"[Justine] took me to the umpteenth level. She clearly hasn't like lost a step at all since she's been gone... I don't think I served excellent. But I think when it was necessary, I served really well. And especially even in the first game, I think that first game was like 10 minutes. That game was important. I ended up holding. She had a couple breakpoints. I hit a couple bombs at the right time... Honestly, the longer the match goes the better my serve gets. So I felt like when I walked out there in the third set I was like, Okay, I'm going to start serving better."
"Of course disappointed, I mean, when you lose in the final of a Grand Slam, especially in three sets, and I got a few opportunities that I haven't been able to take. But this feeling of disappointment cannot take advantage on all the things I've done in the last few weeks. And it's just more than what I could expect for. I just have to remember that...
"I got a lot of breakpoints in the first set, and it was very difficult for me to break [Serena] in the first. And then the big opportunity in the beginning of the third set—I started to play much better at the end of the second, really aggressive. She was under pressure. She served unbelievable in that game. I was up 1‑Love in the third, and what happened if I could break her at that time... She served great at that time."
. Their previous encounter had been on a hardcourt in the quarterfinals at Key Biscayne in 2008, when Serena won, 6-2, 6-0. Before that match Justine had defeated Serena three times in a row, all in Grand Slam quarterfinals, most recently on a hardcourt in the quarterfinals of the 2007
, 7-6(3), 6-1.
is now 36-14 in WTA singles finals. She won the
titles last year. Serena's career singles match record is 459-98. She had a 50-12 match record in singles in 2009, and is 11-1 so far this season, losing only in the Sydney final, to Elena Dementieva.
was playing in her 12th match since returning this month after a year-and-a-half retirement. She is now 41-18 in WTA singles finals. Prior to her 2008 retirement, Justine spent 117 weeks as #1 in the WTA. She won her first WTA singles title in Antwerp in 1999, and her most recent in Antwerp in 2008, and won the 2003, '05, '06, & '07
. She has a 503-109 career record in singles matches. Justine now is 10-2 this season, losing only to Serena, and, in the Brisbane final, to Kim Clijsters.
Qualifying amounts are from 2009 (with the exchange rate now adjusted to the current level); the AO has not published 2010 qualifying prizes (note that 1st round amounts in AUD rose only $100, and doubles & mixed doubles prizes in AUD did not change).
WTA SCOREBOARD: The Australian Open at Melbourne
Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia
2010: Justine Henin, the 2004 Australian Open champion who has recently returned from a year-and-a-half retirement, took a break while practicing at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, January 12... on Wednesday, Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams were also caught practicing, as were row 2: Justine and 2008 AO champion Maria Sharapova... Maria also found time on Wednesday to model the earrings provided for her by a famous New York jeweler once frequented by Audrey Hepburn...|
2010: On Saturday, US Open champ Kim Clijsters met the press, as did 2009 Australian Open champion Serena Williams, who reporters that her troublesome left knee was ready to play singles & doubles... Aussie #1 Samantha Stosur was among the players practicing on Saturday... row 2: On Sunday, Kim, Serena and Samantha all had some laughs at the Hit for Haiti earthquake relief fundraiser, while 2008 AO finalist Ana Ivanovic, 2009 AO quarterfinalist Jelena Dokic, and Flavia Pennetta prepared for their 1st round matches...|
Australian Open, 1st Rd, Mon-Tue 11am
loser: AUD$19,500 = $17,556 US, 5 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #71 Urszula Radwanska POL 6-2, 6-1 Tue
Serena and Urszula driving forehand and backhand
Serena said: "I was happy to get through. The scoreline seemed to be easy, but it was a long match out there. Well, not long, but it was tough points. So I was just happy to get it over with...|
"[Urszula] plays really well. I can see that on the grass because her balls don't bounce. So it's kind of weird to kind of get in that rhythm. I think her game has definitely come on. I feel like she's more consistent. It's a different score than Wimbledon, but still I think that she's more consistent and a little better—a lot better." postmatch interview
#2 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #44 Magdalena Rybarikova SVK 6-4, 6-4 Mon
Magda and Dinara driving backhands
Dinara said: "I’m really happy to be back... It's still the beginning of the season, you know. Let's say it was not an easy first round match. [Magdalena is] a very good opponent. She plays very good. I had some good moments and bad moments, but overall I'm happy I went through, and I'm pretty satisfied with everything." AP story - postmatch interview|
#3 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #95 Anastasia Rodionova AUS 6-1, 6-2 Mon
Svetlana and Anastasia driving backhands
#4 s4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #34 Aleksandra Wozniak CAN 6-4, 6-2 ppd-Wed
Caroline after match point
Caroline said: "I had a tough opponent today, so I was really happy to get through. I was feeling confident on the court and comfortable...|
"I always just look one match at a time and I want to win and that's my goal. I try not to put more pressure on myself than I already do...
"My dad is still my main coach. Darren [Cahill, of the adidas Player Development Program] is still helping out sometimes. He's a great guy. And he comes with some good input sometimes." postmatch interview
#5 s5 Elena Dementieva RUS d #43 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-2, 6-1 Mon
Elena and Vera driving forehand and backhand
About the rain, Elena said: "I think it was a very difficult day for all of us. Ten hours waiting to come on court was quite difficult. I'm just glad that we were able to finish our match today. I have one day off tomorrow, which gives me some time to get ready for the next round." postmatch interview|
About playing former #1 Justine Henin in the 2nd round, Elena said: "She's coming back after such a long break, so she's unseeded here... I expect a tough match against her... We play lots of times before, but I think after such a long break, it's going to be all new. It's going to be a different match for both of us."
#6 s6 Venus Williams USA d #41 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-2, 6-2 Tue
Lucie and Venus driving backhands
Venus said: "I was playing a really talented player. Everyone knows how well Lucie can hit the ball. She definitely gets a lot of pace, and she's left—handed. We've had some tough matches in the past. Just wanted to stay focused and execute my game. Great way to start." postmatch interview|
#7 s7 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #118 wc Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-2, 6-0 ppd-Wed
Victoria's forehand drive
#8 s8 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #102 Monica Niculescu ROU 6-4, 6-0 ppd-Tue
Jelena driving a forehand, and Monica and Jelena driving backhands
Jelena said: "Always first matches are the toughest, especially after not competing for two months. It's nice to feel that rhythm again and feel that atmosphere and the pressure that you have from playing a real match. It's never the same when you are playing practice matches or doing practice drills on the court. But when you are out there, it's the real deal.|
"It took me a little bit to feel comfortable. I made some errors in the beginning, and then I just tried to stay calm and just tried to focus. Then I came back into the game.
