2007 Sydney & Hobart WTA Singles Results Kim Clijsters & Anna Chakvetadze, Champions

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  WTA Jan 7-13

Medibank Int'l, Sydney, AUS
Sydney Int'l Tennis Ctr, Olympic Park
Tier II $600,000 - 28 players - outdoor: hard
Live Scores
WTA pdf.: draws & OOP - match notes
pics: Yahoo! Sydney - WTA
Sydney: radar - forecast - map
# 3 Amelie Mauresmo, # 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova
# 5 Kim Clijsters, # 6 Nadia Petrova

Moorilla Int'l, Hobart, Tasmania, AUS
Tier IV $170,000 - 32 players - outdoor: hard
Live Scores
WTA pdf.: draws & OOP
tourney: draw, .pdf
pics: WTA
Hobart: radar - forecast - map
# 13 Anna Chakvetadze
# 27 Anabel Medina Garrigues
# 28 Flavia Pennetta
# 30 Maria Kirilenko
Sydney-Canberra-Hobart tourney pages: 2006 - 2005 - 2004
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Hobart:
click for Chakvetadze news photo search
#13 Anna Chakvetadze
5' 7", 128 lbs, RH, 2H-BH
Sydney:
click for Clijsters news photo search
#5 Kim Clijsters
5' 8", 150 lbs, RH, 2H-BH

    On Friday in Sydney, Australia, in the final of the Medibank International, 23-year-old 3rd-seeded # 5 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, narrowly defeated last week's champ in Auckland, 21-year-old unseeded # 12 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia (residence: Bradenton, Florida, home of the Bollettieri Academy), 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4 (photo shown).

    Jelena held a match point when leading 5-4 in the 2nd set, but could not convert. Kim said: "That's tennis, it's never over. I was down match point, so it's easy to think it's over, but you should never think like that. You should always try to find a way to make the next point better. Even if you make a mistake, don't think about it any more, just refocus and forget about it and just start all over." WTA story - Reuters story

    Jelena missed a backhand volley that would have given her two more match points in the 2nd set. Jelena said: "I was just so excited, I wanted to make a winner but I pushed it too long. That was a key point for me. When I lose like this, when I had everything, it hurts a little bit more.
    "Anyway, it shows that I can compete against the best. I showed that I can beat the best players in the world, and hopefully I'll join them soon."

    2005 US Open champ Kim is now 34-15 in WTA singles finals; 2006 US Open semifinalist Jelena is 2-5. Kim also leads Jelena 6-0 in career matches, but Jelena, who has been playing her best tennis lately, has been gaining on Kim, and their two matches last year also went three sets.

    Meanwhile in Hobart, the capital of Aussie island Tasmania, in the final of the Moorilla International, 19-year-old top-seeded # 13 Anna Chakvetadze from Moscow, Russia, defeated another Muscovite, 19-year-old qualifier # 71 Vasilisa Bardina, 6-3, 7-6(3) (photo shown ).

    Anna had strained a stomach muscle late in her semifinal match on Thursday, but said it was OK and did not affect her play.
    Having gone through qualifying, Vasilisa won 7 consecutive matches to reach the final. Vasilisa said: "I tried to play well but I was so tired. I'm glad that it's my best result, and hopefully it won't be my last [final]."
    Vasilisa will face off against this week's Sydney champ, # 5 Kim Clijsters, in the 1st round of the Australian Open on Monday or Tuesday, while Anna will play # 56 Sybille Bammer. Anna said: "I have a flight at six in the morning tomorrow so probably I'll sleep all day and then have a practice on Sunday. When you win a tournament it's a pleasure. It's Tier Four, but it's a win and it feels good." WTA story - Reuters story

    It was the first time that Vasilisa had been beyond the quarterfinals of a WTA tourney, while Anna is now 3-0 in WTA singles finals, having won the titles in Moscow and Guangzhou last year, both in straight sets. Anna and Vasilisa had never before met on the field of WTA combat, although they did play once in juniors competion.

    (Jan 4, 2007) Both tourneys this week are used the new WTA drawsheet form, which is not improved over the previous form in any way whatsoever, but is in fact much worse. Rankings are displayed only for the seeded players, and are not shown for the rest of the draw (the old form displayed the rankings of all participants). Words are not sufficient to describe how stupid this is. Why would we not want to know the player's rankings? Ridiculous.

