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Old 03-12-2012, 11:56 PM   #51
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So I am watching Li Na take on a little girl in a hula hoop challenge at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open...a part of me says let the kid win...another part says teach the kid what life is all about...you have to earn it! Hmmm...which will Li Na do?

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:56 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
more pics and video on my blog: Christina McHale Upsets Petra Kvitova In Third Round Of 2012 BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells; Victoria Azarenka Finds Her Form Fairways and Forehands

Christina McHale


When Christina McHale defeated then #1 Caroline Wozniacki in 2011, it was apparent to everybody that this was not just some fluke win over a top player. McHale has game and is not intimidated by the higher ranked players. She took that fearlessness onto the court in the third round of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, downing the 2011 WTA Player of the Year 2-6 6-2 6-3. To be fair, it did seem like Petra was not herself and having trouble breathing. An asthma sufferer, Kvitova even went to her inhaler during the match. There is also a viral bug that has hit at Indian Wells. But afterwards, Petra made no excuses and well she shouldn’t. Even if she wasn’t 100%, it doesn’t diminish the fact that Christina took the game to her and looked to be aggressive.

Victoria Azarenka


Victoria Azarenka nearly suffered an upset loss herself in her first match at Indian Wells. In her second match against 2-time Major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, not so much. I’m not surprised, nobody is, that Vika defeated Sveta, but Azarenka dismissed Kuznetsova with a 6-1 6-2 message to the rest of the field not to get too hopeful following her first match struggles. Vika was all business in dispatching a very tough opponent.

Singles – Third Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (25) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 61 62
(32) Christina McHale (USA) d. (3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 26 62 63
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (27) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 64 62
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (31) Zheng Jie (CHN) 61 63
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (9) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) w/o (viral illness)
(14) Julia Goerges (GER) d. (24) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 64
(18) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Vania King (USA) w/o (GI illness)
(WC) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 62 67(1) 62

Maria Sharapova


Julia Goerges
Christina has been my favorite American WTA player for a while. She has been getting better and better in the last 15 months.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:13 AM   #53
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more pics and video on my blog: Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki Set For Fourth Round Showdown At 2012 BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells Fairways and Forehands

Ana Ivanovic


It wasn’t the prettiest path to the fourth round for former #1s Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki, but eventually each prevailed to set up a marquee match-up between the two at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Ana squandered an early 5-3 lead and a set point in the first set of her match against Ksenia Pervak but eventually pulled it together for a 6-7 (8) 6-3 6-2 win. Ana will need to be sharp in her next match against another former #1, Caroline Wozniacki.

Caroline Wozniacki


And speaking of Caro, her match against Sofia Arvidsson was a three-set war. Honestly, with all of the breaks of serve it seemed more like a contest of who wanted to lose the least, not who wanted to win the most. And Wozniacki is somewhat fortunate she didn’t have a bad night like this against a higher ranked player. As it is, Caroline held on and eventually turned the tide in her favor, 3-6 7-5 6-2. I don’t know if I would say Caroline’s shaky play against Arvidsson gives Ivanovic any more confidence going into their showdown. First of all, Ana struggled too in the third round, and secondly, how many times have we seen top players like Caroline struggle one round only to look unbeatable the next. That very thing happened with Victoria Azarenka in this tournament as she struggled in her first match only to come back and vaporize Svetlana Kuznetsova in her next.



Maria Sharapova


Singles – Third Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 63 64
(4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 36 75 62
(30) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (6) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 61 67(6) 76(5)
(7) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 62 60
(23) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (10) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 62 ret. (GI illness)
(15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 67(8) 63 62
(21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (16) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 67(5) 60 64
(20) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) 62 46 64
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:04 AM   #54
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more pics on my blog: Ana Ivanovic Upsets Caroline Wozniacki, Advances To Quarterfinals Of 2012 BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells; Victoria Azarenka Continues To Roll Fairways and Forehands

Ana Ivanovic


Wow! I didn’t expect that. Sure, I thought there was a possibility Ana Ivanovic could beat Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. However, I was thinking something along the lines of a tight match with close sets…maybe some momentum swings within those sets. Mostly, I thought Wozniacki would take the match in straight sets over Ivanovic. What Ana served up instead was an emphatic 6-3 6-2 dismissal of Caroline in a battle of former world #1s and former Indian Wells champions. This looked like the Ana of old, hammering away at an opponent from the baseline and punishing weak serves. Caroline only won 50% of her first serve points. I won’t even bother mentioning the second serve troubles for Wozniacki. OK, taking a deep breath, what does this mean? Bottom line, it’s just one match. If Ana goes out and loses her quarterfinal match to Marion Bartoli, which is entirely possible, the Wozniacki win could lose some luster, especially as this is not the same Wozniacki from early in 2011 and before. I think despite Bartoli being the higher ranked player at the moment, Ana needs to follow her win over Caroline with a win over Marion.