"Second set, I figured out what [Monica] was doing and what I needed to do. That was basically it. I finished the job in two sets, and didn't need any more than that." postmatch interview
#9 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #109 Kristina Kucova SVK 6-2, 6-0 ppd-Wed
Vera and Kristina driving forehand and backhand, and Vera after match point
Vera's participation in this year's Australian Open had been in doubt due to injury. Vera tore ligaments in her right ankle last year at Charleston, and was troubled by related injuries for the rest of the season. In November she had ankle surgery to remove scar tissue. At Hong Kong 2 weeks ago Vera sprained the ankle again—but she looks as if she might be okay now.|
#10 s10 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #72 Tatjana Malek GER 6-1, 6-0 Tue
Tatjana and Agnieszka driving forehand and backhand
#11 s11 Marion Bartoli FRA d #97 Rossana De Los Rios PAR 6-4, 6-1 ppd-Tue
Rossana following a forehand, and Marion's backhand drive
#12 s12 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #68 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 Mon
Anna and Flavia driving backhands
#13 s13 Samantha Stosur AUS d #192 q Xinyun Han CHN 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 Tue
Samantha and Xinyun driving forehands, Sam driving a backhand, and after match point
Samantha said: "I think I served well, except for that second set. My percentage went way down, and then [Xinyun] had some more looks at second serves. She had nothing to lose at that point. She really stepped up, started going for some more shots.|
"I didn't really change anything, kept playing the same way. I was able to work that out the start of the third set. I wanted to hit the ball a bit heavier. When I got that opening to actually go for it, I had to step up and make some more first serves.
"I was able to do that. I was pleased I could go from playing well, dominating, not being in too much of a battle out there, losing that set, then being able to regroup and get through the third...
"I think [Xinyun] was actually quite a good player. Obviously she's starting out new on the tour. She's got good groundstrokes. I think her serve could improve a little bit. Her serve is not, you know, quite so hard and doesn't put a lot of pressure on you...
"She's very fast, gets a lot of balls back, and can step up, too. I think she'll be on the WTA Tour pretty soon and not playing so many ITFs." postmatch interview
*#59 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #14 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4 Mon
Maria S and Maria K driving forehand and backhand, Maria S after losing a point, and Li'l Masha shushing the crowd after match point
Although Maria Sharapova, trailing by two breaks of serve at 1-4 in the 3rd set, broke "Li'l Masha" back twice to get on serve again at 4-5, Maria Kirilenko then broke Sharapova once more to win the match. match stats|
Maria Sharapova said: "[I] had my chances and just didn't execute. When she was up and then I'd get back in the game, I just didn't take advantage of that and let her control the situation again... I thought I served pretty big. I don't think that was the reason I lost the match today. I served big when I had to. I served big second serves...
"She changes the pace a lot. She just has a little bit of a different type of game. Today she was just able to execute many things really well." postmatch interview
Maria Kirilenko said: "I think it's one of the best wins for me... In the first set I was a little bit late. She was playing so aggressive, and I kind of made defensive play. And then I start to feel much better in the second set actually. I start to feel that I can be aggressive, as well. I did more winners than in first set. And from that point, I start to feel that 'I'm playing good from the baseline and I can beat her.'
"I had a knee problem last year, actually here in Australia. It was not so good. Actually after Wimbledon I start to make some treatment. It's really helped me. Since that time, I have a less pain on my knee. For example, today I played three and a half hours, and I didn't even have a pain. And I was moving quite good, I think...
"I'm practicing in Spain, in Valencia, and all the guys, coaches, they always saying 'vamos'. That's why, instead of saying, 'Come on,' I say, 'Vamos.'" postmatch interview
Asked why she put her finger to her lips after match point, as if to "shush" the crowd, Maria said: "That everything is calm, you know. Because, of course it's a great win, but it's only the first round I pass."
#15 s15 Kim Clijsters BEL d #134 q Valerie Tetreault CAN 6-0, 6-4 Mon
Valerie and Kim driving forehand and backhand
Kim said: "I think [Valerie] was a little bit intimidated by the court and the atmosphere a little bit, which is normal. If you haven't been in a situation like that—and I remember my first few times when I stepped out on center court—it's a little bit overwhelming. You kind of just want to block it out, but it's very hard to.|
"So she definitely played some tricky tennis. I would like to say she's an opponent that's very hard to read. She has a technique that's really hard to read. She served well. She served a lot better in that second set and she looked a little bit more comfortable." postmatch interview
#16 q Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #53 Alexandra Dulgheru ROU 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 Mon
Alexandra and Yanina driving forehand and backhand
Yanina said: "It wasn't my best match today. I made a lot of mistakes and never really came into the match where I played aggressive. Played a lot of rallies behind the baseline and made a lot of mistakes...|
"[Alexandra] played well also. She made me work for every point." postmatch interview
#17 s16 Na Li CHN d #252 sr83 Marina Erakovic NZL 6-2, 6-0 ppd-Wed
Na said: "I just walk out on the court, I saw all the fans [were for Marina]. So I was a little bit nervous.|
"The match beginning, I just tell myself, 'Don't play three set.' If play three set, maybe I got nervous. You never know who win the match you play three set. So on the match, I just tell myself, 'Hold on every point; don't give her chance.'" postmatch interview
#18 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #47 Alizé Cornet FRA 0-6, 7-5, 6-0 Tue
Francesca driving a forehand, and Alizé ready to swat one
*#60 Ekaterina Makarova RUS d #19 s18 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-2, 6-4 ppd-Tue
Ekaterina's backhand drive
#20 s19 Nadia Petrova RUS d #110 Edina Gallovits ROU 6-3, 6-4 ppd-Tue
#21 s20 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #108 q Shenay Perry USA 6-2, 6-3 Tue
Ana following a slice (which appears to be a drop shot), Shenay driving a forehand, and Ana's backhand drive
Ana said: "I was pleased with the way I played. The conditions were very tough. It was very cold and windy and a lot different than Brisbane or what I been used to. But I just tried to work my way through, just taking time, try to stay composed. I thought I played well and served good.|
"I'm very happy to have victory, because [Shenay] had lot of matches already. She's dangerous opponent. She likes to come in and serve and volley. Doesn't give you much rhythm or time." postmatch interview
#22 s21 Sabine Lisicki GER d #82 Petra Martic CRO 6-1, 6-4 Tue
#23 s22 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #86 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 ppd-Wed
Viktoriya and Daniela driving forehand and backhand, and Daniela after winning a point
*#77 Vania King USA d #24 s23 Dominika Cibulkova SVK 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5 Mon-rain-Tue
Dominika and Vania driving backhand and forehand
#25 s24 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP d #98 Evgeniya Rodina RUS 6-0, 6-0 Mon
*#93 Karolina Sprem CRO d #26 s25 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-3, 6-2 Tue
Anabel and Karolina following forehands
#27 s26 Aravane Rezai FRA d #56 Sania Mirza IND 6-4, 6-2 ppd-Tue
Sania and Aravane driving backhands
#28 s27 Alisa Kleybanova RUS d #58 Jelena Dokic AUS 6-1, 7-5 Mon
Jelena and Alisa driving forehands
Jelena said: "It was a poor performance. Yeah, very disappointed with today. This whole month hasn't been great. It's unfortunate and I would have liked to have played better. But in a way I'm glad it's over. I can move on. I have to really refocus on." postmatch interview|
*#62 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #29 s28 Elena Vesnina RUS 7-6(5), 6-4 ppd-Wed
