2006 Gold Coast & Auckland WTA Singles Results

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  WTA: Jan 1-8 2006

Women's Hardcourts, Gold Coast, AUS Royal Pines Resort
Tier III $175,000 - 32 players - outdoor: hard
WTA pdf.: draws & OOP - match notes
Gold Coast: weather radar - forecast
# 6 P Schnyder, # 15 F Schiavone
# 20 Dinara Safina, # 22 F Pennetta & # NR Martina Hingis

ASB Classic, Auckland, NZL ASB Tennis Centre
Tier IV $145,000 - 32 players - outdoor: hard
WTA pdf.: draws & OOP - match notes
Auckland: rainfall - forecast
# 7 N Petrova, # 17 D Hantuchova
# 18 E Likhovtseva, # 25 M Kirilenko & # 376 Jelena Dokic

ITF: Dec 30-Jan 6
Hopman Cup, Perth, AUS Burswood Dome
Live Scores - standings - results - teams-schedule - photos
Perth: weather radar - forecast

Exhibition: Jan 4-7 2005
Watson's Water Challenge Hong Kong, CHN
Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay, HK
Live Scores - Live Webcam
Hong Kong: weather radar - forecast
Gold Coast-Auckland tourney pages: 2007 - 2005 - 2004
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Gold Coast:
click for Safarova news photo search
#42 Lucie Safarova
5' 9", 141 lbs, LH, 2H-BH
Auckland:
click for Bartoli news photo search
#33 Marion Bartoli
5' 6", 128 lbs, RH, 2H-FH&BH

Photos: Yahoo! Gold Coast - ASB
WTA galleries: Gold Coast - Auckland

    On Saturday in the final of the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, 18-year-old unseeded # 42 Lucie Safarova from Brno, Czech Republic, defeated 23-year-old 4th-seeded # 22 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, 6-3, 6-4 (Lucie is shown after match point).

    Lucie said: "Today was a very tough match, but I've played pretty well all week and it was great to come away with a title in my first event of the year. [Flavia] played a lot better in the second set, but I held my serve in tough situations and managed to break her. I'm tired after a long week, but I'm really looking forward to playing next week and then in the Australian Open." WTA story

    Flavia said: "It's disappointing to lose a final, but I'm glad I had a good week. It's been good preparation for the Australian Open... I've never won a match at the Australian Open, so hopefully I can play like I did here and win that first match."

    Lucie is now 3-0 in WTA singles finals, having won last year in Estoril (red clay) and Forest Hills (hardcourt). Flavia is 3-3 in WTA singles finals; she won all her titles on red clay: in Bogota and Acapulco last year, and in Sopot in 2004. They had never played each other before.

    Meanwhile, in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, 21-year-old # 33 Marion Bartoli of France (residence: Geneva, Switzerland) won her first WTA singles title by handily defeating 21-year-old # 36 Vera Zvonareva from Moscow, Russia, 6-2, 6-2 (Marion is shown greeting the hardware after the match).

    Marion said: "I think I played really amazing tennis today. During November and December I did a lot of physical training, which helped me today because sometimes we had some very tough rallies, and I was winning these points, and a couple of points later I was still winning them because I was not tired." WTA story

    Vera said: "Maybe I wasn't able to show the best of myself today. I tried, but Marion played really well. Still, it's a good start to the year for me and maybe I have to come back and win it next year."

    Marion has been struggling with many injuries in her career up to now, and Vera easliy won all three of their previous matches in straight sets. Marion was playing in her first WTA singles final; Vera is 3-4 in finals, having won her titles in Memphis (2004 & 2005) and in Bol (2002). Vera, whose career-high ranking is # 9, may be recovering from a 2005 slump: she played very well in reaching the final, and, with partner Elena Likhovtseva, won the doubles title on Saturday (they defeated Emilie Loit & Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-4).


Gold Coast: satellite photo centered on Royal Pines - map - directions
    The Gold Coast qualifying finals & earliest 1st round matches are on Sunday. The main draw for Gold Coast has 8 seeds, with no 1st-round byes. There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw.
    Gold Coast time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) +10 hours (Pacific Time+18, often=the next day, 6 hours earlier; ET+15). Gold Coast is located on the eastern coast of Australia just south of Brisbane.

Auckland: satellite photo - map - directions
    The Auckland qualifying finals & earliest 1st round matches are on Monday. The main draw for Auckland has 8 seeds, with no 1st-round byes. There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw.
    Auckland time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) +13 hours (Pacific Time+21, often=the next day, 3 hours earlier; ET+18).

