2011 Australian Open Tennis WTA Singles Results     Kim Clijsters, Champion

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  WTA Jan 17-29: Australian Open

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#1 C Wozniacki, #2 V Zvonareva
#3 K Clijsters, #5 V Williams
#6 S Stosur, #7 F Schiavone
#8 J Jankovic, #10 V Azarenka
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Melbourne:
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#11 Na Li
5'7" 143lb RH 2H-BH
Melbourne:
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#3 Kim Clijsters
5' 8" 150lb RH 2H-BH

photo: Aussie Margaret Smith Court won 62 Grand Slam titles during her career, 24 of them in singles, including 11 Australian national titles.
      On Saturday in Melbourne, Australia, in the final of the 2011 Australian Open, the 2010 Brisbane champion (and 2005, 2009 & 2010 US Open champion), 27 year old 3rd seeded #3 (and former #1) Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium. defeated this year's champion at Sydney, 28-year-old 8th seeded #11 (career high: #9—and all-time Chinese #1) Na Li from Wuhan, Hubei, China, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 (Na is shown during the match; Kim is shown holding the hardware at Brighton Beach on Sunday).
    Kim scored 98 points; Na, 84. Both played aggressively: Kim struck 22 winners (1 ace) with 26 unforced errors (3 double faults); Na hit 24 winners (1 ace), but with 40 errors (4 DFs). Kim scored on 7 of 17 break point opportunities she reached against Na; Na won 6 of her 12 break points against Kim. match stats - BBC: As It Happened

    The Australian dollar has risen enormously against the US dollar in the past two years. In US dollars, Kim's prize is about $2,187,020; Na's is $1,093,510.

    It was Kim's 4th Grand Slam singles title. Kim said: "[Na] did everything better than me in that first set. Her groundstrokes were heavier, deeper. She served better. She returned better. She was playing really, really well probably the best that she played against me.
    "After that first set, like, 'What can I do differently so I can maybe break her rhythm a little bit, try to make her think out there a little bit more?' So I tried to mix it up a little bit, put some slices in, also hit a few higher shots that, kind of just made her make some unforced errors." postmatch interview - WTA story

    Kim's win ended a 11-match winning streak by Na. Na said: "I think I play great tennis. [Kim played] better than me. After the match, back to the locker room, I make joke, 'Tennis should only play one set," [laughter]. I still happy what I do today." postmatch interview

    Kim now leads Na 5-2 in career matches. Na won their previous match, on a Plexipave hardcourt two weeks ago in the final in Sydney, 7-6(3), 6-3.

    2005, 2009 & 2010 US Open champ Kim, who retired in May, 2007, and returned to play in August, 2009, is now 41-18 in WTA singles finals; she won at Doha, Flushing Meadows, Cincinnati, Miami & Brisbane last year. Kim had a 30-6 singles match record in 2010, and is 11-1 this year.

    Na is now 4-5 in WTA singles finals; she won at Sydney two weeks ago, at Birmingham last year, at Gold Coast in 2008, and at Guangzhou in 2004. Na was 36-20 in singles matches last year, and is 11-1 in 2011.

Men's final: s3 Novak Djokovic SRB d s5 Andy Murray GBR 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

    The news.quickfound.net Australia page carries a 155-year-old New York Times article with a fairly detailed description of Melbourne in 1853.


 
click for women's singles draw in the video frame

  Major Skirmishes, Top Half

italics = advanced by upset
4th Round:
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #45 Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4
#7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #25 s23 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-4, 1-6, 16-14
*#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #10 s8 Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 6-3
*#33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER d #16 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-2, 6-3

Quarterfinals:
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER 6-2, 6-4

Semifinal:
*#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 3-6, 7-5, 6-3

  Major Skirmishes, Bottom Half

italics = advanced by upset
4th Round:
#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #60 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-4, 6-1 Mon
#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #49 Ekaterina Makarova RUS 7-6(3), 6-2 Mon
#14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #62 Shuai Peng CHN 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 Mon
*#28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE d #24 s22 Flavia Pennetta ITA 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Quarterfinals:
#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE 6-2, 6-4
#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 6-3, 7-6(4)

Semifinal:
*#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-3, 6-3

    2011 Australian Open prize money amounts are listed below, converted to US dollars at the January 10, 2011 exchange rate ($1AUD = $0.9941 US).
    The Australian dollar has risen substantially against the US dollar in the past two years, so prizes in US dollars are much higher than in 2009.
    Qualifying amounts are from 2009 (with the exchange rate now adjusted to the current level); the AO has not published 2010 or 2011 qualifying prizes.

WTA SCOREBOARD: The Australian Open at Melbourne
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, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?

Australian Open,  Melbourne, Australia

 
tourney time:
       = GMT +11 hours
       = US ET +16 hours
       = US PT +19 hours

Australia News


    The Australian Open has 32 seeds, with no 1st-round byes.
    There are 12 qualifiers and 8 wild cards in the main draw. Qualifying finals are on Saturday.
 

Melbourne Park   click for broader view venue: guide - maps
Latitude: -37.821497 Longitude: 144.978772 goto link for World Wind

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2011: Maria Sharapova, Australian Open champion in 2008, 5-time Wimbledon champ Venus Williams, and 2004 AO champ Justine Henin were among the players practicing at Melbourne Park on Monday, January 10... On Wednesday, two players recovering from recent injuries, 2008 AO finalist Ana Ivanovic and 2008 semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova, were slso out practicing, while Maria modeled her Nike attire for this year's tourney at the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne...

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2011: Players practicing at Melbourne Park on Friday, January 14, included Maria Kirilenko, an AO quarterfinalist last year, top seeded #1 Caroline Wozniacki, and 2008 Aussie Open semifinalist Jelena Jankovic... row 2: On Saturday, Vika Azarenka posed with entertainer Danii Minogue while modeling Danii's "Project D" dresses... darned good-looking healthy young ladies at the player's party on Saturday night at "The Dome" in Melbourne included Alize Cornet, Arina & Anastasia Rodionova, and Vitalia Diatchenko...
Australian Open, 1st Rd, Mon-Tue 11am
loser: AUD$20,000 = $19,882 US, 5 points
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #48 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-3, 6-4 Mon

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Caroline serving, Gisela showing slice on a backhand, Caro driving a forehand, and after match point

    Caroline said: "Gisela is a tough opponent, especially in the first round. She changes the rhythm quite a bit. So it's tough to get there and play your own game... I'm really happy to be through to the next round." postmatch interview

#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #70 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-2, 6-1 Tue

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Sybille driving a backhands, Vera about to connect with one, and after match point

    Vera won the match efficiently; although she hit only 9 winners, she converted 5 of 7 break point opportunities, and also scored on 3 of her 4 trips to the net. match stats

    Vera said: "It is nice to start your Grand Slam like that. Was my first match, and its always difficult to play your best tennis out there in the first match. But I've done what I needed to win and I'm pretty happy. So I'm looking forward for the next challenge." postmatch interview

#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #65 Dinara Safina RUS 6-0, 6-0 Tue

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Dinara and Kim driving forehands

    Kim said: "When you feel that your opponent is not playing their best tennis... you try not to lose focus... My attitude still was there to try and finish it off and not let [Dinara] get back in the match, build some confidence, build some rhythm." postmatch interview

    Dinara said: "I didn't know how to win a point. Basically came to this thing. I didn't know. I was sitting in the changeover and I was like, 'Okay, at least how can I get a chance to hurt her?' There was nothing that I could hurt her. Embarrassing.... I want to come back and I want to play better. But now to find answers how I can come back." postmatch interview

#5 s4 Venus Williams USA d #43 Sara Errani ITA 6-3, 6-2 Mon

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Venus and Sara driving forehands, and Venus after match point

    Venus said: "I think I was able to keep my errors pretty low. I'm not sure what the exact stats were. I felt like in general I was able to play aggressive tennis and just kind of win the most important points most of the time. It's just important to play consistent and aggressive for me." postmatch interview

#6 s5 Samantha Stosur AUS d #443 wc Lauren Davis USA 6-1, 6-1 Tue

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Samantha serving, Lauren driving a backhand, Sam driving a forehand, and after match point

    Samantha said: "I thought I played very well. There's not too much I did wrong, I don't think. Was able to set up points, rally well. When I got a chance to hit the winner, I did. A very good way to start the tournament...
    "First things first was to see what [Lauren] was going to be able to do. During the warmup, I started feeling pretty comfortable with the ball I was getting. Kind of had the feeling if I set up the point, hit a good shot to begin with at the start of the rally, I was going to be able to dictate, do whatever I wanted to do. I was pleased I was able to do that pretty much from the first point to the last point." postmatch interview

#7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #67 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 6(4)-7, 2-6, 6-4 Mon

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Francesca and Arantxa driving forehand and backhand

#8 s7 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #61 Alla Kudryavtseva RUS 6-0, 7-6(5) Tue

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Jelena's forehand drive

    Jelena said: "I thought I played pretty well in the first set. I was really solid. I really moved my feet. But then in the second set I kind of relaxed. [Alla] started playing much better. She started really going after her shots. She gave me a really hard time. But then I somehow regrouped and played one point at a time and kept going, just trying to stay positive. I was able to do it and win in two sets." postmatch interview

