On Sunday in Madrid
WTA Nov 6-11
WTA Championships Tier I
$3,000,000 8 players - indoor: hard
Casa de Campo, Madrid, Spain
Live Scores - in popup window
WTA .pdf: draws & OOP - notes
TV schedule Eurosport & VERSUS
pics: Yahoo! - WTA
Madrid: weather radar - forecast
Championships qualifying standings
#1 Justine Henin
#2 Svetlana Kuznetsova
#3 Jelena Jankovic
#4 Ana Ivanovic
#5 Serena Williams
#6 Maria Sharapova
#7 Anna Chakvetadze
#9 Daniela Hantuchova
1st alternate: #10 Marion Bartoli
2nd alternate: #11 Elena Dementieva
#6 Maria Sharapova
6' 2" 130lb RH 2H-BH
#1 Justine Henin
5' 5¾" 126lb RH 1H-BH
2nd WTA Champ's Title
39th WTA Singles Title
, in the final of the 2007 WTA Championships
, the 2006 WTA champ (and six-time Grand Slam tourney champion), 25-year-old # 1 Justine Henin
of Belgium (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
) defeated the 2004 WTA champ (and 2004 Wimbledon
and 2006 US Open
champ), 20-year-old # 6 Maria Sharapova
of Russia (residences: in California and in Bradenton, Florida
, home of the Bollettieri Academy
), 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
"The end of the second set was really important; I broke [Maria], she broke me and I broke her again, so there was a lot of tension there. I think I took advantage of my opportunities more than she did, especially on the return...
"This was one of the best moments of my career; to finish an amazing year with an amazing match, the longest I've ever played, makes me very happy. I felt pretty fresh physically but it was mentally and emotionally tough. And she played an amazing match - it's great to see her at her best level again." WTA story
"After a match of nearly three and a half hours, it is always disappointing to be the loser; but at the end of the week there can only be one winner and that was Justine. She really came through and played good tennis in the end. But I'm in a much better place than I was two weeks ago [with the shoulder injury]."
Justine now leads Maria 6-2 in career matches
, and won the last time they met, in the semifinals of last year's WTA Championships
, 6-2, 7-6(5). Maria won their previous match, the final of the 2006 US Open
, 6-4, 6-4.
, who has not been letting recent breathing problems affect her play, is now 39-16 in WTA singles finals, and has a 63-4 match record in 2007. Even though she did not play in January due to a divorce situation, Justine won 10 of her 39 titles this year: WTA Championships
, Zurich, Stuttgart, US Open
, Toronto, Eastbourne, French Open
, Warsaw, Doha, and Dubai. Justine has now won 25 consecutive matches, and is the first player since Steffi Graf in 1989 to be undefeated in the "second half" [post-Wimbledon] of the season.
Justine Henin Wallpaper
- Justine Henin career record
, who has not been letting an ongoing right shoulder ailment affect her play this week, is now 16-7 in WTA singles finals, and has a 40-11 match record in 2007. Although her right shoulder has forced her to withdraw from numerous tourneys this year, she won the Tier I San Diego title in August.
Maria Sharapova Wallpaper
- Maria Sharapova career record
Madrid player's blog by Jelena Jankovic
The WTA Championships System:
Eight top players are selected for singles play in the WTA Championships
, based on all
the ranking points they have earned during the current WTA Tour season (this differs slightly from the WTA Rankings, which only include a maximum of 17 tourneys in the point totals).
2 groups, Yellow and Red (the colors used for names have changed twice in recent years), play in a round-robin format
(12 matches), with two winners from each group becoming semifinalists
who play off on Saturday. In the semis, the player who finishes first in each group will play the second place finisher from the other group.
If players win the same number of matches, the winner of their head-to-head match in the round robin is placed higher in the standings. 3-way ties will be resolved first by the percentage of sets won, then by the percentage of games won
Players who qualify for the WTA Championships (in singles) all receive at least $100,000
; the champion receives $1 million.
4 doubles teams also play, with no prelims.