#30 s29 Shahar Peer ISR d #65 Lucie Hradecka CZE 6(5)-7, 6-2, 6-1 ppd-Wed
Shahar driving a forehand
#31 s30 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR d #69 Ioana Raluca Olaru ROU 6-2, 7-6(6) Mon
#32 s31 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #123 q Kathrin Woerle GER 6-2, 6-2 ppd-Tue
#33 s32 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP d #91 Ayumi Morita JPN 7-5, 6-4 Tue
Carla and Ayumi driving backhands
#35 Jie Zheng CHN d #46 Shuai Peng CHN 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 Mon
Jie driving a forehand, Shuai's 2-handed forehand (with backhand grip), Jie following another forehand, and after winning a point
#36 Gisela Dulko ARG d #109 q Zuzana Kucova SVK 6-0, 5-7, 7-5 Tue
*#74 Stefanie Voegele SUI d #37 Melinda Czink HUN 7-5, 6-7(5), 9-7 ppd-Wed
Stefanie driving a forehand
#38 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS d #79 Anastasija Sevastova LAT 6-2, 6-4 Mon
#39 Iveta Benesova CZE d #94 Kai-Chen Chang TPE 7-5, 6-2 ppd-Wed
#40 Agnes Szavay HUN d #104 Stephanie Dubois CAN 6-3, 6-2 ppd-Wed
Agnes about to swat a forehand
#45 Sorana Cirstea ROU d #146 wc Olivia Rogowska AUS 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 ppd-Tue
Olivia and Sorana driving forehand and backhand
*#88 Alla Kudryavtseva RUS d #48 Melanie Oudin USA 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 Tue
Melanie following a backhand, and Alla driving one
#49 Andrea Petkovic GER d #125 q Renata Voracova CZE 6-2, 6-4 Tue
#50 Sara Errani ITA d #89 Klara Zakopalova CZE 6-2, 7-6(5) ppd-Tue
*#116 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #51 Timea Bacsinszky SUI 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Mon
#52 Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ d #64 Kimiko Date Krumm JPN 6-4, 6-2 ppd-Wed
*#115 q Angelique Kerber GER d #54 Olga Govortsova BLR 6-3, 6-4 ppd-Tue
Angelique's backhand drive
#55 Sybille Bammer AUT d #92 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#57 Kaia Kanepi EST d #85 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 7-6(4), 6-2 ppd-Tue
#61 Petra Kvitova CZE d #78 Jill Craybas USA 6-1, 7-5 Tue
#63 Roberta Vinci ITA d #67 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 7-5, 6-4 ppd-Tue
#66 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE d #105 q Regina Kulikova RUS 7-6(5) 6-7(10) 6-3 Mon-rain-Tue
#70 Polona Hercog SLO d #168 q Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-4, 6-0 ppd-Tue
#73 Alberta Brianti ITA d #101 Varvara Lepchenko USA 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 Tue
#75 Julie Coin FRA d #186 wc Alicia Molik AUS 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 Tue
Alicia and Julie driving forehand and backhand
After winning the 1st set, Alicia had a 5-2 lead in the 2nd.|
Alicia said: "I just started thinking about a lot of other things. Getting off the court, cooling down. What I would say at the end of the match. Who we were playing in doubles tomorrow. All the things that you shouldn't really be thinking about on the court. My mind slipped away for a couple minutes and that was enough to let her back in the match. I didn't even know what happened at the end of second set." postmatch interview
#76 Julia Goerges GER d #182 sr59 Tamira Paszek AUT 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 ppd-Wed
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #80 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6-4, 6-3 Mon
Justine and Kirsten driving forehands, and Justine's backhand drive
Justine said: "It's been difficult conditions today. I've been lucky I could play [despite the rain]. I mean, so I was happy with that. In the match, it wasn't that easy because there wasn't a lot of rhythm. So I was feeling a bit with no energy at the beginning, you know, after the long wait. Slowly but surely in the second set I started to be a bit more aggressive, and I think I was better at the end.|
"But I'm glad this first round is behind me and that I can be focused on the next one... If I play Dementieva in the second round I'll have to play very good tennis. She's No. 5 in the world. So it's going to be a great challenge for me to play that kind of match very early in the tournament." postmatch interview
#81 Kristina Barrois GER d #84 Akgul Amanmuradova UZB 6-0, 7-6(6) Tue
#83 Elena Baltacha GBR d #106 Pauline Parmentier FRA 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Mon
Pauline and Elena driving forehand and backhand
Elena said: "My tactic was really trying to get to that forehand side. And I knew that she is very hot and cold, especially at the moment. I don't think that I kind of capitalized enough on that forehand... I had to really concentrate, because one, she hit an unbelievable forehand, and then she would hit a shank. You just kind of have to stick to your guns and just really believe what you're doing, just try to keep firing it." postmatch interview|
#87 Katie O'Brien GBR d #90 Patricia Mayr AUT 6-3, 6-3 ppd-Tue
Katie driving a forehand, and Patricia ready to slice a backhand
Katie said: "Delighted with the performance today. I knew it was a good opportunity. I had a good draw. But I had to go out there and compete, and that's what I did. I think I dictated the play today, made [Patricia] do the running. I think I wore her down. It was a good, solid performance." postmatch interview|
#96 Sandra Zahlavova CZE d #322 wc Coco Vandeweghe USA 6-0, 6-1 ppd-Tue
#99 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #132 wc Sesil Karatantcheva KAZ 6-1, 7-6(0) Mon-rain-Tue
#100 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #103 Galina Voskoboeva KAZ 6-4, 6-4 ppd-Wed
*#978 wc Casey Dellacqua AUS d #107 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 Tue
Casey driving a backhand
Casey said: "For a couple years I played with a really bad shoulder. Got to the point where obviously I had to have surgery.|
"Just really good to be back playing tournaments. I had a long year out of game. This is what I love to do. It's great to be back out there. To get a win today was good." postmatch interview
*#139 q Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #114 wc Jarmila Groth AUS 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 ppd-Wed
Sofia and Jarmila driving forehand and backhand, and Sofia after match point
Australian Open, 2nd Rd, Wed-Thu 11am
loser: AUD$31,500 = $28,359 US, 100 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #61 Petra Kvitova CZE 6-2, 6-1 Thu
Serena serving, Petra driving a backhand, Serena launching one on the run, and after winning a point
Serena said: "I thought today was a little bit better than my match in my first round. I felt like I was moving better and I had better energy... I felt like I could have actually played a lot better today. [Petra] was definitely taking it to me, though. That was really good for me to play a lady like her." postmatch interview - match stats|
#2 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #66 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE 6-3, 6-4 Wed
Dinara driving a forehand, and Barbora reaching for one
Dinara said: "In some moments I played not bad, but it's good that I win the match and still there is so much room to improve. That's such a good thing, you know deep inside you have so much more to bring out. I think the serve was pretty good today. And that I won. In the next match I can do a little bit more and more." postmatch interview|
#3 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #38 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS 6-2, 6-2 Wed
Svetlana's forehand drive
#4 s4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #76 Julia Goerges GER 6-3, 6-1 Thu
Caroline following a forehand, Julia and Caro driving backhands, and Caroline after match point
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #5 s5 Elena Dementieva RUS 7-5, 7-6(6) Wed
Justine and Elena following flying forehands, Justine volleying a backhand, and after winning a point
Justine was playing in her 2nd tourney, and 7th match, since returning from a year-and-a-half retirement this month.|
Justine said: "It was a great match. It was very emotional for me on the court at the end because there was so much intensity. To play this kind of match in the second round, for me, after two years off in a Grand Slam, it's just the kind of situation that I needed. The crowd gave me so much. So respectful at the end. It was a special night tonight. That's why I probably came back on the tour, was to live this kind of matches...