#10 s8 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #166 q Kathrin Woerle GER 6-0, 6-2 Mon

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Vika's forehand drive

#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #51 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-1, 7-5 Mon

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Na and Sofia driving forehand and backhand

    Na said: "Second set little bit tough. It's always tough because after Sydney was a little bit tired [Na won the Sydney title on Friday]. I didn't have, how you say, many days to recover for the body. Also, she's not play bad. We have the running a lot on the court in the second set." postmatch interview

#12 s10 Shahar Peer ISR d #102 Mathilde Johansson FRA 6-1, 6-1 Tue

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Shahar and Mathilde driving forehand and backhand

#13 s11 Justine Henin BEL d #145 q Sania Mirza IND 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 Mon

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Sania driving a forehand, and Justine reaching for a backhand

    Justine said: "[Sania is] not a qualifier like maybe the others, as she has been in this type of situation. She has been in the top 30, I think. She can play a very solid tennis. So the beginning wasn't that easy for me. She was playing high rhythm, not a lot of mistakes at the beginning, and it was tough for me because I was running a lot...
    "So I really kept fighting in the second set when I was feeling a bit down at that time. Every point started to count a lot... So I'm glad, because it wasn't an easy draw for me." postmatch interview

#14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #52 Kimiko Date Krumm JPN 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 Tue

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Agnieszka and Kimiko driving backhand and forehand

    40-year-old all-time Japanese #1 Kimiko said: "It was very tough match today. I try my best. I was leading 4-1 in the third set, and then [Agnieszka] took the medical timeout.
    "Always I have a problem after opponent to get medical timeout. My body, it's getting cold. After that start a little bit cramp, so difficult to concentrate the ball, focus the ball. Difficult to focus the ball. Couldn't move very well. So I was very disappointed like that...
    "But always play out to find out how to win. So she took the medical timeout. Is not illegal to get medical timeout, so it's no problem. But for my age and for my case, it's not easy. So I tried to find out something when I go back to Japan, ask to my physio or doctor how to continue to keep high level. So I will. Next time I don't want to lose like that anymore." postmatch interview

#15 s13 Nadia Petrova RUS d #96 Ksenia Pervak RUS 6-2, 6-1 Tue
#16 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS d #64 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-1, 6-3 Mon

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Tammy serving, Maria following a forehand, and after match point

    Both players struck 22 errors, but Maria hit 24 winners, while Tammy had only 5. Although 5 of Maria's winners were aces, 10 of her errors were double faults. match stats
    Tammy broke Maria's serve in the opening game, but Maria then won the next seven games in a row. Maria said: "I was definitely a little bit nervous in the beginning. Last year I played first match on center and I lost. So kind of was like, 'I don't want this to happen again this year.' So the first game definitely wasn't great, and I didn't serve good at all during the match. But otherwise, [Tammy] was close to being 4-1 in the second set, and I was able to win 6-1, 6-3." postmatch interview
    Maria, who was coached by former hitting partner Michael Joyce for the past six years, is now being coached by Thomas Hogstedt, who has recently been coaching Na Li and Tommy Haas. Maria said: "I've worked with Thomas since the middle of November. It's been going really well. I like the work ethic that he's brought on the court."

#17 s15 Marion Bartoli FRA d #87 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6-0, 6-0 Mon
#18 s16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS d #79 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6-4, 7-6(4) Tue
*#68 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE d #19 s17 Aravane Rezai FRA 6-0, 3-6, 7-5 Mon

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Aravane and Barbora driving forehands

#20 s18 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #69 Romina Oprandi ITA 6-3, 5-7, 8-6 Tue

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Maria following a backhand

*#49 Ekaterina Makarova RUS d #21 s19 Ana Ivanovic SRB 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 Tue

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Ana and Ekaterina driving forehand and backhand, and Ana kindly congratulating Ekaterina after match point

    Ana said: "I thought it was tough match. I mean, [Ekaterina] played extremely well. She didn't give me much. I really try my best out there today. A few points here and there decided. And I created enough of chances for myself in that second set in particular, but couldn't convert them. But it was just a little bit of footwork lacking towards the end of that third and that was pretty much what decide it. I think she played really good match today." postmatch interview

#22 s20 Kaia Kanepi EST d #104 Magdalena Rybarikova SVK 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 Mon
#23 s21 Yanina Wickmayer BEL d #40 Jarmila Groth AUS 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 Mon

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Jarmila and Yanina driving backhands

#24 s22 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #66 Anastasia Rodionova AUS 6-2, 6-1 Tue

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Flavia and Anastasia driving forehand and backhand, and Flavia after match point

#25 s23 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #114 Alison Riske USA 6-3, 6-2 Mon

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Svetlana's forehand drive

#26 s24 Alisa Kleybanova RUS d #184 q Irina Falconi USA 6-1, 6-0 Tue
#28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE d #151 wc Sally Peers AUS 6-2, 6-4 Tue

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Petra volleying a backhand, and Sally's forehand drive

#29 s26 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP d #58 Greta Arn HUN 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Tue
*#74 Ayumi Morita JPN d #30 s27 Alexandra Dulgheru ROU 6-4, 6-4 Tue

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Alexandra and Ayumi driving forehand and backhand, and Ayumi after match point

*#113 Regina Kulikova RUS d #31 s28 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 7-6(3), 3-6, 9-7 Mon

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Daniela and Regina driving forehand and backhand

#32 s29 Dominika Cibulkova SVK d #46 Angelique Kerber GER 6-2, 6(4)-7, 6-4 Mon

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Dominika and Angelique driving forehands

#33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER d #99 Jill Craybas USA 6-1, 6-2 Mon

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Andrea's backhand drive

#34 s31 Lucie Safarova CZE d #90 Shuai Zhang CHN 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 Tue

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Lucie and Shuai driving backhands, and Lucie after match point

#35 s32 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #103 Pauline Parmentier FRA 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 Mon
#38 Julia Goerges GER d #80 Edina Gallovits-Hall ROU 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 Mon

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Julia driving a forehand

*#135 wc Alicia Molik AUS d #39 Roberta Vinci ITA 1-6, 6-3, 8-6 Tue

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Alicia after match point

    Alicia said: "After the first set, I knew it was very scratchy. I had no doubt I'd get to a third set.
    "I found myself in the worst position of the two. [Roberta] was 4-2 up in the third set. I've played so many matches now, I'm not afraid of losing. I made a point to go out and win the third set.
    "It's very natural for a lot of people to tighten up in third sets when it comes to the crunch. I just set myself no alternative than to go out and try and execute and win the match. I was prepared to lose in that way. But it forced me to play the right shots, be aggressive, and do all of that at the right time." postmatch interview

#42 Klara Zakopalova CZE d #63 Melanie Oudin USA 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 Tue

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Melanie and Klara driving forehand and backhand

*#157 q Lesya Tsurenko UKR d #44 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-2, 6-3 Tue
#45 Anastasija Sevastova LAT d #47 Polona Hercog SLO 6-4, 7-6(5) Mon
*#86 Monica Niculescu ROU d #50 Timea Bacsinszky SUI 6-0, 6-3 Mon
*#116 Virginie Razzano FRA d #53 Elena Vesnina RUS 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 Mon
#54 Vera Dushevina RUS d #111 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Tue
#55 Elena Baltacha GBR d #134 q Jamie Hampton USA 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 Mon

    Elena said: "[Jamie] just came out like firing. It was just like ridiculous. It was just like I'm not going to rally, bang, bang, winner, winner. She served big, as well.
    "But I remember as a qualifier, you've earned your spot. You're flying high on confidence. You've got nothing to lose. She showed no respect. She went out there and she played loose." postmatch interview

#56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #76 Olga Govortsova BLR 6-3, 6-4 Tue
#57 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP d #109 Christina McHale USA 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Tue
*#139 q Arantxa Rus NED d #59 Bethanie Mattek Sands USA 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 Mon
#60 Iveta Benesova CZE d #73 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-0, 6-1 Tue
#62 Shuai Peng CHN d #89 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR 2-6, 6-3, 8-6 Tue

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Shuai after winning a point

    Kateryna hit 46 winners, but with 44 unforced errors (including 7 double faults); Shuai hit 33 winners, with 28 errors (2 DFs). match stats

*#85 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP d #71 Johanna Larsson SWE 6-2, 6-1 Tue
*#81 Kristina Barrois GER d #72 Akgul Amanmuradova UZB 6-4 6-2 Tue
*#275 wc Caroline Garcia FRA d #75 Varvara Lepchenko USA 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 Tue
#77 Bojana Jovanovski SRB d #117 wc Kai-Chen Chang TPE 7-5, 6-1 Tue
#78 Simona Halep ROU d #198 q Anne Kremer LUX 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 Tue
*#97 Sandra Zahlavova CZE d #82 Renata Voracova CZE 6-3, 6-1 Mon
*#130 wc Jelena Dokic AUS d #83 Zuzana Ondraskova CZE Mon

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Zuzana and Jelena driving forehand and backhand, and Jelena after match point

