2007 Gold Coast & Auckland WTA Singles Results Dinara Safina & Jelena Jankovic, Champions

tennis.quickfound.net  

  WTA, ITF & Exhibition: Dec 30-Jan 7

Women's Hardcourts, Gold Coast, AUS
Tier III $175,000 - 32 players - outdoor: hard Rebound Ace
Live Scores
WTA pdf.: draws & OOP - match notes
pics: Yahoo news - WTA
Gold Coast: weather radar - forecast
# 7 Martina Hingis, # 11 Dinara Safina
# 14 Ana Ivanovic, # 19 A-L Groenefeld

ASB Classic, Auckland, NZL
Tier IV $145,000 - 32 players - outdoor: hard Rebound Ace
Live Scores - WTA pdf.: draws & OOP
pics: Yahoo news - WTA - tourney
Auckland: rainfall - forecast   xtramsn.co.nz: tennis news
# 12 Jelena Jankovic, # 16 Anastasia Myskina
# 17 Daniela Hantuchova, # 18 Marion Bartoli

Hopman Cup, Perth, AUS
Live Scores - standings - results - teams-schedule
pics: tourney - Yahoo news
Perth: weather radar - forecast

Watson's Water Challenge Hong Kong, CHN
Live Scores - Live Webcam - video highlights - draw
Hong Kong: weather radar - forecast
Gold Coast-Auckland tourney pages: 2008 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004
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tourney pages
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Hong Kong:
click for Clijsters news photo search
#5 Kim Clijsters
5' 8", 150 lbs
RH, 2H-BH
Gold Coast:
click for Safina news photo search
#11 Dinara Safina
5' 11", 154 lbs
RH, 2H-BH
Auckland:
click for Jankovic news photo search
#12 Jelena Jankovic
5'9", 134 lbs
RH, 2H-BH

    On Saturday in Hong Kong, China, in the final of the Watsons Water Challenge exhibition tourney, the 2005 Watsons champ, 23-year-old 3rd-seeded # 5 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, retained her title by narrowly defeating 19-year-old top-seeded # 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia (residence: Bradenton, Florida, home of the Bollettieri Academy), 6-3, 7-6(8) (photo shown).

    Kim said: "It was nice to get the win. I felt a lot more comfortable, although it was a little windier than previous days. You just have to make sure your footwork is at its best and keep moving. The ball was moving around a little, but once I got my rhythm I was seeing the ball very well and returning well. I think my return was a big difference today.
    "It was frustrating to hit a double fault on the first match point. I just tried to refocus after that and give myself another chance." PA Sports story

    Maria said: "[Kim] played a solid match, and won the important points more than I did, and that made the difference. At a few points in the match I felt a bit slack and I had to get myself going, other than that I'm happy with the match."

    2005 US Open champ Kim also leads 2006 US Open & 2004 Wimbledon champ Maria by 4-2 in regulation WTA/ITF career matches-- but Maria's two wins came the last two times that they played.

    Meanwhile, in Gold Coast, Australia, in the final of the Australian Women's Hardcourts, 20-year-old 2nd-seeded # 11 Dinara Safina of Russia (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco) narrowly defeated 26-year-old top-seeded # 7 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 (photo shown).

    Dinara said: "It was a great match. When I arrived here last week and saw the draw I couldn't imagine this would've happened. I had some nerves in my warm-up and I just tried to use those nerves to keep concentrating. You learn from every loss; I'd lost to [Martina] twice and so I knew what I had to do to beat her, and today I was able to actually do it." WTA story

    Martina said: "It was a good match. I knew in the 2nd set if I wasn't more aggressive, [Dinara] would've blown me away in two sets. I played better in the third set and had chances when she served 5-5; I had two break points and she served well. I also had opportunities early in the third. She's amazing, fighting so hard for every point.
    "Dinara has an amazing future, and will be even better than Marat; Dinara has to work harder and doesn't have as much touch, but she fights so hard."

    5-time Grand Slam tourney champ Martina still leads Dinara 2-1 in career matches, but Dinara has been gaining on her--and on everyone else. The last time they played was also in a final, at Rome last year, where Martina won her 41st WTA singles title. Dinara is now 5-3 in WTA singles finals; Martina is 42-25 in that category.

    And in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, in the final of the ASB Classic, 21-year-old top-seeded # 12 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia (who, like Maria Sharapova, resides in Bradenton, Florida) narrowly defeated 22-year-old 5th-seeded # 24 Vera Zvonareva from Moscow, Russia, 7-6(9), 5-7, 6-3 (photo shown).

    The match lasted 3 hours and 5 minutes--and Jelena has been known to become short-winded in long matches. Jelena said: "I was expecting a tough match, but this was really tough. Believe me, it was not easy." Sunday Star Times story

    Vera also reached the Auckland final in 2006. Vera said: "To come back here and defend the final is great. There are not many players who can come back another year and be in the final."

    Jelena and Vera are now 2-2 in career matches. Jelena is now 2-4 in WTA singles finals; Vera is now 5-5.

