2014/04/19

Serena Williams Nets Record 61st Match Win at Australian Open

SerenaWilliamsIstanbul

(January 17, 2014) Serena Williams extended her current win streak to 24 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Daniela Hantuchova to move into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.  With the victory, the No. 1 player has surpassed Margaret Court’s record of 60 wins at the Australian Open.

It was another hot day in Melbourne as the heat wave continued, during the 1 hour and 20 minute match the temperature reached 102F.

“I feel good to have gotten through that one because it was tough conditions out there, but I was happy to win,” said the five-time champion.

“It’s definitely a lot of physical, but you have to be ready.

“Today actually wasn’t as hot.  I think it was more hot yesterday.  So it wasn’t as bad today.

“Honestly, on the one end I felt it was like a cool breeze coming over, so that was a good sign.”

Williams announced during her post-match news conference that she and sister Venus were pulling out of the doubles, due to her sister’s lower leg injury.

In an exchange with a reporter who alluded to Indian Wells, Williams said that she was thinking about it, a tournament she has not played in over a decade, due her treatment by the crowd during the 2001 final.

Here is the transcript of the questions posed:

Q.  You love to laugh but you also have a serious side.  You have your schools in Africa and have read Mandela closely.  Mandela’s message was pretty much forgiveness and reconciliation.  Work with the springbox for reconciliation, put his jail in the front row of the inauguration.  Do you think that spirit could affect your thoughts about what happened in the desert?  There is a new generation of people who would love to see you there.  Would that ever cross your mind as a possibility?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it actually crossed my mind a couple days ago, or after I saw the movie.

Q.  Do you think you would?  It would be such a wonderful event for American tennis and for your career.  Do you think that’s something you might consider in the future?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Like I said, it crossed my mind not too long ago when I went to see the movie.  I thought about it.

Williams will take on either 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur or 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round.

“Either player will be very tough,” Williams said.  “Ivanovic, I think is doing really well.  She’s on a little winning streak herself.

“Stosur has the home crowd behind her.  She’s the fan favorite.  Obviously she’s beaten me a few times.

“It will be an interesting, whoever I play.  I think it will be a great match for me to really start to try to play better in this tournament.”

“I definitely look forward to playing in the cooler temperatures,” Williams said about the weather forecast which predicts a break in the heat wave. “I think, you know, the players that I have played, they have done really well in the heat.

“I just look forward to some cooler weather.”

 

Third seed Li Na saved a match point, stopping Lucie Safarova 1-6, 7-6, 6-3 to advance to the fourth round.

“I think the five centimeters save my tournament,” Li said.  “If she hit in, I think, Whole team on the way to the airport.

“Yeah, I mean, at least I win the match, so still in the tournament.  I was really happy the way is fight on the court from first point until the last point.”

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Stosur and Ivanovic Among Field for WTA Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria

(October 22, 2013) SOFIA, BULGARIA – Four of the world’s Top 20 ranked women, including former world No.1 and 2008 Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic and 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur will be among the eight-player field competing at the $750,000 Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions, to be staged in Bulgaria’s capital city from October 29–November 3, 2013. This marks the second year of three that Sofia will host the annual season-ending championships for the WTA’s International tournaments.

 

Serbian star Ivanovic, a two-time champion of the event when it was held in Bali, was awarded a wildcard into this year’s field. For her part Australian Stosur is among the six highest ranked winners of International Series tournament winners eligible to compete in Sofia, along with Simona Halep of Romania, Russians Maria Kirilenko, Elena Vesnina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Alizé Cornet of France. Bulgaria’s own Tsvetana Pironkova has again received a wildcard to compete in front of her home fans, and will be looking to produce another strong showing following her semifinal run last year. Initially the players will be split into two groups of four for round robin competition, with each group’s top two players advancing to the semifinals.

 

“I would like to congratulate this wonderful group of players on their respective successes in 2013 as they eagerly await the start of the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Between them they have won 13 WTA singles titles this year and tennis fans in Sofia are in for a week of incredible tennis as our very special 40 Love season draws to a close.”

