2005 WTA Championships WTA Singles Results     Amelie Mauresmo, Champion


  WTA Nov 8-13

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$3,000,000 8 players - indoor: hard
Staples Center, Los Angeles
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QuickNews: Los Angeles
# 1 Lindsay Davenport
# 2 Kim Clijsters
# 3 Maria Sharapova
# 4 Amelie Mauresmo
# 5 Mary Pierce
# 8 Patty Schnyder
# 9 Nadia Petrova
# 10 Elena Dementieva

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Los Angeles:
click for Pierce news photo search
#5 Mary Pierce
5' 10", 150 lbs, RH 2H-BH
Los Angeles:
click for Mauresmo news photo search
#4 Amelie Mauresmo
5' 9", 152 lbs, RH 1H-BH
    On Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, in the final of the 2005 WTA Championships, 26-year-old # 4 Amelie Mauresmo of France (residence: Geneva, Switzerland), defeated her compatriot 30-year-old # 5 Mary Pierce of France (who resides in Bradenton, Florida, where she trains at the Bollettieri Academy) 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4 (Mary is shown during the match, Amelie is shown after match point). Amelie now leads Mary (who defeated Amelie in the round-robin prelims) 5-4 in career matches.

    Amelie said: "This is the biggest win [of my career] obviously. It has to be ranked among the best and most emotional moments for me. I am just so proud of what I did today, especially the way the match was, the way I hung in there and kept fighting even though I was a break up and she came back, and I didn't say a word... It is a great feeling, obviously, and it was such a long match. I had wait so long for this." WTA story

    Mary said: "I just did everything in my power the best that I could today, and it wasn't meant to be. [Amelie] was very motivated out there today. I could see it. She wanted it. She definitely played better today than a couple days ago when I beat her. I think she knew that, that she needed to play very well and be aggressive to beat me, and she did that."

Singles Round Robin Prelims Standings:
# 3 Maria Sharapova2-1 4-4
# 1 Lindsay Davenport2-1 5-2
# 8 Patty Schnyder1-2 3-5
# 9 Nadia Petrova1-2 3-4
# 5 Mary Pierce3-0 6-2
# 4 Amelie Mauresmo2-1 5-2
# 2 Kim Clijsters1-2 3-4
# 10 Elena Dementieva0-3 0-6
click for WTA Championships photo gallery       The doubles final was also a close match. Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (with a combined doubles ranking of 7) defeated Cara Black and Rennae Stubbs (cdr6) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4 (Lisa & Samantha are shown above with the glassware). Lisa now has 50 WTA doubles titles, 12th highest in WTA Tour history. Samantha hasn't been playing as long; it was her 7th WTA doubles title. WTA story
    On Saturday night (Nov 12) in LA, the WTA held their year-end players party, at which many of the good girls were looking very nice, like Patty Schnyder, pictured on the right. Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Tracy Austin, Billie Jean King, and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott were among the others attending the party. WTA story - party photos
  click for WTA party photo gallery

    (Nov. 7, 2005) The WTA Championships, with only 8 players, are played at the Staples Center in LA (in 2006 the Championships will be played in Madrid). 2 groups, Black & Green (formerly Red, but Sony Ericsson's logo is green), play in a round-robin format (12 matches), with two winners from each group becoming semifinalists who will play off on Nov 12th. If players win the same number of matches, the winner of their head-to-head match in the round robin is placed higher in the standings. Any ties will be resolved first by the percentage of sets won, then by the percentage of games won. The final, played on Monday in previous years, will be on Sunday, Nov 13th, at 3pm.

    # 6 Justine Henin-Hardenne will not play due to her ongoing hamstring injury. # 1 Lindsay Davenport, # 2 Kim Clijsters, # 3 Maria Sharapova, # 4 Amelie Mauresmo, # 5 Mary Pierce, # 8 Patty Schnyder, and # 9 Nadia Petrova have clinched spots in the WTA Championships. By winning her quarterfinal at the Advanta Champ's in Philadelphia on November 4th, # 10 Elena Dementieva earned the 99 points she needed to # 7 Venus Williams and take the eighth position in the standings. Venus would still qualify if any more of the players ahead of her withdraw due to injury.

    4 doubles teams will also play, with no prelims. Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs, Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, and Virginia Ruano Pascual & Conchita Martinez clinched the first 3 positions early. By reaching the semifinals in doubles at the Advanta Champ's in Philadelphia, Elena Likhovtseva & Vera Zvonareva earned more than the 78 points they needed to pass Ai Sugiyama & Daniela Hantuchova (who were idle the final week before the tourney), to take the final doubles spot in LA. WTA story

    Sadly, the website for this major event is all "flash" and almost no content: no photo gallery, no interview transcripts, etc. The "flashy" look does slow you down if you want to try to find anything out, though. And although they put the match stats in the live scoring, after the match the stats are gone, and you can never see them again. Ridiculous.

