2009 WTA Championships WTA Singles Results     Serena Williams, Champion

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  WTA Oct 26-Nov 1: WTA Champ's

WTA Championships
Doha, Qatar
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Champ's qualifying standings

#1 Dinara Safina
#2 Serena Williams
#3 Svetlana Kuznetsova
#4 Caroline Wozniacki
#5 Elena Dementieva
#6 Victoria Azarenka
#7 Venus Williams
#8 Jelena Jankovic
#9 Vera Zvonareva alternate
#10 Agnieszka Radwanska alternate

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Doha:
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#2 Serena Williams
5' 9" 135lb RH 2H-BH
Doha:
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#7 Venus Williams
6'1" 160lb RH 2H-BH
Doha:
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35th
WTA Singles Title

    On Sunday in Doha, Qatar, in the final of the 2009 WTA Championships, the 2001 year-end champion, 28-year-old 2nd-seeded #2 Serena Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, won the title again, by defeating her sister, the 2008 Doha champ, 29-year-old 7th-seeded #7 Venus Williams (same address) 6-2, 7-6(4) (both ladies are shown during the match, and Serena with the hardware afterward).

    Serena's prize is $1,550,000; Venus's prize is $580,000.

    Venus did not hold a break point against Serena during the match, while Serena converted 4 of 6 break points she held against Venus. Serena put 67% of her 1st serves in the box, and won 89% of her 1st serve points, including 5 aces, with no double faults (Venus: 50% in, 66% 1st serve points won, 1 ace, 3 DFs).

    Serena said: "Playing Venus in the finals was tough. Even though she wasn't feeling good, she was getting every ball back. I can't tell you how frustrating that is! Playing her is never easy. WTA story

    Serena had not won a title outside of Melbourne, Flushing Meadows and Wimbledon since April, 2008. Serena said: "Now my losing streak in tournaments that aren't Grand Slams is over! Coming out here and doing well is so exciting. I totally didn't expect to come here and win. My practice at home wasn't going so great, but I just kept fighting.."

    Venus said: "I have to congratulate Serena for playing a great match today and having a great tournament. Last year I was able to win Wimbledon and the Sony Ericsson Championships, and it felt great. This year I came close to winning both, but it just didn't work out for me. I'll just continue to learn from everything and, more than anything, continue to enjoy what I do."

    Serena now leads Venus 13-10 in career matches, and Serena also won their last three meetings: on a hardcourt in this year's Miami semifinals, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, on grass in the final of this year's Championships at Wimbledon, 7-6(3), 6-2, and on Wednesday in the round robin prelims in Doha, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4).

    11-time Grand Slam tourney champion Serena is now 35-13 in WTA singles finals; she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles this year, but had not reached a final since Wimbledon. Serena finishes 2009 with a 50-12 match record for the year.

    7-time Grand Slam tourney champion Venus is now 41-25 in WTA singles finals; she won the Dubai and Acapulco titles this year. Venus had a 38-16 match record this season.

Doha player's blog by Liezel Huber


2009 WTA Championships
Singles Round Robin Standings:

name in bold = clinched place in semifinals
White Groupmatches
W-L
sets
W-L
#8 Jelena Jankovic2-14-2
#4 Caroline Wozniacki2-14-4
#6 Victoria Azarenka1-24-4
#10 alt Agnieszka Radwanska1-02-1
#9 alt Vera Zvonareva0-11-2
#1 Dinara Safina0-10-2

Maroon Groupmatches
W-L
sets
W-L
#2 Serena Williams3-06-1
#7 Venus Williams1-24-5
#3 Svetlana Kuznetsova1-23-4
#5 Elena Dementieva1-22-5
        1st Alternate: #9 Vera Zvonareva
        2nd Alternate: #10 Agnieszka Radwanska

WTA SCOREBOARD: WTA Championships
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset
ranks are for the week of Oct 26

WTA Championships,  Doha, Qatar

 
tourney time:
   = GMT +4 hours
   = US ET +7hrs (final +8hrs)
   = US PT +10hrs (final +11hrs)

Qatar News


    WTA Championships: Eight players qualify for the WTA Championships: those who have amassed the most ranking points in the calendar year 2008. They play a 12-match round robin in 2 groups, and the top two players in each group advance to the semifinals.
 

click for broader view   Khalifa Tennis Complex
Latitude: 25.313125 Longitude: 51.51507 goto link for World Wind
Doha city map, .pdf - venue area map, .pdf - venue map, .pdf

    Centre court at Khalifa Tennis Complex holds 4,106 spectators. For the 15th Asian Games in December 2006, eight new training courts were built. More expansion was planned for the 2008 and 2009 WTA Championships.

