Saturday, May 7, 2011

Azarenka close to Belarusian tennis history. Kvitova storms into top 10.

Victoria Azarenka battled past Lucie Safarova and into the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Friday, and she is now one win away from cracking the world's Top 4 - just in time for the French Open.

Azarenka hadn't lost a set to Safarova in five meetings, and although she would lose one this time it was all the ground she was willing to give, as she won four straight games from 2-all in the third set to craft a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory.

It has been an incredible two months for Azarenka, winning 18 of 20 matches. She won titles in Miami and Marbella and the only losses came via retirement - in the Indian Wells quarterfinals (a hip injury against Caroline Wozniacki) and in her first match in Stuttgart (a shoulder injury against Julia Goerges).

If the 21-year-old Azarenka is able to reach the final here, she will rise from No.5 to No.4 when the new rankings come out, making her the highest-ranked Belarusian player in WTA history - Natasha Zvereva was No.5 in the world.

Standing in the way of Azarenka and national history will be Goerges, who won an all-unseeded quarterfinal against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4 6-2. They both pulled off big upsets a round before, Goerges beating No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki and Pavlyuchenkova No.5 seed Sam Stosur; but it was Goerges who backed it up, firing six aces and saving all six break points against her.

Only a month ago, Goerges reached her first Premier quarterfinal in Charleston; now she is into her second straight Premier semi, having won Stuttgart and now this. "I'm still a long way to becoming a Top 10 player. It's never easy and you have to work for it. I just want to focus on being solid and consistent."

"Julia has been playing great tennis against top players recently," Azarenka said of the German. "I need to stay focused and take my chances."

The only previous match Azarenka and Goerges played came in Stuttgart a few weeks ago. Azarenka led, 5-2, and eventually won the first set, 6-4, before a right shoulder injury made it too tough for her to continue the match.
People were predicting it during her famous Grand Slam runs at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year, and now it has become a reality. By virtue of winning her quarterfinal match-up at the Mutua Madrid Open on Friday evening, Petra Kvitova will be a Top 10 player.

Kvitova, ranked No.18, survived No.28-ranked Dominika Cibulkova in a two-hour, 14-minute war, coming back from a set and a break down to push it to a third set then holding off her determined opponent to make the semis, 3-6 6-3 7-5.

Twice in the third set Kvitova was up a break and got broken back, but in the end she broke again for 6-5 then served it out, finishing it with an ace on match point. Cibulkova actually won more points in the match, 94 to 92.

"It was tough to play Dominika because we are good friends," Kvitova said after the match. "We'll be playing doubles at Roland Garros together."

Kvitova will rise to No.10 on next week's rankings, her Top 10 debut. She will be the sixth Czech ever to grace that elite, following Martina Navratilova, Hana Mandlikova, Helena Sukova, Jana Novotna and Nicole Vaidisova.

Awaiting Kvitova in the semifinals will be No.6 seed Li Na, who also won a marathon quarterfinal match, taking out Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4 3-6 6-4. Mattek-Sands, who had beaten No.15 seed Ana Ivanovic and No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone en route to the quarters, was up a break twice in the third but Li broke back in the next game each time; the Chinese ended up winning the last 10 points of the match from 3-4, 30-all to finish it off.

World No.6 Li is the highest-ranked Chinese player of all time, in fact China's only Top 10 player in WTA history. If she wins this title she could raise the bar even higher - she would rise to No.5 in the world on the new rankings.

Li and Kvitova will be playing against each other for the first time.


Carlos said...

Angry Bird up early 3-2.

caps321 said...

Julia played like total crap today.

Carlos said...

Too many unforced errors from her Caps321. She gave up at the end. I'll give her a pass her cold finally caught upto her. She should had gone to her bag of trickery, she was not going to over power Angry Bird. I blame her coach for not having the right game plan.

Was Angry Bird wearing fake eye lashes?

caps321 said...

Haha, I try not to look at the Bird that close.. So, no idea!

Hopefully Julia isn't playing Rome, looks like she could use the rest.

The draw is supposed to be out today sometime.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Carlos, maybe Angry Bird was ready for a celebratory night out on the town?

Or just getting home from one!

Caps321, I read this in my twitter news feed

Woz - Jankovic, Vika - Masha, Li Na - Agi Rad and Schaivone - Stosur the potential quarters in the women's draw at Rome

But can't find a draw anywhere!

caps321 said...

Rome draw is up, haven't had a chance to look at it yet:

Carlos said...