    Players who qualify for the WTA Championships all receive at least $100,000; the champion will receive $1 million.

    The time in LA is GMT (UCT, ZULU) minus 8 hours (US Pacific Time, = ET minus 3 hours).

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

click for WTA Championships photo gallery   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search
On Monday in LA, Elena Dementieva, who has reached the Championships for six straight years, 2004 champ Maria Sharapova, and 2002-2003 champ Kim Clijsters were among the players meeting the press (Elena skipped "talk with your hands" class)

click for WTA Championships photo gallery   click for WTA Championships photo gallery
Singles qualifiers Kim Clijsters, Patty Schnyder, Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport,
Maria Sharapova (shyly hiding behind Amelie), Nadia Petrova, & Elena Dementieva,
and Kim Clijsters with the Porsche Cayenne she won for having the most "Race to the Championships" points

LA WTA Champ's round robin, Tue 6pm WTA story
#1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #9 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 7-6(1)
   career matches: Lindsay leads 7-0

click for Davenport news photo search   click for Petrova news photo search   click for Davenport news photo search
Lindsay and Nadia running down forehands, and Lindsay's backhand

    Lindsay said: "I really wanted to start off with a win here. I was able to do that last year, and I still didn't make it out of the round-robin. So I know I can't take this for granted. I have got to get two wins or win as many sets as I can. But it always feels better to get off on the right foot."

*#5 Mary Pierce FRA d #2 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2)
   career matches: Kim leads 3-1

click for Pierce news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Pierce news photo search
Mary's forehand, Kim's backhand, and Mary after match point

    Mary said: "I was surprised actually how I won the first set quickly and easily. The second set, I got a little bit tight for some silly reason. The third set, it went up and down. I felt I had chances and let them slip away, and [Kim] was ahead, and I kept fighting and hanging in there and it is never over until it's over. And so I was just hanging in there. And eventually I came out on top in the end."

    Kim said: "Throughout the match, I never felt like I was quite there. I felt really, really tired... I have been hitting well and feeling good in practice. But she started serving really well from the start and returning a lot, very aggressive. And so I think [Mary] just started off really well. No matter how I played in the first set, I think she would have still won pretty easily."

#3 Maria Sharapova RUS d #8 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
   career matches: Maria leads 2-1

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Schnyder news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria serving to Patty, Patty's backhand, and Maria after winning a point

    Maria said: "I knew it was going to be tough. [Patty] has had a really consistent year, and she is a very tricky player especially in the first round because there are not too many lefties out there. But for myself, it was up and down. I didn't really think I played my best tennis today. It felt a little awkward in some situations because I haven't been matched up lately. But I think it will get better... I had better get it together quickly."

LA WTA Champ's round robin, Wed 6pm WTA story
#1 Lindsay Davenport USA d #8 Patty Schnyder SUI 6-3, 7-5
   career matches: Lindsay leads 9-2

click for Davenport news photo search   click for Schnyder news photo search
Lindsay's forehand, and Patty's backhand

    The win put Lindsay out front at 2-0 in the "Green Group". Lindsay said: "It was just tough. I felt both of us got a little bit sloppy the second set. It was just really up and down, and I was just kind of lucky there to get through it at the end." WTA story

Patty said: "For me, [Lindsay] really is the big favorite to win here. She hits the fastest. She takes the ball early, and that is about her game, and it is really, really tough to make a run especially on those courts. You need definitely an outdoor court, a slower court to achieve that."

*#4 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #2 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-3, 7-6(4)
   career matches: Kim leads 8-3

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie's serve, Kim launching a forehand on the run, and Amelie delivering one

    Winning put Amelie at 1-0; the loss dropped Kim to a surprising 0-2, making it unlikely (though not impossible) that she will reach the semifinals, and making it much more likely that Lindsay Davenport will finish the year at # 1 rather than Kim Clijsters.

    Amelie said: "I think throughout the match it was pretty high level. The court is pretty fast, I think it is faster this year than it was the couple years before, so it pushes me and most of us to be more aggressive, and of course when you let Kim play, she steps into the court, and obviously it makes it difficult for you because she starts hitting harder and harder."

    Kim said: "[Amelie] played a really good match today. Compared to the past, she played a little bit more aggressive. Maybe eighty percent of the break points were either unreturnables or I gave her like an easier shot and she just finished it off. And she played that really well. Especially these last two days I haven't been feeling like I have been hitting the ball very clean."

