Tag Archives: Victoria Azarenka

Wilson Adds Juice to Azarenka’s Game With New Deal.

Victoria Azarenka (Courtesy Wilson Tennis)

The new year often brings new deals for various players and today Wilson Sporting Goods announced it had signed a long-term deal with Victoria Azarenka who will now be playing with the new Wilson Juice racquet. Continue reading

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Miami WTA Review: Does Clijsters Want Serena’s Part-Time Job?

Rather than analyze yesterday’s final where Kim Clijsters ran away with the title 6-2, 6-1 by merely keeping the ball in play versus an erratic Venus Williams, I’d rather spend time pointing out this recent Twitter message from Clijsters to Venus’s sister Serena and what it all means for the WTA.

“@serenajwilliams Lucky you on your way to the beach! some of us have to practice for a tough match 2moro!!”

This gentle jab at Serena for spending time (rather obviously by the photos Serena tweeted about herself in a bikini) at the beach while still recovering from her knee injury basically summed up the whole women’s event at Miami. Even though she never stepped on a court, Serena still overshadowed any matches played. And though we still don’t know when or where Serena will play again, it’s safe to stay that Clijsters, who will be ranked No. 10 on Monday, could soon find herself with another job besides taking care of her daughter Jada, that of being No.1. Continue reading

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Clijsters & Henin Dismantle “Future” of WTA Azarenka & Zvonareva.

Remember this time last year when the “future” of the WTA appeared out of nowhere? Vera Zvonareva’s title run at Indian Wells followed by Victoria Azarenka’s win over Serena Williams in Miami seemed like the beginning of another wave of young stars set to dominate the tour.

Well, fast forward a year and with the easy wins by Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters over both of these rising stars today at the Sony Ericsson Open, it raises questions of where both Azarenka and Zvonareva are headed in their careers and where the WTA is going too. Continue reading

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Sveta Tweets. But What is She Saying?

Many fans of Svetlana Kuznetsova sometimes wonder what is going in her mind during her matches. Well now you may get some insight as Kuznetsova is the latest pro to tweet her thoughts.

Using her Twitter nickname of SvetlanaK27, we’ve learned she prefers the nickname “Sveta” as opposed to “Kuzzy”, that she gets along well with fellow pro tweeter Serena Williams and what some of her favorite movies and tv shows are. Plus she often has “tweet” exchanges with fellow doubles partner Victoria Azarenka (known as Vika7) and Caroline Wozniacki (CaroWozniacki). Continue reading

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WTA Crystal Ball for 2010.

Now that the WTA season is over and the ladies are resting up for Australia, I thought it was time to look ahead and give my predictions for 2010. 2009 was a drama filled year and I expect even more next year. Players will be “ranked” according to what I think their year-end ranking will be for 2010.

1. Serena Williams – Even with the return of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, I don’t expect anyone to take over the top spot from Serena and expect her to win at least two Slams for 2010.

2. Caroline Wozniacki – “Sunshine” as she’s known on the tour will have another consistent year and will find herself in another Slam final. If she can win a big one remains to be seen but it will be hard to bet against her next year. Conditioning and her excessive match play may hurt her down the road.

3. Dinara Safina – A lot depends on Safina’s current back injury and her mental toughness for 2010. I can see her in a Slam final but she will have to dismiss whatever demons she has in order to make it back to the top spot.

4. Svetlana Kuznetsova – Despite her mental flaws, “Sveta” will always be a factor in 2010 and will probably make it to another Slam final. If she wins a Slam next year is entirely up to her. Watch out for her at the Australian Open as she finished 2010 in good shape healthwise.

5. Venus Williams – 2010 will be the last chance at glory for Venus as she turns 30 this year. Aside from Wimbledon, she’s not been a factor for a while at the other Slams and her knee could be a big issue. Plus the fact that no one tour is afraid of playing her could may next year very tough.

6-9. These slots will change depending on the names, i.e. Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, etc. They could breakthrough and win a Slam, but let’s face it, shouldn’t they have done so already?