WTA SCOREBOARD: WTA Championships
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser|
ranks are for the week of Nov 6
WTA Championships, Madrid, Spain
Madrid: The "draw" for Madrid is a matter of dividing the 8 players into 2 groups, Red and Yellow, which play a round-robin; the 2 top players from each group then meet in the semifinals.
|Madrid Arena is the oval building - click for interactive sat pic
The time in Madrid is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) plus 2 hours. That is Eastern Daylight Time in the US + 6 hours, PDT+9 hours. Spain news
2007: Anna Chakvetadze did the player rep thing at the "draw" on Saturday in Madrid... On Sunday, Svetlana Kuznetsova (looking as though her old friend, retired 13-time WTA Championships qualifier Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, might have pitched in on Sveta's hair and makeup), Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams met the press, as did Jelena Jankovic, shown after signing her "player card"... On Monday, Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova posed next to their "player cards," while Justine Henin hoisted the glassware she was awarded for finishing the year as the # 1 player in the world for the second time in her career... On Thursday, WTA President Stacy Allaster and retired great Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario posed for a pic at a dinner in Arantxa's honor held by the Tennis Hall of Fame, into which she was inducted earlier this year...
Madrid WTA Champ's round robin, Tue 6pm (US noon ET, 9am PT) WTA story
#1 Justine Henin BEL d #7 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-1, 7-6(4) career matches Justine leads 3-0
Justine driving a forehand, Anna about to swat a backhand, Justine driving one, and after match point
Justine said: "It's good to win the first match... It is very important and gives me a lot of confidence." Reuters story|
Anna said: "I was very disappointed with the first set. I was so sleepy, I didn't move well, didn't serve well. It was horrible."
*#4 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 career matches Ana leads 4-1
Ana blowing out the candles on her 20th birthday cake (she was born in Belgrade on Nov 6, 1987),
Ana following a forehand, Svetlana and Ana driving backhands, and Ana after match point
Ana said: "In the first set I played amazing. In the second I also started well, and had some chances to go 4-0 and I didn't used them, and I tried to force it a little bit more, and [Svetlana] started putting more pressure on me. I started well in the third [set] as well but she never gave up and it could have gone either way. It was a tough match, emotionally and everything. I'm really happy to come through it, and that's the best present I could ask for."|
#6 Maria Sharapova RUS d #9 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-4, 7-5 career matches Maria leads 6-1
Maria serving, Daniela and Maria driving backhands, and Maria after match point
Daniela saved four match points when Maria led 5-3 in the 3rd set. Maria said: "I think I did a good job just being positive. I stayed tough and didn't let it [wasted match points] bother me because things like that happen easily and things can start going another way very fast. It's a great way to start to week and I'll hopefully only improve from here."|
Madrid WTA Champ's round robin, Wed 6pm (US noon ET, 9am PT) WTA story
#1 Justine Henin BEL d #3 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-2, 6-2 career matches Justine leads 9-0
Justine driving a forehand, Jelena following one, Justine fielding a backhand, and after match point
Justine said: "I served much better tonight than on Tuesday. I'm happy that I played so aggressive and it paid off as there were a lot of winners on my side. It was a good match from the first point to the end and although the scoreline was comfortable it was pretty intense actually. I played a very good match and I hope I can continue this form for the rest of the tournament."|
Jelena said: "Unfortunately I wasn't able to beat Justine in my match today. I was disappointed with the way I performed. When I came off the court, I wasn't in the mood for anything. But then I saw I was getting an award for my ACES, which are my off-court activities. That definitely made me feel better...
"I'll probably grab a quick dinner, head back to my room and rest for tomorrow. After a loss, the most important thing is to stay positive, especially right now when we're in a round robin format - even if you lose one match, you're definitely not out. You have to learn to be a good loser and keep your head held high. There are two matches to go. I'll learn from my mistakes and move on, and I'll be stronger tomorrow." Madrid player's blog by Jelena Jankovic
#4 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #9 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-2, 7-6(9) career matches Ana leads 2-1
Ana's service toss, Daniela and Ana driving backhands, and Ana after match point
Ana said: "It was a very tough match. The tie-break was especially nervous and we both had opportunities. I was really happy that I managed to win that tiebreak, because after last night I really didn't want to play three sets again. So I was pleased that I took my opportunities and managed to save a couple of set points."|
*#7 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #5 Serena Williams USA 6-4 retired--
left knee, patella femoral inflammation career matches Anna leads 1-0
Anna serving, Serena's backhand drive, Ana's forehand, and Serena getting her left knee wrapped by the trainer when trailing 4-5
Serena had her knee scanned, and later announced that she could not continue in the tourney. Serena has been replaced in the tourney by the 1st alternate, # 11 Marion Bartoli.|
Serena said: "I felt [the left knee injury] maybe a little bit yesterday. Although it wasn't too intense, so it's really sad it reacted so badly today. I had a really short practice yesterday, and the day before I had a short practice, because I was just trying to stay fresh for my matches, and I'm disappointed I couldn't stay longer in the tournament."
