Li victorious, Sharapova falls to 0-2 in Istanbul round-robin stage

The only former champion in the field, Maria Sharapova, looks somehow blocked during this week's WTA Championships and after losing to Samantha Stosur for the first time in their ten matches, the Russian fell to Li Na the following day 7-6 (4) 6-4.

The third White Group round-robin match of the tournament was long and unpredictable, as both Sharapova and Li had big ups and downs. Also, they piled up a total of 74 unforced errors, 37 each!

First it was Sharapova who led, 4-2, but then Li took charge and forced a tiebreak, their first in eighteen sets they played, and after Sharapova's 4-0 lead in the tiebreak, Li stormed to 7-4 to win the set. The second set was also undecided. At 5-2 for Li, Sharapova broke her opponent's serve, and you can never count Sharapova out. However, the Russian wasn't even close to her best and Li eventually won 7-6(4) 6-4.

The 2004 champion Sharapova is so far the biggest disappointment of the tournament, and we don't know how much of it is due to her very recent ankle injury. The former world No.1, now ranked No.2, was the biggest Caroline Wozniacki's competitor for the top ranking. All the Dane has to do now to secure her year-end top spot is to beat Vera Zvonareva in the match they've just started. (photo: Esther Lim)

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7 thoughts on “Li victorious, Sharapova falls to 0-2 in Istanbul round-robin stage

  1. Omair

    Li really needed the win to get her confidence. Her serve however is not holding p which is the key.. I hope she can keep on winning against Stousr and Azarenka. I guess she (Li) and Azarenka will be battling tomorrow…
    I like both Masha and Li… So was a tough one for me…
    Hope Zvonareva can beat Wozniaki…
    Azarenka is hottest at the moment… It will be interesting to see Li and Azarenka battle for the first semis spot…

  2. Omair

    Wozniaki secured no 1 spot due to withdrawl of Sharapova from WTA Championships. FIrst player without a gradnslam to finish 2 years as no. 1.
    Meanwshile she has taken the 2nd set from Zvonareva.

  3. Marija Post author

    Omair, Wozniacki is mentally very strong, and that counts a lot. She simply minds her own business and believes in herself.

  4. Omair

    Marija, dont think she is that strong. Its just that WTA at the current moment lacks mentally strong players. Williams (though i really dont like her) is really mentally very strong, and has got a game. Likewise CLijsters is also mentally very tough. Justine, Steffi, Seles, they all were at a really different level even in their teens with respect to the mental level, but players these days really benefit alot from the meltdown of the player on the other side of the net. They definitely have got the game but not that strong never die attitude i guess…. Thats what I have analysed….and WTA really needs some good matchups… I really hope we will see some good matches in next year and also in the upcoming matches as well in WTA championship…

  5. Omair

    Zvonareva defeats Wozniaki and keeps her chances of making the semi-final alive. I guess we will have a clear idea of semi-finalists tomorrow. If Zvonareva and Wozniaki win, Radwanska will be out… and if Radwanska and kvitova win, Kvitova will qualify… while Zvonareva and Wozniaki will pray for Radwanskas loss :)
    Lets see what comes out. Interesting day ahead…

  6. Liz

    It's certainly an interesting week, like I said yesterday.. This tournament provides a good picture of how unpredictable womens tennis is at the moment.. (but we knew that all along, since all the different GS winners…) Enjoy tomorrow's/today's tennis!

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