WTA SCOREBOARD: Sydney & Hobart

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

Medibank International,  Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

    Sydney: The main draw for Sydney has 8 seeds, with 4 1st-round byes.
    There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw.
    Qualifying (3 rounds) starts on Friday, qualifying finals are on Sunday.
   
International Tennis Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia
Int'l Tennis Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney, AUS - click for sat pic
Latitude: -33.854985 Longitude: 151.072665 goto link for World Wind
Olympic Park map, .pdf - Sydney Map

    Start times: Mon-Thu 11am,
Sat 7:30pm


    The time in Sydney is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +11 hours (Pacific Time+19, often=the next day, 5 hours earlier; ET+16). Australia news

click for WTA photo gallery   click for Petrova news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search   click for WTA photo gallery   click for WTA photo gallery
On Saturday in Sydney, Francesca Schiavone autographed a few balls while doing the player rep deal at the main draw...
On Sunday in Sydney, Nadia Petrova told the assembled members of the media why it is obvious that the green Gatorade is far better than the orange and yellow varieties, while Kim Clijsters indicated how many times per hour she is being asked if she is really going to retire later this year at the ripe old age of 24... Later on Sunday, 1st-round opponents Martina Hingis and Jelena Jankovic, fresh arrivals from the Gold Coast and Auckland finals, were looking good during a party at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel
Sydney, 1st Rd, Sun-Mon 11am WTA Mon story
losers' prize: $3,855 US (2006: $4,175); points: 1
*#12 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #7 s5 Martina Hingis SUI 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 Mon

click for Jankovic news photo search click for Hingis news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search
Jelena's forehand, Martina lining up a slice backhand, Jelena driving one, and after match point

    Jelena said: "I just came from Auckland so I didn't have much time to recover, but I was quite proud of how I managed to pull through... obviously it's a great win and gives me a lot of confidence."

    Martina said: "Sometimes you just can't think of putting the ball in, you have to take the risk. And this is not my type of game to do that. I've always been more of the building up points. But today, even if you miss sometimes, you have to go for it, which is where I have to change the mentality.
    "[Jelena is] a great player. She's had some great wins, a great second half of the year last year making the semis at the US Open. We'll probably see her soon in the top 10." The Australian story

#8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS d #26 q Ai Sugiyama JPN 6(3)-7, 7-6(3), 6-0 Mon

click for Dementieva news photo search
Elena about to drive a backhand

#9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI d #97 q Vera Dushevina RUS 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 Mon

click for Schnyder news photo search     click for Dushevina news photo search     click for WTA photo gallery
Patty's forehand, Vera's backhand, and Vera modeling for the Sep 2006 issue of Bolshoi Sport,
7 pics from which can be seen at the WTA Photo Gallery

#10 s8 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #17 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-1, 6-4Sun

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Nicole serving, and Daniela and Nicole firing forehands

*#77 wc Nicole Pratt AUS d #11 Dinara Safina RUS 4-6, 6-3, 6-2Mon

    Nicole said: "Obviously I knew [Dinara] was in good form coming in from winning the Gold Coast, but I also knew she'd be a little tired, so I wanted to take advantage of that and make it a physical contest."

#14 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #157 wc Casey Dellacqua AUS 6-3, 6-4 Sun

click for Ivanovic news photo search     click for Ivanovic news photo search
Ana serving, and driving a backhand

*#21 Na Li CHN d #15 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-4, 7-5 Sun
*#80 q Yuliana Fedak UKR d #18 Marion Bartoli FRA 7-6(2), 6-2 Mon
*#20 Shahar Peer ISR d #19 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-4, 6-2 Sun

click for Peer news photo search
Shahar's forehand drive

#22 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #55 q Shuai Peng CHN 6-4, 7-5 Mon

click for Golovin news photo search     click for Peng news photo search     click for Golovin news photo search
Tatiana and Shuai launching backhands, and Tatiana, who managed a wardrobe change during a short rain delay, after match point

#23 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #1431 sr14  Elena Bovina RUS 6-3, 6-1 Mon
*#29 wc Samantha Stosur AUS d #24 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-1, 6-4 Mon

click for Zvonareva news photo search     click for Stosur news photo search
Vera's forehand drive, and Samantha's backhand

Sydney, 2nd Rd, Tue 11am WTA story
losers' prize: $7,230 US (2006: $7,820); points: 35
#3 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #22 Tatiana Golovin FRA 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-1

click for Golovin news photo search     click for Mauresmo news photo search
Tatiana's forehand, and Amelie's backhand

    Amelie said: "Tatiana gave me lots of trouble and maybe had opportunities to win the match. But it's the kind of match that's good for you. You can only get better, and it's good for the confidence. Physically I seemed to be all right in the third set, so a few positive things and a few things to keep working on."