 

This year’s ‘Road to Sofia’ comprised 30 WTA International events held on six continents. The 2012 WTA Tournament of Champions attracted more than 30,000 fans over six days of competition, with host broadcaster BNT reporting average daily viewership of nearly 2.8 million households in a country with a population of 7.4 million. Matches were broadcast to more than 25 countries and Russia’s Nadia Petrova was crowned champion, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the final. Turkish construction company Garanti Koza was recently announced as the event’s new title sponsor.

 

Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions – Sofia 2013 Participants:

 

Simona Halep, Romania, No.14 

Halep is one of the WTA’s 2013 breakthrough stars, winning five titles from all five finals played, having previously been a runner-up on three occasions. Only Serena Williams has won more singles titles this year (10) and Halep holds the distinction of being the only player to win events on all three major playing surfaces (hard, clay, grass). Her debut win came at the International-level Nürnberger Versicherungscup in Germany and this was followed by victories at the Topshelf Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands) the following week and the Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest). She then captured her first Premier-level title at the New Haven Open at Yale (d. Kvitova in final) and arrives in Sofia having won her second event at that level, last week’s Kremlin Cup (d. Stosur in final). Her win in Moscow saw the 22-year-old rise to a new career-high ranking of No.14, up from No.47 at the start of the season. She is making her Tournament of Champions debut.

Ana Ivanovic, Serbia, No.16

Ivanovic is making her third WTA Tournament of Champions appearance, having won the event in back-to-back years when it was held in Bali (2010-11). The winner of 11 singles titles to date, she has reached three Grand Slam finals so far in her career, famously winning 2008 Roland Garros and rising to No.1 in the world rankings. More recently the 25-year-old Serb was runner-up to Angelique Kerber at the Generali Ladies Linz, while other 2013 season highlights have included semifinal showings at the Mutua Madrid Open and the Southern California Open (Carlsbad); she also posted strong runs to the round of 16 at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open.

Maria Kirilenko, Russia, No.18

After a memorable 2012 that saw her collect the doubles bronze medal at the London Olympics as well as win the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships (both with fellow Russian Petrova), Kirilenko will remember 2013 as the year she made her singles Top 10 debut following a run to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. A wildcard at Sofia last year, the 26-year-old booked her return visit with an early-season title – the sixth of her career, and first in five years – at the PTT Pattaya Open in Thailand, where she defeated Sabine Lisicki in a hard-fought final. Her other notable results this year have included semifinal finishes at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and the Monterrey Open and a run to the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Samantha Stosur, Australia, No.19

Stosur qualified for Sofia by winning the HP Open in Osaka, Japan, her second title of the season after victory at the Southern California Open (Carlsbad) where she overcame Victoria Azarenka in the final.  Indeed, this year marks the first time in her career the 28-year-old Australian has won two singles titles in a season and she went close to capturing a third just last week at the Kremlin Cup, where Halep ended her nine-match winning streak in the final. Stosur’s biggest title to date is of course the 2011 US Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the final to become the first Australian woman to win a major since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980. In addition to her singles successes Stosur is also a former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion in doubles, winning her 24th career title last week in Moscow with Svetlana Kuznetsova. She competed at the inaugural staging of the Tournament of Champions in Bali in 2009, going 1-1 in round robin play.

Elena Vesnina, Russia, No.25

Vesnina has enjoyed a career season in 2013, achieving a string of breakthroughs at the age of 27.  After finishing runner-up in six WTA finals she finally won her first title at January’s Moorilla Hobart International, which made her an early contender on the Road to Sofia. More success was to come when she won her first Premier-level title at the Aegon International (Eastbourne) where she defeated the likes of Ivanovic and Li Na en route. Now 2-6 in singles finals, Vesnina has continued to enjoy success in doubles, capturing her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros with Ekaterina Makarova. The Russian duo was also victorious at Indian Wells and qualified for the four-team TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, where Vesnina will compete before arriving in Sofia.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia, No.26

Pavlyuchenkova is making her second appearance at the Tournament of Champions, having competed in Bali in 2010. Still just 22, the former top-ranked junior reached four singles finals in 2013, winning her fourth career title at the Monterrey Open (an event she has now won in three of the past four years) and fifth at the Portugal Open in Oeiras. At January’s Brisbane International it took Serena Williams to stop Pavlyuchenkova in the final and last month at the KDB Korea Open in Seoul she was edged for the winner’s trophy by Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets. She arrives in Sofia in good indoor form having reached the semifinals at her home event, the Kremlin Cup.