#5 Mary Pierce FRA d #10 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-3
   career matches: Elena leads 3-2

click for Pierce news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Pierce news photo search
Mary's forehand, Elena running one down early in the match, and Mary after match point

    The win gave Mary a commanding 2-0 lead in the "Black Group." It was also Mary's 500th career match victory; only 2 active players, Conchita Martinez (739) and Lindsay Davenport (695) have more career WTA singles wins.

    Mary said: "Comparing this match to when I played Elena at the US Open, I feel I have improved since then. I feel I am improving all the time. I come into every event having confidence in my abilities and I'm ready to complete. I just always give my best and enjoy every moment and just see what happens, and so far it is going well."

    Elena said: "I have never seen [Mary] playing that well. I think she was playing her best. I was watching her match last night and the way she was playing today as well. She was playing very well, solid serve. There is nothing I could do. I didn't play my best. But at the same time, she was playing unbelievably."

LA WTA Champ's round robin, Thu 6pm WTA story
*#3 Maria Sharapova RUS d #1 Lindsay Davenport USA 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
   career matches: Maria leads 3-1

click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Maria serving to Lindsay--
(these photos-- and almost all of the high-angle photos coming out of LA-- are by Lucy Nicholson, who is doing a great job)

    Although one night of prelims remain, the win clinched a spot in Saturday's semifinals for Maria. Lindsay also clinched a place in the semis, because Patty Schnyder defeated Nadia Petrova. This made and Patty 1-2 in the "Green Group", and Nadia 0-2 (with 1 match to play, against Maria), while Lindsay is 2-1, and Maria 2-0.

    Maria said: "I played really solid tennis. I played smart tennis. I took out [Lindsay's] strengths. It's just exciting to beat someone that's playing such amazing tennis, especially after having a tough few months. I feel comfortable with the pace that I'm hitting and with the way I'm moving."

    Lindsay said: "It just came down to the one break. I had my chance to go for the break in the third, and to get back even in the last game, and I just didn't win those couple of points today. So you know, I didn't start the match playing well, but I was able to turn that around and start to play better and played well at the end of the second set. And even the third set I played okay."

    Despite losing, in addition to reaching the semis, Lindsay also clinched the # 1 spot in the year-end rankings. This was because # 2 Kim Clijsters, though idle, was eliminated from the semis in the "Black Group".

#4 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #10 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-3
   career matches: Amelie leads 7-4

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie's backhand, Elena's backhand, and Amelie's forehand

    Amelie said: "I'm very satisfied about my game. I'm feeling very consistent out there on the court. So it's a good satisfaction for me. I played well in Philadelphia last week; it gave me confidence. So when you step out on the court, you just do your best, and hopefully it's going to be enough to win."

#8 Patty Schnyder SUI d #9 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
   career matches: Patty leads 5-3

click for Schnyder news photo search   click for Petrova news photo search   click for Schnyder news photo search
Patty delivering a backhand volley, Nadia's backhand, and Patty after match point

    Patty said: "There was a lot going on. In the first set, [Nadia] was not on the court yet, and I was there. So I was really quick. Then I think it was pretty close all the games, and I started to be really nervous thinking too many things. Because it would be my first victory at the Championships and it means so much to me, I got too nervous. I couldn't play anymore. In the third set, I just stayed calm and was so lucky to hold my serve the first few games to get my confidence back and hit some winners and serve well."

LA WTA Champ's round robin, Fri 6:30pm WTA story
##2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #10 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-3
   career matches: Kim leads 8-2

click for Clijsters news photo search   click for Dementieva news photo search   click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim's trademark splits forehand, and Elena handling a high forehand, and Kim after match point

*#9 Nadia Petrova RUS d #3 Maria Sharapova RUS 6-1, 6-2
   career matches: Maria leads 3-1

click for Petrova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
Nadia's slice backhand, and Maria congratulating Nadia after match point

    Maria said: "It is hard to recover from a tough match [defeating Lindsay Davenport on Thursday night] in such a short period of time. But [Nadia] served great. I don't think she gave me a lot of opportunities on her serve to get back in the points even when I had chances to."

*#5 Mary Pierce FRA d #4 Amelie Mauresmo FRA 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
   career matches: tied 4-4

click for Pierce news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Pierce news photo search
Mary serving, Amelie's western-grip forehand (much topspin),
and Mary's more-eastern forehand (less topspin, "flatter")

    Mary said: "It was fun to be on the court with Amélie. The first set I made a lot of unforced errors, and I just knew that is what it was. I didn't feel I was dominated. So I just tried to cut those out and play a little better. Then I got into it and was able to start getting focused and raise my intensity level and started playing better and better." WTA story

    Amélie said: ""After I lost the second set, it was pretty tough to keep the intensity up for the third. I still managed to play pretty good the first set, and I struggled a lot in my serve tonight, but probably the legs were not good enough, a little bit of fatigue as well."