"We both fought very hard. It was great fight. I think maybe my game at the net. Maybe I took the opportunities a little more, attacking. It was the key. Both of us, we tried to hit the ball very hard, long. I've been able to play a lot down the line, which I think was a little of a surprise for [Elena]. She doesn't like it that much. But she tried to do the same thing. So there was a big fight." postmatch interview
Elena has been playing very well, with straight set wins over #1 Serena Williams, #2 Dinara Safina, and #7 Victoria Azarenka last week. However, Justine now leads Elena 10-2 in career matches.
Elena said: "[Justine] was playing very well. She was moving well, hitting hard. Just doesn't feel like she had the break...
"I was not playing deep enough. So I just let her dictate the whole game. That's not the way I was planning to go on the court." postmatch interview
#6 s6 Venus Williams USA d #55 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-2, 7-5 Thu
Venus driving a backhand
Venus said: "Playing two lefties in the first two rounds is little unusual. But I was up for the challenge. She's a really good player and really good athlete. Her game is a little bit different from most people, so really have to be a little more patient because she's kind of hitting a kind of a moonball almost. It's a little bit different, so I just had to just make sure I stayed on my rhythm. Happy to be through." postmatch interview|
#7 s7 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #74 Stefanie Voegele SUI 6-4, 6-0 Thu
Victoria and Stefanie driving forehand and backhand
#8 s8 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #87 Katie O'Brien GBR 6-2, 6-2 Wed
Jelena and Katie driving forehands, Jelena driving a backhand, and after match point
#9 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #39 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-0, 6-3 Thu
Vera and Iveta driving backhand and forehand, and Vera visiting penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium
#10 s10 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #88 Alla Kudryavtseva RUS 6-0, 6-2 Thu
Agnieszka launching a forehand
#11 s11 Marion Bartoli FRA d #96 Sandra Zahlavova CZE 6-4, 6-4 Wed
Sandra's conventional forehand, and Marion's 2-handed forehand with backhand grip
*#16 q Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #12 s12 Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-6(2) 6-1 Wed
Yanina and Flavia driving forehand and backhand
Yanina said: "I think in the first set I made a few mistakes. I didn't serve really well the first set. I broke her a few times, got broken again. I think I just played almost a perfect match in Auckland [defeating Flavia in the final], which you don't play the perfect match every day, every week...|
"I played a very good second set and I played a really good tiebreak. I think that was important today. But I'm really glad to beat her because she's a great player." postmatch interview
#13 s13 Samantha Stosur AUS d #81 Kristina Barrois GER 7-5, 6-3 Thu
Samantha serving, Kristina driving a forehand, Samantha driving a backhand, and after match point
Samantha said: "I was actually really pleased with the way I played today. Thought I moved well and hit my forehand really well. Probably could have probably knuckled down a little harder once I got at break in the first. Apart from that, really happy with the way I played. Even the end of that first set really knuckled down and got that set. Second set I thought I played pretty well and continued it." postmatch interview|
#15 s15 Kim Clijsters BEL d #99 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-3, 6-3 Wed
Kim driving a forehand, and Tammy and Kim driving backhands
Kim said: "I feel good... I'm good enough on the day to beat my opponents. It's not with my best tennis yet, but hopefully I can save that when it's really necessary.|
"Tammy was very tricky. I haven't played her for a few years. I was actually surprised to see she was still playing. But she's very tricky. Very hard to read her game, as well. Tricky serve. There's not much on it. But she doesn't give you anything where you can just step in and hit a lot of winners or really go for a lot. So I just had to kind of be patient, wait for the right shot to go for it." postmatch interview
#17 s16 Na Li CHN d #40 Agnes Szavay HUN 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 Thu
Na said: "[Agnes] was play good in the first set, and also I miss a lot of ball... I was also 3-1 down in the second set, so I think I couldn't do that. If I do, maybe I have to booking flight ticket for tomorrow. So I was trying to calm down, and then I play back many ball as I can...|
"I was shower and I still think, 'Is it real,' because I couldn't believe because she had match point...
"Tough to play [Daniela Hantuchova in the 3rd round] because we are good friend. Of course, we have to fighting on the court, because opponent. We can say hello after or before, but I don't think she want to say hello on the court."
The Chinese National Tennis Federation formerly managed the careers of all Chinese players, collecting their earnings and then giving the players a percentage. Na and three other players including Jie Zeng have been released from this system, manage their own careers, and keep most of their earnings.
Na said: "If they need me, I can take everything back to the national team. I would like to say thank you for Federation that gave me choice... I also can [choose the tournaments I play in]. If I'm lazy, I can take a day or week off." postmatch interview
#18 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #75 Julie Coin FRA 6-3, 6-4 Thu
#20 s19 Nadia Petrova RUS d #57 Kaia Kanepi EST 6-4, 6-4 Wed
*#36 Gisela Dulko ARG d #21 s20 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6(6)-7, 7-5, 6-4 Thu
Ana driving a forehand, Gisela, looking like she'll slice this one, and after match point
Gisela took a 5-1 lead in the 3rd set, but Ana then broke Gisela's serve twice. Gisela won on her 6th match point by breaking Ana's serve once more at 5-4.|
Ana said: "I was really disappointed to fight back in the third set and then make a couple of double faults and basically hand [Gisela] three match points, then having to fight back. [The serve] was definitely an area that let me down." postmatch interview - match stats
*#73 Alberta Brianti ITA d #22 s21 Sabine Lisicki GER 2-6 6-4 6-4 Thu
#23 s22 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #139 q Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-4, 6-1 Thu
Daniela and Sofia driving forehands, and Daniela after winning a point
*#35 Jie Zheng CHN d #25 s24 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 Wed
*#115 q Angelique Kerber GER d #27 s26 Aravane Rezai FRA 6-2, 6-3 Wed
Angelique driving a forehand
#28 s27 Alisa Kleybanova RUS d #45 Sorana Cirstea ROU 6-4, 6-3 Wed
Sorana and Alisa driving forehand and backhand
#30 s29 Shahar Peer ISR d #100 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 6-1, 6-4 Thu
Shahar driving a backhand
*#83 Elena Baltacha GBR d #31 s30 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR 6-2, 7-5 Wed
#32 s31 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #70 Polona Hercog SLO 6-4, 7-5 Wed
#33 s32 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP d #49 Andrea Petkovic GER 6-1, 6-4 Thu
#50 Sara Errani ITA d #60 Ekaterina Makarova RUS 6-2, 6-3 Wed
*#62 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #52 Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ 6-7(5) 6-2 6-0 Thu
#59 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #116 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT 6-3, 6-1 Wed
Maria driving a forehand, Yvonne and Maria driving backhands, and Maria after match point
#63 Roberta Vinci ITA d #77 Vania King USA 7-6(7), 7-5 Wed
*#978 wc Casey Dellacqua AUS d #93 Karolina Sprem CRO 7-6(4), 7-6(6) Thu
Australian Open, 3rd Rd, Fri-Sat
loser: AUD$52,000 = $46,816 US, 160 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #33 s32 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP 6-0, 6-3 Sat
Serena driving a forehand
Serena said: "I felt like I played okay. I still feel like I can do better. I think my forehand was solid today. I liked it today a lot." postmatch interview|
#2 s2 Dinara Safina RUS d #83 Elena Baltacha GBR 6-1, 6-2 Fri
Elena and Dinara driving forehand and backhand
Dinara said: "I think it was very solid match from my side. I played good. Pretty satisfied with everything I did...|
"Overall my game is trying to put pressure on opponent, not that they put pressure on me. So I was manage to dictate from the first point of the match. I think it was going everything right. And during the match I was trying to do it more and more, to give [Elena] less, less time." postmatch interview - match stats
Elena said: "It was a great experience for me to play the world No. 2. You know, all credit to Safina. I think she played really well today. It was difficult because I don't play top 10 every week. I knew for me to get anywhere near her, I'd have to play very, very well.
