Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WTA TOUR FINALS: Kvitova Out, Serena Into SFs, Vika Escapes

Petra Kvitova, the defending champion of the WTA Year End Championships, lost an atrocious straight sets match to Agnieska Radwanska yesterday and promptly withdrew from the 2012 WTA Tour championships in Istanbul today, citing a viral illness. Kvitova will be replaced in the field by Samantha Stosur.

Meanwhile Serena Williams, still looked rusty and error-prone in her 6-4 6-1 win against Angelique Kerber on Tuesday and repeated the sketchy performance on Wednesday in her 7-6(1) 6-3 win against Li Na. In both matches, the "best serve in women's tennis" was nowhere to be seen, with Serena barely placing half of her first serves into the court.

Serena's next match will be against World #1 Victoria Azarenka who won a classic barn burner against Kerber, saving two match points in a 6-7(11) 7-6(2) 6-4. Azarenka served for the 2012 U.S. Open championship against Serena at 5-4 in the 3rd set but ended up losing that match. Since then Serena has been off the tour entirely while Vika is on an 11-match, two tournament winning streak.

Serena was asked about the match-up with Azarenka and said:

“She has not stopped since January,” Serena said of Azarenka. “She’s been so consistent this whole year. It’s good to see someone playing so consistently throughout the whole year.
“It’ll be interesting to see our matchup. It’ll be fun. Regardless of what happens, I’m going to have a good time. I know she’s going to give 200 percent, and I am going to go out there and do the same.

It should be a great match on Thursday, even though Serena has nothing to lose because she has already qualified for the semifinal round. Azarenka needs one more round-robin win to clinch the year-end #1 ranking, and if she also reaches the semifinals, the two would meet again this week in the final, the very last official WTA tour match of the year.

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