    Jelena said: "I think I played a pretty solid match. I had a tough match with [Zuzana] last year on clay. She plays with a lot of topspin, can get a lot of balls in. I had to find the balance between being aggressive and not making errors. I think I did it perfectly...
    "I feel good. I've really had now two wins this year. It's a great start to the year for me. And always the first match, especially in a Grand Slam, is tough. I really wanted to get through this match.
    "No matter what happens in the next round, I think I will build a lot of confidence from this. I think if I continue like this, it should be a good year." postmatch interview

#84 Alize Cornet FRA d #115 q Coco Vandeweghe USA 6-2, 6-1 Tue

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Coco and Alize driving forehand and backhand

#88 Vania King USA d #92 Tamira Paszek AUT 6(4)-7, 6-0, 6-3 Mon

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Vania's backhand drive

#91 Alberta Brianti ITA d #110 Lucie Hradecka CZE 6-4, 7-5 Mon
#94 Sorana Cirstea ROU d #98 Mirjana Lucic CRO 6-4, 6-2 Tue

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Sorana and Mirjana driving forehand and backhand

*#105 Chanelle Scheepers RSA d #95 Karolina Sprem CRO 4-6 6-4 6-2 Mon
#100 Andrea Hlavacova CZE d #101 Patricia Mayr-Achleitner AUT 7-5, 6-4 Mon
#106 Rebecca Marino CAN d #112 Junri Namigata JPN 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 Mon
#107 Evgeniya Rodina RUS d #259 wc Olivia Rogowska AUS 6-3, 6-1 Mon

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Olivia tossing the ball for her serve, and Evgeniya driving a forehand

*#146 q Vesna Manasieva RUS d #108 Laura Pous Tio ESP 7-5, 6-2 Mon
#118 q Anne Keothavong GBR d #185 q Arina Rodionova RUS 7-5, 6-4 Mon

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Anne's service toss

    Anne said: "It's obviously a great feeling to get through today's match. And the conditions were tough. It was a lot heavier out there. It was colder than previous days through quallies. And [Arina's] an opponent I've never played before. I played her sister [Anastasia Rodionova]. It was an opportunity for both of us, and one I took." postmatch interview

*#140 q Petra Martic CRO d #123 wc Sophie Ferguson AUS 7-6(6), 0-6, 6-3 Tue

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Petra driving a forehand, and Sophie volleying a backhand

Australian Open, 2nd Rd, Wed-Thu 11am
loser: AUD$32,000 = $31,811 US, 100 points
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #88 Vania King USA 6-1, 6-0 Wed

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Caroline serving, Vania and Caro driving backhands, and Caro after match point

    Caroline struck 23 winners with only 8 unforced errors, a ratio of nearly 3 to 1, rarely achieved in "modern" tennis. Vania hit 10 winners, with 20 errors. match stats

    Caroline said: "I definitely felt like I was playing good tennis today. I was playing aggressively. I was playing my game and I felt comfortable out there. I took the balls early, I made [Vania] run. I had a couple of good net approaches. In general I played a really good and solid match." postmatch interview

#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #77 Bojana Jovanovski SRB 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 Thu

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Bojana and Vera driving forehand and backhand

    Vera said: "[Bojana is] a very good player, and she started off very aggressive. We never played before. So it got me some time to understand her game, to read her game. I was a little bit slow in the beginning with my decisions and a few unforced errors here and there. But I was able to pick it up and really turn it around in the second set...
    "Then I mixed it up a little bit more, I changed a little bit my game. Then I was able to turn it around. Also I was able to play a little bit with a higher intensity and having a little bit less unforced errors and it made it a bit difficult for her." postmatch interview

#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #57 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP 6-1, 6-3 Thu

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Kim's backhand drive

    Kim won 68% of her 1st serve points, and won 68% of her 2nd serve points as well. Carla won 62% of her 1st serve points, but only 22% of her 2nd serve points. Kim converted 5 of 10 break points against Carla; Carla scored on only 1 of 3 break points against Kim. match stats

    Kim said: "I went out there the with intention to stay very aggressive and to not let [Carla] kind of play her game, and that is try to really mix it up, play with a lot of spin. She can only do that when she has a lot of time. I think it was really up to me to try to limit that from her, really be aggressive when I was out there, and I did.
    "A couple times I felt that my footwork really wasn't in the right position, made some errors. But I reacted well afterwards and I stayed aggressive. That was good today." postmatch interview

#5 s4 Venus Williams USA d #97 Sandra Zahlavova CZE 6(6)-7, 6-0, 6-4, Wed

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Sandra and Venus driving forehand and backhand

    Venus was slowed by a psoas (pelvic muscle) strain.

    Venus said: "I'm going to just try to recover for Friday and try to get ready to play and bring my best tennis no matter what. Hopefully I'll come through it." postmatch interview

#6 s5 Samantha Stosur AUS d #54 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-3, 6-2 Thu

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Samantha driving a forehand, Vera and Samantha driving backhands, and Sam after match point

    Samantha said: "Overall very pleased with the way I hit the ball. Everything seemed to be coming out of the center and I felt like I moved well, made good decisions.
    "I don't think Vera played too bad. I was just really on it tonight. It was really pleasing to go through a match like that and feel like I pretty much did everything pretty well." postmatch interview

#7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #106 Rebecca Marino CAN 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 Wed

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Rebecca and Francesca driving forehands

*#62 Shuai Peng CHN d #8 s7 Jelena Jankovic SRB 7-6(3), 6-3 Thu

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Shuai serving, Jelena driving a forehand, Shuai's 2-handed forehand (with left hand above right "backhand" grip), and Shuai after match point

    Both players hit 28 winners, but Jelena had 39 unforced errors, while Shuai had only 20. Shuai converted 4 of 13 break points she reached against Jelena, Jelena scored on 3 of 8 break point opportunities against Shuai. Shuai won 85 points in the match; Jelena, 71. match stats

    Jelena said: "[In the 1st set] I was leading I think 4-1 and had everything under my control. I was playing pretty well. But then I had some loose errors and she played some good points. And little by little she was getting her momentum, and I started completely going down...
    "I had chances at 5-4. I was 15-30, then missed an easy shot to go 15-40, two breakpoints. Then in the tiebreaker I just made some bad errors at the wrong times. When you add those up it was a bad day for me.
    "But the good thing for me is that I'm healthy [Jelena had trouble with injuries and prolonged respiratory infections in 2010]. That's really important for me now, that I'm healthy, that I can really compete, I can be out there. I just have to now continue to work hard and work on my game and really build on my confidence. Hopefully I will get more matches in the future and just keep getting better." postmatch interview

#10 s8 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #100 Andrea Hlavacova CZE 6-4, 6-4 Wed

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Andrea and Vika driving backhands

#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #107 Evgeniya Rodina RUS 6-3, 6-2 Wed

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Na and Evgenia driving forehand and backhand

    Na said: "[Evgenia has] good feeling, good hands. I was feeling many ball I can hit a winner, but she still come back like deep and she run me a lot today." postmatch interview

#12 s10 Shahar Peer ISR d #94 Sorana Cirstea ROU 6-3, 6-2 Thu

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Shahar driving a forehand, and Sorana following one

#13 s11 Justine Henin BEL d #55 Elena Baltacha GBR 6-1, 6-3 Wed

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Justine serving, Elena and Justine driving forehands, and Justine after match point

    Justine struck 22 winners (including 7 aces), with 17 unforced errors (3 double faults); Elena hit only 6 winners (1 ace) with 15 errors (3 DFs). match stats

    Justine said: "I think on Monday it was pretty good in terms of it's been a good fight and she put on me a lot of pressure. Today I was more in control during the whole match. So it was completely different match. But I'm glad I did it in an hour after a pretty long match on Monday... Should have been maybe a little more aggressive beginning of the second set, but generally it's been pretty good." postmatch interview

    Elena said: "I knew going into the match it was going to be very difficult and it would have to be an unbelievable performance. But it was quite interesting actually. I learnt so much about the match, like really positives of what I'm improved in my game... and also things I've got to get better at." postmatch interview

#14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #140 q Petra Martic CRO 6-3, 6-4 Thu

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Agnieszka after the match

#15 s13 Nadia Petrova RUS d #135 wc Alicia Molik AUS 6-4, 6-1 Thu

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Alicia and Nadia driving forehand and backhand

    Alicia said: "I had a great start to the match. I needed to make sure I kept that scoreboard pressure on. Nadia got back to 3-all. I could sense a real difference in the way she was carrying herself on the court. She became a lot more confident.
    "Big difference today: unforced errors. I felt like I served pretty horribly today. Against a player like Nadia that returns very well, she always has, that was a given, that was just essential today and it wasn't there." postmatch interview

#16 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS d #116 Virginie Razzano FRA 7-6(3), 6-3 Wed

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Maria serving, Virginie about to swat a backhand, Maria driving one, and after match point

    Maria trailed early in the match. Maria said: "[Virginie] came out playing really well. Deep, hard, low, making me hit a lot balls and I was just making a lot of unforced errors and it was just going one way. The most important thing was that I didn't let go of [the 1st] set, even though I was down 3-0, love-40. Just played it a point at a time, and little by little got back in the set and won that one. Then stayed tough in the end there. That's the most important thing...
    "She's someone that plays really flat and she loves her down the lines. Also has a pretty flat first serve. In the beginning I was having little bit of trouble with that. I think I was not staying low enough. Then I started making her play a little bit and made her think. Then she started going for it a little bit. But overall, she played a good, quality match. I really needed to step it up." postmatch interview

*#146 q Vesna Manasieva RUS d #17 s15 Marion Bartoli FRA 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 Wed

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Marion driving her 2-handed forehand (with backhand grip), and Vesna reaching for a backhand

#18 s16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS d #81 Kristina Barrois GER 6-2, 6-2 Thu
*#60 Iveta Benesova CZE d #20 s18 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-3, 6-1 Thu

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Iveta and Maria driving backhands, and Iveta after match point

*#38 Julia Goerges GER d #22 s20 Kaia Kanepi EST 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 Wed

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Julia driving a forehand, Kaia and Julia driving backhands, and Julia after match point

*#45 Anastasija Sevastova LAT d #23 s21 Yanina Wickmayer BEL 6-4, 6-2 Wed

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Anastasija after match point

#24 s22 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #85 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-2, 6-2 Thu

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Flavia's backhand drive

#25 s23 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #139 q Arantxa Rus NED 6-1, 6-4 Wed

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Arantxa driving a backhand, and Svetlana ready to fire a forehand

    Svetlana's 3rd round opponent will be Justine Henin, who leads Svetlana 16-2 in career matches.

