World No.1 Victoria Azarenka humbled world No.5 Samantha Stosur in the Qatar Total Open final and won her 11th career title and her third in 2012 even though it's only mid-February. Azarenka has remained undefeated this season with her 17th consecutive match win, after her perfect showings in Sydney and the Australian Open.
It seemed that the left angle injury sustained yesterday in the semi against Agnieszka Radwanska didn't bother Azarenka, as she dominated the Premier-level final 6-1 6-2. Of the first ten games of the match, Stosur won only one. Moreover, Stosur didn't earn even a single opportunity to break Azarenka's serve.
It was an absolutely straightforward victory for Azarenka, which is quite a disappointment considering that the match featured two Top 5 players. Although Stosur has fell to 3-11 in WTA finals, the campaign at the Doha tournament is a success for Stosur after her very unsatisfactory Australian swing.
To make the victory even bigger for Azarenka, she hasn't dropped a set whole week and lost just 18 games en route to the title. (photo: Johan Rivera, follow him on Twitter @HobbiesPlus)
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)