Alizé Cornet, France, No.27

Having made the trip to Sofia in 2012 as second alternate – she did not get to play a match – Cornet put herself in the running again this year by winning on home soil at the Internationaux de Strasbourg in May. All three of the 23-year-old Frenchwoman’s WTA singles titles have now been won on red clay, but it is consistent results on all surfaces this year, including two semifinals, two quarterfinals and solid third round runs at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open (where she pushed Azarenka to three sets) that have seen the former world No.11 firmly re-establish herself in the Top 30.

Tsvetana Pironkova, Bulgaria, No.118

Pironkova, the first Bulgarian to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon (2010) and also a quarterfinalist at the All England Club in 2011, will be bidding for her first WTA title in Sofia. In 2013 the 26-year-old was again at her best on Wimbledon’s lawns, where she reached the fourth round before falling to Radwanska in three sets. Other season highlights for the native of Plovdiv, Bulgaria have included quarterfinal efforts at the Moorilla Hobart International and the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Last year she advanced to the semis in Sofia before falling to Wozniacki.

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Samantha Stosur Rallies to Win Japan Open

Stosur

(October 13, 2013) Australia’s Samantha Stosur rallied past rising Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to claim her second Japan Open title. Stosur won the tournament also in 2009.

For Stosur it’s her fifth career WTA title and second of the season, also having also won at Carlsbad.  It marks the first time in her career that Australian has won more than one title in the same year.

“Eugenie was playing really well today,” Stosur said. “I just had to stick it out in the second set, and I’m pretty happy with how things went in the third. I love playing here. I love the site and the fans are great – I always feel like I have lots and lots of support when I come to Osaka.”

For the 19-year-old Bouchard it was her first WTA final. She is projected to surpass her career best ranking of No. 35 when the new rankings come out on Monday.

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Stosur to Face Bouchard in Osaka Final

Stosur 5

(October 12, 2013) Samantha Stosur will face off against Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard in the final of the Japan Open on Sunday. Stosur routed American teen Madison Keys 6-1, 6-2 while 19-year-old Bouchard dominated Kurumi Nara 6-2, 6-2 to reach her first WTA final.

HP OPEN
Osaka, Japan
October 7-13, 2013
$235,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Saturday, October 12, 2013

Singles – Semifinals
(3) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (6) Madison Keys (USA) 61 62
(5) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (WC) Kurumi Nara (JPN) 62 62

Doubles – Semifinals
Stosur/Zhang (AUS/CHN) d. (1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) 67(6) 63 105 (Match TB)

Order Of Play – Sunday, October 13, 2013
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Singles Final: Samantha Stosur vs. Eugenie Bouchard
2. Doubles Final: Stosur/Zhang vs. Mladenovic/Pennetta

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Stosur Moves Past Keys, Hampton Tops 20th Seed

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur

(March 9, 2013) World No. 9, Australia’s Samantha Stosur moved into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open, defeating American teenager Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.

 

Stosur was happy with her play during the 75 minute match.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” said Stosur. “I thought I served very well.”

 

“As soon as I put a little bit of pressure on her early on in her service game … I really took a bit of a stranglehold on the match.”
Stosur sees a lot of potential in the 18-year-old Keys.
“I think she’s got a big game,” the Australian said. “Obviously her forehand is massive. She’s got a very big serve.

 

“You know, she’s got pretty decent kick serve for a second serve. You know, she handled a lot of my slice actually quite well sometimes.

 

“I think she’s got a big game. She’s just got to, you know, put all the pieces together. I think I said to somebody earlier. She’s only 18. I had lots of pieces like that when I was 18 and wasn’t as together as probably what she is now.

 

“I think she’s got a lot of potential. There is obviously things you need to improve, but she has those big weapons that, you know, win these big matches.

Keys says it’s all a learning experience.