    Tatiana said: "It was pretty much my first really tough match against one of the best players; I definitely had a lot of opportunities. I think I'm going to really learn from this match to be able to go after and beat the top players."

*#23 Katarina Srebotnik SLO d #4 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-2, retired-- respiratory infection

    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

#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #77 wc Nicole Pratt AUS 6-1, 6-2

click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Pratt news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim about to slice a backhand, Nicole volleying one, and Kim driving one

    Kim said: "It's always nice to have these kinds of matches at the start of a tournament. I'd played Nicole a few times in the past. When you play against her you have to be patient and wait for the right shot to go for a winner, and in the past I feel I didn't always do that. When you keep trying to hit the ball hard and go for winners on a lot of her shots, she plays better."

*#14 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #6 s4 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 4-2 retired-- abdominal strain

click for Petrova news photo search click for Ivanovic news photo search click for Ivanovic news photo search click for Ivanovic news photo search
Nadia about to drive a backhand, Ana swatting one, Ana after winning the 1st set, and Nadia telling Ana she's sorry she can't finish

*#21 Na Li CHN d #8 s6 Elena Dementieva RUS 3-6, 6-1, 7-5

click for Na Li news photo search
No photos of this match were available, so here are the 2006 Asian Games medalists after the awards ceremony on Dec 13:
Sania Mirza, silver medalist; Jie Zheng, gold; Na Li, bronze; and Aiko Nakamura, bronze

*#20 Shahar Peer ISR d #9 s7 Patty Schnyder SUI 7-6(3), 6-2

click for Schnyder news photo search     click for Peer news photo search
Backhand drives: Patty's lefty, Shahar's righty

#10 s8 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #80 q Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-3, 6-1

    Apparently, when the photographers saw Nicole and Yuliana walking oncourt, they all ran away.

#12 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #29 wc Samantha Stosur AUS 6-2, 7-6(2)

click for Jankovic news photo search
Jelena's backhand drive

    Jelena said: "I think [Samantha] has one of the best serves in women's tennis. It was so tough for me to break her, but sometimes I was lucky and I framed the ball. It was a tough match for me, but I gave it my best."

    Samantha said: "I think [Jelena will] be Top 10 probably by the end of the week. At the moment she's playing with so much confidence. She had a great last six months of last year, and she won last week in Auckland, and she just feels like she can't lose, which is hard to play against, as well."

Sydney, QFs, Wed 11am WTA story
losers' prize: $13,500 US (2006: $14,600); points: 70
*#12 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #3 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 7-5, 6-0

click for Jankovic news photo search click for Mauresmo news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search
Jelena puffing a forehand, Amelie's forehand, Jelena about to tee off on a backhand,
Jelena laughing at herself after an error, and after match point

    2006 US Open semifinalist Jelena, who also defeated # 7 Martina Hingis in the 1st round on Monday, trailed 0-3 at the beginning of first set--then won 13 of the next 15 games to take the match.

    Jelena said: "In a few minutes, I was already down 3-0; I made so many mistakes. But in the second set I found my rhythm and was just going for my shots and everything was going in. I felt like I could close my eyes and just hit the lines, especially my backhand. It worked really well... I'm so happy that I'm doing really well. I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year. I'm so happy that I won over the No.3 in the world. It's just great."

    Amelie said: "There's a lot of work to do in my game and physically; that's more this part that I'm concerned about than the fact I'm out of the tournament. I'd have loved to play one or two more matches, but still some work to do."

#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #20 Shahar Peer ISR 6-2, 6-1

click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Peer news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim driving a forehand with plenty of body rotation, Shahar running one down,
and Kim apparently answering a drop shot with the standard reply: another drop shot

    Kim said: "There's still a lot of things that I felt I could improve on. I didn't really get tested today, but when you play a match like this you don't look at your opponent, you just try to work things out for yourself. You try to come to the net a little bit more and I did that today. Gradually getting better and better."