Perth: Hopman Cup satellite photo of Perth centered on Burswood Dome - map (dome SE of golf)
    The Hopman Cup is not a WTA-sanctioned event, but an ITF event featuring WTA & ATP pairs from 9 nations competing as teams. As you might expect, each international tie has 3 matches, 2 singles and 1 doubles.

    Perth time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) +8 hours (Pacific Time +16, often=the next day, 8 hours earlier; ET +13).

Group ASets W-L
s4 USA # 74 Lisa Raymond & Taylor Dent 12-8
Serbia & Montenegro # 16 Ana Ivanovic & Novak Djokovic 10-8
s1 Russia # 18 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Yuri Schukin 8-10
Sweden # 67 Sofia Arvidsson & Thomas Johansson 8-12
Group BSets W-L
Netherlands # 58 Michaella Krajicek & Peter Wessels15-4
s2 Argentina # 26 Gisela Dulko & Gaston Gaudio 9-11
s3 Australia # 46 Samantha Stosur & Wayne Arthurs 9-11
Germany # 21 Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Nicolas Kiefer 6-13
qualifying playoff: Netherlands d China
China # 37 Shuai Peng & Peng Sun

Hong Kong: Watson's Water Challenge satellite photo of Hong Kong-Victoria Park - map
    Watson's is an exhibition tourney, not a WTA-sanctioned event; no ranking points are awarded. The 8-player tourney website has live scoring, but in 2005 they were very slow to update their results page.
    Singles matches at Watson's are full 3-set tiebreaker matches; doubles matches are single 8-game pro sets until the 3-set final.
    Hong Kong time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) +8 hours (Pacific Time +16, often=the next day, 8 hours earlier; ET +13).

    (Jan 1, 2006) From 1996 through 2005, in addition to the "round points" used to determine their rankings, WTA players received "quality points" on sliding scale based on the ranks of players they defeated. For 2006, the WTA Tour has eliminated quality points from the rankings.
    However, tourney entry deadlines are 6 weeks before the tourney begins. Player's 2005 rankings (including quality points) will be used to determine main draw and qualifying tourney entry cutoffs for the first 6 weeks or 2006.
    The ranking used for seeding at all tournaments in 2006 will be the most recent (usually previous week's) ranking, meaning that the seed ranking at these tournaments will not include quality points.
    Beginning with the seventh week in the 2006 Calendar (Dubai, Memphis, and Bogota-- entry deadline January 9, 2006), players will enter with a ranking that does not include quality points..
    The rankings below have been corrected to match the draw sheets, which show the player's new 2006 rankings without quality points.

WTA SCOREBOARD: Gold Coast & Auckland
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?


click for Hingis news photo search
Martina Hingis looking out over the Royal Pines Resort golf course on Friday, Dec 30

Gold Coast, 1st Round, Sun-Mon WTA stories: Sun - Mon
loser's prize: $1,300 US; points: 1
#6 s1 Patty Schnyder SUI d #59 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-3, 7-6(2) Mon

click for WTA photo gallery   click for Schnyder news photo search
Gold Coast defending champ Patty at the draw on Friday, and serving to Virginie

    Patty said: "[Virginie] was definitely playing better than she did against me last year. In the second set, she was hitting nothing but deep balls, making me run around a lot and hit some great winners.
    "For my first match of the year, I'm pretty happy. Everything isn't there just yet, but I know what I need to work on and the basics are there, so I’m pleased with my performance tonight."

#15 s2 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #156 q Meng Yuan CHN 6-2, 6-3 Mon
#20 s3 Dinara Safina RUS d #61 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS 7-6(0), 6-0 Mon
#22 s4 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #79 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 6-2, 6-4 Mon
#24 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #120 wc Nicole Pratt AUS 7-5, 6-2 Mon

click for WTA photo gallery   click for Golovin news photo search
Tatiana on the beach on Sunday, and delivering a forehand to Nicole

*#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #26 s6 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-1, 6-2 Sun

click for Safarova news photo search   click for WTA photo gallery
Lucie delivering a backhand to Ai, and signing autographs on Monday

#32 s8 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #165 Ahsha Rolle USA 6-3, 6-3 Mon
#29 s7 Klara Koukalova CZE d #63 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 6-4, 6-4 Sun

click for WTA photo gallery
Klara and a fan during a Sunday autograph session

*#55 Na Li CHN d #51 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-4, 6-0 Sun c2 m3 Mon
#53 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #109 q Tiantian Sun CHN 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 Mon
#50 Iveta Benesova CZE d #225 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS 7-5, 6-2 Sun

    Sophie said: "I was a little bit nervous in the first set, but after I settled down I had a couple of opportunities to break [Iveta]. Unfortunately I didn't take them, and then early in the second set I had a loose game and it got away from me. It was only my fifth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour match, so hopefully I can get more experience over the summer."

