2007 Australian Open Tennis WTA Singles Results    

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  WTA Jan 15-28: Australian Open

Australian Open, Melbourne, AUS
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128 players - outdoor: hard Rebound Ace
$15,527,900 US, 50%/50% WTA/ATP

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2007 WTA video & audio interviews
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# 2 M Sharapova, # 3 A Mauresmo
# 4 S Kuznetsova, # 5 K Clijsters
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Melbourne:
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#94 Serena Williams
5' 9", 135 lbs, RH 2H-BH
Melbourne:
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3rd Australian Open Title
8th Grand Slam Singles Title

photo: Aussie Alicia Molik lay on the court after defeating Venus Williams in the 4th round in 2005-- Alicia lost to Lindsay Davenport in the QFs, but won the doubles title partnered with Svetlana Kuznetsova

   
Early round play in  Melbourne begins at  11am local time.

Melbourne Park-Olympic Park
Melbourne Park-Olympic Park - click for sat pic
Latitude: -37.821497 Longitude: 144.978772 goto link for World Wind

Melbourne Park-Olympic Park
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    The Australian Open has 32 seeds, with no 1st-round byes. There are 12 qualifiers and 8 wild cards in the main draw.
    Melbourne (daylight savings) time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) +11 hours (Pacific Time+19, often=the next day, 5 hours earlier; ET+16). Early round play begins at 11am local time; the final is at 1:30pm on Saturday.

      The Odds Have It: On Saturday in Melbourne, in the final of the Australian Open, the 2003 & 2005 champ, 25-year-old # 94 Serena Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, also won the 2007 title, defeating 19-year-old # 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia (residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA), 6-1, 6-2 (photos shown).

    8-time Grand Slam tourney singles champion Serena has now won 27 WTA singles titles in all. Serena was ranked # 1 in August, 2003, when she had surgery in Los Angeles to repair a partial tear in the mid-portion of the quadriceps tendon of her left knee. She recovered to reach the 2004 Wimbledon final and win the 2005 Australian Open, but the knee and her left ankle have given her trouble ever since. Serena played in only 4 tourneys in 2006, compiling a 12-4 record.

    Former # 1 Serena is actually # 81 in the current rankings, but the rankings for the week preceding the tourney are used for determining seeds, and those previous week's ranks are used on these pages so the results will match the drawsheets. In Monday's rankings, Serena will be back in the top-20.

    Maria, who scored on 21 of 27 net appoaches in her semifinal against Kim Clijsters, made only 6 trips to the net against Serena, and scored 5 of the 35 points she won in the match at net. Serena hit 28 winners with only 11 unforced errors (Maria: 12 winners, 13 errors). Maria made only 51% of her 1st serves good, and her winning percentage on 2nd serves was a dismal 26%. match stats

    Alias Smith & Wesson: Serena said it was her blasting from the baseline style that won the match. Serena said: "My plan was just to play my game. And that's my game. I finally played it for the first time this whole tournament. That's the way I play. When I'm staying close to the baseline, I'm playing that way, aggressive. That's the way I was raised. My mom and dad taught me to play that game of tennis. For some reason, I stay on the baseline. But that was Serena that I've been trying to showcase for years and years...

    "Like I said from the beginning, when I'm playing well, it's difficult for anyone to beat me... because I have a unique style. I have a unique game. You know, tennis is what I think I was born to do...
    "I think [Maria] did a good job. She never gave up. Down to the last point, she was fighting." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    Maria said it was not only Serena's .357 magnum force; she also lost because she had a bad day serving and returning serve. Maria said: "I think it started in the second game when I'm up 40-15, and I gave her that game. From then on, when she's serving pretty big and pretty consistent, it was tough to break her. I think that was a key game in the first set...

    "[Serena] played some good tennis. We don't really have a lot of long rallies. It was just about a good serve percentage, which I definitely did not have, which I said was going to be important, and the return... She was aggressive from all her shots. I don't think she really wanted to get into long rallies. She was going for it, you know, making most of it...
    "I was just trying to find a way or a little door opening that maybe I could get through. Just try to get in the rallies a little bit, which was difficult because we didn't really have enough of long rallies for me to really like try to grind it out or fight it out. So it was just really a matter of serving well and returning well. And I didn't think that I did either well." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    On Friday, at her pre-final interview, Serena said: "I think if I play well, if I play my game, do what I can do, it's hard for anyone to beat me. I got to make sure I'm playing well. Sometimes I have a tendency to shank a few balls, to miss-hit, not be on. If I'm on, it's tough...
    "Maria's playing really well. I thought she played excellent yesterday. That's how you have to do. Champs always pick it up in the last two rounds. She's shown she was able to do that. We have to see." pre-final interview

    On Friday, at her pre-final interview, Maria said: "I think I'll have to serve well, obviously, against her. She has a big serve. That's one of her biggest weapons. High percentage of first serve. Not letting her get a look at too many second serves.

    "I know I say this all the time, but it's also about chances. Taking the chances when you have them, especially against an experienced player like her. If you let too many get away, the more you're going let the match slip away." pre-final interview

    2004 Wimbledon and 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova is now 15-5 in WTA singles finals, including defeating Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final, 6-1, 6-4. Maria had a very strong finish in 2006, winning one Grand Slam, two Tier Is, and one Tier II title between August and October. She also won the Tier I Indian Wells tourney earlier in the year. Despite losing the final, Maria already has earned the points to be # 1 in the world when the WTA rankings are released on Monday.

    Serena now leads Maria 3-2 in career matches, but their two previous meetings were close 3-setters: Maria defeated Serena in the 2004 WTA Tour Championships final, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, and Serena defeated Maria a couple months later in the semis of the 2005 Australian Open, 2-6, 7-5, 8-6.
Serena & Venus Williams Wallpaper - ITF: Serena Williams career record - The WTA since 1996: Serena Williams record
Serena Williams Interview Transcripts - VenusSerenaFans.com

Men's Final: s1 Roger Federer SUI d s10 Fernando Gonzalez CHI 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4

pre-tourney summaries: Tracy Austin - Tennis Magazine Editors' Picks - Tignor - Wertheim

  Major Skirmishes, Top Half

4th Round:
# 2 s1 Maria Sharapova d # 24 s22 Vera Zvonareva
# 5 s4 Kim Clijsters d # 17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova
# 7 s6 Martina Hingis d # 21 Na Li
*# 13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze d # 9 s8 Patty Schnyder
Quarterfinals:
# 2 s1 Maria Sharapova d # 13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze
# 5 s4 Kim Clijsters d # 7 s6 Martina Hingis
Semifinal:
# 2 s1 Maria Sharapova d # 5 s4 Kim Clijsters
   

  Major Skirmishes, Bottom Half

4th Round:
*#74 Lucie Safarova d # 3 s2 Amelie Mauresmo
*# 18 s16 Shahar Peer d # 4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova
*# 11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova d # 8 s7 Elena Dementieva
*# 95 Serena Williams d # 12 s11 Jelena Jankovic
Quarterfinals:
# 11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova d #74 Lucie Safarova
*# 95 Serena Williams d # 18 s16 Shahar Peer
Semifinal:
# 95 Serena Williams d # 11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova

    The prize money page on the ausopen.org website disappeared in 2005. The continuing fall of the US dollar has resulted in a substantial loss of income for tourneys outside the US, because TV and sponsorship contracts pay the tourneys in US dollars. In 2005, Aussie Open profits were said to have dropped about 25% in recent years due to the falling dollar.
    The prize money amounts listed in the results table below were obtained from a .pdf document published at the ITF website. The conversions to US dollars are at the Jan 10, 2007 exchange rate: $1 AUS = $.7763 US.

Doubles prize money, per team, AUS$:
Champions $446,020; Finalists $223,010; SFs $110,800; QFs $55,400; 3rd Round $31,245; 2nd Round $17,035; 1st Round $9,585

WTA SCOREBOARD: The Australian Open at Melbourne
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     click for Hingis news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search
On Saturday, January 13, in Melbourne, 1997, '98 & '99 Australian Open (& '97 Wimbledon & US Open) champ Martina Hingis, and
top seeded 2004 Wimbledon & 2006 US Open champ Maria Sharapova swatted cheeseballs on the Laver court and made faces at the media.

