On Sunday in Bali
, in the final of the first WTA Tournament of Champions
, this year's champion in Strasbourg, 10th-seeded 22-year-old #44 Aravane Rezai
from St. Etienne, France, defeated this year's champ at Stanford & Monterrey, top-seeded 25-year-old #12 Marion Bartoli
of France (residence: Geneva, Switzerland), 7-5, retired
, when Marion could no longer continue due to a bad left quad strain (Marion is shown during the match, and Aravane, with the hardware, in traditional Balinese attire afterward).
Aravane's prize is $200,000; Marion's is $100,000.
"It’s a big surprise to finish like that and I’m very sorry for her. She looks like she hurt a lot and I hope it is not a big injury...
"[The match] was a good quality. It was a big level. We fight and it was pretty nice for the people watching. We are professionals and try to win the title, and that’s why it was a nice match.
"Winning here means so many things for myself. I proved to myself I can be at a much better ranking and much better player on the tour, and also prove to so many people, my family, my parents, my coach, that I can do better and better." tourney story
"I started to feel my leg was pretty tight in the middle of the set. I started to feel some pain all over my quads and I thought maybe it was the stress and no reason to be serious. But then it hurt me a lot, especially each time I had to push and put some weight onto my left leg it was really getting worse and worse and at the end I couldn’t continue.
"It was a good match and I’m very sad to finish like this. The last thing you want to do is injury yourself in the last match of the season. But what can you do? I was trying my best and perhaps it was just too much."
Marion and Aravane had met only twice before. On red clay in the 1st round at Roland Garros in 2007, Marion defeated Aravane 6-2, 6-4. And a few weeks ago, on a hardcourt in the 2nd round in Tokyo, Marion won again, 6-4, 6-2.
is now 2-2 in WTA singles finals; she reached the final in Auckland last year, and the Istanbul final in 2007. She has won 7 ITF singles titles. Aravane has a 44-23 record for the season.
2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion
is now 5-6 in WTA singles finals, winning twice this year and three times in 2006. Marion has a 50-22 match record in 2009.
|2009 Tournament of Champions Singles Round Robin Standings: name in bold = clinched place in semifinals|
|#12 M Bartoli||2-0||42-0|
|#32 S Peer||1-1||2-2|
|#46 M Rybarikova||0-2||0-4|| || || ||
|#30 MJ Martinez S||2-0||4-1|
|#13 S Stosur||1-1||2-3|
|#42 A Szavay||0-2||2-4|| || || ||
|#101 K Date K||1-1||2-2|
|#28 A Medina G||0-2||1-4|
|#18 Y Wickmayer||1-0||2-0|| || || ||
|#44 A Rezai||2-0||4-1|
|#25 S Lisicki||1-1||3-3|
|#38 M Czink||0-2||1-4|
| Alternate: #48 Vera Dushevina; Group C (for Wickmayer); 1-0, 2-1
New Bali Tourney Format:
In 2009, the Bali tourney
will become The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions
, to be held from November 4-8 as the last event of the WTA season. At Bali, the top 10 players who have won at least one International Series
tournament during the year (tournaments with $220,000 prize money) and who are not
playing in singles at the previous week's WTA Championships
in Doha (where the 8 top players compete), along with two wild card players, will play in a round-robin format (4 groups of 3 players each). The four group winners will play in Saturday's semifinals.
The tourney will pay $600,000 in total prize money. If player wins three "International" tourneys during the season and
wins the Tournament of Champions
, they would receive a $1,000,000 bonus (unfortunately, no player will qualify for the bonus in 2009).
See also: QuickShop: Sporting Goods - Martina Hingis - Anna Kournikova
Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, Bali, Indonesia
= GMT +8 hours
= US ET +13 hours
= US PT +16 hours
Bali: At Bali, the top 10 players who have won at least one International tourney during the year, and who did not play in singles at the WTA Championships, + 2 wild cards, will play in a round-robin (4 groups of 3 players).
Commonwealth Bank Classic venue address:
Grand Hyatt Bali,
P.O. Box 53, Nusa Dua,
Tel: +62 361 77 1234 Fax: +62 361 77 2038
The Grand Hyatt Bali is located on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, close to Sanur, Kuta and downtown Denpasar, and 20 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Covering 40 acres and designed to resemble a Balinese water palace, the Grand Hyatt Bali features clusters of low-rise buildings and private villas among waterfall-fed pools and landscaped hotel gardens.
2009: On Monday, November 2, in Bali, players taking a break from preparing for the premiere Tournament of Champions to enjoy lunch at the Temple Garden in Nusa Dua included the two wild card entries in the tourney, this year's champ in Seoul, 39-year-old former #4 Kimiko Date Krumm, & this year's Charleston champ, 20-year-old Sabine Lisicki, and the Linz champ, 20-year-old Yanina Wickmayer...