*#NR Martina Hingis SUI d #70 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-2, 6-1 Mon

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Martina preparing to serve, lining up a slice backhand, and after match point

    Martina was playing in only her 2nd WTA match since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002. Understandably nervous at the opening, she lost the first 6 points of the match before settling down and breaking Maria's serve twice to take a 4-1 lead.

    Martina said: "It's normal. "Even when I played the exhibitions or when I played World Team Tennis, I was always nervous the first two, three games, and thankfully I know [Maria] from the past and also from Saddlebrook, where we've trained together. I kind of had a strategy going into the match and was able to hold to it. It was just a matter of time, getting the first point and the first game. After that, I started breathing." WTA story
    Asked to rate her performance on a scale of 1-10, Martina said: "In the circumstances, with the heat and not having played for three years, I'd say an eight. And at times even better." Tennis Australia story
    About playing # 35 Klara Koukalova in the 2nd round, Martina said: "She's a smart player, she plays powerfully but she's not as tall as some of the Russians. She's from the Czech Republic so that's a similar mentality [to Martina, who was born there, so], it feels like I have to play myself."

*#66 Aiko Nakamura JPN d #64 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 Sun
#146 q Angela Haynes USA d #67 Karolina Sprem CRO 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 Mon

click for Haynes news photo search
Angela's backhand

#74 Sybille Bammer AUT d #134 Katerina Bohmova CZE 6-3, 6-1 Mon
#152 q Jarmila Gajdsova SVK d #76 Tathiana Garbin 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 Mon

Gold Coast, 2nd Round, Tue-Wed 10:30am WTA stories: Tue - Wed
loser's prize: $2,200 US; points: 16
#6 s1 Patty Schnyder SUI d #131 q Angela Haynes USA 6-3, 6-0 Wed

click for Schnyder news photo search
Patty's forehand

    Patty said: "Being only my second match of the year, I'm pleased with today's match. I worked hard in the off-season on a few things in my game, and even though it's too early to see if they're all working well, there are definitely some positive signs."

*#53 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP d #15 s2 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-3, 6-1 Wed

click for Schiavone news photo search   click for Llagostera Vives news photo search
Francesca displayed her skill with this between-the-legs forehand, but Nuria handily won the match

    Nuria said: "My coach and I discussed how I should play against [Francesca] today, and I'm very happy that it worked so well. I started the match great, and I thought that it couldn't last, but I kept playing really well, so I'm very happy to reach the quarterfinals in this way."

#20 s3 Dinara Safina RUS v #50 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-0, 6-1 Tue

    Dinara said: "I was very happy with my performance tonight. Iveta can be a dangerous player; she hits the ball very well, but I was playing very well tonight.
    "I started working with a new coach [Glen Schaap] two weeks ago, and we've started working on a number of things, and I'm glad that these past two matches have gone well. At the start of the year it's interesting to see how well you play in the first few matches. So far it's been going well."

#22 s4 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #55 Na Li CHN 6-2, 6-2 Tue

click for Pennetta news photo search
Flavia after match point

#24 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #74 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-1, 6-3 Wed
#32 s8 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #66 Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-4, 6-4 Tue

click for Medina Garrigues news photo search
Anabel after match point

*#NR Martina Hingis SUI d #29 s7 Klara Koukalova CZE 6-3, 6-2 Wed

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Two views of Martina's forehand, and after match point

    Martina said: "Every set I feel like I'm shaking off a little bit of the rustiness of the last three years. I was fine in the beginning, and then closing out the first set, I started thinking about it too much. That's one thing I probably have to get under control, just keep going, keep serving, keep playing the way I did before, but it's kind of hard against a girl who's down 4-1 5-2 and she has nothing to lose in that set any more. She just starts hitting, and there you have to hold against it, and that's something I really have to work on. But that only comes with matches."