"And she put a lot of pressure on me out there today, especially on my serve. I knew if I didn't get the first serve in, you know, then she was gonna be all over my second serve. I had to put a little more on the second serve. I was serving a little more double-faults than my last couple matches... I would have liked to have played much better...
"I think the start of the year has been fantastic. I've qualified in Auckland, qualified in Hobart, beat Chakvetadze last round, and made the third round this week. It's a complete and utter positive." postmatch interview
#3 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #115 q Angelique Kerber GER 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Fri
Svetlana and Angelique driving forehand and backhand
#4 s4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #30 s29 Shahar Peer ISR 6-4, 6-0 Sat
Caroline and Shahar driving forehand and backhand, and Caro after match point
Caroline said: "The serve percentage was really high today, and I was really pleased about that. Felt like I was serving well and winning a lot my points on it. But I think some days you serve well and some days you serve less good. All in all, it was a good performance...|
"[Shahar] started really well. She was changing the rhythm, and it was difficult for me just to get into the match. I just kept fighting, hanging in there, and in the end it turned out that I just had that extra gear." postmatch interview
#6 s6 Venus Williams USA d #978 wc Casey Dellacqua AUS 6-1, 7-6(4) Sat
Casey driving a forehand, Venus launching a backhand on the run, and after match point
Venus said: "[Casey] was my third lefty in a row, which is a little unusual. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the rhythm of playing right handers. But I think she played really well in the second set. I had a lot of chances to go up breaks at 4-1 or 5-2, and she just hung in there and kept playing tough. That kind of play and experience will really serve her well throughout the year and her career." postmatch interview|
Casey said: "I had a few chances in the first and some breakpoints at different times. Probably didn't play the biggest points as well as Venus did... I've got a lot of things in my game that I want to keep getting better. One of those things is being more aggressive and moving forward into the court and not being pushed back too far... That's what the top girls do." postmatch interview
#7 s7 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #62 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-0, 6-2 Sat
Victoria and Tathiana driving forehands, and Vika reaching for a backhand
*#32 s31 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #8 s8 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-2, 6-3 Fri
Alona and Jelena driving forehands, and Alona after match point
Jelena said: "In the beginning of the first I thought I had some opportunities, and [Alona] came up with some good shots from the defense.|
"Then the momentum went in her way in the beginning, which allowed her to get some confidence. Especially coming into this match I think I had 8-0 or something against her.
"I struggled. I didn't serve well, and my opponent played really well. But I didn't raise my level of play and couldn't really find my rhythm in my game today. So overall struggled. I fought. I tried to come back. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen for me...
"It's just beginning of the year. It's no big deal. It's only my second tournament of the year. And I'm a player who likes to play a lot of matches. The more I play, the better I get, and the more dangerous I get." postmatch interview - match stats
#9 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #36 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-1, 7-5 Sat
Gisela following a forehand, Vera driving a backhand, and after match point
*#18 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA #10 s10 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 6-2, 6-2 Sat
*#35 Jie Zheng CHN d #11 s11 Marion Bartoli FRA 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 Fri
Jie driving a forehand, Marion's backhand drive, and Jie after match point
It was the 3rd straight match that Jie has won after losing the 1st set.|
Jie said: "I want to win the first set, you can see. I force it. I have the will. In the 5-all, serve game, have the two point I play not so good. So I lost the first set.
"Today I know is so tough match. But I really want win the match because I lost [to Marion] in the last year in the semifinal in Montréal. But today I think the whole match I try to focus for every point. This is very good for me I win this match."
About her 4th round opponent, Alona Bondarenko, Jie said: "Next match is more tough because I lost to her in last week [Hobart QFs, 7-5, 7-5]. She win the tournament for last week. I watch the match for her today. She played unbelievable, so..." postmatch interview
#13 s13 Samantha Stosur AUS d #73 Alberta Brianti ITA 6-4, 6-1 Sat
Samantha serving, Alberta and Samantha driving forehands, and Sam after match point
Samantha hit 25 winners (including 11 aces) with only 19 unforced errors (2 double faults). Samantha said: "Very pleased with the way I was able to, from 3-2 in the first set, kind of step it up a gear. In the second set from 2-1, felt great, and went for a few more balls, and served well the whole match...|
"I'm gonna hit some errors when I'm going for the balls as well... I'm not worried about how many errors I'm going to hit if I'm going to hit the same amount of winners." postmatch interview
In the 4th round on Monday, Samantha will play the 2009 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, 28-year-old top-seeded #1 Serena Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Serena leads Samantha 2-1 in career matches. The first time they met, in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Samantha was returning from illness, and Serena won easily, 6-2, 6-0. Their second meeting was on a plexipave hardcourt last year in the 1st round in Sydney, when Serena edged out Samantha, 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5. Samantha won their most recent meeting, on a hardcourt in last year's Stanford quarterfinals, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
*#20 s19 Nadia Petrova RUS d #15 s15 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-0, 6-1 Fri
Nadia serving, Kim driving a forehand, and Nadia about to connect with a backhand
Nadia said: "I was preparing myself already a long day, a long match. Might have been a three-setter. Just really wanted to give everything I could today. Very happy...|
"When I broke her again in the second set, then I realized, 'This is like a two-set match for me,' and I just start cruising through it...
"I played very well. I didn't give her chance for her to start playing her game. I really put pressure from the first point. I stayed close to the line. I was really observing her pace. Also coming up with the big shots. I made very difficult for her. She had to come up with something unbelievable." postmatch interview
Kim said: "I was completely off. I think tennis-wise, I didn't feel the ball at all. On the other hand, [Nadia] was good. But I made all the mistakes and she didn't really have to do much. She served really well and was aggressive in the rallies, but that's because I let her play into the courts. Just because I wasn't feeling the ball well...
"Matches like this, maybe it happens once a year where you feel like this. But you don't want it to happen more than this because then it's not a coincidence." postmatch interview
#16 q Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #50 Sara Errani ITA 6-1, 6(4)-7, 6-3 Fri
Sara and Yanina driving backhands
Yanina said: "The first set I felt really well. Going on court, I had treatment before, so my back was really feeling well. And then I really started playing really well. Played a perfect first set.|
"Second set in the beginning my back was still fine. From 2-all, started feeling really bad. Got really tense again. So I called the physio after the second set, got some painkillers. I think after three games it started working a little bit, so I think that really helped my back. But it didn't really feel well...
"I don't move really super when my back is hurting. So I move a lot faster when my back is fine. My aggressive game is more easy when my back is loose and everything feels good.