Bali, RR Wed 2pm tourney story
#12 Marion Bartoli FRA d #46 Magdalena Rybarikova SVK 6-4, 6-4
Marion driving a backhand, and Magdalena volleying one
Marion said: "I’m really happy to win in two sets. I was quite happy with the level of the game. The conditions were pretty difficult because the court is very fast and it’s not easy to get used to it. There is only the one court and we are 12 players so you can’t get a lot of time to practice on it."|
#13 Samantha Stosur AUS d #42 Agnes Szavay HUN 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Samantha and Agnes driving forehand and backhand
#18 Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #101 wc Kimiko Date Krumm JPN 7-6(5), 6-3
Yanina about to connect with a forehand, and Kimiko following a backhand
Yanina said: "Until 3-0 [in the second set, Kimiko] was playing really well. She was really aggressive and serving better and running everywhere. But I kept on thinking it’s only one break and I just needed to win her serve once and keep serving well. I tried to serve well and get into the court more the way she did and kept fighting for every point.|
"She’s a really tough player, and I think this is one of her favourite surfaces where it goes really fast. She can take the ball really early. I knew I had to play my best tennis today to beat her and I’m really happy to beat her in two sets. I think she’s one of the fittest players on tour right now, and if she keeps playing for the next couple of years she’ll do really well."
*#44 Aravane Rezai FRA d #25 wc Sabine Lisicki GER 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Aravane and Sabine driving forehand and backhand
Aravane said: "It was very difficult at the beginning because [Sabine is] a very tough player, hitting the ball very strong and fast. After the first set I had some advice from my coach. He told me to be stronger and to fight. It was tough, but I told myself it’s my last chance and I had to win the second set or it was too late. I tried to play more intelligent and to move her side to side and not miss my first serve...|
"Everything [in Bali] is very perfect. For me it’s a little bit strange that there’s no doubles lines [on the court], but it’s okay. I didn’t have any problem. The people are nice, the court is perfect and everything is great. Everything is great. I love it here. I didn’t have time to be at the beach yet but I will for sure. People are so nice here that I feel I’m at home."
Bali, RR Thu 2pm tourney story
*#101 wc Kimiko Date Krumm JPN d #28 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-4, 6-3
Anabel and Kimiko driving backhands
Kimiko said: "I’m very excited because I didn’t know if I could win this match today, but I fought for every point and had very clear tactics. I tried to force [Anabel's] backhand and mix it up, hitting down the middle and then out wide."|
#30 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP d #42 Agnes Szavay HUN 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
Agnes following a forehand, and Maria Jose driving one
#32 Shahar Peer ISR d #46 Magdalena Rybarikova SVK 6-1, 7-6(4)
Magdalena watching her slice backhand fly, and Shahar about to drive one
*#44 Aravane Rezai FRA d #38 Melinda Czink HUN 6-3, 7-5
Aravane following a forehand, Melinda about to swat one, and Aravane after match point
Aravane trailed 1-5 in the 2nd set, then won six straight games to reach the semis. Aravane said: "It was very tough, a very difficult set. Mentally I was down and it was difficult for me to continue fighting. [Melinda] was pushing the ball very strong and coming to the net, and she was very aggressive during the middle of the second set. At 5-all I said okay, I have nothing to lose and it’s better to fight. I knew she is not very strong on the very important points and I played on that and on those points I tried to be stronger."|
Aravane's 2-0 finish in Group D guarantees her a place in the semifinals on Saturday. The winner of the Marion Bartoli-Shahar Peer match on Friday will represent Group A in the semis, and the winner of the Samantha Stosur-Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez match will represent Group B. If Yanina Wickmayer defeats Anabel Medina Garrigues on Friday, then Yanina will take the Group C spot in the semis; if Anabel defeats Yanina, then Anabel, Yanina, and Kimiko Date Krumm will all finish at 1-1, and tiebreakers (sets won, games won...) will be applied.
Bali, RR Fri 2pm tourney story
#12 Marion Bartoli FRA v #32 Shahar Peer ISR 6-3, 6-2
Marion serving, Shahar following a forehand, and Marion after match point
Marion said: "I had to stay really focused at the end because there are so many matches against Shahar when I was winning a set and 4-1 or 3-0 and she was coming back to beat me in three sets. I guess the game when I was 4-2 up and 15-40 down and still held my serve I think was really important. My groundstrokes were really strong and deep and I was not doing a lot of mistakes from the baseline, and I think my power was pretty high so I was putting a lot of pressure on her. I think it helps when you hit a lot of winners and few mistakes, usually you win the match."|
*#30 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP d #13 Samantha Stosur AUS 7-6(4), 7-5
Samantha driving a forehand, Maria Jose ready to swat one, and after match point
Maria Jose held match points when leading 5-2 in the 2nd set, but Samantha recovered to reach 5-all.|
Samantha said: "[Maria Jose] played very well today and I played well, and it’s just one of those things. It’s not like there was anything glaringly obvious. It was just a couple of points here or there or a couple of returns here or there, and before you know it the match is over.