Madrid WTA Champ's round robin, Thu 6pm (US noon ET, 9am PT) WTA story
#1 Justine Henin BEL d #11 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-0, 6-0 career matches Justine leads 3-1
Justine driving a forehand, Marion's backhand drive, another forehand from Justine, and after match point
Marion had defeated Justine the last time they met, in the 2007 Wimbledon semifinals, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1; Justine, although she was already a shoo-in for the semifinals, had no difficulty "focusing" on the match against Marion this time.|
Justine said: "I had a lot of determination tonight. The first game was pretty difficult, but then I really played unbelievable tennis and everything was working really well. It's not that easy to go play when you know you've already qualified, but I still managed to put in a great performance, which is pleasing going into the semifinals."
*#6 Maria Sharapova RUS d #2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 career matches Maria leads 4-3
Maria slicing a serve, Svetlana driving a backhand, Maria after chopping a drop shot, and after match point
The win assured Maria of a place in Saturday's semifinals, and clinched a spot for # 4 Ana Ivanovic (idle on Thursday) as well. On Friday night, Maria will play Ana for 1st place in the Red Group, and the outcome will determine who will play who amongst the semifinalists.|
Maria said: "I didn't really feel I did much wrong out there. Perhaps I was a little tentative at the start and that really cost me the first set. The good thing was that I knew I still had a chance to get back in the match and at that stage there was a long way to go. I just kept a positive outlook and I improved as the match went on."
*#7 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #3 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 career matches Anna leads 6-2
Jelena and Anna driving forehands, Anna after match point, and, possibly, telling Jelena where she was during the 2nd set
After a solid 1st set, Anna fell apart in the 2nd, losing 7 straight games to drop the 2nd set, and fall behind by a break in the 3rd. Then she won the next four games in a row, and held serve twice more to take the match.|
Anna said: "I don't think either Jelena or I played our best tennis today. Perhaps as it was such an important match and we both knew only the winner would qualify we got nervous, but it's still pleasing to make the semifinals. Although I haven't yet played my best this week, to get a few wins on my debut here gives me so much confidence and I'm looking forward to playing Ana [Ivanovic] or Maria [Sharapova] in the semis."
Jelena said: "Anna is playing well, but I'm still just not satisfied with the way I'm playing. Playing Madrid is a little different than other tournaments - you can't do too much during the day because your matches are at night, and you don't want to use up your energy. Also I've got a cold right now and my nose is stuffed up, which makes breathing difficult when I'm playing. I was struggling out there. It's been a hard week at the Championships for me." Madrid player's blog by Jelena Jankovic
Madrid WTA Champ's round robin, Fri 6pm (US noon ET, 9am PT) WTA story
RR 4th prizes: $100,000 US; points: 104
RR 3rd prizes: $130,000 US; points: 185
*#9 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 7-6(7), 6-0 career matches Svetlana leads 6-4
Daniela following a slice serve, Svetlana and Daniela driving backhands, and Daniela after match point
#11 Marion Bartoli FRA d #3 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-1, 1-0 retired-- respiratory illness career matches tied at 3-3
Marion driving a forehand (which she does with her backhand grip), and Jelena and Marion driving backhands
Jelena said: "I've been suffering from a [cold] the last couple of days and it's been difficult to breathe properly. This makes it tough to play tennis and I wasn't able to play anywhere near the normal level I'm capable of. I've had an amazing season and I'm very proud of what I achieved. It's just unfortunate what's happened here, but I'm really looking forward to my vacation, recovering and preparing for next season."|
*#6 Maria Sharapova RUS d #4 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6-1, 6-2 career matches tied at 2-2
Maria and Ana driving forehands, Maria's backhand, and after match point
Maria said: "I thought I was solid from the beginning. I was just glad I could be out here in Madrid and play some more matches this year. I'm not really thinking about my chances, I know what I'm capable of on the court so I don't worry about who I play as if I perform well then I know I'll be fine."|
WTA Championships, SFs, Sat 2pm (US 8am ET, 5am PT) WTA story
loser's prize: $250,000 US; points: 335
#1 Justine Henin BEL d #4 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6-4, 6-4 career matches Justine leads 3-0
Justine's service toss, Ana following a backhand drive, Justine driving one, and after match point
Ana said: "[Justine] is a great player and I gave her a tough match. I played much better than last time against her [the French Open final, 6-1, 6-2] so that was positive. She is much more consistent than any of the other top players, and makes very few errors. Even if she misses something she always comes back and plays the big points well. That is something I have to work on." Reuters story|
Justine said: "[Ana] played a very good match. There were some ups and downs, but I managed to play well on the important points, and I'm happy to be in the final for the second year in a row."