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2009: On Sunday, October 25, in Doha, Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka,
Jelena Jankovic, row 2: Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina attended the draw ceremony at the Museum of Islamic Art...

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2009: On Monday players practiced, including 2008 Championships winner Venus Williams, Elena Dementieva, and Caroline Wozniacki...

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2009: Also on Monday, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka,
row 2: Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams played Meet the Press...

Doha WTA Champ's round robin, Tue 5pm AP story
#2 Serena Williams USA d #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 7-6(6), 7-5

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Serena serving to Svetlana, Svetlana driving a forehand, and Serena's backhand drive

    Svetlana failed to convert two set points in the tiebreaker. Serena said: "When I was down two set points, I was thinking about how I ruined it, because I had a chance to be up 4-1 in the tie-break. I missed some easy shots and started thinking about how I was going to three sets. Next thing I knew I was still in the tie-break. We both really wanted to win." WTA story

    Both of Serena's ankles were taped, and she had the right ankle retaped after the 1st set. Serena said: "I rolled it in the tiebreaker, and I was like 'Oh no!' But it turned out well."

    Svetlana said: "I think Serena played a good match. Compared to my other matches at the Championships, this was the best I played. I think her serve helped her win the match and I was a bit unlucky on a few points, but still it was a good match. I hope to do better in the next ones coming up."

#5 Elena Dementieva RUS d #7 Venus Williams USA 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2

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Elena serving to Venus, Venus and Elena driving forehands, and after Elena match point

    Elena, who had lost her last six meetings with Venus, finished with 15 double faults, but Venus more than made up for it with unforced errors, many on her backhand side (Venus usually hits more errors off her forehand).

    Elena said: "I was trying to fight for every point. I was trying to stay positive. It was very important to come back and win the tie-break. I think she was a little disappointed in the beginning of the third set and gave me a little bit of an advantage." WTA story

    Venus said: "[Elena] hung around and stayed in there. She kept the ball in the court and did really well. I didn't put the ball in the court, and that didn't help."

#6 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #8 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-2, 6-3

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Victoria twisting a serve Jelenaward, Jelena after launching a backhand on the run, Vika driving a forehand, and after match point

    Jelena had defeated Victoria in their last three meetings. Victoria said: "I had a good game plan today and followed it well. I was also rested. I didn't play the last few weeks so I had everything to give here." WTA story

    Jelena struck 33 unforced errors; Victoria hit only 15. Jelena said: "I struggled throughout the match. I made a lot of unforced errors. My game was completely off. That's part of the game though. Sometimes you want to play your best but it just doesn't happen. I just hope I can play better tomorrow, and I'll keep trying my best in this whole competition."


Doha WTA Champ's round robin, Wed 5pm
#8 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #1 Dinara Safina RUS 1-1 retired—back injury

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Dinara cringing a serve, and Jelena driving a backhand

    1st alternate Vera Zvonareva has replaced Dinara for her remaining White Group matches. Dinara's retirement means that Serena Williams will regain the #1 ranking next week.

    Dinara said: "It's a low back, between L4, L5. I have inflammation there, in the bone, inflammation. I've been having it already, I would say, started slowly since Portoroz. I've been playing on the pain, on antiinflammatory, on everything. So this been already for about three months, this pain...
    "Definitely there is no surgery. It's kind of starting of fracture on my L5. So this is just the time. You know, of course, it's the time, then it's the rehabilitation. I have to work on my muscles, on my core stability. As I'm tall, I need to be strong, that I can hold myself. This is going to be a very long procedure...
    "Let's say they give me six weeks until that I can start maybe play tennis. So, I don't know, from now on six weeks that I can start. So I don't know. I don't know exactly play tennis or maybe even start just doing condition...
    "I still didn't make any schedule. From now it's under question. So now it's gonna just be a matter of how my back is going." postmatch interview - AP story

#2 Serena Williams USA d #7 Venus Williams USA 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4)

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Serena serving to Venus, Venus launching a forehand on the run, and Serena driving a backhand

    The win gave Serena a commanding 2-0 lead in the Maroon Group of the round robin prelims.