Victoria Azarenka


The Azarenka Express arrived at 20-0 for the season as Vika was too much for the tough Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-1. Like the Ana-Caroline match, the Vika-Julia match was one I thought would be closer. However, I am less surprised at Vika’s dominant performance. Right now, I am sure the tournament organizers are going to sleep every night dreaming of a final pitting Vika against Maria Sharapova. But before that dream can materialize, Azarenka has a very interesting match against Agnieszka Radwanska. Maybe I am wrong again, but this could be a very tough match for Vika. Also, Aga had some things to say about Vika’s theatrics the last time they played. An interesting stat, Agnieszka is also 20-0 this year…to players not named Victoria Azarenka. Aga is 20-3 on the year, with all three losses coming to Vika. Technically, she also has a walkover loss to Su-Wei Hsieh in Kuala Lumpur but that doesn’t count as she was unable to play that day due to an elbow injury. But when Aga actually walks onto the court, the only player who has beaten her this year is Vika. If Radwanska wants this to be a true rivalry, she has to put the brakes on that stat.

Singles – Fourth Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (14) Julia Goerges (GER) 63 61
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 61
(15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 63 62
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (WC) Jamie Hampton (USA) 63 46 30 ret. (cramping)
(7) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (23) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 61 64
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 61 60
(18) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (32) Christina McHale (USA) 63 36 76(4)
(20) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (30) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 61 57 62

Maria Sharapova


Li Na


Caroline Wozniacki
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:59 PM   #55
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more pics on my blog: Victoria Azarenka Continues To Look Unstoppable With Quarterfinal Blowout Of Agnieszka Radwanska At The 2012 BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells Fairways and Forehands

Victoria Azarenka


This is getting scary good. Victoria Azarenka turned a potentially dangerous foe in Agnieszka Radwanska into another blowout victim in the quarterfinals of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Agnieszka, who will move into the 4th spot in the WTA rankings after Indian Wells, very nearly suffered a double bagel loss. Vika was up 6-0 5-0 with the score 30-30 when Aga pulled it together to win a couple of games to make the scoreline a fractionally better 6-0 6-2 win for Azarenka. Vika remains unbeaten in 2012, moving to 21-0, while Aga drops to 20-4, with all four losses to Vika. I guess the positive is that Aga is also undefeated in a way…so long as she’s not playing Azarenka!

Angelique Kerber


Next up to try to stop Vika is Angelique Kerber, who defeated Li Na, 6-3 6-2. Angelique does have a win (and a loss) against Maria Sharapova this year, so I don’t expect her to be intimidated. Overwhelmed by the level of Vika’s game? Possibly. But frightened by Vika’s presence? Not likely. However, for Kerber to pull the upset it will take more than a positive attitude. Azarenka will have to come down to mortal levels. Maybe we will see Masha get another crack at Vika in the Indian Wells final, a rematch of their Australian Open final which Azarenka won convincingly, 6-3 6-0. Of course, Sharapova has to get through her side of the quarterfinals draw. She will take on Maria Kirilenko while Ana Ivanovic will face Marion Bartoli. Even if a Vika-Masha match happens, I don’t know if Masha can win without some help from Vika having an off day. Speaking of Masha, apparently she is working on a candy line.



Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 60 62
(18) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (8) Li Na (CHN) 64 62

Agnieszka Radwanska


Li Na
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:41 AM   #56
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Kerber will give Azarenka a run for her money in the SF; Ana and Maria will play an entertaining SF match.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:18 AM   #57
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more pics on my blog: Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic Advance To Semifinals Of 2012 BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells Fairways and Forehands

Maria Sharapova


At the beginning of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, one can imagine that the tournament organizers were looking to the Maria Sharapova half of the draw to produce a semifinal between two former world #1s. Well, that’s what they received, but instead of a showdown between Masha and Caroline Wozniacki, it will be a resurgent Ana Ivanovic taking on Sharapova for a spot in the final. Masha punched her ticket to the semifinals by outlasting fellow Russian, Maria Kirilenko, in comeback fashion 3-6 7-5 6-2. Kirilenko is a formidable foe and had Masha down a set and a break at 3-6 0-2 before Masha started to claw her way back. You never know how a player will perform from match to match, but if this version of Masha shows up against Ivanovic, then Ana could very well have a chance for a third straight upset.