#10 s8 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #14 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6-4, 6-2

click for Vaidisova news photo search     click for Ivanovic news photo search     click for Vaidisova news photo search
Nicole driving a forehand, Ana wondering what's for dinner after the match, and Nicole after match point

    Nicole said: "Ana's a great player, she's very dangerous; I knew I'd have to be playing my best today. She had chances to get back into it, at the start of the second set, but I managed to step up. I'm happy with my performance."

#21 Na Li CHN d #23 Katarina Srebotnik SLO 7-5, 6-1

click for Na Li news photo search     click for Na Li news photo search
Na's forehand drive, and after match point (no pics of Katarina could be found)

Sydney, SFs, Thu 11am WTA story
losers' prize: $25,240 (2006: $27,300) US; points: 125
#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #21 Na Li CHN 6-1, 1-6, 7-5

click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Na Li news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search     click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim serving, Na driving a backhand, Kim's forehand drive, and Kim after match point

    Kim said: "It's a good thing to get through matches like this. [Na] has definitely become a lot more consistent. Something she changed a lot is she does good things when she has to do it, whereas in the past, when it was getting close, she would make a few easier mistakes.
    "To me, she's the best Chinese girl out there. She's very powerful and moves well, has a good serve, and she's a good player. She's really improved a lot."

    Na said: "The weather was so hard today. After the first and second set, I felt like I lost something. Sitting in the locker room, I thought, 'Wow, how do I play the third set?' Because it was such hot weather."

    About her opponent in Friday night's final, 2003 Sydney champ Kim said: "Jankovic is a girl who has improved a lot. I played her a few times and every match she's become better. She looks more confident out there; she could get really uptight, like really angry at herself, and lose a few games - give them away by getting down. She's a lot more positive out there."

#12 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #10 s8 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

click for Vaidisova news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Vaidisova news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search
Nicole's forehand, Jelena running one down, Nicole's backhand, Jelena fielding another forehand, and after match point

    Jelena said: "I was really struggling, especially with the heat and everything. I was just telling to myself I have to hang in there and fight until the end, and that's what I did. Especially the fans, when it was the most difficult, when I really thought that I had no energy left, they kind of motivated me and pushed me."

    About playing Kim Clijsters in the final, Jelena said: "The last couple of matches that we had were really tough. It was a few points here and there, then I made a mistake.
    "I think I have a good chance, and if I play like I've been playing, I can do it. I won the tournament last week and maybe I can go for the second one."

Sydney, Final, Fri 7:30pm
loser's prize: $47,125 US (2006: $51,000); points: 190
winner's prize: $88,265 US (2006: $95,500); points: 275
#5 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #12 Jelena Jankovic SRB 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4

click for Clijsters news photo search click for Jankovic news photo search click for Clijsters news photo search click for Clijsters news photo search click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim running down a forehand, Jelena's forehand drive, Kim volleying a backhand,
Kim after match point, and Jelena thanking Kim for a good match
Sydney, Doubles Final, Fri after singles
losers' prize: $16,120 US (2006: $16,120)
winners' prize: $27,730 US (2006: $30,000)
cdr26 s4 Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Meghann Shaughnessy d cdr78 Marion Bartoli & Meilen Tu 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2)

click for Shaughnessy news photo search     click for Groenefeld news photo search
Meghann & Anna-Lena after match point, and hoisting the glassware

Sydney, Qual Finals, Sun Jan 7 11am
losers' prizes: q1 $595; q2 $1,105; qf $2,065
#26 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #82 Julia Schruff GER 6-3, 6-1
#55 Shuai Peng CHN d #68 Laura Granville USA 6-0, 6-2
*#97 Vera Dushevina RUS d #70 Jill Craybas USA 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
#80 Yuliana Fedak UKR d #120 Julia Vakulenko UKR 4-6, 7-5, 6-3

Sydney, Withdrawals
#1 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL personal family reasons

click for Clijsters news photo search
 
Morilla International,  Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

 

    Hobart: The main draw for Hobart has 8 seeds, with 4 1st-round byes.
    There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw.
    Qualifying (3 rounds) starts on Friday, qualifying finals are on Sunday.
   
