2004 Beijing WTA Women's Singles Results-- Serena Williams, Champion


  WTA Aug 20-26

China Open, Beijing, CT Tier II

$585,000 - 28 players - outdoor: hard

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s1 # 10 Serena Williams
s2 # 6 Svetlana Kuznetsova
s3 # 9 Maria Sharapova
s4 # 11 Vera Zvonareva RUS
Tourney pages: Beijing: 2005 Shanghai: 2003
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#10 Serena Williams
5'9", 130 lbs, RH, 2H-BH
click for Svetlana Kuznetsova news photo search
#6 Svetlana Kuznetsova
5'8", 161 lbs, RH, 2H-BH

    Happy Birthday: On Sunday in the final of the inaugural China Open, top-seeded # 10 Serena Williams of the US, who turned 23 on the same day, defeated the US Open champ, 2nd-seeded # 6 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 (photos shown).
    Serena said: "I've never won a tournament on my birthday before. Even though I don't celebrate, it was a good present. I just didn't want to give up. I didn't want to lose.
    "Fortunately I was able to hold my serve at 4-5 in the second set to even it at 5-all. Even though [Svetlana] had a couple of match points, I never gave up. It was encouraging that I could win without playing my best. I have to work on my double faults." story
    Svetlana said: "I'm not used to losing so I'm pretty disappointed. Thought the most important thing was that I fought hard, never gave up. I was tired and I missed a couple of forehands and lost my two match points.
    "I made her earn it, I didn't give it away. I made [Serena] work and the crowd was on her side, but I didn't let that bother me. I am used to that. I'm sure the Chinese fans will learn to appreciate all the players once they get to know us."

    Serena & Svetlana had played only once before, in Rome last May, where Serena won 7-5, 6-0. On Saturday, Serena said: "...it was on clay, so [this will be] a totally different match. I'm really looking forward to playing her."
    Serena also said: "I feel like I'm playing a tournament in Russia. I have to remind my self, I'm in Beijing! All the Russians I've been playing so far [Dinara Safina, Nadia Petrova & Vera Zvonareva] having been wearing adidas, but tomorrow I think she wears Fila!"

    Svetlana Kuznetsova is indeed attired in Fila togs; she swings a Head "Liquidmetal Instinct" bat. 19-year-old Svetlana was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and still resides there (during the few weeks a year she is not globe-trotting on the tour, or training in Spain). She has won 5 WTA singles titles (the others: last week in Bali, the US Open & Eastbourne this year, and at Helsinki and Bali in 2002), and she has reached 6 other WTA singles finals this year. Receiving her tennis training at the Sanchez-Casal Academy near Barcelona, Spain (sort of a Spanish version of the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida), Svetlana has been coached by Emilio Sanchez, Stefan Ortega, and others.
Svetlana Kuznetsova record

    Serena Williams has now won 25 WTA singles finals, including 6 Grand Slam tourneys. Since recovering from knee surgery last August, her performance this year has been less consistent than before. Serena won 8 titles in 2002, her biggest year, and 4 titles in 2003, but up to now had won only 1 tourney this year, the NASDAQ-100 in Miami last March. The win on Sunday made a nice 23rd birthday present for her. Serena has a huge contract to wear Nike togs (she was formerly of the Puma persuasion) and she has always swung a Wilson bat, not the H-Tour preferred by Davenport & Henin-Hardenne (and many others), but a Hyper Hammer 6.2 with a 110 sq." head. Recent Wilson ads suggest that she is now using their new "nCode" model, but photos show that Serena is swinging that same Hammer. Serena is coached by her father Richard; she and sister Venus did spend some time at the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida, way back in the 20th century.
Serena Williams record

    The main draw for Beijing had 8 seeds, with 4 1st-round byes. There were 4 qualifiers and 2 wild cards in the main draw. Qualifying began on Saturday; qualifying finals were on Monday.
    The time in Beijing is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) plus 8 hours. That is Eastern Daylight Time in the US + 12 hours, =PDT +15 hours.