#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #152 q Jarmila Gajdsova SVK 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 Tue

click for Safarova news photo search
Lucie after match point

    Lucie said: "I played [Jarmila] a lot in the juniors, so I was a little nervous today. She would win once, and then I would win the next match, so I knew today was going to be a tough one.
    "It was a different match today than the one against Sugiyama, but I knew what I had to do to win. It was just a matter of taking my opportunities."



click for Hingis news photo search
On Tuesday in the 1st round of doubles, Martina Hingis and her 1st-time doubles partner Tatiana Golovin
(brunette this year) handily defeated 4th seeded Tiantian Sun & Ting Li 6-1, 6-4

Gold Coast, QFs, Thu 10:30am WTA story
loser's prize: $4,050 US; points: 30
*#47 Lucie Safarova CZE d #6 s1 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-4, 6-3

click for WTA photo gallery   click for Safarova news photo search
Lucie hanging out (on Tuesday?) with fellow Czechs Iveta Benesova & Klara Koukalova,
and lefty Lucie sending lefty Patty a backhand on Thursday

    Lucie said: "This is definitely the biggest win of my career. I didn't know what to expect because I've never played [Patty] before. But it's the quarterfinals, so I know she is playing well, but I guess so am I."

    Patty said: "[Lucie] had too much power for me. It's simple; she was just too good on the returns and putting me on the defensive.
    "I felt like my footwork wasn't so good tonight. But I had a few good matches here, so I have some positives to take from this week. It's always disappointing to lose as a defending champion, but it's early in the season and I know what I still need to work on."

#20 s3 Dinara Safina RUS d #32 s8 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-1, 6-3
#22 s4 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #24 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA 6-2, 5-7, 6-3

click for Pennetta news photo search
Flavia after match point

    Flavia said: "It was a great match for me. Last year we played here in the quarterfinals [Tatiana won, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4], and I think towards the end of the second set, I was thinking about that and getting a little nervous. I was thinking that I couldn't let it happen again."

    About playing Martina Hingis (for the first time) in the semifinals on Friday, Flavia said: "I'm excited to be playing against Martina. I looked up to her when I was growing up, and I think it will hit me tomorrow that I'm not playing just anyone; I'm playing Martina Hingis."

*#NR Martina Hingis SUI d #53 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP 6-2, 4-6, 6-0

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search   click for Hingis news photo search
Martina's forehand & backhand, and after match point

    Martina said: "Instead of really taking charge and playing my game as I did in the third, I started backing up again and I'm like 'oh, come on do it.' And then I got tired and [Nuria] started hitting the balls better and controlling, and I had to turn things around in the third...
    "I know I can last three sets now, especially mentally, maybe not physically, but mentally. That's probably the biggest weapon which I had today." WTA story

    Nuria said: "In the second set I played really well, especially towards the end. I started to take more risks with my shots, and it worked. I was playing very aggressively and everything seemed to go in."

Gold Coast, SFs, Fri 11am WTA story
loser's prize: $7,700 US; points: 55
*#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #20 s3 Dinara Safina RUS 6-4, 6-2

click for Safarova news photo search   click for Safarova news photo search
Lucie driving a backhand at Dinara, and making friends with a native Australian named "Doodah" after the match
(some call them koalas, others say wombat)

    Unseeded Lucie defeated the 6th, 1st, and 3rd seeds on her way to the final. Lucie said: "I didn't expect to do so well in the first tournament of the year, but I think I've played my best tennis this week. I've beaten some good players here- Patty [Schnyder] last night, a Top 10 player, and now Safina today, who's in the Top 20.
    "It's great to be in another final. It makes me nervous but also excited to play a final; it's very special. Of course I believe that I can win tomorrow. If you don't believe, there is no reason to play."

#22 s4 Flavia Pennetta ITA v #NR Martina Hingis SUI 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2

click for Hingis news photo search   click for Pennetta news photo search   click for Pennetta news photo search
Martina's forehand, Flavia after match point, and both ladies at the net at the end of the match

    Martina has been troubled this week by a left hip flexor strain, and she did not move well after aggravating the injury at 4-4 in the 2nd set. Martina later withdrew from her doubles SF to give the injury time to heal before next week's tourney in Sydney. But she did not blame the loss on the injury.