Domain Tennis Centre, 2 Davies Av., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Hobart, Tasmania, AUS - click for sat pic
Latitude: -42.873719 Longitude: 147.32908 goto link for World Wind
Hobart Map

    Start times: Mon-Wed 11am,
Thu noon, Fri 6:30pm


    The time in Hobart is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) +11 hours (Pacific Time+19, often=the next day, 5 hours earlier; ET+16). Australia news
Hobart, 1st Rd, Sun-Mon 9am, Tue 10:30am (early start due to rain) WTA Mon story
losers' prize: $1,035 US; points: 1
#13 s1 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #52 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-0, 6-4 Sun
#27 s2 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #47 Elena Vesnina RUS 6-1, 6-3 Mon
#57 q Aiko Nakamura JPN d #28 s3 Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-5, 7-5 Mon
*#65 wc Sania Mirza IND d #30 s4 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-4, 6-4 Mon

click for Mirza news photo search     click for Kirilenko news photo search     click for Mirza news photo search
Sania and Maria delivering forehands, and Sania's backhand drive

#31 s5 Mara Santangelo ITA d #50 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 Mon
#32 s6 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #917 wc Jessica Moore AUS 6-2, 7-6(6) Mon
#33 s7 Jie Zheng CHN d #111 q Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-2, 6-2 Mon
*#42 Lucie Safarova CZE d #34 s8 Martina Muller GER 7-6(5), 6-2 Mon
*#40 Severine Bremond FRA d #35 Michaella Krajicek NED 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 Mon
#39 Olga Poutchkova RUS d #123 q Tzipora Obziler ISR 0-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) Mon-ppd-Tue
*#53 Romina Oprandi ITA d #43 Elena Likhovsetva RUS 7-6(3), 6-1 Sun-ppd-Mon
#49 Sybille Bammer AUT d #86 Ashley Harkleroad USA 7-6(2), 6-1 Sun-ppd-Mon
*#165 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #51 Jelena Kostanic CRO 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 Mon
#54 Catalina Castano COL d #85 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-3, 6-4 Mon
*#71 q Vasilisa Bardina RUS d #59 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-1, 6-3 Mon
*#95 Serena Williams USA d #62 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-4, 6-0 Mon

click for Serena Williams news photo search     click for Arvidsson news photo search     click for Serena Williams news photo search
Serena and Sofia about to belt backhands, and Serena after match point

    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 said: "I didn't play my best, but I'm a little rusty because I haven't played since the US Open, and only played four tournaments last year. Physically right now I'm feeling good. I'm taking it one day at a time. It's a new year and I'm being really positive about it."

    It's The Bat: 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.

Hobart, 2nd Rd, Tue 10:30am WTA story
losers' prize: $1,925 US; points: 15
#13 s1 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #39 Olga Poutchkova RUS 7-6(6), 7-5
*#49 Sybille Bammer AUT d #27 s2 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-4, 6-3
*#54 Catalina Castano COL d #31 s5 Mara Santangelo ITA 6-3, 6-2
*#165 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #32 s6 Alona Bondarenko UKR 6-3, 7-5

    Alicia said: "I was very happy with that match. I didn't let her hit many winners and my offensive game was on-song. I don't think I could be happier at this point in time. I don't feel it'll be too long before I will have some big wins, but again it's just taking care of the little things, just improving day-to-day."

#33 s7 Jie Zheng CHN d #40 Severine Bremond FRA 6-1, 6-3
*#95 Serena Williams USA d #42 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)

click for Serena Williams news photo search
Serena reaching for a backhand volley

    Serena said: "I spoke to [my sister] Venus before the match, she's played [Lucie] before and she said that she was a tough opponent. But Venus didn't give me any good pointers, actually. She told me some false information, so I'll be calling her back about that...
    "It's been a while since I won a tiebreaker and that was in the back of my mind. I thought 'I have to win this tiebreaker,' and more than anything that's what I was excited about, even more than winning the match. I was really happy to win because I wasn't ready to go home yet. I wanted to have at least one more match here before the Australian Open, so I was happy to win." Reuters story

*#65 wc Sania Mirza IND d #53 Romina Oprandi ITA 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-0

click for Mirza news photo search
Sania's backhand

*#71 q Vasilisa Bardina RUS d #57 q Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-4, 6-4
Hobart, QFs, Wed 11am WTA story
losers' prize: $3,580 US; points: 30
#13 s1 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #33 s7 Jie Zheng CHN 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
#49 Sybille Bammer AUT d #95 Serena Williams USA 3-6, 7-5, 6-3

click for Bammer news photo search     click for Serena Williams news photo search     click for Bammer news photo search
Sybille preparing to lightly tap a lefty backhand, and Serena and Sybille firing forehands

    Serena said: "I think [Sybille] played the match of her life. I'd never heard of her quite frankly. I didn't play that well and I made a lot of unforced errors. I think I'm a little rusty. You wish these players would play like this all the time instead of just against me. She played unbelievable."