    On Friday in Perth, Australia, in the final of the Hopman Cup, 24-year-old # 6 Nadia Petrova from Moscow, Russia, defeated 24-year-old # 27 Anabel Medina Garrigues from Valencia, Spain, 6-0, 6-4.
    Dmitry Tursunov of Russia also won the men's singles over Spain's Tommy Robredo, clinching the 2007 Hopman Cup for Russia by giving them a 2-0 lead over Spain, so the superfluous mixed doubles were not played.

SCOREBOARD: WTA Gold Coast & Auckland; ITF Perth, Exhibition Hong Kong

s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?

Australian Women's Hardcourts, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

 

    Gold Coast: is located on the eastern coast of Australia just south of Brisbane.
    The main draw has 8 seeds, with no 1st-round byes, and 4 qualifiers.
    Qualifying (3 rounds) runs from Friday-Sunday.
   
Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia
Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia - click for sat pic
Latitude: -28.004045 Longitude: 153.373454 goto link for World Wind
street map - directions

    Start times: Sun noon, Mon-Thu 10:30am,
Fri 11am, Sat 11:30am


    The time in Gold Coast is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +10 hours (Pacific Time+18, often=next day, 6 hours earlier; ET+15). Australia news

    Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory do not observe daylight savings time (other Aussie provinces do). Thus the time in Gold Coast during the summer months is 1 hour earlier than the time in Sydney and Melbourne.

click for story with photo
Martina Hingis sported a diamond on her ring finger while practicing
at Gold Coast on Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006-- she is engaged to ATP player Radek Stepanek
Gold Coast, 1st Round, Sun noon, Mon-Tue 10:30am Mon WTA story
loser's prize: $1,205 US; points: 1
#7 s1 Martina Hingis SUI d #49 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-0, 6-2Sun

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Hingis news photo search     click for Hingis news photo search
Martina preparing to serve, firing a forehand, and addressing the media after the match (no photos of Sybille were available)

    Martina said: "[Sybille] had to take a high risk because I wasn't missing... I was very focused and didn't have ups and downs. That was quite surprising after a six week break." Tennis Australia story

#11 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #43 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-3, 6-2 Tue

    Dinara said: "I went down a break in the first set; that made me nervous, but I got it back quickly and my confidence grew. I played pretty solid. It's really hard to play [Elena]. I'm happy to win. The first matches of the year are always tough."

    About withdrawing from several events at the end of last season due to fatigue, Dinara said: "I was on the court in Moscow, and I had no power. I couldn't run from side to side, even when standing still I was breathing hard. I did nothing for a month, just relaxed with friends in Moscow, saw movies, hung out. Now I feel fine but I know that I have to take care of myself better and watch my body."

#14 s3 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #85 q Roberta Vinci ITA 7-6(5), 6-1 Mon

    Ana said: "It was the first match in so long, almost two months; that's a very hard match to play but also very exciting. I think [Roberta] was disappointed to lose the first set and I lifted my game to take the match...
    "In the break I worked really hard on my fitness and this match was a great opportunity to show the results of the work. I also worked on my strength, especially upper body to prevent injuries, and my movement. I feel fantastic out there."

*#38 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #19 s4 A-L Groenefeld GER 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-3 Mon
#20 s5 Shahar Peer ISR d #37 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 Mon
#21 s6 Na Li CHN d #156 q Sandra Zahlavova CZE 6-0, 6-4 Mon
#23 s7 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #60 q Vania King USA 6-4, 6-3 Mon
*#184 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS d #26 s8 Ai Sugiyama JPN 7-6(4), 6-4 Sun

click for Sugiyama news photo search     click for Ferguson news photo search     click for Ferguson news photo search
Ai about to slice a backhand, Sophie's forehand, and after match point

    It was Sophie's first ever win over a top-30 player. Sophie said: "I’m pretty excited – great way to celebrate New Years Eve. Sugiyama, being a top 30 player, she doesn’t give away many points so I had to fight pretty hard for every point. I think I did well and I’m really happy to win...
    "This is the first tournament of the year and sort of sets up the New Year and especially with my ranking at the moment I’m probably on the borderline of playing qualifying at most WTA tournaments. It’s awesome to get a win and that will help my ranking a lot which will help me get into the bigger tournaments." Tennis Australia story

*#30 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #28 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-1, 6-2 Mon

click for WTA photo gallery
On Tuesday, Maria celebrated her first win of the new season with an Australian Barking Owl

#29 Samantha Stosur AUS d #55 Shuai Peng CHN 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 Mon
#39 Olga Poutchkova RUS d #80 q Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-3 Mon
#40 Severine Bremond FRA d #58 Iveta Benesova CZE 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 Sun
#47 Elena Vesnina RUS d #50 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-3, 6-2 Sun
#54 Catalina Castano COL d #599 wc Shannon Golds AUS 6-3, 6-4 Sun
#77 wc Nicole Pratt AUS d #1431 sr14  Elena Bovina RUS 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-1 Mon
#103 Milagros Sequera VEN d #183 Ekaterina Ivanova RUS 6-4, 6-2 Sun
Gold Coast, 2nd Round, Tue-Wed 10:30am WTA Tue story - WTA Wed story
loser's prize: $2,030 US; points: 20
#7 s1 Martina Hingis SUI d #77 wc Nicole Pratt AUS 6-0, 6-1 Tue

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Pratt news photo search     click for Hingis news photo search
Martina and Nicole launching forehands, and Martina between points

    Martina said: "I think I came out well prepared, and I knew [Nicole] had the crowd behind her. I knew what to expect from her, even though we've played only once [before]. She's been on tour a long time, but so have I... I feel very comfortable and confident at this point." Reuters story

    Nicole said: "[Martina] was just too good. It seemed like she had the ball on a string. She just didn't give me any chances, and had a answer for everything I tried. She also served particularly well tonight. She has a genuine chance to win the Australian Open."