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Hingis news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search
On Sunday, January 14, in Melbourne, Maria, again in Rod Laver Arena, got serious about how many matches she would play at a time, while her possible SF opponent Kim Clijsters told the press about the wonderful Belgian chocolate recipes she can try after retiring and marrying later this year. Nadia Petrova and 2006 Aussie Open champ Amelie Mauresmo were also among the many players practicing on Sunday; unfortunately practice photos of other ladies never made it to the Internet.

click for Chakvetadze news photo search     click for WTA photo gallery     click for WTA photo gallery     click for WTA photo gallery     click for WTA photo gallery
Anna Chakvetadze was having a ball on Tue, Jan 23, the day before her first Grand Slam quarterfinal... Among the ladies
looking good on Sun, Jan 21, at the player party were Tsvetana Pironkova, Mara Santangelo, Elena Vesnina, and Patty Schnyder.
Australian Open, 1st Rd, Mon-Tue 11am
loser: $19,215 AUS = $14,919 US, 2 points
On Tuesday, invocation of the Extreme Heat Policy resuted in 12 ladies singles matches being postponed to Wednesday

#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #61 Camille Pin FRA 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 Tue

click for Sharapova news photo search click for Pin news photo search click for Sharapova news photo search click for Sharapova news photo search click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria serving, Camille after winning a point, Maria with ice-filled towels wrapped around her during a changeover,
Maria's forehand, and both players after match point

    On Tuesday, after about 1 hours of play, as temps rose over 100F, the Extreme Heat Policy was invoked, clearing outside courts after current matches were complete, and closing the roofs of the two main stadiums. In Rod Laver Arena, the roof was not closed until the first match of the day, Sharapova v Pin, was finished-- and it took almost three hours.

    Maria said: "It was really tough. You know, it was hard to think about what you were going to do on court because you were just mentally trying to find a way to kind of make the points shorter and basically trying to find a way to win. But sometimes when it's that hot outside, your mind doesn't work properly." tourney story

    Camille said: "Right now actually I feel very disappointed. But now that I've been around, I've been half an hour at the restaurant, and I can see people saying, 'Well, you did great today', so I feel a bit better now...
    "But I was so close that I thought it was my day, but apparently it was not, so next time. I was really sad to miss it, but [Maria is] No.2 in the world, and she's succeeded to do what she had to do on this game."

#3 s2 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #45 Shenay Perry USA 6-3, 6-4 Mon

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Amelie and Tracy Austin on the Talking Tennis TV show on Jan 13

#4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #917 wc Jessica Moore AUS 6-2, 6-0 Mon

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Sveta after match point

#5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL d #70 Vasilisa Bardina RUS 6-0, 6-0 Tue

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Vasilisa's backhand drive, Kim running down a forehand, and Vasilisa congratulating Kim after the match

    Kim said: "I felt lucky I was able to play on that court with the roof closed, and get to play as well, otherwise it can be a very long day here. I felt very lucky to be out here and play. I was just happy to get it over with.
    [I] felt very into the zone today. I was seeing the ball well. Only the serve, the first serve percentage, has to be a little higher if I start playing girls who return better, who don't miss as much as my opponent today. Overall, it was pretty good." postmatch interview

#6 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #71 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-3, 6-2 Mon

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Nadia spinning a forehand

#7 s6 Martina Hingis SUI d #49 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-0, 6-2 Tue

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Martina firing a forehand, Nathalie fielding a drop shot, and after match point

    Martina said: "I played very well... I was very nervous. So was she. But I started to loosen up and play some really good tennis, very focused, very intense.
    "I knew it's not going to be easy against Nathalie first round. It's a little bit similar than when I played Vera last year. You had to be ready first match." postmatch interview - match stats

#8 s7 Elena Dementieva RUS d #111 Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-1, 6-2 Mon

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Elena's forehand drive, and after match point

#9 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #497 wc Madison Brengle USA 6-3, 6-4 ppd-Wed

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Patty and Madison driving backhands

#10 s9 Dinara Safina RUS d #78 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 7-6(5), 6-1 ppd-Wed

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Dinara's backhand volley, and Ekaterina following a forehand

#11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #58 Jill Craybas USA 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 Mon

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Three views of Nicole serving, and Jill and Nicole launching backhands

#12 s11 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #92 Aleksandra Wozniak CAN 6-3, 6-3 Mon

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Aleksandra's forehand, Jelena's backhand, after match point, and Jelena on Tuesday, providing a photo-op at Port Melbourne

#13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #56 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-4, 7-5 Tue
#14 s13 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #57 Vania King USA 6-2, 6-0 Tue

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Ana serving, Vania reaching for a forehand, Ana following a forehand, and after match point

#15 s14 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #95 Sandra Kloesel GER 6-4, 6-4 Mon

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Francesca serving, Sandra's backhand, and Francesca after winning a point

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #195 q Alize Cornet FRA 6-4, 6-1 ppd-Wed

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Daniela serving, and Alize waiting to swat a backhand

#18 s16 Shahar Peer ISR d #52 Romina Oprandi ITA 6-1, 6-3 Mon
#19 s17 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #156 q Sandra Zahlavova CZE 6-4, 6-1 ppd-Wed

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Anna-Lena's backhand

#20 s18 Marion Bartoli FRA d #101 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-0, 6-3 Mon
#21 s19 Na Li CHN d #1431 sr14  Elena Bovina RUS 6-4, 6-3 ppd-Wed

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Elena's forehand drive, and Na following one

#22 s20 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #62 Anna Smashnova ISR 6-3, 6-1 Mon

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Tatiana in her service motion, Anna about to volley a backhand, Tatiana driving one, and after match point

#23 s21 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #157 wc Casey Dellacqua AUS 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 Mon

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Katarina's backhand drive

#24 s22 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #123 Tzipora Obziler ISR 6-3, 6-4 ppd-Wed
#26 s23 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #60 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-3, 6-4 Mon

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Sofia's forehand drive, and Ai belting a backhand, her best shot

#27 s24 Samantha Stosur AUS d #119 q Klara Zakopalova CZE 6-3, 6-1 Tue

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Current top-ranked Aussie Sam during pre-tourney interviews

    Samantha said: "It was kind of a tricky match. At the start, I felt kind of a little all over the place. It was kind of a weird feeling. Got 3-1 down. Tried to settle down. Hit a few more balls in. I knew with the way [Klara] played she was going to hit some winners, and then hit a whole bunch of errors. That's kind of what happened. After I got back into it, I started to feel a lot more comfortable." postmatch interview

*#42 Elena Vesnina RUS d #28 s25 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6(7)-7, 6-1, 6-1 Mon

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Elena while applying her Ivana Henryova for fans after the match

#29 s26 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #89 Karolina Sprem CRO 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 Mon

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Maria's service toss and swing

*#94 Serena Williams USA d #30 s27 Mara Santangelo ITA 6-2, 6-1 Mon

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Serena preparing to serve, Mara and Serena firing forehands, and Serena after match point

    Mara said: "I didn't play too good. I had some problems last week. I have been sick and I didn't feel too good on court, to be honest. [But Serena] played very good today. I saw a few of her games in Hobart last week and to be honest, she didn't play like she played today. She improved a lot. Today she played very well. She served very well, she put on a lot of pressure, and was much better than she was in Hobart." tourney story

    Serena said: "I can definitely win a third title, for sure My mom and dad always taught me to think positive. For me to sit here and say no now - I just can't do that. Now whether I win, lose or draw, that's you know, up to me, but I'm not going to sit here and say no. I just can't do that...
    "I think there's so much I can do to improve. I actually wasn't a hundred per cent happy with the way I played... as long as I'm moving forward, figuratively and literally, I should be fine."

    Two weeks ago, Serena appeared at Auckland with a new axe. All sorts of speculation has appeared in online forums about her new black bat, which definitely has a narrow beam (not a wide body) and appears to have a smaller head (100 sq. in. or less).
    The most credible-sounding rumor about Serena's new Wilson racquet is that it is a prototype from their new K Factor series, which is due to begin replacing the nCode line in late January. One writer states that it is a prototype of the K Blade, a replacment for the current nBlade, that it will have a 100" sq. in. head, weigh 10.4 oz. unstrung, and will debut at Miami (Key Biscayne) in March.