    Venus failed to convert a match point while leading 6-5 in the 3rd set. Serena said: "It really could have gone either way. At the end of the third set she just started playing great. I was just trying to do what I could. I kept saying, 'I want to end this year No.1, so I'd better lift up the level of my game.'" WTA story

    Venus said: "Today was a close match. I definitely would have liked to win. It was almost three hours. I came close to winning. I feel like I played one loose point in the tie-break. I remained aggressive. It was kind of by one point."

#4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #6 Victoria Azarenka BLR 1-6, 6-4, 7-5

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Carolina serving to Victoria, Victoria driving a backhand, Caroline following a forehand, and after match point

    Victoria held serve to open the 3rd set. Then 8 consecutive breaks of serve were exchanged before Caroline held to reach 5-5. After Victoria fell behind 15-40 on her serve, she smashed her racquet, resulting in a penalty point (she had been given a warning earlier), which gave Caroline the break. Caroline then held serve again to win the match.

    Caroline said: "I just kept fighting. The crowd, especially the Danish people here, helped me through this. I knew I had to step it up after the first set, otherwise [Victoria] would just run over me. Now I just want to enjoy this great win and have a nice dinner with my friends and family." WTA story


Doha WTA Champ's round robin, Thu 5pm
#2 Serena Williams USA d #5 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-4

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Serena serving, Elena driving a backhand, Serena volleying a forehand on the run, and after match point

    Serena said: "It was definitely a match I had to be really focused for, because [Elena is] a really good player. She's one of those late bloomers where she tends to get better and better and better as every year goes on in her career. I was probably playing the most fit girl on tour." WTA story

    Elena said: "Serena was playing too well for me today. She's in great shape. The way she played against Venus last night was unbelievable."

*#7 Venus Williams USA d #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-2, 6(3)-7, 6-4

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Venus serving to Svetlana, Svetlana following a forehand, and Venus driving one on the run

    Venus said: "Svetlana just started to play really well in the second and third set. It's always great to win these kinds of matches." AP story

#4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #9 alt Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-0, 6(3)-7, 6-4

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Carolina serving, Vera following a backhand, Caroline about to swat one, in pain at 5-4, 30-30 in the 3rd, and after match point

    Caroline, who has been slowed by a left hamstring strain, suffered from cramps in her left leg during the 3rd set. She called for the trainer, and returned to play with less tape on the leg. While serving for the match at 5-4, she netted a forehand at 30-15, then grabbed her leg and dropped to the court with severe cramping pain. But she rose to finish the match, although in much pain during the final points.

    Caroline said: "I should have finished it off after being up, 6-0, 5-2, and after that [Vera] just started to play really well, really aggressive. I feel great that I won under these conditions though. I have absolutely no idea how I pulled it through, but I'm very happy about it. And after the match I got to cool down, get a massage... the medical staff was helping me, the physio, the doctors, everyone. That's really great. I'm going to do everything to recover for my next match." WTA story


Doha WTA Champ's round robin, Fri 5pm
#3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #5 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-3, 6-2

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Svetlana and Elena driving a forehand and backhand, and Svetlana after match point

    After her first two losses, Svetlana could not reach the semis. But her win on Friday took Elena Dementieva out of semifinal contention, and put Venus Williams in.

    Svetlana said: "There was still a lot to lose today. Doesn't matter if I don't qualify. There are ranking points, prize money, everything... it's still a lot. When I go on court, I bring my name. I definitely don't want to lose, no matter what... I just tried to play my game. I like playing Elena. I feel comfortable. I think I have an advantage when I play her." WTA story

*#8 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6-2, 6-2

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Jelena serving to Caroline, Caroline fielding a forehand, Jelena about to slice a backhand, and after match point

    Caroline, who has been slowed by a left hamstring strain, had played two 3-set matches the two previous evenings, and suffered from cramps in her left leg during the 3rd set on Thursday.

    Jelena said: "I didn't know what to expect from Caroline today. I watched her play yesterday and saw what happened. I just knew I had to win this one in order to get to the semifinals. I wanted to play aggressively and dictate the points, and not get into the long points, which I know she's really good at." WTA story

    Caroline said: "I didn't have anything left. I couldn't play like I wanted to. I definitely feel like I deserve to make it to the semis, but I did everything I could, and I fought the best I could. If I don't get there, it's just bad luck. It's the way it's supposed to be. I still have many more years in front of me."