#11 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #30 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-2, 7-5 Wed

    Dinara said: "It was really high quality tennis and it a really good match for me to play in the first tournament of the season. I had to fight. [Maria] has good hands and isn't scared to do anything. I think she's going to have a really good year."

#14 s3 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #103 Milagros Sequera VEN 6-1, 6-2 Wed

click for WTA photo gallery
After the win, Ana went roller-coastering at "Dreamworld" with her frequent doubles partner Maria Kirilenko

    Ana said: "I was very happy with the way I played today. I was moving better in the court than in the last match and was coming forward a lot more. My serve and volleys were both working well. It was a good match and gave me some confidence."

#38 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #40 Severine Bremond FRA 6-3, 6-1 Tue
#20 s5 Shahar Peer ISR d #39 Olga Poutchkova RUS 6-3, 6-2 Wed

    Shahar said: "Olga had a great end to 2006 so I knew she'd be tough. I'm happy with the tennis I played, I held my concentration and I was there every point."

*#54 Catalina Castano COL d #21 s6 Na Li CHN 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 Tue
*#47 Elena Vesnina RUS d #23 s7 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#29 Samantha Stosur AUS d #184 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS 6-3, 6-4 Wed
Gold Coast, QFs, Thu 10:30am WTA story
loser's prize: $3,740 US; points: 35
#7 s1 Martina Hingis SUI d #54 Catalina Castano COL 6-3, 6-1

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Castano news photo search
Martina following a forehand, and Catalina about to swat a backhand

    Martina said: "When you play such good matches and are on such a high as my last two matches, you often can't stay at that level every match. I didn't start as quickly and she didn't miss early and was doing well in the rallies. I had some trouble with the loopy balls she was hitting - she was smart."

#11 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #29 Samantha Stosur AUS 7-6(4), 6-3

    Samantha said: "I'm disappointed to lose but not disappointed with how I played. I stepped it up, and played better than the last couple of matches, but needed to raise it just a notch higher. Having two set points on [Dinara's] serve was tough to lose, but she came up with unbelievable serves."

*#20 s5 Shahar Peer ISR d #14 s3 Ana Ivanovic SRB 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

    Shahar said: "It was a tough match with very good tennis. In the first set, [Ana] broke me, then I won four games in a row. I was up in the second and third sets early, which helped me. I served well and timed the ball well today."

#38 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #47 Elena Vesnina RUS 6-3, 6-2

    Tathiana said: "[Elena] is such a tough player and I was lucky to get through. I'm very happy. I'm also excited to be in the semifinals here, that's great for me so early in the new year."

Gold Coast, SFs, Fri 11:30am WTA story
loser's prize: $7,105 US; points: 65
#7 s1 Martina Hingis SUI d #38 Tathiana Garbin ITA 3-4 retired-- difficulty breathing due to illness

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Castano news photo search     click for Hingis news photo search     click for Castano news photo search
Martina's forehand, Tathiana's backhand, Martina preparing to slice one, and Tathiana, having trouble breathing, with the trainer

    Tathiana said: "I was disappointed because I think I'm playing my best tennis. I've been sick for a few days, it started in my second-round match and has just gotten worse.
    "In practice this morning, I had real problems breathing and didn't know if I could play, but I thought about my match yesterday against [Elena] Vesnina and that I felt bad before that too. Today was the worst, though, and I just couldn't continue." Sporting Life story

    Martina said: "[Tathiana] started really well--that's the best she has ever played against me. I started slowly, just like last night, and I was just starting to get my rhythm when she retired. That's the first time anyone has retired against me while leading."

#11 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #20 s5 Shahar Peer ISR 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-1

click for Safina news photo search     click for Peer news photo search     click for Safina news photo search
Shahar's forehand, Dinara swatting a backhand, and Dinara after winning a point

    Shahar, after winning the 1st set, led 5-1 in the 2nd--then Dinara took over the match, winning 11 of the next 13 games.

    Dinara said: "[Shahar] was playing like No.1, I couldn’t believe it. Then, she had 6-4, 5-1, and I just started going for my shots. I held serve then we had the rain break. I saw her and she seemed to be a little nervous, and I thought, this is it, I have to go for it. I suppose I was a little lucky, but my shots just started going in."

    Shahar said: "I'm not happy; you can't be up 6-4, 5-1, lose a match and be happy. I didn't feel differently after the rain, but until 5-1 I was not missing anything and then I started missing. Maybe I lost concentration. I'll make sure I'm in this position again, I take advantage and close it out on my first service game."