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

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Maria Sharapova after arriving at the Beijing airport
on Thursday, September 16th

Beijing, 1st Round, Mon-Wed
loser's prize: $4,025 US; points: 1
#13 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #62 Jie Zheng CHN 6-2, 6-2 Wed

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Nadia Petrova

Nadia said: "It was very difficult at the beginning of the match as I was playing Zheng at home and it was obvious the crowd was very much on her side. I started out tense but got my game together and played aggressively. My serve was really working today and I'm looking forward to my next match." story

#35 s6 Gisela Dulko ARG d #65 Aniko Kapros HUN 6-4, 6-1 Mon

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Gisela Dulko

#36 s7 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #43 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) Wed
*#96 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #39 s8 Jelena Dokic SCG 6-3, 6-0 Tues

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Tammy Tanasugarn

#40 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN d #44 Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-6(5), 6-4 Mon
*#107 q Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #41 Kristina Brandi PUR 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 Tues
#46 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #78 Saori Obata JPN 7-5, 6-1 Mon
#48 Dinara Safina RUS d #233 wc Zi Yan CHN 6-3, 6-2 Mon

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Dinara Safina

*#194 q Na Li CHN d #49 Nicole Pratt AUS 6-3, 6-2 Tues

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Na Li

Na will face US Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, who also won last week's Bali tourney, in the 2nd round. About playing Svetlana, Na said: "The less I think about that match the better. I'll be happy if I can play my style and don't embarrass myself." story

*#93 Tatiana Panova RUS d #55 Tina Pisnik SLO 6-0 retired--
   left neck strain
*#77 q Vera Douchevina RUS d #63 Anca Barna GER 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 Tues
*#151 q Sandra Mamic CRO d #123 wc Tian Tian Sun CHN 6-4, 6-2 Tues

Tian Tian said: "I haven't practiced for almost a month after we returned home [from winning the doubles at the Athens Olympics]. I felt rusty." story

Beijing, 2nd Round, Weds-Thurs
loser's prize: $7,600 US; points: 25
#6 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #194 q Na Li CHN 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(3) Thur

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Svetlana Kuznetsova

Na Li had entered the tourney with a 28-1 record for 2004 (36-1 counting qualifying rounds), but all of her matches had been in ITF circuit tourneys, of which she won 4 of the 5 she entered, reaching the semis of the only tourney she didn't win. This was the 1st WTA event Na has played in this year; the reason for this is unknown. Because of her low ranking, Na needed a wild card to get into the Beijing qualifying draw.
Svetlana, by avoiding defeat, won her 12th WTA singles match in a row. Svetlana said: "I was lucky to win. I needed to pick it up at the end to win. It was one of my toughest matches this year. It felt like I was playing a top 5 player...
"It looked like it would be an easy match... but it wasn't. And it was tough because all the spectators were against me...
"In the second set, [Na] hit unbelievable balls. It was tough to find an opening to pull ahead. I served pretty well, but she returned my second serves so well, I didn't know where to put them because she was all over them. The better I hit the ball, the better her answer was." story
Na said: "It was a great match and I'm very proud of myself. It was a great honor to play in Beijing, but I think the crowd was too biased toward me. They should have been more fair toward my opponent."

#9 s3 Maria Sharapova RUS d #93 Tatiana Panova RUS 6-1, 6-1 Wed

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Maria Sharapova

It took Maria only 21 minutes to win the 1st set; the 2nd set lasted 28. Maria said: "I think I played really well today. I didn't let [Tatiana] get into the match. In the second set she started to play better and get rhythm, but I'm happy how I finished the match...
"The Chinese fans have been amazing. They obviously love their tennis and it makes it great for the players on court."

#10 s1 Serena Williams USA d #48 Dinara Safina RUS 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 Wed

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Serena Williams

Serena said: "I give myself a 1 out of 10 for today. I was really trying hard to stay cool and calm... In the middle of the match [Dinara] broke me back. She was hitting really hard balls right on the lines, but I got used to it in the third set and was able to come back."

#11 s4 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #107 q Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 6-2, 6-3 Thur

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Vera Zvonareva

#13 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS d #151 q Sandra Mamic CRO 6-3, 6-3 Thur
#35 s6 Gisela Dulko ARG d #40 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-4, 6-4 Wed
#36 s7 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #77 q Vera Douchevina RUS 6-1, 6-3 Thur

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Jelena Jankovic

Jelena said: "My ankle is a bit sore, but the trainers did a good job of treating it for me. I was glad to finish the match fairly quickly today. I tried to be aggressive and move her around the court, side to side. Otherwise I wouldn't have had a chance.
"My next match against Sharapova, my main problem will be my ankle, but I will try my best. The only other time we met, I took her to three sets."