    Svetlana said: "A great match to play... It's going to be tough one, and we are both coming up and playing better. So definitely we're both not at our top level, but it's going to be just great match. I'm looking forward, and enjoy playing Justine...
    "I know she win most of the time, but believe me, I don't count. I know that each match is different match. It's a new match to play. The same amount of points to win again." postmatch interview

*#78 Simona Halep ROU d #26 s24 Alisa Kleybanova RUS 6-4, 7-6(2) Thu

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Simona after match point

#28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE d #56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-3, 6-4 Thu
*#84 Alize Cornet FRA d #29 s26 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP 7-5, 6-1 Thu

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Maria Jose and Alize driving backhands, and Alize after match point

#32 s29 Dominika Cibulkova SVK d #91 Alberta Brianti ITA 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 Wed

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Dominika about to connect with a backhand, and Alberta driving a forehand

#33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER d #118 q Anne Keothavong GBR 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 Wed

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Andrea and Anne driving forehand and backhand, and Andrea doing the "Petko dance" after match point

    Anne said: "For a set and a half I definitely felt I was playing some good tennis. I really did what I intended to do out there and took my game to her and was hitting out a bit more. But it got close. I felt like I had to win that match in two sets. I've played Andrea before. When she's got a bit of momentum and confidence she's a tough player to pin down." postmatch interview

#34 s31 Lucie Safarova CZE d #42 Klara Zakopalova CZE 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-5 Thu
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Lucie and Klara driving backhands, and Lucie after match point

*#86 Monica Niculescu ROU d #35 s32 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 6-4, 6-1 Wed
#49 Ekaterina Makarova RUS d #157 q Lesya Tsurenko UKR 7-6(6), 6-1 Thu
#68 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE d #130 wc Jelena Dokic AUS 7-6(3), 6-1 Wed

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Jelena about to swat a forehand, Barbora fielding one, and after match point

    Jelena said: "If I won the first set would have been different... When I did get up, when I won my serves at 4-all and 5-all, the next two games I let her off too easy and just gave a couple points away here and there... I have to make sure it doesn't happen in the next few matches that I play. Have to be tougher on those key points." postmatch interview

#74 Ayumi Morita JPN d #275 wc Caroline Garcia FRA 6-4, 6-4 Thu

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Ayumi driving a 2-handed forehand, which she does with a kosher cricket grip, unlike the "Reverse Polish Notation" (backhand grip on forehand side)
used by her next opponent, Shuai Peng (and by Marion Bartoli), and Caroline and Ayumi driving backhands

#105 Chanelle Scheepers RSA d #113 Regina Kulikova RUS 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 Wed

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Chanelle launching a forehand on the run

Australian Open, 3rd Rd, Fri-Sat
loser: AUD$54,500 = $54,178 US, 160 points
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #32 s29 Dominika Cibulkova SVK 6-4, 6-3 Fri

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Caroline serving, Domi and Caro driving forehand and backhand, and Caro after match point

    Caroline hit 11 winners with 11 unforced errors; Dominika hit 31 winners, but with 41 errors. match stats

    Caroline now leads Dominika 6-2 in career matches, but Dominika had won their prior meeting, last week in the 2nd round at Sydney, 6-3, 6-3.

    Caroline said: "I felt great out there today on the court. I think I played a pretty good match. I am happy I got the revenge since I lost to [Dominika] in Sydney last week.
    "It was not an easy match. She went out there, she was really on fire. I had to run a lot of balls down today because she was playing really aggressively, trying to hit from the first point. When I had the chance, I was really focused and tried to step it up, especially with my serve a bit. When she put the second serve in, I tried to take the advantage straightaway." postmatch interview

#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #34 s31 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-3, 7-6(9) Sat

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Vera driving a forehand, Lucie flying after a backhand, Vera driving one, and after match point

    Vera said: "I was just trying to fight for every point like I was doing in the first set. I had some chances to go 4-1 up when I was up 3-1, love-40 on her serve. I think there was a moment where maybe I was not aggressive enough, and I let her dominate a little bit before I was dictating the game, and then I let her step up and go for her shots a little bit. So that was the reason she was able to get back on the scoreboard in that second set. Then I maybe started playing a little bit too passive and just doing the same thing over and over again, so I couldn't close it out.
    "But then in the tiebreak I started mixing it up a little bit more. I came with some good shots when I needed. I made those shots. Overall, I think it was a very good match." postmatch interview

#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #84 Alize Cornet FRA 7-6(3), 6-3 Sat

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Alize and Kim driving forehand and backhand, and Kim telling Alize "Good job" after match point

    Kim said: "[Alize is] a tricky player... her forehand and backhand, it's like two different players almost. She really has a lot of variety in her game, not so much by touch, slice and everything, but I think with her forehand she was really putting a lot of heavy spin on it, moving a lot of balls as well. With her backhand, she was hitting shorter, low over the net flat balls. It was up to me to keep my footwork on key every time ready to adjust.
    "I felt a couple times out there I didn't finish off my point well. I felt that I was building my points pretty well when I was in charge, but a couple times missed easier volleys, felt that I could have maybe hit a drive volley and finished off the points a little bit sooner." postmatch interview

    Alize said: "It was pretty impressive to enter this Rod Laver court against Kim Clijsters. I was feeling a bit stressed the two first games, but I got into the match. I just tried to fight the best I can.
    "I think I could have played way better and she could have played way better, as well. I cannot say I'm so disappointed, but I have some regrets because I think I could have done better in the first set, and I think I didn't believe enough in myself, so that's just a shame. That's all." postmatch interview

*#33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER d #5 s4 Venus Williams USA 1-0 retired—psoas strain Fri

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Venus and Andrea driving forehands, and Andrea consoling Venus after she found she could not continue

    Venus said: "I just obviously couldn't play. I mean, just couldn't move. Just too painful... a lot times when you play, you get this adrenaline that blocks pain. But I just didn't get enough of that today...
    "It's super disappointing because this is just not how I envisioned my Australian Open being... But I have peace of mind that I really gave more than my best to be out there." postmatch interview

*#28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE d #6 s5 Samantha Stosur AUS 7-6(5) 6-3 Sat

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Petra serving, and Samantha and Petra driving forehands

    Petra said: "I was focused on each point, mainly on the big point. Yeah, each game was very close... I had to play hard and fast for Sam because she has a big forehand and big serve... I like this court and this crowd. Unfortunately, it was against me. But still it was nice." postmatch interview

    Samantha said: "Don't really know how I lost it, to be honest. Felt like I started playing a bit better and was probably on top of [Petra] and then all of a sudden it was gone and I was a set down. I thought she played extremely well pretty much the whole way through. I think it was a match of a point here and a point there and she got the ones that really mattered. It's a tough loss, but I think I can walk off thinking I played quite well and did everything that I could." postmatch interview

#7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #86 Monica Niculescu ROU 6-0, 7-6(2) Fri

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Francesca after winning a point

    About playing Svetlana Kuznetsova or Justine Henin in the 4th round, Francesca said: "I think both of them are good players. I have to play in high level to beat them. I know that. So I'm working to be ready Sunday." postmatch interview

#10 s8 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #105 Chanelle Scheepers RSA 6-3, 6-3 Fri

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Chanelle and Victoria driving forehand and backhand, and Vika after winning a point

#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #68 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE 6-2, 6-1 Fri

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Barbora and Na driving backhands

    Na said: "Easy match. I can have long time for rest [smiling]... A little bit hot... I was feeling the string was a little bit soft." postmatch interview

*#24 s22 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #12 s10 Shahar Peer ISR 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 Sat

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Flavia serving, Shahar driving a backhand, Flavia following a flying forehand, and after match point

    Flavia said: "I am. I'm really happy. I think was really good match for both of us. We play really long match. We fight a lot. We try to give our best in the court. I'm really happy because I was down set and 4-2 and ball for 5-2. Was not easy to come back. But I just fight until the end, until the last ball, and everything was going perfect in the end." postmatch interview

*#25 s23 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #13 s11 Justine Henin BEL 6-4, 7-6(8) Fri

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Svetlana following a backhand, Justine and Svetlana driving forehand and backhand, and Sveta after match point

    Svetlana hit 24 winners with 34 unforced errors; Justine struck only 20 winners, and had 41 errors. match stats

    It was Svetlana's 3rd win over Justine the 19 times they have played. Svetlana said: "I think I was aggressive, and I served better. Then I think I dictated most of the time... I just wanted to play my game and try to play with my best against her worst. She doesn't have worst, but I mean something where she doesn't like." postmatch interview

    Justine said: "It's disappointing to lose like this. [Svetlana has] just been better than me, especially in the important moments. I got some opportunities in the second set to come back, but I never really took the lead in this match... I never took the good opportunities and she was much more aggressive than me. So that made a big difference." postmatch interview

    The match turned out to be the last of Justine's career.