Gold Coast, Final, Sat 11:30am
loser's prize: $13,520 US; points: 100
winner's prize: $25,840 US; points: 140
*#11 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #7 s1 Martina Hingis SUI 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Safina news photo search     click for Safina news photo search
Martina and Dinara belting backhands, and Dinara generously complimenting her opponent after the match

Gold Coast, Doubles Final, Sat after singles
loser's prize: $7,620 US
winner's prize: $4,020 US
cdr23 s2 Dinara Safina & Katarina Srebotnik d cdr83 Iveta Benesova & Galina Voskoboeva 6-3, 6-4

click for WTA photo gallery
Dinara & Katarina

    Katarina said: "It was fantastic to win here the first week of the year. I loved playing with Dinara, she's certainly playing well this week and deserves all the success. I hope she continues this high quality-- except when she's playing me!."


Gold Coast, Qual Finals, Sun Dec 31, 10am
losers' prizes: q1 $185; q2 $325; qf $605
#60 Vania King USA d #119 Kristina Barrios GER 6-1, 6-3
*#85 Roberta Vinci ITA d #69 Jarmila Gajdosova SVK 6-0, 6-3
#80 Yuliana Fedak UKR d #114 Galina Voskoboeva RUS 1-6, 6-4, 6-0
*#156 Sandra Zahlavova CZE d #127 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 6-3, 6-4

Gold Coast, Withdrawals

click for Hingis news photo search     click for Safina news photo search
 
ASB Classic, Auckland, New Zealand

 

    Auckland:
    The main draw for Auckland has 8 seeds, with no 1st-round byes.
    There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw.
    Qualifying (3 rounds) begins on Saturday; qualifying finals are on Monday.
   
ASB Tennis Centre, 1 Tennis Lane, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland, at right - click for sat pic
Latitude: -36.853767 Longitude: 174.773394 goto link for World Wind
map - directions

    Start times: Mon-Thu 11am,
Fri noon, Sat 1pm


    The time in Auckland is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +13 hours (Pacific Time+21, often=the next day, 3 hours earlier; ET+18).
New Zealand news

    The ASB Tennis Centre has 7 outdoor Rebound Ace courts, 2 indoor Astrograss courts, and 3 indoor hard courts, all lit.
Auckland, 1st Round, Mon-Tue 11am WTA Mon story - WTA Tue story - TVNZ Video: Erakovic, Hantuchova
loser's prize: $955 US; points: 1
#12 s1 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #82 Julia Schruff GER 6-3, 6-4 Tue
*#59 Gisela Dulko ARG d #16 s2 Anastasia Myskina RUS 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-2 Mon

click for story with photo
Anastasia launching a backhand to Gisela

    (Jan 3, 2007) The New Zealand Press Association reports that 2004 French Open champ # 16 (and former # 2) Anastasia Myskina might miss the Australian 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 is 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 about her toe, Anastasia said: "I still feel pain there and it bothers me. Maybe Im going to take a longer break." NZPA story

#17 s3 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #153 Dominika Cibulkova SVK 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 Tue

click for story with photo
Daniela's backhand

    Daniela said: "The first set I played great, but after that I sort of relaxed a little bit too much and started to make too many mistakes. In the third set, I started to focus again." NZPA story

#18 s4 Marion Bartoli FRA d #180 Ayumi Morita JPN 7-6(4), 6-3 Mon
#24 s5 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #118 q Lilia Osterloh USA 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 Tue
*#178 sr55  Paola Suarez ARG d #34 s6 Martina Muller GER 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 Tue
#36 s7 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #51 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 Mon
*#75 Camille Pin FRA d #44 s8 Shenay Perry USA 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 Mon
*#68 Laura Granville USA d #53 Romina Oprandi ITA 6-3, 6-4 Tue
#56 Emilie Loit FRA d #84 Eva Birnerova CZE 6-1, 6-1 Mon
*#70 Jill Craybas USA d #57 Aiko Nakamura JPN 7-5, 6-2 Mon
#74 Emma Laine FIN d #139 LL Mathilde Johansson 7-6(4), 6-1 Tue
*#129 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #76 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 7-5, 6-0 Tue
*#88 q Virginie Razzano FRA d #78 Kaia Kanepi EST 7-6(1), 6-1 Tue
#81 Tiantian Sun CHN d #272 wc Leanne Baker NZL 6-1, 6-1 Mon
*#162 wc Marina Erakovic NZL d #90 q Meilen Tu USA 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 Tue

    Marina said: "I think I was lucky today. There were a lot to times I stopped playing, stopped being aggressive and I was like 5m behind the baseline. [Halfway through the 3rd set I] decided it was now or never, and I started hitting balls and attacking more, and it paid off." NZPA story

Auckland, 2nd Round, Tue-Wed 11am Wed WTA story
loser's prize: $1,775 US; points: 15
#12 s1 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #74 Emma Laine FIN 6-2, 6-1 Wed
*#88 q Virginie Razzano FRA d #17 s3 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 61 75 Wed
*#56 Emilie Loit FRA d #18 s4 Marion Bartoli FRA 7-5, 6-4 Wed
#24 s5 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #68 Laura Granville USA 6-4, 6-1 Wed
#36 s7 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #162 wc Marina Erakovic NZL 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 Wed

click for story with photo
Marina following a forehand

    Eleni said: "A victory is a victory... I was very surprised how Marina played. She was really going for it. She did a very good job, but for myself, I had to push so much." NZPA story

    Marina said: "At this level you can't have slip-ups. You just can't have periods where, all of a sudden, you're playing great for two games and then you just stop and play not how you were playing. I think I just consistently need to play aggressively... when they're down you've gotta squash them."