“I think I did a lot of things pretty well,  Keys said.  There are some things that I need to work on, and, you know, I think ‑‑ I mean, especially my returns.  I think if I was returning better today, you know, maybe I could have made the match a little bit tighter.

“You know, go back, work on those, and, you know, move on to the next tournament.”

While one young American fell on stadium court, another was taking out a seed. American Jamie Hampton knocked 20th seed Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan 6-3, 6-3.

 

“I’m always looking to bring a good bit of intensity to the match or the court,” Hampton said. “I think as I get a little bit older and in these situations more frequently, I will probably settle down a bit, get more comfortable with the atmosphere and the environment.

 

“I haven’t been a pro too long so I haven’t had a ton of experience in a big match setting.”

No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber, also moved on with a win over Irina Begu 6-3, 6-2.

 

Keys (2)

Keys 3

Keys 4

Stosur 1

Stosur 3

Stosur 5

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Stosur Falls Apart as Zheng Advances at Australian Open

SamanthaStosurTennis PanoramaNews

By Jaclyn Stacey

 

(January 16, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia - Jie Zheng progressed through an error filled match against ninth seed Samantha Stosur in two hours and 42 minutes on Rod Laver Arena in day three action at Australian Open 2013.

 

Stosur served for the match in the final set with a 5-2 lead before mentally falling apart and double faulting on match point down to gift Zheng a place in the third round against Julia Goerges.

 

The 2011 US Open champion has struggled playing on home soil in the recent past, falling in the first round at Australian Open 2012 and never progressing past the fourth round in 13 appearances.

 

Stosur led their head-to-head 3-2 coming into the match but Zheng had defeated Stosur last week in Sydney to have the mental edge in the match.

 

Stosur had opportunities to break early in the first set but it remained on serve until Zheng secured the first break after a superb return game, hitting some sweeping cross court winners past Stosur to take a 4-3 lead. Stosur immediately broke back to level at 4-4 before she again lost momentum in the next game, Zheng regaining the break and serving out the set on her eighth set point opportunity 6-4.

 

After a tough first game hold Stosur picked up momentum and stormed to a 6-1 second set win to send the match into a third set decider.

 

Zheng won the final set and the match after Stosur failed to serve out the match while leading 5-2, losing the next five games.

 

In the post-match news conference Zheng spoke about the match and referred to the first time she played on Rod Laver Arena and her desire to keep playing the big matches there.

 

“In the final set 2-5, I was thinking first time I played in center court is 2006.  I thinking, How many times I can play like this court? I need to keep fighting and enjoy the match.”

 

“Today I feel Sam Stosur is play much better for last week. Kick serve and the big forehand. Also backhand slice is give me the big trouble.”

 

“But today I try to play more aggressive. I try to go to the net, give her some pressure, yeah.

I think this is my coaches tell me give her some the pressure, and this way is for the key for

win this match.”

 

Stosur was disappointed following the match. “I mean, obviously it’s a pretty hard one to take when you get yourself well and truly into a winning position, yeah, playing really quite well. Then all of a sudden you get to 5-2 and you lose five games straight.”

 

Stosur has often had trouble holding on to momentum in matches and when asked whether losing the match was a mental thing she said “You know, unfortunately it was — it just kept happening point after point after point. You know, then crazy things start popping into your head, and before you know it, you’re back on even terms and really lost a lead that, you know, with two breaks in the third should never go away.”

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

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Tennis News Net Notes

RafaelNadalTasteofTennis

(December 13, 2012) A quick look at the recent news in the world of tennis.

The Chilean newspaper La Tercera reports that the Vina de Mar tournament wants to offer Rafael Nadal a $1.2 million appearance fee to play the tournament. Vina del Mar is a clay court event played the week of February 4, 2013.

Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he’ll play the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi in late December. “Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” said on his Facebook page and Twitter account. “I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011 – would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!”

Nadal has been off the tour with a knee injury since losing in the second round of Wimbledon.

 

Serena Williams and Andy Murray have been nominated for a Laureus Sports Award. Williams is nominated in the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year category while Murray is up for Breakthrough of the Year award.

Williams was also tapped on Wednesday by the French newspaper L’Equipe as Sportswoman of the year.