"Those two points are pretty important in my game. Serve felt pretty good. Just the end of the motion hurted. Serve was okay. But moving into the court was a lot of pain today." postmatch interview
#17 s16 Na Li CHN d #23 s22 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 Sat
Na said: "After second set, she go change room, so I have time to calm down and then to think about how I can win the point. So I have a lot of time to think. So I calm down, and then just play safe ball back." postmatch interview|
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #28 s27 Alisa Kleybanova RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Fri
Alisa serving, Justine running down a forehand, and after match point
Justine said: "I'm happy I'm in the fourth round. I kind of survived a little bit today. But it's always good to win this kind of match because I came back from nowhere. It was so difficult for me after last match. Physically I suffered a little bit in the last two days. I wasn't feeling the energy enough to be able to compete at my level. I've been patient. Slowly but surely it was better. And [Alisa] was dangerous because when you need the rhythm, especially because physically you're not feeling well, she put a lot of pressure serving well. That wasn't the kind of game that would help me come into the match. But finally I did it. So I'm very happy that I'm still in the tournament, that I have another chance to get better in the next round...|
"I wasn't at my level, of course. And she was doing a great job. But I wasn't able to put the pressure on her and to take the opportunities and to be consistent. It was hard for me to move. It was hard for me to find the energy. But she was doing a very good job at that time. Then I just tried to wait for the opportunities. She started to serve not that good at the end of the second set. I took my chances. In the third, it was much better. Was able to express myself a little bit more...
"I face a few issues. And my body suffered a lot. It's not used to it anymore. I didn't have 48 hours. It's been quite short to recover. Not enough sleep. I slept terribly. I was in bed at 2 when I beat Dementieva. I slept five hours. Not that much last night. When I woke up this morning, I felt 'It's going to be tough today, because I'm tired.' I'm happy. I'm sure I'll have time enough to recover and feel much better in two days than today.
"I was ready for a tough match. I was ready mentally, emotionally and physically it would be difficult. I have a bit of inflammation in my leg. I hope it's not going to get worse in the next 48 hours. I think it's generally I need to recover from that. I'm pretty positive these two days I have are going to help me now." postmatch interview
#59 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #63 Roberta Vinci ITA 7-5, 7-6(4) Fri
Maria following a forehand, Roberta driving one, Maria driving a backhand, and after match point
Australian Open, 4th Rd, Sun-Mon 11am
loser: AUD$89,000 = $80,127 US, 280 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #13 s13 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-4, 6-2 Mon
Serena serving, Samantha and Serena driving backhands, and Serena after match point
Serena said: "It's important when you're playing a local girl to not let the crowd get too involved or else they'll kill you. That was the plan to not let them get involved...|
"I think today it was all about the serve. Honestly I'm just hoping I can serve again like that, because that was pretty cool... I knew going into the match I had to serve well against Sam. She's a big server and even though she's not as tall, she serves incredibly well. I know that I had to serve well today...
"I knew she was capable. She beat me last time and anything can happen. So she's a really, really good player and so dangerous. I was like, you have to be focused when you're playing Sam, for sure." postmatch interview
Samantha said: "[Serena] played very well today. Actually thought I played well and I felt good out there. But when someone's playing that aggressively and not giving you anything at all, she's pretty hard to beat...
"I thought I served well. I thought I stood my ground pretty well during the few rallies that we were able to get into. Everything that I had set out and wanted to try and play like today, I thought I did that pretty well...
"But like I said, she played better. If I was able to play against any other player, then maybe I would have won today. I'm still pleased with the way I went out there and fought hard and did what I could do." postmatch interview
*#59 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #2 s2 Dinara Safina RUS 5-4 retired—low back injury Sun
Dinara and Maria driving forehand and backhand
Dinara said: "My back again. It suddenly hit me. It was getting worse and worse. I have no idea really how it could happen. It's really, really terrible...|
"I felt a little bit stiff in practice like during the serve, but nothing serious. My doctor told me I could sometimes have some discomfort in that spot, as I had bone edema, maybe I could not use full power. As long as I can play match, it can happen and I can have discomfort, but he said no pain, nothing...
"Yesterday I had treatment. Today I warm up, it was fine. I was cooling down, and I start to feel a little more pain. Suddenly I played a long game at 3-2. I won the game. I turned to my coach. I said, I cannot move anymore...
"I have to go back to Germany to my doctor to speak with him. I mean, I did MRI before I came here, and my bone edema was getting much smaller..." postmatch interview
Maria said: "Of course I feel very bad. I think to get injury is the worse thing that you can get on the tournament. I saw that something happened, but I couldn't understand what really. Then she told me that the spine, something happened with the spine. She had it before already so... I'm feeling bad for Dinara really." postmatch interview
*#20 s19 Nadia Petrova RUS d #3 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Sun
Nadia serving, Svetlana and Nadia driving backhands, and Nadia after match point
Nadia said: "Instead of giving opportunity for [Svetlana] to put pressure on me and dictating the game, I took everything in my hands. This time I felt also much fitter. I knew it doesn't really matter how long the match would go for, I still had a lot of energy. I'm sure sometimes I even surprised her, how well I was chasing the balls...|
"I think it has a lot to do with my pre-season. I had six weeks of hard work. I really took my fitness to another level, especially because of last season has been difficult with the injury." postmatch interview
About the 3rd set, Svetlana said: "I had advantage. I had Love-30 the second game on my serve. I fight back. I had advantage. I had 40-30. I served to [Nadia's] backhand and she just returned it too good. I lost that game and I stopped a little bit.
"I was disappointed losing serve. I still was thinking about service game. By then she already won her serve and everything start to go so fast. I played bad game at 2-1, she broke me. She started to get more confident. And me, I lost confidence. I was very frustrated. That was the main mistake for me. I had to hold at 1-Love...
"She played good. I give credit to her. It's the best I seen her play last two years I think, but I didn't deserve to win because I was not playing good enough. I was doing too many unforced errors. I didn't serve good. I was just struggling to find my game." postmatch interview
*#17 s16 Na Li CHN d #4 s4 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6-4, 6-3 Mon
Na driving a backhand, Caroline running down a forehand, and Na signing autographs after the match
Na said: "I was play aggressive today. I know [Caroline is a] good player, and I also I play her last week in Sydney. So it was tough match. I know if I give her a chance, maybe she just beat me. So I was trying to hold on every point. I didn't want to give her chance." postmatch interview|
Caroline hit only three winners in the entire match. Caroline said: "I had my chances, especially in the first set leading all the time. Had my chance for 5-2. I didn't take it. Then [Na] started well with the new balls... She's taking the ball early and hitting pretty hard...
"There's a long year ahead of me. Now I'm going to go and practice and work even harder and come back stronger hopefully... Today I was playing well at some points, less good at some others. I need the consistency." postmatch interview
Na will play Venus Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals on Wednesday. They have met only once before, on a Deco-Turf hardcourt in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when Na won, 7-5,7-5.