*#70 Jill Craybas USA d #59 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-3, 7-5 Tue
#75 Camille Pin FRA d #129 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 Wed
*#178 SR55  Paola Suarez ARG d #81 Tiantian Sun CHN 7-5, 6-4 Wed
Auckland, QFs, Thu 11am
loser's prize: $3,310 US; points: 30
#12 s1 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #36 s7 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 6-3, 6-4

click for story with photo
Jelena following a backhand

    Jelena said: "Today was a great match, so many great points, and Eleni played so good. There were some close calls which could have gone either way, and I'm happy today that they went my way... In the previous rounds, I didn't play as well. I went up a level because I needed to against Eleni." NZPA story - BBC story

#24 s5 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #88 q Virginie Razzano FRA 7-5, 2-0 retired-- low back strain
*#75 Camille Pin FRA d #56 Emilie Loit FRA 6-3, 6-3
#70 Jill Craybas USA d #178 SR55  Paola Suarez ARG 6-3, 7-6(4)
Auckland, SFs, Fri noon WTA story
loser's prize: $6,140 US; points: 50
#12 s1 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #75 Camille Pin FRA 3-0 retired-- left abductor strain

click for Pin news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search
Camille launching a forehand, and Jelena about to fire one, delivering, and following through

    Camille said: "I couldn't run or lift my leg properly, so if you can't run then you can't play. It's terrible because I gave everything I had to get to the semifinals. I was playing well, and to play against the top seed was the best thing for me in this tournament. But you can't do anything about it. This is the toughest part of our job, I think, because we give everything we have and then this happens."

    Jelena said: "Obviously I wanted to play the whole match... It's sad Camille got injured. I was playing well the first three games; I didn't know if it was because I was playing well or because she couldn't run... I think it was a smart decision [to retire from the match]. She can prepare for the big one, the Australian Open." NZPA story

#24 s5 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #70 Jill Craybas USA 6-3, 7-5

click for Zvonareva news photo search     click for Craybas news photo search     click for Zvonareva news photo search
Vera's service toss, and Jill & Vera firing forehands

    Vera said: "I always had to stay aggressive. If I gave [Jill] a couple of unforced errors or did not come up with the goods, then she was on top of me."

    About her opponent in the final, Jelena Jankovic, Vera said: "[Jelena's] serve is good, her returns are good, her ground strokes are really solid. She can come to the net when she needs to. Her all-round game is good."

Auckland, Final, Sat 1pm
loser's prize: $11,395 US; points: 80
winner's prize: $21,140 US; points: 115
#12 s1 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #24 s5 Vera Zvonareva RUS 7-6(9), 5-7, 6-3

click for Zvonareva news photo search     click for Jankovic news photo search     click for WTA photo gallery
Vera about to slice a backhand, Jelena driving a high one, and Jelena with, possibly, the largest cup in New Zealand

Auckland, Doubles Final, Sat after singles
loser's prize: $3,360 US
winner's prize: $6,240 US
cdr53 s1 Paola Suarez & Janette Husarova d Su-Wei Hsieh & Shikha Uberoi 6-0, 6-2

click for WTA photo gallery
Paola & Janette

    It was the 43rd WTA doubles title for 30-year-old Paola, who says she will retire at the end of the 2007 season. It was the 22nd WTA doubles title for Janette, who Paola partnered with this week because her usual accomplice, Virginia Ruano Pascual, is out with a knee injury. "Vivi" hopes to be well in time for the Australian Open, but is not sure if she will be.


Auckland, Qual Finals, Mon Jan 1
losers' prizes: q1 $165; q2 $280; qf $515
#88 Virginie Razzano FRA v #182 Ryoko Fuda JPN c4 m2
#90 Meilen Tu USA d #189 Agnes Szavay HUN 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
#118 Lilia Osterloh USA v #139 Mathilde Johansson FRA c6 m2
#129 Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #170 Lioudmila Skavronskaia RUS 6-3, 6-3

Auckland, Withdrawals
#45 Jamea Jackson USA
#48 Nathalie Dechy FRA
#66 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP knee injury
#67 Sania Mirza IND Hopman Cup
#746 wc Sacha Jones NZL

click for Jankovic news photo search
 
ITF Hopman Cup, Perth, Western Australia

 

    Perth:
    The Hopman Cup is not a WTA-sanctioned event, but an ITF event featuring WTA & ATP pairs from 8 nations competing as teams.
    As you might expect, each international tie has 3 matches, 2 singles and 1 doubles.
   