*#79 Kaia Kanepi EST d #31 s28 Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-5, 7-6(3) Tue
#32 s29 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #160 q Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-1, 7-6(6) Tue
#33 s30 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #113 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 Tue
*#91 Julia Schruff GER d #34 s31 Jie Zheng CHN 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4 Mon

click for Schruff news photo search   click for Zheng news photo search   click for Schruff news photo search
Julia driving a forehand, Jie ready to swat one, and happy Julia leaving the court after the match

*#64 Aiko Nakamura JPN d #35 s32 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6-4, 6-0 Tue

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Aiko after match point

#36 Martina Muller GER d #157 q Jorgelina Cravero ARG 6-0, 6-3 Mon
*#146 q Anne Kremer LUX d #37 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-4, 6-3 Mon
*#189 q Tamira Paszek AUT d #38 Severine Bremond FRA 6-1, 6-4 ppd-Wed
#39 Olga Poutchkova RUS d #90 Marta Domachowska POL 6-2, 6-4 Mon
*#158 q Renata Voracova CZE d #40 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 7-5, 6-3 Tue
*#47 Emilie Loit FRA d #41 Aravane Rezai FRA 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 ppd-Wed

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Aravane driving a backhand, and Emilie firing her lefty forehand

*#118 q Julia Vakulenko UKR d #44 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 Mon
*#149 wc Youlia Fedossova FRA d #46 Catalina Castano COL 7-5, 6-4 ppd-Wed
#50 Maria Elena Camerin ITA d #104 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6-2, 6-2 Mon
#51 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP d #138 q Ahsha Rolle USA 6-3, 6-4 ppd-Wed
#53 Jelena Kostanic Tosic CRO d #171 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS 7-5, 6-3 Tue
#54 Shuai Peng CHN d #212 q Andreja Klepac SLO 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 ppd-Wed

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Andreja's forehand, and Shuai driving a backhand

#55 Gisela Dulko ARG d #81 Tiantian Sun CHN 6-2, 6-2 Mon
#59 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #99 Varvara Lepchenko UZB 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#63 Iveta Benesova CZE d #112 Galina Voskoboeva RUS 6(3)-7, 6-1, 6-4 Mon
*#86 Akiko Morigami JPN d #65 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 Tue
#66 Sania Mirza IND d #103 Olga Savchuk UKR 6-3, 7-5 Tue

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Sania's strength, her forehand drive, and Olga's backhand

    About the 100+F temperatures that resulted in the Extreme Heat Policy being invoked, Sania said: "Bombay [Mumbai] is more humid but here you can really feel the heat and you can feel it burning your legs at the changeover... It's hot in India but not as hot as it was here today but it is a lot hotter in India than Ukraine." tourney story

#67 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP d #105 Melinda Czink HUN 1-6, 6-1, 9-7 Mon
#68 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #102 Laura Pous Tio ESP 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 Mon
#69 Laura Granville USA d #110 Yulia Beygelzimer UKR 6-2, 6-3 Tue
*#75 Virginie Razzano FRA d #72 Nicole Pratt AUS 6(8)-7, 6-4, 6-0 Tue
*#135 q Alla Kudryavtseva RUS d #73 Emma Laine FIN 4-6, 6-2, 9-7 Tue
#74 Lucie Safarova CZE d #98 Alberta Brianti ITA 6-3, 6-1 Mon
*#97 Milagros Sequera VEN d #76 Jarmila Gajdosova SVK 6-3, 6-4 Mon

click for WTA photo gallery
Milagros after match point

*#165 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #77 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 6-2, 7-6(4) Tue

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Alicia driving a forehand, and Yung-Jan studying a backhand, and Alicia after match point

    Alicia said: "[I] Should have got a lot more free points off my first serve... Got me out of trouble at the right time exactly, but I don't want to have to rely on it. When push comes to shove, I like to get out front nice and early. I didn't get too many free points on my first serve, which I probably should have... I didn't have a look at my stats, but I would imagine my first serve percentage is pretty low. That's something I guess I'll work on in the next 24-hour period...
    "I felt fine. I felt I was hitting my backhand really well. My topspin backhand, getting off the court really well. My slice line was effective. Dropped off a little bit in the second set...
    "I didn't want to play a third set. I was disappointed I let it get to that point. Made a conscious effort to win that set. I probably should have served it out... At no point did I really panic or was I worried. I felt like I was in full control the whole match. I never felt like [Yung-Jan] was really dictating or dominating. I felt like I really controlled the match." postmatch interview

*#96 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #82 Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 Mon

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Victoria's backhand drive

*#93 Anastassia Rodionova RUS d #83 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-3 6-1 Tue
*#85 Eva Birnerova CZE d #84 Martina Sucha SVK 7-5, 6-3 Mon
#87 Ashley Harkleroad USA d #115 Meng Yuan CHN 6-3, 6-0 ppd-Wed

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Meng firing a forehand, and Ashley following one

#88 Meilen Tu USA d #109 Edina Gallovits ROM 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 Mon
*#108 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE d #107 Clarisa Fernandez ARG 6-4, 6-2 Mon
*#246 wc Monique Adamczak AUS d #132 wc Iroda Tulyaganova UZB 6-1, 6-4 Mon

Australian Open, 2nd Rd, Wed-Thu 11am WTA Wed story - WTA Thu story 1 - WTA Thu story 2
loser: $29,890 AUS = $23,207 US, US 60 points
On Thursday, rain delayed the start of play on all courts except Laver and Vodafone, which have closeable roofs

#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #93 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 6-0, 6-3 Thu

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Maria's running backhand, Maria's forehand, Anastassia following a backhand, Maria following a forehand, and after match point

    Maria said: "I was glad I got to a good start. I wanted to make sure I finished it in two this time. I thought that I played a little bit better today.
    "I still think that I can play a lot better. I'm nowhere near my top level. But I think I can definitely get better as I play more matches here...
    "It was hard to take much away from the first match because I didn't think it had a lot to do tennis-wise. Today I felt like I could work on a few things and really see how I was playing. I'll take a few things from this match and just try to improve for my next one." postmatch interview

    About the recent success of Jelena Jankovic, Maria said: "I actually grew up with her playing at Bollettieri's. I've known her quite well since we were very young... she was one of the top players, top juniors. I think a lot of people expected her to be a top player.
    "I think she's becoming more consistent as she's been playing more matches. Looks like a more experienced player. I haven't played her recently. She's obviously been playing great, confident tennis."

#3 s2 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #39 Olga Poutchkova RUS 6-2, 6-2 Wed

click for Mauresmo news photo search     click for Poutchkova news photo search     click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie's forehand, Olga considering whether a different stringing pattern would help, and Amelie after match point

    Amelie said: "I felt it was much better than my first match; I'm really finding my rhythm a little bit more. I felt I was also moving pretty well tonight and was very serious in what I was doing. It was good."

#4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS v #246 wc Monique Adamczak AUS 6-2, 6-1 Wed

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Monique serving, Svetlana's forehand, and after match point

#5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL d #86 Akiko Morigami JPN 6-3, 6-0 Thu

click for Morigami news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Morigami news photo search
Akiko's forehand drive, Kim's trademark splits forehand, and Akiko after losing a point

    Kim said: "Everything went pretty good. In the beginning, I wasn't moving quite as well as I did in my first match. But looking at the statistics and looking at [Akiko], I did everything pretty well, and I did what I had to do. I won in two pretty easy sets, so I'm not complaining."

#6 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #55 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-1, 6-2 Wed

click for Petrova news photo search     click for Dulko news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search
Nadia's forehand, Gisela spinning one with her new bat, and Nadia after match point

    Gisela, who formerly swung a Babolat, is equipped this year with a Technifibre T-Fight 320. Gisela is the first top-100 pro on the WTA Tour to use a Technifiber racquet. Her new bat has a 97 sq. in. head, is 27" long, weighs 11.2 oz., is balanced 10 points head light, has a 20mm beam width and a stiffness rating of 68, and is available strung 16x20 or 18x20.

#7 s6 Martina Hingis SUI d #135 q Alla Kudryavtseva RUS 6-2, 6-2 Thu

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Martina's forehand, Alla volleying one, and Martina after match point

    Martina said: "I'd never seen [Alla] before so it took time to adjust to how she was playing. It was a different opponent from the first day. Against Nathalie [Dechy, in the 1st round], mentally it was a different attitude; the young girls just attack. That's what you have to face today, and anybody can come out on a given day, and you have to just work against that, and try to definitely stay at the baseline."

#8 s7 Elena Dementieva RUS d #36 Martina Muller GER 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 Wed

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Elena about to deliver a backhand, and after match point

#9 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #54 Shuai Peng CHN 7-5, 6-3 Thu

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Patty's backhand drive, Shuai telling the chair ump it went thataway, and Patty departing after match point

#10 s9 Dinara Safina RUS d #149 wc Youlia Fedossova FRA 6-3, 6-2 Thu

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Dinara while delivering a backhand

#11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #97 Milagros Sequera VEN 6-2, 6-1 Wed

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Nicole driving: forehand and backhand

#12 s11 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #67 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 6-2, 6-2 Wed

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Vivi icing her recently-injured knee during a changeover, and Jelena's backhand

#13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #69 Laura Granville USA 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 Thu

    No photos of Anna Chakvetadze or Laura Granville have been posted during the first two rounds.