Justine also said: "It is going to be a tough final, [Maria has] got nothing to lose. She's had a tough season, but now she's back at her best level, and she's a champion." Reuters story
#6 Maria Sharapova RUS d #7 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-2, 6-2 career matches Maria leads 6-0
Maria following a twist serve, Anna after a backhand, Maria following a flying forehand, and after match point
Maria had been questionable for the tourney due to a right shoulder injury which has plagued her all season. Maria said: "At the start I wasn't seeing the ball great and I had to save a few break points. After coming through this I started to serve really well... The most important thing is that I’ve been able to serve without thinking about hurting my shoulder. I’m serving and playing freely and that is really important." AP story|
Anna said: "It was tough today because there were so many easy mistakes from me."
WTA Championships, Final, Sun 4pm (US 10am ET, 7am PT)
loser's prize: $500,000 US; points: 525
winner's prize: $1,000,000 US; points: 750
#1 Justine Henin BEL d #6 Maria Sharapova RUS 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 career matches Justine leads 6-2
Justine following a slice serve, Maria's backhand drive, Justine driving a forehand, Maria following another backhand, Maria launching a cannonball serve, Justine and Maria driving forehands on the run, Justine following a flying forehand, and after match point
WTA Championships, Doubles SFs, Sat 11:30am & after singles|
loser's prize: $62,500
cdr3 d1 Cara Black & d2 Liezel Huber d cdr21 d10 Rennae Stubbs & d11 Kveta Peschke 7-6(3), 4-6, (10-6)
cdr14 d6 Katarina Srebotnik & d8 Ai Sugiyama d cdr16 d7 Chia-Jung Chuang & d9 Yung-Jan Chan 6-2, 6-2
WTA Championships, Doubles Final, Sun 1:30pm
loser's prize: $125,000
winner's prize: $250,000
cdr3 d1 Cara Black & d2 Liezel Huber d cdr14 d6 Katarina Srebotnik & d8 Ai Sugiyama 5-7, 6-3, (10-8)
(Oct 28, 2007) The WTA has announced that Venus Williams has withdrawn from the 2007 WTA Championships.
The news was released almost immediately after Daniela Hantuchova won the Linz title, giving her the points to edge out Maria Sharapova for the 8th postion in the tourney.
Venus has been undergoing medical tests since being troubled by oncourt dizziness at this year's US Open
, and doctors have advised her not to play at this time. WTA story
Thus Maria Sharapova will play in this year's WTA Championships
, if her ailing right shoulder will permit it. There has been no word to indicate that Maria will not be ready to play, but if she is not, next in line for the position is her compatriot Elena Dementieva.
"It's been a frustrating year for me physically, but I'm a great battler and I want to make it there."
See also: QuickShop: Sporting Goods - Martina Hingis - Anna Kournikova
Current WTA Results & Tennis News (tennis home page) - 2007 WTA Schedule with links & photos
Link to hundreds of postmatch interview videos of WTA players at the 2007 WTA Player Interviews
: the current top 20 Women's Tennis rankings with player photos, links, and bio info.