*#71 q Vasilisa Bardina RUS d #54 Catalina Castano COL 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
#65 wc Sania Mirza IND d #165 wc Alicia Molik AUS 6-4, 6-1

click for WTA photo gallery     click for Molik news photo search     click for Mirza news photo search
Sania's principal weapon, her forehand, Alicia's forehand, and Sania after match point

    Sania said: "I was happy that I served well, that was my main concern. I knew I had to hold my serve, otherwise she'd have been all over me. I'm excited that I'm in my first tournament of the year and I'm playing the semis."

    Alicia said: "I was very impressed by Sania today. There's no reason she can't be there on Friday. She played exceptionally well. She probably has one of the biggest forehands in the game. She definitely hurt me with that shot of hers."

Hobart, SFs, Thu noon WTA story
losers' prize: $6,650 US; points: 50
#13 s1 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #65 wc Sania Mirza IND 6-4, 6-1

click for WTA photo gallery     click for Mirza news photo search     click for Chakvetadze news photo search
Anna's forehand drive, Sania's backhand, and Sania congratulating Anna after match point, and probably asking if she's feeling OK

    Anna had to call for the trainer late in the match. Anna said: "I pulled my stomach muscle, it was actually because of my back. It was hurting a lot, but I was 5-0 up and wanted to finish the match. If it was any other score I'd have pulled out. I couldn't serve and couldn’t run at all. Now it's okay, trainers worked well and now I feel good. I can even run so I will be ready for final tomorrow."

*#71 q Vasilisa Bardina RUS d #49 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-3, 6-1

click for Bammer news photo search click for Bardina news photo search click for Bardina news photo search click for Bardina news photo search
Sybille and Vasilisa driving backhands, Vasilisa looking all tense and nervous in her first WTA singles semifinal
as she hits a forehand volley, and Sybille congratulating Vasilisa after match point

    Having gone through qualifying, Vasilisa has now won 7 consecutive matches. Vasilisa said: "I don’t know how I got through all of these matches. My dream is to win a small tournament, then after that a big one. Now I'm in the final, maybe I can get my first dream."
    About her final opponent, Anna Chakvetadze, Vasilisa said: "We played juniors, but it was a long time ago so I don't actually remember. It will be an interesting match, because we're both the same age. She's played much better now than last year. I hope I'll play better."

Hobart, Final, Fri 7pm
loser's prize: $12,345 US; points: 80
winner's prize: $22,900 US; points: 115
#13 s1 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #71 q Vasilisa Bardina RUS 6-3, 7-6(3)

click for Chakvetadze news photo search   click for Bardina news photo search   click for Chakvetadze news photo search   click for Chakvetadze news photo search
Anna's forehand drive, Vasilisa's backhand, Anna's backhand, and after match point
Hobart, Doubles Final, Fri after singles
losers' prize: $3,640 US
winners' prize: $6,750 US
cdr75 s4 Elena Likhovtseva & Elena Vesnina d
    cdr29 s1 Virginia Ruano Pascual & Anabel Medina Garrigues 2-6, 6-1, 6-2

Hobart, Qual Finals, Sun Jan 7 10am
losers' prizes: q1 $175; q2 $300; qf $555
#57 Aiko Nakamura JPN d #119 Klara Zakopalova CZE 6-3, 6-3
#61 Agnieszka Radwanska POL v #71 Vasilisa Bardina RUS 6-3, 4-6, 0-1
#111 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #125 Yvonne Meusburger AUT 6-4, 6-3
#113 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI v #123 Tzipora Obziler ISR c1 m3

Hobart, Withdrawals
#37 Meghann Shaughnessy USA Sydney qualifying
#45 Jamea Jackson USA
#486 Chanda Rubin USA

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    (Jan 9, 2006) The Sydney 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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Link to postmatch interview videos of WTA players from Grand Slam tournaments at the 2006 WTA Player Interviews page.

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