#14 s13 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #59 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 Thu

click for Ivanovic news photo search     click for Ivanovic news photo search     click for Ivanovic news photo search
Ana driving forehand and backhand, and after match point

*#74 Lucie Safarova CZE d #15 s14 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-3, 6-3 Wed

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Francesca about to swat a backhand, and Lucie apparently protesting a call (only photo available)

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #47 Emilie Loit FRA 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Thu

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Daniela examining a backhand, making contact, and after match point

#18 s16 Shahar Peer ISR d #88 Meilen Tu USA 6-3 6-0 Wed

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Shahar about to slice a backhand, and Meilen's forehand drive

*#87 Ashley Harkleroad USA d #19 s17 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-2, 6-2 Thu

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Ashley following a backhand, and after match point

*#96 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #20 s18 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-0, 7-5 Wed
#21 s19 Na Li CHN d #51 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-0, 6-2 Thu

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Na's backhand drive, and Lourdes fielding a drop shot

#22 s20 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #108 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE 6-2, 6-0 Wed

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Tatiana's forehand

#23 s21 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #63 Iveta Benesova CZE 7-6(0), 6(6)-7, 6-1 Wed
#24 s22 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #189 q Tamira Paszek AUT 6-1, 6-3 Thu

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Vera ready to wallop an inside fastball, and sending it on its way, and Tamira, also driving a backhand

*#68 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR d #26 s23 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-2, 2-6, 10-8 Wed

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Anastasiya driving a backhand, Ai following one, and Anastasiya after match point

*#53 Jelena Kostanic Tosic CRO d #27 s24 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-4 2-6 6-2 Thu

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Samantha volleying a backhand, Jelena driving a forehand, and Jelena after match point

#29 s26 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #118 q Julia Vakulenko UKR 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Wed

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Maria's backhand drive

#32 s29 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #75 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-3, 6-4 Thu

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Alona and Virginie driving backhands, and Alona after winning a point

#33 s30 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #158 q Renata Voracova CZE 6-1, 7-5 Thu

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Tathiana's forehand drive, Renata's backhand drive, and Tathiana after match point

*#50 Maria Elena Camerin ITA d #42 Elena Vesnina RUS 4-6, 6-3, 8-6 Wed

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Elena and Maria Elena driving forehand and backhand

#64 Aiko Nakamura JPN d #66 Sania Mirza IND 6-3, 6-2 Thu

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Aiko's forehand, Sania after losing a point, and Aiko after match point

*#165 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #79 Kaia Kanepi EST 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 Thu

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Alicia hitting balls to the crowd after match point

    Alicia said: "I don't think it was just a matter of [Kaia] not letting me into the match. I think if you look at probably the first three or four games, I had a lot of opportunities, actually had two or three breaks points, had a couple of sitter forehands which I should have converted. So I feel like I really let her run away with that first set.
    "And I knew things could really only get better. I actually didn't feel too bad after the first set. I knew what I need today get going, my serve, get my forehand working. Then in the end I felt like she didn't see any holes, she pressed and pressed and eventually she committed a lot more errors in the end than myself...
    "She was hitting pretty big and I was tempting her into committing errors. But I felt like I moved a lot better and I didn't really have to do too much. I just tried to keep my game simple, step it up when I needed to, and fall back when I needed to.
    "In the end maybe that became a little bit too much for her. She pressed and pressed and she didn't really change her game plan at all. But I felt like she was getting a little bit frustrated by my slice. I started keeping it really low. It was dropping short, as well, which she didn't like. I tried to draw her into net a bit. Probably loosened my forehand up a lot more in the second and third sets. I guess tactically they were the differences...
    "I had a lot of opportunities in the first three or four games. If I had converted those, it would have been a different story. It would have been 3-love, 3-1 my way. She held the first game. I probably should have been a break up in hindsight." postmatch interview

#85 Eva Birnerova CZE d #91 Julia Schruff GER 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 Wed
#94 Serena Williams USA d #146 q Anne Kremer LUX 7-6(4), 6-2 Wed

click for Serena Williams news photo search     click for Kremer news photo search     click for Serena Williams news photo search     click for Serena Williams news photo search
Serena serving, Anne's forehand, Serena's backhand, and after match point

    Serena said: "I got off to a slow start in the first set and was making a tremendous amount of errors. In the second set I was making more shots, and I was playing more what I'd planned. I lost focus when I was up 4-0 in the second - I started daydreaming. I'm too experienced to daydream at that stage of a match...
    "I was feeling a little rusty in Hobart; I felt a little rusty today, when I was hitting a lot of balls out, but I've got to shake it off. At this point, I have no other choice and no other option. I've got to move forward with it. I think if you want something bad enough, it's just there...
    "I'm definitely excited to play [Nadia] Petrova [in the 3rd round]. She's no slouch. She has a really solid game and she's been doing nothing but moving forward and improving her ranking and style of play. She's always posed a good challenge for me - but I know her game. It's good to play someone whose game you know; that's good going into this match."

Australian Open, 3rd Rd, Fri-Sat
loser: $49,100 AUS = $38,121 US, 90 points
On Friday, rain delayed play on the outside courts after about 4 games had been played, but all matches were completed
On Saturday, rain prevented play on the outside courts all day, and 3 ladies singles matches were postponed to Sunday

#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #33 s30 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-3, 6-1 Sat

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Maria elevating the level of her game, Tathina's forehand, Maria's backhand, Maria after winning a point,
and the most important stroke in tennis, the wavingaftermatchpointhand

    Tathiana broke Maria's serve at the start of the match. Maria said: "I was a bit slow in the beginning of the match. You know, didn't really adjust from the beginning. I thought I was letting [Tathiana] play her game a little too much. But I felt like as the match went on, I moved a lot better. I saw the short balls a lot quicker, put pressure on her...
    "I actually think [the Rebound Ace hardcourt surface] suits my game a little bit because the bounce comes up a little higher. It actually depends on the day. Sometimes when the conditions change, the court changes. The surface sometimes becomes stickier on some days than others. It depends on the day. Actually it feels like it suits my game. The ball bounces high. Can get a good hit on it. It's definitely not really fast, but that's not really a concern for me because I like to play on those kinds of courts." postmatch interview

#3 s2 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #85 Eva Birnerova CZE 6-3, 6-1 Fri

click for Wallaby news photo search     click for Mauresmo news photo search     click for Birnerova news photo search     click for Mauresmo news photo search
A visiting wallaby on Friday hoping to join the Tour, Amelie's forehand, Eva's backhand, and Amelie after match point

    Amelie said: "I have mixed feelings about today's match. I really started not the way I wanted to, and definitely making way too many unforced errors. You know, it happens. I was able throughout the end of the first set and then the second set to really find a little bit more of my rhythm, especially on the forehand side. I'm really looking forward to doubles tomorrow and then the next singles match." postmatch interview

#4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #29 s26 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-1, 6-4 Fri

click for Kirilenko news photo search     click for Kuznetsova news photo search     click for Kirilenko news photo search     click for Kuznetsova news photo search
Maria tracking a lob, Svetlana's running backhand, Maria's running forehand, and Sveta signaling TD after winning a point

#5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL d #32 s29 Alona Bondarenko UKR 6-3, 6-3 Sat

click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Bondarenko news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim about to slice a backhand, Alona's forehand drive, and Kim after match point

    Kim said: "[Alona is] a good player. She hits the ball very hard and very deep. I always had to be very focused. I tried not to let her get back into the match, which I think in the second set I did a little bit where I played a bad service game. Lucky, I got refocused and broke her back straightaway, so that was good... She has a good future ahead of her I think." postmatch interview

*#94 Serena Williams USA d #6 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 Fri

click for Serena Williams news photo search click for Petrova news photo search click for Serena Williams news photo search click for Petrova news photo search click for Serena Williams news photo search
Serena twisting a serve, Nadia's forehand, Serena's running backhand, Nadia thinking things over, and Serena after match point

    Nadia led 6-1, 5-3, then served for the match at 6-1, 5-4.

    Serena said: "I had no other option than for my game to go up. I was on the verge of being out of the tournament, and I obviously didn't want that to happen. I told myself to stay in there... and it will come together sooner or later." WTA story

    Nadia said: [Serena] came up with unbelievable returns; she just went for it and she produced an unbelievable backhand winner up the line, from far behind the court...
    "I must say we were both moving a lot open court, and I really couldn't spot in her body language that she was exhausted. She looked fitter to me compared to what I've heard from other players the way she was playing in Hobart...
    "She had no other choice. She really had to fight for it and she had to stay mentally strong, and I'm sure she knew it. She had no other option, and she did it today...
    "It's disappointing to drop out that early here in the Australian [Open] because I felt like I'm in very good shape. I had very good two cruising rounds. I've been unlucky here with the draw, but still, I had my chances." tourney story - postmatch interview

#7 s6 Martina Hingis SUI d #64 Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-2, 6-1 Sat

click for Hingis news photo search click for Nakamura news photo search click for Hingis news photo search click for Hingis news photo search
Martina's forehand, Aiko and Martina driving backhands, and both ladies after match point

    Martina said: "I played pretty well, especially the last three, four games. It was just in the beginning I didn't know exactly what [Aiko was] going to play...
    "I think I played some pretty good points also up at the net, tried to mix it up, did my job well... There were a few errors, a lot of unforced errors...
    "[Aiko is] a little feisty player. [But] every time I needed it, I came up with just no missing, and tried to do a little bit more extra." postmatch interview

#8 s7 Elena Dementieva RUS d #50 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-1, 6-3 Fri

click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Camerin news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search
Elena's forehand drive, Maria Elena and Elena driving backhands, and Elena after match point