#6 s6 Venus Williams USA d #18 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 Mon
Venus serving, Francesca running down a forehand, Venus following a backhand, and after match point
Venus won despite putting only 52% of her 1st serves in the box, with zero aces and 5 double faults (Francesca: 63%, 5 aces, 4 DFs). match stats|
Venus said: "[Francesca] played really well in the first set. I have to give her credit. She just played really aggressively. She was making her shots, doing everything she needed to do to win the match. But obviously it takes a lot to close out a match, especially on an important match like that one. I was able just to get some footing back in and start to execute the way I wanted to." postmatch interview
#7 s7 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #9 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 Mon
Victoria drivng a forehand, Vera and Victoria driving backhands, and Vika after match point
Victoria said: "I think I'm a little bit different player right now. I think I did some improvements in my off‑season that I really needed, especially mentally with my shots. I just think I just got tougher mentally also. That no matter what moment, I'm still gonna fight, still gonna try to play my best tennis, and it really helped me." postmatch interview|
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #16 q Yanina Wickmayer BEL 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3 Sun
Justine serving, Yanina firing a flying forehand, Justine driving a backhand, and after match point
Justine said: "The first set asked me a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. Then the beginning of the second set, I slow down a little bit. [Yanina] didn't give me a lot of points at that time. And she played very good tennis.|
"Just tried to stay calm. At the end of the second set, it was difficult mentally to stay in the set. But started to be really focused on the third set. I got the opportunity to start it pretty well, and that's what I did. It was important to put the pressure early in the third set. Finally I could keep my serve.
"I served very well today. I'm very happy about that. In the third set, I've been aggressive enough, and there was a good tennis. So glad the way I finished. Really it's a great feeling to be in the quarters. I enjoyed my time on the court. It wasn't an easy match. I was expecting a tough match. That happened. I'm glad I could come through." postmatch interview
Yanina said: "I think I had my chances in the first set. I started off a little nervous. It was new, playing that court. It was a big match for me, so I started off a little nervous. I think I did a good job hanging in there the first set and finding my rhythm.
"Second set I think I played great. I really did what I had to do, got aggressive. I got broken in the first game, third set... I must say [Justine] served really well during the whole match, but especially in the third set. She put a lot of pressure.
"But I try to keep doing what I was doing. I'm glad the way I handled the pressure and the way I handled the match. I think I did a good job." postmatch interview
*#35 Jie Zheng CHN d #32 s31 Alona Bondarenko UKR 7-6(5), 6-4 Sun
Jie serving, Alona running down a forehand, Jie driving a backhand, and after match point
Alona had defeated Jie a week ago in the Hobart, Tasmania quaterfinals, 7-5, 7-5.|
Jie said: "I think my body and mind is ready today for tough match. Because I know [Alona] is very tough player because she just win the last week Hobart. I tried keep fighting to force it, so I'm happy for today I do the will...
"I think Australia is lucky for me because I win the first Grand Slam doubles title in Australia. So I'm so happy I'm in quarterfinal of Australia [singles] also." postmatch interview
Australian Open, QFs, Tue-Wed 11am
loser: AUD$200,000 = $180,060 US, 500 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #7 s7 Victoria Azarenka BLR 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 Wed
Serena serving to Victoria, Victoria and Serena following flying forehands, and Victoria congratulating Serena after match point
Serena now leads Vika 4-1 in career matches, and also won their previous meeting, on a chlorophyll court in the quarterfinals of last year's Championships at Wimbledon, 6-2, 6-3.|
Serena struck 57 winners in the match, including 17 aces, and hit 38 unforced errors, including only one double fault (Vika: 22 winners, 1 ace, 24 errors, 5 DFs). match stats
After winning the 1st set, Victoria had a 4-0 lead in the 2nd. Serena said: "I wasn't playing my best, especially in the first two sets. I definitely think I played well in the third... I was down the whole match from the first point until the end... [Victoria] was playing so well. She's obviously young and does well. She's no pushover, that's for sure." postmatch interview - AP story
Victoria said: "I think I played good tennis today. It was very high level of tennis from both of us. But what can you do? I had chances. I had opportunities. It wasn't many, but I didn't take it." postmatch interview
*#17 s16 Na Li CHN d #6 s6 Venus Williams USA 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 Wed
Na and Venus driving forehand and backhand, Na driving a backhand, and after match point
Na and Venus had met only once before, on a Deco-Turf hardcourt in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when Na also won, 7-5,7-5.|
Na said: "I'm nervous on the first set. Venus played aggressive in the first set. She didn't miss a lot ball. I was feeling more pressure in the first set. Then second set I was feeling a little bit better, but still was like 5-3 down. Then I just try to play more ball back. Maybe have chance and then I do it...
[In the 3rd set] she was 4-2 up. [I thought] maybe I just play more back and then move her running on the court. Maybe she's a little bit tired." postmatch interview
Venus broke Na's serve eight times during the match, but failed to hold her own serve nine times. match stats - AP story
Venus said: "I would have loved to have held serve more... [In the 2nd set, Na] obviously started to play a lot better. She obviously hits the ball so well. I give her a lot of credit for playing really well... She hits a good ball. She hits a low ball. Sometimes it's not as easy to move the low ball around as much." postmatch interview
The Chinese National Tennis Federation formerly managed the careers of all Chinese players, collecting their earnings and then giving the players a percentage. Na and three other players including Jie Zeng have been released from this system, manage their own careers, and keep most of their earnings.
A reporter surprised Na by asking "Until last year, you were paying 60% to the Federation, and now only 12%; is that correct?" to which Na said: "How did you know that?... It's true."
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #20 s19 Nadia Petrova RUS 7-6(3), 7-5 Tue
Justine driving a forehand, Nadia following a backhand, and Justine volleying one
Justine won 81% of her 1st serve points, and hit 20 winners with 26 unforced errors (Nadia: 72%, 16 winners, 41 errors). match stats|
Justine said: “At the end I played much more aggressive tennis. I didn’t want to go to the tiebreaker. I wanted to close out the match." AP story - postmatch interview
Nadia said: "It is my serve today. I've had quite a sore shoulder throughout all the Australian Open. Today has been really the worst day for me. I started with some pain and couldn't really get my serve going. I was double‑faulting a lot. I have a feeling I was just a little bit playing with my toss to avoid the pain.
"Other than that, little bit more unforced errors obviously today. But Justine really was trying to put pressure on me... She's definitely playing very good. She's playing more aggressively. She's playing closer to the line, really going after the second serves. I think she also did improve her first serve, as well." postmatch interview
#35 Jie Zheng CHN d #59 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-1, 6-3 Tue
Jie and Maria driving forehands, Jie driving a backhand, and after match point
Although Maria hit 18 winners with 22 unforced errors, Jie played even more cleanly, striking 16 winners with only 9 errors. Jie also converted 4 or 6 break point opportunities (Maria: 0 of 5 on break points). match stats|
Jie said: "Today I play more aggressive, make lots the winner. Looked like strong on the court." postmatch interview
Maria had to call for the trainer due to pain in her left leg. But, Maria said: "I lost today not because of my pain in my legs, just because [Jie] was playing much better than me today... She was running very well. I thought that I'm making winners, and she's there. Maybe I had to come more to the net today because on the baseline, I didn't have a chance. Plus for me was difficult to move. She was moving great, without any mistakes." postmatch interview
Jie will play Justine Henin in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday. They have met only once before, on a Deco-Turf hardcourt in the 3rd round in Toronto in 2005, when Justine won, 6-2, 6-4.