Burswood Dome, Perth, Western Australia
Burswood Dome, Perth, at center - click for sat pic
Latitude: -31.960164 Longitude: 115.896567 goto link for World Wind
map (dome is SE of golf course)

    Starts: Sat, Dec 30-Thu Jan 4 10am
Fri Jan 5 5pm


    The time in Perth is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +8 hours (Pacific Time +16, often=the next day, 8 hours earlier; ET +13).
Australia news

    The eight competing teams are divided into two groups, A and B, which play round robin preliminaries. The two group winners play in the final. One of the eight places is now reserved for the nation winning the new Asian Hopman Cup, which was held for the first time in Hyderabad, India, November 22-26 2006. The host country, India, won this year.

Group A"Ties" W-LMatches W-LSets W-L
s1 Russia #6 Nadia Petrova & Dmitry Tursunov 2-16-313-6
France #22 Tatiana Golovin & Jerome Haehnel 2-15-410-10
Australia #165 Alicia Molik & Mark Philippoussis 2-14-58-12
s4 USA #86 Ashley Harkleroad & Mardy Fish 0-33-69-12
Group B
s2 Spain #27 Anabel Medina Garrigues & Tommy Robredo 2-1 6-314-8
India (Asian HC champs) #65 Sania Mirza & Rohan Bopanna 2-1 5-411-11
s3 Czech Republic #42 Lucie Safarova & Tomas Berdych 1-2 4-59-11
Croatia #176 Sanja Ancic & Mario Ancic 1-23-68-12

Perth, Hopman Cup, Saturday, Dec 30, 11am & 6:30pm
*#165 Alicia Molik AUS d #6 Nadia Petrova 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
Australia won MS, lost XD, Australia d Russia 2-1
click for Molik news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search
Alicia's forehand, and Nadia driving a backhand

    Alicia said: "I did get a little angry and upset at myself in the second set. But I had to expect a quality player like Nadia to come back strongly. However, I’m very proud of that victory."

#22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #86 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
France won MS, lost XD (walkover), France d USA 2-1
click for Harkleroad news photo search click for Golovin news photo search click for Harkleroad news photo search click for Golovin news photo search click for Golovin news photo search
Ashley firing a cannonball serve, Tatiana firing a forehand on the run, Ashley's backhand drive,
Tatiana's forehand drive, and after match point

Perth, Hopman Cup, Sunday 11am
#65 Sania Mirza IND d #42 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-2, 6-2
India lost MS, won XD, India d Czech Rep 2-1
click for Mirza news photo search     click for story with photo
Sania's forehand during the singles, and Lucy fielding a high backhand during the doubles

    Sania said: "I was striking the ball well and hit the right shots at the right time. My confidence levels are pretty high, and this tournament is going to help me get better for the Australian Open." AFP story

Perth, Hopman Cup, Monday 11am
#27 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #176 Sanja Ancic CRO 6-3, 6-1
Spain won MS, won XD, Spain d Croatia 3-0
click for Medina Garrigues news photo search     click for Ancic news photo search     click for Medina Garrigues news photo search
Anabel's forehand, Sanja's backhand, and Anabel after match point

Perth, Hopman Cup, Tuesday 11am & 6:30pm
#6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #86 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6-3, 6-0
Russia lost MS, won XD, Russia d USA 2-1
click for Harkleroad news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search
Ashley and Nadia delivering forehand drives

#22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #165 Alicia Molik AUS 7-5, 6-2
France won MS, won XD, France d Australia 3-0
click for Golovin news photo search     click for Molik news photo search     click for Golovin news photo search
Tatiana's forehand, Alicia wondering what she can do, and Tatiana's backhand

Perth, Hopman Cup, Wednesday 11am & 6:30pm
*#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #27 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Czech Republic won MS, lost XD, Czech Republic d Spain 2-1
click for Safarova news photo search
Lucy about to swat a backhand

#65 Sania Mirza IND d d #176 Sanja Ancic CRO 6-2, 6-3 6:30 pm
India lost MS, won XD, India d Croatia 2-1
click for Mirza news photo search     click for Ancic news photo search
Sania watching her forehand fly, and Sanja driving one of her own

Perth, Hopman Cup, Thursday 11am & 6:30pm
*#165 Alicia Molik AUS d #86 Ashley Harkleroad USA 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Australia lost MS, won XD, Australia d USA 2-1
click for Molik news photo search     click for Harkleroad news photo search
Alicia about to fire a forehand, Ashley's backhand

#6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #22 Tatiana Golovin FRA 7-6(2), 6-0
Russia won MS, won XD, Russia d France 3-0
click for Golovin news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search
Tatiana and Nadia driving forehands

#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #176 Sanja Ancic 7-5, 6-2
Croatia won MS, won XD (walkover), Croatia d Czech Republic 2-1
click for Safarova news photo search
Lucy launching a forehand

#27 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #65 Sania Mirza IND 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Spain won MS, lost XD, Spain d India 2-1
click for Mirza news photo search     click for Medina Garrigues news photo search
Sania testing the resilience of the court surface, and Anabel after match point