#9 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #165 wc Alicia Molik AUS 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 Sat

click for Schnyder news photo search click for Schnyder news photo search click for Schnyder news photo search click for Schnyder news photo search
Patty firing a cannonball serve, Alicia's forehand, Patty reaching for a backhand, and after match point

    About the 1st set, Patty said: "[Alicia] just played great. I could not really get my game going. She played tactically only on my backhand. I really had to run bigtime around to get some forehands. Of course she served really huge in that set.
    "I just needed that little drop of her game and I was there. I just grabbed the first thing I could, then I was there... I was really happy that we had two rallies where she started to hit the backhand to my forehand. I felt I finally got a rally with my forehand. At first I didn't really play great forehands, but I felt like now I have a game. I was even trying to concentrate more where she would go serving and really just get those balls back, make her play." postmatch interview

    Alicia said: "I started opening up the court in the first set until 2-all. I was very much playing through the court. Patty loves to use angles... I started opening up the court for her. That's the way she likes to play. All of a sudden she started dominating, dictating...
    "I was a little rattled after the game at 2-3 down where I was 40-15 up. I played a few very loose shots, a drive backhand volley. Again, I went for a dropshot from the back of the court as I moved into the net. I played very solid till that point. It was quite a letdown to play two very loose points in a row. I think Patty started picking my game, too." AP story

*#21 s19 Na Li CHN d #10 s9 Dinara Safina RUS 6-2, 6-2 ppd-Sun

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Na's forehand, Dinara and Na launching backhands, and Na after match point

#11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #23 s21 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 6-4, 6-4 Fri

click for Vaidisova news photo search     click for Vaidisova news photo search     click for Vaidisova news photo search
Nicole reaching for a backhand, lining up a forehand, and after match point (no pics of Katarina were available)

#12 s11 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #96 Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 6-4 Fri

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Jelena volleying a backhand, Victoria driving one, Jelena about to drive a forehand, and after match point

    Jelena said: "It was a difficult match for me. Especially we had to stop after 2-All because of the rain. It's always difficult to go off the court and come back. I tried to stay focused. [Victoria] hits the ball pretty hard. It's a different game. But I think I was mentally strong when I needed to. I was quite solid. I'm happy to get through...
    "This was a good match to get under my belt. I played an opponent who doesn't have anything to lose. She has no pressure. It's always good to win like that. Next match I have quite tough, which is Serena Williams. I've beaten her before, but I expect a tough match and hope to do well...
    "I wasn't thinking who I play the next round because it doesn't matter if I was going to play Serena and I lost today. So I just concentrated on my match. I'm looking forward to playing Serena. She's playing well. I will try to give my best and we'll see how it will go...
    "I always enjoy the challenge. I try to play the best that I can. Every time I step on the court, I try to give my maximum. Of course, I go to win the match...
    "Playing Serena, it's always tough. Doesn't matter if she just came from an injury or she didn't play, she always a great champion. I've beaten her twice before. My score against her is 2-1, so I know how to play against her. I'll try my best. We'll see. It will be a good match for sure...
    "She's a great athlete. She's strong. I think she has the experience. She won so many Grand Slams. It's different when you already been in this kind of situation. She knows how it feels... You always have to expect she can come out and she can play unbelievable tennis." postmatch interview

#13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #53 Jelena Kostanic Tosic CRO 6-4, 6-4 ppd-Sun

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Anna's forehand, Jelena's lefty backhand, Anna's backhand, and after winning a point

*#24 s22 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #14 s13 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6-1, 6-2 Sat

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Vera's forehand drive, Ana volleying a backhand, Ana asking her Wilson "Why?" and Vera after match point

#17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #87 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6(6)-7, 7-5, 6-3 ppd-Sun

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Daniela firing a cannonball, Ashley's backhand, Ashley firing a cannonball, Daniela's backhand, and after match point

    Daniela said: "[Ashley] was playing very well, especially in the first set. But I feel like even in the second she was doing the right things. I think it just turned around on a few points...
    "It's always nice to have one like this behind your belt, especially going into the second week. I fought through two very difficult matches which gives me a lot of confidence, for sure." postmatch interview

#18 s16 Shahar Peer ISR d #22 s20 Tatiana Golovin FRA 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 Fri

click for Golovin news photo search click for Peer news photo search click for Peer news photo search click for Peer news photo search
Tatiana's forehand, Shahar's backhand, Shahar after match point, and Tatiana congratulating Shahar

*#74 Lucie Safarova CZE d #68 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-3, retired-- injury, apparently low back Fri

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Lucie's lefty forehand, Anastasiya's flying backhand, and Lucie telling Anastasiya she hopes she is OK

Australian Open, 4th Rd, Sun-Mon 11am WTA Sun story
loser: $80,060 AUS = $62,159 US, 140 points
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #24 s22 Vera Zvonareva RUS 7-5, 6-4 Mon

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Zvonareva news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria firing a flying forehand & stepping up to another, Vera launching a backhand and Maria chipmunking one, and after match point

    Due to combination of Justine Henin-Hardenne's withdrawal, Amelie Mauresmo's 4th round loss, and Maria's 4th round win, Maria Sharapova is assured of regaining the # 1 position in WTA singles when the new rankings come out on January 29.

    Maria said: "I thought I definitely stepped it up [tonight]. I had to. I felt like I was a lot looser. I was going for my shots a bit more. I felt like I was a little tentative in my previous matches just tying to find my rhythm. Today when I came on court, I knew [Vera] was going to be a challenge. I just had to go out there and step up to it." postmatch interview

*#74 Lucie Safarova CZE d #3 s2 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 6-4, 6-3 Sun

click for Safarova news photo search     click for Mauresmo news photo search     click for Safarova news photo search     click for Safarova news photo search
Lucie and Amelie launching backhands, Lucie's forehand drive, and Lucie after match point

    Lucie said: "I think the end of the first set and the beginning of the second set did I really believed in myself. So I try to push [Amelie], make winners... First I was thinking that I should not so hurry on the court, that I have to look how it will go. Then when I was 1-4 down, I was thinking like I should start to like play more power tennis. It was going well... I was trying to be more aggressive. When I was playing against a big player before, I was still like very hurrying too much on the court and doing so many mistakes. So I wanted to be better now. It was going well." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    Amelie said: "I talked with my coach a little bit before, because I had never seen her play. He saw her play a couple of times so I knew that she has this type of game, you know, being aggressive, taking the opportunities, and she actually made a very good match with not too many unforced errors." WTA story

*#18 s16 Shahar Peer ISR d #4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-4, 6-2 Sun

click for Peer news photo search     click for Kuznetsova news photo search     click for Peer news photo search     click for Peer news photo search
Shahar's forehand, Svetlana and Shahar driving backhands, and Shahar after match point

    Shahar said: "First time for me to reach the quarterfinal. I was playing good today. I just went there and gave everything, played my game. I'm happy the way I played...
    "I started very bad serving. By the match was going more and more. I served very well. I had over 70% first serve in the second set. Very effective. I was very aggressive. postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

#5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL d #17 s15 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-1, 7-5 Mon

click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Hantuchova news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim charging into a backhand, Daniela fielding a drop shot, Kim pleasing her current coach (current coach's name: Kim Clijsters)
with a nice straight elbow on the backhand volley, and Kim after match point, standing under
a sign stating what she has enough of so she can retire later this year at age 24

    Kim said: "I think what I did really well in the beginning of the match was... definitely dominating the points. As soon as I got a shorter ball or as soon as I felt like the court was opening up for me, try to go to that open corner. Even if it's the first or second ball, just do that, be aggressive in the beginning of the points, because that's where you can win a lot of points against [Daniela].
    "I felt like in the second set she started doing that a little bit as well. She had to take some more risks. She was coming in, playing a couple serve and volleys. She started being more aggressive. It worked.
    "She's a good player. The way she played in the second set is how I usually play matches against her." postmatch interview

    Daniela said: "I felt like the second set was a proper match. I thought I had my chances there, felt like it was a great fight at the end.
    "[Kim] was just too good. She's playing incredible tennis right now. She deserved to win. But I felt like I was right in there with her at the end of the second set...
    "[In the 1st set Kim] was just dominating. In every department she was better. She was just not missing any balls. She doesn't give you anything. So it's tough to win points against her. If she keeps playing like that, for sure she can win the whole thing here." postmatch interview fragment

    About facing Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals, Kim said: "We always have a lot of fun points when you play against Martina. She always comes up with some unbelievable shots that you don't expect. Sometimes when you play a player you kind of get used to their routine, you know kind of when they're going to play down the line, crosscourt. With her, you always have to be ready to go the other way, I think. That's what makes it so fun. It's very challenging."