Captain I think both.

Kvitova smoked Na. Clefairy must be throwing a fit by now. :P

Thanks for the brackets Caps321

This are the first round matches that caught my eye.

WickiWickiWicki vs Cibulkova
Petrova Vs The Fist Pumping Imbecile
Peer vs Bojana
The Princess vs Petkovic
Gorgeous Julia vs Schnyder Yes Caps Gorgeous playing.
Pennetta vs Bethanie

caps321 said...

Its about time Peer started getting tougher draws. If she manages to make the second round, Kleybanova should be waiting.. She's facing a qualifier.

Too bad about Princess having to face Petko. IMO, she has to win this type of match to take the next step. Or she could continue to get paid and look good for her many fans!

The following is a special delivery for Carlos:

Sunshine’s Twitter silence

Carlos said...

Thank you Mr. Caps321, special delivery recieved.

The Big Bunny always goes silent on Twitter when she loses that is no surprise. She is always a sore loser.

My opinion about her loss to Gorgeous Julia: hahaha.

caps321 said...

I don't follow Bunny on twitter but do check from time to time. She returned and completely ignored her loss! Imagine my shock.

Carlos said...

I did followed the Bunny for a brief moment. I remember a time after a loss she went silent around ten days. Is not the first time nor the last that she will stop Twittering after a loss.

I don't like the nickname the media has given to Caroline, yes I mean you Cahill. I tend to think a psychotic Woz is behind that smile.

The ATP will catch everyone's attention today.

Women's final, just to give Clefairy a hard time I'll say Kvitova takes the title otherwise I would say Angry Bird.

caps321 said...

Ostrich vs. Angry Bird

Ostrich takes the first set 7-6!

caps321 said...

Ostrich wins battle of the birds 7-6, 6-4!

Carlos said...

Haha Ostrich, good one Caps321. That nickname is going to stick a life time. BTW I like the Ostrich, maybe I'm weird.

Is the beautiful Clefairy kicking stuff ala Azarenka? Or is she smashing stuff like Vera Z? :P

caps321 said...

Was just checking Vika's twitter to see if she had anything to say yet and came across this photo of Princess:

head gear alert!

caps321 said...

via twitter

juliagoerges Julia Goerges
Unfortunately i had to pull out of rome with a low back injury.the last week were amazing but also took all my energy.i try to get fitter every day to get used to play 5 tough matches every week.thanks for all your support and see u next year in rome;)

caps321 said...

Also saw this on the revised draw sheet:

Dominika Cibulkova (left abdominal strain)

Carlos said...

Thanks for the link Caps321. It only confirms that Azarenka is a bird haha. Even if she is smiling she still has anger issues.

The Princess looks good wearing anything but not this, except if someone has a feather fetish. :P

The Princess/Angry Bird deserved the doubles title. Maybe The Princes can become a doubles specialist.

Gorgeous J. needs rest, good for her she decided to pull out.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Blogger is not cooperating with me...again :\

So...Clefairy is not a happy camper! Shes kicks and smashes so she should really come with a danger warning.

I am liking the nickname "Ostrich" that will definatly stick! :)

That photo is a strange combonation of funny and cute!

I am really not excited about Rome, Brussels or Strasburg, I JUST WANT ROLAND GARROS NOW! Ahaha

Princess and Angry Bird definatly deserved the Madrid doubles title, they did defeat the top 3 seeds in QF SF and Final

caps321 said...

After a major chokefest from both players.. McHale is now 2-0 against Peng by winning 6-3, 2-6, 7-6.

caps321 said...

Greta Arn beats Kuzzie 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

wta rankings

Kvitova, Petra - current 10 - prev 18
Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia - current 16 - prev 21
Williams, Serena - current 17 - prev 10
Goerges, Julia - current 20 - prev 27
Ivanovic, Ana - current 22 - prev 17
Cibulkova, Dominika - current 23 - prev 28
Petrova, Nadia - current 27 - prev 23
Kirilenko, Maria - current 30 - prev 26
Vesnina, Elena - current 41 - prev 44
Hradecka, Lucie - current 45 - prev 52
Sevastova, Anastasija - current 47 - prev 38
Jovanovski, Bojana - current 53 - prev 58
Barrois, Kristina - current 57 - prev 60
Benesova, Iveta - current 58 - prev 65
Scheepers, Chanelle - current 67 - prev 79
Safina, Dinara - current 68 - prev 76
Mirza, Sania - current 74 - prev 77
Arvidsson, Sofia - current 77 - prev 90
Parra Santonja, Arantxa - current 78 - prev 70
Baltacha, Elena - current 82 - prev 91
Martinez Sanchez, Maria Jose - current 84 - prev 33
King, Vania - current 94 - prev 110
Cirstea, Sorana - current 99 - prev 102

caps321 said...