    Martina said: "As a player and a competitor you try to overcome things like that and still play until the end of the match. I don't want to take anything away from Pennetta, she played a great match. I was able to compete with her. It was great tennis and everyone enjoyed it.
    "You can't always expect everything to be perfect with your body when you haven't done that much in three years. If I was to evaluate this tournament right away, I'm very happy and very positive about what I've achieved this week. I don't think anybody expected me to come out like this so it's pretty good." Reuters story

    Flavia said: ""I wasn't so nervous before the match, but when I went on court it hit me who I was playing. I didn't play so well in the first set, but then I managed to calm down and play my game.
    "I started well in the second set, with a 3-1 lead, but she came back again. When she served for the match at 6-5, I still believed I could win. I just told myself to fight.
    "It's a wonderful feeling to beat such a great champion, but this is Martina's comeback tournament, so I'm sure she will only get better."

Gold Coast, Final, Sat 11:30am
loser's prize: $14,650 US; points: 85
winner's prize: $28,000 US; points: 120
*#47 Lucie Safarova CZE d #22 s4 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-3, 6-4

click for Safarova news photo search   click for Pennetta news photo search   click for Safarova news photo search
Lucie's lefty forehand, Flavia's two-handed backhand, and Lucie with the hardware after the match

Gold Coast, Doubles Final, Sat
loser's prize: $8,000 US
winner's prize: $4,150 US
*cdr40 s2 Dinara Safina & Meghann Shaughnessy d cdr7 s1 Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs 6-2, 6-3

click for WTA photo gallery
Meghann & Dinara took a title in their 2nd outing as a team


Gold Coast, Qual Finals, Sun Jan 1
loser's prize: $650
*#152 Jarmila Gajdsova SVK d #127 Varvara Lepchenko UZB 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5
#109 Tiantian Sun CHN d #141 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 6-0, 6-1
*#146 Angela Haynes USA d #99 Zi Yan CHN 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
#156 Meng Yuan CHN d #184 Casey Dellacqua AUS 6-1, 6-3

Gold Coast, Withdrawals
#4 Maria Sharapova RUS r shoulder
#12 Nathalie Dechy FRA left knee?
#30 Kveta Peschke CZE
#62 Elena Bovina RUS r shoulder
 

click for ASB Classic site   click for WTA photo gallery
Auckland top seed Nadia Petrova posing for a pre-tourney pic, and Elena Likhovtseva
making friends at the Auckland Zoo during the New Year's Eve player party on Saturday

Auckland, 1st Round, Mon-Tue WTA stories Mon - Tue
loser's prize: $1,035 US; points: 1
#7 s1 Nadia Petrova RUS d #52 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-2, 6-2 Mon

    Nadia said: "I had so many unforced errors and I couldn't get my first serve going especially with this wind. It's been hard to adjust because it hasn't been a constant wind. It's been on and off all the time. It wears you out mentally."

#17 s2 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #154 Yulia Beygelzimer UKR 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 Tue

    About settling down after dropping the 1st set, Daniela said: "I just tried to play aggressively, but at the same time not give away as many easy points as I did in the first set. I focused on my first serve. I tried to be calmer and patient."

#18 s3 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #49 Akiko Morigami JPN 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 Tue
#25 s4 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #178 Olga Blahotova CZE 6-4, 6-1 Tue
#28 s5 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #97 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 Mon

    Katarina said: "For me it is good [that] I had a tough match ... it is better to have a tough first match."

#33 s6 Marion Bartoli FRA d #73 Emilie Loit FRA 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1 Tue
*#96 Maria A Sanchez Lorenzo ESP d #35 s7 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 Tue
#36 s8 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #328 Paola Suarez ARG 6-2, 6-3 Mon-rain-Tue
#44 Vera Dushevina RUS d #167 q Anne Kremer LUX 6-3, 6-3 Tue
*#75 Yoon Jeong Cho KOR d #45 Shahar Peer ISR 7-6(0), 6-4 Mon-rain-Tue
#57 Jill Craybas USA d #112 q Ashley Harkleroad USA 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) Tue
*#170 wc Viktoria Azarenka BLR d #46 Amy Frazier USA 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 Mon

    Viktoria said: "I started very good, and I think Amy didn't play that good at the beginning as she couldn't find her rhythm.
    "You have to be at 100% all the time to beat her because you never know what's going to come... she can change her game by playing hard and deep. It's very tough."

*#85 Kristina Brandi PUR d #54 Catalina Castano COL 7-5, 6-1 Mon-rain-Tue
#62 Laura Granville USA d #126 q Shanay Perry USA 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 Tue
*#131 q Tzipora Obziler ISR d #92 Jamea Jackson USA 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#95 Julia Schruff GER d #376 wc Jelena Dokic AUS 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1 Tue

click for Dokic news photo search
Despite service troubles, Jelena looked fit, and her forehand form looked fine

    Jelena led 6-5 in the 2nd set, but then her game disintegrated-- she had 50 unforced errors including 28 double faults. Jelena said: "I was very nervous, and I was very tight, and I think that contributed to the loss today. When I was getting close to winning I just got really nervous. I think that's a lack of matches."

