Serena Williams, Radwanska, Li Win Week 1 Titles — WTA Round-up
by Staff | January 5th, 2013, 12:00 pm

The world No. 3-ranked player, but the No. 1 in the minds of her fellow players (except Victoria Azarenka) and the public, Serena Williams started off her 2013 campaign and a potential run back to the No. 1 ranking by winning the WTA Brisbane crown on Saturday night in Australia.
The younger Williams sister was dominant in topping Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final 6-2, 6-1. In the semifinals Williams received a walkover against the world No. 1 Azarenka, who easily won her quarterfinal match, but pulled from the semifinal match against Williams before taking the court, citing a toe problem from a pedicure. Azarenka was 0-5 against Williams in their head-to-head meetings in 2012.

In the off-season Williams had practiced with Pavlyuchenkova.
“We were both in Mauritius working so hard, and I think we’re both meant to do well in a couple of weeks,” Williams said.

Williams has now won 16 matches in a row stretching back to 2012, and will next take to the court at the Australian Open.

“I’m in a really calm place and not panicking, I’m not over-thinking it and not just blasting every ball,” Williams said of her current on-court state. “I get really calm and kind of serene. I was looking at a lot of old matches on YouTube and I feel like right now I’m playing some of my best tennis.”

Pavlyuchenkova dropped to 3-2 in career finals.
Agnieszka Radwanska was also a winner during week one, defeating Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-4 for her 11th career title and first on the Australian continent in Auckland at the ASB Classic.

Radwanska was tested in the semifinals by unseeded American Jamie Hampton, surviving in two tiebreaks. Wickmayer in her semifinal beat Mona Barthel in a third-set breaker. Wickmayer fell to 3-6 in career WTA finals.

China’s Li Na started her season out right with the title in her home country at the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open, outlasting Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 in the final.

Zakopalova won more points during the match, 89 to 88 for Li, but the Chinese won the bigger points to earn her seventh career title and first since Cincinnati last year.

“I managed my mood swings well, and I’m glad I made it,” said the temperamental Li. “Winning the title certainly helps boost my confidence for the coming weeks, but it also depends on how I’m playing on the courts. Confidence itself won’t guarantee a win. But I’m very happy to win.”

Zakopalova dropped to 2-10 in career finals, but is now on the verge of cracking the Top 25 for the first time.

“She’s playing unbelievably fast and flat, and she’s hitting her backhand down the line very well,” Zakopalova said of Li. “To me she’s one of the Top 3 players right now and I hope she can make it there.”

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8 Comments for Serena Williams, Radwanska, Li Win Week 1 Titles — WTA Round-up

joe Says:

Serena is so much better than everyone it is a joke. Azarenka couldn’t play her because she got a bad pedicure? Ha.

dari Says:

“i get really calm and kind of serene” about time she lived out her name for once!

jen Says:


BT Says:

Serena is getting that invincibility aura around her that she had in 2001/2002. Players are beginning to feel like they can’t beat her even at their very best.

alison Says:

Its quite a possiblity that Serena could pass Steffi Graffs GS talley by the time her career is over,she had a few years where she went walkabout with other interests,but these days she seems to be looking better than ever,and is extra motivated,and with no more injury worries to speak of,is not going anywhere soon,all in all a scary prospect for the rest of the female players on tour,i would say only Vika at her absolute best is the most capable of really pushing Serena,seems that theres injury concerns for Vika and Maria too,which only makes it more likely that Serena will be the one to beat at the AO IMO.

moam Says:

Serena is in fine form. She seems to have made a very smooth transition from 2012 to the new year. The AO should be a fascinating tournament. Serena has stated that she thinks it’s possible that she could win the calender year slam. It’s her goal to do so. Thar would be an extraordinary achievement for any player, male or female in this incredibly physical brand of tennis played now. If she wins Australia, there’s little doubt that she will be looking to avenge her first round loss to Virgenie Razanno last year.

Alok Says:

@moam, that loss to Razaano was a shocker. It caused a meltdown from Serena. She was crying and telling her team that she’s trying but can’t seem to put the ball in the court. I don’t think she expected Razzano to keep fighting epecially after Razanno was having cramps, etc. However, due to that loss serena became more motivated, so looking back it had to be a positive thing for her, because look at what she has accomplished after the FO.

moam Says:

@Alok. Yes, I agree, that loss was yet another source of motivation. The health scare and injury were the other two. She is a remarkable champion with incredible belief and resilience.

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