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Old 01-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #21
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And this isn't including the unofficial Hopman Cup.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:21 PM   #22
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I don't mind multiple tournaments. The WTA...tennis in general, has always had multiple events in a week...even during Majors sometimes...not to mention ITF events...maybe not this many on the top tier...but it gives more players a chance to play. Usually, there is going to be a main event that for money or prestige (or both) will attract the main women. This week, that is Brisbane. They got Serena, Masha, Vika, Samantha and Caroline, among others. So you have the tour's two most popular players and the #1 ranked player, the hometown girl and a former #1. Oh, I forgot 2011 WTA POY Petra Kvitova, too.

Ok, Agnieszka Radwanska is at ASB and Li Na is at Shenzhen, Venus and Ana are at Hopman Cup...but honestly, Brisbane's field is fine without them. Aga, Ana and Li Na could have played in Brisbane if they wanted, but for varying reasons chose not to. It's ok. I like it so long as the main event of the week gets a good field, which Brisbane did. And ASB and Shenzhen got a star or two that they can use to sell those events. Ana and Novak are really good friends and love playing together at Hopman Cup...have done so a few times now.

As far as the 125s, it's just a few events...again, a way for some players who would be watching Tennis Channel to actually play...

...as a blogger, however...last year I tried to cover all the WTA while also doing LPGA and JLPGA...by the start of October I was fried...so this week I choose to write about just one event, Brisbane, while follow one other player, Ana, at Hopman Cup...however, I am following all of the play everywhere as a fan...but I don't have enough free time to track down all the media, photos, video...etc, etc, etc...for four tennis events in one week to write about and still keep an eye on the LPGA and JLPGA...

...in fact, this week I posted almost everyday about Brisbane or Ana...but after this week, I will probably just do wrap up posts here once a week about who won all the various tournaments...except for Majors and big events like Miami and Indian Wells...
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:33 PM   #23
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more pics, video and scores on my blog: Time To Make A Statement: Victoria Azarenka Breezes Through 2013 Brisbane International Quarterfinals, Now Takes On Serena Williams Fairways and Forehands

Victoria Azarenka


This is the semifinal match most tennis fans wanted to see at the 2013 Brisbane International. For Victoria Azarenka, it is a chance to finish what she couldn’t in the 2012 US Open women’s singles final. Granted, Brisbane isn’t the US Open or the Australian Open. But Serena Williams has pretty much humbled Maria Sharapova. Vika’s record (1-11) is even worse, but in some of those losses Vika had chances, like in Flushing Meadow. What matters here, for the health of the game is whether somebody can at least challenge Serena. For a while, that person was Justine Henin before she started having injury issues. Justine isn’t walking through the door, as they say. And even if she did, she wouldn’t be the player she once was. Masha can’t seem to handle Serena. I know they always play that Wimbledon win of Sharapova’s over and over, but that was in 2004! Masha or Vika need to stand up in 2013 and beat Serena to make things interesting. If they can’t, and Serena is healthy…which it seems she is…it could be an historic year for Williams. And there is nothing wrong with that. Serena is the best. She should win most of the time. She deserves it. However, I think rivalries can push the sport to greater heights. But right now, there is no rival for Serena if she keeps torching the two highest ranked players.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:25 AM   #24
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from my blog: Victoria Azarenka Pulls Out Of 2013 Brisbane International With Toe Injury; Showdown With Serena Off Fairways and Forehands

Victoria Azarenka


Maybe the folks who make the tennis schedule need to rethink the length of the season. Once again, a big player succumbs to injury and has to pull out of a tournament. In this case, Victoria Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the 2013 Brisbane International with an injury to her right toe. This follows Maria Sharapova’s withdrawal with a collarbone injury. Because of Vika’s withdrawal, Serena Williams advances to the Brisbane final.

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #25
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more pics on my blog: Ana Ivanovic, Novak Djokovic Lead Serbia Past Germany And Into 2013 Hopman Cup Final Against Spain Fairways and Forehands

Ana Ivanovic


Well, this is where most people expected Team Serbia to end up in the 2013 Hopman Cup. After beating Germany 3-0, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic move on to face Team Spain. Nole was dominant in dismantling Germany’s Tommy Haas 6-2 6-0. Ana was even more dominant in crushing the outmatched Tatjana Malek 6-0 6-1. It will be all for naught if they can’t finish the job against Spain. I’d call Team Serbia the decided favorite, but anything can happen.



Nole doing an imitation of Ana and dancing Gangnam Style!