    Julia said: "After the first set it could only get better because that was not good. I didn't think [Jelena] would hit that many double faults. Her second serve was like her first, not a lot of spin."

Auckland, 2nd Round, Wed WTA story
loser's prize: $1,925 US; points: 12
#7 s1 Nadia Petrova RUS d #44 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-3, 6-0

    Conditions in Auckland were again very windy. Nadia said: "I can't say it was a great match. It was ugly tennis, and all I was trying to do was put the extra ball on the other side. All that wind doesn't do any good to your tennis."

#17 s2 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #57 Jill Craybas USA 6-3, 6-1

    Daniela said: "I was really glad the way I came out and played, especially after the way I played yesterday {dropping the 1st set]. I felt like I was in control of the match right from the beginning. I felt like I knew what I was doing with every single shot, and I was just trying to be a little more patient and not going for as many crazy shots."

*#95 Julia Schruff GER d #18 s3 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 7-5, 7-6(4)
#25 s4 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #170 wc Viktoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
*#131 q Tzipora Obziler ISR d #28 s5 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 6-3, 6-4

    Tzipora said: "I think especially with this kind of weather [windy], and first matches of the year, it takes a little bit longer to adjust, and for me it helped."

#33 s6 Marion Bartoli FRA d #62 Laura Granville USA 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
#36 s8 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #75 Yoon Jeong Cho KOR 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
#85 Kristina Brandi PUR d #96 Maria A Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-4, 6-1
Auckland, QFs, Thu 11am WTA story
loser's prize: $3,580 US; points: 24
#7 s1 Nadia Petrova RUS d #85 Kristina Brandi PUR 6-1, 6-2

    The start of the match was delayed for over three hours. Nadia said: "It had been a long wait. When we walked on court it was hard to get myself going. In the end it was a comfortable win for me."

#17 s2 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #131 q Tzipora Obziler ISR 7-5, 3-6, 7-5

    Daniela trailed 1-5 in the 1st set (Tzipora failed to convert four set points), and trailed 3-5 in the 3rd as well. She won despite 70 unforced errors in the 3-hour-and-1-minute match. Daniela said: "I think I aged ten years. I just tried to hang in there as much as I could and I'm really happy that I was able to pull it off. [Tzipora] was very solid and not missing a ball at all. Whenever I gave her a slow ball she knew what to do with it and she was also reading my shots very well. I don't remember the last time I played such a long match."

*#36 s8 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #25 s4 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-2, 6-0
#33 s6 Marion Bartoli FRA d #95 Julia Schruff GER 6-2, 6-0

Auckland, SFs, Fri noon WTA story
loser's prize: $6,650 US; points: 43
*#33 s6 Marion Bartoli FRA d #7 s1 Nadia Petrova RUS 3-6, 6-4, 2-1 retired--
   left groin strain


    Marion said: "It's absolutely amazing to be in the final here. I cannot dream for a better result than this and when I came over and saw the draw I was like, 'oh my gosh just to reach the semifinal would be a very good result'...
    "I'm so tired can't stand on my feet any more. Today the key was to run and run, and finally I put a lot of pressure on [Nadia], and she started to miss on the big points." AP story

    Nadia said: "I could not give 100 percent so I decided not to make it any worse. It is the first tournament of the year and the body is getting used to it and it is a little stressful.
    "I had some opportunities, but because I had such a late finish last night [Nadia's QF ended at 11:30pm] I was feeling a little sleepy at the start of the game. There were a few times that I didn't know the score and I didn't know when to go for the changeover and I was a little bit lost." Reuters story

#36 s8 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #17 s2 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-2, 6-2

    Vera said: "It looked comfortable from the side, but I think it was a really tough match no matter what the scoreboard says...
    "I'm really happy with my game, especially with the kind of conditions we had today. The wind wasn't as strong as it has been but it was changing direction all the time and it was really difficult to play beautiful tennis. You just had to hang in there."

    Daniela said: "The conditions were very tough [swirling winds] and Vera just dealt with it much better. I think if she plays like this there's no reason she can't get back to the Top 10. She's got a great game, because there's not much that can really go wrong, as she's very solid from both sides."