    (Jan 26, 2011) 7-time Grand Slam champion and former WTA #1 Justine Henin has retired. The elbow injury she incurred last year at Wimbledon is not healing, and she has been playing in pain. Doctors now tell Justine that the injury will not heal.

    Justine said: "I spent the last days undergoing various medical tests and they have confirmed that my elbow has been damaged by my adventure in Australia. After my crash at Wimbledon in June, I knew it would be difficult to come back. But I had decided to keep playing and to give everything to overcome the injury. In these recent months I have rarely been spared from the pain, those last months were very hard. Time has passed, and the doubts have grown, and only return to the courts would give me answers. Not the answer I was hoping for... unfortunately. I suffered a lot the last week and every day gave me more and more pain, but I believed that my will would take the upper hand. Today, the examinations are clearly and and the doctors [say] formally, my elbow is too fragile and hurt so that my passion and my profession at high level cannot continue to exist." Justine Henin official website

    28-year-old Justine Henin from Brussels, Belgium, previously retired on May 14, 2008, but returned to play in January, 2010. She has won 43 WTA singles titles, starting with Antwerp in 1999 and ending with 's-Hertogenbosch; in 2010, including the 2003, '05, '06, & '07 French Open, the 2003 & '07 US Open, and the 2004 Australian Open. She had a 525-115 record in singles matches. Justine won a career-total of $20,917,513 in prize money, and was ranked #1 in the world for 117 weeks.

#14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #78 Simona Halep ROU 6-1, 6-2 Sat

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Simona and Agnieszka driving forehand and backhand

*#49 Ekaterina Makarova RUS d #15 s13 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 3-6, 8-6 Sat

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Nadia and Ekaterina driving forehand and backhand, and Ekaterina after match point

#16 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS d #38 Julia Goerges GER 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 Fri

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Maria serving, Julia and Maria driving forehand and backhand, and Maria after match point

    Maria said: "I wasn't really happy with the first set, especially being up a break. I played a really sloppy game on my serve up 3-2 in the first set. It's not really the right way to break and then go out and have that type of game. I think I lost 40-love or 40-15. Just made too many errors. Then [Julia] gained all the confidence in the world, and I didn't play well at all throughout the first set, even though I was up a break.
    "Most important thing is I fought for my chances. I stepped it up and started hitting a little bit deeper. Some of my balls were going short in the first set and kind of went down on my tension a little bit...
    "She's the type of opponent that can go out and swing pretty freely. She has pretty big strokes and a good first serve. When things are going smooth, I mean it seemed like she can hit a winner from every part of the court. I don't think I let her play enough..." postmatch interview

    Julia said: "Lost a great match today against Maria... I fought till the end... and had not the better end... but its the right way." Julia Goerges at Twitter

*#60 Iveta Benesova CZE d #18 s16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 Sat

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Iveta and Anastasia driving backhands, and Iveta after match point

#45 Anastasija Sevastova LAT d #146 q Vesna Manasieva RUS 6-1, 6-3 Fri

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Anastasija's forehand drive

#62 Shuai Peng CHN d #74 Ayumi Morita JPN 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 Sat

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Shuai and Ayumi driving backhands, Shuai after match point, and Ayumi congratulating Shuai

    Shuai said: "I played [Ayumi] I think before couple times. I think we know each other, like what is she strategy and how was I play. And today we start. I think first set I was play pretty well.
    "The second set, I think the time I little bit rush myself. When she serve, I was return, just like have many straight mistake. Also in the second set, she start play like more and more better. And then she's like good player. In the third set, you know, I just like try to like fight, try to both hold serve game. I was down and I just fight and try to hold my serve game." postmatch interview

Australian Open, 4th Rd, Sun-Mon 11am
loser: AUD$93,000 = $92,451 US, 280 points
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #45 Anastasija Sevastova LAT 6-3, 6-4 Sun

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Caroline serving, and Anastasija and Caro driving backhands

    Anastasija put up a pretty good fight, converting 3 of 6 break points against Caroline. But Caro scored on 5 of 11 break points against Anastasija, and hit 16 winners (1 ace) with only 14 unforced errors (4 double faults). Anastasija hit 26 winners (3 aces), but had 36 errors (3 DFs). match stats

    Caroline and Anastasija had never before met on the field of combat.

    Caroline said: "I got a bit of a tough start. I was down 2-love in the first set. [Anastasija] didn't give me a lot of rhythm. She was playing pretty flat and deep with her forehand. Then she was spinning it quite a bit with her backhand, not giving me too much power. I found it quite tough to get out there and get a rhythm. But I'm happy that I was able to fight and run and get a lot of balls back and to be through to the next round." postmatch interview - 2nd "that kangaroo was really a treadmill" interview

#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #60 Iveta Benesova CZE 6-4, 6-1 Mon

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Vera serving, Iveta driving a forehand, Vera driving a backhand, and after match point

    It was Vera's 4th win over Iveta in 5 meetings. Vera struck 21 winners (4 aces) with 18 unforced errors (2 double faults). Iveta had 15 winners (no aces), but with 24 unforced errors (4 double faults). Vera scored on 5 of 7 break points against Iveta; Iveta won only 2 of the 6 break points she reached against Vera. match stats

    Vera said: "I started off okay, but then [Iveta] was able to go 4-2 up in the first set. I thought I was a little bit slow, a little bit passive. But then I was able to find the right momentum, stay a little bit more aggressive. I kept that till the end of the match and I'm really happy about that." postmatch interview

#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #49 Ekaterina Makarova RUS 7-6(3), 6-2 Mon

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Kim serving, Ekaterina driving a backhand, Kim showing the dainty footwork that allows her to deploy her "splits" forehand, and after match point

    Kim said: "Ekaterina was unpredictable in the beginning. You expect some balls down the line, but she does it more than she hits crosscourts. I had to get a feel for it. I started to read her game better in the second set and she also started making a couple more errors. I had to just finish it off there." WTA story

    Ekaterina said: "I really played good and I really happy with my game and my coach happy. [Kim is a] really great player. So in important moment, like in tiebreak, she played unbelievable and fighting for every point. I just have to hit every ball because if like waiting the mistake, is no chance to win, beat her. So for me I played good tennis today... Actually I'm good for this tournament. I'm really happy. Was great matches, unbelievable matches and memories. So I'm happy for these weeks and tournament." postmatch interview

#7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #25 s23 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 Sun

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Francesca serving, Svetlana and Francesca driving backhand and forehand, and Francesca after match point

    It was the longest women's Grand Slam match in the "Open Era" (1969—). The 1st set took 51 minutes, the 2nd set, despite the 6-1 score, took 53 minutes, and the 3rd set alone lasted 3 hours. The total: 4 hours, 44 minutes. Svetlana won 181 points; Francesca won 177. match stats

    Francesca said: "We work every day for these moments, and to live in the moment was the most important thing for me... In situations like this, every point is match point. In the third set we gave everything. But one has to win, the other has to lose. When we finished, I told Svetlana she did a really good job and she's great, fantastic. She said the same. We respect each other a lot." WTA story - postmatch interview

    Svetlana said: "I felt like I was better player on the court. I played better. Just very disappointing. Sometimes I guess it happens in tennis like it happened today, that key points, [Francesca] just won it... I was worried that I gained one kg... I think I've lost it!" postmatch interview - Svetlana Kuznetsova at Twitter

*#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #10 s8 Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 6-3 Sun match stats

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Na serving, Victoria and Na launching forehands in flight, Vika and Na driving backhands, and Na after match point

    Na said: "I was playing better than [Victoria] on the court. So this is the key I can win the match. I mean, you couldn't say, 'Oh, today I have a good serve, I have a good forehand.' This is not a tennis game. You have to prepare for everything together." postmatch interview

#14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #62 Shuai Peng CHN 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 Mon

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Agnieszka running down a forehand, Shuai and Agnieszka driving backhands, and Agnieszka after match point

    Agnieszka said: "I was playing against [Shuai] almost every Grand Slam: at Wimbledon and US Open. I remember I was always playing against her at least three hours and three sets. I didn't expect an easy match today so... I'm just happy that I came back and won this match and I'm in the quarterfinal." postmatch interview