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Old 01-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #26
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more pics, scores and video on my blog: WTA Wrap-Up 1.5.2013: Brisbane International, ASB Classic, Shenzhen Open Fairways and Forehands

Serena Strikes A Pose


This year, while I will choose to follow one event during the week, I will be doing a combined WTA wrap-up on the weekends. It’s just less time consuming than trying to post for three WTA events, the LPGA and the JLPGA every week. So without further ado, congratulations to Serena Williams for winning the 2013 Brisbane International. It’s no surprise that Serena won. However, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova both pulling out did rob this event of some luster. Now, this is not to suggest either of them would have beaten Serena. Although anything can happen in sports, probably not. But I’d rather see Serena play them and beat them than have them pull out and not experience the match.

Agnieszka Radwanska


Meanwhile, in Auckland, New Zealand world #4 Agnieszka Radwanska edged the dangerous Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-4 to take the title at the 2013 ASB Classic. It was the third ASB Classic final in 4 years for Yanina, who beat Flavia Pennetta for the crown in 2010 but fell to Greta Arn in 2011. For Aga, she shows no sign that 2013 will be a letdown following her breakthrough 2012 season that saw her win 3 titles and push Serena to three sets in the Wimbledon final.

Li Na


On paper, some might say that Li Na winning the 2013 Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open was a no-brainer. The best player in the field, like in Brisbane and Auckland, won the event. But anybody who follows Li Na, as I do, knows how frustratingly unpredictable her game can be. World beater one day, can’t find the court the next day. Even within the same match she is streaky, which we saw against Klara Zakopalova in the final. So to me, this win is big for Li Na. She won her first event in 2004 in Guangzhou, becoming the first player from China to win a WTA event. Now with her 7th title, I think moving forward in 2013 we will see a very good year from Li Na.

Serena


Aga


Li Na


Yung-Jan Chan and Hao-Ching Chan Shenzhen Doubles Champions


Cara Black (and son) and Anastasia Rodionova ASB Doubles Champions


Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza Brisbane Doubles Champions
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Last edited by bangkokbobby; 01-05-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:08 PM   #27
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Go Li Na
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #28
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A good ad.

Venus y Serena Williams juegan para Apple en su nuevo "spot" - Yahoo! Finanzas México
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:54 PM   #29
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more pics and video on my blog: Ana Ivanovic, Novak Djokovic Fall Short As Serbia Falls To Spain In 2013 Hopman Cup Final Fairways and Forehands

Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues Reign For Spain


This is why sports is not played on paper. Men’s #1 Novak Djokovic and former women’s #1 and current #13 Ana Ivanovic combined to make Team Serbia a formidable pair and odds-on favorite at the 2013 Hopman Cup. In the end though, it would be the pair of Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues who would raise the trophy for Team Spain. While Nole was able to edge Fernando in the men’s singles, Medina Garrigues shocked Ivanovic in three sets in the women’s singles, 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-2.

“We were unfortunate last time, this time we were beaten by a better team.” – Novak Djokovic

Anabel Medina Garrigues overjoyed in victory


While the big advantage for Team Serbia was their strength in singles, once Medina Garrigues upset Ivanovic to level the match at 1-1, the advantage actually swung to the doubles expertise of the Spanish team, who took out the Serbia squad in straight sets, 6-4 7-5. It seems Serbia is snake-bitten in Hopman Cup. When Nole spoke of being unfortunate last time, he was referring to making the Hopman Cup final last year but having to pull out due to an abdominal injury to Ana. But overall, it was a good week and they did at least make the final. It’s not what they hoped for but it was a fine showing nonetheless, in my eyes.



Anabel Medina Garrigues




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Old 01-10-2013, 01:18 AM   #30
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from my blog: WTA Increases Chinese Events To 5 In 2014; Thank You, Li Na! Fairways and Forehands

Li Na with 2011 Roland Garros trophy


It was probably bound to happen eventually anyway, but the WTA’s presence in China will grow to 5 events in 2014. Still, I have to think that Li Na’s success at Roland Garros, becoming the first Asian born player to win a tennis Major in singles, lit a flame of tennis interest in a country where table tennis is still more popular. Although it’s only the beginning of 2013, the WTA tends to have scheduling set far in advance. This year, China has three events; in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Beijing. The Shenzhen event, which started on December 30, 2012, has already finished, won by Li Na.

Li Na wins Shenzhen 2012


2014 will see those events joined by events in Hong Kong and Li Na’s hometown of Wuhan. These are not new events. They are events that are being moved to China. The Hong Kong event is being moved from Kuala Lumpur. That one I really like. The KL event was good, but I think Hong Kong will really go all out, even though that’s “only” an International level event. The one I kind of feel conflicted about is moving the Premier 5 level Toray Pan Pacific Open from Tokyo, Japan to Wuhan. It’s great that Li Na’s hometown gets an event, but the WTA had a 30 year run in Tokyo ending with its final tournament in 2013. I’ve followed this event since its inception in 1984, so it’s sad for me to see it go.



Not only has the WTA increased the amount of full WTA level events in China to 5 in 2014, but they are adding 3 events in China (Suzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing) to the WTA 125 series, bringing the total of WTA 125 series events to 6.
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