Ana Ivanovic


After Ivanovic upset Wozniacki in the fourth round, I thought that based on how Caroline’s game is not quite where it once was it would tell us something about where Ana truly is if she could follow that match up with a strong showing against semifinal opponent Marion Bartoli. Well, Ana backed it up. Looking sharper than she has in a long time, Ana dropped serve in the first game of the match before storming back to take out Bartoli, 6-3 6-4. Marion was a little under the weather with the bug that has been going around at Indian Wells this year, but honestly Ana looked good regardless of what percentage of 100 Marion was operating under. On this day, Ana would have beaten a 100% Bartoli, too. Whether Ana can keep it going against Masha remains to be seen. Ana has never beaten 3 Top 10 players in the same tournament, even when she was #1. However, if she can keep up the form she had against Caroline and Marion, there’s a first time for everything. Here’s a little interview Ana did where she talks a little about what she’s looking for in 2012, among other things.



Singles – Quarterfinals
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (20) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 36 75 62
(15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (7) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 63 64

Maria Sharapova


Ana Ivanovic
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:24 AM   #58
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Too bad Ivanovic was hurt and retired from her SF match with Maria but it's a high quality match by both players.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:00 AM   #59
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more pics and videos on my blog: Disappointment In The Desert: Ana Ivanovic Retires From Semifinal Match Against Maria Sharapova; Masha To Take On Victoria Azarenka In Final Fairways and Forehands

Emotions come out as Ana Ivanovic is unable to continue match


The 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells semifinal match-up between former #1s Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic came to a disappointing end as Ana was forced to retire from the match with a left hip injury. At the time of the retirement, Masha had won a very hard fought 6-4 first set while Ana took the first game of the second set to lead 1-0. First of all, I hope Ana gets the proper treatment and heals quickly. The most important issue is her health. As for tennis, the injury retirement is disappointing on a few levels. Ana was playing very well in this tournament and, despite losing the first set, she was playing well against Sharapova. She had chances to take the opening set and probably should have. To not be able to finish, win or lose, is disappointing. Also, the fans lost out on seeing a great women’s marquee match-up. Even with the streaking Victoria Azarenka dominating women’s tennis to begin 2012, the featured night time match on ESPN2 was Sharapova vs Ivanovic. And to delight of all, it was turning out to be a good match with a 64 minute first set that could have gone either way.

Masha moves on to take on Vika


But this is sports. You never know what will happen. An injury retirement wasn’t on anybody’s radar, but it is what it is. Masha moves on to take on Victoria Azarenka in only the third #1 vs #2 match-up on the women’s side since 2005. It is a rematch of the 2012 Australian Open a few months ago (which at the time was not a #1 vs #2 match-up). It’s a match Masha would probably like to forget, as Vika blasted her 6-3 6-0. Azarenka has to go in as a heavy favorite. I’d like to see Masha take the match, but she will have to cut down her unforced errors. That’s tough for Masha to do. Her whole game, when it’s working, is built on going for her shots. When you do that, you play high risk, high reward…lots of winners, but also maybe lots of errors. Vika will eat her up if she comes out and sprays the ball all over the place. So Masha will have to successfully walk the razor’s edge in all likelihood to beat Vika…go for her shots, but not make errors. Of course, another possibility is that Azarenka’s level will come down a bit. It’s sports. That could happen. Vika beat Angelique Kerber in straight sets in her semifinal, but she didn’t look as unbeatable as she did against Agnieszka Radwanska…or against Masha in Australia. So a lot could hinge on what Vika comes out against Masha…the unbeatable force of nature or the sensational, but still human, world #1.



Singles - Semifinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (18) Angelique Kerber (GER) 64 63
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 64 01 ret. (left hip injury)

Ana Ivanovic


Victoria Azarenka
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #60
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Security is tough at Indian Wells...even world #1 Vika can't get in without showing her credentials!

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