Azarenka to take on Errani in WTA Championships opener-2013
15:07, — Sport
The 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships featuring eight best tennis players will kick off on 22 October in Istanbul.
In the opening match of the tournament Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, world No.2, will take on Italy’s Sara Errani (7).
The Belarusian enjoys a considerable lead in head-to-head matches against the Italian with six victories and only one defeat. The last time Victoria Azarenka, 24, met the 26-year-old Errani was in Amelia Island of the U.S. in 2008 when the Belarusian defeated her opponent 3:6, 7:5, 6:4. Other participants of the White Group are China’s Na Li (5) and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic (8). They will face each other on 23 October.
It is the fifth such tournament for Victoria Azarenka. In 2011 the Belarusian played in the final where she lost to Czechia’s Petra Kvitova. Last season she suffered a defeat at the hands of Russia’s Maria Sharapova and in 2009 and 2010 she failed to get out of the group.
On 22 October two other matches are due in the Red Group. World No.1 Serena Williams of the U.S. will encounter Germany’s Angelique Kerber (9), while Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (6) will face Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (4).
The alternates are Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki (10) and American Sloane Stephens (11).
Winners of the group stage and the runners-up from the White and Red Groups will enter the semifinal.
The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, which prize pot is $6 million, will conclude on 27 October. The player who wins all five matches of the competition (three group-stage matches, a semifinal and a final) will get $2.145 million.
The women’s doubles events will feature four duos: Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (Italy), Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia)/ Nedezhda Petrova (Russia), Peng Shuai/Hsieh Su-Wei (China) and Yelena Vesnina/Yekaterina Makarova (Russia).
The first such tournament was held in Houston in 1971 and was won by Billie Jean King of the U.S. Martina Navratilova won the tournament eight times, more than any other player. At first she represented Czechoslovakia and then the United States. In 2012 Serena Williams lifted the tournament title after ousting Maria Sharapova in the final.
In 2014 the competition may change its format and location, with Singapore becoming its host country. Taking part in the competition will be eight players in the women’s singles and eight pairs in the doubles event. The duration of the tournament will be extended, too, from six days to eight.