 

Wimbledon recorded record profits in 2012. The Lawn Tennis Association reports that profits jumped 7.1 percent to a record $60.8 million dollars.

 

Former  No.  1 Kim Clijsters bid farewell to tennis on Wednesday in an exhibition match against Venus Williams in Belgium. Clijsters won the match 6-3, 6-3. Clijsters played her last competitive match at the US Open.

 

The ATP finalized the sale of the Los Angeles tournament to Bogota, Colombia on Wednesday.

The ATP World Tour 250 event tournament will take place July 15-21, 2013 at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogotá, the same venue that hosted an ATP World Tour event from 1997–2002.

 

The Lawn Tennis Association Limited (LTA) appointed David Gregson as independent Chairman of the LTA Board on Wednesday.

David is the Chairman of Precise Media Group, and of CRI, a leading UK health and social care charity. He is also a Director of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is transforming the Olympic Park following the 2012 Games, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Sutton Trust, promoting social mobility through education.

Maria Sharapova and Samantha Stosur have committed to play the Bank of the West Classic. The tournament will take place July 22-28 at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

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Azarenka Clinches No. 1 Ranking at WTA Championships

 

(October 26, 2012) Victoria Azarenka sealed the No. 1 ranking for the year by defeating Li Na 7-6(4), 6-3 at the WTA Championships on Friday in Istanbul. The victory for the Belarusian also moved her into the semifinals on Saturday where she’ll take on Maria Sharapova.

“It’s incredible achievement,” Azarenka told media.  “I’m really, really proud of that.  I still feel that I don’t want to really get into it too much because I’m still in competition and I would like to keep that focus for two more days I have left.  It’s the most that’s it’s going to take.

“But it’s important to stay a little bit grounded.  After that, I can enjoy my time and celebrate that.”

It was a career year for Azarenka who began the year with a 26-match win streak capturing her first major – the Australian Open. “Definitely this was a breakthrough.  It’s good to see women’s game, you know, raising its level so much more.  Especially over this year I felt like all the top players are kind of pushing each other to be better.  It’s great for our sport.

“If you look at the list of these people (Number one’s), it’s kind of difficult to believe that a little girl from Belarus is on that list.

“But it’s really incredible achievement.  When I started to play tennis I had this big picture in my head that I want to be there.  Back then it’s so far away.  It’s like pretty much touching the sky.”

 

Li Na despite the loss remains upbeat: “I think I still have positive to take away, but at least on this tournament I play No. 1, 3, and 5 in the world, so pretty good challenge for the self.

“End of the season at least I was healthy.  I didn’t have any injury.  So really looking forward for the next yeah, next season.”

Azarenka will play Sharapova on Saturday in the semis who demolished alternate Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-3 to complete a perfect round-robin record.

“It’s definitely not going to be a surprise that I’m going to play Maria, Azarenka said, “and for her will not be a surprise that she’s playing me.

“But it is different occasion.  It is a different place.  We played in the semifinals before, but actually I never played her in the Championships.  So it is new and it is not new.  So you can take it both ways.”

“I certainly didn’t want to play as long a match as I did in the previous round, Sharpaova said of her win over Stosur. “I wanted to do a better job of a few things and I think I did.”

Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Sara Errani 6‑7, 7‑5, 6‑4 in 3 hours and 29 minutes – the longest recorded best-of-three-set match in WTA Championships history.

“I had to play my best tennis until the end of the match because every game was a big fight,” Radwanska said.

Williams was undefeated in three matches in her Red Group and didn’t play on Friday.

The match between Radwanksa and Errani lasted 3 hours, 29 minutes and was the longest recorded best-of-three-set match in WTA Championships history.

“I think altogether of course I’m exhausted,” Azarenka said.  “I never played so many hours last three days, so was a lot of tennis.  Now for sure it’s going to be hard; no day off.

“I really need to be ready for tomorrow.  But I’m actually really happy that at least one of those marathon matches I could win and made for the first time semifinal.

“I was out of power,” Errani said.  “I was dead maybe from the second.  So I just try to fight.  In tennis you have to fight.  I just try to play point by point also if I was tired, and that’s it.  I think only about that, not other things.

“All the game were very long; also the one that I lost.  So just try to maybe push a bit more to make shorter the point, but was tough.

