Sharapova Dismisses Azarenka for Stuttgart Title

In a field packed with the top 8 WTA players, No. 2 Maria Sharapova shone through this week to capture the Stuttgart title by taking out No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 victory on Sunday. The win which is Sharapova’s 25th career tournament victory, breaks a 0-4 streak in finals against Azarenka.

Sharapova hit 31 winners past her opponent in her first tournament triumph for 2012.

En route to the title, Sharapova knocked out the last three most recent major title winners in Sam Stosur (2011 US Open), Kvitova (2011 Wimbledon) and Azarenka (2012 Australian Open).

“This was such a tough tournament with such difficult opponents, so I’m just happy to be the champion,” Sharapova said after the match. “I came to Europe this year a bit earlier than I usually do. I added this to my schedule and was going to use it as a warm-up tournament for the clay court season. But maybe I should start doing it every year since it’s obviously working for me.”

It was the Russian’s sixth win over a World No. 1 player.
Azarenka who was treated for a wrist injury during the match made no excuses for her loss, “It’s obviously not how I wanted it to turn out in the final today, but I’m not going to sit here and look for excuses – that’s not my style. I lost today and that’s it, I’m moving on. The world doesn’t end. There’s going to be another big tournament in one week and I just have to look forward. There’s no looking back, even for a little bit. In the end, it was still a good week for me.

“And Maria served really well and her game was really on. All credit to her.”

Azarenka has a 29-2 record for 2012.


Goerges Stuns Wozniacki to Take Stuttgart Title

A German champion in Stuttgart as Julia Goerges won her second WTA singles title defeating No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-6(3), 6-3 for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix crown. She only the second German ever to win the tournament as Anke Huber won it in 1991 and 1994.

“It was an unbelievable feeling playing the final with so many people watching, and I had goosebumps at match point. Everything was going so well, but you can never be sure against Caroline… she never gives up and has turned lots of matches around. Then I couldn’t quite grasp what I had done, but slowly it sank in – naturally when I sat in the car it helped! I think I can be proud of myself, and it’s been a super week for the German women. Now we have to keep it up week to week. I think if we keep having the experience of playing against the top players, we can do it,” said Goerges.

Wozniacki on the match: “Julia played really well. She was very aggressive and everything was going in. I tried everything but it wasn’t enough. I’ll go back to the practice court and try to be better next time. I also want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me, even though I was playing against Julia! Hopefully next year I’ll come away with this Porsche.”

Goerges is projected to jump into the WTA Top 30 as of Monday.

Another German was in the winner’s circle in Stuttgart on Sunday.  Sabine Lisicki teamed up with Australia’s Samantha Stosur to capture the doubles title. It was their first tournament as a team.
Lisicki: “It was my first doubles final ever. It was an amazing first week playing with Sam and winning it in my home country. We had a very tough draw but we played very well and obviously we wanted the trophy!”

As for her partner Stosur: “We might pair up again somewhere. It was a lot of fun here this week so hopefully it’ll work out!” This was Stosur’s 23 career WTA doubles title.


Results – Sunday, April 24, 2011
Singles – Final
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 76(3) 63

Doubles – Final
(WC) Lisicki/Stosur (GER/AUS) d. Barrois/Woehr (GER/GER) 61 76(5)


“It Was My Best Match of the Year” Stosur Advances in Stuttgart

By Tumaini Carayol

Australia’s Sam Stosur moved into the semifinals of the Stuttgart Porsche Tennis Grand Prix with a 2-6 6-3 7-6(3) victory over second seeded Vera Zvonareva.


Zvonareva came out all guns blazing, breaking Stosur’s serve in a marathon first game. She quickly consolidated her lead, serving well and dominating the exchanges. However, as the set wore on, problems arose with her rackets as their strings began to systematically break, disrupting her concentration.


By 3-3 in the second set, the Russian had run out of rackets, forcing her, contracted to Prince, to use her coach’s babolat tennis racket as stringers rushed to replace her broken rackets.


Stosur took full advantage of her opponents problems, capturing the next three games to level up the set at 3-3.


The third and final set saw an exhibition of stellar serving as no breaks were exchanged. However, Zvonareva continued to have massive problems, breaking her eigth and ninth rackets in successive points.


The tiebreak saw a Stosur race to a 5-0 lead against a visibly rattled and emotional Zvonareva. After a brief fightback from the world number two, Stosur was able to wrap up the tiebreak and the match to advance to her first semifinal of 2011.


As a tearful Zvonareva left the court, Stosur lamented on her victory.


“It was my best match of the year” she said


“You got to remember in the past [matches against Zvonareva] that you had the right tactics and you executed them correctly  So I just had to keep playing my game and win a few more points.”


Tumaini Carayol is in Suttgart covering the Porsche Tennis  Grand Prix  for Tennis Panorama News. He is a  contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his Stuttgart coverage here and on our twitter account @GVTennisNews. Follow him on twitter at @FootFault_.


The Year of Andrea Petkovic?


Tennis Channel's Cari Champion interviews Andrea Petkovic at 2011 Sony Ericsson Open

By Tumaini Carayol

STUTTGART – So far, 2011 has been a year filled with great highs and new progress for Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. In January, the 23 year-old wowed spectators at the Australian Open as she demolished 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round to move into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.


As if to prove that her Australian Open run was no fluke, Petkovic replicated that blistering form at the second biggest tournament so far in 2011, storming into the semi-finals and taking the scalps of current number one and former number one Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic back-to-back en-route.


Though a favorite amongst die-hard fans for far longer, Miami also happened to be the place where Petkovic was transformed from a fairly unknown player into a superstar. As her success continued throughout the week, more and more reporters took notice of her stellar performances and charismatic personality off-court. She quickly became the story of the tournament as her trademark ‘Petko Dance’ grabbed US and European headlines alike and propelled her into the new.


Following her 3-6 6-2 6-2 first round win over Tamira Paszek in Stuttgart, Petkovic sat down to address her newfound fame.


“I felt the pressure, the expectations rising from the audience, from the media. But I think I handled it well in Fed Cup”


“Now the only new problem was to redo it in a normal tournament situation only two days later.”


When asked whether she felt like a superstar, she giggled.


“No, I don’t feel like a superstar. In my town Darmstadt, when I walks through the city nobody ever talks to me, only one guy and he always tells me ‘you parked wrong” she laughed.


“I’m still normal. I’m not Paris Hilton.”


Petkovic is set to play Jelena Jankovic in the second round on Wednesday.

Tumaini Carayol is in Suttgart covering the Porsche Tennis  Grand Prix  for Tennis Panorama News. He is a  contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his Stuttgart coverage here and on our twitter account @GVTennisNews. Follow him on twitter at @FootFault_.