RR 4th prizes: $100,000 US; points: 67
RR 3rd prizes: $130,000 US; points: 121
WTA Championships, SFs, Sat 12:30pm WTA story
loser's prize: $250,000 US; points: 218
*#5 Mary Pierce FRA d #1 Lindsay Davenport USA 7-6(5), 7-6(6)
   career matches: Lindsay leads 8-4

click for Pierce news photo search   click for Davenport news photo search   click for Pierce news photo search
Mary finding that serving to Lindsay can be hairy, Lindsay blasting a backhand return,
and Lindsay congratulating Mary after the match

    Mary hit 40 winners and only 10 unforced errors (Lindsay: 49 winners, 24 errors). Mary said: "It was either going to be a lot of winners or unforced errors, and whoever made more or less was going to come out ahead. I saw the stats after the match, and I was impressed with that. I don't know if I have ever done that before. That is quite a lot of wins compared to the ratio of unforced errors. I like it. I hope it continues that way."

    Although she lost, Lindsay will retain the # 1 ranking until January or longer. Lindsay said: "It came down to two close tie-breaks. It was very tough to kind of get any kind of momentum going because, every time I felt like that was a good hold, a close one, let's get it going here, [Mary] would hold at love or make one ball in that game. She played really well when it got close for the lines, made them, and I made a few errors in each tie-break, like one shot in each tie break I would love to take back - and the year is over."

*#4 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #3 Maria Sharapova RUS 7-6(1), 6-3
   career matches: Amelie leads 2-0

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie's forehand, Maria's backhand, and Amelie after match point

    Amelie said: "I just felt I could still come back into the first set because up to that game, I really felt I wasn't too far from breaking [Maria]. It really was a different match after that happened. So the tie-break is an example of really how the match turned around at that point."

    Maria said: "I was pretty much in control in the first set, but one or two points, just let it slip away. The tie-break was just a big giveaway, and from then on, it was kind of downhill. My arm is still not one hundred percent [due to a right pectoral muscle strain]. Especially in the second set, I couldn't serve very big. And I couldn't hit a really big forehand. So that obviously is not very good when you are playing a top player in the semis."

WTA Championships, Final, Sun 3pm
loser's prize: $500,000 US; points: 340
winner's prize: $1,000,000 US; points: 485
#4 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #5 Mary Pierce FRA 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4
   career matches: Amelie leads 5-4

click for Mauresmo news photo search   click for Pierce news photo search   click for Mauresmo news photo search
Amelie dispatching a forehand volley, Mary lining up a slice backhand,
and both ladies with the glassware after the match

WTA Championships, Doubles SFs, Sat
loser's prize: $62,500
cdr6 Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs d cdr23 Elena Likhovtseva & Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-6(4)
cdr7 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur d cdr14 Virginia Ruano Pascual & Conchita Martinez 7-5, 5-7, 6-3

WTA Championships, Doubles Final, Sun 5pm+
loser's prize: $125,000
winner's prize: $250,000
*cdr7 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur d cdr6 Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4

WTA Championships, Withdrawals
#6 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL hamstring

    (Oct 8, 2005) On Monday in Los Angeles, the 2004 WTA Championships champ, 18-year-old # 3 Maria Sharapova (who has 4281 ranking points) and the 2002 & 2003 WTA Championships champ, 22-year-old # 2 Kim Clijsters (4665 points), both former # 1's, were among the players meeting the press (photos shown near the top of the scoreboard above).
    Maria has no chance to finish the year at # 1, partly because she had to sit out last week's tourneys with a sprained thumb. Maria earned 684 ranking points winning last year's WTA Championships, and WTA ranking points last for exactly 52 weeks after they are earned. She will earn points this week, of course, but last year's 684 points will be subtracted from her total when next week's season-ending rankings are calculated.
    Kim, on the other hand, sat out last year's WTA Championships with a left wrist injury, so she has no "points to defend." Kim is currently just 155 points behind # 1 Lindsay Davenport (4820 points), who did play last year and has 214 points to defend. This actually gives Kim a 59 point edge over Lindsay when the rankings are recalculated on Monday.
    In addition to the "round points," which are listed in the "WTA Scoreboard" below, the players also earn "quality points" depending upon the rank of the players they defeat. # 1 Lindsay, for example, will play at least 3, and as many as 5 matches this week. Any player defeating her will recieve 100 quality points in addition to the round points they earn. Quality points will be a big factor this week, because all the players are ranked in the top 10. WTA .pdf: How Rankings Work
    On paper, Kim has a slightly better chance than Lindsay to finish the year at # 1, both because she has that 59 point edge, and because Maria Sharapova (who is 2-1 against Lindsay) is in Lindsay's "Green Group,", not in Kim's "Black Group" for the round-robin preliminaries this week.

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