Caroline Wozniacki’s love life is booming, at least its online representation suggests that, and her fashion designer Stella McCartney opted for the color of passion for the world No.1’s Australian Open. Wozniacki accessorized the red dress with a heart-shaped Danish flag pendant that her boyfriend Rory McIlroy gave her for Christmas.
Adidas Adizero used a shade of red for their predominantly peach dress worn by Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova and Sorana Cirstea.
Serena Williams is wearing a blue Nike dress with wide tank straps and pleated bottom.
Local favorite Samantha Stosur expressed her eagerness for competing on home soil when she thrilled her country with the US Open title in September, but the moment the time came for the Australian to shine in the January's sun down under, the nerves crept in and after losing in the second round of Brisbane and the first round of Sydney, Stosur put the icing on the cake of disappointment by crashing out in the first round of the Australian Open.
Spraying 33 unforced errors, the world No.6 Stosur fell to Sorana Cirstea 7-6(2) 6-3, the player to whom she hadn’t lost more than three games per set in their previous two encounters. This time the 59th-ranked Cirstea had nothing to lose and put out her aggressive side against the stiff Stosur who was falling under her own pressure. In the end Stosur did save three match points, but she was far too emotional to turn the situation to her advantage.
"It's hard to suppress those emotions when it means so much to you," said Stosur after becoming the first big casualty of the tournament.
Hey everyone. The Australian Open is about to start and this year the field seems to be wide open without clear favorites. Also many of the top players are struggling with injuries and Andrea Petkovic already had to withdraw from the event because of a back injury. In this article I want to give you my view on who has the best chances to win the tournament.
I decided to pick out four players who I believe have the biggest chance to win this year’s Australian Open title.
1. PETRA KVITOVA
Petra Kvitova is currently in a close battle with Caroline Wozniacki for the world number 1 ranking. She had her breakthrough winning Wimbledon last year and I think she has very good chances to become the most successful player in 2012.
Her game is big, she played well in the warm up matches to the tournament, and she seems to have the confidence and belief now.
CHECK OUT HOW WELL KVITOVA IS PLAYING IN THIS VIDEO
2. KIM CLIJSTERS
Clijsters is the defending champion and in my opinion always a threat at any Grand Slam. She had a tough second half of the season in 2011, where she did not play much at all because of several injuries.
Having had such a long preparation could be an advantage for her because she is probably in great shape right now. At the warm-up tournament in Brisbane she seemed to be in strong form but had to pull out because of a hip injury. The latest reports are saying that she is practicing at 100% though and therefore I think she is one of the favourites to win the title.
3. SERENA WILLIAMS
As usual it is difficult to assess what kind of form Serena Williams is in for the Australian Open. She has not played much before the tournament but she obviously likes the tournament, having won it five times in the past.
In a recent interview I heard Brad Gilbert, famous coach and expert, talk about how hard Serena was preparing and how well she looked out on the practice courts. An ankle injury forced her to pull out of Brisbane but she has also been seen practicing hard on site in Melbourne. She has not played many tournament matches in a while so it will be crucial for her to get through the first couple of rounds.
If she gets through the first couple of rounds and stays healthy she will definitely be one of the top favourites for the title. Read more »
Samantha Stosur lost 6-2 6-4 in the first round of the Apia International Sydney to Francesca Schiavone, which is her second straight early loss at a tournament on her home soil this year, ahead of the Australian Open, and the big expectations and her own desire to do well at the Grand Slam in her country, following her US Open title win, seem to be catching up with big-hitting Stosur.
When she won her maiden major title in September 2011 by beating Serena Williams in the final, Stosur couldn't wait to start the same quest in Australia, but now that the moment has come, she lost her second match in Brisbane and her opening match in Sydney. The 27-year-old is admitting to be falling under the pressure:
That's what makes the loss so difficult, Melbourne is coming up and I want to start playing well. I think today I certainly didn't handle that (expectation) side of things at all well.
I went into it with the right frame of mind, and got out there and it (the crowd support) kind of hit me. It did kind of surprise me how much it kind of hamstrung me today.
Stosur played the Australian Open main draw nine times and has never been past the fourth round. Do you think she will overcome the pressure and improve her Australian Open result armed with a Grand Slam triumph experience? (photo: Stephane Martinache)
Two surprising fashion switches welcomed us at the very start of 2012. Without prior notice, Jelena Jankovic took the 2012 courts in Fila and not in Anta which had been her clothing sponsor for three years. Samantha Stosur also made an apparel change and substituted her Lacoste tennis clothes with Asics, whose shoes she has been wearing for two years.
No official information on Jankovic's cooperation with Fila has been announced yet, but the world No.14 debuted her possible new clothing sponsor in the first round of the Brisbane International, in the match against Carla Suarez Navarro. The Fila Center Court Dress was on the courts for two more matches, until Jankovic lost to Francesca Schiavone in a quarterfinal marathon, 5-7 7-6(2) 6-3, after wasting two match points in the second set.
A big tennis exhibition featuring six WTA stars (including two Top 10 members) took place on December 16-18 in Singapore and Italian Flavia Pennetta walked away with a victory bowl, defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the final 6-4 7-5. Pennetta ended the tournament with a 3-0 win-loss record and besides the older Polish sister she defeated Daniela Hantuchova and 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur. Read more »
The 27-year-old Stosur had a stellar season highlighted by the US Open trophy, but how successful her year was from a fashion perspective? The highest ranked Lacoste representative changed only a handful of dresses during the season, staying faithful to her unexperimental designs.
When you compare these 2011 clothes with Lacoste from 2010, you will see that even colors haven't changed much: red/orange, white and black are still predominant. Only that the detailing of the three small buttons was abandoned for the 2011 designs, which welcomed stripes for spring and summer. Read more »
First have a look at the table showing average rank of players who defeated each of the year-end Top 10 players and the lowest-ranked player to beat year-end Top 10 players during 2011.
Vera Zvonareva needs to be mentioned here for her consistency as she is the only one of the Top 10 who was not beaten by a player ranked outside Top 35, while the rest of her colleagues from this elite group were beaten at least twice. The lowest-ranked player to defeat Zvonareva during 2011 was Tsvetana Pironkova, ranked 33rd (seeded 32nd) during the third round of Wimbledon.
Of Zvonareva's 22 losses only three came at the hands of players ranked between 30 and 35 and interestingly they came at the hands of players ranked 31, 32, and 33. Also, a total of only three losses came at the hands of players ranked between 21 and 29, while the rest of 16 came at the hands of Top 20 players. Average rank of Zvonareva's conquerors was 15, while the average rank of the conquerors of all the remaining Top 10 players was not even within Top 20.
Victoria Azarenka also needs to be mentioned here, because only five of her 17 losses came at the hands of players ranked outside Top 20, and of those five losses two came at the hands of Serena Williams who had low ranking due to her health problems and lack of play. Average rank of Azarenka's conquerors in 2011 was 23.