10. Kim Clijsters – Everybody keeps salivating over Henin’s return but Clijsters, who played lights out tennis at the U.S. Open, will still go into every tournament with nothing to lose and thus no pressure. I expect Kimmie to be a factor in Australia and a heavy favorite at the U.S. Open again.

Wildcards – Justine Henin will be the story at the Australian Open win or lose. It will all depend on her draws and I actually think the clay court season is where she will find the most success. She has more to lose than Kim Clijsters in her comeback so a Slam victory in 2010 is paramount.

Sam Stosur – Stosur finally won a WTA event in ’09 and will probably break into the top 10 next year. She’s got the game to win a big one, maybe even Wimbledon, but does she believe she can win is the question.

Maria Sharapova – Sharapova is finally getting back on track after a rocky 2009. If her serve starts clicking again, she could be a factor but probably not until Wimbledon.

Ana Ivanovic – 2010 will define Ivanovic’s entire career. If she can get over her mental and physical fatigue, she could work her way back into the top ten again. If she can’t, I could see her retiring early. Hope I’m wrong.

Melanie Oudin – Next year will be the real test for the feisty American to prove the U.S. Open run was no fluke. I definitely see her in the top 20 before too long. Perhaps the French Open will be her next surprise Slam as she says she likes the clay?

Amelie Mauresmo – There’s been no word yet on Mauresmo’s potential retirement but even if she decides to stick it out, 2010 will probably be her last year. Maybe she will finally go for broke and play with nothing to lose? If so, we could be in for a real treat.

Let me know what you think!

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Jankovic and Venus into Doha Semis.

Jelena Jankovic is in the semifinals of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha despite having just played just over 90 minutes in all of her matches. Today Jankovic defeated a tired Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2.

Jankovic benefited from the early retirement of Dinara Safina in her first round match. In my opinion that match should not have counted as it prevented the other alternates Vera Zvonareva or Agnieska Radwanska any chance of advancing to the title stage.

Case in point. Today Radwanska in the only match she can play at the event defeated Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 4-1 (ret) after Azarenka retired due to injury. This means Wozniacki will make into the semifinals along with Jankovic, Serena Williams and Venus Williams who got in after Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Elena Dementieva easily 6-3, 6-2.

I’m rather disappointed in the play of Kuznetsova, who despite winning with ease today, really had chances against both Venus and Serena in their previous matches. The event is also a disappointment for Dementieva who caps off what should have been a breakthrough year with yet another substandard result at a big event.

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Update – Safina out of Doha, Serena #1.

QATAR WTA TENNIS

Dinara Safina in Tears at Doha (AP)

Well now we know the cause of Dinara Safina’s “misery tour” which began this summer on the hard courts and ended with the world number one in tears at the WTA Finale at Doha.

After her retirement to Jelena Jankovic in their opening round match, Safina announced that she would not continue play at the Doha event due to a severe back injury she has battled for the last three months. Safina said her lower back was almost “fractured”, but didn’t say what was the cause. Safina tried taking cortisone injections this week to deal with the pain but it didn’t work.

Doctors have now advised Safina to take the next six weeks off and that appearing at the 2010 Australian Open is in jeopardy.

This is truly bad news for Safina who endured criticism the whole year not being worthy of her top ranking. It’s hard to say if the back injury was the cause of her many early round losses this summer, but one would think it was a major factor. The other issue is why did Safina not take time off after the U.S. Open and skip Asia rather than risk marring her 2010 schedule? And what about her coach Zeljko Krajan who has endured criticism himself for being too tough on Safina and not looking out for her best interest?

It’s unclear if Safina’s withdrawal will allow one of the alternate players, Agnieska Radwanska or Vera Zvonareva into the main draw. With Safina’s loss, Serena Williams will finish the year at No. 1. She clinched the top spot after winning an epic match against sister Venus Williams 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

In other early round play, Caroline Wozniacki came back from a set and a break down to defeat Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 6-4 7-5.

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