#46 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #96 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-4, 6-4

Beijing, QFs, Fri
loser's prize: $14,100 US; points: 49
#6 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #35 s6 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-4, 6-4

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Svetlana Kuznetsova

#9 s3 Maria Sharapova RUS d #36 s7 Jelena Jankovic SCG 5-2 retired-- aggravated right ankle sprain

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Maria Sharapova

About her injury, Jelena said: "I slipped on the court and twisted it [her right ankle, in her match with Shinobu Asagoe]. My leg is swollen and it was hard to play. I couldn't give 100 percent. It was a tough day for me." story

Maria said: "I started off very well by breaking [Jelena]. In that game, I was down two game points. I won that game and it was crucial. From then on, I took control of the set. I was very happy to play a good first set. There were a few good points and I think I played well."

About her next opponent, Maria said: "[Svetlana Kuznetsova is] playing really good and has been in really good form the last couple of months. I'm going to go out on the court and try to win, but we are good friends and compatriots, which always makes it a harder match."

#10 s1 Serena Williams USA d #13 s5 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 4-1 retired-- left ankle sprain

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Serena Williams

Nadia said: "I had to suddenly go backwards and put my weight on my foot the wrong way. It was hard for me to re-focus after that. That little injury did everything. If you are injured, you try harder to finish the match, especially in the final rounds. There were some net calls against me that put a little more pressure on me and made it easier for [Serena]."

#11 s4 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #46 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-2, 6-3

Vera said: "I played a very good match. In the second set [Anabel] started to work out how to play me and did a lot better, but I managed to be aggressive and keep the ball deep so I could close out the match.
"I'm looking forward to playing Serena tomorrow. We had a very close match the last time we played. It was three sets. I hope I play well and make it a good match for everybody."

Beijing, SFs, Sat
loser's prize: $26,500 US; points: 88
#6 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS v #9 s3 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-2, 6-2
   career matches: Svetlana leads 2-0

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Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana said: "I didn't expect it to be so easy. I thought I'd have to fight hard; I started out down 0-2 and the wind was bothering me. I had my chances; I didn't play perfectly but I played well enough and was able to win." story

Maria said: "I started the match very well and [Svetlana] wasn't serving so strongly. I had a good chance for a second break but it was too good from her side. She played some great tennis and I wasn't out there completely today. You can't play your best every day. I've just got to learn from matches and move on.
"She's so confident right now. She's won a major and then Bali. She's feeling unstoppable. I had that confidence after Wimbledon - it felt so good, but I know I still have a lot more to learn."

#10 s1 Serena Williams USA v #11 s4 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-2, 6-3
   career matches: Serena leads 3-1

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Serena Williams

Serena said: "I played a decent match. In the second set I made too many errors. I didn't want to lose my serve, but I lost it twice." story

Vera said: "[Serena] puts pressure on you so it is really tough to beat her. She's so powerful; you have to go for it or she'll just kill the ball. I found my game for a while in the second, but she didn't give me many chances to break her."

Beijing, Final, Sun 6pm+
loser's prize: $ 49,500 US; points: 137
winner's prize: $ 93,000 US; points: 195
*#10 s1 Serena Williams USA d #6 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 career matches: Serena leads 2-0

Beijing, Qual Finals, Mon Sept 20
#77 Vera Douchevina RUS d #86 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-3, 6-3
*#194 Na Li CHN d #104 Marta Domachowska POL 6-1, 7-5
#107 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI d #120 Jennifer Hopkins USA 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
*#151 Sandra Mamic CRO d #131 Lioudmila Skavronskaia RUS 6-2, 6-3

Beijing, Doubles Final, Sun 4:30pm
losers' prize: $29,000 US
winners' prize: $15,500 US
cdr81 Emmanuelle Gagliardi & Dinara Safina d cdr81 Gisela Dulko & Maria Vento-Kabchi 6-4, 6-4

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Dinara Safina and Emmanuelle Gagliardi

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