Auckland, Final, Sat 1pm
loser's prize: $12,345 US; points: 67
winner's prize: $22,900 US; points: 95
#33 s6 Marion Bartoli FRA d #36 s8 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-2, 6-2

click for Bartoli news photo search   click for Zvonareva news photo search   click for Bartoli news photo search
Marion's 2-handed forehand, Vera's 1-handed forehand, and Marion's 2-handed backhand

Auckland, Doubles Final, Sat
loser's prize: $3,475 US
winner's prize: $6,500 US
cdr19 s1 Elena Likhovtseva & Vera Zvonareva d cdr71 s4 Emilie Loit & Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4

click for WTA photo gallery
It was Vera's third WTA doubles title, and Elena's 25th


Auckland, Qual Finals, Mon Jan 2
loser's prize: $555 US
#112 Ashley Harkleroad USA d #84 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
#167 Anne Kremer LUX d #124 Mariya Koryttseva UKR 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
#126 Shanay Perry USA d #163 Ryoko Fuda JPN 6-0, 6-2
#131 Tzipora Obziler ISR d #156 Mervana Jugic-Salkic BIH 7-5, 6-4

Auckland, Withdrawals
#60 Marta Domachowska POL
#66 Meghann Shaughnessy USA (Gold Coast)
#71 Aiko Nakamura JPN (Gold Coast)
#78 Sybille Bammer AUT (Gold Coast)
#216 wc Marina Erakovic NZL shoulder
 
Perth, Hopman Cup, Friday 10am
Group B playoff: Netherlands d China 2-1
#36 Shuai Peng CHN d #63 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

click for Krajicek news photo search
Michaella Krajicek lost a tough singles battle to Shuai Peng, but The Netherlands advanced

Perth, Hopman Cup, Saturday 10am
Group B: Germany d Australia 2-1

*#46 Samantha Stosur AUS d #21 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-3, 7-5

click for Stosur news photo search   click for Groenefeld news photo search
Samantha's forehand, Anna-Lena's backhand during the singles

Perth, Hopman Cup, Sunday 10am
Group A: USA d Serbia & Montenegro 2-1
#16 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #74 Lisa Raymond USA 6-2, 6-4

click for Ivanovic news photo search   click for Raymond news photo search
Ana's forehand during the singles, Lisa's backhand during the doubles

Perth, Hopman Cup, Monday 10am
Group B: Netherlands d Argentina 2-1
*#63 Michaella Krajicek NED d #26 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-4, 6-2

click for Dulko news photo search   click for Krajicek news photo search
Gisela's forehand, Michaella's backhand, both during the singles

Group A: Serbia & Montenegro d Sweden 2-1
#16 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #67 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-3, 6-1

click for Ivanovic news photo search
Ana's forehand during the singles

Perth, Hopman Cup, Tuesday 10am
Group A 10am: USA d Russia 2-1
#18 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #74 Lisa Raymond USA 6-4, 6-1

click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Svetlana slicing a backhand during the singles

Group B 5:30pm: Netherlands d Australia 2-1
#46 Samantha Stosur AUS d #58 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-4, 7-6(8)

Perth, Hopman Cup, Wednesday 10am
Group B 10am: Argentina d Germany 2-1
*#26 Gisela Dulko ARG d #21 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-1, 6-0
Group A 5:30pm: Russia d Sweden 2-1
#18 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS v #67 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 7-6(3), 6-4

click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Svetlana serving to Sofia in singles

Perth, Hopman Cup, Thursday 10am
Group B 10am: Australia d Argentina 2-1
*#46 Samantha Stosur AUS d #26 Gisela Dulko ARG 7-5, 6(3)-7, 6-3

click for Stosur news photo search
Samantha after match point

Group B 10am: Netherlands d Germany 3-0
*#58 Michaella Krajicek NED d #21 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-4, 7-6(5)

click for Krajicek news photo search
Michealla after winning a point

Group A 5:30pm: Serbia & Montenegro d Russia 2-1
*#18 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #16 Ana Ivanovic SCG 6-1, 6-4

click for Ivanovic news photo search
Ana lost the singles to Svetlana, but Serbia & Montenegro defeated Russia to finish 2nd in Group A