"I definitely felt I was back in the match, to get to 5-all. The momentum changed. I had a few opportunities the whole match, but she hit good serves or I missed a return or something like that. But when I was in those circumstances I did what I should have been doing and although it didn’t come off most of the time today I still think I did the right thing."
Maria Jose said: "It was a really tough match. It was really close in both sets. In the second set I was winning easier because [Samantha] was serving not so good as in the first set, but you’ve never won until the last point. She was fighting and fighting and in one moment I was doubting."
#25 wc Sabine Lisicki GER d #38 Melinda Czink HUN 6-2, 6(1)-7, 6-4
*#48 alt Vera Dushevina RUS d #28 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
Vera serving, and Anabel about to connect with a forehand
Kimiko Date Krumm was awarded a place in the semis after the withdrawal of 20-year-old 3rd-seeded #18 Yanina Wickmayer from Deurne, Belgium. US Open semifinalist Yanina voluntarily withdrew from the tourney after having been suspended from play for one year by the Flemish Doping Tribunal for allegedly violating World Anti-Doping Association "whereabouts" rules. Yanina will reportedly appeal the suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Reuters story|
The "whereabouts" rule states that athletes must notify anti-doping officials every day, seven days a week, of a specific location where they can be reached for 60 minutes that day in the event that the officials want to perform a drug test. Yanina allegedly failed to notify officials three times, and a failure to notify three times within an 18 month period is a violation calling for suspension under current rules. WADA: Whereabouts Requirements Q&A, .pdf
Because Kimiko had defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues in their head-to-head match, she was automatically awarded the Group C spot in the semifinals. Alternate Vera Dushevina, who played in place of Yanina on Friday—and won—could not qualify for the semis because she played only one round robin match.
loser's prizes: RR no wins: $15,000 US, 70 points; RR 1 win $32,500 US, 160 points; RR 2 wins $50,000 US, 250 points
Bali, SFs, Sat 2:30pm tourney story
losers receive RR prizes
#12 Marion Bartoli FRA d #101 wc Kimiko Date Krumm JPN 6-1, 6-3
Kimiko driving a forehand, Marion following one, and Marion after match point
Marion said: "Until 6-1, 5-1, it was absolutely perfect. Then Kimiko started to play really well. She was swinging freely and hitting some really great shots. It wasn’t my level going down, it was her playing too good. But I knew I just had to win one more game and that’s what I did...|
"The games were quite tough and the level was not that big a difference. So I was really trying to play each ball with the best accuracy as possible and the best power as possible see how it goes."
Kimiko said: "I like this surface, but I think [Marion] likes it more than me, and I think she likes my ball also, very flat. If I can play with more spin I think she would have more trouble, but that’s not my tennis. In the beginning I tried to hit more angles, using the backhand slice and dropshot, but her ball is very deep so it’s difficult to hit them. And I made too many mistakes, and if I didn’t hit the right angle she could attack."
*#44 Aravane Rezai FRA d #30 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP 6-2, 6-3
Aravane about to fire a forehand, Maria Jose driving a backhand, and Aravane after match point
Aravane said: "It was a pretty good match. I’m very happy. I felt like I played very well, no mistakes. Today was perfect. [Maria Jose] played a game that I really like. She came to volley [at the net] a lot of times and one of my best shots is passing, so me it was easier to play this shot, hitting flat and down the line. So her game was perfect for me."|
Bali, Final, Sun 2:30pm
loser's prize: $50,000 US + RR prize $; points: 170 + RR points
winner's prize: $150,000 US + RR prize $; points: 350 + RR points
*#44 Aravane Rezai FRA d #12 Marion Bartoli FRA 7-5 retired—left quad strain
Aravane driving a forehand, Marion and Aravane following backhands, and Marion after her injury
#18 Yanina Wickmayer BEL after 2nd RR day
Stacey Allaster said: "...The Flemish Doping Tribunal has informed Yanina Wickmayer that effective immediately they are suspending her from competition due to three filing failures under the Belgian anti-doping whereabouts programme." tourney story|
Current WTA Results & Tennis News (tennis home page) - 2009 WTA Schedule with links & photos
Link to many postmatch interview & match highlight videos of WTA players at the 2008 WTA Player Videos
: the current top 20 Women's Tennis rankings with player photos, links, and bio info.