#7 s6 Martina Hingis SUI d #21 s19 Na Li CHN 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 Mon

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Martina's service toss, Na fielding a forehand, Martina driving a backhand, and, after match point, Na congratulating Martina
(who changed her togs, as the ladies frequently do, during the 10-minute heat rule break after the 2nd set)

    It was their first match against each other. But, Martina said: "[Na and I] practiced in the past a couple or three times... I knew what to expect. But I was really nervous in the beginning. She played well. You know, everyone else knows by now she serves almost a hundred percent first serves. Didn't really give me too many chances to do something. I was thinking, Okay, if she can continue to play like that, it's too good. I just tried to hang in there. That was the most important thing. That was the key, to win the last point...
    "[The fifth game of the 2nd set] was very important. I think that's what turned around the momentum. Holding that serve against the wind, against the sun, was quite key because after that she would just not be under the pressure, same as she was afterwards, because the sun started coming out. It was very difficult to serve against the sun.
    "After I held there, she missed a couple of returns, which I was like, Okay, thank you. I should take advantage of that because she wasn't missing up until that point too many. That definitely gave me a new whole kind of life into the second set, yup." postmatch interview - match stats

    Through an interpreter, Na said: "I played pretty well in the first set. I got opportunities in the second set, as well. After that, Martina is very smart girl. She got the rhythm of the game after that." postmatch interview

    About her quarterfinal opponent, Kim Clijsters, Martina said: "The difference is I'm more of a counterpuncher. [Kim is] the more offensive player. Last year we had a great match here [QFs, Kim won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4]. I was able to fight back. It was a quite slow start.
    "I know I have to come out a hundred percent and ready from the beginning, otherwise I'll be run over. That's the key. I have a day rest tomorrow. Just practice, sleep well, give myself the best shot."

*#11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #8 s7 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-3, 6-3 Sun

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Nicole serving, Elena's service toss, and Nicole after match point
very few pics of this match were posted; none showed a ball being struck

    Nicole said: "I can be definitely happy the way I played. I've been improving match by match. I definitely knew I had to raise my game today. Had a tough opponent. So I'm pretty happy the way I played today... It's always tough because [Elena is] such a good returner. We have to focus really hard the first shot after serve, right, be ready. I returned very well." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

*#13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #9 s8 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-4 6-1 Mon

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Anna launching a forehand on the run, Patty's driving one with plenty of body rotation, Anna's backhand, and after match point

    Anna said: "I started very slow today. But you have to get used to Patty's game because she play with so much spin. Ball is bouncing so high here. Vodafone is a little bit different court because I played outside courts all my matches. I just had to get used to it, then I found my rhythm and played better." postmatch interview

*#94 Serena Williams USA d #12 s11 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-3, 6-2 Sun

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Serena following a forehand, Jelena's backhand, Jelena congratulating Serena after match point, and Serena thanking the crowd

    Serena said: "[Jelena has] been playing really well, so I knew coming in I had to be more aggressive and be sure of my shots.
    "I'm taking it one match at a time - I'm not trying to peak too soon. Hopefully I'll peak in the finals if I get there, but I'm just taking Shahar Peer next, and that's it." Eurosport interview video

    Jelena said: "Today I had a tough opponent and I knew that I needed to play really well, but I just didn't come out strong. I think Serena can take my lead, my draw, and go far. All credit to her. She did well - good luck in the next rounds."

Australian Open, QFs, Tue-Wed 11am
loser: $160,125 AUS = $124,321 US, 250 points
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #13 s12 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 7-6(5), 7-5 Wed

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Maria delivering a cannonball, Anna's backhand lunge, Maria following a backhand drive, and after match point

    Maria said: "I was just very competitive. Against a girl like that that gets a lot of balls back, it's just a matter of who can be a little bit smarter, who can get an extra ball back, who is a little tougher. I thought I did the job really well today...
    "Overall I thought it was a bit scratchy. First set I'm down a break. I get back in the groove. The tiebreaker was a bit up and down also. We broke each other quite a few times. Then when I got a break, broke [Anna] in the second set, I felt like I just gave it to her on my serve, let her back in it. A player like that, she plays on confidence, takes the ball early. She definitely got the confidence from that point...
    "I warmed up indoors. I came out. It's always pretty gusty on that court. The wind just blows one way. I got broken most of the time from that side because my serves were going long...
    "On the other side, I didn't feel like I was getting enough pace on the serve. I'm not sure if I just didn't adjust quickly. It just took me a long time. Then when you start thinking, it's like a little snowball.
    "I didn't serve as well as I did my previous round. But it's tough to get a lot of easy points from her. She gets a lot of balls back and she makes you work even if you do hit a pretty big first serve.
    "Sometimes I feel like I don't know if she knows what she's doing. I feel like she tricks her into her own game. She definitely has a lot of variety. If she wants to step in, she has a lot of power behind her strokes. At the end of the day, it's just about who took the chances a little bit more. I still felt like on the match point I should have just gone for the shots. I was a bit tentative.
    "I still feel like there's more room for improvement. But against her, she's not a player that's going to make you feel great about your game either." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    Anna said: "Maria was [stronger at the end] today. She is stronger. She played very well. She's a great fighter. I think she deserves this win. I can just wish her good luck in semis...
    "I think I need to improve to be more aggressive on important points especially because she was a little bit more aggressive than me...
    "I wasn't nervous at all, not at all. Maybe on the tiebreak because I was up like 5-3 and I had so many opportunities. I just didn't use it. That's a little bit strange because on the tiebreak, so many points are lost so easy balls...
    "I just need to be more aggressive on the important points... It's tough to be aggressive because Maria, she's hitting the ball so hard. Especially in the warmup, I thought she will kill me [laughter]. I couldn't put one ball on court because she played one ball on me, and the other ball like somewhere. I couldn't, you know, get where is the ball going, she was hitting so hard...
    "It's also tough to play aggressive against these kind of players because they play aggressive and you should mix your game a little bit more. But important balls, of course, you should be more aggressive... I think she won all the important balls. I didn't use my opportunities in the first as well as second set because it was like two or three games love-30 on her serve. I just didn't use them. That's why I lost...
    "It was close match, but Maria won. I think she played better today than me and she deserves it, definitely." postmatch interview

    About her semifinal opponent, Kim Clijsters, Maria said: "[Kim] makes you work for every ball. She gets a lot of balls back... She's a lot stronger than I am. Hands down to her. Other than that, I feel like I'm definitely on a closer level than I was, say, a year ago."

#5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL d #7 s6 Martina Hingis SUI 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Wed

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Kim firing a forehand, Martina chasing one down, Kim following a backhand, and Martina congratulating Kim after match point

    Martina hit 15 winners in the match with 20 unforced errors; Kim had 46 winners, but with 62 errors, including 9 double faults. Both players broke the other's serve 5 times, on 13 break point opportunities each. Kim won a total of 104 points; Martina, 99. match stats

    Martina said: "I came out stronger and I had my chances today. You better make it next time against a player like [Kim]. It was definitely disappointing. I felt like I was winning the match and I had all the things in my hands. But she's a great fighter. It was a great match...
    "Today I always tried to give her a different look at the ball because I think that's why she made so many errors. If you let her go right and left, which she loves to do, to give her the same shot, I mean, that's suicide. That's what I think I did very well. That's why she was spreading.
    "I got her a few times, anticipated well. That's why she was missing, because somehow I was already waiting for her shots. That's my game. That's how I win my matches. That's why I was up early in the second set, with a set behind my back. It was definitely the most disappointing loss against her I've had." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    Kim said: "[Martina is] tough to play because she's a player who really feels it. She knows when the opponent's not playing well. I'm sure it wasn't that hard to see that today. She figures it out pretty fast. She plays on your weaknesses. I think she did that really well today.
    "I think I was just lucky a little bit at the end, too. Hit a few passing shots, a few lobs that worked, that went my way. Also with the challenges, you know, I got lucky there a couple of times.
    "So you need a little bit of both. I think besides my hitting all those unforced errors, she had a few net cords in the beginning. I was lucky at the end. I didn't play well. I beat a good player, so I'm not complaining." postmatch interview - Eurosport interview video

    About her semifinal opponent, Maria Sharapova, Kim said: "We always had good matches, good battles, close sets. She's a great athlete and a good player. She hits the ball so hard and flat. I think that she's moving better, as well, here. What I've seen in the last few matches, she seems to be moving well.
    "I just have to be there from the beginning. I can definitely not afford all the unforced errors against Maria, because she just steps on top of you. She just walks all over you if you do that. I have to make sure that I do my thing. I'll play aggressive tennis as well, but keep the unforced errors low."

