at the end of the first set, taking Caroline’s blood pressure. The commentators had been saying she looked unhappy during the first set, though she did well to lose by only 4-6.
As they said of Kvitova, there’s no thermostat on her! She goes for pretty well everything. It’s entertaining, and when it works she’s a formidable player, though you wouldn’t want her playing for your life.

margot Says:

I like Azarenka, she moves so well and, as g says, hits winners from all over the place. Also like Kvitova, her aggressive play is exciting to watch. The women’s game has suddenly become a lot more interesting. Looking forward to seeing how far Heather Watson can go.
One thing though, think it’s a real anomaly in 2011 that coaching is still allowed at WTA matches, pathetic actually. Either ban it or allow men to have coaching.
kimberly, bummer about your tendinitis. I damaged my Achilles tendon and the doc told me to go home and lie on the sofa till it was better. Only then did I find out how dire day time TV is! Rest is only cure though, unfortunately.

jane Says:

Agree margot – like both Aza and Kvitova. Aza really had Serena on the backfoot for a set at the USO. Had she been able to take that second set, and force a third… she might’ve won. Anyhow, I agree: I am interested to see what happens in the WTA next year.

Kimberly Says:

love azarenka and have really enjoyed the wta this year along with kimmi, jane, margot, grendel and a few others. I don’t think its “sucking air” as this author says. I have been more interested this year than for awhile.

alison hodge Says:

i hope to see azarenka and kvitova in the final,i think it could turn out to be an exciting rivalry for the future,i think azarenka is a future grand slam champion in waiting.

grendel Says:

agreed, alison hodge, and the final is looking like just what you are hoping for.
As Colin said, Woz was a bit poorly. Didn’t stop her delivering a remarkable winner in the middle of the second set, she seemed to lash out angrily. She ought to try that more often. It’s all very well giving the other player one more shot to go for, and usually a very unexpected one. She caught Kvitova once or twice like that, but by and large it’s not enough to beat the very best, who counter this with the unexpected. there were times when Woz looked as if she thought Kvitova was playing a different game to her, and that this was hardly fair…

I do believe that if Kvitova ever got her act completely together, she would be just about unbeatable. Azarenka is a great, great craftswoman with a powerful game. But Kvitova is inspirational – and when it comes off, boy!

She seems to me to have the best lefty serve since McEnroe, it’s as good as Patty Schnyder’s only more powerful. What amazes me, but perhaps this just shows up my ignorance, is how much spin she imparts to her serve whereas generally, she is a flat hitter. One gorgeous second serve ace (which actually turned out to be out by a milimetre, but silly Woz didn’t challenge) went down the tee and then span away like a massive googly.

Another mystery for the armchair spectator. Kvitova was about midcourt on the wing when she delivered a crashing bh winner, creating the most incredible angle. The thing is, she didn’t hold anything back, but she doesn’t do top spin, does she, so I wonder how she kept the ball in. I did notice her wrists turning over, not quite sure of the significance of that.

grendel Says:

oops – re lefty serve, forgot about Ivanesevic!

Colin Says:

Grendel, the Americans here are going to wonder what the heck a googly is, poor souls!

Kimmi Says:

happy for kvitova, rooting for her all the way. azarenka is posing great results though..another easy one for her. Yes, I am also hoping for azarenka and kvitova final.

But what a fighter radwanska is, i am glad she was able to win a match. Who will come out as a second qualifier from Red group? i dont believe radwanska is second in the group at the moment. She only need to win a set against kvitova, then she is through, but can she?

Kimmi Says:

happy to see kvitova playing her best tennis again, i agree with colin

“As they said of Kvitova, there’s no thermostat on her! She goes for pretty well everything. It’s entertaining, and when it works she’s a formidable player, though you wouldn’t want her playing for your life”

she is getting better though, hopefully by next year we can trust her enough to play for our lives hey?

Kimmi Says:

whose idea is this? what a horrible colour the court in istanbul is, i seriously find it difficult to see the ball.

Kimmi Says:

Did i hear it right? i was watching the highlights between radwanska vs zvonareva, i think i heard the commentator saying radwanska has qualified?

Kimmi Says:

OK, radwanska needs to win a set against kvitova to qualify. If she loses in straight set to kvitova then zvonareva qualifies. that make sense.

Bob Says:

Sharapova is the best, at least in beauty and fitness!!

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