    Shuai said: "I think when the third set I was down 1-3, love-40, I [came back to] 5-3. I had two match points. I think at that time I really little bit tight, then also maybe little bit unlucky. I have one shot out, little bit drop on the line. The tennis is like this. Like sometimes you down, you win. Sometimes you up, you lose.
    "But she's really good player, like for sure. I already try my best. And then from like couple round and a long time, I'm just like really, really tired. My energy is like really in the limit after. I was used all of them.
    "I think it's good like week and then good tournament. I think I have just to keep going, working hard and do what I do." postmatch interview

*#33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER d #16 s14 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-2, 6-3 Sun

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Andrea serving, Maria and Andrea driving forehands, and Andrea after match point

    Andrea struck 13 winners (2 aces) with only 9 unforced errors (0 double faults); Maria hit 16 winners (1 ace), but had 30 errors (5 DFs). match stats

    Andrea said: "It's probably the best match I played on such a big stage... I tried to mix it up a little bit, you know. Normally my game is to play very flat and aggressively, but I tried to give it some spin on the forehand and play some slice and mix up my serve. I tried to keep up the percentage of my first serve and tried to return very aggressively. I think I played very well tactically wise.
    "I have to say the last couple of games Maria played unbelievably. I didn't do anything wrong, and she showed the spirit of a great champion. I'm happy I closed it out in the end." postmatch interview

    Maria said: "Not many things were working. I think it was just one of those days. Not a good day at the office... I could look at it that I played a really bad match and sit there and pinpoint every single bad thing that I did. You can also look at other things and take away the good things throughout the week and try to improve on that. Last year I was gone on Monday, and stayed here a little bit longer this year." postmatch interview

*#28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE d #24 s22 Flavia Pennetta ITA 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Mon

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Petra serving, Flavia after launching a backhand on the run, Petra driving one, and after winning a point

    Petra hit 46 winners (2 aces) with 43 unforced errors (3 double faults); Flavia hit 16 winners (1 ace) with 20 errors (3 DFs). Petra won 96 points in the match, Flavia won 91. match stats

    Petra said: "I was very nervous in the first set. I thought that it will be fighting, and it was, so I just wanted to try for just focus on each point. But all match was very close and very tough." postmatch interview

    Flavia said: "I was starting really, really good. [Petra] made a lot of mistakes, but a lot of winners, also. She plays like this; she can play really good in the moment, sometimes really bad. But it's not easy to play against her because you never have like the chance to play three and four balls because the ball is going in or out really quickly. I think she was ready for this match. She was really good today." postmatch interview

Australian Open, QFs, Tue-Wed 11am
loser: AUD$210,000 = $208,761 US, 500 points
#1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #7 s6 Francesca Schiavone ITA 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Tue    career matches: Caro leads 3-2

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Caroline serving, Francesca and Caro driving backhands, and Caroline showing the press her new 'roo pal after the match

    Caroline also won the last two times she played Francesca. Both meetings were last year on Deco-Turf hardcourts. In the quarterfinals in Montreal, Caroline defeated Francesca 6-3, 6-2. And in Doha, Qatar, in the round robin of the WTA Championships, Caro won again, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

    Although Caroline varies her game against different opponents, she usually takes a conservative approach. Caro struck 13 winners (1 ace) with 15 unforced errors (3 double faults); Francesca hit 41 winners (3 aces), but with 46 errors (7 DFs). match stats

    After winning the 1st set 6-3, Francesca took a 3-1 lead in the 2nd. Caroline said: "Francesca was playing well. It was tough for me to get the right rhythm, and I was making a little bit of mistakes on the important points. She was playing really well. I just thought, 'Take one ball at time and don't give up. If you get the chance, you need to take it now, otherwise it's going to be too late...' Today everything went in my favor afterwards, and I'm happy to sit here as the winner." postmatch interview

    Francesca said: "I think in 3-1 I didn't play good the game for 3-2. I made too many mistakes I shouldn't. Then I think [Caroline] played a little bit better. She tried to push much more. But after that chance, I had another chance in the third set. So I think she play good. She play her tennis. That's the quality of her." postmatch interview

    About playing Na Li in the semifinals, Caroline said: "I lost to [Na] here last year. She's a really good player, and she hasn't lost a match this year yet [10-0]. She won in Sydney and she is on a roll... I think Li Na has improved a lot, but I also believe I have. Just going to go in there, fight for every point, and just see what's going to happen. I know that she can play very good tennis; but I can too. It's just a matter of who wins the most important points in that match."

#2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #28 s25 Petra Kvitova CZE 6-2, 6-4    career matches: Vera leads 2-1

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Vera serving, Petra and Vera driving forehands, and Vera after match point

    Vera played cleanly, hitting 11 winners (1 ace) with only 12 unforced errors (4 DFs) in the 106 points played. Petra struck 17 winners (no aces), but with 28 errors (4 DFs). Vera scored on 6 of the 9 break points she reached againt Petra; Petra won only 3 of her 5 break points against Vera. match stats

    Vera won 9 of the first 11 games; then Petra began to get into the match. Vera said: "[At 3-love in the 2nd set] I was trying to keep playing the same way I was playing, but I think she really lifted her game. There are a couple of unforced errors that I made in the second set that I didn't make in the first. That sort of leveled the match a little bit.
    "But it's something that you expect. If you come in like I came in—and I played a very clean match—there will be a moment where you lose your focus and you will have one or two unforced errors. She's a very good player. She took that opportunity, that little chance that I gave her. She used it and got back into the match. But I'm really happy the way I handled the situation after, and I was able to come up with some good shots when I needed it and finish in two sets." postmatch interview

    About playing Kim Clijsters in the semifinals, Vera said: "I have to make sure I prepare myself well for the match, I don't overtrain, I stay fresh, stay focused on that match. I haven't thought about it yet, but I definitely will try to take positives from those matches when I beat [Kim], and try to think over again, 'Okay, why I lost so quickly in the [US Open] final?' just try to avoid those moments."

#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #14 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 6-3, 7-6(4) Wed    career matches: Kim leads 2-0

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Kim serving, Agnieszka driving a backhand, Kim smashing a forehand, and after match point

    Kim played very aggressively, striking 41 winners (2 aces) with 37 unforced errors (6 double faults). Agnieszka had 14 winners (1 ace) with 13 errors (1 DF). Kim converted 6 of the 13 break points she reached against Agnieszka; Agnieszka scored on 4 of her 8 break points against Kim. match stats

    Kim said: "I physically felt a little bit tired and heavy out there today... I fought well and stayed really focused, tried not to lose too much energy on getting frustrated... Got close in that second set. I felt that there were a few things I did really well, but there were also a few things... I just didn't feel quite right every time out there...
    "But I'm in the semifinals and I don't feel like I've played my best tennis probably. So it's a good thing. I feel that I'm hanging in there, working hard to win my points. Sometimes that's probably even more of an achievement than winning your matches very easily." postmatch interview

    About playing Vera Zvonareva in the semifinals, Kim said: "It will be tough. There will be a lot of rallies, long rallies I think. But I've always enjoyed playing my matches against [Vera]. They've always been a lot of fun."

#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #33 s30 Andrea Petkovic GER 6-2, 6-4 Tue    career matches: no prior meetings

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Na driving a forehand, Andrea and Na driving backhands, and Na making friends in Melbourne's Chinatown after the match

    Na struck 13 winners (2 aces) with 15 unforced errors; Andrea hit 11 winners (2 aces) but had 20 errors. Na scored on 5 of the 8 break points she reached against Andrea; Andrea converted 2 of her 3 break point opportunities against Na. match stats

    Na and Andrea had never before met on the field of combat. Na said: "I played well today. Two days ago I wanted to see how [Andrea] play against Maria. But Kuzy and Schiavone, they play amazing match. So on TV they didn't show any of this match. So is tough. I only practice one time with her last year. So, of course, beginning of match was little bit nervous." postmatch interview

    Andrea said: "I certainly didn't play as well as the last matches, but it was a nice experience. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I think [Na] played really well. I think she's going to win the tournament." postmatch interview

    About playing Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, Na said: "I beat [Caroline] last year, but doesn't mean anything for this year... Tough match next round. Another challenge. But right now just totally rest."

Australian Open, SFs, Thu 1:30pm+
loser: AUD$420,000 = $417,522 US, 900 points
*#11 s9 Na Li CHN d #1 s1 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 3-6, 7-5, 6-3    career matches: Na leads 3-1

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Na driving a forehand, Caro following a flying forehand, Na driving a backhand, and after winning the 2nd set

    Na scored 102 points; Caroline, 97. Na converted 7 of 10 break point opportunities against Caroline, Caroline scored on 6 of the 13 break points she reached against Na. Na hit 42 winners (4 aces) with 51 unforced errors (5 double faults); Caro struck only 10 winners (no aces) with 34 errors (5 DFs). match stats

    Caroline held a match point in the 2nd set, but could not convert it. Na said: "I make a lot of mistake in the first set, and also the beginning second set. After I save the match point, I was thinking like, 'Okay now a chance.' It's tough play against her. She's running—I was feeling some shot I can hit winner—but every time she just back on the ball, back to the ball. This is tough for me and for all the players." postmatch interview

    Caroline said: "Sometimes in tennis it's one ball that can change everything. I didn't get my match point. From then on she was better at the most important points. She won the most important one, which was the last one.
    "Of course right now I'm sitting here and I wish I would have won the match. It's quite difficult to get through this one. I just need to get back on the practice court and keep working hard. Hopefully I'll get many more chances in the future." postmatch interview

    About her opponent for Saturday's AO final, Kim Clijsters, Na said: "[Kim is a] nice person; good player. Tough player also. Another challenge. Of course it's tough match. Tennis never have the easy."