#11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #74 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-1, 6-4 Tue

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Nicole fielding a forehand, Lucie's lefty backhand drive, Nicole's righty backhand, and after match point

    Nicole said: "I served pretty well. I'm really happy the way I returned her serve. [Lucie is] tricky. She's a lefty. She can have those weird rotation slices. I read it well. Happy about that... She played well, I think." postmatch interview

    Lucie said: "[Nicole] was serving very well. I know that it will be a tough match against her because she's playing similar game: Very fast and very flat. I knew that if I would like to win I have to do really good serving. So that was the difference. She was having service so well and I wasn't able to. She was hitting the returns and she was more aggressive today...
    "I'm very happy with this tournament. I got a lot of experience and confidence. And for me it's just that I have to work harder. That I have to improve my game, my serve, try to play better and better." postmatch interview

*#94 Serena Williams USA d #18 s16 Shahar Peer ISR 3-6, 6-2, 8-6 Tue

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Serena serving, Shahar's backhand drive, Shahar serving, Serena lining up a forehand, and after match point

Eurosport: Serena Williams d Shahar Peer Complete Match Video 2 hours, 40 minutes

    Serena said: "I think I put a little pressure on myself going into this quarterfinal. I played [Shahar] before. I knew she was a tough player. We had a tough match before, at least in the second set it was real tough.
    "I knew that I had a chance. I knew that I had a big opportunity to be in the semifinals again. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself. I just somehow came out flat...
    "I actually got more confident in my serve as the match got on. I just started hitting it better, started feeling more confident about it." postmatch interview

    Shahar said: "I was very close. I started the match very good. The second set, from 2-1 for [Serena], 30-Love for me, suddenly I couldn't put one ball in the court. It was very strange. She started to play better and better.
    "But I think the third set, also 2-1 when I lost my serve, I was 40-15 up, few advantage. But anyway I came back from 4-1 and I was playing better and better.
    "My serve was not good in the third set at all. When I broke her serve and I went to serve for the match, it's not that I was tight or anything, I just went for my shots. But still my serve was not good. She was really attacking...
    "She's a champion and she knows how to handle these situations. I can just say she was playing too good in the end and she was serving very, very good. I wish her good luck...
    "I was performing very well. I played very good. I won good players. I think I'm improving my shots and everything. I lost 8-6 in the third, a quarterfinal. It's not the best result. It's pretty disappointing.
    "But I just have to look at the good side: that I am playing good tennis and next time I hope to step out there and take the match." postmatch interview

Australian Open, SFs, Thu
loser: $320,250 AUS = $248,642 US, 450 points
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #5 s4 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-4, 6-2

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Maria slicing a serve Kimward, Kim lunging for a forehand, Maria driving a backhand, and after match point

    Maria won 70% of her 1st serve points (Kim: 55%), and scored on 21 of 27 trips to the net (Kim: 3 of 4) while converting 5 of 8 break point opportunities (Kim: 2 of 12). match stats

    Maria said: "I felt like I played a much better match all around today. I couldn't quite get the serve and return together in the beginning. But overall I was really focused. I did the right things at the right time. I was patient when I had to be patient, played a smart game.
    "I'm definitely glad that I could come up with a two-set win against her... I knew in order to beat her I definitely would have had to step it up today." postmatch interview - Eurosport video interview

    Kim still leads Maria 4-3 in career matches, but Maria has now won the last three times they have played officially (including last year in the San Diego finals 7-5, 7-5, and in the WTA Championships round-robin prelims, 6-4, 6-4). Kim defeated Maria on January 7 in the Hong Kong exhibition final, 6-3, 7-6(8); this does not appear on official records.

    Kim said: "[Maria] played really well. I had a feeling I played a lot better than yesterday, but still not my best tennis. That's I guess the frustrating part about it. I was playing well at times, but she always came up with better things, played more aggressive and served a lot better. I think she hit her backhand really well today, very deep, which didn't give me a lot of chances to work my way into the points...
    "I think Serena can win [the final]. But I think if [Maria] plays the way that she has been playing, if she plays aggressive tennis, I think she's the favorite. Obviously she's played a lot more. She hasn't been injured.
    "With Serena in a final, you can never expect her to play bad tennis. I think she's going to come out here and fight till the last point. That's what she's done here so far." postmatch interview - Eurosport video interview

    About playing Serena Williams in the final, Maria said: "[Serena is] playing some really good tennis. I think she has nothing to lose going into the match. Those are always dangerous opponents. But we've played quite a few times. We played in Grand Slams before. Definitely love to get a win against her here."

*#94 Serena Williams USA d #11 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 7-6(5), 6-4

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Serena about to lightly tap a forehand, Nicole driving one, Serena's backhand, and after match point

    Serena hit 23 winners with only 15 unforced errors (Nicole: 31 winners, 29 errors). Serena also hit 10 aces, with 3 double faults (Nicole: 6 aces, 7 double faults). match stats

    Serena led 5-1 in the 3rd set, then Nicole held serve, broke Serena, and held again, saving 4 match points against her on her serve. Then Serena served for the match at 5-4, and Nicole saved a fifth match point before Serena finished the match with an overhead smash.

    Serena said: "[Nicole has] been on the tour for a little while, and I've seen her play a lot. So she seemed to have a plan against me as well, and we both just kind of had plans... [On the match points] I think she rushed me a little bit and I should have taken sometime to think about it. You know, I should have just walked back and took a few seconds. And I didn't do that. I thought about that after the fact. I couldn't think about that too much. I had to pretty much focus on other things." postmatch interview - Eurosport video interview

    Nicole said: "I think [Serena] used her chances definitely much better. She's definitely a great champ. She played the tight points very well. I had my opportunities. I didn't use them. That was the big difference... I needed to keep the ball in play much more than I did. I was trying to go for a winner or easy shot too early. I think that was a little mistake." postmatch interview

Australian Open, Final, Sat cRL 1:30pm
loser: $640,500 AUS = $497,284 US, 700 points
winner: $1,281,000 AUS = $994,568 US, 1000 pts
*#94 Serena Williams USA d #2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-1, 6-2 Eurosport highlight video

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Serena twisting a serve, Maria's forehand, Serena's backhand, Maria's backhand volley, Serena's forehand, and after match point

Australian Open, Doubles Final, Friday cRL 3pm
losers' prize: $223,010 AU = $173,145 US
winners' prize: $446,020 AU = $346,290 US
cdr22 s3 d5 Cara Black ZIM & d17 Liezel Huber RSA
    d cdr182 d107 Chia-Jung Chuang TPE & d75 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 6-4, 6(4)-7, 6-1

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Chia-Jung delivering a smash, Cara reaching for a backhand volley, and Cara, Liezel, Yung-Jan and Chia-Jung
with the hardware and software after the match

    It was Cara's 28th WTA doubles title, and her 3rd Grand Slam doubles title, and it was Liezel's 16th WTA doubles title and her 2nd Grand Slam doubles title. Cara & Liezel won at Wimbledon in 2005; Cara also won at Wimbledon in 2004 partnered with Rennae Stubbs.
    Cara has also won 2 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, Wimbledon in 2004 and Roland Garros in 2002, both with her brother Wayne.

    Cara said: "I think a lot of expectation was on us. We were the No.3 seeds and really we didn't know what to expect of them. You never know playing them for the first time. We regrouped and stuck together and I think that was the major part of today." tourney story

Australian Open, Mixed Doubles Final, Sun
2005 prizes: losers: $51,348 US; winners: $102,697 US
d24 Elena Likhovtseva RUS & Daniel Nestor CAN d d123 Victoria Azarenka BLR & Max Mirnyi BLR 6-4, 6-4

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Elena volleying a forehand, all at net after match point, and Elena & Daniel with hardware & 'roo software

    It was 31-year-old Elena's 2nd career mixed doubles title; her first was at Wimbledon in 2002 partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi. Elena has also won 27 WTA doubles titles, with 12 different partners, and 3 WTA singles titles. She was ranked # 3 in doubles in 2004, and spent quite some time in the top 20 in singles as well.

    Elena said: "We played all last year together and played two finals and didn't succeed. I hope we continue to play all year.
    "I've been on the tour for a long time and I thought about doing something different. But then I thought if I am still enjoying it and have good results, I decided to go another year." tourney story

Australian Open, Girls Final, Sat cMC 12:30pm
s1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS d s16 Madison Brengle USA 7-6(6), 7-6(3)

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Anastasia launching a backhand during her semifinal win over Alize Cornet, and with the hardware after the match

Australian Open, Girls' Doubles Final, Fri c3 m3
Evgeniya Rodina RUS & Arina Rodionova RUS d s1 Julia Cohen USA & Urszula Radwanska POL 2-6 6-3 6-1

Australian Open, Qual Finals, Sat Jan 13 10am
ranking points: Q-1 loser: 2 points; Q-2 loser: 15 points; Q-Final loser: 25 points
*#156 Sandra Zahlavova CZE d #117 Kristina Barrois GER 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
#118 Julia Vakulenko UKR d #376 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
#119 Klara Zakopalova CZE d #144 Abigail Spears USA 6-4, 6-2
*#138 Ahsha Rolle USA d #122 Tatiana Poutchek BLR 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
*#158 Renata Voracova CZE d #124 Timea Bacsinszky SUI 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
*#189 Tamira Paszek AUT d #126 Ivana Lisjak CRO 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
*#160 Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA d #127 Bethanie Mattek USA 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-1
#135 Alla Kudryavtseva RUS d #142 Elise Tamaela NED 7-5, 1-6, 6-1
*#146 Anne Kremer LUX d #139 Yaroslava Shvedova RUS 6-2, 6-4
#157 Jorgelina Cravero ARG d #169 Chin-Wei Chan TPE 7-6(7), 7-5
*#195 Alize Cornet FRA d #190 Maria Jose Argeri ARG 5-7, 7-5, 6-4
*#212 Andreja Klepac SLO d #194 Vanessa Henke GER 6-1, 6-1