    Caroline reached the semifinals despite the loss, because alternate #10 Agnieszka Radwanska defeated #6 Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 4-1 retired, when Victoria could no longer continue due to leg cramps. Jelena and Caroline finished the round robin with 2-1 records, Victoria wound up 1-2.

    Caroline is a friend of both Aga and Vika. Caroline said: "I feel so sorry for Victoria, because I know how she's feeling. It's never fun to pull out with an injury, especially in such a big tournament. But, of course, I'm in the semifinals, and I'm happy about that." WTA story

*#10 alt Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #6 Victoria Azarenka BLR 4-6, 7-5, 4-1 retired—cramps

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Agnieszka serving to Victoria, Vika and Aga driving backhand and forehand, and Vika congratulating & Aga consoling after the match


alternates prizes: $50,000
RR no wins prizes: $100,000 US; points: 105 - RR 1 win prizes: $200,000 US; points: 185
RR 2 wins prizes: $300,000 US; points: 265 - RR 3 wins prizes: $400,000 US; points: 345

Doha WTA Championships, SFs, Sat 4:30pm+
#2 Serena Williams USA d #4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6-4, 0-1 retired—abdominal injury

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Serena serving, Caroline launching a running forehand, and the ever-amiable Caro informing Serena that she cannot continue

    Caroline, who has been slowed by a left hamstring strain, and suffered from left leg cramping during her win over Victoria Azarenka on Thursday, was treated for an abdominal muscle injury during the 1st set. After breaking Serena's serve in the first game of the 2nd set, Caroline decided she could not continue in the match.

    Caroline said: "It was just too much for me to keep playing. I could either smile or cry, so I chose to smile. There's nothing else you can do. I had a great year. I did all I could. I used all the strength I had left." WTA story

    Serena said: "[Caroline] been struggling throughout the entire tournament. She's just an incredible fighter to come out here today and put up an effort...
    "I just came in here trying to do my best, and here I am." AP story

#7 Venus Williams USA d #8 Jelena Jankovic SRB 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

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Venus serving to Jelena, Jelena following a flying forehand, Venus driving a backhand, and after match point

    Venus and Jelena are now tied at 5-5 in career matches, but Venus won the last time they played, which was a year ago on the same court in the semifinals in Doha, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Jelena had won 5 of 6 matches against Venus prior to last year's Doha semis. The last eight encounters between Jelena and Venus have all gone three sets.

    Venus said: "The crowd really helped me through it. It was great. In the first set I couldn't feel the ball; coming back from not being able to get a ball in to beat such a consistent player like Jelena is great. It's my last tournament of the year so I'm giving 1000%." WTA story

Doha WTA Championships, Final, Sun 6pm
loser's prize: RR prize + $380,000 US; points: RR points + 180
winner's prize: RR prize + $1,150,000 US; points: RR points + 405
#2 Serena Williams USA d #7 Venus Williams USA 6-2, 7-6(4)

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Serena serving, Venus running running down a backhand, Serena driving one, and after match point

Doha WTA Championships, Doubles SFs, Sat 2pm
loser's prize: $93,750
Cara Black & Liezel Huber d Samantha Stosur & Rennae Stubbs 3-6, 7-6(3), (10-8)
Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Venus Williams & Serena Williams 2-6, 6-4, (10-8)


Doha WTA Championships, Doubles Final, Sun 8pm+
loser's prize: $187,500
winner's prize: $375,000
Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Cara Black & Liezel Huber 7-6(0), 5-7, (10-7)

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Nuria volleying a forehand as Maria Jose looks on, and Maria Jose & Nuria with the glassware
It is the 12th WTA doubles title for each, and their 7th as a team



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  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, White and Maroon (aka Burgundy—and the colors used for names have changed three times 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 will receive at least $100,000; the champion receives $1,150,000 (if they are undefeated in the round robin, otherwise somewhat less, a new twist in 2008).
    4 doubles teams also play, with no prelims.

    (Oct 5, 2009 updated) Doubles teams that have clinched postions in the 2010 WTA Championships are Cara Black & Liezel Huber, Venus Williams & Serena Williams, Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, and Samantha Stosur & Rennae Stubbs.

See also: QuickShop: Sporting Goods - Martina Hingis - Anna Kournikova

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 page.

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

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