Azarenka, Kvitova Reach WTA Championships Semifinals; Wozniacki Eliminated
by Staff | October 27th, 2011, 11:59 pm

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka each assured themselves of semifinal berths in the 2011 WTA Championships held at Istanbul.

Kvitova remained perfect in the round-robin red group with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

“Indoors is different for me – I can play faster than I can outdoors,” Kvitova said who is a remarkable 16-0 this year indoors. “I think I’m more dangerous indoors, but then so is Caroline.”

The loss sends the 1-2 Wozniacki out of the Championships, but the Dane did clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking for a second straight season.

The second player to emerge from the red group will be either Vera Zvonareva or Agnieszka Radwanska. If Radwanska wins a set of Kvitova tomorrow, she gets in. If Aga loses in straights then Vera goes.

“Petra is playing really well the last few weeks and she has shown some good tennis here as well,” Radwanska said. “For sure it’s going to be very tough, but I’m going to do my best tomorrow. I’m gonna fight like hell.”

In the white group, Azarenka secured her semifinal thanks to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Li Na. “It’s day by day, day by day,” said Azarenka. “There are still a few more matches left. I’m excited to be here and hope to keep going the same way.”

The second place spot and semifinal berth will go to the winner of Friday’s Na v. Sam Stosur match. The Australian has won all five career meetings with Na.

Sinan Erdem Dome (from 17.00hrs)
1. Li Na vs. Samantha Stosur
2. Petra Kvitova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
3. Marion Bartoli vs. Victoria Azarenka

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26 Comments for Azarenka, Kvitova Reach WTA Championships Semifinals; Wozniacki Eliminated

Kimmi Says:

Congrats to semi finalist.

wasnt radwanska 5-1 serving for first set to qualify for the semi? and then what happened? must be a disappointing loss.

So impressed with petra, hope she wins the whole thing! go petra!

Kimberly Says:

I’m rooting for Vika! I think next year is her year! Just love her game.

Kimmi Says:

looking forward to watch the matches today. go petra

BT Says:

Good comeback by Stosur to get up 5-4. This is going to be a close one!

BT Says:

First set in the bag for my Sammy! :P

Kimmi Says:

wow! petra completely capitulated in that first many errors. good for sam to take adv.

hope petra can regroup in the second set..

Kimmi Says:

sam is serving well too.

Kimmi Says:

wow, 3 big second serves to save 3 break points.

c’mon petra..c’moon

Kimmi Says:

4-2 exactly where she was in the first set

Kimmi Says:

congrats to delpo, wins in three

BT Says:

Kvitova really cut down on the errors in the second set. She really runs hot and cold sometimes. A strong performance none the less.

We have a decider!

Kimmi Says:

second set petra, she did not falter this time. now third set, can she keep it together?

BT Says:

Wow 5 games in a row to Kvitova. Unless she has another bad lapse this could be over very quickly!

Kimmi Says:

Its not over till its over for petra, fingers crossed

Kimmi Says:

ohooo! petra cruising now. insurance break.

Kimmi Says:

c’mon petra, serve it out

Kimmi Says:

wow! sam with back to back baxkhand winner…not over yet

Kimmi Says:

and there is the break…

Kimmi Says:

three straight games for sam..

petra to serve again. c’mon

BT Says:

Congrats to Petra on a very good win.

Kimmi Says:

CONGRATS TO PETRA!!!! great service game this time. that is why the insurance break is important.

Not losing a match in the this tournament. what an accomplishment!!

grendel Says:

“stosur, kvitova, and li na all have definite one slam wonder potential. I think Kvotova is most likely of the three to dominate and win multiple events.” – Kimberley, on other thread. I want to disagree with this comment. All due respect to Li Na and Stosur, two very mature players who have come good in what are probably the latter halves of their careers. Kvitova, on the other hand is just 21. At the beginning of this year, she was outside the top 30. She still looks a little rough, which is wonderful – you can tell that there’s going to be lots of improvement. I do believe that when she is the finished article, she will certainly be the greatest player since Serena – and maybe beyond that. Already, she is special. She has the potential to be very special indeed. You know, she beat Venus when she was 17 – she was the lowest ranked player to defeat Venus since, presumably, Venus was climbing the ranks. She kind of stalled since then, but I gather the last two years, she has been steadily losing weight.

Just let’s think what she can do. I said the other day that imo she has the best lefty serve since McEnroe and Ivanesevic. Noone said anything – too daft to respond to, perhaps? – but I was gratified to hear Chris Bradnam say in commentary today that for him, Kitova was “one of the best lefty servers I’ve ever seen, man or woman”. About an hour earlier, in response to one of those wide, swinging serves which travel way, way out of reach, Bradnam had said:”what wouldn’t Nadal give to have that particular serve: because he just doesn’t”. Schnyder had it, though not so lethal. I wonder if Nadal can’t do it because he is basically a rightie? This is just uninformed guesswork – wld be interested to hear from the informed.

Clearly she can hit with great power and precision, off both wings, to all corners of the court – but she can hit the low ones, too, and that’s unusual. Radwanska’s good at those, but then she lacks the power. Then compare her movement with say Sharapova – it’s so much better, and she’s so much more of a natural. She moves into the net as if she’s born to it, she has lovely touch, can stun screamers, lob volley on the run, has a generally safe smash. And then her attitude.

We saw today against Stosur what a competitive beast she is. She goes up 4-2, looks like coasting it but instead loses the set, the first game I think in the next, puts the disappointment calmly behind her and comes back to take the 2nd. Then she goes on a roll to 5-0, but this time Stosur – serving magnificently – fights back, snatching 3 games. But Kvitova calmly serves it out.

We all know, by now, about the extravagant hitting, almost as many errors as winners. I suspect she is trying to temper this, and she clearly needs to be careful – her amazing hitting is a huge weapon, and she doesn’t want to emasculate that. As it is,you sometimes see her showing a bit of restraint in the WRONG situation – and virtually handing the point to her opponent. Boy, that is irritating to watch – I guess that because everything happens so fast and the process of decision making is still conscious and is not yet embedded in the muscle memory, she sometimes picks the wrong ball on which to show a bit of caution.

Once she’s got that right, once she finds that balance which the great players automatically have (Serena, Azarenka now) – watch out! This is someone whose tennis can capture your heart.

Kimmi Says:

this match does not have the excitement of the first match. azarenka is the steady one so far..

Grendel – i agree about petra steadily losing weight. She looks very good at the moment. I am sure she must have lost few more pounds since wimbledon.

i remember at one of her interviews at wimbledon, she mentioned her coach was cooking for her..

margot Says:

kimmi: and hardly any point watching since Vera sacked her “other” coach…;)
Yep, Kvitova’s the real deal alright, hope Azarenka’s up for the challenge.

alison hodge Says:

i hope petra can go on and win the whole thing,i agree with grendel i think she has the potential to go on and become one of the greats of the game,a multi slam winner, i think this is just the start of bigger things to come,however only time will tell.

grendel Says:

subdued match. Zvonereva showed she has more flair and imagination than Azarenka, but when you make 47 unforced errors,this doesn’t count for much. Azarenka is so steady these days, hitting deep, deep, deep off almost everything. She was very subdued in post match interview, calling yesterday a “disaster”. She actually looked on the brink of tears – some pretty conflicting emotions, I’d guess.

It seems the Istanbul people were charging £7 max for a ticket. And look at the result – capacity crowd, animated and full of smiles. Lesson here? Although you do wonder how they generated the income to pay the players.

Top story: Muguruza Outlasts Sabalenka In Doha; Azarenka v Svitolina Thurs.