Makarova takes out the defending champ Martinez-Sanchez 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

Carlos said...

The result that stands out is Arn taking out the dis-interested Kuznetsova in three sets, three hours and twenty two minutes. 4-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (9). Arn is 32 years old and rank 48.

Crazy Czech Lost in three sets.

Captain, you mean to tell me if Clefairy was on T.V. she would come with a viewer warning? The following contains scenes not suited for children viewer discretion is advised! :P

Patience Captain if RG would start right now it would be like reading just the ending of a mystery book without reading the plot. :P

Doubles, The Princess/Angry Bird should be the favorites to take the Clay Ring Of Hell.

Rankings, -Thanks for the recap Caps321- I like this trade, into the top twenty Gorgeous J. out The Fist Pumping Imbecile. Dinara moved up after falling last week. Jeepers Scheepers jumped twelve spots. Sadly I see The Princess going down in the ranking a bit more. For some reason Bojana can't seem to pull out the 50's ranking.

I read that Ula R. pulled out the qualies in Rome any body now if her back was the cause?

caps321 said...

Carlos, I was trying to find info the other day and a message board thread is all I found. They said it was her hip:

Carlos said...

Thank you Caps321, hopefully Ula R. can recover from her injury and be ready for RG.

Carlos said...

Nice surprise McHale defeated Peng in three sets. I didn't see this coming. 6-3 2-6 7-6(7). I want to see if the kid can make a run.

caps321 said...

Matches I'll be interested in tomorrow:

[Q] C Mchale (USA) vs [2] F Schiavone (ITA)
E Makarova (RUS) vs [7] M Sharapova (RUS)
M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [12] A Petkovic (GER)
[10] S Peer (ISR) vs B Jovanovski (SRB)
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) vs C Dellacqua (AUS) / R Stubbs (AUS)

Looks like Princess is partnering up with one of my other favorites Vesnina!

Carlos said...

I don't think she will win but I'll be rooting for The Princess to beat the Imbecile's Apprentice, the same thing for Makarova.

I take Bojana, Schiavone, The Duchess/Dani, and Pennetta.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

I thought Stubsy retired! That may be a new reccord, retired Feburary comeback in May

Carlos said...

Captain she reminds me of those boxers in the 80s. Retire, comeback, retire, comeback. To those type of players, from the words of my generation 'Eat it!'

The Duchess/Dani have a tough draw.

Carlos said...

Great, The Princess lost in straights sets to the Imbecile's Apprentice.

Speaking of The Fist Pumping Imbecile, in the first round she played against Petrova who retired after being down 0-6 0-3. To my surprise she is playing doubles today. In fact they won the first set. OK if she was injured that must have been some quick recovery, because I'm not buying that injury. IMO Pertova retired before being embarrassed with a double bagle.

caps321 said...

McHale got outclassed this morning by Schiavone.

Can't believe Makarova got spanked so hard by Divapova. (They showed her Lakers boyfriend in the crowd.) Do you think she was trying to 'shine' in front of him??

I only watched the first set of Princess' match.. Sorta knew what was going to happen from then on out.

I'm glad Aggie won her doubles match.

Carlos said...

It always is a horrible day when the "evil ones" win.

I think The Princess should become a doubles specialist she is good and she already has a male following.

One correction Mr.Caps321, Divapova's man is an ex-Laker. I think he plays for New Jersey, what ever. At least she didn't get her panties in a bunch. :P What a way for Makarova to punk out.

Once I saw McHale opponent was going to be Schiavone I knew McHale's run would be over.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

caps321 said...

Carlos, thanks for the clarification. I see he got traded to the NJ Nets.

Aggie vs. Vesnina, second match after 5am Eastern.

Carlos said...

Your welcome Caps321.

I have The Duchess, Big Bunny, JJ, and Angry Bird winning tomorrow.

Wicki,Wicki,Wicki over T.F.P.Imbecile.

caps321 said...

Wow, was just checking the scores (Aggie/Vesnina about to start) and Hercog beat Petko 6-4, 6-3!

caps321 said...

moving to newer thread

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Kontakt información:

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teléfono: 0589-10031

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