Group A 5:30pm: Sweden d USA 2-1
#67 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #74 Lisa Raymond USA 2-6, 6-2, 6-4

click for Arvidsson news photo search
Sofia's backhand

Perth, Hopman Cup Final, Friday 5:30pm:
(Group A) USA d Netherlands (Group B) 2-1
#58 Michaella Krajicek NED d #74 Lisa Raymond USA 6-4, 7-6(4)

click for Krajicek news photo search   click for Raymond news photo search
Michaella after match point of the singles, and Lisa with the Hopman Cup,
partner Taylor Dent, and Lucy Hopman, wife of the late Harry Hopman,
the great Australian coach after whom the cup is named

 

click for Vaidisova news photo search   click for Dementieva photo search
Nicole Vaidisova met the press in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Dec 3... Later on Tuesday, Serena Williams
& 2005 Watson's champ Elena Dementieva found amusement at the player's welcome party

click for Serena Williams news photo search
Sania Mirza, Elena Dementieva, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport,
Serena Williams, Nicole Vaidisova, and Jie Zheng at the party

Hong Kong, QFs, Wed 6:30pm
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #15 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-2, 6-2

click for Vaidisova photo search   click for Davenport photo search
Nicole's forehand, and Lindsay's backhand

#8 s3 Elena Dementieva RUS d #11 Serena Williams USA 6-3, 6-1

click for Serena Williams photo search   click for Dementieva photo search   click for Dementieva photo search
2005 Aussie Open champ Serena had a bad day chasing Elena's backhands;
Elena left the court already feeling good about 2006

    Elena said: "I've never beaten [Serena] before [in 4 previous matches], so when I went on court I was trying to play my game, be aggressive and just focus on my serve. When you play against such a good player as her you really want to play your best game, otherwise you're going to lose. She's a great fighter and when you play against her you really want to play till the end and be focused on each point. You never know what she's going to do next." AFP story

Hong Kong, QFs, Thu 6:30pm
#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #44 Jie Zheng CHN 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim delivering a backhand to Jie

#10 s4 Venus Williams USA d #32 Sania Mirza IND 6-3, 6-3

click for Venus Williams photo search   click for Mirza photo search
Venus & Sania's backhands

Hong Kong, SFs, Fri 4:30pm
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #10 s4 Venus Williams USA 6-3, 6-1

click for Davenport news photo search
Lindsay saying "Aw, shucks"

    Venus has been troubled by an as-yet undiagnosed discomfort of her back or pelvis.
    Venus said: "I couldn't get my feet in position or move very much.
    "I have not been diagnosed. No one seems to know what's going on. It really affected me today. I'm confident I will get better but I just need a high-calibre physiotherapist to diagnose me because physically they don't even know what to treat." AP story - AFP story

    Lindsay said: "I was hitting the ball really cleanly and was hitting some good corners. Some days a lot of balls go in and today was one of them. I played really well. And I was going for a lot of things. There was a little inconsistency serving but other than that, I played pretty much how I wanted to play."

#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #8 s3 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-3, 6-3

click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim watching her splits forehand fly

QF losers in consolation draw SFs
#15 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #32 Sania Mirza IND 7-6, 6-3
#44 Jie Zheng CHN d #11 Serena Williams USA walkover-- left knee inflammation

Hong Kong, Final, Sat
*#2 s2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA 6-3, 7-5

click for Davenport photo search   click for Clijsters photo search   click for Clijsters photo search
Lindsay's forehand, Kim's backhand, and Kim with the glassware after the match

consolation final
#15 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #44 Jie Zheng CHN 6-2, 3-1 retired-- left knee injury

2005 Gold Coast, Auckland, Hopman Cup & Watson's Water tourney page

    # 4 Maria Sharapova withdrew from Gold Coast due to her chronic right pectoral muscle strain, which she hopes will fully heal before the Australian Open. The injury has troubled Maria since mid-2005.

    Former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis has returned to WTA play at Gold Coast, after over three years retirement due to ankle and foot injuries.

    Former WTA # 4 Jelena Dokic returned to WTA play at Auckland. Jelena had not played in a WTA tourney since May, 2005; her rank has fallen to # 376 while she has struggled with family problems and injuries.
    Jelena said: "For me, it's important just to get some matches in - that's my main goal. Hopefully, I'll do that here. The first match will be the toughest. I haven't had the feel of a tournament for a long time, but I'm really looking to being here again and to playing.
    "I haven't played in a long time and I'm trying to come back, which isn't easy. But I'm really happy to be playing again and that's why I chose this tournament. I've been here before, I really like it here and I think I can play well... I've proved I can play well. Now I'm just playing for myself and for fun."
(Dec. 29, 2005) New Zealand Herald Dokic interview

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Current WTA Results & Tennis News

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