Perth, Hopman Cup Final, Friday, Jan 5, 6:00pm:
Group A winner Russia v Group B winner Spain
#6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #27 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-0, 6-4
Russia won MS, XD not played, Russia d Spain 2-0
click for Medina Garrigues news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search     click for Petrova news photo search
Anabel's forehand, Nadia's backhand, Nadia after match point,
and Nadia & partner Tursunov with the Hopman Cup and Lucy Hopman, widow of Harry Hopman, after whom the cup is named

 
Watsons Water Challenge Exhibition, Hong Kong, China

 

    Hong Kong:
    Watsons Water Challenge is an 8-player exhibition mini-tourney, not a WTA-sanctioned event. It is the largest exhibition event of the year.
    No ranking points are awarded.
   
Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China - click for sat pic
Latitude: 22.283001 Longitude: 114.189920 goto link for World Wind
street map

    Start times:
Wed-Thu 6:30pm, Fri 4:30pm


    The time in Hong Kong is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +8 hours (Pacific Time +16, often=the next day, 8 hours earlier; ET +13).
Hong Kong news

    Singles matches at Watsons are full 3-set tiebreaker matches; doubles matches are single 8-game pro sets until the 3-set final. Kim Clijsters defeated Lindsay Davenport in the 2006 Watsons final, 6-3, 7-5.


click for Watsons Water news photo search     click for Watsons Water news photo search
Alternate Caroline Wozniacki, Jie Zheng, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Patty Schnyder, Svetlana Kuznetsova (brunette this year), Elena Dementieva, Nicole Vaidisova,
and Zi Yan, were looking very nice, although very far away, in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Jan 2; Patty, Kim, Maria, and Svetlana are also depicted slightly closer

click for news photo search     click for news photo search     click for news photo search     click for news photo search
Pretty Jie & Zi again on Tuesday as they attend the cocktail party everyone got dressed up for...
Jie facing the press earlier in the day... and one more look at "new look" Sveta, with Elena before the party
Hong Kong, QFs, Wed-Thu 6:30pm
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #166 Zi Yan CHN 7-5, 6-3 Thu highlight video

click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Yan news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria slicing a serve, Zi about to swat a forehand, and Maria firing one

    Maria said: It was my first match of the year, and it's always weird coming back after training for so long. It doesn't matter who you play, you just have to concentrate on your own game. When you're playing in front of a great crowd, a full crowd, you step out on the court, it's a little bit different from what you've been doing. You have to adjust. You're never going to play your best tennis in your first match." BBC story

*#9 Patty Schnyder SUI d #4 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) Wed highlight video
#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #33 Jie Zheng CHN 6-3, 6-2 Wed highlight video

click for Zheng news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Jie's forehand, Kim driving a backhand, and Kim after winning a point on a drop shot that barely dropped in

    Kim said: "I'm happy with the way that I played; it's the first match of the year so you have to prepare yourself a bit better. But something I wasn't happy with was my first service... It is something that has to be at its best if I want to do well in the next few tournaments.
    "I played [Jie] last year, and it was a lot easier this time... I got into my rhythm at the beginning of the first set, breaking her twice, and that's always good for your confidence." PA Sport story

    Jie said: "I feel like I played to the best of my ability, but Kim is such a good player. It was a great opportunity to play against Kim, and I realise I have a lot of work to do to become one of the world's best players. I will be hoping to improve my all-round service game because I felt I let myself down on that side of my game. I need to practice a lot more because my serve is not very powerful."

#8 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS d #10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Thu highlight video
alternate in case of injury: #231 Caroline Wozniacki DEN
Hong Kong, SFs, Fri 4:30pm
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #8 s4 Elena Dementieva RUS 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 highlight video

click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Dementieva news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria driving a backhand, Elena following through on one, and Maria after winning a point

    Maria said: "It is very important to reach the final. I'd like to play as many matches as possible. I need to play as many different players and be put in as many situations as possible. Being a set down and finding a way to win is definitely going to help my preparations.
    "I enjoy being in situations like that. If it was a grand slam it would be tough if it was in the first or second round, playing a three-set match is never easy, but to do that and get out of it and come up with the win is definitely going to help me in Australia. If I'm behind, I will have the confidence after playing a couple of matches." PA Sport story

    Elena said: "It was a very good match and we both played very well. It was a very physical game with so many long rallies and so many good shots. It was frustrating to lose the match after being one set up, but [Maria] started to play very well and put be under a lot of pressure. It was an experience for me to play against such a good player. That is exactly what I need ahead of a Grand Slam."

#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #9 Patty Schnyder SUI 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 highlight video

click for Schnyder news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Patty after running down a forehand, and Kim driving a backhand

Hong Kong "Silver Group" Consolation SFs, Fri
#4 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #33 Jie Zheng CHN 6-3, 6-4 highlight video
*#166 Zi Yan CHN d #10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 7-5, 6-3 highlight video

    Zi said: "It is the best win of my career. I have never beaten someone in the top 10. It has given me a lot more confidence to play more singles matches in the future."