Australian Open, Withdrawals, Non-entries
#1 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL personal family reasons
#16 Anastasia Myskina RUS left big toe pain & inflammation
#25 Lindsay Davenport USA retired
#43 Jamea Jackson USA
#48 Venus Williams USA left wrist injury
#80 Mary Pierce FRA right foot tendonitis #130 Amy Frazier USA
#141 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo ESP reportedly retired
#152 Conchita Martinez Granados ESP reportedly retired
#150 Maret Ani EST
#192 Mariana Diaz Oliva ARG retired
#198 Claudine Schaul LUX injury
Henrieta Nagyova reportedly retired
Shinobu Asagoe JPN retired
Mashona Washington USA knee injury
Yoon Jeong Cho KOR injury
Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP injury

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The 64 doubles teams, arranged in drawsheet order; teams in red have been eliminated:
TOP HALF
s1 Lisa Raymond USA & Samantha Stosur AUS SF
Natalie Grandin RSA & Camille Pin FRA 1st
Gabriela Navratilova CZE & Hana Sromova CZE 1st
Sofia Arvidsson SWE & Vladimira Uhlirova CZE 2nd
Trudi Musgrave AUS & Christina Wheeler AUS 1st
Na Li CHN & Shuai Peng CHN 2nd
Francesca Schiavone ITA & Patty Schnyder SUI 3rd
s13 Elena Likhovtseva RUS & Elena Vesnina RUS 1st
s12 Maria Elena Camerin ITA & Gisela Dulko ARG 3rd
Laura Granville USA & Carly Gullickson USA 1st
Daniella Dominikovic AUS & Sophie Ferguson AUS 1st
Jarmila Gajdosova SVK & Bryanne Stewart AUS 2nd
Alona Bondarenko UKR & Kateryna Bondarenko UKR 2nd
Lucie Safarova CZE & Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 1st
Kaia Kanepi EST & Anna Smashnova ISR 1st
s7 A-L Groenefeld GER & Meghann Shaughnessy USA QF
s3 Cara Black ZIM & Liezel Huber RSA
Andreea Ehritt-Vanc ROM & Anastassia Rodionova RUS 1st
Emma Laine FIN & Nicole Vaidisova CZE 1st
Bethanie Mattek USA & Shenay Perry USA 2nd
Lauren Breadmore AUS & Emily Hewson AUS 1st
Catalina Castano COL & Jill Craybas USA 2nd
Su-Wei Hsieh TPE & Ting Li CHN 1st
s16 Eleni Daniilidou GRE & Jasmin Woehr GER 3rd
s10 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP & Sania Mirza IND 3rd
Sandra Kloesel GER & Aravane Rezai FRA 1st
Yulia Beygelzimer UKR & Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 1st
Ekaterina Bychkova RUS & Martina Muller GER 2nd
Romina Oprandi ITA & Julia Schruff GER 1st
Michaella Krajicek NED & Agnes Szavay HUN 2nd
Tatiana Golovin FRA & Alicia Molik AUS 1st
s6 Daniela Hantuchova SVK & Ai Sugiyama JPN QF
BOTTOM HALF
s5 Dinara Safina RUS & Katarina Srebotnik SLO 3rd
Anna Chakvetadze RUS & Mara Santangelo ITA 1st
Iveta Benesova CZE & Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE 1st
Severine Bremond FRA & Amelie Mauresmo FRA 2nd
Yuliana Fedak UKR & Tatiana Perebiynis UKR 1st
Yung-Jan Chan TPE & Chia-Jung Chuang TPE Final
Tathiana Garbin ITA & Roberta Vinci ITA 2nd
s11 Marion Bartoli FRA & Shahar Peer ISR 1st
s15 Janette Husarova SVK & Jelena Jankovic SRB 1st
Martina Hingis SUI & Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 3rd
Lucie Hradecka CZE & Renata Voracova CZE 1st
Vera Dushevina RUS & Maria Kirilenko RUS 3rd
Ashley Harkleroad USA & Galina Voskoboeva RUS QF
Milagros Sequera VEN & Meilen Tu USA 1st
Emilie Loit FRA & Nicole Pratt AUS 2nd
s4 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP & Paola Suarez ARG 1st
s8 Nathalie Dechy FRA & Vera Zvonareva RUS 3rd
Varvara Lepchenko UZB & Olga Poutchkova RUS 1st
Vania King USA & Jelena Kostanic Tosic CRO 2nd
Marta Domachowska POL & A Radwanska POL 1st
Stephanie Foretz FRA & Klaudia Jans POL 1st
Shengnan Sun CHN & Tiantian Sun CHN QF
Elena Bovina RUS & Alla Kudryavtseva RUS 2nd
s9 Corina Morariu USA & Rennae Stubbs AUS 1st
s14 Elena Dementieva RUS & Flavia Pennetta ITA 3rd
Akiko Morigami JPN & Aiko Nakamura JPN 1st
Sybille Bammer AUT & Eva Birnerova CZE 1st
Tsvetana Pironkova BUL & Martina Sucha SVK 2nd
Casey Dellacqua AUS & Jessica Moore AUS 1st
Vasilisa Bardina RUS & Alicja Rosolska POL 2nd
Monique Adamczak AUS & Evie Dominikovic AUS 1st
s2 Zi Yan CHN & Jie Zheng CHN SF

    (Jan 11, 2007) # 16 (and former # 2) Anastasia Myskina has withdrawn from the 2007 Australian Open. The New Zealand Press Association reported on Jan 3 that 2004 French Open champ Anastasia might miss the Aussie Open because her left big toe is still in pain. Nastia suffered from pain and inflammation in that toe throughout the summer and fall of 2006, causing her to miss several tourneys. She has also lost her last five matches, most recently to Gisela Dulko in the 1st round at Auckland.
    Anastasia praised Gisela's play after that match, and did not blame the loss on her injury. But she told ASB Classic tourney officials that she was going to fly home to Moscow for futher treatment, instead of to Sydney for the Medibank International. Anastasia was not entered at Sydney, preferring not to play matches the week before the Australian Open, but would have gone there to practice against other top players, as she did last year.
    Speaking to reporters in Auckland about her toe, Anastasia said: "I still feel pain there and it bothers me. Maybe Im going to take a longer break."

    (Jan 10, 2007) # 48 (and former # 1) Venus Williams has withdrawn from the 2007 Australian Open due to the painful left wrist injury which has troubled her for many months now. Reuters story

    (Jan 9, 2006) The Sydney International tourney, which had already lost last year's champ, # 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, by withdrawal before play began, lost the 2nd and 4th seeds on Tuesday when both retired from their matches. 2nd-seeded # 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova is suffering from an upper respiratory illness, and 4th-seeded # 6 Nadia Petrova suffered an abdominal strain (Reuters says "stomach cramps"). Hopefully both will be healthy for the big show in Melbourne next week.
    2004 US Open champ Svetlana said: "It's really bad. I cannot do everything well. I just need to stop in the middle of the round to breathe, and my nose closes and I hear everything 'ding dinging' in my ears. The blood is going up and I can't really focus with everything else.
    "My concern was if I can go on the court today or whether I should pull out before the match. I did my best but I wasn't able to push my body to the max. I did not play for three days and I felt more or less good, but I just found it so difficult when you cannot breathe.
    "I definitely will play the Australian Open but if I feel a bit like this I will push myself and maybe I will have to retire again. I am really motivated to play. If I am the same way as I am today, I won't. But if I get better, I think I should." Reuters story

    (Jan 4, 2007) # 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne announced today on her official website that she has withdrawn from the 2007 Australian Open, and from next week's Sydney tourney.
    Justine said: "I am withdrawing from the Medibank International in Sydney and the Australian Open in Melbourne for personal family reasons that require my full attention. I hope my fans and others are able to understand that because this is a personal matter, I'm not comfortable providing any more detail at this time. If and when the time is right, I will provide additional detail. I thank you all for respecting my privacy at this time and I look forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible."
    A Reuters story says "Belgian media later reported the 24-year-old Henin was splitting from husband Pierre-Yves, the man she married in November 2002."
    The announcement is a complete surprise. Three days ago, on January 1, Justine's websited reported that she would be leaving for Australia on that same day. Justine reached all 4 Grand Slam tourney finals last year, including the Aussie Open, and won the tourney in Sydney.

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