Jie and Na posed for pre-semifinal photos on Wednesday...
it is the first time two Chinese players have reached the singles semis in a Grand Slam tourney
Australian Open, SFs, Thu 1:30pm+
loser: AUD$400,000 = $360,120 US, 900 points
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #17 s16 Na Li CHN 7-6(4), 7-6(1)
Serena watching her serve fly Na-ward, Na running down a forehand, Serena volleying one on the move, Na driving a backhand,
Serena following a forehand, Na's forehand drive, Serena following a backhand, and after match point
Serena hit 33 winners, including 12 aces, with 24 unforced errors, only 2 of which were double faults (Na: 21 winners, 1 ace; 38 errors, 6 DFs). match stats|
Serena now leads Na 4-1 in career matches, and won their last meeting, on a hardcourt in the 1st round at Stanford last year, 6-3, 7-6(6). Their three prior matches all went three sets. Na's win over Serena was on a indoor hardcourt in the 2nd round at Stuttgart in 2008, 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Serena said: "[Na] was such a fighter, so it was good... She has everything from really a serve, which you might not think, but she has a really good serve, to both great backhand and forehand." postmatch interview
Na said: "Not so bad [smiling]. I lose the match, of course, I was a little bit sad. Stop in the semifinal. But, good day for my tennis. I was play well today also." postmatch interview
About her opponent in Saturday's final, Serena said: "[Justine is] playing really well. She's doing great. It will be good. I hope to serve well. But regardless, I'll have to do other things well, too."
*#NR wc Justine Henin BEL d #35 Jie Zheng CHN 6-1, 6-0
Justine serving, Jie driving a forehand, Justine seen through Jie's racquet as Jie drives a forehand, Jie driving a backhand,
Justine's forehand drive, Jie running down a backhand, Justine volleying one, and after match point
Justine hit 23 winners, including 5 aces, with only 14 unforced errors, 3 of which were double faults (Jie: 3 winners, 0 aces; 15 errors, 1 DF). Justine converted 6 of 11 break points against Jie; Jie did not score on any of the 3 break points she held against Justine. match stats|
Justine and Jie had met only once before, on a Deco-Turf hardcourt in the 3rd round in Toronto in 2005, when Justine won, 6-2, 6-4.
Justine said: "I've been playing a lot of tough matches in the last two weeks, it was best to recover today. I knew it could be a dangerous match. Grand Slam semifinal... I knew I had to be really careful about that match. I've been very focused, very concentrated. I did my job perfectly well. That worked pretty good.
"That's a great feeling, of course. Very excited about what's going to come up for me, and can't wait for it now." postmatch interview
Jie said: "I think she play so well today. For me, so surprise. She look like not second tournament [back after a year and a half retirement]. I think the first set, start serve game, she not feeling so well. I have two time the breakpoint, but not convert. And after this she plays super. I never have chance." postmatch interview
About her opponent in Saturday's final, Justine said: "[Serena is] a real fighter. Never gives up. And I think she really helped the game to come at another level. And she really helped women's tennis a lot. She's still there with an amazing attitude. I think we respect each other a lot for that. We're both real fighters. We want to win. And I think maybe we helped each other to get better. So it's a good one."
Australian Open, Final, Sat cRL 7:30pm
loser: AUD$1,050,000 = $945,315 US, 1400 points
winner: AUD$2,100,000 = $1,890,630 US, 2000 pts
#1 s1 Serena Williams USA d #NR wc Justine Henin BEL 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Serena serving to Justine, Justine firing a flying forehand, Serena's forehand drive, Justine driving a backhand,
Serena lining up a backhand, Justine's forehand drive, Serena driving a backhand, and after match point
Australian Open, Doubles Final, Friday cRL 3pm|
losers' prize: AUD$225,000 = $202,567 US
winners' prize: AUD$450,000 = $405,135 US
*s2 Serena Williams & Venus Williams d cdr2 s1 Cara Black & Liezel Huber 6-4 6-3
Venus & Serena, their 4th Australian Open
Australian Open, Mixed Doubles Final, Sun cRL 4pm
losers: AUD$67,230 = $60,527 US; winners: AUD$134,460 = $121,054 US
s1 Cara Black ZIM & Leander Paes IND d Ekaterina Makarova RUS & Jaroslav Levinsky CZE 7-5, 6-3
Australian Open, Junior Girls Final, Sat cRL m2 (1st match at 1pm)
wta#223 s6 Karolina Pliskova CZE d wta#406 Laura Robson GBR 6-1, 7-6(5)
Laura and Karolina driving backhand and forehand, and Karolina with the hardware
Australian Open, Junior Girls' Doubles Final, Fri cSC3 m3
*Jana Cepelova SVK & Chantal Skamlova SVK d s1 Timea Babos HUN & Gabriela Dabrowski CAN 7-6(1) 6-2
Australian Open, Qualifying Finals, Sat Jan 16 10am
qualifier gets 60 points; losers' prizes: q1 AUD$2860 = $2575 US 2pts
q2 AUD$5710 = $5141 US 40pts q3 AUD$11,440 = $10,299 US 50pts
#16 Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #135 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-0, 6-0
#105 Regina Kulikova RUS d #128 Ksenia Pervak RUS 7-6(3), 6-1
#108 Shenay Perry USA d #131 Vesna Manasieva RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
#109 Zuzana Kucova SVK d #130 Julia Schruff GER 6-4, 6-4
*#125 Renata Voracova CZE d #112 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 7-6(2), 0-6, 6-1
#115 Angelique Kerber GER d #129 Michaella Krajicek NED 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
#116 Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #153 Bethanie Mattek-Sands USA 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
*#134 Valerie Tetreault CAN d #120 Masa Zec Peskiric SLO 6-3, 6-3
#123 Kathrin Woerle GER d #143 Bojana Jovanovski SRB 6-2, 4-6, 9-7
#139 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #167 Anna Floris ITA 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
#168 Yuliana Fedak UKR d #202 Kristina Mladenovic FRA 7-6(8), 7-6(4)
#192 Xinyun Han CHN d #205 Anastasia Pivovarova RUS 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4
Australian Open, Withdrawals, Non-entries
#42 Patty Schnyder SUI achilles tendon injury
Justine made the announcement on Belgian television; prominent Belgian newspapers had earlier declared that Justine was ready to reveal her intention to return.
Three months notice are required for players returning from retirement, to meet anti-doping rules, so Justine's return to WTA play will be in Australia next January. Justine will play exhbitions in Charleroi, Belgium, and in Dubai, to prepare for next year.
; after that she will have earned ranking points in 3 tourneys (required minimum for an "entry ranking"). She intends to continue playing at least through the London Olympics in 2012, when she will be 30 years old.
"After 15 months of absence, I am pleased to announce to you that I’ve decided to begin my second tennis career. I don’t want to describe it as a comeback. It’s a new life that opens for me."
Justine retired on May 14, 2008. She had won 41 WTA singles titles, starting with Antwerp in 1999 and ending with Antwerp in 2008, including the 2003, '05, '06, & '07 French Open, the 2003 & '07 US Open, and the 2004 Australian Open. She had a 493-107 record in singles matches.
and the events leading up to it will be replaced, beginning in 2008, by a less cushioned surface created by the US company
Link to many postmatch interview & match highlight videos of WTA players at the
: the current top 20 Women's Tennis rankings with player photos, links, and bio info.