Hong Kong, Final, Sat 2:30pm
#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-3, 7-6(8) highlight video
    career WTA-ITF matches: Kim leads 4-2

click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Maria wondering how Kim can walk after doing that splits forehand of hers, Kim and Maria driving backhands,
and Maria congratulating Kim after match point

Hong Kong, Consolation Final, Sat
#231 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #166 Zi Yan CHN 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 highlight video
#4 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS withdrew due to bronchitis

Hong Kong, Doubles SFs, Wed-Thu:
d3 Jie Zheng & d4 Zi Yan d d41 Elena Dementieva & d215 Caroline Wozniacki 8-5 Wed highlight video

click for Zheng news photo search
Zi & Jie celebrating winning a point
Nicole Vaidisova withdrew from doubles due to a cut finger on her left hand, but still plans to play singles

d38 Svetlana Kuznetsova & dNR Kim Clijsters d dNR Maria Sharapova & dNR Patty Schnyder 9-8(4) Thu highlight video

Hong Kong, Doubles Final, Sat:
d215 Caroline Wozniacki & dNR Kim Clijsters d d3 Jie Zheng & d4 Zi Yan 8-6 highlight video
d38 Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew due to bronchitis

Hong Kong, Withdrawals:
#25 Lindsay Davenport USA retiring

click for Sharapova news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search

    (Dec 30, 2006) The total prize money for both WTA tourneys this week is the same as last year's, but the actual payouts to the players for each round has been reduced. Possibly the difference is going to players' per diem (and possibly it goes to the WTA for overhead); such things are almost never explained by the tourneys or the WTA.

    The drawsheet form for Gold Coast is the same as last year's standard form, but Auckland is using a different form, which has no advantage over the old form, but which does not list the rankings for the unseeded players. This is very unfortunate, and hopefully will not be a new standard for the rest of the season.

    (Dec 29, 2006) The WTA has substantially raised the ranking points ("round points") scales for 2007 above previous years. For example, in recent years Grand Slam champions have received 650 points; in 2007 they will receive 1000 points, and Grand Slam finalists 700 points. At the lower end of the scale, last year's winner in Gold Coast (a Tier III tourney) received 95 points; this year's winner will receive 115 points.
    Players' best points from up to 17 tourneys in the past 52 weeks are added to generate the players' rankings. The new scales will mean that tourneys in 2007 will carry more weight in players' rankings than 2006 tourneys, until the end of the season (when all 2006 points are over 52 weeks old and have been dropped).
    For more info and the full point scales, see the 4-page WTA .pdf, How Rankings Work.
    Also available: 2007 WTA Tour Official Rules, 391-page 3.3MB .pdf

    (Dec 27, 2006) # 16 (and former # 2) Anastasia Myskina has arrived in Auckland for the ASB Classic. Speaking to TVNZ, 'Nastia said: "It's good for me that there are top-20 players [at the ASB Classic]. I need those matches at the beginning of the year... I've been practicing really hard and running a lot in preparation for the start of the year. Every time I start the year different. Last year was okay, maybe this year will be good."

    (Dec 27, 2006) Although no official announcement has been made, # 7 (and former # 1) Martina Hingis is reportedly engaged to Czech ATP player Radek Stepanek, who has been her significant male other for some months now. Martina has been wearing a diamond ring while practicing at Gold Coast, Australia, for next week's Women's Hardcourts (photo shown), and has reportedly told other WTA players that she is indeed engaged. Herald Sun story
    (Dec 29, 2006) Martina Hingis confirmed today to the press that she is indeed engaged to ATP player Radek Stepanek, who proposed to her in Prague last month. About her engagement ring, Martina said: "I was surprised when it was spotted right away [in Australia], because in Switzerland I've been walking around for a month and no one's said anything." No date has been set for the wedding. AP story

    # 46 (and former # 1) Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Hopman Cup due to her persistent left wrist injury. Venus has been replaced on the US team by # 86 Ashley Harkleroad. Venus is also considered doubtful for the Australian Open, which begins January 15.

    In late November, Korea's Yoon Jeong Cho was injured during a practice match, and Korea was forced to withdraw from the Hopman Cup. Germany replaced Korea, and # 34 Martina Muller was to play Germany. However, Germany's Nicolas Kiefer had to withdraw due to a wrist injury, and Germany was then replaced by France. # 22 Tatiana Golovin will play for France in Perth.

    India won the new Asian Hopman Cup competition, and thus qualified to play in the Hopman Cup. This led to # 67 Sania Mirza withdrawing from the Auckland tourney so she can play in Perth. Sania played for India in the Asian Hopman Cup, and also played for India at the Asian Games, Dec 4-14, 2006.

See also: QuickShop: Sporting Goods
WTA PhotoRankings - Martina Hingis - Anna Kournikova - Tennis Articles - 2007 WTA Schedule and Links


Current WTA Results & Tennis News

Link to postmatch interview videos of WTA players from Grand Slam tournaments at the 2006 WTA Player Interviews page.

WTA PhotoRankings: the current top 20 Women's Tennis rankings with player photos, links, and bio info.

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