*#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #2 s2 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-3, 6-3    career matches: Kim leads 7-3

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Kim's service toss, Vera and Kim driving forehands, and Kim after match point

    Kim hit 18 winners (2 aces) with 18 unforced errors (2 double faults); Vera struck 14 winners (1 ace) with 21 errors (1 DF). Kim scored on 4 of the 7 break points she reached against Vera; Vera converted only 1 of 3 break points against Kim. match stats

    Kim said: "I was happy with the way I played. Happy that I was able to raise my level against an opponent where I have to play well and where I have to be very consistent throughout it all... I was able to stay very aggressive throughout it all, and keep my unforced errors down, and put a lot of pressure on [Vera]. It's good. I'm very happy with the way I ended this today." postmatch interview

    Vera said: "I think [Kim] played a very good match, very clean match. I tried to hang in there. I knew what I had to do, but I think she was executing her shots really well. The quality my shots weren't maybe good enough to hurt her today. She was playing fast, and that maybe affected my game a little bit, and I was playing a little bit too short and passive. I was trying to turn it around, but she was on top of me today, and it was a little bit difficult for me." postmatch interview

    Kim lost to her opponent for Saturday's AO final, Na Li, in the Sydney final less than two weeks ago. Kim said: "[In the Sydney final, Na] was very focused and determined and hit some incredible shots out there. She's playing with obviously a lot of confidence; so am I. Should be a good one."

Australian Open, Final, Sat cRL 7:30pm
loser: AUD$1,100,000 = $1,093,510 US, 1400 points
winner: AUD$2,200,000 = $2,187,020 US, 2000 pts
#3 s3 Kim Clijsters BEL d #11 s9 Na Li CHN 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

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Na serving, Kim and Na driving forehands, Kim volleying a forehand, Na's backhand drive,
Kim serving, Na following a backhand, Kim driving one, Kim after match point, and Na congratulating Kim

Australian Open, Doubles Final, Friday cRL 3pm
losers' prize: AUD$227,250 = $225,909 US
winners' prize: AUD$454,500 = $451,818 US
s1 Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta d s12 Victoria Azarenka & Maria Kirilenko 2-6, 7-5, 6-1

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Flavia (14th WTA doubles title) & Gisela (16th WTA doubles title), their 11th title as a team, and their first Grand Slam title

    Maria and Vika led 6-2, 4-1 in the 2nd set. Gisela said: "I think a set and 4-1 down, in the changeover, we were like looking each other and saying, 'C'mon, we play less than an hour. We cannot finish the match playing less than an hour in the final.' I don't know. We just went for it, don't try to wait for them, play more aggressive. Because I think till this moment we couldn't find a good way to play, to win the match. So we just keep fighting and trying."

    Flavia said: "And [Gisela] was playing unbelievable three games. From 4-1 was playing unbelievable... But for the other team, was really tough. Because when you have the chance, you have a ball for 5-1, it's almost finished, then you're starting the third set, it's like really tough to come back in the game.
    "I think in the third set we play really well, really aggressive. We was doing our job, our game all the time. So that's why we're here now." postmatch interview - WTA story

    With the win, Flavia became the first Italian to ever win an Australian Open title.


Australian Open, Mixed Doubles Final, Sun cRL 4pm
losers: AUD$67,500 = $67,102 US; winners: AUD$135,500 = $134,701 US
s2 Katarina Srebotnik & D Nestor d Yung-Jan Chan & P Hanley 6-3, 3-6, [10-7]

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Daniel, Katarina (5th GS XD doubles title, others 3 French & 1 US), Yung-Jan (1st GS XD final), and Paul


Australian Open, Junior Girls Final, Sat cRL m2 (1st match at 1pm)
s2 An-Sophie Mestach BEL d s5 Monica Puig PUR 6-4, 6-2

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Monica about to swat a forehand, An-Sophie following one, and both ladies with the hardware


Australian Open, Junior Girls' Doubles Final, Fri cSC3 m3
s6 An-Sophie Mestach BEL & Demi Schuurs NED d Eri Hozumi JPN & Miyu Kato JPN 6-2 6-3

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Eri, Miyo, Demi, and An-Sophie


Australian Open, Qualifying Finals, Sun Jan 16 10am
qualifying prizes shown are 2009 amounts
qualifier gets 60 points;   losers' prizes:    q1 AUD$2860 = $2843 US 2pts
    q2 AUD$5710 = $5676 US 40pts     q3 AUD$11,440 = $11,372 US 50pts

#115 Coco Vandeweghe USA d #148 Sesil Karatantcheva KAZ 6-4, 6-2
#118 Anne Keothavong GBR d #200 Irina-Camelia Begu ROU 6-3, 6-4
*#146 Vesna Manasieva RUS d #119 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 6-0, 6-2
*#185 Arina Rodionova RUS d #120 Zuzana Kucova SVK 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
*#198 Anne Kremer LUX d #124 Anastasia Pivovarova RUS 7-6(3), 6-3
*#140 Petra Martic CRO d #126 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP 6-2, 6-2
*#139 Arantxa Rus NED d #128 Kurumi Nara JPN 6-4, 6-1
#134 Jamie Hampton USA d #154 Corinna Dentoni ITA 6-4, 6-2
#145 Sania Mirza IND d #164 Stephanie Dubois CAN 6-2, 6-3
*#157 Lesya Tsurenko UKR d #147 Mariya Koryttseva UKR 7-5, 6-4
#166 Kathrin Woerle GER d #202 Madalina Gojnea ROU 6-3, 6-4
*#184 Irina Falconi USA d #174 Zarina Diyas KAZ 7-6(6), 6-3

Australian Open, Withdrawals, Non-entries
#4 Serena Williams USA foot injury
#27 Jie Zheng CHN left wrist injury not yet healed after surgery
#36 Alona Bondarenko UKR knee injury
#37 Agnes Szavay HUN left thigh strain
#41 Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ right knee meniscus surgery
#93 Yvonne Meusburger AUT
#131 Aleksandra Wozniak CAN forearm tendonitis

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The 64 doubles teams, arranged in drawsheet order; teams in red have been eliminated:
TOP HALF
s1 Gisela Dulko ARG & Flavia Pennetta ITA
Sania Mirza IND & Renata Voracova CZE r1
Tammi Patterson AUS & Olivia Rogowska AUS r1
Jill Craybas USA & Olga Savchuk UKR r2
Ioana Raluca Olaru ROU & Zuzana Ondraskova CZE r1
Olga Govortsova BLR & Alla Kudryavtseva RUS r3
Vera Dushevina RUS & Ekaterina Makarova RUS r1
s15 Alisa Kleybanova RUS & Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP r2
s11 Francesca Schiavone ITA & Rennae Stubbs AUS r1
Michaella Krajicek NED & Petra Kvitova CZE r2
Alize Cornet FRA & Edina Gallovits - Hall ROU r1
Natalie Grandin RSA & Vladimira Uhlirova CZE QF
Jarmila Groth AUS & Klara Zakopalova CZE r2
Carly Gullickson USA & Melanie Oudin USA r1
Vitalia Diatchenko RUS & Tatiana Poutchek BLR r1
s7 Julia Goerges GER & Lisa Raymond USA r3
s3 Liezel Huber USA & Nadia Petrova RUS SF
Daniella Dominikovic AUS & Jessica Moore r1
Eleni Daniilidou GRE & Kaia Kanepi EST r2
Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP & Carla Suarez Navarro ESP r1
Alexandra Dulgheru ROU & Magdalena Rybarikova SVK r3
Vania King USA & Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP r1
Jelena Dokic AUS & Sally Peers AUS r1
s16 Timea Bacsinszky SUI & Tathiana Garbin ITA r2
s10 Monica Niculescu ROU & Zi Yan CHN r2
Klaudia Jans POL & Alicja Rosolska POL r1
Raquel Kops-Jones USA & Abigail Spears USA r3
Polona Hercog SLO & Petra Martic CRO r1
Sarah Borwell GBR & Marie-Eve Pelletier CAN r1
Sorana Cirstea ROU & Lucie Safarova CZE r2
Tamira Paszek AUT & Tsvetana Pironkova BUL r1
s5 Cara Black ZIM & Anastasia Rodionova AUS QF
BOTTOM HALF
a8 Yung-Jan Chan TPE & Agnieszka Radwanska POL r3
Dominika Cibulkova SVK & Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS r1
Sofia Arvidsson SWE & Johanna Larsson SWE r2
Akgul Amanmuradova UZB & Darya Kustova BLR r1
Sophie Ferguson AUS & Alicia Molik AUS r2
Alberta Brianti ITA & Anna Chakvetadze RUS r1
Romina Oprandi ITA & Jasmin Woehr GER r1
s12 Victoria Azarenka BLR & Maria Kirilenko RUS F
s13 Elena Vesnina RUS & Vera Zvonareva RUS r2
Monique Adamczak AUS & Isabella Holland AUS r1
Jade Hopper AUS & Monika Wejnert AUS r1
Chia-Jung Chuang TPE & Su-Wei Hsieh TPE QF
Kristina Barrois GER & Angelique Kerber GER r1
Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER & Patty Schnyder SUI r3
Sara Errani ITA & Roberta Vinci ITA r1
s4 Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ESP r2
s6 Iveta Benesova CZE & Barbora Zahlavova Strycova CZE r3
Kateryna Bondarenko UKR & Dinara Safina RUS r1
Simona Halep ROU & Yanina Wickmayer BEL r1
Liga Dekmeijere LAT & Ayumi Morita JPN r2
Sophie Letcher AUS & Viktorija Rajicic AUS r1
Maria Kondratieva RUS & Sophie Lefevre FRA r2
Kirsten Flipkens BEL & Mariya Koryttseva UKR r1
s9 Bethanie Mattek-Sands USA & Meghann Shaughnessy USA QF
s14 Shahar Peer ISR & Shuai Peng CHN r3
Tatjana Malek GER & Andrea Petkovic GER r1
Bojana Jovanovski SRB & Varvara Lepchenko USA r1
Kimiko Date-Krumm JPN & Shuai Zhang CHN r2
Sybille Bammer AUT & Anastasija Sevastova LAT r1
Andrea Hlavackova CZE & Lucie Hradecka CZE r2
Marina Erakovic NZL & Tamarine Tanasugarn THA r1
s2 Kveta Peschke CZE & Katarina Srebotnik SLO SF
doubles withdrawals: Virginie Razzano FRA & Aravane Rezai FRA