“I’m here playing in the master with the best players of the year.  It’s good results for me.  I won one match; this is one was very tough.

“I just try everything on the court, try to give my best, give everything, and this is it.  This is what I did.”

“I was happy to come back.  Actually I start pretty good in the third set, but obviously she’s a big fighter so she didn’t give up as well.  So I really had to play my best tennis until the end of the match, because every game was the big fight.”

Order of play for Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stadium (from 13.00hrs)
1. Huber/Raymond vs. Hlavackova/Hradecka
2. Serena Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (NB 15.00hrs)
3. Maria Sharapova vs. Victoria Azarenka
4. Errani/Vinci vs. Kirilenko/Petrova

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Kvitova Withdraws From Istanbul Replaced by Stosur

Defending WTA Championships title holder Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from Istanbul with a viral illness. She is replaced in the draw by first alternate Samantha Stosur.

“Yesterday when I played I thought that it’s nerves, but normally nerves are gone after first set,” Kvitova told media.  “It was actually during all the match, so I thought that it’s something wrong.  That’s why I have to pulled out.

“I mean, I never withdraw from a tournament.  This first time for me, so I don’t really experience this kind of press conferences.

“Yeah, I mean, I don’t like to give up, so I’m feeling really disappointing.  I hope that Sam (Stosur) will win some matches for me.”

Kvitova is scheduled to play for the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final against Serbia in Prague.

“I try my best to be ready for the Fed Cup, Kvitova said.  “It’s final at home and I would like to ‑‑ I really want to play in front of our crowd, my family and friends, and try to win the Fed Cup title again.

“So I will try my best to be ready for the weekend.

Stosur on joining the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Istanbul field: “I came to Istanbul straight from Moscow where I played on Sunday, so I got here late, so obviously it is a little bit strange to come here straight after playing a tournament as an alternate and now get a chance to play in the Championships. Obviously, it’s never good when a player pulls out, but I will make the best of the opportunity and look forward to playing tomorrow. I am at Championships for the third time and really happy to be here in Istanbul.”

With Kvitova’s withdrawal, if Maria Sharapova wins her match on Wednesday, she will move on to the semifinals. Stosur still has a chance to advance to semifinals but would need to win both of her round robin matches, depending on other round-robin results.

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Wozniacki and Seppi Claim Moscow Titles

(October 20, 2012) Caroline Wozniacki won her 20th career title Sunday, while Andreas Seppi won his third in Moscow on Sunday.

No. 11 Wozniacki defeated Samantha Stosur 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 while Seppi  rallied past Thomaz Bellucci 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3  for the Kremlin Cup.

“I think both of us played very good tennis out there,” Wozniacki said after coming back from a break down in the final set.

“At the right times I managed to win the right points. I tried to stay aggressive and stay close to the line and just dictate. But she played well and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

“Sam has been playing well and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and it could have gone either way at the end, but I think at the right times I played the right shots. There were a lot of key moments, but they just went my way.”

“Even though I lost, making a final is still a good achievement, “Stosur said.” It’s disappointing not to walk away with a title this year, having done so the last couple of years, but I made it to two finals and had a lot of other good opportunities, so it’s still a good year, and I’ll use it to motivate myself in 2013.”

Seppi came back to win down a set and a break against the hard-serving Bellucci, despite the Brazilian hitting 13 aces against the Italian.

“It was tough today to come back from a set and a break down, said Seppi. “He was serving very well at the beginning. I kept trying and that put some pressure on him. He could not close it out when he served for the match twice and that gave me confidence. I started to play more relaxed and more aggressive.”

Bellucci served for the match twice in the second set at 5-4 and 6-5 but failed to close the match.

“I just did not play at the same level as I was before when I served for the match,” Bellucci. “Maybe I got too nervous. It was still a good effort from me this week, my first indoor final. It was a good match and he played well.”

“It is very special to win this title as I remember Yevgeny (Kafelnikov) winning so many times here and he was my idol growing up, Said Seppi.”I saw him a few times this week but I was too shy to ask him anything. It has been a great season for me. Winning titles is so special. Now I have won on all surfaces and that means a lot.”

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