    (Jan 26, 2011) 7-time Grand Slam champion and former WTA #1 Justine Henin has retired. The elbow injury she incurred last year at Wimbledon is not healing, and she has been playing in pain. Doctors now tell Justine that the injury will not heal.

    Justine said: "I spent the last days undergoing various medical tests and they have confirmed that my elbow has been damaged by my adventure in Australia. After my crash at Wimbledon in June, I knew it would be difficult to come back. But I had decided to keep playing and to give everything to overcome the injury. In these recent months I have rarely been spared from the pain, those last months were very hard. Time has passed, and the doubts have grown, and only return to the courts would give me answers. Not the answer I was hoping for... unfortunately. I suffered a lot the last week and every day gave me more and more pain, but I believed that my will would take the upper hand. Today, the examinations are clearly and and the doctors [say] formally, my elbow is too fragile and hurt so that my passion and my profession at high level cannot continue to exist." Justine Henin official website

    28-year-old Justine Henin from Brussels, Belgium, previously retired on May 14, 2008, but returned to play in January, 2010. She has won 43 WTA singles titles, starting with Antwerp in 1999 and ending with 's-Hertogenbosch; in 2010, including the 2003, '05, '06, & '07 French Open, the 2003 & '07 US Open, and the 2004 Australian Open. She had a 525-115 record in singles matches. Justine won a career-total of $20,917,513 in prize money, and was ranked #1 in the world for 117 weeks.

    (Dec 27, 2010) 2010 Australian Open semifinalist and former WTA #15 Jie Zheng will miss the 2011 Australian Open due to a left wrist injury. Jie was suffering from pain in her left wrist for most of last season, in September she underwent surgery in New York City to try to repair the injury permanently, but she is not yet ready to play. Jie has reportedly entered the Pattaya Open in Thailand, which begins February 7.

    (Nov 26, 2010) WTA #4 (and former #1) Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2011 Australian Open, and from the pre-Aussie Open Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Serena said: "While I desperately want to be back on the court and competing in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, it is imperative for my health that I continue to work with my doctors to ensure my foot heals properly." AP story

    Serena cut her feet on broken glass at a restaurant in Europe in July, causing her to miss this year's US Open. She was to return to play at Linz, Austria, in October, but withdrew after reinjuring her right foot while training in Florida.

    On Oct 11, in a post on her official website, Serena said: "I am likely out for the year now... In order not to make this worse, I have to chill on my physical workouts but I will immediately begin rehabbing as soon as I get the Doc's OK." AP story

    Serena's injuries originally required 18 stiches, 12 on her right foot and 6 on her left foot, and surgery on her right foot to repair a torn toe tendon. USA Today interview

    Serena cut her foot after her Wimbledon title victory on July 3, and the injury was at first not thought to be serious. Serena then lost to Kim Clijsters in an exhibition in Belgium on July 8. Asked how she was able to play the exhibition with the injury, Serena said: "Those Belgian doctors and waffles."

    Serena underwent surgery in Los Angeles on July 15. Serena had previously withdrawn from three tourneys leading up to the US Open and from all of her 2010 World Team Tennis matches due to the injury. AP story - July 20 AP update - original AP story

    (May 30, 2007) The Rebound Ace courts used since 1988 for the Australian Open and the events leading up to it will be replaced, beginning in 2008, by a less cushioned surface created by the US company Plexipave, called Plexicushion, which will be installed by Aussie company William Loud. WTA story

from Hard Courts by John Feinstein (pages 47-50):

    Because of the travel involved, the Australian had always been number four on the Grand Slam ladder. But it had been a solid number four. In 1974 Jimmy Connors won his first Grand Slam Title there. That same year, Evonne Goolagong beat Chris Evert in the women's final. A year later, the finals were Newcombe over Connors, and Goolagong over Martina Navratilova.
    But it was getting tougher and tougher to get the players to make the trip to Australia around the Christmas holidays, which was when the tournament was held. Guarantees were beginning to push player income so high that the top players saw no reason to make the trip. Bjorn Borg never played the Australian after 1974. Connors hasn't been back since 1975. Evert didn't go for six straight years after her loss to Goolagong, and Navratilova skipped four years after her loss to Goolagong.
    The tournament deteriorated quickly. Kooyong, the venerable Melbourne tennis club where the tournament was held, was a badly outdated facility. It was overcrowded and the grass was not in good shape. In fact, many players complained that on one side of center court you were actually running uphill to get to the net.
    In 1978 Chris O'Neil beat Betsy Nagelsen in the women's final. The next year Barbara Jordan beat Sharon Walsh. None of these four players ever came close to a Grand Slam final again...

    Philippe Chatrier, the ITF president, was extremely concerned about what he saw in Australia. He had fallen in love with the country on his first trip there as a young sportswriter in 1956. Chatrier knew that the Australian had become a Grand Slam in name only. Brian Tobin, the president of Tennis Australia, knew that, too.

    ...The women had upgraded their half of the tournament in the early eighties by splitting from the men. Chatrier and Tobin together convinced the Men's Tennis Council [the MTC, which controlled men's pro tennis before the ATP] to move the tournament to the last week in November. That helped a little. Then came the matter of talking the women into going back to the old two-week format.
    "The women weren't too keen on that," Tobin said. "By 1980 the top women like Chrissie and Martina were coming here again and they were doing quite well on their own. But we knew to be a true Grand Slam again, we had to be a two-week tournament."
    There were still major problems. Not only was Kooyong an awful facility for a major championship, it was costing Tennis Australia $1 million a year to rent. A new facility was desperately needed, but that would cost, according to estimates, $40 million. Tennis Australia just didn't have that kind of money.

    ...Sitting at his desk one morning, Tobin saw a small story in the paper, which noted that the government of Victoria--the state in which Melbourne is located--was looking for a site to build a new entertainment center. Tobin called John Cain, the premier of Victoria, and asked for a meeting. Perhaps there was some way for the government and Tennis Australia to build a facility together.
    Cain was interested but there was an obvious problem. Grand Slam tennis tournaments were played outdoors; most entertainment events were staged indoors. It was Cain who came up with the solution. "Why not build it with a roof that opens?" he suggested.
    The rest, as they say, is history.
    The land chosen to build the National Tennis Center was Flinders Park... only five minutes from the heart of Melbourne... ground was broken early in 1986. (The projected cost... was about $70 million. Before it was done, the cost was more than $100 million.)

    ...They studied the other three Grand Slam facilities to try to figure out how to build the best possible venue... "We studied the U.S. Open site in order to see what not to do," Tobin said, laughing. They also proposed another date change to the MTC, asking that the tournament be moved to mid-January...

    The MTC approved the calendar change. The last Australian Open at Kooyong was played in January 1987, and when the tennis world arrived in Melbourne the following January, it was clear that the Australian had arrived as a Grand Slam. The stadium seated fifteen thousand, with excellent sight lines everywhere. Most of the seats were in the shade, which helped even on the days when the heat was most unbearable. The women's final that year was completed with the roof closed, when it started to rain after the match had begun. The locker rooms were the roomiest in the world. The walkways were wide, and there were two ministadiums that served as courts 1 and 2. Chatrier called it "the tennis stadium of the twenty-first century."
    With the new dates, everyone came to play. Steffi Graf started her Grand Slam by beating Chris Evert in the women's final... In 1990, Channel 7 would be on the air for about 120 hours during the two-week tournament.
    Most of the country would be watching most of the time.

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

Current WTA Results & Tennis News (tennis home page) - 2011 WTA Schedule with links & photos


Link to many postmatch interview & match highlight videos of WTA players at the 2010 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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